Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Civic workers strike III

Despite my hopes I have been unable to support the strikers in any meaningful way, apart from a brief visit to a picket line at Britannia over a week ago. I do have an opportunity on Thursday to join rallying workers at Terminal after I finish work. I will probably go along for a bit. I continue to support the workers' cause and find the Mayor and the NPA administration's reluctance to engage in the negotiations disturbing. This administration as most on the left will be aware has a capitalist agenda. Come the civic elections let's flush City Hall of the NPA.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Painting by numbers IV, the continuuing adventures of oil

It is only now that I am beginning to truly understand how oil paint messes you up, screws you up, sends you a little bit cuckoo....

It is bad enough dealing with the heat of the day, okay it's hot for me - old Limey. I am limiting my coffee intake and making sure I drink enough water. Keeping hydrated helps. Fruit and veg are eaten without question. Today spent the whole shift on the boom or man lift or whatever they are called in Blighty, I have no idea. Felt like a kid again driving that thing, like a kid at the fairground driving his very first dodgem car. Brilliant. Up and down and round the trees including two magnificent Garry Oaks at Thunderbird School. What a wonderful name for a school. The playground minus the wee ones takes me back to attendance at the Hyde, NW9. Tea break I sit with my co-worker on a bench adjacent to a silent slide and other assorted apparatus. 15 mins up we get back to it painting the flashing and manoeuvering the boom.

The day drags slowly by but we make it amusing laughing at the helicopter dragging a huge banner advert. Nothing exciting but a bank advert - how lame we conclude. Uncle Sam, not the US variety, keeps us amused with his lack of techno prowess and mad capers. Our respect for him though remains steadfast - the fastest brush in the west! Finally I leave the site and head to Rupert skytrain station and two stops later I am at Commercial Drive. I buy a new bus pass for August, pick up some groceries including bulgar and fennel tea at the Dollar grocery store before picking up a medium roast coffee and carrot cake at JJ Bean - that old favourite. I find the bench at McLean and sit and sip my coffee, swig water, eat the carrot cake, finish my coffee, swig more water and more, slice up an orange into six segments and eat. Drink more water, and hey presto what's this? I feel alert.

I walk to the book shop and buy a book on vegetarianism but for its info on legumes principally. No intention of dropping meat and certainly not fish and eggs.

Stone Roses on random, crank it, shower..............................................

Sunday, July 22, 2007

West Lion 21 July

An early start. Not as early as work but woke on my 'It's time to leave the house for work alarm'. Having already packed for the day a few days before decided to switch packs and go for a bigger pack. After an 'excuse for breakfast' but having prepared a hearty lunch and snacks I passed Blakes (closed), and then the Cambie Hostel cafe (closed). I thought of Blenz but then passed a Starbucks. The coffee wasn't that great. I nursed it to the meet up point on West Georgia with two fellow hikers. From there in the comfort of a car we made our way over the Lions Gate Bridge to the second meet up point where picked up the fourth member of our party to West Lion.

We parked at the trailhead and dressed in various combos of wet pants and gaiters before hitting the trail, which starts with an old logging road. For my British friends think disused railway track. Overgrown but a central path and maintained with rocks and large stones. A pleasant way to start a hike. Before you know it you are on to the trail proper and start to wind through the ever dense forest. It rained for almost the entire hike so visibility was limited. We got a good view of Gambier on the descent. Continuuing to climb we crossed a creek that is scaled by odd planks of wood. The second creek used to be passable only with a rope bridge. Not now. A metal bridge sits atop a huge tree trunk and steps on either side of the creek remove the stress out of this crossing but leave all the pleasure. It is truly majestic.

From here we climbed for a long period. It is a continuuous climb. One particular patch, approximately fifty metres in length, of the trail has been hit by the windstorms earlier this year. The trail markers were not visible. Our intrepid leader ventured out and found the marker. We followed her calls. I slipped a few times on the loose mud and tree bark.

The trail becomes firmer again twisting all the time. It levelled out at some point and then rose again before we hit the first patches of snow. We were then close to the base of West Lion. We climbed a little more and lunched in an unsheltered spot, changing our wet and sweaty clothes in the rain. We lunched standing up and after perhaps 15 mins agreed to head down. Any further ascent to be saved for another day and better conditions.

Post note: 31 July. I have added a link to photos on the Meet Up Vancouver website, a group did this hike on the 29 July, and my hike on 21 July was much the same except there were only four of us and no map reading


Thursday, July 19, 2007

One more household item

I bought the iron. Pressed shirts and pants, er trousers, coming to a Gary Jarvis near you. Super tired today. Two organizing meetings last evening left me with low energy today and struggled in the afternoon dragging the oil paint across a lazy surface. The fumes giving me a headache. Will I ever get used to oil paint? The Nine O'clock gun sounds as 102.7fm eminates through my near Main & Hastings digs. It's time to sleep to rise early and sing with the seagulls.