Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dalai Lama Angst

China has a lot of influence over what has been transpiring in Burma. It is no coincidence that the Security Council condemnation of the recent crackdown there was endorsed by China in an unexpected move. A lot of flak has been coming China's way for being on the wrong side of issues in Sudan (Darfur), Zimbabwe and Myanmar, to name but a few. Often access to resources such as oil is at the heart of dubious foreign policy. Yet Canada too may be on the wrong course in Afghanistan. So who can point at who? To-day Stephen Harper is to meet with the Dalai Lama to howls of chinese ambassadorial angst. Talk about putting oil on stormy waters. Looks like poor Sino-Canadian relations will continue for some time to come.

Dirty Job

Its a dirty job but someone has to do it. Illustrating the blog keeps my photo journalistic eye ever at the ready. I wish. Nonetheless I did exert a major effort over ten days to get this photo. The first day I cycled to the tracks at the double to catch an iron horse, only to wait an hour or more on a pleasant afternoon with no image to show for it. To-day was a different matter. Despite ending up with the photo I wanted the price was high. Coldest day of the fall so far with bone chilling winds. Blue sky was everywhere except between me and the sun. Every cloud in the sky conspired to keep me five degrees colder than otherwise. I stuck it out with this reward, modest though it be. Ironically as I write another train goes by. The one in the photo was comprised of 30% containers belonging to China Shipping. Which makes me wonder. Will the containers I saw get to China when we are there i.e. sometime in November? Will I see them again at some coastal container port or on some Chinese main line? Will that next freight train hold up our ordinary passenger train as it gets priority to zoom by in shall we say Anhui province, on its way to Beijing? Shall keep you posted.

China Shipping

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Iron Horse

My new residence is not far from railroad tracks, the threads of steel that stretch from coast to coast. My inquiries suggest the tracks are one of the main Canadian National (CN) freight lines from Toronto heading out west. I now consider myself a scientist, studying the Doeppler Effect as trains come and go in each direction. They toot most pretentiously but it is a sound I rather enjoy and it really is rather quiet around here otherwise. The tranquil waters of the Trent Severn flow close by and here too there is boat traffic to catch one's attention. A lock nearby has just closed for the season so you know that Ole Man Winter is not far off, coming at us like the Polar Bear Express in all likelihood.