Twenty years ago today, we were one week away from the first democratic election in South Africa. I was with the small and mighty Oxfam Canada election observer team in Pietermaritzburg. It was a bit tense. We were hoping for the best.
Adweek calls this ad nearly perfect. I would agree it's very very good. Until close to the end, when Mr Aiken goes after his opponent. He does it in soothing tones but what he says is nothing short of ferocious (some might even say vicious). I don't believe this is necessary and I don't believe that changing one congressperson for another will, it itself, change whipped votes and other systemic problems. I would be very surprised if Mr Aiken gets elected, he could do anything different than the person he criticizes - unless he can be part of the movement for systemic changes.
I had the good fortune of running the Terry Fox run in Victoria last year. It was a pretty amazing run - lots of school kids, a cloudy cool ocean front route out and back from Beacon Hill Park, some eccentric Victoriates. I was the last runner on the route before it closed down and an endearing acoustic memory was the Police officer (driving behind me and in front of a column of anxious motoriata) on his loudspeaker cheering me on.
Before the run, at the opening ceremony, we reminded ourselves of Terry's example. He continues to mean so much to so many people. In my difficult quest to find people to truly look up to, he stands with very very few others.
I bought a Terry Fox tshirt and hoodie the other day. I have come a long way in my running since last September, but nowhere as far as Terry went. I hope to run my first half marathon in April and I think I might just wear my Terry Fox tshirt to keep me going.
Sometimes, I won't lie, being in my office feels like living again and again on groundhog day. My office is messy and cluttered. I clean it. My office is messy and cluttered. I clean it.My office is messy and cluttered. I clean it. It goes on like this.
I'm hoping I can keep things in the office better organized in 2014.
Also, Kamloops has the most amazing sky vistas. The one above, a crappy shot taken from a Safeway parking lot, even looks amazing.
I've been convincingly convinced that the threat of climate change is real. And I and we are not doing nearly enough to address this threat. I've heard some folks say that 2014 might be the year the human race gets serious about living in a more planet / climate friendly way. Let's hope and make it happen. One starting point is Guy Dauncey's book - The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming.
I'm starting this post at a Starbucks, awaiting a grande gingerbread latte and a double chocolate brownie.
I'm rewarding myself.
Over 2013, I rediscovered the challenges and the opportunities of living a more active life. As in my post about running in June, after running quite a bit in high school (even spent a term in grade 12 with the cross country team), I started running again in the past two years. I started in 2012 and became more consistent in 2013. Indeed, from Nov 28th to Dec 31st, I joined the holiday running streak and ran at least a mile a day, every day. I was more than fully clothed on all runs so this was a streak in only one sense of the word!
While there have been challenges, there have been many many more good times. I am a happy member of the Kamloops Run Club, one of the most supportive, friendly and gentle groups I've ever experienced. They start you very easy, encourage you to go at your own pace, and never leave anyone behind on a run. Led ably by the amazing Jo Berry, I've met incredible people at run club. I started training for 5k events, did 10k from July 2013 onwards, and am hoping for my first half marathon in 2013.
I also have employed some cool technology to help me in tracking my running and motivating weight loss. A Garmin forerunner 610 gps sports watch has been a near constant on all my runs since March 2013. I can keep track of pace, speed, mileage, distance, and heart rate. It even tells time! I also have a Withings wireless scale, which I stand on nearly every Saturday. The scale gives me my weight and body mass index. Both the watch and scale send information to my computer, which then uploads to password protected websites. It really makes me motivated to see the graph trend lines go in healthy directions.
The school year is upon us and I had the incredible honour, this morning, as Deputy Mayor for this month, of sharing some thoughts with first year Thompson River University students. I had the good fortune of speaking at the orientation convocation ceremonies.
The organizers of this event had a very tight timeline to work with. I was given one minute, maybe two, to share some thoughts. At first, I was a bit dumbfounded but I soon appreciated being forced to focus on really essential thoughts. The last thing most of these students wanted was a city councillor going on and on.
So I did just three quick things:
- I welcomed the new students on behalf of our Mayor, our council, and our community.
- I asked them to think about what they really love and/or are especially gifted at - and I encouraged them to focus on that as they want through their TRU studies.
- I expressed great appreciation and admiration for the heart, the intentions, and the intellect of the vast majority of TRU staff.