Friends Strangers and Warnings
November 16, 2019
Imagine a scenario where you saw a friend or stranger edging closer and closer to the upper rim of a cliff. Approaching a three hundred foot fall to certain death or let’s say you noticed someone whose pant leg was on fire. Endless possibilities in which you may have to step up and help or alert a person of pending peril, perhaps a drowning victim needs a lifeline of floatation device, maybe a youngster is about to be struck by a train. Would you do or say something?
Bill Maher on a recent episode of his program Real Time With Bill Maher, went on a diatribe about obesity in the USA however, he could have been talking about Canada as well. As a fat guy and a fan of his show I was somewhat uncomfortable as he beat up fat people for letting themselves get this way. My initial thoughts were don’t get on my case, I beat myself up over this enough as it is. During the following week Bill Maher was ostracized on social media for his stance.
All of the listed situations call for action which is understood and accepted by all involved. The potential victim has a whew moment and is thankful for the quick response of any person willing to help in the instance yet, when it comes to drinking, smoking, drugs or eating disorders, many people choose to stay silent. All the while knowing these addicts, if they can be called that, are slowly but surely killing themselves. Then when a guy like Bill Maher says something to a mass audience where hopefully the message will do some good, he is taken to task.
So far I’ve been trying to keep this blog bitch free, warning, here comes the bitching. Out of all the listed addictions, only over eating is shunned by the Ontario Government for treatment. A smoker can get a smoking cessation pill that has great success at ending smoking. Drug users have methadone treatments to turn to. Not fact checked but I’m told that is a person wants a sex change the Ontario Heath Care Plan will assist financially with the surgery. I’m sure there are many hoops to jump through before the okay is given. The same thing applies to gastric bypass surgery. One can get financial help but there is plenty of red tape one must wade through before that happens.
So next time you see a toddler about to step into traffic, do something. And, don’t be afraid to tell a fat or getting fat friend or loved one they should get help. It might just save them from a lot of pain, embarrassment or death.
Until next time, I’ll be out and around
Nov 2, 2019
Many times throughout my life, a smell has triggered a memory from my younger days. I’ve talked about this with other people who have experienced the same. From this I conclude that most who read this blog will have also had a memory triggered by a smell. The same thing happens with music, but I’ll leave that for another day.
Yesterday I was in the Village of Plattsville, and caught a whiff of burning leaves. It must be that this municipality has less strict rules for such things as open air burning. The smell was somewhat acrid, yet sweet. I was immediately flooded with memories from when I was a kid, when it was an autumn ritual to burn leaves. As kids we would rake open the fire, exposing air, to cause the fire to flare up. As the fire died down we would ride our bikes through the embers of the now unattended fire that was all but burned out.
Another example of a memory being brought about by smell goes back to my kindergarten years. Both my wife and I attended kindergarten in the basement of the village library. Even then it was an old building. Our classroom was a large room with all the usual accessories needed for a kindergarten class. Years later we had an opportunity to tour the basement of what was now a computer store. Strangely enough it smelled exactly as it did when we attended school there. Those memories came back instantly once we entered the room.
My wife and I had a new house built in 1998. A retirement home to live out our remaining years in. It’s our home and it’s comfortable. Years later my wife, daughter and granddaughter went to Disney for a week or so. Penny, my wife, is a good traveler as long as she is not away too long, beyond a week she has a strong desire to return home. Upon their return and stepping about three steps inside the back door, her first words were “oh it smells so good in here”.
I’m told there are people who lack a sense of smell. Unfortunately for them they miss out on those olfactory triggers that set one off on a wonderful trip down memory lane. Think about the times you have reminisced after you smelled, smoke or food or possibly car exhaust on a cool autumn morning or an interior that takes you back to school, work or grandma’s house and don’t forget that old car smell, yes I said old car smell, a smell that puts you back in the rear seat of your father or grandfather’s car. What great memories!
Until next time I’ll be out and around
A Job to Die For
Oct. 26, 2019
We often hear “they lay their life on the line every day when they go to work.” What occupation comes to mind when you hear this phrase? Police, firefighter, border patrol officer, security guard or maybe armour car guard? All are noble professions that carry a certain amount of risk, by the way, I would not want to
do any of these jobs.
“They lay their lives on the line everyday when they go to work,” in my opinion is very much overused. Overused when describing people in the wrong line of work. We have heard these expressions so many times that we have become programmed to believe it must be true. The fact of the matter is none of the listed jobs are in the top ten.
Each year in Canada and many jurisdictions in the United States this list is often as follows, forestry, fisheries, aviation, roofing, structural steel, garbage and recycling, electrical line crews, trucking, farming and construction. There is statistics that can verify this at WSIB or similar organizations.
As this phrase is often used when praising police, let me expand on the police fatalities, if I may. When an officer is killed in the line of duty, very often it is as a result of an automobile collision. Don’t get ahead of me. A fatal traffic collision involving a cop rarely is during a pursuit or response to a call. Most often just like all motorists, a momentary lapse and a collision occurs. A relatively new phenomenon when is comes to police workplace fatalities it is PTSD, unfortunately this means suicide. Firefighters, ambulance attendance, undertakers and police must see gruesome sights at work, but only the cop must knock on the door to deliver devastating news to the family.
Be safe at work everyone, don’t let your occupation become a top ten hit on the killed at work hit parade. And, the next time you see a Logger, Fisher, Flight Crew, Roofer, Garbage or Recycling person, Lineman or Linewoman, Truck Driver, Farmer or Construction worker, you can think to yourself, “they lay their lives on the line everyday when they go to work” and you would be correct in your thinking.
Until next time, I’ll be out and around
Cloth, Symbols and Songs
Oct 19, 2019
Here we are well into October as we find ourselves nestled between the Canadian Thanksgiving and Remembrance day. Two days I feel are overrated. Before you get angry with me let me explain my take on it. Why would we set aside one day to give thanks or remember our veterans? It seems to me this should be a constant in our lives to be thankful for all we have been blessed with. One such blessing is the soldiers who fought, many of whom died for our freedom.
While I’m at it, I’m of the opinion too much emphasis is placed on the flag. By now you may be up in arms at my comments, so be it. Here’s why I say this. As our soldiers lay dying their lives be replayed in their minds, I’m all but certain not one thought I am dying for the flag. Maybe for the country, maybe for our freedom, very unlikely for a piece of cloth.
Some feel people must respect our national anthem, good. It is not the end of the world if someone doesn’t, it’s only a song.
Politicians the world over stand for the anthem and praise their county’s flag but have little respect for their country. Many politicians squander resources, non renewable resources and are okay with it. Citizens must be okay with it too as we stand by and let it happen. Often this is done for the sake of profits. How unpatriotic is that? Stand for the anthem today, ruin the country tomorrow.
Perhaps our fallen soldiers did die for the flag, because if they died for the country they are surely being disrespected by politicians, big business and many of their countrymen.
The fight for freedom is one that was fought in vain. Our freedoms are slowly being eroded as time goes on. A person is free to build on property they own, as long as they bought a permit to build. Many more examples could be stated but I’ll keep this short. Perhaps it should be called paydom, not freedom.
Yes I support our troops, just not the government who sends them into harms way. Yes I’m thankful all the soldiers who gave their lives so we could have our way of life today. I had a grandfather I’ve never met because he died in WW one, it would have been nice to see what he was like. So when I say Thanksgiving and Remembrance day are overrated, it’s not that I am not appreciative, I am. One day a year for being thankful and remembering is simply not enough.
Until next time, I’ll be out and around.
Words and Phrases Words and Phrases
Oct 12, 2019
Words, all important words, some times misleading words, multiple meaning words. As usual this is just me sounding off about nothing really important, just making some observations and committing them to paper.
When we run out of eggs at our house we head out to a local Amish family farm to buy “farm fresh eggs”, often so fresh one of the kids has to go to the hen house to retrieve them. That’s fresh! I’m sure everyone is familiar with the term farm fresh, bought from the farmer, either at a roadside stand or from the farmhouse. Then you may have market fresh. Bought from a farm market booth, often sold by a non farmer who did not grow the produce but has purchased it from a warehouse and is nothing more than a reseller. Sure enough, the items are market fresh because they are being sold at a market. What we don’t know or even think about is how long were these vegetables warehoused before coming to market and how long were they on the truck during shipping from who knows where. Fresh is such an important word in marketing that McDonald’s uses the term “freshly cracked” giving the impression, subliminally, that their eggs were laid this morning. Think about it, they're not claiming freshness only a time frame as to when the eggs made their way onto the skillet.
Economy, another great word used to help consumers make choices as they purchase goods. Economy is a word with one meaning that applies to both ends of the selling spectrum. If you purchase an economy box of cereal or laundry soap you take home a large box in order to stretch your food or laundry budget as far as possible. On the other hand, if you buy an economy car you come off the lot with a small compact car. Aren’t words fun?
If you are my age or maybe a bit younger and certainly older, you will have heard the term “It’s a doozy”. Not knowing just what that meant I thought it meant a dud, no matter if you were referring to a car, boat, house or an old catcher’s mitt. Come to find out it’s a doozy is a compliment, comparing an item to a Duesenberg car, a car revered by collects as second to none. No longer being manufactured the Duesenbergs that have been restored are valued into the multi millions of dollars. You may find one that’s “just” or “only” a fraction of that, two more words used when pricing goods for sale.
October 7, 2019
Let’s talk accessibility this time around. My guess is accessibility is likely not a subject most people spend much time thinking about. Sure, when you see someone who is in a wheelchair or perhaps a blind person, if you’re like me you think it would be terrible to live that way. Then it passes and you lose that thought until the next time someone with an obvious handicap crosses your path.
So what’s got me going on the topic? Today on a web based news source I saw a piece about a deaf woman being rejected at the drive threw at Tim Hortorns. It was clear from the video that the drive threw workers were under pressure from the longer and longer line up waiting to get their order. Additionally they were frustrated by their inability, unwillingness or lack of patience to deal with the young woman. Tim’s has been in decline for a while now, unless they manage this situation correctly they may experience further decline. Accessibility training and an apology is needed to say the least.
Until about five years ago I had little idea what accessibility was. Handicap parking spot and a sturdy bar next to the toilet in an over sized stall and I thought this establishment has it covered. Five years ago however, my knees began to get progressively worse, bad enough that I had to take time off work which eventually forced me to retire. Now with two canes and most often a walker, I have a much better idea what accessibility is really all about.
Stairs without railings, even two stairs is too many. Water on the floor, even with a yellow warning sign often seen in stores, creates a slip hazard for a person with canes or crutches. A floor mat with ripples or a turned up corner is a trip hazard for anyone, it’s worse for a person trying to navigate with crutches, canes, walker or wheelchair. Another accessibility feature often missed by architects and builders alike is a handicap washroom. I’ve been in new buildings that cost multiple millions of dollars to erect that do not have a truely accessible washrooms. I can’t blame the designers of these structures, they simply haven’t thought it through. So what is a proper handicap washroom? I would not have known until I found myself in this situation. A real handicap washroom is one in which a person with the handicap can be accompanied by his or her spouse or care giver into a separate washroom. It can be embarrassing and awkward to recruit a waiter or waitress to stand guard at the door to ensure privacy. How bad can it be to build a separate private handicap washroom when millions are being spent anyway?
Until next time, I’ll be out and around
October 1 2019
For several years at our house we have recycled our recyclable trash in hopes of leaving our children, grandchildren and their children a healthy environment to live in. We placed our trust in the government to handle the bottles, plastics, cardboard and metals in the blue box. At about the same time a program or should I say tax, of a buck a bag for garbage pickup began. On the surface it seems a logical way to encourage recycling. Less bags of garbage less money spent.
From the get go one truck with just one compartment picked up all classes of recycle materials. When the program started we sorted our plastics from glass and so on in order to make easier on the driver that gets little thanks for a year round job, in rain or shine, in too cold or too hot conditions. Several years into the program it’s obvious the government can’t do it. What misguided fools we have been thinking this would be a plan that we should buy into.
The oceans are full of plastic, and toxic chemicals. I’m near certain one could hike to the furthest reaches of earth and find a Coke can, McDonalds wrapper or Tim Hortons cup. We are all guilty. You may never have knowingly littered, perhaps you would never ever consider illegal dumping. Yet, if you repeatedly buy water in a plastic bottle you are the problem. The water bottling companies don’t sell water, they sell plastic bottles. Many countries don’t recycle they dump onto anther county, another country or another continent. This still pollutes the earth!
In our household we have vowed, no longer will we allow plastic water bottles in our home. For years we have had a sign on the door, “welcome to our smoke free home” we now will have one about plastic free environment as well. Every little bit helps, today I called Canada Dry and asked them to consider using non plastic rings for holding six packs together.
There are now many large fields of hemp going in rural areas of Ontario, hemp is a well proven, strong and versatile material, once used for cloths, sails, rope as well as plenty of other commercial and domestic purposes. Anti cannabis and big oil company propaganda put a stop to that.
Please think about what you do today and how it will affect your Great Great Grandchildren. Not just plastic but all trash.
Until next time, I’ll be out and around!
Saturday September 28/19
I'm starting this blog as a creative outlet to keep my brain working and to fill a void until my next photo shoot. Photography, writing poems and blogging are of interest to me. When I'm between photo sessions or if my creative photography and poetry juices dry up, this blog will be a reason to write. I will try a weekly schedule. It may appear more or less frequently according to my day to day activities or what's happening in the world.
Until next time, I'll be out and around
My thoughts on a variety of subjects, not meant to be controversial but perhaps bringing ideas to light that possibly would go unthought of.