K2inCanada's Blog

August 17, 2018

Fire Season

Filed under: Bike, Canada, thoughtful — K2 in Canada @ 11:16 PM

Well I guess we no longer have summers but fire seasons. Even though we are not anywhere near the record fires from last year (one starts to think how much is actually left to burn) Vancouver had been under a blanket of smoke for 5 days. But of course that did not stop Jeff and I to do stuff outdoors. Last Sunday we went for our 2nd mountain bike ride in Manning Park (see previous post). This time we went up Windy Joe. More elevation than Poland Lake but a bit less steep. The most challenging part for me, it was up the whole time for the 8km on a fire access road. My legs are just not used to this and I walked most of the last 2kM. On the top we saw and smelled nothing but smoke. It was pretty sad. The descent was fast though, fats enough that we added on the Similkameen Trail at the bottom. That trail is almost flat but very narrow with lots of roots and logs and water hazards. I would call that quite technical. Earned a few bruises when the bike hits unexpected obstacles, stops dead and the body keeps going. Good fun though but I was tired at the end. Good thing we could have a beer and food at the Lodge.

 

 

Today was the first sunny day but they say the smoke will be back soon. There are more than 550 fires burning all across the province by now, many of them started a week ago. Interactive Wildfire Map – snapshot from last Sunday.

WildfireMap_2018-08-12 (Medium)

Being able to look straight at the sun high in the sky during the day and the red glow may look cool but sure is not. It is very scary.

 

 

On Wednesday, the Province declared a State of Emergency to get federal assistance. https://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/bc-wildfire-provincial-state-of-emergency-poor-air-quality-evacuations-fire-bans/108223/.

The most scary part, most of those fires were caused by humans. Well to be honest, in my mind all of the fires are caused by humans. Maybe not the start of a fire, lightning is a common cause, but the way they spread. A profit driven logging industry replanting dense mono cultures of evergreens rather than natural forests. Winters getting warmer allowing more pine beetle larvae to survive and spread killing off trees over large areas in new growth forests. Summers getting hotter and drier. Lots of dead trees in those dense forest making it easier for fires to start be it due to lightning or carelessness. Less rain means weaker trees more susceptible to beetle attack or fire or wind. How long until “Super Natural Evergreen BC” will look like the Baja Peninsula? My lifetime? I hope not. I love our trees and mountains and coastlines and all the animals that call this their home like I do.

Thanks to those >3000 fire fighters out there that are trying to stop or at least control the blaze. And a shout to all of us to be conscious about our actions in these very dry conditions!

There is a great article in BC Magazine about “Controlling BC’s Wildfires

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December 24, 2014

The power of introverts

Filed under: Home, thoughtful — K2 in Canada @ 8:00 AM

My new boss at work signed me up for the first time ever Leadership Training being done at the company I work for. I wasn’t too excited at first having done a few of them and always felt there are much more work than I am getting out of it. All these work together in groups and share your thoughts and be “smart” on demand thing just never worked for me. But of course I did not say no either. So there I was in the first day of training, sitting in between the CEO and CFO and COO and all the VPs and top level sales people in our company. It felt weird, even though I know all these guys and very¬†few¬†girls and interact with many of them at least on a weekly basis. In the first of six¬†sessions the coach was talking about freeing your mind from being influenced by what happens around you. He was very passionate about it and hit a few marks here and there but overall I thought this was way to theoretical for me – too weird. There is no way I could exercise it to the¬†extent of becoming the next Dahlia Lama. Waste of time?

For the next session, sessions¬†are about a month apart each, we had some homework to do which was supposed to take 2-3 hrs. I spent a whole weekend on it and still did not finish. Mind you I almost finished it¬†and thought to myself, no way they will cover all of it¬†in the next session alone. So I should be good. And in fact, that next session didn’t even talk about the homework at all. It was a different person coaching that day and his approach resonated so much more with me. We looked at our personality types and how they are different and what each of them can bring to leadership. As I had imagined 70% of my companies leadership team are extroverts. There are about 20 people in the course. All 4 women are introverts, moderately so, but still. By the way my job requires me to be an extrovert most of the time. My profile also says I like to fly by the seat of my pants, moderately, which my Boss questions me on being a program manager. I call it being good at trouble shooting and flexible when things start to go wrong in my projects (and when is that never the case) :-). I honestly enjoyed the 2nd session and I do think about it almost daily trying to apply it at work.

The coach also said we should apply the learnings at home but by the time I get home all I want to do is turn my brain off Рpoor Jeff hardly gets to see me lately! Even today, Christmas Eve I woke up with the thought of all the things I need to finish off at work in the 4hrs. But when I got up and entered the living room and I finally realized it is Christmas Eve for crying out loud and I had not put up a single Christmas ornament or candle yet and all my course mates have already been on vacation since Friday of last week, I told myself to stop thinking about work! I went downstairs and brought up all the Christmas stuff. I put up some electric light into the ficus. I grabbed our mini tree we bought last Saturday from the outside and moved it into position for the traditional afternoon decoration session Рwhich will only take 2 min since the tree is tiny. NOW I a finally start to get the Christmas Holiday feeling. I am ready to take a week and a half off and do the stuff I love to do with Jeff.

But the thing that really triggered this post was the TED talk I watched this morning which really brought all these thoughts to the surface. I really enjoyed it and maybe you would too if you are an introvert fighting to be an extrovert all day to fit into what is expected of you. Don’t get me wrong I like bossing engineers around at work :-).

https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html

March 23, 2013

Remembering a Friend

Filed under: Canada, thoughtful — K2 in Canada @ 8:01 PM

This week I found out that a¬†former co-worker and good friend of mine had passed away. We worked closely together at¬†Creo/Kodak for many years and had shared many of the good¬†days and also some of the bad days at work. She was one of the most lively¬†and wildest persons I ever knew. I very much remember our trips to Switzerland together to visit one of our suppliers…

She was a couple years¬†younger than I … Tatyana is shown in the picture below – centre back – this is how I want to remember her…

This picture was taken in 2009 when all of us were no longer at Kodak.

This picture was taken in 2009 when all of us left Kodak.

February 24, 2013

Garbage

Filed under: thoughtful — K2 in Canada @ 6:34 PM

Last week a couple of friends¬†posted the below on Facebook – Midway Island¬†– what a sad story. And it got me thinking again…

When were you on a beach last and did not find something that was washed up by the sea. Sometimes we think it is cool because it has Chinese or Japanese symbols on it and seems to tell a tale – but really it is just garbage. And usually one tries to avoid it in the pictures…

For years I have been pained by how much garbage can be found along the road on my 15min bike¬†commute to work. It goes along an old mill site and for many years people have put their garbage along that piece of Kent Ave between Kerr and Boundary – TVs, sofas, desks, pieces of walls, tires… you name it. The city does clean it up regularly but even than the small stuff like paper cups, fast food wrappers, shoes… still can be see along it. This past summer they moved down the bushes along the road to widen the shoulder and big pieces of metal were thrown across the road by the mower…

Our townhouse complex has different garbage bins for separating out recyclables. There¬†are the blue bins¬†for paper and the yellow bin¬†for plastics, glass¬†& cans. And even though they are colored differently AND have pictures on them of what type of garbage you should put into them, some people still manage to put their plastic junk into the paper bin. I am sure that is because the yellow bin happened to be full at the time they walked the 1min to the garbage shed…

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