Everywhere you turn, turn, turn

old Vancouvervancouver

Everywhere you turn, turn, turn
There is a condo going in, in, in
Out with the majestic grand monuments of old
Up with the vile glass monstrosities of today.

Good-bye unique beautiful vibrant communities
Hello, humdrum stale lonely world
Where does one city end and another begin?
Give me a sign and tell me where I am.

Everywhere you turn, turn, turn
There is a condo going in, in, in
Out with the majestic, grand monuments of old
Up with the vile glass monstrosities of today.

Glass and steel versus lush and green.
Mediocrity versus beauty
Obscuring views of the ocean and the trees.
Hide the mountains between the monochrome towers.

Everywhere you turn, turn, turn
There is a condo going in, in, in
Out with the majestic, grand monuments of old
Up with the vile glass monstrosities of today.

No more space?
Who cares?
Tear it all down
Until what made this city great, is gone.

Everywhere you turn, turn, turn
There is a condo going in, in, in
Out with the majestic, grand monuments of old
Up with the vile glass monstrosities of today.

Alas, oh jewel of the west
You have become a bore.
And the glory of yesteryear
Is no more.
—Robert Confiant 19 July 2018

Ever little bit

People think that for real change to occur there has to be big momentous events to occur. This is true on the grand scheme of things. I am thinking paradigm shifts as an example with giant leaps in human ingenuity and technological progress; however, I have found that it is the many minute changes that have a lasting effect.

Mountains, canyons, gorges, all form over millennia and last for eons. The slow action of platonic action and water flow are only two of the forces which result in the formation of these geographical wonders, slow repeated actions resulting in lasting monuments.

geographic

To bring this to a human context, I offer the example of dieting. Diets don’t work. They provide quick results, but if a diet is not followed by healthy eating including: Portion control, healthy food selection and exercise, then it will fail. If one wishes to create a lasting change in oneself, then one must make that change become a habit by continuously practicing these good behaviours. There are no shortcuts.

True change occurs with small steps – baby steps. Generally, one needs to walk before they can run. Of course, there are exceptions, but they are rare. This is just one of the lessons I have learned over the course of my life: True change occurs slowly and repeatedly.

Never give up and ever little bit helps.
—Robert Confiant 18 July 2018

 

I did not want to go into work today

I did not want to go into work today.

For the most part, I love my job. The people I work with, my immediate co-workers are great. There is the coffee club (or remnants of it), the group I work with and the front line workers – all good team players (mostly).

We have another shortage in our department and I am starting to fall behind on my regular work because I am working on filling the gap. Without going into great detail, it is really no one’s fault. People retire and people leave it’s as simple as that. The first gap was due to retirement and the second gap was due to someone leaving. What I fret over is how long it took to hire the second person after the first person retired: A long time. I don’t think I can deal with this situation again. I don’t have the will, or the determination to do so again. It’s frustrating. I am already feeling the pressure.

frustration

I am sure I am not the only person experiencing this issue of people leaving and being short-handed. I just wished they would hire a replacement more quickly. The process takes so long. I just know I am going to have an ‘F’ it attitude about it this time. I just cannot do it anymore. I feel work doesn’t support me anymore and I feel I am being taken advantage of and no one likes to feel like they are being taken advantage of. I keep reminding myself that I now only have a little over three and a half years to remain.

I will work hard. It was how I was raised – to do a good honest day’s work (I know, I am a dying breed – a dinosaur – LOL). But, I will no longer “kill” myself doing so.

What can one do? Nothing.

I will go into work and I will work hard, but it is not as much fun; it is not the same.
—Robert Confiant 11 July 2018

The Seasons

I was off today. On my job, I have every other Friday off (I work extra time each day to get it off, it’s called, ‘Flex day.’ Today, it rained. No surprise there, it rains a lot on the west coast a lot this time of year.

We drove state side to do a bit of shopping, I had no luck, I needed new shoes, but I couldn’t find my size, I have small very wide feet, a men’s size 7 EEE (wide), so either style, or colour become an issue for me. While we were driving, though, it rained off and on the whole drive there and back. Again, no surprise. Living on the west coast, for me, is one of trade offs.

I grew up in Ontario. When I was younger, we had the four seasons: Spring, summer, fall and winter. It was winter that was getting to me. This was especially true when I got older, and my Cerebral Palsy and balance became more of an issue. It got to the point that I loathe the winter season. I could walk well on any given day, but the snow and the ice became troublesome. I fell more often than I could tell. When the seasons changed, winter went pretty much into summers, and summers became sweltering hot, and fall was good, and the winters started later, but were more intense when they did, and spring became somewhat non-existent because it seemed to change from winter into summer (I am exaggerating a bit here, but that is what I observed happened). The intense winters made my life more difficult. It was difficult to walk and maneuver through the ice and the snow without slipping and falling.

Seasons

When I first visited Vancouver, both times, it was either in January or February. When I visited, it was warm and sunny (I later discovered that this was just a fluke, or beginner’s luck). I was hooked on, what I thought at the time, was awesome Vancouver weather. I later learnt that it rains a lot in Vancouver in the winter months. Once I discovered the reality of living in Vancouver, I became philosophical about it. I told myself that living here was about trade offs. It is a philosophy I still hold today.

After all, one doesn’t shovel rain.
—Robert Confiant 2 March 2018

 

 

We are on the cusp

As a species, we are on the cusp.

I watched a movie, and read the book this week, called, “Hidden Figures.” I said before, and I’ll say it again, it’s about the story of NACA (and later NASA) that hired women (never mind women of color).

These women were known as “computers,” before there were machines called, “Computers.” Their job was to handle the many calculations required by the engineers. Many of these women held Master’s and Doctorate degrees at their universities. The story takes place in the 1950s and 1960s, so segregation was a reality of the day; however, for the most part the attitude was, “let’s get the job done.” I am not saying, that there weren’t barriers to overcome: segregation and women’s respect and promotion were issues that would eventually have to be dealt with, but the women persevered and, eventually, they succeeded.

This got me thinking that, although their accomplishments were great, they were also hidden or completely ignored. The only people I recall in documentaries were white men in short sleeved shorts wearing a tie. And, that’s a shame.

I fear into day’s world not much has changed. It is a case of one step forward, five steps back, especially, under the certain circumstances the world finds itself. The more things seem to change the more things remain the same. But, even this is not true, for it appears that we are heading back to the time when this story first started.

We are at a cross road as a species. What we do from here and the next generation, maybe two, will determine if we will continue as a species.

Generally, blacks, and other minorities, are not much further ahead than they were in the late 1960s.

Women fare no better than they ever have. They are still not true equals of men. Many men still consider women as their inferiors. Women generally earn less than men, they fail to be promoted as often and their contribution is over looked. Women pay, way more, for the same services, and goods as men.

With the recent Colten ruling, in Canada, we see that not much has changed with the native issues either.

We need to start seeing that we are all the same. We are all one race, “The human race. Until that time, I fear we will not survive the next decade, or so.

I am white, so I have “white privilege.” I did not ask for it, but there it is. However, as a disabled, and gay man. I know what it is like to be different. I had to fight harder, strive harder just to prove that I can: I can, and I am the same as everyone else.

I fight for equality across the board. I fear for the future. I see the events on the news, and I no longer have the hope I once did that this world would be a better place in the future.

Let’s face it the planet is going to shit, the powers that be wanting to turn back the clock, or at the very least, keep the status quo. People who can make a change, the average person, well they throw up their hands, and they declare, “There is nothing I can do. One person cannot change the world.”

Because of this attitude, it seems that people, in general, really don’t give a shit anymore. I hate to admit it, “I am starting to give up hope.” I cannot blame them for feeling this way as I feel this way too.

End of the world

I try not to despair. I try not to give up hope. Maybe it is because I have a disability, that I had to fight to get ahead, which keeps me from giving in. Deep down inside, I still think we can change as a species.

We must start now. We need to change quickly. We are one species. We have only this planet, and it is dying. The planet is dying. It is on life support; we need to act now.

My rant, my prayer.
—Robert Confiant 10 February 2018 (mod 29 March 2018)

I cannot believe I am saying this, “We could sure use the rain.”

I cannot believe I am saying this, “We could sure use the rain.”

I live in a rainforest. In the winter, it rains anywhere from four to six months of the year. This year was no different, we got plenty of rain and snow in the mountains, and during the spring the winter thaw throughout parts of the province resulted in overflowing of river and streams with the runoff.

This summer was very unusual. It has been extremely dry, to the point where people are begging for rain. The local governments have put water vapouring around young saplings in the hopes of keeping them alive and they are encouraging people in the communities to water the trees at least once a week. Almost everyone here in Vancouver are calling for rain. I certainly hope we get a proper rainfall; a full day’s downpour of rain would be nice.

I sure wish it would rain overnight more often. One year, it rained quite often overnights. It would be good if this was the case again. It has been a very dry summer for a rainforest area. I fear this is becoming a trend. This is the second year in a row, but at least this year’s dry spell isn’t as bad as last year’s.

BC is burning. We’ve had “more than 931 fires…” started this season with “…604,000 hectares destroyed…”, and costing “…the province $243 million.”¹ Last year (2016), there were 1,050 wildfires and 100,187 hectares destroyed and costed the province an estimated $122 million. ² This is just terrible.

We are at the point where we could use a break. The air quality in the lower mainland has been horrible. We’ve gotten a bit of a break yesterday and this morning, but I sure hope it rains as the forecasters predict for tonight and tomorrow. It would greatly improve things; however, we don’t need it as much as the northern parts and the interior of BC.

Some people deny that there is climate change, I can only scratch my head at their denial; when the evidence is plain to see with hectares and hectares of BC forest burning to ash.

BC is not the only province experiencing this either, northern Alberta has seen its share of forest fires too.
―Robert Confiant 12 August 2017 (mod 27 March 2018)

Footnotes:
1. Judd, Amy (2017 August 9). “B.C. wildfires status Wednesday: More than 360 wildfires this season are human-caused.” http://globalnews.ca/news/3657702/b-c-wildfires-status-wednesday-more-than-360-wildfires-this-season-are-human-caused/.
2. BC Government (2016 November). Wildfire Season Summary. http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status/wildfire-statistics/wildfire-season-summary.