Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ten Thousand Steps

About three weeks ago I signed up for a fitness challenge we are having at work.  The 10,000 step a day Challenge.  I received a pedometer and a little log book to keep track of my steps and distance over a period of six weeks.

How hard could it be?  I asked myself.  I thought this may be a good fitness "fit" for me as the shift-work makes it difficult to have any kind of regular routine, and a person can go walking any old time, right?

This first two or three days were somewhat disappointing, I averaged about 5000 steps a day.  On one of my shifts I decided that, every break I took, would be spent doing laps around the abandoned 2nd floor.  There is no one down there at night and the big hallways are divided by smaller hallways making it easy to zig-zag your way around and put on some miles.

The first couple of laps were kind of fun and I was surprised at how long I could walk before seeing the same office twice.  Yeah me!

By the third lap, I was starting to feel a bit silly.  Have you ever been in a Pet Shop and seen one of those Hamster Habitats?  They have endless feet of transparent tubing that allows the hammies to do a lot of walking and actually think they are getting somewhere.  At first it seems very cute...their chubby little bodies waddling to and fro......but after you watch for a while it becomes apparent that this has got to make them just a bit neurotic....

The third lap made me feel just like one of those chubby little neurotic hamsters...

The quietness of the dark offices became a little, well.....spooky.  Post nuclear holocaust, office building, kinda creepy.....All  I can hear is the squeaky steps of my running shoes on the freshly waxed floors.....and then, I start thinking, I can hear footsteps behind me....and begin to wonder if I am going mad!

By the time I was on the sixth lap, I was expecting to see, around every corner, those horrifying little twin girls from the movie "The Shining" you know, the ones with the pretty dresses and the bows in their hair.

After 8883 steps I retreated to the safety of the elevator and the sanctuary of our lunch room.


Time to find better ways to accumulate steps.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Wanted: One Good Mouser

Note to Self:  When packing up, in preparation for leaving the Island house, remember not to leave a bag of bird seed on the table.  Perhaps storing it in a coffee can, or at least a cupboard, would be more advisable.

About three weeks ago, a heavy truck loaded with tar, was on the ramp at Nanaimo Harbor, hoping to drive onto our beloved Quinsam, on his way to Gabriola.  Word has it that the truck was over-weight and that it lost control in the curve.  Apparently, it broke through the barrier taking the pilings with it, and then plunged into Nanaimo Harbor, driver and all.

Fortunately, the driver, ( I will name him Dufus ) was rescued unharmed .  The truck, however, was in the water and had to be lifted out with a crane.  There was a lot of damage and this resulted in all Gabriola traffic, having to board at the Duke Point terminal which is about 20 minutes further, and a huge pain in the ars for everyone.

I came over on Wednesday, the last day of this dreaded diversion, and my commute was a whopping 7 hours.  Granted, the weather and the scenery was beautiful, so one can not complain too much, but I was eager just to get to the house and relax, after all that travel.  Finally we departed, the Quinsam completely full of happy Gabriolans.  A staff member of the Quinsam came over the loud-speaker and apologized for the delay in service.  She then continued to say,  " All passengers please be advised, that tomorrow , service will be back to normal, from Nanaimo Harbor Terminal".  Every car on the Quinsam began honking there horns and the people standing out on the deck were cheering and clapping!  The woman on the loud-speaker returned to say, laughingly,"We couldn't agree with you more!"  I found myself laughing out loud and wondering what it must look like, to see this little ferry honking and cheering it's way across the water to Gabriola.... Islanders.

Apon arrival at the house, the first thing I noticed was, of course, the bag of bird seed that I foolishly left on the table.  Yes, of course there was a giant hole chewed through it, and yes, of course, there was seed everywhere.  I knew immediately that I had just successfully stocked up the mouse population for the winter.
What I did not expect to see was a neat little pile, I mean, a meticulously stacked little pile of un-eaten bird seed on my pillow.  In my bed!  Between the two pillows, another, perfectly stacked little pile.  Freaked out, but too tired to care, I vacuumed it up and went to bed.

The next morning I was putting clean bedding on bed in the guest room and found, slightly horrified, two more perfect piles of uneaten bird seed.  That's when I started to hear the "Jaws" music in my head.  I turned slowly and headed to the 3rd bedroom......lifted up the covers.....

I am now Janet Leigh , screaming in the shower in Psycho!
More perfect piles of hoarded seed.

Not long ago, I had the perfect solution to this problem.  His name was Tookymoo.  He was a native Gabriolan and a Six-toed Mouser.  He could hold a mouse in his clutches like a gambler holds a good poker hand.  Unfortunately we lost him in February at the age of 17.  I will tell you all about him another time, because , his, is a story in itself.

I sure am missing him now.

I am sending a little prayer out.....

Please, send me another Six-toed Mouser.