Saturday, November 24, 2012

War Games

War Games

The kissing cousins are at it again – the Israelites and the Philistines I mean. Only the rocks they’re throwin’ at each other these days got warheads on ‘em. Well, they gotta keep up with the times I suppose. Must be the time again to collect American, European and Arab aid money again – keep the cash flow goin’.

Well you know, pretty well everybody in the Middle East except the Israelites wants to annihilate the Israelites. They’re pretty well agreed on that. I mean them Israelites have been a pain in the ass in the region since 1947 and they ain’t getting’ any more likeable with time. They just ain’t neighborly. Somebody lobs a couple of rocks at them and they get all surly for God’s sakes.

And then them Europeans who were responsible for re-drawin’ the boundaries in the first place get all upset about the turmoil. What did they expect, peace in Coocooland? And now Egypt is getting’ in the thick of things. Holy crap! There goes the Suez Canal! Well that’s just a big expensive drainage ditch anyways – used to drain the oil from the area. They might just as well fill it in. The world now has the Northwest Passage, provided global warming keeps up. And there appears to be enough oil in Canada and the U.S. it seems, to run over to China and Russia and probably Europe in the next little while.

So who really needs these crazy Arabs anyway? The way they’re goin’ at each other, maybe we just wanna pull back a bit. Look at Syria, for example. They’re makin’ great strides in thinin’ out their population. By the look of things it won’t be long before there’s only the army and the government left. So you know who’s next don’t you. The army don’t need all them palaces anyway.

Of course Iran has their noses in the business too, stirrin’ up trouble to take the heat off of their bomb making enterprise. They keep feeding rockets to the Philistines and guns to the Syrians a mile a minute. That little pip-squeak prime minister o’ theirs has got his nose in everybody’s business so far, nobody can shake him off. He’s even got Russia and China bamboozled. But he’d better watch them Israelites though. They know where he’s enriching his uranium, getting ready to make a big nuclear bomb. The only thing he’s not countin’ on it seems is that the Israelites got nuclear power too. Hell, they invented it.

So now with all the “He started it” yellin’ goin’ on, somebody’s liable to get pissed off and throw a nuke right in the middle of Iran to cause a double explosion. And that’ll be that for the Middle East. All that’ll be left will be a great big open pit oil lake where the Suez Canal used to be. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.


Just sayin’.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Motor Mouths

Motor Mouths


My first response any time someone under forty talks to me is – ‘Huh?’ Holy Hannah, I never figured anybody could talk that fast so consistently. They got machine gun mouths on ‘em. What? They got computer chips in their faces or what?



“Oh – good morning Mr. Epp.” (translation)

“What’s your special today?”


“Huh? Just let me see a menu.”

Turns out the special is strawberry pancakes, brown toast and a poached egg. I figure they’re short a ‘tat’ or two. I point my finger to it and say “I’llhavethat” as fast as I can.

The waitress says “Huh?”

Ha! I got her back. Let’s see how she likes being talked to like that. I smile sweetly. She figures it out.

I don’t know how they manage to understand a word they themselves say, talking that fast, never mind anybody else. It must be an evolutionary thing that’s happening before our very eyes. Well look at the written word for example. We used to complain about spelling mistakes, but they’re not mistakes at all. People intentionally spell that way. I don’t know how that will bode for dictionaries in the future. But the screwed up written word seems to have migrated to the spoken word.

I know I’m not a fast talker, never was, but trying to keep up with these youngsters is really tough. Last week I took some of my recordings and kept cranking up the speed until it was equal to that of these young speakers. What a riot that turned out to be. It sounded just plain silly – a little like Chip and Dale, the chipmunks.

Well I don’t know where this is all going to go, but it seems like a collision course with disaster. It certainly throws a monkey wrench into my storytelling, that’s for sure. My fastest little bedtime story that I used to tell the kids for a joke suddenly becomes relevant. It’s a little like reading the title of Leo Tolstoi’s “War and Peace” and saying you’ve read the whole book.

Apparently it’s all about multi-tasking. They got no time for anything – not even talking, for heaven’s sake. They’re too busy multi-tasking. The problem is they can’t even do that successfully. There was a documentary on TV last night where one of them fast talking young people was pitted against a middle aged old klutz in a multi-tasking exercise of focusing on a particular task at hand. Turns out the old geyser had a much better handle on focusing than the young whipper-snapper.

So what does that tell us? It tells me we’re losing again. Not only do they not have time to talk properly, they can’t focus either. No wonder the world is going to hell in a hand basket. It wasn’t all that long ago that we had the ability to remember a story word for word without any written notes, and had the focus sufficient to listen to the whole thing.  Now suddenly we babble away at lightning speed, unable to understand the content of what is said, and without the ability to focus long enough to figure it out.

 To me that’s a net loss to humanity- what they used to call backsliding. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.


Just sayin’.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Achtung! The Rise and Fall of the American Empire

Achtung! The Rise and Fall of the American Empire.


Did you ever watch a scene unfold and think ‘I’ve seen this exact same thing play out before’? I’m talking about the American race for power. Yeah I know, it’s politics again, but wait ‘til you hear what I’ve got to say. It wasn’t until after the results came in and somebody was doing a post mortem on the election that the difference between democrats and republicans really struck me. It reflects not only the position of the two parties but also the population as a whole.

The way the voting translated was this; the republicans took sixty percent of the white vote – the highest percentage ever in U.S. history. However, the minorities gave an overwhelming majority to the democrats. What does that tell you in no uncertain terms? It tells me that republicans think that the U.S. is a white man’s country that no one else has any right to. It’s sort of like post WWI Germany where Hitler figured that the Aryan people were far superior to anyone else. Well it took a bit of doing but he finally came to power and began systematically removing the inferior nations from his sight. In fact, he had plans to do this around the world and he would have, had not the ‘inferior nations’ kicked his sorry ass and larn’t him a severe lesson. He should have got an inkling about his wrong thinking when Jessie Owens smoked the competition in the 1936 Olympics right under his nose. But the lesson was ignored and well, you know what happened to Hitler and his gang. But who knows? They’re a ‘stiff necked’ bunch who don’t give up easily and some are still hiding in South America, even in Europe and they’re still plotting an overthrow. Perhaps some of them are even hiding in the American Republican Party. Wouldn’t surprise me any, given the similarities.

The Democrats on the other hand reached out to all the minorities, and were rewarded accordingly. In his thank-you speech, Obama acknowledged and thanked each group, mentioning (probably for the first time ever) Native Americans in the group, incidentally on the same day that a friend of mine was verbally attacked for being Indian. In a masterful piece of oratory he embraced all these factions and charged them with the responsibility to come together and energize the nation and bring it toward what it should become. He seemed to be speaking from the heart.

The Republicans in the meantime don’t seem to realize that they’re surrounded, with only two options: either embrace bi-partisanship and survive, or fall on their own sword and disappear. I guess they’ve chosen the latter because the Congressional speaker already announced that tomorrow it would be business as usual. That doesn’t seem to worry a wily old fox like Obama. He’ll just let them outsmart themselves. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.


Just sayin’.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012



We’ve had floods, massive floods that covered half the province. We’ve had snowstorms and blizzards where you can’t see beyond the end of your nose. We’ve had tornadoes that re-allocated real estate from here to there, droughts that caused all kinds of havoc, but three things we’ve never had are sea water flooding our streets, or a major earthquake, or monumental stupidity.

Well, that’s what I wanted to address – stupidity I mean, especially the monumental kind. Natural disasters are Mother Nature’s business, and she does what she does with no questions asked or apologies given. If she decides to do something, you’d better get the hell out of the road or suffer the consequences.

But stupidity is the exclusive domain of humanity. Every time there is a natural disaster of any kind, it becomes more evident, no more so than at the CBC. What I’m talking about is the aftermath of the earthquake in B.C. the other day. Wendy Mesley, one of CBC’s senior reporters had the head of B.C.’s emergency measures organization on the T.V. carpet and was cross-examining her about the lateness of the organization in notifying people about the earthquake and a possible tsunami. Apparently it took the U.S. six minutes to send out warnings while we in Canada waited for FORTY-SIX minutes. Why was that, she wanted to know in no uncertain terms?

The lady calmly explained that people had been educated to recognize the earthquake itself as the warning to get into their cars and hit for higher ground. Makes sense doesn’t it? Obviously a lot of people agreed because the roads were crowded everywhere.

Not good enough for old Wendy. She was hell-bent for election to get the woman to admit that the emergency measures organization was negligent in advising the public. C’mon Wendy, how much more of a warning can you get than to have your house shaking to know enough to get your ass out of there? Gawd, and even Peter Mansbridge fell into that mindset.

I think back to that disastrous tsunami in Indonesia a few years back where hundreds of thousands lost their lives, many needlessly. I remember thinking, why do these people build their businesses right on the seashore? They deliberately expose themselves to danger. That’s their fault. What struck me at that time was that elephants in the area moved to higher ground in plenty of time. Not an elephant life was lost. Hm – food for thought. Those who waited for an emergency measures announcement died. Those who listened to Mother Nature survived.

Well, that’s not the point. The point is that paying attention to these nincompoops and their ideas about doing nothing until notified by emergency measures organizations can easily be fatal. At times like these, nobody gives a rip about entertainment value of the news. I’ll tell you what though. If they were to use all that hot air and energy to co-ordinate rescues, escape routes, directions to shelters and safe places instead of nailing somebody to the proverbial cross for their own self-gratification, they might just look a little less silly. And in fact, they might even be seen as being useful. Hah! That would be a first. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.


Just sayin’.