Category Archives: Lifestyle

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.   

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.     

Ideal X Country Skiing in Calgary

While churning out the loops today within the city limits, my thoughts were on those bound by C19 protocols up on the mountains and the inevitable line ups. Today I came upon a skier thankful that I had done the heavy lifting nine days ago in order to set the track. If you had the right wax on today – you were flying with plus 3 degrees and old snow. I think the party of snow shoers I stumbled upon today were thinking today that they had taken up the wrong sport. Their snow shoes of course are nicely suited to nature’s wonders in the outback.

In our pursuits, there’s no denying the effectiveness of good planning. My bases stripped and replaced with good glide wax prior to the onset of snow. Youtube instructional videos of course work perfect for getting in tune for the season.

My first X country ski season was 1975 in a place called “Cantung”. You wouldn’t have heard of it. I fact, it’s now a ghost town in the North West Territories. I had attended school with about 25 total students all in the grades one to seven and believe it or not there were X country skis a plenty for all of us. We all went out together in colder conditions than you are used to. Big kids buddied with the smaller kids and the technology wasn’t what we have today. There was excitement as we clamoured for our gear.

Fast forward to today and it appears that motivation is lacking for affordable sport. Oh sure….on New Year’s day…people are out skating in masses in the C19 context but what about on a weekday evening where there’s good light and good weather when our day to day responsibilities are in force? Folks are too troubled or too addicted to their X box with spare time unfortunately.  It could prove costly iwth respect to longevity.   

X Country Skiing within Calgary’s City Limits

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?

Benefits:

  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.

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.       

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. 

Music and Dance Reminisce

My piano music book, “Pop Standards” by Hal Leonard has select classic pieces from the ‘70s. It’s sent me back on a childhood revisit this past weekend. As I write this I’m listening to the classic “Love’s Theme” by Barry White and Orchestra. The time was so innocent in many regards which was spawned by the music of the decade. There were so many happy (major keys) melodic songs. There was the one hit wonders. There were the indecipherable lyrics. There was the disco and Abba. There was Le Freak by Chic and Mike Oldfield, and “The Hustle”. There was Saturday Night Fever and Fleetwood Mac. There was Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd. There was the Eagles and Kiss. My sister was into Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and I actually saw the appeal although I was mostly playing baseball instead. The latter part of the decade had me thinking that dancing looked fun. I had no problem with it at all in spite of friends looking at me strange. There was the band “Heart” and the program “Midnight Special”.  I was enthralled.

The years 76 and 77 had me focused on Littlle League ball but I had memorized the lyrics to Hotel California. I had the album and played it all the time along with Kiss, Destroyer. With the move to Kamloops from Cranbrook in grade eight – I didn’t think twice when school dances came around. I went to them all and I danced to Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way”, Bee Gees – “Night Fever” and “Stayin Alive”.  There was Donna Summer, Blondie and Cheap Trick (Surrender), Foreigner, Journey, Asia, Trooper, and ELO. I was remarkably composed in refuting a friend’s insinuation that dancing wasn’t cool. I even overcame nerves and rejection in asking girls to dance.   

Free form dancing apparently is not in right now. It could all change again one day. Culture could go through another period of revitalization having gone through a pandemic and the realization that part of the soul’s earthly journey is one of connection through dance.            

Pandemic Potpourri

  1. So ah, take out delivery. Don’t you have tons of time on your hands to cook
  2. Something like seven years to get a doctors degree and still so much contradictory opinion about wearing a mask and defining etiology
  3. Idiocy of downplaying potential and then actualizing the black swan.
  4. Still selling toilet paper in packages of 18 rolls weeks after discovering supply chain issue.
  5. Much talk and little real leadership from particular politicians.
  6. Few people exercising outside and you know they’re headed for a weight gain dilemma.
  7. Human rights reflection in failing to permit cruise ships to port.
  8. Potential for infringing on civil liberties with cell phone tracking permissions.
  9. Discounting any semblance of common sense and government dictums with bulletin board notices and patronizing ads about staying home.
  10. Instances of misplaced sense of authority over others’ conduct.

The Future of Work

I attended a U of A sponsored alumni event last night entitled “The Future of Work”. It was hosted at the newly restored old Calgary Science Center.

Economist Todd Hirsch from the Alberta Treasury Branch gave the talk with a power point presentation. This well spoken gentleman referenced topics which many of us maybe have thought about but haven’t really worked through logistically in terms of how exactly advancing technology will impact our working lives.

Todd suggests that advancing technology is going to in fact do away with certain job functions. His example illustrated the chronology of events required to fill a prescription for the elderly. He demonstrated that in Canada today it takes six working people contacts for an elder to have their prescription filled from the time he walks into a doctor’s office until the time medicine is dispensed. However; once an electronic medical bracelet with the capacity to monitor biological data is affixed to the wrist, a reduction in manpower inevitably can serve the individual as well and perhaps better. Imagine one pill instead of a cocktail delivered by drone. 

Another theme presented was the sociological effect of having less people serve us. Todd suggests that people will become more isolated with the deployment of technology. I wonder if robots in decades to come will be programmed to elicit emotion. 

In one provocative slide, Todd depicted the working timeline of people’s lives since the dawn of formalized agricultural to the onset of industrialization and into the digital age. Finally there was a forecast of decades new transformed by automation. He forecasts that a “Universal Basic Income” will be required to offset the improved efficiency brought on by automation. He also predicts that structured volunteerism will emerge as government programs collapse under their weight with government finances stretched. Continuous learning will be evident in a fast changing work place and the career profile of someone in 2030 and beyond will be starkly different from the “good job” espoused by baby boomers.        

Recreational Bike Riding

I am what you could call a normal bike riding enthusiast. I don’t have the best bike and I don’t go the fastest but I break a sweat and burn calories in the spirit of active living. The occasional trek gives a non-competitive cyclist such as myself much to ponder while travelling the trails of North East Calgary.

Today got me thinking about common courtesies and the urge to rush. Occasionally, we’ll run up behind a pedestrian. From experience we’ve come to learn that mankind seems to have this propensity to deploy technology at every opportunity. In this case it would be the “bike bell”. I can see reasons to use it but not in every situation. When it’s a quiet morning and a pedestrian is sauntering along in thought, I’m inclined to find a way around like a wide pass that doesn’t jar him / her out of their serenity. Call me strange but I’m just not in that much of a rush. Then there are those vehicles which offer a wide pass when it’s safe for them to do so. You know they’ll be looking back in their rear view mirror. I’ll give them a wave. 

Many drivers have an urge to rush and this behaviour is elicited by vehicle incursions at intersections and through cross walks. You know they feel guilty when surprised by a bicycle. Traffic regulations require vehicles to stop in advance of the stop line or in absence of a stop line, slightly in front of the stop sign. If intersection visibility is unclear, drivers should then sneak forward.  When folks cheat, pedestrians and bicyclists can be put at risk. Law enforcement seems to have better things to do than patrol this poor driving habit. Always be on guard at intersections.

Distracted driving is a reality and it is a material hazard. Pedestrians will not mind sharing a sidewalk with a bicycle if the bicycle yields to pedestrians always, passes with care, and slows down while passing. It simply makes good common sense to use sidewalks when road conditions such as narrow shoulders are unsafe to share with drivers.