Archive for August, 2003

The Rain

The beginning is half of everything

Pythagoras, Greek Philosopher and mathematician

August 26, 2003. Tuesday.

The more you write, the less pressure there is for you to be prolific and significant, however the more you write, the more critical you become of your topics and sensitive to the notion that you are writing a dissertation on bellybutton lint.

It’s a tough one, but for most people who write online, there are seemingly endless topics and subjects from which to choose. Sometimes though you really do wonder why anyone would bother reading this drivel at all. Such is the bane of the creative mind I suppose.

Today it is raining. It has been a while since I woke up to the sound of rain and the clouded darkness of a wet and cool morning. These days remind me of England, each day of the spring and fall much like the last, cool, clean, subdued and heavy with the smell of moisture. There are many people I know who hate the rain, they say it is depressing, but it makes you wonder why when accepted psychological and metaphorical doctrines refer to rain as the cleansing and purification of the world. It is certainly strange that having grown up with the rain as a mitigating factor in my daily life that I would have such an affection to it, but I suppose it could go either way. However I have to admit that I actually like the rain. I don’t necessarily mean the romantic notion of running through the rain together or standing on a windswept cliff overlooking the angry seas with rain blurring your vision but rather the gentle, cooling feeling of the rain against your face as you walk to the parking lot after work. I have noticed I am the only one I ever see whose head is not bowed, shoulders shrugged against the onslaught. I find the feeling of the rain on my face to be liberating, even soothing.

In contrast, the feeling of restriction and frustration at work has been building for some time, not only from my perspective but as a tangible feeling in the department. It stems from one individual having to have their hand in every little project that happens, and the inevitable backlog that happens when one person tries to control the jobs of a dozen employees. I have the sinking feeling that our once stellar image among the senior managers has been tarnished by the mis-management of the online screening project which still, months later, is not functional. Sadly, it is the front line technical staff that are seen as incompetent because the system is not in place, rather than the senior staff who have failed to delegate and allocate appropriate resources to the project. I guess we are not to be trusted.

I just returned from the dentist with Nicole who had her filling done last week but had developed a canker type infection from the type of freezing they used. It has been painful for her all week and looked pretty gross towards the end there, so she got some antibiotics and hopefully will be chewing properly again in a day or two. But no more chocolate in bed says I.

This past weekend was another party day in Pickering, oddly enough, that was pretty much the last time I wrote much of anything here. It was basically the same crowd, excellent food thanks to Jason the chef and more gift giving for new homes and University students heading back to school. I have to admit, not usually one to be paranoid about my health, I was concerned with getting bitten a few times by mosquitoes. It seems insanely bizarre to me that once again mosquitoes are the killers among us. I am sure that it is a chance in a million that one of them will be carrying West Nile, but then again, the only death so far from the disease was in Markham, right next door to us! Add to that a mysterious source of small flies and moths somewhere in the house and a rather large spider that I had to chase around the bathroom yesterday and it seems as though the insect world is out to piss me off.

I am off now… Maybe more later, maybe not for a day or two, but stay tuned for the saga of the invading insects… *yawn*…

Toronto The What?

August 20, 2003. Wednesday.

I suspect much like myself, many people will be happy to see the end of 2003. Most notably those of us here in Toronto and specifically those of us who have had to work in HealthCare this year. The tone of this entry isn’t helped by the fact that “rolling blackouts” just caused me to lose the 4 paragraphs I had already written and the fact that I am writing in the semi-darkness because we now have to save electricity…

It's 11am, do you know where your computer is??
Don’t get me started on the fact that the exterior lights are all on, the so-called command centre was vacant all night with all the lights on (an auditorium sized room) and the air conditioning is cranked presumably to offset the heat coming in through the open blinds in our new 3 storey high glass atrium.


Suffice to say that this year, Toronto the good as they like to call it, is not the place to be. SARS, West Nile, Blackouts, and the amount of time and effort wasted by citizens and the media on ridiculous ‘pick me up’ stories about insignificant people and their worthless little triumphs it really has become too much. The media specifically are the worst culprits, on the one hand berating the the criminals for taking advantage of the blackout situation by looting and robbing, meanwhile peddling 8×10 glossies of the darkened Toronto skyline at $100 a piece. I think it is clear who the real criminals are in this town. The post-SARS landscape is rife with pathetic attempts at overcompensation for the misappropriation of funds and resources and the inescapable fact that mismanagement cost lives during the outbreaks. I am sorry to say that despite all attempts to placate the public with congratulations and pathetic toadying the people of Toronto for once are mistrustful of the so-called leadership. It is about time that people started asking the right questions of their superiors and making them accountable for their answers. 2003 may have been the year of the crisis, but maybe, just maybe this time someone will be forced to take responsibility for their part in what has turned out to be a drastic wake up call for a city too long languishing in it’s own egotistical lounge chair.

At 4:11, The lights went out…
Amazing as it is… The third world is not too far from home apparently…
Here is the East Coast, both 20 hours before the blackout and then 7
hours after
and some detail added by yours truly…

And in case you are wondering what that all meant… Here are some shots of New York during the outages…
1 – Brooklyn Bridge
Photo 2 – Grand Central

Photo 3 – New York Skyline
Photo 4 – Times Square in the dark
Photo 5 – Commuters sleeping on the
steps of the 33rd St. Post Office

Photo 6 – Trading floor of the NYSE,
business as usual