The Day I Almost Went Over Niagara Falls

Niagara

Dear (un-named deity), how did I ever survive childhood, to become the Grumpy Old Dude that I am today??

Early in the 1960s, my Father took our family to Niagara Falls. We rented a little cabin in the village of Chippewa, 5 miles above the Falls. I don’t know what it’s like there now, but back then you could stroll along the Canadian-side bank of the river, like a continuous park. Having been told of a picturesque picnic area, one day we set off downstream to take advantage of it.

If I was 6 or 7 years old, my brother was 3 or 4, and my Mother was busy holding or carrying him. Dad was laden with a box, full of food and drink, and I wandered along behind them. About halfway to our destination, there was a gnarly tree, growing out of the bank at a 45 degree angle, out over the river.

Someone had tied a rope to a branch, and a group of 13/14 year old boys were using it to swing out, and splash into the river. One lad would climb/walk up into the tree, and flick the end of the rope up to his compatriots. One by one they’d launch themselves, swim back, and one of them would take the spot in the tree.

I had a tree at home. It had a rope in it. I liked trees. I liked ropes. I liked swinging. 😯 When all had plunged into the river, I asked the kid in the tree if I could swing from the rope. Sure! And he flicked the end up to me.

I launched myself off the 8-foot high bank, and enjoyed a magnificent swing. I didn’t learn to swim until I was 14. When I reached the extent of the outward swing, I realized that I couldn’t let go – a little late! Holding on for dear life I swung back in, but the arc of the inward swing is never as long as the outward one, and it was nowhere near long enough to put me back up on that bank.

Actually, the point nearest the bank would have been the best time to let go. I’d have smacked into the clay and rock, and would have been able to scramble up the bank, dry and safe, but my Grade 1 brain was busy trying to figure out the physics of this whole thing.

Back out I swung. These guys wanted their rope back, and were shouting, “Let go! Let go!” Once more I swung back inward, this time again the arc becoming much shorter. As I reached the inner apogee – right or wrong – I let go…. and splashed down three feet from dry land.

I was used to a well-mannered Lake Huron, where you could walk out 100 feet before it got chest deep. In this river, three feet out put me in chin-deep water. Still, I scrambled out, and rejoined my family. If either parent noticed that my shoes, shorts and tee-shirt were drenched, neither of them mentioned it. Only later did I realize that I could have climbed up the rope, and down the tree, safely. At the time, I was a bit too busy to think of that. What do you think?? A young fool became an old one??  😕

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’19 A To Z Challenge – I

Stupid

When we’re out driving around in our cars, any fools who don’t drive as fast as we do, and block us, are assholes. Any drivers who pull past us and drive faster than we do, are

IDIOTS

We can always feel good about ourselves by reading about folks who aren’t as smart as us. All the idiots aren’t on the roads. Prepare to feel great, by comparing yourself to some of these DUMB CROOKS

Caught-Caught

Police in Ossining, New York, were called to a mini-mart, where they found Blake Leak, 23, trying to break in. They chased Leak through the streets until both cops took a tumble. Seizing the opportunity, Leak sought refuge on the grounds of a large building. The building was the Sing Sing Maximum Security prison, where he was promptly nabbed by a guard.

The Case of the Liquor Store Lothario

Scottish shoplifter Aron Morrison was picked up after pinching a bottle of vodka from a liquor store. It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to find Morrison, though. His name and phone number were left with the clerk—after asking her out on a date.

The Lowest High There Is

For a trio of drug thieves, it was their lucky day. They broke into a home in Silver Springs, Florida, and discovered three jars of cocaine. They took it home and snorted the contents. That’s when they discovered that the jars were in fact urns, and that they were snorting the cremains of the victim’s husband and two dogs.

The Case of the Not-So Devoted Dad

Bring Your Child to Work Day is a long honored tradition that allows children to see what goes on in the business world while also getting the chance to watch their parents ply their trade. One crook brought his young son along with him on a job, which happened to be robbing a pet shop. He was caught soon after, minus something important. His son.

Watch Where You’re Going!

As two men waited in line at the coffee shop to pay their bill, a third cut in front of them. He threw a drink at the clerk, and demanded all the money from the till. Temporarily surprised, the men quickly recovered and handcuffed the crook. Apparently in his rush the criminal didn’t notice they were police officers—in full uniform.

The Couple That Drinks Together…

Recently, a woman in Fresno, California, was stopped at a DUI checkpoint for being soused. Ever helpful, she offered up this info: ‘My husband’s right behind me, and he’s even drunker than I am.’

The Telltale Trousers

When an attempted robbery at a Lowes Home Improvement store went awry, Milton J. Hodges fled across the street and jumped a fence … right into the Cypress Cove Nudist Resort & Spa. As the Orlando Sentinel pointed out, ‘As one of the only folks wearing clothing,’ Hodges was easily spotted by police.

P.S.—Nobody move

It’s the worst possible time to faint—in the middle of robbing a bank. But that’s what happened to a Beavercreek, Ohio, thief. The teller called 911 and asked for medics. But you have to applaud the man’s stick-to-it-iveness. While the ambulance was en route, the suspect handed a note to the teller demanding all her cash.

No Vacancy

Mitchell Deslatte walked into a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, hotel and asked the clerk for a room. The clerk wasn’t a clerk—he was a state trooper. And the hotel was actually a state trooper station. That’s when Deslatte was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated.

IOU

Graham Price of South Wales ripped off the bank where he worked, but he wasn’t completely duplicitous. He left a note in the safe: ‘Borrowed, seven million pounds’—signed ‘Graham Price.’

No One Likes a Tattler

A Good Samaritan noticed an elderly man being robbed, so he jumped in and punched the thief. The thief was so upset, he called the police to complain.

Next Time, Steal a Milky Way

When Stephan Crane broke into the Ravalli Republic (Montana) newsroom, he used the computers to watch porn and check Facebook. Then Crane doused the office with a fire extinguisher, took some candy, and left. It wasn’t difficult to find him, however; the police just followed the trail of stolen M&Ms that led to his sister’s place across the road.

Can You Read Me Now?

When police in Vancouver, Canada, asked to search Jason Pauchay’s apartment for drugs, he was not a suspect—in fact, they were looking for someone else. That all changed when they got a look at how his name was listed on his cell phone: ‘Jason Pauchay Drug Dealer.’

That’s all for now, but (un)fortunately, I’ve got more of these feel-good fools. 😯 Seeya soon.

 

’19 A To Z Challenge – E

 

Letter E

AtoZ2019

 

Canada’s entertainment has (almost) caught up to the USA’s.

First, we dumped cable TV, as content deteriorated, and prices soared. Later we ditched satellite TV, when their charges approached Cable’s. We have YouTube as part of our internet package. The wife signed up for Netflix – considerably cheaper than either of the other two. Later, she enrolled in Amazon Prime, which not only gives us advantages with the increasing number of things that we purchase online, but provides another cheap platform for videos.

I watched episodes of Babylon 5 on TVs in Detroit hotels, five years before it became available on Canadian television. About 3 years ago BrainRants made me aware of an epic series, on SyFy in the US. We couldn’t access it here, but I began reading the 7-book series about The

Leviathan Wakes

Expanse

I have read the first three books, with the 4th on order. Each book becomes a year’s series. So far, the first 3 seasons are available on Amazon Prime. Pleasantly, the wife finds that she likes it. We have watched though the first season, and into the second. They are big, 700-page books. I’d better get reading, to stay ahead of the Canadian video releases.

Are there any other sci-fi fans out there, also watching this series? What do you think of it? Many TV series, including science fiction are consecutive; what happens in this week’s episode occurs after what happened in last week’s, but usually has no direct connection. This series, like many European series, is sequential. There are some flashbacks, but you can’t miss an episode, or you don’t understand what’s happening next.

I am ecstatic that I finally get to watch The Expanse. Thanx Rants! 😀

How Not To Solve A Problem

Colt 1911

Yet another example of how legal Canadian gun owners – and not the criminals – face all the hassles

If you’re a legal gun owner in Canada, you’ve probably heard the buzz about how the Liberal government would like to ban all handguns. Maybe you’ve even begun to wonder why it is that every time there is a high profile shooting, “progressive” politicians come after you, rather than targeting criminals with illegal guns.

After all, over the last 25 years you’ve enrolled in (and passed) the government’s lengthy courses on the safe handling of firearms. You’ve applied for, and been granted a licence to possess firearms, and to buy ammunition.

For a time, when it was required, you registered every old gun you had, and every new gun you bought. You acquired (at significant expense) all the trigger locks and gun safes needed to comply with safe storage rules. You informed the government of your new address every time you moved. And when you went to renew your firearms licence, you dutifully informed the government of any changes in your marital or employment status.

You even went to the trouble of acquiring a transport permit to carry a gun from your home to an approved shooting range, locked in a case, locked in your trunk. And rather than stopping for a pee at a gas station, you held it on the way home because, technically, that’s what Canadian law requires.

If you are an official gun collector, you’ve even agreed to let police search your home randomly, without notice, once or twice a year. In other words, you’ve jumped through every new hoop that Ottawa could think up to burden law-abiding gun owners, in the name of solving gun crime.

Now you learn that’s still not enough. If they can figure out a way to do it, the Liberals want to take away any handgun that you own altogether. All of that is frustrating enough, but there’s something that you didn’t know, that will blow your lid: No-one who has ever been banned by the courts from owning firearms is subject to the same scrutiny.

Neither Canada’s criminal justice system, nor its police information computers, keeps track of the whereabouts of people subject to weapons prohibition orders. The federal firearms center reports that there are nearly 450,000 convicted criminals prohibited from owning firearms, including thousands who should be “monitored closely because of their high risk to acquire firearms illegally and use firearms in the commission of a subsequent offence.”

The Federal Government doesn’t keep track of people who have been banned from owning guns, as closely as it keeps track of ordinary duck-hunters, and target shooters. Here’s the ultimate irony – or is that hypocrisy? We know that the banned 450,000 already have criminal records, and we also know that crime rates among law-abiding gun owners are lower than for the population as a whole.

Governments who want to ban, restrict, or register legal guns in the name of reducing crime, are truly going after the wrong people. Of course, to justify this unwarranted targeting of legitimate gun owners, governments and police services have recently begun spinning the tall tale that legal owners are the No. 1 source of guns used in crimes, either because they have carelessly stored them and the guns have been stolen, or because they have sold their legal guns on the black market.

This is utter bullshit! Little by little, over the past few months, Public Safety Canada, the Toronto Police Service, and others, have been forced to admit that they have no data to support their contention that most crime guns start out as legal guns in Canada.

This is just another way that legal gun owners in Canada are being blamed for a problem that they have not caused. If governments want to reduce gun crimes, they need to stop wasting so much effort on the good guys who own guns.

’19 A To Z Challenge – A

AtoZ2019Letter A

 

Life is moving too fast! I want to get off; I’m feeling woozy.

Logrithmic Scale

Humans used bows and arrows for thousands of years, then someone invented the crossbow. We used that for a couple of centuries, and someone invented the musket. That was used for over a hundred years, till someone invented the rifle. After less than a century, someone developed the repeating, lever action rifle. About fifty years later, the automatic rifle came into being.

Don’t like the idea of killing and maiming?? Let’s talk about recorded communication.

For eons, we scratched things into pottery or soft rocks. Then, some genius carved up a goose feather and dipped it into a dark liquid, and wrote on vellum (Scraped lamb-skin). We did that for a millennium, till paper was developed. Then later, someone created the reloadable fountain pen. A half century later, technology allowed Lazlo Biro to produce the first workable ball-point pen.

The typewriter was created, and Mark Twain was the first author to compose a novel, using one. He disliked the experience so much, that he tried to give it away – 8 times. Each time, it was returned to him. 75 years later, the first word processors became available, and in half that time, they’ve become quicker, more efficient, smarter…. and almost indispensable.

Isaac Newton said that he accomplished what he did, “Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants.” What I’m saying – the point I’m trying to make is that, as we progress, the progress comes faster and faster. Once, we had millennia, centuries, decades to get used to the idea of our basic world changing. Now, changes come in years, months, weeks!

Author Alvin Toffler invented the term “Future Shock,” the future is the way of life. The only constant, is change. Many of us have a hard time keeping up. Not only does the constant, rapid change keep us mentally off-balance – shocked – but it produces a related condition.

Alterity-
Alterity is a noun that means otherness; specifically: the quality or state of being radically alien to the conscious self or a particular cultural orientation.

Alterity is related to the verb alter, which can mean to change something, into something other – something different. It’s also cousin to the adjective alter – as in alter-ego. Batman is Bruce Wayne’s radically different alter-ego.

The Canadian band, imaginatively named The Band, says that Life Is A Carnival. It often has me spun. Why don’t you spin back again in a couple of days??  😀

 

Flash Fiction #186

Conversation Thread

PHOTO PROMPT© Sandra Crook

FEELIN’ CREATIVE GROOVY

Bob didn’t object to Canada finally legalizing marijuana. Many of his friends had indulged in weed without legal approval for years. He didn’t, and couldn’t understand some of their justifications. “It improves your creative abilities, man.”

Once, he’d thought that his dreams contained epic ideas. A counsellor had taught him how to wake and write them down. The next morning’s notes had read

FREEM DOESN’T CLAVITZ
PROBLY SHOULD QUEES

His friends’ 4:20 “creative” sessions reminded him of those attempts. Eight stoners, loudly holding forth on 13 subjects, all at once! 😯 There wasn’t a single coherent conversational thread to be grasped.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

***

Click on the title to hear Harper’s Bizarre tell you how groovy it was, back in the Hippie days.

Friday Fictioneers

WOW #43

Igloo

Coming soon to a vocabulary near you, that ‘Only In Canada You Say?’, hot, trending, soon to be on everyone’s lips, word,

Goosfraba

EH??! WTF! Goose barf? – are Canadian birds getting sick? No, no, silly, it’s an Eskimo word…. Oops, that’s become very un-PC. They can get quite upset (hard to tell under all those furs) and smack you with a slab of whale blubber…. It’s a word that the Inuit use to quiet and calm down their children.

Polar Bear

It’s also a word that the Inuit use during sex. Google would not tell me what it means, or how it’s used. I can only imagine. “Take it easy, Nanook. Don’t be gettin’ too jiggy with it. You’ll wake the polar bear.”

Because it is used in a calming manner, it has been adopted in the anger management sector, at least in Canada, and the north-eastern United States. So, the next time you complete your community service hours, and head off for your court-mandated counseling, be prepared to get slapped with a chunk of seal meat go bilingual, with a soothing word from a group of people who are the epitome of cool. 😎