Friday, 28 March 2014

Kisses, Peace Pussy and the Nearly Naked Truth.

Hello! My name is Kerry, but people call me babble on, because I do.

So... No girl ever plans to utter the words "Actually, mum, I'm peddling my ass," to her mother, but I aspire to truth, and so had to have that conversation other day.  It went rather well, all things considered. Telling the boys has proven a little more challenging.

I did laugh the day I realized that my best option in today's crazy market is to peddle my best asset. You've gotta appreciate deep and meaningful irony when it shows up in your life, right? I get how acceptance is an important aspect of developing a peaceful heart, but this?

My whole life is a twisted derivative of Occam's Razor.

Yeah, the simplest solution.  That's me.  But doctors always love me cause I am an interesting specimen, so I am simple yet complicated. Ah, a paradox: how is it that I can be so incredibly dense and yet at the same time be so completely vacant? Hmmm? Speaking of paradoxes, isn't it funny how the truth can be right in front of your eyes, and yet invisible?  

                           That's what Peddling My Ass was for me, and that's a KISS list for you.

I promised you a Keep It Simple Stupid list, a go-to of the things I do to maintain my health and fitness.  The friend who asked me to write it knows that EVEN though I am sick, twisted and quite mutarded,  I am still strong and fit and I still get a lot done in a day. In the years I worked for Aurora, for example, I never called in sick.  Ever.

Because the KISS list works EVEN THOUGH.

Even though I've Made a Perfect Ass of My Selfie. And what the makeaperfectassofyourselfie proves is that as far as asses go, mine is far from perfect.  You see that??  It's still got road-rash on it from a run-in with some black ice early on in February, along with a little bullseye of spots from my core-activating seat cushion. 

It's a good ass, though, don't you think?  It's an ass you can count on, that one.  Strong and reliable, and good for the long haul.I do understand why it is that so many of the men I've met on Linked In are only interested in my ass, rather than the copy-writing and marketing skills I was originally peddling.  Yes.  It appears to be worth its muscle weight in gold, that ass.  Just remember the Hermetic Creed: 

As above,
So below.
As within, 
So without.

That arse has road-rash on it.  The body attached to that particular specimen usually has some sort of road-rash on it somewhere, cause it has hit a few serious bumps'n'bruises on it's myriad trips round the block. That arse has seen some serious trouble, and still it bounced back.  Everything on the KISS list, I learned cause I made a TON of stooooopid-arsed moves along the way and I survived em all. As the proud owner of every character flaw known to man, I've made pretty much every single, dumbass mistake a human can make. That's how I know how lucky, and that's how you know the KISS list really works.

That I am still here to experience places like this proves it.  

No matter where you are at now, no matter how many bad habits you have, you can recover and regain a youthful, fit physique with the KISS list. I was quite overweight when I smoked, for example. I've lost a fair few stone in the years since I gave that up! Er... have you ever noticed how many fat smokers you see out there, and how many of them cling to the notion that cigarettes curb their appetites somehow?

Ridiculous. Whenever they give me that old line I always say

(In the nicest possible way, of course, cause really, a little onanism does a body good.)
It's not the cigarettes that do the trick, anyway. Sleep controls your appetite.
KISS. So simple.  You'll see.

The KISS list is simplicity itself, just plain old common sense, though I didn't come by it naturally.
Are you ready?
It's a mantra:

Move Bounce Purify Breathe Love a Lot Laugh and Sleep. 
Kisses for you, and for free, too.  :)  
Barb Wood
Simple. And you know it's easy, because I can do it. I have every character flaw known to man, so if I can do it, anyone can.  It might look like I am dedicated and disciplined, but the simple truth is that I am a hedonist at heart. I make habits of doing the things that my body tells me are good for me.  Some naturopathic doctors use a technique called muscle testing.  Dr Hal Brown does.  He is awesome at finding what's going on in a body that way.  I do my own personal version of muscle testing, (another little thing I can share with you via video) and when I use it, my body tells me what is right and what works for me.  It's the Anti-scientist's way.

I'm gonna babble on and on about that KISS list because I want to make a difference in people's lives, and making a perfect arse of myself is something I know all about.  And besides.Linked in has been unequivocal.  Despite .  So you can have it.  You can hire it, or you can make your own.  I'll spill all of my secrets. I never diet any more, for example, cause that's just another name for self-deprivation. I love love love to eat, and I love love love to feed my friends, too.  So instead of dieting,  I make small changes to my habits, changes I can live with every single day, without feeling deprived.  It's easier that way.

The journey ahead might be a long one, but it's manageable when you take it one step at a time.

More than any of the other items in the KISS list, you'll hear me babble on and on about Purification,  That's because it's the one I struggle with most, being such a dirty girl, n'all. I am way too weak to give up my comfort foods and crutches lightly, so you know I've Kept It Simple there, too. I can't help it. It's what I do. That's why I want to share my favourite recipes with you. It's easy to eat superfoods when they taste superdelicious.

Babbliscious cheerios  with pecans, cashews, slivered almonds, hemp hearts, chia seeds and figs. Mmm...
My body made it clear one day that it had had enough of coffee. I cried. I sobbed like a child and wept and moped and mourned the loss of a beloved, dear old friend, but eventually time healed sorry, sad wound, and now I make a kick-ass almond maple silk matcha latte. That's whatcha call a tasty silver lining. My friends all love it, and maybe you will, too.  Your body will probably never tell you to gofuckyourselfie the way mine did.  Yours will probably never insist that you give up coffee or chocolate, and so you might never otherwise be driven to discover the gorgeous  flavour of matcha the way I was, but this way you get to taste the best of both worlds.

You already know what I think of our motor-vehicle-centric cities.  In my books, bikes are a no-brainer as a way of life, but you can still dramatically improve your health without one. 
Don't be silly.  Of course you need a bike.

 Movement as a way of life is not negotiable. Your body needs it like it needs air and water.  Stagnation is dangerous.  Why do you think a broken hip is a harbinger of death for so many elderly folks?  Because when you stop moving you start decaying.  Pneumonia sets in easily if you're not moving about properly. If you're any good at developing apps, make one that can tell you to get up and shake your tail feather whenever you've been sitting for thirty minutes in a row.  An app like that would definitely improve your health and wellness.  The most wonderful thing happens in the CBC Vancouver Radio studio every thirty minutes.  Someone in the building has a sound maker set to go off every half hour, and when it does, people all over the place reply with their own noise makers. Everybody jumps up and down and moves around, and everyone laughs!

Brilliant.  I love it.  :D

You've probably already heard the catchphrase "Sitting is the new smoking." There is a whole host of evidence underscoring the effect an active lifestyle has on the body.  The more exercise you get, for example, the less likely you are to develop Alzheimer's disease, the later you can expect its onset if you are going to get it, and the less severe it will be for you.  Scientists have also proven unequivocally that strenuous, long term exercise protects against the effects of ageing.  However you get your body moving, you have to move if you want to make the most of your health. You have to keep moving throughout the day, and you absolutely must sweat every day. Aaaaaaaaaaaaand the earlier in the day you manage to do it, the better off you are.

But you already knew that.
Chances are you already take pretty good care of yourself.  I've been a daily commuter for years, and with my need to watch my diet lest I suffer a nasty seizure, I figured for sure my bio-chemistry was pretty healthy.  So when Dr Brown asked me to chart my ph levels, the results surprised me.

I was quite acidic. You can get the litmus strips anywhere.  It's a good idea to take a close look over a few days, just to see where you're at.  I still test regularly, though these days, I'm cool.

It's an inexpensive way to see where you're at.  Your body will tell you how badly you need the KISS list.

You already know a lot about taking care of yourself, but  here's something most folks don't know:  the bounce bit really counts. Bouncing is key to boosting your immune function, because though the lymphatic system mirrors the circulatory system, it has no pump, only shunts. That means you are the pump.  I suffered from unstable knees for years and so I adapted a Kundalini yoga bounce movement to drain my lymph system without pain or strain, but really, anything will do.

What's the matter, don't you like that you have to move, sweat and bounce?

Honey, you can lick it. If you want to be healthy strong and fit, you know what you have to do.

Sure it looks silly, but it's important..  You have to bounce wherever and whenever you can if you want to support your body's best functioning..  I like to bounce a bit when I am up off the saddle climbing a steep segment and really pushing hard, and really, if you can bounce on a bike, you can bounce anywhere.  Climb stairs. Skip a rope, or jump on one of those mini-trampolines for a while. Jumping jacks do the trick, or you could even just head out for a super quick run. However you manage it, you simply have to move to stay well.  Your body will function best if you find a way to bounce a little and shake things up at least every thirty minutes or so.

Eagles above Richmond.  That's you flying high from the KISS list.
Sitting is the new smoking indeed... and STILL people SIT in their CARS and drive blindly on.  Sitting in cars is waaaaaaay deadlier than smoking ever was, and STILL people refuse make the connection between their poisonous driving habits and the problems we see across the planet today.  There's a big push for cities all over the place to ban smoking from parks and patios and all public spaces so that innocent bystanders aren't exposed to toxic cigarette smoke.  What a great and significant change! A few years ago, people used to smoke all over the place, including in hospitals and public spaces, but now you never really see people smoke publicly any more.  Smoking has become the exception to the rule, rather than the norm it used to be.

Cigarettes are waaaaay less deadly than cars. You can spend years in a smoky room full of burning cigarettes and still walk away, but you can't spend very long at all in there with an idling car. More people die from cars every day ... and STILL folks won't even begin to entertain to the question of placing any sort of restrictions on their freedom to drive anytime, anywhere.

Jeez people, get a life.  Ride a bike.  
It might not make you entirely happy at the start, the thought of giving up your car-centric beliefs...

but life has an amazing way of rewarding your efforts to overcome challenge with lovely silver linings, so suck it up, buttercup.  And besides, I'll happily share all of my silver linings with you so you don't have to spend tons of time in trial and error like I did.

Move Bounce Purify Breathe Love a Lot Laugh and Sleep. 

 I am going to give you another KISS tip now. Are you ready? This is an important tool which you can test out, starting today. If I could convince you to do one thing you probably haven't thought of which will really improve your health, it is would be this:  first thing in the morning, every morning, scrape your tongue clean with the flat side of a kitchen knife, rinse and spit, scrape again, and then drink as much water as you can.

Let's not get into exactly what that gunk on your tongue is just now, but suffice to say you certainly don't want to swallow it. After you clean your tongue off and have a big drink, try not to eat anything for a few minutes to give the water time to work its way down through your digestive tract.. This will kick-start your metabolism, and flush your organs.  I drink a full water-bottle first thing in the morning, every day without fail. I filter it and let it sit over night so the chlorine evaporates and it is at room temperature when it goes down.  I guess an hour is all it takes for the chlorine to evaporate, and the room temp thing is just my preference cause it's less of a shock to the system than cold water would be. Apparently hot water is best, but I like to rock and roll in the morning and don't want to spend time waiting on a kettle. Make a habit of flushing out your system every time you have an empty stomach, at least twenty minutes before you eat, if you can.

If you do it consistently, and even if you don't do anything else, this will improve your health. Watch what happens when you keep it up over time... you might be quite surprised!

Move Bounce Purify Breathe Love a Lot Laugh and Sleep.  
That's it. A teensy peek at Peace Pussy and the Naked Truth for you... 

Easy, right? Straight from my simple mind to you.

 Go on. Give it a go.

If you just bounce regularly every day, and do that scrape, rinse and flush thing for six weeks running, you will probably lose weight, all other things being equal, but that's not the point, anyway. Your organs will function more efficiently.  You will feel better, and you will have more energy, too.  I promise.  If I had charged you money for this advice, you would be far more likely to give it an honest effort, because you would place more value on it.  Isn't that funny? But it's true. Please do feel free to give me money.  If there is any justice in this world I will be a millionaire this time next year, because the KISS list is priceless.  It's true.

You can send cheques, samples, swag, donations and gifts to Kerry Guerin at 909 Station St, Vancouver, BC.  V6A 4J8.  Or you can click on the PayPal link at the bottom of the page. Wondering where your generous gifts are going? Don't buy into the myth of universal Canadian Health care.  We don't have Health Care here, we have Sick Care.  That means that the very expensive stem-cell prolotherapy which I need just to keep moving isn't covered.  What's a girl to do?

D'you figure I've lost the plot?  Do you think I must be mad to be peddling my ass on the internet like this? 

I've wondered the same thing myself. I'm the first to admit my family tree is chocka block with nuts, but the results of my market research have been unequivocal.  Besides, it's perfectly legal for a girl to offer her ass on the Canadian market now, you know.   And it isn't only for sale.  It's for lease, rent, short or long term contract, and just for general hire.

You get the point.  And the market has made its point.  As far as business ideas go, this loopy one where I peddle my ass has definitely got legs, but it's a bit awkward sometimes.  Like breaking it to the boys ... the small boy figured it was the best joke in the history of forever, and so he just laughed, as usual.   The tall one could see the bigger picture, and  so he gently shook his head, and worried a little, as usual.  But he knows that the degree he is after, the one which gives you with medical letters after your name, doesn't come cheaply, and so he didn't voice his objections, bless his bright and beautiful heart.

Test drive the KISS list for yourself ;
see how it makes you feel.

We haven't even begun to scratch the surface of the KISS list, but I had to get it out and get you started with the simplest and most important happy-body habits right away. Without delay.  DOITDOITDOITDOITDOITDOITDOITDOITDOITDOIT.  Do it today.

Move Bounce Purify Breathe Love a Lot Laugh and Sleep.  

I am going to invite you into my home with video.  That's how I will share my favourite yoga poses, scrumptious living and easy cycling tips and tricks.  And food.  Yum.  I want to share my best go-to recipes with you. I want to give you my staples, the things which nourish me, body and soul.

I especially want to share with you the joy I've discovered, knowing that each and every day is a gift worth celebrating.

Friday, 21 March 2014

All ride, already! Backpedaling, begging your pardon, and fessing up.... turns out I've made a real ass of myself.

I like to own my mistakes so I can fix them quickly and move on, and for that reason I must beg your pardon, dear reader.  Please forgive me for my last post.  It was unbelievably sanctimonious, coming from someone who is  busy peddling her ass.
I've wracked my tiny brain trying to figure out the best business model for hinder marketing.  I want everyone to have a strong ass to call their own, and this has led me to carefully consider everything that goes into making a proper arse of yourself.  It comes naturally to some of us, but you may need a few pointers. I found a photograph from thirty some odd years ago and the moment I laid eyes on it, it transported me back through the years to my first big road ride.  I was fourteen or fifteen years old when I took this, and soaked to the bone.

LOOK at those helmets!!  This was taken in Jasper National Park, en route from Jasper to Banff, I believe.

Back in those days I was as likely to be traversing the Rockies in a canoe as on a bike.

We would sleep under a tarp secured atop our canoes,

after a day spent travelling downstream through the mountains on a glacier fed river.  We spent much of that time in song, as we imagined the Voyageurs did.  I still sing at the top of my lungs when I ride!

I saw a few bear along this stretch over the years.  It's the North Saskatchewan River, and we canoed it between Nordegg and Rocky Mountain House every chance we got. This has almost nothing to do with how you're going to have that arse you've been dreaming of, but I owe my sanity to my early outdoor adventure experiences.  We all need to feel that connection with the planet we inhabit. It was there that I first understood the power and joy to be derived from old-fashioned ambulation. And my love of getting about under my own steam definitely has a lot to do with the strength and definition you see in my body today.

I built that thigh with lots of rides, beginning waaaaaay back when, but it's stronger than most, cause when the boys came along, I just added them to the bike, first in a trailer, then on a trail bike, and then on their own.  And you know I ride whenever possible, and I push a bit of weight hauling the goods home from Costco once a week or so.

My legs and my muscly butt are simply the expression of my love of bicycles.  

That, and the KISS list. The KISS list incorporates movement and basic habits I've learned through trial and tons of error. It's your distilled recipe for health and wellness, a few simple tips from a simpleton, designed to make your life better.

I've hears that people only really value the things they pay for, and that made me think at first that the KISS list should strictly be for sale, but you know me.  I think health and wellness is priceless.  I know that these things will be extremely valuable to anyone who commits to doing it, (a few friends already have!) but I can't help but babble on, and I always love to share.  So I am going to publish the KISS list here so everyone can use it as they will.  I will publish it along with Peace Pussy and the Nearly Naked Truth.  Even just adopting the first three points of the KISS list will make an enormous difference in your energy levels and general well-being.  Your body probably doesn't hold you to exacting standards the way mine does me, but yours will certainly respond well to the list. I will also set up a new YouTube channel so I can show you a few of my favourite exercises, and share a few of my favourite dishes.  Soon, I promise.  

When you notice the difference in your health and wellness, and you definitely will, you are most welcome to leave a payment.  How's that for a business model? Give it away and hope they pay later.

You can see why mum used to tell me to Keep It Simple Stupid, and why the KISS list is perfect for a girl like me.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Dear Sir,

After a little reflection, 

I am writing to say "Wow!  Just... wow."

I enjoyed watching your face that first time you laid eyes on me.  You really didn't expect to be looking up, did you? LOL!  I am a lot taller than your average bear when you factor in the five inch platform heels.  And then when you stood back to take in my muscle mass the way you did, clocking my density in all its physicality?  Bwah ha ha ha haa ha!  Thank you for the chuckle. That was fun.

Let's just say that despite your expectations prior to that moment, "Submissive" is not the first thing which typically springs to mind when most people think of me.  Yet there we were, meeting in Yew at the Four Springs after sharing several conversations and innumerable online interactions, and as the moment approached, you remained under the impression that I was a "natural sub," or at least you did right up until that moment we met.  Heh heh.  :D

I remember which spokeNscene post turned your head, which photo and why.

But I told you Taboo was just a lark.

Suddenly you were saying the sorts of things to me which a casual Linked In connection would never dream of.  You didn't just dream.  You dared.  And now I have to say "Congratulations!" You are the first person who has ever uttered the actual words "I want to own your ass" to me, which means you scored honesty points over those who play the very same game by unspoken rules.

Dat Ass
Now, don't get me wrong.  I am most definitely NOT surprised that a marked interest in my butt is what comes back at me when I throw spokeNscene into a place like Linked In, because I literally put my ass out there. I have to.  It's something I do for the greater good. A great ass is crucial to this space.

SpokeNscene goes something like this:

People who choose to ride bikes instead of driving cars are happier people.  They smile more and they spend less on petroleum.  They have nicer butts, too.  These happier, healthier, sexier people get laid a lot more than their bitchy fatsos counterparts sitting in cars, and they have more love in their lives.  People with more love in their lives are the ones out there creating a beautiful, prosperous, peaceful planet.  In other words, the bike path to world peace starts with the pedaling of an ass.

Hands-on market research concludes that this ass is an asset.  

But here's the rub:  You can't actually own something you haven't paid for.  There is a small fortune of sweat equity in this ass!  I am now very well aware of just how much money you made last Friday, but still.  You can't afford my ass.

And a lease isn't exactly what you had in mind, is it?  Ownership indeed... and for the price of a cuppa tea?  That's just...

But you're not alone. You might be surprised to find just how many men just like you are out there playing the very same game, all of them wealthy and influential in their own right. And how every single one of them expect me to fall on my knees in that ancient form of worship. Unstated but implied very directly is the implication that if  I did do that particular deed, somehow your great and magnanimous abundance, wealth, and influence will magically rain down upon me and bless me with some priceless "Happily Ever After" pearl necklace.

Even you.  I expected more of you.  You've been way more up front than most of the men who play that ancient game, so I was surprised to hear all the same lame old lines uttered on your breath.

Um, and I'm pretty sure that a natural Dom always commands, never begs.

Even for that.
Sorry. I won't bend over just because you make more money than God.  And in truth I am not sorry.

Life is pretty tricky sometimes, isn't it?  The way it sneaks up and bites you in the butt when you're not looking  but that's the thing.  When you insisted, I was forced to make that most primal of decisions. 

You already know about the man I tried to trick into marrying me.  A couple of weeks ago I asked him again if I should take down my Plenty of Fish account.  He said "No, I don't think so." You have already told me you would have me cut him out of my life, but for what?  It's one thing to live with unrequited love, it's another to loose your very best friend. Before I met that man, my friends were all worried that I wasn't getting any, but I have to want to kiss someone before I do the deed, and it takes more than a vague feeling of attraction (or a fat wallet) before my thoughts and feelings go there. Anyhoo, when I did fall for him, it was a simple thing. We end up looking like the people we spend our time with, and that man is easy to look at because his heart speaks volumes through his actions, and he takes very good care of himself.

It's no coincidence, you know, that old people who've spent their lives together look the same.  It's not just that they have similar personalities which express themselves in the self-same ways across their faces.  More importantly, they share the same lifestyle, and that affects their bodies in an identical fashion.

You warned me that my income will reflect the average of the incomes of the five people I spend most of my time with.  This is the very same principle in action..

Which brings us back to the sweat equity in my ass. When we met you mentioned how surprised you were to see how muscular I am, and you kept remarking on how I seem to glow.  That's the KISS list in action, doll, and it's the kind of down payment I look for when I am evaluating a potential partner.  I can't help it.  I have to take care of my body.  It leaves me no choice, but I can choose to be with people who get it, or not, and that choice most definitely affects how easy it is for me to do the things I have to do to maintain my state of health and wellness.

I am way too bossy for you, anyway.  I can't help but try to influence the people I care about, so that they take better care of themselves. And if ever I chose to make you a member of my inner circles, I would have a fair bit to say about the way you treat  your temple.

It's just the way I'm striped..

Which isn't exactly Submissive, is it?

Plus, I am a terrible liar.  You see?  Even that's a lie.  I am a GREAT liar.  I was practically raised in law school, and law is a very creative profession, you know.  I am a rapt student of  The Art of Truth, but it never comes easily to me.

For example,  I lied when I said that you don't need any special equipment in order to benefit from the kiss list. You will need a bike.  Worse than that,  YOU WILL ALWAYS NEED A BIKE, and this is one of those universal paradoxes that really hurts my poor little brain. No matter how many bikes you have, you will always need one more.  How it is you can not NEED any special equipment, and yet at the same time, no matter how many of them you own, always NEED one more, I will never know.  Somebody explain it to me, please...

But maybe don't go there. I've lost days caught in the knot of that conundrum.  It's a perpetual paradox, the sort of riddle which you would be well advised to avoid trying to work out.  The fact that you need a bike, and you will always need a bike is just something it's best to simply accept so you can move on.

Yes, I remember how you told me you had a scary experience on a bike.  Yes, it's true that some drivers hold your life in their callous hands with terrifyingly little regard.  But there really is safety in numbers, and we all deserve better treatment, so please do take it upon yourself to have conversations with the people you know about what safe and respectful driving really is.

You definitely have power and influence, Sir.  Use it for the greater good.

Oh, and use your bike.  If you want girls like me to make the other choice when faced with that most primal of decisions, you should get with the program and use the whole KISS list.
Don't worry.  

It's coming soon.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Filling the Gap With a Kiss.

I love this song.

My eldest son turned me on to it.  He is a bona fide scientist in that ivory tower up there on UBC hill,  and bless his great big heart, he does do his mama proud.

It's called "I See Everything," and it always chokes me up.  
It's the lyrics, mostly, but the music is amazing, too.  

"I See Everything"
Like any morning of my junior year I stumble in the classroom late but this day I see
Faces, I feel an air like a funeral, like a wake, as I sit dow.
My teacher speaking, somewhat somberly, but still confident and calm.
Part eulogy, her speech, and part poem, part celebration song.
Her warmth and smile, she passes photocopies out to us of entries from a journal
Kept so long ago. She starts to read and suddenly it’s 1980.

March 5-The cancer is furious but our son is resilient,
we have all the faith we’ll get through this no matter what the end.
Treatments are violent but he keeps on smiling.
It’s amazing finding joy in the little things.

April 12-Andrew’s appetites improved and we thank God everyday.
But still it’s hard sometimes to see him in that scarecrow frame.

July 9-There’s a suffering when I look in his eyes. He’s been through so much.
We’ve all been through so much but what incredible resolve our little boy shows,
only 7, standing face to face with death.
He said it’s easy to find people who have suffered worse than him.
“Like Jesus, suffered worse than anyone,” he told me last night, “when God abandoned him.”

September 20-We’ve been playing in the yard lately and spirits are high
although his blood counts aren’t.

October 14-He feels tired all the time.

November 30-At the hospital again. It feels like home when we’re here.

December 8-He’s getting worse.

January 19-We buried our son today, our youngest child,
and while his death was ugly we must not let it scare us from God.
Abundant grace has restored him. A brand new body.
And set him free from the torture, finally rid of the cancer.
Before the moment he left he briefly wrested from death, suddenly opened his eyes, said,

And I will never forget it, the peace and the comfort you displayed through a pain
that I can only imagine. The loss of a child to the torture of cancer. Help me.
Because I can only imagine how you recovered,
kept your faith and held the brightness of life inside the smile of a child you had to bury.
And I will never forget him or your steadfast faith.
No, I will never forget you. Now six or seven years later, I’m devoid of all faith.
I am empty of comfort and I am weary of waiting.
Though I’ve felt nowhere what you have, I see nothing at all.
Though I’ve felt nowhere what he did, my eyes are closed.


A dear friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer a while ago.  It made me very sad at the time, cause he's one of those folks with whom I've shared a good few laughs.  I love him. This man spent a long time in the broadcasting industry, working his way up the ranks from a junior reporter to a corner office in Times Square.  He spent every minute of it as a boss, though, cause that's the way he's striped. This friend lives a very long way from Vancouver, so he doesn't get the chance to boss me around much these days. I miss his brand of bossiness sometimes, which probably says something about the nature of my character that I would rather not deal with. 

The other day my friend and I did have a chance to chat and catch up. He has been free and clear of the cancer for a year now, blessed be.
And he was bossy.

And I liked it.

Go figure.

He said "Write a post about what a man in his mid fifties should be doing to be healthy and well."  He isn't the only one asking for just such a post, so I am working on it.  It's true that I do know a thing or two about health and wellness, but you KNOW that I am so definitely NOT a scientist, nor do I have any formal training in health care AT ALL.

I am the Anti-Scientist

...and a lifestylist.
And somehow it works.

I weighed over sixteen stone (that's over one hundred and one kilograms, and topping two hundred and twenty pounds!) when my second son was born nearly eleven years ago. I was quite unfit, too, after having broken my hips in three places.  I spent a fair whack of time in a wheelchair mending many fractures and getting used to some new parts. And you already know I'm a bit of a mutard. I mean that in the truest sense of the word.  I've a genetic abnormality compounded by delayed development.  I'm still waiting on the girls!  The whole package is Trouble.

Mine was a baptism by fire kind of apprenticeship, and it taught me one thing for certain:

I am the luckiest woman on the planet, just for having survived myself.

People who know me well are aware that I have a small brain, or slightly smaller than your average bear, anyway, anyway.    You might think these friends are crazy to ask me for advice.  Many people assume it's a bad idea to take health and wellness advice from a not-at-all-in-any-way qualified person, but think about it.  The friend who survived cancer knows it's a good idea to ask someone like me, because (A) he can see that what I am doing is working, that I have something basic figured out.  Better yet, (B) he knows that it's going to be supremely simple and really quite
EASY to do.

It's true.

I have a short list of tips and tricks.  Super short.  And easy.  It has to be like that, because I have the memory of a goldfish and the attention span of a gnat.  That's why it's called the KISS list. (Cause mama always said "Keep it Simple, Stupid.)

You don't need any special equipment or anything, either, though a bike is ALWAYS always handy. The kiss list is six things I do which are guaranteed to make you feel good.  Aaaaaaaaand since a few beautiful folks have asked for it, I decided to put a little extra love and energy into it. Sooooo if you're looking for me, you will find me working on a wee song and dance with which to deliver the kiss list.

And that's what's up, buttercup.
Thank you thank you thank you for stopping by.
Back in a flash.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

A License to Kill

Last year the BBC called the pollution in China Airmageddon.

It looked as if it couldn't get any worse, but that was off the mark.  This year the smog in China is so bad it's actually creating a form of nuclear winter. That's right. Crops are dying because they are so polluted, and they simply can't get enough light.

Weibo was all a twitter when China's new president Zi Jinping went out and about in Beijing this week without the government recommended face mask.  It was an impressive photo-op, published in all the state-controlled news agencies, complete with the caption "Breathing together, sharing the fate."  A lot of folks figured it would be far more helpful if he actually did something about the pollution instead of mugging for the cameras.  The WHO says that safe levels of PM 2.5 (that's what they call the particulate that can cross into your blood stream and wreak havoc on your health) are 25 micrograms per cubic meter, but Beijing had well over 500 mg per cubic meter this week.   

So what IS the Chinese government doing about it?  While the particulates are at such heavy concentrations, they are advising people to wear masks.   Children and old people are supposed to stay indoors, and they are asking people to take public transit rather than cars. (!)  Also, they insist that industrial operations cut their emissions by thirty percent, and they are taking as many government cars off the roads as possible.  In the long term, they are talking about how to reduce their reliance on coal, along with the number of automobiles in use.

Which just makes sense, don't you think?  I remember well my shock as a youth when I discovered that spending  any significant amount of time with a running car in your enclosed garage is a sure and easy way to die. Our atmosphere is a closed system, too.  How can it possibly be a good idea to continue to add more cars and their toxic exhaust into the equation?  Sure the planet is pretty good at cleaning up our many nasty messes, but there's only so much strain you can place on the Earth's ecology before we all suffer the consequences, as they are rather painfully discovering in China right now.

MaoBreeze - a new generation
Actually, China has come a lot further along the path to sustainable energy development than you'd think. It has the largest wind turbine systems in the world, and it accounts for 63% of the globe's solar photovoltaics, too.  They developed significant hydroelectric facilities, so that by 2007, 17% of China's energy needs were met with sustainable sources.  Here in Canada today, that number is 16%, and in BC we're currently in the midst of a heated argument over whether or not to expand our coal exports.
 Go figure.

I always thought Canada would legalize marijuana long before the Americans did, but clearly that was misguided. I figured for sure we'd lead the world in sustainable energy development, too, but that's a laugh.  Our illustrious leader Steve is a throwback to the dinosaurs and his energy policies reflect his heritage.  Here in Canada, oil is king, and cars rule the roads. When Christy Clark was elected premier of BC, the first thing she did was to phase out air care, because heaven forbid we control vehicle emissions.  You'd think Vancouver, which strives to represent itself as a green city, would be the exception to the rule, but again, NO.

False Creek Energy Centre
Sure we've taken a few token stabs at sustainability. You've gotta like the various compost bins and organic community garden planters you see around town, along with the False Creek Energy Centre. Using a heat exchanger, it captures thermal energy from sewage and uses it to provide space heating and hot water to the new buildings in southeast False Creek.

(it's a big butt!)

Have you heard? The radiation plume from Fukushima has reached our shores sooner than expected, so the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute is offering $600 radiation testing kits to folks living here on the west coast of North America so they can test the water for themselves. (And here's real irony for you.) The radiation levels measured here are well within safe levels, but

Ocean acidification is an invisible menace that threatens the entire ecosystem and it's only getting worse. Carbon emissions worldwide, and especially in Canada, continue to rise.

What. The. Fuck. Is. Wrong. With. Us.

Whilst the thinking world it tackling the most important issue ever to face mankind, we here in Canada are blithely turning a blind eye, and encouraging our population to drive drive drive itself into extinction.

How long will it be before we become a ghost of our former selves?

Here in 'green' Vancouver, it used to be that a cyclist could count on taxi and bus drivers for their professionalism, courtesy, and safety, but not any more.  The pros are waging their own personal war on cyclists these days.  I can't count how many taxis have charged at me over the last few weeks, pretending they're going to hit me as they look me in the eye.  Worse, Vancouver has actually given its bus drivers a license to kill.  Bus drivers here don't have to pay for tickets incurred when they run red lights, so it's not uncommon to see a Translink bus honk the horn and blast through a red, with predictable results.

It's crazy. Why aren't drivers held accountable for their actions? If you were to wave a gun around in a public place, and you accidentally shot and killed someone with it, the police would definitely charge you because you should have known better.  Yet all sorts of people die at the hands of motorists year after year without the deadly drivers facing any consequences at all.  It's not rocket science.  Speed kills.  Distracted driving is deadly, and yet where is the crack-down on dangerous drivers? 

Not here, that's for sure.  

In Vancouver, a motorist has an inalienable right to arrive speedily at the next red light.  And that trumps my right to arrive safely home at night. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Heaven forbid we consider the consequences of all of these cars on the very survival of our species...

With the incredible state of science and technology today, we could be building a beautiful, sustainable world for many future generations to inhabit and yet we continue to blindly drive ourselves into oblivion.


We need a leg up.   We need leaders who aren't afraid to take the difficult decisions, and we need a vision of what's possible which we can all embrace, so that together we can move toward a future worth striving for.

And we need all of these things now, before it's too late.