OTG revisited…..?

It kinda feels that way…..’visiting’……we’ve spent so much time in the city these past few weeks that it kinda feels like we have just come to the cabin for a holiday weekend.  In fact, we are just NOW really, really home.  God it feels good! 

Travels and travails took us to Vancouver and then to Victoria.  Then down to Victoria again.  It’s all some kind of crazy down there but that is not news.  In fact, it is all kinds of crazy everywhere.   And, sadly, that is not news either.

Even THIS is not news: we figured (and we kept it to a minimum) that we spent in excess of three wasted hours a day driving in traffic, parking, lining up, standing at check-outs and generally doing nothing constructive whatsoever on average per every day we were away while in the city.

THAT’S 20+ wasted hours a week!!!

Some days were even more stupid.  (OK, shopping and restaurants are somewhat constructive but barely.  Sustaining is the word.  NOT constructive.)  Put another way: too much of my diminishing energy is spent complying with rules and systems designed by others for the benefit of others and that I pay too much for when I am there.  Plus I just plain hate it.

My son recently added about 400 square feet to his house with an addition that had him jump through more hoops than a slinky and some so crazy I can’t imagine him handling it.  I’d have gone nuts.  Did you know that Victoria has an ‘inspector’ for drywall? 

Yesterday, in a hurry of course, I did the ‘shopping’ at one store in just under 11 minutes and that included putting all the crap on the conveyor belt.  I waited 15 more minutes to get through the cashier process.  I was apoplectic.

“And how are you today, sir?”

“Impatient.  Angry and getting angrier by the moment.  I am experiencing homicidal feelings towards people who can’t seem to pay and move along.  I am especially frustrated by women who do not get their wallet out of their purse to get their air-miles cards and credit cards – which they can’t seem to make work anyway – and don’t even start that hunt-and-search method until the bill is already wrung up.  Do you think that I am being sexist?”, I growled.

“No, sir.  I’ve been working here five years and it drives me crazy, too!”  And that made me feel a bit better.  And then she rang through my stuff in record time.  There may have been some fear in the air…… I was still angry as I left.   That is no way to live.

“Dave, stop complaining!”

OK.  I’ll stop after this, but I am NOT complaining, not really.  I am COMPARING.  I am 70.  My day has only so much energy available for me to do stuff.  Let’s pretend it’s 8 hours.  It is NOT REALLY eight hours, it’s more like four because the last four are so much slower paced and include wine-drinking and dinner-making.  Productivity trails off pretty rapidly.  But, in the city that theoretical eight hours is either reduced to five or three extra-frustrating hours are added to it by city-time (driving, parking, lining up, etc.)!

That’s a huge Gross Domestic Productivity kick in the cajones.

Anyway, I am back now.  I am happy.  I vented.  I may even vent a bit more some time in another blog.  Old men do that, it seems.  But I am happy.  The fire is roaring, the sea is beautiful, the air is clean and it is cathedral-quiet except for the Ravens giving us orders to fill.  Sal and I can get back at it – whatever we are at in any given moment – and enjoy ourselves again.  God, it is good to be home!

10 thoughts on “OTG revisited…..?

  1. Yesterday was a long productive day with just the right amount of time. Wayne went down the lake to help John tear down his shed (he got a one year extension on his shore structure removal process). Before he left we finished cutting up the wood we moved to the deck. After Wayne left, I sorted and moved the cut wood to be ready for him to stack inside later and put my kindling in the shed. I cut down the last of my pepper plants and topped off a compost barrel on the cabin deck that’s replacing the one I had to remove from shore. Then I went inside and processed the last of my peppers into Cowboy Candy (sweet hot pepper relish). This time I diced all the peppers, what a time consuming chore. Wayne came home so we could leave for town by 6:00 to beat sundown. I finished at 6:10. What a day off the grid. – Margy


    • How much time stuck in traffic? How many cashier line-ups? How much looking in giant box stores for items not in stock? Did you wait patiently for fast food? Line up to buy gasoline?
      Did you have to wait well past your appointment time for your doctor? Or have car trouble that they can’t get to til next week?
      Or was it a beautiful day spent outdoors doing REAL things at your own pace? We both know the answer and good on ya….


      • It was a beautiful day spent outdoors, but I did have to wait about three minutes for them to bring me my Honey Brown when I got to the Shinglemill for dinner on the way to the condo. Went to the doctor today, got in 15 minutes early. I must be living right.


  2. I guess the term today is ‘hacks’ for city living. Many places have mobile ordering which jumps the cue and provides pick up and go. On-line ordering and delivery turns shopping into a small chunk of time. Folks will pick-up one’s car, service it and return it, gas it etc. All types of meals are offered prepared or the ingredients to prepare a meal. personal computer assistants will shop, answer questions, dim the lights or lock the doors. In essence city dwellers can place themselves in twenty-four hour care. I suppose that we will eventually have avatars catering to our every need. But experiencing the joys of living may only be found in the future in somewhere off the ‘beaten path.’ But I suppose that in the future even remote areas will be visited by delivery drones.


  3. You are right….it’s just change…..and change that I personally don’t care for. Just me getting on in years, I guess. But, but, but….that which I don’t like is more because I have found something better. So, I am comparing more than complaining. Still, it boils down to different mostly.


    • The quality of one’s life experiences, the happiness that one derives from these experiences gives meaning to one’s existence. It seems to be about self efficacy.
      Going on-line for coffee seems like a fleeting form of efficacy.


      • There’s a difference between change by way of evolution and change by surprise. For many, the modern and mostly urban lifestyle is evolving. For me, it’s now coming in small and large surprises. The commonly used analogy is the frog in the pot slowly being heated vs the frog who is dropped in when it is already bloody hot..
        But one thing is for sure – frogs and sheep, mice and men – life is much more DONE TO US than LIVED by us.
        And I write to counter that.


  4. My God.
    I choked on my drink when I read your “conversation” with the cashier.
    I thought I was the only one that watches people who stand in a line up for several minutes and then….when everything is rung through…..open their purse/wallet…..search for their wallet….dig through the wallet…..find the right card….OR ( god help me!) PAY CASH ….one fricking coin at a time.
    I saw a guy a year ago pull a “coin helper” out of his pocket….I havent seen one of those in at least 40 years…..

    Your son had to deal with a “drywall inspector’?
    My “fave” was about 10 years ago when I managed an office building in downtown Vancouver……
    A municipal ADDRESS INSPECTOR !
    I’m not kidding.
    The 14 story office tower had been in the same location for 10+ years..
    It was on a corner lot. ….two streets. two entrances, two addresses.
    The “inspector” demanded we take down one of the addresses because..” its too confusing for emergency services( ie police,fire, ambulance).

    I smiled and said, ” Well,…. THIS address is for the Federal Govt tenant and THIS address is for the Provincial and Municipal govt…..
    Which govt agency do YOU want to tell they have to redo all their letterhead, business cards, etc etc etc.

    Govt stupidity times 10

    He gave me a written notice to “remove one address”.

    I called my boss and he said, ” Does that mean we pay less property tax?
    “Ignore it.”

    I tossed it in the garbage
    Never heard from that little pissant beurocrat again.

    On another note.
    Welcome home!

    I have some resident crows around my shop…..almost as tamed as your Ravens.


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