Friday, 30 November 2012

If a tree falls in the forest, do the other trees hear its "ooof?"

This babblelog is all about the bike path to sex, happiness, and world peace.  It sez so right up there, front and centre. Earlier this week, Bike Snob said:

(mmm, sperm whale)

You see? This is, in fact, my very own blog and I can type in whatever I want. Snob sez so right up there in orange and white. I do try to keep these babblings relevant to bicycles in some way shape or form, since it is the BIKE path to world peace which I'm blithely trying to lead you down.

Imagine my consternation, then, when my friend said "You really should stop harping on about bikes the way you do," followed up with "Philosophizing is all well and fine, but if you want to build a large readership, you should offer something of actual value to people."  He went on to suggest that I share with you, my dear reader, some of the things I've learned about health and wellness over the years.

This feels so good, so right, writing this blog.  It's so much fun. If the sound of the blog is not heard, does it really exist in any meaningful way?  It  has to be relevant or there's just no point in it. He's right.  It does have to offer a value, or readers will stop coming back.  That's just common sense.  I know.  Beavers.  It needs more wet beaver shots. Here are a couple of them for you....

photo lifted from here
Here's the thing.  This friend ...I probably shouldn't call him a friend, really, because he makes it quite clear that he doesn't like me much, though he persists in helping me. Bless him. Anyway, he has given me a few bits of stellar advice in the past, and he has done rather well for himself both in broadcasting and in business, so you do see my quandary, right?

You, dear reader, may or may not know that I have put some time and effort into raising people's awareness of a few environmental health and wellness issues, and in particular, have, over the past several years, worked on a health-centred design project which involved making PURE sustainable furniture, like this:

With a genius who looks like this:

Ami McKay
I always try to make friends with really smart people because smart rubs off.  Even people with density -yes, people like me!- learn things this way.  (Well, what do you know?  Turns out I can shamelessly plug things in my very own blog, too.) PURE design is all about removing toxins from your indoor environment, so  I was not even a little bit surprised when the CBC's Marketplace ran a show about the dangerous chemicals offgassing (wee mini-me breaks into peals of laughter whenever I say that word, it always makes me smile to mention it.) from your furniture and electronics. I wasn't even mildly nonplussed.  Nope.  I was all like.... "McFinally."

And this is just the bit which made it through the notorious Canadian Science Muzzle.

Don't even get me started.  

Oprah"s peeps featured this in the last edition of "O at Home. Why?  Because it's healthy and PURE."  Boo Yeah,  Sukkah.  We badass.  In the very best sense.

The honest to goodness truth is that I do have a strong desire to offer you, kind reader, something of real value, something which will truly enrich your life.  My friend figures I have a unique perspective, having done some healing of my own. (Have I told you, for instance, that my eyesight has gotten better over the last ten years?  How cool is that?? 

Forgive me. I come from a family full of  liars lawyers, politicians, and environmental activists, too.  Ranting comes naturally.  Guess you probably noticed by now. I do try to reform and refine my passionate ways, because I scare people sometimes. This is why I try not to rant, though much like a werewolf the need regularly overwhelms me.

Like when I saw Rick's rant the other day. Today I'm a tortured soul.

.  I like to do as the Dali sez and create peace in the world by creating peace in my own corner of the world.  And in that crazy, co-incidental Hermetic way, as above, so below, it seems that so many of our global issues could be solved if we applied the same principles to energy and food policies.  Take micro grids.  Small scale energy production done on local levels, for example, less disruptive, small scale hydro-electric projects, plus two-way infrastructure on all new structures so that every new building is capable of feeding the grid when passive and sustainable energy capture is available.  Easy peasy pumpkin pie. Vertical urban densification and a committed vertical urban spaces to grow local foods to eliminate massive chunks of our petrochemical dependence. I am trying to foster an idea of a better world, a place where my children's children can live happily and well.  Assuming any of us can actually have children by then.

Oh here we go.  The beast is out of her cage again.

You've got to understand, I love Rick.  Canada is a vast country full of many great and wonderful things, including a few remarkable talents, and Rick Mercer ranks high among them.  Everybody loves Rick.  You gotta love Rick.

And I've always loved his message, too, at least I did until this week.  Now I'm a tortured soul.

He.  Is.  Wrong.
Torture.  Love Rick.  Torture.
Rick is wrong.

There really is a first for everything.


The very next day, the CBC published an article about the very dodgy methods which Canada's Public Health Agencies base their statistics.  It makes my heart pound, just a little, when I see people promoting flu jabs, and I want to clench my teeth, because frankly I see a clear pattern of greed driven profiteering at the highest levels throughout this country. I see people suffer because of it.  And.  I.  Must. Rant.

How many people do you know who've died of the flu?  Really.  If it were as serious as they say it is you would hear about it every year.  People you know would be dropping...  Canada's health agencies include all deaths by pneumonia in their flu statistics, by the way, and not nearly all pneumonia is caused by flu. Pneumonia can be either viral or bacterial. If you google "Why does a broken hip lead to death sometimes?" you'll find all that laying about causes pneumonia.

There are plenty of natural remedies things you can use to boost your immune system without a flu shot. Rick is wrong.  Please don't get a flu shot.  There are tons of natural alternatives you can do to effectively boost your immune system naturally, and you will boost all of your other bodily functions, too.  Exercise daily.  Work up a sweat, move. Go to the gym if you dare, and look into interval training. Breathe hard.  RIDE YOUR BIKE.



(This is how I rode from work to see Fred the chiropractor this week when it was cold and dry, unlike today, which was warm and drenched.)

It's no concidence that this blog is about the BIKE PATH TO WORLD PEACE, you know.  Health and wellness is at the root of it. Riding a bike is interval training. It is very good for you for lots of reasons, one of which being that it benefits your immune system tremendously.  Google it, if you like. I'm too lazy. I ride because it feels good.  I'm happy when I ride my bike.  Driving a car is not the same.  It's a simple decision.  I like simple. 

Note to self:  do not drink and post.

Reply to self:  Stop being such a dork.

 OHOHOH!  I KNOW  I KNOW! There is a kundalini exercise to clean out your lymph system, and it has an ironic side effect in that a happy lymph system is nature's best facelift.  This works wonders to keep you healthy during flu season, too.  I tried to find the one which works best on youtube, but nada. Bupkiss.  Tell you what.  I'll post it to youtube for you, cause that is definitely something which will benefit you.  All it takes is three minutes, anyone can do it and you can do it anywhere, though it does look quite silly so I never do it where people will see.  Instead, I am going to go straight ahead and film myself doing it and then I will post it online.  



It's for the greater good.

me feeling good after seeing Fred
There are plenty of highly qualified people out there blogging about health. My favourite news source, though he scares the bejezus out of me sometimes, is Mike the Health Ranger and the Natural News TV.  Oh, and Dr Mercola, too.  I love my naturopathic clinic, Integrative Healing Arts.  Fred is one of many specialists there. Every one of these kinds of sources know WAAAAAAY more about pretty much everything than I do.  They offer a different perspective on world events than mainstream media is ever going to give you, and I strongly encourage you to explore your options with an open mind. It's good to look at stuff from a different perspective, don't you think?

Vancouver from Waaaaay hey hey upon high.

  You care about your health.  You want to feel good, to feel happy and well every bit as much as I do.  Happiness is your nature.  It is also the key to the deepest level of healing, and the easiest way to feel it is to give it to someone else.  Happiness is why I look forward to Bike Snob's posts.  He makes me laugh, and the commenteratti... heh heh.  Never mind. 

All I'm saying is if you want to be healthy, be happy. Instead of looking for reasons to complain, look for reasons to celebrate.  Look for reasons to laugh.  Follow your bliss...  

Wellies for the floods- look Ma, no heels!!
...even through the pouring rain.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Daylight's doom is heavenly still...

You may not notice anything different, but rest assured, this is the new me.  I have seen the light, and not just any old light, either.  I have seen the Jacob Daylight DOOM shacka lacka light, and believe me, once you've seen it, well things will never quite be the same again.  It began here:

Which is slightly curious...

and here's the other half.  What you may not see clearly is the url,  which takes you here:

And once here you will find that "Jacob Daylight delivers timeless notification of your impending doom."  Naturally, I have questions. Every time someone warns me of my impending doom, immediately questions spring to mind.  Like:  Really?  How am I checking out, then, and how long have I got?  Is this an Armageddon situation, or is it just me on my own off to face the reaper?  Well, don't worry... if you have questions, you can always contact Jacob Daylight thus:

Film makers and news reporters
may contact Jacob by email at

If you are an individual with questions about your impending doom, please allow up to 7 days for reply by email as Jacob has more important things to do.

I'm a proactive kindov gal, however, and I figured if my doom is impending seven days may be too long, so I'd best make preparations.  Naturally,  I got back on my bike...

...and made my way to hockey heaven, where dreams of a 2012-13 season have all gone to rest.

I figured if I have to go now, well, at least I'll be in good company. And now that I know how easy it is to get to heaven, I can just

Doom Schmoom. 

Friday, 23 November 2012

Naughty and Nice on Rod's Rides

I am naughty sometimes and I'm not sorry.  Can't help myself, I don't know what's up with me, really, but I own it.  Nice girls don't kiss and tell, but guess what.  A great man kissed me, smack dab on the lips the other day. Now guess what else. I liked it. 

Lots of people just call him Rod, but he answers to all sorts of things.  Some people call him Pappy, or Slap Happy Pappy, Rockin Rod, HotRod, PappaRodzzi, Rodrick, and it goes on.  Plenty of folks just know him to see him, too, but one thing is guaranteed.  If you've been riding a bike around Vancouver for any length of time, chances are good you've encountered him somewhere along the way, and even if you haven't, you still benefit by him.

He has even made an appearance on Cycle Chic, seen here on the right.
How do you define greatness? Can you measure it? Is it the one who's biggest, strongest, fastest, richest?  Is it the man who innovates, who conquers, who inspires? Is it some combination of these things, or is it something nebulous, harder to define?  To nine year old boys it may be the ability to fart loudly on command, so who gets to decide? There are many kinds of greatness, surely, but Shakespeare said you can take the measure of a man by the friends he keeps, and if that's the case, then Rod Kirkham, is a great man because he is known and loved by whole generations of Vancouver cyclists.

I've met him before, many times, but until a few days ago, I had no real idea who he was. I see him often, you see, or at least I used to until just recently, because Rod was often at the shop just around the corner, located conveniently next door to our local liquor store. He and the man like to have a chin wag at about beer o'clock of a summer's eve.

 If you saw this guy as you were riding down the street, would you think to yourself "Holy Shit!! Where's a pen?  I need an autograph!"

Me neither, but I'm a kissy sort of person, and now I do know who he is...

He's an unassuming guy, Rod, and he's super easy to talk to. They only call him the RodFather cause he'll hook you up with whatever it is you need to put the rubber side down. He always gives you a fair shake, too.

AAAAAAND he gets a few dozen friends together for cruiser rides all over this town, regular as rain. Around here, that's really something.  Everyone is welcome to join the ride, too, just so long as you don't mind stopping for refreshment here and there...

and everywhere!

On Rod's rides you can take time to stop and smell the roses.

Or sip the whiskey or whatever.

I knew all that before this weekend, but even so, I was oblivious to Who He Is, and what he has done. What has he done?  He wove bicycles into the into the tapestry of our civic identity.  He was one of those early pioneers throwing themselves off of the North Shore Mountains in the early eighties, and he has tirelessly promoted a bicycle-centric lifestyle from that day till this. It's because of him and other pioneering spirits like him that we live in a city where the mayor gets about by bike, even when it rains.

Globe and Mail, Nov 19, 2012

How Vancouver’s Gregor Robertson weathered the storm

That last little bit there, the part I cut off, says "stays in fighting trim." Um, Hello, Toronto?!?? Our mayor is hot. Yours is not. This is not a coincidence. I'm not even going to play that funny clip of your mayor bouncing off a football field earlier this week because it's pathetic, if mesmerising. THIS is your fearless leader? 

 People. Please.  Make better decisions.

Remember the Hermetic Creed: As above, so below.  As within, so without.You are weaving the fabric of your city as surely as we are weaving ours, and I dare say, if I were you, I would be re-examining my options carefully. You can keep adding to your congestion and your obesity issues and your parking problems by adding more and more cars into the mix.  OOOOOOOOOR you can wake the fuck up.

Here in Vancouver, where we have woven sense into the tapestry, it has become a viable business operation to use the top of a parkade to grow food instead of parking cars there. Interestingly enough, you can multiply your standard yield by a factor of ten when you farm in this manner.  These guys are also delivering to high end restaurants in the neighbourhood on bicycles!  Ha. Vancouver is now smugger than Portland.  So there.

Ok, so what happens in this sweet smug town when a home grown hero needs a new knee?  Well, a few hundred people get together somewhere big like say the Croatian Cultural Centre and they throw a giiiiinormous great big party to celebrate his contribution, in a bid to sustain him in comfort, that's what happens. To say a great big thank you.  Pat's pub donated draft beer, keg after keg after keg of the stuff, so all of the draft sales went straight into the kitty, and there was a queue at the tap all night long, too, blessed be.  There were a dozen or so bikes up for grabs in the 50/50 draw, new and old, like this 1940 Elgin Rat Rod, Donated by the Vancouver Wheelmen:

(donated by the Vancouver Wheelmen Vintage Bicycle Club)
 as well as a whole load of other prizes, and a full cash bar, tickets at the door, and of course someone made t-shirts:

And someone else made different t-shirts:

(What do you think, is it a his and hers thing?)

The music was the best bit, though.  Rod spun his magic for a spell, and there were five bands, too, with Los Furios headlining.  We danced, and danced  and danced... it was tons of fun!  It was touching to see so many talented musicians come out to support Rockin Rod. It was a love-fest at its best

At the end of the night, just as we were leaving, Rod pulled us aside for a couple of minutes, and when we parted ways he kissed me good-bye smack dab on the lips, and it made me smile and feel good inside.

Know what else makes me feel good?  Sunshine on my thighs and a great ride between my legs. sweet dreams during these rain drenched November days. 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Think Pink: Tuesday's Shoes

Two Tuesdays ago
People often ask how I ride a bike dressed for work day after day rain or shine. I wonder what makes people feel like they have to dress any differently to ride a bike than they do to drive a car or ride a bus.(Fenders and mud flaps are my saving grace.) On a day like today, when my bike could do with outriggers, I swap shoes for boots, a la:

Someone recently told me that he watches aghast from afar wondering what I will wear next.  Which is why, when Blogspot, which has been acting a bit buggy of late, ate the story I wanted to share with you, I decided perhaps this would be good to take a moment to do a different kind of sharing.  I was aghast at the blank screen and now someone else gets to be aghast from afar, too, because I will send this to his inbox. I'm mature that way.

(Yes, thank you, I do know about the little "back" arrow. I closed the post, and when I did, the whole thing just vanished)  I did save a recent-ish version of about half of the story, but the formatting doesn't copy and paste from word to blogspot so this will take a little bit.  Bear with me, please and thank you.

 In the meantime

 You'll find me dressed as I am

on one of Vancouver's hundred km of bike paths.

And if you don't like it, you know what you can do.


Friday, 16 November 2012

A day in the life of a Canadian bird.

Thursday was the best day of the week.  It was bright, it was clear, it was crisp and fresh, and in a stroke of great luck the man and I were both free, so despite a hangover (mine) and some bumps and bruises (also mine - he's far more coordinated than I am) we seized opportunity by the erm... never mind, and did what we do best.  We went for a ride.

It's unlikely I will ever be able to colour inside the lines, so don't hold your breath waiting for a pretty map outta me.
This is a great little day trip. I'm sold on it because once you start on that long, straight stretch heading north, it's a gorgeous, quiet road up to the parking lot at the foot of the trail, and it just gets better from there. Once you're on the trail, (approx point B) you'll find yourself on a road without any vehicle traffic at all.  It's heavenly.

Course, you'll have to get by a few cars to get to that sweet spot.  Here we are, winding our way through the skyscraper jungle, travelling west on Dunsmuir.
On our approach to Stanley Park we stopped to have a gander at some geese.
Heading for the day's first forest encounter...
Stanley Park on a weekday morning... sweet solitude in the middle of the city.
A sneak peak at our very near future...
Soon as you get to the other side of the Lion's Gate it's just a leeeetle tiny bit like entering the Twilight Zone.  I'm not sure exactly what makes me feel this way, but it's a palpable thing.  It might have something to do with all of the "Look out for flying saucers" signs.
On the right track... it used to be that travelling from the Lion's Gate toward the Second Narrows bridge on the North Shore was a nightmare.  We had no trouble at all, because there were bike lanes most of the way, and reasonable shoulders everywhere else.
Urban sprawl meets temperate rain forest.  How far will we go before we finally figure out that cities are most liveable when they develop vertically?
When a girl's gotta stop, a girl's gotta stop.
We kept our eyes open...
...but even so, we didn't see a single Newt crossing.
Though we did see a coyote on the way home.
I saw all sorts of beautiful things.
This is the best bit, though... roads, roads everywhere, and nowhere a car to be seen. This is right at the top of the trail, near the foot of the reservoir.

This video starts just a little way down the trail from there...

Welcome to my world.  It's good here. You should give it a go.

Next week you will find words to chew on, too, and not just pictures.  This week was a week off, full of all sorts of week-off-busy-ness.