Friday, October 31, 2014

Insight beyond the wildest of dreams

At every level in our inventory, nothing seems special about our Earth, our Sun, our Galaxy, our Local Group. Evidently, mediocrity reigns throughout. Such is our niche in the Universe. Eric Chaisson

Fellow Canadians, we must pull together in this time of retrospect to achieve a workable drollery in retaining our pensive mediocrity. We must also, at the same time, cater austerely to the whims of all our diverse and salient traditions. Without them all our mediocrity would vaporize into a thin waft of tenaciousness. Even our drippy economy might succumb to stagnation or even worse a humiliating amelioration.

As we Canadians dawdle along into the 21st century we must remember with courage our heroes of past eras such as Joe Clark and Kim Campbell who filled us with substance and truth and gave us the will to chuckle amiably at those with overtures of grandeur. Lest we find ourselves succumbing to the tides of uncouth heroism in a ravaged and unsustainable world, let us not forget these gurus who taught us well the workings of commonplaceness.

The brain freeze of winter ensures a great lacklustre so that we can achieve a sopor fathomless enough to enjoy the solitude of summer in our lakeside cottages. To canoe along the waterways in peaceful bliss is the one and only reason why all our divergent traditions have alighted on this unencumbered piece of real estate on the northern fringes of habitable abandon. Even the geese stay as long as old man winter holds his breath.

Wars will be wars, let them be fought by peoples in climes unravaged by ice and snow. We have enough to fill our minds with the fortitude needed to deal with a dead car at 40 below and a driveway blown in with four feet of snow. And if Putin wants to drill for oil where it's minus 80 with a 50 mph wind for 8 months every year in our disputed Arctic regions let him. It's his whiskers. They better bring a good supply of vodka.

Our nation has had it's great and envisaging politicians, men and women who were elected by the robust few who could get their car started on election morning, or by those whose canoes were still frozen in the reeds come a spring vote, or by those so bedazzled by the new greenery around them that they felt sure the gods must be in favour of the incumbents and had to pay homage. These politicians envisaged a Canada where people actually accomplished something in winter and didn't just spend the whole day warming up for the way home if they faithfully made it in. They envisaged cities filled with residents who stayed home from the lake in summer to carry out great business dealings which could bring in some tax revenue. But alas, the cold froze our brains and lacklustre ensured the ensuing mediocrity and come spring everyone bolted for their cottages to join the geese on our nations abundant waterways.

We have a very few in our Canada who wish to destabilize our mediocrity and bring forth concepts unthought of while bucking three foot drifts on the way to the curling rink. They have not achieved the drollery needed to sustain a lacklustre survival instinct which Canadian life depends upon in their new or first generation environment. Give them a decade of ice and snow and they will not even remember legends of warmer climes where insights into the human condition were fought over. We need to give them a canoe so their frozen brains can then soper fathomlessly in summer unbesieged by the remnant of forlorn city slickers. This is the only real Canadian solution and is guaranteed to work miracles on anyone's delusions of grandeur and it's as mediocre as it comes.

As is unrelentingly always the case these wild insights will ne'er be scrutinized as our brains freeze up for winter and we dream of endless waterways where we can meander with the geese in total oblivion. Our pensive mediocrity is safe no matter what we do.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Such a soup

We found a piece of pork in our soup yesterday. This was rather shocking because we couldn't remember adding pork to our soup since last spring.

We love our soup. Every once in a week or two we take out our large rock hard frozen soup canister and after thawing it in our large soup pot we eye it up to see if it's enough for a meal. This is seldom the case, so we look through our fridge and freezer and cupboards to see what we have on hand to bring it up to a sustainable level. Anything is fair game, however we do avoid macaroni unless it is a dire emergency while funds are low because macaroni tends to get a little soggy after several rounds of reheating.

This soup has a delicious flavour, mellowed over the years with cabbage, green beans, corn, peas, carrots, celery, dill, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, turnips, beets, and of course tomatoes to mention the more common veggies. Then there are the meats which is often browned hamburger, left over chicken, the last scraps of a roast be it beef or pork, and in the case of our piece of pork which we remembered vividly being from two frozen pork chops which we cut up and added on May 23 this spring. If it accidentally gets too thin from a half hazard guess at adding water before it gets thawed in the pot we just add a dump of rice, white or brown, to the mix and vuala (that's the dumbassed English way of spelling the french voila), we have a thick and nutritious meal with a few slices of homemade brown bread.

If you wish to use this delicious recipe, a dire warning, never add fish. We inadvertently added a frozen package of unknown substance several years ago which turned out to be salmon as our noses awoke to the aroma. It took a whole year before our three cats no longer fought us over our vittles. And it smells up the house a little. Just a warning :)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Our cats

In order for anyone who has bad intentions against us this will to give you some ammunition to use. We have too many cats. There, phone the cat cops. They'll not have the courage to enter the crumbling and bullet ridden halls of Deathrock Apartments anyhow.

We joke about our three cats often because legally in the great metropolis of Winterpeg the masters have ruled that three felines is the limit, although you can have as many mice as you want. And ofttimes if there were only three cats in sight I could get away with convincing my sweet wife that that's all we had, as she ofttimes tries to convince me.

We have unique names for our family, Blacky being the only somewhat traditional one. He's a big chubby male with a surly disposition, and he's black. He has one friend named Lollipop who came to us bringing a litter, one at a time to our door step, before we were evicted by the next door gang from our previous abode, a neat little house which we owned in the heart of the Kingdom of The West End Boyz. Lollipop is a sweety and the self appointed guard of the cat door, a cherished portal to the dilapidated fire escape three stories in the sky which no human in their right mind has set foot on in nigh twenty years, that being said it is well used especially on government cheque nights, with more than a few screams emanating from the dark alley below as the sound of falling timbers serenades our sleep.

Now Moses is my wife's bud. He adores her. When my wife was confined to the vast realms of the hospitalic enclave which borders on our hood several years ago, this Moses shit on my bed every day. We have since made a sort of truce, this Moses and me, but he eyes me with great suspicion if I ever return to our digs unaccompanied by my wife.

Tiny is the matriarch of the empire. She is now past her child bearing years, but in her day we tried unsuccessfully many, many times to capture her in a pet carrier so we could have her fixed. We still have scars to show for our battles. She was a stray who adopted us and she must have had a run in with one of those darn boxes in her younger years. The one time we did get her in the carrier she became so wild that she broke the latch and escaped, not to return for three days, so we let her be. That's sort of how she rules us subjects too.

I have a bud. Her name is Perky. She loves my laptop and if she could live on the keys she would. I've made a hard cover for the keys so I don't have to close it every time I get up to do something, but occasionally I forget or she tricks me and plants herself there for some quality time pets. It is amazing what the random pushing of keys can cause a computer to come up with especially when your in the browser. It's taken me weeks to get it back into a somewhat normal operating mode. Thank you Perky.

Daz is on old, old grouch who sleeps 23 hours a day on the kitchen counter. He has arthritis. He's been through four homes with us and knows our ins and outs to bring his ignoring us to an art form. When he wishes to get down he screams till we bring him a chair so he can limp his way twice daily to the food bowl and the litter box. He was an incredible mouser in his prime and he just tingles when the others catch one to play with but he can't move fast enough to join in the fun anymore.

The youngest member of our household is Ollie. We found him wandering the interminable halls of Deathrock Apartments after a major shoot out in the floors below us. We really are safe here on the top floor as intruders always get cut down before they reach our level and the Mad Cowz take good care of us as long as we pay our tribute. Anyhow Ollie is a sweety who got taken in by the others and they taught him everything they know about life here, and especially not to sneak out in the hallway where monstrous dangers lurk. They're really careful with him as he learns to venture out onto the fire escape and there's always two or three guarding him as he learns which steps are secure enough to hold the weight of a cat.

I'm sure I've missed a couple of our family here and some only stop by in their wanderings for a bite to eat and then they're off again as umbras of their fortress, to vigilantly guard their clowder against ferils who eye their cat door with envy and relentlessly challenge the right to ascend the staircase to an abode beyond the reaches of madness.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Canada goose project

As patronage slowly runs out for our Canadian scientific researchers, they are turning to alternative means of funding to conduct research, communicate scientific information and expertise, and to collaborate internationally with fellow scientists.

A group of highly connected individuals who by and large remain impervious to the spotlight have benevolently been backing research into the flight paths and wintering grounds of the Canada Geese who nest in southern Manitoba. The object was to study tightly knit family groups as they avoid the cold harsh reality of Canadian winters, and why they are increasingly being drawn to urban centres as a safe haven in their winter territories. The researchers were also interested in whether the 'crèches', family units who group together to cooperate in looking after all the clutches of goslings in small communities, also remain in close proximity in their southern habitats.

They used MiWi P2P proprietary wireless protocols designed by Microchip Technology that use small, low-power digital radios designed for low data transmission rates and short distance cost constrained networks. By netting the geese during their spring moult they secured these microchip transmitters with leg bands. They also secured a telemetry GPS device to one member of each family so it could be tracked during the semiannual migrations. Once a family unit established a residence in their winter abode, the researchers would travel to the area and install discrete receiving modules which could gather information from the close range MiWi transmitters.

 The benevolent group bankrolling this important study was enthusiastic in providing transport and ATV's to gain access to the sometimes remote locations where the geese wintered. They also provided much needed volunteers in the field with expertise in the handling of quads and 4x4's. As one researcher put it “These guys are amazing.” The issue of conflict of interest between scientists and a bunch of bikers arose at a local news conference held to inform residents about the activities occurring in their vicinity. The response was a humorous “What, for tracking geese? These guys don't need tracking devices to find a field with ten thousand geese for their hunting pleasure every fall. They're just in it for the fun and adventure.”

Our bewrought Prime Minister has his hands full. With so much on his agenda such as protecting us from overzealous scientists confusing our minds with misconstrued facts while at the same time reducing our deficit, it is little wonder that challenges arise in their implementation. The Supreme court of Canada has found him to be a smite short on constitutional smarts, for example. Another find which may have implications beyond his wildest dreams was one which a rancher in southern Manitoba made this spring. In the leg band on a Canada Goose who had succumbed by natural means on the flight back to his summer pond, there was found embedded with a glued on microchip a glistening diamond. It has been conjectured by some that a poor soul lost their wedding band diamond while attaching the leg band as it can be a fairly strenuous encounter with a stubborn goose. That is probably the least problematic conjecture. If only those pesky scientists would stay home and mind their own business.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Grizzly's my name

Yo, Grizzly's my name, I have no shame
Eat green cheese for brekky, got no one to blame
Love Nickleback to bitsies and try gimply to gyrate
Eagerly awaiting for him and Avril to procreate

Yon rusty Ford Falcon is way past it's prime
But it beats being homeless when life turns on the dime
The loots in the trunk but the tank is bone dry
Just too lazy to siphon as the days dwindle by

The ex got the homestead and I got the dog
She fancied weeds bore hoeing not feed for the hog
My cup ranneth over as I left with my jeans
The dog he grew feeble way into his teens

Met Delilah a new squeeze not out for my money
She loved my Ford Falcon thought it sweeter than honey
And tough as a lion she drove it to ruin
Was not terribly trustworthy but not quite worth shewin'

She was always a wondrin' what I had in the trunk
The keys shot I told her, my ex vandaled with spunk
But mysteries and women they don't get along
And one day time passing the cops came along

The ex and Delilah had me somehow involved
In plowing with heifers and riddles unsolved
That trunk bore the solution to all of their pride
I had the cops chuckling when I unlocked it wide

They drove off ensconcing my secret 'twould heighten
The ex and Delilah became sisses in hope to enlighten
And I left that fair countryside in my Ford Falcon pride
As I tied a torch to the hogs tail and opened the pen wide

Yo, Grizzly's my name, I have no shame
Eat green cheese for brekky, got no one to blame
Love Nickleback to bitsies and try gimply to gyrate
I've not cut my hair Chad, untrustworthy women still rate

Saturday, October 18, 2014

'New World Order' Challenged Folk

As victims of the great Canadian CPC experiment there is hope. We have in the making a medical diagnosis as to what is ailing the 'transnational new world order' challenged folk of our great land. We will soon be in a position to sue the pants off our great leader and his cohorts for their unflinching role in subverting our honorable citizens and battering them till they find it expedient to deny such exploitation and decline to admit they are being manipulated by a paranoid and psychopathic state.

James F. Tracy with a PhD from the University of Iowa has expertise in Media History and Analysis and Political Economy of Communication. He is an educator located in South Florida at the Florida Atlantic University and teaches courses examining the relationship between commercial and alternative news media and socio-political issues and events. His recent work has been published in Journalism Practice, Work, Organization, Labor and Globalization, and two edited volumes. He is editor of Democratic Communiqué, a publication of the Union for Democratic Communications, an affiliate of Project Censored, He is also a regular contributor to Additional analyses and commentaries are accessible at

In his intriguing and scholarly peer reviewed scientific analysis “Confronting Battered Citizen Syndrome” Professor Tracy states “Battered citizen syndrome is an extremely damaging psychological condition impacting individuals who are collectively subjected to emotional abuse and political disenfranchisement by the psychopathic types that all-too-frequently occupy public office in an era of political and socio-economic decay.”

Reviewed by many with the same sense of the chicanery ebbing from our elite masters, even the invincible writer and commentator David Icke has thrown his weight behind the prognosis.

Professor Tracy goes on to urge that “This syndrome subdues individuals’ awareness of their own historical and political agency, and discourages them from seeking assistance for and ultimately remedying their unsafe situation.” We must agree that we Canadians are being incongruously led as followers who are following where no one has ever followed before.

With our government telling us so much of their information is classified for our own good it is hard not to consider theories of cabal when it is so obvious that this same government supports much of the entropy which leads to the collateral they are classifying in the first place. All these secrets: the facts on Putin's altruism in the Ukraine or do they just listen to the CBC? or the reasons behind ISIS desire to create a safe haven for all good Muslims though by a rather distorted philosophy according to most Islamic adherents, or a no fly list where your suspicions of being graciously included are vaguely confirmed when you are denied the privilege of boarding a flight from Saskatoon to Winnipeg and are relegated to the bus, or charities being stifled in their attempts to enlighten their dear leaders on issues of sociological and environmental concerns, or scientists discouraged from divulging their equitable findings, or Israel being vanquished of all wrong doing when most of the world sees a log in someone's eye, or the secrecy and obvious bribery behind our free trade deals which by any grandmother's judgment should be open and transparent, and probably the most rapturous achievement of ignoring the common Canadian sentiment of living in a summer cottage by the lake devoid of economic idiots infiltrating our airwaves with doublespeak on pipelines to stimulate an economy which no one could care less about except those in ivory towers who wish to enhance their fortunes. The list could go on.

Our Supreme Court of Canada has a history with the CPC experiment and it will be an interesting day when the class action suits start coming in, medical diagnosis of the battering in hand, to return the prestige of Canadian unostentatiousness to it's discerning level, ripe with Chretien's sense of humor.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I had a dream...

The year of our lord 2029 is upon us. Lockheed Martin Corp, bless their soles, has 6,649 fusion reactors in operation world wide after a breakthrough in using pressure cookers as the magnetic chamber for storing the heat released and has thousands more on the production line at $149.95 each plus tax so everyone can have one in their home and car. The oil mega corps are paying us 50 cents a liter at the pumps to use their glut of oil in a loss minimization strategy where it is cheaper for them to keep producing oil from their antiquated infrastructure than to actually shut it down and clean up the mess.

Ah, the second coming, from out of the depths of Gaza's bombed out infrastructure, he returned, a dusty concrete ruin for a manger, to take over the reigns from Hamas to make peace with Israel and ride into Jerusalem on a Magach 7 as the new king of a now peaceful and heavenly land. Even Arab spring was vanquished as Isis saw the folly of their ways and proceeded to help overthrow the many autocratic regimes in and about the cradle of civilization.

Occupy Wall street made a huge come back in the west after Lady Gaga was declared president of the mighty US of A in an election which saw 175,000 million voters write her name on the margins of their ballots. The billionaires threw up their arms in amazement at the turn of events and most went to their banks to withdraw trillions of twenties and disperse them in the wind so all could have a share.

Even Russia and China sat up and took notice of world events to unflinchingly deactivate their atomic weapons and remove the stranglehold they had on internet censorship so all could watch Lady Gaga sing her way into the hearts and souls of their mesmerized citizens. The only holdout to political polar shift is North Korea's limping leader Kim Jong-un, but Lady Gaga has ordered billions of rolls of duck tape which will be used to wrap the country from head to toe. In her words “With duck tape we can rectify one another. Do you wanna peak underneath the cover?”

We can all of us curl up tonight in our cozy easy chairs knowing we are in good hands, and that tomorrow will bring blue skies and peace on earth and good will towards all men and women and those in between.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A rant on capitalism, socialism, and democracy

Western civilization is so dotty. Capitalism or socialism, and democracy are opposing forces. Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens are meant to participate equally, the term is an antonym to aristocracy "rule of the elite". Capitalism creates elite through the power given those who rack up large amounts of capital by whatever means. Socialism creates elite through the power given those who wield and enforce the rules given to them by whatever means. We are screwed.

Democracy is at best a concept. To empower one person or a group of people means to deprive others. The best we can do with democracy and our two isms is to put them in a bag and make shake 'n bake. Democracy has to be be viewed in terms of trade offs with individual liberty, distributive equality, ecological sustainability, the religious monopoly. It needs a little pampering.

Neo-liberal ideology has it that capitalism and freedom are synonymous. Freedom, according to that ideology, is achieved and secured by the free market, not by democracy. Democracy is irrelevant to that philosophy; if anything it stands in the way of freedom and prosperity. Our dear leaders view it as a scourge.

[ Friedrich von Hayek argues that Western democracies have "progressively abandoned that freedom in economic affairs without which personal and political freedom has never existed in the past". Society has mistakenly tried to ensure continuing prosperity by centralized planning, which inevitably leads to totalitarianism. "We have in effect undertaken to dispense with the forces which produced unforeseen results and to replace the impersonal and anonymous mechanism of the market by collective and ‘conscious’ direction of all social forces to deliberately chosen goals." Socialism, while presented as a means of assuring equality, does so through "restraint and servitude", while "democracy seeks equality in liberty". Planning, because coercive, is an inferior method of regulation, while the competition of a free market is superior "because it is the only method by which our activities can be adjusted to each other without coercive or arbitrary intervention of authority.

Eric Zencey wrote that the free market economy Hayek advocated is designed for an infinite planet, and when it runs into physical limits (as any growing system must), the result is a need for centralized planning to mediate the problematic interface of economy and nature. "Planning is planning, whether it's done to minimize poverty and injustice, as socialists were advocating then, or to preserve the minimum flow of ecosystem services that civilization requires, as we are finding increasingly necessary today." ]   Saward, Michael (1996). Democracy and competing values. Government and Opposition

[ Neoliberalism is neither “new” or liberal. Neoconservativism is neither new or conservative. They are just new labels for a very old agenda: serving the powers-that-be, consolidating power, controlling resources. Whether the iron fist has a velvet glove on it or not, it is still an iron fist. ] 
As we watch our politicians drowning in seas of apathy with voter turnout dipping towards 50%, we try to shed a tear for them. They try so so hard to engage us if they think there is any chance it will help their ambitions, whether these are to to make our earth a better place or simply to keep their paycheck coming in. And then there are the cases where our turnout is not really desired if it will hurt their prospects. But it becomes hard to keep going to the polls when every major party is so shaped by populations wanting a good life with exonerated responsibilities, values impinged upon them by the advertising and propaganda of the elite controlled media.

We retain in our mindset this vision from our religious heritage in which a benevolent ruler will come to earth and create peace and harmony among all the differing views. Many realize that this is not going to happen. And really, this religious view would have little to do with democracy as it would be simply the rule of an autocratic dude, however benevolent he turned out to be. Is that why so many seem to be willing to give their soles to the party which emotes itself as most heavenly? Voting for a neocon or neolib or even a neolabour type party which we have in Canada does nothing to stem the destruction humans are inflicting on mother earth. Perhaps the time has come to not consider ourselves democracies anymore because we aren't even if we take away the power of the corporate elite.

In 1855 the British culminated years of developing their common law with the Limited Liability Act. We could rejuvenate our laws to graciously give back liabilities to corporations owners, and make them taxable for their endeavors as individuals in a partnership. This would give more incentive for the chumps sitting on their nest egg to scrutinate the morals of their fortune builders, and would doubtlessly throw a wrench in the stock market zoo too. And hot diggity, if they all had to file tax returns on their partnerships it would open up a fair bit of transparency. We could take a page from the ideals of Jesus and his money lenders or of Islam's interest free rates and prohibit the use of money for making money, limiting it to the cost of the paperwork with a fair minimum wage for the execs. We have been tricked into a mindset where we believe the only way to pursue our human dreams is to have them invested in by huge bloated corporations. This is silly, if it's not worth doing for human interest then what is the point of it? Mother earth can't be bought off. Money, money, billionaires don't even know what they're making it for.

Since a rant is to speak or shout in a loud, uncontrolled, or angry way, often saying confused or silly things we will end with one marxist Paul Sweezy's joke that Friedrich von Hayek would have you believe that if there was an over-production of baby carriages, the central planners would then order the population to have more babies instead of simply warehousing the temporary excess of carriages and decreasing production for next year. North America is close to this ideal however, we are again increasing the production of suv's to use up the glut of oil we're cajoling from mother earth.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Be nice to your wife day

My sweet wife has just informed me that this being the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, which we had to change the calendar back from November to verify, it is consequently be nice to your wife day. I really wonder what she wants, she can be pretty sneaky. On asking her what being nice would entail she changed the subject so I don't know if she just lost her train of thought or if this is the great Thanksgiving complot, the one where the husband buys the turkey and all the trimmings and spends all weekend in the kitchen slaving away over a hot stove to serve up a platters of delicious grub topped with pumpkin pie and ice cream. Oh joy, I just asked her again what being nice might entail and on finding out that she had not yet told me, she says “eating out” would be nice. I am saved! No slaving away in the hot kitchen for this dude.

Yes, here in the great white north of Cananada brrr we hold our Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October because by the fourth Thursday of November we are frozen in for the winter, buried in snow, with two whole hours of daylight each day, and no-one's car would start anyway for the ensuing Black Friday. And by that time we're not that thankful about anything much except that spring is only six months away.

We are back, tummies full of McDonald's chewy fish burgers, but this be nice to your wife day also involved some treats from the supermarket, and all the displays reminded her that it was Thanksgiving and by the time she reached the checkout her basket was overflowing with Halloween treats and cranberries and boxes of stuffing and fancy pickles and a pumpkin pie and I had to dig out my stash of hidden twenties to cover the tab. I asked her what she was going to do with all the good food and she just handed it to me with her big smile. My guess is I will still be slaving away over a hot stove this weekend. And what's more she got on the phone and invited her two good friends over for tomorrow. I'm doomed.

Ah the great white north. We are sincerely thankful that our Prime Minister Stevie Harper in his neocon wisdom can trade off a little slice of democratic freedom for some distributive equality so us retired dead weights can lavishly celebrate this occasion with our buds to contemplate his demise. Be nice to your wife today, eh!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Adult emergency - 1.5 kilometres

The therapeutae of Asclepius were a recognized and designated association in antiquity that included the physicians, their attendants and support staff, in the larger temples of Asclepius. This association of therapeutae has continued through the ages and manifests itself in our modern world as the hospitable hospital.  In the third arrondissement of historic Winterpeg in Le Canada lays Les Ville des Invalides, also known as the HSC. It is home to many therapeutae who serve Manitoba, Northwest Ontario and Nunavut. It is a ville unto itself with a built in hotel, restaurants, underground tunnels, security forces, power plants, heating plants, vast kitchens, enormous parkades, a magnificent chapel, shops for purchasing every imaginable trinket under the sun, complete with thousands of patients and doctors and nurses and machines to diagnose and sometimes cure every ailment real and imagined known to man.

Due to a medical perplexity we, my wife and I, decide upon a weekend holiday to this Asclepius of Winterpeg. It takes our robustious challenged gal three hours to shower herself, find the right outfit, pack her enormous hand bag with tissues and powders and cookies and chocolate bars and who knows what was in there but it weighed a ton and did I mention the switch blade? We careen down the stairs of our Deathrock Apartments, leaving the slum to cross the street and infiltrate the camera infested halls of Les Ville and wander aimlessly (we did find her an abandoned wheely chair) tell we stumble upon a sign in the subterranean passages which says Adult Emergency - 1.5 kilometres.

We arrive at the security desk and are frisked and radiographed, luckily they miss the switch blade, and we amble on to a series of desks where we are ruthlessly interrogated regarding the purpose of this attempt to further strain the resources of Canada's venerable health care system. In their wisdom they herd us off, armband endowed, to the minor treatment department, the major treatment department being reserved for those unlikely to survive the ordeal with all of their body parts intact.

The movies are good there in the waiting room. We watch John Travolta as an angel, and Black Beauty, and John Candy on his summer vacation when suddenly our entertainment is interrupted by a kind nurse with blueish hair shaking my wife's sleeping shoulder and asking her to come along through the big doors to a little curtained cubicle with a lovely bed with levers and buttons to keep us further entertained for the next several hours.

Another kind nurse, this one is peroxide blonde, impinges upon our solitude amidst the cries and whimperings of distraught souls and she embarks on the scrutiny of blood pressure and temperature and finally pops the question “And what brings you here today?” My dear wife points at her leg which is swollen to three times it's normal size below the knee. The kind nurse winces and says “Oh deary, we'll have a doctor in to look at this right away.”

Those two words 'right' and 'away' in whatever order are not words which you want to hear in an Asclepeion. They obviously have a great variety of meanings in their concrete applications. However, luckily for us a doctor wanders in in a mere two hours, a chart in hand, and in no time flat after a few pokes and prods has ordered a blood test. He vanishes to leave us again to our disquieting solitude.

'Right away' deploys itself in less than fifteen minutes this time and a kind nurse with really red hair emerges through the curtains with a cart containing a huge assortment of vials and large needles with which she heedlessly proceeds a bloodletting procedure to fill an uncountable number of said vials. Although an ancient practice we wonder in our forthcoming solitude if this was an attempted remedy or if the transfusion department is running short on blood. This isolationistic confinement strategy of keeping hopefuls in little curtained cells gets the paranoid tendencies working very nicely.

Another hour and a half pass quickly by when to our surprise the doctor reemerges from the great halls of reparation, chart in hand, and advises us that the blood is of good quality and that he wishes for an ultrasound but since it is the middle of the night we will be dispatched from these great halls of Aesculapian wonderment to return at our pleasure as early as possible come morning. So we sneak a wheely chair from the next cell, since ours has disappeared sometime in the last six or eight hours, and abscond to the subterranean tunnels to follow the signage to our remote point of entry. The built in hotel is slightly beyond our means so we venture back across the street to the outlying slums of the third arrondissement beyond the vision of cameras and bold security forces. We stumble wearily into Deathrock Apartments to fall quickly asleep with our three elated cats.

We awaken at noon and fix a huge helping of bacon and scrambled eggs and half a loaf of toast to help us enjoy the next bout of our weekend adventure. Back to the subterranean tunnels we descend (we return with our 'borrowed' wheely chair) and knowing our way this time find the adult emergency in less than one hour. The radiograph again misses the switchblade and on revealing that we have an armband we are quickly ushered back into the minor treatment department to watch Transformers and Elmer Fudd.

Since my wife brought popcorn this time we are rather hurt when we are whisked off by a matron with a magic plastic pass which opens doors to corridors too long for anything but mirages to manifest in the distances. The ultrasound people are very efficient and in ten minutes we are awaiting the matron with the magic plastic pass who arrives forty five minutes later to whisk us back through the maze of corridors and elevators. We get to again watch John Travolta dancing up a storm while we finish the popcorn till we are ushered afresh through the big doors to another little curtained cubicle with a lovely bed with levers and buttons to give my dear wife an entertaining midway ride for the next hour and a half.

A new doctor peaks through the curtain to smilingly inform us that we are not pregnant and that he wishes more blood tests for the thickening chart. This time 'right away' is two minutes flat, they must have planned this to throw us off our complacency, and a kind nurse with environment friendly green hair emerges through the curtains with the cart containing the huge assortment of vials and large needles with which she heedlessly proceeds a bloodletting procedure to fill an uncountable number of said vials. We become more sure that the transfusion department is in dire need as 'right away' drags on for hours. I find I can actually bounce my wife in the air if I hit the buttons just so.

At long last the doctor reemerges. He seats himself on the foot of our bed and tells us the amazing tale of albumin which seems to be in short supply in my wife's vials. He is patient and kind and asks about her diet. Yes, we eat a well rounded diet with lots of protein, we assure him. He says her liver is good, her kidneys are good, and this leaves the possibility of digestive problems. He will subscribe a water pill, and we will follow up with our family physician with ongoing blood tests to see if this is an ongoing irregularity or a one time anomaly. We thank him dearly as we strain to contain our tears of having to end our weekend adventure so abruptly.

Prescription in hand we leave the big doors behind with our wheely chair. As we navigate the subterranean tunnels in our halfhearted departure contemplating the remainder of our spoiled weekend outing, we are chased down by no less than five burly security personnel in their clever and slightly overloaded electric armoured vehicle. They have this thing about some paperwork involving our cherished wheely chair. It seems that in the great halls of Asclepius wheely chairs require something they call a requisition, especially the ones which have HSC stamped all over them. A detainment for a requisition, we are overjoyed, we will not have to depart immediately for our Deathrock Apartments, but may continue our adventure in Les Ville des Invalides at the mercy of these blokes who luckily have no sense of humour and are willing to make the worst of our erroneous judgement.

It seems we have two options. We can give up our precious wheely chair no questions asked and remain stranded in this remote and isolated location, or my wife can remain seated with dignity while they transport us to the central detainment centre for wayward souls. My wife and I huddle in conference for several moments and decide being stranded may be our better option since we are quite used to this situation anyhow. Our wheely chair now with a new passenger in tow disappears around the long bend. They never look back.

Since we know this section of the underground well from our previous passages, we know there is a mechanical shop less than a quarter mile ahead. I leave my wife queeningly seated on the concrete and head off to return a half hour later with a creeper, missing one wheel, found in the dumpster outside the shops underground digs. We seat my blissful wife to impeccably balance on the remaining three wheels, and with a short rope I found uselessly holding something or other together we continue our journey. We are not bothered by any more electric armoured vehicles so it is apparent that creepers do not require requisitions.

We leave the third arrondissement of Winterpeg behind as we cross the street to a land much more comfortable and affordable and with more predictable enforcers of moral values, the gang guys. A creeper for two packs of smokes, you got it, man. Our cats are once more elated and curl up contentedly with us as we collapse on our bed.

Friday, October 3, 2014

My demented mind

In my daily wanderings around our neighbourhood I come across homeless people. They remind me of myself when I wandered our continent in my younger days, although I usually found a better place to sleep than a concrete sidewalk, and I never stayed in one place very long. I often sit down for a few minutes and offer them a smoke and communicate in some fashion which is sometimes no more than a smile. After sixty years on this earth I still really have no advice for them or any great desire to give them any. The people who I remember with most fondness are those who had no agenda.

I've come to many conjectures about things. There is no higher power and the universe has no purpose that I can surmise. Humans have evolved as the top predator on our little earth and any belief in rights to be here or control anything are just our survival instincts. Our social values and politicking has the same significance as that of an ant colony. There is no reason anyone has to follow any of our customs or rules other than to survive and live in a way which they are inclined to within the society they are given, if it is on the fringe then so be it.

I do have a great curiosity about things. Science is fascinating stuff. I also surmise that our consciousness works on a level beyond chemicals and electrical switches which gives us the ability to have soul, and a yet to be understood 'other' connection with everything. I love satire, and anyone with an agenda which meanders from my conjectures is a sitting duck, be it Stevie or ... oh well, Stevie. I really hope humans can continue to mellow in their adversarial endeavours and learn what makes our universe tick, and perhaps communicate someday with other life. I still can't see this as a purpose, but am I getting closer?   My purpose - to infinity and beyond, yes, lost in space.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Our fly

We have a fly in the house this fall. She makes it feel so homey. Our cats have something to keep them occupied. It's a win win situation.

Now don't fret. She landed in a sink full of antibacterial dish soap and spent the next three hours cleaning and drying on the window sill so we're quite safe from typhoid, cholera, dysentery, salmonella, anthrax, and tuberculosis. And considering all the house flies we grew up with, we must be immune to these beastly ills anyhow.

My wife was a little upset, but then anyone who tries to tell you to wash white stuff separately in the laundry holds no great influence over our dispositions here anyway. She grew up in a Ukrainian foster home and her mom was in the hospital for a while so her dad made soup one day. Well, this 'such a soup' turned out a little on the salty side and was eventually fed to the neighbours dog after numerous taste tests by all parties involved. I have a feeling this incident slightly jaundiced her predilection towards men's domestic endeavours.

This fly though is making herself quite at home. We think she's a she but we won't know for sure unless she gets a boy friend in for a visit which she seems to be trying to do, flirting on the window screens all the time. And we'd know if it was her on the top or on the bottom by her seductive little eyes. She has the 'look'. We were going to colour her hair just to be sure but my wife was concerned she may be allergic to the florescent paint.

It makes for a real relaxing evening. A good book. Some popcorn. And a friendly little fly on the cupboard door. Life is good.