Friday, 28 June 2019


Yesterday we had quite a storm with lots of lightning, thunder and more rain than the city sewers could handle. Underpasses throughout the city flooded and more than a few streets were hubcap deep in water. Thankfully the rain didn’t last so long that there was widespread flooding. We have had more than our fair share of rain for the past couple of weeks so the ground is pretty saturated which is probably a good thing if you are a farmer or someone that relies on the lakes ponds and reservoirs. The ducks and geese are probably pretty happy, but it is hard to tell just by looking at them. Beaks just don’t show feelings very well, either that or they are ungrateful waddling assholes.

When I woke up this morning I went out and everything glistened in the bright morning sunshine. The tables and chairs had beads of water on them as did the table umbrella. The grass looked as if it were covered in diamonds. It wasn’t of course…I checked. My section of the world had been washed clean of all the dust, dirt and bird shit that had covered it the day before. It is a new beginning, like climbing into a bed that has freshly washed sheets on it pulling on a warm shirt that just came out of the dryer. Life is good!

This morning Buster and I went on our walk and it wasn’t too long before both his feet and mine were soaking wet. We both persevered and made the best of damp feet. As we walked, Buster found interesting smells and I thought back to when I was a kid at my grandmother’s cottage. We would be up early and out exploring with our cottage friends. We would walk through hay fields and in no time at all our pants would be dripping wet from the dew that had collected on the grass overnight. Wet pants didn’t bother us because we knew that our shoes and socks would be soaked in short order because we were pirates/ bandits/soldiers or knights that had to wade across streams or float on a poorly put together raft.

We don’t often have dew in the city and it usually would burn off before I made my way outside. Also, there isn’t too much long grass anywhere close except for that neighbour that only cuts his lawn twice a year. There is dew in the mountains, but as an adult I try to avoid getting wet first thing in the morning. My loss I suppose.

There is magic in the early morning, the world is taking a breath before starting all of the possibilities that lay before us in the dew.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Goodish Years

I was watching a Youtube video the other day about how people in medieval times kept themselves clean. Of course the wealthy had soap which had been around in various forms since at least 2300 BCE. The rest of the unwashed masses (you and me) had to find another way because they didn’t have the money that the rich had to waste on soap. When you got dirty, you would wipe your hands on grass or rinse them in a puddle or stream if one were handy. You would never wipe your hands on your clothes because they were even harder to clean than your hands.

The guy in the video figured that if you had grease on your hands you would have to wet your hands and pick up some ashes from a fire which would cut thru the grease. Of course you had to be quick because water and ash would create lye which would give you a fairly serious chemical burn if left on too long.
 Image result for baby crying in tub
The video reminded me of when I was a little guy having a bath and got soap in my eyes. It felt like I had rubbed ash or burning coals in my eyes! I cried and rubbed my eyes which of course put more soap into them making me cry even more. Johnson and Johnson came out with a baby shampoo in 1953 (a year after I was born) but I doubt that mom and dad would splurge on that in spite of my tears. I would just have to learn to keep my eyes closed when there was soap on my head or a potential of soap on my head.

1955 shampoo add

I have been pretty good about keeping my eyes closed while washing my hair for six and a half decades or so. Those early lessons I learned the hard way stuck with me and for the most part I haven’t spent a lot of time crying in the shower. I suspect that some people that have spent time with me may have felt it hard to cleanse the thought of me away and let hot water wash the imagined dirt down the drain.

I have been pretty good until a week or so ago when for some reason I opened my eyes while I was washing my hair. I am aware that there are many more painful things that can happen to you, but at that moment I couldn’t think of a one. My first thought was that I had been struck blind by God for some real or imagined sin. It was possible that the guy who put chemicals into the city water supply made a horrible mistake or decided to use the water supply for a terrorist attack on Calgary. I know that the Joker did something like this in one of the Batman movies, but I am a long way from Gotham. No, just plain old shampoo and a naked old man that forgot the lesson he learned over sixty years earlier.

It might be time to try baby shampoo. I have thinning hair, not as many teeth as I once had, I am probably on the way to wearing adult diapers and I wouldn’t mind smelling like a baby. I still have a few good years left or at least goodish years anyways.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

A More Current Moment

Let’s see…About eight years ago or so, we went with my daughter’s family to a corn maze just outside of Calgary. It was really a pretty sad corn maze, the corn was more or less picked clean of the stalks and those stalks were brown as opposed to green. They were also pretty thinly spaced and there was no chance at all of getting lost or trapped by Alberta’s version of the Children of the Corn. Still, it was fun for a three year old and for old eyes reliving the magic of youth.

One of the most wonderful things they had there was an inflated pad that was about the size of a tennis court. The kids got to take off their shoes and bounce to their hearts content. I would have loved to bounce as well, but I feared that the pad wouldn’t be rated for my weight category. Of course I took pictures and one in particular captured the joy Hurricane was feeling at that moment. He was in mid bounce, had his right arm thrust up to the sky and would have been yelling “FUCK YEAH!!!” if he were any older. I love that picture.

I decided to do a carving of him as he was that particular moment in time. I got his head done pretty good…ish and that was about it. I had difficulty getting a hook on the carving and didn’t think I would do it justice. Hurricane saw the head while we were in the workshop making something and I told him that it was him and was working on a carving but had stopped. I promised that I would finish it someday, but not right now. Every time we go to the workshop he will pick up his head and I feel bad about not ever finishing it.

Well, his birthday is in a few days, so I thought that eight years was a long enough time to have put off the carving. I gathered Hurricanes head and a few other pieces that I had started during the intervening years to see what needed to be done. Since he was in his stocking feet in the picture I decided to carve those first. I noticed the knife could be sharper so I put a razor edge on it. Yes, I should have put on the glove that I use when I do carving and the leather thumb of course, but I was just doing a small touch up. Well, the knife slipped and cut deeply into my thumb. Blood was flowing and I was so angry with myself for being so stupid on many different levels.

Louise and I got the bleeding under control and I drove to the walk in clinic to have it looked after. Eventually the doctor came into the examining room and asked me if I thought I needed stitches. I had hoped that he would look at the cut and make the decision himself, but I figured yes it couldn’t hurt. I was walked to the back room and lay down on the table while a nurse got everything ready. I looked around the room and I realized that it hadn’t changed at all in the thirty or so years since the last time I lay down on the table. That time I had put a circular saw into my wrist and thankfully the doctor made the decision to stitch my wrist.

Well, a couple of needles, stitches and some bandages saw me back to normal and home to figure out how I was going to manage my day to day life using mostly my left hand. I managed thirty years ago and I suppose I could figure it out again.

Needless to say, the carving for Hurricane has been put on hold once again. I will look at it again, but have been thinking that maybe I should find a more current moment to capture his likeness in wood. It couldn’t hurt…or could it?

Tuesday, 14 May 2019


Last week, Louise discovered that she didn’t have her driver’s license; well at least it wasn’t where it should be. It was concerning, but not terribly so because she has a distressing habit of just taking the cards from her purse, wallet, pocket that she will need for the next few hours. I don’t know how she keeps track of things and any sensible person (me) would keep all of their cards with them at all times.

As I said, it wasn’t a major concern, but it is the kind of thing that will eventually drive me crazy. I decided that she would have to look for her license by herself and I would sit back, reading my book and huff every now in then in a superior manner. I know that she was looking for it, but she seemed to be doing it whenever I was out of the room or nose deep into my book. Every now and then I would ask if she had looked in her purse or coat pocket and she would give me one of those looks that said “Of course…do you think I am an idiot?” I would nod my head and internally I would say that I know where my license is, the hidden flap on the left side of my wallet. Although I made the comment to myself, I felt pretty superior.

A day or two passed and I randomly searched dresser tops, coat pockets, both cars and found myself on my belly with a flashlight looking under beds and couches. It had disappeared without a trace! There is only one thing that could have happened; someone either broke into our house in the middle of the night or into the car while Louise was paddling at the reservoir and took her license. Pretty smart when you think about it, the guy has Louise’s ID and can set up a phone identity and charge all sorts of things to bogus cards. Well, unless the driver’s license is someplace that has so far not been searched.

Yesterday Louise decided that enough time had passed and she needed to get a replacement license to which I reluctantly agreed. We had to get the new 2020 sticker for the car anyways so off to the Registry office we went. We waited in line for about thirty minutes and every two minutes or so I told Louise about the time I just walked in and there was no one in line at all! She more or less ignored me after the first three tellings. We finally got to the girl behind the counter and Louise signed all of the necessary papers for the license and registration. She had the girl check the organ donation box on her license so that Louise can save some lives. I decided to check my license to see when it expires so that I could eventually put the organ donation option on my license. I looked at my grey on grey picture and then to my horror found out that the license had expired in September of 2017!

How is that possible? How could I forget? How did I manage to rent a car in Hawaii last month? Oh well, at least I was in the right place to get a replacement. Well, not really as it turns out. After three months you have to provide other government ID (passport), Provincial medical card and a letter with name and address on it mailed within the past couple of months to prove residency. Shit! Well, I guess that I will be returning to the Registry place sooner rather than later.

We decided to go to Tim Horton’s for a coffee and celebrate Louise’s new license and I suppose my stupidity. Louise paid for the coffees and I went to the table with the coffees while she chatted with the woman behind the counter. Louise was headed to the table when the woman at the counter asked her if she had picked up her drivers license that she had left on the counter a few days earlier…………………………………..


Guess we should have gone for coffee first today.

I sat at the table thinking how odd the world was when it occurred to me that Louise losing her license, the search, the trip to the registries office was the universe rearranging itself to tell me that my license had expired. You just have got to love it when the planets align to help you out. 

Now, if I can only have the universe get behind telling me six numbers between one and forty nine.

Sunday, 5 May 2019


It is 9:00 o’clock on a Sunday morning the 5th of May when all around the world people are preparing to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and I am preparing to go out and shovel the three inches of snow off of my sidewalk. Maybe I should chug down a Mexican beer or a shot or two of tequila before I go out.
Oh, I know that “the snow won’t last” and “we live in Canada” or “we can sure use the moisture”, but those are just things people say to accept that Mother Nature just punched us in the balls. It would have been better to have the moisture come down as a warm rain so that the little shoots and buds don’t freeze their little tips off. You don’t see any snow in a tropical rain forest and those plants seem to do just fine. Hell, I walked the West Coast Trail on the coast of Vancouver Island which is in a temperate rain forest and the trees grew larger than any I had ever seen before. They get the on bit of snow on the island, but nothing to complain about. My buddy lives on the island and he complains that every now and then he has to wait a day before the light dusting of snow disappears. Poor baby!

The warm weather is just around the corner and before you know it I will spend time working outside, biking, cutting the lawn and just generally puttering about. We aren’t likely to get much more snow and once the temperature gets to “seasonal” I won’t have a lot to complain about.
I did just return from two weeks in Hawaii which does colour the way I look at this snow. Not one day (or night) went below 23°C and my knees were bare for the entire time. The water was warm but refreshing and the little rain that fell was liquid as opposed to solid. We always had to open the windows when we got in the car to let the very hot air escape before we cranked up the AC. It was best to BBQ so that you didn’t needlessly heat the condo while cooking supper. Cool drinks were the order of the day whereas here I am seldom without a hot coffee or tea. Oh well…I will return.

Speaking of return, I guess I should go and clean off the walks. We have family coming over to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this afternoon and I would hate for them to slip on the ice or snow. Maybe I will make ten or so small snowmen to welcome them to our home and warn Mother Nature that I am Canadian, the snow won’t last and my lawn will benefit from the snow when it melts…sob!

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Vancouver is Lovely in The Springtime

Ok, so here it is 12:24 AM and I am sitting in the Tim Horton’s at YVR (Vancouver Airport) its a steeped tea in front of me and an Everything bagel toasted with butter. I will be sitting here or someplace similar until about six the morning. I hate lay overs at the best of times and today isn’t the best of times. It is all due to a programming error by Boeing on the 737 MAX.

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy that our plane didn’t nose dive into the Pacific Ocean or into Vancouver Island, but a seven hour layover just sucks. Especially when it happens at night. Okay, to be fair I am acclimatized to Hawaii time so from it is only 9:24 AM really. I did go to bed early in Hawaii but I woke up early because those fucking roosters wouldn’t shut up when the sun came up. I know what you are thinking, waking up in Hawaii is pretty good no matter when it happens. 


I know what will happen, I will stay awake till three or so and then I will drift off into Never-Neverland. It’s possible that I will miss my flight. Well, it would be if Louise wasn’t with me.


So, we had to wait until 3:45 AM to get our boarding passes and check our bags with Westjet. The guys that turn the conveyor belt on don’t work for WestJet but work for the Airport authority and the bags piled up until about 4:00 AM. After checking in and dropping the bags off we went to go thru security which is a Federal government department and they don’t open until 4:45 AM. More waiting! 

We at least have a relatively comfortable seat now, but no matter how comfy the chair it doesn’t make up for lost sleep. Believe me when I tell you that I need my beauty sleep just to stay on the good side of ugly.

In forty-five minutes I get to take off my belt and shoes, empty my pockets and feel guilty about things that I haven’t done. Once we pass security we will find a comfortable seat by our gate and wait some more. 

This is when I will probably fall asleep and miss my flight.

They say Vancouver is lovely in the springtime.

Monday, 22 April 2019

And It Is

Still in paradise.

The funny thing about paradise is that the longer one stays here it seems less and less like paradise. The weather is wonderful, everywhere you look there are amazing, majestic vistas, the water is warm enough to enjoy dawn to dusk and yet is cool enough to be refreshing. The people are people, some beautiful and some less so, but most of them genuinely nice. Somehow thoughI feel as if I have stayed just a little too long.

Yesterday I developed a stiff neck that has stayed over today and is making things difficult for me if I nee to look anywhere but straight ahead. Also yesterday I tripped going up the stairs to our condo. I am not really an expert when it comes to flip-flops or “slippahs” as they are called here. Somehow when I slipped I tore skin on my big toe and had to deal with blood, pain, bandaids Randall that goes with it. If I were in Canada I would have gone to a doctor to see if I needed stitches, but even though we have insurance it just doesn’t seem right.

Today about twenty hours later the bleeding has mostly stopped and I have taken several over the counter drugs to deal with my neck and any swelling that may or may not come with torn flesh. I have been told that I shouldn’t go in the ocean with an open wound unless I am a fan of infection. My natural inclination is to use the ocean to cleanse and purify the wound, but I don’t dare because I couldn’t live with the “I TOLD YOU SO’S” that I would hear from Louise. So, no more ocean for me.

I knew before coming that I was a ten day vacation kind of guy, but it made sense at the time to book 14 days. I suppose that if I lived here and had something other than walking on the beach and getting a tan to do it would be alright. But, I don’t have a lot to do here.

I miss home. I miss puttering around the house and I miss looking and touching my stuff. I miss my dog and I worry that he doesn’t miss me as much as I miss him. Lucky for me he is a cuddle whore and anyone with a lap is his favourite person. Two days from now I will be on a plane heading east and a few hours after that I will be home surrounded by my stuff remembering how nice it was in paradise…and it is!

Sunday, 21 April 2019

My Cross To Bear

It is Easter Sunday in paradise. When I walk the beach in the morning there are usually many people doing pretty much the same thing I am doing, wandering on the beach while watching people and keeping an eye on the ocean just in case it decides to do something odd. I had to make an airport run for some of the people who were staying and today had to be going. They weren’t looking forward to the trip home but I think they were ready to resume their normal lives and leave paradise until the next time.

When I got back from the airport I took a dip in the ocean and walked down the beach to let the sun dry me off. I prefer to use solar power. The odd thing is that the beach was strangely quiet. I suspect that Easter Sunday church service had something to do with it and perhaps more people were doing Sunday brunch than is normal. There is no shortage of wonderful eateries in paradise. Of course the ocean kept on making waves and I still had to keep my eyes on it, just in case.

Later on in the day I went to look for interesting things that the ocean had washed up on shore and noticed that there were more people than usual in my prime picking grounds. These people were no strangers to the ocean and came with fishing rods, beach umbrellas, radios, beach chairs, coolers full of cool drinks and I assume good food. They had been to church and the afternoon was a day of fun at the beach. I wish that we had had a beach closer to us when the kids were small because kids can be entertained by the sand and surf. 

One of the guys I was talking to kept an eye on his two little boys who were fishing. I asked him if they had caught anything and he just laughed saying that they didn’t have a hook on the line, just a weight but they had been busy “fishing” for an hour. I guess practice makes perfect and eventually those boys will put bait on a hook along with the weight and bring home something to eat for future Easter dinners.

We are having a pot luck Easter Dinner at the condo which should be delicious. There will probably be more salads than meat dishes, but when you eat with athletic people it is something you come to expect. That’s my cross to bear this Easter. I am hoping that someone will bring a delicious desert but that may be pie in the sky dreaming from me. I have some back up ice cream and a brownie in the condo just in case I overdose on kale and couscous.

We will have good conversation and get to watch the sun set into the ocean. Life in paradise is really living.

Friday, 19 April 2019

One Old Guy

For the past week or so I have spent a good part of my day walking on the beach, sitting on the beach and being in the ocean within sight of the beach. Yes, it is a good life.

I like to look at interesting shells, rocks, patterns in the sand and if I am lucky I will find some beach glass. Yesterday I found a largish piece of blue glass which I have been told is relatively rare. If you look for blue glass bottles in the store they are pretty hard to find as well, so that’s another reason that blue glass is rare. Also in order to find blue sand glass, the bottle has to be thrown in the ocean by someone that doesn’t give a shit about conservation or my delicate Canadian feet, which limits the amount of glass as well. There isn’t a lot of glass this year so I must assume that people are not tossing glass bottles in the ocean as much, preferring plastic containers to litter with.

I also like to watch people. I can do this in secret by hiding my eyes behind a pair of sunglasses. Of course when my head spins around to follow a pretty girl the sunglasses don’t hide anything. I’d need a large dome shaped umbrella to hide that and I’m not sure that the umbrella wouldn’t cause peoples heads to turn and look at me. The secret to people watching is to keep it secret.

Now the people that print the travel magazines, posters and TV commercials want us to believe that everyone in paradise is beautiful. Well, after a week of people watching on the beach I can tell you for a certainty that all of the people on the beach are not beautiful. I know that because I see absolute proof every time I look in a mirror. I am sure that many are attractive to some and probably most of them are beautiful people on the inside. It is the outside I am talking about.

When I walked down the beach today I was wondering just how many of these sun worshipers I would like to see naked and my answer was almost none of them. Maybe I am too picky or maybe I believe that beauty lies in accessories, ie clothing. Maybe I am subconsciously thinking that if I can’t go naked then no one should. 

The truth is that in this day and age most of the people on the beach are effectively naked and they should be comfortable while swimming, walking and talking. Being on the beach is a lot like dancing in that you should dress as if no one is watching because no one is. Well, except for one old guy walking along the beach looking for pretty shells.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

If Only I Could Remember His Name

A month or two ago my son and his wife gave me a couple of t-shirts. One was pretty good but I forget why and the other they suggested I could use it for a rag. Now, I always love free stuff, and free t-shirts will never go to waist unless my waist gets too big which has happened more than I care to admit. I had a plan for that rag t-shirt.

The shirt was bright red and the front was emblazoned with the Calgary Stampeders logo and name. It was a little big and was perfect for wearing when I walked down the beach every day. I knew that if and when my skin turned the colour of the t-shirt I could be certain that I have gotten too much sun and need to be slathered with aloe vera or some other off the shelf ointment. 

It is also quite literally a sign that I am from Canada, Alberta and I am a Calgarian. It is a wonderful ice breaker. People will make comments on the weather back home, how the Stamps did last year and what happened to the Flames last night. I try to avoid talking politics because more often than not my views and theirs differ slightly. I just mumble something about all politicians are crooks and I prefer to keep the current crop in power because their pockets are already full of my tax dollars. I have no need to mention that I also agree with their policies.

I have met more than a few Canadians this trip, some from the Atlantic provinces, some from Ontario, BC and Saskatchewan. The Quebecois are either stand offish or they don’t have a mastery of English. Little do they know that their English is far superior than my French.

Today I had a novel experience.

A couple about my age stopped me and asked if I were a Stamps season ticket holder. I told them that I just hold the t-shirt. We got to talking and it turns out that they live in Calgary and the woman was trying to convince me to volunteer for the 2020 Grey Cup which will be held in town. It’s a thought and except for the volunteering part it sounds great. We talked about what they have been up to since arriving in paradise and golf figured heavily in their to do lists. I suggested a couple of good spots for breakfast and they told me that they ate breakfast in their condo. To me it is more of a social thing rather than an eating thing, but to each his or her own.

We talked of hockey and the abysmal loss the other night and I told them I was used to supporting a losing team since I was originally from Toronto. The guy said “Me Too!”. 

“Where in Toronto are you from?” I asked.

“Scarborough” he replied.

I smiled and said “Me Too!”

As it turns out we grew up within a mile of each other, attended the same high school two or three years apart and knew many of the same people. I look forward to seeing him on the beach again before I leave because aside from the golf and not going out for breakfast, he was a nice guy. 

Now, if only I could remember his name…

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Carry a Mailbag

I am sitting on the lanai watching a palm tree swaying back and forth in the breeze. Nothing says paradise more than this.

Why then am I wondering just where it will hit the condo complex if it is uprooted by that same ocean breeze. I’m pretty sure that it will miss my condo, but I can’t say that with an absolute certainty. It’s only a foot or so in circumference but there is sixty or seventy feet of it which would be pretty destructive. Palm trees don’t have the deep root systems that trees have in Canada, they are more like small potted plants which will willingly leave the dirt for just about any reason.

I guess I shouldn’t worry about a palm tree falling on me, that is just stupid. It’s far more likely that a rogue shark will mistake my too white body for a seal while I am flopping around in the ocean. I doubt that I will taste very good, but by the time sharks figures that out I will be missing an important part of my body. Just to be clear, any part of my body is important as far as I am concerned. 

A shark is just me being silly, but there are these fish with wicked looking spines all over their bodies that I see washed up on the beach durning my daily walks. My hope is that they died somewhere out in the ocean and were washed up during the nightly high tide. Not knowing anything about mid Pacific fish this one might be a flying attack fish that launches itself at unsuspecting mammals that are walking along the beach looking for bits of sand glass and not paying attention to an attack from the ocean. Out of the blue yesterday Louise looked at me and with a serious look on her face she said “Never turn your back on the ocean!”  What the hell! I am on an island, so anyway I turn my back it will be pointed to the ocean. Sure there might be miles between the ocean and my back but who knows how crazy this ocean can be. Why would Louise do that? 

I am far more likely to get a thorn in my foot from the trees that line the beach. Why would they have thorn trees by the beach in paradise? Okay, all of this is just silliness because the real danger is from the sun. I have been feeling a warmth on my body for the past few days and even though I want a nice lightly bronze colour on my skin, I suspect that I am getting closer to fire engine red than chocolate tan. Well, I’m not staying away from the beach (I paid good money for this experience) so my skin will just have to suck it up.

At least I don’t have to carry a mailbag on my sunburnt shoulders when I go home…

Sunday, 14 April 2019

We Deserve

I don’t know why I feel compelled to read about Donald Trump everyday, but I do. Perhaps it is the same as driving past a car wreck and wondering just how something so awful happened. What were the drivers thinking or were they just not paying attention to what was going on around them. If we follow with the car analogy, then the American public under Obama were on an interstate in North Dakota driving 10MPH over the limit under a blue sky with the top down and found themselves suddenly in a downtown Chicago rush hour on a cold, miserable November day. 

I guess that I just don’t understand US politics. Hell, I don’t understand Canadian politics. I don’t know why anyone in their right mind would run for office in the first place. Hmmm…maybe I hit on it. None of the politicians are in their right minds. It could be money that drives them or it could be power, but one thing seems certain to me, it sure doesn’t seem to be the desire to make our world a better place.

I need to be careful when describing old Donny Trump, I wouldn’t want to be unfair to all of the asshats, thieving bastards and chunts in the world. Trump is the banana slug of the human world, looks slimy, disgusting and you certainly wouldn’t want one anywhere near you or the people you love. I wouldn’t want Trump near the people I hate.

So, here I am in the US of A and find myself at a loss. I want to talk to my American friends about their views of the Commander and Chief, but I don’t really know just how to approach the topic. Most will make ambiguous comments about the terrible political situation, but that doesn’t really tell me much and on which side of the fence they choose to sit on. The few conversations I have had go only so far and then just stop. My feeling is that they don’t agree with what is going, but there are some things that they can live with. Good economy?

I will just keep on thinking of the orange guy as a prime example of a fuck-tard and leave it at that. I have my own political problems. Two days from now there will be a provincial election and the party that I think have been doing a good job will more than likely be replaced with a bunch of right wing liars and cheats. In a few months the federal election may bring on a change from the current liberal government to the federal version of liars and cheats.

I guess that at the end of the day we get the government that we deserve. It is a sad commentary.

Image result for hitler cartoon

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Uncle George

So, here I am in paradise sitting on the lanai watching a small triangle of blue, green ocean send smallish whitecaps to shore while the palm trees sway in the not insignificant breeze. Did I mention that the sky was so blue it almost hurts to look at it? I suppose that there is road noice, but the sound of the surf and the wind in the trees cover it up nicely. I have a good book in front of me, a cold drink beside me and I am trying to decide whether to swim first and then walk along the beach or should it be the other way around. Certainly one of those first world problems.

Life is pretty good!

This morning we attended a beachside ceremony commemorating the passing of a 94 year old Kahuna. By all accounts “Uncle George” was beloved by the paddling community and pretty much everyone that knew him. He gave people laughter and strength. A life well lived.

The paddlers (seven or eight boatloads of them) gathered in a large circle in the ocean while prayers were said and Uncle George’s ashes were given back to the sea in a ceremony that sends his spirit on to the next challenge. The Kahuna joked that knowing Uncle George, there was a better than average chance that he wouldn’t wait for his spirit and would let it catch up later. It was a nice way to say goodbye for all who loved and respected him.

I stayed on the beach with some of the other land-locked people and watched the proceedings from the shore. It was less emotional that way. One of the women that I talked to had missed her spot on the boat because she was packing up her house to prepare for a move to the state of Washington. She didn’t want to move particularily but since she was about to retire she would no longer be able to afford to live in paradise. She was putting on a brave face, but you could tell that the tears were there just below the surface.

I can’t help but feel for her. In a perfect world you should be able to retire in the place that you spent your working life and where you raised your family. Unfortunately, this happens all of the time. There is a retirement community in Ontario that is in the middle of nowhere, hours form any large retail centre but it is affordable. Some folks want to start a new adventure late in their lives and I say good for them. I am one of the very lucky ones, able to live a life I choose and not one that is chosen for me. I wish I could say I planned for this, but I just fell into a job that enabled me to prepare for my retirement. Thank my lucky stars!

I wished that woman well and I hope that life in Washington will be fun for her. She seemed to be the type who could make friends easily and she is young enough to deal with her new circumstances.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Sandy Dogshit

I miss my dog.

We are on vacation and Buster has gone to live in the country where he can chase rabbits and play with other dogs. I know that it sounds as if we had him put down so that we could save on the kennel fees while we are away, but he is actually enjoying the good life on an acreage. My son’s wife’s mom and dad offered to look after Buster while we abandoned him so that we could enjoy ourselves. They also took Brendan’s dog Finnigan to keep Buster company. Also, if they have Finn as a hostage we will have to come and get Buster.

I know that I am missing him far more than he is missing me, but I attribute that to the fact that my brain is the size of a small melon and his is the size of a walnut. Sure, I only use a tiny fraction of my brain, but size does matter…probably.

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Gord (Brendan’s father-in-law) is the type of guy that believes dogs should be allowed to run free and if they come back then you were meant to have said dog in your family. Ever since the first week Buster came to live with us and ran off, he has lived life on a short leash. I worry that at some time while we are lazing on the beach and looking for turtles and or whales, Buster may be scooped up by a large eagle and used to feed her young. That would suck for Buster. He also might be torn into tiny shards by a gang of hungry coyotes. That would suck for Buster too. 
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There are stories about dogs that find themselves abandoned across the country and then in some miraculous fashion they team up with another dog and a stray cat to make it back to their master. I don’t see Buster doing that. He is more likely to find some sympathetic old lady and suck up to her to get on her lap and get his head scratched. Life would be different of course, but outside of the improvement he wouldn’t know the difference. That would suck for me.

I don’t know why I am missing him because it is my intention that he will be the last dog I have. I would prefer to outlive him of course but God works in mysterious ways. Maybe I don’t think that I am having as good a time as he is. Could I be jealous? Should I be jealous? I know that Gord and Maryanne would let me stay with them and I would be able to run through the fields whenever I chose. I might worry a little about coyotes, but Gord would let me borrow one of his rifles to protect myself. As for eagles, outside of Middle Earth there are none that could carry me away and I would more likely eat the eaglets than them eat me.
Image result for eagle from lotr

Nope. I am going to spend the next two weeks in paradise and whenever I see another person walking their dog down the beach I will be content that I don’t have to bag up sandy dogshit.