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Prowlers 2009 World Masters Video April 4, 2010

Posted by fredillies in Basketball, Travel.
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Well, it’s only taken about 5 months to put this together, but you know – things have been busy 🙂 We had an awesome time in Sydney, but came up short of our goal of bringing home a medal. We came 4th of 16 teams in our division. We played 14 games, and we lost in the Bronze medal game to team from Estonia. It was a heartbreaking loss. After 6 months of intensive training and practices, it was a huge disappointment. The feeling of failure stayed with us for a long time. Watching this video reminds me of what a great trip we had, and makes me excited about Turino in 2013!

Australia here we come! October 6, 2009

Posted by fredillies in Basketball, Travel.
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Screen shot 2009-10-06 at 9.56.37 AMAfter 6 months of training (and 4 years of anticipation), I’m off today to Australia to play in The World Masters Games. You can follow our exploits through my Facebook status updates and Tweets (fredo22 on Twitter). GO PROWLERS!

World Masters Games Here We Come! September 15, 2009

Posted by fredillies in Basketball, Travel.
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Screen shot 2009-09-15 at 9.34.12 PM

Well, less 4 weeks until the Opening Ceremonies of the 2009 World Masters Games.  This is the largest multi-sport event in the world, far bigger than the Olympics in terms of the number of competitors.  There are 28,000 people competing in Sydney.

This will be my second World Masters Games. Our team (The Prowlers) played in the 2005 Games in Edmonton as well.   Although many of us play together in various Men’s Leagues, we’ve been practicing as a team since April.  It’s been a great ride so far… learning a system and having a coach (…my wife Ali-  a renowned coach in Ontario high school basketball).  Running suicide drills and pushing ourselves has been extremely rewarding.   We have some VERY dedicated players on this team, and are expecting to bring back a medal this time. We’ll certainly have our work cut out for us… in our division we’ll play teams from the Russian Federation, Estonia, USA, Australia and Guam.  I’ll twitter (fredo22) during the Games so you can follow our exploits if you’re interested.

The following video gives you a glimpse of what the experience of the World Masters Games is like.  If you’re a competitive athlete over 30, do yourself a favour and enter the Games in 2013 (Germany).

“We’ll see” September 8, 2008

Posted by fredillies in Life Balance, Travel.
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The other day I was so excited that I was going to be able to actually USE one of the upgrade certificates that Air Canada sends to frequent flyers (they call it Elite Status, but I’m not sure what’s so elite about it). Anyway, I was booked on a flight from Toronto to Vancouver, and knowing that I had booked on one of the new Air Canada planes, I was thrilled at the idea of sitting in one of those futuristic looking bed seats.  I was feeling so happy about my good fortune and SOOO looking forward to the flight.  Boy was I disappointed when I got on the plane only to find they had switched the plane to one of their antique broken down planes that sound like they’re going to fall apart every time they take-off or land.

I was so mad that I wasted the upgrade certificate on a broken seat that also had next to no legroom (first seat by the broken movie screen).  While I was busy being mad at Air Canada, suddenly I recalled a scene from the movie “Charlie Wilson’s War” where Gus Avacados tells the story of a Zen master… and I had to laugh at myself.  (this looks to be the origin of the version of the story told in that movie):

There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit.

“Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“We’ll see,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses.

“How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.

“We’ll see,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.

“We’ll see,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.

“We’ll see” said the farmer.

This is good therapy for me, I think…. to be help me become less attached to a particular outcome.  As it turns out it was a pleasant flight, and I had a great conversation with the flight crew.

MacBook Air January 15, 2008

Posted by fredillies in Gadgets n Gizmos, Travel, Work.
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air-cropped.jpg

Well, I’ve been waiting for 14 months (since before MW 2007) for Apple to release an ultraportable.  Just watched the blogcast of Steve Job’s MacWorld 2008 keynote address… and it’s finally here.  Frankly, I’ve been waiting so long and my hopes have been so high (fed by some crazy online rumor activity and this awesome_mockup.jpg ) that it’s probably inevitable that I’m a little dissapointed.  Don’t get me wrong…. It’s unbelieveably thin and an elegant design… it’s one beautiful machine.  It’s just that I travel a fair bit, and I was looking for something that had the same footprint as the sony Vaio TX.  While the MacBook Air IS thin (and a respectable 3 pounds), it’s 2 INCHES wider than my current notebook (a Compaq 2510p) and is about 1 INCH deeper.  The Sony Vaio TX is 10.7″ (width) x 0.83″- 1.12″ (height) x 7.7″ (depth).  The biggest difference for me is the depth.  One can comfortably open the screen on the Vaio while sitting on an airline seat (even with the seat in front of you reclined). The Macbook Air is 9 inches deep, which means its WAY taller when opened, which is a bad thing if you’re flying.  So for me… the Air is not ultra portable (but it IS way lighter than the MacBookHeavy).    Easy to say all this now… but I can’t wait to get my hands on one!  I’m hoping that the design/thinness/Leopard will be enough to swing me away from getting a smaller notebook. 

Working from Maui (Part One) April 2, 2007

Posted by fredillies in Life Balance, Travel.
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In mid-January, Ali & I left for Maui. We had been planning for several years to spend an extended period there, during Ali’s year-long hiatus from teaching. The plan was I would work remotely from Maui and travel back to Vancouver and Toronto once a month to visit clients. We were staying with Tom Sewell (my biological father), and I had a little office set up there. Maui was awesome, and on the weekends we were able to do lots of exploring (especially snorkeling). Things were going pretty well working remotely, and I was getting ready for my first trip back to Vancouver & Toronto, when we got word that my Mom’s cancer had advanced considerably. Both Ali & I decided to head back to Toronto to be with her. The rest of the Maui plan was put on hold….

Buenos Aires March 13, 2007

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Buenos Aires

Next we went to Buenos Aires, which is definitely one of the coolest cities I’ve been to yet. This a crazy 20 lane Avenida 9 de Julio. We stayed at a really nice hostel (or a really spartan hotel..depends on how you look at it 😉 It was in el Centro district, and it was crazy busy in that area. There is so much to see and do in Buenos Aires, Next time we come it will be for 2-3 weeks.

After BA we got to spend a weekend at Iguazu Falls. It’s on the border with Brazil, and it was steamy jungle hot, and we stayed at a nice hotel inside the National Park. Then it was back to BA for a night and home to Vancouver. I’ll definitely come back to South America!

Macchu Picchu March 13, 2007

Posted by fredillies in Travel.
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Macchu Picchu

The night before we got to Macchu Picchu (pictured above as the morning fog was lifting) we went to Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young). It was our favourite of the Incan ruins… and there were far less tourists there. M.P. on the other hand, was overun with tourists, but it was spectacular! PS. If we look a little worn-out, it’s because we WERE after hiking the Inca Trail for 4 days!  😉  It was the trip of a lifetime, and one I’ll never forget.

Peace on Mountain Top January 19, 2007

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 Waking Day 2

This was the view from the site where we camped the first night. Words can’t describe what it felt like to be here. The perspective that you get when you’re away from everyday life can be crystalizing. I mean look at this picture below. I’m sure this isn’t what I look like on a regular work day 😉

Contemplation

The Inca Trail January 19, 2007

Posted by fredillies in Travel.
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Well, I keep getting further and further behind on writing about our experience on the Inca Trail. The trip happened in November & December, so I figured I better get on with it. Rather than do a long detailed post, I’ll summarize a bit.

After a two hour bus ride, we arrived at the Inca Trail. The next 4 days were an experience I’ll never forget. We had a great guide named Cesar (pictured below 3rd from the right at Dead Woman’s Pass (4215M /13,800 ft above sea level). with our guides at Dead Woman’s Pass

Cesar is of Incan and Spanish descent. He is very well educated, speaks several languages, and is passionate about the Andean people, their culture and history, and the immeasurable beauty and importance of nature. It was like a 4 day educational field trip combined with a 4-day endurance event. In all, we hiked 42 km, and climbed 1.6 km (basically walking up a mile of steps in the thin air).