Aside from making my ears bleed from listening to the Counting Crows a little to loud, I have accomplished very little today. Well, aside from finally writing some code after doing research for over two weeks. And it works (mostly)! IT WORKS!


Ahem. Ok, moving on. Saturday saw my ass on yellow wall at Barrier Mountain in Kananaskis Country, future site of the 2002 G8 Summit. Kananaskis is the future site that is, not Barrier Mountain so much. I started the day by leading a super easy 5.7 to set up a top rope for our beginner climbers, then lead a 5.10b, a 10c, and I also got to work on a 5.11a that stumped me last week.

I had to try to crux move about five times before I was able to stick it; it was a crimp with the left hand, a gaston with the right, outside edge of the right foot on a little ledge, left foot to the left and push up fast and reach up with the right hand. I still have trouble keeping myself close to the wall, so the first couple of times I just peeled right off and didn't even come close. I had to shut my eyes and visualize myself getting it, reminded myself to stay close, and slapped it good with my right hand, but slide off. I got it the next time though. That was probably one of the most rewarding thing I've done climbing in a while...

Climbing is really good for me. It will probably lead to a more social me, but I've still got issues to overcome there. The best thing about climbing is that when I'm on the rock, I'm not thinking about anything else but what I'm doing.

I took about half a semester's worth of Akido, but I always had a hard time letting go of my day. If I was stressed out this was especially difficult, and I ended up not concentrating enough and it wasn't very much fun. With climbing though, it's just all gone, and I have a nice clear head.

While at Grassi Lakes last week, my climbing partner and I ran into a guy that we recognized from the bouldering wall which is a passable substitute for real climbing during the winter. He's talked to my climbing partner before, but refused to acknowledge him when he spoke to him. He was climbing alone. "He's even less talkative than I am," I said.

"Must have forgotten to take his medication today. No wonder he's climbing alone."


On another note, an eighth grader from Arkansas came across a web page of mine that has a bunch of math formulas and stuff on it from when I was working my way through undergraduate calculus. She requested help with a linear equation, which I gave step by step instructions on how to solve. This apparently helped, which is nice. That's the magic of the internet for you; helping random people with their math homework.

The G8, government, society, values, and Star Wars

On a final note, I hope that the Search and Rescue teams have trained up for the G8. Knowing the weather around here, we'll get a freak snow storm that week and we'll have people trying to hike through three feet of snow in the back country wearing shorts and sandals. On the other hand, it could be so bloody hot that they'll be getting sun stroke and passing out. City hospitals are gearing up.

Add to this the extra fun of having protesters mauled by bears, trampled by elk and/or moose, stalked by cougars, and so on. Plus ranchers and farmers will not appreciate trespassers stomping all over the land (it's surprising how delicate the prairie and mountain pasture ecosystems are). And of course we'll have the Canadian military (such as it is) out and about, and lot's of RCMP and City Police.

I don't mind a peaceful protest, and there are certainly issues that need attention, so it's good that there are people motivated enough to get things organized and get people out to voice opinions on issues. However, the G8 is not an excuse to be blocking traffic, disturb the peace, vandalizing things, and otherwise breaking the law.

If you are going to be summit hopping your way to Calgary, do yourself a favor and check out the provincial and municipal laws, and if you are coming from outside of Canada, check the federal laws too. Make sure you know why you're coming; if you except a party, stay at home. If you are coming to terrorize the citizens of this city, no matter how just you think your cause, stay at home. If you want to address some issues and voice your opinion in a peaceful way, by all means.

Last winter I ran into a guy who wanted to go to the airport and watch world leaders come and go. He was griping about not being allowed to do so. "We just want to go look at them. We aren't going to do anything." Well buddy, it's not the observers they care about keeping away from leaders, it's the doers. It's pretty tough to tell what someones motivations and plans might be, so caution demands that measures are taken to prevent acts of... for lack of a better word, terrorism.

In the past few weeks, we've see a great deal of rhetoric come out of Washington and out of CSIS about the growing threat of terrorism against both the United States and Canada. Although there are clearly great wrongs in the world causing people to feel that they need to strike out at the western world, to a certain extent this feels to me like an excuse to increase militarization and move more and more power into a few hands at the top level of governments. Think of Palpatine using the threat of worlds breaking away from the Republic and forming an army as an excuse to manipulate a certain senator into motioning for "temporary" powers to form an "army of the republic" and so on. Star Wars is a cautionary tale, not just about personal values (resist the dark side), but about society and government as well. My point with this is that I hope that this rhetoric is not an excuse for the upper levels of government to weasel unnecessary power away from the people.

Anyway, I think the cops will probably be able to keep themselves restrained, and use reasonable force when necessary, judging by how well things went during the WPC. Of course, post 9/11, Alberta could be a police state. June will be an interesting month.

If this daylog gives mixed impressions, well that's because there's no perfect solution. Society, government, and economies are all complex arts of balance and compromise, and they're never quite right.