Friday, March 26, 2010

Phylum Miscellanea Again

CDs in Play: #1 Record/Radio City, Big Star. Girls! Girls! Girls!, Elvis Costello. Broadcast and The Focus Group Investigates Witch Cults of the Radio Age.

Renter's Hell

Just over a year and a half ago I moved into my bachelor suite in Saskatoon, SK. I currently pay $550.00 a month for a fairly spacious suite with high ceilings and old plumbing. It was built back in the 1930's and it has character. I like my apartment. Last year a new management company took over this building and four others. They announced at the end of January that they would be raising rents come 1 August, 2010. I expected this and was prepared to take the hit. I figured they would be asking $600.00 for my suite, but I was wrong. For a six month lease they are asking for $850 a month, $774 a month for a year's lease. a woman with a suite half the size of mine is being asked to pay $825 for 6 months and $750 a month for a year.
This is Saskatoon. Don't know it? Search it out on a map. Look it up on line. The rents being asked in this city are nowhere near worth what is being asked. I like Saskatoon, it is a nice city - but it is being priced well outside of its league. So I am hunting for a new place. Sadly it won't be as convenient as my current one is. I may have a lead on a basement suite that is being renovated. Apparently, the owners of the suite aren't even looking to make money of the place, which is good news for since...

Rule Britannia?

Since my rents is being jacked up and the cost of living in Saskatoon is matching other larger cities in Canada, why the hell wouldn't I just move elsewhere? I could move back to Vancouver. I could try Toronto. Edmonton? Calgary? Ottawa? All these places offer more in the way of amenities and diversions than Saskatoon for their costs of living. I don't have any heavy financial investment here. I am not high up on the seniority list at work. I am not involved with anyone. No kids, etc. So what really would keep me here? If I am going to get shafted on rent, why not do it some place that has more to offer in the way of experiences?
One difficulty in moving around Canada is that it is much harder to find a job in my area. Canadian Health Care doesn't place a high priority on Pathology, even less for autopsies. It is seen as a drain on the budget. I have been told that autopsies are just no longer as necessary as they once were. There isn't much more we can learn I have been told. I don't buy that. Pathology is exceedingly important for diagnosis and treatment and medical autopsies are not only of great importance for teaching residents, nurses and technologists - they help keep the system accountable. I believe in my work and am looking at moving to a place where it is still valued and performed with regularity: The United Kingdom.
Yes, it is more expensive than Canada and I have heard the arguments from others about why I would never want to live there. However, I think I can decide that for myself when I get there. I am not interested in London or the South East, I would add. I have been keeping an eye on the National Health Service's job postings and job pops up with astonishing regularity. (unlike the boards for the assorted Canadian Health regions I have looked at) I am able to move there to look for work without a job offer, but I plan to have a job offer in hand. All I need to do is find a cheap place to live and save up.
So when will this happen? I haven't a clue but my goal is to try and move sometime between the end of 2011 and the end of 2012. If you know me and wish to contribute to getting me out of the country - I wouldn't complain...

RIP Alex Chilton

Alex Chilton, a man who could very well have been America's best answer to John Lennon, passed away from a heart attack. Chilton had first come to people's attention as the lead singer of the Box Tops, scoring a number one hit with the group at age 16 with "The Letter" in 1967. I am most familiar with Chilton's work in Big Star. Songs like "Thirteen" and "The Ballad of El Goodo" and "Back of a Car" should have solidified Chilton's status as a talent, but it didn't happen. He battled alcoholism, homelessness and adversity. Chilton's status a music icon was eventually set in alternative music circles, having influenced bands and artists like R.E.M., Wilco, Teenage Fanclub, Matthew Sweet and The Replacements.
This week I have heard quite a few people around town listening to Big Star in shops so I wanted to say something in my blog. Chilton's death also spurred me on to check out his former bandmate, Chris Bell, who was killed in a car accident in 1978. I discovered this song, "I am the Cosmos", and have ordered the album of the same name.

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