The original iPhone is so cute and tiny!

Here’s an original iPhone (3.5″ display) next to my iPhone 12 (6.1″ display). And keep in mind, the Plus/Max phones are 6.7″ displays:

My phone does have a case, which makes it look slightly bigger

If you look, you can see that the display is even tinier, thanks to the chonky bezels on the top and bottom. I still kind of miss the home button though (or more to the point, Touch ID, which was later added to it). And when I hold the original iPhone in my hand, my thumb can easily cover the entire screen without any straining, which is nice. I can more or less do the same on my iPhone 12, but it involves stretching and the phone shifts somewhat precariously as I move my thumb around the display. It’s not really meant to be a one-handed device.

While the original is definitely not as wide as the 12, the change in height is far more dramatic. This makes sense, since we have not evolved wider hands in the last decade.

It was fun to hold an original iPhone (I had an iPhone 4 in 2010 and while it had flat sides, its dimensions were pretty much the same), now I just need to find my one surviving 30-pin cable to see if it will power up (I do not have huge hopes for this).

Run 814: Rain, dogs and people

View from Cariboo Dam, pre-run.

Oh, and it is also a statutory holiday, a day I vow to never run on (but always do, then regret it later).

The forecast today was Heavy Rain, so I was prepared to get good and soaked. Which I did. It rained the entire time, and it rained steady almost the entire time. Thanks to very little wind, it actually didn’t feel that cold, though.

Now, you’d think that even though today was a stat holiday (technically Saturday was National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, but most people actually get today off), there wouldn’t be many people at the lake due to the heavy rain.

You would be wrong.

There was a surprising number of runners out (I saw six just as I arrived at the dam), and a lot of people just out for a walk, because you when get a bonus day off, why not spend it walking around a lake in a hard rain? Also, about half the people with dogs had them off-leash, possibly because of the rain (?) One dog ran toward me and I did not like the idea of even a friendly but muddy, wet dog jumping on me. I advised the owner to leash her dog, and to her credit, she did!

As for the run itself, I originally planned a short loop to reduce the amount of time I’d spend out in the rain, but as I ran, I suddenly decided I didn’t want to turn around and run back the way I came, so I did a full loop (5K run, 5K walk) and got Very Wet. The knees were fine, the left hip was relatively well-behaved, and my BPM was a bit higher at 154, but not unexpected, given the conditions and temperature. The pace of 5:41/km is pretty good, considering my shirt felt like it was holding about five litres of water by the end.

In all, a good run to start the week, but I won’t object to it being a little drier next time.

Still Creek, post-run.


Run 814
Average pace: 5:41/km
Training status: Productive
Location: Burnaby Lake (CCW)
Start: 9:47 a.m.
Distance: 5:03 km
Time: 28:38
Weather: Rain
Temp: 12ºC
Humidity: 88%
Wind: light
BPM: 154
Weight: 166.6
Total distance to date: 5947.6 km
Devices: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music, iPhone 12, AirPods (3rd generation)
Shoes: HOKA Speedgoat 5 (82.6/163/245.6 km)

Short stories about running as suggested by AI

I asked ChatGPT to give me the winning lottery numbers, and it didn’t, so instead, I asked for five short story titles about running. They were pretty dull, so I asked for five more that were funny and then another five that were weird.

The answers it gave were generally like ones you’d come up with while trying to brainstorm when you’re very tired and your brain’s most insistent thought is “Go to bed, for the love of all that is holy, go to bed.”

Here are a few I liked:

  • “Run Like the Wind, Trip Like the Clumsy”. I feel like ChatGPT scraped this blog to come up with this one.
  • “The Secret Society of Running Gnomes: Small Feet, Big Adventures”. This is a case where the title would probably be better than the actual story.
  • “The Quantum Run: When Every Step Leads to Parallel Universes”. I like the trippy potential of this. The title stinks, but the concept is good.

Will I take one of these ideas and turn it into a short story that might make one’s socks roll up and down in delight? Probably not, but I will say it’s more likely than me winning the lottery, so there’s that.

Birding, September 30, 2023: Hello fall

Where: Centennial Beach (Delta), Boundary Bay Dyke Trail (Delta), Crescent Beach (Surrey), and Piper Spit (Burnaby)
Weather: Sunny, 12-17C

The Outing

We hit four sites on our first official fall bird outing and the weather, though sunny, was indeed fall-like, with it starting at only 12C at Centennial Beach, along with a brisk wind. It warmed up to around 17C by late in the afternoon.

Centennial Beach: Raptors on Raptor Trail once again failed to materialize, but we did see a bald eagle out on the tidal flats. Shorebirds were also scarce, possibly due to the tide being way out, as it often is when we visit. We saw gulls, a Brewer’s blackbird couple, a wigeon or two, plus a bunch of goldfinches that would not stop flitting about.

Boundary Bay Dyke Trail: Planes were plentiful, and birds were, too, but much like earlier, they were flitting like mad from tree to tree and branch to branch, making good shots a fun (?) challenge! We did see a Northern harrier or two, as well. As always, the view was nice.

Crescent Beach/Blackie Spit: Seagulls were flying around in abundance, as were some herons, but no loons, alas. We did see some more yellowlegs and a few cormorants. The beach and park were fairly busy, which surprised me a little. Apparently everyone wanted to be outside on the first nice Saturday of fall. By now it was warm enough to doff jackets, if desired.

Piper Spit: This place was crawling with people and children (not that children aren’t people, but you know what I mean). Coots were croaking, but all the shorebirds were in one tight group, snoozing. Golden hour was setting in, so light was rather harsh. We shot a heron grooming up in a tree. They always look weird up in trees. I did not notice any pigeons or seagulls, and the land mass seems to be continuing to expand, so I assume they are letting more water flow out of the lake, Or maybe it’s magic.

Overall, it was a good day of birding, even if we didn’t see anything super exotic, and even though a lot of the birds were even more uncooperative than usual. Don’t they know we just want to capture them in all their pretty glory?

The Shots


The Birds (and other critters)

Sparrows and sparrow-adjacent:

  • American blackbird
  • American robin
  • Anna’s hummingbird
  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Brewer’s blackbird
  • Golden-crowned sparrow
  • Goldfinch
  • Northern flicker
  • Savannah sparrow
  • Song sparrow
  • Spotted towhee
  • Steller’s jay
  • Yellow-rumped warbler


  • American coot
  • American wigeon
  • Canada goose
  • Great blue heron
  • Greater yellowlegs
  • Green-winged teal
  • Mallard
  • Northern pintail (possibly)
  • Wood duck


  • American crow
  • Glaucous-winged gull
  • Ring-billed gull
  • Pacific gull (?)


  • Bald eagle
  • Northern harrier


  • Douglas and gray squirrels
  • Dragonflies
  • Grasshoppers
  • A fuzzy little caterpillar dude (or dudette, who can tell?)
  • Various aircraft

September 2023 was a month

I’m not sure how I’d summarize this September. Unlike last September, which was a long continuation of very hot and humid weather, this September saw enough precipitation that by the end of the month the fire danger rating dropped back to low. Fall arrived with Very Fall weather and two day into the new season, we had our first official fall storm, with weather advisories and everything.

September was never especially hot, though we had nice days. I gained half a pound, but at least 300 grams was sexy leg muscle, I’m pretty sure.

So, a mixed bag.

I’m expecting snow by Halloween.

September 2023 weight loss report: Up 0.5 pounds

This was a weird month. I started with an uptick in weight, which normally makes it easier to be down for the month.


And in fact, I was down for 21 of the 30 days, so the trend was definitely down. Three days ago, I was still down, by 0.4 pounds (my lowest of the month was a week before at 164.8 pounds), then two days ago I jumped 1.2 pounds, meaning I had to lose 0.8 pounds in two days to be down for the month. I lost 0.3 pounds.


On the plus side, part of the gain was actual muscle mass (if my scale is accurate, and for this I choose to believe IT IS 100% ACCURATE ALWAYS)–about 300 grams in the last week (I ran four times). My body fat was also (just barely) down for the month, too, despite being up slightly. You can’t argue with math!

So while this uptick is unfortunate, I actually believe–not fake believe!–that it’s temporary. Thus, I boldly predict:

I will be down in weight for October.



January 1, 2023: 164.2 pounds 
Current: 167.6 pounds
Year to date: Up 3.4 pounds

September 1: 167.1 pounds
September 30: 167.6 pounds (up 0.5 pounds)

Body fat:

September 1: 24.9%
September 30: 24.8% (down 0.1%) 

Historical: January 1, 2022: 182.8 pounds

52 short stories in 52 weeks

Apparently Ray Bradbury advised beginning writers to try writing one short story per week for a year, rather than trying to tackle a novel first. The idea was that while you might write a bad novel on your first try, it was unlikely you could write 50+ bad stories in a row. I mean, you could, but you’d probably have to make an effort in that direction. And writers hate making that sort of concerted effort. At least I do.

And now I am intrigued with the idea of writing 52 short stories in 52 weeks. In fact, I’ve tried variations on this in the past, with varying degrees of success. I think what appeals to me here is that with only a week per story, I know I’m not going to write something particularly complex or grand, and I like that.

If I decide to go ahead on this, I’ll make an official™ announcement post. I could always end up just playing more Bejewelled 3, though.

Run 813: Uh oh, fast!

View from Cariboo Dam, pre-run. A serene-looking early fall day.

A weird thing happened today.

I was fast!

I did not plan on being fast. Since the whole knee thing started, I have been afraid of being fast.

I started the run late, just after 1 p.m., but it was still on the cool side, only 13C to start. Humidity was still relatively high, and there was a decent breeze blowing, so conditions were actually quite decent. Due to the late start, I opted to do a short loop clockwise at the lake, which saves me having to walk the extra 5 km to get back to the beginning.

I had to use the Jiffy John™ before starting, and heard voices outside it while I was inside. I waited for the inevitable and sure enough, someone tried yoinking the locked door open. When I came out they made some vague joke, but I just continued on, I had a run to do! I also later discovered the two colours used to denote the door being closed/open (red/green) can be hard to distinguish by certain colour-blind people, so I’ll cut them some slack. Maybe instead of colours, they could use symbols. I’ll leave it to your imagination what those symbols should be.

Anyway, the run! I had no plan, I was just going to run steady and see how it went. I was pleasantly surprised when the first km came in at a speedy 5:38/km. I was equally surprised when the second km was the same. I varied slightly above that for the next two, then finished with a very surprising pace of 5:22/km, which also resulted in an award in the Garmin app for fastest 1K (second one in as many days, woo).

I achieved the overall pace of 5:36/km while also having a lower BPM of 152. Really, it all seemed a bit weird.

The knees seemed fine again. There was a twinge once, but nothing more. The left hip was present, but not overbearing or anything.

One dog on the trail was off-leash and ahead of its (bad) owners, but it was not particularly excitable and didn’t present a problem. The trail was not overly busy, especially considering it was Friday.

Now I wait and see how the legs hold up over the weekend, with two days to rest and recover. I ran four days this week, three of them in a row. We’ll see how wise this was soon!

For now, I bask in the mild glory of exceeding my own expectations.

Beaver dam on the Brunette River


Run 813
Average pace: 5:36/km
Training status: Productive
Location: Burnaby Lake (short loop, CW)
Start: 1:06 p.m.
Distance: 5:03 km
Time: 28:11
Weather: Sunny
Temp: 13-15ºC
Humidity: 67-65%
Wind: light to moderate
BPM: 152
Weight: 167.7
Total distance to date: 5942.6 km
Devices: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music, iPhone 12, AirPods (3rd generation)
Shoes: HOKA Speedgoat 5 (77.6/150/227.6 km)

It’s been a day


  • My first mini-run. Fastest 1K to date! Yay!
  • Taco dinner was yummy


  • Internet connection went down for the second time in a week (almost to the exact hour, hmm!)
  • Power went out for about 15 minutes (this almost never happens here)
  • I was baking bread when the power went out
  • Hot water is now out (probably due to the boiler shutting off and no one restarting it)
  • My weight jumped up 1.2 pounds overnight, putting me up for the month with two days to go. I try to convince myself it’s just dense, sexy leg muscle, but I’m not sure. EDIT: I checked, and my water weight increased, as did my skeletal muscle mass. The former is kind of neutral, but can explain weight gain, the second is actually good. So maybe a very slight increase in sexy leg muscle.
  • I had an interrupted, not great sleep
  • The above left me crankier than I’ve been in a good while. Or a bad while.


  • The bread survived, it’s just a bit lumpy, but in a lovable way
  • The dishwasher works, because it makes its own hot water. It’s smart!
  • I already had a shower post-run when hot water was still a thing
  • I’ll probably have weird dreams about some or all of the above tonight

Run 812: Unplanned mini-run!

Brunette River, pre-run

I did a spontaneous mini-run today!

Yesterday I thought about doing shorter runs on my off-days–currently Tuesday and Thursday–with the idea being I’d either go half my usual distance (so 2.5 km) or run for a set amount of time (something that would at least equal the half distance, like 15 minutes).

I ultimately opted to go for distance, because it would keep things neater and tidier in the stats (that didn’t happen today, for reasons I will explain below).

The idea behind these mini-runs is:

  • To improve my overall fitness
  • To help get me energized at the start of the day
  • To see what fun things will happen to my body

It’s mostly the second one. I feel that on non-run days I start out a bit blah and listless. Running focuses me and gets me energized. If I keep the runs short and on the river trail (as I did today) they can give me a boost without eating up too much time.

Also, the stats are faster, which is a nice because fast is GOOD. Right?

Speaking of stats, the shorter run resulted in a lower BPM of 154, and a faster average pace of 5:29/km. I also got an award for my fastest 1 km yet, at 5:22/km.

With a run like this, there isn’t really time for any issues to develop. The biggest one was technical. I wanted to end the run at 2.5 km and got a text alert shortly before that. The alerts cover the top of the watch display where distance is shown. I don’t know how to dismiss the alerts, and this one seemed to sit there forever. I finally just guessed I’d hit 2.5 km and paused the run, to find I was actually at 2.59 km. Not a big deal, but it rankles me in an OCD way. I have since learned how to dismiss alerts during a run. For posterity, in case I forget, or if anyone else wants to know:

How to clear a message alert during a run on a Garmin Forerunner 255:

• Press the Down button (this shows the message)
• Press the Back button (this clears the message)

I will probably keep doing these mini-runs for a while to see how they go. In a way, it feels like cheating because they’re so quick. I’m sure my body will show me otherwise soon enough.

NOTE: I forgot to stretch before the run. We'll see if that has any impact later!
Run 812
Average pace: 5:29/km
Training status: Productive
Location: Brunette River Trail
Start: 11:34 a.m.
Distance: 2.59 km
Time: 14:13
Weather: Cloudy, some sun
Temp: 13ºC
Humidity: 87-85%
Wind: light to moderate
BPM: 154
Weight: 167.9
Total distance to date: 5937.6 km
Devices: Garmin Forerunner 255 Music, iPhone 12, AirPods (3rd generation)
Shoes: HOKA Speedgoat 5 (72.6/142/214.6 km)

Yes, I am constantly changing the body font

As I post this on September 27, 2023, the body font for my blog here is the Google font Zilla Slab. It may change soon. It will probably change soon. I can never find one I quite like. I am going through my Serif Phase now, though, so whatever comes next will likely be a serif font.

And yes, I know technically these are typefaces, and it’s only the specific variants that are called fonts, but that battle has long been lost, typography nerds. Sorry!

One day I may even be bold enough to tinker with the site again. Until then, I have billions more fonts to go through.

For when it gets changed, this is what Zilla Slab looks like: