The Year In Photos

Inspiration strikes – when Inspiration strikes.  This ‘Year,’ will begin and end on March 1.  Hang onto your seats!  Here we go.  The theme will be Chaos And Confusion.  I’ll be Chaos, if you’ll handle the confusion.

March 1/21 – the monthly Costco visit

COVID masks, COVID masks
COVID all the way
(To the tune of Jingle Bells)

March 8 –

We washed the son’s work jacket…. And his 10 year old flip-phone.
Might be the origin of the term “Clean and Jerk

March 15 –

The wife’s last visit to a Physiotherapist, for a pulled back muscle.
My last cold wait outside – here.

March 22

The neighbors’ version of Groundhog Day.  Canadian weather changes quickly in the spring.

March 29

It’s Ours!  It’s Ours!  It’s Ours!
Paid off a 25-year mortgage in just over 17 years.  Can’t decide how to celebrate – McDonalds for a sundae strains the entertainment budget.

April 5

Here we go round the Mulberry bush
Hardly a bush, this young tree was 6’ – as tall as the Grandson – when we planted it five years ago.  The winter’s snows have all disappeared.  Soon I will have to mow my back yard again.

Week of April 12

The daughter and I got some COVID freedom and fresh air when I drove her to a dental appointment.  During the wait, I rewarded myself with a visit to the second-best French fries outlet – on the other side of town.  Finally open for the season at Easter, in a freestanding ex-Dairy Queen building.

W/O April 19

With a great-grandson on the way, the wife went into nesting mode.  She knitted a 36” X 48” crib blanket.  The checkerboard pattern is ‘Wee Bean,’ for our oncoming wee bean.

W/O April 26

Step on a crack – Break your Mother’s back
I’ll set you straight.
A visit to our Chiropractor.  Just another on the long list of our medical specialists.

W/O May 3

Our magnolia bush.  Its blossoms only last a couple of days, but it’s gorgeous while it lasts.  Usually it is completely covered in blooms, but a late-April freeze and snowstorm delayed/killed about half the flowers.

W/O May 10

A shopping trip past the new Google building, erected on the bones of my old auto-parts plant.

W/O May 17

Took the wife and daughter to Podiatrist, in a renovated Century-house.
At least the COVID wait outside was getting warmer.

W/O May 24

A visit to the daughter, held up by the new LRT Street Railway.  It sure holds up a lot of non-PC, car traffic, while it transports a half-dozen eco-friendly hipsters.

W/O May 31

When I finally get past that damned street railroad, this is the daughter’s single-level, handicap townhouse apartment.

W/O June 7

She doesn’t rub me the wrong way.
The ‘Happy Ending’ at our massage therapist is loosened computer-shoulders.
Dolly Parton once said that it cost a lot of money, to look that cheap.
It is fortunate that it’s my retirement benefits package which pays so much, to keep us in good physical shape.

W/O June 14

A free, origami Lotus blossom, picked up at our Multicultural festival, before COVID struck.  It represents peace and tranquility – I need all I can get.

W/O June 21

A trip to our out-of-town Vet, past 1920s Commemorative ‘Pioneer Tower,’ to recall the 1820s arrival of Pennsylvania Dutch/ German immigrants

W/O June 28

The best French fry wagon in town.  Sure looks permanent, for a trailer.  Hello delicious.  Goodbye diet – and I found a new little knife.  See Look Sharp

W/O July 1

To celebrate Canada Day on July 1, the son adopted an immigrant.  It crawled over the remains of Trump’s wall, shouting, “To Hell with Dia de los Muertos, I’m here for the Maple syrup.”

W/O July 8

The replacement building at the nearby Farmers’ Market for the wooden structure that burned, five years ago.

W/O July 15

The nearby branch of the city library.  With up to 5000 total books per day located, moved and curbside delivered, these folks were local heroes, getting me and many others through the lockdown.

W/O July 22

My 1952 print dictionary, which I am giving up for digital.  2000 pages for $20.00 – purchased at a country schoolyard flea-market in 1972, in Mar Ontario – population 4.

July 25

The wife and I finally got our second COVID vaccination.  That’s one infection you don’t need to worry about contracting from me.

W/O Aug. 5

 

Ex-Public Utilities Commission building which handled the 20th Century electrification of Kitchener, and eventually   became the Grandson’s Starbucks.

W/O Aug. 12
*

A lovely, hand-made glass flower that the daughter gave us.  I stuck it in a planter on the back deck.  Storm winds turned it slightly.  The neighbors worried that we’d installed a security camera – facing them.

W/O Aug. 19

I helped the grandson pick up a new chair for his mother, and almost stepped on this cat.
(It was a carved stone cat which we both thought was real  The photo may be added later…. if I can just find it.)  😛

W/O Aug. 26

Perhaps the most boring week of my life – not that I’m complaining.  At my age, boring is good.  The most exciting thing that happened was my newspaper got delivered.

W/O Sept 14


I discovered that my Lilac bush was growing crab-apples, which I could make crab-apple jelly with.

W/O Sept 21

I did it! I lasted long enough to celebrate my 77th birthday.  We voted in a Federal election the day before.  I did not get the present of a new Prime Minister – one who wasn’t a spoiled trust-fund baby.

W/O Oct 11

Canadian Thanksgiving.  COVID restrictions on group size had been relaxed, and all of us had had two vaccine shots.  We were all able to gather for a family meal, with the GREAT-grandson (above) as the honored guest.

W/O Nov. 8

COVID19 is going down for the count.  The Americans let vaccinated Canadians into the country – but the Canadian bureaucrats insisted on a $200 test to get back into Canada. Soon, Galleria and Boulevard Mall, soon.

W/O Nov. 15

Spring has sprung – Fall has fell – and there’s 6 inches of Partly Cloudy on my Canadian deck.  I published this photo a few years ago, but it’s become ritual with this home-owner.  This year’s version is indistinguishable.

W/O Nov. 22

Those who do not learn from the mistakes of history, are doomed to repeat them.
George Santayana

Dec. 2

The relaxation of COVID19 restaurant restrictions allowed us to go to Red Lobster to celebrate our 54th wedding anniversary.

W/O Dec. 5

And the lion shall lie down with the lamb
With our three cats and two dogs, our Vet wonders if they get along with each other.

W/O Dec. 12

Two weeks ago, I took two quarters from a pay phone slot.  Last week I found a dime in a change-counter machine overflow.  This week I found 61 pennies, because the machines are now set to eject them.  15 of them were American – which went in our We’ll get to Detroit for a weekend shopping after COVID, fund.

W/O Dec. 25

At a COVID-permitted family Christmas gathering, I found some strange man holding my GREAT-grandson Rowan back, to keep him from lunging at the camera.

W/O Jan. 3

Well, here’s another fine year we’ve got ourselves into. (Laurel and Hardy – here’s another fine mess) Survive, or submit, it’s up to us to make the best of it.

W/O Jan. 10

We don’t have enough knives in this house, so we adopted yet another, which came back to the son’s plant in an ‘empty’ shipping container.

W/O Jan. 17

To get our third COVID (booster) shot, we had to go downtown, to the recently-ex Regional Municipal Building.  Are more COVID and booster shots still in the future??  Will this never end?

Jan. 31

I think I can.  I think I can.
I thought I could.  I thought I could.
Slow and steady wins the race.
After ten+ years, I published 1500 posts.

W/O Feb. 19

COVID restrictions relaxed – again, just in time to book a reservation to celebrate the wife’s 73rd birthday.  Dining was at half capacity.  Our timing was perfect.  Everyone else found out about it, and the NEXT DAY you couldn’t get a table at gunpoint.  😯

March 1/22

*

So we end the year right where we began it – at Costco – only a little closer to free food samples again.

Thanx for strolling through a year in my life – lotsa good readin’, if ya like pitchers.  I will be purveying prose on Friday.  C U then.  😀

Gahh!!  I’ve Been Shot

Just found out that I qualify for the Pfizer vaccine….
….Apparently if you buy 20,000 Viagra a year, you’re a preferred customer.

Despite the incompetence and disorganization of the Canadian Federal Government, the Provincial Government, the Waterloo Regional Council, and the local medical association regarding COVID19 vaccinations – the wife and I each managed to get our initial shot on Easter Sunday, April 3rd.

The clinic was held at a new medical building, about a mile away.  This is where I took the wife last November, for her standard flu shot.  In the fall, they did a drive-thru system at one end of the building.  Since the main floor is not yet leased, with the volume of customers, this time we had to walk inside.

We were accosted by a greeter at the main door, who would not allow us in until we’d sworn that we were not suffering from a long list of medical ailments that I’m sure included leprosy.  I worry about the future of the human race.  There was enough hand sanitizer being splashed around to sterilize the entire next generation, not that it mattered to this crowd.  The clinic was for those over 70.  It looked like a false teeth and hearing aid sale down at Codgers-R-Us.

The bureaucratic duplication was thicker than usual.  The greeter directed us across the atrium, to a pre-screener, where we presented our health cards and gave our names, address, and birth dates.  This is something I learned to do long ago, when I received someone else’s dental anesthetic – plus my own.

We then proceeded to a screener in a large U-shaped room as big as half the building, which wrapped around the elevator shaft… where we presented our health cards and gave our names, address, and birth dates.  Following colorful dots on the floor that looked like the Easter Bunny had hopped through, the maitre d’ soon escorted us to a small table near the washrooms.

We were greeted by an Oriental man…. where we presented our health cards and gave our names, address, and birth dates.  He did not profess what medical training he might have.  He might have been the maintenance man, but he was quite quick and efficient.

We were given a cash register type of receipt, giving our names, Health Card number, date of injection, and the type of vaccine.  For the medically morbid, we did, in fact, receive Pfizer-Biontec COVID19 mRNA-PB.  He then directed us to a waiting area where we would be observed for any adverse reactions.

We sat for 15 minutes to prove that we could stand and move safely on our own, although there was a forest of canes and walkers.  Aside from possibly the hypo-wielders, most if not all of the attendants were volunteers – and there were a ton of them.  I don’t know how we maintained a 6-foot clearance.  The place looked more like the Wuhan wet market where COVID was born, than a socially-distanced medical recovery area.  It was like Jeff Foxworthy’s Grateful Dead Seniors Tour.  It’s Metamucil!  Take a hit. Pass it down.

I took the photo below as we left, during an unusual lull.  There were twice this many people when we sat down.  We then had to proceed to a liability-waiver, after-mission debriefing…. where we presented our health cards and gave our names, address, and birth dates – to prove that we were as hale and healthy leaving as we were when we arrived. We’re scheduled to go back for our second shot, and play this game again on Sunday, July 25th. 😯 For as many Stations Of The I-Was-Cross there were, it still moved though quickly and smoothly. Including the 15 minute cool-down period, we were in and out in half an hour.

If/when you get your chance, take it.  If I can do it, any wimp can do it.  The only reaction that I got was that the next day, I felt like the school-yard bully had punched my bicep.

Pooling My One-Liners

Hear about the snowman who had a big temper-tantrum?….
….It was a real meltdown

I was going to make an anti-masker joke….
….But my parents taught me not to make fun of the mentally disabled.

Why was the anti-vaxxer’s four-year-old crying?….
….Midlife crisis

How do we know that the Corona virus wasn’t made in China?….
….Because we’ve had it for almost a year, and it’s still working.

The spread of COVID depends on two things….
….How dense the population is.
….How dense the population is.

What sound do sheep make?….
….If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.

I have a few jokes about unemployed people….
….But none of them work

My teachers told me I’d never amount to much because I procrastinate….
….I said, “Just you wait.”

Will glass coffins be a success?….
….Remains to be seen

The guy who survived both mustard gas and pepper spray….
….Is a seasoned veteran now.

I can tell people who are judgemental….
….Just by looking at them

A backward poet….
….Writes inverse

C, E Flat, And G walk into a bar….
….The bartender says, “Sorry, we don’t serve Minors.”

The constipated mathematician….
….Worked it out with a pencil.

I know the voices aren’t real….
….But they come up with some great ideas.

My name is Microsoft….
….Can I crash at your place tonight?

Man gets hit by rented car….
….Said it Hertz

Cosmetic surgery used to be such a taboo subject….
….Now you can talk about Botox, and nobody raises an eyebrow.

I called my specialist to make an appointment….
….His receptionist answered, “Urology, can you please hold?”

I’m so cheap that, when I die, and go toward the light….
….I’m going to turn it off

As I suspected, someone has been adding soil to my garden….
….The plot thickens.

My ‘good old days’….
….Were when I wasn’t good, and I wasn’t old.

My friend claims he can throw a stick 5 miles and his dog will retrieve it….
….I think that’s a bit far-fetched.

The first annual meeting of the Camouflage Club was a disaster….
….It looks like no-one showed up.

Venison for dinner again?….
….Oh deer.

A cartoonist was found dead in his home….
….Details are sketchy

A man tells his doctor, “Doc, help me. I’m addicted to Twitter!”….
…. The doctor replies, “Sorry, I don’t follow you…”

A dentist and a manicurist got married….
….They fought tooth and nail.

A will is….
….a dead giveaway.

The Vax Fax….uh, Facts

Hypo

A local high school teacher recently scared the Hell out of a couple of public nurses and some students. A science teacher, he should have known, and acted, better.  Apparently he’s an anti-vaccination conspiracy theory believer.  He abandoned his class and classroom three times, to go to the gymnasium, where booster shots were being given.

He banged on the nurses’ work table. He leaned in on his knuckles, nose to nose with them, and demanded that they provide proof that vaccinations were safe.  He paced around, yelling that the students had the right to know that the vaccinations could kill them.  The students were frightened, not of the shots, but of his behavior.

His school board censured him, the police were called, and charged him, and he got his 15 minutes of infamy in the media. A few days later, this letter appeared.  My response follows it.

VACCINATION DEBATE

Re: Anti-vaccination teacher guilty

I find it rather ironic that this week, an Ontario teacher was found guilty of misconduct for pushing his views on vaccination, and my nephew died after 32 years, as a result of uncontrollable seizures, after being vaccinated as a child.

This teacher was trying to assure that his students were aware of all the side effects, including possible death, as the result of vaccines.

Too much of this information is buried from the public eye. I’m not against vaccines, I’m just an apprehensive observer who doesn’t have enough information to make a proper decision on my own.

Jim Kuntz

VACCINATION PARANOIA

I was disappointed to see Jim Kuntz’s letter of support (Vaccination debate, Mon. Feb. 27) for the anti-vax teacher.

He was chastised not for his views, but for his actions. There is a proper time, place, and method of protest. Interrupting medical procedures, and frightening nurses and students was very inappropriate.

Kuntz was disingenuous to mention his nephew’s death after long-term seizures, and the fact that he had been vaccinated, with no proof that one caused the other. Epilepsy usually first presents just as children receive their first shots.

He complained that much of needed information is not available to the public. If either of these gentlemen need info, they need only contact their personal doctor, the local Medical Association, the Provincial Medical Association, the Canadian Medical Association, The World Health Organization, or the C.D.C. (Centers for Disease Control).

They are all available online, and unanimous in their stance that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the slim possibility of a bad reaction. Or they could just Google ‘Disproven Vaccination Theories.’

The Archon

The anti-vaxer conspiracy theorists would rather believe stripper/porn star Jenny McCarthy, and some guy who ‘bought’ fame by faking results, than thousands of doctors with millions of hours of training and experience. What do you believe on this subject? Anybody want to weigh in – pro, or con?   😕

***

CENSORSHIP BUREAU

When my letter above was printed, the newspaper removed the word ‘disingenuous’ (too big for local Mennonites?), along with any hint that Kuntz had intentionally misled readers.

The final paragraph, with its support of the opinions of trained physicians, and the idea of using Google to dispel at least one conspiracy theory, simply disappeared. You don’t think someone at the paper is an anti-vaxer, do you??! 😉