Nature Burger

Ahhhh… nature.

Living in the suburbs, and in particular a suburb that butts up squarely against a natural river valley preserved against development, it’s not uncommon to have the occasional run in with wildlife. I’ll often see coyotes or deer when I’m out running and extending my range into theirs.

When the reverse is true, those critters extending their range back into our habitat, things take a turn for the strange and curious.

You probably don’t know a lot about this guy yet, but Gaige is the kind of guy who upon running up against a midlife crisis here in the digital era has decided that he wants to get away from his work-a-day lifestyle and spend more time out and about in the wood.

In fact, he started a YouTube channel and has been uploading amature documentary-style videos of his wandering “adventures.”

To date, this is basically a lot of nature walks and campfire cooking tutorials.

And, I know what you’re thinking: “Gee whiz, this guy sounds a little bit like the author of this blog I’ve been reading. Are you sure they’re not connected somehow?”

To which I reply: “We all have our stories to tell, and this is one of those stories.”

Because as certainly as Gaige and his dog are just starting to meddle in some small local adventures, the moment will certainly come when he’s going to start stepping a little further… and further… and further out of his comfort zone and trying to tackle the interesting types of things that attract viewers and subscribers and …

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

For now you’ll just need to be contented knowing that as Gaige steps out into the world he’s bound to encounter a whole swath of surprises. And wildlife doing wild things are just the tip of a very big iceberg.

Downtown, Part One

Is it out of character of me to write a short post about the heart of the place I live?

See, I used to work downtown.

Used to, in that the job I currently have the privilege to do from the safety of my home was once and may again in the future be based out of one of the many high-rise buildings in the downtown core of our city.

Today it is based out of my basement.

This allows me to go for beautiful walks around my neighbourhood at lunch.

It lets me cook grilled cheese sandwiches on my barbecue grill whenever the mood strikes.

I’ll have the opportunity to work on my garden all summer.

I should be able to fit some extra runs in as the months wear ever onward.

And sitting on my deck with my dog by my side, a coffee in my hand, and a laptop computer humming on the table in front of me is a kind of work-life balance I could not have dreamed possible a couple years ago.

That said, this morning I made one of those rare trips “to the office” to sort out some administrative tasks that I cannot do remotely.

On my walk towards my tower, I snapped a photo of one of those notice boards, the kind where shows, plays, festivals, and a thousand other cultural touchstones hang posters with dates and times and locations. Or… where they used to do that.

Like the empty streets, boarded up shop windows, and mostly-vacant office towers, this felt positively apocalyptic to me.

Nothing new posted.

The old, ripped, torn, peeled off leaving behind a shredded, shattered mess, a snapshot of the time that never was to follow those months when back then, when I retreated from downtown along with a hundred thousand others.

My personal opportunity has narrowed and I’ve adapted.

I wonder how it will feel to find a way back to a rich cultural society, particularly when I see things like this.

What was the opportunity cost of my could-have-been-worse fortunes?