e6So here we are in the middle of the long Easter week end, Saturday. It is a time of one of he most important commemorations in the Christian calendar. Tomorrow, Easter Sunday will be the anniversary of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This day looms large for Christians regardless of stripe. I do hope you have a very Happy Easter.



I can’t remember if I mentioned in my series of travel blogs if I spoke about the Celebrity cruise we took to Alaska last fall. It was what Celebrity calls a “Reunion Cruise”. I had never heard of it, and everyone I spoke with including Celebrity had no idea that cruise was special. Special it is, since Celebrity only does one a year, and it is loaded with perks, and special programs for the people of the Captains Club. If you get at chance to go on one of these do not pass it up, there is one for this year and I think it goes to the fiords in Europe.


There was an excellent article in the National Geographic Traveller a month or so ago, on cruising, and if you can find a copy at your library, be sure to look into it. I tried to find a link to the article, but it was denied to me.


I know I have mentioned Cruise Critic in my blog, but I am going to add it in again. A great source for cruise information. Cruise Critic


Should you be travelling in times like we are experiencing today, you may just want to find out what your government has doe for you regarding safety in these places you are going to see. Great site, all in one place: Travel advisories


Right now I am reading the book on Chris Kyle, his autobiography. It is the American Sniper. Very graphic in the depiction, going over his training to become a Navy Seal, and how he became a sniper in Afghanistan. Good story so far.


The last book I read was by Lisa Jackson, the first one hers I have read. Not a bad story set in New Orleans, and you do get the feel for N.O from the book. Deals with the murders of some nuns in an old church in N.O. Lots of suspects and no motives.


I got a magazine from a neighbour, called the Philadelphia Trumpet, and no, it is not about Donald Trump. Mostly it a kind of low key Christian tract. Not too preachy though. I did notice a couple of small items I thought worth adding to the blog. Makes me think their might e hope after all!

  • Success Academy charter school students in New York City will now be subjected to an ‘old school’ kind of teaching method, similar to the kind I got as a child and if you are of an age, you will know what I mean. You study, you hand in your homework on time, you may get a detention to stay in to get your stuff done, and on time, in other words you are expected to be in school to learn. If a student has trouble paying attention in class, the student is moved to the front of the class. So far the results are exceeding expectations! Good for them, we need more schools and teachers like them.

  • I know of a number of people that are in denial when it comes to getting vaccinations. I got all mine as a kid growing up, and when a new one like the Polio Vaccine was introduced I got that too. More recently I got my annual flu shot, had had my pneumonia shot, and the one for shingles. As memory serves me, all were free except the Shingles shot.
    If nobody had had these shots over the years, we would still have small pox, diphtheria, polio, and much more. Well, Australia has decided the vaccines offered are more important to the population than some naysayers, who for whatever reason decline getting the shots. Australia has decided that if the kids are not immunized they will be denied their childcare benefits. Some folks just need the push, but even so the deniers have started a petition. What are they thinking?


I got an Easter card from a friend that came from this site. Unlike some card sites that are ‘free’ there is a charge for this one, but it is for unlimited cards for a full year! The cost is $14.00 for a year, $20.00 for 2 years. Looking at the site it is a bargain, considering a paper one will cost you $5.00 plus postage. Check it out: lawson


This is described as the number one song in England, maybe, but it could apply to Canada or the US, give a look: song


Politics in Canada and the US this past few months are enough to bring tears to the eye of a stone statue. This is a video, that I just loved with Judge Jeanine on Mitt Romney awakening a sleeping giant: The Judge


Speaking of politics, I just had to include a list of political quotes a friend sent me.

PERFECT One-Liners for Election Year

If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates…  ~Jay Leno~

The problem with political jokes is they get elected…  ~Henry Cate, VII~

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office…  ~Aesop~

If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these State of the Union speeches, there wouldn’t be any inducement to go to heaven…  ~Will Rogers~

Politicians are the same all over.  They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river…  ~Nikita Khrushchev~

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I’m beginning to believe it…  ~Clarence Darrow~

Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel…  ~John Quinton~

Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you…  ~Author unknown~

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other…  ~Oscar Ameringer~

I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them…  ~Adlai Stevenson, 1952~

A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country…  ~ Tex Guinan~

I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians…  ~Charles de Gaulle~

Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks…  ~Doug Larson~

There ought to be one day — just one — when there is open season on Congressmen…  ~Will Rogers~

And one of my favourites by Mark Twain, “ Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.’


A bit rude, but at our age I think one will understand.

Bert, age 80, always wanted a pair of authentic cowboy boots, so, seeing some on sale, he bought them and wore them home.

Walking proudly, he sauntered into the kitchen and said to his wife, "Notice anything different about me?"

Margaret, age 75, looked him over.  "Nope."

Frustrated, Bert stormed off into the bathroom, undressed and walked back into the kitchen completely naked except for the boots.

Again he asked Margaret, a little louder this time, "Notice anything different NOW?"

Margaret looked up and said in her best deadpan, "Bert, what’s different? It’s hanging down today, it was hanging down yesterday, it’ll be hanging down again tomorrow."


"Nope.  Not a clue", she replied.


Without missing a beat Margaret replied, "Shoulda bought a hat, Bert!

Shoulda bought a hat."

easter happy

Have a Great Easter weekend, and be nice to one another.
Ross  Bunny



images (4)

Top O’ the Mornin’ to ya, and the resta’ the day for m’self!

It’s been pretty quiet around the neighbourhood for a while. We got past Daylight saving, and got used to it. Then we have a day or so to go until the first day of spring! Today we get 12 hours and 2 minutes of sunlight, provided the sun shines, which it is trying to do, against a backdrop of cloud, and snow flurries. It is 32°F right now and sunny, but just 5 minutes ago, it was snowing. This weather comes on the heels of some  very nice weather up in to the low 60’s at times, with no snow for weeks until today.

Not too sure why, but the birds have gone AWOL in our yards over the past week. Got some bunnies for sure, but no birds. Even the few sparrows that finally made it back, have gone. The deer is gone too, and I can now keep the feeders full for the birds, if they ever do come back. While it has been warm, the robins have not returned from their sunny south yet, which is just as well. I have seen these critters get caught in some very bad weather around here if they come back too early and their food supply is scarce.


I was not completely truthful when I said it was quiet in the ‘hood. A couple of days ago, when I was lying in bed contemplating getting up at 10 to 6, I heard some distant popping noise, that sounded a bit like it might be gunfire. Well it turned out that it was and it was not too far away from where we live. Keeping in mind that I heard the shooting with the house all closed up, it had to be nearby. Needless to say the cops were called to find a house that had been shot up with buckshot, I had guessed a shotgun, but the shooters apparently got the wrong house. Even the shooters today are not too swift, expect them to run for government in the next election. No suspects yet.


I have a few video clips that need to be shown, and since I have collected a few over the past while while the blog has sat on idle, I will include a few here. These are very interesting and involve our favourite selfie taker Justin Trudeau our newest Prime Minister.

1. Ezra Levant on the using and cost of housing all the Syrian Refugees on Canadian Military bases in Canada.

Ezra bases

2. Here we offer a video showing where our Prime Minister has appointed as a senior executive an avowed Muslim who is a believer in Sharia Law! Sharia Law

3. Sharia Law supporter Omar Alghabra has been appointed as the new Parliamentary Secretary by our Prime Minister. Omar


Love is when the other person's happiness is more important than your own. - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


A different kind of clip, Donald Trump on an old Oprah show: trump and oprah


This is a very dramatic video done by Judge Jeanine. I loved it: Here come the Judge


Aw, c’mon I have to end the videos on a happy note. Enjoy! Budweiser


Ed and his wife Norma go to the state fair every year,

And every year Ed would say, "Norma, I’d like to ride in that helicopter."

Norma always replied, "I know ED, but that helicopter ride is fifty bucks, and fifty bucks is fifty bucks!"

One year Ed and Norma went to the fair, and Ed said, "Norma, I’m 75 years old.  If I don’t ride that helicopter, I might never get another chance"

To this, Norma replied, "Ed, that helicopter ride is fifty bucks, and fifty bucks is fifty bucks."

The pilot overheard the couple and said, " Folks I’ll make you a deal.  I’ll take the both of you for a ride.  If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and don’t say a word I won’t charge you a penny!

But if you say one word its fifty dollars."

Ed and Norma agreed and up they went.  The pilot did all kinds of fancy manoeuvres, but not a word was heard.  He did his daredevil tricks over and over again, But still not a word…

When they landed, the pilot turned to Ed and said, "By golly, I did everything I could to get you to yell out, but you didn’t.  I’m impressed!  "

Ed replied, " Well, to tell you the truth I almost said something when Norma fell out, But you know, Fifty bucks is fifty bucks!  "

Have a great day and be kind to one another.

Ross Smile


Things have been pretty quiet around here recently, not much going on in the community.

The weather has been almost summerlike at times, and certainly spring like, with temperatures well over freezing for days on end. No snow now for a long time, weeks in fact either on the ground or fresh. All due to the El Nino effect in the Pacific we are told, where a very large body of warm water has moved in of the west coast of North America. It has been there since last fall, and our weather has proven to be mild.

Where we can easily get to 30 and even 40 below, so far it has managed to get to just 12 below one night when we were going away the following day.

We live in Calgary, and have done so since 1960, except for a couple of years in Red Deer. Since we moved here we have lived entirely in Alberta.

Calgary, in case you need to know is about 3400 feet above sea level, is in the rain shadow of the of the Rockies, and is also on the 51 parallel of latitude. That places Calgary just 200 miles farther north than the northern border of Montana.

One of the nicer things about the improved weather at least from my perspective is the variety and number of birds and other wildlife we are having. Not only have we had our on site Chickadees that have wintered well, the Purple Finches are still here, and we have added a family of Nuthatch’s to our feeder. All three of these have been seen at the feeder all at once, meaning they have learned to coexist. Better than some of the people I know.

One thing we have also noticed over the past year is the reduction in the sparrow population. There is one pair of sparrows though, that have been looking into moving in to the bird house. Likely the offspring of last years residents.

We also are home to a bunch of hares, that inhabit our community. Nobody has a count on them but we estimate maybe 3 or 4. They do eat some of the garden stuff during the growing season, and some folks get fussed, but by adding some blood meal to the garden, that seems to be but a memory.

A deer drops by from time to time to try out our bird feeder, and he/she can just about empty the feeder in no time. I have no problem with all this, the wild life is welcome in my inner city environment.

Prime Minister Trudeau.

Our good Prime Minister is in Washington this week being entertained by President Obama. The Maple Leaf Flags are out to adorn the American Capitol. All well and good I suppose, and it is nice to be good with your neighbours. Not too sure just how this will all play out if the Donald is elected, but disaster comes to mind.

I didn’t vote for Trudeau or his party in the recent election, and I m very glad I did not. My efforts were in vain in any event, because the drama coach who just cannot resist a camera got in anyway. We are stuck with him for the next 3 years and 9 months. But who is counting. Well, I am.

The following is a video clip Trudeau did before he was elected, where he extolled the virtues of Quebec born prime ministers are the best, and that Quebec does not belong to Canada, but that Canada Belongs to Quebec. Check the video Trudeau


The politics around the Muslims and their desire for Sharia Law, are nothing I want for my family, friends, or fellow westerner’s. But our illustrious Prime Minister has actually installed a Sharia Law proponent to assist a member of his cabinet. Another Video. Sharia Law in Canada.


With terrorism all around us from the 911 attacks in the US, to the Canadian version where a soldier was deliberately run down and killed, to the shooting in our Parliament buildings by a couple of Muslim deranged loose cannons, terrorism exists in Canada, and when our Prime Ministers brother petitions the Prime Minister to change the law that would revoke the dual citizenship and deport these jokers back to their original land, it borders on treason. Give a look. Treason


If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be. - Yogi Berra


I touched on global warming above, and I recently read an email from a friend of mine who spoke of all the things that were happening, Then he dropped the bombshell, that the reports were not from today, but came from a long time ago, but the same things are reported today. climate change


Seniors song, Funny! Green side



Because of his stupidity and clumsiness, his teacher, was always yelling at him, "You’re driving me crazy, Tyrone!"

One day, Tyrone’s mother came to school to check on how he was doing.

The teacher told his mother honestly, that her son was simply a disaster, getting very low marks,and that she had never seen such a stupid boy in her entire teaching career.

The mother was so shocked at the feedback that she withdrew her son from school and moved out of London, and relocated to Birmingham .

Twenty-five years later, the teacher was diagnosed with an almost incurable cardiac disease.  All the doctors strongly advised her to have open heart surgery, but there was only one surgeon in Britain who could perform the operation and he was located at the Birmingham Clinic.  Left with no other options, the teacher decided to have the operation, which was successful.

When she came round after surgery she saw a handsome young doctor smiling down at her.  She wanted to thank him, but could not talk.  Her face started to turn blue, she raised her hand, trying to tell him something but quickly died.  The doctor was shocked, wondering what could possibly have gone wrong so suddenly.

Then he turned around and saw our friend Tyrone, a janitor in the Clinic, who had unplugged the life-support equipment in order to connect his vacuum cleaner.

If you thought for one moment that Tyrone had become a heart-surgeon, there is a high likelihood that you voted for Justin Trudeau.

Have a Great Day, and be nice to those around you

Ross Smile


It has been a while now, and with playing catch up with the travel thing done, I can now get back to normal.

Start with a Calgary Herald Editorial by Licia Corbella back in mid February. It is certainly worth a read and hits the nail on the head.

Time to Change Tune on Official Multiculturalism by Licia Corbella, Calgary Herald –

About one dozen families who recently immigrated to Canada are demanding that the Louis Riel School Division in Winnipeg excuse their children from music and co-ed physical education programs for religious reasons.  The families believe music is un-Islamic ~ just like the Taliban believe and then imposed on the entire population of Afghanistan and that physical education classes should be segregated by gender even in the elementary years.

The school division is facing the music in a typically Canadian way – that is, bending itself into a trombone to try to accommodate these demands, even though in Manitoba, and indeed the rest of the country, music and phys-ed are compulsory parts of the curriculum.

Officials say they may try to have the Muslim children do a writing project on music to satisfy the curriculum’s requirements. 

The school officials have apparently consulted the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, and they have also spoken to a member of the Islamic community suggested by those very same Muslim parents.  In any event, the school district is trying to find a way to adapt the curriculum to fit the wishes of these families, rather than these families adapting to fit into the school and Canadian culture.

Mahfooz Kanwar, a member of the Muslim Canadian Congress, says he has a better idea. "I’d tell them, this is Canada, and in Canada, we teach music and physical education in our schools.  If you don’t like it, leave.  If you want to live under sharia law, go back to the country you came from or go to another country that lives under sharia law," said Kanwar, who is a professor emeritus of sociology at Mount Royal University in Calgary.

That might be putting things a little more forcefully than most of us would be comfortable with, but Kanwar says he is tired of hearing about such out-of-tune demands from newcomers to our country.

"Immigrants to Canada should adjust to Canada, not the other way around," he argues.  If they did not like these things in Canada, why did they not go somewhere else?  If they want Canada to be like their homeland why don’t they go home?

Kanwar, who immigrated to Canada from Pakistan via England and then the United States in 1966, says he used to buy into the "mosaic, official multiculturalism" (nonsense).  He makes it clear, that like most Canadians, he is pleased and enjoys that Canada has citizens literally from every country and corner in the world, as it has enriched this country immensely.  But it’s official multiculturalism – the state policy "that entrenches the lie" that all cultures and beliefs are of equal value and of equal validity in Canada that he objects to.

"The fact is, Canada has an enviable culture based on Judeo-Christian values – not Muslim values – with British and French rule of law and traditions and that’s why it’s better than all of the other places in the world.  We are heading down a dangerous path if we allow the idea of sharia law a place in Canada.  It does not.  It is completely incompatible with the idea and reality of Canada," says Kanwar, who in the 1970s was the founder and president of the Pakistan-Canada Association and a big fan of official multiculturalism.

Kanwar says his views changed when he started listening to the people who joined his group.  They badmouthed Canada, weren’t interested in knowing Canadians or even in learning one of our official languages.

They created cultural ghettos and the Canadian government even helped fund it.

"One day it dawned on me that the reason all of us wanted to move here was going to disappear if we didn’t start defending Canada and its fundamental values." That’s when Kanwar started speaking out against the dangers of official multiculturalism.  He has been doing so for decades.  So, it’s no surprise that Kanwar is delighted with the recent speech British Prime Minister David Cameron delivered to the 47th Munich Security Conference on Feb.  5.

"Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism," said Cameron, "we have failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong.  We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values.  So when a white person holds objectionable views – racism, for example – we rightly condemn them.

But when equally unacceptable views or practices have come from someone who isn’t white, we’ve been too cautious, frankly even fearful, to stand up to them.

This hands-off tolerance," said Cameron, "has only served to reinforce the sense that not enough is shared.  All this leaves some young Muslims feeling rootless and …  can lead them to this extremist ideology."

Kanwar actually credits German Chancellor Angela Merkel for being among the first of the world’s democratic leaders to take the courageous step in October to say that official multiculturalism had "failed totally.." It appears leaders are getting bolder.  During an interview with TFI channel on Feb.  10, French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared: "We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him." Cameron ended his speech by saying: "At stake are not just lives, it’s our way of life.That’s why this is a challenge we cannot avoid – and one we must meet."

That democratically elected leaders are at long last starting to sing a different tune on official multiculturalism is sweet music to Kanwar.

Here’s hoping those poor kids in Winnipeg will get to hear some of it.

Licia Corbella is The Herald’s Editorial Page Editor


Believe it or not, our new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau wants to help Palestinian terrorist group Hamas! Palestinian Hamas


Yet one more scary video and commentary on Sharia Law in Belgium. Belgium


If you think the Sharia Law thing with the radical Muslims is a myth, take a look at the following link to the Cargill Plant in Colorado. Cargill


In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can. - Nikos Kazantzakis


There were four first year students taking chemistry and all of them had an ‘A’ so far.  These four friends were so confident that the weekend before finals, they decided to visit some friends and have a big party.

They had a great time but, after all the hearty partying, they slept all day Sunday and didn’t make it back to Saskatoon until early Monday morning.

Rather than taking the final then, they decided that after the final they would explain to their professor why they missed it.  They said that they visited friends but on the way back they had a flat tire.  As a result, they missed the final.

The professor agreed they could make up the final the next day.  The guys were excited and relieved.

They studied that night for the exam.

The next day the Professor placed them in separate rooms and gave them a test booklet.  They quickly answered the first problem worth 5 points.

Cool, they thought!  Each one, in a separate room, thought this was going to be easy ..  then they turned the page.

On the second page was written…

For 95 points:

Which tire?

Have a Great Day, and be nice to everyone!

Ross Smile


The way it works at cruise ship ports is that the ship you will be on, will arrive at the dock in the morning of departure, at around 6 or 7 am. It no sooner docks than the baggage that belongs to the departing passengers is offloaded.

At the same time at other locations of the ship, garbage will be removed, and provisions will be taken on, and possibly fuel, although it may wait until a port stop if it costs less to buy it elsewhere.

But I am getting ahead of myself. The actual boarding of the ship will not start until around noon.

Since the ship doesn’t load passengers until around noon, there is time for a nice breakfast in the nice hotel or motel you booked into last night. I hope you booked your transfers to the ship last night, but if you forgot, you can still do it this morning at the desk in the lobby. Sometime during his period, it is good to get checked out of your room, particularly if there are lot of folks going on the same ship. The desk will get crowded.

While you are sitting around after breakfast, you will likely find yourself chatting with the other guests waiting for transfer to whatever ship they are going out on. There may be any number of ships sailing today from essentially the same pier, so it is a good idea to look after your bags, so that they don’t get picked up to sail on Carnival when you are on Disney! Our last cruise had 5 ships sailing at roughly the same time the same day. Motel guests were going to one of any of the ships. One other thing you must get done is to put the cruise line baggage tags they provided to you on each of your bags. You have big problemo if you fail this one.

Or you may do as we often do, go for a walk around the motel grounds or if the neighbourhood warrants it, and the day is nice, check out the neighbours! We have always enjoyed that.

About 10:30 a bus will arrive to get your stuff, and you. You go out, check in with the driver or porter, or the co-coordinator, put your stuff where told. Your bags may or may not go on the same bus as you are on. Sometimes they go in a separate trailer that will travel with your bus to the ship.

You are now underway, out to the pier where your ship is tied up. You will now be treated to an unguided tour of the city, in our case, Miami. It can take as much as 40 minutes but can take a lot less depending on the motel you stayed in. It was sunny and fairly warm on our last departure so the ride out was good and the scenery was sure different than the snow covered fields we left behind.

Soon we spot a row of ships all tied up at the dock, and our driver manages to get to the one we want, and our baggage truck pulls in in front. Thing continue to look up! People are milling around all over the place, and your porter on the pier tells you where to head to board. So, you tip the porter, going rate is a buck a bag, as it was a month ago anyway, he will arrange to have your checked stuff go on the ship and get delivered to your cabin. You will make sure your bags are all there, and let the porter know, wont you. Yes it works OK.

So now you simply follow the porters directions, and keep following the signs in English and Spanish to your ship entrance.

Upon entering the building, you will be met by a security person, who will make sure that you have your ship boarding pass, that you printed at home a month ago, and that any visa or passports are yours, (and yes she checks them).

Ok, but you are not there yet. Depending on the entry protocol of the port or the ship, or the US Coast Guard, you will now check your carry on stuff through a TSA like scanner, and you will do the same. If you do not get scanned at this point, it will all occur shortly after, but always before you actually get into line for your boarding card.

You are now getting closer to boarding, and now you will need to know what your sailing status is, so that you will know if you get to be favoured by the cruise line priority boarding, or if you are a passenger cruising with them for the first time. On Celebrity, belonging to the Captains Club will earn you some kind of priority entry. If it is your first cruise, be sure to sign up after you get on board. It is free, if you do not count the endless amount of email and snail mail you will get.

Now you have found the line to be in, and after having moved closer to the front, you will be faced with a long counter with all those passengers lined up in front of it. At the head of the line, you will be directed to a ticketing agent by one of the people assigned to this duty. This is now the easy part, the person behind the desk, welcomes you, asks for your paperwork, the passport, and your boarding pass.You will be given an agricultural certificate to fill out, if you have not already done so. You hand over the credit card you used to sign up for the cruise, or at least the one you said you wanted to use for payments on board. They may or may not take your photo to match up with your card, but it will be taken as you check onto the ship, regardless.

The check in person, will chase down your boarding card, and it will given to you, keep it handy. You will soon need it to board the ship. The nice check in lady will direct you at this point to the entry area of the ship. You follow the arrows or the guides set up along the way, you get on the gangplank or gangway, and wander along with your carry on stuff to the actual point of embarkation!

It is a good thing that you kept your ship board card handy, because now you need to have it scanned in one of a couple of different ways, and for sure you will now have your picture taken and it will become embedded as a code onto your boarding card. Your boarding card will now be used every time you disembark, or embark the ship.

How about that, you made it, you are on board,and are headed to your stateroom, but if you have cruised with Celebrity, you will know that you will be greeted just passed where you got on, by a young lady usually dressed in a very nice gown, offering you a welcome and a glass of champagne! I never found this on any of the other cruise lines we have sailed. A very nice touch I think.

So, you are on board, you know the deck you are on, and what your cabin number is. OK you head for your cabin, but maybe not quite yet. If you are on board before about 2:30, your cabin may not be made up yet, and since you likely missed lunch, it may be time to go to one of the various eating places on the ship, sit down, have lunch, and wait for the call to go out that deck X passengers can now go to their cabins.

You get your cabin, maybe meet up with your cabin attendant right away, get to unload and pack away all the carry on stuff, just in time for your first big bag to arrive, and you can get it packed away.

Around this time an announcement will come over the speakers that a safety lifeboat drill will be held at whatever time within the next hour, and it is mandatory that you go. People will be there to direct you to the muster station you will need. You must have your boarding card with you as well, for one thing you will need it to get back into your cabin! Bet you never thought of that!

When you get back to the cabin, it is likely that your other bags will be at your door. If you have time before dinner, you can get the contents put away, before dinner. The small bags go into the big bags and they all go under the bed, and yes they will all fit there.

You ship will likely be underway before you go for dinner, so you just might enjoy sail away from your veranda if you have one, but anyway you will soon go to dinner at the location you designated when you booked the cruise. Have a great dinner, and a great cruise. You have earned it!

Bon Voyage!


Cruise page, A very good cruise site, Cruise Critic


Think the fear of the radical Muslim movement is irrational. Think again. Irrational


Video of the Holocaust survivors looking at the film today. Amazing footage. Holocaust



Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. - Buddha


Barack Obama at a recent rural elementary school assembly in East Texas, asked the audience for complete silence.
Then, in the silence, he started to slowly clap his hands once very few seconds, holding the audience in total silence.
Then he said into the microphone, ‘Children, every time I clap my hands
together, a child in America dies from gun violence.’

Then, little Richard Earl, with a proud East Texas drawl, pierced the quiet and said: "Well, dumb ass, stop clapping”…..!


  A Little Canadian Humour

When I went to church last week I heard a sweet elderly lady in the pew next to me saying a prayer. It was so innocent and sincere that I just have to share it with you:

"Dear Lord, This sure has been a tough four to five years. You have taken my favourite actor Patrick Swayze, my favourite musician Michael Jackson, my favourite Blues Singer Amy Winehouse, my favourite actress Elizabeth Taylor, my favourite singer Whitney Houston, my favourite author Tom Clancy and now my favourite comedian Robin Williams!  

I just wanted you to know that my favourite politicians are Rachael Notley, Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Rob Ford, and that Trudeau kid."



rep 4

Three fathers in jail, 13 kids and on food stamps. and a Cadillac!lunacy!

Have a great day and be nice to one another.

Ross Smile


My last blog got us landed and inside the destination airport which is OK, if that is where your travels end. You simply cart your carry on stuff following the arrows signs to the baggage carousel where your checked stuff hopefully will arrive, it usually does, but not always. We have lost our luggage in Spain for 6 days and even on a flight from Vancouver to Calgary!

After you get your stuff all together, you simply walk out the door, grab a cab, get your car, or in some places you can take a train or bus to town. You have survived the ride and are now home.

My blog version of the trip doesn’t end there however. This blog was dreamed up during our last flight from Calgary to Houston, and then change planes for the second leg into Miami Florida.

I know it sounds easy, and it is in many airports. We went through US Customs in Canada, so unlike some destinations, we don’t have to do that again until we want to come home.

George Bush International in Houston is not like smaller airports. No way. It is larger, a lot larger, so large in act that it is subdivide into 5 terminals, and one uses an automated train to shuttle between A through E. More on this in a moment, but when we got into the airport on our arrival, our onward flight was nowhere to be found on the Arrivals/Departures board! I was able to tell by the signage that we had landed in A Terminal, and I needed to find out where the flight we were taking was gated from. All I had was a United Flight number and a time of departure on a boarding pass. This is not cutting it.

Like just about everything today, all is electronic, even the departure boards. There is no place where one can speak to a “Helpful” person. There are hardly anybody with suits and badges around either. While looking around for somebody who might just possibly have an idea as to where we go, we spotted another rare airport sight, the restroom! which we needed before we flew again. Coming out of said comfort stop, I spotted one of those shuttles that are used to take people who need help in walking these long distances. It was driven by a guy who had stopped and was speaking with another employee, and I tagged him.

From there, it got quite easy. He asked what flight we wanted to know about, he hauled out his smart phone, typed in the flight number, and told me we would have to take the train, and that we wanted a gate in Terminal E. To do that we simply had to walk, along inside the terminal, until we came to the end, turn right, go up an incline and soon we would be at the train terminal. Wait for the train to come in, get on and stay on until it stops at Terminal E, and get off. All automated, no driver, conductor even the nice person who announces the station and the opening and closing of the doors is all automated.

Onto the train we hop, carrying our carry on stuff, since our checked bags are supposed to go all the way to Miami without us ever seeing them after checking them in Calgary. We have faith that they will make it, remembering 3 airports and 3 planes from Calgary to Fairbanks Alaska in one day, tiring to be sure, but the bags all arrived on the same plane we did!

Anyway I digress, We stop along the way at each terminal, and during the ride we see new construction involving parking and buildings, as if the place was not big enough already. Gonna need 2 trains soon! Finally we get to Terminal E, we get off and there is a departure board and lo and behold our flight is listed just where the nice young man said it would be! A glance to the signage tells us that we just have to follow the signs to our gate, and even that is pretty close to the station. We found it! Now we just have to wait until they call the flight. We can people watch.

All along since we got off the plane coming in, we have not seen too many familiar places to get a bite to eat, but I do seem to recall a Subway a long way back there, but I would never find it now. Ah, this place fairly near our gate looks like it might be OK, a kind of a Mexican place so we ordered what we thought was a kind of burrito thing, decided that one of them would do for the 2 of us. It tasted OK, and filled the gut, but it looked like a burrito and the beans and the guacamole had hit a blender before it hit the plate. Must be the American way! Who can argue with the locals about Mexican food when they are so far south in Texas. Still cost us $25.00 plus the difference in money that was running about $1.42 on the dollar. For lunch in an airport. Right.

With enough food to tide us over for the next few hours we  go and wait at the flight gate, and they start calling the seats right on time. Gotta give United Airlines credit for being on time for boarding and arrivals and take-offs at each stop.

The plane is full, it is a Boeing 737, 3 seats across on each side of the aisle, and we got our carry on stuff in the overhead where we are sitting. All is well, and shortly we get to push back from the gate and in minutes we are heading for take off, all on time. Sweet.

This flight was uneventful except for the last 100 miles, when thankfully the pilot noticed a very large storm ahead of us, and diverted south to Key West to avoid it. The storm turned out to be a major one we learned later and involved a lot of ground damage from a tornado. In any event it was rough going for the last part of the flight, but the landing was OK.

We filed out of the plane, found the baggage carousel after a long walk, and got our bags right away, and headed out to follow Plan A, which was to grab a cab and go to our hotel for the night.

A bit of explanation is in order. We could have been met by a Cruise representative and have used a hotel of their choosing for about $450.00 plus tax for the night that would have included the baggage transfer to said hotel, but we saved a couple of hundred by taking a Best Western Plus motel close to the airport. They will pick you up at the airport, but you need to call them when you get in and then you will wait a half hour for them to arrive. We chose the motel option, and went for the cab.

The line up for the cab was long, but there were a ton of yellow cabs coming into the line all the time, no worries. There was a kind of crew doing taxi master, something like a dock master controlling and hailing cabs, all the while directing you to the next vacant cab. We got to the taxi master, and he politely asked where we wanted to go, and he politely told us we had to wait across the road until a Blue cab came by. Blue cabs went in the local area, Yellow cabs were for those going out side of the local area. Thanks. The cost was $20.00, $17.00 for the ride flat rate and $3.00 included for the tip. He called for one of them and we walked just across the street, and a few blue cabs came by, and I tried hailing them but they kept going until finally one stopped, and we had a good ride to our motel.

We got checked in, arranged for the shuttle in the morning to take us to the ship, paid for the shuttle, and asked the desk where their restaurant was. It wasn’t. They don’t have one. They have an eating area, but it opens at 6 am for the free breakfast for the folks like us going on a cruise.

This does not make me happy, in that after a day of flying and airports, I rather enjoy having a quiet drink in a nice dining room, sampling the local cuisine, as a nice start to  a wonderful cruise. I think you would agree. The desk suggested that there was a place we might like a few blocks to the right of the entrance. The name she used was in English, but English was her second language, so I missed the name.

The streets are dark, the footing poor, but we are hungry and tired, but we persevere. The street ends and we cross the road and the only thing in sight is a Burger King. So our nice dinner is reduced to a Whopper with cheese, and no candles and no wine. Life gets tough sometimes.

We wander back to the motel, go to the room and go to bed. The room is very clean, and roomy. Not many of the usual amenities to be found in the bathroom, oh, there is toilet paper, but the shampoos and such are nowhere to be found. It is very quiet, and we start to wonder if there is anybody else in the place.

Our pickup is 10:30 tomorrow morning, we want to get breakfast too, and we are tired so we simply read for a bit, and turn in for the night.

The next blog will deal with the morning, transport to the ship checking in and boarding.


If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love. - Maya Angelou


This video is by a Florida University professor who tells the scary part of the growth of the Muslims in America. Very well told. Take a look: Muslims in America


A much nicer video called, So God Made a Dog. Enjoy! Dog


You may have seen the old method of saving lives using CPR, but there is now a better way, this short video will bring you up to date. Check it out: CPR


The Glasgow Rangers manager flies to Kabul to watch a young Afghani play football, is suitably impressed and arranges for him to come over.

Two weeks later Rangers are 4-0 down to Celtic with only 20 minutes left.  The manager gives the young Afghani striker the nod and on he goes.

The lad is a sensation, scores 5 goals in 20 minutes and wins the game for Rangers Emoji The fans are delighted, the players and coaches are delighted and the media love the new star.

When the player comes off the pitch he phones his mum to tell her about his first day in Scottish football.  ‘Hello mum, guess what?  I played for 20 minutes today, we were 4-0 down but I scored 5 and we won.  Everybody loves me, the fans, the media, they all love me.’

‘Wonderful,’ says his mum, ‘Let me tell you about my day.  Your father got shot in the street and robbed, your sister and I were ambushed, raped and beaten and your brother has joined a gang of looters.  And all while you were having such great time.’

The young lad is very upset.  ‘What can I say mum, but I’m really sorry.’

‘Sorry?!!!  Sorry’ shouts his mum.  ‘It’s your bloody fault we came to Glasgow in the first place.’


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

Ross Smile


I have a few things that I would like to bring to you, instead of the travel blog today.

The first one has to do with a book I am reading,that is difficult to put down. The title is “The Overlook” written by Michael Connelly. Without giving the story away, It is one of the series of Harry Bosch police, mystery stories. Harry has been the protagonist in about 15 – 16 books now, and I have enjoyed them all, but this is by far the best. It is current, fast paced and is something like Dirty Harry, but in print. Harry’s background is he is an old Tunnel Rat from Vietnam, came home and joined the Las Angeles Police Department. He worked around in there for a good many years often recalling his time in the tunnels. Then he “retired”,hated the retirement and came back chasing down the no-goods in cold cases, and now he is in his mid fifties, feeling his age and is more insubordinate than ever.


A few days ago, I got an email from a man I have considerable respect for, concerning the Nazi’s in WW2 and some north American companies, at the beginning and throughout the war. Personally, I was disgusted to read what went on, but I checked out some of he stuff on Google, and found out that it was true. I posted the web page and will do so below, but to my knowledge the server has been take down. You can gave it a try. murder and greed

The Washington Post carried a very similar piece that is still on the web: The Post

Yet one more piece of evidence, check this one from 1938. Hitler and Ford

GM was also involved, and all this and more is easily found on Google



Whoever said “beggars can’t be choosers” never met Somali Muslim refugees in Minnesota.

These Muslim imports in Minneapolis are demanding a tax-funded “halal” non-pork food shelf at a free food pantry for the poor.

As if it’s not bad enough that nearly all the “American” Muslims who have joined ISIS have been Somalis from Minneapolis, their relatives here are demanding that Americans adhere to the same Sharia Laws the Islamic State fighters are trying to impose throughout the Middle East.

A group of first-generation Somali Americans says they need help in developing a food shelf that specializes in healthy foods that do not contain pork or pork by products.  “It’s about human rights also, basic human rights to get the proper food and also healthy food,” said Imam Hassan Mohamed.

“Human rights”? Seriously? Their demanding arrogance and self-entitlement has to be unprecedented for a group on the public dole.  Tens of thousands of Somalis settled in Minneapolis/St Paul after Bill Clinton and later Barack Obama imported them and funded massive “refugee” centers there.

Welfare, schools, hospitals and social services are being crushed by the burden of immigrants who lack the most basic skills to live in a modern society.

This is hardly the first demands Somalis have made on the people of Minneapolis.  When the influx of Somali thugs naturally resulted in a massive increase in crime a decade ago, Somalis demanded a $48 million Sharia-compliant “youth center” to keep Somali gangs “out of trouble.” We have read for several years now how Muslim cab drivers in Minneapolis and several airports have kicked out blind passengers with guide dogs (dogs are “unclean” in Islam), or customers transporting alcohol.  They came here, taking advantage of American generosity, and returned it by enforcing their own brand of Sharia Law upon us.

Liberals in Minnesota have bent over backwards for them, setting up foot-washing basins in their airport and even at a university, in response to their demands.

But as with most appeasement, these refugees keep making more demands.  Now it is for “halal” products (meat slaughtered with Islamic prayers and a ban on pork).

The Imam leading this protest actually claimed that there were beans with pork in it and this was a “literacy” issue that required more government funding and special halal- compliant beans.

But one commenter on the article from Minneapolis wrote:
As someone who made use of the food shelf recently, I can tell you that most of the food doesn’t contain pork.  I hear what they are saying about a literacy issue, but can’t the food shelf people just point out the cans of pork and beans?  Besides, the food shelf is based on donations!

This is not about Muslims “making do” or getting help on what to eat.  The Koran demands that Muslim make any country they live in adapt to them and Sharia Law.  Thus the last thing they plan to do is assimilate.

One blogger added: How long before they demand separate entrances to the food pantry for men and women and separate entrances for Muslims who don’t want to see any Christmas or holiday food or decorations?

The state of Maine has also been crushed by Somalis that Obama has forced upon them.  The Governor of Maine, Paul LePage has valiantly been trying to cut off cash aid to Somalis – nearly all of whom are on welfare – since Obama has purposely dumped thousands of them in Lewiston and Portland.

America got Black Hawk Down and 18 dead Americans.  Somalis got 90,000+ “asylum” slots in America, free housing, Sharia-compliant facilities, and a lifetime of welfare.  How do you say “chumps” in Somali?

Each refugee already has access to the following at the U.S.  tax payers expense:

Temporary assistance for Needy Families
Medicaid Food Stamps
Supplemental "Security" Income Social Security
Disability Insurance
Administrative Developmental Disabilities (ADD)
Child Care and Development Fund
Independent Living Program
Low Income Housing
Energy Assistance
Post secondary Education Grants
Refugee Assistance Program
Title IV Foster Care
Title XX Social Services Block Grant Fund
And from our lovely State Department…the Refugee Assistance Program provides $2200 per month for every man, woman and child.

How much is the Social Security check you receive every month……the SSI fund that you paid INTO all of your working life?


Yes there is – American weakness and the chicken shit way of addressing the problem, ordered by the ‘Moslem in Chief’ Obama, has emboldened them to use this habit of demanding everything – because when they DEMAND things, they always get it. 

Start sending them back, that will wake them up very quickly!


After reading the above, I think a little hope is in order. Check it out. Imagine



If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you. - A. A. Milne


In a one-synagogue town, brothers Louie and Bernard embarrassed the Jewish community. Their business practices were ruthless, and socially speaking they were downright wicked.
Worst of all, they whitewashed their sins with large contributions to the needy temple. Eventually the town’s Jews were turned off by the hypocrisy, and membership dwindled.
Then the old rabbi died and a sharp, energetic rabbi took his place.
He invigorated the prayer services with upbeat melodies, challenged his congregants to think deeply, and solicited their creativity for further initiatives.
He also spoke truth to power, telling Louie and Bernard they would not be welcome at services until they changed their ways. The brothers disappeared, and membership swelled.
A new building was soon needed, but no one else in the town had much money. The campaign would take years.
Then Louie died. Bernard approached the new rabbi.
"Rabbi, I’ll pay for the new building – all of it – if you’ll just speak at the funeral and say Louie was a mensch."
The rabbi thought about it for a while, and took the cheque.
The funeral was huge. Everyone showed up to see if the rabbi would really lie in order to fund the building.  They all leaned forward as the rabbi grimly took the pulpit.
"My friends, we’re here today to bury a man who lived in this community for 70 years. What shall we say about him? Was he a kind man? Was he a good man? In truth, he cheated in business, he cheated on his taxes, he cheated on his wife, and he cheated at cards. But compared to his brother, he was a mensch!"

Have a great day and be nice to everyone.

Ross Smile


As I mentioned in the last issue of the travel blog, we have stowed our stuff, strapped in and are now flying. If it is a short flight, comfort is not too big a consideration, nor is food and drink. On longer flights all these things become important.

Oh, one other thing I should mention, I did insert a very small amount of Vaseline in each nostril of my nose prior to boarding. I have covered this before, but in case you were not aware,it is to prevent catching a cold or the flu, from the recirculated air on the plane. The airlines will tell you it is not an issue, but for years I travelled on planes and within 10-12 days I would have some kind of a cold. An old pilot friend of mine clued me into this, and I have never had a cold since then! Anecdotal, to be sure, but what the hell, it works!

Leg cramps are a real consideration. I get them every time I fly, so does my wife and just about anybody I talk to has had the experience. They may come during the flight, or more likely after the flight when you are trying to sleep. You are wakened by severe cramps in the back of you calf muscles and thighs several times a night. There is not it seems much that can be  done to mitigate the problem, but consider eating bananas for the high potassium content that helps preserve the electrolytes in the blood. I eat bananas like a chimpanzee, and I still get them. Good thing I like bananas. Staying hydrated also is important, drink lots off water. Water not booze.

There was a time when it was OK to get up and stretch your legs, but that became a thing of the past when some jerk tried to blow up a plane by setting fire to his shoes, or the bigger jerk who decided to ignite a bomb in his underwear while in flight. So the TSA says they do not want you to congregate at the entrance to the washrooms.

Incidentally, the captain suggests that you stay seated and buckled in for the duration of he flight. This has nothing to do with the TSA, it is for your own safety. That great big silver tube can, even when flying in very calm air, suddenly with no warning get caught in a downdraft, or updraft and you will find yourself on the floor, or on the ceiling in and instant. We have been on a couple of flights that been extremely rough, and if it were not for being strapped in, people would have been injured for sure. Once a few years ago, flying home from Hawaii, it got rough even while Diamond Head was still visible just below us.  Although the pilot changed altitude several time during the flight it never smoothed out until we were about half an hour from Vancouver. The little white bags were circulating, a couple across the aisle from us were clutching each other, and it was not due to romance. The flight attendants were strapped in the entire flight. At times the plane was going 850 MPH ground speed due to the tail wind. It is a flight I’ll never forget.

Enough of that, I’m  hungry. Not a lot of options, but what is there has to be purchased. Some Hero bun type sandwiches, and some other options are available. They will usually cost about 7 or 8 bucks. You pay for these with your credit card. Your cash is no good here. I suppose the airline thinks that some terrorist will steal the cash and send it to Iran or Syria to ISIS. If you are flying in Canada, it is $8.00, if you are on a US carrier over the US, it is still $8.00, but it is US funds. When you get your Visa bill at home that 8 bills will have grown to over 12, with the difference in money, and the charges the card company or bank will add on. Not too bad I suppose for a $3.00 sandwich.

Some people manage to sleep on a plane, I can never get comfortable enough to do it. I might doze but for a short time only. Some folks will take a sleeping pill before boarding, but it is not recommended. As they say on the plane, “In the unlikely event of an emergency” they want to be able to rouse you and get you safely off the plane, not to sit zonked out in your seat, unable to move quickly.I do not recommend it, I might be on the same plane as you, and I don’t want to see you sitting there as the rest of us get off.

All good things must end, and sooner or later we will start to descend to the airport where we will land. About 20 minutes out, you will be advised to raise the seat backs to the vertical position, raise and lock the tray in front of you stow all the hand baggage beneath the seat in front, turn off and stow all your electronic toys and prepare for landing.

Which brings me to the thoughts some people have about flying. They do not like it! I don’t have that fear at all. Landings are another matter. I get apprehensive as we approach touchdown, as we touch down, and as the brakes and the thrust reversers are applied, I tend to pucker up a bit. There is an expression that I have heard around aviation circles,that if after a landing the plane can be used again, it is considered to be a good landing. How’s that to enhance your warm fuzzy feeling about flying?

So, we made it to the ground, we taxi to the gate where we will deplane, saying good by to the nice young lady flight attendant, and the co-pilot, carrying the stuff we managed to stow away during he flight. Then we wend our way toward getting the rest of our stuff.

A number of things now come into play and that will be the subject of another day.


Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. - Wayne Dyer


No offence to the blond readers but we have a parking offence involved in this video: parking


Disturbing graphics. The kind of thing we can expect to see if these clowns demand and get Sharia Law in our country. Sharia Law


Pretty funny song from Down Under regarding some immigrants who seem to disregard the law of the land. immigrants

EXIT LAUGHING, but this one taint funny!


Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100…

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this…

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7..
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that’s what they decided to do..

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball.  "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20".  Drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes.  So the first four men were unaffected.  They would still drink for free.  But what about the other six men ?  How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33.  But if they subtracted that from every body’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving).

Each of the six was better off than before.  And the first four continued to drink for free.  But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving," declared the sixth man.  He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that’s right," exclaimed the fifth man.  "I only saved a dollar too.  It’s unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!"

"That’s true!" shouted the seventh man.  "Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2?  The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison, "we didn’t get anything at all.  This new tax system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had their beers without him.  But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important.  They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works.  The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction.  Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore.  In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R.  Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics.

Have a great day and be nice to everyone.

Ross Smile



For the last few days I have been occupied with some long overdue housekeeping issues that demanded attention. They kept me  away from the blog. I got most of it done and in the process I found a bunch of web pages that are very worthy of a second look. Today we take that look.

I’m sure that we have all seen what our modern technology has done, nobody talks to anybody anymore. This video shows what can happen when the Pepper Hacker reclaims the dinner table: Pepper Hacker.


This is a video and essay on what has happened in Germany as of November 2015. It has not improved since then, so you can just imagine. The news item is a bit long, but the video is short. A picture is worth a thousand words. Germany


This one is actually a collection of video clips that sometimes contain graphic content, so beware. The videos may require Facebook, a program I do not subscribe to. This is the kind of reporting that is totally missing in Canada on our news! Fascinating! News 1


If you have any illusions of what Muslims are doing in France, Paris, and what they are doing elsewhere, delude yourself no longer. If this continues we can all look forward to this kind of thing. Our laws will be meaningless. Take a look. News 2


The last one for today. This has been around before, but it is such a contrast to the video that is contained in the previous sites, that it helps to cleanse the palate so to speak. It is the saving of a whale. Stay to the end, and watch what was once a doomed whale do a kind of whale Happy Dance! Saving the whale


Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. - Francis of Assisi


Some political cartoons I picked up recently from a US friend who I know is a Republican. Pretty cutting stuff, but there is a couple of cute ones I liked.

rep 12

rep 3

rep 11

rep 5

Have a great day and be nice to each other.

Ross Smile


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!”

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


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


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


Pork Sausage Fresh! pork sausage


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