Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday's Electric Lunch Hour - Double Bill Birthday Edition

As of a few minutes ago, I am on vacation for two weeks. Real vacation, with nothing planned except for a few birthday-related activities and having my boys in the middle weekend. I know I've talked about about a ride I wanted to do to Mont-Tremblant but reality slapped me in the face and I just can't afford it, which sucks because I know I can do it. But I WILL ride my bike like a crazy mofo, just not anywhere very touristy, and if I go far it will be some place where I know I can crash over. So to celebrate not only my vacation but also tomorrow's birthday (41 physically... about 18 mentally) I'm posting not one, but TWO music videos:

After watching a drum corps practice live and then watching a ton of videos, it seems like the drum corps bug has bitten me again. I'm also a bit jealous of my dad who will be going to the DCI Eastern Championships next week, which this year will have the top 25 corps as the final championships will be only a week later. I would've loved to go with him but short of funds plus no travel passport means no go. I'll do my best to go next year though! So to satisfy my urge to get my face blown off by a horn line I've been scouring YouTube to find the best videos, and good quality videos are a bit hard to come by because of the nature of drum corps performances. But I did find a few, and among those was my second favorite corps' 2008 championship winning show. The sound is a bit low but that's OK because on most videos the audio just gets killed by the sheer power. So crank up that volume and enjoy what a real world class drum corps can dish out. But if you really want to experience it, check out DCI's web site for the competition schedule and go see them live. There's no experience like it! The schedule ends on August 13th, the day of the finals, so with 2 weeks to go the corps are at their very best.

Phantom Regiment, you may take the field for competition!

Even though the festival and the artist have nothing in common, since the jazz festival I've been listening to a lot of Devin Townsend's catalogue, mostly the Devin Townsend Project stuff, and the solo concept album/musical comedy Ziltoid The Omniscient. If you haven't heard this album by all means do so. It's nothing short of brilliant! By Your Command is the second tune of the album after a 1 minute intro. It sets the pace for inter-galactic über-villain Ziltoid in his search for the universe's ultimate cup of black coffee. Any planet who refuses to fetch him his coffee gets smashed. Yes, as you can see, quite the interesting album :)

Enjoy HevyDevy!


Late October 1st edit: some guy reposted Phantom's Spartacus show with full copyrights mentioned. I is happy! 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

About damn time!

This week my bike suffered its first ever mishap. I was coming back from work last Tuesday and all was fine with the universe, until I hit one of Montreal's trademark potholes. God my city sucks for this! I slowed down and checked everything as I was riding, and all seemed cool, so more fear than hurt I thought... wrong. The next morning I'm all ready to head to work, and I notice my bike feels weird as I pick it up. Well of course it felt weird, my rear tire was flat. Boooo !!! Well, this was the trigger I needed to do what I should've done a very long time ago, which is to go from the stock Bontrager Jones ACX 2.125" knobbies of Uber Fatness, +20% to Dirt Raping, Rolling Resistance and Drag Coefficient, to this:

Kenda Kwest 1.5" slicks !!!
I was expecting this smaller and stiffer tire to be a bitch to put on the rims but apparently all my years of BMX have turned me into a tire-changing professional as I took about 15 minutes to get both wheels done. Yay me! I must thank the GT bike company and their near-impossible-to-install BMX tires. Those tires were very good and very tough, but they were tough in every way possible. But back to the Kenda's I got today, as soon as I was done I put on my cycling shoes and headed out. It's a good riding night tonight if a bit hot and humid, and hot and humid near the St.Lawrence means bugs by the crap-ton. But the feeling of these tires... damn! They turned my Trek from an earth-churning tractor to an asphalt-ripping dragster! Why I waited over 3 years to do this is beyond me. I could say it's because I've ridden far more this year than I've have in the couple years before, but as most of my riding is in the city and/or on hard packed trails I had no reason not to change the knobbies for slicks. Just FYI, knobbies are good in very soft terrain or mud. Point Final. But now I feel I've redeemed myself and finally saw the light. The next long ride will be far easier for sure!

Extra shot of my baby :)

Ride slick


Monday, July 25, 2011

And another Great Loop is over

France. Yes, right away I can hear the jokes about white flags and dropped weaponry. But as much as we love to make fun of them - they do try to make fun of Quebecers and Belgians but they fail hilariously - I have to give them a couple of things: they hold the most awesome cycling competition and the scenery this competition goes through is absolutely mind-boggling. I may not be into road cycling myself but every year I do my best to follow the Tour de France, especially the inhuman mountain stages in the Pyrénées and the Alps. And every year I wonder how it is possible to do what these guys are doing. Yes, I know some have used steroids and all sorts of performance enhancing chemicals, but still.

But along the 3400+ kilometers of this awesome race there are still a number of things that infuriate me to no end. First, the ridiculous motorcade to support the race. For each of the 50 odd teams that are shooting for the coveted Yellow Jersey, 4 to 8 cars are following the train of bikes with spare parts, spare bikes, trainers, doctors, masseuses, and 5-star catering for everybody. Then you have a number of cars for various race officials. Then there are the national TV cars and motorcycles (more on this later), and finally an obscene amount of journalists and photographers, mostly on motorcycles. Damn that's a lot of traffic! So not only do the superhuman riders have to do impossible bike riding feats, they have to do so while breathing a shit-ton of carbon monoxyde. And as if this wasn't dangerous enough, sometimes the TV guys get royally stupid trying to get the best shots. During stage #9, a France2 camera car wanted to get ahead of the race leaders to get some shots when it tried to pass them on a ridiculously narrow bit of road. The car was about to hit a tree when the driver decided that the way to evade a crash was to ram the cyclists, sending Johnny Hoogerland and Juan Antonia Flecha into a barbed-wire fence. Fucking brilliant. Fortunately both riders were able to go on to not only finish the stage, but also finish the tour. Quite a stroke of luck that was. I hope the TV guy never drives a car in the Tour ever again.

Another thing I find irritating is the over-enthusiasm some fans have on the tour, especially on the toughest mountain climbs. In their own minds these fans are encouraging the riders to climb harder and faster and "go go go, you can do it!", but the only thing they are accomplishing is getting in the way. It gets so ridiculous that at some points the riders look like they're riding in the middle of a crowd which moves at the very last instant to reveal the road. The highlight of this phenomenon was when some joker decided to make fun of 3-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador by running along side him on the Alpe d'Huez climb dressed as a doctor. Contador, already having some troubles because of doping allegations, didn't exactly like this and punched the guy away. I think I would've done the same, and maybe run over the guy for good measure. I don't care if the allegations are true or not, but showing this kind of disrespect while the athlete is killing himself trying to climb a mountain side is just wrong. How the Tour officials let this kind of stupidness happen is beyond me.

But despite these annoyances, the Tour de France is simply breath-taking. The scenery these guys have to ride through... damn, most people PAY to get this! There are always a few helicopters that follow the Tour and a lot of times it looks like they're doing the Death Star trench run while flying between crazy alpine mountain peaks. And the roads these guys take. Some of the most painful climbs on the Tour are rewarded with the craziest downhill runs where the bikes reach speeds in excess of 110 kph.

So this year's edition is finally over, and for once the winner is not a multiple repeat winner. Australian Cadel Evans won his country's first ever Tour win by snagging the "maillot jaune" at the very last instant, during the Grenoble against-the-clock stage, taking it away from Frenchman Thomas Voekler who had defied all odds by keeping the coveted jersey for 10 straight days. He was kind of Quebec's hero as he did this because apart from his Colnago bike, and the Nike sponsored yellow jersey, Voekler was dressed in Louis Garneau gear from head to toe. Quite the good press for this little company from Quebec City :)

And there you go, my short view of the 2011 Tour de France. Now I can go back to calling them "les maudits français" XD


PS: Apparently I have a new reader from work... welcome to my weird thoughts ;)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday's Electric (well, not quite) Lunch Hour - 2011/07/22

In the post about my bike journey through the Montérégie region I mentioned something about taking a 30km detour to meet my sister and dad at a drum & bugle corps practice. Because some people may not know what I was talking about I thought about giving a good example. You see, drum corps once ran deep in my family: my dad is a marching instructor and in 1969 he married my drum major mom. After my sister and I arrived my dad became a marching judge up until 1975, when he and a couple of his buddies decided to bring drum corps' major league, Drum Corps International or DCI to Montreal. The competition known as Invitation Québec ran from 1975 to the early 90's, and for a long time it was the biggest DCI stop North of the border. Because of my dad and his buddies DCI also held their yearly championship in Montreal in 1981 and 1982. Man those were the days!

While today's post is not exactly a competition corps anymore, it is probably the best example that can be viewed on a monitor because capturing the feel of a Division I corps in competition on a football field is pretty much impossible; there's just nothing like being there. The Blast! stage show was born from the Star of Indiana drum & bugle corps. In 1994 the directors decided they wanted to stop the competition corps and bring drum corps to the masses, and in 1999 Blast! opened in London UK with the result you see here, with a grid on stage to replace a football field's lines. As you will hear, a Div. I corps has a considerably higher musical quality than the average high school or even college band. Having seen and heard many a corps in the flesh, and the best of them at that such as Blue Devils, Madison Scouts, Garfield Cadets, Phantom Regiment, and my all-time favorite Santa Clara Vanguard (just to name a few), I can tell you that when the entire horn line is only 20 feet away not only do all of your body's hair raises, it wants to pull out of your skin. Quite the awesome feeling. Those people in the first row who had most likely never seen a Div. I corps probably got the shock of their lives, and damn do I envy them :)

Enjoy the explosive musical celebration that is Blast!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Le Tour de la Montérégie

Despite the french title, no, this is not a stage of the current Tour de France. It's the name I gave to my ride to Fort Chambly, which got quite extended. My goal was to ride a total of 100 kilometers during my day. Not only did I reach my goal, but I exceeded it by 15 to 20 clicks. ZOMG, what a ride! Let's do this in typical AAR fashion:

Pilot: Benoit "Cozmik R5" Gauthier
Ship: Trek 6000, 2008 model (black)
Kills: none (yay!)
Losses: an obscene amount of calories, a few brain cells, one unit of sunblock spray (more on that at the end)

Let's do this!

After taking things easy on a day off and going to bed extra early on Friday, I got up just before my alarm clock went off at 0330 Saturday morning. I wanted to have plenty of time to shower, prep up and have breakfast because I wasn't about to attack a full day of cycling on an empty stomach. So at 0445, about 45 minutes before sunrise, I hit LaSalle's deserted streets and headed towards the St.Lawrence river, or rather the bike path that follows it. The weather couldn't have been more perfect: cool, no wind, chirping birds and a full moon. There was an insane amount of mosquitoes on the river shore but I was in such a good mood that I didn't mind 'em. I did swallow a few of 'em so apologies to various mosquito families! My first destination was a bridge we call L'Estacade, a small bridge whose sole purpose in life is to break up the ice floes when the frozen St.Lawrence starts thawing in spring. There is a service road on it but unless they are public works vehicles, cars do not take this bridge. But this makes it the perfect place for bikes. And this is where I saw one of the most beautiful sunrises I've seen in a long time! At the end of this bridge is a bike path that follows the St.Lawrence Seaway from the town of Sainte-Catherine to Notre-Dame island, notably the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. The latter is the direction I had to take but I would exit this bike path just before reaching the race track, crossing the Victoria bridge and arriving in St-Lambert. I had just landed on the South Shore.

Sunrise on Champlain bridge

The next part of the trip was fun because it was through very familiar territory, but it was still very early so there was barely anyone on the streets. To get to the next bike path I had to pass right next to the place I used to own which was a funky feeling. I did stop just a bit to check what they had done in the 4 years since we sold the house and I was happy with the results. When I finally got to the bike path I aimed at the first park bench I saw and stopped for a quick snack; I was carrying some trail mix bars and some molasses cookies for some on-the-road calorie intake. Not perfect but this did the job. A few minutes later I was back on the bike, and my next stops were simple: refill my water bottle a second time (the first time was just before crossing the bridge) and physically touching Fort Chambly and the Richelieu bassin. But I had a very nice surprise on the way. I knew the bike path would pass next to a BMX track I used to visit in the late 80's/early 90's but what were the odds that it would still be there 20 years later? but Lo and Behold, it was still there !!! Some guys have kept working on a few jumps; sure it's not exactly ready for an olympic level race, but the fact that there still were jumps amazed me. I really missed having a BMX bike all of a sudden! But although I know I can jump my mountain bike, I didn't want to ruin my legs before a huge ride, so I said goodbye to the track and kept on going.

OMFG it's still here !!!

The bike path went through one of the really big parks on the south shore (think "Central Park" big) just before I hit the main road to Chambly, and finally after about 2.5 hours I arrived. Primary objective complete! I was feeling way pumped when I got there, but I knew that trail mix bars and cookies wouldn't be enough if I wanted to reach my 100km goal. So I stopped at this very nice restaurant right next to the fort for a big lumberjack style breakfast. I was early enough that I got a deal off the menu prices, and I had plenty of time to relax before hitting the road again. And the weather was still beyond extremely beautiful, but I knew that as time went by this was going to be a scorcher. So instead of doing a there-and-back bike trip, I decided to do a massive triangle of the Montérégie region. I first followed the Richelieu river for 5-10 clicks Northward and took a left turn towards the very bike-friendly town of St-Basile-Le-Grand. I say bike-friendly because in this small town there were bike paths everywhere. Other towns need to pay attention! But it wasn't long before I would take one humongous detour.

Made it. I'm awesome.

At some point I stopped in St-Basile to call my sister; I knew I would eventually be going back towards Montreal and I had planned to stop by her place for a bit. But she told me she was busy as she was about to go see our dad who was working at a drum & bugle corps practice in the town of St-Bruno. Awesome, that was on my way! So I rode the 15-ish clicks to St-Bruno before I phoned my dad to tell him I'll also be there because I'm a crazy psycho nutbar and rode my bike there. But not long into the conversion I noticed that my dad had gotten the city wrong; the place the drum corps was at was actually in St-Basile. Awesome. So yeah, I proved I was even more psycho nutbar than I thought by riding back there. But as much as I love my sister and dad, I shouldn't have done it. The break I took was too long, the ride there was almost all uphill, and by the time I had to get back on the road towards Montreal the scorcher I had predicted was in full effect, and the wind had started blowing. The wrong way. What followed was 30 kilometers of pure masochism. To make things worse, I almost ran out of water so I had go real easy on it for the first half. But I was going to pass by the St-Hubert skatepark and not only was I able to refill and refresh there, the guy who worked there gave me 2 extra bottles. This is also where I wolfed down the most cookies and bars in one sitting because of all the energy I had used up. I was over 3/4 of the way into my ride now and I was starting to feel it.

Ah, la Montérégie :)

But I had to leave the skatepark and get going because there was one massive obstacle I had to climb on my way to the Montreal meet: Jacques-Cartier bridge. Unlike the Estacade bridge which had no hills to speak of, JC bridge is one massive mofo even when your legs are fresh, and mine were anything but. But at least I knew I could cheat a bit and not do the full bridge; I could get off on St.Helen's island and ride to a smaller bridge that lead West and more towards my ultimate destination, Brutopia on Crescent street. And finally just before 1800 EDT I arrived, and though I was extremely hot and sweaty I didn't pass out! But thank God I thought of bringing a fresh T-shirt and that we were sitting on the terrasse! I know that beer is probably not the best way to rehydrate the body but Goddammit did that first sip of IPA feel good !!! The only bad thing to happen on my ride was when I left Brutopia; no it wasn't the slight drunkenness or the building fatigue, but somehow my can of sunblock spray had gotten squeezed while we were on the terrasse and its contents flooded the side pouch of my backpack where the can was located. Messy.

So there ya go, a short account of the biggest bike ride I've ever done in one day, and not the last one for sure! But I did notice a few things I have to change on my bike to make big rides easier. First my knobby MTB tires have to go; the back one is finished anyway because I've been riding so much this year. Second, a touring saddle. A race saddle is nice and comfy but after about 80km I didn't know how to sit on it anymore. And third, spongier grips. I had bought new gloves just before this ride and they helped, but at the end even these didn't help the fact that my grips are pretty much like a coat of paint on the handlebars. My ride to Mont-Tremblant may become a ride to Val-David because there's isn't enough time for me to make all these changes, and anyway I'm also a bit short on funds, but still I just may reach the big mountain as there will be no surprise drum corps detours! But yes, I can see myself riding a bike from here to here, the long way round.

Once again I must thank Letrange for that quick talk when I needed it the most. And in the same vein, thanks go to the nameless kid at the skatepark. You saved my ride !!!

Enjoy a few more pics from the early part of my ride !!!

Le Parc de la Cité
Chambly canal rapids
Did I say I made it? I made it :)
Me, feeling awesome.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday's Electric Lunch Hour - 2011/07/15

Yes, I admit it, I'm a Steve Vai fanboi! But this video doesn't showcase just him but the entire band also. The tune as sure come a long way since it came out with the movie Encino Man!

I would also like to dedicate this FELH to all the EVE bloggers who have left the game for better pastures. After Mynxee, Teadaze, Spectre3353, Manasi, a few others and myself, Ga'len the Wandering Druid of Tranquility has announced that he will be leaving the game. I would have asked for his stuff but with me being out of game it's pretty pointless to ask. Besides, he already helped me out just before Christmas 2008 when I was in an extremely tight spot. It seems like the EVE Online we once knew and loved is a thing of the past, and this saddens me to no end. As I mentioned in the comment I left on his blog, we should start a #bittervetfleet group :))

And speaking of being the hell out of here, tomorrow is the ride to Fort Chambly and the South Shore. The weather forecast is absolutely beautiful but in the afternoon it might get a tad hot. That may slow me down a bit but it sure will not stop me. Departure time: 4:45 AM :))

Fly hard


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Multiversal update

Although these days I'm very centered around cycling, I'm still Cozmik and I still have an interest in computer gaming so before I get yet a bit deeper into pedal power let's go into what I've been playing, and not playing as the summer advances. Let's start with EVE because after all, this started as an EVE blog.

Just over 2 weeks have gone by since the Monoclegate Riots, and since the announcements following the emergency CCP/CSM summit things sound as if they are back to normal, ie: boring. I'm just waiting for the next melo-drama! I have yet to read the CSM Minutes but from what I hear there will be "disappointing" stuff for bitter vets like me. I guess I will find out when I read 'em for myself and make up my own mind about 'em. I know I don't want to come back to the game if I know I'll get sick of it again within a few months. I've got other places to put my money anyway.

Also in the space game department, I have uninstalled Black Prophecy a few weeks ago. The novelty of it was cool when I received my closed beta key, and doing the whole set of storyline missions at the start was kind of fun, but after you "graduate" not much happens, and though blowing shit up is fun and all, after a few weeks it got really repetitive really quick. As I told the guys at our last meet, I have more fun flying around in FS2004 than in BP, and I don't even fire a gun! I still wish Reakktor well but I guess there is a reason why the Space Sim genre isn't a big seller these days.

The last time I visited Letrange he showed me World of Tanks, and I liked what I saw enough that I downloaded it as soon as I got home, but its downside was that it showed my computer its age, and I had to tweak the thing down more than I thought I would. I've played a single battle so far and royally sucked mainly because the Y axis on my mouse wasn't inverted (pull=up, push=down - yes, I'm weird that way). I also didn't get the whole upgrading/purchasing mechanic, and because of fun stuff like the Jazz Fest and my bike I've just left WoT alone until I feel like actually playing games. But it's there; I just need to get more of a feel for it :)

I may not have logged in some Quake Live time in about a month, but it's because my FPS antics have been happening in another universe. On the 30th of June Hellgate Global went open beta and I've been tearing up post-apocalyptic London something fierce. The closed beta characters were wiped so I had to restart CozmikR5 the Hunter/Marksman but it's been going good. I'm now at Level 9 and already have some L11 Legendary gear stashed away. The next quest I have to do is the first tough one of the game, the British Museum Hellrift. I want to get past that and when I hit around Level 12 I will probably hook up with a group and go for some power-levelling. I just love the simplicity of Hellgate: go in, shoot whatever is moving, pick up loot, make Palladium, rinse, repeat. It may sound repetitive but the game presents it in a very fun way. It's also an awesome time-killer like the game it was descendant from via its original developers, Diablo II. So yeah, this is where my gaming has been happening the most lately. I know a lot of EVE players have migrated over to Perpetuum Online, but I don't know... I still prefer the Battletech universe for 'mech action.

But to quote myself as I posted with the monocle pictures, Real is greater than Pixels any day of the week. So these days my computer has been used more to search for information on bike touring, camping, gear, maps, etc. Hell I've even found my next bike! No worries, I'm not about to buy a new bike on a whim, and my Trek is working just fine thank you, even though it needs a few parts to make a long-distance trip easier. But the Fargo is something greater than my current bike is: it is my retirement plan. You see, I've already been working at the city of Montreal for 22 years, which means that I've only got 10 years to go. And when I've got all the time in the world I plan to ride. A lot. And if I'm to ride to the other side of nowhere, I need a bike that's built for the job. In a future post I will list what I'd like to have as a perfect expedition bike that can take me anywhere, and the gear I have to have with me to survive. Over the next few years there is a lot of stuff I have to acquire but some of the things will be vital to the success of any long-term journey I intend to undertake. It's one Hell of a plan I've set myself, I know!

As I wrote the last time I blogged, this weekend will be the first of my big rides, and the weather forecast is in: it should be nice but hot. Good thing I'm planning to leave my place about a half-hour before sunrise. I'm extremely psyched and the weekend just cannot arrive soon enough. Worst of all, my bike is right there, about 10 feet away from me in my office and it's yelling "RIDE ME !!!". No worries... I will :)

Go far


Friday, July 8, 2011

The first big ride

A few days ago I mentioned something about doing my first official 100km cycling day but I hadn't thought of a destination. Spending entire days on my bike is nothing new to me but usually this is just riding aimlessly without a goal. But this time I have a destination worth riding to:

This is Fort Chambly, located on the Richelieu river on the South Shore of Montreal. Built in 1711 by the French, it was taken over by the British in 1760, and was reinforced in 1812 to make sure Quebec didn't suddenly become a US state. 'Aight enough history lessons, you can read all about the fort here. The place is nothing new to me because I spent my early youth about 20km from there, so I've been there on many school trips, ridden there when I was still living in my home town, and also went there a few times for the annual Beer & Flavor Festival; there simply cannot be a better place for that!

But to come back to my riding addiction, because I now live a bit farther away on the South-West part of the island of Montreal, the ride will now be a better challenge as according to Google Maps the fort is now 41.1 kilometer away via bike paths. I know a few places where I could cut corners but this is not the point. So there and back again I'm looking at 82.2 clicks, but don't forget, I'll be riding through my home town of Longueuil so I will take a few detours to places I haven't seen in a long long time, and will also pay visit to a few old friends. And on top of that, on the way back I will not be heading straight home because this will be one of the Montreal Meet nights at Brutopia. I don't think I will party like a madman but it will end the day rather beautifully. So with the detours and the final ride from Brutopia to my bed I will surely bust the 100km mark. To spice things up I will try to take streets I don't usually take and neighborhoods I don't usually go through. I will most likely photo-document my ride so around the 20th of July I should have a fun blog post :)

The ride will happen on July 16th 2011, and only the crappiest of crappy rain days will hold me back; if I do get some rain I may have to come back home before heading to Brutopia but even then, it will be worth the experience. If I want to go on bigger adventures I literally have to Harden The Fuck Up™. Just like my planned trip to Mont-Tremblant, I will leave just before the sun rises so when morning is in full swing I will have covered a lot of ground already thanks to mostly deserted roads. And if I hit 100km sooner than I think? Fuck it, I'll ride farther !!!

Ride it like you stole it


The path from my place to Fort Chambly

Friday's Electric Lunch Hour - 2011/07/08

Last week I wanted to post this but then I realised it was Canada Day and had to post a Canadian, so Devin Townsend got the spotlight. Steve Hackett is one of music's most underrated guitar player and he deserves a lot more coverage. Here's a Genesis classic from Trick of the Tail.



Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Month-long Lull

Hey all, Coz here!

My crazy Jazz Festival week, going to bed late and humid heat have decided to catch up with me today; it's about 12h30 PM now and I still feel like I just woke up! Part of it is because my brain is still on vacation. One single week just isn't enough, especially when you fill it with a crazy schedule of shows and parties. And when you know that not even a month from now I'll have another 2 weeks of vacation but at least this one will not have a week-and-a-half festival of musical awesomeness. It will have two special events though. The first one is my birthday right at the start on July 30th so any excesses (like THAT never happens... LMAO!) will be done with quickly. And the second one is my bike trip to Mont-Tremblant which I intend to do with minimal budget and preparation; yes, I actually WANT to have it rough because this trip is supposed to be my first of many longer and harder trips which will require better preps but will still be rather spartan. Yeah, I'm crazy like that.

I've been preparing the physical and mental side in a few ways. Riding 5km to and from work every day isn't quite enough, so any time I get a chance I hop on the thing and ride pointlessly in one direction. The boring part is that I have to come back home all the time so I average around 30km per rides, and 50 on weekends. This will change soon as the second vacation is approaching. Of course I can't really ride on the weekends I have my kids, but on the next weekend I'm on my own I will do my first 100km round trip. I haven't planned the route yet but what I want to do is basically leave my place just before sunrise and ride all day, and arrive at the Montreal Brutopia meet at 7PM. The fun part: I want to do this whatever the weather is. It could be a cool and calm day, or hot and humid with a storm or two. Could be way fun, or way painful. But I just have to do it :)

Another way to prepare I have is walking insane distances. When's the last time you walked 15-20km? For me it was last weekend. And a few days before that. By walking you may not get anywhere fast but it sure builds up your character. And you can even see stuff you've never ever seen that are literally in your own backyard.

So are I am, not quite a month from my next vacation and every fiber of me wants to leave Montreal behind and travel this amazing bike path, dip my feet in the Rivière du Nord, and then dip 'em in the Rivière La Diable. Of course I'll have to celebrate with an awesome beer from Micro-brasserie La Diable :) This is my first bike adventure, and I can barely wait !!!

Ride long and far


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Step aside peasants!

Why bother with pixel monocles when you can rock the real thing?

What's this I smell? Oh, bad RP'ers!

Cartboard Box cannot hear you over the sound of how awesome he is :)

Moral of the story: Real > Pixels :))


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Burning Eden, part trois - The Fire Extinguisher

Alright, I said that the next time I would post about EVE Online it would be with a positive view, so here's the video from the CCP/CSM emergency summit. You can also read the full statements here.

So how does this change my own view of things? Well, not much at the moment because I'm already out of the game and enjoying a lengthy break. And before I come back I want to see a lot of things fixed in the game; basically, unless there is a return towards small-gang skirmish warfare PvP I don't have much interest in coming back, for now at least. But I will be watching any future developments very closely. But CCP better not screw with its player base again. For my part, if the vikings want my money again, they'll have to earn it. But one thing is certain, I'm never touching the NEX store. My Minnie ships will stay rusty, and as a matter of fact, providing that Incarna has been developed beyond the CQ if/when I come back, I fully intend to walk around trade hubs in my boxer shorts only, just to show that I don't give a flying fuck about pixel clothing. Wearing a Vagabond is more stylish anyway :)

In the meantime, I'd like to thank the CSM for a job well done, but make sure you keep holding the reins tight.

For once, fly safe


PS: Do not get me started on the monocle-toting RP'ing twats; even if I'm out of game I'm gonna start a "to wardec" list... >:)

Friday Night Video - Jazz Fest Edition

As we are entering the last moments of the Montreal Jazz Festival, I thought it would be a good idea to post an extra video of pure jazz by a master. All that's missing is a huge spicy Jazz Fest hot dog and a cold beer :)

Enjoy Miles


PS: I know it's technically Saturday but it's still Friday in my head. Anything to make my vacation last longer :))

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday's Electric Lunch Hour - 2011/07/01

This being Canada Day I have to post a Canadian artist. So here's one of the very best, Vancouver's Devin Townsend. This tune has so much power it's gonna be hard to beat!

Fly loud