Productive Week Off
So, I start at a new job on Monday.
I handed in my notice over a month ago at BBTV, and my last day was Friday, February 28th. I don’t start at my new job at Thought Shop until the 10th though, so I’ve had this past week off. It’s been pretty nice.
While I didn’t get quite as much done as I wanted, I still got plenty done.
On Monday, I biked downtown via the Central Valley Greenway – I got there via Hastings then Gilmore. The ride downtown only took about 50 minutes, which was kind of surprising. I had biked downtown previously using the Adanac bike route, and that took me about ten minutes longer. I’m not going to be using either route to get to work any more though, as my new job is across the Iron Workers Memorial bridge in North Vancouver.
I went back to the place I got my fancy new glasses from ( I’ll put pictures up online somewhere – eventually ) because I’ve been having a few issues with my vision since I switched to the new glasses. After talking with the eye doctor though, it sounds like it’s mostly just a side effect of not having my prescription updated in the last ten years. That’s right, my previous pair of glasses lasted ten years – apparently a rare-ish feat. The new ones are way cooler though, and I’ve got a backup pair for when I’m biking or doing stuff that might end up with a pair of broken frames. The nice new ones are $400, and I don’t want to have to replace those for at least a few years. The backup set are plasticy things that I don’t mind wearing while biking in the rain, so that worked out well.
On Tuesday I managed to clean up my desk and workspace quite a bit, which I’ve been meaning to do for a few weeks now. I recently picked up a nice desk-protector-slash-calendar-holder thing from IKEA, and it gives me a nice place to rest my arms when I’m working on stuff at home. Also, considering that I brought home a bunch of figures and stuff when I left BBTV, my desk is still pretty clear and usable. I even cleaned up the other desk I have set up as a workspace for when I want to do electronics type stuff. A definite plus, as I’ve got a few projects I want to dive into in the next few weeks that are going to require space to work in.
Wednesday was bike tune-up day. Once again, I biked downtown, this time taking a slightly different route so that I ended up on Broadway near Cambie. I checked with MEC, and they had a pretty big backlog of bikes – I would have to have left my bike with them for a few days before they could have gotten to it. That wasn’t really acceptable to me, as I wanted to get in some more biking hours before starting at the new job – I’ll get into the why of that later. Across the street from MEC however, is the Bike Doctor, and I they were able to take care of my bike for me. I recently bought this bike from someone leaving town, and it needed a bit of TLC. Unfortunately, I’m not as mechanically minded as I’d like to be, so figuring out some of the tweaks required to get my bike back to 100% isn’t something I’d be able to do. The guys as Bike Doctor definitely had me covered though. They tuned up my gears and brakes ( as well as installing new rear brake pads ), and did a full check up to make sure that there’s nothing I need to worry about for the next little while.
While they were tuning up my bike, I went and got myself some lunch. A few blocks away from MEC & the Bike Doctor is Original Joes. I had never been there before, and I was very pleasantly surprised – their food is amazing. If you ever find yourself in the Cambie & Broadway area of Vancouver, get yourself to Original Joe’s and grab a grilled cheese burger. You won’t be disappointed.
Once I was done with lunch, I went back to the Bike Doctor and picked up my bike. The difference was like night and day. I now have access to all of the gears thanks to some limit screw adjustments, and my brakes work like a charm.
After picking up my bike, I headed on down to VHS for the Amateur Radio Club meeting. It was a pretty good meeting. I think we’re starting to get the hang of meeting weekly. We might not have a ton to talk about every week, but it’s good to get into the habit of meeting just in case a new member needs help getting certified, or if a long term project needs some tlc. Oh, those new members looking to get certified? I’m one of those. That’s right, I’m working on getting my ham radio license! I’ll get into more detail on this in another post on another day – this post is already long enough.
This was a lazy day. I woke up late, drove downtown and had a beer lunch with a former co-worker. He had been let go from BBTV a few months before I left, but we still try to hang out somewhat often. It was a good lunch at the Charles, and I had fun catching up. After lunch, I headed back home and worked on tweaking my Emacs setup, because I’m a huge geek and that’s what I do in my spare time.
Today was a bit nuts. So, like I mentioned, I wanted to get in some more practice time on the new bike before starting at the new job. The main reason for this is that the new job is twenty minutes closer by bike – according to Google Maps, from home to work is only thirty minutes. From my place to downtown Vancouver is closer to a full hour. Being closer is one reason to bike more often. The other is that I really need the exercise – being a programmer isn’t exactly a fat-burning occupation.
Another reason to bike more is that I’ve been having weird issues lately, and after talking to a doctor on Medeo* it appears I may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder, aka SAD. After talking with the doctor, we decided it’s probably better to try the more natural fixes for SAD before turning to prescription medicine. So I’ve got a bunch of vitamins to take every day, I’m going to be trying to eat better, and I’m supposed to exercise more. The best way for me to get more exercise into my daily routine is to bike to work. Eventually I’m going to get good enough to bike to and from work, but for now I’m going to just bike there.
Okay, enough about my sad SAD. On to why today was nuts.
So, I wanted to see what the bike ride from home to work would be like, so I biked it ( simple, right? ). It only took me about half an hour – a little bit longer, actually. I wanted to get a full hour of biking in, so I decided to bike to the SeaBus. Once I got to downtown North Van, I figured I could bike to the Lions Gate Bridge and take a bus from there to downtown, and from there home. Well, once I got to the bridge, I figured I might as well bike across. I think you can see where this is going.
I ended up biking a big loop from my place via the following route: * near Holdom & Hastings, to North Van via the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge * through North Van to the Lions Gate Bridge * through downtown Vancouver, and then to Science World * from Science World to the Commercial Drive SkyTrain Station * from there to Holdom SkyTrain Station via the Central Valley Greenway
So, all in all, I biked about 35.9km according to Google. Unfortunately, I didn’t think that I’d be taking such a crazy route home, so I wasn’t recording the GPS trail on my phone – otherwise I’d have a map for you to go and gaze at.
So that was my week. I’ve still got two days off, and few more things to take care of before I start at the new job. But they’re all pretty simple, so I don’t think I’ll have any issues getting them done.
That was my week. What did you get up to?
*Medeo is seriously awesome. If you live in BC, definitely go check them out.