Word For The Unvaccinated COVID Paranoid

Your governments have spent oodles of money to get you free vaccines. For those unvaccinated covid paranoid…many of you who think you apparently know so much about physiology and medical science who have decided not to vaccinate and not heed your governments’ recommendation, the consequences of your decision are illuminating. Doctors in Alberta now whine about policy in lifting the vast majority of restrictions. Albertans have all had the chance to set appointments and vaccines have been available for all except children. Children have the best tolerance to handle an infection. Albertans have been looked after by governments with subsidies, vaccines, and work from home allowances. You doctors making the big bucks from the public purse having spent a ridiculous amount of time in school have most likely never operated a small business or been faced with managing a payroll. Now you whine. 

You see once we hit adulthood we get to deal directly with consequences of our conduct. If you choose not to vaccinate against a killer virus and you get infected and die…that is a consequence of your conduct. Society cannot go around protecting you from a decision which you take to risk your life in the face of arduous measures undertaken to protect you of which you reject.   

The New Mental Health Mantra

It’s all getting a bit ridiculous wouldn’t your say – this new mental health mantra. Suddenly there’s this new excuse for failing or missing the show. When nothing else sticks…just pull this one out of the hat because the whole internet universe has gravitated toward it and you know how politically incorrect it would be to call it out as “bull”.

You see few of us are ever faced with perfect circumstances when delivering the goods. There’s always something in the context of the playing field not to mention haunts from the past. That is what makes the show adrenaline filled and exciting. One is faced with the task at hand along with the context in which we present ourselves albeit the training and obstacles overcome. We may not meet a standard we expect of ourselves but a measure is taken at a point in time. It’s not a matter of win or go home. It’s a matter of doing our best.

If you put your name forward as a contestant, you have a duty to meet the obligation unless obvious unforeseen circumstances present themselves practically. If you don’t feel up to the task…then don’t put your name forward.

At Wimbledon, Naomi Osaka took an entry spot from an embattled tennis player who would have scrambled to qualify likely indebted using scarce resources to travel amidst COVID concerns. In the world of professional tennis there is much disparity in pay between players who consistently make it through to later rounds and players who qualify to make the draw.  Osaka is wealthy. Many of her tennis compatriots are not. She should have thought of them before deciding to contest the event if she was stricken with mental anxiety.

The Simone Biles situation is unfathomable in the context of my aforementioned. If she had thought that her mind was in such a state that she could not pull off the difficult dangerous manoeuvres, with the support of her coach she should have simply adjusted her routine accordingly in order to honor her commitments to her team, and her country. In my opinion, government funding should be withheld from athletes who fail to appear in the Olympic Arena having qualified citing a “mental health” concern. As far as I’m concerned, any individual who has demonstrated the characteristics and training necessary to qualify for international competition also possesses the mental acuity to perform.     

Calgary’s Plus 15 System Nowadays

It was quite the walk through today making my comparative to the2004 pulse as an example when I’d regularly spend time in the Calgary Plus 15 system for lunches and walks in the winter time while working downtown. 

For those not local, the “Plus 15” system encompasses passage ways connecting buildings in the downtown core at 15 feet in theory from ground (second level). Some of the passage ways are more elaborate and buildings will host space allocated for merchants on level two. 

At 3:30 in the afternoon on a Wednesday, half the shops and closed up and half are open and then there’s the deluge of “For Lease” signs. Very few people were around. Security guards are chatty ‘cause they’re so bored in spite of what should be increased demand in their duty associated with vagrancy. You see, in addition to their week day chores, the city has apparently passed a plebiscite requiring Plus 15s to be open now during weekends as a place of refuge for the homeless (could Calgary be the next Seattle?).

Back in ’04 people were dressed for the executive suite and corridors were jammed during lunch. There was excitement and people were poised for their next promotion. The middle management competitive ire was palpable. I remember thinking to myself back then as someone not making their salary….you just wait – these good times won’t last. I was right.   

The Cenovus takeover of Husky has emptied the Husky building and in viewing the concourse and centre square within, the view of emptiness is breathtaking. Apparently, the fine lunch counter on the third floor remains open just for the lunch hours. The Nexen building still seems empty as well.

What will come of all this office space? The largest vacancies will be in the A Class space and rest assured that the pension funds as large owners won’t be as flexible as they should be in the short term.

The government benefit programs are all at work subsidizing merchants. In fact, when everyone else is open for business in Calgary with few restrictions….these plus 15 merchants for some reason or another still have their hours restricted. It’s bizarre but not surprising given what I’ve seen of political leadership in Calgary and Ottawa.    

I’m not hearing enough about incentives to drive commerce to the downtown core. The new world wide initiative to impose a minimum corporate tax on corporations irrespective of headquarters could be a significant setback for office uptake in Calgary. Taxpayers should not be bailing out pension funds in lieu of malinvestment and ill thought urban planning.   

Stampede Bound

That’s right. I will visit the Stampede grounds in 2021 in lieu of the fact that I’ve done everything my governments have asked me to do in overcoming the pandemic along with the majority of others. Consequently, we’ve had success in Alberta and the health department has worked closely with the Stampede in adjusting to the landscape accordingly. Although, I am often suspicious of governments’ ability to perform, I actually believe on this front…they’ve done alright after failing to ground jets early and I give them credit. Professional musicians, vendors, entertainers deserve my support. The recording landscape for musicians is challenging and streaming platforms pay poorly. Live venues is where most musicians earn their bread and butter and you know what demographic has been hit hardest over the past sixteen months. The Stampede will employ hundreds of students this year many assigned to administering Alberta Health protocols.

There are some tremendous exhibits at the Stampede. I love the art exhibit and the trade booths filled with vendors selling the next best thing. The Big Four should have its stage running and there’s bound to be some great acts show up. In fact Blue Rodeo will appear on the Stampede Summer Stage (formerly the Coca Cola Stage) on closing night. The people watcher in me will be in tune while munching a corn dog and cracking a Coors (haven’t had a cool one in months).

You may not know that the Calgary Stampede Showband is a six time world champion in it’s discipline.

Hopefully, the Clydesdales show up. A great uncle was a trainer of these monster horses and mom would rail on about the majestic tranquility of these animals. I love seeing the reaction of children who may have just seen them for the first time.

On occasion my eyes will be peeled in awe of teenagers in glee twirling along in the Wave Swinger. There’s no mention of the slingshot making a return engagement but we’ll see.

Nashville North will impose the strictest of protocols given the big tent and it looks like the Cowboys Dance Hall will be a no go this year. 

 Incidentally, my new office is just down the street from the grounds. How convenient.     

Help Social Services Help The Vulnerable

You’ ve all seen the homeless but there may be an acute condition that you stumble upon. You know intuitively when an individual may not be street smart. You can feel their vulnerability and fear. You’ve hence come to realize that your typical day may take a different turn. Call it an inconvenience or a duty but the matter need not take much time. We all have cell phones clipped to our hip nowadays. You can log the necessary number into your contact list. Despite the indifference there are still social workers amongst us who live their occupation like a calling and will treat your call with the respect it deserves. Do continue to trust in a system irrespective of imperfections. 

With my new office in the East Belt Line, a walk to Millenium Park was ambitious but the day was a beaut so why not. It actually wasn’t my planned destination but upon arriving and ascending the ramp for a viewpoint of the skateboarders I was struck by a woman in her mid twenties holding her tummy and struggling. This was one of those situations and I had just passed by the Kerby Centre along my trek so upon learning she was suffering from apparent morning sickness and homelessness I encouraged her to get help at the Senior Centre. Knowing full well about the reluctance of many to accept help, I watched and waited for a time atop the park’s concrete viewpoint. She had found refuge from the sun behind the pillared concrete structure adjacent to a closed confectionary counter and was not heeding my suggestion.

This was a woman new to homelessness and needed intervention. I am not the one but there are professionals. I reversed my trail back to the Kerby Centre and reported the woman. I trust that there will be follow up. It is not my job but I’m confident that my small parcel of time in caring has paved the way for a professional to approach her.   

For those interested in learning more about the challenge of helping the homeless, Mark Laita has been conducting interviews on the topic over at Youtube’s “Soft White Underbelly”. He means well and admittedly was naive upon venturing into the chasm of mankind’s deviant conduct. His interview may provide insight. Cynicism need not carry the day. Hope is where the heart hails.   

Tennis Career of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova – Takeaway

Some superstars come right out of the gate as gifted with magic in their ground strokes. Other players have required time to develop the neuro-pathways with coaching in order to manifest the weaponry to compete at the highest level.

At 29 years of age Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova finally made it into the final of a grand slam event. This is a woman who had lost consistently over a number of years in the first, second, and third rounds of both doubles and singles events. She has a sprinkling of quarter final appearances to go along with some absences due to injury or failure to qualify. She obviously kept working on her game in order to improve with sights on a grand slam championship.

So here she was the other day in the 2021 French Open final getting blown out in the first set to an unseeded dark horse but found resolve to comeback and compete vigorously. I can just imagine the talk she gave herself at the first set break revisiting all the training she had done along with all the mediocre results in her long career. This would have been a moment of truth for her similarly to when we are all faced with similar situations when it’s time to step up and perform. Will we wilt or will we shine? On this day Ms. Pavlyuchnenkova shone by taking the second set 6-2 and losing the match by posting 4-6 in the third . She gave it her absolute best manifested something better than the past. You see – that’s what we are aiming to do. We are aiming to deliver something better from day to day. When there’s a regression, we double down and push harder. We go the extra mile. We test ourselves thereby adding fruitfulness and vigour to our being while managing other important elements of our life.

Congratulations to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on her 2021 French Open tournament!   

This Is Your Life

Bill Murray exclaimed “this is your life” in his interview with Charlie Rose. “There is no dress rehearsal”. It’s true. You do not get yesterday back. It’s gone. You have decisions to make today and the compilation of such decisions will form your destiny. The decision to lurk on the internet , couch surf with the “game of the week”,  research an investment opportunity, or teach a grandchild some tennis are all examples of activities with differing rates of return. You have the power to decide what to do. Then there is also the prospect of “working”.

You work because you have duties of responsibility. You must pull your weight in order for a society to flourish. Your contributions make a difference and just rewards are due you for your output. You’ve come to learn this innately through growth and maturity but what’s not so evident is an intangible resource pertaining to your uniqueness that is oftentimes overlooked because of its suppression.

In the same Charlie Rose interview, Bill Murray refers to his desire to be more “in the present”. This was in his response to what he believes he most wants that he doesn’t have. If you are “present” you have much more probability of accessing the intangible resource of uniqueness within you in order to give it a chance for expression. Your mind cannot be muddled with rationalizations and interpretations of your life history and whatever current day concerns or fears lurk. You need to have the confidence that your precision in executing life’s duties is strong in order to give your mind the freedom to find “presence”. Alcohol or drugs are mechanisms of escape for the aberrant without confidence to free the mind of its noise. You can access presence through conscientiousness, confidence and integrity. There is no free lunch. You get to work at it.

Once we have discovered improved liberty of the mind, we are then positioned to access that portal to our essence. That is…our makeup which will prosper in definition having been fertilized readily.   

Catholics, Residential Schools, Continued Indifference

Although I ‘m not a fan of Justin Trudeau,  I absolutely endorse his request that the Catholic Church step right to the plate and acknowledge the Residential School  horror in Kamloops, B.C. There should be full disclosure, humility, accountability and explicit detailing of records. This should happen now.

If we are absolute in ensuring that this never happens again – then controls need to be put in place along with mechanism(s) of accountability and whistleblower protection. 

As I craft my blog posts along with correspondence to political figures and the Canada Revenue Agency, I often think that I’m a rare breed as someone who actually lifts a finger when things are awry. In fact, of my 105 facebook friends, I’ll be surprised to see more than five who shout out in the comments in profound approval of this message.    

Within the past week we’ve seen all this reaction to the horror. Facebook profiles get symbols of victim family support but that which we need more is letters and petitions and personal outrage directed directly at political figures. We need you to be operative with injustices today speaking with power and conviction instead of deferring because you may sense that your voice is too small in and of itself.  We need you to do more than tweet about it or comment in an editorial. You need to draft arguments and deploy official means to forward feedback ensuring that you follow up and follow through.

The next debacle of society is waiting to happen. I’ll give you a few clues of challenges you can address.

  1. Monopolistic tech companies not reciprocating fairly in their relationship with you.
  2. Unsatisfactory service levels and Service Canada and the CRA.
  3. Illegal money flow from foreign countries (money laundering).
  4. Indifferent police forces and poor enforcement
  5. Cyber Crime
  6. Cronyism in political circles
  7. The subsidization of the wealthy
  8. Complicity around homelessness
  9.  Exorbitant government debt and fragile monetary system
  10. Drug overdoses

There is a list of ten things off the top of my head….one of which you could put your attention on now. You cannot do it all yourself but you can be one voice on one topic so that in twenty years we’re all not scratching out head wondering how did this all come to pass like the Residential School Horror. 

LaRussa Tirade

I’m occasionally reminded of my old childhood passion – baseball. Combine the topic of baseball and sportsmanship and you’ve got premium fodder for blairsblog.

You see, Whitesox manager, Tony La Russa, had scolded his all star hitter Yermin Mercedes for swinging for the fence (finely executed the homer) on a 3-0 count against a position player pitcher with the score at 14-4 in favour of the Sox the other night. Traditionally we “take” (take in baseball terms means let it go) that pitch. The bizarre follow on was that after the next game when Twins pitcher deliberately threw at Mercedes’ knees – LaRussa condoned it.

It’s only recently that position players have been taking the mound when games get out of control on the score board. This never used to be the case. Relievers have traditionally “mopped up” so now there’s a disconnect between the quality of the pitch and the quality of the batter. Should LaRussa have put in a pinch hitter (utility player) for Mercedes? Well, I suppose every manager could now unroll a wholesale change of the lineup in concert with the opponent’s mop up position player pitcher but this is not what the fans necessarily paid for at the ticket wicket.

It’s pretty tough not to sanction LaRussa for basically condoning violence but he certainly was within his  right mind to condemn Mercedes for not heeding the “take” sign.

I also have a sneaky feeling that LaRussa would have known he was out of line in applauding the Twins pitcher but certain men of this age and ilk are growing intemperate with the era of political correctness.    

Crossroads For Tech Behemoths

Are Facebook, Google, and Twitter here to stay? Dumb question? Is there a barrier to entry for new players? What happened to MySpace? USA Today reports that Florida Governor DeSantis will be drafting new legislation to impose significant fines for “deplatforming” ( never used to be a word right?) users without cause. You bet – DeSantis is a Trump supporter.

Frankly, I’m confused why the tech behemoths have not faced some competition. It would appear that there are some intellectual property rights facilitating their market monopoly along with a fickle public way too docile in accommodating unsolicited non-friend / follower posts through their feeds.

Of course there is the issue of impersonal  customer service and “no-reply” emails associated with all tech companies’ conduct which have become the industry norm. Individuals no longer put their names in signatures of email correspondence. Other companies have taken heed. Anonymity is the name of the game while taking your money should you decide to “partner” with them.  

It seems that these tech behemoths had an appealing offering at first and have worked their business systems so poetically that they are now completely estranged from users behind a partition cloaked in indifference. 

Now a legislator has stepped forward with a bill in conjunction with a disgruntled ex-President looking for redress which ironically despite the persona inciting the motion could benefit consumers if stamped with a consumer advocacy complement.

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