Saturday, July 30, 2011

Debt Games

If you have not been following the little boys games in Washington these days, you should. It is political posturing at its worst. I am talking about the impasse between the republicans and President Obama over the issue of raising the US debt ceiling. The republicans cannot agree on a package to present to the president, and even if they do, the president says he will veto it unless it contains the elements that he wants, as a Democrat, of course. There is no doubt that the ceiling will be raised. The consequences of not doing so are too negative. Not only will the US government default on some of its payments (it writes 88 million cheques a month) but the credit rating of the US will drop from AAA (zero risk) to AA-. Of course, this erodes confidence in the dollar and may increase interest rates, the last thing they need with their increasingly faltering economy. The debt ceiling has been raised 93 times in the history of that country, but never has the situation been so grave.

I have an idea. Let the impasse remain and let the government default. A few seniors and some veterans, and some welfare recipients will not get their cheques, or at least will be promised that although they are late, they will come. What will happen then is that finally the citizens will awaken and take notice, and realize what is really at stake here. There will then be a cry for government cuts in spending, but on non-essentials, and there are many of those plus a multitude of inefficiencies that can be rectified. As long as Big Government can just get out another bigger credit card, things will continue on the path to ruin. The only difference is the rate of acceleration.  

Friday, July 29, 2011

Eye See That Twitch

You know it is a wet summer when mushrooms grow in the lawn.

I had a conversation last week with someone a bit older than me and we were comparing health conditions. This is what we do as we grow older. It is educational, supportive, but most of all, funny, and humour is a coping mechanism. My posts of late have been dwelling on this a bit, I see, but, again, it is a coping mechanism. If I could write a book about my ailments already, and I am still relatively young, I wonder what the future holds, an encyclopedia?
The ailment of the day is this twitch I have been developing in my left eye. I say developing because it was something I thought would go away in a few hours, and then in a few days, and then in a few weeks, and now I hoping it will go away in a few months. Now, that's development!
When you get the smallest irritant in your eye, it feels like a large stick. It is the same with a twitch. I was surprised to see, upon close inspection in the mirror, that it a rather small twitch and it is my lower eyelid, well hidden by the frame of my eyeglasses. But, it does not feel that way. I have to turn my head the other way when passing a young lady, lest she think I am winking at her. At least that is what it feels like.
I think I need my nervous system re-booted, as this seems to be a nervous kind of twitch. A good shock treatment should do the trick. I can see it now. "Doctor, I've been healed, it's a miracle" as my eyelid calms right down after the electrical shock treatment. But, in its place, my arms and legs are jumping, my head is bobbing side to side, the 'beast' in my leg has now moved to the other leg, and the girls no longer seem to think I am winking at them, but they are fleeing because of the obscene gestures emulating from my 'out of control' body.
Mmm. Forget the shock treatment. I think I will opt for the eye patch. Black. Like a pirate. Always wanted to do that.  

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What Monster is This?

I am sure most of you have seen a science fiction movie where a seed somehow gets planted in a human and a monster starts to grow within. When it reaches maturity, the 'thing' has to exit the host's body and it breaks through in a most horrendous way. Just before this happens, you can see bulges and movements under the skin, and you just know something bad is about to happen. The only question remaining at that time, is how many heads is the beast going to have.

Strange and unbelievable as it may seem, I have one of those 'things' growing ..... in my leg. I wake up in the wee hours of the morning and I feel it moving. I immediately sit up and swing my legs over the edge of the bed and grip my inner thigh, just above the knee. It starts to move, and tighten, and grab me like a vice grip. There is nothing I can do. But it never escapes. It lives on inside me, the host, to arise again in a few days and reek more havoc. Some call it a Charlie Horse. Is that the shape of this beast, horse-like? It feels more like a Crocodile, with fiercely strong jaws and sharp teeth.

I take Calcium, and Cal-Mag by the handful, but to no avail. It seems only to feed the beast and increase the strength of its jaws.  So, tonight I did some research. I combined some other ailments, or symptoms, and hit search. I keep coming up with a thyroid problem. Yes, the thyroid is in the neck, but it may be regulating the beast with a tiny little remote control device. If it is a wireless remote, there is little I can do.
A small consolation is that I do have some control over the activity of the beast. Like I said in my last post, not working causes all the aches and pains to go away, and that, thank goodness, includes the bite of the beast. I spent some tense time on a ladder today, causing my muscles to ache with the tension, so I may have my visitor back tonight. I imagine throwing it a  piece of meat, to pacify it, but then I realise that it is already feeding on meat, my thigh muscle.   

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Partly through deliberate action, and partly through circumstances, I have, since my birthday last year, been experimenting with semi-retirement. I am discovering some things. And why not? This is new territory. What have I been learning? Interesting that you should ask.
To begin with, the first few days off, after a bout of working, are relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable. But, soon after, a sense of guilt creeps in. It increases with each day and completely leaves after I go back to work.
The longer my layoff, the better I feel, physically. I am discovering that when I have aches and pains, it means I am using my muscles, ligaments, and joints, and they are being tested, but found wanting. When I stop working, the aches and pains go away, but so does my strength, endurance, and general sense of well being. So, I am concluding that pain is not a bad thing, but it tells me that I am alive and in good shape. So I can't sleep at night, but my arms do, and I have to roll out of bed, and my neck creaks like a door in a haunted house. My knees have gravel right behind the 'caps', and my muscles cramp up at night. But working is healthy. Have I convinced you yet? 
Something else about not working is that I miss it. I miss dealing with people and solving their decorating problems. I miss the tremendous sense of accomplishment at the end of the job, when the customer is all ga-ga over their new home. And, dare I say it, I miss the money. 
All through my life I have noticed that as long as I am working, I do not spend money, except for paying bills, you know, the necessities. When one takes a week or two off, there is dining out, coffee with buddies. Driving around, which requires a tank of gas more often than when the truck is parked all day on the job. It goes so against me to take money out and not put even more back in. This will be a huge shift in thinking for me after a life long habit of preparing for the days of no income. 
I had a good friend in High School whose dad was in the same business as I am. He worked, at least part time, until he was almost eighty! I asked him why he was doing that. He said, "It's good for me." And then he just smiled. Will that be me?      

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Trouble in Norway

We have been following, with horror, the violence in Norway, perpetrated by a single individual. I do not recall an incident similar to this where so many people have died, and it was not at the hand of a madman or a terrorist. At least, I am not of the opinion that this was a madman and officials in Norway are not calling it terrorism. I do not see it as terrorism either, but having said that, no doubt it was absolute terror that the victims were feeling.  He seems to be rational, intelligent, and quite calculated and adept at what he did, and, with a clear cut purpose. He was more than willing to give himself up, and then relate to the police what his intention was, in doing what he did.
It is no secret that there is a growing problem in Europe which has spread with grave concern to the Scandinavian countries, and that is the massive migration of Muslims into these areas. It is no wonder that the citizens of these countries feel threatened. Their culture and way of life is being threatened, not to mention the huge drain on their social safety net programs. That there is a lot of resentment, is easy to understand. It is happening too fast, and just as the birth rates are falling in non Muslim populations. The feeling of 'being taken over' is understandable. We have a similar issue in my city, but not with Muslims.
Now, the bomber/shooter is being held in isolation for the next several months. As authorities are telling us, it is so he does not get his message out. Well, excuse me, but he just did. There are many across Europe who have the identical conviction that he does, but do not have the courage to act on it. There will be a rising in Europe against this tide of immigration, but for goodness sakes, do it through peaceful means and through the political process. There are smarter ways to integrate immigrants into society.
And here is an interesting take on the situation by Bill Bonner.

Ever since 9/11 "defense" industries have been peddling the idea that Islamic terrorism is a threat to national security. Their spirits must have lifted when they first heard the news from Oslo over the weekend. Finally, after 6 years of relative quiet, here comes more evidence that there really are some Islamic terrorists!

But now we discover; he isn't an Islamic terrorist at all. He's a Christian terrorist; he thinks he's defending Christendom from the Islamic Threat.

Oh la la...the valiant knights of the military industrial complex now have Christian terrorists on the right...and Islamic terrorists on the left. Or vice versa.

But wait, their story was that they were defending the USA and its empire against Muslim bad guys who want to destroy it. Are they also defending the empire against Christian bad guys who want to protect it?

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Visit

A good way to appreciate one's health is to visit a friend in the hospital on a beautiful summer's day. It was two months ago that he was doubled over with pain in the middle of the night and ended up in emergency at the local hospital. With the exception of four or five days, he has been in a hospital bed for the whole time. It is a story of inefficiency and dropped balls. It is a wonder anybody ever gets out of there alive.
In three more days, he will go home, but this will be for the third time. He is nervous. If indeed the problem has been found and corrected, the prognosis is good. But, he heard that the other two times also. Stay healthy, dear reader.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer is Here

Summer, once again, is making a valiant attempt to establish itself. Enjoy the warm day.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Do You Have It?

I borrowed a book called "The Millionaire Mind" and have just finished reading it. Why? Good question. I think the purpose of the author in penning such a book is to help the reader to determine if he has the mindset of a wealthy person, and if not, how he can achieve such a thing. After reading it, however, I have determined that you either have it or you do not. Thomas Stanley, the author, wades through the myriad of combinations of character traits, and bases his research on interviews of actual millionaires.
Mr. Stanley is an academic so there is much emphasis on the importance of education and intelligence, however, the charts bear out the fact that these are not the key ingredients at all.
I found it interesting that the book was written before the credit bubble and the "Great Correction" so I was thinking that many of the wealthy people he interviewed are probably paupers today.
One thing for certain is that you cannot always tell a millionaire from his lifestyle or outward appearance. One of the traits that got him there was frugality. It is the ostentatious ones that are probably living on credit and lots of it.
This book will not help you become a millionaire, except if you are young enough to change your ways. If you are my age, you either have it or you don't, you are one, or you are not.
If you like lots of repetition, and plenty of "how I did it" stories, you might like this book. I found it only mildly interesting.  

Friday, July 22, 2011


I have had my new computer for a few weeks now and am liking it very much. It was quite apparent from the beginning that its ability to process the large image files in my Photo shop programs was greatly enhanced. But, alas, I have run into a problem. I had to uninstall my older version of Photo shop because it was causing my screen to freeze and when I tried to exit the program, my whole desktop, wallpaper, and homepage were rendered a weird kaleidoscope of bright colours.
Now I am reliant on Photo shop Elements 6.0 only. It is an enhanced version of the older program but it has some shortcomings too. Today, I discovered that one of my favourite filters in 'photo effects' has a glitch and leaves fine horizontal lines on my photos. I am discouraged. It is like asking an artist to paint a picture without any red paint on his palette. Every painting will henceforth lack colours with red in the mix. For me, it will now be that every photo will have to be processed without any special lighting effects, something I often apply to my photographs.  How limiting!  Here is what I mean.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Old Pickup Truck

I photographed this old pickup truck at our Canada Day Parade a few weeks ago. It has obviously been restored as I doubt it would have looked this shiny even when it was fresh out of the factory. In the day it was built, pickups were meant as work vehicles and that was pretty much all they were used for. How these vehicles have evolved! Just as this particular truck would never be used for work today, neither are most of the new pickups being sold today. There is no limit to the amount of money or the amount of options put into a lot of trucks today. One could as easily haul manure or attend the opera in today's fancy pickups.
My friend had a truck identical to the one above, and when his dad gave it to him, it was a well used farm vehicle. He cleaned it up, had it painted blue, did some mechanical and power train adjustments, and we used it for our Friday night entertainment for a few years. I thought it odd at the time that we would be cruising the drive-ins in a truck. He was very much ahead of his time.   

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Okanagan Rain

It was a short but much anticipated trip to Kelowna that brought us to this torrential downpour on the 97C on Sunday afternoon. We could see the angry dark clouds in the hills ahead, and as we rounded a curve, it hit like a hammer. We pulled over to the shoulder of the road as many other drivers did, but some of the more foolhardy ploughed through the several inch deep water that was building on the road surface. A few miles later, we stopped again as a deluge of even greater force poured from the heavens. Like any aberration of nature, it was awesome and a bit scary all at once. We were not in steep terrain so we did not even think about mud slides like we would have had to had we been nearer to Hope.  

Our few days away were punctuated with abnormal weather. Kelowna in July is normally hot and dry, with clear skies and blazing sun. Not so this year. It was warm but muggy with many showers. After a nice dinner out an an outdoor restaurant (the patio was covered), and watching the storm clouds circling the lake, we came back to our host's home and noticed that the light was changing in a dramatic fashion. Don and I, both avid photographers, grabbed our cameras and headed for a nearby lookout to get a sunset photo or two. Just as we started down the street, I turned in the opposite direction and this what I saw. It later turned double, but we were in a hurry to get to the lookout before the light faded so I did not stop to take more photos. This is the only one of the rainbow that I have.  

For the next several minutes, and that is all we had, we turned this way and that, marvelling at the show unfolding before us. The rain started, a misty but heavy rain, and our equipment was going to get wet so we covered it up and headed back down the trail and home.

God paints it, we photograph it.

Summer Reading

I have just finished Philip Yancey's latest book, "What Good is God", in search of a faith that matters. I like the unique format of this book. In his search for the answer to his question, he travels the world to various destinations and occasions and tells the story behind the story.
For example, the struggling underground church in China, the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, defeating apartheid in South Africa, addressing the graduating class at the very strict Bible College he himself graduated from, etc. This part of each chapter is enlightening and very interesting.
At each occasion, he was asked to speak, and the second part of each chapter is his speech. It is these speeches I have some trouble with. They are at times not relevant, and often the answers are a bit bland as he tries to console or counsel.
In general, I like Yancey's style, as he is both easy to read, yet at times deep and profound. I find him a bit too non-specific on some issues, almost trying not to offend or be labeled in any way. In other words, trying to be too many things to too many people.
I did find that the answer to his question was addressed many times, not by what he said in his speech, but by the descriptions of the people of faith as they lived out their Christianity in often very adverse conditions. At times, it seemed that Yancey was a bit in over his head and it was the audience that could have been counselling him.   

Monday, July 18, 2011

Red Velvet

We are gone for a few days, mixing business with pleasure, so you can enjoy our red roses because by the time we are back, they will be history, blemished by the rain, and expired from old age.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I was standing in the garden yesterday,
camera in hand, contemplating the right angle for a photo of a poppy. At first I felt it, and then I heard it, that low throbbing hum of a humming bird when it hovers just over your head. I did not want to startle it so I carefully looked downward, camera already to my eye, and scanned the pink bed of flowers at my feet, for I knew that he was not intereseted in me, but in the flowers near the ground. And into the viewfinder he flew, standing on his tail. He was only inches from my leg for a good three minutes and I rapid fired ten frames. The light was not great so I have done some photoshop techniques to enhance the photo. 

Only moments before, I was sitting on the other side of the garden when the birds started feeding on the lichen on our dead cherry tree. It was only a few feet away and they never saw me as I 'fired' away.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Today vs Tomorrow

"Why do today, what you can put off  until tomorrow" was a humorous phrase that was meant to teach us to avoid procrastination. Generally it is good advice to 'do it now', except that economically speaking, this has got us into the financial struggle that we are now facing as a world economy. Let me explain.
The last generation or two has been of the mind that it is better that we have what we want and that we have it sooner than later. I was taught a valuable principle called 'delayed gratification'. Save up for what it is that you want, enjoy the anticipation of waiting to get it, and then take pleasure in knowing that you earned it and now it is yours, clear. That concept has been lost in the last 40 years. We want it, and we want it now, and if we cannot afford it, we will get it on credit. And, we will get the most, the biggest, and the best, as much as our credit limit will allow. (The 'pre-approved mortgage' is a good example as it encourages home buyers to buy the most house the bank will let them)
What happens then, is that the purchases of tomorrow are transacted today. Then what of the purchases of tomorrow? There are none. The incentives to buy new vehicles just after the economic downturn showed how true this was. Vehicle sales sky rocketed, but in the next few years there were no more sales. Nobody could figure it out. Today, there are many people who have learned a valuable lesson. More money is going into savings now than ever before, and people are paying off debt, and trying to recover their retirement nest eggs. Not much money left for consuming stuff and that is why the economy is down. Too much buying on credit yesterday and leaving no sales for today. 
There is huge merit in saving up, considering what it is that one can actually afford, (living within one's means) and only making a purchase when the money is in the bank. It is less stressful, less expensive, and it helps to avoid the problems we are seeing in the developed nations of the world today.
Consumers and governments should realise that sometimes a little procrastination is a good thing.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Looking for Common Sense

This young gal may be looking for her contact lens, or she may learning to walk, or she may be looking for common sense in our
up-side-down world.

I came upon three unrelated articles last week, but upon closer inspection, they are related. The first story is about the Oakland Ca. police chief having to lay off staff due to budget cuts. He announced that because of the layoffs, 911 calls would no longer be responding to calls relating to theft, burglaries, passing fake cheques, embezzlement, extortion, vandalism, and the list goes on. This is another step toward third world status for Oakland.

The second article is in regards to the top paid state employees in California. The chief psychiatrist for the overcrowded prison system was paid $838,706.00 in 2010. The 10 highest paid employees were each earning more than $500 K. Seven of these ten were either doctors or dentists in the prison system.

Jumping over to Washington, we see that President Obama enacted a wage freeze for federal employees as one of his first acts as President. However, the rule did not take force until January of 2011. Before the deadline, his head of economic policy received an 82% pay raise, and his director of African American media received an 86% pay raise. That's the spirit!

We can see that in light of the fact that increases of the common working man's wages are near zero, and pay raises in private sector business and industry are barely keeping up with infaltion, there is a disconnect. 
The 'trough' is full of borrowed money and more and more fat pigs are feeding out of it. When this ends, there may be light at the end of the economic tunnel in both our countries. 

As an edit to this post, I just read that illegal Mexican immigration is falling off dramatically. In fact, the flow is now reversing. Mexicans are now sneaking back across the border, to their homeland, in search of opportunity and jobs. Wow! That speaks volumes. They may be the only people in America who are actually working and now they are leaving. Maybe, soon, prison psychiatrists will be mowing lawns and trimming hedges. If so, they will finally be earning what they are worth.        

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Going to the Dogs

I have never been anti-
American as so many Canadians are. We have travelled in the USA very often and have rubbed shoulders with and become friends with many Americans over the years. There are many things I admire about the people and their country. They have been, arguably, the greatest nation on earth during most of my lifetime. But, here is a list, composed by an American, who bemoans the fact that his beloved country is going to the dogs. Judge for yourself.

 America is like an aging, bloated rock star that has become addicted to a dozen different drugs. America is a shadow of its former self and it desperately needs to wake up before it plunges into oblivion.

If you do not believe that America is in bad shape, just read the list below. The following are 20 not so good categories that the United States leads the world in....

#1 The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world and the largest total prison population on the entire globe.

#2 According to, the United States has the highest percentage of obese people in the world.

#3 The United States has the highest divorce rate on the globe by a wide margin.

#4 The United States is tied with the UK for the most hours of television watched per person each week.

#5 The United States has the highest rate of illegal drug use on the entire planet.

#6 There are more car thefts in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world by far.

#7 There are more reported rapes in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world.

#8 There are more reported murders in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world.

#9 There are more total crimes in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world.

#10 The United States also has more police officers than anywhere else in the world.

#11 The United States spends much more on health care as a percentage of GDP than any other nation on the face of the earth.

#12 The United States has more people on pharmaceutical drugs than any other country on the planet.

#13 The percentage of women taking antidepressants in America is higher than in any other country in the world.

#14 Americans have more student loan debt than anyone else in the world.

#15 More pornography is created in the United States than anywhere else on the entire globe. 89 percent is made in the USA and only 11 percent is made in the rest of the world.

#16 The United States has the largest trade deficit in the world every single year. Between December 2000 and December 2010, the United States ran a total trade deficit of 6.1 trillion dollars with the rest of the world, and the US has had a negative trade balance every single year since 1976.

#17 The United States spends 7 times more on the military than any other nation on the planet does. In fact, US military spending is greater than the military spending of China, Russia, Japan, India, and the rest of NATO combined.

#18 The United States has far more foreign military bases than any other country does.

#19 The United States has the most complicated tax system in the entire world.

#20 The US has accumulated the biggest national debt that the world has ever seen and it is rapidly getting worse. Right now, US government debt is expanding at a rate of $40,000 per second.

The reasons for this decline are for another post.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Signs of Stupidity

It is obvious that these signs were made by stupid people. But they were only doing their jobs and were taking instructions from those in authority above them.

It is an axiom that the bigger government gets, on all levels, the more rules and regulations are imposed on those in their care. I say"in their care" because that is what the purpose of government is, according to the socialist dictates of today's version of democracy.
It would be oh so tragic to let the common citizen, who is stupid, make his or her own decisions. 
Yesterday I read of a homeowner in Michigan who is facing a jury trial and up to 93 days in jail for .... you will never guess. She is doing something on her property that has been natural to mankind throughout our history. It has been done for survival and for pleasure, or both at the same time. It is environmentally friendly, and uses few resources. There are a multitude of benefits, and really, everyone should be doing it, especially in these economic hard times. Apparently some neighbours complained because they were not doing it and that made it out of the ordinary, and did not comply with the cookie cutter image of the city block. Yes, dear reader, she was growing a garden. Not in a ploughed up yard, edge to edge, but in five raised boxes. 
She should actually get a 'citizen of the year' award for setting a good example. Why? She is not using up valuable gasoline by mowing grass like her neighbours do. This lowers the all important carbon footprint. The largest irrigated crop in the USA is grass. And now this lady is not using the precious water for grass, but for growing food. What a novel and noteworthy idea! But no, Big Brother will come down on her, even though it is the "land of the free and home of the brave". 

 Tomorrow I will show you why I have little hope for that once great nation south of our border.  

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Always Be Prepared" (Boy Scout Motto)

When I was a young boy growing up in a small Saskatchewan town, it was the cool thing to do. Joining the Cub/Scout movement was encouraged and seen as an integral step in developing into a responsible young man. Our leaders were respected men in the community and were also the dad's of my schoolmates. It was a learning platform for many different types of skills. I no longer have the string of badges that I earned, but distinctly remember the pride of striving and achieving and being awarded the badges, and then having my mother sew them onto the sleeve of my uniform. The orienteering and fire making badges were the most fun for me, but the knot tying badge eluded me for a few years. Today, I am really good at lighting and maintaining a camp fire, but I still can tie only one kind of knot, but at least I know the name of it.
At the Canada Day parade, there was a small contingency of Boy Scouts. There were only a few that looked clean cut and normal. The rest were reason enough to stay out of the movement. Lord Baden Powell would not approve of these two fellows. I say that because appearance was always of utmost importance, indeed we were awarded badges for it.    

Sunday, July 10, 2011


About a year ago, I was suffering from a particularly bad cold. As I lay in my bed, trying to sleep, all I could think about was my aching pressurized sinuses, my sore throat, the congestion in my bronchial tubes, and my dry mouth from not being able to breathe through my nose. You have all been there as this a common affliction to mankind. One's mind becomes focused on these problems and I found myself wondering why I did not appreciate good health when I had it. I determined then and there that when I was better, I would be more appreciative of a healthy body and the joy that it can bring.

On those nights when I am not dead tired, and I lay on my bed with the last thoughts of the day on my mind, I start at my head and go right down to my feet and do a mental assessment of all limbs and systems. I have found this to be of great value. I marvel at how well I can breathe, how comfortable I am, how pain free I am, and how relaxed and at peace I am. That, in turn, gives me an almost overwhelming sense of gratitude. 
There will again be a day when I will have those awful cold symptoms, or there will be the pains and discomfort of old age, or disease, but right now I am blessed with health and consider it one of the greatest gifts of God to his creation, man. This feeling of well being and gratitude relaxes me and I fall asleep more easily. It beats falling asleep with the worries of my life on my mind. And I know that next time I am in pain and discomfort, and sleep eludes me, that at least I can say that I appreciated my health when I had it. No regrets.    

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Faces of Multi-Culturalism

Our economy has an agricultural base. The first to farm our valley were Japanese and Mennonite immigrants. Today, there is a healthy mix with Dutch and East Indians adding to the soup pot.

 The Scots do not have a corner on bagpipes, but you could say that they are primarily responsible. They seem appropriate in a parade.

This fellow seemed a bit eccentric but was having fun and was entertaining the crowd as he rode his bicycle with hands only for juggling the hackey sacks.

Medieval games seem to be attractive enough to start a club.

Three miles of sword play and jousting is a thirsty business.

Minus the flag, this is a very typical sight in our town.

I don't think this is the typical 'Wendy' that Dave Thomas had in mind when he first started this hamburger franchise.

What is a parade without First Nations representation? I would give recognition to this particular band but my keyboard does not have the right characters to spell it the correct way. It was nice to see the elder riding on the 'float' and the young men and women doing all the dancing.

Bollywood comes to the Canada Day Parade.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Canada Day Parade 2011 Part 4

Grandpa got to babysit his grand kids today.

This gal was pretty excited that there was Caribbean Carnival float in the parade.

Are we in Rio?  Or New Orleans?

So very colourful!

There were so many cultures represented that it was difficult to keep track as they went by. I was glued to my viewfinder seeking out colour and missed who this was.

But I know that these gals are hockey players.

And this young lady was on a horse so I think she belonged to an equine club.

Oh yes, there is one of her fellow riders. There was a pooper scooper squad behind this group and they got a nice round of applause as they came by with shovels and wheel barrows. However, after trotting the three mile route, doing a routine every few hundred yards, I think these horses were pooped out by the time they came past us.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cancer Research

Who does not want a cure for Cancer? A decade ago, the Canadian Cancer Society would hold an annual fund raiser and canvassers would go door to door asking for donations. Today there is hardly a week goes by where there is not some cancer run, walk, race, or some other activity geared around raising funds for cancer research. When we donate, we are funding research for a cure, or that is what we think we are funding. 
CBC ran a disturbing report tonight about where those funds are really going and it is not toward research. In fact, researchers are spending more and more of their day trying to get funding from a shrinking budget, even though the Canadian Cancer Society is taking in unprecedented amounts of money. Only 20% of your donation is going to research and the percentage of money available is continuing to decrease. So where is all this money going, you ask? Why, to raise more money. It has become an industry that is feeding on itself. Go to and search out this story and you will be discouraged from donating, like I am. I have suspected this for years, but now it is confirmed. There should be a huge public outcry, and a dramatic decrease in donations so this society wakes up to realise what its mandate really is.