Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Burnt to a Crisp

5:27 sunrise
22:45 sunset

Have you ever really, really wanted dessert and then really, really screwed it up?


Yeah, me neither. For those of you who think that throwing the oven on to broil for a few minutes in order to make your apple crisp just a little bit crunchy on the top is a good idea...think again.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Not the greatest start to my week

5:21 sunrise
22:52 sunset

CRANKY this morning due to the 18 calls from a fax machine to our land line starting at 5:29 this morning. And where was the call from? (613) area code, of course - some Ottawa bureaucrat faxing up the wrong number when he got into work. GRR.

I'm feeling anti-Ottawa today really because I am anti-Harper. I actually quite like Ottawa and I am a fan of civil servants (being one myself) so take that first paragraph as grumpy Jenn with not enough sleep. But aside from the census debacle, read on about Harper's latest plans to nix employment equity in the public service. I get so sick and tired of hearing people say crap like "jobs should be awarded based on merit” and leave it at that. We (Canadian society) actually decided that we wanted a more representative public service. And it's not as if employment equity legislation has been running around awarding jobs to complete idiots in place of some highly qualified white male.

Employment equity came out of a 1984 judicial commission and the purpose of the Act (passed in 1986) was to: achieve equality in the workplace so that no person shall be denied employment opportunities or benefits for reasons unrelated to ability and, in the fulfilment of that goal, to correct the conditions of disadvantage in employment experienced by women, aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities by giving effect to the principle that employment equity means more than treating persons in the same way but also requires special measures and the accommodation of differences.

So apparently Harper and our lovely Immigration Minister Jason Kenney don't think that people of colour, women and persons with disabilities are any different than anyone else in terms of the challenges they face in the job market. Oi vey - what decade is it? These groups of people (visible minorities especially) are treated unequally when it comes to the public service and because they are not fairly represented we should do things to improve that. I actually like how Donald Oliver (a conservative senator) explains it.

And for those of you who are Tories (or were Tories since the current conservatives are not), one of the saddest things is that the original Employment Equity Act was passed and promoted under the Mulroney government. I am no fan of Lyin' Brian but I can give props where they are due and at least previous Tory governments weren't evil. Our current conservative one seems pretty demonic though. I really feel that the longer Harper is in power, the more he is dismantling a number of core Canadian institutions and approaches to how society should work. Depressing. Just depressing.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Stronger Socialism is, the Stronger the Peace

5:10 sunrise
23:04 sunset
Wow. I've never been to Germany even though my mom's side of the family ist Deutsch and I have travelled to Europe several times. It's hard to even remember that for most of my life (well, my first 17 years anyway) there was an East Germany. These photos, taken by Siegfried Wittenburg in the 1980s show a side of Germany that seems almost impossible now.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dry Tri

4:49 sunrise
23:22 sunset
Another summer weekend, another manic season fun event. Yesterday was the Dry Tri. Some folks might call it a duathlon, but here in the Yukon we like to call this triathlon for non-swimmers a Dry Tri. Sounds cooler.

I teamed up with a colleague and only did the bike portion. I tried to hammer the course as much as I could and overall I was satisfied with my riding and the 51 minutes it took me. Of course, once I finished it was easy to say "I could have gone faster" or "if only" but all in all I was pleased. And the day was a lot of fun. Food was amazing (the Parkers are nuts to do all this work), weather was sunny and all the participants were super relaxed and chill about the day. I love summer in the Yukon :)

I didn't take many photos of the athletic portion of the day. Ben was on a different team and no one had the camera while I was on my bike, so most shots are from the social part of the afternoon.







Thursday, July 8, 2010

Important! Census!

I'm pretty much copying this verbatim from Claire who took it from (Laidley?). But I think it's important, so please have a read. Claire called it plagarism for a common good :)

You may have heard that the federal government is moving to eliminate the Canada census long form questionnaire and replace it with a voluntary survey. The long form is sent to 20% of households and is a critical source of information about diversity, employment, income, education and other characteristics of Canadians. It is essential to business, research, planning and good public policies and programs. If it is voluntary it means that the most vulerable segments of the population are unlikely to complete it meaning that we will know less about them meaning the assholeface government will be able to say, “Hey, ya. Let’s gut healthcare coz most Canadians are in good health and don’t need it. And we have the numbers right here to back it up!” because we won’t know about those who are dependent on it.

Sign the Petition:
DO IT NOW.
The Keep the Canada Census Long Form petition is at:http://www.gopetition.com/online/37527.html
So far, it has 2000+ signatures. Monday July 12, the petition will be sent to Tony Clement (Minister for Industry and Stats Can), the Prime Minister, the Chief Statistician and opposition leaders. Sign on, because a lot more signatures are needed.

Links re the importance of the Long Form:

Why you should care

Because it’s “dumbing down” democracy.

The archivist in me, thanks you.

4 Weeks

4:44 sunrise
23:27 sunset

I cannot actually believe that there are only four more weeks until TransRockies. I can't decide if that excites me or terrifies me. Perhaps it's a bit of both. I just want summer to go on and on. I had a pretty big week of riding and am feeling really good today (ie: not sore at all). I am somewhat nervous that I haven't mimicked 7 days in a row of 6-8 hours each day but I am hoping that it isn't necessary to being able to complete the race.

So Sierra and I started the week on Canada Day with the idea of using the long weekend to spend back to back long days on our bikes. On July 1st we did the Yukon epic: Mountain Hero in Carcross. We rode this last year, but we shuttled up the first 7 or so kilometres and then we didn't actually enjoy much of the descent because Tony smashed his elbow on the way down. That said, I still loved that ride. This year Sierra and I rode the whole loop: from the Carcross Visitors' Centre, up and over the mountain, and the 17km back to Carcross along the road. The weather was decent and the snowy patches on the trail weren't impassable. I had to push my bike just about as much as I did last year (which disappointed me somewhat) and I am finding myself quite frustrated by steep terrain with big hunks of gravel/rock. That said, it was beautiful and it was good fun to ride with Tony, his friends from Ontario, and Dave who is now riding with Cyclemeisters and is ridiculously speedy. You can see the whole set of photos here if you want, but the ones below are some of my faves.





On Friday, after work and an exam for a job I am not sure I want (more on that later?), a group of us did the SFD/Girlfriend/Juicy/Yukon River Trail loop. It's a great trail and I was having a great time until the skies opened up and rain poured down on us. At least I was wearing wool and managed to not freeze to death.


On Saturday we decided to climb Mt Mac again, but this time from the other side (Coal Lake Road). As you can see from the fact that I didn't pull my camera out once, I didn't exactly have a good time. It was a steep and rocky ascent filled with bugs and the rain soaked me through to the skin. When our out-of-town friends ended up missing the turn off to get to Mt Mac and instead continued on towards Coal Lake it seemed our ride was doomed to fail. Everyone was cold and we decided to pull the chute. We called Tony to pick us up. Still, the day counted for 3 hours of riding and nearly 1000m of elevation gained.

On Sunday I was hoping for a bit of a redemption ride and Sierra and I got dropped off at the Annie Lake Road to bike back into town via Mt Sima. The couple of hours of relatively flat terrain was just what my legs needed and by the time we climbed part way up Mt Mac to Goat Trail I was feeling fine. I wouldn't say I felt stellar, but I felt like I could manage. I was so sure I would have to walk sections of the Mt Mac road, but I was pleasantly surprised by my ability to plunk my bike into its easiest gears and just put my head down and pedal. I was not fast; in fact, someone could have walked as fast as I rode I think. But I made it without having to dismount and my heart wasn't exploding out of my chest. So that's a good thing, right? I love that Sierra indulges my desire to take photos along the route. These, in a cabin beside the trail, were actually her idea. The camera was set on multiple shots over 20 seconds (hence the running around).



Unfortunately Sierra caught a cold and so I was on my own Mon-Wed to finish up 7 days in a row of riding. I hit up some of my favourite local trails with other friends and did my once monthly hammer from the bottom of Grey Mountain to the second parking lot. I must admit that I thought I would be significantly faster than I was back in April when I started this, but I am not, really. My own personal time trials have take me 35, 32 and 31 minutes in April, May and now July respectively. I wish there was greater improvement in those times. I suppose I can take some comfort in that the climb is generally easier and I can ride for longer, but...I am still pretty slow. These shots were taken at the top of that climb - jumping with happy to be done, but bummed at my time.



Anyhow, can't say this would be a riveting post for anyone other than me, but I do like to keep track of how things are going.

Final tally for this week:
Date: July 1-7, 2010
Distance: estimated 225km, all mountain
Time: 26 hours

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pre-Canada Day

4:39 sunrise
23:30 sunset

Had a great long weekend. Actually, it wasn't a long weekend since I worked on Friday. But with Thursday off and a lot of time spent on my bike, it felt like a long weekend.

To start things off, I dyed a swath of pink in my hair. Why not, I figured. I keep debating whether it's time for me to return to the short pixie cut, but I am not quite there for some reason. But then, when I don't make the "giant cut it all off" move, I want something else while in the stylist's chair. So this time I suggested she dye part of my hair an interesting colour. She chose (and I agreed) to orange, pink and copper which come out mostly as pink:



I quite love it and hope that I don't too much look like a 16 year old wanna be. I'll probably only keep the pink until the end of the summer.

I have much biking to report on, but I will leave that for another day.