Tuesday, November 21, 2023

A Technical Appendix to Postblogging Technology, July 1953: The Columbia River Treaty


Hugh Keenleyside (High Arrow) Dam, Castlegar, British Columbia

Renata, British Columbia, is a lost town on the right bank of the Columbia River in the 232km stretch from Revelstoke to Castlegar, where it forms the Arrow Lake, or Lakes, in dry years. It might seem like cheating to call a river a lake, but the Okanagan River runs through Okanagan Lake, and Nakusp is the next Kelowna. (That's a joke for all you BCers out there.) Most of Renata (there's a bed and breakfast or two still operating in the upper reaches of the former townsite) was quickly flooded out by the rising waters of the Lake after the Keenleyside Dam was completed on 10/10/68. As an isolated farming community still mainly populated by the Mennonite farmers the railway originally suckered into settling there fifty years before, Renata wasn't much missed, any more than the other small communities similarly affected. Although when Nakusp real estate goes for as much as Kelowna's that lost waterfront property will be the subject of much speculation. (Doubling down on the joke.)

Since we're currently visiting old Renata and witnessing the Eisenhower Administration's bumbling approach to hydroelectric and related hydraulic control issues, I thought this might be a good time to talk about the Columbia River Treaty, so the reader will know what the heck I am talking about. 

Also, considering how insane the Eisenhower Administration has turned out to be so far, on this issue and so many others, I wanted to poke around the Internet and find out, "Why now?" Well, now I know, and the answer is pretty typical of the actual record of the Infrastructure President, in that he didn't actually do fuck all except get in the way. 

Saturday, November 18, 2023

A Medico-Technical Appendix to Postblogging Technology, July 1953: Heart-Lung Machines and Autopilots


I guess it won't surprise anyone that Port Alice didn't have a movie theatre, so I saw most of the movies that shaped us Gen Xers (more-or-less; technically I belong to the last gasp of the Baby Boom) on TV at a later date. Star Wars IV and 1982's Young Doctors in Love are exceptions, and, of  the two, A New Hope was the better movie. Does Young Doctors in Love even have a life support/heart-lung machine scene? I guess it also won't surprise anyone that I am not going to rewatch it to find out! It's probably not nearly as hilarious as I remember, from the look of the Youtube extracts I watched looking for a heart-and-lunch machine scene. This one's got the surgical theatre-blinking-lights machines, so it will do, and I will preserve my nostalgia for a time just slightly past. 

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Postblogging Technology, July 1953, II: Purge


Oriental Club,

Dear Father:

We're not completely out of the news around here. We have shortwave. What we've heard makes the Soviet purge sound pretty anticlimactic, and we're beginning to think that there won't be an atom war this summer, after all. So we took the cable ferry over to Renata to see the sights, which involved hiking up a substantial hill, which was certainly good for the appetite. Renata is a bit sad, a town of old people. A Mennonite colony of old times, most of the young folk have long since  moved away. Just like we're going to do in not very long now, although bless those Soviet plotters for a wonderful summer getaway! 

Your Loving Daughter,


Sunday, November 5, 2023

The Early Iron Age Revival of the State, XXIX: Lazy Sunday Outline with Premonitions of Mortality

 Two things, first, a very late change of schedule; second, a scary moment at the Silver Kettle Lodge as my 92-year-old father seemed to be failing after his vaccination. These mean that I do not have Sunday to work on my postblogging, although I am covering a mid-shift on time change day, and do have some extra writing time. And I am reminded that we do not live forever and I should get my intellectual life in order. 

So here's a summary of work to date on Sacred Spring: The Early Iron Age Revival of the State  and a brief outline.