Grouse Ascent 2015 No. 5

3 07 2015

Route: BCMC Trail

Time: 01:47:51

Joined by No. 2 offspring and an old work friend this time. The former quickly got bored and disappeared, to wait at the top. The temperature was stupid hot. Even when we finished, it was still 26 degrees, at gone 8:30pm. Pretty sure the temperature was a factor in the slow time, but the previous day’s 16km hike might have been a factor too I suppose. Calves were starting to twinge by the time we crested the top.

Still, that’s 36 officially timed ascents now. Getting there…

Little Things in a Big Day

1 07 2015

Canada Day today. Fireworks tonight.

English women’s team lost to Japan in the FIFA World Cup.

Lots of things going on.

I was very recently encouraged to spend some time in the woods and just “be”, so today I took my father-in-law and offspring No. 2 up to Windy Joe in Manning Park. I hiked the 16km round trip recently when there was still snow on the ground. It felt like a very different hike when it was hot, dry and decidedly snow-free. Oddly, it only took about 20 minutes less, despite the lack of encumbrance from snow shoes.

The air was still and heavy. The various scents were almost painful as you breathed in the hot air under the exertion of the climb. As the flora changed the scents altered too It’s a pretty easy hike, a 3km river-side trail followed by a series of switch-backs on an old service road up to the fire lookout tower. It’s a little overgrown with grass in places, but certainly nothing to tax the reasonably competent hiker. Despite the length, the smooth old road was an easier ascent than the various routes up Grouse. I really enjoyed the 5 hours on the trail, and purposefully took the time to stop and smell/photograph the various wonders that nature had placed along the way.


30 06 2015

I witnessed integrity today – and it was both humbling and grand to behold.

Someone was being poorly treated by their co-worker in a café. Not physically, but verbally and no doubt, as a result, psychologically. This was witnessed by myself and another. I internally tutted in disapproval, as only UK-born people can. Loud enough to rattle your own bones, but totally unseen by others. My companion though – they acted.

With integrity.

They marched right up to the abuser and simply stated (politely but firmly) that their behaviour was not acceptable. Excuses and weak arguments gushed forth, but the point was made. I felt diminished by my own inaction, but inspired by what I now witnessed.

Standing up for our fellow citizens, with no expectation of acknowledgement or thanks (the abused co-worker was now out of earshot/view). For no other reason than it was the right thing to do.

We all have our own measures. Our own trigger points. Would you hand in a $5 note if you found it in the street? Probably not. A suitcase with $10,000? Well – that’s a different story. Most probably would, some might first debate the likelihood of being seen, if they didn’t. How about if Loblaws gave you several thousand dollars more than they said they would?

Integrity is not so easy to define… but easy to see when it manifests itself. It glows brightly. As indeed shining examples should.

A Library That Plummets into an Abyss by Susanna Hesselberg for Sculpture by the Sea

30 06 2015

I’m always a sucker for books, and home libraries in particular. I think I was hooked when I first saw “My Fair Lady” as a kid. (I also remember being amazed when I bought it on DVD that – just like the cinema rendition – it had a 20 minute intermission!). Professor Higgins had an amazing home library complete with one of those wheeled ladders. Now one of my life goals. That and the fishing lodge…

Anyway, this art piece is titled “When My Father Died It Was Like a Whole Library Had Burned Down.” Only true bibliophiles can relate to the feeling of devastation that alludes to.

Check out the link to Colossal to learn more: A Library That Plummets into an Abyss by Susanna Hesselberg for Sculpture by the Sea | Colossal.

On Love

30 06 2015

Quieter Elephant:

Nice snippet on Redamancy Lit…

Originally posted on Redamancy Lit:

Do you love me enough that I may be weak with you? Everyone loves strength, but do you love me for my weakness? That is the real test. Do you love me stripped of everything that might be lost, for only the things I will have forever?

– Alain de Botton

View original

Fight stigma and discrimination – be human

27 06 2015

There’s a lot of mistrust and hatred in the world. Don’t be part of it.

Misinformation and “knowing” facts that are actually just plain wrong is the root of prejudice.

This project in Finland by broadcasting company Yle Kioski had a man who was HIV+ asking for the simple human act of being touched. It’s all in Finnish, but pretty much the only word spoken – repeatedly – is “kiitos”, meaning “thank-you”.

A man with HIV asked strangers for some human contact. Their sweet reactions brought him to tears.

A man with HIV asked strangers for some human contact. Their sweet reactions brought him to tears.

The best bit for me is that (more well-educated) mothers are happy to hug the complete stranger, or let their kids do the same. Where would we be, really, without the non-judgemental love that mothers offer?

Loblaws and dodgy paperwork

27 06 2015

A week or so ago, a Canadian supermarket chain – Loblaws – was in the news and being demonised by the media machine.

The gist of the story was that one of their Surrey supermarkets was being re-branded to one of their other lower-end shops. As a result the existing staff were offered a one-time deal to compensate them for the on-going lower package the cheaper brand would pay. The news story was around the fact that Loblaws had over-paid ~20 workers and was now asking them to repay the additional money.

Many of the affected people had already spent/invested the additional money… several thousand dollars on average.

Now, I regularly get my news from the CBC because, like their UK model the BBC, they tend to be more objective and use less hyperbole. That said, and despite the story running for a few days, it was never actually made plain whether the original offer was more than it should have been (in which case those affected would obviously make their decision as to whether to accept or not based on an inflated number) or whether the offer was correct but Loblaws had actually overpaid the stated amount (in which case one has to ask whether the recipients were actually immoral in spending/investing it without checking whether it was an error). Now the dust has settled, it seems the latter is the case, and these people, having agreed to some payment actually received more, spent it, and are now complaining that the company is asking for it back.

Am I missing something? Sure the company might have been a tad heavy-handed in asking for immediate repayment. But, I’m sorry, these employees knowingly cashed cheques for more money than they were expecting… and neglected to question whether, perhaps, possibly, some mistake had been made, and potentially this additional dosh wasn’t actually theirs to have. We’re not talking a rounding error here. I too might not blink if I received a dollar or two more than I’d been led to expect, but we’re talking THOUSANDS of dollars here! This feels more like wilful neglect bordering on knowing theft. Loblaws took the higher ground and backed right off. Hurray for media-led justice. Not.

OK, so enough in defence of Loblaws. One of their local brands is Canadian Superstore. We recently bought a packet of bread-buns. They are magical. They have an infinite best-before date! Miracle food indeed. It could solve world hunger.

Best before... WTF?!

Best before… WTF?!

If – as is more than likely – you’re not as anal and detail-oriented as QE, you may need a hint. Go look at the June page of your calendar. See any date missing? Aha, there you go.

Of course, it might be good until 15th June 2031 which, though not infinitely far away is still pretty good! (Canadian date formats are inconsistent at best due to British DDMMYY history, but US MMDDYY proximity. Japanese YYMMDD is not uncommon, as here, to try and avoid the issue altogether).

So – what have we learnt?

I reckon we’ve learnt that Loblaws are paying rock-bottom wages and as such employ people with only a tenuous grasp on the way time works and what morals are.




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