Canadiana 116

Courtesy of Jake Blunt via FB

1. Vancouver : 1.5 million people and two bridges. You do the math.
2. Your $400,000 Vancouver home is just 5 hours from downtown.
3. You can throw a rock and hit three Starbucks locations.
4. There’s always some sort of deforestation protest going on.
5. Weed.

1. Big rock between you and B.C.
2. Ottawa who?
3. Tax is 5% instead of the approximately 200% it is for the rest of the country.
4. You can exploit almost any natural resource you can think of.
5. You live in the only province that could actually afford to be its own country.
6. The Americans below you are all in anti-government militia groups.

1. You never run out of wheat.
2. Your province is really easy to draw.
3. You can watch the dog run away from home for hours.
4. People will assume you live on a farm.
5. Daylight savings time? Who the hell needs that!

1. You wake up one morning to find that you suddenly have a beachfront property.
2. Hundreds of huge, horribly frigid lakes.
3. Nothing compares to a wicked Winnipeg winter.
4. You can be an Easterner or a Westerner depending on your mood.
5. You can pass the time watching trucks and barns float by.

1. You live in the centre of the universe.
2. Your $400,000 Toronto home is actually a dump.
3. You and you alone decide who will win the federal election.
4. The only province with hard-core American-style crime.

1. Racism is socially acceptable.
2. You can take bets with your friends on which English neighbour will move out next.
3. Other provinces basically bribe you to stay in Canada .
4. You can blame all your problems on the “Anglo A*#!%!”

1. One way or another, the government gets 98% of your income.
2. You’re poor, but not as poor as the Newfies.
3. No one ever blames anything on New Brunswick .
4. Everybody has a grandfather who runs a lighthouse.

1. Everyone can play the fiddle. The ones who can’t, think they can.
2. You can pretend to have Scottish heritage as an excuse to get drunk and wear a kilt.
3. You are the only reason Anne Murray makes money.

1. Even though more people live on Vancouver Island , you still got the big, new bridge.
2. You can walk across the province in half an hour.
3. You can drive across the province in two minutes.
4. Everyone has been an extra on “Road to Avonlea.”
5. This is where all those tiny, red potatoes come from.
6. You can confuse ships by turning your porch lights on and off at night.

1. If Quebec separates, you will float off to sea.
2. If you do something stupid, you have a built-in excuse.
3. The workday is about two hours long.
4. It is socially acceptable to wear your hip waders to your wedding.

Pass this along to Canadians who need a laugh and foreigners who can learn something about Canada and then enjoy a good chuckle.

Let’s face it: Canadians are a rare breed.

The Official Canadian Temperature Conversion Chart

50° Fahrenheit (10° C)
· Californians shiver uncontrollably.
· Canadians plant gardens.

35° Fahrenheit (1.6° C)
· Italian Cars won’t start
· Canadians drive with the windows down

32° Fahrenheit (0° C)
· American water freezes
· Canadian water gets thicker.

0° Fahrenheit (-17.9° C)
· New York City landlords finally turn on the heat.
· Canadians have the last cookout of the season.

-60° Fahrenheit (-51° C)
· Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
· Canadian Girl Guides sell cookies door-to-door.

-109.9° Fahrenheit (-78.5° C)
· Carbon dioxide freezes makes dry ice.
· Canadians pull down their earflaps.

-173° Fahrenheit (-114° C)
· Ethyl alcohol freezes.
· Canadians get frustrated when they can’t thaw the keg

-459.67° Fahrenheit (-273.15° C)
· Absolute zero; all atomic motion stops.
· Canadians start saying “cold, eh?”

-500° Fahrenheit (-295° C)
· Hell freezes over.
· The Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup

Yester Day


Old Fence Old Window

Sunny Park Day East Vancouver, BC

Aging Darkly


Starting from Zero

Change is in the works. Big change for me. I’m moving. Not a big deal most of the time however this one is different. I’m not moving across the street, across town, to another town, or to another province. No, I’m moving to another country. One that lies across the wide Atlantic waters. It is in Europe, Germany to be exact.

In the past few months I’ve been preoccupied with selling my possessions because shipping that far is simply out of the financial question. And it is easier to replace than to ship in one sense. Not that I had a lot of stuff in this apartment but still I was surprised by how much stuff I had been hanging onto. Dragged these things along in very move; and I moved regularly being Canadian. Apparently it is in our nature to move frequently, if we don’t own a house or homestead. Things that had been collected, assembled, tucked away, stored, boxed, shelved etc. Stuff.

Not super important stuff I now discovered. I had not interacted/used/looked at most of the stuff that makes up my every day decor/clutter. Did I need it? Apparently not. Do I keep it now? No. Hard decisions, decisions I put off making in many cases until the very last moment. It is hard to face the hard truth when facing a life changing event. I did make those decisions. Being a photographer with a few years under my belt, that meant dealing with negatives. A negative feeling accompanied that decision making and I decided to rid myself of the sheer weight of binder full of B&W negatives because I don’t foresee myself looking through and then scanning any of those formative compositions. It was a hard choice but one I had to make.

One of those decisions. Selling stuff was the first choice, with some success and some not so successful selling due to increasing time pressures. This was a moment that brought a new decision to mind. Paying forward. I’ve been very fortunate in my life and have received here and there. It was time to act in the same manner and pass goodness along. I was delighted in the process and to find someone who could use that which I was paying forward resulted in a sweetness of the emotion when that person expressed heartfelt gratitude and thanks. In return I felt gratitude in being able to do it.

That has been one of the sweeter experiences in this paring down process. What is not so sweet is the fact that this kind of huge change is not something that I was mentally or emotionally prepared for and now to stand on the other side of the difficult decisions I feel freer, a bit insecure in a way but confident in having made the right choices.

Why am I doing this at this point in my life? I’m middle aged. Is it a mid life crisis? No. I recently married a woman whom I have loved, love, am in love with and cherish. She happens to live in Germany. I have history in the country and that’s why it is also such a sweet pain/experience. I’ve made a choice and am happy to make this move.

Starting fresh but not on Zero. Love is floating this choice. Love is the light that illuminates my heart and love is where I want to be. She is my love and my heart is and has been where she is for some time now. I can’t change the first half of my life, but I can write the second half.

travel on the wet coast of canada


10 Tips

1. Take care of yourself, it is your power

2. Do what makes you happy, you know what that is

3. Be honest

4. Live love if you have it in your life

5. Smile when you’re out and about

6. Pay attention to Karma, she’s everywhere

7. Don’t visit  Vancouver, BC, it ALWAYS rains

8. Change yourself, you can’t change others

9. Look up or around, real life is lived away from your ‘device’

10. Don’t believe everything you think, or everything you read or hear

canadiana 113 a different way of life

Canadiana 112 with a Sick Twist

Canadian love to go camping. We live in a pretty gigantic camping paradise so the May long weekend in these parts heralds the first official camping weekend for those so inclined. It is a much anticipated weekend to say the least and I was one of of those anticipators. I like getting out into the bush for some closer communion with all things green and just sleeping outside is something special. Making coffee in camp is also something I look forward to, tastes better out there, away from the everyday routine. I made sure I ground enough of the stuff not to run out, hehe.

All that week was spent pumping up the upcoming weekend and I was happy to have three days to hang out out there, away from the city for a while. But one dark cloud threatened that idylic notion. You see, here in British Columbia, if you want to hit a camp ground as it were, you have to make reservations now, in advance too and I’d kind of forgotten to get into that mind set and didn’t do that. Usually I roll up to my favorite place, pick a spot and pay the people who come to collect the over night fee. That was, the new ‘is’ is different. I don’t like the new system because it takes the spontaneity out of something that comes natural and making reservations is not natural when it comes to camping. So my plan was to see what would happen. I had not even really decided where I wanted to be and only figured that one out an hour before I threw my backpack into the car and puttered off down the highway and of the city, a big cup of coffee and a smile on my face.

I decided to go wild, hike into a lake I know and set up there. Not my usual place but far enough from all of the other riff raff that camps ‘anywhere’ on this long and probably busy weekend. I started feeling really good when the houses were replaced by trees wizzing past. The day was lovely, the sunshine warm and I was in a good mood. I hit Chilliwack, a farming town and pointed the car towards a narrow valley and a long stretch of road that would lead to where I wanted to be. Nice, a cold clean river on my right side and trees and mountains everywhere else I looked.

©iphoneographythis, 2012©myronunrau

view from camp

And I ended up picking a spot that wasn’t too far off the road too. I’ve seen this road under a long weekend onslaught many times before. People would pick just about any spot to pitch a tent, and not always in ideal spots but I found one that usually was shared by a number of campers. More than perfect for one person this time. I set up my camp, strung my hammock and set to relaxing and enjoying being out there. I was looking forward to two nights under the stars but what I got was an entirely different experience which began with a bit of a sore throat coming on mid afternoon.

©iphoneographythis, 2012©myronunrau

camp setup

How could it be that I had looked forward to spending some time out by myself over a long weekend and then my body checks in with my brain and the two confer for a bit and come to conclusion that while the idea was a great one, my body had picked up some bug somewhere and wasn’t going to be able to enjoy itself as much as I’d wanted? It happened. I got sick. Real sick, real fast. Thankfully my camp setup was not too complicated and I managed to throw it all together and stuff it back into my clown car (smart car), my head reeling, chills and hot flashes alternating my body temperatures in minutes. Time to head for home …

I made it, just. Had I stayed a couple of hours longer, I would have experienced pure hell out there and I am glad that I listened to my body signals and headed for a real bed. Long story short, I ended up in bed for two solid days of fevers and chills. And oddly enough the weather mirrored my condition and rain set it for those two days too. So, it would have been doubly bad for me out there, had I got stuck out there. Yeah, the silver lining in that cloud cover was sweet but being sick is never a sweet thing ever and wasting a whole weekend on being sick when one should be having fun … well, you probably know what that feels like. It’s been a tough week but I’m feeling better and looking forward to trying that again … soon.