My First Vlog Entry on Word Choice

I did it. I have a vlog entry. And for those who do not know, a vlog is a blog where the content (blog post) is done by video. So instead of me trying to type up all the words about word choice and using italics and bold font and all that stuff to add emphasis, I did a vlog and you can see my facial expressions to understand what I am saying!

Let me know what you think because I have another vlog entry in development.

Questions to Ask Before Committing

When people are dating and getting to the point when they’re serious about committing to a lifelong relationship they often begin to ask each other some important questions; it is only logical that they get an understanding of who they are committing to.

Sleeping in Full Make-up
Sleeping in Full Make-up

Sometimes people ask questions about who do you leave the toilet seat up, do you know how to get your dirty socks and underwear into the laundry basket, and other menial things like that.

Another important issue to be discussed is whether they want to have children. Of course that is an important understanding to have BEFORE you commit to marriage.

However, if the answer is “yes” to having children, there are a couple follow-up questions that should be considered.

For example, you should ask, and know the answer to the question; “do you believe that children should sit at a dining room table when they eat.”

This is a serious thing worth considering and knowing the answer to before you commit to a partner.

Along with that question, you may want to ask, “are you okay with letting kids watch television while they are eating.”

These are both important questions to know the answer to before committing to a partner. Of course there are other questions that you should know the answer to, but these are two of the big ones.

Are there any other really pressing questions that you think should be asked before committing to another person?

A New Take on Age Groupings

For no really good reason other than the fact that I like the idea that I am able to influence public policy, I get many emails with surveys in them asking me important public policy questions like “do you own or rent the home you live in and how many toilets are there in your home.” You know, the important scientific-like stuff that shapes public policy.

'Please, Ma'am — I'm running out of paper!'
‘Please, Ma’am — I’m running out of paper!’

Anyway, I noticed as I was filling out one of my recent surveys that many of the surveys begin with a “demographics” questions – what is your gender and your age. This got me to thinking about how we could add some character to the numerical age questions and this is what I came up with:


12 – 17 years old – these are the years that you know that you know everything. You know everything about everything and you know that your parents could never possibly understand your life and they have NEVER had to go through anything like what you are going through at this point in your life.

18 – 24 years – you’ve graduated from high school, screwed around at college for a bit and not accomplished much of anything other than moving from the bedroom you lived in as a child in the upstairs of your mom’s house to your her basement. Your knowledge base now includes which pizza places have which specials on any given night.

25 – 34 years old – you realize that the big move to your mom’s basement was really not that big a move. Especially seeing as the laundry facilities for your mom and younger siblings are in the basement on the opposite side of the wall as the head of your bed. Time to get a real job – you become a barista. Not the power career you were dreaming of.

35 – 44 years old – with perseverance you have become an assistant to the assistant manger of your coffee shop. Yeah. And the people who collect student loans – don’t kid yourself, they will find you, after all, it is an urban legend that the US Special Forces found Osama bin Laden – it was actually the people who collect student loans who found him. Yeah, those same people have now found you and they want their money back. The money you borrowed to screw around in college when you were 20-something.

45 – 54 years old – you have hit your best before date. You now realize that your parents knew all that shit that you thought you knew so much about and that they didn’t know anything about. You also wish that you had listened to them.

55 – 64 years old – the age when you have to be sure to clench your ass cheeks really tight when you cough. When you are out with your buddies you are often heard to say, “Did I ever tell you about the time when…” Your buddies all shout at you that you have told that same story countless times and that they do not want to hear it again. But you tell it anyway.

65 – 74 years old – getting lucky means walking into a room and remembering why you walked into the room. When out with your cronies (your buddies have become your cronies now) you preface your favourite story with, “Did I tell you about the time that I…” and all your friends laugh uproariously at your story without realizing they have heard the story countless times before.

75 – and up – your mouth is running without the control of the brakes; when out in public you tell random people exactly what you think of them and their kids. You are often heard muttering things like, “Kids these days…”

The Philosophy of “Just Do It”

The Nike slogan “just do it” is a very clever slogan. Never mind the corporate aspect of it, but just think about what those three little words actually mean.

“Just do it” – like, get off your duff and do something. Stop waffling, stop talking about it, and just do it.

The best example that comes to mind for me proves my point quite effectively. I had a buddy who bought a piece of property in a really hot and sunny location.

For the first five years of him owning the property he talked about planting peach trees around his little cabin. The funny thing is he never did.

I have another friend who moved nearby my first buddy and they had the conversation about planting peach trees.

The newcomer to the area said, “jeez that’s a good idea.” And he went and bought two peach trees, planted them, watered them and took care of them and then two years later he had two beautiful peach trees.

By the second year of those little peach trees being planted he was getting peaches the size of your fist from his trees. And my first buddy who moved there? Seven years and he still has no peach trees or anything because he’s still thinking about it.

Just shut up and do it.

Photography Framing – Now and Then

Starting in 1988 and continuing into the 1990s I loved taking pictures with my then state of the art Nikon F-801. I loved going out with a camera bag loaded with my variety of Nikon lenses and an assortment of little canisters of 35mm film.

After returning home from whatever exotic location I had traveled to I would head over to ABC Photography on West 4th to drop my film off for developing. If I had shot in black and white I would go up 4th Ave to Action Reprographics. Days later I would return to pick up the contact sheet to decide which specific shot I would be having enlarged.

B&W Cars
B&W Cars


The culmination of my photography days came when I did a series of black and white shots of old cars abandoned in the wilderness. I had the pictures enlarged to approximately 16x20s, framed and displayed for a short time in a local cafe/gallery.

Yep, those were fun days and it is fun to contrast how I did photography then to now.

Now I “shoot” photos with my iPhone and I rarely print the pictures. I simply add them to my ever increasing file of photos in my photostream.


However, during a recent trip back to a spot where I used to go camping with my dad I snapped a picture that I just had to print.

Camping Spot
Camping Spot


To do so I emailed the picture file to Costco and within the hour I received an email reply saying the 8×12 picture was ready for pick up. Even though I had shot the picture with my iPhone I was able to choose a print option to have the picture printed in black and white.

Now I had a beauty of a black and white photo printed. Next step was to figure out where to get picture frames in Canada to put the pictures in so that my dad could hang the picture on his wall.

So instead of just continually adding photos to my computer hard-drive only to be seen when my computer screen saver comes on, I am returning to the glory days of the 1990s and printing and framing my pictures.

Now all I need is more wall space to hang some of the 18,000 pictures I have saved on my hard-drive.

Coca Cola’s America is Beautiful

Well, Super Bowl XLVIII has come and gone but the controversy around the ads that air on the halftime show is on full bloom. Take for example the Coca Cola ad that had sweet voiced youngsters singing “America the Beautiful” in a variety of languages.

Honestly, I thought the song and perhaps more importantly, the sentiment behind the song was beautiful; the voices are soothing and beautiful and make me feel all warm and mooshy. So what that it is a Coca Cola ad. It is beautiful.

However, not everyone feels the same way. In fact, there is a twitter hashtag (the language in that hashtag is rather offensive so I will not share it here) that is really taking Coke to task for having “America the Beautiful” song in languages other than English.

Considering that the populations of the USA and Canada, other than the First Nations, are comprised of immigrants, some with more seniority than others, I would have thought the multi-language version of “America is Beautiful” song would have been embraced. Perhaps by some. Not by all.

Thoughts? Would this be an issue in Canada if a song about our country was sung in a variety of languages? Thoughts?

Why We Have Lost the War on Terrorism

Two things over the last six months or so have demonstrated to me that North America has well and truly lost the “war on terrorism”.

First thing, when travelling through airports in the USA I saw far too many 300 pound plus men and women doubled over, red-faced as they struggled to remove their velcro-fastened footwear in order to pass through security check points.

Often the men were sporting buzz-cuts indicative of military service, or at least former military service. And yet these men and women who have put their lives on the line for the security of their nation are now required to double over and remove their footwear in the name of security. Hunh.

The next thing that really brought my realization of our defeat to roost was when I posted a reply in a discussion forum about briefcases (how geeky can you get!) to the question “what do you carry in your briefcase.”

My smart-ass reply was, “I carry implements of math instruction because I am a member of a group who works to further the skills of Al-Gee-Bruh in our civilized world.”

Cheeky, smart-ass, clever, silly…whatever.

A follow-up comment, from a friend, suggested I take this comment down because some “simp-minded-hill-jack” may not understand the humour in the comment and may report it to some authority.

We are done. We have lost.