Slow down the quick, quick


These days I have a lot of time on my hands as my husband receives treatment and recovers from some serious issues. I am in the big city far away from home; from family and friends; from work; from the people, pets, and things that make up my daily life. I am grateful to my son and daughter-in-law for sending me a notebook to use while I am here. It allows me to access my emails, social media, and gives me a tool to write with.

 It’s an older model and in combination with public Wifi, it can be a little frustrating doing anything online. Which got me to thinking about the fast pace of life. Being forced to slow down for a spell is a good thing.

I am being taught patience – by a machine no less! For instance, allowing the notebook to do a “performance scan” seems to take forever. I can get pretty impatient with it, and yet I have no choice but to wait until updates are installed and the antivirus cleans things up. Perhaps it is high time I used a personal antivirus program to defog my life – some call it prayer.

It also makes me think of the last time I took serious stock and really reflected on my life. In a sense this time away from home is helping me do a “performance scan” of a different sort. As the saying goes, “the unreflected life is not worth living”. I am not sure who the author was of that bit of wisdom, but I find it so true. It is in the deep reflection of one’s life that personal and emotional growth happens. So, I am doubly grateful for this notebook!

In addition to the path of self-discovery, this extended hospital stay has made me appreciate anew the gift of each minute, hour, and day I have been given and helped me to realize how much time I have allowed to be consumed by technology.

It is as if the universe is sending me a message to slow down the quick, quick.

How much time do you spend online?

On global warming


I have lived in Fort McMurray for nearly four years and every summer we are faced with smoke from forest fires from across Alberta, British Columbia, the prairies and Ontario, as well as the North West Territories. This summer has been no different. Last week the smoke was so dense we could smell it. It stings your eyes and throat and for people with health issues it becomes a situation where they are house bound.

Last year we had hoped to travel to B.C. but due to smoke and warnings from the health department we were forced to change our plans. My husband does have several health issues and I am sure we were not the only ones forced to alter vacation plans. So, what is my point, you may ask. My point is that besides the environmental costs caused by global warming there are many and varied economic costs as well. The cost to the tourism industry for one.

Of course, there is the huge costs to taxpayers as governments everywhere are faced with ever growing financial challenges from fighting forest fires to cleaning up after severe flooding and other so called ‘natural disasters’.

We take clean air for granted as well as clean, potable water. There is far too much we continue to take for granted. It is disappointing, to say the least, to see our provincial governments fighting against any real efforts to curb global warming, such as a carbon tax. At the same time, they are lagging in taking initiatives to deal with the fall out.

While partisan politics uses every instrument of technology such as mining data to help them shape their promises and their platforms and spend much of their time fighting one another the issues and challenges caused by global warming rage on.

I don’t have any answers except perhaps to say it is more important than ever to exercise your right to vote, in every single election, whether municipal, provincial or federal. Our future and the future of our young people and our very planet may depend on it.

Oh, Green earth and oceans blue


Smoke filled skies resized

Sun peeking through the haze

Smoke filled air burns my eyes

Earth is aflame in many quarters

Forest, farmland, waters too are under attack

Lightening strikes and births a new inferno

My throat is dry; My spirit weak

What will become of life as we know it

When all is ash, what good our technology then?

While powers that be deny global warming

Tsunamis unleash terrible punishment

Floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes too

Pummel the lands of the earth

When all is said and done, what good the profits then?

Money is but an instrument to provide for needs

Needs, not wants should be the measure

But love of money births greed and folly

Oh green earth and oceans blue

I stand and cry these tears for you

Addicted to Drama?


“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” –  Malcom X

“The world is for thousands a freak show; the images flicker past and vanish; the impressions remain flat and unconnected in the soul. Thus they are easily led by the opinions of others, are content to let their impressions be shuffled and rearranged and evaluated differently.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“When distant and unfamiliar and complex things are communicated to great masses of people, the truth suffers a considerable and often a radical distortion. The complex is made over into the simple, the hypothetical into the dogmatic, and the relative into an absolute.” – Walter Lippmann

I think I need to stop reading news stories, or at least take a break for a while. It can be so depressing. I do believe in the goodness of humanity. I believe that there are more people fighting for the rights and freedoms of all races and creeds than those that would deny the same. I just wish there was more focus on that than on the cruel, vicious, and often insane ramblings of people who would malign the right and just. Last evening, I was watching America’s Got Talent with my husband. There was a young rapper performing a song about gun violence – she is only fourteen years old. That and the response of young people in Florida after the horrific school shooting there earlier this year gives me hope. We need more positive stories.

Unfortunately, the old media adage “if it bleeds it leads” is still much in evidence on all types of media and humanity’s addiction to drama holds sway when it comes to what news is presented. Don’t get me wrong, it is important for these stories to be told. We do need to be informed, but I think we need balance. We need the “feel good” stories. We need to know that all is not lost and we need to know that good can and will prevail. The public outcry against children being torn from their parents at the U.S. border with Mexico did result in positive change. Yes, I know many children still are not reunited with their families, but at least the strong opposition to that horrendous policy forced change. We live in an imperfect world filled with flawed human beings, but as the example of that particular public outcry demonstrates, at our core human beings are decent and good.

 

Taking out the garbage – literally and figuratively


Yesterday was garbage day. The recycling bins are also placed at the curb for emptying. Where we live the recycling, bins are alternated each week. One is light blue and contains paper products, the other is dark blue and contains plastics and aluminum items. When my husband went to put them out he knew it was the dark bins that had to go out. Yet when he looked up and down the street he saw only light blue bins at the curb. He went against the grain and put out the dark blue one anyway. As it turns out, he was right.

So why, you may ask, am I writing about putting out the garbage? Well, it made me think of how easily led we all are. Obviously the first person to put out their bins made a mistake. Yet all our neighbours followed suit. “The blind leading the blind”, so to speak.

We read about “fake news” and the power of social media. Recently I read an article in the Globe and Mail, This lone wolf operative is shaping Ontario’s political discourse, a political analysis by Adam Radwanski (in case you want to check it out yourself).

The article talks about the ‘lone wolf’s intentions of influencing the upcoming provincial election. He created memes he shares on social media with the caption, “Ontario Proud”. It can be very misleading. The memes attack the NDP and malign the Liberal Party. Can we guess which political party this lone wolf would like to see in power? At any rate, these memes are being shared by many on social media without the slightest hesitation.

I get it. People are fed up with Wynn’s liberals and want a change. The problem is that unless we investigate a little further we will not know what hidden agenda lays behind these memes. It’s like everyone following suit with the recycling bins. It’s how Trump got elected president.  Beware the memes people post, and ‘news’ stories from questionable source, that’s all I’m saying. Think for yourself, educate yourself, and don’t be taken in by slick memes and knee-jerk emotion.

Me vs. Technology – Hah! I won!


I received a request from my nephew, who lives in another province, for photos of him growing up to be used at his wedding. Now, we recently moved and I acquired a new computer. Needless to say, my printer needed to be connected to my computer in order to scan photos to send him. Well! I spent a very frustrating morning trying to set up the printer so I could do this for him. It was an epic fail because even though it is showing as connected the bloody thing will not allow me to scan anything! And it won’t print either! Technology can be such a pain in the butt! Fortunately for me my daughter had the bright idea of taking pictures of the pictures with my phone. So I did! My apologies to my nephew for blowing up his phone sending photos, but hey, he asked! At the end of the day I was able to send all the photos I could find. I love it when I win ha ha!