I’m in a good mood today. Perhaps it’s because I found mangoes (really ripe ones AND they were half price), or the Italian chocolates (ALSO half price.. woohoo for working at a grocery store.. first dibs on all the deals, right?). Or maybe it’s because at the end of this month I am closing my CIBC account. YES! That makes me soooo happy. Knowing that I will never have to pay those bastards another ‘service fee’ for holding my money… argh. Or count how many transactions I’ve done in a month (including any pay deposits etc, cause they ALL count!) to make sure I don’t go over my 12 (yes, only 12) allowed for free a month.
CIBC, I hate you so much.
Or maybe it’s just the glow I get after catching up with people. Yesterday, I dropped in on some fellas I know in St. Catherine’s and met a new chicky there too! It was only 6 hours but.. it’s good enough for me to call it a vacation. From a purely practical point of view it made no sense. I took a detour South instead of going North after writing my exam. Also, I only slept about 4 or 5 hours before getting up at 5:20am to go to said exam. Really, if one only measured things in dollars and cents… my outing made no cents.
But, it was worth it. I learned a few things but a very very simple and basic one which.. I don’t even know how I forgot.. was – I like visiting people. I thought of that on the drive home. It may sound stupid if you live in the same community or town as all/most of your friends. But, I don’t get to visit people much. I lived on the other side of the globe for the better portion of the past 5 years. I feel lucky to still have contact with most of the people I speak to each week (through the majesty of internet). I know that if it hadn’t been for the internet I would not have been able to stay away that long. I also used to really love writing letters.. that is until my big falling out with Canada Post … a rift which still has not been fully mended. Those bastards .. not quite at CIBC level, but there was a time.. 2009 where they were on par.
Anyway, to try and round things off – it’s very important to see people face to face. Looking at pictures, listening to voices, reading text.. is good, it meets the basic need of communication. But, I wouldn’t say it aids ‘connection’ … here I mean connection in a way that is metaphysical. We are unable to make machines that can replicate that. And, I think that’s a good thing. It would totally ruin it to know that, whatever is your definition of friendship – can be programmed. Like, if love potions actually worked … how tripe that would be. ‘Love’ would have no real value, because it wouldn’t be rare and sincere.
So yea, Weds lesson was ‘hurry that machines cannot solve all our problems’ .. heheh.. no. But you can think of it that way if it makes it easier to remember or understand.
uh.. what else,
Today is Thursday (yea, news to me too.. at 4:27pm) it’s snowing. First snow of the year (unless you count the freak hail that tickled my car the week after I bought it – not impressed. But at least it didn’t dent anything).
Yet another reason to hate Alberta (full article viewable below), why to I blame Alberta? The province approved this. Yes it’s okay to only contain thing within 3 walls … and leave the other open.. … so that stuff can flow out of it.. into a lake. ?
And then there is THIS. Possibly the most disgusting thing since the doubledown. Is this even necessary? like.. ew. A whole new way to ruin Thanksgiving.. besides having to kiss your uncle what’s his face with the scratchy beard.. ugghghh.. let go of me!!! (fyi, I never visit that uncle now that I’ve grown old enough to avoid it)
Alta. oilsands pond sludge oozes into bush
A northern Alberta tailings pond appears to have toxic sludge flowing into the muskeg from an uncontained western edge, a situation uncovered by a CBC News investigation.
The pond, located in a remote area about 70 kilometres northwest of Fort McMurray, contains toxic waste from the Horizon oilsands project operated by Calgary-based Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL). It has been in operation for about a year.
The pond has containing berms on all but its western side. According to documents obtained by CBC News, the company is relying on topography and clay beneath the surface to contain the tailings on that section of the pond.
CNRL is legally permitted to have this setup. The plan was approved six years ago by Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB).
But members of the Fort McKay First Nation are worried animals they traditionally hunt and trap may be drinking the water flowing from the tailings pond because there isn’t a barrier to keep them away.
“I feel like I want to cry,” said band councillor Mike Orr. “I grew up on the land. That’s the way I was brought up — to live off the land.”
Band worries about toxins in food chain
CBC News was invited onto the traditional traplines by members of the Fort McKay First Nation.
Dikes surround the pond on all but the western side.
The land rises slightly at that point and the natural rise in elevation appears to be used to contain the tailings.
Streams appear to flow toward and away from the tailings pond. Fresh deer and moose tracks are seen going towards the water. Muskrat dams are visible nearby.
The sight upsets Orr, a hunter and trapper who was raised on a trapline. Orr is concerned that toxins in the tailings may get into the food chain.
“They should have a gate or something right around there and no creeks coming to it,” he said.
“Divert the creeks or something because we have all that water flowing into here, good clean water with the animals and the beavers … it’s got to stop.”
CNRL did not make anyone available for an interview on the weekend, despite several requests for comment from CBC News.
Environment Canada declined comment. A spokesman indicated in an email to CBC News that his department will assess the tailings pond to ensure it complies with federal laws.
Clay not always reliable, expert says
CBC News shot video of the tailings pond and screened it for the world-renowned water expert and ecologist from the University of Alberta, David Schindler.
“This is such a big area,” Schindler said as he watched the video. “Some of those chemicals have to be seeping into groundwater and Environment Canada should step in.”
Some scientists believe that using the land to contain tailings might be better at keeping toxins out of the water than dikes, which are usually made of sand.
The land beneath the forest floor is made of clay, which is believed to be a natural sealant. But Schindler says clay isn’t completely reliable and engineering tests often don’t account for holes created by tree roots or burrowing rodents.
“I’d be concerned that there might be some tree root holes that, after the trees die and the roots decay, that there are channels that material could follow either into groundwater or into other surface waters that are lower elevation,” he said.
Orr hopes the federal government moves quickly to make sure toxins aren’t contaminating the area’s food and water.
For his part, Schindler expressed disbelief that regulators would approve this type of tailings pond.
“[I] wonder if the people who approved this have ever gone back for a look,” he said.
With files from the CBC’s Michael Dick and James Hees