Me: Yay, it’s good to be back in Calgary. Hello, Calgary!
The temperature, as it tanks over the next few days:
Seriously, though, what is this madness?
That first line of temps contains the “highs” and the second line contains the “feels like” temperatures. And yes, those are in Fahrenheit.
It’s supposed to warm up starting next weekend, but that’s exactly how last February was supposed to start. Instead, it was this madness all month.
I don’t know if I can do that again.
In This Blog: Claudia’s Jet-Setting Suitcase Says “Screw You” to Cold Temperatures and Goes to California Instead
Today, I went from Moscow/Pullman (PUW) to Seattle (SEA) to Calgary (YYC).
My suitcase, however, did not. It went from Moscow/Pullman (PUW) to Los Angeles (LAX) to Calgary (YYC).
Luckily, my nine-hour layover in Seattle meant that my suitcase still got to Calgary before I did, despite its little adventure.
I like Sea-Tac; I’ve spent a decent proportion of my life there. It’s a nice airport. Nine hours, though, is a little too long of a layover. At least I got a lot of semester prepping done and still had time to walk around a little bit.
Hello, nerd bombs! To everyone’s shock, today will be a walking-related blog.
Why? Because counting today’s walk, I have walked a total of 20,000 miles since living in Calgary!
Here are some stats (as always, haha):
Total walks: 1,610
Total distance: 20,002.96 miles
Total steps: 44,913,637
Total time: 307,098.13 minutes (that’s 5,118.30 hours, or 213.26 days, or 0.584 years)
Total calories burned: 1,341,926.0
The median* distance per walk was 15.02 miles; median steps per walk was 33,055; median time per walk was 214.98 minutes (3.583 hours).
Here are boxplots of distance by year. Notice how my walking distances become dramatically more consistent as we move from 2014 to 2019.
*Medians are used instead of means, as all of the distributions of the above variables are highly skewed
Also, Calgary has a ton of walking/biking paths.
It’s one of the main reasons I love this city.
Every year, The Economist does an assessment of ~140 cities for their Global Livability Ranking. This year, Calgary ranked as the fifth most livable city in the world and the most livable city in North America. The rankings are based on the averagings of the results of five metrics: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.
So that’s kinda cool.
If you’re interested in the report, you can download it from here.
I’ve mentioned the Bowness Scooter Gang on here before, but just in case anyone wants a fantastic read on the proliferation of Reddit-driven Scooter Gangs in Calgary, here y’all go:
This is the best thing to ever happen to the Calgary subreddit.
Haha, so we got caught in a flash hailstorm on our way back from watching the new Spider Man movie. Observe:
We had just passed a bus stop when the hail started, otherwise we would have had to run a bit to find cover. The hail doesn’t look super big in the video, but some of them were probably dime-sized, I’d say. It sounds so loud ‘cause it was hitting the glass roof of the bus shelter.
I was yelling at Nate ‘cause that was the only way he could hear me.
WHY IS EVERY MAJOR ROAD IN CALGARY UNDER CONSTRUCTION I MEAN SERIOUSLY IS THAT NECESSARY
It’s a long drive back from the cabin. I used to love long trips (whether they were in cars, planes, whatever), but now I’m not a big fan of them. I still really dig airports, though; not sure what that’s all about.
I also really liked staying in that hotel in Seattle when my layover was so long that they kicked me out of the airport.
Random hotel nostalgia time?
Anyway. This blog did not go where I thought it would, but I can’t remember what else I was going to say, so there you go.
Sorry, I’m stressed out about the upcoming semester and I already miss my mom.
Edit: IT’S ALLERGY SEASON! TIME TO SNOT LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW
My mom’s here one night and someone broke into her van and stole a bunch of her stuff.
They smashed the window overnight and grabbed two of her backpacks full of stuff.
‘Cause people suck.
According to the forecast, today was supposed to involve brief periods of “trace amounts” of rain. Nate and I believed the forecast, so we went out for our usual weekend walk.
Nate and I are fools.
About two and a half miles in, “trace amounts of rain” turned into “lol, better run, idiots, the sky is gonna drown you” and we had to take shelter under an overpass for a little bit before braving the strong rain to get to The Core downtown. By then, we were super soaking wet (I could wring out my coat) but only like five miles into the walk, so after trying to dry off a little in the mall, we managed to get a few more miles in by walking through the open portions of the Plus 15.
We also Plus 15-ed it to The Running Room for me to get shoes, then gunned it home to try to beat even more rain.
Na na naaaaa na…
Hey, hey, hey…
What the fuck is this.
I really do. It’s a big enough city that you can get that big metro feel in certain parts of it, but it’s so spread out that there are a lot of places you can go and not feel like you’re in a big city at all.
And the river path. Holy gods, I love that river path. Miles and miles of uninterrupted walking with no threat of murderous cars? Give it here.
I love the weather, too, even though this past February made me want to throw myself into the sun (because at least then I’d be warm). I much prefer the temperature swings of Calgary (hot “near-90s” summers to cold “WHY ARE MY INSIDES FROZEN” winters) to the dreary rain of Vancouver.
I mean, I loved Vancouver too, but for totally different reasons and not with the same depth that I truly love Calgary.
(And I hated the rain. Ugh.)
to be able to walk outside and not fight hypothermia the whole way.
Seriously, if you ever hear me complain about any temperatures higher than -10 again, punch me in the face.
I’m so sick of this freaking weather, yo.
Save for like three days, this whole month has been full of dangerously cold temps. Ambient temps in the negative teens (Fahrenheit), wind chills in the -20s or -30s (or even -40s). It’s gross, it hurts, and I’m so tired of feeling like I’m going to die of hypothermia on my walks. Where the shit is the “mild winter” we were supposed to get?
A -22 windchill seems to be my absolute lower limit, or at least the limit at which even my stubbornness won’t let me go below. I’m pretty sure I’ve had legit hypothermia on a decent number of my walks. Some of the signs of it include shivering, shallow breathing, clumsiness, confusion, and there have been a few points on my 15-mile walks (usually after I’ve been walking into the wind for five miles) where I really start to get into this hazy, confused mental state and start to lose a bit of coordination as I’m walking. There’s also been a few times where I go into the public bathrooms at mile 7 and have to shiver uncontrollably for about 15 minutes before I finally warm up enough to continue. Fun times!
Beats four hours on a treadmill, though.
There are few things quite like the sweet, sweet pain of losing all feeling in your toes, fingers, lips, and nose while you’re out walking for four hours in weather that’s way too cold. But hey, -15 feels tropical compared to that -30s nonsense we’ve had for the past few days, so I took leave of whatever modicum of common sense I have this morning and braved the cold for an outside walk.
It hurt. It hurt good.
(Except for those 10 minutes I spent shivering uncontrollably in the bathroom by the side of the path which subsequently and unexpectedly turned into a panic attack? That wasn’t very fun. But when I was done with that nonsense, the sun had come out, so the rest of the walk was fine.)
Edit: ha, my Garmin picked up the panic attack. Heart rate spike around 1 hour 40 minutes or so.
So today’s fun adventure was “let’s see if we can get from campus to home before frostbite sets in!”
According to a “how long does it take to get frostbite?” calculator I found, an ambient temperature of -29℉ and a wind speed of 7 mph combine to give you 12 minutes of exposure before frostbite develops.
And it takes me about 14 minutes to get home from the closest indoor part of campus.
So, you know, fun.
Hello again, all.
So it occurred to me that I have thousands of data points in the form of my walking data that I haven’t shared in any form other than yearly summaries and graphs.
So I’ve decided to post a link to my entire Excel file of walking data since moving to Calgary. You know, for anyone who needs data or wants to analyze it or who just thinks I’m making it all up.*
So here ya go! Nerd it up.
*I’m not. Do you know how lazy I am? It would take a lot of effort to realistically fake that much data.
The New Central Library in downtown Calgary has gotten a lot of attention due to its stunning look and uniqueness. So today, Nate and I decided to walk down there.
It’s super cool!
Here are some bobbing things outside.
Here’s the inside.
It’s such a cool space. I’m going to have to walk down there and spend some time in it if I ever get a spring or summer semester off.
Here’s a fantastic timelapse of it being built. I love timelapses.
I had no idea the C-Train went under that library. I’m dumb.
Edit: that time-lapse music is amazing. It’s now a Five-Star.
Oh wait, it’s October 2nd?
YOU COULD’VE FOOLED ME
(and this was taken this morning, before another eight or so inches of snow fell)
Edit: holy hell, it’s a snowy death trap out there.
Edit 2: apparently this is the snowiest October day since like 1957. Also, this September was the coldest September ever recorded in Calgary. I can believe it.
I still prefer this kind of weather to the rainy hell that was Vancouver, though.
Edit 3: hahaha:
Heeeey, so we’ve got freezing temperatures and snow in September because of course we do.
But here’s a pretty bench picture I took, so I guess it’s all okay.
So due to the OH GOD IT HURTS unseasonably cold weather we’ve been getting this month, I’ve had to transition (at least temporarily) to my winter walking clothes.
This made me realize that I’ve never told you what I wear on my walks based on the season.
I’m sure you don’t actually care, but I’mma talk about it anyway. Because this is my blog and I suck and thus this blog should suck accordingly.
- Short-sleeve shirt
- Pants (stretchy, breathable, has a butt pocket for iPod)
- (Plus underwear, bra, shoes)
- Same as summer, except add a light jacket
- Short-sleeve shirt
- Pants (thick, not breathable, fuzzy warm)
- Tights (extra protection from cold)
- Headphones (to protect my ears from the cold)
- Gloves (I dual-wield those cheap $2 gloves because I’m pathetic)
- Winter coat (I swear this thing is made of the same stuff that protects the space shuttle during re-entry. It’s such a good coat and it only cost like $5 because I got it at Goodwill)
- (Plus underwear, bra, shoes)
It’s fUCKING SEPTEMBER, WHAT IN THE HELL IS THIS WEATHER?
I am not mentally ready for snow. I’m just not. Winter ended in mid-April.
Summed up very nicely in one photo.
1: THE GODS ARE ANGRY
2: THE GODS ARE MILDLY ANNOYED
This photo also demonstrates how quickly the weather can shift between these four modes.
When I’m in Calgary, I miss my mom and Moscow.
When I’m in Moscow, I miss Nate, Jazzy, and Calgary.
LIFE IS HARD