Sunday, December 31, 2006

Footloose and Fancy-free

Per the local Music and Dancing (Control) Law, public performance of music in various establishments is prohibited on Sundays, as is dancing. Cabinet is allowing music to start up at 12:01 am on Monday, though, and nightclubs may apply for extended hours. See article.

Of course, a bunch of establishments hadn't gotten around to applying for extended hours as of earlier in the week. Local buzz has some clubs closed until 12:01am, while others supposedly will close for 10 minutes and re-open.

I have heard of no waiver to ease up on the restrictions on dancing on Sunday proper, though. Footloose and fancy(-dress)-free, yes?

Best wishes to all for a wonderful year in 2007.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


My sister has tagged me. The instructions are:
1. Find the nearest book.
2. Name the book & the author.
3. Turn to page 123.
4. Go to the fifth sentence on the page. Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.
5. Tag three more folks.

OK, I'll do steps 1 through 4, but not 5.

1. Find the nearest book.
I was in our new office and we haven't moved in the bookshelf yet. So I had to wander out to my vehicle to get a book.

2. Name the book & the author.
PADI Adventures in Diving Manual (2nd edition)
copyright International PADI, Inc.
Editor in Chief Drew Richardson

3. Turn to page 123.
It's the start of the "drift diving" section.

4. Go to the fifth sentence on the page. Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.
When you first became a diver, you learned that you need to consider currents when you plan your dives, that strong currents can wear you out and that they limit the distance you cover. Sometimes currents can prevent diving entirely. When you drift dive, the current works for you instead of against you.

Declaration of Intent

Declaration of Intent: "I officially confirm my intent to purchase a digital camera prior to the scheduled departure of my next visitor on January 19th, 2007."

Acknowledgement to cajoling by my sister and TriBoomer (amongst others).

Hat Tip to Bold for the format of the declaration.

Yes, I had considered pledging to obtain before the scheduled arrival on January 10th, but didn't feel urgency was in order. I heart slack.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Week That Was

1 Masters swim session, 1 informal sea swim.

A scheduled recovery week. It wasn't actually required (due to the unscheduled recovery week not that long before), but with holiday season, visitors, and sloth I decided to go with it.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Blog-gone ('til Monday)

I'll be flying to Tampa on Saturday to visit my parents, returning to Grand Cayman on Monday. Best wishes of the season to all.

This week has been quiet on the exercise front for me - as scheduled. My friend JK and family (wife Susan, University of Maryland senior son Ryan, and Loyola College sophomore daughter Tori) have been visiting. Unsurprisingly, JK (he of the outrageous number of airmiles) was returning from a Brazil trip; the rest of the family flew from Baltimore to Miami, and they all caught the same connecting flight to GCM on Tuesday. On Wednesday JK flew out for a (one hour) meeting in Columbus, Ohio; he flies back to GCM today. They all return to Baltimore on Sunday.

Susan, Tori and I did go to Masters swimming last night, which was nice. Susan was an NCAA swimmer, and Tori is one now. After practice they were able to quickly compare notes with Coach Mike as to swimming folks they all knew affiliated with North Baltimore Aquatic Club. Susan and Tori plan to attend the informal sea swim tonight - Tori is especially keen on that as she has a looming swim camp (aside: my sister has one forthcoming too) in Florida featuring open water swimming.

Not to leave Ryan out, he and I exercised our livers on Wednesday evening (having work the next day I kept my work-out moderate).

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Week That Was

Long trainer ride: 4.5hrs. Long treadmill run: 2.75hrs. 1 Masters swim session.

Not much, but at least the long sessions are progressing. I suppose that the low heart rate work allows a pretty aggressive ramp-up in duration when you've gone that long in the past.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Even Better Than Fall Back

A couple of months back I wrote a post extolling the wonders of Fall Back. Today was even better than that.

On Sunday my business partner Gord and his wife Enoka moved to the island. They've been settling in for a few days now. On Thursday Enoka commenced practicing as a family doctor (a.k.a. general practioner) with a local medical partnership. Gord has been mostly in our office during the days, with occasional errand-running. Today he opened the office and I didn't come in until almost 9am.

Wow. I feel great. Next time maybe I'll even do a morning workout!

It's terrific to have them here, in both professional and personal contexts.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Puck Fiction

Thanks to the glories of the Intertubes, I can share this with you:
Coach Jules

Warning: Hockey content.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Turn of a Friendly Card

Nytro has a post featuring the Blood Type Diet. The comments section is busy diss-ing the whole notion, but for the sake of blog-fodder I'll play along.

Let's see, Nytro has Type A blood. Such folks are supposed to "flourish on vegetarian diets". My sister points out in the comments that she also has Type A blood, and that diet just doesn't cut it.

My sister occasionally claims that I am one of the luckiest people she has ever met. Okay, let's see what Nytro's source would have me, blood type O-, eating:
  • "Type Os thrive on intense physical exercise and animal protein";
  • amongst the most beneficial foods are "Beef, Lam [sic], Mutton, Veal, Venison";
  • "avoid food that inhibits thyroid hormone (cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mustard green)"; and
  • soothing to digestive tract: curry and cayenne pepper.

  • Maybe my sister has a point.

    The Week That Was

    I let it slide into an unscheduled recovery week: a week of zeros.

    Sunday, December 10, 2006


    This week a shipment arrived from, containing the following DVDs:
    • The Sopranos - The Complete Fourth Season;
    • The Sopranos - The Complete Fifth Season;
    • The Sopranos - Season 6, Part 1; and
    • Deadwood - The Complete Second Season.

    Also this week I bought and read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. As movie trailers are starting to appear, it seemed better to read sooner rather than later.

    So, the vocabulary effects: potty-mouth or Potter-mouth?

    Tuesday, December 05, 2006

    A Chorus Line

    "Another battle of peers hits the wall, another battle of peers...."

    Per my post of Sunday afternoon, that's what I was privileged to watch up close on Sunday morning.

    In areas of life where there are scores, measurements, or hierarchies, many of us select ourselves into peer groups over time. Some processes of winnowing go on for decades, refining to a more-and-more select group (e.g. Fortune 500 CEOs).

    I've been in a bunch of such processes (athletic, academic, professional, and even hobby-based). Sometimes I've plateaued, sometimes I've stepped out of the competition, sometimes I've ridden along on predisposition, and occasionally I have strongly engaged.

    For a few years now I've felt that I was mostly out of that. I'm not pursuing any professional or academic credentials, I'm not climbing a corporate hierarchy, I don't imagine that I'll ever be looking for work... there's very little of that type of advancing in (or jostling for) position in my life.

    Recreational athletics does encourage a little of it. Ski instruction in Canada had standardized course levels. Scuba has certification levels. Running and triathlon have times and standings (over-all and age-group). It's interesting, but it's of limited importance for me. I'm not going to change my professional life for those activities, and over the years I've learned enough about my mental and physical capabilities that impacts on my self-image are relatively minor.

    So Sunday was something out-of-the-ordinary for me.

    Part of what I got to watch up close was a set of peers battling to see who would slam up against the wall and who would break through it. An even bigger part for me was watching a winnowing process still in effect: race winners put themselves into a different category than those who come close. Further, in this particular field this appeared to be a stepping-stone for the winner: she's going to continue progressing in the sport, and how far she'll go is an open question.


    Monday, December 04, 2006

    The Week That Was

    The long trainer session was 3.5 hours and the long run was 2.5 hours. I also did a Masters swim session and an additional 2.0 hours on the treadmill.

    I don't know how to count Sunday morning's ride - commuting to and from the marathon course and riding the course itself covered about 30 miles and took about 3 hours and twenty minutes. Way too slow to develop aerobic base. Maybe I helped postural issues by just being on the bike for an extended time? Maybe I got a little more out of the long run Sunday afternoon? After all, all bike time is good time.

    Sunday, December 03, 2006

    Cayman Tri-Life: Marathon!

    Yes, it's a long post, and I'll probably have some more general things to write on Tuesday.

    Today was the Cayman Islands Marathon. It was the fourth such event; it was labeled as the fourth annual one although they effectively skipped a year due to Hurrican Ivan. It was a good day: the temperature and humidity were seasonal, and it didn't rain.

    Gun time was 5am, so some folks could avoid most of the heat of the day: fast marathoners, half-marathoners, and early-leg relay runners. Water stations were every mile, so there was good support for those willing to undertake the challenge.

    As I'm still trundling along in base training it seemed a better idea to volunteer than to participate, so I sent an e-mail to the organizers offering to help staff a water station or some other such activity. However, at the volunteer meeting, they had a much better open slot: biking the course to accompany/shadow the marathon leader. I jumped at the opportunity! Amongst other things, it meant finishing early ;-)

    In previous years they hadn't had a shadow for the marathon leader, and the race director was keen to have one. In retrospect, it was probably worthwhile to have one, even though the event had motorcycle cops. Not all that long after the starting gun, two distinct lead groups formed: short-course leaders (half-marathoners and relay runners) and back of them the marathoners. A motorcycle cop led the short-course folks, but after a bit they pulled far enough ahead that having a shadow with the lead marathoners gave them a bit of visibility and encouraged a few vehicles to give them a bit wider berth. Sunrise wasn't until 6:44am, and I had enough blinking lights to do a passable imitation of a Christmas tree on wheels.

    The marathon was two laps of a mostly out-and-back course. On the return leg of the first lap another use of the shadow role became evident: encouraging the on-coming runners to look up and break around.

    The marathon leaders completed the first lap about 6:33am, so not long before sunrise. As the half-marathoners had completed, the motorcycle escort picked up the marathoners and cleared way ahead of them. This was very important as the roads were not closed to traffic. My utility at that point was simply as a tail-light and a bumper; traffic coming from behind would have hit me before having a chance at one of the running group. I'm not aware that anyone even came close, but I know that along one stretch we had a somewhat frustrated driver behind us for a while; I made sure that there was no space that could encourage the driver to try to squeeze past.

    Past mile 25 I did one other thing that was useful. One of the additional motorcycle cops pulled alongside me to confirm that I was indeed shadowing the marathon leader. The motorcycle escort up ahead had experienced a little confusion because a relay runner had managed to pull ahead late in the second (final) lap. With that confirmation they were able to lead the right person to the finish chute.

    OK, so that was the role.

    What I got out of it was something pretty special; I got to hang with the marathon leaders! I got to observe their pacing, and because I was on a bicycle I was able to hear their breathing when it became laboured, and listen to whatever chatter they made.

    From perhaps mile 6 through 12 I rode with a breakaway from the marathon leaders, Martin Palavicini. Before the end of the lap, though, a group of three caught him: Julie Stackhouse, Michael Ridsdale, and Mark Hydes. Mark called out that Martin should jump on the train, but Martin didn't have that in him.

    Somewhere in the leg heading out on the second lap (miles 13 through 19), the lead group whittled down to two: Mark and Julie. Mark was the local favourite. I had no idea who Julie was (heck, I didn't even catch her name until I heard it over the PA at the finish line). Along the way I did hear that this was her first marathon; she ran track in college; until today her longest running races had been half-marathons; and she had done some triathlons.

    Coming up on mile 24 Julie pulled ahead of Mark. I hung in the space between briefly, looking back to see if Mark were going to close the gap or were in extreme distress. Neither was the case; it was clear that Mark was feeling some hurt, but he was still running. I rejoined Julie.

    Around mile 25 I told Julie it had been a privilege and wished her a great finish. I hung back and gave her more room; as she approached the finishers chute I pulled over to the curb to become a spectator.

    So she ran her first marathon (without a heart-rate monitor in warm and rising temperature with dead-even splits) in 3:06:17 and was the first overall finisher. Wow! And her breathing around mile 25 told me that she still wasn't red-lining (the shadow knows).

    Mark came in as first male finisher, running but with a hobble, at 3:09:26.

    Congratulations to all the participants (marathon, half-marathon, and relay runners) and to the organizers and sponsors.

    My thanks to Rhonda Kelly, Race Director, for giving me a dream volunteer assignment; special thanks to Martin, Michael, Mark, and Julie for the view of the front of the pack.

    Friday, December 01, 2006

    No Matter Where You Go... There You Are

    Out there in the blogosphere there has been much hoo-ing and haw-ing about weather. Comm's made fun of all the hub-bub and in the process insulted Ottawa (Canada) drivers. Hey, I learned to drive in Ottawa!

    As a former resident of Ottawa, I know something about snow. Snow imposes maintenance upon us. Owning a condo may have somebody else doing the work, but the work must be done. What I hadn't given much consideration before moving here is that the same may be true of sand.

    Here are pics of the beach before and after the maintenance work:

    Joe Caputo and his team did a great job!
    [Photos by Max Hillier, our General Manager]

    My sister thought I should post the beach pictures. But I can't just let it go at that, so I'll add a touch of local seasonal colour.

    To whit:
    Local tradition has sand, not snow, in the notion of a white Christmas. Preceding the season, people would bring white sand to their front yards; on Christmas Eve they would distribute the piles smoothly to make a pristine sand yard, complete with conch shell path, to lie undisturbed until Christmas Day.