Monday, December 31, 2007


I've been reading other blogs with reviews of personal growth and change and everything that has happened to these lives over the year. I didn't want to look at my past year.

Actually I usually do a year review on my birthday in June, but reading others reviews and listening to the radio review the year of events whether entertaining or political (or both) did lead me to reflect on my year.

A quick reflection led me to "oh crap I'm still in the same job I said I wouldn't be in" and I ended it there.

More reflection led me to "wait a minute" I ran a freakin' marathon this year for the first time ever and I then went and did another one!

This led me to "oh yeah I really had a pretty good year."

So here are some of the highlights (most of which seem to be running related):

  • ran my first marathon with my entire family present and in one of my most treasured places on this earth, Tofino.
  • My sister and I also raised over 800 dollars for the Fauna Foundation from those that supported our Tofino run. Thanks again everyone!
  • ran an amazing time in the Vancouver half and felt great doing it.
  • ran a half marathon getting positive nods from other runners for my form and pace. This was the first run I did completely on my own without someone at the start or finish. I had to find a way to motivate myself.
  • ran another marathon and improved my time by 8 minutes!
  • db let me know that he was committed to being vegan.
  • set up a pretty incredible garden with not a whole lot to work with.
  • learned to love running hills.
  • reconnected with a university pal that I hadn't seen in years that led to story editing work and a our renewed friendship.
  • found a new passion for reading mostly thanks to joining the fall reading challenge.
  • took my first woodworking course and built a little stool. It's ab it wobbly but I loved the course. (I'm about to take a second one in January).
  • got to travel a bit in BC and it reminded me of how much I love this place. I spent so much time wondering if I would ever get back here and now that I live here I'm constantly awed by it's beauty.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas (cat themed) photos

Some people say that Christmas is for the kids, but here in whoville it is for the cats.

We had a little snow Christmas day. db and I went for a walk around dusk and headed further up the hill so we'd have a little more snow. The higher elevation makes just a little difference and up higher the snow was less slushy. We have several cat decorations on the tree. I like this one in particular because Gigi has a very similar basket that she sleeps in.

Svetlana marked the top of the tree. We've done this in the past, but this year it seemed all the more appropriate that she should be with us at Christmas in this way.
Prima amongst the snowflake garland.
Gigi attacks the snowflake garland. She's been doing this since I pulled it out of the box. I picked her up and she brought the garland with her, continuing her attack.

I taped the Newcastle/Derby game. Gigi watched some of it with me.
Then she got involved in the game.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

what does a vegan do for Christmas?

...well I eat of course. We vegans are just like everybody else stuffing ourselves silly.

here is what I've been up to:

  • Christmas eve day I worked part of the day and then was let off early (woohoo!).
  • Christmas eve we had friends to dinner. They brought a very rare bottle of a Super Tuscan wine we've never had (db help me out with the details of it). db and I served (well db gets most of the credit since I was at work while he cooked): mushroom, basil & pinenut bruschetta, homemade squash and mushroom lemon pepper ravioli with tomato sauce, mixed green salad with pomegranate mustard vinaigrette, and noel nog/kahlua truffles for dessert. It was our best ravioli ever.
  • Christmas day. I slept in. We had more of a brunch than breakfast with a tall noel nog latte, bagels and Sheese (i'll explain Sheese later), biscotti, fresh pineapple, and panforte (too much sugar probably but it's Christmas!).
  • Later that day...I lounged and knit while watching Miracle on 34th street.
  • Still later...we prepped dinner by marinating mushrooms and veg for our completely raw Christmas feast of carrot and parsnip fettucine with pumpkin seed and chile pesto served with Portabello carpaccio and mushroom ceviche (we really like mushrooms). With this we had a simple salad with asparagus and a light creamy dill dressing. db served a Chateauneuf du Pape (oh my gravy it was good!). More truffles were eaten later that evening while watching It's a Wonderful Life.
  • Boxing Day! No shopping! Yay! We ferried over to Nanaimo to see my step-dad who gave us our gift:
This is the ultimate text on identifying mushrooms. Being a beautiful sunny day, we went for a walk in a nearby park and ended up poking around the forest floor digging up various mushrooms. I had no idea there was such a variety. We froze our fingers carrying these things back to pw's car. It was worth it. In no time I was searching for mushroom characteristics and getting pretty good at identifying with much guidance from pw. As he said "I have no excuse now" to keep me from going out and foraging for my own chanterelles.

I guess there was a bit of a mushroom theme to Christmas. They are divine aren't they.?

I'm back to work but let's not go there now and ruin the fun I've had.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

it's here!

Merry Christmas everyone! I'm a little late I know but I do hope everyone had a nice holiday.

Yes it's here. The ultimate vegan cookbook (hey that's part of the title!) arrived under the tree (yes, we did say "no gifts". db and I did hold up the bargain, but we both know each other just that well to know that the other would buy one thing). Here it is. I will sing it's praises only after I've tried some recipes, but I've read through a good chunk of it and I have to start singing praises now because it is an entertaining read as well. If you've ever ventured over to the post punk kitchen blog you'll know what I mean.
For now you can see some pictures if you click here.

More later.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

writing through the block

I’m a bit overwhelmed with where to begin. Nothing extraordinary has happened to me this past week, but I seem to have found little time for any computer activity whether it is emails or blogs. What overwhelms me is the amount I could write about since so much goes on in a day and in a week. Have I missed that moment that occurred to me while I was living my life and I thought I should write a little blurb about it on the blog?

With a day off and a corner of “free” time for writing I’m facing a blank page and asking “now what?” This has always been a dilemma for me. I’ve never been someone who could just sit down and write and have it all flow so easily. Does such a person exist? Sure the first draft of something short can come somewhat easily, but returning to it to really break it down and work with it, seeing it for what it is can be the most feared thing for me.

I’ve always struggled with facing the blank page or even the written page that needs editing. So far I’ve never been able to overcome that fear which has subsequently left me with much unfinished work. After all without a deadline from someone else what is to keep me from improving on becoming the world’s greatest procrastinator?

I’m not sure if it was Wandering Coyote’s post or not that made me think about my blog, but I did set out to create whoville with specific intentions. I wanted to give myself a space to share my life with my friends and family and also have a place to be creative if I wanted to. If you want to read my blog manifesto you can read my first post. It sounds a little different from what I’ve just said, but I set out not knowing where I was going with this and maybe that’s the point. It’s my on-line journal where I share, vent and hopefully have a good laugh now and then.

If I don’t catch every little moment that I think to blog about it’s not a big deal. If I face the blank page and decide today is not the day to blog then so-be-it. Maybe I need to think of all my writing this way. I have scraps of paper littered all over this apartment with notes to self, lists, images and ideas that I think I should expand on. The problem is when I come to face that blank page I never find these notes very inspiring, that is if I can find them. Then there is always the question of time. How can I best manage my time so that I secure some writing hours? Do I have to give up running, yoga, cooking, playing with the cats? Do I have to become a 5 am riser to write first thing in the morning before I go to work? Is this writer’s block? Maybe. If it is then I need to face the blank page and put some words on it or else because that’s the only way I’m going to get anything written.

Friday, December 14, 2007

HumanCar - Politics of Carbon Hybrid Human Auto

P. sent me this and I loved it. If you read my earlier post about the Zenn car and know how much I love my bike you'll understand why this appeals to me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

do what you can

When you try to cram everything into your one day off at some point you have to realize that it just can't be done. You have to slow your pace down and finish what you can.

I've also been applying this to work. We are so incredibly busy at work that at some point yesterday I said to myself that I have to just get done what I can. There are so many orders coming in from so many directions (web, phone, delivery) that it is impossible to keep on top of it. I kept thinking at some point I'll catch up and get this done, but I never did. Near the end of my shift I was mentally spent. I couldn't focus on one thing for too long because I was just too exhausted to get anything else done.

Last night I fell asleep in the beginning of the second period of the Blues game (we had it on tape and were watching it after dinner). db tried to wake me when they scored but I found it impossible to keep my eyes open. I went to bed. I watched the rest of the game today. For some reason I thought db had told me that the Blues won 4-3, but when I watched the game today they did anything but. They lost to Edmonton in a shoot-out. I was completely suprised by this. At least I gained some points in the hockey pool and moved out of last place.

With all that rest last night, I had a little extra energy today and went to the gym for a fast paced run on the treadmill. I felt I could break the 8 minute mile today, but I didn't push it that far. I did a short fast run and had a good weight session in a relatively empty gym. I love having the weight room to myself.

I'm considering running in mid-February in the "Fort Langley Historic Half Marathon." It might be a bit of a motivator and a good way to warm up for the 2008 running season. I've had enough down time. I'd better decide since I need to start training asap.


Baking is something I haven't done much of lately. Today's vegan choc. chip cookies (db's favorite) were a bit of a warm-up to my Christmas baking. It was too overwhelming to dive right into Christmas baking in my one day off so I thought I'd wait for the weekend and just do a warm up and get those choc. chip cookies done. They turned out great so I guess I'm ready for a sugar cookie now.

Finally, I'm posting this photo because my mom asked me to. I just found this picture while going through my photos and labelling them in preparation for storing them on discs.
That's our dear sweet Svetlana in the middle who is no longer with us. She passed on in June. Gigi is on the right snoozing away and is as aloof as ever. Last but not least is Prima on the left with her smirk on. This is a rare photo because these three were hardly ever seen to share the same space, which is probably why we reached for the camera. Svetlana and Prima did sleep next to each other only because Prima is so territorial that she would find Svetlana wherever she was and park herself next to her (that is if she didn't swat her away first). Anywho, I thought I'd share the photo. I've put it on my desktop for now.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

some text for a change

I'm bagged. The Christmas rush is on and has been on for the last few weeks and I don't know when we'll get a breath at work. It's mayhem. On my feet all day and having to multi-task left me fairly brain drained by the end of the day.

In the middle of all the craziness there were some shining moments:

- a co-worker wearing a sleighbell that didn't jingle all the time, but occasionally I'd hear it somewhere in the warehouse and it would make me smile.

- Christmas potluck week one. We split potluck into two weeks since there is so much staff. The selection today pleasantly surprised me from the crowd that consumes a horrific amount of Tim Horton donuts and Wendy's lunches. Today there was a great selection of food and I'm vegan!

- another coworker made a beautiful centrepiece for our plain lunchroom table. It was decorated with fresh fruit, pinecones, ribbon and was three dimensional. It was incredible. He's a real talent.

- the bozo the clown punching bag. You know the ones for kids that you knock over and they come back up. Our manager brought this one in. He's taken some abuse this week (the clown not the manager). He's been decorated and has had a few notes attached to him that made me laugh.

- the end of the day. Coming home to db and the kitties and having a Newcastle (soccer) game on tape ready to watch. (We changed our satellite package so that I could get Setanta sports and see all of the Newcastle games. It's been so worth it).


This past week I woke early in the morning (or perhaps it was middle of the night I can never tell) to the yip, yip sounds of a coyote right outside our window in the front yard. Ambulance and police sirens were blaring somewhere in the distance and the coyote seemed to be reacting to this. Then s/he did a bit of a howl and yip and started to bark. I could hear the voice getting further away and knew s/he was on the street. It was very startling in the still night and by the time I was aware enough to wake db, the coyote was already well on its way, barking and yipping.

Odd but I thought of the cats and worried about where they were even though I know they are safely inside since they're indoor cats. I don't think Gigi even stirred from her cozy fleece tent.


As i've noted before I've started my Winter Reading Challenge and I'm wondering already about the list I posted. Since I was already reading Don Quixote when the challenge started I added it to my list. However, it is a lengthy tale and I wonder if it is going to take me the entire challenge to complete it? It really is an enjoyable read and very funny at times. I'm afraid if i put it down I'll not get back to it like I've done in the past. I suppose this is my challenge. On the WRC blog I posted that the challenge was going to be about finishing things I started so I guess I should worry less about finishing all the books on my list and just focus on the book at hand.


db is about to make vegan bagels! Today we start our Christmas food prep. Yummy.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

giant truffle

Giant truffle sets record price is a story I've been following since I first saw the photo of a truffle uncovered by a truffle dog. I've only had fresh truffles once (in Italy of course) and it was divine. I love their aroma and earthy flavor. I hope the new owner of the truffle puts it to good use and shares it with many.

Winter Reading Challenge

I've posted my reading list on the Winter Reading Challenge. If you want to participate you can. Go here for the guidelines and how to sign up.

Monday, December 03, 2007

saturday and sunday snowfall

It was a winter wonderland on Saturday and Sunday. We got a considerable amount of snow and it was beautiful. However, by late afternoon on Sunday the rain started and it was all running away, building big puddles and slushy sidewalks near ankle deep. Only the main drags are ploughed here so being a pedestrian in whoville is a little treacherous.

Today it is a all awash in rain. There are wind and flood warnings. so we're back to the same old wet weather I expect in December.

Gigi really enjoyed the big snowflakes.

I thought this tree was particularly whovillian.

Friday, November 30, 2007

I just completed the fall reading challenge with all the other bloggers and readers. My last posting just went up with my review of the sixth book in the Harry Potter series. I squeezed that one in at the end. It was a great group and I'll now be participating in the Winter Reading Challenge. Just like the fall, you'll have to go there to read my reviews.

more pictures

Bert Flinn park.
Gigi lounges.
Prima taking one of her daily 30 baths.
more Gigi.
I've been trying to get a good picture of Gigi but she is so aloof and I think she's clued in to what I'm trying to do because every time I get the camera out she decides to get up and run off. I'm trying not to take it personally.

The first photo of Bert Flinn park is so close to home and I can't believe we haven't been through there up until this past week. It's lovely and we had a beautiful day to walk through. It's a very easy going park since it's mostly flat and the trail is well trodden and wide. It does descend in one section and from what I can tell from the very sketchy map of it is that it does connect to another trail that I frequent. So I'm hoping we can find that route on our next visit.

Monday, November 26, 2007

random whoville photos

morning fog
middle school project that shows the streams of salmon

Mount Baker viewed through the trees

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

it arrived!

After a somewhat crappy day at work, I came home to find a mister anchovy original digital artwork with the postcard image represented in the print. This was my prize after answering the postcard challenge correctly. It's a fun challenge and I am thrilled with the prize. That made my day a whole lot better.

Now...I just have to find a suitable frame.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

sunday in whoville

Another busy Sunday. I started my day by capping my own coffee with noel nog (kind of a soy no-no but just a little suffering for an amazing latte) and it turned out beautiful. With db away in Montreal for coffee business meet and greets, I'm making my own lattes. The peaks of nog rising above the cup rim reminded me of Golden Ears or Blanshard Peak that I see so frequently around here. The froth and crema lasted until the last sip. Delicious.

Later I headed out for my run along the trans Canada trail (same link as above), deciding to explore a part of the trail I'd never been on. I really was looking forward to going a little further distance this week and thought the soft left strewn trail would be just what I needed. I felt great and was enjoying the sun when out in the open. The river was just rushing when I hit the coq. river trail. All I could hear was the river and my breathing. I went about two kilometers and then I saw three dogs come up over a dip in the trail. I have a bit of a phobia when it comes to strange big dogs. Furthermore, these dogs were not on leashes and I couldn't see an owner. When I saw a doberman with its ears pinned (dumb and pointless by the way) stop and start checking me out, I decided to stop, turn, and slowly walk the other way. Fortunately I had just passed an opening to a nearby street and I headed for that, trying to keep calm and not look back.

Once on the street I waited and thought the dogs might pass on the trail and perhaps I could head back in, but instead they sniffed around at the trail head and ran up and down to the river while the owner stood waiting. I gave up and kept running on the side streets. So much for my trail run. Nonetheless I had a great run and completed the last 2 k at a faster pace. I even ran most of the hill up to our house.

I find it rather annoying when Dog owners let their large guard dogs run freely on public trails that are clearly marked as "dogs on leash" trails. It's one thing on a less travelled hiking route, but quite another on a busy trail on a Sunday. Owners always say "don't worry s/he's friendly." Of course the dog is friendly to them, the dog knows them. I've seen dogs lurch towards me and the owner will scold the dog and apologize saying, "s/he never does that." Maybe it's me? I've seen dogs checking me out, wondering if I'm chewy or not.

Anywho...back at home I spent a couple of hours in the backyard raking leaves and planting the last of my bulbs. As always I get a little rushed when I realize I have lots of bulbs and am out of planning ideas. I started coring out soil all over the place, sticking in tulips, alliums, crocuses, and dutch iris. I also started tagging everything in the garden since so much of it will be gone over the winter and when they bring in the "landscapers" (Grrrr) next spring I want everything labeled and visible so that they don't start tearing out my precious perennials.

The sun was just starting to drop when I came in. I feel lucky to have had such great weather on my day off.

Friday, November 16, 2007

the day after the video

Yesterday the news updated the reaction to the screening of the Dziekanski video. The radio reported that the cbc website was getting more hits than ever and people were going there to comment on and view the video. How did this end up as being a lead story about the death of Dziekanski? Who cares how many hits the cbc website gets? How is this news? How callous can you be? That seems like a shameless promotion for the cbc that had already prompted it's listeners and viewers to "stay tuned" for the video at 6 o'clock.

Now the deconstruction begins. Everyone is interpreting the video in many ways. I've already heard the police say that after the first taser shot Dziekanski was still struggling and aggressive which therefore required further taser shots. Once again I want to draw your attention to the police version of the Rodney King incident that also said King was fighting back after he was initially taken down by police.

In a more positive light, questions about the police actions are being questioned from the use of tasers to how recruits are trained. This is an important move since it is necessary that we (as a society) question how we are being policed. If we are open to questioning how we are being governed then it is also essential that a democracy question how it is being policed.

Dziekanski's death had led us to bigger questions and for me this is an important step to help prevent future tragedies.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

the video

I chose not to watch the video of the death of Robert Dziekanski that was so heavily advertised on the radio today. The half hour and hourly news kept mentioning that the video would be broadcast for the first time on the 6 o'clock news. Every time I heard it it made me angrier because it clearly did seem like an advertisement inviting people to watch this man's death.

Should the video be made public? I suppose it should as long as there is an investigation taking place. The need to make the video public was only heightened by the fact that the police kept it to themselves for so long saying that they needed it as part of their inquiry into how this happened and if the taser was used unnecessarily. The need to make the video public was also heightened by the video owner coming forward to the media to let them know that the police had yet to return his property. With this in mind it was only a matter of time before some version of the video would be seen. In a way it had to be made public since by now we were all wondering what happened to this man and how could it all go so wrong?

The questions will continue to be asked as they should. Will the video help clarify? I would guess somewhat. However, keep in mind that like the Rodney King video we need remember how the police used that particular video to show that they weren't using excessive force and in fact King was fighting back. In other words depending on who is doing the viewing and thus drawing the conclusions, events that happened separate from the reality of what actually happened can be interpreted. I guess the advantage of making the video public works to help clear the police of any sort of cover-up, but with the King video setting a kind of precedent, it is hard to imagine that they can be cleared of using excessive force (tasering unnecessarily).

Of course I haven't seen the video so I can't draw conclusions based on video evidence, but I can say that it would seem that an unarmed man who spoke no English was frustrated and confused at the Vancouver airport. Police swept in and tasered the man more than once that caused his death. What do I see? That there is something very wrong with this picture.

raise the loaf

My first loaf of bread! db had some trouble with his recent loaf of sourdough. He's not sure what exactly happened but the loaf turned out to be quite narrow. For toast this is fine, but as I said to db I wanted to make some tuna-free salad and needed a sandwich bread.

Having been spoiled for the last six years with fresh baked bread every week I haven't been able to enjoy anything from any store or bakery for quite some time. Everything seems pale in comparison to db's bread. So what am I doing making bread? I'm not sure, but with a recipe from db and some tips on how to release the bread from the peel, I did a simple loaf and it turned out!

I did learn that I need to put more cornmeal on the peel in order to slide it off the peel with ease. I couldn't get the dough off the peel and had to hand it to the pro to get the bread in the oven. I also learned that I have to spritz the oven with water if I want a crusty loaf. This is something I'm hesitant to do ever since db once had an exploding light bulb in the oven when he spritzed that. Oops. It only happened the once, but since then I am reluctant to be in the same room whenever db spritzes the oven.

Seeing as db will be away this weekend, I will be on bread making duty and I have to say that I'm looking forward to it.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

last place

It seems I'm in last place again in the hockey pool. D'oh! So much for sp's goalie slayers.

This week seemed to fly by.

I've been busy at work trying to learn about more areas of the store to get an idea of how the whole system functions (or where it can break down) so it's been a challenging and tiring week. I've been multi-tasking myself stupid to the point where I started to wonder what area fits best with me and what doesn't. I suppose this is a good place to be since now I can make my job what I want it to be. I was a bit down on my job because I felt I wasn't being fulfilled creatively, but I've been trying to make my job work for me as much as possible. After not getting the office position, I was a bit pissed feeling like it was a dead-end job, but now I see that since then I've been working harder in other areas. In the end it is probably more rewarding working with displays, learning the warehouse, and juggling the express and web orders. True it's not as much money as the office job, but money isn't everything is it?

It's also true that I'm not freelance writing or making much money in that area (actually zero dollars right now), but if I sit around moaning about it I'll waste too much time and energy bitching and complaining which leads to bouts of not wanting to get out of bed and poor eating habits (damn you Miss Vickies!).

Does this make me want to get up and go to work? No. Am I still chomping at the bit to leave at the end of a shift? Yes. Am I the last person to volunteer my time? Yes. Some things can't be changed.


db and I went for a run today. This is the first time we ran together since the marathon. The day was overcast and cool, the ground damp from the rains earlier in the morning. As far as I'm concerned it was great running weather. There's very little chance of overheating in this weather. We covered a solid 6 k before db's IT band started to bother him. He had to walk by the time we got to the inlet trail. So I'd run ahead and back to meet him and then we just walked for a bit. After all I'm not training for any event right so I thought I might as well enjoy the walk with db.

We stopped at one of the creeks that runs into the inlet to see the salmon. I sense it's nearing the end of their run. There seems to be fewer now. We followed the path along the creek and stopped a various points to see if others were struggling along. Sure enough there was always one or two working away. We also noticed two bald eagles quite close to the creek ready to reap the benefits of a creek swimming with salmon about to give up. I think we saw a nest. Makes sense that they would set up home in such an ideal spot.


Friday we went to Circle Craft since it was two for one entrance fee. Since we don't really do Christmas gifts with anyone it's fairly easy to go through there and not shop which was great. We mostly just purchased food (like we usually do) and I bought a recycled rubber card holder (I gave my last one to my brother and have been trying to replace it since).

Once again it was the woodworkers that impressed me the most. The knitters are interesting but I can't wear a lot of it because of the wool factor. Mostly I just got ideas from the knitters and a couple of booths I thought "I can do that." A couple of shawls and some scarves seem to do the trick. Hmm yes, but do I want to try and make a living at it? That's a whole other ball of wax (or wool I guess).

It's a little more specialized than the one-of-a-kind show in Toronto. There's more high end work as opposed to the production stuff. There were many craftspeople from Quebec which seems like a long way from home to be, but I guess it must be worth it for them.


Anywho...we're getting out the persimmon chutney and making a bit of an Indian themed dinner tonight with a veggie korma, homemade chapati, tamarind tofu and coconut rice so I'd better get cooking.

We are also getting incredibly busy since the Christmas shopping is underway. I've been working with the display coordinator for some time now and I feel like I'm scrambling around to make things "Christmas" ready when we're already in full swing.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


the pelaton try and decide which route is the best.

the salmon get splashy

I didn't expect to see the salmon get so aggressive. There was the pelaton (as db called it) just grouped together and then this one large guy came streaming up the creek and paused with the pelaton before taking off under the bridge.


They speak for themselves. I wish they could all make their journey without the inevitable end, but I understand their contribution to the ecosystem is significant for those that feed on them once the salmon are spent (so to speak). It is quite something to witness them returning to a location that I don't know how they find again, but here they are.

Monday, November 05, 2007


The leaves are really covering the ground everywhere now. The other day I noticed snow on the mountains for the first time. And the time change also signals fall to me. I know it's November, but this is the first time I've felt fall is in full swing.

Even though there isn't a whole lot of excitement waiting at the bus stop, there was an incredible sky.

Nothing too exciting going on in whoville on Sunday. We just ran our errands with a stop at one of the creeks to see if the salmon were starting their journey upstream and indeed they are.
I took some video images of the salmon on their journey that I'll post shortly.

By the way I just found out that I won the postcard challenge over at mister anchovy's! Woohoo!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Christmas wish

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

True, my family doesn't really buy gifts for each other at Christmas. We sort of stopped that a while ago. We do make gifts for each other though or we do something like give the gift of a wine press so that we can make something in the future. There's been donations and adopt-a-chimp gifts and I think all of us have made each other something at some point (I apologize to family members for my early knitted socks before I knew how to really make them).

Nonetheless I'm taking the pledge because there is a gift here and there that I might buy (if I can't make it in time) and with Circle Craft coming up I may find a little something there for sis or whoever. I guess the point is if you have to buy, buy handmade.
The news from Mexico is not good. Not only has most of the state of Tabasco been flooded, but now I've heard news that Chiapas is facing flooding as well. They've already evacuated thousands from Chiapas too.

This makes all the Canadian political bickering (abstaining from voting, questions about inquiries etc) that has been frustrating me this past week seem trivial right now. I hope our government acts quickly to help Mexico with this disaster.


I'm running when I can and when I feel like it. It's a little odd to not have a training goal, but as I ran down the hill yesterday I was really having fun (probably because I was going downhill). The crisp fall air and the leaves scattered everywhere gives me energy.

Also I noticed that the salmon have returned to the creeks. They're struggling up the creeks and success seems to be low already. Fortunately it is raining today after a pretty dry week and this should raise the water level in the creeks which will hopefully help a few more along. I know they're not all destined to make it and that is part of their journey.


Isadora: Fabulist opens next week in Montreal and I won't be able to see my sister in the role of Isadora Duncan. I'm so excited for her and for those who get to see the play. I've missed so much of my sister's performances in the last few years it's quite shameful really. However, there is little I can do about it when it requires so much travel. I guess it's one of the downsides of having moved whoville west.


Friday, November 02, 2007

another chance for the electric car in Canada?

It appears that transport Canada has agreed to let the Zenn car be seen on roads in Canada (cbc update) Now that transport Canada has given the go ahead, it is leaving it up to the provinces to legislate where the car can be driven. B.C. already has legislation in place so now...I guess it's only a matter of time before I start investigating further.
There is another electric car being manufactured here in B.C. It's called Dynasty. I did hear that they might have to shut down their manufacturing in Canada, but (fingers crossed) maybe with the new legislation they'll reconsider since we'll be able to buy their cars in Canada.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

have a scary halloween

We use to decorate the house from top to bottom, dress up, play scary music. One year I even played Nosferatu in the front window. The kids had no idea what was going on at our house. We went for classic scary stuff and not the wal-mart packaged dancing skeletons with piped in cheesy monster music. We weren't flashy, but we were spooky.

So this year in our little side suite where no kids seem to venture, I've got nothing. I've got clif bars in case some kid can't find the front door of the house and accidentally rings our bell. This is unlikely to happen. My plan is to watch a horror film and call it a night. Now which one to watch...

Friday, October 26, 2007

who killed the Canadian electric car?

After seeing a report on the CBC's the National last night, I too am wondering who killed Canada's electric car? I looked up Zenn cars website (Zenn) and found more reports from CTV and earlier this month CBC's the Current contacted the CEO to discuss why the car isn't available here.

The report last night focused on transport Canada as being the one blame. The problem seems to be its speed. Because it is a low speed vehicle (LSV), predominantly intended for urban use where your speed doesn't exceed 50km/h, transport Canada's regulations are blocking the availability of this vehicle in Canada. I found this on transport Canada's site:
"We found that LSVs in their current configurations cannot be allowed
unrestricted use in all municipalities nor on all road systems, even urban
road systems. However, we believe that LSVs are vehicles that meet both
individual and community needs, can be safely driven in traffic and have
their place in urban communities."

So what's the hold up? If it does meet regulations, but then transport Canada says no it doesn't're reviewing it. What's going on?

Today while on the Zenn website I signed the petition to encourage all provinces to adopt legislation that would permit these electric cars on the roads. Seems like a simple step in our so-called growing environmentally minded world. We are supposed to be trying to reduce emissions are we not?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

small bites

The front garden turned out to be dust. After I pulled back about 6 inches of mulch and found the landscape fabric, I cut into the fabric and pulled out dust. The soil has been completely depleted. Now I know why the three boxwoods at the front are stunted. They're bonsai boxwoods. Why am I telling you this? Because I had mapped out a colour coded chart of my bulb planting plans for this rather drab looking front space.

Plan B? I have no plan b. I started digging into containers and sticking bulbs where I could find space. Plan B is to come up with a Plan C. I will have to plant most of the bulbs in the back yard. That's all I have right now.

I did get to spend a few hours in the garden transplanting, cleaning, raking, doing a little pruning which was very enjoyable.

* * *

I joined a hockey pool this year. This is something I've never done before. I've been in last place (33rd) since the start of the season and had an early morning call (yes another one!) from my brother telling me not to worry. Believe me I wasn't worried and at 7 in the morning it is definitely the last thing on my mind. However, the good news is that today I am no longer in 33rd place (last). I am now 29th on the list tied with my brother's dog (Little Joe). Here's my competition:
Looks threatening doesn't he?

* * *

I'm looking for more work opportunities to try and be more involved in the arts in any way possible. Let's see where this takes me.

* * *

I got this amazing email from a friend from way back (something that's been happening more and more lately) who is a fly fisher (is that what such a person is called? Mr Anchovy?). He takes photos and writes about his fishing experiences and the BC outdoors. A local paper in his neck of the woods published an article on him that focused on his encounter with a Grizzly bear in the Kootenays. He was in his truck and he saw a Grizzly coming down the road towards him. He got out of his truck to photograph the bear. He seen lots of bear and said that bears usually run off when they see him, but this one kept walking towards him and sauntered right past him, coming as close as 6 feet away. He got some great shots. So I'm linking his site here. From there just click on "recent updates" on the left side and it will take you to the photos.

I was so happy to read a story about an positive encounter with bears.

* * *

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

free day

After having a wonderful 4 day weekend, I went into work today ready to deal with the Monday blahs on a Tuesday and 2 minutes after I arrived the power went out. This is the third time in 6 days. We seem to have a major problem in the area with one of the power sources and were told that it would be near the end of the day before we might have power. Apparently Saturday they faced a similar scenario and the manager decided to set up tables at the front door to take and process orders! Huh? Is that not baked?

Staff was sent home today. I guess a Tuesday doesn't promise to be busy. It was like getting a get-out-of-jail-free-card. On top of it all the sun is beaming in a bright blue expanse of sky. The weekend weather was too crummy for planting bulbs so here's my chance.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Margie Gillis at the evergreen cultural centre

Last night we saw Margie Gillis dance. It was incredible, inspiring, and moving. Her opening performance When Skin Separates from Bone set the tone for something unexpected and wonderful as she moved, stopped, moved, stopped, flowed, stopped, etc in a gradual progression across the stage. Each dance was unique and a complete entity of its own, separating it from the others before and after it and yet all of them linked together by Fluid Stability which was the name for the whole performance. Gillis refers to it as an "anthology of poem dances."

An unfortunate costume mishap (it got left behind in Calgary) meant that one of the planned dances would be scratched from the program. In its place, Gillis performed Bloom and unbelievable dance set to and excerpt from James Joyce's Ulysses. The text and dance went beautifully together and I would love nothing more than to see some of my favorite pieces of writing performed in such a way.

My wonderful and fabulous sis gets the big thank you for getting us these tickets. She's had the good fortune to have worked with Margie Gillis and she told me to stay after the performance, identify myself, say hello, congratulate etc. However, after waiting around in the lobby for a bit, my shyness got the better of me and I left before waiting to say hello. Sorry sis. She was fabulous. The audience gave her a standing ovation and the appreciation was reciprocal.

Friday, October 19, 2007

and then it rained

By the time I'd run 2k the rain had started again. I headed to the track to see if it was not being used by anyone else. It was nice to be on the track for a change. With only one lap to go to complete my 5k on the track, a dark cloud moved over whoville and it started to really rain again. I grabbed my jacket and started to jog home. Just before I left the park, it started to pour as in torrential downpour. The trees are almost devoid of leaves now so there wasn't much shelter. I scooted over to a bus shelter and waited a couple of minutes for it to lighten up. I didn't want to cool down too much so I kept running through the rain and it was fun.

Through the rain I thought about how this is my Fall Running Challenge. There are new hazards in the midst of fall such as, wet leaves on the sidewalks, falling leaves in blustery wind, muddy trails, puddles on uneven sidewalks and pathways, and clusters of school children unaware of anyone else in the world. Hazards aside, I'm now working on improving my running ability. The track certainly helped, but I was pleased to complete 5k in 25 minutes! That's a great time for me.

where'd that sun come from?

We were promised nothing but rain, rain and more rain and now the sun seems to be breaking through. I'd better get my running shoes on.

recent Afghan poll

I admit that I refused to watch the results of this poll on the National last night because I was angry at the whole idea. db asked why I didn't want to watch and I (perhaps flippantly) replied "because it's a poll that is self-serving to the government so they can continue to sell this war to Canadians." That was my gut reaction.

After sleeping on it, I browsed the headlines this morning and decided I needed to read the results. It confirmed what I thought that the purpose of this poll is another way to help endorse a Canadian military presence in Afghanistan. Peter McKay comments "Afghans are now able to take part in democratic processes like polling." Oh please. It's not the first time a poll of Afghan opinion has surfaced in order to serve a continued military presence in their country. Here's an link with poll results from 2005. Here's another link with poll results from 2004. The polls emphasize a majority, however small, recognizing that their lives are better than previous years.

After reading the headlines, I'm sticking with my gut reaction on this one.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

vino time part 2

This on is for P.

Take one wine press (the same one P gave you for Christmas).
Take your fermented crushed grapes that have been sitting doing their thing all week.
Get into that barrel and go after those grapes.
Add the grapes to the press.
Start pressing and keep pressing. You've got to work for that vino.
Keep a demi-john (now what is the etymology of that word!) handy to transfer your newly pressed juice. Make sure you strain it through a fine sieve as well.

Open up the press to reveal the "cheesecake" (as sis calls it).
Have an inspector look it over.

Remove all the skins, seeds, stems from the press and loosen it all up.
Have the second inspector look it over before putting it back into the press.
Press it again. Yes, again! You need that extra bottle to be squeezed out of those grapes. You'll be glad you did later.

Watch it trickle into the container. Let it rest. Crank it again. Let it rest. Have a beer. Finish filling the demi-john(s) and six months later open it up and drink.