5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

A rather busy weekend home in Paris, but also quite an enjoyable one.  It almost seemed relaxing actually.

1) Friday night lights…err…run.

I did both a longer run and a shorter Friday night run this weekend.  While the longer run was fun and interesting (I did half solo, and the second half with The Girl)…the photos came out better on the shorter run.  Thus, you get the shorter run.

Just before sunset I headed out.  Definitely glad I brought my camera with me.


Speaking of which, I did recently upgrade my trusty little red camera (bought it when I was in NYC in December).  No drastic changes, just to the latest version of it, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS25.  The older one kept on giving me errors.  But it lasted at least 3-4 years.  It was a trooper, because I beat the living crap out of it.  Just like the older one, this new one is waterproof to 7-meters/23-feet deep.

This one also produces pretty pictures:


In any case, I basically just ran down the river to near the Eiffel Tower, before turning back home again.  Nothing too fancy.  I was testing some devices, including HR on the Fitbit Charge HR.  My plan is to have that review out sometime next week (part of the same review with the Fitbit Charge, non-HR edition).


The river has been running a bit high lately.  So much so that a few days this past week the boats couldn’t go in front of our house.  But it seems back to normal today for most boats.


I like that it’s gotten just a touch bit lighter out over the last month, enough where I can start a run around 5PM and it’s not pitch black yet.  I’m definitely more of an evening runner than a morning person.

2) Fire & Ice

It’s been a bit of an odd weekend in our little neighborhood.  First up on Friday was a wee bit of snow for about 30 minutes.  For those unfamiliar with Parisian weather patterns – it doesn’t snow much here.  Perhaps 1-2 times a year it’ll fall from the sky, but only every few years will it actually stick to streets.  In this case, it was just the sky falling variety:



Slide forward to Sunday morning around sunrise and The Girl is headed over to begin the baking at the CupCakery.  She rings me to look at the window.  I do, and it’s foggy.  Then she explains that it’s not fog, but rather smoke.  Something a few blocks away is on fire.


Over the next couple hours I’d check in here and then again, where things unfortunately were escalating from a street-level fire in a bar, upwards into apartments.  All sorts of things exploded as well, which were easily heard from our apartment as well, two blocks away.  Our apartment now also smells like a campfire, we were downwind and the smoke was at times incredibly thick.

IMG_4269 IMG_4271

(Photos above taken by The Girl, before the fire/police line got pushed waaaay back)

In watching the pompiers (firefighters), we were surprised that no water appeared to be being applied in the first 90 minutes or so.  It was mostly just a heck of a lot of fire vehicles around watching.  Though, I’m clearly not a firefighter, so there may well be some reason there.


Afterwards, the building was quite heavily damaged/destroyed – though it astoundingly didn’t spread throughout the very tight streets of that very popular tourist area (pretty much the smallest streets in Paris).  Though some of the buildings where people were evacuated had broken windows.  Thankfully (and amazingly) nobody was seriously injured.


You can find a handful more photos on the Paris Pompiers Facebook page (impressively in-depth actually), as well as one of the local newspapers with videos.

3) A longish ride to Versailles and back

After adding a smoky smell to my clothing I headed out of town via my two-wheeled contraption.  The fire did cause a minor deviation on my normal route to Versailles, but nothing too troublesome.  There are typically two routes I take out of town that direction (to the West).  One for running and one for riding.  This time though I decided to mix it up and take the running one via bike.  It’s much hillier, but a bit more direct than the other cycling route I usually take through Longchamp.


It also has the long cobbles stretch that’s part of the Paris-Versailles race.  Which makes it great for power meter testing.  Three units on the docket right now, as I try and clear out three sorta backlogged power meters from my queue.  I’ve pretty much got data collection complete on two of them, just need to write up the post and do all the charts/etc.  They would be the Power2Max Type S, Verve Infocrank, and Pioneer Power system.


The trail via this route does involve a short few hundred meter off-road stretch, which transitions right where the runner in red is.  Speaking of which, there were approximately one gazillion runners out in the woods this morning.  Never seen so many people out there running before.


And then some uphill/downhill sections that were pretty messy with soaking wet leaves/mud.  But I just took it slow here.  No point in falling on an easy training day just to save a few seconds.


Took about an hour to get to Versailles, where I snapped this in front of the Chateau.  Not quite as much fun on a dreary Sunday as it is during the grand masquerade costume ball.  Speaking of which, tickets just went on sale again. Woot!



From there I meandered on home in a fairly non-direct manner, a touch over 2 hours all in.

4) A lot of walking and food:

Saturday, after our long run we headed out for a walk around the city.  It’d end up being about 4-5 hours.  More of a food crawl really.  We started off hitting up Treize, one of our favorites for southern style comfort food (US southern style, i.e. Charleston, SC where the chef/owner is from).



Then we’d walk from there all the way across Paris up to the northern section near Sacré-Cœur.  We stumbled through the Palais Royal (below), and then through some small shops in a building a few blocks away we never even knew existed.



Eventually arriving at Sacré-Cœur:


From there we wandered through the Red Light District and past Moulin Rouge.  It was just after dark, but still a bit early for the evening shows.


We were meeting up friends at a BBQ place called Flesh, where one of our chef friends happened to be working there that night.



And yes, to clarify, the below is a picture of the ribs.  Seriously, each rib bone is roughly the size of a hockey stick.


Awesome food – one we’ll definitely come back to.  By the end of the night I had clocked in some 29,500+ steps.  Albeit about half of that is from the run, but still a solid day all in.

IMG_4215 IMG_4216

5) Watched my home team, the Seattle Seahawks in the Superbowl

Well…crap.  Seriously – you threw it?

Have a good week all!


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  1. Lucas Gourley

    Seriously? Who really made that call! Sad day for Seahawk fans.

  2. Richard Mable

    Making my day with #5! We thank Pete Carroll

  3. Owen Buckley

    Looking forward to the Charge HR review. Holding off on purchasing it until I see your verdict.

  4. Hi Ray, long-time reader, first-time commenter. My husband and I were just in Paris for the weekend and we practically crossed paths! We also did a long walk on Saturday but from west to east, and passed through the Palais Royal and that EXACT arcade building nearby – Galerie Vivienne I believe. We also just wandered into it, very cool! Also, on Sunday morning I was running in the west part of the city and did not see the smoke you mention, but did notice lots of fire trucks and ambulances speeding east – that explains it! Sadly did not make it to Bertie’s for a cupcake, but will be back in April for the marathon and absolutely coming to the cupcakery then.

  5. Peter

    Hi Ray, I’m currently looking for outdoor digital camera and this Panasonic TS25 is my favorite. Only think I’m aware of is weight with batteries. Is it OK for running? Where do you wear the camera during run? Thank you

    • No problems at all, I almost always run with it in my hands. But occasionally I throw it in a pocket (like coat/vest pocket), or in my CamelBak on long runs.

    • Jeremy

      Ray, I take it you went with the TS25 instead of the TS5 because you didn’t need GPS? The TS25 is 25% lighter and 30% lighter than the TS3. I imagine that makes it easier to carry around whilst running.

    • Yeah, mostly that and that at the end of the day I realized after 4 or so years of having that camera, I don’t think I ever used the geotagged photos from a GPS standpoint for anything oddly enough. I figured I’d do it all the time, and I figured if anyone would use it – it would be me. Turns out…not so much.

  6. Lieven

    He threw!

  7. Turn The Damn Cranks

    Unusual call, but we aren’t having this conversation if if Lockette comes back hard to the ball, Kearse puts a good pick on Butler, or Wilson throws it away. Great play by Butler, but lousy execution by numerous Seahawks.

  8. Brian

    This doesn’t have anything to do with the current post but you might be more likely to see it here…

    I’d like to see the Edge 810 calculate a recovery time similar to the 920 since I don’t use the 920 for cycling. Seems like it would be an easy update.

  9. PaulinPortland

    #4 It might be your favorite restaurant – but you can’t spell it right!

    • It’s funny, I actually woke up this morning and thought to myself “I wonder if I switched the order of i/e when spelling it”. The thought passed before I went and double-checked. Go figure.

  10. Jeff LaBombard

    He did throw it, but I look at more like we intercepted it! Pats for the Win..

  11. Dijonnaise

    “Farm raised chicken?” As opposed to those wild hunted chickens they have to use for chicken cacciatore?

  12. Colin

    What saddle bag do you have on your bike in those photos? Nice looking design that I haven’t seen before.

  13. Robert

    Definitely agree with you that running in the afternoon/evening is much much easier than trying to go first thing in the morning.

  14. Benedikt

    Im pretty sure they did an inside attack as first attack on the fire. If you do so, you must not apply water from the outside. Our turn out gear for fire fighting has a membran similar to GoreTex. If there is more steam pressure outside of the jacket than inside, the hot steam will enter the protection clothing and will burn you.

    link to dailymotion.com you can see videos of the helmet cams. If you watch the vids from inside of the fire, you will see how short we try to apply water to handle steam.

    Once worked with one of the parisian captains on a project, they is an elite unit even under professional firefighters.

    • Very interesting – answers some questions there on why you’d not water it down.

      Are the cameras off the shelf variants with hardened cases, or are they all custom for the industry?

    • Benedikt

      I don’t know which cams they use. I think, if it is provided by the city, they got some military grade (french prof. firefighters are soldiers, parisians infantry, marseilles navy, other towns are not organized the same way) with temperatur hardened cases. a normal go pro wouldn’t last in a direct interior attack. I have been in rooms where the thermal imaging systems i took with me opted to switch of because the ambient temperature in 1m heigh was over 600 degrees celsius.
      I never met a german firefighter who opted to take his own cam inside a fire, in the US it is more common. But i don’t know which one they are using there.

      The thumb rule for steam creation is 1l water = 1400l steam!. It pushes the temperature, is a danger and reduce the sight, so we try to prevent steam filled rooms we have to enter. And we try to minimize water damage too.

    • Benedikt

      Die a quick Google search, there are specialized models like:

  15. BillM

    Had do duck into a McD’s today to use the loo and they had waterless urinals on which the stickers proudly told me that it saved 100,000 liters of water per year. I think the Parisian firefighters may well be after adapting this new waterless technology to firefighting.

  16. Marcel

    I did les berges as you recommended!.
    it even serves free water taps.

    link to connect.garmin.com

    I also went to bois de boulonge – hippodrome de longchamps, but only the south west part is away from the traffic, so i did my threshold runs there.

    next time bois de vincennes.


  17. Tong

    Hi, i love reading your tests and articles .. I Also stay in Paris and i would like to know about your tracks for run and bike you talked about here.. If you could share them it would be great ! Thank you for your website !