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We grow old.  Let us live in excess and expire in a whirlwind of pleasure.  Let us go from joy to joy and die in contentment.  Let us forget the past and love each new day in the intensity of life well lived.  Let us fade into the mist of a faint fall. And recall past springs and enjoy all new springs.  For life is summer, albeit winter will come.

We went to Coquitlam on Saturday to see Der Meistersinger von Nuremberg from the MET.  Pork alley is the kindest comment.  All the singers were very fat or tending to very fat and so ugly that we recoiled in horror.  Maybe they had good voices, and their mass on the stage is impressive.  But on the screen they were simply gross.  Most of the audience left after the second act.  Pity for the third act is the best and least populated by fatties.  Or at least the fattiest faded into the mass of a superb chorus.

Then tonight I watched a DVD of La Traviata and slim singers.  Beautiful.  And good singing to boot.  That is what modern, highly visual, opera is all about.

Last night we supped and talked of exs–past spouses and their follies and our lost loves and current pleasures.  How can it be that so many have deviated from marriage vows to folly and indulgence to the distress of us?

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No problem in understanding.  Consider but the stupidity and folly of BC tailings facilities.  Here is one report:

 Alliance Releases Scene of the Crime, a New Report Analysis of the Mount Polley Mine’s Tailings Storage Facility

Vancouver: 17 weeks after one of the world’s largest (by volume) heavy metals tailings catastrophes struck, smothered and polluted Hazeltine Creek near the western arm of Quesnel Lake, the BC Tap Water Alliance’s Coordinator and author, Will Koop, has released the first investigative report on Imperial Metals Corporation’s tailings dam, which engineers often refer to as a Tailings Storage Facility (TSF). The Scene of the Crime: A Preliminary Analysis and History of the Mount Polley Mine Tailings Storage Facility, provides an assessment from government and company documents probing the history and inner workings of a terrible tragedy.

At the centre of this history was an understanding and a purpose conveyed to the public in 1990 that the tailings impoundment would be carefully constructed and safely maintained so as to last an eternity, “in perpetuity.” The question is raised in the report’s Executive Summary, that if such was its purpose then “why did the Mount Polley Mining Corporation, (MPMC), wholly-owned by Imperial Metals Corporation, fail so miserably in its promise to British Columbians to do so?”

The Executive Summary states the following about this critical question:

“The findings of this preliminary / interim report provide important clues and disturbing insights for this crucial question, and for other related questions, findings that reveal a long-held trail of company carelessness, stupidity and incompetence, as randomly catalogued from 2008 to 2010 by its former Engineer of Record in only three among many annual TSF inspection reports that have been published for public review from 1998 to 2013.

In association are implications that the provincial mining regulator may have failed to properly implement its “duty of care” to British Columbians in preventing this tragedy, those public lands and waters which have been entrusted through legislation to the regulator’s legal service and administrative jurisdiction.

The findings in this preliminary report help stimulate an inevitable and sobering conclusion – that the Mount Polley mine tailings storage catastrophe could have been, and should have been, preventable. And, therefore the big questions: was this an environmental crime scene, and was there a previous and subsequent cover-up?”

If what the author writes is substantiated as fact, this will be a case that is a long time in the courts, could see some professional engineers in jail, and some consultants driven into bankruptcy.   No regulators will be reprimanded, although maybe they should be reprimanded.  No wonder the regulators have refused to make public any of the reports, many of which the author named above has unearthed.

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See also what Gordon Hoekstra writes at this link.

• At Taseko’s Gibraltar mine, following a geotechnical inspection in May, the government called for an investigation into an unusual increase in water-level readings in one of the instruments in the East Saddle Dam.

In an interview, Warnock said he has not been satisfied with the company’s response and is seeking more details.

Taseko spokesman Brian Battison said that following its investigation it recently installed upgraded instrumentation at the East Saddle Dam.

• NewGold’s New Afton mine was instructed in 2013 to report on the potential for settlement and its effects on the dam after a 15-metre-long crack was discovered parallel to the crest of Dam B. Warnock said the company has done that satisfactorily.

In an interview, Scott Davidson, the environment and social responsibility manager at New Afton, said the dam has been designed to accommodate settling, which caused the cracking, but some additional instrumentation was put in place.

There’s been no additional cracking, he said .Davidson said they have informed local First Nations and the regional district about the crack. “Ultimately, we want to be open and transparent. Especially given Mount Polley, it’s in everyone’s best interest,” said Davidson.

• At Highland Valley Copper near Kamloops, a government geotechnical inspection noted in 2013 that some reports had not been delivered on time, but added the company had developed a “very comprehensive” tailings management training program for workers and contractors.

• At Copper Mountain mine near Princeton, a failure of a tailings pipe was noted last May, which required more monitoring. At the closed Equity Silver mine near Houston, the government inspector noted in 2013 that upgrades to spillways need to be completed.

• At Huckleberry in northern B.C., also owned by Imperial Metals, the government inspection on Aug. 12 found no issues.

I suspect there is more, but we have had no time to examine and consider in full.  Too engaged in opera and parties with folk who have unfaithful exs.

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It is all too easy to be beguiled by the propaganda of mining protestors. Maybe they are correct when they protest mines & mining in their area. But now we have an example of a protest, not in the mining arena, that proves the fallacious motives & reasoning of mining protestors. I refer to the recent protests against performance by the MET opera of the opera The Death of KlinghofferAt this link we have an intelligent analysis of the protests and the opera by that august magazine, the New Yorker.  You may care nothing for opera, and care less about a modern American opera by the foremost modern American opera composer, John Adams.  But I urge you to read this posting by the New Yorker and judge it as an example of mindless protest against a worthy undertaking. (more…)

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Lost loves: those consummated and still loved; those loved but never consummated; those consummated for a fleeting moment that lingers in memories of pleasure; those lost never to return;  until maybe the deathbed?  Or a return from travels east?   How many people can one love in a life-time or even at once?  There are at least two from Quebec. (more…)

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We met as usual at the movie house on Schoolhouse Road to watch the MET live broadcast–today it was Borodin’s opera Prince Igor, a tale of a 12th century Russian prince who looses his men and honor in war against the Polovetsians.  “Is it possible that 100 years after the start of the Great War, yet another great European war is beginning?” (more…)

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Renée Fleming, left, in the title role and Dolora Zajick as Ježibaba, in Dvorák’s fairy-tale "Rusalka," the first opera

Three of us went today to the movie theater on Schoolhouse Road in Coquitlam, east of Vancouver, to watch the Met Opera broadcast of Rusalka.   Here  is a brief report on the event. (more…)

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Old men still love, although we seldom succeed.  That is the inevitable message of today’s Met HD broadcast of Verdi’s Falstaff.  I reflected all the opera on this year’s affair now gone to Quebec, maybe to return next year?  How can age impede the impulses of the young? (more…)

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Autumn has come when the Met Opera live begins.  On a sunny day in Coquitlam we watched the first live on HDTV broadcast of Eugene Onegin.  A wonderful performance to begin the opera season. (more…)

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