Home

8 Sexy, Sporty Ways To Become a COVID MILLIONAIRE!

2 Comments

So I had just finished skinny dipping at my local public swimming pool.

There were maybe a half dozen others – also uncovered– doing exactly the same… breast stroke, freestyle, backstroke… all the swim strokes… Laps done.

I pulled myself from the warm water up onto the pool deck, grabbed my towel and dried myself a bit, and then demurely slipped back into my covering… pulling one strap over one ear, then slowly sliding the other strap into place, ensuring both cheeks were fully covered… black, sleek and elegant.

Modesty restored. Ah, that’s better… my face mask firmly and securely in place.

And I realized as I trundled cautiously across the grey, slippery tiles back to the changeroom, that I was “enjoying” a sensation such as women have been having for ages.

My next thought – as a capitalistic, investing kinda guy – I pondered as to why Victoria’s Secret and Maidenform and Chantelle and Dolce and Gabbana and Playtex, hadn’t jumped enthusiastically onto this bandwagon and expanded their potential audience.

For 2 viral years now they’ve merely expended valuable time and left a bazillion dollars unclaimed.

Sure, there is some semblance of “style” in masks out there. But real function and “runway”-worthy fashion is sadly lacking.

What a foolish oversight I said to myself as my heaving cheeks blushed lightly beneath my pleated, yet masculine mask.

Let’s think about this for a minute.

A product with two straps that wrap around a body part to securely contain and accentuate other body parts and also perform a decorative and yes, often sexy role, simultaneously?

BRAS!

Women spend countless dollars/pounds/euros etc on every form and format of brassiere throughout their lives.

Whole stores line our malls and departments-within-department-stores selling one product to one half of the population.

Stretching the product line into face masks is a ridiculously simple line extension. As my Brit friends would say: It’s brilliant!

Sexy push-up bras, strapless bras, full-figure support bras, sports bras, racerback bras, lacy bras, bralets?

All of these can be reconfigured to the facial market for women, men, and tweens, adolescents and teenagers alike. Matchee matchee bralet facelet!

And where the bra market begins with training bras for the young tween, face masks can even be sold aplenty to the beginner baby and toddler training-mask market.

COVID has broadened the selling-floor and scope to cover every living adult and child across the globe.

There are countless “idea sex” directions this escapade can take, but today I’ll pass on just 8 helpful little ideas I’d suggest for the BIGGEES in undergarment wear to unveil in their spring catalogues’ Face Mask lineup:

  1. Plunging noselines for office parties and dramatic red-carpet events… the J-Lo line.
  2. UnderArmor and Nike padded masks to enhance facial musculature of those in gyms and Cross-Fit Hot Boxes… the Schwartznegger line.
  3. Push-up masks for the older crowd (like me) with slumping cheeks and burgeoning jowlsthe Vintage Betty White/George Burns line.
  4. HIIT training masks with face-hugging support to keep facial-jiggling under control the Pamela Anderson Control line
  5. Bikini-style masks for beach and travel experiences… an upper for the nose area with a separate bottom for the mouth… trés chic! the Pamela Anderson Out-of-Control line.
  6. Back or front fastening masks for a bit of variety, and male “unhooking” challenges when moving in for that first kissthe Notebook line.
  7. Pullover masks for athletic eventsthe Usain Bolt/Simone Biles line.
  8. Uplift masks… Similar to the elders’ push-up mask (#3 above), a younger version for those looking for a sexy Nordic uplift to cheeks… the Liv Ullman/Daniel Craig line.

I’m back from the pool now. And what feels better when I return home than to slip off those spaghetti straps digging in behind my ears… ah, to let my cheeks settle and relax and breathe once more…

OK… I’m ready to receive royalty cheques and become a MASK MILLIONAIRE!

More good news. I’ve made my functional purchase and won’t be seen “skinny dipping” again anytime soon. You’re welcome!

IF I FORGET TO SAY GOODBYE – The Song

2 Comments

Remember that great earworm CUPS song (“When I’m Gone”) performed by Anna Kendrick in the movie Pitch Perfect?

.

.

Some co-workers and myself sang and performed a fun, modified version of the CUPS song as a retirement goodbye send-off to a pair of colleagues back in 2013.

“Cups” actually originated from a 1931 song “When I’m Gone” by the Carter Family (written by A.P. Carter)

The catchy hook of the song goes like this:

When I’m gone
When I’m gone
You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone
You’re gonna miss me by my hair
You’re gonna miss me everywhere, oh
You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone

Now how about… actor Keanu Reeves being interviewed by Stephen Colbert in 2019.

The pair bantered back and forth until Colbert earnestly asked Reeves… What do you think happens when we die, Keanu Reeves?”

I know that the ones who love us will miss us.”

Simple words and yet it shows us the power of subtlety.

In the last month our household has been hit with the news of 3 deaths of relatives…. so…

Each of these things I’m talking about above bring me around to my thought today…

Here’s a little secret I’ll share with you:

For sure, I fear dying… but even more, I fear dying without being able to say goodbye to my loved ones.

My Mom collapsed and died with acute suddenness on the driveway outside our home… there was no goodbye. This sticks with me like the shadow to my body.

It stresses me that my kids/grandkids might get that sudden, startling, late night phone call relaying my “unexpected” demise.

I’m holding out, holding on, for at least a short, cognitive, slice of time at my ending; a day or week when I can utter my final love words, and of course great last words of “Silly Larry” earthbound wisdom, to those who’ve: lived with me, put up with me, laughed and hugged and cried with me, worked and played with me, been bored with me… you know, the whole panoply of “with” stuff.

Yup, I know these are the things you should say to the ones you love every day, you’re right. Yup, so right.

But like the “beginning at birth” idea that boys don’t cry, sharing deep inner emotions and thoughts with others is very difficult… the words get stuck between my brain and my tongue.

And so, I’ll at least talk about this in verse and song.

Today I’ll share the verses with you, and hopefully someday soon, I’ll have a musical bed to lay the words over and roll them past you again.

IF I FORGET TO SAY GOODBYE

by Larry Green

Years and years from now

you’ll hear yourself say something strange

maybe wonder where the words came from

like when you find that long lost name

the glue peels away, the memory shines clear

the instant you feel me near

pre-CHORUS

skipping ropes, summer hikes

shooting hoops and riding bikes

CHORUS

If I forget to say goodbye

excuse my lapse and find a smile

I won’t melt away that fast

because I’ll always be inside you

No you can’t lose me oh so easily

even if I forget to say goodbye

……….

Last week when you were born

I was younger than you are now

it was certain life would go on forever

but life’s logic was a magic paint

whose door has felt the wind and sun

swinging closed and growing faint

pre-CHORUS

toboggan runs, Sunoka waves

ballet shoes and trebuchets 

CHORUS

If I forget to say goodbye

excuse my lapse and find a smile

I won’t melt away that fast

because I’ll always be inside you 

No you can’t lose me oh so easily

even if I forget to say goodbye

……….

I’ll set down my guitar

Draw in my last breath 

and blow away like yellowed newsprint

we’ll share a blueprint etched forever

in the starry sky together

even if I forget to say goodbye

A Pinch of Galloping Gourmet, A Cup of Anthony Bourdain…

5 Comments

Welcome to another “change-of-scenery” guest post from my young-old friend Jim Ferguson.

This time out, James is casting his “Oregon eye” on some very interesting cuisinery experiences he’s had the rare opportunity – and gustatory courage – to try out.

Feel free to share back with Jim some of your more intriguing food experiences.

So now friends, without further delay… here’s Jim.

……………..

Once again, Sir Lawrence – has asked me for a guest blog contribution and as usual I am happy to bail out my old friend and give his brain a rest for a week or so.

It is timely too because I have been pondering my grandmother of late and that has opened the door to some ponderings on eating etiquette and food experiences.

How in the heck do you make that leap you might ask?

Well, you are just going to have to read on for the answer. I suspect you will read on because who doesn’t enjoy a good discussion about FOOD, n’est-ce pas!!!

Like many children, I was a bit of a messy eater. Okay! I was more like the Muppets character Cookie Monster devouring his cookies when it came to my childhood eating habits.

My poor mother was a saint for having to clean up after my older brother and me after meals.

My father was oft heard to say “Geez…were you born in a pig sty?” In fact, I heard that so often in my childhood that the whole stork theory ranked second behind the pig sty theory as to where babies came from. I was convinced that just maybe I DID emerge from a pig sty!

I guess it is reasonable to assume that most babies and toddlers are a bit messy when it comes to the finer points of eating. Back then, it wasn’t about taste but more about quantity and how fast you could shovel in the food – pure unadulterated gluttony!

As I grew older my dear Scottish grandmother contributed her sage advice towards refining my eating etiquette as only Scottish grandmothers can.

Wee youngster Jim and Grandmother Nina in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Nina, as we called her, was a stout Scot who made her way across the Atlantic to marry my granddad in the late 1920s. Nina arrived in Quebec City and shortly after was married and suddenly she found herself pioneering in the Lac St. Jean region of Quebec.

She always had a bit of an “edge” to her and maybe this was born of her harsh life in the Quebec wilderness. I could get a smile from her from time to time but they were few and far between.

She was prim and proper and an imposing figure to this wee lad. Nary a hair was ever out of place.

She and granddad would occasionally visit us when I was growing up in Nova Scotia.

I have vivid memories of Nina telling to get my elbows off the table otherwise there could be profound social repercussions. When Nina spoke-I tended to listen!

I could not imagine what social repercussions were so important that I had to get my elbows off the table, but my grandma set me straight. I can still hear her words of wisdom saying to me in her Scottish brogue “Awe Jimmy, how do you ever expect to have supper with the Queen if you keep putting your elbows on the table?

Queen Elizabeth had been making trips to Canada regularly back in the 1960s. In fact, she came through Halifax-Dartmouth area in Nova Scotia where I spent my younger years and had been taught the “wrist-wrist, elbow-elbow” wave that was appropriate for Her Majesty.

However, never once did I for a moment imagine that HRH was going to stop by 27 Penhorn Drive in Dartmouth to invite me for supper.

That wasn’t on my radar and, in fact, if she had stopped by, I suspect I would have run in the opposite direction screaming (think Kevin McAllister from the Christmas classic “Home Alone” running with flailing arms, screaming up the stairs, hiding under his parents bed…yup….that probably would have been me).

Now, if HRH had been a Montreal Canadiens hockey fan and brought my favourite player – Yvan Cournoyer – with her, well that would have been a different story all-together…

Well… I am now 64-years old and still no supper date with the royals on the horizon. My life is incomplete.

Still… I have learned other food pearls over the course of my lifetime as, no doubt, you have too.

I suspect Larry has more to share on this theme as he and Maureen are much more worldly-wise than I with their globetrotting over the past few decades. I did, however, learn a few choice pearls along the way besides keeping my elbows off the table.

During our Yellowknife days, Larry was quite the chef.

I recall him “relishing” (pun intended) in knowing his way around the kitchen (why else would Maureen ever have married the lad from Hamilton, right?) and in fact I was on the receiving end of his cooking talents and can attest to the fact that Chef Boyardee has nothing on Larry.

For my part, I learned how to make stew in the Arctic town, Yellowknife, in the mid-1970s.

I was living with a First Nations family at the time. Roy was Ojibwe First Nations, and Rosa, Dogrib First Nations, from a village just down Great Slave Lake from Yellowknife.

They had 4 kids but still opened their home and hearts for me to stay with them for several months.

Roy and Rosa taught me how to make a great stew and that very few ingredients were off limits.

I was never a fan of stew and so my first inclination was to politely decline the offer, but I’m glad that I allowed myself to experience Roy and Rosa’s stew. There were lots of vegetables and spices, and of course gently-browned beef tender to the bite. It really was delectable.

We were all part of the Yellowknife Baha’i community and the group used to host a unique event called the “caribou unity stew”.

The Baha’i community of Yellowknife, always looking for ways to bring people together, would host caribou unity stews 3-4 times annually where we would rent a public hall with a kitchen facility and invite as many people to come as possible with the idea that everyone had to bring something to add to the stew pot.

The Baha’is provided the caribou and everyone else brought the other ingredients: potatoes, celery, corn, rice, carrots, etc.

It was lots of fun and I have from time to time held similar events over the years but never quite replicating those fantastic Yellowknife events.

It was always a mystery what would end up in the stew because one never knew what special ingredient guests would bring. The stews were delicious and during the winter months the meat was freshly harvested and cooked to perfection. If you recall the Galloping Gourmet – Graham Kerr – savouring every morsel of his creation, well, you get the picture…

It was also in Yellowknife that I was exposed to my version of poutine.

I was living on very little money and would go into the old Yellowknife Inn and amble along the cafeteria line and order a pop and a plate of fries with brown gravy and cheese to which I would add ketchup. I think that experience not only added a few pounds to my girth but tested my gut constitution to the max… All-in-all, my Yellowknife days were filled with food experimentation opportunities.

A number of years later, in the mid-1990s, I spent 2 months in the Republic of Guyana in South America helping with a rural health project.

Guyana has a large segment of the population from India living in the capital city of Georgetown.

I fell in love with many of the traditional foods and spices from India. Still, to this day, just the thought of a lamb vindaloo meal starts my mouth to watering. It was also the first time I saw people plunge their hands into food with gusto.

That was a huge “No No” in my family.

I was taught to NEVER launch hands first into food but in Guyana I overcame this family norm and “dove right in”. As the old saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. Well, in Guyana, I did as the Guyanese did.

When I left the big city of Georgetown to go to the remote Rupununi region to participate in the health project, I learned about eating food right out of the fire – mostly freshly harvested chicken, beef, pork, or fish. If you wanted to eat, you had to eat simply. Rice was the staple with every meal with some meat or other and lots of spices.

Later on, in Alaska, I learned to sample foods that were way off my food radar.

There are traditional foods consumed by the Eskimo peoples of NorthWest Alaska (they refer to themselves as Eskimo so I will use that term).

These foods included “black meat”, seal oil, whale blubber (muktuk), whale meat, seal, walrus meat and blubber, and exotic local bird (murre) eggs, to name but a few.

As Larry will attest, I am sure, when in a different culture, if someone offers you food you humbly accept with gratitude (at least for a taste). Well… in Alaska, I was offered all the above and sampled it all on more than one occasion.

Much of the harvested food was dipped in seal oil. Seal oil was such a staple of the Eskimo culture that it was not unusual to smell the oil emanating from the skin pores of the people who consumed this on a regular basis.

For someone who was not a regular consumer of the traditional Eskimo diet, I learned that many of these foods were an acquired taste, especially the “black meat” which was mainly seal, walrus, or reindeer meat left to dry on a rack for a week or longer until blackened and then eaten with seal oil. The meat was often tough to chew – like eating jerky – but the seal oil helped soften it up a bit.

Muktuk was made more palatable by dipping it in teriyaki sauce, a trick I learned from the locals. It was rubbery in texture. Sushi lovers would have a field day with much of the traditional cuisine.

My first experience cooking murre eggs was quite a shock.

The murre lay their eggs in the cliffs near the village and these are collected at great risk by the village folk. I was given the large eggs regularly.

I was told not to fry them like a regular egg, but… I had forgotten this important advice. I threw on some bacon and fried up an egg (they are huge) and soon discovered it was just like eating fish! Surprise! Surprise! The murre survive by eating fish so why would I think the eggs would taste otherwise? If you boil the eggs, they taste less fishy. Lesson learned.

Today, here I am at 64-years old, retired, and no longer with elbows on the table.

I still sit by the phone waiting for the Queen to call me for our long overdue supper date.

COVID-19 has curtailed any international travel plans thus limiting my exposure to new and exciting gustatory opportunities.

I am, however, left with wonderful memories of what has been.

I also know that as a dual citizen of Canada and the United States, I can, at least, plan a trip to Summerland, BC one of these years (Covid permitting) for a home-cooked meal from the kitchen of the “musical gourmet” – Sir Lawrence – in return for an evening of mandolin and guitar playing and lots of singing.

Now I wait for Larry’s call – let’s just hope he isn’t in league with the Queen.

Peace, Jim

The Wondrous Beauty of Being AND Doing

Leave a comment

I get confused when I hear the expression, “we’re human beings, not human doings.

I like to think of myself as BOTH a noun AND a verb… yes, this one thing I can multitask in a focused way!

You got it… I’m part sloth, part puma…. grrrrrr….

Here’s how I maintain myself as a human being and a human doing…

My desktop – the real physical one I can touch and spill my latte all over – is filled with sheets of foolscap and lined paper pads … papers that run top-to-bottom and side-to-side with my daily scribbled LISTS!

Without lists, without a calendar, without the morning sunrise… I’m solely a human being… you just might as well take me to my grandson’s daycare each morning and show me which toys to play with because I will have ABSOLUTELY NO Direction.

None, nada, zilch… you catch my drift? I get “LISTLESS”.

…………………

Your days are numbered. Use them to throw open the windows of your soul to the sun. If you do not, the sun will soon set, and you with it.

~Marcus Aurelius, Stoic philosopher

…………………

The three greatest hallmarks I possess (*one of which used to be my hair*) are

  • 1. my calendar
  • 2. my lists, and
  • 3. a slave-like devotion to “Own The Morning”… getting the most important things done early in the day.

I get it. I understand that we don’t want to become automatons enslaved to “do do do“, but I also understand that I don’t want to imprison myself in a philosophy of “idleness, indolence and inertia“.

     (Aside: Pet Peeve: It drives me nuts when I see men (it's almost always XY chromosome creatures) who think that earning a living ie. being the hunky breadwinner, is sufficient excuse to collapse on a couch after a workday. 
     Meanwhile, the (usually) woman partner: works, cleans house, grocery shops, prepares meals, looks after children.
     Any relationship where one partner believes that doing only 20% of the daily work involved is equitable, is stuck in Slave-holder Plantation-Master mode. Beware the Underground Railroad!  

OK, where was I?

Right. As part human doing, I’m not advocating for non-stop busy work or a compulsive need to be constantly accomplishing stuff… yes, rest and recovery are important. My human being part needs regular refreshing.

But a life well-lived, in my books, is one where we experience things directly, by doing… we learn, we try out all kinds of things both easy and difficult, we meditate and sweat, we love and hate, we laugh and cry, we eat and fast … doing and experiencing= invigoration.

…it’s part of the ancient stoic philosophy of overall self-improvement blended with healthy balance.

It’s no accident that my daily practice of making lists, checking my calendar, and owning the morning, allows me to revert to a partially relaxed and satisfied form of slothdom later in the day. However, if you happen to flip the day on its head and Own The Night, well, good on you too!

When life’s critical doohickeys are done, my head becomes clear and unbothered, my body trained and physically tested, my spirit able to enjoy and absorb.

I’m an ordinary Tale of Two Humans and that’s a wondrously wonderful thing.

Thou Shalt Be Fiscally Fit cuz Money Matters…

4 Comments

In my family home growing up, it was forbidden to talk about age, sex… or MONEY…. the never-to-be-discussed Green family Holy Trinity. Keep your elbows off the table Larry and only bring up money if it involves the Tooth Fairy!

Case in point with only a little exaggeration: I probably didn’t know how old my parents were until I read their obituaries.

And I wouldn’t DARE start on the subject of carnal sex if I wanted to have supper at the dinner table ever again. There was no hot sauce or hot talk at our WASP table.

How much money you earned? how much money you had? how much something cost?… yup, all verboten territory.

To be fair, as I get further along the chronological age spectrum, I understand why many of these items were off the socially acceptable chat-list.

Good manners and sensitivity to others tell us that hurt and anger are the oft-unintended result.

However… over the last almost 10 years and with some discretion, this Man On The Fringe has often discussed money matters in posts here, typically at the end of each year.

I have a keen interest in stock market investing and growing assets in (y)our personal Net Worth column.

You do have a Net Worth sheet, yes?

Failure to measure your wealth and resources is tantamount to driving on an icy BC mountain pass in the dark with no snow tires. How do you know where you are and where you’re going? Fail to measure at your own peril.

Money management, saving and investing are critically important to your present daily life and future. It shouldn’t be about greed or conspicuous consumption (hmmmm, that sounds like me at mealtime!)… no… it’s all about financial freedom and flexibility.

Each year-end I tally up my own investment returns and assess where I made my best decisions, and also where my dreaded blunders occurred.

I fling open the curtains and give my victories and gaffes equal opportunity of expression.

So, first up… my investment mea culpa BLUNDERS x 3 (or, using the term I utilized 3 years back – my FUCKedUPEDNESSes):

1. PINTEREST- I purchased shares of Pinterest foolishly believing that this technology sharing company was on the cusp of greatness with the “in” crowds of kids and influencers. It also has strong underlying financial strength. As the year went on I learned that PINTEREST is more and more associated with old time tech a là AOL, BLOCKBUSTER, ALTAVISTA, or BLACKBERRY. Today, Instagram and TikTok rule the roost in this area with Pinterest catching crumbs at the rear.

2. H&R Real Estate Investment Trust – there was just one bad management decision after another for this Canadian mall and office tower owner. Owning malls is looking more and more like investing in buggy whip makers… Luddites beware!

3. ARK Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) – this ETF that buys into “Disruptive Innovation” was itself disrupted by downwards valuation of high tech companies within their portfolios such as TESLA, and TELEDOC. This company should do well in years to come but for 2021 it stank the joint out.

And now, some winners:

The good decisions I made in 2021 came through names such as APPLE, CVS Pharmacies, Canadian Banks, Whirlpool, and A&W. Great companies with great results. A good mantra for 2000’s investing? Never bet against APPLE.

My overarching investment goal has always been an average return of 15% annually, when combining my RRSP (Canadian Retirement funds), TFSA (tax free savings), and my company pension plan.

Over the past 5 years I’ve managed only mediocre results against my target returns… 2017… +8.0%, 2018… -1.8%, 2019… +24.6%, 2020… +5.0%. And finally, this past year 2021… +16.8%.

That’s only a 10.5% average annual return (I have slightly better results over 10 and 20 years, but not by much)… not exactly my target.

I believe my biggest investing mistakes have come from a compulsion to sell too early. If I see a 20% jump in share price I go all starry-eyed and sell off to “capture” profit NOW. When I review these moves later I so often see continued upward movement in a quality stock…

My big hairy resolution for investing in 2022 will need to mean sitting on my hands when I want to hit the SELL button prematurely… no more Selling Interruptus.

OK, I’ve done lots of research heading into 2022.

Just where does my crystal ball take me for quality investments at reasonable prices that can make me and maybe YOU some decent returns?

Here’s my short-list, recognizing that quality companies don’t always have a speedy payoff. Good investing is a big test of our patience.

  • Canadian companies: A&W, Algonquin Power, Manulife Financial, Leons Furniture, Shopify (this is higher risk, but great prospects longer term)
  • US-based companies: AT&T, Bristol Myers Squibb, Lennar Homes, Abbvie, Amazon, Walgreens

So friends… Happy New Year to you as we tread well past the 20% mark of another century (wasn’t Y2K only a year or two back?)

I wish you a year of great wealth… in your health portfolio, your spiritual portfolio, and… in your money portfolio.

And so long as you keep your elbows off the table, I give you permission to talk about sex all you want at your dinner table. Betty White will smile down at you!