Fuck Zoom

RCE_5926Willow agrees!

The world is changing and there is plenty I don’t understand or know how to navigate.

Last week I had my first Zoom meeting with four other people. It was a business meeting. I found it awkward. I didn’t realize how much I rely on body language and looking into peoples eyes to understand what they are saying. From my perspective I was half blind.

I believe they were also at a disadvantage, however they were more experienced with the Zoom experience than I. They were also all younger than I. Perhaps the only disadvantage was my age. Like I said the world is changing, social cues are also changing, for instance I’ve never felt bullied by something someone wrote on Facebook.

Two of the people in the meeting, were obviously not interested in being there. Although they were the ones who requested the meeting they were disengaged. Maybe it was the hour (early).

Everyone was in a makeshift office, kitchen, bedroom or home office made to look impersonal, or professional as they have been taught, no personal pictures at your desk etc. A bright spot was when a dog barked, I made light of it, but it fell on deaf ears, they were gone to shut up the dog.

To be distant in such an environment is easy, to be engaged is difficult.

I failed at this first meeting. I am getting old. There are new ways I don’t understand. It’s unlikely, at my age, I will ever get it. That’s okay with me. I prefer my meeting face to face, even if it’s six feet apart.

And that’s coming from someone who doesn’t even really like the company of people.

thunder

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The garden always grows after a thunder storm. The rain that falls beside lightning is special. Full of nitrogen science says. I figure it comes from the sky in a hellacious crash and that’s got to be good.

The shed provided shelter until the rain stopped. Luckily I’d hid a couple beer in there for a rainy day. They were just as I like them; aged to perfection, woodshed warm and dying to be drank.

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0pt out

RCE_7828Crocuses, a sure sign of spring, are blooming in abundance on the benches and valley bottom.

Willow and I went into the bush, yesterday, to get some firewood. Storms have been threatening, clouds raining on the mountains, not much in the valley bottom. Lisa is afraid the government may close the bush due to the virus. The fear is fires will start and the province will not have the resources to fight the fires. It is a legitimate concern.

RCE_7790The surrounding mountains are still covered with many feet of snow. A quick melt could cause flooding in the valley.

The company I work for has extended my hours from three days a week back to five. This is very helpful for Lisa and I. Lisa, who was laid off from work several weeks ago, spends 7 hours a day trying to get through to check on her Employment Insurance claim. So far no luck and I don’t expect that will change. I mentioned in a previous post Lisa and I are not the kind of people who collect or are able to collect on many of the government programs available during the Covid19 crisis. I am okay with that. We are resourceful and will do anything to get by. I do believe, however that we shouldn’t have to pay into EI as we have done our entire lives without ever being able to use it when we lose our jobs, as Lisa has. I still believe, regardless of resourcefulness, a person or families best defence in these strange times is to be sitting on a piss pot full of money with nice secure, defined government pensions rolling in, another thing we pay into but never will collect.

RCE_4944A murder of crows peck seeds from a freshly thawed field.

The Albertan tourists and second home owners are back in force. There is no way they are going to stay away. The reports from BC and Alberta health ministers fall on deaf ears. And who can blame them, living in a concrete shithole like Calgary, spitting distance from their neighbours, it must be downright depressing.

RCE_5075No longer is the ice off the creeks and lake and the Osprey reappears.

Are we going to be different after this virus passes or are we going to go back to jumping on planes winging our way around the world, building second and third homes, piling motorboats onto a tiny lake and polluting and consuming at every opportunity with reckless abandon. I can imagine we will.

Regardless if this slowdown lasts for another week or several months it has been a nice respite from the usual ruck that is the tourist trap we call home.

Early March

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Plenty of light in the mornings. The runoff runs onto of the frozen ground. It will be a couple more weeks before the ground absorbs it. Thats when the dandelions sprout. When the worms reappear. Until then it’s still winter.

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looking for eagles

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Not a lot of snow but enough to shovel each day. We went looking for eagles after work in the last of the light. There was only a lone Magpie picking at the remains left over from the Eagles. How I enjoyed watching these animals when I was a youngster. Their flash and gregarious call. Flying from branch to branch above the nest. Under the nest were half eaten fish, small bones, and pieces of birds; ducks by the looks of it. It must be good to be an Eagle. Willow took advantage, rolling on anything that smelled, mostly fish, but carried a ducks wingspan for a length, before I scolded, and demanded she dropped it. She gets sick on feathers. Those Eagles like to spread the love, discounting fish, rodents and any bird smaller than them, of course.

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Venus and Saturn sat above the mountain at dusk. Venus is unmistakeable in evening or dawn either east or west. It’s hard not to be roused by it’s sight, hanging above the ridges against a not yet dark sky.

Lisa gave Willow a bath when we arrived home.

Very fine day,

The New Religion

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I had an argument with a guy recently. It was about dwindling elk populations. He said, elk where being decimated by predators such as wolves, grizzlies and cougars. It was his view that these animals should be culled. I said maybe we should quit hunting elk during their rut and taking the biggest bulls from the heard. Colorado has seen success with managing these hunting practices.

This guy was a hunter and a scientist (so he said) and my comment made him fly off the handle. He over and over again said, ‘Science’ shows it is the predators that are responsible for diminished elk populations.

I infuriated him more by saying, we have to be careful culling animals, because we’ve got it wrong before, I was thinking about those same wolves and plenty of fish species. 

He continued, ranting Science, Science, Science, without so much as offering a fact. It was like the word Science was enough.

I knew he wasn’t worth engaging in an argument. He was a fervent believer.

***

I don’t understand science. I always thought it was nature. The way I alternately blink my eyes at the sky, being the same way we figure out the distance to the stars. 

***

I also don’t understand climate change, but the Science seems to have become a replacement for religion, especially for us in the most prosperous parts of the world. It has sin, guilt and the need for atonement. The Science also promises a way out, if only we live carefully.

And like religion the biggest sinners are the ones who preach the loudest and conjure their desired deity in every conversation and argument. Like the above mentioned hunter/Scientist who, lives on a ranch, and wants to shoot bigger elk.

Today’s Elmer Gantry’s and Jimmy Swaggart’s are now the ‘environmentalists’ living in their big houses on the side of the wetlands, winging their way to explore exotic locations with their light weight Sony cameras, oblivious to there own sins, or perhaps smug in their belief they are pulling the wool over our eyes. 

Fuck I hate religion regardless of what they call it.

either or

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Two Boxers got on Willow, she realized she was in trouble and was fighting back. I saw it from inside and ran out. A couple boots and I picked up Willow. This is not what you are supposed to do when your dog is being attacked by other dogs.

The Boxers where persistent. They snapped at her. Unlike some of the other fights I’ve been in I had to use both feet. I hit them in the chest. I was out of breath by the time the Boxers ran off.

I knocked a Rottweiler out once, when I was a youngster I was bitten plenty, I kicked him right under the chin. The clack his teeth made was like the sound when a good punch lands. It was square. Never planned.

He stumbled around for awhile and retreated.

It can go either way. That’s dogs for you when they remember they were once wild.

it could be rain it could be snow

_LME3685.jpgBean seed.

Watched the snow from a distance, in the valley bottom, the mountains were calling, it would have felt good up there.

It’s a warm wind, even sickly, grey clouds, the leaves are hanging on, the lake finally left alone. The boats brought in and the tourists gone home.

The wood needs splitting, but it ain’t cold enough to seriously tackle it. For now, it’s good enough it’s in.

get your tongue out of my ear

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The election is over. I didn’t talk to anyone who was happy today. Most couldn’t give a shit. I talked to a few with Alberta plates who were devastated.

There is plenty of people left out of these decisions. Sure they cast a vote, out of duty or, maybe even, hope. They roll with it when house prices become unaffordable, and keep working until they die. Some even believe they are in a predicament, because of some shortcoming.

That’s the big lie. The same lie that makes people who are well off think it was their hard work who got them where they are. Both sides never considering the situation they were born into.

Before you think it; fuck you, if you say ‘look at me, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps’. If you think it and say it you are an asshole.

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The world is going through a change. Most of the change won’t be bad. Do you remember we changed from vinyl, to 8 track, to cassette, to CD. At every change we were told how much better the next format was.

That’s what’s happening now. Unfortunately, it’s designed to leave a lot of poor people from every corner of the world in it’s wake.

It was interesting to see several teachers working at the polling booths. When I worked at the School District, during an election, some would take a sick or vacation day and work the polls. Double the money.

Our incumbent NDP, MP, Wayne Stetski was voted out. He will get close to $90 thousand severance for the effort he put in for the past 4 years, on top of his $180 thousand a year he made sitting way, way, back behind leader Mulcair, stuttering out how he liked local food and biking to work.

Lucky bastard.

Our next MP, Rob Morrison of the Conservatives will do the same. He will be as ineffectual. Sure he will help his friends, and spew the ‘right’ rhetoric. But in the end, he will collect his money.

Thats why I don’t give a shit about political parties, The right and left are in cohoots. They take long vacations with each other, spend and bullshit. It’s us who are left behind.

My good friend said it’s criminal, and it would be, if it wasn’t them making the laws.  

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tick toc

RCE_2868The morning sun shines a spotlight on a Tiger Lily.

There is an old joke I love. It goes like this: Did you here that Johnson and Johnson have developed a new product for the millennium? It’s call KY Y2K. It lets you put in 4 digits instead of two!

The joke is a play on the hysteria that accompanied the calendar switching from 1999 to the year 2000. The thought was that many computers would think it was the year 1900, as computers only recognized two digits in the calendar instead of four, thus confusing banking, shipping, airfare and anything and everything ran by a computer. 

It was reported on every news station and everyone held their breath at midnight 1999. Lisa and I even took out some cash from the bank to see us through until they sorted the mess out. Some people did a lot more. Of course it all turned out to be hype. The calendar switched and everything ran like the day before. 

A lot of tech companies made a ton of money from the impending doom. 

Fake news it would be called today.

***

Todays political and environmental landscape is much different. We are on the edge of environmental ruin as our world heats up due to CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels.

Canada contributes between 1 and 2% to the worlds CO2 emissions. Even if we were to shut down every form of industry that produces green house gasses we would still be doomed.

Still, it’s worth a try. I travel in a vehicle but most of my trips are longer than 2 miles but shorter than 10 miles. I don’t have boats, ATV’s, a second house nor do I plan on getting any, I grow most of our food but eat a steak every chance I get (I’m working on it). I realize I am lucky to do so. 

In this area the most fervent environmentalists are wealthy people. They spend their winters in warmer climes, or on trips where they ‘help out’, they wear layers of Northface, shop at Mountain Equipment Coop,  have several pairs of boots for every occasion, carry mirrorless cameras, get on jets every holiday, stay in second and third homes, and preach. . . they preach science. How we are doomed.

Science has become the new religion. I used to feel guilty about masterbating, now I feel guilty about eating steak and contributing to more cow farts in the atmosphere. Then again, it could be that masterbating doesn’t hold the same appeal as it once did.

***

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Still that doesn’t mean something isn’t going on. CO2 occurs naturally and in abundance to what humans have produced. It’s a balance we may well have fucked up.

The future could be as bleak as is reported, while we live in the most generous of times. Where more people than ever on earth have access to healthcare and food and water. Where we should be counting our lucky stars. Mostly because of science

 ***

Perhaps only science can save us. Is there a way to gobble up this, seemingly minute, compared to natures production, but devastating CO2, that has perched us on this precipice?

***

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I love my children and grandchildren. I try to show them the happiness in having less, or having more in less.

The stories of kindness and living simply are not meant to make them weak but strong in the future.

The bird calls, the first spuds from a well tended garden, the cones on top of trees framed in a blue sky. The river high and low and the difference between seasons.

***

Perhaps I am a fool, shy of two digits while the world’s clock ticks towards midnight.