Sunday, September 28, 2014

Word on the Street and the Canadian Authors Association

This morning I attended St. James Anglican Church with Gilbert. It was too long since we’d seen our favourite people including Alice, Father Mathew, Karen,  Kevin, AJ and the kids.
After I picked up Laura for the opera, leaving Gilbert at her place, we had time for coffee at Starbucks where the bull of finance stands then took a quick tour of "Word on the Street".  This is one of Vancouver’s premiere writer’s events with everyone who is anyone there.  I’ve enjoyed previous years, listening to the readings and music.
Were it not for the opera I’d also be manning the Canadian Author’s Table alongside Bernice Lever and Margot Bates.    It was great just to see them.   They’re two of the most inspiring women and wonderful writers.   They’ve both got new books out . As usual they are ‘Writers helping writers’.  Bernice just finished editing my new book, Addiction and Psychiatry, now at the printers.  She’s also  been hard at work editing Al Cool’s latest. We would have liked to have stayed. Sometimes too many good things are happening all at once on the same day.  I loved the Vancouver Library venue with its  incredibly creative  architecture.  A favourite Vancouver place for me.
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Carmen, the Opera, Vancouver 2014

I love music.  I love song.  I love the amazing capacity of the human voice. Opera is the penultimate expression of human vocal music. It’s the ballet of voice,  Amazing.  A learned experience.
I didn’t begin liking opera. I preferred Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Country Joe and the Fish, the Guess Who, Eagles,Dave Matthews Band to anything operatic for the longest time.  My friend Anna Borowska, a physician who also sings beautiful operatic soprano heavily influenced me. I liked Handel but hearing Messiah sung by her and friends at St. John’s Anglican Church one year really made me think there may be more to music than Banjo and Bluegrass.  I’ll always love Amy Grant and Third Day but really, maybe I could listen to more opera, and see if there’s something there for me.
So over the last decade, I took in a few of the Vancouver Opera Series and wasn’t disappointed.  It was different. Not reggae. And certainly not rapp.  Opera is a whole other world.  Out there, like Mars and the space probes.  Something to reach for.
I cried for the first time listening to a soprano sing this last spring at an opera I heard in the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.  I came home and bought seasons tickets to the Vancouver Opera for the first time.  I've always liked seasons tickets to the BC Ballet and Pacific Theatre but this was the first time for me with opera.
Carmen was the VO's first production of the year. My friend, Laura, loves the opera.  It gives her a chance to wear her long gloves.  I’d taken her to Barber of Seville, another Vancouver Opera piece a couple of years before and she's been hooked ever since.
Opera stories are a bit odd. A barber who chops up people. Now Carmen , a bad girl who works in a tobacco factory, cuts up a girls face and then lures a good son and soldier from his duty and the good girlfriend to the life of a gypsy smuggler. Then she dumps him for another and he kills her. Domestic violence. Telling the ending in Opera isn’t a spoiler. The whole story is written in the program.  Nobody is there for the prose. It’s all about the music,
Bizet the french composer who died in 1875 wrote this amazing music that everyone knows. I recognized it right off.  Two of the pieces from Carmen are the most heard and most easily recognized opera musical lines in the world today.  Meanwhile Bizet wasn’t sure of himself.  Died shortly after Carmen first appeared and before it achieved almost universal fame.
It’s like “Don’t put on the red dress’ of modern day music.  Indeed a lot of this hysterical borderline personality disorder shallow lust theme is a kind of morality play. The music transcends all this.
I loved mezzo-soprano Ginger Costa-Jackson’s voice and performance as Carmen.  She was terrific. Her voice caught every nuance of emotion and filled the theatre. Her every movement oozed bad girl. Tenor Christopher Magiera played soldier Don Jose and was truly believable as the young duped lover who chose Carmen over Micaela, the woman who truly loved him performed by  Marianne Fiset.  Soprano Caitlin Wood, played  Fraguita and Mezzo Soprano Laurelle Jade Froese who played Mercedes were delightful, their songs and performances thoroughly entertaining.  I especially loved Baritone Morgan Smith who played Escamillo, the bull fighter who Carmen left soldier Don Jose for.  The chorus was stupendous.
Laura and I both loved the Orchestra conducted by Jacques Lacombe.  Director Joel Ivany outdid himself with all the activity and large cast.  Kinza Tyrrel as Children’s Chorus Director had reason to be proud of the performance of all the children.  Camellia Koos set design was unforgettable. The bull ring was truly inspired.   We loved it all.
All around, a great afternoon of entertainment.  The music so moved me, the voices sublime.  Laura loved it.  Packed Queen Elizabeth Theatre and roaring applause.

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Russell Peters Vancouver

Aim, my favourite political scientist, has a new tenured professorship  in Asian Studies at University of Sydney, Australia.  As a doctor and international consultant, she shrieks and hoots at Russell Peters insane multi cultural Indo Canadian humour. Her husband, a serious consultant in the mining industry, shakes his whole body when Russell Peters lays it all out.  Personally I was in a rare zone of continuing laughter hearing myself outside of myself laughing cackling, coughing, meditatively out of body with continuous unceasing laughter and a shit eating grin on my face that stayed throughout the whole performance.
Typical of edgy Russell, his show opened with a local gay comedian Canucks fan D’arcy Michael whose stoner butt humour was great. I especially his line, (paraphrased) “I got married as a gay man so now don’t get sex anymore except maybe once a year on my birthday.”
New York Jewish comedian, Gregg Rogell followed with dead pan intellectual humour reminiscent of Seinfeld stand up, paraphrased, “I learned the Greeks celebrate a second easter a week later, what’s with that, did Jesus do an encore resurrection just for them?"
But Russell Peters had me laughing from the get go like I haven’t laughed at comedy since we heard Bill Cosby’s Baby Cart Wheels age 12. Masturbation jokes, Paraphrased, “this internet porn is really advanced since my age, we only had pictures and if we wanted movement we had to move them up and down with our hand.’  His facial expression of an Indian mother telling her teen age son that she wants him to become a doctor will remain with me for life. I don’t know how he made that face but it was as priceless as his demonstration of why white men shouldn’t dance.  I’ll never look at a white man dancing again.  I loved his multiculturalism, and his jokes with blacks, and whites, latinos and chinese in the audience. To one asian man, (paraphrased) “what type of asian are you?”  “Chinese’, “That’s the main kind isn’t it?”  He almost has me in tears telling tales of his family in that priceless East Indian accent, because, well, his father sounds just like my father who is Scottish Canadian. Russell Peters, potty mouth not withstanding, (paraphrased)  “It’s a good thing I could get a job in comedy because you know my mouth would have caused me countless problems in the corporate world”   transcends history and culture and brings it home to us what a great and similar human family we are.
So go to U tube, enjoy Russell Peters.  I loved his Goat Farting jokes and stories of Bombay. I’ve  been to Bombay and I love it too.  I’m so glad I made it to this ‘almost famous tour’.  It’s a highlight of the year, a packed Rogers Arena.  Something real good to be apart of. Not spiritual in the ‘god on a cloud’ sense but spiritual in the we all have hearts and genitals and assholes sense.  My chest still hurts from the laughter.

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Saturday Hunt Outfitting Chores

Dr. John hosted the  Wednesday night meeting of the hunters at his house.  Not a carnivore like his son, Luke, to date the greatest partridge killer with single shots to the chicken head, he nonetheless enjoys observing the planning and excitement that surrounds these expeditions.

It's a 12 hour drive to where we're hunting and just the logistics of driving that far pulling trailers and arriving to go off road in the daylight required some planning. We're also leaving a day apart as I've got a clinic to complete before I can get away.

The dinner on this occasion was particularly tasty, but not harvested by any one personally. Dr. John had actually gone down to the store and bought it all himself demonstrating that he would survive independent of the planned harvest.

Luke was especially pleased as he'd fixed up his truck and cleaned his guns ready for the expedition.  His friend Shawn was also in on the plan now that our friend Sonny had been prevailed upon by babies, his wife and father to stay at home and work.  Maybe when the snow flies we'll be able to free Sonny from all his duties but meanwhile we 3 were sated with fine food and talking of previous hunts and looking over the maps to consider where best to make our base camp.

Tom was especially pleased with himself as he'd received his firearms license weeks before and since talking with us studied the CORE hunting regs one night and passed the exam in the morning. He was just bitching because now that he had his BC Hunter Number he had to put out money for an 'annual hunter licence' and species tags.  The thought of parting with another $100 in total was making him look ill until we reminded him that we were going to be successful and we were all going to return with fresh meat for the winter.  In addition we were going to have a great time.

Saturday I woke to the myriad of chores ahead of me. I had to empty more 'living' and 'city working' things from the trailer where I've been staying, turning the beast from a leisurely home to a 'hunter mobile' that would sleep the four of us and Gilbert the great hunting dog.

Next I had to load all the excess onto the truck and drive with Gilbert to the storage locker. There I found the goose side by side 12 gauge shot gun since Tom had decided he really wanted to eat a Canada goose. Luke had talked with folk who'd hunted our region and learned that boating down the river was a highly successful way of hunting in the morning.

So once the truck was unloaded and the long shot gun was on board I headed to the boat, the big boat.  My little boat has been tied beside it.  Before I could do anything I had to pump all the water out of it. It was so full I worried the batteries might be under.  Fortunately not.  The boat was ready.
I had the trailer stored at another storage facility so went there next.

The trailer has been sitting for a couple of years so it was a challenge to find the keys for locks and  1 7/8 inch ball.  The turning light was flickering so I went to Canadian tire where I got a new one, installed that and went through the electrical till I found a short as well.

I took the truck and trailer to the Cates Park Boat Launch then called a taxi to take Gilbert and me back to the boat.  With Gilbert navigating we drove the boat up the fjord to the boat launch.  Gilbert jumped ashore and headed off to a group of dogs at a barbecue.  I rounded him up then got the truck and trailer down to the water. When I pulled the boat out I had half the sea bottom of barnacles and weeds coming along.  Some very smart person put a fresh water tap for hosing down boats at the top of the incline.  This was great as I was able to clean out the crap in the boat as well as get rid of the biggest bits from the bottom.

I drove from north Vancouver over to Kits where Luke was working on installing at camper roof over the bed of his truck. Together we got the boat and trailer locked up in his dad's car park.

That was a day of more outfitting and driving around the city.  I just had to get Gilbert and the guns back to Burnaby so I then could hop on my Harley and join Aim and Marc at Rogers Theater for the hilarious Russell Peters.  A full day.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Thank you God for this day. Thank you for the rain that will water the plants that are so lush and green. Thank you for Climate Change, the seasons, the colours, the impermanence of life. Thank you for ‘this too shall pass’ and for the silliness and absurdity of youth. Thank you for the beauty of youth. Thank you for the joys of growing older and reflection on the silliness, absurdity and beauty. Thank you for Gilbert, the Cockapoo and Eva, the Cockapoo.  And thank you for hunters and hunting seasons . Thank you for the hurt and shame and the recovery from hurt and shame. Thank you for the remembrance of depression, my parents difficult times and the lessons of ‘this too shall pass’. Thank you for the well being of all those who are up now and for those that are down, This too shall pass. Thank you for the love and care and good fortune I have known, the sunshine after night and the moments of realization in the days of despair. Thank you for the laughter. Thank you for the peace and quiet after the loud and threatening. Thank you for love and friends and relatives. Thank you for all those things that help me to look to what I can be and point me to the best not just the good. Help me to be all I can be. Help me to serve. Help me overcome that lapse to fear and the desire to suck on the tit of self pity. Help me think less of myself and more of others. Help me to be more present.  Thank you for all your blessings.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Keystone Energy Toyhauler Shakedown Cruise

It’s only 30 hours ago that Tom and I got the Keystone Energy Toyhauler ready for it’s first off road experience.  I’ve been living in it. It’s been a dream place to live, but it’s not exactly been a ‘mobile home’ or a ‘hunter’s toy hauler’ until today.
I’m embarrassed to say, there was a lot of cleaning up to do.  I hauled a ton of summer clothes and ‘stuff’ to the storage locker.  I had to find a report for work and we did have to get the rifles and ammunition.  Gilbert thinks this is all the very best fun.  Then we got back and did the final ‘shipshape’ stowing. It was far from ready. Lots of mess for sure but nothing breakable likely to go flying.
Then there was the hooking up Energy trailer to my truck. My F350 Ford diesel had the Yamaha Kodiac 450 in the box.  That lowered the box and gave the truck some more traction.   Getting the torsion bars all set up was a new experience for me.
What we couldn’t figure out was how to get the electricity from the battery to the trailer when we unplugged from the city main.  Tom miraculously found a ‘battery cut off switch’, I didn’t know I had.  Suddenly we were in business.
There was a bad smell. I’d leaked waste when I undid the grey and black water hose not completely tightening the cap.  These things can be ‘sticky’.  Wash hands thoroughly.  Leave Dodge quickly.  The smell will dissipate in an hour or so.  Gilbert rather liked the odour.
Without further ado, I was driving and towing this ‘monster RV”.  It’s twice as big as my last one and that much heavier.
Still all went well. Without any deaths or maiming we all three, Tom, Gilbert and I , got to Chilliwack where I filled up everything at the trusty Husky there.  Propane, diesel, gas, water and air.  Tom even lubricated the ball with grease for better performance.
 There's a a 40 gal  built in gas tank for the gas Cumming 4000 built in generator and the gas tank also has a nozzle so you can fill our ATV.  That’s why it’s a toy hauler.  When I got it I could imagine either my Yamaha Kodiac 450 or my Harley Davidson Electraglide, or maybe both, in the garage. So far the garage has been a great junk room and I don't need to use it for the ATV but one day still imagine the Harley back there.  When we get a moose the ATV might have to go there so we can carry the moose in the truck.  There's a whole lot of possibilities with a Keystone toy hauler.

Up the Coquahalla Hwy, we drove.   Dusk  was just falling.  We climbed  the steepest section doing only 70 km to 80 km /hr in the slow lane along with the other big trucks and RV’s.  We did it!  We made the Coquahalla Summit.   Another half hour and we found our wilderness road turn off and headed back country.  Not too far in with still hunting light available, we found the clearing off the main logging road. We just disconnected the truck,  unlocked rifles, stuffed shells in our pockets and headed out for the very last of the evening’s road hunt. Others were coming in as we were going out. But we had an ‘evening hunt’. We were doing it. We were there. It was too dark 5 miles down the road and we returned, but we'd made it.  Maybe not the 'break of dawn' start we'd talked about but we'd made it and we had the Keystone Energy home to return to.
That night I  barbecued t bone steaks under the light from the porch light.  I had the potatoes boiling. Tom took the onions I’d got at our grocery stop in Hope and cooked them up with the fresh zucchini.
Tom found a candle.  The meal was delicious.  Gilbert even got to eat the bones and thought this was all just too dog wonderful. I followed the main course with Haggen Daz Green Tea ice cream.  Roughing it! Definitely roughing it!
We even watched a  black and white John Wayne western movie on the DVD and TV.
I had cell coverage and checked mail and Face Book.
Around 11 pm we were wound down enough to consider bed. Outside the canopy of stars was staggeringly beautiful.  The fresh air was literately tasty in the nostrils.  I climbed into bed in sweats and long sleeved harley shirt. I’d pulled out the couch bed for the first time and actually had sheets and blankets out for Tom . Gilbert chose to sleep at the base of Tom’s bed.  They’re good buds.The propane heater kept the cabin temperature  around 72 all night.  Lovely.
530 am I was up.   Coffee and granola.  Then out in the truck.
We didn’t plan to be fancy.  No ambush and stalking. Just driving around ‘road hunting’.  Horrible.  But we did have a lot of jawing to do. Tom had just been visiting family in Toronto and driven back through the northern states.  He'd put a new starter engine in a speed boat he'd been water skiing with. On the way back he'd stopped at Custer's Last Stand.  We talked about the bum rap Custer had been given and what a great leader he actually was.
Gilbert kept his eyes on the road, looking for grouse.  We drove slowly through the valley, stopping here and there to scope the slashes.  Drinking coffee. Talking. Nothing moving.
Around noon we talked with a couple of other hunters from Maple Ridge. They were in an side by side ATV.  Hunter talk.  “Seen anything?”  “No”  “What a bout you?” “Some does”  “No bucks?” “No”.
We drove on. We walked about a bit.  Looked over ridges.  Shot some targets. Tom happy to have his FAC and shooting good groups with my Mossberg Lever Action 30:30.  We both used a wilderness campground toilet thankful for the seat.  Didn't even have to squat in the woods.  Gilbert waited in the truck.  He'd run around and pissed and shit on everything when every time we got out and walked about looking up at slashes and scoping them.
We drove some more then headed back to the RV.  Pretty country.  Lots of green pine and spruce.  Colours of deciduous trees just beginning to turn to red and orange and yellows. Just beginning.  Hot day.  Temperature 23.  Sunshine and blue sky.    When we got back to the RV, I enjoyed a really hot shower.
We opened the Toyhauler garage door and sorted the remaining mess. There’s a few more bags I can take to the storage locker before our October hunt. That hunt's been a year in preparation.  This Wednesday we're getting together for the final preparation dinner.
These expeditions are extraordinary feats of organization and planning.  In the draw we'd got moose cow tags. All year we'd been getting equipment ready, Luke fixing up his truck, Tom completing his FAC and working on his core, me getting truck and rifle ready.
Now the Keystone Energy Toyhauler had totally checked out.  Tom and I loaded it up and prepared for the final test.  It had proved  great climbing up the mountain and just fine on gravel roads but I hated hauling trailers down windy steep inclines. That was  what came next.
Returning down the Coquahalla the Keystone performed beautifully.  
Tom took over driving in Hope.  We stopped for fish burgers. hamburgers and Gilbert’s doggie burger paddy at MacDonalds.   Life was good. More coffee. And an easy ride back into town before the rush hour coming home hit.
With Tom directing, I surprised myself by backing the trailer into my tight little spot. I love the Keystone Energy Toyhauler.  
Maybe I’m getting older but it really is a very pleasant way to go hunting. I’d highly recommend it. Maybe after you’ve spent 30 years or so sleeping out on mountainsides in only a sleeping bag or waking in a tent in a snowstorm on a hunt, the Keystone Energy Toyhauler really seems the way to go.  
Really,  barbecued steaks,  Haggen Daz Green Tea ice cream, John Wayne movies, propane heater, my own bed, expresso stove top morning coffee with fridge cold cream and honey , with a hot shower to come home too. Well, I liked it.  I really did.
Thank you Keystone Energy Toyhauler.  And thank you Travelhome RV for selling it to me and helping me all along with any questions and concerns.  
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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Caffe Rustico - Mount Pleasant

What a lovely dinner, Laura and I had at Caffee Rustico.  Laura had come to help out at the office with Gilbert and I and my staffing problems.  So after an afternoon of work I suggested we stop for dinner.  Thinking of places we liked, both of us remembered Caffee Rustico.  It was as good as ever. The owner is a delight. “It’s so Italian,” said Laura, “Just like I remember our time in Italy.” she said.  It really is. The pasta is to die for. The coffee particularly special, if not unique.  A friend of the owner was there and when we raved about the pasta he said, “I’m from the same district. That’s how our mother’s and father’s made pasta when we were growing up.”
I love Vancouver for the best of ethnic fare. Just a simple inexpensive dinner on Main Street with a friend and dog, very busy dog watching, made for a lovely end to a hard working day. Thank you Caffe Rustico. The food, service, and ambience was superb!IMG 6500IMG 6501IMG 6503IMG 6502

Vancouver TENT CITY

Oppenheimer Park in the Downtown East Side of Vancouver is now TENT City.  After Occupy Vancouver with countless civilly  disobedient or just 'above the law' people living rent free in downtown Vancouver, TENT City, another 'rent free vacation development'  has sprung up.  "Activists" need vacations too.
Vancouver ‘real estate’ is so expensive that most working people in Vancouver cannot ‘own’ property.   The DTES is to Vancouver like the centre of London, or Paris, or Manhatten. It is the most expensive, most desirable real estate in British Columbia, certainly Canada and perhaps the NorthWest.  Nearby 800 square foot condos are priced at a half million a year.
In Oppenheimer Park, dozens and dozens of 100's square foot tents are enjoying the glorious summautumn in Vancouver.  One of my favourite beaches is three blocks away.  China Town is but a couple of blocks away.  There a lovely walk ways and all manner of conveniences within steps from this park that has it’s own washroom facility in addition the porta potty arrangements that the city has provided. Public transportation connects this central 'hub' of the city to all of Downtown Vancouver.  There is a quick trade in stolen bicycles in this area as well expanding the possibilities of urban community luxury living. People are discouraged from doing drugs and alcohol in Tent City but there is really no need since there's a high density of bars in the area desperate for the 'welfare cheques' issues every 2 weeks for housing.  Free food is provided throughout the community by every manner of charitable organization.
Nearby , a block away, is Main and Hastings.  This is the most notorious of thoroughfares in the city.  During ‘rush hour’ traffic all the city’s north Vancouver commute along with other streams of commuters go through this ‘choke’ point.  Every day drug addicted ‘zombies’ stagger about on Hastings proudly disregarding cross walks and even an extra traffic light to reduce ‘dangerous’ jay walking, dancing seizing and jeering masses some of who now sleep off their party time in TENT City.
No fences have been put up to curtail the flagrant disregard for law and proud disrespect for the police but instead Mayor Robertson has ‘punished’ all the working commuters by reducing the traffic speed through this “drug city” zone to 30 km/hr. He has even provided bike lanes in the district for the easy commutes by those who flee police on their stolen bicycles.
If a walking zombie hits your car and is injured you will, and people have been charged with assault or even manslaughter.  Indeed there are even those who appear as zombies but walk into cars to feign assault and collect the high insurance premiums off the working legitimate law abiding folk of Vancouver.   Mayor Robertson hates law abiding working citizens especially those  who drive cars and this daily survive this futuristic drug infested  "obstacle course’ , his murky idea ‘enlightened' urban planning.
Tens of thousands of Vancouver workers, unable to afford to live in Vancouver, but working in Vancouver, drive their cars past this DTES holiday vacation centre reserved by the Mayor for ecstatic zombie jerking staggering drug users and their exaltant drug dealer priests.
In the centre of this section is the Safer Injection Site “Insite”, a bastille for the heroin trade where anyone can walk in with their street bought adulterated high priced heroin and shoot up with the prettiest,  youngest high paid nurses and assistants watching them so that for this one time they can be safe and the world of youth in Canada can believe injecting heroin is a 'safe' alternative to the 'natural high' of life.  For years this Safer Injection Site has been in the news distracting all public attention from the crime that it fosters and the heavy death toll it's perpetuation of heroin addiction supports.  Years too late it has now introduced a 'detox' site 'window dressing' to maintain it's stronghold on the centre of the DTES where it's Cathedral of Drug Addiction crucifies anyone who questions it's 'validity'.
 There has been literally no ‘change’ in the number of deaths as a consequence of this multi million dollar media ‘drug culture’ celebration centre.  The ‘research’ is suspect at best and highly embarrassing despite it's left wing popularity. The whole ‘centre’ is not science but wholly politics and religion. This is  ‘church of heroin’s’ central cathedral.
Tent city Is three blocks away.  Drugs are discouraged in TENT City.  Heroin addicts must walk down   the centre of Hastings Street disrupting traffic through Main disrupting traffic up one block and over two.  All the while drug dealers, the high priests of the drug culture religion, watch over them and  kowtow with corrupt officials in the Downtown Eastside.
We are still looking for the millions of dollars that Vancouver Coastal Health Officials gave the Portland Hotel Society leadership.  Linda Evans and Mark Townsend, the defrocked Cardinals of the DTES drug trade, laying low in their million dollar Vancouver homes having taken the fall for NEST of the Drug Addicted Religion of the DTES.  Jenny Quan, the NDP leader who was caught red handed with tens of thousands of dollars of bribe and kickback money which “my husband and the dingo made me take” has reappeared after her vacation after her Disneyland vacation.
Mayor Robinson promised housing for the DTES.  Vancouver Coastal Health and others after taking their cut for handling money, gave this to Portland Hotel Society.  Portland Hotel Society naturally did make a few spaces available at high cost of development and maintenance, government costs similar to the defence industry, but the short fall that went to UPTOWN Housing for Linda Evans and Mark Townsend and their Nest is why TENT CITY exists. Why these people are in Oppenheimer Park and not in the backyard of Mark Townsend, Linda Evans and Jenny Quan makes no sense.  Indeed, why the tents aren’t on the NDP headquarters property is a major concern. The NDP leadership was using the housing money for trips to Disneyland. Why spend Canadian dollars in Canada when it’s so much more fun to spend them out of the country where there are fewer witnesses.
People complain about the number of prisons and the for profit prisons of the United States but those working and living and paying rent or owning property in the DTES often express the sentiment that they're living in the prison.  If not a prison, then certainly an Asylum.
Some say Tent City will go when the Vancouver Monzoons come.  The activists won't want to be there when the lawns destroyed by the tents turn to mud.
 Heroin use is rising in young Canadians.  Canada has the greatest percentage of young people in the western world using pot. An adolescent using pot daily is 60 times less likely to complete high school than a drug free student.  Holland and Amsterdam have outlawed BC Bud.  Portugal has reduced it’s drug addiction by rigid ‘treatment’ requirements, decriminalization, but heavy ‘requirement for treatment’.  Sending people to jail doesn’t work. Look at Mark Emory. He’s grown rich on pot sales.  Had he been mandated to a drug free, urine tested,  2 year treatment program all the research suggests that even he might be abel to experience  a ‘natural high’ . As it is there are no John Denver songs being sung in TENT CITY. Marc Emory is running for Liberal Leadership alongside the smoking Liberal Leader Justin Troudeau and his smoking mother and smoking' wife.
Personally i’m too old for TENT CITY.   With the rising cost of gas and the commute , moving an RV into Oppenheimer Park seems like the only way for me.  Old People and maybe Vets for protection might well benefit from a downtown RV City.   Everyone wants to live in Vancouver. Most pay millions to have the privilege but why bother when you can do it for free with all manner of amenities  most working folk in Vancouver have difficulty affording.
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Friday, September 19, 2014


“Plead thou my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me, and fight thou against them that fight against me.
Lay hand upon the shield and buckler and stand up to help me.
Bring forth the spear and stop the way against them that pursue me, say unto my soul, “I am thy salvation."
Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul; let them be turned back and brought to confusion that imagine mischief for me.
Let them be as the chaff before the wind with the angel of the Lord scattering them.
Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
For they have hidden their net for me without a cause, yea, without a cause have they dug a pit for my soul.
Let a sudden destruction, come upon them unawares, and his net that hath hid catch himself, that he may fall into his own mischief.
And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord, it shall rejoice in his salvation.
All my bones shall say, “Lord, who is like unto thee, who deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him; yes, the poor and him that is in misery from him that spoilt him?"
False witnesses did rise up, they laid mto my charge things that I knew not.
They rewarded me evil for good, to the great discomfort of my soul.
Nevertheless when they were sick, I put on sackcloth, and humbled my soul with fasting;and my prayer shall return into mine own bosom,
I behaved myself as though it had been my friend or my brother, I went heavily as one that mourneth for his mother.
But when I stumbled they rejoiced and gathered themselves together, yea, the very abjects and those whom I knew not came together against me and slandered me without ceasing.
Like ungodly men they mocked continually, and gnashed upon me with their teeth.
Lord, how long wilt though look upon this? O deliver my soul from the calamities which they bring upon me, and my life from the lions.
So will I give thee thanks in the great congregation; I will praise thee among much people.
O Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me; neither let them wink with eyes that hate me without cause.
And why? their communing is not for peace; but they imagine deceitful words against them that are quiet in the land.
They gape upon me with their mouths and say, “Fie on thee, fie on thee, we saw it with our eyes."
This thou hast seen, O Lord; hold not thy tongue then; go not far from me, O Lord.
Give sentence for me, O Lord, my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.
Let them not say in their hearts, “There, there, so would we have it; neither let them say, “we have devoured him"
Let them be put to confusion and shame together , that rejoice at my trouble; let them be clothed with rebuke and dishonour, that boast themselves against me.
Let them be glad and rejoice, that favour my righteous dealing; yea, let them say always , “Blessed be the Lord, who hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant."
And as for my tongue, it shall be talking of thy righteousness, and of thy praise all the day long."
Psalm 35

I do love reading psalms when I am under duress.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Seventh Step Prayer

I enjoyed reading in Richard Rohr's "Breathing Underwater" that it was unlikely that a person, who was being rewarded materially and fully engaged in a superficial life with all the positive experiences of early attachment to that which can become addicting, would look deeper.  This is why youth seem clever but appear to lack wisdom which comes more slowly with maturity.  The 'education' process gives a great deal of 'intellectual' material which is most helpful and not really 'questioned' until there is a 'reversal' or 'set back'. 
I've prayed and meditated all of my life.  I was raised Christian and the prayer traditional was a central part of my childhood and youth. Later as a student of Paramahansa Yogananda I studied meditation and meditated.  Later in analytic work and philosophy I questioned my own 'ideas', thoughts and 'counter transference'.  The whole issue of personality and character were part of my training in psychiatry. 

The Seventh Step Prayer found in the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous addresses the issue of 'character'.  Television has superficial personalities but 'character' is a deeper developmental process with much of the basis laid down by the end of youth.  Habitual ways of relating to the world and other individuals are found in the depth of character assessment.  In diseases of addiction there are certain ways of thinking and relating which serve to perpetrate the alcoholism.

In contrast to what every alcoholic tends to think, that is "if you had my problems, you'd drink too', the journey of self discovery through the Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous reframes this into the truer form which goes "If you create problems like I do, you must drink too", or "If you didn't create the problems I do, you wouldn't have an excuse to drink".

The Seventh Step Prayer goes as follows:

"My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows.  Grant me strength, as I go out from here to do your bidding.Amen".

A fine prayer for me.  Under duress when life is not 'running' as smoothly as I feel it should I'm glad today to look under the hood and see if I can improve things by changing filters and tweaking matters a mite. (or more).  

Monday, September 15, 2014


Thank you God for your existence. I know it’s been said that if God did not exist humans would have to invent you. But given the delay in synapse I know I’m nanoseconds behind experience so that makes you first in my books.  I’m very grateful for this life. Reading Richard Rohr I’m reflecting again on attachment and addiction. It could be said that I’m addicted to this life from a spiritual perspective. This world is not the real world, just a temporary detour from the infinity of knowing you more closely, more really. But I’m learning that all is as it should be. There are no ‘mis-takes’.  There is no dress rehearsal for life. The only problem is my being the ‘chief critic’.  I’m way to critical of myself and others.  I’m even critical of my critical self.  There’s joy to know and have. I have all the tools for constant revelry.  There are miracles every moment. I can live in the sacred or the mundane.  If I walk with you I am there already.  Let me remember to know you in all my endeavours. Remind me of your presence if ever I enter that dark and lonely place.  Help me overcome my countless fears and worries. Help me to be more loving and more kind. Help me with my schedule and sense of overwhelming responsibilities and the time tables that are influenced by so many others and seem wholly beyond my control. Help me with staffing issues and with organization. Help me with finances and budgeting and getting the best deals rather than throwing money at problems and people to have them go away or be quiet.  Help me find more serenity. Help me be more with you and less with the world. I would find you with in.  Thank you for the Newsboys song, “Gods not dead, he’s surely alive. He’s living on the inside, roaring like a lion”.  Roar. Roar. Hallelulelujah.  Today I read the Morning Prayers from the Book of Common Prayers. Thank you for the times of prayer and meditation and worship. Thank you for the sense of peace and calm I feel in those places set aside for worship.  Help me to carry this ‘ease’ with me throughout my day. Help to “pray unceasingly’ as Paul taught.  Help me to always have one foot in the divine if not all of me.  Help me to be present in the now where you are.  Help me to avoid living in the past and future but help me to be connected with you in the infinity known as now.  May I love more deeply.  May I be more available for the duties and tasks before me. Guide me in all my decisions.  Be with me in every moment of my day. Thank you for the sunshine. Thank you for the air we breath. Thank you for scents of flowers and trees. Thank you for the city and automobiles and offices  and desks and phones and computers and lunch and coffee breaks. Thank you for the sense of connectedness. Help me over come my tendency to self pity. Help me over come that addiction to ego and self pity. Help me to rise above my downward spin cycle. Help me to be ever in your celebration. Thank you for the shadows and hues. Thank you for the sights and sounds. Thank you for the mystery. Thank you for the beautiful people. Thank you for breasts and smiles.  Thank you for legs and shoes. Thank you for dresses and slacks.  Thank you for bicycles and motorcycles. Thank you for Gilbert my cockapoo. Thank you for all the dogs in the building where I work. Thank you for my fingers and toes. Thank you for this Life Lord. May I serve you more truly.  Thank you.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hunting Sowagua Creek

Last weekend  opening of bow hunting, I parked my truck and took the ATV up the logging road.  A sign cautioned, “steep narrow road with active logging.”  The road was steep and narrow even for logging roads. This weekend I decided I’d take the truck to where I’d target practiced and broke my bow string ending my bow hunt.  This was the opening of rifle hunting season.
I'd had Ali at Vancouver Auto put a Warn 12000 lb winch on the front of my Ford F350 truck.  One more safety feature.
 It was a lovely sunny day.  I’d missed my break of dawn start as is increasingly usual with the attractiveness of my bed. Which is why I brought my tent along.  The road opened to a lot of spurs and clear cuts.  It really did look good except that it was an area of active logging. Deer tend to stay away from areas where there’s a lot of activity on the road.
I parked my  truck by a river. I like to have fresh water available when I camp. (Later at night unable to sleep I thought about how bear like to travel alongside streams, and cougar.  I was glad to have the 12 gauge shot gun beside, loaded with buck shot and slug. )
After I set up the tent I got out the ramp for the Yamaha 450 Zodiac ATV. I truly hate backing down off the truck.  I’m always glad to be alive with the ATV on the ground. We loaded up and were gone exploring.  Lovely weather. Sunshine and blue sky. Great views.  Pine and spruce forests.  Great mountains.  Red and purple wild flowers.  Dicky birds.  But no deer. We drove all over the area around us, Gilbert peering over my shoulder.
There were a half dozen others hunters out there too.  Most in trucks driving around while a couple had ATV’s.  Busy place. I only saw one rabbit.  I took a shot with the Ruger 30:06 aiming for the tip of the head, knowing that if I hit it full on I’d explode it and have no meat. As it was, I shot over it’s head.  Very fast rabbit. It will live a very long life never again thinking a truck or ATV can’t see it when it stops still. Now it will keep on running. I let Gilbert free and he ran everywhere in his great little circles but the rabbit was long gone.
Back at the truck in the dark I enjoyed running the truck engine and sitting in the warmth.  Gilbert ate his little Caesar and some of my roast beef sandwich.  I read Rohr’s Breathing Underwater kindle edition on my iPhone.  Gilbert licked my ears.  Soon I was tired enough to shut down the truck and  crawl into the tent.  I had a couple of thin (too thin) mountain air mattress. I had Gilbert’s little green bed.  I used my jean jacket for a pillow. The sleeping bag I had is rated for fall and spring.  I’d just not taken into account the 5000 feet altitude. When the sun went down it was really cold.  I was also thinking about bear and cougar.  You can start obsessing about something and it’s hard to get it out of your mind especially with the nights sounds  behind the water sounds.  I’d loaded the shot gun with a couple of buck shots but decided I should have a slug in the second over under barrel.  I must have checked the positioning of the flashlight and the shot gun and the knife a half dozen times before being satisfied.
I tried to lie on my back. There were rocks. I’d put the tent up beside the road.  Lots of gravel and rocks. Too thin mattress.  Sore back.  Turning over hurt.  Gilbert cuddling for warmth. I gave him the blanket.  I fell asleep for a minute and dreamed I was being attacked by a bear.  I’d had to grab my knife because I couldn’t bring the gun to bear. I fell back asleep, dreamed I was being tortured electrodes jabbed into my back by two terrorists.  It was really cold. I’d wake with a hand out of the bag and the hand was chilled.  Gilbert was shaking next to me so I covered him with the blanket.  I must have slept despite the dreams.  It was light when I awoke. 630 am
I’d slept in my clothes, just had to get the rifle, throw on the jacket.  I had my Iridium Satellite phone in my pocket and now had a Garmin Tactix GPS watch so I’d know my lat and long if I ever needed help.  Since flipping my ATV and getting trapped for a bit under it, thinking I’d not get free, I’ve been a bit more cautious hunting alone.  Gilbert and I then walked out of the camp and headed up to the ridge. It was a slow quiet walk with lots of scoping the ridge with the Bushnell glasses. No luck. We sat for a bit.  On the walk out Gilbert stays on the heel right behind me but on the way back I let him run. He’s a lark to watch, circles and circles.  Then he runs full speed back to me and then full speed ahead.  It’s fun to watch him.  My feet were sore by the time we got back to camp so it was good to have the Kodiack 450.  Off we went on that.  All morning I enjoyed watching the sunlight come over the mountain.  We drove about, explored, went to where the new logging was, had to pull off the road to let big equipment go by. Talked to a half dozen hunters.
Around 10:30  am I headed back to the tent, really tired.  Not enough sleep.  I packed up the tent and gear then loaded the ATV. I don’t mind driving it up onto the truck. It’s just backing it off that gets me.  The sun was up and it really was a hot lovely day. Hard to believe how cold it got in the night walking about now shirtless in just shorts and canoe shoes.
Nobody had seen any deer. However when a guy said he’d seen grouse I felt terribly guilty for not rushing the packing up. Gilbert, the great grouse hound, gave me a dirty look. I got the message.  Got in the truck and hoped to shoot a grouse on the way out.  No such luck.  More ATV’s and other trucks and people just in the woods for fun.  Busy place.
It was only a couple of hours home with traffic not backed up at all.  It was simply wonderful to climb in the hot tub then have a nap on the lawn chair.  Great weekend hunting. If I’d have shot a deer I’d have had the cleaning and hauling and getting it to the butcher.   I believe too you have to do the time to be there when the deer appears.  I don’t think I’ll be tenting any more.  It’s a whole lot more enjoyable hunting with my RV.  Maybe I'm getting older.
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