Monday, April 14, 2008

Mountain Biking Season

Well… This crank here is going to be spinning down the trails quite a bit this summer! Last summer, I was unable to spend much time on my mountain bike but this summer is going to be different.

This spring, I started out earlier than normal by hitting the country roads instead of the trails which were still snow covered in some areas. The air, though still a little frosty, was unable to deter me from hopping onto the saddle and testing out my winter weary legs. I should have worn a warmer pair of biking gloves along with my green winter hat the other day but I was optimistic that I could simply wear a baseball hat along with my fingerless gloves. I arrived home a little colder than expected but the experience was enough to get me excited for the next ten or twenty kilometres I was planning to travel the next day.

To me, there is nothing more invigorating than wheeling down the trails with nothing but my thoughts to carry me along the way. The time alone helps me to think and to sort out the muddle that goes on in my mind throughout the busy winter season. It gives me the opportunity to breathe easy and lower my blood pressure enough for me to head home afterwards satisfied that I have accomplished something more than travel a certain distance.

So… If, throughout the summer, you don’t see me here as much as I usually am, just imagine me flying down those trails enjoying the sun, enjoying the breeze and enjoying the summer! Rest assured that these rides will certainly produce a few photos that I have no doubt will share with you.

Am I ever glad the winter is over!

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Voice from the Past

I am sort of a nostalgic kind of guy. I am the type of person who values items from the past versus trinkets from the present. Over the time I have been blogging, I have written about items such as laser discs, old computers, old cell phones, my old stamp collection plus many other old things from my past which I have found sentimental value in… including old ratty my hat!

A couple of years ago, due to the problem that it was becoming increasingly difficult to locate Super 8 video players, I transferred all my family videos from that format to DVD in order to preserve the memories of my children. Now when I was a young lad (Hey wait a minute! I still AM a young lad!) we never had the technology to video tape us as children. Back then, we didn’t even have cassette recorders as they didn’t even exist. Fortunately, however, my father did possess a reel to reel audio recorder which he used for who knows what. Despite owning this reel to reel recorder, no one ever really thought of taping little kids for posterity sake as it was seen as an unnecessary cost. For some reason, however, my father decided to tape us on one occasion when we were living in the U.K. while we were having my great aunt over for Christmas. I never knew that he taped us on that occasion until many years later when I found his stash of reel to reel tapes while snooping in places where I probably shouldn’t have been. Upon asking him if I could hear it, I heard, for the first time, my voice in the little boy British accent that people used to say I once had.

That was many years ago. Since then, my father had sold his reel to reel recorder and the tapes seemed to disappear along with it. To this day, I never again saw these tapes and as far as I was concerned, the record my little boy voice disappeared forever.

… Until yesterday.

Since the death of my father, I have spent countless hours scouring through his old possessions deciding what to keep and what to throw away. I have basically gone through everything he had owned while all the time kept a close eye out for those tapes I had seen and heard so many years ago. I basically gave up on the idea of ever finding them until, the other day, when it occurred to me that my parents had a small storage place in the basement of their apartment building. Well, needless to say, I came across a small box with three small reel to reel audio tapes in it including the one with the recording of my voice on it.

So… my next goal is to scour eBay to pick up a reel to reel tape player in hopes that these tapes are still functional after all these years. I will keep you posted and maybe post a snippet of that young British voice of mine.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Oh Yah! Smooth Move Dave!

Back on January 31, 2007, I submitted a post titled “In Search of Aunt Thelma.” This post was regarding the story of my father’s search for a sister who he lost contact with back 60+ years ago. In this post I placed a photograph of her and my Dad. Move forward eleven months later when I was creating a slide presentation of my father’s life for his funeral.

During it’s creation, my mother subtly informed me that the photo in question which, unbeknown to her was also submitted in my blog, was not a photo of his sister but of his former girlfriend! Oh yah! Nothing like really screwing up here! Here I was about to place an ex-girlfriend of my father’s into the family line up at the funeral! It was bad enough that I made this mistake to the blogging world… Now I was about to redo this blunder to our family, friends and loved ones! Fortunately my mother was not the jealous type nor was she one without a sense of humour so I was off the hook so to speak. Whew!

I once was accused (and rightly so) of accidentally putting a photograph of a live person onto a memorial board that was displayed in public! Not good! Actually more than not good… It was really “friggen” bad especially considering the complaint came from the dead person who was not really dead but actually alive… if you catch my drift.

Now if you were to go back to that old post of mine from January 31, 2007, the photo you will see there is the correct version of my aunt. So… Sorry Aunt Thelma! Sorry Mum! Sorry Dad! Sorry all the other living people who I might have announced as dead over the years as well!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Great Memories

As I was cruising through the grocery store aisles on the weekend, I took a short cut through the baby food section to get to the meat deli. As I walked down the aisle, I couldn’t help but notice the Heinz baby food bottles which immediately reminded me of the days we used to buy all those bottles for our children shortly after they were born.

It constantly amazes me how little things like this can bring such a joy to our hearts as we reminisce about the good ol’ days where our kids thought that their parents were real life heroes… Now my kids know better! I remember the days when we used to feed our children more on their faces than in their mouths.

We taught our daughter certain American Sign Language signs before she actually started speaking. They became quite handy while we were feeding her since, with food in her mouth, she would have been unable to speak. If she wanted more, all she had to do was sign for “more.” If she was finished, she simply would sign “finished.”

There was one time when a baby sitter was feeding her when our daughter, having enough, signed “enough.” The babysitter not realizing what our daughter was saying continued to put the food into her mouth. Our daughter became quite upset until the sitter gave up feeding her. Later on, when we arrived home, the sitter reported to us this incident where we, upon laughing, explained to the sitter what our daughter was trying to communicate.

Memories… Memories that we will remember for a lifetime. Memories that will come to us at times when we least expect it. Looking at old photos, reminiscing in conversation or simply walking down a grocery store aisle…Great memories!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

A Hat For All Seasons

It was 11:38pm and I was ready to hit the hay but the curiosity got the better of me and I strolled over to my computer to check out a couple of your blogs. I noticed that I had received a new comment about my hat post and, once again, someone requested to see a photo of my ugly friggen lookin' hat on my head so, at almost a few minutes before midnight, here I was snapping a photo of me with this thing called a hat on my head.

I hope I don't live to regret this photo though I probably will!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

My Winter Hat

So… Now that most of the snow is gone and the sun actually shines hot, I suppose that it is time for me to put away my winter hat. Now this is no ordinary winter hat; it is a hat the fits well and feels good… No, it actually feels great. It’s not the type of hat that holds to your head snug making you feel like your hair is plastered down on your head or rips hair from your scalp. It is a hat that sits comfortably on your head, goes down on your ears and stays there with just the right tension.

It is also a very ugly hat! At least that is what most people tell me. Now, being the age that I am, other people’s comments do not bother me. All I know and all I care about is that my hat is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most comfortable hat around. As a matter of fact, it is also the piece of clothing I have owned longer than anything else I have worn. Forty years longer for that matter!

This hat is not one you would wear for styling. There is no real shape to it other than it fits my head shape to a “T.” My parents bought it for me while I was a young lad in Quebec, Canada. Back then and up there, the winter weather was brutal. A number of years later, after dad moved us to Ontario, Canada, I wore this winter hat during the bitter cold long distance runs we used to do during cross country training throughout the winter.

Nowadays, since I don’t wear hats too often, I don’t get the opportunity to wear hats as much but I still make sure that I don’t lose it though, during the times where I am unable to find it, I swear that someone in my family has hidden it or stolen it. I have a number of other hats but have no desire to wear them. Most of them have been gifts in hopes I would pitch out the old and welcome the new…No such luck!

This past winter, with the amount of snow we have received, I have spent many a warm time with it while shoveling the sidewalks. Last week, I had plans to put it away for the season but when I decided to get my hair buzzed, I needed to keep my head warm when the temperature dipped a little bit the other day. The way I figure it, it should be put into hibernation by the time the warm spring weather rolls around into the weekend. There will be no pomp or ceremony, just put away quietly until the blizzards of next winter come whistling through the neighbourhood.