Thursday, February 26, 2015

Whats it all abut Alphie

I saw a new Lamborghini with the graduated BC drivers licence mandatory "L" designation on it today. Lime green, the colour of the sleek unit, isn't my favourite choice of the hue, but then again  Ferrucci Lamborghini's followers don't design cars that interest me. To each his/her own I guess.
So I'm guessing the Lambo comes in at $400+K and buddy is a new driver in BC.
He may be young or mature, seasoned driver or novice...but in BC, he's new and he drove as if he was.
The thing boasts between 500 and 700 horsepower which means 0 to 100km in like 2 seconds...but I digress.
Buddy didn't signal when swapping lanes on Hastings and he raced to every red light. My work truck chugs along and I don't speed...we met at each light. Maybe I'm an idiot, but if I spent large bank on a car, I'd drive with loads more deliberate care! In fact, I do!
A&W is running a special, Mama burger combo for $5. I had The Undertaker with me swamping today. You recall him yes? He's had brain surgery, suffers depression and lives in a shitty manky SRO in Vancouver's infamous DTES...anyway, I bought him lunch.
Again, with all due respect to Allen and Wright, that food isn't amazing...but The Undertaker LOVES it and it's a treat.
He's been to the restaurant twice in about 10 years due to lack of money. I've been with him on both occasions.
I had root beer, he had coffee with the combo.
The Undertaker used to have on average, 60 seizures a day and the brain professionals couldn't figure out why. After much thought (ironic) they decided to poke at his brain. Whilst he was awake and aware, they sawed a portion of his skull off to expose his gray matter. He tells me that he heard the "crunching" but felt nothing.
Anyway, his brain is 2 grams lighter than when he went in. Seizures continued, blah blah blah.....
Then one day, they stopped! The Complete Brained people can't figure out why. He doesn't care. He has "normal life" to show for it and hand tremors. ( I love buying him overfull coffees to watch him shake and spill them)
He suffers major depression but has decided to be my unpaid Truck Monkey 5 days a week because " I help him see things better".'re teaching me!
He stirs his coffee counter clockwise. Who does that?
Last week along the bitter portion of Hastings street, 2 guys approached him in order to sell him some hash. (I didn't know that hash was still around. My go-to drug 20+ years ago) He took a look and asked how much. They said $30 and he laughed and said maybe $10 and walked away. He smokes weed when he can afford it. A guy in skid row sells him shake. He's found hair, a penny, twist ties and crumbs in it. He suspects the shake is swept up off of some kitchen floor. Works for him he says, low tolerance...
Anyway, these 2 idiots stat following him taunting him at 6:15 in the blessed am. He turns and politely says "go away"
The undertaker is 6 foot 5 and the nickname I've given him fits like a glove! He LOOKS like a mortician. So these guys carry...and he gets agitated. Those Happy Drugs that we're both on can't always mellow out adrenaline.
He throws one guy rolling into the street (too early for heavy traffic. Bad planning) and bounces the other guy off of a brick wall. He continues walking to meet me whilst these tuff guys are licking their wounds.
The reason I tell you this is because I want you to see how The Undertaker dealt with it.
He was sad. Filled with remorse. He hated that he raised his hand to these two guys. He didn't come on the truck that day. He walked home to his bedbug infested room and lay on his bed for about 17 hours.
The other day, I went with Paula to the Cannibal Cafe on Commercial drive. Wing Wednesdays. $5 wings and beer. For a moment I agonized over what flavour I wanted my pound of chicken arms. I eventually made my choice. The beer was an easy one to make.
(there's a theme in this post)
We hired a guy that said that he had several years driving truck. Nice guy, worked hard in the warehouse and he seemed to be keen. You needn't be a genius to drive truck on hi ways, but in the inner creases of Vancouver, it takes a bit of skill. I log 60km every day in the city and I love it. I could have swapped my run for hiway/warehouse loading when they hired the new guy, but I declined. My day is full of humans, traffic and hand bombing product. No warehousemen loading pallets on my truck.
So the new guy is on day 4 and my boss lets him drive hiway while he sits shotgun. Success! I get in early but have1 more pick up to do. I ask if he can come to see where yet another vender is, granted.
I let him drive because the boss did earlier.
11 minutes later during a right turn into an alley, he peels off the front end of a $46K Mercedes.
I've driven professionally longer than not, I'm thinking he wasn't a truck driver.
They let him go.
We all make choices hundreds of times each day, from picking cherries or corn flakes to lying to the awkward friend and telling him you're busy tonight.
But who else is affect by our choices? Can we have a prejudiced mind over the choices of others?
Lime green exotic car. Really?  Bright pink Liberty Mowhawk?  LuLuLemon for everyday wear?
A&W for lunch?
Or our BIG choices, think of those ones...
Throwing a large rock into a pond is's the ripples that warrant concern.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Heavy pressures of the past presently present.

I had a nap the other day. I think I work too hard and it may be catching up to me. I work full time driving truck and part time at the group home not to mention trying to learn this blasted ukelele with classes once a week.
My wife keeps me tired too, but thats good tired. Welcomed tired.
But damn I'm dragging.
So I nap sometimes. Its come to that.
The other day while absorbed in thick sleep, I dreamed of my dad Harry. I was a teenager back in North Vancouver and I was doing my chores around the apartment complex that my mum managed.
Harry would often govern my chores...certainly afterwards if not during. He worked too ya know! Didn't have time to chase after 2 idiot sons...
So in my dream I was sweeping up in the 40 stall underground parkade that usually saw me net about 300 cigarette butts and the odd bit of paper trash in my handy scooper. Every 3 or 4 months I'd take a large push broom to the entire area. I hated that day!
How difficult do you s'pose it is to sweep butts into a catcher pan? You've seen the sort.
But Harry watched in my dream. It was surreal and vivid and realistic.
He'd come down to the parkade to check up on me in real life.
Do you know he'd point out any trash that I missed? Cars came and went as I swept up...could have happened anytime!
We had grass on the boulevard and there was a bus stop there. Another chore saw me picking up trash with a spear I made. Why bend over when I could stab the paper crap rolling along the grass?
Harry's place was 3 stories above that grass. "OI, you missed a bit back there!" he'd shout and point.
I also painted suites when people moved out, bachelours, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom appartments. I was rather good at it and quick...but Harry would mention shortfalls.
"You left a bit of a mess in the sink in the tool room after you cleaned up..."  What was I then? 17 I think.
Maybe Harry's tutelage created the workforce that I am now? Still...that pisses off a kid!
I used to cut the grass too. I recall Harry showing me areas that were missed from our 3rd floor balcony. I tried.
Dreams are funny. They provoke memories.
As you know, I work in an emergency receiving group home. Tonight, I managed to talk a very stoned 16 year old heroin addict into cleaning her room. I'm fond of this kid! I'd like to rescue her! I began by telling her that I bet she couldn't deal with her room in 30 minutes. Her room is derelict! (am I the only one that works there?)
She took up the challenge giving me the usual sass and taking mine in stride.
Talk about impressive! This kid tidied, thru in laundry, vacuumed, sanitized and hung up clothes in record time! Protocol says I'm meant to check her room, but I didn't.
I told her that I was satisfied with the job if SHE was satisfied with the job. She tried!
Later on, my co-worker said it was well done.
Years ago, a dad called me to set up a meeting with him. I'm game for anything!
He told me about his frustrations with his 17 year old son. "the kid lay around all weekend and I have to badger him into doing any jobs around here" I asked what kind of jobs.
Usual stuff. Taking out the trash, clean the room, homework, put away dishes, walk the dog, cut the grass....
Theres a nerve!
Tell me about him cutting the grass.
"It takes me forever to finally get him out there and then he does a lousy job!"
"He misses the edge, clips flowers and it looks like mow hawk hairstyles in several areas"
So what do you do?
"I show him the crappy job and do it again myself! If you want anything done right..."
I remember asking him if his grass was more important than his relationship with his son. Of course he said no. I pointed out that he tries.
I challenged him to set the kid to the task and NOT CHECK IT afterwards.
He really struggled with the instruction.
Towards summer's end, he noticed that he didn't have to ask the kid to get out and cut the grass and he no longer cared about the quality of the job the boy did. It got better however...and the kid seemed to enjoy the task. Funny that.
My friend Ray is on Social Assistance and lives in a nasty SRO in Vancouver. You remember Ray?
Ray goes about binning and manages to keep himself in crapy beer for his bottle collecting efforts, he also sweeps up and rakes leaves for a few local businesses for roughly $3 an hour. Its smoke money he tells me.
Ray pulls 2 big trash cans from an apartment complex into the alley each week in the West End of Vancouver so the truck can tip them.
The Asian apartment manager gives Ray $24 a month for his efforts. Saves the manager doing the job. Ray is crowding 60 and he says that he has nothing better to do. He's an alcoholic with a shitty track record of jobs and addresses. Not what you'd call hireable. But he tries.
The Undertaker is that odd dude that I welcome on my truck whenever he wants to help swamp. I like the guy a lot but he talks none stop. Literally, non stop.
The other morning he was walking up Hastings street to meet me at the truck and 2 guys stopped him. At 6:30am they asked if he wanted to buy some hash (I didn't even know hash was still around) They said $20 and showed him the chunk. He giggled and said "I'll give you a dollar"
Offended, they came at him but they ended up worse for wear. The Undertaker made it to my truck but was too grieved to work. He was physically ok but felt horrible for smacking the 2 clowns around. He also felt bad because he was going to let me down swapping for the day. Hey man, you're a luxury on my tried!
I sent him home to read, chill and forgive himself.
Isn't it funny how we beat ourselves up when we think we've failed? Or worse, when we've been told that we've failed?
We keep track of our shortcomings. We brood.
I'm sure Hawkeye Pierce could tell you how many lives he's lost...but that he has no idea how many he's saved!
I'm guilty first hand! If you follow me on social network sites, you'll notice how I moan about early morning commuters that try to kill me as I ride my motorbike to and fro...but I rarely communicate a good trip without issue.
All this to, to suggest, that you try and ponder the good and let the bad go away.
At least you can try.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mirror into the abyss

Today was Cheque Day in MetroVancouver, also know as Mardi Gras around the Downtown East Side of the City because "everyone parties like they're a millionaire on a holiday" which lasts about 3 days and then the soup kitchens have their usual queues numbering over 100 souls.
I drove past one of those Hipster Haven places just before 9am and there was already a queue of about 50 people wanting to buy take away beer. The Astoria bar on Hastings street has seen some changes, lots of gigs and dances during the week nights, but this was very sad looking out there. Not a Hipster to be seen...
90% of the people I noticed on the streets today "living the good life" were men. Why is that I thought? Then it hit me! I wager the majority of women that take Social Assistance each month, are home with kids trying to make ends meet while the dad of the kids is nowhere to be the Astoria type line ups.
I personally know many people on the dole that in my all knowing opinion, shouldn't be. They COULD work. They're around every day and able-bodied.
The snag in the plan though, is that they might have to take a job paying $12 an hour that offers no benefits. After taxes,they might see $1600 a month in which to pay shocking rents (thank you Mayor Gregor) buy food, bus tix, toiletries etc.etc.
Not possible! So, go on Welfare and get your below poverty level tuppence, get medical and dental when its an emergency, take a curse or upgrade, hit the food banks and soup kitchens, dumpster dive, drink, smoke watch tv and enjoy the summer. Quite the scam!  (I know a Native guy who not only has his Status Card, but he lies about where he lives for cheapICBC truck insurance, draws a disability cheque AND works full time! Oh yeah, he's on meds paid out by WCB and uses medicinal weed. His wife is a full-time nurse (different last name) they live in a Condo and just bought another one to rent out...)
What the BC Government offers as theSocial Safety Net is not enough to sustain a good lifestyle anywhere in the Province. It does however, create lots of Provincial jobs to insure things barely roll along.
Before you start chirping about drug addicts, drunks, ex-cons etc.etc, allow me to point out that if you've "got it made" I'm willing to bet you had help and support along the way. I don't know too many people that started with nothing. Maybe I'm wrong? I do know this though, life is very difficult and if you haven't got money, friends and family to get you too could end up in very difficult situations.
I saw a guy pissing in an alley today and said hello. (after he was done)  He told me that no stores will let him use the toilet. Here's the thing, I stand to piss outdoors too!
I couldn't really see a difference between that man and a hungover Hipster in Gastown on Sunday morning. I guess the difference is that the Hipster could afford to BUY something and in so doing, gain the right to use the toilet.
What a messed up attitude!
I guess a hungry guy with a full bladder can do more damage to the toilet than a half drunk Hipster. (think about that for a moment)
I was walking past Save On Meats (google them, you can help people thru them) and these 3 idiots behind me were talking very loudly, mocking people and places:  "OH YEAH, I SO WANT TO LIVE IN EAST VAN. CAN'T WAIT TO GET DOWN HERE..." I found myself surprised by my emotion. I wanted to slap the 3 20-something pukes back to the Suburbs to the safety of their parents closeness.
I gathered that they were fortunately NOT moving into the area and were simply passing through to enjoy their playdate together.
Funny isn't it? I'm as bad as they are...different target group p'raps but the ignorance and rudeness is in tact.
Side thought for free: I wonder how much crime has to do with gaining money? I bet if greed and riches were off the table, crime would plummet!
So there I was today, driving truck around the GVRD noticing people with extra large pizzas and other takeaway foods living good. Big money to be made in poverty.
Truth is, if poverty was eliminated, I'd be out of my 2 jobs.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Losing my way in this age of ignorance

At 51, I'm starting to understand a little bit of how my dad possibley felt.  Harry was a simple man, a good man but a simple man. Hands in the horse shit bucket to do the garden type of guy! RESPECT!
Harry couldn't cook though and he often used the wrong tools to mend things that would probably need mending again 2 weeks on. He had a very unique view of the World that was a bit skewed to say the least. I often watch old British sitcoms just to hear Harry...
Bless the man! He did his best and that was always good enough and beyond. I miss Harry!
With a foreign English education equalling about grade 6 in Canada during the 70's, Harry answered an ad in the paper and became a prison guard at the infamous Burnaby BC penitentiary named Oakalla. He managed to get through that and ended his work life in a half-way house in Marpole. He retired on Vancouver Island with my mum. Harry could talk to "inmates" quite easily.
Harry was a blue-collar dummy. I mean absolutely no disrespect in giving him that title. I too describe myself as such.
Like my dad before me, I haven't got much, but what I have accomplished, I've done it on my own! Nothing has been given to me. I'm not a member of, as Warren Buffet calls it, The Lucky Sperm Club. Not sure if that makes me more grateful or jealous. Jury is still out.
The World seems to be getting smaller and faster. Thanx (I guess) to technology, we now know what's going on 12,000 miles away in about 42 seconds. I'm old enough to recall a time when we'd hear bits of news about our Southern neighbours probably due to America television feeds. Africa? Middle East? Not a peep. We had a battered black and white tv that got 6 channels on a clear day if Harry was in good enough mood to readjust the roof antenna after a wind storm. "Bloody thing". I recall coming home one day to my excited mum. We got a thing called cable. Now we had about 15 channels. I went into the garden several times looking for that "cable". I never did find where they put it. I wasn't going to touch it...I just wanted to see this new marvel.
I'm about 5 smart phones behind the trends and it's the only gadget I currently own save an introductory Canon camera. Come to think about it, I still don't use either to their apparent potential. I'm a bit dim in that area I guess.
At the grouphome the other night, I had to type out a Missing Person Report on a 17 year old addict on the computer and "save the document to the desktop" I had to wait for relief staff to arrive to show me how to do that. She thought it was "cute" that I didn't know. I took a photo of my report in the event it was lost. (insert laughter, how cutes and eye rolls here)
I remember Harry getting a car with an automatic transmission, he would often gear down when climbing steep hills but take his foot off the gas peddle as he did it as if working a clutch. Poor car.
So yes, my simplicity comes to me honestly. I'm in no way book smart. Hands on chap actually!
My present struggle is trying to master a few chords on my ukelele. They just won't stick in my brain. God knows how you musicians can actually play? Aren't you all on heroin or the Pot?
Still. Mustn't grumble. I'm rather good with humans and can usually chat with anyone. P'raps theres enough people out there who can play ukeleles. I'm not giving in just yet though. My own speed...not anyone else's. I'm doing it for a Royal Albert Hall appearances, no desire there.
At the risk of beginning to offer up the illusion that I even know what's going on culturally, I can't help feel that instead of being left behind, p'raps people are in too much of a hurry to obtain and use the latest and greatest trend, that they're missing a few things? Quite like driving too fast to enjoy the view. New things are nice, but the industry has baited us with language like "upgrade" trade up" etc and many of us feel like we MUST obey! 
Pay attention to grocery store shelves around September and you may notice NEW AND IMPROVED written on many familiar products. What was the former effort? Old and stagnant? 
I went to the motorcycle show a few weeks back, a little over the top for me if truth be told. I didn't see any carburetors anywhere but I did see an electric Harley Davidson. Really? The carbs I knew about but an electric bike? I had no idea.
I wonder where the time went. What else have I missed? What have I been up to?
It seems to me that I have little precious time to sit down and fiddle with some new thing for a few hours in order to figure out how to do something with it that I was already managing to do with its predecessor. I don't get it?
I'm watching a series on Netflix called The Walking Dead. I'm a few seasons behind apparently, even so, I gain personal comfort watching these humans struggle through seemingly insurmountable odds yet still carry on. I continue to lose my way in this Age of ignorance...MY ignorance, please feel free to join me when all things electric go to shit. I may be of some value to you.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

If only we treated people like our animals

I had Red watch the goods on my truck today as I made a delivery of 4 pallets of product to a location in Vancouver's skid row. If I don't shut and padlock the back door of the truck, everything within is seen as a gift and would disappear the minute my back was turned. I fear the treasures within are not mine to freely give I've got Red.
Red is bald as a badger and has this menacing skull tattooed on the side of his big head. The skull is happily smoking a fat joint. Looks as if I drew it on a very good day. Still...pity.
Red stands about 5' 10' and weighs in at 300+ pounds, is street smart, walks with a limp and every female Sex Trade Worker knows him. Red doesn't partake though.
"I like to know that the girls are safer if people know they know me"
I think it's a safe bet.
Red had a job, blah blah blah. Found dope and drink, blah blah blah. Lost his wife and son because of it, blah blah blah. Hit the skids and is now on the way up.
Same story...different face. I really wish I knew what to do for all of these people.
A Vancouver Yellow Cab was parked in the Commercial Loading Zone as I arrived. I politely hit the horn twice very quickly. "Hey you, I'm here." No dice. Buddy didn't move.
Red was sitting across the street. He saw this, walked over and said to the Cabbie "Move the fuck away so the truck can unload or I'll drag you out of there and kick your ass"
The cab moved. It's all in the delivery folks...all in the delivery.
Every day, I throw Red a bone or 5 to watch the truck as I grunt my wares half a block to their new home. A jug of milk, yogurt, tortillas, butter. Whatever "falls off the truck".
You see, Red lives in one of those infamous SRO Hotels near Hastings and Princess and his hard times see him without food a plenty like us.
Red doesn't drink. No dope, no smokes. I think he pays his rent and eats. Vices.
I'm in this area every day. I see people hitting the Mission for free coffee and muffins every day. Often, I see fisticuffs, drug deals, Sex Trade Workers chasing bad dates away, the odd guy fall over for no apparent reason, lit up ambulances, police cars and general mayhem.
I also see well dressed people walking to the bus stops on Hastings st. Mums walking little kids North to their preschool or bigger kids South to their Elementary School.
I rarely see interaction.
Junkies know junkies. Hookers know tuff guys and dealers, cops "know" everyone, I'm getting to know people, kids know each other but the Worlds really don't collide.
It seems odd to me that laughing, chatting women in their 30's stop making noises altogether and quicken their pace as they pass women who work in the most dangerous job. Is it too hard to bid someone fare well? Random attacks on people rarely happen at night let alone daytime.
The invisible Ones feel invisible you know! True story...I've asked many of them. Just say hello!
So there's Red in all his magnificent glory guarding my potatoes or whatever I was hauling on this pouring rain day, and all these creatures walking past him. The Ones he sees daily and nightly. The ones that to me, bear an eerie resemblance to the Walkers on a show I'm watching on Netflix.
So Red pipes up: "Holy shit man, look at this dog! It's beat down and trembling" I stop what I'm doing in order to look at a scruffy Border Collie who indeed looks a bit worse for wear. Like he's been camping for a week with Vegans and didn't receive enough protein.
Then it hits me!
Think of the "healthiest" zombie you've seen in one of those shows...ok, that's an addict in the DTES. It occurred to me that a dog who is a bit scruffy and could use a few Supersize combos weighed more heavily on Red's heart than emaciated humans!
And he's not the only one is he?
Take a look at your Facebook feed or your Twitter timeline or any local Canadian News provider, animals in rough shape get more sympathy than dying humans that we TRY to ignore every day!
Get a job you bottle picking, panhandling scumbag! Piss off and die junkie! They should put all these people with mental health issues in a special place...
Ooooooooooh! Did you see the story about the poor starving Husky? Hey...did you hear that they're only giving that woman 6 months for killing six dogs? Throw away the key!
Then we talk about missing and murdered women. *crickets*
No one gathers at Courthouses with placards standing up for the rights of those women...but dogs and wee furry kittens? Busloads of people carrying torches.
We're living in interesting times people.
I love animals, don't get me wrong. I've invited many into my home! I love them to a fault and always will! ( I feed racoons, crows, squirrels etc etc)
But I love humans more!!!!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

shattering my Eastvan silence with echoes of the past

I hate to admit it, but I need you! All of you! I'm an extravert you see...I know it to be true, my therapist told me so. I traded her $130 for an hour of her time each week and we chatted about me...about you, about all of us. She must be telling the truth right? I can't really put a price on peace of mind mind you, but along the way, she has helped reveal to me the thick meat on the bones that are surrounding my existence. I eat that meat slowly and thouroughly then hand the bones to the crows. I love crows. No shortage of crows around this shortage of bones for them either. I've lots to chew on. Big mouthfuls, slow, deliberate chewing...savouring the flavours I may have been missing for a while.
Tonight, I walked about the local alleys creeping people's windows as they gathered with family, friends and relatives watching that football game. I don't care for sport really, but I love the fact that the spectacle brings people together. Food, drink, tension, anxiety, joy...even that awkward Uncle with the open-ended obligatory invite. (God help you decide should he invite you to his place)
I heard shouts of joy and screams of despair. I could just imagine grown men and women slapping their hands to their heads as their team did something silly. I know the feeling, I support Liverpool FC.
I love going through alleys, never know when I'll notice a derelict motorbike that I can make an offer on if I wasn't in therapy (insert awkward laugh) I like to look at back yard garden plots that are being slowly readied during our Pacific West Coast winter. I sigh when I see cars under carports thick with dust and cat footprints. These machines have been long forgotten I fear. I once saw an early 50's Mercedes that the owner couldn't afford to buy insurance for. There it sat...crying, invisible.
I walked past a funky old house typical of older Eastvan yesteryears that foreign owners hadn't bought, knocked down and built monoliths on the space yet. (oh yes I did) and there was a party going on.
Looking into the yard, the 30-something tenants (educated guess judging by the group) had fastened a tarp to the back of the house, set up tables and mounted a big screen tv to the outer wall. SuperBowl party, COMMUNITY! Looked like there was lots of food and plenty of beer! One lone couple nearest me shared a lingering kiss. The guy was looking deeply into her eyes. I wanted to run over and give him the thumbs up! Funny...don't recall what she looked like? I was taken by the sight of him seeing her I guess.
Eye contact is paramount! The eyes can't lie. I recall these 2 ponces that hung around girls from a group home I once worked at decades ago, they couldn't look me in the eye. I digress...
Buddy had it going on, the tv was invisible, his girl wasn't. (caveat: he WAS holding a beer, brother has to incorporate his loves)
Suddenly, off in the distance,  I heard some very anger-inspired shouting. A man was in quite a state. To me, it sounded like a drunken, violent soliloquy more than an argument...alas it was dark out, best to check to be certain no woman was in peril. (What am I? Writing a novel? Bit wordy)
Focus Spoke...
I spotted the brother walking down the street flailing his arms and raging! He had a can in hand, could have been a Redbull but I suspect more like a can of courage. He was alone so I calmed down that part of my chivalrous brain. No damsel to rescue.
 My mind however, flashed back to that Lover. SEEING his girl, holding a beer...also a can of courage? You decide. Make it your story.
Anyway...gosh I go on rabbit trails yeah?
This is when I need adult supervision because part of me wants to go tease the shouting nutcase but most of me just wants to hear his story. The battle rages within me. To love or mock, that is the question.
Anyway, it seemed to me that he was on a mission of ill will. P'raps I could spoil it for him if anyone else was in danger. I followed at a distance still peering in windows and smiling.
Side note...simple observation in Eastvan. Asian families seem to have window dressings drawn whilst other cultures do not. Is that a thing? I'll have to ask a couple friends I see each day. Mental note.
Back to anger man...he was shouting very loudly about his "fucking cable provider" and something about how he knew that he was being monitored online. He was shouting how he knew that "you bastards were watching me". I deduced from his paranoia that he was probably visiting Canada from slightly South because Canadians have yet to realize that our Federal Government is monitoring us. Hasn't really sunk in here yet. Maybe buddy was from Seattle?
Well, rage boy was very nearly about to cross the border of Vancouver where East becomes West and I really don't like going there, so I kinda hoped that he'd hurry and attempt to hatch his plan before he crossed Ontario St. He continued to rage, made no threatening comments to people or showed any harmfull actions towards himself so, since I was suddenly bored, I turned back East. He wasn't dangerously drunk, he'll be fine.
I turned just in time...West vs's a thing you know. Look it up!
Wondering up an alley I wandered, (see what I did there?) It was just gone 8:30 and it occurred to me that I hadn't seen a kid or teenager outdoors in the entire time that I was out! Where were they? What were they doing? Surely they weren't all hanging out at Superbowl parties were they?
I began to think about it, looking back on recent walkabouts, I rarely see young people outdoors. I'm outdoors everyday and damned near ever night. These wide, paved alleys are vacant!
Were they all indoors on devices, computers or staring at tv screens? What have we allowed to happen? When did that start?
Members of Think Tanks scratch their heads and spend bags of cash trying to figure out why we keep seeing an increase of childhood diabetes, obesity, rudeness, apathy and shite attitudes in too many young people. Lack of community maybe? Used to be that people would say that Homeschooled kids were social idiots...I'm thinking it's turned to Tech Twits being the social outcasts by choice!
Alas, we're paving the way aren't we? Most parents don't send the kids outdoors anymore do they? Couldn't be bothered to put in the effort, frightened to pull the plug or block the Wifi.
It DOES take a fair bit of effort to drag kids from the group home out into the great outdoors. To be fair, I do cut them a wee bit of slack though. At present, 3 teen girls are heroin addicts, but I STILL manage in most cases to get them outdoors. It takes about an hour of skilled effort on my part but damn it, its worth it in my mind!!. Funny thing is, they LOVE it when we go!
Forgive me...this rant has gone rather sideways.
I guess the title of the post was a clue. These alleys are too quiet. They weren't in our day were they?