This time I’ll really do it! (write, take photos, draw)

Or not. We’ll see.

What will I do? Parade through downtown in the nude? Don a wingsuit and glide down to English Bay from Grouse Mountain? Attempt to lift five times my own body weight? Pull a fire truck with my teeth?

In a word, no. I will do none of these things, for the following reasons:

  • likely arrest and fine
  • probably not physically possible, likely to result in devastating injury or death or both before possibility can be verified
  • would result in arms popping out of sockets or other less entertaining permanent injury
  • teeth would be really sore, fire truck would remain unmoved

But what I am going to try to do is at least one of the following on a daily basis:

  • write something
  • take a photo of something
  • draw something

The “write something” I’ve been pretty good with for the last few years on this blog, though the daily part slips occasionally and the quality varies wildly. I am in no danger of writing a Pulitzer-nominated essay is what I’m saying. But This one I’ve mostly got down. (We won’t mention my fiction writing. That is a separate and semi-tragic discussion.)

Since my kidney infection–which is admittedly a curious trigger–I’ve been more interested in taking photos of flowers and things and often catch myself observing angles and shots, even when I’m not actually taking pictures. I find it relaxing, engaging and possibly a tiny bit therapeutic, though I’m a ways from writing the book How Taking Photos of Simple Things Changed My Life and Made Me A Better Person. Since I don’t always have a ready subject, I can’t rely on a photo a day, but this will encourage me to look for more opportunities. I now also want a phone with some kind of optical zoom. That costs less than a thousand dollars. Make my dream come true, Apple (ho ho, as if).

For the drawing, I’ve wanted to do this for awhile but never seem to find the inclination to just sit down and draw. Part of it is fear of mediocrity–I was never especially great at drawing, though not awful, either. But to improve would take the kind of dedicated practice I’m unlikely to engage in, so I may have to content myself with artfully arranged stick men or something. Still, I do not lack for media–I have pens, pencils, paint (sort of–some dried-up watercolors tucked away in a drawer), sketchpads, plus technology like a Surface Pro 3 with pen, an iPad Pro with pencil and also my own uncoordinated fingers and smartphone (which I used to produce an apple).

In the end I’ll mostly keep writing, but I’ll try to mix in some photos and drawings, something every day. And maybe I’ll post these things to some social media, though I generally think all social media is awful and truly one of current society’s ills. Facebook is terrible. Instagram is owned by Facebook. Twitter is largely a dumpster fire of hate and misinformation. Maybe I could lead a revival of Myspace. Or local BBSes. A man can dream.

The first result will come tomorrow. What will it be? I have no idea!

A few pictures from Burnaby Lake, August 4, 2018

I decided to test my post-cold stamina (not really post, since I’m still coughing a bit and such) by going for a walk around Burnaby Lake. It was quite nice, with sunny skies and temperatures in the low to mid-20s, so sweating was kept to a minimum.

The run-like stats were 2:51 hours total time, 9:26/km pace (slower than normal, to be expected) and apparently 836 calories burned.

Upon arriving home I ate an entire cake.

Kidding. We don’t have any cake in the house.

The current resurfacing is now complete according to the official park website. They finished doing the Pavilion trail, so the area from the second boardwalk to the rowing pavilion parking lot is freshly surfaced. There’s a part not far from the bridge at Deer Lake Brook that has a large exposed pipe you normally have to hop over, but they have either removed it or so effectively buried it I didn’t even notice it when walking through the area. I’m hoping they do the Cottonwood Trail next, but it is all a mystery as they only post when actual work is happening, not thrilling teasers like COMING SOON: All those nasty exposed tree roots will soon be buried safely underfoot as we prepare to resurface the Cottonwood Trail.

I took a few pics along the way.

Some English lavender bowing gently in the breeze:

And I finally did a search on these stupid orange-red berries that I have seen growing everywhere my entire life.

These are apparently Rowan trees and the berries, which I always thought were poisonous, are actually more inedible when raw due to containing parasorbic acid, which can cause indigestion or kidney damage (maybe I sleepwalk and eat Rowan berries. This would explain a few things). Cooking the berries turns the parasorbic acid into the friendlier sorbic acid. I’m not planning recipes any time soon, though. More for the birds.

This shot was of a cluster hanging above my head, so I held the phone up as high as I could and shot from below. The shot turned out okay, though there’s a bit of sun bleed in the corner.

Finally, the bridge at Silver Creek is being replaced. Because there is no handy alternate route, they have put in place a temporary bridge next to it that looks like an unfinished prop from a science fiction movie. It felt solid to walk on, but still a little weird, especially with the overhead bits.

Also, since these walks don’t really count as hikes, I’ve boldly added a new category for the blog. Get ready. It’s called…

Walks.

Yes, I know, it’s brilliantly simple, just like me!

Signs of spring, 2018 edition

While heading out for my run yesterday I spotted these flowers coming up through the dead leaves. Spring will soon be…springing. Yay.

Addendum: The sun was out, as you can see, and I didn’t fiddle with the photo so it looks a little blown out. I thought these fancy new smartphone cameras were supposed to magically turn me into a great photographer. Maybe next year.

Sunrise, April 4, 2017

I meant to post this back when I took the picture but I probably got distracted by a funny cat picture.

Anyway, this is a shot of the sunrise from Sapperton station, taken just after 6:30 a.m. on April 4, 2017. This is by far the most vividly colorful sunrise I’ve seen in a long time. I actually had to wait for others to take their pictures before I could take mine. :P

Sunrise June 4 2017