CALGARY RAT RAG - JULY 2020 EDITION

" I really GO PLACES, baby! " - the RAT

Wednesday, July 1 2020 - LATE ENTRY

Didn't go outside today.

Thursday, July 2 2020 - LATE ENTRY

There was a very deeply-coloured daisy growing in a field in an undisclosed location. I won't reveal it's location but I didn't know such deeply-coloured daisys could occur naturally-- I always assumed they were artificially colored by some machination at the groery store.

The moon was rather excellent at the corner of Christie Park Manor and Costello Boulevard, but you had to be there to see.

Students at St. Gregory's school appear to have a tradition of affixing combination locks to the baseball backstop. It would be anime training to have to climb the backstop and pick one of them.

Friday, July 3 2020 - LATE ENTRY

Approximately 11:00pm, loud fireworks were heard. I didn't see them, but I did venture out afterward.

The moon was full. Lots of families out on the street in the dark, and a group of people had even crawled onto the roof of a house. Lots of scooters and cars fleeing downtown.

What were the fireworks for? We may never know for sure.

Saturday, July 4 2020

A cathode ray tube television was seen the parking lot of Sir Winston Churchill High School. It appeared undamaged.

The moon was seen over houses from the Edgemont Ravine. Nearby along the path someone was pacing back and forth conversing on a cell phone.

Soon after, the moon was reflecting beautifully and brightly off cloud formations at the tee intersection of Macewan Ridge Gate NW and Macewan Drive NW. A woman was seen in her SUV facing this spectacle, but on closer inspection appeared to be completely missing it by being on her phone.

Later, the moon was seen again hovering powerfully over the city skyline from a high point along 14th Street NW. Near to this, soneone was seen watching television inside an RV which was parked in a back yard driveway.

The moon is my constant companion, but sometimes I think only I can see her. I feel confident there were no fireworks tonite, or at least no large-scale ones.

Sunday, July 5 2020 - LATE ENTRY

More fireworks tonight, this time only lasting a few moments and seemingly launched from Shaganappi Golf Course. Opposite these, lightning played across a black cloud in the north. What's going on with all the fireworks on inauspicious nights?

A man with a tripodded camera was photographing the moon, which shone bright and big and orange over the city center. I was glad to know someone else can see the moon, and I felt less alone somehow.

The Calgary '88 Olympics logo still hangs proudly over the Red and White Club at McMahon Stadium. Calgary: "We're Still Alive!"-- but the parking lot is a maze.

Monday, July 6 2020

A deer was guarding the south west ring road. This new underpass must be its domain.

People were fishing in Weaselhead Flats at the Glenmore Reservoir, near the little bridge1 over the Elbow River.

Men were jousting on e-scooters near the peace bridge. This activity involves driving towards your rival with your leg pointed forward, as though you mean to kick him off his "steed".

This was a mock-joust, though, and no actual contact took place. One man, after a pass, said "wrong leg!" as he had raised the wrong leg to his opponent. Circling back, he then seemed to reason about it: "You have to be drunk to do this. Well, more drunk!" The two women nearby that he was explaining it to seemed unimpressed.

When I passed, one of the men noticed me late into a turn, and, panickedly adjusting his tack in a dramatic non-near-miss, exclaimed: "Fuck! I'm not jousting with a stranger!" So after that I went straight home because I didn't want to die.

1 Does this bridge have a name?

Tuesday, July 7 2020

A middle-aged man with a short beard stopped to pick a flower-- possibly an apple blossom-- from a tree along the west sidewalk of 19th Street NW, and stopped for a moment to smell it.

Wednesday, July 8 2020

Around 6:30pm, a man went for a short joyride on his ride-on lawn mower down 3rd Street NW.

Nearby in Crescent Heights Park, another man did several impressive chin-ups on the playground equipment while his children played tag.

The famous Sunnyside Gargoyles are now masking for COVID, a whimsical touch.

Thursday, July 9 2020

About 8:30pm, dark clouds to the north-north-east part of the city looked about ready to bring Noah's flood.

Other than that I didn't see nothin'! But at least I'm on time with my report.

Friday, July 10 2020

Lifters stand at the ready at Stephenson's Rental Services near Meridian Road NE-- O happy emotions! This spot is worth a visit: rarely does machinery seem so unsmudgedly optimistic.

A very smoky campfire was taking place in a backyard near Marlborough Community Center. Cheery voices could be heard but from the volume of thick smoke emanating it was hard to imagine how anyone was having a good time.

Crews were hauling away a porta-potty in the dark of night along an alley near the famed double-high pedestrian rail overpass in Penbrooke.

And now some unfortunate news. I commited a serious breach of journalistic ethics when I unwittingly disturbed numerous waterfowl on Elliston Lake. Birds disturbed included loons, cranes, and possibly some ducks. The paper's Editorial Rules of have been amended to help prevent this from happening again. No-one is happy to see sleeping birds take flight.

The new pedestrian realm along International Ave is a delight, now that it's complete. Somehow the sidewalks are set far enough back from the road to make them pleasant, and numerous people were seen out walking, including one man who exclaimed "woah!"-- the cause of his amazement was not clear. Looking around, I did notice a broken-down chuck wagon, but I did not form an impression that this was what did it for him.

Stampede is somehow happening in milder, halting form along Stephen Avenue. Many restaurants are open and a few have "Yahoo" signs but it feels tentative. There are no hay bales or nailed barn-boards in sight. It's not clear why COVID would need to kill the seasonal window-paintings of cowboys, horses, and other Stampedey things, but sadly it has.

A man on 7th Avenue screamed, "Ahh! I'm so angry! Ahh!" He then repeatedly screamed the least interesting expletive in the English language, which after hearing in this context I have decided never to use again.

Saturday, July 11 2020

In the hot, late twilight at this time of year, so near the solstice, Confederation Park feels like a bayou. The trees are only dark painterly blobs set against the sky. Figures move half-seen, others like me looking for their stories.

Sunday, July 12 2020

Two men were commisserating in the men's washroom at The Core about the damaging hailstorm that hit Calgary's Northeast recently. One man said he had never seen anything like it, and he had once lived through a tornado near Vegreville. He said it was like the apocalypse, and that he couldn't believe the hailstones hitting the water like that.

At the East Village Superstore, two children began to climb the escalator in a direction opposite to its intended flow but were immediately and sternly rebuked by their parents a half-second later.

Overall, the percentage of people wearing masks to protect each other from COVID 19 appears to have increased greatly in the last week-- a hopeful sign. Purely anecdotal but I feel it is above 50% of people wearing masks-- those who do not are now more noticable than those who do.

Monday, July 13 2020

It's a quiet city.

At at the moment the above photograph was taken, downtown looked like that.

Crescent Road continues to be a miniature paradise now that all the swampy, noisy cars are disallowed. Those who scoot seem not to scoot up here that often, which could be good, bad, or neutral depending on your feelings. I find the scooters to be joyous and optimistic, so am taking this chance to say: "ye who scoot, scoot ye here!"

A group of 5 or 6 people scooted up the Center Street Bridge east sidwalk, maybe towards Upper Chinatown. Except but one of them was pedaling her bicycle hard, somehow managing to keep up or even lead the pack despite the incline.

Another group of 5 or 6 people were scooting along the 8th Avenue Cycle track, near the RAMADA. While stopped, they were doing an impressive job of spreading out so they could maintain the mandated social distance while still enjoying each others' company. I try to describe what I see instead of what I think, but I think I have seen that the scooters let people socialize and keep more safely distant than some other downtown activities.

To round things out, a couple was sitting on a bench atop Scotsman's Hill, enjoying the sumptuous curve of the Saddle Dome's neon accent line, a quiet wonder of craftsmanship that has cast it's bright red night after night, year after year, until we have mostly forgotten to notice it anymore-- save these two, and then of course myself for a short bit.

Tuesday, July 14 2020

It's open night day at the Containr Bar in Sunnyside. It happens every Tuesday night! The times were announced, but I did not capture them properly so I cannot report them. Something to something, maybe ending 8:30pm.

There were red circles painted with 2 meters between their nearest touching radii, a smart way to make a venue usable. I have seen these chalk-painted in grass in other places but these are the first permanent or painted-on ones I have come across.

These circles are something of a game of grounders tag for adults. You are safe inside them but when you go out you have to move quickly and carefully to avoid becoming "it". Something new hunts us! I hate that.

Painting these was an intelligent plan, but today everyone was in the shade instead. Not a problem that I could see, since there was still lots of room to space out. And well, we all used to keep distance from each other in situations like this anyways, but it would be a "polite" versus a "safe" distance.

One larger group of adults was socializing enjoyably, some of them wearing cowboy hats. At one point, a man stepped down from the stage to do skateboard tricks.

Songs that were played, that I can remember:

  • Under the Bridge, originally by The Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Hotel California, originally by The Eagles

Between songs, the clapping from the smallish crowd was enthsuiastic.

Wednesday, July 15 2020

The graveyard was closed and locked for the night.

Thursday, July 16 2020 - LATE ENTRY

I'm pausing this newspaper! It was fun for awhile but now I'm bored!

Thanks for reading!

RAT OUT
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