Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Vilma Westerholm 1911 - 2005

Vilma Westerholm, (nee Andersen) died at 93.

Vilma was born Vilma Jensine Dahl in Bodø, Norway, April 21, 1911. After the death of her mother she was separated from her twin sister and at 9 years old she came to Canada with her uncle and beloved aunt, Jette Andersen.
She established her life in Vancouver, attended Strathcona, General Wolfe and John Oliver High Schools. An artist and songwriter and she had several poems published. Vilma married John Westerholm in 1930. She drove a truck during WW II and joined the BC Electric company as a street car conductor in 1944. Vilma became the first female trolley bus driver in BC and was assigned the first regular route, leading the way for other women to follow her success at BC Hydro. Many Vancouverites will remember her ever present camera and her cheerful attitude while piloting the huge electric bus on the Stanley Park run for years.
Vilma was known as loving, loyal, a valued friend and a fiercely independent woman. She embodied the Norwegian spirit of tackling anything and loved Vancouver. She was also recognized as a Vancouver Pioneer. After a 70 year search Vilma was finally reunited with her sister, Olga, in Bodø, Norway in 1987, escorted there by her grandson, Christopher. Vilma enjoyed good health and a lengthy retirement, driving her own car well into her 80s.

Remembered fondly by many including her sons, Robert and Albert, daughter Jane, grandchildren Chris, Tracy and Sonny, and great grandchildren Jesse, Jordan, Conner and Sarah.

If there’s a bus going to Heaven, Vilma will be driving it.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Today's beautiful girls ...

Hey, you young fellers. You need to thank us old guys for today's girls and their attitudes and attributes.
A recent study showed that teenaged girls consider that giving their boyfriend oral sex is little more than kissing. Wow, these young women certainly have a different attitude. And they're all having their breasts augmented, aren't they? Attributes enhanced. And what about those ultra low rider jeans? Tummys invoking tumescence. Bikini waxes mostly mandatory. The prudes of yesteryear when a glimpse of stocking was something shocking are gone. You know why don't you? We older guys CREATED these modern women.
It is because all us guys spent our most productive years praying for this. It was a mass mental wishlist.
You young men have no idea how many desperate pleadings went on at drive-in movies. Or how we flattered and fawned for a little fellaplay while helping our girl babysit. And you couldn't hear those fervent voices out in the ether asking for bigger boobs, but they were there, bouncing off the planets like pinballs, flashing every light in the galaxy until the message was received and understood. Mass prayer works. The dreams of your preceding generation were answered. You owe us big time.

Too late for us oldsters mind you, these attitude adjusted young women are no longer interested in grizzled, shaky veterans of the sex wars. But you could say a thanks whenever you see an old man leering over a soft downy belly, or watching the heft of a lusty pair of boobs float past.

It didn't all work out though because we only got Viagra as an answer to one of our prayers.

(editors note: Drive-in movies were places where you could stay in your car in the dark with your girl and watch a movie at the same time. Pray for their return)

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Found on the web ...

This is a poster. Hard to read here but it says - Re-elect Gordon Campbell,
the only liberal leader to have a booze named after him.
The other picture is of Gordon's Gin. The captions under Gordon's pic are - Holiday picture - Me in Maui - - - under the gin bottle pic - Holiday picture - Me at the beach.
Among the comments are - "I am not stepping down, I will continue to do what I was doing to the people of BC." and - "Any Americans want to buy BC, I am selling it you know."
Gordon's favorites = writer - Steve Martini - song - Wasn't that a Party - food - pickled eggs.
Gordon's NON favorites = Old people on busses - BC Rail, BC Hydro and women in general.
On the very bottom it states - Paid for by the 'Elect anyone but Gordon Campbell committee'.
(find the poster on Kazaa or WinMX)

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Goodbye Quebec

When Quebec had its last vote on separation a few years ago, Prime Minister Jean Chretien kept quiet, waiting precariously on the sidelines for the results. He allowed Quebeckers to continue to believe that as a separate country, they'd still have their jobs in Canada; They'd still sell their products into Canada; They'd still use our Canadian dollar; They'd still send MPs to OUR parliament; and they'd still get the largess of our taxpayers money. It was a deadly gamble for Chretien. Canada was barely held together by the slimmest of margins.
Many thank our Native Canadians in Quebec for standing up and being counted, for declaring war if the separatists won the vote, saying they wanted to remain Canadians and would fight for that right. They said this themselves before that last vote - 95% of Inuit are against Quebec sovereignty. In the event of a "Yes" vote on Monday October 30th in the Quebec election, Inuit will not be part of a new country called Quebec. Inuit will assert their legal and aboriginal rights to the region called Nunavik, and take the necessary steps to ensure that the region remains part of Canada.
Some people believe that Chretien had secretly hoped for the separation of Quebec because he would be able to say to Quebeckers that he did not stand in their way to becoming independent and would be seen in effect, as the Father of their country.
It was AFTER that critical vote that Chretien and Mr. Dithers poured millions into Quebec companies under the pretense of glorifying Canada.
Of course if we are aware at all today, we know that the Sponsorship Scandal is front page news right now in Quebec. One radio station is covering the commission's daily events, and its ratings are so high that another has started parallel coverage. The hearing is hugely popular!
Quebeckers are angry. They know the rest of Canada is looking on them like the crooks of those companies who stole money from taxpayers. One company got $130,000.00 for delivering a check from the federal government! Taxpayer's money went into the liberal coffers for re-election. And it goes on and on. The inquiry is finding too many of these instances.
John Charest, the present liberal premier of Quebec is finished. The liberals ARE to blame. There is no separation of liberals from provincial to federal. (Evidenced right here in BC with the shady doings of the federal liberals who were employed by Gordon Campbell's liberal government.) John Charest's government will fall in the next election. No doubt, no contest.
There will be NO voice for Canada in the succeeding Quebec provincial government. The Gomery Commission is inadvertantly throwing fuel on the flames of separatism each day. (Chretien has tried repeatedly to have Justice John Gomery removed as being biased) Quebec separatists will see the opportune time for another vote, and no amount of cash to crooks or maple leaf flags can correct it now. Paul Martin will fall. Charest will fall. Chretien has fallen. They will all retire in Quebec.
Chretien will be the father of his country albeit by malfeasance.
Most countries need a civil war to emerge from. One images the dust clearing and Good standing over Evil. But this is not the first time a country has been born of deceit, lies, conniving politicians and stealthy agendas.
Yet perhaps, if those Inuit in Northern Quebec still feel the same way about Canada, there'll be a war yet.

see below - Saturday, Feb. 05, 2005 - Liberal sponsorship scandal in Quebec

Monday, March 21, 2005

High cost of dying ...

Don't die. It'll cost you a fortune. Do they turn away dead people at cemetaries?
My dear old Mom died. She paid Ocean View Cemetary well ahead for her funeral, didn't want to cause concern or financial burdon to her family. We went to the funeral home to finish the arrangements.
Met a very nice man in black, with black hair. ALL the guys in there had black hair too. Maybe it's one of the Back Arts. All that was missing were the pencil-line mustaches. The guy tells me that people regularly pay 25 to 35 thousand dollars to die! We felt like we were in a huckster's tent. And while we, the grieving family, were in this with the guy, he took 5 (FIVE) phone calls! Some compassion for distraught family!
Mom had her urn engraved before, except of course, for her death date. Now we have to engrave that final date upon her urn ... well we have to pay them $180.oo to OPEN that lil glass door where the urn is sitting right now. Then they take the urn out, (without Mom in it of course) and send it away to the engraver to write 11 more letters on it. Just the date. Eleven letters. ELEVEN letters! $450 dollars more! There's a 'setup' charge from the engraver! You have to pay GST on all this too. They tried to sell us the ceremony too which she had already paid for, but if we wanted food for our guests, that would have been extra. I didn't need to buy a supermarket and Mom didn't want a ceremony so we passed on that. We were completely mortified and got out of that mortuary with having to put the $750. charge on our credit card. And they didn't like the idea of me putting a coin slot on that glass door for donations. There was a man picketting the cemetary outside. Hmm.
Then we wrote a nice farewell message on her behalf to all her interested friends. She happened to be the first female bus driver in BC. We thought she was proud of that and would like to see it in print. Went to the Sun/Province. Tell me I am crazy. I thought a simple obituary notice would cost us like, maybe $100. tops and I wanted a picture of my Mom in her bus driver's uniform. Many of her old passengers would recognize her and remember that tiny woman piloting a huge trolley bus. The girl at the classifieds desk, (with a straight face) said it would cost $600. for the OBIT! SIX hundred dollars! I wasn't looking for a display ad. I am not trying to SELL my old Mom, just want to let people know she won't be calling them again.
And all the while on the newspaper clerk's desk is a late copy of the Province with a headline about a breathing sleeping woman getting sent to the mortuary alive! I think I need to go back and check on my old Mom again! She might have simply been BETWEEN breaths! Sheeez.
No wonder Norman Bates kept his old mom rocking in front of that window all those years, everything was just fine until Janet Leigh comes in and screws everything up! No wonder he got pissed off with her.
Don't die, It's too expensive ... and they treat your family bad after you leave.
Bye Mommy, I love you.

addenda: June 25, three months later, Ocean View Cemetary still has not forwarded an insurance policy cheque that we were told would take about 4 weeks. And they placed the urn in the WRONG niche! And now it has to be moved again! This has now gone way beyond incompetance.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Cool BC Parks of the future

NEWS ITEM: Leaked secret documents show Gordon Campbell's Liberals to allow major expansion of private lodges in BC Provincial Parks.

A family arrives at a BC Provincial park for camping ...
BOY: Wow Dad, look at that, a big pink building!
MOM: What IS that, Hon'? This was all trees last time.
DAD: One of the new American style lodges, I didn't think they were here yet.
GIRL: Cool, a Ferris wheel and look, a Brittney Spears arcade!
BOY: Dad, can we get a slurpy at the Seven-Eleven?
MOM: My goodness. What happened to our wilderness park?
DAD: This was in that secret Liberal plan for our parks that Gordon Campbell had hidden.
BOY: The parking lot is way flat and I didn't even bring my skateboard.
MOM: Is that skinny thing a bear in a cage?
DAD: Yeah, it says 'No Hiking. See a raccoon here.'
MOM: That lodge is huge. The flashing lights for the bar are kinda bright.
SON: Where are we gonna camp, Dad?
GIRL: Dad, no tenting on the parking lot.
DAD: I see that. It's $10 an hour to park here anyway.
BOY: This is cool, Dad, just like the city. And there's gonna be a water park here soon.
DAD: Don't they know there's a LAKE out there?
GIRL: I like Gordon Campbell, he's changed everything.
(Dad starts to openly cry)
MOM: Aw Hon, don't do that, she can't vote yet.
DAD: She needs retraining. Whatever happened to seeing the wildnerness?
MOM: Whatever happened to Supernatural British Columbia?
DAD: There was no money in it for the Liberals.
(Dad continues sobbing as a flock of starlings crap on his car on their way to the new McDonalds.)
GIRL: Da-ad, Jimmy's breathing all the air again!

Future BC Provincial Park


Monday, March 14, 2005

BC newspapers and news.

Just in case you were reading ... although most people I know prefer to get their info from the Web, but those who don't mind their news three days old, might consider the slant of the newspapers they are reading in BC.
So many of these newspapers are owned and controlled by single entities that the intention of what they are writing is suspected to be less news and more instruction. CanWest Global's line up of media for instance, is impressive, or depressive, depending on what POV you are coming from. CanWest Global, the Asper corporate vehicle, is the largest owner of newspapers in B.C. In the Lower Mainland it owns the Sun and Province, twelve community papers, plus papers in Nanaimo and other centres. Take a look at this list:
Vancouver Sun
Vancouver Province
Metro Vancouver

Abbotsford Times
Burnaby Now
Chilliwack Times
Coquitlam Now
Delta Optimist
Langley Advance
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Times
North Shore News
New West Record
Richmond News
Surrey Now
Vancouver Courier

Wow, and all influenced by the Asper family ... Liberals through and through. And we're not including radio and television control!
The Metro newspaper is the newest propaganda piece to assault readers in Vancouver. Although the Metro is apparantly going to be targetted on the younger readers, 18 to 49. Rick Camilleri, President of CanWest MediaWorks, said "Metro is a natural complement to the CanWest MediaWorks portfolio of assets, especially in Vancouver, a city that will undoubtedly embrace the Metro concept and product. Maybe. Maybe not.
It's free by the way.
Meanwhile other media sources of information like the Westender and The Georgia Straight, need to be perused carefully for contrasting comment and independant opinion. Just the very fact that Gordon Campbell tried to shut down the Georgia Straight is enough reason to read Bill Tieleman's articles in the Straight.
(Bill Tieleman can now be read in the new paper, 24, also free around Vancouver. )

The Metro says it condenses your news to make it easier and quicker to read. Easier to believe. Easier to promote the political line. Easier to control your thinking. Do you like this comment? - - - "Owners have every right to direct their operations in terms of both content and ideology."Gordon Fisher, CanWest's president for news and information.

Meanwhile, I'll continue to read the Web and Bloggers for my fresh news, I just don't trust these guys any more.




Thursday, March 10, 2005

Russell Crowe targetted by al-Qaeda

News that al-Qaeda planned to kidnap actor Russell Crowe. The FBI warned him about the plot and protected him. What?
The al-Qaeda idea was apparantly about taking iconographic Americans out of the picture as sort of a cultural destabilisation plot. I thought Russell was an Australian?

Well he was born a Kiwi and went to Oz at 4. Doesn't the naive al-Qaeda know these Auzzies are tough? They grow up with dingos, crocodiles, Great White sharks, asps and funnel web spiders and STILL wander around the outback in bare feet and swim everywhere! Not to mention that Russell can be a surly bastard when aroused. You don't get between an Auzzie and his Fosters! And besides, one has to wonder what culteral destabilization would result in removing Russell anyway? Sounds less like Osama Bin Laden and more like Idi Amin! You just don't want to kidnap Russell Crowe!
I can just see Russell as the kidnapee, saying "G'dai Mite," while tearing off their heads and chewing their ears! Hmm, there's a movie in here somewhere.
Meanwhile, Russell only said, "Who is this Al guy anyway?"

Russell in a GOOD mood.


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Mount St. Helens

The volcano blew up again yesterday, emitting clouds of gas, steam and smoke up to 35,000 feet in the air. It was accompanied by some small earthquakes and there was even some orange lava flow seen inside the crater.
The scientists had no idea it was going to blow. They've been studying it intensely since May 18, 1980 when it last blew. The scientists have NO friggin idea when volcanoes are going to blow. They even LOST 3 seismographs in the process! They put a new one on the rim today. Should we keep funding these guys? They're no further ahead than when Vesuvius buried Pompeii!
Scientists have easy work. Sort of like weather forecasters who say there's a 40% chance of rain. Is it going to rain or isn't it? Where can I go to be in the 60% chance that it won't rain? I was on Kilauea once, right on the edge of the pahoehoe flow where the red hot lava streams into the sea. You can't do that anymore because it broke off and sent some people into that moving magma! The volcano guys didn't know what Pele was pissed off at.
Is Mount St Helens going to blow or not? What did the volcanologists tell the Italians on Aug 23, 79 AD? Go to sleep everyone, it's only a 40% chance that it'll blow?
I figure if we stop paying and funding these seismologist/geologists/vulcanologist types they'll tend to hang out around the craters anyway, all we need are some cheap microphones up there so we can hear their screams.
Either that or ask a dog what's gonna happen.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

ICBC profits and Gordon Campbell's friends

ICBC made something like 389 million dollars profit this year. (325 million for 2003) Many are calling for refunds. The decision has not been made yet, they say. Will they do it? ICBC is SUPPOSED to be a non profit enterprise. This public corporation is controlled by Gordon Campbell's liberals. They want to keep ICBC rates as high as possible. Why? Because Gordon Campbell wants to give some of this largess to his friends.
If private insurance companies want to come into BC, our rates are presently too low for them, they cannot compete and make profits ... so ... Gordon needs to keep ICBC rates UP, so that the private companies can be seen to be good for us. So they can come in and be lower than ICBC rates ... IF ICBC rates are artificially kept up.
They will of course, play by their own rules, and try to cherry pick the best clients. They will have no obligation to do otherwise. Which in turn would leave ICBC with all the bad risks. For instance, if Toyota Camrys are the choice of car thiefs, a private company can simply exclude Camry owners as clients. The result of course, will be higher rates at ICBC while the private companies reap high profits without any concern for British Columbians. And you can be sure NONE of those profits will go back into accident research, safe driving programs or such things as bait cars against crime.
Based on Gordon Campbell's record of working against the people of BC, does anyone trust him anymore? Is there a secret document somewhere outlining his plans for his foreign friends? (Like the information that recently came to light showing that the liberals are going to allow private lodges in our public parks?)
At least we have hope that somewhere, somehow, someone ... some liberal who still believes in British Columbians, will leak another document to us.
Sure ICBC is a monopoly, but comparing exact coverage across Canada, no private insurance company can match the rates.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Beamers and Bimmers

Get it right, please, when defining BMW vehicles. Beamers are BMW motorcycles, and Bimmers are BMW automobiles. They are not interchangeable. Even the factory acknowledges the difference.
Don't embarrass yourself in front of auto enthusiasts, especially GERMAN auto enthusiasts.
Beamers have TWO wheels, Bimmers have four. You RIDE a Beamer. You DRIVE a Bimmer. Both are wonderful experiences.
But being a passenger on a Beamer and calling to the controller that you like his Bimmer might cause him to do a wheelie and throw you off. Being a passenger in a Bimmer and complementing the driver on his Beamer might cause him to swerve to avoid another Munich product and cause an accident.
Both UNwonderful experiences.

UBUs for all binners

A UBC design student is getting lots of publicity for creating a design for binners (formerly known as Dumpster Divers) called a UBU (Urban Binning Unit)
These UBUs will be quiet so as not to wake us fortunate people from our sugar plum dreams and warm and cozy beds.
Will the UBU go the way of the 'cardboard houses' for the homeless that some bright enterprising person 'invented' a few years ago? That inventor didn't take into account that certain people, police, authorities etc, didn't WANT cardboard boxes set up on every street corner or even every alleyway. (I think the price was $700.!)
So the UBU might have rubber tires? (perhaps those new pneumatic inflateables) Built in storage for personal possessions? Bottle collecting attachment bins? Perhaps a small ladder so the binner doesn't have to climb into the bin? Maybe an umbrella? What will these Urban Binning Units cost? $3000 dollars? $1000? $500? I guess these poor people will be able to get that money if they don't have to pay the fines for begging a buck on the streets. Where DO binners get money anyway?
Oh yes, from collecting bottles and stuff. I brought a huge trunk load of bottles and cans to a depot recently; I got $5.40. How many miles would I have had to walk to collect them if I was a binner? I'm giving them away from now on.
Personally, when I am tucked into my bed, and I hear a binner passing in the night, it reminds me that there are many people in this city who are far less fortunate than I am. For whatever reasons. What are we trying to do? Hide them from our awareness?
Why not just make a special 'invisible potion' that we could give to binners (dumpster divers) to make them invisible.
Then we could get back to sleep and get on with life without thinking of them.
Meanwhile, that rattle you hear at 3 am should be a reminder that not everyone gets their fair share of sugar plums.