Thursday, January 29, 2009

Discoveries and Thoughts...

I just discovered that YouTube has music videos on it. Shows you how far behind I am. I don’t normally watch music videos but I’ve found some great stuff… Hey! They have TV shows as well! I sense a night of Iron Chef Japanese or Dead Like Me coming up soon! How about a weekend marathon of the classic Space 1999?

I don’t understand competitive sports. How can anyone possibly take pleasure from making another person lose, especially something as unimportant as a game. To be the best? Isn’t having to be the best just arrogance? By the way, why don’t we take half the money we’re wasting on the Olympics and actually do some good in the country instead of just playing?

Does anyone out there remember the old Max Ferguson radio show? It had a great little intro tune, not like these noisy blaring surprises that today’s shows have. It was just a happy little bit of music to take us into his program. I also think that CBC does a great job at news and information and that is where they should stick. I listen to CBC just about exclusively when I’m driving and more often than not I have to turn it way down or off completely when the (90% crap) music of today comes on. Sigh…. can we not somehow bring back the old days? (As every generation says, I’m sure).

Hey, do you know those little heating wires they put in the rear window of your car? Why can’t they put them in the windshield also? Surely they could put maybe one or two at the top and bottom of the driver's field of vision without making any observation problems. Of course, the people that make all the vehicles probably don't have to scrape their windshields on a daily basis like we do.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Weeks Observations and Events…

Posted Speed Limit = 80
My speed at the time = 90+/-
Estimated speed of the school bus that passed me = 100+/-?
(Between Espanola and Birch Island, know the road? Not a lot of places to pass in that area and no, it wasn’t at the passing lane. He was empty and maybe just late for his pickup but…)

Posted Speed Limit = 70
My speed at the time = 78+/-
Speed of paddy wagon that passed me = 90+?
(No reason for it, not a car on patrol, not an emergency, no lights flashing, just a routine prisoner shuttle. Abuse of power?)

Gas prices creeping back up a cent at a time. Now 87.9 at some stations around here. Why is nobody screaming this time and why is there a 12 cent difference between Espanola and some Manitoulin stations? It’s only a short drive away.

Warmer this week. No shoveling to do. A Hairy Woodpecker showed up to keep company with the 3 or so Downey and the Pileateds will be back soon, had 4 of them last year. We’re now also feeding about 30 Goldfinches, 30 Purple Finches, 15 Chickadees, 10 Pine Siskins, 6 Tree Sparrows, 3 Mourning Doves, 2 Rabbits and a Red Fox with maybe a mouse or two and an ermine thrown in. Getting expensive….

My kids lost a good friend this week.

Sad… wonder what could/should have been said/done. Would it have made a difference?

There is a saying that every time an old person dies a library is lost.

What about a young person... who knows what legends will never be recorded now...

...RIP buddy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Perfect Drive...

What a great day for a drive yesterday. Bright sun but far enough up in the sky that is wasn’t glaring in your eyes, lots of tracks and wildlife out there… just an all around good day.

By the way, did I tell you we have a new visitor around the house? He’s got a regular trail that he follows through the woods and right up onto our deck. Fine with me as long as he gets any mice that are out in our shed. We’ve also got partridge and rabbits around so they’re probably what he’s hoping to dine out on. I wouldn’t mind a nice rabbit stew right now myself, maybe I can make a deal with him!

Photo courtesy of Ben Lawson.


You have a new leader… it happens every 4 or 8 years doesn’t it? Enough of the hype! Can we get to work now? I’m sure President Obama will do a great job but a lot of people have said the same thing about a lot of others also.

I was once fortunate enough to hear General Norman Stormin’ Schwarzkopf speak at a convention in Montreal and one of his comments has always stuck with me. What he said was “When placed in a position of command, take charge…… and do the right thing.” That truly is all there is to it but one thing I’m fairly certain of is that once you reach any top position things begin to look a lot differently and all your well made plans can’t or won’t always be implemented when or how you want them to be. If you’ve ever seen Yes Minister on British television you know what I refer to and it’s a good bet that the President and our own Prime Minister are often handcuffed by procedure and protocol the same as that leading character was.

Anyway, enough of the parties and propaganda! Heck, we enjoy our own elections so much we have one every few months it seems, but you don’t see Canadians going completely nuts and gah gah over our leaders or their coronations… not since P.E.T. anyway. (Yes, I was a Trudeaumaniac but let’s have a little style people, not fanaticism).

How about we all wait and judge this one on the results when they come as THAT is what we elect politicians for and nothing else, results. As always, feel free to disagree with me. You know I like a good discussion and by the way, anyone remember this movie and more specifically, the ending?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's Just a Trick!

So I’m starting to think that this retirement thing is over-rated and a conspiracy. There just seems to be no end of things to do or places to be and people to talk to… and you all know how much I enjoy socializing!

What I’m feeling is that when I was working full time there was always a cut-off point for the day when I could theoretically walk away from the job and declare the few remaining hours my own. It was time to get out of the store and head over to the house to grab a bite to eat, watch TV, read a book or whatever else pleased a person. Now it’s “after hours” all the time and without some kind of clear division in the day I’m slowly getting lost.

I have loads of things to do from updating web sites, answering emails, calling Watkins clients and prospective associates, mailing out catalogues, keeping track of my eBay auctions and yes… housecleaning. Since I’m home full time and Gloria has decided to work a few more years I have started doing the dishes, cooking and baking, tidying the house, washing the occasional window and even cleaning the bathroom! All this is much to her dismay sometimes and I’m sure my work isn’t always up to her standards but it seems to me that after her taking care of me for the past 30+ years it’s time I give something back if I can. (Can't depend on those beer-goggles to last forever can we fellas!)

Anyway, back to topic. I think I’m going to have to treat my day’s activities as more of a job than I have been the past few months. Those 35 years of daily routine bred something into me that just won’t go away and without something that I can treat as “work” there is no break-out to “down time” or time for myself when I can feel relaxed and content with a day well done. Each day just seems to go by the same from dawn to dusk and it's getting monotonous. Does that seem confusing? It does to me… but this is Day 137 of retirement and it’s starting to get to me!

Warm and Happy...

Did I ever tell you about how to keep your extremities warm when you’re out shoveling the driveway at -30 degrees? Pepper… yup, sprinkle pepper in the fingers of your gloves and a good amount down towards the toes of your boots. Sound funny to you? Try it… it works and you’ll be nice and warm and toasty until the job is done.

Of course I highly recommend the Watkins brand of pepper because in my opinion it is the best on the market. Our pepper is granulated, not ground up to a powder like others. This allows it to keep the true flavor that pepper is supposed to have which mostly disappears in a cloud of dust with other brands. You want another little tidbit of information? Watkins pepper (because of being granulated not ground) will not make you sneeze!

(Now comes the shameless advertisement)

I can deliver right away to anywhere on Manitoulin or you can place an order HERE for delivery in a few days. I’d also be happy to mail you a catalogue and add you to my monthly mailing list.

Watkins… we have 140 years of great world award winning products and customer service with a 100% money back guarantee! Interested in getting a minimum 25% discount on Watkins products? Ask me how or go HERE to register for free, no obligation information.

(End of shameless advertisement)