Driving Again

Driver Fitness and Monitoring Main Floor, Twin Atria Building Room 109, 4999 – 98 Avenue Edmonton, Alberta T6B 2X3

January 21, 2019

Jerald W Blackstock

RE: Alberta Driver’s Licence Number: blah blah blah

Dear Jerald Blackstock:

This will acknowledge receipt of your driver’s medical report on January 18, 2019.

Based on the medical documentation submitted, I am pleased to inform you that I have granted approval for your continued operation of a motor vehicle in the Class 5 licence category with the Condition Codes A (adequate lenses), Q (airbrake endorsement) and S (school bus endorsement) with an expiry date of September 2, 2024.

Please present this letter to any Alberta Registry Agent to have your driver licence term adjusted to your birthdate in 2024. Your cooperation in attending to this matter on or before March 18, 2019 would be appreciated.

Please be advised that registry services may be denied if this letter is not presented as verification of this decision for processing your licencing services.

Please keep in mind that should you experience any changes in your health that may affect your ability to drive safely, you are required to notify this office.

Thank you for your patience during the review of your file. If you have any concerns regarding this matter, please phone me, toll free by calling the Government Rite Line at 310 – 0000, then dial my phone number at


Yours truly,

Reviewing Officer

Driver Fitness and Monitoring

Katie Melua On the Road Again. – YouTube

Well, I’m so tired of crying
But I’m out on the road again
I’m on the road again
Well, I’m so tired of crying
But I’m out on the road again
I’m on the road again
I ain’t got no woman
Just to call my special friend
You know the first time I traveled
Out in the rain and snow
In the rain and snow
You know the first time I traveled
Out in the rain and snow
In the rain and snow
I didn’t have no payroll
Not even no place to go
And my dear mother left me
When I was quite young
When I was quite young
And my dear mother left me
When I was quite young
When I was quite young
She said “Lord, have mercy
On my wicked son”
Take a hint from me, mama
Please don’t you cry no more
Don’t you cry no more
Take a hint from me, mama
Please don’t you cry no more
Don’t you cry no more
‘Cause it’s soon one morning
Down the road I’m going
But I ain’t going down
That long old lonesome road
All by myself
But I ain’t going down
That long old lonesome road
All by myself
I can’t carry you, baby
Gonna carry somebody else
Songwriters: based on Tommy Johnson’s 1928 song “Big Road Blues – https://en.wikipedia.org/…/On_the_Road_Again_(Canned…

Dog Town

I live in a very conservative, orderly, and authoritarian city. I make art about it, and have studied it all my life. The residents are typical fascists, who like dogs because they are predictable, obey commands and are orderly, friendly and are ‘good for something’.
Friendly fascists who are stone cold killers, who start wars, they like wars, and the orderly authoritarian military in charge. In other words they suffer from a deep anxiety, as all bullies do and the cognitive distortion, “others must do the right thing or they deserve to be punished” like the dogs mentioned previously. More consequences of that notion here: http://www.rebtnetwork.org/library/musts.html
I paint the world around me that has been stripped of life and colour by folks like this and notions they suffer from, and impose on others.


““What’s the use of falling in love if you both remain inertly as-you-were?” Mary McCarthy asked her friend Hannah Arendt in their correspondence about love. The question resonates because it speaks to a central necessity of love — at its truest and most potent, love invariably does change us, deconditioning our painful pathologies and elevating us toward our highest human potential. It allows us, as Barack Obama so eloquently wrote in his reflections on what his mother taught him about love, “to break across our solitude, and then, if we’re lucky, [be] finally transformed into something firmer.”” – https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/09/27/kahlil-gibran-the-prophet-love-marriage/

Total nonsense. Love is a choice. If we focus on how much love we are getting we lose sight on how much love we are giving. That is the transformation to a ‘better person’. We are made of thousands of characteristics. If I choose to ‘love’ (a meaningless word) 60% of yours and put up with the 40% I deem bullshit, then that’s a functional marriage because I am getting 60% of my satisfactions met. I prefer you have the following characteristics but only 60% are required because I’m not a damn perfectionist:
likes art
attractive to me
likes sex
internet savvy
mentally/emotionally reasonable health
good conversationalist
likes to dine out/coffee shop
likes exercise/gym
likes healthy food
frank conversation willing to compromise
has at least one strong interest
liberal at least
life long educated learner
Then I can choose to be engaged with you to a intimate degree. I choose to be in love. I choose to care about you deeply because it is self helping.
I choose to accept everyone unconditionally, because that is self helping as well, but I don’t choose to be intimate emotionally or physically with very many. In order to find safety and trust I refer to my list and hopefully 60% satisfaction is what I have found.

Old Dogs

Learning is a skill that improves with practice, like any skill. Older people have more chops, potentially, if there has been a lifelong interest in lifelong learning. I went to art school at 40 and watched 20 year olds drop out, I never did homework. I learned how to learn hanging in the library as a street kid, avoiding beatings. Took a speed reading course too, when I was a kid, there are several free ones on the net. Tutored kids at art school on writing papers, still do. An old dog/new tricks is a self defeating cognitive distortion (lie) that stands in for poor low frustration tolerance. Usually that means older people have untreated depression. But it is the same depression symptom at any age. I’m often frustrated with my limitations of stroke recovery, I just learn (there is that word again) to tolerate the frustration. With that learned skill I tolerated the frustration of learning MySql and Xampp to host my own servers and websites only to discover that the reason people find tech challenging to learn is because it is poorly written and engineered by people who submit low quality work in order to get paid faster, much like the framer of a house that doesn’t square his walls, saying fuck it let the drywaller fix it….welcome to the gig economy…don’t even get me started about how that plays out in medicine…not getting treatment in a busy hospital, fuck it let the community therapists fix it, only to find they are understaffed underfunded in community, so I go to gym and ask what is that machine for? how do I use it? I have things to do, I can’t afford to wait around for people to care for me, they have their own problems to fix…

Back to The Dating Site

Hi Elizabeth,
Thanks for the courtesy of a reply. Of course people recovering from a traumatic life changing event tend to be irritable, that’s called frustration actually. I chose to document it.  I would never take it out on someone, that’s called abuse. I mean that’s what it is.

It’s also emotional honesty, I have a right to express my emotions, you have right to know what they are, or in this case, were.

My writing on my blog is a form of using REBT therapy to really get to the rational: why me, well why not me, where is it written I can’t deal with a pain in the ass. What good can I make of this?
Well one good thing was to write a book, writing every morning with my left hand for 6 months while living in a hospital, suddenly homeless, I mean you just wake up one day and you have lost your home, and your cat, and your car, and you are living in a wheelchair. And your dominant arm and hand are flaccid. The process of getting all that back was a tad frustrating. Learning to shave with the left hand was dangerous. Don’t even talk about clipping nails.

The government sent my temporary drivers license yesterday I have final testing soon. I’m going back to my first love, driving to the mountains, the forest, the trees, which I had thought lost to me forever.

I met a fellow last week who after 5 years in the wheelchair, finally got the courage to attempt to stand at a urinal. 5 years living in anxiety.

Of course hostility and anxiety go together, hand in hand.

That is what people fear and run away from and attack, someone who has dealt with what they fear most.

“I like your photography…” it isn’t, I’m a painter using digital brushes, real photographers hate my practice of cropping and editing, a standard painting practice.

That’s the overvalue.

“I sense many many aversions and irritability…” I have no idea what you mean, which sense, smell? but your likes and dislikes only describe you, not me or my work, so it’s really an undervaluing of my human experience couched in the language of cult recruiters from the local Ashram or some such.

This of course is followed by the dumping, “we wouldn’t be harmonious”, so therefore I’m not a candidate for harmony which is usually don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel in dysfunctional relations.  Dictionary.com defines it as ‘a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity’. This sounds extremely fascist and authoritarian to me. Trump would be pleased. Actually harmony is created my soon to be ex friend by frank conversation, and willingness to compromise. Asking for what you want frankly is a relationship deepening exercise, which involves a bit of tension, and is therefore unharmonious.

But since I’ve been overvalued, undervalued, dumped for the crime of not being ‘nice’ and potentially unharmonious, I will take my frank conversation and willingness to compromise to some other stranger whom I will ask for what I want, a self helping exercise. Who knows, they may want more than a dishonest relationship killing ‘nice’.

Yours in sincere and honest disappointment, as well as relief from dodging the bullet.

Dumped by a Coffee Date

REBT Self-Help Form

What is the situation that you are upset about?
     Answer: Christmas, loneliness, dumped by a coffee date

 What are the unhealthy negative emotions that you are experiencing?
     Answer: anxiety, depression, shame, embarrassment, hurt

 What self-defeating behaviors would you like to change?
     Answer: exercise avoidance, withdrawal, unassertiveness

What demand are you making about the situation?
     Answer: The idea that it is a dire necessity for an adult human being to be loved or approved by virtually every significant other person in their community.
     Dispute: Why do I have to?
     Rational Belief: 
It’s impossible to be liked or loved by everybody.
No matter how popular you are, there will always be someone who doesn’t like you.
Even if you could get everybody to like or love you, you would never know if they liked you enough, or if they still liked you.
Different people have different tastes. Some people might like (for example) your new hairstyle; other people might hate it.
Therefore, no matter what you do, some people will admire you, and some people won’t.
Getting people to like you takes time and effort. If you try to get everyone to like you, you won’t have any time or energy left over to do the things that you want to do.
If you demand others’ approval, you’ll always be doing what they want you to do, instead of doing what you want to do with your time and your life.
Your life will no longer be your own.
If you try too hard to be loved or approved, people will soon tire of your constant sycophancy, and they will not respect you.
Paying too much attention to how much love and approval you are receiving,means you won’t pay enough attention to how much love and approval you are giving.
There’s no harm in trying to be popular, but it’s best not to try too hard.
In other words, it’s self-helping to want to be popular, but it’s self-defeating to need to be popular.
Having love and approval means you’ll find it easier to have friends, to find and keep a job, to find accommodation, etc.
But just because other people approve of you doesn’t mean that you’ll like yourself.
It’s better to strive for unconditional self-acceptance; i.e., you accept yourself, regardless of what others think of you.
It’s not pleasant when other people don’t like you, but it’s not awful, it’s not the end of the world, and it’s not fatal.

What are you saying to yourself about the situation that indicates low frustration tolerance?
     Answer: I can’t stand being alone
     Dispute: Where is the evidence that I can’t stand it
     Rational Belief: There is no evidence. Besides, I’m not alone, I have me

What are your new healthy negative emotions?
     Answer: sadness, concern, disappointment

What are your new self-helping behaviors?
     Answer: talking to strangers, asking for what I want, find nicer friends.

Warning: This form should not be considered a substitute for individualized treatment with a mental health professional. If you are seeing a counselor or a therapist, it is recommended that you print this page and discuss your responses with him or her.

Designed by Will Ross © 2006

Return to www.rebtnetwork.org

If It Is To Be It Is Up To Me.

Early morning, back at the hospital, recovering, getting examined and passed for driving, looking out at the the park. The same park I looked at for my first 3 years of life while my father died of being a coal miner. The same park he looked at. The same park we went for remembrance day every year to lay a wreath for the sad and depressing Christmas to follow full of loss and Mom’s tears and poverty. The Sally Ann bringing the tree and the turkey, a few used toys, quickly discarded, along with Santa’s list.
Here is the library where I learned to read and escape. From Dr. Seuss to Steinbeck to Rodin, worlds opened.
Downstairs in this library I learned to draw the figure on Tues nights, too shy to look for very long. Too fascinated to look away.
Creating a new world’s new hope.
If it is to be it is up to me.

New worlds New Hope

Carfac Alberta, Shaping Alberta Exhibition

Hi, I’m trying to do a budget and in order to do a proposal for your Carfac Alberta exhibition opportunity. I have a few questions.
You mentioned a ‘nominal artist fee’ how much money is that exactly?
Your call ask for ‘the work of artists who – through the creation of art – communicate, influence and build creatively vibrant and connected visual arts communities we live and work in.’ This is a very vague and virtually meaningless statement, please clarify; since most 2 dimensional visual art is non collaborative, and studio practices are inherently competitive for the small amount of wall space (the politics of the wall) and the very limited funds available. This sounds like a project better suited for the internet, in fact I am having difficulty discerning an intelligible thematic discourse. What does ‘creatively vibrant’ mean; communicate – what exactly; influence who and for what purpose? These questions all speak to addressing my moral rights, as per the Carfac national website: ( Moral rights include: The right to protect your artwork against distortion, alteration or mutilation in a way which prejudices your reputation; The right to associate your name as the author of your work or remain anonymous if you choose and The right to protect your visual image from association with a cause, a product, service, or institution to which you are personally opposed.) 
Do you plan on compensating for  Carfac copyright and exhibition fees?
I’m a professional artist currently working in digital media, the cost of printing, framing, shipping and insuring the work can easily exceed C$500.00 and its often more when I paint. How will I be compensated for these out of pocket costs incurred in order to exhibit in your show, over and above the exhibition fee. Or is this considered a donation? Are you a registered charity able to produce receipts for Revenue Canada?
The ‘membership fee’ you require to exhibit, is it a one time cost or is it pay to play? Is it included the exhibition fee? 
Tell me how you plan to insure the work, for what amount and who pays the deductible, and what amount that is in case of damage.
Will the condition reports, before and after exhibition, including photo documentation, be made available to the artist and my insurance broker?
I look forward to your clarifications, because honestly this ‘call’ looks more like clickbait to attract an amatuer and independently wealthy dilettante membership, rather than working professional artists who depend on their art to make a living and who  ‘communicate, influence and build creatively vibrant and connected visual arts communities’ simply by having a viable and affordable art practice they are well compensated for.  
Kind regards
Jerald Blackstock dip.(ACAD), BFA, CPF

Repsol Sport Centre Personal Review

I suppose going to a sport centre for stroke recovery exercises is self helping. At least it’s supposed to be.

Repsol sounds like a hemorrhoid medication, but since it has no public transit access, and an elevator that breaks down continually I suppose that’s apropos. A genuine pain in the ass structurally.

I went there initially because they could accommodate my walker, a ramp and elevator. After a month of 3 times a week, I no longer needed either, but like any narcissistic relationship they were in the love bombing me stage so I stayed.

Big Mistake. But I was paid up for a year, and was in love with my kinesiologist, Fiona, and progressing, she is really good.
I figured I could put up with the blaring commercials for car ads on their commercial A.M. music playing Led Zeppelin, intruding into my head, and I did. Most people wore headphones.
One day I was at a customer dis-service desk asking a woman for information. She tried to respond but this guy with a beard butted in and asked what I wanted. I said I’m being helped thank you, then ignored him. The woman and her female supervisor got me sorted out.

When I was doing my therapy, hooked up to electrodes and walking, the gent approached me, really pissed and demanded to know why I disrespected him. I explained about mansplaining. He didn’t get it. His supervisor did, and she said this hostile blindsiding would never happen again.

Over a period of 4 months it turns out that its the norm rather than the exception.

I mean I have a cane, move slowly, have no right arm function, and I speak funny. In other words I’m a target for bullies. They are cowards so they hunt victims that can’t fight back.

This sport center is full of narcissist bullies, and not just the staff, I have been attacked in the washroom with ‘Get the fuck out of the way’ statements to people just climbing on equipment I’m using such as the plinth and butting in. When I spoke up that I needed that space for stroke recovery exercises, I was treated with ridicule of how I speak, just exactly like Donald Trump did in front of millions. I suppose that makes it OK now. Then I was called a jerk, for speaking up and asserting, not being ‘nice’.

These are the weekday events, its worse on the weekend.

This is an expensive place, that gives me a deal so they can signify their virtue by having the disabled community around. (but not virtuous enough to keep the elevator functioning)
In Calgary that means rich conservatives.

One woman whose husband owns a printing plant, in several cities, was chatting me up about my nephews Bar Mitzvah. The ol who do you know oneupmanship game. I explained that I was an atheist, my sister married into Jewish relatives, and I’m not involved. I’m a Liberal, I explained, who has chosen to serve my country by sitting on the policy committee of the federal party. She is a Trump supporter, she likes his foreign policy, moving the embassy to Jerusalem, he has Jewish relatives, that kind of thing. I mentioned that Trump is a Nazi, you know, based on targeting identifiable minorities for persecution, and she said, ‘as long as they aren’t Jewish’…Well that explains the Jewish apartheid that President Carter wrote a book on.

I showed up this week at the Nazi central sport suppository centre and my paid up yearly card was cancelled, no explanation, just fuck off. No answer to my calls and emails.
I mean I wouldn’t take their calls now, I don’t need them explaining why they had to abuse me, leaving me sitting there for four hours till my handicapped transport arrived, and how it was all my fault. I’ve had too much training working with sociopaths in jails not to be able to spot that oh so charming abuse justification.

They won’t respond to emails, as that would leave a record.
I asked for a refund, predictably to no response.
I like to get what I pay for, but at least I can have the self esteem of speaking up.
That’s something at least.

Repsol Update

Hi Heather,

I received your letter. In it you make some alarming unsubstantiated allegations, then you threaten me with police action.

How did this conversation get from having a chat to clear up some confusion to ‘come back to this facility and I will call the cops’?

Well first of all, you won’t answer your phone or return calls, or answer emails, which is my preference because there is a record of communication, and cc’d witnesses. Also, my speech has been impacted, due to a stroke, so I lack the nuance of regular speech, and often only have one volume due to over enunciation, in order to be understood, especially when stressed. Apparently this is alarming to the uneducated listener and can be misunderstood, especially when they are interrupting and talking over me.

In your letter you stated as a fact, that I had abused your staff. Then meted out punishment and dire threats. Yet you have made no effort to talk to me about the incident: I was in conversation with a gent in a wheelchair, also a stroke survivor, discussing some alarming symptoms I had, a possible TIA, a precursor to a life threatening stroke. Since I’m not sure of your empathy or education, I will explain that such a conversation itself can be life threatening, it can lead to an anxiety attack, which exacerbates symptoms such as speech and walking impediments and in extreme cases may even cause another stroke.

But it doesn’t matter. Your staff had no way of knowing the details, but surely could have picked up that something was going on, when they walked into middle of our conversation and just started talking, without an excuse me, or sorry to interrupt, and our response was, this is a private conversation please excuse us. That was too vague, or ignored, because they kept interrupting like nothing had been said, so they were then told that they was being intrusive and they would have to come back later, this was not a good time. Simply, this was a private conversation and they were interrupting. Of course hearing from someone that has little capability for nuance or volume control can be construed as being yelled at, but even if it was, and it wasn’t, that isn’t abuse. I have the right to express my emotions, and others have the right to know what they are. Abusive statements start with the word ‘you’ and are descriptive, generally in a negative way. Saying that we find your staff’s repeated and unwanted behavior intrusive, come back another time, after repeatedly letting them know that this wasn’t a good time, also isn’t abusive, it’s assertion of rights to privacy about a very private topic, my medical event.

Your response instead of hearing both sides of the issue, leading to a fuller understanding has been to deactivate my card, which I have paid for, and disappear, leaving me alarmed and concerned, after being shamed and publicly humiliated by your staff at the gate, barred entry in front of friends and colleagues, had to wait for four hours for return transport and you nowhere to be found, subsequently not answering calls and emails, then finally communicating by letter that the police will become involved if I return.

I spoke to your customer service manager through email, you have a copy, requesting a refund of my training fees and my years pass to the facility, as I choose to no longer deal with the gross incompetency of the staff at Repsol.
After 40 years of dealing with the public, first as an addictions councilor, an adult education art teacher, an art therapist for Care West specializing in neuro disabilities, and for a time a customer service manager with specializations in conflict resolution training through Mount Royal University as well as assertiveness training, I feel I am well qualified to speak to the handling of this issue.

Essentially I find the experience at Repsol repeatedly one of dealing with blame shifting , entitled, emotionally immature , psychologically stunted , unempathetic cretins.

I’ll leave you, as this place obviously isn’t my preference, with some wisdom from Dr. Albert Ellis, my teacher and the foremost psychotherapist of the last century, winner of every honour available in the psychology world for his invention of cognitive therapy :

“Human beings are not perfect. They don’t have total control over all their actions. In the real world, we all make mistakes from time to time and treat others badly because (1) we don’t know any better; (2) we can’t do any better; or (3) we’re too disturbed. That’s just the way we are. Believing that others must do the right thing ignores the real world. Blaming and punishing someone for a mistake he makes because he doesn’t know any better will not make him smarter. Blaming and punishing someone for a mistake he makes because he can’t do any better won’t help him to do it better next time. And blaming and punishing someone for a mistake he makes because he is disturbed won’t make him any less disturbed.”