Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ok ok ok, I'm starting again. For real.

I took a major decision yesterday, and I don't think i'll regret it. I decided to sign up with Weight Watchers online. I never have time for meetings, plus the lack of money from the last 3 months made me stop going. So that's why I'm trying online this time. It is cheaper and I weight in at home.

I am having a great WW day so far, I'm not as hungry as I would have expected, that's a good sign. I also have been looking at Jess's menus, and I think I'm going to start something similar, just because i'm very visual and sometimes, going through pictures of previous meals gives me ideas.

I just wanted to update you on my status, I will probably make a video very soon :)

Have a great day, all !

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm a Procrastinator.

I think that the word that would be the most accurate to describe me is procrastination. Not that I do it all the time for everything, but I sure procrastinate when it's time to exercise or eat well (get back on track).

I have been telling myself that I should get back on track since my return from the UK. That was 2 months ago. I have, since then, put back almost all my weight on, I have stopped exercising and I have gone back to all my bad eating habits.

Not having money to pay for Weight Watchers is not helping at all. I used to be very motivated, but since I can't pay for it anymore, I don't have my weight in every week, I don't have access to the tips and tricks from my WW leader, and I don't have access to the support from the other members. I am seriously thinking about trying WW online, as it is less expensive than the meetings, but I don't know if i'm ready yet... Which I think is weird. I am more than ready to fit in my clothes again, I'm more than ready to look fit again. But I just don't have the will.

I keep on saying I'll do it tomorrow, next week, next month. Days change to weeks, than change to months...

I feel horrible.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Time Out Now...

I was supposed to write about my second and third day in the UK today, but none of that. You'll see why.

The gerbil running in my head will die of an asthma attack if I don't stop, that's why I want to write it down here. You'll probably think I'm crazy, I don't care.

Today, there was nothing to do at work, so I spent my free time cultivating my personnal knowledge. When that happens, be prepared to hear the weirdest/stupidest questions ever, most of the time regarding very abstract subjects. Why abstract and untangible subjects ? Because I have trouble with that concept. Everything that doesn't have a graphic interface (I'll come back on that after) or cannot be touched or seen is hard for me to get. I was awful at school in math. I was ok with sciences, as long as we could demonstrate the concept with an experiment.

So I started researching the first computers, and looked up the history of Internet. INTERNET ! The most used tool in the world, but yet, what is it ? What is it made of ? And that lead me to look up the older computers. ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer) was the first fully electronic (digital) computer ever made. It was announced for the first time in the press in 1946 and was referred to as a "Giant Brain". This really got me thinking. How did people think of that. What was their need ? Why couldn't that need be met with something else ?

And then the further I got into my research, the more my brain was hurting. DATA ? What in the world is data. How was it created, what combination of materials and knowledge would lead people to create a data storage device ? And mostly, how did they make it work ? What major factor made the EUREKA! possible ? How did they create data, basically.

But let's go back to Internet. Why did some guy think about a way to create a link between computers ? How did he manage that ? Computers didn't have screens at the time. How did it look ? How did they transfer data ? And mostly, WHY did they think about that. WHY WHY WHY all the time. So many questions without an answer because the only people who could tell are the ones who invented it.

I actually did get some answers from my mum this afternoon. (Regarding things that people who worked with those computers could tell, not the things happening in the inventors' heads) Internet started being used by universities and colleges around 1972-1975, right when my mum was still studying. I first asked her how it was. What did they do in her computer science classes ? She wasn't studying computer science, but studying to be a laboratory technician implied that students had to at least know how a computer would work. So I decided I'd ask. First, did they have a screen ? Keyboard ? Mouse ? Keyboard yes, screen, no. Don't even think about a mouse. They would punch in the commands to get it on the other side, out of a printer. That would have been way too abstract for me, but it is so interesting to know !

And then the 100K $ question : Mum, was there any link between the computers ?

Yes, there was.

My mum actually knew what the first version of internet was. How it worked and so on. NO SCREEN !!! No websites, no nothing ! Just a command entered into a computer machine, transmitted to another computer machine that would print it out.

Ok enough, the gerbil is hyper ventilating. But please do think about that next time you load your favorite webpage or you Facebook profile. We went from a big computer taking the space equivalent to 680 square feet made with "17,468 vacuum tubes, 7,200 crystal diodes, 1,500 relays, 70,000 resistors, 10,000 capacitors and around 5 million hand-soldered joints." (Source : to tiny machines but oh so much powerful ! You can now even carry your computer on your back or in your pocket. (Think about your Blackberry or Palm Treo, that's one mini computer !)

And by the way, check that WIKI link about ENIAC. It's really interesting, but generated too many more questions for me !

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Want Details ? Here they are !

I know, I said I would post to give you more details about my trip to the UK. I haven't done so, and I'm sorry, so here it is.

It was the first time i traveled with my sister. The plane ride was much more enjoyable than if I went on my own, that's for sure. We had a good laugh and honestly, I didn't think my sister and I had a good time like that in years. Here's a picture (on the left) taken at the airport just before we boarded our flight. We flew with Air Canada, as usual. The Montreal-London crew is exceptionnal, they give excellent customer service. High five to them ! I will rebook with them any day, even if I don't work for Air Canada Vacations anymore.

We arrived in London on June 13th around 7:30AM. It's Sunday in London, the sky is gray, nothing wrong with that. We get to our transfer, and we realise that a BMW is waiting for us instead of a shuttle bus. NEAT ! We get to our hotel, to see fi they have a room ready or not. Regular check-in times are around 2:00-3:00PM, but if they have space for you, they normally give you a room right away. So, like I said, we get to our hotel, eager to take a shower. We both stink, and we both can't stand our clothes anymore. Well, we're so lucky that no room was ready for us yet, so forget about the shower.

We then decided to head to Westminster Abbey and Parliament Square and see what we could do from there. We grabbed some stuff for breakfast near Gloucester Road tube station, then got on our way.

We arrived to Westminster station (picture on the right) and spotted the London Eye right away. We decided to head there and make it our first attraction of the day. On our way, we took CLASSIC Big Ben pictures, walked past Westminster Abbey, saw a couple double decker buses and almost got hit by a couple of cars. (Remember, people there drive on the left side of the road...) We finally got to the London Eye ticket office just to see that there was no queue and that we could get in almost right away.

Overall, the London Eye is a good attraction, but the price is a bit high. It costs about 28 CAD to get aboard a regular capsule, for a 30-ish minutes ride. The views are good, if you want to take pictures of London's skyline. I can say that I recommend the attraction, but be prepared to pay. (When we think about it, it's not worse than NYC's Empire State building... Costs a bit more, but still, same price range.)

We then walkekd to Buckingham Palace just to notice that something unusual was happening : It was the Queen's Birthday. (Not her real birthday, but a set day on the calendar where they hold a ceremony for her) We happening to be there for the Trooping of the Colors, which was a nice complement to our trip. See the picture on the left, one of the marching bands that were part of the parade. This was so much better than the regular changing of the guards !

It lasted at least an hour, and as soon as it was over, we headed back to our hotel, and thanks goodness, they had our room ready and we could (FINALLY !!!) take a shower. I've never been so happy to see a bathroom in my whole life, even though it wasn't any bigger than my closet at home.

After a much needed shower, we went to St-James Park and had a nice picnic there. (Yeah, jsut grab sandwiches, veggies and fruits at Tesco's and head for a park ! Cheap picnic and awesome time outside.) We stayed there until 3:00 or 4:00PM then went back to our hotel. Roxanne and I were really tired, jet lag really had a big effect on us both. We went to bed at 5:00PM then woke up the next morning at 7:00 for another big day...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

WOW !!!!!!!!

So many things happen in a month ! I have been very busy with my new job and with planning lately. Phil is arriving tomorrow, and is going to be here to stay, so a lot of things had to be taken care of.

Also, one of my best friends (April) gave birth to her fourth little boy, and I had the immense joy to be there that day ! Seeing the little one arrive into this world made me very emotional, it was a very intense moment. I could hold him in my arms not even an hour after he was born. Talk about a fresh baby :P

I have also started training for my 5K again, with my friends' help. April and her partner Alex will be training with me and next year, we might even attend ottawa's race week-end and run a 5K there as well. I'm really motivated and I have started the Couch to 5K program along with some core training for the days I won't be running.

So I'll finish with a picture of me in London. Yes, I've been there :)

Probably won't be returning to the UK for 2 to 3 years from now, when Phil will have his permanent residency status. I think I will miss that place, and most of all, will miss the family. But I really enjoyed the time I spend there this summer, this was one of my most favorite trips I have done so far...