For someone my age, the learning curve should be levelling off; that is, the more one knows, the less one has to learn. Quantifying knowledge should reach a critical mass where the mind slows down in terms of what it can absorb. Well, this week proved how wrong I can be. To begin with, I learned, theoretically, that Donald Trump can actually pardon himself according to the powers invested in the US presidency. How this works out is anyone’s guess but it has some topnotch constitutional experts wondering if the Donald would actually try to avoid impeachment for himself and criminal prosecution if investigators ever recommend charges. Two, our community garden, while a wonderful experiment in human collaboration, is powerless to prevent outsiders from coming in and stealing fruits and vegetables. We can put up signs directing visitors to nibble from the common areas, but to no avail. If some benighted soul or jerk sees a vegetable marrow or zucchini that isn’t even ripe, they take it, either out of greed or malice. Three, there is the case of the Appeals Court of BC finally getting around to ruling that a cyclist can be held partially responsible for his own injuries resulting from a collision with a car. Seven years ago, a cyclist went around a line-up of cars – stopped due to congestion – on the shoulder of a local road. Up ahead, one of the drivers allowed somebody in the oncoming lane to turn onto a side road. The driver crashed into the cyclist because she did not see him speeding across the intersection from a virtual blind spot. The appellate court, however, ruled that the cyclist had no right to be entering an intersection from the shoulder of the road. Consequently, the award in damages was cut in half. Fourthly, I finally had the proof that a friend who had been staying for over a month at the Rock Bay Shelter had every reason to move out and sleep under the stars. There, on the second page of the local paper is a picture of one of the washrooms in total squalor: needles, paraphernalia, empty condom packaging, dispensers ripped off the wall, and mirrors smeared with some sinister substance. Mattresses at this facility are in such short supply that residents are literally sleeping on the bare floor. No wonder the homeless quite often want to avoid such vermin-ridden holes. On a more positive note, I finally got word that I will be receiving my Old Age Security after waiting six months past the due date. It seems that this is an especially bad year for applications for the benefit because of the higher than usual number of people retiring. If I hadn’t filed a request to speed up the processing, I might have been waiting another six months. Then there was the time this past week when I decided to call one of my clients on an important issue: this individual was showing indifference to my efforts to make his life easier by trying to be a helpful person. I asked my employer to sever the working relationship on the grounds that he was showing serious signs of not wanting my help. While I had to force the issue, because I didn’t need my life held up by growing uncertainty, once the decision was made it felt so right. On another front, I learned, once again, that I can roll a great game of lawn bowls and not always win because the other side played even better. And finally, there are no guarantees that a day will pass without being gobsmacked by the unexpected. Three times this past week it happened. One, I got an unexpected tap on the shoulder the other day from a friend I hadn’t seen in weeks. A very talented computer programmer in the tech community, Andrew had just been laid off from his high-end job as a manager in digital music industry.Two, my Dodgers came home from a very successful road trip to play a weak Atlanta Braves team – or so I thought – to lose two straight by big scores. Thankfully, they turned it around tonight. And then to cap things of, we returned from shopping this morning to discover that seven cop cars had cordoned off an adjoining apartment building in our otherwise quite neighbourhood: ambulances, sniffer dogs, yellow-tape, the whole ball of wax. For six hours it looked like a low-end warzone out there, or so we were told. From what we could make out, it could be the authorities initially responding to an OD call and following it up with an on-the-spot investigation for drugs.