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My Fun And Often Futile Relationship With Food

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Food is Fun.

Given a carefree choice, with no negative repercussions, I would happily live on junk food… probably? maybe? ummm…

Yes, I truly could hungrily wolf hamburgers, feast on french fries, slurp milkshakes, gobble pizzas… inhale chocolate, and devour cheesecake. Ad libitum

The perfect atheist Heaven for me would be a hybrid McDonald’s and Cheesecake Factory that served me fat, sugar, and sodium-laced breakfast, lunch, dinner, and multiple snacks in-between.

My early childhood was replete with the chemical and technological wonders of 1950’s and 60’s-style technology.

This was mostly new-age junk food fed to us under a strange and implicit (mis)understanding that it was actually the best food for the human body… created by humans, sent into the world and marketed with a message telling us it was the easy-peasy, modern road to health using the very best scientific knowledge of the day (and yup, a lot of that messaging still exists).

Cruddy pseudo-food was sold on radio, TV, and magazines presented alongside esteemed doctors preaching from on high about the healthiest cigarettes you could smoke. It was a Mad Men diet filled with truly terrible choices like Cheez-Whiz, Spaghetti-O’s, and Pop Tarts. Spam spam spam spam, spam spam spam spam…

My loving mother doted on me by making chocolate chip cookies and muffins each week that I happily scarfed down resulting in my “husky” size as I entered my teen years.

One major truth in my life is that despite being a very active sports and fitness guy… sadly… I’ve always been able to easily out-eat my exercise compulsions, even while training intensely for Ironman races.

So, like a zillion others, I face a day-to-day love-hate relationship with food.

In this perpetual war (I’d like to call it the Hundred Years War, but that is still TBD!), I lose many battles. My weigh scale and I have been mortal enemies at times…

But also, to my good fortune, I win back a few food’ish battles too (kind of reflects the Russia/Ukraine scenario doesn’t it?).

The end result over my many decades is that I tend to hover – back and forth – in a BMI (Body Mass Index) category that sits in the category called OVERWEIGHT.

I say good fortune, but I’ll accept personal responsibility like a good adult for whichever direction the needle wavers on the weigh scale.

When the needle creeps up, I’m usually not surprised. French fries or potato chips twice in one week + movie popcorn + a light beer? Especially when I could have the side salad in their place? BAM… another pound.

A second (or… third!) piece of chocolate cake at a birthday celebration? What was I thinking? Yup, another BAM!

This is never good for someone who is striving to join in the Centenarian Olympics. But it is human nature and I love myself despite these weaknesses!

A New Era?

In the past year or two, I’ve been intrigued and captivated by the Intermittent Fasting trend (fad?).

The judgment of science on this nascent movement is in limbo, but common sense at least says that fewer hours spent eating usually means fewer calories going down.

So these days I typically adhere to an Intermittent-Fasting-Lite approach to eating.

Twelve hours on, 12 hours off. No special adjustments to what I would normally eat otherwise, EXCEPT… No evening snacks or anything else passes my lips other than green tea until the following a.m.

For me this is doable, and doesn’t – in typical DIET fashion – feel like a struggle or an imposition. It’s become a habit like regular exercise and eating lots of vegetables, which is what I want.

And most importantly, my weigh scale rarely – almost never – tells me I’ve strayed. We hardly ever argue anymore. Sure, we don’t vacation together or share inside jokes but the expletive deletives have dropped right off!

Food is life. Food is pleasure. Food sustains us but it is so much more.

Food is like sex. You can do it fast or you can do it slow. Both have their enjoyable moments, both can be wrapped in guilt…

… and thankfully, both are highlights of the human condition that we savour.

The Zen of Blood, Sweat and Sh*t

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Don’t talk shit, they say! (sorry if this word offends, but also as they say, SHIT HAPPENS!)

I’ve had an epiphany, and by chance, doo-doo is something I know a little about.

But let’s go back a wee bit before I get into the main manure of this post.

My epiphany is all about the exchange of poop and its potential wonders. Praise Be Shit!

Let’s dig in, shall we?

Modern science has shown us with little doubt that transfusing blood from a young person into an older person changes the aging process, and in effect, makes the older person’s internal guts younger. It also works vice versa when transfusing from old to young.

It’s incredible and exciting and on its surface seems like a simple answer to concerns over aging.

But, to be fair, it has some worrisome aspects too.

I was a lab technologist for 37 years and I know firsthand that blood transfusion – as lifesaving as it can be – also has troublesome risks because of graft vs host rejection, just like organ transplants.

When we inject someone else’s blood into our veins, our bodies will occasionally start up the weapons’ factories, fire up the army, navy, and air force, and unleash an antibody response to a foreigner in our blood stream. It’s like the Ukraine fighting back an unwanted invader like the Russians. Russian intruders = blood transfusion… Our bodies = Ukraine…

Or maybe Obiwan vs Darth

But let’s get down and dirty now and talk shit…

Blood isn’t the only bodily “fluid” we transplant from one human to another… we also do faecal transplants to inject a healthy biome from one individual to another.

The helpful and healthful bacteria transplanted may help against a range of health conditions, from GI infections to autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

You should really give a shit about this now because Poop is more important than most of us ever realized.

Maybe it’s even a game changer.

Here’s my “wishful thinking “epiphany:

By the same notion that blood transfusion can change our internal aging clock, I’m figuring that a faecal transplant can have some pretty profound impacts too.

How about a potent and potential example or two:

  • Transplant the faecal matter of someone of great intelligence into my colon and KAZAM… I begin spouting E=mc2 like a 21st century Einstein.
  • For the narcissists and villains (sorry to equate the two) out there, we inject stool directly from each year’s Nobel Peace prize winner into the guts of louts and criminals and transform our jails overnight into the Peace Corps. Who needs gun control laws when everyone wants to hug their neighbours around the world. Line up and bend over Putin!
  • Or, perhaps for those of us who pine to look like Chris Pine or croon like Billie Eilish or Beyonce? Pack it in the back door, and start singing or acting like the diva or thespian you always dreamed of becoming.

One last thought… for the larger expanse of us beings who are reasonably content with our inner and outer souls but might feel the need of a refreshing refresh…

… you know, a need to flush our brains of external “shit”.

This information excrement that others have transplanted inside us, often without our knowledge or consent, needs to be flushed from our systems.

An annual FT (Faecal Transplant) treatment could be the hallowed road to peace and harmony, world and inner peace.

Register for yours today… then…

Sing it with me… All We Are Saying… is… Give Shit a Chance

Are You a CT?

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CLEVER Type? … to be clever is not an easy achievement.

Clever is not synonymous with being smart – un-unh – it’s nuanced… clever can come from the bowels of the lowliest of troglodytes to the brains of the Masters of the Universe *are you talking about ME?! aw, shucks*

Nope. Not smart. Not really.

OK… I’ll bend a bit and accept that to be clever does take some intelligence.

Maybe, just maybe… cleverness is one of the 12 (originally 9 but expanded over the years) intelligences as described by Howard Gardner in 1983.

1. Logical-mathematical intelligence

2. Linguistic intelligence

3. Spatial intelligence

4. Body-kinesthetic intelligence

5. Musical intelligence

6. Interpersonal intelligence

7. Intrapersonal intelligence

8. Naturalistic intelligence

9. Emotional intelligence

10. Existential intelligence

11. Creative intelligence

12. Collaborative intelligence

… or maybe clever is a handy combination of a group of the 12 intelligences in one neat package… hmmmmm…

To look at something, to express something in a very different way is to be clever.

Clever is really a pseudonym for innovation with ideas, thoughts, words and actions. Kinda like IDEA SEX.

Clever to me is an adroitness with ideas, a facility with finding something we don’t usually see with casual observance.

I took the shell off my racing snail to make him go faster. Now he’s sluggish

I personally think that Dad jokes are clever, but… wrong!… I’m struck down immediately by my kids when I try out my so-called cleverness… I just need another outlet!

People that are clever notice things that others don’t- they find a way out of the box, a facility to take practical and learned knowledge and come to an independent conclusion about something. Clever people break ground.

Oscar Wilde was clever. Charles Dickens and Jane Austen were clever. Monty Python was clever. Jerry Seinfeld, Picasso, Alexander Graham Bell, Marie Curie, Steve Jobs and Joni Mitchell – all clever. I begrudgingly admit that even Donald Trump is clever, just not in a way that I appreciate.

You can be clever and stupid at the same time *see comment about Trump above*.

Clever and stupid?

I admire cleverness. I strive for cleverness because it’s rare.

I aim for cleverness and sometimes when I’m writing a blog post or song lyrics, or crafting a chord combination for a song, I say to myself, “that was clever Larry“. All I’m saying when I mumble this to myself is that I’ve found a way to express a thought, idea, or emotion that excels, that I haven’t consciously seen or heard before. Cleverness= Originality.

When I hear a song or watch a movie that says something that I’ve never heard expressed before, I feel enthused and excited. Originality is tough to find.

The great thing about cleverness in our consumer-oriented society is that it usually doesn’t cost a cent and yet gives us the buzz of internal excitement, a feeling of life being really lived, not just observed.

Being smart is good. You want to be smart. In today’s world, to thrive you should be smart.

But to experience an elevated emotional state takes a different kind of smart, a different kind of intelligence.

So shed your embarrassment over the CT term and rise up and show the world that you are a proud CT… you know, Clever-Type!

Mom Joke!

The New Relativity Theory- The TAO of Larry

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When I hear my father’s voice coming from my mouth, I know I’m an old fogey… let’s face it, merely using the words “old fogey” qualifies me in the Old Fogey Hall of Fame.

It gets worse.

Old fogeys are angry and cantankerous, opinionated and gassy, poorly dressed and often foul-mouthed. I don’t want any of that. I reject old-fogey’dom (even if I share some traits!)!

My Dad often prefaced his sentences with, “In the good ole days….”, or, “In the olden days…

To a kid like me, those 4 or 5 words were the very earliest and best noise-cancelling headphones ever… my ears automatically hit MUTE when I heard them uttered.

More and more as we grow older, we live less and less in the present. The past is our reality.

We begin comparing peoples’ manners, prices, architecture, movies, songs, and, well, you name it, to the way things felt, looked, tasted, and smelled in our younger years… yup, in the good ole days.

It’s all about our personal reference point.

Our reference point for the history of the world begins the day and year we are born.

There is life Before Larry (BL), Early Larry (EL), and finally, After Larry (AL) (substitute your name for Larry).

Everything I learned in school was in the BL times and is truly meaningless, at least to a hapless tween.

BL history is a rehash of the dumb things that occurred in science and the universe in bygone days, which has absolutely no relevance to anyone between the ages of 5 and 15. I grew up believing that Columbus was a hero…. YAY… you discovered North America… huh says every First Nations’ person???

EL covers the time territory between about 15 and 55 years. This is when all things important and memorable occurred. The entire relevant and consequential history of the earth (in our view) takes place in this time frame.

Finally, and the stage I find myself in now is the AL period. This is the time when most of life’s major events have already happened and now all things get compared to those “good old days” of EL

EL is the way things were meant to be, according to the TAO of Larry (once again, substitute your name here). Nothing that happened before or after this era should ever change.

  • Old fogeys slip into grousing about the younger generation and their use of computers and cellphones and games.
  • Old fogeys protest the need for “apps” to do stuff.
  • Old fogeys lament the loss of courtesy.
  • Old fogeys say ALL politicians are liars and all people are heterosexual.
  • Old fogeys say that their music was better and more melodic/more danceable/more XYZ.

Old fogeys think that everything was better in years past because that was their norm, their reference point from which to judge the world.

Funny but true? The world changes. Always has. Always will.

Some things will be better. Some things will be worse. Most things will be neither except in the subjective eye of the beholder.

The universe is expanding and so should we.

Perhaps the best way to go about life, regardless of whether it’s from the reference point of BL, EL or AL is to remember the wise words of Desiderata…

…”And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

Dear Ron Howard: I Need You! WE Need You!!

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The Fonz (Henry Winkler) and Richie (Ron Howard)

Dear Mr. Howard…. may I call you Ron (not Opie or Richie, I get it)?

I’ve admired you since childhood …

Your ability to circumnavigate the pressures and stresses of Hollywood life as a child actor in the Andy Griffith Show and later as an adult actor (American Graffiti), director, and screenwriter is a testament to your level-headedness and composure.

You’ve always shown us a friendly face and a gosh-darn charm that is nearly impossible to find in the world in which you live.

I find it particularly commendable that you’ve mastered the challenges of directing… what an achievement to wrangle hundreds of people (and egos) into making a coherent and tight production.

In the world of superb movie directors I believe you’ve been overlooked as one of the greats.

A mere few of your directorial achievements are: A Beautiful Mind, Apollo13, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Willow, Cocoon, Cinderella Man, Splash, Parenthood, Frost/Nixon, The Da Vinci Code.

Finding the right director is critical to the success of a flick… I’ve personally had the experience of working with a music recording producer who tried to re-shape me – an unabashed folkie-style singer/songwriter – into a “rocker”… ok, it was fun, but not a good fit.

I don’t know beans about filmmaking but I’m pretty sure that finding the right directorial “fit” is a big part of a film production.

I’m coming at you today because I have a brilliant idea for a film or TV show…

… and given your experiences in directing and writing a variety of movie styles – notable ones that I think relate directly to my idea are Willow and How The Grinch Stole Christmas – I believe you are the best choice to bring my concept to life.

Here, let me run this past you for your thoughts.

It’s a riff on the early 1990’s Jim Henson-inspired TV show DINOSAURS.

Dinosaurs was a raucous and extremely clever satire on late 20th century human existence acted out by a charming family of, yes, animatronic dinosaurs.

Father Earl Sinclair and mother Fran’s son and youngest child is a Megalosaurus.

Baby Sinclair is the clear star of the series.

Baby is sarcastic. Baby is wisecracking. His favourite thing to do is hit Earl on the head with a frying pan while calling out his catch phrases such as “I’m the baby. Gotta love me.”, “Again!” and “Not the mama!“.

Although Dinosaurs is targeted at a family audience, the show touched upon multiple topical issues which included environmental, endangered species, women’s rights, sexual harassment, LGBTQ rights, objectification of women, censorship, civil rights, body image, steroid use, drug abuse, peer pressure, indigenous peoples, corporate crime, and racism.

The true beauty of the show was that any topic could be addressed and lampooned when the characters are merely ridiculous dinosaurs. We don’t take our own foibles personally when the characters don’t resemble us… it’s THEM not YOU!

OK, so here it is Ron. The meat. The place where YOU enter.

My idea is to bring back and update a very similar TV/movie scenario but in the form of political comedy with the dinosaurs loosely (but very clearly) resembling in tone the characters of the Trump White House… a true political satire.

I laugh just thinking about it. Donald and Melania, Ivanka and Eric, Don Jr. and Kaylee, Pompeo and Kellyanne, Barr and the rest of the comedy troupe … ALL dinosaurs wandering the White House hallways!

Just imagine if you will, an orange-tinted dinosaur (shall we call him TRUMPOSAURUS?) who :

  • treats his sick minion-dinosaurs to bleach cocktails…
  • holds Dino-Bibles upside-down…
  • thinks origins is pronounced “oranges”…
  • says: ““I was down there, and I watched our police and our firemen, down on 7-Eleven, down at the World Trade Center, right after it came down”
  • or: “I’m a shallow person. That’s one of my strengths. I never pretend to be anything else.”
  • or: “Never had a drink. That’s one of my good things. Never had a drink, and I never had a cigarette. Other than that, I’m a disaster.”
  • or: “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
  • or: “[he’s] … not a war hero. He’s a war hero – he’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, OK, I hate to tell you.”
  • or: “She does have a very nice figure… If [she] weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”
  • or: “I’m the least racist person you have ever interviewed.
  • Or finally… “That’s why I am running: to end the decades of bitter failure and to offer the American people a new future of honesty, justice, and opportunity. A future where America, and its people, always – and I mean always – come first.”

Great comedy material, right?

Please… I need you Ron Howard… we all need you… WHY?

The world needs to hear and see a pack of crazy, silly dinosaurs saying these lunatic, incomprehensible things so we don’t plunge back into the same primordial mess once again.

Isn’t the world suffering enough?

I implore you … It’s either you Ron, or a reset with another big asteroid strike.

Prehistorically yours… Larry

Putting The Focus On Your Labels

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Do as I say not as I do…

I’ll be chatting you up about labels and focus today but before that – and demonstrating my terrible lack of focus – I can’t not share the splendour of spring beauty that sits outside my window in this small valley oasis in Western Canada… the Okanagan Valley.

As I stroll my little rural street, it’s mid-bloom, a lyrical miracle of stunning colour and scent of fruit trees… nectarines and plums, apricots and apples, peaches and pears. Pink and white promise-filled flowers blended into the fresh, new leafy green shoots.

Stepping outside in the morning is the springtime equivalent of stepping into your grandmother’s house at Thanksgiving or Christmas and inhaling the aromas wafting from her oven – the turkey, cinnamon and sage spices, vanilla and baking apples.

Mixed in with the sweetness of the drifting floral scents is the humming of activity surrounding the square white boxes left on the fringes of the orchards where pollinating bees come in and out of their hives like rushing throngs of Costco shoppers.

It’s sensory overload of the greatest kind.

…………..

NOTE to self: focus Larry.

Yes, today I’m thinking about LABELS and FOCUS.

Like cans and jars in the supermarket, we all have labels that attach to us – little descriptors that tell us and the world who we are. (Let’s agree to ignore the negativity labels that exist to bring us down)

Labels tell us our personal meaning of life… labels justify our existence. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy… you get it.

What are the labels you use to describe yourself if someone asks?

I struggle with this as an ADHD kinda guy who has many too many labels to know where to begin.

Perhaps this sounds like a good thing but I’m not so sure.

I’m TOO scattered.

Here’s my off-the-cuff label list to bore those who are foolish enough to inquire:

  • Husband/Parent/Grandparent
  • Guitar player/Singer/Songwriter
  • Exercise – Runner/Swimmer/Cyclist/Yoga/Weight Training/Tennis/Hockey (as a kid)
  • Stock Market Investor
  • Liberal
  • Introvert
  • Traveller/Homebody
  • Blog Writer
  • Music Lover -Folk/Country/Classical
  • Rom/Com Movie Lover
  • Medical Lab Tech/Retired
  • Woodworker/Renovator
  • Language Learner/Teacher
  • Cook/Baker/Fast Food Junkie
  • Chocaholic
  • Atheist/Philosopher
  • Gardener
  • Philanthropist/Volunteer

It’s an endogenous and exogenous list that both describes the internal me while also giving me a real meaning and sense of purpose… we can agree that this is good.

But, while that list may or may not be as long as yours, the boots-on-the-ground problem with a lengthy label list is focus and prioritization.

Like I said, I’m too scattered and this creates a brain traffic jam for me.

My solution has typically been making daily lists and trying to site the most critical tasks and joys early in the day when my mind and body are at their freshest and most energetic.

Today, I find my brain squeeze is growing ever greater as being an involved granddad and “parenting” a local Syrian family with their daily struggles is making me take a critical look at my list of labels – my label darlings.

As writers like William Faulkner and Stephen King are known to say, “You have to kill your darlings.”

Or, less dramatically, as Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson might say, “Something’s Gotta Give“.

Going forward, I’ll be looking carefully at my focus and priorities. Making tough choices.

As a people pleaser, I’ll struggle with the word NO, but will need to steel my resolve and use it more often.

And, unlike Stephen King, I really don’t want to traumatize any of you, so I promise I won’t kill any of my darlings, but I may have to put some down for a nap. (but definitely NOT the Chocaholic!)

I’m too sexy for my car…

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Nope, it’s not this Man On The Fringe that’s too sexy for anything. Not a chance

However, my good pal (and regular guest blogger) Jim Ferguson was and is filled with sex appeal. He oozes sensuality from his pores… scratch your screen and smell the heady musk…

As you read this post, I may be running my grand ole a** through the streets of downtown Vancouver with thousands of other crazies, so this is a perfect time to have Jim take the reins and tell you another of his fun stories.

Thanks for jumpin’ in here James… it’s over to you:

………………..

Larry has once again asked yours truly to provide some MOTF blog fodder and so I will do my best to live up to the fine standard Sir Lawrence has set (there is a standard…right? 😊).

I was listening to the radio recently and Right Said Fred’s song “I’m too sexy for my…” played. I’m sure you’ve all heard this catchy tune.

Well, one of the phrases in the song goes like this: “I’m too sexy for my car, too sexy for my car, too sexy by far”, and on it goes.

Well…I started to ponder whether I am, indeed, too sexy for my car and I realized that I have two vehicles (“I’m too sexy for my vehicle” just doesn’t do it for me…how about you?).

Not only do I have two vehicles BUT I have owned 27 vehicles in my adult life, and I am here to tell you that I am too sexy for most of them. Just ask Larry. He will tell you I am about as sexy a guy as you’ll ever meet. Right Larry?…..Larry?…..Larry?

Okay… that’s up for debate but allow me to make my case here and you can determine if I am too sexy for the following samples of cars from my collection over the years. You be the judge.

I married my wife Deborah in October 1979.

She had a 1969 two-toned VW bug. It was awesome and some even went so far to speculate that I had married Deb for her car. NOT SO! 😊

It was a two-toned, stick shift, brown VW bug with a Porsche gear shift knob. It was fantastic and honestly, I must say I was NOT too sexy for that car. That car was fun to drive, and I wish we still had it today as it would be worth a nice tidy sum if it were still in decent shape.

We saw the proverbial writing on the wall as mechanical issues reared their ugly heads. So, we sold the bug to a friend who wanted to fix it up and we slid on into a 1971 VW Super Beetle.

What a letdown that was.

It was bright orange and flashy, we had a new engine installed, but, it was rather blah and uninspiring.

I was definitely a sexier beast than the Super Beetle (now… maybe if it had come with John, Paul, George, and Ringo…different story… 😊).

Let’s move on to a few others from my car collection that I know I am too sexy for.

How about our brown, blah VW rabbit?

It had four wheels and drove and that was about it. Having a root canal was more fun than driving the Rabbit! We had this car while at university and it was a good utilitarian car for college students. It was great on gas BUT that still does not make it sexier than me!

We did own a Ford LTD. Can you say, “boat anchor”. We bought it off my folks in Nova Scotia for $500.00 and drove it for a year before it tanked on us.

Now let’s get those damn minivans out of the way…right here and now!

Move them to the side of the plate with the Brussel Sprouts. No way I lose out to a minivan. I owned two of them. They are great when you have kids. There is no denying that! BUT they are still minivans!

I owned a stick shift Dodge Caravan and an automatic Plymouth Voyager. I am almost too embarrassed to be even having this discussion. I feel like I should apologize to each reader individually. There simply is no way I lose out to a couple of minivans. I am like Fabio compared to minivans! Or a cross between Fabio and Keanu Reaves…right!

Better than a minivan, yes?

Now, during our college days, we did buy a 1967 Dodge Dart on its last legs and drove it for a year or so even with a crappy radiator and a cracked manifold.

I can’t compete with a ’67 Dart (despite the crappy radiator and cracked manifold and all). Uncle! Uncle! I give up! The Dart was a sexy beast and fun to drive. I humbly submit to the Dart.

Oh! And when I was in grad school in North Carolina in the late 1980s, I briefly owned a…wait for it………wait for it………be patient and wait for it……….a YUGO!!!

Yes indeed! I was the proud owner of a Yugo. I bought it second hand, but it was essentially new and it had less than a thousand miles on it. It was a sexy little car and fun to drive.

Imagine Deb and me and three kids crammed into that tiny car zipping all over Greensboro, NC! I submit to the Yugo. It was sexier than me by a long shot. I bet you didn’t see that coming right!!!

Here’s a “gimme” for you.

I owned a 1997 Mazda Miata 5-speed stick.

What a fun ride that was. In the summer after a busy/stressful day at work Deb and I would head out onto the country roads of Oregon with the top down at high speeds for what we termed “Miata therapy”. It was always fun and relaxing and a sweet ride.

Not too much fun in the winter or when there was a lot of rain, yet, it was definitely a smidge more sexy than I.

As you’ll see in the list below, I also had a Kawasaki 650 motorcycle for a couple of years. I had similar exhilaration on the motorcycle as experienced in the Miata with the top down.

I can’t end this jaunt down memory lane without an honourable mention for my 1997 Ford Expedition. I bought it in 2001. When we moved back to Nome, Alaska in 2002, I made sure to ship the Expedition to Nome and man ‘o man am I glad I did.

I got in and out of some crazy remote areas for hunting and fishing in the Expedition. It opened doors to access areas a normal vehicle could not reach. The Expedition was definitely a sexier beast than I.

Well…that’s all I have for you this time. Definitely some lighter fare than my usual headier blog posts.

I would be remiss if I did not give you the full list of my vehicles owned since 1979 (as best I can recall).

You be the judge. I am feeling the love from all of you and know that you’ll agree that other than a few outliers…

I am way too sexy for most of these vehicles:

  • 1969 VW Beetle
  • 1974 Ford LTD
  • 1973 Super Beetle
  • late ‘70s VW Rabbit
  • 1967 Dodge Dart
  • 1971 Pontiac Sunbird
  • 1980 Dodge Caravan
  • early ‘80s Kawasaki 650
  • 1985 Nissan Sentra
  • 1988 Yugo
  • 1986 Nissan Sentra
  • 1971 Plymouth Volare
  • 1992 Dodge Dakota
  • 1994 Plymouth Voyager
  • 1989 Pontiac
  • 1981 Chevrolet Cavalier wagon
  • Chevrolet S-10
  • 1997 Ford Expedition
  • 2004 Honda Civic
  • 2008 Scion
  • 1997 Mazda Miata
  • 1996 Ford Ranger
  • Toyota Tacoma x 2
  • Subaru Outback Sport
  • Toyota Prius
  • 2006 Dodge Dakota
  • 2007 Lexus RX350

What vehicles are on your list? Anything worthy of a mention? Feel free to add your favourite(s) in the comment section.

Peace,

Jim

Is this man too sexy?

Wandering Wonderings

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Then sweet music sounded on the air, and the loud tones were hushed, as in wondering silence the Fairies waited what should come.”  Louisa May Alcott

A

few wonderings today… not Pet Peeves this time, just Wandering Wonderings, little curiosities and things that confuse me…

.

.

Do you often find yourself questioning in your mind like a child who incessantly asks, WHY?

There may be 7 famous Wonders of the World, but you and I know this is just the tip of the iceberg. Our planet is filled with countless wonders that call out for an answer, a solution to the why, to the how.

And thankfully in the these last 15 years or so we have a tsunami of information at our fingertips with the likes of GOOGLE and Wikipedia. Love ’em or hate ’em, they give us instant answers to our whys that help make us wise.

Here are a few of my recent wandering wonderings… I’m sure you could easily add a dozen yourself:

  • Why does our education system allow, even encourage people to attend school for more than a decade without imparting a strong sense of reading, thinking, and discerning truth from fiction; to understand good quality research and evidence vs flimsy, poorly laid out analysis, or worse, opinion?
  • After watching Jeopardy faithfully for how many years, why am I still only able to answer less than 50% of the “ANSWERS” correctly? Surely 60 questions and answers passing through my brain daily should leave me an expert in essentially every area of knowledge, and yet?? Do I need to order a new Brain Plug from Amazon to prevent the drain?
  • After writing this blog for almost 10 years now without a cent of salary, no pennies of payment, no euros of royalty, no “exposure dollars” (as in for FREE), what bizarre mindset spurs me to continue to do this? Or for you my friends, to read this? Are we all part of a mass hypnosis?
  • How will this planet find a solution to the nuclear blackmail that allows a despot to run roughshod over an invented enemy because he has a back pocket full of nukes to raze the globe over 10 times? Humanity needs to nose out a firm and long-term solution to unhinged brutality, or “hegemony by tyrant” will control this orb forever. Could this be our “meaning of life” moment?
  • Why do some folks prioritize and respond to a text message in the middle of a conversation, or sitting for a meal in a group? How do you say BOOR?
  • Why was I taught a good deal of European, Asian, and North American history and culture in my school days and yet so little about Africa and South America? I am shockingly ignorant on these countries, their history, languages and culture. It’s like whole continents never existed…
  • In today’s world, why is OK that a woman could call handsome men up on stage and run her hands lasciviously over their bodies to applause. If I were to do something similar to women I’d be in a cell at Riker’s Island before I can say OSCAR. I’m totally in favour of the #MeToo movement, but I also subscribe to equality and fairness extended to all gender categories. Just wonderin’…
  • When we know that certain foods and makeups etc contain known carcinogens, why do we allow their sale? Don’t answer… might it have something to do with corporate profit and government revenues?
  • Why do some men do a hair combover with the expectation that no one will notice the baldness that lies beneath? You can fool some of the people some of the time…
  • Why do all team sports protect and heavily penalize against fisticuffs (forget the boxing ring) except hockey where organizers actively stir the bloodlust of the beer-infused spectator? Will Smith has been banned from Oscar for 10 years for a slap… in hockey they just give you a 5 minute timeout for giving the other guy a concussion.
  • What loving God would make sugar and bacon taste so good when they’re obviously the Devil’s food choices? Why doesn’t kale have the same “addictive” qualities?

I’ve been wanderin’ early and late
From New York City to the Golden Gate
And it don’t look like
I’ll ever stop my wanderin’… James Taylor

Reflections on Narsicim, er… Narciscim, arrgh… Narcissism

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One of the best, the worst, or the most beautiful (genetic) gifts you can be given is the “N” word… no, not that one… another “N” word…

Narcissus(ism).

Alas, one word, Narcissus, but here I’ll show you three different outcomes, saving the best for last.

Two Beauty’s and a Beast... or is it The Good, The Bad and the Non-Ugly *why do you make these stretches Larry?*

THE BEST (A Beauty): I want, and generally possess, the gift of spelling acumen that allows me to spell most of the hardest words commonly used in English.

Thank you Mom and Dad for this hereditary spelling endowment…. with little effort, I can spell almost anything… EXCEPT…

NARCISSISM (you know I used spell-check to get this, right?).

Where the heck do I place the “C”s and “S”s and how many in which spot. I get tied up in knots.

And truthfully, I couldn’t hold a smoking candle to those sharp-as-Japanese-Miyaba-knives 10-15 year-olds in the Scripps Spelling Bee that I watch with nerdish fascination as they conduct full autopsies on words I’ve never heard and never used in conversation.

Wunderkinder aside, belief and admiration of this trait, this ability in myself, likely qualifies me for the Narcissist’s Hall of Fame; it’s akin to grinning at my reflection in the Oxford Dictionary.

THE WORST (The Beast): What I don’t want but have already acknowledged I am a possessor of… is the trait of narcissism. Doesn’t writing a blog alone automatically qualify one for nomination in the Best Narcissist category at the Oscars? Slap me now Will (What? too soon?!)

The best and the worst forms of narcissism are truly 1st world issues… nobody huddled in Syria, Ukraine, or Sudan gives a flying sh*t about whether they can spell certain words, or if they hold an excessive interest in themselves.

You can’t really struggle for your daily existence and simultaneously admire your visage in the river.

Given the great difficult patch we’re in on this planet – aren’t Global warming, MAGA, and COVID enough trauma for one decade, do we need an unnecessary war? – isn’t something beautiful a soothing salve no matter where or when you live?

Summerland’s first 2022 Narcissi …….. Photo: Maureen Green

MOST BEAUTIFUL (A 2nd Beauty): yes, the national flower of Wales… I say Daffodil, you say Narcissus. Whichever word you use, they are some of the most lovely, regal flowers that symbolize spring for me more than a chirpy robin or even a flamboyant tulip.

Each year, the first daffodil blooms usher in my eldest daughter’s birthday, portend of longer and longer daylight days, and herald the shedding of winter parkas and mitts as they open their amiable faces with an array of delicate petals and mixture of colours.

Contrary to Meg Ryan’s assertion in You’ve Got Mail about daisies: “They’re so friendly. Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower?”- NO Meg, as much as I love you, Narcissi (OMG, another spelling when pluralized) are truly the friendliest flower.

But back to the kids… in 2019, 8 kids, for the first time in 92 years, co-shared the Scripps Spelling Bee trophy (and $50,000 each), after exhausting all the words given in 20 rounds without error.

It’s really enough to knock the stuffing out of any aspiring Narcisist, Narsicisst, oh bloody hell… Daffodil!

My Few Moderately Inflammable Retirement Peeves

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I’m feeling powerfully peever’ish this week.

More peeves? Of course. I get this peever fever (not Bieber fever) once a year or so.

Despite all the wonderful things happening in our world – and there are many – we’ve cornered ourselves into some of the most dark and desperate days of the last generation or two. Headline anxiety is running amok.

Yes indeed. Pandemics and Racism (see last week’s post) and Social Networks and Global Warming and Sociopathic Politicians and Military Muscle have driven us to the brink just when we thought we had civilization all figured out.

We’ve muddled our way into a transition period perhaps not unlike moving into the Industrial Age; a time of huge upheaval for humanity and the planet’s existence, before the golden days return.

I hope.

Before I step back and give my head a needed respite from this multitude of negativity, I have to offload some more pet peeves to set my mind at ease for a little while… Ommmmmmmm

I’m a word and spelling snob. I’m not proud of it but I admit it.

Improper word usage, phrases, and speling erors drive me batty, just as exaggeration (any Trump sentence), hyperbole (any Trump sentence), and obvious non-factual misdirection ie lies (any Trump sentence) make me reach for high blood pressure meds.

Let’s just dive into a few of my language irritants… my “wordle” pet peeves, shall we? … feel free to add to my list if the irritation moves you:

  1. MODERATE – who decides where moderate lies in the spectrum of a little to a lot… I think that eating 4 large slices of cherry cheesecake is being moderate, while you believe that eating 1 tiny square of a Fruit and Nut Bar is excessive. Who’s right? (ME, of course!)
  2. PIANIST – OMG, nope, nope, nope… this sounds much too much like my boy parts… let’s just stick with “piano player”, OK?
  3. RETIREMENT (R) – I know that most of you reading my blog posts are either retired or on the precipice of the blessed event. Congratulations! BUT… “Retired” is an anachronism that speaks to my parent’s generation. We don’t “retire” anymore… we change direction into one or more other regions of who we are, so in my pretend world of make believe I just use the letter “R” to represent this non-sequitor.
  4. (IN)FLAMMABLE – we should all know by now that placing “in” in front of this word doesn’t change its meaning… the words are synonyms. “i.n.” are just throwaway letters… so let’s toss them into the flammable pile, OK?
  5. MOIST – it’s interesting that MOIST is apparently the most despised word in the English language according to a number of surveys. I can only find it funny now that my Canadian Prime Minister used it during the deepest pandemic days, uttering: “If people want to wear a mask, that is OK. It protects others more than it protects you because it prevents you from breathing or speaking moistly on them.” Moist conjures up an impression of moldy flotsom in my head, definitely not a pretty vision. And please don’t breath or speak it at me!
  6. SANCTION – yeah, one word with opposing definitions. Dictionary def’s? 1. a threatened penalty for disobeying a law or rule, or 2. official permission or approval for an action. “Sanction me? So… are you coming back to my place for the night or not?”
  7. FEWER/LESS – I’d die a happy guy if folks just used fewer less‘es. Try using fewer with countable nouns like cookies. Less means “not as much.” We use less with uncountable nouns like milk. Most often, you will not have to be Hercule Poirot to deduce whether a noun is countable or uncountable, so the decision between less and fewer will be an effortfewer …er … effortless… one.
  8. HAVE A GOOD ONE – sorry, a good… what?? A good life? a good marshmallow? a good bowel movement? Don’t leave me hanging, what should I be having that’s good?
  9. THE FACT IS – in my experience, anytime someone prefaces their phrasing with “the fact is” means they have no idea what the facts are and are making this shit up. Leave “the fact is” out of your statement and actually provide me the documented (3 peer-reviewed studies is ideal) facts.
  10. BLOG/PHLEGM/PUS – there’s nothing really wrong with any of these words except they strike my “irritation centre”… the sound of each is unappealing and leave me feeling like I want to slap the person next to me for no reason at all.
  11. PANTIES – The word panties in itself is innocuous, but for some reason, it gives me a weird feeling. An innocent name for female underwear, and yet it sounds pornographic in my head. Worse still is that it sounds like kid-speak, and so combine porno with kids and I feel like a wretched pedophile merely saying the word.
  12. FLACCID – As a male, this word may be descriptive, but it sounds demeaning and “belittling” to my manhood. I know it says something about my insecurities and sensitivity. I’ll try to get over it!
  13. WHATEVER – when spoken, this usually means the end of any potentially meaningful or productive dialogue, but in an insulting fashion. I’m pretty sure the fact is, with his panties in a knot, and knowing that sanctions would be forthcoming, “whatever” was the last, moist word a flaccid Putin said to the world before he unleashed his moderate, yet inflammable forces on Ukraine … Have a good one Vlad!

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