Thursday, December 28, 2006

Photo Froliccing

So I've been having fun with the new camera I got from my bro bro. If you'd like to see more pictures check out my Flickr account which is linked to on the lower right side of the screen.

Here are some pictures from today. (and remember Mom, you can click on them to make them bigger) (the pictures)

To my right you can see a fine example of the Pacific Northwest Coastal Shrunken Head. The triangular eyes symbolize the upward gaze to see what the weather is actually doing at the moment. This is truly how one checks the weather on the west coast. The large smile is the happyness felt at being fortunate to live in this wonderful coastal temperate climate. And in case you were wondering I did not make this. I merely came across it as I was on my walk today. Though I have been trained in the proper way to construct such culturally important figures, and can pass on my training for a small fee.

Further down the beach,
I found a lovely log.
Slowly I crept closer.
Closer I slowly trod.

While high up in the sky,
Yes high above my head,
The grey moon silently looked down on me,
and made it's plans of dread!

From it's geosynchronous orbit,
it wandered round about.
Next time it comes to visit,
It will try to take me out.

So Porkins and Wedge are scrambling,
They're taking to the sky,
Only one things for certain,
The Death Star dies, or I.

~ Composed by Luke Skywalker before the first Death Star Assault.

I pulled up to the stop light and looked around the intersection of Quadra and Hillside. To my left the sun lit the building beautifully as the moon rose up above. I was admiring it when I realized there was a camera in my backpack on the floor next to me. I hastily scurried around to get it out. As I dug in the bag with my right hand I tried to open with window with my left. And succeeded. In locking the door. Finally I got it sorted out and was able to take one picture as the stoplight changed and on I drove. I like how it turned out.

And now it's getting late and I'm getting more tired and more lazy. So less description and jocularity on the last few pics. :) Los siento. Sorry. ;)

May we all have the vision to see the amazing and wonderful that surrounds.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Dec 25th. Christmas Day

Though it is monday today, the path is crowded. The sun shines down to the water and over towards me. It is late in the year and Sol does not ride very high in it's vast blue range. The shadows this 1:41pm sun cast are long as they frolic and gamble alongside the multitude of puppies and persons, both large and small.

The crashing thunderous waves of yesterday are gone now. Replaced by their gentle resting wash that currently rolls along the shoreline.

The ebb and flow of the passing pedestrians brings snippets and pieces of conversations, dreams, fears, fights, and fondness. But the gentle waves and soft warm sunlight ease those concerns as they draw one out into the beautiful reality.

A large brown dog runs by in the most garish pink knitted outfit. Not only is the large brown dog wearing a pink knitted sweater, but there are bold red and vivid green faux dragon spikes going back along the spine ridge. It must be Christmas. The time when no matter how ugly or tacky, the gift must be worn. I feel sorry for the dog, who like a small child, has no choice in what it wears out in public.

A cormorant pops out of the water and after a brief survey of the surroundings decides to dive deeply once more.

A knotted pile of bull kelp rests on the shore; the remnants of last days festivity, much like the Christmas trees which soon will find their way to the sides of the road, the wood chippers, and the fire.

A little bit of a long distant relative of those Christmas trees flies through the air, a dog soon to follow. Both enter with a splash, the salty sea. A number of birds, those that Julian from Quebec called "gull seas", fly through the air in front of me, and all I can think is that it's too bad that dogs don't have wings to fly after birds cause I think they'd look pretty funny. But it's a good thing too cause it's bad enough when a bird flies into your window, or drops one on your car.

Apparently this year's hot dog gift is a stick and a walk on the beach. At least they all seem very enthused about it all. Two dogs go by with matching festive red and white, belled collars. Though it does set them apart for a bit of ridicule from the other dogs, the don't really mind. They're just glad they aren't the ones weating that pink sweater with red and green faux dragon spine.

Friday, December 22, 2006

One of my loves is flora

An Arbutus tree is my favorite tree, generally, not specifically. An arbutus tree is a thing of beauty to behold. Ok I feel that way about most trees. Truth be told, each has it's own wonder to share and lessons to teach. None the same, yet all similar and different. Still the arbutus has a special place in my heart, along side the Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, Western Hemlock, Yellow Cedar, Red Alder, and Broad leaf Maple of my early years. It is somewhat unfortunate that I met Vine Maple in my late teens and had to build trail through it's tendency to droop and drape and fall. The many overlapping leaves can bring layered beauty to be sure, but it is not an elder companion and constant friend as were the trees of my youth.

I think, in my heart, I view the arbutus as the Orthodox viewed the Pope. I hold the arbutus tree to be, for me, the first among equals. The reds and oranges of the curling wisps of bark. The deep waxy green of the leaves. Those crazy berries that look so wild and are great fun to throw at a brother. The wild unchartable path of growth, with many twists and turns, that goes on to enhance the marvelous mystique and wonder of that tree. Being part of the 3rd generation to be born on this coastline I feel like I have a history here. A love for the land and the trees, for the rain and the sea.

There is a story from when my mother was a little girl. She had learned the names of the various trees. Including one that grew on the adjacent property. One day that tree was being cut down and she roared home in great concern for her butus tree. How could they do that with her butus tree? Someone explained that it was on the other fellow's property but she still didn't understand. Realization dawned on the faces of those around as she said one more "how can it be his tree? I thought it was our butus tree?"

And I think she was right. It is our butus tree. They are our butus trees. Ours to admire, appreciate, and share.

But perhaps their time has come. Perhaps my family's relationship with those great evergreen broadleaves is coming to a close. Due to climatic change, their range is shifting. A blight is also killing them off in many of the areas I came to first meet these trees. These unconventional coastal fellows who seem to go whichever way they chose. In some places all that remains is their stark skeletal frame, twisted and naked, all of the vibrant colour shed to the forest floor. Sun bleached bare branch bones, the only monument that remains of what once was there.

Yet as the climate changes and growth patterns alter, as species move and adapt, I am still in wonder and awe at the world and it's movements. There is a sorrow in the passing of these trees, but a joy as well. In light of their fragility and temporance I appreciate the time I have with my favorite of trees. It is a lesson I'm learning to apply to other areas of life as well. Perhaps it is wisdom, perhaps growing older, "perhaps it's about damn time" some may say.

I become less able to define the "whys" behind things and have become more to just be thankful and enjoy it while I can. I feel this is a good thing. And other then when I'm having momentary stressful times, I'm generally pretty content.

So thank you. Thank you my family. Thank you my friends. Thank you for the life this far lead. Thank you for what the day brings and what it does not. Thank you for each second, each breath, each extra beat that we've got. Sooner or later this road it does stop. So enjoy the roadtrip and all it entails.

Till our paths cross again. I'll be travelling my road too, then perhaps for a time we'll get to share a car, a meal, a breakdown, an adventure, or a pit stop.
Till that day we meet again,
I remain,
heading onward inward, and inward out.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Road Tripped Adventures

7am..... my watch starts beeping.. i set my alarm for 7:20
7:15am... I want to sleep still... but I can't. But I'm not getting up either.
7:20 am.... my watch starts beeping.. my mummy bag zipper protests as I work it downward, releasing me from my nocturnal confines. I sit spin and my feet touch down. I lurchingly leave the futon behind me as the jumbled up other sleeping bag on the floor asks what time it is. I tell it and go put on the kettle.

It's still dark outside. I don't remember the last time I actually left bed when it was dark outside. I know.. you're all jealous right now. Of course you also have jobs. That's the tension I suppose. ;)

We grab our various items and head for the door. Dad and Dave head down to get the vehicle going while I await the kettle's completion of it's task and fill up my kick-ass thermos. The greatest gift I never knew I wanted.

We stop in Duncan for breakfast. McBreakfast. It's been a long long time since I've eaten at a Mc's. Here we are with the results of our modern hunting trip. We took down 4 wild breakfast burritos while they were grazing by the left register. My brother's gun jammed so he had to kill his Sausage McMuffin with his bare hands. It was an epic struggle but Dave prevailed. We then ate what we had killed. It is our family's way.

Satiated we struck forth once more, heading up island in the face of the inclement weather.

Around 9:40amish (am ish.. not Amish like the religious group) we pulled in front of my friends house. I had been there once before. About 4 years ago. So I used mapquest to figure it out before we left the house. She opened the door at my first knock with the question "have you been waiting long?". I found this somewhat odd seeing as I knocked once and she opened the door. So my perspective on the thing is that it generally works that way. Arrive, knock, door is opened. Hurrah!

Not too fantabulous there eh? Well her experience of the situation is a little more interesting. She was lying in bed... woke up.. thought why do I have to be around 9:30?... hmmmmmmm.... remembered that I was coming, jumped up, threw on clothes, and stumbled to the door which she opened to look outside. Finding me (having not heard the knock) she enquired if I had been waiting out there long. In fact we all got there at the same time. I found it all to be rather amusing.

Anyhoo... we talked of the past few years and our various differing and similar experiences. She got to work, I drank mate and played on her guitar. Sing song sing alongs for awhile and before I knew it my father was at the door and it was time to go. A greatly enjoyable day thus far.

Well pops and I cruise on down to Vic and feeling a bit peckish decide on a healthy and nutritious hamburgesa. We consider going to the Irish Times but all that dang busy city christmas parking insanity is in full swing. Instead we come park back home and walk over to the Beagle. On our way we pass Dave "Pumpkin Head" Burke and Jim "Bag", 2 guys my dad plays wallyball with, at Starbucks. Conversations ensue. We then go to have lunch (3pm) with them intending to join later.

The loaded beagle burger has mushrooms, bacon, and cheese, along with the other normal burgery things. It's good. We drank VI's Hermans Dark Lager. The boys showed up and the day went on. We watched, observed, talked, pondered, and did other usual pub hang out things. We were talking metaphysics when the girls at the table next to us said they'd join us but they were only discussing Geology. I mentioned my knowledge of geological terms.. like the way in which rocks cleave. You know. Cleavage. It's a technical term. I don't know what you're thinking. And when the one girl said it was too bad she had to go but maybe she'd see me around. Hah. It's my knowledge of geological terms that impresses so.

Another epic amusing moment (some say I'm easily amused... I prefer to believe that I live with much joy at that which occurs around myself) was when I finally went to the washroom after a number of hours there. *The following conversation blurb has to do with happenings at a urinal and the length of time urinating. If you would rather not hear the story then continue on until the next paragraph. You have been warned* So I pull up to the urinal and start going. A guy saddles over to the one next to me and starts going.. going... going.. he leaves. I keep going. Another guys walks in and over and goes... and then he leaves before I finish off. At this point in time I wonder if those 2 guys have small bladders or if in fact I am gifted bladderly? Like one time when we were in Saskatchewan and a co-worker had gotten a van stuck in the snow, my friend Ben and I went off to the side to write our names in the snow. Cause it's fun. And I don't really remember much handwriting so I was printing. I managed to print Jordan Oram was he. I couldn't get the re onto the end... but it was still pretty good.. all that stopping and starting. Yeah they say my bro is an artist... but I am too in my own way. :)

Ok... so anyhoo... as can be seen I've now got my own digital camera. It's awesome! It makes grinding noises.. it takes awhile to save the picture (at least 5 seconds). The zoom button is quite... fussy... on account of my brother accidentally launching the camera across a parking lot one time. That's probably when it started making that grinding noise... but we know it's a tough piece of work. So now... pictures of things that I find amusing. Or fun. Or neat. Or pretty.. or or or or... oh so exciting!

So I shall leave you with the following... adios and may you go well.

Today's lunch. Almond butter and banana pieces on bagels that "expired" on the 8th. They're still fine. And I toasted them so that takes care of any little baddies.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Dec. 16. 2oo6- Waiting... adventures. Team ADD

Dusk. A cyclist cycles by.
Lights become lit.
And I've dirtied my pants.
Climbing a tree. Twice.
While awaiting my ride.
He called a half hour ago.
He called my father me.
He asked if I had a shovel.
I donated my shovel to camp.
We are going to dig frozen water.
Tonight is to be festive.
And my pants are dirtied from climbing a tree, and the night hardly begun.
Some could view this as a poor sign to begin the night.
Me? Nothing wrong with a night of dirty fun!
If only the Pastor would arrive so we could get this show on the road.

So D finally pulled up, I partially scurried up the tree, he honked, I came down and got in the truck and on we drove. Paint chips from the hood occasionally flew up at the window as we attempted to find a place to "retrieve" "snow". The first arena we drove by, while avoiding the cops, had construction fences erected. We cruised the area but couldn't find a way in. Onward we went, towards Colwood and the JdF Rec Centre. We arrived to find the area locked up. We contemplated a scurrying attempt. We settled for diplomacy. Suddenly the Zamboni drove by... on his way to empty his load. D shouted at me to jump out and get him to dump it in the truck. I rapidly exited the still moving vehicle while tossing my hat in for safety and trying not to allow my beloved thermos to fall out. Dodging traffic and pedestrians I hurriedly approached buddy and his machine. He had ear protection on. Dang. He dumped. I waved. He inquired. I spoke. He informed me of the general unhygenic nature of rink "snow". The fact that it's full of hockey player sweat, blood, whatever fluids are leaked on the ice.... and said we'd need to talk to his bossman. He drove off. D went in. I parked the truck. The Bossman, seeing me, approaches. Asks if I'm the fellow from the church. I cautiously assent and he informs me of the unhygenic nature of the "snow". I'm starting to think.. maybe this isn't a great idea. D is unfazed. "They aren't gonna eat it! Just make ice sculptures with it". Ok. So Bossman hobbles over and around and unlocks the gate. D backs up. We shovel up. I wonder if I should be wearing a biohazard suit. And we get to work under the cover of darkness. We go, and go, and go. I stand atop the pile of biowaste on ice and wedge apart pieces of "snow" into the truck. Finally we are full. D pulls ahead. I lock the gate.. and we cruise towards the church. The parking brake is stuck. It unsticks. I smell rubber. D says the brake's off. We arrive at the church and I smell burning rubber still. Getting out I notice smelly steam from the rear wheel wells. A back full of "snow" apparently can sink the box enough that the wheels rub the wheel well. Lesson learned.

D ask's my learned opinion on product placement. Where should we set up the "snow". I locate a place for maximum viewing. On the grass by the corner. Everyone will see it when they drive in tomorrow. We unload the "snow" and form it into 2 roughly equal piles that bear a somewhat icy resemblance to Jabba the Hutt. Or the worlds crappiest "free form" snowmen. Basically... piles of "snow". The C&C's will create masterpieces out of them and all of the church goers will see the work in the morning. It is brilliance.

Fast forward, highligh version.
We go inside. We set up inside. We move TVs. We prepare nachos. I prepare the Yerba. Father Constantine and his wife show up. He is the new local Greek Orthodox Priest and sharing about what Christmas means in their faith. Evening proceeds. Father Costas does well. Keeps going. The groups into it. Nice guy. Fun. Look forward to more discussions and goodness. Time passes. We watch movie clips from good Xmas flicks. A little National Lampoons: Christmas Vacation, A little Simon Birch, a little Grinch. The evening closes "officially". Clean up starts. Clean up ends. People leave.

As I leave I ponder upon what people will think as they pull into church sunday morning to see two prominently placed piles of snow that resemble nothing really... except horrible Jabba the Hutt shapeless blobs. I shudder with horror at what may happen if people decide to play with the "snow" as surely they will. I wonder if I have assisted in an atrocity. As I scurried up a tree so many hours ago I had no idea what the evening had in store for me. But as I type at the keyboard here, and realize I really should go to bed cause I'll be getting up soon, I can go to sleep with the feeling that this was a good day. A fun day. And that's pretty good.

I also talked to strangers. One guy said the army can use people who climb trees. I don't know how many trees there are in Afghanistan. It looks like mostly hot desert. I'm a pale skinned, red haired boy who climbs trees on a whim. I think that would take the spontaneous joy out of it. Plus I'm not too into that whole "killing" thing, or sunburns.

Another fellow wondered what the definition of nation is. I said I think there are numerous definitions. I told him to use care when climing the local trees. He asked why. I mentioned my dirty pants. He walked on.

Father Constantine did well in a potentially hostile environment. I told him that if there was a throw down.. I had his back covered. We cut red and green peppers together for the nachos. We had a knife fight. Ok I made that last part up. It was tomatoes.

Some girl said she didn't like it when her hair was kinky. I bit down on a comment. She noticed. She attempted to clarify. I pretended to not understand the clarification. Instead I said "good job on matching your shoes to your top." She said thanks and said something about it. I was distracted. I went to open the door for her. I walked into the door to open it, and swing it out for her. Too bad I picked one that was locked.

I made a schism joke around the Father. Then I asked him if it was really bad form to mention that whole schism between the Roman Catholic church and the Orthodox Church.

I told the C&C's that whoever guessed the pile of snow with a body in it would win a prize. I think they think I'm silly. I challenged them to a knife fight. That probably changed their opinion. Now I have respect. Then I tried to see if I could run and jump and hit a sign hanging from the roof with my head. I missed the one in the hallway.. but got the one in the foyer.

I started doing the hand snappy thing. A guy said "you can do amazing things with your hands". I said "You promised you wouldn't bring that up here at church". He looked confused. Conversations stopped. I laughed. He attempted to clarify. I pretended not to understand his clarification. He laughed. Many laughed. Some were confused.

During the crazy Nativity scene from Simon Birch there's a moment when Joe says "Holy Sh*t". D was concerned about playing the scene. But it's a great scene. So I mentioned that I could develop fish tourettes syndrome and yell out different fish names everytime there was an "innapropriate" word. Like TUNA! or MACKERAL! or SALMON! to cleverly distract and draw attention away from the "innapropriate" word. So as the movie played and the scene occured it was my job to do the whole "cough really loud into your hand while saying TUNA" trick. I think it worked well. Though now people really think I'm silly.

That and the fact I kept trying to find out where the after party was. Apparently there isn't. What kinda young 20's somethings is this? Maybe me and Father C will go cruisin' some other time. He has the pimpinist cassok (robe). All black and shiny. I wonder if he can hook a brother up? Maybe I can get one if I promise not to wear the white collar.....

ok.. getting up in 5.

There's more where this came from if you go to with me.

We go up island on monday to pick up my bro bro. And I get a camera. That's right. Soon I can mesmerize, amaze, and amuse you all with stories, scribbles, and accompanying pictures. Score. Pictures taken by me, on a camera I have consistent access too. Who am I kidding? I really don't care what you think. I just like to blather and record. And it's a good thing I don't care. All of those negative comments I have to keep deleting. For the last time Mom. Stop calling me those things, or sharing those stories on this public space!

Bed now, me go.
Peace you, ya yo.
Ya ya, ya yo.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


If you want to watch a crazy movie about America's descent towards Fascism for free on the internet you should check out America: Freedom to Fascism. It's a pretty crazy movie. And just cause you're may be living in Canada doesn't mean it doesn't effect you. Check it out.

On with the show

The sky reflects from the wind rippled pool, running out a foot above the waves' steady wash.

My reflections disturbed as the jingling sound of keys can be heard slipping from my pocket and falling midst idle pieces of driftwood before final alighting in water above rock shelf. The sun is shining somewhat through the cloud cover in the distance over the Olympic mountains. The seaplanes fly back and forth across my field of vision as a sailboat plyes the water to my left.

I have been on another blue glass hunting expedition. The tide being up has modified my plans and so I started at the front of Clover Point. Where the detrius accumulates. History in garbage, washed upon the shore. Bricks and ceramics being worn by the abrasion of uncounted waves revealed underneath the more transient logs and bull kelp remains. I am hit by a very coastal smell as I shuffle along my current stretch of shoreline. That of cedar mingling with what could be a skunk cabbage if I were near a swamp. But I am not. So somewhere nearby must be another variant of skunk foliage. I keep on with my quest.

In the distance on the hill a man with a yellow hat struggles, not with an inquisitive simian, but rather, with many long lines attached to an orange and yellow parachute. He's got it up now! As he struggles to avoid getting blown backwards and away. As he struggles to avoid taking out people on the walking path. And he's down once more.

Two people stumble and slide over the slick wet rocks this way. A guy and a girl. He has a tatoo on his thick neck. She's wearing a plaid shirt. They carefully traverse the logs to my left and go along their merry way.

I too shall now depart to follow after natures alluring call. I've drank quite a bit of water and with the steady crashing waves it is time to go.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Retracing New Journeys

I'm sitting on my uninflated, unrolled thermarest; resting with my back upon my backpack. Small components occasionally rattling draw my attention from the engines thrum and vibrations. An excited, boisterous boy exuberantly cavorts after his mother. A cup of soup floats by; held aloft by an attractive apparition in blue jeans wearing an earring and close clip cropped hair. Two sports bags rest alongside me, twixt the Swartz Bay Foot Passenger Exit and I. They have the look of a sports team. Perhaps it's the Diadora blazoned on their side. Or perhaps the mother who hovers over them, coffee and newspaper in hand.

The fish, in their stationary movement, climb the wall going nowhere outside of the Pacific Buffet. Lunch is available on the 1 and 3pm sailings. $15.75 for an adult. $8.75 for a child. Squinting at the sign it would appear that children are those between the ages of 5 and 11. If you are an adult at 12 then even if I were to shave I don't think I could pass for 11. I could claim an overactive pituitary gland and cite Andre the Giant but then they'd ask where my parent/guardian is. Perhaps a lost unaccompanied minor would get a discount. I could use my Bobby from Bobby's World voice. Or Kermit the Frog. Mind you I'm not really hungry having been treated to a Costco hot dog as I received a ride to the ferry from the Tiessen family in their people's car. I got the back middle seat from Hope to Abbotsford, wedged in between Eli's baby carrier, Josiah's car seat, and the front seats. We're a cozy bunch!

Two more ladies have positioned themselves upon the floor. With 6 foot buffers. A guy with a black leather jacket, dress slacks, gray hair and a mustache walks by, stops, half turns and gazes through the glass doors towards the Pacific Buffet. People with mustaches often remind me of walruses. Or sea lions. He then resumes his nautical circumnavigation. I recognize him from Saanich Baptist Church. He walks back again, scrapping his circumnavigous journey.

The sign of welcome to the buffet strongly proclaims
Welcome to our Pacific Buffet

Enjoy one of BC's most unique waterfront dining experiences. Spectacular coastal views and a wide selection of delicious choices offer great value for one all-inclusive price.

Join us for a memorable dining experience throughout the day.

This has me thinking of other dining experiences that could fit that criteria. Like, say, the gutter in a fisherman's market down by the sea.
Unique BC Experience? Check
Spectacular Views? Sure
Wide selection of delicious choices? Ok
Great Value/All-inclusive price? Can't beat free.
Memorable Dining Experience? You bet!

Any out of towner treated to that would remember it.
Perhaps that was a bit silly. I'll be a tad more serious. A quaint seaside restaurant where they slap you in the face with a fish. I think that could qualify as one of BC's most unique waterfront dining experiences. That is of course until it becomes an "in" thing and all the other restaurants do it too. Maybe in time for the 2010 Olympics.

A girl has joined the immobile jumping fish across from me. Purple nail polish adorns her left, book holding, hand with which she removes her reddish brown leather jacket. Green comfy pants and green snow boots. A white scraggly scruffy scarf adorns her neck. And glancing outside I see that we are through the Inside Passage. I look up and she has vanished. Without a trace. Someone call Anthony La Paglia. All that is left behind is what looks like an instrument case, a pull along mini-suitcase with two plastic bags slung over top, one containing a purple nalgene, and her coat.

I think she may return.

She did. With a little black hoody and an accompanying black pursy thing with orange and red flowers. I figured she'd be back because it's cold outside and people don't generally abandon nice jackets without cause. Brown hair with some grown out blonde bang highlights, a nose ring, and pensive eyes, as she scans her book of plays. Perhaps time for a sports pun? Her playbook?

A tiny little girl giggles and squiggles by; her parents in tow. They retrieve her from her dash through the doors. Though she looked to be under five so she would've been allowed in for free. But you probably aren't supposed to use it as free daycare. Though there is no sign saying "no unaccompanied minors" so.....

A gentleman with salt & pepper hair, graying out at the temples, walks by in brown dress shoes, olive dress pants, and a black down jacket, holding aloft a black tray with 3 cafeteria coffees. He must really like coffee. Ferry cafeterita coffee no less. A true connoisseur.

My neighbor to the left has departed. 12 feet to the lady in the corner wearing her blue adidas zip up. However a young red bag toting, book reading woman has taken up residency between us. Though only 3 feet from me. Leaving 9ish feet betwixt them.

I am no longer the only male waiting near the door to the overhead walkway exit. A young lad sits over to the right between the two sets of doors. He's fully plugged in. IPod on his lap, earbuds in his aural cavities, and Nintendo DS in his hands. Stopping only to spare the occasional hurried glance at his wrist watch. He's in his own world, which is much smaller than the one I'm currently aware of, yet perhaps unlimitedly large as well. For who can demark the limits of human experience?

What is this? The sports bag watching mother has taken up conversation with the 12 foot distant Adidas wearing lady. They've taken off to destination unknown? Perhaps to coffee, discussion, a brief impassioned tryst? A ferry romance? Who knows.

A fuzzy blue dry mop works it's way around the corner and into the open floor of our waiting area. It drags it's female ferry handler after it and around. As quickly as it appears it is gone once more.

The Adidas lady is back dragging a black bag! Not enough time has passed for it to've been a murder. Sports bag Mom is back too, with other bags to place 12 feet to my left. I'm re-evaluating her mom status when two girls fill in the large left space. One has a blue nike bag. One a blue diadora! The sports team theory is strengthened. The mother theory is waffling towards coach/chaperone.

Straw broom and mobile dustpan on a stick conspire and combine forces to bring the female ferry handler back around and through.

More people arrive and I believe it is time to roll up my thermarest and let it re-assume its familiar spot atop my backpack. 10 minutes to scheduled docking time. Might as well prepare. Plus I think my ass has gone to sleep. At least the left cheek.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Birthday Experiences and Other Observations

Dec2 was my birthday. Here's some of what occurred that day.... oh so long ago. Ok. Last Saturday.
I stand cold on the back and warm on the front. The snow still covers the ground and holds aloft the little birds who venture forth on the white frozen expanse. The fire crackles and smokes as the heat radiates outwards and up into the crisp clear blue sky. I stand in the middle, along the heat's border, cold on the back and warm on the front.

A bird perches on the open metal hand attached to the outstretched metal arm of the iron birdman sculpture.

Not only can I hear the snap, crackle, and pop of the fire, but also the dripping of melting snow. The icicles point down from the wooden eaves, as, behind and beside me, snow clumps discard their branches for the earth's embrace. The fronts of my legs feel toasty but my tootsies are ice. Beside me in the snow is a tomato. Chilled in the giant expansive refrigerator of our localized existence.

Time to push the fire back together as the birds look on. Perhaps it is time once more to enter the art show; the press of the crowd. I want to have a cookie.


I await a sign! Soon it will be time. The line is forming. Like bovines they stand. Creatures of habit, they scurry and scuttle after each other. Why? To be first on a ship that won't yet sail for a time. What does this hurry gain them?

The awaited sign occurs! Magically the gates part and the race is off. The throng charges up the loading ramp. The crowd surges forward as at the start of a marathon. But this marathon mob has only a short sprint in which to accomplish their goal.

Our culture greatly respects personal space and because of this there is very little actual physical contact. There is very little jostling. Much like race car driving it is jockeying for position at high speeds with inches of room for error.

Time has passed and the forward crush has advanced onward. Now it is my time to proceed. The bulls have run their Pamplona streets. Now I, like a wily predator, will pick my way through the burdened mothers, their young children, and the infirm elderly. For this leg of the race matters little.

Experience has taught me, perception has equipped me, wisdom has guided me, and practice has prepared me. I will go find a seat at the front of the boat. Though I am one of the last to walk on, there will be one at the front of the boat. As we near the Tsawassen terminal they will line up once more; expend their energy wastefully as they stand and mill about like sheep. Still I will sit. Part of the dock structure will drift by. More will stand. Those standing will tire. Still I will sit. The sailor will walk by, make his way through the crowd, go out the door, and prepare. More stand, still mill, as I sit. Finally when the time is right I feel the fire in my belly. I stand. Calmly, confidently, and quickly my backpack comes to rest upon my hips and shoulder. I stand aside the front of the line. I am near the bottle neck: the doors and the gangway. I politely, purposefully, always respectfully, merge and ride the wave of people propelling energy forward. The pressure pushes me across the gangway and into the closed series of straightaways. A few of those long term standees will be in front of me. But to my well rested legs they are no competition. They quickly fall away, victims to my long stride and unrushed steady pace. This is a race with purpose. To avoid the crush and cram. To avoid those that clog and close the channels. To get out of the arrival area ahead of everyone else and avoid the car lot chaos. This is the reward. The thrill of the race run well. A chance to stretch legs long left idle. The arrival room will be full of people. Eagerly they await a sign. Their sign will come to them borne on long legs; a backpack on his back. When I arrive, the doors shall part.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Time keeps on slippin, slippin, slippin,

Maybe it has to do with my brothers recent birthday (26! Way to go bro bro!) or perhaps my impending one (27 here I come), or my current plentitude of time, but I've been reading through my old notebooks/journals/thingymabobbers. I use those little black and red notebooks you can get at the pharmacy.

My first BRJ (Black Red Journal) spans 2003-2005. From just after finishing CBC, through till the end of my time working for CMU's Outtatown program. I went from 23 in Abbotsford through Western Canada, South Africa, and Guatemala. Tonnes of new friends and intense times and challenges.

The second goes from June 5, 2005 until the end of May 2006 when I left my job at LCBI in Saskatchewan and headed back to camp. Going from the summer in Hope when I thought I'd be going to Seattle in the fall (which didn't happen), ending up a volunteer firefighter in Yale, wintering at camp, and spending 3 months in Sk.

The distances I've covered in that time are stunning. Physically, mentally, emotionally, metaphysically, I've crossed a lot of terrain. And the books contain some of that. At times I cringe inwardly as I read some of the things I've written. At times I want to destroy the book, rip out pages, and pretend they never existed. But I don't. My struggles with self, with my concept of God, with my relationship with girls, with life, all stare back at me and sometimes I do feel slightly embarassed as I read. Yet it is all part of who I am and who I am becoming. All of the things I wrote were true to the time and view point I held when I wrote it. And it's of worth to keep and look back... even though there are some classy lines in there. Now they bring a chuckle. Then they were penned with frustration and fears, trials and tears. You bet I'll keep them. After all that pain and struggle at least I've got something to look back on.

And then there's all the other kinds of memories in there. Songs written, stories mentioned, memories recorded, quotes preserved, doodles drawn, poems penned. During those transient periods those little black/red journals have been one of the few things recording my wanderings. One of the few things that have stayed with me during my journeys other than my trusty backpack.

So perhaps I'll start a series now... going back in time... some moments from my little black/red journals.

....To Be Continued....

oh and lets post a picture for fun shall we? Sticking with the back in time theme.. here's a classy picture from my time at Camp Kawkawa with the Africa Outtatown team. Good old James and I. Gotta love his 'stache and burns. Oh James. You rock!

click on the pic if you want to see it bigger

Monday, November 27, 2006

Happy Birthday Martin

So who is Martin? I'll get there.

Incase you've been living under a rock I'll inform you that it's snowed a bit today. It was also the last day of my Intro to Massage weekend course. So when it came time for lunch and people looked outside saying "but it's snowing.... we're not going out there" I boldy proclaimed that I was in fact going to Wendy's for lunch (baked potato and bowl of chili each $1.59) and that those who wished could follow. An expedition was soon formed and with the girls (4 guys, 26 girls in the class) deciding to use me as a wind shield we started the epic 2 block journey. We arrived hungry and snow covered. We ordered. We received. We ate. Then we headed back towards the college. As we were walking, dodging snow, getting slush splashed as trucks drove by, a guy was walking the other way, towards us. He was dressed fairly poorly. When he passed by I could smell the alcohol. I wondered and hoped he had a warm place to stay. As he walked by he proclaimed "The biggest guy gets the big snow flake" and proceeded to make a snowball which was lobbed in my direction. Well the others fled but I stood my ground and we gently tossed snow in the air at each other for about a minute. Then he came up and he told me that he danced for the snow this morning. His name is Martin. It's his birthday and he wanted snow for his birthday so he did a snow dance this morning. He had a huge grin and was very excited. I introduced myself, we shook hands, we laughed and made some comments on the weather, and we walked our ways. Me back to my class and him down the street looking for someone else to pelt with birthday snowballs during this birthday snowstorm.

So sure there are lots of unhappy people out there. Of course there are often unhappy people out there. And you can meet them and see them all over the place. It's easy to gripe and complain, to bitch and moan. But I think it's better to remember other aspects as well. Like the joy today's snow brought to Martin on his birthday, and his willingness to share that joy with anyone else. I know it made me smile.

Oh and if you were wondering I passed the Intro Massage weekend course. I can now do a decent (so my partner said) full body relaxtion massage on a massage table, with proper draping techniques, and an awareness of some of the main principles at work. Hah! Those who mocked my hands (you know who you are.......) may now know that the instructor said I had really good hands for doing massage techniques. Yeah. So ptttthhhbt. (That's the sound Calvin from "Calvin and Hobbes" fame would make when he stuck out his tongue).

ps Ok.. really seriously bedtime now.
pps Oh yeah and I'm still unemployed.. but have learned some massage skills.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

More Starbucks thoughts.. and a trip to the beach

Nov 21st

The sunlight is fighting its way through the clouds again. The few trees furtively attempting to cover their seasonal nakedness are made more noticeable by the beams drawing attention to the few bedraggled leaves hanging off of their skeletal frames.

A crow perched on the power line but now it is gone.

The wind pulls at the remaining leaves with a lover's gentle caress. The breeze whisperingly invites the foliage to descend at gravity's call.

Three crows fly overhead, and away, upon that same breeze.

The wind now increases it's effort and gustily buffets the remaining few that still hold on.

Perhaps the tree, not unlike a balding man with comb-over, is not comfortable with the thought of loss. Perhaps it is living in a deluded state, thinking that the seasons will not go on, or that it will not be lovely without it's leaves. Perhaps the tree needs a hug. And to realize that beauty is more than leaves.

A crow drops out of sight in front of the window, to perhaps scrounge for crumbs. Passing people give it cause to fly to the road. A passing car gives it cause to fly to the street sign on the corner. The white droppings on the stop sign evidence that the crows commonly perch on the corner of Pendergast and Cock.

Later on Nov.21st

Twelve crows perch, fly, watch and stare. Blue sky appears in the distance. A crow calls. A crow struts. Two crows walk the planter with petunias. A man attempting to parallel park his Nissan Sport Wagon succeeds in backing up onto the curb as a blonde lady with a black handbag in a red top strides by with purpose and no time to spare for crow observations. One crow on one power line, one on another. And sparrows flit by in the blink of an eye doing tight formation maneuvers. Bundled up black jacket and baggy blue jeans on a bearded man as he huddlingly hastens along. The wind wiggles the few leaves left on the tree that grows above the close cropped bamboo The bamboo that remains green. An inattentive man with a pony tail, a green ford truck, and a matching canopy, reverses rapidly towards an accident but it is averted by another's attentive awareness and response. Did the inattentive man notice? I don't know. He's gone now, left when I wasn't looking. Blue sky gone a heavy rain has started. It isn't a thick rain now, but rather a heavy rain with large drops. Upon encountering the puddle across the way in back of the Pic A Flic by the blue BFI dumpster the heavy drops raise up many rounded bubbles. Monuments to the raindrop's journey from above and the ending of it's individuality. A crow on a sign. A crow in the tree. A crow leaves the planter to walk down the sidewalk. Two crows by the dumpster. Three in the planter moving around leaves. The rain has decreased in size but increased in intensity. A turquoise rain jacket, blue backpack, and lip ring, head towards the intersection. I wonder if you had a lip ring in long enough if you could take it out and shoot water out the hole like a water gun?

Nov 22nd

Over the crashing of the waves a helicopter can be heard. It descends out of sight behind the Dive Centre Cafe that rests at the foot of the Ogden Point breakwater. Soon I will walk out that breakwater. But not yet. Instead I stand perched atop a retaining wall as waves crash and run by my feet. The rise and fall, the occasional surge and splash accompanying this high tide that liberates several large pieces of driftwood and floats them out on their journey. Thirty feet in front of me the waves are rolling a log over and over. It looks like a fir log that has seen it's share of adventure and abuse. The pounding this log has received leaves hairlike pieces of wood sticking out in many directions. It has also been burned in three spots.

Four giant seals emerge from the water. The sunlight gleams off of their black neoprene skin. They remove their neon yellow flippers and oxygen tanks, and then walking to the foot of the breakwater, descend out of sight. Still the waves continue to pummel, churn, and impact the wall at my feet, then direct themselves to my right where a twisted and tangled ball of bull kelp awaits. The waves keep coming but it is time for me to go.


Relocated I sit on the rocks at the foot of the breakwater. The gulls cry at me from their rock. Be it greeting or warning I know not. In either case I still enjoy the sound. Wings furled and feathers puffed up, they stand on their splayed webbed feet. One preening itself with it's beak. The other beak parked behind a wing for warmth. Or maybe it's shy and self-conscious? Or attempting to be alluring? My money's on warmth. Four pidgeons have landed around me. A nervous man could be intimidated by this sudden shift in numbers. Zero pidgeons to Four in the blink of an eye. But in another blink they are gone. They knew they had met their better in me. Across the straight a sunlit line of clouds glows in front of the snow capped, cloud shrouded, peaks. And a Canadian Naval boat cruises through view. The sun goes behind a cloud and I notice the chilliness. Time to move again.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Jordanic Ramblings from Starbucks Visits

There are 2 here. One from Nov 9th, and one from the 12th. The first one is kinda conceptual with description at the end. The Second one is more my observations on what I saw around me. If you're looking for a lighter read I recommend the second. Not that the first read is particularly heavy.

(Nov 9)

I'm sitting in the Starbucks in Cook St. Village. There is an amazing diversity of people in here: age difference, income difference, style difference. There are people in a hurry, and people who are taking their time. For some people this place is a pit-stop; for others a destination.

Many standards and rules are externally taught and fought to be maintained. They are not natural realities but alien ones. Constructs created to assist but once the creators forget their role in creation the creation itself controls.

Realizing this, moving forward, is a part of the learning and discerning that is the progression of living.

External standards of beauty presented and imposed by culture, are taken and embraced by populace. What is beauty really? It is difference. It is diversity. But it is more.

Beauty is, and we are blessed that looking see.

Beauty is all around. In the growth, death, and rebirth. In cycles. In the complexity of life, and the simplicity. There is beauty in the alpine meadow, vibrantly aflame with vast tumultuous waves of wild flowers, sparse stands of spruce sentinels green with stubby short branches, and grouse making funny grouse sounds in the bush. There is beauty in the muddy, slimy, odorous fen, alive with vast numbers and kinds of organisms constantly at work in the processes of decomposition, growth, life change, beauty. The diversity, beauty, and colours, present when the rain falls and out forth burst funky fragile friendly fungi. The birds that flicker and fly about, consuming the numerous insects and fruits of that festerous fen, overlap and entwine in the complicated rhythm of survival. Death that life may live.

(Nov 12)

I'm sitting outside, under an awning, in a chair, while a steady light rain falls to the ground, that which surrounds Starbucks.

Across the Cook Street divide lies an alternative coffee shop. The Mocha House. Their outside patio is larger, more permanent, and provides great protection from the elements.

A little bird, followed promptly by more little birds, flys to the ground near my feet. Now they roam and graze like so many little bison; with wings.

A little old lady walks by, umbrella in hand. Grasped tightly in the other are a series of boxes, 3?, and she attempts to protect all under the inadequate protection from the rain alighting down on high. Why? Because even though perfection will not be attained she and her charge will arrive home drier than otherwise. So it is a success.

We've now left the open noise and traffic's whir for the cloistered cacophony of voices and dishes, chair scrapes and spoon stirs, that surround and immerse inside. From the one corner a wheeze becomes a laugh which transitions into a cough. The rainy season has come and the colds, runny noses, and seasonal assorted fluids, are not enough to dampen spirits. Of course we're less than a month in. The veterans of this west coast life are tempered and prepared for what will come with the wisdom and experience of years. Whoa to the poor people who will fight, complain, and attempt to change the natural and necessary by railing against the Sky Gods. Their prayers, though fervent, may they be unanswered.

A lady walks by hand in hand with a gentleman. This is cute. Is is nice. However the first thing noticed in this distinguishing looking couple is the lady's wet coast flair; a bright neon orange rain poncho. Both the poncho and the pair bring some radiant brightness to the street, contrasted against the subdued gray of above and the victorious light that, having won it's way through the clouds, dimly illuminates that which surrounds Starbucks.

Across the street the neon red/orange and blue open sign proudly proclaims the status of the Cook Street Village Wine Works. Inc.

Meanwhile some intrepid puckish sort of individual, having taken their wit and will and combined them with a dash of humour and what appears to be a jiffy marker, has altered the second "o" on the Cook Street sign marking the corner intersection of Pendergast Street and Cook Street.

Here ends my description of that which surrounds Starbucks. Now found at the intersection of Pendergast Street and Cock Street.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Multi-Cultural Meals and More.. plus more pictures of me found on the internet

So.. Multicultural meals? Oh yeah. Yesterday for lunch (after visiting costco) we went to a chinese place for food. It was good. Raymond's.

Then tonight we went for dinner to The Blue Nile which served Ethiopian food. I love Ethiopian food, as well as eating with the bread. Two thumbs up.

Speaking of Costco... yesterday was a very special day for me. 3 new pairs of socks and 3 new pairs of underwear have now entered the rotation. Oh Prodige, girding men's loins all over for quite awhile now. Seriously.. we did a spontaneous camp poll and everyone there was wearing prodige. Oh how Costco and Prodige have teamed up to corner the underwear market.

I've recently joined Facebook ( at ) and have thusly unearthed more pictures of me that I didn't know existed. Here is one that is very special to me. Very near and dear. It's from the Halloween of 04 when we went trick or treating as we drove from Vernon (I think) to Alberta and stopped in Golden (I think) for some Trick or Treating it up. My co-worker Ben (The Butterfly) was in charge of getting my costume at VV (Value Village). I'm not sure what I'm sposed to be exactly but it was really cold there (below zero... maybe -5) and I wasn't wearing any pants. Don't worry though. The picture is SFW (Safe For Work). Oh and Jesus (Chad) went all out with the authenticity. Not only is that his real kick butt beard. But if you look closely in the basket, around the candy, you'll seem some fish and bread that we bought at Safeway. Eric (Humpty Dumpty) was worried that he wouldn't have a costume at all, and thought it didn't work out that well, but I thought that his costume was one of the best. I love his use of fabric to tie the top to his head and fashion suspenders to keep on the bottom. All in all.. we were one very festive group. I wasn't about to use my bambi pillow case so I got a plastic bag from the local Overweightea (however you spell it....).

Maybe I'm a hairy Oma or something. I think it was, at one point, a night gown. I was wearing some bling.

Anyhoo... I leave you with someone trying to modify one of the greatest quotes of all time. (Sneaky sneaky.. can't get by me).

"If you're not stretching your fascia, your not really stretching."
-Brian Dawkins 2005 Super Bowl and Pro Bowl Safety, Philidelphia Eagles

He's good.. but he's no Ian Brown.. who well before 2005 coined this beauty.

"If you're not thinking foodsafe, you're just not thinking."
-Ian Brown, Man of Wisdom and Pithyness

So Mr.Super Pro Bowl.. better luck next time. (And thanks for the tip.. everyone.. remember to stretch your fascia too when stretching. Seriously.)

Oh and BTW (By The Way) I'm reading a book on stretching. And also using more acronyms because I'm playing WoW (World of Warcraft) with Kendall (Former Outtatown Africa student/current friend from Saskatchewan.. though he's in Florida at the moment)

Ok and one more picture for the road. This one was found on the interweb and I'm not wearing a dress! I am fully clothed! Yes there are pictures like that of me out there also. B-Rent and I pulled a little swap-a-rooney. In this picture he's wearing my old hat and jacket.. and I'm wearing his!! Oh the zanyness! And if you're wondering if we're at the Winnipeg Zoo? You'd be right!

He's even wearing my watch. It's the little details that bring authenticity. I think I was attempting my "I'm very unenthused" face. In fact I was being Brent and he was being me. It's eerie isn't it?

Well all this fun and excitement has me exhausted. Time for a nap. Ciao!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

To My Buddy Jason B in the States

Jason is no longer with us as his network was changed the other day and now he can no longer access blogs or other personal webpages. Alas poor Jason. I knew thee well.
Thus today's post is dedicated to his plight.

Highlights from yesterday include....
Seeing a hawk flying 40-50 ft above me... circling.. menacingly... as if I were soon to become carrion. I think it's gone now though. So I can leave the house.

Seeing 3 people I know on the news. In the section on global TV about the flooding in Hope and rising river heights. Here's a compilation photo I've made to commemorate that splendid occasion.

(I don't know if the picture appears black to you. It does to me. But when I clicked on it it opened in all of it's glory. And in the first picture.. I know the guy on the left.. not beard guy.) (Oh and I really like how in the centre photo Tim has the top of an umbrella balancing precariously upon his noggin through no apparent means.) (Oh Tim Umbrella Head. You are Hope's newest Super Hero!) (Protecting those smaller than himself from the pelting of rapidly descending water in it's various forms. Rain, hail, snow, sleet, slush, and more.)

Rejoice with me for I have found my lost thermos!
Well I don't actually have possesion of it yet. The last time I came up to the coast I got a ride back from the ferry with some lady that knew one of my friend's younger brothers that I ran into on the ferry. We got rides back to West Sechelt. But I accidentally left my thermos in the truck. At church the other day I was told that it was awaiting me at my friend's house. Of course I bought a new thermos on Friday when we cruised by MEC in North Van... so now I have a spare! (dang nabbit spending money.. grrrrr..)

And now I must get ready for I've a meeting arranged in town in 25 minutes. And then back to pack and sort for tomorrows move to Victoria.

Goodbye and adieu!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Weekend In Review

On thursday I met some new Manitoba people who are now living in Abbotsford. I went to their place and watched some hockey, drank a beer, played some guitar, and had a good time.

Friday a few of us were going to head up to the coast. 2 people decided that they just couldn't manage the trip just now but were still helpful enough to give the rest of us a ride to the ferry. With a brief stop at MEC in North Van.

So Joleen got the super special ferry loading experience. The one that not just anybody gets. But I've had before. We arrived at the terminal with very little time left and they'd already raised the foot passenger walkway so we had to go outside into the rain, go down some stairs, and walk on from the bottom ramp. That's how it used to be done when I was a young lad.. last century. ;) There really wasn't a view on the trip over due to the fact that there was quite a bit of weather blowing down Howe Sound. So it was a fun trip with a little bit of rocking and a tad bit of white caps.

Once we hit the coast we took a couple hours to drive home after doing quite a tour of the lower coast. Showing numerous houses we'd lived in. Sharing stories and tales from our family's history on the coast. It was neat.

Saturday I was thinking about a trip out to Smugglers even though it was raining very heavily (I thought that could be sweet too!). However my stepdad wanted to take us out for lunch down to a local pub. So we went down and had lunch and then went to check on the boat with all this rain. We took the boat out for a little brief putt around. Nothing too much as it was still rather windy on the inside.

The wonderful menu consisted of friday night having ling cod, saturday having cod chowder, and my mom made homemade muffins for breakfast that were so very very yummy. She makes great muffins.

All in all it was a great weekend and I enjoyed getting to share my family with my friends, and vice versa.

Gotta jet!

ps on Wednesday I'll be moving to Victoria.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Today's New Adventure. Burning Stuff plus More!

So growing up in West Sechelt we all had our different chores. One of mine was emptying the dishwasher. Another was taking care of the burning. Basically left over paper and that sort of stuff. We had a pit out back I'd take the things and light them up. I don't know if I got the job because they wanted me to burn the paper or they didn't want my brother to. It was always fairly uneventful. Except for the time the fire exploded and as I instinctively turned away I got hit in the back of my thigh. Swatting away at my slightly charred sweat pants I stumbled away and attempted to sort out what had happened. Basically someone (at the time I believed it to be my brother.. now I'm not so certain.. it could've even been me) threw the empty shaving cream container into the waste paper basket and once in the fire it expanded until it blew up and smacked me in the leg.

So I've got some experience with disposal burning. We lived on 7+ acres back then and we'd occasionally burn slash piles for special occasions; like Halloween! Since I've been helping with maintanence at camp for the last while I've been supervising the burning of our little slash piles down by the old fire hall for the last couple times. The pile that we burned today had been building up since the spring. We were going to burn it this spring after one more rain shower that never came. Then it was a dry summer (of course) and a dry fall (until recently). It now being more dampish out, and my last day of work here, today was the fortuitous day!

Dan gathered the equipment and started the fire. To start these puppies up we usually use a propane tank and a tiger torch. A leaf blower can be of assistance to help get some air in there. Today's new adventure is..... that Dan showed me how to operate the backhoe! That was really cool. I kept pushing the pile back onto itself and we burned it up pretty quickly. I also got some experience digging and filling a hole. All in all it was a neat new learning experience and a great last day at Camp.

Gotta jet,

Friday, October 27, 2006

Hey Hey Hey

So today (The 27th of October) is a special day cause it's the b-day of Erasmus of Rotterdam. And he's a cool dude. During the heated days of the Reformation Erasmus tried to walk an impartial middle group in a very heated, polarized, environment. He felt that the Church could stand to use some reforms but he wasn't ready to turf the whole thing. And so he found himself inbetween the two extremes. He wrote a decently wonderful satirization of the clergy of his time called "The Praise Of Folly". I really liked the Letter to Martin Dorp 1515, that he wrote in response to something Dorp wrote after having read "Praise of Folly". It's pretty groovalicious.

Anyhoo.. so his birthday is the 27th of October. Which means a party is gonna happen on the 28th in Rotterdam. Dang it. I'm all the way over here in BC. Guess I'm gonna miss that one. But I think I'll put it on my list.

Other B-days of interest today... (according to Wikipedia)
James Cook 1728-1779.. Cook St. in Victoria was named after this guy.
Theodore Roosevelt 1858-1919 26th President of the US
Sylvia Plath 1932-1963 She was poet, don't ya know it.... sigh
John Cleese 1939 (bet he's bummed that he has to share a b-day with Erasmus!)
Patrick Fugit 1982 He was the guy from that movie about the dude who lied about his age and became a writer for Rolling Stone and cruised with the band that had Jason Lee in it. Yeah.... Rock on!
So other people were born on this day too. But I didn't write their names here cause I didn't want to. I have to stop somewhere.

But apparently not yet cause the other computer I'm trying to burn a slideshow onto is very very disappointing me at this time. Grrrrrrrrrrr.

So... people who passed away this day in History (though as I look at the clock I realize it would now be people who passed away yesterday in History...)

939- King Athelstan I of England. Regarded as the first King of England. So maybe a name for a son? Eh? Eh?

1789- John Cook- American Farmer/Governor of Delaware. I guess he had to farm and couldn't afford a hummer to drive around in. Acting just didn't pay that much back then. Does't say if he was related to Capt. James Cook. Or Capt. James Hook for that matter.

2003- Rod Roddy. Rod Roddy? I didn't even know he was dead. Goes to show it's been awhile since I watched "The Price is Right".

Ok.. it's official.. That computer sucks.
So I'm going to go to sleep now. For tomorrow's another day. To get frustrated at computers. Well inefficient slow crashy computers.. I like ones that work.
Ciao for now!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

This Song's been Stuck In My Head

And it's been falling out of my mouth for days.. at least the first verse and chorus.. the other stuff I was kinda foggy on. That's the way it usually goes eh? you get a part stuck and it keeps going over and over and over and over and over again.

So here are the song lyrics to the song that's been stuck in my head for over a week off and on, if you've not heard if before you should give it a listen. I like it. It's been in my head for awhile now, and I still like it.

It's by the Barenaked Ladies and titled "What A Good Boy"
Transcribed from the incredibly great live album Rock Spectacle

When I was born, they looked at me and said:
What a good boy, what a smart boy, what a strong boy.
And when you were born, they looked at you and said:
What a good girl, what a what a smart girl, what a pretty girl.

We've got these chains hangin' 'round our necks,
People want to strangle us with them before we take our first breath.
Afraid of change, afraid of staying the same,
When temptation calls, we just look away.

This name is the hairshirt I wear,
And this hairshirt is woven from your brown hair.
This song is the cross that I bear,
Bear it with me, bear with me, bear with me.
Be with me tonight.
I know that it isn't right, but be with me tonight.

I go to school, I write exams,
If I pass, if I fail, if I drop out,
Does anyone give a damn?
And if they do, they'll soon forget, 'cause it won't take much for me
To show my life ain't over yet.
I wake up scared, I wake up strange.
I wake up wondering if anything in my life is ever going to change.
I wake up scared, I wake up strange
And everything around me stays the same.

This name is the hairshirt I wear,
And this hairshirt is woven from, it's woven from your brown hair.
This song is the cross that I bear,
Bear it with me, bear with me, bear with me.
Be with me tonight.
I know that it isn't right...but be with me tonight.

I couldn't tell you that I was wrong,
I chickened out, grabbed a pen and a paper, sat down and I wrote this song.
I couldn't tell you that you were right,
So instead I looked in the mirror,
Watched TV, laid awake all night.

We've got these chains, hangin' 'round our necks,
People want to strangle us with them before we take our first breath.
Afraid of change, afraid of staying the same when temptation calls

This name is the hairshirt I wear,
And this hairshirt is woven from, woven from your brown hair.
This song is the cross that I bear,
Bear it with me, bear it with me, bury it with me.
Be with me tonight.

When I was born, they looked at me and said:
What a good boy, what a smart boy, what a strong boy.
And when you were born, they looked at you and said:
What a good girl, what a smart girl, what a pretty girl, hey!

Yeah BNL rock this song out. It's a gooder. And I'm tired. So giver giver Fraser river. I'm hitting the hay.

Oh and Paul.. I'm at 11 now. I was at 10 when I left the party.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Don't Focus on the crap (you'll step in it)

So today I got nipple chafe, sore feet, and twinged my groin muscle up in my left leg. We also lost our game against the Hope Sr. Boys soccer team.

Now those could be used as a list of unfortunate events and facts. If one were to focus on that they would completely miss out on the sweet, enjoyable experience that we call soccer, that happened today.

And the glorious hot tub.

The point of all of this is that sometimes there are sucky things. You know what? Alot of the time there are sucky things. But if you focus on them then you may miss out on all the things that rock; all the opportunities that are out there. I know I've missed many an opportunity in such a manner and I resolve to try not to let it happen as often. I'm not perfect. I'm a work in progress. Like a fancy painting or great book or something.

Oh and again going with the warning of being careful in this age of easily taken pictures (watch out when other people have cameras.. they may have mischevious intent) and posting them on the internet. Here's a picture I found on one of my former students sites with the comment "Me discussing global waming with nudist prophet from future". Now because it's here you may have a good hunch on who the "nudist prophet from the future" is...

So young back then. This was taken back when I was in Africa in '04.

*sigh* I wonder what else I'll find out there one day. Other than that pic in a dress I think I'm mostly pretty safe.

Monday, October 23, 2006

An Email Response to a Party Invitation (Plus The Greatest Hero Of Alltime!)

The following is a response to an email invitation I received. The sender asked for suggestions as to party ideas. I honestly didn't have anything like a suggestion in mind when I started writing.. a look into the strange mind of me.

In my mind I see the Dueckman house much like the homebase of the Thunderbirds. A place of wonderment and amazingness. I think your family, if bombarded by gamma rays or some such super ability granting mechanism, would use your powers well. There would of course be interesting dynamics and situations around the use of these aforementioned powers. Also I wonder what your super family team's name would be? Hmmmm. Hey maybe that could be a theme idea? (How do I come up with these things?) People could come with silly super powers and costumes. There could be super powered games... maybe a super powered movie. And if people don't come with aforementioned powers or names... we'd give them some. So they'd have to wear the costumes we'd assign them. Mwa ha ha ha... mwa ha... ha.. hee hee hee.... hoo. *sigh*
We could even have teams.. super heroes vs villians. Or if we needed more teams there could be the supporting cast team... sidekicks... love interests... pets. I mean really there are lots of possibilities... sure.. it does kinda sound like a Halloween party.. maybe it's a late December staff Heroween Party.

Or not. See this is what happens when I write what comes into my head.. zanyness. If someone were to live a bit in my head (ala Being John Malkovich) I think they'd have quite an experience. Wouldn't we all. If we could really spend time in others' heads I think we'd be more compassionate, more understanding. Not only would we learn more about that person.. but we'd learn more about ourselves too. Hmmmmmm.

Well Sammo Hung... I think on that note I'll get back to what I was going to be doing. Namely writing an email to my papa. May you have a pleasent day and pass on my kind regards to your tribe.
Ahsta lasagna,

ps... I think I'll have to use this email as a blog entry.
pps.. you should check out Sammo Hung at wikipedia or something.
ppps.. Thanks for the heads up on the get together... I of course have no idea where I'll be then or if I can make it.. but it's a splendid idea and I wish it, and you, well.

We could have super hero songs... it could be a super hero artsy night... new compositions.. art... interpretive dance... this has many possibilities.

Yeah so that was my email to my associate on his request for ideas. I really hope he goes with this idea. Any party where people get to wear their underwear visible to others is a good party! Yep.

I think my favorite sports dude or dudette would be either Trevor Linden or Lui Passaglia. Maybe a good superhero would be an amalgam of Trevor Linden and Lui Passaglia. He'd kick any of those old "ProStars" butts. Take that Bo, Michael, and Wayne.

I just noticed that the BC Lions logo is of a girl lion. Cause don't boy lions have manes?

Anyways... so who is the greatest hero of all? Well it's of course Lui Linden. Seen here playing for his team, the BC Canucks.

He truly is the greatest of them all. (Bow down before his awesome greatness) (Bow Down!!!)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

How To Visit An Alien Planet Without Leaving Earth

We didn't leave the house until almost 10pm on Friday night. I collected my things in less than a minute. Basically just my sleeping bad, headlamp, and the clothes I was wearing. Paul started to drive up the canyon. We passed through Yale and the police cruiser parked by the stop lights. We passed through the first tunnel. We drove on into the night. Joleen mentioned that she was feeling queasy. She said this wasn't on account of his driving. We drove on into the darkness.

We veered off of the road and turned left onto a little pull out. Paul wondered aloud if his car would be safe there. He asked for his club. I found it at my feet, slyly peeking out from beneath the front seat. Why does the tall, large guy sit in the back? I'm a gentleman. Or want to appear one. Or something to that effect, or in between, or both, and more. We got out of the car as semi trucks roared by a few feet from us; separated only by a narrow concrete barrier. We unloaded the trunk of the car. 4 people and less the 4 people's gear. Plus firewood. The walk took over 7 minutes and would be down a slightly sketchy hill. So we only wanted to make one trip. Another semi went roaring past. They drive exceedingly fast down the canyon. And we were to shortly scurry across the asphalt, hurdle the concrete buttress and walk a short distance along the train tracks before turning into the forest. All of this with only headlamps for light. A small pool of visual information amidst a dark surrounding pierced by the light and noise of passing traffic and trains.

We stumbled into the twilight as branches attempted to unload us of our burdens and roots tried to snare our feet. Up ahead Paul warned us of broken glass and to use care. A structure lurched out of the darkness, surprising us all. Paul said it must be new. He'd never seen it before. The trail transitioned from into the forest to heading down a rocky path loosely scattered with leaves. Clunky and slippery rocks. I walked in the back, the rearguard, Paul in the front, the scout, and in between Joleen and Gillian, the pack horses. (heh) I was wary of the slippery slope I was descending. A sharp pain pierced inside my right knee cap. It left as I lifted my foot. It only happened a couple times. It's happened before. The road was left up and behind, a recent memory, nothing more. The vast blank darkness was now around.. surrounding.. enclosing.. enveloping. Our lights were not bright enough to shine against anything except the ground. The only other light came from the outline of the stars seen up high above the mountains height. In the light cast by the lamps I couldn't distinguish much detail or difference in the grade or height of the sand. I walked a sandy darkened desert.

Turning my head to the right I was shocked as a large rock emerged alone, then merged back into the landscape existent now only in my mind. We climbed the sandy slope and picked a location to lay out the tarp. That done, the girls declared they would start the fire while we had the opportunity to go find wood. So Paul and I left into the darkness and I stumbled around my alien world of sand dunes, random rocks, and the night. The river roared, trapped between the two walls of the canyon, and despite our search we couldn't find much wood along the shore. We took what we had to the outpost atop the sandy hill, now a circle in the murk of the surrounding night. Paul and I then ventured uphill, higher uphill. We stumbled over rocky outcroppings sporting damp moss and slippery footholds. We discovered the occasional piece of wood that had become lodged in the rocky gaps much like a piece of meat caught in one's teeth. Like that little piece right down near the gum line. We wiggled and wiled the pieces of wood out, threw them into the darkness in what we hoped was a sandy spot we would be able to rediscover, and continued our groping for wood in the night. We encountered some skeletal remains. We attacked them with a ferocity. Breaking pieces off we brought them back to the fire. The cold night would be held at bay for a time longer.

We sat down. I squatted by the fire. Time passed. More time passed. Joleen asked why I wouldn't come join them. Paul came and sat on fire wood nearer the fire with me. We said that guys sit on one side and girls on the other. Obviously our camp was besieged and amidst the tensions minds were beginning to fray. Paranoia was setting in. Whenever Paul and I would reemerge from the night Joleen would question us as to what we were talking about. Most persistently too. We said we were talking about "Guy Stuff". This is allowed because they kept telling us to go away so they could talk about "Girl Stuff". Really we say "Guy Stuff" because girls don't believe when guys say "nothing". At least if we say "Guy Stuff" then it's like the girls stop asking questions and are satisfied knowing they were right all along and we were talking about things of importance, like them. In reality we weren't talking about anything in particular.. which in effect becomes "nothing". Now you know. Mostly we were listening to the wind and watching shooting stars. That sounds pretty artsy fartsy... so we also.. uh... thought of manly things too. Paul farted. A couple times..... *ahem* *cough cough* I've never seen the sky so bright. I've never seen shooting stars leaves trails so bright across the sky. It's been awhile since I've seen Orion. We reacquainted ourselves. Occasionally trains would come tooting their way down and up the canyon, and light would briefly be glimpsed in a strip along the mountain side. The others soon all curled up and allowed slumber to overtake them. I went and sought out more wood. A few times. Each time I'd leave further and further from the camp site atop the sandy encampment. I ventured again and again into the alienscape of vast dark sandyness and occasional rock outcropping. One time I felt in the dark a large shape waiting me. I went towards it and came upon a hill-like outcropping. A rusty iron cable looped in and around the rocks near my feet lead off into the sky. I scurried around it but finding no wood I departed to return in the morning.

When I awoke I looked out upon a different land than the one I'd gone to sleep with. The comfortable familiarity of the night was gone. The wind had changed direction and now came up the canyon. A little tumbleweed tumbled on by. No more isolated rocks or sand as far as the mind can imagine. No, now the alien world was full of mountain faces, a large river, clouds, trees, birds, and train tracks. I nurtured the fire back to life. The only remnant of the night past. An hour and a bit later Paul woke up. The girls rolled closer to each other for warmth and we went off to explore the morning. Looking down river I saw a trail of footprints one of us had left the night before. A leaf had fallen from a tree and landed right in the footprint of one shoe. The yellow green shone out amongst the grey damp sand.

The river is really low now. There hasn't be much rain for quite a long time. The retreating water line had left behind amazing formations that have been carved and scoured over a really really long time. Large potholes, little tunnels, chutes and ledges. The sunlight brought another very alien looking landscape to our eyes. Something not often seen yet amazingly beautiful and wonderful.

Some people are very very gifted with words. Other's string them together to the best of their ability. I wish I had a bit more of the former to spice up my latter so that I could bring some of that beauty and wonder to you all. Pictures wouldn't bring it justice but it would help a bit. I still don't have a camera. It's on the list. ;) So basically go out and explore and live. Maybe go to a new place in the dark with just a headlamp (and some other people who've been there before wouldn't hurt) (unless they deceive you to their amusement) and walk around. See life in a new way by looking at the little things. Go for a hike in the fog or climb a mountain in a cloud. Your attention will be drawn to the foreground where there is a wealth of things to see and be amazed with. Heck, go look really really close at a tree in the woods. You'll most likely see all kinds of things growing on it.

Ok.. i've gone on enough.
May you have a wonderful week. If anyone wants to hang out contact me. I'll be in Hope for a little more, past this next weekend, then I'll be heading to Abby for a night. I may stay longer if people want to do something. Then up to Sechelt for a day or two. Then over to Victoria for a little while. Then up to Quadra Island. And I'm not sure after that.. open to options. But it's looking like, at this time, I'll be starting a program in Victoria in January. So then I'll actually be in one place for a decent chunk of time. Maybe a little over 2 years....

Ciao for now my wonderful friends and family, and family's friends, and goodbye to complete strangers who've checked this out for whatever reason as well.

ps a quote from my high school year book.. I put this in the part where the grad's do their write-up. Xor Dyffad. It's some 1997 code for y'all. It's really simple. It's not actually code. But it is something.

Monday, October 16, 2006

My Bro's Art

So some people are asking more about where they can see my bro's stuff... so if you want you can check out his website at

other places you can find stuff on him are...

Phase Magazine: Phase Collective 2 around Community

Or if you go to his website there are links to other sites that have some stuff of his.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

It's Raining!!!!

Ok so it's more of a light/medium drizzle. But still. Precipitation baby! Woooooooo.

Alright. So I'm rather pleased with the fact that we have some moisture falling from the sky. It's been sunny for quite a long time now and everytime I go to canoeing the lake is at the lowest I've ever seen it. The other day I paddled along the shore to see what I could find at the lower level. I found 2 1953 Pepsi-Cola bottles. Pretty neat.

So I've been leading canoeing for the past couple weeks here at camp. Next week will be the last week of school groups. I may hang around for one more week after that to go do some exploring in the woods and up logging roads with a friend from up this ways. It would be sweet to summit Mt.Squeah after looking at it all these years.

For those of you that don't know, Guatemala bills itself as the land of eternal spring. Looking out the window right now I have to say that I'm for seasons. The leaves of a vine maple outside the window are so very beautiful right now. Gentle green to brigh yellow to golden orange to vibrant red. The mist as it clings to the grass and rises waveringly over the field. The mountains glimpsed momentarily as the clouds drape over like fabric. It's autumn baby! Oh yeah.

Time to go. May you all have a good day. May you share the good and be supported in the difficult. It's all part of life, and it wasn't meant to be lived alone.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Story Time With Unky Jord

Story 1. Involving the Bambi pillow case.

As I was flying back from Winnipeg to BC I had a stop-over in Calgary. I had my pillow with me. While waiting for my plane I noticed this lady who looked somewhat groggily distraught. I struck up conversation and she informed me about how miserable her flight down had been. There had been lots of turbulence. She hadn't slept at all. And now she was going to try to sleep on the deplorable airport chair. Well... I must admit that I didn't offer the pillow right away. However after 10-15 minutes I folded like a pre-pressed table cloth and offered her my pillow, which she graciously accepted with a mumbled thanks. Her flight wasn't due to leave for an hour and a half. My flight was boarding in 20 minutes. The boarding call came and I made my decision. She needs that pillow more than me. Even though that pilllow case has many memories for me... (it's seen a number of pillows pass through it during it's brief tenure on earth).. one time my brother snuck in and drew x's on bambi's eyes.. making it look like he was dead... Anyways.. I left the pillow with the lady and boarded the plane, and thought that was the last I'd see of my pillow case. Well........ as I was sitting in the plane I was talking with the gentleman beside me. He enquired of my profession. I told him about the Uni job. The travelling. Etc. He was duly impressed (though that wasn't my objective.. I was just answering his questions honestly). I also had a bit of a beard growing which makes me look a little older as well. All of a sudden! a flight attendant speaks forth from the front of the plane. "Ahem... a lady told me that someone on this plane lent her their pillow. Who's pillow is this?" (As she holds aloft my Bambi pillow in all it's glory) (and everyone sees it as, in fact, a Bambi pillow). The guy next to me makes some comment. I forget what it was now. And the flight attendant walks down the aisle. As she passes by me I say "excuse me that's my pillow". Well she looks at me and gives a little fake laugh and says "of course it is sir" as if I'm attempting a silly little joke. And then she walks on down the row with my pillow. No one claims it and she's on her way back. I say to her again. "No really. That's my pillow." She looks at me. She looks at the pillow. She gives me the pillow. The guy next to me looks at the pillow. He looks at me. He comments on the weather. (ok the weather part didn't happen). We share a chuckle about the whole thing and then fly back to Vancouver. The End.

Wow.. quite the story eh? Alright.. and one more.... since you're such a receptive audience. Or at least captive to your circumstance.

Story 2. The Loppers.

My mother has a set of pruning shears, or "loppers" as they're known around my house. She actually has a couple pairs due to the fact that the pair in question are wearing out. Well not the loppers themselves but the rubber ring that stops the wooden handles from crashing together, slamming fingers in their calamitous collision. And of course each time it happens again it hurts a little more as your fingers slowly become tenderized. Enough about the loppers, we'll come back to them in a bit.
So the other day, back in Sechelt, my brother and I were at my mother's house. We'd just gotten back from our trip to Egmont and were about to leave for Quadra Island (but I, of course, ended up detouring for a couple weeks to Hope.. another story). Anyhoo.. mi madre she comes to us with the simple request that we clear out a front garden for her. It is full of some Red Hot Pokers (plants) and a big, huge, gnarly, tough, tenacious chunk of grass 6ft tall. Kinda like a bamboo. So my bro bro is gonna dig it out and starts digging around it. Then we're gonna attempt to cut it into more manageable pieces. For which I scrounge around the yard for an older, duller, axe to chop at the dirt/roots. We are, however, faced with a predicament; namely the 6ft high stalks of grass. Well my brother says "we got any loppers kicking around?" (AHA! You thought I'd forgotten about those didn't you? Or at least were wondering when they'd come into play again). My mother tells me where to find them. I go. I find The Loppers of pain. I start cutting. You need to apply quite a bit of pressure to get those blades to slice through several fingersize stalks at once. And then *slam* *ow* *expletive* *pain*. I adjust my grip and continue. I find a way that sorta works and keep cutting. Only occasionally pinching my fingers. Then one particularly great compression is followed by a particularly great expression. My mother says "why the heck are you using those ones?" As if she'd told me there were any other. So she goes to another place and brings down another pair. I ask her why she still has the pinching loppers of doom if she has a another pair of loppers. She says it's cause Tom (my step dad) won't let her get rid of them cause they are "fixable" (yet I'll point out still unfixed). She then tells me to throw the loppers into the bush down in front of the house. It's owned by the neighbors, overgrown with blackberry prickle bushes, alders, and some other trees. Well I wind up and do a little hammer throw type spin and launch the loppers heavenward in the direction of the overgrown lot. They descend majestically from the sky and become lodged in an alder tree slowly losing it's leaves. This alder tree also happens to be right infront of the house; right infront of the big picture window my mom and Tom look out every day when they sit in their living room chairs. We raise the question "do you think he'll notice?" We decide that he hopefully won't and commence with the work once more. I go in search of another pry bar. Locate some drill steel. But bro says nah. We get the job done and the garden roughly removed.

Of course if the story were to end there it wouldn't be that good. Mediocre acutally. But thankfully, there is more.

I recived the other day, an email from my mother. The neighbor had called. The house was for sale. But before it sells my step-dad can come down and remove any trees that are blocking the view. Well.. when he comes back in he tells my mom how he'd fallen a number of trees and then came up to this alder. He started cutting it down when out of nowhere a pair of loppers fall from above and almost take his ear off! Imagine that. Of course he brought them home. They're fixable.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

On my out the door..

Riding a ferry.. meeting friends in the city.. staying in Abby overnight.. maybe watching a little Bride & Prejudice... heading to camp tomorrow.

Here's a thought to leave with.. a visual in your head if you will....

Giant Pandas playing Mini-golf.


Friday, September 29, 2006

What Kind of Beer are you?

Here's my result. First time.

You Are Guinness

You know beer well, and you'll only drink the best beers in the world.
Watered down beers disgust you, as do the people who drink them.
When you drink, you tend to become a bit of a know it all - especially about subjects you don't know well.
But your friends tolerate your drunken ways, because you introduce them to the best beers around.

And for dinner some of my mom's homemade clam chowder.. so good.
Updated Winter Beard Score.. 4 votes for, 1 vote against. The beard is growing as we speak. Perhaps a viking costume for Halloween?