Monday, December 29, 2008

Other Shots

Other shots can be seen at my Flickr account.

Vancouver Shots

Third Beach is a place that I love going to and need to see every once and a while, especially when I have been away. Siwash Rock is a place where I feel I can kind of go to recharge. These are some shots I took today. The Lower Mainland drives me insane and I need to leave it for extended periods, but it is where I feel most geographically at home. As such, I cannot cut off my connections with it entirely. (that and the fact that most of my friends and family live around here)

Copyright, etc are mine.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wintery Frustrations

CD in Play: Carbon Dating Service, Polyentendrii

I am native to the Lower Mainland of British Columbia (as opposed to being a British Columbian Native, or First Nations) and am used to comparatively mild winters to those experienced by other Canadians throughout the country. Everyonce and while, however, we get blasted by winter's fury and have to deal with the ensuing havoc. This year has been one of those years.
Canadians from across Canada will scoff at the complaints of British Columbians (particularly Lower Mainlanders and Islanders) when the snow hits here. For those non-Canadians amongst my readers, there is nothing that Canadians love more than to engage in winter horror stories one-upmanship. You see, for every Canadian living outside of BC - no one endures worst winters than any given Canadian does in his or her given geographic region. Montrealers can't believe that people in the Prairies could possibly know worst winters than they do and people from Saskatchewan belive the same. Hell, I lived outside Moose Jaw in Southern Saskatchewan for two winters - lived in Montreal - had Grandparents in Edmonton, Alberta - travelled extensively through the mountains - stood on the frozen solid Yukon River in Whitehorse - and Saskatoonians are still dismissive about my wintery credentials. Why? Becuase I haven't experienced a Saskatoon winter yet.
Yes, it all gets quite silly. Personally, I figure Newfoundlanders probably endure the worst of all winters in Canada. Stormy blasts of snow, ice and wind, the maritime cold that sinks through your skin and settles on the bone. Grim indeed. But here in BC we don't get frequent boughts of snow, which makes things worse. People move here from other countries thinking that they won't have to deal with snow - wreaking havoc on the roads when they are unexpectedly confronted with it. They also don't know how to dress for it. But then the same can be said for the out-of-provicials who move here believing everything they see off of postcards. National propaganda and stereotypes make us out to be British California, with a balmy, sun-drenched climate. And the climate is drenched alright, but usually with rain for months on end. (anyone in the UK would be able to relate)
The out of provincials move here and don't understand that they still need to take care in the winter here - that snow here is just treacherous as snow there and maybe a bit more so. We have different conditions and situations - we have hills, big ones at steep angles. Our snow tends to be wetter and heavier. But I say all this and it won't make a lick of difference when I get back to Saskatoon. The cold out here can't kill you quickly and no other explanations will ever suffice. The weather has kept me from seeing two good friends because the roads are so treacherous. I say this whilst having access to a 4x4 vehicle, by the way. Yes the roads are that bad. I usually love snow in the Lower Mainland - it feels and sounds (and smells) the way snow should. But this winter it has been nothing but an extremely frustrating pain in the ass.
Itis beautiful though, so I will end this post with a photo shot by my Dad when he was visiting people in the Gibsons area. (that's where The Beachcombers was shot)

Friday, December 26, 2008

RIP - Harold Pinter

English Playwright, sreenwriter and director - amongst many other things - Harold Pinter passed away on the 24th of this month. He was a huge talent and the world is richer for his work and poorer for his passing.

Monday, December 22, 2008

More of the Same Old Same Old

iPodery: Boards of Canada, Music Has the Right to Children

...but with darker twist than before.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper once championed Senate reform. Mr. Harper professed for a long time to believe that Senators in this country ought to be elected, not appointed. On this, Mr. Harper and I were agreed. However, given the threats to his tenuous grasp of power facing him from a coalition of the Opposition, Mr. Harper has stacked the Senate's long vacant 18 seats with appointees of his own choosing. This on top of running to the Governor General to prorogue Parliament until the New Year. When the going gets tough, the would-be tough guy mires himself in hypocrisy.
The politicians are hypocrites is no surprise to anyone - but what makes this situation particularly galling is that Harper is trying and succeeding to take the moral high ground here. His supporters, while they rail on with no understanding about how undemocratic it is for the Opposition to assume control of government through a coalition, fail to see their chosen leader for the anti-democratic threat that he truly is. It is a sad day to be a Canadian.
I was forced to listen to talk radio for today, as supporters of the Conservatives called and wrote in to demagogue radio show host Charles Adler essentially encouraging the Prime Minister to seize control of government for the good of the nation. Yes, people want a man with an acknowledged distrust of democracy to seize control of the government so he can save democracy. And conservatives wonder why they so easily caricatured as ignorant rednecks?
Warning to all, if you stand with Harper stay out of my bloody way as I will likely (verbally) tear a strip out of you. My blood is up. That anyone would willingly delude themselves to stand with a man so corrupt and so hateful makes me very angry indeed. That people can stand for a man when he said one thing and then still stand with him when he does the complete opposite? Harper is a power hungry man and does not have this nation's best interests at heart. To stand with Harper is to stand with a liar, a hypocrite and a tyrant in the making.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Whatever these things actually are, it is one of these things yet again

iPodery: Going from A to Z, everything in order.

Current Location: The Saskatoon Public Library. I decided that not getting cable would have been a prudent idea, until I can secure more hours after my probation period ended. It was a smart decision. As such, I am dependent upon the Library for internet. (I can't always hope to use Geo and J's) Normal crowd today, but there is often an annoying crowd of "Special Eds" and "bo-bo's" who hand around here all day switching from computer to computer and acting thoroughly annoying.

Current Attire: Heavy black jacket, black sweater, jeans, Salomon boots, OP gloves and balaclava and my CBC Radio 3 toque.

Current DVD in the Player: The Wire. Elijah mentioned this series to me. Takes place in Baltimore and is in the same vein as (and has creative personel ties to ) Homicide: Life on the Street. Given that it is an HBO show, it has a freer hand to explore themes and ditch certain television conventions that would be expected on traditional television network shows.

Current Book: It should be Spin by Robert Charles Wilson, but I have been having a hard time starting it. Don't know why, just am. Instead I have been reading An Instinct for Dragons by David E. Jones. Jones argues that the basis for dragons comes not from the dinosaur fossils - as the legends of dragons predate such discoveries and are far too pervasive across the globe - but an amalgamation of the three main predators early hominids would have had: the eagle, the snake and the great cats.

Current Song in my Head: "Everybody has got something to hide, except me and my monkey" by the Beatles. And not just because it is coming up soon on my iPod.

Current Annoyance: The astonishing ignorance Canadians have about the basic tennents of our system of government. We are not living in the United States, folks. It is a Westminster style parliament. Look it up.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


iPodery: Tragically Hip, Day for Night

It is about -32 Celsius outside and I have bought my first balaclava. It be cold. I have a headache and am about to return home to watch The Wire.

Geo and J, by the way, are the best. They bought me dinner and they snagged me cold cuts, buns and macaroni salad. Geo also briought me squash soup. They rock. Thanks guys.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

An Odd Place to Be

iPodery: Stereolab, Chemical Smoke


So I met with one of my managers today and I have passed my probationary period. Yeah! Woo-Hoo! Awright! Dyn-O-Mite! And as of next week I have 4 hours. Woo-Ho... oh. Yeah, in case you forgot or if I forgot to mention it: my job is casual/on-call. So, I will be gasping for hours for a while. One guy may retire soon, but even that doesn't guarantee me a full or part time job. I can apply for work within the Health Region, however, and will be doing so .
So 3 months of full time training to end up trained and competent and underemployed. Opportunities are available where I am at, but it is a bit anti-climatic given everything that has happened. As I was leaving one of the hospitals I work at, it was a bit like getting ready to depart from a job for good. Quite odd really. So, I have to pick up hours with a company that I was working for prior to working for the Health Region.

Vancouver Ho!

So, I will be back in Vancouver briefly for Christmas. My apologies to anyone I don't get to see there - time is tight. I am not moving back, just visiting family for the holidays and heading back to this snow strewn, wind paradise.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Christmas Spirit in Action and Other Observations

iPodery: Sly and the Family Stone, Chemical Brothers, U2, The Kinks, Neurosis, Don Drummond

Christmas Spirit in the Classroom

I am having some financial troubles here on the wind blasted Prairie. The move has proved more expensive than anticipated and I had a couple of stupid moments for sure. So I was faced with not being able to attend the second half of my printing class - which I have been doing quite well at. My final lithography project garnered 91%, which is pretty good for a process I have learned to revile. (traditional litho, I have yet to the other forms) Anyhow, I mentioned to my prof that I may not be able to attend the class next semester and he told me to attend no matter what. I won't get a grade but I will get to learn serigraphy and intaglio.
I have a classmate who is part of the Charismatic movement - a denomination within Christendom I have many reservations about. He's been praying for the situation and I will admit it is looking a bit brighter than it did prior to this week.

Stephen Harper and the Coup D'état

So Little Stevie Harper wants to hamstring the other parties by impeding their ability to get funding (without hurting the ability of the Conservatives to fund raise as I understand it right now and now he is shocked to discover that they are trying to form a coalition to take power away from him. Big surprise. I do find it funny, though, that he would talk about it being undemocratic: especially given his strong autocratic bent and suspicions of the democratic impulse. (read Preston Manning's book) As far as I know the Opposition parties aren't doing anything that violates Canadian Law, so all the more power to them.
Harper has no one to blame but himself. He has behaved in an undemocratic manner since taking power and has no moral standing to decry the current situation. Had Stephen Harper actually stuck by what he pledged during his victory speech and played nicely with the other children - he would probably be in a different position than he is today. But Little Stevie is a bully who doesn't play nicely and doesn't like to play with others unless they do what he says to do.
Look at Harper's actions since taking office and tell me you don't see an autocrat in the same vein as Jean Chretien. Canadians really don't have many options and I think a coalition that works together is the best thing for us as a nation. And again, for all the Conservatives who are voting for Harper because you hope he will abolish abortion and outlaw gay marriage: don't hold your breath, it is never going to happen. He may go through the motions, but he will never follow through. Get over it and move on.