Monday, July 4, 2022
I was motoring down to Teviotdale this morning for a breakfast appointment with my old pal Kipling. I'd been behind a white VW Atlas for at least twenty kilometers. He'd felt the need to overtake me on the passing lane just south of Durham. Then he got stuck behind a pickup moseying along at 85 or so, and he stayed there... and stayed, and stayed. Thanks to my years of experience driving a first gen VW diesel, I plan my passes carefully. After noticing nimrod hadn't passed that pickup in half a dozen road-wide-open opportunities, I made my move. Into the oncoming lane, signal light on, gaining fast, the dolt must have had a good ten seconds to see me coming. Just as I'm drawing alongside, the oblivious imbecile pulls out to pass! Wellington County Road 6 doesn't have much of a shoulder, and then drops off steeply. I've got two wheels on the shoulder and two in the ditch, there's a hydro-pole coming at me fast, I feel the car going over, cut to the left of the pole and regain the roadway in a giant dust-cloud. Nimrod was long gone, but the pickup driver was so impressed with my masterful wheelsmanship he gave me a big thumbs-up. Wheelsmanship my ass; it was sheer dumb luck I didn't barrel-roll through that pole and cut my Toyota in half. My immediate impulse was to catch up to Atlas boy and share my thoughts while the adrenalin was still pumping, but on second thought, the irony of having a heart-attack while beating the crap out of the guy who just ran me off the road would have been too rich. Ten minutes later I slide into my booth at the truck stop, only to learn my breakfast appointment was the second Monday of the month, not the first.
Saturday, July 2, 2022
Battlefield victories have become few and far between in recent weeks for our plucky Ukrainian allies. But that is not to say they are without victories. Check out this BBC story for example. Even as things go from worse to even worser in the war with Russia, Ukrainians have won a major symbolic victory. The Ukrainian comfort food “borscht” had been added to the UNESCO index of endangered national dishes. Isn’t that something to celebrate! As we savour this victory in the borscht war, let's take a moment to re-evaluate that other war. How about we call it quits now and start saving 1000 Ukrainians per day by abandoning the US Empire’s plans to weaken Russia by sacraficing every last living Ukrainian.
Friday, July 1, 2022
That was one of the truisms my dear mother-in-law left behind. That was her way of saying "don't over-extend yourself." So I don't. In fact, there are those who claim that not only do I never over-extend myself, I don't do anything else either. They wouldn't be that wrong. Now that I'm retired, I don't do much of anything. Not that I did that much of anything before, but at least I had a job. Funny how when you take the "job" away, there's lots of folks left with nothing. Work defines us. Retirement erases us.
Posted by D.Neumann at 7:46 PM
Thursday, June 30, 2022
There's a Wikipedia page gives you the lowdown on folks who have the fastest times end-to-end on the Bruce Trail. What the think tank at Falling Downs is proposing is a flat-out 26 mile race over some of the roughest terrain. How about a Tobermorey to Lions Head ultra-marathon? If we rustle up enough prize money, this could be quite a spectacle. I'll pitch in the first $1000, just to get things off the ground, but it should draw big league sponsorship in no time. The Red Bull Bruce Trail Marathon kinda has a ring to it, no? Then they'll be hiking for millions! That's when you'll see them elbow one another off the cliffs on those "difficult" sections. Ratings will go through the roof!
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Get your mind out of the gutter. I was talking about Flying Monkey Juicy Ass IPA. That's a beer. Of course, you'd only call a beer "Juicy Ass" if it had nothing to recommend it other than a catchy name. "Hey waiter, give me a Juicy Ass!" See what I mean? I'm surprised they've got Juicy Ass on display at the local Foodland. I can see the inquisitive four year old, at her mother's side in the beer aisle on the weekly grocery shop. "Mommy, do monkey's fly? Does that make their ass juicy?"
Got home in one piece from our Bruce Trail adventure, which is more than can be said for my shoes. The trail is littered with markers reminding me of the frailty of my elderly digestive tract. There's "Big Dump," "Half-a-Dump,"and, my favorite, "Wish-You-Had-a-Dump-Yesterday." Also, beware of the two-storey outhouses conveniently located about every eight hours along the trail. I played it safe and stuck to the upstairs units. These back-woods loos are notable for lacking two features commonly associated with the modern bathroom - running water and electricity. When is the last time you visited a bathroom that didn't have a sink? Perhaps for budgetary reasons, the folks responsible for the trail haven't got around to fitting their outhouses with bug screens. As a result, hordes of hungry mosquitoes descend on you just when you drop your drawers. If nothing else, this ensures no one lingers in the loo longer than absolutely necessary. Sleeping accomodations along the trail are somewhat spartan. Rest your weary head on a randon piece of driftwood found on the beach, and you're good to go. Thanks to my old pal Tom for organizing this adventure. It's been in the planning stages since we met at the University of Guelph 40 years ago. Now that we're crowding 70, we figured the time was right. After all, like so many things in life, wilderness hikes are mostly wasted on the young. By my calculations, I've now completed about 8% of the Bruce Trail. At that rate, I should have the whole enchilada under my belt sometime in the next 400 years or so. It's good to have goals!
Saturday, June 25, 2022
Junita Gomez spent her last years in a nursing home on Vancouver Island. Suffering vararious terminal maladies in recent years, she and her family finally made the decision to arrange a medically assisted death, legal in Canada since 2016. Junita had enjoyed a long and satisfying career as a midwife in her home country of Cuba. She moved to Canada in 1971 where she was soon hired by Margaret and Pierre Trudeau as a nanny. On the appointed day, the doctor, the priest, and a few close family members gathered around her in the sun-dappled courtyard of the Paradise View nursing home in Naniamo. After each family member had bade their goodbyes, Junita, weakened and frail, whispered some stunning last words. According to her recollection, Margaret had given birth to Justin not on Christmas day 1971, in Canada, but in Havana Military Hospital almost two months before. Fidel had taken a keen interest in Margaret's prenatal care, for reasons that, at the time, were obvious to all; Margaret was having his baby. Junita was part of the elite medical team who brought Justin into this world. For diplomatic reasons, mother, newborn, and midwife were then whisked to Canada in time for the miraculous Christmas day "birth" of Justin. Seems like a tall tale, but the more you ponder it, the more it explains about what has happened to Canada.