Sunday, October 02, 2005


Today I went running after waking up. It was pretty cold this morning, so very few people besides runners were down by the river... maybe ten non-runners on my whole circuit. No fair-weather rollerbladers, the wimps. I noticed that 95% of the runners were running alone, though. That made me wonder, are the runners alone or are the alone runners?

In any case, I think I figured out the 'train noise, it's a good thing' thing. It's self-evident: it's a reminder of life in the womb. What else could it be? The low rumbling heart-beat-like sound; the clunk of the wheels over seams in the tracks even gives you your first and second cardiac sound separation.

Anyways, I was thinking of that because of a conversation I had yesterday. Chihiro, Shuntaro, and Takeshi threw a dinner party at Chihiro's apartment, which is down the valley about 2 km, and also on the river side of her building. It was just the three of them, me, Kent, Marcel, Diane, and at the beginning, Chihiro's landlady and her friend from down the hall. Somehow the conversation got onto train noise (something to do with the level of street noise in that area), and the neighbour said that he loved the sound, and was happy to have recently moved from the north side of the building to the south side, because that meant that now he could hear the train. That is pretty weird phenomenon.

Anyways, my last story for the week is that I went speedskating for the first time on Wednesday night. I rented a pair of those really old-school skates, with the low-cut ankle support. The blades were pretty dull, so it wasn't easy, but even with dull blades, you could feel the speed difference. With minimal effort, and even less control, I was about even with the fastest people on regular skates that were there that evening. So, it would be interesting to try out a pair of modern speed skates.

But, that reminds me of my biggest problem with Calgary so far: lousy skate sharpening. The last time I had my blades sharpened, I was still living in Toronto. So, they were getting pretty dull when I started skating again here in Calgary. I had them sharpened at the oval, and instead of some expert doing it, the girl at the counter went into the back room and sharpened them. The result was a disaster. The edges were completely gone. She had actually managed to remove any and all sharpness from anywhere on the blade. I could have used the blade as a pillow, even (perhaps replacing the Turkish-English dictionary I used as pillow for the month of August). Well, I then brought it to a sports store, hoping for something better. Again, a teenager went to the back room and sharpened them. The result that time was passable, but not great. At least it is currently a bit better than it was when I got to Calgary. However, back in Ottawa, I remember that skates were always sharpened by middle-aged guys with mustaches and long hair (or at least a mullet), and they always had a Hattori-Hanzo-like devotion to the skate blade. If you rubbed your hand accross the blade, it would be cut.

Okay, there was one more thing I wanted to say. Speedskating in that rented pair of skates, I wore off a circle of skin on my foot about 8 mm in diameter. It was quite painful walking on Thursday, and so I was walking with this limp, dragging my right leg out straight, with the foot swung out, so as to not irritate the foot at all. I told people that I felt like Gondo in 'A Taxing Woman' (I could hear the soundtrack in my head as I dragged myself along), but nobody had a clue what I was talking about. What's wrong with society that people don't understand these things?

1 comment:

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