Progressive Nanaimo

I left Vancouver Island seven years ago to return Calgary for career purposes.  I grow up in Calgary.  I have lived in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax but I have continually returned to Calgary.  However having moved to Vancouver Island in 1990 made this my longest absence from Calgary.  This 18 year absence meant a major adjustment period to reacclimatize myself.

Calgary has changed and grown in so many ways.  Growing up I had lived on the edge of the city, it’s now an inner city community.  That is how much growth has gone on.  Not only has it grown, it has matured.  Even the weather patterns have changed, the summers can be great but the winters can be killers.  And having not been wheelchair dependent when I left Calgary I was really seeing the city from a different prospective.  The minus 35 winter weather and the wheelchair was a real eye opener which eventually led me back to where I am.

For those of you who attended attended your high school physics classes with better frequency than myself you will understand how quickly air in a tire will dissipate in extreme cold.  Between the ambient air temperature and the snow on the ground wheelchair tires can go flat in under three minutes when the temperature is colder than -25.  Anyone who has lived on the prairies knows that is not an uncommon winter temperature.  Putting nitrogen in my tires could address the flattening factor.  It doesn’t deal with how curb cuts become useless when the snow is piled there.   The other issue nitrogen doesn’t deal with is how cold and slippery metal wheel rims can be.

It is difficult to wear warm gloves when you are responsible for manoeuvring your own wheelchair.  It is very difficult to get a good grip on your wheel rims when you have big bulky gloves on and when the gloves get wet nothing is going to warm them up except the laundry dryer at home.  So frost bite on figure tips was not uncommon.  The easiest solution (also laziest) was to hibernate and not go out.  Thank god for computers and the Internet otherwise hibernation would just be a slow death.

So after giving it a good six years and surviving one hell of a flood I decided to move Kelowna.  My aging mother lives there and I was best positioned of all my siblings to adjust my life by moving to Kelowna.  So I moved to Kelowna and spend one year.  Trust me, if you don’t golf, ski, bike, hike, swim or hit the bars there’s very little to do in Kelowna except attend funerals.  The best thing about moving to Kelowna was the direction.

It got me half way to my son and a grandson who hadn’t existed when I left.  When it became obvious Kelowna wasn’t for me the decision was made to move back to the Island and see what I could generate.  This move brought me to Nanaimo, a city I hadn’t lived in for over twenty years.  But my son and grandson are here so this is where I settled.

I have been here a little over a month and I am very impressed so far.  Nanaimo, I am discovering, is a very progressive city.  Just follow the tweets of @YPNanaimo and you will get a good idea of just how forward thinking this city is.

This apartment building has some resident plug ins for electric cars, progressive
This apartment building has some resident plug ins for electric cars, progressive

I found a nice little place up in the Country Club area and this is the first time I can remember ever having lived on the main floor of a building.  On the Island that can be a benefit due to the occasional winter power outages.  The winds can get a little crazy here which can bring down power lines.  So being on the main floor means I don’t have to play Russian Roulette with elevator dependability.

The power outage game was one I had gotten use to while living in the Cowichan Valley.  It is a way of live on any island so you just deal with it.  Which brings me to the accompanying picture.

As I indicated Nanaimo is a very progressive city.  This building is only a year old and was build for the future rather than waste time catching up.  Besides being completely outfitted with fibre optics rather than copper wiring the building installed a number of electric car charging station in the building parking lot.  That’s a picture of one of them.  They are obviously out there but this is the first time I have ever lived in a building that was that forward thinking.  That’s the type of thinking that screams “Hey vandalize me” back in Calgary, the city where the drive through Tim Hortons is attached to the gas station.  Anyway I think it is pretty cool.

As an added bonus, if you drive an electric car and live in this building, power outages will now offer you another option to work from home.  “My car didn’t charge overnight!”.  And working from home is something I am really looking forward to.  From what I can tell so far @NanaimoBulletin is very open to technology which fits my agenda perfectly.  Nanaimo I am here and ready to go.  If it is business enhancing technology, content management or social media marketing you are looking for then just ask me.

Glad to be back on the Island and quite enjoying Nanaimo.

Just one man’s opinion!



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