Saturday, 19 July 2014


Holy chicken carcasses, Freddie! It's been more than a week since my last confession ... er, blog post! The main reason for the hiatus is increased activity in that other genre in which I write at this time of year: the one-paragraph, end-of-essay, how-to-make-your-next-attempt-better comment. But Freddie still needs to walk, so the photos have been piling up, along with the random musings ...

Join us as we explore the North Arm of the Fraser River, the trails of Musqueam Park, the back alleys of the downtown core, and — yes — a place where the sparkly blue water is not to be swallowed!

Freddie and Paul on the banks of the Mighty Fraser

This barge reminded me of my three months of rowing on the Rhône in 2010. Twice a day or so, a huge honking barge would set out from the Lafarge cement plant, a few kilometers upriver from the Avignon rowing club, churning up potential disasters. I managed to stay out of its way/wake — a lucky thing, given my abilities in the staying-upright-in-challenging-water department

Fraser River log boom, plus a view of Macdonald Dog Beach in the transpontine* suburb of Richmond

*This word is dedicated to Paul, from whom I learned it (as he told of staggering to a port house — as in a place where fortified wine is made — located across a bridge ... in Portugal, no less).

Freddie wasn't actually with me on this downtown walk (nor was my camera — hence the graininess of these Stupidphone photos). If you're thinking, But isn't Freddie supposed to be with you all the time? ... that's a good question. And I answer it here!

Anyway, on this particular evening, I was at the SFU downtown campus to hear Reza Aslan, author of the controversial book Zealot, talk about the historical Jesus (as opposed to the "Jesus of Faith," to use his term).

Interesting guy (Historical Jesus, obviously, but I mean Reza Aslan), and a very interesting talk. Did you know, for instance (I didn't), that crucifixion was not, technically, a death penalty in the Roman Empire (though survival was highly unlikely)? No ... apparently it was a scare tactic that made a public display of the fate of political shit disturbers*, with the purpose of intimidating other potential disturbers. According to Aslan, the Romans sometimes killed the accused first, then nailed the body to the cross. They could be compassionate that way, I guess.

*The so-called "thieves" who were crucified alongside Jesus of Nazareth were, says Aslan, closer to "bandits" — the term used for rebels of a certain sort.

Tête-à-tête under the razor wire

Holy Hair Extensions
 Gastown Trolley Bus Cables
Vancouver Summer!
On the trail that runs between the Musqueam Band Reserve and Musqueam Park ... Freddie is sporting his spiffy visibility vest from Stylish Canine. (This link goes to an article about doggy safety gear that features Freddie!)
RIP, wild salmon streams :-(
Freddie in "Zoomie Mode," testing the waterproofness of his vest
(It passed!)

Funny Neighbours :)

Yay, True Carnivores!

You may recall that Freddie and I joined Leah and her colleagues on the picket line back in June, but, since this particular dispute doesn't involve my own union, and since the T.C. gang has given us plenty of treats over the past year, I didn't ask for a free bone. :)

RIP, technology that's designed to last

(Though I suppose if it's designed to last, it's not dead, ergo not needing to rest/rust in peace ... unlike this snazzy, useless eMac computer hanging out by a dumpster.)

And now, at last, here we are: the Spanish Banks dog beach at low tide. Dogtopia. The Garden of Freedom. Seemingly endless expanses of shallow water for fetching, splashing, romping, cooling off. Grecian skies, salty breezes ...

... not to mention natural but toxic concentrations of phytoplankton, also known as Red Tide — which I didn't actually know about on our recent visits, during which I made only lame attempts to discourage Freddie from drinking the ocean water (more for hydration reasons than anything else).

Two visits to Spanish Banks since my last post => two bouts of canine projectile diarrhea ... outside on the grass, thank DOG (but unfortunately not very pick-up-able in a poop bag).

A few dogfolk I've spoken with say their pups react that way to any ingesting of salt water, but Freddie has seemed fine after drinking the stuff in other locations, at other times. The local news has issued Red Tide warnings for Burrard Inlet, so, in the absence of any other explanation, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Back to the forest, Freddie, until that other Tide goes out ...
You're a miraculous sniffer, but I have no confidence in your ability to part the Red Sea!


  1. Oh geez projectile.. Yeah the water can be pretty harsh on a dogs tummy. I love this post, looks like you've had a fun, busy week. That dogtopia looks amazing.

    1. Thanks, Jen!

      Yes, our local dogtopia is quite fantastic, Red Tide notwithstanding!

    hope dog is feeling better :)

    My dog (who lives with his best friend at my parents house) is like a 5 shit-a-walk pooper. By the 3rd you can't pick it up. And then I'm left EVERYSINGLETIME with people staring at me like I'm a terrible dog owner who doesn't pick up after her dog. I have to hang my head in shame (or make a pretend motion to pick up liquid poop). it's embarrassing.

    1. Oh, Scully ... as far as the outdoor life goes, you and Ryan would love it out here! Have you been out this way before? If not, you should come for a visit!

      Great to hear your dog is hanging out with folks and friends. Hey, if you ever feel like taking a few pics when you're visiting/walking him and doing a "Walking With [fill in your pup's name]" guest post, that would be splendid. You could write about whatever the fuck you want (and yes, you could swear)! :)


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