Finished reading: Hexarchate Stories by Yoon Ha Lee contains lots of fun stories. Only make sense though if you’ve read the series πŸ“š

Training load and rest days on the Apple Watch are nice improvements. I’m curious to explore the Vitals App too

Finished reading: Witch King by Martha Wells is good. I enjoyed the clever interweaving of the two time periods and the vivid world building πŸ“š

Maybe not enemies

A light-colored puppy is resting next to a larger black dog on a wooden floor.

πŸ”— “Worse than I’ve ever seen” - Paul Wells

I’m not here this week to tell a story of despair. I was impressed by what I saw of the Alberta government reponse to the opioid crisis, which reflects a level of ambition and concerted effort over time that I rarely see in government action anywhere.

I’m glad to see this getting pragmatic attention, rather than rhetoric

Welcoming George to our family

A fluffy golden retriever puppy is resting on a wooden surface while looking into the camera.

So far Lucy is mostly ignoring him

Two dogs, a black one and a golden retriever puppy, are sitting on grass in a backyard near a wooden fence.

πŸŠβ€β™‚οΈπŸš΄β€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ 2024 Milton Sprint Triathlon

My third year in a row for this one and, despite pouring rain for the entire race, it was still fun and well organized.

My times across the three have been within minutes of each other. Although this one was slowest of the three, given the conditions, I’m happy with the overall results and ended up 12th in my age group.

At least in the swim, it didn’t matter that it was raining. I think they had less time between heats though and swimmers really bunched up for the last 200m.

As usual the trip up the escarpment is still a brutal climb and trip down terrifying. I maxed out at 70km/h coming down this time. With the poor visibility and slippery conditions from the rain that was more than fast enough.

Plenty of mud through the back half of the run. I almost lost a shoe!

Overall the conditions made for a good test of mental resilience which is always useful.

My only real problem was in T2. I couldn’t find my stuff! The area available for my age group was full. So, I put everything elsewhere and then couldn’t find it 🀣. The 3 minute transition was an embarrassment.

Auto-generated description: A collection of triathlon gear is neatly arranged, including running shoes, a helmet, wetsuit, various nutrition and personal care items, and branded bags.

πŸŠβ€β™‚οΈπŸš΄β€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ Ready for tomorrow

πŸ‡΅πŸ‡Ή Lisbon trip

The second half of our Portugal trip was fun too. We stayed in SΓ£o Vicente, to the east of the historical core. Lisbon is certainly bigger than Porto, so we used the transit system much more extensively and the Lisbon cards came in really handy with their access to transit and attraction discounts

A serene street at dusk with row buildings on each side and parked cars, leading to a sunset-tinted sky. A tree-lined street descends between urban buildings under a clear blue sky. Parked cars and scooters line either side, while a few vehicles navigate the road. Three people pose smiling together in a sunny square with historical buildings and a statue in the background.

Castelo de SΓ£o Jorge offered some great views of the city, after a pretty steep hike.

Three people pose smiling against an expansive view of a sunlit cityscape with a bridge and water in the background. A smiling person leans against a colorful mural of a fish; urban setting with cobblestones and benches.

A sailboat tour was a great way to see the city, especially since it included beer.

Sailboats glide across glittering water with a sun low in the blue sky, viewed from a boat with a visible cable and part of a person's head. A monument featuring sculptural figures ascending along its edge, stands beside a marina with boats, under a clear blue sky. A person with sunglasses is sitting on a boat, relaxed, with a sunset and shimmering water in the background.

The JerΓ³nimos Monastery was a highlight.

A Gothic monastery stands under a clear blue sky, with visitors queuing outside, set against a backdrop of well-kept green lawns. Ornate cloisters with gothic arches and detailed carvings, illuminated by sunlight, against a clear blue sky.

As was the Oceanarium.

Three individuals pose in front of an aquarium with various fish and underwater flora, giving a sense of a leisure visit to a marine exhibit.

Along with great food and drink

Two smiling individuals are seated, toasting with glasses, in a cafe; a street view with buildings is visible through the window behind them. Four people are taking a selfie, smiling closely together, iron railing and lights in the background.

Finished reading: The Dog Sitter Detective by Antony Johnston is an entertaining and easy to read murder mystery πŸ“š

Finished reading: The Narrow Road Between Desires by Patrick Rothfuss is a fun interlude of the Kingkiller Chronicle series πŸ“š

Finished reading: Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie is a good continuation of a great series. Includes some interesting ideas about AI πŸ“š

Finished reading: Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson has a good twist on the humans-colonizing-other-worlds narrative, along with his usual, highly technical descriptions πŸ“š

πŸ‡΅πŸ‡Ή Porto trip

The Porto half of our Portugal trip was great fun. We stayed on the west side of Bonfim, relatively close to the historic district and walked (seemingly) all over Porto. The one exception was taking the 500 bus out to the ocean for the afternoon.

Terra-cotta rooftops dominate the foreground with a historic cityscape rising on a hill under a vibrant blue sky with scattered clouds. Three individuals are smiling and standing side by side outdoors in a green, leafy environment. They appear happy and are informally dressed. A river winds through a vibrant cityscape beneath a blue sky scattered with clouds; buildings line its banks, and boats speckle the water. Two people are smiling at a table with beverages, in a sunny outdoor setting. Traditional boats float on calm water, under a large arch bridge, with a clear sky above and a cityscape in the background. Four people are posing for a selfie with a scenic city backdrop under a cloudy sky. They are smiling and wearing casual attire with sunglasses. A smiling man and woman pose closely, with glasses of wine and beer on a table in front, at an outdoor seating area. Sunset clouds glow orange above a hillside town with houses and a river in the distance, framed by dark metal railings and tree leaves.

We also took a day trip out to the Douro Valley for a couple of winery tours and port tastings. Well worth the trip for gorgeous scenery and tasty wine.

A verdant valley with vineyards and a winding river, with houses scattered throughout, under a cloudy sky. A boat moored by a river, with green hills in the background under a blue sky dotted with fluffy clouds. Five glasses rest on a table, containing clear, golden, and dark liquids, suggesting a tasting event. The wooden surface and glassware convey a social setting. Three people are posing together with smiles, hugged closely, in front of a scenic backdrop showcasing a river and rolling hills under a cloudy sky.

Lisbon is next!

πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ Today’s run was a fun exploration of Porto

Traditional boats float on calm water with a metal arch bridge in the background, under a partly cloudy sky. Text overlay: HealthFit, Mon, May 20, 24, Ultra, RUNNING, DISTANCE 12.17 km, TIME 1hr 14min, AVG PACE 6:06/km.

Gorgeous views in Porto. We’re having a great first day here

View of the Douro River with orange terraced roofs

πŸ”— Variations on the Theme of Silence

Silences that close us off, refusing connection, shoring up the ego at others’ expenseβ€”those are dead silences. But the letting-go sort, the silences that hold space or keep vigil for someone else? They are alive.

πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ Nice to be mostly on trails for today’s run

Gravel trail with blue sky. Running metrics: 15.5 km, 1 h20m

🎧 Perfect albums

On Hemispheric Views 110, Jason asked:

Pick in your mind a perfect album. And I think it’s mostly open to interpretation, but I’m kind of thinking an album that you would say you could just start from beginning, let it run all the way through, without skipping songs, without moving around, just front to back and just sit there and do nothing else and just listen to that whole album.

What would that album be?

An important, though fraught, question.

I completely agree with Andrew that OK Computer and Dark Side of the Moon both belong on the list. After that, there’s great opportunity to overthink this. Instead, I’m going with albums that were significant to me and, so, came to mind quickly.

The Joshua Tree by U2 (1987)

Violator by Depeche Mode (1990)

Ten by Pearl Jam (1991)

Us by Peter Gabriel (1992)

The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails (1994)

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco (2001)

Give up by The Postal Service (2003)

Funeral by Arcade Fire (2004)

For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver (2007)

I also find it interesting that nothing comes to mind from the last 20 years. Is that because no one makes perfect albums anymore? Seems unlikely. More likely that our musical tastes get set when we’re younger and that I rarely listen to an actual album anymore. I can change this.

Finished reading: The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter is entertaining. Takes a relatively simple premise about parallel worlds and really works through the implications πŸ“š