Posted in Books, Christmas, Uncategorized, Zombies

A Place For Your Stuff

1clutter11Lived in one home for 50 years?
Move every 5 years?
Or every few months?
No matter, human beings acquire stuff.

I love the George Carlin routine about how we need a place for our stuff.
It’s true, we have versions of our stuff, at home and work.
In garages, sheds, storage units.
In purses, backpacks, wallets, suitcases.
On vacation. In cars. Wherever.
Now we’ve added computers, smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc. to the list. Oh my, wouldn’t Carlin fun with that?

So what do we do with this stuff, well, we definitely dust, rearrange, reorganize, store, and bemoan it.
We keep it because it might fit someday, we might use it sometime, might need it somehow, or maybe it was a gift, or it will come in handy during the zombie apocalypse…

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1clutter1I think self-help books are like recipe books, sometimes you learn something new, or it reminds you of something you used to do.
Donna Smallin (best-selling author of The One-Minute Organizer, Secrets of Professional Organizers, Unclutter Your Home, Unclutter Your Mind, etc.) is at it again, offering readers, Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness (Storey Publishing) which gives more one-minute uncluttering and household tips. I like her idea of doing 10 minutes a day, may not sound like much, but it adds up.
Like her other books, Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness is full of great advice; precise, practical suggestions, all presented in an extremely efficient manner (I would expect no less).

I borrowed this ARC from Netgalley.com (release date December 2014; I bet you can think of at least one person who needs this for Christmas), but until it’s released Smallin has many others books to help you unclutter and organize your life.

Smallin suggests rewarding yourself for uncluttering, but I think that’s rewarding yourself for having so much in the first place. Now if something finds it’s way to you as a cosmic reward, then by all means, accept it.

Here are some ideas, should you wish to edit your stuff:

1. Not an absolute yes? Then bye-bye.

2. Have a 3-ring binder to keep track of: To-Do Lists, bills, activities, household info, take-out menus, appointments, coupons, etc.

3. Everything should have a place and it should stay there, not migrate around your house.

4. Figure out your worst clutter habit, ie. not putting like items together. Work on that habit, then move down the list.

5. Declare your independence! Don’t think of uncluttering as a punishment or a chore, think of it as freedom.

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6. Plan a purge (no, not like those movies!). In the words of the infamous Red Hot Chili Peppers, Give it away, give it away, give it away now!

7. Avoid comparisons. Don’t say things like, My place may not be as clean as my Mom’s, but it’s way cleaner than people on the Hoarders. No, just, no.

8. 5 items into your home, 10 items out.

9. Keep items you use, or need for legal or sentimental purposes. Donate, sell, or trash the rest. Buy less.

10. Things are not as valuable as people or your time. If you pick something up and you’re greeted with dust (this goes for relationships and friendships as well), it’s time to say goodbye.

If you’re not using it, if you don’t love it, let it go.

This should go for every part of your life.

The world is full of literal and figurative clutter, don’t add to it.

 

Posted in Autism, Books, Parenting, Televison, Uncategorized

All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome

Sometimes simple and straightforward are best.1cats1

All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome by Kathy Hoopmann (Jessica Kingsley Publishers) explains Asperger’s Syndrome perfectly. And it has adorable pictures of cats being adorable.

This delightful and deceptively minimal book is the first book you should read if someone you love is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (also called Aspergers Syndrome, or Asperger Syndrome, or Asperger’s, or Aspergers).sheldon6

The only downside? Like Sheldon Cooper (played so brilliantly by Jim Parsons) on The Big Bang Theory, it makes it sound much cuter than it usually is; for those who have it and those who love them. Or Sherlock Holmes (take your pick, the most recent, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller) which makes it seem exciting…Or all the other examples of Aspergian or High-Functioning Autism on TV, in movies or books.

The truth, it’s difficult, frustrating, wonderful, sad, amazing, and confusing…for all concerned.

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IM000556.JPGThere are many great books I would recommend, but these are quite helpful, informative and above all, accessible.
Borrow them from a friend, library, or Autism association; or purchase them in store or online.

The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome – Dr. Tony Attwood; Inside Asperger’s Looking Out – Kathy Hoopmann; An Asperger Dictionary of Everyday Expressions – Ian Stuart-Hamilton; Kids in the Syndrome Mix – Martin L Kutscher, MD; The Oasis Guide to Asperger Syndrome – Patricia Romanowski Bashe & Barbara L. Kirby (Harmony Books); The Autism Discussion Page on the Core Challenges of Autism – Bill Nason (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)1cats10The Everything Parent’s Guide to Children with Asperger’s Syndrome – William Stillman (Adams Media)
The Asperger’s Answer Book – Susan Ashley, Ph.D. (Sourcebooks, Inc.)
Empowered Autism Parenting – William Stillman (Jossey-Bass)
The Fabric of Autism – Judith Bluestone (Sapphire Enterprises, LLC)
How To Teach Life Skills to Kids with Autism or Asperger’s – Jennifer McIlwee Myers (Future Horizons)
Quirky, Yes Hopeless, No – Cynthia La Brie Norall, Ph.D w/ Beth Wagner Brust (St. Martin’s Griffin)1cats9

Thank goodness for Jessica Kingsley Publishers, I don’t know what I would have done without them.

If your child, spouse, friend, or yourself is diagnosed – don’t panic!

HHgttg don't panic
1cats3Media, doom and gloomers, people holding mock funerals for their children when they’re diagnosed, etc., even those who wish to help can intentionally or unintentionally scare you.
Don’t get caught up in the conflict people, people that love to make everything a drama.
Don’t hyper-focus on people ‘understanding’, including your family or friends, how could they understand? Just hope they’re supportive.
Focus on helping the person you love.
They’re still the same person, you just have a diagnosis that will aid you and others, to help them.
Helping the person you love find the skills and resources is taxing enough without adding fuss.

It’s also important to remember Autism isn’t a straight road, there are many, many twists and turns, ups and downs.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” ~Confusius

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My son has Asperger’s and several medical conditions, but is doing better than anyone would have predicted.
Yet when a setback comes along, a medical procedure; other anxiety-provoking situations, people, challenges; illness, or something that is overwhelming I have to remember, it may seem like one step forward, two back, but he still took that one step forward.

But it’s still been a long few days.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” ~Mary Anne Radmacher

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Posted in Books, Environment, Internet, Movies, Televison

Welcome to…Jurassic Park

1jur3Why so fascinated with bringing back dinosaurs?
Size? Curiosity? That they lived before the dawn of humans?

Or merely human nature, we want to do something, if we can.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton is a big, stinky, carnivorous cautionary tale for abuse of technology and he makes no bones about it (yeah, I went for the cheap paleontology joke; sorry, it was the only thing I could dig up).

We need more cautionary tales.

We find we can manipulate genes, so as humans we think, then we should.
Clone…then we should.
Build bombs…we should.
Grow viruses…should.
Smartphones, Wi-Fi, internet…should, should, should!!!

Shouldn’t we find out the consequences first?
Everything has consequences.
Everything.

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I’ve heard the argument that God gave us the ability to do these things so we should.
a) that’s presuming there’s a God;
b) we also have to ability to kill people, should we?
c) justifying much?

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In less than 25 years we’ve become internet junkies. We overshare worldwide. No worries about pulsating signals everywhere. More children plugged in like adorable little zombies. We’re more distracted, obsessed, exhausted, overwhelmed, and less connected than ever….

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I began readin1jur29g Jurassic Park and Philosophy (edited by Nicholas Michaud and Jessica Watkins) thinking I knew what they’re going to say.  To some extent I did; philosophers examining JP in detail, scrutinizing all connotations and consequences as well as providing provocative insights regarding: genetic engineering, cloning, technology, human nature, ethics, religion, drama, humour, and even dinosaurs. Also gave me a creepy ah-ha moment – we’re the dinosaurs, a species striding boldly, masters of the planet, all the while becoming extinct.
Yes, another tremendous book in the Popular Culture and Philosophy series from Open Court. I’m so hooked, I can’t wait for the next fix.

Hammond, essentially a snake oil salesman, only cared about money, power, and his legacy, he couldn’t see he put his real legacy in danger by bringing his grandchildren to the park to figure out if it was safe, after someone was killed by a cloned dinosaur. Humans are so proud we can do, we forget to show respect for the real power, nature.

John Hammond: All major theme parks have delays. When they opened Disneyland in 1956, nothing worked.
Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but John, if the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists.

1jur12Any thoughts on the reboot of the Jurassic Park series?

Jurassic World  i1jur28s now a state-of-the-art dino theme park on Isla Nublar. 22 years after the events of the original Jurassic Park all is well; what a relief. But wait, frustrated with declining attendance, an exciting new attraction is opened, gee, I wonder what could go wrong?
The cast looks interesting, Chris Pratt, Jake Johnson, Vincent D’Onofrio, BD Wong, Irrfan Khan, Judy Greer, Bryce Dallas Howard, but I’ll miss Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern, and Sam Neill.
Written by Colin Trevorrow (also directing) and Derek Connolly, both from Safety Not Guaranteed   https://yadadarcyyada.com/?s=safety+not+guaranteed , I’m hopeful this will be action-packed and funny. Also that it’ll continue to offer strong female characters, like Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Lex (Ariana Richards), and well, the dinosaurs were all female, right?

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Ian Malcolm: God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs.
Ellie Sattler: Dinosaurs eat man … woman inherits the earth.

Any questions?

 

Posted in Books, Chocolate, Doctor Who, Food, Movies, Political, Televison, Uncategorized, Weight

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory Turns 50

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I’m celebrating 50,000+ views on my blog (Thank you! Thank you!) and the 50th anniversary (published 1964) of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, published 1964.

Loved with this book, then I saw the movie, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – my mind was forever altered.
A factory full of chocolate? It was one thing to read about it, another to see a river of chocolate

I still love the 1971 Gene Wilder version best (directed by David L. Wolper), maybe because it’s steeped in childhood memories or because for me, it’s Gene Wilder’s definitive performance.

This is where I fell in love. Gene Wilder and chocolate. Sign me up!

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Wilder is the ultimate Willy Wonka. He didn’t go over-the-top weird, instead opting for a subtle, damaged man-child who was trapped in his own reclusion, a Howard Hughes-like creative genius who couldn’t cope in a reality that wasn’t of his own making. Wilder’s transcendent blend of cordiality, callousness, awe, and animosity make you think he is Wonka, he just is.

Jack Albertson was delightful as Grandpa Joe, who apparently couldn’t get out of bed to get a job, but could dance a jig and spend the day at a chocolate factory.

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Charlie Bucket is the only child Dahl and Wonka even remotely like due to his meek and accommodating nature, but Charlie wasn’t as obedient as he seemed, he spent money on a chocolate bar that he wasn’t supposed to; so even in the most co-operative child Dahl found a fault.
The 1971 version was renamed Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to cross-promote UK’s The Willy Wonka Candy Company who had bought the rights from Roald Dahl.

I never understood why Roald Dahl was classed as a children’s author, he clearly disliked children, at times rather intensely. His stories and books reflect this.
What he hated more than children were their parents, specifically parents who didn’t raise their children properly, at least from his point of view.

Imagine what Roald Dahl would think of children and their parents now?

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The Friday Project/ Harper Collins

I recently read A Brief History of Chocolate (Steve Berry and Phil Norman) which I must warn you will not only vastly entertain and inform, but make you crave chocolate.

Despite best intentions this book lacked something, what was it? Oh yes, chocolate. They should sell each copy with a chocolate bar or coupon for a free chocolate bar. There, a marketing idea, no charge…although I’d take a thank you in chocolate bars.

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I also loved the darker, creepier Tim Burton vision of Willy Wonka.

Johnny Depp played him weird and it worked. Also damaged, but in a deranged-metrosexual-game-show-host-who-moonlights-as-a-rock-star-on-acid-way.

Veruca Salt was a bad egg or nut in all versions, but really, her parents spoiled her. Also, Augustus Gloop, Mike Teevee, and Violet Beauregarde. All annoying children, but allowed, even encouraged to be so by their parents.

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 The first time I walked into the Hershey chocolate factory in Smith Falls, Ontario the smell was divine, like melted chocolate floating through clouds of more chocolate just before it rained chocolate.

I’ll never forget the look on my son’s face, the pure wonder as he watched row after row after row of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups racing happily along the conveyor belt.

I’m sure I had a similar look as I saw the giant vat of chocolate I wanted to swim in, not figuratively, literally.

No Oompa-Loompas, no chocolate waterfall, trees made of taffy, Everlasting Gobstoppers, no fizzy lifting drinks, or Wonka though, but lots of chocolate for sale and sample.

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Alas Hershey closed the factory after 45 years, losing a great tourist attraction, and hundred of jobs. Several other large employers closed, shipping more Canadian jobs overseas, 1ww10leaving 40% of the town unemployed.

Now a flame has been lit as Smith Falls rallies; the factory at 1 Hershey Drive now produces medical marijuana, which, in a great cosmic irony would have made more people buy chocolate.

There are still times, when I open a chocolate bar wrapper and think I see a flash of gold.

Posted in Political, Televison, Uncategorized

All In The Family…Guy

1all15Toned down for American primetime, All in the Family still managed to rock TV land.

Based on the controversial BBC series, Till Death Us Do Part (created by Johnny Speight) and warmed up with The Honeymooners and The Flintstones, nothing had prepared us for Archie Bunker (played by the apparently sweet Carroll O’Connor).1all17

Archie was a complicated guy.
Clearly bigoted and uncouth, he was also honest and hard-working, often expressing opinions people were thinking, but couldn’t go against the politically correct times to say.
He was also an excellent way to hold a mirror up to bigotry and prejudice without shoving it down people’s throats.

This show rammed through contentious and taboo subjects, including but not limited to: racism, homosexuality, rape, miscarriage, abortion, women’s liberation, menopause, breast cancer, impotence, the Vietnam War and more.

Archie was a scared man. His comfy chair world had been turned on its head.
He knew his place and everyone else knew their place. Until they didn’t.
Archie didn’t understand why everything he felt was right in the world, especially his world, had to change.

His long-suffering wife Edith (Jean Stapleton) was patient in ways no one, including their daughter, Gloria (Sally Struthers) could understand. Despite their many issues, it was clear they all loved each other deeply.

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Gloria’s hippie husband, Mike/Meathead (Rob Reiner) highlighted the clash between The Greatest Generation (Archie as a WWII vet) and Baby Boomers, the struggle between the old guard and young people who wanted to change the world…Archie’s snug little world.

1all13And then there were the spinoffs. The Jeffersons  movin’ on up to the East Side.
Edith’s cousin, Maude (the incomparable Bea Arthur) visiting then getting a hilarious spinoff. And Good Times was a dy-no-mite spinoff from Maude. And more…

Taped in multi-camera format in front of a live studio audience, All in the Family never failed to break new ground.
I loved that they never used canned laughter. I’d prefer not to hear any laughter, but if I must, let it be genuine.

Family Guy pays tribute to All in the Family with its opening sequence of Lois and Peter playing the piano, and various other similarities…then again, the whole show is a pop culture fart. Of course, they’ve taken it much further, boldly going where even TV censors, after dying of exhaustion, knew they could go.

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American Dad! (created by Seth MacFarlane, Mike Barker, and Matt Weitzman) is an absurd animated emulation, though since the All in the Family players were more caricatures than characters, it makes sense. And they added Roger and Klaus; who can complain?1all2

All in the Family and its official and unofficial offspring influence so many; although, looking around the world today, I think a lot of the messages are being missed, or misinterpreted.

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Posted in Canada, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Gravity vs. Supermoon: Whoever Wins We Lose

1moon10Everywhere I turn people are talking about the Supermoon.
Have we run out of superheroes?
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes not as exciting as expected?
Bored with soccer?
The heat finally getting to us?
Is the moon this close to Earth really affecting our brains?
I have no answers; just curious.

Thinking of this Supermoon and all the fuss I thought I’d finally watch Gravity, it seemed somehow fitting.
Someone should have warned me I needed anti-nausea pills.
I felt like I was spinning…and it wasn’t just George Clooney, handsome devil.

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While I enjoyed Gravity, I had a few issues, with the movie, although real gravity and I have had many issues over the years, and now it’s involving my face…

1. Sandra Bullock should not look this good, even with help.

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2. I wanted to hear the end of George Clooney’s story about Mardi Gras 1987, really, I just want to hear George Clooney talk, I mean, as hot movie boyfriends go we’ve had a great relationship, sure, we’ve had our imaginary ups and downs…
But I digress…

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3. It made me dizzy. And a little nauseated. But I guess in a good way.

4. It made me think (gasp) of how you can be just as alone surrounded by a hundred, a thousand, a million, a billion people as you can in the cold silence of space. It was like Castaway, in space, but shorter, and no Wilson.

5. Watching Gravity I couldn’t help but think, if this space station slows to less than 17,500 miles per hour it will blow up (clearly I have seen Speed too many times).

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Here are some tips for getting through #Supermoon2014:dw13

  •  Stay calm. It’s still the moon, just closer in its elliptical orbit than usual.  It’s not going to fall on us or significantly change the tides…well, unless some aliens do something, but then have no fear, The Doctor (DoctorWho) will save us.

  • Don’t go near any werewolves, I have no scientific evidence to back this up but I’m guessing Supermoons make werewolves hungrier.

  • If you’re going to dance naked, pay tribute or alternately worship the Supermoon, remember, everyone has a camera with them at all times.

  • There will be 2 more Supermoons this summer, August 10 and September 9, so if you miss out you can see it later.

  •  The moon is slowly moving away from the Earth which is sad, I know we’ve had our differences, but I’d hoped we could work things out.

1moon4So, enjoy the gorgeous supermoons (5 in total in 2014); Earth won’t be destroyed, unless it turns out that it’s not the moon but the Death Star.

“I suppose I’ll have to add the force of gravity to my list of enemies.” ~Lemony Snicket

Posted in Books, Uncategorized

Essentialism

1ess4I started reading Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown (Crown Business) wondering, is this going to be another self-help book to allegedly fix my life? Quickly I realized this was different.
Mr. McKeown’s version of Essentialism helped accelerate a process I’ve been working through for too long.

I’d heard less is more many times, but it’s nonsensical, less isn’t more, less is less.
Then I read the words, less but better. Less but better makes sense.
Less stuff, people, projects…but better quality. Essential.

The modern world is difficult to filter.
We’re surrounded by noise, figuratively and literally, 24/7.
TV shows, movies, special events, news, gossip, parties, vacations, causes, sports, books, apps, games, videos, memes, bands, singers, dancers, reality show celebrities, etc. – an endless flow of activity to entertain and distract us.

McKeown uses the example of your closet as a simple, but insightful lesson in essentialism.1ess3
Look through your clothes. Ask yourself, do I love this? Not, will I wear it or does it fit, but do I love it?
Do the same with TV shows. Love them or just filling or killing time? Or watching because of social pressure?
How about projects? Hobbies? Volunteering? Friends? Family? Work? Life?
Are you in a place in your life where everything seems important and has to be done?
Now filter out what is essential.
Now breathe.

1ess1We have so many choices today, yet they often amount to chaos. We’re suffering from choice and decision fatigue.
We’re children whose corporate parents keep us obedient by learned helplessness.
Computers find us a hotel room or flight.
Experts tell us what to buy, what to like, where to go, what to do.
Soon cars will drive themselves.1love6

Too many decisions mean the quality of those decisions deteriorate. We’re being fed a fast-food model of life, supersize it…quantity not quality.

The word priority didn’t become plural until the 1900s…how can you have more than one priority at a time? Focus on one thing, then another, then another.

Do you think when people are dying their biggest regret is:
I wish I could have worked more,
played more Candy Crush,
downloaded another app,
streamed another movie,
played another video game,
checked my email more often?
My guess is, I wish I had spent more time with people I loved
or even liked, and I wish I had been true to me, done what I wanted to do.
Why are we acquiring and keeping so many nonessentials – clothes, shoes, books, tools, toys, games…even people?
Making trade-offs with our time, energy, dreams, integrity, our lives.

1me13We’re hyper-connected, it doesn’t mean we’re always enjoying it.
Isn’t it time to weed out the trivial from the vital?
We believe busy equals important.
Wouldn’t it be better to return to less busy and more meaning?

So I’ve challenged myself to Explore, Eliminate and Execute…To have a disciplined pursuit of less but better.

I love the thought of reducing the noise to hear only what is music.

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P.S. I got this digital book at http://www.bloggingforbooks.org

Posted in Holidays, Movies, Music, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

Happy 4th of July

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/

I don’t live in America.

I have visited America many, many times.

I’m Canadian, so we’re kind of neighbours. Hey neighbour (yes, here in Canada we have ‘u’ in weird places…don’t ask unless you really want to know).

Here are just a few random things I love about America:
  The Walking Dead,
Captain America, X-Files, Heroes, Family Guy, Star Wars…

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Deadwood, Community, Revolution, 3rd Rock From The Sun, escalators, The Addams Family, Mad Men, The Munsters,
https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/Spiderman, Batman, part of Superman (get your minds out of the gutter), X-Men, Star Trek, Six Million Dollar Man, Alice Cooper, Supernatural, Soap, Green Day, The Ramones, Hell On Wheels, The Misfits, The Carol Burnett Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Elvis, ER, Get Smart, Firefly, The Avengers (not the British one), Sonic Youth, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Violent Femmes, Animaniacs, The Brady Bunch, Nirvana, American Gothic, Smallville, Angel, cash registers, KISS, Battlestar Galactica, Boston Legal

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Breaking Bad, Maude, Columbo, Scooby-Doo, Quincy, House, sunglasses, https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/Murder She Wrote, R.E.M, V, potato chips, Under The Dome, Metallica, Pushing Daisies, 8-track tapes, Guns’n’Roses, Love Boat, The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show, Family Ties,  Six Feet Under, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, MacGyver, Aerosmith, The Beverly Hillbillies, Twin Peaks, Parks & Recreation, Iggy Pop & The Stooges, Law & Order (you may have gotten carried away there, let it go), Jimi Hendrix, the transistor, Bruce Springsteen, clothes hangers, ARPANET, Jeopardy!, crayons (most of the colours, some are getting freaky)….

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Magnum P.I., SNL, Heart, the Cyclotron Atom-Smasher, Hogan’s Heroes, 30 Rock, cotton candy, airplanes, airbags, The Simpsons, Sons of Anarchy, GPS, New York Dolls, Night Court, Faith No More, Wonder Woman, Farscape, Jeff Goldblum, The Waltons, The Big Bang Theory, Hawaii Five-O, John Malkovich,The Lone Ranger, Bill Murray….https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/

Monk, Rockford Files, Yogi Bear, Devo, Johnny Depp, The Doors, Late Night With John Oliver, Seinfeld, Vikings, Pinky and the Brain, Cosmos, The Partridge Family, Police Squad!, All in the Family, Psych, The Twilight Zone, Happy Days, electric guitar, Gang Green, The Colbert Report…

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/

The Muppets, Steve Martin, Sesame Street, John Cusack, Frasier, Terra Nova, The Daily Show, 21 Jump Street, Roswell, Cheers, Spongebob Squarepants, flashlights, skyscrapers, Mork & Mindy, George Clooney,

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Falling Skies, Dexter, Garfield, I Dream of Jeannie, Bonanza, George Carlin, Homeland, M*A*S*H,  Mystery Science Theater 3000, I Love Lucy, The Flintsones, Patti Smith, Land of the Lost, Veep, The Wizard of Oz, Mallethead, Charlie Brown, American Dad!, South Park, Peanuts, Game of Thrones, Beastie Boys, nylon, Lie To Me, Talking Heads…and way way too many great movies, writers, artists, entertainers, athletes, scientists, and others making things better or at least interesting to name…
Ok, you had some international help with some of these, including Canada, but you’re doin’ stuff and I think that’s great…
I could go on and on, but you get the point. Feel free to tell me if I forgot anything, I got tired.

Parts of America are also stunningly beautiful…and many of the people are amazing.

You’ve also done some very, very naughty things, America, which we won’t dwell on today because you’re celebrating Independence Day, and perhaps watching Independence Day between BBQing, fireworks, being patriotic, watching Dead White and Blue the latest AMC The Walking Dead marathon, spending time with family and friends, and drinking (and hopefully not driving).

Like any neighbour there are things we like and don’t like about each other, but mostly we get along quite well.

Happy Independence Day,

America!!!

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/04/happy-4th-of-july/

Posted in Canada, Food, Movies, Music

Happy Canada Day Eh

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I am Canadian.

Proudly Canadian, most of the time.

Canada is majestic, not merely our stunning landscape, but its people. Our cultural mosaic is a rich montage of various cultures, beliefs, foods, etc. that mostly blend quite well. Do we have differences? Definitely, but that could be part of our strength if we fight the real enemy, not each other.

  • Canada is the world’s second largest country in land mass, surrounded on 3 sides by oceans which is why we have the largest coastline in the world…I wonder how that will work with rising ocean levels due to climate change?

  • We have tiny hamlets to sprawling cities. Farmland, fishing, fracking, factories, forests, in fact, over 30% of Canada is forest. Sadly, less each day as so much is clear-cut for timber and to make way for more oil sands projects, cities, roads, highways, shopping malls, etc.

  • Canadians are an obsessive people. Over 80% of our households have internet and we use it a lot more than other countries, maybe we pay so much, they know they have us hooked.

  • What else are we obsessive about? Tim Hortons, food, drinking, hockey, shopping, smoking, driving, boating, skiing, beer, gardening, gambling, golfing, traveling, sex, drugs (Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford even smokes crack), rock’n’roll, candy, cake, cookies, chocolate, clothes, porn, baseball, basketball (our Toronto Raptors even have thier own Jurassic Park?), hockey, holidays, cooking, eating, wasting, stuff, video games,  hockey, TV (over 125,000 Canadian households even have a TV in their bathroom), movies, books, smartphones, well, you name it, I’m sure we’re obsessed with it. We generate well over 700 kilograms of waste per person per year. So proud.

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We gave the world:

William Shatner, 

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James Doohan, Terry Fox, Alice Munro, Joe Shuster, Michael J. Fox,

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Gordon Pinsent, Nathan Fillion, Neil Young, Margaret Atwood, Leonard Cohen, Yannick Bisson, Graham Greene, Great Big Sea, Mark Critch, Drake, Carrie Ann Moss, Eric McCormack, Cobie Smulders, Avril Lavigne, Peter Jennings, J.D. Roberts (John Roberts), Morley Safer, Leslie Neilsen, Tricia Helfer, Paul Gross,  

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Kiefer and Donald Sutherland, Tommy Douglas, Barenaked Ladies, Allan Hawco, Stompin’ Tom, Rick Mercer, Michael Bublé, Paul Anka, Jack Layton, Glenn Ford, Ellen Page, Eugene Levy, Sandra Oh, Billy Van, Al Waxman, Fay Wray, Rich Little, Raymond Massey, Norm Macdonald, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Justin Trudeau,

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John Polanyi, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara, Will Arnett, Dave Foley, Lorne Greene, John Candy, ’63 Monroe, Gordon Lightfoot, Sheep Look Up, Rachelle Lefevre, Frederick Banting, Lorne Michaels, Alex Trebek, Dan Akroyd, Ryan Gosling, Adam Beach, The Trailer Park Boys, Spirit of the West, Gordie Howe, The Guess Who, BTO, Wayne Gretzky, The Tragically Hip, Tom Thomson, Emily Carr and the Group of Seven,

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Dave Thomas (as the Beaver), Brent Butt, Jim Carrey, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Rick Moranis, Stephen Leacock, Pierre Berton, Robertson Davies, Mike Myers, Tommy Chong, Dave Foley, Douglas Copeland, Farley Mowat, Joshua Jackson, Margot Kidder, Seth Rogen, Chris Hatfield, Ryan Reynolds, Martin Short, Brendan Fehr, Victor Garber, Anna Paquin, Shania Twain, Joni Mitchell, Arcade Fire, Willard Boyle, Roberta Bondar, Rob Ford, Cory Monteith, Colm Feore, Bruce Greenwood, Justin Bieber, James Cameron…
too many to name. You’re welcome and we’re sorry, that should about cover it.

  • What else? 2 km underground, we have the world’s deepest lab, Snolab, in Sudbury (which rocks!).

  • 6 time zones and the world’s longest highway, the Trans-Canada Highway, over 7604 kilometers (4725 miles). Maybe Canadian Tom Cochrane’s inspiration for Life is a Highway?

  • Over 75% of the world’s maple syrup produced, mostly in Quebec. Sweet.

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  • We have 2 official languages, English and French. Queen Elizabeth II is somehow still our Head of State.

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  • Canada is also the world’s most amazing water source. Yes, over 20% of the world’s fresh water, more lakes than all the other countries combined, the world’s largest freshwater island – Manitoulin Island, Ontario and of course, the awesome Niagara Falls.

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  • I fully expect our H2O to get us taken over one day, or some government selling it all. Documentaries like: Last Call At The Oasis (CBC), Thirst (Bullfrog Films), Flow (Oscilloscope), Watermark (Mongrel), Liquid Assets: The Big Business of Water (CNBC), Blue Gold: World Water Wars (Purple Turtle Films), Tapped (Atlas Films), The Colorado River: Running Near Empty (Pete McBride) highlight that once we’ve destroyed the water and air nothing else will matter. Watch 1 less trendy TV show, blockbuster movie, or YouTube video each week; watch documentaries, see the world as it is, not the façade the corporations, governments, etc. are showing you.

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  • We have a poor track record with our First Nations people. Sadly we don’t treat our veterans as well as we should either. Too much of the time our government of the day (hopefully that will change soon, very very soon, did I mention soon?) acts like the only good veteran is a dead veteran, oh except on photo-op days when politicians fake smile while shaking hands they’re not fit to shake. We also don’t treat our seniors, special needs, some minorities, or women, well, who does that leave, oh yes, rich white men, they’re treated like gods in Canada, at this time.

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  • Once known for being polite, diplomatic, peacekeepers, kind, caring, hopeful, giving, socially responsible, progressive, innovative, funny, strong, and free, the Canada we are so proud of is slowly slipping away, but hopefully not without a fight.

“My friends, love is better than anger.
Hope is better than fear.
Optimism is better than despair.
So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.
And we’ll change the world.”
~Jack Layton

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Canada’s literacy rate is over 99% so I know if you’re in Canada, you can most likely read this.

Happy Canada Day eh!