Tuesday, 15 January 2019

One Day at the TV Repair Shop

"Have you ever noticed that families on TV never watch television?" (Henry Youngman)

Kids today are so hard done by! They really are! Sorry, but in their quest to have the latest in cell phone technology, or perhaps that new Samsung 'The Wall' TV, they've missed out on that hi-tech fun that my generation went through, such as having to actually get off the couch and walk a whole ten feet through shag carpet just to change the TV channel.

Yes, I'm being facetious.

I remember as a kid going with my Dad to our local TV repair shop with our big bulky cabinet TV in tow. When the appliance repairman began filling out the work order, he asked, "And what's wrong with the TV?" Legitimate question.

Unfortunately for him, he had yet to have the pleasure of my father's rather twisted sense of humour, that so many others have come to enjoy, and which I and my brothers have also since inherited. My Dad answered, "It has no colour."

As the TV repairman noted the concern on the work order, I wondered how long it would take before he noticed that our old 26" Admiral black and white TV never did have colour. Dad soon let him in on the joke, however, and the real reason for our visit was duly noted.

True story. I am still laughing over that one when I think of it. 😂

In retrospect, if we had not let him in on the joke, it would have been interesting to see if we would have ended up with a colour TV after all. Probably not.

Photo Credit: David Kessler; Flicker Creative Commons

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Cockroach Milk: The New Superfood?

One of the more bizarre things I've read lately from the world of science is that the next superfood could actually be cockroach milk. Yes, you read that right; cockroach milk.


As weird as all this sounds, scientists claim that there are all sorts of health benefits to cockroach milk that may be perfect for some people's diets. It is dairy-free, dense in calories and nutrients, and is a time-released food. Call me a Doubting Thomas if you will, but I'll pass. Apparently I'm getting too many calories already, and as far as time-released goes, that's easy; eat more often. Problem solved.

Yes, I'm being facetious.

I wonder what they're going to call it? Bug juice? Probably not. I suspect, however, that they may want to change the name to try and make it sound a little more palatable. Otherwise advertising might be a problem. I can just imagine a TV commercial now: "Cockroach milk; part of a nutritious and balanced breakfast!" Doesn't that just sound yummy? Somehow I doubt there will be too many people calling from the kitchen, "Who left the empty cockroach milk jug in the fridge?!" And what would one pair it with? Chocolate covered ants?

Also, just as cow's milk often has a picture of a dairy cow on the label, I wonder if the containers of cockroach milk will have a picture of little bugs on the label, maybe like the one above. This in turn begs another question: How will we know if it has gone bad? Will it start to smell good? Hmm. But then again, what do I know; many people eat bugs. Once you get over the shock of it, it might even taste kind of good … Nah!

Well there you have it; cockroach milk. Watch for it in your grocer's dairy cooler. Cheers!

Read the source article here

Photo Credit: Joachim S. Muller, Flickr Creative Commons

Retirement: Does Retiring Earlier Mean A Longer Life?

Now, here in my sixtieth year, I've been mulling over the big "R" question … Retirement. When is the right time to pull the plug? Can I afford to pull the plug? What kind of lifestyle do I really need and/or want here in my later years, and what is it going to cost to maintain that lifestyle?

The other day at work, two people shared with me that they had read an article that suggests that lifespan, and more specifically, the number of retirement years that one enjoys, may be related to the question of when one retires.

Intrigued, at home later that day I looked up the article and found it. It would seem that there was a study conducted of pensioners from several large US-based businesses that compared the retirement lifespans of people who retired at age 55 versus those who waited to retire at the more traditional age of 65. Those who retired at 55 years of age collected their pensions for an average of 25-years, while those who retired at 65 years of age only collected their pension for an average of 18-months. Wow!

"Retire at 55 and live to 80; work till you're 65 and die at 67 … Ten working years could cost you twenty years of your Retirement!"

Obviously there are always exceptions and extenuating circumstances, however, the study seems to show that the typical busy stress-filled workplace is harder on older bodies. I think there is some truth to that. Looking at my own situation, lately I am starting to find it harder and harder to get through the work week than I once did when I was younger. Sure, I can still do a quality job as well as the next person, but maybe it is time to look a little more seriously at the big "R" sooner rather than later.

Choosing to retire earlier doesn't mean the rocking chair in a nursing home; not by a long shot! Like many other retirees, I can see myself still working part time, two to three days per week, at something much more low key, less stressful, and in line with hobbies or other interests. I guess the point is, why kill yourself at the daily grind any longer than absolutely necessary? Besides, Lord willing, I'd like to enjoy a little more than only 18-months of retirement before family and friends gather for my funeral.

I guess if I have one piece of advice for younger generations, it would be this: Plan early for your big "R" while you still can. You'll blink one day and suddenly forty years ago will seem like yesterday. In the words of an elderly lady I once knew, "I ain't never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul." Her point was, we're not taking all those trappings of the world with us anyways, so maybe we would be wise to re-evaluate the "Keeping up with the Jones'" materialism mantra in favour of an earlier and healthier retirement. Just a thought.

Read the source article here

First Photo Credit: Mike Lawrence, Flickr Creative Commons
Second Photo Credit: Marco Verch, Flickr Creative Commons

Thursday, 22 November 2018

of Red Shirts and Yellow Pants: A Day on the Galleon

A very nervous first time crew member says to the skipper, "Do yachts like this sink very often?" The skipper replied, "Not too often. Usually it's only the once."


Once upon a time, many, many years ago, a Spanish captain was walking on his ship when one of his solders rushed up to him and exclaimed, "An enemy ship is approaching us!"

The captain replied calmly, "Go get my red shirt." The soldier ran off and got the captain's red shirt.

The enemy ship came in closer and soon heavy rounds of gun and cannon fire were exchanged. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the Spaniards won the battle.

The soldier approached the captain and said, "Congratulations, Sir, but I have to ask; why the red shirt?" The captain replied, "If I had gotten injured, I wouldn't have wanted my blood to be seen, as it most certainly would have caused my men to lose hope."

Just then another soldier ran up to the captain and said, "Sir, we just spotted another twenty enemy ships!" The captain calmly replied, "Go and bring me my yellow pants."

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

Saturday, 17 November 2018

The Health Benefits of Beards?

"Kissing a man with a beard is a lot like going to a picnic. You don't mind going through a little bush to get there!"
Minnie Pearl

I've been bearded most of my life. When I got married almost 40-years ago, I was bearded, and other than a couple of very brief periods since then (when I apparently lost my mind), I am bearded still today. When people ask me about my beard, I've often answered something to the effect of, "I wear a beard for religious purposes. I figure that, if God gave me the ability to grow a beard, He must have meant me to have a beard." Makes sense to me.

Once when I gave that explanation at a family gathering, an uncle retorted, "God also gave you the ability to father hundreds of children, but He probably didn't mean for you to do so." Fair enough, but as he himself was suffering from beardlessness, I realised that he wasn't likely able to understand these deeper religious mantras, and so I left the subject alone.

Yes, I am being a little facetious. 😉

It would seem now that there is another very good reason for men to exercise their God-given ability to grow and wear a beard … health.

According to a study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, beards contain a type of bacteria which apparently promotes the development of important antibiotics. The study tested facial swabs of 408 bearded and beardless hospital staff. The results? Beardless men were more than three times as likely to be carriers of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), and ten percent more likely to suffer from food poisoning and respiratory illnesses than their bearded brothers.

Well there you have it. In other words, beards may actually help to promote men's health.

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Lest We Forget ...

Armistice Day

The final day of the First World War, or as it was also known, the Great War. The eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, one hundred years ago today, November 11, 1918.

"The war to end all wars," a term said to be originally coined by H.G. Wells and used by several others since, was clearly utopistic. Unfortunately, the "war to end all wars" had not succeeded in ending war after all. A few short years later, the world would be at it again, followed by a plethora of still other wars.

Some might argue that we're at the brink of yet another global war. I hope not, yet when we look back to the earliest of ancient history, this "sin" does seem firmly rooted in our DNA. Will we ever learn to truly live at peace with one another? Will the guns ever truly go silent?

So today, on this Remembrance Day, I am taking time out to remember. In honour of my wife's parents, who both served in the Canadian military during WWII, and in honour of all others who also served, I take time out to say, Thank You. But I also take time out to pray for the day that mankind will not just remember, but also remember enough to never to let it happen again. Peace.

Lest We Forget …

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Your Politics May Be Broken If ...

"Reader, suppose you were 
an idiot. And suppose you were 
a member of Congress. 
But I repeat myself."
~Mark Twain


Though I try very hard not to get caught up in its drama, I must confess that sometimes I do get bugged by what I perceive to be the stupidity of politics. I mean, really; what the sh*t was that?! Case and point, this from the recent US political landscape …

In one state's recent elections, 70% of voters apparently voted for a candidate that they knew was … wait for it … DEAD! Yup … DEAD! Stop, and let that one sink in for a minute. Hmm.

Your politics may be broken if …

As I delved into this weird polling booth story a little further, it would seem that in this case, the Republican party encouraged their supporters to vote for the dead candidate rather than cast a ballot for the opposing Democrats.

Sorry, but if I were to be just a little facetious in reading between the lines, I would have to wonder if they were suggesting that a Republican corpse would be better able to support the local constituents than a live Democrat. Ouch! At the risk of sounding too simplistic, is that what was being implied? It certainly sounds that way, though in all fairness there's no doubt more to the story. The more likely truth is that the Republicans were simply trying to force a by-election rather than accept a default Democrat win, since it was apparently too late to get Dennis Hof replaced on the ballot after his recent death. OK, fair enough.

Still, I cannot help but chuckle at my former facetious explanation. Vote for __________. After all, what's life got to do with it? A bit of a double entendre there. What do politicians really know about life, and specifically, the lives of those of those they supposedly represent? The only time there is any semblance of pseudo-caring of constituent's lives is at election time. Even then it's questionable. But whatever the motive, it all sounds shady, underhanded and shyster-ish. Hmm.

Your politics may be broken if …

Ironic? Maybe, but if the shoe fits ...
Ultimately I guess it really doesn't mater what one's political persuasion is; ALL politicians have their own political blunders and agendas on their resumes, and the truth of the matter is, one will NEVER completely satisfy all voters anyways, no matter how hard one tries. In the end, as someone has so eloquently stated, one has to vote for the "lessor of the evils." Unfortunately, voting for the "lessor of the evils," is still voting for evil.

Maybe it is time to completely abolish party politics. Maybe it's time for real regional representation that is free to vote in favour of their constituents wishes rather than those dictated by the party leader. Maybe it's time that we re-evaluate and re-think our so-called democratic systems, which of late seem almost more like dictatorships than democracy. Maybe it's time that we stop kidding ourselves and stop voting for dead men, be that literally or figuratively.

Just my two-cents worth. End of rant. Peace.

See Also:
The Friendly Dictatorship?
I Vote For: "None of the Above"
Democrazy: Is it time to re-think this whole Democracy thing?

First Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons