So I Think I’m Back

Though my service provider has yet to show up at my new digs (how’s that for a 70’s reference), as they try to assuage their guilt at having stood me up on two separate occasions now, the fine lady I talked to at “customer service” at least had the good sense (and courtesy) to switch my actual service from the old place to the new from their side, and promised I would have the first available cancellation or whatever came up, with a “guarantee” of an actual service call by April 12th, between the hours of 1-3 pm. (My original date was for the 29th of March, and then the 5th of April when they didn’t show up the first time.) As you’ve probably noticed, however, once they decided to switch the energy flow from my old address to the new, I was able to do my own wiring, and get things up and running. It’s not pretty (the cables run across the center of my living room), but it works, and that’s good enough for me at this time. The techie can worry about the artistic stuff if and when he/she ever arrives.

So as I unpack everything, I thought I should freshen up my page a bit since it’s been a while since I changed anything. I haven’t unpacked the camera equipment yet, but I thought what I would do for a few days was take a little trip down memory lane and look back at some of my favorite pictures. It’s getting pretty late into my third year since I began this page here at WordPress, and in that time, I realized I only had a couple handfuls of pictures that I was really, really happy with. So see, you don’t have to worry, I’ll run out of these old ones quickly enough, and then I’ll get back to trying to improve my techniques. And if I learn anything from the experience, then it will have been a worthwhile experiment.

So at any rate, I guess we’re starting to see some hints of Spring in the air. The Cherry and Apple Blossoms are out, as are the earlier Magnolias. And there’s a fly buzzing around my head right now doing my spell-checking for me because he knows that I just can’t tolerate “spelling bees”. All you folks try and stay dry now, have a good week, stay healthy, happy, and like always, try and be safe.

Resting in peace.
Resting In Peace
Sitting Pretty Bathing In The Sunlight
Sitting Pretty Bathing In The Sunlight

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A Few Stray Beach Pictures

Just a few pictures I found while I was organizing some files. They appear to have been taken when I was walking down at First Beach, in the West End of Vancouver, sometime this summer, so I figured it’s about time they saw the light of day.

Below Burrard Street Bridge
Below Burrard Street Bridge.
First Beach on a week-end afternoon.
First Beach On A Week-end Afternoon
Barnacle village.
Barnacle Village
Driftwood contours.
Driftwood Contours
False Creek on a sunny morning.
False Creek On A Sunny Morning

Well, nothing too dazzling, but time is short as I look at the insane jumble around me, pondering how my apartment can manage to look continually messier, the more stuff I take out of it?! (A question only slightly less perplexing than, “if the milk in the can is ‘evaporated’, how come the can isn’t empty”?)

Anyway, all the deep philosophy aside, I hope everyone is getting set to welcome Spring (except in the US where the new President has passed an Executive Order declaring all seasons, with the possible exception of endless nuclear winter, to be hoaxes perpetrated by the scientific community, in collusion with Natasha and Boris, and the rest of the gang from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Thus, having added three entire seasons to his list of things he doesn’t believe in, the new President is well on his way to making the job of running the country, into something so simple, that even a politician could do it. (With so much concern about “fake news” these days, I now have to ruin my own sarcasm and admit that this previous paragraph is meant as a joke…smh.)

Until next time, everyone please stay safe, healthy, and happy.

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One Of My Favorite Ways To Relax

For the most part these days, I find that I’m quite satisfied with the modest life that I live, and I really very seldom find that I have anything too significant to complain about on a personal level. That’s not to say that I won’t voice my opinion on matters of political import, or issues that I see as having social relevance, or which pertain to the concepts of Social Ethics or Justice. Sometimes I’ll voice those opinions quite loudly, since I was born the second youngest in a family of many children, and thus speaking loudly, (with substantial force on occasion), was at times a basic survival trait.

But there are those occasions, at times related to some issues that have affected me throughout my lifetime, and at other times related to the normal stresses of this rather hectic world we all live in and have to share on a daily basis, when things do manage to mount, and my head can start to feel something like a small pressure-cooker that’s been left unchecked a little too long. For instance, right at the moment, I find myself in the process of that most dreadful of states: The Move. After having lived in my present location for going on 10 years now, it turns out that as of April 1, 2017, I shall be in a new residence, and as I’m sure you all understand, this type of thing is very seldom, “a fun process”.

So when I do come up against one of these occasions, and I’m pretty sure I will if the bottom falls out of even one more moving box that I put two too many books in, then I need to stop what I’m doing, grab my jacket, and take a walk. And one of the places I most like to walk is “The Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden”, which is just two blocks from my apartment, right here in the heart of the downtown area in Vancouver. (It will be a whopping 6 blocks once I get moved, since I’m only moving four blocks – the new place IS much bigger -.) Once I’m there, it only takes a while walking among the plant-life, or talking to Goldie, and I’m back on track in no time, ready to go at it all over again for at least a few more days.

So anyway, if you lose me on and off for the next couple months, that’s what I’ll be doing, getting things packed up in preparation for moving day…OR…walking around at the Gardens which you can see in the few pictures below. Until I get back to being more regular, you all take care, stay healthy, be happy, and we’ll talk to you soon.

A piece of paradise in downtown Vancouver.
A Piece of Paradise in Downtown Vancouver.
Bamboo wall at the Chinese garden
Bamboo Wall At the Chinese Garden
Conversing with Goldie at the Chinese garden
Conversing With Goldie At the Chinese Garden
Strolling through the Chinese garden
Strolling Through The Chinese Garden

One Of My Favorite Ways To Relax

My First Gallery of 2017

So another year is upon us, and I thought I should start it off with my very first photo-gallery of the year. The photos themselves were taken last year of course, but that is how these things tend to work. So Happy New Year everyone, and lets get on with it.

I’m editing this post just to add one note of interest for anyone who may not be familiar with the single tree that makes up one of the images below. That particular tree is an import to British Columbia from the lower slopes of the Chilean and Argentinian south-central Andes, and for whatever reason (beyond being on the endangered species list), they’re not quite as plentiful as they use to be when I first moved out here (approx. 35 years ago).

The tree is commonly known as “The Monkey Puzzle Tree”, though it’s more distinguished scientific name is Araucaria araucana. Unlike what most people think, and as I have even noted in the caption, we don’t really know if this tree, a tree that is so old that it is regarded as a living fossil, can or cannot truly be climbed by a monkey. I don’t know if anyone has ever tested this relatively new theory. The story, as it was told to me, was that the strange leaf formations, which feel actually quite brittle, and are attached very close to the stem along the whole edge of the leaf (if you enlarge my picture to it’s maximum size, you will get at least a decent idea of what I mean) would continually break off from the tree wherever the monkey grabbed it, thus preventing the hapless simian from making any progress.

A little deeper reading, however, has turned up for me the following explanation for the name, and until I actually see a monkey sitting under a Monkey Puzzle Tree, shaking one fist at the tree above him, while massaging his sore bottom with the other fist, I’m going to have to believe the new explanation (which is actually the original explanation). That story goes like this:

“The origin of the popular English language name “monkey puzzle” derives from its early cultivation in Britain in about 1850, when the species was still very rare in gardens and not widely known. Sir William Molesworth, the proud owner of a young specimen at Pencarrow garden near Bodmin in Cornwall, was showing it to a group of friends, one of them – the noted barrister and Benthamist Charles Austin – remarked, “It would puzzle a monkey to climb that”.[11] As the species had no existing popular name, first “monkey puzzler”, then “monkey puzzle” stuck”.[12]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Araucaria_araucana

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“The Ministry Of Truth” Has Arrived

I don’t know exactly how many of you, but probably most, have read George Orwell’s “1984” at some point in your life. I think most of us had to take it as required reading in school when I was growing up, and if not, then we should have. Anyway, it appears that for the United States of America at least, George was about 32 years early with one of the most disturbing of his predictions for the atrocities that the government in his story would be imposing on the citizens of his fictional (and at his time, futuristic)  year of 1984. That particular prediction, which as of last week was signed into law in the USA, was the basic establishment (though under a different name) of the story’s propaganda branch of the evil government, which George, with his great sense of irony, chose to call “The Ministry of Truth”.

Now those of you who don’t live in the United States, and possibly quite a few of you who do, might be thinking, “No way, they could never pass a law like that in this day and age. Even if they snuck it past the people somehow, there would be enough legislators opposing it that it would never get passed”. But not so. You see, apparently, my friends the Americans use the same underhanded techniques that my own Canadian legislators use, when they want to pass a Bill that is so onerous, or plain distasteful, or even contrary to the accepted law of the land, that they know they could never pass it in the open. What they do in that case is hide the particular Bill they’re trying to sneak past everyone way down inside another great big lengthy Bill that is a slam-dunk, sure-fire Bill to pass. I don’t know if my southern neighbors use the same term we use, but up here we stick with the obvious and call that an Omnibus Bill. The Bill can be full of lots of minuscule items, and you just hope that no one reads the fine print.

This Bill I’m referring to “…was not voted on as a stand-alone bill, but was instead buried deep inside the 1,576-page National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2017…” It’s my guess that being a “Defense Authorization Act”, it was pretty much a slam-dunk to get signed, and being over 1500 pages long, I really doubt too many people took time out of their holiday shopping to read it very closely.

Anyway, I could talk your ear off, about why I say it’s the installation of “The Ministry of Truth”; about how it’s going to spend American tax-payers money to train the journalists who will be (allowed?) to give them their news; about how they will be actively combating…who? any writer who doesn’t agree with the government or corporate line; I could tell you certain news outlets will be on their payroll. (The Act is) “…dubbed the Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act, (it) also calls for providing tax funding and training to “journalists,” media outfits, and other propagandists willing to parrot the U.S. government’s viewpoints…”

Or I could simply link you down below to one of the articles that the progressive news channels have already started publishing, as they try to wake the American people to this latest attack on their Constitutional Freedoms. The very fact that this Act was passed, in the manner that it was, with no public consultations, says everything that needs to be said about the type of legislation this Act encompasses. It is my sincere hope, that as the American people become aware of the sleight-of-hand that was perpetrated upon them in the passing of this Bill, and with the help of true, and honest journalists in their country, journalists of real integrity, both in print and electronic medium, they will lift their voices as one, and demand the striking down of this joke of a Bill, and the stepping down of any corrupt politician that had anything to do with trying to saddle the American people with its burden.

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/24841-critics-slam-congress-for-creating-an-orwellian-ministry-of-truth?utm_source=The+Rutherford+Institute&utm_campaign=65486746dc-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2016_12_15&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_575dd19741-65486746dc-42059441

“The Ministry Of Truth” Has Arrived

And It Just Gets Worse

The latest talk concerning the Dakota Access Pipeline is that President Obama is in fact going to allow the construction to go ahead, turning his back completely on all the promises he made to the Native population when he first took office. For those of you who still watch the mainstream news channels, you may or may not have heard that the latest atrocity being committed against the peaceful Water Protectors, by the oil pipeline security is the use of a water cannon being applied to soak the people down as they stand out there at night on the North Dakota prairie with temperatures dropping to the low 20’s. This is of course resulting in mass cases of hypothermia, and when the Water Protectors build fires to try and warm up, the security forces use those fires as their excuse for using the water in the first place, since their actions could actually be seen not only as Human Rights Violations, but as criminally endangering human life.

On top of soaking them down with water cannons, the security forces are still targeting those they prefer to call “protestors” with tear gas, mace, rubber bullets, and now, concussion  grenades. The other night a young woman, in her early twenties, after being soaked down at about 3 in the morning, was hit in the arm with a rubber bullet. Having reach her personal limits, she turned, and was running from the security forces, who then targeted her once more, and with her back turned to them, managed to land a concussion grenade either ON the already wounded arm she was cradling in her other hand as she ran, or close enough to it, that the explosion shredded the flesh from the arm elbow to wrist, and shattered the bones. The oil company, the police and the security forces are trying to say that they aren’t using grenades, and it was an explosive device that the “protestors” threw that caused this damage. Unfortunately for them, it seems the doctors who have been doing the emergency surgeries on this girl over the past few days, may have recovered some of the shrapnel from the lady’s arm and clothing, which will be used in the upcoming lawsuits. Besides which, all the video which the progressive news stations (the only news stations bothering to cover this entire tragedy) have gathered, have shown over and over again, that the Water Protectors have been nothing but prayerful and peaceful, every day getting teargassed, maced, sprayed with water, and shot in the hands, legs and heads repeatedly WHILE PRAYING and YELLING “I LOVE YOU”.

There was actually another person with this young lady pretty much right up to the moment of the incident. They were helping each other hold a shield together for protection against the water-cannon until she got shot in the arm, and started to run. Jordan Cheriton, the reporter for TYT Politics interviewed this man to get the real story about what happened that night, and I’ve linked to it below. It really is worth checking out. I guess other than that, the only thing I can think of to say is, “Shame on you President Obama. Is that really all your word was worth? If it was, you certainly won’t be missed.”

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The News As It Should Be

I don’t watch mainstream news. If I want to know what’s up with the Kardashians (I don’t), I could always check SnapChat or Twitter, or whatever, because that’s what “Social” media is for. But when I want the news, I go to a “News” outlet, and nowadays, that means getting as far from the Mainstream News channels as I possibly can. I even find myself wondering if the average person remembers what true news sounds like.

You’ve probably all heard by now about the protests going on around the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, but if you’ve heard about it from the regular sources, such as Fox, CNN, ABC, CBS, and the rest of the usual nere-do-wells, I dare say you’ve most likely gotten a somewhat slanted version of the story. You know, where the Big Oil company is trying their best to help the country by investing in a major project on private land, and is currently being harassed in their efforts by a bunch of lazy, no-good, environmental activists, who would like to see your country revert to the stone age. These uneducated protestors keep talking nonsense about how this state-of-the-art pipeline might actually spring a leak and contaminate the lake the oil company is planning to run it under, and the Missouri River which it is connected to. The oil company, however, assures you all, that the idea of a leak, is nearly inconceivable in the first place, and if it were to happen at all, it would be immediately contained, and so quickly and thoroughly cleaned up, that you would be hard-pressed to even prove it had ever happened.

That’s basically the version the mainstream news would have you believe.

Below, I have linked to a 13 or 14-minute episode of Jordan Cheriton, the investigative reporter from TYT Politics, interviewing John Bolenbaugh, “a whisteblower who exposed the oil industry’s cover up of major oil spills throughout the United States”. They’re discussing the very real possibility of a leak, or leaks, and what truly happens (or has happened in the past) in the event of that occurrence, or occurrences. If you can manage to watch even the first 2 or 3-mins. of this video, I’m pretty certain, that like myself, you will be so hooked by the quality of the information that you will be receiving (actual news coverage), that you will be more than willing to watch the whole thing. The only problem I can foresee is that you may never feel quite the same watching your regular news programs ever again. But, like always on my page, I only ask that you judge for yourself.

So there you go. Pretty frightening isn’t it. But it doesn’t have to be. If we talk about it, and get others talking about it, then better solutions can be found, and implemented. Just making money, and making it the fastest way possible, cannot be good enough any longer. The election the people of the United States just held showed one thing more clearly than anything else. It showed people wanted a change, and they wanted it so bad, they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump. So just remember, those same establishment Democrats that couldn’t even beat Mr. Trump are the same people behind all these big oil pipelines, and their time really is over. Maybe it’s time they see the writing on the wall? Just asking.

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