RRRRRR strong proponent

I’m a strong proponent of this.

One Thing You Can Do: Fix It

I’ve been fixing stuff my entire life.  Why throw something out that is 95% alright when only 5% of it is broken?

My idea of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle continues on with the RRR theme –

  • Refurbish
  • Repair Renovate (so long as you’re not like those home reno people on TV who bash the hell out of perfectly good cabinetry with a sledge hammer and pitch it all into a Smithrite)
  • Redistribute
  • Respect
  • Repurpose

and many, many more.

complete crap

This is amazing.  People are weird.  I switched from a plastic garbage bag in my home office space to a paper bag.  I don’t dump grease, spit, coffee, or any other liquid in it.  Never have.  But people feel compelled to carry plastic around with them anyway.  Aren’t there enough doo-doo bags out there?  You’d think that people would have wax coated paper by now.  “I don’t wanna cut down trees!”  Okay, then don’t.  Use recycled paper.  “Recycling’s not the answer!  Reducing is the answer!”  Okay, then get a smaller dog.  Besides, waxed paper can degrade, and so can poop.  Don’t like paraffin (fake wax from petrochemicals)?  Then walk quickly home with your poop.

Are Plastic Bag Bans Garbage?

The issue is that people don’t want to change their habits.  Back when I was a kid, my mother used a paper grocery bag for garbage with a couple of newspaper sheets at the bottom and stapled an old newspaper to the top of it when full.  Nothing leaked.  All good.

ASET breakfast soon

Morning is here.  I was awake at 5am and tried to sleep a little more but finally got up at 6am.  It’s now 7:15am, and we are to meet at 8am downstairs for breakfast.

T and C were supposed to take an taxi (Uber) to his family’s house to see a newborn baby and to give gifts.  However, plans have changed as there is a baby shower in the mix now, so they’re now staying for breakfast, and we’ll leave shortly after that for him to meet with his parents at the airport who will take the gift from him in his stead.

In the mean time, we (except S who left last night back to Red Deer to work this morning) will have breakfast and hobnob with more people.  Who knows – I might even meet others who would have job offers for me!  I’m excited, a little scared, and … getting hungry.  I guess I’ll pack up my stuff and get ready.  I’ll put on a tie for breakfast this morning as well.

Oh – a few more things – about the new van.  Not new, but new to me!  It’s a 2010 Chrysler Town and Country, red, 4.0-litre, and loaded to the hilt with luxury.  It has everything except rear DVD players, which I truly did not want anyway.  It seats 7 passengers and has 2nd and 3rd row Stow-N-Go seats; they fold into the floor to create a perfectly flat area.  I stowed the 3rd row seating for us to put all of our stuff in – suit bags, suitcases (or backpacks or duffle bags, in our case), and various other stuff.  It’s really a good thing I have this van instead of the Kia Soul.  I think we would never have fit all the stuff in and still be comfortable.

The day before, I wiped down with Windex the smooth surfaces of the van to get rid of the sticky Armor All coasting, the cigarette smell, and the smell of those sickeningly sweet smelling little scented pellets they put in there.  Near the end, I spread baking soda all over the carpeting, put a container of vinegar in it, and stuck a few dryer sheets in it to help with the smell.  This seemed to work.  More work has to be done though.

In the morning, I packed up the van and headed to the carwash.  I wanted to make a good impression with the new, used, smelly van.  I even Windexed the chrome a little.  When I picked up R yesterday morning and then T, I was a little in a hurry so as to not be late – unjustifiably, as we kind of lingered anyway while they packed their stuff in.  It was a good drive to Edmonton.  The van has a navigation screen, so I followed its and T’s directions.  During the drive, I looked at the fuel economy – 18.8 litres / 100km!  Ah!  I bought a lemon!  It sucks fuel back!  Tyson assured me that this was just an average and that that will change as we drive further on the highway.  I got it down to 8.9 litres per hundred (31.7 MPG).  Wow.  Much better.  And it has power to spare – and a cool sound when the engine takes off.  Haha.

Time to go down for breakfast.

ASET Awards evening

The event is done.  At 4:30, I went down to meet T, C (T’s “old lady”), R, & S (R’s sister).  No one was there.  I wandered back and forth for a while and, eventually, received a text from Tyson.  “on my way”  I said, “I’ll message Randy, see if he needs help with his tie or something.”  Turns out I messaged T instead.  I called R.  “Yup, yup, we’re on our way.”  Everyone was in suits and gowns.

We stood in a parlour with several dozen (hundred?) other people with wine glasses and talked and met other ASET members.  Finally, T said, “Let’s go sit down.”

The room filled up, 9-10 people per table – knees squeezed in – and 24 tables – and the speeches began.  The keynote speaker started.  Aboriginal drummers and singers did a welcome performance in their own language as a show of ASET’s recognition of their ancestral land.  One boy, doing traditional chanting and singing, apparently started when he was 2 years old!  There was an invocation (blessing) & toast to Canada.

Then the dinner was served.  It started with buns and a salad with nuts & berries.  Brisket beef, mashed potatoes, a few vegetables were the main course.  Really good.

Then the awards came.  They recognized and gave award pins for 50, 40, 30, and 20 years of service to ASET.  The trend to clap after every recipient was started, so it went that way to the end.  There were 3 recipients of 50, I think 8 of 40, and many more for 30 and 20.

Then, the moment we three were waiting for – the ASET Capstone Project of the Year Award.  Our pictures flashed up on the giant screens, one on each side of the stage.  They called our names, we went up, and they handed us all framed plaques with our names, achievement, and where we were representing (Lethbridge College) and shook our hands.  The speaker read a description of our project and, in the middle, turned to us and said, “This is complicated stuff, you guys!”  We all laughed.  Then Randy made a speech.  He had it written down but also added to it.  He’s a good speaker.  The announcer then turned to me and T, and T pulled us out of the fire saying, “He speaks for all of us.”  We lined up on stage.  Tyson had to cram in there with R at the end and scooted me over.  I nudged the announcer, who happened to be the President-Elect for the next coming term, and he stumbled.  “Sorry!”  We all had our pictures taken by various photographers, then we left the stage.  I guess I should have used the stairs, but I saw one other guy stumble and various others eyeing the steps cautiously while going down, so I just leapt to the floor (one big step).

Then there were the other awards to Technologist of the Year (Patty Podoborozny, C.E.T., PWSIII), First Principle Award (Enbridge Pipelines Inc.), Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion (Calgary Catholic Immigration Society), President’s Award for Vounteer of the Year (Negar Machie, P.Tech.(Eng.)), President’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring (Sabrina Pelley, C.E.T.), and President’s Award (Peter Portlock, CD, MHSA).  There was also a surprise award to the current President’s mentor – cannot recall his name now.  Then, a closing speech shortly after 9:00pm.

Various people came by to congratulate and chat with us, the most notable for me being KL from MPE Engineering in Lethbridge.  He’s in materials testing.  He congratulated us all and asked if we had found work.  Tyson stated that I had not.  I stuck out my hand – “Allan Johnston!”  After smiles and more handshakes, he asked, “Are you interested in a position at MPE Engineering?”  He wrote his email address on T’s card (as I didn’t really want to hand out or show cards that says “Allan Johnston – Children’s English Teacher” on it.  He asked me to email him when I got back to Lethbridge for an interview.

at the hotel in Edmonton

I’m in the hotel room now in Edmonton for the ASET event.  We pulled up to the hotel via the new van’s navigation flawlessly and found that they had valet parking.  The front desk said that parking was $35 per night plus $10 for valet if we should choose, but apparently the payers of the room also covered parking.  Randy’s sister came by car on her own, so her parking was taken care of, too, along with valet service.

I went up to my room after arranging with everyone to meet downstairs at 4:30 in the Ballroom.  I seriously needed a shower.  I used scented antiperspirant, and it bothered me the entire trip and only got worse near the end.  I’ll never do that again!  The room is nice.  There’s one king-size bed, a desk, a chair with table & lamp, & a bureau for the coffee, TV, fridge, safe, and such.  It’s a standard hotel room, I guess, except nicer.  Shampoo, body wash, hand soap, shower soap, face cream, shoe polish stuff, all that.

physio, rental, van from K1Z, money, more money

Today …

  • I had my first physiotherapy appointment.  The accident has given me pretty poor mobility in the upper body.
  • I returned the rental van.  “You only put on 12km.”  Yes – I drove home then drove back again
  • F and I went to K1Z Auto Sales to pick up my new van.  Very pleased.
  • Mom paid for it using her line of credit until I get the Kia Soul settlement money.  Hopefully it’s not too long.
  • The van took $83 to fill from one-quarter full.  Wow.

insurance, job, lawyer, cards, rental, seed

Today …

  • I heard how much I’ll be getting from the insurance company for the Kia Soul.
  • I applied for another job.
  • The lawyer phoned me re- Father’s estate.
  • I paid all my credit card bills.  No interest charged, as per usual.
  • I traded the little Volkswagen Jetta for a larger van to go to Edmonton – a Kia.  Go figure.
  • I dig in the yard again and planted the flower seeds.

van, blood, dirt

Today I …

  • … Put a down payment on a new vehicle – a 2010 Chrysler Town & Country.  I decided that, after doing research on this dealer in town – K1Z Auto Sales – that this is the one for me.
  • … Gave blood.  That makes donation #115 for me.
  • … Dug in the yard.  I’ve put in wild flower seeds for birds, humming birds specifically, bees, and butterflies.  Rather than having green grass (basically a desert for any part of nature to try to live in it – a monocrop of nothingness), I will do my part to assist with repopulating the planet with nature.

four major events – interview, probate, accident, student (almost)

Four major things happened today.  Here’s my report.

I had an interview today with TT today.  It was a good interview.

Probate on Father’s house finally came through today.  Finally.

I was in an accident this evening.  The car is totalled, but the airbags went off, and I’m fine.

I had a new student start today.  Unfortunately, I was two blocks away from his house when the accident happened, so I never saw him.

I think I’m ready for bed.  <sigh>

US bond yield curve

According to CNBC, the US bond yield curve has inverted, a significant indicator of a slowed economy.

Now I’m no professional economic analysis expert by any means – but is it not just as simple as knowing that the industries and, indeed, industrial models you’ve relied upon for “growth” all this time have started to fail because they should?  Did the steam engine not get replaced by the Diesel?  Then the Diesel-electric?  Did stone houses not make way for brick, then wood, then steel & glass?

Is Alberta not suffering now because people have a poor idea of the reputation of oil sands?  Lethbridge, for example, has an enormous amount both of sunlight and wind.  Isn’t the writing on the wall stating that, within 20 years or so, oil will seriously on its way out?  Now I’m not getting on the Liberal bandwagon and saying we should all convert farmland into solar panel land.  …  Then again, you’re building huge advanced greenhouses to grow pot.  Good for you.  (There’s a facetious tone to my remark, by the way, in case you couldn’t hear me.)

Instead of looking at this as a doom-and-gloom thing, this seems to me to be a sure indicator of the need for innovation, changes to the status-quo, advancement of “alternatives” (as though oil is the benchmark and everything else is an alternative).  In short, the stuff you’ve invested in is losing ground.  Stop trying to prop it up with make-shift measures.  Let it die.  Move into something else.

And Trumpy wants to open up more coal mines and “put Americans to work again”, as though going back in time will save us all.  Fool!  And you’re dragging everyone else down with you.