Sign Up Now… Coming This Friday Night… SIN CITY

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(WARNING: Adult (yet Juvenile) material lies ahead…)

AFTER DARK *cue sexy saxophone music* I woke up wondering…

… wondering WHY?

Why is it, when we have all these specialty “How-To” TV networks today… HGTV (gardening and home), Food Network (recipes), Home Shopping Network (buying stuff), YES TV (be your best Christian), DIY Network (do anything) and so many more…

… television that covers most of the important (and often trivial) things that we humans have a keen interest in learning more about:

EXCEPT (another exception carried over from last week’s post).


Sex education in my early school years – or from my parents, are you kidding me? – never covered any “technical” aspects of carnal activity. Even today, I can’t seem to find any community college courses that delve into sensual systems or coital codes… best practices!

It’s crazy, isn’t it? It’s not enough to merely have the tools of the trade… owning a screwdriver doesn’t mean I automatically know how to drive home a screw.

And just because I read THE HITE REPORT 40 years back and belatedly discovered what a clitoris is, do you think I’ve self-actualized and achieved the nub of perfection here?

I don’t think so.

It’s always been learn on the job. Mistake after mistake after mistake wasn’t necessary if I’d only had a proper education.

So many *he blushed and humbly lied through his teeth* have suffered as a result.

Our TV screens are blanketed with society’s tough and messy subjects: blood-curdling violence, F bombs that could annihilate another Hiroshima, movies to wallpaper over Christmas from here to eternity… but… again…

No SIN network.

Doesn’t make sense… I still want to know where babies come from, or at the very least, how to make my very own (sure, even at this late stage… if I’m gonna live to 100, I should have another half dozen kids, yes?)

Maybe an updated DIY version of the Kama Sutra would come in handy for a lot of us who don’t want to break any body parts. The Joy of Sex in full-colour animated format?

I’ve been patient, but I’ve waited long enough. No one has yet jumped on this idea … so… taking it into my own hand…

Ahem… today is YOUR lucky day… you are in on the ground floor… the first to hear this XXXciting news…

Right here, right now, I’m announcing the programming schedule for MY brand new SIN network (and affordable at only $29.95/month!).

Try slipping into one these sensuous instructional SIN Network shows :

F**&ing FAQ’s with Dr. Ruth

TOY STORY – Woody Helps You Find YOUR Buzz

Dippers, Dive Ins, and Dives

Rachael Ray Flays Bobby

LOL (Lady on Lady)

America’s Test Bedroom


Double Pleasure With The Property Brothers

BRIGERTON ABBEY – Daphne and Simon Talk Tools

HOT CondomMints For Your Hot Dog

Barebottom Contessa

Trim Your Bush For Maximum Curb Appeal


If you’re feeling tired of cooking and gardening and building closets… now’s the time to work on your Blue Moves…

Yes, we are the PBS… the Sesame Street of sexual instruction DIY!

So send in your cheque in the next 10 minutes and as my thanks to you… you’ll receive a FREE copy of Ken Burns’ newest video… SEX DURING THE CIVIL WAR… (Is That Your Bayonet Johnny, Or Are You Just Happy To Be Home?)

Close your curtains and join us today in SIN City… when you come here, you’ll stay here!

Cock-A-Doodle-Do! A Productive Morning Has Broken!


Early Bird or Night Owl.

To which camp do you belong?

Are you reading this at 6 a.m. or midnight?

My Mom was a night owl, her RedBull energy kicked into gear at around 11 p.m. That’s Snoresville for me.

Welcome to this Hemingway’istic short post (goal: fewer than 500 words) about productivity and time of day.

Honestly, I love to get sh*t done… my TO-DO list is really a “I-GET-TO-DO-LIST” (IGTDL)...

… it’s like my daily mantra and goody bag blended into a kid’s bouncy castle.

Since my earliest days in then-tiny Stoney Creek, Ontario (yes, I was born in Stoney Creek but grew up in Hamilton without ever changing addresses), my IGTDL list has always been front-loaded…

… that is, if it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen in the dawn’ish early hours of any day… writing, garden or construction projects, exercise, food prep, bowel movements, reading, bowel movements and reading combined… my eyes are at their energetically-widest aperture in bright a.m. sunshine. Holy Cock-a-doodle-do!

I have to remember that I’m fortunate to rise and enjoy a productive day with good health and financial stability, and a 2nd vaccine prick hopefully floating its microscopic immune magic in my veins.

Waiting for a brilliant burst of energy or some mind-blowing idea?

Hell no. Forget it… real life means real effort, something I should have learned before my first day of kindergarten instead of “why I shouldn’t trip little girls intentionally as a flirty and surefire pick-up approach“.

Productivity may be in the eye of the beholder, but my keenest observation over many years is that productive inspiration (like learning) is a verb and not a noun…. getting things done is best summed up by NIKE… JUST DO IT! Take a nibble and soon the whole muffin is gone…

At the beginning here, I waxed enthusiastically about my early-morning productivity rule… but now I’ll slam into reverse a wee bit because there’s an exception… yup, there’s ALWAYS an exception…

… like any language we learn, there are exceptions to rules, and productivity in my world is no exception to the exception rule *please stop saying exception Larry*…

Music, whether playing or writing is that exception.

Music as a creative force is a nighttime, darkness dweller. For unknown reasons, the Muses fear the daylight hours, and deeper emotions are best accessed in the quiet stillness of night.

OK, I mentioned real effort, and now I’ll leave you with one more wee golden nugget of Larry Wisdom… it’s a one-word mantra we should all adopt – FOCUS … multi-tasking effectively is a myth.

If you want something done, if you wish to accomplish something truly worthwhile, something important… drill in and do it… with singleminded focus… with focus comes flow…

OR … you could simply pass your numbered days sipping a glass of scotch on the ship of La Vida Suave.

That’s it…

WHEW! 493 Words (sure, I’ll wait while you count)… thanks Mr. Hemingway.

Now, what’s next on your IGTDL?

A Man With A Shrug…


Yes, I shrug… maybe I’m the wrong colour…

My last name should be Grey, not Green.

I see grey everywhere in a world that is often painted and presented to me in binary form… yes or no… black or white.

I change my mind at almost every corner.

You could call me Mr. Wishy-Washy, but you know, I take this as a point of pride.

I’d even humbly suggest it’s a sign of later-life wisdom.

In my late teens and early twenties, my favourite book was Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, a book promoting Rand’s political philosophy of individualism. I bought her whole storyline of Darwinian survival of the strongest individual, screw the rest of the weak world. I was strong. I was invincible. I was just like Helen Reddy, minus woman parts!

OK, I lied… my favourite “read” was actually A Man with a Maid, an early Victorian porno version of 50 Shades of Grey.

For a young dude it was erotically titillating with the use of shackles and seductive feathers in a man’s quest to rape women, although it was never laid out as rape; girls really just needed an education in how their bodies could be pleasured.

Seen exclusively through a man’s eyes, women in this tale came around to loving him and embracing their hidden sexual soul once they learned the charming and sensuous ways of his lust. *Nope, sorry fella, it’s just rape*

Today, neither Atlas Shrugged, nor A Man with a Maid find an exalted place on my book reading list. They’re in my remainder bin because…

I’ve changed.

I almost shrug in embarrassment to think that I enjoyed either novel, or welcomed things into my head that I now see as repugnant.

But, along the unending road to understanding, compassion, and seeing the world through the eyes of others, I can take some satisfaction in knowing that maybe, just maybe, I’m smart enough and flexible enough to change my opinion, any opinion, based on new insights or facts brought to my attention.

At times the metamorphosis I undergo is just so GD clear and obvious, while at other times it happens with me flailing on the floor, kicking and screaming. Whichever way it occurs doesn’t really matter so long as the change takes place.

Whether its Rand’s individualism, A Man With A Maid’s rape culture, drug laws, or LGBTQA+ rights, … whether it’s politics or philosophy, science or climate change, human rights or economics, or anything else you might name, the critically important point I aim for is to keep an openness to ideas.

An openness to saying… I think I’m right, but I might not be; I need to consider the issue from many angles.

A wide-eyed openness to scrutinize and question, evaluate and internally debate…continually learn… it’s too easy and lazy and bullheaded to merely rationalize with this is what I’ve always believed, or this is what my parents or teachers or clergy taught me.

And of course, to be fair, it’s equally important to recognize, after reflecting as calmly as a Hindu cow, when a change truly isn’t necessary or desirable when the only good reason is… because… it just is.

Because is kindergarten thinking.

Sure, I’m Mr. Wishy-Washy.

I even get frustrated with myself at times because of my vision of “greyness” in so much of the world.

Oh well…*shrug*… sucks to be ME!! Or does it?

Once Upon A Bromance

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Like Butch and Sundance, I’m in a Bromance.

My man and I have an especially unusual bromantic connection that spans international borders…

… by language, religion, ethnicity, age, cultural traditions… just about everything about us is, or was, different.

Although we’ve “been together” now for almost 4 years – getting together a couple of times a week – over the past year and a half we’ve spent even more time together than previously.

Depending on the rules of the COVID day, we’ve shared cups of steaming coffee or tea via ZOOM or at the local college or at 6 a.m. in a Tim Hortons’ coffeeshop, me and my Syrian bro (student/friend)…

… to study with intent for the Canadian Citizenship test.

We read and discuss, laugh and tease, he’ll go off topic like he did yesterday with an excited story about his daughter winning a new bicycle in a school contest, or even sometimes grousing over our problems.

This gentle man and his wife (and 5 beautiful, enthusiastic young kids) are exiled refugees that have been living in Canada for close to 6 years.

Each day they become just a tiny bit more “Canadian”… no, not yet by law or official decree, but for sure by custom and language.

I can perceive this change intently when he speaks in idioms to me: “Oh Larry, you’re Over The Hill!”, or, “Are you pulling my leg?“, or, when he casually orders a “double-double” now at Tim Hortons.

He’s not the only one who’s changed… yup, he’s changed me too.

I greet him each time we meet, As-salamu alaykum… (Peace be upon you)… my understanding and knowledge of Syria, the Middle East, Arabic language, and the Muslim faith have all bloomed too.

In much the same way that I learn about myself by writing these blog posts, I find that I learn about myself by working and chatting with a man who has been tossed across the globe to live in my country, my culture, so that his family can be safe from bombs and bullets and torture.

Never in his wildest dreams did he see a life in largely white-skinned, Christian-dominated, English-speaking North America as part of his future.

Never in my wildest dreams did I envision spending hundreds of hours explaining what it means to be Canadian to a young, Arabic-speaking, brown-skinned Muslim man.

He looks to me for learning, cultural understanding, and even basic knowledge that eluded him in his homeland. I shook my head in disbelief when I realized he had no idea there was an ocean (what’s an ocean?) separating Syria from Canada.

It’s clear that he’s had an awakening… BIG TIME!

I can tell because… long ago… I had one too.

My awakening came over 40 years ago when I left my hometown of Hamilton.

My eyes were opened by seeing different geographies and histories, architectures, ideologies and politics, and and and… I was wearing translucent blinders (and still am no doubt) because I had never had the opportunity to see and experience what was behind other doors.

If you spend your whole life only seeing the colour green, red has no meaning.

These new experiences were a little like a hallucinogenic LSD trip. Colours and textures were changing, my understanding rose bit by bit. The light rainbow had changed and would never go back to where it was… ever.

Today I know to actively look for other “colours” in the world.

I see this same vision of new light and colours in my Syrian friend. It’s scary and exciting for him. I get it.

OK, back to where we began this post.

What is it to be Canadian?

For those who’ve not studied or seen a citizenship test (Canadian or otherwise)… it ain’t a walk in the park for a native-born Canadian, a university graduate from another country… and certainly not an elementary-schooled Syrian.

Citizenship isn’t handed out like pre-wrapped candies at the door on Halloween.

One “earns” citizenship by working hard to understand the history and culture of this young country, this Canuck land painted one stroke at a time with thousands of years of indigenous history and millions of immigrant stories.

I have my fingers crossed that my young “bromantic” partner and his family will soon wave the Maple Leaf as new Canadians and become sewn into this quilt of many colours.

Looking Towards A New Me… When I’m 64!


Jim Ferguson is an old and very good friend of mine (and the MAN ON THE FRINGE).

For a second time this year, I’ve asked Jim if he would consider contributing a guest post and he has generously taken me up on this.

I always enjoy Jim’s insights as he possesses an extraordinary vision into the combination of science, religion, and human compassion. These can be challenging subjects to mix and marry, but Jim has a talent for bridging the gaps.

Today, Jim is striking into a lighter and perhaps… more fun arena – his upcoming “retirement”. I’ll let him tell you his story:

The Man Behind the Curtain aka Man On The Fringe – Sir Lawrence Green – has once again asked me to contribute a guest blog focusing on the theme of my impending retirement from a medical career spanning the better part of 44-years.

It all started in Canada’s Arctic region, Yellowknife, NWT, in 1977 when I trained as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and then worked with Larry at Stanton Yellowknife Hospital until spring, 1979.

I then married an American girl and was off to medical school in the States a decade later, graduating as a Physician Associate and getting a Master’s degree in Public Health and completing a fellowship in Integrative Medicine along the way. The rest, as they say, is history.

As I approach my retirement, it really is all about history-where it all started and the journey to where this phase of my life will conclude.

It seems that this journey has passed in the twinkling of an eye to the point where I feel a bit numb and dizzy as I view the course of the past 44-years…sort of like a retirement version of benign positional vertigo.

As I have been reflecting on this major life-change I have found myself defining my retirement by some of the major retirement songs of our era. I’ve been thinking of some of these songs and whether any of these might be apropos as I board the retirement ship to “sail off into my golden years”. 

Here are a few examples and some musings. Maybe those of you reading this who are retired will find some common threads.

Glue your dentures in and make sure the Depends are nice and snug…here we go:

– Johnny Paycheck is known for the song Take This Job And Shove It. The opening refrain is recognizable to many- “Take this job and shove it, I aint workin’ here no more”.

While I love the feistiness of the song, I would have to say that this song doesn’t reflect my attitude towards my work or my employer as I wrap up my career as a family medicine provider.

I entered medicine seeing it as a vocation or even a calling. I love being of service to others and what better career path to follow than medicine where you work with people at their most vulnerable i.e., when they are ill.

I have loved my work for that reason and have had great employers over the years whether in Yellowknife in the early days, in remote Alaskan villages during the middle of my career, as a public health officer, and finally for Providence Medical Group here in Oregon.

While I am retiring from my job with the medical group, I am not retiring from medicine completely. I will seek ways to recreate myself in service to others using my medical knowledge and talents and I look forward to those opportunities.

– The Beatles had a hit with Sir Paul McCartney’s light and fluffy When I’m 64.

While I tend to favour Lennon’s more gritty rock and roll sound, this particular “bubble gum” attempt at a rock tune strikes a retirement chord.

As it turns out I will turn 64 in December a month or so after I pack it in at my current place of employ. This song has some definite influence on my retirement.

I’ve long lost much of my hair, I’ve been handy (thanks to Red Green who has told millions of men: “If women don’t find you handsome, at least let them find you handy“), I’ve spent more hours than I can count in the garden on my 5.4-acre farm in Oregon.

Bottom Line regarding this song: been there…done most of that!! I guess I could throw this CD in the player as I walk out the door at work for the final time and it would seem appropriate.

– If anyone is expecting me to live up to the message in Steppenwolf’s Born to be Wild, well you have another thing coming.

My version of wild these days is to down a bottle of Geritol, chase it with a Fleets Enema, and hit the hay by 8 PM.

OK… maybe I’m not that far gone BUT the wild days are behind me. Larry can attest to the fact that our Yellowknife days were about as wild as they come- who else here can chug a Molson Canadian standing on their head in under a minute…😊

Those days are long gone and while retirement will be nothing like the days of yore, they will be filled with opportunities to be of service to my community and I do welcome the change from having a set schedule day in/day out and being more flexible in determining what I invest my time in.

I do have hobbies that I will pursue. I still enjoy watching my beloved Habs (Montreal Canadiens hockey team) when I can. I also enjoy my mandolin and playing music. I love being outdoors and hiking and running. There will be lots to keep me busy as I move forward.

– As I have alluded in this blog post, I see a beginning in the end.

As one career ends another exciting phase of life begins. What better song to portray this than We’ve Only Just Begun by The Carpenters featuring the silky-smooth voice of Karen Carpenter.

Don’t tell Larry that I told you this BUT he and I would occasionally sprawl out on the two chesterfields in his apartment in Yellowknife and semi-doze off listening to Karen and Richard performing their magic.

That song is a great segue towards retirement. As one door closes another opens, as one window closes, another window opens, etc. You get the point…Insert your own cliché here:___________________.

Karen sings “so many roads to choose, we’ll start out walkin’ and learn to run…sharing horizons that are new to us…” A great inspiration as I head into the unknown.

I am also aware that maybe I’ve peeved off a few folks in my work life along the way, so I am a firm believer in the adage that if you are being run out of town, get in front of the crowd, and make it look like a parade…😊 That’s my plan on my last day. It’s a win-win for me.

– I will leave you with one last song that I have always loved…. Five for Fighting’s 100 Years.

It is a touching tune of the passage of the years from the age of 15 to 99. Go listen to it…you’ll recognize the song when you hear it.

I can especially appreciate the verse where he sings: “Half time goes by… Suddenly you’re wise…Another blink of an eye…Sixty-seven is gone…The sun is getting high…We’re moving on.” Man ‘o man…how true it is.

Where have the years gone? I feel as though I am there now. Two-thirds of my life has flashed by and yet I am thrilled at the thought of what is to come and look forward to the great adventures that await.

Well…if you are near retirement or have already moved beyond that point in life, what songs best describe your retirement journey? Let’s see them in the comment section below.


Jim Ferguson