Wednesday, December 22, 2010

No, really, it's small

When I first started running regularly, I was slow and unconfident. Okay, I wasn't that slow, but I was unconfident. On the trails in Pacific Spirit Park, whenever I was gaining on another runner I would slow my pace. I knew that at any time my body could reach its limit and say, "it's stopping time", and I didn't want that to happen right after passing a runner. "Hey! Look at me! You so slow and me so fast! Look at me pass you with ease! Wheeeeee! Oh, my bad. After you..."

This continued after our move and as I began running the local trails. Now though, my endurance has picked up considerably, along with my confidence, and I now have no qualms about gaining on and passing other runners. Let them look at my small ass as it gets even smaller off in the distance.

Small ass?, you ask. Yes, I answer.

Having said all that, today was an exercise in perseverance. I haven't run much lately because I've been working more than usual and the weather's been lousy and in the past week I've been fighting a battle against illness (which is now at a standstill at sorethroat hill). My pace today was sooooo slow. Fortunately it was midday on a weekday and just three days before Christmas day, so the trails were nearly vacant 'cept for me and the doggies. So, yeah, I've been feeling like crap, but keeping up the regular running would do me a world of good, so make sure I keep it up, okay? Thanks.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

To be fair (to me), it *has* started raining

Sleepy. Want to take the dogs for a snowy walk. Sleepy. Want to take the dogs for a snowy walk. Sleepy. Want to take the dogs for a snowy walk. Sleepy. Want to take the dogs for- zzzzzzzzzzz

It's so pretty and white outside, and it's mid-afternoon with plenty of daylight left, but working overnights this week has me in rest mode right now. A power nap is where it's at. The weather forecast is for rain and warmer temperatures, so after the final two overnights the snow will likely be all gone. Not cool.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Longest run since May 2008

10-kilometre run. With doggies. Pouring rain. Total joy. 49:49.

Monday, October 18, 2010

mailing it in

A good friend of mine celebrated her birthday last week (Happy Birthday, cexylizziepants!), and I procrastinated in getting a gift in the mail for her. She's currently living in another province, one that is home to two NHL teams. Her birthday was on Thursday, and I had assumed that a birthday parcel would take 2-3 days to get to her, so if I put it in the mail on Tuesday there was a chance it'd get to her right on her birthday. However, after getting the opinions of a few other people, I became a little nervous. One person said two weeks, another said about a week, and another said 4-5 business days. Ugh. At the post office on Tuesday I considered my options that were given by the worker and went with the cheapest option which she said had a chance of getting there by Friday. The gifts weren't time-sensitive, and it wouldn't be the first time in the history of the world that a birthday gift sent by mail arrived after the fact. Would it? Doubt it.

The shipment even came with a tracking number, which was exciting for me. Only the second time in my life I've had a chance to track something. Coincidentally, the first time was waiting for an online order to arrive - an online order that was a wedding gift earlier this year for this same birthday girl! My first check of the tracking number showed me that the parcel had arrived at the post office in Coquitlam. Um, right.... I was there for that. The next check showed that the parcel had arrived at the facility in Richmond! It was about to take flight! Before I could check again, on Thursday my birthday friend thanked me on MSN Messenger! At first I wasn't sure it had, based on her first comment. We had joked about us giving her a car - a blue car - as a gift, and in the parcel I included a small blue car toy from a collection of similar cars we had here. So when the first thing she wrote was 'thanks for the blue car', I wasn't sure if she had received the package or if she was pretending we actually got her a real blue car. Turns out the parcel had indeed arrived right on her birthday! Approximately 48 hours after I handed over the parcel to Canada Post in Coquitlam, it arrived in Calgary! (Alberta: home to the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers.) I had tricked her into believing that we weren't getting her anything for her birthday, so its arrival was a surprise. Plus, she says that it was the only thing that arrived by mail that day - no bills, no nothing, just our birthday parcel. Cool.

Yesterday she told me a very cool story about the car (there were other parts to the parcel, I'm just not sharing), but I'd have to get her permission before I can tell it. If she gives permission, this post shall be edited soon to add her exact text from yesterday's chat.

It's now a day later and permission has been granted! Sort of. I can share regardless. My friend took a two-day weekend course right after the arrival of the birthday parcel. The course focused on psychic development and they were asked to bring a small item on Sundays. So BW took the blue car. All the items were put into a bag and each person chose one of the items randomly from the bag. Then each person gave a reading of the item they had chosen, with no knowledge of who brought the item. According to BW, the girl who did her reading said that
the moment she started to read it, she got an image of a small boy, playing with the car.

  • she got the impression that it actually belongs to an older person, and it represents a car that they want
  • and that it was a gift
  • ok wait, she wrote down her impressions, so let me write them for u
  • small boy....son, brother.... husband, father
  • favorite color - blue, chosen for the color
  • treasured favorite toy or treasured car owned by an older version of the small boy
  • given to the person for safe keeping, and a strong loving relationship
  • brings lots of joy to the beholder
  • and she was so bang on about everything
  • and she was so HAPPY, when she gave the reading
  • because she could feel the energy from the car
  • and when she found out it was mine, rushed over to give me a huge hug
  • and whole class loved it
  • i think mine was the best reading!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

a fine time up the Grind

I got home about 45 minutes ago after getting up bright and early for a jaunt up the Grouse Grind. I know what you're thinking: a jaunt? Really? defines jaunt as "a short journey, esp. one taken for pleasure" - surely you don't find a rainy early-Saturday hike up a mountain pleasurable. And that's where you're wrong. I find it highly pleasurable and don't do it enough. Rain or no rain, I like hiking. It would've been nice to have had the dogs trekking along with me, but, alas, they are not allowed on that trail.

After meeting my friend KB at the base of the trail just before 8 a.m., I pushed the buttons on my watch that make the numbers rise and up we went. However, KB was under the weather and that made for slow progress early on. We took a few breaks as he tried to fight through the queasiness, but just past the 1/4 mark, he decided that he better not risk anything more severe and opted to turn and return to the bottom. I was feeling pretty good, very good actually, and continued with the wet ascent. From that point on, I managed to summit without taking another break. I was feeling very, very good. So good, in fact, that I'm thinking of going for a one-hour run* with the dogs after publishing this post (which will be roughly two hours after reaching the Grind's peak).

Here's a brief summary of today's Grind time:
45:00 - KB turns around a little past the 1/4 mark.
53:00 - I pass the 2/4 mark.
1:07:00 - I pass the 3/4 mark.
1:18:00 - I summit.
I am pretty sure that the cost of the gondola ride down was $5 the last time I was there, and so was surprised to learn that the cost today was $10. If it wasn't for the rain I would've kept my money and hiked back down, but since I didn't want to risk a slip on wet wood, onto the gondola ten bucks lighter I went. On drier days it'll be hike up, hike down, fo' sho'.

Of note, I was back in the car at 9:55 a.m. and at 10:30 a.m. I was turning the car off in our driveway - pretty quick, eh? Especially considering I didn't have the carpool lane option on the highway. And now, I runnnn. C'mere doggies..

[* The run - one of my best in a long time - was actually completed in a time of 47:12. Today has been a very good day. Now to get stuff done at home with playoff baseball and regular-season hockey (including the Canucks' first game of the season!) playing on the television in the background.]

Monday, October 04, 2010

'are we family' or what?

It almost went on the book, until I remembered.

A finale of two to bid you adieu: 1) it might be late, but it won't be early, and
lonely like the tightrope walker, hitchhiker, long-distance runner

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

2 things


On October 3, 2009, my wife and I went to a Seattle Mariners game at Safeco Field. It was a meaningless game against the Texas Rangers, but neither Biscotti's sister nor Biscotti's sister's hubby had ever been to a baseball game, so the four of us enjoyed a cold evening at Safeco Field.

Growing up in Vancouver, the Mariners were pretty much the hometown baseball team. Seattle was the closest city with a major league team, and the closest Canadian team was waaaaay far away in Toronto. We used to have a triple-A team, but now just a single-A team. Anyway, my position was centre field for the various teams I played with, and I had much admiration for Ken Griffey Jr., who played centre field for the Mariners. His cool batting stance, his smooth swing, and his ability to make leaping catches to rob hitters of home runs were all things that made this boy's heart go all a-flutter.

At the start of that game last October, I was happy Griffey was in the lineup and was aware that it could be the second last - if not the last - game Griffey played. Sitting out the Mariner's final game of the season the following day was a possibility (in fact, he did end up starting), and retirement during the off-season was a distinct possibility. I thought, 'Wouldn't it be cool to be at the game where he hits his final home run?' Considering he'd only hit 18 all season, I knew it was a long shot (no pun intended). But guess what?! He hit a long shot! It wasn't that long of a shot, but I remember it clearly from the vantage point of our centre field seats. The ball left the bat low, and stayed low. It was heading towards right field wall, and although it was low, it was going fast. My focus was rotating between the ball, the wall, and the right fielder. It became clear, as the right fielder retreated, that he wasn't going to catch the ball, and I was getting ready to watch the ball bounce off the wall when I saw it disappear into the arms of the fans in the first row. Griffey had hit a homer!

The next day I paid online attention to the Mariners game and was happy when it ended with Griffey homerless. I waited all winter to hear news of his retirement and was disappointed when he began the 2010 season. Oh well.. Every time I watched late-evening baseball highlights on television I would cross my fingers that Griffey hadn't hit a homer that day. I knew it was just a matter of time, but I wanted to know when that time was. I would also check Griffey's stats online every few days to make sure I hadn't missed anything. April ended and he was homerless. May ended and he was still homerless. June started and two days in he retired. I promptly checked his season stats online - for what would be the final time - and it was confirmed: I was at the game in which Ken Griffey Jr. hit his final career home run. I saw it in person. I am happy.


My name and a picture I took are in Vancouver Then and Now.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tomorrow's to-do list

6:00 a.m.: One-hour run with the dogs
8:00 a.m.: Several hours of tennis with AM
1:30 p.m.: Eight hours of work

The day after tomorrow revised-to-actual-time list:

6:30 a.m. - 7:25 a.m.: Run with (off-leash!) dogs
8:15 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.: Tennis with AM
1:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.: Work

Plus I got my hair trimmed between tennis and work.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Running four years to spell

I've continued to run regularly, and have kept to my promise of not blogging about it, but today I break my promise. But, hey, a now-and-then running update is good, right? It lets you know I'm still keeping it going without cramming that fact down your throat, or eye sockets as it were. Today was marvelous. Today was effin' brill. Warm without being too hot, the sun shining, the river's water glistening (would you believe I have yet to go tubing this year?!), and hardly anybody else on the trails. Plus, there were NO bugs!

Enough of that. Last week, Biscotti and I celebrated our four-year anniversary in part by attending a performance of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. It's being put on by The Arts Club Theatre Company, is showing at Granville Island Stage, and is a lot of fun. A LOT of fun. There were many, many highlights, such as the sundry "definitions" of words, and several clever riffs of the spelling theme. I loved the whole show, and here's a particular bit that stuck with me:
If you took the W from answer, the H from ghost, the extra A from aardvark, and the T from listen, you could keep saying "what" and no one would ever know what you're saying, 'cause the whole word would be silent.
One more thing: "Life is Pandemonium" was phenomenal.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


On my way to work one day last week - as I walked through the park and around the lake - I was listening to my Zen music player. The device was on the Random Play All setting and at one point Andy Kaufman's version of "It's a Small World" was playing. When that fun bongo-filled song ended, any one of the other 758 songs could have started; the one that did was R.E.M.'s "Man on the Moon". For those that don't know, that R.E.M. song is about Andy Kaufman.
Now, Andy did you hear about this one?
Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
Hey Andy are you goofing on Elvis?
Hey, baby.
Are we losing touch?
I smiled at that fortuitous one-two punch of songs, and then my thoughts wandered to a guy I knew named Scott. That often happens when I hear R.E.M. because one of the few times I spent time with Scott I was playing an album of theirs and he was asking about it. Scott was engaged to my stepsister when he was in a car crash and died in hospital a few days later. While growing up he had never shared living quarters with any animals - no dogs, no cats, no nothing. After presenting my stepsister with a kitten named Matilda for a Valentine's Day gift, he couldn't get over the fact that they were living with an animal! However, stepsister didn't want to keep the cat without Scott, so my mom expressed her desire to adopt her, and ours she was. Over time she became my cat, and when I moved out of my parents' place I was moving to a no-pets residence and had to leave her behind. It wasn't long before she was living with us in stealth. When it comes to Scott, I have R.E.M. and I have Matilda.

There are some other things that prompt memories of people I knew who have passed on:
  • Diet Coke makes me think of Jennifer, a classmate in grade eight who would often - almost always - have a can on her desk in whichever class we were in. I didn't know her well and though I could tell that there was something a little different about her, I couldn't put a finger on what it was. It wasn't until after she died during our grade nine year that I found out that she had been fighting cancer.
  • Will was a friend of mine from a very early age, when he was still Evan. We went to elementary school together and started high school together, at which point he was often singing the theme song to "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" . I suspect his name change had less to do with him thinking Evan sounded too childish and more to do with him wanting to be Will Smith. Now that Will Smith is a huge movie star I wish that Will could have enjoyed his many movies. He would've especially loved "Men in Black" and "I Am Legend", but he committed suicide mere months before "MiB" hit theatres. Anything to do with Will the actor reminds me of Will the friend.
  • One day during grade twelve, I was walking into biology class and somehow found myself singing Montell Jordan's "This Is How We Do It" with Clare. We got to the point where neither of us knew the words - about halfway through the first verse - and then Clare mentioned that we're probably not supposed to know that song that well. Well, I'll admit I liked the song. I also liked Clare. She died a few months later after getting hit by a drunk driver while crossing the street. I hear that song, I think of Clare.
In all four deaths, parents were left to grieve the loss of a child. At the start of The Last Six Minutes: A Mother's Loss and Quest for Justice (a book by Sandra Martins-Toner about the murder of her 16-year-old son), there is a page with this quote:
When a child loses his parents, he is called an orphan.
When a spouse loses her or his partner, he is called a widow or widower.

When parents lose their child, there are no words to describe them.

~ J. Neugeboren ~

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Reid it and believe it: All Whites are all tied

I woke up very early this morning. New Zealand was playing the first game of the day, at 4:30 a.m. local time, and damn straight I'd be up to watch. The first half was dull, and when Slovakia scored in the first five minutes of the second half it didn't look good for the All Whites. An equalizing goal was unimaginable since there were long stretches where a completed pass in their own half was cause for celebration.

BUT (all caps because it's a very big but), the All Whites managed a draw! They waited until the game was a couple of minutes into added time before Winston Reid directed a header past the Slovakian keeper. Here's the thing: I had been in and out of doze-mode for much of the second half and when the historic goal went in I was in doze-mode. D'oh(ze)! The post-goal noise - I guess mostly the excited voices of the announcers as the vuvuzelas are going all match long - woke me and I enjoyed the replays. Bravo, boys! Tied with Italy! And Slovakia and Paraguay! Group F is all square in all ways.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

no mas

1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.

Why do I bother? I try and I try, and all that trying with no reward leads to feelings of annoyance more often than affection. No more. No more will I let my feelings of affection (diminishing as they are) result in annoyance and heartache.

"Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

From runs to runs

I was sick a couple of weeks ago. Very very sick. Yesterday I went for my first run since, and am surprised at how well it went. I was anticipating having to either run much slower than usual or end the run much earlier than usual, but I was right on my usual 50-minute-ish pace and felt fine afterwards. While I tend to go for my runs in the mornings or early afternoons, yesterday I went at around 6 p.m. which is the latest I've ever gone for a run. Today is a beautiful day and I'm probably playing tennis with my dad later. I'm tempted to go for a run right now. I think I will.

By the way, I am still thrilled that I am able to run with the doggies on forested trails and next to a river without having to drive anywhere.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Calgary is close enough. For now.

My watch is still set fifteen hours ahead of Vancouver time, but it's the date not the time that tells me it's been far too long since I've seen you.

Friday, May 14, 2010

What categories are you?

  • “You like an epiphany or you like a surprise”
  • “You talk loudly in airport lineups or you are Canadian”
  • “You say ‘I love you’ or you say ‘I love you too’”
  • “You say ‘Fuck you’ or you say ‘Oh yeah? Fuck you’”
- from this Georgia Straight book-review article, excerpting “Good Egg Bad Seed” in Susan Holbrook's Joy Is So Exhausting.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Running like a swimmer

I've moreorless kept up my increased running routine of late. The past few outings, though, there have been many, many bugs hanging out at face level in the middle of the path. A sure sign that summer's here. After having one too many of said bugs ending up in my mouth, I decided to adopt a swimming technique. Specifically, the breathing component of the front crawl. I would turn my head to the left to inhale, and then face forward to exhale. It worked like a charm, but it was annoying as puck and took my body and mind off of running's forward-progress mentality.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

More running

I've been running more lately. Running more and doing more post-run exercies/stretching than I used to. My regular running routine, when at its most regular, would be every second day. Recently, though, I wondered why I didn't run every day. After all, if the dude from a post in mid-January can run a marathon a day for five straight days, then take two days off, then run a marathon for five straight days, and keep up that routine for a full year, then surely I can run for approximately an hour every day.

Well, I'm not quite there yet. I did run two days in a row, but then took a day off and simply walked the dogs. Then I ran two days in a row, and today would be le troisième jour, mais I'm feeling like it's going to be another walking day. I'm sure that I'll be doing three days in a row soon enough, then four, then five, then six, and so on. But hey, even my body needs to be conditioned.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

the sooner, right now

On the one hand, the sooner he gets older the sooner we can play tennis together. On the other hand, right now his hands are so adorably cute and soft.

On the one hand, the sooner he gets older the sooner he can ask me questions that make me look at the world in a whole new way. On the other hand, right now he sees the world as an entirely innocent place.

On the one hand, the sooner he gets older the sooner he'll say the darndest things. On the other hand, right now I love watching and listening to him create his own sounds and "words" as he communicates.

On the one hand, I want him to be older. On the other hand, I want him to stay like this forever.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

ow ow ow owwWWWW

You don't know pain until you've had a cat attempt to jump onto your lap while you're wearing boxers and a t-shirt, and the cat doesn't quite make it and is clinging to your unprotected thigh with three of her four skin-penetrating razor-sharp claw-paws. Love ya Tildy.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Meeeeeeoooowwww. Sllrrrp sllrrrp slllllrrrrrrp.

Lately I haven't been sleeping well. It's either a restless night or a too-early awakening. For those that know me, or know us, the culprit isn't who you might think. Little L has been sleeping through the night for a long, long time now. The only ones to blame are the bloody cats. Meowing obnoxiously in the middle of the night or cleaning themselves loudly just a few feet from my should-be-asleep head or scratching on a door. On the shower door, Tildy? Really? Come on! If it's not one cat, it's the other. Please, make it stop. I'd close the bedroom door, but we need it open in case L has a rare middle-of-the-night awakening. Plus, the cat(s) would then simply scratch on our door.

Plus one of the cats, the not-Tildy one, has a habit (a cute habit, some might say) of vomiting every time he eats. Yes, I've made the eating disorder jokes, but now it's just annoying. Super annoying. There's enough to deal with already with L and two large dogs and a bun in the oven, do we really need a vomiting cat? Why do we feed him, anyway? It just comes out whole onto the dining room/bedroom/hallway/kitchen floor.

Hey, anyone want a black cat? He's so purrfect and has so many cute habits. It'd be very hard to see him go, but please, TAKE HIM! TAKE HIM NOW! DO IT!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Not a New Kids song

Step by step.

Literally, when running with the dogs (49:14 Wednesday, 49:30 today).

Literally, when walking to work and/or walking home.

Figuratively, when eating healthier foods.

Figuratively, when doing basic exercises more often.

Step by step.

Ooh baby, you're always on my mind.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Name acronyms - acronames?

I have a niece whose first name starts with G, middle name E, last name M. Therefore, her name acronym (acroname) is GEM. Very nice. My wife and son and I recently travelled to Malaysia for a wedding of two friends. Cexylizzienegligee's brother has twin girls, whose first names start with C and O. The last name starts with W. So when discussing both girls together, it's easier to just say COW. The kicker is that they were born in the year of the cow!

While we were in Malaysia, our son turned one. The use of la/lah is common in speech and writing in Malaysia, and we used it ad nauseam. "Don't be kayu, lah!" "Don't think, just do it, lah!" It was just recently, about a month after our return from Malaysia, that I learned of COW, and it reminded me of GEM, and I thought of what our son's acroname is. It's LAA. If only our last name started with an H! But hey, LAA is the next best thing. As cexylizzienegligee said, considering he celebrated his first birthday in Malaysia, and has an acroname of LAA, he certainly seems to have an affinity for all thing Malaysian! As long as he doesn't bring home any durians, that's okay with me.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I ran

I went for a run yesterday and have no urge to document the time here. What's the point? I thought at first it would keep me motivated to run, and might come in handy if I wanted to see my improvements or my... declines? Deteriorations? But no, I just want to run. I want to get fit. More time being active and less time documenting it.

My book blog will be seeing more action, catch me there. More action there will mean less action on my error blog, where I was spending way too much time.

I spent a fortnight in Malaysia recently and had a great time. Betty & Lone had a beautiful wedding and were extremely generous and I miss them a lot.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Marathon Quest 250

Even after taking into account my lack of posts lately, I'm surprised I haven't posted about this yet. Especially considering it is running related. Martin Parnell of Alberta is running 250 marathons in 2010. He'll do a marathon a day for five consecutive days, and then take two days off, and repeat that 50 times. (Well, the 50th time will end with more than two days off, I'm sure.)

From the Marathon Quest 250 homepage:

Martin Parnell will attempt to run 250 marathons in 2010. His goal is to raise $250,000 for Right To Play.

Right To Play is an humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to improve health, develop life skills, and foster peace with children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world.

Right To Play also works in Canadian communities to inspire children and support their right to grow and learn through physical activity. More than 4,500 schools in Canada use the Right To Play program.

To raise $250,000, Martin will run all 250 marathons between January 1st and December 31st 2010. He'll cover a distance of 10,550km or 6550miles, which is approximately the same distance as a run from Cochrane to Boston then west through the US to Vancouver and back to Cochrane.

Visit the site to see a video introduction, and then keep checking back to follow his progress. I encourage you to consider making a donation to Right To Play through his site. Today Parnell did his 13th marathon of the year; in -7C weather his time was 5 hours, 56 minutes, 33 seconds. Ha - that's nothing compared to my run of 49 minutes, 59 seconds in 12C weather.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Today's run time

I went for a run today, but today's post title is only Today's run time, not the usual Today's run route and time. Why? Because my runs are usually going to be the same route, and I'm tired of copying and pasting the route from previous posts. So from now on I'm only going to post the route if it's significantly different from the usual. Plus, I'm going to be posting more non-running stuff and can just post a one-liner run-time at the end of the posts. Today I felt like crap - felt as though each leg weighed 300lbs. But I fought through it and felt great at the end. Yay me.

Today's run time: 50 minutes, 5 seconds

Friday, January 08, 2010

Today's run route and time

Today's run route
From our front door, run south on the Trans Canada Trail in Coquitlam River Park, left to cross the pedestrian bridge near Patricia Ave, left to go north along the Trans Canada Trail / Coquitlam River, turn around at David Ave, retrace route in reverse to our front door.

Today's run time
50 minutes 57 seconds

A wet run is great fun. The dogs didn't notice any of the many herons.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

We're number one, we're number one

It's now 2010 and the Olympics are nigh. Kudos & Kvetches in The Vancouver Courier posted the following back in November and it's taken me until now to post it here, but hey, at least I'm finally doing it:

As the province speeds headlong towards the 2010 Winter Olympics like a greased-up two-man luge, K&K is happy to report B.C.’s sacrifices, determination and winning attitude have started to pay off. According to the 2009 Child Poverty Report Card released Monday by First Call, a national child-advocacy group, B.C. has the highest child poverty rate in the country… for the sixth year in a row. In your face, Nunavat!

Of course, it’s not easy maintaining such consistent results, especially when B.C. is one of the most affluent provinces in the country, led by a government who voted to give its top 100 bureaucrats hefty wage increases last year, including Premier Gordon Campbell’s deputy minister, Jessica McDonald, who received a 43 per cent raise, pushing her salary from a paltry $243,936 to a more civilized $348,600. And let’s not forget that just two years prior, MLAs voted to give themselves a 29 per cent wage hike, and the premier a 54 per cent raise.

So how has B.C. managed to own the child poverty podium, despite such huge obstacles? Let’s start by giving a big shout out to the 156,000 kids around the province living in poverty. Without their sacrifice and dwindling resources thanks to constant cuts to social programs, B.C.’s dream of having the highest child poverty in the country would be just that… a silly dream. In short, their lack of options and poor diet make us stronger. Thank you, poor kids.

And let’s not forget the province’s steadfast refusal to increase the minimum wage, which was once the highest in the country but now secures the bottom spot, sitting at $8 an hour since 2001, to say nothing of the generous $6 “training wage” the B.C. Liberals introduced, presumably to dampen the sticker shock a princely sum like $8 an hour can cause.

Also, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention a recent article in the Georgia Straight that pointed out that B.C. Liberals—while slashing funding for mental health services, support for arts and culture and children’s sports—have shelled out nearly $1.5 million for 2010 Olympic tickets purchased by Crown corporations B.C. Hydro, ICBC and the B.C. Lottery Corporation, all at the expense of taxpayers. And “many of the tickets, including those for luxury suites in B.C. Place, GM Place and the Pacific Coliseum to watch coveted hockey and skating events, were for B.C. Liberal MLAs and cabinet ministers for the purposes of ‘Olympic community engagement and leveraging.’”

Then there’s the recently completed Vancouver Convention Centre, which was originally budgeted at $495 million, but ended up costing $883 million.

But the B.C. Liberals can’t take all the credit for the province’s gold medal performance in child poverty. Carole James and the NDP, despite initial protests, eventually accepted their “outrageous” 29 per cent wage hikes a few years back and have squandered every opportunity to defeat the government by putting its energy into opposing what it thinks are hot button issues such as gasoline taxes and now the HST.

Then, of course, there’s you, the majority of B.C. voters, who have either continually supported the government on its winning path of achieving the highest child poverty rate in the country for the past six years, or don’t bother voting at all. So take a moment and pat yourselves on the back. There’s plenty of blame to go around.

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Today's run route and time

Today's run route
From our front door, run south on the Trans Canada Trail in Coquitlam River Park, left to cross the pedestrian bridge near Patricia Ave, left to go north along the Trans Canada Trail / Coquitlam River, turn around at David Ave, retrace route in reverse to our front door.

Today's run time
52 minutes 48 seconds