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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Not politics

View across the lake from town - can you see Jimi Hendrix in the yellow trees? (Look to the left.)

Okay, we can only post and talk about politics so much.

I was out on Kootenay Lake with a friend a couple of years back. Sitting by a small fire on the beach, miles from the nearest road or house. I pointed at the setting light on the mountain across the lake, and how the shadow was visibly moving and how golden and beautiful it was (no stimulants were involved, honest!).

He looked for a few seconds and then said, "Yeah, but look at those god damn clear cuts over there! We screw up everything."

He just couldn't see anything without seeing human beings in it - and badly.

It made me wonder how far I get from simply seeing what's in front of me, especially when it's naturally beautiful. This is true with seeing each other too I think - as we each are naturally beautiful.

Am I so affected by the filters of politics, society, prejudices, fears, history, science and all - that I can't just enjoy and experience? I think it's really important to get to a simple place, a place to really see and feel. Agree?

Being outdoors helps, as do stars, little children, waves, music, and loving touches. Does this matter to you and how do you find 'simple eyes'?

Okay, I did mention politics, but I'm not talking ABOUT politics.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Election Hangover

I feel sick, like I had a rough night. But I didn't have any fun, so it's not one of THOSE hangovers. It's the kind where you wish you could wake up and start again.

Lowest voter turnout in history (about 60%). The Conservatives have a (slightly larger) minority government now. The Liberals are sinking. The Greens got lots of votes, but not a seat. The NDP have a few more seats but are still 4th. The Bloq (Quebec separatiste partie) saved our bacon by not letting Harper get the seats he needed there for the majority.

Here's the result:

Seats won/leading



bloc quebecois

new democrats


155 seats required for
majority government

My NDP candidate, and friend, Alex Atamenenko won in this riding - a bright spot in a cloudy sky.

Here is an edited version of my friend Brian's take on the election (thanks Brian, out in Nova Scotia):

Ah yes, the election. I am trying to look on the bright side. The egomaniac from hell did not get his majority. Sadly, the Libs and NDP did not get enough seats to be able to form an alternative government. The Liberals will now have to do something about Dion. Rae is a Chr├ętien clone (clown) and Ignatieff thinks he is Pierre. I am not sure the Canadian public will prefer either one as a replacement.

I was sorry that the Greens will not have at least one seat. I think their credibility is bound to suffer. Thibeault, my local Liberal, did go down to defeat to one of the few Conservative seats in the province, but Bryson made it okay - I had some dealings with him when I was with the Cancer Society and like him. For sentimental reasons, I was also pleased to see (Trudeau) made it. So I guess we are now in for at least two more years of 'deus ex machina' rule from the PM's office.

Comments anyone?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm still here Zee...

Okay, I'm open to some advice here my friends.

I have been really busy for months, including 13 flights in the past month alone, mostly work travel and one romantic getaway in Ottawa. I'm distracted by changes in my life and a growing life on Facebook. The travel is slowing down a little, with a only a few trips between now and Christmas (including another 'rendesvous').

So I've gone from frequent posts on this blog to not so many. I feel like I've abandoned some friendships, or at least neglected them.

Sometimes bloggers stop altogether and announce that (some of you remember Madcap Mom, Beth, Dimitiri and others). I don't want to do that because I like this connection and I like looking at all of your blogs too, even if not as regularly as I used to.

Maybe I'm not asking for your advice, but for patience. Okay?

And now for not-about-Gary

We vote in a federal parliament here on Tuesday and it's a nail biter. The Anyone But Harper movement is growing. For some really exciting technology and a glimpse into modern strategic voting, have a look here . This is getting major coverage and there are other sites helping people 'swap' votes. I vote for a party that might win here and someone in another riding agrees to vote for my party, because they have a chance there.

The US election is looking pretty nasty from up here. Many of us are also still puzzled as to how it's even a race. However, a little digging indicates that a huge portion of the America population still believe that some god created dinosaurs, that Noah did put 20,000,000 insect couples on the ark and that Jesus is coming soon. I guess it's not a big leap to think that a snappy talking dinosaur from Alaska deserves to be a breath away from leading the most bankrupt economy in the world (with 707 foreign military bases).

As for the economic meltdown, it's global so Canada is free falling too. My take? Well, if I am really wealthy and lose most of it, I'd probably still be really wealthy. If I have small investments and lose most of it... it's still small. So why worry? (That may sound trite, but I mean it. I am not making light of people who are losing their homes by the way - or the corrupt system and societal greed and US policies that precipitated this.)

And finally, we celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada in October (this weekend). So let me wish that you each have things to be thankful for... and feel it.


Back to Gary?

Since I'm on a roll anyhow (count this as 5 posts in one), let me tell you that last week I was sitting in Anna's Volkswagon camper van in my driveway, running it because she's away for a couple of months. An hour after I sat in it reading, a huge tree fell in a wind storm.

It flattened the van, as you can see here (click to enlarge). It also damaged my car badly (thousands of dollars). While we'll mourn Rosie (the van), I felt the closeness of the call - see the driver's seat? I'm thankful to be here.

Amen again.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Debate dilemma - which to watch...

Tonight the Canadian federal leaders debate coincided with the Joe Biden/Sarah Palin debate. I'm Canadian and want to follow my democratic process... but Geez, the US election is interesting. What to do? What to do?

What any modern man would do. Hold the channel changer firmly and watch both. Well, mostly the Canucks, but a good bit of the Veep wanabees.

I'm interested in your take on either or both - here's mine:


Stephen Harper called the election so probably shouldn't whine about being ganged up on (he was). The other four leaders occasionally snipped at each other (Layton and Dion for example), but it was all Harper all the time for the most part.

How did they do according to Gary?
- Stephen Harper Conservative: stayed cool, kept to the message "Now let's be clear.." but didn't win over many undecided. Nothing new and a lack of anything to say about the current financial crisis. Nice hair.

- Stephane Dion, Liberal: I suspect he exceeded most people's expectations, even his own party. He's always earnest and nerdy (in a rather cute way really), but he also made good points, and at times was even a little moving. His response to cuts to arts and culture was from the heart. He may have pulled a few wandering Liberals home. Decent suit.

- Jack Layton, NDP: Jack, Jack, Jack. I'm voting NDP this time. I like many of their policies and really like our local candidate. Jack was on the Jack Attack and did pretty well keeping his laser beam on Harper. Why do I find him a little grating or annoying? Help me. Nice tie.

- Gilles Duceppe, Bloq (a Quebec separatist party): Gilles is cool. He's suave, flexible, seems honest and makes points with care. He's emotional sometime. Too bad he's the leader of the party that wants to split the country in two. He may have secured his base, which will kill a Conservative majority. I'd like to go for a beer with Gilles. Nice eyes.

- Elizabeth May, Green: She was terrific and did two things well - made it clear that the Greens aren't only a one-issue show and second, showed that she's a smart, articulate politician. The Greens will get more votes, but I'm not sure where they'll come from - wouldn't it be wonderful if it was from Conservatives? Will she win her seat in Nova Scotia? Long shot still, but I hope so. Nice jewellery.


She's a brave one and speaks well generally. Joe won the debate - hands down. On CNN they had a little graph following the ratings (ongoing) of a bunch of undecided voters. When she talked about family, local stuff, American flag-waving stuff - her rating went up. For Joe it was about issues, particularly international. He kicked.

Best moment: When Joe talked about being a dad and not knowing if a child was going to make it. He teared up. So did I.

Two Predictions

- Obama/Biden by a safe margin in November

- Conservative minority government in Canada again, with more NDP seats and one or two Greens (he hopes).

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