Dec 30


I try my best not bringing up politics or religion. Being my last blog for 2018, I’m going out on a limb. No humor here. I ask only one thing. I’m talking about politics,  please be as bipartisan as you possibly can.

A new party took over leadership of the province of Ontario recently with the premier saying promises made, promises kept.

Here’s what changed:
 —  Doug Ford did away with the province’s child advocate aimed at protecting and improving children’s lives.
 —  He cut funding education aimed at students who struggle most and provided jobs for other students.
 —  Here’s something I didn’t know. Highway signs proclaiming ‘Ontario was open for business’ – a pure public relations – plug paid not by his party – but by we the taxpayers.
–   He cancelled electric-car rebates, there initially to encourage drivers to drive away from gas-guzzlers.
–   Premier Doug Ford promised before the election he wouldn’t touch the greenbelt safeguarding areas around southern Ontario, including Niagara/Hamilton and the Greater Toronto area. Yet he has given his municipal affairs minister, at the request of municipalities, free to exempt commercial developments from a whole host of environmental laws. Don’t believe me? Check out Bill 66.
 —  This one really irks me. He revoked, immediately on getting into power, the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour,  as the previous government had done, to protect the most vulnerable workers.

Author’s comment: This is only the tip of the iceberg. He axed planned university campuses, one a French-speaking. He retroactively cut funding to the College of Midwives. Knocking the hell out of Ontario’s Clean Air Act, put in place after the Walkerton taint-water scandal. Read more elsewhere; I’m out of breath. Patience.

Posted on December 30th, 2018 by Clarke
Dec 23


I have a buddy who astounds me with his ingenuity. He builds stuff, which always pay off. His name, Brent Spence. Average height built with a genuine smile. He took early retirement from Molson Breweries, wanting to do what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.

Brent has been good at making things. Move into a new house and before you know it, he’s ripping out staircases, melding the living room with the dining room. He knocks out a portion of the back wall overlooking his backyard and puts in double glass doors onto a large wood deck he’d already finished building.

Now, about his ingenuity. Late last summer, Brent decided to make Christmas reindeers out of branches from a dead tree. The body of it would come from 10” (25 cm) X 2” (5 cm) diameter branches. The legs from smaller straight branches. Little ruby eyes from Dollarama. Antlers from littler branches. (see photo).

To ensure all the parts stayed intact, he used some small handheld electric gizmo which melts the small tubes of wax to fill the appropriate holes, keeping the pieces place.

By late November, early December, Brent had his reindeer in varying sizes: small, medium and large. Now, who would he sell them to? Walmart? Costco?

Not Brent. He arranged them all over his front lawn and waited for curious passersby to see what the heck he was up to.

Cars pulled up on the street. Drivers and their passengers got out, fascinated by this weird but colorful collection of reindeer. No one stopped and drove off without buying a little creature. Someone bought six of different sizes and with no room for them in her car, Brent delivered them in his pickup.

He was recently pulled over by two women police officers. He tried to figure out what he’d done wrong. Turns out they only wanted to see the beautiful reindeer in the back of the pickup.

As of Saturday, 22 December, he’d sold the last of 200 reindeer. With each came a guarantee: Break a leg or lose an eye, from one brought the previous year, and Brent replaces the parts. For free.

Author’s comment: Christmas 2018 will be here in a couple days. Merry Christmas to everyone. Or if you prefer,  Happy Holidays.


Posted on December 23rd, 2018 by Clarke