Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Canada Day

Hello everyone. Happy Canada Day. It's just approaching one o'clock PM. Yes, folks. I've actually had a fairly good sleep last night. Over the past while, I've tried to completely back off from the struggle against writer's block and just enjoy life. The effort has only partially worked. I ended up listening to most of the LOTR trilogy yesterday as well as chatting with a couple of people online. It was certainly enjoyable but it's just been too long since I've managed to write much of anything. I get a kind of frustrated powerless sense that I ought to do more but just can't. It overshadows damned near everything. Not so much today though. I normally take it easy on Canada Day.

My parents and I went out to Hamilton to visit with my brother and his family. During the drive, I listened to this month's podcast from Freedom Scientific. Jonathan Mosen did a spectacular interview with my favorite author, Robert J. Sawyer. What an absolute treet to listen to. Definitely a keeper. It was a shorter visit as they've got other plans for today which I hope Ava and Amia enjoy. We arrived just as everyone had gotten up. Since the last time I saw them, two very small and friendly kittens have been added to the household. Their names are Pickles and Pumpkin and they're both male. Perhaps, they look different visually. The kids seem to be able to tell them apart. From a tactile point of view, I couldn't tell who was who if my life depended on it. The kids are learning how to be more jentle thank goodness. The kittens are displaying a lot of patience and good will. They're very friendly with the kids and other strangers like yours truly. Thinking back, I can't remember the cat I grew up with, Tiger, ever being anywhere near that little.

Ava and Amia were very good during the visit. In contrast, we now have an amusing picture of mom having to take a timeout for going against the wishes of their mother. She fed Ava some cookie before she had any breakfast. *Bad!!!* I had some quality time with both Ava and Amia. Ava's still interested in all my gadgets and for a while, I had both of them pushing buttons on my netbook on either side of my chair. Ava wants to have her own computer with pictures on it. She wasn't too certain whether she wanted hers to talk though. Very cute indeed. Amia seems to like me quite a lot. She brought me over a number of books and wanted me to lift her up onto my lap while I pretended to read her the book and turn the pages so she could see the pictures. She's starting to try and say words more these days. I do my best to encourage this.

I have CBC Radio1 on a lot today. While I was writing this, I've paused to take in a new episode of White Coat Black Art. That'll certainly add some interest this Summer. Dr. Goldman does a very good job of looking at the health system and making it interesting. There was also a show called The Hidden City. I've never heard it before. Perhaps, it's a new show for the Summer schedule. Again, something I'm going to thoroughly enjoy taking in when I catch it. The Writers and Company episode featured Alice Munro who I'm afraid I'm not a big fan of. So, for now, CBC is bannished from earshot in favour of my own music collection and/or other Internet radio. I'll keep checking in on CBC Radio1 today though due to the special occasion. Other than that, this Canada Day will pass in fairly ordinary fashion for me. I hope that I finally luck out and find someone special to partner up with before I get too old to enjoy going to things like Canada Day celebrations put on for the public. There's so much of life like that which I would dearly love to experience with someone my own age who was also keen on it. Even presuming it was possible for me to go to such events alone, I don't know for certain that I'd do much of that. I've never had an actual opportunity to find out and on days like this, that does frankly annoy me. Finding enjoyment in the abundance of solitary entertainment I have here is more difficult because of that sense of missing out on the bigger community picture. Still, there are so many people worse off than I am that it's hard to be terribly resentful. At least here in Mississauga, I don't have to contend with the smells of rotting trash which Torontonians are now assaulted with due to the civic workers strike taking place there.

From my position, I have a tremendous amount of difficulty having any sympathy for the striking workers. They at least have jobs and therefore, the opportunity to participate more fully in life. Had I the ability to, I would absolutely have jumped at such a job. They've collectively decided to completely screw up the Summer in Toronto. All sorts of stuff has been cancelled. Right when kids need them most, parks are being turned into dump sites. It's not like everything's just going to snap back to normal once a settlement has been reached either. Some things should really be made into essential services so that people can't hold each other hostage like this. It's one of these things which makes you wish greed could take a back seat and people would get a proper sense of proportion. I wonder if even a small fraction of these people realise the scope of effects their action has had on their neighbours. The tourist trade will take a massive hit. That's for certain.

On an individual level, I'm still enough of an optimist to think that a greater degree of collective human consciousness is slowly emerging. The trip to Chicago I've recently had, my camping trip, and pieces of news I've come across recently all contribute to this sense. More of us are developing a greater appreciation of just how interconnected our individual happiness truly is. It's an ever-so-slow process, but it definitely seems to be happening. The bottom line has turned out to be a stairway up to a gallows for a whole lot of people over the past while. Perhaps, it's just a fool's hope. I've certainly been called worse before, though not for a while. However, I believe we've reached a point where we're truly starting to learn about empathy as a species. I'm happy to live in a country known world-wide for such empathy and kindness. Granted, there are days when I wish just a little more of that would find its way to me. I'd love to have an apartment of my own before I turn forty and/or someone to share life with. However, I couldn't in good conscience kick out another person equally deserving of such acommodations or even envy them very much. It's impossible to be totally unaffected by envious thinking but for me, it never lasts very long at all. Envy is based on a whole lot of assumptions and unknowns when you think about it. What might person X have sacrificed for that fancy car? It gets even more complicated when it comes to envying actual people their lives. There are just too many factors and possibilities.

Well, it seems to be just after four o'clock. I hope you've enjoyed these various afternoon ramblings. I believe I'll see what's on TV. CBC is airing an episode of Quirks and Quarks which I've already heard. Oh well. There's always next hour. I've also got a number of emails to deal with. I hope all my readers are enjoying today. See you again soon.

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