COVID Conundrum

There are all these opinions, some credible action but then a lack of leadership. The puzzle pieces aren’t quite connecting. Governments have more power than they are really willing to deploy in the context of the problem. The underlying premise is not to overwhelm the health care system with patients who may come to need a respirator and hospital bed for survival. This seems like a worthy goal to me. New York experienced acute stress on their system in the early going and Governor Cuomo reacted with strong leadership with his lockdown. He sought federal help and did receive it. The matter was overt, vivid, and humbling for New Yorkers.  

In the state of Ohio today, there are 541 seriously ill patients from COVID-19 in intensive care as reported by the New York Times. The population of Alberta is about 37% that of Ohio. If you are in intensive care it means that you are poised to die without the intervention of continual care. People are dying of the virus and deaths are preventable in absence of transmission. It’s difficult to be argumentative with these facts. 

The economy needs to function and governments have power. Governments communicate with you and they are doing so regularly on the topic of COVID-19. Medical officers speaking on behalf of governments may not offer a powerful voice when communicating facts and therefore not drive a message with force. Medical people have intellect but not necessarily a powerful communication style to help reinforce words. This is certainly the case in Alberta.

If resources become very thin, doctors will make decisions with respect to who gets a ventilator. It will be their ethical duty. You may not be one of the lucky ones if you are gasping for a breath because of COVID-19. Therefore, you should do what’s asked of you. It’s not difficult and it will be temporary if we all comply. There is no conspiracy to strip you of your livelihood. There is no socialist agenda  – but there will be if the political pendulum keeps moving leftward (Canada).

What if things get really bad? You could lose your autonomy. The government could conclude that you lack the moral authority to make good decisions with your behaviour and consequently if you are tested positive for the virus be extracted from your family and warehoused with other COVID-19 positive people until you become symptom free. Your government actually does have this kind of power over you but has never during your lifetime needed to proclaim it.

Responsible citizens are quietly complying with ordinances and going about their business with a duty to their fellow man in the context of being part of a large solution.  I bet you are one of these people and I acknowledge you.      

Benefits of Running

So, it’s a pandemic and you’re not going to the gym eh. Running is so simple and convenient but odds are those who are reading this are not doing it.  What do you think the probability is of catching COVID-19 in the open air far from people?  What are your chances of recovering from COVID-19 should you catch it after having achieved a particular level of fitness from running?


  1. You need to be enriched by subtle radiation from the sun
  2. You excite neurotransmitters thereby increasing receptive capacity of target tissue
  3. Increased rate of blood flow exercises elasticity of arteries and veins potentially reducing plaque
  4. Increase caloric output effectively prohibiting weight gain
  5. Potential for increasing mental acuity

Things to consider:

a. Start slow…walk at first . Consider getting a medical consult first.

b. Pace yourself.

c. Distance doesn’t matter. It’s not a competition. Your chance at Olympic fame is over.

d. Bring a piece of I.D. with you.

e. Dress for the conditions.

A Culture Void of Dance

You remember junior high school gym class when social dance was introduced. As boys you were too cool and as girls you were mystified by what might transpire (presumptuous of me I know). I suggest that the curriculum was good for you. I went to all the school dances and left my friends behind. It wasn’t easy getting rejected by girls at that age.   

On an academic level, I had taken dance to another “step” because as a fundamental core component of Physical Education, kinesiology class in first year university and the modern dance module was a requirement for men and women. You either found open mindedness or you failed. It was that simple. There was jazz element in which I actually took an interest because one could actually incorporate popular music with coordinated group steps. In second year having decided that I found enjoyment from the class, I actually paid for a jazz evening class on campus.

I danced in the clubs during the ‘80s and 90’s while I circulated solo. At times, when the crowds were sparse, I was a spectator checking out the moves wondering how to incorporate them at some later date. Imagining swing moves without a partner was difficult. I looked upon it as part of the challenge.

The best part of my accounting practice has been seasonal slowness every fall. It’s a time when I challenge myself to learn something new. Dancing classes have been perfect in this regard. I’ve taken classes at Alberta Dancesport, Ceroc Calgary, and some salsa privately. The moves get forgotten without practice and reinforcement.   

Now here we are in this pandemic and I wonder how people are doing. I mean really doing….. from a spiritual sense. The thing about dance is that there is connectedness while the body moves to music. There is much life force in this.

At some point whether it was TV, the movies, or National Geographic, you’ve seen the serenity among people engaged in ethnic dance forms. Tribal cultures have ascribed spiritual meaning toward dancing while accompanied with their primitive instruments. Unfortunately, advanced cultures have been distracted from a committed temporal form of being perhaps without an understanding of the value.    

We evolve and some will return invigorated through a yearning to express our humanity through body and music. Others may still be anxious or insecure but curious.    

Macklem’s Word On Over-Leveraged Canadians

Canadians really do face some challenges with their debt. I see it in my practice. There’s plenty of blame to go around and I find the headline today over at BNN quite interesting – “Macklem Puts Dangerously Over-Leveraged Canadians on Notice”.

During the “pandemic” (let’s not be reticent in using the term despite your interpretation of COVID-19) governments have intervened to restrict commerce. There have been consequences and responses. Bankers have been forced to the table with an accommodating disposition. However; they have not been burdened by any new government regulation to restrict interest charged on debt through usury legislation. The federal liberal government has been slap happy at burdening industry with regulation but when it comes to the banking industry they’ve been absent. I should not be processing credit card transactions for my clients right now which have listed interest rates of 19.90 per cent when the Bank of Canada rate is 0.25 per cent irrespective of the credit rating of such taxpayer. Your federal liberal government has been burdening your grandchildren with excessive poorly managed public debt through this pandemic. Canadians want to pay their debt and expect banking sector shareholders to share in the financial pain elicited through economic contraction.   

Governments and Gambling

So it used to be the case that gambling was considered sinful , aberrant, immoral, and an affront to family values. It was something done by the low lifes (degenerates) of society with an addiction. However; in the context of today’s new world order – for one – you can’t make a reference to a “low life” because you would be condemned via political correctness as being prejudicial in one way shape or form or simply insensitive to  another’s presumed plight as opposed to their self inflicted harmful behaviour. Secondly, in Alberta and in other jurisdictions in North America…resource royalty revenues have fallen so low that the gambling stream of revenue is now considered essential for sustaining exorbitant social programs and government budgets. Hence; it’s more culturally accepted than ever that we don’t condemn the gamblers for their devious ways in the context of keeping society afloat. Nowadays, what you’ll find in casinos are flowery programs for the addicted installed through regulation in order to soothe the cognitive impairment of the addicted. Governments apparently need them so we might as well placate them with niceties.

The question goes begging “who are we as a people if we must rely on people’s weak character exhibited through gambling in order to sustain government finances”? I suggest that it didn’t have to be this way if governments weren’t so weak with their fiscal discipline over decades. When one looks at the behaviour of governments over decades in absolute terms pertaining to the handling of your taxes….it didn’t have to be this way.  Alberta’s online gambling site was apparently just launched yesterday.       

Quick & Easy Time Management Thoughts

  1. Why are you buffing your car on a hot sunny day after a car wash?
  2. Why does that weed pulling chore need to be perfect?
  3. Can kids not walk to school in friendship groups instead of being escorted by car?
  4. Still paying bills at the bank?
  5. Other online shopping options pursued?
  6. How expensive is it really to get some occasional domestic help?
  7. Why do I live so far from work?
  8. Am I doing stuff the kids should be doing to earn their allowance?
  9. Does the household really need a spouse going to “work”?
  10. Is there a better time during the week to grocery shop?

Presidential Debate Analyis Biden Trump

First of all…it was anything but presidential. The parties, the candidates, and the country were not well served. I expected it and couldn’t resist tuning in having learned that I could get it on youtube.  Sadly, I also expected belly laughs and these two guys delivered on that count about twice. 

Despite Trump’s weak character, I found him to be somewhat compelling at times and was actually winning the debate early on. His problem though is his inability to recite honest facts which of course reverses any credibility he would establish through compelling moments of cerebral thought.

There was the obvious discord in context of COVID. Biden did poorly in reciting Trump’s missteps and Trump started to find some groove in talking about lifting lock down measures and the impact of lock downs on people’s well being.  

Biden was looking old and worn out and did not really possess the vitality to produce effective comebacks which is what we were all looking for of course. Trump has so much vulnerability that one thinks that it would be unfathomable not be able to produce stinging frequent jabs. However; Biden was on his heels partly due to Trump’s continual counterpunching which was at times effective Also,  the moderator’s attempts at policing Trump may have actually worked in Trump’s favour by extinguishing any eruption of emotion in Biden.

There were personal attacks. Biden referenced Trump as a liar and a clown out loud intentionally and not under his breath. Trump smeared Biden’s son and Biden’s record. Biden smirked and chuckled in reaction to Trump responses. Trump attacked, interrupted and exaggerated.

Tax return topic was addressed of course and Trump suggests millions of taxes were paid in 2016 and 2017 and not the $750 suggested by the Times. Apparently, the returns are still under audit and somehow this audit has not been expedited in lieu of the taxpayer in question. 

Trump was tested one more time to outright condemn white supremacist groups with a request to ask them to “stand down”. He stumbled and instead of voicing conviction, he referenced antifa.

The two of them were asked to articulate a message on climate change. Trump talked about managing the forest better and attempted to tie Biden to a radical plan differing from Biden’s actual plan. 

There wasn’t a lot of substance here and the biggest take away would be a simple feeling emptiness that this was the best that the country could produce in two candidates. I’m afraid that the democrats did almost as poor a job in appointing Biden as the Republicans did in appointing Trump.

A parent in the U.S. could have come away thinking that their child would be left with a worse off country given that the concluding question dealt a matter that an advanced democracy hasn’t had to face in decades….a question in confidence about counting ballots fairly and any collateral repercussions.   

The Wake Up Call

Bob Woodward exclaimed to MSNBC on Thursday before revelations from the NY Times regarding Trump’s tax returns, “I don’t know Where (when) the wake-up call comes to the country” in response to Trump’s notion of not committing to a peaceful transfer of power.

It’s quite astonishing but as Woodward insinuates through his words, this pitiful man, Donald Trump, could still in fact be awarded the White House via the electorate despite his contemptuous, deceitful, patronizing, and immoral behaviour. I’m aghast and have refrained from writing on the Trump indiscretions as they regularly occur just because it’s become so banal and disheartening.

Among the latest news, we have the New York Times representing “years of tax avoidance” when characterizing Trump’s tax returns. It’s hard to imagine a man who flaunts such wealth as one who wouldn’t be left with some net income to pay tax but this is what’s been revealed by the Times.

At this point, the only nugget of conscionable defence one could muster in casting a vote for Trump would be the “either/ or” argument that the opposing political ideology is so unpalatable that Trump’s behaviour as characterized is tolerable in context.

If the United States of America returns this man to power in spite of everything they’ve learned about him through his words, his manner, his questionable relationships with Russians, his treatment of decorated military officers, his revolving door of staffers, his midnight tweets, his mocking of the disabled, his withholding of aid to Ukraine in exchange for political dirt, his payoffs of women, his bungling of COVID-19 while lying about it, his disrespectful reference to war captured veterans (McCain), his associations with the criminally indicted….all within the backdrop of a national debt advancing, race relations abysmal, and a quality of life in decline then the plight of man in the first world is deserving of whatever fate comes hither.      

The Online Learning Phenomenon

Caught a piece of the local Calgary news tonight and I’m watching kids sitting behind a computer at home possibly with a parent who is ill suited for assisting with the curriculum. Apparently, the fear of sending kids to school has been so great that the board suggests that the numbers of home schooled in Calgary equates with 30 new schools.

In person teachers have training and experience to spot weakness in a child and react accordingly. The in person school environment also in theory facilitates the social development of a child so long as the school environment is socially healthy. Parents certainly will be cognizant of these elements forgone in the home environment. Parents will be able to monitor progress comparatively with benchmarks but trained teachers would still be more attuned toward applying corrective measures and provide an unbiased perception of a child’s developmental progress.

The new age parent may be in for surprises when their kid reaches late teen age years discovering that the broader world is not as hospitable as mom’s home office. 

Story Time Kananaskis Lodge

It was a couple of years ago that I had the thought of providing my ski resort’s only hotel some business after a hard day on the slopes. The Kananaskis Mountain Lodge is located in the Kananaskis Village at the foot of Nakiska. Actually the Stoney Nakoda is a half hour down the road as well.  I thought, why not grab a bite and a room and come back the next day after a night at the Kananaskis Mountain Lodge. 

Here is the thing. When reception greeted me, the price was $350 and rooms were available.

BTW….this story comes to you courtesy of inspiration derived from the Calgary Herald’s editing department who removed my dignified post in reply to an article today referencing hard times in hospitality in Banff / Canmore.   

I thought to myself….this can’t be right. “Excuse me” I exclaimed….did you say $350? Are there rooms available? Yes sir. Well, I’m not paying $350….can you do any better? No sir.  Naturally, I drove home. They didn’t get my business and neither did Nakiska the next day for lunch. My Nakiska early bird season pass was less than this one night quoted at the Kananaskis Mountain Lodge.

Fast forward to today. The vacancy rate is very high. The Herald is quoting 50 per cent today during our covid reign and other posters whose posts have managed to subsist over at the Herald have declared that rates have not come down. 

Am I empathetic to hoteliers given my experience? No. Am I empathetic to folks in the service sector who have lost their jobs because of idiotic decisions by hotels? More so but not particularly. They decided to keep working for the misaligned greed driven owners who weren’t willing to accommodate me and obviously others local to their establishment. You see….Isaac Newton said it best. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If one goes about their business defying natural law expecting a consequence in their favour aberrant to normal course –why should one be empathetic toward a predictable plight? Although COVID may not have been on the horizon, certainly the potential for a Black Swan like event has always persisted as a variable to cause harm to hospitality.

If you ever conduct your affairs in such a way that you take advantage of someone with unfairness, there will be a consequence. You’ll never know when that consequence will show up. There is always reckoning in spite of a cultural denial at every turn that judgment can be avoided.      

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