Saturday, April 23, 2011

Civic Duty

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
-- John McCrae, In Flanders Fields

I voted today! It was easy and a touching experience. Though I probably could have voted in Canada from the US, I haven't voted in a federal election since 1993.

Democracy is fragile. I'm in a Toastmasters public-speaking club, and discovered the following while researching a talk:

(a) Canadian aboriginals were only able to vote, freely, in federal elections in 1960 (before that they had to give up "First Nations" status)

(b) Women won the vote in Switzerland in 1971

That is a surprisingly short time ago. (Not as poignant as the current struggles in Africa and the Middle East, but those issues are too obvious re: giving a talk).

In other political news, this rant by Rick Mercer laid down a challenge to the disillusioned youth of Canada (the 18-24 demographic turned out at 37% in 2008). Happily, the youth have responded with energetic, positive "vote mobs" as illustrated here.


ps. For American readers, the vote is May 2. I was at an advance poll.

pps. Kudos to the Elections Canada website. I found it useful and user-friendly.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

An Electric Week

I'm currently enthralled by the leaders' debate for the federal election, occasionally looking at the chirps from the riffraff on Twitter (which is hilarious and sometimes enlightening).

Later this week, the hockey playoffs start, with wall-to-wall TV coverage, as God intended.

Locally, the ECMA music festival will begin, with bands playing in 20+ venues late into the wee hours.

Heady stuff. These are great times.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


The last post was a minor meltdown, predicated by the search for documents and the lack of a decent office-service shop.

Little has changed (e.g. I have not yet received confirmation that I have filed for an extension in the US), but I have found a office centre. That's a relief. I uploaded megabytes of PDFs to My Accounting People in Washington State.

In other news, tonight, I drove up to Brackley Beach to watch the sunset. I hadn't thought of going up there in a long time. To my surprise, there were a few people there, even though the wind was chilly and the main walkway to the beach is closed for repair. I didn't stay long, but it was very tranquil and pretty.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Just Get Through This

The last major hurdle for The Big Move is taxes. Unfortunately, it is going to be pretty crazy.

I thought I found an accountant I could trust, and so I sailed through February and most of March, blissfully assuming I could pay for his expertise with a sense of comfort. Alas, I was dismayed when told that he is not licensed this year for US tax returns. Information that might have been useful in freaking February.

I spent 2-3 weeks trying to find another accountant, looking like an idiot who leaves things to the last minute. I finally found one who specializes in cross-border stuff, in Washington state (!). Now, it is so hectic that I am making basic mistakes.

I just ransacked two abodes whilst looking for a tax return from last year, thinking last year was 2010. Of course "last year's" documents are marked 2009. Heaven help me.

I remember thinking last summer, "if I can just get through June". Then, due to the writing assignment, "if I can just get through February".

Now, it's getting through April.