Wednesday, June 30, 2021

What's Hotter Than Vegas Must Not Stay In Vegas.


Update, July 1: No 'context' is required any longer given the devastating wildfire that has raged through Lytton.


Here in Lotusland Central the marine air has arrived.

But that does not mean we should forget about what just happened here, climate-wise.

Meterologist Eric Holthaus, the founder of the climate website 'Currently',  has put things in perspective in The Guardian. Here is his lede:

On Sunday, the small mountain town of Lytton, British Columbia, became one of the hottest places in the world. Then, on Monday, Lytton got even hotter – 47.9C (118F) – hotter than it’s ever been in Las Vegas, 1,300 miles to the south. And by Tuesday, 49.6C (121F).

Lytton is at 50 deg N latitude – about the same as London. This part of the world should never get this hot. Seattle’s new all-time record of 108F, also set Monday, is hotter than it’s ever been in Miami. In Portland, the new record of 116F would beat the warmest day ever recorded in Houston by nearly 10 degrees...


Meanwhile, despite my previous thankfulness for the rain we had a couple of weeks ago, all bets are off because the wildfires have already started...

Evacuation orders have been issued for homes near two growing wildfires in B.C.'s Interior, where an unprecedented heat wave has created dangerous fire conditions.

The latest evacuation order came late Tuesday night for a number of properties in Electoral Area B in the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, where some properties are threatened by the Mckay Creek wildfire, located 23 kilometres north of Lillooet.

The fire was first spotted on Tuesday afternoon, and by 10:30 p.m. PT it was already estimated at 5,000 hectares, or about 50 square kilometres.

Earlier in the day, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District declared a state of local emergency because of the Sparks Lake fire, located about an hour northwest of Kamloops, and residents of nine properties in Electoral Area J are being told to pack up and leave...

Not to mention the potential for rapid snow-melt induced flooding...

A flood watch for the Upper Fraser River in B.C.'s Interior has been upgraded to a warning as river levels continue to rise amid the heat wave affecting most of the province...


"The extremely hot temperatures have triggered an astounding amount of snowmelt at the higher elevations of the Upper Fraser River," the B.C. River Forecast Centre said in the warning. 

The forecast centre said that areas that still have snowpack are melting at a rate of up to 100 millimetres of snow water equivalent each day... 

Perhaps this is a good time for all of us, including, and perhaps most especially, those of us that support the current provincial and/or federal governments, to go and read Norm Farrell's latest which begins thusly:

Catherine McKenna spent four years as Justin Trudeau’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Monday, she announced her intention not to run for office in the next election, saying she wanted more time to focus on family and climate.

It says a great deal when a high-ranking person at the centre of national policy-making leaves government to work on the climate crisis. She remains silent about the dedication of Canada and its three western provinces to expanded fossil fuel production, including bitumen mined from Alberta tar sands, the dirtiest fossil fuel on the planet.

The point being that it is we (i.e. those who voted for our current governments) that can do the most to make sure that they do the real right thing when it comes to dealing with climate change.



Tuesday, June 29, 2021

This Is The Modern World.


A couple of folks I work with who have young families have been trying like heckfire recently to  make reservations to camp in BC Parks.

Clearly, my colleagues have not learned how to be digital/automated queue jumpers like some in British Columbia,  according to a piece by Eva Uguen-Csenge of the CBC:

Booking reservations through the B.C. Parks website can be a headache, but those with a little coding knowledge seem to be finding a way around that.

According to comments on a Reddit thread, some savvy individuals have figured out how to write a coding script that fully automates the booking process and allows them to quickly reserve the spots they want as soon as they become available.

The camping-inclined coders are using a program called Selenium, a plugin that automates web browsers...


...In an emailed statement, B.C. Parks says it has tests in place to prevent against this kind of work-around and is investigating the Reddit claims.

"B.C. Parks has received assurances that these tests and prevention mechanisms are in place and operating effectively at login and checkout within the Discover Camping service," the statement reads.

The B.C. Parks website has caused frustration for users in the recent past when thousands of people have logged on simultaneously and crashed the site...


That sure is a big change from the old days when we used to drive up to an empty Bamberton, shown above, on a Wednesday and set up empty tents surrounded by lawn chairs so that we could have a spot for the weekend (not that that was all that fair, either, now that I think about it).

Header-induced ear worm for those of a certain vintage?....This!


Sunday, June 27, 2021

Blame Canada! (Again)


No link, on purpose.

That is all.

What's this one all about Alfie?....This.


It's Morning In Canuckistan? (Part Deux)


Last week we noted that our very own cancel culture town crier, current Canadian Conservative Party leader Mr. Erin O'Toole, started calling out the those municipalities that have cancelled Canada Day celebrations this year and the 'small group of activist voices' who are continually talking down the country.

Immediately, the very finest of the fine punditry, a fellow named Mr. John Ivison got the whurlitzer cranking when he published a piece in multiple Postmedia organs that the good Mr. O'Toole:

"...(M)ay have struck on an idea whose time has come – an appeal to citizens that is more Ronald Reagan than Donald Trump..."

And now, today, it looks like the corpMedia has jumped into the whurling blades so that they can be taken out for a spin.

Case in point, today's Global News story under Rachel Gilmore's byline:

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole speculated that he could be the only person running to be prime minister who is proud of Canada – though he says he still wants the country to do “better.”

His comment comes amid multiple communities cancelling their Canada Day celebrations in the wake of an estimated 751 unmarked graves being found at a former Saskatchewan residential school site...


...“I’ve spoken about the tremendous role of Aboriginal veterans in our history who weren’t recognized at the time. We need to recognize the fact that they stepped up. So there is so much to celebrate in our country that we have to be proud to be Canadian,” O’Toole said.

“Is it the fact that I’m the only one running to be prime minister that’s actually proud of our country and wants it to do better?”...


How hard were the good folks from Global spun?

Well, hard enough that they actually asked the Prime Minister's office to comment on Mr. O'Toole's 'question':

...Global News contacted the Prime Minister’s Office for comment in reaction to the question. They said they had no fresh comment, pointing instead to the prime minister’s recent remarks on the matter...


One can only wonder how long it will be before the Ivisonistas among us start comparing Mr. O'Toole's time as the in-house counsel for Proctor and Gamble to Mr. Reagan's time as governor of California.

Or some such thing.


Saturday, June 26, 2021

The Heatdome Blues Room


Unfortunately, a wall of work will keep me squirrelled away down in the subterranean homesick bluesroom through a good chunk of the Lotuslandian heatwave weekend.

Which isn't all bad given that it is a little cooler down here in the basement.

And the guitars are nearby which means I can take a break occasionally to work on the next Sunday Set (of songs).

Which is precisely what I did this morning, only things didn't go so well even after I capo'd up and/or transposed the chord progressions. 

So I tried just going through the book of old songs and for the first time in a longtime I got that tingly feeling while playing the long, lost favourite shown above.

Which is just what I was looking for.

Sure was.

Did that old favourite, which is a John Darnielle/Mountain Goats song, way, way back in the day with the kids and the Whackadoodle I...
Hey...If you are interested in and you're looking for some really nice relaxed but super interesting talk audio (stuff I'm convinced Mr. Beer 'N Hockey would like)...Check out the offerings by a guy named Otis Gibbs.


Friday, June 25, 2021

The Man Who Could Have Been Prime Minister.


By now, you may have heard that former Canadian Alliance Party Leader Stockwell Day was recently seen to be shooting off his mouth on COVID vaccine side effects:

However, what you may have missed is Mr. Day's down thread tweet on his visit to the Big Apple for 'meetings' in which he questioned vaccine effectiveness:


Does not Mr. Day know that, if not for vaccines, he would never have made that trip or had those meetings?

The Associated Press explains:

Nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. now are in people who weren’t vaccinated, a staggering demonstration of how effective the shots have been and an indication that deaths per day — now down to under 300 — could be practically zero if everyone eligible got the vaccine.

An Associated Press analysis of available government data from May shows that “breakthrough” infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for fewer than 1,200 of more than 853,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations. That’s about 0.1%.

And only about 150 of the more than 18,000 COVID-19 deaths in May were in fully vaccinated people. That translates to about 0.8%, or five deaths per day on average...

Then again, if Mr. Day can make the Niagara Falls flow the wrong way, maybe he can magically make pandemics disappear as well.

Or some such thing.


Thursday, June 24, 2021

Is It Morning In Canuckistanmikitaville?


It would appear that Conservative Party leader Erin O'Toole has decided to double-down on his previous denunciation of cancel culture when it comes to Canada Day:

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole said (yesterday that) he's troubled by the cancellation of Canada Day celebrations in some municipalities and accused "a small group of activist voices" of continually talking down the country rather than acknowledging its many successes...


And then, right on cue, (i.e. later the very same day), Mr. O'Toole's grievous angel amplifier, the good Mr. Ivison, weighed in and wondered if the Conservative leader's latest missive has magically transformed him from Trumpian to Gipperian.

Or some such thing:

...(A) speech the leader gave to his caucus on Wednesday morning suggests he may have struck on an idea whose time has come – an appeal to citizens that is more Ronald Reagan than Donald Trump...



The Biggest Welfare Bums Of Them All.


From a piece from Vauhini Vara in the Atlantic:

"...Among Amazon’s large Arizona-based workforce, most of it inside warehouses, one in three people was on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in 2017. Incidentally, Amazon, along with Walmart, has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of an arrangement that allows food stamps to be used for online groceries, bringing in large amounts of government money..."

That is all.

(for now)


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

A Euphemism We Do Not Need In Lotusland.


A lot of gang members have been shooting at each other and, sometimes, other citizens in the Lower Mainland.

This is a vile and deadly business and the local journalist who has done the best job of covering it for a long time now is Kim Bolan, both in her bylined pieces in the Vancouver Sun and on social media.

Last weekend it was Ms. Bolan that first raised the matter of reports of shots fired between two vehicles in Surrey on the Twittmachine:

Ms. Bolan also followed up with specifics as they became known almost in real time, as only she can.

However, one of her readers took issue with her use of the euphemism 'gunplay' and provided a cogent explanation as to why.

To her credit Ms. Bolan answered with a 'fair enough',  and I have not seen her use the term since.


In addition to her straight-up journalistic chops, one thing that has long impressed me about Ms. Bolan's method is the fact that she is always willing to listen to and engage positively with her readers when they are both civil and on topic.

And, amazingly, despite the subject matter, the comment threads under Ms. Bolan's pieces, both in the Sun itself and in her blog are not full of garbage. In point of fact, quite often those threads have items of interest made and sometimes even new and relevant information imparted by her readers.

Which just goes to show that the scores of moderators that proMedia sites employ to patrol the other 99.99% of comment threads for profanity, defamation and overt bullying will never be able to keep all of those threads from diving off the deep end into the cesspool given that, unlike, Ms. Bolan they are not paying attention for either content or context.

Put another way, when writers/posters pay attention to what their readers have to say their readers will pay attention as well.


And I'm not talking about true trolls here. They never pay attention or listen to reason and thus, in my opinion, should never be engaged given that their only motivations are to disrupt rational discourse of any and all kinds.


Friday, June 18, 2021

Your Evening Audio...White Man's World.


I grew up on Southern Vancouver Island.

In my middle teens I became very good friends with three brothers who went to Catholic School. 

So much so that their family became my second family.

We did all kinds of things together, including forming our first garage band with egg cartons stuck to the reverberating walls and everything. 

One time, one of the brothers started making jokes about a bunch of other kids their school sports team played against.

And, when the joking started, I said nothing.

Despite the times, even then I knew my gutless act of going along to get along was the wrong thing to.

Because those 'other' kids came from a school on Kuper Island, which we all know is a place a good many of those kids didn't come from and never, ever wanted to go to.

So... Now is the time for all of us to listen, hard, to the folks that lived through the hell that was those schools. 

And then we must resolve to do the right thing by all of them.



Jason Isbell grew up in Northern Alabama. 

He, too, said nothing when he was a kid and jokes about 'others' came up.

Now, though, he goes out of his way to speak up and try and do the right thing.

Which isn't an easy thing to do when you make your living as a good old boy writing and singing country rock songs. 

But that sure as heckfire hasn't stopped Mr. Isbell both speaking up and singing...

Isbell does his professional six-stringed riffing thing on the song concerned...Here.
Isbell speaks, with author George Sanders...Here.


Today's Going To Be A Good Day.


Unlike yesterday, which was a disaster, there are only four hours scheduled on Zoom today.

Which means I might actually get some real work done before 6:00 pm.


The Crackdown Podcast, which is well worth a listen by the way, is hosted by a guy named Garth Mullins.

He's figured out a most unique way to deal with the sucking whirlpool of time that is the Zoom machine:

Might just have to give it a try sometime...


Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Your Evening Audio...Pancho and Lefty.


I've been thinking about political pragmatism quite a lot lately.

Including the brand of 'double p' that's going down right here in British Columbia.

Because, while I completely understood the need to make sure the 'Dr. No' moniker did not stick, especially back in the minority days, it now seems that our current lefty leader is a wee bit too worried about doing what's best for the longterm political future of his majority government. As a result, it appears that he might be losing the support of the friends that he and his will need most when the going gets tough and/or the weather changes on a metaphorical trip to, say, Cleveland.

Kinda like when Townes Van Zandt's Lefty lost Pancho, in the end, to a pragmatism of a very different kind...

And, ya, I know that, while all the Federales may not say it, the real Lefty Frizzell wasn't even born until after Pancho Villa's demise...But that's the way it goes...At least in the lyrical imagination of Townes, no?


Klout Klub, Revisited...

Klout Klub, you ask?

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Sometimes A Correlation Is Just A Correlation...


...And Sometimes It Is So Much More.

closer to home, there's....this.
And, even closer to home, there's...this.


Monday, June 14, 2021

Your Evening Audio...Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain


It's raining in Lotusland in mid-June.

Which is a good thing because the more precipitation we get now the fewer fires we will (hopefully) have in August.

This tune is one of Willie Nelson's most famous and it wasn't even written by him, which is a little weird given that Nelson was better known as songwriter before he hit it big as a performer...

Image at the top of the post is of Fred Rose and Roy Acuff who helped to first forge the legitimate side of the Nashville songwriting business coin...It was Rose who wrote 'Blue Eyes Cryin' and it was Acuff who first recorded it in 1945 thirty years before the red headed stranger.


All Mr. Harper's Firewalls Are Him.


As Tom Parkin, now writing in Press Progress, notes, Alberta's 'Wildrose Independent Party' (WIP) seeks to create a:

...“sovereign constitutional democracy that recognizes the supremacy of God”...


It's important thing to understand that the WIP is not part of Jason Kenney's UCP.

In addition, WIP numbers are rising:

Thus, you can bet that Mr. Kenney's recent impassioned defence of John A. MacDonald had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with wrangling votes from Rachel Notley and/or owning the Dips. Instead, it was very likely designed to start peeling off old time Harper voters from the WIP.

After all, the WIPeristas are part of the firewall base that Steve built. And, like certain Republican politicians down south, the only way that Mr. Kenney can placate a hardock base built over years of pandering and propagammon is to turn the temperature up to four hundred and fifty-one degrees fahrenheit at every opportunity.


And, just in case you've forgotten....A very fine fellow named Ken Boessenkool, who has become a bit of a Canadian Rick Wilson of late, was also a signatory to Mr. Harper's original 'Alberta Firewall letter'...


Saturday, June 12, 2021

They Always Smear The One They Fear The Most.


I've said it before and I'll say it again.

The B.C. Liberals, closely adhering to that chapter in their playbook titled 'All Our Ends Justify Any And All Means' always smear the one they fear most.

From the Vaughn Palmer's latest column in the Vancouver Sun:

Michael Lee, the B.C. Liberal MLA and leadership candidate, launched a personal attack on Attorney-General David Eby this week, accusing him of contributing to anti-Asian racism in B.C.

“The attorney general, during his years as Opposition housing critic, directly and indirectly contributed to encouraging anti-Asian sentiment in our province,” charged Lee, citing Eby’s actions during the housing crisis under the last B.C. Liberal government...


...Lee singled out Eby’s supporting role in a 2015 survey that found people with non-anglicized Chinese first names were responsible for 66 per cent of the housing purchases in three neighbourhoods on the west side of Vancouver. Eby later apologized for providing the documentation for the survey.

Lee: “When money laundering first started gaining media attention in B.C., the NDP wasted no time in tying it to the same foreign influence, and quickly, largely because of the purposeful narrative spun by the attorney general, Chinese money became synonymous with crime in our province and served to further fuel racist narratives about B.C.’s housing market."...

Not to go all young Michael Caine on you (again) or anything, but what's it all about this time Alfie?

Well, the Dean of the Legislative Press Gallery went on to explain things thusly, as only he can:

...Eby confirmed again that he had “provided land title records for a number of properties on the West side of the city of Vancouver” to Andy Yan, the researcher who produced the study.

He also acknowledged his apology “for my involvement in that study,” which he first delivered six years ago and repeated this spring, during testimony to the government-ordered inquiry into money-laundering.

But he emphasized that he was not faulting Yan, now the director of the city program at SFU.

“I want to be really clear that I support Mr. Yan’s ability to do this work, to be fearless in doing it, to examine important questions,” said Eby, who is also minister responsible for housing.

Rather his apology was prompted by “my disappointment over how that study was covered by the news media.”

“I absolutely accept responsibility for failing to adequately understand how the study would be used, reported on in the media and have apologized for that,” Eby explained...

Then the Globe's former Lotuslandian housing scribe Kerry Gold weight in and added the context that Mr. Palmer most decidedly left out of his column on the Twittmachine:


Did the good Mr. Palmer at least call out Mr. Lee and his colleagues, including Teresa Wat and Ben Stewart, who piled on, talking points memo style, for their actions?

Of course not.

Instead,  he aimed his final kicker squarely at Mr. Eby:

...Eby did not name the news organizations whose coverage of the Yan report disappointed him, perhaps not wanting to invite a push back from that quarter.

But having covered Eby through his eight years and counting in provincial politics, “naive” is the last word I would use to describe his calculating, self-serving relationship with the news media...

Imagine that.



Saturday, June 05, 2021

Sometimes A Twittter Thread Is Just A Twitter Thread...

...And Sometimes It Depresses The Heck Right Out Of You.

To wit, this one from the CBC British Columbia's Jeremy Allingham:



I have to admit that sometimes my outrage meter begins to flag.

But I do have a memory or, more to the point, archives that I still try to use occasionally.

So I went back and read what I wrote about this 'deal' back the year of Our Gord Plus Eight (i.e. 2009):

...One place we're pretty sure the Premier of British Columbia won't be (campaigning in the run-up to this spring's election) is the now boarded-up Little Mountain Public Housing complex located smack-dab in the heart of Vancouver (ie. not Detroit City or Flint Michigan).

Why are we pretty sure about that?

Well, because Mr. Campbell, together with his 'new' Solicitor General/Top Cop Rich Coleman, has so far kicked out more than 200 families and boarded up their homes for no good reason at all.

Unless, of course you consider being bamboozled by a Condo King whose plan was to take the area from 100% down to 11% affordable (ie. by cranking up the million dollar 'market' units to 89% from zero) a "good reason".

But even if you do, it doesn't matter now.


Because the sweet-heart deal for the CondoKing has fallen through, or at the very least is 'on hold', and nobody, not even the members of the Premier's inner circle, knows seems to know anything about anything.

Except that the children don't live there anymore...


I think my blood pressure just went through the roof again.


Wednesday, June 02, 2021

How Much Is 1/6 Of A Friedman Unit In Scaramuccis?


From the Wikiplex:

The Friedman (Unit) is approximately six months, specifically six months in the future, and named after columnist Thomas Friedman who repeatedly used the span in reference to when a determination of Iraq's future could be surmised...

A Scaramucci is 11 (sometimes 10) days and is named after the length of White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci's tenure under President Trump...

Which, based on my long division skills, would mean that 1/6 of one Friedman Unit equals approximately three Scaramuccis.

Further which, apropos of pretty much nothing at all in real worth terms, it would appear to be pretty much exactly what Mr. Donald Trump's blog is worth, at least in time components.

From CNBC:

Former President Donald Trump’s blog — a webpage where he shared statements after larger social media companies banned him from their platforms — has been permanently shut down, his spokesman said Wednesday.

The page “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” has been scrubbed from Trump’s website after going live less than a month earlier....

Imagine that!