Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kilimanjaro Update

As previously mentioned a team of Ottawa executives and Doctors were going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Here are the results of the Ottawa team I received from Jim today:
Through your support I was able to raise over $15,000 in donations for breast cancer. The team as a whole managed to raise over ½ million for breast cancer and there are still several large corporate donations pending so we expect that number to grow significantly. I have included a short summary of our Kilimanjaro climb below those folks who didn’t have access to my climbing blog.

One of the unexpected outcomes of the funding raising drive was getting to touch base with so many friend and colleagues who I don’t see on regular basis. I would like to thank you again for your support of me and the breast cancer research & treatment. I am confident your generosity will make a real difference.

Yours sincerely,


I returned from Africa last Friday and I am slowly getting back into the swing of day to day life here in Ottawa. I feel great. I don’t appear to have brought home any nasty African diseases or parasites. But like my climbing mates, I did lose weight in the climb (~10 lbs) but I am feeling none worse for it. Climbing Kilimanjaro was a powerful life experience. The mountain and climb were tough (both mentally and physically) but hugely rewarding. It did have its impact on the team, of a climbing team of 23, 20 of us summated. Two of our team (including the trip organizer) were overcome by Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and were forced to descend. A third developed pulmonary oedema – a very dangerous condition where the lungs start to fill with fluid. As painful as it was (for rest of us and them) to give up on their dream of summating, there was no doubt that right choice was made for each of them. But to put this in perspective, the team had a success rate of over 90% which more than double the mountain average of 40% - no doubt a dividend on the months of training logged through 2008. The scenery on the mountain from jungle to ice field was breathtaking. The climbing team was a really remarkable and diverse group of people to spend 3 weeks with. Most the people on the team had never met before the climb but the common goal and bit of adversity really seemed to cement strong connections between us. The people and country of Tanzania were a captivating as well. People are warm and funny and quite a bit more laid back than a bunch of Canadian doctors and exec’s. We went on a short safari in the Serengeti after the climb. We were fortunate that this time of year the herds are migrating. We saw every African mammal I could name and lots ones new to me as well. Some like wildebeest and zebra’s we saw in herds numbering in the 10,000’s of animals. It is hard to find an aspect of the trip that wasn’t positive, that being said I am happy to be home and picking up the traces of my regular life which I am so fortunate to lead.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Could Coffee Grounds be the Next Bio Diesel?

Scientists have figured out a way to separate the oils in coffee grounds and process them into bio diesel. Thankfully the process can be done with used coffee grounds. Can you imagine them wasting perfectly good coffee to fuel up our cars?

Friday, January 23, 2009

A ScotiaBank Place Filled Week

ScotiaBank Skate
On Sunday we headed to ScotiaBank Place to see the sens skills competition. The coolest thing to happen that afternoon was 11 year old Ethan MacLean hitting all four targets in the accurate shooting contest. He beat all the pros.

Then on Monday I played hockey with my Friday night group from Ottawa Rec Hockey. The game ended in a 7-7 draw with Luis, our goalie, making a game saving stop with seconds to go.

We were back once more on Thursday night for the IBM Family skate. Here are some pictures and a short video. Phew...maybe I'll get to see a hockey game there sometime.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Coffee Protects Your Brain from Alzheimer's

Okay apparently drinking 3 or more cups of coffee can protect your brain from Alzheimer's disease. But if I drink 3 cups of coffee per day I'm more likely to hallucinate. Arg!!! Why can't you scientists make up your mind? Maybe you're drinking too much coffee or maybe too little!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Tampa Dethrones Seattle as Caffeine Champ!

From Digg: Congratulations to Tampa, Florida for taking down Seattle as most caffeinated American city! Chicago you are an up and coming contender and I'm pulling for you. Anyone know if there is a similar report for Canadian cities?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Coffee Causes Hallucinations

From Digg: This post has been making the rounds quite a bit for a few days now. Apparently people who take in the caffeine equivalent of three cups of coffee are more likely to hallucinate.

Which begs the questions are you all figments of my caffeine soaked imagination? And if you are a part of my imagination why aren't you all better looking?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Barak O Blend

From Digg: In honour of the 44th President of the USA you will be able to order Barak O Blend. A coffee blended from Hawaii, Kenya and Indonesia beans. Personally I think that is a great idea. I wonder if I can convince them to create my own personal blend of coffee from the great coffee plantations of Canada and Scotland. Well, maybe not.