Wednesday, February 24, 2021


       I have written about my dislike for call centers  before this rant. We had a few issues with call centers this week. One would think that banks would be somewhat careful about the service they give but it's not the case.  Yesterday we waited 52 minutes to have someone answer. Then they couldn't answer our question so we waited another 20 minutes to get someone who could give an answer. You have to wait too long for a call center to answer. I would be willing to wait 5 or 10 minutes but any more is just plane rude . The company does not deserve your business. Then people working in call centers are very poorly trained and do not know much about the products. 

      Okay. That was mild. 

      What are we going to do about this problem. They seem to have us as it seems to be all we can get. I think most communication is going on line. 

      Today, I met up with a completely new internet and phone problem.

       Our provincial government cheerfully told us that today we could make appointments for covid-19 vaccinations. Two systems were to be used...the phone and the internet. 

      This was meant to register all the people 75 and over in this province. There are about 290000 of us.

      Things were to open at 8:00 AM and they did. At 8:01 it was reported that the system was overloaded and you could not get on. I tried off and on all day and never got on. They registered 5000 people today. At that rate it will take 58 days just to register us and then they have to find an appointment for us. 

    If it takes this long to do the elderly what will happen to the other people.

     The government is just not willing to hire more people for the call center or provide more servers to register people on line. 

    What ever happened to good old face to face contact? 

Sunday, February 21, 2021


       I sometimes set You Tube going and let it go where it wants to while I do something else . I don't really know how you tube works and I don't really care. You tube thinks it knows what music I like and plays it for me. Once in a while You Tube throws something very different at me.

       The different tune thrown at me a while ago was a group called Pussycat. Ever hear of them? Well, I'd never heard of them. They were easy to listen to and You Tube played them often. 

       The group consisted of three female singers and a good band made up of rhythm guitar, lead guitar, bass, drums and an instrument not seen often...the steel guitar. 

        So I had never heard of this group. They were active from about 1975-85. They had hits and one of their hits was Mississippi so I naturally thought they were Americans. 

       So one day I decided to look up who this group was.

       I found many surprises. They were  a Dutch group. The female singers were sisters. That one blew me away. As I said before they had some big hits.

       So that gives a different perspective about the group and their music.

       So tell me now, how many of you have ever heard of this group? Am I the only one who missed it?

Friday, February 19, 2021


      I have been noticing with some alarm the extreme cold weather across the southern part of the United States. 

    The air with the extreme chill is a location where they are not prepared for extreme chill. They rarely get these low temperatures. I saw some temperatures with lower than minus 20 C. I would find that very cold if I had to stay outside and I'm used to cold and have winter clothing. I can only imagine the discomfort these people are going through. Everything is stacked against them: extreme cold, no electricity, no water, no heat, no food.

    Houses cool off quickly when the power is off. When the power is off most other things are off too. 

   All the power lines in my city are underground. We get power outages but not from weather. Our water lines are a minimum of 8 feet underground. We still get pipes freezing.

    So I feel very badly for the people suffering  through the brutal  cold in the United States. I hope they all survive and that the weather changes quickly.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021


     Sometimes we have a streak of good luck and at other times bad luck hits us over and over again.

     I had some bad luck the other day and before I knew it my luck had turned.

     I had to tighten the handle on my kitchen sink which required the use of a small Allan wrench. As can happen wrenches can magically slip and go flying away. This Allan wrench chose to go down my sink drain before I could see it. In other words the wrench goes down the drain and stops in the trap. Oh ! why didn't I put the cover on the drain.

Well. when a problem occurs you immediately begin looking at how it can be solved. The Micro Manager happened to be there and immediately said , "Have we got a magnet? Red says , "Can I take the pipes apart and get the wrench out."

     Well I admit the the magnet use would be the most sensible. You can see the magnet the Micro Manager found. It's a magnet on a telescoping rod. Whoops! The end of the magnet was too large to go down the holes in the drain. 

     Well, look around and see if there's something else that could be improvised.  For some reason I decided to look in a cheap tool kit my daughter left me. To my great surprise there was another telescoping rod with a magnet. 

     I put the magnet down the drain very carefully. There was a small bend that I didn't think I got around. I was checking to see how to navigate the bend when I suddenly noticed that the Allan wrench on the end of the magnet. What a surprise.

     So some bad luck turned very quickly into some good luck. 

     So the Micro Manager and I had a good laugh.

Saturday, February 13, 2021


       I have a few thoughts on reality tonight. I thought I knew what reality was but after tonight I'm not sure if I know what it is anymore.

      I was a teacher for thirty seven years. All of my teaching was at the middle school level. Some may say well, that was crazy but I look back and enjoy every minute of it. So from time to time there was a little disagreement . The Joe lawyers of the class would defend their friends but they were all in reality. They rarely told a lie. They knew the proper rules of behavior and stuck by them. If they got in trouble they accepted their punishment and life went on.

     After today and before I'm not sure that many of our politicians know what reality is . I'm not sure if they understand honesty. I'm not sure if they recognize that they are to serve the citizens of the country. I don't think our politicians understand law and order. I really wonder what politicians think their responsibility is. It doesn't look like it's to uphold the law

     For the last few years politicians have been playing fast and loose with the truth. Take the law into your own hands. Count your own ballots. I wonder how many of these people can count accurately? 

     So is reality gone? Will the word reality be taken from our dictionaries and not be used anymore? 

     Is there something to replace reality. Can we bring reality back? 

    For democracy and society to function properly caring and respect for one another has to be a basic quality.

     I was not happy to see how law order and justice played out today in the impeachment trial. Come up with any lame excuse to protect your buddy. 

    I have to make a disclaimer as I'm not an American but a Canadian. Because we live side by side and have respected one another, it's important that I know what's going on. I'm not hopeful about improvements in the near future. Some major changes are going to have to take place. How will this happen.

   Could we start with some major penalties for telling lies? 


Thursday, February 11, 2021


  It's still very cold here ...minus 32 this morning. I took the photo about 8:30 this morning when you see a combination of ice fog and other crap in the air. 

       All comments on the last post were interesting. I usually reply to the comments that come on the first day the piece was posted. Many comments came later and I will reply to some here. 

      Baili who lives in Pakistan is worried about these low temperatures. Well, I wouldn't want her high temperatures of 50 C in the summer. Even 25 C is hot to me.

     Debby checked to see if I wasn't frozen stiff. It's not such a funny comment. People do freeze to death. 

     Tabor  wonders if I worry about my furnace not working. Yes I do worry about a heating malfunction. It happened a few years ago when the thermostat died. It happened last week to Far Side.

   Yorkshire Pudding thinks Canadians are tough. Most of it is a state of mind and then we have to be smart when comes to clothing and all activities .

     John from John's Island found a weather warning for my town. It's something that I'd never seen before and warned of the danger we face. 

    What I come away with when we discuss temperatures is that it's all relative. We can get used to temperatures if we have a good attitude. We have many new immigrants here from Africa and Asia. They seem to have no problem with our weather. They drive their cars in winter driving conditions as well as anybody else. The Supervisor I had when I had a paper route was from the Phillipines. He had to make sure that all the cry baby carriers got out and if they didn't he delivered the route. Not ever any complaints from him about the cold. I suppose I could get used to Baili's extreme temperatures but I would have learn  few things.

Sunday, February 7, 2021




          Just in case you wanted to know it is minus 41 C here this morning and minus 41 C is the same as minus 41 F. 

          These photos were taken just before 9:00 AM. 

Friday, February 5, 2021



       Today we had one of those winter days with a lot of nasty winter characteristics. We had intensive cloud cover and snow. So the day was very dark even at 11:00 AM when these photos were taken. It was minus 18C (minus 1 F).

      So in the afternoon I began shoveling snow from the sidewalk and driveway. The wind had picked up by them 

      We picked up 4 or 5 cm of snow. Since it's very cold the snow is dry and powdery. nickel to the first person to tell me where I stole the title from!

Wednesday, February 3, 2021


       Most people if they haven't gone on to another blog will be asking what's TMJ. Fair question. Here's why I didn't write it out. It stands for temporomandibular joint. You can now understand why it's cut down to TMJ. This is a joint in the jaw.

      Many people have an unpleasant cracking sound in the jaw when they chew. It's irritating but not harmful. The problem is when the jaw goes out of alignment. Then there's a fair bit of discomfort. It hurts when you chew.

     So this is a long way of telling you that the Micro Manager has TMJ. It has bothered her for about 6 months. She's been doing research at top speed. There are many treatments and most of them debatable. There are many different kinds of people who will treat TMJ. Who to go to is the big question. You can get surgery or mouth appliance for treatment. You have to make a decision because everybody says their treatment is the best.

     Then there is absolutely no kind of coverage for any treatment for TMJ. My employee benefit plan does not include coverage. Our Alberta health care plan does not cover you for one cent. No senior plan gives you one dime. So you find a practitioner and make your choices and what ever you come up with is paid for out of your own pocket. It costs about $2500.00

     So an appliance was made up for the Micro Manager and it was "installed Monday. It's a device to move the jaw over so that it is back in alignment. It takes nine months and you wear the appliance 24/7.

     So far it has gone well . We need two different meals as she has to have her food pureed. This is going to be a fun time.