Wednesday, April 2, 2014

It.....

We all have a feeling that something is "wrong". It's true I see even the happiest of persons having a feeling that things in the world today are somehow off balance there is a sense that the bubble they are in is fine it is the rest of the world which has gone off it's axis.
For a large portion of the population the drone of the tv set drowns out the buzzing in their head and makes everything aok and they are not at fault in anyway for not really getting it.
What is it ?
It is that people have started to replace interdependence with independence. From that they find most happiness when they have the upper hand and so are involved in game playing with the goal of getting something for less. 
It is coming to grips with our economic model which is flawed.
It is the idea that the centralist systems which accountants love really make no physical sense but only an economic one and limited sense at that.
It is understanding that the media in this world exists solely to make money which is not in your best interest.
It is looking through what seems to be doom and gloom to see the faint light of hope that some others might get it.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

It's been along time

So I have been away on an extended vacation of sorts I've certainly vacated the blog world this hiatus brought on because I have been living out of suitcase for the last 6 months. Well here I am settled more or less in Lethbridge....Alberta....it's in Canada!
Why Lethbridge you ask, I have probably mentioned that my kids and grand kids are here but this is not the only reason that I have been drawn here.

The area around the town had been marked by the native population at Head Smashed and to the south but not so much where the City of Lethbridge is now. but transient populations  In  town started as a mining outpost then in 1882 The first Galt company mine opened then the railway came bringing settlers to the west. The mining workforce grew to 2000 miners at it's peak with the mines around the area being the largest producers of coal in the north west territories. In 1957 the Galt No8 mine shut down and the end of an era came apon Lethbridge.

Back in the day I lived in what is known as the Castle apartments they were tiny but funky they were also, further back in the day, one of the hotels that sprung up for the migrant mine worker.
If ghosts are possible then this building would have several.

A large part of the visual charm to this city is in the way the original architecture has been preserved.
Blocks and blocks of buildings of the same period. This place is a location managers dream for street shots could be made to go from the early 1900's to present time, with an added feature of having the "bad side" of town just as intact. The dividing line is Highway 3 and in the North end you have the working class housing along with heavy industry. The South has the big houses and little industry it also has a massive park and lake which I live by.
Henderson lake with it's park and golf course is a wonderful distraction from the hum of the city.

Lethbridge also boasts two campuses one for the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge community college. Yes with a campus comes women, guys too but who really cares about guys.
With the collegiate crowd comes the entertainment and for a town so small it has a number of  live music venues that are well used by both local and international talent.
Too the north about a 4 hour drive is the city of Red Deer and it is a sister to Lethbridge in size and distance from a major center but the difference a University makes to the towns culture is evident in the variety of art and dining and in the area so hard to define and that is the buzz the energy that drives a community along. Lethbridge still has the uneasy alliance between education and industry and with it two towns seem to co exist in one border a symbiotic relationship that keeps Lethbridge rolling along. 
Did I mention the wind?




Sunday, September 1, 2013

From a roar to a snore

No this isn't a long teary farewell but a marker a blogger flare saying I am still here but have been too busy or just plain speechless in regards to the news of the day.
My living situation is again an impediment to making comment on the world having no fixed address physiologically takes me out of sync.
To end this I have decided to buy a home in a little prairie town.
Does this mean an end to my ramblin days?
I don't think so. If something takes me from here I'll just rent it out or sell it. Over the fifty odd years of living I have found one constant and it's change. Nothing is permanent.
   

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Imagine that

I imagine a lot of things, I think about how this could be a much more forward moving and societally productive world, they are imaginings not conclusions.

 I have more questions than answers more thoughts than plans more ideas than formula.
I imagine that one day we will come to a realization that truthfully mans potential has been squandered by a measurement system.
That same system has in a very direct way sanctified the rape, murder,and subjugation of millions of people.
We deal with it every day.
I see it even here in this supposed economic oasis in which I live. Accountancy takes over leaving reality and truth in a twisted heap, the corporotacracy has only one motivation and that is the bottom line  and accountancy makes apples, oranges and dildos all the same through categorization, is this wrong or an outright lie, I don't think running the world by dollars is wrong it's just not effective or effective but only in a monetary sense. 
Is this bad????? are all of these crooks evil?

Are the same people who provide you with the latest Iphone, not just the physical box but the means to purchase the latest Android or Apple, the thirty foot boat or a luxury car bad people?
Are they all mobsters of some kind?
Truthfully 99 percent of us are criminal in some way, we all fit somewhere between the white lie and planned murder, we all have the capability to do bad things. So it comes to the degree of wrong or bad and we could go on but it would be horse shit. It would be me trying to shoot smoke....
We know what bad is and we know that these people by and large are not bad. They may or may not be broken souls but they're all part of a system that is broken.
Some of the 99% want to focus there energy on one persons actions and make them accountable and this punishment makes them as a group feel better. It's an Us and Them view while I see my crusade as being one of Us and It.


When it comes down to It 
well
It needs Us 
more than 
Us needs It.





Saturday, June 8, 2013

The McD chronicles pt1

Called the titlewhat it is because they have the easiest WiFi to connect to. I will give the McDs Canadian counterpart Timmies a try but so far The golden arches have given me hours of internet time for free.
Yes the atmosphere is distracting but it is away from people I know and so in this flow of humanity I feel alone but part of something.
Perhaps it's the McDonalds experience that I feel part of, the  spirit of the noble corporation through its golden arches walks the painted corporate clown. He smiles and gestures not to piles of cheese burgers with extra cheese but to the philanthropic energy of the gracious corporation. 
Oh what a horrible fuckin creature I am, how can I suck up this hospitality and still find fault with the faceless, so magnanimous, corporation? 
Keith's burger.

Well it is taking what is offered while pledging no real allegiance to the big corporation. In fact this very evening I had a Boogies Burger........AHHHHH the best burger in Calgary......
THE BEST BIGGEST BURGERS EVER!!!!!


  So this is a pic of my folks I do have an allegiance to them but unlike a corporation they have feelings which I am privy to mainly through their telling me directly. I also use their internet for free but while I may not agree with them I do not deride them, well except in the re-canting of their quirks. I have to hold back my tongue at times but it far less frustrating than living in a corporate environment. Yet I'm not blind to the fact that in some small ways I am beholden to one or more of these corporstrousities but at arms length and mostly for free internet and coffee. 
I've tried the corporate suit on and it works even in tiny corporations, yep the tailored db jacket etc seems to fit in any or almost any corporation. The principles behind these things are remarkably the same and it comes down to there being no person but a unit which is a cost no matter the profit. A world in which numbers seem to rule rather than be just as they are a bunch of facts that can offer an insight but rarely a rule at least not when we deal with humans.
This maybe the reason why I look for the rebels the people who fly under the radar and truthfully I listen to them with some skepticism and that is my true self.
I hate to break it to you but I am a skeptic and this has led to where I am now. Sitting alone in a garage writing drivel about how we should shine as humans but the skeptic says no we would ultimately destroy ourselves if given free reign. 
Bullshit!
That isn't being a skeptic but it is looking at the negative and being fearful and really eating up the crap which corporate media feeds us. Take their free WiFi but don't take their message that somehow you and your family just can't survive without them or by default this concept of money. Yes back to that problem that question of what comes first the dollar or the act.
    

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Downtown Dilemma

So I wrote about being positive while living and working in Fort Mcmurray but so many deride this town that you have to think that there is something to it. These accounts of it being a hellish place haven't sprung from thin air have they?

The problems of Fort Mcmurray are intertwined with the things that make it a great place to live. The very same folk who tout this as being a great place to work and live have to understand that some of them have created the problems that this city has.
The most prevalent complaint is the cost of housing and this is something that is not, as the good people of Ft. Mac would have you believe, driven by forces outside of the town true land has been doled out bits at a time there by creating demand without steady supply but this is not what forces the price of land high at least not by its self. This is simply people thinking that they should get as much as anyone else for their little piece of real estate. This is not an evil thing it is a mild and somewhat justified by circumstance greed.
Greed is the thing that people see here more so than the cities to the south where there is some sense and a bit more control over rental property. The cost of everything is at least slightly inflated because you have to pay your staff more to compensate for the ridiculous rates of rent.
Here is the downtown dilemma: If you work on site you make enough per month where $600-$800 for renting a room is not a big deal, you can afford it. Heck you could and might just rent a two bedroom apartment for $2100-2600 a month and share with a room mate. 
The guy working at Canadian tire for $18 an hour is not going to be able to afford that kind of rent and from what I see the landowners are going to make it impossible to keep an employee. 
I'd love to entertain the thought that this is all market driven but it is not. You have large corporations who control the vast majority of rental space and they raise rents continually but not just when the market has a low vacancy rate it is pretty much a continuous upward curve. 
The next one is lack of service or bad service, read the above and you might conclude that the rent issue has a far reaching effect. 
I know my performance is built on my environment both home and work so I'm sure that the typical stock person at the Superstore is not the happiest of campers when half of his salary goes to rent.
So local business has a very hard time retaining employees and in step the off shore workers, the contract workers. They by and large come here with accommodation arranged and most find it to be so much better than home that the rent is a forgivable evil. These workers also seek the big wages and too often they leave a contract and get duped by some scumbag into working a ridiculous amount of hours and then short you or not pay at all leaving you high and dry. 
Don't get me wrong I truly see the good things in Fort Mac, the surrounding countryside, just get over the bits ravaged or modified for the oil industry, the relatively clean air so long as the tar sands ain't in the wind, the wonderful people so long as they don't end up going crackers and then hustle you.
The problems in Fort Mac exist in some form in any boom town but it is our boom town as in Canada's boom town beyond that it seems that everything about a boom town is disproportionate same with this one.
Traffic jams, murder/suicide rates, crime, wages, EVERYTHING!
So you see I still have nothing negative to say about FM because I'd say the same of any boom town.

 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fort Mcmurray-Til we meet again

While stacking Tupperware and pack away the flotsam that  gathers after three years in
The same place. Yes as I gaze over the metropolis of Fort Mcmurray I come to realize that I have indeed become very attached to this cube of space and as the tear down runs it's course the thought of leaving this  
physical space called #312-5 Clearwater Crescent becomes sadder more melancholy.
 
But beyond the space I will miss my place in this "Little Big town". 
It is not as though I have made a place for myself here, as I've mentioned, the Mac makes a place by giving breaks or puts you in your place by breaking you.
The Mac can seem to be selective and completely unrepentant in the souls it lets prosper and the lives which are shredded to pieces and at first glance it seems most get their just reward. But there are colaterial victims in this tempest of money and yes greed that premeates the social fabric of this Boom Town these are the people who have a bone to pick with Fort Mcmisery as the enabler of a loved ones demons. They are the ones that have to rebuild and regroup and wonder "what happened, how?". The sad stories that are written on this cities blank pages will tear at your heart and drive you mad if you don't look at the other side. Listen carefully and you'll hear the success stories of people who had next to nothing when they came to this place far from home to make a life which they could've only imagined when they were sitting in some wee village in Newfoundland, Ontario, Somalia, Jamacia, Australia, Alberta or any other place in the world.
I would be one of those people who was a millemeter from the street and was saved by Fort Mcmoney and this my third time up here was the charm.

The people of Fort Mac are aware that this is not a jewel of the north nor a flower of the sub arctic but it's not a festering sore as some seem to think. Sure you live in the shadow of large corporations but the people on the ground floor are still just that.....people and in the end this town isn't made exclusively by big oil its character and culture is etched by the people who (unlike me) stay and live and form this place. 
Is this a case of having the band play while the ship sinks, maybe some are deluded into thinking that corporate interests are in the peoples best interest but very few,  I think it more a case of making the best of an opportunity and being able to say "it is what it is" fully knowing that the next day will bring this or that improvement to the city. I will testify to these improvements and at the same time curse the traffic lights on Franklin that still aren't properly timed, because I have been here three times over the last 40 years and I have seen the best and worst of cities over half the globe this one is really no different.

That doesn't mean it is for everyone, no, for those who want everything right now and have wild expectations of money and ease of living this is a place that will disappoint. If you have a disposition to being positive and friendly no matter what you'll do fine.....whether you stay or like me work and leave makes no difference because if you have done it right you will have, like me, more than you came here with.

So this is my third farewell to this spot on the map and this time is different in many ways and I attribute this difference to my taking in a full adult portion of this place and having a more mature view of where I was and what it was I wanted from it. Beside that I also found the life blood of any town or city and became close to its source and that would be the young people who are Fort Mcmurrians some transplanted some home grown and all fantastic. Fort Mcmurray do heed my parting shot.......listen to the youth the harbinger of culture and you will hit a stride that will be the envy of any other city. 
And now it is truly with a tear in my eye that I say NOT good bye BUT til we meet again Fort Mcmurray til we meet again fare thee well.
 A lot of people friendly town with some