Success, or an approximation

So I’m off to get a CT scan of my unstable pelvis, and the tooth Dr. Katz fixed is now completely perfect in all respects, plus he ground just a smidge off a cuspid and now my mouth feels normal again.  The scan will be booked and they’ll call me, and then I back to see the bone doc about ten days after the scan to give them a chance to read it.

3.0 hours on the CPAP.  I feel very refreshed and not particularly in pain, which is pleasant.  No words yesterday.

I am ashamed to say I bailed on Paul last night, he wanted to go swimming, but I biked to and from the dentist and had a rather trying day in other respects, sitting in cold rooms waiting for doctors not being one of my oh doodie moments. Went to bed early, went to sleep early. For some reason the mask felt very comfortable last night, although I still took it off.  I think I was contemplating getting up and yelling at Buster since he was making so much frikkin’ noise.

Jeff is home, and Buster is much, much happier.  (With Margot, you can’t tell; her baseline temperament is so incredibly calm.) He is a daddy’s boy.

I did the math; if all the people who live in Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Kamloops, Kelowna, Abbotsford, White Rock and Chilliwack were homeless, that would still only be half as many as have been rendered homeless by the earthquake in Nepal.

Sometime in the next two hundred years Vancouver will get its own rumble. If it’s a megaquake it’ll be felt across Cascadia.  I’m starting to keep extra water on hand.

This sweet little piece of satire is from a filking buddy.

The worst slave trader.

Continued drug gang related violence (or so one supposes) in  Metro Vancouver.

Chipper sends me this hand flute playing virtuosity.

She also sends me this cute panoply of chordate behaviours.

I will endeavour mightily to get back on track today.  Except I have to do something for church.

New song – In the lineup for the ferry

We are in the lineup for the ferry

wonder what it’s gonna be this time

will we see orcas in Active Pass or will we

starve in the White Spot line

and there’s no sense in complaining

cause there’ll never ever be a bridge

and I can’t afford alternatives

the ferry …is really all that there is.

So they’ve started loading up the ferry

And it’s really close, things are getting tight

There’s 400 unexpected walk-ons

Holy crap we’re gonna be here all night

And there’s no use us complaining

They are never going to build a bridge

I can’t afford to fly and rent a car

So BC Ferries… is all that there is.

Five hours in the lineup

Kids are screaming bored and the adults whine

They have called up one of the Queen class

I may get home before midnight

And there’s no sense us complaining

Though we line up for the privilege

It would be an eco-disaster

If they ever built a frikkin bridge

….And still we dream about a bridge.

Edited for singability and actual scansion 29 April 1:29

The day of the specialists

I have survived one specialist appointment – I now have to get a pelvic CT scan – and I have been given a range of exercises after I burst into tears and said, “Hey I’m unwaged and I can’t just cough up 75 bucks twice a week for physio!”

The exercises are not hard. They are stretches and “Kegels in interesting positions”.

This afternoon I get my incisor fixed. Oh doodie.

217 words and 3.1 hours (my back feels very good today!). Sadface about the low productivity but I’m feeling kinda blerggy and with all the goldinged scotch broom blooming it’s like my eyeballs are scraping themselves against a concrete wall.

Other projects are calling me away.  The biggest one is for church, but I shouldn’t put it off any longer and it’s only about 2 hours of work anyway, plus the fidgetty bits once it’s actually updated.

Anyway, much love to those who deserve it and the rest of you can quit thieving my spoons.

Just as an aside

I met the granddaughter of a survivor of the Armenian genocide yesterday.  Her grandmother was present as well but I didn’t want to bull my way into a family gathering.  Ya peeps the Armenian genocide really did happen and Erdogan denouncing the governments who call it that won’t clean the stain from Turkish history.

Every government and every peoples has something like this tucked away.  Smaller scale governments and ethnic groups do too.  It is the way of the human.


the rest of the day

After the transcription of my notes, I had to clean things for a while. My bathroom is more orderly and possibly more clean (I dusted light fixtures, so who knows… the amount I cleaned may be cancelled by how much better lit it is now.)

At one I phoned Mike per arrangement and he comes by in his BRAND NEW Honda Fit.  He then delights me by spending 10 minutes showing that you could cart anything but a horse in it (anything from a houseplant to someone in a body cast, as best I can scrutinize). So roomy, so comfy, so feature packed, so not spendy for fuel.

The Mustang is a tremendous disrespecter of a wallet.  Before it became the last resting place of many easily rotted liquids, it was a great car, although I will own that it makes me carsick at speeds lower than 100 k but then again, there was that incredible run down the highway from Birkenhead with Van Morrison blasting, the top down, the sunset over the mountains, the perfectly paved and entrancingly windy road.

Anyway this time we went to Steveston and he drank Back Hand of God stout from Crannóg Ales. I had some, it wuz nommy, and I totally call a comparative lack of sweetness and lighter body compared to some others of the ilk like say McCauslan Oatmeal stout which is practically syrup with a sprig of hops drug through it, and damn even though I make that sound like an insult it really isn’t.

F*** I wish that inconvenience would attend the motorcycle riding butthair that lives next door. It’s been idling for 8 minutes.

Anyway I had scallops and Mike had soup and then we walked about my limit to where people were flying kites and Mike asked nice and a woman allowed him to fly her sport kite for a while.

Thank Saint Dismas and Saint Dunstan, the f***** finally rolled off.

I picked up a prezzie for Jeff and Mike got beer and that’s when I found out Mike’s a Eurovision weenie. We watched Eurovision until eight. We even watched the retrospective, 1956 to 2014, and it was like trying to pick diamonds out of a candy coloured manure pile.  But entertaining. Finland you rock.

Now I’m going to crash.

Victims of Violence Symposium, notes and comments

I took extensive notes.

Christine Lowe opened things up by saying that in healthy communities we acknowledge the harm that comes to victims of violence, and that victimes need to be helped with their physical, spiritual and emotional well being. Strong relationships make social justice possible.

She made a joke about the podium.  When they were finalizing planning they realized they had no podium, and they had no money to buy or rent one.  So they called the police.  The Victoria PD supplied the podium.

This donation by the police meant that we were looking at their logo the entire time, but it also meant that it was a place where cops and SJWs could work together, and that made me happy.

There was a territorial acknowledgement, and Elder May made a blessing that set the tone for the day.  A little rambling, heart-piercingly beautiful, compassionate.  When she sang I started weeping.  The contrast of her speaking voice and her singing voice was so acute it made me sit up. Her song was wordless and filled with yearning for justice and peace.

Then the Deputy Minister for Justiceland Wanamaker got up and gave a canned f*cking empty speech with about as much inflection and heart as one gets from a Grade 7 kid giving her first address.  As a libertarian-inflected feminist, I was enraged to the point I nearly booed when she tried to make political hay out of taking 5 million dollars from civil forfeiture – forgot we had that in Canada, right? right? and earmarking it for prevention of violence against women.  Really don’t like that.  I could go on at great length about why I was pissed, but instead I stink eyed her until she left.  She may be a king hell accomplished career bureaucrat, and we should be thankful that somebody of her dignity spoke to us, but I came away wanting to coach her on public speaking and liberty both.  Please don’t think that the 8 Domestic Violence Units which have been set up across BC with the money are bad things. I don’t.  One thing I will credit her with is saying ‘all genders’; this is phrasing I wish more politicians would adopt, since it doesn’t other trans* and intersex people, or people who are distinctly possessing identifiable bits but are not gender normative, and it includes two-spirited.

Frank Elsner. Chief of Police in Victoria since January 2014.  Man, I wish, you have NO IDEA HOW I WISH, that brO could have been in the auditorium when he spoke.  He worked the room, greeting and speaking with many, many people. Fine, a cop can have good social skills, in fact let’s hope she does. As he was introduced, it was obvious that he is highly intelligent and has multiple degrees from real universities.  He’s been chair of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which means he’s been exposed to best (and worst) practices across the planet, and let’s face it the last decade has seen some impressive advances in community policing.

He said, “Why talk about community health in terms of policing?” Essentially good policing is part of what makes a healthy community.  As a cop he was appalled to arrest three generations of criminals.  The boys weren’t born bad; intervention and options are required to turn lives around.

He mandated a different approach to street prostitution.  Instead of throwing them in the jug, a group of women were streamed toward social workers.  Picture their astonishment when the first problem most of them had was that they had no picture ID. Childcare, job training and housing were also issues.  Address them, and women can get off the street.  He made it sound simple, but the key is collaboration among a large group of people across half a dozen Ministries and social agencies.  When you get seven women out of the life, you are reducing human suffering in them, their children and their grandchildren, is the point.

Then he said the thing that would have made brO happiest.  He said the police must be accountable to the people they serve for everything they do, even when it hurts the police institutionally and personally.  The reactive model of policing is no longer tenable; police have to earn and show respect in the community they serve.

He also mentioned that cops need to be better educated and trained (yay, maybe that one dingus will finally learn how to give evidence in traffic court) and that their own mental health MUST be factored into the equation; police need like all people to be treated with respect for the sad duties they take on, on behalf of all of us, and that if we just keep expecting cops to suck it up they will snap.  So he wants to look after the well being of the people in his department and not just expect them to stand tall and be stoic.

My applause at the end of his talk was very genuinely enthusiastic, as was Paul’s.

Then Dr. Martin Broken Leg got up.

1. Dude’s funny.

2. Dude’s a survivor.

3. Dude’s hella smart.

With effortless humour, fluency, clarity and logic, he walked us through what it’s like to live in Aboriginal culture, both sides of the border (he is Lakota, adopted into the Raven clan on Haida Gwaii and man you shoulda seen his button decorated black vest with the most beeeyootiful appliquéd silver raven on the back, I admired it in person.)

One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Indian kids went to residential schools until 94 when the last one closed.  Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Indian kids have gone into care since the mid fifties.

Christ wept.

The ACE studies (Adverse Childhood Experiences) can provide some light.

If a child is exposed to addictions, abuse, domestic violence, incarceration and neglect, you will get social impairment, health risks, disease, disability and early death.

There are other sources of trauma to FN kids. Federal laws, provincial policies, residential schools, the institutions of the churches, poverty, sub standard housing, poor nutrition and lack of healthy practices, lower opportunities for education and employment.

Oppression comes in many forms.  Social microaggressions, the way people look at you and talk to you and make assumptions about you. Systems don’t make place for you and your cultural folkways. The professional people who are supposed to help you don’t necessarily respect you and don’t expect you to improve; and then of course there’s internalized racism and the numbness that comes when you realize that you’re worthless; you don’t need to see 1200 missing women on tv to realize that there’s not a lot of respect for FN women, let alone men.

He recommended Rupert Ross’s Criminal Conduct and Colonialization and Dr. Paulette Regan’s Unsettling the Settler Within.

Traumatized people show it.  They show it by abusing their children, committing suicide, legal trouble and incarceration, early death, violence and addictions.

If you’re working with traumatized people the question to ask is not What’s Wrong with You!? it’s What Happened to You?

In 2012 the Gladue decision brought into sentencing the ability of the judge to inquire as to childhood trauma before jail time.

Subsequently a 19 year old aboriginal man was arrested for assaulting (I remember this story) a Coast Mountain bus driver. At sentencing it was learned that he had been in 28 foster homes between 4 and 18. He didn’t get jail time, he got counselling, and the howls from white people who said BUT HE ISN’T BEING PUNISHED were very loud. And pointless.  Jail wouldn’t help.


FN people need to:

See your own and your inherited pain (he called it the dark shadow that lies across every aspect of aboriginal life.)

Know and express your own suffering.

Self-critique and move toward self-improvement (away from victimhood toward self-actualization)

Reclaim aboriginal spirtuality, community and culture ESPECIALLY LANGUAGE (my comment because it is a road map back to the way the land spoke to your ancestors.)

Non-aboriginal people need to work on:

Self-reflection, to lose their white innocence (I had no idea FN children were experimented on, I had no idea that three percent of the residential school kids never came home, I had no idea that the Indian Act didn’t let FN women vote until the 1960s.)

Accept the historical violence, from the Beothuk to Akwesasne.

Admit the full equality of Aboriginal people and ways.  That’s the tough one.  We’ve been acculturated to believe that European ways are superior, and it ain’t necessarily so.

Remember that the 1948 UN definition of genocide COVERS THE SITUATION OF THE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS.

Broken Leg then talked about the four stages of forgiveness, as outlined in Tutu’s The Book of Forgiving, which he wrote with his daughter Mpho.

  1. Let us tell the truth. Speak the truth, unvarnished, the facts.  Tell trusted people, accepting that the past will not be changed.
  2. Name the hurt.  Accept all feelings as valid and connect those feelings to the facts.  Use Kubler-Ross’s grief work. Be vulnerable and be willing to be hurt, because you will be.
  3. Grant forgiveness by choosing to forgive.  Grow by forgiveness.  Move to the place of being a survivor hero, not a victim.
  4. Change your story.  Tell a new story to heal.  Renew or release the relationship that has marked you. Ask for what you need.  Look at your role, not to blame yourself, but with calmness.

Reconciliation continues.


Young people, to be resilient, must be valued enough by their culture to be taught 





See also.


Then I went to a breakout session on suicide prevention in young people “This do in memory of me” for Kaitlin Schmidt, whose plaque we put up in the Gazebo of Remembrance on Thursday night.

Almost 4000 people kill themselves in Canada every year. A lot of them are young people. Accidents involving brain injury, suicide and cancer are one two three for cause of death in folks under 25.

It’s okay to ask somebody if they are thinking of harming themselves or killing themselves, but there is a big but.

You have to say that you have seen a change in behaviour first.  This marks you as somebody observant and caring.  If they are suicidal but deny it you have marked yourself as a safe person to talk to later. (I find it unlikely that I will ever be that blue again but I know EXACTLY who among my friends I can go to, and that in itself is wonderful.) If they aren’t suicidal they can explain why they’ve been wearing nothing but sweat pants for two weeks and are giving away all their stuff.

Since kids have smart phones, there’s been a lot of work on apps that help kids manage their moods.  Links below.

I found it very interesting that the presenter, Renata Hindle, said that in two hundred 80 minute presentations in BC to Grade 8 and Grade 10 kids, precisely one class wouldn’t go with the guided meditation, and that dozens of kids have told her they wished they knew about it earlier.  Funnily enough, we teach meditation at a number of points in the UU religious education curriculum.  Cause we be all about raising resilient kids yo.

Booster Buddy



Then there was a very challenging talk on male survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Men process sexual trauma differently than women.

Gender role conditioning to not seek help, to suck it up, to be tough and stoic, mean that help is not sought and the trauma plays out in all aspects of the survivor’s life.

They don’t have the social permission of women to ask for help, to admit to needing it.

When they do seek help, there is a deluge of stuffed-down emotions which occurs at the commencement of the counselling.

Societal and internalized homophobia (offenders normally being men) can cloud the survivor’s ability to see their own victimization.  Womanizing is often a consequence of childhood sexual abuse.

Often, they can fear that they will prey on children (this was brilliantly depicted, as an aside, as part of Bunchy’s story in Showtime’s Ray Donovan.)

Something that never occurred to me was that as boys arrive at puberty, they have the ability to be physically aroused by damned near anything.  This is used by perps to show to the boy that he ‘must have enjoyed it.’ ew ew ew.

5 – 6% of boys who’ve been molested go on to offend.

BUT 95% of offenders were abused.

Those are horrible statistics. And we’re doing a shitty job as a culture of helping men who’ve been sexually abused as children. I am going to investigate the group helping men here in town.

As an aside, she said that male survivors are very likely to espouse conspiracy theories, because their essential feeling of safety has been destroyed.  They have seen the shadowy forces of evil and want everybody to be as frightened as they once were.

This made me realize that someone close to me is probably a survivor.  I have had to come to a personal adjustment of my thinking patterns.

Sobriety is virtually impossible for survivors who haven’t had counselling for the trauma.

Survivors get in fights, they are medicated heavily, many have difficulty keeping sober and binge or drink steadily, they dress in a fashion that tells people ‘KEEP THE **** AWAY FROM ME”, they don’t come to family events and cause scenes or sit in the corner and drink, and they are job avoidant or can’t keep a job due to ongoing issues with disrespect and authority.


I didn’t take notes.

Reena Virk’s parents made a presentation about what it was like, and how the reconciliation with one of their daughter’s killers went.

I cried a lot.

Then they started talking about the Bible, which was less moving, and Paul and I anthem sprinted to the ferry, where we made the 5 o’clock.  There was a circular rainbow in Active Pass, and I saw a fur seal.







Brief mentions

I’m in cleaning mode, so I’m skipping church (hey, it’s a miracle I feel like cleaning, church would only interrup’ things.)

.5 hours last night, 1.2 the night before.  No writing.  Day cards are the Devil and the ten of Pentacles.

HTW dowsing…. Found out about a woman named Hannah Adams who wrote a book of comparative religion in 1817 in which she deliberately avoided pejorative terms in describing heathens (haw haw), Muslims etc.  No surprise that a man who would find such a book interesting would have Quakers, Baha’is, atheists, agnostics and Unitarians among his descendents.


Yoicks and tallyho

I am wiping my face from mirth. From my ancestor’s diary.



On April 10th I (ed this is the I-VII day marker instead of the pagan days of the week that Christian diarists use, not him saying “I”). Took leave of our relatives and friends at Banbury and started 3rd Class, Lydia and I 1 1/9 each from Banbury to Birkenhead. Paid for Perambulator as excess of Luggage 2/6 and nothing for either of the Children. When we reached Birkinhead about 8:10 PM, crossed over to Liverpool for 4 pence altogether and took up our abode for the night at J. McCarthy’s, Victoria Temperance Coffee House, Number 1 Queen Street. Had but little rest through the night from Bugs, etc.  Were glad to see the morning light.  Paid also 1/10 for Porterage at Liverpool.







What WAS the ‘etc.’? In context, it was probably kids barfing.  But imagine if you will, sticking your toe into the slipstream of history, and inventing a story. A murder mystery that takes place between the etc. and the Were glad to see the morning light.

Perhaps some of the antiques and books he collected were haunted.  That would be fun. His evening being interrupted by raising a demon or finding a alchemical map sewn into the binding would be interesting. Maybe a little too Warehouse 13 and The Librarians and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural and True Blood and I could probably think of others I’ve watched along that line.

Or he and his wife intervene in a dispute which does not concern them.

I bet if I thought about it very hard I could come up with a dozen different story ideas.



Just the basics


chocolate cake  GONE

Jeff putting up the clothesline! yay.

497 words and no hours

applying for jobs

asking if somebody on facebook can get me into a wind tunnel lab at UBC

and tomorrow in Victoria for a conference.  Paul and I are leaving tonight and crashing at the fOlks.


Apropos of nothing “I perceive it as a demonstration of the categorizing power of the academic hipster essentialist”.  Man o man, when feminists trash talk….


Boring anti racism rant

Here’s the triggering document.

Here’s the original petition.

Here’s the Huffpo article about the controversy.

Here’s my open letter to Filippenko.

Dear Sir,

When you write an apology letter, it helps if you understand to whom the apology is directed.  In this case, I think you believed you were apologizing to anybody you might have offended by forwarding a cheesed-off email from a colleague about the protests slowing the TMT construction, without running it through ‘the political correctness’ sieve.

Essentially, you were apologizing to an audience of white people.

You took the time and trouble to mention that relations haven’t always been cool between whites and native Hawai’ians.

You took the time and trouble to mention that only a small number of people are against the observatory. (Thousands, literally thousands, but who’s counting?)

You took the time and trouble to mention that it’s a nice young Hawai’ian woman who is supporting the new observatory with her charming petition. (See the future of Hawai’i is smart young people who think the protesters are so old hat.)

At no point did you name the groups protesting. You don’t show any understanding of why this is a flashpoint issue.  It’s as if the money already spent and the lands already stolen have decided the matter, and with your tone of calm reason, you’re being the good guy here.


You’re not.

Now, I’m not saying that the march of science is inevitably racist, sexist and harmful to the environment, because that assertion can be proven to be false.

Absent you describing in any meaningful way why the building of the new observatory is harmful to the land rights, spiritual traditions and pride of Hawai’ians, absent you acknowledging the stated public intentions of the thousands of protesters and dozens of arrestees, you haven’t really apologized for anything.

Pandering to the hurt feelings of white liberals and stomping on Hawai’ians who perceive a sacred obligation to defend their land does not an apology make. I am willing to predict that it is the only thing even resembling an apology on the subject that will ever issue from your desk.

Thank you for the opportunity to educate myself further on the myriad ways and forms of liberal guilt.  It’s almost as if you think that you don’t need to apologize, since you’re likely going to get what you want, and nobody who’s protesting and getting arrested really matters anyway.


Well, we were going to go to the Quay and pick up Katie and Alex along the way but Alex was getting vaccinated so we had a chance to go to Oakalla, aka Deer Lake Park instead. Keith and Paul and I walked and had a brief picnic lunch there.

The birdsong is so much louder than the cars.  When we sat on a bench we could see the cars cascading down Royal Oak, but we couldn’t hear them, unless they were emergency vehicles.  People were friendly and said hello.

I came home full of birdsong and sunshine, although my pelvis was temporarily crabby.

1.8 hours last night and 270 words or thereabouts.  I’ve backed up my words so far.

Good day

I probably should have walked around or biked but I had a lazy day of life maintenance and writing and watching tv. Castle is blah and NCIS Body Count is likewise.  Monday night now that Better Call Saul is done for this year is turning gooey.  Perhaps I can be braced with some PoI and Daredevil, which is proving to be loads of fun.

.5 hours and 1000 words.  Already at 250 words this morning, but this chunk is super fun to write.

Applied to one job yesterday morning.  I will do the same this morning.

I have yet another dentist appointment this week.  All part of the human panoply.

I can hear Jeff emptying the dishwasher.  I’m thinking time to make some coffee!

When the weather is good…. it’s amazing how good I feel.  There is a buttload of pollen out there though.


I wasn’t feeling the sermon, but the meeting afterwards (soup lunch, AGM) was worth it.  Two of the elder church ladies gave me a moment (one administering side eye to the other) that will have me giggling at all hours for the next couple of days.  I wish I could explain it.  But dadgad it would be hard hard hard to explain without many derailments, so no. The meeting itself proceeded with few snags. Yay!

2.4 hours.

Something statistically improbable happened yesterday.  I was flossing and chunks came off the most recent crown and my top left incisor, which completely sucks. I have a call in to the dentist for an appointment as soon as one may be.

Sue took me to and from church and I thank her.

I forgot to record word count for yesterday before it reset, but it was less than 200.

In a continuation of boring career moves, Will Smith is staying out of Independence Day II.  Everybody else is going back, which you have to admit means that he’ll be finding new ways to be conspicuous by his absence.

We are rewatching PoI and I am loving it.  That show sticks the landing for how to grow an origin story for a team in the first half dozen shows.

We are watching Daredevil.  I really like it and any show with Deborah Ann Woll and Rosario Dawson in it can’t be all bad merely from a consideration of contemporary aesthetics and ability to do a lot with wacky material.


Bloated stank vs. celestial friendship

messier-101-10995_1280It’s a study in contrasts, ain’t it, life.

I’m typing this while the bloated stank of the motorcycle, the badly tuned, badly maintained motorcycle, of the careless young person next door farts into the air.

And yet I am sustained in celestial friendship… when we are with our friends we remember the stars we are made of. Last night was a circle dinner, and it was nommy, and full of laughter and the shiny contentment of people who are well fed and feel listened to.

No hours last night. 470 words.  I do NOT know why the next chapter is turning into a just barely standing up routine, but it is.

Thanks to Mike for the opportunity to be of loving service yesterday.  I promised him half an hour of body work and I had to bike over there to give it to him and I was feeling so NOT LIKE GETTING ON A BIKE and it took til bloody 3 pm to make wordcount and then I remembered that the world can go hang but you keep prosocial promises to close friends and then of course when I got there, it was the last rays on Mike Beach and I wound up just sitting with him as he remained in a state rather close to that of a cheerfully somnolent lizard.  We were both tired from the musical night before. After a while Mike achieved verticality long enough to collapse himself down on the massage table in the living room. (The apartment gets the sun and all that glass makes it fookin hot like a spa or something.) I pummelled him for a while… he’s pretty much non-verbal.  I leave.  I knock the chain off my bike.  I call him in a panic. I put it back on. I tell him not to come downstairs.  I ride home, which is much nicer than riding to Mike’s place because the elevation trends downward on the ride home. And I’m in my goddamn shirtsleeves, and I just sat with a friend, and the weather is so glorious.  And now, all hot and sweating from my ride I have to prep beans for the Circle Dinner, and I now return you to the top of the post. Yay loop!