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More helos. 6/27/2006

Picture taken at dawn, under a very low cloud ceiling, of helos flying past a couple of months ago.  2 Seakings, 2 Bells, and 2 Alouettes.

Safety Last. 1/24/2006

On the weekend, I spent most of my time doing absolutely nothing, which is really the best kind of a weekend to have. After lunch, I was standing on the balcony, as is usual, having my after meal cigarette. I looked across at the condo units and noticed these guys working on the roof of the condo.

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One of them was working on the sewage vent pipe on the roof, sealing the pipe where it exited the roof. The other had his head stuck out the roof like a jack-in-box, supervising the work and giving directions. And the thing that got me was that they didn’t have any safety equipment. No belts. No safety rope. No safety shoes with noon-slip soles. Nothing. Just a guy, on a roof, carrying a pail of sealant, working 4 stories up.

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If the guy working on the roof slipped, what was the supervisor going to do? Watch with his jaw dropped while the worker fell off the roof and landed on a car parked below? This guy was probably a small time contractor, and the worker was probably daily paid casual labour. And somehow, I don’t think the supervisor carried adequate insurance coverage against work accidents. This rather casual attitude to safety, whether on an individual basis, like here, or on a larger scale, like 2 tons blocks of concrete falling from the sky, are all too prevalent here.

I’ve been witness to many industrial accidents. Some were the kind you could laugh about over a beer later. Others were significantly more serious. How much value do you place on a human life?

Reflecting. 1/3/2006

I woke up early this morning, and went out onto the balcony for my usual roll-up. I stood there, looking at the sunrise, reflecting on the year that went past. All too quickly. My life has become routine of late. Work, home, work, home, work, home. With nothing to break the monotony.

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Watching the sun come up reminded me that it’s a new year ahead. And it was entirely up to me as to what I am going to do with this year. I remember a conversation with Smiffy in 2004, where Franco passed away, and a group of us went to bring him back home. Over coffee and conversation, I told Smiffy that I never wanted to carry more than one coffin a year. So far that has held true. Unfortunately, the coffin I carried in 2005 was Smiffy’s.

I need to get more riding time in, a hobby I’ve been seriously neglecting. My riding skills are rusty in the extreme. My situational awareness has dimished. These days, I tend to ride as if I’m in a daze, like when driving a car. My brain wanders, and random thoughts about my work and personal life grab my attention away from the road. I don’t know if I have lost the passion. Earlier this year, I spoke to 2 friends, who started off on-line, and made the transition to being real life mates. I told them that I was seriously thinking of giving up motorcycles as a hobby. They didn’t attempt to force my decision either way, knowing, perhaps wisely, that this would be something I would have to work out for myself.

Floating Dragon. 11/29/2005

I took this picture last night, standing on the balcony. No tripod.

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Wet court. 10/24/2005

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My back yard. 8/30/2005

I woke up some Sundays ago, and was having the first roll-up of the day, waiting for my breakfast to be ready, when I heard a barking. Living as high up in the sky as I do, sound travels quite well. This is especially apparent in the wee hours of the morning when the club behind the condo is operating at full volume on Saturday nights.

On this particular occasion, the barking caught my attention, because it sounded closer than usual. So I looked around, and located the source of the noise.

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I saw this little dog, playing by himself on the balcony, some 10 stories up in the air. Since that particular morning, I’ve been monitoring that little dog on a semi-regular basis, and he apparently lives on that balcony, permanently. He must be taken into the unit when it rains, because I don’t hear him yelping to be let in. But I’ve never seen him taken off the balcony, for a walk, or runs, or anything. I don’t see anyone playing with him, or giving him a cuddle. A very lonely little dog, living high up in the sky, with only the flying birds, and the clouds, for company.

No more view. 8/4/2005

Apparently the haze, which our government keeps denying is actually a problem, is back.

The usual view from my balcony.

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And the view late this afternoon.

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Someone fucking please tell me this does not constitute a hazard to your health. And those all those whining fucks who piss and moan about my smoking, and breathing second hand smoke, try breathing this shit for a hour riding a motorcycle on your commute home.

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