Monday, April 27, 2015

Ya Need a License to Get Married!

      A week or so go , a blogger I follow, found her marriage certificate in a place that was surprising. It reminded me of my marriage license.

      I met my wife in Inuvik NWT. We dated, courted , became engaged and got married there. We were in our late 20's so to go back home to be married was not an answer as most of our friends were gone. My wife had only lived in this country for about ten years and she did not have parents here. We decided to have a small wedding in the north with our friends. Some of our relatives were a little upset. It just seemed too much of a challenge to plan a wedding at a distance of 2000 miles. All went well. We had a great time.

    One little incident that we've never forgotten is getting the marriage license. We were able to make plans and set things up as we went along. Of course , getting the marriage license was one of the little details that had to be taken care of. We decided to visit the minister and tell him of our plans and ask him to marry us. Marriage licenses were a  dollar.. Ministers and others issued marriage licenses. We asked Ted for a license. Ted couldn't find the book with the licenses. Ted also said that the fee would be $2.00 as the last couple didn't pay for their license.  He couldn't remember if the book had been used up, but he promised us he would find a license for us. 

    We've always wondered who the next couple was to get their marriage license from Ted and if they paid $2.00, $1.00 or nothing.

   The micro manager just had to get this issue looked after. The hostel administrator was a minister and he had licenses. He also issued them like he was supposed to...for $1.00!
    We never did find out if Ted got more licenses.
    We've been getting rid of some of our treasures. By coincidence the wedding veil and a few other treasures were sold yesterday. Somebody was renewing vows and wanted some of the paraphernalia.

     After 49 years it's time to dispose of some great treasures.

   So the little story of our marriage license is one that we have a chuckle about from time to time.

   I would think anybody who gets married has a story that's enjoyed.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Need I Say "Snow"?

     Yes, it snowed last night! I looked out at 12:30 AM and there was heavy snow falling. It was my favorite kind of snow. The air was full of large snowflakes . I should have put my pants on and gone outside to take photos!

     The sun rose this morning at 6:17 and sets tonight at 20:48 for a total of 14 hours and 31 minutes of sunlight.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Don't Ya Just Hate it When...

      Don't ya just hate it when you can't hear people on the phone?  I'll admit right away that I have a hearing problem , but it's not that severe. I do have the volume turned up on my phone.

     So what are the problems I have. People talk too quickly. I would like  people to talk slower and then they have more precise  diction. I get upset when somebody answers the phone with rapid fire speech and I'm not too sure if I even  have the right number. I have to ask the person to repeat. You can ask some people to slow down and they get it and keep their speech at a slower rate. Some just can't adjust the rate of speech. Some people are probably a little nervous on the phone and become tense and the rate keeps up.

    Some people will not talk into the receiver so they are not loud enough to be heard. Their volume goes up and down. 

     Some people use a speakerphone and you get too much echo for consistent sound. My daughter tends to use the speakerphone when she calls so they can both get in on the conversation.

     Many call centers use headsets and they are very poor as the mike gets too far away from their mouth.

    Sometimes there's too much background noise to hear the caller very well. I had a friend who lived very close to a railway track. Sometimes the train was going by when I would try to speak to Lloyd. It was impossible.

     Some of the little cell phones are extremely cheap so the voice reproduction is poor. Last night I had a call from somebody who sounded as if they were at the bottom of a well.

    Sometimes there's too much noise in my house. That's one I can handle myself. SHUT UP! I sometimes say give me a second to turn the radio off. 

    Sometimes you find a very long recording of options  to choose from. By the time I get to the end I forget the number I should have chosen. Large stores are bad for this one. Home Depot or Walmart are bad. In fact, Walmart's phone system is just all bad.
     The recording that bugs me the most is to my doctor's office. There's a long recording. Half of it I cannot hear. The voice is weak and I'm sure gum is being chewed as she's making the recording. Why do they always choose the poorest voice to make the tape.

    So there's my rant. I hope that some call system might see my rant and have a session with their employees. Fat chance though! Call centers are just happy to find people to answer phones.

    How about you? Do you find it difficult to follow things on the phone?


Monday, April 20, 2015

I Think I've Become Elderly

      I've lived in the same small city since 1969...46 years. The population was 24000 when I moved here. Over the 46 years the population grew to around 100 000.

     I lived here long enough to have met many people. I've participated in the community and have come to know many people. I taught about 3000 students from 1968 to 1987.

    As a result, I look at the obituaries on a daily basis.  It is not uncommon to find that some  have passed away. Just recently a former student passed away. He used a power wheelchair in his last years.was passed . His family passed his wheelchair on to a 76 year old friend who had a serious spinal cord injury.

    Now recently in staring at the photos of the deceased, I've started to notice that the ones who are my age are starting to look very elderly! Many of them have been in nursing homes. Some of them have had the dread dementia. This started me thinking about myself and my age.

    Now in my head I see myself as fairly active. I think young. I still think I'm young.  So I decided I better take a look and see if I'm in this elderly group. So off to the mirror. Sure enough. There's an elderly man staring back at me! Who can this be? Well, I had to admit that it's me. I am truly in the elderly group.

    Now I'm very aware of my age and the process of becoming elderly. Somehow , we can put this in the back of our mind. We seem to think that we are always much younger than we are. However, the obituary photos have reminded me of reality.

    How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as your actual age or younger?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Guns Don't Solve Anything

      Our poor little deluded Prime Minister, Steven Harper, has just led us into some more war activity . Harper has volunteered 200 of our Service men and women to go in and train Ukrainian forces in a number of areas. Of course, there naturally will be people in the area who see this as a provocation , namely Putin, whether it is or not. My point is that Canada is taking sides  in a dispute which is way out of our control.

      Canada was in the Korean War. We were respected Peacekeepers from then until we became involved in the Afghan War. We have changed from being a peacekeeper and peace advocate to a very second rate aggressive force. We have a total force of about 70 000 men and women. Our equipment is limited and ancient. We should be the last country to enter a war. We could contribute much more to peace in other ways.

    We foolishly joined in the Afghan War. Afghanistan has a long history of disagreement between various tribes and factions. England colonized Afghanistan. The Afghanis didn't like the colonizers and finally England left , but not on their own terms. The balance between tribes and tribal areas was upset and the groups wanted to even scores and get back tribal territories they had. My history is a little foggy here but the Russians went in to separate the fighting factions. After ten years they left and again it was not on their own terms. The U.S. decided to take a round out of Afghanistan as they thought this would end or control terrorism. Now most of the forces in Afghanistan have left and again not on their own terms. 

    Now guess what? We have many more bad guys than we had before. We have really made the former bad guys angry and got many new people angry with us. The bad guys have become much worse. The bad guys have now spread over a much larger area. A lesson we haven't learned is that we can't go into an area and beat the crap out of some people and think that we solved anything. We've just made more people very angry. 

     Last year we sent 6 jets and 90 ground support for advising Iraqi and Kurdish forces. Isis is a very nasty group. Much of it has an Afghan origin. We went in for 6 months and now after 6 months we have expanded our mission. 

    Many of the disputes in the Middle East are a direct result of Imperialism. The colonisers left and left the area with major problems as they tried to establish borders which artificially put together very different groups. 

    So here we are 150 or so years later trying to bring peace to groups that we disrupted. These disputes have been going on and now with better weapons and people on both sides supplying weapons, disputes can get very large. Our own country is an example as two different groups were put together and now every once in a while we have serious talk of separation.

   From my point of view Canada would be much more effective if we stayed away from aggressive action and participated in promoting peace and providing assistance for displaced people. . There have got to be other solutions than the gun for settling disputes. There have to be better heads than we have now.

   Guns don't solve anything. People just keep getting more guns and find other people to shoot at who will shoot back.



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Record Store Day

     As I was listening to my favorite radio station the other day, I heard an interview about Record Store Day.  Half way through the interview my ears perked up to find out what they were talking about. I was too late to find out what record Store Day was all about . So I went to plan B which is look on Wikipedia.

     Record Store Day occurs on the third Saturday in April and is a day that independent music stores sponsor special events. Special record presses and releases are made on the day.There's lots of meet and greet with artists. Many promotional products are available. Each store has it's own agenda for the event so it ends up being a bit of a community event.

   What caught my ear was "vinyl" and vinyl sound compared to other sound reproduction methods.  Vinyl reproduction has been making somewhat of a comeback recently. In some ways vinyl has better sound than tapes, CDs or electronic reproduction. Now this is a debate which could go on forever. My  ear doesn't really pick up much difference ,  but what I do pick up is the difference between high quality equipment and cheap stuff.

     I listen to Randy's Vinyl Tap on CBC and Lionel's Vinyls on These are two shows that play music from records.

    I love music. No, I'm not a musician and I'm not the least bit musical. I just like listening to music. I listen to a very wide variety of music. The list of music I don't like listening to would be very short.

    Now I haven't listened to vinyl for years because the only turntable I have in the house quit working a long time ago. I have lots of tapes from the time tapes were in their hey day. I have lots of CDs.  And now with ipods I have all kinds of digital music.

   Yes, I like "good" sound. At times I like to be able to hear the individual instruments. If the bassoon is playing , I want to be able to hear it. At other times I like to listen for the sound made by the complete combination of the instruments. I'm really surprised and pleased with what you can hear on an ipod. 

    So this weekend check out your local independent music store and see if they are participating in National Record Day.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Twin Names

     I listened to a five minute documentary this morning on "Twin Names." Now apparently twin names are when people who have the same names like Bob Smith and Bob Smith.

    The woman who produced the documentary had Googled her name. Haven't we all Googled our name. She found a number of people with the same name but found one person who was about the same age. She did some research and contacted the person who had her name and found some amazing information. There were many similarities. They were the same age. They were both artists. So they talked on the documentary and made other discoveries as they went along.

    It used to be in the"olden days" that you rarely met anybody with the same name. With the Internet we just google and find all kinds of people with the same name. . We are usually just looking to find ourselves. 

   I have googled before and I find the page with all the photos of people with my name. I would look at the first page and I'm not there so I don't look any further. Today I discovered that I could find many pages with photos of people who have the same name as I have. And guess what? After about 500 photos, I found myself. The photo was a surprise as it was one where I presenting an award to someone. 

    Now there were some pretty scary dudes who have the same name as I have. 

    Forty years ago there was a kid in the Middle School next to our school who had the same name as I have. He was a handsome popular kid. He had girls hanging on him all over the place. I was kind of popular too as girls looked up the wrong phone number and phoned me.

    So I learned a new term ...twin names and found that I'm a way down in ranking as far as google is concerned. I didn't check to see how many names were after mine. 

    Now that I think about it could there be triplet names?

   So do you google your name from time to time? Do you sometimes make some interesting discoveries?