All that peace and love stuff, it’s just idealistic mumbo jumbo, right?
Or is it?
While I admit I don’t understand a lot of stuff, but as long as it’s not really hurting anyone, why would I care?
Too often, the commonly held view seems to be that if we don’t agree, we’re at odds.
Like somehow 7 billion of us are suddenly going to start agreeing, or we have to battle it out Star Trek style.
For example, I find the rise of pumpkin spice alarming – apparently pumpkin spice is a season now, so the pumpkin spice must flow.
Here’s a completely incomplete list of stuff people do that I don’t ‘get’, or want to (no particular order):
1. Touching wet paint or wet cement – yes, it’s wet, move on. 2. Running water after going to the bathroom instead of actually washing your hands. 3. Lying, lying, and what was that other thing, oh yeah, lying. 4. Judging a person based on their skin tone, religion, race, nationality, whom they choose to love, clothes, home, family, etc.
5. Walking into traffic looking at a cellphone. 6. Bad driving. 7. Hurting others, especially children. 8. Loving something just because it’s endorsed by or has the name of a celebrity.
9. Using racism as a political strategy. 10. Fat shaming, and also those who say fat shaming is wrong, because they’re also calling people fat. 11. Having fictional conversations in your head with others (ok, done this). 12. Not smiling back at a child or being impatient when an elderly person is slowly walking down the stairs in front of you.
13. Yelling at furniture that jumped out and stubbed your toe (ok, I’ve totally done that). 14. Wearing uncomfortable shoes (especially with stubbed toes). 15. People who pretend they don’t fart (you do, we all do, own it). 16. Reading the instructions after you’ve done something.
17. Saying “I’m sorry” when you’re not sorry. 18. Unenvironmentalists (you know that should be a word). 19. Buying non-orange pumpkins. 20. Pretending you don’t wish some cool movie-like thing would happen to you today instead of just the usual stuff…come on, you really haven’t done this?
I can’t understand how people find the time or energy to judge, fight, or generally care so much about everyone else’s business. Does this have to do with our fight or flight response? Not running from sabre-tooth tigers (mostly), our fear response is now triggered by shopping (prices are terrifying), finding info on the internet (bloodcurdling), and politicians (I’ll take the tiger). Obviously our fear of scarcity has survived, so maybe those who are different or disagree feed into that fear. I’m just guessing, frankly, I’m baffled.
The internet just seethes with fear and loathing which is why I’m happy when I find bloggers who make me smile. David Prosser, a wonderful, funny, and caring blogger from Wales offered the world his Buthidars philosophy https://lorddavidprosser1.wordpress.com/ – a hug, a good deed, a simple gesture, a smile…forging a path toward peace.
And he shares his life each week at: https://barsetshirediaries.wordpress.com/ and kindly shared one of his novels, The Queen’s Envoy, with the caveat, it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Perhaps, but I emphatically enjoyed the fanciful flight of fictitious foibles. It reminded me of watching Bond movies with my Dad. As a child I didn’t understand what Pussy Galore, Holly Goodhead, and “Oh James!”really meant, but the spirit of adventure always made me feel like anything was possible. I like that feeling, wherever I can find it.
It’s Thanksgiving this weekend in Canada;I’m thankful we can all agree to disagree, eh. I don’t tell people they’re stupid for their beliefs and I don’t expect them to understand my complicated relationships with: chocolate, spiders, TV, sleep, housekeeping, kale, Jane Austen, gravity, technology, toenail clippers, Christmas, pools (you know, cause of sharks), clowns, Thanksgiving, meat, and life in general.
We don’t have to agree to have fun, be respectful, and add love and hope to the world.
“People are people so why should it be you and I should get along so awfully? So we’re different colours and we’re different creeds and different people have different needs. It’s obvious you hate me though I’ve done nothing wrong. I never even met you so what could I have done? I can’t understand what makes a man hate another man. Help me understand…” ~Depeche Mode
How can we assume that by birth, or race, or religion some people are somehow less? It’s easy. Just make sweeping generalizations. Drunken Indians. Stupid blondes. Lazy fat people. Violent black people. Muslim terrorists. Nerds all grow up to be millionaires. People with Autism don’t have empathy. All rich people are greedy and unfeeling. All poor people are lazy and want a handout. If you’re depressed you just need to cheer up. Everyone can beat cancer if they fight hard enough. Fibromyalgia is just another word of lazy. People with anxiety just aren’t trying to get over it. And on and on.
I can’t understand why you could automatically like or dislike someone, love or hate someone just because of their: colour, height, weight, religion, bank balance, celebrity status, education, ancestry, culture, etc.
People are people. You should feel the way you do because each person has earned what you feel for them, as an individual.
We need less arguing and letting ourselves be distracted from real issues.
Tolerance isn’t over-rated, it’s just withering away from lack of use.
Imagine a school with no playground, but with a cemetery. It sounds like something out of a horror story. It is.
Schools are about: learning, growth, safety. Aboriginal Residential Schools were just named schools to hide an ugly truth, they wanted to kill the Indian in the child.
Children torn from their families and physically, emotionally, and even sexually abused. Not given proper medical care or nutrition. Used for research and experiments.
This cultural genocide was not only government sanctioned, but paid for by taxpayers.
Generations flayed at the altar of religious and government depravity, because they not only lived on coveted land, but they had the audacity to worship a different Creator, speak different languages, have different customs, and a different skin colour.
At least 6000 children never made it back to their families. Approximately twice the number that died on 9/11. The odds of dying in residential schools in Canada was about the same odds of a soldier dying in WWII.
Many who returned home felt those who died were lucky.
So damaged, they passed that damage along.
How do we reconcile this? Broken systems still abound, half of children in foster care in Canada are Aboriginal; over 40% of water for indigenous populations is high risk; suicide rates are skyrocketing; Aboriginal students get 30% less funding than non-Aboriginal students…yet there’s billions in lapsed funding, arguing, corruption, prejudice, and endless political games.
We like to think horrifying residential schools, workhouses, orphanages can only be found in the pages of a Dickens novel. I wish I could pretend everything has changed since the times of the horrifying details in The Truth and Reconciliation Report and Nicholas Nickleby (recently watched 2002 adaptation with Charlie Hunnam, Jamie Bell, Nathan Lane, Anne Hathaway, Christopher Plummer and a veritable who’s who of UK film, by the by, quite decent). Yet each day, children around the world are: abused, neglected, sold as slaves, used as child soldiers, tortured, and raped. If we close our eyes, can we pretend it’s all fixed? It’s not.
The world is looking more and more like Disney’sFantasia where the Sorcerer’s Apprentice/Mickey Mouse tries to find a solution without doing the right things. Everything gets out of control, all the problems multiply, and get poured back in.
No matter the intentions, we need to face the truth, too many children and adults aren’t being treated well and don’t have enough.
They look to the future and see darkness instead of dreams. That needs to change.
Looking out my window last night, into the dark, still night as I always do before bed, you know, as everyone does to make sure there are no zombies, aliens, purges, or other issues, I noticed a new menace!
This was a foe I’d met before.
Sneaky and untimely, it had arrived.
On the surface it was bright, sparkly and gave the street a contemporary Currier and Ives appearance, but I knew it for what it was!
Snowmg, this was too soon.
I thought, Oh Hell Snow! Snow way!
The only dashing I wanted to do was down to the park to play some tennis or to take a long walk, in shoes.
No jingling. No jangling. No turtledoves or French hens.
No lords leaping or otherwise.
No fat man with a hidden address going on my roof. What is with Christmas anyway? Having children sit on some strangers’ lap and tell him the thing they want most in the world so he can break into their house, eat their food, drink their beverages, leave them gifts after watching them sleep. That’s just freaky.
I don’t want wassail or fruitcake, wait, it’s cold, I’ll take the wassail, but not the wassailers, too early. 4 cups apple cider, or apple juice, or 6 cored apples & 4 tbsp. sugar, honey, or maple syrup (or a combination depending how sweet a tooth you have) 2 cups cranberry juice 2 cups orange juice 3 tbsp. lemon juice 2 cups water 4 sticks of cinnamon or 1 tsp. cinnamon 2 tbsp. Cloves, ginger, nutmeg (or not)
All the ingredients in a large pot, on low for 6-8 hrs; all day in a slow cooker. Add wine or brandy or rum for adults. Orange slices and cranberries for decoration.
Snow is not a signal to start Christmascheer yet. No shopping and definitely no fa la laing. No singing loud for all the world to hear. Signed,The Grinch.
I was enjoying other people’s posts on snow, then it got real. How can I originally be from near Sudbury and still be this traumatized by snow? No idea.
Fine. Bring it on. Polar Vortex. Snowmageddon. Snownado. Snowzilla.
Snow wars. Snow conflict. Snowpocalypse.
Quietus snowus. Snow-nihilation.
Snowreaper. The oncoming snowstorm.
Just know that I will grumble. I will say, How about this snow? Brrr, it’s cold and the classic, Is there more snow than last year?
Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking,
Socrates, Bach, da Vinci, Mozart,
Darwin, Tesla, Kepler, Galileo,
Newton, Van Gogh, Pythagoras,
Bell, Homer (obviously not Simpson),
Shakespeare, Hippocrates, Marie Curie,
Gandhi, Edison, Kant, Plato, Banting, High IQs or gifted in immeasurable ways? Does a high IQ (Intelligence Quotient) = success, fame, fortune, or happiness? Does having high IQ matter if you can’t use it effectively? Traditional definitions of intelligence can be restrictive, but thankfully, that thought process is being widely challenged.
The world is now all about: smartphones, smart cards, smart bombs, smart TVs, smart water, smart cars, hmmm, does this sound like we might be overcompensating? Is our stuff getting smarter than us, and does that matter?
I had to know, what is Beyond IQ, so being a nosy parker, I read the book of the same name by Garth Sundem(Three Rivers Press). Countless MacGyverreferences and quizzes later – I didn’t include my scores, I didn’t want to make anyone feel bad also, I, umm, forgot to keep them, and a dog randomly came into my house and ate them, but I assure you they would’ve made Stephen Hawkingso totally jealous. This entertaining and enlightening book vividly highlights how practical intelligence can be even more important than standard or analytical intelligence, but then why are we so obsessed with knowing everyone’s IQ?
There’s even a new CBC show, Canada’s Smartest Person, loosely based on Harvard professor and psychologist Howard Gardner’s absorbing 1983 book, Frames of Mind(Fontana Press) where Gardner outlines his theory of multiple intelligences. Obviously they didn’t waste time on politicians, if they’re intelligent most of them are hiding it well. Gardnerand others have suggested our abilities, aptitudes, skills, and even quirks make us intelligent in a way that can’t be measured on a standardized test.
We know negative factors can lower our intelligence so can adding positive factors make us smarter? It’s worth a try.
Still don’t know all the answers, but I’m going with this, intelligence shouldn’t be measured in how smart you can be on a test, but about how you can use your smarts. By Jove, I think I’ve got it!
Here in Canadawe have Thanksgiving in October, weeks before Halloween…go figure.
A few things I know and things I’m thankful for, including but not limited to:
1. Happiness can be…a smile, a furry friend, snowflakes dancing against the darkness, absorbing books, family, friends, a movie that makes you laugh and cry, a TV show where you can’t wait for the next episode, a cozy bed, chocolate melting on your tongue, a slow dance, walking in the Fall and more.
2. Those who believe in fate or faith should never look both ways or check an expiry date.
3. Fear is more contagious than any disease and stronger than an army.
4. People make choices. How you feel about those choices or the consequences has little or no bearing. Really.
5.The Earthwill still be here in one form or another after we’re gone.6. Everyone has their own window on the world, with it’s own screen. You can’t make someone see through your screen and it’s impossible to see through theirs.
7. You can’t walk away from yourself the way you walk away from other people. If you’re going to stay, play nice.
8. Truth can be painful and can take you places you may not wish to go. Go anyway.
9. Even the most basic beliefs about reality aren’t true alone, our thinking makes them true in our experience. Hopefully this isn’t true about zombies.
10. We forget. Our mind is designed to remember and to forget, but too often we forget when someone has been there for us or not. Don’t forget.
I’m thankful my son makes me laugh and vice versa.
Thankful for family, friends, and virtual friends.
Thankful for things that keep my weary mind amused.
Thankful for what I’ve had, what I’ve lost, what I might have.
Thankful I know enough to be thankful.
I’m not going to wax poetic about Leonard Cohen, he can do that himself, through his music.
These are the 5 of his songs I love:
1. Everybody Knows (made famous in Pump Up the Volume). To me, an echoing voice of many generations, still calling vainly through the haze of lies and corruption.
2.First We Take Manhattan. This song got in my head and has never left; such unprocessed intensity it thrashes around still begging for answers.
3.Hallelujah. First heard in my teen angst years and can sometimes evoke a tear or two as the truth struggles through. Hundreds of versions later, my favs remain by: Jeff Buckley, John Cale, and Mr. Cohen, sorry Bono, yours sucked. Long before Shrek, this was classic.
4.Who By Fire. A prayer by another other name. I might just be reading into this, but I always felt it was about atonement, an expiational yearning, of sorts.
5.Avalanche. Evocative articulation about depression.
I don’t dislike the rest of Cohen’s work, it just doesn’t affect me the way the aforementioned songs do. I’ve seen him in concert several times, I even sat with him once many years ago, in a group. I felt questions bubbling up, but rarely spoke; being a writer and pedantic poet I found myself enjoying just listening to one so exquisitely arcane.
I’m always interested to see what others read into this abstruse artist. There are so many interpretations of his work. I dove into the book, Leonard Cohen and Philosophy: Various Positions, edited by Jason Holt(Open Court), from the Popular Culture and Philosophy series with a keenness that was repaid in full by cool and thought-provoking scrutiny of Cohen’s creations. I revisited some of his songs, to hear what these philosophers had heard. I still didn’t always hear it, but I thank them for their considered analysis. After many decades of listening to Mr. Cohen I realize that reconciling what people say and what they do may remain an eternal mystery…doesn’t mean I have to quit trying.
Some days I love cooking, but what about cooking on a terrible, horrible, no good, really bad day? I still want what I cook to be delicious and healthy, but how could I do that, say, during a zombie apocalypse? I don’t want myself and any loved ones who had managed to survive to simply subsist on self-contained, shelf-stable foods. We might be prey, but that doesn’t mean we’re stuck eating MREs (Meal Ready to Eat). Think fresh and available. What could be tastier than cricket, kelp and mushroom bourguignon?
After reading The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse: ACookbook & Culinary Survival Guide by Lauren Wilson, illustrated by Kristian Bauthus(Benbella Books) you’ll be thinking you should get a head start on this new way of cooking. While I know this book was meant to be tongue-in-cheek (I think that may also be a recipe), it could be a great book to have on hand, just in case. Enjoy this detailed, funny, and practical cookbook as you re-watch or catch up on The Walking Deadto be ready for its return on Sunday October 12th, which coincidentally, is the Canadian Thanksgiving…turkey and zombies, this completely changes the phrase, surviving the holidays.
If nature turns against you, turn that frown upside down – think of it as a fresh start, going back to basics.World crumbling around you during a zombie or other apocalypse? Doesn’t mean you can’t make a wonderful apple crumble in your ammo can oven!
Just because the living dead can’t think of anything but eating human flesh doesn’t mean you have to give up being a foodie.
My friend George (loved Curious George) was pure black except for a white bib and apron. George liked to sit on the front porch, even more on Halloween where he got maximum effect. He lost one half of an ear being out in the cold; we lived in Coniston, near Sudbury, it was very cold at times. In those days most cats were outdoor cats, this also led to us calling his name or saying, bad George which got a hearty laugh from my Grandfather because his brother, George lived right across the street.
Other cat friends?
Candace, regrettably insane; eventually needed little kitty pills to keep her calm (those were sooooo much fun to give her). My Mom let my Dadtake me to the SPCA to find a kitten. We were two big saps who came home with a tiny runt kitten who needed to be fed with an eye dropper for days and the SPCA said they would replace her when she passed away. I didn’t want her replaced, I loved her. Candace lived 17 years. I don’t think she had many other fans.
We had Tanis (yes, my Raiders of the Lost Ark phase, which I’m sort of still in) who my Mom (the only one of the family who professes not to be a cat person), saved when someone threw it out of a car. We couldn’t keep her because of Candace, er, aforementioned krazy kitty. We found her a good home.
There was also Xena and Luna who were lovely. Luna had to find a new home because she decided she wanted to play with my son as a baby, just his head. And Xena, her sister had to find another home when I found out my son had Asthma.
No cats since.
If you do get a kitten or cat, please, adopt from an animal shelter or rescue; or family or friend.
Our extended family has had so many beautiful cats over the years, we don’t think of them as pets so much as companions.
They think of us as staff.
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…
Deadwood, Community, Revolution, 3rd Rock From The Sun, escalators, The Addams Family, Mad Men, The Munsters, 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…
Breaking Bad, Maude,Columbo, Scooby-Doo, Quincy, House, sunglasses, 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)….
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….
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…
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,
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 Daybetween BBQing, fireworks, being patriotic, watching DeadWhite andBlue the latest AMCThe 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.
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.
We gave the world:
James Doohan,Terry Fox, Alice Munro,Joe Shuster,Michael J. Fox,
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,
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,
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,
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.
We have 2 official languages, English and French. Queen Elizabeth II is somehow still our Head of State.
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.
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(AtlasFilms), 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.
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.
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
Canada’s literacy rate is over 99% so I know if you’re in Canada, you can most likely read this.
It’s not as though me and my Dad built decks for a living or built lots of decks together.
We built one deck together. It took us a few days. And by us I mean mostly my Dad.
Up front, I’m not sure whether I was more of a help or hindrance.
I recall smashing my thumb with a hammer. Dad said, more or less, “Great, your Mom is going to kill me”, with a laugh. It was a family joke. She understood. I had suffered many injuries in the care of everyone, as well as those that happened while with friends, in school, alone. I was known as clumsy. Turns out I actually had: Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, and Hypermobile Joint Syndrome. It’s very possible I’m also clumsy.
Why was I at the camp (some call them cottages or summer home, in Northern Ontario, they’re called camps) helping my Dad with the deck? I seemed an unlikely choice, but my older brother who was actually helpful in building situations was away at university and everyone else was working. My Dad was on vacation and we needed a deck at the camp.
We’d work during the day and in the evening we’d have supper then ice cream, watch TV, I’d read to my Dad, or we’d both read to ourselves…and we’d talk.
You may have noticed I refer to my father as Dad, never my father because he’s a Dad, always. Funny, smart, sweet, sometimes annoying, sometimes really annoying, kind, and fun. He loved friends and family, cars, talking about cars, looking at cars, fixing cars, driving cars, watching cars, taking pictures of cars and with cars, also, cats, beer, eating, TV, movies, working, laughing, dancing; he was a gentleman and a gentle man, hopelessly silly…and always a Dad to me and my brother.
There’s never a picture of him where that mischievous twinkle isn’t in his eye except when he had dark sunglasses on, but we know the twinkle’s still there.
I’m not sure we were always aware of how lucky we were to have a Mom & Dad, not just a Mother & Father. We did always know we were loved. Of course, look at us, we were adorable. I love my Mom & Dad today and every day.
I have lived at least six or seven lifetimes in the past 30 or so years since those days at the camp. I wish my memory was perfect or more robust, but the happiness I felt in that time has never faded in my heart.
Enjoy the times you have because you never know until later those times were actually treasures.
Happy Dad’s Day to all those men who care enough to be Dads, not just fathers!
The world has a short memory and an even shorter attention span.
June 6, 1944, 70 years ago the Allied Forces landed on the beaches of Normandy. It was supposed to be June 5, 1944, but weather delayed it.
Every year we remember those who fought for us. There’s pomp and ceremony and we say we care.
But what about the rest of the year?
Should veterans have to fight for food, shelter, care, and support?
Should we still keep fighting, in wars, in our own countries, among ourselves?
More than 40% don’t vote in North America. We’re so used to our freedoms we take them for granted. We will stay in line for a sale or tickets or waiting for a new product, but don’t take 5 minutes to vote. I know, I voted this morning, it took under 5 minutes; people wait in line at drive-thrus longer than that to get coffee or a burger. I really don’t get it.
Many died that day and for the months after as they fought to take back German-occupied Western Europe and tried and succeeded in turning the tides of the war.
Many call them heroes, but I think most of them didn’t think of themselves that way, they were doing their duty, carrying out orders.
Like police officers and firefighters, soldiers serve their country and its citizens by putting their lives on the line. We see it as brave, they see it as a job, that someone must protect, serve, save, and defend.
Maybe that’s what makes them truly heroes, that they don’t do it to be heroes.
The Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Overlord(with the naval aspect codenamed Operation Neptune) is still the largest seaborne invasion in history. Many movies, books, TV shows, songs, etc. have come from that day. Obviously many aren’t factual, after all, history is written by the winners, but still interesting.
It wasn’t until 1997 that the undersea documentation of the D-Day assault were looked at in a historically significant way, sadly, by then, there was erosion and reclamation by the sea. First underwater archaeological study and surveys in 2000.
They found some interesting information and artefacts as well as some discrepancies.
To this day, small pieces of history haunt the shores and seas of Normandy, a bizarre reminder that history should be remembered, all those who fought, honoured.
I was thinking, if they tried to do something like this today social media would probably tell the German forces every move, how many troops, ships, planes…there would be pictures of parachutes and tweets and pix of where they were landing, people updating their Facebook status and Vine vids…Instagrammers would briefly interrupt posting pix of food to tell where and how many allied forces were and what they were wearing. And many, many memes.
We still don’t know the exact number that died during the Allied invasion. 14 years agoCarol Tuckwiller, a former librarian was assigned the significant mission of identifying every Allied soldier who died on June 6, 1944.
She spent over six years searching through records and evidence, contacting sources, etc., eventually giving up not because all soldiers were accounted for, but she ran out of credible information.
So 70 years later and out of more than 150,000 warriors who went in that day, no one knows for sure how many died. But her work brought many names of fallen soldiers into the historical records and onto plaques and made us realize there were more lives lost than we had understood.
Despite the glossy ceremonies under sun upon sand we must always remember the price of war and the higher price of oppression.
Lives lost, futures stolen, dignity torn asunder, money and power the tyrannical rulers…we could be talking about 70 years ago or any day in various parts of the world, sadly, too little has changed.
Politicians make hypocritical speeches about how much our veterans mean to us while many veterans struggle just to get by in their day-to-day lives.
Those who once stormed the beaches to fight the enemy and liberate oppressed people now have to storm their own governments for the care and attention they should receive with thanks for their valiant service.
Some of the best images of the D-Day invasion are from Canadian war artist, Orville Fisher (the 3 paintings pictured above, please check out his other work, truly, truly amazing).
I doubt the significance of the weathered faces and stiff bodies of the remaining veterans is lost on them or us; make no mistake, most will not be here to celebrate 75 years after D-Day.
We must then remember for them.
I wasn’t shocked to find out that there were reasons why bacon smells so good, like smoky greasy sirens luring unsuspecting people to their doom.
Science has now confirmed bacon smells so good because as it starts to cook 150 organic compounds release them on the noses of the world.
The fancy name for it is the Maillard Reaction which happens when foods cook. It’s why bread baking smells so divine, or cinnamon rolls, coffee, apple pie, cookies, steak, cake, ok, now I’m just making myself hungry.
What is it really? Sugar reacting with amino acids when the fat begins to melt. Hydrocarbons and Aldehydes weaving a magical olfactory ballet that makes even some vegetarians drool. Or is it the Pyridines and Pyrazines that make us forget how much we were rooting for Wilburor Babe not to become bacon? There are 150 reasons and it’s hard to find even one reason to say no, well, besides the it’s not good for you, not eating animals, the treatment of animals, religious reasons, actually, there are a lot of reasons as it turns out.
Either way, the pork industry has little trouble selling their products especially when they have all the cooking shows promoting it and joining forces with Bacon – Nature’s Evil Genius sizzling away, making our noses smile.
While I love the smell of bacon, I could take or leave the actual taste. Of course, being Canadian I should like Canadian bacon better or as the rest of the world calls it, ham. Now cinnamon rolls are another story altogether. I can smell them right now, in my mind.
Is there a food you can’t resist, especially the smell of it cooking?
1.We only have one planet. Unless we find a way to boldly go where no one has gone before, we might want to be nicer to it.
2. The first Earth Day was celebrated 44 years ago, founded by US Senator Gaylord Nelson (Democrat Wisconsin).Earth Day went international in 1990. Here in Canadawe are regressing in our fight for our planet. How about your country, how are they doing?
3. To bring awareness to this beautiful blue planet we call home, NASA is throwing the #GlobalSelfie event. So you take a selfie (duck lips and model poses optional) of yourself outside, post it using the hashtag #GlobalSelfie. NASA will use the images to generate a Blue Marble/Earth out of all the photos.
4.There are still those who don’t believe in climate change. Did you spread some more carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, Stratospheric ozone depleters, and other fun toxins today? Don’t worry about it, we’ll be gone before it gets too bad, let our children and their children live the nightmare we’re creating.
5.Canada is a large country with only 36 million people yet we are ambitious, we always try to get in to the Top 10 of World polluters. Wow, so proud…not.
6.Lyrid meteor shower peaked during the early hours of Earth Day this year (visible most of the week depending on your location, weather conditions, etc.). We need to enjoy the amazing gift we live on.
7. There are places in the world, including Alberta (Home of the Tar Sands/Oil Sands), etc. where some people celebrate Earth Hour, Earth Day,Green Week by deliberately running all their appliances, vehicles, etc. to burn as much energy and fuel as possible. Seriously. I know I live in the same country as them, but I really think we exist on different planes of dimension.
8. Over 70% of our stunning, astonishing planet is water yet millions of people don’t have access to clean water. We’re systematically polluting and destroying our oceans, rivers, lakes, etc. as well the earth, air, and ourselves.
9. What messages are we sending to our children and grandchildren with our over-consumption? People will celebrate holidays like: Easter, Christmas,Thanksgiving (especially Black Friday), Halloween, Valentine’s Day, but don’t celebrate Earth Day. I guess shopping and Earth Day wouldn’t go well together. So if the schools weren’t pushing it, how much would we participate?
10. Enjoy the Earth Day celebrations, but remember, when the photo ops are done, the trees planted, the walks done, we’re still destroying the planet today and the other 364 days of the year. Protect your home, the Earth.
Make peace with the planet. Happy Earth Day every day!!!
Cold weather inspires a lot of grumbling, whining, and sometimes, random acts of kindness.
In Ottawa and various places where it’s cold, statues started sporting scarves, hats, coats, etc. Attached where notes explaining they weren’t Lost, people could take them to keep warm. This is a lovely random act of kindness.
In the gloom and doom of news we can think there isn’t a lot of kindness left in the world. There is. Although some alleged acts of kindness are for publicity, attention or validation.
A few months ago people were allegedly spending thousands of dollars to buy strangers coffee. Really? People who can afford to buy coffee got free coffee. Sure it got Tim Hortons a lot of publicity. Sadly, there were probably some people who believed it and also followed the trend.
Random Acts of Kindness are about doing nice things for someone who are in need. A gesture, or some help, giving of your time or yourself, to support people, not corporations.
If you had $500 to give to charitable pursuits why not help someone in need? If buying people coffee can make their day, imagine what that money could mean to someone with an actual problem? Thousands of dollars given to a corporate giant who has a poor employee history, hires temporary foreign workers, and causes endless traffic problems, gee, that’s a good idea. That money could have changed lives, not just given news coverage.
Help in ways that count. What’s next, buying 500 people a 99-cent app for their smart phones, or Frappucinos, or free month of Netflix? Ever thought of paying it forward by helping those in need? Altruism is amazing, if well-placed.
We seem to have a difficult time telling the difference between wants and needs.
You need water; you want coffee.Need shelter; want a 4000 sq foot house.
Need food;want to eat at restaurants several times per week.
Need air to breathe;want to over-consume fossil fuels.
Need medicine to get better; want pills to fix everything.
Need clothes; want fast fashion made by basically slave labour under horrible conditions.
Need leaders; want lying politicians who govern in their own special interests as long as they tell you pretty lies.
Need communication; want endless versions of smartphones and tablets made by slave labour under horrible conditions.
These are all distractions. Don’t look behind the curtain of a news story to see the who’s manipulating reality.
There are more and more people in need, real need, not just needing a caffeine fix.
This seems more about the drama than the do-good.
Kind of like putting stuffed animals and flowers at the sites of tragic events or in Memoriam.
If you really want to honour those who have passed away donate money to help others.
Give those teddy bears to children who are ill, neglected, abused, suffering, and/or sad.
Give those flowers to your elderly neighbour, seniors’ home, etc.
Use some critical thinking. Life is not a reality show.
Ever read a book you basically wanted to dislike for various reasons yet still you like it, and you like it a lot? Watership Down by Richard Adams is one of those books, for me. It should seem cheesy and all rabbity and odd, but it’s endearing and compelling instead.
I suppose it depends on how you view the story.As a sweet tale a father started telling his children on car rides or an allegory about corporate persecution, domination of the vulnerable, logic and sentiment at war and so much more.
If viewed as the latter I wonder who would be most disturbed by a freedom so longed for, snatched away, the children or the parents? Both can understand, but children still have the hope of that freedom, while adults realize it is more illusionary.
Depending on the level you choose to read or believe, perhaps a challenging read, but worth it. Very strange, but there it is.
Watership Down has been adapted to film, TV, theatre, games, and has inspired songs, album titles, references, and parodies, it’s become a cult classic. Why? I’m sure there are various reasons.
Perhaps because the 1970s were a time of change where people were exploring massive social, political, and economic shifts. Using anthropomorphic depictions of animals lets us examine human issues, problems, flaws, transformations, strife, horror, etc. through nonhuman images in a sort of Safe Mode.
It’s a lot like Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (by Robert C. O’Brien, later made into The Secret of NIMH) which published just a year before, similar ideas and visions. But maybe we’re reading too much into WD, sometimes a rabbit is just a rabbit.
I wonder…40years from now what literature will represent our times, to last the test of time, if any? Maybe just an app or chip or a memory. Hopefully all is not Lost.
24 years ago today, December 6, 1989, 14women were murdered simply because they were women.
Marc Lépine went into École Polytechnique in Montreal and targeted the female engineering students because he said they were feminists and he hated feminists.
We should remember not only the people that were murdered that day in the Montreal Massacre, but those wounded and targeted, as well as their families and friends.
I’m not really going to get into the gun aspect of this; anyone in their right mind knows that guns do kill people. As do grenades, knives, machetes, vehicles, etc. if they’re used for violence.
We spend a lot of time after tragedies mourning, assigning blame, asking what could have been done to prevent them, creating new laws (In Canada, there were many gun control measures discussed, brought forward and implemented. The long gun registry was established, which pleased law enforcement, the families of the victims, and many citizens. It has since been abolished by the current government to accommodate a special interest group), and hoping next time someone will see the signs.
Yet before and after, there have been hundreds of massacres all around the world.
We like to believe these are attacks by maniacs. We like to believe they’re random and isolated. It makes us feel better, safer. This mass shooting was against women, others against children, leaders, family, friends, co-worker, bosses, gangs, etc. Some have political, racial, or religious motivations. They are rarely random; the targets are intentional. They’re not as isolated as we would like to think. And sadly, not all by maniacs. We need to find the root cause of violence and try to reverse the rising tide.
Today we remember the victims of this and all other violence – women, children, men.
Each day we should remember that violence never solved anything. It just steals precious lives.
I loved this show when I was young. It was on Saturday mornings before they were more commercials than shows.
Let me warn you, the only frightening part about this show was it’s complete cheesiness.
Vincent Price (I’m guessing they spent most of their budget on him) did the opening, closing and some bits crushed in between.
All 130 episodes were taped in a few months in 1971.
It had quirky sketches like The Librarian where a scary old guy (Billy Van, really, most of the characters were him) in a dusty library read horrifying stories except they were more like ‘Humpty Dumpty’ and ‘Henny Penny’ and then he’s say, wasn’t that terrifying? Hmmm, maybe you had to see it.
They also had the Dr. Pet Vet, Igor, The Grammar Slammer, The Professor –U.S. physicistProfessorJulius Sumner Miller (Mickey Mouse Club’s Professor Wonderful), Gronk,
Grizelda the Ghastly Gourmet, The Mosquito, Count Frightenstein exiled to Castle Frightenstein in Frankenstone, Canada for failing to revive Brucie J. Monster, a Frankenstein-like monster.
Soooo campy, but it was awesome!
I watched it years later to see if I only enjoyed it because we had very limited TV. No, still peculiar, clever, lots of slapstick, and so bad it was good.
I don’t care what anyone says, I adore watching William Shatner, in just about anything.
Sure he’s narcissistic, but he uses his superpowers for good, not evil.
He’s also funny, silly, asinine, but always charming. If you can see this one-man show live, awesome, luckily there’s also a DVD.
Dressed casually Shatnerleads us on a magical tour of memories, ours and his.
He shares very personal stories, famous encounters, ridiculous exploits, and talks about Star Trek(of course) all in that oddly heartening, exaggerated style that’s so many have mocked over the years.
It might be his age, but in this one-man show (then again, isn’t that everything he does, really?) Shatner ponders death, those he has lost as well as his own mortality. Yet somehow it’s all comforting and poignant, not morbid. “Love is the difference between the cold light of the universe and the warmth of the human spirit and life doesn’t have to end when love is present.”
If you’re a Shatner fan you’ll enjoy the well over an hour of Trek talk, how his kidney stone became $25,000 for Habitat For Humanity, picking out a pine casket for his father because he thought his Dad would appreciate the thriftiness, his, er, singing career, broke living in his truck, meeting Koko the signing gorilla, acting with Christopher Plummer and James Spader…
If you’re not a Shatner fan, watch something else.
The whole show was pure Shatner – eccentric, engaging, and egocentric, but with a heart as big as his head (tough to do). He makes me smile.
Difficult to believe I’ve been watching Murdoch Mysteries for going on 7 Seasons (we need more!)
The books by Maureen Jennings are great, but the series is fantastic.
This Canadian drama stars Yannick Bisson as William Murdoch, a complicated police detective working in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in the 1890s to early 1900s. It’s absorbing, a little daft, but always intriguing and keeps you mesmerized.
Brilliant job of combining ‘The Gilded Age’, a time when the world seemed to have so much promise with hints of amazing things to come, with a splash of reflection on how things started or went wrong; hindsight being 20/20 and all that.
Valuable lessons, drama, murder, mystery, romance, laughs – Murdoch Mysteries has it all. The only thing that could make it better, perhaps a recurring role for Paul Gross. Just a suggestion.
This remarkable drama has caught on worldwide, with good reason. Enjoy!