The Butter Loop

Finally – completed the entire upper and lower Butter loops.

The conditions were less than ideal – but we did it. So did the dogs – although now they are paying for it. Lots of postholing in the upper areas.

Lots of postholing for Simon too who got so deep into a tree well at the top of the second knoll that I had to get down and dig his snowshoe out. And he hurt his knee and hip. Luckily, he had his knee brace packed.

But other than that – it feels nice to have a good, clear track for the entire thing. If it was earlier in the season, I would now extend the whole thing to go up through the upper cut block to the Butter lookout. But not now. It’s all getting too soft and slushy.

So – speaking of slushy – off to Mount Lepsoe again tomorrow. Yay!

And I am so done with discussing politics with far right-wingers. There’s too much attack involved.

I could go on about that but there comes a point when the whole things feels so icky – yeah – better to let it go.

The good that has come out of this – do more and more research. Check facts over and over again – and if you have to lean any way at all – lean toward the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Lean toward giving your fellow human a helping hand up. Lean toward empathy (stop giggling, Nicky). Lean toward helping the planet; Lean toward caring for and speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Lean toward love.

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Spring Rain and Politics

Rain – yes – that’s fine with me. I was quite happy to walk with Abby this afternoon in the drizzle. Rain means spring is coming. Rain means green will happen. And I’m all for the colour green.

Today, the ventilation guy finished his job – now we just have to repair the damage incurred: dry walling, painting, all that sort of thing. But it’s one more thing signed off on.

I completed another short story. I’m not sure if I like it or not. I’d say it’s not one of my strongest and, if pressed, I will blame the ventilation guy and the use of power tools. It’s always good to know who to blame.

I’ve also been spending some time online having a conversation (to put it politely) with a guy about politics. You see, there’s a reason they say you shouldn’t discuss religion or politics – at least, not if you want to maintain peace of mind. But I did and I think I’ve learned something.

My position about politics is that we must do the best we can to involve the greatest number of people in governing a country, province, town – anywhere where governance takes place. If we fail to do so, we lose our democracy.

We also lose our democracy if money enters politics. This is apparent in the United States where the Supreme Court ruled on Citizens United and allowed unlimited amounts of money to pour into campaigns. Politicians are now essentially bought and paid for.

Lobbying destroys democracy. The only example needed is the NRA in the USA – but of course there are hundreds of groups including big Pharma.

I could go on about the destruction of democracy in the US, which is now essentially an Oligarchy – gerrymandering, voter suppression and voter intimidation are just three examples.

I am a big believer in civil politics. Ideally, I would like to see us debate and discuss party platforms and policies rather than personalities – rather than slinging mud. But it seems that US style politics have entered Canada on the heels of money supplied by people like the Koch brothers. When I start seeing memes that compare Justin Trudeau to an Islamic terrorist, I know we’re in trouble. Conservatives have moved so far to the right, it’s really quite frightening.

I am proud to be a Social Democrat. Justin Trudeau has disappointed me – and most politicians do eventually. They make great promises (electoral reform) and then – poof! Gone.

Idealistically, I used to believe (and still do) that running for office is a way to be of service to people. But in reality it appears that running for office is a way to be part of the power elite and then hold on to that power.

At any rate. Here’s what I stand for – greater equality and opportunity for all. Shelter and dignity for the homeless. That any human being should be living on the streets in this country is beyond comprehension. I think education should be free – period. Student debt is a wonderful way to enslave people – instead of doing what they love after graduation, they are forced to do whatever will give them a paycheque. Capitalism thrives on debt – convince people to buy and buy and buy – and take on more and more debt – and while wages stagnate and CEOs makes thousands of dollars a day, workers are chained to their debt.

Basically, our system is broken and needs to be re-thought from the ground up. Until we do that, I’ll side with the Bernie Sanders’ of the world and the younger generations. I want the environment to be given its proper place: number one of all priorities. If we don’t have a healthy environment with clean air and water, we have nothing. You can’t eat or breath money. I want all people to matter. I want religions and other ideologies out of politics – not even on the fringes. I want governance to be based on science, facts and a heart that cares about its fellow man. I want peace.

And those are some of my thoughts for today.

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It was another nice day. God – how boring. Can you imagine starting a book with a sentence like that? “It was another nice day!”

Just makes you want to jump right in, doesn’t it? I mean – it doesn’t get more riveting. Well, maybe if I’d written, “It was a dark and stormy night.” That might have been even better.

But there you are – the first sentence – the state of my life today. Unexpectedly, the ventilation guys arrived and from about 9 until 12.30 I endeavoured to write while power tools were buzzing. It didn’t go as well as hoped.

But hey! The ventilation guys are here. And they are supposed to come back tomorrow to finish the job. This is good news.

And so this afternoon we took the dogs for a walk by Slocan Lake where it was warm and sunny and we discovered that wearing spikes on our boots with merely annoying.

The sun is still shining.

We are planning a major outing for Thursday – probably Lightning Strike at Kootenay Pass.

I did write a trip report so I suppose the day wasn’t a total waste. Yes – I did write 1,000 words. I’m pretty sure they’re all shite but at least I did write them.

Tomorrow – either more of the same or I escape. At the moment, escape is looking pretty good.

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Mount Lepsoe

Yes – today was my meditation.

This is what happens when I have six hours in the alpine, snowshoeing in a beautiful world – bluebird skies, distant (and closer) mountains – and a wonderful group of people.

Most of the day, I stayed in back of the pack taking photos and being relatively alone with my thoughts – and not-thoughts because in the rhythm of the uphill climb, I can stop thinking.

I had a wonderful day.

It was so warm.

And best of all? By the time I got around to eating my end-of-hike chocolate, I had driven just past the coop in Slocan Park and it was the perfect texture and temperature.

Yeah – it doesn’t get much better than that.

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My Lost Hour(s)

Simon and I picked the perfect time to have a long, intimate, heartfelt talk in bed last night – the night the clocks go forward – and we lose an hour – so that when we’re finally ready to go to sleep, feeling all loving and cozy and nice (communication has a way of doing that) it’s not 2 a.m. – it’s actually 3 a.m. and – damitall – I wake up at 7.15 a.m. because it’s light out and I’ve been waking up shortly after 6, so – well, what I’m trying to say is that I got 4 hours sleep last night and I’m not exactly at my best. Not in top shape, if you will.

Total shite if truth be told.

I had the insane notion of writing a story today. I got through a thousand words and lost track of characters, plot or any valid reason for writing in the first place.

Better to just get out with the dogs. And we did that in the warm, beautiful sunshine with signs of spring everywhere.

So I suppose that was good.

And now I’m insanely excited about bedtime. What do you mean it’s only 4 p.m.?

I have to get up at 5.30 tomorrow morning to go for a full day snowshoe up Mount Lepsoe. Damn right I’ll go to bed early.


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Butter yet again

Beauty day today: bluebird sky, temperatures warming gorgeously – and, a spirit of adventure.

We went up Butter , ascended the right-hand knoll and then, freelanced (bushwhacked) over to the first knoll. My bad for not realizing I had my track reversed – so we missed the second knoll by inches. In fact, lunch was just below it.

But no matter. We now have a track and a pretty cool winter snowshoe route. And it was fun. I think everyone had a good time.

There’s nothing like getting out there. And then coming home to a hot bath and chocolate!

Simon had a political day protesting Kinder Morgan in Nelson – yay!

Thank god one of us is useful to society!

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Right – not a sight (photo above) that we came across today – but I suspect in another couple days this will be happening here. The snow is turning to slush. It was warm today – after waking up to snow coming down like mad, by noon it was warm and by 2 p.m. it was sunny.

So we took the dogs for a walk at Carpenter Creek.

And came back home.

How about that for an exciting day?

More cerebral stuff: I submitted another short story to another magazine. And am plotting on another story. I have written 54 or 55 – not bad.

Also – having a most interesting debate(!?) with an ex-boss/client on politics. He’s far right – and I’m left of centre – I’d say halfway between middle and far left although getting more left every single day.

I’m doing my best to remain polite. But every single time he calls me something like a far-leftist and I actually take the time to look up the terms and what they mean, I take them as compliments. Yes, I want more income equality and a kinder, more cooperative world that is free of war and where we are not ruled by greedy, unprincipled politicians and corporations.

Yeah – I’m good with that. I hope to see democratic socialism. I hope to see homeless people given shelter and indigenous people treated fairly and as equals.

I hope for truth and justice and I hope to see money out of politics. I hope to see the environment take priority in all we do and I want to stop the tar sands and pipelines and fish farms.

Yup – left-wing flower-child peacenik! That’s me!

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