Month: July 2014

Plastic Horses, Wet Dreams and Broken Spokes

Hello folks I hope this weeks post finds you well. So I voyaged from Thunder Bay around Lake Superior to Sault Ste Marie since my last post.

Thunder Bay was a great time, I managed to do one open mic at a cafe that was held outdoors and it went really well. There were 2 other open mics the same night and so I attempted to do 3 in one night. However when I arrived at the second open mic it was a long bar with most of the audience already pretty hammered and 50% of them facing away from the stage. My gut told me to brave this one out, other venues similar to this had gone terrible but part of me was like “this one will be good if you are on”. I however decided to opt out and headed to the 3rd open mic that was stand up comedy specific. However it was unfortunately swapped to kareokee so I didn’t get to do either :/ I have to learn to trust my gut.

Thus I left TB and peddled towards Swartz Bay which was 120kms north. Enroute I found what I thought was this super cool abandoned hotel. Which had a plastic horse on the balcony and I couldn’t help but set up a selfie. I also had to use the facilities and prior to this bike trip I would have waited for one of these,

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However these days when I got to go, I find a spot and go and so I found a spot behind the “abandoned” hotel to do my business. I went back to the front deck to snoop and continue contemplating if I should try to investigate inside (not going to lie I have never wanted to break into a place more in my life). The curiosity was overwhelming. However as I just finished my plastic horse selfie a car drove up, with a dude who had keys and entered the hotel. He informed me it was behind on re opening for the season but would be open in a week. So I headed off knowing some poor grounds keeper was going to find an unpleasant surprise in the back yard :/

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(On the plastic horse outside of the recently “fertilized” abandoned hotel.)

In Swartz Bay camping again was like 30$. So I found a secluded spot out of the way and set up camp. Unfortunately it rained and I was in a dewy meadow so I woke up with most of my clothes and gear moist from the combinations of my own breathing and water seeping into the edges of the tent. I managed to get brunch at an awesome local family run restaurant that reminded me of our friends pasta restaurant in Williams Lake called Trattorias.

I pressed on the next day and I arrived in a place called Shreiber that had a cool little restaurant called the Hungry Moose. I snagged some food and a local fellow showed me a good spot just down the road to camp. It rained throughout the night but I managed to stay dry, however traffic was quite loud and I was abruptly woken up at about 2 am to the sound of my rear tire spontaneously blowing up, I let out a heavy “sigh” and tried to go back to sleep. In the morning as I was half packed up a torrential downpour kicked in and myself and all my gear got soaked. I quickly tossed on what I thought was a sweet $10 water proof jacket I picked up, turns out it wasn’t water proof… So I packed all my soaking things up, grabbed my bike with the flat tire and like a wet rat headed towards the Hungry Moose. Fortunately the downpour only lasted an hour or so and then the sun came out. I spent the next few hours drying my clothes and tent out. I even had to put my laptop and camera on top of the Hungry Moose’s pizza oven to dry out and hopefully work again. Which they did!

Scored a new rain coat that had never been used before and it looks just like this.

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(Garbage bags are surprisingly excellent rain coats, I strongly suggest them in a pinch, mine saved me over last few days.)

So after drying out I pressed onto Marathon where I arrived at 9 pm everything was closed other than a small hotel restaurant which did have amazing nachos. I snagged a random secluded tall grass meadow to camp in before it got dark. Unfortunately it was directly beside the train tracks which kept me awake and again all night it rained. Thus I had 3 straight days of “wet dreams” in Northern Ontario. They were unfortunately not of the teenage variety but of the literal being cold and wet.

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(Puddles in your tent are never good.)

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(Super grumpy, wet sleepy selfie.)

So I grumpily packed up my stuff with a 3rd day of minimal sleep. In addition to being grumpy my muscles ached because during deep sleep and R.E.M. is when your muscles tend to regenerate, something I had very little of over the last few days.

I found a really nice local coffee shop named Rumor’s and the sun again came out so I could dry all my stuff. Again the electronics were wet and needed to be dried out but were rescued once more.

Whenever I spend time in coffee shops I am always like “screw biking I should just live here, they have coffee, food and random pretty girls I can flirt with”.

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(“Why bike in the rain to potentially sleep in some shitty camping spot, when you could hang out and drink coffee with us!?”)

It was around 2 o’clock and I knew I should be pushing on. I really needed a safe heaven soon so when two pretty girls in dresses came in and I striked up a conversation and asked if they knew anyone in Wawa. One girl tentatively said “yes” and when I explained my situation, she then happily connected me with a cousin of hers in Wawa which was 180kms away.

My legs were pretty drained so I let myself away with my lowest km day thus far at 60. While riding I realized I hadn’t eaten any fish or had vitamin b12 in awhile and was like “damn I could use some”. After I hit my 60km goal I passed 2 camping spots that like Goldie Locks and the 3 bears, were ok but not quite right. But the 3rd spot was a dynamite boat launch/camp spot where a lady Janelle had already set up. There was a couple on the lake that were courteous enough to give us 4 fish when they docked up. Patty and Barney even donated me a good chunk of food including two delicious peanut butter and raw honey sandwiches. So Janelle and I made some fish stew and I slept like a baby.

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(Gutting Diner)

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(Patty and Barney suppliers of food!)

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(Food)

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(Lovely rested sunny morning)

The next day I grabbed breakfast at a restaurant right beside where I camped and peddled on. A few kms down the road I realized there was a bit of a wobble in my rear wheel. Unfortunately I had a broken spoke. I was able to tweak it to smooth it out but the nearest bike shop was still 400 kms away in Sault St Marie, the problem would only get worse. I pressed onto Wawa where another spoke broke on me but I managed to make it to my host Cassandra’s home where she let me camp on her covered deck, use the shower and the cooking facilities. I did laugh a little as there was floor space and an open couch available but the arrangement was I would camp on her deck so that’s what I did. (Both the dog and the cat got to sleep inside hahahaha!).

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(“That stupid human that looks homeless must stay outside, master suspects he is not house broken yet.”)

I thanked Cassandra for her hospitality and headed on my way. I was 225 kms away for S.S.M., the next bike shop and my wheel was only getting worse. There are few sounds worse to a bikers ear then the “ping” of another spoke breaking. I did manage to find an amazing camp spot 110 kms outside of my destination, however 6 spokes had broken.

But after a solid nights rest I got on the bike and hoped for the best. Unfortunately after 55kms and 12 broken spokes the bike was no longer ridable. So I snagged a lift and The Enterprise was towed 60kms to the bike shop. I walked the bike 10kms on “impulse power” and for any trekkies you’ll get the reference and we all know it takes awhile to get anywhere under impulse power.

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(Another battle damaged Enterprise.)

I arrived in Sault Ste Marie at the amazing bike shop/camp ground Velorution. Bike tourers camp for free and get access to a shower. I spent 20$ on the gear I needed for my wheel and The Enterprise is up and running but still needs a few hours of cleaning and tuning because I still have 4000kms to go.

I am off to visit Andre the mastermind and owner behind Velorution whom is going to connect me with his friend Donna who might be able to hook me up with some stage time here in S.S.M., fingers crossed!

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed.

Qapla

Dion

Warp Whistling out of Winnipeg

 

Hello everyone I hope this weeks blog post finds you well. So after 10 days in Winnipeg I finally moved on. Unfortunately because I keep connecting with so many great people in the array of amazing cities and towns of Canada I am running a little behind schedule and “winter is coming”. The next leg of the trip between Winnipeg and Thunder Bay is renownly hot, muggy and other than a few serene lakes, not much for scenery, oh what is a boy to do? Why not “warp whistle” past it?

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(This may be so, but new episodes of Game of Thrones are almost a year away 😦 )

And so I bypassed a 700km chunk of Canada for the small fee of 50$ (less than the cost of the 5-6 days of food I would have needed!) It was a last minute ride share I snagged Monday night and so the following Tuesday morning I crammed into a Volvo station wagon for 7 hours, that was holding 3 people, all their luggage and some asshole’s bike!

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(A picture of said asshole looking like a zombie.)

For those who loved Mario World 3 I will admit I used whistles in that game to, so I had very little trepidation to do so in “real life”. Some people think this is in bad taste (Bryan!), but why suffer through water world when there are so many awesome other places? And so this is what it would look like if my bike trip was like Mario 3.

Whistle

 

warping

 

(For the Mario enthusiasts open this link in a new tab https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOg0GZZuCak and then click on the above picture.)

My time in Winnipeg was really rewarding I managed to catch 3 Fringe shows all of which were entertaining. I strongly advise trying to be in Winnipeg for it’s fringe festival it’s a cornucopia of arts and entertainment. Other highlights were volunteering at 3 different bike co-ops.

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(Helping Angela fix her BMX at The Wrench)

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(Finishing my Magic Card buddy Matt’s cool Spanish road bike I found on Kijiji for him. The bike is aptly called The Matador)

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(The Bike Cage crew)

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(Two volunteers of The Bike Dump, Winnipeg’s first bike co-op)

I was really happy I was able to volunteer at the co-ops in Winnipeg as many of the volunteers are a little overwhelmed and in turn a bit jaded from how many people need help and access to bikes. Its a big challenge as the goal of co-ops aren’t to simply fix and donate bikes, it’s to empower people to be able to do it themselves and in turn share those skills with their community, though I personally am happy to fix and donate bikes, many co-op mechanics are not.

However the large populations of street people whom have been marginalized and neglected can often be a challenge to work with as they have a wealth of frustrations and baggage that come with their life. For instance I worked with a very nice First Nations fellow named Fred. He wanted to be able to help me with his bike but because someone assaulted his hands with a hammer! He had severe arthritis and couldn’t. Also Fred had just recently been release from jail as he was finally acquitted of a murder that he did not commit after serving a number of years in jail for a crime he DIDN’T COMMIT!

He confessed to me that he just really liked to ride his bike beside the river, it brought him a lot of relief… Fred story was a bit heavy for me because as I am a very fortunate middle class white kid whose biggest emotional turmoils are “bad” breakups I had trouble relating. And I felt any of my woes were completely insignificant in contrast.

But back to more positive stuff! I spent almost every night getting 2 $1.50 vegetarian samosas and dancing at the free stage, in the Exchange district of Winnipeg.

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(the stage and dance floor)

 

While in Winnipeg I even got a surprise visit from my cool BC friends John, Jodie and Will. John and Jodie are expecting a little gaffer and I quickly was like “have you heard of Bowser, great place to raise a family!”. My recruiting of young folks never stops.

The other fellow Will is one of those people who you quickly realize is as easy to hang out with, as it is to eat delicious room temperature pizza. He was even so kind he hooked me up with some excellent donations to Dion’s cross country bike trip and connected me to an amazing vegan burger restaurant called Boon Burger. (Eat here if you are ever in Winnipeg).

pizza

(“Hey everybody doesn’t this feel just like hanging out with Will?!”)

It was so good I took a girl I met at the free stage named Heather to join me for a burger and a show. Our Boon Burger was delicious and we caught a great one women show called Pride and Promiscuity, and even was donated a free ticket as it was otherwise going to go to waste. My adventures with Heather would cap off my my last evening in Winnipeg as the next morning at 8:30 I took a ride share to Thunder Bay.

When I arrived in Thunder Bay several warm showers hosts volunteered to take me in but one in particular Megan, had an offer I couldn’t pass up. Here was her text “I’m heading to Kanga’s sauna tonight with some friends. You’re welcome to join. It holds 20 people and involves a shower room and a hot tub and alcoholic beverages.” How could I pass this up!?

So I respectfully informed Dan and Frank I had another host and went off adventuring. And to my delight it was as advertised. A super cool spa where I got to hang with her friend group and like an idiot I didn’t bring my camera. But look a stock photo with an appropriately funny caption.

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(“Ummm who the fuck invited the really hairy guy, who won’t stop making mediocre jokes and talking about bikes!? Did he just take a picture of us!??”

But I  and had a great time in this relaxing and fun environment. And “old Dion” was a great hit with the locals whom were happy to hear about my adventures and laughed at many of my jokes, I received a number of accolades that are always flattering to hear. But I try to “not let success go to my head, nor failure go to my heart” so despite the wealth of positivity I always remind myself that I am am still a Neanderthal in clothing.

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(I mean look at me, I literally look like I am right out of the Palaeolithic!)

Anyway that sums up where I am at. Thanks so much for reading. Have a great week.

Qapla,

Dion

 

There’s no Place Like Feeling at Home

Hello everyone I hope this weeks post finds you well. I am still in Winnipeg and conveniently the Fringe festival is on. And thus again I am extending my visit in another spectacular spot of Canada.

 

When last I wrote I had just swallowed my pride and taken a lift into Winnipeg in order to give myself time with my cousin Dave and his family. And let me tell you it was incredibly worth it.

 

I often find it draining to see the wealth of children out there who are often being raised by parents whom honestly I do not think are ready to be raising kids. Though this comes across overly judgemental if you take a tour of your local Wal Mart I think you may agree. Society seems to be ripe with physically and mentally unhealthy people who are in turn rearing physically and mentally unhealthy children. There are few things I find more unnerving than seeing an overweight toddler being pushed around in a stroller, while in a zombie like trance, as they stare blankly at the screen of their parents hand held devices. I am a little terrified to meet this entity in 10 years, how does this situation make you feel?

Really-Obese-Kid-In-Stroller infant_ipad

(I am not in favour of bureaucracy, but I find it comical that the state requires you to have a fishing licence but is like “shit produce as many humans as you want!”)

 

Anyway my cousin Dave’s children were the polar opposite. Vibrant, healthy inquisitive kids who were an endless supply of entertainment and challenges. They use technology and are just as hooked as the rest of us but not to a destructive degree.

 

I really enjoy kids and currently don’t have any in my life. (Torrey make some nephews and nieces!). So when I got to spend an afternoon with his son Even and getting to be “uncle Dion” was such a delight. The two of us worked on his bike as he eagerly watched and learned how to tune it, then we rode around for 4 hours of fun and were treated to lunch variously through my mom 4000 kms away. (Thanks mom!)

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(Evan and I’s biking/gangster selfie.)

The 7 of us (uncle Dick, aunt Peggy, Dave, Sereta, Isha, Even and I) ate diner together each night sharing laughs, bad puns and just a very genuine feeling of family. I was sad to see them leave but very grateful to get the few days with them.

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My moms side of the family is huge I have some 35 cousins a number of whom I’ve never met. Uncle Dick and aunt Peggy have done such an amazing job raising their 5 kids and I hope to be able to touch base with each of them on the trip. Their efforts and love resonate in their grand kids whom I cannot express what absolute gems they are.

 

The other experience that has been pretty surreal is how welcoming Dick and Peggy have been. They both remind me of my mother and father and have treated more like a son than a guest, this has been such a beautiful feeling of being home even though it’s thousands of kilometres away.

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(“There’s no place like home…” unless of course you’re fortunate enough to have relatives that are awesome!”)

With their kids being so great and their kids children being so spectacular, it would only make sense that their friends would follow suit. And sure enough we went for diner at family friend Gord’s home and this evening was another highlight. Food was great and the quality of conversation was through the roof. The evening was highlighted by these two immensely entertaining, intelligent and attractive sisters Maria and Laura, who shared a very cool word game with the diner party that was so fun, we had 7 adults behaving like kindergarteners because we were so excited.

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(“Nooooo it’s my turn to pick a word!”)

The two of them have such a cool sibling dynamic that I would really like to meet and hang out with the rest of their family, it would probably be a wreaking ball of fun and music.

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(Yay for contemporary references that add nothing to the blog, other than having a picture of a word I used!)

On another note if you folks weren’t aware I am a pretty big geek. I have been playing Magic the Gathering for 15 years and was able to play in two tournaments here in Winnipeg. Both of which I won (smug emotion smug).

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(“My people, my kingdom…”)

 

I also connected with a fellow Matt whom I played in the finals of one tournament with. We immediately got along well. Matt is working on his masters and his partner Jen is in medical school. I again tried to recruit them to Bowser. I was able to track Matt down a cool Spanish road bike for 80$ that needs a little TLC but should be running in tip top shape after we work on it at a bike co-op tomorrow afternoon.

 

Well that about surmises my week. I hope you enjoyed the read, on a final note, though the aim of my blog was as a pseudo journal for myself and as a way for those interested to follow along on my journey. Part of me, like any human yearns to share this experience known as life. And according to my WordPress stats my readership has peaked and is slowly on the decline. I try not to put too much stock into it but it can be tough.

 

So I ask you the reader, what can I do while writing the blog to keep it interesting and keep people following and ideally passing the blog off to others to read? Any ideas or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Qapla,

 

Dion

Manitoba’s Sinking Man and I Don’t Wanna Swim

Hello everyone, this blog post is a day late! But because of this I can now post anywhere from Tuesday – Thursday mwhahahahah!

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(This is what the prairies look like right now!)
Well I finally left Saskatoon but I also left a piece of my heart there. It is an awesome city and any energies I shared while there I felt were well received and made a huge difference.

Networking with the bike co-op was awesome and allowed me to donate a super sexy pink Bianchi to a very cool cat named Adam. I also got to make 5 kids their very first bikes! My last day working at the bike shop I got to work closely with the lovely and talented Megan, whom is into alternative education. And whenever I meet healthy young people I always try and get them to move to Bowser.

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(Isaih helping me switch his peddles)

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(Getting to give away a super cool BMX with pink rims!)

My final evening in Saskatoon was a deusey. Rebecca the very talented girl who introduced me to Nicole was kind enough to give me a Thai Yoga massage that was out of this aether! Rebecca learned the technique the absolute best way possible, while in Thailand she met a monk who needed someone to practice on to perfect his craft. So he would massage her 3 hours a day and in turn she learned the techniques vicariously through the experience. And boy did she learn, I do Yoga on and off so it was neat to experience I would describe it like, assisted Yoga with precise pressure points to release tension. I felt so relax and limber that I managed to bike 600kms over the following 3 days. Thanks again Rebecca!

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(This may not look relaxing but it’s unreal!)

After my massage I was disorientedly relaxed and was lying on the couch. When another lovely roomate Camille came in wearing cut offs that’s pockets were longer than the shorts. Girls btw if your pockets stick out longer than the denim of your shorts, these are no longer shorts, they are pretty much underwear or a bathing suit bottom, either way we appreciate what you are doing :).

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(See the difference?)

Anywho seeing this my male brain was like, “you should go out and mingle on the town, it’s your last night here”. But I was also feeling pretty “meh” so I lied back down. Then Alyssa the other roomate came in, stocked full of energy and “raging” as she described it. She invited me out to a cd release dance party, I knew this was no time to be lying down, so I jumped at the opportunity.

 

Alyssa planned to negate cover by walking in confidently and saying “I’m on this list”. So following her lead I tried to walk sexy and confidently like her “boy toy +1”. And the ruse worked, we were in! So I got more live music, dancing and was able to visit a number of people I met earlier in the week, all for free!

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(“That guy does have a confident, sexy swagger… he must be on the list!”)

Alyssa and I had a great time and she even treated me to the best breakfast I have had thus far, at the restaurant she works at. I can’t emphasize how awesome the folks living in this house are. Alyssa was kind enough to share some of her music with me, she has one of the sultriest voices I have ever heard, I again tried to recruit another young person to come live in Bowser!

 

But the next day I was off. I biked till my legs were soar and then camped beside some cows, who when I awoke were incredibly confused and aggressively mooed at me as I did my morning routine.

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(“MOOOOooooooo GTFO MOOOOOOOO!!!!!”)

On Monday I biked into Yorkton where I had found a host named Ed who put me up at his girl friends house. The two of them were very pleasant and helped me do shopping in the morning and saw me off down highway 16. I had solid tail wind and made great kms that day. However I literally camped in a mosquito infested bog directly between the highway and the rail road tracks. I got woken up by trucks and trains. I was also was cold and wet in the middle of the night. Then in the morning the sun quickly overheated my tent. My morning ritual was not the usual pleasant breakfast and stretch, instead I was swarmed by mosquitoes as I packed up my tent and fled with my bike sludging through the muck.

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(“Why the fuck did I camp here, what was I thinking!”)

Day 4 was the most disheartening riding thus far. I battled headwinds, lack of sleep and some severe muscle stiffness, I had hope to make Winnipeg in 4 days but this wouldn’t be the case. Usually in the prairies I can average 25kms an hour. And In 3 days I had managed 600kms, but it took me 3 hours do to 40kms so I pulled over for a rest.

There were severe head winds and my cousin Dave and his family are only in Winnipeg till Saturday. Then they move back to India. I haven’t seen Dave in nearly 20 years but I have been super excited to visit him and meet his family, so I swallowed my pride and took a ride from a lovely lady Cathy for the last 200kms to Winnipeg. And conveniently arrived with enough time to visit Dave and his family and it’s also Folk Fest in Winnipeg right now 😀

I have been bad with photos, since loosing my “unpaid manager” Tobias whom had an excellent camera and was damn good with it. So I do not have photos of any of the cool people I spent the last week with :(. From now on I will be the “take too many photos guy”. I did snag these cool photos though.

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(Highway 16 was washed out and I was the only vehicle to get through.)

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(There was a water vortex that looked like someone pulled the plug from a drain)

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(Worf at Manitoba border)

 

I have safely arrive in Winnipeg and will be here for about a week.

 

Well I know my previous posts have been a little long and have often been filled with heavy philosophical shit, so I figured I would balance it with this nice straight forward one.

 

Thanks for reading hope you enjoyed,

 

Qapla,

 

Dion

Dion’s Guide to Not Know Anything

Hello everyone I hope this weeks blog post finds you well. Today’s article is well surmised by the title. I personally often tout “The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing” (Socrates) and I try to live my life as though I have no facts only concepts that make more sense than other less substantiated ones.

However, in my trip I keep experiencing odd occurrences, strange serendipities and choreographed coincidences that make me think maybe I do know something!

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(Maybe it isn’t all pointless…)

I would like to preface this post by encouraging you to utilize a Carl Sagian like healthy scepticism. I would also like to briefly discuss my “stained glass paradox” and admit that we as a species tend to look for patterns and/or meaning. This trait has spurred us forward in terms of our understanding of the world but often causes us to see patterns that might not be there.

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(Sorry stock Asian guy don’t let you own fear of mortality get the best of your intellect. I aptly refer to death as “the dreamless sleep” poetic but grim!)

Dion’s “stained glass paradox”. Say one morning you were thinking about how cool stained glass is and then, during the rest of your day, everywhere you look, there is stained glass windows. You may conclude that potentially your very thinking about stained glass created the pattern of your recent interaction with it.

However, it is also possible that the stained glass had always been there and that your brain just glossed over the data, but because of your recent focus on it, your brain identified it rather than glossing over it. To my understanding we only process a small fragment of the absurd amount of information our senses intake. The brain cannot process it all. So, it fills in the gaps with what it expects should be there, based on previous patterns and experiences. The paradox for me is I believe that it is both and neither, like the double slit experiment.

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(“Not this shit again and in cartoon form…”)

I can best surmise this in a personal experience that happened to me a few years ago. At the time I would always walk around a mall to get to a bar my friend worked at. One day someone began to lead me towards the middle of the mall rather than walking around it. He informed me that there was a nice alley that cut directly through the mall and went straight to the bar.

I informed him that this was entirely not the case and would be happy to prove him wrong. And thus we walked. As we approached I could clearly see that there was a wall where his “supposed” alley was. And it as not until I was 20 feet away from the wall that all of a sudden a large gap appeared. I realized my brain was so determined there was a wall, that it created one. The wall literally disappeared and “poof” there was the alley (like mashing space bar in Wolfenstein and finding a secret room). It was a very cool and humbling experience that changed my perception greatly.

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(“I am going to space bar all the walls, also a lot of the readers are older relative who won’t get this reference”)

Since we have now clarified that I am fallible and apparently should get my eye sight checked, I would now like to delve into the “coding of reality”. Something I don’t feel truly capable of addressing and thus I will supplement this article with a number of videos. Let’s start with the work of James Gates.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zDz5BrngxQ

(short version)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6w0K5FIgsU

(long one for the real keener’s!)

 

Follow that up with another grey matter tickler.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjsgoXvnStY

 

Wheeoouufff… now that you made it through that stuff that might have rocked your brain meat, onto my own weird experiences.

The first experience happened to me 2 years ago and I call it my “matrix moment”. I had a partners whose mother I always wanted to meet but she was never comfortable introducing the two of us. Me and this lovely lady parted ways and she married a friend of mine. They are both nice people and I wish them well but this situation caused a bit of a rift.

Anywho I was in the lower mainland and was taking the sky train out to Surrey to meet my good friend Jason. I was running a little early and decided to go into Metro town. Metro town is not a place I usually frequent so this was an odd occurrence in itself. While I was fumbling through a mall information stand this girl with a thick Eastern European accent asked me “is there something you are looking for”. It seemed like a normal enough question but caught me off guard. I immediately felt “a disturbance in the force”.

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(“I sense a great disturbance in the force”. What you are sensing there Obi Wan is George Lucas creating Jar Jar Binks, god I hope Disney does a better job!)

Just as that feeling hit, a hand grabbed my shoulder and low and behold it was my ex partner doing wedding shopping with her mom. The very person I had always wanted to meet. We had a quick visit we exchanged pleasantries and I told her mom how much I valued her daughter and how highly I thought of her. I wished them well, congratulated her on the wedding and headed on my disoriented way. Now for those of you who have gone to giant stupid malls the chances of finding someone who you know  is there is slim enough, so this rendezvous was particularly unlikely. I had the feeling this was “meant” to happen and it seemed like the relationship had finally come full circle to closure. The oddest part was as I walked out of the building the hum of the people and the very universe itself seemed to be doing this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTrjC1wZLlE.

Though I can never truly express this surreal experience the feeling of seeing and feeling the coding of reality has stuck with me. (Though as addressed earlier it could be my flawed monkey brain searching for purpose in a potentially pointless universe). However these last few months have had so many of the right people and the right things show up at just the right time, that the feeling a coded universe has begun to be a common experience for me.

Here are my top 5 experiences that made me question the very nature of reality and me left me saying, weird…:

1) The Book – I asked my dad to give me one book to read on my bike adventure. After much deliberation he gave me One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabrial Garcia Marquez. I would love to read some of the stuff he has written in the last month but unfortunately he died the day I received the book, weird…

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(This Star Wars reference doesn’t work but his stupid monkey brain was still thinking about it because of the previous picture)

2) The Other Book – I was having a very down day while in Banff. I was lying on my aunt and uncles couch with no ambitions to do much of anything. And a random book caught my eye it was called The Life You Were Born to Live. I began reading the dust jacket and it sounded like total hogwash, however the author had written another book The Way of the Peaceful Warrior that a number of people I greatly respect, hold in high regard. So I began to thumb through it.

The book is a variation on numerology something I put very little stock in. However the author emphasized that on the surface the system didn’t add up but in application it was uncanny. So I did my calculations and began reading the appropriate chapters for my numbers. Now the shit that was written was an unnervingly accurate description of my life. It made me feel both empowered and very uncomfortable. This one gets a little weirder, the same day I read the book I was texted by a person looking for a host through Warmshowers, I told them I was currently travelling but that my family would be happy to host them. It turns out that her visit was a perfect fit for both her and my family. And the weirdest part she had the EXACT same experience with the EXACT same book only a week earlier! We both said “weird”…

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(“Whoa, that is weird, also this reference makes more sense that the last Star Wars one”)

3) Bill Hick – Mr Hicks is a pretty well know comedian who passed away a number of years ago however his comedy still “stands up”, ha nice play on words Dion! Anyway we were talking about him all night one night while at a dance in Vancouver. And low and behold at the end of the night the closing song was a mash up to Bill Hicks talking about life is a ride. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMUiwTubYu0 . It was really energizing for me and also it was weird…

4) John Cleese – As you all know I am diligently working to become a stand up comedian myself. And it has come with a number of challenges however, again the right people at the right time keep me fuelled and moving forward. One of these was John Cleese whom after a recent divorce has been forced to tour again. With significant effort and a well written Kijiji post I managed to snag my dad and I tickets to the hottest show in town. So with a ridiculous amount of glee we completed a father son dream of seeing John Cleese. Whom shared with the audience that it had been a huge stroke of luck that created Monty Python and that despite what talent you have without the right break many would have never gotten a chance to show their talents. This was a big discovery for me and it was from a father of modern comedy a man I very much respect but the timing still made it feel too, weird…

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(“Hi I’m comedy legend John Cleese and I did not authorize the use of my face for this mediocre blog.”)

5) The bumblebee – The bee has been something I have really felt connected to. Last year I got to pet one that was collecting pollen in our greenhouse. They are the little gardeners of the planet, tirelessly working away to ensure natures garden is able to grow. Recently a friend was kind enough to surprise me with a painting of a bumblebee for my 28th birthday. The weird part was that the bumblebee she had just created seemed so familiar, it seemed like I had seen it before. That was impossible though as it was a newly created image pulled from the recesses of her imagination and thus I pushed it off as me “searching for meaning in a potentially meaningless world”. However that same bumblebee showed up again a few days ago. The same night I connected with a person here in Saskatoon whom I spent literally 40 hours talking to in the last 3 days. Again it was weird…

(it felt like this scene from the Matrix)

Man The Matrix is a good movie! And for me right now it’s an even more intriguing concept. I considered myself an atheist for a long time but I realized making a claim there is no god, is just as arrogant as claiming there one! Thus I now do the biggest cop-out in philosophy and go with I am an agnostic.

However this pendulum seems to still be swinging. Videos such as this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9D05ej8u-gU and the realizations that come with them, have made my monkey brain want to claim that there is an order to the universe and in turn potentially a purpose. Either way I hope you enjoyed my guide to knowing nothing and in the end are just as confused as me!

confused_baby
(“So you’re saying it’s not going to get any easier?!”)

Well time to quickly touch on the easy to grasp concrete occurrences of my last week. I have been in Saskatoon for almost a week and coincidently I arrived for jazz festival. I managed to catch a number of awesome shows, such as Delhi 2 Dubai and the very talented 5 Alarm Funk, twice!

Last Thursday I also set a new personal best, biking 283kms in one day. The weather was great with no head wind and I got a little help from my good friend Timothy Leary.

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(“The potential of this happening is probably why he isn’t making a direct reference.”)

Saskatoon is a kick ass city and weather has been amazing here. I managed to network with the local bike co-op and have volunteered a number of hours helping numerous people get access to affordable bikes. Even found some bikes in my friends back yard that needed some serious tlc, I spent a few hours fixing them and found out they belonged to one of their room-mates brothers who didn’t have the money to get them fixed. He was ecstatic to find out some random dude came by and fix them.

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(“That’s how I roll…”)

The best biking experience occurred today while I was working at the co-op. A young first nations kid named Glen came in and offered to help me get some bikes running. The two of us worked away for 5 or so hours and I really enjoyed getting to mentor him in bike maintenance. Saskatoon is very similar to Williams Lake in that there are a lot of disillusioned youth, especially first nations youth. They are an untapped pool of potential that just need an outlet. Glen and I will work together again tomorrow and I think this young man is going to help his community greatly as he follows his passions of helping people get biking!

My time in Saskatoon did culminate with meeting a particularly charming young lady. The two of us really resonated and just couldn’t stop talking, sharing, laughing and even writing jokes together. On a super cool note she flew out this morning to her new temporary home in Quebec. The cool note being, I get to meet up with her again later in the trip! Weird…

Also I met her through talking to a random girl in a coffee shop. When I told her about my adventure she said I should text her friend Nicole who’s also into comedy.

Was it all just a coincidence? Is there some order to the universe? How much do our actions and thoughts effect the outcome!!!!!!!!????????????

Confused_baby

(“How the fuck should I know, I’m just a baby I don’t even understand object permanence. Maybe that Leary dude has some answers?”)

Thanks for reading,

Qapla

Dion