On friday, I rose at nought o’clock to meet Rachel and Meaghan at Georgia and Granville to catch the bus to Horseshoe Bay to catch the Ferry to Bowen. We hiked up Mount Gardner, taking the old skid trail which if anyone is wondering is the long way round. However, its much more enjoyable than the regular way up (follow the road, paradoxically named “Hiker’s Trail” all the way up for the regular route), which we used to go down again. It’s a serious hike – about 700 meters of elevation, only slightly less than the Grind. If you take the route we did, named “Old Skid trail South Peak”, the elevation comes in chunks – a strenuous section at least if not steeper than the grind followed by long flat sections where you work your way around the mountain. However, if you take the trail the “hiker’s trail” road leads too, the climb is even and ultimately less challenging – although less interesting as well.
The last section of the hike involves the use of ropes, mostly for descending, in order to achieve the North Summit Block. The North Summit Block is actually lower than the South Summit, (easily discernible when looking at Bowen Island from a distance), but the South summit does not actually offer a view – just a sense that you are on top, but can’t see off due to the trees (quite disapointing if you were expecting a view).
The view from the North Summit really is worth the hike. You can see both directions, a rare possibility in Vancouver, both up the Sunshine Coast towards Powell River, and South to the Olympic Mountains, Mount Baker, and Mount Ranier, as well as the City and Fraser Valley. If you could see from the South Peak, you would be able to see Vancouver Island aswell, which would make Gardner the best view in the Vancouver region period.
I just got back from a job interview at a firm called Backcheck, at their Port Kells offices. I was rejected because I failed to meet the standard score on their intelligence evaluation test. Are they crazy? I don’t like to pull rank, but I have an M.A. in Philosophy, and although I couldn’t tell them this because I wasn’t planning on telling them I would be leaving after just a few months, but there are some people back East about to pay me a good chunk of change to keep studying Philosophy.
What is worse, is that the reprasentative who spoke to me admitted that it’s quite random what people score on the aptitude test – people may score low initially and high on second try, or high initially and low on second try. They encouraged me to re take the aptitude test, but after a three month waiting period. Three months? Do they honestly not think I would have a different and better job in three months?
All of this would be comprehensible except for the fact it is a human resources firm – their job is to do background checks and evaluate candidates for positions, other companies outsource part of their H.R. to Backcheck to do this. And yet, Backcheck themselves have a hiring practice which they admit has a high compontent of randomness in selecting out apt candidates. Shame on you backcheck, shame.
However, I’m not cross that I did not get the job. Backcheck must be a strange and awful place. There is a pond out front, and five electric radio controlled speedboats on shelves in the lobby. I can only guess that the use of these is given as prizes for excellent work done. How perverse.
I would, however, like to challenge Backcheck to a duel. Unfortunately this is illeagle, and impractical – as there is no “backcheck” person, it only appears on paper. What is not illegal, however, is writing the address and directions to their secret Pork Kells offices. They are located in the Cancar buidling, at 19433 96th Ave, Surrey B.C. Their offices are Suite 200, and you get to them by crossing bridge from the parking lot and ringing the buzzer at the doors on the far left.
19433 96th Ave Surrey B.C. Suite 200. Just walk over the bridge and its the left most door.
It turns out that Jeff Mangum, lead singer from Neutral Milk Hotel, and writer of Holland, 1945, is married to Astra Taylor, who made the Zizek! documentary.
I have recently made my way back to Vancouver, and am very happy to be home. It has rained since I arrived, but whoever calls this “bad” weather hasn’t spent much time in Toronto on the wrong side of a shoulder season.
Today I hope to be heading into the city to see Rachel, perhaps with a bicycle. I look forward very much to seeing the mountains again. And soon, when the snow has receded, climbing them.