Tag Archives: commentary

To Spring or not to Spring …

… forward, that is. I find it unbelievably irritating and totally unnecessary. But what is probably a lot more irritating is that although politicians are listening to complaints about their time meddling, it’s only on their terms. Why? Because they want to nail it down to daylight “savings.”

Salvador Dali

Is it just me or is that totally thoughtless? Daylight “savings”? In December? The sun won’t peek over the horizon until 9 or 10 am. Apparently politicians don’t understand this concept. And summer? Try sending your kids to bed at 2 a.m., especially if you live anywhere northish. Yikes.

Salvador Dali

I want standard time. All year. Permanent daylight “savings” will feel like we are in the wrong time zone for most of the year and will affect our health. But apparently, daylight “savings” is supposed to be good for late shopping, so I guess that’s the only thing that matters. We’re just supposed to bow down and accept whatever is best for the God of Commercial Consumption.

Salvador Dali

What do you think?

Some Valentine’s Thoughts

Valentine’s Day can be a cute, lighthearted day, but I don’t like what has become of it. When I was in elementary school, it was fun to make cards, colour hearts and take them home for friends and family. There would likely be a few heart-shaped chocolates or a heart-shaped cake for dessert. It was a low-key, fun day.

Now, advertisers try to make us feel like moral degenerates if we don’t buy flowers, chocolates, restaurant meals and some sort of sexy present for our significant other, if we have one. It’s sort of, spend money, and spend THIS way, otherwise you don’t care about or love your people.

My M and I disagree. We don’t believe in giving special attention on just one day; we try to show it every day. We avoid going to restaurants or buying gifts for Valentine’s Day; the commercial demand that we celebrate in an “appropriate” way by spending money in a super-busy restaurant with over-worked staff who are serving up limp meals is not something on which we’re willing to spend money.

We would much rather go at a time of our choosing and really enjoy it. Give flowers at any time just because. Do little things and show in numerous ways how much we love and appreciate each other. Enjoy a chocolate heart.

But be guilted into a formulaic response so that big companies can collect money? No thank you.

What is your opinion?

Penticton Winter

December 31, 2021

Penticton (and most of British Columbia) has had a much colder winter than usual. Heck, over the last six months, it’s had unbelievably bad weather, period.

First there were heat waves (referred to as “heat domes” by the media). No matter what they were called, they were bad. I will never forget seeing on June 28 a temperature of 46°C (115°F) on our deck. In the shade.

Then there were the fires. Almost all of the town of Lytton was consumed by them. Throughout British Columbia, the air quality was terrible and the heat unrelenting.

Then autumn brought intense rain accompanied by high winds. The rain saturated the soil, the wind pulled the fire-dead trees from the ground, and this lead to extreme flooding and landslides, especially in the lower mainland. Dozens of landslides swept vehicles from the roads and trapped people and communities in isolated pockets.

British Columbia’s Coquihalla Highway
Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Hayward/ The Canadian Press

The Coquihalla Highway, a main four-to-six lane artery that carries supplies and people through the mountains, was seriously damaged in 20 separate places. The community of Abbotsford, a major supplier of dairy and other agricultural products and situated in the lower mainland, suffered extreme flooding and enormous economic damage.

Now we’re being hit by record-breaking cold temperatures with freezing rain, snow and slush. The media are doing reports on how people can help to save the non-migratory hummingbirds from freezing to death. According to the scientists, this is the tip of the (melting) iceberg because these “weather events” are going to get worse.

Question is, what are we doing to mitigate this situation? And, what are we doing to get ready for what’s coming?

Autumn Colour: Orange

Although Halloween has gone by for another year, the mountain ash with its orange berries and green leaves certainly wears distinctively Halloween colours.

Right now, there are many of these fully loaded trees here in the Okanagan; I hope that doesn’t mean that we’re going to experience a difficult winter as I just came through one! Snow at the end of May, anyone? No thank you.

Mountain ash berries have for many years been used as a treatment for diabetes, gout and heart disease, but there hasn’t been enough research completed to indicate just how effective they might be for combatting these conditions. They are also very rich in vitamin C.

One thing is certain though, consuming uncooked mountain ash berries will cause issues. They won’t kill you, but you will experience very significant tummy troubles such as intense pain, vomiting, diarrhea and bloating.

So if you’re interested in trying them, be sure to stew them, turn them into a jam, or juice them after they have been cooked. When I took survival training in the army, we were very specifically warned not to eat raw mountain ash berries.

Happy Tuesday. 🙂

Laughter Is the Best Medicine

This sculpture of a naked, laughing youth is on Vancouver’s waterfront.

He’s definitely carefree and just enjoying life, something I could appreciate as my M and I were doing the same thing!

There is a nearby plaque that is supposed to explain the sculpture’s background, but I found it to be worded in a rather convoluted, overly arty sort of way. I took a picture of it but I’ve decided to leave it out. I think it’s better to just let the viewer do the interpreting.

Happy weekend from Vancouver’s naked laughing guy!

Bill Murray Came to Visit

On Monday we had a snap federal election. Our fearless leader, Justin Trudeau, thought that his popularity could secure him a majority government, so he called for a quickie. “I have to do it fast,” he thought, “before I act like a bonehead again and people change their minds!”

Justin Trudeau

Actually, I don’t blame him for wanting a majority. That way, he can move more easily to carry out his government’s platform without deferring to the other parties. Any other leader would have, at the very least, thought about doing exactly the same. I believe that most would have seized the opportunity.

But two things really irritated me. The first is that he wouldn’t admit to the simple fact that a majority would have made governing a whole lot easier, and the second is that he went ahead with the election despite Canadians’ express desire that he not do so, and especially not with the pandemic still going on. Given that he had two more years left in his mandate, there was absolutely no need to put us through it, including having to pay for the costs of it.

So we slapped his hands, and deservedly so. We gifted him with his very own version of Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day in the form of another minority.

Trudeau and one of his children.

The new seat distribution in Parliament is almost identical to that of the 2019 election. There was little movement at all, although there may be some slight adjustments given that mail-ins are still being counted.

The cold hard fact is that the public has spoken, and we want a minority government. We are not going to turn over the shop to one party. In the end, we don’t trust any of them enough to do that. We have given them their marching orders: an expectation that the parties will work together to represent all of us and will stop trying to do what’s in their best interests instead of ours.

Good. They need to pay attention and go to work. All of them.

Blogging Experience

Salted Caramel https://saltedcaramel670.wordpress.com/2021/04/19/blogging-insights-blogging-experience/ asks the question What has your blogging experience taught you?

Well, good question. In blogging age, I’m an old timer. WP has been a second home for eight and a half years now, so I’ve been around a bit.

Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories

I think that through my blogging experience I have learned to get my thoughts out better. When I first started blogging, I hadn’t done much writing for quite a long time and I found the process cumbersome. Not the writing itself, but the thinking required to get a thought out in a streamlined or cogent manner (or maybe I’m just getting old). Whatever the problem was, blogging has been good for my brain. Writing, and in particular, reading the writing of others, has helped to keep my thinking sharper.

It has also taught me a lot about socialisation. I’m an introvert; in some ways, a rather big one. According to Myers-Briggs, I’m an INTP. The I stands for introverted. I don’t like parties, crowds or big gatherings. It’s not that I have any kind of discomfort; crowds don’t scare me or worry me; it’s more that I prefer to be with others in twos, or threes, or fours, and especially with those I know well.

Another thing is that I’m inept at small talk. I can’t stand around with a drink in one hand, a canapé in the other and wittily hold forth on the merits of Camembert over Brie. At a big party, I feel like I’m nowhere. I’m the one who will be sitting alone, reading my phone and wishing I was somewhere else having a glass of wine with a good friend.

But WP allows me to be in a crowd without being in a crowd. I don’t have to do small talk (I REALLY don’t like small talk). I can read interesting posts and then leave the room. 😉 There’s a lot about blogging that works well for an introvert.

Caribbean Sea, Dominican Republic

But my blogging experience has also taught me that there are drawbacks to it, too. You get to “know” someone, and then they disappear. Sometimes, they will say in a post or comment that they are leaving, but most of the time, there’s just … silence. Cue the tumbleweeds.

But that’s kind of the point, right? In blogging there’s an element of non-commitment commitment, like it’s not real life or a real thing. And maybe the person you’re chatting with isn’t real anyway. The “person” could be a construct, a complete lie designed to fool you, confuse you, or otherwise mule you.

And there are other issues. Issues that are made of people’s worst characteristics.

I had only been on WP for a couple of months when I saw a “takedown.” A blogger announced in a post that another, very popular blogger had made unwanted sexual advances to her over email; apparently, he was taking advantage of her as a childhood sexual abuse survivor. I had only recently started following the popular blogger, and found him to be witty, funny and irreverent, but … I also found his comments section to be clubby, exclusive and arrogant. And there was something else, too. A sort of jockeying for position among the commenters that I found off-putting.

Pacific Ocean off North Vancouver, British Columbia

Just as I was thinking of dropping the popular blogger, the complaint around the unwanted sexual advances occurred. I had no idea who was right or wrong and felt very uncomfortable as people started taking sides and voicing their opinions back and forth.

So I backed off. I later learned that the popular blogger removed his three WP sites and stopped blogging, at least here or at least under that name. As a result, I considered dropping blogging altogether, because I wondered if this type of situation was more common. As someone who had fairly recently extricated herself from a relationship with a malignant narcissist, I was cautious.

And I suppose it is common. Like any other situation where there are humans, contretemps can, and does, occur. Blogging is a microcosm of the wider world. And as in the wider world, there are always going to be those who try to manipulate, obfuscate, lie, cheat, and otherwise cause mayhem, so you have to be as on guard as you normally would be in the real world while you find your feet in the blogging world.

And you? What has your blogging experience taught you?