Friday, March 16, 2018

Is it Just Me . . .?

Is it just me, or:

  • Is the floor getting farther away every year? It's getting to be harder to pick stuff up. I don't know what kind of phenomena this is, but my feet are farther away too.

  • Are they making the small print smaller? This has got to be a conspiracy of  enormous proportions, because small print is getting smaller on everything: pill bottles, directions on labels, all of the buttons on my phone, and the dashboard of the car. The conspiracy is getting so widespread that my computer is affected. I used to use a 10 or 12 point size from most fonts, but now that they have changed size I can't even see the 10 point, never mind read it! I have to use a 12 or 14.

  • Have they put a  sensor on computers that prompts the unit to go to sleep as soon as the user comes back from a break? I don't know how often, but too much to be just a coincidence, the screen fades to black as soon as I sit down.

So is it just me, or are other people noticing conspiracies and coincidences going on around them?

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday Fun Facts

Five Fun Facts for Friday:
     (If you are reading this on any day that isn't Friday, read it anyway, these five facts will still be factual and fun).

1. If you are reading this, it means that you are literate.

2. If your parents had no children, it is a verifiable biological fact that you will not have any children either. I shared this fact with a friend who was having trouble getting pregnant and she made a connection right away, because her parents also couldn't have children. It was, however the wrong conclusion. She and her brother were adopted.

3. A watched pot will never boil until you turn on the correct element of the stove.

4. Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do.

5. We are already living in the future: Today is yesterday's tomorrow, and that is true if today is Friday or not.

Monday, February 12, 2018

No Kill Shelters

          Okay, I confess: I am the Quintessential Crazy Cat Lady. I can’t imagine life without cats. My hubby and our girls are all cat lovers too.  Shortly after we were married, Derek surprised me when he came home with a kitten hidden inside his jacket. My heart melted when he opened his jacket and asked, “Can we keep her?” That was the first of many, many cats loved in our home.

          They haven’t all been keepers though. We had to give away a beautiful long-haired cat when Kalene was two and she had a rash on her face that our pediatrician said was likely a reaction to the cat.

          As much as I love cats, I love my children more. I have a friend who has nine or ten cats in her house, and she says she loves her cats more than her kids. (Her kids are all grown up, don’t call Child and Family Services).  We have provided palliative care over the years to a couple of sick cats and the third grade hamster, but I don’t feel a calling to turn our home into a rescue shelter. Not that I have anything against animal rights activists, that’s just not my personal cause.

          I do think it very sad when animal shelters have to euthanize animals because there are just too many. Some shelters now are just refusing to take in any more when they are full. I don’t know which would be more heart wrenching: turning them away when there is no more room at the inn, or having to put down some of them. Some shelters recruit families to provide foster homes for animals. The shelter provides pet food and pays vet bills, so the tax payers get the bill. A much better solution would be for people to get their pets spayed or neutered, especially in cities, but we know that is highly unlikely to happen any time soon.

          If you are still reading this post, I think it would be safe to assume that you love, or at least tolerate animals. So what would you say to the idea of a clinic where all that they did was euthanize unwanted pets?  No shelter, no foster families, no adoption – just the needle. Wouldn’t that be an awful place to work?

          I love animals, but I value people more. That is why I am so passionate about pro-life issues. From conception to the end, and in between, disabled, sick, or depressed – people matter, and I am angry that our government is legislating abortion and euthanasia and calling it a human right. The right to terminate human life when it is inconvenient or burdensome should not be an option in a civilized country.

          It is not just a ‘religious thing’ to take a stand against abortion and euthanasia; it is a human rights issue.  If we are outraged to see animals neglected or abused, how much more should we be angry when humans are killed just so we don’t have to be responsible for their care?

Friday, February 9, 2018

Just Some Random Thinks I Thunk Up

Ever notice that when someone asks you a question, and your answer is prefaced with something like: "Well, I'm not sure, but I think maybe ...", your questioner will invariably ask, "Are you sure about that?"

I used to say that I had a photographic memory, but it was perpetually out of film. Then, I found the film, but in the meantime everyone else had gone digital.

When I am looking for something, it is almost always in the first place that I look. I just couldn't see it the first two or three or seven times that I looked there.

Speaking of looking for things, ever notice that Mom can always find stuff that the rest of the family can't see? At our house, we called that magical power "Mommy Eyes".

My husband has a magical power too. Whenever we can't get something mechanical or technical to function, we have to wait until Dad comes home. He is like the Appliance Whisperer. He can just push the same buttons that we've been trying all day, and the blasted thing does exactly what it is supposed to do.

Technological stuff is getting so much more multi-functional as the workings get smaller and smaller. Watches, for example. My daughter has one of those fit bit watches. It can track the number of steps she takes in a day, how many stairs she climbs, how many calories she works off. It takes her pulse and monitors her fitness. If she were to have a heart attack one day, she will probably have a watch that with a defibrillator built in, it just won't be able to call 911.

Ever notice that kids put their shoes on the wrong foot almost every time? You would think that according to the laws of probability they would get it right 50% of the time, but they don't learn probability laws in school until at least the ninth grade.

It's amazing how fast we lose our mathematical skills as soon as we turn in that cap and gown. I got almost all straight A's in math, but now I spend an embarrassing amount of time staring at the prices in the cereal aisle trying to figure out if the sale price on the small package is a better deal than the regular price of the value size.

And speaking of grocery shopping, we were at the grocery store the other day, and Hubby asked me if we were out of tuna. I said I wasn't sure, but I think that maybe we were down to the last one or two cans. So he asked me, "Are you sure about that?"

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Great Canadian Beaver Day vs Fake Prognosticating Groundhogs

I know that my friends hear this from me every year, but I am standing on my soap box once again to pitch my proposal that Canadians ditch the groundhog and the false hope he brings to winter-weary Canadians. 

I  would like to nominate the Great Canadian Beaver as our Official Prognosticator of Canadian Spring; and move the meteorological prediction date to a more realistic April 2.

I’ve always thought that the observation of Groundhog Day on February 2 was a total waste of time in Canada, especially here on the prairies. We never have spring before the end of March – why would we want a rodent like the groundhog to rub it in?  Besides, here in Manitoba, none of the real groundhogs would dare to poke their noses out of their burrows in February – they would freeze their whiskers off. We had to make a puppet – Manitoba Merv, just so we could play along.

I say that we let the Americans keep their Groundhog Day. A much more emblematic rodent in Canada is the Beaver. His glory days were in the early 1600’s when beaver pelts were currency, and his noble image graced the Hudson’s Bay Company’s shield of arms. Today, with the antifur movement, beaver pelts are almost worthless. Beaver tails are still currency, but these days they are turned in for a bounty paid by the province to reduce the population of this noble rodent, condemned to die for the crime of building well engineered homes that unfortunately cause flooding of human dwelling spaces.

I haven’t heard many animal activists trying to save the beaver, perhaps because the little varmints chew down trees that knock down power lines or land on cottage roofs. They are not cute, like the snowy white seal cubs. No one seems to care about the plight of the beaver. 

I think that the little fellows need an image makeover and a new purpose that would bring back the respect that they used to garner. I say we replace Groundhog Day in Canada with The Day of the Beaver, and let’s move the prognostication day from February until April. It has happened occasionally that spring in Manitoba starts before the middle of May, so it is more realistic that a beaver in Manitoba could make a prediction in April to let us know if spring might be arriving in less than 6 weeks.

But we don’t just want to replace an American tradition with a different species and a later date. We need some quintessential Canadianisms in the details. I propose that we send the mayor and some city councillors to knock on the door of a local beaver lodge (because we are polite here in Canada), and wait for the beaver family to send out a representative. If he (or she – we are politically correct as well) comes out of the lodge and slaps his/her tail on the ice, that means spring will make an appearance in May. But as Manitobans know, seasons here are reluctant to change, and we may get several false starts before spring weather is here to stay.

If the beaver comes out of his lodge wearing a jersey and waving a stick in his paw, that means we will have at least six more weeks of hockey.

Happy Groundhog Day, Americans!

Not so Happy for Canadians!

For those of you who have never had the joy of living in a land with four distinct seasons: Winter, More Winter, Even More Winter, and Mud/Mosquito/Road Construction Season; you may not have heard of Groundhog Day.

In the United States and Canada, Groundhog Day is on February 2. That would be today. According to tradition, townsfolk would gather around a groundhog’s burrow on February 2, and wait for the little rodent to come out. If he emerges from his burrow, then that year will have an early spring. If it sees its shadow and retreats back into the burrow, then there will be six more weeks of winter.

But where I live on the Canadian prairies, it is -15 (5) and all of the wise groundhogs are imitating the humans and staying in their homes. Which is fine with us, because we know that no matter what those little rodents see or don’t see if they are brave (or foolish) enough to poke their noses outside on a cold day like today, we will still be buried under snow six weeks from now.

This is an artistic rendering of the front door of a typical groundhog dwelling in Canada in February:
Shhhhhhush!!! They are all still sleeping. Come back in April . . . .

Monday, January 15, 2018

Can Hair Dye Make You Mad as a Hatter?

My hairdresser Laurie is a magician. Once every eight weeks, she makes my grey roots go away and makes me look young again. I don't question the magic ingredients, I just pay her to make the magic happen.
I have read and/or heard snippets over the years about the chemicals in the hair dye: lead acetate, mercury compounds, and other nasty sounding toxic stuff. The lists of ailments allegedly brought on by long term use of the magic reads like the last five seconds of narrative blitzed through on American prescription drug commercials. They start with irritability, fatigue, and headaches and always end with death.
Does this information concern me? Kinda, but not enough to cancel my next appointment with Laurie. I am already mad as a hatter, a few more chemicals can't make it much worse. This world is full of toxic stuff and we are all going to die at the end. I really don't want to be caught dead with grey roots.
Logic and reasoning in the cloud that I inhabit questions why, if these chemicals are in my hair dye and are being absorbed from my hair into my brain, why then are the roots of my hair grey? It makes more sense to me that the grey roots are a sign that as my hair grows out it is taking grey matter from my brain and allowing it to leak out. Hmm? Now that would explain everything!