Recently my friend Kyle approached me to start a column, or dialog if you will between him on a weekly basis talking about politics, sports, and life in general. At the end of the week we would post our dialog to our respected websites. I agreed to do this with him and see where it will go. This week we had our first attempt at it and I think it turned out pretty good. I have left it unedited for the time being, however in the future I may decide to change that approach if the dialog gets hideously boring or off track! Well without further ado here is the first installment.
7:41 PM, Sunday 16 January 2005
Well, here goes…
Congrats on the new blog site, very nice. Although all the computer talk is amusing; do you have a lot of people that visit your site just for computer advice?
Just looking at your site today, I first must start off with the Fauquier bridge post. Not the actual bridge itself (we know whay they’re starting in May, it’s quite obvious) but your comments about the Fauquier-Castlegar highway, an idea first proposed back in ’61 and which almost got built in ’72. Here’s a reality check.
NO ONE HAS TALKED ABOUT OR EXPRESSED ANY INTEREST IN THIS IN THE LAST THIRTY YEARS.
Other than at a pipe dream level or maybe as part of some of those ultra-vague, highly speculative proposals about a superhighway from Spokane to Alaska, this will never happen. Ever. At least not while we’re young. Where is the real incentive? The money in the West Kootenay is in Castlegar, Nelson, Trail, all in the SOUTH. If they want to improve transportation links with the West, they’ll just enlarge the crowsnest instead of spending the billion dollars it would take to blast a highway over the power line access from Appelgrove to Passmore. It took 45 years for a bridge, do you honestly think a highway is coming? This is really a Fauquier pipe dream if anything. Plus, any highway on that route would be bad news for Nakusp, Kaslo and the Slocan as it would divert traffic away from the northern West Kootenay and with suck away valuable tourist dollars that will eventually be the only thing that keeps those areas alive.
Frank McKenna as ambASSador to Yankeeland. Well, our interests might be sold out even more to Washington after this but at least ol’ Frank gets to work on his golf game.
How pathetic was it that we couldn’t get hockey going this Christmas (first time since ’98)? Maybe Burton needs a ‘Lazy Stoner Award’ or something.
How are all the Lower Mainlanders dealing with the past two weeks of weather? Must be hell for them in Vancouver with their four snowplows in the enitre city. ‘Minus ten? Oh my GOD!’. ‘Cause it wasn’t cold up here at ALL, nope. Business as usual in PG at -37.
According to BC Stats, Nakusp lost two people in 2004 to stand at 1,765. Biggest gainer again, though, is Radium HS with another 9% increase in population. Nakusp is flat now but it’s only a matter of time before the invasion begins. Then it won’t be home anymore and I won’t even want to go back to my hometown. How sad is that?
Well, let’s see tomorrow what you have to say in response. Looking forward to it!
9:17 PM, Sunday 16 January 2005
Well one of the reasons for the blog was to have an outlet for myself, for all areas of my life including technology. A lot of the posts in technology so far are more for myself so the next time I need to do something (lets say use xargs) I won’t have to go looking all over the net to figure out how to do it. Also while none of my friends (you guys) probably won’t give a damn about the topics you would be amazed at how many people on the net are looking for answers to similar problems. Just as a example the Using Xargs post is my 2nd most visited post on my site, and when you search google for “using xargs” it is the 10th listed site. So you can see there is an audience for the technology.
The road to castlegar I agree, will likely never be built anytime soon. For most people from Fauquier this is more of a dream than anything, however I think most applegrove folk would be well against it. I just see it as creating more opportunity for the valley and for my community. I don’t think it would hurt tourism in Nakusp either. I mean they said the truck route would destroy Nakusp and look at how much of an impact that has had. Nakusp as a town is really a gorgeous place, while the local populace seems to be imploding on itself I don’t think having a road to Castlegar would put much of a dent into the vacationers. To reiterate though it won’t happen anytime soon, when you look at the province there are a lot more pressing needs like say a better bridge in Kelowna, or how about another or better bridge to the North Shore from Vancouver, or even more lanes on the road to Whistler. These areas probably see more traffic in a week than the Fauquier bridge would see in a year.
Not only is Canada now going to have to deal with hearing a loud mouth Ambassador from the USA tell Canada that we need to ‘integrate’ ourselves more closely with the US, we are now going to get a sellout Canadian Ambassador telling us the same shit. Like Jon Stewart said Crossfire is hurting America, these guys are hurting Canada. The more people hear over and over again that Canada is better off integrating with our friends the US the more the population is going to believe it. What is still refreshing is that with every dispute, be it trade or foreign policy, it appears that the % of the general population of Canada IS against further integration with the US, and it appears that percentage is getting bigger and bigger. What I don’t understand is how Canadians continue to put these people into power, despite the fact these people are selling them out.
No hockey over Christmas was pretty disappointing. I was really looking forward to it. I remember the year before I was so hung over playing, that I one point I thought I would throw up if I played another shift. Now those are good memories for me, because that was one hell of a fun session, especially the shootout at the end. Maybe come spring we can get some game on…
Most people in Vancouver are enjoying the weather. I mean this is a city in Canada that maybe gets snow once a year. Most people living in Vancouver are not born and raised here so when there is snow everyone seems to get into it and really enjoy it. When it first snowed, you wouldn’t believe how beautiful the city looked, now it is all slushy. The one thing though that Vancouverites don’t understand about the snow is driving. Most people have summer tires on and don’t understand that they won’t be able to stop at stop signs etc. Thus they don’t realize that MAYBE they should take the bus to work. Last week walking to work down 4th ave I probably saw 2-3 different accidents (however small they may be) of people just not being able to stop and dinging someone or something. The best though was when I saw this ugly blue Miata trying to get out of their apartment buildings underground parking, the damn spun the whole way out JUST barely getting out of the parking lot.
How long has PG been steady at -36? The reason I ask is that I have been hearing many times that what we need in BC is a really cold winter to kill all the pine beetles. I remember seeing a map of BC and the effected areas marked in red, I couldn’t believe how much forest has been killed up north by the beetle. They say even if every logging company in BC logged non stop at all the dead pine they still would be able to cut it all down in time before the wood has been ruined.
Radium HS is the biggest gainer? is that population increase or per capita increase? Also I wonder if the people moving there actually live there, or only resort there… As for Nakusp do you think things have changed there? or do you think it is just you who has changed? For me personally I think it is a little of both. Nakusp (or the arrow lakes) used to be my life, even after SAIT when I just started at ecmarket my social life still revolved around Nakusp. I think that has changed now. When I go back now I don’t even care to go to parties there anymore. I go to see my friends and my family and that is it. However I must say that when I have gone to parties or social gatherings recently things have changed dramatically. In the past you would get a sense that people were optimistic, they were happy, they were having fun. Now I find there is a strong underlining depression, a dark cloud is hanging over everyone.
So the union the other day told the players to go find jobs else where and to prepare for a long dispute. When do you think this could end? Most people are now saying not till the end of next season, I sure hope not. Also do you think the WHA will get off the ground? they are now aiming for a 2005-06 season.
10:50 AM, Monday 17 January 2005
Yeah, I figured there must have been an audience for it if it was going up there, and to be tenth on Google is no small acheivement (my link to my buddy Mike’s hockey league back in Nova Scotia, the BGHL, is first over and above their link! Ha ha!). I can totally understand the ‘posting for yourself’ argument as that’s all my site is for the most part. I never thought anyone would ever pay attention to Asbestos or the Periodic Table or anything like that. What do you think of the New Asbestos (even though it’s really just beginning)? It’s certainly a lot more provocative, if not abstract.
The truck route around Nakusp and a highway that would miss Nakusp by 60 klix and cut 170 km off the Okanagan-South Kootenay route are two different thing. You have to remember that even though the truck route ‘bypasses’ Nakusp, you still travel through parts of the town and Nakusp is the only settlement of any size for 100 km in any direction; if you want servies and you’re travelling on Hwy 6, you have to come into town. Also, the signage is so confusing (on purpose) that many people wind up driving into town anyway. But just like the highway is a pipe dream, maybe I’m just being paranoid.
Unfortunately we will be stuck with unimaginitive sellouts in power as long as Canadians perceive that 1. only the Liberals can acheive nationwide support and 2. the NDP will spend us into oblivion. Opposition parties just do not have any presence outside of leadership or election campaigns. The left in Canada has to grow some fucking balls for this to stop happening. Too many pussies and concilliators willing to tag along in some faint hope of Liberal coattail heat. More of the Blaikie/Evans type of New democrats are needed.
I very much remember your hurting state last Christmas at the Hall. I really liked our annual shootout tradition (bot the team and individual competitions). I won’t be able to make it home until April when the semester ends. Hopefully we can coordinate something. If not, at least send me some stats and shootout details.
Vancouver, I can understand because they haven’t adapted to snow conditions (stupid consumer society, use some fucking transit for once). What I couldn’t understand was in Calgary. People just had no clue how to drive in winter there. I think it’s just a city thing in general where people are used to frequent braking and acceleration, stop/go driving, and just can’t get it through their heads that, sometimes, ICE IS SLIPPERY. I can’t help but think that city dwellers just think everything is going to be done for them (like snow removal).
We had one bloody week of cold. Today the temperature shot right back up to zero. Other than that it really hasn’t been ultra cold in a PG sense. So we’re stuck with the beetle. Armageddeon awaits!
RHS is the biggest per capita gainer, of course (it’s only 750 people! Still, that’s 200 people over the past eight years which is crazy for a town that size.); Surrey and Vancouver, as usual, are the biggest net gainers. I don’t think I’ve changed too much (I did just spend a year-and-a-half there, after all). I’m just talking about the fabric of Nakusp in general. Like teen vandalism. That just never happened before. Ever. Now it’s quite out there. And who is it? It’s the kids who just moved there in the past few years from the city. That’s where Nakusp’s new population is coming from. That citified influence is what will change Nakusp. It is in the very beginning stages of a transition from resource-rural to a cottage-country/urban retreat area. It’s necessary for the survival of the town but it definitely will make not the same place I grew up in. As for parties, parties have always been lame to me so that doesn’t bother me. This is the first semester where I’ve ever actually had friends outside of Nakusp so I can’t honsetly say I’ve totally divorced myself from the idea of being a Nakuspian in the social sense. Glasnost doesn’t help!
When will the lockout end? Well, when’s the next terrorist attack? What’s the economy going to be like next year? Who knows? It’s all conjecture. I hope it ends soon, but fuck, it’s just ensconsed in so much BS that it could go on forever. And piss on the WHA. They’ve had 2 1/2 years to get their shit together and nothing’s happened other than franchise failures and delayed start dates. Go watch the AHL or Europe. Piss on the WHA.
10:02 PM, Monday 17 January 2005
The new asbestos to be blunt is hard to read. It has so many paths I don’t know where it is going, or where it is coming from… abstract is right, but hard to read, very incongruent… I am sure there is some secret to reading it, but maybe not, this is your mind…
For Christmas I gave my mom and dad a DVD player and the dvd set of Greatest Canadian. During the time I was home over the holidays I watched every episode, and learned actually quite a bit. Watching the videos of Tommy speeches were probably some of my favorite moments. The guy could speak, he knew his shit, and wouldn’t take any bullshit from anyone, and that included doctors and other highly important figures. That is what we need in a leftist party, not a bunch of sissies. Nobody wants to vote for a prissy little schoolboy, they want to vote for someone who can run a country, be tough when needed to, be able to back up his ideas when needed, and believe in what he stands for. This is not to say to start negative campaigns but rather to show some backbone. I agree the NDP for too long has thought that the best they can do is simply to be a voice in a minority government. That won’t get them anywhere though, as the Liberals can align more closely these days with Conservatives than those leftist fruitcakes and there strange smiles.
To continue on with politics I want to bring up the whole electoral reform in BC issue. Just what I had thought would happen is happening. The reform committee came out with a new system, new ideas, the Liberals put lots of money into the prelim stuff but ZERO into the promotion of it. When was the last time you heard about the electoral reform issue in BC? Hell there is only 4 months till the next election/referendum and there has been no word about electoral reform. If things continue along these lines I am sure it will be voted against, just like wards was rejected here in Vancouver. People will not vote for something that they don’t know what it is. They would much rather stick to what they know. Lets hope the electoral reform committee gets there ass in gear and starts to do some promotion.
You really think Nakusp is changing that much? I think we are just starting to go full circle. I remember hearing stories from my older brothers of the shit that would go on in Nakusp and it all seems similar. Your right though vandalism is stupid. I mean do you have no respect for where you live, do you shit where you sleep? It comes down to a loss of community, a disconnection of the youth.
Yeah the WHA is stupid, but I still wouldn’t mind a hockey fix, in whatever form it comes. I don’t get any AHL games on TV or euro… Plus Pacific Coliseum is kinda far for me to goto giants games… meh I suppose I will live…
It’s funny, today I took part in a survey on household spending done by stats Canada. It made me realize how little money I spend on consumer items. I think my biggest spending category was on flights online or something stupid like that (besides rent and groceries of course). Even when it came to the purchase of alcohol I could barely say $30 a month (if that). Going through all the categories though really made me think of how lucky I am not to have to be caught paying for stuff I don’t need. I wonder how my numbers would compare to the average 24 year old yuppie living in Vancouver…
8:35 AM, Tuesday 18 January 2005
Well, the New Asbestos is certainly designed to be challenging in the sense that it’s bombarding you with imagery (especially religious imagery). It’s not supposed to be coherent; it’s absolutely stream of conscious. It’s supposed t make sense as much as it’s supposed to create a mood or feeling. Maybe if you look at it that way instead of trying to decipher things like in the Old Asbestos then it might be more user-friendly.
I was very happy when Tommy won TGC. All my friends were pissed off up here because they were pulling hard for Terry Fox; I think really that they just weren’t old enough to understand as they did start to get won over by George Stroumboulopoulos after a while. Terry was a great person, a great athlete. Tommy was a great Canadian. It’s the same in the States as it is here in that the left really needs to grow a pair. Say what you will about ol’ Svend but at least he tried to push buttons. That’s something the right does very well that the left should really pick up on.
The electoral reform promise was just a bone thrown out in the 2001 election along with getting rid of photo radar to give people an actual reason to vote for the BC Libs instead of just voting against the NDP. As if the Liberals really want reform in the electoral system. They have 74 of 79 seats! Mind you, this isn’t the States. Under BC and Canadian law, actual electoral campaigning cannot begin until five weeks before an election, which is good. In the states, election campaigns start as soon as the last one ended and it’s pathetic, all money driven. I think that may be a reason we haven’t seen any ads. But we need that new system. It’s not perfect but better than what we have.
Remember, your bros had all those years of stuff to ball up into stories. Did you remember any vandalism when we were in school? Didn’t think so. The problem is, most adults look at youth as scum and would rather have someone else like the cops fix everything. If we had more than two at a time on duty for 110 km maybe that might happen. In some magical fairy tale world where the rivers flow with wine and magical fairies drop orgasms on every doorstep.
Listening to the Velvet Underground right now. What an amazing band they were. Do you know their music?
Pacific Coliseum is too far? If you’re going to spend $16 on a game you may as well spend $2.50 on a bus.
I’m always shocked at how little I spend compared to my friends. I went to the MEC site and did the ecological footprint test. I came out at 1.8 Earths (compared to even the most conscious of my friends who came out in the 3′s). Cars make all the difference, financially and environmentally.
8:25 PM, Tuesday 18 January 2005
Well I just decided to retake the 1-tonne challenge as I had forgot what my actually tonnage per year was. As it turns out I use about 1.76 tonnes a year. Most of that comes in the way of garbage I throw away. The average Canadian produces over 5 tones. You’re right though the car makes all the difference. While it can be a bit of a convenience having a car (just ask me how well my bus trip to Ikea went this weekend) it is totally not worth it. I mean what other investment you make decreases in value once you invest in it? Let alone continue to decline in value and continue to cost you money. At least apartments increase in value. I think it has a lot to do with our society and convenience. Society in that by driving a car (more so for new or nice cars) makes you more important. Also it is the convenience, why would someone want to take the bus to work when they can drive and get to sleep in 15 minutes longer. I think there is a quote on my website somewhere from Daniel Quinn about how if there is a revolution to change the world for the better it will have to be a positive revolution, one in which a person does NOT have to give away these little conveniences. I think that is so true. Most people if you talk to them would be happy to help save the world, as long as they don’t have to change the way they are doing things, or it inconveniences them. The one problem most people don’t realize is that it is not the forests, the oceans, the rivers, the fish, the monkeys that we are trying to save, it is ourselves. Everything in the world is connected, so if the fish start dieing today, then tomorrow who is next, is it us?
Velvet Underground I know of, but haven’t really listened to much. They are somewhat wild a crazy no? I mean there music is, really messed up at times?
Also the reason I don’t take the bus to pacific coliseum is that by the time I have taken 3 buses to get there it would probably have taken me close to 1.5 hours… I can drive from Fauquier to Nakusp and back in that time frame… Maybe I should just buy a car.
10:49 AM, Wednesday 19 January 2005
Interesting how we’ve been talking about cars and weather, etc. and I figured now that the warm weather’s back it would make things better, figuring it would get back to -8 or something like that. Instead we get this tropical punch that wipes out a neighbourhood in North Van and closes UNBC (which is why I am writing to you from someone’s wireless connection I’m picking up in my bedroom and not my grad office). It was fucking nuts last night! I get out of class at four and go up to media services to return a projector I was using for PowerPoint and some guy comes up and says ‘Classes are cancelled, eh?’. I didn’t believe him, I knew they were in Quesnel but not in PG. I get back to my office and my friend Laura sees me and immediately tells me not to walk home and to get a ride quick because the buses are cancelled. Holy shit! Sure enough, on every grad’s phone there’s a message from UNBC saying the the roads are impaassable to buses and driving is dangerous and that the school closes at 4:30. So I rush around to the other offics and tell my firends and we all go down into the Agora and the place is packed with stranded students. We knew traffic would be horrible with everyone trying to get home (there’s only two ways to get to UNBC so it gets clogged pretty quickly). We hung around in the Wintergarden cafe/bar for an hour (the only place open on campus, everything else was shut at 4:30) and then went home after the roads calmed down traffic-wise. It was scary shit out there. It took five minutes to walk across te parking lot which was a solid sheet of ice. There were 18-inch deep puddles on the road and it was crazy. The roads are still shit today so no school.
Yeah, I came in at 1.25 tonnes, all garbage pretty much. Unfortunately my landlords are pretty lax on recycling so I wind up taking a lot of junk to school and recycling there. Recycling is something that really hasn’t caught on up here and it’s sad because coming from Nakusp and being schooled in Calgary everyone is recycling in those towns. When a village of 1,800 is kicking PG’s ass in recycling, that’s sad. So how was your trip to IKEA? That must have been fun carrying giant boxes of wodd and particle board back on the bus with you. Still beats the crap out of shelling out money for a big drain like a car. People and their inconveniences. Fuck ‘em. Wait until the Greenlandic ice cap starts melting. THAT will be an inconvenience.
The Velvets were probably about ten years ahead of their time musically. When the Beatles were singing ‘Yellow Submarine’, the Underground were singing ‘Heroin”. The first two albums are very experimental and dark cand challenging. Their third (last with the true lineup) marked a 180 in terms of content, much more rocky and straight ahead but still amazing. Check ‘em out on Allmusic or something. My friends Simon and Leah up here have a sizeable vinyl collection we like listening to. I have to come along with them to the used record store to critique their choices, which is fun. But I don’t know if they’ll ever play Trivial Pursuit with me again.
Of course you should buy a car! Such a car-friendly town as VanCity practically requires it!
Kyle (the one with the peanut on top)
9:09 PM Wednesday 19 January 2005
Kyle that is crazy? 18 inch puddles, like 1.5 feet deep puddles? I hope you brought your gumboots up to Prince George because that is insane. Did you lose any houses up there? Apparently a couple houses were destroyed at North Van, and our wonderful Premier has declared a “state of emergency”.
Hey did you hear that the ferries to the island are going to be implementing a class system? So if you don’t want to have to sit with all the ‘untouchables’ you can pay a little more and sit the in VIP area. How fucked up is that? We seriously seem to be digressing back to the middle ages.
Velvet Underground I will have to check out. Lately I have been listening to the new Mars Volta. I got an advanced copy (sound quality is a bit shitty) and it is pretty wild. I mean they have gone even more complex, and mixed in a lot of latin influence into their music as well. It is another concept album, 5 tracks long, last song over 30 minutes. There are areas of songs that the band just jams for like 5 minutes, which personally I think could have been left out, but overall I like the album. It didn’t grab me the way the deloused did, but it has it’s own appeal.
Speaking of music I found this website called audioscrobbler that after installing a plugin will track what you listen to, and how often. It then compiles stats on the songs and artist you listen to most, and then can match you up with people with similar tastes, or recommend music you might like. Anyway I thought it was cool, since they allow syndication I was able to add my last listened to tracks to my blog (under the pictures). Man technology is wild.
11:31 AM, Thursday 20 January 2005
Yep, 18 inch puddles. It’s still icy as shit on the sidewalks today although the school’s open so I swallowed my pride and bussed it. A few mains burst around here and there are always a few places where water piles up normally so put in a good day’s worth of torrentials and you’re fucked. No houses lost here due to slides because YOU NEED HILLS for that kind of stuff (Interior Plateau, not exactly mountainous terrain).
That ferry shit is just another money grab for something that by its nature can’t make money and shouldn’t be trying to make money. Ferries are an essential service and the government should be prepared to swallow what they cost no matter what simply as a public service. Spinning them off into another corporation was dumb in the first place. Now we’ll have the ‘velvet curtain’ on the ferries, too. Watch this fail miserably.
Of course, I’ll never get to listen to that up here in PG. Sigh.
How many MBs is this audioscrobbler? Maybe I should try it (not that it matters so much if I don’t download anything).
9:06 PM Thursday 20 January 2005
This ferry shit is totally a money grab. You’re so right when you say there are some things you can’t and more importantly shouldn’t try and make money doing. The movie The Corporation talks a lot about this. It talks about how not too long ago things like fire stations were run privately. You had to have a special plaque on your wall to get service from a specific fire station; otherwise your house would burn to the ground without anyone to help you. Things like ferries, fire protection, HEALTH CARE, governments should not be run simply to meet the bottom line, or for profit. There is a reason they were made public it is because by their very nature they are there to be a service to the people and NOT to make money. When corporation first came into being they were much like this too, they had to serve the people, and when their service was done, or they no longer were needed they would be broken up. It is funny how life just goes full circle. I remember watching an interview with Chomsky and him talking about how today’s corporations and media are trying to make you think only about yourself. Their ultimate goal is for you to be in the mindset that you don’t give a damn about anyone or anything that doesn’t affect you. So who cares about the lady across the street that lost her pension, who gives a damn about the single parent who has to pay for his child’s school fees, or the guy who needs to have an operation? As long as your own wealth is secure why should you pay for these other people? Anyway I thought it was a really telling interview about the current state of things right now. What is funny is that when I was in Uganda it was much the same largely due in part by the IMF and World Bank making them privatize EVERY state owned business. The people on the other hand were the exact opposite, it is a big community where everyone helps each other out.
Anyway this about wraps up our first week of this Kyle vs Stefan business. I think it went over pretty well, I am not sure what I will do with it, I think I might condense it to some of the more intelligent parts, but I am not sure yet, maybe I will just post it whole in its entirety who knows, see what works best I guess. What were your plans for this?
Also the audioscrobbler is really tiny dude, WAY less than a meg. I wrote a little article on how to get it up and running on my website, check it out.
8:29 AM, Friday 21 January 2005
This is why auto insurance and power were nationalized; market pricing is inherently discriminatory against the young and elderly. I think the American dream is to have enough money where you can do what you want, fuck everyone else. It’s that kind of mentality that’s wrecking society. Who said unbridled capitalism was good? Just because Washington thinks so doesn’t make it so. The US always touts itself as having the second highest GDP per capita at $34K. Yet, look at how that’s distributed. The average person there sure as hell doesn’t make $34K.
My idea for this was to just put it every week as a weekly column, so it’ll probably be up tomorrow. I guess it’s your turn to start it off next Sunday night!