Various Contrivances

The new Checklists search attribute in Apple Notes is really helpful for my weekly reviews. I’ve setup a smart search that shows all of my recent notes that still have incomplete checklists. Great for finding those forgotten tasks in meeting notes πŸ—’οΈ

Screenshot of the smart search interface in Apple Notes showing the checklist search criterion

Finished reading: The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. DjΓ¨lΓ­ Clark. A fun, short storyπŸ“š

How much does a Triathlon cost? πŸŠβ€β™‚οΈ πŸš΄β€β™‚οΈ πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈπŸ’°

Other than knowing if I was physically capable of finishing, the main source of uncertainty when I signed up for my first triathlon was how much it would cost. Starting out, I had one pair of running shoes and some goggles from my kids' swimming lessons. So, I knew I’d need to invest in a lot of gear.

Here’s the list of what I ended up buying along with some commentary. Of course it is important to note that these costs can vary widely, based on what you may already have and the budget you’re willing to spend. For several of these items, there’s a very wide range of costs from barely good enough to really fancy. I tended towards the medium-low end of the distribution: enough to get good, reliable equipment, but far away from top end. I figured I should at least finish one triathlon before investing too much money in equipment.

All amounts are in Canadian dollars and rounded to something reasonable.


  • Wetsuit: $400 for the Nineteen Pipeline a decent entry level model
  • Swim equipment: $200 for a bathing suit, flutter board, goggles, swim cap, and other gear
  • Swim buddy: $70 and important if doing any open water swimming. Provides visibility for boaters, something to hold onto if you need a rest, and some storage space
  • Swimming fees: $100 for access to a local municipal pool for a few months. A common alternative is to join a swim club, which would be more expensive, but would also include coaching and community support

Total: $800


  • Before investing in a bike, I invested $200 in a bike sizing session. No point in buying a bike that didn’t fit!
  • Bike: Of all the items in the budget, this is both the most expensive and the most variable. You can spend $15,000 on a fancy bike or get by with a used one in the few hundred dollar range. This Trek for $2,500 both fit my needs and was actually available (COVID-induced shortages wreaked havoc on bike supply chains)
  • Turns out that fancy bikes don’t come with pedals, so another $200 for those and $300 for shoes
  • Also, based on the bike fit, I swapped out the handlebars with another set for $200, plus aero bars for $300
  • Another $500 for clothes, water bottles, bottle cages, and a repair kit
  • Given I started training in the winter, I added an indoor trainer for $1,000
  • Bike computer: $400 for the Garmin Edge 130. Since I was already tracking metrics via my Apple Watch and iPhone, I kept this one simple, mostly just to have easily visible metrics during long rides on the weekend

Total: $5,600 (yikes)


  • This one is pretty easy, two sets of running shoes at about $200 each

Total: $400


Some odds and ends:

  • Trisuit: $200
  • Registration fee for the event: $500
  • Accommodations for three days: $1,000. This one is obviously pretty variable, based on the event location
  • A coach for 6 months at $280/month and worth every penny

Total: $3,400

In the end, about $10,000! Seems like a lot (and it is), though it was spread out over 8 months. Plus, this was essentially my only hobby and leisure activity for that time. Nonetheless, I’m grateful to my family for putting up with this.

Winter has arrived ❄️

Finished reading: Marooned in Realtime by Vernor Vinge. A fun mix of murder mystery and sci-fi, in which groups of people emerge from thousands of years in stasis to find human civilization has vanishedπŸ“š

Finished reading: A Short History of Canada by Desmond Morton. Somewhat like vegetables, I know that reading about national history is good for me, just not that exciting. That said, this book was well written and interesting. Now, back to sci-fi πŸ“š

As a public servant for 15 years (and counting), I enjoy Yes, Minister on the BBC. More accurate than we’d like to believe #mbnov

I’m enjoying these Yoga for Every Runner sessions in Apple Fitness. I’m certain that mobility is important for staying active πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ

Although it is 8ΒΊC outside, the household consensus is that we’re still warm enough inside. We’ve never gotten this far into November without turning on the furnace

Ecobee thermostat showing 18.5ΒΊC

Curious wind patterns have pushed all of the leaves on the back deck into a narrow pile

Neighbours dropped off a surprise feast of mini sandwiches for mbnov

I figured waiting until the last minute for the first day of mbnov would provide inspiration for a clever post. I was mistaken

Lucy is helping again with candy distribution. Hard to get a stable photo, her head is swinging around to take in all the sights, sounds, and smells πŸŽƒ

Finished reading: Tiamat’s Wrath by James S. A. Corey. I’ve enjoyed each book in the series and this one was not an exception πŸ“š

Best tree on the street 🍁

Black Lab Brewery 🍺

Rival Consoles' new album Now Is is out and well worth listening to 🎧

Finished reading: Life’s Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive by Carl Zimmer. A really interesting book that explores the surprisingly difficult problem of defining what it means to be aliveπŸ“š


I’ve been trying out more of the radio features on Apple Music. At least two features would help out: some way to mark episodes for later listening (I’m sharing to an Apple Note for now) and saving progress, so that the episode doesn’t always start over from the beginning 🎧

Lucy has settled into the couch

Dog lying on its back on a couch surrounded by a blanket

Are rising profits fueling inflation? - The Hub

There are of course important issues to explore and debate when it comes to the level of competition in certain areas of corporate Canada, and there are also many overlapping causes of rising consumer prices. But when it comes to claims that β€œgreedflation” is a key driver of recently rising inflation rates, the data is very clear: it’s not.

As we move into Fall weather, time to switch to indoor riding. The setup is a bit cramped, but I have coach Lucy to keep me company from the couch 🚴

Indoor bike in front of a TV with Zwift. Black lab watching from the couch

A Day in the Life Photo Challenge: Walking to the dentist with unsettled weather in Toronto, Ontario πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ at 15:57

Path through a park with dark clouds

I’ve registered for the Ironman 70.3 in Muskoka πŸŠβ€β™‚οΈπŸš΄β€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ

Screenshot of email confirming registration