friends, gymnastics, travel

Runnin’ Back to Saskatoon 

I lived in the ‘toon for 10 years. After pandemic delays, I finally got back to visit my longtime friends there.

The big skies at dawn and dusk have a unique prairie beauty.

I been hangin’ around grain elevators
I been learnin’ ’bout food
I been talkin’ to soil farmers
I been workin’ on land

Warren took me disc golfing. NOW I’m planning to buy some discs of my own.

friends, gymnastics

Jeff Thomson – Gymnastics Canada Chair

(*Denotes newly elected)

  • *Jeff Thomson (Chair) – North Vancouver, BC (Term ends 2024)
  • Barb Bergeron (Vice-Chair) – Kanata, ON (Term ends 2022)
  • *Bonnie DeGroot (Secretary) – Calgary, AB (Term ends 2024)
  • Rosie MacLennan (Athlete Rep) – Toronto, ON (Term ends 2020)
  • Nathalie Bastien (Director) – Montreal, QC (Term ends 2022)
  • Nick Lenehan (Director) – Halifax, NS (Term ends 2022)
  • *Bernard Petiot (Director) – Montreal, QC (Term ends 2024)
  • Kim Shore (Director) – Calgary, AB (Term ends 2022)

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Gymnastics Canada membership, and the GymCan Board, for the honour of being elected and then selected as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors,” said Thomson who has 40 years of experience in the sport of gymnastics and is currently a member of the FIG Technical Committee for Men’s Artistic Gymnastics. …

GymCan.org

Jeff Thomson

books, ethics, gymnastics, human rights

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling is a treat. 

A young adult novel, it’s ideal for younger kids too.

I grew up with Carol Johnston, the gymnast who was featured in the Disney  TV movie Lefty (1980)

Nobody called Carol “Lefty” back at Altadore.  We called her Carol, one of the best gymnasts in the club.

It was difficult for any other gymnast to complain about anything as Carol worked even harder — and never complained.

Carol passed away on May 11, 2019 due to complications from Early On-set Alzheimers, by the way.  Sad.  But her legend lives on.

She’s still a role model for gymnasts with physical challenges.

Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them.

And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she’ll have to answer the question over and over again.

Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined.

There are sequels.

Click PLAY or watch the author on YouTube.

 

gymnastics, health & fitness, travel

Farewell Bermuda

I’m now back in Canada.

Same day Trudeau announced Canada is shutting the border to non-Canadian citizens, with limited exceptions, to limit the spread of COVID-19.

My flight Bermuda to Toronto was quite normal. I was asked to self-quarantine for 14 days when I get to my final destination. Just in case. No testing on arrival.

 Air Canada postponed my ongoing flights by a day claiming Government travel advisory. No compensation.

Sounds bogus to me.

But by luck we managed to complete the annual Bermuda Gymnastics competition on Sunday — before schools closed Tuesday.

Level 7 – 10 Bermuda Gymnastics Association gymnasts

The Gymnastics Club has now shut down, as well, for 2 weeks out of an abundance of caution.

There are still no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Bermuda.

 

 

economics, gymnastics

Canada is the best nation in the world

People are sick of me blaming Trump for everything that’s wrong in the USA.

If he was gone tomorrow, most of the stupid policies of the GOP would survive. That nation is run by rich people, for rich people. Trump has been a very effective (very dumb) puppet for them.

By comparison, I’d say Canada is the best nation in the world. 

Just a few weeks ago, the US News & World report named Canada as the second best country in the world. The annual survey tabulated a variety of factors, including overall quality of life—where Canada was ranked first.

Switzerland is #1 in that survey. I’d rather live in Canada. 

“Yeah, but…” I hear you stutter. “Come to Alberta and argue that!” you say. Alberta? The province that continues to enjoy the highest GDP per capita in the country? In a country that enjoys one of the highest GDP per capita rankings in the world?

“Our health care system is broken!” you shout. Sure. Which is why our life expectancy is one of the highest in the world, better than the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Ireland.

“But the Liberals are terrible!” You have a point. And, because this is one of the healthiest  democracies in the world, soon there will be a free and fair election and you can toss them out so they can be replaced by the Conservatives who will then be terrible in an entirely different way.

Canada is not broken

Personally I’m sick of people blaming Trudeau for everything. If he was gone tomorrow, the Teck oil sands project would NOT be coming back.

The pipeline would NOT be suddenly completed.

We should be putting together a timeline on progressively phasing out the Alberta Oil Sands developments.

I’m certainly prepared to vote against the Trudeau Liberals in the next election, IF the opposition puts together a better candidate. A better platform.

 

gymnastics, travel

farewell Bermuda, hello Great White North

I was back in Bermuda the past few weeks helping out the new Head Coach Brian LeRoux and staff.

I always enjoy Bermuda. Especially the weather.

One real problem, however, are road accidents. In one day both my buses were stopped due to accidents.

One of the teenage gymnasts had a terrible crash on his vespa a few weeks ago. He’s having multiple surgeries in a Boston hospital.

It’s dangerous to walk or cycle in Bermuda. The roadways are simply too narrow. There are many blind spots.

gymnastics, travel

tenting World Gymnastics Championships

Worlds in Stuttgart was problematic as it coincided with a beer festival with 4 million attendees!

Not being able to get ANY accommodation at any reasonable price anywhere near the venue, I decided to tent.

I stayed at Campingground “Cannstatter Wasen” about 17 minutes walk from the competition.

As campgrounds go, it was lousy. But at 17 Euro / night, a bargain.

I tucked my Hubba under a concrete lip to keep the rain off.

Security was good. Showers hot. Laundry good.

I kept my worldly goods locked up at the competition media venue.

Happily the campground only got busy with drunken beer louts on weekends.

All in all, a good decision. I’ll tent again in future if accommodation is troublesome.

LAST NIGHT of the beer festival.

best bike rides, cycling, food, friends, gymnastics

cycling out of Seattle

July 8-9, 2019 – days 6-7.

Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4-5 | 6-7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12-13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24info | video

I enjoyed a day off the trail visiting friends in Port Townsend.

We had a breakfast meet-up. Then continued the reunion with Chris & Carrie hosting dinner on the deck of their new house. Teriyaki Tuna. Grilled pineapple. And much more.

On the morning of the 9th Diana and I went over to Fort Worden for coffee. Deer and bunnies graze everywhere in PT. 

NEW down by the harbour is a totem.

Doug’s retirement hobby / job is developing fitness monitoring apps. He’s much into solar energy, as well. 

His latest electric bike is the Elf 2fr.  It’s a superb product. 

Doug and Diane drove me to the Bainbridge ferry where they were picking up a friend arriving from SeaTac.

That ferry delivered me and my bike to downtown Seattle where Tam met me at Ivar’s.

Ivar’s is a Washington State institution.

In fact this was already my 3rd Ivar’s meal in Washington State. Love the place!

I’d come to Seattle in order to cycle the Burke-Gilman Trail, a 27-mile rail to trail.

University of Washington

It connects with a others including the Sammamish River Trail 10.9-mile.

About 8pm I wildcamped. Hoping it wasn’t going to rain too hard during the night. 

Watch today’s cycling route.

Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4-5 | 6-7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12-13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24info | video