Saturday, October 22, 2016

Pants - The Family Heirloom

Pants – The Family Heirloom
I was four years old, or maybe three when I got my first pair o’ long pants; REAL long pants that is. They was just like my dad’s long Sunday pants too, only better. Mom had got hold of an old army coat – maybe from WWI and turned it into a pair o’ long pants for me for the winter. She could do magical things with that old Singer sewin’ machine o’ hers an’ she sure done it this time! Well that pair o’ pants was a complete disaster from the first time I wore ‘em an’ backed into an ice cold tub o’ water. The point is that ever since then (or even before) I was fascinated with long pants. Well actually, I’da preferred bib overalls for all the big people’s pockets they had like a bullet lighter pocket an’ a watch pocket, but all them brass buttons an’ fasteners was too much to ask for.
Of course later on I had to go through the phase o’ breeches, which were the dumbest thing I ever wore. I never seen anybody wear them much other than the Mounties, an’ I didn’t see much o’ them neither. Finally, when I was able to earn some o’ my own money, I could start to buy the kind of LONG pants I wanted. That presented more problems than solutions, but the biggest problem was the least noticeable, that being MY MOTHER! All my life since that fateful day at three (or four) she was dictating what kind of pants I would wear.
An’ there ya have it! Slowly, imperceptibly women learn to dictate what pants a man wears. It starts with the mothers, is seen by the sisters an’ inch by inch it becomes ingrained in the man’s mind until he becomes submissive without even realizin’ it. It took me a while to figure that out. I couldn’t never imagine what kept happening to my favorite pants with the elastic waist an’ the cuffs I can roll up.
“Oh they’re in the wash” the Missus said, or “Yer not wearin’ them raggedy things when you go out with me!” she said. Or, “I threw them out so’s you’d wear somethin’ decent.” she said.
Then she said “Here, put these on.” An’ I said (reluctantly), “Okay then.”
An that’s how we men wear the pants in the family. Or at least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Water, Water Everywhere

Water, Water Everywhere
This whole business got started with the notion that we ought’a boycott Nestles for outbiddin’ us to suck water outa our aquafers an’ sell it back to us in little plastic bottles at a humungous profit. Well we ought’a boycott them too but not because of the water they outbid us for, but rather them little plastic bottles that keep showin’ up in our oceans an’ rivers an’ streams an’ garbage dumps.
But what about our governments? They ought’a be crucified for pidlin’ away the most powerful resource in the world. Their attitude is entirely unacceptable and quite frankly, unforgivable. Once our aquafers are depleted, the water is gone – forever, and what have we got for it? Parched throats to start with and after that – nothing. I mean NOTHING! I suppose we won’t be worryin’ much about it after that but there’s people who won’t want it to get to that point. Unfortunately, they’ll wait too long to fix it an’ it’ll be too late.
Winnipeg built an aqueduct from Shoal Lake (which opened in 1919) that supplies Winnipeg’s drinking water. It’s an amazing pipeline that nobody seems to bellyache about. Of course in usual government fashion the First Nations were ignored in the use of the water until just recently and now under pressure governments are contributing to a “Freedom Road” for the people and a treatment plant so that it’s boil water designation can be lifted.
Well let’s get down to it then. Who would object to pipelines bein’ built to bring water to both coasts to be shipped to wherever, say to Haiti by shipload as a humanitarian gesture, or the reservations up north so they finally have clean drinking water? Who would object to shipping water to California in exchange for reasonable prices on produce? Who would object to the diminishing plastic water bottles from our refuse? Who would object to the First Nations having stewardship over the nation’s water since they have more knowledge of it than anybody else?
We could be solving so many world problems with this, the most powerful resource there is, with tough rules for distribution and an open and transparent stewardship. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Dumbing Down Humanity

Dumbing Down Humanity
                Every mornin’ I get up at about five to start my daily routine of pluggin’ in the coffee maker, turnin’ on all the lights, my computer, an’ goin’ out fer a smoke in the mornin’ air. That daily habit seems to make sense for me. Some of it is necessary for the start of daily activities while others are just because they give me pleasure. Well I don’t call that “dumbing down”. That’s just livin’. It’s always been that way. Oh, maybe the activities are different, but the principle is the same. But that’s where it ends.
            The first thing I see when I turn on the TV to watch the news is Ty Domi tellin’ me to change my phone business so I can save money. Then I get to watch how they install one o’ them stair chairs so’s I can sit down while goin up an’ down the stairs an’ can avoid fallin’ down. After that there’s life insurance an’ health insurance an’ hearin’ aids and ad infinitim.
            Finally, they get down to the news o’ the day. At this hour o’ the mornin’ it’s the first kick at the cat for the news an’ weather, so I’m good with that. Next thing I know, Ty Domi’s back, an’ then the chair guy an’ about twenty minutes later we get another five minutes o’ news, followed by the same bunch o’ advertisers, followed by another five minutes o’ news until it gets to six o’clock. Well, guess what. They taped that first section o’ the news an’ now they’re playin’ it again. An’ the advertisers are the same ones from the last hour. Now I admit not everybody gets up at five o’clock, but really, this goes on ‘til noon – sometimes longer. I swear these people are tryin’ to dumb us down and it’s kinda workin’ because we keep on watchin’. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

            Just sayin’.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Posthumous Banking

Posthumous Banking
            It had been sittin’ in my craw for a long time, but I never brought it up until a friend mentioned it on Facebook. He said you should buy your art from artists who are alive. They don’t need the money after they’re dead. Well, ain’t that the truth?
            Whether they’re visual artists or musicians or whatever, it don’t make no never mind. It just don’t make no sense payin’ a fortune for the artist’s work after he’s gone an’ died (probably after livin’ in poverty his/ her whole life).
            Let me clarify that a little bit. There ain’t nothing’ wrong with the next o’ kin benefitin’ from the artist’s work. That’s not what I’m sayin’ at all. What I got a grudge against is all them lawyers, agents an’ promoters cashin’ in on the dead artist’s labors. Just ask yourself what the incomes are of the estates of Elvis Presley or Prince or Michael Jackson. I’d certainly like to see a breakdown of where the money goes.
On the other hand, Annie Pootoogook just died in an Ottawa river (under suspicious circumstances). She was a prominent and important Inuit artist who laid out her soul in her art and now it will be no more. Makes one wonder how much the worth of her work that’s already out there will increase in value now that she has gone – and who will benefit by it.
Not that the dead artists even give a rip about the money and the value of their work anymore. They don’t need the money. But it makes you think that somebody else is selling the artists souls for personal gain and what right do they have to do that? Oh, they can say they’re doing it to honor the artist – but somehow I don’t think so. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Meaning of Justice

The Meaning of Justice
Watchin’ the tely this last while with all them homicides occurrin’ or havin’ occurred in the past got me to suddenly take notice of recurrin’ statements of wantin’ justice to be done. It got me to thinkin’ about what justice actually is, so I looked it up in the dictionary. It says; ‘quality of being just; fairness; judicial proceedings;’ ad infinitum. Well that leaves us pretty well at the startin’ point. If that committee o’ buck passers can’t decide on the meanin’ o’ things, I guess we then gotta figure it out for ourselves.
The way I see it, justice is viewed as an instrument of the law an’ the courts. It’s got very little to do with the crime and/or the victim/s. Basically it’s a chess game of lawyers. The crime becomes the chess board around which the players manoeuver to deliver a verdict upon the perpetrator. Any participation by the perpetrator and/or his victims in it is purely for the purpose of manoeuverin’ the game. That’s as close as I can come to it. There ain’t no humanity attached to any of it.
Well what about the victims then? In the case of murder, the dead person or people don’t really count. They’re already dead so they don’t care. But they’re not the real victims. No, the real victims in the case of murder are the families and friends of the dead people, and incidentally the families of the perpetrator/s too. They’re the ones justice must serve. But does it? I mean, how do you un-kill somebody? Or how does one un-rape somebody? I can’t see how it’s possible for justice to be served with the outcome of any trial.
Oh sure, you have your victim impact statements they’re makin’ a big deal out of these days. These are necessary, and a step in the right direction, but they fall far short of what is needed. What we have to do is to turn again to our Indigenous community and their traditional Restorative Justice system. That involves the perpetrator, the victims (all of them), and the community at large.  Of course it’s a lot of work and a lot of involvement, but it does work. If ever justice is to be served, this is the way it must be done, or at least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.  

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Twenty - Nine Elephants

Twenty-Nine Elephants 

Have we got elephants in the room or have we got elephants in the room? Well, I’ll tell ya = we got elephants’ in the room. There’s twenty-nine o’ them to be exact. Let me put this into a little bit o’ perspective. See, a number o’ years ago the Missus came home from overseas with the statue of an elephant she got from her mom that she’d admired. Well, people figured she liked elephants so every occasion like birthdays, Christmas, an’ other days when they didn’t know what to bring her, she’d get another elephant until she had quite a collection. First thing ya know, she’s got a whole herd o’ them things. An’ they’re all over the place too. Ya can’t turn around without runnin’ into one or more o’ them critters. It’s frustratin’ to say the least.
“We need a shelf”, says the Missus. “We gotta gather them all together so I can see ‘em”, she says. Well, fine! We go to the shelf store an’ sure enough we find just the thing. That was the easy part. Knowin’ where to put it, now that’s a different story all together. Of course, I know exactly what to do in puttin’ it up too. That is, I put it exactly where the Missus told me to, an’ I was done. The rest was up to her.
I should’a known better. The shelf goes up directly behind my desk an’ it’s big enough to hold the whole gaul danged herd o’ them critters so that every time I turn around, they’re all sittin’ there starin’ down at me! Can you imagine twenty-nine pairs o’ elephant eyes zeroed in on the back o’ yer neck while yer tryin’ to work? Well neither can I, but I guess I’ll have to. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.
Just sayin’.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Wasp Update

Wasp Update
I've never paid much attention to the wasp situation around our place. I've got sort of a non-interference pact with them. Well, it's more or less like ignorin' one another. An' we seem to co-exist quite well that way. As I said, I didn't pay it much mind until up comes a memory on facebook about what? Turns out it's about the thing we had about wasps last year - exactly at this time. I guess it's the season.
The Missus on the other hand pays a whole lot o' attention to them miserable little critters. She becomes highly agitated at the site o' the pests, an' defends her territory with a ferocity as fierce as if she's battlin' giants. Much like Zorro, she swash buckles her way across the patio with an agility that only a yellow jacket wasp can avoid. You wouldn't catch me laughin' at a dance like that! No siree - not me!
Well, havin' chased a little varmint away, the Missus sits down to read her book. Surprise, surprise! The wasp sneaks back an' lights on her arm, just under her sleeve,-- an' panic sets in. The result of course is that the wasp plants his stinger squarely in her arm an' takes off, thumbin' his nose at her as he disappears outa' sight.
Okay, now it's getting' serious. The Missus puts a poultice on where the sting is an' continues readin' - in the house. She's had it with them insects. In the meantime I gotta find a solution to these "Missus attackers". So I go on the internet an' some guy says to put some apple juice an water in a bowl an' put it out fer the wasps to sip at. They'll go right for it. Well, he's right! They buzz right past us an' past the bloomin' flowers an' go straight for the apple juice. I figured they'd slip in an' drown. Oh, they do slip in but manage to get back out again, shake their little bodies an fly off. Nobody drowns! Not only that, but they start bringin' their buddies to the party.
Well, I'll fix them Yellow Jackets! I pour out the apple juice an' replace it with anti=freeze. That'll kill about anythin'. Four days later, I got one dead wasp - but there's hardly any visitors, so that's a step in the right direction. I guess the best way to deal with them critters is to give 'em a place they don't like, an' they'll go bother somebody else. At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.
Just sayin'.