Friday, 24 March 2017

My Bionic Woman: A New Era of Airline Travel?

So recently my wife suffered a fall at work which ultimately resulted in a broken left hip and a subsequent full hip replacement. The surgery and the follow up physical therapy went well, and she may have already returned to work, had it not been for also being on (an unrelated) wait list for a full right knee replacement.

In her words, "I don't recommend breaking a hip just to get some time off work." Point taken.

Now maybe its my twisted sense of humour, but what I'm curious to see is what's going to happen the next time we have to go through airport security just to board a flight to somewhere.  We already have tickets booked for this coming July, so I guess we'll have to wait and see. Is she going to set off every possible metal detector? Will she have to be padded down and/or strip-searched? It all rather reminds me of the adventures of Jamie Sommers, a young lady who almost dies after a sky diving accident, and is rebuilt by the government to become the Bionic Woman. Much like her former fiancee, Steve Austin, or as he was affectionately known in yesteryear's prime time TV, The Six-Million Dollar Man, she too is rebuilt into some sort of twisted pre-apocalyptic half woman and half machine superhero cyborg.

Well, maybe its not quite like that; there's no doubt that my wife is my superhero, but for altogether different reasons. Still, I am curious about how we're now going to approach airport security, a problem that I'm sure neither the Bionic Woman or the Six-Million Dollar Man ever worried about too much in their much more lackadaisical travel era of the early 1970's. Perhaps its a sign of the times.

Regardless, I'm sure we've now evolved into something more than simply emptying pockets into a plastic tub to be pushed through some airport security's x-ray scanner.

Do check back sometime this autumn after we return home from our next trip for a follow up comment. Maybe my concerns will have been unfounded; and then again, possibly they've been quite justified. Are we facing a new era in airline travel? Time will tell. At the very least, we likely may be facing the possibility of having to allow ourselves a little more time to clear airport security, and when it comes right down to it, I guess that's not all bad considering the potential alternatives. Peace.

Cartoon Sources: Unknown (via Facebook)

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Lessons My Grandson Taught Me; Part 5

So, my grandson taught me another lesson tonight; if his parents and Opa can eat at Boston Pizza, so can he. I didn't know that breast milk was on the menu, but apparently it was available.

It seems, however, that it is expected that nursing mom's cover up when feeding in public. Personally, I'm really not sure what the big deal is with this covering up stuff, and as illustrated by the picture on this post, the idea of "covering up" is apparently subject to interpretation. But Mom being somewhat modest, and not wishing to offend, covered my grandson and his dinner dish behind a blanket. Still, I don't get it; it's not like other customers are going to ask for the same meal my grandson had, and complain when it's not available to them. If nursing isn't the most natural and normal mother and newborn child activity, I don't know what is.

Another lesson my grandson taught me was that, if Mom eats the wrong foods, grandson ultimately also eats the wrong foods. It seems that the pizza Mom had for lunch, didn't agree with my grandson for dinner. It's interesting how that works; spicy lunch for Mom, equals heartburn for grandson. As the old adage suggests, apparently nursing Mom's really are "eating for two."

In our dinner out at BP's, I also learned that, no matter how awesome Opa is, no matter how many funny faces and goo's and gaa's Opa makes, when hic-ups and upset tummy's come about, there are no one's arms quite as comforting as Mom's. A lesson my grandson taught me is, that he sure has an awesome Mom (and his Dad's pretty cool too). For that, I am grateful and blessed.

Well there you have it; two days shy of being seven weeks old, and I already can't believe how rich this little man has made me feel. I'm hard-pressed to think of anything else this old world could possibly offer me that would trump the joy and blessing of being an Opa to this little man. (And if he inherits even only half of his Opa's sense of humour, I will be doubly blessed).

Photo Source: Unknown (via Facebook)
Lessons My Grandson Taught Me; Part 4
Lessons My Grandson Taught Me; Part 3
Lessons My Grandson Taught Me; Part 2
Lessons My Grandson Taught Me; Part 1

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

An Open Letter to President Donald Trump

Well, Mr. Trump, I must say, we've been getting all sorts of strange news reports lately concerning some of your trade plans for North America, and more specifically, as they relate to trade relations between Canada and the USA. As much as I'd like to think that those reports are unfounded, I unfortunately have my reservations. Does NAFTA no longer mean anything to you? Are you prepared to scrap that agreement which has been a benefit to both of our nations, not to mention, to Mexico as well?

Please do not take this as a threat, for that is not its intent; we Canadians are much too respectful and prideful of a people to threaten anyone, especially those duly elected to represent their constituents. Let me say simply, Mr. Trump, that you are obviously free to do what you deem right for your nation. Having said that, we Canadians reserve the same right. We will collectively do what's right for our nation as well. You may not notice the difference today or tomorrow, but future reports you receive could very likely be telling you that American products on Canadian store shelves strangely seem to remain there, unpurchased, and ultimately returned to their respective US suppliers, or tossed into the nearest dumpster. Think on that, Mr. Trump. What do you suppose that would say to US businesses who count on their international sales to help to keep them afloat?

And what about the plethora of Canadian snow-birds who have historically and faithfully gone south to some American hot-spot to escape the Canadian winters? Imagine if even only half of them cancelled further winter plans in the USA for other non-American hotspots? It's not beyond the realm of possibility, Mr. President. Suppose more than half of them did? What would that do to the local economies that they typically and historically ventured into? Do you think that the lack of Canadian snow-birds would cause any of them to go out of business, or at the very least, to suffer severe financial loss? I wonder.

So, Mr. Trump, as a proud Canadian, and assuming my fellow Canadians have not yet beaten me to it, let me be the first Canadian blogger to congratulate you on your victory in the US presidential election. May God bless you and have His way with you as you govern the good people of the United States of America. However, I would hope that you do so wisely, for Canadians, although peace-loving and historically non-confrontational in nature, are also a people who also do not easily forget.

To my fellow Canadians, I'd encourage you to seriously consider "Fighting Fire with Fire." Do check out this excellent post and seriously consider where you spend your CANADIAN dollars. There are many other excellent non-American products and services available to us internationally. It may be time that we look more seriously at some of them. It may be time that we all look a little closer to the labels on the products that we purchase and take a moment to say, "Hmm, do I really want to support this economy?"

Something to think about. Peace.

Photo Source: Fighting Fire with Fire.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Memories of Another Wall

And so it begins.

But all humour and jesting aside, does anyone else remember another infamous wall of yesteryear? Many years ago, at the height of the Cold War, I had the privilege of spending many weeks in Europe as a part of a family vacation. I was only eleven years old at the time, but I still to this day have many fond memories of that trip. One part of the trip included passing through that infamous icon of the Cold War, the Berlin wall, through its equally infamous passageway, Checkpoint Charlie, on our way into East Berlin to visit extended family.

Now, with Trump's pledge to erect another wall, this time not through part of Europe but rather through part of the America's, I cannot help but shake my head at the symbolism. Have we not learned anything from the Berlin wall? Has the passage of time clouded our memories? Are we really OK with this? Do we really need another wall? I wonder.

However, there's no real need for me to go on about this; many others have wondered the same thing, including my own father, who wrote,  "The Berlin wall was the symbol of the cold war. What will the symbol of the US President's new wall be?" Great question. So I invite you to click on the link above and ask yourself, If the Berlin wall was the symbol of the Cold War, what will the symbol of Trump's new wall be? Are we really OK with this? Do we really need another wall?

Maybe what we really need instead is bigger tables.

Something to think about. Peace?

For Further Reading: Trump sets terms for nice-looking wall
Photo Source: Unknown (via Facebook)

Monday, 13 March 2017

When All Else Fails, There's Always This ...

So I came home from work today, opening both fridge and pantry, wondering what I should have for supper. As my dear wife has been away recently visiting the kids out of town, well, cooking for one is, quite frankly, a little over rated, if not actually quite boring. Suddenly I had a new appreciation for some seniors who don't tend to eat regular meals, and ultimately move into lodges, if for no other reason than, at least they're regularly eating balanced meals. My wife works in one such lodge, so I get it.

Anyways, after disregarding the temptation to go out or to order in pizza, I decided to make myself a couple of Will's infamous grilled cheese sandwiches; rye bread, Armstrong Old Cheddar cheese (none of that processed pseudo-cheese junk), raw onion, and some pre-cooked bacon slices. A great idea and solution to the hunger pangs that knocked at my belly's door. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens (or often happens), I got distracted mid way through the cooking process (Facebook woes? -sigh), and my poor sandwiches ended up looking like refugees of a forest fire. Now what? There really wasn't a "Plan B."

Still, despite the hunger pangs, it's actually kind of funny how we tend to become like our parents. For the last number of years, my parents have practiced having their big meal at noon, and only something light in the evening, perhaps a few cold cuts or some sliced cheese. To their credit, however, they never had the distraction of Facebook or other social media accounts to spoil their dinner plans.

For people who work out of the home, that is not usually something to be easily done. After all, who has time mid-day for a big meal? And even if you did, being on the company clock usually means that you don't have time for the all-important post-feast nap afterwards. Having said that, I have suggested to my boss that I start an hour earlier and work an hour later each day so that I might be able to have that all important two-hour mid day nap. Though I can't understand why, the idea hasn't been too well received. Pity; in my way of thinking, I'd be much more productive in the afternoon if my nap idea were accepted. I really do believe the Mexicans are on to something with their mid-day siestas.

Having said that, I've somehow made a way for it to work. I typically have a big breakfast, sometimes even a second breakfast mid morning, a slightly smaller lunch, and usually an even smaller grazing-type supper in the evening. If possible, I also avoid too many evening snacks. The idea being that, while the day is young, one can burn far more calories than would be possible by eating a humungous meal at the end of the workday or into the evening.

So, given the cremated remains of some otherwise awesome sandwiches, my supper tonight was a simple bowl of cold cereal. Still, it occurs to me, that this may still be the perfect supper food after all, as opposed to a simply last minute go-to food. After all, who needs a ton of extra calories at the end of the day to leave you feeling bloated and about to pass out, and especially when they're virtually impossible to burn off? Unless you're suffering from anorexia, or some such illness, most of us are probably better without the extra calories late in the day.

So here's to you, waistline; a tasty supper time alternative, at approximately only 350 calories or less. Maybe there's hope for me and my love/hate relationship with the bathroom scale after all.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Lessons My Grandson Taught Me; Part 4

Well here we are and I’ve now been an Opa for about five weeks. Wow! I still cannot get over the miracle of this child. If you had only known some of the past history of which I’m thinking, you’d know what I mean. But we won’t get into that here. Suffice it to say, God is good, and our family is blessed. Thank you, Jesus.

So this week there are a few lessons my grandson taught me. I had the privilege of having a nice brunch out with my grandson and his parents today. Not content to just let the little fellow sleep on indefinitely in his travel carrier, I unbuckled him and picked him up; this Opa was there for cuddles as much as he was there for the food, and perhaps more so. After all, having already had breakfast, I really didn’t need the food.

What I learned was that I am good at multitasking. I could cradle a sleeping grandson in my left arm all the way through our time in the restaurant while eating my clubhouse sandwich and fries with gravy, drink my coffee, and not even make a mess. And my grandson? Well, though I offered, his Mom said that he wasn’t allowed to have French fries and gravy yet. Oh well, dear boy, I tried.

Another lesson I learned that fell on the heels of the previous lesson in the restaurant today, was that when you’re holding a near newborn, women notice you. Now it’s a good thing that I’m not in the market, so to speak, but if I were, I think I’d be volunteering to take my grandson on public outings more often. Talk about an instant connection with members of the opposite sex! Single men, if you're looking for female companionship, take note!

However, the big lesson that stands out this week concerns something that my grandson and his Opa both seem to have in common these past few weeks; we’ve both been gaining about a pound per week. What I learned, however, was that though his weight gain is applauded, mine is not. Everyone seems to comment about how cute he looks with his little double chin and muffin-like tummy, but nobody seems to have the same appreciation for my double chin and muffin-like tummy (well actually, my tummy looks more like a whole bag full of muffins, but that’s another story). Why do you suppose that is? I guess it’s cute when he does it, but not so much when an old man does likewise.

But seriously, if I could lose weight at the same rate that my grandson gains weight, I’d be OK with that. Now all we have to do is to figure out how I can transfer some of my excess pounds to him. Who knows, if we could do that, it might even save his mom a few extra feedings. Yea, that’s it; let Opa take some of those 3:00am feedings like he did many years ago when his mother was that small. Now if only it was that easy to watch some of those numbers fall off my scale and on to his. Hmm.

Speaking of feeding, this raises another new lesson that my grandson taught me. Apparently the little guy has already figured out how to open mom’s bra. That’s a pretty impressive display of strength for a five-week old little man, or “Man-wich,” as his dad likes to call him. But now it’s time for his Opa to teach him a lesson; that trick will only last so long, dear grandson. Eventually, there comes a time when opening a female’s bra might just as easily earn you a slap. Just saying. I guess the lesson is to know that fine line between it being OK and it no longer being acceptable. Hmm.

Well there you have it; the "Lessons My Grandson Taught Me" this week. I can't wait to see what I might learn next.  

Friday, 3 March 2017

Lessons My Grandson Taught Me; Part 3

Well here we are, the one-month birthday of my new grandson. What new lessons has he taught me lately? Well there are a couple more that he taught me since we last talked.

First, there are the 1001 different facial expressions that are a pleasure to see. Some have been serious, some just plain cute, and others downright comical. Oh, to know what he might be thinking through each of them! My daughter has shared some incredibly awesome commentary with the many pictures she’s posted on Tinybeans. (By the way, if you’re not familiar with Tinybeans, it is an excellent non-social media network medium to share those priceless pictures of the early years with your loved ones and friends. Eat your heart out, Facebook). Maybe she’s on to something. After all, who can know a little boy as much as his mother; I love it!

When I think of some of those awesome facial gestures that my grandson makes, especially the more comical ones, I can’t help but think that just maybe he has a little of his Opa in him after all. Like my brothers and my father before me, I’ve been known for being somewhat of a humorist with puns and one-liners being a common part of my repertoire. In other words, I love a good laugh. Maybe my grandson will inherit that trait as well, and perhaps to the chagrin of his parents, be the fourth generation of comics. But then again, who says that the dear boy can’t learn a trait or two from his Opa, even if it is simply the ability to laugh and make others laugh. Note to self: laugh more often, especially in his presence. Maybe my love of humour will somehow rub off.

Another thing my grandson taught me recently is that there are only a few things in life that really matter: eating, burping afterwards, a good poop, and sleeping. Oh, and did I mention that he really likes boobs? As I thought about that, I couldn’t help wonder where we complicated things more than that. Feed me, burp me, change my dirty and wet pants, and let me sleep. And, of course, don’t forget the boobs! (Maybe that last part is just a male thing). Where did we ever lose sight of those priorities? Oh, to be able to turn the clock backwards to those innocent years of long ago. But then again, if I could somehow do that, it would still be a terribly long time until we would meet. Hmm, maybe better scrap that idea.

So, happy one-month birthday, little man. Thanks for rekindling this old man’s formerly cold and dry heart. Thanks for giving me something to smile about again. Perhaps most of all, thanks for making me an Opa, and for maybe being able to pass on that distinctive humorous gene. I love you, dear grandson. Welcome to this old world; may you somehow make it a better place.

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons
Lessons My Grandson Taught Me; Part 1: Click Here
Lessons My Grandson Taught Me; Part 2: Click Here