03 June 2013

Week in Review: Dream On

So you may remember that my mum and grandmother are visiting me for a while during Matt's seemingly endless exercises in Wainwright. We have had a good time thus far, taking in the sights and going to new places.

Yesterday, we went to the Devonian Botanic Gardens. It's a huge public garden run by the University of Alberta. They were having a festival yesterday: the Kurimoto Japanese Garden Spring Festival. It was really quite spectacular. I have never seen so many people in kimonos. We arrived in time to see the Taiko Drummers perform their amazing music, perfectly in sync and rhythmically moving. Even though it had rained most of the day, there were lots of spectators at the concert, and it was obvious people had been waiting to see it. Also featured were various Japanese martial arts, Japanese food tastings, and tea ceremonies with strictly proper etiquette for a nominal cost.

We also got to see other sections of the garden, including the butterfly garden in the greenhouse. I had a couple of butterflies land on me, but naturally most flew away before we could get a photo. Only one stuck around long enough to be in pictures, and we got both photos and video of the little guy.

Unfortunately, our day was marred by some idiotic behaviour last night as we were heading to bed. A couple of construction types decided to work in a shop across the street... at 11pm. I called the city bylaw office to submit a complaint:

Operator: How may I help you?
Me: I'd like to register a noise complaint.
Operator: What kind of noise, ma'am?
Me: There are two guys doing construction work outside on the sidewalk, using power tools, and waking up the neighbourhood.
Operator: What is the name of the company?
Me: I don't know. They're driving an unmarked white van.
Operator: I'm sorry, but at this time we need the name of the company and the vehicle license plate number is order to proceed. Once we have that, the investigation will take up to 4 business days.
Me: So I have to go down there in the middle of the night and ask the two sketchy construction guys with power tools for their company name before I can register a complaint which might take 4 days to look into for being noisy now and keeping everyone up?
Operator: Yes.

How is that even a thing? How do you have such a broken system that the bylaw office can't just ring up the police, ask a cruiser to do a drive-by, and if they are still being noisy, give them heck? What would have been the case if my neighbours were having a rowdy party? Would it have been the same response? What if I had had kids being kept awake?


Ahem. As you can see, I was really not impressed when I finally fell asleep. The noisy so-and-so's were gone this morning when I got up to feed the cats. If they come back tonight, I'm skipping the bylaw office and calling the police station.

This week we've got a few trips to city landmarks planned, Muttart Conservatory and Fort Edmonton Park among them. And Matt finally gets to come home this weekend. I'm already doing my happy dance.


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