More Charts and Graphs

Sog­gi­er Still
The rains have now reached the point where every­one is now almost urg­ing them on. The record for the most rainy days in a row for Van­cou­ver is 28. We are at 24 today, and no end to it is seen on any of the fore­casts (although every once in a while I’d see a sun appear next to Sat­ur­day or Sun­day, but I sus­pect this was just wishful/wimpy think­ing by some mete­o­rol­o­gist). After just 5 more days, we have brag­ging (or per­haps whin­ing) rights. Worst Win­ter Ever. Most Rain in Record­ed His­to­ry. Even George Stroum­boulopou­los, the twen­ty-some­thing hip­ster host of CBC’s The Hour took pity on Van­cou­ver and had them put an inset of footage of a sun­ny beach on the screen dur­ing half of the news last night. (Pam and I are both becom­ing fans of The Hour. Sure it’s a lit­tle goofy at times, but it sure is nice to see a news­cast that is tar­get­ed at younger view­ers — prob­a­bly about 25–35 — and it doesn’t talk down to them. You’d nev­er find any­thing like it in the US, where the evening news is sup­port­ed almost entire­ly by phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies and is clear­ly aimed at the over-60 crowd).

It’s not just the Ris­ing Water Lev­el

Accu­mu­lat­ed days of non-stop rain are not the only records I’m keep­ing my eye on.There’s also the case of the Cana­di­an ver­sus the US dol­lar. I know, I’ve men­tioned it before, how the US$ keeps drop­ping and drop­ping and the CAD$ keeps ris­ing and ris­ing. I remem­ber a dis­cus­sion with our invest­ment advi­sor about what to do if it hit $.85, as we still had (and have) some funds here and back in the US in US dol­lars. Well, have a look at this:

Canadian Dollar Vs Us

The Cana­di­an dol­lar hasn’t just hit .85. It’s roar­ing on past it. At the rate the Cana­di­an Dol­lar is climb­ing, by the end of the year (by my esti­mates), the US and Cana­di­an dol­lar will be equal. While this is bad news for our sav­ings, it is good news that I’m work­ing and being paid in Cana­di­an dol­lars. Still, one won­ders what hap­pens after par­i­ty. Do we keep going? Does the US start to become a bar­gain for all us Cana­di­an shop­pers? More seri­ous­ly, does this mean that trade with the US takes a hit? That could hurt the econ­o­my here pret­ty bad­ly.

I keep won­der­ing if the lack of con­fi­dence with the US cur­ren­cy is some­how linked to the US’s fall in the world’s esteem. As they roll around like some dying ani­mal in unend­ing war, mul­ti-tril­lion dol­lar debt and one cor­rup­tion rev­e­la­tion after anoth­er, per­haps the financiers and invest­ment bankers of Europe, Asia (and Toron­to) are start­ing to take a cue from all of those crowds of pro­test­ers. Accord­ing to my par­ents, the port of Can­ton in Chi­na was not mere­ly catch­ing up to the US. “It’s there.” stat­ed my father, mean­ing that it was clear­ly show­ing the signs of an eco­nom­ic super­pow­er that had sur­passed the US in infra­struc­ture.

Nev­er­the­less, fear of fol­low­ing the US polit­i­cal­ly seems to be on the wane. The Con­ser­v­a­tives, led by Steven Harp­er, seem poised to win the elec­tion (sor­ry, no poll graph here of the opin­ion polls of Harp­er). While Harp­er is def­i­nite­ly not my choice, I have to keep telling myself that he’s no George Bush, and to be sure, he isn’t. Still, when­ev­er I hear the words ‘Con­ser­v­a­tive vic­to­ry’, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and my blood pres­sure prob­a­bly fol­lows that graph.

It's Still Raining and Everybody has a Cold

When I got back to work after the hol­i­days, I found out that sev­er­al peo­ple had got­ten sick over the vaca­tion (in fact, one had his entire fam­i­ly sick and even made one trip to the doctor’s office). So, I guess it was lucky that I didn’t get a cold last week or the week before. Of course, in keep­ing with my out-of-synch health these days, I have a cold this week instead. I’m clear­ly not alone. Not only does blog after blog that I read tell of cold suf­fer­ing, but every third com­mer­cial on tonight’s TV has been for cold med­i­cines. The most intrigu­ing one I’ve seen is a euca­lyp­tus tablet that you put in the show­er. Sort of a cross between a bub­ble bath and a vapor­iz­er, I guess.

I’ll bet a lot of peo­ple get a cold this time of year. It’s been rain­ing on and off for about 3 weeks, and it’s due to keep doing it for anoth­er 1 or 2, at least. I know, I know, I was warned. It’s actu­al­ly not both­er­ing me that much. The only real drag is if I hap­pen to be out with­out an umbrel­la when there’s a break. My quo­ta for get­ting caught in a down­pour (and it’s not usu­al­ly that strong) is 2 times in a week. As for the rain quo­ta, we are now just about at the point where the accu­mu­lat­ed pre­cip­i­ta­tion is aver­age for the year, as shown by the chart at the top. The one on the bot­tom shows what it’s been like, and as you can see, it has indeed been rain­ing for 3 weeks (apart from a brief lull of driz­zle right on New Year’s when we were out of town. Doh!)
Van Rainfall
For­tu­nate­ly Pam hasn’t got­ten a cold…yet.