Week 46 – Winter has come

Winter is now upon us in Ottawa.  We had our first snow this week.  Just enough cause the usual first snow panic and chaos.  It’s been cold enough to stick around the last couple of days, but tomorrow it’s going to warm up again and we’ll have a reprieve for a few days.

The sneak preview of winter allowed me a chance to have my first winter run.  It was mild enough that the path along the canal remained clear.  It was a little wet with snow melt from the salt the NCC put down, but still warm enough that it hadn’t frozen to ice.  My running friends have so been proven right: the NCC does a better job at clearing the canal paths than the city does at clearing the sidewalks.

The combination of the weather and the removal of the OccupyOttawa brats from Confederation Park kept the cyclist traffic down.  I don’t have problems with sharing the trail with cyclists, per se, but the hippie college crowd has to realize their dark earth tone clothing and retro-bikes sans reflectors makes them virtually invisible at night.

Get a lamp. The life you save will be your own.

Now that they don’t have a nightly klavern to attend, the trail has been largely bike free after dark.  The difference was immediately noticeable.  There was one biker I would see every night I was on the canal during the siege of Confederation Park I would call Neon Ghost Rider.  His bike was decked out with LED Christmas lights of various colours and could be seen for miles.  No Occupy, no Neon Ghost Rider.

For readers not used to my tongue and cheek sarcasm, I didn’t have a big problem with the whole occupation of Confederation Park.  We Running Room types use that park as a start point for most of our practice runs.  We gather at the fountain, brief the runners on the night’s run and route and head out.  My group is small enough that I could take them right to the canal trail to do that. Larger clinics, not so much.

In some ways, the Occupy Movement was a step up in the usual crowd that hangs out there.   Without going into too much detail, a few weeks before the occupation my clinic was inadvertently treated to a live sex show by a couple of the city’s homeless.

It was forecasted to be cold enough Wednesday night that I packed my new winter gear, specifically the fleece-lined pants and my new coat.  Both performed excellently.  Truth be told, it was probably still too warm for them.  I decided to go light on the inner layers to compensate.

My made to measured tailored suit from Holt Renfrew arrived this week.  Since it’s about six weeks from order date to delivery, it arrived a little big.  I wrote a few weeks ago about being down to a 38.  I was measured for that suit a few weeks prior.  I almost put the whole thing off when they told me it was six weeks until delivery. It was a sale on a custom suit the weekend of my birthday. I couldn’t help it.  On the plus side, since it is a tailored suit, the additional alterations are included in the price.

I’m pretty much done buying suits.  Besides the tailored suit, I also picked up a pair of suits from Beyond the Rack.  They had Jones New York suits that are regularly $800 for less than $200.  I picked up two.  Despite the name of the brand, they’re actually made in Canada.  In fact, the one I bought at the Bay during their Bay Days sale earlier this month is now the only made in Canada suit I own.

What I really need still is casual wear.  I now have a couple of shirts and sweaters, but as we near the end of the Parliamentary sitting, I’m going to need more.  With winter upon us, clothes, particularly pants, get dirtier quicker.  Since I have to pay for laundry, a couple small loads a week will be a major hit on the pocket book.

Speaking of clothes, it’s time to clean out the closet and drawers again.  Most, if not all, of my winter sweaters are too big and I have a lot of casual shirts that Moore’s clothing drive didn’t want.  Didn’t mind wearing the oversize t-shirts in the summer around the barbecue, but now they’re taking space away from increasing collection of athletic gear. I’m sure there’s a charity in desperate need of warm clothes this time of year, so it’s time.

Looking at the title this week, it’s hard to believe that a year is almost up.  It’s been a remarkable journey. With the holidays coming, it’s going to be important to stick to the plan.  Christmas parties are notorious for crappy, unhealthy hors d’ouerves.  The receptions my office hosts are among the chief culprit.  Try as I might, getting a veggie tray added to the offerings has been an uphill battle.  Since I’m leaving soon, it’s one of the few battles I’ve given up on.  Tried my best, but it will soon be someone else’s problem.

While the end of the year may be cause for reflection, I plan to spend the last few weeks looking more forward than back.

Allons-y!

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