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Woop There It Is

It’s been a while since I last wrote anything on this crazy website and some of you migth have wondered if I had croaked or given up on the web. Not really…not that radical. Still love reflecting, sharing, and being in the moment.

Upon arriving home in Canada I stayed in Calgary for two straight weeks mainly catching up with beautiful friends, visiting my family,  attend my sister Shannon’s wedding, and then attending my good friend Shawna’s wedding (where I was bustin up the mic as the MC. Oh I’m sure you are thinking “Danger will Robinson” but it wasn’t that bad I had a blast! And cracked a few jokes — even though I was poopin my pants in the meantime)

It was beautiful to see how amazing my friends are moving along on different but similar paths. Growing in ways that I expected and didn’t expect. But in the end I feel proud to be surround with amazing people doing these different things. To experience and share them in different and beautiful ways. I’m just lucky to have that, be a part of their experience, and share some part of that with them. I thank each one of you that is doing something really different and unique, pushing your limits and societal boundaries so that I might look upon you and feel inspired.

The Crew

Then I headed out to British Columbia for one week before leaving on a jet plane back to Australia (yep that quick and no I don’t feel that great about it but given the circumstances of extending my visa — it’s a long story — I kinda had too).

It was beautiful to be out in British Columbia chillin with old friends from the BC Otesha Tour one last time before I jumped on a plane destined for the other side of the world again. It was like this beautiful convergence of all these rad peeps who live all around Canada and elsewhere on one day to celebrate Yodi’s birthday (Jodi). The crew being The Switz, Lani, Alicia, Jeanie, Yodi, The Hersh, Mel, Jen, and Moi. A fine crew to  head out for some  good  yummy food and then chillin on the beach for a few hours catchin up.

Thetis Lake

I left Vancouver a few days later and headed straight for Victoria, Recylistas, beers with Trianne & Jen, Thetis swims, and just some nice hanging out in that rad town/city/villa. I spent a nice afternoon chillin with Trianne having lunch (preventing her from working more like it) at Recylistas. Then a ride down to Thetis lake and a dip in my undies was a perfect way to finish my Victoria tour.

Then I was off to bust a move with Wheats up at Linnaea farms on Cortes Island. It was nice to see Farmer Wheatcroft in her element and share food with her from the beautiful garden she is building. Folks when I tell you that girl is going places with her skills (skills to pay the bills) I’m not kidding. It was pretty nice to spend time chillin out on Cortes, visiting more of the island I hadn’t seen the last time, and seeing everything from different eyes from the last time I was there.

I think the downtime I had on the island gave me a good perspective of how much I love Canada. How special it is to me, that if I could have bottled the smell of pine for my trip I would have, and that I think there are amazing people there (Canada) as there are her in OZ. Not to say that this new phase back in Australia is a wrong choice just a different one. I think it’s special to know how precious a place like Canada is to me. Makes me realize that as a society the sooner we stop to realize that it is special, we want it there for our children, our children’s children, and beyond that we might stop and think about ways we can conserve water, drive less, use more efficient light bulbs, recycle, share ideas with each other, buy local, and generally just care more about community building.

For those that I didn’t get to see I still love you. Drop me a line I’d love to hear how you are doing!

xoxo

PS – Mal thanks for making my last day nice and enjoyable too. It was nice to catchup before you headed back to Ottawa and me OZ.

Smelt Bay

 

AdbustI’m staying in Sydney for the time being to save some cash-o-la. The other day I tragically had to visit a mall (not for work trust me) to run some errands that couldn’t be done anywhere else. After being on the road for a while and not being near a mall I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed in the Bondi Junction mall. Who designs a place to be a an unfriendly, cold, trap, and maze of a place for people to be in? And no it’s not that I’m a guy and hate shopping..I actually like shopping if the place is rad enough.

No the other day I just about started to cry while I was in the mall. You see there are some good reasons for this I suppose.

  • Malls make it harder for smaller business to survive because big businesses get in their and can lower their prices.Def. how I felt!
  • There is sooooo much new stuff available in malls which makes me really upset considering all the available furniture, clothing, and other articles / materials available at Opt shops (read: thrift stores) and outside of peoples homes on counsel pickup days (here in Sydney people leave stuff outside of their house they don’t want — big items — and anyone can take them before garbage dudes do).
  • Do we know where all that uneaten food that has been prepared at the shops for you to eat is going afterwards folks? Probably a lot of it in the garbage I figure. Ahh it made me so sad. Give me access to this food at least geez.
  • Why are you so unhappy? Take a look at the people in malls. No one is smiling and everyone looks like they are trapped in a dungeon. Malls are made to be nice places with light, sun, atmosphere, buskers, little shops, cafe’s, etc. Oh wait I lied. The people who are smiling are those going out the door.
  • Do you really need all those bags? I mean is this more of a status symbol then a use? What about that bag around your shoulders couldn’t the stuff go in there.

It just made me realize a few things.

  • I need to continue to support small shops as much as I can. It encourages community aspects, supports families trying to survive, and keeps the little guy going.
  • To continue to buy used clothing or at least stuff that is fair trade.
  • To refuse plastic bags
  • To ask more stores if I can have the food they waste and give it to someone who needs it. Can’t really do this while on the road but maybe when I settle somewhere. There is this rad little cafe at UTS in Sydney that puts all the food that it has left over from the day out on the counter for people to take home before they close! What a rad idea! And I’ve heard of bakeries that do that here as well.

It was refreshing to hear that my Aunt is also greatly in favour of small shops and isn’t that impressed with the Bondi mall instillation. This doesn’t surprise me I suppose because using small shops is a way of life for Australian and New Zealanders. The idea of malls is only a new one that most people are not that impressed with, and I hope for their sake they keep fighting it. And I hope for Canadians sake we just start supporting smaller shops again! PLEASE!To deal with the sadness I felt I rode the entire way home on my new (read: found on the side of the road, repaired, and rescued) trick bike home in the rain. Man that felt good to splash through the rain and get absolutely soaked.

– Shane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pfft as if!

[I highly recommend checking this out at as there is some really amazing seeds that can be purchased that are perfect for the Calgary climate! Plus with these seeds and a bit of saving you can reuse them unlike those crappy ones you buy at the store] 

Seedy Saturday

Mark it on your calendar and don’t miss out!

Date: Saturday, March 24, 2007, from 10 am to 3 pm

Location: Montgomery Community Centre – 5003 16th Ave NW (Hwy 1 and Home Road)

Admission $2.00 – We accept Calgary Dollars

TomatoesCome together with prairie gardeners and seed savers to buy, sell, or trade seeds and gardening know-how. This family event will have displays by local seed savers, prairie seed companies, native plant collectors, conservation groups, community gardeners, organic growers; as well as, a seed exchange table, refreshments, presenters, entertainment, and a kids corner. Come get open-pollinated seeds and talk with local farmers and gardeners. Set yourself up for a terrific gardening season!
   
Let’s keep the skill of growing from seed to seed alive in Calgary. As large commercial seed companies consolidate and only offer more hybrids and patented varieties, we increasingly lose the regionally adapted collections that have developed for our unique prairie climate. Help maintain this irreplaceable genetic diversity by growing non-hybridized, open-pollinated varieties. Discover the superior taste of heirloom varieties of vegetables. Learn to save seeds and share them with your neighbour. As you grow them season after season they will adapt and grow that much healthier!
   
If you don’t do it, who will?
   
Check out http://www.uofc-garden.ca for more deets or contact Lindsay at 244-9606 for more info.
   
This event is hosted by the U of C Campus Community Garden and Calgary Dollars.

My Name TagFor those of you who don’t know I’m a dumpster diving geek. This means that I jump into dumpsters near grocery stores or other shops and search for things to eat or use. I tend to get a lot of questions about why I do this and the purpose behind it when I talk to people about the issues. I figured since a recent article that came out in Calgary’s Avenue Magazine about Dumpstering Diving featuring me I would include the article and also provide further information. I would encourage you to read the article and provide comments if you want.

Food Quality / Other Issues

One of the biggest questions and concerns that I get is that the food quality that I am recovering is quite bad and could potentially cause me harm or that there are other issues associated with these practices. I’ve tried to break down the common questions that I get from people to answer all the questions (and would encourage more from people).

  • Isn’t the food completely gross and sketchy (read: super gross and moldy) Nope. Seriously. Take a look at that picture below and the quality of that food that we recovered. Did you know that stores will throw out veggies because they don’t look like you expect them to look? Yep veggie discrimination. It kinda make sense though cause we live in a demand created culture and thus we expect high quality food.
  • What do you do with the food after you recover it? I take it home and eat it. Well that’s not entirely true. Some of the things I donate to Food Not Bombs and most things I take home, clean with bio-degradable soap, dry, and eat later. Pre-packaged things just get checked (bad parts removed) and then stored for later consumption.
  • Aren’t you taking food away from homeless people? I think this is a fair question really and I’ve had a few people ask me about this. The question I like to rebutle is the following – “Why would a homeless person deserve or want to eat food out of a dumpster? Why wouldn’t they want to head to a shelter and get some fresh warm cooked food there?” I think it’s an assumption that the food is there and that somehow I’m stealing it from someone else that needs it. But you have to realize that everyone sees this food as waste and not as food. Also, there is so much of it that I end up not taking all of it home with me anyway.

Umm what have you found

This question I get a lot and most people figure that the things that I found are far and few between. I can guarantee that most times if I head out on a dumpstering mission I’ll find a load of food whether it be a bunch of bread, fruit/veggies, or things I can use. It is a bit of a hit and miss mission because sometimes you’ll find nothing like any expedition.

  • Last nights score – Last night we hit up this fruit and vegetable shop in Newtown. They had an entire bin filled with tomatoes, avocados (still ripe), peppers, carrots, mangos (huge HUGE mangos), and plenty more. All of this goodness went into a stew to be used on cereal for many mornings to come.
  • Skates/Rollerblades/Helmets – One night I was in a dumpster near my parents place and came across a bin filled with old skates, rollerblades, and other things being thrown out. Don’t ask me why the shop nearby threw that out but I was pretty appalled. I mean we live in a society where some people don’t even have access to these things and we are throwing it out. Not to mention the resources needed to make all of this stuff. I packed all the gear up in a hockey bag (how convenient it was also in the dumpster) and carted it down to a local school in the inner city the next day. Perhaps I’m bragging perhaps not. The women working there told me that some of the parents and students had never skated on ice cause they don’t have money to buy skates. So now they had skates to wear, helmets, and all the other gear! YESS!
  • Box of Vegan Sausages (Organic) – There was like 20 packages (each worth $5 – $6) inside the box and were going to expire within the next day. We split them up and used them at a local Iron Chef put on by Food Not Bombs.
  • Unused Sleeping Bag – While in a outdoor store I scored a sweet light weight sleeping bag (unsuitable for Canada weather but perfect for OZ) that was thrown out. I also managed to snag some inflatable mattresses they had cut (to make them not self inflate) that I gave to some homeless guys sleeping on the ground that night.
  • And more …

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No WAR!

I have talked with each one of you off and on about war, and I think all of you agreed that it’s not the way to move our society along. That people are dying for no reason. And that we don’t agree with Canada’s participation in this American war.

Well…if you want to make a peaceful statement here’s how.

BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW! Demonstration
Pan-Canadian Day of Action!
Where: Saturday October 28, 2006
When: Rally at 12 noon, Harry Hays Federal building (220 4 ave SE)
Who:
Everyone Welcome! Bring Signs and Banners

Followed by:
Afghanistan: 5 Years On
Panel on Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan, from 1-:30 at Parkdale United Church (2919 8th Ave NW)

Last thought. You might think that this is ineffective and that you can’t make change this way. But really don’t you think that Harper will listen when people are getting together all around the country (which is what is planned) to rally against war on this day. To many soldiers are dying tragically, people in countries “accidently being killed”, and to not enough real progress is happening in the countries being attacked. End the occupation. I for one want to show my support against what I don’t believe in.

Hugs, love, and patience,

Shane

PS – Pass this around so we can make waves [even if you can’t go :)]

[This is an original letter I sent to The Whiskey — today, and will keep it updated with their response. I want people to know what happened there so they know what happens there and make their own decisions as to whether to go or not.]

Dear Toby Bird, Management at The Whiskey Nightclub,

On Friday, October 13, 2006 a situation happened at your bar that raises my question about the way that patrons at your bar are being treated on a regular basis. I arrived around 10:30 PM with three of my close friends from work (all women — useful for later). We spent the night dancing and hanging around together, and generally having a great time. At one point he had lost one of our friends so two of my friends left me at the bottom of a flight of stairs to go find their friend. During this time I was leaning against a wall waiting for them to reappear. After 3 minutes I gave up (I checked my watch) and headed up the stairs to find them at the top. We exchanged hugs and upon me stepping back after the hug I was grabbed. My arm was placed behind my back and another arm was placed on my shoulder. I turned slightly and was told by the bouncer in question that I was getting kicked out of the bar. He started to lead me down the stairs towards the back door. I never resisted his movements and along with myself my friends (two girls) were also lead out the back door. At the back door we were told by bouncer that he had reports that I had groped 4 women and he had been looking for me for the last 15 minutes. My friend Erin then asked how he could prove that in-fact I was the individual they were looking for and his response was, “The individual reported was wearing the same shirt, same hairstyle, and …… the same ring (as he pointed at my lip ring).”

I then indicated to the bouncer that we required our jackets to which he agreed to meet us at the other side of the building. After walking around the building we each gave him our tickets and I asked him for his name. Upon hearing me question the security another officer manning the front mumbled something to his friend. I asked him what he said to his friend and he told me that “he should just not bother with our jackets and send us on our ways.” Upon the return of our jackets and getting ready to go the security spoke with the police officers that were waiting nearby. As I was leaving they approached me and asked for my information. Now I was being questioned by them and my information was being taken in case one of the women in question wanted to file a complaint later. I was totally embarrassed and surprised with this method of procedure given it was completely hearsay.

Frankly, now I’m left with wondering as to whether I possibly gave someone a look that made them feel uncomfortable. I’m not the type of guy to go around groping women as I have a lot more respect for them than that. It also makes me wonder if I was being targeted because I don’t fit your “typical” clientele. Regardless I have a few questions and pieces of feedback that I would appreciate your comments on. I think the important part here is that I’m not trying to prove my innocence, because it’s my word against yours but I am questioning the procedures that took place that night.

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