Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Summary of Life...

1) No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.
2) When your Mum is mad at your Dad, don't let her brush your hair.
3) If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person.
4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
5) You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
6) Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
7) Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
8) You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
9) Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
10) The best place to be when you're sad is Grandpa's lap.

1) Raising teenagers is like nailing jelly to a tree.
2) Wrinkles don't hurt.
3) Families are like fudge...mostly sweet, with a few nuts.
4) Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.
5) Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.
6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fibre, not the toy.

1) Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
2) Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you're down there.
4) You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
5) It's frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions. 6) Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
7) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.

At age 4 success is . . . Not piddling in your pants.
At age 12 success is . . . Having friends.
At age 17 success is . . Having a drivers license.
At age 35 success is . Having money.
At age 50 success is . . . Having money.
At age 70 success is . .. . Having a drivers license.
At age 75 success is . . . Having friends.
At age 80 success is . . . Not piddling in your pants.

Hope 'ya smiled.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Last Post

So I think I am done with blogging. At least on this site and for some time. I have an idea for a theme specific blog that I may start in the near future, but we'll see.

I have to say this has been an interesting experience. I have had a tremendous amount of very positive feedback and some wonderful discussions about things that I have posted. I have also had some not-so positive feedback as well but when you are willing to stand up, state your position and then stand willing to defend it; you are bound to get some people taking anonymous shots at you.

Sadly most of the negative came from a couple of folks at work. I know who they are and it isn't important. They seemed to take great delight in spreading tales of what they read in my blog which oddly enough had very little to do with what I actually said in my blog. Fortunately the positive far out-weighs the negative; even from my co-workers.

When I sat down to think about why I was really stopping (or pausing maybe), I think the biggest reason was I missed actual discussion. It's great for someone to say "Hey I read your blog and thought it was great." Or "I think you're way off base, let's sit and talk about it". I would always rather the discussion. I would always rather sit and talk with a person or persons than just read about their opinions.

Almost everyone that knows me knows that it is very true I am loud and opinionated. But I also love spirited discussion and can (if the counter-argument is good enough) even have my opinion changed.

Before I sign off I will leave you with a quote from Hubert H. Humphrey (38th Vice-President of the USA) who said that
"Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and

My thanks to all who have read.

Be well all.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Update *cough cough*

I'm a little bored at work and thought I'd fill you in on what's been going on in the past little while.

On the last shift I worked (1 Jul) I was coughing, but nothing serious. It started to get serious fairly quickly and by the time all was said and done I didn't return to work until 2 Nov (yesterday). What was wrong you ask? Good question, there is no definitive answer. Every test came back negative and every medication proved ineffective save one and there I was, coughing through it all.

If you didn't get a chance to see me cough, it was quite a show and you really missed out. I would cough and cough to the point of vomiting (which I tried VERY hard not to do because I hate vomit). At which point there would be a period of up to thirty seconds where I couldn't breathe. If you have never experienced this sensation, make a seal with your lips on the back of your hand and try and take a breath. It felt like I was trying to breathe through concrete. I don't mind telling you, it's a terrifying experience. It gives me a whole new appreciation for patients who are legitimately short of breath. I know the feeling and it isn't fun.

Many (including myself) thought that it was pertussis (whooping cough), but anti-biotics proved useless and testing negative. The only thing that helped the cough was a drug called Hycodan. Which is essentially liquid percocet, and I was almost sucking this stuff up with a straw. Apparently codeine has an anti-tussive effect.

Therefore I couldn't work. I can't drive fast and make snap decisions while under the influence and couldn't trust myself to drive to work while under the influence. Add to that that I wasn't sleeping for more than thirty minutes at a time without coughing so I was very much fatigued. So I stayed at home for four months at two-thirds pay. Luckily Jaci is working and this helped tremendously to off-set the loss in pay.

So I'm back at work now. Am I cured? No idea because we don't know what it was in the first place, but the coughing is almost gone. I haven't been on the narcotic for a few weeks (I proudly weaned myself off) and am feeling generally better.

Here's the kicker, even though I'm AT work (back to full pay) I'm not allowed TO work. Because I was off for more than three months the base hospital has de-activated me and I have to have my skills assessed before re-activation. For those that don't know, the base hospital is the organization that allows me to give drugs and defibrillate people.

Also because I'm deactivated, I'm not allowed to drive anywhere while working, just in case I stumble across something. The argument that I can still do first aid and CPR falls on deaf ears. So I'm not doing a whole lot at work but hopefully that situation won't last. I am however on legitimate vacation next week so it will have to be the week after that.

What am I doing on my vacation might you ask? Excellent question!

Monday is my anniversary celebrating two wonderful years being married to my best friend. So we will be doing some stuff during the week as time allows. And while my beautiful bride is at work or doing work related things, my eleven year old nephew allowed me to borrow his XBox 360 for the week. Needless to say I anticipate saving the world or conquering the galaxy fairly often this week.

For those who gave their best wishes, prayers and phone calls/emails while I was sick I thank-you very much. I can't really describe the feeling you get when someone calls and says "heard you were sick and wanted to see how you were". Not to sound too bitter, but there is also a feeling you get when you don't get contacted, but I won't get into that.

Special thanks to Jaci's uncle Steve who loaned me a WHOLE bunch of DVD's to stave off boredom and to my dad who loaded us up with tonnes of yummy food to stave off starvation!

So that's what's been going on the past little while.

Thanks for stopping by San Diego!

Be well all.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Gobble gobble!

This weekend is Thanksgiving; this is not news. We (Canadians) have ours in October and our American friends have theirs in November. Why the difference? In the US their celebration is more of the pilgrims coming together with their (native) Indian neighbors and ours celebrates more the crop harvest.

So as Jaci and I have been married for almost two years now I thought that it would be a swell idea to host the family dinner, which usually consists of about six people. This year there was eleven people. We also opted to have the dinner Saturday so that Tracey could make it as well as my dad (who flies out this evening for England).

Our house is a good size but it was still cramped to sit and host eleven people. We had Jaci and I of course, Jac's brother Gary, my mom and dad, my sisters Kerrie and Tracey, nephew Christopher, Aunt Janet and Uncle Bill (up from Florida) and Tracey's friend Karen. Quite a daunting task really, bearing in mind we have never had that many over at one time before.

So my little love bug made her first turkey, as well as handmade stuffing, potatoes, and cranberry sauce. The corn, broccoli and cauliflower weren't hand made from scratch but still tasty! To finish the meal was Jaci's famous apple pie and triple chocolate cake (mom made me a cherry pie). Many compliments were heard because my beautiful bride really out-did herself.

One of the best thanksgiving dinners I've had in a long time. We have just about finished cleaning up after it and soon we will depart for church where my sweetheart will be singing a solo today, just to round-out her weekend.

I hope you all have a great weekend and your turkey is as good as mine was!

Be well all!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

News and views....

A few things to mention today....

First is the up and coming provincial elections. I'm not going to bother too much with which party said what (with one exception I'll mention later). I wanted to talk about the referendum. We, as Ontario citizens are being asked if we want to continue with our current electoral process or vote in favour of a new one. The new process being the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system.

The MMP way of doing things does have it's advantages and I would strongly encourage everyone to actively seek out information to make an informed decision about which you will support. At this time, I don't think I can't support the idea even though I like the principal.

Here's my reason. If the MMP is successful then each party will get to add members based on the percentage of votes they get. For example, if party A gets 40% of the seats but 50% of the votes, then they can add members until their seat count reaches 50%. Here's the catch (for me), the added members are not elected.

We as citizens will be subject to decisions made in part by politicians who are not accountable to the citizenry. They don't have to go door to door looking for support and votes for election day in order to collect government salary and benefits. I have a REALLY strong objection to this.

So at this time, I can't support the idea.

Next is the millstone around the Tory neck; that being funding for faith-based schools. A lot of folks are making a stink about this and I think it isn't necessary. Reason being that I don't think faith-based schools will take government money because of the required strings.

Right now, private schools hire who they want to hire to teach their classes. The teachers there don't have to have certification from the College of Teachers of Ontario, sometimes not even a University degree. They are only really required to be active members of that particular sect of faith.

If the private school takes government money, they really aren't going to be private anymore; and I don't think as a whole they're going to go for that. Granted, this is just my opinion.

Finally I wanted to mention a concert Jaci and I went to last night. Doing a tour in southern Ontario is a group of singers from Bournemouth, England. Specifically they are the Boscombe Songsters. In concert with the corps band they made for a perfectly enjoyable evening and we opened our home to three of the singers last night.

It was a joy to host Chris, Ben, and Niall last night and I hope the rest of their stay here in Ontario is as great as the first bit.

That's all for now.

Be well all.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Today's Front Page

On today's front page of the Hamilton Spectator there were three things that caught my interest. Well, four actually if you count the abbreviated weather report (and a beautiful day it was!)

The first is about how when Ontario's Premier Dalton McGuinty came to Hamilton for a campaign stop he didn't answer questions about some of the 'hot' topics, like the native occupations. This shocked some people.

I can't say I'm surprised though. Big 'D' has some tough campaigning to do in this town after three of the Liberal incumbents have decided not to run again. Not only am I not surprised that the D-man hightailed it back on his bus, it was really the only thing he could do. Why is that? You may ask, and it's a great question! Because he's ahead in the polls (right now); that's why.

Taking questions you aren't prepared for about hot-button topics right in the area they are hottest means his answers would largely be 'off the cuff'. This makes it far too likely he'll make a political gaffe. He's father ahead to prepare answers and speak when he's in Windsor, or Thunder Bay. He did exactly what he should have done in my opinion, and I don't even qualify as amateur. I only have an interest in politics and I figured it out. The Spec however thinks this is front page news.

Next is an article how "The nuclear family isn't so typical anymore". It mentions how nationally, married people are in the minority (although not in Hamilton). The 2006 census also showed for the first time that there were more couples without children than with kids.

It goes on to say that a McMaster University sociology professor states "the decline in religion has made alternative unions more acceptable, including common law and same-sex couples." Also, the single parent family statistic has risen by more than 12% since 2001.

What does all this mean? I don't know. I'm from a single parent home. I'm also a happily married man who hopes one day to have a house full of kids (the exact number Jac and I are still discussing, it will be more than two and less than twelve).

The definition of family has become much more broad of late, I think. A number of factors contribute to this, not the least of which are things such as legalization of same-sex marriage, greater public acceptance of common-law relationships, and perhaps the evolution of our way of thinking.

Either way, I found it very interesting.

The third posting on the front page was about obesity (truth be told there was also something about Brian Melo, but he doesn't interest me). A columnist for the Spec with whom I have had serious misgivings about her writing of late is reporting about a man who is, in her words, 'too fat to work'.

Right now, obesity is only considered a disability if it comes from an illness, accident, or birth defect. Apparently there is a movement to change that. The man in the article hasn't worked since April of 2006. He was on modified work, then sick leave, then unemployment, all of which has run out and all the while he has not lost the weight that is preventing him from working. He is also waiting for news from OHIP to see if they will cover a gastric bypass surgery in the United States.

While reading the article it has became clear that the reason this man is as large as he is, is not by accident, illness, or birth defect. He eats too much. My tax paying dollars may fund his surgery because he can't put down a fork. Now before anyone jumps on me for that, bear in mind that I fully realize the fork is my yap far too often as well. He states that his weight loss efforts haven't worked; the article doesn't say whether or not that's due to lack of determination.

I sympathize, I really do, but I don't think the government should cough up because he won't stop eating. I can say much more on the topic but I think I've said enough to get me in enough trouble already.

So that's what I'm thinking today.

Be well all.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Highway of Heroes

The news reported last week that there are plans in the works to rename a section of the 401 the "Highway of Heroes". The particular stretch they are looking at is the approx. 170 Km stretch between CFB Trenton where the bodies of soldiers killed overseas returns to Canada, and Toronto where they bodies go for forensic testing of some sort. There was at least an on-line petition that collected in excess of 14,000 'signatures' in support of this.

Well, in the Hamilton Spec this morning was an editorial by an elderly Ancaster gentleman who, to say the least wasn't in favour of the idea. So it got me to thinking.

Most of the Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan are those that are referred to as 'Reg Force'; or Regular Forces. These are the men and women who are full time career sailors, soldiers, and airmen. This is what I will say about the full time, professional soldiers: First, when you sign the dotted line you know the chance exists that you will go into harms' way. Second, no one wants to avoid an armed conflict more than a professional soldier. In fact, they train very hard to prevent them.

Augmenting the regulars are the reservists; the soldier who for the longest time held the moniker of the 'weekend warrior'. These men and women are today exceptionally well trained and volunteer to leave employment and often loved ones behind so that they can do what many believe to be their share. The risks they face are no less tangible.

More and more reservists are needed overseas in a multitude of roles because we (as a nation) just don't have that many full time soldiers. Add to it that recruitment is a tough process and there aren't that many applying these days. In fact, there are many professions where the army will grant a 'signing bonus' because the need is so great. We just don't have the troops to do everything the government wants them to do. But I digress.

Whether or not you agree with the reasons our troops are overseas is immaterial. Their status as heroes is, in my opinion, is unquestioned.

Be well all.

Friday, August 17, 2007

It's a dog eat dog world.

So in the news recently is Toronto Humane Society man Tre Smith. For those who don't know the story, this Humane Society officer responded to a call where he found full grown rottweiler locked in a 'sweltering' automobile. The officer believed the dog was close to death and broke the window to get the dog.

This got the attention of car owner who then confronted Smith. What was said and who was the more aggressive of the two is not clear, and is in dispute. Smith left the dog owner hand-cuffed to his (the dog owner's) car while he took the dog away for what is presumed to be life saving care.

So when Metro Police arrived, they found the dog owner still handcuffed and moderately beaten; including missing several teeth I believe. While this incident is being investigated Smith has been suspended from active duty by the Toronto Humane Society.

Since then, there has been an outpouring of support for Officer Smith as well as shock and disbelief that the humane society would do this when Smith was doing what the public perceives as his job.

So because this is a contentious issue, I've decided to throw my two cents into the pot. Here it is: not only should he be suspended, he should at the very least be severely reprimanded or even lose his job.

Here's my rationale: he left the dog owner handcuffed to the car, with angry civilians around. The handcuffs negate the man's ability to defend himself from the attacks that followed. If he (Smith) felt strongly enough the man should be handcuffed, then Smith should have waited for police to arrive before he left the scene.

Also note, in the pictures of Smith in the media, when he is in uniform, he has what the military world would call "sergeant stripes" on his shoulders. In and out of the military, these chevrons invariably denote someone with years of experience, leadership, and more than just a working knowledge of rules and regulations.

I laud Smith's intentions and motives, but were I his supervisor, I would have suspended him too. At the point of writing this, and based on available information, what it boils down to is he left the dog owner handcuffed and unable to defend himself. Not to worry, I see the irony very clear.

I hope more information comes out because the way i see it right now, both Smith and the dog owner deserve punishment. I say this as a dog lover (I still love cats more though). Smith should have waited for the police, or not used the handcuffs.

I have no doubt that Officer Smith's intentions were good, but you know what they say about good intentions.

Be well all.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Pets in heaven?

First a little background. Some may or may not know that I am a cat person. I love dogs as well, just not as much as I love cats. I grew up with cats from as far back as I can remember (Jaci may argue that that particular time period usually doesn't stretch past a day). In November of 2000 I went to Animal Welfare through my vet to adopt a cat. I was fully aware that having a pet is not just a matter of convenience, it's a responsibility to love and care for the animal for the rest of its life. I was OK with this, and in short order I adopted my Ivan (the best guess figured at him being about a year old when he came to live with me).

My father-in-law summed up the difference between cats and dogs the best I've ever heard, saying that dogs treat humans like gods, and cats treat humans like staff. Ivan was certainly no exception. With that being said, if Ivan knew you, and more importantly loved you, a greater animal-friend you couldn't ask for.

Sadly Jaci an I had to have Ivan put down on the 29th of June because he had cancer. And while he wasn't in pain at the time, the vet assured me that the pain would come and the cancer was not survivable. Suffice it to say I was an emotional wreck for several days (and Jaci too).

All of this background brings me to the point of this missive: Do pets go to Heaven? I was wondering about this and then did a little digging and came to my own conclusion. So I thought I would share with whomever is reading. Please bear in mind the conclusions are my own, and I am by no means a theological scholar. I would hate for those at my work who love to mis-read my blog to think I am stating Biblical fact.

With all that out of the way, down to brass tacks. To the question at hand, the bible is silent, so to try and reach my conclusion, I had to look at things from different angles if you will.

If you look at humans, the bible teaches that we have all fallen, and are all sinners. So the way for our soul to find it's way to heaven is to be redeemed by first and foremost a belief in Christ as the risen lord. If animals have not fallen, do they need to be redeemed? Do they in fact have a soul?

One reference to animals in the bible is in 2 Kings 2:11 "As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind." Horses came down from heaven, and the horses go back up to heaven. The 'fire' part may have been just for effect, to match the chariot maybe.

Another reference is Revelation 5:13 "Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: 'To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" (italics added)

Also Revelation 19:11-14 "11I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean." (italics added)

From Isaiah 11:6-8 "6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. 7 The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest."

There are many other references as well that show that animals will be in heaven, and are in fact there now. But do they have a soul? I think the answer is both yes and no. No in that they don't have a soul in the way humans do. Man was made in God's image so on and so forth.

However, if you look at life on earth, an oak tree meets all the criterion for life because it is in fact alive; it eats, breathes, reproduces, etc. Is one oak tree different than another? No. Oak is oak, grass is grass. What about animals though? You could have two dogs, say they are pure bred dogs from the same litter, both male. Everything is lined up for one to be the same as the other, but they aren't. Each dog is completely different from the other because of personality, or dare I say it, the animal soul?

One more reference for you. 1 Corinthians 2:7-9 "7No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9However, as it is written:

"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him"

This passage tells us again that God loves us, and no one on earth really knows what we will find when we get to heaven.

I have come to the conclusion that animals do go to heaven, rightly or wrongly, maybe even for my own piece of mind. Not just because of the biblical passages, my thinking is that God loves all His creatures and because He loves you, and knows how much your pet means to you, I think that because of His love He will see you re-united.

Final point, while I am reasonably certain that animals and by extension pets will go to heaven; the bible is very clear that not all man will go to heaven. My point being that unless you are right with God, your beloved pet will wait in vain.

Be well all.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Random thoughts.

Couple of things I have been thinking about recently...and they are in no particular order:

Prince Harry, now a shiny Second Lieutenant in the Blues and Royals Regiment (Armoured) was denied to be deployed with his regiment to Iraq because of security concerns. I understand this but still think it's unfair of the British Army for a few reasons.

First, he's third in line to the throne. The likely hood of his grandmother, father, and older brother dying while he is deployed is pretty small. Also I'm sure he knows in advance that if he's captured, he's screwed, and he accepts that risk.

Second, he obviously wants to follow in his family's footsteps. His father was in the RAF, his Uncle (Prince Andrew) fought in the Falklands with the Royal Navy, his Grandfather served in the Royal Navy during the WWII and so on and so forth. He graduated from Sandhurst Military Academy (no mean feat) and wants to serve, so let him.

Third, special treatment. He doesn't want it, so don't give it. I'm sure that the higher ups in the Royal Family didn't influence the decision, but I'm sure they aren't unhappy about it. Even still, he decided to join the army, let him do what soldiers do.

Next topic.

I've been reading in the spec about nursing homes and hospital beds etc. The gist of the story is that if someone is in a hospital bed waiting for a nursing home placement, and the family refuses the first one that comes available, the hospital then charges the family 300$ per day. This makes people unhappy but really I don't think they are looking at too big a picture.

For starters, hospital stays are far more expensive than 300$ per day, regardless of the reason for being there. Next, if you can't or won't care for your aging family at home, why do you think you can be picky about where they are placed? I know everyone wants there family in the best nursing homes but I think the focus is wrong.

Geriatric patients clogging up hospital beds backs up the whole system. That's fact. Granted, that's only one cause, but it's the one we're talking about here. Nursing home fees are set by the province, one costs the same as another. If you are unhappy with the one your family member is in, my question is what are you doing to make it better? Even if it isn't a brand new facility, there are still things you can do.

It's been my experience (I used to be a charge nurse in a nursing home) that the family that squawked the most were the ones who only came to visit a few times a year. The fact remains that the population is getting older and they need to be cared for. Whose responsibility is it? Family or government? If you cannot or will not take the job on yourself (many can't, most won't) and you are relying on nursing home placements, the onus falls to you to help make it as positive an experience as possible. I could list a dozen ways to do this, but that's not where I wanted to go with this note.

Next topic.

The natives. Holy canoli the natives. I have never been supportive of their illegal activities and if my opinion counts (and lets face it, it doesn't) give them what they want.

If they as a people want to be a nation unto themselves, say yes. Why not give them a large parcel of land and make it a brand new country (let's call it "Nativeland" for sake of argument) and any status native that wants to can move there, our government can even help with the relocation. Give them a one time lump sum to set themselves up and that's it. No more government money. Period. If they want to come and go from Nativeland to Canada for shopping or to see a show or what have you, they go through customs on each end.

They will have to build embassies in any country they want to have diplomatic ties with, hire and train their own armed forces and emergency services. Build schools and hospitals etc. And they have to pay for it themselves the same way every other nation does. By taxation of their citizens. What do you think will happen next?

Next topic.

Slurpees are awesome.

This is what has been occupying my thoughts lately.

Be well all.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Long live the Duke!

So I don't blog much anymore. I was asked recently if it was because of work, and it's not. For those who aren't aware, there is a young lady or two at work who like to look at my blog (note I didn't say read), pick a word or two from each paragraph and then delight in telling others how, based on these words, I'm anti-union or something else equally asinine. This is not the case. There's just really very little I want to blog about.

There are one or two thing stirring my my noodle however that I think will find there way here in due course. The first was a milestone this past Saturday. May 26, 2007, would have been the 100Th birthday of John Wayne. This is important for a couple of reasons.

First is my dad. Through him I became quite a John Wayne fan. He and I have watched many a movie together, gives me warm fuzzies.

Second is what John Wayne represents, at least to me. The Duke was always black and white, right and wrong, good vs. bad. He was masculine without being sexist (anyone who disagrees should watch him and Maureen O'Hara on screen together) and to me represents the epitome of manhood. The Hamilton Spectator ran a whole page on the Duke in Saturday's newspaper including 100 reasons to cherish his memory. These were taken from his movies and from conversations with him. See the whole list here.

I'm going to put here some of my favorites from the list.

2. That walk.
6. "A man ought to do what he thinks is right." (Hondo)
7. For the gentile way he could treat a fragile woman.
8. For the rump-slapping way he could treat a strong woman.
11. "I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to others and I expect the same from them." (The Shootist)
14. For the incredibly cool way he cocks his rifle by twirling it in both Stagecoach and True Grit.
17. Because in spite of his reputation for invulnerability, he eagerly took on the task of playing deeply lonely men who die.
26. Because he was the first one on the set in the morning and the last one to leave.
28. "I wouldn't do that if I was you." (Hondo)
30. Because he would play anything except weak.
33. Because it didn't make any difference whether the movie was great, good or terrible, it was still John Wayne.
34. The voice.
35. "That'll be the day." (The Searchers)
43. The Quiet Man.
49. Fort Apache.
54. Because he didn't mind playing a one-eyed old fat man.
57. Because he never gave a damn about critics.
58. Because onscreen he always wanted a woman who was his full equal.
59. Because his characters were always willing to endure the consequences of their actions.
60. For having the integrity to put his money where his political mouth was and produce, direct and star in The Alamo and The Green Berets.
65. Because he was loyal.
66. "You're awful pretty when you're angry." (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance)
69. "Fill your hand, you son of a bitch!" (True Grit)
74. Because he loved dogs, and not the ones you'd think. He had springer spaniels and dachshunds.
75. Because he could suggest a terrible sorrow beneath a heroic exterior.
76. Because the dog in Hondo was actually played by Lassie, and when he won the dog in a card game from trainer Rudd Weatherwax, he gave him back.
80. "I stopped getting the girl about 10 years ago. Which is just as well, because I'd forgotten what I wanted her for."
85. "All I do is sell sincerity and I've been selling the hell out of that since I started."
86. For the graceful way he confronted the disease that was already taking his life in The Shootist.
87. Because when he was dying of cancer, in excruciating pain, he never complained.
93. "I made Rio Bravo because I didn't like High Noon. I didn't think a good town marshal was going to run around town like a chicken with his head cut off asking everyone to help."
99. For the way he lifts Natalie Wood above his head in The Searchers, then quickly brings her down to cradle her like a child.

I think today where young men and boys try to emulate and idolize gangsters and thugs, we need more like John Wayne. Jaci already knows that when we have kids, they will grow up watching John Wayne movies with their dad.

Like I did.

Be well all.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Duh Mass

So I was reading today's newspaper and I was once again floored by the stupidity of the common teenager. Now I'm not picking on teenagers in general, just the stupid ones. I'm sure that any teenager reading this will say something akin to "that's not me, he's talking about someone else, I'm invincible".

A young lady, all of eighteen years old, was clocked on the Lincoln Alexander Parkway (which has a posted limit of 90 kph) doing 194 kph. Her excuse? She thought she had run over something and was trying to "shake it loose". The full story is here, but it's small and I've given you most of it.

At that speed, she doesn't get a ticket, she gets a summons to appear before a judge who will I most sincerely hope, take her licence away for a long, long, time. Long enough that her children will be driving her around.

Some of those who read this blog are in my line of work or something similar (firefighter, nurse, cop etc) and have seen the results time and time again of teenage stupidity. I'll grant you that stupidity is most certainly not restricted to teenagers, but teenagers have their own distinct brand of duh-massness.

News headlines local and abroad are filled too often with stories about excessive speed. Almost six months ago, my old partner Darren responded to a man who was cut in half after being hit by a speeder. But it doesn't stop.

I don't get it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


So this evening I was talking to two of my co-workers that I see regularly, and a worker at St. Joseph’s Hospital about Facebook. Jaci has been into it for a few weeks now and I started up maybe a week and a half ago.

There are some things that I have noticed. There are many listed as “friends” that I work with, or talk to, or otherwise communicate in some fashion on a reasonably regular timetable. There are also a number of people that I haven’t seen, or spoken to in some time. Either old classmates, work mates, etc etc.

So I have been beginning to ask myself, if I haven’t spoken with in , why is that? Did we grow apart? Did we make attempts to stay in contact but one of us wasn’t that interested? Or was it simply that while we were together in a particular context we got along really well and then we both went different ways. It’s not that we didn’t or wouldn’t get along famously, our life paths are just different.

Case in point is a guy named Eric. We were roommates one summer (2000 I think) and we got along very well. Same interests, hung with the same crowd, same sense of humour, the works. After the summer, whenever we would see each other or talk, we’d laugh and have a great time. But we’ve moved on. We keep saying that we’ll get together, and maybe we will but for now we chat once in awhile on MSN and that works for us.

The other side of the coin is that some people are in our past for a reason. It’s not necessarily that you don’t (or didn’t) like them but you didn’t see the need to stay in touch once school was over, or you changed jobs, or whatever. Should you add them as a facebook friend? If they want to add you, it’s easy to say “no” but who wants to be the cause of someone else’s rejection? I (usually) don’t. I also have issues about the word “friend”, about which please refer to an earlier post.

So the conundrum continues.

Call me old fashioned, but I would rather send or get an email, or dare I say it, a phone call! Even if they are few and far between, it’s seems much more personal. I like personal.

It seems that old fashioned letter writing was replaced by the large scale use of the telephone, which was replaced by email (poorly formatted letter writing) which is being replaced by text messaging and “wall” graffiti. Makes you wonder why some have a hard time understanding why it is that common and effective communication is no longer common or effective.

Be well all.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

"You are hereby sentanced....."

Jaci and I are on vacation this week and have bee in Kingston since Saturday. We both really enjoy coming here for pretty well the same reasons.
1) Away from home is away from home.
2) Kingston is a very nice city to come visit.
3) To see Jaci’s family

Many married folk will take great delight in regaling others with stories of the dreaded “in-laws”. I however, can’t. Jaci has a great family. I always enjoy spending time with her brothers, sister, and in particular her parents. Really I could go on for hours about how great it is to spend time with Debi and Stan (Jac’s mom and dad) but that’s not really the point of this missive.

Yesterday Jaci and I shadowed Stan and Debi. Almost like it was a “Take your kid to work day”. Jaci with Debi and me with Stan. In case you aren’t aware, Jaci’s parents are Salvation Army Officers (ministers and so much more) who are currently appointed to Corrections in Kingston. If you have never been to Kingston there are about eight jails, prisons and/or penitentiaries in the area. Debi is mostly in the courts with families (of the accused or the victim) while Stan is mostly in the jails. There is of course a lot more that they do (anger management training, escorts, etc), but to detail everything would again, detract from the point of the missive.

So what is the point? Simply put, prisoners. Call them what you like, prisoner, inmate, convict, wrongly convicted, it makes little difference. I have held the long-term belief that those in jail deserve to be there. While they are there they should have very few “rights” and privileges should be hard to earn and pulled away at the slightest hint of infraction. If they believed that they could take away the basic rights of another, why should they get to keep theirs?

Needless to say my visit to first Pittsburgh and then Joyceville were eye-opening experiences. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I will mention one man that I met, I’ll call him “J”. He is currently serving his twenty-third year of a life sentence for rape/murder. J has been married for seventeen years now and when he will likely be released on parole soon (he’ll be on parole until he dies, life means life after all) he will move in with his long time wife and they have never spent more than a few hours at a time together. Almost like they’ll be newlyweds.

Stan and Debi will be doing marriage counseling with them right from the get-go to help ease this transition but the point that I am taking an awfully long time to get to is that my experience with J has left me changed. His openness and his candor about his crime and his experiences on the inside were both shocking and refreshing. He spoke at great length on how he knew that his problems stemmed from alcohol and how it took some time, even inside, to come to terms with that, and to begin the process of making himself a better human being.

Despite his crimes, I believe J to be a good man; He appears to have a sincere desire to use his experiences to help others face some of the same problems and issues that plagued him. He is worried about being “out” and rightly so but seems to be doing everything he can and then some to make the transition as smooth as possible.

He will likely be released soon. Statistically, those in his situation rarely re-offend and don’t present any more danger to society than you or I do. I wish him the best and will be forever grateful to him because through him I am forced to re-examine how I look at things.

I am also grateful to Stan to taking me around for the day and showing me everything he did. It may take some time for me to change my thinking on prisoners. I may never completely change my mind but if I may wax poetic for a moment, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Be well all.