Archive for May, 2012
Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
It’s that time of year. Temperatures get warmer and clothing gets smaller. Now, it wasn’t that cold of a winter here in Winnipeg but maybe you’re hoping to shed a little winter weight before sliding the shorts under your beer belly.
A new survey that says 68% of female Shape magazine readers say they would give up sex for a month if they could magicaly trade it for the perfect bikini body.
Is that insane? After all, it’s only a month. But, at the same time, that’s one long month! Would you be willing to give up sex to look buff and macho this summer? Or, is it a girl thing and are you just happy with what you’ve got?
Friday, May 25th, 2012
With my in-laws visitng for the May Long weekend, I got a chance to play tourist in my own city for a couple days. Always a good time to hit up those well known places that are fun to show off: The Forks, Royal Canadian Mint, St. Boniface cathedral and the Assiniboine Park Zoo. We hit up dinner at Rudy’s in the Hydro building along with Segovia in the Village. But, I never would have guessed my father-in-law would be so fascinated with Duff’s Ditch.
Not a surprise to anyone that lives in Winnipeg, but we’re prone to flooding. And, back in 1950, it was a bad one. Over 100,000 residents were evacuated from their homes. A State of Emergency was declared and the Canadian Army was brought in to protect the people and their property. A big chunk of Winnipeg stayed under water for 51 days. There was a week and a half that the water hovered around the top of the sandbags and dykes and they were worried about losing downtown. Ten thousand homes were destroyed, hospitals and schools were gone, businesses couldn’t be saved. $125 million in damages was the total, which if you change that to what our money is worth now, $1 billion. And that wasn’t even the worst flood on record! In May 1826, flood waters covered where Winnipeg is now in up to 15 feet of water.
The city and the province decided to do something about it. A series of dikes and floodgates were going to be set up to protect this from happening again. A federal study also recommended, and Duff Roblin, the newly-elected Premier of Manitoba, agreed we needed to divert Assiniboine River flood waters around the city with a floodway. It was going to be expensive – $63 million, so expensive, the critics laughed and started calling it “Duff’s Ditch” or “Duff’s Folly” – but they thought it would pay off during those flood years. At the time the project was started, in 1962, it was the second largest earth-moving project in the world –the biggest being the Panama Canal. 100 million yards of earth had to be moved. We were world class, even then!
The way the Red River Floodway system works is there are two underwater hydraulic gates that, during years of really heavy flooding, are raised to divert water into a giant dike that starts south of the city. Water flows into the extra space, our rivers won’t over flow and then the dike and river meet up again near Lockport.
Simple, but effective. It’s been estimated that our floodway system has saved us around $10 billion dollars in flood damage. There’s been some notable exceptions where it hasn’t worked: the flood water in 1997 was running so fast and high it pushed the floodway system to it’s limits, so the “Brunkild Z-dike” was also built, running to the west from the south of the city. They also finished widening the floodway this March and say the new system should protect us even in in the event of a 1-in-700 year flood.
We checked it out, the bridge with the control gates at the inlet to the Floodway. It’s actually pretty cool. Nothing that stands out or that I would ever have noticed if we hadn’t been looking for it, but when you know what you’re looking at, it’s kind of neat. A little chunk of Winnipeg’s history and innovation that I had absolutely no idea of before!
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
Today is a big day for me… I haven’t had a cigarette for exactly one month! The longest I have ever managed to go without a puff. I’m still on Champix and the only issues, if you can call them that, are “life-like” type dreams, that will wake me up and it will take me a few seconds to realize that they are actually dreams. The other is heartburn, which is something I had never experienced until I quit smoking. This awful burn feeling that makes its way up your throat. Overall, a small price to pay for trying to get healthy.
As these non-smoking days are piling up, I felt it was getting easier until last week, where out of nowhere I had a craving for a cigarette. Something I hadn’t had since week 1. I have had the odd urge, but nothing like that strong craving feeling. Anyway, it taught me that I still have a long road in front of me and have to stay strong when those surprise moments pop up. So far so good.
Have a great day!
Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
I’ve got my in-laws in town for the May long weekend, so I’m playing tour guide. The forecast is all over the place with heat, sun, thunderstorms and rain so I need to make TWO sets of plans for showing off the wonders of Winnipeg.
Now, I know about all the usual suspects - the Forks, zoo, the Museum and Art Gallery – but what are some of the cooler things that you like to show off to visitors? Is there an amazing ice cream place we need to hit up, a park that can’t be missed, a tour that’s surprisingly awesome?
What are the hidden gems that Winnipeg has to offer for playing tourist?
Monday, May 7th, 2012
I just counted out the days since I decided to quit smoking… it’s Day 16! If you had asked me a while back what my odds were of not having at least a few cigarettes or a few puffs, I would have said that I would have for sure fallen off the wagon when trying to quit. I have been getting a lot of support from my friends and it has really helped.
Today is also the day I refilled my prescription for Champix. It has really helped curb a lot of urges and cravings. That could also be because my Quit Coach Aaron had me break a lot of habits before we even started on Champix…. the two combined have been a great contributer to me feeling good throughout this challenge.
My philosophy is to still take it one day at a time, but I wasn’t going to waste anytime facing all the triggers I had doubts about… events I had to work at, drinking with my friends, golf. Got them all out of the way, and I didn’t break. I know everyone faces different challenges and every non-smoking case seems to be different, but all I can tell you is that I am so scared to even have one drag right now because I know that I can’t or within a day, I will be right back to where I was before.
So far I have been using water, cough drops and visualization and two weeks in I can say that my urges have pretty much stopped and I am handling the habit side of it fairly well.
Have a great day!
Tuesday, May 1st, 2012
I just wanted to send out well wishes to all the participants in the MB Quits contest, which starts today.
It was the catalyst for me to give it another attempt to quit and it has been going better than I could even have imagined. Today is day 10, and so far so good… not even a puff!
This is the first time I have combined the use of a “quit coach”, and Aaron Ladd has been unbelievable in helping me get prepared for what was about to transpire. I highly recommend him to help you with your journey. He is with Drake Health Solutions.
Step 2 was getting on Champix. The only side effect I have experienced during this time has been constipation. Some people have said that is from the lack of cigarettes. My withdrawal symptoms were strong for the first couple of days and then I seemed to have no major issues in curbing them or any more strong cravings. The Champix has definitely helped me stay on track and made dealing with quitting alot easier.
Step 3 has been the whole mental issue. The moments when your brain is still telling you that you usually go and have a smoke now and you have to remind yourself that you don’t smoke. It’s a lot of fun talking to yourself! This one will take time and I have to stay patient.
Overall, this journey has been a lot better than any other time I have tried to quit. I actually feel strong enough this time and know I have the willpower to do this. believe me if I can, so can you.
Tuesday, May 1st, 2012
Officially, the 50th Anniversary of the Rolling Stones came and went this month, but Keith Richards had been quoted as saying the 50th should be marked from when Charlie Watts joined. That could mean 2013 will be the year.
There are a whole lot of online rumours that bassist Bill Wyman may be involved with the Stones anniversary plans. Wyman went into the studio with the guys in December for the first time 1992. Keith Richards told Rolling Stone “I think he’s up for it. We talked about it. I’ll let you know when I can.”
The big problem with Wyman joining the anniversary tour is same reason he quit the band in the first place: he was on a plane in a nasty storm during the ‘Steel Wheels’ tour and developed a fear of flying. He refuses to get on a plane unless absolutely necessary.