Saturday, June 27, 2009

Riley in Vancouver.... WHAAATTTT?

So as some of you know, I'm in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada (just south of Vancouver) for a summer internship to help me finish my degree in sustainability. I am working at Richmond City Hall with the Sustainability Manager on some project including their overall sustainability framework as well as their possilble Olympics Sustainability Programs for the 2010 Winter Olympics. I'm also doing my own research on whether Richmond would be categorized as a sustainable governance structure as according to the academic literature... basically I've read a lot of journal articles and will begin interviewing city employees soon. It's the opposite of titilating (wanted to use that word), but its mentally stimulating at times.

At the same time, I've been trying my best to do lots of things on my own in the city of Vancouver. I've been playing with a bunch of 'average' (and that's nice) softball players and have been quite impressive. I'm known, for the 'first time' in my life, as a deep ball hitter, and everytime I get up to bat, the left and center fielder go stand next to the fence, which doesn't make much logical sense, but it still puts a smile on my face. I also make at least 2-3 webgems a game, which earns a bunch of 'jaw-dropping' faces, in which I laugh. I also have been going to downtown and have been riding my bike around.

My girlfriend (oh my) just came up for the past weekend and we had a great time.

On Friday, I picked her up from the airport and we went to Stanley Park (which is like the Central Park of NYC) and rode our bikes along the seawall. It is amazing! If I ever lived here, it would be for that park and that park only. We then ate at a Japanese restaurant in which our waiter continued to say 'Cheers!' after every word. Example: Here is your water... cheers... and would you like your appetizer now?....(me) Yes... Cheers, cheers. I'll have it out, cheers. Heather then bought me an ice cream cone in which I got Black Walnut... delish choice. I told her that was my favorite moment of the trip because I was slurping it up and spilling it all over myself ... I really felt like a kid. Plus, we were on the beach watching a sunset.

On Saturday, we visited the Museum of Anthropology at the Univ of British Columbia (UBC) which basically had a lot of totem poles and artifacts from the First Nations tribes. Heather liked the ceramics part of the exhibit, only because it was European and she thought she knew a few things :) . After that, we went to Granville Island, which is an old industrial area turned into farmer's market/pedestrian friendly shopping area and ate her b-day lunch/dinner. Fish tacos for me, veggie pizza for Heather, and all the uneaten food.... for me (garbage disposal alert!). Afterwards, we went to the Coldplay concert for her b-day (wow, I am a great guy,... but humble). They were filming it for their DVD concert tour, and although I didn't know many of the songs, we both had a fantasmal time. I have hummed a few of their songs for quite some time now. Here is a photo of us on Row 37 on the FLOOR!

Sunday---> Lazy Sunday (check out the SNL video clip if you've never seen it, We walked the beach, ate fish and chips, went to a winery, and rented Marley and Me... not a bad show.

On Monday, we drove from Richmond to Whistler Village, stopping for about a 3 mile hike up a steep mountain called Stawmus Chief in Squamish, BC. Isn't that a mouthful? The hike was kinda tough, as it involved ladders and chains bolted to rocks to help us up the mountain. Once we reached we sat down for a 2 minute snack and immediately were bugged by another group of hikers who decided to sit down next to us and laugh loudly. Cool, real cool... not like I hiked 3 miles to get away from people and enjoy a panoramic view, but keep laughing buddy. Anyways, we probably were leaving anyways because a little chipmunk kept running up to me and darting all around. I wanted to reach out and pet him, but was afraid of getting diseases... I already have enough of those (I'm KIDDING). Well, after the hike we went and walked around Whistler Village and ended up eating at Spaghetti Factory (yep, they have one in Canada). I forgot about the spamoni (probably misspelled that) ice cream... I dig it.

On Tuesday, Heather flew out, back to PHX.... tear drop (not really, because I'm a MAN!). This was probably too long of a post... I remember being told to keep it brief and interesting, none of which may have been the case.

PS Heather has all the photo's, so maybe she can post them.... hint, hint

***Update: Heather posted the link to the photos under the comment section***

Friday, June 26, 2009

I wrote this a while back, while I was dramatic, possibly because I was a teacher...

If you could read the next chapter of your life, would you do it? If yes, would you be willing to make a change if necessary?

If you could read the a book documenting your child's life, would you do it? If yes, would you be willing to step back, address how your actions may have positively or negatively affected your child and change them?

If you could read the next chapter in the Earth's lifestory- maybe the next 50-500 years, would you do it? If yes, would you alter your lifestyle so that man was not such a negative biophysical force on this planet?

Disappointingly, most people only have ever considered the 1st question. The 2nd question comes up, proving that we are not completely self-centered. However, the 3rd question does not come up enough, and when it does denial is the result. As a species, we are not thinking in the long-term as we should. We are the self proclaimed "most powerful, intelligent, and dominant species that ever existed" and yet we have not as a species, as a nation, as a community, and for many, as an individual, not addressed the local and global environmental problems that are heavily prominent today ............................ It's disheartening to me....................We all live in bubbles, but we must remember that we find ourselves in a 12 mile film (6miles down, 6 miles up) where all life, as we know it, exists. All of our actions are felt at the global scale........ Go for a walk tomorrow, not down the street, not in a park, but in a secluded place, somewhere on a mountain, in a forest, or by a meandering river. Feel that moment for more than 5 minutes. By feel, I mean leave all your worries-cell phones, engagments, mental stresses- behind and be in that moment at that time. Stay in that secluded natural setting for an hour or so. Tell me what that feels like, .......really write or email me.......because all our environmental problems are not going to be important/urgent until we all realize what a gift we have. At that time, you may begin to ask yourself that 3rd question. Then we can all join together and get to work.
---Riley's thoughts at 11:54 pm EST on 7/2/06

Cracked Canoe Commercial

So this is my first official post... I have been meaning to get this up and running and would like to write some blogposts on things that have happened in the past as well (including recent road trips and the visit from Heather)..... but I'm going to lead this one off with a commercial that has been playing up here in Canada during NBA/NHL playoffs.

It's for a beer called Cracked Canoe. This commecial has pulled me in (especially the music... holy geez the music pulls me in; I want to know the song) to the point that I have been asking people around here what it is. No one knows what I'm talking about. So I begin some google/Youtube searches to find nothing, except a few more people asking about what damn song is playing ing the commercial. They barely have a recognizable website.

I was at the store the other day with Heather and couldn't find it. I asked the attendant and he had no clue. Its brewed in Eastern Canada, so I guess it hasn't reached here. Either way, I applaud their ad because I'm one interested man.

Someone finally found the full commerical!!!! And no body knows the name of the song yet, so anticlimatic! That's the only reason I love this commercial. ENJOY!