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As I blogged the other day regarding the treatment of our Canadian Armed forces, although I am a firm believer in the Conservative point of view, I cannot condone the way our armed forces are treated. There is an old adage that those who neglect their history, are bound to repeat the mistakes.

With all the madness that is around us in the world today, I think that there is a very real threat from some misguided Muslim radical, or group of same to just about any part of the world. It is therefore incumbent on the free world to maintain some position of readiness to defend our way of life. We in no way can condone what some of these radicals pursue, a way of death and destruction.

With respect to the need for preparedness, I read a great opinion piece in the Calgary Herald last Sunday by Brian Lee Crowley, that said it far more effectively than I could have. Take a look at the piece Brian wrote: Crowley


TODAY’S WEB PAGE

This page is a bit long, but the ideas expressed on it are important to all of us who live in the free world. Check it out: Racist
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How many of us have considered that Israel is not much more than a sand filled desert? I have been guilty of that view having never travelled there, but a friend has sent me a video that puts the lie to that idea. Take a look: Israel

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We all know that Willie Nelson has written and sung some great songs, but I bet you never saw him do card tricks. Fun to watch him as he does a trick that has been around for a while: Nelson


TODAY’S QUOTE:

Freedom does not come without a price.  We may sometimes take for granted the many liberties we enjoy in America, but they have all been earned through the ultimate sacrifice paid by so many of the members of our armed forces.

Charlie Dent


EXIT LAUGHING:

A Mafia Godfather finds out that his bookkeeper, Guido, has cheated him out of $10,000,000! His bookkeeper is deaf – that was the reason he got the job in the first place.  It was assumed that Guido would hear nothing and would therefore never have to testify in court.

When the Godfather goes to confront Guido about the missing $10 million, he takes along his lawyer, who knows sign language.

The Godfather tells the lawyer, "Ask him where the money is." The lawyer, using sign language, asks Guido, "Where’s the money?"

Guido signs back, "I don’t know what you are talking about."

The lawyer tells the Godfather, "He says he doesn’t know what you are talking about."

The Godfather pulls out a pistol, puts it to Guido’s head and says, "Ask him again or I’ll kill him!"

The lawyer signs to Guido, "He’ll kill you if you don’t tell him."

Guido trembles and signs back, "OK!  You win!  The money is in a brown briefcase, buried behind the shed at my cousin Bruno’s house."

The Godfather asks the lawyer, "What did he say?"

The lawyer replies, "He says you don’t have the cajones to pull the trigger."
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A young Scottish lad and lass were sitting on a low stone wall, holding hands, gazing out over the loch.

For several minutes they sat silently.  Then finally the girl looked at the boy and said, "A penny for your thoughts, Angus."

"Well, uh, I was thinkin…  perhaps it’s aboot time for a wee kiss."

The girl blushed, then leaned over and kissed him lightly on the cheek.

Then he blushed.  The two turned once again to gaze out over the loch.

Minutes passed and the girl spoke again.  "Another penny for your thoughts, Angus?"

"Well, uh, I was thinkin’ perhaps it’s noo aboot time for a wee cuddle." The girl blushed, then leaned over and cuddled him for a few seconds.
Then he blushed.

And the two turned once again to gaze out over the loch.  After a while, she again said, "Another penny for your thoughts, Angus."

"Well, uh, I was thinkin’ perhaps it’s aboot time you let me put my hand on your leg." The girl blushed, then took his hand and put it on her knee.  Then he blushed.

Then the two turned once again to gaze out over the loch before the girl spoke again.  "Another penny for your thoughts, Angus."

The young man glanced down with a furled brow.  "Well, noo," he said, ‘my thoughts are a wee bit more serious this time.’ "Really?" said the lass in a whisper, filled with anticipation.

"Aye," said the lad, nodding.

The girl looked away in shyness, began to blush, and bit her lip in anticipation of the ultimate request.

Then he said, "Dae ye nae think it’s aboot time ye paid me the first three pennies?"


Have a Great Day, and be nice to one another.

Ross Smile

Last Wednesday evening I witnessed what I suppose could properly be described as a “murder” of crows. Yes, that is what would otherwise be called a flock in another species. Anyway, they flew over heading north (crows are not too bright) and I have no idea where they were going. There were anywhere near fifteen birds at a time, some lesser amounts of ten maybe, but they were clearly all in the same group. It all happened so fast I have no idea how many there were in the murder, but I would estimate there had to be close to eighty! Since then the crows have been few and far between.

I have a couple of bird feeders in my front yard, that provide no end of entertainment, as I have written abut before. The cost is minimal, and the number of birds I have managed to attract is big. As I write this, sparrows are flocking to the seed feeder, stocked with black oil sunflower seeds. Along with them are at least a couple of families of purple finches, same for chickadees. I have never seen so many chickadees as this year. In past years when the sparrows would flock to the feeder, the chickadees would wait on a nearby branch for a break in the action, fly in take a seed back to the tree, and repeat as often as needed. Now they just wade in help themselves, and are not bothered by  the sparrows. The same thing is happening with the Purple finch families. It is bedlam at the food source.

About a month ago, we started to see a couple of kinds of woodpeckers around, both of which will winter in the area if there is enough food. One of these is the Northern Flicker, and he is partial to ants, often seen eating at an ant hill. Our ants will hide away for the winter deep underground, and the food is not available, and I seriously doubt we will see him through the winter.

Downy_Woodpecker-MaleFirst we saw just one, but today there is a pair at our suet feeder. They are one of the tiniest woodpeckers, the Downy. I do hope they stay for the winter, they normally do, but they may just fly somewhere else. I will continue with the suet feeder over the winter and watch what happens. The picture is of a male, the female has no red on the head.

One other bird is the magpie that winters here and seems to love the feeders. They are pretty much scavengers or predators to the small song birds, but at this time of year, they are not choosey. The other smaller birds, while wary ,will sit in a nearby tree, kind of ignoring the intrusion of the magpie. The magpie doesn’t eat too well from the suet feeder, since it is way too wobbly, so he looks up from  the ground, takes a run at the cage, and knocks a bit of suet out of the feeder. Then he heads back to the ground to pick up what he knocked down. Smart birds, but no too efficient.

For a few days about a week a go, the American Robin came back to the yard looking for the berries on the Mayday, and chokecherry trees. We likely had a hundred of them and I suspect that they are now on their way to the south, before another snowstorm hits.


This is where the title of today’s blog came from. I. Needa Place is the fictional name of a woman we know. She is a single mom and doesn’t make a ton of money. The cost of living in Calgary is the highest in Canada, so for her a decent place to live is impossible to come by.

The city of Calgary does offer assisted living to help with our problem of homeless people, or those with a very low income. This lady applied for some help, but got turned away since she was so far down at the bottom of the list, she will likely never get any help.

Now here is the kicker, the city has a number of people living in these low income suites that make over a hundred thousand a year! They pay the full going rate or market rate for the chance to live in one of these places, but they take out of the stream a place that could be used by someone who needs it. ( The city justifies this saying that the higher rents help the subsidy, and that doing this prevents a ghetto kind of building). Maybe so, but as a result we have a few thousand people on the street in probably the richest city in Canada. It may only be a few places, but that is not the point, these homes were set up to help those who could not afford our very high priced home or the rents.

Consider one other thing our brain trust in City Hall is now looking at. Granny Suites or basement suites as they are called in some localities. Many municipalities across North America have allowed these legal suites to be built into basements, using a permit system, and by doing so have provided a safe place for low income, transient, or some of their own family to live. Our fair city has decided that they do not like the idea and have made it difficult for people to put these suites in. They cite parking on the streets as a problem that they see, and I suspect they fear the backlash from people already living in the areas.

Should the city ever OK these suites like countless communities in other North American jurisdictions, they, would have smoke alarms, a legal size exit window for fire safety,proper ceiling height, and so on.

The last kicker is this, there are literally thousands of ILLEGAL suites in Calgary, that have been built after the the house was inspected that may or not be safe to live in. From my back window, I can see at least 2 of these, and I know of one other where I delivered Meals on Wheels to a single person. Nobody seems to care about these, but  if you want to do it right, and legally, it is most unlikely to happen with our over bloated bureaucratic city hall and their licencing system.

So in the meantime, Needa is living in a place that is less than satisfactory, while our city hall does what it does best, waste money and dither.


TODAY’S WEB PAGE:
Most people think of Israel as being just a desert country. Yep, there is desert to be sure, but check out this video of a beautiful country: Israel

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This is a video of a tourist camp in Africa, where a group of gorillas wander in to the camp and interact with the tourists. Take a look: Gorillas


TODAY’S QUOTE:

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
Maya Angelou


EXIT LAUGHING:

In a train from London to Manchester an American was berating the

Englishman sitting across from him in the compartment.

"The trouble with you English is that you are too stuffy.

You set yourselves apart too much.

You think your stiff upper lip makes you above the rest of us.

Look at me…  I’m me!  I have Italian blood, Greek blood, a little Irish blood and some Spanish blood.

What do you say to that?"

The Englishman lowered his newspaper and replied, "How very sporting of your mother!"

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A 25-year-old Jewish girl tells her mum that she has missed her period for 2 months.

Very worried, the mother goes to the local pharmacy and buys a pregnancy test kit The test confirms that her daughter is pregnant.

Shouting and crying, the mother says, "Who was the selfish bastard that did this to you?  I demand to know!"

Without answering, the girl picks up the phone and makes a call.  Half an hour later, a Bentley stops in front of their house.  A middle-aged and very distinguished man steps out of the car and enters the house.

He sits in the lounge with the father and mother, and tells them, "Your daughter has informed me of the problem.  I can’t marry her because of my personal family situation but I’ll take charge.  I will pay all costs and provide for your daughter for the rest of her life."

He continues, "Additionally, if a girl is born I will bequeath two retail furniture stores, a deli, a chateau in France and a £1m bank account."

He continues, "If a boy is born my legacy will be a chain of jewellery stores and a £25m bank account."

"However, if there is a miscarriage I’m not sure what to do.  What would you suggest?"

All silent at this point, the mother placed a hand firmly on the man’s shoulder and told him, "You’ll try again."


Have a Great Day, and be nice to one another

Ross Smile

Like many others I have been watching the events unfolding in Syria and Iraq over the past few days. Even with the bombings and air strikes by the US and others in the coalition, they continue in their barbaric ways.

I have also been watching how our Prime Minister has reacted to the events in Syria and Iraq. I am disappointed in our leader in that he is waffling on something that should be as obvious as the nose on his face.

While the world is scaling up for conflict, we in Canada are relying on old aircraft to move troops and armour around. Our ships are getting on in years and our subs are a joke foisted off on us by the Brits. The Australians, with a smaller country than us have a way belter armed forces. Recently we had to pirate a guidance system out of one of our museum aircraft to put into one of our still operating aircraft. Terrible.

The world is an unsafe place right now, and it is getting deadlier every day, and the free world will have to take a stand on this ISIS issue, and Canada must be a part of it. Get our armed forces up to speed with the right training and equipment, and merge them with the other members of  the coalition, before we are fighting these bozos over here.

I got a reply from the PMO, regarding a letter I wrote pointing out my concerns, but these thing all need what we called tonnage to get somebody in Ottawa or elsewhere to move. If you would like to comment to our Prime Minister, this email address will do the trick: stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca


AND THEY BREED
A few days ago, my wife was shopping, and there was a woman with a small child in the shopping cart, who was standing up in the cart. This as nearly everybody but the mother knows is a recipe for disaster. Another patron in the store told the woman of an experience his family had with the same situation and the outcome of several hours in the Emergency ward when the child fell out and hit his head on the floor.

We were on our way to meet up with friends and we came across a woman attempting to cross one of our major roads with an infant in a stroller. The infant was standing at the back of the stroller, leaning back against mom. Another accident  avoided, but it would have been another of those so sad things if it had not been OK, fortunately.

Today, I was travelling down a street near home, where cars were parked at the curb. There is a marked crosswalk there and it is equipped with a warning light, activated by pushing a button. In this case, a guy pushed the button, I saw the light, and expected to see a person cross, and had started to slow. The problem was that there was a van parked very close to the crosswalk, so the light came on and right now there is a man walking across the road in front of me. He never looked. He came very close to getting hit, but I did get stopped before the crosswalk.

It just goes to prove that there is no law against stupidity.


The following piece is alleged to have been found in Coach Bear Bryant’s wallet after his death in 1982. I check it out on Snopes but I was unable to verify the truth. However it is still an interesting concept, and I was a bit intrigued with it, and I thought others would as well, so I offer it up. It is titled the Magic Bank Account.

The Magic Bank Account

Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest: Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use.  However, this prize has rules:  The set of rules:

1.  Everything that you didn’t spend during each day would be taken away from you.

2.  You may not simply transfer money into some other account.

3.  You may only spend it.

4.  Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day.

5.  The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say, “Game Over!".  It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.

What would you personally do?

You would buy anything and everything you wanted right?  Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and care for.  Even for people you don’t know, because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself, right?

You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the morning, right?

ACTUALLY, This GAME is REAL …Shocked ???  YES!

Each of us is already a winner of this *PRIZE*.  We just can’t seem to see it.  The PRIZE is *TIME*

1.  Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life.

2.  And when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is Not credited to us.

3.  What we haven’t used up that day is forever lost.

4.  Yesterday is forever gone.

5.  Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT WARNING…

SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds?

Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars.  Think about it and remember to enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think.

So take care of yourself, be happy, love deeply and enjoy life!
Here’s wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day.  Start “spending”….

"DON’T COMPLAIN ABOUT GROWING OLD…!"

SOME PEOPLE DON’T GET THE PRIVILEGE!’


TODAY’S WEB PAGE:

This is a video of an ad, done by Volkswagen. It was shown in theaters, and the patrons were asked to keep their cell phones on. Good ad, take a look: volkswagen

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This is a cute video of an old couple doing a 40’s jive dance. The outcome is unexpected, and is pretty funny. Jive dance


TODAY’S QUOTE:

If you’re going to do something tonight that you’ll be sorry for tomorrow morning, sleep late.

Henny Youngman


EXIT LAUGHING:

BLOG)31378

Have a Great Day and be nice to one another.

Ross Smile

I am sure I have written about our pot luck dinners at least once before. Maybe not. So, for those who were unlucky enough to not be there, I offer up my view of it all.

Way back in the days, when we moved in, in 1998, our clubhouse or community center has just been finished. A lady, Maureen Hanna, who lived in phase 1 of the 3 phase project was operating as the Chair for our newly formed Social Committee. She was assisted by Delores Shultz, an employee of the company who owned the copywrite on the Dream View Village name. The name change came a few years later when it became Sienna Park Green Village. But I have gotten ahead of myself.

At that time we were having quite a time enjoying a number of events, mainly coffee parties twice a month, plus another event, usually some kind of dinner, and it was usually a pot-luck dinner. Special events were also held, like a Stampede Breakfast, Valentine evening, and so forth.

Our pot-lucks proved to be very popular. Folks could put up food enough for 8 portions, which was the suggested rule, and come with their neighbour with there contribution and have a wee Happy Hour followed by dinner. The format really hasn’t changed, only the frequency. When the phase 3 came on stream, the support from these folks was big. They embraced our community center with gusto.

My feeling on this has never changed. I think the pot-luck dinners are simply great. Where else can you enjoy some very good food, a happy hour with your friends and neighbours, no need to go outside the property, no risk of driving drunk, just a fun evening with the folks in the ‘hood. Not even the need to get dressed up unless you felt compelled to do so! and lastly no bill for $30.00 at the end of the evening, and that is per person! And likely not as good.

Time passed as it always does, some of the folks died, some moved away, some just got older, and with that came a decrease in the numbers who would come out for our pot-lucks or for anything else for that matter.

Anyway, last night was some nice wine, (my homemade California red) a great variety of food in good quantity, all held together with buns contributed by the social committee, as well as the coffee. Desserts were as usual, excellent. The only thing wrong with the dinner that I could find was that Frances won the 50/50 draw and not me!

The Social Committee will have more of these parties, some possibly themed, so I implore those of our community to who have never been to a pot luck dinner, a western tradition, to come out, give it a try. If you came in the past and have dropped out, try to make it to the next event. Show up with your wine, or whatever and some dinner component, sit down at a table, preferably one that is occupied, pour a glass of your favourite libation and enjoy! See you there!


TODAY’S WEB PAGE.

It is possible I think that I have written about this place at some time in the past. We stopped at the place, way back in 2002, and it was a place in turmoil due to the building being under construction, and the ongoing feud by the owner/builder and the local government. We got talking about the place, and it is till there, but it is finished now. It is Bishops Castle ion State highway 165 in Colorado. The dragon on the structure actually spouts fire, usually on Halloween. Take a look: Bishop
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Sometimes a video comes along that leaves you saying WOW! This is a video of a young girl art prodigy. Check it out: Prodigy


TODAY’S QUOTE:

You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.

Yogi Berra



EXIT LAUGHING:

A Canadian version of an old joke:

I was eating breakfast at McDonald’s the other day with a friend and her 10 year old grand-daughter.

My friend asked her grand-daughter, "What day is tomorrow?".

Without skipping a beat the little girl said, "It’s Prime Minister Day!"

She’s smart, so I asked her "What does Prime Minister Day mean?"
I was waiting for something about Harper or one of the past Prime Ministers.

She replied, "Prime Minister Day is when the Prime Minister steps out of the House of Commons, and if he sees his shadow, we have another year of bull s**t."

You know, it hurts when hot coffee spurts out your nose!

And you thought Wiarton Wiilie’s prediction was important. 
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I don’t want to get in any trouble for these! I just laugh at them and pass ‘em on.
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Special Package for Businessmen

An Airline introduced a special package for Business men.

Buy your ticket, get your wife’s ticket free.

After great success, the company sent letters to all the wives asking how was the trip.

All of them gave the same reply…"What trip?"
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New SIM to Surprise Her Husband Woman buys a new Sim Card. 

Puts it in her phone and decides to surprise her husband who is seated on the couch in the living room.

She goes to the kitchen, calls her husband with the new number:

"Hello Darling."

The husband responds in a low tone:

"Let me call you back later Honey, my wife is in the kitchen.

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Cool Message by a Wife Dear Mother-in-law,

"Don’t teach me how to handle my children, I’m living with one of yours & he needs a lot of improvement."

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Throwing Knives at Wife’s Picture Husband was throwing knives at his wife’s picture.

All the knives were missing the target!

Suddenly he received a call from her "Hi, what are you doing?"

His honest reply, "MISSING YOU."

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Habit of Talking in Sleep A lady to doctor:
My husband has a habit of talking in his sleep!  What should I give him to cure it?

Dr: Give him an opportunity to speak when he is awake.

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Natural Disasters Just Happen
Nobody teaches volcanoes to erupt, tsunamis to devastate, hurricanes to swirl around and no one teaches a man how to choose a wife.  Natural disasters just happen.

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Your Husband Needs Rest Doctor:
Madam, your husband needs rest and peace, so here are some sleeping pills.

Wife: Doc, when should I give them to him?

Doctor: They are for you !


Have a Great Day, and be nice to each other

Ross Smile

Now hear this!

A few weeks ago, we discovered a new GP doctor. As the custom is today, one gets an interview from said MD BEFORE you are accepted as a patient. Fair enough I suppose, since that interview will work both ways. It may turn out we don’t want him!

Our interview went well, I suppose, since we got to sign on, and frankly I’m glad we did. Our new doctor is from Africa, and has an accent, and during our chat he asked me if I had a hearing problem. My wife blurted out that I sure did. Gee, thanks a lot for that sweetie! That short episode resulted in me going in to a hearing aid supplier and getting an audio test. We sent a copy of the audiogram to the doctor and one to me, along with the analysis that I was likely a candidate for hearing aids. This was based on several criteria, the main one in my mind was that I simply no longer heard 20 % of any conversation since I could not  understand even simple words! The rest of the tests concluded that some portions of the audio spectrum were lost on me, such as higher frequencies, and the very low ones.

This helps explain why I no longer heard all the dialogue in the movies I watch on TV. The picture is just fine (even with double vision) but I sure miss the dialogue. The facts are, that like a lot of my peers, I have reached an “age” where my hearing has declined due to the ravages of the years, excessive noise from jet planes I suppose, since I have never liked heavy metal bands. I also had a medical problem when I was in my early teens with one ear.

OK, enough preamble. I got fitted with a mid priced set (you need 2 aids) of what I consider to be  perfect for my hearing loss. The movies are way better, hearing an individual in a crowd is no longer a problem, and I am not going around saying Pardon me!

A word on the supplier, if I may. There are any number of stores that will do a free audiograph, and analysis of your hearing. This store was recommended by my new doctor, and they charge for the audiograph. It cost $85:00, refundable if I decided to buy from them. There was no high pressure, just the facts of the case. I spoke to my doctor, and together we came to the same conclusion, that hearing aids would work for me.

The next step was to see the supplier, and select the aid I would use. We live in a 50 plus condo with about 240 people varying in age now up to over 90. All these people are of an “age” as mentioned earlier. Some have hearing aids, many of which were the kind that sat in the ear, and for me to watch these folks continuously fiddle with them and constantly complain about them, was a big time turn off. Recently I have seen a small aid that sits outside the ear, and the folks who have them seem happy with them. A short conversation with the people at the supplier confirmed my observations, so a couple of aids for behind the ear were selected, and then programmed using  the software in the aid to customize them to my needs.

OK, a word or so about what they will not do. No hearing aid will restore your hearing to what it was years ago. They come close, but it is not the same. What will they do? Lots. In my case they pre-emphasised the higher frequencies, they set up a directional microphone (one of the two in each aid) to focus on the sound coming directly from the front of me, like in a movie, TV or conversation.

Since getting the aids, I have been in a large room at our clubhouse with 50-60 people and I was easily able to carry on a conversation, instead of just nod and smile like an idiot. The sound from the rear microphones are supressed and the front microphones do all the pick up and the hearing is easy.

I was instructed to wear the aids daily for 2 weeks from the time I get up until I go to bed. The reason for this is to handle my and my ears learning curve. My ears needed to relearn sounds, it took years to reach the state they were in. I needed to accustom myself to the new hearing and to the fact I had these things in my ears That part was easy, within a couple of hours with them installed, I forgot they were there.

Another feature of the aids I have is a remote control that can hook up to the TV and play directly into the aids. This is an extra cost option on the units I selected but it can be added later. The TV doesn’t need to keep my neighbours across the street awake any longer, just so I can hear the audio. (In the summer when the windows are open, I can hear my neighbours TV on during the day through the open windows when I am sitting out!) They need aids! The aids also come with a remote to adjust the volume, or change programs. One other thing they do is pair with Blue Tooth and the remote so your smart phone will answer through your aids. My aids can be configured in a way to satisfy a varying background noise setting using this remote, I kept my system simple and opted to stay that way for now.

So, what does all this cost? Mine were $2100:00 each or 4200:00. From that the Alberta Aids to Living rebate to you $900:00, so now the cost is $3300:00. The $85,00 I had paid was refunded. If you are not convinced and satisfied with your purchase you can return them with a deduction of 100.00 per aid within in 30 days of purchase. They want you to be satisfied. In addition there is an added deduction available to lower income people, small but it all helps. The store helps you with all of this.

Batteries cost about a buck apiece, and you use two at a time, and last me just about a week. So for about the price of a coffee I can hear again! They are simple to change too. They give you a beep warning about 20 minutes before they are discharged to much for usage.

Me, I am tickled pink with my new aids, I have a neighbour, Keith who has had his from the same maker for a couple of years now, and we were comparing notes a couple of days ago, and he is just as happy as I am.

I bought my setup from Soundwave Hearing Care, in Calgary. They are located at 701, 14 street NW, phone number is 403 270 7425. Deanne Smigel set up the equipment for me, and answered all my questions. FYI, I am happy with my aids, and I am writing this to encourage people that need the help to go out and get it. I’m glad I did! I did not get any endorsement remuneration from this blog.


TODAY’S WEB PAGE

I am pretty lucky in that my email buds keep me well supplied with some pretty neat material such s this web page a got of some strange activity by a blue heron. Take a look: Heron

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There are a lot of sites around that have some very neat video taken underwater. I like them a lot, and this is one of the best I have ever seen. Check it out: Undersea


TODAY’S QUOTE:

Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.

Theodore Roosevelt


EXIT LAUGHING:

A recent article in the Nashua Telegraph reported that a woman, Anne Maynard, has sued a local Hospital, saying that after her husband had surgery there, he lost all interest in sex.
A hospital spokesman replied: "Mr.  Maynard was admitted for cataract surgery.  All we did was correct his eyesight."
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Grandma’s Invitation

Dear Family, I’m not dead yet.  Thanksgiving is still important to me.  If being in my Last Will and Testament is important to you, then you might consider being with me for my favourite holiday.

Dinner is at 2:00.

Not 2:15.

Not 2:05.

Two.  2:00 Arrive late and you get what’s left over.

Last year, that moron Marshall fried a turkey in one of those contraptions and practically burned the deck off the house.  This year, the only peanut oil used to make the meal will be from the secret scoop of peanut butter I add to the carrot soup.

Jonathan, your last new wife was an idiot.  You don’t arrive at someone’s house on Thanksgiving needing to use the oven and the stove.
Honest to God, I thought you might have learned after two wives – date them longer and save us all the agony of another divorce.

Now, the house rules are slightly different This year because I have decided that 47% of you don’t know how to take care of nice things.
Paper plates and red Solo cups might be bad for the environment, but I’ll be gone soon and that will be your problem to deal with.

House Rules:

1.  The University of Texas no longer plays Texas A&M.  The television stays off during the meal.

2.  The "no cans for kids" rule still exists.  We are using 2 liter bottles because your children still open a third can before finishing the first two.
Parents can fill a child’s cup when it is empty.  All of the cups have names on them and I’ll be paying close attention to refills.

3.  Chloe, last year we were at Trudy’s house and I looked the other way when your Jell-O salad showed up.  This year, if Jell-O salad comes in the front door it will go right back out the back door with the garbage.  Save yourself some time, honey.  You’ve never been a good cook and you shouldn’t bring something that wiggles more than you.  Buy something from the bakery.

4.  Grandmothers give grandchildren cookies and candy.  That is a fact of life.  Your children can eat healthy at your home.  At my home, they can eat whatever they like as long as they finish it.

5.  I cook with bacon and bacon grease.  That’s nothing new.  Your being a vegetarian doesn’t change the fact that stuffing without bacon is like egg salad without eggs.  Even the green bean casserole has a little bacon grease in it.  That’s why it tastes so good.  Not eating bacon is just not natural.  And as far as being healthy…  look at me.  I’ve outlived almost everyone I know.

6.  Salad at Thanksgiving is a waste of space.

7.  I do not like cell phones.  Leave them in the car.

8.  I do not like video cameras.  There will be 32 people here.  I am sure you can capture lots of memories without the camera pointed at me.

9.  Being a mother means you have to actually pay attention to the kids.  I have nice things and I don’t put them away just because company is coming over.  Mary, watch your kids and I’ll watch my things.

10.  Rhonda, a cat that requires a shot twice a day is a cat that has lived too many lives.  I think staying home to care for the cat is your way of letting me know that I have lived too many lives too.  I can live with that.  Can you?

11.  Words mean things.  I say what I mean.  Let me repeat: You don’t need to bring anything means you don’t need to bring anything.  And if I did tell you to bring something, bring it in the quantity I said.  Really, this doesn’t have to be difficult.

12.  Domino’s and cards are better than anything that requires a battery or an on/off switch.  That was true when you were kids and it’s true now that you have kids.

13.  Showing up for Thanksgiving guarantees presents at Christmas.  Not showing up guarantees a card that may or may not be signed.

In memory of your Grandfather, the back fridge will be filled with beer.  Drink until it is gone.  I prefer wine anyway.  But one from each family needs to be the designated driver.

I really mean all of the above.

Love You, Grandma.


Have a Great Day, and be nice to one another.

Ross Smile

One of the things that I have found out from the Blog and my email friends, is that there is a wealth of information, humour, philosophy, and so much more that we all want to share with our friends. I got the following piece from a friend in our community, and upon reading it, I knew it had to be shared with my Blog world. It is quite thought provoking. Read on.

AND THEN IT IS WINTER

You know, time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.

It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate.

Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went.  I know that I lived them all.

I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.

But, here it is:
The ‘ back nine’ of my life and it catches me by surprise.  How did I get here so fast?

Where did the years go and where did my youth go?

I remember vividly seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that ‘I was only on the first hole’ and the ‘back nine’ was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.

But, here it is:
.  .  .  my friends are retired and getting grey.  They move slower and I see an older person now.

Some are in better and some worse shape than me, but I see the great change.  Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant ..  .  .  but like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d become.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day!

And taking a nap is not a treat anymore .  .  .  it’s mandatory!

Cause if I don’t on my own free will, I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so, now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!

But, at least I know, that though I’m on the ‘ back nine’ and I’m not sure how long it will last, this I know for sure, that when it’s over on this earth .  .  .  it’s over.  A new adventure will begin!

Yes, I have regrets.

There are things I wish I hadn’t done .  .  .  things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I’m happy to have done.  It’s all in a lifetime.
So, if you’re not on the ‘ back nine’ yet .  .  .  let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think.  So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly!  Don’t put things off too long!  Life goes by quickly.

So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether you’re on the ‘back nine’ or not!  You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life .  ..  .  so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember, and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!

"Life" is a gift to you.

The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after.

Make it a fantastic one.

LIVE IT WELL!
ENJOY TODAY!
DO SOMETHING FUN!
BE HAPPY!
HAVE A GREAT DAY!


TODAY’S WEB PAGE;
I have always enjoyed magic acts, even some of the cheesier ones, but this one is unique. It is a Chinese version of America has talent. This young lady does her magic act all the while she is dancing around the stage in a ballet costume! The audience and the judges are something to watch as well, as she does her routine. Take a look: Magic

The second page today, you might find interesting, is a portion of a larger web page. It concerns some forecasts as to what our future holds. The content on the page to read is the “Ten Things that will disappear in our lifetime”. Check it out: 10 things


TODAYS QUOTE:

I don’t make jokes.  I just watch the government and report the facts.
Will Rogers


EXIT LAUGHING:

HOME SCHOOLING…

Most of our generation was HOME SCHOOLED in many ways.

1.  My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELLDONE.
"If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside.  I just finished cleaning."

2.  My mother taught me RELIGION.
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

3.  My father taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
"If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4.  My father taught me LOGIC.
"Because I said so, that’s why."

5.  My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me."

6.  My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident."

7.  My father taught me IRONY.
"Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about."

8.  My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

9.  My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
"Just you look at that dirt on the back of your neck?"

10.  My mother taught me about STAMINA.
"You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

11.  My mother taught me about WEATHER "This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

12.  My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
"If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times.  Don’t exaggerate!"

13.  My father taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out…"

14.  My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
"Stop acting like your father!"

15.  My mother taught me about ENVY.
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do."

16.  My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait until we get home."

17.  My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You are going to get it from your father when you get home!"

18.  My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way."

19.  My mother taught me ESP.
"Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?"

20.  My father taught me HUMOR.
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me."

21.  My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
"If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up."

22.  My mother taught me GENETICS.
"You’re just like your father."

23.  My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Shut that door behind you.  Do you think you were born in a barn?"

24.  My mother taught me WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.

25.  My father taught me about JUSTICE.
"One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"
OH yes I sure remember them.


Have a Great Day, and be kind to one another, there is so much madness in todays world.

Ross Smile

A BOOK BY NELSON DEMILLE

Trash)30755I am about 10% of the way through a fairly recent book by the writer, called “The Panther”. The “Hero” of the book is a smartass guy named John Corey, the Hero in a number of DeMille books. He is going to Yemen to track down a guy who was raised in the US but who was responsible for the bombing of the Cole.

As the book moves along one is introduced to the reality of life in Yemen, and all the small tribes and warlords who have been warring with one another for years, and why this has contributed to the continuation and growth of groups like Al Qaida.

From my perspective, it matters little about how many centuries this has been going on. The place is barbaric, and about 1000 years behind the times and much of it is the fault of occupiers, and their own people.

It is still a great read if you are looking for a good book.

The cartoon is of the Muslim Adam and Eve!


For anyone living in Canada, they must have read or at least heard about some of the money that has been diverted from money to be spent on education, housing, health care and so on, that has happened on some of our Indian Reservations. In my opinion it should be considered grand larceny and as such an indictable offense.

Our Calgary Herald has an editorial piece that says it better than I can. You will see that there is a very small and very poor band in Alberta, the Lubicons where the chief makes more in tax free money than the Prime minister of Canada and President Obama. It never would have been public record if it had not been for an audit forced on the individual bands expenses. Take a look: Lubicon Band


TODAYS WEB SITE:

This is a video about a man who has walked a long way around the USA, where he stops and places a small flag and names it with a military person. It is not too long and it is quite a story. Check it out: One flag

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Over the years, I have seen any number of videos on saving animals in distress. They have all been good, but this is one where a lot of new ones have been joined together into one video, and the work is great. The whale and the elephant joy and happiness has to be seen. Take a look: Rescued 


TODAYS QUOTE:

Corruption is like a ball of snow, once it’s set a rolling it must increase.

Charles Caleb Colton


EXIT LAUGHING:

Daddy, how was I born?BLOG)29540

A little boy goes to his father and asks ‘Daddy, how was I born?’ The father answers, ‘Well, son, I guess one day you will need to find out anyway!  Your Mom and I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo.
Then I set up a date via e-mail with your Mom and we met at a cyber-cafe.  We sneaked into a secluded room, and googled each other.  There your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive.  As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall, and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later a little Pop-Up appeared that said:

‘You got Male

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These two young boys are going into the hospital the next day for operations.

They are first on the hospital’s schedule.

The older boy leans over and asks, "What are you having done?"

The second lad says, "I’m getting my tonsils out, and I’m afraid."

The first boy says, "You’ve got nothing to worry about.  I had that done when I was four.  They put you to sleep, and when you wake up, they give you lots of Jell-O and ice cream.  It’s a breeze."

The second boy then asks, "What are you going in for?"

The first boy says, "Circumcision."

"Whoa!", the smaller boy replies.  "Good luck, buddy.  I had that done when I was born. Couldn’t walk for a year." 


Have a Great Day, and be nice to one another.

Ross Smile

End of Summer?

TREE DAMAGE RE SNOWFALL (13)I have been around for a while, and have live in Alberta Canada since 1960, I have learned to live by the the excellent information given me by a guy I knew who said when I commented on the weather in Alberta, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes”. The meaning was that it will change to something else very soon.

TREE DAMAGE RE SNOWFALL (6)Last Sunday, September 7, it got to a balmy 78°, and we were all in shorts enjoying a great day. By nightfall it had started to rain. On Monday it got cloudy, colder, and soon it was snowing quite heavily, and it continued into the night. It was rain and snow on Tuesday September 9, and we got 5 inches of snow in our yard, that melted as the day went on. Where it had been 34° in the morning, it warmed up in the afternoon, not by much, but enough that the snow on the ground was gone.

TREE DAMAGE RE SNOWFALL (27)The next thing we saw was that there was now a snowfall warning for our area. Again. They were right. The snow was wet and it was snowing heavily during the night. I measured it at over 8 inches depending on where it was measured.

The snow was wet, and heavy, so it stuck to the leaves that were still on the trees, and we had a lot of snow damage to our trees. You can see what I mean from the pictures in our condo complex. Many areas of the  city were without power, but we dodged that bullet. Trees were down or had broken branches on a lot of the city west side.

Considering that it is not even fall yet for another 10 days or so, it is still summer, and a teensy bit early to celebrate the arrival of winter.

I have included some of the pictures I took this morning of the damage. I took the pictures to thwart any denials by insurance companies as to the damage we had experienced.


TODAYS WEB PAGE:

I’m sure you remember when there was a big hue and cry over the re-introduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park. You will recall I’m sure hearing the protests that the bison and the farmers cattle would be attacked. Considering that there had been no wolves in the park for about 70 years, I wonder just how they came to that conclusion. In just a few short years since the re-introduction, the park has changed and improved in so many ways. A short video has been prepared to show how the park has improved over that time. Take a look: Yellowstone


Do you remember the long running TV show? If so you will love the following clip. If you don’t remember, it is still worth a look at one of the most edgy shows of it’s time with Archie and Edith Bunker, as they attend a Jewish funeral. Check it out: All in the family


TODAY’S QUOTE:

As sure as the spring will follow the winter, prosperity and economic growth will follow recession.

Bo Bennett


EXIT LAUGHING:

50 Shades of Golf

Four guys have been going to the same Golfing trip to St Andrews for many years.  Two days before the group is to leave, Jack’s wife puts her foot down and tells him he isn’t going and that she’s got something else planned.
Naturally, Jack’s mates are very upset that he can’t go, but what can they do.

Two days later, the three get to St Andrews only to find Jack sitting at the bar with four drinks set up!

"Wow, Jack, how long you been here, and how did you talk your missus into letting you go?"

"Well, actually, I’ve been here since last night..Yesterday evening, I was sitting in my living room chair and my wife came up behind me and put her hands over my eyes and asked, ‘Guess who?" I pulled her hands off, and there she was, wearing only a see-through nightie.

She took my hand and pulled me into our bedroom.  On her bedside table I saw the book ’50 Shades of Grey’.  She had lit candles and sprinkled rose petals around and on the bed she had handcuffs and ropes!  Then she slipped off her nightie, laid on the bed and said, "Okay tie me up, hand-cuff me to the bed, and do whatever you want."

So, Here I am!

********

Back on January 9th, a group of Pekin, Illinois bikers were riding west on I-74 when they saw a girl about to jump off the Murray Baker Bridge .  So they stopped.

George, their leader, a big burly man of 53, gets off his Harley, walks through a group of gawkers, past the State Trooper who was trying to talk her down off the railing, and says, "Hey Baby…..whatcha doin’ up there on that railin’?"

She says tearfully, "I’m going to commit suicide!!"

While he didn’t want to appear "sensitive," George also didn’t want to miss this "be-a-legend" opportunity either so he asked …….."Well, before you jump, Honey-Babe..why don’t you give ole George here your best last kiss?"

So, with no hesitation at all, she leaned back over the railing and did just that ….  and it was a long, deep, lingering kiss followed immediately by another even better one.

After they breathlessly finished, George gets a big thumbs-up approval from his biker-buddies, the onlookers, and even the State Trooper, and then says, "Wow!  That was the best kiss I have ever had, Honey!  That’s a real talent you’re wasting, Sugar Shorts.  You could be famous if you rode with me.  Why the hell are you committing suicide?"

"My parents don’t like me dressing up like a girl."

It’s still unclear whether she jumped or was pushed.


Have a Great Day and be nice to one another.

Ross Smile

Catching Up!

It has been a while now since I updated the blog, and I finally got some time so today it is.

Over the last few days we have seen a very large change in the number of birds in the yard. It looks like the Purple finch population has increased. We are seeing several adults and juveniles at our feeder, and they are not intimidated as they usually are by the sparrows. Good news for the finches. The sparrows are no where near as abundant as usual for this time of year. That is good news too, it gives the other birds a chance. The Chickadees too are flying all around the feeder, and it looks like we have several families of them as well. I have never seen so many at one time.

After not having seen any Robins in the yard for months, I looked out back at the bird bath and there were 2 of them just sitting in the water! Then as if on cue they stood up turned around and shook themselves a bath.

With all the avian activity, one can conclude that summer is coming to an end. It is inevitable I know, but it seems to me that summer was just way too short. Summer does not officially end until September 23, but we have had some snow in the mountains already and they are white already. At our house the temperature has dropped to a low of 4° C or 38 F so far this year. Just a few miles south and a bit west of Calgary, highway 22 has had snow a few days ago. See the attached video for a look at it. Highway snow

We celebrated our wedding anniversary the other day, it was our 58th. Coincidentally it was also my retirement anniversary on the same day. I have been in retirement for 29 years now. Loved every minute of it.

After all those years, and at the prodding of my family and doctor, I bought a set of hearing aids, and I am breaking them in and getting used to them right now. I think they are working well and I think they will go a long way to improve my hearing.


I have no direct knowledge of the source of this rant regarding our aboriginals, but I strikes the right kind of chord in me, so I thought that when I got it from a friend I would blog it. take a look:

This was printed in a Nanaimo, B.C.  newspaper last week, and as you can imagine, it had all the natives out banging their drums and whooping, but you know what..  if the shoe fits .

THE SO-CALLED "FIRST NATIONS"

-Never "discovered" the wheel
-Never had a written language
-Never discovered astronomy
-Had no science or scientific discoveries
-Had no mathematics
-Made no medical discoveries
-Never had written music
-Only "figured out" a drum and a rattle for musical instruments
-Had no metallurgy
-Had no sails for boats (only had canoes and dugout trees for their thousands of years)

-Created virtually no mechanical devices
-Possessed almost nothing that required labour over a period of time, i.e.: building with or carving out of stone
-Made almost no inventions
-Are just in the last 200 years getting caught up to most of the rest of the world
-Have a history that is notable only for underachievement Think where an equal number of Chinese would be today; given only 10 years of the advantages Canadian Indians have—no taxes on any money you earn, while living on a reserve-free dental-free university, etc.  BTW the hunger striking chief and her husband, were paid $270,000.00 by the band last year.  Comments from a reader in the Globe and Mail.  It’s a short history lesson on natives…

This land does NOT belong to them!

Why do some people keep saying that it does?  Is it because that’s what they want you to believe?

Well then the marketing campaign must be working.

Let’s get this straight.

1.  These people’s ancestors did not just appear in North America, magically out of thin air one day 50,000 year ago.  They came in waves across the land/ice bridge from Asia.  What’s more, these waves, in many cases, were not related groups of people.  They came from various places around North Eastern Asia and were from different genetic strains..in other words the "natives of North America" are not a homogenous group of people and more importantly…They are immigrants too.  like millions of immigrants today.

2.  The idea that the "natives" were peaceful caretakers of the land or benevolent tenants couldn’t be further from the truth.  The various tribes warred on each other constantly.  They were violent.  Want proof?  Ask the Herons’ or the Neutrals…oh that’s right you can’t.  The Iroquois wiped them out.

How about slavery that was rife among the first nation tribes until the Europeans came over and freed the slaves and put an end to this "valued cultural tradition".  Is slavery peaceful and humane?

3.  The idea that we "stole" this land from them is also ridiculous.  A more technologically advanced and numerous cultures invaded and conquered.  This is exactly what has been happening since the dawn of humanity all around the globe.  To say we "stole" their lands is just plain wrong.  That is akin to saying the Saxons should return England to the Anglos.  Or maybe we should launch a campaign to have the Roman descendants give Italy back to the Etruscans.  It is a nonsensical notion driven by the politically correct bleeding hearts, some intellectually deficient politicians, the Government, and it will continue to cost this country needless and wasted billions and billions until we get some backbone and turn off the taps.

Are these people in trouble?  Yes.  Do they need help?  Yes.

Are they responsible enough to look after themselves and efficiently spend the billions the tax payers give them?

Certainly not.

The only way to fix this situation is to bring them into society as equals.

They should be getting jobs and paying taxes like the rest of us because in reality, they are no more special than any of the other hundred or more cultures that call Canada home.

Turn off the taps.  Do away with this "traditional use" and "cultural" nonsense.  Educate their children to become modern citizens ,instead of finding their identity and source of pride in some folks who occupied the land 12000 years ago.  Let them stand or fall on their own account.
Just like the rest of us have to do!


TODAYS WEB PAGES:

A truly fascinating video on the USS Pennsylvania, a nuclear-powered submarine powered by a lump of uranium the size of your fist that provides all of the power to navigate and provide power for all of the daily operations.  It has been running since 1989 without having to re- fuel.

Ever wonder how they make air to last six months under water ?

How do they launch a nuclear warhead?

How can they make the submarine quiet to avoid detection?

This is really fascinating, well worth the time. Check it out: USS Pennsylvania

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While we are on the topic if the armed forces, you may recall a guy, Gene Simmons who was the lead singer for the rock group Kiss. He did a video some time back honouring the military units. It is worth a listen too, and I don’t even like Kiss! Take a peak: Gene Simmons


TODAYS QUOTE:
If you paint in your mind a picture of bright and happy expectations, you put yourself into a condition conducive to your goal.

Norman Vincent Peale 


EXIT LAUGHING:

Raymond & Bubba ( Alabama mechanical engineers) were standing at the base of a flagpole, looking up.
A woman walked by and asked what they were doing ‘We’re supposed to find the height of the flagpole,’ said Bubba, "but we don’t have a ladder.’

The woman said, " hand me that wrench out of your toolbox ." She loosened a few bolts, and laid the pole down.  Then she took a tape measure from their toolbox, took a measurement, and announced, ‘Eighteen feet, six inches,’ and walked away.
Raymond shook his head and laughed.  ‘Ain’t that just like a Miss know-it-all woman!
We ask for the height and she gives us the length!’ Bubba and Ray are still working for the government.

********
A man in a Florida supermarket tried to buy half a head of lettuce.

The very young produce assistant told him that they sell only whole heads of lettuce.

The man persisted and asked to see the manager.

The boy said he’d ask his manager about it.

Walking into the back room, the boy said to his manager: ‘Some asshole wants to buy half a head of lettuce.’ As he finished his sentence, he turned to find the man standing right behind him, so he added, ‘And this gentleman has kindly offered to buy the other half.’ The manager approved the deal, and the man went on his way.

Later the manager said to the boy, ‘I was impressed with the way you got yourself out of that situation earlier.  We like people who think on their feet here.  Where are you from, son?’

‘Canada, sir,’ the boy replied.

‘Well, why did you leave Canada?’ the manager asked.

The boy said, ‘Sir, there’s nothing but whores and hockey players up there.’

‘Really?’ said the manager.  ‘My wife is from Canada.’

‘No shit?’ replied the boy.  ‘Who’d she play for?’


Have a Great Day, and be nice to one another.

Ross Smile

One can tell it is getting closer to winter, (I’m sorry), because it got to 39 degrees last night, and as usual there was frost on my neighbours house. It always does that when the temperature drops below about 40 degrees. I know there is an explanation as to why one can have frost when the temperature is above freezing, but for now it escapes me. Maybe one of my readers can explain it.
The truth be told, I will be putting up my Christmas lights on the first warm day in November, about 60 days from now. Where does the time go anyway?

********

Over the past several weeks the birds coming to my feeder have increased in number. The variety has not, just the numbers. About the only ones coming now are Chickadees, and where I once saw maybe 2, I think that their family has grown and there are now about 6 in total. They are hard to count because they do not sit at the feeder to feed, they grab a sunflower seed and head for a tree.
The magpies have returned as well, eating at my suet feeders, which is OK, I suppose. They are noisy garrulous black and white birds that are quite smart. Very pretty, but basically scavengers.

Our Purple finch population ahs grown so that I am seeing 4 to 6 birds feeding around the feeder. Except the magpie, they are all songbirds.

The odd thing is that we are seeing very few sparrows, they simply are not there! Last year I fed some 50 of these flying appetites.

I just got a call from my wife that there was a hairy woodpecker in the tree just outside of our front door. Just one, and I haven’t seen one for about a year now. Nice.

Another bird that is missing and has been for the entire summer is the American Robin. I suspect that we will next see some when the fall migration southbound comes up. They will stay around until they have had their fill of the chokecherries on our trees, and overnight maybe 75 robins will be gone. 

********
For some time now, I have blogged about the misery that I see in the Arab countries caused by Muslim extremists. Many others blog or otherwise write about the same issue, and it has only been recently that some of the Muslim leaders have spoken out about the radicals that are giving peaceful Muslims a very bad name and image.

In Calgary the Imam for the local mosque, has gone on a short hunger strike and has written a powerful piece, condemning the activities of these religious radicals that are subverting the ideal of Islam for their own warped idea of what being a Muslim means. The piece he wrote was in our newspaper the Calgary Herald, and I suspect that what he wrote may even put him in some danger within his own community. But I have to agree with what he is doing, and what he has said. I have a link to his editorial, check it out: Calgary Imam


TODAYS WEB PAGE:

The video I have here is the reason our local Imam has no doubt decided it was time to take a stand on the radical extremists in ISIS or in Syria or wherever they exist. There are many links on this video, and they are nearly all worthy of a moment or so of your time. Take a look: Radicals
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This is another of those flash mob videos, but this one was so popular they have decided to make it into a regular event. It is fun and worth a visit.: Flashmob


TODAYS QUOTE:

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.

Mignon McLaughlin


EXIT LAUGHING

While walking down the street one day a Member of Parliament is tragically hit by a truck and dies.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St.  Peter at the entrance.

‘Welcome to heaven,’ says St.  Peter.
‘Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem.  We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we’re not sure what to do with you.’ ‘No problem, just let me in,’ says the man.

‘Well, I’d like to, but I have orders from higher up.  What we’ll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven.  Then you can choose where to spend eternity.’ ‘Really, I’ve made up my mind.  I want to be in heaven,’ says the MP.

‘I’m sorry, but we have our rules.’ And with that, St.  Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.  The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course.  In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress.  They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.

They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly & nice guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes.  They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises….

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St.  Peter is waiting for him.

‘Now it’s time to visit heaven.’ So, 24 hours pass with the MP joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing.  They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St.  Peter returns.

‘Well, then, you’ve spent a day in hell and another in heaven.  Now choose your eternity.’ The MP reflects for a minute, then he answers: ‘Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell.’ So St.  Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

Now the doors of the elevator open and he’s in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder.  ‘ I don’t understand,’ stammers the MP.
‘Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time.  Now there’s just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable.  What happened?  ‘ The devil looks at him, smiles and says, ‘ Yesterday we were campaigning..  …

Today you voted.


Time is like a river.  You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again.  Enjoy every moment of life.  As a bagpiper, I play many gigs.  Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man.  He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the Nova Scotia back country.

As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and, being a typical man, I didn’t stop for directions.

I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight.  There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.  I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.

I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place.  I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around.  I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends.  I played like I’ve never played before for this homeless man.

And as I played "Amazing Grace", the workers began to weep.  They wept, I wept, we all wept together.  When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car.  Though my head was hung low, my heart was full.

As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never seen anything like that before, and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."

Apparently, I’m still lost….it’s a man thing.


Have a Great Day, and be nice to everyone.

Ross Smile

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