Monday, March 29, 2010

My Pen

I'll tell you an odd thing about myself. When I'm at work, I always use the same pen, and I don't really like to share it. If I loan it to someone it's usually with reluctance.
I was mimicking this character from Kids in the Hall to db, but he didn't know the reference so I had to look it up for him to watch. Thought I'd share.

Earth hour menu

db and I started a tradition of making an all raw meal for earth hour. The idea is that we'll be using less energy if we're not using the stove and/or oven. We still had to use the food processor, and blender, but they used far less energy than having the stove on.

Anyway, the idea is to try something we don't always do like turning the lights off at night, and just use candlelight to see, and making a raw meal.

I made a Swiss Chard soup for our starter. You can just barely see my glass of pineapple, ginger & pear juice. I forgot to take a photo of the juice.
Here's the main course. We made vegetable fettucine with a macadamia nut alfredo sauce. The sauce was amazing! I think creamy nut sauces are my favorite now. It's the best way to make a cream sauce. We also consume less soy that way, and being vegan you can consume quite a bit of soy if you let yourself. We're actually not too bad though.

Anywho...the dinner was delcious. (The heavy shadows in the picture must be from the candlelight. I like how the basil is casting a dark shadow on the pasta).

The desert was a chocolate mousse made with avocado (don't knock it until you try it!), dates, raw agave syrup, and cocoa. It's so creamy and smooth. I also added some cacao nibs for an extra rich chocolatey flavour. The mousse was so rich and delicious. I finished mine before I could take a picture, but I'll be making this again soon because it really is so tasty, and again no soy or refined sugars. It's all good.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

2010 Paralympics Men's Cross Country Skiing.MOV

Apparently this wasn't accessible the first time I posted it. So here it is again.
I did not catch them crossing the finish, but you know how it ended.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Paralympics 2010

db and I bought tickets to an Alpine event for the last day of the Paralympics. Everything was selling out so fast, and we couldn't see all that we wanted, but we were happy to get Alpine event tickets.
Alas, it was not meant to be. The Alpine events for Sunday were canceled in anticipation of bad weather. The only tickets left were Cross Country Skiing. We had seen Olympic Cross Country Skiing, and although we weren't as excited to be going back to the last venue we had been at, we were happy to at least be going to see something.

The Paralympics were much more relaxed. We could drive to the venue since the Sea to Sky highway was opened to regular traffic once the Olympics left town. From the parking lot, we were taken on a short shuttle bus ride from the parking lot to the entrance. There was no security. Our tickets were scanned, and we walked through to begin our climb to the venue.

There was a good crowd with flags from Norway to Mongolia. It was a good atmosphere.

Once there all of my enthusiasm returned. I was so inspired and in awe of these athletes. By the end of the day I was perhaps more in awe of these athletes than the Olympic athletes simply because they are competing with a disability. Imagine being blind and skiing with the help of a guide ahead of you. Imagine skiing with no poles, or having to rely on your upper body strength to climb a hill while on skis. I found it very moving to see these athletes perform at this world class event.

We saw several events: the men's and women's sit skiing 1 km sprints, the men's and women's visually impaired 1 km Classic sprints, and the men's and women's standing 1 km Classic sprints. db and I saw from the qualifying to the medal round, and were able to follow the overall performance of an athlete.

In this picture you can see that the Olympic rings have been covered over, and the Paralympic symbol with the three "agitos" (latin for "I move") replaced the Olympics symbols.

The weather wasn't the best. It rained on and off and the wind picked up at one point.  We made several trips to the "warming tent" that was set up near the concession stand.

Even the Aussie's inflatable kangaroo was in the warming tent at one point. I think everyone made a trip there at some point during the day.

We probably lasted as long as we did because of the warming tent, and we were pretty well dressed for the weather, but clearly not dressed well enough (I could have worn my long underwear, for example). However, I saw some young girls there who were horribly dressed. One girl was wearing a mini-skirt with leggings and some flimsy looking boots. She had no hat or gloves that I could see. Ah kids. At least she had her phone to message her friends about how cold she probably was.


The Russian men swept the sit skiing, and took a moment to celebrate together, as well as before their Russian fans that were present.

They did have to be moved off the course though because another event was already underway, and soon skiers would be entering the stadium.

Perhaps most exciting was watching Brian and Robin McKeever win their third gold medal in the Men's 1 km sprint.

Here's Brian McKeever warming up before his event.
Many skiers jogged near the start gate before their event.

We were standing at the final corner where the athletes take their last turn before heading towards the finish line. We watched Brian's sprint to the finish, and it was remarkable. What a race.

I wish we had stayed for the medal presentation, but the weather got the better of us, and had worn us down. After their medal win, we headed home.

I have some more shaky video of the sprint to the finish for the McKeevers. I'll have to post it. I stopped my camera before they crossed the finish line though because I forgot all about the camera, and wanted to watch them finish. I'm not the best when it comes to sport video since my enthusiasm tends to get the better of me. 

I think I'm a bigger fan of the Paralympics now than I am of the Olympics. It was frustrating to not be able to see much of it on t.v. Maybe next time the networks will get it right, and give the Paralympics the coverage it deserves, and has earned. Or maybe next time I'll stick to watching what I can on-line.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy Anniversary

It's our 7th anniversary with Primavera. 7 years ago we drove to Richmond Hill to pick her up from her foster home. It's been an active 7 years! Prima is so loving, and sweet. She's got her crazy side. I always thought she'd settle down a little as she aged, but she hasn't really slowed down much.

It was pure coincidence that we picked her up on the first day of spring, and her name was Primavera. It suits her, but she also has picked up a few other names such as, Chicken (the most common one now) or Chik, Babs, Ba, Farfallina, and Suprima. She is, though, first and foremost our Primavera, and I'm so glad that we found her.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Run Vegan Run

The cold weather suprised me. Seeing that the morning sunny and clear, and after hearing a weather report that was promising mid-teen temperatures, I was ready for a good run. I wondered if I was perhaps overdressed since on Tuesday I had to peel a layer off after only 2 minutes of running. Then I stepped outside and brrr. I hopped back in and put on my hat and grabbed my gloves. It was almost frosty. It's got to be the higher elevation. Problem one was solved. Problem two was that my legs felt like lead. I hate the lead leg days. It's so tough to keep going, and I spend a lot of time fighting the urge to walk. I kept running. The lead legs did not pass.

I decided to run the exact route I ran on Tuesday just to see how the lead legs would affect me. On Tuesday I had felt good after completing a short run up the hill, over a few streets and back. That's my short run route. Tuesday's time was okay for a short easy run. Today's time was faster! Huh? Even though I felt like I was running slower than ever, I actually did the loop 45 seconds faster. I know 45 seconds doesn't sound like a lot, but it is when you feel sluggish, and have to fight almost every step of the way.

Very strange, but at least I'm consistent, and I know if I work through the tough bouts then it will pay off.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The paralympic coverage

What coverage? I was hoping for another run of olympic viewing, but alas it is not going to happen. Instead we get highlights. Oh well. It's a start. Perhaps by the next winter paralympics there will be more televised events. I guess CTV wasn't prepared for the demand. After all most of the events have sold out in ticket sales, leaving those who couldn't buy tickets with nothing but highlights. Well done CTV.

We do, however, get full coverage of the sledge hockey, which is great. I'm enjoying that, or at least I'm enjoying the Canadian sledge hockey games (even though it was a 10-1 blowout against Sweden. I didn't hear a peep about maybe it shouldn't be an event because it's not competitive enough like they said about the women's hockey. It's probably not a great comparison, but I'm not going to rant now). So, yes I am enjoying the hockey. There doesn't seem to be coverage of the hockey unless Canada is playing though. I really wanted to see Norway play, but I'll have to wait until tomorrow when they play Canada.

I guess we have to take what we can get for now.

db and I did manage to get tickets for some Alpine events next Sunday, but we're not sure what it will be since they had to reshuffle the whole schedule after poor conditions cancelled some events this past weekend. Whatever Alpine event it is, I'm sure it will be fun and exciting. I'm looking forward to it.

It seems funny though to be going to the winter paralympics when the daffodils have already bloomed, and maybe by then I'll have a few tulips as well. It's a good thing the event is at Whistler.

Monday, March 08, 2010

International Women's Day

I invite you to check out the International Women's Day website to find out what is going on around the world to celebrate women today.

I think it should be a national holiday as it is in some other countries.

CBC News - Politics - PM defends spy agency's Afghan role

The plot thickens.

CBC News - Politics - PM defends spy agency's Afghan role

Sunday, March 07, 2010

My Olympic Photos

The Olympic coffee (decaf of course) courtesy of db, our resident barista. He called it the Whistler Blackcomb coffee.

We didn't get to visit the city on the weekend as I had hoped, but went on an evening after work. We were a little concerned because the men's hockey was that night, which would determine who would go to play for the gold medal. However, we timed it well so that by the time we did our route, the game had just finished and we were one our way home. 

The broadcast centre.
The cauldron as seen through the fence. 

And through the gap in the plexiglass. 

The Vancouver Art Gallery was not only open for free to the public, but was also screening short art films on an outdoor screen.

Near the outdoor skating rink. The steps to the gallery. 

Granville St.

First Nations Pavilion. 

We saw a few spheres outside of pavilions that were projecting images. It seemed like a popular idea to give this sense of place on a global shape. 

The Quebec pavilion, however, was cube shaped. It was a glowing blue cube.

The cube also projected images from La Belle Provence. 

We had to go in the Quebec pavilion (db is from there). The interior also had projected images. There was a band playing some blues on stage, and there was a Quebec beer being sold that intrigued db, but at $10 a glass we decided to pass, and wait until we're actually in Quebec this summer to sample it.

View from near the Science Centre (also known as the Russian pavilion during the Olympics). 

The orb is the Saskatchewan pavilion. 

Sunday at Whistler Olympic Park, we went to the men's 50k cross country skiing. Here's the start line. 
We had a view of them on the trail up above going into a downhill section. 
And then just in front of us after climbing an uphill section. 

And again there they are on the outer track. 

db and I both agreed that this guy had too much cow, and not enough cowbell. 

The Norwegian fans were about to see a great finish.  It was very exciting to watch Petter Northug do his thing. He sprinted to the finish and took the gold. 
Devon Kershaw, the Canadian skier, had a great race. He was near the front for the entire race, and came so close to a bronze. Very exciting.

I became a real fan of this sport over the 2 weeks. I only hope to take it up myself next year. We'll see.


We had a great spot to view up close and see down into the stadium.


I thought I'd share some of my Olympic video. It's a bit shaky because I was also ringing a cowbell. I just couldn't help it. I wanted to capture a video and cheer.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Where does the time go?

I ask this question again. I'm always thinking about blogging, but like many things I do, I often think about them more than actually doing them.

This morning, for example, I got dressed for a run, and then realized that there was no way I was going to get in a decent run, come home, shower, and get ready for work all in time to leave for work on time. Some days I feel superhuman like I can do anything, but this is not one of those days. I did a little yoga before I ate on the fly while getting ready for work. I can dream though, can't I?

My run on Tuesday was interesting. As I was running up the hill towards home, a deer came running around the bend towards me! I think it had just crossed the street, and may have been startled by the traffic. I stopped running. The deer darted into the woods. I stepped into the grass to look down at the trail that runs along the edge of the woods, and I waited. Sure enough that deer came sauntering along. It didn't see me standing there watching it, not 20 meters away, munch on the greenery. I made a slow movement just so it would know I was there. I expected it to run off down the trail deeper into the woods, but instead it started walking towards me! I slowly backed up. The deer turned back onto the trail, but was in no hurry to get away. That was a pretty exciting run. Oh, and did I mention that I had planned to take the bus up the hill, but missed my bus so I had to walk/run it? If I hadn't missed that bus...


To answer my title question...

Monday is a workday (any day I'm not home count in 2 hours of travel time for each day).
Tuesday I go to Wildlife Rescue (for 4 hours only, but again count in that travel time).
Wednesday is a workday.
Thursday is a workday (at my old job, which is 1 hour longer than the rest of my work days).
Friday is a workday.
Saturday is another workday (shorter hours - only 6 hours on Saturday).
Sunday is a get out of jail free day!

Does your week look anything like this?

Am I complaining? Maybe.

db and I had to start meal planning in a whole new way to be sure of who is cooking what on what days. That way I can do some prep for dinner before I go to work. Did I mention that our new slow cooker went on the fritz? It's under warranty so it's somewhere being fixed (I hope). It was a sad day when I came home and my Minestrone was cold and uncooked in the slow cooker.

Obviously if I need more time I should give up the volunteer work at Wildlife Rescue, but it's the one place I enjoy the most. It's so rewarding to be looking after all those birds, and hopefully help them to recover for release back into the wilds of the lower mainland. This past week, one of the pigeons laid and egg! They put 2 bully pigeons together in one of the cages they stay in before they're acclimatized. No other pigeon could be paired with either one of the bullies. The staff put the bullies together, and next thing we know there's an egg. Aww pigeon love. Apparently, there's a second egg on the way. One of the staff told me she could feel the second egg was on its way.

There is also a Snow Goose recovering from a broken bone in its wing. It's been difficult because he can't go in a larger pen or pool until his wing has healed a little more. He's beautiful though. It's important that he makes a speedy recovery to continue his northern migration.

So, no I won't leave Wildlife Rescue unless I absolutely have to.

I do like job #1 even with its minor annoyances. I want to stick with it as long as it continues to grow, as long as I get to contribute to how the business functions, and as long as I continue to enjoy it.

So let's focus on Sunday. I love Sundays! It's been a little hectic lately with the Owe-lmpics, but I had a great time this past Sunday at Whistler watching the Cross Country Skiing. It was impressive, and we had a great view of the arena while we stood right next to the trail on an upper level. It was fun. We did have to get up at 3:30 am to catch the 5:30 bus to Whistler Olympic Park. Ugh. Let's not relive that morning.

This Sunday will be a stay-at-home kind of day. I need to get caught up on everything. The garden has just gone on ahead without me and is growing up like crazy. I missed my chance to prune any of my clematis so I'm stuck with this years growth as it is. Hopefully I'll still get lots of blooms. I need to tidy up the garden, and check in on the compost to see if I can start spreading it around where needed.

Last night I noticed lilies poking up an inch or two through the soil (please no frost, please no frost...). My daffodils have already bloomed along with 2 azaleas in the front yard! The cherry trees have all bloomed, and it is all too early. Here's the link to the cherry blossom viewing map if you need to get out there and see them. Our winter has clearly been too mild. I think cherry trees usually bloom in late March or early April. I've even seen some buds on Magnolia trees. So it could be an interesting garden season.

I'm looking forward to Sunday and spending the whole day at home. The cats will love it too. 

Look out garden, here I come!