Guelph Lake Triathalon038

June Reflections 2009

Wow! Another month has passed, and boy has it been a busy 30 days. And while it wasn’t as crazy busy as May was, there were still some highlights to share, lessons learned along the way, and goals to work towards in the future.

Memorable Events:
1. Guelph Lake Triathlon: The first half of the month I was finally able to get back into some serious training the for event on the 21st. Boy did it ever help! If you want to read about it, check out my post here (link being upated)

2. Board Game Nights: The most popular game this month was Munchkin. For those who haven’t played, this is a really fun and sometimes frustrating board game. The premise is to fight monsters, steal their treasure, and gain levels. The catch is that everyone gets interesting wild cards that can seriously hurt or help you in battles. Just wait until the first person gets to level 9 until all the big guns come out! This is definitely great negotiation practice combined with strategic thinking. Read more about the game here.

3. Raw Food Pot Luck: Last weekend I had the chance to attend a raw food potluck. And as the name implies, everything that you bring must be raw. There was so many interesting and tasty foods there, it was hard to believe that everything there was raw. Some surprises (in a good way) were “burger patties”, raw ketchup, two kinds of guacamole and corn on the cob marinated with olive oil and salt, I made some sun-soaked mint tea which was hungrily gobbled up. Thanks to Yafa for introducing me to the event. For more info, check out the link to the group here.

4. Toronto Jazz Festival: Right at the end of the month, I had a chance to go and check out the Toronto Jazz Festival. On two consecutive days, I went to check out different events – the first was an open air concert by Jamie Cullum and the second event was a world-record attempt to hvae the world’s largest saxophone ensemble (they were hoping for 1,000 people). Both were really cool and interesting in their own way and it was great to go and participate in some of the festivities happening in the wonderful city I call home. Check out some pics from the sax event here.

June Reflections
So in addition to the fun and interesting highlights, June was also a learning and growth period for me. I’ve been challenged a lot by recent work activities and have a couple of things I wanted to focus on:

1. Personal Development: At work, we had a performance review session reflecting on some things that have gone well and things that we can improve on for the future. I’m hoping to do something similar in my personal life as well in the next month or two.

2. Leadership: Such a broad and vague term, but I’ve got some specific things that I’m going to actively work on moving forward. (and maybe it’ll turn into another post later if all turns out well)

3. Have more fun! It’s summer and time to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather. If you’re free and want to hang out, let me know!

4. Summer Projects: I’ve got a bunch of stuff on my “When I have a spare weekend/It’d be nice to-do” list, it’s just a matter of finding/making the time and getting to it. Some things include selling my old hockey cards (anyone know someone who can help me out with this?) and going on a portage/hiking trip, and working on improving/refining my writing style, to name a couple.

5. Reading more. Lastly, I’m hoping to find some time this month to continue reading and expanding my mind through enriching, thought-provoking books. I’ll be sure to post some summaries when I’m done with them, and you can check them out at my facebook group (link being updated)

elderbery black_beauty flower

The Busy and Interesting Month of May

May has been an extremely busy time for me and a whirlwind of new and interesting experiences. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to experience all these new things and hopefully will have many more interesting experiences to share in the future. And so without futher ado, here’s a brief recap of some of the interesting and unique experiences I had over the past month

1. Ontario Food Terminal
This was almost a surreal experience paying a 5am visit to the Ontario Food Terminal which is Canada’s largest wholesale fruit and produce terminal. This is where all the restaurants and grocery stores go to buy their produce, and where convenience stores, nurseries, and other retailers go to buy their flowers/plants. Apparantly all the action happens around 2-3am for the big buyers and it’s just a hive of activity, produce, and plants. Thanks to some inside connections, I was able to go and pickup some plants for my business.

For more info, check out

2. Visit to a local flower/vegetable farm
Not many people know this, but farming runs in my family. My mom grew up on a farm up near Newmarket and today my aunt continues to run the same farm growing flowers and vegetables. With several HUGE greenhouses, it was incredible seeing rows and rows of flowers and vegetbles as far as the eye can see. I had the opportunity to go and visit my aunt’s farm a couple times this month to pickup most of the veggies and plants needed for my business.

3. The inaugural Lemon/Herb camping trip
This trip can be summed up in two words – epic failure! Our reliance on only a flint/steel, fishing rod, and our wits for dinner on this camping trip ended up in failure. Granted we didn’t really do any research before attempting to fish, it was our first time attempting to fish, and we were using my dad’s 30 year old equipment which wasn’t in the best working order, we weren’t really setting ourselves up for success. We did manage to get and keep a fire going despite a massive downpour, but the fish and our lures were not cooperating. Despite that, it was an awesome trip and great chance to spend a weekout away from the city out in the woods.

4. A 10 hour teeth cleaning experience
And before you get too shocked, the entire 10 hours isn’t spent cleaning my teeth (my teeth aren’t that bad – promise!). One of my friends is in training to become a dental hygienist and needed some volunteers to help her get some practice and experience. And despite the extremely long time commitment (which isn’t finished just yet), it turned out to be the most thorough and comprehensive oral checkup and assessment I’ve ever had. I learned alot about my teeth, proper brushing technique, and a whole slew of technical jargon that I didn’t really udnerstand, but seemed interesting regardless.

5. Leading a focus group
I had the chance one weekend to lead a couple of focus groups for my business and it turned out to be a very interesting experience. I learned alot about moderating, leading and guiding a discussion, and soliciting input from a variety of different types of people. Thanks to Yafa for the help in creating the discussion guide and general tips on leading/moderating.

6. Visiting a friend’s photography gallery
The month of May was also home to month long Contact photography festival. It features local photographers to showcase their stuff and one of my friends hosting his own gallery during this festival. He’s got some amazing work and I had the priviledge of going to check out his gallery on opening night. Unfortunatly the gallery is wrapping up tomorrow, but you can go and checkout his website here.

7. Spring kickoff BBQ
Spring is in the air and that means BBQ season. It was great having some friends over, sharing some good food and good company. With that being said, I think I’ll host another BBQ in the future.

8. Start of ultimate season
While not so unique, frisbee season has started – and for those who know me, know that I love to play frisbee. It’s a great chance to get some exercise and hang out with friends after a hard day’s work. It’s a great sport for veterans or for beginners and I encourage everyone to at least give it a try!

9. The JC Iron Chef competition
Right at the beginning of the month, I battled Jing in a cooking duel a la Iron Chef. The secret ingredient: BACON! The unexpected dish that I served to wrapup my meal – bacon ice cream! Yes that’s right, bacon ice cream. And it was delicious. Please allow me to explain. It’s not bacon-flavoured ice cream, it’s ice cream with bacon bits in it. Here’s the rationale. You start with your smooth, cold, and creamy ice cream (I used a base of vanilla ice cream). Add in some homemade shortbread cookies for a bit of chewy-ness and a change in texture, and to top it off, finely chopped bits of crispy bacon for an unexpected sweet salty surprise. Sure you may think it sounds unappetizing, but tell that to everyone present who decided to try it and like it enough to finish the entire bowl!


That’s all for the interesting/unique things in May. We’ll see what June brings in terms of more interesting/unique experiences.