Friday 31 July 2015

Real Problems

I don’t know if I am a happy person or not. I do find sadness from time to time, but happiness is just around the corner when and if I care to look. I think they balance each other out, but then what am I left with?

I tend to be the happiest when I am busy doing. Doing nothing specific, but using some of the knowledge I have picked up during my life and sometimes learning new things. I’m not really very smart, but I do have my moments. I suppose I am the saddest when I am by myself wondering if my life has mattered. It matters not what others say or think, they aren’t me and they won’t have to answer for an unproductive life. That lies completely on my shoulders.

I felt sad tonight, not for myself, but for a stranger in the 7/11. Many years ago I had the same feeling when delivering mail. I met a guy outside of one of those money stores that seem to be popping up all over lately. He looked very sad and a little angry. I asked him if he was alright and he just shook his head. He told me that his mother died yesterday in Nova Scotia and he didn’t have enough money to get home for her funeral. He had tried to float a loan at the money store, but he didn’t have anything of value to put up as collateral. He just started a job so he couldn’t get an advance on his wages.

His eyes were watering by this time and I just didn’t know what to say to him. I told him that if I had the cash I would give it to him, but I just didn’t. He just shook his head and started walking away. I called out that he might try social services, but he already had and getting home to bury your dead mother wasn’t a good use of government funds. I watched him walk away and my eyes were watering. Life often isn’t fair or just.

Tonight in the 7/11 the fellow ahead of me was buying a coffee and two packs of cigarettes using a credit card. The clerk told him that the card was declined. He backed away from the counter and made a call on his cell phone. I went ahead and made my purchase while he mumbled to someone on the other end of the phone. I didn’t talk to him and for all I know he just entered the wrong PIN number for that card. It reminded me of that poor fellow from so many years ago and sadness has crept into me again.

I will soon be happy again and until then, I will thank whatever being is running this section of the universe that my trials are minor compared to so many others who have real problems.

Thursday 30 July 2015

Normal Fairy

“She was a normal fairy in all respects, well except for the southern accent.”

I woke up at around 5:00 AM with that phrase in my mind. Like a lot of dreams, it was in some ways more real than real. It is somewhat distressing to be absolutely sure that you spent time with a fantasy creature. Especially when you know it was a dream. Strange.
You know, for some reason I have always thought that a fairy would have an English accent. I suppose they could speak with a cute little French accent, but there is no way that a fairy would have a German accent or any of the eastern European accents. The sounds are just too harsh to come out of a fairies mouth. Well, that’s what I think.

Mind you, if we are going to assume that fairies actually do exist, then they would exist all over the world and it only makes sense that they would speak whatever language is spoken in the country they live in. It is possible too that they would have a special fairy language that is universally spoken by all fairies everywhere. Of course that causes difficulties as well. If I happen to catch a fairy or rescue one in distress, then how would it thank me? More important, how would it grant me wishes? Do fairies grant wishes? I hope so; after all I did rescue it from a fate worse than death.
 Image result for fairy image
Do you think that fairies wear the diaphanous clothing that Walt Disney and his animators would have us believe? I doubt it, that kind of clothing wouldn’t hold up to an outdoor lifestyle. They could clothe themselves in natural substances like leaves, bark and moss. Yet if we assume they have been on the planet for the same amount of time that we have, then they would have taken advantage of any technological advances that we have made. No, I suspect that they would wear long wearing and close fitting clothing. It wouldn’t do to be flying along and having a bellbottom pant leg get caught on a rose thorn.
I don’t know what a fairy or a race of fairies would do with their time, but you have to assume there is a reason for their existence. Maybe they are here to show us that there are endless possibilities and we should open ourselves up to those possibilities. I think they talk to us in our dreams when we are most able to open up to strange and different ideas.

Why, just last night I was talking to a fairy that was normal in all respects except for the southern accent. 

Wednesday 29 July 2015

Live Forever

I remember watching an interview with John Cleese. I wasn’t watching the interview with John Cleese, he was being interviewed and I happened to be watching. He was explaining what makes things funny and how to make those things even funnier. It was funny to watch Basil Faulty having an emotional breakdown in the front lobby of the hotel, but it was even funnier to have someone watching Basil as he had the breakdown. That is true in every case that I have watched so far in my life.

On a personal level, it is tragic if someone falls down a flight of stairs. It is tragically hilarious if you happen to be watching that person fall down the stairs. Well, assuming he doesn’t really get hurt. Nah…even then.

I guess everything is better if it is shared. I enjoy a movie more if I am watching it with someone else and I just can’t wait to re-watch a show I liked with Louise. Sometimes she likes the show and sometimes she doesn’t, but at least we have that experience together. When something happens to me, the first thing I want to do is to tell Louise about it. Sometimes we laugh and sometimes we just wonder what the hell is wrong with some people. I just love watching movies with Hurricane and Tornado, I get to see the movies through new eyes that see the magic and wonder in all things. I can hardly wait till Tsunami is old enough to watch those Princess movies with me. I suppose it is possible that she won’t want anything to do with the Princess genre of movies, and that’s okay too. I’ll watch them myself.

The absolute worst thing that can happen to me is when I am doing something for Louise and I can’t tell her because it will ruin the surprise. I am not good with secrets and secrets aren’t good with me. I keep wanting to talk to her about the second and third season of “The Newsroom”, but she is going to have to watch season one first…

Sometimes I take Louise for granted and I really shouldn’t. I have a friend or two who find themselves in their sixth decade and alone in the world. Oh, they have family, friends and in some cases co-workers, but when the sun goes down and the 11:00 o’clock news is over they turn the lights out in a home that only has one person in it. I don’t know if I would be able to deal with that and stay sane. A buddy of mine is worried about his health and he is the only one worried about his health. Louise worries for me and makes sure that I look after myself. That is love, well; love and I don’t believe she wants to be alone anymore than I do.

I think we should make a pact. Neither one of us will die without the other ones consent. That way, there is a good possibility we will live forever. 

Tuesday 28 July 2015

How Do You Spend Your Time

"How do you spend your time?"

“Well, I suppose just like everyone else, the days are spent at work, I come home for supper, afterwards I do what needs doing around the house and the rest of the time I enjoy my family. The weekends are the days when we get out and about, sometimes hiking, visiting friends and family, going to a movie and sometimes I get to pursue my hobbies.”

“No, that’s no what I meant. Hmmmm… okay, when I say spend your time, pretend that time is like money, you get a certain amount to spend every day and at the end of the day you lose it all. Not to worry, because tomorrow you will have more time to spend any way that you choose. No one is going to audit you, well, not yet. and every day there is more time to spend. How will you spend your time?”

“I don’t know that I would spend it any differently than I do now. Maybe I might try to do less of the things that are just filling the days and replace them with activities that will build fond memories. I’ve always wanted to play an instrument, not good enough to perform or even play in front of anyone, just a combination of notes that I find pleasant. I might give more of my time to a good cause. I’d like to take my wife to some odd place in Europe that no one else I know has ever heard of. There is a place just south and east of Barcelona called Parc Natural del Garraf that looks like it would be pretty cool.”

“That’s the idea! I don’t expect you to come up with a life plan all at once, it will take time, but you have a fresh supply of time every day. Spend it wisely and enjoy yourself when you are spending it.”

Monday 27 July 2015

Now and Next

I just don’t understand how anyone can be a fan of a team year in and year out, win or lose. I understand liking a team and getting emotionally involved in whether they win the cup or not, because you as a fan have a vested interest in their success. In some ways, the team’s success becomes a success for you because you picked them. However, in a handful of years all of the players that you once liked have retired or been traded and now “YOUR” team is completely different.
 Image result for toronto maple leafs
I was a big fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs when I grew up in Toronto. The players that I liked from that era left the team and it ceased to be a successful team. Oh, it still made money and still had all of those rabid fans, but since 1967 there really hasn’t been anything to cheer for. That is loyalty. I don’t get it. Why not find another team to cheer for? If the original team starts to play well again you can always switch back. It is after all just a game and no one is keeping track of who you cheer for.

What amazes me isn’t that fans have this crazy loyalty to “their” team, but they hate, Hate, HATE the rival team. Why? That team has changed since the year you started to hate them. After ten years none of the people you hated are even playing hockey any longer. I just don’t understand it.
 Image result for hate the rival team
Mind you, I don’t understand how normal, intelligent people can sit for hours watching a sport that they don’t play now and have never played. It is the same with most television I guess, just a waste of time. It is an effective means of killing time, but I have noticed that most TV personalities don’t watch much TV themselves. I wonder why that is?

Well, I should go and find a good way to fill the hours between now and next….
Image result for walking in a forest

Sunday 26 July 2015


Image result for chopping wood
About forty years ago I thought that I would like to learn how to carve wood. I don’t know why nor should I say I can’t remember why, but for some reason I enrolled in a carving class.

The instructor was mid thirties, with longish hair and looked pretty much like all of the people I hung out with looked, kind of scruffy but a nice scruffy. He had been carving for a long time and decided that he should share the knowledge that he had acquired with others. I’m sure that the money he earned teaching was welcome as well. Since we were all newbies, he brought enough carving knives for all of us to learn on. He taught us how to sharpen carving tools, but like anything worth doing it takes a lot of practice to get good. We didn’t get enough practice. I’m sure that after every class he spent an hour or so bringing the knives back into shape.
 Image result for wood carver
I learned the rudiments of carving in that class, but I didn’t develop the patience needed to sharpen the knives as sharp as they need to be. It would take me years to get to a point where I took pride in seeing my reflection in a perfectly honed blade. Now I am either patient or anal enough to get the sharpening done properly. Some times, good enough just isn’t.

Its funny how I will go for longish periods with only doing a half assed job on the kitchen knives and I will let the carving tools sit for months. Today, my son-in-law asked if I would sharpen his axe for him as they are going camping next week and it is nice to be able to split wood if need be. The axe was pretty good, but I told him I would just touch it up a little. I sharpened an axe for Brendan once and he cut himself testing the sharpness.

I had to look up how to sharpen an axe on Youtube since I had forgotten just how to go about it. Once I got going, I just couldn’t stop myself and I suspect that the axe is a little too sharp. You can’t shave with it, but it will slice a piece of paper nicely and it goes through soft wood like “butter”. I might tell him to dull the blade a little, it would be a little safer, and although they say that dull tools are far more dangerous than sharp ones.
Now, I have the bug. I sharpened the axe head I have and am going to get the hatchet and axe as sharp as I can. While I am at it, I may as well sharpen the shovels and anything else that catches my fancy. It will be a good time to make a couple of boxes for two water stones I had forgotten that I have. One appears to be a pretty good one and the other will be perfect for use in the garage. I don’t really need them, but you can’t have too many sharpening stones, they are like back packing stoves, the more the merrier.

Well, I’m burning daylight and that hatchet won’t polish itself…

Saturday 25 July 2015


I suppose that like most people the first toilet that I used was in my diaper. Mom and dad would have to deal with the problem, I was too busy by far trying to learn how to walk and talk. I couldn’t bother myself with the day to day necessities of eating, drinking, and waste removal that I left to others who had nothing else important to do.

I can’t remember if I had one of those cute little potty seats that fit on a regular sized toilet or if I had a separate, stand alone little potty that was for my use exclusively. I suspect that given the era, I would have had the stand alone seat and mom and dad would have to wash it out after every use. Eventually I would hang my tiny little butt over the edge of a normal toilet thinking that I had finally made it to being a big boy!

It’s surprising how short a time that pride in being able to use a toilet lasts. One day you get praised for doing number one or two and sometimes if you have been very good there might be some kind of sugary treat as a reward. A week or so later no one actually makes any kind of comment at all unless you don’t use the toilet. Then as they say, the shit hits the fan. My mom is mad, dad seems to be very disappointed and my brother is smirking that smirk that I will come to hate so much in the years to come. No treats…no praise…just guilt. It is pretty effective though because I can’t remember too many “accidents”. Well there was the time on the golf course with dad and walking home from school in grade two, but they were isolated incidents and I just don’t ever want to talk about them again!

I remember when we first started to go to Gram’s cottage and had to use an outhouse. It was a two seater, but to the best of my memory I never saw more than one person use it at a time. I imagine that dad had to dig the hole and build the little out house. Maybe back then you could by an outhouse kit from the Eaton’s catalogue. Indoor plumbing was common in the cities, but I think the rural areas lagged behind in some very important ways. I do remember that one weekend the outhouse was in one place and the next weekend it had moved a few feet closer to the Hayden’s cottage. Even though it was in a new location, the smell seemed to move with it.

Eventually, the toilet moved into the cottage, just between Gram’s room and the room that Steve and I shared. It still wasn’t a flush toilet, but the hole was longer and you needed a flashlight to see to the bottom. The smell was still there, but not as strong and was more like the echo of a smell. Dad would pour a bucket of lake water down the hole every day and there were some chemicals tossed down too. I was told that the “waste” went down the hole and into a septic field. I had no idea what that meant, but the adults seemed to think it was a big step forward so I went along for the ride.

Gram sold the cottage eventually and it has been a rare occurrence for me to use an outhouse since then. I guess I am spoiled and have become accustomed to modern plumbing. I cleaned the toilet just before writing this blog which is probably why I am thinking of toilets. It isn’t a fun job and since it isn’t fun I tend to let more time pass between cleanings than I should which makes the job all the less enjoyable. I imagine that at sometime in the future there will be a self cleaning toilet, but until then I just wish I could flip open the lid and pour in a bucket of lake water to clean it.

Friday 24 July 2015

Summer School

In the mornings, Buster and I walk past the high school. It is the same school that my three kids went to and numerous kids that have since become friends of the family. This is nothing new.

We (I) are too lazy to seek out other paths for our walks although we might eventually once this one ceases to have interesting smells. We go by the school at all seasons of the year and for the most part it is when the kids are just getting to school for a day of learning. They arrive on foot, bike (not many), cars driven by parents or themselves and the public transit. Some seem happy and eager while others are dragging their sorry asses and will prop themselves in a desk and do the eyes open sleep that teens seem so good at.

This time of year it is the summer students that are getting to school in the morning. When I was in high school, summer school was mainly for those that failed a subject or two during the year and with a little (alot) effort will be able to be passed into the next year. Well, that is the hope. Some are there to improve their marks so that they can get into the University of their choice and I suspect that some kids are there for want of anything better to do.

I was one of those kids that went to summer school to try and get a passing grade in one or more subjects. I wasn’t stupid, well, I don’t think I was stupid but I did end up in summer school. I found that summer school was much easier than the regular classes during the year. Maybe that was because I did retain some of the course material from having already heard it, and maybe the teachers went easier on us. I suppose that the teachers could have been better as well. Yeah, that’s it; it was bad teachers that made me look like a moron.

Today, Buster and I were thinking not about the classes, but about what happened because I was taking the classes. Most of my friends had jobs and therefore had money to do and buy things that I couldn’t afford. Some of them went away on vacation which of course I couldn’t do because I was in school. Week night activities were out for me because I had to study. It would have been silly not to because that was why I was going to summer school in the first place. I think that is where a rift in our friendships first showed up. Oh, nothing was said, but there were subtle changes happening.

I had gotten myself into the mess by being a clown and a smart ass, trying to make everyone smile and laugh. While I was thinking of funny things, they were paying attention to the teacher at least enough to have passed the course and avoid summer school. I don’t remember a lot about summer school other than what I was missing by being there.

It took a long time for me to realize that I was there because I cared more what people thought of me than I did for myself. In some ways, things haven’t changed but I no longer have to go to summer school.

Thursday 23 July 2015

What the Hell

I saw a man walking from the Leisure Centre tonight with his three kids. He looked pretty harried and the kids looked totally wired. It brought back some good memories.

I loved having little kids around the house; it was so full of life. I loved my kids when they were little. I love them now too, just in a different way. That doesn’t mean that I never wanted to kill them and that at times I still want to kill them. For the most part they are pretty nice and without them I wouldn’t have any grandkids. I don’t think that makes me a bad person, just honest.

I don’t know why I felt the need to say that, but what the hell. It has been one of those days.

Wednesday 22 July 2015

You Aren’t That Lucky

I have been thinking lately that I have wasted my time for the better part of my life.

Okay, I know I have been wasting my life and for the most part I am content with that. Every now and then I read or hear about someone that makes a difference in the world or creates beautiful things with their hands. Some people volunteer to help those less fortunate and in many cases save lives.

I write a blog that is read by tens of people. Everything seems to balance out.

This past week I have been busy working on a project that has taken far longer than it should have, but finally it is nearing completion. I have had long and tiring days, but there is a satisfaction in creating something from nothing. I wonder if this is how people felt before there was a world wide web to piss away their time with? Maybe that is why things aren’t made in North America any longer; we are far too busy playing the newest version of Donkey Kong.

I guess at the end of the day all that really matters is if you feel good about yourself and your life. For the most part I do, but I am going to try and make my time a tad more productive in the future. Who knows, I might even stop writing the blog if I get busy enough.

Nah…you aren’t that lucky.

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Here and Now

Louise had to pop into the Co-op today to pick up a lottery ticket or two and a bag of green grapes. I don’t think the tickets and grapes are linked in any way, but with Louise you just never know. We had just come from the lumber yard and had an eight foot one by eight pine board stretched from the back of the car to the dashboard. I needed the wood to finish a project I am working on and I just didn’t feel right leaving it in a hot car all by itself. After all, it can’t get out if the car gets too hot and although it has eight feet, without hands it can’t roll down the window.

While I was sitting there I saw two young boys, one riding a bike and the other pushing his bike up to the air compressor. He turned the bike upside down, took off the valve cap and proceeded to fill the tire with air. I suppose he must have just fixed a flat or perhaps the tire had a slow leak and needed air every couple of days. He tossed the hose towards the hook where it is supposed to hang when he finished, flipped his bike right side up and took off to find his buddy who had disappeared by this time. Kids never change.

Co-op is one of the few places left that has free air. Most of the other places charge a dollar for the use of the compressor. I am one of those that were stunned when I first heard about charging for air, because that was something that I have just taken for granted all of my life. I understand that times have changed and the gas bars now don’t have service bays that require a large on site compressor, so they have to purchase one for the use of their customers and they need to recoup their costs. Some things change.

I remember doing the same thing as those kids, time and time again when I was about that age. I would walk up to the corner garage pushing my bike and use the hose that was hanging by the side of one of the bays. I would usually ask the guy there if I could use the hose and if he wasn’t too busy he would ask what happened to my tire. He would help fix it the odd time because sometimes it wasn’t a slow leak. Dad could have fixed it, but I guess the garage guy figured that he was building a customer base. He was too, I went there for pop and candy as a kid and when I started to drive I would gas up at that station. It was only right.

The last time I was in the old neighbourhood, the gas station was gone and I think there is a small strip mall in its place. I don’t know why full service gas stations have disappeared for the most part. It isn’t as if the dealers offer bargain basement prices for repairs. I suspect that like everyone else the guys who used to run these stations just couldn’t be satisfied with making a living wage and doing a full days work. Perhaps the government has just made it that much more difficult to be a small businessman. Maybe there isn’t enough mark up on gasoline anymore. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Louise came back to the car with the grapes and tickets and I came back to 2015. I wish I could have stayed in the sixties, but I have pressing business that I have to take care of in the here and now.

Monday 20 July 2015

Fucking Gods!

I am aware that I am a little less than perfect. I am the perfect “me”, but I have pretty low standards and everyone else in the world seems to have higher standards than I do. Such is life.

That being said, I feel that I should point out a character flaw and blessing. Once I start to look for something, I won’t stop the search until I find it or lose my mind entirely. If I have absolutely no idea where it could be, I will do a cursory search and that will be that. However, if I remember the lost item or Louise remembers a lost item then I will search until bed time and then start the search first thing in the morning. Of course there is a point when I have searched the whole house two or three times and not found what was lost. That is a sad day and from time to time I will resume the search. I’m still looking for a book I misplaced during the seventies.

I don’t remember the name of the book, the size or what it was about, but I think it was reddish or perhaps orange. Louise will do that to me every now and the. “Did you see the large brown envelope from XYZ Corp?"

The next two hours I will search all of the likely hiding places and most of the unlikely ones. I have gone out to the garage in -40° C and searched both vehicles on the off chance it may have found it’s way out there somehow. Eventually, I will stumble on a small, blue envelope with the XYZ Corp logo and ask Louise if this is the company I am searching? Bear in mind that Louise gave up the search one hour and fifty-five minutes ago and has since forgotten the envelope or even what she wanted it for. There is a momentary look of bewilderment in her eyes and then she will say, “Great, that’s the one I’m looking for. Thanks!”

I stare at her wondering how a large brown envelope became a small blue one. I guess that is one of those life mysteries people talk about. I suppose that the good news is that during the search I have located more than a few items that I will need in the near future. If only I can locate them when needed.

Today I was looking for a vintage tool that spins water out of a paint brush or roller. It had been sitting beside the laundry tub in the basement for the past three or four months for those occasions when I need to spin water out of a brush. I went to get it and it just wasn’t there! What? Who the hell moved it? I know I didn’t it must have been Tornado; he puts things where he determines they should be. The location usually only makes sense to him. I tried to think like a five year old and although I am pretty immature, it just isn’t the same thing.

Here we go again. I searched the laundry room, the basement workroom, Louise’s sewing room, the kid’s hide-a-way under the stairs and repeated the search four times. I went upstairs and searched my room, the spare room where the grandkids sleep, the computer room, front closet, rear entry and I looked under the couch. I went out to the garage and searched the work bench, the wall of shelves, the place under the workbench where I keep paint supplies and spiders and then did it all over again. I went back in the house and searched the basement again. Finally, in desperation I looked at Louise and said, “I know this is a stupid question, but do id you do anything with the paint brush spinner?”


“No, forget it.” I must have sounded terribly dejected because when I came back in the house Louise was in the basement looking for that damned spinner. I stepped into the laundry room and there, hanging just above the laundry tub was the brush spinner.

I would like to think that things like this happen because the Gods are testing me to see how I handle stress. That’s what I would like to think, but it’s more likely that the Gods are just having a laugh at my expense.

Fucking Gods!

Saturday 18 July 2015

Lucky Candle

I have talked about luck before in this blog and probably the different kinds of luck. I consider myself to be lucky, but I have yet to win any life changing sum of money. I have my health and those I love are for the most part healthy, although there is some question about mental instability running amok in the gene pool.

I don’t think I have mentioned my mother’s good luck. Mom would enter any and all contests she could get her hands on. This was before the internet when she would have to steal whole books of entry forms from the stores holding the contests. She would sit watching TV filling out the forms and making hand drawn facsimiles of the UPC code. I’m not sure if there were UPC codes back then, but she did some hand draw something or other which was necessary to enter the contest. She would fill out hundreds for each contest and then mail them in. That gives you an idea how cheap postage was back then.

I guess it isn’t surprising that she would win contests on a regular basis. She didn’t win the big prize generally, but she’d win coolers, umbrellas, bags of all sorts, radios and God knows what else. One time she won a motor bike, but she wouldn’t let us ride it because “they are death traps!” It would have been nice to tempt fate and certain death for a few days.

Keep in mind that this was before government lotteries and gambling of any kind was illegal. To win large sums of money a person would have to buy an Irish Sweepstakes ticket for a guy that knew a guy who had a friend that could get his hands on a ticket or two. Mom had a winning Irish Sweepstake ticket once, which meant that she had a horse in the race. Well, it didn’t stay in the race for long, it was scratched and mom made a thousand dollars. Big money in those days probably paid for the postage.

Whenever mom would win anything, she would light a candle. Not just any candle, but the winning candle. It wasn’t a lucky candle; it would do you no good just to light it in the hopes of a win. She would burn it just for a short period if she won an umbrella and much longer for a horse in the Irish Sweepstakes. I have no idea how she decided how long she should burn the candle.  I think it was a way for mom to give thanks to Tyche the Greek goddess of luck. The Greeks could use a little help from Tyche now with their financial problems.

When mom passed, I brought the candle home and it has been pretty much ignored for years. I noticed it today, dusted it off, wiped the spider webs clear and apologised for ignoring it. The candle was bright red at one time, but is a pale red now from sitting in the sun for far too long. From now on, whenever I win a free ticket or two dollars, I will light the candle in honour of Tyche.

It can’t hurt to have a Goddess looking after your best interests.

Friday 17 July 2015

Unbelievably Brilliant

I saw a facebook post a couple of weeks ago that I couldn’t disagree with, in fact, it was right on the money. It was a picture of an old man in construction clothing and the caption read, “Only someone who sits at a desk all day would think that a retirement age of 70 is a good idea.”

Personally, I don’t think anyone should work for longer than thirty or thirty-five years. Mainly because those few years at the end of a persons life lets him or her pursue activities that they either didn’t have time for earlier in their lives or they couldn’t afford the activity. I know that not everyone can afford to retire, but that is something that we as a society can and should fix. I know people who will work until they drop from exhaustion or they simply aren’t well enough to work any longer. No one should be forced into a situation like that.

Yes, I know that some of these people spent their money as they earned it without a thought to the future. Some didn’t make enough to put any away for the golden years. Some of us lucked into jobs that had a good pension plan but the salary we earned was low because of it. We should as a society have universal pension income that enables a good standard of living after you can’t work any longer. The pension plan we have in Canada is sufficient to survive if you are lucky enough to have a cheap place to live. We could all have good lives if we would only work together for the good of all.

The reason I was thinking about that old construction worker is that I spent a few hours doing work of the construction variety today. I wasn’t pouring concrete or doing a lot of heavy lifting but I did work pretty steady all day. I am exhausted! Yes, I could probably get used to working full days if I had to, but thank God I don’t have to. I may look for a job in the future to pay for an exotic holiday, but my day to day needs are taken care of for the present.

No, I don’t think I was ever cut out to do heavy manual labour, light manual labour or manual labour of any kind. I wasn’t cut out for a desk job either I don’t think. I should have been born rich as well as devilishly handsome and unbelievably brilliant.


Thursday 16 July 2015

There is Always September

I am pretty sure I have written about this before, but since it still bothers me then obviously I have some unresolved issues.

I am a retired mailman, so it goes without saying that I spent a good part of every work day going from one house to the next. Technically, we were supposed to use the sidewalks and walkways to move from house to house. If I were to walk across a person’s lawn I could save ten, twenty or thirty steps which translated into an hour of time by the end of the day which I could spend at home. It was a no brainer what I did whenever it was possible. If someone had a beautiful lawn or just preferred that I not walk across the lawn then I would use the sidewalks. I would hate the bastard for years and wished him an early death, but I did respect his wishes. Well, unless I was in a hurry.

There were certain neighbourhoods that I didn’t like to work in because they were older and the people were more established in their lives, having more time and discretionary income to plant a hedge or put up a fence between the houses. Both caused me to use the sidewalks and broke up the rhythm of my day. I disliked fences but I hated hedges! Maybe because hedges started small and eventually became impossible to step over or push through. Most mailmen that I knew disliked hedges; it was one of those universal truisms.

Now, having established that I hate hedges, I live in a house that has hedges on both sides of the yard. I didn’t plant them! No siree! They are the neighbour’s hedges. However, the neighbours that planted these hedges have long since moved away and the new owners of the properties think that a hedge will trim itself. I have been reluctantly trimming the hedge about twice a year for about thirty years now. I don’t do a good job and I keep hoping that somehow I will “accidentally” kill the hedge off. Actually, I keep hoping that one or both of the neighbours will trim the hedge just once before I die. I have at times throughout the years told the neighbours that the hedge belongs to them, but I guess they assume that if they wait long enough some bozo will cut the hedge. They are right.

Tonight, I had to do it again. Both neighbours are useless bags of flesh and there is no chance either one will cut the hedge. They hardly cut their lawns and if not for city fines, the one neighbour would never get any yard work done at all. I did my normal shitty job, but it still looks a hundred times better than it did. I will do it again towards the end of September and that will be it for another year.

Every time I cut it, I tell myself that I will just cut the top and my side, leaving their sides to grow unchecked for years and years, eventually encasing the homes in a twisted, labyrinth of dead and rotting vegetation. Every time I tell myself that only an asshole would do that and it only takes a few extra minutes. Every time I grumble and give the “stink eye” to the houses while I am cutting. Oh well, what are you going to do?

I can hope things change for the best…there is always September.

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Till Tomorrow

I had a wonderful day today. I know that anyone reading this couldn’t care less about my day, they are just trying to kill a little time before the cops kick in the door. Well, maybe they just stumbled on this blog and are hoping to be entertained and amused. Tough luck!

As I said, the day was wonderful, but the evening and now the night are off for some reason. It could be that the weather is changing and for the next few days we will be having cool and rainy days. I am looking forward to the change, but often the change in barometric pressure can wreck havoc with emotions and can leave you feeling just a little out of step. That’s me tonight.

I can’t come up with anything that I want to share or that will make me smile. There is nothing that I can say tonight that will make my kids and grandkids laugh when I am long gone.

The breeze is coming up and there are patches of darkness moving in. It is a good time to shut the world out. Tomorrow will be soon enough to deal with the darkness, tonight I will hide under covers and behind my dreams.

Till tomorrow then… 

Tuesday 14 July 2015

Mexican Jumping Beans

This afternoon I was leaning on the windowsill in our bedroom watching the hail hit the lawn. I am not much of a gardener and don’t care that much about the crop, but I don’t want to lose it to hail. I guess that feeling of despair when the hail starts to fall is hard wired into us humans. It has been ten thousand years since our ancestors invented cultivation and in those ten thousand years there have been a billion tears due to hail. What could be worse than nursing a crop all summer, only to lose it during ten minutes of hail in August?

I don’t rely on my crops for my livelihood or even to supplement my food supply. I just like to see the dirt part of the yard balanced with greenery for most of the summer. I usually have peas for the grandkids to pick and eat. They don’t usually. I have carrots for the grandkids to pick and eat. They do when they can. I have tomatoes for us and everyone to eat. No one actually wants your excess tomatoes. They say they do, but they don’t. I have potatoes which everyone wants, but since I paid more for the seed potatoes than I would for a 20 pound bag, I am keeping them for myself.

Gardens are mostly more work than they are worth. It is tradition though. I have a buddy that visits pretty much every summer who loves to garden. Well, he used to love gardening but he has no where to garden anymore. Instead, he visits me for a week and gives me advice on how I should enlarge the garden. I try to explain that the garden is really just for show and I’m not terribly interested in the produce. Too often in the past I have ended up with a broken heart due to the garden. It is like I am talking to someone that doesn’t understand the language. Not caring about the garden just doesn’t even register for him. I offer him a pea pod or a miniature, deformed carrot, but he declines while pacing out the dimensions that my newly expanded garden should be.

All this, while I watched the hail bouncing in the back yard.

My mind drifted back five decades or so to when I held a Mexican jumping bean in my palm. I was mesmerized! How could a bean move by itself? I thought that my brother was pulling my leg and was just bouncing the bean. Well, until he put the bean on the table and it kept moving. That was the summer of Mexican Jumping Beans; everyone had a little plastic box with a bean inside. I later learned that the beans jumped because of a larva was living inside and didn’t like it when the bean was heated by sitting in someone’s palm and would attempt to move the bean to a cooler environment.

As an adult I just can’t believe that the government of the day allowed the import of millions of beans with a creature of dubious origin inside. Who knows what those larvas have morphed into over the decades? They are disgusting creatures that avoid the warmth and light and no one knows how evil their intentions are. More than likely they emerged from the beans and grew into Conservatives.

The beans were replaced by little tubes that had a ball bearing inside, but it wasn"t the same. I did see a jumping bean a few years ago, in my grandson's hand. Pretty neat stuff!

Monday 13 July 2015

Reporting the Weather

I wish I were a TV weatherman.
 Image result for tv weathermen
I know that they must have some kind of credentials to get the job other than a large and varied wardrobe, bubbly personality and a penchant for being incorrect. We have three local TV stations in the city and of course we also get 24 hour a day, 365 days a year weather from the Weather Channel. That is at least ten meteorologists all told and they are all wrong about fifty percent of the time. I could do that!
 Image result for tv weathermen mistakes
Well, I don’t have the wardrobe and I wouldn’t describe my personality as bubbly. But I am wrong more often than I am right. Mind you, when it comes to the weather I have a sure fire method of making predictions…I look out a window! Is that so innovative that no one else seems to be able to do it? How often has a weather person been talking about warm and sunny when it is cloudy with rain? Too often!

A few years ago there was a web based news show that told the news of the day and the weather from around the country. I never minded if the weather gal was wrong. The show was called The Naked News and a woman would come on stage and report the news as she took her clothing off. I knew that I was getting old when I got caught up in the news story and didn’t pay attention to the newscaster. I thought the show had been cancelled long ago, but I just checked and it is still being produced. It is a subscription program which is why I thought it was no longer on. No way would I pay for news and weather, naked or otherwise.
 Image result for naked news
For most of my working life I was outside for a good portion of the day and every day before I went out to start delivering the mail I would open a door and step outside. This allowed me to tell how cold it was, how wet it was and how windy it was. By knowing these things I could select the appropriate clothing to wear or at least take with me. I even had emergency warm, waterproof clothing in a relay box in case the weather happened to change. The only time I was surprised by the weather is when I listened to the radio weather guy or someone at work who knew even less than the weather guys.

We have an all news radio station in town that gives you a traffic and weather update every ten minutes. The radio weather guy is the same one that is the Channel Three TV weatherman. He predicts the daily temperature to within three degrees each way or the station pays out a minimum of $660. The cash payout goes up $25 dollars every day that David is right. Well, it did but I think they have changed things. He was rarely wrong, but there was money on the line which is a good incentive to be right. I think the radio weather forecasts are more accurate because people call in if they are wrong and they can change the next time they open their mouths.
 Image result for david spence

I was going to say that the only other job where you can be wrong and suffer no repercussions is politics. However, I am feeling pretty good tonight and talking about politics would just piss me off.