Saturday, September 26, 2009

Niagara Grape & Wine Festival


Pat @ Grape n Wine


Cass @ Finish of Western Invitational, Oct 2009


Cass getting his game on for Western Invitation 2009


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lecture Report

(the following silliness is for trigeeks only)
Lecture Report
Physics 2070/2700 Lecture 1
Tuesday Sept 15, 2009

Short version: went over course outline, lectured on the Sun. Best solar lecture in Ontario on Tuesday, M50-54, 1hr 38 min 12 sec

Long version:

All week I had been tense knowing about Tuesday's lecture. When I got signed up to do the lecture last May by my Chair it seemed so far off. I worked hard all summer not thinking and trying to talk for only minutes at a time so I would be ready on the big day. And it came! I barely slept a wink Monday night, and was only half-asleep at 3:30 when the alarm rang. I got up and had my pre-lecture breakfast of sardines, tuna, pickled herring and buttermilk. At 5:27 I left for the lecture site. I had checked and re-checked my lecture bag and new I had what I needed for this 2 lecture hour endurance test: cup of tea, power cord, laptop, green laser pointer & iphone. I sat outside the room and waited for my turn to enter.

At 1120 the class using the room last filed out and I made my way in. As the students filed in I set up my lecture area (L1) with my electronics. I tested the internet connection and waited, first for the yellow flag signaling 5 min to start, then the green flag meaning 1 min. 1130 came and I found myself in a panic saying "Hello, my name is Prof. Sica". I steadied myself and remembered how I got here, the hours of training and practice in kindergarden, primary school, secondary school, tertiary school and a postdoc. I got in a good rhyme and fired up the browser to the class outline, deftly pulling the browser window off my laptop screen onto the projection screen. I had a good rhythm thought the outline and handled most of the points well, my intent stares stopping any poor soul's questions with a glance.

Onto the last section on Religious Accommodation I let up a bit preparing myself for the transition from the course outline on Preview to the Keynote lecture on the Sun. I had struggled at this point other years, in particularly with GI problems and knew this was a terrible part of the day to have gas. Fortunately my low fiber eating paid off. I closed the window and quickly switched from the campus network to a private wireless network and my iPhone hooked up like I had practiced and took control of the first slide using Keynote Remote.

From here it was easy, as I tend to have more trouble with the class information sheet and rules than the lecture content. I avoided tripping over the explanation of power output for the Sun, and heading into the final part of the lecture on the future state of the Sun over the next several billion years I realized I had a PB going, as I usually just skip this bit. I didn't run the java applet of the process on the last slide, but got the essence of the diagram explained.

After the lecture I answered some questions and headed home, where Pat greeted me with a warm hug. Without her constant help I never could do have done this. I also want to thank my parents for their constantly reminding me to do my homework, Columbia University, University Alaska, everyone there, thanks so much.

Now do you understand why I NEVER WRITE RACE REPORTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, September 12, 2009

AO tried to wear the aero helmet, Muskoka 70.3 2009


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Quiet Dignity and Grace

Quiet Dignity and Grace

Well it wasn't my A day at IMC last week, in fact it was a PW rather than a PB.1 But I am a scientist, and the scene below describes my feeling succinctly:

(ahhh what a movie huh?)

My race result was not unexpected after losing so much training time in May and June. Never got to race much so I had a decent base but no "pop" (e.g. lots of cake and no icing?). So while I ran the marathon I ran at (for me & most hominoids) a glacial pace. Vignettes:
  • picked a good "hole" in the swim pack at the start and had little contact the entire race. Unfortunately swam by the turn buoy by quite a bit which didn't help an already slow swim.
  • my transitions where reasonable fast, both < 4 min
  • excellent pacing/ride to 160 km. Last 20 km supposed to be recovery (mostly downhill) but the Okanagan Valley had 3 weather surprises Sunday: warmed up 5 deg from the temperatures of the last week (low 30's), a dense layer of forest fire smoke blew in and hung at about 500 m above the surface and a wicked headwind kicked up in the last 20 km of the bike which sucked the life out of me. Lost 10-15 min on this piece.
  • held run together for about 6 km or so, then my pace just decayed for the next 30 km or so. I could only run fast enough to sneak by the walkers but the runners would blow by me. Am curious to find out how many places I picked up in run but I think lots, I've never seen so many people walking in a race. Saw a deer hop by on the course. Answered the trivia question at the Peachtree Runners booth at Mile 21 but the guy on the mike took the answer from the crowd, not me :-( (it was the 3 Company's Theme, I said it first damn it!).
Race goals:
  • I did manage to find Pat and the kids in the last 300 m and get my cowboy hat to finish in
  • I did do a quick peanut butter and jelly time at the finish (AO tell O.F.)
  • I didn't beat my 11:37 time from 1990.
  • I didn't finish top 20 in my AG.
So thanks to all of you that sent kind words before and condolences after, and have been waiting to hear it I had jumped off the Physics Building or what. I really appreciated it and carried your thoughts with me through the long day. Special thanks go to The Coach, who manages to put up with me and requires I keep it real. AO who gives me full bandwidth to her right ear and "listens" to all my moaning: great training partners are hard to find and I am lucky. CSS and CSS (should have thought about that before we named 'em, huh?) were awesome with race support. CSS is running now and CSS is doing tris and vows to do the entire Subaru series next summer and I hope to join him. Cause, in those now famous words of AO:


Coach has decided she can make a short courser out of me and I am both skeptical and willing to tri.

And lastly but not leastly 3 cheers for PjS and her high tolerance to living with a triathlete. And defying all the draft people and course cones to get me into the Burger King drive thru line after the race.

Stay tuned here cause I'm doing the Muskoka 70.3 next Sunday, as are many TS people (don't ask why, I believe the argument I got was "Hey, you don't have to train for it and it will be fun.") AO is organizing a pool, you each put in $5 and guess how many km I can run before I blow. Contact her for details, she has seen me post-IMC and has already bought in for 2, 3 and 4 km. She is betting with her head and not her heart, but I'll give you folks a tip. I did a tempo piece on the Port Stanley hills today on the and appear to have a little bit left in my legs. I'll see how my first post-race run goes tomorrow.


1 Personal Worst/Best

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Chey on the way back from BC