I am so dismayed by the latest motorcyclist death in Calgary this past Saturday night. The fellow was at waiting at a stop light when rear ended by an SUV. The SUV driver panicked and due to the panic, ran the fellow over. With alcohol and drugs ruled out, a distraction would appear to be the cause.
Also on Saturday, I checked my rear view mirror and I saw three motorcyclists. One was stunting with an apparent motive to show off to his friends. We all pull in to a Tim Hortons and little do they know I’m behind them in line. Upon over hearing their reference to the stunt, I remind them about responsible behaviour on their bikes. Sheepishly they concurred.
Then on Sunday I’m pulling out of a mall and there’s a skateboarder with her ear buds in and cell phone in hand wheeling through our intersection. I’m thinking, you should have your complete wits about you especially considering that those church goers down the street were just dismissed from mass.
Then there are the oblivious pedestrians that I witness every day transfixed in their cell phone alter ego without any regard to space and time. They’ll walk down the middle of an aisle at the store and they’ll look down and up and down and up while waiting at a stop light. They’ll ignore their friend / lover / wife / husband while dining because of their cell phone fetish.
Our governments are weak on the subject when it comes to distracted driving and fear imposing any real penalty due to the perceived challenges inflicted by an even weaker legal system. The topic is addressed nonchalantly and everyone knows it’s a big issue but it receives only token attention. Your governments believe that an ad campaign is in your best interest instead of a meaningful financial deterrent. I beg to differ.
When nobody was tethered to a phone, we needed to be organized when going to the store instead of calling home to learn if there were eggs in the fridge. We trusted that children in the care of a sitter or school would be safe without a compulsion to “check in”. We got our work done when at work so that our leisure time was our own. Employers respected family time. We could count on an engagement to be kept with directions and destination agreed and planned in advance without last minute texting of confirmation and detail. We participated in the spontaneity of a moment unfastened from technology and free to engage wholeheartedly in a spirit for adventure and newness.
It’s called grandstanding and Colin Kaepernick knew very well that he put his employment security in jeopardy the moment he decided to dishonor his country by kneeling during the Star Spangled Banner. Once Colin gets a few more years behind him and matures, he will come to realize that causes and issues need to be addressed through the hard work of active participation and not the simplified approach of convenient protest. There are very few perfect places on the planet where justice is served at every turn but an open democratic process is available to Colin should he decide that the cause so dear to him that he decides to seriously engage with the help of fellow constituents. Of his fellow Americans who have been versed in legal process and empathetic to his cause, I would think that the New York Police Department would condemn his tactic and instead rally to his cause in a fashion representative of the democratic administrative apparatus available to all Americans. Protests have their place when conducted civilly as reinforcement to the aforementioned process citizens can access due to their citizenship right. Once one denounces their anthem, their credibility is questioned and any employer rightfully ponders the character of such applicant.
My first non-white friends were the Kims from South Korea. Mr. and Mrs. Kim sought a better life for their kids Hak Gin, Hak Il, and Mejung by relocating to Tungsten N.W.T. Yes, the town was named after the metal mined. The Kim kids did not have much English upon arrival but the warmth of a cold weather sub arctic northern township earned them a little after school help inside the two room school house. Both Hak Gin and Hak Il became my friends. I was probably their closest friend during fifth grade. I was invited to their home for dinner and Mrs. Kim would be amused by my reaction to her traditional cuisine. Although father Bok Kim was a stern man, it was a joyous household of song and laughter.
My days as a promoter of health products always brought me in touch with different ethnic groups. I typically viewed other ethnicities as more open to a “pitch” and generally the statement holds true. My travels in prospecting strangers (basis of my livelihood today as a public accountant) put me in contact with Phillipina Rose, and Sri Lankan Arjuna. Both became my friends. Rose and I would sing karaoke one Sunday afternoon and talk philosophy on another. Arjuna received my moral support as he encountered hardship in his new homeland. I would remind Arjuna of his fiery spirit which would carry him through troubled times.
Membership in a private personal development club enabled me to sail the Caribbean on chartered cruises (two successive Januarys). While partying one night alongside cabin mate Randy, along comes Ochuko. One of the biggest bonuses of membership in this club was stumbling upon this soft spoken thoughtful Nigerian on the periphery of the dance floor while admiring the moves of those marvelous mesdames. Fate would have us hailing the same cab upon disembarking in Miami. Have been friends ever since.
My client database composes very cool Pakistanis…and recently three new Sri Lankan friends have become quite close. One of these three has come to learn my sentiment that I think he’s whiter than most whites given his manner and traits (and he reads my blog…so I know you’re grinning).
Dancing lessons and one lovely Russian lass blessed me with exposure to the Russian heritage and those distinctive traits of intelligence, passion and beauty known to this part of the world.
More people with experiences far greater than my own from a land I’ve never seen will continue to come into my life and enrich it with adventure stories, their aspirations, things they miss from their birth place, and characteristics of Canada for which they express gratitude.
I must share my gratitude for StichMethod Guitar over at Youtube. Ian’s down to earth approach, self deprecating humor, and technical framework for delivering material is superb. I’m discovering tremendous value in his Blues Master Class Series of which his next release is eagerly anticipated. Ian knows how to break down the mystery of how fabulous guitar riffs are formed without inundating the student with theory. He’s comforted that any musician can obtain good theory elsewhere and is passionate about ensuring that students learn the essentials of navigating the neck with his “pentatonic never lost system.” Although his free lessons are presented from the basis of the minor pentatonic for now, I won’t be surprised if he starts expanding into other scales and even modes. Anyone can now purchase quality video content from professional teachers utilizing youtube as a medium of communication. It’s quite impressive really. If you play guitar and feel like venturing beyond basic chords and into some soloing, I highly recommend Ian Stich from the Stich Method. As a bonus of tuning into the StichMethod, you’ll be curiously awestruck by Ian’s fascination for his favourite band Phish which has obviously been a huge influence for Ian’s passion behind the instrument.