Thursday, March 31, 2011

Election Blues

Is this duck a Liberal or a Conservative. Living in a Fraser Valley park, he is probably Conservative.  

Being very political by nature, I am proud of myself that I have waited this long to post a political piece on our up-coming election here in Canada. This could be a 'rant', but it is more an observation as a result of the debate over the debate. Who should and should not participate, and how can we make the debate more meaningful?
It seems that Elizabeth May of the Green Party might be shut out of the debate. I agree with this position because she has no sitting members representing her party. She herself cannot even get elected. She should not be allowed to muddy the already murky waters of a debate that will end up with everybody attacking the Prime Minister.
As for Mr. Duceppe, he should not be allowed in the debate either, and for several reasons. His is not a national party, but only a regional one. I cannot vote for him even if I wanted to because he is only running candidates in the Province of Quebec. He should be allowed to take part in the French language debate only, as that is the one that all of Quebec will be paying attention to.
Another point is that if there is really going to be a coalition against the Conservatives, like Mr. Harper claims, then the debate should only be between Mr Harper and a representative of that coalition. Mr. Harper has challenged Mr. Iggy to a one on one debate and I think it is fitting. Mr. Iggy has risen to the challenge and accepted.

It will be a curious turn of events if this indeed does happen. 
If it does, I would like to see a true debate. Political election debates in this country tend to be arguments and opportunities to announce platforms. I would suggest a rule for the debate. No talk about platforms. Ideas will be debated and that is all. Too few people in Canada understand the philosophical differences between the parties and this could be a real education. Topics such as economic philosophy, social engineering philosophy, military and world leadership philosophy, health care and education philosophy should be debated. When we understand the philosophy of a party and its leader, we know what kind of direction the country will head if we elect him and his party. I never could understand how voters could say that they usually vote for one party, but this time they are voting for the other party. What!? Did their personal philosophy and world view change? Anyway, I doubt this would fly as we are into an adversarial type of political scene as evidenced by the shenanigans in the House of Parliament on a daily basis. I can only hope that one day, politics will take the high road in this country. It could start with a true debate.   


Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Lucy is an Elephant that is residing at the Edmonton Zoo. As we all know, Elephants are usually found in warmer climates than Edmonton. Like some of us humans, Lucy has developed a respiratory ailment from the harsh cold and there are some (read many) that would like her moved to a warmer climate. Lucy's keeper of 20 years is adamant that Lucy is cared for as best as possible and they are not moving her.
In steps Bob Barker of "Price is Right" television fame. He happens to think, along with other Hollywood notables, that Lucy needs a proper diagnosis and treatment to end her suffering from this perpetual cold and sniffles. Good for Edmonton to reject this bribe of $100,000.00! 
Come on Bob! Look around you. Can you not find a human being who could use some of this money for their medical condition? Too many people today have their affections badly misplaced. It reminds me of the story, on the news a few weeks ago, of the dog who died, apparently of a broken heart, when his master, a British soldier was killed in active duty in Iraq. I remember being horrified when the tearful parents were being interviewed and all that was being questioned was why the dog died. There were no concerns for the parents, questions about the loss of the son, or any human compassion whatsoever shown. It is typical of our world today when we are more concerned about animal welfare and animal rights than care and compassion for our fellow human beings. 
It shows me just a bit of sanity when the Edmonton Zoo tells Bob to buzz off because the price is not right.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Is Canadian immigration working? That is a relevant question across our nation and the answer depends on what your definition is and what your ideas are, of what immigration is supposed to achieve.
I only bring this up because of an experience on Saturday. I was called to a home to give a price on installing a poster. Yes, a poster. It was a 'peel and stick' life size poster of Roberto Luango, the goal tender of the NHL team, the Vancouver Canucks.
The whole experience was a mixture of contrasts. I felt a little uncomfortable as I entered a neighbourhood that I normally would never drive through. As I stopped and went to the house, the neighbours were all gazing at me, and one even came to me as I was ringing the doorbell. It was a feeling of "what are you doing here". The look, the smells, the faces, the chatter of the neighbours out enjoying a mild clear Saturday morning gave me a feeling of being in a foreign country. This place is only 1 Km. from my house. 
Inside the home, it was a mix of cultures, again with decor, smells, dress, and language. The young children were the only ones who spoke any English. 
I had a nice chat with the father (who looked like a gangster) through the 7 year old son. He offered me a drink but because I had just had lunch I graciously turned him down. I have had their tea few times and actually enjoy it. 
'Luongo' was for the young boy who was playing hockey, not just street hockey but ice hockey with some famous hockey school here in town. 
The father's biggest concern was keeping his kids busy to keep them off the street. He then pointed across the street where there are trails leading onto a wooded hillside and told me that there were young people drinking and doing drugs there every night. "I want my kids to survive" he told me. 
Back to the question. If immigration is failing, it is because of ghettoization. Integration is the ideal, but will never succeed until it is somewhat forced. We are hearing more and more of discrimination and racism in the schools. As the immigration population increases as a percentage of the general population, we are seeing more of this all the time. The racism I am talking about is against the white anglo saxons. 
The majority always rules, either by law or by intimidation and when the majority is Canadian, not white, not black, not brown, not any ethnic or racial group, we will all be winners. That just is not happening. 
If immigration is all about numbers, it is a success, for sure. If it is about creating new Canadians to build our country in the spirit of its founders, it is failing. Cultures have always clashed because they have differing ideas on some of the basics of societal living. Immigrants cannot be faulted for bringing these ideas and standards with them. It is only natural. When they do not yield to our standards, society begins to dislike this new way of doing things. It is natural. We all think we are right. The discrimination and distrust settle in when the small immigrant minority begin to make a mark on society and then the home and native land gets nervous. Then the immigrant minority gains the upper hand through a higher birth rate and family re-unification programs and then the natives start to get really frightened. Emboldened by numbers, the immigrant community bands together to start electing officials who see things their way, or they elect their own people. That is when things really start changing, and then there is no turning back. 
My community is a microcosm of what is happening all around the world. Throughout Europe, the same dilemma exists, but not with the same people groups. There it is the Muslims, causing problems in France, Spain, Britain, and some Scandinavian countries. Just lately I read about whole neighbourhoods, in Paris, being bought up by Chinese immigrants. The businesses are changed and do not cater to French tastes. The French move out. They abort their babies, while the Chinese do not, and slowly they (the immigrants) take over. 

Bottom line. We live in the cliched Global Village. It is imperative that we all get along. But how can we when we are all so different. I can only take the pessimistic view that it will get worse. Nobody wants their turf usurped.    

Monday, March 28, 2011


I don't know what the problem is, but the photos are in the posts, you just cannot see them. Click on the tiny icon and they will pop up in another window. It took several weeks to resolve the issue of no photo uploader on this site, and now this. Very frustrating. If any of you fellow bloggers out there can help me, I would be grateful.

Evidence of Spring

On Sunday, busylizzy and I went for a 6 Km. walk, looking for evidence of Spring. The sun was hiding behind threatening clouds and it was not until Km. 3 did we see even a hint of colour. The above photo looks like all the colour except for the Crocuses was taken out in Photo shop. It was not.  

When we got to the park, we were sure the smell in the air was Skunk Cabbage, until we saw a group of young kids smoking cannabis in the bushes. A few yards down the path, there was actually some Skunk Cabbage but it does not smell when it is at this stage.

These are the buds and blossoms of Red Maple, whose leaves are about the same colour in the Autumn.

A young fern clinging to a mossy tree trunk.

Not sure what these blossoms are, but they were blooming alongside some Salmon Berry Bushes who were struggling to push out their pink buds.

It is a good year for fungus. This tree was host to moss, a vine, and a few spiders, as well as the mushroom like growths.

And finally, these beautiful Crocuses were only three doors down from our house. If it was only evidence of Spring we were after, we could have saved ourselves a long walk.  

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Help Me!

I can think of few things more frustrating for me than misplacing something of importance.
I have three pairs of glasses. A 'good' pair of progressive lenses for general use, an old pair of progressives for driving to and from work, and a pair of 'single vision' glasses for work, giving me perfect focus for 'arms length work'. I also use these single vision glasses for computer and reading.
The glasses in question today were the 'single vision' work glasses. There are only a few places where they will ever be. On my nose when I am at work or on the computer or reading, in my work shirt pocket on the way to and from work, and on my night stand, for night, ready to slip back into the work shirt pocket in the morning.
Today, they were nowhere. I mean nowhere. I literally spent two hours looking for them, including calling the last business I was in yesterday, and the customer I was working for until late afternoon yesterday.
All of my 'stuff' has a place. I have learned over the aging years that this is a vital survival technique. I never just put stuff down. It has a place. That way, when I want it, I know exactly where it is. I have never lost or misplaced my keys, for example, because they have a place, and only one place.
When something is missing (not in its place) I know someone has moved it and then I have no way of knowing where to look for it. This results in blood pressure raising stress for me of the first order. I then have to blame ( accuse) others and they get defensive. I do not like to do this, but it is not me that missplaced the item.  But, I digress.
busylizzy 'made the bed' this morning and she does it differently than I do. She whips the blankets and pillows around violently to 'fluff them up' and sometimes the items on my night table go flying, things such as wallets, watches, internet radio remote, hankies, loose change, work notes, and yes glasses. I know this so one of the first places I looked was on the floor behind, beside, and underneath the night stand.
Fast forward to a only a few moments ago. busylizzy was feeling sorry for me as she sometimes does when I rant and rave and my blood pressure goes through the roof. She offered to look where I already looked. This sometimes works. She pulled the nightstand away from the wall and then we, together pulled the bed away from the wall. And then she spotted them. The glasses were hanging a few inches off the floor, dangling from the phone cord.
Aha! Vindication. It was not I, after all, that misplaced them. I am just so happy to have them back mainly because I do not have to order a new pair. And, my system of having a place for everything is still working for me. 
I was so relieved that I told busylizzy I wanted to lick her shirt. (It has the word "Chocolate" written all over it) I know, I am sick.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Human Interest

Fishing on the Chilliwack River

We finished a very nice job today and I can't help thinking what a great human interest story our whole experience made. The story started a year ago, continued tragically last fall, and ended this week with a very happy note. I am not yet far enough removed from the situation to have the freedom to tell the story, but it is worthy to put into the collection of experiences I have been gathering for many years now. I have learned once again that when we see adversity and sorrow, we do not see the whole story, nor do we often see beyond the immediate despair and heartache which can be very short-lived. A final chapter will be written soon and then I can put my thoughts together for another story that shows what an interesting thing it can be to get involved in people's lives. 
For now, let it be said that I have made new friends and the feeling seems to be mutual.
On occasion we get tips, never expected but always greatly appreciated. It is an indication that someone really appreciates what you did for them and it is a universal way of saying thank you in a way that always fits. I have written stories about tips in the past and now I have another one to add to the collection. I do not ever remember giving a $90 tip but I got one today. And yes, the two stories are connected.    

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


On the banks of the Chilliwack River

They were everywhere! I have never seen so many snakes in one location. It prompted me to educate myself a bit on these common creatures called Garter Snakes.
Their life span in the wild is only two years but they are prolific, not only in existing numbers and territory, but in the number of offspring they produce. It is not uncommon for a female to produce up to 80 live young. This is not surprising when I learned that a 'mating ball' can consist of 25 males to one female and the female can store the male sperm for up to two years before her eggs are fertilized.
When they come out of hibernation, they give off powerful pheromones. Oddly enough, the male can give off both male and female pheromones, causing some confusion. The snake tangle in the photo above has at least three snakes. If one of them looks confused, you now know why.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Sunday Outing

We decided to head out with a bunch of friends on this sunny Sunday afternoon. The sun was warm, the sky mostly blue, and the wind was cold. This was our destination. No, it is not a resort hotel on the banks of a remote lake.

We began to walk the trails in search of what we came to see. It was still looking way too much like winter for this time of year.

But wait! What is that we see in the distant trees? There were others there to see the same thing. Is that it? Is that what all the fuss is about?

Click on the photo and look hard. You too will see the many nests high in the Cottonwood trees, with a big bird standing on or near each one. Yes, it is the Great Blue Heron reserve in the eastern Fraser Valley. These birds come back to the same nest each year, repair it, and raise their young here. I did not bring my telephoto lens with me this time as I knew we could not get very close and I wanted to travel light.

We continued through the maze of trails, but had a time restraint so tried to follow a map. Our fearless guides were Bill and Henry

After determining that we were not going to get back in time, going the way we were going, we stopped for a photo op before turning back. From left to right, the bird watchers are Bill, busylizzy, Terry, Jan, Elmo (?) Ella, Heidi, Henry, and Ken. 
It was a great early spring outing, followed by a visit to Tim Horton's for a coffee and a donut and a meeting with more friends who could not make it on the walk. We simply must do more of this in the months to come.  

Friday, March 18, 2011


Today my oldest grandson turns 13. Yes, a 'teenager'. As I recall, the day could not come fast enough for me when I was twelve, but today, I can scarce believe how the time has been compressed to what seems like only minutes. It is with joy and gratitude that I have been able to watch Nate grow and develop these thirteen years. Not all grandparents have the opportunity, and sadly, some do not have the desire. 
I have so many photos of him and I must admit that I did not go through all of them to chose the best, the most interesting, the funniest, or the most beautiful. At each age and each time I had the camera at the ready, he was not what he was the time before. Like all kids, he changed so fast and each and every moment had was its own treasure. 
I like the photo above because, for a while, being a super hero in our back yard was his and Chad's favourite thing to do. The fun of doing this lasted many summers, actually, and do doubt Liam will be into this kind of fun soon, and I am sure that Nate will 'show him the ropes'. 
The photo captures Nate's sense of fun and adventure, his imagination and creativity, and shows what a great big brother he is. The dramatic part of him is coming out now in his theatrical pursuits. His love of the stage and performing is written in his face. Being a voracious reader has introduced him to worlds way beyond his own, and perhaps through acting, he can participate in something beyond his own everyday experience, not that there is anything lacking there. 
And so, to my kind, caring, polite, helpful, funny, smart, handsome, and loving grandson, a great big HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Who Will Help?

Over the years, we have taken in about 14 foreign students, some for as long as 10 months. The majority of them have been Japanese. It was, for the most part, a very enjoyable experience and it has given us a connection with the culture and somewhat with the country and its people.  We have lost track of most of them, but I cannot help but wonder if one or more of them have been directly impacted by the tragedy unfolding in Japan these days. The day after the quake I felt compelled to donate to the relief fund launched by World Vision. Who knows, maybe I was in some way helping someone who once stayed in our home.
There was an online poll on yesterday asking how many had contributed to any charity or effort to help the Japanese people. There were more than 40,000 responses and only 9% said that they had given anything at all.
I think it is disgraceful that a nation who is so wealthy and who has a reputation as being generous on the world stage, could muster so little response. We sit here, all smug, warm, and well fed, but if the shoe was on the other foot, how desperately we would want someone to help us. This is not wise for people such as our west coast population who are sitting on their own time bomb.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pray for Japan

By now we have all seen the images and heard the hourly reports of the utter devastation in Japan. The threat of a nuclear disaster is hanging over the heads of the already crushed people of Northern Japan. We watch in silence as words cannot describe the power and destruction that was so vividly caught on video. Aftershocks continue to strike fear in the hearts of those who survived and those who are working around the clock to rescue and help those who still need rescuing.
We, here on the Pacific coast, are watching with extra fascination because we all know that it could be our turn next. The pharmacy shelves are devoid of Iodine as irrational fear of radiation poisoning is gripping many. The major disasters that have hit the world lately are many and severe. Why could it not be our turn next? 
The thought is occurring to many that God may be trying to get our attention. The Bible speaks of things like this happening with more frequency at the 'end of the age'. Whether this is pure speculation or a concern based in fact is something each of us has to determine for ourselves. 
What is very evident here is that there is power and might way beyond our comprehension and certainly beyond our control. When a massive shift in the earth's crust is recorded from the safety of a helicopter, giving us a bird's eye view of how quickly things can transpire, I cannot but imagine how the entire surface of the earth could be changed in a matter of minutes or hours. It puts  mockery to the scientific mantra "millions and millions of years" as an explanation for almost all of creation. A Mt. St. Helen's or a 9.0 earthquake are events that should be teaching us that God does not need a lot of time to shape the earth. 
I cannot help but relate this to the massive shift taking place in the Middle East. "Earth shattering" does not only refer to physical events. Are the two related? Or, if we take into account the world wide economic tumult, three? Do you get the sense, like me, that 'things' are building to a climax? We, here, still live serene, day to day lives, but all around us there is turmoil and unrest. I am feeling a bit uneasy about this. Yes, I am extremely grateful, but also wonder if our days are numbered, on the short end.  
My solace is that I believe God is ultimately in control. My concern is not pushed over the edge to fear. If I were one who mocked God or did not acknowledge him at all, I would be greatly afraid.


It was just a wee bit early, but last night we celebrated Nathan's 13th birthday. What a milestone! He requested his Nana's famous 'ribs' and for something to prop the candle on, a Black Forest Cake.
Those thirteen years broke a few speed records, but we will never forget the awesome kid that Nathan has always been. We have bonded with all the boys early on when we had the privilege of having them in our home for at least two days a week. We have always been so proud of Nathan, and still are. But, that pride does not surpass the love that we have for him. He will always be our first grandson, the little guy who taught busylizzy and I how to revel in grand parenting, how to enjoy more than discipline, and how to relax and observe instead of fussing and wondering if we are doing the right thing. 
Nathan has awesome parents, a home full of love and support, and two brothers to be an example to. His head is screwed on right so we are not too worried about the coming 'teen' years. Of course, we do not know what the future holds, but we do know that Nathan will always be loved, we will always be here as grandparents, and that God will lead him in the way that is best for him. 
Happy Birthday, Nate!  

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Analytical Powerhouse

                                                             Can't wait for summer!

I was reading another Blog the other day and came across something that intrigued me. It is a site that almost instantly analyzes your blog and gives an educated guess as to who writes it, the age, and a general comment about the content.
It looks like I am going to have to change my style and content to create a different impression. I had a good laugh. is probably written by a female somewhere between 66-100 years old. The writing style is personal and happy most of the time.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Getting Tired

                                                             Ten man church in the Nicola Valley

Was I not doing this just a few minutes ago? That is what it feels like as I dig through the paperwork, sorting, discarding, filing, calculating, and tabulating. The time I saved not doing it in bits and pieces throughout the year is lost on me as I spend days doing the preparation for my tax return. So much of it only comes together right at the end of the year, and then there are all those 'slips' and receipts that only come at the end of Feb. My accountant gets on my back and wants my 'stuff' in early, so the pressure is on. But he tells that to all his clients so he is not up all night every night the week before tax deadline. 

I am doing all this as I fight off a flu/cold bug that I picked up at the last house I was working in. All my clients kids were home with head lice, her father-in-law was in and out with a cold, and her husband came home in the middle of the day with a bad case of the 'pukes'. What was I supposed to do, stop breathing?  So, in the midst of a headache fog, piles of soggy Kleenex, and cups of hot tea with lemon, I am fulfilling my obligation to my government, and in the end? My reward will be that I get to write out a humongous cheque to those who do not appreciate what I had to do earn all that money. And, in not appreciating it, they will spend it frivolously on their fat pension schemes and pay most of it on interest on the national debt. 

Now, if I could keep it all, I would enhance my own pension fund, and pay down my own debts, and then in my old age, they would not have to look after me.    

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bits and Pieces

I continue to struggle with Blogger. I am tempted to move my blogging experience to another provider. The photo up loader is glitched and I have tried every piece of advice I could find on the Internet. It is a struggle to post and has taken the fun  out of the experience.

This week I finally got payment for that job I referred to several times, almost a year in a holding pattern.

I did a barter job this week in exchange for the crown mouldings that we so greatly admire in our main living area. It doesn't pay the bills but it gets things done. It was small job as jobs go and I had not done a barter job for many, many years.

We purchased and installed a new light fixture in our front entry this week. Nice.  

I see the markets are dropping like a rock. It was just a matter of time. The markets rallied after the great depression too, and then fell hard and fast and ushered in the 'dirty thirties'. This all coming when the cost of living is going up daily due to inflation. 

There is talk of an election in Canada, again. This is like a threat being held over our heads, like we care. The Liberals are focusing on side issues and trying to create scandals where there are none. The Conservatives have a big ace up their sleeves, the economy. It has held up relatively well during the 'Great Correction' and we are now apparently paying down the deficit faster than fore casted. They have created an economic environment where we have done so much better than the USA. 

I see the US Congressional hearings on Terrorism are being scorned by Muslims. Of course they are. They (Muslims) do not want their dirty little secrets exposed, that the radicals are recruiting in America. There is such concern that all Muslims are not being painted with the same brush, that the hearings may shut down before they even start. Homeland Security will then simply get back to hassling little old ladies at the airports in order to appear to be doing something about terrorism. There are no guts left in the American leaders. It is all about not offending anybody so they get votes and stay in power and suck out of the trough as long as they can.

On that positive and friendly note, I will leave you for today and tackle a happy task. Tax prep. Shudder!  

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Old School

My problems with Blogger continue. I had to reset to the old editor in order to up load my photos and now I have no control over my font size.
I guess I am old school because I like gauges in my vehicles instead of 'idiot lights' that only go off when the problem is so severe that it triggers a light on the dash. I came across a few gauges that I am considering installing in my truck, in light of the new gas prices.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Blunder Blogger

This blogger site usually works quite well but right now I am not able to upload any photos. So if you only log on to see the pretty and not so pretty pictures, you can move on now.
Yesterday I told you about some worrisome aspects of my work. Things can change rather rapidly, and they did. Early in the morning I got a call from the customer whose job I was supposed to start today. He has been very ill and will not be able to get things ready for me for today, but I can start on Tuesday.
The fellow whose transmission broke down managed to scrape some money together and I got paid, but had to drive a good distance to get the 'envelope'.
As for the "check in the mail", we will give Canada Post a few days to deliver before we really start getting too concerned. I would say end of week before we see any money.
This all made the week end well, especially with a great Mexican Theme Night dinner with some very dear friends last night. We also brewed coffee for more than four hours at church yesterday.  The aroma of a freshly brewed cup of coffee does not smell that great after four hours of doing it. I got an overdose of caffeine just breathing in the steam.
All in all, a busy, tiring, but great finish to the week.  Can you picture it?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Am I Nervous?

Palm Desert Hibiscus

It was before Christmas when we contracted to hang some 'Anaglypta' wallpaper for a young man and his girl friend who had bought a house and were renovating it for their wedding. This is a type of wallpaper that is white in colour and has a patterned texture, and is meant to be painted after it is installed. He was going to paint it himself. In early February he changed his tune and contracted us to not only paint the Anaglypta, but paint all his new trim around the windows, doors and all the new crown mouldings and baseboards.
It was a real challenge because it was an older house and as such nothing was plumb or level and the huge gaps between walls and trim had to be heavily caulked.
We finished the job on Friday afternoon and were expecting the owner to arrive home before we left. He did not show up to pay us so we locked the house and left.
I got in touch with him Sat. afternoon after many calls and asked him how the job was. He was very pleased. I asked him how his day was going, wanting him to bring up the subject of payment, when and where. He said his day was going badly. I got a sudden chill as he told me the reason he did not get back on Friday was because the transmission on his truck blew up. He was stuttering and stammering as I asked if I could come by to pick up my payment. He was going to a wedding in Vancouver in the afternoon and evening. Maybe tomorrow. (Sunday) He said he would try. "Call me first", were his words. He would try to get the money together. Am I nervous?

I mentioned a few posts ago that I had only worked 5 hours in the first three weeks after my holiday and had not been paid yet. I pursued that today also. I hate having to run after the money. I rarely have do it. So the woman was having a "panic attack" when I told her I had not been paid yet. The job was actually started almost a year ago. There will be a cheque in the mail on Monday, she assured me. Am I nervous?

We are supposed to start a job on Monday and I have not heard from the customer all week. I tried to contact them today and they are not yet returning my calls. Am I nervous?

Being a self employed contractor can, at times, be a bit nerve wracking. I need some chocolate.  

Saturday, March 5, 2011


You could end up by this tree in the desert, like I did, when your GPS lets you down.

Shortly before we left on our trip to California in December, I was on the brink of purchasing a GPS unit for my car. They are all the rage now and if your car is not factory equipped with one, there are many makes and models to chose from as an after market add-on. I am happy that I did not purchase one.
Since that time I have heard numerous stories of GPS systems leading people astray. I think what happens is that the driver begins to rely on it too much and one's sense of direction and even common sense takes leave. There are many instances where it would be very valuable, but in most situations, old fashioned maps and driving savvy will serve the driver much better.
Today, in the news, was the story of a 'bright' medical student who was stranded for three days on a logging road in New Brunswick because she was lead astray by her GPS. She was on her way to an internship in a hospital. Huh! Now, had she any common sense and not followed the prompts of the GPS voice, she would have realised that most hospitals are not situated on logging roads in the wilderness. 
I will not buy one of these because I do not want to be the guy who gets stranded half way down my driveway thinking I am in the Tim Horton's parking lot and wondering where the "Roll Up The Rim To Win" cups are.  

Friday, March 4, 2011

Squares sans Photo

Today there is no photo. It is not for lack of trying. You see, my daughter posted a photo of some Peanut Butter Chip Squares, that she had made, on her blog. I commented that instead of sending me the recipe, like so many others were requesting, she could just bring me some. 
I am watching the Canucks lose their game when in walks my daughter with a huge chunk of these 'to die for' squares. They were so good that I thought that I would blog about them. I tried to 'lift' her photo off of her blog, to no avail. The program would not allow it. Then I went to Flikr and 'searched' for a photo of those squares. Every one I found was copyrighted and not down loadable. Then I 'Googled' them and searched 'images'. Again, none were down loadable. Not having all  night to fool around like this, I eventually had to do it with text only. Of course I could have taken my own photo of said squares, but by the time I thought of it, they were down the hatch. So  now you are not even left with crumbs. 

She made me promise to not complain about heartburn, as I ate the delectable creation a little late in the evening. OK. I will not complain.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Last Goodbye

These flowers are gone, and so is the wallpaper. I just realised that I took this photo the day before I hung the new paper over the old. I was reminded of how I came to acquire this wallpaper many years ago.
I was working for an interior designer who was a bit shifty, but he always paid me for work I did for him and we got along alright. He always had some kind of deal going on the side and never seemed to concentrate on one thing. He had a design studio in Surrey and supplied such things as window treatments, wall coverings, and art, for his clients.
I had just finished a large paperhanging job for him in a show home on Fraser Heights and when it came time to pay, he told me he was in financial trouble and he would be declaring bankruptcy. By his tone of voice and demeanor, I knew he had more to tell me. He asked me to order something for my home that would be of equal value and he would give it to me in payment for the work I had done. I took sample books home and after choosing paper for most of our house, I also measured our windows on the upper floor for louvre blinds.
I gave him the order and told him I would pay the difference because I knew that what we had ordered was worth a lot more than what he owed me.
When the order came in, I picked it up from his house as his studio was already closed. I was prepared to pay the extra but he insisted that I take the whole order, window treatments and all, and we would call it square. I told him I could not do it as it was too much, he was being too generous. He told me he could not return and if I did not take it and get out of there it was going in the garbage. I took it.
I suspect he ordered it from his suppliers and never paid them. He was that kind of guy. I never saw him again.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Cherry Street in Mission a few days ago.

When interest rates are low, not only do people borrow, but so do governments. Because the governments control interest rates, I don't think they will be raising them (at least in great amounts) anytime soon in spite of inflation, the reason being that they will be proved wrong in going so deeply into debt, because the interest payments on those huge debts will bankrupt them. Just my take on things. 

Speaking of inflation, interesting how times have changed in the way the CPI (consumer price index, or inflation rate) is calculated. Deception reigns because now it is called core inflation. Things such as food and gas are taken out of the mix. Voila! Low inflation. Now does that not make us feel better. Those of us who do not eat or drive are doing just fine, thank you.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


It is time to start thinking about tax preparation.