December 21, 2015

Hello-Ho-Ho from StuLand

Well, as alluded to in my last blog post, it's Chase Family Annual Video Christmas Card time! 

Yes, the tradition that looks fancy and slickly produced, but is actually just a thin veneer to paste over the fact that we fail to write out honest-to-goodness 'get em in the mail' paper cards. And yes, I can call it an 'annual' video card now, as I think this is at least the third year in a row of producing this! 

Anyway...
From our family to yours: Wherever you are this holiday, and however you celebrate, we wish you the very best of the season, and send along our hopes for a happy new year to all of you.

Enjoy! 


Blessings, 
Stuart, Kate, Sacha, Heidi, and Nino the pooch




December 7, 2015

Once again, it’s been too long, friends!

Let’s make this brief, since I’ll be back soon with the annual video Chase Family Christmas Card!
So, what’s been shakin’? The Syrian refugee crisis is a mess,  Canada has a new prime minister, Halloween has come and gone,  ISIS/ISIL is terrifying, the Canadian dollar is down, mass shootings are up, and the Christmas shopping season is in full swing. That about covers it, yes?

Happily, amidst all that, I found a new job in past months, with the Make-A-Wish Foundation (BC & Yukon Chapter, specifically). It. Has. Been. Amazing.

I am the new Director of Marketing and Communications. What is Make-A-Wish? Let me communicate to you about that (see how I’m earning my paycheque?!)

The Foundation has the very cool mission of granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. As in: let’s send kids to Disney resorts; let’s let kids get a new trampoline; let’s have a kid meet their hero. 

It’s straightforward, impactful, and very, very rewarding. I am a happy camper here. 

So far, I’ve gotten to do cool things like witness a wish kid turn on the lights at VanDusen festival of lights and launch Gingerbread Lane at the Hyatt. Gotta love Christmas! 

Saying a few words on behalf of Make-A-Wish at
The Hyatt Vancouvers' Gingerbread Lane launch. 
The lighting of the VanDusen gardens with Wish Kid Hannah,
family .. and some strangers in red suits.
What else? Still doing the paddling thing. Just did a first set of TeamBC canoe-kayak winter dryland tests this past weekend. I haven't done one of these sets of tests since the early 2000's. Long story short, basically its me at age 36 vs. a bunch of way-in-shape 15-19 year olds. Buncha punks.

One of them expressed near disbelief when I told them I wasn't there to coach, but to participate in the testing. I says PARDON? 

Here, a 30 second vid I slapped together of one of the tests! It's called a benchpull for those unitiated.




Okay, that’s enough for now! As I said, see you again shortly with the video Christmas card! I hope all your holidays are bright! 

October 2, 2015

One of these years is not like the other

Happy birthday to me! 

If present me could go back a year ago and bet against past me about what my 35th year was going to be like, present me would be in the money!
AH, Florida tan lines. Good times were had in my 35th year! 

A year ago, prospects looked good for a training and competition track that may have lead to the 2016 Rio Paralympics in the sport of sprint kayak. Alas, as multiple previous posts have noted, I was declassified based on new rules that came out this year.

A year ago, I was working at PwC,  but here we are one year later and I'm searching for my next exciting opportunity!

What a family!
A year ago, I was jogging along fine. Now I'm waiting for knee surgery! I've also managed to somehow put a small tear in the bicep insertion on my right arm. That one is a minor hassle compared to the knee!

All these things come with their own blessings, of course. I am excited to find my next work contract that is at the core of what I'm good and and what I enjoy. The paddling thing is what it is, and I am thoroughly enjoying being in a different kind of boat, the V-1, which provides its own potential opportunities and sense of satisfaction. That, in tandem with free time at the moment affords me the opportunity to take long, introspective paddles on my birthday!
#Birthday10K on a foggy Vancouver Friday!




The knee and the elbow things are... well, that's getting older, perhaps :D

On my birthdays these past years, I also turn my thoughts to my parents. By this age (not that they could have known at the time), they were already well past their mid-life. If (BIG, HUGE knock on wood) It was to be the same for me, I know that by my mid-30's I have already been blessed with so much opportunity, and such a great community of friends and family that I just have to smile about where life is at. The constants in my life with which I am blessed year in and year out keep a smile on my face no matter what.

No sense looking down when there's always a sun overhead!


Here's to the 36th birthday bringing about new opportunities and experiences!



September 1, 2015

At Summer's End...

Well, here it is. A summer of blistering heat and drought conditions is over. The end--here on the South Coast of B.C., anyway--has been heralded with days of lashing wind and rain causing massive power outages and widespread damage from tree falls.

We get it, mother nature. It's Fall, just around the corner.

But hey, let's remember the good times. Here are a couple of videos from our summer adventures!

Enjoy. Bookmark this page for when it's November, dark and raining even more.

This is a video from a bike trip my wife and I managed to get in, sans kids, up at Whistler. There's no footage of the steep stuff, cause I don't have a GoPro and was only willing to hang on to my iPhone for the safe sections :P



This is a video from PlayLand, where we take the kids at least once a summer. Once again, no footage from ON the best rides since I don't have a GoPro :P PS, The BEAST is a fantastic new ride for anyone visiting the PNE.


This is a video from the Sunshine Coast, where my brother, sister and I, along with our families, packed in some fun over a weekend. For the uninitiated, by the way, the Skookumchuk narrows featured herein? Not a whitewater river. Ocean. It's quite the sight considering the rapids it produces at ebb and flow tide times!



That's it for now! Enjoy the rain!



August 4, 2015

A work in progress: Story of a renovation

Well, here is the video about our home renovation that ironically took longer to finish than the renovation itself. 

Considering how long contracted home renovation jobs can take, It’s pretty pathetic how long this video took to put together. None the less, I'm pleased to share it with you! 

In this video, I focused in on only a few various aspects of the job; the main floor, broadly speaking, the backyard / back of the house, and some of the landscaping. Fact is, our basement and main floor were fully gutted, many supporting structures were replaced, and we rejigged some of the footprint as we went along. All in, it was about eight months that we were moved out. Our landscaping remained a shambles even after the house was done, so it was summer 2014 before it was all complete… give or take.

Long story short, it’s everything we hoped it would be when we bought the house way back in 2006, and we’re never leaving. 

If you need me, I’ll be on the front porch watching the sunset. 

https://youtu.be/WGtdNPwaxVM 




June 23, 2015

Classified information


obligatory plane wing-in-sunset shot before take-off in Vancouver. 
A few posts ago, I entitled my entry ‘de-classified information’. That was in respect of racing a para kayak. This past week, I was officially classified to race V-1, the para outrigger. I travelled to Montréal to partake in the classification process, and it was successful. In the eyes of the International Canoe Federation, I'm officially disabled enough to be worthy of that particular boat.

Stuck a maple leaf on my paddling prosthetic just to
remind myself of "what's possible" each time I take a stroke. 
Don’t get me started on how being a partial hand amputee does not make one worthy of also being a para kayaker. Who needs fingers to hold a paddle?! It is what it is, though!

Same tree. Same idiot. (editors note: it hurts more to
 do this with a hand with missing fingers. I didn't love it). 
Finish line at the Bassin Olympique.
This happens to be a women's canoe event. 
SO aaaanyway, the classification was part one of the trip to Montréal. Part two was to race in a couple of national team trials sprints to see if qualifications for the 2015 worlds could be achieved. In a word: no. Neither Saturday nor Sunday did I manage to post a time that qualified. I was disappointed in this, as I have been training on times well within the range I was trying to achieve. My Saturday race, admittedly, was sloppier than I would have liked. The Sunday race actually went quite well, though in different, generally slower conditions. I managed to post the exact same time on both days. Logically, then, had I put down as clean a race on Saturday as I did on Sunday, I may have put in a qualifying time. Ah well, no sense over thinking this. 

In general, I am happy with my weekend. Many objectives were achieved. I am classified. That’s a big weight lifted. I know where my time stands where before I did not, and I know where I need to improve.

A third aspect to the weekend: a return to the Montréal race course that I haven’t paddled on since 1997. Nostalgia couldn't help but play a role in the weekend. As I paced around the compound, I recalled the victories my wife enjoyed back when we were teens (she was a national champ that year, on that course). I myself enjoyed my best single boat showing as a teenager that year, getting into a K1 final. Camaraderie with team mates, humid summer weather, exploring a new city—all of these memories came flooding back to me. Granted, I had all my fingers back then. There's no accounting for every circumstance, I suppose.

Guess you could call this... a... hand bag? 
I revel in the fact that the sport that gave me so many experiences and lifelong friends—not to mention girlfriends, and my wife!—is affording me a second existence of new friendships, new explorations and the continuation of racing in a sport that is so ingrained in my life. 

So, I didn’t post a championship-qualifying time… for now. But that’s OK. in the 18 years since I came to this spot in Montreal last, I know I’ve already won quite a lot.  



Ahh, progress. three photos side by side in 1997 vs. a panorama in 2015 taken on this thing called a "smartphone". 

June 2, 2015

Kids say the darndest things…



“She’s such a psychotic b*tch!”

These very words were uttered from the lips of my (usually) sweet six year-old son. He was referring to his sister. How could it have come to this?!

Let’s back it up a touch, shall we?

It was in the days after my daughter’s fifth birthday. She had received a build-your-own birdhouse kit, which she was working on during the day with our nanny. The work in progress sat on our dining room table. I was busy preparing dinner one evening, and my son, Sacha, approached the birdhouse with the intention of showing his sister, Heidi how the roof was to be put together. The exchange went something like this:

“Here, Heidi, let me show you how this goes together” (subtext: “I want to work on this”)
“No, Sacha!” (subtext: this is my project. Hands off.).
“I just want to show you how this goes! GAWD!”

*chaos ensues *

“OK Sacha, hands off the birdhouse, come sit over here for a few minutes and cool off.”*Sacha lays down on the floor feeling sorry for himself* “Heidi  wants this to be a project for her, during the day, and it’s her birthday present, so let’s respect that. I know we share, but you guys are getting really mad at each other, so cool it.”

With the kids separated and “calm”, I returned to the kitchen.  

And then I heard Heidi’s war cry. She was not, it seemed, content with the situation quite yet.

“I AM COMING OVER THERE TO HURT YOU!”

And with that, she charged across the room, having made her choice. She dropped a chest-stomping left foot onto Sacha’s rib cage, WWE style.

*Chaos reigns once more*

Heidi was in her deepest pits of rage now, and she needed to be moved. After making sure Sacha was OK,  Heidi was taken upstairs to scream her head off by herself in her bedroom.
Back downstairs to Sacha.
“Hey buddy, you OK? I’m sorry that Heidi chose to use her body instead of her words like that.”

And there, from his position lying on the floor, he looked up at me and said "it".

“She’s such a psychotic b*tch!”

This, dear readers, was one of my finest parenting moments, I have to tell you. 

You will be amazed to learn I didn’t break out into fits of laughter, though Sacha caught  hint of a smile immediately tug at the corners of my mouth, and a glint appeared in his eyes. Quickly wiping any hints of the humour from my face, I gave a short and stern dad-style lecture about hurtful, powerful words, strong language, yadda yadda yadda.

Quickly, It dawned on me that this was not the run of the mill profanity and my course of inquiry changed.

“Sacha, WHERE did you even hear words like this?! Mum and dad don’t ever speak like this”
“NOWHERE,” he said, ruefully.
“It must have come from somewhere. Are kids at school talking like this?”
“NO! I’ve never heard these words before.”
Imagine my surprise, to learn that it was my own son who introduced these words into the English language.


****************

This accounting is the most extreme we’ve had in our house, but the use of the occasional “swear” is on the rise in our house. Without a doubt, some of it has been picked up at home. I am guilty of the occasional F-bomb front and center with the kids. Not directed at them, but if I stub my toe, cut myself chopping vegetables, or whatever.

Increasingly, though, the playground at school is a source of all sorts of choice language, either during school with the kids up to grade three (our school is an annex), or after school when kids from “the big school” come around to play in the annex fields).

So far my biggest challenge is keeping the idiot smile off my face when we’re treated to this colourful language. The best we can do as adults is try to curb our own foul mouths, and talk frankly and openly about why those words are totally inappropriate.

In any case, the time has finally come in our house.

We’re instituting The Swear Jar.

.25 cents per youth offence, $1 per adult offence, with proceeds to charity.

Why do these kids have to grow up so fucking fast anyway?

ARGH! There goes the first loonie.


*sigh* 

May 8, 2015

Donating blood: The Interview

FINALLY going back to donate blood today after a shameful, multi-year hiatus. Looking forward to my entrance exam, which usually goes something like this:

*usual review of lengthy questionnaire, then consultation…*
"Hmmm, interesting scar you have on your left forearm there.”
*Nurse's pulse begins to race*
“It’s a grafting scar leftover. I don’t shoot heroin if that’s what you’re thinking”
“Graft?”
*nurse's pulse begins to race faster*
“Yeah. You’ll note I chopped off some fingers. Docs tried to reattach them but they needed some extra vein length”
“OK well, that should be fine. Ah yes, I see it on your file. Your tetanus is up to date, though?”
“Yeah, don’t worry, I manage to critically injure myself once every decade just to be sure I get the tetanus shot.”
“When was your last tetanus shot, then?”
“June 21st, 2010”
“Oh, that’s very specific. How do you know the date?
“My two year old son sent me to hospital when he split my head open with his teeth. Long story. Happy birthday to my son, happy fathers’ day to me.”
“Any resulting illnesses?”
“It almost went septic, but I managed to avoid that with a week of IV antibiotics and fluids”
Almost… went septic?”
Yeah, this is what the screening room looks like when
they leave to check your file. exciting stuff. 
*Visible beads of sweat begin to appear on nurses brow*
“Yeah, all good though. I got a note on my file about that, even though I haven’t been in to donate for years.”
*Nurse goes to find file notes, comes back*

“Okay found it.… Any other surgeries or illnesses in your history?”
“Hepatitis A.”
*more sweat on nurses’ brow*
“Sorry… hepatitis?”
“Yes. A type. The curable one. The one I got follow-up blood tests and clearance letters from my doctor for, specifically so I could continue to donate blood. It’s in my file.”
*Nurse goes away again for a while*
“OK so we can’t find that in your file. How did you contract Hep A?”
“Working at Earl’s restaurant, far as anyone knows. Inconclusive investigation from the health authority. About that file, please look harder.”
*nurse goes away again*
“OK we found it and it looks like you’re good. Few more questions for you. Have you ever felt light-headed during or after a donation?”
“Yes, once. I passed out on my feet.”
“Oh. And when was that?”
“2002. My front two teeth are fake thanks to that one.”
It's all goooood!
“Any surgeries, piercings or tattoos  in the last six months? “
“Surgery, yes”
*Nurse now wiping sweat from brow*
“What for?”
“Hemorrhoidectomy, if you must know.”
*slough of follow up questions*
“OK, I think we’re done. You feel well today?”
“Yep, fine!”
“Thank you for coming in!”
--------------------------
So this is a lighthearted look at what it’s like for me to go through the screening at Canadian Blood Services. It actually takes me WAY longer to answer their questions than it does for my iron-rich blood stream to pump out 500 ml of the good stuff.

Fact is, it’s worth it. Donating blood saves lives. 


I myself needed a wee nip of donated blood back in the days when I cut off my fingers, albeit it a very small amount. I know there are plenty of exclusionary politics around people who can and cannot donate, but I’m not going to let that stop me from making donations. As I said at the outset, it’s been quite a long time since I made a donation; years, in fact. I hope the visit I am making today gets me back on the wagon!

I'll add a photo to the blog to prove I made it through the interview!

April 28, 2015

(De)classified information

"Instead of focusing on how much you can accomplish, focus on how much you can absolutely love what you’re doing.” 

I recently quietly disappeared. Details were few. My destination was unclear to many people, my reasons for going not known. My family did not join me. This was a mission I had to complete on my own. I... 

Okay, enough of that. It wasn't that serious. 

For a fortnight in April, I left the usual routine in order to participate in a joint Canada/U.S. Paracanoe/kayak training session in the warm waters in Florida.

Obligatory seabird nature shot.
In around Melbourne Beach, there is a long-established training facility used by sprint canoers and kayakers. You can typically find the Canadian team hiding down there for months at a time during the latter half of the winter as they prepare for the coming racing season. As a teenager, it was a training camp I only dreamed of going to.  

So how did I get there for this para camp, age 35? 

Prosthetic tan lines. #AmputeeProblems
In 2014, I took up sprint kayaking again after a lengthy hiatus from the sport. The para class became part of my motivation for getting back into the swing of things. Paracanoe—or PK1 as the cool kids call it-- will debut during the Paralympics in 2016. I had no ambitions toward the games at the outset of my return to the sport-- para was now being included in local regattas and that was good enough for me. 

Mostly, I was just super itchy to get back to the sport that I loved and had been away from for way too long. 

So, I did some able-bodied racing last year, as well as some para. Things evolved, and this para camp opportunity came along, essentially as a first step for Canadian and U.S. para paddlers on the road to Rio.

Enter the International Canoe Federation (ICF). 

The week before the start of our camp, the ICF met in Venice, Italy to review their disability classifications. I was previously—albeit it loosely--classified as a Legs-Torso-Arms (LTA) athlete.  As in, those elements all worked fairly well. My partial amputation qualified me to race in this particular class.

No longer, unfortunately, due to the new classifications from the ICF, which gives heavier weight to lower body injury / disability.  

errr.... anybody wanna buy a para class kayak? 
I will first of all suggest that I am not going to complain about being declassified as this basically sounds like me complaining about “being too able bodied”. I think they call that 'looking a gift horse in the mouth'? But this was disappointing news, for various immediate reasons: 
  • I just ditched my family for two weeks. Whoops.
  • Last year, I invested in a para kayak, required to race in the particular class. Money not well spent. Whoops.
  • This is Jamey, a U.S. V-1 paddler. He's a beast. 
  • Oh, and I left work for this camp during one of the arguably busiest times of the year. Whoops.

BUT, there are some silver linings here. I have jumped into a different class of boat called a va’a-- or V1 (again, as the cool kids call it). Essentially, it’s a modified outrigger. And I like it. It is likely that I will still classify for this boat, but the test has to be made this year at the second set of National Team Trials in Montreal in June, just to be sure, so it's possible that's my next step. 

Alas, even if I AM classifiable, the International Paralympic Committee  (IPC) ruled some months ago that this boat will not debut alongside the kayaks in Rio; a disappointment to a number of Canada's elite V-1 paddlers who have been working hard the last few years in anticipation of a paralympic debut.  Perhaps it will debut in 2020 at the Paralympics in Tokyo; time will tell.   


But here's another 'BUT': if the IPC doesn’t see participation from folks with a disability like mine, they will for sure drop this level of disability from their classifications, so I am somewhat behoven to show up at national team trials in June this year to say ‘yeah, people ARE interested’! 


So, stay tuned for more V1 news. In the meantime, have a gander at some of the fun from the Florida trip. It was a lot of great paddling, hard work, and an incredible bunch of people along for the ride. I made a rough cut of a video...it needs work and some more action footage before it's super-awesome, but it's a fun showcase of some super-awesome people. It’s as much a reflection of how pretty the locale was as much as it is about paddling and the paddlers. In any case, early reviews suggest the inclusion of an  ‘up my nose’ paddling shot is a fave. You be the judge :) 



So, it wasn't ALL work. Dinner out on the town! 





April 15, 2015

Introducing NINO!

Well, I social media'd this bit to death back when we first got him, but overlooked putting it on the blog, so here's a quick one for ya: The Chase family has recently grown by one member! It's a short, furry, yet-to-be-totally trained member, and we're thrilled to have him!

Introducing NINO the Portuguese Water Dog! He doesn't shed which is a nice bonus! We're generally of the 'rescue a dog from the SPCA' state of mind, but one of our family members has developed an allergy to do hair, so we had to get a little more specific than what we could find at the shelter.

Nino was born on Dec. 13th, so he even has a birthday twin within the family, sharing the day with one of his humanoid cousins over in the U.K.!

I'll keep this brief, and I'll post this video here again for anyone who didn't happen to catch it on the first round. Note, this may not play on mobile, so if you want to view it, you have to get yourself to some sort of desktop computer!


Happily for us, by the time we picked him up from the breeder he was already crate trained and (mostly) house broken, so we had an easy(ish) start. Good thing since I just abandoned the family for two weeks to go to a training camp in Florida... more on that next week, maybe!

in the meantime, please welcome Nino!

March 17, 2015

VOTE YES!

I rarely get political/overly sweary here on my blog. I usually talk about family things. Babies, dogs, vacation time. But right now I’m terrified and annoyed about something happening in my region.

So I have to take pause to say this, in bold, curse-ridden caps: VOTE YES ON THE FUCKING TRANSLINK PLEBISCITE, HOLY SHIT, PLEASE, FOR THE SAKE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND SIMPLE TO UNDERSTAND.  

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) has been doing, unfortunately, a good job of making people believe that the requested funds will be mismanaged by Translink, and therefore, it’s all just a bad idea. Jason Bateman is an idiot. He just wants to win. I don’t think he genuinely cares about facts.

The naysayers seem to think that the expanse in transit options, if funding is approved, will only be good for Vancouverites (ie, me). While it will fund a new subway line for the Broadway corridor, it will expand options for folks living south of the Fraser River. Which is a damned good thing, cause guess what? A MILLION PEOPLE are expected to move into the region in the coming couple decades. A MILLION. In a highly populous country, maybe that’s just ‘another Wednesday’, but around here, that’s a big fuckin’ deal.  And guess what? Those people are going to work ALL OVER the Lower mainland. Including the Broadway corridor, by the way.

So that Broadway corridor, let’s just focus on it for a second.

Did you know that this relatively puny section of real estate has the
second largest employee base IN THE ENTIRE PROVINCE? One little stretch of road, say around 10 km, is so jam packed with offices and places of business that it has more jobs and population than any other city or town in the region, save downtown Vancouver itself (which has plenty of transit options and a heck of a lot more space). Put that in your infographic generating machine and see what the visual looks like.  And what serves that corridor for transit currently?

The most unbelievably, armpit-smelly-crowded- together-with-strangers bus system, evah, basically.

500,000. What does this number represent? That’s not the number of riders that get ON the bus. That’s the number of people who get PASSED by a bus, every year, on the Broadway corridor, cause so fuckin’ many people want a goddamn ride to work! HALF A MILLION PISSED OFF COMMUTERS! That’s tant amount to, like, nine out of every  10 residents in Vancouver getting passed up for a bus ride. The B-line express bus route was jammed to capacity the day it launched, and that was in 1996. Almost 20 years later and it’s an exercise in frustration trying to catch a B-line during rush hour. Somewhere in the neighbourhood of 55,000 people ride that single B-line route every weekday. EVERY. DAY. That’s like most of the entire city of Vernon, say, lined up to catch a single bus route to and from work. It’s just goofy.

Enough about the Broadway corridor. My head hurts thinking about the stupidity of saying no to this project alone. Let’s move back out from the core of Vancouver.

If you say no to funding the strategy, you are saying no to a new Patullo bridge. I barely drive, and I barely ever cross that bridge. I HATE THAT BRIDGE. Disaster scenario nightmares run through my head every time I see it; cars tumbling into the water as the old relic sighs its last and buckles from the sheer boredom having to have stood there for so long.

If you vote no, you are saying no to MASSIVE improvements in bus service. New light rail for Surrey and Langley. More sea busses to the North shore. More trains on all the existing services, more community shuttles and handydarts for seniors and those living with disability. You are saying no to greener transportation and more bike routes.

“Yeah yeah yeah, but it’s gonna cost ME! The TAXPAYER!” Yeah, it will. Primarily cause awseome shit like this ISN'T FREE. But it's only going to cost, like, $125 bucks a YEAR. Seriously, per household, it has been costed out to something like 35 cents a day. For some, a struggle, I understand that. But for many, many people, I think you can handle the cost.  

If money is not your motivator, then how about social cost? How about some psychology? Do you want to be a less healthy, more miserable old shit than you already are, 10 years from now? This article suggests you will be, all because you’re too fuckin’ stubborn / short sighted to say ‘yes’ today to something that won’t show up for three, five, seven  years down the road. 

By most measures, a “No” result in the plebiscite will make the average person poorer, sicker, less free, more frustrated and, yes, less happy”.

SOUNDS AWESOME! NOT!

You think someone else will fund this stuff if we don’t do it ourselves? Don’t kid yourselves. The province, as but one example, is WAY more interested in natural resource investment and infrastructure than this. Yeah, they’ll help hold the money for this project and distribute it if ‘yes’ wins (Listen to what Peter Ladner says about this on a CBC interview from March 16th, ANOTHER reason to not bother listening to the  rhetoric about Translink mismanagement). But if ‘no’s wins, I doubt the province will want to spend a dime on the lower mainland.  They have their heads showed so far up their LNG asses they may never see daylight.

Unfortunately for them, this region is the economic engine of the province. Always has been, always will be, even with LNG money lining all our pockets! If the province wants to spend its money on resource development over the health and sustainability of the lower mainland, they should also remember that stat about how many people work on the Broadway corridor. A recent article shows that there are about
47,000 resource sector jobs in BC.  That means there are more people working in that 10 km stretch of Broadway than in the entire resource sector in B.C...

…OK, I’m getting sidetracked… point is, we NEED to make investments ourselves in our future of roads and bridges and transit, as it’s a very real possibility that no one else will.

I want to have options ten years from now for even further expansion, instead of looking back and saying ‘well, now we’re screwed. Sure wish we voted yes back in 2015. Now it’ll cost double just to get to the basics’.

I want my kids to grow up in a region that has the environment in mind.

I want my cycle into work to be safe and enjoyable, and I want others in the region to feel encouraged to ride, too.

I want to be able to think about using the Broadway corridor again, rather than avoiding it like the black-fuckin'-plague because it’s such a snarl the way it is now, for busses and drivers alike, and will only be moreso without changes.

So for these reasons, and more, I am voting YES.

I hope everyone else can look past the horrible, single-minded 'Translink sucks' focused smear campaign of the CTF, can look past the relatively paltry personal price tag, and can look far enough into the future to see a more enjoyable, stress-reduced commute to work.
The way things are, well, #THISSUCKYVR, and I want change. And you should too.




Just… vote yes. Yes?
Yes. 

January 20, 2015

Dear mum


Just thought I’d check in with you today. 

Thought I’d let you know that Sacha is doing well in grade one—if he had been your student for some reason, he’d make you proud, no doubt—and Heidi is loving life in her final year of pre-school. Your other grandkids are thriving, too. So are Jamie, Kari and I, and Dina and Matt and Kate. We’re all doing just fine and life is treating us well.

Well, on second thought, I don’t really need to bring you up to speed on this stuff. I think—I hope—you already know it, watching from wherever you (and dad, of course!) might be today. That, and I think about you and speak to you regularly enough as it is, I suppose. So I guess you’re up to speed.

Yes, we’re all doing fine. 

But on days like today—noting that you've been gone from us for two years now —I, we, really wish you were still around to see all these lives unfold, up close and personal.

Love you, miss you today... just like yesterday, and tomorrow.  

xoxo

Stu 


January 5, 2015

New year's anti-lutions

Happy new year everyone!

It's right about now that we cannot help but take stock of all that has gone before, and decide for ourselves the pathway ahead.

Some people call this process 'making new years resolutions'. I generally don't believe in 'em and rarely engage in such a process. Well, looks like 2015 is a year that I will engage... sort of...  

In November 2014, I brought the year to a close with a minimal, yet painful and invasive surgery from which I am now at the 'tail end' of recovering. I had some... issues... in 2013, which recurred, and got worse in 2014. Some of the root causes, I have experienced since a teenager. It was high time to manage these things, so I was very glad to go through the process. All of my resolutions stem from this health issue. But my resolutions might sound quite the opposite to a lot of the typical resolutions. 

For one, being in pain so often meant pain medications.
Yup. pretty glad to see the backside of these. 
Which meant no alcohol. Narcotics and booze don't mix where one's liver is concerned. 

so, my resolution...err...

Anti-lution #1: Drink more in 2015. 

I'm not talking about benders, don't worry, people. But it will be nice to maybe have a beer on a Friday as a reminder to myself that I am pain-free. 

Anti-lution #2: (This one will piss a lot of people off) I want to put on a ton of weight. 

I shed many pounds in the blink of an eye following my surgery. I'm one of those obnoxious people who's metabolism requires strength training exercise in order to gain weight. It's the only thing that's ever worked. Let me tell you, those lbs were gained through extremely hard-fought gym sessions, and I am very sad to have lost them. I want them back. I don't know how long it will take me to put it back on though I'm hoping not too long. Oh, and I want a few pounds extra added, in addition to just getting back what I lost. 

Anti-lution #3: See less of my family. 

OK, so this one is a bit tongue-in-cheek. I love my family, and love spending time with them. But I'm very keen to keep up with my resurrected kayaking life in 2015, and I hope that will mean some quality time on the water, a few regattas, and (?) maybe even a spring training camp out of town 
(location and scope TBD). 

Suffice it to say, the pain I suffered in 2014 and the fix to said pain kept me out of the training loop for the past several months. Can't wait to get back to it! 


So, that's what I'll be up to for some of this year! How about you? Whatever your goals are for 2015, I hope you achieve them! Make 2015 your best year yet! Or don't. Like I said... I don't really believe in resolutions :P