Saturday, December 27, 2008

Snowed In - Fed Up

Let's admit it.

The one good thing about this weather is the quiet.

Trudge through the sludge and snow to your nearest shopping district, as I have every day this week, and you hear........ well, almost nothing.

It's quite wonderful.

Very few cars or buses, just the usual crazy with no lights and a big American car with rear-wheel drive and summer tires. Don't you love it?

Everything else about this weather is tiresome and downright scary.

Will my pipes freeze? Will the roof or skylights collapse? Will I be killed or knocked out by falling snow, ice or tree limbs? Two very large branches of the pine tree in my front yard are already down.

Will the floods be inevitable?

Will the power be knocked out, thus making my home a dark icicle?

So far, so good.... so far...

As for the people who are rushing up to Grouse Mountain, well, I can't even get my car out from the snow-plowed little home its adopted two blocks away.

And the thousands stranded at Metrotown, who asked you to go shopping? Who asked you to leave home?

Yesterday, I saw two guts with shovels working diligently on clearing their car from its igloo and I thought, "Where are you going?"

Huddling, cuddling, cacooning...

Having said that, today, after a hearty breakfast, I will actually attempt to rescue my car and return the three movies I rented from the store that is about five kilometres from here.

As for the new Batman movie that I rented last night from the local video shop, I am returning it half watched. Puleeeze...Quel Dreque!

Boxing Day

By the way and apropos of absolutely nothing, I caught a few moments of the late night news on two local television channels.

Both carried stories about all the lovely people who lined up at midnight on a cold, snowy Christmas night and waited until the stores opened to buy handbags or whatever at Boxing Day sale prices.

Are there folks anywhere on earth dumber, more pitiable than these?

Outside of Fendi or D&G, do these sorry excuses have a life?

This is what universal education hath wrought?


Back to my tree.

Warm House, No Heating Bill!

Further to the post below on Walt Patterson's essay on "Managing Energy Wrong," read this exciting piece in today's NY Times about managing energy right!

How would you like - especially on a day like today - to live in a house with no heating system?

And stay warm and cozy!

When do we start building these here?

Managing Energy Wrong

My good friend of some 47 years now, Walt Patterson, is a renowned scientist, who writes and lectures world-wide on Energy and its managment.

I direct you to his website to learn a little more about him, but in particular to draw you to read his latest piece (among many, many books and countless articles and papers over the years), called, "Managing Energy Wrong."

In this essay, Walt has nailed perfectly, and in detail, the way governments and investors, looking always for the Big Solution, the Silver Bullet, create Top Down policies that don't work, when they should be looking to the field for Bottom Up answers that are more complex and that take more effort, but do work.

Read it and comment here please.

Victor on Eyeless in Gaza

You need spend only a few days almost anywhere in Europe to sense how deeply the media there have demonized Israel. Here is Victor's response to the latest hate literature that passes for journalism.

Victor is not a Jew.

The Israeli raids on Gaza top the newscasts. I have listened to two
reports this morning which inevitably add that some of the dead
"include children." Like we couldn't assume that.

In the last war with Hamas in Lebanon, Israel made a foolish mistake
and appears to have learned from it. The mistake was assuming that
careful, so-called surgical strikes would win media support on the
basis that civilian targets were sparred. Instead, Reuters performed
their time worn tactic of paying kids to pose as rock throwers and
then sent these cliched photos to a Pavlovian world media. Agence
France Presse photographed the same wailing Lebanese woman at three
separate sites. Hamas declared a pr victory. Enraptured Lebanese
awarded heroic Hamas with parliamentary seats.

This time, Israel has dumped the failed surgical strike strategy and
bombed Hamas mercilessly in their own back yard. It is doubtful that
Hamas rocketeers are looking heroic to citizens who have seen a living
hell brought to their neighbourhoods thanks to the the deadly games of
militants. Yes, the world community (read feckless Europeans) will
condemn Israel but they would have done the same thing had Israel
dropped food baskets and accidently killed a donkey.

I also think this is a message to Obama. People have assumed that
because he has hired a pro-Israeli psychopath, Rahm Emanuel, as his
Chief of Staff, that this signals a pro Israeli bias in Obama's
administration. That would require classic ignorance of the American
media (Israel' s arch enemy and Obama's fan club) not to mention the
deep anti-Jewish currents among segments of Obama's followers. ( Jesse
Jackson's son was Obama's co-campaign manager and as we all know,
Jesse is the black equivalent of Michael Richards when it comes to
anti-Jewish rants.)

None of which is to celebrate violence. Violence is a vile certainty
of the human condition. It is, I fear, a permanent reality in the
middle east. It will not disappear with lofty Presidential speeches,
UN calls for restraint or yet another photo op cease fire. It is an
endless blood war between two deeply disparate cultures.

Victor Godin