Archive for: ‘May 2019’

MCAS New River, NC

23/05/2019 Posted by admin

The Snowbirds are at our first show of the season, which happens to be in New River North Carolina at Marine Corp Air Station (MCAS).  Our journey started last Wednesday when we left Moose Jaw.  Two days later with stops in Minot, ND; St-Paul, MN, Lafayette, IN; Charleston, WV and finally to New River, NC.

MCAS is an impressive base which happens to be home to over 200 aircraft and a sign at the front gate which reads “Please excuse our noise, it’s the sound of freedom,” now that’s my kind of place!  There are V22 Ospreys, Harrier Jump jets, Sea Stallions all over the place and some hard core soldiers shouting out OOH RAH!  The community is extremely proud of their soldiers and we were welcomed as one of their own.  

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Today also marked the first time the Snowbirds performed in front of a crowd of around 25,000.  Being a part of the Snowbirds is more than just performing,  it was about meeting people and telling them about the Canadian Forces and the Country we represent.  I had the chance to meet with some soldiers from Wounded Warriors.  These were young people who were injured serving their country.  What was nice to see was how the airshow organizers focus was to ensure that these fine people were recognized their sacrifices.  What humbled me was how highly these people spoke of the Canadians they worked beside overseas and how close they felt to their neighbours to the North.  It was a gentle reminder of how we all need to look after one another. 

My first air show thus far has been memorable, and this was only the first day. 

SB 6 out, OOH RAH! 

 

What’s Up With This Wind?

23/05/2019 Posted by admin

In my first blog I mentioned how important it was to get outside on the bike and not just rely on a stationary workout, so what do I do? I work out on the stationary bike all week. It was my intention to get up on the saddle but I just couldn’t fathom navigating those roads with 70 km/h gusts in my face. When I woke up yesterday morning I decided that wind or no wind I was going to ride outside, but instead of cruising the highways and byways I decided that the trails in the river valley would offer some sort of shelter. Obviously there were a few other cyclists who had the same thing in mind as the trails were quite busy for early on a Saturday morning. I entered the trail system at 142 St. and pedalled out to Rundle park and back struggling up hills like the one approaching McNally High School and the incline on the east side of the Capilano bridge. Speaking of Rundle Park, what happened to the pond? It’s completely dry. They must have drained it for one reason or another. 

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On thing that stood out was how grumpy cyclists are. I always try to make a point of waving or nodding at my fellow bikers but yesterday I was lucky to get a smile. Come on guys let’s try not to be so serious. Maybe it was the wind. Then again maybe I’m not concentrating enough. I better take this cycling thing to heart.  

This morning I found myself back at the Y on the stationary bike once again going nowhere. If you haven’t made a decision on what type of tires to use on the tour then check out my latest video clip. 

Talk to you soon, 

Mike 

 

 

Time to get nautical

23/05/2019 Posted by admin

For the most part, I’ve always lived close to a body of water. From Lake Ontario to the Pacific Ocean, I love the waterside living. Yes, it can bring more rain, more snow and more wind sometimes but usually the prettiness of the body of water outweighs those negatives. Recently though, I realized that I’ve been enjoying life beside or close to water, but not on the water.  I’m quite good at relaxing on the beach and splashing in the water but haven’t spent much time out on the lake itself.  And so I thought to myself, what better way to right this wrong than here in the Okanagan where the lake is pretty and the boats are plentiful?

 

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With that said, I signed up for sailing classes at the Kelowna Yacht Club! There was about a month of classes where I learned the different parts of a boat, how to navigate a boat and emergency procedures. I learned different ways to tie knots, the various rope grips on a boat and how to read the wind.

Sailing is a completely different world. People who sail have to learn a whole other language and interact with different social norms. It was and is still a lot to absorb, and while I’m the first to admit I’m not a sailing expert, I feel like I have a decent grasp on it now. I’ve learned how to steer a boat, change the sails and adjust the sails to the wind. Being out on the water, it can be an incredible thing to realize just how powerful Mother Nature can be: winds shift direction with the snap of a finger and the water can get choppy or still in the blink of an eye.

It’s an amazing feeling to be out on a boat away from the reaches of the land and surrounded by water. When it’s a nice, hot and sunny day, it’s the most relaxing thing in the world to be sitting on a boat. When the winds are strong and you’re fighting with the boat to keep it straight, it can be thrilling and exhilarating. Think “The Perfect Storm” but not really.

 

And so, I thought I would share this experience with you! I’m still learning and I doubt I’ll ever stop learning how to sail (it just seems so complex!). Learning how the sail has kick-started my summer and I can’t wait for what’s to come. I’ll be sure to share it right here on my blog. In the meanwhile, here is some picture evidence:

 

Dance mob

23/05/2019 Posted by admin

It seems like flash mobs are all the craze now!

Ever since I saw Improv Everywhere do a frozen flash mob inside New York City’s Grand Central Station, I have always wanted to be a part of one:

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Well, last Friday was International Dance Day and a local dance teacher organized a flash dance mob to help spread the word about the importance of arts education. As soon as I heard about it, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Plus, it was the perfect opportunity to cross “be a part of a flash mob” off my bucket list.

After a quick choreography lesson the night before, I along with about 40 other girls were set to surprise bystanders at the Sails in downtown Kelowna with our smooth moves. Now flash mobs are supposed to be a surprise and are supposed to catch people off guard. It’s easy to have a mass of people standing around in New York City, it’s a little harder for a group of dancers to be incognito in downtown Kelowna. 

But we pulled it off and I have to say, it was so much fun to be a part of! I had the biggest smile on my face as I danced the routine and looked around at the other girls, who were all in sync with one another, and at the passerbys who stopped in their tracks, confused, to watch us perform.

CHBC News was also there and we ran a story of the dance mob on our newscast. It was a little strange to be part of a story rather than to tell the story.

Did you see the dance mob? If not, watch the full video right here:

 

A Perfect Match: What happens now?

23/05/2019 Posted by admin

For weeks now Noel and his parents have been down here in Bethesda, Maryland. This has not been an easy time for Noel. To prepare for a bone marrow transplant a patient’s own immune system must be completely wiped out so that when the transplant occurs the patient’s body doesn’t attack and reject the donor cells. Noel has receive chemotherapy in preparation. Today, two days before the transplant, Noel will receive his last round of chemotherapy. Tomorrow he will receive radiation and then Thursday is the big day!

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A doctor at the Alberta Children’s hospital once explained to me that preparing for a transplant is like going to hell and back. Steve Hirlehey, a Lethbridge man who’s daughter received a transplant to treat leukemia was told that his daughter would be taken to the brink of death. This will not be difficult and there is a chance it could fail. Noel’s body could reject the transplant despite the chemotherapy. The other risk is that Noel will develop a common complication called Graft vs Host disease. That’s a partial rejection where the body accepts the new bone marrow but the donor cells start to recognize the patient’s organs as belonging to someone new and begin to attack. A person with Graft vs Host can develop lung, heart or kidney problems. Specialists here have come up with a backup plan in the event of a total rejection. Noel’s orginal bone marrow has been saved so that it can be transplanted back in the event he needs it to survive.

The third outcome is a cure and this week that’s what everyone is focusing on.

First Outdoor Ride

23/05/2019 Posted by admin

I can’t believe that it’s just over a month away from the 2011 MS Bike Tour. It seems like only yesterday that I pulled into Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers last year after about a five hour ride from Camrose ready to stuff my face with hamburgers, beans, coleslaw, potatoes, ice cream…..I think you get the idea that food plays a very important roll on this tour. Over the course of the next few weeks I will be taking you through my life as I prepare to participate on my 10th ride. You’ll be able to link to 8 video segments that were produced by the ace crew at Global Edmonton. You’ll learn all about the right bike to ride, the proper accessories, training, and most importantly how the money you’re raising is going to be spent.. 

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I consider myself to be in fairly decent shape for a middle aged guy who eats too much and gets very little sleep but I just haven’t had the chance to get out on the bike much this spring. Mind you spring is a relative term. The season may have arrived at the end of March but it only recently has made its presence felt. There are many tour participants who can’t wait for that first patch of asphalt to be cleared so that they can start pedalling up and down our city’s streets and trails but I’m not one of them. As much as I love  to cycle, I am at best a fair weather guy. I try to spend about an hour most days pedalling hard but getting nowhere aboard a stationary bike at the YMCA. Working out that way is great for your cardiovascular system but in order to prepare yourself properly it’s important to get in as many actual road rides as possible before the tour, otherwise your butt will pay the price. With that in mind I woke up bright and early this past Saturday morning determined to hit the road only to discover that my lower back was killing me and the temperature was a bone chilling 4 degrees, both good enough reasons to roll back over and go back to sleep. But it was then that I realized that I have to set a good example for you so I dug out the spandex shorts, (sorry I know this is a family blog but it’s a necessary evil) jersey, socks, gloves, cycling shoes, water bottles, iPod (I realize it’s dangerous but it’s my only vice) and most importantly my trusty helmet only to discover that both my tires were flat. Fortunately it was just an air issue so I pushed on the pump a couple of dozen times and I was off.   

Living out in the west end I’m just a hop skip and a jump away from the country roads which are relatively quiet and well maintained. There are way more potholes in the city than on the secondary roads. The air was fresh and the wind was light as I pedalled my way to Devon. It’s a fairly level ride until you reach that massive hill that takes you over the North Saskatchewan on Highway 60. That hill is a very good test for your gear system. It’s a great feeling when you reach your destination until you remember that you have to find your way back. I was tempted to call my wife to come and rescue me but thought better of it when I realized that I’d have to put it on the blog and that might be embarrassing. So I pointed my bike towards Edmonton and about an hour later I was stretching my aching muscles on my driveway. 

It’s now Tuesday afternoon, it’s 20 degrees and the sun is shining. A perfect day to get back out on the bike to see where my trusty Trek will take me. Please check back on a regular basis to view the very informative video clips. I’ll put them on the blog as soon as I can figure out how to get them uploaded   

Actually it’s now Friday night and after banging my head aginst the wall for a couple of days trying to figure out how to post the video my son Derek figured it out. Bike tour manager Keltie Tichkowsky tells you what to expect on the tour. 

Happy Trails, 

Mike 

 

Canucks nation

23/05/2019 Posted by admin

Having grown up on the East Coast, I consider myself a Toronto Maple Leafs fan.

But wait! Don’t throw me to the lions just yet. Since I moved out west, a new team has been creeping up on my conscious. Yes, that’s right, it’s those Vancouver Canucks.

I’m not going to be a bandwagoner and jump on board just because the team is in the Stanley Cup finals. That wouldn’t be fair to the true, die-hard Canucks fans. And even though it’s been decades since the Leafs have made it to the playoffs, I couldn’t betray them like that.

But I have been cheering the Canucks on. Plus you can’t go anywhere in this city now without hearing about them so I have been soaking in fan love for the team these past few weeks.

 

Fortunately because of my job, I get to go around and see and meet Canucks crazy fans. I was at Doc Willoughby’s Saturday night when the Canucks tied the game 2-2 against the Bruins and sent it into overtime: it was quite the madhouse there. Eyes were fixated on the screen watching the puck move back and forth across the ice. Though I had to do a couple quick interviews, I didn’t dare interrupt anyone watching. I feared their wrath if I was the reason they missed something during the game.

I’ve seen houses decked out in Canucks colours and posters. We recently did a story on a family that hung a Canucks flag on a city light fixture and narrowly avoided a fine.

Canucks fever is sweeping through the valley and it’s hitting everyone….hard.

Today, I went out to Our Lady of Lourdes in West Kelowna. Students persuaded the administration to hold a Canucks Day and came to school wearing jerseys, with hair painted blue and green, with posters reading Go Canucks Go and with the belief that this team could take the series in four games.

 

 

 

Everyone it seems has been hit hard by a case of Canucks fever. And as an outsider to this area, I’m loving every single second of it. 

Go Canucks go!

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