A Few Random Things I Did This Weekend

Things are heating up! No, not the weather, but finally a bit more normalcy around these parts. And if you know anything about me and July, it tends to be one of the busiest months of the year, though usually not for products (and especially not this year, since Eurobike isn’t in July – but August instead). The first part of this month will instead be mostly ‘leftover’ products, things sitting on the backburner a while. Then we’ll transition to newer products later in the month.

In any event, it was a great weekend. We kicked it off with our 10-year wedding anniversary, followed by our close friends arriving from Paris (the first time we’ve seen them in nearly a year, due to travel restrictions). Their kids are all within a couple weeks of our kids, so it’s a small pack of children running around speaking a unique blend of English, French, and Dutch. It works, and they get along great – keeping themselves busy.

1)  10-Year Wedding Anniversary

Friday was our 10-year wedding anniversary. Long-time readers might even remember that way back when. In fact, for our wedding I converted a $100 Target bike into a wedding bike of sorts. Basically, it was an excuse to buy another bike. Shh… that story, along with some wedding photos are found here in this older post (as well as links to The Girl’s blog way back when too!).

In any event, fast forward 10 years later and we find ourselves living two countries removed from where we started (first moving to France, and now to the Netherlands), and with three little Peanuts running around (and one dog). It’s been an awesome ride, and we continue to have new adventures all the time.

Now, according to various interweb articles, for your 10th anniversary you’re supposed to give your spouse something made of tin or aluminum. While I contemplated buying The Girl a pack of Heineken, I didn’t think that’d go over well. Inversely, she apparently figured the same. So she surprised me with a custom artwork of all of us:


It was done by a friend of hers in Newfoundland, and has tons of little nuanced details – some things readers here might pick up on. And then plenty others only ourselves or the kids might notice. Apparently me wearing watches was vetoed.


Meanwhile, as a surprise for her, I put together a book of photos, with each page being a single month from the last 10 years. Thus, that entire page is only photos from that month (e.g. July 2014). Though, since the maximum amount of pages for the book was 110, I had to combine a few ‘boring’ months in some years to make it work (which, tended to be in the March-April timeframe).


The book is a beast! But, it’s pretty cool (if I think so myself).


In any event, later that evening with some close friends, we celebrated – including (cheap) Prosecco pong. Because Champagne pong is far too expensive to play.


The next morning was slow moving.

2) Can-America Day

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Next, Saturday we had Can-America day. That’s our annual (except last year, and a more subdued version this year) party celebrating the blend of Canada Day & Independence Day, blended with a side-dish of our wedding anniversary and one of The Peanut’s birthdays tossed in. Canada Day is July 1st, and the (US) Independence Day is July 4th. So we split the difference.

Though, I don’t have many pictures of that, I was too busy eating The Girl’s buffalo chicken dip. So, here’s one picture of me and P2:


Hopefully next year things will be back to normal!

3) A Very Brief Run


I had planned to run considerably longer, also, with a trainer ride or so tossed in too. But, those plans mostly went out the window following late-night liquid consumption two days prior, which may or may not have spilled into Can-America Day. Point being, chasing around nearly half a dozen small children was exercise enough, something no long-run could possibly compete with*.


Still, my friend and I made a go for it on Saturday afternoon before the England game, for a quick down and back to the windmill, a simple 5K. As noted, given everything, it was a notable little notch in the weekend. Regular workouts would resume Monday-ish morning.

With that – thanks for reading! Happy Canada Day to Canadians, Happy 4th of July to Americans, and happy anything else to anyone else left that had something happy to be happy about. :)


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  1. MP

    Congratulations to both of you! Wish you all the best in future years as well

  2. Robert Giles

    Happy Anniversary, enjoy!

  3. GLT


    …and how many combined cycling miles is that?

  4. tadaka

    congrats on the 10 year anniversary! here’s to many, many more!

    thanks for all you do and for the amazing quarantine corner episodes!

  5. Rob Poma

    Congratulations! Love the photo book idea! P2 looks like her Mom! All the best to you all!

    • Fran

      I scrolled down to write exactly the same two things! funny!
      Ray, which photobook service did you use? I have been not so happy with quality before…
      Congrats on your anniversary!

    • Thanks!

      I used Blurb. I haven’t used them before, but was pretty happy with it. I used their Bookwright desktop app, and that handled all the photos well in terms of not crashing or such despite the enormous volume of photos I loaded into it – performance was good.

      Ease of use of templates and such was good, I started off with some of their templates and then quickly customized them.

      You can apparently use Lightroom or Illustrator or such too, but that was a bigger rabbit hole that I wanted to deal with.

      Quality is really good. Certainly, with over 1,000 photos in the book spanning a decade, some are of lower quality (my source file), but even those came out pretty well. Build quality is good too, I did the ‘layflat’ book, and the pages are pretty thick.

      The only downside is that the lay flat books specifically ship from Seattle, as opposed to the normal EU printing office in the Netherlands. As such, I got dinged import fees, which was annoying because they were at the incorrect rate (as opposed to book rate), and because they already charged me import fees when I checked out. Thus, I’ve gotta untangle that.

      But that annoyance aside, I’ll definitely use them again, especially for smaller/cheaper non-layflat books.

    • Brian D.

      Hey Ray,

      Curious how you got the cover to be made up of all the pictures – I don’t see that option inside of Bookwright.

      Also – curious what size you went with? Trying to decide between the 13×11 or 10×8.

    • So typically when I do montages like that, I use the Lightroom proofs option to file option (as if I was printing out a proof set), with all the margins zero’d out. But, that doesn’t work for 1,000 photos.

      Instead, I actually used the default Apple Photos app on my Mac. Stick all the photos into a folder in that app, and then on the right side window, shrink the thumbnail size to the smallest option. You can then play with the size of the overall window to roughly get the ratio you want. Take a screenshot of that as large as possible, and then from there, I cropped per perfectly along the lines in just a generic photo cropping app. Though realistically it get wrapped anyways, so doing any added cropping is kind pointless. The resolution is super high, and even opening up the screenshot is really clear (granted, I did this on my 5K iMac, so it’s a higher resolution screen).

      I went with the 13×11, which is perfect. I’m glad I did the larger one, it’s a nice solid book. I also did the PDF export option too, merely to have on my phone as a photo-book. And obviously, Blurb has a million discount codes out there, so poke around a bit to save a boatload. Oh, and if doing something as crazy big as this, just keep in mind the 110-page limit when planning layouts.


    • Brian D.

      Thanks- I appreciate you taking the time to respond ! Really nice “think outside the box” approach to creating the montage :)

  6. Stan

    Wishing many years of happiness! I can’t believe how time flies and watching your family grow through this blog has been a very wholesome experience over the years!

  7. Robert

    Congrats on 10yrs!

  8. David E.

    I swear that I scoured that awesome drawing “Where’s Waldo?-style for like an hour looking for a hidden pizza oven, but just couldn’t find it.

  9. Todd Thorsgaard

    Congrats! Thanks for sharing the adventure with us!!

  10. Tim Johnson

    Congrats on your anniversary. My wife and I celebrated ours the day after yours, July 3rd.

  11. Hollyoak

    Congrats to both of you and nice presents!
    Any plans to be in Chamonix this summer?

    • I’ve tentatively got the timeframe around UTMB on the docket to be there. As part of a Eurobike road trip, though, who knows if that’ll happen (Eurobike). But no matter if that happens the road-trip still will in some form.

      Looking forward to it!

    • Jan

      UTMB timeframe can be interesting, if memory servers me well. And an amazing event.

      That aside, I hope you will be able to enjoy a great trip this summer, whenever or where ever you go.

  12. Happy 10th Anniversary to you both!

  13. Bill Murray

    Wow, I can remember when the girl was introduced to us. Seems like a few short years ago, time flies.

  14. Hussam

    Congratulations to all you, and for many many more years to come.

  15. Daniel

    Congrats Ray!

  16. Hannes

    happy anniversary!

  17. Tom Conroy

    Congratulations! Glad to see these peeks at your personal life. Thanks for all the useful reviews. Don’t know where you find the time for it all.

  18. Alice

    Congrats Ray and Bobbie, wishing you many happy years to come! Wonderful wedding photo.

  19. Dave

    Congrats to you both!

  20. Craig

    Long-time fan of your wonderfully detailed reviews. Congrats on your anniversary, and glad to hear of the near-normalcy. And sorry to hear how terribly the Netherlands has dealt with Covid and vaccinations. Leiden and The Hague are so dear to me, and I hate to see my peeps suffering. I look forward to getting on a plane and coming back as soon as it’s safe.

  21. Maxwell Stevens

    I thought it was Target bike. not walmart