Monday, 11 July 2011

When my son is 20

I often wonder about what the world is going to be like in 20 odd years.

This is the future right now. It's not the flying car, and robot servant future that Hollywood had predicted. But it is the future. Think about it. Imagine telling someone in the 80's this. "We have personal phones that can fit in our pockets. They have touch screens and can surf the internet." Inter-what?! "They can also record a T.V. show at home, and email." E-mail? "Oh yeah, and they have a video camera and can take pictures." "I can also store up to 32gigs of music on it." What the fuck is a gig?!

And this is just talking about the phone. Think of all the other marvels of science. We have discovered planets outside our own solar system. Hundreds of them! In 2006, researchers developed materials that can bend light around objects and shield them from view. Such as invisibility cloaks. Genome mapping, cloning, commercial space flight, ipads, netflix,...I'm sure there's more important advances other than the one's I can find at Best Buy, but I can't think of them. Then there's 2 teeny tiny problems. Climate change, and peak oil.

Now, I'm still not sure sure where on the climate change see-saw I sit, but it's leaning more to the side of "It's happening". I pollute as little as humanly possible, and recycle whatever I can. Even if the climate doesn't completely go off the charts and fuck up the order of the world, and we all parish or drown. I would still like to have a clean planet for my son to live on. I don't idle, and I pick up garbage when I see it. There's nothing wrong with using solar panels to heat your house. Even if it didn't help reduce pollution, it's still saving you some cash. Which is pretty cool. If cash is even worth anything in 20 years.

When a country or province starts digging up sand that has oil in it, you know there isn't much left. Now I know, I drive a truck that consumes gas. I'm a horrible person. But so are you. Everything that we use in our daily life has petroleum in it. The very keyboard that I use to type this post was made from it. Your shoes, your Starbucks coffee lid, your television remote, your sunglasses, your bike tires, your kids toys. So, when the world runs so low on oil, what's going to happen? Will we have measures in place to continue on? And by "we", I mean "other people", 'cause I'm sure as hell not smart enough. Or, will we be forced to go back to simpler times. Where we grow our own food, and get our own water. That would be cool, but what about all the millions that live in metropolis'? It's kind of an eerie thought, but quite frankly it's the truth. As a driving instructor, it's my job to teach these kids about fuel economy. How to drive their cars to the best they can to be not only safe, but fuel efficient. I'm surprised by the amount of them that think we are moving to Hydrogen fuel cell cars with out thinking how it can happen.
One girl even said they were inventing a car that can run on water. Yeah, it's called "Steam", and it doesn't work very well for pushing cars. She said something along the lines of hydrogen and water being the same thing. I'm pretty sure you don't pour water in a tank, and fuel a vehicle with it. I do know that Hydrogen fueled vehicles emit drinkable water. I'm sure that's what she meant. I then ask them, other than gas, what else does petroleum make? "Uhhh, plastic?" Yes, and what do you know, that is made with plastic? "Oh, Shit. Everything."

So back to my post title, "When my son is 20"
What will the world be like?
Here's what I think.
  • The personal car will be on it's way to becoming a very rare thing. 99% of people will get around by mass transit. Probably electric train or something. Your kids friend will have a cousin who knows someone who has a car, but it doesn't run of course.
  • Food will be very expensive. You would be wise to grow your own, maybe even have a few animals.
  • Currency might just be credits, or even gold. (Do you notice a lot of "Dollars for Gold" commercials lately?)
  • What was made from plastics will be made from a plant based material.
  • Life will be simpler, yet technology will be unfathomable.

Now of course, I could be way off. 20 years isn't that far away. But we are as a planet and society growing and changing at an exponential rate. 20 years may be all we need to see these changes happen. All I can do is teach my son to think for himself, make his own decisions. To be kind to others and plan ahead.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Qualicum Falls

A new tradition has been born.

As planned, The 5 of us met in Qualicum Beach to take on a camping/fishing long weekend extraordinaire. Melissa and Kole, went on a week long trip to Nelson, to visit family. They go every year with her cousin from Vancouver, who also has a kid the same age as our son. During that same week was Canada Day long weekend. I had been looking forward to this trip for a long time. As in my previous post, I don't see my friends too often. But it was more than that. I work lots and I am a family man. I don't have any extracurricular activities or hobbies. I rarely play golf, which I'm not very good at. So, I guess you could say that this trip was needed. The night before I left, I was amped! I went over my list twice to make sure I had everything packed, and ready. I woke up early on Thursday morning, and had a few errands to run before I left. It seemed to take forever to get out of Victoria and hit the road. I finally did, and it didn't take more than 2 hours to get to Mike's place. The other 3 were driving out from Kelowna.

When the boys arrived at Mikes, we left for Little Qualicum Falls Campground, about 20 mins up Hwy 4. I had never been there before, it was quite beautiful. A true westcoast campground. It was more family oriented, but that didn't seem to matter. We're older now right, not so rowdy. Mike had paid for 2 spots side by side, but when we pulled up, some lady with her kid was in one of our spots. She clearly didn't read the tag on the sign that stated so. Unfortunately she had to move, but that's kinda her fault. We set up camp, and right across the road only a stone's throw away was the Qualicum river.

Buying firewood when you're surround by it seems a little crazy. I guess that's why the boys brought a chainsaw. You can just pick up shit off the ground, it's been soaked from the last rain. The best chance you have is by cutting down the dead ones. Done and done. Now it's drinkin' time. Some of the guys picked up fireworks from the local gas station were we stopped to pick up ice. Three things dominated this weekend. 1. Beer 2. Fish 3. Fireworks. Not necessarily in that order. Breakfast was made in the morning. What was so cool about the meals, was we all chipped in some way or another. Whether one cooked, or one did the dishes. Shit got done. We spent the first day on Cameron lake. Had a few bites, reeled some in, but no keepers.
we then tried out a few rivers and creeks. A few bites, but nothing solid. I think we drank harder that night due to the lack of fish. That, and it was our nation's birthday. MORE FIREWORKS! Now, before I catch a lot of shit for setting off fireworks in a forest, let me get something straight. They were small fireworks, not roman candles or some crazy rocket explosion monsters. Merely small little dancing devils or these weird little wick things that seemed to be the most fun. We were very watchful of what were were doing. Kind of.

The second day, breakfast was had, and Shane didn't have to whittle chopsticks to eat his food like he did the morning earlier. We got forks! Took the boat for a drive, after we ate to find a new lake. We tried Spider lake at first, but it prohibited motors. We then tried Horne Lake, but couldn't find a place to launch the boat. It was now 4 o'clock. Despair caused us to have a rock throwing competition at a sign in the water. Fishing was not happening today. Or was it? Kris wanted to see the ocean. As for a valley man, who sees the ocean once a year if that, it made sense. So we drove into town, to a beach. Mike showed us how to search for and dig up clams. There were clams to be dug up, clams to be steamed up, and we ate those little fuckers proudly.

This trip was about more than the fishing. It was about just chillin' with the boys. About sitting around a fire, telling stories, laughing our asses off, drinkin' beers and having a rad time.
I think moments like these are important. It's not just about getting drunk with your buddies. It's about keeping that bond strong. It's about creating memories that will last a lifetime. I may sound cheesy, but so what? I certainly treasure these times, as they are getting more and more rare as we age.

We agreed that this will have to be an annual thing. Next year the spot will be Douglas Lake.

I can hardly wait already.