Snow Falling on Bamboo and Waiting Periods

It was night­time and I was just leav­ing Game­lan rehearsal at Simon Fras­er Uni­ver­si­ty when I walked out into my first Pacif­ic snow­storm. I guess I was the only tru­ly sur­prised per­son in the group, as I did not know that snow on the Burn­a­by Moun­tain Cam­pus is quite com­mon and these snowflakes were right on sched­ule for this time of year. As my ride, Tony, drove down the moun­tain, the flakes turned into wet snow and final­ly driz­zle. there was noth­ing more dur­ing the dri­ve home. Nev­er­the­less, by mid­night, the snow had made it down to sea-lev­el (or close to it). Not much stuck overnight, but as we looked through the clouds today at the moun­tains, they were most­ly cov­ered in white. Sor­ry that I don’t have a good pho­to; I’ll try and get one tomor­row, if we get a lit­tle more light (it was very over­cast today, except for the clear­ing at sun­set). It cer­tain­ly looks incon­gru­ous to see the snow through our bam­boo trees on the ter­race. Almost like see­ing Mt. Fuji from some pago­da. Maybe not.

Some Good News from Immi­gra­tion
Today I had an email mes­sage from the Human Resources per­son at the com­pa­ny where I hope to work. The Immi­gra­tion ‘Opin­ion’ that we were wait­ing for had been approved (thank good­ness). While I jumped on this as a a sign that I’d immi­nent­ly be work­ing, she wrote back that this is just one step in a process that is still ongo­ing, so I’ll need to wait just a bit longer. I should know more tomor­row, but it is unequiv­o­cal­ly a step in the right direc­tion. After see­ing that the aver­age wait for var­i­ous types of appli­ca­tion on the Cana­di­an Government’s Cit­i­zen and Immi­gra­tion Web Site was any­where between 38 days and 8 months, any­thing that is a bit more con­crete is a good thing. I’m not start­ing work tomor­row, but we are mak­ing progress, and the wait now prob­a­bly will not be 8 months.

Cana­di­an Cur­rent Events (and what they mean to us)
So, the ‘No Con­fi­dence’ vote came down upon Canada’s Lib­er­al Par­ty who are cur­rent­ly in office. Pam and I can­not stop shak­ing our heads in dis­be­lief at how big a deal is being made of the rel­a­tive­ly small Spon­sor­ship scan­dal, when you com­pare it to the ram­pant and open cor­rup­tion in the US when we left; the whole scan­dal seems like some­thing that Tom DeLay would do in a typ­i­cal week of busi­ness in Texas or Wash­ing­ton D.C.

Still, it’s yet anoth­er exam­ple of the supe­ri­or­i­ty of the Cana­di­an sys­tem to the US; if the pub­lic and oppos­ing par­ties have a strong enough rea­son (like catch­ing them red-hand­ed in ille­gal activ­i­ties), a lame duck gov­ern­ment can be swift­ly vot­ed out of pow­er. The wait for the ‘Hol­i­day Sea­son elec­tion’ sched­uled for Jan­u­ary 23, 2006 (a month and 25 days from today) stands in stark con­trast to the dis­tant hori­zon of three long years that Bush and his fel­low crim­i­nals and incom­pe­tents are guar­an­teed before the US can final­ly be rid of their stench. Three years to stick it to the poor, give hand­outs to rich cronies, rape more of the land, water and sky, stack the Courts with right-wing lunatics, sac­ri­fice more lives in their mean­ing­less and cru­el war, write hate into the US Con­sti­tu­tion and all-in-all make a mess of things.

I may be impa­tient for my wait of a few weeks now, but that three years feels like an eter­ni­ty.