Monday, 31 August 2015

Racists and Bigots

I guess we all are products of our childhood. Most of who we are and what we become is formed by some mysterious process during our formative years. I’ve heard it said that 90% of your personality is set by the time you are five years old. That probably explains my love for sweets, my immature behaviour and my fear of authority figures. The last one might be a holdover from my hippie years.

I was told by my daughter in no uncertain terms that my use of the term “oriental” is racist. I find that hard to believe, but Maegan is seldom wrong about these things. I was brought up in an era that used racist terms to describe every race, nationality and even local differences were up for ridicule. I don’t feel that the terms were meant to be hateful. Well, not from me, I don’t hate anyone. I dislike politicians and stupid people, but that is pretty normal I think.
I don’t see how “oriental” can be racist. I use it to describe people who are from the Asian sub continent or The Orient as I came to know it. I should mention that Maegan told me the proper term is “Asian” when referring to people from the Orient. Does this mean that I am being racist when I call all of those people who live south of the 49th parallel “Americans”? They are actually citizens of the United States of America so I guess I am correct in calling them “Americans”. Should I call the Mexicans and my fellow Canadians “Americans” as well? I don’t know where the people of Panama would fit in, North or South. Speaking of South Americans, what should I call them?

I didn’t get into this conversation with Maegan because I see her too seldom to waste time arguing with her. Plus, she is pretty smart and would inevitably win any argument I might start. Even if I was right, I would be wrong.

Personally, I think that racism is more about intent than words. There have been a couple of racist incidents involving drunken passengers in cabs lately. There was racist intent being directed at the drivers and it is right that these passengers are being held accountable for their actions. The driver was just doing his job after all and if the passengers objected to riding in his cab they could have walked home. The insults were all basically “Go back to where you come from! You aren’t welcome in my country.” Which country is that, the one your ancestors were kicked out of somewhere in Europe? We are all from somewhere else, even the indigenous peoples came from Asia, maybe the Orient.

Perhaps our indigenous peoples are oriental. I wonder what Maegan would think of that?

I guess that the bottom line is that there are good people from every country and race. There are assholes that come from every country and race. What we need is somewhere else that we can send them just like our ancestors sent us “to explore new lands”. Mars seems to be far enough away so that they can’t come back to bother us for a century or two.

Let’s send all of the racists and bigots into space. We shouldn’t even give them a ship capable of a return trip. We don’t want the Martians sending them back where they came from.
Image result for marvin the martian

Saturday, 29 August 2015


Okay so I am getting old and crotchety. That’s no big deal, I am supposed to find more to complain about as I advance in years. Well, supposed to or not there seem to be a lot of things that need and deserve a comment from me.

Today I was at the library. It is one of the “New” type libraries where any amount of noise can be made; people eat lunch at the tables and for some reason others feel it is necessary to take out a hundred kiddie books at a time. No pre school kid could possibly make it through a tenth of those books. If they did then they would be the first kid to attend university at three. I suspect that the parents don’t really give a shit what book they take out because they won’t be reading to the kid anyways. It is just another thing that kid can put his or her peanut butter smeared fingers on. Perhaps I’m being too critical.

However, I do want to complain about the library itself. The library board decided that it would be better if they replaced the librarians who checked the books out for people with machines. I am sure it is saving money and freeing up the librarians for more important work like making change for the photo copier or wiping down tables after the lunch rush. It wouldn’t be so bad if the people could actually figure out how to work the machines.

I stood in line behind some people today that must have just come from their lobotomy. One woman couldn’t figure out what to do with the card and then when one of the librarians took time out to show her, she didn’t know how to scan the books. Another woman could scan her card but was at a loss when it came time to input her password. ALL PASSWORDS ARE THE LAST FOUR DIGETS OF YOUR PHONE NUMBER!!!! When the librarian found her password, she lifted her three year old up to scan the thirty books they had.

These machines seem to draw the stupid out in droves. It is the same at the self check outs at the super markets. If you don’t know how to work the machines, wait in line and have a cashier check you out. It will be faster and far less frustrating. No, these people are the ones with all of the weird and exotic fruits and vegetables that no one knows the codes for and likely just can’t find. Oh well!

Thank God I am retired! I have the time to waste waiting in line for these morons to skew the learning curve. I can see why some people never leave the house. It isn’t because they are agoraphobic, they just can’t abide stupid.

They have Dumbasaphobia…me too!

Friday, 28 August 2015

I Am The Human Dodo

I guess it would be fair to say that I like to talk. Okay, I like to talk a lot. To tell the truth, I don’t like it at all when there is a lull in the conversation.

I know that they say when you are comfortable in the presence of another person then there is little or no need to talk. That seems to go against 100,000 years of evolution. If you are scientifically oriented, not talking goes against reason and human development. If on the other hand you are one of the creationist whackos then you would have to wonder why the Supreme Being gave us speech if He didn’t want us to use it. I can see silence if the people in the room are watching a TV show or movie. It has often been silent when I have done or said something stupid. I have been known to be quiet when I concentrate, but thankfully that happens less and less as the years roll on.

I took a job driving a truck and delivering parcels for a couple of years when I worked at the Post Office. I thought that I would be able to make all sorts of crazy overtime money but it turned out that I would have had to lie and cheat to make the extra cash. I just wasn’t willing to do that. I don’t know why. The other problem I had delivering parcels is that I was alone all day in the truck and had very little people contact and an equal amount of conversations. I went batty! I spent a lot of time talking to myself and singing. I could deal with the talking, but the singing was just awful.

Last night, the last night that Maegan and Ryan were here, I found myself sitting in the living room with three other people in dead silence. You see, they all were on various electronic media and quite focused. I was sitting there hoping for an opportunity to talk which never came. I would try to get a conversation going but would be greeted with a one word answer or no answer at all. I kept looking from one to the other hoping that they would tire of whatever they were doing and look up to notice the others in the room. No such luck.

Of course I may have been the reason they were so focused on their electric diversions. They may have had nothing left to say after spending a week or so with me. That is possible, and now that I think about it, it is more than likely. That is kind of sad.

You know, I am going to pretend that they were all sad that last night was the last night we would be together for a long while. Yeah…that works for me. Still, looking at the three of them with heads down and focused caused me to think that all of those years of evolution or Divine intervention may just have been an evolutionary dead end.

I could be the last of my species, a throw back to earlier and better days. I am the human Dodo

Thursday, 27 August 2015


Nope...not tonight.

I was too busy to do a blog today or tonight, so that means you have a day off. I don't care what you do with the time just so long as you have a good time.

Take care of you...

Tuesday, 25 August 2015


I am not a very good liar.

Well, that’s what I tell all of the gullible people anyways. For the most part they seem to believe me, heh…heh…heh.

In day to day life I just don’t find the opportunity to lie to people any longer. Sure I will tell a woman that her new hair do looks good and that no your ass doesn’t look any bigger in those pants. When someone is about to embark on the absolutely wrong path in life I will smile and nod, commenting “If anyone can do this, you are the boy!” Six months later I will once again lie and tell them that I was sure it would have been a successful venture.

I know some people out there are saying “What kind of an asshole friend are you? You could have saved your friend needless effort and prevented them from failure.” Well, you are wrong! My friend, your friend, you or I would never listen to good advice when we have decided on the path we wish to travel. That is just human nature. Besides, who are we to say that a failure isn’t just what is needed in their life at this juncture? God works in mysterious ways and at times I do as well.

Some lies are good for the soul. Some lies can make the impossible happen. Some lies can really hurt though.

The truth is generally the best way to get along in this world. Well, truth with a touch of common sense. Although it may be true that your wife was right when she told you ten miles back that you should turn left, it isn’t really beneficial for her to tell you. You already know and feel like a complete moron anyways. It does no good for you to mention that the roast was burnt because she is painfully aware of it. I suspect that the secret to a happy relationship is more about keeping your mouth shut at certain times than just idle chatter.

If you are having an argument or are in the beginning of an argument, one or both of you should just say your thought and then keep silent until one of you is proven correct. Then, the better person will keep quiet and let the other come to the realization of how lucky they are to have a brilliant and gorgeous partner. You may think you are making points by going over and over the fact that you are right, but the simple fact that you feel a need to demonstrate your position will kind of prove that you actually think you are wrong.

I am not saying this as well as I should and I know that Louise will just make no comment about it at all. We both know I can do better. What I can’t do better is find someone as wonderful as she is that tolerates me.

Monday, 24 August 2015

What Stink Looks Like

A few weeks ago now our dryer stopped working. Maybe on some level it was working, but as a dryer it had become a pathetic failure. We had relied on it for fifteen years and I’d like to think that it relied on us to give it a purpose for existence and every now and then we would look the other way when it ate a sock or two.

I’m going to miss the dryer; it did a pretty good job and was always willing to perform any hour of the day or night. The dryer featured prominently in a youtube slide show I made while on holiday. I had a new camera, a will to play with Photoshop and too much time on my hands. It was fun and called “Sock Thieves”.

I also have pictures of Hurricane and Tornado on the day I was looking after them and put them inside the dryer. Don’t give me a hard time, I didn’t turn it on, although I think they would have had a story to tell the rest of their lives if I had. Dryers are dependable, they don’t do very much to stand out and if they do their job to perfection no one will ever take notice of them.

So, for the past few weeks we have done a full laundry at Brendan’s and bits and pieces here. We would just hang the clothes out on a rack and the sun and wind would dry them. It is funny; I have noticed that the clothing smells so fresh when dried outside. It is the smell that manufactures of fabric softener has struggled to duplicate. Unsuccessfully. Over the years I have thought about getting one of those umbrella type clothes lines, but since I don’t do the laundry it really isn’t up to me.

The clothing and towels are stiffer and scratchier somehow and I kind of like that in a towel. Not so desirable in underwear of course, but you get the good with the bad.

Today was the last day our washer was used because it is leaving to make room for the new washer and dryer that will arrive in two days time. I tossed in my greasy bike repair apron, two glue, paint and dust covered aprons, assorted work gloves and any really grungy cloths for the last wash. Tomorrow when Tornado comes for the day we will disconnect the washer and prep the room to receive a brand new washer and dryer. I think that Tornado will prefer to use the drill in the other room, but we will see how things go. He can be bribed!

I imagine that the new machines will be the last ones that we will ever buy. There is a good chance that Louise and I will be approaching 80 by the time these puppies die and the home should have laundry facilities. With any luck the scientists will come up with disposable clothing or better yet, self cleaning clothing. Just take it off and shake the dirt, sweat and stink out of it. I am looking forward to that day because I’d love to see what stink looks like.

Sunday, 23 August 2015


I spent the past four days with the family in a beautiful cabin just outside of Golden BC. For all of those home predators out there in WWWebland, you missed your chance. I am home for a good long time and will defend my home from all manner of evil people, murderers, thieves, rapists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and worst of all, those conservative candidates who are seeking re-election.

The cabin had two bathrooms, four bedrooms, kitchen, dining and a sitting area, a great room with a snooker table, a pinball machine that didn’t work, two or three decks and a hot tub. I have never been fond of hot tubs since I was groped in one once. I like to think it was one of the women that did it, but Vance was really drunk and had a smile plastered across his face. Now, I don’t think that any of my family would grope me, but why take the chance? I am huggable soft after all. I spent more than a little time getting re-acquainted with the fine art of the cue. I played mostly when the table was empty, not wanting or caring for any competition. I am very, very, very rusty, but I suspect that I would find my form given enough time.

The highlight for me was…well, I can’t tell you.

The second highlight was the shower in the main bathroom. It was one of those fancy ones that had a waterfall feature, and jets that sprayed vertical as well as a nice regular type of shower head. I was sprayed in places that I haven’t been sprayed in before. I imagine that Vance has though.

We went for a hike or two, ate too much food, laughed just enough, played with grand kids and I managed to sit back a few times to marvel at how wonderful the family has become. I guess that is the only real legacy a person can leave behind.

I could have written and posted blogs while I was away, but very few people read it on a regular basis and those that don’t can go piss in a cup. I just didn’t feel it was appropriate somehow and I needed a break from it. I have been wondering about the blogs value to me and if I should change it somehow. Every summer I worry that I will lose it because I have no idea how to pay the company that sold me the site. Every year they send me notification after notification that the account will be due on a specific date. This sends me into worry and concern that I will lose it after all this time. When the date arrives they send an email thanking me for my payment. I don’t understand either. One year I will go to post a blog and it will no longer be possible.

Until that day, we will see what happens.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Just a Dog

Well, I am all packed (pretty much) and just have to sleep, eat breakfast and then go. Should be fun.

There was a bit of a snafu with Buster, but my buddy is going to look after him for the time we are away. I have had a talk with Buster and told him not to be an asshole, but I’m pretty sure he did the eye roll thing and just ignored me. I guess we will see how he behaves when I get back. I might not have a buddy any longer.

We were going to take him, but to tell the truth we are not very good travelling dog people. Buster is fine in the car but we (I) have no idea what to do with him when we stop. He can’t walk into stores with us. Restaurants are completely out of the picture because his table manners are atrocious. I think part of the problem is that he has no thumbs and is a little sensitive about it. You can’t leave a dog in the car for more than five minutes without some tree hugger breaking your car window to “save” the poor dog. I guess that is as it should be.

When we do get to our destination, poor Buster would be locked in the cabin while we go on walks, hikes or forays into town. That wouldn’t be much fun. We could tie him up to a tree, but chances are he would end up as a bobcat’s lunch and I know Buster wouldn’t like that. We will be with a group of people, many of whom would be a little iffy on keeping the door closed so the dog doesn’t run off. I don’t see myself traipsing all over the BC Mountains looking for Bobcat shit that I may or may not recognize.

No, it is best that he stay home. He will be angry, but he is just a dog after all.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015


Maegan arrived for a visit today. It is always nice to see her and I finally know how my mom and dad must have felt when I choose to move out west and make my life here. I am happy that she has a wonderful life in Toronto and I know that is where she belongs, but I can’t help but wish I could be a bigger part of that life. If wishes were fishes…

That being said, I have the feeling that I am going to miss more than a few blogs over the next few days. You see, we, as a family have rented a chalet in Golden BC and will be spending four days or so in the mountains. I am not sure if there will be internet access or if I will be able to find the time to write. Somehow, I doubt it.

That means that while I am having a ball in the mountains you will need to entertain yourselves. Sorry…

Talk to you later.

Monday, 17 August 2015

A Blessing and a Curse

Image result for burnt toast image
I think I wrote about waking up one morning and smelling burnt toast. Normally that would be a good thing, but since I couldn’t move I thought that I had had a stroke. They say that if you smell burnt toast it could be an indication that you have had a stroke. I lay there wondering how my life was about to change and testing to see what kind of mobility I had left. I couldn’t move my right arm or leg and the same for my left side. I bit the inside of each cheek and felt pain so I knew that I wasn’t totally paralysed. I had a long day ahead of me because Louise was at work and I was pretty sure that the day had just begun for most folks. Life sure does toss you some curves.

Well, as you may or may not know, I didn’t have a stroke. I was just all twisted up in my bed sheets. I was so relieved!!!! I felt a little stupid, but I DIDN’T HAVE A STROKE!!!!
For the last week or so I have been smelling dirty socks every where I go. I thought just what you are thinking, “Ken…change your socks.” It is summer and I have been wearing socks rather infrequently, but just to cover all of the bases I tossed the socks in the wash. I suppose that it could be my sockless feet that I was smelling, so I made an extra effort to keep them as clean as possible. Still, I could smell that dirty sock smell.

I have made it a point in my life not to put my nose into any shoes if at all possible. Shoes are after all the things that cause feet to sweat and thus to smell. I had checked everything else so I had to check my shoes. Now, although I can’t say they were like a mountain meadow filled with wild flowers, my shoes just weren’t too bad. I crossed the shoes off of the list.

We only have one carpet and it had the smell of carpet. I didn’t get too close because the grand-bulldog, Lola visited us for a week or so and that big old girl is one massive stink machine. She smells of many, many things, but not dirty socks.
I can only assume that smelling dirty socks must indicate something like smelling burnt toast does. I am at a loss as to what it may be though. It could be an indication that I spend too much time in the company of people who have questionable hygiene. That is entirely possible.
 Image result for buddy jesusImage result for buddha portrait
It might be one of those gifts that special people get from time to time. Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Joan of Arc, Merlin, Leonardo and Rasputin to name a few.  Some can divine water in the ground; some heal the sick, some can make it rain and some can tell the future. Perhaps I have developed the gift of knowing if someone’s feet will smell when they take off their shoes. I don’t think it is as important as being able to make it rain during a drought, curing leprosy or being able to find a missing child, but a gift is a gift.
I would be an invaluable asset at a Japanese restaurant, winnowing out those who would make the dining experience an unpleasant experience. “Please, all must remove their shoes. It is a Japanese tradition. Oh! Not you sir! For you we will make an exception.” I doubt there would be much call for it though.

I just don’t know. I will keep my eyes open and keep smelling, hoping to find what my gift actually means. I hope it is just a blessing, not a blessing and a curse.

Saturday, 15 August 2015


It is odd how something random will catch your attention and start your thoughts to wander and wonder.
Today we found ourselves in the Bulk Barn looking for peanuts. The peanuts are located in a large bin just inside the door and we could have grabbed the peanuts, paid and been on our merry way. Where is the fun in that? This is the bulk barn and I don’t think I have ever just purchased what I went in for. They have bulk everything, lots of candy and treats, cool looking baking gadgets, powdered soups, gravies and God knows what else. We picked up the peanuts of course, some pretzels, ju-jubes, popcorn and tiny cookie cutters of a gingerbread man and woman. This is the best time to buy Christmas needs.
 Image result for saffron
When we were checking our purchases out, I happened to notice several tiny containers of Saffron on the counter. It seemed to be an odd thing to have as an impulse sale item. Many people don’t know what saffron is and those that do wouldn’t know what to do with it if they had it. I am one of the latter. I am aware that saffron has a rich history and was spread back and forth across the globe in ancient days. It has been worth more than its weight in gold at times throughout the centuries and is still one of the most expensive spices. It takes 75,000 blossoms to make one pound of saffron. It is used to colour and flavour many foods, perfume and as a dye.

I don’t think I have ever had saffron. Well, I don’t remember having it anyways. Maybe I should at least try it…maybe.

Can you imagine the people that were and are involved in harvesting the three stigmas are hand picked from each flower? I wonder what they earn for all of that back breaking work. Probably not as much as they should earn.
I wonder how hard it is to grow the saffron crocus. It would be like growing gold and that would be a good thing. I can barely grow weeds in my garden; I think I will pass on growing saffron, although it is something to keep in mind for my next lifetime. I should make a list of those jobs I wouldn’t mind doing if I am reincarnated and another list of the jobs I really DON’T want to spend a lifetime doing.

Let’s see…writer…artist…ne’er do well…gypsy…king…queen…treasure hunter…astronaut…beach bum…mailman ( I liked my job)…city worker…professor…archaeologist…blogger…

Friday, 14 August 2015

Free Music

Man is not a rational being, he is a rationalizing being.

Well, at least I am. I know what is right and what is wrong for the most part and generally I agree with society’s rules. I don’t covet anything that my neighbour has, I may be a little envious from time to time, but I understand that certain sacrifices were made for the neighbour to get those things. He worked hard for what he got or maybe he took out a karmic loan that will come due someday. I agree that people shouldn’t go around beating up others and certainly not commit murder. Theft is wrong, but sometimes it is more greyish than black and white for me.

For years I have paid ten, fifteen or twenty dollars for a CD from one of the bands that I love to listen to. I had already purchased the single or the LP but that is out dated technology now. The same applies to movies. I paid quite a bit of money for the VHS tapes and now everything is in DVD format or it is currently switching to the NEW IMPROVED Blue Ray disk. We want our entertainment so we willingly paid what was asked and thought nothing of it.

Until I discovered that I could buy blank CD’s and DVD’s for a fraction of a dollar and make copies of those albums and movies that in the past cost me a very, very small fortune. Yes, I know that the artists and all of the people involved in the industry need to make a living, but sometimes I can’t help but think that I don’t need to keep paying for the same thing over and over again. This is the grey area that I mentioned earlier. How rich does Paul McCartney have to get?

If the music and movie industries had charged a fair price for their product for all of these years, no one would bother to make copies; it just isn’t worth the effort to save a buck or two. However, when a movie comes out and is twenty-five dollars for something I can make for 20¢, things begin to grey up a little bit more. Now, I would no more buy music than I would vote Conservative.

I should note here that my musical tastes run towards the main stream and those artists are quite well off. I have no problem buying music from new bands if I can hear the sound first. Getting greyer…

Lucky for me, society seems to be providing my entertainment in relatively affordable ways. Cable TV gives me an almost unlimited amount of content for a very reasonable rate. TV shows and movies are available at the press of a button. The music industry has and is transforming. Mainly because the industry just can’t control how music is listened to any longer. I have been and am right now listening to internet radio that comes free with my cable subscription. The music industry just have to hope they can get a small percentage whenever their product is played. Life is good for a cheap guy like me.

Sure there is a possible future that has the entertainment industry going broke. There is also a possible future where meat producers go broke because everyone converts to vegetarian diets. There is a possible future where computers become self aware and decide we humans are a cancerous growth. Possible, but unlikely.

I am going to keep walking in the shade until I die and when that happens I hope that whoever is making the decision will play free music at my funeral.