Lest We Forget




Remember that today is Remembrance Day, or Veterans’ Day in the US, if Canada is too boring to remember.  Remember to wear a poppy, if it’s available to you.  I’ve remembered to wear mine for about three weeks.  Remember that this day is not about the wars that have been fought, but the peace that has been achieved.

Remember the Alamo.  Remember the Maine.  Remember that much of the world, especially here in North America, lives safely, stably, happily, and prosperously.  Remember that, all it takes for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.  Remember the members of the Armed Forces, present and past, who have refused to do nothing, and have put themselves in harm’s way, to ensure that we live as we do.

Remember to thank a Service-Person today (and every day).  Remember to shake his or her hand.  Remember to give a hug, if it’s appropriate and welcomed.  Remember to face the flag, and stand quietly and respectfully at 11:00 AM.  Remember that they volunteered to put themselves in harm’s way, so that we wouldn’t be.  It’s the least you can do.

Remember the sacrifices that others have made, that we might have what we do.  Remember those who have lost lives and limbs, and mental and emotional well-being, careers, education and even families, for us and ours.

Remember that a man wearing a helmet and defending our country, is worth more than a man wearing a helmet and defending a football – and should be paid accordingly, but sadly, is not.

Remember that the Canadian Thanksgiving is just past, and the American Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  Remember to take all the things you’re thankful for and understand that those in uniform ensure that we have most of them.

Remember that the Armed Forces are like insurance.  You don’t want to use it, but it’s very nice to have when you must.  If only the American Congress could remember to play nice with others and remember to pay this vital and respected group.

Remember….sshhh, it’s almost 11:00 AM.  Remember what I told you, and stand quietly, respectfully, at attention, for two minutes.  I will.  I’ll be watching, and I’ll be back in a couple of days.


Woot Woot!!

Blog On

I have received another blog award.

  The Goldilocks Award

Actually, it’s the, “You Are A Winner” award, but I like to think of it as the Goldilocks Award because it suits me perfectly.  It’s not too big, or too small.  It’s not too involved or too easy.  Definitely not too hard.  This award requires me to do nothing, and if there’s one thing I am highly qualified to do, it’s nothing.  Finally, an award that fits me perfectly.

I’ve received a variety of blog awards from different people.  This is yet another from one of my favorite bloggers, Benzeknees.  Without actually doing any research, I’m pretty sure that she is the only one who has brightened my day this way more than once.  We may have to be careful that her husband and my wife don’t find out about this ongoing ego massage.

To say that some of us have not been Freshly Pressed is an understatement.  My posts are generally too wordy to achieve that.  This award is just a little pat on the head or the back to let you know that there are readers who appreciate what you publish.

I am not required to do anything with this award except appreciate it, and I certainly do.  It’s a little Nothing – Feel Good award, but it’s amazing how a thing that means so little, means so muchThanx Benze!!  😀

You can accept it or not.  You can display the graphic, as I have, or not.  Remember to stop back here after drinks, to pick up your copy, if you want one.  You need do no other thing, no answering questions, no revealing personal data.  I find that you are subtly expected to pass it on.  Other than a few honorable mentions in my first blog-award acceptance post, I have never strewn these awards like rose petals before a bride.

All that is about to change, ladies and gentlemen!  I am going to pass this award on to a few people whose efforts I have appreciated, with the added thought that I am definitely not the only one.  I worry, even now that I will offend some worthy recipient by forgetting, or not having enough time, energy or technical knowledge to include.

The envelope please – and the winners are….ah, you’re all winners.  Here, in no particular order – oh, wait, WordPress put them in alphabetical order, no favorites.

AFrankAngle  http://afrankangle.wordpress.com/

BrainRants  http://brainrants.wordpress.com/

H E Ellis  http://heellisgoa.com/

John Erickson  http://windycitywonderer.wordpress.com/

Hansi  http://hansishallucinations.wordpress.com/

KayJai  http://kayjai.com/

Lady Ryl  http://ladyryl.wordpress.com/

Linda  http://linda123ainslie.wordpress.com/

Madame Weebles  http://fearnoweebles.wordpress.com/

Sandy Like A Beach  http://sandylikeabeach.wordpress.com/

Shimoniac  http://shimoniac.wordpress.com/

SightsNBytes  http://sightsnbytes.wordpress.com/

Sparklebumps http://sparklebumpsthebookwhore.wordpress.com/

White Lady In The Hood  http://whiteladyinthehood.wordpress.com/

Okay, all you guys take a bow – and equal responsibility for making me what I am.  Then we’ll go for some refreshments.  I’ll provide the poutine, if Rants will spring for beer.

I Thought About Thinking

On Sunday, Oct. 20, I took the son and daughter, and we headed to downtown Kitchener for the monthly Free Thinkers luncheon.  This was the last day of Oktoberfest, so most of the tourist drunkaholics were either on their way home, or still in holding cells.

The first thing I learned about hotels on that first trip to Detroit was that they change names all the time.  We arose the next morning and went looking for the big hotel where the knife show was.  I drove past the place four times, from each direction, before pulling into a gas station, and asking for directions.  “Oh, it’s that one right over there.  They just got bought by a different chain last month.”

Thirty years old, our Kitchener Hotel (and Convention Center) is on its 6th name, and that one is just a placeholder till they complete renovations and hang out yet another shingle.  During my period of   un(der)employment, 25 years ago, I worked as a security guard there for a year.  Back before either the wife or daughter became mobility-impaired, I didn’t notice its access shortcomings.

The front entrance has a drive-through area, and elevators are just inside.  However, if you go up the small hill, to get to the parking structure entrance off the side street, that level brings you to a spot where you must either climb up a stairway, to a door which is often locked, or down a stairway, out and down a step, across an alley, and back up 8 steps.  Not really any more accessible than the current choice.

As the group started arriving at the room we had been promised, we found that the booking clerk hadn’t told the floor manager that we were coming.  Already busy with hotel guests and walk-ins, he had to quickly unlock the room, get tables and chairs arranged, brew and deliver coffee, provide sugar, creamers, cups, spoons, water pitchers, glasses, etc.  Not a propitious beginning.

No a-la-carte was available.  $10 got you a self-serve Continental Breakfast of three cold cereals, juice and fruit.  $12.50 also let you go to the hot(?) table with bacon, sausage, potato patties, scrambled eggs with cheese, oatmeal, and toast.  There was a little pizza-oven type toaster.  Feed bread in, let it wend its merry way, and it slid out the bottom, almost-brown.  I put my two pieces back in for a second run to darken it, and stepped over to get some eggs.  When I got back, some hotel guest had taken my toast.

One of the members is an unmarried young male trucker.  He’s eaten in a lot of establishments.  He complained of a cold breakfast at another restaurant, and the manager ripped up his bill.  When he complained to this maitre d’, the man held his hand over the lukewarm food, insisted that it wasn’t cold and claimed that no-one else had complained.

One table for eight was full when we arrived, so we sat at another.  Since we’re not members, when the rest arrived, they all sat at different tables, and talked among themselves.  Finally, toward the end, we convinced a couple of folk to join us.  Both the group, and the son, are willing to give it one more chance.

I recently published some uncomplimentary “religious thoughts.”  This was probably, at least in part, a reaction to some of the, “We don’t care about the laws, or your rights!  We’re Good Christians!” stories I heard at the meeting.

The Atheist parents of a GRADE THREE girl in Niagara Falls, not only would not sign the release form for her to be given a Gideons’ Bible, they refused to allow her to hand them out to the rest of her class.  The school called them in for a meeting, and the teacher, the principal, and a rep from the local school board interrogated them, as to why not.

They submitted a request that this school district cease passing out Bibles, to the exclusion of any other belief system, and, of course, were turned down.  They took it to mediation, and the government official ruled that the board either had to cease distributing Bibles, or allow other printed matter to be handed out.

The Board refused to stop the supply of Bibles.  With the help of the Humanist Association, they delivered a pile of Good Without God pamphlets, but the board refused to distribute them.  They have now instituted a lawsuit to force the board to obey, one way or the other.

A Humanist woman in the city of Peterborough, requested that the council not begin each session with a recitation of the Lord’s Prayer. Having filed her form, she contacted our local chapter president, and asked if she should proceed through mediation, or legal arbitration.  His answer was that, she might win at mediation, but, like above, it didn’t set a legal precedent.

She emailed him back the next day, saying that the matter was taken out of her hands when the city lawyer filed for arbitration.  My cynical old (lack of) soul says that, in both cases, the bureaucrats know what the law is, and what the final result will be, but are holding out till the last minute to look good to the Christian majority.

Like the removal of the Lord’s Prayer (only) from schools, because they wouldn’t play nicely with others, and share, they’ll be able to point to the Godless government and the Atheists, and say, “It’s all their fault.  We were forced into it.”

Triviana Too

Just so that I don’t concentrate too much on you guys and lose my touch, I had an op-ed letter printed the other day, giving some whiney bitch shit.  She wants to live in an apartment facing a main street and sit out on the balcony.

First she whined about the traffic noise of cars and trucks, then she bitched about motorcycles “with no mufflers, i.e. straight pipes.”  No manufacturer should be allowed to make or sell them, and the police should stop ignoring them, and press charges for excess noise.

The newspaper allowed me to point out that it is already illegal for any manufacturer to make or sell bikes “with no mufflers i.e. straight pipes.”  I also emphasised that motorcyclists are the most heavily harassed group on the road.  Anyone fool enough to go with straight pipes would almost immediately be pulled over.

A biker in B.C. was stopped for excess noise and told to have the problem checked/solved.  When he reported to the officer the next day, he was given a noise ticket because he didn’t use the bike shop the police officer demanded he use.  Many bikes emit a higher, sharper exhaust note than cars.  They can be noticeable even when they’re well within legal guidelines.  If she don’t like the noise, she could move to an apartment on a quieter street.  I know it’ll be quieter when she’s gone.

I fell off the couch laughing the other night.  Several years ago, we had a brewery strike, and beer had to be brought in from the U.S., opening the Canadian market.  Now, many American brands are made here to Canadian specs.  Coors is advertising a new Coors Lite – Platinum – with 6% alcohol.  Thicker than the usual Canadian slop, it can hardly be considered a Lite beer.

A few years ago the youngest senator ever, was elected.  He was just a couple of months over the minimum age.  Being a little more vital, and a lot less cautious and repressed than most of his peers, he carried on badly – booze, drugs, parties, women, putting the entire senate in the media and in a bad light.  One of the older senators called him in for a little talk about his actions.

He did not take the criticism well.  He yelled back that they were all hypocrites.  He told the old senator that, “I’m not doing anything that the rest of you aren’t doing behind closed doors.”  The old man replied, “You damned young fool!  That’s what doors are for!”

The wife and I watch a fair amount of British telly on the Knowledge Network, out of B.C.  Since they don’t include commercials, there is always time to fill, at the end of an hour or half-hour.  At least once a week they play a 1979 video with sound and music, but no dialog, about a small dairy.  They appear to be making cheese.  The amounts of milk seemed even smaller than at the little dairy in my home town.

The second or third time I saw it, I made out the name Bannia.  Googling that, I found that Bannia is an Italian town on the European mainland, north and east of Venice.  This little dairy is world-famous for its goat cheese.  This is the area where the wife’s Italian ancestors came from, and explains her allergies to cow’s-milk.  Only goats can be raised in this steep mountainous region.  There were no cows, so her ancestors never developed the enzymes necessary to digest the milk.  There’s a lot of European cheeses at the Eurofood store, but I don’t remember seeing Bannia goat-cheese.  I wonder if AFrankAngle ever has.

What’s in a name?  $75,000 of my money!  After paying that much to a consulting firm, the name of the white-elephant street railroad has been decided as Ion.  The name is particularly apt.  If you turn it upside down, it reads iou.  Pat, I’d like to buy a vowel, at $25,000 each.

I am linguistically irked at the media’s continuing cutesy references to Christina Aguilera, as Xtina.  If you remove Christ from Christmas by writing it as Xmas, as many Bible thumpers complain, when you remove the “Christ” from Christina, all you have left is Xina, and we’ve already had that lesbian TV show.

My statistics page continues to astound and amuse me.  Occasionally I see two views and one viewer, but both views are the same post, and my one viewer is from Canada – and Poland.  I’d believe in a border crosser if it were Canada and the US.  There’s a pair of search terms that make me chuckle.  They are, “Unknown search term” and “Other search term.”  Aren’t they both unknown?  Or does WordPress want me to ask nicely, or offer to pay, to find out?

In the auto-parts plant, everything had to be labeled to pass QS 9000 accountability regulations.  One day I noticed a label on my garbage pail.  Part No. was, N/A.  Quantity was, N/A.  Status was, OK to scrap.  Description was, GARBAGE for compactor.  Next operation was, Transport to Landfill.  The part that perplexed me was under Lot Traceability, where bold print insisted NO FOREIGN/OTHER MATERIAL ALLOWED.  Despite a written request, I was never informed as to what constituted foreign material, French berets?  Discarded sushi?

The forming ovens which heated the vinyl sheets, had a lever-controlled damper for fine temperature control.  When the little clerk responsible for establishing the QS9000 paperwork came out, he asked one of the workers what the range was.  He was told that it could be anywhere from full-open, to full-closed.  The next day there was a label on it giving the range from 0% to 100%, and a snarky instruction not to exceed those limits.

Well, after whirling through this post, my mind has finally settled down.  I hope yours does soon, too.  Next post, a single, cohesive theme, a little left-field maybe, but a single theme, I promise.  I think we both deserve a nap.