In the previous post I said that there were two sections of the Criminal Code of Canada 810 and 820 that dealt with applications heard in court to have offenders supervised after they’d reached warrant expiry. This is wrong.
It is actually one section with two parts, 810.1 (which is the one dealing with sex crimes against children 16 and under) and 810.2 (which deals with violent crimes and/or sex crimes against people over 16 years old).
My trip to Edmonton was quite pleasurable. It would have been better if I’d had my own room. I’ll go into details of that later.
Edmonton is a 4-5 hour trip from Saskatoon. It’s the capital of the province of Alberta. It boasts many things including an extremely large indoor mall, many acres of wilderness within the city, a large research hospital (attached to the University of Alberta) and forward looking recycling program attempting to keep upwards of 90% of the waste out of the landfill.
We stayed at the Varscona Hotel on Whyte (though the address is on 106 St NW). Whyte Avenue is a very long avenue with many small boutiques, coffee shops, specialty stores and small restaurants. We have an area like that on Broadway Avenue. Whyte Avenue is about a gagillion miles longer.
The stay at the hotel was meh. The beds were too soft and so my back suffered from that. It was a standard spring mattress so that meant that there were areas of pressure on my ribs and hips that made for very uncomfortable spots on my body. There were no fans in the bathrooms. This meant that the mirror got very steamed up and other bathroom activities (if you get my drift) hung around like an unwanted neighbour. Let’s just say I used more public facilities to save my roommates. I shared with two other women. I ended up with my own bed because Bran was right, I am a bed hog…and I snore…but I didn’t have my own pillow so I get cut slack (in my mind if nowhere else) for that.
The conference room ranged from too warm in one area to too chilly in another. The chairs (having to sit in them for 4 hours on Wednesday, 7 hours on Thursday then again another 3 on Friday) were horrible. My butt was so sore.
The complimentary continental breakfast was the usual. A variety of muffins, bagels, croissants, danishes and other carb laden foods were available for free along with coffee, tea, and juice. Nothing like creating a carb coma before sitting for 3 hours. I minimized what I ate as I wanted to make it through without doing a face plant on the table.
The venue was chosen by the board because they liked it so much when they had their meeting there earlier in the year. I can’t think why. I’m sure there were other, more comfortable hotels in Edmonton to choose from.
The AGM was boring, pretty much like all AGMs are. The saving factor was that part was very short. The rest of the three days ranged from amusing to ok, to really excellent. I learned about how the Edmonton Police handle people who are being supervised under section 810 and 820 of the Criminal Code. There was some really good information about what is involved in testifying in court and an excellent presentation by a CSC psychologist about dealing with gang members.
We went to West Edmonton Mall and was suitably impressed by its size, the number of stores, the displays and activities and wore out my feet. I’ll load up pictures I took of the trip and the mall sometime soon. They’re on my computer, I just don’t have the energy to do the editing right now. Here’s a video of the fire breathing dragon at the ScotiaBank Theatre.
The food courts were something to behold. There was all kinds of ethnic foods from two Japanese places (one sushi one noodles), Chinese (Szechuan and dim sum), three Greek paces, the ubiquitous fast food places, crepes, and so much more. The second night we were there we went to the food court and then on to doing separate things (in my case, shopping for a new shirt because I underpacked). That night I had curry chick peas (to DIE for), potato and cauliflower and nan bread. This was a bit of a tactical error on my part as I’m no longer used to legumes anymore and it had the usual unfortunate side effects. Happily there were no fatalities.
Then my co-worker and I wandered the mall looking in various stores (she underpacked as well) for tops. I found Cotton Ginny. They have “plus” sizes for fat women like me and everything they sell (except for lingerie) is made of cotton, organic cotton at that. I got two blouses for a total of $25. They were on sale and then had 30% taken off that. It was great. If I had more money I would have spent more money.
Then we went to a place called Millenium that sells knives and swords, spiky leather jewelry and boots, black clothing (most if it having metal studs and the like on it), incense, trolls and dragons and other neat stuff. That’s where I picked up an incense sample pack for Bran. It was created by the same people who make his favourite Nag Champa. I also got a poster of Zombie Survival Guide for Boy (to go with the book I bought at Chapters the day before). I loved that store though one of the sales clerks was a bit freaked out and didn’t approve of me being in there. You should’ve seen her face when I asked what was the largest size boot they sell. Yeah, I was looking for Boy. They also had a great pair with spikes on the toes that my supervisor (and me and my co-worker) thought would be fabulous additions to the “ass kicking line” we’d like to have.
I swear I walked at least 10 miles in the two shopping trips to that mall, probably more. The first night I wore thongs (flip-flops to the dirty minded young folk out there). I didn’t make that mistake a second time and wore sandals. On Friday morning my calves were very stiff.
I wish I had more money though. I could’ve gone nuts in Cotton Ginny and there was another store for fat women there that I didn’t even look into (it was on the second level and we were on the first when I saw it on Thursday evening – by then we were pretty worn out).
The trip to and from were fun. There was all kinds of work chat that we don’t get a chance to do when we’re at work. The scenery was prairie lovely including a really neat cloud bank that turned out to be a fog bank with dark clouds above it. I have a photo of it, but I couldn’t do it justice through the window of a moving car, mostly because trees kept getting in the way. There was water galore because of the extremely we spring we’ve had. (As a side note, apparently it’s extremely difficult to get mosquito repellent in Saskatoon. My co-worker had to pick up some in Edmonton.) On the way home I played Trivial Pursuit on my supervisor/co-worker’s phone. I think she won more than I did, but at least I won some.
When I got home the paperwork for the enduring power of attorney was here. Since I didn’t get home until after 6 pm on Friday we (Bran and I) went to bank branch and took care of it on Saturday afternoon. It was fairly painless as far as legal paperwork goes. Now I’m registered to be the conjoined legal twin to my sister in terms of Dad’s business.
Someone in Saskatchewan won $25 million. That takes my odds down from 1 in however many billion/million to 1 in around 900,000. I’m not quitting my day job though.
Behind the cut is a brief rundown of the talk I learned most in. (more…)
Well, I’ve done some processing of my visit to see Dad this past weekend. I don’t like processing. It implies feelings and I don’t do them very well.
What it all boils down to is that Dad’s mental condition is such that he’s not going to go home again. His needs far outstrip my brother’s capability of caring for him. Dad needs 24/7 care. My brother would have to have someone come in and, in essence, babysit Dad just so that grocery shopping and the like could be done.
I think the most painful thing for me was to see Dad, in his moments of clarity (and there were few of them) didn’t realize the state he was in. It’s better for him, I know. I mean, it would break him to know the state he’s in. But it brought home to me just how bad he is if even in times of relative clarity, he can’t recognize things. The weirdest thing was he remembered Bran’s name. I’m not sure he remembered it more than a hand full of times since we’ve been married in 1986.
Dad’s short term memory is shot. If you leave the room and come back he’ll greet you like he’s not seen you for an age. His cognitive abilities are damaged. He can’t keep track of conversations. He regresses in his memory, thinking that the entire family is at home or remembering my sister or oldest brother as living in Saskatoon.
Physically he’s very feeble. This man, who used to walk upwards of 10 miles a day doing errands can’t walk 10 feet without losing balance. His strides are about 1 foot.
He’s totally preoccupied with his watch and time. When he first arrived at the hospital the nurses took it from him (as they do with all jewelry in ER) and it distressed him enough that they gave it back to him. He told them that he was a navigator in the war and precise time was very important to him.
The practicalities are taken care of thanks to him creating a power of attorney for my sister and I. He thought that was what was needed in case of his death. It’s a good thing he had it drawn up because now we don’t have to go to the work of a competency hearing and such. The down side is that neither my sister nor I live in Dad’s city. We’ll be doing things as a team. That’s how the power of attorney works. Anything that needs to be signed needs both our signatures.
Interestingly, a power of attorney ends at death, so it would have done no good then. The business of the decedent is handed over to the executors (again my sister and myself) to dissolve, pay taxes and distribute the estate. However, it’s a damn good thing it was made up to take care of things now.
So that’s how things are right now. My sister is mailing up some paperwork for me to take care of when I get back from Edmonton at the end of the week.
Speaking of Edmonton…I have to be at the office at 6:30 am. (0630 – for those on the 24 hour clock). I’ve got most of my stuff gathered together but not packed up. I’ll be doing my showering in the evening before we go anywhere (if we do) tomorrow evening and Thursday) I imagine the other 2 women will want to shower in the morning. This saves some congestion at the bathroom.
I need a bit of time to process yesterday’s trip to see Dad.
In the nonce, enjoy the new PR site (promos, give-aways and ratings) created by Smelly Anne It’s new so there’s not a lot there yet, but I’m sure there’s going to be a lot there to take advantage of given some time. It’s called Fishing and Wishing. Just click on the image on the right and you’ll be taken there right away.
Writing has always been my chosen form of expression. When I get highly emotional talking, being able to form cogent sentences abandons me. However, I can write. Maybe it uses a different part of the brain.
Speaking of brains. Yeah. Dad’s in hospital and won’t likely be going home. He’ll probably go to a home, just not his own. Apparently in the past months (who knows really how long) Dad’s mind has been leaving him. Because of issues I have with my older brother I haven’t gone down to visit Dad. The last time I saw Dad was when my oldest brother (not the one I have issues with) was visiting him and was able to drive up here. That was several months ago. Dad didn’t want to drive 2.5 hours on his own. That was ok though. I was content with short monthly phone calls.
On Monday my sister phoned. Dad is in hospital she says. Dad probably has dementia she says. It sounded bad enough then when she hadn’t gotten much information but hearing back on the history of things, yeah, it’s worse.
Apparently Dad has been forgetting who people are, like not remembering my brother, who lives with Dad. He wanted to know where Mom was. She’s been dead 17 years. There’s more, lots more.
Today my sister called to say that Dad won’t be going home. Even if my brother were to take advantage of the EI program for caregivers (a year off with unemployment benefits similar to maternity leave but designed for people who are caregivers of elderly parents) he’d have to be alert and on duty 24/7. Dad’s a wanderer. The hospital had to put him in a restraining chair. Yeah. And Dad figured out how to get out of it. He’s always been able to figure things like that out. This time it wasn’t a good thing. He was found to be wandering from room to room in the hospital.
He doesn’t appear to be worried about going home, at least that’s not the impression I was getting from my sister. I hope that’s the case. I’d hate for him to be fretful about being surrounded by strangers (but even family is getting to be like that) and wanting to go home. I’d like for him to be ok wherever he is.
We’re going down tomorrow to see him. My sister is going to be on the bus from her home in Alberta tomorrow as well. She arrives there sometime around 9 pm. We might see her. It depends on sunset times. Bran doesn’t want to drive home facing into the sunset. The glare is difficult enough when the sun is behind.
So now I get to grieve losing Dad. His body will be there, but he might not. Or at least the Dad I’ve come to know as an adult might not be there. It’s possible that I might be looking into my own future where I don’t know my son, my husband.
XMarks saved my ass today. One of the things I regularly do (once every few months or so) is manage to delete a folder of bookmarks. Usually it’s a folder of folders of bookmarks that get lost. XMarks saves my ass each time. I don’t know when I did it, but sometime after I read blogs and when I noticed they were gone, I deleted my blogs folder. That meant that every single blog I read as well as all the sites I use for graphics, Flickr and more were gone too. XMarks gives you the ability to download older bookmarks versions that were synchronized previously. So that’s what I did and now I can read all the blogs that allow me to read them. If you don’t have something like XMarks, then you need to seriously get something. It also means that if you’re away from your computer and you want to read your comics, or blogs or find that site for something you want to show someone, then having a service like XMarks is a good thing.
Working on the weekend sucks, but there was no one else available. One of my co-workers has been ill for a few days. She tried to make it through the entire shift, but wasn’t. I got a call at about 3 pm yesterday from the boss asking me to save him from going in to work. I figured I’d go in. We worked it out that I’ll be taking the hours as time in lieu after my holidays. I work days that week so the counsellor can work two shifts for me.
I realized yesterday that I did have enough holiday time accrued to take a full two weeks. My brain screwed up the calculations. However, because of working this weekend I get two days off with pay that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. My boss is beholden to me (well, not really, but it’s nice to think that way sometimes) and the residents get someone who can cook and not burn the french fries.
My first Pride Parade (with photos) was yesterday. I went with Bran, Michelle and Boy. I had some worries about being out in a crowd, but all in all I did not too badly. I didn’t march though. Bran and Michelle did. Boy kept me company in the shade (and despite this I still had a bit of a sun burn from the walk to and from the parade). I came home with a silicone rainbow pride bracelet and a rainbow streamer for our back yard, when we get one of our very own, with a fence, out of the city, on an acreage, away from people…sense a theme?
I should have taken a spot along the parade route. That way I could’ve gotten lots of excellent photos of the entire parade instead of the mob scene at the end. However, I didn’t so you get to see the best of the crap I took.
The very front of the parade:
Some of the marchers (love the kiss):
There were also teachers marching holding up signs saying things about non-hostile workplaces, equality and such. It was good to see that kind of support. There was also a GSA group from one of the high schools (oddly enough, not Boy’s though I think some of their members marched).
The float for The Avenue Community Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, Inc.
One of the queens on the Avenue Centre’s float:
These two drove the truck pulling one of the floats. I can’t remember which one. I think it was the Boyz float:
Speaking of boyz:
Last but not least are Mrs. and Mr. Gay Regina:
Those are some bodacious tatas.
After the parade I took some flower photos on the way home. One of them was a very neat purple and yellow flower that resembled an orchid. However, it was growing outside in Saskatchewan. I don’t know of any domesticated orchids that do that. I took a photo of it, but it was very grainy.
Here are the other ones I took:
A dandelion in full fluff:
This was taken with my point-and-shoot Fuji Film digital camera that Bran bought for me with Shoppers Optimum points. It works pretty darned well, don’t you think?
My niece knows the name of this purple daisy flower, but I don’t. The only thing that could have made this photo better is if a honey or bumble bee were on the daisy.
Another macro shot, this time of a flower that is either part of a tree or of a plant growing up the tree. Either way, the flower is quite pretty (prettier than the photo). There’s also one blooming on the ground, which is why I thought maybe it wasn’t a bloom from the tree itself.
And finally, some horticultural porn, just for you. I wouldn’t display such nastiness for just anyone. Spread that pollen, baby!
Yesterday was the first full day of sunshine we’ve gotten in weeks. It’s sunny again today. It’s quite a change from the rather drab, rainy days of the past months. I’ve heard many people comment on how relieved they are that the sun is out again. Certainly the ground is saturated through. Last night Bran and I saw some rather deep ruts caused by someone missing their turn and going up onto the grassy boulevard. Judging from the depth of the ruts, they didn’t get out of there without help.
So that’s it. I have to go to a building check soon, so have a good Sunday…or what’s left of it.
I went to my first Pride Parade today. I have photos but they haven’t been edited yet.
I got a silicon bracelet (rainbow, of course) and a rainbow windsock. I want a rainbow umbrella. I found out who makes them and will be looking on line for them.
I had to work today. Well, I didn’t have to. I chose to. One of the weekend staff was ill and couldn’t finish her shift. So I worked 5 hours. I’ll also be working her shift tomorrow. I’ll be taking time in lieu for the 17 hours I work. I can live with that.
I have a kitty on my left shoulder. Ok, I had a kitty on my left shoulder. She abandoned me. It was nice hearing her creaky purr in my ear.
It turns out I don’t have enough holiday pay banked up to take two full weeks off. So come July I’ll be taking only one week. That’s ok. I’ll take more time later in the year or else just keep working until next summer and take two weeks off then, or three right after month end is done.
I finally got totally frustrated with the left under wire of my bra and took it out. Then I felt lop-sided. It was a weird feeling having one wire supporting and the other one sort of, well, not. It’s all moot now since I had Bran set free the boobies.
It’s raining. Again. In the past three weeks I think we’ve had two or three sunny days. The rest were overcast and rainy. According to Environment Canada, Saskatchewan has received record rainfall for April and May this year. June is following the trend. I don’t mind rain but our golf umbrella is now dust (it was old and wearing out anyway) and we don’t have a replacement yet. I’m hoping that there will be rainbow umbrellas available at the Pride Parade on Saturday (predicted to be mostly sunny – cross your fingers, ok?)
Work is going smoothly. It’s been a nice quiet week after last week’s high stress. Tuesday evening saw our boss buy a passel of Chinese food for supper. You bet that I was there noshing down. It was quite yummy. The deep fried shrimp could have been better though, but their special chow mien was really yummy.
It’s murder and mayhem night. Bran needs me to go along with him to take Boy to work and we’re going to pick up some Japanese (ish) food from Edo’s and bring it home to eat. Then I’ll continue on watching First 48s. There’s a new one tonight and I’m quite looking forward to it.
Speaking of television…as a family we discussed getting rid of Max (the telephone company’s version of cable tv) because we really don’t watch enough of it to make it worth having. When Bran called to cancel it they made him an offer to have basic Max and the package that has A&E for free for 6 months. He figured that was ok. So I still get my bi-weekly dose of murder and mayhem. We can also watch some of the network television should we want to.
I’m a whole lot less tired than I have been the past nights. I made it to 10 pm last night so was able to sleep right through to my alarm rather than waking up at midnight, two or three o’clock. Of course it happens late in the week when I get used to working days. It’s just in time to shift my sleep patterns so I can work evenings next week.
In two weeks I’ll be in Edmonton for the AGM. I have books to read on the trip and after in the hotel room. I have music as well. Since we’re driving I’m taking my computer. That will allow me to charge up my player. I just have to find the proper cord to do that. I don’t know if I’ll be able to access any wireless internet at the hotel we’re staying at so I might be off the grid for a few days.
That’s about all that’s been happening in my life. I hope that next week is as quiet as this week has been. It’d be nice after my last week of evenings.
Thursday. It was an entire week all packed into one day. And that was after Wednesday. OY!
Wednesday I had to call NDO on another person. It was one of those foggy ones where the boundaries between what the PO wanted and what the parole board set out were somewhat contradictory. I let the NDO decide what to do. The next day I heard that warrants were issued for him.
That’s a record for me – having to call three people in to the DO in one week. I haven’t had to do that for months. I think the last person I called in was (I had to really stop and think) over a year ago. Then I get three in a week.
Then Thursday. An experimental contract with opening two mental health beds failed in one fell swoop. We were going to house people for short term when they were being forced to move from one mental health group home to another because of conflict or the home became unsafe.
We’re experienced with working with people with mental health issues. In fact, that’s one of our selling points for people coming out of prison. We offer closer supervision and support as well as working closely with the mental health social worker. However we were lied to with this one. The degree of mental illness, the neediness of the person involved, and I believe the very reasons this person was moving out of the group home were glossed over or lied about.
I spent most of Thursday night’s shift running interference between this new person and the residents. Most of the residents were patient and tolerant. A couple, however, were severely tried by her. In one case a baseless accusation was made that could have had extremely dire consequences for one of the residents. I know it was baseless because I had the two in my sight the entire time before the accusation was made.
It’s unfortunate that the person who was trying to place her lied. You can’t do that when it comes to mixing different populations such as that. It jeopardized the safety of the house. That’s not an exaggeration either. Because of the actions of that person I had to have my attention nearly fully on one person. There are 23 other people that I have to make sure are safe and not up to something. The degree of mental illness, this person’s fantasy/delusions, inability to not insult people (called one visitor a slut, called other staff names, and general all round rudeness), and at times inability to distinguish between reality and what goes on inside her head placed her at risk, and also placed residents at risk for a false accusation.
I ended the shift with a nasty headache that didn’t go away fully until I was nearly done Friday’s shift.
I was supposed to change the bedding in the cages last night but didn’t have any bedding. So I emailed their owner and told him to get more bedding. I’m thinking of handing responsibility of the animals back to the owner. He ‘s working in Saskatoon now and there’s no reason he can’t come and make sure they have food and that their bedding is changed. To be honest I’m feeling like I’m being used.
He was supposed to be selling the animals and I was taking care of them until they were sold. Then I was taking care of them because he was out of town. Now I’m taking care of them without the benefits of owning them and he’s getting my work for his animals.
I have to figure out a way of telling him this without ending our friendship. I mean, I still like him. It’s my fault that I allowed this to go on for so long. I doubt he’ll feel like he was taking advantage of me. I just don’t want to take care of animals that aren’t mine, especially since he’s not at school out of town and making no effort to sell them, as he said he was doing when he left to go to school last fall.
Sometimes it’s easier to not make friends.
I didn’t sleep last night. My brain was too active with the events of this week. It wouldn’t let me settle in and relax. I was awake until just past 9 am. Because of that now my day is upside down and I have to fix that before Monday as I’m on days. To quote Roxie in Dead Like Me “Why do you do that to yourself?”
I get to go to Edmonton later this month to the AGM of the organization our half-way house belongs to. I’m quite looking forward to it. I learned a lot at the one that was held here last year. This means I get paid for going out of town. My accommodations and food are all paid for. All I have to pay for are incidentals and entertainment.
Then it’s a concentrated wild time of getting month end completed, a week of work and then I’m going to be on holiday for 2 whole weeks. We’re not likely going anywhere, or far if we do go anywhere, but the whole idea of not having to get up for work, being able to do what I want without a schedule, pleases me enormously. It’s been nearly 10 years. I think I’m due.
My beading supplies were shipped on May 21st. It will take 6-8 weeks for it to get to me (surface shipping is cheap, but slow) and it should be here sometime in my holidays. I’m quite looking forward to getting them. Everything I ordered is nickel free. That’s a great selling point as so many people who react to jewelry are reacting to the nickel in the alloy.
I think that’s about it for now. It’s been a hard week. I was glad to see the end of it last night.