Archive for July, 2012


The Lyrics of Life

Closing out week number eight and much has taken place as it usually does. However this week things have happened in a large and small capacity, which usually  resorts to moments of large resentment or celebration coupled with a smaller moment of the opposite forethought. Overall though things have begun to take on a much more relaxed pace and I find it ever more comfortable now to sit down and write, where as previously I have felt either rushed or compelled. So tonight I plan to sit down with a cold beverage, multitask online and collect my thoughts completely before placing them on paper. (or data stream) As many of you may have noticed, my post titles usually reflect some aspect of my week, and the events that may or may not have taken place in it. That is also the case tonight, and I think I will formally adopt that piece of style officially as a small foreshadowing as I deem it appropriate and considerate to my readers. Now on to business.

The first item in my long list of topics, which I have decided  to cut down a little due to my own restraints on too much information as I felt I may have accomplished earlier last week, is a continuation of something that actually took place last Saturday and involves the lovely people at Telus. As I mentioned before I was in need of a new phone because my current device was experiencing its end of life crisis so I decided to do what was best for it and myself and end the suffering. So I went back to see Wade, whom noticed us walk in and officially declared he would get no more work done for the rest of the day, which although funny, was completely accurate as Char and myself spent a good four hours in Telus organizing our new plans and purchasing our new phones. Things ended up going off without any problems, and we both walked out of Telus with a great overall deal between our internet/cable and phone bills due to the fact all are with Telus and two brand new phones, which we selfishly spent the remainder of the day playing with and accomplishing nothing else of any particular merit. I myself purchased an HTC One S, which I have aptly named Ikiller; and Charmaine received a Samsung Galaxy Ace. I do not need to explain the excitement we felt, because I’m sure most know the feeling of getting exactly what you want but we are both extremely happy with our Android phones, and as a bonus our Tablet links seamlessly with both devices turning our entire house into a wirelessly interlinked crash pad. I’d also like to mention our new plans have given us wireless smart access to the oh so blessed internet wherever we are and that our abilities to communicate with love ones and friends have increased due to a great two-hundred mobile minutes, unlimited text messaging, and ten number of our choice to do whatever we want with, free, all the time. This is why I like Telus, enough said.

Sadly there are no Thaddeus updates this week as both Charmaine and I have been too busy to get out into Victoria and free time it, however we have plans to take him almost everywhere with us from now on so keep an eye on his Facebook page (www.facebook.com/drinkingshark) for updates on locations and events because we hope to have him out and about soon.If you haven’t heard of him, or checked him out yet, hit the above link and join the revolution in Bar-Staring, and maybe help save or Oceans a little bit at the same time.

I will say however that because of the lack of Thad time, Charmaine and I have been able to spend a lot more time together in peace… or not.. Recently one of our friends husband was deployed on peacekeeping missions overseas and will be gone for the better part of a year, he has charged Charmaine with making sure his wife is happy and not lonely while he is away and because she has become a close friend of our small family that isn’t a problem for either of us. However there has been a dramatic increase in the number of kidnappings in our area, pertaining uniquely to my girlfriend about three times a week to keep our friend company. Although these trips are always scheduled they seem to take much longer then originally planned, but usually contain some sort of treasure discovered at the end. Nevertheless I have found myself alone at home quite a few times this week and this has given me plenty of time to sit around and think. With all of the random ideas and conflictions floating around in my subconscious this process can take several hours and has recently been ignored. But these trips have allowed for time to be taken for that process yet again and now I find myself getting a proper sleep like I used to. To be honest this thinking process is a relaxed form of meditation and is extremely useful in calming the activities of the brain before sleep or test and etc.. You cannot focus on a single thing with a busy brain, so like a highway, eliminate the congestion and use the open road to you benefit.

As always, something has to take a wrong turn during the week. After all it wouldn’t be the road of life unless there were a few wrong turns, unpaved roads, or cyclist issues. That is exactly what this issue is, a cyclist issue. As we all know, gas prices are exceptionally high, especially for one of the major oil producing countries on the planet, and so I decided way back when to use the bus to get back and forth to Sooke on weekdays for work as apposed to driving my Jeep. However, on the small bike racks on the front of the bus, there is no shock absorbing system and so the vibrations shake every bike to its extremes. I found this out last Monday when I arrived in Sooke, a good three kilometers from work, because I like to get a little exercise in before I start my shift, I discovered that I had an issue with my SX Trail. When I pulled the frame off of the rack the last thing I expected was for the rear tire to remain in the bike rack. Completely unattached to the frame. Now that was an issue. However the important part of those two attaching, the axle, was still in my tire… just barely. However my hanger banger, into which my axle screws and holds the entire rear end together was gone. Lost somewhere on the road between Sooke and Victoria. And so, after a three kilometer hike with my tire and helmet attached to my backpack and my bike frame slung over my shoulders I arrived at work properly pissed off and freaking out about how to get home. Needless to say, the problem was temporarily dealt with by Allen’s friend at the local bike shop. Or at least was dealt with, until we discovered, much too late to do anything that the bolt he gave me to fix the axle was stripped. Awesome Possum. Well, I managed to get the bike home that day, and have since not had time to fix the problem further, but I will say it was one issue I had wished to avoid. Oh well, considering that was my one issue for the week I consider myself lucky, and I’ll move on as soon as I find a bike shop to help me out. Chris at Ridetech, I miss you.

My next two topics are somewhat connected, and also linked to last weeks major announcement. Tomorrow my parents show up for their first visit to the island since I moved here. Both Charmaine and I are bursting at the seems, and I am especially excited due to the fact that I managed to secure Tuesday off to spend even more time off with them. The other reason we have been bouncing off the walls is because for the last three days we have been cleaning like a boss. Its a known fact, that due to familiarity you will live in conditions that are not always desirable, simply because they are familiar. We have not under any circumstance been settling for poor living conditions, but I will say our house has not been as clean as it currently is since the day we moved in almost two months ago. Bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms, office. A space for just the two of us is not large, but my do we have a lot of things and need to stay on top of it to keep the entire thing. The most urgent issue we need to deal with in the future, is a filing system for all our paperwork. Our office looked like a mail room coupled with a UPS store. Regardless the organizing did get done, but next time, a filing cabinet of sorts would make the job much easier and keep me in a much less confused state. With them showing up around noon tomorrow on the ferry I cannot wait to finish work tomorrow and see them. Nothing like kicking back with your parents and letting them know you can make it on your own.

Finally I get to the portion of my post which relates to my title. When in doubt, pound that sound. For several years my Jeep has been plagued with a consistent issue of speakers blowing because I was running both bass and treble frequencies to two three by six speakers. However in the last two days that issue has been remedied, thanks to two of my good Vic friends Josh, and Joe. Both of whom helped me with the wiring of the Bass Beast and especially to Joe, who has temporarily donated the beast itself to the Jeep’s already sterling reputation. Now it is a true beach part vehicle, and nothing feels better then slow rolling through town putting out a ridiculous level of decibels using a sub-box encased in a rolling sub-box (the jeep). I feel it is absolutely necessary to post this photo and might I add that to see it is one thing, but to experience it, is something else entirely. I must also mention that quality such as this can only be achieved by a case of beer and several hours of wiring work and Jeep bites taken by myself and my friends.

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Finally I must throw a quick shout out to my favourite CFL football team the BC lions. After watching them win Grey cup 2011, seeing a two game losing streak take place was disheartening. However results of a 38-5 game vs the Calgary Stampeders, has helped put both of those losses into perspective and in reality the games were both very close, with a few lucky plays being the deciding factor of the victor. So I must say, congrats Lions for your beat down of the Stamps and continue the great work this season. Two Grey Cups in a row. It’s always possible.

I would also like to quickly mention a new addition to the blog site. Our weekly photos sections is on the diebar of the home page ——–>

I hope to be updating this almost daily with new photos of the stuff happening around the Island.

Thanks for the time and make sure you get out there and get your daily rush. Keep the blood flowing and the heart going.
L8r

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Alright then, July 22nd has come and gone and it’s time for a new update, from the land of Victoria and the everlasting feeling of a great choice made by yours truly at a perfect time in my life to expand my knowledge of the world and my way of thinking. This week has been a thinker for sure. So many things have happened all at once, yet at the same time all over the place, in different area’s of my life, and yet somehow, every single one was interconnected at some point. It made for a very confusing and yet entertaining time that really encouraged me to analyse the happenings around me, to try to grasp the more complex pieces of these connections. Also I would like to add that preceding this post I worked an incredibly long ten hour day which began at 6:30 for a wake up, so I am extremely tired and I apologize ahead of time if I seem to go more off topic then usual, its probably a sign of myself drifting in and out of consciousness and losing my train of thought, however i digress.

I think this week I will start with one of my favourite things that happened in the past seven days as apposed to gradually building up suspense towards the big things, that being said this week had very few low points to it and most of my news is largely positive which I think is either a premonition of dark times ahead, or a typically awesome week that had everything fall into place. My starting point begins sounding rather off, but the end details may surprise you, but this week came two bills (ah yes, the dreaded life ending pieces of paper, or in this case online statement) from Telus. One was my monthly expected bill, the other, my first cable and internet bill which included both June and July. However the first bill was anything but traditional to what I had come to expect, and this is were the major downturn is. My bill is typically around the forty two dollar mark, so to open this tiny white envelope and see a charge of seventy odd dollars, especially as a student is life shattering. However I kept my cool and allowed my bill to process all charges for two days before confronting it again. Mainly I wanted to see why I had an obscene amount of dollars and cents to pay and I am glad I decided to wait and investigate. Apparently I had collected just over twenty dollars in International Roaming charges. Now as far as I can recall I did not leave the country this past week, in fact, thinking back I have never left Canadian soil/airspace/ or waterway in my entire life. So as you can imagine this seemed a little odd. This bothered me for a day until I remembered a rumour I had heard involving my place of work, and so I spoke to my boss Allen about my concerns. It turns out that although Sooke is located on Vancouver Island which is of course Canadian land, and has a large shipping lane and four hour sailing crossing between it and Port Angeles there is a cell tower located on the American side of the Juan De Fuca, that produces and extremely overbearing, and ridiculously powerful signal. Much more so then its smaller relative on the Canadian side. And so my phone decided in all its wisdom and glory to trade signals and reroute all of my text messages and calls through the US instead of my home nation. Hence, twenty odd dollars of pain and suffering, or so I thought. Walking into Telus Char and I sat down with a familiar face to us now, a guy named Wade who works for the company and has been extremely helpful and entertaining since we moved to the Island. Needless to say we take all our wireless issues to him at this point. But anyways back to the issue at hand. Explaining my absence from America and quoting the fact I have never set foot outside of The Great White North was more then enough to convince Wade that an injustice had been done and so after a quick call my extra charges lay slowly dying on the ground at my feet, cut down by the unstoppable power of reimbursement.

It is here I must interject directly to this part of the story because without a small portion of negative background the next half of the story would not have any great significance and thus may lose actual importance in the big picture of my move to Vic, so the addition here, although not required is somewhat necessary and I think important. You make the call afterwards and if I robbed you of a few extra minutes of your life, take it up with the big man when your time comes.

Sometime around Tuesday, I turned on my phone to send a message and the screen lit up in rainbows and flicked on and off twice. Coming back to the message window I immediately dismissed this as a random incident and continued to use my phone. Five minutes after the flicker I noticed all my messages were crushed together and had no spaces, creating an otherwise unreadable jumbled mess. Recalling that I used the spacebar each time and even took time to add proper punctuation to my messages I tried again and again to use the spacebar on the keyboard but to no avail. Eventually anger overwhelmed common sense and I smacked my phone right and proper in the face. Now usually violence and technology do not mix very well but in this case I will claim a victory for humanity, in saying that I mean I managed to get my spacebar to work again, under the condition that I press it several times or mash the thing into the mounting plate its on. You could say problem solved, until the next day after sending a short casual message to a friend of mine. The response I received was similar in standing to, are you totally wasted? The issue was that I wasn’t and so I decided to go back and check the message I sent. Once again in glory mode my phone had tried to anticipate what I would say by adding a word for me; this is typical and usually the phone is right. However in this case my phone added seven words in conjunction without my authorization and proceeded to send the message without my consent as well. The words in particular were nothing special but were instead a jumble of stupidity that made me sound like a Monkey trying to learn English, but is French. Its hard to understand a sentence made up of only adjectives. I understood at once what was happening and realized at that moment that my three year old phone was nearing the end of its servitude, simply because it’s lifespan had run out. I still have the phone today and the letters it now writes completely autonomously to my contacts have only gotten worse and more convoluted and so I decided it was time I think about a new phone.

This is where we resume the chapter inside of Telus, for right after helping kill my extra fees, Wade, completely of his own doing, decided to see if there was a way to get me a better rate on my plan. It turns out, so he informed me that I actually was no longer under contract with Telus at all, and free to sign for a new plan entirely if I wanted. This leads to yet another conundrum I had this week. How could my plan have ended when I was locked into contract for a full year starting last November. Indeed I asked Wade that exact question and all he had for me in explanation was a lofty head shake and shoulder shrug. I’ve come to the conclusion though that due to the initial conditions of my contract a few allowances and loopholes were made. Originally when I signed the contract at nineteen I had no credit to speak of, so Telus offered me a one year only contract to see if I could keep all my payments consistent, and build credit. The conclusion I have drawn is this: because of my swift payment of bills and my Visa, my credit is actually exceptional and so I believe Telus is aware that I will be a loyal and on the ball consumer. Therefore they axed the last two months off my contract for so called “good-behaviour” which I am not going to complain about.  Onward with the second portion of this story.

Due to the recent activities by my phone I am in need of a new one, now consequently the best way to get a good rate on a phone plan is to sign a longer contract, specifically a three year contract, and to add to the amalgamation of awesomeness most three year contract plans give you either a free phone or a great deal on a phone. Therefore I have picked a contract which will maximize my communication with the important people in my life, allowed my self the ability to maintain communications with everyday friends and family, given myself a better rate per month on my phone, replaced my old phone with a brand new smart phone (to which I will use to its full potential after having two “dumb” phones), and upheld all my obligations with my previous contract. Making everyone very happy. The phone I’m getting…. well that is a surprise, since I will not have it until next week, I do not believe it fair to declare it yet, considering things change and the world has a funny way of rotating.

More good news to share unfortunately, as if tonight’s post isn’t already long enough. But next week is the first of hopefully many visits from my Parents. Both Char’s and my own are coming to the island this summer and next week it happens to be my own. I am very excited to show them our new home, our neighbourhood, what we have been working on, and so on. Perhaps even take a spare day off and just spend some time relaxing and catching up, and if weather and time permits, diffidently show them out to Sooke. I have missed them both since I moved and I think this visit will help my seal my own moving on, hopefully there will be time to talk and maybe even kill a few beers while enjoying our beautiful new home in Vic. Not much more I can say to update this as it is an event that hasn’t happened yet, but It will most likely also appear in my next two weekend updates, so stay tuned. With my parents around, all hell is likely to break loose! (In a good way of course)

My last little bit of good news comes, as always from my lovely Char-bear. It is no secret to my friends and family, and even some of those around Victoria and in the online community, that I have been on a culinary mission since moving to the capital. In Salmon Arm we were very limited in rare ingredients but now that we are here I can pursue my dram of the ultimate six alarm Chilli. Oh that’s right, you didn’t even know it hit six alarms did you. Regardless this dream was not possible back in the interior for lack of a major ingredient, the Bhut Jolokia pepper. More commonly known as “The Ghost Chilli”!!! Finally my quest for this special component came to an end tonight thanks completely to my girlfriend and her lovely friend and now famous Victoria wife Crystal. They undertook a journey for myself and her dearly beloved whom are both fans of the insanely hot food and found us both the one million Scoville gut buster sauces of our dreams, (and nightmares). Being as tired and sore as I was today, coming home to find this bottle awaiting me, help rejuvenate me back to something resembling humanity, and taste testing the bastard… well, that made me feel more alive then I’ve been in awhile. There is something truly inspiring about a simple pepper that can light your uvula on fire and turn your mouth into a fiery back door to the gates of hell itself, full of suffering, pain, and extremely epic flavour. That being said, work on the Chilli will begin immediately, and as soon as it’s completed, another post will arise, possibly including a recipe and instructions to light a churning fire in stomachs, world wide.

Finally, I will close with the one negative addition to my week. The fact that it is simply extreme tiredness and exhaustion brought upon by two ten hour work days in a row is light hearted and absolutly no cause for concern. But with three more days ahead and now break from work in sight I must say that I think It will be a rough week. On the bright side, today felt like a peak in the mountain pass, it was truly “one of those days”, and now that it is passed, it should be mostly downhill until the calm rest at the bottom of the moneymaking valley. Hopefully I’m right, and furthermore, if you had a day like mine I wish you the best and that both our weeks progress as described, slowing to a gentle halt after being worked to the brink. Anyways, that is enough out of me tonight. If you are in Victoria next weekend look out for the appearance of the Drinking Shark. Updates will be posted on his location and what he’s doing, and in the meantime…

Thanks for the time and make sure you get out there and get your daily rush. Keep the blood flowing and the heart going.
L8r

The Up’s and Down’s

Another week another dollar… or, wait…? Another dime another day? Nope. I give up on the old sayings. Regardless, it has been another week in Victoria. This will mark the sixth week completed on mine and Charmaine’s epic journey into our new lives, and our assimilation as islanders. Not surprisingly its been a busy week too, with man different aspects both good and bad and I’m hoping to cover them all. But first I’m going to start with a small weather related rarity in our fair city of Victoria, which may sound like a normal storm system if you are from the interior is anything but. Over the past week, the entire south coast of Vancouver Island has been hot. Not the type of hot people in the interior are familiar with like forty plus degrees, but here the twenty five to twenty eight degrees has been something out of the norm. With a constant ocean breeze coming off the coast even during high summer, our temperate climate here is around twenty to twenty five degrees, but after four days of scorching heat that apparently is not the case, and possibly a proof of the concept of global warming, I throw that out there for your thoughts, but withhold my opinion for my own safety. However that is not the improbability. What II am talking about is much more “up in the air”. Usually when a storm takes place a low pressure system hits the island and causes an awful lot of rain, however lighting and thunder is much different. Lighting and thunder is caused by a warm and cold system ramming into each other, however on the island this rapid cooling is highly unlikely due to the constant wind that pushes the weather systems about. However during this extreme “heat wave” there has been a massive lack of wind, which lead to these two systems hitting just offshore and sweeping over the southeast part of the island, provide two full days and nights of splendid storm lights and giant sky bowling. Eventually after time the cooling of the air reached a transition point and the storm dissipated and left us with light rain, but in the meantime, something else to talk about until the next big weather event hits the island.

In other news I’m proud to declare the acquisition of a brand new sectional couch, or new to us anyway. However thanks to the awesome used Victoria website, we bought this mega comfy earth coloured couch from a awesome dude in Langford who needed space for his new to him couch, also bought on used Victoria website. Because both Charmaine and I have families who love us, we are expecting them and our friends from the interior, and even our new friends here to need a place to sleep when they come visit, or drink too much to leave, because it does happen and its much better to be safe, then sorry. So we set out on a mission to find a new couch that possessed a double hide-a-bed. We succeeded in finding our couch, and even in colours that match our frame of mind. A comfortable, earthy, and welcoming home. But the advantages don’t end there. As impossible as it may sound, trading our old loveseat couch for a two piece six person with hidden bed mega couch, we somehow managed to obtain more space in our living room. Somehow, by the motion of the earths crust, our living room expanded by ten square feet. However it may have also been due to a rearrangement in our home theatre and our mantle. But that’s just impossible compared to the mass geological shift. Regrettably, there is one setback to acquiring our new couch. The previous owners were pet people, and both of their large dogs were covered in fur at one time. This led to a massive transfer of fur to ever surface of the couch. So ten hours of vacuuming and a roll of duct tape later we finished cleaning our new islands of tranquility, and the second drawback set in. Since owning these couches a large level of unproductiveness has set in, so we must find a way to make these things LESS comfortable then they are, or not…

News is not all good in Victoria however, and by extension I include Sooke and the southeast part of the island. Work at West Coast Outdoor has picked up since the summer months truly began, approximately two weeks ago and that should be good news, however the long hours of travel during both week and weekend is very taxing and is starting to depress me daily, to the point where going to work is no longer outweighed in fun to effort, in which it started. To make matters worse the cost of getting to work on a weekly basis is approximately one quarter of everything I make in that given week. Along with other costs and a massive budgeting skill I luckily cut even every week, but have yet to make any headway financially so far. To top it all off I had the unfortunate experience yesterday after an especially long day to run out of gas. Yea, that’s right, run out of gas. In Luxton of all places, the one town hamlet between Sooke and Victoria with no gas station. It had already been a long day, but after discussing my situation with a BCAA agent I set myself in for a maximum forty-five minute wait for a tow truck and a fuel tank… Two and a half hours later the tow truck arrived. Enough said, I was a little frustrated. However I took it as a sign. With my Karma now in good standing, especially after helping several people at work with their daily business it was a sign that I am spending too much trying to get to work so far away everyday, and with missing my family and putting them at such distance along with my new city I feel like it is time to get closer, so I am considering other options and will keep this topic updated in the next few weeks. However I will buckle down and continue with my current commitment until something better comes up that is advantageous for me and mine.

Finally the last major update of the week. This is more of an ongoing topic then something that has seen completion. Since Charmaine quit the Felions she has hit an incredible lucky streak here in Victoria. When she resigned, the head coach was so impressed by her demeanour that she offered her a job with her own personal promotional company based out of Vancouver, great, another overseas job. However because Charmaine is based in Victoria, and because the company she now works for has been expanding, the promotion offers that were previously offered in Victoria yet unavailable, are now doable thanks to Charmaine, and so a job came, when one door closed, another open. I’m hoping for something of the same style soon. In fact, even more similar then you make think. Because although I’d love to transition the same, I think I may head the way of product promotion as well, however not the same product as Char, we currently have enough free beer in the house. However as a side project towards promotion Charmaine and I have taken our idea of Thaddeus the drinking Shark a step forward. We hit the bar this weekend as our first promo at the local drinking hole and got a surprisingly positive response. So we thought, how can we take things further then just a great group of drinking friends, well we found it. When this gets big enough were planning on expanding our fan base which usually ends up in people asking how they can commit and enhance the experience. So, when Thad gets popular enough we plan to take any donations received and donate them to a Marine Wildlife Charity. Seems only fitting for a Drinking Shark. If your interested you can find him at www.facebook.com/DrinkingShark . Hopefully we can get going soon and start saving our oceans.

Well that’s it for this week, anything else was miniscule and had no major impact, so we move on, and once again I will say:

Thanks for the time and make sure you get out there and get your daily rush. Keep the blood flowing and the heart going.
L8r

A Bright Outlook on Life

Well, another week, another post. Already Sunday passed me by which means I am a day behind with my recording of all things Victoria but I digress. Today I was sidestepped by a bus due to the lack of available bike space located at the front of this vessel capable of carrying upwards of eighty people and so after riding home and calling my boss to inform him I would be driving instead he instead offered me the day off. Considering the fact it was a Monday, and there were predicted 30 knot winds in Sooke, and the arrival of a package I had been waiting on for quite some time I decided to take his offer. Besides; Thursday has become the new Saturday and I really don’t mind working Thursdays. That being said, I decided to take the opportunity of the day off to update this bad boy with the events of the past week.

Beginning with personal details has always seemed easiest, and usually leads me off into  some abounding point later on in my ranting’s so I might as well begin there. Before moving out to Victoria I started a fitness plan per say, a promise and a goal to work out at least three times a week in hopes of better cardio, stamina, and to generally feel better about myself. My pursuit began 7 months ago and through the entire winter I felt that my goal was achieved, between workouts at the gym, in both weight training, fitness, and MMA and constant evaluations and timed swims at work I began to notice a small change in the way I functioned and felt throughout the day. That ended a mere month before my move to Victoria and did not restart until one week ago due mainly to the huge mountain of things that needed doing to complete the move. Along with stress, work, relationships, and generally trying to enjoy myself in new surroundings not a whole lot of exercise was being done. However last Monday I decided that although I cannot afford anything resembling a gym membership, it is free to run and bike and train at home for the cost of nothing. I went for a run on Monday, something I actually used to hate doing was any type of long distance running. I have played soccer (or football for the sake of all things English) since I was 5 years old and sprinting has always come naturally to me. That surge of adrenaline which pushes you further then you are really designed to go is fantastic as the seconds count down and you have to make that one final play, but in terms of actually running, it is a terrible setback which has prevented me from running and enjoying running for a long time. Keeping that in mind I decided to set a quick pace for myself to put that ability of mine to good use but instead of setting out for a marathon I picked a short 3km loop around my block. I didn’t think I would be able to do the whole thing the first time all the way through, and sure enough I still need to walk a little portion of the loop today, but I did and can maintain that loop in just over 15 minutes. However there are consequences to waiting two months between exercise. The morning after that first run my left knee would not function. By not function I mean would not flex, bend, support my weight, etc.. As you can imagine that isn’t the easiest thing for a very active guy to deal with, however I was fortunate to find out later that it was just a simple muscle seizure, and sure enough even by later that evening and the next day my knee was back to full operation. The run has since happened again with Charmaine in tow that particular time. It has been awhile for us both but because of the area we live there is plenty of variety for us to choose in terms of roots we can run and so I can definitely foresee this becoming a regular activity for us both. However that night she did not believe my claim to running the loop in 15, and so after our first lap I ran it again coming in the front door at 15:30. My pace, as intense as the first time, the advantage to repeated exercise, no backlash from my knee. So my fitness mission has begun again, running, paddle boarding, push-ups, sit ups, and the odd chin up around town when I find a cross pole at the right height. Lets hope I can get back to where I was before the spring started.

Personal does not just include fitness however. A relationship is much like a flower, it grows and needs tending, but can be fussy and sometimes difficult. My relationship is no different and my Charmaine is simple girl, she is as unique as I am, and in many ways I am thankful for that as it is one of her many qualities which makes me love her as much as I do. Within the last year we have had some difficulties, due mainly to actions taken on my part that did nothing good for either of us, and were both selfish and inconsiderate. But since we have moved on, and did in fact move in with each other on the grounds that the surviving issues that followed those actions would be forgotten and a new chapter in our lives would be started free of those past events. However try as hard as we may, trust is one thing that must be earned, and indeed cannot weather all storms. The damage done by this storm left a lasting impression on us both, and in the recent week has given rise to emotions and thoughts we both have kept bottled since. Thankfully those issues have been brought to light by both of us and the current storm has blown itself out. As we promised each other, a new chapter that shall remain blank and unconcerned with our past. So individually, and at the same time together we are working on the problem to make sure it does not effect us any longer.

On to a brighter topic however is the arrival of Summer officially. I doubt for many I need to declare this in Victoria, the abundance of sunburns, accompanied by the ever present scent of sunscreen and sweat are a key indication of what I’m talking about and indeed already I am sporting my own new skin coloration. To this point I add that during the summer having an outdoor job is perhaps the most rewarding thing you can celebrate every day. Being stuck inside and seeing that bright sunlight is something that really does torture me, but thankfully not something I have to accept anymore. Although I realize that is still an issue for some people the best advice I can give and in fact encourage fully is the urge to get outside after finishing your nine to five and get out there. Go for a walk, a swim, even a drive with the windows down and explore. Find at least one thing a day which you can appreciate and I guarantee you will feel better about yourself and will dwell less on the confines of an office you face everyday and instead will be bouncing around your desk waiting to get out and make that daily discovery. Just don’t forget the SPF when you head outdoors and respect every aspect of nature when you do get out there. We all must share it, and being one species among millions we have less right then any other living being to make a mess of the world we live in.

The last thing I must talk about this week is something a little more spiritual to some, however odd and mysterious and even borderline strange it may seem I challenge anyone to give me reasons to which this next thing cannot exist. That thing I am so adamant about backing up, is Karma. Being a second year University student moving into the field of science I find a lot of deeply spiritual hard to even grasp however Karma is just one of those that cannot be ignored. It also, I believe, has direct affects on your physical being, in that a large amount of good or bad karma can make you feel good or bad in equal amounts. During the last few arguments with my girlfriend I have been feeling more and more dour after each conflict, and as a result my complexion has changed, my overall mood has spiralled down, and my desire to be active has suffered. This unbalance of bad Karma was seriously creasing me, but as any natural process can demonstrate, confined and control ecosystems tend to balance given a little time. The system I was talking about was myself, and the event that finally balanced was one of the most unlikely events to date in my life. While enjoying the sun at work one afternoon this week and feeling quite awful about the state my relationship was in, a bird of no particular description, and perhaps not even physical existence (for I searched for this thing for a good twenty minutes) decided as it flew above me, that a better time to empty its ass could not be had and it dropped a bomb on me mid day. For those who have been pooped on by a bird before I have no need to describe the range of words and emotions that float through your head at the time, but to benefit those who haven’t had the experience I will say it is the equivalent physically of being hit by a huge melting double scoop ice cream cone. Not fun by any standard I have tried to measure it against, however moments after swearing revenge on the bird to the moon and stars I found myself laughing… Some people suggest being pooped on by a bird is a sign of good luck. I highly doubt the truth in this as you are now covered in a disgusting liquid something or other but I will say that it was a cleansing experience for a few reasons. The first being that I was no longer mad at anything but that bird. Nature had exacted its revenge on me for my bad attitude and sour mood, and with each passing seagull was warning against more of the same behaviour. With that serious warning taken to heart I managed to forgive and forget my issues and simply laugh myself back to my usual self. Laughter truly is the best medicine, however we can’t bottle the stuff, so I encourage you to make your own whenever possible. Its also a contagious things so make sure to share it with as many people as you can. But I’m drifting from what I was saying, and I must say that is also the suns fault, writing this has not been an easy thing today as my focus is drifting all around me but at my computer screen. The second thing I wanted to mention about the experience is that the small things that can make you happy suddenly take on a whole new level of respect. For weeks I have been trying to get a seal to come to my call and each day they were unresponsive, and even to a certain degree mouthy. However that day I received my gift from nature I had my first action from the seals. Three times and with three different animals, the friendly curious ocean bound critters came right up to me on the dock when I called them. Perhaps they could see more of me then I gave them credit for, and simply didn’t want to deal with my bull. But after my dousing in eagle excrement they knew I had earned a little respect and had cleaned my soul of black thoughts. Call me crazy, I might be, but that is just a pleasant way I have thought of that day since.

Regardless my time on the Island has only built respect for the way people and nature are so connected here, I’m hoping that I will blend into that system soon too, relaxed and happy.

Thanks for the time and make sure you get out there and get your daily rush. Keep the blood flowing and the heart going.
L8r

I know I said (to myself in passing) that I was going to update my blog roughly once a week, and I picked Sunday, as it lines up nicely as a weekend conclusion as well as a weekly one. But this story just came across my coffee table and I simply have to add my own two thoughts to it. The focus of this thought, happens to be pairs. Not shoes, socks, or pants, “which by the way do not fit properly within the definition of pair because on the average day one simply wears a pant, not pants” but of couples of the human nature be they gay straight, or somewhere in between. Lets face a plain sad truth, communication between  people is a dying art. Very few people can have an interesting conversation in which they form fully developed sentences or dust off the brain storage file ‘nicknamed’ Thesaurus (which by the way is not a dinosaur) without one person unconsciously pulling out their phone and checking to see if something, or even if anything is happening in their digital life to distract them from the ever taxing challenge of making words with their mouths instead of thumbs.

To be fair, this disadvantage, and even one could say disease is not any one persons fault. This day and age we are conditioned to look at screens, the next huge development, the next big thing developed by large industry has us searching for more. And since  a great portion of our lives is directed through these screens, our jobs, our money, and especially our “social network” has evolved from the days of a little black book with phone numbers, into a world wide interconnected society based around our needs with each one of us the axis of his or her own universe. But enough of why we do these things, and more onto the solution of how we can mediate ourselves back to simple connection with individuals we see in person everyday, and to start, why not make it our spouses, best friends, girl/boyfriends, classmates, and just for the hell of it bus drivers (because they are just waiting for you to include them in your world).

I said I received something today that sparked this verbal conquest, and I will get to that in a moment but first I want to share my own personal side to this story. My girlfriend and I are hooked into technology. I like to takethings apart, understand the process, and am actually quite content with the older and well tested study tech like the Motorola Razor and Windows XP, while she is more, likes to be on the cutting edge smartphone, wifi access should be everywhere side of things, always searching for that next edge she can gain…. and both of us love to game. For different reasons of course, but after a long day, the reason doesn’t matter, we both just love to blow off steam and gather around our Xbox.

When I met her she told me of her gaming history, a little WoW here, some Starcraft there, but nothing the two of us could really communicate through. So I decided to make a space where we could both relax, stretch our trigger fingers and talk. The game I used, Halo: Reach. The mode, firefight, customized settings so she could learn the ropes. Because for someone who hasn’t played a shooter, and thinks the term duel analog is some kind of clock, the learning curve is steep. However, she progressed, slowly at first, wanting to know the names of the enemies, and why we had to kill them, and right away I was saying to myself, oh you poor dumb fool, what have you done to yourself. My girlfriend in 20 minutes had started to ruin one of my favourite games. Then, and I swear it was a miracle born from some sort of god a huge Brute Chieftain ran towards here as she sprayed and prayed to no avail as it smashed her head into a wall with a gravity hammer. This is where I need to insert the article that I received today: http://www.airbornegamer.com/2012/07/02/this-is-why-girls-suck-at-gaming/

Thankfully, my girlfriend falls into the small caveat at the bottom of this article. Now as I was saying, she died. Subsequently after that followed a dialog that a drunk sailor fighting a sea monster could not have recreated try as hard as he might, and she was hooked into mastering this game no matter what she had to do, and so several weeks later and almost a 100 hours in she was still playing, higher difficulty, custom controller settings, and wanting to build her own loadouts. She had made the change-over girls seldom make from browser based, to hard core gaming. Still to this day we sit down maybe 4-5 times a week and play firefight among other modes, and games and we talk together as a couple. We share our entire days, our issues and passions, all while shoving our boots into the faces of the horde. That was our first step towards better communication.

As another example towards better communication I am going to use a pair of my friends who shall remain nameless, probably until they are aware I’m blogging about them, regardless. Several weeks ago was their six year anniversary together. To put that in perspective my older brother has known his wife only 6 years, two of which they have been married. These two started dating in high school, and although they have had their ups and downs, they have been a rock as far as being together. I’m proud to say that every example I’ve used in the past two years of relationships “going the distance”, and “finding your soul mate” has in part some reference towards their partnership. Like I said, 6 years several weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be a part of that anniversary, and as their friend they asked me if I could get them two paddleboards for that afternoon. Working at WCO that wasn’t a major problem and so they showed up together just after 4:30 in the spitting rain, ever ready to go try something new together. Well two hours passed and they came back soak (exempting wetsuits) but they had found something they both enjoyed acutely. Best of all they fell in love with it together, and came back with the words “So? Paddleboard investment as appose to a holiday”. I know for a fact that out on that flat water together surrounded by nothing they were communicating. Telling each other the important things, however that is their time and I was not privy to a script of the dialogue. Still this is my standing point. Whether that was the first thing they found together that allowed them to connect on another level or the thirtieth thing, those two have no problem with the art of communication, and that is why their relationship is so successful.

Communication is something we are all capable of, we simply need to put down the phones, disconnect from the net, and be with people in person. Our base human nature to connect with others is being altered by technology to an impersonal form that I find both rude and unacceptable. When you meet someone, Shake their hand for crying out loud, don’t ask for their email. When someone posts how they made a decision they are proud of but wish for a hug, don’t like the status, go find them and give them a huge bear hug. Let people know your real, not a short piece of code that does nothing but laugh out loud. Be a real person, we have the ability to revert this change we are all confronting. Do continue with your facebook, your text messages, and email, because they are important in their own way, but should be used to solidify already blossoming relationships, not as a casual “well you might be someone I’ll talk to”. Mediation is the key, let someone get to know the real you first, and make sure you get to know them.

Thanks for the time and make sure you get out there ad get your daily rush. Keep the blood flowing and the heart going.
L8r

Well, its been approximately 30 days 3 hours since I officially moved into Victoria. This time June 1st I was sitting down with my girlfriend and my father inside my freshly unpacked place contemplating my future, my mortality, the strength of the relationship with the girl sitting beside me, and all sorts of strange things. Funny enough, I’m one month into that future I was thinking of, and nothing is even close to similar. Oh and by the way, for those die hard patriots: Happy Canada Day. I’m not much of a big celebratory type of person on this day, probably because of the past several summers in the tourism industry, has soured me on the part attitude due to drunken idiots and moronic stunts that should have you thrown in jail. However today was probably the best I’ve had since I started in the work force. I attended the Sooke Canada day celebration today representing WCO (West Coast Outdoor) as a avid paddle boarder, and I must say it is some extreme fun. I competed in both a race and tug of war today on the boards, and the fact that they were designed for surf and no flat-water made both events even more challenging, not to mention they weren’t Hobie products. I splashed out in the tug of war losing two rounds to one in a best of three but managed to win the race due to a mid-water collision between the other competitors on the last corner. I was then able to snag the victory and a dinner for myself and Charmaine at 17 Mile Pub in Sooke, which might I say serves some mean grub and live music sets a great atmosphere for billiards, in which my girlfriend poetically kicked my ass.

I am though a stranger to you, so maybe a quick summary of what I am doing here would be a good Idea.

I moved out to Victoria from a small city in the interior of BC called Salmon Arm. Since the 7th grade I’ve known I wanted to be a marine Biologist and so I began to gear myself towards that future. I discovered not long after that the only courses in Canada that offered my program were in Victoria or St Johns, Newfoundland. Being a native BC resident I opted for my home province, plus I wouldn’t be able to understand anyone in Newfoundland anyway. So university bound I spent two years at home studying at college knocking out the first year courses in the comfort of my home and finally hit a boundary I couldn’t overcome. My education and potential in the Okanagan peaked and it was time to move on to the province’s Capital. Hand in Hand with my two year girlfriend Charmaine, at the time a BC lions cheerleader, we officially moved in together and set ourselves up for our new future on our own.

That all sounds fine and dandy, but not much for planning, well there is more so don’t worry. Before the move I knew I would need a job. Charmaine managed to find me something close to one of my great passions, wakeboarding. In a small town called Sooke, just west of victoria. Kayak guide for West Coast Outdoor Adventures. Yea, that sounded right up my alley. So after giving the owner Allen a call I made the 45 minute drive up to Sooke and met him in person. Although I didn’t have my guide credentials I am a registered Lifeguard and swim instructor, plus a first aid first responder. That coupled with my outdoor expertise and my knowledge of his choice product, Hobie Kayaks landed me a job doing something I love.

But it wasn’t all happy trails. Over the course of the next few weeks Charmaine and I did not have a happy home. With money tight as it always is for students, we struggled a little meeting our base needs, and we started to resent each other for the advantages we both had. Charmaine was desperate for work, but due to her constant travelling she couldn’t find employers willing to hire someone who may have to cancel on them on any given day. She resented me because of my sweet job and the fact that she was not making any money to replace what she was spending on travel. As for me, I was working five days a week and spending 80% of everything I made on our needs while I saw her travels as a weekly vacation I never got to enjoy, and so was left rowing the boat by myself. Things were stressful and very close to breaking apart, but Char and I have known each other  a long time, and we know how to communicate and so we talked to each other as all good couples should and shared our concerns. Together we made a decision regarding her position as a felion and her position as a breadwinner in our new family chapter.

As circumstances came to be, the abuse she received from the team coordinators hit a breaking point and she left the team 2 days before the start of June. She was kind and honest in her explanation for her withdraw and that line of dealing with the issue as a responsible woman landed her a job as a promoted for the coordinators own home grown business outside the CFL. Charmaine was crushed by her decision, as were her teammates but on returning home to me and spending time together she has moved on to other things quite quickly. I hope the new pace wont bore or upset her too much, but only time will tell that story. So closing that piece, our relationship received the support it needed to allow the repairs to damaged feelings for both of us, and we are currently happy and healthy. We celebrated one month as roommates tonight with dinner and one month in a fresh relationship together and I could not be happier.

So far the island has shown us both a great many things, some bad but most good, and we can’t wait to explore more of our new world together, and on our own, and with the great group of friends we have re-joined, or just met. Hopefully things continue this way, but you never really know. Life is much like the weather, you can plan for it and watch the forecast hoping for those bright sunny times, but sometime the forecast is wrong, and the best thing to do is improvise.

Thanks for the first read and make sure you get out there ad get your daily rush. Keep the blood flowing and the heart going.
L8r