Friday, December 17, 2004

WTF?!?!? We used to shoot pellet guns at each other all the time....maybe not so much on the schoolyard. Why is this even news? What a waste of e-space. I wish we got counselling for every traumatic thing that happened to us back then....

7-year-old fires pellet gun in Saskatchewan schoolyardLast Updated Fri, 17 Dec 2004 07:12:06 EST
NORTH BATTLEFORD, SASK. - A seven-year-old boy who used a pellet gun to shoot at other children in his school playground is facing disciplinary action but no criminal charges.
The trouble began on Wednesday morning with a schoolyard scuffle at McKitrick School in North Battleford, Sask.
The RCMP says two boys got into an argument before class.
One of the boys went home and returned with a pellet rifle. When students got out for recess, he started firing.
Several students were shot at, including the boy he'd fought with, before teachers intervened and confiscated the rifle.
The school called police and the boy was removed from school.
RCMP Cpl. Robin Bittorf said it doesn't appear anyone was hit.
"Two boys that we knew were shot at don't show any injuries at all," he said.
Bittorf said it's up to the child's parents, school officials and social workers to deal with the matter now.
The Youth Criminal Justice Act doesn't apply to children under 12.
"We can't charge him criminally for his actions and, as he is only seven years of age, I'm not sure he really understands the magnitude of exactly what he did," Bittorf said.
Since the weapon involved was a pellet gun, the owner can't be charged with a firearms offence, he said.
The boy's future at the school is under discussion. Ron Ford, the director of education for Battlefords School Division, says the school has a zero-tolerance policy on guns and is taking the incident very seriously.
"We see this as an average little guy doing a very foolish thing ... but we need to get the attention of him and his guardian that we view this as a serious issue," Ford said.
"He will be away from school until we're certain that is the case. And certainly more important to me is that he get the necessary counselling for him and his guardian."

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Canada Goes To Hell Legal pot? Legal gay marriage? Universal health care? What's next, free porn and candy?
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Did you hear the screams? Did you feel the menacing chill? Did you see the black and ominous clouds, moving north?
Did you sense, in other words, the very presence of Satan himself as he laughed maniacally and tossed around bucketfuls of ultrathin condoms and little travel-size packets of Astroglide like confetti while riding his Harley Softail up to Toronto or maybe Edmonton to join the ghastly and sodomitic celebrations?
Because it's happened. Canada's high court just ruled that the government can, if it so desires, redefine marriage to include gay couples, which it has declared it will do almost immediately, thus solidifying Canada's place as the chilly yet mellow and gay friendly and hockey-riffic epicenter of all known hell.
It's true. It's rather amazing. Gay marriage will be completely legal in Canada very soon. It's been oddly ignored in much of the U.S. media and hasn't really been much discussed among those in the terrified red states except when, deep in the night, from their respective lumpy twin beds, they whisper to each other across the room as they pop their Ambien and stroke their portfolios and curse their very genitals: oh my God what's wrong with those freakin' Canadians?
I mean (they continue), I thought they loved red meat and brutish sports and manly hunting. Are they all just freaks and perverts now? Have they been sniffing too many elk pelts? Is it something in the clean and plentiful water up there? Something to do with those weird French-esque people in Quebec, maybe?
I knew we should've been paying more attention to that border! Didn't I say so, honey? Didn't I say we should keep an eye on those northern weirdos after they dissed the Iraq war and legalized pot and sort of went about their happy and calm Canadian business whilst we here in panicky red-blooded America chewed our own karmic legs off in a paranoid and jingoistic rage? Hippies and perverts, I said! Save a few bombs for Ontario, George, I say!
Let us now do the naughty math: Canada has roughly 32 million inhabitants, of whom about 75 percent are over 18, of whom it can be loosely estimated that anywhere from 2 to 8 percent are gay (depends, of course, on who you ask).
All of which translates into a ballpark figure of anywhere from 1 million to 2 million gay Canadians of legal marrying age who will now eagerly laugh and kiss in the streets and confound poor reactionary born-again George W. Bush, and they will flash their wedding rings at parties and annoy all the single people, all while proving for the umpteenth time that love knows no gender limitations or legal restrictions and will trump your whiny sanctimonious religious puling any given Sunday. Heathens!
It's getting more confusing by the minute, isn't it? I mean, Canada now has legal pot and legal gay marriage and universal health care and no known terrorist enemies and a relatively successful multiparty political system. They also have, according to U.N.'s Human Development Index, one of the highest qualities of life in the world. All coupled with a dramatically reduced rate of gun violence and far better gun-control legislation than the U.S., despite having the exact same per capita rate of gun ownership and gun-sport enthusiasm.
What the hell? How is this possible? Why aren't they scared to death like whiny red-state Americans? Why don't they want to kill each other along with anything that might threaten their access to televised hockey and cheap beer and yummy poutine?
Aren't they aware of what's happening in the world? Don't they know they are openly hated for their freedoms and their caf├ęs and their vinegared french fries? Aren't they human, fer Chrissakes? Oh, red states. How confused and irritated you must be.
After all, unlike the U.S., Canada backed the Kyoto Treaty (along with 165 other heathen nations). They also spend more per capita on education and less on health-care overhead than the U.S. They have a $10 billion federal surplus, a new record. They are not, as of yet, abusing the hell out of their vast natural resources (freshwater, huge forests, oil and natural gas, mineral deposits, etc.) and embarrassing themselves on a global scale every single day and making a mockery of their constitution or their citizens' civil liberties. What the hell is wrong with them?
Yes yes, I know, Canada's universal health care is flawed and not always of the best quality, and a great many Canadians think their prime minister is a bit of a schmuck and they hate paying taxes and of course they can be all profitable and progressive when they don't have a massive bogus unwinnable war to pay for, one run by a ravenous and fiscally idiotic federal government, and they only have one-tenth of our population and one-fiftieth of our desperate consumeristic gluttony. They have it easy, right?
Remember, Canada is boring. Canada is rarely in the news. Canada has no massive belching socioeconomic engine like America does, what with our NASCAR and Hollywood and Fox News and bad porn and the absolute best medical care on the planet despite how only a tiny fraction of us have access to it while the rest languish in bloated abusive HMOs and poverty and disease and 40 percent of us have no access to health care whatsoever. Take that, Canada! Oh wait.
We hate gays and love guns and think pot is evil but hand out Prozac and Zoloft like Chiclets. Meanwhile (as "Bowling for Columbine" so beautifully illuminated), Canadians leave their doors unlocked and don't feature violence and death on every newscast and still value community and diversity and discussion over solipsism and protectionism and a general hatred of foreigners and the French. See? We rule! Oh wait.
All of which makes you wonder: how many more countries will it take? How many more nations will have to, for example, prove that gun licensing works, or that gay-marriage legislation is a moral imperative, or that health care for all is mandatory for a nation's well being, before America finally looks at itself and says, whoa, damn, we are so silly and small and wrong? Is there any number large enough? After the announcement that gay Chinese and gay Russians may legally marry and grow lovely gardens of marijuana as they all get free dental care, will America remain terrified of nipples and queers?
Canadians. So mellow. So laid back. So gay. So not producing any truly superlative modern-rock music or ultraviolent buddy-cop movies and not actively siccing Wal-Mart or Starbucks or Paris Hilton on the rest of the world like a goddamn cancer. They're just so ... nice. And boring. And calm. And solid. And friendly.
And they simply beat us senseless on the whole open-minded, progressive thing. Kicked our flag-wavin' butts. Trounced our egomaniacal self-righteous selves and made the red states look even more foolish and backward than the whole world already knows them to be.
They did it. Canada made the whole gay marriage issue look effortless and obvious and healthy, and a massive black rain of hellfire did not pour down upon them and the very idea of hetero marriage did not immediately explode and their economy did not unravel like all the sneering cardinals and right-wing nutballs screamed it would. We must ask, one last time: what the hell is wrong with them?
Oh wait. Maybe we should rephrase. What the hell, we should be asking, is wrong with us?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Mark Morford has hit the nail on the head AGAIN....

What Are You, On Drugs? With so many Americans popping prescription meds, who needs nature and sex and exercise?

The odds are very good that you are on drugs.
Right now. This minute. As I type this and as you read this and as false Texas dictators rise and sad empires crumble and as this mad bewildered world spins in its frantically careening orbit, there's a nearly 50/50 chance that some sort of devious synthetic chemical manufactured by some massive and largely heartless corporation is coursing through your bloodstream and humping your brain stem and molesting your karma and kicking the crap out of your libido and chattering the teeth of your very bones.
Maybe it's regulating your blood pressure. Maybe it's keeping your cholesterol in check. Maybe it's helping you sleep. Maybe it's helping you wake the hell up. Maybe it's opening your bronchial tubes. Maybe it's brightening your terminally bleak outlook.
Maybe it's adjusting your hormone levels or controlling your urge to weep every minute or relaxing the blood vessels in your penis or cranking the serotonin to your brain or pumping carefully measured slugs of alprazolam or fluoxetine or sertraline or atorvastatin or esomeprazole or buspirone or venlafaxine or any number of substances with Latin-rooted jawbreaker names through your flesh in a bizarre dance of miraculous vaguely disturbing death-defying scientific wonder.
Forty-four percent of all Americans. That's the latest number. Almost half us are popping at least one prescription drug and fully one in six are popping three or more, and the numbers are only increasing and this of course doesn't count alcohol or cigarettes or bad porn and it doesn't count the mad megadoses of jingoistic flag-waving God-slappin' fear -- which is, as evidenced by the last election, a stupendously popular FDA-approved drug in its own right. But that's another column.
Have a teenager? She's probably on drugs, too. One in four of all teens are, according to new research. And we ain't talking pot or ecstasy or meth or fine cocaine or Bud Light or any of those oh-my-God-not-my-baby devil drugs that are so demonized by the government, but that by and large are no more (and are often far less) toxic and addictive and caustic than any of your average 8-buck-a-pop silver-bullet chemical bombs shot forth from the likes of Eli Lilly and Glaxo and Pfizer, et al. Ahh, irony. It's the American way.
All of which means one of two things: either it's the goddamn finest time in history to be an American, living as we are in the age of incredible technology and miracle medicines and longer life expectancies and $5 coffee drinks and a happy synthetic chemical to match any sort of ache or pain or lump or rash or spiritual crisis you might be facing.
Or it's the absolute worst, what with so many of us heavily drugged and over half of us massively obese and IQs dropping like stones and our overall quality of life deteriorating right under our noses and shockingly huge numbers of us actually finding Shania Twain somehow interesting. Which perspective is right for you? Ask your doctor.
It's become so you can't crack a joke about Prozac or Xanax at a party without at least three or four faces suddenly going still and unsmiling and you're like, whoops, as you suddenly realize that you can, as you walk the streets of this fine and heavily narcotized nation, imagine at least one very expensive drug pumping through the time-ravaged body of nearly every other person you pass. It's a bit like knowing their secret fetish or favoritest dream or on which nether part they want to get a tattoo. Except totally different.
And you might say, well, so what? So what if pharmaceuticals help us cope, relieve the pressure, help us survive this ugly and irritating world? Better living through chemistry, baby, so long as you don't mind the numbness and the glazed eyeballs and the heart palpitations and the lack of true feeling in your fingertips and the nightmares about snakes. Right?
So long as you don't mind the slightly nauseating sense that you have lost some sort of vital and perhaps irreplaceable link to the animal world and the luminous organic planet. But, as Dubya says, who the hell cares about that crap when you got baseball and war and apple pie?
Because here's the nasty truth: it's a highly toxic BushCo world right now and we've set it up so it's only getting worse, darker, more poisonous and unsettled and unsanitary. Maybe all our meds just help us maintain some sort of jittery and numbed balance, some sort of sad equilibrium. The BushCo doctrine dictates detachment, exploitation, abuse of every known ecological resource and profiteering from every known loophole and caring not a whit for nature and organic systems and balance? Hey, like nation, like body.
But let's be fair. It must be said right here that many of these drugs indeed help an enormous number of people and restore lives and bring light where only darkness once reigned and far be it from me to begrudge anyone his or her chemical-assisted reprieve from genuine suffering.
But here's the thing: it's still only a fraction. Only a small number of people whose doctors prescribe these meds like candy actually need them, and as for the rest there are these things called lifestyle change and dietary change and perspective change and even spiritual shift that can affect the overall health of your life like a goddamn miracle, like a thousand drugs combined, changes that millions simply refuse to undertake because, well, it's just too damn hard.
We don't want to know. We don't want to understand deeper, complex natural systems. We want pills, not awareness. We want magic bullets, not true magic. We want to eat what we want and exercise not at all and pay no attention to our bodies and our quality of life and expect it all to work sufficiently well until we die at 90 and they forklift us into our refrigerator-size coffins. After all, we're Americans. We're not supposed to care.
Nevertheless, it bears repeating: maybe what's lacking most in this society is a true and thoughtful and nuanced connection to and understanding of the natural systems, soil and sunlight and sustainability, lunar rhythms and whole food and maybe knowing where the hell your water really comes from. You think?
Because the truth is, it's not all that hard to get informed. It's not all that hard to affect serious change in your life and eat better and kiss better and require less chemical crap in your bloodstream and slowly but surely reduce the need for medication in your life. It is far from impossible to clear out the toxins and flush the BushCo-endorsed crap and defy the demonic corporate pharmaceutical PR and reevaluate just how you tread this life. They just want you to think it is.
Note to send out to Dave & Nic, Heather Gibb, Grant & Alana.

Hmmm..do you realize that that email subject line left me humming Elvis tunes all day? Damn you, Liwiski! I had to change it to deflect the singing in the head back to you...

Hello everyone....how are things in balmy Manitoba? (Apparently 'Friendly Manitoba' doesn't apply anymore).

Everything is okay around here. Life seems to be getting busier and busier despite the attempts to 'simplify' things. I've been finding that even though I hoped my schedule would lighten up over the winter, it certainly hasn't so far. Work has been insane the past month or so -- the production environment freeze started on Monday (no new changes or applications can be deployed in production for a month or so so that infrastructure changes can be made -- mainframe moves, server reassignments, etc), so all the development teams have been scrambling to get everything done in time. Of course, as I'm in Support I'm on the receiving end of 'incomplete' applications and non-existent documentation, so I've had my work cut out for me getting up to speed on the new applications, scheduling deployments, bug fixes and enhancements, and helping out the dev teams work on production issues as well as doing my normal day-to-day stuff. Hopefully this will slow down over the next few weeks.

The racing season went very well. I ended up 21st overall in the Alberta Road Cup for Cat 1/2, which is a 'best-all-round' rider award based on road race points over the season. I thought that was pretty good considering I didn't even race my first Cat 1/2 race until the Canada Day Crit in Edmonton. Being a hammerhead and racing every race available certainly helps! My team, Synergy, ended up 5th overall in the team road points category and 1st overall in the team Journal Cup standings, which is the track award. Synergy is certainly the most prolific team on the velodrome tracks, and is also very active in the track organizational council (CBTL -- see below). As some of you may or may not know, I was hit by a car in May while on a team ride, which destroyed my beautiful bike, but luckily spared me from any permanent damage. The guy who hit me basically fled before the Calgary police got there and I've been having a hard time since then trying to get the police to do anything about it. I'm just now getting an insurance claim processed on my own house insurance policy. Whether or not they catch the guy, I've surrender to the fact that I'm just relieved to finally be getting this ordeal behind me. On the bright side, I'm looking forward to getting a brand new 2005 road bike and a new wheelset to replace what I lost. I love saving up for and shopping for bike goodies!

Now that it's off-season, I'm working out at a power lifting gym with seven of my other bike teammates, focusing on improving strength and sprinting power. We're getting subsidized quite generously through the team. Three of the guys that I went to Tucson with last year are coaches at this particular gym so we had the privilege of getting a specialized training plan and dedicated coaching for a really good price. It's a good environment to work out in since people definitely notice when you don't show up. I also hope that the discipline required for power lifting technique will help me out as well, if only to save myself from getting injured. So, we're doing that three days a week, Tuesday and Thursday after work and Saturdays in the late morning. I'm still running four days a week, M/W/F/Saturday mornings, and still curling on Saturday afternoons!

I'm still Treasurer for my bike team and webmaster for the Track (velodrome) organizing body. It's year-end right now and we've been scrambling to get financial reports and copies of all our cheques/receipts/expenses/income reconciled in order to maintain our society status and be able for charitable money (i.e. casinos) through the AGLC (Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission). It's been a lot of work (yep...volunteering can be a bitch sometimes), but things should quiet down considerably after New Year's. I've also committed to building an online registration system that will tie into the CBTL website (http://www.cbtl.ca), so that will keep me busy going into January and February and March and April......

It's also Christmas party season, and we've had our share so far. I'm pretty sure by the time New Year's rolls around, I'll be ready for some R & R and ready to apply some focus to my training regimen, since I'll be sick of drinking beer....NOT!

Speaking of beer....Joe officially gave his notice at the bar (Swan's Pub) were he has bar-tended part-time for four years a few weeks ago and his last shift working there is on Saturday. It will definitely be great to have him around in the evenings. He has a very good chance of going full-time with Telus Mobility in January which will mean a guaranteed income and benefits, which will be awesome. He's come a very long way in the company in just a year, and I've been trying to convince him to stick it out. He's very good at what he does (Data/Network Analyst), but he is growing weary of dealing with clients all day. He's been talking less and less about finding something else though, so maybe that's a good thing? I'm really hoping that freeing up some of his time will allow him to pursue more healthy things in his life -- eating better, exercising more, reading, finding some hobbies/activities that he's interested in.

We have a new addition to the family as well. We got a new cat, a 4-month old male named Bandit. He's black & white and really cute and cuddly. He can also be quite a handful at times. We felt 2.5 year-old Gizmo was going through feline seasonal affective disorder (don't think there's such a thing but that's what we labelled it). He would sleep all the time and wouldn't even come downstairs to see us when we were home. He still does a lot of that -- he's really a sloth in a cat's body, but for the first few days when we brought Bandit home and he was in a felicidal stage, he would follow the kitten around like a shadow and take the odd swipe at him. Now they've really warmed up to each other and he treats Bandit more like a chew toy. How weird...

This was a good year for travelling. I went with four friends (several from my bike team) for self-organized training camp in Tucson, Arizona over the Easter weekend this year, putting on some mileage in anticipation of the racing season. We did 800km in six days in the wonderful Arizona heat. It was a wonderful trip that I'd like to do again. Joe and I went to Toronto for five days in July to see Madonna in concert with some friends from Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto. Joe and I decided to make a mini-holiday out of it and stayed with friends for a few days and the Royal York for a few others. It was an intense trip as we spent most of the time 'socializing'. The Madonna concert was the first of several big shows we got to see this year. We also got to see Sting & Annie Lennox in concert in Calgary and I went to Sarah Maclachlan with Reid Cummings here as well. All were very good.

In August I went back to Grandview for a week for my great-uncle and great-aunt's 50th wedding anniversary. I managed to get a few days of rest up at the lake with mom and dad. Four weeks later, I returned to Grandview again as Grandma Dalgleish was ill in the hospital and her condition was getting worse so the grandkids trekked home to see her one last time. I'm very glad I did, as she passed away two days after I left back to Calgary on September 28th, so I had to return to Grandview once again for the funeral the weekend following in early October.

Joe and his friend Nick flew out to Vancouver for a short three-day getaway in mid-October while I was up running in the Banff Ekiden Relay Race, a perennial fave of my running club. We sent three teams up this year, and had a best team finish of 21st. Eight of us spent the night in Banff in a huge condo with a common hot tub. Great fun.

Not sure what's going on for holidays next year. The bike group are still planning a training trip south sometime around Easter again. We had debated places like San Diego, Durango, Colorado or Taos, New Mexico for a change, but now everyone seems to be swinging back in opinion to heading back to Tucson again. It seems to be the one of only a few locales that are civilized, safe, and guaranteed to be hot and dry for our visit -- plus the cycling is phenomenal. Nicole Liwiski's parents lived in Tucson when we were there last year, but they've recently relocated to Newfoundland (Nic's dad accepted a position at the new Voisey's Bay nickel mine in Labrador). It's unfortunate they won't be there since they fed us (five famished cyclists) and their own guests an incredible Easter dinner when we were there last year!!! It's that darn Manitoba-native hospitality, I tells ya!

Joe and I were planning on heading to the east coast sometime in the summer/fall of 2005, but I don't think that plan's formulating fast enough. Joe hasn't been back to his PEI stomping grounds in over 10 years, but it may have to wait at least another year. Neither of us can commit the time nor the money. We're seriously considering buying a house this summer, so it's probably best to return to some twisted form of frugality. I still have the trip to Arizona and the World Master Games in Edmonton (both requiring a week of holidays) to contend with. Maybe if things work out we'll be able to head to a tropical locale early next winter or something.

I'm still hoping to get back to Manitoba sometime in the summer of 2005. Nothing planned yet, but I'm feeling guilty about not heading to Grandview for Xmas, even though I stated that I would start heading there in the summer when there's more to do and see than head there in December. I have to stick to my convictions....I'd still like for Joe to someday see where I came from...which would be a lot better sell in the summer, obviously, however I've been sensing a chilly reception to that idea if we ever did come to Grandview together. I'm pretty confused as to the perceptions and possible reactions my extended family has of this, since they appear to be okay with things on the surface and then act or talk differently otherwise. They've all met Joe on neutral territory, but impeding on their turf may cause a different reaction. I'm trying to remain very cautious, yet optimistic. Integrating into my extended family was the main reason why I came out to my family, after all. Sometimes I feel that after all of my analysis and perspective-taking, all my views of the situation have been completely off the mark. The big Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage constitutionality came out yesterday. Can you imagine if I had to send out wedding invitations someday? How GAY! LOL....I'd only get married for the gifts, naturally! Hey, if we're buying a house soon.....we definitely need some new stuff......hmmm?!?!?! ;-)

We're still seriously thinking about moving further west to Vancouver or Victoria someday, mostly for the lifestyle improvements we feel would result, however I've become very fond of the optimism and energy Calgary has and I foresee a bright future for this city - maybe. I'm happy with my job, my partner, my friends. I'm really getting tired of the conservative, money-centric (ie. whoring - the city would sell the Calgary Tower to China if they could make a buck out of the deal) attitudes in the municipal and provincial governments, the blatant rampant suburbanism and consumption here and lack of culture and traffic madness as a result, and particularly growing very tired of the Prairie climate. Some things to weigh out, I guess.

Anyways, enough about me. What are you guys doing for the holidays? Doing the Chyz thing, I presume? I have to tell you guys again how much fun I had visiting you in September. It was so much fun to play with the boys! They're growing so fast. I hope that I'll be able to do it again this summer as well. Time will tell...

I will REALLY try to call you guys before Christmas, however if that doesn't happen, of course I will make the annual call to Nic on our birthday. If I don't talk to you before Christmas, have a good one, say hi to the boys and the family, and I'll talk to you soon after.

Take care and talk soon
Reid




-----Original Message-----From: David and Nicole Liwiski [mailto:dliwiski@mts.net]Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 5:40 PMTo: Reid DalgleishSubject: Viva Leishvegas!
Hi Leish!

How are things?

Working out hard as usual?

Uncle Greg is out visiting. Dwayne and Hazel have moved to the St. John's, NLFD. Dwayne has a job with the Voisey Bay mine out there. Greg will probably be living in Winnipeg.

Busy with the kiddos. A is playing hockey and Mark continues to grow. Things, in other words, are going fine in the Parkland.

Take care and keep us posted.

David

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Built-In Obsolescence
It doesn't seem all that long ago that we were arguing over built-in obsolescence. It was an era in which consumers were increasingly unwilling to sit and let the whims of corporate America, their quest for ever-growing profit, define the public's welfare.
Yet even then, as protestors stared down rifle barrels and radical laws were passed protecting the environment, even as black America began to emerge from a centuries-long hell and migrant laborers began to discover power and self-respect, even then it was a challenging notion that Detroit might build in obsolescence so that we'd have to buy new cars instead of driving reliable ones.
It was a radical notion then, but look around you now. It's the norm.
How long will that fancy camera last? How long does it take before that sleek, new PDA is tossed into the closet? Will they last as long as your car? And when they're gone, will you just go out and buy another one, paying again for what you paid before?
How much longer will CDs last -- CDs that pushed vinyl out the door. How much longer will DVDs last -- DVDs that are pushing CDs out the door. Will they last as long as your car? And when they're gone, will you just go out and buy another one, paying again for what you paid before?
2Mhz, 66Mhz, 80MHz, 400Mhz, 800Mhz. 386, 486, Pentium, Pentium-II, Pentium-III. G3, G4, G5. You KNOW that when each one goes, I go out and buy another, paying yet again for what I paid before.
This is important. It's important for industry that we buy and buy and buy, that we never stop. Ever increasing streams of revenue based on ever shrinking costs. Don't think sales. Think perpetual rental.
Built-in obsolescence. It's the business model for the 21st century. We won't own anything anymore. We'll rent everything forever. And we'll owe our souls to the company store, as well we should -- for our own good.

Friday, November 12, 2004

So Many Christians, So Few Lions by Jack Nichols
According to the pundits, Bush was elected when Christians’ anxieties about “moral values” (spearheaded by their frenzied focus on the perils of same-sex marriage) sent believers scurrying to the polls. It seems well worth remembering, therefore, that insightful lions have treated ordinary Christians as an annoyance ever since those sunlit days at the coliseum in ancient Rome.
On the very day that Bush proclaimed his win, a Jesus preacher at the Taipei zoo descended into the lions’ cage in a failed effort to explain holy Christian theories to the great beasts. But lions in 2004 A.D., he quickly discovered, still prefer healthy skepticism to blind belief. They accommodated this missionary only after he seemed to offer himself as a tasty bite. It soon became apparent to him that the lions were adamant infidels who didn’t want to be “saved.”
I don’t want to be “saved” either. Henceforth, like the lions, I’ll simply roar without mercy into the faces of those who insist that a “wretch like me” must either pledge allegiance to The Christian Agenda or be burned forever in their loving god’s lake of fire.
The Judaic-Christian-Islamic tradition is odious because it supports one of the greatest of cultural dangers: restrictive sex-roles that can eventually spell planetary death, especially if such macho poseurs as Dubya are leading the charge.
When the hunting and gathering age came to an end and rich agricultural lands needed a tribe’s protection, the male warrior role was born. Fighters were sorely needed. Jews, Christians and Muslims, therefore, supported this warrior role from the earliest times and in spite of occasional phony nods to a need for peace, still do. Men, they allow, are wholly admirable as warriors, but become worthy of the death penalty should they dare to make love.
Wherever the religionists’ dogmas have enjoyed ascendancy, both women and gay men have ranked low on cultural totem poles. For Christian soldiers to march onward, these dogmas assume, male warriors must not, under any circumstances, be tempted to adopt what are believed to be “feminine” values.
Young male warriors are taught to fear such “inferior” values, and this fear has long been instilled by a schoolyard epithet considered worse than any other: sissy. To be a sissy is to be somehow feminine. To make love to a member of one’s own sex is treason. It is to forget that men must make war, not love.
It is high time, therefore, to reverse this Jewish-Christian-Muslim travesty by resurrecting the great “battle cry” of the 1960s counterculture: “Make Love, Not War.”
Bushie Christians flocking to the polls were fueled by their deepest fear: namely that the fellow citizens they’d labeled sissies might, in fact, gain equality, thereby eliminating the most frightening insult in their sick psychological arsenal: sissy. The threat of being called a “sissy” has far greater power to maintain a sick status quo than does the threat of hellfire.
What the religious fanatics fail to realize is that a society fueled by “feminine” values (which are, in fact, simply human values) would be far more loving, peaceful and satisfying than anything that the Christians’ traditional macho-mania can offer. If a male child is taught to put up his dukes in his high chair, to eschew showing his feelings and is assured he is dominant, on top, in control and competitive, he is a threat to others.
So-called feminine values are more truly spiritual and life-affirming. They include empathy, nurturance, receptivity (as in being a good listener) and the like. No wonder
St. Paul demanded that women remain silent in the churches. Men only would be allowed to do the talking, elevating their active-only stance, one that does untold damage not only to women but unwittingly to themselves.
Dr. George Weinberg (the heterosexually-inclined psychologist who coined the term “homophobia”) examined antipathy to “female” receptivity or passivity in his classic work “Society and the Healthy Homosexual”:
“Most men who loathe homosexuals have a deathly fear of abandonment in the direction of passivity. The surrender of control signifies to them a loss of masculinity, and their demand for control produces narrowness. To condemn passivity is like condemning your eyeballs. We need passivity to see, to discover, to learn.”
In other words, passivity provides humanity with a great strength, not weakness. But St. Paul and his Christian cohorts place the warrior male in charge of everything, devaluing the contributions of half of the world’s population.
The world-damaging Christian dogma that does more harm than any other, however, is called Original Sin. This dogma teaches that all people are born in sin and remain utterly depraved, having inherited the gross wickedness of Adam and Eve, their mythical parents. Humanity, it teaches, deserves to be eternally tortured by a god who will relent only if individuals accept the “sacrifice” of his son, a sacrifice-doctrine that had its tribal origins in bloody animal sacrifices, slitting the throats of pet goats and the like, to appease him.
Gay men and lesbians, who until the 1970s were told by mental health “experts” that they too were diseased and depraved, can discern the deleterious effect on each individual’s self-esteem that this disingenuous dogma of Original Sin has on those who believe it.
In October, 1963, in a letter to the Executive Board of the Mattachine Society of Washington, I appealed to the Board to ignite a revolution against the psychiatric establishment’s benighted diagnosis of homosexuality. Strangely, this letter, as the historian John d’Emilio notes in “Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities”, marked the first time that a movement activist had called for such an uprising.
The need for a similar response to the benighted Christian dogma of Original Sin, is clear for many of the same good reasons - especially so as to increase each person’s sense of self-esteem. This evil dogma, supporting the theory of humanity’s inherent Adamic depravity and must be quashed and utterly defeated. Perhaps there is no issue more pressing in what some are now calling the Culture Wars.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Here is the letter that I wrote to mom and dad re: Grandma's obit. I haven't sent it yet...not sure if I will.

Dad and Mom,

Before I begin, I want to make two points. Please don’t take this note personally. It is not meant to be a direct observation of you two, but a general sense of the thoughts of the extended family and the community of Grandview in general, sort of written how I would have it unfold in my mind. And, keep in mind that there are bits of sarcasm spread around too. (What? Reid being sarcastic?)

I want to make it obvious that I completely understand the implications of the following observations – I have tried to look at everything from multiple perspectives, so there is no need to defend a position using them. I know defence is the first reaction most people would take to the following pages I am about to write:

That the traditional definition of ‘marriage’ and ‘intimate relationships’ is something our family holds dear and is a construct that many members of our family would consider unchangeable or unalterable.
That apparently some/many members of our family are uncomfortable with the implications my life and relationships have on their sense of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, even though they won’t indicate it in face-to-face conversation.
That most people in our family do not, nor will ever, consider my relationships to be in the same standing or on equal footing as those of my heterosexual cousins, even if the legal system considers them so.
That the family is undergoing grieving and some people may currently not be thinking in a sensitive, impartial way.

Okay, so here goes. Simply, I have been very upset at how I interpret everyone’s reaction to my relationship with Joe. I have this feeling that everyone has been paying me huge lip service over the past four years, but deep down are very resentful or very ashamed of what I am, yet don’t have the guts to say how they truly feel. I assume most don’t really know what to make of it, so they would rather toe the common Grandview line, breezing over an issue they find difficult or challenging (ignorance is bliss, after all) rather than face it, get educated on the facts of it, deal with it, and move on.

No matter how much members of this family wish that things weren’t what they are, the truth is, I love Joe Gallant very much, and we love each other enough that we may even decide to get married one day. End of story. If you don’t like it, tough shit.

Believe it or not, a gay relationship is not the fire and brimstone end of the world as all of the right-wing religious neo-conservatives would have you believe. In fact, some of these relationships are a lot less dysfunctional than some of the ones you would consider ‘normal’, despite all the external pressures gay people have on them to ‘conform to the norm’.

This has sort of been building, but I had been feeling like it had reached a new low point since the weekend at home for Grandma’s funeral. It wasn’t anything tangible, it was lots of little cues in situations that made me feel very inferior or angry. One such situation was down in Grandma’s basement when Grant would get grilled ecstatically by several people on how long him and Tara have been going out, when they’re planning on getting married, and how fantastic it is that they’ve been together for TWO WHOLE YEARS! You know, post-funeral family get-togethers tend to dwell on the living or potentially living to lighten the mood. I don’t mean to pick on Grant – he’s the only one in the family who is in a similar situation as me (unmarried, yet in a long-term relationship)…

I had told Mom (and a few other family members) the fact that Joe and I celebrated our fourth year together on September 20. Grandma’s death and funeral aside, I do understand that there were other more significant things going on in the family at the time, such as Scott and Jen’s expecting, Owen and Chloe’s first wedding anniversary, Dave Pulock’s 40th birthday.

However, was there any acknowledgement of this milestone from anyone at all? No way. It’s just too vile and shameful and society-destroying a concept to even consider that anyone would want things that way, let alone let someone know that they even thought about it in an even remotely affirmative light, or even celebrate it, heaven forbid.

After all, gay relationships are fake, and therefore really easy, right – despite the fact they are completely unnatural and immoral notwithstanding. There’s nothing hard about being an uncommitted, irresponsible, immoral sinner and living with another guy – it would be just like having a satanic roommate, right?

Well, I hate to disappoint you, but a gay relationship is just as much work as a straight relationship. There are emotional, financial, scheduling, security, communication – and yes, even child raising issues for some -- issues that have to be dealt with all the time. The fact that it’s a guy and a girl, two guys or two girls doesn’t make these conversations and compromises any different or easier for anyone. In fact, I would say they are harder to maintain for gay couples because there are the additional pressures of an generally intolerant ‘democratic’ society continually telling you how disgusting and immoral and unbalanced and misguided you are, that you and/or you and your partner are not worthy of equal benefits or respect or privileges because of who you are and your unnatural couplings, even though no one has a problem taking the same amount of tax money or disposable income from gay people as everyone else – things that may possibly have some effects on a person’s psyche and well-being. So, please don’t think things are easy.

I always thought our family valued truth, equality and honesty, but I guess I was wrong, or partly wrong. This all came to a head when I read Grandma’s obituary. There it was in printed words. A large part of who I am was completely and utterly snubbed, omitted, ignored.

First of all, I understood that Joe wouldn’t be included in the listing in the obituary. I know how Grandview works. There’s nothing worse than damaging the family reputation, having all those people talking about you behind your back because you’re the family with the gay son, upsetting the sensibilities of a bunch of people with narrowly defined concepts of right and wrong, black and white (because, obviously there’s no grey area in any matter) that they’ve learned in the church or some similarly misguided channel. Even if Joe had been put in the obit as Leslie Gallant (his legal name - which could’ve kept everyone guessing for awhile I suppose…), there were four things that really stood out for me at this point.

Whoever wrote the obit consciously made a decision to include EVERY family member except Joe and alter the historical truth. I can tolerate that a majority of the family wouldn’t want his name included. I was mostly upset because there was NO consultation on this at all – no one had the gonads to call me and tell me this was going down. I had to read about it for the first time in my Grandma’s obituary!
It really brought home the understanding for me of how my family is receiving this reality. There appears to be a lot of posing and lip service to sweep this issue as far underneath the collective rug as possible. I get the feeling that my lifestyle and life are just a shameful embarrassing black mark on the family’s name and reputation.
Would Grandma have been okay with the truth? Maybe, maybe not. But I believe, understanding how Grandma felt very strongly about equality and diplomacy within her family, that she would rather prefer the truth – an accurate account of reality – in her final life summary. She wouldn’t like to see some skewed, edited version of ‘reality’ in order to avoid rocking the boat and upsetting the tender sensibilities of some old farm wives that have never left the community and seen how any other parts of the world work. But then again, I could be wrong. It’s lucky that my sensibilities and feelings don’t really matter that much so these things can be done. But then, it’s no big deal to offend the fag, is it?
If someone is going to start defending this position with some religious anecdotes, I’d urge them to stop right there. Despite the fact we are thankfully a secular family and no one in the family should be making ANY religious references at all, the fact that Grant’s girlfriend Tara got full inclusion in the obit blows this theory out of the water. If Joe and I are living in sin, technically, so are they, but Grant’s relationship is real and mine’s fake, right? What a bunch of hypocrisy.

So, there it is. You may be thinking that I’m being overly sensitive about this issue, and maybe I am, but I think this situation is an indication of feelings that are a lot more latent, potent, and potentially dangerous under the surface. I don’t really know what to make of things anymore. I decided a long time ago to refuse to continue living with guilt-ridden responsibility to Grandview anymore and live my own life, no matter how deeply my roots are entrenched there. Is it possible that some people in the family are not taking steps to acceptance of my gayness, and may even be regressing? Obviously. What I do know for sure is that a lot of people have been lying to my face or pretending that things are okay when they’re not. For this reason, I don’t know if I can feel comfortable in Grandview anymore, let alone feel that safe.

Until I see some proof that things are becoming more inviting for me in Grandview, I think I will avoid the situation entirely. I feel terrible about this, but how am I supposed to react? How would you react?

The fact that I could legally marry Joe in Manitoba today if I wanted to now seems so ironic. What if we were married? Would Joe’s name still be conveniently erased from the family record? Most likely. Maybe now you can get a glimpse of how I’m feeling. I just hope that if and when the day comes that I do get married the family isn’t expecting any wedding invitations -- because they won’t be getting any.

By the way, if Grandma Ostrowski ever asks me again why I’m not shacked up and married, I’m going to give her a damn wedding date she can dwell on….

Mom and Dad, I fully understand that who I am has been a very hard thing for you guys to grasp, understand and adjust to, and I am so proud of you for how far you’ve come along the road to acceptance (or at least tolerance). Again, please don’t take this note personally, it’s not meant to be that way. I’m trying to point out (again) the unhealthy subculture of repression that allows a bunch of dissimilar people to live together in a ‘remote outpost’ like Grandview without killing each other (face it, Grandview is very remote in the grand scheme of things). I suspect it has always been this way in Grandview, and always will be. It is the only way the social fabric in such a community could remain intact without unravelling. It is also the reason why some want to escape far, far away, never to return. It is also the reason why some others spend a large chunk of their young lives trying to figure out fundamental truths about themselves once they are matured enough to understand the dynamics of their environment better and realize that they can’t keep running away from and being scared of the truth forever despite whatever responsibility they feel they have to people and places in their lives.

I do understand how Grandview works, which makes this situation even harder for you, and I apologize in a way for having this all result from Grandma’s obituary of all things, but I really want to you get a sense of how I see things. The fact that Joe and I are a complete non-issue to the family and that no one talks about it EVER are things that I can grudgingly accept – I mean, they were all scenarios that I had conjured up again and again before I even told you guys I was gay. Admittedly, the fact I live far away and only deal with the family intermittently helps the situation on both sides on many levels. However, like I have told you before – the one and only reason I came out of the closet to my family was because going forward I still wanted to be part of the family, I wanted to be able to be comfortable bring my life partner / spouse / boyfriend / whatever home and feel like I could be honest and open when talking about my life. Well, I guess that can be written up as being one of the biggest blunders of my life. In pure Grandview style, things are much better left unsaid, or ignored, or assumed – as long as they appear proper on the surface. The real world can be very ugly and the truth can sometimes be what you don’t want to hear, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. In order to move on in life and adapt to our now quickly changing world with as little baggage as possible, you need to deal with an issue at hand reasonably, logically, and properly, not ignore it or brush it aside, before you can move on to the next issue.

Living in a large community where there are people from all walks of life in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours may be why I have the perspective on things that I do. You are continually challenged to reassess your belief system and your understanding of how things work or are. I understand fully that people in Grandview don’t need to deal with their inner insecurities about people who don’t look the same or act the same or think the same as they do because it is a situation they don’t have to be in very often.

Maybe at some point in the past I felt that I could be a beacon of enlightenment for some people in Grandview by living openly and unashamedly gay (how generous of me!), a great example for people to look to. However, things haven’t gone that way, and frankly, I’m tired of making the effort. Despite the strength I have tried to muster thinking I could eventually break down some barriers, I can’t really justify doing it anymore. It hurts me to think that I have felt such strong attachment to Grandview for so long, and now I don’t really care anymore. With Grandma’s death, I now have even less reason to come to Grandview. I don’t like to think of it in this way, but I do.

On a more personal level, I think about how much this hurts Joe too – he’s been dealing with this crap in his life for a lot longer than I have been dealing with it, and despite how much of a tough outer shell he’s built around himself and how much more his family was accepting of him than mine is of me, I know it still bothers him. I would question the sincerity of my partner’s family too after this snub. Why do you think he doesn’t want to do anything with my family? It isn’t hard to connect the dots.

Anyways, it comes down to this. Right now, I feel that I’m about to deal with my hang-ups about my family and hometown the same way I did with my homosexuality in my twenties – by running away. Back then, it was easy – guzzle down a few too many bottles of beer and then you have an excuse for everything. This time, it may be not so easy. Joe and my discussions about moving to Vancouver are becoming more and more frequent. At least in Vancouver, we’d be living in a destination spot and if anyone wants to see us, it’s the logical end to a trip, and it’s good that way. But I don’t think I can justify coming back to Grandview anytime soon, even with you guys there. The only thing that may keep me here is my closeness to Owen and Chloe and the potential of becoming an uncle someday.

I will never forget what mom said the day I came out to you guys on the couch in our crappy apartment in north Calgary:

“We hope it never happens that things come to the point where you never want to come home again”.

Well, sorry mom, but it has come to this point. I’m emotionally drained, upset, and particularly disappointed with my family and my hometown. I feel I’ve been disrespected and blown off. Despite my enduring love for my entire family (yes, even Uncle Dewar), I don’t really feel I have anything I want to contribute anymore. Please understand me when I say that I will never stop loving or staying in touch with you, mom and dad, but it won’t be happening in Grandview anytime soon.

I’m sorry.

Love always, Reid
Well, the American elections are over, and I can say I'm more than disappointed. I wonder what's to come over the next half decade? Geez, I hope we revert back to theocracies. That's exactly what we need...

Here's a letter I wrote to Mark Morford, a columnist with The San Francisco Gate. His messages really resonate with me, and he was as passionately anti-Bush as I am.


Hi Mark,

I truly am disappointed with the election results as they become clearer today, and I am truly sympathetic to the American people today. Despite the fact Kerry is no prize, Bush isn't even a booby prize. I have followed the ups and downs of the American election campaign as much as everyone else and have been glued to the media as a result, trying to absorb as much information as possible, all the while trying to process everything as non-partisan and non-judgmentally as possible. Yet, it still really boggles the mind to think that if even a slightly larger percentage of your fellow Americans had done some fact-checking and soul-searching, the results might have come out quite differently. Democracy is so wonderful and horrible at the same time.

As a Canadian, I tried to take American and non-American media reports and stories with a grain of salt. I realize that the Canadian media (more fair and balanced than American media? Hmmm...maybe not. Familiar situation....they're controlled by only two or three media conglomerates as well) may have been reporting things with a 'twinge' of partisanship, but the fact that a resounding majority of international opinion polls stated time and time again that Kerry was desired in the White House did not resonate with the American electorate. Why did the American people not consider the fact that a large majority of the global population overwhelmingly wanted Bush out? The fact that 95% of the world's population were not eligible to vote in this election, yet will still be affected by the outcome of this election is truly unnerving. The average American truly has succumbed to the fear-mongering and compulsive lying of the GOP and Bush Administration. Under the guise of the protective father (Father?), Bush has barely maintained his position, but now has the mandate to continue his steam rolling, neo-Con, Pax Americana agenda for at least the next few years. I fear the damage may be far too extreme by then that it may be too late to stop it.

Maybe it's something else? Maybe the American electorate voted for Bush in spite of global concern. I truly worry that the American consciousness might be more insidious than I had feared - that living in a culture of fear, distrust, aggression, guns, and hostility can really start to be internalized at a fundamental, long-lasting level after awhile. I'm starting to truly believe that a majority of Americans really do unalterably BELIEVE that they are the pinnacle of modern society (very Roman Empire-esque), and that it is the God-given Christian right of America to instill American beliefs, values and culture on the rest of the world at any cost because they are simply the best and only way to achieve world stability and enlightenment, and it is so obviously the right thing to do.

My favorite quote of all time is "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." by George Santayana. It speaks volumes about superpowers, forced occupations, insurgency, bad decisions and bad diplomacy. History repeats itself over and over again because people are too lazy, ignorant, intolerant or scared to learn about issues, facts, and reality beyond their limited perceptions and face anything that challenges them. Case in point, does Bush watch, listen, or read any more media than he did four years ago (which back then was practically nothing - a very disturbing personality trait for a world leader to begin with)? Probably not. I fear that the world is in for some big surprises over the next few years, and not good ones -- but maybe eye-opening ones.

Terrorism is a big deal, but not as big a deal as the governments would have you believe. How many people have been killed by Arab-based terrorism in the past four years (outside of the hot zones, that is)? Under one thousand, maybe? The biggies being Bali and Madrid, and maybe Chechnya. Terrorist cells are not as organized and armed as some people would have you believe, and it is almost ridiculous to think that they might be able to pull off another 9-11 or something as equally large-scale and synchronized without someone noticing something beforehand. What risk do people in Dubuque, Iowa or Montgomery, Alabama really have of being directly attacked by a terrorist organization? Probably even less than we do here in Calgary (we do have a large oil industry here after all - it could be a target someday. That's only before the Water Wars start, of course, which are going to render everything we hold dear today irrelevant). People have their priorities completely messed up. The environment and our unsustainable, damaging, polluting consumerist fever (and unfathomable public and private debt loads and teetering economies as a result) are the two biggest issues threatening the planet today. Everything else means zip if those two get messed up, and they're definitely not as irrefutable and untouchable as everyone naively wants to believe.

Anyways, Mark, thanks for trying to make a difference. I read your columns every week and agree with much of what you say and have really appreciated your passion to inform people of the truth and get them thinking about the things that really matter. It blows my mind that people are so uninformed and still have the ability to make decisions that affect so many other people that do not have a say. I wish you and your country all the best and wish the best of luck to your minorities (visible and invisible), poor, women, and secular citizens, as well as everyone else that isn't Christian, Conservative, rich, white and male. I think we may all be in a shock four years from now when we see how much things have changed in so many ways, and not for the better. Today, I'm relieved that I'm living where I live, and although I may come to visit you guys once in awhile (more so since the loonie is on the up-and-up in light of the American currency weakness...), I don't think I would have the required patience or resolve to live in the United States and endure what is to come. I wish you and yours all the best.

Thanks for reading,Reid

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I went running with Ross Andersen again today. We've been running pretty consistently on M/W/F, managing to fit in the Douglas Fir trail every Wednesday for the past six weeks. Today was our fastest out-and-back, it felt pretty good. I should be in good shape for Tunnel Mountain this weekend at Ekiden.

I hope things are shaping up for Ekiden. I've sort of gotten tired of managing the changes. I've never seen so much change in the rosters and overnight accommodations. I hope I'm not going to get screwed over. I have a feeling I might...No one's heard from Mike Hickey in a few weeks, so I won't be surprised if I have to run two legs, since it will be too late to drop a team out. It's even better that the other leg is the 12.8 kmer...

Last of the American presidential debates is tonight. I'm tired of looking at those two mugs and keeping a straight face, knowing that 99.8% of what's spewing out of them is out-and-out lies. I worry that Bush is going to get in for another four years (really worry), but then, I'll be surprised if the world makes it another four years in our current sorry state.
The rest of the season's results. I only missed five provincial races this season - all due to the long weekends when I was on holidays far, far away....United Cycle Crit, Tour de Joffre, FVK Summer Classic, Tour de Bowness, and the Masters Road Race in Millarville. I also regret not being able to attend the Road Nationals in Kamloops and the Track Nationals in Victoria this season.

  1. Devon ITT #3
    July 24
    Devon, AB
    Category 1/2
    1 Bruce Copeland Juventus 2 2 0:55:10
    2 Kevin Rokosh ERTC/redbike 2 ma 0:58:25
    3 Gregg Menard Juventus 2 2 0:59:12
    4 Ted Dahms Pedalhead Road/Sleeman 2 mb 1:00:20
    5 Reid Dalgleish Synergy 2 2 1:01:09
    6 David Ariano ERTC/redbike 2 mb 1:02:09

    Track Provincials
    August 14-15
    Calgary, AB

    place name club sprint pursuit 500/kilo scratch points t-sprint keirin t-purs total
    Open Men
    1 Zach Bell Synergy 10 7 10 10 10 2 49
    2 Graeme Thomson bicisport 10 1 5 7 3 4 5 3 38
    3 Bob Veroba bicisport 7 3 5 7 4 3 29
    4 Chris Rubuliak Juventus 2 2 2 5 3 2 3 19
    5 Mike Patton Synergy 3 4 7 14
    6 Joel Regimbald Synergy 5 2 3 2 12
    7 Travis Smith TrackTeam.ca 10 10
    8 Tom Amberiadis bicisport 7 2 9
    9 Dylan Menard Juventus 1 1 3 1 3 9
    10 Peter Toth ERTC/redbike 3 2 3 8
    11 Ryan McKenzie DeVinci/Sportrack 5 5
    12 Cam McKinnon TrackTeam.ca 3 3
    13 Craig Good Synergy 1 2 3
    14 cp Walsh Synergy 2 1 3
    15 Reid Dalgleish Synergy 1 1 2
    16 Sean Huggins-Chan bicisport 1 1
    17 Phil Abbott bicisport 1 1

    Alberta Provincial Road Race
    August 22
    Breton/Winfield, Alberta

    Open Men/Category 1-2 98 Kilometres
    Place Name Club Time
    1 Zach Bell Synergy 2h36m09s
    2 Ryan McKenzie DeVinci/Sportrack 2h36m11s
    3 Jesse James Collins bicisport 2h37m13s
    4 Cam MacKinnon TheTrackTeam.ca 2h37m20s
    5 Jeff Bolstad TRS Racing st
    6 Taylor Little River Valley Cycle st
    7 Nick Friesen Bianchi/The Bike Shop st
    8 Shawn Goulet Pedalhead Road/Sleeman st
    9 Mark MacDonald Sport Chek st
    10 Jere Hu ERTC/redbike st
    11 Dylan Snowdon Bianchi/The Bike Shop st
    12 Philippe Abbott bicisport st
    13 Per Strom bicisport st
    14 Graham Rudge ERTC/redbike 2h38m18s
    15 Tim Ogryzlo Pedalhead Road/Sleeman st
    16 Pat Dodge Bianchi/The Bike Shop st
    17 Matt Decore Pedalhead Road/Sleeman 2h38m49s
    18 Ted Dahms Pedalhead Road/Sleeman 2h38m50s
    19 Ted Emes ERTC/redbike st
    20 Sean Barr Pedalhead Road/Sleeman 2h39m34s
    21 Mark Fewster TRS Racing 2h39m57s
    22 Bob Veroba bicisport 2h40m59s
    23 Reid Dalgleish Synergy 2h51m12s
    24 Graeme Thomson bicisport st
    25 David Leahy TRS Racing st
    26 Steve German Revoluzione st
    27 Rob Simpson Juventus 2h52m52s
    28 Kirk Loberg Revoluzione 2h53m25s
    29 David Ariano ERTC/redbike 2h58m00s
    30 Sean Huggins-Chan bicisport st
    31 Harley Desprey Velocity st
    dnf Dan Petersen Bow Cycle/CMC
    dnf Nick Jendzjowsky Pedalhead Road/Sleeman
    dnf Andrew Davidson Bow Cycle/CMC
    dnf Kevin Rokosh ERTC/redbike

    Alberta ITT Provincials
    September 5
    Darwell, AB
    Cat 2 - 40km
    1 Zach Bell Synergy Racing 0:52:45
    2 Bruce Copeland Juventus 0:52:48
    3 Geoff Johns Team Bianchi 0:56:52
    4 Scott Manktelow Rundle Mountain Cycling 0:59:05
    5 Reid Dalgleish Synergy Racing 1:01:35

    Alberta Hill Climb Championships
    September 19
    Mt. Norquay/Banff, AB
    Open Men

Scott Manktelow (Rundle Mountain CC) 14:01.5

Ryan McKenzie (DeVinci/Sportrack) 14:17.7

Jesse James Collins (bicisport) 14:25.1

Mark Webster (Bianchi/The Bike Shop) 14:27.8

Per Strom (bicisport) 14:34.7

Geoff Johns (Bianchi/The Bike Shop) 14:42.4

Dan Petersen (Bow Cycle/CMC) 14:57.1

Nick Friesen (Bianchi/The Bike Shop) 15:04.0

Byron Davis (Pedalhead) 15:25.3

Reid Dalgleish (Synergy) 15:35.1

Shawn Taylor (Rundle Mountain CC) 15:38.0

So, Grandma’s obit came out in the local paper this week, and once again, my legitimacy as a member of the family has been snubbed because I’m a big ‘mo. Shame shame shame that the big fag deviant has bestowed upon our honorable family name

The entire weekend I was home, Scott and Jen were the center of attention since they are having a baby soon – no issues there, but then Grant was ‘belle of the ball number two’ since he and Tara have been together for two whole whopping years – oooh, there must be wedding bells on the horizon, no doubt! The entire conversations on these topics blew my mind. I let out a big guffaw that Owen picked up on but I decided not to comment on it to him any further. It had only been a few days previous that I informed Mom that Joe and I were celebrating our fourth year anniversary. What do you think the response was from her and the rest of the family? Complete denial. I was pissed off enough, and then the final snub in the obit. Everyone’s significant other is mentioned, even Tara….and Joe was conveniently omitted. Like, adding a single name to the entire list was going to be something anyone would notice. So much for family bonding. They’ve essentially denied the truth about my life because they’re ashamed. I’m REALLY pissed off.

I’ll never forget what my mom said to me the day I came out to them.

“We don’t want it to end up that something happens so that you don’t want to come home anymore.”

Well mother, keep at it - you’re doing an exemplary job of demonstrating tolerance and giving me less and less reason to visit Grandview. My lifestyle and partner are such an abomination to you, well frickin’ get over it. The rest of civilized society is. How do you think it makes be feel to be excluded from things simply because you don’t agree with something I do? You aren’t the only people in this family, you know.

Next time Grandma Ostrowski asks me when I’m getting married, I’ll give her a freaking date. I’m almost ready to do this out of spite….thanks for all your support, family. It’s been a hard enough journey despite you to get to the point where I am, and then to discover that the traits I found so honorable in my family were all just a big fabrication. Nice.

I won’t forget this. Don’t expect any invitations to a wedding anytime soon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

What a great treasure trove of concerts over the Thanksgiving long weekend! Didn't do anything Friday night, but met Joe at Swan's at 6pm on Saturday after he was done work, and then went over to Tim and Doug's and onto the Eagle afterwards. Don't remember much, but went for a ride with Reid, Tim, Catherine, Carson, Ryan Murray on Sunday to Bragg Creek.

Doug and I went to KMFDM at the Warehouse on Sunday night. It was a crazy show, very loud and powerful, people packed in like sardines, the entire front of the bar a huge mosh pit.

Got up yesterday morning and spent the entire afternoon cleaning the apartment until Sean and Nancy, Marnie and Leslie, Jerome, Lisa and Ken showed up before the Sting/Annie Lennox concert. Four hours of entertainment including the opening act!!!

Here is the Mike Bell review of the Sting/Annie Lennox concert last night...

Tue, October 12, 2004
What did you think?
Lennox outshines ex-Police frontman
By MIKE BELL, CALGARY SUN

You could have left the Sting/Annie Lennox concert last night halfway through and still very much have gotten your money's worth. And then some. In fact, based on reviews of the iconic '80s stars' double-bill, many of the sold-out Saddledome crowd may already have planned for their sitters to be home a little early.
Everywhere the pair have played the overwhelming consensus has been that Lennox's opening set has blown her co-headliner clear out of the water. Five minutes in, it wasn't difficult to see or hear why.
The sexy, enigmatic former Eurythmic was more than anyone could have possibly expected. True, throughout her career, she has produced some memorable and entertaining hits and yes, her latest album Bare is a stark, honest and beautiful piece of work. But it was hard to imagine before last night that those qualities would translate live as remarkably as they did.
The singer was everything you want from a superstar -- captivating with her presence, owning the room with her confidence and showing no sign that her star is sagging. And did I mention sexy? Not just in how she looked, which was fit and lean and lithe, but in her attitude, her unquestionable aura of cool. But of course none of that would have made any difference, none of that would have mattered in the least if her voice wasn't as powerful, wasn't as soul-reaching, as it was.
If you didn't have goosebumps on your goosebumps when she sat at a piano and launched into Here Comes The Rain Again -- and if you weren't completely and utterly in love with her during the outrageously-buoyant Walking On Broken Glass -- then you weren't in the building.
And if you were, you were most likely Sting, standing backstage, listening to her perform and to the well-earned ovations and wondering what you could possibly do to top her. The only real complaint anyone could possibly have is that Lennox barely verbally acknowledged we existed -- choosing instead to do that by giving us a set as entertaining as we'll likely see -- and, far more disappointing, that she was only given an hour. But no one is going to be talking about those things.
Everyone is rightfully going to be talking about what she did give us.
She still, in that short span, hit all of the highlights -- No More I Love Yous, Sweet Dreams and, especially, back-to-back rock versions of Missionary Man and I Need A Man. Again, by the time Lennox was done with us, we'd had our show.
Pity poor Sting. For many reasons, but most especially having to follow that.
But speaking as someone who thinks pop stars couldn't get more irrelevant or banal than the former Police frontman, his set actually started off as though he were up to the task -- if not musically, at least in pacing and presentation.
He kicked off with the soft-pumping techno track Send Your Love and wisely followed with two hits from his heyday, Synchronicity II and Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic. While the latter was sorely lacking in passion and intensity, the paying public at least knew the words.
From there, after losing the audience with the lesser-known Dead Man's Rope -- made notable only by the topless figures dancing on the screen behind -- Sting wisely brought back out the evening's true headliner for a duet on We'll Be Together.
HARD ACT TO FOLLOW
To underline the point, until Lennox actually took to the stage, the song was flatlining, and when she left (sexily, I might add) so too did the energy in the room. You could hear the sucking sound as Sting returned to his solo material.
A high-energy show was rendered almost inert -- mainly because there was little or no charisma emanating from the man who rarely moved performing it.
Too often the show relied upon familiarity (see the reaction to an otherwise lifeless and overlong version of Roxanne), his incredibly tight band or the screens behind him (they could have saved thousands of dollars on production by projecting the visuals on Sting's ever-expanding forehead).
Ultimately, the Englishman in Calgary wasn't entirely blown away by the woman he came before.
But neither did he show that he was still as vital or as vibrant an entertainer as she is. And neither did he make me glad I stayed after Annie left the stage.
- - -

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

I just got back from Grandview yesterday with Owen. The funeral was pretty tough, but is was a beautiful farewell to a beautiful woman and I'm glad the entire family got to celebrate her life together.

I'm still exhausted today, however the three hour bike ride this afternoon was fantastic. We're getting a formidable indian summer right now - 24C today.

Auntie Jeanne, Uncle Ken and dad divvied up Grandma's belongings on Sunday, and dad had asked us in the morning whether there was anything in particular we wanted. Since it didn't appear anyone in the family wanted anything big in particular, I came back with Grandma's TV and VCR, entertainment center and the old bedroom suite from the basement. We've set up the bed in the spare room and are using the 2 chest of drawers for our own stuff for the time being. It would be nice to buy new stuff, but add that to the list...

I can't believe how fortunate I am. I never expected to be getting all of this stuff. It's a very nice gesture from everyone. I had a hard time at home on many levels, so this was definitely cool.

Grandma also gave each of the grandkids a $1000 each. I haven't decided what to do with mine yet, but I think it may go towards a trip next year, or buy the aero disc wheel I will need for next year - Zipp or Corima so I can use it both on the road and the track.

Back to work tomorrow...
I wanted to add Grandma's eulogy here that I had the honor of saying at the funeral with Tannis. She wrote it before we got home and I was very satisfied with her work when I finally got home to read it.

A TRIBUTE TO A SPECIAL MOTHER, MOTHER-IN-LAW, GRANDMOTHER, GREAT-GRANDMOTHER, SISTER, AUNT, SISTER-IN-LAW AND FRIEND

As we stand here today, we would like to speak for a few moments about the woman whose life we are honouring and celebrating. We must emphasize the word celebrate, because although we are all grieving and mourning the loss of someone who was so very important to us, we would like to think of this as a very special time in which we share with others our remembrances of Grandma, or Mom, or Ruth. On behalf of her grandchildren, we would like to help everyone else see our Grandma for the vibrant and classy person that she was and in doing so, connect with her one more time.

Grandma was born on November 5, 1915 in the Mountain Gap District in the R.M. of Grandview. She was the third child in a family of six which consisted of two sisters and three brothers. She began her schooling in Mountain Gap, but then moved to McCreary and stayed with her Grandmother Collins to finish Grades 9, 10, and 11. At that point, her formal education was complete, and she moved back to the Grandview area where she earned a living as a domestic for a few years before her marriage.

A favourite outing at the time was the traditional Tamarisk picnic. It was at one of these country picnics that a big, strong, young gentleman named Marshall Dalgleish competed in a sheaf-pitching contest where he became the undisputed champion, and in doing so, captured the heart of one Ruth Fisher. And, I guess, the rest is history. The two were united in marriage on December 8, 1937. Grandma very easily settled into her role as farm wife as she readily pitched in and did her share of the work; she raised chickens, milked cows, planted and cared for a large garden, sewed, knit, mended, cooked up a storm and baked lots of goodies to satisfy Grandpa's sweet tooth.

Grandpa and Grandma became parents in 1941 when their son Ken was born. Three years later their daughter Jeanne arrived and then along came their son Stuart a year and a half after that. Grandma's role as farm wife and household manager had now expanded to include the duties of motherhood. According to her children, she was always the one to smooth things over when tempers flared or when times were tough. And she always did it so sensibly and sensitively, without ever raising her voice.

Of course, our memories of Grandma start in the 1960s and 1970s when we were fortunate enough to be born into the Dalgleish clan. At least, Grandpa always led us to believe that being one of his grandchildren was a stroke of good luck, and to imagine how good looking we wouldn't be if we hadn't been related to him. Grandma's house was always a warm and inviting place where you were fed and watered, questioned about what was going on in your life and made to feel like you were important. We always knew that we were valued, respected, and loved at Grandma's house.

Grandma and Grandpa moved to town in 1977, jsut before their 40th wedding anniversary. It was once she was in town that Grandma was really able to become involved in a number of activities, all of which contributed to keeping her so young. She continued her association with the Dawn of Peace Rebekah Lodge and the GACC Ladies Auxiliary, curled more often, and took up golfing and bowling. One of the highlights of her sporting life was the day she golfed nine holes in the morning, bowled in the afternoon and then curled in the evening. Not too many people can make such a claim, I'm sure. She continued with her knitting and became an avid quilter; each of us was thrilled to receive a pair of mittens, a toque, scarf or sweater, a quilt or one of her afghans. She learned to line dance in her 70s and later taught herself to crochet in her 80s. Grandma loved to read, do her crossword puzzles, go out for coffee with her frends and play a mean game of crib or hand-and-foot canasta. Upon their retirement from the farm, Grandma and Grandpa spent time travelling together, taking tours to the Maritimes, Hawaii, Florida, and California. However, it was still a highlight for them to take a drive out to the farm and visit with Uncle Stuart and Auntie Eunice. Even as young children, we could see that the relationship between Grandma and Grandpa was a special one. They were a very social couple who loved to dance, and we loved to watch them glide around the dance floor at weddings and anniversaries. They enjoyed fifty-five years of marriage together before Grandpa passed away in 1993.

Throughout her life, we knew that the one constant, and the one thing that was of the utmost importance to Grandma was her family. She raised her children to be the best that they could be and was so very proud of all three of them. Later, her eight grandchildren and her seven great-grandchildren were a source of great pride to her. Christmas concerts, music festivals and recitals, volleyball, basketball, hockey and baseball games, graduations, special family occasions - wherever her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were, she did her best to be there too. She was never judgmental, always treating us with respect and interest; her gentle presence was so meaningful to all of us. We loved to tease Grandma, which she either accepted good-naturedly or came right back at you with a witty remark. Often, the teasing had to do with her being left-handed. She was quite proud of a plaque in her living room which read "Everyone is born right-handed; only the gifted overcome it."

Although Grandma's life had its hardships such as losing a son in infancy in 1954 and losing both her husband and grandson Warren in 1993, she was never one to back away from adversity. Through the good times and the bad, she held her head high and was a source of inspiration to us all. We all knew that her door was open and that she would be there for us when we needed her. Grandma was diagnosed with her illness in the late 1990s but who would have ever known? She did not waste time feeling sorry for herself. Instead, she went right on with the business of living. To her, this medical condition was just a minor obstacle that she could easily overcome. She viewed each trip to the hospital as a short stay for the purpose of getting rejuvenated, then she would be able to get right back home and into her regular routine once again.

Throughout so many conversations that we have had with family and friends in the last little while, there has been a recurring theme. How many times have I heard the phrase, "Your Grandma - she is one classy lady." Although it is nice to hear it, nobody needed to tell us. We knew. We were all so very proud of her and loved to brag about her. Not too many people can say that their Grandma is or was a line-dancing, bingo-palying, bowling, curling, and golfing machine! She was an impeccable dresser who carried herself with dignity and grace. This was evident right up until the end. The day she was leaving in the ambulance for Winnipeg, she had not yet put on any makeup or fixed up her hair that day, and was quite dismayed about her appearance, if you can imagine. No one could convince her that it didn't matter. By the time the ambulance was ready though, so was she.

Each one of us has been a part of Grandma's life in some way. And, as a result, each one of us is a little richer for having known her. It is hard to imagine her house without her in it; however, nothing can take away a lifetime of memories. How fortunate we all are to have had Grandma in our lives. She will always be here in our hearts, guiding us with her gentle strength as we make choices and decisions, encouraging us to remember the importance of family ties, inspiring us to live lives that will make a difference. She was, quite simply, one of a kind.

We love you Grandma and we will miss you, but thank you for the memories. May God bless you as we have been blessed.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

I just got word from mom this morning that Grandma passed away. I guess dad and Auntie Jeanne (I assume) were at her bedside. I'm sort of relieved that she's out of her misery now and the family can move on from this holding pattern we were all in while grandma was in the hospital.

I'm really glad Grant, Owen and I were able to see her last week. I didn't think she was deteriorating that quickly that she wouldn't be around this weekend coming up, but that's how quickly things can change. I suspect the funeral will be on Saturday or Sunday, so I've booked another car for Friday the 1st to the 6th. I should be able to get off Friday, Monday and Tuesday from work.

I didn't get to talk to grandma much last week - it was pretty hard to see her in the state she was in. I'm glad that I did get to see her and say my goodbyes. I never got to do that with any of my other grandparents, so it's nice that I had the chance with Grandma D. She was a great woman who led a very dignified life, but had to remain stubborn until the end.

It's going to be weird missing her dynamic at family events. She was a family uniter and it will be interesting to see what happens next.

I'll miss you, Grandma.

Friday, September 10, 2004

I got talking to Grandma last night around dinner time in the hospital. They were just about to transfer her to St. Boniface in Winnipeg, apparently b/c there is a specialist there that might be able to help her. Roxanne answered the phone at the hospital and gave me the low-down on her condition. She has an iron buildup in her body due to her transfusions and weak pulse, apparently causing her fluid buildup and liver problems. I guess this specialist at St. B. can hopefully help her using medications. I hope things work out. She didn't sound very good last night...very weak and defeated. Anyone who's been stuck in the hospital would sound defeated... Nevertheless, I will wait until she returns to GV before heading to see her, maybe. I priced flights to Winnipeg for $290. If she's going to be there for any period of time, maybe I'll fly to the Peg next weekend or something to see her in St. B. I just hope she gets back to GV soon.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Grandma has been in the hospital for about three weeks now. Everyone in the family is pretty concerned. Her heart is pretty week and she's not kicking her intestinal problems. I hope that she gets through this okay. Illness has always come to her infrequently but when it does, it hits her like a ton of bricks. Here is the letter I'm sending to her. It's a big vomit of everything going on in my life, but what else am I supposed to talk about? I love having political discussions with her, but I don't know if that's the thing to write to her about. Anyways, here it is:

Hi Grandma,

I’ve heard you’ve been having a bad go of it lately, so I thought I’d drop you a few lines to let you know that I’m thinking about you. It must be a nightmare to have to stay in the hospital! It’s not much fun. I hope that you’re feeling better these days.

I’m sure you had a good time at Manitou Beach with Uncle Ken and Auntie Lollie. Their place certainly is ideal for relaxing. We haven’t had much in the way of warm weather this summer, but I’m sure it was nice to hang out there for a few weeks anyways.

From what mom has told me, they aren’t really sure what is causing all of your discomfort. We can only hope you get out of the hospital as soon as possible. It would be fantastic to get out in time for Auntie Jeanne’s birthday party this weekend! It sounds like most of the family will be home for it this weekend, so you should have a lot of visiting to do! I only found out about the big party last week – a little too late to make alternate plans. I will have to call Auntie Jeanne on Sunday to wish her a happy birthday.

Instead, I have plans to race in the Alberta Time Trial Provincials in Darwell this weekend. I’m not really expecting a high placing, but I hope to beat my time from last year on the same course. Since I’ve been upgraded to Cat 2, it’s been a big test in humility. Now I’m racing with some of the strongest guys in the province (and the country, for that matter), I don’t really foresee getting a lot of high placings in races anymore. The days of glory are over! Hee Hee. Just knowing the company I’m keeping is supposed to be comfort enough, I guess.

We had our Road Race Provincials two weekends ago in Winfield. It was the most horrific race I’ve been in, weather-wise. It was 7 degrees Celsius with a heavy downpour and strong easterly winds to boot. It was a perfect storm to say the least. I’ve ridden in all of those conditions separately or in combinations of two, but never the three together. Needless to say, the race reconfirmed by beliefs that I’m a fair-weather rider. Maybe age has something to do with that…?

We have one more Provincial race after this weekend - on September 19 - the Hill Climb Championships at Mt. Norquay in Banff. We essentially climb the main road up to the ski hill. It’s about 3km at a very steep grade. It’s infamous for making your head explode on the way up (on top of the fact the climb starts at 4500ft and goes to about 5300ft.- no air to begin with!!!)

That’s finally the end of a very busy season. It’s been a very exciting racing season with great highs and yucky lows, but I managed to make it through relatively intact. I’m still working through insurance and the police to get the case on my bike/car accident closed. I’m very angry with the Calgary Police for their inactivity on my case. What a bunch of lazy oafs! If I had been injured in the accident, things would’ve been wrapped up much more quickly, but since it was only damage to my bike, it doesn’t seem to matter much to them. That sort of makes sense, since it would be left up to the court system or insurance to settle on monetary matters, however, after consulting with lawyers and the police on this and considering who it was that hit me, it’s likely the guy who hit me was unemployed and uninsured, so I was screwed either way. Now apparently he’s moved to Vancouver, and it would be futile for me to sue him, since he doesn’t have any money anyways and no one on the police force seems to be in a big hurry to find his address in Vancouver. Apparently, since he still hasn’t talked to the police in regards to the accident or completed a police statement (which is illegal), they are going to put out a summons on him, which will most likely never be resolved unless he’s ever stopped by traffic cops or something like that. I just can’t believe that there has been NO effort by the police forces at all to get this case finished.

It’s been a long four-month ordeal that I’ve had to be the constant pusher on. I’ve had to constantly urge the police to do anything, even talking directly to staff sergeants and threatening even more action beyond the police. They’ve essentially blamed me for letting the guy leave the scene of the accident without exchanging his insurance and plate information, like while I was lying on the ground I could hold the guy down so he wouldn’t leave before the police arrived. It’s quite sad, really. I’ve been through enough with this already, and now that the guy that hit me has gotten away scot-free and left me to pay all the bills myself, I’m pretty angry at the entire system…even more reason not to like cops.

Work has been extremely busy lately. I was moved to a new team with our department re-organization this spring, from an application development position, where you’re actually building the programs, to a support position, where you are maintaining them (or even administering life support to keep them alive…) and keeping them running for the customers/clients. I’ve found that I’ve been getting handed a lot of very un-related applications to support, so this is leading to another very steep learning curve on a bunch of very unfamiliar technologies. Things sort of get thrown at me rather suddenly without much of a chance to get to familiarize myself thoroughly with what I’m working with, so sometimes I feel like I’m troubleshooting by the seat of my pants. I guess I’ve been doing the right things, since they still keep giving me a paycheck and good performance reviews. It all certainly keeps me on my toes.

It’s hard to believe I’ve been working with the railway for 3 ½ years already. I sometimes feel like a jack of all trades, master of none – apparently this is preferable for a project manager, which I’m sort of thinking is the path I want to pursue down the road. I’m not so sure if I want to deal with the people and political headaches though. I really like leaving work at the office and having my evenings and weekends to myself to do the things I truly enjoy. If I was more passionate about what I was doing I’d probably make more of an effort to immerse myself in it, but that isn’t the case, at least not right now in the position I’m in working at the company I work for at this point in my life. I’m not sure what’s on the horizon for me.

Everything else is going okay. Life here is good, but I’m feeling the winds of change blowing again. There is talk around here about eventually moving to the West Coast, maybe not in the next year, but maybe the next five. I like the idea of living by the ocean. It’s something that’s always been in me to do. Pretty different for a Prairie boy, eh? I’m hesitant in a way. I think I would really miss the sun in the winter, but not freezing (and no more icy roads!) is a pretty nice counterpoint. Who knows? If I had the opportunity to work in another country again, I would probably consider that too. I would like to work in the United States for a while if I had the chance, but only to make a whole bunch of money and bring it back to Canada!

I went up to visit Owen and Chloe last weekend. We had a nice evening on Saturday just sitting around the kitchen table, talking and having a few beers. They have a very nice house and Owen has built a very formidable bar in the rec room. I even got to see the new camper. I think Owen will be seeing quite a bit more of me next summer whenever him and Chloe are up at the lake!

Unfortunately, I never got time to go to Lacombe and see Scott and Jen’s new house. Scott was out of town on the weekend. I’m planning on going back up to Red Deer again sometime in the fall, so I’ll get to check out the new digs then.

I don’t think I’ll be coming to Grandview for Christmas, but that’s not a certainty. I have three days of vacation left. A group of friends are planning on going to Vancouver Island for an extended weekend of scuba diving sometime in November, with some cycling and exploring during the day. I would like to go on the trip, but if things don’t end up working out and I can work out transportation to Grandview before Christmas, I’ll be there!

Next year there are some big plans and things going on, so most of my vacation is already reserved. I’m planning on going out to the East Coast with Joe sometime next summer. Joe is originally from Prince Edward Island, so we’ll be able to borrow his mom’s car and stay at his mom and step-dad’s house in Borden. It’ll make the trip much more affordable and I’ll have an excellent tour guide (as long as things haven’t changed too much – it’s been ten years since Joe’s been there)! I really think it will be a nice trip, but there will be a lot of miles to cover from Moncton to Halifax to Cavendish Beach on PEI. That will definitely be a two-week trip. I would really like to visit Newfoundland, but that will have to happen on another trip someday. There is also talk among the cyclists about another training session week in Arizona again next spring. I had such a great time down there last year, it is something else I would like to consider – so many places, so little time.

The World Masters Games are in Edmonton next summer as well. It’s a huge international competition – something like 20,000 participants, Olympics for old people! Hee Hee. Actually in most sports, Masters is considered anyone over 30. I’m planning on racing in all of the road cycling events which take place on two weekends, and track racing at the Argyll Velodrome in Edmonton which takes place during the week in between. There are quite a few of my cycling buddies that are planning on racing in some of the events as well, so I’ve taken an additional week off of work for that. My training goal over the next year is working to peak in my performance levels for that event next year. Once those games are over, I am already looking to 2006, when two more international events are fortunately taking place in North America. They are being held in Chicago and Montreal with a week in between, so I’m hoping to book three straight weeks for those two events (but I have to factor in some time to celebrate Dad’s 60th birthday that year as well). These events are also expecting to draw between 10-15,000 participants each. Talk about early planning! It may sound a little obsessive to some people, but I’ve found setting long-term goals definitely keeps your eye on the prize. It’s worked quite successfully with my cycling, running and triathlon – I only wish I could figure out how to apply it more to other things in my life.

Hopefully that will all come with time…

I expect by the time you get this letter, you’ll be out of the hospital already, so some of this might be old news already. It’s hard to believe that it’s been so long since I’ve actually sat down and wrote a letter. I realize how out of date the information gets as it did when I used to write letters frequently. You get accustomed to having more and more information around you all the time. Life is quite different these days with instant information at your fingertips or on a screen 24/7 if you want it.

Since you’ve been in my thoughts a lot lately, I just thought I’d send you healing vibes to get you on the road to a speedy recovery and a little (?) update of what’s going on in my life. I hope you’re feeling better soon.

I love you very much Grandma. Take care.

Love alwaysReid

What else is going on? Track provincials were fun, although Dave Corr and I spent most of Sunday in Foothills Hospital with Brian Kullman and Jon Keech who had crashed on the track. They were luckily only really banged up and nothing was broken. Dad and Mom came into Calgary that day from Red Deer, where they had been hanging out with Owen in the hospital while the doctors were trying to figure out what was wrong with him. Imagine their surprise when I asked them to meet me in the hospital in Calgary! They were wonderful - they patiently waited until we got Brian released, and drove Dave and I back down to the velodrome, where we managed to get into the final race of the day with Sean Huggins-Chan, the Olympic Pursuit. We ended up going down to the Barley Mill at Eau Claire for food and drinks and walked around Prince's Island for awhile before they dropped me off and headed back to RD.

The following weekend was the RR Provincials in Winfield. Worst racing weather ever. I felt crappy for the first two-thirds of the race until we turned out of the wind and my feet were able to warm up, however we had already been dropped from the main pack and finished about 15 minutes behind the winner (Zach Bell, no doubt). Graeme Thomson, Steve German, Dave Leahy and myself all crossed the line together as the Cat 3 winners were crossing the line. I was very glad when that day was over.

Last weekend I headed up to Red Deer on Saturday to visit with Owen and Chloe. We had a fun time - very short, but good. I'm planning on heading back up there sometime again in the fall.

Most of the Red Deer crew is heading to Manitoba this weekend for Joey and Michelle's wedding in Russell. As well, Auntie Jeanne's 60th birthday party is this weekend in the Wilson barn. I was sort of surprised that they were having such a big party, and I was disappointed to not find out about it sooner. I got an email from Grant this week asking me if we wanted to drive to Grandview together. Even he is going. I'm probably the only kid in the family that won't be there.

Oh well, TT Provs are this weekend in Darwell. I'm not hoping to win anything, but I am hoping to beat my course time from last year - 58:18.

The weekend after, I'm volunteering at the Calgary Corporate Challenge team triathlon. For some ungodly reason, Peter Finnie figured that we had a hard time putting together a triathlon team, which is completely wrong, so he didn't enter us in the event since the CCC board is sanctioning companies that are no-shows to events now.

The CCC 10K (which I'm organizing AGAIN) is on the 18th, and the Hill Climb Provincials are on the 19th. And then the racing season is over. I'm also organizing the Frontrunners Ekiden teams, which reminds me - I need to register today!

That's about it. Joe's working very hard and working lots. I haven't seen much of him lately, but we're going to catch a movie tonight hopefully and we're planning on spending the night of the 18th in Banff before the HC on Sunday. The hotels are still very pricy, so I'm not sure how that's going to work out. Nick and him are planning on going to Vancouver for their birthdays on the October 16th weekend, while I'm in Banff running the Ekiden.