Saturday, December 31, 2016

Update

To the followers of my Blogs

Following the Lord's Prayer, the statement that says;'Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven' struck a chord with me and I wondered if that in fact is the case. Well, my imagination went to work and put my pen in gear to the point where I couldn't stop in time.

That said, I have to finish what I started so you'll have to wait for a few days for me to finish my rant.

Thank you all for following, and good wishes for the new year!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Art of Negotiation

The Art of Negotiation
When Moses threw down his staff at Pharaoh’s feet, it turned into a serpent. Then he picked it up and it returned to a staff again. Pharaoh called one o’ his magicians an’ he done the exact same thing. Well that was only the openin’ gambit that Moses an’ Aaron presented. Each plague became increasingly more horrendous, an’ pharaoh’s magicians could always equal them an he wouldn’t let the Jews out of bondage until the threat of the life o’ the first-born son o’ each family came up. That finally rattled Pharaoh’s bones an’ he relented reluctantly. The final blow came when Pharaoh changed his mind an’ his army chased Moses into the Red Sea an’ was swallowed up by it. So by divine intervention, Moses sorta’ won the negotiation.
The negotiation that got to me even more was one that took place in modern times in actual circumstances that we all know about. I picked up a book at the library that contained correspondence by that diminutive lion, Desmond Tutu to the Apartheid Government of South Africa of the day. You could identify the steps of negotiating he was using and even if his letters were addressed to you, you would recognize them an’ still like it. It was he who was more instrumental in dismantling that government than anybody else. And the exchanges were all executed with grace and dignity. Not only that, but after the fall of the government and the installation of Mandella, Tutu established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a most remarkable tribunal that changed the dynamic from US and THEM to all of US. That was probably the hardest part of the whole process, certainly the most gut wrenching. And it was painful, but in the end it was done and all were changed by it.
See, that’s what I was tryin’ to get at. For someone to absolutely win a negotiation, you need divine intervention, but for a successful negotiation, you need to get rid of the “Us and Them” and replace it with “We”. When you do that, both parties will benefit, or at least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Crow

Crow
Will there be fries with that? Of course! Well if ya gotta eat crow, ya might as well curb the taste somewhat, cause crow ain’t anybody’s favorite diet, ‘specially when the dessert course is humble pie. It’s a little bit like when yer mom said you’ll eat every bite on yer plate before ya get to go play an’ that’s all there is to it. There’s only one way out an’ that’s to hunker down an’ clean the plate.
Nobody ever expects to get served up such a menu, so it’s always a shock when it arrives at yer table. An’ the first thing ya do is try to figure out what happened here. What’d I do to deserve this? It must be someone else’s fault, but whose? It turns out I’ve served up the menu to myself (if I wanna be honest about it). What do ya think I found out?
For years I been busy dissin’ the haters for their stupid opinions. How can they possibly be so intransigent in holdin’ to their obviously wrong opinions? Oh, wait a minute here. That could apply to me too, couldn’t it? It turns out that I’m just as obstinate as them what don’t agree with me. Holy Hannah! That means they think as much of me as I do o’ them. I suddenly heard my father’s voice sayin’ “With my fist in my pocket, I beat the tar out o’ him”, meaning his idiot boss (in his mind). What that actually meant was that he could vent his rage to his heart’s content without getting to actual verbal (or physical) blows. The next day they would go about their business in a usual friendly way, negotiatin’ their way through the disagreement they’d had like the gentlemen they were.
The trick then is to get yer own personal rage over with privately, an’ then figure out a way to respectfully engage in dialogue to communicate with the other parties to reach some consensus. An’ now that I’ve made my menu selection, by the time I got it choked down, I figure I might just have the problem solved. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

I Resign

I Resign!
Yeah, you heard right! I resign – from government that is. Well, perhaps I ought’a rephrase that a bit. I ain’t in the government so I can’t literally resign from something I ain’t part of to start with, but I can resign from talkin’ about it or readin’ about it, an that’s exactly what I plan to do.
Of course, I’m talkin’ about all that hateful poison bein’ puked out on Facebook an’ Twitter. I never seen such a lot of venom spewed out by normally nice, respectful people who expose themselves for what they really are. I have to say it’s disheartening at the very least and sometimes quite sad. I still haven’t figured out whether this deprecatory behavior is the result of assumed anonymity, a crowd mentality, or just plain ignorance. Could be one or all those things, but it don’t matter one way or the other. The point is, I don’t want to have anythin’ to do with that sort o’ clap-trap.  So, I figure by deletin’ it on my facebook page I’ll accomplish a number o’ things. Firstly, my page’ll be a lot cleaner an’ a lot more positive to look at. An’ secondly, it’ll make my blog appear more boldly. Now I ain’t gonna unfriend anybody. There’s too many other factors important to my friends an’ me. Naw, I just wanna wipe the trash off my page. That way I won’t have to look at it every time I go on there.
But before I do that, I’ll have to confess to one last swipe I took at Kelly Leitch. But I know now what I have to do. I’ll have to abide by the advice I gave to Jamie; that is to get myself a big brown paper bag like the ones we used to get at Eaton’s. Then I can stick my head in it and cuss to my heart’s content without startin’ a fight with someone or somethin’ I care about. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

New Old Timers

New Old Timers

          Back in the old days when life was simpler, you could spend a few hours on a warm Sunday afternoon, swapping stories, or reminiscing about younger times and better places fondly remembered. Such were the times of John Henry and Henry John, sitting on an old grain box, savoring a few moments of friendship and idle storytelling. Who can tell what it was that they were talking about? 

          I guess it was here that my imagination for story telling took hold. It's not so much the story that is important, although that helps, but rather the comradeship of the people sharing that brings the greatest reward.

          So I gather my audience together, imaginary or otherwise, sit down at my keyboard and start spinning tales - sometimes true and sometimes the biggest lies I can conjure up. When I am done, I feel I've accomplished something.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Posthumous Sales

Posthumous Sales
Well if that ain’t the most annoyin’ business I ever heard of. Ya spend a lifetime o’ plyin’ yer craft an’ scratchin’ out a livin’ an’ then ya get sick an’ croak. All the things you’ve accumulated one way or another durin’ yer lifetime get tabulated, sold off, given away or thrown in the trash an’ the matter is settled. Everybody can get on with their lives (or deaths as it were) – unless you are a writer, poet, or musician that is.
I just read the other day that Leonard Cohen’s sales (I assume on recordings he has done) have gone up four hundred and seven percent since his passing. That really, really sucks as far as I’m concerned. I mean if ya really think his material is that important to have in yer collection, why’d ya have’ta wait ‘til he croaked before ya acknowledged him? He could’a used the money for medical expenses ya know.
The business with Gord Downie is a little different. Though news of his imminent demise was a wake-up call to his many fans and followers, he has a little time to arrange the direction of his (potential) income. He also has the opportunity to stick it to the scalpers eager to cash in on the situation by broadcasting his entire last concert on CBC.
Of course, ya can’t take it with ya. We all know that. There’s no bankers in heaven. They’re all in that other place, together with the lawyers an’ politicians.  But we should have a say in what becomes of our posthumous earnings and who benefits from them. I guess that means we gotta mix in a little economics in with our artistic talents. My late father-in-law had found the perfect solution. When he drew up his last will an’ testament, he of course looked after the family, but then he sneaked in a clause sayin’ that if anybody contested the will, all of it would automatically go to a charity he named in the will. No one contested it.
What he done in his wisdom was to look after the family an’ not only that, he kept them from fightin’ over any of his decisions all at the same time. Smart thinkin’ I figure. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Weather

Weather
I have to try to remember the passage from “The Song of Hiawatha” that was so much more picturesque than what we view in real life – or the Rankin Inlet Journal that is a favorite of Leon’s and Lori’s up in Thompson, MB. But I must admit, the beginning of each season presents its own bit of majesty (at least at it’s ushering in). It has nothing to do with the calendar on the wall, it only has to do with what is happening in the moment, wherever it is happening.
As I drew the curtains back this morning I was shocked to see that the world was white; clean as it were, and pure as it had ever been. It’s always been like that, at least for the eighty – odd years I’ve been around. It seems, the world has its own agenda. It has nothing to do with man-made calendars at all. Of course, we have to immediately compensate for the change in the weather to suit our own conditions and the first thing you know, it all gets dirty again. Cars over compensating for slippery roads, spraying the watery snow on to the boulevards, and voila, everything is grungy again – humanized as it were. In fact, when I was having my afternoon nap I was awakened by a rumbling outside. Turns out there was a big front end loader clearing off the approach to our underground garage, of the twenty-four snowflakes lying there. It probably had more to do with economics than with clearing the driveway.
Sure enough, when I went out this morning to re-teach my car about winter driving there wasn’t a slippery patch on the road at all. There was just dirty water splashed all over the boulevards and the streets looked all dirty and dingy. But it won’t be long before all the side streets and lanes are etched with deep ruts, and the boulevards piled high with dirty snow and the rubbish that was under it. Thinking about it that way makes me long for the end of February when what was once a nice clean blanket of snow melts away to reveal the dirt it covered up and new plants and grass can mark a new beginning for humanity. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin.
 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Belligerence

Belligerence
Now there’s a word that ain’t showed up in politics in a long time, if ever. ‘Aggressive, hostile, making war’, is the definition in the dictionary. It’s the mood you get into when you feel yer politicians an’ others are corrupt beyond the limits you can tolerate. When you look across the spectrum of political atmospheres and financial disparities, it’s no big surprise that Americans latch onto a guy like Trump who promises to drain the swamp in Washington. That’s probably impossible to get a handle on, but the rank an’ file will just swallow it up hook, line an’ sinker, an’ the establishment is totally shocked. It never occurs to them that they’ve been doin’ somethin’ wrong all along. Well why would it. They’ve been shovin’ it down our throats for so long they figure we’ll get used to it an’ they just keep on keepin’ on.
Then the establishment retreats into what we used to call “buyer’s remorse” in the real estate business, cryin’ “What have we done! What have we done!” Meaning of course “What has the electorate done to us?” Really! Are they THAT stupid? Had they done right by the rank and file they are elected to serve in the first place, they wouldn’t be in this dilemma. Just look at the atrocities going on at Standing Rock against peaceful and prayerful protestors. (Don’t get me started on that!) Is that a just society? I think not.
There are ways to adjust these attitudes. We only have to look at Iceland. Their president had to resign after tax evasion revelations. But prior to that, the crooked bankers were all jailed – NOT bailed out. I think too, a few years ago women went on strike against their husbands so that the latter could look after households and children all by themselves. It was extreme chaos. Then, to top it all off, they figured out how much time it would take men to earn what working women earned and by their formula, would knock off at 2:30 in the afternoon each day so as to equalize the pay difference. To every problem there is a solution. We could learn a thing or two from them tough, smart Icelandic women, or at least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.

Friday, November 11, 2016

What's Left to Say

Well, it's a day early, but being Remembrance Day, I think it's appropriate.

What’s Left to Say
I ain’t gonna throw my lot in with all the rhetoric bein’ spewed out about the American election. It’s none o’ my business. I mean, if the Americans want a president whose grandfather was an illegal alien and whose father was friendly with the KKK an’ an immigrant wife think he will make America great again, well that’s up to them. It’s no skin off my nose.
Well it is actually – not the election or the results, but the news media, especially CBC. Can you believe they pre-empted” Kim’s Convenience” for election news? An’ what about the “Still Standing” program that’s about as Canadian as it gets?
I been belly-achin’ about the television an’ radio programs for a long time now an’ I ain’t gettin’ anywheres neither. It seems they’re intent in turnin’ us into Americans, whether we like it or not. At least on Remembrance Day they might do us the favor of broadcasting some o’ the services across the country to remember those gallant young men and women who offered up their lives so we might enjoy the freedom we have and that we also remember the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and the children left to mourn the loss of these lives. As much as anyone, they need the love and support of us all to give them peace in their hearts and hope for the future. We should remember this and practice it, leaving all the tumult and rancour of the present day behind. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Holidays

Holidays
Well basically, holiday season is upon us. The second one is already finished an’ over (the first bein’ Thanksgivin’) – if you count Halloween as a holiday. A lot o’ people do, particularly the stores. An’ then ya see post after post on facebook as well as the news media wishing everybody a happy Halloween. What’s to be happy about anyways? An’ about two days before that, ya start seein’ Christmas decorations goin’ up in the store windows. It seems like a race to be first (just in case they miss somethin’.)
Well before that ya got yer Remembrance Day. Now that’s not a real holiday. It’s a day of remembrance, just like it says. It’s a somber sort o’ day where nobody but the Legion makes any money in their poppy sales. But it’s a pretty big deal anyways with parades an’ speeches an’ so on. An’ people get the day off too – that’s different. Used to be that everybody went to work an’ at eleven o’clock everythin’ came to a halt an everybody stood at attention for two minutes o’ silence to remember the dead an’ the sacrifice they had made on our behalf.
This mornin’ me an’ the Missus went shoppin’ for Christmas stuff – well basically to look an’ see what there was to be had. Well, fair enough, but the first thing she done was to get two loaves o’ bread an throw it in this giant cart I was pushin’ around the whole store. Thankfully we finally got outta there after pilin’ on a few extra things besides the bread. What I was gonna get to was that next I wanted to go to a craft store to get some modelin’ clay that I needed – a five-minute adventure it was until the Missus came in. HOLY CRACKERS! All of Christmas showed up in the store (an’ it’s a giant place). Well you can imagine just how long THAT took to get outta there. An’ I nearly forgot my modelin’ clay.
The whole point is that there’s such a rush by the retailers an’ manufacturers to get their wares to market that they’re trippin’ over one another to make their sales quotas, an we seem to buy into it. They say there’s twenty-seven holidays between November first an’ January first, some religious an’ some not. But ya can bet yer bottom dollar that one way or another they’ll get what ya call ’monetized’ before they’re done. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

All Hallo's Eve

All Hallo’s Eve
Well, trick or treat, Halloween Apples, or All Hallo’s Eve – or whatever. It’s that time of year again.  It’s just sort’a struck me how big a deal this has become – for the adults. Actually, it’s really become a big deal for retailers. Drivin’ down the road this mornin’ an’ the front lawns were covered in ghosts an’ goblins an the livin’ room windows is filled with pumpkins an’ all sorts o’ decorations. One lawn in particular was totally covered in wall to wall ghostly junk. Must’a cost a fortune.
An’ the ‘trick or treatin’ has fallen off considerably too. I guess that’s why there’s so much decoration. An’ that’s about the only difference between Christmas an’ Halloween. They’re not sellin’ gifts, only decorations. Well I suppose they gotta keep the market economy goin’. I was originally gonna write about the time we had to grab hold o’ Freddy Tataryn’s coat to keep him from fallin’ into the hole of old man Neff’s outhouse that we was tryin’ to push over before his German Shepherd started barkin’ again. We figured that would teach him to yell at us for tryin’ to steal his crab apples. Now THAT was an adventure – especially for Freddy. Well he had such an arrogant attitude, it’d have served him right to have fallen in. Well, the memory gets a little vague by now – some seventy years later, but the feelin’ of excitement (probably) grows with time.
These kinds’a pranks all used to take place on the same night (so there was entertainment for all ages I suppose). Now they got what they call “Gate Night” what’s dedicated to pranks only. I think that takes place a day or two before Halloween so as not to interfere with the fun for the innocent kids. Of course, with technology these days it means cans o’ spray paint to put graffiti all over the place, razor knives to slash car tires an’ pranks o’ that sort. Not very nice stuff that’s costly to repair or replace.
Naw, the old days had a sense o’ humor to them when you could watch the teachers try to figure out how the goal posts on the soccer field got mounted on the roof of our three-story school, or how mail boxes ended up on a ten-foot pole with an air mail sign on them or how a bunch o’ horses suddenly turned a ghostly white on Halloween. It even caused the adults to smile a bit (probably remembering some of their own pranks). At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin.

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'.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Word About The Top Shelf

A Word About the Top Shelf
I figure after all these months of me spoutin' my opinions, observations an' rants from my place up on the top shelf, I should say a word or two about its place in my life. An old Ojibway Elder friend of mine used to refer to this part of my life as the slow slope down the last hill of our journey on this earth. Well, THAT just sucks! It's right up there on a par with "These are the golden years". Yeah - right.
The whole business started when I seen our picture sittin' on the top shelf of somebody's bookcase somewhere's an' I thought to myself that this was a good omen_ sittin' way up there lookin' down on everybody's foibles an' follies an' havin' a good laugh about it. It provides a degree of separation between the observer an' the observed. Well you gotta know we're the ones who provided the pictures in the first place, frames an all, so you get some idea of who these people might be. There was a time when we were important in their lives to one degree or another. In fact, we may have exercised some influence on them from time to time.  At that time our pictures would'a sat on the mantle or maybe even on a coffee table. Of course now they need that space for their own pictures, or their children's pictures - so we get moved up progressively until we reach the very top shelf on top o' the bookcase.
You'd think on the face of it, we are bein' relegated to oblivion, waitin' for the grim reaper. Ha ha! They forget that it was people like us who made them what they are. Do they really think we're gonna stop now? Not on yer life! We can just smile down on them while they make the same stupid mistakes we did an' go "tut, tut", purposely forgettin' our own follies of another era.
Come to think of it, we've got photos of our parents and grandparents hangin' up on the wall in the bedroom above the closet door. Well it ain't a bookcase but it's just as high up. Neither one of us think about them a great deal neither. They're just there in case we wanna have a look once in a while an reminisce. Then we go on with our business. I guess that's what the children and grandchildren do. At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.
Just sayin'.