Showing posts from June, 2016

Writing On The Wall

Like bread, like circuses, the departure of millionaire hockey player Taylor Hall from Edmonton is a real thing. It calls for a public statement.

Picture Perfect Sentence

It may well be the true home of all the blessed is arranged systematically in the shape of an immense white rose with God in a heaven of pure light beyond time and space, but the feeling of a black bug smashing into my left cheekbone while riding my bicycle under blue sky, on asphalt, by blowing grass on Highway 43 just short of the turnoff to Alberta Beach at about 1:15 pm is the perfect that I can touch—judging by touch as we material witnesses do. 

Or, on video review:


VisionZero Quiz #4 and #5

Date: Edmonton, June 23, 2016

Encounter: I have gotten off my bicycle, triggered the crosswalk light, looked both ways, and have set out across 124 St at 103 Ave this morning.

Your VisionZero Quiz Question: Does the bus travelling south to north stop?

As always, no wagering, please.

And here is your answer:


Date: Edmonton, June 23, 2016

Encounter: I am waking my bicycle across traffic stopped for the flashing crosswalk light on 124 St at 103 Ave this afternoon. Another pedestrian is in the crosswalk.

Your VisionZero Quiz Question: Does the minivan driver wearing camo and a Canadian flag shoulder patch travelling north to south stop?

Bonus Question: Do I hear an  f-bomb dropped at me at me as I cross?

Again, no wagering, please.

And here is your answer:

Thanks for playing along, everybody!

VisionZero Quiz #3

Date: Edmonton, June 21, 2016

Encounter: I am approaching the pedestrian-triggered crosswalk lights on 103 Ave at 124 St. A pedestrian looking to cross east to west hits the light and starts crossing.

Your VisionZero Quiz Question: The citizen hits the light, but does this driver in the SUV stop?

As always, no wagering, please.

And here is your answer:

Thanks for playing along.

First Day of Summer

The first day of summer presents the bicycle rider in Edmonton with a dramatic choice.

Keep pedalling home or stop for the movies?

At 7:28 pm, I stopped for the movies.

And then kept going home, seeing things differently, like we all do after the movies.

Bumble bee

I like this video, shot in slo-motion on an iPhone 6 in the MacKinnon Ravine. The wild rose petals make like an amplifier, capturing and enlarging the buzz.

Text Home For Father's Day

For Father's Day this year, I received a text message.

Alex sent the text from Toronto during the Jays-Phillies game earlier this week. Centrefielder Kevin Pillar had just homered on the way to an 11-3 win.

What a gift.

The text message, I mean. Not Zach Eflin's fastball up and not quite inside enough that Pillar sent to the left field seats.

Here's how I scored it.

First, it's baseball. We talk baseball. Fathers and sons have long done this. We're no different. It gives us something to talk about. It's a lovely game. The players round the bases counterclockwise, like the planets. My father can throw a baseball. I remember a deep red glove he kept oiled.

Second, it's the Jays. The boys and their mother and I are fans. A few years back we sat across from Bautista with the Rays in town. Last year, we went to Seattle. We still talk about the Jays-Rangers series and the bat flip. When we're together, and a TV is nearby, we'll watch the Jays on Sportsne…

Edmonton VisionZero Quiz #2

Date: Edmonton, June 15, 2016

Encounter: I have gotten off my bicycle and pushed the crosswalk light at 103 Ave at 124 St. There is no question that the car in the intersection cannot stop. Not yet in the frame is a southbound van.

Your VisionZero Quiz Question: Does that van stop to let the pedestrians under cover of the flashing amber cross in the safety of the knowledge the van will stop?

And here is your answer:

Thanks for playing along!

Some Late Thoughts Listening To Wheat Kings

I asked a friend at work what The Tragically Hip song Wheat Kings was about, and he paused for a beat longer than he would have had he not considered the same question many times. And then said: "I don't know."

I took this as a good sign both of his humility and the song's profundity.

It was an honest question. I don't know much about The Hip. They were cool for the first time when I was watching my wife raise our children, and trying to help the mission where I could. Those were busy days. The 1990s are my mediated decade, preserved by photographs of my younger self. Among the art that didn't get in was The Tragically Hip's.

And it was a dishonest question. I knew the song was about David Milgaard's wrongful conviction and wrongful jail time served for the murder of Saskatoon nurse Gail Miller.

And it was an honest question, because song's visual shards—that weathervane, a killer's face lit by a lighter, pictures of prime ministers in a scho…