Racing to the finish line.

Growing up my Dad and sister would always go running. Until grade 10, I would compete  …but it was mostly because I wanted to go on the school track trips and hang with my friends.

Over the years I have realized maybe running is something I need to reintroduce back into my life.  So, a few weeks ago after my sister and brother in law raced in the first MEC race of the season my dad had us all over for dinner. I walked in and the trio looked over to me and said: “We’ve decided you should start running.” My first instinct was to laugh at them, but then over the week I started to think about it and decided heck, let’s do it.

Part of the agreement, my sister buys me new runners in exchange for 10 runs.

The goal: To join my family next year in competing in the MEC road race series.

I’m lucky enough to have a dad who has run semi-professionally in the past, who has been trying to get me running for 27 years, he’s training me slowly, and helping me work towards achieving the goal.

If you are someone who is interested in getting back into it MEC has a running crew who meets every Tuesday evening at Assiniboine Park.  These free sessions are a great way to start training for the MEC race series.

I won’t be racing this year, I have a long way to go. But, hopefully, I’ll see you at the finish line next spring.

http://events.mec.ca/event/164446/mec-run-crew-winnipeg-apr18

Why Co-ops?

When I was 15 I took a bus trip to Calgary to see my family.  I arrived there during The Calgary Stampede week. I had only been to visit two other times, both with my parents so this was super exciting.

On one of my first days there, my uncle invited me and my three cousins to a bbq at his work, it was to raise money for Cancer research and it was a part of Stampede. The event was being sponsored by Co-op, a company my uncle was one of the big wigs for.

I got to the event and felt nervous and shy as I was greeted by a bunch of grown men and women in cowboy outfits. I whispered to my cousin, asking why everyone was dressed as a cowboy, and he explained everyone in Calgary gets really into the Stampede, and those business guys wearing suits are at risk to have their tie cut off!

As the day progressed, I ate my weight in sloppy-joes and co-op brand potato chips and pop.  I got to shave my cousins head off for cancer research and I was gifted my very own pink cowgirl hat.

This has always stuck out to me as a cool thing. A huge cooperation making sure they gave back to the community.

Co-op has a great community outreach programs and is always looking to help their communities in any way possible.

Meet me at the meat counter.

When you go into a grocery store as a student, you’re immediately looking for sales. The highest cost, meat.  I have low Iron and depend on eating red meat fairly often to maintain a certain level of energy, in the past year I have not been able to afford to eat out at the Keg on a regular basis for my weekly fix of blue rare steak with a twice baked potato.

Living downtown and having such a busy schedule I started to shop for convenience, and realized I’d let go of one of my morals in shopping along the way.

I like the idea of trying to support local, and Neechi Commons in Point Douglas is a locally run co-op grocery store. It hires people in the neighborhood, giving an underemployed community a high chance at employment.  The part I kick myself for forgetting most is that they sell Manitoba meat, at a really really affordable price.

Just over a year ago there were articles written about Neechi Commons, they had cut their meat prices down to get people in the door. Totally a great tactic, considering how expensive it is to buy meat elsewhere. Once they get you in the door, they have the opportunity to show off their incredible establishment.

One thing that stood out to me, is that everyone who works there also has shares in the business.  So everyone gets a say. Employees are happy and so helpful.

Neechi Commons has a full grocery store, a restaurant and a shop called Neechi Niche, that showcases contemporary Indigenous art.

If you get a chance to check this place out, please do!

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to try the Bannock Pizza!

https://neechi.ca

Customers line up at Co-op gas and grocery — the lesser-known have few and far between.

This week I posted a survey on Facebook and Twitter. I wanted to know how many people in my community were members of a co-op, shop at one or bank at one.

Well after 24 hours, I have had 56 responses to the survey.

Turns out 42% of those people are members of a co-op, 66% of the people answered shop at a co-op business and 31% bank at a credit union.

To be honest, this surprised me a bit.  The numbers were, in fact, higher than I anticipated, due to how many people were unaware of co-ops when I would ask then about them.

Of course, most of these people were members at Co-op gas stations and grocery stores, but there were a few diamonds in the dust.

Pollocks Hardware made a few appearances, as did Neechi Commons and Peg City Car Co-op.

I am not a member of many of these, however, I am at MEC and I shop when possible at any of the others. My parents are members of a few as well and have encouraged me when I have the financial capabilities to support these companies as well.

I am curious to hear more about what other types of co-op’s people are a part of, so fill out my survey if you haven’t and tell me more about the businesses you support!

Thanks!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/B3YSXFN

 

The more you know.

While chatting with my classmate Dallas the other day we got to talking about where we do our banking. Dallas’s parents set him up with a “Fat Cat” account in Dauphine, MB. at a credit union years ago.  Since moving to Winnipeg he has continued to use the credit union but he says he’ll likely switch over to a regular bank at some point.

While E transfers for those of us who have accounts at traditional banks is now just a form of paying bills, sending money to friends and for us starving students an easy way for us to get extra funds from the bank of mom and dad at a quick and cheap rate. Credit union members don’t share in that wealth. Dallas says it’s extremely expensive for him to send/receive E transfers and that would be the main reason he would switch accounts.

Over the last few months of speaking with co-op members and businesses, I have learned that many have accounts at credit unions. Credit unions share the same business model as other co-ops and often fund new businesses. (With stipulations, of course.)

Personally, I have had a bank account with RBC since I was a kid. They have always provided me with what I need and my parents both have accounts with them as well, making joint accounts easy and manageable.  I won’t be taking my business elsewhere anytime soon, but I am happy to know that there is a financial institution out there “helping the little guys”.

Come what may.

7931864, the first cell phone number my parents ever had.  Being raised in a family that had reading time, rather then tv time was rare. Now, it’s almost unheard of.

My routine every morning is to check what I missed in the three to nine hours that I was asleep. I want to know what happened to my friends, but I also feel a need to know what happened to that kid from Australia who ran 20 miles and ate 16 hotdogs…I assume this person doesn’t exist, but if they do.. and they are reading this.. .you’re my hero.

Every year there is a component added to my morning routine… it used to be simply seeing if anyone texted me, then email, then it evolved into checking multiple platforms to make sure I didn’t miss anything of unimportance.

So where is it going? What’s next? and the biggest question of all… What’s left?

A few years ago, the idea of Snapchat, Messenger, even Pinterest seemed like it was unbelievable.

“Pinning” cool craft ideas for later creation? Whatever happened to going to the library and reading a craft book?

Am I aging myself? Maybe.

I prefer not to speculate on the future of media, I find it rather disheartening, to be honest.  I am not choosing to stay in the dark, but rather to live in the moment.  It’s not often these days you get to make that choice, so when you do…embrace it.

Maybe I am naive, but the unknown is the most attractive thing I have had the opportunity to choose in a long time.

10410404_10152787814993664_8601895370703860436_n.jpg

Wondering about A Deadly Wandering?

In Matt Richtel’s, A Deadly Wandering there’s a lot going on. With some good parts and some bad, the story ended up dragging out much longer than necessary. As a textbook for aspiring journalists, it’s not far off the mark. As a novel for anyone to pick up off the best sellers shelf, I’d say buyers beware, I’ve read much better.

 

Let’s start with my biggest complaint, how much the story jumps around. Especially at the start when they are introducing all the characters. It starts to get confusing trying to figure out who they are talking about and how they are each related to the story. He weaves in and out of the crime and history, but along the way lost me as a reader several times. This is my opinion as someone who enjoys novels.

 

 

As a journalism student, I dissected it a bit differently. From the start what stood out to me was the attention to detail in the writing. For example: “A mass of pink gooey stuff that had been sprayed on impact. Keith’s brain.” On page 56. The graphic detail could almost make me smell the car wreck, although disgusting, it was really effective. Although a lot of the time you would leave the graphic detail out of an article when someone has died to protect the family, it’s important for a journalist to take these notes, so they can appropriately describe and or remember the scene.  Those graphic details are sometimes what brings your story to the next level, but it is important for a writer to use them sparingly and only when it will move a story ahead, rather than bog it down with unnecessary detail.

 

One of my absolute favourite lines in the whole book was “Why spend all our time fixing problems when we can perhaps devote a little time preventing them in the first place.” This is so accurate to so many of the issues we have in society. One particular that has been an on-going issue in Canada, specifically Winnipeg is teaching people about reconciliation. If we can spend time on the front end it will save a lot of time down the road to prevent racism, mental illness etc. I find it interesting how that can be applied in a book about a case of texting and driving, but it can be adapted to numerous other issues in our world. By a journalist taking the time to investigate and bring these issues to light, it gives society the opportunity to act on the problems and try to fix them.

 

I found his approach to the case interesting. He did a really good job with the human element, introducing us to the characters, giving us relevant information about their past (ex: Terryl’s abusive father and the past, her PTSD, her children.) It gave you an idea of these people’s reactions.

 

Although he did a great job weaving the human elements into the chapters, it wasn’t weaved into the science and facts enough. It made it very hard to follow what was happening when it was jumping around so much. It took me over 200 pages to really grasp each of the characters. At times, it felt more like I was reading someone’s notes, rather than an executed story.

 

Overall, I was not a fan. I don’t entirely know who the audience he was writing for was, and I am not convinced he knew either. He was given an enormous topic, and rather than focusing on one path he tried to go down to many paths, making the writing unclear and jumbled together.  I think I would have enjoyed it more had it been written in a three part series so I could follow each independent story from start to finish

 

As I mentioned he was given an enormous topic, texting while driving, and I felt he scratched the surface of multiple LEADS. It didn’t leave me feeling impacted by the gravity of the story, which I am disappointed by.