Saturday, January 25, 2014

Mist on the water

The beacon at the end of the Victoria breakwater...
Victoria fog
Is there anything worse? Oh yes...
Ontario snow


Victoria's Ogden Point breakwater shrouded in a winter fog...

While eastern Canada and the States have been getting the sh*t kicked out of them this winter with record lows and heavy snow, Victoria is enjoying its mildest, driest winter in years. Our local ski resort is hurting due to the lack of snow -- they opened late and are now having to close runs as the little snow there is melts away. They've just slashed ticket prices in an effort to draw skiers and snowboarders which is a indicator of how desperate they are for business.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Little Qualicum Falls

Little Qualicum Falls on Vancouver Island...
Located not far from Parksville, BC...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Namaste


Years ago I saw an interview with actor Richard Gere who is well-known for being a longtime Buddhist and humanitarian. He described a periodic practice of his... as he would go about his day he would offer up a silent blessing to each person with whom he came into contact throughout the day. I can't remember the exact words, but it was similar to "I wish you nothing but happiness and love in your life". He explained that it helped him feel more empathetic and more forgiving of himself and others.

The story stuck with me because in his early career Gere was frequently cast as douchey pricks... Looking for Mr. Goodbar, American Gigolo, Breathless, Internal Affairs... In my mind I just couldn't reconcile his acting roles with this practice.

However, I tried his suggestion and it really works. I tend to be impatient with people. I find that whenever I catch myself getting irritable, I will go for a walk and as I pass people I will gently extend my hand and 'pass' a blessing to them via my hand... like I'm some sort of karmic superhero. :D Sounds goofy, but it always leaves me feeling better.
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Thursday, January 9, 2014

A visit to the faux-tropics


At one time the Crystal Garden in downtown Victoria housed an extensive tropical garden lush with broad-leafed plants and landscaped waterfalls. It was vibrant with colourful exotic birds and koi as well as a collection of primates and exotic reptiles. It was the closest thing we had to a zoo in Victoria and a great place for children to visit. Regrettably a government committee full of stupid and dull-minded men closed it and eventually replaced it with a cheerless conference centre that sits unused most of the time.

The closest we have to that experience now is Victoria Butterfly Gardens. Although it's a pale imitation of the former Crystal Garden, during Victoria's long, overcast winter when the rain falls thick and steady, it's nice to enjoy just a slice of the tropics.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Love Bug

VW Beetle done up grunge style on the streets of Port Angeles, WA.
VW Beetle, grunge style...
Seen on a Port Angeles street last fall...

Port Angeles is located on the American side of the Straits of Juan de Fuca (a.k.a. the Salish Sea) across from Victoria, BC. It was the last stop of our American tour last fall.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Polar bears sighted in Sidney...

Bruce and Leslie looking amped before their ocean plunge...

The New Year in Victoria was marked by a number of Polar Bear Swims in the greater Victoria area. Unlike last year's swim, the Elk Lake swim had to be moved to another lake due to the presence of a noxious algae bloom in the lake.

In the meantime, in Sidney, plucky Leslie and Bruce -- less plucky, more 'are we really going to do this?!' -- were part of the contingent that actually ran into the ~~~OCEAN~~~ to celebrate not just the new year, but some big milestones in Leslie's personal and professional life.

Still smilin'