Month: December 2011

Bloggers Xmas Wish List

Living so far up north (Newfoundland), I was lucky enough to have a look at Santa’s Blogger’s Wish List. Here are some of the notes Santa had written on his list:

  • “Megan (http://verynormal.wordpress.com/): The first name on Santa’s Nice List, Megan will be receiving a return trip flight to North America, so that she can meet all the bloggers who love to read her weekly blogs
  • Kayjai (http://kayjai.wordpress.com/): This talented lady is on the bubble between the naughty and the nice list. I hear from Sightsnbytes that she is a very caring, kind, intelligent person, and that puts her on the nice list, but Santa has been noticing Kayjai using the ‘F’ word quite often. Santa hates to say it, but Kayjai could also make his Naughty list. Santa will be bringing Kayjai a nice new hamster to replace the furry friend she lost this year. Merry Christmas Kayjai
  • Edward Hotspur (http://edwardhotspur.wordpress.com/): Santa has the perfect gift for this blogger, a Newfie Joke Book. The Jolly one has noticed many jokes on E.H.’s site, and he figures E.H. will enjoy this type of humor.
  • H.E. ELLIS (http://heellisgoa.com/): One of Santa’s favorites. H.E.ELIS has been promoting her new book on WordPress, so Santa will give this super smart blogger a book signing tour across Canada, the US, and Europe. Keep Writing, Santa  loves your blog!
  • Savor the Folly (http://savorthefolly.wordpress.com/): This sweet blogger has had a lot on  her mind in the past month, so Santa will be bringing her a lifetime pass to the spa of her choice. Go on and enjoy yourself and have a Merry Christmas
  • Sandy (http://sandylikeabeach.wordpress.com/) Sandy keeps providing Santa with interesting and enjoyable blogs that helps Santa get through those long summer months. Sandy’s gift will be an all expenses paid trip to France. That way, Sandy no longer has to dream in French

That’s it, a shortened Santa list for the season. Happy Holidays to all the bloggers!

Cruelty to animals

I have always been one to think that by dressing our pets is a form of animal abuse. How can those pets look at themselves the same once they have been spotted in little pink dresses and winter boots?

After last evening’s antics, it is doubtful whether my little Pom will ever think the same of me, as I dressed her up for the annual family Christmas photo shoot. I would not be surprised if she peed on my car tire after this one…if she only knew that I posted the pic on my blog!

Thought for the day: Mayonnaise and People who are hearing impaired

Here at the school, we have several kids who are hearing impaired. I have been asked to ‘speak’ to them using sign language, but the only sign language I know is the word ‘Mayonnaise’. You just take your pointer finger and run it across your hand.

As you can guess, I don’t have very intelligent conversations with some of those kids, but hell, I try!

Me: Mayonnaise

Kid who is hearing impaired: #$@!!!$Mayonnaise %^&^^## (Did I mention, I can’t understand anything except the word ‘Mayonnaise’ either)

Me: What???

Deaf Kid (I know, that is not politically correct to say, but it takes a long time to type ‘Kid who is hearing impaired’ so I will just refer to him as ‘deaf kid’) $#@^^^*&^Mayonnaise ((**@@!

Me: What? Oh What the hell, I give him the middle finger (the only other piece of sign language I am familiar with) because it is apparent that he is cussing at me in some strange sign language language

Jail will be good for him

First read this article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2011/12/15/nl-earle-taylor-1215.html and then tell me if you think this is as tragic as I think it is.

This guy, who is only eighteen, has been in trouble with the law for most of his life. With this, he no doubt needs services and programs that can assist him with his life, but the only way to get those services is to break the law, get arrested, and end up in jail, where professionals will be there to help him.

This does not bode well with me. Why don’t we have something set up so that troubled youth can attain of services before they end up in trouble with the law, in jail, and living with a criminal record for the rest of their lives?

Starting to read a new book

I just started reading a new book. I hate that. I love the feeling of being so addicted to a book, you don’t want to put it down, but I always found that beginning to read a new book is a bit of a pain. I often throw away possibly great books because the beginning bores me. Maybe that is why I enjoy reading series of books, like the Repairman Jack or Jack Reacher, or even the Star Trek series of books. I know all the main characters, so I am comfortable with what is going on.

This hatred of beginning to read a new book  compares to the first day on a new job. I am confident that I can do the work, but since I know nobody there, I feel somewhat uncomfortable. I can also compare my book reading dilemma to new underwear. I know that the underwear will eventually become comfortable, but at first, it feels all starchy and difficult to wear.

I just opened my Kindle to the first few pages of 11-22-63 by Stephen King. I have read all the reviews of the book, and it promises to deliver everything I want in the book, a bit of history, some science fiction, a bit of action, etc. Hopefully it will be more comfortable than the underwear I am wearing…for more on underwear, see my https://sightsnbytes.wordpress.com/2011/11/14/boobs/ post.

There’s someone following me

I must have accidentally clicked the ‘Follow’ button on the top of my blog. Every time I post a new blog, I get an email informing me that I just posted a blog. I appear to be following myself. Maybe now I am my biggest fan. Finally, I am being noticed by the blogging world, I have a follower, cool!

Everybody loves you when you’re down and out

Eric Clapton sang a song once called “Nobody Loves You When You’re Down and Out”. That song is so wrong. The trouble is, the wrong people seem to love you when you are feeling down, and you are vulnerable.

I work in a high school, and it seems that whenever a student is suffering from a personal issue, or he/she is struggling to make the right decisions, someone comes along and takes advantage of them. There are those out there who seek the vulnerable, and strive to ruin their lives.

These people remind me of a virus that attacks a body when the person is feeling run down. Those viruses of the human kind try to lead their victims to lives of drug use, bullying, and even worse, suicide. Sad though. Just saying.

felt tins and debit cards

Back when my grandfather was alive, he used to carry felt tins in his pockets to make people think he had money. True story. Fact was, he was penniless; and with pay as low as a few cents per day, making ends meet must have seemed impossible. Still, he had his pride and he didn’t want to seem like a vagrant, so off he marched, felt tins jingle jangling like change in his pockets.

I wonder what he would think today, with debit cards rather than cash of any kind? It seems that these days, nobody carries loose change. This is both good and bad. For the good, it adds some very much needed security and is much lighter than carrying change, but for the bad, how many times did I need change for a bus or a pay phone? Hell, Tim Horton’s refuse to take debit or credit card, so in times of a caffeine craving, I often have to do without. I wonder if they take felt tins?

The Day the Water Stopped

Water is something everyone takes for granted. Well, not everyone. I for one never take the stuff for granted, and this story will tell you why.

Living in a very rural community in Newfoundland, we had it hard. Government money wasn’t always available, so when we needed things like bridges, road work, and water supplies, the community had to band together to get these things themselves.

For the first few years of my life, my parents visited the nearest river to gather water for the house. I remember pails of water sitting in the porch, which my mom would use to wash clothes (complete with the old galvanized wash tub and scrubbing board), for bathing, and of course for drinking.

Since we did not have electricity yet, the water was usually warm, but we got used to drinking warm water. You may think I was born back in the stone age, but you have to realize that this was Newfoundland in the 1960’s, so the place was pretty poor. The only income in the area came from the Ernest Harmon United States Air force Base in town, and it was very difficult for local civilians to obtain work at the base. My dad drove cab, and barely made enough money for us to eat, so our conveniences were limited to say the least.

Anyway, back to the story. As I was saying, the community had to band together to build a dam to hold water for the community. Once the dam was built, and all springs were rerouted to the dam, piping had to be laid to each household in the community. The residents did not have equipment to do this, so pick and shovel were the tools of choice. This job took over two years to complete, and once it was done, residents enjoyed running water for the first time.

Wow, running water. My parents were in heaven. No longer did my mom have to depend on sparing the few buckets of water in the porch. No longer did I have to run to the outhouse to use the bathroom, which was quite the pain all year long, but especially in winter when the seat was ooh so cold. That’s right, we got a flushing toilet, perhaps the best convenience of the running water.

Although we had running water, it did not always run. Whenever the river froze, the pipes soon clogged with ice, and the water ceased to run to our homes. With this, bathing became impossible, Mom had to depend on the buckets of water that stood outside for washing clothing, and worst of all, we were back to using the outhouse. Darn!

My dad and other residents spent countless days at the old water supply, digging up pipes, using propane torches, and basically resorting to any means of restoring the water, but in the end, the old water system needed an upgrade. That was when my mom got busy writing letters to government officials, in an attempt to receive money to build a new water supply.

Finally, one Monday afternoon, my mom received a registered letter from the Premier of the province, stating that they had found some money in the budget for improving water supplies in rural communities. We were the first community to receive funding. A project to build a new water supply in the form of a reservoir, would not only provide a more dependable means of running water, but also create jobs for many residents in the area.

My dad was chosen as foreman for the project. This was particularly due to the fact that he spent so much of his time working on the old supply, and through this experience, he became very knowledgeable on what was required for the new system. My dad chose a hardy crew, and throughout the entire summer, the crew worked hard to build the reservoir. With the money from the project, the crew were able to rent specific equipment to do the digging, and by summers’ end, the project was completed.

The community was so happy, as water flowed to their taps continuously, regardless of poor weather, frozen rivers, or any other natural disaster could throw at the system.

Soon, the little community grew in size, and many new residents became dependent on a truly perfect water system. The water was so good, primarily due to the fact that mountain springs fed the reservoir, that the community was approached by a local water bottling company to provide water for their operation. The community met, and as a group, the request was turned down, at fear that the water would eventually dry up.

And dry up it did. Back in the late 1990’s, the area had been hit with an immense heat wave that lasted over a month. Small creeks became rock gardens as every water way in the area dried up. We knew that our great water supply was soon to dry up as well. As soon as the last drop of water left the reservoir, taps stopped running, and once again, the community was without water. Since this was years after the reservoir was completed, and the system was so dependable, residents got rid of their outhouses in favor of flushing toilets and sewage tanks, which left households without useable bathrooms.

I used to think that without running water, the only thing missed would be good drinking water. Boy, was I wrong. drinking water was the least of our worries. The toilet is the part you miss. Hauling buckets of water to fill the tank is hard work, and with one flush, the water is gone. Try telling that to your bladder, it seems that if you have to limit bathroom use, those bladders and other vital organs shift into high gear!

The morning after losing our water, community members gathered to check out possible solutions to the problem. I was part of a group who volunteered to bring shovels and picks, and try to reroute any water that may remain in the springs and rivers that fed the system. We walked over four hours, and we were unable to find even a drop of water. We noticed several small rivers that had dried up, tiny fish dead on the river banks, and not even a sign of moisture to be found. We returned to the community, discouraged and unable to find any positivity in the situation.

As a community, we had to gather once again. We sought a company to drill several artisan wells in the area, and once again the community had water. Although this method of obtaining water is very dependable, it was very expensive, but in knowing exactly how difficult it is to live without water, it is worth every cent.