Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Book 4, 32: The ‘Burbs

Any resemblance to North Vancouver's Tempe Estates is entirely intentional.

For no very deep reason.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hair on Fire: The Decline and Wait For It of the Educational Complex State

Tonight, because a storm was in the forecast, I took the bus to the University of British Columbia's "Irving K. Barber Learning Centre."* forcing me to walk the maze of cordoned off routes through ongoing construction projects between bus loop and, uhm, "Learning Centre."

Or not, as the case may be. As an old man, I am inclined to curse these latter days, and suspect them to be as loose and ready to fail as my joints or my bowels. My enthusiasms have become strange, my judgement suspect.

I do not like what they have done to my university. But I think I have something more here than the rambling free association of my own aging (I have, for example, no hair to set on fire). I returned, not through the quiet off-streets of the designated cycle route, but down the West 19th-Dunbar-West Broadway bus route that I have been taking, on and off, since I first enrolled at the university in September of 1982. This gave me the opportunity to see some commercial space that is not where I work, dressed up for Christmas.

Or not, as the case may be. I wasn't racing a supervillain in a fun, if cheesy, television show shot in Vancouver, but the lack of Christmas decorations is not restricted to the store at which I work. They are spotty, limited to a few neighbourhoods, probably the ones with mroe energetic business associations. It is certainly no lack of inclination for the season that is holding my company back.  It's our current paid hours target, about which subject I would be more discrete if my corporate board were to show up to help me pull dairy skids off the delivery truck with an unpowered handjack. (Though such is the way of things that they would be shocked, just shocked, to know that such things were happening, and the blame would fall upon my boss, or my boss's boss, because what else is middle management for?) 

As for confirmation of my suspicion that it is lack of time and energy, and not a War on Christmas,, I will note that it is pretty much the chain stores that are falling down on the job here. (To be fair, the Subway down the street as a strand of Christmas lights up in the window.)

So that's the symptom, the gesture of the hand at the idea that there is something larger going on here. Now let's take a walk through campus.   

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Book 4: 30, Brain in a Jar

It's not always a bad idea to listen to your muscle. Maybe one of them will turn out to have tactical talents that you're wasting in their current position. This is probably more likely when you're an insane supervillain, but it probably comes up elsewhere these days, too.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Book 4, 29: Dawning in the Mountains

In my defence, Charlotte is a Seventies girl, Paper Chase was probably a pretty grownup movie for her to have seen, but John Housman was on TV all the time cashing in with Smith Barney ads, though I  honestly can't recall if the ad campaign had begun by 1975.