Monday, December 11, 2006

Red & White Continued

There's Still Hope

OK, I am being overly dramatic -after all, I am only talking about Canadian politics and, less face it, that's not really the most exciting topic of conversation someone can engage in. That being said, I sincerely believe that our nation is in dire need of a real leader that believes in and will work towards creating a society that reflects the values of the majority of Canadians. I do not believe our current PM is that person, which is why I was extremely pleased to learn that the at the Liberal party elected a new leader whom I believe is genuinely in politics for the right reasons. His name is Stephane Dion and he was formerly the Minister of Environment. He was my second choice,. Ken Dryden was my first (who coul argue with a hockey hero/lawyer/all round intelligent and charismatic guy?), but Dion really does have what it takes to be a great leader - in my opinion. Firstly, he's got his priorities in order: economics, social & environment. Thank you Mr Dion, for recognizing that all of these things cand and must coexist in order to build a great nation. Secondly, my impression of this man is that he is not seeking any sort of glory - he doesn't have an ego - I believe he was described recently as 'the Geek who stole the Liberal Party convention'. Thirdly, he's a French Canadian. Now, maybe that's a bit biased of me, but for some reason I have an affinity for leaders that can speak both official languages and have a decent understanding of the unique position that Quebec holds within Canada. Finally, did I mention he has made the environment a priority and used to be the Minister of Environment???? YAY!!!!!

I truly hope that Canadians recognize the value in electing a leader that will not waste his time in office trying to defeat the Supreme Court's definition of a marriage and eliminate same-sex marriages, a leader who recognizes the value of creating a society that supports those in need - including women, minorities, youth and those that generally need a helping hand, a leader that will restore programs aimed at improving Canada's environmental record and, perhaps, offer a vision for the future that is positive, participatory and proactive. A leader who won't focus his energies on wars that don't need to be fought, borders that don't need to be protecting. A leader that won't spend his time trying to engineer fear into the citizens of his nation, but will provide them with information and inspiration.

Ok, maybe that's asking a lot of one man - what can I say? I am an optimist!

Horses & Saddles

I went horseback riding in the country this weekend past - Glenworth Valley to be exact. It was brilliant - two hours riding through forests a lush, green valley with streams running through it. There were 12 of us - myself and a gal from work organised the outing and there was a great mix of really wonderful people. Some of us had ridden before, some never. I would have to say I had 'little experience' and they gave me a horse accordingly. Ah, good ol Omegga - how he loved to bring up the rear of the pack. For the first half of the ride I have to say I was a bit bored - only got to trot a wee bit and plodded along for the rest of it with a view of a horse's behind as a constant.

Luckily, at the halfway point my friend, Sara,. who just happened to be an extremely experienced rider, took me to the front of the pack and we had a great time. Acutally we left the rest of the pack altogether and four of us trotted and cantered our way home. Must say, Omega really picked up his pace on the way home!

The after effects of riding were not so enjoyable and included extremely sore thighs and for some reason, sore biceps.

Max Brenner - A Man After My Heart

It turns out that horse back riding is very cardio intensive and you pretty much HAVE to refuel after a long 2 hour ride with some carbohydrates. If you so choose, you migh think about choosing chocolate as your source of carbs. Lisa, Craig and I made that very wise choice, ducking into Max Brenner's for a tasty treat which 'may' have included a strawberry & chocolate fondue, along with Belgian waffles drizzled in chocolate sauce and ice cream. the best solution to NOT overindulging (aside from not going to sucha place at all) is most definitely sharing with two friends. I highly recommend Max Brenners to any female that happens by Australia and any male that is in the doghouse or wants to impress a lady!

Life's a Beach

Yesterday I took the ferry to Manly for the second time since I've been here. My friend from work, Sara, is lucky enough to live on this little piece of paradise within Sydney. Manly is basically tourist heaven - beautiful beaches, lots of great little cafes and a chillaxed atmosphere. The main street kind of reminds me of Disney World's main street.I don't know why, it just does. The folks in charge of decorating the main drag for Christmas had gone all out and wrapped some garland around the palm trees. Priceless

Bootcamp is OVER !

Today was my last day at bootcamp and it was a fun one! No really, it was! We paired up with someon of the opposite sex and formed five two-person teams. Millie then got us to complete five races and there was a prize for the team that won the most races. I felt bad for Ben, getting stuck with me, as I pretty much suck compared to the ret of the mega athletes. Well, wouldn't ya know, speed was not an issue. We had to do teh ol egg & spoon race, then run a couple of laps while holding a balloon between us (no hands allowed). Turns out I can balance an egga and a balloon and we ended up winning three of hte races! The prize sucked though - a lemon-lime sports drink with calories. Yuck.

K, that's all she wrote for the moment.


Rob said...

Hi Shannon
I thought of you after the convention - I too am Ken D man but I am thrilled with the SD result.

If I don't say later - have a very happy Xmas
Yours rob

Shannon Courtney said...

Hi Rob,

I feel so disconnected from the Northern hemisphere at the moment, but am trying to keep on top of the big news items!

Have a very happy Christmas yourself!