Sunday, December 30, 2012


Here’s the thing. I am still not sure if the world is going to end in a couple of days but due to the way the days fall over the Christmas Holidays I have to meet an early deadline to get this column in to the paper well before the normal deadline, which wouldn’t be a problem, usually, but I spend a bit of time on these articles and if the world is over before this ever gets to print I’m going to be a little ticked off. And none of my resolutions will ever get tested, either. But just for the heck of it I’ll write this like there’s going to be a tomorrow and we’ll just see how things play out, shall we?

            If the world does not end I resolve to:

  • Always buy top value dishwasher detergent. I am so sick and tired of rewashing everything because I cheap out…and for what? to save two-freakin’-bits? Okay, maybe it’s more like a dollar-and-a-half, but still. What if the world was to end, then all of those saved up quarters would account for nothing. I guess this is a little bit more than a resolution now, isn’t it? I shall move on.
  • I resolve and promise that I will keep my front walk free of snow for more than one-and-a-half months of the winter.
  • Now, for what is probably the umpteenth year in a row I resolve to work on my procrastination skills. What I mean is that I am going to try to stop my procrastinating not improve on my already Olympic caliber procrastination abilities and I’m going to get right on that pretty soon, too, you can bet on that!
  • I guess I don’t need to resolve to quit smoking again because I did that on March 22nd, 2010. Thank you, thank you. It was nothing. HAH! (Sidebar here: if you need assistance quitting the nasty habit pick up a copy of Allen Carr’s Easy Way To Quit Smoking book, no, seriously, that’s what I did and it worked. Yes. A book. And, yes, IT WORKS!) But then again, if the world ends and I haven’t had a smoke in twenty-one months, after nearly forty years of smoking, someone’s gonna pay! Hmmm….maybe I’ll buy a pack tonight because if the world is ending then why torture yourself longer than necessary and I could always read the book again…
  • I’d resolve to cut back on my television viewing and do more outdoor activities except that we just got Netflix and the new dish package with a 51” 1080p HD Plasma Home Theatre Surround Sound System and a theatre-style popcorn maker and pop machine and a new leather recliner…
  • I will resolve to never watch Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, though…ever! Okay then, there’s one resolution already checked off the list and we haven’t even hit New Years.
  • And I will resolve to be a better person and I’ll be happier and lighter and more fit and nicer and spend more time with family and I’m going to volunteer more and travel more and not hang up the phone on the telemarketers…wait a minute…forget that one…and I’ll be more positive and I’m going to save money and be a better co-worker and I’m going to not be such a “know-it-all” and I’m going to be not so…whatdoyoucallit?...sarcastic!

Well Folks, if the world didn’t end…have a Happy, Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Y’all ready for this? Are you prepared? Have you been nice? Have you got your i’s dotted and t’s crossed? If you have answered yes to all of the above then you must be ready for…drum roll please…,(insert shaky baritone announcer’s voice), the End Of The World! …Again!

What? You thought I was talking about Christmas didn’t you? Nope. By golly the old Chickenlittles are at it again, aren’t they? Just when we were nearing then end of “Stress Season” they give us something else to worry about. The End Of The World, no less!

I do believe that I have touched on this subject before as there have been numerous predictions of this kind in the past but my personal philosophy is that there is enough stress in our lives that we don’t need to add to it by worrying about something that is completely out of our control. At least I TRY to follow that philosophy. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but this time I KNOW that I’m not worrying about the End Of The World because there’s nothing I can do about it now anyway. Even if it were to happen. And besides, we’re so busy with worrying about getting everything done before Christmas that we don’t have TIME to worry about the World ending.

The thing that bothers me most about all of the hype around this kind of thing is that some people do get caught up in the hysteria and get sucked into all of the hand-wringing and “what-are-we-gonna-do” needless worrying. And I understand the mass media’s wont and desire to take advantage of the “Doomsday” mentality and talk and talk and talk about it and all that does is get people excited, and that’s exactly what the media wants, but then I heard that NASA’s scientists have been “thoroughly studying and analyzing the possibility of the Earth’s ending”. Really? NASA? “But they conclude that the 21st of December 2012 will be nothing more than a normal December Solstice.” Well, that’s a relief! Now can you scientists get back to doing something positive? Cure the common cold? Stop Climate Change? Make a zipper that really works? Huh?

Speaking of wasted efforts, wouldn’t that be a real kick in the pants if the world was to end four days before Christmas, eh? All of the effort that’s gone in to the Christmas season’s preparation blown up in a puff of smoke, or a giant explosion or whatever it will be that will put an end to us.

Now, I know that some of you take a lot of this kind of thing really seriously and I am not supposed to be too glib about it and everything but there are really only two ways you can deal with this sort of thing, in my mind anyway, and that’s to either laugh it off or go crazy worrying that all is for naught. I choose to laugh.

So if the world doesn’t end on the 21st of December, 2012, Dearest Reader, then from my family to yours have a very Merry Christmas and all of the best to you and yours in the New Year.

If the World does end…. Never mind.

“If the World comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later.”- Mark Twain.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Wikipedia says: “Numerology is any study of the purported divine, mystical or other special relationship between a number and some coinciding observed, (or perceived), event.”

Keeping this in mind, I have quite a significant birthday coming up and I am unsure of the “divine” or “mystical” significance of this upcoming event but the numerical coincidences are quite interesting. At least they are to me. Maybe you will agree, maybe you won’t.

I was born in 1956 on the 12th of December, this close to midnight-12:05:00 AM, in fact, and that means that on 12-12-12 I will be turning 56 a number that coincides with my birth year. Apparently, this kind of coincidental numerical event will not happen again for a long, long time.

Turning your age on your birth DAY-day is your Golden Birthday. My Golden Birthday was a long, long time ago-December 12th, 1968. According to Urban a “Platinum Birthday” is when your birthday matches your birth-year, i.e. having been born in 1956 and turning 56. Also, they claim that a Platinum Birthday is when the day, month and year of your birthday, (12-12-12), matches, so I guess I’m celebrating a Double Platinum Birthday this month.

You may or may not put a lot of stock in numerology but sometimes one cannot ignore numerical coincidences and I always find numbers fascinating and in honour of this Double Platinum Birthday I will now give you some interesting facts regarding the numbers 12 and 56.

There are 12 months in a year; there are 12 hours on the face of an analogue clock; there are 12 inches in a foot; a dozen is a quantity that means 12; a gross is 12 dozen; in astrology, there are 12 signs of the Zodiac; in the Bible, Jacob had 12 sons, Jesus had 12 disciples; 12 tribes were started after Moses led his people out of Egypt; there are 12 animals of the Chinese horoscope; in English, 12 is the largest number that has just one syllable; there are 12 pairs of ribs in the human body (normally); 12 men have walked on the Moon; there are 12 stars on the Flag of Europe; there is always debate about this, but, strictly speaking, 12 a.m. denotes midnight, and 12 p.m. denotes noon and, of course, there are the 12 Days of Christmas. I could go on and on and on about the significance of the number 12 but for space and time I must move on.

56 is the sum of the first six triangular numbers, making it a tetrahedral number as well as the sum of six consecutive primes (3+5+7+11+13+17); 56 is the number of men who signed the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776; according to Aristotle 56 is the number of layers of the Universe-Earth plus 55 crystalline spheres above it; 56 is the number of counties in the state of Montana; Cape Horn, the Southernmost tip of South America, is located at almost exactly 56 degrees south; Shirley Temple, as a child, wore 56 curls in her hair, the curls were set by her mother who thus made sure of the exact number; 56 is the symbol of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956; in baseball, the number of consecutive games in which New York Yankees’ great, Joe DiMaggio, had a base hit in 1941; Hack Wilson hit 56 home runs in 1930, and it was the National League home run record for the next sixty-eight years until it was broken by Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire, but I don’t think that Hack Wilson was jacked on steroids but, that Dear Reader, is a debate best left for another day.

As a youth I can remember waiting and waiting for another birthday to come along and it has been a long, long time since I was anxious for another year to be added to my age, but this birthday is different. We should all be thankful that we get to see another Happy Birthday when so many will not and, especially for me, when the numbers are lined up in a significant way, there is all the more reason to celebrate. And I will.

“Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.”- Plautus-Roman Playwright (254-184 BC).


Ol’ Mother Nature has been her usual moody self lately, hasn’t she? You’d think she was menopausal, or seven months pregnant, or something. Or maybe she’s a cranky old man? Like someone going through Man-o-pause or a Mid-Life Crisis, you know? Hot flashes, cold sweats, now they’re UP, now they’re down…either way, whatever the cause, and like the proverbial spouse, WE end up paying for it.

Now, now, before you get all defensive and sensitive because you happen to fall into one of the above categories and you’re sharpening up your pencil in preparation for a “letter to the writer” via this newspaper I’ll save you a little time…just wire me an email and send your complaints directly to Thank you.

Okay, where was I…oh, yeah… first, we had the big blizzard on Remembrance Day Weekend, with the big dump of snow, and then the temperatures soared way up to the low single digits, on the plus side, mind you, which melted a lot of the snow so then we were back dealing with mud again and then another dump of snow and minus whatever Celsius which froze the mud making for an interesting ground texture to walk, drive and fall on and then it was raining and then it was foggy and then it was snowing and raining AND foggy…geez… make up your bloody mind already! Is it Winter or not?! Yes, I know it’s not OFFICIALLY Winter until December 21st but we’re in Saskatchewan, remember, there are really only two seasons…Winter and kinda not Winter and this swingy weather stuff is getting a little more than frustrating. And don’t even get me started on all of the different clothing and footwear options we have to keep at the ready. (Note to self: buy more shares in L.L. Bean.)

And the schizophrenia continues: -21C one day +2C the next. I can sit here and listen to my house expanding and contracting. What to wear, what to wear? Is it too much to ask for a little consistency? No? I guess not.

And all of this mixed up weather is hitting us just when I was finally reconciling myself to the fact that winter will come again, too, and there’s not much one can do, if moving away from it isn’t a viable option, which it isn’t for me, so let’s just get on with it, I say. Grab some snowshoes, go to a KW Oil Kings game, play some street hockey, go tobogganing, pick up that old curling broom…you know, if you can’t lick it join it.

Just so I could start making some winter activity plans I thought I’d look up the Long-Range Forecast in Ye Olde Farmer’s Almanac and you’d never guess what it said…and I quote...”Winter temperatures will be slightly milder than normal, on average, with the coldest periods in mid-December, late December through early January, mid-to-late January, and mid-February.” Huh? Ya think?! Someone had to examine a pig spleen for this? This sounds like a description for every Winter since the last Ice Age. I could have predicted this stuff myself, pig spleen or no pig spleen…“It’ll be cold…mostly…in the Winter months…when it usually is…but it could be milder…sometimes…then again…it might not be…”

I guess Mother Nature isn’t the only moody one around here, or have you noticed? I think this weather could possibly be affecting my moods, too. It sure couldn’t be because I have another birthday looming in the immediate future or because of the hot flashes, the night sweats, the fatigue, the muscle and joint aches, the listlessness, the… Nah, it’s the weather!

“Next mood swing?...6 minutes!”- Anonymous.


Here's a reprise of a little Christmas poem I threw together for you. Three Kings, shepherds and a babe in the manger. The E...