It Was a Dark and Stormy….Day?


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There was a huge Canadian flag attached to this pole prior to the storm

On Saturday I decided to be a rebel and sleep in until 6:30 AM rather than arise at the customary time of 6:00 AM.  I could always shower up later in the day.  Still I found myself pondering when I could actually sleep in to my typical 7:00 – 7:30 AM on Saturday mornings.

I’ve had my physio sessions booked early forever it seems at 7:15 AM on Saturdays.  My back is improving.  I still have pain when I walk…just not as much.  I’ve adopted a new way to walk as well,  so prescribed by Physio John.

For 1 1/2 hours he worked on me.  First he does acupressure, then has me do exercises that are isolated to a certain areas then comes the acupuncture.

I’m now on a first name basis with a few other patients who come at the same time every week as well and we stood chatting for a bit while setting up our next appointment.

My daughter lives close by and she had invited me for breakfast after my session so I headed down the hill to her home.

The rain had let up and the clouds were roiling through the sky at a rapid pace.  I found it beautiful and very powerful.

LOnsdale & Esplande.

My daughter and I had walked past this very intersection just a few hours before this carnage occurred!

I had woken to the sound of heavy rainfall and for a few minutes I had just laid there listening to it delighting in the breeze coming through my bedroom window and the scent of wet earth!

We’ve had a brutally hot and dry summer.  The rain falling outside was a blessing and then some.  I could just imagine all the trees and brush outside hungering for that rain that now cascaded upon them in abundance.

After breakfast I suggest we go for a walk.  She lives in North Vancouver very close to the Quay so we headed over there with the  both of us delighting in the breeze coming off the ocean.

Upon arriving back her place I took my leave.  I had much I wanted to get done in my corner of the world.

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Repairs are still ongoing in my building.  My unit still has not been done, but that’s okay.  It will.  I have to pick out the paint I want and I’ve requested that the entire place get painted.  Still waiting to hear back from Sean on the additional cost for this.  I’ve decided to do a huge purge of things though.  So this weekend would mark the beginning of the process.  Get the place cleaned up and then tackle the closets that are still in use.  My utility closet is still not usable as the walls are still exposed.

On the drive home I began to wax poetic about the weather and decided to post a blog about it.  Then I began to notice how much the wind was picking up.  Some empty boxes flew off a truck onto the highway and leaves and branches were beginning to litter the highway.

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New West over by the Justice Institute

Leaves were swirling about like mini tornados.  Trees were taking on the familiar sway that occurs when a storm is brewing.  It’s been a very long time since increment weather of this nature has hit the coast.

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On Austin at Gatenbury in Coquitlam

I turned off the highway and as I entered the final stretch to home I reduced my speed to about 20 km.  Leaves and branches were flying off the trees and the roadway was littered with them.

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More highway debris

Arriving home I called my daughter and she expressed how the wind had really picked up out her way as well.

I began scheduling what I would be doing this day around my home.

Deciding to check my email first, I would then tackle my bedroom closet,

I didn’t make it through checking my email before the power kicked out.

My power was out for seven hours yesterday.  Approximately 400,000 households were affected.   There are still about 130,000 households still without power.

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One of the trains was hit by branches snapping off.  This created quite the delay for comuters.

We’ve had no decent rainfall for months.  Even though it has rained heavily for the last couple of days, it was not enough for many of the trees that were bone dry and just snapped like twigs in this onslaught.

I found myself reflecting on the fact of just how dependent we’ve become on technology in this electronic age.  I could not even leave my car park as the gate is remote operated and very much electrically dependent.  I do know there is a manual way by which to open these gates so this is a bit of knowledge I will pursue.  We do have a generator that kicked in for emergency lighting and I found myself wondering why the parkade gate was not included with the emergency power source.

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Storm 2

Bangs and crashes could be heard followed by sirens in the distance.

I did a few things by candlelight but truth be told the silence was rather daunting.  Outside the winds howled for hours and the rain came and went in torrents.  The sun made a brief appearance and I discovered the Safeway some four blocks from my home was open so I ventured over there and picked up some batteries and grabbed a bite to eat.

Downtown Vancouver Storm 1

Downtown Vancouver at Hornby & Nelson Street

Even having a charged up laptop was rather useless as there were no networks available to go online and try to get information.  BC Hydro’s website was down and trying to get through by phone?  Good luck.

I at least had the radio on and felt connected.  And that’s what it came down to.  For a very brief moment I felt removed and cutoff from the world around me.  Furthermore I could not find out what was going on.   My cell phone provided a bit of info, however, the battery on that was running low as well.

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Four hours into this event I curled up on my sofa and watched the remainder of the storm unfold.  Candles were lit, the radio was on and I was safe.

There are still many without power.  My friend will likely have to toss all the food in her fridge but at least she is safe with her family and that’s what matters.

Peace.

 

Just One Question…


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A couple of colourful Queens from last week’s Pride Celebration in Vancouver!

After toddling through my domestic duties I got out and about for a walk.

It is Gay Pride Week here in New Westminster.  Local business’ are having a competition for the best window display.

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This is where I was training prior to the car accident.  Tamer has done a fabulous job!  Love it!

I grabbed my camera and photographed the many displays on hand.

At times the pain in my back kicked in so I would just rest up for a bit before carrying on.  I’m committed now. I must keep moving, working through this if I ever want to get the life I had back or parts of it.

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It would be fabulous to be able to just go for a walk and not end up in pain by the time I get back home.

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The book store that is selling copies of my book!

I’ve been working on a series of blogs posts that I will present shortly based on the up coming elections.  We have a federal election coming up on October 19, 2015 here in Canada and south of the border they are ramping up for their election next year as well.

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I stopped a Greek restaurant for dinner then made my way home.

And I wonder why it is that some people find it unacceptable and intolerable that two people of the same sex love each other.

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Moxies on Davie St.  The party was on!

Love is and always will be the best thing anyone can experience.

I’ve lived my life very much alone.  Yes, I’ve raised a daughter, a beautiful and wonderful woman.  Yes, I have friends that I love beyond all else.

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But I never got the man and woman relationship down.  I let the scars from my youth unfortunately get in the way.

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And in my mind, if you find the love of your life then you are blessed.  Cherish it and hold it close.  Never, ever take it for granted.

Peace out!

 

 

 

Fire in the Sky!


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The Blue Moon on July 31, 2015 taken from New Westminster, BC

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I was off to take photographs with my group of the Celebration of Light on its 25th Anniversary!

August 1, 2015

A lovely sunset preceded the event.

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The point of view is from the Burrard Street Bridge which overlooks the West End of Vancouver. The boats are gathering for the festivities!

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Fireworks Aug 1, 2015 069Above is Vancouver’s Westend.  The masses are forming.  Tonight will attract close to 500,000 people.

 

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Let the show begin!  This production was put on by Canada.  A team from Winnipeg put this baby together. and they would have the honours of being the best in show!

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An explosive delight!

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Magnificent colours!  It doesn’t happen often, however, no breeze was on hand and a cloud of smoke soon formed over the barge.  Our vision was at times obscured.

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Despite this, the show was fabulous!  I am learning more and more regarding these type of photo sessions.  I had a blast!

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Dynamic and dramatic!

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this photographic journey.  It was a pleasure to behold!

The Heart of the Matter


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Sunset as viewed from Burrard St. Bridge, Aug 1, 2015

I’ve been rather absent from this forum over the last few weeks, I know.  Much has been going on and at this moment I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and exhausted by all of it.

A few weeks back on a Friday evening I went for dinner and tapped out a heartfelt blog post.  I expressed all the issues that I’ve been faced with and how I was trying to deal.
Upon finishing my dinner, close to 1,000 words had been tapped out. I proofed it and then just like that…it disappeared.  I’m not certain if I hit something in error but my writings were gone.  I would later notice that the ‘move to trash’ key was right next to ‘publish’.

It wasn’t in trash either so perhaps it was moved there then later through my fumbling, was erased for good.

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I took a deep breath and released an agonizing sigh.

Later in the evening I tried to reproduce what I’d penned earlier but this was unsuccessful. My heart just wasn’t in it and I was exhausted.
It is now Sunday evening and I’m just chillin’
In the morning I have to go in for day one of the nuclear test on my heart. I’ve had this test done before and for the life of me I cannot remember what was done.
Day one is 4-6 hours in length. Day 2 is about 3 hours.

I am praying that everything is okay.

The other development has been the building I live in. I had to come up with a big chunk of money for the re-piping and restoration that has been ongoing since mid-March of this year.

Once the work is done I’ve conceded that I’ll have to sell. I want to get my bills paid down and in a perfect world I’ll just have a mortgage payment and few utility bills each month.

I’m still in physio and active rehab for the back injury I sustained in the vehicle accident back in January as well. Yes, I’ve been a little stressed with everything but at the end of the day I’m grateful for the health care that is available to me and that I have a bit of wiggle room financially.

The second portion of this year will be about resolution. Problems have come up and remedies are being applied as we speak.  I’d hoped to be more proactive with the publishing company I started and promoting the book I’ve written and released.

All in good time I suppose.

Sleep has been elusive these last few weeks as well.

I have concocted a plan and need to execute it now.

Test Day No. 1 – Monday, July 27, 2015

Having fasted yesterday as per the hospitals instructions, no caffeine for 24 hours, no food for 12 hours, and no bra.  I’ve just finished the treadmill part of this.  The girls (a.k.a. boobs) thought they were flying!  I’ve had this talk with them before but hell why should I spoil their fun?  Let ’em think they’ve got wings for a few minutes.

The good doctor and medical staff wired me up and put me on the treadmill for 10 minutes. The heart rate needs to get up to 95 beats per minute then they shot me full of a radioactive dye. They continued increasing the grade and speed. If you hit the 150 beats per minute before the 10 minute mark, then they’ll stop at that point.

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Happily I was on for the duration.

I’m now in the hospital cafeteria enjoying a coffee and breakfast before continuing on with the imaging portion of the test.

In March of this year when I went for my annual stress test, I experienced major back pain due to the car accident, which had occurred just seven weeks prior. I was not able to complete the treadmill test.

This heart of mine is still beating. It’s intimidating as hell having to go through these tests yet again. The last few years have been tough and I’ve fought through so much fear with all of this. I’m in a head space now where if its broke, we’ll fix it.

It is a beautiful outside on this Monday morning. Cotton puff clouds dot a pale blue summer sky. There is no wind to speak of

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There is much to be done in the next few months. No wallowing allowed!

Time to get back on track and take my life back and to the next level.

I’ve got books to write and publish. I’ve got an empire to build honouring the written word.  There will be moments to capture with my camera as well.  I’ve got races to run and a world to explore. Let’s polish up this ol’ heart of mine and keep the ticker tickin’!

How do you mend a broken heart?  With love and tenderness and a stent or two.

Test Day No. 2 – Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I had to more or less repeat the fasting regiment, mind you its only been a 12 hour imposition this time out.

I’ve been injected with the radioactive dye once more. Soon everything will taste like metal and if yesterday is any indication, I’ll be a little headachy.

I had to go into work yesterday after testing as payroll needed to get done. Today I’ll just go home and rest up.

One of my co-workers suggested that I may end up with superpowers as a result of being filled up with radioactive dye.

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An image of a Spiderwoman character came to mind but it was a comical one.
It certainly wasn’t a sleek looking superhero.

No. My Spiderwoman has a fear of heights and a taste for craft beer and oysters!

Could be a fun concept though.  Hmmm!

And it’s done now.  Time to go back to the drawing board and get down to the heart of the matter.

Namaste.

 

Happy Birthday, Canada!


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I have a view of paradise at this very moment.  That, by the way, is a nickname I have for Vancouver.

I decided to take in the festivities regardless of the my ongoing back and hip issues.  I grabbed my camera and headed out to the sky train, which is our rapid transit system.

I’ve had great time thus far.  I popped into the Tap & Barrel where I enjoyed a delightful Cobb Salad and brew.

And the view is spectacular.  I’m watching the seagulls dive and seals playing in the water.  The Maple Leaf if highly visibly.

Canada is a great place to live.  Diverse in so many ways.

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We’ve done a lot of things right but we have for sure taken some questionable turns.  I won’t get into a political diatribe at this moment.

Today we are celebrating her glory.  Canada, you are truly magnificent.

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And I am so very appreciative that I live in this place that I affectionately refer to as paradise.

The previous evening I was wooed by the moon and at 11:15 PM I slipped out into the streets of New Westminster to accommodate her request for a photo shoot and I managed to get some good shots.

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One thing I like is that I always feel safe regardless of the time of day.

I left the Tapp & Barrel to carry on with my day.  My server Sylvan was a truly gracious host and excellent server. Originally from a part of Ontario where the mother tongue is French, the cold winters convinced him to ‘go west, young man!’

He is studying communications at S.F.U.  and I can see a bright future for Sylvan.

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I watched the float planes take off and perused the crowd adorned in red white.  People were draped in Molson Canadian flags declaring ‘I Am Canadian’.  Molsons is  a local beer by the way.

I wondered where I could get one.

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Tiny flags on a stick were everywhere as well and I again wondered where I could get one and try as I might, I was unsuccessful at scoring one for myself.

I made my way over to the Rock 101 booth.  This is the radio station of choice that I usually listen to.  Craig Thullner was manning the booth and we chatted and I had a photo taken with him.

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Then I began to wind my way back up to the transit station.

We’ve been in a heat wave over the last month and despite the breeze coming off the water it was hotter than Hades!

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I made my way slowly through the maze of activities.  As I approached Burrard & Pender me back was a hurtin’!

I gazed up at the Marine Building that was at one time the tallest building in the entire British Empire. I then ventured into the pub housed there known as the Elephant & Castle to quench my thirst and take in a bit of the soccer match.  Japan would win 2-1 over England.

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Melanie was my server and she too is attending classes to build a career.  She is studying Hospitality & Service and has a plan to see the world by means of ‘working vacations’.

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I finished up and made my way back home.

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I was pretty sore by the time I got here but hey, I’m so glad I got out there and enjoyed the day.  I managed to walk quite a bit despite the pain and I will get past this.

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Happy Birthday Canada!

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The Breaking Point


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I’m breathing.  Just breathing.  Remembering that life force that is so necessary to all of us.

This week has been a tough one, just as the preceding weeks and months have been this year.

I lost sight of certain communications at the workplace or so it would seem.  I really hadn’t thought this was the case.

Yes, I’ve had some ongoing issues with attention and focus at times.  Still I’ve muscled through.

And all in all, in my mind, I’ve done a great job.

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I’ve had health concerns that have weighed heavy along with a host of other matters that have made life just a little bit more challenging from day to day.

I still have some of the lingering effects from chemo.  My cognitive functions are not completely back to where they were and only time will tell if they will be fully restored.

The accident back in January of this year introduced pain and how to manage it on a daily basis.

In my mind, I could not afford to take any time off.  Perhaps this s a fatal flaw of mine.  I always put my responsibilities first.   As per usual, I’ve toughed it out.

The loss of hot water in my home for three months added yet another strain.  The emotional component has been taxing.

Then an email from our property management company regarding a ‘Special Assessment’ meeting reduced me to tears this past Friday.

The figure being tossed out, which has no explanation or back up, as to why it is so excessive for the ‘re-pipng and restoration of our building’ was shocking.

$465,000.00

My portion to be paid in three increments.  August 1, 2015 – September 1, 2015 & October 1, 2015.

Each increment:  $4226.00

For a total of $12,678.00 to be paid by October 1, 2015.

What – The – Fuck!!!!!

I pulled out the depreciation report that was done a couple of years ago.

I don’t have $13,000 tucked under the mattress.  Sorry.

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The re-piping has been done.  They quoted a cost of $135,000.00.  We then received a notice that a company would be coming in to bid on the restoration part of it.

Then out of nowhere a meeting set for July 15, 2015 for this insane special assessment.

There’ve been one too many blows as of late.

The past few days I’ve been tearing up…a lot!

Saturday morning I finished my 20th physio session and I’ve begun active rehab.

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I just want to get well.

I just got an appointment notice from my cardiologist.  Another 2 day nuclear test has been set up.

I just want to be healthy.

Thinking I was going to have a salary review resulted in being informed that my job performance was lacking.  How can this be?

I just want to cry.

I’m not one to complain.  I make every effort to understand and move forward.

I just want to be appreciated.

Physio John suggests another 12 sessions.  I’ve made progress but my back is still mucked up.  I concur.

I close my eyes, feeling weary.  Just breathe.

Parts of me are now missing and other parts are not quite working right. Other parts may never work completely as they once did.

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But I’m alive.

I know there’s no guarantees and that I only have this moment.

Please, see my value and see my worth.  That is all I ask.

Just breathe.