Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hey, Hey, Hey!

Hey Hey HEY!

Well, what’s important here anyways? That whole crummy Crimean crisis is knockin’ places like North Korea, Iran, Syria an’ other places right off the news map. Then on top of everythin’ else, that Malaysian airplane goes missin’ for three weeks an’ puts a cork in everbody else’s agenda. Holy H E double hockey sticks! What’s the world comin’ to anyways?

I mean, you got your prime minister flyin’ down there to be the first dignitary to show his support for the new Ukrainian government, beatin’ out all the others. What’s that all about? Is he shootin’ for a spot on the U. N. for his next career move? The missus says she don’t care where he goes, just fix the {God Damn} pot holes in Winnipeg first! She’s got a good point. Him flittin’ around here an’ there in his big airplane, and he’s gonna tell the G 7 a thing or two about his position on the Russians, like they give a rip about his opinion.

But I digress. People are startin’ to notice where all the attention is goin’. There was a sudden blip on the news the other day that Iran has announced that a nuclear deal is imminent. No response. In fact, once announced, the whole thing disappears from the news. I couldn’t find it anywheres. An’ Assad? Who’s heard o’ him lately? Remember him? He’s the evil butcher, slayin’ his own people to the tune of about one hunnert thousand so far. Nobody knows. What’s a person gotta do to get some attention around here? Even the Oscar Pistoreous trial just gets a casual glance these days. It got a little boost when they extended the trial with more disturbin’ evidence, but just barely.

The thing is that the Crimean situation is really old hat, when you come to think about it. Back in 1853, Tsar Nicholas decided to take it over. Well he never saw the end of it ‘cause he croaked in the meantime an’ his kid was left to clean up the mess. Well the kid wasn’t havin’ any o’ that so he took his troops an’ went home. The Brits an’ the French were a little more robust in them days an’ they kicked the Russians’ arses right outa Crimea. Good job they weren’t dumb enough to follow them to Moscow like Napoleon done.

I dunno, maybe Putin is tryin to make amends for THAT disgrace. Now THERE was a war worth talkin’ about. Remember “The Charge of the Light Brigade?” Would’a made old Mr. Cook, my high school English teacher proud. Seems the protagonists are a lot more timid these days than they used to be.

The whole business kinda gives you a sense of the same old sandbox game. Makes me think we ought’a make up our own news stories. They’d be just about as true as what you see on the news today anyways, an’ a whole lot more entertainin’ to boot. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

How Many Solitudes?

How Many Solitudes?

It's far too easy to take up positions of opinion and align oneself with one side of an argument or another unless all the facts are fully known. I'm talking about the Ukraine of course and the Crimean situation. It's a very complicated affair to say the least. If you put yourself in the shoes of each and every faction, they can all be understood and empathized with. Not that any of them are right, but justifyable in their own minds.

Most of the Tatars living in Crimea and the Ukraine aren't old enough to remember when their forbears sided with the Germans to go against the Russians in WWII. And even if they know about it, they're not talking about it. In 1944 Stalin signed a decree uprooting them from Crimea and scattering them all over Russia away from their homeland. The loss of their personal possessions, and their homes and farmlands, THAT'S what they remember. The fact that these were reparations for the war damage is lost on them. They need a reason to hate the Russians, and there it is. Of course that's not how the Russians see it. I mean, somebody's got to pay for the damage done and who better than those who caused it? They did the same thing to the Mennonites who had followed the Germans back into Germany, pulling them out of Germany and populating Siberia with them.

And the Ukrainians of course remember Stalin's manufactured famine which killed millions. But you know, these things are all past. Somehow everyone overcame these terrible atrocities. In fact, until just a few weeks ago, Russians, Ukrainians, and Tatars were living side by side in Crimea as brothers, having buried their predjudices and opinions in some secret recesses of their minds. Then someone pricked a pin into the bubble, disagreeing with the Ukraine bowing to Russia's bail out program over the EU's offer. You can bet it was some cowardly politicians and not the people who started that! They knew the argument would raise the old memories and excite the people into mindless demonstrations. And that's exactly what happened.

Political leaders like Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandella don't exist any more and so you don't see millions of Ukranians marching to Moscow or wherever Putin holes up. Instead they're just yelling and screaming in the local square in Kiyiv while the politicians hotly debate the issues in the comfort of their parliament buildings. Everybody is just whistling into the wind.

In the meantime Putin is doing exactly what he wants and the devil take the hindmost. I know I've called him a lot of things, but stupid isn't one of them. Neither is cowardly. The rest of the world should take a lesson from that. At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Dust, Dust, Dust!

Dust, dust, dust!

My neighbor is one o' them storytellers who's got to give you every detail of a story no matter how mundane. He's an old geyser like me so he's got nothin' but time on his hands. For example, this is what he says to me the other day:

'What in blazes? The missus is runnin around the house with her dust mop like Errol Flynn in a sword fight. Duster poised in her hand like a deadly rapier, she's stabbin' here an' there with pin point accuracy, all the while mutterin' loudly about where is all the dust comin' from.

“Didn't you vacuum just yesterday?” she wants to know.

“I did.”

“Well then, you tell me where all this comes from?” she says, takin' another series o'pokes at one o' the picture frames on the wall.

“I dunno, from in the air I guess.”

“It's driving me nuts!”, she says.

“Don't touch it – don't see it,” I tell her.

“There's a limit to that,” she says, quite rightly.

I don't know what to say to that. It's not that the missus is lookin' for a solution, cause there ain't none available. You can't just go an' get yourself some cataracts so as you can't see nothin'. An' I can't believe that this is a new phenomenon neither, cause dust has been around forever. It ain't as bad as it used to be back when Saskatchewan was migratin' across the country to Kenora or wherever in the dirty thirties mind you, but there seems to be a lot more of it around. I don't know, maybe it's just comin' loose from the ground an' hangin' around, suspended in mid air. Wouldn't surprise me none neither, what with all that sand and stuff they scatter all over the roads in winter. You'd think in winter there'd be no dust around, but the missus is right. It's all over the place.'

That's the story he told me, an' it got me to thinkin' about dust an' all. See, I got a theory that it's comin' from someplace else, maybe from Japan or someplace like that. It wouldn't surprise me one bit. Well you can see by the junk in the ocean which way the tides are blowin' where that garbage comes from. We seem to be havin' an Asian invasion of sorts, so maybe that's where the dust is originatin' from too. An' the way them volcanoes keep spoutin' off too, it's no wonder we got dust in the house.

An' the other day somebody discovered some kind'a disease germ in the permafrost up north that could'a been responsible for killin' off them dinasaurs way back when. They say it ain't contageous, but do you believe everythin' you hear on the news? We're getting' to be somewhat dinasaurs ourselves an' who knows if there ain't some o' them germs floatin' around in the dust. I wouldn't put it past 'em. Gives a whole new meanin' to; “and the meek shall inherit the earth” don't it?

Holy crap! We ain't gonna put up with that! So we went out an' bought one o' them dust buster hand vacuums you can do some serious dustin' 'round here with. You gotta fight fire with fire, I always say. Well I don't always say it but by gum, we ain't gonna take this lyin' down! If somebody's gonna send us dust, we got the equipment to bust it. At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Somebody Moved the North Pole!

Somebody Moved the North Pole

This whole environmental business of global climate change is a huge big issue that the politicians haven't been payin' too much attention to ever since it's been around. They been poo-pooin' the whole business, makin' like they care about it, but if you ever check up on 'em, you'll find it's nothin' more than a fireside chat subject. All the information they got on it is sittin' up on some back shelf somewheres.

I don't know if you noticed or not, but there's a conspiracy goin' on here an' I don't exactly know who's behind it. Them meteorologists have coined a new term called “Polar Vortex”. It shows the cold arctic air goin' right down through South Dakota. They got all kinds o' fancy explanations for that one. Poppycock I say! It almost sounds like somethin' David Suzuki might'a thought up. Polar Vortex, my arse! I'm gonna tell you exactly what's happened. Somebody pulled the north pole up out'a the ground at the north pole an' stuck it right in the middle of Vegreville Alberta, that's what!

I don't know how they went an' done that neither 'cause the ground is so froze up there at the north pole, you'd never get that pole out'a the ground no matter what equipment you got to tackle it with. So that rules out the environmentalists for sure. An' Green Peace, well they can't get any publicity out'a that, so forget them. An' the government, well they can't even find Franklin's ship, never mind the dad blamed north pole.

Well that leaves only one suspect left an' that's mother nature. Who can blame her for bein' a mite disgruntled at the human species? I mean everybody else is mindin' their own business, doin' what they're supposed to do like they done for ever while we, the super intelligent species of life on this planet are busy diggin' up oil an' gas an' diamonds an' gold an' puttin' nothin' back, like we own the place. Just think about it for a minute. How'd you like it if somebody came into your house an' took out some walls, leavin' the residue in a heap on the floor. Turns out that this world is HER house, not ours. We might do well to keep that in mind when she starts to get a little testy with us.

Well I shouldn't say we don't put nothin' back. We do – like them big pipes to transport the oil an' gas we're stealin from her to here an' there. An' we're pumpin' brackish water that aint good for nothin' down into her belly. There's a long list o' what we're givin' back an' none of it's good for nothin' an that's a fact.

Mother nature has been warnin' us for a while now, but we don't take no notice. A few hurricanes here an' there, a tsunami or two, blazin' forest fires, none o' that stuff gets our attention for very long. But if you look at how them things thin out our numbers we ought to be payin' a little more heed. This latest thing of movin' the north pole to Vegreville is a pretty drastic measure. I think she's tryin' to tell us somethin'. An' maybe what she's tryin' to tell us is that she's moving the north pole to Vegreville. What we do about it is none o' her concern. She don't give a rip one way or another. If we become extinct in the process, what does she care anyways? At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Hockey, Hockey, Hockey!

Well now we know what really matters in Canada. It ain't the deficit an' it ain't the economy. It ain't even jobs or payin' the rent! It's HOCKEY for crimeny sakes! HOCKEY, HOCKEY, HOCKEY! That's all that on anybody's mind these days. Good heavens, they ain't even bitchin' about the weather. Now THAT'S serious! Seems the whole world comes to a stop when hockey's even possible. Seems anybody can play this game. All you need is a TV, bacon an' eggs an' beer, or alternately, a TV, pancakes an' beer. Beer seems to be the operative word here. O'course, what I'm describin' here is the fan base. The players don't get their beer an' bacon an' eggs 'til after the game.

The point I'm tryin' to make here is that we got a resource that nobody is takin' advantage of. Given the importance of the game, we should be turnin' it into a weapon to threaten an enemy with. Just imagine the power Canada would suddenly have! Take the sovereignty of the arctic for example. You got the Russians, the Danes, the Americans an' who knows who all else claimin' sovereignty over it, well an' of course Canada (come lately). Well, if you was to say, “We'll play you a game of hockey over it and the winner takes all” we'd soon have a different outcome o' things.

Mind you, we'd have to insist that women's teams play in such a tournament. Well, the thing is that them NHL'ers go to play for the country where their ancestors bones are buried. You can't blame 'em for that. It's the NHL's fault for importin' them in the first place. Ask Don Cherry, he'll tell you a thing or two about that. No, it should be the women. They're better'n the men anyways. An' it would give 'em a round about way to participate in wars an' politics all at the same time.

Just think of it. Hockey would be the new standard of law in the world! It would make the United Nations an' the World Court redundant. Well them organizations are about as far off the rails as anyone could imagine anyways. An' the results would be measurable in no uncertain terms too! There'd be no hanky-panky about who the winner was neither.

I don't know why nobody never thought o' that before. It makes perfect sense to me. When you got more than one country contendin' for somethin' you just have a 'round robin ' series an' eliminate 'em down to two. The final two then go for the prize. Sure beats a gold medal hangin' around your neck don't it? An' you don't have to kill a bunch o' people to do it. Canada could soon become a world power – run by Haley Wickenheiser! What a thought! It's almost as good as havin' Sheila Fraser as our queen! At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin'.