Wednesday, 23 November 2016


If I wanted to, I could be the guy that sends out Christmas cards before anyone else.
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The reason I mention it is that we received our first card of the season today. It was from a fellow that Louise used to work with who has moved to Oshawa. Perhaps Christmas comes that much sooner out in Ontario. Perhaps there is an early bird discount on cards mailed more than a month ahead of time. Perhaps these are cards from last year that he is just getting around to mailing out now. Perhaps he decided that this year is the year when HE would be the first of everyone he knows to mail out cards. Perhaps he is one of those “organized” people who just does this kind of thing and doesn’t understand the pressure it puts on others. Perhaps…
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The one good thing about getting this card is that he beat out Mike and Esther this year. I have stopped wondering why they send cards out so early, I just assume they have nothing better to do with their time. Well, either that or they are organized. Either way it is something of a sickness. Mike and Esther are going to have to up their game next year to beat out Doug. The card challenge is on!
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I thought about getting my cards done in early November, but it would never have occurred to me to send them out until at least mid December. I mean, what do I do with that card? I haven’t decorated the house yet and there is a very good chance it will be packed away with all of the un-Christmas stuff and not be unearthed until February. Lucky for Doug we don’t worry about how tidy the house is so it can sit on the table for a week or so. Still, sending the card early is pretty thoughtless in a thoughtful kind of way.
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No, I figure that the Post Office gears up to deal with millions of cards sent in the week or so before Christmas and it just wouldn’t be fair to deny them the challenge of getting every card delivered by Christmas Eve. Everyone works best with a deadline. Early cards are an affront to common sense and an insult to all of the hard working Postal employees across the world.
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Just think of the ramifications if everyone mailed their cards early. The Post Office wouldn’t need to hire seasonal help to deal with the volume because there wouldn’t be any volume to speak of. Card retailers would need to have the cards in stores earlier and in turn the manufacturers would have to print them up earlier in the year when they should be busy printing whatever it is that they print when not printing cards for Christmas. I can only suppose Valentine cards or Mother’s day cards. Maybe Doug and Mike send out cards for Valentines in December and Mother’s Day cards in March.
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Why even bother to have specific days at all? I’m not going to blame Doug and Mike for the potential collapse of civilization as we know it, but that is a very real possibility.
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Maybe I will send my cards out earlier next year, third week in December sounds about right, but I will think about sending them early on in November if I want to…
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Thursday, 10 November 2016

Track Number 5

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I have been thinking about graveyards recently. I’m not sure exactly why, but I suspect there are a number of reasons. I lost most of my family during the fall and winter, Halloween has just passed and of course Donald Trump was just elected president and that could spell the death of a great country. Who knows?

I like graveyards. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t spend a lot of time in graveyards but I do find them fascinating. I remember hearing that there are people who go into graveyards and take “rubbings” of famous or just interesting headstones. I often think that would be kind of an interesting hobby to have except I really don’t know what I would do with the rubbings once I brought them home. I have too much useless crap that I treasure in my home now.

When I walk through a graveyard I feel that I have to be reserved and respectful, not because I believe there are spirits of the dearly departed hanging about, but because there is a lot of love hanging around. People will inter their mothers, fathers, children and friends and that love stays. Well, it might. I’d like to think that it does.

The thing about cemeteries is that once one of your loved ones is buried and the headstone is in place, it becomes somewhat painful to visit. Not for every one of course, but it has been my experience that the living shy away from the place that hold the mortal remains of those they love. Initially, the grave may be visited fairly often, but as time goes by and life continues, longer periods come between visits. The first generation may continue to visit a parent on a yearly basis and perhaps if grandpa was especially well though of, the grandkids will drop by every now and then. Third generation visits would be pretty rare unless they were putting together a family history.

Surely I am not the only one to notice how empty graveyards are. Well, if you don’t count ghosts and why would you. So, why do we spend so much time and effort on graveyards when it is rare that anyone goes there on a regular basis? Could it be survivor’s guilt? We all die eventually. Maybe headstones are a way to mark that a life has been lived and meant something to someone.

I know I will be forgotten within a very few years after I pass. Hopefully I will be fond memories for a couple of generations and a funny story to be told at family gatherings.

“Remember the time when Poppa farted in the elevator…”

Maybe we need these places of quiet introspection as a society. Maybe the dead just need a quiet place to process the transition. Graveyards just might be travel hubs for the afterlife.

When my time comes, I’ll be taking the 20:45 express to the outer rim. Meet you on track number 5.
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Wednesday, 9 November 2016


If you can see the date on this blog, you will know that Donald (FUCKING) Trump was elected to be the 45th president of the United States yesterday.
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There have been bad presidents, ineffective presidents, Republican presidents and Democratic presidents before. Oh, there have been a lot of good presidents as well. There is a cycle to rule that will tend to go back and forth from conservative thinking to liberal thinking. Something like water swirling round and round the drain. I suspect that someday, someone will devise a formula to calculate these swings, but until then we just have to go through the motions and take what is given us.

The people of the US have picked what is probably the worst kind of president. He appealed to the basest parts of human nature…successfully. If there is any question about how much the education system has deteriorated in the US, it was answered last night.

I have no idea how Trumps election will affect the rest of the world in general and Canada in particular. It would be nice if the Canadian dollar went up for a while so that I can buy US dollars at par for a future vacation. He promised that an oil pipeline will go ahead and I suppose that is good for the oil industry which is good for Alberta and Canada. Bad for humans of course, but humans can be replaced, you just have to engineer a blackout and twenty years later you have a bumper crop of new workers.
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I doubt that I will feel any ripples in my life at all. It is pretty much a secluded, sheltered pool where not much happens out of the ordinary. My income shouldn’t change and my needs are simple. There will be an influx of disgruntled American citizens looking for sanctuary and sanity over the next few years, but they should blend in nicely.

Status Quo.

If you want a silver lining, the late night talk show hosts should have an inexhaustible supply of presidential material for the next four years and Alec Baldwin will have a near permanent job playing Trump on Saturday Night Live.

It should be an interesting four years.
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