Saturday, 22 February 2014

A Shocking Confession, an Arduous Journey, and 3 Edible Discoveries

I have a confession to make ...

That men's gold-medal hockey game happening tomorrow? Between Canada and Sweden? I'm cheering for Sweden. OK, OK, that's wimpy. I'M CHEERING FOR SWEDEN.* Well, actually, I'll be sleeping when the game is on, but if perchance I dream of hockey, Sweden will be my team. I'm not Swedish (nor, as far as I know, is Freddie ... or Paul). But regular WWF readers will know from past posts that I like Sweden.

Paul is a fan of both Sweden and hockey, and he thinks Swedish hockey players are, in general, less thuggish and boorish than North American hockey players (although there are obviously exceptions). Add to that tendency the likelihood that Stephen Harper, Rob Ford, Christy Clark, and Justin Bieber will not be cheering for Sweden, and my choice is made. I don't see this as treason or treachery; rather, I'm providing a generous opportunity for my fellow Canadians to express their Canadian passions, not only for hockey but also for difference and diversity. Go, Daniel!

Here's a bit of yellow for the team. Note the snow in the background — Vancouver spring! No blue to be had in the photo itself, hence my font colour.

*OK, we know now that Canada won ... but still. ;-)

Moving along ... yesterday's arduous journey was connected to a Langara English Department meeting. Freddie and I travelled to the college by Car2Go. I thought I'd see how his stamina was doing after the meeting, before making the call about whether to return home by car or public transit.

As it happened, Freddie was pretty stimulated/distracted by the college and the meeting (he hasn't been on campus since August), and I thought it best to give him a run in Columbia Park then take a Car2Go. At the park, I reserved a vehicle (on my new Stupidphone), but, when we got to said car, could I locate my membership card (needed to unlock the doors)?? Crap. I'm guessing it fell out of my pocket. So ... ready or not, Freddie (with serious ants in his pants) and I would be taking public transit home.

He was actually very good on the train from Oakridge to Olympic Village (2010 Olympics, that is), but the stations were a challenge with all their to- and fro-ing. Lots of sitting out of the way and calming down ... just watching the busy world go by ...

Moving escalators still aren't on the program — especially with so much else going on in the environment. We walked past, and Freddie got praised for looking at the thing.

This shot was taken in a brief interlude between trains, after the platform had pretty much cleared. I was too focused on Freddie during the hubbub to take any photos.

The Olympic Village station is still a long way from home, so I decided to let Freddie run around Charleson dog park before boarding a bus. Bad idea, sort of. The dog park was a muddy bog. One round of fetch and Freddie was in no state to be presented as a service dog. To quote a groovy Spirit of the West song, "nine miles home, and for walking we were bound." Well, a little less than that — more like 3.5 km — but farther than I wanted to walk with the amount of active insulin I had on board and only icky dextrose tabs to eat.

Oh, did I mention the shot I took in the middle of the meeting, when my blood sugar was 9.5?

I should have chowed a couple of Dex-4s early in the walk. I didn't. By the time I crashed, a couple of blocks from home, I was out of treats for Freddie, but he was too burned out from the long journey to notice my blood sugar had tanked. Fortunately for both of us, we had the good fortune of Paul riding up on his shining bicycle at that very moment. He took care of Freddie; I took care of sugar and treats.

The photo above was taken this morning. I'm not sure where that door under the frog prince leads.

This guy waiting for the liquor store to open was singing very loudly and tunelessly. Between his racket and the snow, there were no birds to feed.

And now, to wrap up, those exotic foods ...

Not so long ago, I could not have identified this vegetable in a police line-up. Holy crap, it's ugly. But it can be shaven or shredded to make an excellent pasta substitute. I tried this recipe recently, and it was yummy. (Gawd, I can't believe I just posted a recipe. So not me.)

This stuff isn't entirely new to me. I've consumed fermented milk drinks under different names, in different countries (ah, mango lassi!), but this is the first time I've bought such a thing at home. Kind of nasty straight-up, but add a little liquid stevia, a little vanilla or almond extract, and ... yum! Good for the guts, too, so they say.

A pointless aside: one of my favourite things about Liberté brand products (fabriqués à St-Hubert, Québec) is that the French parts of the labels are written in real French (as opposed to the oft-bizarre phrasings produced by whichever person in Anglophone Company X got the highest grade in French 9*). You'd think that finding a qualified English —> French translator in Canada, of all places, shouldn't be terribly difficult (I'll cut a bit more slack for imports) ... though I suppose there are all sorts of psychological/political/economic barriers getting in the way. Sigh.

*Not that I'd always do spectacularly better! My French is fluent enough that I recognize strange, unidiomatic phrasings, but if somebody asked me to translate their organic kombucha label from English to French, I'd probably suggest they hire a pro.

Which brings us to this ... another probiotic. Wow, my guts are going to be happy. The packaging/marketing of this tea concoction is über-Nofo. So's the price. But it was on sale, so I decided to give it a try. Not bad. Probably not a keeper, though.

C'est tout!

Walking With Freddie will return in about a week, with photos and musings from our road trip.

Enjoy the game (whatever it may be)!

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