Thursday, June 15, 2006

England is freaking crazy over football

England is absolutely nuts when their team is playing football. I was in Norwich the other day visiting a potential client and afterwards the sales guy and myself had dinner at a local restaurant. Sadly the place didn’t have any televisions or I would have been able to watch the game but we were close to local strip of bars. Each bar was over flowing with people all dressed in red and white and drinking hard. Really no difference then what Canada would be like if we were playing the Russians or the Americans in hockey the only difference is what happened after the game was over.

In Canada if our team wins all the drunks hug each other and play street hockey. Here they throw stuff at police, punch each other, and other really crazy stuff. This county is football crazy. So after I learned the train wasn’t going to come for another hour I headed to one of the local watering holes. Inside I grabbed a pint and looked around me and noticed that I was the only one wearing business clothes. I thought to myself that if I don’t make conversation soon I maybe killed or be totally bored for the next hour. As you can imagine I made the right decision and started chatting to the closest England fans, wait they are all crazy English fan so I didn’t have to go far. My line was easy, “This may sound really stupid but I’ve been in a meeting all day and I’m dieing to know who won the game?” They looked at me like I was crazy so I quickly changed my tune and said, “Well it had better be England because that would add to a perfect week. The bloody Americans lost the other day and you know how happy that makes a Canadian and if the England won that would top this week off.” This seemed to make them happy the fact that I was cheering for their boys and the fact that I detested the Americans

Well they decided to take the piss out of me and started ripping into me about the fact that Canada isn’t that good at football. Well I had the last laugh on that one when I pointed out that they were playing with one of ours. I said our guy sat on their bench and even got about eight minutes the other day. They didn’t like the fact that Owen Hargraves is Canadian or that he currently plays for Bayern Munich but I did point that he was ours. I must be a little proud of England seeing as Hargraves is Canadian and I kept pointing it out. They were kind enough to point out Lenix Lewis was Canadian but decided that he was British in the end. The only Canadian they knew who had made it huge was…..Ben Johnson. Those silly buggers that’s the best they could come up with. Well they had been drinking for a long time so I did what any British person would do in this situation (my fathers Scottish) swear up a storm and talk about how badly the English side played. This normally can get you out of pretty much any jam unless you are in Scotland and then they think you like England which is not a good thing up there.

The next English game is Tuesday but I’ll sadly be at practice so I’ll miss the crazy commotion. Missing this game is OK I’m told as England is through to the next round. Once in the next round we all have to cheer and watch our team play. A friend, Erin, works at Xerox and because the game was at 5 everyone was sent home at half four so that they could watch the game. Crazy country is all I have to say.

New Pictures are up

originally uploaded by Glenn Saqui.
A whole pile of new pictures are up from the visit that frank had in London with us as well as our trip up to Edinburgh to watch Sonja run. I didn't do a good job uploading them so they are kind of mixed up and they aren't even titled sorry.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Edinburgh Marathon

This past weekend Sonja, myself, Erin, and Megan all went up to Edinburgh to watch Sonja run the marathon. This was Sonja’s first ever marathon and she had spent five months of hard training by herself. Sonja would consistently get up before be on Saturday mornings (6am) to eat breakfast then go back to bed for an hour and then get up and go on her 3 ½ hour runs. These were the long easier runs while during the week Sonja did one really hard workout normally something along the lines of three repeats of ten minute faster running then taking a three minute break and doing it again. This is normally called tempo running and can be very strenuous on the body as well as very taxing on the brain. She did these Tuesday workouts by herself without ever complaining about how difficult they were or about how much she hated them, which she did. I knew she did not like doing the tempo runs based on what she put in her training dairy but she never once complained.

Well after five months of hard work the three non marathon runners decided the least that we could do is go up and cheer her on. Well that’s exactly what we did we rented a little car and we all piled in. Sonja and I the night before packed lunches for everyone so that we would not have to stop for lunch so that we would hopefully arrive in Edinburgh at a decent time. The drive is supposed to take about 8 hours if you don’t get lost or you don’t speed. Well we got lost and hit a massive traffic accident so we were a little later then we wanted to be. We arrived and had to go straight to pick up Sonja’ s race number because the place was about to close and she needed for next day. After we got the number and checked into our uber sketchy hostel we were famished since it was almost 9 and we hadn’t eaten dinner yet. We grabbed some food and put Sonja to bed as she had to race the next day while the rest of us were free to go out on the town. Megan wasn’t up to coming out with us at night as she had had a busy the night before.

This left Erin and I which can only mean good stories as Erin and I always find the most random stuff going on. Well this night we saw some really random stuff but that will be hopefully a totally separate blog. Needless to say we saw a groom on a stag night get a little over the top with a girl that isn’t his bride and his best buddies have it all on camera. We saw outfits on girls that I didn’t even think existed outside of magazines. Erin and I called it quits at midnight as we needed our rest to watch the rock star perform the next day.

The next morning Sonja and I got up before the other two girls as we were going to leave before them and make our way to the start line. Sonja had a good breakfast of oatmeal and a banana and then we headed to the start line. I was a little surprised at how hilly Edinburgh was as I had never been there before and was a little worried that Sonja hadn’t done a lot of hill training over the last 5 months. In fact she didn’t do any hill training for this marathon. I thought to myself that this could be a very long day for Sonja as the last 3 miles were uphill. The day was perfect marathoning weather; not too hot and overcast. The race was actually larger then I thought it would be as well with over twelve thousand crazy runners. One of the problems with this many people is the large number of runners who have to go to the bathroom (also known as the loo over here) and the lack of toilets. This meant that Sonja spent the twenty minutes before the race in a loo lineup, which may have been better than standing in the racing queue as this may have made her even more nervous. As soon as she was done with the toilet we quickly jogged to the section where she had to be and as soon as she arrived the race started.

Well she ran and she ran like a rock star. Looked great through 4 miles, looked great through 9 miles, went through the half at 1:53, looked tired but strong at 19 miles, and ran the last 3 miles tired but passing people going up the hills. She was tired but was able to walk away from the marathon and not be in too bad of shape. This really shows that her training has allowed her to end strong and not totally exhausted. Like the rock that star that she is the next thing that she wanted to do was eat and drink. We currently don’t know the official time but we do know that she was under four hours which is amazing for a person on their first marathon. She had three goals for this day: one that she wanted to finish, one that she wanted to go under four hours and other last goal was to go under 3:45 and qualify for London. Well she chose a very hard marathon to be able to run under 3:45 so this was the only goal that she didn’t actually accomplish but something that I am sure would/could be accomplished on a course that doesn’t have three miles of up hill at the end of the race. I will hopefully have the pictures of the race up soon.

After everything that was done we had to drive home, not arriving back in London until 12:30. Sitting in a car, not eating healthy, and going to bed very late didn’t help getting up this morning but sure enough Sonja got up and actually was not as sore as I would have thought she would have been.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Where are you going for Christmas?

I think Sonja and I are going to go to Cape Town SA for Christmas this year. We've had enough of rain for Christmas and want something a little more exciting then turkey....who am I kidding I love turkey. So instead of coming home for Christmas we are going to come home for two weeks at the end of July to go camping. Anyone and everyone is invited to join us for a night of camping. More information as we get closer to the date.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Why can't all weekends by like the last

This past weekend it was super stellar in sunny London. For the last two weeks I have been living in Frankfurt working with a colleague/friend of mine Franky. Well Franky decided to come visit Sonja and I in London for the weekend and man did we ever have an awesome time. First I think I should preface this story with the fact that Frank and I were super stressed for the past two weeks because we were at one of the most important clients that we have so it was nice to have a weekend to unwind.

Saturday morning everyone jumped on the tube and headed to a massive food market where we spent the day buying food for dinner and eating yummy food as well as just hanging out in the sun. Well after we got home and had a nap it was time for a bbq in the park. Frank’s old roommate lives in London now so we called him up and a bunch of our friends and headed to the park (3 minute walk from my house). We bought a one use bbq from Marks and Spencer and sat down in the middle of the park. The sun was shinning, it was hot, there was food, and it is legal to drink in the park. The food was lamb sausages, homemade salad, crisps, baguettes, and humus. We were in the park relaxing and hanging out for a good couple of hours before we hit our local pub for a couple of drinks to end the night off.

The next day we met up with Sonja’s brother and his girlfriend and headed to the park for breakfast. Yup that’s right we had another picnic in the park but this time after we ate cheese and a really high end loaf of bread then read the paper and hung out in the park for the rest of the day. At 3pm we went for icecream and then a cheeky pint. We then came home for a drop dead spaghetti and that pretty much topped the weekend off. Franky went home the next morning and I had to go back to work after a nice two day vacation.

What the heck is going on in Canada

Terrorists in Canada? What is going on that we have this problem in Canada? I don’t really understand why they wanted to attack Canadians. It just does not make sense to me. The accused are all Canadians and they wanted to attack large numbers of other Canadians. I really would like to know what their rational is for attempting to blow people up. Is it because we are involved in Afghanistan or is it because we have spent so much time being a peace keeping nation that we have forgotten about the extreme racism that this individuals have received? Over the next couple of months hopefully the media will do a good job explaining the whole story of these men. This is one item I will be following very closely.
Speech Recognition