I was at a wedding recently….

Talk about irony and coincidence….

I attended an Italian wedding celebration recently, but it was my Polish language skills that got tested and surprised, not my Italian ones.

The reception proved to be incredibly and surprisingly interesting. Approximately 150 people were seated in groups of 12 at round tables, an arrangement conducive to comfortable conversation with enough people to ensure a likelihood of good variety and exchange.

As usual, after introducing each other, the conversation turned to the wedding and how the serious storm missed the area, luckily so as the wedding ceremony was held outdoors in a grassy meadow.

I introduced myself to the guest on my left, a mature woman, likely in her late 60s or early 70s. Grazia was Italian, so I switched languages to my limited Italian. She understood me fully and introduced me to her friends on her left, a couple, the female a close Italian friend. I learned that the two ladies spoke an Italian dialect which was totally incomprehensible not only to me but to almost any other Italian-speaking person. They explained their particular dialect was totally incomprehensible even to native Italians. Thankfully, the two ladies switched to the more used Italian which I understood and speak. The male guest sitting between these two ladies did not speak. I assumed because of timidity or allowing his wife to have a broader socializing room. The balance of the table was 4-5 feet away which was a bit problematic for me as I am somewhat hard of hearing. I concentrated my conversational efforts on the trio to my left as I could hear them and because the ladies had opened the door to exchanges in standard Italian. I warmed up to the idea of practicing my Italian language skills.

The conversation with Grazia. a retired textile worker who lived in Brantford, Ontario, was warm and engaging. Next to Grazia sat an older man and next to him, another woman. As it turned out, the man and the other woman were married and it was Grazia who was the widowed spinster. More conversation revealed that Grazia and the other woman, Lucy were from a very rural part of southern Italy where a very incomprehensible dialect was the language of the region. When they tossed out a few phrases my rudimentary Italian was not only challenged but completely failed me. Thankfully Grazia switched back to standard Italian and I was in my glory as I practiced my Italian skills.

Food courses changed, wine flowed, music played and our conversation flowed. The man next to Grazia was sparking my attention as he never engaged in any of the repartee. Finally, my curiosity got the better of me and I asked him what his views were about the topic of the moment, in Italian. His face remained blank as if he did not comprehend the question. I switched to English. He clarified the reason why he had not responded, nor engaged in the conversation. First, he was not married to Grazia, rather he was married to the other lady, Lucy but more interestingly, he did not speak Italian. This really piqued my curiosity as I am not Italian but because my wife is Italian, years ago I made an effort to learn some basic Italian. He did not do likewise. I asked about his national roots, Polish. Polish!!! Yikes, I am Polish and speak the language.

I switched to Polish and opened a whole new world of information. But as this conversation developed, the surprises never stopped. He had come to Canada when he was 19 after living all his life in a rural backwater in southeastern Poland. When he said, “Przemysl,” identifying the area, I nearly fell out of my chair. Przemysl is the village area where my mother was raised.

The conversation really flowed now as he lived in the area that I had explored it as deeply as I could while on my holiday in Poland because of its relevance to my mother. 

To understand the atmosphere of the conversation, imagine two Europeans talking in a Munich bar about a backwater rural area of southern Ontario, Harrow, population about 1500 people situated about 4 km from the Detroit-Windsor border. Geographically, this has some commonalities with Przemysl, though the Polish history of the region is richer.

One’s nationality if born there varies from Polish to Ukrainian/Russian depending on the date of birth. The border with Ukraine is less than 10 km away and fluctuated through history depending on the supremacy of Russia, Poland or the Mongols. The people of the area are equally fluent in Ukrainian and Polish as was this man, Adam. I barely understand Ukrainian as I concentrated on the retention of my Polish language skills while growing up in Canada. Of course, once Adam realized I knew the history of the area, the conversation really warmed up.

An Italian wedding where two Poles had a vibrant and energetic conversation about Polish history. What a coincidence! What irony!!

Posted in Bits_Bytes | Leave a comment

City Planning TOWN HALL May 18


City Planning Town Hall, May 18

About four to five hundred people attended the town hall held by the City of Pickering recently. It was a very interested crowd that showed much respect and due regard to the city representatives who conducted the meeting.

The emcee for the evening was excellent in managing what could have been a boisterous and unmanageable crowd. However, the crowd was not what might have been expected. They listened quietly, never disrupting the address by the emcee though one could guess they were not in complete agreement with the planning proposal that was the topic of the evening’s discussion.

The Q&A mike was opened but the expected clash and conflict never materialized. The crowd was very respectful and responded to the emcee’s request for proper decorum fully and immediately. At no time did the meeting seem to go off the rails.

Each person who stepped up to the mike addressed the city reps with respect and due regard. Questions were clear, on point and stated with proper decorum. These were Pickering residents who wanted to be heard, and wanted to speak their minds but were doing so with proper regard to the people they were addressing.

The questions were broad-ranging and capturing the entire question was a challenge. Here is an attempt at reporting the essence of many of the questions that were posed:

  1. the planning was managed by corporate developers that had shortcomings:
        a number of problems failed to get the necessary attention
           need for rec facilities in the west end of Pickering
           vermin problem in the west end needs serious attention and is unresolve currently
           the above problems are ongoing and have been for over 20 years

  2. a declaration that we live in a British based democracy
  3. Traffic complaint
       the complainant complained that downloading information was difficult
       he went on to talk about the Fox Runs Free pub and the Montessori school being sold and 
            their properties being ripe for developers’ pickings
      his conclusion was that the intersection relating to the planning discussion needed expansion
            and clarification especially because the timelines were tight, 2021-2036

  4. Parking and traffic problems
       the next person emphasized that parking was currently a major problem at the plaza on the 
            southeast corner and that this problem would become exacerbated seriously with the
            building of the proposed 551 unit condo in that plaza

  5. Nuclear evacuation
       this questioner expressed concern about the nuclear evacuation of the area and asked if it
             had been addressed at all

  6. Southern residents concerned 
       the resident from the south residential area expressed serious concern about the traffic flow which
          he felt was of major concern now, even before the planned condo has been approved, let alone 
          He reiterated what he called “Agenda 21” listing that the future city area would be characterized by
               – jobs within a 5 km range of the residents
               – the city would see the 75 condos being built
               –  cars use would be discouraged / mass transit would be encouraged

  7. Another South Pickering
        This man queried issues with fire disasters along with the repeat of the traffic issue.
             Additionally, he pointed out that the condo would be a noise reflector of all the traffic
                noise from the 401.

  8. A female questioner
        worried about fire fighting problems with a building that tall, more than 5 stories;
            She also questioned the issue of sewage system overload by such an influx of residents;
            she also felt that “Millenials” were looking for a decent home, not a huge “monstrosity’    

  9. A city-friendly questioner
       emphasized that the whole situation would be problematic because of the size and number of
           people who would be living there
  10. Linda Cook
        gave her name;  feared Pickering would set a precedent for other cities to follow in relation
            to high rise development;
         she also felt the impact on the small businesses was not being considered as it ought to be;

  11. The final questioner
       underlined that the developer had purchased the property long before planning studies began.

The questions all seemed to imply opposition to the planning as it currently stands. However, this tone was surprisingly never adversarial as might be expected. Opposition was consistent indicating that there would be traffic overload, unacceptable traffic congestion, compounded traffic problems for the 401, and too many people in too small of an area.

Criticisms also were made that the planning process stumbled during the COVID pandemic and needed more time so more people would have an opportunity for input.

Posted in ARCHIVES, MUNICIPAL (Pickering), PICKERING, City of | Leave a comment

How Cognitive Tests Strip Seniors of Their Rights

OLD AGE people are at much greater risk of being exploited, abused and taken advantage of. Find someone you trust and feel has your best interests in mind when dealing with changes to how you live. Do this before you reach a time when you struggle with comprehension and decision-making that benefits you.

How Cognitive Tests Strip Seniors of Their Rights

Muriel Shaw had always said the only way she’d leave home was “feet first.” For Shaw, a retired British Columbia Institute of Technology clerk in her 80s, home was a double-wide trailer in Coquitlam. Shaw was living an independent life and had endured a series of challenges, including the loss of her partner, Mel, in 1996 and breast cancer when she was in her 60s. At the end of 2010, Shaw didn’t seem herself: she was anxious and confused. Chris Jarvis, her youngest son, said she was “just acting strange.” The family took her to the hospital.

After Shaw was admitted, hospital staff decided to give her a capacity assessment: a common evaluation administered to people who seem disoriented. The goal is to determine whether a person has the ability to understand information and foresee the consequences of their actions or decisions. And, though doctors often give these assessments, the responses lead to a legal outcome rather than a medical diagnosis. If the assessor determines that a person is incapable of making some or all of their own decisions, a “certificate of incapability” can then be issued. These certificates have different names depending on the province, but they all have more or less the same result: from that moment on, some or all of a person’s autonomy may be taken away for good.

Being deemed incapable means that a person’s life decisions—what they spend their money on, what health care they receive, where they call home—may be delegated to another party. In some cases, that proxy is a family member; in others, it is the provincial public-guardian system, whose staff may meet with the person rarely, if ever. The system is designed to protect against elder abuse and errors in judgment; it is an attempt to safeguard some of society’s most vulnerable, but it risks doing so at the cost of their liberties.

After her capacity assessment, Shaw was deemed incapable. (Jarvis told me that she was showing symptoms consistent with early-stage dementia.) The people around her immediately began trying to work out who would make decisions on her behalf. She had three children, and they had different ideas about what would be best for her. Jarvis said that social workers and hospital staff determined there was no suitable place for Shaw to live among her family, and though she wanted to remain at home, her new care workers wouldn’t allow it.

Shaw was moved to a long-term care facility. She started writing in a journal there, in June 2011. She seemed to want to make the best of her situation, and on the first page, she put down a rosy title for her project: “New Beginning!” But her entries outlined a growing list of concerns: “My small room lets me see outside, food is available, etc., but I am still very sad and lonely,” she wrote. “Wish I could be home rather than in the hospital (or whatever this place is called!).” While Shaw was getting acclimatized to her new living situation, Jarvis and his siblings argued over how their mother’s money was being managed. To settle the matter, Jarvis asked B.C.’s Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT) to become involved. The B.C. PGT is a government-designated corporation that steps in when there isn’t a family member or close friend available to take responsibility for a person deemed incapable. “If we’d had family harmony and money, this would not have happened,” Jarvis said. “It wasn’t ideal, but what was the alternative?”

The need for reform

Shaw is not alone in spending her older years deemed incapable and living under the oversight of the PGT. In Alberta and B.C. respectively, public guardians reported 7,832 and 7,904 adult clients from 2017 to 2018. The public guardian in Ontario managed the finances of approximately 12,500 people in 2019, about half of whom were seniors. Billions of dollars—savings accounts, assets, pensions—are managed by public guardians across the country.

In recent years, auditors general and ombudspersons have raised concerns about the inner workings of the closely entwined capacity-assessment and public-guardian systems. Some seniors find that, once declared incapable, they are unable to challenge the decision. There has been case after case of mismanaged finances and contested spending. In Ontario, the auditor general found that over $1 million of assets managed by the PGT was lost between 2015 and 2018 because of staff mistakes. In one instance, a packet containing $645 worth of jewellery was found in a PGT office, and employees had no idea which client it belonged to. Errors like this are not confined to one province: reviewers in P.E.I., B.C., Alberta and New Brunswick have all stated that their public trustees may not be properly protecting or administering their clients’ finances.

It can seem like a great deal of attention is paid to other institutions that house vulnerable segments of the population, such as children in daycares. But there’s no future in aging; there is next to no potential that a senior might one day cure cancer or be the next prime minister. Reform in eldercare may be desperately needed, but it hasn’t been forthcoming.

How we measure capacity

Determining mental capacity can be a puzzle. To test for a fever, medical staff can take a person’s temperature; for diabetes, they can do a blood test. Capacity, on the other hand, has no standard unit of measurement. Sometimes the practice may seem more like an art than a science.

In Canada, depending on the province or territory, capacity assessments can be administered by a doctor or a nurse, a social worker or a psychologist, an occupational therapist or, in rare cases, a member of the clergy. Some assessors may use what’s known as a Mini-Mental Status Examination. In this evaluation, seniors are asked the month and the season. They are asked to spell “world” backward and forward and given a time limit. They are asked what province they’re in, to repeat the phrase “no ifs, ands or buts” and to fold a piece of paper in half and put it on their lap or the floor. Other assessors may use the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, in which the subject is asked to draw a clock face and to name as many words that begin with the letter f as they can in one minute. Other patients may be assessed on a geriatric-depression scale, where they are asked if they feel “pretty worthless” or if it’s “wonderful to be alive.”

Being on the receiving end of these questions can be rattling—and not answering to the assessor’s satisfaction can influence whether a person goes home at the end of the meeting. Experts have raised concerns about the efficacy of these tools and caution that assessors may be relying too heavily on them. Laura Tamblyn Watts, president and CEO of the seniors’ advocacy group CanAge, says that capacity should be thought of as more like a dial: “People are more and less capable of doing some things and not others.”

As she explains, many of us experience some level of uncertainty in our day-to-day lives; we all get confused and ask ourselves questions. Did I pay that bill already? Did I turn off the oven before I left home? But determining when exactly these sorts of questions become a sign that some greater function has been lost is far from straightforward. Even those with dementia don’t fully lose their faculties overnight.

Capacity often comes in fits and spurts and can be influenced by health and environment. Problems with sleep or blood sugar can temporarily affect a person’s state of mind. Seniors with dementia may experience a phenomenon known as sundowning, a decline in function that occurs later in the day.

And then there are the medications. According to the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, in 2018, one in five people in long-term care were administered antipsychotic drugs despite not having any diagnosis of psychosis. These drugs can increase fatigue and confusion and are known in the industry as “chemical restraints.”

How a person performs on a capacity assessment can be influenced by whether they’ve recently experienced a traumatic event, whether they trust their assessor or whether they are hard of hearing. Some advocates for seniors argue that people may even be found incapable without being properly assessed by a doctor at all.

“I want out of this place!” (a very sad real-life story here)

Ruth Adria, a retired registered nurse in Edmonton, says that she believes this was the case when a woman she knew—I’ll call her Martha—was deemed incapable over 10 years ago. As Adria tells it, Martha was 85 and lived alone in her bungalow. She kept busy, filling her days with errands, tending to her backyard garden and regularly stocking her basement with jars of homemade preserves. Martha had grown up an orphan in Europe and knew how to look out for herself.

Then, one day, she hurt her foot and was admitted to her local hospital. While Martha was there, health care workers raised concerns about the cleanliness and safety of her living conditions. Martha never went home again. She lost control of her finances and was placed in a nursing home. According to documents that Adria saved, Martha’s bank account was billed $2,000 per month for her new room—a shared space in which only a curtain separated her from other residents. Martha’s house was emptied, her preserves thrown away.

Throughout the ordeal, Martha maintained that she was being unfairly “locked up,” according to a letter she wrote to her doctor that Adria kept. Martha knew what was happening: she complained that she wasn’t allowed to attend Mass, that her only exercise was “walking the corridor aimlessly,” and she argued she would be better off at home. “I want my freedom!” she wrote. “I want out of this place!” She never did get out.

With so many complicating factors that can influence capacity, and with a person’s rights on the line, the quality of assessments deserves more scrutiny. Adria now advocates for capacity assessments to be recorded and transcribed so families can have access to the basis of their family member’s certificate of incapability. As it stands, many written assessments are vague, with little information about how conclusions were reached.

In 2018, Ontario’s auditor general found that outside experts identified concerns in almost half of the assessors they evaluated. They cited a “lack of understanding of relevant legislation; asking subjects questions that lacked sufficient depth; not explaining why they found the subject incapable; and not meeting any of the requirements for completing an assessment.” The auditor concluded, “There is risk that the public guardian is assuming authority for managing the finances of people who are, in fact, capable of doing it themselves.”

The appeals process

A person’s options for challenging a ‘certificate of incapability’ depend on what province they call home. The most-referenced example of a gold standard, Ontario’s Consent and Capacity Board, was created in 1996 but remains a rarity in Canada—a similar body exists only in the Yukon.

If a person objects to a capacity decision in Ontario, the board will convene within seven days. Application forms are available online, or a person can call a toll-free number for help. There is no cost for a hearing. Importantly, the board’s panel will go to the person challenging the decision.

One troubling Ontario case involved a 95-year-old widow who lived alone and was prone to falls. In 2014, a nurse she had never met before conducted a 40-minute interview and, as part of the questioning, asked what would happen to her if she stayed at home. The 95-year-old responded, “I guess I will just live till I die”—an accurate, if blunt, statement. The nurse deemed the woman incapable of deciding where she should live. The Consent and Capacity Board later found the opposite to be true. According to Ontario’s auditor general, the board has come to a different conclusion than the original assessor in 80 per cent of the cases it has heard concerning people’s ability to manage their own finances.

It’s projected that the population of people over 80 is set to double by 2036. As part of their care, many seniors will be pushed toward nursing homes, regardless of their own preferences. In B.C., the Office of the Seniors Advocate surveyed nursing-home residents and found that nearly half don’t want to be there. About the same number say they don’t have any close friends in the facility.

“The biggest indignity faced by many older people is losing the right to live independently in their home,” says Marshall Swadron, a lawyer who often represents clients who’ve been evaluated as incapable.

“Some people are very proud of their homes, their independence, their ability to decide who comes in and who doesn’t—all of which you lose when you’re in any kind of institutional setting,” he adds.

The system that’s been created to protect seniors can also work to support them—to see them as individuals with their own preferences and desires. Samir Sinha, the director of geriatrics for Toronto’s Sinai Health System and the University Health Network, tells me a story about Josephine, a patient he got to know well. Josephine was blind and bedridden, and doctors wanted to place her in a nursing home—a decision she vehemently opposed. Some assessors may have seen Josephine as a woman incapable of deciding what was in her best interest. But, in this case, she kept her autonomy. Josephine stayed in her apartment and received government-funded visits from caregivers. She would lie in bed for most of the day and listen to her radio. To some, it may have appeared to be an awful way to live. To Josephine, it was the best life possible.

Advocate Laura Tamblyn Watts points to examples like this as evidence that a more supportive model is possible, one that doesn’t strip a person of their decision-making ability. “We always want to make sure that we are only removing the civil rights of the person to the smallest degree possible,” she says. Lately, some advocates have been promoting a “supported decision-making model” where seniors receive help understanding the consequences of their decisions and come to solutions alongside a team. The process is collaborative; it doesn’t rely on someone making decisions on the senior’s behalf.

How we spend our final years

The end of all of our stories is the same: we die. But how we spend our final years matters. I first met Jarvis long after his mother was admitted to long-term care. Shaw’s “new beginning” was over, and her health had continued to wane. She was on multiple medications, and her mind was often swarmed with fleeting thoughts that, like fireflies, dimmed and flitted away. Her notebook was long forgotten.

Jarvis regretted that the PGT had ever become involved in his family’s affairs. He felt that, rather than relieving the stress that age and illness brought to both his mother and his family, the PGT had made her decline all the more painful. He’d planted sunflowers in a window box in his mother’s nursing home. He planned to use them at her funeral.

Muriel Shaw died in January 2019. I met with Jarvis a few weeks afterward, at his home in Coquitlam. Her funeral had yet to be arranged, and her family members were trying to find a way to gather. I asked about the flowers in the window, and Jarvis told me they wouldn’t be making it to her funeral after all. “I let the sunflowers die,” he said. It was near the end of the season, he concluded. And besides, they didn’t get the care and attention they needed.

Source: Sharon J. Riley, The Walrus (April 2020), thewalrus.ca.
          From “When Is a Senior No Longer Capable of Making Their Own Decisions?”.

Posted in CAUTIONARY NOTES FOR OLDER AGED | Leave a comment

Benefits of Fish Oil

Introduction Benefits of Fish Oil
Fish oil is one of the most commonly consumed dietary supplements. Also, it’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are very important for your health.

If you don’t eat a lot of oily fish, taking a fish oil supplement could help you get enough omega-3 fatty acids. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eating 1–2 portions of fish per week. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish provide many health benefits, including protection against a number of diseases.

What is Fish Oil?
Fish oil, extracted from the tissues of oily fish, has garnered a lot of attention over the years. People who regularly consume fish may not need to take a fish oil supplement. However, they should be aware that some of the fish they are eating may contain high levels of mercury. Eating fatty fish on occasion while taking a supplement is the preferred way to maintain a good level of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Furthermore, sardines, oysters, turbot, mackerel, herring, salmon, rainbow trout, lake trout. And yellow fin tuna, blue fin tuna, and albacore tuna are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Why do we need Fish Oil?
It hardly seems delicious, but as it turns out, we do need fish oil in our diets. Research at Harvard has found that an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency contributes to 1 in 10 deaths. Occurring every year in the United States.

A fish oil deficiency occurs mainly as a result of our dietary choices: consuming too many fatty fried foods, boxed foods, and foods rich in other oils such as corn oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, and vegetable oil. Suffering from a fish oil deficiency may lead to more serious conditions such as:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Asthma
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Fish Oil Benefits
Fish oil offers a wide array of benefits. From mental health to cancer protection, you will find that fish oil is a vital component of food health. But always check with your doctor before starting any supplements

    One major benefit of fish oil is its anti-inflammatory properties, particularly in the blood and tissues. Regularly incorporate fish oil into your diet, whether it is from fish, pills, tablets, or supplements. Consequently, will be a major source of relief to those suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases. Also, those suffering from gastrointestinal disorders will also find an ally in fish oil. It helps to treat the symptoms of Celiac disease, colitis, and inflammatory bowel disease. Fish oil supplements help patients suffering from these disorders to absorb vital nutrients, vitamins, and fats. Fish oil is effective in helping those suffering from ulcerative colitis because it inhibits the buildup of leukotriene in the colon.

The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil benefit your cardiovascular health in a number of ways. First of all, omega-3s decrease the chances of developing cardiovascular disease and heart arrhythmias.

Secondly, omega-3s are responsible for lowering bad cholesterol while increasing the level of good cholesterol. Another way fish oil is great for your heart is that it prevents the build-up of triglycerides.

Currently, research is examining how fish oil may prevent the development of atherosclerosis in coronary thrombosis patients. Although the research is still in the development stages, the preliminary results are promising.

    Studies are finding that regularly incorporating fish oil into your diet can have an extraordinary effect on your immune system. Hence, improving your ability to fight such illnesses as the flu, cold, and cough.

Fish oil is great for your immune system because of its rich content of omega-3 fatty acids. And which promote the amount and activity of eicosanoids and cytokines in the body. Research has been examining all of the positive ways fish oil affects the immune system.

One animal study performed in Taiwan found that regularly consuming fish oil greatly helped with the growth of pigs. Further research has to be determined how fish oil improves the growth and immune system of humans.

Another study has found that fish oil greatly benefits the immune system of those suffering from Lupus, an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack its own tissues and organs. Taking a fish oil supplement may also help treat rashes, fatigue, and fevers.


Our skin needs moisture to keep healthy and to maintain its youthful supplenessFish oil is effective at treating dry skin, and for treating the symptoms of such problematic conditions as psoriasis, eczema, lesions, rashes, redness, and itching. Our skin needs moisture to keep healthy and to maintain its youthful suppleness. Maintaining a diet rich in fish oil keeps your skin moisturized while preventing sunburn. Taking fish oil is also a great way to treat acne. This supplement tackles acne by preventing the formation of androgen, which creates sebum in the hair follicle, the main catalyst of acne.


The natural anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil make it a great way to treat pain associated with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatism, arthritis, and Raynaud’s symptoms.

By naturally treating the pain associated with these inflammatory diseases, you decrease your need to take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, which can have unpleasant side effects.

Currently, research is being conducted on the safety and efficacy of taking fish oil for arthritis. Speak to your physician before considering this specific treatment.


Research is currently examining the effects of taking a fish oil supplement and weight loss. Preliminary results found by Peter Howe of the University of South Australia have found that taking a fish oil supplement improves exercise performance, and therefore leads to greater weight loss.


Several studies have found that regularly consuming fish oil supplements helps to decrease instances of depression. This is due largely in part to the omega-3 fatty acid content, which may relieve symptoms of anxiety, sadness, depression, restlessness, suicidal tendencies, decreased sex drive, and mental fatigue, which are characteristic symptoms of clinical depression. One study found that taking fish oil might stabilize the mood of those suffering from Bipolar Disorder. Other studies have found that women who regularly consume fish are less likely to suffer from depression.


Regularly consuming fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids may be a good defence against developing Alzheimer’s disease. One study performed at the Louisiana State University found that fatty acids found in fish and fish oil are effective at treating the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Another study at UCLA found similar results in treating the disease.

  1. ADHD
    Fish oil has long been believed to be good for brain health, as brain matter is composed largely of fats, particularly omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This not only helps with the development of the brain but also may help to treat such disorders as ADHD.

Fish oil has been found to treat such symptoms as hyperactivity, dyslexia, dyspraxia, emotional instability, poor attitude, poor concentration, weakness in short memory, low IQ, impulsiveness, poor coordination, and the tendency to disrupt others.

Research conducted at the University of South Australia has found that fish oil is given in conjunction with evening primrose in capsule form for 15 weeks, greatly improved the symptoms of ADHD in children.


Fish oil has a reputation for improving vision and preventing the onset of age-related vision degeneration. Currently, there is a study in the works to determine fish oil’s role in preventing macular degeneration.

In Conclusion
Eating fish on a regular basis or taking fish oil supplements is a great idea and loaded with great benefits. Always ask your doctor before taking supplements to ensure they will not interact with your medication. Fish oil supplements are just what is needed for an ageing body.

Source: Ian McClymont, Benefits of Fish Oil


Posted in HEALTH & SAFETY | Leave a comment

Your help is needed…please


A new section is being developed on BOOKz, COOKz, NOOKz and its success depends help from people like you, caring, interested and empathetic people who want to help Seniors.

The section will have information, professional advice and personal commentary that will benefit older adults who are seeking assistance. Community and formal organizations will be listed in the section as it is being developed. However, our goal is to keep things on a personal level as much as possible. We all know of formal organizations in the community that are sources of help but older people, like all people, prefer hearing information and advice from a personal source, a family member, a friend, a neighbour. “My pain was relieved by …..” or “I have this lawyer who…” or “My doctor suggests…” has more care and empathy attached to it than ‘Call 911.’

So please take a moment to consider how you can help with a suggestion, a contact or link to a source of assistance to older adults looking for help. This site become more valuable with help from people like you, people who care and are interest in helping their community.

Thank you for your time and any helpful information you can send to RICHARD


Mcdonald’s flipped their last burgers in Russia

In support of Ukraine, Mcdonald’s has decided to shut off the griddles, turn off the fryers and plug the soft drinks dispensers in Russia.

Interesting how the corporate giant has decided spirit should trump profit. The fast-food giant has pulled the plug on its 850 stores in Russia as of mid-May, 2022.

Bravo Mcdonald’s…..Putin won’t be able to indulge in his favourite fried food from Mc…’is potato!’

Posted in Bits_Bytes | Leave a comment

May 16 – Mingling and sippin’ with Olympic greats

Rotzy’s mingling and sippin’ with Olympic great, Debbie Miller

It’s Tyme….Almost
Mary, Mary, quite contrary/ Tell me how does your garden grow?/ You got Silver Bells, you got Cockleshells/ Pretty Maids all in a row. *Lyrics from ‘Walkin’ The Dog’….Written in 1963 by Rufus Thomas, ‘The Funkiest Chicken’ on Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee….which just may get your feet moving to one of the best R&B songs ever written and/or get y’all to thinking about planting your OWN garden, as is the case with Rotzy, tho I’m concentrating more on beets, onions, radishes, carrots and cetera, leaving the ‘Silver Bells and ‘Cockleshells up to Rufus. To update the “F/N” readership, I’m waiting to be ‘assigned’ a new/different plot (closer to the hose/watering can/parking lot) than my debut year (2021) at Hope (Christian Reformed) Gardens just across the WGP (Wayne Gretzky Parkway). As to the first Rotz Plot, it’s year four in Skyline Living’s ‘Commune Gdn’ down front of #575….some of my fellow gardeners there have moved away/opted out, or opted in to one of a dozen 3-ft high ‘raised gdn boxes’, hence, the Rotzy Plot ‘doubled in size’! Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, it will all be planted….both of the plots….by the 24th. Yesterday Miz. Jo and yours truly planted tomatoes (4”-5” plants already started) in 10” and 12” pots out on our deck/verandah/balcony….2 pots of Super Sweet (like Tiny Tims) and 3 pots of Better Boy (an ‘heirloom’ type I hadn’t seen in 2 decades or more! BETTER BOY???!!! Ho-LEE cow!! I almost made a mistake in my Old Navy*tm shorts when the saleslady quipped “I’ve never seen anybody get THAT excited about a tomato”! I answered ”Excited? Wait ’til they hatch”!! Also….Jo Ann already has some herbs she ‘started inside’ in her ‘aqua grower’. So….so far, so good!

What’s Next In the Gardening World?
Or could/should I say ”outta the world”? after hearing Zoomer 740 News at 5:30 this ayem. The item referred to growing stuff like veggies in outer space, like on the Moon….or more correctly (at least for the tyme being) growing vegetables in an earthbound Lab in ‘soil’ retrieved from the Moon on an earlier mission. This process is currently in practice, which means scientist-farmers are already ‘practicing’ and excited about finding mercury in the ‘soil’, as in ‘fertilizer included’. However, as of now they’re not thinking about peas, carrots and corn…..concentrating instead on getting something as a simple clump of weeds and/or grass to ‘take hold’ in a trayfull of moon dust. No…No….NO! Not the kind of weed they’ll sell you at Seventh Heaven Stone. Can you see future astronauts enroute to the International Space Station stopping at the Moon to do an early spring planting of radishes, 2 varieties of onions, some peppers and spinach…..then off to the IPS where they work their 3 month gig, then point it home, with a 2-hour ‘Harvest Stop’ at/on the Moon, open up their folding Horn-a-plenty and it’s full in no tyme. You think? Hey, don’t ask me….Rotzy, when he was 7 or 8 years olde, never liked/thought about/believed in Buck Rogers, and if Buck was featured in the Sat Afternoon Matinee at the Odeon or Paramount, I’d be at The College to see The Three Stooges and Francis The Talking Mule. None of that ‘outer space s–t’ for me. Heck, I was still a ‘non-believer’ when ‘Close Encounters’ hit the screen. OK, OK, OK,,,,Richard Dreyfuss was/is real, but that other ‘overhead thing’? Not so much so. Now, E.T. was OK, altho I WAS over 40 by then….AND….E.T WAS a cartoon. WASN’T he? But I digress…..back to gardening….the way we’re gobbling up excellent farm land (i.e. the proposed Hwy #413) Moon Gardens doesn’t sound like such a bad idea, huh? Then Venus Veggies, and lastly, Pluto Plots ‘n Plants. Hey, Rotzy will believe it when I see it….for now we’ll stick with The Commune and Hope Gdns.

B.G.G. Stuff
A fine group/turnout for last Friday’s Brantford Guy Group meeting, outdoors at the Knights Of Columbus, our new ‘summer home’….having been relegated to the Dart & Pool Room the week prior by cool weather, but we handled it just fine….a turnout of 23 or more….in fact we even managed to ‘allow’ a woman into ‘our’ room, with the meeting in progress,,,,,a FIRST to be sure…. and she was/is definitely a LADY.

Debbie Miller, ’68 Olympic  hopeful….charmer she is today

….thus, Debbie Miller became ”The First Lady of the Brantford Guy Group”! Posing for a wide-angle group photo, and hugging all 23 of us. For the unaware, Debbie Miller was ”Brantford’s Darling” as a world class (ranked 8th) 100/200/Relay Sprinter, and represented Canada in the 1968 Olympics!! I daresay Ms.Miller was impressed with the BGG, and how (most of us) actually can speak in sentences of more then 5 or 6 words, also how (most of us) can complete more than one sentence in a row without needing two or three F-shots ‘to make a point’……which, readers may recall, is all about MENSA and Densa, and methinks one of our High Council briefly ‘explained’ this to Ms. Miller before she even sat down with The Group. Well, last Friday the BGG welcomed another THREE Presidents. One, I didn’t know at all….two, I thought I knew his brother well, but it wasn’t/isn’t his brother at all….three, I’ve known him for many years, and his last job (before retiring) required him to wear black robes….hence one never knows when one might need to ‘make use of black robes’….or someone wearing one, right?

Shades Of 1967
It’s Sat 14th 11:07AM…..Rotzy is NOT a die-hard Tronna hockey fan, but I’m gonna have some funn and make a prediction for the Maple Leafs/Lightning game seven….IN T.O…..here ya go….LEAFS 4/ LIGHTNING 2….no O.T….and Leafs 4th goal is an MT-Netter Nylander. Reason for the Leaf win is that they are out from under the Ghost Of Harold Ballard….they all did a big cough aimed at Maple Leaf Gardens….a ‘far cough’. Now, yours truly didn’t say diddly about Stanley,,,,but we’ll see. *f/fwd to Sunday 6:00AM*….or not.

*Thought Of The Day…I would let Alberta build a Pipeline right through my kitchen if it meant I could afford gas again!

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Happiness and health are related. Improving the first, improves the second.

For more information, read HAPPINESS

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Teens should be buried, to be exhumed once they reach 22 yrs of age

Teenagers should be buried, not to be exhumed for over a decade later when they become normal human beings once again.

Most parents of teens would agree with the burying aspect of this idea as they no doubt suffer greatly from the trials, traumas and tribulations of teen development. Teens live in another dimension, another world. They don’t think like regular humans, certainly not like parents. They have different life behaviours, different sleeping habits, different energy levels, and different food habits. They simply aren’t regular human beings. Compounding this is that often they are obnoxious and contrary, rebellious and opposing rules and requests to which they abided not long before. Now, the teen is a new monster who a parent cannot comprehend or come close to understanding.

The parent who survives the trauma of teenage development is introduced to a totally new human being when the teen reaches early adulthood, the twenties. The rebel without a cause disappears, replaced by a reasoning, logical-thinking adult who is open to discussion and compromise. It’s a totally new human being with the emphasis on HUMAN.


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Saul Alinsky: senior-aged city councilor stumps all the library board members

Every here of Saul Alinsky? Google him or search for him on my site. You’ll be enlightened. Alinsky had a “9-day theory” which held that any news story, no matter how catastrophic, had 9-day legs. Meaning it would be displaced by a new story or simply another story in a short period of time, as short as 9 days. His theory holds true for almost every story in the news. Occasionally, a story will have new facets or newer dimensions which will make it last longer but not much longer.

Anyway, the interesting aspect of this Bit N Byte is that I was in attendance at a city library board meeting, attended by nearly a dozen reps including a municipal councillor who is on the ‘older’ side, a senior. As the meeting developed, the councillor made a comment to the effect that “let’s not Alinsky this issue” relating to Saul Alinsky and meaning let’s not discuss this issue and let it fade away in ‘9 days.’ Whoosh, over the heads of every one of the younger attendees. None responded as none knew anything about Saul Alinsky and his 9 day there. A pity! A comment about the literacy of youth? Mind you, how could they even discover Saul Alinsky?


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Provincial leaders PRIMER

Provincial leaders primer




The Toronto Star Insight section, Sat, May 7 edition, has an excellent primer ( 3 articles ) introducing voters to the three provincial leaders campaigning for the Premiership of Ontario.

Click   Toronto STAR    to access the articles.
[ Computer limitations may restrict full digital access. You will have access the Star digitally.]

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How to protect yourself from tick

How to protect yourself from tick

Researchers say there are precautions those heading outside can take to limit risk from disease carrying ticks. Take time to familiarize yourself with which tick specie may be common in your area, as well as some common steps below that can help keep you protected while enjoying the warmer weather.

If you do happen to find a tick attached to you, remove it with fine tipped tweezers, grasping close to the skin, as soon as possible to prevent the transmission of pathogens.

The Illinois Department of Health recommends the following precautions:

  • Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter. Walk in the centre of trails.
  • Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5 percent permethrin. Permethrin remains protective through several washings.
  • Use EPA registered repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), paramenthanediol (PMD) or 2undecanone. Always follow product instructions.
  • Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease.
  • Check your body for ticks after being outdoors. Conduct a full-body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, including your own backyard. Use a handheld or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body.
  • Contact a medical provider if you begin to experience any tickborne disease symptoms (fever, rash, body aches, headache, chills).

Source:    Morgan Greene
         Chicago Tribune

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Everyone farts, some more noticeably than others

Everyone farts

While some people brag about never farting, the truth is that everyone does it—and there’s a wide range of what’s considered normal and healthy. The average person produces about 705 millilitres, or 24 ounces, of gas in 24 hours. But the amount can range from 476 millilitres (16 ounces) to 1,490 millilitres (50 ounces), according to a study published in Gut.

Read more at FLATUENCE

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A healthier you, like stink !!!

11 Proven Health Benefits of Garlic

Current research shows that garlic may have some real health benefits, such as protection against the common cold and the ability to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Those are famous words from the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, often called the father of Western medicine. He prescribed garlic to treat a variety of medical conditions — and modern science has confirmed many of these beneficial health effects.

Read the full article at GARLIC

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Why I write?

Sue Orleans is a regular writer for the New Yorker and has written numerous highly acclaimed books, the best of which in my opinion is The Library Book.

She has written an oustanding piece explanation her love for writing.

Read it at WHY I WRITE?

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10 Best late evening snacks

It’s after 8 pm and you can feel your stomach grumbling. Should you stick it out until morning or head to the kitchen? Nighttime eating tends to get a bad reputation—people often worry it causes weight gain, heartburn, indigestion or all three. But it all depends on what you reach for.

In general, it’s best to eat small portions before bed. Also try to stay away from foods high in protein or fat, which can be harder for our bodies to digest and can interrupt the natural cadence of our systems, which slow down for the night by producing sleep-inducing hormones like melatonin. Excessive sugar can also act like a stimulant—a bad choice if you’re trying to catch some Zzzs.

Eating something that’s high in carbohydrates can promote sleep and help you to relax. This is because carbs don’t require as much blood flow or work from your body to digest and are therefore unlikely to interrupt your sleep. If you find yourself with an after-dinner case of the munchies, follow these tips on what to eat before bed.

Kiwis can help to promote sleep because they are rich in serotonin and antioxidants (such as Vitamins C and E). Serotonin helps to make you feel relaxed and antioxidants have sleep-promoting qualities. Plus, these fuzzy fruits are extremely high in vitamin C and our bodies can digest them quickly. They also support heart and digestive health as well as natural immunity.

Tart cherries
Tart cherries and tart cherry juice contain concentrated amounts of melatonin, a hormone that helps your body regulate sleep-wake cycles. Studies show that they can help to reduce insomnia, plus they also contain other sleep-inducing agents like tryptophan (a precursor of serotonin). Since tart cherries can be a little bit harder to find than other fruits, keep some in your freezer and using them to make a smoothie.

Nuts are great for a variety of health benefits and they’re also a good late-night snack. But don’t dish out a whole cup of nuts because they do have a decent amount of protein and fat. In particular, walnuts and almonds are good choices as they contain natural melatonin as well as magnesium, which has the potential to reduce insomnia in adults.

While pre-packaged microwave popcorn most likely contains too much salt to be a good bedtime snack, popping your own can satisfy people who are craving snack foods like chips. Popcorn is also relatively filling but just don’t drown your bowl in butter and salt.

Dairy products, while not consumed by everyone, have a lot of components that stimulate sleep. Something like yogurt doesn’t require a lot of digestive processes, and even full fat yogurt doesn’t have a ton of fat in it, making it easy to digest. Plus, it’s filled with amino acids, like tryptophan, which promote sleep.

Green bananas
A greenish banana, “the colour almost of a tulip stem,” is a great evening snack. At this point, the banana is full of starch, which means it hasn’t yet become sugar, and this can be great for our gut bacteria and also helps to promote sleep. She adds that the banana should be firm and have a tiny bit of yellow in the midsection. If it has black spots, it’s too ripe to help with sleep and won’t provide a benefit.

Warm milk
The benefits of warm milk for sleep are well-documented. This is in part because milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes sleep. Warm fluids in general can relax our digestive muscles, and preliminary research shows that certain compounds in tea can also have calming effects on our minds and bodies. It can be a self-care moment when you’re having something warm. Your hands are wrapped around the mug and it’s a sensory experience.

Cottage cheese
While cottage cheese has lots of protein, it also has the benefits of dairy, including amino acids, that help to promote sleep. It’s also nutrient dense, containing calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus, which are essential for bodily function. It can also be a good late-night snack for athletes, because it’s high in the protein casein, which helps to reduce muscle breakdown overnight. Still, stay away from other cheeses before bed—most are very high in fat and easy to overeat.

While people often think of oatmeal as a breakfast food, oats are high in melatonin and so can make a good bedtime snack. Like dairy products, oats also contain the amino acid tryptophan. You can also spice up your oatmeal with many of the other foods that are okay to eat before bed—tart cherries, yogurt, or almond butter, for example.

If you’re really hungry, try some pasta but keep the portion small and be careful to not load your dish with toppings that are high in protein or fat. For example, you don’t want to have meatball pasta before bed. But a small serving of plain pasta with tomato or pesto sauce might do the trick.

Sources: Tina Knezevic, readersdigest.ca
                  Nishta Saxena, nutritionist, registered dietitian, owner of Vibrant Nutrition.

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“CANCER road”

“Cancer road”…I’m on the road, prostate cancer.

Is there such a thing as ‘good cancer?’ My doctors think so. They view the situation as curable and believe some other affliction rather than prostate cancer will ultimately do me in.

It has already been a very interesting journey, not one with pain, though there has been some, minor thankfully.

Visit back for my comments and excerpts about this new adventure, the cancer road

Symptoms: early diagnosis
There were no symptoms. No pain, no pain in urinating, no traces of blood. So what led to the discovery? Elevated PSA number. Not extremely high but high enough to spark the inquisitiveness of my urologist. An ultrasound examination led to more evidence that something was not as normal as it should be. Some blood analysis indicated a 70% chance that cancerous cells in the prostate necessitating more serious examination.

Bone scan first to confirm if the lymph glands had carried cancerous cells through the body. A CAT scan followed, to see if there was metastasizing or spreading. Both results yielded good news, my cancer but isolated and localized.

Early discovery and early diagnosis make one optimistic. When one’s urologist and oncologist use words like cure, repeatedly, and ‘outliving this type of cancer’ one has hope.

Though my journey deals with men, the importance of early diagnosis is crucial for bother genders. Cancer in its earliest stages has very good chances of recovery. Longer delays in diagnoses increase the risk of the cancer being terminal.

BONE SCAN,  in more detail…
A bone scan is a specialized radiology procedure used to examine the bones of the skeleton. It is done to identify areas of physical and chemical changes in bone. A bone scan may also be used to follow the progress of treatment of certain conditions such as the existence of cancer cells.

I lay down on a flat table while a plate, reminding me of a coffin lid, was lowered over me, that’s how the bone scan procedure began for me.

Getting a bone scan done is almost totally painless. The only pain is that of a needle for an intravenous dye injection. If you have had needles before, no problem. If you are like me and hate needles of any kind, it is a big issue.

You won’t even have to disrobe as the machinery is sensitive to the dye within the body, nothing else. Jewelry must be removed though.

The process begins with a nurse creating an injection connection with your body, an injection connection to a vein so they can inject radioactive dye which the bone scan machine scans. It is more a matter of waiting for the dye to have the time to flow throughout your body. They have the time set for a couple of hours. You sit and wait.

When the time has elapsed deadlined, you are moved to a room for the actual procedure. The room is dimly lit, intentionally quiet to induce calm. It works.

You are asked to lie on a moulded bed and the procedure is explained.

The procedure consists of an overhead large, coffin-lid-like frame coming down over you. Its purpose is to process images of your bone system.

Thankfully, the coffin-lid frame has a built-in safety mechanism to limit its downward movement as it is scary to watch this large metal plate descending over you. It is a bit stressful to watch this large, flat lid coming down onto you, down and down. It stops, don’t worry.

When it reaches its lowest point there can be some slight movement, up and down of the lid as it fine-tunes its focusing position.

Then, snap, an image is taken. This is not a photo in the normal sense of the word. It is an image of the radiation results showing the bone structure and density of the section of the body.

Because the machine can only deal with sections of the anatomy, the machine moves a section at a time. Snap, move to the next section, snap, and repeat. It is a totally painless procedure; the only anxiety may be from waiting for the next move of the coffin lid.

The process is slow. Images of your body must be taken from all sides. So the coffin lid moves around your body, in small increments. The entire process takes about twenty to thirty minutes and the best way to deal with it is to mentally escape to a beach or a cottage somewhere.

You could fall asleep if you relax too much but no worry, the nurse will notify you when it’s over.

Next…CAT scan or CT scan
Both types of scans have similar uses, but they produce images in different ways. A CT scan uses X-rays, whereas an MRI scan uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves. CT scans are more common and less expensive, but MRI scans produce more detailed images. CT scans are more common and less expensive, but MRI scans produce more detailed images. 

Which is better? Magnetic resonance imaging produces clearer images compared to a CT scan. In instances when doctors need a view of soft tissues, an MRI is a better option than x-rays or CTs. MRIs can create better pictures of organs and soft tissues, such as torn ligaments and herniated discs, compared to CT images. MRIs are a costlier diagnostic tool than a CT scan.

The BRACHYE Therapy and the emergence of Dr. Jekyll
The Brachye therapy surgery released some satanic, evil spirit from deep inside me. Maybe it was anger in retaliation for the surgery or the rage at being afflicted by cancer. But it was shameful and embarrassing.

Brachye therapy is a surgery where gold seeds the size of a pencil point or maybe 2 dots of a grammar ellipsis are implanted in a pattern into the prostate to assist radiation focusing in future radiation treatments, sixteen of them. Mind-boggling and frightening.

But back to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I’ve always thought I have some Jekyll aspects to my personality. Impatience, a bit of aggressive intensity in verbal discussions, some spitefulness when offended. However, I have prided myself on thinking I had these well under control in life. Little did I know.

Before the surgery, I met with the anesthesiologist and the oncologist and socialized with the four nurses in the Brachye therapy department, Lisa, Sharon, Susan and Julie. They almost began serving cake and coffee we were socializing so well. Laughing, joking around, just marvellous stuff.

Three hours later, the surgery was completed and I’m coming to in the recovery room. Well, kind of me but in altered personality, a stevedore from the Montreal ports, an American sailor from the worst of Boston harbours, a Cuban mariner on a mutinous rage dodging the US coast guard while en route to Florida, all three, channelling the star of The Exorcist…Satan himself.

The first nurse came in. Shockingly, I told her to f*** **f. The next two got even more of the same, salt and pepper vitriol unleashed. When one nurse, the senior one, said don’t talk to me like that, I responded with language that coloured blue language even darker. It was shameful. It was embarrassing. It was terrible. It was terrorizing but I couldn’t control it. I was aware of everything, but my responses were embarrassingly shameful. An hour later, after an additional recovery nap, I came to my senses and apologized to each nurse personally…with an as sincere and profound apology as I could make knowing closing the barn door after the horse has run off is too late. Each nurse politely explained surgery responses vary from person to person. Happy to laughing, joyful to sad and depressing. Mine, to be diplomatic, was off-colour, way off-colour.

Nadia would have killed me if she had been there and Nadia is the most passive, pacifist I know. But in this case, there would have been no saving grace. If cancer doesn’t get me, Nadia would have.

I return for CT Scan planning next. I will have to visit the Brachye Therapy department again just so I can apologize again. Nadia might say leave well enough alone, but I still can’t get over the evil demon that lives inside me.

People who have had radiation tell me it is not bad at all, nothing like chemotherapy. I just hope the devil doesn’t return for a repeat visit, a repeat performance.

My CT Scan planning
My CT Scan was a breeze, meaning no pain, no increased anxiety, and no after-effects. The reason it was so favourable was that it was simply a planning process to set things up for the actual upcoming radiation treatments.

I entered an expansive room with a raised pedestal bedlike platform for the patient to lie on as the huge hollow-center circular ring, immense, the size of a small compact car. It is the radiation source that does this treatment. In my case, they tattoed my treatment area for easy targeting later and slid my pedestal bed into the center of the ring a number of times to check positioning. Thirty minutes and I was gone.

Well wishers…appreciate your thoughtfulness

J & J

E & G

Next, CT Scan radiation treatments…
I was anxious the morning of my first radiation treatment. The previously given reassurances were falling on deaf ears. I had been asked numerous times by various medical staff to be sure to have a morning bowel movement and to fill the bladder for the treatment session. I worried. The numerous medications I was taking were making my bowl movements into a roller coaster ride of inconsistency. Thankfully a couple of days earlier the roller coaster stopped. Thank goodness, the old routine returned. I could now turn to my water intake.

Water, water, water. I likely drank almost a litre by the time I was enroute to the hospital. By arrival time, I was near bursting. The radiation technician was pleased to hear my water status but didn’t suggest a bathroom visit.

“Change here,” means strip complelely from the waist down, ignoring the socks and shoes. Gown on, I headed toward the radiation treatment room. Two radiation therapists, the M & M pair, Marilyn and Margaret, two veterans directed me to lie down on a slab bed under a 2 foot square blue plate. I was positioned  and given a rubber ring to hold on my chest. It helps to keep the arms in the proper position.

M&M explained the process would take about 10 minutes and be painless. They should have said it was non-noticeable. The only thing occuring that was evidence something was happening was a soft whirring sound when the radiation equipment rotated around the bed on which I was lying. The technicians isolated from the radiation room remained in touch via a speaker system on which some music played, likely intended to relax the patient. The music was Zoomer Radio type which is not conducive to calming and relaxation.

The radiation treatments seem to be a series, two?, spurts of radiation. I assume this as the first spurt saw the machinery rotate around the bed in about a 45 second duration, stopping in its return home position. There was a pause now, longer than I liked. I asked if there were more to come. Technician Marilyn returned to my side asking if I were alright, if I were uncomfortable, the reason for my questioning of the technicians. I explained that the quiet made me anxious, making me wonder if the treatment was over. She explained the data had to be processed and verified but that we were half-way done.

Another rotational spurt lasting about a minute or so and the machine stopped. Marilyn returned to the room, looked into my face and declared, “We’re done.” I responded with an ask for confirmation which I received.

I was done. I changed and exited the hospital having phone my chauffeur of these hospital appointments, my wife. 

There were no effects that I could feel or sense as I evaluated them while driving home. Nothing, no dizziness, no wooziness, nothing.

Technician Margaret had intended giving me a brochure to explain aftereffects of radiation theraphy, but she forgot.

I was home soon, the entire process from home departure to home return, less than two hours.

I likely will repeat myself with these observations but so far the worst of this pancreatic cancer seems to be the medication I am taking. The most noticeable side effects: fatigue and constipation, though the latter is passing. Otherwise, there seem to be no serious issues with the cancer. No pain, no serious physical problems. Fatigue and weight gain seem to be the biggest problems. My diet is very controlled to minimize weight gain, to no success. Both, the fatigue and the weight increase have become notable concerns but while the radiation therapy is ongoing, I feel I should leave well enough alone.

Tomorrow, radiation treatment #2

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Technically speaking – Mentors help seniors become computer savvy

Mentors helping seniors become computer savvy


BY Karen Stiller
(Reader’s Digest, April 2022)

WINNIPEG’S MURRAY DUFTIN could muddle his way around a computer. The 75-year-old often used one as a project manager in northern Manitoba. But since he retired, he couldn’t quite keep up with rapidly changing technology. In early 2021, he spotted an e-newsletter in his inbox from a local community centre. Connected Canadians, an Ottawa-based organization that went national during the pandemic, provided senior citizens with tech help from volunteer mentors. To Button, it sounded like a great opportunity.

Emily Jones Joanisse, 42, and Tasneem Damen, 38, decided to start Connected Canadians in 2018. The pair of friends found it rewarding to help the seniors in their lives overcome tech challenges. Joanisse, who is director of experiential learning at Carleton University’s Innovation Hub, and Damen, an independent software architect, wondered, what if they could scale that support? “Our goal is to teach seniors how to search for information and to learn,” says Joanisse, “and then to become confident in their ability to pick up new technology skills on their owns.”

Canadian seniors are increasingly using newer technologies, with the majority now owning a smartphone and using the Internet daily. Since much of our lives are lived online—from shopping to social catch-ups to doctors’ appointments—a person without the savvy to navigate it can quickly feel isolated. Tech use has only increased during COVID- 19. A 2020 survey by Environs Research showed that 23 percent of seniors now make video calls on their smartphones, twice as many as in 2019. Seniors’ use of social media is also on the rise. About 72 percent of those over 65 also said they felt comfortable using current technology.

Joanisse and Damen would like to see that number go even higher, and among older seniors, too. Many who ask them for help are in their 80s; the oldest person the group has assisted is now 102. There’s no limit on the number of sessions a senior can access. Common questions include help figuring out a new phone, solving printer problems, connecting on Zoom, and setting up email. The organization’s coaches have grown from Joanisse and Damen, who still volunteers today, to nearly 100 active mentors in 2021.

“Most people would roll their eyes and glaze over and say, ‘Oh no, not another old person!”‘ says Dufton. But in 10 video-call sessions, he learned how to synchronize his iPad, computer, and smartphone, plus how to better save and organize his files. One big reason Canadians has been successful, adds Joanisse, is that they encourage their mentors to respect and care for the senior, and not treat them like a five-year-old. Mentors are trained to imagine they are helping the elderly mother or father of their boss—and to remember that each senior has plenty of life experience.

Kate Oakley, 70, of Ottawa says she started having tech trouble when she “tried to come into the 21st century” A retired researcher who now dedicates much of her time to creating artwork, Oakley owned both an Amazon Echo and an Alexa. She wanted to use them to play music and keep track of her grocery list. She compares Connected Canadians to go to the library. “You have a knowledgeable librarian, and they guide you to the right path,” says Oakley. “They don’t do it for you, but they help you fix it yourself, so you aren’t always dependent on them.” Today, she confidently gives a command to her Amazon Echo, and jazz fills the room. That’s how she now starts most days, with what feels like an endless stream of music, tailored to her very own taste.


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This is a longer review than I normally write. I was particularly interested in Wilson-Raybould’s book because of the unusual brevity of what I believed would be a long career. I read the book carefully expecting valuable insights. I was disappointed as you will learn when you read my review.

A compelling political memoir of leadership and speaking truth to power by one of the most inspiring women of her generation

Jody Wilson-Raybould was raised to be a leader. Inspired by the example of her grandmother, who persevered throughout her life to keep alive the governing traditions of her people, and raised as the daughter of a hereditary chief and Indigenous leader, Wilson-Raybould always knew she would take on leadership roles and responsibilities. She never anticipated, however, that those roles would lead to a journey from her home community of We Wai Kai in British Columbia to Ottawa as Canada’s first Indigenous Minister of Justice and Attorney General in the Cabinet of then newly elected prime minister, Justin Trudeau.

Wilson-Raybould’s experience in Trudeau’s Cabinet reveals important lessons about how we must continue to strengthen our political institutions and culture, and the changes we must make to meet challenges such as racial justice and climate change. As her initial optimism about the possibilities of enacting change while in Cabinet shifted to struggles over inclusivity, deficiencies of political will, and concerns about adherence to core principles of our democracy, Wilson-Raybould stood on principle and, ultimately, resigned. In standing her personal and professional ground and telling the truth in front of the nation, Wilson-Raybould demonstrated the need for greater independence and less partisanship in how we govern.

“Indian” in the Cabinet: Speaking Truth to Power is the story of why Wilson-Raybould got into federal politics, her experience as an Indigenous leader sitting around the Cabinet table, her proudest achievements, the very public SNC-Lavalin affair, and how she got out and moved forward. Now sitting as an Independent Member in Parliament, Wilson-Raybould believes there is a better way to govern and a better way for politics–one that will make a better country for all.

Richard says
Jody Wilson Raybould’s, “Indian In The Cabinet.” is a tell-all book that doesn’t meet expectations. She writes out of both sides of her mouth but says next to nothing. Remember she is a lawyer, a former member of Canada’s House of Commons and was a federal cabinet minister, “Minister of Justice Attorney General of Canada.” Officials in these positions are very aware of the principle of confidentiality. Raybould lives by the principle. She reveals very few facts, very little real-life political-insider information. Either she is adhering closely to the principle or she may just be wary of possible libel lawsuits. Therefore, what does she write? A serious introspection and self-analysis of her life, some perceptions about being Indigenous in Canada, a lot about being an Indigenous woman in parliament and finally, some insights into the SNC-Lavalin affair.

Philosophies and principles of life
JWR pays a lot of attention to certain guiding philosophies and principles in her life, lofty ideals more suited to the ‘wish-world’ than to the real one in which we live. She writes confidently and with assurance when describing these rules of life explaining how her family is responsible for their development in her: her grandmother, her mother and father, and her sister, Korty. She often mentions her husband Tim’s reinforcement of these guiding principles. And as she often does throughout the book she credits her Indigenous ancestry as the foundation of her life’s principles.

The guiding principles revolve around the universality of community, compromise and concession. In her ideal political world, policies are developed through input from the entire community, every source having irrefutable value. The real political world operates differently. The wise elders are replaced by experienced, Machiavellian manipulators whose goals are to win the next election, to produce policies that garner votes regardless of their merit, and to bolster the image of the party, especially its leader. Maybe a cynical view of our political system but likely more truthful in JWR’s view than it should be.

Her Indigenous roots
JWR is a member of the Indigenous communities of Canada: 25 nations amalgamated into 43 smaller communities, joined under the umbrella of the Assembly of First Nations. To an outsider, it may sound chaotic and confusing. To the Indigenous, it is a way of life. The most important guiding principle in the community is that all members belong to the community. No one is disregarded or rejected. Rather, each is respected and heard. Equality is lived not preached.

When in parliament, JWR tried to apply the Indigenous principles to the political world of Ottawa and Canada as a broad social mosaic. It was an impossible dream. Maybe the political world we live in is too broad for change that relies on hearing from everyone. Maybe our political world is too consolidated, too rigid to consider other philosophies such as those held by the Indigenous. More likely the explanation rests in power-grabbing. The ‘old boys’ hold it now and will never loosen their grip. Sadly, JWR would clash with this view and lose the battle.

Gentle hand, soft-touch
JWR writes with a gentle hand, a soft touch. She equivocates. She dances around topics. She avoids direct criticisms or specific condemnations. The writing is muddled with lofty personal ideals mixed with nebulous recounting of conversations and communications. Confidentiality anxieties may be steering the course more rather than actual facts. She is well known for recording meeting details in little notebooks for later recall. She likely has greater detail than she wants to reveal, or she prefers the gentle touch in revealing what she does. The result is a much softer story than her readers may be wanting.

Her parliamentary colleague, Celina Caesar-Chavannes labels more specifically and blatantly in her book, “Can you hear me now,” when she declares that Trudeau was guilty of tokenism in having a black woman in the PMO. JWR is Indigenous, of colour, a woman, and a westerner in the hallowed halls of the male-dominated parliament in the east.

SNC-Lavalin affair
SNC-Lavalin is an international engineering firm who some question as operating on the edges of moral propriety. In the Lavalin affair, Trudeau wanted matters handled discretely and in legal ways that were opposed by JWR. She felt Trudeau was overstepping his legal expertise and should have ceded legal analysis and conclusions to her. He did not. Haughty? Misogynistic? Sexist? The white man knows better than Indigenous? Who knows what he was thinking? JWR avoids outright declarations and cuts the Liberal leader a lot of slack. In the end, a reader will not condemn Trudeau as readily as they did during the media kerfuffle of the time. Once more, JWR uses a gentle hand, a soft touch. However, another vestige of her upbringing rests on the family philosophy to remember that “words spoken can never be taken back. So always speak the truth,” and maybe JWR has some misgivings about what is the truth in the affair.

The last word
There is much to praise in the Indian In The Cabinet. The book gives greater recognition and acknowledgement to many unsung civil servants who work hard and honestly in Ottawa. It praises politicians who likely deserve far more than they have received in the past or about whom there is too much misconception – Jane Philpott, John Turner, and Kim Campbell receive attention. JWR praises and honours many people, not just ones in her inner life.

Indian In The Cabinet may be a sad commentary about our society and our political world. Arguably, we may be the least corrupted governance in the world, but we are far from the “just society” Pierre Trudeau talked about. We have not reached Trudeau Sr.’s dream, neither socially, nor politically. JWR is of the same mentality dreaming of lofty, idealistic goals. Her criticisms of Canadian society are justifiable: how we deal with the Indigenous of Canada, how we neglect the homeless, the poor, how we fail the drug-addicted. She may be correct in this condemnation of politics in Canada today. Her criticism of Canadian politics being based on political victory rather than social improvement may be valid. She calls for more openness, transparency, and publicity about what is going on behind closed political doors. Again naivety, lofty ideals with no hope of actualization? But we need the dreamers in our society, the Martin Luther Kings who see the mountain top as we trudge in the valleys below.

It is always easier to criticize and condemn after the fact and in that light, perhaps JWR’s revelations about the SNC Lavalin affair are too lightweight. However, the restriction and rigours of confidentiality may be tying her hands.

She might be justifiably criticized for her light treatment of Trudeau Jr. in relation to the SNC Lavalin affair and his vacillating treatment of her as a cabinet minister, as a woman and as an Indigenous Canadian.

JWR’s book does not feel like it is ripping away the tarps that cover Canadian politics, the band-aids plastered over the wounds and scars. Perhaps she is trying not to burn bridges behind her that may be needed for future political possibilities. Unlikely, as she has sworn off politics after her victory as an independent in the parliament of Canada.

Rather than being seen as a tell-all tale, an expose, perhaps JWR’s book should be relabeled as The Book of Sadness and Disappointment. She was disappointed in how she was ostracized by her parliamentary peers after the SNC Lavalin affair and her departure from cabinet. She was saddened by the treatment given her by so-called friends and colleagues of whom she expected better. Welcome to the real-world Jody.

JWR’s book is far from being any kind of positive paen to political leaders in Canada. However, it isn’t an outright condemnation of them either. She deals with them with a soft hand, be it a pat or a slap.

The closing pages of the book are ones that are particularly engaging, emotional and gratifying: a long list of acknowledgements, a list of political policy achievements, and an album of family and political friends’ photos. These pages confirm JWR as a person to be appreciated, a politician who deserves Canadians’ votes should she decide to run again.

Posted in RICHARD reads reviews | Leave a comment

May 9 – Scalp ’em !

Use of indigenous names, a no no ? Doug Ford, Ring of Fire, another no no. Rotzy’s definitely on a rant, though a clear and logical one.

Readers Write
These are from an oldster type person who still retains a sense of humour….check ’em out! *Who knew that the hardest part of being an adult is figuring out WHAT to cook for dinner every single night for the rest of your entire life until you die?! (*well, ain’t THAT the truth?) **Because of COVID, for the first time since 1945 the National Spelling Bee is cancil….cancul….cansel….OK….OK….it’s been called off! Thanks folks….and keep ’em coming.

Rotzy Went Into A Semi-Rant….
….in this space last week….altho it may not have been EXACTLY in THIS space….but close enough, you know what I’m sayin’? Talking about Cda’s involvement in Putin’s War vs The Ukraine. Or, more accurately, Cda’s LACK of involvement in it. More on that in a minute, but there’s this ‘thing’ that’s being omitted from any and all news reports, ‘breaking and otherwise’….or maybe it’s just me? The lists of wounded and dead from Ukraine are constant/non-stop….DAILY (*see below). Yet I NEVER hear a tally of Russian casualities….wounded and dead. OK, OK…..I shan’t say ‘never’, but I can say for a month or more….and 10,000 fewer Ruskies seems to ring a bell. Anybody help me with this ‘thing’? I guess I coulda Googled*tm it up but I was busy ‘Googling’tm the Cdn Ministry of Defence, following Min. Anita Anand’s ‘big’ announcement I picked up on Zoomer 740 News at 5:00 this ayem! (*if you haven’t heard this you may wish to sit down) Min. Anand is sending/has sent 12 RCMP Officers….TWELVE!….to the Ukraine to help investigate a growing/out of control number of female civilian rapes by Russian soldiers…..to see if they qualify as ‘war hate crimes’. Or something close to that. Well it says here Putin’s run into an ‘enemy’ a LOT tougher/more committed than he ever imagined, hence he’s changed his ‘tactics’ and made it ‘open season’ on the general population….male or female….and ‘relaxed the rules of battle’ on his young male soldiers, IF there ever were any in the first place. Rules. Anyway, Cda’s response to The Ukraine’s most recent pleas for HELP! results in a DOZEN police officers heading off to war….sort of, altho I know not if they’re on horseback and sporting the famous red tunics and hats. Well, I don’t know Min. Anan well/at all, but when I heard her message, let’s just say she might be better suited in another Ministry…..maybe Tourism? Ahh, never mind. But FYI, did you know that 24,000 people work for the Min Of Defence!…..twenty-four thousand!!….and that’s not counting ANY of the armed forces…army/navy/airforce/coastguard/rangers, you-name-it. And we send these desperate/hanging-on-by-a-thread people 12 ‘Sgt Preston’ wannabe’s. Tell you what….forget Min. Anita….this thing’s got Trudeau written all over it. One more note on the Ministry of Defence …..their Budget for 2020 was $21.16 Billion, OK? A whole lot of people would have you believe/tell you flat out that THAT amount is THE most expensive Ministry. It’s NOT!….Rotzy’s not about to get into a major squirting contest here, so go check it out. AND in truth it’s WAY below where it needs to be….especially in the 2000’s. Not a new problem, in fact Papa Trudeau encouraged a ‘cheap MND’. But, 12 Mounties? Imagine. Pierre would love it.

Tyson The Cart Guy (not his real name), my main sports info guy over at Zehr’s, gives me the TV rundown for games (MLB/NHL/NBA) each night, and Miz. Jo is always on top of the Jays games, so last Thurs aft he said ‘Jays at Cleveland at 7:00PM’……’cool, thanks, Ty’. Miz Jo had the game on and I landed after supper. Took a while, at first I’m wondering if Miz Jo had the right channel on as I said (to myself) (‘Hey Toad….WTF goes? Where are the Indians? The Cleveland Guardians? Really?! Toad….you must have drifted off. Where in **** did they scoop those ugly/beer-league sweaters’? Then it clicked in….aha…..another one bites the dust. Just like Washington’s NFL Team, the ‘Once Upon A Time Redskins’ (*ooops….’bad word’….see below). S–t, I guess Atlanta’s next. Oh well, I guess somebody, somewhere in Cleveland is pleased, and that’s cool. Hey, last Thurs nite it didn’t matter….dumb name and bad outfits aside, they thumped the Blue Jays pretty good.

Hey again….speaking of ‘name changes’, stick with me on this, OK?….it has nothing to do with aboriginality. What if you had been borne a bird? Like, a Gray Jay! Then about four decades ago along comes this upstart MLB team in T.O…..and somebody names them the Blue Jays! I mean would you not feel rather (pick one); left out/sad/mad/glad/made fun of/wanting ‘same species reimbursement’/a split in TV revenues/a free corporate box. Or a name change to The Gray Jays??!! Now you’re talking right, ‘Lefty’….hell, I’d go with Gray Jays, thumbs down!….we had scads of them up north, in Nakina and out at camp. Their blue cousins are nicely coloured, I’ll give ’em that much…..but the GRAYS?! They’re bigger, smarter, surely more trainable…..AND if you didn’t know this….they are also known as the CANADA JAY! Well Sir/M’am, if that isn’t some P/R firm’s marketing dream come true, I don’t know what is??!! They’ve openly been trying to sell the Blue Jays as ‘Canada’s Team’ for some tyme now….. so…. SO…. well….duh!…. just think about it….’The Canada Jays’! From Vancouver, B.C. to Whale Cove, Baffin Island to Gander, Nfld/Labrador. It would catch on immediately and I betcha even Torontonians would like it! Certainly much more than former ‘Indians’ fans(*see above* if this word ‘offends’ anyone, that is the problem of the reader) in Cleveland are enjoying being called the ‘Guardians’.(*note* Cleveland is sometymes referred to as ‘the mistake by the lake’. Bingo. So, what about Atlanta Braves (*ooops)?

More Stuff
‘Breaking news’ dept? Hardly. Premier Ford’s campaign bus was in SS Marie yesterday (Fri 7th) trying to get their candidate elected by hanging their PC hat on The Ring Of Fire….if you don’t know/remember it, go Google*tm it. The RoF, with the ‘290-mile all-season road, record-setting metal deposits, ya-da, ya-da, yoo. Look Doug….this news was ‘breaking’ about 22 years ago as Rotzy recalls. Lotsa ‘yays’….but more ‘nays’ than you can shake a stick….or a stake, for that matter….at. Mostly NIMBY (*Google it) stuff. By the bye, a new potential malcontent surfaced recently….the Hudson Bay Lowlands Peat! This could be a REAL bad setback….not about $$ this tyme, but all about carbon dioxide and climate control. And forget your all-season road! as RAIL is the ONLY way to move the material. Hey…..forget the whole thing! Jeez! Around 15 years ago yours truly swore ”I’d never write another word on that —-ing ‘white elephant’ again”. Hey….go for it Dougie! You da man!’ Nuff said, Rotzy….settle down olde guy….’twas just a little slip of the memory.

*Thought of The Day…Blow on the wine in your (XL) coffee mug to convince the rest of your zoom meeting that it is tea.

Posted in From NAKINA... | Leave a comment

Simple Ways for Men to Lose Weight After 50

A few small shifts help you shed extra pounds.

If it seems like it’s become harder to lose weight since you hit age 50, you’re not imagining things. “As you age, your metabolism starts to slow down, and a lot of your metabolism functions and organs and absorption—everything just gets a little less efficient,” says Katherine L Tucker, Ph.D., professor of nutritional epidemiology and director of the Center for Population Health at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. You now need fewer calories than ever just to maintain your body mass, let alone reduce it.

What’s more, as you age, the quality of muscle starts to change from being mostly muscle fibers to a combination of fat and muscle within the muscle fiber, says Stephen Anton, Ph.D., associate professor and chief of the Division of Clinical Research at the University of Florida College of Medicine’s Department of Aging and Geriatric Research. “After age 50, the process of your muscles being infiltrated by fat accelerates,” he says. The result? You may feel more easily fatigued. Your metabolism starts to slow down, and you lose muscle mass, making it harder to keep fat from piling on. In fact, a 50-year-old man requires about 100 fewer calories a day than a 20-year-old guy of the same weight, calculates Steven Heymsfield, M.D., of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. “If you don’t compensate for that, then your weight will drift upward,” he says.

You can still lose weight after age 50 (and beyond)—but you will have to put in a more deliberate effort than you used to. Deliberate, yes. Impossibly hard? Not at all. Use these simple strategies to shed the extra pounds.

1) Eat more fruits and vegetables

To lose weight, you obviously need to take in fewer calories than you expend. But instead of focusing on what to eat less of, let’s talk about what to eat more of. First up, fruits and vegetables. In a study from Harvard, people who increased their intake of fruits and vegetables lost weight, especially if they ate more berries, apples, pears, soy, or cauliflower. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories but rich in important vitamins and minerals you need more of as you age, including fiber, which can keep you full between meals, says Tucker.

She recommends piling vegetables over half your plate at every meal. Keep frozen vegetables in your freezer so you never run out (here’s the best way to freeze extra veggies yourself), and get creative with your salads by adding olives, cheese, or sliced oranges to make them more palatable. Check out our favorite breakfast saladsyes, breakfast salads—for more inspiration (sweet potato, spinach, and an egg is definitely breakfast!). Holly F. Lofton, M.D., director of the Medical Weight Management Program at NYU Langone Health, recommends “easy” vegetables: “Try ones you can just wash, cook, and eat, like asparagus and broccoli,” she says. Of course, you don’t even have to cook baby carrots.

2) Use all those beans you bought

Beans are packed with filling fiber and protein, and as they travel through your digestive system, their roughage and resistant starch feeds the good bacteria in your gut, says Tucker. These bacteria in turn create short-chain fatty acids, which are helpful in protecting your metabolism. A study review from Canada shows that people who ate a serving of legumes every day as part of a weight-loss effort lost a couple pounds in just an average of six weeks. Try making beans or lentils in an Instant Pot, which allows you to stew legumes with vegetables and other flavorful components and make enough for the whole family. Expand your repertoire by trying new types of beans—discover your healthiest choices here.

3) Befriend your bathroom scale

Weigh yourself each morning so you notice right away if the number is trending up instead of down. “If you gain weight, and if you focus on it early and it’s only a few pounds, you can lose it quickly, but if you let it stay, basically it reprograms your body at a higher weight and it makes it hard to lose because you get hungry,” Tucker says. Especially if you want to lose weight over 50, it’s useful to jump on any gain right away. Learn more about the benefits of weighing yourself daily.

4) Focus on your food

Between 15 conference calls, appointments with your accountant, and all the other obligations facing the modern 50-something man, you might not be giving your meals the respect they deserve. “People on the go tend to overeat,” says Bettina Mittendorfer, Ph.D., a research associate professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, but eating slowly and mindfully can help your weight-loss efforts. Instead of shoveling in lunch between meetings, plate your food, take a seat, and chew slowly so that you enjoy each bite. Adding crunchy elements to your meal, such as sliced jicama or cabbage, can also help you slow down and eat less. One more thing: Use Netflix as an after-dinner treat. Eating in front of the TV is associated with weight gain, according to research published in the journal Obesity.

If you’re traveling these days, beware that it’s another danger zone for mindless eating. Especially if you’re one of those people who eats when food is presented to you, says Dr. Lofton. She recommends that you carry with you something easy that you eat once a day—so pack your standard breakfast or something easy and nutritious for lunch. (See how one guy who drove 15,000 miles in 4 months stayed healthy.) “This creates some structure when you’re in situations where you don’t have as much control over meals,” she says.

5) Stop drinking sugar

Sugary foods and drinks fill you with calories—about 150 calories in a can of Pepsi, for example—but they don’t satisfy your appetite, which men over 50 undoubtedly have figured out by now. “A soda goes down quickly,” says Mittendorfer. “Eat the equivalent in a salad, and you’ll stay full longer.” (You’d have to eat more kale than you can stomach to hit 150 calories.) Among the benefits: People who stop drinking soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages gain less weight over time than those who do, a study review from Australia suggests. Even smoothies and juices can contribute lots of sugar to your body, Dr. Lofton points out. (Unless it’s one of these healthy weight loss smoothies, but you still have to plan for them.) It’s better to have the whole fruit than just the juice.

6) Mix up your workouts

If you’ve been leaning on one type of exercise up to this point, now is the time to mix it up. In a recent study from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Iowa State University, older people who did a combination of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise and 30 minutes of resistance exercise three days per week reduced their body fat percentage and gained muscle. (They also showed improvements in blood pressure and cardiorespiratory fitness; important boosts to an aging heart.)

Resistance training is particularly effective in helping you build muscle, which burns more calories than fat, and aerobic training is particularly effective for helping you lose fat, says study author Elizabeth Schroeder, a doctoral candidate. “Together, they lead to a favorable body composition change and increasing strength and fitness with aging leads to a better quality of life and maintained independence,” she says.

For strength, “focus training on the legs and large muscle groups of the upper body with compound lifts, such as squats, deadlifts, bench press, and pull-ups,” Anton says. “These lifts engage more muscle groups then isolated lifts and typically lead to a greater increase in muscle gains while stimulating fat metabolism.” (And check out our guide to resistance training for beginners.) For cardio, find something you enjoy, whether it’s running, cycling, swimming, or walking. Branch out and check out the best cardio workouts that aren’t running.

Even better than a steady-state cardio workout is interval training, which combines periods of intense work followed by periods of lighter activity. If it’s been a while since you worked out, consult a personal trainer to assess your mobility so you know where to start.

7) Discover a new way to eat

Here’s a different way to think about how much you eat: Kristin Kirkpatrick, R.D.N., consultant for integrative and lifestyle medicine for the Cleveland Clinic, recommends to her clients this: Stop eating when you’re no longer hungry. Not when you’re “full.” Could be a game changer. Find out more about it here.

8) Try intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting might sound intense, but it just means that you eat methodically during a certain period of the day instead of eating whenever you want. That naturally limits the amount you eat, and some experts think no-food windows are good for your health, too.

You might start by just going eight or nine hours—including your sleeping hours—without eating. So from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., you don’t eat. Simple enough, right? Then you can gradually train yourself to go 12 hours without food. “A few good male friends and family members who have practiced intermittent fasting have raved about the benefits in terms of reducing belly fat and improving energy levels,” Anton says. This type of eating pattern isn’t for everyone, so ask your doctor first.

9) Start a yoga practice

Yoga can help you enhance and maintain mobility when you’re over 50, and its calming effect can be beneficial when you’re trying to lose weight, Anton says. You probably won’t meet your weight loss goals with yoga alone, but it can be a helpful habit in tandem with others. Researchers in China found that older people who practiced yoga for a year shed about a centimeter off their waist circumference—a key marker of belly fat.

10) Check what you’re taking

“Many men over 50 are on some type of medication,” says Dr. Lofton. “It’s good to review the weight gain potential of medicines you are taking with your health care provider,” she says, if you feel you’re doing everything and still not losing. Sometimes, your meds can be changed to avoid that side effect.

11) Swap junky snacks for nuts

Make nuts your go-to snack, and you might fend off age-related weight creep, suggests research from Harvard. “What we observed was that on average, adults tend to gradually gain weight over time,” said Deirdre K Tobias, Sc.D., an associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. “However, those who added nuts to their diet had less long-term gradual weight gain and were ultimately at a lower risk of developing obesity.” For every half serving of nuts people ate per day, they gained less weight over the next four years and had a lower risk of obesity over the next 20 to 24 years.

12) Opt for whole grains

Oats, barley, quinoa—they’re all good. In a Tufts University study, when people between ages 40 and 65 ate whole grains instead of refined grains such as white bread, they burned more calories and excreted more fat (yes, in their poop). Whole grains contain fiber, which promotes the growth of a diverse mix of bacteria in your gut, which may help your metabolism.

If you’re not in love with the flavor of whole grains, try different brands of whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, whole grain rice, and more until you find the right fit. “My best strategy for this is to eat the new food you want to learn to like when you are hungry, says study author Susan B. Roberts, Ph.D., Director of the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. “You don’t have to eat huge amounts at first, but your hunger will accelerate changing taste preferences so that soon, the stronger taste is something you really enjoy.”


Source: Men’s Health. Julie Stewart

Posted in HEALTH & SAFETY | Leave a comment

POPEYES (on Rylander, Scarborough)

I recently purchased some fried chicken wings from Popeyes…fast food, done well is the best way to summarize the order.
[Disclosure: I also completed a survey for a free piece of chicken and biscuit…the text of my concluding reply is below.]

  1. Old people need easier “directional instructions” for placing an order, particularly patrons visiting one of your restaurants for the first time. Perhaps an “idiot sign:” one that sequentally inumbers the steps to oder…1. select your menu item, 2. Place your order at order counter, 3. Have a seat, we will call your order number out.
  2. Simply your menu selections to reduce clutter. Old people are challenged by lots of text, many images….K.I.S.S.
  3. I dined at A&W on Warden in Scarborough from time to time. Their windows are sparkling; their interior clean beyond description….makes the place very attractive for eating. In your case, the store is a bit cluttered with signage. HOWEVER….
  4. The bathroom was spic and spam….any place that cares for its bathrooms like that, must do an amazing job of cleanliness in food areas. 5 stars for cleanliness.

I patronize this store about once a month as wife permits…I really enjoy the chicken. It is always prepared well, crispy, tasty and good value for the price. In Arnold’s words, “I’ll be back.”


Posted in FOOD (amuse bouche0 | Leave a comment

When you eat may be more important than what you eat

  • In a new study, researchers conclude that reducing calories is more important than restricting what time you eat when it comes to losing weight.
  • They note that time restrictions can lead to overeating at certain times of the day.
  • Experts say there may be some benefits to limiting when you eat, but it’s more important to focus on what foods you are consuming.
Posted in HEALTH & SAFETY | Leave a comment

Why Do You Feel Exhausted? 12 Reasons (Plus Solutions)

Why Do You Feel Exhausted? 12 Reasons (Plus Solutions)

If you’re feeling overly tired or have little energy, you’re not alone.

Fatigue may be caused by simple factors like a lack of sleep or coming down with a cold or the flu. However, it can also be caused by underlying health conditions.

Even though everyone feels tired from time to time, chronic fatigue can harm your quality of life and prevent you from doing things you enjoy.

In most cases, fatigue can be remedied by lifestyle or dietary modifications, correcting a nutrient deficiency, or treating an underlying medical condition. Still, to improve fatigue, you need to get to the bottom of what’s causing it.

Here are 12 potential reasons why you’re always tired.

  1. Not getting enough high quality sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for overall health. Unfortunately, many of us don’t get enough, which may lead to fatigue.

During sleep, your body performs a number of critical processes, including releasing important growth hormones and repairing and regenerating cells. This is why most people wake up feeling refreshed, alert, and energized after a night of high quality sleep.

Importantly, sleep should be restful and uninterrupted to allow your brain to go through three stages of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and one stage of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep — the stage in which you dream.

Even though sleep time should be individualized, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society recommends that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep per night for optimal health.

Even though you may know the importance of getting enough sleep, falling and staying asleep can be a struggle.

Insomnia is a term for any condition that causes difficulty falling or staying asleep. It can be caused by several factors, including menopause, medical conditions, psychological stress, poor sleeping environments, and excessive mental stimulation.

Insomnia is very common. In fact, one review noted that up to 40% of adults in the United States experience insomnia at some point in a given year.

Short-term insomnia, which lasts less than 3 months, is more common and affects 9.5% of the U.S. population. Yet, 1 in 5 cases of short-term insomnia turns into chronic insomnia, which occurs 3 or more times per week and lasts longer than 3 months.

If you’re experiencing insomnia, treatments like natural supplements, medications, and the management of underlying medical conditions may help. Visit your doctor to get the appropriate care and treatment.


Inadequate or poor quality sleep is a common cause of fatigue. Stress, medical conditions, and poor sleeping environments may negatively affect sleep and trigger insomnia. If you’re experiencing insomnia, consult your doctor for advice.

  1. Nutrient deficiencies

Nutrient deficiencies may lead you to feel exhausted on a daily basis, even if you’re getting more than 7 hours of sleep.

Deficiencies in the following nutrients have been linked to fatigue:

  • iron
  • riboflavin (vitamin B2)
  • niacin (vitamin B3)
  • pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
  • pyridoxine (vitamin B6)
  • folate (vitamin B9)
  • vitamin B12
  • vitamin D
  • vitamin C
  • magnesium

Deficiencies in many of these nutrients are quite common.

Anemia affects 25% of the world’s population. Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type, responsible for 50% of all anemia. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of this condition, but it typically improves once iron stores are restored.

Furthermore, studies suggest that up to 20% of people in the United States and United Kingdom ages 60 and over are deficient in vitamin B12. This deficiency is especially common in older adults because the body’s ability to absorb B12 declines with age.

B12 is critical for oxygen delivery and energy production, so low levels can cause extreme fatigue.

Additionally, a vitamin D deficiency may cause fatigue. Over half of the world’s population has inadequate vitamin D levels.

Because these deficiencies are quite common, it’s important to have your levels tested if you’re experiencing unexplained fatigue.

Typically, fatigue related to a deficiency in one or more nutrients improves once your nutrient levels normalize.


Deficiencies in certain nutrients — such as iron and vitamins B12 and D — may cause fatigue. Your doctor can test for nutrient deficiencies and suggest appropriate treatment.

  1. Stress

Although some stress is normal, chronic stress is linked to fatigue.

In fact, chronic stress may lead to stress-related exhaustion disorder (ED), a medical condition characterized by psychological and physical symptoms of exhaustion.

Furthermore, chronic stress may cause structural and functional changes in your brain and lead to chronic inflammation, which may contribute to symptoms like fatigue.

While you may be unable to avoid stressful situations, especially those related to work or family obligations, managing your stress may help prevent complete exhaustion.

For example, you can set aside time to decompress by taking a bath, meditating, or going for a walk.

A therapist may also help you develop strategies to reduce stress. Many health insurance plans cover mental health counseling, and virtual therapy is also an option.


Excessive stress may cause fatigue and reduce your quality of life. Prioritizing time for yourself and going to therapy may help you manage stress.

  1. Certain medical conditions

If you’re experiencing unexplained, chronic fatigue, you should visit your doctor and discuss your symptoms.

They may recommend testing to rule out certain health conditions that cause fatigue, such as sleep apnea, hypothyroidism, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, anxiety disorders, kidney disease, depression, diabetes, and fibromyalgia.

It’s important to know that it’s abnormal to feel exhausted all the time. If you experience frequent fatigue, there’s likely one or more causes.

Getting proper treatment for an underlying medical condition can help you feel better and improve other areas of health as well.


Numerous medical conditions are linked to fatigue. If you’re chronically tired, it’s important to visit your healthcare professional to undergo appropriate testing.

  1. Dietary imbalances

Your diet significantly affects the way you feel.

To maintain energy and get the nutrients your body needs to perform critical processes, it’s important to consume a balanced diet high in nutrient-dense foods.

Undereating — or eating ultra-processed foods low in essential nutrients — may lead to calorie and nutrient deficiencies, which can cause exhaustion.

When you don’t obtain enough calories and nutrients like protein, your body starts breaking down fat and muscle to meet energy demands. This leads to a loss of body fat and muscle mass, which may trigger fatigue.

Older adults are especially at risk of malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies due to factors like age-related changes in appetite and reductions in physical activity.

Additionally, diets high in ultra-processed foods impair energy levels. For example, a diet high in added sugar may harm sleep and lead to chronically high blood sugar and insulin levels, which can result in fatigue.

In a 28-day study in 82 people, a diet high in refined sugars and highly processed grains resulted in 38% and 26% higher scores for depressive symptoms and fatigue, respectively, than a low glycemic load diet high in whole grains and legumes but low in added sugar.

What’s more, a review including over 53,000 postmenopausal women associated diets high in added sugars and refined grains with a greater risk of insomnia — and diets high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains with a lower risk of insomnia.

Following a diet low in ultra-processed food and added sugar but rich in nutrient-dense foods like fruits, veggies, legumes, and protein sources like fish and eggs may help reduce fatigue and support healthy sleep while providing your body with optimal nutrition.


A diet high in ultra-processed foods may hamper your energy levels, so transitioning to a nutrient-dense diet loaded with whole, nourishing foods like fruits, vegetables, and legumes may reduce fatigue.

  1. Consuming too much caffeine

Although caffeinated beverages like coffee and energy drinks give you a temporary boost of energy, over-reliance on them may make you more tired the next day. That’s because too much caffeine can harm sleep, which may cause fatigue.

Research shows that feeling tired in the morning leads people to consume large amounts of caffeine, which impairs your sleep cycle. In turn, you may overuse coffee or other caffeinated drinks for energy, which continues the cycle of poor sleep followed by too much caffeine.

Drinking too much caffeine is linked to increased nighttime worrying, sleeplessness, increased nighttime awakenings, decreased total sleep time, and daytime sleepiness.

A study in 462 women linked high calorie coffee and energy drink intake to poor sleep quality and sleep disturbance. Those who didn’t drink these beverages reported better sleep quality.

Still, caffeine tolerance varies, and some people are more sensitive to caffeine’s effects on sleep than others.

While coffee and caffeinated beverages like green tea may benefit health when consumed in moderation, energy drinks are extremely high in stimulants and added sugar. Thus, you should avoid them whenever possible.

If you’re currently experiencing sleep issues and frequently drink caffeinated beverages, try cutting back to see whether it helps improve your sleep and energy levels.


Relying too heavily on caffeinated beverages may harm your sleep cycle and lead to fatigue. Therefore, cutting back on caffeine may help restore your sleep and energy levels.

  1. Inadequate hydration

Staying well hydrated is important for maintaining energy levels. The many biochemical reactions that take place in your body every day result in a loss of water that needs to be replaced.

Dehydration occurs when you don’t drink enough liquid to replace the water lost in your urine, stools, sweat, and breath. Several studies show that being dehydrated leads to lower energy levels and a decreased ability to concentrate.

In fact, dehydration affects your entire body, including your sleep cycles.

A study in over 26,000 Chinese and American adults associated inadequate hydration with shorter sleep times.

Being dehydrated may also make you feel more fatigued during exercise and negatively affect exercise endurance.

Although you may have heard that you should drink eight, 8-ounce (240-mL) glasses of water daily, hydration needs depend on several factors, including your weight, age, sex, and activity levels.

The key is drinking enough to maintain good hydration. Common symptoms of dehydration include thirst, fatigue, dizziness, and headaches.


Even mild dehydration may reduce energy levels and alertness. Make sure to drink enough to replace fluids lost during the day.

  1. Overweight or obesity

Maintaining a healthy body weight is essential to overall health.

Not only is obesity significantly linked to a greater risk of many chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers, but it may also increase your risk of chronic fatigue.

Obesity greatly increases your risk of obstructive sleep apnea, which is a common cause of daytime fatigue. It’s also linked to increased daytime sleepiness regardless of sleep apnea, suggesting that obesity directly affects the sleep cycle.

What’s more, people with obesity have a higher risk of conditions associated with fatigue, including depression and type 2 diabetes.

Plus, poor sleep quality and sleep restriction may cause weight gain or obesity.

Maintaining a healthy body weight may support good sleep and energy levels, while getting high quality sleep may help prevent weight gain and reduce fatigue.


Obesity has been linked to poor sleep quality and conditions associated with fatigue like obstructive sleep apnea.

9–12. Other causes of fatigue

Many other conditions may lead to tiredness. It’s important to understand that several factors may be contributing to your exhaustion.

Here are a few other common reasons why you may feel tired:

  1. Drug and alcohol dependence. Research shows that people who are dependent on drugs or alcohol are more likely to experience fatigue.
  2. Shift work. Shift work causes sleep disruption and may result in fatigue. Sleep experts estimate that 2–5% of all shift workers have a sleep disorder characterized by excessive sleepiness or disrupted sleep over a period of 1 or more months.
  3. A sedentary lifestyle. Leading a sedentary lifestyle may lead to tiredness during the day. Studies show that exercising more may improve symptoms of fatigue in some people, including those with medical conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS).
  4. Certain medications. Some drugs, including steroids, blood pressure medications, and antidepressants, are linked to side effects like insomnia and increased tiredness.

It may be difficult or impossible to identify the factor(s) behind your fatigue on your own, which is why it’s important to work with a doctor you trust. They can help you find the cause and suggest possible treatments.


Medications, drug or alcohol dependence, a sedentary lifestyle, and shift work may all contribute to fatigue.

The bottom line

Even though everyone has days when they feel exhausted, constantly feeling run down and tired isn’t normal.

Many possible factors cause chronic fatigue, such as underlying medical conditions, nutrient deficiencies, sleep disturbances, caffeine intake, and chronic stress.

If you’re experiencing unexplained fatigue, it’s important to talk with your doctor to find the cause.

In many cases, your fatigue should improve once you identify the underlying cause(s) and make appropriate lifestyle and dietary adjustments — or get the right treatment for medical conditions.

For more sleep support, check out our sleep shop.

Just one thing

Try this today: When I started to feel extremely tired during the day, I knew that something was off. I ended up being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease after many months of visiting different doctors.

You know your body best and know when something isn’t right. If you’re feeling chronically exhausted even when you get adequate rest, there may be a medical condition contributing to your fatigue.

Work with a doctor you trust to get the right testing to rule out common health conditions that may be contributing to your fatigue.

Source:  Healthline

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May 2 – Lamentations that come with age

Rotzy laments some of the lamentations that come with ageing: health, girth, height decrease, memory instability. Life unfolding normally and its many challenges. But his sense of humour and his opinions and political barbs are as sharp as ever.

It’s Friday 8:25AM….
….and methinks I’ll get a head start on next week’s “F/N” column….I’m thinking it’s better/easier when I spread it over three days rather than Sat and Sun. For starters I can’t recall if last week’s contained ‘Rotzy’s Health Update’ or not? and I can’t access a copy of it at the moment, so I’ll go ahead and get y’all current. Tuesday was my cardiologist visit and I’m calling it a success, as I produced a B/P of 121/70 61P right off the bat, an ECG that apparently was fine, and seeing as he doesn’t want/need to see me again until October; Wed….VON 7:20AM…..legs….all clear….elbow re-bandaged….appt for next Wed; family doctor Wed 10:15AM good report….slight changes in three different meds….Wed. 11:00AM Pharmacist…..p/up my pill packs and review the ‘changes’ made by Doctor; Friday 11:45AM….EMS….regular monthly visit for Miz. Jo and Rotzy down in the Algonquin Room here at Harris Place to check our temp, B/P, changes in prescriptions, COVID info, and cetera. Hence we each have our own booklet with all our pertinent info if/when we need an ambulance. A very worthwhile program that more oldsters here in Skyline’s 3 building ‘compound’ could/should be making use of, you think? Anyway, thee highlight of the week for the olde guy came during my Wednesday ayem doctor’s appointment as his nurse did the ‘routine stuff’….take my B/P, climb onto the Toledo’s, both of which went well, then my height….which they don’t always bother with, and FINE by me! Rotzy used to stand 6′ 1” above sea level, but somehow through gravity, 9 knee operations and 2 back surgeries, I’ve been checking in 5’ 7 3/4”. Well folks, just call me ‘Stretch’….as that is what I did…..I ‘stretched’!…..’internally’ I suppose….NO, not stepping on my tippy-toes, just a concerted effort to standup straighter. And I DID!! as the top of yours truly’s pumpkin reached 5′ 8” on the measuring device. Now I’m wondering if a tad more effort might result in the olde guy getting up to the ‘rarified air zone’ around 5′ 9”?! Imagine. Stay tuned.

‘Back In The Day’….
Getting Bits And Pieces….
….of Ottawa Protest…The Sequel….up to last weekend. You know, the guys and gals on their Harley Hogs and Honda Gold Wings en route to Bytown to…..to…..to….WTF is it they were/are gonna do?? The Freedom Ride To Honour Veterans….c’mon, that’s not really what it’s about, however it COULD/SHOULD mean The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier won’t be danced, pranced and shat upon this tyme. Plus a couple ‘other’ titles/reasons. I picked up some tidbits from a little chinwag with two other BGG members and there was no mistaking that 75-80% of these 350 to 400 ‘Bytown-Bound Bikers’ are definitely ensconced in the DENSA division of MENSA. It’s coming out loud and clear to Rotzy since last mid-week that their ride is all about MANDATES….just like it was with the first bunch of protesters-turned-rioters. But wait a minute….the #2 crew is 1/4 the size of #1…..the bikes don’t have air horns…..*do they?….most know where Pt Dover is for Friday The 13th Rides, but a lot of ’em can’t find ‘Bytown’ in a Rand/McNally ….those who DO make it will immediately find a new Police Chief…who has balls….and a force ready and willing to protect its’ citizens….and Ottawans (Ottawanians, Ottawaites….go with Bytowners) especially restaurant/fooderies/bars are more than willing to tell the ‘visitors’ that ”we don’t want you”….”go on home” and cetera. Rotzy’s betting they ‘cough’ a lot too, you know, those ‘far coughs’?! Bye the bye, I know not where our ‘leader’ is during this?(*see below) So….SO….I said (to myself) ”WTF is next for our poor capital? A thousand electric cars converge on Ottawa on Canada Day….Trudeau finally makes an appearance, on the THIRD protest/invasion, welcomes/congratulates them, excludes them from his ‘carbon tax! and they all ‘plug in’ at once, leaving the capital in a 3-day ‘brown out’. Most of the signs read “No More Mandates…On anything.

A Sad Tale….But True
Whilst President Volodomir is BEGGING for Weapons, Planes, Tanks, People and cetera, Junior Trudeau is popping off on the damage Canada has done to Russian infrastructure by means of SANCTIONS against certain Ruskie citizens and/or corporations….of late it would appear we’re taken aim on Putin’s two daughters. Really? Well now, THAT is gonna be the heck of Moscow, you think? Look….that’s all we can do….that and buy them new stuff…..from abroad. Can you hear a fone call from Volod to J/T? ”Look Justin…..I need planes….fighter jets”! “OK, Mr President….I’m a tad shy right now…..BUT…..I can give you 2 or 3 F-14’s…..4 Harvard Trainers (good planes)…..a Hercules Transport…..A Lancaster Bomber….PLUS you can have the Blue Angels precision team….there’s 5 or 6 of them. A big two-blade chopper” and a Sopwith Camel float plane. What about soldiers”? ”We’re about 10,000 short at the moment but we’ll try….Don’t forget we have to keep control of the Canada/Russia Border up in the Arctic Circle”! *The Truth*? Junior is embarrassed to talk about ‘Defence’….as he SHOULD be. Hey Canada…..we kicked their Yankee asses in 1814, set fire to their (former) White House on our way home! But face it Junior, Uncle Sam has covered our Canuck asses pretty much ever since.

*Thought Of The Day…At the end of the day, it’s…………………………….night.

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5/1/22 – Ramadan comes to a close

As per Hilal Council of Canada, there was no confirmed sighting of the new moon of Shawwal on Saturday, April 30th. Insha’Allah 30 days of Ramadan will be completed and Eid ul Fitr will be celebrated on Monday, May 2nd, 2022.

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Pickering Waterfront Paid parking, Apr 28, 2022

April 28, 2022

Pickering introduces paid permit parking at its waterfront areas

Pickering, ON, April 28, 2022 – The City of Pickering has launched paid permit parking in an effort to mitigate parking issues at its popular waterfront destinations as they continue to welcome visitors from throughout the region, and beyond.

The City has introduced paid permit parking at all City waterfront parking lots, as well as prohibited parking on one side of waterfront area streets, and mandated on-street permit parking for the opposite side of waterfront area streets.

Permit parking will be in effect from May 1st to October 1st, 2022 and waterfront visitors may register for a digital parking permit using the HotSpot Parking website (link and instructions available at pickering.ca/WaterfrontParking) or App (download through Google Play or Apple App Stores), or purchase paid hourly parking at select waterfront destinations by scanning the QR code on the HotSpot Fast Tap parking signs.

Pickering residents can register to receive a no-charge permit to park at either the waterfront parking lots or where on-street parking is allowed. Free parking will be provided to accessible parking permit holders and vehicles bearing veterans’ licence plates.

Non-residents may purchase seasonal or monthly permits, or pay for parking on an hourly basis.

In-person permit registration assistance is available at City Hall during regular business hours, or during scheduled pop-up locations throughout May.

The hourly parking rate for City waterfront parking lots, and on-street parking areas is $5.00 per hour, with a maximum parking time of six hours. Parking in the Nautical Village (Liverpool Road lay-by parking and Liverpool Road parking lot) is reduced to $2.50 per hour, Monday to Friday, between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Seasonal Parking Permits are available at a cost of $165.00 plus HST, expiring October 1st. Monthly passes are also available at a cost of $60.00 plus HST.

View affected waterfront areas, rates, permit registration instructions and in-person assistance details at pickering.ca/WaterfrontParking.


As the gateway to the east GTA, Pickering (population 94,000) is strategically located where Toronto, York and Durham Regions meet. An award-winning municipality, Pickering is slated for significant economic and residential growth; offering an unparalleled quality of life for those who live, work, and play here. Its dynamic City Centre has been designated by the Province of Ontario as both an Urban Growth Centre and Mobility Hub, and continues to evolve as a preferred destination for creative learning, memorable events, and unique experiences at the heart of a vibrant, connected, and engaged community.


Media Contact:                                                                                    

Nicole Hann
Public Affairs & Communications Associate l Office of the CAO
905.420.4660 ext. 2028


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ONCOLOGIST guests on ZOOM, May 11, 7 pm

Charles Hayter, M.D., is a physician, oncologist, award‑winning playwright, and medical historian based in Toronto, Canada. His work explores the complex human dimensions of modern medical practice.

His story


Muskoka Authors Association welcomes physician, oncologist, award-winning playwright, and medical historian Charles Hayter on Wednesday, May 11 via Zoom conferencing. Hayter will talk about writing medical stories. His work explores the complex human dimensions of modern medical practice. This special presentation is brought to the group with the support of a reading grant from The Writers Union of Canada.

Prior to entering medical school, Hayter studied English and Drama at Queen’s University and earned a master’s in drama at the University of Calgary. He received his MD from Queen’s University and subsequently trained as a radiation oncologist. He is a former associate professor of radiation oncology at the University of Toronto and a former president of the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine.

Charles Hayter photo Charles Hayter will speak to the Muskoka Authors Association on Wednesday, May 11 via Zoom conferencing.

His book, “An Element of Hope” (McGill-Queen’s, 2005) received widespread recognition for its trailblazing exploration of radium and cancer treatment, and for providing context for current problems in cancer control. His plays include “Radical,” about Dr. Vera Peters and her fight with surgeons to abandon the radical mastectomy, and “Lady-in-Waiting,” about a doctor with a secret life as a drag queen, won the award for best writing in a solo show at the 2008 Fresh Fruit Festival in New York City.

His new book “Cancer Confidential,” in which he weaves his personal story of dealing with his father’s terminal cancer into stories inspired by encounters in his oncology practice, is forthcoming from the University of Toronto Press in September 2022.

To learn more about Charles Hayter, please visit charleshayter.com.

Zoom room opens at 6:50 pm; the meeting starts at 7 pm. Fee: MAA members, free, non-members, $20 For more information and to register, visit MuskokaAuthors.ca and click on upcoming events or call David Bruce Patterson at 705-801-8074.

Registrants will receive a link to the Zoom event via email from info@wendiedonabie.com.

This news release was issued by the Muskoka Authors Association.

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Apr 25 – Earth Day, Brant Ford Stuff and then some….

Rotzy jumpin’ from topic faster than water drops on a greased griddle…

Readers Write
And clearly, some serious thought went into THIS one….check it out! *We can’t fight homelessness, hunger and poverty. But through such ‘innovative’ federal govt measures as ‘$2-bucks-a-litre’ at the Petro Can*tm pumps, to be followed up by J/T imposing his ‘Carbon Tax’….and we have no idea just how high Junior’s willing to go with THAT baby….we are going to fight Climate Change!! Now, think on THAT one a while!! (*and, see below) *Keep ’em coming, folks.

Annual Earth Day
Imagine. Since 1970….making this year the 52nd Annual, no less! Rotzy is SO ”F/N” excited, I know not Up from Down! Like, do I send Al Gore a 52nd Anniversary Card? Ditto for David Suzuki? Send Mother Nature a Get-Well Card? How about if I do something ‘Earthy’? Planting my vegetable garden plot could/would qualify, but that’s still a week or three away. Actually, a tree would be even better….more ‘permanent’ in the eyes of Al and Dave….and that just might just ‘be the ticket/what the doctor ordered, especially if ‘the doctor’ was/is named Suzuki. FYI there is a 2ft high miniature spruce tree in one of the big cement pots down by the front doors here at 555. The spruce….with a good root system, ‘new’ growth popping….will have to come out of the pot to allow room for new spring/summer plants, and Rotzy’s the guy for the job, already got a place picked out for the spruce in Dorothy Park ‘smoker’s area’….a week before I heard about Earth Day….but I need permission (*see below). So, with that chore ‘on hold,’ yours truly needs to do something ‘earthy’, hence I Google’d*tm….locally there are ‘activities galore’, including arts and crafts, but I don’t know where/what/when, tho it sounds like funn, you think? I’ll also grab a card for Mother Nature. Miz. Jo and Rotzy hope YOUR Earth Day was all you hoped it would be!

Brant’s Ford Stuff…And Then Some
You can count Miz. Jo and Rotzy amongst the citizenry who have their #4 Booster Shot….last Thurs early aft at a Health Unit site, south end of the Lynden Mall….along with a whole bunch of other oldsters….70 to 90-something, the latter being a really tall olde guy in a well worn ‘Bogie-style’ fedora, ‘navigating’ his way along right behind us with two 70-something helpers/family ‘tho not all that well on two canes. Well, dont’cha know, Miz. Jo spotted a ‘vacant’ Health Unit wheelchair, pointed it out to them, and Bob’s your uncle. Soon as the olde guy landed he gave Miz. Jo a ‘thank you wink’….and before they parked him to get the needle a few more winks. We watched him/them from a distance as we did our semi-mandatory 5-minute wait/rest/recover period and had to laugh as he/they were already down THREE layers of shirts/sweaters/whatevers and still no sign of skin ….but ‘the needler’ appeared to be showing lots of patience. Hence, Jo Ann and Rotzy are ‘good to go’ and ready for #5….whenever it shows up. And I’m sure it will. Aside from the ‘Booster’ and dressing changes on my elbow by VON and R/N Rutherford TGH Class of ’62, it was a somewhat quiet week on yours truly’s Health Report….not a bad thing.**’Twas a fine turnout at Friday’s BGG (Brantford Guy Group) Meeting….word from the High Council indicates Fri 29th could be the last one at The Navy Club until next fall and we’ll get together at venues with outdoor seating. The ‘sailors’ have treated us great. ***Another discussion from the Long Table last Fri…one of the BGG Presidents pointed out that Prince Charles…..yup, dumb Chuck….is coming to Canada (this fall?) to represent The Queen, and in particular to honour her 75 Years of Rule, of course, he’s bringing The Hound (the wannabe Queen Camilla) with him. (*memo to Chuck….leave ‘er ‘ome, Bonnie Prince Charlie….and stay there with her. Send us Princess Anne….yes, your mother’s daughter, your sister….she does more of this ‘represent The Crown gadabouting’ than anybody….her mother included; or your first-born son Prince William and the lovely Princess Kate….and bring their kids too, Canadians would love that! Now, on the ‘Don’t List’, with you and Bow-Wow, ex Prince Harry and his Missus as they decided not to BE royalty anymore; lastly, Randy The Dandy….your erstwhile brother, also an ‘ex-prince’ whom your mother gave The Buckingham Boot, after paying his $23 Million ‘settlement’ because Andy was ‘not guilty’ of all those ‘annoying’ sex-related charges…tsk, tsk, tsk. I saw your mother wearing her ‘new’ crown on the back of the Royal Train at the CNR train station here in Brantford in 1953. Anyway, there you go Chuck….you’ve got the list, so please don’t disappoint/embarrass your Mum….take The Hound ‘Down Under’….the Aussies will LOVE y’all. And, ‘Long Live The Queen’! More Earth Day Stuff

I’ve made mention previously about the little spruce tree I had ‘eyeballed’ for transplanting in Dorothy Park (*see above) ‘somewhere near the bench’. But that was before Earth Day….yesterday. Then something strange happened! A lawns/landscaping ‘fleet’ rolled in….including a dump truck full of black mulch, a 7 or 8-person crew, all toting various power equipment and the name on the trucks they disembarked from wasn’t familiar. Well, that’s nothing new. I mean the different names on the truck(s). When it comes to ‘property upkeep’ like snow removal and/or cutting grass, ‘continuity’ is a bad word to Skyline Living and they never retain those contractors for more than one year in a row! (I don’t know for sure, altho it MIGHT have something to do with ‘five and dime-ing if you get my drift) The thing is, somebody is ALWAYS willing to do the job for less, eh? The ‘other’ thing is that with a ‘cut-rate job’, the end result is that this large property looks like s–t, as opposed to an ‘upscale apartment building’, with mounds/rows/piles of dead grass….then come the tenants’ complaints (‘cept Rotzy, who usually laughs at it) and the ‘clean-up’ is a show in itself! The problem is two-fold…TOO LONG between cuts….and an operator who doesn’t know a cutting deck from a poker deck! You see, Miz. Jo and yours truly KNOW LAWNS….from mowing at The Family Farm in Kirby, ON., an area the size of a 9-Hole Par 3 Golf Course. I was ‘pretty good’ on the old Massey 10HP Lawn Tractor but a couple hours after Jo Ann climbed aboard Johnny Deere, our 500ft frontage looked like the Oakland A’s outfield, opposite direction stripes, big circles and all!! So….SO….the people who cut grass here at the Skyline compound have bigger/heavier duty machines here….but they know not how to operate them. Anyway, this ‘new for ’22 outfit just did cleanup stuff Friday, so we’ll not judge them until they actually cut….and if they’re like their predecessor(s), they’ll wait until it’s a foot long. Oh, I almost forgot….a couple or three hours after The Lawn Crew arrived on Earth Day a gang (10 or so?!) of young people arrived….all sporting bright fluorescent green T-Shirts that might have read “People Who Plant Trees”, and they did! Plant trees. They’d split into 2 or 3 groups and were planting all over the compound….including the small spruce I’d been ‘eyeballing’ (*see above) for Dorothy Park. Guess what? That’s where they put it!….not where Rotzy woulda stuck it, but what the hey?….along with two other well-started/healthy-looking flat-leafed trees, and I can’t wait to get Dorothy’s impression!! All in all, ’twas a fairly impressive Earth Day here at Harris Place….and that’s not even counting Miz. Jo’s TOMATOES, which are doing just fine in her ‘indoor growing machine’. **MON AM BULLETIN** Well, yesterday about 4:00 PM 2 of the 3 newly-planted trees in Dorothy Park somehow had caught fire! Actually in the mulch, aided by steady 50 km/h winds. Miz. Jo ‘sounded the alarm’ and the Skyline Living VFD responded…that would be ME (in my sock feet) and the Manager of #575, toting a plastic pump-it-up jug of water/vinegar bug spray which actually DOES work on fires and my concern was for Barry’s white Dodge Van, a mere 4 ft ‘downwind’ from Fire A, Ted’s white Hyundai is right beside Barry, and Edna Equinox beside the Tedmobile. My shouts to passersby….and that is what they were/are, ‘passersby’….for a fire extinguisher fell on deaf ears, but the 2-person SLVFD Crew eventually prevailed over the stubborn blaze!

*Thought Of The Day…*Pro Cooking Tip:…If you stir 1 TBSP of Coconut Oil into your KALE, it makes it easier to stir the entire panful into the trash.

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Too old for technology

Too old for technology

Oh give me a break…think like that, then leave. I refuse to think like that. I’m likely older than many of you but I am not sailing that ship of “I’m too old to be able to do that!”

Still reading, good…then click
this “old” pro on seniors using technology:  LEO NOTENBOOM

Source: Leo Notenboom

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MOBILE CLINICS, May 11 Pickering


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Who am I ?

In June of 1941, Hitler’s Army began a rampage through Ukraine, razing towns, unleashing death squads, and massacring Jews by the hundreds of thousands. In one village in the Pale of Settlement, virtually the only region of the Soviet Empire in which Jews were permitted to reside, four Jewish brothers enlisted in the military, said goodbye to their parents, and walked off to fight the Nazis.

By the war’s end in 1945, only one of the brothers, named Semyon, was still alive. He returned to find that the Nazis had torched his entire village, burning his parents to death. Semyon’s family was dead, and his beloved Ukraine was in ruins. The Nazis had murdered between 1.2 and 1.6 million Ukrainian Jews.

Semyon married a fellow Ukrainian Jew who had survived the war by fleeing her city, in which the Nazis had killed 5,000 Jews. Two years later, in that same city, they had a son, Oleksandr, keeping alive the family line that the Nazis had brought a razor’s width from extinction. Thirty-one years after that, Oleksandr had his own little boy.

That boy

Volodymyr Zelensky,  President of independent, democratic Ukraine.

Today, he leads his outmanned, outgunned, ferociously defiant nation against the onslaught of Russia. As Russia dashes itself against the will of its people, Zelensky, the survivor of survivors, summons the resilience of his ancestors. He does not bend.

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The sins of our times

We live in strange times: wars, maniacal world leaders, unending viral pandemics, catastrophic climate changes. Troubled times where brotherly love is disappearing from every place, replaced by mass shootings, gun violence in the streets, shootings in places of worship, and pervasive crimes of violence. Chaos, assaults and crime everywhere. Why? Because we may be guilty of numerous sins.

Could these be the sins of our society?

Self-centred pride? People want to keep up with neighbours regardless of the cost.

Envy? They’ve got it, I want it. Worse: I deserve it. Even worse: I’m taking it. Even worse: I’m taking it anyway I can.

Anger? Like simmering water eventually coming to a rolling boil, simmering anger sowed by envy or pride spills over into violence and fury.

Uncontrolled selfishness? Love of brother has been replaced with love of self. Me first. Worse instead: only me. Selfishness gradually worsens. Neighbours are seen as competitors, then opponents, then an enemy worthy of combat. Beat him. Defeat him. Kill him.

Could our social turmoil be due to the sin of selfishness?

Ingredients vs the appliance
Perhaps the problem in our society is not the sin of a certain ingredient, but rather the appliance being used, social media.

Could uncontrolled, unrestricted social media be the cause of our social problems?
Social media has destroyed patience in our society, replacing it with impatience-coloured selfish self-interest. We demand control of everything: others’ behaviour, others’ actions, others’ reactions, even others’ appearance and these demands have a time facet, instant response. Ask something, instant response expected. Buy something, delivery tomorrow expected, today would be preferred. Want a situation to change, expected now.

The problem is too easily exacerbated. When the expected result does not occur instantly or to our liking, matters escalate too easily and very quickly. Change is forced by the social media user and the use of force is initiated, without due consideration and often to extreme levels. Hence, gun violence, physical assaults, vehicular rage and more.

Non-social media users learn from social media users. Monkey see monkey do. It is quicker to parrot the action than to be slowed by analysis, evaluation and review. Who has the patience to give things second thought?

Our society has lost all vestiges of patience, often accompanying the loss with negative reactions based on self-interest.

A congregation praying? We have been left out. We want it stopped, giving logical and reasoned responses a pass. Just respond, instantly.

Racism? Not part of our tribe? Eradicate the ‘miscreant,’ now. Remove the ‘offender,’ now. No response? Or response too slow? A gun will expedite matters, now.

Sexism? Are our desires ignored? Or are demands ignored? No response? Is response too slow? Fine, violence will change the pace of the response and get the response we want, now.

Vandalism? The desired goal will be clarified. Graphically, literally with spray paint. You’ll learn, now.

Could there be more than “ingredients vs the appliance”
There may be more to explaining the cause of the social problems we are experiencing than ‘sins’ or ‘appliance.’ Some of the evil sprouts from other factors, deeply rooted or firmly developed in our society at this moment in time.

The pandemic has been ceaseless in causing stress, anxiety and agitation in our society. People are worrying endlessly about infection, test results and social disassociation. Undoubtedly, this serious anxiety must affect behaviour with increased negative activity.

Then, there is the growth or continuity of gangs, size and membership likely relative to the municipality in which they reside. Gang violence is prevalent in most populated areas resulting in more if not continuous violence and crime.

Next, the ‘loner’ cannot be overlooked or disregarded. These are individuals who are disgruntled for personal reasons. Perhaps having experienced an offence, an insult or some antagonistic incident for which they now seek revenge and the ancillary target is society as a whole. Sole terrorists fit this category aiming to retaliate for a believed wrong their group has experienced.

Finally, though there is an underlying caveat in naming this last group as responsible for some of society’s crimes and problems, mentally challenged who have not received needed help. Though these activists cannot be blamed as directly or openly as others named above, nevertheless, some of these people do contribute to the problems suffered by society in terms of crime and violence.

The question is not whether or not people are fundamentally good or bad. The question is more related to how people have been conditioned, how they have learned to behave, as well as the emotional state people are in.

Going back to school to review the meaning of proper etiquette, old-fashioned respect, old-time obedience and archaic acceptable behaviour may help society but likely much more study must be undertaken to determine what we need to do together and how we should do it.

What do you think?


Posted in EDITORIALz | Leave a comment

MyChart medical records log

This is a very useful medical record log for anyone who has been a patient in an Ontario Hospital. My experience is limited to the LAKERIDGE HEALTH Services, so it may not serve your needs.

For anyone who has been a patient in the LAKERIDGE HEALTH system, this post will help you create a medical records log. Examine the post further as I have tried to cover all the necessary steps to creating a personalized MyChart records log.

  1. URL: Lakeridgehealth.on.ca

  1. MyChart


  1. New User






    This could take up to a week.



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A TIME FOR MERCY, John Grisham

A Time for Mercy, John Grisham

Court room drama that concentrates on the behind-the-scenes legal processes rather than the actual court drama. Nevertheless, the book still is a engaging read.


Jake Brigance, the protagonist of A Time to Kill, John Grisham’s classic legal thriller is back. This time he’s at the epicenter of a sensational murder trial that bitterly divides the citizens of Clanton, Mississippi.

A Time to Kill is one of the most popular novels of our time. It established Jake as a classic American hero—a lawyer who seeks truth and justice at all costs, even when his life and reputation are on the line.

Brigance returned in 2013’s Sycamore Row, in which he once again found himself embroiled in a deeply divisive trial.

Now, in A Time for Mercy, Jake is the court-appointed lawyer for Drew Gamble, a young man accused of murdering a local deputy. Many in Clanton want a swift trial and the death penalty, but Brigance sees it another way. Once he learns the details of the case, he realizes he has to do everything he can to save Drew—who is sixteen. Jake’s commitment to the truth puts his career and the safety of his family at risk.

Filled with all the courtroom machinations, small-town intrigues, and plot twists that have become the hallmarks of the master of the legal thriller, A Time for Mercy emphatically confirms John Grisham’s reputation as America’s favorite storyteller.

There is a time to kill, a time for justice, and A TIME FOR MERCY.


Richard says
Grisham delivers a good read, consistently and dependably. However,. A Time for Mercy bogs down in detail occasionally.

A reader who is particularly interested in learning more about court procedures and legal processes in the USA, will find this book to be a bounty of legalese information. You learn about court procedures, about various legal terms and processes in the American system, far more than you may want to know.

The book is a legal process primer nearly as much as a novel.

As a novel, this book has disappointing lulls all due to its insistence on being educational tool for learning about American justice, American courts and the American legal system.

The story is engaging and has many entertaining aspects to it. It evokes readers’ emotions, from anger to sadness as the trio of mother, daughter and son are subjected to extreme family abuse. The abuse is so extreme, the son, Drew Gamble, kills the abuser. The story is founded on the court case against Drew.

Grisham does an excellent job of developing the suspense about whether Drew will be found guilty of murdering a police office, the step father abuser of the family. A verdict of guilty in this instance means the death penalty.

Grisham is a superb writer and this book maintains his status as such. However, because of so much attention to legalese, the book occasionally bogs the reader down with too much detail.

I was also disappointed with the ending. It was a wan way to bring the story to a close, kind of just letting it dissipation into blah !

Because it is written by Grisham, it is still an entertaining read, but it is not one of his best because of his excessive concentration on the legal system and its details in the US.

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Dark Harbor, Stuart Woods

Dark Harbor, Stuart Woods

Stone Barrington and Holly Barker, Woods’ busiest heroes, pair up again, this yarn finding Stone travelling to Dark Harbor, Maine, after his cousin, Dick Stone, and his family are found murdered at their house. The local police think it was a murder-suicide, but when Stone learns from his CIA contact, Lance Cabot, that Dick was working covertly for the CIA and had just received a big promotion, Stone decides to look into matters himself. Accompanied by Lance, Holly, and Dino Bacchetti, his trusted former NYPD partner, Stone heads up to Maine.

Richard says
Standard Stuart Woods. Listed as a New York Time Bestseller, it shouldn’t be so listed unless its criteria and standards are in serious decline.

A murder mystery with the usual good dialogue and enjoyable engagement. No more, no less.

It’s a decent time-waster that will entertain anyone who likes this genre of writing.

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prevert !!!>?#$!!

click me —>   02_4940602

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Apr 18 – Happy Easter everyone

The Easter bunny cadaver was a killer !

It’s Friday 9:30 Ayem….
….and sunny at the moment, 11C, the breeze is a tad cool, but nothing I expect like Nakina area was to get/already got from that unseasonably late MONSTER blizzard which hit four provinces and numerous states. Ouch! Miz. Jo will likely check in with Sisty-Ugler #3 (*see below) in Gerbilton later to see what’s up. Anyway, as I said ‘it’s Friday’….actually it’s Good Friday, as Fridays go, and that means everything’s closed down….Post Office/banks/Zehr’s/In And Out Store….and that means no ‘buckboard run’ for yours truly today, except of course hit Circle K Convenience, where they NEVER close, to see if I won a Grand A Day or if Miz. Jo will maybe grab $325 G’s on her Scratch & Win Bingo. Our main ‘chore today was to clean out Aggie, our ‘tomato and herb-growing machine’ and we’ve already done that. So….SO….I figured I’d get an early start on next week’s “F/N” column, after slipping down to Edna The SUV for a ‘puff’. Hey….I mentioned ‘the breeze’ earlier on? Well they don’t call 555 Park Rd. N. ‘The Wind Blows Inn’ for nothing! S–t! The ‘breeze’ almost turned Rotzy into a ‘220lb jib sail’ as it filled my (open at the front) Times-Star jacket and tried to haul me down the parking lot as if I were the HMS Bounty, but I ‘made adjustments’ and it ‘deposited me’ right at the front door. By the bye, Sisty-Ugler #3 (*see above) and Miz. Jo were ‘Facebooking’*tm earlier this week and #3 mentioned something about the two Care Bear ‘orders’ Miz. Jo is knitting….then suggested making ‘Ukrainian Bears’…..in blue and gold!…..and Bingo! Methinks Jo Ann is on ‘Ukie’ #3….or #4….after re-stocking her wool inventory with a trip to Len’s Mills yesterday aft. How many? We’ll see….Miz. Jo gets one-a-day off the assembly line when all’s running well. Where will they go? No problem, where they’re needed….we’ll find them good homes! Anyway, today, as I implied, is kind of a ‘kick-back day’ after running to appointments all week……Last Mon at 10:00AM…Paris Heart Clinic to return my Holtie Monitors; 11:00 AM Foot Works for quarterly ‘tune-up’ and toenails cut; Tuesday BGH X-Ray 9:00AM…..echo-cardiogram; Wednesday 7:40AM…VON….leg check/wrap and elbow bandage…..pharmacy….re prescriptions….family doctor….ear cleaning…..plus pick up new pills….all in the name of ‘good health’! The only cancellation this week was/is the Brantford Guy Group BGG Weekly Meeting today at 3:30 as the Navy Club celebrates Good Friday. Anyway, tyme to slip down to Circle K and see if we’re ‘amongst the rich’. Stay tuned.

Sat 7:00 Ayem And Here I Sit….
….trying to figure why Miz Jo and Rotzy aren’t in Dutch’s limo, enroute to the Ont Lottery And Gaming Offices in T.O. to claim/gather our winnings from last nite, but it’s not happening?! So, poop/s–t on that plan! No sweat….I’d much prefer to grab the $55 Million in tonight’s Lotto Max Draw anyway, merci. So….SO….a week and a bit ago Jo Ann says ”how ’bout a ham this Easter”?….before Rotzy picks up a frozen ‘gobbler’ between 10 and 15 lbs, the turkey being a virtual ‘automatic’ for us T’ksgiving, Xmas and Easter. But Ham? Well, definitely NOT on Dec 25th….something unholy about that…..T’ksgiving?….maybe.….but Easter? Sure, why not?! So….SO….’a ham’ for us is usually a ‘whole ham’…..probably ‘smoked’ and probably ‘bone in’ and probably from ‘Cook’s’ if my memory serves me well. It needs about 3 hours in the oven, carve off what we want/need, serve with plenty GOOD Dijon moutarde, scalloped potatoes and cetera. Maybe another meal with mac and cheese, then fit the remaining half into a large ZipLoc*tm bag and into the freezer compartment it goes. If you don’t properly label it with a Sharpie*tm Marker Pen, six months down the road you’re wondering ”what the hell is that big bag of stuff in the back that looks like it has terminal ‘freezer burn’? Hence, I said (to myself) ”Not THIS tyme, Toad! Not gonna waste half of a $25-$30 chunk of meat”! So I got us a ‘Swift-Premium Smoked/Bone Out Ham’. In red tinfoil, it’s even got a packet of its’ own glaze inside the wrapper…AND….it’s already been sliced at the same thickness ALMOST all the way through, so the server (that would be me) decides how much to serve up individually, which should make carving a piece of cake as well as cutting down on waste. Also, Betty Crocker is gonna help me with the scalloped potatoes and I expect the Green Giant….you, know, the ‘Jolly’ guy…..will lend a hand with Brussels Sprouts, or maybe ‘green and white ‘trees’. Methinks some dinner rolls from my favourite bakery down on St Paul Ave….and since I’m already goin’ there, one of their ‘Bread Puddings’ for dessert. MMmmm! Let’s bring it on shall we?

The “F/N” Readership May Recall….
Rotzy got through last week’s entire column WITHOUT a word/comment about ‘COVID’ and/or ‘Russia’s one man war vs The Ukraine’. Sorry…..isn’t gonna happen again this week. Actually, Rotzy’s NOT sorry in the least! as Miz. Jo and I look forward to getting our #4 COVID Booster shot on or about Apr 20th! (*if YOU are ”tired of it/them” and/or ”can’t be bothered”, that’s cool. YOUR choice.) As to that Russian Pig Vladimir Puke-in. This MASSIVE effort being wrought by numerous allies of The Ukraine claiming that Putin’s actions are ‘Genocide’….check your dictionary (genocide *pron. ‘jeh-no-side’) because Putin’s ‘re-writing it’….and it’s MUCH worse than it used to be. Plus, do these ‘allies’ actually believe they will charge Putin with Genocide Crimes, have him arrested, BROUGHT to trial and thusly charged, tried, convicted/found guilty and ‘punished’? C’mon, man! NOBODY is going to BRING/TAKE him anywhere….ALIVE. By the bye, he basically ‘put the US on notice’ as of Friday for supplying The Ukraine with weapons….some of which the Uke’s surely used to take out the ‘flagship’ of Russia’s Black Sea Navy, and now resembles a sub. Sorry, but at the moment I can’t find Puke-in’s ‘threat’ to Uncle Sam but I know Joe Biden can. It says here ”the s–t is about to hit the fan”! Stay tuned.

It’s Been 20 Years Plus….
….that Rotzy’s been looking forward to my own Annual Chocolate Easter Egg Hunt, ALWAYS with a helping hand/paw from The Easter Bunny…..ALWAYS two dozen eggs….and I ALWAYS write about it in this “F/N” space. Well, E/B was/is a ‘No-Show’ for Easter 2022! That’s right….AWOL! Lovely. NO CHOC EGGS!! Well, I had an inkling there was sum ting wong yesterday (Sat,16th) as I was perusing the Fresh Chicken Display at Zehr’s Market….and right at the end of the last cooler, sitting on top of three flattened/whole ‘jerk-flavoured’ chickens was a rabbit! Dead, cleaned, skinned and headless…..1.5 k/g $23.45….from OKA, PQ. Well, I nearly soiled my shorts!! Then I screamed at the meat manager ”Who is this”? He replied “HUH”? “This corpse….is it The Easter Bunny? Peter Cottontail? Bugs”? “HUH?….look buddy, I’ll put a 50% Off sticker on it for you, OK?” Anyway, I hardly slept….was up at three….and like I said “NO CHOC EGGS”….and no E/B in 2022! OK, OK, OK. DOH!! I lied. Yours truly forgot to buy any.

*Thought Of The Day...I wonder if clouds ever glance downward and say “Hey look. That one looks like an idiot. (Comrade Sgt Vladimir Bubnik….USSR Red Army…Team Russia Ice Hockey….ret.) 

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Apr 28 – Personal/Home and Travel Safety Crime Prevention Tips

Posted in HEALTH & SAFETY | Leave a comment

Unclog arteries naturally

Unclog arteries naturally

The prescription for unclogging arteries naturally is simple: 
eat healthy….more plant, less meat.

There are artery cleaning concoctions, drinks and foods. However, your doctor should be consulted if you are going to try any of these suggestions.

Read more at ARTERIES


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Apr 11 – Moonlighting as a Real Estate agent…hmmmm!

Fallin’ and hittin’ the noggin’ hasn’t affected Rotzy’s crankiness!  Go for it Rotzy….may be considering moonlighting as a real estate agent given the house prices today.

New Budget To Help Housing?
I dunno….don’t really care….just want to share a thought or three about real estate…..like the prices in Brant’s Ford….like how can a 2 b/r brick cottage, in particularly #33 Foster St. down in Eagle Place, that sold for $12,500 in the mid 1960’s be getting offers near/at $500,000….yes! ….”Half a Million” today! Goodness me!! Clare (my Dad) must be tossing about in his grave over in Mt Hope at such ridiculous numbers! And maybe griping about something like ‘poor timing’ (*see below) on his part. Guess I’ll stop by the cemetery today if/when the rain lets up, take some flowers for him and Mom….s–t, it’s too early for my annual pot ‘o petunias, etc….and try to explain to him it’s all about ‘timing, as far as owning and selling your house….adding that I have zero idea why prices across Canada have climbed SO ridiculously “F/N” high! By the bye, I obtained these potential ‘asking’ prices from a couple fellow members/presidents in the Brantford Guy Group (BGG) at a recent meeting….guys who actually knew/know the house/property from the mid-1960’s and are ‘with it’ as to current real estate prices in/around Brant’s Ford. Anyway, as to ‘timing’ (*see above), lets face it Dad….if you were still alive and still owned #33, you’d be 116 years old! As it is/was, when you left us in 1991 you were in your 86th year….not bad, having ‘outlived’ 11 brothers and sisters….and when it came tyme, #33 went for about $90 G’s, a nice jump from your price about 30 years prior. So, forget today’s listing prices….you done good…..and relax. The people yours truly feels for these days are the ‘first tyme home buyers’ who SOMEHOW gotta come up with a down payment on a ‘half million dollar house’, that, in truth, is a ‘nice, little red brick cottage’ (which appears to have been well maintained). So….SO…. good luck you ‘newbies’. Also, Junior Trudeau’s dog’s breakfast budget from earlier this week threw/will throw a LOT of money at Canada’s ‘affordable housing crisis’ and they say it’ll benefit ‘first-tymers’! Well, don’t bet the mortgage on it. S–t! I forgot….you won’t have a mortgage, will you?!

Still With Real Estate
I’m not sure, what with Rotzy’s new-found interest in real estate….in particular the absolutely crazy prices they talk about that roll off their tongues like there’s no tomorrow and smooth as silk in audio ads, as well as pictures on film and TV. A ‘wall of advertising’ coming at us from every direction, and dozens of different methods. The printed word caught Rotzy’s attention….basically in newspapers, but there are numerous printed pamphlets all over the ‘mail room’ here at Skyline Living as well. As to the papers, they all have thick Real Estate Sections. I grab the Expos (the Brantford Expositor) every Thursday here at 555 Harris Place since Thurs is Free/Gratis Day….Rotzy looks for the Obit Pages,,,,then I check them out, fold the page inside/out for Miz. Jo’s crossword and puzzles on the other side. Anyway, a few months back, I went looking thru the Real Estate Section for an olde friend who I learned was/is selling real estate….methinks he was/is with Royal Lepage….or Century 21…..or one of the Biggies. Whoa!! I had no “F/N” idea there were/are SO many people who had ‘gotten into Real Estate’…..in this case I suppose they’re in and around Brant County and altho I was unable to spot the guy I was looking for, I’m betting I came across at least a dozen or more whom I either know or knew from way back when. There must be thousands of them and I’m wondering if, as a ‘collective group’, real estate is Brantford’s biggest employer….by a long shot!…..so I can only guess just how competitive it gets and how much does THAT factor into #33 Foster going for $500 G. Then I said (to myself) “Hey Toad…of those hundreds and thousands of agents pictured, how many of them are the ‘main bread winner’ in their house? Do they make big bucks? How many ‘part-tymers’? And a couple/few of your olde pals ‘nearing/over 80’ still at it? Is it like a ‘hobby’ to them? I mean, they’ve been working for 60 years, can they not find a better ‘hobby’? Hey…whatever. So, there we are Toad….methinks it safe to say the number of sales people aren’t to blame for the crazy prices, and if there were only half of the current sales force, some rep would be shooting at $500 G’s for our olde adobe on Foster St. Well, here’s another post-budget ‘gem’ from Team Trudeau to help the housing mess…..they want to limit/eliminate foreign ownership….especially in large ‘housing developments’! Because everybody knows if there’s a ‘new 75-upscale home subdivision’ going up in, shall we say, in Peterboro, ON by a firm from, shall we say, Beijing, the ads/billboards read “Starting At $1.2 Million!” Well sir/m’am, everybody knows in the SAME situation, everything identical to the Beijing plan, BUT the developers were a firm from, shall we say, Vaughn, ON….the ads/billboards would be reading “Starting At $799,000!” Hello?

A Quick Update….
….on the actual number of real estate sales persons in County Brant was just obtained here at “F/N” HQ via some special seldom applied for Poll…..or is that Pole?….but they have it at 5,283….not broken into male/female and/or full-tyme/part-tyme…..it reflects the number of ‘active licenses’. Actually, I did/do have one more item that’s real estate related **I realize a bunch of you may be wondering if Rotzy’s recent fall-down-go-boom here in the unit scrambled my pumpkin a tad….seeing as I’m on and on about houses and housing….but alas, the pumpkin’s doing good, thanks. *You see, all this is is yours truly taking a week off from writing ONE “F/N” word about anything/everything CORONA…(*other than to advise that Miz. Jo and Rotzy are ‘booked’ for #4 in a week or so) *I’m also ‘deleting’ that f***ing Russian pig Vladimir Puke-in. If only in my own mind. OK? This last bit struck/strikes me as funny….yes, it’s about real estate….a commercial I heard on 900 CHML for one of the station’s main advertisers ‘Michael St Jean Reality’ (*not a typo)….and that’s what one of their happy house selling customers calls it in the ad./…RE-AL-I-TY! This is one happy fellow, he’s got a really heavy accent, almost sounding musical and I could/can almost hear him smiling, whilst extolling all the good things about dealing with Hamilton-based St Jean as opposed to going with a Toronto outfit! So the guy’s happy as a pig in poop as Michael got him $50,000 more than the asking price!….and as St Jean’s saying goes ”We’ll sell it for you, or we’ll buy it!’ Seems there are a few of ’em using that line, you think? I wonder if our guy also bought a place from St. Jean?….at $50 G less than asking!? Anyway, if YOU are in the market….good luck! And have a fine day!

*Thought Of The Day…I find that these days most of my conversations start with….”Did I tell you this before”? or ”What was I going to say”?

Posted in From NAKINA... | Leave a comment

Cheese, a love story

Is Cheese Bad for You?

When it comes to cheese, people often say they love it so much they can’t live without it — but worry that it could cause heart disease or unwanted weight gain.

The truth is that cheese is what’s known as a whole food. Whole foods are generally good for you, as long as you don’t eat too much of one thing.

In this article, we’ll give you all the information you need to make healthy choices about eating cheese.

Health benefits of cheese

There are many healthy options to choose from when it comes to cheese, and many potential ways it can benefit your health.

It’s a good source of nutrients

Cheese is a great source of calcium, fat, and protein. It also contains high amounts of vitamins A and B12, along with zinc, phosphorus, and riboflavin.

According to U.S. Dairy, the overall nutritional profile of conventional, organic, and grass-fed dairy products is similar.

Grass-fed cheese is made from the milk of 100 percent grass-fed animals. A diet high in grass-fed dairy may provide a healthier balanceTrusted Source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids than diets that rely on conventional dairy. Omega-3 fats are important for heart and metabolic health.

While grass-fed dairy products cost more than standard versions, some people may choose to purchase them for their higher omega-3 content. More research is needed to understand if this difference in nutrients is large enoughTrusted Source to have significant benefits in an average U.S. diet.

It could protect your teeth from cavities

According to some studies, cheese — and dairy products in general — could work to protect your teeth from cavities. In a Danish study from 2015, children with an above-average dairy intake were more likely to be cavity-free after 3 years than those with a below-average intake.

It’s a source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)

High-fat cheeses like blue cheese, Brie, and cheddar contain small amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is a healthy fat that may help preventTrusted Source obesity and heart disease, and may reduce inflammation.

Cheddar cheese sourced from 100 percent grass-fed animals was found to contain twice as much CLA as conventional cheddar. But it’s not clear whether switching to grass-fed cheese would have overall nutritional benefits in an average U.S. diet.

It could be good for your heart

According to 2018 researchTrusted Source, fermented dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, have a positive effect on cardiovascular health. In the same study, full-fat dairy products appeared to provide greater nutrition and have anti-inflammatory properties.

Health risks

Is a cheese addiction unhealthy?

Knowing the benefits and the risks associated with eating cheese can help you to make more informed choices. Cheese may have undesired effects if it’s contaminated, or if you have certain health conditions or dietary needs.

Listeria contamination

Soft cheeses and blue-veined cheeses can sometimes become contaminated with listeria, especially if they are made with unpasteurized or “raw” milk. Eating listeria-contaminated foods can cause illness.

Examples of at-risk cheeses include:

  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • queso fresco
  • queso blanco
  • queso panela
  • blue-veined cheeses
  • feta

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source recommends avoiding eating soft cheeses unless the label clearly states that the product was made with pasteurized milk. This is especially important for:

Health conditions and special diets

Cheese contains many important nutrients. But it is also:

  • High in calories. Cheese is a calorie-dense food. Depending on the variety of cheese you eat, you’re getting about 100 calories per ounce.
  • High in saturated fat. Cheese in high in fat, including saturated fat. Some experts, though not all, advise limiting your intake of saturated fat.
  • High in salt. It’s also usually loaded with sodium, which can be an issue for people with high blood pressure.
  • Low in fiber. Cheese contains no fiber, and eating a diet containing very high amounts of dairy may causeTrusted Source constipation.

Some people may limit or avoid cheese due one or more of these factors. If you aren’t sure whether cheese is appropriate for your diet, a registered dietitian can help.

Allergies and intolerances

Some people avoid cheese due to conditions such as lactose intolerance or a milk allergy.

Lactose intolerance

Cheese contains lactose, a sugar that can’t be digested by lactose intolerant people because their bodies lack the enzyme that breaks it down. In these cases, eating lactose can lead to digestive problems including gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Fortunately, many firm, aged cheeses are low in lactose. Examples include Parmesan, Swiss, and cheddar. People with lactose intolerance may be able to tolerate these cheeses in small amounts.

Some people can use lactase pills or drops to prevent symptoms, but it’s best to talk with a doctor before trying it. If you decide to try lactase supplements, a pharmacist or registered dietitian can help you get started.

Milk allergy

People who are allergic to milk are unable to eat cheese or other foods containing dairy. A milk allergy means that your body has an immune reaction to one or more proteins in milk, such as casein. Casein is one of the main proteins found in milk, and it’s also an ingredient in some soy-based cheeses.

Milk allergy symptoms can appear early in life, before age 1Trusted Source. While symptoms vary, it can be a life-threatening condition for some people.

Types of cheese

There are thousands of different varieties of cheeses made around the world. Many cheeses made in the United States use cow’s milk, but cheese can also be made from the milk of goats, sheep, and other animals.

  • Whole milk. Whole milk cheeses are made from regular, unskimmed milk. They can be high in saturated fat, so people with cardiovascular disease or high cholesterol may choose to limit their intake.
  • Low-fat and reduced-fat. In the United States, cheeses labelled “low-fat” must contain 3 grams of fatTrusted Source or less per serving. A “reduced-fat” cheese has at least 25 percent less fat than the regular version of the cheese.
  • Aged. Aged cheeses include cheddar, Parmesan, and Swiss. They are firm in texture, and some can be high in salt. Aged cheeses are stored before they are ready to sell, so they have time to mature. The aging process tends to create stronger flavors.
  • Fresh. Fresh cheeses such as ricotta and cottage cheese are generally high in moisture and soft in texture. They’re ready to be eaten quickly, without needing time to age, so they are known as “fresh” cheeses.

“Cheeses” that aren’t really cheese

You might be surprised to learn that some foods that we commonly refer to as cheese, are not actually cheese.

  • Processed. Processed cheese products like American cheese are made by mixing a cheese with other cheeses or dairy products. Other ingredients may be added in small amounts to enhance flavor, texture, or storage time. While they are made with cheese, they are actually called “pasteurized process cheese food.” Processed options tend to be higher in sodium than other cheeses.
  • Non-dairy. Non-dairy cheeses are made from plant-based ingredients, like nuts, soy, and coconut. A 2021 Spanish studyTrusted Source of store-bought vegan cheeses recommended opting for cashew-based and tofu-based products. Coconut-based cheeses, although popular, are highly processed and much less nutritious.

Nutrition facts

Brie (1 ounce, or 28 grams)

  • Calories: 95
  • Carbs: 0.1 grams
  • Fat: 7.9 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Calcium: 4% of the DV
  • Sodium: 8% of the DV

Cheddar (1 ounce, or 28 grams)

  • Calories: 114
  • Carbs: 1 gram
  • Fat: 9.4 grams
  • Protein: 6.4 grams
  • Calcium: 15% of the DV
  • Sodium: 8% of the DV

Feta (1 ounce, or 28 grams)

  • Calories: 75
  • Carbs: 1.1 grams
  • Fat: 6.1 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Calcium: 11% of the DV
  • Sodium: 14% of the DV

Gouda (1 ounce, or 28 grams)

  • Calories: 101
  • Carbs: 0.6 grams
  • Fat: 7.8 grams
  • Protein: 7.1 grams
  • Calcium: 15% of the DV
  • Sodium: 10% of the DV

Mozzarella (1 ounce, or 28 grams)

  • Calories: 85
  • Carbs: 0.7 grams
  • Fat: 6.3 grams
  • Protein: 6.3 grams
  • Calcium: 11% of the DV
  • Sodium: 6% of the DV

Swiss (1 ounce, or 28 grams)

  • Calories: 111
  • Carbs: 0.4 grams
  • Fat: 8.8 grams
  • Protein: 7.7 grams
  • Calcium: 19% of the DV
  • Sodium: 2% of the DV

American (1 ounce, or 28 grams)

  • Calories: 102
  • Carbs: 1.3 grams
  • Fat: 8.6 grams
  • Protein: 5.1 grams
  • Calcium: 22% of the DV
  • Sodium: 20% of the DV

Non-dairy coconut-based cheddar style slice (0.8 ounces, or 22 grams)

  • Calories: 60
  • Carbs: 4 grams
  • Fat: 5 grams
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Calcium: 11% of the DV
  • Sodium: 7% of the DV

Note: A 1-ounce (28 gram) serving of cheese is about the size of a 1-inch cube, or 1 slice of American cheese. Nutritional values for the non-dairy option are provided for a slightly smaller, 0.8 ounce sliceTrusted Source. All cheeses above are full-fat versions.

The takeaway

In general, cheese is a healthy and delicious source of many nutrients.

For most people, a balanced diet can include cheese. Occasionally snacking on cheese or having a few crumbles with your salad or sprinkled over vegetables isn’t likely to cause problems, unless you’re lactose intolerant or allergic to milk.

But eating too much of any one food isn’t recommended — no matter how much you might love your Swiss or Brie. And if you’re usually pairing cheese with processed foods like pizza crust, pepperoni, or crackers, you might be cancelling out cheese’s benefits.

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Third-world politics in Ontario

It’s easy to criticize every government, every political leader from the comfort of the TV room ‘lazy boy.’ Doug Ford could give university-calibre lectures on bribing for votes. Third-world politicos should line up for lessons from this boy.

This kind of ‘gifting’ may be the norm in our Western democracies but surely there should be limits to what is reasonable and acceptable.

Here’s the cost of his “gifts” to the Ontario electorate:

  • License plate renewal waiver: $500 million
  • Cutting gas tax $650 million
  • Toll removal: Durham Region unknown
  • Power lines: Windsor, London, Sarnia $ 1 billion over 8 years
  • William Osler Health Centre expansion $ 21 million
  • Joseph Health care support $ 5 million
  • GM grants – Oshawa, Ingersoll $ 259 million
  • Bridge building contract, Bradford Part of $21 billion highway projects
  • Support for Toronto subway extension Unknown amount

Just do an TOTAL approximation to see how much these ‘gifts’ will cost us as voters.

Posted in EDITORIALS, RICHARD's desk | Leave a comment

Apr 4 – Rotzy’s slap happy about Will and Chris

The Academy Awards may have reached “Rock” bottom with the slap seen around the world. Even Rotzy’s got something to say about it.

***Memo To Chris Rock…c/o ‘The Academy’

Hey Chris! Bob Rotz here in Brant’s Ford, Ontario. I caught you, as did gazillions of others, on TV for the Academy Awards last Sun the 27th. Now, I want to make it clear I’m not a huge fan of the silver screen….in fact the last tyme Miz.Jo (that would be my wife) and Rotzy went to a movie house, it was in Toronto (*see below) and ‘Good Morning Viet Nam” was on the marquee. So….SO….in spite of two years of coronavirus and cetera, the fact is that Odeon Cineplex (and the other Big Box movie houses) are too “F/N” expensive for many/most of us oldsters. Anyway, back to the Awards, it came tyme for you to give Will his Award….but instead 1/ the wheels fell off, 2/ Will lost his sense of humour, his cool, and then 3/ Will opened a can of ‘whup-ass on y’all’s pumpkin! And while many/most ‘experts’ are saying ‘Will SMACKED Chris’, as in open-palmed ‘like a woman’….whilst we here in Apt #303 said/say Mr. Smith PUNCHED Mr. Rock in the head….’closed-fist; Tell Ya what Chris….Y’all took a big punch, from a big (-ger) man, Brother. Then I said (to myself) “Well Toad, here we go folks….a couple BIG NAME brothers here gonna get at it!”

Anyway, Rotzy’s not gonna flog on a deceased equine here….but….Will Smith knows he screwed up….’forgetting to laugh at himself/ditto for Mrs Smith’….so lets get back to the REAL point of this “Memo”, Chris. OK? I heard on Zoomer Radio 740 of an extensive Chris Rock Tour, covering much of North America and that includes one night in T.O., which could require two, DUE TO DEMAND….since Oscar Nite. Well, Ticketmaster, the outfit that sells seats for any and every event in Canada listed the CHEAPEST seats for your upcoming Concert at Scotia Bank Arena at about $45 dollars ….as of March 26th! As of March 28th they were costing nearly $400 apiece! Get this! Today (April 2nd) they want $700 and change!….but if you want/need ‘TWO seats together’, you hand over $999 each! S–t! Still with me Chris.?? Well, our gov’t is dragging their butts on a 50% increase to our OAS, Rotzy wants to make some ‘green’, and I need YOUR help….so here’s my plan, starting in Tronna. After your short ‘monologue and a couple jokes, Rotzy (I’ll be ON or NEAR the stage) will strut over to you, and hit you. I won’t hit hard….not anything like Smitty!….no wayy!….s–t Brother, I’m 77 and ‘running on a quarter tank.’, even did another ‘fall down, go boom’ in our dining room last nite! For sure the place’ll go nuts, then it’ll become a regular part of the show, not unlike Harlem Globetrotters slapstick . And if you’d rather hit ME….hey, I’m cool with that….hey, it might even be funnier, you think? Waiting to hear from you Chris, and let’s get people laughing at each other as well as themselves again! The world has forgotten how to do that. Money? Well, you gonna be making a piss-pot full of it….so I could/should pull in $20-$25 G’s a nite….I mean, it was/is MY idea! And somebody sayin’ ”What about Will Smith”? ”Say what”? says Rotzy….that man is already in/near the same tax bracket as Oprah, hence you ain’t gonna see him lining up at the Hollywood Blvd Food Bank. Anyway, you da Man to make this happen, Chris! Tell you what….after a couple paychecks, I’ll lay out some big bucks for a front row seat for Will Smith! Not Mrs Smith tho, you’ve been there/done that….ditto for the fans….thereby it would surely detract from OUR performance and we don’t want that do we? What we….I in particular want is to get my plan into action, and show you and others it’s no ‘pie in the sky scheme’ dreamed up by some olde guy who’s already ‘crazy as a s–t-house rat’, his memory is shot, and he’s knocking on dementia’s door’. (*see below)

If You Think….(*see above)
If the previous item/piece made/makes any sense at all you MIGHT need some sort of ‘counselling’. Hell, yours truly wrote the damned thing, so that tells you where I’m at….well, sort of. (*update….Sun 10:35AM*) Besides, I just heard an item on 900 AM where a VERY upset lady reporter said/growled “If I had walked across that stage and punched/slapped/smacked Will Smith, security and PO-lice woulda been all over me, cuffed/arrested/charged/hauled off. So….SO….you see, I wanted/want security (OAS) and its’ pathetic shortcomings….and for reasons unclear to me, I ‘used’ Will Smith and Chris Rocks’ Academy Awards Debacle to draw people’s attention to it…..the OAS that is.!! Dumb idea, huh? Or not. Well, that entire fiasco. Look, I’ve been ‘pushing’ in this space for twenty years + that we need a ‘hefty increase’!!! Methinks 100% is ‘hefty’….YOU think? I’ve hit on three different P/M’s, and a handful of various MP’s, covering 4 different parties. Well, this ‘Monthly Financial Benefit’ is SO damned SMALL and Outdated Rotzy was/is firmly convinced the IMMEDIATE increase MUST be of 50%!! Never mind about a 25% ‘raise’….not even worth the change in paperwork. Word is, if I heard correctly, an increase has been granted by the gov’t (back in January?) and Junior Trudeau’s gonna dole it out….in segments?….sometyme. Soon? For some reason, 10% seems to ring a bell. Stay tuned…sorry, but you can bet the mortgage it WON’T be enough to buy a decent ticket for a Chris Rock Concert.

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Age better, walk as much as you can

Dr. Paula Rochon writes that walking does more than just improve physical well-being. Her studies have indicated that one’s emotional and psychological well-being improve significantly with walking. So, if you can, try walking more, especially now as the weather improves each day. 


See  ROCHON  Toronto Star, Apr. 3/22 

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A Delicate Touch
Stuart Woods Continue reading

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APR 2022 Newsletter

We offer some new sections, along with some past ones. Remember to manage the newsletter pages by using the arrows under the display.


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A MAN CALLED OVE, Frederik Backman

An outstanding read!

Many of us know a cantankerous old man or two. I see one every morning … when I look in the mirror! Ove, the protagonist of this book, is a widower, desperately missing his wife. In fact, he misses her so much, he wants to join her on the other side.

This book will make you look at cantankerous old men in a more discerning way. Continue reading

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A bit of Hawaii in your diet can improve your health

  • Pineapple contains disease-fighting antioxidants
  • May aid digestion
  • May reduce your risk of cancer
  • May boost immunity and suppress inflammation
  • May ease symptoms of arthritis
  • May speed recovery after surgery or strenuous exercise
  • Easy to add to your diet

Pineapple: 8 Impressive Health Benefits

Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is an incredibly delicious, healthy tropical fruit. It’s packed with nutrients, antioxidants, and other helpful compounds, such as enzymes that can protect against inflammation and disease. It’s commonly eaten baked, grilled, or freshly cut.

Originating in South America, it was named by early European colonizers for its resemblance to a pine cone (1).

Pineapple and its compounds are linked to several health benefits, including improvements in digestion, immunity, and recovery from surgery.

Here are 8 impressive health benefits of pineapple.

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  1. Loaded with nutrients

Pineapples are low in calories but boast an impressive nutrient profile. Just 1 cup (165 grams) of pineapple chunks contains the following nutrients (2Trusted Source):

  • Calories: 83
  • Fat: 1.7 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 21.6 grams
  • Fiber: 2.3 grams
  • Vitamin C: 88% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Manganese: 109% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 11% of the DV
  • Copper: 20% of the DV
  • Thiamine: 11% of the DV
  • Folate: 7% of the DV
  • Potassium: 4% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 5% of the DV
  • Niacin: 5% of the DV
  • Pantothenic acid: 7% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 4% of the DV
  • Iron: 3% of the DV

Pineapples also contain trace amounts of phosphorus, zinc, calcium, and vitamins A and K.

As you can see, this fruit is particularly rich in vitamin C and manganese. Vitamin C is essential for immune health, iron absorption, and growth and development, while manganese offers antioxidant properties and aids in growth and metabolism (3Trusted Source4Trusted Source).

Antioxidants help prevent oxidation in your body, which may help ward off inflammation that can lead to cancer and other chronic diseases (5Trusted Source).

Pineapples also contain other micronutrients, such as copper, thiamine, and vitamin B6, which are essential for healthy metabolism (6Trusted Source7Trusted Source8Trusted Source).


Pineapples are especially rich in vitamin C and manganese, as well as numerous other vitamins and minerals.

  1. Contains disease-fighting antioxidants

Pineapples are not only rich in nutrients but also loaded with antioxidants — molecules that help your body ward off oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is caused by an abundance of free radicals, unstable molecules that cause cell damage often linked to chronic inflammation, weakened immune health, heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers (5Trusted Source9Trusted Source10Trusted Source).

Pineapples are especially rich in antioxidants called flavonoids and phenolic compounds. Two rat studies show that pineapple’s antioxidants may have heart-protective effects, though human research is lacking (9Trusted Source10Trusted Source).

What’s more, many of the antioxidants in pineapple are considered bound antioxidants, meaning that they produce longer-lasting effects (10Trusted Source11Trusted Source).


Pineapples are a rich source of antioxidants that may reduce your risk of ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

  1. May aid digestion

You’ll often find pineapple served alongside meats and poultry in countries such as Brazil.

Interestingly, this fruit contains a group of digestive enzymes called bromelain that may ease the digestion of meat (12Trusted Source).

Bromelain functions as a protease, which breaks down protein molecules into their building blocks, such as amino acids and small peptides (13Trusted Source14Trusted Source).

Once protein molecules are broken down, your small intestine can more easily absorb them. This is especially helpful for people with pancreatic insufficiency, a condition in which the pancreas cannot make enough digestive enzymes (15Trusted Source).

Bromelain is also widely used as a commercial meat tenderizer due to its ability to break down tough meat proteins (15Trusted Source).

One test-tube study found that bromelain reduced inflammatory markers in digestive tissue, though further research is needed (16Trusted Source).

What’s more, pineapples are a good source of fiber, which aids digestive health (2Trusted Source).


Pineapples contain bromelain, a group of digestive enzymes that may help break down protein and aid digestion.

  1. May reduce your risk of cancer

Cancer is a chronic disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. Its progression is commonly linked to oxidative stress and chronic inflammation (17Trusted Source).

Several studies note that pineapple and its compounds, including bromelain, may reduce cancer risk by minimizing oxidative stress and reducing inflammation (10Trusted Source11Trusted Source12Trusted Source15Trusted Source).

Some studies show that bromelain may also help treat cancer that has already developed (18Trusted Source19Trusted Source20Trusted Source).

For instance, one test-tube study found that bromelain suppressed the growth of breast cancer cells and stimulated cell death, while a mouse study found that bromelain enhanced the effects of anticancer therapy (19Trusted Source20Trusted Source).

Other test-tube studies have produced similar results for skin, colorectal, or bile duct cancers (21Trusted Source22Trusted Source23Trusted Source24Trusted Source).

Furthermore, older test-tube and animal studies have found that bromelain may stimulate the immune system to produce molecules that make white blood cells more effective at suppressing cancer cell growth and eliminating cancer cells (25Trusted Source).

That said, pineapple contains much less bromelain than supplements do.

One review of human studies found there was no benefit to using oral enzymes such as bromelain alongside cancer therapy, although research is mixed (26Trusted Source27Trusted Source).

Overall, more human research is necessary (28Trusted Source).


Pineapple contains compounds such as bromelain that may have anticancer effects, although far more human studies are needed.

  1. May boost immunity and suppress inflammation

Pineapples have been used in traditional medicine for centuries (115Trusted Source).

They contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes such as bromelain that may collectively improve immunity and reduce inflammation (12Trusted Source28Trusted Source).

In an older 9-day study, 98 healthy children ate either no pineapple, roughly 1 cup (140 grams) of pineapple, or roughly 2 cups (280 grams) of pineapple daily (29Trusted Source).

Those who ate pineapple had a significantly lower risk of both viral and bacterial infections. Plus, the children who ate the most of this fruit had almost four times more disease-fighting white blood cells than the other groups (29Trusted Source).

A 30-day study in 40 adults with chronic sinusitis found that those taking a 500-mg bromelain supplement recovered significantly faster than those in the control group (30Trusted Source).

What’s more, studies have shown that bromelain can reduce markers of inflammation, thereby aiding immune health (12Trusted Source15Trusted Source31Trusted Source).

Moreover, preliminary test-tube studies have even found that bromelain supplements, alone and in combination with other compounds, may help reduce symptoms of COVID-19 and slow its progression (12Trusted Source32Trusted Source33Trusted Source34Trusted Source).

Still, further research in humans is needed. Bear in mind that neither pineapple nor its compounds can cure or prevent COVID-19 (12Trusted Source32Trusted Source33Trusted Source34Trusted Source).


Pineapples have anti-inflammatory properties that may help enhance your immune function.

  1. May ease symptoms of arthritis

Arthritis affects more than 54 million adults in the United States alone. Many types of arthritis exist, but most involve joint inflammation (35Trusted Source).

Bromelain’s anti-inflammatory properties may provide pain relief for those with inflammatory arthritis. One study found bromelain supplements to be as effective in easing osteoarthritis in the lower back as regular pain treatment (28Trusted Source36Trusted Source37Trusted Source).

In another study in people with osteoarthritis, a digestive enzyme supplement containing bromelain helped relieve pain as effectively as common arthritis medicines (38Trusted Source).

Furthermore, a test-tube study found that this compound helped protect against the degradation of cartilage tissue and the inflammation associated with osteoarthritis (39Trusted Source).

All the same, more human research — on pineapples, not just bromelain — is needed.


The anti-inflammatory properties of pineapple may relieve symptoms of arthritis, though more human studies are necessary.

  1. May speed recovery after surgery or strenuous exercise

Eating pineapple may reduce the time it takes to recover from surgery or exercise (40Trusted Source).

While this fruit helps replenish carb stores after exercise, some of its benefits are also due to the anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain (2Trusted Source28Trusted Source).

Several studies have shown that bromelain may reduce the inflammation, swelling, bruising, and pain that often occur after surgery, including dental and skin procedures. It may likewise reduce markers of inflammation (40Trusted Source).

Two reviews suggest that bromelain may reduce discomfort, pain, or swelling after dental surgery (41Trusted Source42Trusted Source).

What’s more, one review found that in 5 of 7 randomized controlled studies, bromelain improved recovery after surgical skin procedures. However, its use remains contested (43Trusted Source44Trusted Source).

Moreover, proteases such as bromelain may speed muscle recovery after strenuous exercise by reducing inflammation around the damaged muscle tissue (45Trusted Source46Trusted Source).

Nonetheless, more research is needed before this compound can be recommended for post-training recovery (46Trusted Source47Trusted Source48Trusted Source).


Bromelain in pineapples may reduce the inflammation, swelling, and discomfort that occurs after surgery. Its anti-inflammatory properties may also aid recovery after strenuous exercise.

  1. Easy to add to your diet

Pineapples are sweet, convenient, and easy to add to your diet.

The fresh fruit is easy to find in many grocery stores and markets, even out of season. You can buy it canned, dehydrated, or frozen year-round.

You can enjoy pineapple on its own, in smoothies, on salads, or on homemade pizzas. Here are a few fun recipe ideas that feature pineapple:

  • Breakfast: smoothie with pineapple, blueberry, and Greek yogurt
  • Salad: tropical roast chicken, almonds, blueberries, and pineapple atop lettuce or other greens
  • Lunch: homemade Hawaiian burgers (beef burgers with a pineapple ring)
  • Dinner: pineapple fried rice and seitan
  • Dessert: homemade pineapple whip (frozen pineapple chunks blended with a splash of coconut milk and a dash of lemon juice)


Fresh, stir-fried, blended, or roasted, pineapple works well in numerous dishes. You can find it canned, fresh, dehydrated, or frozen in most stores year-round.

Are there any health risks to eating pineapple?

Pineapples are not a common allergen. Eating them is considered very low risk unless you have a known pineapple allergy. In that case, you should avoid pineapple and its extracts.

People with diabetes should be mindful of serving sizes to keep their blood sugar stable (49Trusted Source).

However, even in people without an allergy or diabetes, eating too much pineapple — more than a few servings per day — may have unintended side effects.

For instance, bromelain may affect blood clotting. Therefore, people who take blood thinners should eat pineapple in modest amounts (50Trusted Source51Trusted Source52Trusted Source).

Those sensitive to bromelain may also experience tongue burning or itching and even nausea or diarrhea — though these downsides are anecdotal and haven’t been studied scientifically.

Some people claim that eating a lot of unripe pineapple causes stomach upset, nausea, and diarrhea. Again, this hasn’t been studied, but it’s always best to select ripe pineapple. The flesh should be a light to medium yellow.


Pineapple is widely considered safe, though a small percentage of people may have an allergy to it. People who have diabetes or take blood thinners should be mindful of portion sizes when eating pineapple.

The bottom line

Pineapples are delicious, versatile, and loaded with nutrients and antioxidants.

Their nutrients and compounds have been linked to impressive health benefits, including improved digestion, a lower risk of cancer, and osteoarthritis relief. Nonetheless, more human studies are needed.

You can eat this fruit blended, roasted, sauteed, or fresh — either on its own or in any number of dishes.

Just one thing

Try this today: Craving pineapple but yours isn’t yet ripe? To ripen your too-green pineapple, place it in a paper bag. Placing a banana in the bag as well may speed up the process. The bag traps ethylene gas emitted by the fruit and accelerates ripening.

To access the original article, click the image below:

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SPOOFING….another scam

Spoofing is another form of FRAUD. It is a scamming process where the fraudster is able to phone you using phone identities that are familiar to you. Incredibly, the fraudster will use id’s stolen from your phone or your area code. [ View the video in this post. ]

Posted in SCAMS, FRAUDS and HACKS | Leave a comment

AGEISM: Ignoring the old

Be sure to read the end of this post. Recently, I read an article that was a plea for more respect and recognition of old people. I’m one of those “old people” and I see examples of ageism far too often.

The article says…

Why do people think so poorly of old people?

 There was a movie a few years ago called Nebraska. Bruce Dern was playing an old man who thought he won the lottery and convinced his son to go to Nebraska with him to reclaim his prize. Of course, there was no prize to speak of, just the fleeting illusion of a hopeful soul. On his journey to Nebraska, he tries to reconnect with his estranged son and the two try to reach a place of understanding toward each other.

The movie does a fairly good job of revealing some challenges that old people face.

Old people are more vulnerable not just physically but mentally. Whether they suffer from dementia or not, their learning curve for new things is steeper and they struggle to find or keep their place in an ever-changing world. They struggle with new technology and the crazy pace that the world today. They yearn for the old ways and how things used to be while they find that their internal model of how society works is no longer available.

It’s harder for them to connect with younger people. A lot of older people seem to yearn for attention and love and some understanding from younger people. By attempting to win the affection of the younger generation, the gap widens even more. The more you try to get close to someone while being dependent and skeptical of your own value as a human, the more distant you become.

Yearning for the past
Another aspect worth considering is that many suppressed feelings and memories come bubble back up to the surface in old people. Old people are like a temporary deposit of events that take the shape of glimpses and images of old times but also many emotions lie dormant within and cannot wait to be awakened. Likely one can never get over something completely. As long as the memory of an event is there, the event lives within you.

Rich past evaporated
The inner lives of old people are so rich with stories, sometimes pleasant, often frustrating. Some people take care of those inner lives, to ensure they have their own peace of mind. Others leave their feelings suppressed, allowing anger towards old friends and foes to build up. Some reflect on the past and try to make amends (like the old man in All about Schmidt), while others are forever condemned to live imaginary or real lives of conflict and battle, us versus them, me vs. the others.

Rich potential ignored
The old may be a mother lode of valuable inspiration with their mine of wisdom gleaned from years of living. Unfortunately ignored. Many of them need our help and our love. Again ignored. 

A disservice?
Be reminded, with good luck we too will walk in those shoes someday. Does it not seem appropriate that we pay them some respect and recognition for who they are and what they have done for our society?

Sadly, this interesting plea falls on deaf ears. Society is busy living life of the self-interested, first, foremost and solely.

But take a look at this “old” teacher…over 100 and still teaching: OLD TEACHERS

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Moira Welsh, “Wife of long-term-care home resident banned from visiting.”

Read Moira Welsh’s full story about the wife of a long-term-care home resident being banned from visiting the resident a: Torstar story

Moira Welsh is an investigative reporter with the Toronto Star. The winner of two Canadian Association of Journalists Awards and three National Newspaper Awards, she is also the author of “Happily Ever Older: Revolutionary Approaches to Long-Term Care.”

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EDITORIAL: Long Term Seniors Care in Ontario…shameful!

Toronto Star writer, Moira Welsh, has written an excellent column (Toronto Star story) relative to Long Term Care residency. It is a column that should be read by all residents in Ontario as it could pertain to each of us at some point.

Welsh writes a story about Margaret Calver, the wife of a long-term care resident, Wayne Calver, and how she has been disregarded and banned from visitation by a Long Term Care Residency, Markhaven Home for Seniors, Markham, ON.

A sad story
Unquestionably a sad story. Margaret Calver’s intentions at pointing out the home’s questionable service may be debatable but she likely meant well. Bureaucratic red tape, institutional bureaucracy and systemic intransigence transformed the good she intended into a file labelled as “bothersome irritation and ignorable discomfort.”

Where’s the column going?
As happens to all these kinds of media publications, they hit the readers in the face for the moment and then they wane away into no-where land.

Undeniably a journalist’s job is not to lead a cause, muckrake an issue or antagonize the establishment. The intent must be to highlight an issue, bring a problem out into the public’s eye, and draw attention to a problem that needs addressing.

Welsh has done that. Unfortunately, she picks at a scab.

Do these names ring any bells? Fullerton? Phillips? Calandra?

Merrilee Fullerton…what a disappointing and absolutely useless minister when she managed the Long-Term-Care Portfolio. Just Google the number of deaths in Long-Term-Care homes under her watch.

Rod Philips…oh please. A minister in the provincial government with the ethical principles of a toad. He’s the minister who sent photoshopped pix of himself by a fireplace in the dead of winter while in reality, he was on a St. Bart’s beach in the Caribbean. Not only did illustrious Premier Ford not can the man, but he also moved him into a new cabinet office… Long-Term-Care. Assigning the likes of a fox to guard the henhouse.

Paul Callandra…the new minister for Long-Term-Care. Pray your Long-Term-Care days are way, way off. We don’t really know much about this man, but based on passed provincial government performance, Ford appointees are all questionable.

So what?
The column Welsh wrote describes the sad tale of how Margaret Calver was banned from visiting her dementia-stricken husband in Markhaven Home for Seniors. The executives of the home claimed Margaret was rude, critical and abusive of the home’s staff in their work.

Before we expand on the above thought, those of you who have been in such homes know that there are always areas of criticism and censuring relating to the care seniors receive in long-term care. There are far too many horror stories of abuse and maltreatment to dismiss Margaret Calver’s story or Moira Welsh’s column too readily. Our experience comes from two family members in long-term care in two different homes. The only way abuse and maltreatment were eliminated or at least decreased was by frequent and regular personal visitations with many questions put to staff about the care being given.

Welsh writes a balanced story
Welsh’s column highlights both sides of the story. But the Margaret Calver side draws the greater criticism. Long-term care should not have that side of a story. Read the “feces smelling” anecdote and ask yourself if Calver is being abusive in querying the service.

Great column, so what?
Moira Welsh writes a great column exposing the questionable work done at one particular long-term-care home in Ontario. Imagine the possible extent and pervasiveness of such care throughout the province, particularly when you have cabinet ministers like Fullerton and Philips. So what? Yes, that is the question put before you. What do you care? What do you feel about this? What do you think should happen? What role should you take in this woeful tale? Moira Welsh has done her part. She exposed the problem. Now what are you going to do?

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FBI Agent Atlee Pine returns to her Georgia hometown to reopen the investigation of her twin sister’s abduction, only to encounter a serial killer beginning a reign of terror, in this page-turning thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci. Continue reading

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ADULTERY, Paulo Coelho


2016-03-09_09h54_53Adultery, the provocative new novel by Paulo Coelho, best-selling author of The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes, explores the question of what it means to live life fully and happily, finding the balance between life’s routine and the desire for something new. [summary from Goodreads]

First impressions

“Utter piece of ‘unadulterated’ crap! Absolutely unbelievable. “ That was my reaction to this novel at the beginning. I ploughed on. It didn’t get any better.

The story is about a journalist living in Geneva, Switzerland. In her thirties, she is married to a successful businessman and has two children. Life seems very normal and everyday-like for this woman until she bumps into an old boyfriend from her teenage days. A spark either of curiosity, impetuosity or lust strikes her and she has sex with him, oral sex where he was the totally passive partner.

The story is a self-examination, introspection narrated by our adulterous who questions the reasons for doing what she did. She begins analysing her life, her marriage, her work and her day to day living, all rather mundane reading at this point for any reader. Perhaps she is suffering from depression? Could her feelings be guilt based? Is her lust just a passing phase? Is she mentally ill?

The relationship with the lover never really develops any depth as the man seems to be insensitive and engaged in the illicit activity purely for self-gratification. There is no affection, no empathy or any emotional sensitivity for his partner. She may as well have been an unpaid prostitute, there to fulfill the needs of his libido. At this point, some readers would be angry with the lover, disgusted with the journalist and put off with the superficiality of this illicit relationship.

Dog cruelty, attention grabbing

Midway through the book there is an incident the journalist recalls about her torturing an old boyfriend’s dog. Being a dog owner and a lifelong lover of the animals, I found this anecdote particularly repulsive. Her cruelty upset me and removed any sympathy or empathy for her which may have been developing in me. I now saw her as a cruel, selfish being who had no real feelings for living beings, beast or human. What the purpose of such an episode in the book is beyond me: to alienate me, the reader from being supportive of the journalist; to repulse me so much that I lost all potential empathy for her; to so antagonize me that I find trying to understand her totally unacceptable. I don’t know what the purpose of the dog anecdote but I found it to be very disconcerting.

Our inner monsters

Soon the narrator begins talking about Mary Shelley and Robert Louis Stevenson, creators of the literary monsters Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll’s Mr. Hyde. The literary monsters are metaphors for the monsters that are part of every human’s psyche. Not necessarily evil personas within humans, but spiritual negativity which impacts adversely on our daily life. ‘Regret’ for not having done something in life, for not having pursued a career goal, for not fulfilling a dream in life, each of these can wreak havoc on the serenity of one’s soul as the regret relentlessly nags away at a person: a failure for not successfully completing in life which they should have completed. It seems like a narrow view as humans succeed to a degree in every endeavour in their lives. “Failure” can be used only if the person compares their life with another’s and feels envious of the other. These emotional scars are the monsters that continually deter a person from finding satisfaction with their life.

The evil monsters dominate every person eventually. The monstrous Mr. Hyde eventually took control of the good Dr. Jekyll. Every dictator eventually succumbs to the evil within and becomes the evil monster. Readers may find this philosophy of life difficult to believe or to accept.

The author wields a mean verbal sword

“Whoever maintains that wrong is done to heretics and blasphemers in punishing them makes himself an accomplice in their crimes and as guilty as they. There is no question here of man’s authority; it is God who speaks […]. Wherefore does he demand of us a so extreme severity, if not to show us that due honor is not paid him, so long as we set not his service above every consideration, so that we spare not kin, nor blood of any, and forget all humanity when the matter is to combat for his glory.”

The author has a mastery of the language, although much is lost in the translation as he ‘talks too much.’ His historical anecdotes are interesting spins on accepted truisms of history. Calvin may have been a religious revolutionary, but according to author Paul Coelho, he was a theocratic totalitarian who persecuted and punished non-adherents to his religious doctrine.

Searching for psychiatric remedies

The narrator of the story, Linda, at one point begins to see her emotional and spiritual upheaval as possibly being symptoms of depression which starts her quest for psychoanalytical help. Rejecting a number of licensed practitioners, she discovers an ‘alternative’ practitioner, a Cuban who others have touted as a high priest of cures for depression, a shaman. She finds some solace in meeting with him but more questioning and clarification of her life’s journey rather than any kind of cure. The shaman helps Linda to resolve and deal with the adulterous affair, not accept it so much, but to see it as playing a logical and understandable role in her life.

Again, Coelho interprets history to suit his needs: justification of adultery as being in man’s DNA because survival of the species depended upon creating numerous offspring. Hence the need for multiple partners. Reducio ad absurdum! In his interpretation, man never rises above the level of a primate living by base instincts like animals in nature. Thinking, intellectual considerations, cerebral creativity, all are completely irrelevant and rejected.

Switzerland the land of objectivity, logic and pragmatism

The author regularly inserts commentary relating to Switzerland, its economy, its culture and its society. The Swiss are pragmatic automatons who live lives mechanically, never being passionate, always respectful of personal privacies. Stereotypical insertions used by many people throughout the world but is their use warranted in the development of the story?

Psyche and Eros

Then he relates the tale from Greek mythological of Eros, the goddess of love, forbidden from ever seeing the face of her betrothed, Psyche, the handsomest of all the gods. Like Lot’s wife turning back to look at what God has forbidden her to see, Eros looks at Psyche for which she is punished by the gods. Zeus successfully pleads her case and with the support of Aphrodite wins eternal bonding of the two lovers, Psyche (our unconscious, but logical side) and Eros (love). When her husband tells Linda the Greek fable, she suspects he knows of her infidelity but says nothing in that regard.

As the story continues to unfold, Linda wrestles with the demons of guilt and lust. She meets with her lover one more time in an episode described in the pastels of “50 Shades of Grey.” She will never meet with him again.

Stretching the limits of credibility

Coelho’s writing tests the reader’s limits of credibility. Can a logical, reasoning and sane person really be as cynical and negative about life as much as the book’s main character? Hard to accept or believe. Is dinner conversation about affairs, infidelity and such possible topics with guests one hardly knows? Could such a discussion take place in the real world and could deepen into confessions about partner infidelity? I am very skeptical that this happens regularly if at all in the real world.

Linda is insufferable. She is infatuated with the titillation of forbidden fruit. She dwells on it and bites into it with the maturity of a rebellious teen. Many readers might see the actions of a supposedly mature, intelligent, thinking and successful professional as puzzling and irreconcilable. It may be viewed as living with an attitude of immaturity, lacking refinement and sophistication and living by the primal instincts of an animal.

Coelho probes, prods and pricks the consciousness and conscience of his readers. His questions are not related to morality, virtue and integrity but are existential exploration of why we are here, the meaning of life and what is the purpose of our existence.

Questionably, he closes his story standing on his philosophical soapbox: the reason for living is to continue the never ending quest of learning to love. Pedantic bullshit in my view.

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What you should never do to your pet.

The hardest day of your life with your pet will come the day they leave you for the last time. 

Stay with your pet to the end.

They gave you love unlimited and ceaseless love their entire lives. Now they are crossing a barrier they know nothing about and which causes them fear and anxiety. They need you at this time more than ever.

Talk to the vet about staying with them to the end.

We wish your pet peace and restful sleep now.

Posted in FERMO's Desk... | Leave a comment

Are you drinking enough water?

Don’t dry up!!!

How Much Water You Need to Drink

You may have heard that you should aim to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. How much you should actually drink is more individualized than you might think.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) looked at survey data to find out about Americans’ average daily water intake. Based on this data, they published recommendations that they called adequate intakes (AIs) in a 2005 study.

Doctors still refer to these recommendations today. They include:

  • 3.7 litres per day for men, including about 3 litres (approx. 13 cups) in the form of beverages
  • 2.7 litres per day for women, including about 2.2 litres (approx.. 9 cups) in the form of beverages

Physically active people or those who live in hotter environments will require a higher intake of water.

Water recommendations

While the eight glasses rule is a good start. However, your body weight is made up of 60 percent water. Every system in your body needs water to function. Your recommended intake is based on factors including your gender, age, activity level, and whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.


The current IOM recommendation for people ages 19 and older is around 131 ounces for men and 95 ounces for women. This refers to your overall fluid intake per day, including anything you eat or drink that contains water, like fruits or vegetables.

Of this total, men should get around 13 cups of beverages. For women, it’s 9 cups.


Recommendations for kids have a lot to do with age:

  • Children between 4 and 8 years old should drink 40 ounces per day, or 5 cups.
  • This amount increases to 56 to 64 ounces, or 7 to 8 cups, by ages 9 to 13.
  • For ages 14 to 18, the recommended water intake is 64 to 88 ounces or 8 to 11 cups.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, your recommendations change.

The IOM recommends that pregnant women of all ages should aim to get 80 ounces, or 10 cups of water, each day.

Breastfeeding women may need to up their total water intake to 104 ounces, or 13 cups.


Total daily recommended amount of water from drinks

children 4–8 years old

5 cups, or 40 oz.

children 9–13 years old

7–8 cups, or 56–64 oz.

children 14–18 years old

8–11 cups, or 64–88 oz.

men 19 years and older

13 cups, or 104 oz.

women 19 years and older

9 cups, or 72 oz.

pregnant women

10 cups, or 80 oz.

breastfeeding women

13 cups, or 104 oz.

Other considerations

You may also need to drink more water if you:

  • Climate or altitude. You may need more water if you live in a hot climate or at an elevation greater than 8,200 feet above sea level.
  • Exercise. If you exercise often, the American Council on Exercise recommends you drink 17 to 20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before you exercise. They also recommend you drink an additional 8 ounces of water just before and after working out. You may need to add even more if you work out for longer than an hour.
  • Fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. You should also drink more water when you have a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea because your body loses more fluids than usual. Your doctor may even suggest taking drinks with electrolytes to keep your electrolyte balance more stable.

Why do you need water?

Water is important for most processes your body goes through in a day. When you drink water, you replenish your stores. Without enough water, your body and its organs can’t function properly.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source lists the following benefits of drinking water:

  • keeping your body temperature within a normal range
  • lubricating and cushioning your joints
  • protecting your spine and other tissues
  • helping you eliminate waste through urine, sweat, and bowel movements

Drinking enough water can also help you look your best. For example, a 2018 research reviewTrusted Source looked at the ways that water can keep your skin looking healthy.

The skin is your body’s largest organ. When you drink plenty of water, you keep it healthy and hydrated.


Drinking too little or too much water both have risks.


Your body is constantly using and losing fluids through actions like sweating and urinating. Dehydration happens when your body loses more water or fluid than it takes in.

Symptoms of dehydration can range from being extremely thirsty to feeling fatigued. You may also notice you aren’t urinating as often or that your urine is dark.

Signs of dehydration in children listed by Medline Plus include:

  • a dry mouth and tongue
  • a lack of tears while crying
  • fewer wet diapers than usual

Dehydration may lead to:

You can treat mild dehydration by drinking more water and other fluids.

If you have severe dehydration, you may need treatment at the hospital. Your doctor will likely give you intravenous (IV) fluids and salts until your symptoms go away.


Drinking too much water may be dangerous for your health as well.

When you drink too much, the extra water can dilute the electrolytes in your blood. Your sodium levels decrease and can lead to what is called hyponatremia.

Symptoms include:

When hyponatremia is caused by drinking too much water, it’s sometimes known as water intoxication hyponatremia. Water intoxication hyponatremia is uncommon.

People with a smaller build and children are at a higher risk of developing this condition. So are active people, like marathon runners, who drink large quantities of water in short periods of time.

If you’re at risk due to drinking large quantities of water for exercise, consider drinking a sports drink that contains sodium and other electrolytes to help replenish the electrolytes you lose through sweating.

The takeaway

Staying hydrated goes beyond just the water you drink. The Better Health Channel estimates that foods make up around 20 percent of your total fluid requirements each day. Along with drinking your 9 to 13 daily cups of water, try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

Some foods with high water content include:

Tips for drinking enough water

You may be able to meet your water intake goal by drinking when you’re thirsty and with your meals.

If you need some extra help consuming enough water, check out these tips for drinking more:

  • Try carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go, including around the office, at the gym, and even on road trips. Amazon has a good selection of water bottles.
  • Focus on fluids. You don’t have to drink plain water to meet your hydration needs. Other good sources of hydration include milk, tea, and broth.
  • Skip sugary drinks. While you can get fluid from soda, juice, and alcohol, these beverages have high-calorie contents. It’s still smart to choose water whenever possible.
  • Drink water while you’re out to eat instead of ordering another beverage. You can save some cash and lower the total calories of your meal too.
  • Add some flair to your water by squeezing in fresh lemon or lime juice.
  • If you’re working out hard, consider drinking a sports drink that has electrolytes to help replace the ones you lose through sweating. Shop for sports drinks.

Medically reviewed by Amy Richter, RD, Nutrition — Written by Ashley Marcin

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Mar 14

Minutes from the OBC (Old Boys’ Club) Brantford Chapter (also known as the BGG or Brantford Guy Group) …and much more…. 

and a clean medical report to boot !!!

A lively and full to overflowing meeting (22 or 23) of The Brantford Guy Group last Fri at The Navy Club added four new members, who of course were also welcomed as Pres. For Life and methinks our Group now numbers near 50! The ‘new guys’ reactions are always funn to watch when they’re acknowledged by The Table, as they try to calculate how much their first ’round for the house’ is gonna set them back…..like, $50-$75 or more?….so they breathe easier immediately when asked/told to ‘buck up’ (with a ten-spot) into The Table-top Kitty…..a ‘system’ which has worked out well. Anyway….as it stands/sits Rotzy is the eldest (*see below) member (I’ll be 77 next month) and I’d break down/categorize the fifty B/G’s as such, keeping in mind I moved away from Btfd. in ’73, until 2018 when Miz. Jo and I pointed it south. A ‘handful’ of new-to-me guys whom I’ve never met…..a ‘handful’ whom I’d known well since forever, hence ‘instant recognition’ (both ways). The bulk (40-some) were/are Guys you perhaps knew as teammates and/or guys you remember competing against. Anyway, one of the things that doesn’t stop amazing yours truly over and over is the clear-as-a-bell recollections from 40/50/60 years ago! be it a ‘well-worn quote’, a joke, or an amazing play from a football game. The brain, especially the memory portion of it, is SUCH an amazing thing, is it not? Well, yes indeedy! Altho sometymes it’s not quite all we need/want it to be. You still with me? Like during the latter part of yesterday’s BGG meeting when the olde guy (*see above) was stranded high and dry by my own pumpkin. One new member/president was just announced to those gathered, doing ‘the hugs and handshakes rounds’ whilst Rotzy contemplates how many years since Jim (not his real name) and I had seen each other?…..and figured the mid 60’s. He (more than once) mentioned me ‘cutting him from the E/P Eskimos football team’ tho I couldn’t recall him playing f/ball at all, and nobody, but nobody, was cut from E/P Football….ever! *OK, OK. OK….after a quick ‘conference’ with another former E/P Coach who was sitting right opposite yours truly, I/we agreed there WAS one player ‘cut’….but he shall remain nameless. So back to ‘Jim’, I remember him from being in the the same class in Gr 9 C, 10DF or 10E. Anyway, ‘Jim’ made his exit after a short speech, and a toast to a few deceased BG’s. So….SO….I’m guessing that about ten minutes after he left I was somehow?….and don’t ask how!….made aware that Jim was/is Sid (not his real name either) and still IS the guy ‘I chopped from the Eskimos’. Altho I do recall him saying “Fuzz was to blame”. Sorry, that’s another story I’m sure….and more Fri. funn at BGG Meetings. Ahoy!

Who’s Gonna Be Next??
Spring has sprung, the grass has ‘ris….dont’cha wonder how long till the election is?? Actually, we’d better pluralize that because it seems (from this vantage spot) if you’re an Ontarian you’re gonna get two ‘kicks at the can, maybe three’….Municipal and Provincial, not to forget a vote for Fed PCs to choose their new leader. Well, won’t THAT be funn. Yes indeedy! You’ll please forgive my lack of handsprings and cartwheels, but if you check out the dashboard on our Edna The SUV, in plain view (passenger side) is Rotzy’s ‘blue and white wheel-chair’…which gives the bearer of said permit access to ‘preferred parking spots’…..and, if one reads the ‘really small print’, well, let’s just say it ‘opens some doors’, OK? Doors ‘into The Political Arena’. Well, Rotzy’s keeping my excitement at a ‘low ebb’…..but there’s always something/somebody ‘rattling a chain’ somewhere, oft tymes requiring me to do an ‘attention getter’….perhaps even a ‘little tap on the forehead with the ball peen hammer’. ‘Just a little one’ I said! Anyway, no date(s) offered up yet that Rotzy’s aware of….or even if it/they will be a ‘Go’. But The News is full of ‘if’s and but’s’…..Provincially, Doug Ford’s Cabinet is melting and others ‘close to him’ are leaving….’COVID’ed Out’ the usual reason given. The same sort of thing is happening to Junior Trudeau’s ‘team’ in Ottawa as the PC’s ‘dig down deep’ to find, you know, somebody to replace a the former Leader Of The The Pack, other than Erin O’Toole, who had replaced Andrew Scheer…..who ‘blew it’. The names coming out on newscasts are……well…..ho-lee s–t!…..ahh….maze….ing!! Patrick Brown who landed as Brampton Mayor after his last P/C bouncing from Queens Park (wasn’t he into ‘bum patting?)…..a ‘P de Q’ name…..then yesterday or the day before, I almost drove into the fence down front whilst parking Edna as Zoomer Radio News AM anchor Jane Brown tells us to add Jean Charest to the list of ‘potentials’. Hello? Hell, once The Savieur de Quebec, he’d be a good one if he remembered what colour sweater (blue or red) to wear when he lands at the Convention! Peter McKay is saying ‘no thanks’ thus far, and Rotzy thought ‘he’d be there with bells on.’ Then I was thinking (to myself), ”Hey Toad, what about Robert Stanfield?! Yeah, the ‘Underware King’! I met Bob in 1973 when I was coaching the Peterboro Panthers and snapping caps off ice-cold Octoberfest (*tm) Beer (in the ‘squatty’ bottles) at our annual Maytime Pantherfest fundraiser. Two of our executives (both BIG Lawyers and both BIG Conservatives) brought Mr. Stanfield behind the bar I was working at for intros, handshakes, small talk and vote flogging. I offered to ‘buy’ Robert a beer, but he still had yet to shake the hands of another 1500 ‘Pantherfesters’….most of whom by that point were already pretty well ‘Festered”. I bade him ‘good luck’….but it didn’t work….nor did my vote as The Underwear King lost to a guy named Trudeau….just like Joe Clark before him in ’68, tho I’d voted orange that tyme. That said, Stanfield looked ‘quite olde’ in 1973 so I think he’d best let others fight over the leadership this tyme. But….if someone nominates J. Diefenbaker, the scrutineers had better get on their collective toes.

Can U Imagine? *Whoa!! I have no “F/N” idea HOW/WHY I came up with that ‘U’ short form in the ‘bannerline’ above? Rotzy doesn’t do that s–t! It should have been ‘Can You Imagine’. Nor will you see me ‘signing off’ with some half-assed smiley face……like this (: ….or should it be like this? 🙂 Jeez…..now I’m all mucked up and forget what was/is gonna go in this space. Lovely!! Just “F/N” lovely! Hey! It’s Sun 1:10 PM at the moment….NO!….s–t! it’s 2:10 if I turn the clocks ahead, like I was supposed to….Rotzy here….’clocking out’ until tomorrow ayem. Early, OK? *Well, it’s Mon 10:10AM…which is NOT ‘early’ by RST (Rotzy Standard Time) measure, and what I was trying to say/write yesterday is that yours truly made it through the ENTIRE week (Sun. to Sun.) with ZERO ‘health’ appointments! No family doctor, no cardiologist, no podiatrist, no cardiovascular surgeon,,,,in fact no surgeon of any kind, no EMS, no respirologist, no gastrologist, (upper or lower), no proctologist…..and lastly, no ****ing dentist, my least favourite! S–t, Rotzy would rather have a L 4/5 Discectomy than suffer with having a wisdom tooth pulled! Hurrah, hurrah for me, eh? Just glanced at my calendar and this week looks like….well….maybe….TWO FREEBIE WEEKS in a row, you think? Stay tuned.

*Thought Of The Day…I thought we learned a lesson on dealing with a madman in 1939. We didn’t.

Posted in From NAKINA... | Leave a comment

12 Best Foods to Eat in the Morning

The 12 Best Foods to Eat in the Morning

  1. Eggs

Eggs are high in protein and several important nutrients. They may promote fullness and help lower your calorie intake later in the day.

  1. Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is not only high in protein and low in calories, but certain types are also high in probiotics, which support gut health.

  1. Coffee

The caffeine in coffee promotes alertness and enhances physical and mental performance. Drinking coffee regularly is associated with a lower risk of illnesses.

  1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is rich in beta glucan, a type of fiber that may lower cholesterol levels and increase feelings of fullness. It also contains many vitamins and minerals.

  1. Chia seeds

Chia seeds are high in fiber, which may help promote fullness and reduce hunger levels.

  1. Berries

Berries are high in fiber and low in calories. They’re also rich in antioxidants that may decrease your risk of disease.

  1. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is high in protein, which may help keep you full and reduce hunger. Common breakfast toppings include fresh fruit, veggies, seeds, and granola.

  1. Whole wheat toast

Whole wheat toast is a good source of fiber. Plus, you can top it with a wide variety of nutritious spreads.

  1. Nuts

Nuts are a filling, nutrient-dense food that may help reduce heart disease risk and promote brain health.

  1. Green tea

Green tea contains caffeine, as well as an antioxidant called EGCG, which is tied to a reduced risk of chronic disease and better brain health.

  1. Protein shakes

It’s easy to whip up a protein shake or smoothie in a few minutes and take it on the go. Plus, this simple breakfast makes a great post-workout option.

  1. Fruit

Eating a variety of fruits provides you with different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. What’s more, most fruits contain high amounts of fiber that may promote fullness and keep your blood sugar levels stable.


Franziska Spritzler and Katey Davidson, MScFN, RD, CPT
— Medically reviewed by Kim Chin, RD, Nutrition

Posted in HEALTH & SAFETY | Leave a comment

HEALTH: The power of music and health

Over the years, music-based strategies have been investigated for everything from hospital stays, to walking, to sleep, yielding positive results in each of these areas. Given the deep connection that most of us have with music, it should come as no surprise that researchers around the world continue to investigate music’s therapeutic benefits. Music is a safe, simple, and inexpensive strategy to support health and wellbeing. Whether for yourself, or a loved one, consider incorporating more music into your everyday life and enjoy the benefits it may provide.

For the full story, click:  MUSIC and HEALTH     

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Ginger Kuenzel

My first job was as a legislative assistant and speechwriter for a Congressman in Washington, D.C. As the Vietnam War raged on and the Nixon administration made some very bad choices, I chose to leave that behind to embark on a hitchhiking adventure on the backroads of Europe, from Scandinavia to the Balkan countries. After seven months of riding in trucks and sleeping in youth hostels, I settled down in Munich, Germany, eventually marrying and starting a family. I became a journalist, reporting on politics, the arts and lifestyle in Germany for U.S. publications. In 1995, I returned to the U.S., working first as a reporter in the Adirondacks of NY State and later in Corporate Communications in private industry in Boston and New York City. In 2010, I moved full-time to the Adirondacks, where I grew up. There, I established a freelance business as a corporate consultant and writer, author, journalist, editor and translator. In my free time, I delved into politics, serving on our Town Board as well as volunteering on other local and regional boards. I’ve written one book (Downtown) and co-authored another (Lake George Reflections). These days, I spend half my time on northern Lake George in the Adirondacks and half in a small town in southwest Florida. Both places are slightly hard to get to and even harder to leave.  I guess you could call both of them the Utopian State. But in fact, the Utopian State is more a state of mind than an actual place….

Read more from this American humorist who writes with funny-bone-tickling feather> Click Ginger

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Get off the road!! Is it time someone in your family should no longer be driving?

The time when we should stop driving comes for each of us. It will be a sad time, relinquishing one’s driving permit. A depressing time where we lose independence and self-reliance. However, for safety’s sake, to save a life, that time needs to be reviewed, assessed and the driver taken off the road.

For details relating to examining and assessing a family member’s driving capability,
click: CAA

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Lost generation? Keep hoping…hope springs eternal !

Watch the entire message…1.5 mins !

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Are “Robotphones” driving you crazy?

Do robotphones drive you crazy? You wait and wait and wait. Then get told to press a number to get to a particular connection, to no avail. Well, it ends now…no more.

Here is your path to connecting with a live person…

  1. Click on the green image
  2. Type the name of the company in the box
  3. Receive a phone number to a live person
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Mar 7 – No blossoms but lots of buds replacing the Smirnoffs

Rotzy’s boycotting in protest and workin’ hard at boycotting the right stuff. It’s an education, we tells ya!

Somewhere in the last one or two “F/N” columns, yours truly jumped in (with both feet) on various ways and ploys we could/would attempt to wreak some major havoc on Comrade Putin and his Russian economy….following various governments (like the US, our own, Gr. Britain and cetera) though OUR targeted area(s) would be much ‘smaller’ than oil and gas and other such commodities….like, perhaps ‘retail products’….not really knowing what Canada buys from them in tymes of peace, yet I’m quite confident the Lada automobile was not a shining example of such enterprise! And then the idea bloomed just like Dutch tulips in the spring! Vodka! That’s it….we’ll BOYCOTT their !!&%$#@! VODKA at the In And Out Store….aka the LCBO. Well, dont’cha know it was just like someone at Queens Park had latched onto Rotzy’s idea, it’s all over the news that weekend and all of their stores were mandated….(*look!…I don’t have tyme for this, so if you don’t like word ‘mandated’, insert the word ‘told’, if you can’t handle ‘told’, skip the “F/N” article entirely)….to ”remove all Russian vodka from LCBO store shelves immediately, and I’m thinking ”perfect! kick ’em where it counts! Right in the wallet”!! Anyway, Monday ayem I find myself at the In and Out Store to top up my Bud Light Tall Boy count as well as finding a ‘nice dry white’ (like a Cote du Rhone 1998 Chablis) to go with Miz. Jo’s Crevettes, Champignons et Riz Brun Pilaf Dinner….so I’m rolling my cart outta the Chilled Beer Room and there’s the vodka aisle right ahead of me!!…..very neat, but absolutely BULGING with product. Especially SMIRNOFF, where the name and various Smirnoff products and ‘by-products’ occupy half the shelves! So….SO….I immediately growled (almost) to myself ,”Well, Toad….lovely!….isn’t THAT just that some kind of BOYCOTT”!….I glance down at my LCBO cart with my 6-pack of tall boys in the top rack carrier and grumbled (to myself) a tad too exhuberantly (”C’mon Toad, let’s show Vladimir what a real Ruskie “F/N” BOYCOTT looks like…..Rotzy’s one man wreck/em derby”!! Then, before I could ‘launch’ my Dodgem Car I mumbled, (”Toad….don’t be a dink! You KNOW most of these people, and most of them KNOW you….you wanna leave them with a great big mess to clean up?!” I whined….”Well, yeah!….I mean no!….but what about LCBO pulling all Russian products off their shelves”!!?? Suddenly there’s a young/new-to-me staffer standing right in front of me. He smiled and politely asked….’anything we can help you with this morning, Sir?’ Rotzy….rudely stated “I thought you were/are boycotting Russian products. (‘Yes Sir…..we….were/are’.) You’ve got a full (almost) aisle of Smirnoff s–t!!'(‘But they’re not Russian, Sir….*and he may have thought they’re French?) I lied ‘I knew/know that!!…..and immediately backtracked…..adding ‘sorry’….then he told yours truly the names of the ‘benched brands’, none of which were known to Rotzy. Anyway, perhaps you too are a little Wiser*tm as to Vodka 101….and Wisers*tm is whiskey. And the next tyme Comrade Putin sits down with a jug of his most favourite, I hope he chokes to death on it. Bottom line, because of a LCBO staffer who was on his toes, Rotzy didn’t have to ”extricate” (*verb…’to remove’ or ‘pull out’) my foot from my mouth. Thanks, guy!

Readers Ask
And recently it’s gotten (very annoyingly) too often, with a conversation something like this….”what’s happened to The D.O.T.W. (Dink Of The Week) Award? ”Seems like ages since there’s been one named and I’d have to check to see whom grabbed the honours…..’did you have someone in mind’? I ask, (and then brace myself) further wondering ‘does your person-in-mind live in or Moscow”? Actually, let’s cut the crap here, OK? If you’re talking about the Leader/Dicktator of Communist Russia….Vladimir Putin….you’re right. Actually, you’re ‘correct’….but you’re not ‘right’ to say he’s an automatic/shoe-in as the “F/N” D.O.T.W. In fact, you’re dead-ass wrong! You see, here at “F/N”HQ the D.O.T.W. is thing we pull up when needed to get someone in line….a D.I.N.K….and there is even the opportunity to get OFF the list….to ‘un-D.I.N.K.’ as it were. Hey….we even have some funn with it at tymes. However, as to Comrade Putin….firstly, Vadimir is ‘no “F/N” Comrade’ of Rotzy’s….and he is SO “F/N” far BEYOND anything resembling a D.I.N.K, kuddo , it doesn’t calculate.

More Readers ‘Contributions’
This one found the “From Nakina” Inbox last mid-week…..and yours truly LIKED the idea. I mean, REALLY liked it!! He had picked up on a Zoomer Radio News clip with some politician (Canadian?) wondering aloud 1/ if Russians studied Shakespeare in high school/college; 2/was Julius Caesar not usually part of the curriculum 3/ is Brutus’ part exactly the same in the english language version 4/how many Russian soldiers, officers and cetera would LOVE to ‘play Brutus’ in the Shakespeare…..because I rather doubt this Russian Mad Man has anywhere the number of committed ‘followers’ we’re led to believe. Plus, the current Cease Fire with the Ukrains is a blatant misuse of power three days ago…..Putin called a cease fire…..his enemy did cease. Russia did not. Rotzy’s telling anyone who wants to listen that Vladimir WILL cause NUCLEAR WAR….tho I really want to be wrong, rather than having to say ”I told you so”. But to whom? Hence….et tu Brute!!

,,,,and it’s there right before ‘them’ (*see below) (not to mention ‘us’, if I’m gonna be truthful). The brass ring, an easy arm’s reach from the carousel; the light at the end of he tunnel; the thrill of the roller coaster; three aces and a pair of kings in a poker hand….and/or, more to the point….tossing a no-hitter whilst dropping your era to1.95 ; hitting for the cycle; scoring a pair of field level 3rd Row seats at Fenway with the Yankees coming for 3 games in September; seeing the Cubs vs the White Sox at Wrigley; a 3-run ‘frozen-rope’ /’walkoff’ ‘dinger’ in the bottom of the 13th….OK, OK, OK! ‘Nuff said….Rotzy’s talking BASEBALL here and now! Major League Baseball (MLB) and all the accoutremontes (did I just say ‘accoutremontes’?) But….it’s …….ahhh, s–t….never mind. Rotzy needs baseball, our neighbour Dorothy (not her real name) needs baseball/her Jays. OK, OK, OK….the FIFA Cup awaits in the wings, while MLB plays mind games but get our Blue Jays back. Rotzy’s NOT picking sides in this damned, poorly timed pissing contest….owners/players/coaches/managers/mascots/Home Hardware Field Keepers/Trainers/Beer-Food Vendors/and, least of all, Umpires….in fact, we/they need tor one of the ‘more veteran type’ Umps, to walk into one of their solve-nothing, bulls–t sessions, and yell loudly ”PLAY BALL’!!!’

*Thought Of The Day….If you thought Skyline Living had/has moved their snow mountain range by now, you’re wrong! I told you to go with May 8-10th

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ALBATROSS by Terry Fallis



Terry Fallis

Fallis, the Stephen Leacock of our times, maybe. But not with his latest work, Albatross. With this novel, ‘philanthropist,’ ‘humanitarian’ may be more appropriate labels.


Phys ed teacher, Bobbie Davenport does some physical measurements on four of her male gym students. Based on the research of a Swedish scientist, one student not only stands out, but stands out by miles. According to the guide presented in The Scandinavian Journal of Kinesiology and Sports Medicine study, Adam Coryell is your average high-school student–well, except for that obsession with fountain pens–when his life changes forever. Based on a study by a quirky Swedish professor that claims that every human being, regardless of athletic inclination, has a body that is suited to excel in at least one sport, it turns out that Adam is good–very good, in fact–at golf. Even though he’d never even picked up a golf club. Continue reading

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AMERICAN DIRT, Jeanine Cummins

AMERICAN DIRT, Jeanine Cummins

También de este lado hay sueños. On this side, too, there are dreams.

Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favourite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy — two of them her favourites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same. In fact, only Lydia and her 8-year-old son, Luca, escape the gruesome and fatal retribution meted out by the cartel against Lydia’s husband and his family.

Lydia decides to flee Acapulco as she knows the cartel will pursue the surviving members of the family.

Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia — trains that make their way north toward the United States, where they believe Javier’s reach doesn’t reach. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

Richard writes
American dirt is an opus, a tome of weightiness like a blacksmith’s anvil, heavy with prose, deep with symbolic insertions, and colloquial with Mexican phrases. These many features of the writing saturate the canvas of the prose more deeply, more colorfully. Cummins is a master craftsperson!

The book engages the reader from the opening scenes, the horrific slaughter of Lydia’s family. Lydia and Luca flee the city seeking security and safety from the cartel, el jardineros. Every page, a new scene of suspense and danger. Each chapter, a new crisis coloured with the same hues of danger and threat. Lydia and her son are in a never-ending state of fear, and constant threat fearing they are endlessly exposed to the vengeful objectives of the cartel.

Cummins’s hard work in writing the book is evident everywhere. Though she is an American, her extensive research in Mexico as preparation for writing the book is very clearly evident. Her widespread use of Mexican words, Mexican phrases and Spanish expletives add even more authenticity to her descriptive opus.

American Dirt is a never-ending roller coaster of tension and suspense, a constant ride of threats and dangers. Every reader will hold their breath as they turn the next page.

It is worth viewing the endnotes Cummins provides about her book just to see all the help she received in writing the book. Many of the people credited with assisting seem to be friends and acquaintances rather than book writing professionals. This should not detract or diminish the credit and recognition Cummins deserves for writing a masterful book. These assistants likely have put a tremendous amount of spirit and passion into their efforts as amateurs often do. But American Dirt is in no way amateurish.

American Dirt is an excellent read, page after page. Occasionally, unnecessarily prolonged in its clause after clause descriptions, unnecessary repetition to emphasize a point, may be over criticism of the book. The book remains interesting, suspenseful, and brimming with tension throughout.

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To STOP driving is a very difficult decision to take but that time will come for all of us. The benefits of driving are numerous, chief of which is independence. However, at some point, everyone loses their capability to drive safely.

Do you have a family member whose driving needs serious review? Reading the CAA brochure may help you in making a safe decision. To access the brochure, CLICK:  CAA BROCHURE.

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You have to Live Your Life, just my opinion

Just my opinion…

With some hesitation, some scientific knowledge and a lot of weather-related motivation, we set out for a two-month stay in Florida. Our last such winter get-away happened two years ago, so we very much anticipated this vacation. We didn’t know what to expect; however, we felt that following Canadian protocols in the land with no protocols, only suggestions, would be the safest way for us.

Reality set in very quickly. We were aware that restrictions were loose or non-existent, and yet, when a newfound “freedom” challenged us, we thought twice about how that freedom would impact us.

There are no mandates in any part of the state to wear masks or distance in a crowd at any indoor venue. The rule of the thumb is that double-vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks indoors or out as they are protected from contracting the virus through the vaccine. The emphasis in Florida is all about personal accountability/responsibility for one’s health. Government makes no restrictions; instead, it encourages the public to make its risk assessment to its health if masks are required. However, getting the vaccine and the boosters are highly recommended at the end of every announcement.

We were wearing masks when we registered at the front desk, but no one else around us did. The agent openly and vocally reminded us that we are in a FREE America; therefore, we will not see many people wearing masks. Americans don’t like their government or scientists telling them how to conduct themselves even in a pandemic.

We were now introduced to a Florida that we had not experienced for two years. We resolved to wear masks indoors but limited our excursions for the necessities. The employees all wore masks in the grocery stores, but the shoppers were at 50/50%. It was intimidating at first because it is inevitable that many unvaccinated people are shopping around us. You don’t know who is next to you in the check-out line.

Restaurants are at total capacity, and masks are optional. A Restaurant, a Creperie, has a sign in the window that no one with a mask will be admitted. That was a new twist in these strange times and a bit frightening.

The vaccination rate for children from 5-11 is meagre and slow. For that reason, Disney highly recommends wearing masks on all rides and indoors, but not in the theme parks where the crowds are. However, each theme park controls the number of guests who enter; therefore, the more popular parks are sold out for days on end, but Americans give this a pass as it’s all about the children, and children are less likely to pass on the virus.

I overheard a discussion between a Canadian and an American couple questioning the newly arrived and masked Canadian guest to the resort. The American was genuinely surprised at our restrictive protocols. He suggested that we live in an oppressed country with such severe controls. But he had no answers when he talked about our universal primary health care, which the government pays for, the overrun ICU’s, the efficacy of the vaccines, or the unrelenting death toll of loved ones.

The ignorance, the self-absorption and the entitlement amazed me. How can Americans have such a different attitude towards something as universal as a pandemic and yet live on the same continent as Canadians with a very different perspective?

In concluding my opinion piece, the American emphasis is on personal accountability. There is little fear of the virus. The consensus seems to be that “we have to learn to live with this virus, so we might as well do that sooner than later.”

It looks like we are precisely going to do it!

Just my opinion.


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Celebrate WOMEN

March is Women’s Month.

You are invited to help us honour and celebrate all women this month.

Write about a woman you admire
Write a short snippet, 50-150 words, about a woman you admire and believe is deserving of recognition and honour, about any woman, your choice, someone in your family circle, someone you admire, a celebrity, a writer, a politician, even your mother. Send your piece along with a photo/image if you have one to zippyonego@gmail.com.

Your piece will be added to our honourees list and will be posted on the BOOKz, COOKz, NOOKz website this month giving these women the recognition and honour they deserve.

Send your text writeup to Richard at zippyonego@gmail.com.

On behalf of all the women who deserve recognition and honour for their contributions to each of us, to our society and to our families…thank you.



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Here’s an idea for you…if you have a caring soul

These are tough times, for everyone. The pandemic, the truck convoy, the threat of war in Ukraine, inflation, weather inconsistency, global warming(?), hit and run traffic incidents, rising gun crime…the list just goes on and on.

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What I learned from two nuns in Florence

I found some notes about a couple of nuns I had met in Florence. They spoke English with a delightful Italian accent and were very engaging in their friendliness with me, a Canadian tourist. They accepted my invitation to have a coffee together where they engaged me in a thought-provoking and life-changing way of looking at life. It did not have an impact on me until late in life, now.

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Seniors Meal Box program

Seniors Meal Box program cooked meal delivery service for seniors in need who are facing food insecurities. We are currently delivering to Whitby, Ajax, Pickering, Oshawa, and Scarborough. We are offering an Indian food menu at the moment, but we will be expanding our menu shortly.

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Website visitors vary as to how they access the newsletter. To accommodate these variations, we offer the newsletter in two formats, MS WORD and PDF:



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Feb 28 – Sunday #2 Re-write….OK?….Bob A Quick Apology….

Rotzy’s might be slippin’ up a bit…the winter finally gettin’ to him but here’s his revision to last week’s column….He’s claimin’ a lack of oxygen.

….for last week’s “F/N” column/dog’s breakfast…..Sun and Mon portions in particular. As Miz.Jo pointed out to me in the aftermath, ”you weren’t even here Sun morning”! and even as I rapidly countered with “Oh yea? Was too….was too!”! I knew she had me. Long story short….not enough oxygen getting into my gray matter. Hence, I was off to BGH E/R again via EMS early aft….using up (hopefully) the last of my Frequent Rider Miles Program. ECG/EKG, B/work, Chest X-Rays, more B/Work, Ct-Scan, and cetera….no heart attack, no blood clot in lungs, and cetera. Gonna have an echo cardiogram follow-up in a couple weeks. I need to keep my 02 levels up or Rotzy gets like Elvis ”all fogged up”…..well-a bless-a my soul. So….SO….what eventually made it to the news stands on the “F/N” page last Wed was the s–ts. And the timing couldn’a been worse, looking at ALL things happening within The Dominion and beyond….all the while Rotzy’s pumpkin was being reduced to something comparable to creamed spinach….with my IQ surely having slipped to levels well below my standard BGG (Brantford Guy Group) registration numbers, which, at the moment, escapes me. Anyway, bear with me, readers, whilst I aim to make amends and get the Rotzy Roller back on track. And thanks.

Another ‘Apology’….
….of a different sort. I’m walking out of Zehr’s Market last mid-week with some $20-odd bucks worth of groceries, whilst getting a run-down of Tyson The Cart Guy’s (not his real name) bets in his NHL Pool for the nite before. He’s really into that stuff, but he’s on a skid, sliding from 4th place down to 8th in just over a week! and he was lamenting an abysmal performance last night by T.O’s goaler vs les Canadiens, who had won a total of only 8 games to that point. So….SO….I’m reminding Tyson, though he certainly was already aware, that their current points/records don’t matter a damn when the Leafs and Habs get together. Suddenly he switches his tone with ”Aw…..lookit that, man”. And there it is….my (and surely his) first ‘F–k Trudeau’ sign….right in front of our eyes! Factory made/store bought and installed on the trunk of a spiffy, little black Honda or Hyundai (I can’t tell the difference), which, according to Ty, was parked quite ‘illegally’. So of course Rotzy immediately mumbled something about ”the car’s likely just been in the Ottawa area….notoriously bad parking!….to which the Cart Guy guy agreed. Oddly, at the first spotting of the flag….and I say ‘oddly’ because I can curse with the best/worst of them when needed, yet I felt a slight sense of ’embarrassment’….at seeing the ‘F’ word right out in the open where anybody/everybody can see it. And see it they did….as if on cue for ‘our benefit’ a young mother and father (30-ish?) with a young daughter (9 or 10?) son (7 or 8?) plus a little one in a stroller. The boy and girl spotted the flag right off and Mom’s trying to herd them quickly toward the entrance without kicking up any more fuss and a quick glance at Ty and me….then Dad barked out something at them and ‘the show was over’. Leaving yours truly with that damned ‘sense of embarrassment’….again….only more pronounced this tyme. And that, for Rotzy as well as the bulk of Canadians will serve as a reminder of ‘the message’ left behind when the anti-vaccers/honkers/flag-flyers(*see below), rioters/protestors/pigs/sheep/bandwagoners/partyers/mandate haters/fund raisers AND some Truckers….mostly O/O’s (Owner Operators) or Brokers as we called them when yours truly worked in Transportation. Anyway, it’s clear YOU don’t like Justin T…..well, neither do I! REALLY!! But your flag is rude/embarrassing…..DITCH IT, OK?! Merci.

The Town With A Heart Of Gold
That’s what the sign said as you entered Geraldton coming from #11 East and going north on HWY#584. I have no idea what the interchange looks like now with Greenstone (formerly Premier) Gold Mines getting ready to rock. Having said that, “From Nakina” has never really gotten much into Obits and such, leaving those things to Times-Star Editor Eric K. and others, but after having got word last week, there will be one less ‘heart of gold’ to greet folks in G’ton. Miz. Jo and I settled in Nakina back in May 2000 and immediately found that a trip to Geraldton/Gerbilton/The Big Town’ (usually once monthly) with half a dozen ‘stops’ was necessary for stuff not available in Nakina….Marino’s Hardware was always on the list and shooting the s–t with John was a necessity….I was ‘editor’ of The Nakina News (TNN) and John always called me ‘Mr. Editor’ as I set a couple dozen copies on their counter….and he was The Chief. Well, Rotzy’s not The Editor any more but John will ALWAYS be The Chief. Altho Rotzy’s not ‘right on top of everything Greenstone these days’, John fought a helluva fight….longer than most thought possible. Our thoughts are with Cheryl and the Family. This Is NOT A “F/N” Scoop….. far from it….nor is it any great revelation of facts….the ‘facts’ of this item were all there….in place….and had been for some tyme. However, the FACT of the matter is that yours truly, in spite of/because of my sorry-ass health situation LAST week, I somehow managed to NOT get some kind of word/heads up into LAST week’s column about the WORLD THREATENING SITUATION in Ukraine. Hello? Meanwhile, that whole world-wide potential disaster was virtually ignored for the best part of two weeks while newscasts like CTV Kitch/CBCTV/CBC Radio, and cetera concentrated their broadcasts on Ottawa’s Mandates/Truckorama and what seemed like ‘dwindling interest’ in other COVID stuff. So….SO….with what might be termed ‘WW III warming up on Ukraine’s back lawn’….with anchors and anchorettes offering up nothing more than a few snippets. With more than 150,000 Russian Troops and Weaponry like they like to show off in their parade 1st of May, already in position to attack….soon as they ‘got the word’. Hello?! It’s Sunday Feb 27th this ayem….AND….HELLO??!! (more seriously this tyme!!) It’s DAY FOUR since ”Comrade Putin Has Declared War On Ukraine”!!! Meanwhile I was just down for a ‘puff’ In Edna The CUV, caught part of a CBC World Report News update listing the Dead and Injured for both sides….the number of Russian Military Dead (to this point) blew me away and Rotzy’s gonna do a follow-up recheck….so stay tuned!! While The West looks on….again/still…like we did in Hungary in 1956 and others since then. We….THE WEST….are hitting them in their wallet! Well, I’ll check the Vodka Dept at the In & Out Store today and smash any Smirnoff 40 and 60’s, OK?!

Fotos And Other Scary Stuff
Miz. Jo got me a spiffy pair of knee-high compression sox ON-LINE last Thursday…..Rotzy’s very FIRST item of CAMO clothing….of any kind! ”Looking good”! I said, then declaring I would wear them to the BGG Meeting Friday at the Navy Club. Knowing I’d be safe from laughing/finger pointing and/or rude comments….because Brantford Guys are not rude….especially to 76-yr olde presidents. Seeing that all but about 2 of 43 members are also presidents. All of ’em know yours truly ‘can’t find any long stride (”STRIDES”??!! And ever since we arrived in Brant’s Ford ”From Nakina” (yes, even in winter and I miss those northern winters, like when it down to -35C and lower. Anyway, Miz. Jo didn’t stop with the camo socks…..my newest/most favourite pair…..bright yellow trim, sporting almost 100 assorted dogs on EACH knee-high VIASOX.com*tm. I HAD to ‘pose’….dog sox and BGG t-shirt….for pics for our son and the two sisty-uglers up north. S–t. Rotzy’s becoming a walking ‘fashion statement’. On a serious ‘California Tilt’!!

*Thought Of The Day…If Restrictions and Mandates are being lifted, you can thank the silent majority of Canadians that got vaccinated! NOT the travelling Side Show that will surely take the credit. (Globe & Mail)

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APOLLO MURDERS, Chris Hadfield

APOLLO MURDERS, Chris Hadfield

Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield, soars as a writer too.

1973: a final, top-secret mission to the Moon. Three astronauts in a tiny spaceship, a quarter million miles from home. A quarter million miles from help.

NASA is about to launch Apollo 18. While the mission has been billed as a scientific one, flight controller Kazimieras “Kaz” Zemeckis knows there is a darker objective. Intelligence has discovered a secret Soviet space station spying on America, and Apollo 18 may be the only chance to stop it.

But even as Kaz races to keep the NASA crew one step ahead of their Russian rivals, a deadly accident reveals that not everyone involved is quite who they were thought to be. With political stakes stretched to the breaking point, the White House and the Kremlin can only watch as their astronauts collide on the lunar surface, far beyond the reach of law or rescue.
Full of the fascinating technical detail that fans of The Martian loved, and reminiscent of the thrilling claustrophobia, twists, and tension of The Hunt for Red October, The Apollo Murders is a high-stakes thriller unlike any other. Chris Hadfield captures the fierce G-forces of launch, the frozen loneliness of space, and the fear of holding on to the outside of a spacecraft orbiting the Earth at 17,000 miles per hour as only someone who has experienced all of these things in real life can.
Strap in and count down for the ride of a lifetime.

Richard says
This man is amazing. Test pilot, astronaut, space flights consultant to NASA, composer, musician and now add author to the list.

The writing snaps. The authenticity everywhere. The plot plausible. The entertainment first rate.

In short, Hadfield’s debut novel will surprise any reader with its polish, refinement and engagement from the first page to the climactic ending.

A great story is written in a style that is captivating and entertaining.

I would say it is unreservedly excellent but for one thing. Readers may be confused, puzzled or lost when with the descriptive detail. Try to read for sentences or multiple sentences rather than single words in order to comprehend the action. Read as if you were riding a rocket and the story will fly much better.

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Pickering Library Board VACANCY

library logo

_____Vacancy on
Pickering Public Library Board
(Term: April – November 2022)

The City of Pickering encourages citizens to participate in their community by volunteering for one of our boards or committees. The following Board is currently accepting applications from citizen volunteers:

Pickering Public Library Board


The Pickering Public Library Board is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Library, evaluating its performance and adhering to the Public Libraries Act, RSO 1990, c. P.44. The Board ensures effective governance through policies and frameworks that ensures the organization is run properly. The Board employs the Chief Executive Officer of the Library, who in turn implements the policies and manages the daily operations of the Library through staff and resources. The Board advocates to improve library services and ensure that the needs of the community are at the forefront of Board decisions.

Number of Vacancies: One

Length of Term:  April 1 – November 14, 2022

Meetings:  4th Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m.

If you are interested in being considered for appointment to this Board, please submit an application form which is available at www.pickering.ca/boardsandcommittees setting out a brief description of any job or community-related experience you may have.  

The deadline for submitting your application is March 18, 2022.

Pickering Public Library is committed to inclusive, accessible, and barrier-free volunteer practices and to reflecting and supporting the diversity of the community we serve. We encourage and welcome applications from qualified applicants including members of racialized groups, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity. Please let us know if you require accommodation and we will work with you to ensure a barrier-free application process. 

Additional information regarding the Board is available on the Pickering Public Library’s website at pickeringlibrary.ca/board/ or by contacting the Pickering Public Library CEO, Jackie Flowers at 905.831.6265 ext.1084 or jackie.flowers@pickeringlibrary.ca.

Questions related to the application process can be directed to the Committee Coordinator at 905.420.4660, extension 2047 or by emailing clerks@pickering.ca.

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SLEEP and AGING: you may need less than you think

You find yourself wide awake after 5 hours of sleep and feel ready to get up and meet the challenges of the day. However, the rest of the neighbourhood is still sleeping. You wonder why it is that others need to sleep longer than you. The duration of our sleep may be of concern to some of us and begs the question: “how much sleep is ‘normal’ and how much do I need to be healthy. Although an apparently simple question, there is no simple answer!

Click for the full article:  SLEEP

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EDITORIAL: Become happier, pay it forward.


These are tough times, for everyone. The pandemic, the truck convoy, the threat of war in Ukraine, inflation, weather inconsistency, global warming(?), hit and run traffic incidents, rising gun crime…the list just goes on and on.

Stop the world, I want to get off
Don’t you just wish but as bad as it may seem for you and me, it may be important to review and re-assess. There are others who are worse off, who have experienced worse things, who are in a worse situation than we are. Believe it as it is true.

Maybe it’s time to just give someone else a break and you can do it. You may not be able to buy someone a McDonald’s meal or a Timmy’s coffee. That’s ok. Here are some of the things you might be able to do: smile and wish someone a good morning; say “hello, how are ya;” compliment someone with sincerity; ask someone how they’re doing this fine day; wish someone a fine day….make your own list of what you can do to pay it forward for others to make their day a little better.

Send us your first name and initial and what you did…we’ll post these as examples and ideas for other folks to ‘pay it forward’ too.

Let’s see how far we can get with this campaign….we all know we need some uplifting for sure. So let’s do it for everyone’s sake!

Posted in EDITORIALS | Leave a comment


Kudos to VISA for picking up fraud attempt on my account.

Just got a call from the Visa credit card company notifying of two charges made on my card this morning: $400 and $1400. I never made any such purchases, particularly this morning and so I wanted to dispute the charges. The agent on the line, in what sounded like a noise room, said something is a garbled accent. I asked him for his phone number and told him I would phone him right back. The line was disconnected

I immediately phoned VISA to confirm my account was in good order and at the proper balance. Within a minute or so, everything was confirmed as being in order and the VISA agent confirmed that my call was FRAUD.

Don’t engage them if they call you. Hang up and phone your credit card company to confirm your balances and report what just happened.

Stay safe, stay vigilant and always verify!

Posted in SCAMS, FRAUDS and HACKS | Leave a comment

SENIORS MEAL BOX: A service providing healthy meals to seniors in need

The organization
Seniors Meal Box started in memory of a senior philanthropist and community leader, who, when he was suffering from multiple health issues at a later age, recalled the good food his wife used to prepare. Because of diet restrictions, he could not eat as he once did. Craving the delicious foods he remembered, he continued to gratify his taste buds with meals that were modified but much like meals from his past. Eventually, he began to feel that such good and healthy foods should be available to more than just the privileged in their last days of life. Seniors Meal Box was launched.

Seniors Meal Box is a service statement to support the health and dignity of our elders who find a little joy through food and find healing when they are cared for. The service aspires through its work to continue bringing smiles into the lives of seniors through the food that brought them joy in the past and is still served with love, caring and respect.

Saffron Hub, a non-profit organization based in the GTA, is currently running a free meal delivery program for seniors facing food insecurities. Its mission is to provide healthy and nutritious cooked meals to seniors who need them most. Eligible seniors must be 65+ and live in Ontario in the Durham Region (Whitby, Pickering, Ajax, and Oshawa only), or Scarborough and are facing food insecurities. Registrants can choose from a wide selection of cultural meals to have a taste of home! Go to their website www.seniorsmealbox.com to sign up for your free meal delivery and to learn more!


Criteria to qualify for this service is varied. Qualification is related to the economic situation of each registrant and their individual circumstances. Perhaps you are disabled? Widowed? Widower? Isolated and alone? In need of assistance? Persons who feel they are in the position where such a service would benefit them and make life better for them should apply. Continuation of any provided service is subject to review and reassessment.




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It is becoming an inscreasingly difficult challenge to keep up with the innovations, changes and advancements scammers are using in trying to grab money away from seniors. Take a moment to review some of the notable points made by this post from pensionersfitness.com and fitness guru, Ian McClymont.

Beware of Scams

Scams On Seniors. There are so many different types of scams targeting people regardless of their age or their vulnerability. Many government agencies and organizations. Also, are constantly working to spread awareness of such scams to protect the public from becoming victims of fraud. Some popular scams that are currently targeting older adults include: Charity scams, Romance scams and Prize scams.

Charity Scams

Scams On Seniors. The Charity Scams involve scammers collecting money by pretending to be a real charity. There are different ways in which scammers approach an individual. Often, the scammer will exploit a recent natural disaster or famine, that has been in the news. And by playing on emotions by pretending to be from charities that help children who are ill. Pressure, is often exerted to elicit a donation, and without details about the charity. And as such, address & contact details are often not provided.

When one is approached to donate to a charity. it is useful to check the registration of the charity. Each country has online, a database of the list of registered charities. However, if you are asked to donate at your door, do not give money. Tell the caller you only donate through the bank, and you have no cash at this time. Furthermore, resist any pressure be forceful insist you have no cash.

Romance Scams

Unknown Scammer

Scams On Seniors. Romance Scams occur through dating sites. Also, a scammer sends a few messages and a good-looking photo of themselves, or someone they claim to be. Next, once a person has been charmed, they will start asking them for money. And by claiming to have a very sick family member, or in a desperate situation, where they need your help. After the money is transferred to the fraudsters, they will often disappear.

Where the fraudster is offshore, or the money sent is untraceable, there is little that the police can do. Because they have no investigative authority in the foreign jurisdiction. Because it is too late, and the money is gone. Unfortunately, victims of such scams have no remedy available to them. And the fraudsters will rarely be held accountable for their actions.

Known Scammer

Scams On Seniors. The situation is different when the fraud is committed by a person that is known to the older adult. Because, most often civil and/or criminal remedies are available. It is imperative however, to increase the public’s awareness within the view of the older adult. And by developing mechanisms that will act as preventative measures, rather than redress after the scam / fraud has taken place.

Sad Story

In 2018, Global News interviewed a senior lady who was diagnosed with early signs of dementia. Besides she had lost about $140,000.00 after becoming a target of a fake suiter who stole her money. After losing her husband and feeling lonely, she joined an online dating site, match.com. The imposter began his aggressive pursuit online, sent her pictures of himself and listened to her issues. Also, once she was hooked, the money requests started. Initially, the fraudster requested $12,000.00 USD which she sent. But, then he requested $80,000.00 USD as he claimed he had been jailed in India. Which she also sent, despite her bank manager advising her of the potential fraud.

Only when the imposter asked her to send money for the third time did she accept that she had been scammed. And went to the police to report it. By that time, it was unfortunately too late. The scam caused her to lose her independence. Consequently, she had to move out of her house as she couldn’t afford to live there anymore. In addition, she also had to sell her car.

This victim is aware that retrieving the money is almost impossible but she wanted her story to be heard. And in the hopes of warning others who might fall a victim to such a scam.

Prize Scams

Prize Winner

Scams On Seniors. The Prize Scams occur when people are contacted via an email, a letter, text message, social media or phone call, advising they have won, or have a chance at winning, a prize or lottery. The “winner” must first purchase something, or pay an advance fee such as taxes to receive the prize. The fraudsters also urge the individual to keep their winnings private or confidential, to ‘maintain security’, or stop other people from getting the prize by mistake. This is done to prevent the person from seeking further information or advice from independent sources.

Another story reported by CBC News, is of a senior from Norfolk County, who was scammed out of $152,000.00, after being told by an unknown caller that he had won an International Sweepstakes Lottery valued at $24.9 million USD, and needed to send money via wire transfers to cover the taxes from the winnings. The wire transfers were sent to addresses in San Francisco and New Jersey, then they were subsequently transferred to a number of unknown individuals.

Unfortunately for this victim, no legal recourse was available since there was very little that the police could do -the money and the perpetrator were in a foreign jurisdiction.

E-mail Warning

Receiving e-mails are often how scammers first reach you, an e-mail from a bank is often used. However, if it is not your bank, report it as phishing, usually found in the junk drop down menu. But if the e-mail is looking like it is from your bank, do not click on anything. So then, if you are concerned, ignore the e-mail and log on to your bank as you normally do. Also, once you open your account if there is anything from the bank it will be in the messages. Furthermore, this is a favourite of scammers because people worry if the bank contacts them.

There are a number of known scammers who operate online and are responsible for robbing people especially older adults. So then here is a link that you can follow to see some of these  scammers  Also this site lets you see lists of photos of innocent people whose picture is being used illegally to front for these scams.


Ian McClymont, pensionersfitness.com

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UKRAINE: an attractive morsel for the Russian Bear !

How the nation of Ukraine ranks in the world:

1st in Europe in ammonia production;

1st in Europe in proven recoverable reserves of uranium ores;

1st in Europe in terms of arable land area;

1st place in the world in exports of sunflower and sunflower oil;

2nd Europe’s/4th largest natural gas pipeline system in the world

2nd largest iron ore reserves in the world (30 billion tons);

2nd place in Europe and 10th place in the world in terms of titanium ore reserves;

2nd place in Europe in terms of mercury ore reserves;

2nd place in the world in barley production and 4th place in barley exports;

2nd place in the world in terms of explored reserves of manganese ores (12% of the world’s reserves);

3rd largest in Europe and 8th largest in the world in terms of installed capacity of nuclear power plants;

3rd largest iron exporter in the world

3rd largest producer and 4th largest exporter of corn in the world;

3rd place in Europe (13th place in the world) in shale gas reserves (22 trillion cubic meters)

3rd place in Europe and 11th in the world in terms of rail network length (21,700 km);

3rd place in the world (after the U.S. and France) in production of locators and locating equipment;

3rd place in the world by the area of black soil (25% of world’s volume);

4th in the world by the total value of natural resources;

4th largest exporter of turbines for nuclear power plants in the world;

4th largest producer of potatoes in the world;

4th place in the world in clay exports

4th place in the world in titanium exports

4th world’s largest manufacturer of rocket launchers;

5th largest rye producer in the world;

5th place in the world in bee production (75,000 tons);

7th place in the world in coal reserves (33.9 billion tons)

8th place in the world in exports of ores and concentrates;

8th place in the world in wheat exports;

9th place in the world in exports of defence industry products;

9th place in the world in the production of chicken eggs;

Ukraine is an agricultural country:

10th largest steel producer in the world (32.4 million tons).

16th place in the world in cheese exports.

Ukraine can meet the food needs of 600 million people.

Ukraine is an industrialized country, not a third world power.

Reg R.

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Feb 21 – Rotzy’s goes truckin each mornin’….but not to Ottawa

Rotzy does his own truckin’ thing each morning on the parking lot of Harris Place….the man is entitled to his morning coffee and smoke, in the manner that pleases him!

           9:00AM-ish to Noon-ish….and Rotzy’s admittedly having a tyme of it because Rotzy doesn’t ‘do double-tasking’ well at all, like when I’m walking and chewing gum at the same tyme, suddenly realize it and my pumpkin kicks into O/D….but in the case at hand, we’re referring to A/ writing my weekly Times-Star “F/N” column whilst B/ glimpsing at the police/military who are busy removing ”protesters” on CTV’s News Channel…..even a couple of their $200G rigs. But we’ll get back to that in a while, OK? OK.

Snow Removal-‘Skyline Style’
          You will please note yours truly said/wrote ‘removal’….NOT ‘plowing’….and the difference is substantial. And (for our four winters here at 555 Harris place) removal’s not had to have been used much in Brant’s Ford and nil here at the compound, because we don’t get nearly as much snow as Kitchener for example. Then came the Storm Of The Decade a couple weeks ago and we end up with The Skyline Mountains, different sizes/shapes, but all 10-15 ft high, all ‘snow-capped’, right here at the 536/555/575 compound. Well folks, dont’cha know we all got notified (as per normal, via Skyline letterhead paper stuck in our door of a major snow ‘removal’ Wed Feb 16th! from 9:00AM till 5:00PM and to help out by parking elsewhere. Some inconvience (like when they re-paint the lines and numbers) but it’ll get rid of the mess, open things up, and reclaim at least a dozen parking spots. Sounds good to me. Wed called for +8C,,,,sun and cloud…then rain and more rain….ending with a LOT of snow on Thursday. Anyway, at/before 7:00AM Wed, there are oldsters running around in their SUV’s, nailing the closest spots to here out front on Park Road North….be they legal or not. About 8:00 I saw the front-end loader and its’ operator sitting/standing down front in the middle of the lot waiting on the dump truck(s) to load and get rid of the mountain range. Guess what? No dump truck(s), nor were any the next day! Imagine. It’s Monday 5:00am as I’m finishing this off…..more on that later….and altho no snow was removed, residents did get word that three or more people had fallen on Friday on the walkways and/or….as to the latter, the front-end loader driver who does the parking lot had STILL not figured how to scrape it down to ‘bare’…..where he could/would ‘go pile it on the mountain’ (sounds like a Xmas song!)….and ‘take it away in a dump truck’…not sounding like a Xmas song…but regardless, there’s no dump truck(s) anyway. Well, yours truly had best get onto the Skyline Grapevine, which, rather than grow red and green grapes that can be turned into Chablis or Beaujolais is more apt to produce truths, lies, alibis….believable, absolutely unbelievable, totally unachievable and sometymes just plain bulls–t. So….SO…..with these thoughts tumbling around Rotzy’s pumpkin, I’m shortly gonna see what info is available on the 3 or 4 ‘fall victims’ from last Thurs/Fri, one of whom (a woman in her early-mid 20’s) had a particularly nasty tumble. In which case, the said young woman may well be checking thru the BFTD Phone Directory, not for an Injury Clinic but more likely looking for ‘Whip-Lash’ Walter Smith: Attorney-At-Law. This could be good….I remember a lady who lived here at 555 Harris Place a year or three ago and told Rotzy and Miz. Jo she’d ‘grabbed just under $200G’s’ from her landlord for her slip/trip and fall resulting in a few broken ankle bones. Tell you what folks….let’s do a ‘stay tuned’ on this one.

Readers Write
          The email began “I had to respond “to your Rant with one of my own”. So he did….and how! Firstly, it was sent TO yours truly, not AT me, secondly we had agreed on the larger matter at hand. Much of which can and will be explained here. OK, I’m taking about Keith Hobbs and the topic of our ‘co-Rant’ was, of course The Ottawa Truck O’Rama…the nationwide No Mandate Protest. Well, I wanted his words to reach ears than Rotzy’s alone…..and as I never use people’s real words attached to their real names I simply decided to ask to be a “F/N”….Keith Prior is a Lifetyme Policeman eventually becoming Thunder Bay Chief of Police (ret) and then served two tull terms as Mayor of F/B. We first met at a Ring Of Fire Meeting for Mayors and Chiefs that I was covering for the Times-Star….became Rotzy and Hobbsy and that was 20 years ago. Anyway, I’ll do my best to to [point yo you HIS feeling towards how POORLY it all went down…..”Feel free to use my name Rotzy. I’m not ashamed of what I feel. This could have been a win-win situation and now our country is under a world-wide telescope, and not for good, as a former Teacher of Police Operational Planning I’m disgusted at the Police actions as well. Like a plan that would have peacefully moved truckers to big suitable area/space on Ottawa’s outskirts led by Ottawa’s Chief Of Police. (*wondering HOW did such a blatant coward become Bytown’s #1 Cop??!!) Anyway, there’s some of Keith’s concerns being brought forth…..*sorry my friend, but Rotzy’s shorthand in copying your email(s) wasn’t/isn’t up to speed…..but please know your frustrations are shared tenfold, *Rotzy,

*Thought Of The Day….Truck O’ Rama aside…..last Wednesday I thought the entire world (starting in Ukraine) was going to be blown to s–t in 5 or 6 hours. I was wrong. Good, eh?

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HTTP:// &  HTTPS://

Keep this in mind!! Especially those of you who order online. This is how hackers get your information.

Do you know the difference between http:// and https://?

I don’t know how many of you are aware of the difference, but it is worth sending to anyone who does not.

The main difference between http://  and  https://  is it’s all about security.

HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (unsecured).

The “S” stands for “secure”.

If you visit a website or web page and look at the address in the web browser, it will likely begin with the following:  http://

This means that the website is talking to your browser using the regular “unsecured” language.

In other words, it is possible for someone to “eavesdrop” on your computer’s conversation with the website.

If you fill out a form on the website, someone might see the information you send to that site.

This is why you never ever enter your credit card number in an http:// website!

But if the web address begins with https://,  that basically means your computer is talking to the website in a secure code that no one can eavesdrop.

If a website ever asks you to enter your credit card information, you should automatically look to see if the web address begins with https://.

If it doesn’t, you should NEVER enter sensitive information such as a credit card number, Ontario Health Card #, SIN #, etc.

http://   UNSAFE
https://  SAFE/SECURE

You may save someone a lot of grief!

Reg R.

It is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish authentic from fraudulent. Examine the following and see if you can spot the fraudulent URL addresses:

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JAN 2022

Computer glitches:
Internet Links in this issue do not function.


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The Art of Racing in the Rain
Garth Stein Continue reading

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The Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Eat (Plus Eight to Avoid)

Inflammation is at the root of many chronic diseases, but you can fight it with food. Arm yourself with knowledge, and then use these delicious, disease-fighting recipes from my cookbook, Meals that Heal.
By Carolyn Williams, PhD, RD

For the full article plus anti-inflammatory recipes,

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Feb 14 – To be truckin’ on or not to be….

Rotzy knows which side of the road he’s truckin’ down…

I Put It Down As Nonsense….
….at first, after a conversation with another olde guy last mid-week over at The In And Out Store. Methinks we’ve ‘known each other’ for a couple or three years….you know, ‘Hi Guy…Nice day eh’?/how ’bout the Leafs’? I don’t know his name or where he lives….hell he may well be at 555 Harris Place….there’s 300 of us here and Rotzy doesn’t know them all, tho it seems most of them know ‘Bob from 555’. So….SO….the guy starts in on the ‘truckers mandate protest’. Yours truly wasn’t really ‘into this’ at the tyme, but he was really getting cranked up, pointing out to me (in a very LOUD voice) ”it’s all about the ‘COVID Mandate’! And repeated it twice whilst nodding his pumpkin vigorously in agreement. He went on “However, I recently found the cure/answer to the current situation! OK? Are you ready to hear it?? Mandate isn’t working, agreed?….nor will it be accepted. So-o-o-o-o-o-o all they do is change the wording….from MANdate to WOMANdate”!! Rotzy said ”Ho-lee s–t pal, are you feeling OK? Lookit here Bud, in truth this protest/riot/coup has precious little do do with these guy and gal truckers….or their little kids who came along for the ride. Now, just re-wind your tape to last week and the ‘protester’s fund-raiser.’…OK?…for fuel, food, who-knows-what, and cetera. Well my friend….they….or ‘somebody'(*see below)….managed to ‘really shoot the lights out’ netting TEN MILLION DOLLARS in 3 or 4 days. Think about that amount! Jerry Lewis had to work an entire Labour Day Weekend to make ONE Million. And when one legitimate company on the ‘fund raising team’ saw TEN MILL on the tote board they were gone in a New York Minute….sum ting wong! Hence, methinks it best if you scrap your ‘Womanhood idea’ as well. Sorry about that. But while all this s–t happens….the protests/riots/blockades/do-nothing police and politicians, going back a week or so, to Sun 6th and Rotzy’s been telling anybody that wants to listen ” there’s something rotting in Denmark. It’s something big! Very BIG indeed….and I seriously doubt if Mr and Mrs Trucker and the kids have an inkling that they are merely ‘pawns in a real-life game of Chess….quite possibly a ‘world-wide game’. (*note* you’ll have to excuse my lack of knowledge about Chess….I’ve NEVER played the game, thus I’m guessing ‘pawns’ and not ‘prawns’. Also, if we ‘vaccinated people in general’….as well as the rest of them….paid/pay closer attention to the stats/numbers, again from circa Jan 6th, we were told some 90% of truck drivers were/are needled. And yet 10% of the trucking populous can stir up a s–t storm to these ridiculous levels, whilst we all look on. They’re getting help from somewhere! The ‘bandwagoners’ on Day One….those proud Canadians who ‘gathered at #401 overpasses’ en route TO Ottawa have long since folded up their Canadian Flags and gone home, for going on two weeks. Not so for the Ottawa gang. For some reason ????? they wanna keep on stirring the pot. Stay with me on this ‘thing’ OK? If/when ‘something breaks’…..and it will….and our government wakes up….and it will….I methinks….it’s gonna be a “F/N” doozie. (*see below)

Remember A Few Weeks Back….
….I crowned Justin Trudeau as “F/N” D.O.T.W. Award Winner (Dink Of The Week)? I can’t put my hands on that edition just now, but I recall J/T had to ‘share’ that week’s winning circle with somebody else….but still was acknowledged. And then in the following week or two here’s Rotzy eating Roast Crow! Damn. The thing is I had decided/indicated he’d gone from Fluffy Trudeau to Tuffy Trudeau after taking a very ‘uncharacteristically’ strong stance vs some hard-line anti-vaccers. Well, dont’cha know last week ‘Fluffy’ was back in Rideau Hall, first as ‘COVID-contacted’ then graduated to a ‘COVIDF-carrier’. But not to worry, Junior does NOT have a sore tummy. Of course our P/M is already on record as having told the law-breakers HE will NOT negotiate with blatant protesters…..I assume he means THEM….the law breakers….and it was in very terse words, for Fluffy. Tell you one thing, if you recall his Pappa’s dealings with/handling of the FLQ during The October Crisis, it’s clear that Junior doesn’t have that type of character. Not even close. More like Margaret. Sadly, there’s a terribly similar shortage of cajones when it comes to the Ottawa Chief Of Police….who will NEVER be mistaken for Dirty Harry or Buford T. Pusser!…and/or the Ontario Premier. Both solid ‘contenders’ for the D.O.T.W. *note to His Lordship in Bytown…..you and the Chief go to The Hill and tell the truck owners (one at a tyme) get your truck outta town….go home…NOW! And if they don’t, move it for them! There ARE plenty tow trucks that WILL gladly do the job. We’ll be watching.

Just As Ridiculous….
….as Ottawa’s tale ‘o woe, and to a lesser degree the scene in T/O, the ‘seige’ of The Ambassador Bridge continues on…to day # who-knows-what…..and the truckers are displaying the same style/amount of ”we’re not going anywhere”….and so far they haven’t. Gone anywhere. ‘More stupid than stubborn’ it says here….tho they’d not likely agree, you think? Anyway, I’m guessing Bytown is ‘hosting a LOT more eighteen wheelers than the Windsor/Dee-troyt crossing which is slowly killing the auto industry….that may be a tad overstated but I don’t think so as I recall waiting for parts in Group 29 of Oshawa’s G/M T/A Plant….and they weren’t even due to a bridge closure. (*ouch* as of Sun 13th the Ambassador had cost ‘business’ $3 Billion for week one)

Good News For Nakina
….Miz. Jo and Rotzy were really pleased to hear Nakina will finally be getting its’ own Doctor! Can’t even guess who was the last physician to actually LIVE THERE? and this has gotta come as great news! Doctor Tiffany Connors Desruisseaux!! and it’s kinda like ‘the prodigal daughter returns….yes….she really did! Return. Seems that Tiffany went into Pharmacy….and basically ‘just kept going from there!! Congrats to you and Brad! It seems just a few years ago….tho it was 20 or more…..at Christmas Eve Mass in the school gym and Tiffany sang Silent Night/Sante Nuit (solo) with Jean-Guy Girard (Guitar) yours truly (Organ) backing her up. It was very special. Once again, welcome home!

*Thought Of The Week…*I thought the PC’s would improve when they gave Erin O’Toole the boot. Well, Candice Bergen got the ‘interim leader’ ticket and what does she do? Welcomes/falls all over the ‘protesting truckers’ as if they’re some kind of ‘stars’,,,,,or maybe ‘financial people’. Way to go, Candy….way to go.

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BAD MONKEY, Carl Hiassen

Our villain was really attached to his watch. His arm, not so much. Neither one… Continue reading

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Seniors’ Centre Without Walls – Phone in Programs

Friday, February 18

11:00 am – 12:00 pm


This legal document gives someone you trust the right to make decisions for you. In this session participants will be introduced to the types of Powers of Attorney, and the documentation required to put it in place. *This is not legal advice.

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From Reg’s desk…
     Laughin’s good for the soul and the body!



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Surviving a heart attack on your own

I hope everyone can send this on as it is really important for everyone to know!

  1. It’s 7:25 pm. You’re going home alone after an unusually hard day.
  2. You’re really tired, upset and frustrated.
  3. Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to drag out into your arm and up into your jaw but you’re far away from any hospital, if you know where one even is.
  4. You may be trained in CPR but the course instructor did not tell you how to perform it on yourself.
    Many people who suffer a heart attack are often alone.
  6. The person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness.
  7. Start coughing repeatedly and very vigorously.
  8. A deep breath before each cough, The cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest.
  9. Repeat the breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again.
  10. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it to regain a normal rhythm.
  11. In this way, heart attack victims can get help or to a hospital.



  • Tell as many other people as possible about this. It could save their lives!
  • A cardiologist says: “If everyone who gets this email & kindly sends it to 10 people, you can bet that we’ll save at least one life.
  • Please contribute by forwarding this email which can save a person’s life….
  • If this message comes around to you ….. more than once…. please don’t get irritated…. We all need to be happy that we have many friends who care about us and we are being reminded of how to tackle.. Heart attacks…. when we are alone.
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Feb 7 –

Rotzy keeps on truckin’…ya expected otherwise??

Readers Write….
            and if you’re thinking this selection arrived from some ‘crusty, olde, SOB’….other than me….you might be right. Check ’em out: *Sorry I’m late….I didn’t want to come. **The best thing about the good, old days is that I wasn’t good, and I wasn’t old. ***I have stopped listening, so why are you talking? ****If you’re happy and you know it, it’s your meds.*****Science doesn’t care what you believe.******If you can’t laugh at yourself, let me do it. Keep ’em coming folks.

If Only….
            we’d purchased $10 or $15 thousand dollars worth of Pfizer*tm stock 10 or 15 years ago Miz. Jo and Rotzy would be ‘living the dream’ to quote a “F/N” reader….not to mention all the COVID-Vaccine we’d ever need….without the lineups! ”If only”, eh? Well obviously THAT didn’t happen….but what if Rotzy was/is THE Bob who owns ‘Bob’s Flags’ down in Pineville, North Carolina. We were customers of Bob’s for many moons, however, we were buying ‘decorative’ flags’ and banners….until we moved here to 555 Harris Place and Skyline asked/told us to ‘remove’ the 2’x3′ silk ‘Welcome’ banner (“someone complained”) covered with beautiful red poppies….so that people 3 floors down on ground level wouldn’t be killed if it worked its’ way loose and hurtled downward. But I digress….back to Bob’s Flags…..it was VERY clear Bobber did/does a LOT of business ‘North of the 49th’ by his ads and specials geared towards Canadians (note* it never occurred to Jo Ann and Rotzy when we were in Nakina to actually purchase a Cdn flag from Bob as we always had a couple….one on the pole and one of ’em still in the package…..courtesy of our Fed MP for T Bay/Superior North….Joe Comuzzi, Bruce Hyer and Patty Hajdu over a 20 year period. I’m guessing/betting not a lot of Canucks know their MP’s can do this ‘free flag thing’ for them but IF you’ve watched much of this sheer ‘IDIOCY’ that’s gone on/going on at an Alberta/USA Border Crossing point, the convergence via #401 on Ottawa and then the ‘lock’ that these ‘protesters’ now have on our capital….Canadians are loading up on red on white maple leafs from somewhere. TODAY (Sat 5th) is Toronto’s Turn….so LOOK OUT TRONNA! Anyway, after all this TV coverage and ALL those CANADA FLAGS….one hanging haphazardly off Terry Fox….if I am ‘Pineville Bob’ I ”love alla y’all Canadians”. Actually, Bob closed his retail shop about five years ago…..because the BIG MONEY is in the mailout and online bid’ness. By the bye……that pretty poppie banner we removed from our balcony here at #303?….it now adorns the Veterans Room at the Royal Cdn Legion in Nakina. Lord love a duck! I DO hope it’s FIRMLY attached to the wall, insomuch as a quick blast of -47C air could come in the front door, ripping the poppies from their moorings and wipe out a foursome (like Gary, Pauline, Ayren and Garret…. (not their real names)….digging into their All-U-Can Eat Spaghetti Dinner. So….SO….it’s 11:58 AM as I wrap up the Sat portion of this week’s column. It says here and now that the Toronto protesters/flag wavers/rioters are sure to ‘out-doo’ the Bytown Bunch from last weekend tho I know not whose graves they might choose to dance on? Also, it wasn’t until I heard the newscast on CBC at 6:00AM THIS morning….Sun the 5th….that I learned of Confederate and Nazi flags being proudly flown in Ottawa last w/end….yet I feel fully confident Hogtown will emerge with something even more revolting than that, altho organizers….’organizers’??!!….in the Capital are expecting thousands more for Week II. They better watch out because ‘Fluffy’ Trudeau is coming on more like Tuffy Trudea these days…..s–t! Tuffy! It even sounds better, you think??

Excuse Me….
            but Rotzy’s gonna ‘call a Tyme Out’. T/O One at this point….Sun 6th 7:30AM. I want/need a ‘puff’, so down to Edna The SUV/my ‘smoking room’ I go….-12C, shorts are the order of the day….’warming’ to -2C. Well, in a way I just wasted a ‘timeout’….other than enjoying my 2nd ‘puff du jour’, I learned diddly-squat about the Hogtown hooligans, instead, ’twas a bi-lingual near-riot in Quebec City, which is doing NOTHING to welcome ‘Winter Carnival’ goers, leaving it all up to the always smiling ‘Monsieur BonHomme’. I did pick up on part of an interesting interview….now this was on CBC Radio-English/Anglais 89.1FM, with no translaters, so Rotzy kicked it into my ‘je parle Francais mode’ and waited for the CBC guy to speak with the crowd…..then some guy was shouting into the microphone (to be heard above the yelling/screaming throng) “I avn’t ad diss much phunn since we taked to da streets for da Maurice Richard riot in ninedeen fiffy siss!! Then he screamed ”Vive la Quebec! Or was it le Quebec? No matter, as I pictured him waving the Fleur de Lis. Maudit. Next stop, the blocking of the Alberta border crossing. Still. With MORE trucks now involved. ”C’mon man….what about Ottawa”??!! you ask. Well, there has been mark-ed increase in ‘protestors’ (that seems to be their preference) hence, who better to axe than The Chief Of Police? He replied ”it’s worse than ever”! then dealt with increase in numbers of participants, increase in all their ‘unlawful activities’ and closing with Ottawans troubled that virtually NONE of these low-lifes are getting the boot and/or having their rigs towed…..home…..at owner’s cost. This SEIGE is nearing TWO WEEKS in duration. The Chief is ‘stumped’. (*it says here, how about you get a machete, get a couple dozen ‘worst offenders’, do some flattening of all ten tyres on ten Kenworths and yank off all their air horns….really have at them! Imagine. Better than ”I don’t know what to do”!!!

2nd Time Out….
            Right now please Mr. Referee! Enough of this s–t, right here and now….tyme out because it’s tyme for a smile or three, and Rotzy came up with some good stuff on CBC Radio yesterday…..Sat, just before and just after NOON, they have the CBC ‘Because News’ with Gavin Lawson….with three or four Comedians….stand-ups and Canadians to boot! Imagine. They’re funny as the get-go and anybody is a target! (*see below)

3rd Tyme Out
            Sunday 11:17AM….*UPDATE* CBC 89.1 FM…. 11:00AM News….a BIG turnout of (mostly) horn honkers in Tronna yesterday. Organizers (somebody say ”organizers”???) promise more of the same today. More ‘smoke bombers today? There was ONE yesterday but an arrest was made! (*hope the Ottawa Police Chief was listening to CBC*)

CBC Radio Laffs (*see above)
            Sorry, but I forget the name of the Host on the other comedy show, The Debaters. He introduces a certain topic, then 3 ‘contestants’ with a funny lead-in, and with ‘short notice’ they each do their bit on the subject. Then they do the ‘Bare Knuckle Round. Yesterday The Because News nearly put me in the ditch whilst driving Edna The SUV south on Park Rd. N. The ‘News Item’….a new Bill was ‘Mandated’ (the word/term that’s wreaking havoc in Canada, coast to coast to coast) and this one passed almost unanimously, was given Royal Assent same day! The Bill was issued by and it was/is ”To legalize Porcupines as Household Pets In Canada.” Hear, Hear, Hear!!! LOL/LOL and too “F/N” funny! The other laff was on Because News and somebody did some great lyrics on a ‘new song’…..”You ‘Needled’ Me”….a ‘cover version’ of Anne Murray’s big hit “You Needed Me”. You want a laff? Good stuff on The Corps Saturdays.

*Thought Of The Day…Everyone was thinking it, I just said it.

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One of Lee Child’s very best, a page-turner that grabs you at the beginning and doesn’t let go, ever. Continue reading

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JAN 31 – It’s Saturday 5:12AM….

Rotzy rants about the truckers’ convoy and the related repercussions…justifiable commentary with which we fully agree….way to go Rotz’…and you do have the right to express your opinion!

It’s Saturday 5:12AM….
 ….as I get started on this week’s column, but before I get into what is probably….no, no, no….I’m saying ‘surely’, NOT ‘probably’….gonna be a major “F/N” rant’, I wanna give a ‘F/N” shout-out to The Little Brown Cow, which Miz. Jo ‘discovered’ on Facebook*tm on Thurs. Ho-LEE! They’re out on the Cockshutt Rd, just before the cut-off to the Rez, between what used to be John’s Shell and Hewitt’s White Rose, the latter being a good spot for ice cream on the way to Dover, and corn on the cob. The LBC didn’t exist in those days, but now the large, plain-looking, red plywood barn structure would be pretty hard to miss. They’ve been there almost ten years….always BIG on corn (COTC) and strawberries but yours truly doubts that ANYTHING from The Cda Food Guide isn’t up for grabs inside with a friendly staff (co-owners) willing to help you locate stuff as well as offering suggestions/preparation tips. So….SO….as the readership knows, Fridays are ‘no meal-fixing/order in/takeout day’, hence we were onto The Little Brown Cow like a hen on a June bug! and went with a ‘Sow Cow’ (which can be an appetizer or entree, depending on who’s slicing it), cooked Savoy cabbage and some sourdough bread. MMmm! Plus we also picked up some other stuff, including two Beef Wellington (individuals) for ‘headliners Sun evening! It’s a wonderful spot for ‘browsing’ as well and Rotzy spotted a rusty, olde farm tractor sitting there on our way out….”a Cockshutt” the lady called to us….”a 1946”! I replied “in that case, my Dad built it”! And I suppose there’s a chance he actually did have a hand in it .

We’ve Had To Make Some Changes….
….here at “F/N”HQ in regard to handing out D.O.T.W. (Dink Of The Week) Awards. Recent actions/reactions/non-reactions/over-reactions to any and all things COVID have forced “From Nakina” to make some changes to help cope with larger numbers. Of dinks. Having revealed that, we’re presenting the very first “F/N” Distinguished D.O.T.W. ‘Corporate Division’ Award to….’SPOTIFY’!! I know not much about them/it, but I’m aware they’re big, have a lot of money and somehow ‘provide music/entertainment to the masses’. But not Neil Young’s music anymore. The 78-yr olde Canadian ordered Spotify to remove ALL his songs from their play list….he’s Pro-Vaccine and Spotify’s not. This cost Neil a LOT of cash (in royalties) but he feels VERY firmly towards vaccine, masques and cetera. Thumbs up for Neil Young….and poop, s–t on Spotify. Then, Rotzy heard on Sat CBC 6:00AM News that Neil’s LONG-tyme friend/fellow entertainer/confidante Joni Mitchell tells Spotify she’s had it with them too….so a “F/N” Hip-Hip Hurrah for Canada’s queen of Folk Music. As to your average/normal/everyday/run-of-the-mill Dink, they have popped up everywhere, especially along highways Like #401. And particularly at #401 overpasses. Some made-at-home signs….like the D.O.T.W.’s from 4-5 weeks ago Sat afternoons over at the Lynden Mall. And FLAGS!! Alas….this new batch of Dinks has gone ‘Flag Crazy’….I even spotted a T.O. Argos banner….but none more popular than the red on white Maple Leaf. ”But why”??!! you ask. ”What’s the big all-of-a-sudden deal on patriotism”?? Well it says here that somebody said ”We’ve got to “TAKE BACK CANADA”. Another somebody repeated ”We’ve got to TAKE BACK CANADA”. Then dont’cha know they play ”Monkey See Monkey Do”. And to some people’s minds it’s a miracle….like a f***ing revelation! Like the first tyme you heard or read ‘Shit Happens’ on a t-shirt. Or Bobby McFerrin sing ”Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” And now we’ve got patriotism running wild all over the place. The roads, the rural concessions, the streets in the towns and cities, to the streets of Bytown (Ottawa), via #401 and it’s many overpasses. (*STOP right there*) This section of Highway #401 is known as The Highway Of Heroes! Referred to by many as ‘sacred ground’. Yet here are these people using it for their ’cause’….and I use the term ’cause’ frivolously/with tongue in cheek….are going the wrong direction….and they are NOT heroes. By a long shot. In fact, what happens if things ‘go poorly for them’ in Ottawa at The House Of Commons….as some people envision, some predict and others pray won’t happen. We’re talking about January 6th 2021 in Washington, DC. when a mob of self-acclaimed patriotic people attacked Capital Hill. When the dust settled….in truth it still hasn’t settled….the very foundation of democracy was damaged. Permanently.

”The Freedom Convoy”…..
…..rolled into Ottawa….Miz. Jo’s i-pod update as of Sat 11:00AM! Does that mean that soon they (the convoy people) will soon ”Take Back Canada”??!! But how?? Take it back from where?? Take it back from who?? C’mon….somebody’s gotta know! Can’t find the P/M? Fluffy is doing the CYA thing on a 5-day COVID sabbatical but he’ll not talk to a bunch of truck drivers anyway….he doesn’t like confrontations. Plus, he’s already scared s–tless at what Putin might do. Jeez. ”Take Back Canada”, eh? Well…..it’s now Sat 11:46AM and Miz.Jo has CTV on ‘LIVE’ in our nation’s capital….so it appears that whilst somebody(?) decided to ‘take Canada’, thankfully, Ottawa is still there! And (*as of Monday Ayem) they’ve had more than they can handle of all these loud, rude, noisy, illegally parked people…..a growing number of whom are nothing but filthy pigs!

Sunday 6:20AM….
….We made it through The Protest-Day One….Day Two has dawned sunny and still cold, yet Rotzy doesn’t know if the protesters were able to TAKE BACK CANADA or whoever it was that ‘took it’ initially still ‘has it’? Rotzy watched CTV coverage alongside Miz. Jo for what seemed like a “F/N” eternity…..Whoa! ‘4-5 hours of BBT….Booringly Bad Television’. ONE thing was/is clear….*the protesting truck drivers VEHICLES (Kenworths/Peterbuilts/Macs) are being USED as the VEHICLE by ALL the other groups protesting everything under the sun! Everything BUT ‘mandated vaccine’. Sorry guys and gals…..really, I am….hell, I worked in trucking for years, all different aspects, but your fate in this ‘protesting business’ reminds me of a George Carlin quote from some years back….”Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups”. (*can I get an ‘Amen’ to that, please!!??) And, while we’re on the subject….here are the only three things you managed on Day One….OK? 1/ A protester threw a can of beer at a young CTV reporter, just missing the guy’s pumpkin by about 6 inches!! (a sign behind the announcer read ”Mainstream Media…Propagandists! 2/There were/are those among Your numbers who think it’s fine and maybe even funny to do an impromptu dance atop the Tomb Of Canada’s Unknown Soldier. At a vaccine protest. Pathetic behaviour. 3/ Defacing that wonderful Terry Fox statue situated on the Parliamentary grounds. I would NOT want to be the perp(s) involved in this ‘no respect/thoughtless situation’ and be caught by the Mayor of Port Coquitlam, BC….Fox’s hometown….because I’m quite sure the perps would be meeting their maker shortly thereafter!

*Thought of The Day…I am who I am. Your approval isn’t needed.

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Jan 24 – More snow innundation lamentation…

Rotzy’s claiming snow conditions here are nothing to sneeze at as they were in Nakina, up north in Ontario.

“From NakRina” ‘Looks Like We Made It’
          to quote Barry Manilow)….through what some media have tabbed ‘The Storm of The Decade’ (*see below) early last week down here in the Banana Belt. It said we got 6 or 7 inches in Brant’s Ford, a tad more in rural areas and some drifting. It IS the biggest fall of snow down here since Miz. Jo and Rotzy migrated to The Telephone City in the fall of 2018. For Nakinaites….and a couple olde ‘misplaced Nakinaites’…..half a foot of snow wouldn’t be/isn’t a big deal….up there. But we’re not. Up there. Up there the main result would be ‘improved snowshoeing/snowmobiling conditions’, but in Southern Ontario….especially anywhere near the GTA….NOTHING good can come from it, except perhaps for a ‘snow day’ for the kids, but at this point students hardly need yet ANOTHER day off, you think? And, did y’all notice T.O. Mayor John Tory did NOT follow Carnival Mel Lastman’s boot prints and call in the Army to save Hogtown. I expect the main difference between here and up north is not so much the plowing of the snow, but getting rid of it. For example, their new front-end loader has made a few small ‘mountain ranges’ here at Skyline’s 535/555/575 compound parking areas, and standard procedure is to then load the giant piles into dump trucks (often done at nights) and haul it to azen or more parking spot to wait for the ‘glaciers’ to recede (saving $$).

Hence Rotzy might start a ‘melting pool’ with people kicking in $5 bucks and picking your ‘melt day’. I’m thinking sometyme in March…..around St Paddy’s Day! Count me in for a fiver….and if they DO clear the lot prior to melting, the pool is cancelled and all bets are off. Go ahead….pick your day. By the bye, what if….and it’s a large ‘IF’….Skyline (our kindly keepers here) decides to spend some $$ and actually PAY somebody to move it???? Nah…..ain’t happening. It’s like (to quote a reader) “If your aunt had balls, she’d be your uncle”. So place your bet.

Rotzy’s Snow Routine….
          in Nakina was a whole lot different than it is down here….a ‘necessity’ if you will…..it HAD to be done…..ten feet (or more) of snow between October and April, my annual winter ‘fitness regime’, especially after Miz. Jo and I ‘retired’ from our bi-weekly Pairs and/or Dance Figure Skating at The Rec Centre. Hence, when we moved south, with our dull, rusty skates hung up, and only 1 or maybe 2 ft of snow to shovel all winter I had to ‘adapt’ to a new ‘fitness scheme’. So I did. Adapt. Anytyme we’d get an inch or three of snow, I’d brush off our vehicle, then do someone else’s if I thought they might need a hand. And I got to the point last winter where I’d really ‘get on a roll’ and clear off as many as 15 vehicles. Whenever they needed doing….and I quite enjoyed doing it….even had some people wanting to pay me, but ‘thanks anyway’. So….SO….then came ‘the storm of the decade’ (*see above) last Tuesday and Miz. Jo ‘fired’ me. OK,OK,OK…..I lied. She ‘laid me off’….meaning I’m allowed to brush off Edna The SUV, but that’s it. I had done 4 1/2 or 5 1/2 other vehicles between 10:00 and 11:00 AM, then went on my daily ‘buckboard run’….Circle K Convenience, Zehr’s and the In And Out Store….then up to Unit #303 for a sandwich. Egg salad methinks. And at 1:00 PM I told Miz. Jo ”stretch tyme in my chair (almost a daily thing, for my neck and back)….no snooze” as I was gonna go out to give some more vehicles the brush-off. Didn’t make it….everything got stupid, along with yours truly, and seeing as I still have a whack of extra Frequent Rider Miles with EMS, I was off to BGH. Again. Long story short…..seems I had ‘a COPD Moment’, with a shortage of 02 in my pumpkin, thus I got my pink slip from Nurse Jo Ann when I rolled home in a beat-up City Taxi Dodge Van about 11:00 PM. The 17th was a long day! Some friends cleared the snow from around Edna The SUV and other vehicles on Tuesday, then Rotzy had a ‘fall down-go boom’ in our living room a night later, blaming it on my left knee ‘giving out’….but Rotzy’s got things back on track now. Down to Stoney Creek this ayem (Fri) for a major ultrasound on both legs….no blood clots! Good eh? Back there next Tuesday at 10:30….after my 7:40 VON appointment….then I’m on (virtually speaking)….for a chat with a Vascular Surgeon next Wednesday. Not sure that I want to be ‘surged’ but Rotzy is an excellent patient…..just doing what they tell me. Always…..so stay tuned.

On The Lighter Side….
          of all this medical hustle and bustle, admittedly along with some ‘jangled nerves’ at tymes….and then ‘the storm of the decade’ and all it entailed….there was some humour involved. Not giggling or little titters….we’re talking a BIG belly-laugh, and it came at the expense of Skyline Living….yes, our ‘kindly keepers’….and yours truly. OK? Gotta give y’all some ‘background’ in order to set this thing up. OK? Yours truly is ‘known’ here at 535/555/575….likely as Bob, the big, scary-looking olde guy with gray beard and crooked neck….he’s ALWAYS around, talking and laughing….no ‘shrinking violet is he’….especially down at the community gardens from April to November. He seems to know gardening; he’s sometymes drinking what looks like beer, and word is he smokes marijuana or some kind of drug inside his vehicle marijuana! (*note….well ho-lee s–t….to quote Meatloaf….”two out of three ain’t bad”.) Anyway, you get my drift about ‘being known’ here. So….SO….we get a fone call last Thursday when Rotzy was reading, whilst having a Bud Light and a puff down in Edna The SUV….Miz. Jo picks up and it’s some lady from Skyline whom she doesn’t know and has never spoken with previously. Firstly she/Skyline is profoundly sorry about my health issues and that it was quite probably brought on by over exertion while helping clear snow off fellow residents’ vehicles….and how very thoughtful it is of him to be doing this. Also…..how very relieved she/Skyline is that Bob is home and recovering! Jo Ann thanked her. and relayed the fact I had been ‘excluded’ from any future snow clearing plans….or ‘laid off’ if she preferred’. This seemed to upset Ms.Skyline even more, a short delay and she sounded almost ‘desperate’ when she returned to Miz. Jo and in a VERY apologetic voice indicated that Skyline could/would GLADLY supply an indoor/underground parking spot that’s accessible via the North end for us so that Mr Rotz wouldn’t even have to think about brushing snow. Miz. Jo said ”Wonderful”!! Rotzy won’t even have to think about that very kind offer!! Ms Skyline said ”Wonderful”! At that point Ms. Jo virtually exploded with laughter! (*ooops….actually ‘virtually’ is a poor choice of word there, because the laughter was VERY REAL!) and then, next thing ya know there’s Ms. Skyline guffawing right along with Jo Ann, as if on cue! She finally managed to get enough of a grip on thin things to shout ”what the heck is so funny”??!! Jo Ann chortled back….”Well, for starters there is zero underground parking here at 555/Harris Place. Nor is there a ‘north entrance”. Then….”Oh my”. (*there is a thick ‘bush’ to the North where some trolls live but no vehicles go there. Ever.

*Thought Of The Day…Just fired myself from cleaning Unit #303. I didn’t like my attitude….and I got caught drinking on the job.

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STATE OF TERROR, a collaboration that works outstandingly, Hillary Clinton & Louise Penny

STATE OF TERROR, Hillary Clinton & Louise Penny

State of Terror follows a novice Secretary of State who has joined the administration of her rival, a president inaugurated after four years of American leadership that shrank from the world stage. A series of terrorist attacks throws the global order into disarray, and the secretary is tasked with assembling a team to unravel the deadly conspiracy, a scheme carefully designed to take advantage of an American government dangerously out of touch and out of power in the places where it counts the most.

This high-stakes thriller of international intrigue features behind-the-scenes global drama informed by details only an insider could know.

Richard says

This collaboration between the person who lived through it all in the political world, victories, defeats, elations and disappointments and a person who has lived in the world of celebrated writers, this collaboration works wonderfully.

The plot is based on the United States of today, its turmoil, its upheavals, its political polarization and its social division. Hillary’s hand is clearly shown as the book talks about all the tension and disruption the United States is going through. The background to the book’s plot is founded on the reality of the US world today with the social polarization many issues: same sex marriage, acceptability of gays and gender-questioning factions, abortion, gun laws, violence, crime. Everything Americans are experiencing is woven into the plot. This alone makes the book feel authentic and credible.

Louise Penny’s writing style has been polished and refined. No more rural Quebec’s slow social pace, confusion of characters and snail’s paced development of the story. Penny has clearly elevated her literary game making the book far more engaging than anything she has written before. This story has tension. Excitement, Fear, Anxiety. She brings it all to the front of her writing game.

Possible a minor criticism: Westerners may find Middle Eastern names hard to track and keep linear. Penny could consider a list of characters in her next book a la Alka Joshi. It could be helpful to readers.

Without reservation, a very enjoyable book that engages the reader from the first page to the last. Well written, realistic, polished, and feeling very authentic throughout.

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Text Blaze: insert text at a click of keyboard

Ever find you are wishing for a way to insert text that you have typed over and over again, without typing it in AGAIN?

TEXT BLAZE is your answer!

This app does the ‘repetitive text’ entry for you, saving you time and energy. 

Here are ‘text snippets’ that I use over and over again and which now are typed in for me by the click of a personally customized pair of keystrokes.

  • My signature text at bottom of an email
  • My name
  • A particular phrase or word I want inserted frequently
  • A particular letter I send out often

Text eliminates the drudgery of retyping copy, words, text excerpts, even whole letters over and over. You create the text you need along with a set of ‘trigger keys’….test it in Text Blaze try window, confirm it works….and poof, done. 

Now, anywhere you type the particular trigger set of keys, the text snippet associated with it will be inserted. A godsend for saving energy, time and drudgery.

Try the free version which may be all you need, ever:  TEXT BLAZE


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VIRTUAL MEETINGS – like cutting softened butter with a hot knife

If you do virtual meetings, add BUTTER to your mix.

BUTTER is the new kid on the block for virtual meetings, but this fella is making a serious dent.

  • Free
  • 50 users
  • No time limit

Based on having used it just a few times and just learning its many features, I must admit that it is a very impressive alternative to the many virtual meeting apps currently available. 

I cannot give a final word on BUTTER as I am still exploring its many features, but suffice to say, my waist looks it’s going to be threatened even more !


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Jan 21 – COVID and cranky curmudgeons, all of us

COVID is making many us cranky codgers..but lovable ones still.

Hold The Fones Folks….
            we have a weiner….ooops….I meant WINNER….of the semi-prestigious “F/N” D.O.T.W. (Dink Of The Week) Award. I mean, it was a ‘no contest’….’landslide win’….’blew the competition away’….’they didn’t stand a chance’ kind of win. ‘Easy as pie’ quipped one of the “F/N” judges….’piece of cake’ whispered another….adding ‘very deserving honours’ as well. Of course I’m talking about Novak Djokovic, the #1 Seed in Men’s Tennis….The Pride of Serbia (*see below)….not to mention the defending Australian Open Champ, hence that’s why he’s ‘down under. To play tennis. But he can’t stay. Or play, for that matter. Because HE’S NOT VACCINATED! And you can’t go to Australia if you’re not vaccinated. Not to play tennis, go surfing, look for kangaroos or koala bears. So, after ‘winning’ one court appeal Novak finds himself returned to ‘immigration detention’ which is a **star or *** star hotel and his mommy is saying her boy is NOT enjoying the food he’s being served….also likely in the **star and ***star range….and how unfair the whole thing is. Added to Immigration Australia’s problems….apparently the tennis star made a considerable donation to Aussie wildfire victims a year ago. Good. Thanks. But that had/has nothing to do with tennis. He has knowingly broken Immigration/Tournament rules and laws…..tyme to go home and say Hi to your adoring Serbian fans (*see above). By the bye, it’s been many moons since Pro Tennis has produced a D.O.T.W., altho hot-headed American John McEnroe captured the honour more than a couple of tymes….then olde-tymer Bobby Riggs grabbed the crown in his much-ballyho’d match vs Billie-Jean King. Now they have a guy who thinks he’s bigger than the game. He’s not. **Update**….Sunday 6:00AM….No ‘cave-in’ by Immigration Officials….Novak is headed home.

Readers Write
            A mix of them today….even some that are non-COVID-related…..and the longer this coronavirus s–t continues, the harder they become to find, but check these out: *A young woman in a Tennessee Courtroom, accused of attacking her husband with several of his guitars! The judge asked ”First Offender”? She replied “No. First a Gibson, second a Fender”. **Only in Math problems can you buy 60 cantaloupes and nobody asks you ‘what in the hell is wrong with you’!? ***Have you ever looked at someone and thought ‘that person needs some ‘slap therapy’! ****Ships don’t sink because of the water around them. Ships sink because of the water that gets inside of them. Moral of the story; don’t let what is happening around you get inside of you and weigh you down. *****How am I doing? Well……I just wiped down the Javex*tm Bleach container with a Lysol*tm wipe. I’m fine…..everything’s fine.

Running Here/Running There….
            just trying to stay healthy….makes for a busy week. Miz. Jo picked up her NEW glasses last Mon at the Optometrist….the ones to get rid of her ‘double vision’ (yes they work fine, they look great, methinks they even make her look more intelligent); Tues…..Rotzy to the VON at 7:20AM for my (now weekly ongoing leg care, then to ‘Feet First’ (diabetic-related) for 8:30 in the olde McCutcheon Bakery for my quarterly going over, I got ‘the works’ this tyme; then at 1:00PM Miz Jo and yours truly gladly rolled up our sleeves for our 3rd COVID-19 Booster Shots in the Brant County Health Unit at Henry St. and the WGP; plus two sessions at Stand And Tan*tm (interestingly, Rotzy’s been tanning for over thirty years to control my psoriasis and a session costs me about half of what it was way back then); plus two….no….three trips to C. Cross Pharmacy for prescriptions; all this in the name of good health. Anyway, later on Tues aft I ran into my neighbour/’northern pal’ Thunder Bay (not his real name) on the elevator….he’s OBVIOUSLY a non-vaccer but he knew not where yours truly stood/stands….and he’s REALLY on a rant ‘n roll this tyme about Canada’s forthcoming Civil War when the premier of Quebec slaps a tax on the anti-vaccers….it isn’t gonna be pretty……and what’ll Ford do. I said ”S–t Ron (not his real name), ”Miz Jo and I should be OK ’cause we just got our #3 Booster an hour ago!…..but if there’s gonna be any close-up/in-your-face battles, you MAY wanna roll up your sleeve. Hey! it doesn’t hurt at all!….you hardly feel a thing! Plus you get a Tootsie Roll Pop*tm if you don’t cry”. But you’d rather not. So what does he offer up in reply?….a cough. A ‘far cough’….even tho we were standing two metres apart in Elevator #1!! I expect that Non-Vac Ron will be boycotting masques sooner than later, and meanwhile I guess I may enlist for the upcoming Canadian Civil War after deciding what side I’ll be on. Stay tuned.

Outta Touch Or What??!!
            Sports of all sorts have taken a serious drubbing for the last two years….from girls Bantam house-league minor hockey to the NHL and everything in between….with each and every sport imaginable…..some teams and leagues fading away completely. And along with it/them, maybe to the back-burner, perhaps right off the stove, went Rotzy’s love of most sports and a keen interest in/knowledge of them to boot. Well, as COVID’s grip expanded and spread, yours truly’s interest waned (did I just say ‘waned’?) and my knowledge followed it just like so much dried up tumbleweed! The ‘wake up calls’ came last weekend during a round up of scores and games on TSN. TWO items jumped at me….1/ When did Seattle get an NHL team?? Yes, I’m serious! And what the hell is their nickname?? and 2/ When did the NFL’s Raiders start calling Las Vegas home?!? Please don’t say ‘five years ago. Since their AFL days they’ve spent tyme in Oakland, near Oakland, somewhere around Los Angeles and cetera….but in Sin City!!?? I double-checked all this ‘new-to-me’ stuff with Tyson The Cart Guy (not his real name) at Zehr’s Market but I can’t remember Seattle’s NHL name as it made no sense. By the bye, I don’t like the Major League Baseball Mariners and can’t stand the NFL Seahawks, their stadium, their fans or their ‘Bob Rea lookalike’ Head Coach. Just thinking, this might be something to clear up by/with/for some of my fellow Brantford Guy Group (BGG) presidents help me out of the Grey Cup-type fog that’s settled on my pumpkin, however methinks it’s going to be a spell until our group re-convenes one of these Fridays at The Navy Club. Anyway….will some reader help me out with the two teams in question….save Rotzy from Googling*tm.

I Read A Book….
            called The Fall Of The House Of Windsor ten or so years ago, written by a ‘very proper English gentleman’ about the severe problems (internal and external) facing Queen Elizabeth and the entire British Monarchy. (the book was published BEFORE Diana’s tragic death, but her marriage had completely blown up) My Mom was a BIG Monarchist, you know, the Pomp and Pagentry of even everyday life at Buckingham Palace, as I think most Canadians of that age bracket were. I can go for that, but Rotzy also sees it as a Big Company with a LOT of money and a CEO. Named Elizabeth of course. Well I expect we all know E/R II is approaching her Platinum Jubilee….in 2023 it’ll be 70 Years under her rule….and it seems she’s gonna do a clean ‘sweeping of Buckingham’, especially the bedrooms. Grandson Harry and his Missus are long gone, but there is other stuff young’uns need to look after Then she unloaded on her own kid….Dandy Andy….and for starters Andrew isn’t a prince anymore….and 3 (or is it 4?) military units of considerable size/importance aren’t under Andy’s command/watch anymore, so turn in your Sword, Medals and Epaulets because your Mother knows best. And make those ‘sexual harrassment’ charges….from 25 years ago??!!….go away. Then I gotta tell Charles he and The Hound aren’t getting the crown, but it’ll still be God Save The King because it’s going to his son Will and Kate, Long live The Monarchy.

*Thought Of The Day…There’s nothing like a little tomato soup to soothe the soul, even if it’s cold, over ice and with a celery stalk. Absolut (ly)

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Toronto Star short story CONTEST


This could be a worthwhile opportunity and there is no entry fee.

You should be aware of this opportunity: Toronto Star Short Story Contest

The deadline is March 1st.

There are a number of prizes.

Good luck.




Q4 ANSWERED – How can I do self-marketing and self-promotion as a new writer?

How can I do self-marketing and self-promotion as a new writer?

This is a challenging question because as a writer, you devote time, energy and focus to your craft. Unfortunately, to sell your work, you must somehow market and promote your material. Many writers either do not make the time for this energy- and time-demanding work. The writers with deeper pockets buy the services of publishing companies.

New writers disadvantaged
New writers are disadvantaged from the outset. Nobody knows them, they have no published persona, they aren’t on any bookstore shelves and likely not in any library. For these authors living in Canada, a double whammy: not known and not promoted by anyone in the industry. Read what the founder of Diaspora Dialogues writes about the disadvantages facing authors who are about to publish.

Don’t judge a book by its coverage


Recently, I listened to my first episode of “Agent Provocateur,” a publishing industry podcast. The topic? Celebrity book clubs. The consensus: they’re the antichrist, feeding pablum to intellectually lazy readers, a.k.a. “entertainment consumers,” who read popular books for fear of missing out.

The famed Japanese writer Haruki Murakami once said: “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

I don’t disagree. My work running Diaspora Dialogues is devoted to mentoring emerging writers across a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, genres and writing styles. The mentorships are free-of-charge, and specifically designed to be accessible to young, emerging, newcomer and low-income writers. Participants often write challenging, compelling stories involving race, gender, and migration.

The podcast used the Murakami quote in a different context: to disparage book clubs (along with book bloggers, social media influencers, and makers of book lists) as being not good for literature.

I think literature can take care of itself. What concerns me are opportunities for writers, in particular debut and unknown writers, who are disadvantaged at every step of the publishing process. And that entrenched Canadian attitude against anything populist or commercial doesn’t help.

There are myriad big challenges facing publishing, all of which have a knock-on effect for authors. Ongoing consolidation of the multinational publishers narrows potential markets. Canadian-owned presses, quaintly referred to as the “in-dies,” face issues of scale, access to capital and inadequate government support on the global arena.

Of course, there are also COVID-related challenges — and more recently, supply chain issues that will affect the availability of books well into 2022.

As the podcast noted, influencers and book clubbers have real power now, part of the disintermediation of traditional gatekeepers and lipo-suctioned book review sections. Whether you see that as a positive or the end of civilization depends on how much you benefited from how things used to be. And that’s informed by how well-known you are, the extent of your network, and how rich your publisher is.

Blogging, newsletters and social media posting are essential to raising awareness for books in ever-busier publishing seasons. Many writers don’t want to invest their time that way. But the upside is building community and readership, versus a lottery chance of being reviewed in a major publication or being showcased in the window at Indigo.

Let’s face it: many facets of this mom-and-apple-pie industry are monetized. Prominent placement on bookstore display tables. Inclusion in holiday gift-buying guides. Some reviews. All buzz is created, and publishers with sizable publicity staff and higher ad budgets have an advantage.

Books are a popularity contest, and not just by celebrity book clubs. Publisher sales teams, booksellers and the media are powerful gatekeepers, who can make or break a book from a new or unknown author. They are influenced by books showcased in industry trades (often American) and book fairs that happen months before publication. Too often these gatekeepers make conservative choices, trending towards the proven bet.

It’s easy to understand why. As readers, we all eagerly anticipate books by authors we love. We gravitate toward sequels and series. But what that human instinct translates to on the industry side is disproportionate attention paid to books published by multinational publishers and to established authors.

Imagine a world where bookstores (and media) actively promoted lesser-known authors. Where festivals always matched high-profile writers in events with those starting out. Where Heather Reisman used her considerable power by picking titles by debut or small-press authors for the “Heather’s Pick” program.

In Indigo’s quest to differentiate itself from Canada’s biggest bookseller (Amazon) and leverage its homegrown brand identity, it could make being a bold talent spotter of new voices a priority and a hallmark of its marketing strategy.

And while we’re at it, let’s revamp our bestseller lists to include eBooks, audiobooks and books sold globally (where the foreign rights are held by a Canadian publisher), none of which are currently captured. Those lists influence book buying and book reviewing and should be more accurate.

I read hundreds of submissions a year from emerging writers. They don’t feel constrained by old arguments about literary versus commercial, or the value of a newspaper versus Instagram review. Let’s meet that bold energy with a more level playing field and an expansive view of what’s possible.

Authors who offer up new worlds, new perspectives and new writing styles are those we should hear more from, not less. If you only read the books that everyone else is reading…


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Drivin’ in the USA…gas up even if you have no ZIP CODE

Vacationing in the USA by car? Don’t be stumped when refueling requres a ZIP CODE.

You live in Canada and POSTAL CODES do not work with these gas pumps.

But there is an easy “work around” for the credit card ZIP CODE request… Continue reading

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Winter is here, which means the snow is falling and the ground is icy as temperatures fluctuate. This can pose a challenge for older adults as surfaces such as walkways, steps, driveways, and sidewalks become extra slippery which can increase the risk of falling. Falls are the number one reason for injury-related hospitalizations for older adults. In Canada, 1.6 million seniors fall each year, and more than half of those falls result in serious injuries. 

Below are a few fall prevention strategies to help keep you steady on your feet this winter and beyond.

1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If the thought of shovelling your walkway or driveway is daunting, consider asking a friend, family member or neighbour to help you clear snow and salt surfaces. If that’s not possible, consider hiring a paid service for support. Minimizing your risk of falling will prevent injury and ensure you don’t end up in the hospital unnecessarily.

2. Check your footwear and your foot health

Be it issues with your shoes or feet, being mindful of your foot health is important for preventing falls. Podiatry care, specifically multicomponent care (e.g., podiatrist care with advice, information, exercises, and footwear and/or orthotics) and multifaceted care (e.g., risk assessment by a diverse team of professionals and a referral to a podiatrist) may reduce falls in older adults.

3. Work on your balance and build strength

Exercise programs that promote better balance and build strength can also help you stay steady on your feet. Try doing a Yoga or Pilates class from home to help with core strength. Many instructional classes are available online and through apps and can guide you safely through a practice in the comfort of your own home.

4. Minimize hazards

Are there hazards in and around your home such as poor nighttime lighting or steps without a handrail? You can reduce your risk of falling by minimizing these hazards, creating a safer overall environment. Take notice of areas that might pose a challenge and consider what additions could make an improvement. Ask a family, friend, or caregiver how they could help make any changes that need to be made or assist with finding a professional to get the job done.

For older adults living alone, it is important to ask for help when you need it, especially when it comes to things like shovelling snow. Taking a ground-up approach to your foot health and ensuring you have the proper footwear for the conditions is also important in preventing slips and falls. Improving your strength and balance through exercise and minimizing hazards in and around your home are also tools in your prevention toolkit.

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How to Self Publish GUIDE


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Seniors’ Centre Without Walls PHONE IN Programs

Click IMAGE to email Andrea

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Jan 10 – Old people prefer the old ways, even the not so old

Old people prefer the old routines, the old procedures, the old methods of doing things. Throw new ones at them and they get confused and lost. So Rotzy claims and he’s not that old.

“What The Heck….
            is goin’ on here, Toad”?! I said (to myself), or something like that, after clicking onto ‘Compose’ to start on this week’s column….but the image on the screen was ‘different from usual’ in a big way….then I followed up with “Don’t sweat it Bub, you figured out how to ‘handle’ the ‘new look/format’ Inbox and cetera without a melt-down/breakdown…. and ‘compose’ is/should be ‘the same s–t, different shovel’. “Oh yeah”?….well this IS different….REALLY different and a totally new layout in fact. Now we both know how olde people hate any changes in routine….right?”. “Never mind, just give it a go…..you’ll be fine”. OK, OK, OK, OK….this is the heck of me, nonetheless Rotzy’s ‘giving it a go’….wish me luck.

Been A Long Tyme (*see below)
            Wheelchair Bob and the Missus were here for a visit last Fri. and at one point Bob was flashing Rotzy a ‘hand sign’….actually, multiple signs….that wasn’t/weren’t registering with me and I clearly wasn’t ‘getting it’….over and over and over, no luck….then the ladies joined the ‘charade’, and still no luck. (by the bye, Bobber is basically ‘non-verbal’ since a stroke 10 years ago, but gets by quite well with signs, gestures, and numbers. Almost always! I was stumped, but he wasn’t giving up, hence I got to where he was pointing….the fridge! Something taped to it? One of the many magnets? Menus? NO!! Inside?! Aha! You want another Bud Light tall boy!! No? Hey!!! Bingo! Immediately, “HUZUL’S”?! I axed. ‘Yes’ he shouted back, clear as a bell. Problem was there were NO HUZUL’S in the Fridgedaire*tm. Sorry, but for those unaware, Huzul’s (Pron. HYEW-zuhls) are actually kielbasa sausage and they’ve been around for three generations up near the end of Pearl St. down from The Polish Hall/Pearl here in Brant’s Ford…an area that became affectionately known to many as Hunky Hollow. Anyway, here’s my buddy with a serious hankering for Huzuls and I’ve got none!….so….SO….yours truly apologized and told Bobber to ‘be ready for me early tomorrow’ (Sat) ayem! I pulled into the Brantford Farmer’s Market at 7:04 AM….I was customer #10 and learned their maximum number of shoppers was/is 80 at a tyme, hence they had 3 or 4 ladies keeping track very closely. Firstly I landed at Jensen’s stall….THE very best OLD cheddar cheese. Anywhere. Ever. And some curds to snack on. Onward a hop and a skip and there’s Dave Huzul (not his real name), the current keeper of the aforementioned shoppe. The counter is full of various cuts of meat….bacon, chops, hocks and cetera….and a small mountain of kielbasa….aka ‘Huzuls’….and it will be gone by 10:00AM, guaranteed!! Every Saturday. So….SO….Dave found me a goodly-sized chunk and weighed it off, as the smell that comes off the Huzul’s makes it a challenge NOT to dig into it immediately, but Rotzy’s didn’t want to ‘upstage’ Bobber’s treat, so I cut it in half soon as I got home, ran his up to the 5th floor, then I had to get going onto my daily buckboard run….wondering, as I rode down elevator #1 (which hadn’t broken down yet at that point) wondering how many slices the big guy had wolfed down before I hit the Ground Floor? Enjoy, my friend! I’m gonna tell him next tyme he’s wanting some Huzuls just to draw a big ‘H’ on his thigh.

This One Caught My Eye
            It was a fwd from a reader and arrived here at “F/N”HQ BEFORE these ‘so-called changes’ to my Inbound program took place, so I had no problems with it….and it’s a good one. It goes like this: * “I almost quit drinking for 2022 but then I thought about the people who work in breweries in order to feed their families! Imagine.” Well, dont’cha know, that hit close to home if you know what I mean, and reminded me of a very similar situation involving Rotzy and Miz. Jo when we moved “From Nakina” to Brant’s Ford in late September of 2018 (*see below). Firstly, the Nakina Legion, William Grant Branch #116 is the only spot in Nakina for the sale of alcoholic beverages….and The LCBO (aka The In and Out Store) is the only outlet for the purchase of LCBO products as well as Domestic and Imported Beer. Interestingly, we stayed in touch with a number of friends up north and not long after our departure we got second hand word that the LCBO had A/ ‘offered’ early retirement to the long-tyme Nakina Store Manager; B/ Laid off a ‘Casual Hours’ worker; and C/ cut back on the hours of a ‘Part Tyme’ employee.(*see above) Apparently Head Office was blaming a large drop in sales on ‘a smaller number of moose hunting tags being issued for #17,#18 and #19 areas. Imagine. Rotzy well recalls when they opened the ‘new’ LCBO Store on Quebec and what a large improvement it was over the olde place ‘downtown’ on Railway Ave. Anyway, we trust sales are back up these days, with no ‘pink slips’ being issued.

I Heard It On CBC….
            ….’it’ being my second favourite radio program. Of course my fave is the Documentary Hour Sunday ayem from 5:00 till 6:00…and #2 is the hour BEFORE that one, so it’s 4:00AM to 5:00AM, needless to say, if/when I ‘sleep in’ I don’t always catch it in its’ entirety. A senior’s moment is keeping the title from me at the moment, but anyway they’re two (fairly young sounding) scientists and they broadcast from Bonn, Germany. Their topics are varied, sometymes with guests, sometymes not, sometymes a song, sometymes humour, ideas and opinions….one of them fully vacccinated, the other not, tho he doesn’t go flapping his gums off about it. So….SO today Rotzy learned that hamsters are a favoured species/speciman for checking out COVID-19 in labs….in fact ‘Syrian Hamsters’ top the list. So, you see, if I hadn’t been listening in yesterday I would NOT be aware of that important fact. Hence, listening to CBC is no doubt enlightning me, which could/should improve my I/Q, in turn enhancing my ‘status’ within the BGG (Brantford Guy Group)….maybe even moving the olde guy to the MENSA side of the ledger. By the bye, yesterday the scientists basically stated that OMNICRON (altho MUCH more contagious is not nearly as dangerous as the Delta variant…..not as sick/not sick for as long/shorter quarantine tyme/fewer deaths. Dr. Theresa Tam appears to be on the same page….like her prov counterparts….but they’re all terrified a number of hospitals (who are already ‘on life support’) won’t make it through. Go get a needle folks!! before the next ‘new’ variant makes land!!

*Thought Of The Day…If you don’t like where you are, move. You’re not a tree.

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EDITORIAL: Pickering councillors to decide on replacement councillor


On January 13, the Mayor and councillors of the City of Pickering meet to decide on the appointment of a new councillor to replace Ian Cumming who passed away last year.

This will be a tough decision not only because of the personal and professional considerations that must be made but also because of the challenging times in which we live today.

Tough times
The current council is facing very difficult times: the ongoing impact of the OMICRON virus everywhere; the demands for and urgent need of a hospital for Pickering; the disruption, expense and stress of upcoming elections, municipal and provincial. The forces pressuring the current councillors are immense.

Furthermore, the councillors are faced with a multiplicity of important considerations.

Factors in the consideration
Though the councillors must reflect on the professional and personal qualifications of each of the two dozen applicants, they must also be aware of other important criteria. Listing these in some instances may be politically incorrect: race, gender, or visible grouping cannot be on the table of examination. However, the councillors’ decision should possibly reflect the current demographics of Pickering as well as what a future council should look like.

Each candidate must be considered on the basis of personal and professional credentials, curriculum vitae, and what they bring to the table as individuals. It will not be an easy decision, but the councillors may find some comfort in the fact that there is an upcoming municipal election soon, and this means the electorate will confirm the chosen replacement or disaffirm him or her with an alternate choice.

The ultimate choice rests with the people of Pickering.

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Dance to the Music
By Michael McFarland

I could sure use your company now
But don’t be mistaking my smile
I’m only in between dances
Sitting it out for a while ©
Universal Music Publishing Group, Bluewater Music Corp.

The above lyrics are from the song “In Between Dances” by country singer Pam Tillis. They indeed hold true now with the new strain of COVID. Many of us wish to get back to the dance floor. However, it’s time to let it all out and dance at home! Why? Dance, in fact, has such beneficial effects on the brain that it is now being used to treat people with Parkinson’s disease.

Scientists gave little thought to the neurological effects of dance until recently. Researchers have begun to investigate the complex mental coordination that dance requires. In Scientific American, a Columbia University neuroscientist suggested that synchronizing music and movement—dance, essentially—constitutes a “pleasure double play.” Music stimulates the brain’s reward centers, while dance activates its sensory and motor circuits.

Another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine discovered that dance could decidedly improve brain health. The study investigated the effect leisure activities had on the risk of dementia in the elderly. They found that dance lowered participants’ risk of dementia. According to the researchers, dancing involves both a mental effort and social interaction, and this type of stimulation helped reduce the risk of dementia.

A small study undertaken by researchers at North Dakota’s Minot State University found that the Latin-style dance program known as Zumba improves mood and specific cognitive skills, such as visual recognition and decision-making. Other studies have shown that dance helps reduce stress, increases the feel-good hormone serotonin levels, and helps develop new neural connections, especially in regions involved in long-term memory.

At the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dr. Peter Wayne, assistant professor of medicine, studies the clinical effects of mind-body and complementary/alternative medicine practices on patients with chronic health conditions.

He has conducted clinical trials designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of tai chi for patients.

Dr. Wayne considers tai chi a more ritualized, structured form of dance. “The focus of our work is to take advantage of traditional exercises in which it’s implicit that the mind and body are connected more efficiently,” says Wayne. “Tai chi is one such exercise that we focus on because of its benefits for both balance and mental function.” Research, he says, has shown that the increased susceptibility to falls that occurs among people who are aging or who are dealing with disorders such as Parkinson’s can be mitigated by the practice of tai chi; it improves their strength and flexibility as well as their cognitive performance.

There’s room at my table; why don’t you pull up a seat?
The music’s inviting, but I’m staying off of my feet
© Universal Music Publishing Group, Bluewater Music Corp.

Don’t – try room to room with The Beatles “Eight Days A Week” or Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock & Roll.”

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The two nuns sipped some grappa and….

I met two nuns in Florence many years ago. They accepted my invitation to have a coffee. These nuns must have been much more liberal minded than nuns I had known when I was in a Catholic elementary school. These two were quite open minded and even accepted ‘caffe corretto’ when it was offered.

We discussed many topics but they were liveliest when we began discussing the meaning of life and the brutal truths in it. Their second cups of coffee really opened up the discussion. In fact, one of them got so engaged she exclaimed that the only way to clearly explain her view of the brutal truth of life was to do it in the ‘Italian way,” with her hands. Here she is…

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BASKET CASE, Carl Hiaasen

A former newspaper journalist, readers are very fortunate Hiaasen decided he would enjoy writing novels more than reporting the news. Continue reading

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Winter, just my opinion.

I read this headline recently as the theme for a January landscape project, and it made me reflect on my thoughts on Winter. While artists were asked to illustrate and submit their thoughts in visual arts, I decided to do it in written form. Winter, which I consider to be January and February, is the calm after the busy, bustling storm of the Christmas season. It is a welcome downtime, the time to connect with one’s inner-most thoughts, connect with nature, and find a good book and a quiet nook by the fire to lose oneself in a good story. How calming and satisfying is that scene?

Reading, processing and imaging awaken the literary senses and propel the reader forward to be “at the moment.”

Winter months also lend themselves to winter activities. The crushing of snow underfoot while having a healthy walk is always a beneficial exercise for the physical and mental well-being; at the same time, being mindful of black ice though as a fall would be a nasty distraction.

Skiing with grandchildren is the highlight of our January. There is nothing more joyful than observing how their skills developed because they are older, taller, and fearless. Downhill skiing is a unifying force for adventurous families and will inevitably take the adventure to a new level.

The end of January sees us packing furiously and with some apprehension, too, as we will make our way to the sunny climes of Florida. This year, especially, we will face the challenges of the Omicron virus as it is very much alive in the States as elsewhere. COVID fatigue got the better of us. However, we are somewhat confident that we can make the two-month trip safely. We observe and follow all the protocols in Ontario, as we will be doing in Florida. We are double vaxxed seniors, having had the booster shot too, no underlying health issues and armed with a supply of N95 masks, we feel we can navigate our circumstances and distance when necessary. Winter is so long and so cold. Bring on the warmth, the sun and the eternal blue skies. We are ready for it. We have more years behind us than in front of us as we see it. Let’s take cautionary advantage of this Winter.

I am wishing everyone a happy, healthy and safe New Year.

Éva H.

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Jan 3, 2022 –

Rotzy’s working hard at finding the humour in this whole pandemic thing. He admits it’s his only failure of 2021.

Readers Write
            This compilation is what you might call ‘la creme de la creme’ of what has landed on Rotzy’s desk here at “F/N”HQ over the last couple weeks, OK? Check ’em out: * To err is human: To blame it on others shows definite management potential. * The more you weigh, the harder you are to kidnap. Stay safe. Eat cake. *Insanity doesn’t run in my family. It strolls through taking its’ time getting to know everyone personally. * I have put a lot of thought into it and I just don’t think being an adult is gonna work for me. *Exercise makes you look better naked. So does wine. Your choice. *You are about to exceed the limits of my medication. * ‘Lazy’ is such an ugly word….don’t you think? Me? I prefer the term ‘selective participation’. 

These Are Not Good Tymes….
….when it comes to COVID….to be a leading politician of any sort….’elected’ (just ask Justin Trudeau) or ‘self-appointed’ (just ask Vladimir Putin). And to that list one could add the ‘bad hair guy’ from Gr. Britain; the phatt guy from North Korea (who also has ‘bad hair’); the leaders from Communist China as well as India; the P/M from Australia; whoever it was that replaced Angela Merkle in Germany and pretty well all European countries….and….and….and….well you get my drift, right? For us Canadians, we can (and do) break it down further, to the provinces/territories. Yet there is ONE thing they ALL have in common….when COVID landed it was NEW to all of them (*see below)….and us. THEY knew NOTHING about it…..neither did WE. Some of THEM have caught on…..ditto for US. But those DUNCE Hats over in the corner (like the ones used for “F/N” Dink Of The Week (DOTW) nominees) are in high demand…even for non-DOTW’s. And at any given tyme you could/can spot a couple presidents, a dicktator or two, a few prime ministers and a handful of oriental fellows….ALL of them trying on the D-Hats. Well, it’s not ALWAYS simply because ‘it’s NEW to them’ (*see above) …..they’ve been making ‘poor decisions’ and they still are! Making poor decisions. Justin Trudeau and Doug Ford have had the Hats on for several weeks now as they have lost control of things/people they SHOULD be able to manage. F’rinstance, J/T should have had #3 Boosters in ALL Canadian arms several months ago. Not even close! And Doug Ford?  A year ago everybody and their brother/sister….including “From Nakina”…. had him as the Pandemium-Controlling Poster Boy, the ‘model’ as to how the rest of the Premiers would be rated. Well, pandemium begat pandemonium, hence things are SO bad for Dougie these days, he and his family were kept from entering THEIR OWN HOME last week by the anti-vaccine ‘protestors’…..sorry, and I care not what ‘political stripe’ you wear, but THAT is NOT a ****ing protest! It gets worse…..Dougie’s Daughter Dearest decides to ‘side in’ with the anti-vaccers and of course uses Daddy Dearest’s ‘political clout/position’….or what he has left of it…..as she puts him on the spit and cranks the stove up to 500F! Stick a fork in him darlin’, methinks he’s done. ‘Blood’s thicker than water’? Not in Doug Ford’s house.

2021…..The Year In Review
            “Whoa there Toad”, I said (to myself) as I was having my first puff of the day down front in The SUV Called Edna along with my mug of President’s Choice*tm Dark Roast last Sunday about 5:15 ayem. My favourite radio show’s on,  The Documentary Hour….via CBC Radio, from RTE Ireland, whose language, after three years I have mastered completely….had just finished and the female radio host was interviewing the male host of the CBC TV show Canadian Family Feud. I didn’t know the guy-host from Adam, but then I didn’t/don’t know the host of (The American) Family Feud either. Nor do I care….actually, I rank it alongside Bob Barker’s Come On Down never ending show, and tied for ‘worst’ with Monte Hall….was it Lets Make A Deal?….for Box #1, #2 or #3? Hey, game shows aren’t Rotzy’s cup of tea….’cept for The Wheel and Jeopardy….and Miz. Jo and I go ‘tag-team’ vs the in-studio players on TV almost nightly….plus, I was kinda sweet on Vanna 50 or 60 years ago. Anyway, the interview with the Canadian ‘Feudster’ got around to COVID….the hostess asking how he and his wife and kids coped with the pandemium in 2021, with day to day life. So….SO….he used to do stand-up comedy in his past and he and his Missus had always looked on laughter as a great distraction to your problems….often a remedy. Ditto for their two sons. He didn’t at all suggest that they find humour in COVID….or anything remotely associated with it….just get yourself something funny, have a belly laugh/cut loose….and if it’s THAT good, hang onto it. He made it sound like this was a family who enjoy life to the fullest….if not ALL the tyme….then certainly MOST of it. I’m thinking that’s some pretty sage advice. (did I just say ‘sage’?) Hey, yours truly isn’t an authority….by any stretch of the imagination….altho I HAVE written a number of items that ‘suggest’, and let’s face it, others that come right out and SAY IT….”the world has forgotten how to laugh….AT  OURSELVES!! And how! That ‘former pastyme’ is fairly long gone….almost buried alongside ‘common sense’ whose obit I recently (again) received and re-read from a long-tyme reader. Actually, where COVID-19….and the ‘corona virus’ as it was called at one tyme….might touch on some ‘humour’, if you’ll allow me….I distinctly remember watching Dr Theresa Tam (Canada’s # 1 Doctor) on Network TV told us ”(we) don’t need the wear a mask as it doesn’t really do any good….tho it won’t harm you or others”. Or something VERY close to that. Because ‘she didn’t know’ and it was ‘brand new to her’ also. That might bring a chuckle if not for the fact that some folks are still sticking to those instructions. OR….try looking into your bathroom mirror….close up….then ask it that ”mirror, mirror on the wall” line. You’ll laugh….oh ya….LOL !!

You Might Have Noticed….
            that Rotzy said almost diddly-squat about ”2021….The Year In Review” (*see above). Tell you the truth, I dunno why  even said/typed it in??!! Yours truly is about as likely to come up with something/anything good to say about 2021 as I am to write a list of ‘Rotzy’s 2022 New Year Resolutions’. Sorry. Nope. Not gonna happen. Can’t do this. Never have done it. S–t! OK, OK, OK, OK….I lied, but it was so long ago I don’t even remem…. ….Hold on one second….you want good news from 2021 do ya?! Well, I’m still here….and writing this column! And Miz. Jo is still here with me. And now you expect me to lay ‘something good’ on for 2022? Bingo! S–t happens!….and it WILL be better than 2021 because it would be impossible to be worse….hence, better it is!!

*Thought Of The Day….It’s strange how drinking 8 glasses of water a day seems impossible, but 8 cups of coffee goes down like a phatt kid on a seesaw.    (thx ‘Cutch) not his real name.

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The Henna Artist is your ticket to ride a literary train through India and experience the richness of its culture, its past glory and its wonders as part of modern society. All these things from just one book. So come ride The Henna Artista train.

Vivid and compelling in its portrait of one woman’s struggle for fulfillment in a society pivoting between the traditional and the modern, The Henna Artist opens a door into a world that is at once lush and fascinating, stark and cruel.

Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist—and confidante—to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own…

Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow—a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still, she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she.

Richard comments
You have never heard of The Henna Artist? Alka Joshi? A pity! But you can recover by buying a copy or borrowing from your local library if you have extensive patience, the wait-hold may be very long.

Alka Joshi is a typical Californian kicked up a few notches: a writer who really cares about her readers; the best selling author of two New York Times best-selling books, yet as approachable as your next-door neighbour, maybe even more given this day and age and these pandemic times; a writer who is dynamic, energetic and vivaciously outspoken about her literary endeavours; a writer whose status and acclaim should make her distant and aloof, which she is is far from being so. She is the complete opposite of the expected stereotype of a famous writer. Joshi is humble, personable, approachable and all-out charming. She is a raconteur with a photographic memory who draws verbal portraits as quickly as she talks. An engaging speaker who is riveting in her interchanges with her audiences.

Oh, she is a pretty good writer to boot.

Joshi is a sociological anthologist whose books are captivating as much as they are entertaining. Begin reading her book and soon you forget you are in her sociological classroom where she is teaching you about Indian culture without you even realizing there’s a lecture going on and you’re being taught. Taught all kinds of things you never knew would be interesting, cultural aspects of Indian society that are enlightening and stimulating. You learn about British colonialism, India’s gentle ways that were a rebellion wrapped in a velvet glove, social dichotomies that seem so tribal yet are steeped in centuries of tradition and custom.

Joshi’s lessons are gentle schooling woven into a colourful and rich tapestry of dramatic descriptions and vivid social scenes.

The Henna Artist engages the reader paragraph by paragraph developing an educational tour de force with gentleness, colourful descriptions, and credible dramatic scenes. Her characters are captivating and fascinating, her descriptions attractive and appealing, her storytelling capability as good if not better than the very best in the world of writing.

Some may support the idea that she is the Harlequin author of Hindus, a romantic who elevates the art of romance, and even eroticism to the lofty heights of best-seller status and writing style. So be it, Joshi does it all. She takes her readers on a journey of cultural awareness and sociological education and does it in a thoroughly engaging and entertaining way.

A marvellous trip, The Henna Artist is your ticket on a ride of romance and new awareness.

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BEWARE: This likely is a big scam

Some notable celebrities and well-known news broadcasters seem to be associated with this scam.

Give the links serious consideration. Ask yourself would Celine Dionne or Lisa Laflamme really need this huckstering work ?

Steer clear !

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EDITORIAL: News ‘confewsed’

News ‘Confewsed’??

News, televised, printed, broadcast, all news is becoming more and more confusing. We are being bombarded by news from every direction, TV, radio, newsprint and each little bit causes greater confusion and greater anxiety.
   News should be just that, new information about events happening in the world and around us locally. Plain, simple, succinct and concise, without subjective analysis, personal biases, network slants, or publishers’ prejudices.

Those were the days
‘Remember the good old days?’ may have some merit here now. Try these on for size depending on your age and country of residency: Walter Cronkite, Huntley & Brinkley, Peter Mansbridge, Lloyd Robertson, Barbara Frum, Lisa LaFlamme, John Chancellor, Edward R. Morrow. Now that was news broadcasting. Printed news? Christiane Amanpour, Robert Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Rex Murphy, Kevin Newman… some of these purveyors of honest news still practice their craft today. These were/are reporters worth hearing, worth reading, reporters who delivered the news, clearly, concisely, with no adulteration…just the news.

News today
News today is unreliable, untrustworthy and lacks the professional integrity of bygone times. Every report displays bias and some subjective opinion rather than doing neutral, objective reporting. Additionally, today’s news is filled with contradiction and conflict resulting in more confusion and jumbled understanding. One broadcaster will report these numbers, the next totally different and contradictory numbers. Adding to the chaos of clarity, there is emotional tainting of the news, sensational labelling, emotion-riddled descriptions and bombastic accounting. “Sensationalize it to sell it. Facts be damned.”

You choose
Be selective in what you choose to watch and/or read for news. If the majority of the news is violent, crime-related, catastrophic, war-torn news, consider a new source of news. If your news sources titillate, provoke and stir your emotions, consider what you are willing to accept, and how much. After all, you control what you want to view or what you want to read.

Your news sources
We will not suggest you stop viewing or reading the news. Instead, we suggest you refine your news sources. Select ones which you feel are trustworthy and give you ‘clean’ information. Keep it simple, just 2 or 3 sources, should keep you up with the news, giving you information and keeping you on top of what’s going on around you in the world and locally.

You’re in control.

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Dec 27 – Rotzy writes about winter pains

Snow, cold, old man winter…all add up to a grumpier Rotzy!

          Merry Christmas (belated) from unit #303 here at Harris Place in Brant’s Ford….a gray, almost drizzly, but mild for Dec 25th (+9C called for) day (*see below). Rotzy was up even EARLIER today than normal (don’t ask), grabbing my coffee to head down to Edna for a puff, still pitch dark as I glanced out  the window, when what to my wondering eyes did appear, (*keep this one under your hat, and it had nothing to do with a  ‘splash’ of Bailey’s in my Presidents Choice Dark Roast Coffee, OK?) but a large red sleigh was turning north at the end of our parking lot….and NO TURN SIGNAL!! Just like all those old farts (one in four) who have the ‘right of way’ coming into the parking lot at Fairvew Mall! Methinks they like to keep you guessing? Anyway, the sleigh made it outta here OK, if only for the fact there was no other traffic. So….SO….even tho it’s the 25th, it still IS Sat, and that means putting an hour or three into next week’s column as Miz. Jo and yours truly don’t open our presents for a while yet. What’s amazing is the temp here today (*see above), after we had 3 or 4 inches of SNOW yesterday ayem, however we knew it couldn’t/wouldn’t last. But just in case, Rotzy cleared off more than a dozen cars… a ‘winter hobby’ of mine. But no White Christmas anywhere around these parts. Not so up there in our olde stomping grounds as Miz Jo quoted me a near-30C temperature for Nakina a day or three ago and she showed me a picture of the plowed snow that Norman (not his real name) sent from Geraldton on Facebook*tm. Actually, it’s remained mild enough here that Rotzy is still wearing shorts…. yes, outside too….in fact I’m sporting my new/favourite pair that Miz. Jo gave me for our 44th Anniversary on Dec 22nd! Most people here in our building (and beyond) are by now certain that this olde guy’s elevator is ‘stuck between floors’ and that’s cool. But not cold, OK?

Readers Write
          Here’s a couple items from TLN HQ….the first one I would venture is cause for concern! Check ’em out: * I saw this guy today at Starbucks. No I-phone, no tablet, no laptop.. He just sat there drinking his coffee. Like a psychopath. (scary stuff!) **When a woman says ”correct me if I’m wrong”….do not under any, I mean ANY circumstances do it. Keep ’em coming folks.

“From Nakina” Last Week Quoted….
          one of ONT’s top health officials, who had said a week before that ”We/Ontario (are) on a course to hit 10,000 new COVID cases a day BY Xmas”. Well folks, we did it!! Hey, Rotzy’s not gonna bicker over a couple hundred cases, give or take. The thing is, this ‘accomplishment’ isn’t necessarily something we wanna ‘stick our collective chests out about’. You think? The ‘other’ thing is, we/Ontario are in the middle of the busiest two weeks of the year…..and if you have an IQ higher than that of porridge, you MAY conclude that the ‘10,000 a day’ count is NOT apt to go down….any tyme soon. Maybe a month from now? Maybe two? The third ‘other’ thing is that Delta is ‘yesterday’s news, OMICRON is ‘the new variant’, and opinions abound….”it’s less invasive, it’s not as bad, its’ symptoms aren’t as serious”, and cetera, and cetera (*see below). Well, yours truly and Miz. Jo don’t know anybody who has come down with it, or even tested positive…..but if it’s COVID….and it most surely IS!….it can/will take lives. It will also take a huge toll on hospitals!! OK? OK. So, what do we do we/Ontario gotta do? Wash your hands. Wear a masque. You know the drill!  (*Jeez….I’m tired of writing this s–t!!) And go and get your needles like good girls and boys… yes, you’re excused from The Dunce Corner to go and do just that. Yes, We/Ontario can. We can’t control what happens elsewhere…. like the mess in Quebec, in Alberta, Russia, Australia, what Trump did or didn’t do, or Cleveland, Ohio….where 80,000 Dawgs (fans) cheered on their NFL Browns last week, with maybe 150 of them wearing masks. ‘Nuff said!!! Go get vaccinated/boostered!!!

Crossings And Stuff
          Got an email a week and a bit ago from an old friend up north about the CN rail crossings at Nakina and just up #641 to  Aroland First Nation, tho the latter had ‘steel plates’ installed at one tyme. He was lamenting their condition and how ‘bone jarring’ it is crossing at  Aroland….and trying to get Canadian National to fix it is like pulling teeth!! Actually, it’s much worse than that!! How that took me back in tyme to when Miz. Jo and Rotzy were putting out TNN….The Nakina News monthly, before “From Nakina”….and we had the same problem coming into Nakina on Hwy #584….which TNN called The Michael Gravelle Freeway, after our long-tyme MPP. Anyway, back then the Nakina Crossing was much WORSE than Aroland and I remember doing a write-up, with a picture showing the damage (ruined tire and rim) to a Nakina teacher’s van after she hit ‘the crater’ even at reduced speed. And when the Fish And Game Club’s Bass Derby was on we were terrified one of the competitors coming from out of town would lose their $25-$50,000 boat and trailer right there, but I guess we got lucky. The CN ‘person in charge’ was a woman in Montreal and she was a real treat….(not)…..but that was more than 15 years ago so hopefully my Aroland pal won’t have HER to deal with. Thing I learned about CNR is that ‘nothing is wrong’….with anything….derailment or not! Ever. And the ‘lady’ CNR Cop carried a gun, so ‘don’t go snooping’!! Rotzy was doing just that….snooping….for TNN….at a derailment a mile or so east of Nakina and she ‘removed me (from near the scene) numerous tymes, until I finally said (to myself) “Hey Toad, move it before she ‘cuffs’ you”. Anyway, good luck to my pal on getting some/any action from CNR.

While We’re Talking About ‘The North’….
          it just occurred to me that The Municipality of Greenstone, unless I’m mistaken here, is TWENTY years olde. NO….WAIT….DAMN!….that was LAST year, January 1, 2021. Well January 1, 2001, was AMALGAMATION DAY so Nakina had a big dinner party and dance (with The JKMG Band from Aroland) at The Rec Centre….all free/gratis. Why? Because Nakina was ‘in the black’ and dropped a few hundred K’s into Greenstone’s new account….the ONLY one of the ‘new wards’ not severely ‘in the red’. Anyway, Rotzy was ‘appointed’ (by Town clerk Kim Frech) as a member of the first two Nakina Advisory Committees. I went to all the meetings but felt kinda felt like a ‘double agent of sorts’….yours truly was one of the LARGE majorities of Nakinaites who wanted NO PART of Greenstone and we fought like hell to stay Nakina. It fell on deaf ears….even in the courts….the last of Mike Harris/Ernie Eves ‘supersize everything effort’. I even went to a few G/stone Council Meetings at ‘the olde place’ up on the hill, which was like a ship’s galley, where I argued with Mayor Charlie….sometymes with coughs and far coughs ….yet Le Maire and I liked each other. One Gerbilton Councillor didn’t know that and was gonna help the Mayor and punch me out right there in the hallway. OK, Bub. But Charlie settled it immediately, and methinks (obviously without saying it publicly) he was already seeing what a disaster this Greenstone amalgamation was…..and it was all about $$…..TCPL Tax Money….the Pipe Line was paying Ontario $7 Million ‘rent’ for the affected land, money which would then go to Greenstone. As a Geraldton Councillor (and BIG amalgamation fan) said to Rotzy at the ‘A-Day’ Promotion Campaign at the Rec Centre “What would YOU do with Seven Million’ Dollars’? I asked ”do  you mean if I was Greenstone”? ”Yessir” Well, ”I’d use a good chunk of it to get rid of the ****ing ‘Red Ink’ that you and each of the other ‘new wards’ brought with them….accept for Nakina, who brought a pile of THEIR money to the ‘party’. ” Of course, Greenstone never did get the  $7 Million from TCPL. It ‘became $3 Million!!! A little ‘last minute deal’ cooked by P/C MPP Tony Clement, the Min in Charge. Tony also knew this amalgamation wasn’t gonna work but did nothing to stop it. MPP Clement went on to become Conservative MY Tony Clement, then one of P/M Harper’s ‘inner-circle’. Then one day ‘the circle wasn’t unbroken’….Tony was a BAD boy….and became the ‘disgraced MP Tony Clement’. Jeez, I wonder if Greenstone is up to 7 Million TCPL dollars a year yet? I mean, twenty years? inflation? Must be getting close, eh? Anyway, here’s to the Municipality Of Greenstone’s next twenty!

*Thought Of The Day…New Year’s Toast….*Here’s to nipples! Without them titties would be pointless!  (Bonne Annee!)

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Teachers: the Olympic champions of all professions

A school principal’s speech graduation message. Teachers are special. Their strength is the product they mould, people, all the professionals of the world. Those who choose the profession are special people. Considerate, patient, tolerant, encouraging, motivated and they affect the world with the product they mould. Each of us has a teacher we remember. Think about it. You remember that teacher, not because of their subject knowledge, not because of their teaching skills but because they cared about you and how you were growing as a person. Teachers are special people and here is what the principal said at the convocation:

A doctor wants his child to become a doctor………

An engineer wants his child to become an engineer……

A businessman wants his to become CEO…..

BUT a teacher also wants his child to become one of them..!!!!

Nobody wants to become a teacher BY CHOICE” ….Very sad but that’s the truth…..!!!

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, “What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?”

To stress his point he said to another guest, “You’re a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?”

Teacher Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, “You want to know what I make? (She paused for a second, then began…)

“Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.

I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor winner.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can’t make them sit for 5 min. without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.

You want to know what I make? (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table)…
I make kids wonder. I make them question. I make them apologize and mean it. I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.

I teach them how to write and then I make them write. Keyboarding isn’t everything.

I make them read, read, read. I make them show all their work in math. They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator.

I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know about English while preserving their unique cultural identity.

I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.

Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life. ( Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.)

Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn’t everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant.


What do you make Mr. CEO?

His jaw dropped; he went silent.


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So I was responding to an email today….

So I was responding to an email today….and I realized I was in the early stages of going crazy. I may be suffering from a variety of maladies:

  1. Memory lacks adhesiveness
    Things just don’t stick for long as I do my work. I may change screens and poof, by the time I hit the second screen, what I was thinking in the first one, has vanished;

  2. Distract too easily
    The corollary to #1 is that if I pause for a moment and consider something else, it becomes a rabbit hole into which I drop, deeper and deeper as my curiosity takes over the wheel of my data management;

  3. Too many irons in the fire
    I do too many things in my digital life, add that I have a real-life, with real responsibilities, household ones, wife todo’s, and it is no wonder I cannot remember a damn thing;

  4. Information overload
    Emails, website, posts, articles, creative writing, messages, notifications, computer advisories…just ask me if I am swamped with information, data and material. I’m in a typhoon of incoming info. I should be hunkering down in the trenches like a soldier responding to the life-warning cry, “Incoming !!!” Meanwhile, I hunt for more, ironically more information…about improving organization, better management of information, more efficient productivity….grrrr.

  5. Mental inconsistency of a hummingbird on amphetamines
    Today it’s called ‘milk,’ tomorrow ‘beverage,’ three days from now, ‘kid’s drink,’ a few days later, ‘morning beverage’….the naming protocol changes with the wind, as quickly, in as many directions and as often.

  6. Mental fluidity of a tsetse fly
    Ideas, thoughts fly through my head as quickly as a comet crosses the night sky. There, for a moment, flashed out of sight the next…and worse still, irrecoverable. 

So there you have it, the anguish of the aged, the mental consistency of a gnat, the intellectual erosion of a senior senior….No wonder that any email I receive asking if I saw their message becomes an insurmountable challenge, a mental Mount Everest of the mind to recall what the writer is asking about.


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Dec 20 – Christmas excitement grows

Christmas excitement
Readers Write
Even ole Rotzy is getting excited as he dreams of yule logs and Christmas carols around an open fire.

Not unlike last week’s R/W item, this reader is also taking taking aim at the ‘non vaccers’. So check ’em out. *I guess we should retire the expression which warns us to ”avoid it like the plague”, given how little effort people put into avoiding an actual plague. **I don’t know who needs to hear this, but polio and smallpox never reached natural herd immunity. They were eradicated by vaccines. ***So….you’ve eaten hot dogs, chicken nuggets and processed meat all your life. But you won’t get the shot because ‘you don’t know what’s in it”! Aren’t you a special kind of stupid!

What A Difference A Week Makes! (*see below)
            Yes indeed….last week’s edition featured our Prime Minister as the winner….well….ONE of the winners….of our first D.O.T.W. (Dink Of The Week) Contest (*see below)! Altho Justin had to share the spotlight with others. Well, a week ago OMICRON was a  new word….just getting a foothold so to speak, Rotzy calling it ‘the New Kid on The (COVID) Block’…..but that’s all changed. The DAILY ‘new cases reported count’ for ONT alone has gone from a couple or three hundred to 2700 + yesterday! (Thurs Dec16th), and “F/N” does NOT know who in hell to ‘congratulate’ on such a feat??!! Well, dont’cha know that those in the know are saying it could/will be up to as many as 10,000 a day by Xmas! (*that’s not a typo) (*see above)! Not good news. Hence J/T had to take a strong stance in a number of areas….AND….he did so this tyme with support of Jagmeet Singh and the NDP! (Holy s–t! Hear! Hear! Two different Cdn political parties agreeing on something!) Included is an ‘advisory notice’ to ALL Canadians against any ‘non-essential’ international travel. That was obviously made VERY clear to everyone in the House….to the point (I would venture to say) if any MP wearing Liberal Red and/or NDP Orange gets spotted at DisneyWorld*tm or surfing in Maui during Xmas Break, that particular MP would/will surely be sitting as an Independent in 2022! BUT! Not so for Erin O’Toole!! Or his PC’s. He made it clear they’ll go wherever the hell they want!….Trudeau (and Singh) be damned!! Because the Blue Team’s ‘leader’ immediately called the P/M’s message an ‘advisory only’! So….SO….bottom line….Erin has the chance to ‘do the right thing’/align with the rest of the Bytown Bunch and at least make it look like they agree on something/anything. Imagine. And what does he do? Shoots himself in foot. Again. Still. BUT in the process THIS tyme, he’s a thumb’s down winner of the “F/N” Dink Of The Week Award!! And a unanimous choice at that! OK, OK, OK….so If you follow this “F/N” column with even some regularity, you are no doubt aware that Rotzy does NOT have a lot of good things to say/write about Justin Trudeau. So, let’s don’t think the olde guy’s gonna sign up and become a Card Carrying Member of the Fed Liberal Party….Jeez!…been there, done that, but the tyme Miz. Jo and I were ‘actively recruited’ was four (or five) Prime Ministers ago!! Anyway, all I’m saying is Trudeau’s plans to ‘eliminate unnecessary international travel’ (mostly by air), even if it was in the form of an ‘advisory notice’, the message is there! And it’s VERY clear! Unless you want to ‘twist the message, and make ‘political hay’ out of it. In which case, if you’re Erin O’Toole, put on your ‘Dunce-style’ Dink Of The Week hat and go stand in the corner with the other ‘DINKS’. Alas, your caucus asks if you would firstly please turn in your PC badge. Thanks.

Get A Job….
            was the name of a hit rock ‘n roll song from circa 1958 by The Silhouettes….on the ‘Sparton’ label methinks, and I had it on 78 rpm….great song! Dip dip dip dip    dip dip dip dip…Boom   Sha na na na   Sha  na na  na na na…..I sing it whenever I hear this particular ad on the radio….fairly new and it’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs….a large variety of jobs, skilled jobs, unskilled jobs, you-name-it jobs, big paying jobs….even the minimum wage jobs sound good to Rotzy….just under $16 an hour??!! S–t, my first full-tyme job paid $40 bucks a week….for a 5 1/2 day week!! Anyway, last week yours truly was in the ‘get a job’ mode….as I do from tyme to tyme….and then this advertisement from Domino Pizza*tm arrives in the #303 mail slot….a 4-Topping ‘Large’ Pizza for $12.99!! But on the other side it says “We’re Hiring All Positions. Earn some dough! OK, OK, OK! Bad ‘pun’ but it got Rotzys’ attention, so I said (to myself) “Hey Toad….you could/can do this!! ‘Ambitious, hardworking people who care? That’s ME man….I care!! ‘In a friendly, motivating environment’. I’m friendly….I can do that!  And listen to this….’We offer competitive wages, flexible hours, great advancement opportunities’!! That’s just right for you Toad!! Then I read, ”Pizza Discounts and more”!! “DISCOUNTS”!!?? WTF???!!! You have to BUY your ****ing  lunch when you work at DOMINO’s PIZZA??!! WELL, poop/s–t on THEM! Hence….1/ I don’t wanna work for no cheapskate pizza outfit; 2/ I’m gonna stay retired; 3/ my buddy at A Super Deal Pizza (near Brantwood Farms) makes FAR better pizza than El Cheapo’s! Besides, I may as well wait until after the New Year to go job hunting. ”Pizza Discounts”!!?? Are you ****ing KIDDING me??!! Imagine. 

            Yours truly is pleased to say the leg swelling’s pretty well disappeared, in fact my ankles are looking ‘rather skinny’ these days….especially my right leg….which is a good thing….and this because of Miz. Jo’s diligence, my anti-biotics, and twice weekly visits to the V.O.N. Also, I’m pleased to report Rotzy hasn’t ‘taken down’ any more of those ‘arms’ at parking lot entrances/exits this week! Another good thing. *I thought we’d had our last BGG meeting on the 11th, but a hastily-arranged meeting (by the sgt-at-arms) of something resembling ‘a high council’ reported to The Creamery last Fri to work on a couple important items that could/will take place before the BGG’s first meeting of 2022 and there are at least two committees working on a decision. Stay tuned. *Miz.Jo said “Edna’s making too much noise” as we boarded and deboarded our SUV for a buckboard run last week. ”Sounds fine to me”. “She’s too noisy”. ”OK….I’ll take it to Midas tomorrow”. Chris The Man With The Midas Touch agreed with Miz. Jo and $400 later we had a new thingy between the Cat Convertor and the muffler.  Resonator? Yes….Resonator….it had rusted and was splitting along the seam….AND….the guy fixed the idiot lights on the dashboard Free/Gratis!! Now Rotzy knows how fast I’m going, but now I can’t hear Edna’s motor at all. *Yours truly picked up the ingredients for the first few batches of Marjorie Rotz’s Nuts And Bolts*tm…the 75+ yr olde recipe that’s been converting former fans of ‘Bits And Bites’*tm/Humpty Dumpty*tm/Frito-Lay*tm and cetera for….well….for 75 years. No need to make them for any of the Rotz family….they ALL make their own….hence, ours go to friends and neighbours….and if we forget/miss someone who got some last year….well….we ‘hear about it’! I have a copy of my Mom’s handwritten recipe and the most current list (if I could find it) has changed some over decades, mostly ADDING stuff….but yours truly does mostly ‘eyeball measuring’ anyway. So….SO….after sample-testing Batch #1 Sunday aft, Miz. Jo and I agreed! ”Good….needs more Lea And Perrins”! FYI…..and keep it under your hat….’Worchestershire Sauce’ was/is Marge’s ‘secret ingredient’. Batch #2 is a go for later today, but firstly I need more celery salt, garlic powder and paprika,,,,DOH!!….I forgot paprika in batch #1, but then, we didn’t/don’t have any. Not to worry, Rotzy will get his s–t together by batch #3….or #4.

Ho! Ho! Ho!….
            it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…..but not around Brant’s Ford….at  least, not yet! However, it was said/written in this space a couple or three months back that Xmas 2021 would/will resemble Xmas 2020, and I’m not talking about weather or the likes. So it is what it is….OR….it is what we make of it. Believe it or not, yours truly IS a ‘Christmassy kind of guy’….everything about it….almost. Friends, family, food, gift-giving/wrapping and un-wrapping, some toasts, memories of Christmases Past, lights and decorations on trees, laughter and tears….(good tears)….the whole deal!….and of course the music….skip ‘Feliz Navida’ (please!!) and bring on Handel’s ‘Messiah’ and ‘Ave Maria’….Luciano Pavarotti backed by The Mormon Taberacle Choir, The Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra (TPSO), Eugene Ormandy conducting. Closing with Mahaliah Jackson….’Sweet Little Jesus Boy’ (I can get teary-eyed just thinking about that one) then ‘Silent Night’. Anyway, Miz. Jo and Rotzy send our ‘Best Wishes to the readership for a Very Merry, Happy and Safe Christmas! And may YOUR Christmas be everything you hope/wish/pray it to be!

*Thought Of The Day…If  ‘If’s’ and ‘But’s were candy and nuts, what a Merry Christmas we’d all have!  (Dandy Don Meredith quote on Monday Night Football approx. half a century ago…it’s been “F/N’s” annual Xmas T.O.T.D. for 20 years)

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All you want to know about INFLATION

Here’s an interesting site about INFLATION. Many of the graphics and gif animations put INFLATION into a clearer of more informative perspective. Especially creative, informativ and interesting is the ‘slider graphic’ at the bottom of their front page.

There is no way the average Joe can control, manage or modify INFLATION. The only action he can take is to modify his spending habits, buy less, buy expensive, buy on sale only, use coupons wherever possible.

The website:  INFLATION

Posted in MONEY | Leave a comment

Notes about the Markham Concert Band Seasonal Celebration performance.

The Markham Concert Band, an outstanding group of amateur musicians, should be relabelled as professionals. Their recent Christmas concert performance confirms these musicians are as dedicated as any group of professionals.

The Markham Concert Band has been affected by the COVID pandemic a number of times. Adding to that COVID issue, this is a wind instrument orchestra, the risk here obvious.

The Christmas concert
In December, the orchestra replaced live performing with a YouTube one. If you have not seen the performance, click our the YouTube link at the end of this review.

Amateurs play like professionals
The Markham Concert Band is a group of dedicated amateur musicians who have been involved with music since their youth, some as musicians, others as church choir members, and others as school band students. Each of these band members has continued their passion for playing right into adulthood. As members of this orchestra, their dedication has them attending weekly rehearsals to practice and polish their musical skills.

Christmas concert
Public performances such as their recent Christmas concert offer the attendees an opportunity to enjoy the results of their many rehearsals: enjoyable seasonal selections played at a polished, professional-calibre level.

Conductor, Doug Manning, conducted a wonderful variety of musical selections representative of the holiday season: Christmas classics with new style-arrangements, Old classics played in the old-fashioned way; and new original pieces written and conducted by the assistant conductor, Sean Breen.

Given the acoustics of the COVID determined venue were not the best, the performance overcame the acoustical limitations with their grand performance, polished, practiced and definitely professional. Every piece played was a pleasure to hear. Of course, the seasonal selections would bring out the toe-tapping response with the meanest of Scrooges.

The show stopper was the finale, “Jingle Bells Forever,” tremendously enjoyable from the opening note to the final crescendo.

Congratulation to Conductors, Manning and Breen. We also wish to acknowledge Band member, Dennis Gazarek, for his assistance with information about the band and also for his musical contribution.

YouTube LINK: YouTube

Upcoming Concerts
The Band hopes their springtime concerts will be presented in an old-fashioned way: LIVE. We hope so too.

Visit the band’s website:  MARKHAM CONCERT BAND

We thank DENNIS GAZAREK for his assistance with this information.


Posted in RICHARD's desk | Leave a comment

SEARCH ASSISTANTS: Ever struggle to find something on your computer?

When it comes to information on a computer, many people are better organized, more logical and manage their information better than I do. However, what I lack in those particular personal characteristics, I compensate with an amazing toolbox of search tools.

When I can’t find something on my computer, I use one, many or all of these tools in my search arsenal:

  1. WIN Search
  2. File Explorer
  3. Xplorer2
  4. Google labels
  5. Google search (in my gmail)
  6. XYplorer
  7. Directory Opus
  8. RecentX
  9. EVERYTHING (the “sledgehammer”) never fails me and the last resort)

Yes, I have that many search tools. Kind of gives you a little glimpse either of my filing skills and my grey matter. However, it may take me some time to find something, after all when you have more than a half dozen tools at hand, just touching each one takes time.

The moral of the story is “I can find anything on my computer”….just give me time…and a scotch!

(I recommend ‘EVERYTHING,’ sometimes called, ‘Search Everything.’ 
The image shows you the options from which you can select your download. Most PC’s use 64 bit installers.

It is a free tool, downloadable. Click -> EVERYTHING

Posted in WRITER TOOLS | Leave a comment