Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday musings

Well, the first week in Nanaimo is now history.
We can almost see light at the end of the tunnel in terms of unpacking and settling in.
The movers arrived Wednesday afternoon and we started unpacking Thursday and then Friday and then Saturday and we think all should be done by the end of next week.
You know, moving once every 27 years is a heck of a process.
I never remembered that in addition to all the “joys” of packing there are the “pleasures” of unpacking. I thought we had culled all the unnecessary “things”, clothing and possessions before we moved – wrong is almost too mild a word.
We have refilled three boxes with items to donate to goodwill and I suspect there is more to come.
Did all our banking at the local Credit Union this week. Had all our accounts moved from Regina to Nanaimo and we were really impressed with the young lady that handled all this for us – for all the nattering people do about younger professionals and their work ethic, she is a true professional and really, really sharp and fun to deal with. Another associate also helped us in another field and made that process almost fly by – another outstanding person. The two of them made this part of the move easy for us and for that we are grateful.
Fibre Optic hook up and Internet was done flawlessly and even getting phone and utility services connected went well.
Had the Barby connected to the natural gas line on Friday and today we barbied salmon for my better half and a fat steak for me and now all is right with the world – until tomorrow when we continue the unpacking process!
Due to the move I have been remiss in my attention to a happy duty and that is assisting my author friend on one of her books ( but next week I will be able to dive back into that project. And that is something I am really looking forward to!
Hopefully things will settle down after next week and we can start exploring this wonderful part of the world.
I see where heavy flooding is affecting farmland in the province of Buenos Aires in Argentina. Up to 17% of the barley crop is lost and other crops are also devastated by the rains that started in August and continue to this day. Still seems strange to realize that winter is ending there and slowly approaching here in Canada.
Argentina has imposed a tax on credit and debit card purchases done abroad by nationals. This seems like a bit of a desperate measure to increase cash flow and also force people to remain in Argentina while on vacation rather than travel out of country. It just appears that there are more and more news items emerging from that wonderful land that hint at economic difficulties increasing and that is not a good thing to read about.
In a story of world concern is the news from Germany that the price of a stein of beer at Munich's Oktoberfest is almost 10 Euros now! A group has been formed to push for a referendum to limit the price to approximately 7 Euros – goodness gracious, that sure is a lot of $ for a stein of beer. I remember when I was a young stripling of a lad going to Oktoberfest and only paying about the equivalent of 1.5 Euros (it was actually in German Marks those days) and that seemed high to me. Of course that was the trip where I went back to my lodgings after opening day festivities and called long distance back to Regina to propose to a young lady who now has been my wife for 35 years now!
Russian President Putin has been documented this past week getting into an ultralight plane in the Russian Arctic circle to lead a gaggle of snow geese to breeding grounds.
Hmmm......he sure does seem like a Russian combination of Indiana Jones, Jacques Cousteau and Tarzan doesn't he? It seems whenever he needs a PR boost his handlers fall back on the so called super- strongman persona that they have developed for the Russian publics' consumption. Gotta tell you, this schtick is wearing a little thin now. Remember Chairman Mao “swimming” the Yangtze River? Later stories and smuggled photos showed him being supported on the shoulders of swimmers – just saying.
In America the silly season is in full swing in the Presidential race. At the recent Republican nomination convention spokespeople were quoted as saying that fact checking statements in speeches was a no go and if they made errors – well too bad, that is life!!
Excuse me – lying is OK now?
I remember one person about a half century or so ago saying that the bigger lie is more believable to people and this seems like a case of deja vu all over again.
President Obama handily won the Democratic Party nomination and continues to say that America is better off now than 4 years ago and that he inherited a fiscal mess from George Bush and is still trying to fix things. Whether this is true or not, it is cold comfort to people scared about a continuing struggling American economy, wage roll backs, increased taxes and reduced services. All the while they see people like certain reality stars, professional athletes and singers and actors getting massive amounts of money for doing things that really do not benefit society that much. Yes they have a function but do they deserve as much as they get compared to a single parent or a ticket taker on a train or the person that installs your furnace on a cold winter day?
It appears that this is not a great time for America and its people are scared and worried and prepared to take their frustrations out on anybody these days. The fiscal impasse that faces the country is daunting, do politicians really care about the cliff the country is hurtling towards if a budget is not passed and passed soon? Big cuts will flow through the economy and that will further depress the economy with little help in sight.
Remember the saying about the emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burned?
Do not American politicians get it or do they just not give a damn about their country and people anymore?
I see where Apple is releasing a new Iphone soon. Great story – an all American company making all its products overseas, selling them throughout the world and placing all profits offshore to avoid paying appropriate taxes to the American government. Takes advantages of all tax breaks and then this?
And they are allowed to do this?
In Canada, the government has ordered the Iranian Embassy to close and all staffers to leave the country. Sometimes the Canadian government talks tough and takes some strong actions.
Wonder if they have advance warning of an Israeli military action forthcoming against the Iranians?
In the province of Quebec an election there saw a minority PQ government formed with Independence from Canada and the formation of a new country as the stated goal.
The rest of Canada yawned and said whatever to the news. The electorate is tired of constant economic blackmail from this province and appears at the end of its patience with this and will no longer continue to subsidize that province just to make it happy. That includes lavish social programs not available anywhere else in Canada and an almost free education system for university students and cut rate day care for parents funded not by the people of Quebec but by the rest of Canada.
Interesting times ahead I think.
Well, back to unpacking and until next week and maybe some photos of the move and drive here to Nanaimo, that is it for now.
take care out there,

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