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The daylight is getting shorter, by about 5 minutes a day, and the time is growing shorter until our 4 by-elections.

My first point on this is that we should all get out and vote. Advance voting is available if so desired. There is what has to be considerable talent running in the 4 by-elections, but I am mostly interested in who we elect in Calgary-West for our Provincial MLA.

Jim Prentice when he got elected as leader, hit all the hot buttons, and said all the right things, that will likely get him, and his candidates elected. I will be voting to be sure, but it will not be for the PC Candidate. Why? Easy, I have lived in Alberta since 1960 and I have heard all these promises and those like them from previous elections for our provincial government, and the truth in my opinion it is merely political bafflegab, smoke and mirrors if you will to get elected and once elected, who needs to keep promises.

OK, so who will get my vote in our riding? I am voting for Sheila Taylor. She was the first person in years on the Calgary School Board who made sense, and who tried to change things on the board to make it successful. It had been a disaster for many years prior to her time on the board.

Of course, Sheila is a member of the Wild Rose party, and while she alone cannot make a lot of difference, she will be one less MLA from the PC’S. It will also send a message to the PC’s who are still in the government that they are vulnerable to being ousted, and the some of the old PC voters like me, are fed to the teeth with the antics of our elected representatives.

So, go out and vote on Monday October 27, for whoever you like, but please think of all the years you have been “lied” to by our current government. Think of  the squandered waste, the egregious salaries, and pensions paid to a lot of MLA’s. Think of the waste created by the AHS, working along side of the government to go from one kind of super board, to smaller boards, ad infinitum, all the while you cannot get in for knee surgery, a cataract operation, or any similar surgery. Care beds for aging patients, homeless programs that are needed, but I guess these people do not vote, so they do not count. The richest province in the country and we can’t fix anything, but we can give ourselves a nice raise, a nice pension, a good salary, a great expense account, and I bet they don’t have to wait for a hip or knee surgery.!

Sheila may not get these all fixed, but we can send a message. I doubt it will happen, but maybe we can hope for at least one seat out of 4 to change from PC to something else.

Just get out and vote on October 27, thank you.


I saw a piece the other day, that amused me, it was commenting on our state of affairs as they saw it. The writer said to send in the circus, we already have the clowns. Funny twist on words. This web page is for some of us who have reached a certain age, and who will remember some of the comedians of the 50’s and 60’s. Frank Sinatra sings one of his popular hits, “Send in the Clowns”. Worth a peek for sure: Clowns

This is a funny one in a way, but it could just as easily have been a disaster for some bears. People intervention that went well. Click the link: bears

I have been to Rio, and was atop the Corcovado Mountain where the Christ the Redeemer statue is located. The statue was struck by lightning and endured some damage earlier this year. This is a video of folks doing some repairs to correct the damage. It is a magnificent structure. By way of interest, the day we were there, the mountain was socked in with fog, but as I gazed up to where the statue was hidden, the statue was totally revealed. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Check it out: Statue


It is difficult to understand these people who democratically take part in elections and a referendum, but are then incapable of democratically accepting the will of the people.

Jose Saramago


Jewish Humour
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

Over the last few days I have been following our good mayor, who was berating people that own residential rental property, for “Gouging”. He claims that he also owns rental property and of course, he is not gouging. I owned a small part of some rental properties from 1980 until about 1997. The major part of the holding was the mortgage company of course.

During this time it was quite popular to condemn the landlords and cry out for rent controls. Rental property was certainly at a premium at the time, and the vacancy rate was very low. Some folks never will get supply and demand, the idea that if there is no money to be made in it, I will not build it. So there goes the rental properties!

Sure you can expense the taxes, utilities, insurance, interest costs and so on against your rental income, to to produce a net profit. Let me explain that in the low years, there might not be any net income, just a loss! During other years when no empty apartments were around, one made up some of what was lost previously.

Our good mayor, is a Liberal for sure, a “do-gooder” as well, and an academic, having been a professor at the University. For all of that he has little idea it seems of the economics of residential housing rentals.

Karin Klassen is a Calgary writer who writes a column in the Calgary Herald on a regular basis. She has a wonderful column in the Herald today, on rental housing and Mayor Nenshi’s ideas. If you ever thought that rent control was the answer to all the renters woes, take a look at Karin’s column. Klassen


The first page has to do with the use and dangers of use of E15 gas in your car. Unless you vehicle is engineered for E15, it can corrode fuel systems, settle out and cause engine failure since the octane rating is lower on E15 gas. Also you will not go as far on a gallon of this gas either, so even if it is a bit cheaper, you will not go as far on a tank. Most auto manufacturers will void your warranty. If you would like to pass this on to others feel free to do so.

Take a look: E15 Gas
I have always enjoyed magic shows, but when a young lady combines magic with a ballet dance, it is even more mystical. The video is not English, but it is a great show nonetheless! Check it out: Magic Dance


This is yet another magic kind of thing, all done by an older Japanese man. He will certainly keep you guessing as well as entertained! Check it out here: Old man magic


The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy.

Helen Hayes

Olaf Swenson, out in his pasture in northern Minnesota, took a
lightning-quick kick from a cow… right in his crotch Writhing in agony, he
fell to the ground.
As soon as he could manage, he took himself to the doctor He said: "How bad
is it Doc? I’m going on my honeymoon next veek and my fiance, Lena, is still
a Virgin — in every vay."
The doctor told him, "Olaf, I’ll have to put your willy in a splint to let
it heal, and keep it straight. It should be okay next week, but leave it on
dere as long as you can."
He took four tongue depressors and formed a neat little 4 sided splint, and
taped it all together… quite an impressive work of art.
Olaf mentioned none of this to Lena, married her, and they went on their
honeymoon to Duluth . That night in the Motel 6, Lena ripped open her blouse
to reveal her beautiful, untouched breasts. She said: "Olaf…you’re the
first vun! No vun has EVER seen deez."
Olaf immediately dropped his pants and replied: "Look at dis Lena … still

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

Ross Smile

Tomorrow is the first day of the season for your free Alberta Health flu shots. It is now avail able in quantities for general distribution.

We are going in the morning to get our shots at our local Shoppers Drug Mart, where they along with many other drug stores have people trained on administering them. We have been getting them for years now, and we have never experienced anything more than a very mild sore shoulder muscle.

I believe in taking charge of my health care, and so I take advantage of the programs that will go a long way to advancing good health. Like the flu shot. I remember speaking with the MD or GP we had when we first came back to Calgary after a couple of years in Red Deer. He was a Saskatchewan raised doctor, and in my opinion was one of the best, and he kept us in good health for many years. He has been on a well earned retirement for about 10 years now. I remember him going into detail as to why we should take the time to get the flu shots. He did his entire patient list in a couple of evenings each year. He explained that it was extremely cost effective for the province to pay for the prevention up front and not have to pay for curing you when you came down with the flu. Made sense to me.

Getting the shot is easy and simple, taking little time if you go to the local store. Hey, while you are at it, check to see if you have also had the pneumonia shot, that could also save your life! There should be  sticker on your Alberta Health Card, if you have been done already.

One more thing, you might want to attend to while you have your Alberta Health Card out, is to sign the back of it for organ donor purposes! There is a great demand for this kind of thing, and precious little in the way of supply.

It is unfortunate that more people do not take advantage of this important health care program, but as it stands about 1/2 of the population neglects it. I know people that so completely do not understand it, that think they will get the flu if they take the shots! If you saw the movie Forrest Gump, you may remember him repeating what his mother said, “Stupid is as stupid does”. How so. In addition we have only a portion of the people that treat you when you do get hospitalized that get the immunization. Oh, and I forgot to mention that many of these people can be found behind the Rocky View Hospital having a cigarette. “Do as I say not as I do”.

For more information check out the web page from the AHS:FLU SHOTS


This is a simple video produced with the tongue firmly in the cheek. It is a bit rude. It starts very seriously, but quickly gets to the gassy part. It’s funny though, or I would not have included it. gas mileage


Once again, we have to approach how some comedians can go on for hours about all us old codgers, this guy is very good and I think you will enjoy. Take a look: Oldies


This is a Cirque De Solei kind of thing, a bit long, but so well done an choreographed it is amazing. Check it out: Amazing


The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself.

Douglas MacArthur


I stopped by the GM Dealership yesterday, for a look at the new Silverado pickup.

Just for fun, I took it out for a test drive. I wanted to sense that new "feel" before they become extinct.

The salesman (a man wearing a "Trudeau for change" lapel pin sat in the passenger seat describing the truck and all its "wonderful" options.  The seats were of particular interest.  He explained that the seats directed warm air to your butt in the winter and directed cool air to your butt in the summer heat.

Feeling like messing with him, I mentioned that this must be a Conservative truck.

Looking a bit angry, he asked why I thought it was a Conservative truck.

I explained that if it were a Trudeau truck, the seats would just blow smoke up your fanny year-round.

I had to walk back to the dealership.  Damn guy had no sense of humour.

Have a Great Day and be nice to one another.

Ross Smile

Sure you do. You know that there are some thing that you are set up to do and for some reason or other, they do not get done. Like for us to go out to Bragg Creek and Elbow Falls to look at the leaves that have turned on the poplars.

Well, today looked good a few days ago, we made up our mind to drive out, and we did even though it was a bit cloudy, and a mite cool. It was after all just above the freezing mark this morning and it was supposed to go to about 50 this afternoon, even though it was now going to be cloudy. Considering that we lost another 5 minutes of daylight, and that it is actually October 17, that is not to bad, I suppose.

Anyway, we went, stopped at Bragg Creek got a BMT from Subway, and went on out. I guess we waited too long, there was hardly a leaf left on any trees, let alone any chance of seeing a turned one! OK, so you snooze, you lose! No worries, we have seen them many times and the drive itself was very nice.

We were shocked to see some of the damage that the floods of 2013 did to the area. First of all, we stopped at Allen Bill pond, a lovely little pond that often had people trying their luck with a fishing rod. The flood cleared out the pond, left a lot of dead trees around, and the pond is gone! There is just some water flowing through what was once a beautiful little pond/lake. Below are some before and after pictures;

allen bill pond


allen bill 2


We continued along to Elbow Falls, and I no longer recognised it.

Some before and after pictures show the devastation caused by the water.


Just nature at work like it has been for thousands of years, but it is still sad.


Seldom thought that I would include a MacDonalds commercial into my blog, but this is one of the better ones. It was done in Brazil for the 2014 Soccer World Cup. MacDonalds


This one is just plain funny. The video is of a video photographer getting the people together for the wedding video. Be a teeny bit broad minded for this one: Wedding photos


Mr.  Speaker, from hurricanes and floods in Latin America to earthquakes in Asia, natural disasters are increasingly becoming a regular feature of life for large numbers of people around the globe.

Earl Blumenauer


I offer up some quotes by Phyllis Diller, a very funny lady.

Whatever you may look like, marry a man your own age.
As your beauty fades, so will his eyesight.
-Phyllis Diller
Housework can’t kill you, but why take a chance?
-Phyllis Diller
Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.
-Phyllis Diller
The reason women don’t play football is because 11 of them would never wear the same outfit in public.
-Phyllis Diller
Best way to get rid of kitchen odours: Eat out.
-Phyllis Diller
A bachelor is a guy who never made the same mistake once.
-Phyllis Diller
I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford.  Then I want to move in with them.
-Phyllis Diller
Most children threaten at times to run away from home.  This is the only thing that keeps some parents going.
-Phyllis Diller
Any time three New Yorkers get into a cab without an argument, a bank has just been robbed.
-Phyllis Diller
We spend the first twelve months of our children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve years telling them to sit down and shut up.
-Phyllis Diller
Burt Reynolds once asked me out.  I was in his room.
-Phyllis Diller
What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.
-Phyllis Diller
The only time I ever enjoyed ironing was the day I accidentally poured gin in the steam iron.
-Phyllis Diller
His finest hour lasted a minute and a half.
-Phyllis Diller
Old age is when the liver spots show through your gloves.
-Phyllis Diller
My photographs don’t do me justice – they just look like me.
-Phyllis Diller
I admit, I have a tremendous sex drive.  My boyfriend lives forty miles away.
-Phyllis Diller
Tranquilizers work only if you follow the advice on the bottle-keep away from children.
-Phyllis Diller
I asked the waiter, ‘Is this milk fresh?’ He said, ‘Lady, three hours ago it was grass.’
-Phyllis Diller
The reason the golf pro tells you to keep your head down is so you can’t see him laughing.
-Phyllis Diller
You know you’re old if they have discontinued your blood type.
-Phyllis Diller

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

Ross Smile

A Happy Thanksgiving Day to my Canadian followers from Calgary Alberta! For my American friends, maybe a Happy Columbus Days would be in order, if so, I hope you have a great one.

It doesn’t take much these days to witness the madness going on in so many of the Arab nations that support the lunatic fringe in the Muslim world, and to then realize just how well off we are, and have so much to be thankful for.

Either way, living as we do in North America, we have a lot to be thankful for not just on one day a year, but all year long. Sure we have our problems with crime, devastating weather, fires, health issues, and even poverty in some places.

But we are blessed in so many other ways, we are free for instance to live where we want, live the way we want, work for who we want and where. We are free to worship the God of our choice, marry who we like, travel from shore to shore safely whenever we would like. Our police are not our enemy, unless you do something illegal. Then maybe not so much.

We can criticize our government, without fear of disappearing forever. We can always vote the bum out of office, and we don’t resort to assassination of our leaders. We can dress as we se fit, we can get whatever education we want or can afford, and can use that education to amass wealth, or to do good through volunteering or charity.

We have good plentiful food, and in our area, we seldom have extreme weather to contend with. Yep, there was that pesky flood in 2013, no wild fires though, no hurricanes, a few small tornadoes out in  the country, some damaging hail storms to repair.

We have a good education system, our Health Care system needs a lot of work due to neglect in buildings, old age care, and the rationing of health services by the government or the health boards. Other than that we just get cold weather in Southern Alberta.

So, if you look around at what your area has to offer, I’m sure that you too would agree that we have a world of things to be thankful for.

Tonight our daughter is coming over for dinner, our Turkey Day! Big old turkey in the oven, some sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, some wine to wash it all down with, and some apple and raisin pie to finish up. Just gotta be great!

The first page is actually a Thanksgiving card from a friend and it was so well done, I felt it should see more visitors. Take a look: Thanksgiving

This web page has to do with Christ the Redeemer in Rio in Brazil. I was there at the base of this statue a few years ago, and it was all fogged in, and as I looked up, the fog parted revealing the statue. A moving experience for me to be sure. Check out the statue in this video: Christ the Redeemer


Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

Oprah Winfrey


Ever notice how a 4-year-old’s voice is louder than 200 adult voices?  Several years ago, I returned home from a trip just when a storm hit, with crashing thunder and severe lightning.

As I came into my bedroom about 2 a.m., I found my two children in bed with my wife, Karey, apparently scared by the loud storm.  I resigned myself to sleep in the guest bedroom that night.

The next day, I talked to the children and explained that it was O.K.  to sleep with Mom when the storm was bad, but when I was expected home, please don’t sleep with Mom that night.

They said OK.

After my next trip several weeks later, Karey and the children picked me up in the terminal at the appointed time.

Since the plane was late, everyone had come into the terminal to wait for my plane’s arrival, along with hundreds of other folks waiting for their arriving passengers.

As I entered the waiting area, my son saw me, and came running, shouting, "Hi, Dad!  I’ve got some good news!"

As I waved back, I said loudly, "What’s the good news?"

Alex shouted, "Nobody slept with Mommy while you were away this time!"

The airport became very quiet, as everyone in the waiting area looked at Alex, then turned to me, and then searched the rest of the area to see if they could figure out exactly who his Mom was.

An acquaintance of mine who is a physician told this story about her then 4-year-old daughter.

On the way to preschool, the doctor had left her stethoscope on the car seat, and her little girl picked it up and began playing with it.

"Be still, my heart," thought my friend, "my daughter wants to follow in my footsteps!"

Then the child spoke into the instrument:
"Welcome to McDonald’s.  May I take your order?"


A certain little girl, when asked her name, would reply, "I’m Mr.  Sugarbrown’s daughter."

Her mother told her this was wrong, she must say, "I’m Jane Sugarbrown."

The Vicar spoke to her in Sunday School, and said, "Aren’t you Mr.  Sugarbrown’s daughter?"

She replied, "I thought I was, but Mother says I’m not."


A little girl asked her mother, "Can I go outside and play with the boys?"

Her mother replied, "No, you can’t play with the boys, they’re too rough."

The little girl thought about it for a few moments and asked, "If I can find a smooth one, can I play with him?"

————————————————————— A Sunday school teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church service, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?"

One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping." 

Have a Great Thanksgiving (Columbus) Day, and be nice to one another.

Ross Smile

On September 9, 2014, Calgary lost due to snow damage something like 1/2 of its trees. The city figures that about 1 million trees were damaged or destroyed during the late snowfall. I blogged about the damage to our own community’s trees, on September 9 with pictures of the snow and our downed trees. Over the last couple of days we have had a crew in to remove the trees that are too far gone to salvage, and prune out the damaged limbs, generally cleaning out all the stuff we lost. It came to 32 trees in total to be removed.

It was the green ash trees that took the biggest beating, in the large trees, and the hawthorns also suffered from broken branches. It was the big ones we had taken out. While there was little or no damage to our spruce trees, since they load down and spring back up again, we had 3 of those taken out. There was nothing wrong with them, but they had grown width wise over the years, and those cute little spruce trees we not so cute anymore in a 6-10 foot space. The trees had grown to 25 feet across and were destined for bigger things! Thirty-five feet is average spread for a full grown spruce. One of them was behind out place, and one was behind our neighbours.

I like trees, and hated the idea of taking them out, and even feel bad about it now, but it had to be. I tried years ago to get somebody to listen when we could have moved them somewhere else. Never happened. But like a beautiful rose growing in a wheat field, the trees were like a weed.

With all the work being done around the property, it has stirred up the bird population. The birds in the community have been very active. We even had a Blue Jay poking around in the one spruce that is left in our back yard. It has been a long time since one of those has shown up, even though they are common and live in our climate year round.

National Geographic has a story with some pictures of the scene in Turkey where refugees are showing up in volume trying to escape the horror behind them in the form of ISIS. Very scary stuff. Take a look: Turkey

In Arizona there is the last ICBM silo. It has been turned into a hands on museum site. National Geographic got a great video of the site. I had never seen one of these, so I thought it was really worth a look: ICBM site

The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything… or nothing.

Nancy Astor

Today’s Lesson On Irony (Canadian Style)

These three statements tell you a lot about our government and our culture:

1.  We are advised to NOT judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge ALL gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics.  Funny how that works.

And another for consideration–
2.  We constantly hear about how CPP ( Canada Pension Plan) is going to run out of money..  How come we never hear about welfare running out of money?  What’s interesting is the first group "worked for" their money, but the second didn’t.

Finally …

3.  Provincial Social Services (welfare payments) is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free money ever .  Meanwhile, the Parks Branch, asks us "Please Do Not Feed the Animals." The stated reason for this policy is because "The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."

That ends Today’s Lesson On Irony
Another Canadian story;
Little Johnny meets Justin Trudeau and strikes again

Justin Trudeau was visiting a primary school in Lanark and visited a grade four class.  They were in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings.
The teacher asked Mr.  Trudeau if he would like to lead the discussion on the word ‘tragedy.’ So our illustrious Party Leader asked the class for an example of a ‘tragedy’.
One little boy stood up and offered: "If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a tractor runs him over and kills him, that would be a tragedy."
"No," said Trudeau, "that would be an accident."
A little girl raised her hand: "If a school bus carrying 50 children drove off a cliff, killing everyone, that would be a tragedy."
"I’m afraid not," explained Trudeau.  "That’s what we would call great loss."
The room went silent.  No other child volunteered.  Trudeau searched the room.
"Isn’t there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?"
Finally at the back of the room, Little Johnny raised his hand.  The teacher held her breath.
In a quiet voice he said: "If the plane carrying you and Mrs.  Trudeau was struck by a ‘friendly fire’ missile and blown to smithereens that would be a tragedy."
"Fantastic!" exclaimed Trudeau, "That’s right.  And can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?"
"Well," says Johnny, "It has to be a tragedy, because it sure as hell wouldn’t be a great loss…  and you can bet your sweet ass it wouldn’t be an accident either!"
The teacher left the room..

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

Ross Smile

Over the past week or so, I have been killing mice. It’s true. It all started when I found some sunflower seeds and the shells scattered on a shelf in my garage. That seemed odd since while I have a couple of bird feeders around, the seed is stored in a 5 gallon pail, and a very thick poly bag. It was the bag that got the hit.

The little critters had eaten a hole in the bag, dragged out a few seeds and scattered the remains around.

I set out some old traps I had, that had been out in the weather when I was capturing mice and voles in my front and side yard. They were a bit rusted up, but they looked good enough to do the job done. So, armed as I was with peanut butter, I set up three traps, plus some poisoned canary seed in the garage. The poison is warfarin which if eaten by the mice will cause them to go away and die from internal haemorrhage. Well, they ate all the poisoned canary seed, and left the traps. All is well, or so I thought.

The next day, I had caught 2 mice, nothing in the third trap. The poisoned canary seed was all gone, so I set out to the local stores, Rona and Canadian Tire. They all had more fancy traps and such, even a sonic rig to scare the little beasties away. I don’t want to scare them I want them dead! They do not work anyway, but are very good at emptying your wallet of $20.00! So, I bought some poisoned bait, put it out, in a tray so I could see if it had been disturbed, and a couple of packs of new mouse traps. The new bait was $9.00, and it was not touched, ignored completely. It sits all by itself in  the garage awaiting a curious and hungry mouse. Just like it was when I put it out. Maybe I was supposed to throw the stuff at the mice, and kill them by hitting them.

The traps worked quite well, and over the next few days, I got a grand total of 7 of the pesky critters. I have not had anything in the traps for a couple of days now, the bait remains untouched, and I am hoping that the episode is over. My wife has this thing about mice in  the house and the garage is attached to said house with a very convenient door between them. Should one of them manage to enter our home, the invader would assume the proportions of an animal that would resemble a kangaroo, not an adult maybe, but certainly a teen ager in size. It seems now that we haven’t seen any more mice, and haven’t seen them before in our fifteen years in our complex, we can conclude the exercise, but we will leave the traps out and check them periodically. Man 7, mice 0.

While I am on the subject of animals, I was very happy to see that our deer population has grown from last year! I have seen no deer at all since last winter/spring, but yesterday morning, I looked out to the school across the road, and there was a whole family. Mom, Dad and the kids! 7 of them for sure, and since it was 5:45 am, and still dark, it kind of looked like 2 more walking with another beside them, but due to the darkness, it was hard to tell.

It will not be long before we see them in our front yard eating away at the seed in my birdfeeders, kind of having a party.

Speaking of parties, our Social Committee in our complex put together our annual Thanksgiving dinner. Depending on the timing, it is sometimes referred to as the Harvest dinner or Oktoberfest.

Tickets were sold and I heard that some sixty eight tickets were sold, and I heard rumours that that number was actually higher. Regardless of the number it must be described as a success. In the afternoon a group from  the complex got together and set up the tables. The committee deemed that no participants were to arrive until all was set up, the doors would remain closed until Happy Hour at 5:30, so that the caterer could set up. It seemed to work out OK.

Happy hour started on time, and we got the table we wanted, a table for10, and it was soon filled with our neighbours, and friends. Dinner was served up, and the food from the catering company was excellent, by all accounts. Lots of food, which focused on the Oktoberfest side, with wiener schnitzel, potatoes, vegetables, buns, salads and more. Dessert and coffee followed.

As is often  the case the committee engaged entertainment for the evening. mice Their choice was an old friend of ours Jana and Danny, who have entertained us many times in the past. Tonight was no exception, they entertained us regally. They just seem to get better with age. Jana & Danny stay quite busy in the Calgary entertainment scene performing for some ethnic groups like the German Canadian Club, or for the Legion to name but 2. They performed for a number of years on cruise lines and honed their craft to a fine edge.

We were pretty much the last to leave, at the end of the evening, and I think I speak for the group, a good time was had by all! I know the folks at our table did.

I wrote recently that I have gotten hearing aids and that I am very pleased with them. The I started buying batteries for them! The best price I found in the Calgary area was sixteen batteries for $17.00. and most places were a few bucks more. That is just over $1.06 each. I have since found that I can get them from a company in Ontario Canada for a much better price. $19.50 for 10 packs of 4 batteries or 40 batteries. On top of that is a flat shipping of $3.00! So for about 5 minutes on line I saved about $20,00, That is about $240.00 an hour, not bad pay I think. Check out Listen up Canada: Listenup


Maybe you are a youngster, and are healthy as a horse, but maybe not. If you have pills to take, exercise to do, docs to visit and so on, need to track symptoms, check out this app for Android. It is called uPatient. Check it out: uPatient


Another one you may find useful for your android tablet, or if you like you can also have it on your desktop or laptop. This one is called WebMD, it’s a good one. Check it out: webmd


It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.

Walt Disney


How Do Court Reporters Keep Straight Faces?

These are from a book called Disorder in the Courts and are things people actually said …in court, word for word, taken down and published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while the exchanges were taking place.

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?’
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!

ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.
ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?
WITNESS: July 18th.
ATTORNEY: What year?
WITNESS: Every year.
ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?
WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.
ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?
WITNESS: Forty-five years.
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget..
ATTORNEY: You forget?  Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He’s 20, much like your IQ.
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?
ATTORNEY: She had three children , right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney.  Can I get a new attorney?
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death..
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.
ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
ATTORNEY: Doctor , how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them.  The live ones put up too much of a fight.
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK?  What school did you go to?
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM
ATTORNEY: And Mr.  Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?


ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

Have a Great Day, and be nice to everyone.

Ross Smile

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


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

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


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


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


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."

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.

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

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


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


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!"


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:

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”….




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


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


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

Henny Youngman



Have a Great Day and be nice to one another.

Ross Smile


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