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Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver

I guess breakdowns of automated public systems are another form of Collapse!

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Canada Line construction Cambie St at 48th Van...
Image by Stephen Rees via Flickr

Reflecting on the previous post it’s clear that in China they build too quickly and with  not enough attention to the physical effects of bad weather. So some buildings collapse and there are deadly mine accidents.

Fortunately in Vancouver the effects of “collapse” seem to mean that the Canada Line, which was built at great cost to connect Richmond and Vancouver centre cities, is villified and not applauded as this comment says it all “This isn’t the first time (it’s broken down). Canada Line is now refer to as Broken Line.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/11/04 at 14:13

My low opinion of Rogers apparently confirmed by Canadian court

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Telus Workers Rally: Local support
Image by Grant Neufeld via Flickr

Rogers told to ditch ‘most reliable network’ claim

A Telus store in Toronto's Eaton's Centre


A Telus store in Toronto’s Eaton’s Centre JENNIFER ROBERTS/THE GLOBE AND M


Wireless rival Telus ‘pleased’ after winning injunction on Rogers advertising claims in B.C. court


For me this news feels like “the pot calling the kettle black”. I’ve been told by Bell sales people that Bell and Telus share a new network in Canada, while Rogers uses much older technology, like GSM et al. But I’ve always had a low opinion of Telus after dumping their DSL service 4 years ago in Vancouver. So I don’t feel so impressed that Telus sued to get an injunction to stop Rogers’ claims about its network “being the best”.

Since the Berkman Institute recently published a report about worldwide national telecom systems in which Canada ranked 37th re cost, bandwidth offerings et al, I feel that Telus, Bell et al need to make major revisions to pricing and bandwidth offerings. That goes in spades for my current phone and ISP, Shaw.

Guys, get your own act together before attacking your nearest competitor!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/11/25 at 06:21

If you wait long enough on the BC Coast, it will rain!

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Be warned Vanoc and skiers!

Premature announcements that skiing is on are subject to imminent rain!

Flood warning for B.C. South Coast

Last Updated: Saturday, November 14, 2009 | 5:01 PM PT Comments17Recommend35


Flood warning for B.C. South Coast

Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/11/15 at 04:44

About me & my displaced child

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A few weeks ago I was reading a friend’s facebook postings and read about her musings concerning grieving of loss. I wrote a comment mentioning that I regretted that I hadn’t felt more aggrieved when my father, mother and sister’s died. I told her that I had experienced more grief when an older friend had died, although I was never very much closer to him than to my family. He and I were members of a self-administered men’s support group of 7 in Vancouver, BC.

Photo on 2009-10-15 at 22.14

The closest intimacy I had with Richard was to hear his basso snoring whenever we overnighted with the group. He and another member of the group could be said to produce heroic, or barbaric, noises while they slept and others, like me, tried to. Our conscious exchanges in group sessions were controlled by the rule that any one of us shouldn’t break into another’s musings unless we were asked to.

A few times I can remember that Richard’s complaining about the effect that women’s rights seemed to be having on his sense of personal value got my goat but I never said very much. He was from Montreal as  I was but our exchanges about that were really very limited. We never got beyond the conversational and that was probably because neither he nor I really wanted to. The simple truth is below skin level we didn’t really sympathize much one with the other.

I remember walking out of VGH the first time I visited with him and a few of the group since he was manifestly on his “death bed”. As I walked out and down the broad stairway I felt a real emotional wrench in my gut and tears began to roll out of my normally cool eyes. And I did think of Richard in his plight, but most of all I thought about my younger sister’s bout with MS. She hadn’t died yet though. Then my mind segued into thoughts about how I had experienced the long distance last few months of my mother’s life; she was in a Sherbrooke QC hospital and I was living in Vancouver.

My sense of grief at that moment of recall was personal and intense for me. I did tell one of the group I felt closest to then about my sense of grief about Richard and my invalided sister. She died a year or so after that hospital visit.

During the last years of her life, when I was in my late fifties and she 90some, our exchanges were mostly about surface subjects. Although one time she did volunteer that she felt she had had a good life. This got me to think back how unhappy she had looked the whole day of the family celebration of her 50th wedding anniversary. I had not had the nerve to ask then why she seemed so unhappy, although she and my father were in good health for their age and should have been enjoying a day with children and grand-children.

I didn’t have to emotional courage to talk with her because I had never tried to before and a day of celebration didn’t seem like the time to step into her emotions of the day.

Last night I spent a little more than an hour with my psychologist friend, Bella (not her real name) to talk about my “displaced child” feelings. Earlier she had suggested in our comment postings on Facebook that she gathered from the story fragments I posted on my blog and on Facebook, that I seemed to fit the “displaced child” profile.

Never had I thought of myself in those terms although I had journaled often about my sense of instant grieving, regret and loss whenever I heard Spanish songs or the “Mon Amour” symphonic piece to mention the triggers that come off the top of my head now. And I realized before meeting with her last night and during our talk, that I had survived displaced child emotions. In truth, I don’t feel caught in that emotional trough anymore.

The focus of our talk was not to dwell on, or for me to wallow, in an emotional recovery of my experiences having to evacuate from Barcelona in July 1936 and from Paris in May and June of 1940 during the Fall of France. Nor was it a time to celebrate my sense of having survived and being better for that experience.

Image via Wikipedia

Here are the points that really got my attention thinking about what was said with my psychologist friend:

I have a successful life so far;

She said she found interesting that from what I said I was future oriented and that amazed her from a 74 yr old man and former displaced child;

Considering what she and I said last night I seem to have healthy open-ness to my inner self and I am manifestly intent on improving my emotional health;

Writing for me must become more like tapping into my emotion energy reservoir from my displaced child place;

I want to do business to give my wife as much as I can; and,

I will do business and finish that partly fictional personal and family memoir

Let me consider the above points. They feel and read like a healthy self assessment for me to be in now. The best thing is that I don’t feel stuck in the past but I can draw on the emotional energy I get from looking back and reliving as much as I can of the bad, the good and the survival.

I have lots of time ahead of me to do most of what I would like to get done before I consider leaving this mortal coil! And that I feel like celebrating more than a birthday!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/11/06 at 06:37

A different view of downtown Vancouver with lotsa background

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I got this (skitched it) from the VAncouver Sun site. It’s a great view of Vancouver and will be much appreciated when i am living in Dalian again in about 5 months:

Dalian birdview
Image via Wikipedia
Dalian aquarium.
Image via Wikipedia
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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/10/24 at 05:36

Canadian Tory “principled actions”

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Tories give Dalai Lama a wide berth

The Dalai Lama, left, greets the crowd prior to a panel discussion with the Reverend Mpho Tutu, right, in Vancouver Sunday. The Dalai Lama is visiting Vancouver to take part in the World Peace Summit. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Canada’s high-profile welcome in 2007 enraged China, and Ottawa is still mending fences ahead of Harper’s visit to the People’s Republic

I personally find it difficult to understand the point of the Dalai Lama excitement in BC these days. On Saturday he was the Guest Editor of the Vancouver Sun. And apparently he is here on some kind of “Peace Summit”. He really appears to be more of a peace gadabout than summiteer.

But all the rich bourgeois in Vancouver seem to be very happy to pay his fare many times over.

The whole brouhaha smacks more of culture vultering than “peace”!

As for PM Harper, he is simply up to his old tricks of political peekeboo. Now he’s with the DL, now he’s not! Now China are tewwible communists, now their not so tewwible! So goes “Tory politics with Harper principles” in Canada!

The temporary discomfiture of the Canadian Govt is further demoed by this quote from the Globe and Mail:

Governor-General Michaëlle Jean had been scheduled to share the stage with the Dalai Lama yesterday, but abruptly cancelled her appearance last week.

Spokeswoman Marthe Blouin said the decision was prompted by family reasons and had nothing to do with political pressure, noting Ms. Jean intends to meet privately with the Dalai Lama on Tuesday.

“The Governor-General is free to make her own decisions … and does not need to have her schedule approved by the government,” Ms. Blouin said in an e-mail.

At the Chan Centre, sitting cross-legged and shoeless on a comfortable black chair, the Dalai Lama surprised his reverential audience at one point by admitting he was stumped by a question posed by moderator Mary Robinson. The former UN high commissioner for human rights asked him about the role of dignity in human rights.

Image by california cowgirl1 via Flickr
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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/09/28 at 05:19

A San Diegan is “depressed” by Vancouver

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City of Vancouver
Image via Wikipedia

Talk about irony used to make a point about his home town! Here’s what this guy said about Vancouver:

But the most depressing place in the world today is Vancouver , British Columbia.

More by Arthur Salm: Health care in Canada | Schoolbrary concept as dumb as its name

Ever been to Vancouver? Spectacularly beautiful place. Miles of waterfront, almost all of which is not only visible but accessible to the public; breathtaking and meticulously maintained parks; an efficient, affordable, and city-blanketing (above and below ground) public transit system; a magnificent, (fairly) new public library right in the heart of a sparkling downtown; clean streets; an enlightened program to shelter the city’s homeless; urban planning that places more and more emphasis on walkways and bike paths; an energetic, ethnically diverse population; health care for all its citizens (they’re Canadian, after all); young, progressive, can-do mayor Gregor Robertson. (Compare to the at best well-meaning Jerry Sanders, or to our imperious, aggressively ignorant County Board of Supervisors. Then sigh.)

And as if to rub our SoCal noses in it, Vancouver is mounting a gung-ho, popular effort to become the greenest city in the world, as chronicled by Allan Hunt Badiner in a July 30 AlterNet post. Cumulatively, Vancouver’s projects make our baby steps toward Going Solar, however commendable, look pitiful.

In short, Vancouver is what San Diego could have been. For anyone who loves San Diego, that’s … depressing.

I live in Vancouver and I often think how I would feel if I was still living in Ottawa/Hull. I’m very happy to live in Vancouver, thank you very much! But it seems to me that this San Diegan has “drunk the Vancouver Kool-Aid“. Clean streets. I bike around Vancouver and I don’t see streets that are that clean! But maybe San Diego is different!
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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/08/08 at 06:18

The latest view of Vancouver, BC

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Vancouver has been photographed from many perspectives. But it seems to me that I have never seen this perspective of downtown Vancouver looking northwest over False Creek:

Sun0807n  CityT1m.jpg

Borrowed from

Here’s another perspective of my home city drenched in fog looking south probably from Cypress Mountain:

vancouver in fog

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/06/15 at 06:43

An unlikely image of Spring in Queen E Park Vancouver 2009/3/9

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Snow in March in Vancouver! Yes it happens and here’s the proof with a charming bird, fruit, snowy branches in Queen Elizabeth Park this March 9.

This image is part of a Rites of Spring set from Big Picture in

Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/03/30 at 06:39

I used to skip over Judith Warner’s Op-Ed in the NY Times but much less now!

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Town & County of Nantucket, Massachusetts
Image via Wikipedia

I am beginning to relate more and more to many things she writes, even though she is 50some, female and a US citizen from the Northeast. Of course, I know the Northeastern US reasonably well, skiing in Vermont and NY, summering in Ogunquit, Nantucket and Cape Cod, finally hiking in Vermont and NH. But I’m a 73 yr old curmudgeon who lives in Vancouver and Dalian China now.

So it’s a wonder that I related very well to these words from her Op-Ed today:

How we seem to love and hate those men and women we never knew. What we would give to know their secrets: how Dad managed to come home at 5 p.m. to read the paper or watch TV while Mom fixed dinner and bathed the kids. How Mom turned up at school, every day, unrumpled, coiffed, unflappable. And more to the point: how they managed to afford the lives that they led, on one salary, without hocking their homes to pay for college, without worrying about being bankrupted by medical bills.

How we make them pay now, when we breathe them back into life. Our cultural representations of them are punishing. We defile the putative purity of the housewives — those doe-eyed, frivolous, almost simple-minded depressives — by assigning them drunken, cheating, no-good mates. We discredit the memory of the organization men by filling them with self-loathing and despair. Each gender invites its downfall, and fully deserves the comeuppance that history, we know, will ultimately deal it.

That’s where the pleasure comes in. No matter how lost we are, no matter how confused, no matter how foolish we feel, we can judge ourselves the winners.

Judith Warner writes Domestic Disturbances, a column at

Of course,  there is one important difference between Judith and me: I was one of those men and she has only seen them on TV and read about them and their wives!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/12/30 at 10:16