Life, eh?

The only thing occupying my mind these days is Kinder Morgan and, of course, the colossal, slo-mo, ongoing train wreck that is the clown-prince Trump.  But you know how I feel and what I think about both so there is little point in repeating it.  So, I won’t.  I will add this, however, Trudeau is stupider than I first thought (and that was pretty damn stupid) and Rachel Notley is showing more and more of her ugly side (the one I personally encountered eighteen years ago when she was a privileged intern with the then Attorney General, Ujjal Dosanj.) She was a nasty piece of work back then and hasn’t lost a bit of the poison it seems.

And I am kind of pleased with the way Horgan is deporting himself….but, we’ll see how that unfolds.  At least he is understated and calm.

Instead, let us turn for the moment to community.  I’ll keep it short.

Our community – such as it is – is spread out over approximately 250 square miles and includes not quite that number of people on a busy August day.  We have a density of less than one person per square mile but I am including the water between islands  and so, for the sake of simplicity: one person per square mile.  Say, 200 people including everyone and that may be a bit generous.  At any given time, I doubt you could find 100 people (not quite true – when there are the fewest people out here, it is winter.  When winter is well-established fewer people travel.  Still, the 11 student, one room school can usually count on 100 people in the audience for the kid’s Xmas play.)  But getting 100 people at just about any other time is next to impossible.

The other day, we had a community potluck (40 or so people) and a show-and-tell slide show about a local environmental project underway.  It was good.  Interesting.  Sal and I will contribute.  But the real message for me was the make-up of the audience.  Everyone was 55 or older except a few (maybe 5-8) and their children (maybe another 5-8).  The balance were older people.  Like me.

I sat with S (70+) and R (also 70+).  J and K were just behind me (70+). The presenter was 60. This was a senior segment of the population.  They are also – almost 80% – of at least modest means.  These folks ain’t rich.  Not in financial terms, anyway.  They are not poor, tho.  Not ‘homeless’ types but old clothes, old boats, older, beaten cars.  Minimalists without working at it.  They don’t spend BIG. But they are healthy, active and well-fed.  They do what they want.  They go where they want.  They are pretty free.  I sorta feel I am amongst my peers.

Of course, I take Ibuprofen, occasionally nap, eat less red meat and drink less scotch these days so, if age is attaching itself to me, it is to them, too.  Our potluck was populated by white-haired people who appeared a bit shorter than they did last year.  But they are all on-the-go and none needs a walker or oxygen bottles.  These guys still chop wood, go to sea in small boats and carry heavy things around.  They are doing good.

But age is showing by…well,. not showing.  What I mean by that is that more and more old-timers are either moving to town or spending a helluva lot more time there.  Some, actually spend a helluva lot more time in a warm climate over winter but, no matter how you look at it, more of the community is NOT here more of the time.

To be fair, there is always an inflow to counter the outflow but, being part of the inflow requires energy and less years.  Older folks (and the teens) tend to be the outflow.  I am aware of this.  Increasingly so.  If I project, I can see Sal and I doing something similar.  I figure by the time I am 80, I will be spending more time in some ‘easier’ place.  By 90, I may not be here at all (in every sense of that).  We’ll see.

Life, eh?

 

 

 

40 thoughts on “Life, eh?

  1. Trump’s hubris is well known in some quarters, while amnesia holds firm among his supporters. As for the Premier of Alberta, it is heartening that she has backbone and a deep conflict well. She will need it. Many Canadians disagree with Alberta’s Premier and hope she will fail.She may well fail. But fail or succeed the people of Alberta will see how an NDP Premier fought for them just as an NDP Premier of BC fought for his province. Remember Premier Clark rolled on this project.

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    • So you see an NDP-looking-good-kinda scenario from all that? Truly a thin silver lining, my friend. Clutching at straws.
      The bottom line is that both will lose. So will Truduh… you cannot ‘go to the mattresses’ without incurring casualties.And lasting animus. Even if they all still carry their ‘constituencies’, we get sludge or they can’t get rid of it. The ONLY sensible resolution is compromise by way of a domestic refinery. And – just for the record – I will pay $5.00 a liter and have it delivered by Amazon drone before I would cave to Kinder Morgan. Hell, I’d ROW and walk before I gave in. But it is not about me – it is about all of us and what is the right thing to do……I think the right thing to do is a refinery.

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  2. Currently BC has two refineries, Prince George and Burnaby. The Prince George refinery seems logical for expansion whereas the Burnaby Refinery has tried to expand for years but so far no go.

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    • The scary think about the Chevron Burnaby Refinery is its location.
      North Burnaby in an unstable slide zone.
      I live in North burnaby and ride my bicycle when I’m bored….or feeling fat….or both…….
      Anywho I took a bicycle ride down the road to the Chevron plant last winter. I hadnt been there in ages. Nice quiet road that goes across the train tracks to the water.
      Anyway. I was blocked.
      Huge slow motion landslide off the Capital Hill north slope towards the refinery.
      Several hundred trees still standing in the dirt…..covering the road. It was a weekend and I must have been one of the first people there.
      Very surreal.
      Took bulldozers a few days to clear it and and another 6 months for them to stabilize the slope….in that one area.
      Nothing in the media.
      That entire north slope was identified decades ago as unsuitable for a road ( I lived half a block uphill from the Chevron plant for almost 30 years and know the local history from old timers…a 90 year old neighbor used to buy fresh crabs off the squatters on the shoreline “Crabtown” community in the 30’s before Chevron).
      The city of Burnaby has been quietly buying up houses and tearing them down above the slope for years on “Scenic Hwy” street. Apparently there are a few hold outs but not for much longer.
      The old Shell refinery east of the Chevron plant closed down about 10 years ago
      and the soil remediation will be an expensive, ongoing, nightmare for a plant that was there before the war spilling oil, pcb’s, asbestos, etc..
      Now I live about 10 blocks from the Kinder Morgan protest site( apparently something about oil I cant resist!).
      I hear the protesters and see the police but I’m not interested in a bike ride ….too noisy, too many hair shirts.

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      • I agree. The slope of Burnaby Mountain facing the Barnett highway is very unstable with little development on that North facing slope.

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    • I am MORE than OK with Alberta having it. But PG sounds good, too. If ONLY I ran the world. Things would be way better. Scotch would be cheaper. Pizza delivery would be mandatory no matter where you lived and automated telephone trees would be outlawed.

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  3. It is well worth comparing BC’s refining capacity with Alberta’s up-grading and refining capacity.if I’m not wrong, Alberta’s capacity is roughly ten times that of BC.

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  4. A least ‘anomymous’ has some understanding of the refining/pipelining business. Unlike others who have no conception (and refuse to educate themselves) of the industry

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    • Some truth to that, John. I plead guilty. But of what use is oil industry knowledge when the issue is oil SPILL destruction? How has the industry focussed on ocean clean up? What do you know about dilbit-in-the-sea? For that matter, what do you know about heavy tanker traffic in Vancouvers Coal Harbour?
      Misdirection…perhaps..?

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      • What do I know about dilbit in the sea? How about 10+ years working in research in heavy oil with a major company (including oil spill research).
        what about coal harbour. As far as I know,coal harbour only is the area where downtown Vancouver fronts (yacht club etc), the rest is the Burrard inlet. Tanker traffic is only in the inlet and it always has a pilot on board and two rescue tugs standing by..
        Juan de fuca and puget sound are more dangerous as the tanker traffic there does not have pilots on board nor tugs available.

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  5. Not quite, John. The tankers have to traverse a busy, busy and relatively narrow stretch of water bordered by two very restrictive, heavily currented bottlenecks appropriately named first and second narrows. Burrard inlet (but most Vancouver’s residents and civic officials have expanded the term Coal Harbour to include at least all of the newly developed side as far as Main Street). Regardless….seven tankers a day in the area will be a huge challenge. Plus, one of the reasons you have ten years of spill mitigation training is because, ‘duh!’ Kinder Morgan SPILLS. And a spill in the area of the Gulf will be devestating. See BP in Louisiana. See KM in Kalamazoo. I agree that the San Juans and Juan de Fuca are also dangerous so why are you and I talking about there NOT being pilots aboard? Why wouldn’t that have been proposed from the get go? FYI….we have had collisions at sea even with pilots. Finally, I fail to see how pumping unprocessed crud does Canada any good. It’s like selling logs. Stupid.. My fuel prices are the highest in NA. Higher than Texas, California, New York. But it comes from Alberta. Oil is exacerbating climate change. BC gets all the risk but no reward. BC fish are already at risk….are we supposed to ignore our environment? Are we supposed to sell everything sacred, John?
    The NEB process was tainted like it was third world. And you know that. Even Trudeau said it needed changing. Every member was an oil industry hack. Many submissions rejected. People unheard. Too narrow terms of reference. Facts and studies rejected. It was rigged, John.
    So why not just refine it? Why not? Why not makes us all happier? What’s the problem?

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    • I’m finding it quite ironic that Alberta’s cowboy in the white hat riding to their pipeline construction rescue is a ………Trudeau

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  6. You raise a powerful argument about raw resources, why ship them raw? The big reason is Canada is a hinterland ripe for plundering. Who is injured by log exports? Unionized woodworkers, IWA. Unionized jobs with benefits.

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  7. What’s the problem? Stupidity? That can’t be the only problem. Even stupid people cannot float to the top of the hierarchy. There has to be some outside force nudging them there. Corruption? Greed? Cronyism?
    Pelletizing makes sense. A refinery makes sense – even at $20 Billion. Redirect the Site C funds towards a refinery. At least, when the demand for fossil fuel drops off there will be some residual scrap value left in the refinery.

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    • I don’t know……why would anyone put the Gulf in further jeopardy? Refinery? Pellets? Whatever. Isn’t any mitigation worth it? Methinks the fix is in so deep sanity has been sold with the farm. I haven’t written about this but I must have sent two dozen emails to Butts telling him as far back as two years ago, “Do not push dilbit in the Gulf!”. OK. Fine. I’m nobody. I get that. But everything was predicted. Everything was warned about well in advance. Honestly, nothing is a surprise. And I pulled in favours to have help. I had top KM lawyers talking with top BC politicians. Everyone sounding constructive. So, why would such a bad plan be continued? Why refuse mitigation alternatives? Who is pulling the strings on this blindly stupid plan?
      And for the Alberta John’s, we are not saying you can’t produce and sell (although we should) your crud. All we are saying is, “Refine it!”.

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    • We know EXACTLY how things will be. Don’t be coy or stupid.

      Even those fellow Canadians who support your polluting, selfish ways will be hurt. You know that. I know that.

      But know this too, John, I won’t cave. You’ll never break me with bullying and extortion. Not because I am stronger but because I won’t be convinced to do wrong by a bully. Never.

      And I think it is wrong.

      Ya wanna play bully-boy? Is that how you address toughb issues? How Trumpian of you. Then go ahead….hurt your friends and neighbours. Beat them.

      Beat BC into submission. Wear a Maga hat and spew filth into the sea. Do it.

      I won’t cave. And half of BC won’t cave. And you will have the outcome you deserve…..whatever that turns out to be.

      Put more succinctly, John…..don’t even try to threaten me.

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  8. Support for the Kinder Morgan project has risen to 54 per cent in B.C., according to the Angus Reid Institute — up six per cent from February.

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    • I don’t believe it but it makes no difference. The majority CAN be wrong. In fact, to a contrarian like me, the majority is always wrong. You a Trudeau liberal, John? He got the majority nod. You a Rachel fan, John? She got the majority. The majority crucified Christ. The majority supported Hitler. The majority elected Nixon and Trump. You a lemming, John? Or do you occasionally THINK?
      Ñever mind…..I know the answer….

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  9. You a Trudeau liberal, John? He got the majority nod. You a Rachel fan, John?

    NO and NO!

    You a Horgan fan Dave? Ah! MAYBE A GREENIE.

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  10. I was NOT a Horgan fan but I am inclined that way. Now. I like the fact that money is not his motivator. I like him keeping his promises. I prefer natural BC to a crude oil slick. He’s winning me over. Rachel swept you off your feet? You a Trudeau fan? C’mon, John…you are an ignorant bastard but NOT a bad man. Are you really oK with the inevitable oil spill? Or is it just about earning a living? My guess? You just wanna live and live well. And you are NOT thinking, Only taking sides. Think about it…. we can each have what we want. It does NOT have to be a fight. Our goals are not mutually exclusive. Process tar til your heart is content. No dispute. Just don’t pollute the most beautiful place on earth. Please.
    And don’t threaten me.

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  11. calm down davidcus, some perspective,
    Bill 12 surely is not cause for you to claim John is threatening you or is there something I missed in the thread.?
    did anyone see the two hour Nova show on PBS, last nite,a fabulous presentation on our man made carbon wreckage
    Irrefutable xs & .

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    • The admonition to calm down is apt. I had to delete half of my responses to be left with something halfway civil. I do not like being threatened even indirectly and Bill 12 is more direct than indirect. It is bullying, stupid, inconsiderate and anti- neighbour. It also is contrary to amicable resolution. But you are right…..I need to calm down. Get John and Rachel to watch it. I know the story. It won’t convince them. They want the money. They want the money. To hell with the environment, they want the money.
      Breathe……breathe…..breathe…..

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  12. One only need look at East Germany in the mid 1980s, to see out of control industrialization. Alberta is moving towards being the most polluted province in Canada. Most polluted status is not one of BC’s aspirational goals. Alberta seems destined to achieve its aspirational pollution goals.

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  13. New Brunswick successfully defended a law against bringing Quebec beer into the Province. Why then can’t BC ban the import of dilbit into their Province?
    Let KM go ahead and build a pipeline, but they can’t import dilbit. Refined products – okay. Pelletized products – okay. Dilbit – nope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good point. But, of course, cheap beer benefits a normal guy. Dilbit benefits a Texas corporation. I wonder if there is a difference! Hmmmmm…

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  14. Enough of the oil talk!
    How about the second half of your blog subject.
    Aging out and moving out.
    I’m seeing it with my parents.
    Living in a small town with limited medical and assisted living options.
    My 88 yr old stepdad is developing alzheimers and he’s not physically active.
    A 250lb man that can barely walk and two able bodied men would have a hard time lifting him off the floor if he fell……let alone my 130lb 89 yr old mother.
    Yep.
    They have some serious decisions to make …..soon……… before one of them becomes entirely irrational.
    Because if one of then is “hospitalized” involuntarily….they dont get to pick where they go……the govt places them where ever. 5, 10, 100 miles away in the next available bed.
    Then there’s driving…….
    We had his license revoked after he pile drove the fridge in the garage right through the wall into the main floor bathroom. ( and THAT was his 4th “incident” with “accidents” in less than 6 months).
    The only way we could convince him was by explaining the cost of his car insurance, maintenance, gas, etc etc etc….vs a cab ride once a week or so….no brainer.
    But try and take away a mans cars keys after he’s been driving for more than 70 years.
    Its been 6 months and he’s settled in fairly well to the “no car” routine…..even bragging about how much money he’s saving.
    I’m just hoping there will be self driving cars when I’m at that state. And a robotic butler to interpret my ravings.
    I can dream cant I?

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    • Well, first we hope for sex robots. Of course. Then robot nurses who can mix drinks and cook. Someliers and chefs. Then palliative care robots who actually care. C’mon, there’s gotta be an algorithm for caring…no?
      A robot to interpret your ravings!?!? Not possible.
      The world is being driven urban and urban is hell. Serious hell. Get out my friends. Sell high, move out, buy low and love life again. Honest. It is good out here. Bad there. Trust me. Get out.

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      • Sex robots? Glad to know your libido is doing just fine!
        And we now have fridges that can call the store for more milk, eggs and cheese if needed.
        Pallitive care robots eh?
        Hmmmmmm.

        I’ll have to work on the “raving interpretation algorythm” sometime in the near future………..

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      • Most of the old primal emotions still surge and swirl but, as one ages, not as predictably. I offered to kiss a repairman on the lips who actually fixed a pump on time and had it ready for pickup just like arranged (very rare phenomena). My overture was politely rebuffed. I implied punching one who, despite assurances and calls had nothing ready and kept me waiting. But that rage at least hurried him up. Amazing how shallow lurks the primal man, eh?

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