TRAVEL, 3, COME FLY WITH ME

OK, we are almost on our way, we have made it to the airport, checked in, got the baggage gone, and are sitting at the gate awaiting our call to board.

While we wait, I recall the first time I flew. It was 1956 in a Lockheed Constellation equipped with 4 piston engines that were underpowered as I recall. I think it cruised at less than 300 MPH. People dressed up in their finest to fly in those days. I know it is only a memory, and a distant one at that, but they fed us! Yes, we even had options, beef or chicken. Wine was also available if you wanted! We had leg room, reclining seat backs that actually did, lunch trays that didn’t jam you up in the seat behind. Now get this, we even had metal knives and forks! The Mid East Radicals had yet to screw this all up.

Then the wild eyed radicals of a far off land changed all that! The airline bean counters had their way too, by cutting costs. putting more thinner seats on each plane. As a Capitalist, I can at least understand that. The wild eyed radicals from the mid east I will never embrace, or understand.

OK, the lady at the desk has called for boarding, and a few years ago, that was kind of a gong show. The boarding thing in  a specific sequence is more civilized today. One thing hasn’t changed, business class and people with kids, or disabilities are boarded first. This really makes sense. Some airlines board you by seat row, usually starting from the rear of the plane. That tended to get out of hand too, and our last flight on United was the best yet. The entry to the ramp had lanes defined in zones. the boarding pass has your zone on it, and you line up according to your zone. Should you feel entitled to cross over into a different zone for some perceived advantage, you will be redirected back into your proper line, but you start at the back. This was all announced by the gate agent. No mistakes here.  

So, here you re sitting in your seat, belting your body in so as to stay in your seat n the event the plane inadvertently hits something, The cabin attendants will be by to see that all hand carry-ons are stowed under the seat in front of you, and that you are buckled in.

Before the plane is pushed back in preparation for take off, you will go through the safety drill either on the video screen or by the attendants in person. Same drill both ways. So, the time has come, the plane is pushed back, and unhooked rom the mule, and you start to move forward. But right now it is in winter, and you are leaving from Canada, and you will need to have the plane de-iced before you get on the take-off runway. It doesn’t take long but an antifreeze solution is sprayed on the lift surfaces, read wings, to remove any frost or icing build up.

At last, we are moving again, taxiing out to the runway, and wait our turn to use said runway either for take off or an incoming landing plane. The power comes up, the brakes come off and the power goes to full, and in seconds you are reaching take off speed and climb power. You are under way!

The next blog will be in flight, landing, and change planes.


A  popular web site for anyone contemplating a cruise or want to do anything cruise related is Cruise Critic, Take a look here: Cruise Critic


Got this from a buddy a few days ago, and thought it should see a wider audience. Commentary is on the plan by our new Prime Minister Trudeau to repeal the Accountability Act. Lunacy incarnate! Read on:

“For Your Interest How can Trudeau cancel the accountability law that Harper had in place when we see this sort of stuff.

How do we stop it???

The city of Thompson, Manitoba with 13,446 residents pay their mayor, deputy mayor and council members at total of $80,474.45 annually for taxable salaries and per diems (the mayor’s annual indemnity is $29,745.45, council members are paid $9,915.15 per annum and the deputy mayor gets $11,068.40 per annum).

Now, some comparisons :- Brokenhead Ojibway Nation with a registered population of 1,918 paying their FN chief and band council members a total of $415,357 in TAX-FREE salaries AND per diems plus$1,557,766 in tobacco and fuel tax rebates.

Long Plains First Nation @ Portage La Prairie with a registered population of 813 paying their FN chief and band council members a total of $539,918 in tax-free salaries and per diems.

Little Grand Rapids First Nation with a registered population of 1,590 paying their FN chief and band council members a total of $706,182 in tax-free salaries and per diems.

Buffalo Point First Nation with a registered population of 126 paying their FN chief and band council members a total of $300,000 in tax-free salaries and per diems.

Shoal Lake No.  40 First Nation in Ontario with a registered on-reserve population of 293 people paid their FN chief and band council $267,799 in tax-free salaries never mind $58,930 in tax-free expenses.

Mathias Colomb First Nation with a registered population of 3,192 paying their FN chief and band council members a total of $601,726 in tax-free salaries and per diems.

Samson Cree First Nation with a registered population of 8,059 paying their FN chief and band council members a total of $2,149,998 in tax-free salaries and per diems ($266.78 per capita).

Fort McKay First Nation with a registered population of 827 (It’s not a typo, it’s 827) paying their FN chief and band council members a total of $2,067,098 in tax-free salaries and per diems, never mind $151,428 in travel expenses ($2,499.51 per capita).  Chief Jim Boucher was paid an annual tax-free salary of $644,441 tax-free ($53,703 per month), AND tax-free expenses of $35,359 ($2,947 per month), AND tax-free other remuneration $25,000 ($2,083 per month ) AND tax-free travel expenses of $60,157 ($5,013 per month) !!!!!  Per month!!!

Enoch Cree First Nation with a registered population of 2,469 paying their FN chief and band council members a total of $1,159,707 in tax-free salaries and per diems never mind $84,030 in travel expenses ($503.74 per capita).  Also, Enoch Cree First Nation are also paying their Board of Directors $1,511,457 in tax-free salaries and tax-free expenses.

There is poverty, no water, poor housing, no health facilities.  Why?  Because the money can’t seem to get past the chief and council, can it!”



TODAY’S QUOTE
Good, better, best. Never let it rest. 'Til your good is better and your better is best. - St. Jerome


TODAY’S WEB PAGES

Take a peek at possible fixes for a poor Wi-Fi connection: Wi-Fi fix

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Kind of cute, the Kiss Cam in Chicago: kiss cam

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Pork Sausage Fresh! pork sausage


EXIT LAUGHING

An 80-year-old man went to the doctor for a check-up and the doctor was amazed at what good shape the guy was in.

The doctor asked, "To what do you attribute your good health?"

The old timer said, "I’m a turkey hunter and that’s why I’m in such good shape.  I’m up well before daylight and out chasing turkeys up and down the mountains."

The doctor said, "Well, I’m sure that helps, but there’s got to be more to it.  How old was your dad when he died?"

The old timer said, "Who said my dad’s dead?"

The doctor said, "You mean you’re 80 years old and your dad’s still alive?  How old is he?"

The old timer said, "He’s 100 years old and, in fact, he hunted turkey with me this morning, and that’s why he’s still alive…  he’s a turkey hunter."

The doctor said, "Well, that’s great, but I’m sure there’s more to it.  How about your dad’s dad?  How old was he when he died?"

The old timer said, "Who said my grandpa’s dead?"

The doctor said, "You mean you’re 80 years old and your grandfather’s still living!  How old is he?"

The old timer said, "He’s 118 years old."

The doctor was getting frustrated at this point and said, "I guess he went turkey hunting with you this morning too?"

The old timer said, "No…  Grandpa couldn’t go this morning because he got married."

The Doctor said in amazement, "Got married!  Why would a 118- year-old guy want to get married?"

The old timer said, "Who said he wanted to?

**

A woman came home to find her husband in the kitchen shaking frantically, almost in a dancing frenzy, with some kind of wire running from his waist towards the electric kettle.

Intending to jolt him away from the deadly current, she whacked him with a handy plank of wood, breaking his arm in two places.

Up to that moment, he had been happily listening to his Walkman.

**

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.  – Aesop


Have a great day and be kind to one another.

Ross Smile

CRUISE AND TRAVEL, PART 2, AIRPORTS

Going back to the last blog, we managed to get from the hotel in the morning to the airport.

Once in the airport, one proceeds to the airline ticket agent and even though you have printed your boarding pass, all your documents will have to be checked to insure accuracy, and completeness.

Oh, I should also mention that if you are there too early you get to cool your heels on a very uncomfortable bench if you are in Las Angeles, although some airports do provide humane seating waiting for your ticketing window to open. No, you cannot just check in when you like, you check in when the airline likes. No check in prior to 3 hours before flight time, no exceptions. So go sit down and wait.

Your time has come, you now approach the very long line-up to get to the airline agent who will weigh and tag your baggage through to your destination. The passengers in front of you have a lot of questions or the baggage is overweight, so the line moves at what seems to be a glacial pace. The bags go on a conveyor and you hope that is not the last time you see them, Anxiety going up!

You hand over your credit card so that you can pay to have your bags fly with you, that will be $25.00 a bag please, “ will that be Visa or Master card”. That is if you are in Canada. In the US it is also $25.00, but now that is US Dollars. When your visa card statement arrives it is now $87.00 Canadian for 2 bags checked. Thank you!

OK, the ticket agent sends you on your way, but you only think you are done. You are travelling to the US, and there is the very friendly, (nearly always) Customs and Immigration agent in a bullet proof vest, that will ask a few questions, take the customs declaration card, and see if you look like the picture in your passport. Not unless you look like a cadaver the pictures will not coincide. Mine do not, but the government deems that to be OK.

Now you are finally ready to go the the loading gate, but wait, there is the TSA to go through. Now, I know they are only doing their job, protecting us from all those Arab/Muslim radicals who would love to kill us. And believe me I do appreciate it. I do not like the Arab/Muslim radicals that have caused all this need in the first place. I am a WASP. I do not look Asian, or Arabic, I look like a white Canadian, but take out your laptop, empty your pockets, take off your shoes, (unless you are 75 or older, then the shoe thing doesn’t happen) (usually but not always) take off your belt, no your pants will not fall off. Put all your junk including any carry on bags, and take off your jacket and put it with your other stuff, and run it all through the scanner. Oops, you have a jar of something too big in your carry on, can’t have that. Open your bag and toss it out. You agree completely since you are not willing to submit to a body cavity search in another room. You go through a scanner, or if you are lucky you can get the x-ray scan. No, they do not offer 8×10 glossy prints of the scan at the counter as far as I know.

So, you made it through, you collect your junk at the end of the line, hoping that you have remembered everything, and wondering if you can get another bottle of whatever was too big and got tossed out. You needed that stuff. You get dressed, pack all the stuff you took out of the bags, put on your shoes and belt, and you are free to go. You are on your way!

Not quite yet pardner! Check the boarding pass and locate the gate and number on said boarding pass, look around to find the gate, and walk in that direction and then locate the number, usually about 1.5 mils from where you are right now, And if you are lucky there is a place to sit. The seating is at least 10% better than that concrete bench with no back I spoke of earlier that can be found in Las Angeles and may other US airports.

People watching here is an active sport, as is cell phone use to pass the time until your flight is called.

Relax, until tomorrow and we will continue on our vacation destination.


DAILY QUOTE

The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today. - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


DAILY WEB PAGE:

You may remember Jeanne Robertson and her husband “Left Brain” well here she is again: left brain

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The eagle vs, the Goat: Wild video. Eagle and the goat

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Failed Dubai restaurant: restaurant


EXIT LAUGHING

I recently picked a new primary care doctor.
After two visits and exhaustive Lab tests, she said I was doing fairly well for my age.  (I am now Eighty).
A little concerned about that comment, I couldn’t resist asking her, ‘Do you think I’ll live longer?’
She asked, ‘Do you smoke tobacco, or drink beer, wine or hard liquor?’
‘Oh no,’ I replied.  ‘I’m not doing drugs, either!’
Then she asked, ‘Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?’
‘I said, ‘Not much…  My former doctor said that all red meat is very unhealthy!’
‘Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, boating, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?’
‘No, I don’t,’ I said.
She asked, ‘Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?’
‘No,’ I said…
She looked at me and said, ‘Then, why do you even give a shit?
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FACEBOOK FUN FOR THE OLDER GENERATION (OK, maybe not so old too) Smiling face with Sunglasses

For those of my generation who do not and cannot comprehend why Facebook exists.  And for those who should maybe try an alternative to Facebook.  There’s a real world out there:

I am trying to make friends outside of Facebook while applying the same principles.  Therefore, every day I walk down the street and tell passers-by what I have eaten, how I feel at the moment, what I have done the night before, what I will do later, and with whom.

I give them pictures of my family, my dog, and of me gardening, taking things apart in the garage, watering the lawn, standing in front of landmarks, driving around town, having lunch, and doing what anybody and everybody does every day.

I also listen to their conversations, give them the "thumbs up" and tell them I like them.

And it works just like Facebook.  I already have four people following me: two police officers, a private investigator, and a psychiatrist.



Have a Great Day and be nice to everyone.

Ross Smile

CRUISE AND TRAVEL

For some time now I have thought about all the issues related to cruising. I have come to some conclusions I would like to share with you.

First of all, if you cruise, you will need to get to the ship. Right? It does not come to you. Where I live is nearly always 2000 to 4000 miles away from a cruise port, and will involve airfare. Flying to Vancouver for us is the shortest flight we can take for a cruise. But how many times can we go to Alaska in the winter? How many times would we want to?

We prefer to go in the winter to escape the cold in Alberta, so we are faced with the longer flights. Flying in the winter,caries the real risk of weather related delays, hence we always fly the day before our cruise departs and we take a hotel in the departure city. If you use the cruise line hotel booking, you will find that you will be booked into a pretty pricey hotel, but you will find that they will also have breakfast facilities, and will often pick you up at the airline and transfer you to the hotel. They will also have a dining room to use after your arrival.

Or you can arrange your own hotel, often for less money than the big guys. You may then have to pay for transfers to and from the hotel, breakfast, no dining room etc.

Living in Alberta we also have to consider that if we have a heavy snow fall, we might not get out on that early morning flight to Miami, or Fort Lauderdale. We cover that by taking a hotel the night before at the airport so we don’t have to rely on a taxi at 5.00 am to get to the airport. All this is expense you must factor into what your cruise is going to cost. So,far we have costs for taxis, food, hotels, and extra time on the start of the trip.

From home we can fly to Toronto, Montreal, and then south, but gain one adds in the chance of one more winter flight delay, so we go via Houston, or Dallas. We have also found that using an American carrier such as Delta, United, or American to be very cost effective compared with a Canadian airline. One exception is to use West Jet, but they do not always fly when we need to go, so usually they are out. Disappoints me too, because we own stock in West Jet!

All this will get you to the airport, and now you have added hotel, taxi, and meal cost to the cost in American to the cost of the lowest price cabin on the ship. It soon adds up.

My next blog will deal with the rigors of the actual flight etc. and why I have come to detest flying all because of the airports. Ciao for now!


TODAY’S WEB SITES

Karen Klassen, has written a wonderful column in the Calgary Herald to try to explain what is wrong with our national and provincial oil and gas policy, and why Canadian are getting the shaft by it. Definitely worth a look if you missed it in the Herald. Klassen

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I just love this one, it is a video clip of our new Prime Minister telling a TV moderator in French, down in Quebec, a few years ago, that we have never had a good prime minister from outside of Quebec, AND that Quebec does not belong to Canada, but Canada belongs to Quebec. And now he is our Prime Minister. God help us! Trudeau

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Finally, one to make you laugh. It is a clip of Buddy Hackett doing one of his routines. It is a bit rude, but it is funny, enjoy! Hackett


TODAY’S QUOTE

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. - Charles R. Swindoll

 

EXIT LAUGHING

Two beggars are sitting side by side on a street in Rome, Italy.

One has a Cross in front of him; the other one is holding the Star of David.  Many people go by, look at both beggars, but only put money into the hat of the beggar sitting behind the Cross.

The Pope comes by.  He stops to watch the throngs of people giving money to the beggar who holds the Cross while none give to the beggar holding the Star of David.  He feels sorry for him.

Finally, the Pope approaches the beggar with the Star of David and says: "My poor fellow, don’t you understand?  This is a Catholic country; this city is the seat of Catholicism.
People aren’t going to give you money if you sit there with a Star of David in front of you, especially when you’re sitting beside a beggar who is holding a Cross.  In fact, they would probably give more money to him just out of spite!"

The beggar with the Star of David listened to the Pope, smiled, and turned to the beggar with the Cross and said: "Moishe, would you look who’s trying to teach the Goldstein brothers about marketing!"



Have a great day, and be nice to one another.

Ross Open-mouthed smile

“BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN”

Yes we are back from a cruise to the Caribbean that was great as usual. I had intended to write today about some issues that have interested me relative to politics, and social items. I will get to them a blog or so later, but today I wish to just touch on our brand new non existent Green Recycling Plan mandated by the City of Calgary and which took effect February 1, 2016.

Our board has known about his coming on for the last 18 months. It is to be done by a private contractor of our choosing, since the city is getting out of the collection of recycle type trash as of February 1. My trash was picked up by the guy in our community, and I still have no collection box in my garage. I am technically in non-compliance with our city by-law. Our board seems to have been sitting on their hands on this issue hoping it isn’t going to happen, will go away, or has it so bound up by bureaucratic red tape it will take forever to see the light of day.

I can’t say I am too surprised by this, it reminds me a lot like the expression the armed forces used during world war 2, SNAFU.

Our street on the south of our phase 1 villas is a disaster. It is a veritable skating rink, covered with ice. Someone is going to get hurt. It behooves our board to practice due diligence, but our Chair is sitting on Waikiki pulling on a mai tai, and I see no one listed as vice chair, nor as a snow removal manager for the year.

Speaking of our board and what it does, I was pleased to see that in our community newsletter that our very high priced security system, including the ever popular video cameras, are working well. Which of course begs the question as to how many miscreants our cameras have identified and have had arrested since it is working so well. I have been offering my Trudeau Salute to the cameras when I go by them.


WEB PAGE OF THE DAY

This is an interesting video prepared by the man who was involved in organizing Green Peace. It deals with global warming: Take a look, global warming

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Apropos of the US Primaries, you just might find this speech by Marco Rubio to be of interest. Rubio

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Remember Alan King, the comedian? Check this link out. It goes back 30 years, and see how fitting it is today. King


EXIT LAUGHING

I would like to share a personal experience with my friends about drinking and driving.

As you know, some of us have been known to have brushes with the authorities from time to time, often on the way home after a "social session" with family or friends.

Well, two days ago, this happened to me. I was out for an evening with friends and had more than several whiskies followed by a couple of bottles of rather nice red wine and vodka shots. Although relaxed, I still had the common sense to know I was slightly over the limit. That’s when I did something I’ve never done before – I took a taxi home!

Sure enough on the way there was a police roadblock, but since it was a taxi they waved it past and I arrived home safely without incident.

This was a real surprise to me, because I had never driven a taxi before. I don’t know where I got it, and now that it’s in my garage I don’t know what to do with it..   So, anyway, if you want to borrow it give me a call.


Have a great day, and be nice to each other.

Ross Open-mouthed smile

  

A FEEL GOOD STORY

The Calgary Herald newspaper, offers up the Award winning magazine Swerve every Friday. In addition to the usual offerings of Calgary events, they sometimes offer a feature story. This is one of them, and likely the best I have ever read. Karen Hines is the writer and she writes about her and her husband’s pet dog, Hopper.

Being as how we have had pets including a dog, this story caught my eye. If you do not subscribe to the weekly Herald, or do not get the Herald, or maybe you just missed the story, I dug it up and offer it to you. It is a bit long by blog standards, and I had thought of breaking it up into several segments, but that is no way to treat this wonderful story.

Here it is in its entirety, have a box of Kleenex handy!
Hopper


Happy New Year!

Ross

CHRISTMAS EVE 2015

religious-christmas-backgroundsthe-meaning-of-christmas-christian-background-t6aiss301

With all of the violence, madness and more that we find in so many places in the world today, it is increasingly important that we all take the time to value our blessings, and be grateful for what our heritage has given us.

While we seem to be heading into a very dark time, let us reflect on what Christmas means to mankind, and what it means to us as individuals.

We have so much in our country to be grateful for, let us give thanks to the Lord God  for his Blessings.

May God Bless You All!

NOT TOO LONG NOW!


ATT1791548

There has been a lot going on recently around here. I am going to use that as an excuse for not much in the way of the blog as of late. It has been nice weather since the last snowfall, and it even looks like we could get a white Christmas. Yesterday was even warm, but cloudy, and today is sunny, but a bit cooler. Can’t win ‘em all! I did manage to get some walking in when it was nice.

We had our annual Christmas Open house a week ago, in our clubhouse and we had a really good turnout. A lot of new people showed up, and that is always nice. A lot of old folks did too, not meaning to get too personal about ages and such. Lots of food, and some drinks made it go well. Some nice door prizes, that I did not even come close to! Baa! Humbug! Lots of help from the volunteers though who made it look easy. Thanks a lot to them for all their hard work.

Tonight we are going to our daughters for their Christmas dinner. Of course there will be turkey and all the other good stuff. Even some of my famous wine! Our grandson has returned for Christmas break from his University. He will be heading for Utah for some skiing for a few days with his dad. That is why we are having this dinner early.

Our neighbours have done well this year with the lights, and other outdoor decor. It really does look nice. Very festive! Considering the age of some of our folks in here, I think it looks extra special. Thank you all for making the effort.

LIGHTS 2


TODAY’S WEB PAGE

Since it is Christmas I have managed to come up with some very nice pages of music and the like. I hope you will enjoy the seasonal Christmas flavour!

1. This is the US Air Force band delivering a Christmas message in music. A couple of links are included in the video, that will take you to previous years. Take a listen: U. S Air Force Band

2. This one is a bit eerie, but fun. Just follow the instructions on the page and see what happens, nothing scary. Give a look How did they do that?

3. Not a Christmas page, but a video about life. Still like part of the season. what matters

4. The Lord’s Prayer, sung by a choir, and Andrea Bocelli. Beautiful. Bocelli

5. I loved this one. The Jewish guy who paid $50.00 each for dinner for some 400 U. S. Soldiers in a mall. This is really a feel good one: Big Hearted and more

LIGHTS 2

TODAY’S QUOTE:
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. - Charles R. Swindoll

LIGHTS 2

EXIT LAUGHING:

HAPPY CHANUKAH!

Exhausted and overworked, Santa Claus has decided to convert to Judaism to lessen his workload and decrease his stress.

Mr.  Claus’s first inkling that Judaism was his new intended path was when he was unloading one particularly heavy bag of gifts.and muttered "Oy, Oy, Oy!" instead of "Ho, Ho, Ho!"

Santa took this as divine inspiration and began some serious reflection on the matter.  Mr.  Claus sat down at his computer desk at the North Pole and itemized the benefits of bringing toys to Jewish children.

Most obvious, was that there were many fewer Jewish children to service, than Christian children.

The next obvious benefit was that he had eight days of Hanukkah to deliver all of  these gifts instead of jamming the entire shipment into one night, which constantly required the already weary Santa (and his team!) to travel at the speed of light to accomplish the task.

Finally, the straw that broke the reindeer’s back was the realization that Jewish households had far more delicious cuisine to offer. 

Gefilte fish, chicken soup, blintzes, knishes and the like are more palatable than the milk and cookies he got bored with just after the second century.

Circumcision won’t be necessary for Santa, because that’s already been taken care of in a freak accident involving frostbite after getting stuck in a tight chimney.

Santa has left the frigid, brutal confines of the North Pole and has begun his toy shop anew in the sunny climes of Sarasota, Florida.

He has fired all of those annoying elves and replaced them with nice Jewish retirees from New York.

The reindeer are retired as well, romping the frozen tundras and enjoying their well-deserved rest.

Mrs.  Claus learned to play Mah Jung – and bakes some fairly decent rugelach!

Happy Chanukah to all and to all Zeit Gezundt!

LIGHTS 2

 Merry Christmas too all!

Ross north-pole-smiley-emoticon

CHRISTMAS IS STILL ON THE WAY!

SANTA 6This time of year is a big one for me on a number of levels. For instance we (My wife and I) had an invitation to go to the annual Christmas Party put on by the dealer who I buy all my vehicles from, and who looks after all of my auto service work.

It is an evening thing, and most of the dealer personnel are attending. If we haven’t seen some of them for a while, and I know a lot of them, it makes for a great evening. We get to meet not only them but to rub shoulders with a number of other GM buyers.

For anybody looking at the blog for the first time, I should point out that I was employed by GM of Canada for over 30 years. It was one of the best relationships I could imagine, and I met a lot of great people while working. All of these folks are also retired now, and, yes you guessed it, they were also at the party, so it was a bit of old home week for us. We got caught up on families, trips, health and so on. In addition we were able to touch base with the owner of the dealership, a man I have known since early in 1970, and who I worked for before he decided to go into the retail side of the business.

OK, it is likely fair to think that I get all my work done at this dealer because I know him. True, it does have a bearing, but in my opinion they operate probably the best dealership in Calgary that sells Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC. The deal has a goodly number of people who have been with them for 25 years or more! Some started at an entry level job, but who are now department heads. Needless to say the dealer is very proud of his people.

So, if you are interested in a new Chev, Buick, or GMC truck, at least give them a try, you will not be disappointed. I have introduced a few other people to the store, who have bought new or used vehicles, and are very impressed with the service.

The dealership is Southgate Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, in southwest Calgary, check it out on line.


A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So slumbered I, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night, 
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Trooper, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.

To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said "It’s really all right,
I’m out here by choice.  I’m here every night."
"It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died in Europe on a day in December."
Then he sighed, "That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers." 
I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red and the white …  A Canadian flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.

I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.

"So go back inside," he said, "Harbour no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right."
"But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.

To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favour of sending this to as many people as you can?

Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our Canadian service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.


COMPUTING 101

I hope that you are not experiencing some of the problems I have with our shiny new Windows 10. I have been having a problem with a request for a WINDOWS Password that is all news to me, and if I do not have it, I cannot open some of the apps. I`m working on it, and I`ll write up the fix if I ever find one.

In the meantime, I would like to offer up some suggestions that you can use to protect yourself from scammers on your computer, phone, and even in person. The information is all on the web, and you can read for yourself what to do in each situation. Most of these have occurred to us in very recent weeks. If I missed something,Google the one you need and you will get all the information needed.

Tech Support scams, you get a phone call usually that something is wrong with your computer. Read More. tech support scam

This scam is about Canada Revenue, and the CRA has a good site here. CRA

RBC has a good site on various scams that seem awfully possible. rbc

I got an email recently from somebody I have not seen in years, claiming that they were stuck without money in Turkey, and needed 1800 dollars. The email address looked legit, but I told the lady sorry. Then I looked up the correct email, and sent it to her and explained what I did and why. Never heard back.

Microsoft has an excellent and free virus and malware program, that they now call Windows Defender. If you use Microsoft, try using it. It is updated frequently and additionally you are prompted periodically to go to the Win Defender and do a scan. It`s a free included program, and works extremely well, and it does not slow your computer down.


TODAY`S WEB PAGE

I like music, particularly the 50`s 60`s country, rock, big band, and a whole lot more. If you do as well, try this web page that streams tons of music from military bands to Zydeco and Cajun.

free oldies

I sent this off to my old buddies and got some great feedback. it is funny. School lunch

Never saw this one coming. European grocery store playing Christmas songs on their cash register! Christmas songs


TODAY`S QUOTE

Golda Meir: `Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.` I like this one!



EXIT LAUGHING

My wife hosted a dinner party for all our friends, some of whom we hadn’t seen for ages and everyone was encouraged to bring their children along as well.

All throughout dinner my wife’s best friend’s four-year-old daughter stared at me as I sat opposite her.  The girl could hardly eat her food for staring.

I checked my shirt for spots, felt my face for food, and patted my hair in place, but nothing stopped her from staring at me.  I tried my best to just ignore her, but finally it was too much for me.

I asked her, "Why are you staring at me?"
Everyone at the table had noticed her behaviour, and the table went quiet, waiting for her response.

The little girl said, "I’m just waiting to see how you drink like a fish."
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A bunch of Edmonton girls got together and decided to go to a football game in Calgary.

They rented a two tier bus for their little adventure to the game between the rival Alberta teams.

There were about 20 blondes and 20 brunettes.  They met at the bus depot and as it worked out all the brunettes seated themselves on the bottom section and the blondes on the top area.

As they left Edmonton the brunettes began to party.  Champagne, wine and beer.  As they passed Leduc they were really were into the fun and the anticipation that Edmonton was going to be victorious.

About Red Deere one of the girls on the bottom said to another, “It sure is quite up there on top, I wonder why.” “I’m going up to check on them.” She goes up and to her amazement all the blondes were clutching the seats in front of them, their knuckles white and terror on their faces.

She said to one of the blondes, “What’s the matter up here, we’re having a ball downstairs.” The blonde looks up and says, “Oh, yea, sure, you’ve got a driver.”


Have a great Day and be kind to one another.

Ross images

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAWAII

th (11)

I was chatting about Christmas the other day with a fellow I have known for some time and the subject of PC or Political Correctness got into the conversation. We were both of the opinion that the banning in some areas of a Nativity Scene by some kind of prohibition, is just not right.

Christmas is by definition is supposed to celebrate the birth of Christ. If a church or school group feels like going to the effort of putting up a creche on their property, we could find no harm in that. It should be OK, and in many ways it would be nice if we could reinforce a bit of Christianity into our lives again.

The gist of this item is that somewhere around 30 years ago, we went to Hawaii, and onto the Big Island of Hawaii. It was just after Christmas, and we had heard a lot about the Painted Church on the Big Island, and since we were there to see the sights, we drove out to take a look at it. There are 2 painted churches on Hawaii, but we found this one was the one we wanted. This is a picture of the outside of the church.

st-benedict-church-honaunau_web

This is a picture of the inside of the church.

grid-cell-31973-1392864979-13

As can be seen it is a very small church. All is very interesting, but the most interesting to me was the Nativity Scene just to the right of he entrance as you enter the church. It was a complete scene with all the required animals and people, all in miniature of course, but the people who were represented were all Polynesian! I thought that that was so cool.

I am sure that some dedicated religious “nut” would get their knickers in a knot over it, but for me, a kid who grew up learning at a Catholic School where scriptures were taught for a half hour each day, I still thought of it as about as cool as it could be. I remember thinking that this could not be wrong at any level, since as my scripture told me that “Man was created in the image of God”.

I know I have a picture of the creche somewhere in a collection, but I simply cannot find it. I would love to share it.


A LOVELY CHRISTMAS SCAM

A couple of days ago, we got a phone call and on the other end of the line was a recorded message supposedly from our national tax people telling us that we had a problem with our income tax and that a warrant had been issued for our arrest, and that to find out what the problem was we could call a phone number they provided.

On any level we knew it was a scam to get some personal information likely about our bank account, and we just hung up and ignored it. We had information on this from before, but my wife is a Scorpio, and I am a Sagittarian, so we are hard wired as non believers at the best of times.

Well, nobody came to the door, no cops showed up, no more calls on the issue. This was a very obvious scam or phishing expedition, but unfortunately some people will fall for it, and it will cost them a lot of time and money to get it all put right.

Nice people around spreading the Joy of Christmas while they steal you blind. Just hang up and do not buy into the scam.


HOME ON THE RANGE!

We do not have any reindeer in our part of the world even if we are a few hundred miles north of the US border with Montana, Reindeer are actually caribou, but we do have deer and just after lunch today we had a visit from a full grown doe deer who came within about 10 feet of our front door, and looked around, even stood there when a car drove down the street in our condo, and allowed the occupants to photograph her! Beautiful!


TODAY’S QUOTE

What you do today can improve all your tomorrows. - Ralph Marston


TODAY’S WEB PAGE

This is a great piece of work spoken by one of our British brethren, on the Muslim “Troubles”. The only thing I can say about it is that he should tell us what he really thinks! Take a look: Muslims

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I loved the pooch in this video who howls whenever the Imam from the nearby mosque starts up. Fun: mosque and pooch

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I don’t care that much for puppet shows, but the one captured on video in this clip is amazing, puppet show


EXIT LAUGHING

Teacher: How old is your father?
Kid: He is 6 years.
Teacher: What?  How is this possible?
Kid: He became father only when I was born.
_____________________

TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America.
MARIA: Here it is.
TEACHER: Correct.  Now class, who discovered America ?
CLASS: Maria.
_____________________

TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell ‘crocodile?’
GLENN: K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L’
TEACHER: No, that’s wrong
GLENN: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.

_____________________

TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
DONALD: H I J K L M N O.
TEACHER: What are you talking about?
DONALD: Yesterday you said it’s H to O ______________________

TEACHER: Clyde , your composition on ‘My Dog’ is exactly the same as your brother’s..  Did you copy his?
CLYDE : No sir, It’s the same dog.
___________________

TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher


Have a great day and be kind to one another.

Ross         kittyrulez-Hello-Kitty-Christmas-emoticons-5

It’s December and time to think of Christmas!

SANTA 14

This may seem like a long way from Christmas, but if you hang in for a few seconds, it may all come together.

Many of you may know that I feel quite strongly about the amount of political correctness that surrounds us today. The result of this PC garbage is that we, as in those who like Christmas, are being driven back from it and denied all the things I, and probably you, grew up with.

Many of you may also know that I worked for just over 30 years for General Motors of Canada. Hence the inclusion in the title of my Blog, Gmman5585. When I joined up in 55, I immediately had Buick branded on my butt!

OK, so what does all this have to do with Christmas. Well, it’s easy. Following my retirement in ‘85, a group of Salaried Retirees in Oshawa put together a Salaried group, complete with a web page, meetings, dinners, golf get-togethers and so on. The group is headed each year by an elected board and that means they have a President who reports to the members each month. I have belonged to this organization since just after it started, and I read about all my old buds who are still living.

The President of the group is a lady named Lillian Jacoby, a lady I have never met. After reading her monthly report for the December issue, I felt compelled to write her and offer my congratulation on a most wonderful piece of newsletter writing I have read in a long time. Not only that I asked if she would allow me to add her piece to my blog. Lillian was most generous in allowing it to be posted. So I have included the link to the Newsletter. I believe that while it does a great job of promoting Christmas, it offers inclusiveness to people who may have another way to celebrate their religion. I now you will enjoy the thought expressed. Thanks again Lillian!

Newsletter: Retiree Newsletter


TODAY’S QUOTE

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say 'thank you?' - William Arthur Ward


TODAYS WEB PAGES

This is a quartet of young men who sing one of my favourite songs, “Amazing Grace”. Only thing is this time it is in the Coliseum in Rome. Listen Here

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Maybe you follow U.S. politics, and maybe you don’t, but it seems to me that when we live so close to this elephant and if he rolls over we get squished, we should maybe have an idea of the politics down there. This is a short speech by one of the major Republican contenders Marco Rubio, a guy I have watched for some time now. Marco Rubio

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This is a video about a lost kid in a Costco store, who finds a piano, and gives a recital. Great playing for a wee lad. Costco Kid  


EXIT LAUGHING

Past Canadian Election

As we try to figure out what the election results mean, here are a few insights:
Like many millennia’s, after trying to strike out into the big vast world on his own, Justin Trudeau has returned home to the place he was raised (24 Sussex Dr.), finding it just a bit too scary out there in the real world.
On the flip side, Mr.  Harper woke up to quite likely his worst nightmare.
He woke up as a regular Calgary citizen with a Muslim as his Mayor, the NDP running his province, and the Liberals running his country….

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Just thought I’d pass along some advice my broker gave me today…
I called him this morning and asked him what I should be investing in as I feel interest rates are not going to be rising as they did during the late 70’s early 80’s.   So I told him I thought we ought to be looking to get out of bonds and finding a safe haven in which to invest.   I asked him, "Should we move to precious metals, foreign currency or what?"
He responded, "If the Democrats are in office much longer, canned goods, water and ammunition are probably your best bet."



Have a great day, and be kind to one another.

Ross Open-mouthed smile