Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Ordering : Going to Hell in a Handbasket of Deplorables

They can order it online from lulu.com.  Just have to search "hell in a handbasket" and it comes up.  

    I hope this works for those who would like the book.

Sunday, March 29, 2020


     For some reason or other both of my kids are excellent writers. They wrote very well through school and university. They are both excellent readers. They read at a much higher level than I do. They also read a tremendous amount.

     So it was a big surprise that I got a package the other day with a book that my daughter had written. It was no surprise that she had written a book.

    She has written a small (66 pages) very tongue in cheek book on anger management (self help) regarding the political situation in her country (U.S.A.)

    So she's made an activity book that gets people to do all kinds of activities to get rid of their anger about American politics  and along the way think about things.

    The book is called Going to Hell in a Handbasket of Deplorables by M Arentz. To give you an idea of her sense of humor she said, "Mom and Dad , you knew I really couldn't help myself!"

Tuesday, March 24, 2020


      I am the only and official dishwasher around this place. No complaints about my job.

      So today I was washing the lunch dishes. About a quarter of the way through doing the dishes I noticed that the water in the sink had disappeared. Then I noticed that the plug at the bottom of the sink was gone. Wow , did the plug go down the drain ? I quickly decided that that was stupid. 

     Then I looked around for the plug. It wasn't on the drain board. It wasn't in the other sink. It wasn't on the counter. It appeared that it wasn't anywhere in the kitchen

    Just then, out of the corner of my eye I spotted the plug sitting nicely on the little shelf I made for it.

   Now there was no one else in the room to remove the plug out of the sink. I had to be the culprit. I had no memory of removing the plug. 

    So my question to you is , what kind of virus do I have that I would remove the sink plug before I was finished dishes and not remember that I did it?

Saturday, March 21, 2020


     I have ranted about this topic a few times already. Yes, I'm not happy at all with call centers.

     Just when you think they can't be any worse they get worse. Recently. I have waited more than two hours and then hung up. Recently, I have tried to speak to people who  have very limited English skills. I've tried to talk to people who have no clue of what they are supposed to be talking about. And worse, I have talked to people who could care less about what you want to know. The worst are those who are just dishonest little dummies.

     How are call centers able to operate and be paid for such poor service? Why do companies hire call centers that are poor performers?

    What really got me thinking about the call center topic again is that I've been doing income tax so wanted information on a couple of things. I could not get a satisfactory answer. 

    So with such incredibly poor service , I began to think about what we could do to bring about some changes. 

    Several changes were brought in to make the airline industry give better service in a few areas.

    So why not get some regulations for the call center business. 

    First set a minimum time that they have to answer a call. Five minutes maximum to answer any call. Agreed? The public has a right to decent treatment . Answering a phone in a very timely manner sounds fair to me.

   Then language skills testing must be developed. Call center employees must have a basic language skill so that they can be understood 90% of the time. A standard language test must be given.

   Call center employees must have a good knowledge of the products they are dealing with. Call centers should have to test employees. If the employee doesn't know the product , they can find some other line of work.

   So you see where I'm going with this. Call centers must perform or they face fines for poor performance. 

   Agreed? Now we have to get busy and complain to whoever will listen. Make lots of noise. Let's see if we can get some changes.

Thursday, March 19, 2020


    Well, since by definition it is spring I will have to make note of it.  One of my last posts was about weather and spring. 

    So today is when spring officially arrives. The sun crosses the equator from south to north.

    So today the sun rises at my place at 7:38 AM and sets at 7:47 Pm giving me 12 hrs and 9 min of sun. So much for the equal day and night on the first day of spring.

    Well, I won't crab about the details. It's time to enjoy spring.

    So today it was clear with a high of minus 8 C (14 F).

    One thing when spring comes here it's rapid. Since we have so much sunlight at this time snow will disappear quickly. 

    Jan. 26 , 2020.

Sunday, March 15, 2020


    I'm tired of winter. I'm really tired of winter

    I'll tell you why.

    Yesterday we had a HIGH of minus 18 C (minus 12 F) There was snow. drifting snow and a high wind. Now this didn't set any records but it was very unpleasant. Today I woke up to minus 30 C (minus 22 F)   still not a record low. 

    Now we haven't had a harsh winter. We had 10 very cold days in January. For the most part daily highs were around ) C (32 F). All of Feb was pleasant. Now for some unknown reason the weather is very nasty.

     Now to add to my whining, some of the bloggers I follow are showing some great spring weather. They are showing all kinds of flowers blooming. These people really know how to rub it in so I will tell you who they are.

      Henny Penny at Henny Penny Lane

     Linda at   Linda's Letters

     The Weaver at the Weaver of Grass

     English girl at an English Girl Rambles.

     Now there are others who show green grass and blooms. These four  culprits are the worst.

     I will have to admit that the spring blooms are nice and that there is great photography. The Weaver doesn't show photos but her writing is very descriptive so that you can easily imagine what it looks like.

     Okay, I've done my whining. I feel better and I know that spring for me can't be that far way.

Friday, March 13, 2020


   Today I naively went to three grocery stores. The first trip was around 10:30 AM . I should have known something was up as the parking lot was almost full. There was a very long line up for the cashiers. 

    The next store I checked in about 1:00 Pm. Again the parking lot was full and there was a buzz in the store.

    I mistakenly thought the third store would not be filled but it was. The third store also had many shelves that were completely empty. 

    What's going on? Well, it was pay day for one thing.  But more than that people seemed to be stocking up. They had very large orders. Not Toilet paper though. All the toilet paper was gone.

    Yes , there's a nasty virus going around. We have to be prepared as well as possible , but today it felt like panic had set in. Our Prime Minister's wife has tested positive for the virus. Our Prime Minister is in voluntary quarantine.

   I listened to my radio for most of the day. In Canada a number of major announcements were made by the government. There are two issues. One is the economy. The second is health. The Canadian government announced a number of programs to prop up the economy. They threw a dump truck load of money ( maybe it was quite a few dump trucks) into the economy to deal with the effects on the economy. The prime interest rate was lowered to stimulate the economy. Billions are available to assist small business and workers who may be laid off. 

    Our parliament has been closed until the end of April.

    Then the hints on how to live to try and avoid the virus were endless. Things are in high gear in this country to deal with the virus. Number one is that they want to try and prevent the virus spreading. There are some very simple things that can be done. It only takes discipline to do them. Number two it that they want to restrict as much movement as possible and limit contact. So close the schools, shut down large crowds...no more sports. It seems that very little health treatment is needed for the virus but our emergencies are filled with worried people. The best thing is to stay home .

    There is much speculation on what this virus could do. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

    I hope that all of you can avoid the experience of the virus.  

   Stay well.


Monday, March 9, 2020


      I live in a small city of 100000 people. We are fortunate to have mayors and councils  who are agreeable and make sound decisions for the city. Most issues at council are settled by concensus. 

     However, last week an issue came up and the behavior was far from agreeable. 

     Most towns and cities in this area have passed motions to ban conversion therapy. Conversion therapy is a belief that ones sexual orientation can be changed by therapy. Now the believers of this idea play fast and loose with the term therapy. This therapy in some cases can be very abusive . There isn't evidence that sexual orientation can be changed . If you threaten and scare the hell out of somebody they may say that they change their sexual orientation but it's only words. 

   Now the intention of towns and cities banning conversion therapy is good but they do not have any way to enforce the issue.

   So getting back to our council. They were definitely not on the same page on this issue. One or two of them were very much against a ban on conversion therapy. Things got nasty before they decided to call the thing off. 

   One of the members of council is LDS (Latter Day Saints (Morman) and they do not have any tolerance toward LGBT issues. Just the other day one of their colleges pushed a ban on same sex activities...holding hands in public. 

    So a council that prided itself in being inclusive fumbled the ball. I'm not happy with my city council

    We are much stronger if we include people in our communities. We are better people if we reach out to others. We have to be able to accept differences from some people but those differences should not demand that everyone conform. 

     One of the things I spent a few years of my life was teaching aboriginal people. We had the mistaken idea that we could make indigenous people  into nice little white people. Look at the disaster we made. 

Saturday, March 7, 2020


    Today we had a high of minus 11 C and it snowed all day.  It's not a typical March day but it happens. We get most of our snow in March.

    However, it's not all bad. Owls are on the nests now. I will give you a link so that you can look at one of our well known owls on their nest. There has been a pair of great horned owls nesting at Ellis bird farm for quite a few years. Last year they had four hatch. The young were crawling around in trees. I'm not sure how many made it to adult hood.

    Anyway take a look at our owls.


Monday, March 2, 2020


     Your comments give me an opportunity to reconsider what I've written in a previous post. For the post on the internet I was trying to comment on one of the problems with the internet. There are others. But I made it seem like all the internet was negative which isn't so. . The internet has allowed us to achieve much by having a much better communication system.

     Then I got thinking about radio and television. I think they both started with hopes for better communication and keeping people together. Radio took a long time to get to the point where homes could have a radio . The first radios in homes where large affairs with poor quality reception. So people had to crowd around the machine and they also invited neighbors. The first radios were battery powered. Electric radios came later and transistor radios about 1954. So families and neighbors gathered around the radio. When the transistor arrived radio became an individual happening. In the beginning there were very few radio stations. Now there are thousands. 

     In 1953, I got my Grandpa's beautiful large wooden cabinet radio. I could listen to radio stations from very far away. There were many different languages and I heard different music. My experience with Grandpa's radio came to an end when I couldn't buy the battery that was required.

     As a kid I made a small radio with parts obtained around the house. We used a magnet, cold of wire, flashlight battery and earphones and wow! We had to buy the crystal. Every kid could have a radio. This gizmo was called a crystal radio.

    Television developed much the same as radio. We had one television station. All the family gathered around the TV. Neighbors got together to watch TV. We didn't have our own TV so we went to the neighbors to watch a very poor reception which was described as snowy. Does anybody have a snowy picture today? Soon homes had more than one television set. Kids had their own TV and watched their own shows. Now we have hundreds of channels to choose from and smart guys who charge us lots of money to see them. 

    So as communication devices develop and change, the listeners and viewers have to change and have a new experience. Or do the listeners and viewers have to change because of the guys with the money? We certainly hear and see far more ads so the money guys can get far more money.