Friday, August 28, 2009

More summer...

Pictures are coming soon, I hope. I'm having computer issues.

So I suppose I should pick up where I left off on that last post. I still have harvest and a death to talk about, that I mentioned earlier, but now there's another wedding, a long walk that wasn't walked, a canoe trip and new socks to add to the list. Let's work in chronological order again, shall we?

Officially, harvest comes first in the grand scheme of things, I think. I've now had a chance for the growing things on my patio to have become edible. There was been a bountiful harvest of lettuce and bok choi (the lettuce is done, but I really should harvest more bok choi before it all gets eaten by bugs) and the peppers have turned out to be orange ones, and not green like I thought. I still haven't picked any though. I'm waiting for the right time. Maybe later on this week. There's also been harvest of cherries (back in July) plus apples and figs at the Richmond house. Apples and figs were the most recent; they got picked (just a couple of each) when I was out there last week taking care of Resha. I'm out there again at the end of the month, so maybe I will do some more harvesting.

On that sort of bright note, I have some sad news to report. I learned at the end of July that Hippolyta and Oberon's mom lost her fight with breast cancer. I haven't really talked to the twins since highschool, but it made me sad. Susie was always an amazing person. But I guess sometimes the worst things in our lives are the ones that catalyze some of the best ones. By this I mean to say that the news of Susie's passing made me actually go out and do something instead of just thinking about it. See, for the past while (I would say about a month or so prior) Rafiki has been trying to get me (and Marksman, in a roundabout sort of way) interested in volunteering/crewing the Weekend to End Breast Cancer. And I kept saying "not this year, but maybe next. I'll think about it." But then the Breast Cancer beast reared its ugly head, and it made me want to be a part of the solution. So I waited about a week, and thought about things, and made sure I wasn't being completely rash, and then registered to crew the Vancouver Weekend. I may have left it a little late. I registered on Monday, and the Walk was the following weekend... But I didn't register Marksman until Tuesday :p I ended up on the Caboose team, the crew of cyclists that try to keep the organizers up to date on what's happening on the route. And then Wednesday rolled around, and the crew coach (the staff member in charge of the Crew; crew are all-weekend people, vs volunteers who mostly do partial-weekend stuff) sent out a note to the Caboose. Which was a "hi, welcome to the team" note, but also let us know that we didn't yet have a captain. Captains are handy people to have. They tend to be organized and stuff, and sort of know what's going on. So I waited until Thursday evening to volunteer. Because I had Friday off, having finished a building in excellent time. On Friday morning I call the office, and volunteer, and all is well. I do some running around, picking up a rack for the road bike (aka Shelly) that doesn't require any braze-on mounting points on my frame. Which means I'm stuck with a seatpost-mounted rack, that I have determined I don't really like at all. It wobbles too much when I have my panniers on it. In any case. Crew meeting that night, the captains all introduce themselves, all goes well. I meet up with the rest of my team, we figure out (mostly) what we're doing, and head on our merry way. I am the last captain to get to the t-shirt table. This is very unfortunate, because all that is left on the table by the time I get there is XL shirts. I am most definitely not an XL. So I put one of my shirts on anyways, and debate the sanity of turning it into a dress overnight, and then come up with a brilliant idea; I will turn it into a cycling unitard! Originally the plan was to do the quick and dirty version, with maybe three seams. I ended up doing a somewhat more tailored incarnation. Eventually, I might do it again with a plain shirt and write up a tutorial, for the fun and the fashion... (...just for the passion? 10 points if you can tell me what song that came from) And really, I know the point of the cycling uni is so you don't have a waist band on your bike shorts, but it was still fun.

Click here to view these pictures larger

Anyways, post unitard-sewing (it took about an hour, I think) it was bedtime, and the morning came along far too early, because we were picked up just after 0500. And then went to the starting point (that I really want to just call the staging area, but it was more than that) and waited. And waited. And waited. I decorated Shelly while I waited. Borrowed some pink flagging tape from the moto safety guys. My front forks and top tube are still pink. I should get around to fixing that... Anyways, met up with my team, and got everyone organized, and got on our way. There are no really interesting stories from the walk, really. Though I did get to hang out with Chad, who is semi-famous in the world of the Weekend, because he's done 34 walks to date, and this year is doing every single walk in Canada. Clearly the man is crazy. Anyways. We come in to Closing Ceremonies, and do all that stuff, and then go on our way. I talk Rafiki into going past the Unitarian church on the way home, because Susie's memorial started at 1430, and I want to see if anyone is still there, nevermind the fact that I am still in bike shorts, unitard, and "Victory" (aka we finished) shirt from the Weekend. I should mention that it is now almost 1700. I did not really expect to see anyone, but we pull into the parking lot, and it appears that things have just ended, because there are people milling about, so I find the twins, and chat a bit, and give hugs all around. Eventually I get dropped off at home. Where things need to get madly underway for the next thing.

You see, when I registered for the WEBC, I already had plans for the weekend. My stepsister's wedding was on the Monday. In Kelowna. Marksman and I were going to drive up on Saturday, and make a bit of a trip out of it. That didn't end up happening, clearly. Instead, we came home on Sunday, and tried to pack madly and get on our way. I think we made it out of the house by about 1930. We got to our hotel in Kelowna just after midnight. Not bad, really. We sort of just fell into bed. There might have been showers first, but I'm not totally sure about that one. The next day was the wedding, very pretty, outside in the park. As far as I know, everything went as planned, except maybe the scowling flowergirl. Afterwards there was dinner, and then we went back to the hotel, for a quick swim, and then bed.

Tuesday, we slept in for the first time in what felt like a week. It may well have been. We packed our stuff, and loaded the Tracker, and went for breakfast. And then for yarn, because I asked nicely. I came home with some really nice Louet Northern Lights and some sock yarn, in a nice green-brown colourway. We stopped on the way home to take the Tracker through AirCare, and much to our chagrin it failed. We'll have to fix it before we can insure it really long-term. (We can get three months for now) Also on the way home, I finished some socks! Originally there were for Marksman, but when I made him try on the first on (for length) I discovered he couldn't get them on. So they're for me, instead. Dream in Color Smooshy in Nightwatch. Pattern is my own, and I might write it up if anyone is interested. I've dubbed them the Crossovers socks. (They crossed over from him to be, and they're full of cables, and they've been worked over many journeys) They fit me just fine :) (they don't fit The Feet quite as well, but well enough to model for pictures)


cable detail

Of course, after new socks and trips it's time to get back to work, so we did. For a bit. And then came something that's sort of been on the radar all summer. The Canoe Trip with the new Venturers. But that, I think, is a post unto itself. So you'll just have to wait.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's funny how the world keeps on happening even when I'm not paying attention to it, and not asking anyone else to pay attention to it either, although I suppose writing a blog, especially as infrequently as I do, is a pretty passive form of asking people to pay attention to the world. I just read over my last two posts. I didn't quite realize how long it's been. (I seem to say that, every time I write. Maybe I should just get over it, and write something every week, even if I feel there is nothing to say. Something will come up, I'm sure, and it might even be interesting, but mostly it feels like the same things happen over again every week and it just gets boring. Then all of a sudden two months have gone by and it's a little bit nuts trying to catch up.

I guess all sorts of things have happened since the beginning of June. Harvest, camping, staying out until the morning (more than once), a wedding, a birth, a death, some fireworks... Work, of course. There will always be work. There just hasn't been much knitting. Some, because there's always knitting going on in the background. I guess this is going to be one of those "I want to show you things, and maybe keep interest in this thing going" posts. I wish I could avoid it, but that's the way it stands. I suppose I might as well go in chronological order.

First, Monster was born. Her official name is Sara, though for a little while she was Sara(h) because Jemmy &co could not decide on the H. Her sweater was finished in time to take to the hospital when we went to visit. I dressed up the ferry as a small child again, because apparently the ferry is the place to finish baby clothes...

Rocketry ferry

It fits for now, and should into the fall, providing her arms do not grow faster than the rest of her. And I thought they were long, too. Apparently not.

Next, there was the first batch of staying up until the morning. It actually started as a weekend that was just plain busy, and then evolved. First, I was working in Yaletown on Friday, and working for Mom on Saturday, and then going to the East Vancouver Area year-end dinner on Saturday night. So I left home on Friday and went to work, and then stayed at mom's that night. We worked on a catering gig until 4, then mom left to deliver it while I helped Auntie Deb clean up. And then (eventually) I got dropped off at the bus (we ended up chasing the 49 for a bit, so that I could catch it) so that I could get to dinner. Dinner was at 1800. I got off the bus at 10 to, with all my stuff in hand, half a block from home. I made it to dinner for 1805. Changed and everything. Anyways, dinner was tasty, and the speeches were (mostly) short, and I'm now the Assistant Area Commissioner for Rovers. Aka I'm supposed to come up with things for us to do. In any case, Marksman was away for the weekend, and I had nothing to do, and had sat with Rafiki for all of dinner, (as much as you can sit with any one individual during an even that includes 100+ people) and we had gotten to talking and didn't really want to go home. So instead, we went to Stanley Park. I got to drive around the park :) I haven't otherwise driven a car since I was 16... In any case, we wandered around the park as well, and walked onto the bridge and back. Eventually I got dropped off at home. I think it was almost 4 in the morning. But I got some fun pictures, like this one.


Plus I discovered the "when you think there is nothing else" phone in the middle of the bridge. It's yellow. Now I want to know if there are others, on other bridges. Like maybe the Golden Ears?

I think that wraps up June, for the most part. July, on the other hand, was busier. It started with a camping trip. Marksman and I went out to Gold River on the Island, with his family, and the Cowichan Valley Metis. The theory was that it was a youth event (youth here meaning anyone under the age of 30) and their families could come too, handy when you're less than 15 or so... Instead, it ended up being a mostly-adult event, with the under-30 crowd making up less than half of the participants. We found out that's pretty normal. We stayed for a week, and got some climbing in at Strathcona park, though all my pictures turned out shoddy. We also did some beading, and some weaving, and some making of drums, which was pretty sweet, though I still need to make myself a drumstick. I should get on that. Other than the fact that it rained for the first three days, it was a pretty good camping trip. It was good to get out into the green again for a bit, even if we had to drive for 4 hours both ways to get there. (Well, 4 hours there. 3 and a half home. It was late, and we wanted to go to bed. Or at least Marksman did. He was driving.) I would show you pictures, but there aren't really any :p

After arriving back in civilization, there was a wedding. Two scouting friends got married after almost 5 years. The wedding was lovely, the girls looked good, and the boys looked even better. (The wedding party boys were all kilted. I have a soft spot for boys in kilts.) Even Tristan came in a kilt, which entertains me to no end :) It was good to catch up with everyone, and good to hear stories about friends. I wish them long happiness and joy, and all manner of other good things. Marksman still maintains that he's going to be the first of the "Wild Ones" (the title this group of friends maintains) to do things in the traditional order... (every one of the rest of them, just about, already has a kid. Dale and Sam were the first; Naomi was their flower girl.) The cake topper was pretty awesome, though.

time and place, Dale.  Time and Place.

And then we came home. Work started up again, things fell back into that same old routine. You know how it goes. So then fast forward two weeks. It's now the middle of July, before the heat wave hit (the weekend before, to be precise) but still pretty hot. A bunch of us went to go play paintball and had a blast, though I've still got battle wounds; bare-skin hits from 5 feet or less tend to break skin. We all went home after playing, with plans to maybe bike down to the fireworks later. So we got home, and not 10 minutes later, it starts bucketing down rain. And I'm talking an inch in 10 minutes kind of rain, the very best kind of rainstorm there is, complete with lightning and thunder, but devoid of wind, for the most part. So the plans to ride bikes to the fireworks are scrapped, but Rafiki and I decide to go anyways. What's a little rain, anyways? And of course, it's still raining, and there's still lightning, but it seems to have moved off a little, or at least away from my place... Turns out that it's moved towards downtown, where the fireworks are. The fireworks were competing with the lightning for viewing time, I think. But the rain kept all but the most insane of us away, so we were able to park under the Burrard bridge, and walk down to English bay. We sat on the rocks, less than 10 feet from the water. Normally, this would never happen. Too many people. I bemoan the fact that I can't just leave the shutter on my camera open, so as to take theoretically awesome pictures of lightning, but I managed to get one.


It's not awesome, but it's still nifty. At the end of the show (the staged portion, at least) we end up driving around. I don't remember where. I do know that we ended up at Ambleside, and took pictures of the Lions Gate with the lights off. That doesn't happen very often at all. At this point, we discover that the other camera that's with us has an extended exposure setting, up to 60 seconds, maybe more but we didn't test it. So there's some goofing around with exposure times, and some attempts at taking pictures of the stars, because the sky is starting to clear up. We must have sat and stood and wandered and talked for about 4 hours, I think... At which point we decided to find somewhere to watch the sun come up. Burnaby mountain seemed the logical choice, so we went there, and discovered, just in time for sunrise, that there are far too many trees to get a good view of the horizon. And then we went home. By this point the rain had stopped, and the lightning had moved on, and the sky was pretty much clear. It was also 530 in the morning... Oops.

And then another week goes by, better than the one before. A friend got his Masters in Archeology on Monday, after 4 years of work. (I'm not going to say 4 years of hard work necessarily, but 4 years nonetheless.) I donated blood on Tuesday, which was supposed to be a Rover event but failed to be. That's ok. Sometimes that's just how it goes. I missed the last time, so now I've caught up :p The rest of the week was pretty standard. Work, and then weekend. The last of the fireworks (HSBC Festival of Light) was on Saturday, and the weather was cooperative, so Rafiki and Marksman and I all rode down to them from Cliffhanger. No spots on the beach this time, so we stayed up on the road and leaned on our bikes. Sadly there was no wind, not even a breeze, so the pall of smoke over the whole thing made it harder to see, but all in all it was a good show. Afterwards, we went looking for food. And looking for food. And looking for food. Things were too busy close to English Bay, and by the time we got out of the area, things were starting to close already. We finally found food on Robson, at sometime after midnight. (The fireworks ended at 2230 or so) All hail the White Tower restaurant on Robson, for being open to 0300 on Saturdays :) Fed and watered, spirits were high, and we went for a ride around Stanley Park. Yes, we're heading into another episode of the late-night crazies. In any case, the ride was good, and we stopped to try and put out a beach fire (and then waited for the Fire Dept to do it) and then eventually got back to the truck to go home. By the time we got dropped off it was between 430 and 445. We offered the couch to R, who declined in favour of his own bed, which he arrived at at 515 (I know, because we told him to let us know when he got home safe), though the next day it was admitted that denying the couch had not been the smartest of plans.

Sunday I worked at the gym, for the 5 most boring working hours I have ever passed. I folded and sorted the tshirts from the back is how quiet it was. I don't think we ever had more than 10 people there, including staff. It was nice, but a little strange. This is what happens on a nice Sunday before a holiday Monday, I guess.

(That doesn't wrap this up, but over a week has passed, so I'll write more in the next post)