You Say Sunday, I Say Sund-eh?

Sun­rise, 8:03 AM, Sun­set 4:14 PM and count­ing (only 3 days until the Win­ter Sol­stice).

I need­ed a breather today. Did our week­ly video­con­fer­ence with my par­ents (although the Inter­net was a lit­tle flakey and we lost the con­nec­tion a few times), a vis­it to Granville Island Mar­ket. Pork loin stew tonight. Sun­ny again today, but the fore­cast is for snow and rain all week long to come.

Some Odds and Ends
I’ve become aware that Cana­di­ans (or at least British Columbians) abbre­vi­ate words that we’re not used to: felts for felt-tipped mark­ers, homo for homog­e­nized milk (Matt not­ed this one a long time ago), a parkade for a park­ing garage, a gar­bu­ra­tor for a garbage dis­pos­al, stats means statu­to­ry hol­i­day and appy’s which are short for appe­tiz­ers. That last one l thought was fun, espe­cial­ly when I saw a club on Granville Street the oth­er day with a sign that read ‘Appy Hour’.

Anoth­er dif­fer­ence: Bank Hours and Mail Deliv­ery days: Banks are open late, till about 7 PM at most branch­es. Mail deliv­ery (which here is called ‘Postal Deliv­ery;) does not take place on the week­end. No Sat­ur­day or Sun­day, so get those cards and let­ters off by pick­up on Fri­day or be pre­pared to wait.

The Cana­di­an ver­sion of the US’s Social Secu­ri­ty pro­gram is called Social Insur­ance pro­gram. I’m cur­rent­ly wait­ing for my first SIN card (Social Insur­ance Num­ber — I had a real­ly easy-to-remem­ber Social Secu­ri­ty Num­ber, so I hope this new num­ber is a good one). I was pleased by this dif­fer­ence because the Cana­di­an gov­ern­ment would have a much hard­er time bam­boo­zling the elec­torate the way Bush and his hench­man have tried with call­ing Social Secu­ri­ty an ‘Invest­ment Pro­gram’, and try­ing to have every cit­i­zen put mon­ey into a pri­vate invest­ment account that would then serve as Social Secu­ri­ty in their retire­ment years (and of course, if the Stock mar­ket goes down or even stays the same, your so-called ‘Social Secu­ri­ty Account’ is poten­tial­ly worth less than you con­tributed to it or worse, deplet­ed). The way FDR intend­ed it is the more explic­it Cana­di­an des­ig­na­tion; Social Secu­ri­ty was an Insur­ance Pol­i­cy that every­one pays into. Your mon­ey right now pays for your par­ents and grand­par­ents. Your chil­dren and grand­chil­dren’s gen­er­a­tion will pay for you. It’s not ‘every pri­vate investor for him­self’. We all ben­e­fit from the social safe­ty net which is born out of the con­cept of the Com­mon Good. Call me crazy, call me a Lib­er­al, or in this case, call me a Cana­di­an.

Final­ly, Pam and I both noticed that at this time of year, around here peo­ple tend to say ‘Mer­ry Christ­mas’ or ask ‘Are you all ready for Christ­mas?’ far more often. Appar­ent­ly the now famous ‘War on Christ­mas’ in the US (which is just anoth­er one of those Reli­gious Con­ser­v­a­tive mil­i­tant ral­ly­ing cries) nev­er took place here. Unlike Mr. Bill O’ Reil­ly, I am not enraged if some­one says a phrase to me that assumes (or more to the point, does not assume) a reli­gious affil­i­a­tion. So, Hap­py Hol­i­days, Mer­ry Christ­mas, Hap­py Chanukah, Matun­da Ya Kwan­zaa’ and final­ly, may the nood­ley appendage of the Fly­ing Spaghet­ti Mon­ster touch you and yours this hol­i­day sea­son.