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|Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 10:35:49 PM- On the mountain of love|
The other day I was walking in Parc du Mont Royal, the
huge, big wooded rockpile that is just outside the door
of my shack. I walk and run there all the time.
I was going out the door of the big, majestic chalet which
is open to the public. Suddenly I was face to face with a
fellow mountain runner, I don't know his name, but I know
that he is an medical doctor. One time we were stranded
together during a terrific, hairy thunderstorm. The lightning,
rain & wind was spectacular. We huddled on the quiet side
of an old stone pump house.
I said that I had not seen him running for a long time. He told
me that he had had some collateral ligament surgery done
on his knee, and was taking a long time to regain strength
and function. With a painfully sad expression he said that
his running days might be over.
I said that if I was him I would give acupuncture and Chinese
herbs a chance to prove him wrong. He surprised me and
said, "no, there is nothing there but placebo and suggestion".
So I said Wow! You must have a very low opinion of the
Chinese people if you think that they could have a great
civilization for more than four thousand years with great
achievements in engineering, astronomy, agriculture, but
be content with medicine that is no better than chance or
placebo. Does that really make sense?
I told him that in my massage career I saw many, many
runners get a renewal of their running metabolism via
acupuncture and correct use of herbs. I said also that
I would not be capable to run and walk like I do, and
that I have only a very small budget for the herbs. No
I offered him a business card of a very good practitioner
in Chinatown. Not a New Age huckster who pretends to
know Chinese medicine from a naturopathy school. He
hesitated, but accepted the card. I said, "you got nothing
to lose, man. You might learn something. I might see you
right here come springtime, ready to run in the mud".
We shall see.
|Saturday, November 12, 2016, 5:03:45 PM- Big Time|
I have not had a good strong run in the woods for nearly
3 weeks now. After the resolution of fire ant bite on big
toe I was embracing every chance to get out on the trails
with my shiny new big toe. And regular speedball intervals
on treadmill at gym. I am very grateful to the folks who
work at that hospital.
The conjunction of the US election and the death of Leonard
Cohen on Nov. 7 still making me so dizzy and confused. I
usually rely on a good hard run to help me reclaim some
confidence, but I have to stop now for a few weeks. The
workload of volunteer chores at the street mission is such
that I need to cool it with running. I just go for a long 2-3
hour walk in the woods instead of a 90 minute run.
I will start running on treadmill at gym in January. Need to
stay injury-free in the meantime. Many, many trips up &
down stairs with heavy boxes of canned food, rice, potatoes,
etc. in preparation for our Xmas hampers.
The U.S. has elected a climate science denier and a sexual
offender. He brags about his wealth and how it allows him
to assault women with impunity. This is what television has
done to America. People are frustrated with bureaucracy
and ancillary branches of government, so they bring the
whole thing crashing down to the ground. As if this is the
Television and Facebook are the reasons that this election
process became so terribly distorted. Facebook takes no
responsibility at all for spreading false information. I have
not had a Facebook account for more than 2 years. I think
that Zuckerberg should be deeply ashamed. Imbecile.
As I have said many times I take all of my spiritual guidance
from trees. Poetic strength of the trees. As a child I did not
ever see oak trees, except on family trips down south.
Now I consider the oak trees on the mountain of love to
be my spiritual advisors. Immersion in the green world is
where it's at. There is no longer any photosynthesis occuring
but tree contemplation now happens on the level of form,
and the tactile feel of the bark, the sound of dry leaves under
As long as I have this huge, sprawling wooded rockpile as
my immediate neighbour I will be alright. Even in the coldest,
snowiest, rainiest weather I am out there.
It is hard to understand how this dark time of willful ignorance
|Wednesday, September 7, 2016, 1:41:53 AM- Big Toe versus Fire Ants|
I do not know if the bite(s) was from a fire ant. There are 3
spots on top and medial side of toe. It does now look like
multiple bites. I took the last dose of anti-biotic with supper.
I do know well enough to not drink alcohol when taking the
anti-biotic. I have seen bad reactions with other people.
So I have gone already 8 nights without alcohol. It has
been interesting. The anti-histamine medication causes
drowsiness, but I have been able to sleep without taking
any of it. Curious.
6.5 years ago I had a real bad time with scabies, and then
for a while I had scabies and bedbugs at the same time.
I thought that I was ready to go flip city from lack of sleep.
One thing led to another and I got a prescription for a
sleeping pill called Zopiclone. Man, that is wicked stuff!
Got the parasites cleared out, but found it very hard to sleep
without the Z. At least 3 different MDs told me, "Oh, don't try
to taper off Zopiclone. Don't try to go cold turkey, either! Bad
things will happen."
They all said that I should take an anti-depressant for TWO
YEARS and then gradually taper off the anti-depressant. "But
I am not depressed", said I. That did not matter, they said.
This pissed me off so much, unbelievably so.
I discovered that strong beer could help me sleep. I do not
have a general craving for alcohol, but I can drink a lot.
So it has been very interesting to go without strong beer
these past few nights. Tonight is the ninth night without
strong beer, without any alcohol.
I suppose I could say thank you to the fire ant(s) for giving
me this window into my strong beer habit. I think that I will
always enjoy getting drunk with the funky monk, but it is
not as necessary as I had assumed. We shall see.
My cat, Buster, died more than a year ago. He left me all
his stash of catnip. I do enjoy that once in a while. I just
sprinkle some on the carpet and roll around in it.
|Saturday, September 3, 2016, 7:51:40 PM- booboo toe ad infinitum|
Lordymama! I did push the risk a little bit today. When I
left my shack I had only walking on my mind. I had a 90
minute walk yesterday, and when I removed bandage there
was just a tiny spot of blood from booboo toe. No lymph.
I have spent a lot of time sitting or reclining with foot
elevated, higher than heart. Venous drainage optimal.
Slept last night no bandage. There was a lot of rebuilding
of skin & fascia going on all night.
Once I got out there walking I could not control my horses,
my quads. I started running for just 3-4 minutes. After a few
intervals I sat down in the grass and took off shoe. No stain
on white sock, bandage stays secure but flexible.
I was in semi-sprint coming back down the trail. But I am
well aware that with an injury like this if you take a risk at
the wrong moment you wind up with beaucoups of misery.
It feels so good after first test of booboo toe. Lordymama!
|Thursday, September 1, 2016, 4:17:32 PM- New moon in Virgo 5:03 a.m. EDT|
Things clear up and resolve at the New Moon. Keep booboo toe
bandaged up while I go out to do essential errands. But later today
take bandage off and give booboo toe some air.
I cannot run but I can go to the park to do stances, calisthenics,
and stretches, etc. That's what I did yesterday. Lateral motion
or torsion on ball of the foot still too risky.
Big toe injuries are too often dimissed or ignored and later com-
pound & complexify. Play it very safe.
|Wednesday, August 31, 2016, 1:52:34 AM- Booboo Toe Continued|
So what do you know about fire ants? I don't know anything
about the taxonomy of ants. I love to watch their busy industry,
and I have been known to sit or crouch down to watch for 15-20
minutes. But I cannot tell one species from another.
I did go to the emergency ward of the allnew superhospital. I
knew that the wait would be long. Altogether 8 hours of
waiting in total. They looked at my swollen toe and said they
needed to do bloodwork just to see if there might be com-
plications with diabetes, kidney disease, etc.
In the waiting room I was talking with some younger hipsters,
and they said that some people at a nearby music festival
were sitting in the grass and had ant bites with lots of swelling
and pain. Then also one of the nurses who took care of me
said that other people had been showing signs of ant bites
similar to mine. He called them fire ants - an invading species
from Asia. They have been a problem in the southern states
of USA, but most recently showing up in southern Ontario.
Three doses of antibiotic so far. Four doses of antihistamines.
The swelling is mostly gone, purple colour is fading away. Just
a little bit of lymph leaking. I am grateful for emergency medicine.
I will be ready to run on the mountain of love in 5-7 days, I hope.
I cannot get drunk with the funky monk during that time.
I am grateful for two strong big toes.
|Monday, August 29, 2016, 1:42:40 AM- Booboo Toe|
I had an ecstatic, tough run in the woods on the mountain of
love on Saturday. I came back to the park right beside my shack
to do last set of pushups & abdominals. I was barefoot and doing
stretches down in the grass. I stood up to do a stretch and had an
immediate sharp, buzzing pain in my big toe.
My first thought was that I had stepped on a glass shard, but now
I think it was a bee or wasp sting, right in the joint of big toe. Maybe
a spider, too.
Anyway, my toe was pretty swollen overnight, but not that painful.
I thought I was just having an exaggerated histamine reaction.
I decided to test it out with a one hour walk. I was walking okay,
but I could feel the swelling increasing today.
Came back home, took off sock & shoe to discover that my trusty
lymphatic system was working big time with buckets of lymph. Not
so much under the toe, but to the side & top.
Most likely have to take metro & bus tomorrow to emergency and
get somebody to look into the toe to find stinger stuck in there. I
was carefully scraping the surface with a sterile scalpel, but I
cannot detect it.
I respond very well to penicillin, luckily. Have not had any for the
past 24-25 years, though. I want to be up and running again,
right toot sweet.
|Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 3:34:39 PM- Unfinished|
Thinking about what Gord Downie said the other night, and
about what Mitch said in comment on my blog, I have one
more thing to add.
I grew up in Regina, the Queen City, the home of the RCMP.
As a child I would go with family and neighbours out to the
RCMP training academy and watch the Sunset Ceremony,
in which the horses were put through their parade routines,
complex & majestic. I was quite close to RCMP culture.
At some point in the history of the NorthWest Mounted
Police and RCMP the leaders realized that it made more
sense to allow the men to have sex with native women,
in exchange for buttons and trinkets, rather than have the
men become sexually active with each other. No NWMP
men were allowed to marry native women. It was just to
prevent them from discovering the pleasure of man to man sex.
Now in our present context the excuse that police come up
with for not following through on cases of murdered and
missing aboriginal women is that maybe she was just a sex
worker and she got drunk and lost once she had some money.
We have the frame of the big picture now. We can see our
history in ways that were impossible before. The object is not
simply to point fingers at the Church and government leaders
who controlled the police. The object is to heal and change the
In retrospect would it have been better to defy the Church and
allow NWMP + RCMP members to discover the joys of sodomy
and leave the native women alone?
I do not think that much will change if the RCMP does not
acknowledge their part in trivializing and dismissing the
female spirit of our native people.
|Monday, August 22, 2016, 3:54:44 PM- Furthermore|
So today CBC has given us the estimate that approximately
11.7 million people were tuned in to the Tragically Hip concert
on Saturday night. That equals one third of the entire population.
So 11.7 million people saw Gord Downie kiss all of his bandmates
on the mouth, and the women in costume crew, etc. He kissed
Everyone on the mouth before going onstage. Everybody saw that.
And by now millions of people have seen photos of the warm and
sincere embrace that he held with our Prime Minister, Justin
Trudeau. Justin's father, Pierre Elliot Trudeau was all about Justice.
His phrase was A Just Society. I remember hearing him talk about
Justice when I was fifteen years old. So that is how Justin got his name.
Justin Trudeau has shown us already many times that he is capable
of being vulnerable and soft with other men. For good balance he has
shown us his skill in the boxing ring. He is a good boxer. That is a
different kind of intimacy.
Gord Downie might not have much longer to live. We all know that now.
He has encouraged us to look closely at the history of abuse of native
people, and historically this is a condemnation of Christian churches and
the RCMP. It is a terrible story, but Gord Downie tells us that Justin
is the right one to begin to set things right. We shall see.
I am still buzzing and sparkling from that magical night.
|Sunday, August 21, 2016, 5:11:30 PM- The Tragically Hip|
Normally I save Saturdays for a long run in the woods on
the mountain of love. But I am taking a little vacation from
volunteer chores at the street mission, so I can change the
running schedule as I please.
I walked from my shack over Mt. Royal and down the other
side, towards the mighty St. Lawrence river, to the neighbour-
hood called Monkland. A big street festival going on there,
thousands of happy hip people on a hot, sweaty day. Good
music, food & drink.
The main reason for going was the screening of the last
concert by The Tragically Hip, live from Kingston, on
huge big screen provided by CBC.
I run out of words to describe the show. It was a deeply
moving, spiritual, magical event, to be sure.
The front man, the one and only Gord Downie has an
inoperable brain tumour. Cancer. This was the last show
of a country-wide tour. Unbelievable atmosphere out on
the street, singing and screaming with about 6,000 sweaty people,
ecstatic, but sad, as well. I have never seen so many people
crying, singing, laughing and crying again.
Something deeply magical happened last night, all across this
country, with outdoor screenings and combined CBC Radio and
television. The Olympic coverage got interrupted for it.
Very unusual emotional convergence and coherence last night.
Lots of people got kissed by total strangers last night. We all
came together. Unprecedented.
My legs started to turn into jelly after about 75 minutes standing
on the street. I came back home by bus & metro. As I came
back to my shack and turned radio on, I heard the second and
third encores, with tears streaming down my face.
It has started to rain just now. Tears from the sky. I think I will
have a good run on the mountain of love.
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