Optimism….kinda…

It is January 2, 2021 and I am looking forward to the new year. Normally, New Year is just another date on the calendar for me. Just a number. But 2020 was so bad in so many ways, I am really looking for any signs of renewal and change in 2021. Like many, I am hoping that the new set of numbers means something more than just a new set of numbers.

We’ll see.

It howled again last night. Wind, rain, choppy seas. Howling courtesy of our wind turbine (with a gusty Southeaster on bass and a roiling sea on percussion). Sal woke up at 3:00. I was wide awake at 5:00. We can handle storm. We have a harder time with turbine. The turbine is a maniacal banshee!

Typically wind-turbines have an ‘overspeed’ brake so that the blades do not go so fast the insides come apart. The brake is centrifugal so it only comes on when the wind is really high (35 mph plus). The brake is noisy. Sounds like a big dog barking. Our turbine barked every five or ten minutes for five seconds or so each time – for hours. I asked Sal if I should throw a rope over it or did she want to go up the tower. “Neither. Use the shotgun and as many shells as you need.”

As you can guess, she was a bit less sweet and cheery this morning. Still, the shotgun idea had crossed my mind. But the wind is now down and the turbine can be ignored. So…..

I went down to the dock this morning to check everything. It was all good. The boat was pretty full of water (the auto bilge pump didn’t kick on, tho). They rarely do. Rule dominates the bilge pump market and 20% of their pumps just do not work. Pure crap right out of the box. Of the other 80%, they have a limited functioning lifespan – maybe a couple of years – and the bottom line is nobody trusts their bilge pumps. We have two of them to increase our chances of one of them working when we need it to. One is a ‘turn on the pump’ manually kind and the other is a self starting automatic (hah!). We check ’em both every day.

This new year is really hard to predict. Trump will likely persist somewhat but so long as it diminishes, it could be entertaining to watch all the failing that will ensue. I will never get sick of seeing Trump fail. Any Trump getting punched in the face will do (save for Baron – he may be OK). On the other hand, I do not want to see Trump sr. rise far enough to fail as epically as this last time but he does seem to have a Dorian Gray kinda life so he may rise again like the flying orange pig he is. They have a name for his special kind of narcissism: Dorian Gray Syndrome.

A few things portend, tho. I have been witnessing mini-docs (You-Tube) on homelessness in LA and San Francisco. It’s crazy! There are 70,000 homeless in Manilla. There are 50,000 homeless in Mumbai. And there are 36,000 homeless in Los Angeles, the city of angels! There are officially 3000 in Vancouver and 1500 in Victoria (I think more). Projecting from all of that is my rough guess that there are probably close to a million homeless in N. America. You know…the first world? Homelessness in LA is up 70% in the last couple of years. Conclusion: the days of just crazy bag-ladies with shopping carts are over and a new sub-group of uber-marginal untouchables is emerging. Some streets in LA are littered end to end with tents and tarps. With the odd limp body scattered here and there for colour…..

Ordinary life-job-work-lifestyle is also changing. So is ‘life’ outside of work and home – restaurants and social venues are closing. Movie houses are empty. Bars, gyms, concerts et al are mothballed. Our world is going to change and it already has to a large extent. And I do not see the innovative ‘answers’ or entrepreneurial responses to any of that…not yet, anyway. We may just have a dystopian period to live through and 2021 will not see the changes we need. Maybe not even by 2022….

Still, I am feeling optimistic but I can only see one reason why…it is the beginning of a new year, we have a new number, and I am really hoping it indicates something substantially ‘new’ is coming.

22 thoughts on “Optimism….kinda…

  1. Excluding 2020 Canada ranks highly in “Quality of Life” recently. Living OTG must raise your hopes for a quality life in 2021!

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    • Yes for me…..not so much for everyone else. For me, OTG is an answer but the vast majority are still relying on the system, the city, the Matrix. We may both be right; we may both be wrong. We’ll see. My own personal quality of life is as good as I could imagine but I have modest aspirations and live in heaven with an angel. I would sign on for another 70 years in a heartbeat. Not everyone wants this. Go figure.

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  2. Google “Seattle is Dying” for an EXCELLENT hour long documentary on Youtube from Komo News about the homelessness, drugs, crime and politics that is exacerbating everything.
    Substitute “Vancouver” for “Seattle” and its 100% our city.

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    • When the collateral damage piles up too high to ignore, guys, please get out…..I think NOW is a good time to take the first step….just put one foot in front of the other…..get on the bus, Gus. Get an OTG plan, Stan. Get yourself free.

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      • Good advice,as always ! A lot of people look forwardto 2021, although it might turn out to be another ” lost” year. It will take at least 9 months to get to a vaccination level of 70%, so public life like restaurants, movies,theatres is still far away on the horizon. I saw Coast Mountain Expeditions already post some trips for this summer, but I wonder if that will happen

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      • I suspect that it will. They should try a few, anyway. Kayaking out here is about as safe an activity as can be done – if there is such a thing as a totally safe activity. I really do think we should ‘hunker down’ and let the time go by as the vaccine gets rolled out but, to be practical, even when we do, we have the odd interaction from the doctor to the water taxi, from the mail plane to going into town for something. No place is truly quarantined. Still, a CMExpedition kayak trip is about as good as it can get under the circumstances.

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  3. Thanks for the good read Dave, and wishing you and Sal all the best for the new number! Happy New Year! Hoping for better days to come. Up to our eyeballs in mud over here, so here’s mud in yer eye! Cheers! And on that note, although the usual fun stuff has all been cancelled and lots of small businesses are struggling, tbe liquor stores last time I was in town were, and have been doing a booming trade….medicine for the masses. Keep laughing if at all possible I guess.

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    • Yeah….the stimulus cheques are going back to the government rather quickly in the form of liquor store purchases. Ironic, to say the least. Life, eh? The ultimate ‘game’. The more experienced you get, the less capable you are of winning. And no one ever wins! Which is very much like golf, now that I think about it. And, like golf, the answer is at the 19th hole – you end up drinking booze!

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    • Thanks. Very kind. Inaccurate but very sweet. I do not officially turn 73 until the 14th but I have always seen January as the main milestone and the date is flexible for convenience sake. So, I’ll accept. Thanks. To be honest, I now find it more convenient NOT to acknowledge the date at all now that the numbers are getting closer to triple digits. I am not really sensitive about the number but I am getting a bit more sensitized to the actual ‘aging’ the number suggests. Numbers I can handle, creaks and groans are a bit more real.
      .

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  4. It’s all in the head, no?
    Our body can have a lot of mileage, but that doesn’t make us old.
    But time flies….so we better enjoy every minute of it

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