Tuesday, May 31, 2005


This morning I was so excited. At long last I was ready to assemble the parts and patent my totally new, long-awaited invention. The design was finished some time ago, the blueprint was in place, I have all the component parts so what’s to stop me from finally going ahead with assembling and patenting the thing?

It is something everyone in this old world wants and needs – a "skull-pull". (Think about it. You do so know what a skull-pull is). But I had no sooner prepared a working space at the kitchen table, and found the necessary tools when I realized it couldn’t be done. I could not make my skull-pull. I still think my design will function well and will be in huge demand, but still I cannot assemble it, patent it, or market it. And the worst part of it is the thing that is blocking my progress is something quite unrelated to the fashioning of the finished product. The impediment is too much religion and too many Gods.

An army of tyrannical Gods that interfere in every bloody thing I try to do. For instance, insofar as my skull-pull is concerned, the laws of the God of Physics say the fulcrum will fail, the laws of the God of Math say the ratio will fail, the laws of the God of Friction say the thrust will fail, and the laws of the God of Relativity say the concept will fail. So there isn’t much point in continuing, is there? And that is just a few of the Gods that stand in my way.

It’s true, you know. Our current society has a wealth of Gods and every day more Gods descend from the Mount with their tablets of law and commandments of "absolute truth". And although, my best wish for today was to provide you with a skull-pull, my religious beliefs in all these Gods forbid my doing so. The Gods say it can’t be done and that is pretty much the end of it. I can’t gaily go ahead and disregard the commandments of the Gods. It would be utter heresy for me to try. Suicidal for me to risk the anger and thorny judgement of so many Gods.

Now in a simpler time, I had only one god – a Creator God. That God gave me relative freedom. His laws encouraged original thoughts and self-reliance. In the climate of only one God, I could, and would, continue to assemble the components for a skull-pull without conscience, remorse, guilt, or sin, and no doubt, in the end, it would efficiently do the work a skull-pull is expected to do. With less religion, without all these Gods, there would be a truckload of skull-pulls on their way to Wal-Mart before nightfall.

But since my invention is stalled, let’s go back to the Gods for just a moment. In truth, the one I am most skeptical about, call it agnosticism if you like, is the God of Freedom. He guarantees that we are free. I’m not sure that is true. I think he might be a false God. I tend to think we are a thoroughly depressed society under iron rule. Can this be freedom when our thoughts, emotions, and my plans for a skull-pull are ruled and guarded by an army of Gods? More Gods ruling my choices than even the heathen gods of the early Greeks and Romans.

Now let us, for a moment, examine some other Gods. You know about the Relationship God and his commandments. Thou must give flowers, take out to dinner, remember anniversaries, etc. (You know the rest – we are all familiar with this God.) So as converts, when our mate buys flowers, takes us out to dinner, helps with housework, and displays appropriate sensitivity, we know our relationship is as good as it gets. Better than most. We think this way because innately we know, with a satisfied grin, that our mate is religiously following the laws of the Relationship God.

And then there’s the Friendship God who defines friends as individuals that visit often, call, send cards, and give dishonest, but positive opinions, about how we look in our new dress, new do, etc. So the ones that don’t visit often, don’t call, don’t send cards, or the ones that are too honest, must be culled. They do not meet the demands of friendship that the God of Friendship demands.

And then there is the Sexuality God. His laws tell us we might be mistaken if we think we are Heterosexual. His laws tell us we need to form satisfying relationships that will accord us wealth, eternal security, and unending passion. His laws tell us we need to engage in sex in 308 positions. The Sexuality God tells us we must honor his laws to gain entry to Sexual Paradise. His hell is a Sexless Pit that doesn’t even allow missionaries their standard position.

So now we come to the truly amazing part of these observations. All of these Gods, like the old-fashioned Creator God are soundless, sightless, and invisible spirits that do not manifest their presence in a physical way. So what is truly amazing to me is that most of the fanatically religious zealots of these many Gods, are atheists of the Creator God.

As for me, I have decided to become an atheist of these many Gods, and stick to the Creator God. And with the freedom my Creator God allows, I’ve just created and given you the skull-pull that I promised.

P.S. Any consumer complaints?

Monday, May 30, 2005


This morning was a busy time. Hub and I worked like little beavers. Hub cut the grass and transplanted several trees. I washed windows and finished seeding the garden except for one row that I marked and left for onion sets. Didn’t have any as that is the one thing I forgot to buy. So around 2:30 in the afternoon, Hub decided we should dash into town, pick up some onion sets and grab a bite to eat at the Burger Bar.

Today was a beautiful day. Warm. Sunny. At the Burger Bar, it was evident that many bikers decided to take full advantage of the beautiful weather. As we took a window seat we noticed them lined up pretty-as-you-please in the parking lot. Eight shining, shimmering, highly-polished, dust-free bikes – Seven Harley-Davidsons; one Honda.

Now Hub has always been partial to Hondas. For the past twenty years, he has cruised around on a Honda. And although it was an old Honda, the trips we made on that old Honda were always trouble-free. She just purred like a kitten and stayed well ahead of the pack. But in our travels, pardon me for making an assumption, but gleaned from our own cycling experience, Harleys seem to have a few problems. Problem number one, Harleys (at least the older ones that Hub and I have encountered) didn’t know how to purr – instead they cough and spit, choke and spasm.

And again, pardon me for saying so, but even the riders of Hog’s have an extra bit of arrogance that makes them less magnetic personalities than the riders of Hondas or Suzuki’s. There is an arrogance you can smell in Harley shops. Harley bikers have attitude – sophistication that is a wee bit edgy and a wee bit chippy. An attitude that tends to view lesser bikes and bikers with just a small bit of contempt that blips ever so slightly on a Honda-rider’s radar.

So now, as Hub and I sat at the window looking out at the row of bikes, Hub stirred that coffee long enough for me to know that he was hatching a plot. Eventually he grinned and said to me, "Do you know any of the people in here?"

"Not really," I said, "but that young blond girl hangs out here a lot. Why do you ask?"

"Because," Hub said, "I want to gather up a group to join us in the Parking Lot to admire and croon over that Honda."

I chuckled and walked over to Blondy’s table. "Do you know any of the people in here?" I asked.

"Sure," she said. "I know a few of them."

"Good," I said and briefly sketched our plan. "Now," I said, "I want to see if you can scrounge up five or six people and gather them there at the back door. No motorcyclists, just locals."

Well you should have seen Blondy move. In no time flat she had five accomplices (4 fellows, one gal) gathered around her at the back door. Hub and I led them outside to the back of the building and told them what was up.

Then in a tight group, like old acquaintances from way back, we all made a bee-line across the parking lot to that blue Honda. We moved in unison, eyes straight ahead – focused on that Honda. Then we loudly began our discussion – Loud enough for customers inside to hear through the open windows.

"Man, isn’t that a beaut? What I wouldn’t give to have a Honda like that! Isn’t she gorgeous? I bet she cruises like a Cadillac. I had a Honda once."

We stroked her upholstery, handlebars, and examined every minute detail of her cowling. One shy withdrawn actress who seemed to have forgotten her lines (although there was no script) eventually reached out gingerly and stroked the Honda. "Comparing this machine to a Harley is like comparing it to a No-Name Brand," she stated emphatically while Hub and I cringed with some embarrassment.

At this point Hub and I were well aware that several men had just exited the front door of the restaurant. One in a windbreaker, four wearing leather jackets, one a leather vest, and two in jean jackets. We discontinued our examination of the Honda when one leather-vested individual broke away from the group and headed across the parking lot with a confident stride, beaming with pleasure and satisfaction. The rest hung back, shuffling the pavement with the toes of their boots, and looking as if their best friend had just died. "Near to tears," I’d say. Near to tears. Only a Harley rider would take it that hard.

As the Honda rider approached his bike, the performers in our small theatrical group quickly and quietly drifted away. I couldn’t help thinking how well they played their parts as I noticed some of them looking back over their shoulders at the Honda, while still muttering words of adoration.

Hub and I headed to the other end of the parking lot where we had left the car. And as we departed, there on the edge of the lot was our cast and crew grinning and waving with obvious pleasure. Delighted with the gorgeous weather and delighted at being a part of the "Humbling of the Harley Boys" production.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


Ilona, a blogger who calls herself True Grit has challenged me to respond to her creative version of a Questionnaire (May 25th) with tri-fold memes. I’ve never done a questionnaire thing on my blog before or even offered a 10-point list about me so I decided I would join in on this one.

3 names I go by: Roberta, Momma-Eye (as in ‘Momma, I need a new dress’ ‘Momma, I need something to eat’ ‘Momma, I need a coffee’ ), and when Hub is talking to me – that old nick name he picked up from the Muppet Show years ago – Sweetums.

3 screen names I’ve had – n/a

3 physical things I like about me: I’m tall enough I don’t have to stand on chairs, I can be a blond if I want to, I never get head aches.

3 physical things I dislike about me: I’m too tall. Feet are too big. And I hate the progress of aging that has me taking hours to do stuff I used to do in five minutes.

3 parts of my heritage: Scottish, Canadian, and Rhubarb Wine

3 things I am wearing right now: Two socks and one housecoat. (I am so wearing other things but the questionnaire only required three!)

3 favorite bands; musicians: Don’t have favorites. I like all types of music, all kinds of music, so much music that I can’t afford to listen to the same artist or band more than once. Too much music; too little time.

3 favorite (nostalgic) songs: “Autumn Leaves”, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”, and “How Great Thou Art”.

3 things I expect from a relationship: a sense of humor, honesty, and the performance of all chores relating to the care and maintenance of anything with movable parts (that includes me).

3 things in the opposite sex that appeal to me: emotional intelligence, an absolute understanding of all things with movable parts, a sense of humor

3 hobbies: reading, writing, playing Scrabble

3 things I want to do really badly: get a face lift. If no face lift then a cozy cabin overlooking an awesome view on the shores of an isolated beach where I can write introspectively without any disruption.
If a face lift – then participation in 20 more class reunions and 35 homecomings. How vain is that?

3 things that scare me: getting lost in large buildings, water, fire.

3 everyday essentials: coffee, pen and paper, a chuckle.

3 careers considered or that I am considering: Teaching (I still pine over the fact that this was not an option when I finished highschool), Talk Show host (either preceding or immediately following Dr. Phil), authoring children’s books.

3 vacation spots:
The previously mentioned cozy cabin on a beautiful lake,
A holiday trailer on the old homestead where I was born (I could write some incredible stuff if I parked myself there for two months),
A couple of weeks in Buckingham palace with my dog. My dog isn’t a Corgy, but D.O.G. (pronounced Dee-Oh-Gee quickly with a drunken-sounding slur – I’m not sure an English Queen could manage his name without first getting quite inebriated) loves other puppies. Even blue-blooded Corgies and even if the Queen can’t say his name right, I know my basset hound will love her irregardless! My good time would be the fun in watching D.O.G. having an exceptionally good time.

3 kids names I like: Little Dolly, Wee Babe, Little Big Man. That's because I can't remember names but I can remember faces.

3 things I want to do before I die:
Make two more patchwork quilts.
Publish at least one book, maybe the one that is finished but currently collecting dust on a shelf in my computer room.
Clean my basement (it just wouldn’t be fair for anyone else to have to sort my collection of fabrics, patterns, yarn, and thread).

3 ways I am stereotypically a boy: Zip – none

3 ways I am stereotypically a chick: I love shoes, fabrics and lace.

3 celeb crushes: This is a bit of an unfair question as it certainly dates me but for all time it will always be a much younger Paul Newman, a young Paul Newman, and that handsome rebel played by Paul Newman in his best movie - “Hud”.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Now I can’t guarantee this will work, for work, but this much I do know. It will work better, for work, than the old previously-tried methods. Today I’m talking about getting the drudgery of housework done with a bit of positive help from the kids.

The thing that got me thinking about this is someone who is pretty special to me – my two and a half year old Grandson. Now Grandson is no different then your typical high-energy, curious little boy. If he finds a screwdriver, he will skid under the table and quietly take the screws out of the table legs during dinner. But when the table collapses, he will willingly and joyfully clean up the mess, pick up the broken dishes, and guaranteed, he will be the first to volunteer to put the screws back in the table. And in his own baby dialect, he will tell you about it with uninhibited glee for days to come.

Now I’ve raised kids. They never joyfully picked up their toys and tidied up their rooms when evening came, but Grandson does. He strings toys around as much as any toddler, but when he concludes his play, he tidies up. Pretty phenomenal, isn’t it? And furthermore, he is Mr. Independence when it comes to dressing himself or putting on his shoes. But this joy he seems to find in tidying up and dressing himself – that is something I had to study for some time before I realized what was at the root of it.

Now housework is a disgusting past-time. Moms get tired. Moms get overwhelmed. And Moms realize with sad resignation that picking-up and tidying-up is a bloody drudgery that adds a lot of extra burden to busy days. So we scream and nag, “Clean up that room”, and then eventually run out of patience and go and clean it ourselves. And how to we do this? We may not stomp our feet and slam doors, but we show our distress. We walk heavy, yell stuff like “I don’t know why you’ve got such a mess in here. I just cleaned this pigpen yesterday!” We huff, and sigh, and chuck stuff out into the hall, and make a whole lot of noise to raise the profile of how disgusted we are at having to do repetitive clean-ups. Even a toddler can see that this particular occupation is NOT fun. And this, my friends is where we err.

Now if you have young’uns, I don’t need to tell you what happens if you try to paint a picture, or sew, or do a bit of hobby-craft. If you don’t want too many helpers, you best do these things after the kids are all in bed. They become the most willing and adamant participants you will ever find. Why? Because they can sense the joy and pleasure you get out of your craft. No huffing, puffing, and whining going on when you are crafting. So of course you are immediately surrounded by willing participants.

So in studying the thing that causes my grandson to operate the way he does, I discovered that Son-in-Law is at the heart of the matter. SIL has made his kids think that he enjoys picking up and sorting toys. In fact he’s even got me half-believing it, but of course, I know it can’t be true. But I’ll tell you – he could easily win an Academy Award, hands down, for his performances of a good time, when he is doing drudge-work.

SIL does clean-up in a contrived but totally convincing way. With a big smile, a song, and cheery remarks that make the kids think it is his favorite ‘craft’. Watching him makes me finally aware why my kids made themselves so scarce when Hub was ever building or repairing fence. They disappeared into the woodwork as soon as Hub said anything about repairing fences. Starting with the initial hunt for a hammer and fencing staples, it was evident to the kids that Hub was having a bad time and it was only going to get worse. The kids may have not realized the necessity of having a sound fence when you have a couple of horses, but they did realize, prior to any involvement, that fixing the fence was not a good, pleasant, or fun occupation. In fact I used to tease Hub when the kids were too rambunctious, too loud, too annoying, “Go tell them, we need to fix the fence today.” Immediately the silence of a childless environment would descend on the house in a flash as the kids scooted into out-of-the-way places.

Thinking about these things made me realize that Hub knew this stuff all along, but he never thought about any global applications. My youngest kids were only a year apart and when they were little, they both wanted to be packed around in my arms 24-7. Hub used to say to me, “Pack them around, but in an uncomfortable position, and they will soon stop insisting on being held.” So that’s what todays’ idea is about. Making pleasant tasks seem unpleasant, and making unpleasant tasks great fun. It’s a grand way to make space for you to do your own thing without painful interruptions of your good time.

So stop it right now. Don’t be humming a happy little tune while you’re painting your nails or soaking in a luxurious bath. But you may sing, dance, or even whistle while you’re wiping up that 48-ounce jug of Kool-aid that is flooding your freshly mopped kitchen floor.

Like Dr. Phil says. “Let’s Do It!”

Friday, May 20, 2005


It’s too late. Too much damage as been done to our environment for us to return to pristine forests and lakes. And too much has happened for us to reestablish the balance of nature that animals once were a part of. Yet we live in a society with an ever-increasing number of hopefuls that are trying to turn things around. Probably 80% of present-day research is focused on repairing the damage. We want animals and plants to be returned to surroundings where they can evolve and live in a natural way, rather than locked up in zoos or game farms. We view the disruption of the instinctive ways of any living thing as an odious sin. Except for one – mankind.

But in the midst of our concerns about animal habitat and natural progression, none of us seem concerned that the very essence of humanity is being raped and pillaged like the clear-cutting of forests. Yet no one is protesting those things that interfere with the delicate balance of human nature for humanoids. No one is lying in the road, or blocking a path, to avoid the rape of our conscience, the warp in our emotions, and the sullying of our minds that is so radically disrupting the natural path of our own evolvement. I don’t see ‘The Nature of Things’ or ‘National Geographic’ dealing with this problem. No one is researching with Doctor-Suzuki-dedication why we are less charitable, more deceptive – corrupt. Or why we feel such a need to cocoon in order escape the influence of those who surround us.

Now the biggest problem with this discussion is that it is such a broad and elusive subject that our withered minds cannot comprehend it. So I seek to find a parable that will in a simple way explain it. A parable taken from my own life years ago.

‘The kids are whiny and bored so Roberta loads up her offspring in the car and heads into town. But lo, on her way, a tire collapseth, and she is forced to stop. The wheel nuts hold fast and cannot be loosened. So in her helplessness, without a cell-phone to call for help, Roberta taketh each of her children by the hand and proceedeth to the nearest house down the dusty road. The walk bringeth forth conversation with her children that is surprisingly intimate and enlightening. From their tiny mouths spew emotionally charged child-based frustrations about home and school that do not normally surface at the supper table.

Eventually the hikers descend on a neighboring farmhouse and knock on the door. They explain to the Good Woman that they are stranded and would like to use the phone. The GW welcomes them warmly into her friendly kitchen while chatting with delight at this unexpected company. She pulls out a cookie canister, puts on coffee, and distributes glasses of juice to the children. She offers the use of her phone so Roberta can call Hub for help.

But in the meantime, after communion at the snack table, the GW and Roberta tour the garden and examine her roses. The GW shows young daughter her cross-stitch. The daughter is intrigued and the GW gives her a small bit of mesh and some thread so that she can try this craft. She giveth Roberta a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers and the recipe for the delicious cookies. The Good Man showeth the children his pets and animals and the birdhouse he is building in the garage. He giveth the eldest a bit of wood to build her own. They all laugh and chat and feel the warmth of friendliness, inclusiveness, generosity, and appreciation for each other.’

You see this was life before the natural order of mankind was disrupted. A life of co-dependence, warmth, friendliness, and trust. But with technology our natural emotions of neighborly charity have been erased and while we work feverishly at protecting rivers and beasts, we ignore the damage to our own lives.

Now I know full well that we cannot return to life as it once was. We can not return to a park-and-eat A & Dub where we yelled friendly greetings to strangers in neighboring vehicles and engaged in pleasurable conversations with them on a warm summer evening. You and I know that in today’s world, if we tried to return to "park-and-turn-on-your-headlights-for-service" that parking lot would be utter chaos within two days. There would be drive-by or park-and-fire killings, fights, kidnappings, and all kinds of victimization that we can barely imagine.

In our primitive beginnings, humans instinctively formed links of tribal co-dependence, but because of the risks in modern society, we shun that kind of interaction. Our natural environment is too contaminated, so we search to assuage this instinct with linkages in cyberspace, digital imaging, and e-mails. In the safety of our solitary confinement, we pretend we are part of a co-dependent group. Alone; yet together. Cocooned in solitary confinement in front of computer screens because we need large blocks of real time in order to rid our virtual space of viruses, worms, and Spam, or to attempt to keep up with the hectic pace of modern technology, rather than looking for candid ways to interact with real people in our real world.

And while we flash outwardly the brilliance of generous hearts and kind spirits, darkness resides within from too many hours engaged in a mindset of seeking and destroying the contaminants in our dreamscape environment. The same darkness that makes us flee a violent situation if we might have to become involved, but at the same time willing to stay rooted to the spot to watch the outcome if we are confident we will not be forced to assist.

We are mesmerized in our quest. There is no time to tour the garden or check the roses. Socializing is at a minimum, even though our children need this interaction to observe charity, goodwill, and loyalty. They need real life and community situations to connect the dots so that they can inherit their birthright of tribal wisdom. But we have no time for real-life situations. So without community, and real life connectivity, we have become a society threatened by the loss of those basic values that drive mankind’s natural progression.

They say ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ and no doubt that is true. But what is also true is that locked away in front of our computers, away from mentors, away from neighbors, embedded in a virtual world and removed from reality, it only takes one dysfunctional virtual-reality-driven adult to raise a village of dysfunctional real-life children. Children who have ALL computer knowledge, but no ability to knit with others (except their own age group with their own limited level of tribal wisdom) in a common, and all to often, destructive purpose. So, again I ask, when are we going to turn our attention to concern and protest about our own species?

Hub explained this all to me in a simple diagram. A drawing that represented life. It was a sketch of a narrow road and a narrow ditch. Now on the road he wrote things connecting to physical and emotional wellbeing – empathy, charity, helpful deeds, nurturing, group solidarity, and the appendages of these basic emotions – child rearing, compassion, understanding, sensitivity to others. Then down that same road he introduced the monster-beast of technology with its unwieldy appendages – televisions, cell-phones, laptops, thinkpads, arcades, computer games, casinos. The road was so narrow and the monster-beast so large, that it pushed all that other stuff in the ditch.

So then the road was widened. It had to be to accommodate the part of life dedicated to learning how to operate this stuff and the endless train of gizmos that kept attaching themselves to the technology bus. But as the road was widened more, the ditches became narrower. Hub tried to keep the other stuff near at hand by placing it on the edge of the road or in the ditches. But soon the continual widening of the road led to complete removal of the ditches and the bits and pieces of emotionally interactive stuff he had stashed there.

The drawing aptly explained to me how the evolutionary disruption of humankind’s existence has led to a loss of conscience and intuition. We have become custodians of virtual reality without conscience rather than custodians of the planet with real-life conscience. That is how the balance of nature and the evolution of man is being corrupted. That is the disruption that is leading to the extinction of our primeval instincts for child nurturing, intuition, loyalty, charity, a common sharing of skills and values, and our natural will to lend a hand to our fellowman.

Now where’s Green Peace? I have a story to tell them!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


‘Member the fairy tale about Jack and the Beanstalk. He was supposed to take a cow into town and sell it for cash to buy much needed food. Instead he traded the one possession his poor half-starved mother had for a handful of worthless beans.

The fairy tale is make belief. A fanciful story that starts out with ‘once upon a time’ and concludes with ‘all lived happily ever after.’ These are not stories about real life, and anyone who thinks real life can mirror the magic in fairy tales is bloody out to lunch. But despite that, here in real life, in real politics, here only in Canada, we have Belinda Stronach.

‘Member how we all held out hope when she waltzed onto the political scene that here, at last, was the coming of a political Messiah. We quietly contemplated in our inner recesses that here might be someone we could ALL respect. We were so encouraged to see her boldness. When she arrived on the political scene we were so confident that here at last was someone who was not motivated by course greed and blind political ambitions. With her wealth, we nodded our heads in unison and said among ourselves, "Money, she has, so here at long last is someone who is NOT doing this for love of money. And that being the case, she must be doing it for love of country."

"At last," we said with naïve fixation, "here is a fresh, pristine politician with wit, wisdom, and integrity and leadership ability. A new and separate entity, untouched by greed and free from the contamination and subsequent disease of filthy politics. A person of youth with enough personal confidence that she will not easily cave-in to corruption. Self-preserving acts of lies and deceit cannot touch her because she has better reasons to be here than salary and pension benefits.

Not only the Conservatives looked to Ms Stronach for hope and cleaner politics – all parties saw possibilities for better things. But it was too good to be true. How could we have known that she was contaminated by a fairy tale about a boy, a cow, a beanstalk, and a golden egg. She took our faith, hope, and goodwill to the hill and foolishly traded it all in for a bit of power and notoriety in the form of a cabinet post.

That was a display of lack of wisdom on her part, but the ensuing news conference revealed more stupidity. In case we weren’t disgusted enough to puke we then listened to her tell us (albeit without visible remorse or emotion) how difficult her defection was. Meanwhile, the P.M. could barely wait for his turn to speak to let the whole world know that here on display was a popular politician that traded a classic bundle of goods (her integrity) for a proffered cabinet post. If she was the lady I originally thought she was, she would have said. "I am most grateful for the offer but I truly must refuse as I cannot jump to the front of the queue when there are so many good fellows and gals who have been working their butts off for months to earn a cabinet post."

And you know, even if Stronach didn’t know any better because of her youth and inexperience, Martin should have known enough to keep his mouth shut rather than bragging to the press how easily he was able to dupe her.

There can be no doubt about it. Corruption in Canadian politics is propagating faster than a clutch of rabbits. The rapid development of Belinda’s political life is as much a fairy tale as Jack and the Beanstalk. I’m sure she is well aware of the parallels. Like foolish Jack boy, she traded in her integrity for a cabinet position and now she is clamoring up her bean-stalk-ladder to grab the golden goose for the Liberals. But this is real life, not the stuff of fairy tales. Someone may chop down that ladder before she gets back on the ground.

As for me, I normally don’t take much interest in politics. It matters little to me who stays in power or who wins the next election, but I do have to wonder. Is it wise to make someone a major stake-holder in government when they show no ethical conscience in their reckless rampage to get to the top of the dung heap?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Take in the essence of that first seasonal rain that soaked into the ground
And saturated the prairie air with West-coast dampness
And the sweet-haying-smell of grass clippings
That Hub left by the sidewalk.

The rain hoped for, longed for,
The rain that hung back for so long, with such fear,
That it might just piss a few drops
And find the need to go and the going
A total mismatch.

Add two massive blossom-laden May-day trees and
An apple tree in a lavish new silken burgundy dress,
Rows of marching tulips ready for review and clay-pots on stumps
That I thickly planted with gay flowers
Only yesterday.

Add a gentle mist to the warm air,
That fades the shocking green of leaves and grass
And blurs the landscape into a pastel hue,
And there it is – action in poetry, rather than
Poetry in action.

An action to immortalize and elevate realism. To grab a common thing
And aptly shrink-wrap it with memory, nostalgia, (dampness and rheumatism),
Into a cocoon for safe-keeping spun with sturdy fibers
Of pentameter, verse, eulogy, rhythm
And balladry.

I’ve wrapped up the moment – now where should I stash it?
Under the apple tree or out in the Blogospere? Or should I hand it over

To a wandering minstrel?

Thursday, May 12, 2005


A few days ago, Hub made the dreaded trip to town. He shouldn’t have gone – he had a pounding headache when he left home. Anyway going to town was not the cure. In town it didn’t get better. It just got worse.

First Hub went to the post office, then to the bank, but on leaving the bank, he found that his vision was blurring, and he felt dizzy. It was bad enough, debilitating enough, that he went to the Doctor’s Office. The Doc was concerned and immediately wrote him a prescription for some meds that he was to take immediately. So after leaving the Doctor’s office, Hub walked the short distance to the Drugstore, picked up his prescription, then headed back to the bank to get his truck.

It was gone. Hub looked all around but his truck was gone. How annoying is that? You have a pounding headache, your eyes won’t focus, your head is swirling, and now you have to contact the police because someone stole your truck?

So now Hub wandered back to the street where the Doctor is located, trying to clear his head enough to decide what to do next. Suddenly, he looked up the street, and there was his truck sitting pretty as you please right in front of the Doc’s Office. But Hub was distressed, very distressed, because he didn’t remember driving his truck from the bank to the Doctor’s Office. Apparently with his swirling head, he had a four or five-minute lapse of memory.

I tried to be sympathetic but it was difficult. I mean, why would someone be overly anxious over a four-minute gap? Pffft!

I mentally debated. Should I tell him I don’t remember what I had for breakfast or even if I ate? Should I tell him the window trim I have been painting is slightly screwed up because on the second day I forgot what the initial plan was? When Hub came home and asked where Dough-Gee dog was, should I tell him I don’t remember if I saw him this morning? And that I don’t know if anyone phoned while he was gone? With his obvious distress over losing four-minutes out of his day, I decided, contrast and comparison would not be helpful, so I didn’t say anything. It seems there isn’t much relevance to his situation, even though I am losing great blocks of time out of every single day more rapidly than Dough-Gee is shedding his winter coat.

Anyway, Hub was quite useless for the rest of that day, but the next day he was feeling much better. It must have been a bit of a scare for him to do something so uncharacteristic as going to see the Doc. Anyway, he’s better and scheduled for a battery of tests to find out what caused his memory lapse. That is good.

But back to my original thought. Yesterday Mr. and Mrs. Nearby came by for coffee. Hub told them about the events of the previous day, his short-term loss of memory and his conviction that he didn’t move his truck, so it must have been stolen.

Mr. Nearby responded with these words of wisdom. “You know Hub, you need to learn to trust your sub-conscious mind. Let it do its work.”

I chuckled. Funny advice. But good advice.

Now obviously, it’s not a great idea to be driving a truck with one’s sub-conscious-mind in the driver’s seat, but nevertheless there is a lot of worth to this argument; especially with my memory problems. So starting right now, if anything confuses me and blurs my line of thinking, I’m not going to fret about it. That just perpetuates the problem. Instead I’m going to trust my subconscious mind and let it do its work!

Monday, May 09, 2005


Every year same discussion. The neighbors to the east and the neighbors to the north want to know if we’re going to kick in for a portion of the cost for the local municipality to apply dust control to our main road. And because Hub will not allow it to be ever said that he took unfair advantage or he was unjust in his appropriation of what is right and equal and fair, once again, he wrote out a check that we can ill afford for dust control.

I sulked and cringed. Seems he had forgotten our discussion last year. We happen to live on a 4-way intersection. The stretch of dust control runs north and south but the summer winds come from the southwest so the road treatment gives us virtually no protection. From dawn to dusk, dust pours in my south and west-facing windows each time a vehicle goes by whether they are travelling east and west or north and south.

If I spent every day riding across the bald prairie in an open wagon, I wouldn’t be eating more dust than I do right now, day in and day out. Last week the farmer north of us was seeding the field across the road and I now have enough fertilizer and dust in this house that with a little water I could probably grow real indoor-outdoor turf on my kitchen floor. If the numbers were added up, I buy so many bottles of End-Dust, I have a sizable ownership in the company. The vacuum cleaner sucks up what it can, but most of it takes to the air and remains in flight until the motion of the cleaning machinery is quiet and still.

There is a twirly-bird vent on the roof of the house. Now I don’t know a lot about physics so I don’t know if this vent is supposed to propel air in or out, but I do know that the water in Australian homes swirls the opposite way down the drain as it does in Canada. So I checked my twirly-bird vent hoping it was twirling in an Australian direction. But no such luck. It is rotating in fine form and at top speed in the same direction as swirling toilet and sink drains in Canada. That means that it is efficiently sucking. Sucking in any of the dust in the air that didn’t manage to climb in the windows.

So what is the solution? It’s tough, but something must be done. The solution is don’t move, don’t vacuum, don’t exercise, don’t make beds. Just sit at the computer all day and read electronic literary offerings because paper books only create more dust. Computers, on the other hand, have a special ability to zap a good share of dust out of the air and hold it fast to the screen. So why am I writing this entry. This is the one thing I can do that will not stir up MORE dust!

If you deal with as much dust as I do -- I'd like to hear from you. If you live in a dust-free neighbourhood, in a dust-free house, I could use some sympathy or discussion about what that kind of living is like, cause I will never know.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


Today I promise to make you happy and promise to make you feel really good about yourself.

There’s not much to this therapy. Nothing much more than a bit of journaling about my day and then a little pat on your back because you’re not like me. Why? Because I am despicable today. I am a total sloth. A waste of skin. I didn’t shower or get dressed when I got up. I didn’t even brush my teeth. I’m still in my housecoat. I drank way too much coffee. I spent hours watching TV, and more hours playing mindless computer games, and the rest of the day browsing through needlecraft books. I didn’t vacuum, didn’t make my bed.

I didn’t comb my hair, but that doesn’t count. It’s one of those days that if I had combed it, Hub would have told me to go to the bathroom and put it back the way it was.

I ate four chocolate bars back to back and finished off the bowl of whipped cream in the fridge. I skipped breakfast. I didn’t go outside and I didn’t exercise and I didn’t drink any water and I didn’t do anything healthy, beneficial, or worthwhile.

But you, you’re so much better than that. All of you who got up, showered, brushed your teeth, got dressed, ate a healthy breakfast, walked the dog (or went off to work), cleaned up the kitchen, vacuumed, etc. Quite a contrast, isn’t there?

So now, after reading this, don’t you feel really good about yourself?

Monday, May 02, 2005


Today’s thoughts are about movies and movie reviewers. Movie reviewers that appear on my TV screen as brightly polished and professional individuals with an impressive vocabulary peppered with intelligent reason. Critics that proudly relish their task of summarizing movie plots and handing out marks of merit. But nevertheless, I feel sorry for them.

What an occupation? To spend lazy summer days cooped up in some room watching two or three movies back to back every damn day of your life. It’s a situation to be pitied. That’s how I feel but I have never been much for watching movies. Two hours is too long for me to remain relatively immobile and focused on the small screen. Movie-watching, in my youth, probably averaged one movie a week. Now, even with satellite TV, my movie-watching has only plummeted more. Now I watch one movie every two months (if I manage to stay awake that long).

But yet I know so many people who are absolutely addicted to movies. A fellow told me the other day that on his days off work he is happiest if he gets a chance to watch 4 movies back to back. And GD (granddaughter) is addicted to movies despite the incredible and laughable stuff on channels like Animal Planet and the phenomenal stuff on National Geographic and the History channel. I don’t understand it.

And in thinking about my own movie watching, I also don’t understand why I find a 2-hour movie overly long, but yet I can sit down and read a book for four hours or watch a 2-hour documentary without misgivings, or sit here blogging for a couple hours without even noting the passage of time. That doesn’t make any more sense than other peoples’ movie addictions. But back to my discussion.

Now last night, unable to find any new news (which sometimes happens on Sundays) or documentaries that appealed to me, I decided to watch a movie. I picked one with a 4-star rating. But to my dismay, the first hour and a half dragged by at a tedious pace. The action dragged, the storyline dragged. Dragging, dragging, dragging. But then, things picked up. The movie is now more than halfway through and there are a host of interesting complexities developing. I am no longer reclining in my chair; I am sitting up straight and paying acute attention. Breathless with anticipation.

And then, low and behold, here come the credits. I blinked in astonishment. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. My God, even with those credits rolling, I could not fathom that was the end of the movie. I even checked the remote to see if I had accidentally changed the channel. No, hadn’t done that. Then I wondered if the movie might have been truncated to fit an overly-tight television timeslot. Hub assured me that would not be the case. I sat there in total disbelief. Unable to accept that such a non-climactic ending could occur with all those unresolved situations.

So now today, I want to tell those movie critics, those poor souls engaged in that occupation, that regardless if a movie has blazing action, tear-jerking emotion, real-life drama, or uncanny believability, none of that matters if:

"when it ends, you can’t believe that is the end!"

Think about it. If anything in life – and I emphasize ‘anything’ – unexpectedly ends without the participant being able to fathom that is the end (i.e. sex, dinner, a dance, a relationship, etc.), that is bloody disturbing. As disturbing as watching a world class hockey match conclude in a tie. And movies are no different. And how should critics rate these kinds of cut-offs? If the rating system is 5 possible stars, that kind of performance deserves 5 stripes. (i.e. -----). And if the rating is 5 possible popped popcorns, that movie deserves no less than 5 ‘old maids’.

In conclusion, it’s been quite a few years since that day of enlightenment, when a few of Hollywood’s script writers realized that movies don’t have to be chained to plots that reinforce how good triumphs over evil. And the realization that movies don’t have to end with a hero and heroine living happily ever after. But when did someone decide a movie can be worthy of the time and money it takes to write it, produce it, and market it, or even watch it, when it is as inconclusive and unending as space and time?

Believe it or not, this is the end of this discussion. The credits are rolling. What do you mean, you can’t believe this is the end of my rant?