A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Health Card Renewal – are you covered?

Recently my son, upon renewing his drivers license was told that his Ontario Health card had been revoked in that he did not respond to a renewal request sent to the address where we originally lived when the card was issued some thirty plus years ago. It seems that if you do not use your card for a period of 7 years and have moved in the meanwhile that , despite having updated numerous other documents including you Ontario Drivers license, that the heath services which you are entitled to and pay for in your taxes will be automatically revoked. If you have not used any heath services in 5 or more years you had best check and make sure your card is still valid, and if you have moved get the card updated, there are a number of cases documented online where such citizens have had payment demanded before receiving necessary treatment.

The only good thing here is that apparently a recent change to the 'system' brings up a red flag when you renew your drivers license (or at least it did in my sons case) and thus you will eventually be aware of the revocation. The strange thing is if the government is aware of the card being invalid when licence renewal taking place why cannot they send a renewal notice to whatever current address is in their database for your drivers license. I am quite certain that 99% of folks are not aware of the necessity to notify the Ministry of Heath of a change of address since most such cards do not contain that information (I cannot speak for the new photo ID cards since we here all have the old red and white lifetime cards and very rarely use doctor or hospital services. I am further convinced that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Ontario citizens who are in the same position with no heath coverage but are unaware of it.  It now seems to me that those who do not abuse the system are being penalized for NOT adding the the cost of such services.

It must be noted here that you can get a new heath card at Service Ontario whilst renewing you licence however despite having your license to hand and even details of your revoked card still on the 'system' you will need to provide further proof of your identity, citizenship and marital status, this is also true if simply renewing you existing valid photo card!

For more information see http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/publications/ohip/renew.aspx

For renewing an old red & white card see

For a list of documents required see this pdf document 

To add insult to injury it seems that whilst you can replace a damaged, lost or stolen card at any License Office "Heath Card Services" are NOT available at most small rural and small town license offices so it seems you must travel to a major center to replace your "revoked" Heath Card!


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Problems with Math?

Many kids and adults struggle with math to a greater or lesser degree and most of us by the time we are out in the working world find strategy’s to work around such difficulties. Some kids who struggle in junior school seem to suddenly 'get it' once in High School but some continue to not be able to perform even simple math functions, like making change, through to adulthood. In many cases the use of a calculator or computerized till hides this problem until the power goes out or the batteries go flat, others may even struggle even with that 'accommodation'.

I have recently become aware that the inability to understand or perform math functions is not necessarily due to failure to learn the basics, poor memory function, laziness or other general leaning or intelligence ability’s. There is in fact a recognized 'disability' that specifically reduces an individuals ability to understand and perform math functions even though they may otherwise be highly intelligent, fully functioning individuals. As with a similar and related 'disability' dyslexia, it varies in one individual from another and often goes undiagnosed with the individual being classed as unintelligent or unable to learn or worse mentally deficient. Unfortunately here in SW Ontario this now well documented problem is largely unknown and unrecognized, particularly in the school system, to the point where that despite there being formal processes to recognize and test such kids in both the U.S. and the U.K. No such accommodations appear to exist in Ontario. In point of fact a researcher of brain functions at the UWO in London, Ontario, a Professor Ansari says that “I do not know of any place in Ontario where you can get a formal diagnosis of Dyscalculia”, this being the scientific name for this affliction.

Once a parent realizes that this may be the problem there is much information available on line as regards the symptoms and ramifications and even resources for “on line” testing to confirm your suspicions. Some such sites as with all such things online may need be approached with care however the most reliable sources appears to be via various university studies in the U.K, a search of such sites will guide you to such 'tests' one being http://www.dyscalculia.me.uk/testing.html where you will also find links to more information about this 'affliction'.

I will not try and explain the reason for this difficulty except to say that is is a glitch in the right hemisphere of the brain which makes numbers and math seem like a foreign language to those afflicted and there seems to be no 'cure' although there may be some ways to reduce the impact and increase the understanding of this math impediment.

If you or your child has exceptional difficulty in understanding or performing simple math look up the word “Dyscalculia” it may well be an “ahhh” moment, just dont expect any assistance or recognition of the problem by your local school board. (at least in the Avon Maitland board and as far as I can see most other Ontario boards!)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lost my Poppy

Remembrance Day.....

Lost my new poppy..was pinned on fast

Seems them soldiers have the last laugh
Reminding us,  they are still proud
Looking for "My Poppy"...their jokes allowed.

I pinned it firm over my heart
Taped it, bent it, not we to part
Low and behold...Poppies Gone...
Good name, for a Remembrance Song...!!

I feel bad if my Poppy not seen
This special memory, lost boyhood dreams
Gave their lives for us we know
But Poppies are sold...wherever we go.

So I purchase another..smile goes with
No my friend not really a twit
I accept the game,  old soldiers play
Re-pin "this one" proudly..."it's Remembrance Day."

I am sure poppies don't just fall from clothing, I feel they are letting us know
the gesture sure is appreciated by they that gave it their all on the fields of freedom battles.
So if you lose your Poppy...a soldier is saying "Thanks" for remembering them.
Purchase another....their price paid was greater than a few coins dropped in a box.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Rural Youth Engagement Showcase

Today through November 29, 2015, rural communities across Ontario have the opportunity to nominate young leaders for recognition in the Youth Engagement Showcase, the most recent initiative of the Rural Ontario Institute (ROI).
The showcase will profile compelling stories of youth taking charge and tackling important issues, highlight the impact youth can have in their communities and demonstrate how different types of rural communities can successfully involve youth in addressing local challenges.
Up to eight final nominees will be profiled through individual video documentaries, each being filmed in their respective hometown. These documentaries will showcase involvements and accomplishments as well as community programs and organizations that are successfully engaging youth.   
Nomination information is available here. Please support the Youth Engagement Showcase by sharing this information within your networks. 

ROI is probably the best and in some cases the only resource for all thing 'rural' in Ontario, I highly recommend their site as an information source and am pleased that they are including our rural youth in their programs.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

That #^*$%* Time Change!

The time change is archaic and disruptive, especially for people who have sensitive internal clocks, such as seniors and children. There are also studies that have found an increase in workplace and road accidents in the weeks following time changes.'
"It's crazy when you look at the impact this has,' There's so many reasons that we shouldn't do it but I don't think there are many reasons why we should.''
So says some in BC who are petitioning for the whole thing to be dropped the same as in Saskatchewan, which is on central standard time year-round. As one of those seniors who's internal clock refuses to reset to the 'new' time I could not agree more, we have no need to save candle power anymore and almost all workplaces are lit up irregardless of daylight hours so hydro saving are minimal at best, particularly with shift work and extended shopping hours.

Lets settle on one setting or the other and then leave the bloody clocks alone!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Strategic Voting in Bruce-Grey Owen Sound.

For those who wish to rid ourselves of the would be dictator Stephen Harper and his unelected PMO henchmen and if you put any believe in political polls (and I recognize that they are far from reliable) then you should be aware of the recent numbers given by “Vote Together” in a LOCAL poll commissioned with funds raised by local citizens.

A similar poll taken in mid September showed Liberal Kimberly Love at 29% and Larry Miller at 43%. Now the latest poll shows Kimberly at 40% just one point behind Miller. I do not intend to tell anyone how to vote but if you want to see the end of the destruction of our democracy and the disdain for parliamentary process then the choice is obvious. Even in this supposedly 'safe' Conservative riding there is a move afoot for change and I urge my readers to join me in electing someone other that a conservative in order to have any hope of bringing about a return to a more open and democratic government.

I have nothing against Mr Miller except to say this.....
Any Conservative MP who has not spoken out against the efforts of Harper and the PMO to dictate to those whom we have elected to represent us in the House of Commons not only how they must vote but to speak only the party pre scriped lines is no less guilty than their “Leader” and his unelected PMO enforcers.

Democracy Requires Dialogue not secrecy and refusal to debate and answer questions.

Nationality the average of all the polls as shown at Poll Tracker gives a minority Liberal government but with the Conservatives still withing striking distance of same.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Vote, Vote, Vote - Vote ABC

Are you Registered to Vote?

By this time you should have received your Voter Information Card telling you where your polling station is located, if you have not received one then either you are not on the list or you information on that list is incorrect and you should call or visit your local Election Canada office and get your information added or corrected.

If you did receive a card then check it out and make sure that the name and address matches that on your personal identification, in particular the address. If it does not contact EC and get the electors list corrected or you may be turned away on voting day.
Find your local EC office address and phone number here.......

I am told by someone who recently took poll clerk training that should you turn up at a poll with address information that does not match the listings or when you are not on the list then you will NOT be turned away but added to the list and asked to swear that you have not voted elsewhere.

Its a difficult choice we must make this time around in order to remove the current dictator from power, the choice of which other candidate (and thus the party they represent) is best placed to defeat the incumbent, or new, conservative candidate is not always clear in many ridings. You may be tempted to say I want him gone but I am not sure who else to vote for and therefore not bother. Please don’t do that, if the more that 40% of folks who did not vote last time get out and vote ABC then ANYTHING can happen in any riding.
So make sure you are on the list, your details are correct, and get out and VOTE, dont let Harper steal another election with his unfair election act changes designed to discourage voting and prevent Elections Canada from encouraging voters to vote and hamper investigation of electoral fraud.

Advance voting days
October 9, 10, 11 and 12, noon to 8:00 p.m.

Election Day is Oct 19th
The time polls are open will vary depending upon your time zone but ALL are open a minimum of 12 hours

Other ways to vote
Go to any Elections Canada office by 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 13

No card?
Find out where to vote and check out if you are on the voters list here by entering your personal information


More voting wrinkles

Just found an interesting wrinkle in the voting process for those who wish to keep their face covered, despite have all the required documents the same as those who do not have photo ID and are permitted to vote right away those with face covering must swear an oath before they may vote. This does not seem logical or fair.

Those who want to make a protest by accepting a ballot and then refusing to vote will not be counted as refusing but their blank ballot placed in the box and counted as a spoiled ballot. A far better way to make your dislike of the system known would be to vote for a candidate who supports electoral reform. 31,000 people voted for “none of the above” in the last provincial election in Ontario where such an option was available, lets make every vote count..... against the dictatorial and corrupt Harper Regime!

As in all previous elections those that are turned away due to insufficient or incorrect identification or being at the wrong poll are not counted so we will never know how many voters tried to vote but were denied the opportunity. Please be sure you are on the voters list and have matching identification.
This information and more can be found in the polling clerks training manuals available on line on the Elections Canada site.

You should also have received a flyer regarding what to do if you did not receive a card which says you must present ......

1) Show one of these pieces of ID

  • your driver's licence
  • your provincial or territorial ID card
  • any other government card with your photo, name and current address

2) Show two pieces of ID

At least one must have your current address
What it does NOT say that said address much match in large part the address that EC has on file if it does not or if they have no listing you will have a problem.... call EC to ensure you can vote.

Almost 10 million Canadian voters did not vote for one reason or another in 2011, if all these folks make their wished know in this the most important election in years, possibly in Canadian history, then we CAN get rid of this undemocratic regime.............

In the Grey-Bruce Owen Sound riding in 2011 the conservative incumbent won by approximately 20,000 votes over the runner up HOWEVER over 27,000 eligible voters did not vote and there are almost 3,000 more eligible voters in our riding this time around. You CAN make a difference get out and VOTE!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Whos going to fix the copier?

Leaders of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 55,000 education workers in Ontario schools, ramped up the ongoing work-to-rule campaign on Tuesday morning. The union represents early childhood educators, educational assistants, custodians, clerical workers, librarians and other members of Ontario public and Catholic schools. Each category of workers was given an instruction list of approximately 30 to 35 items specific to their daily duties at school.
Some of the items that the union has told their member not to do include.......
Custodial and maintenance workers were advised not to sweep entrances and hallways or clean the offices of principals and vice-principals.
Clerical employees were told not to enter staff absences, complete month-end reports for the Ministry of Education, create or print newsletters or do school bank deposits.
Educational assistants will not complete any learner reports, make photocopies, will not do lunch duty, hall duty or yard duty.
Early childhood educators will not complete learner reports, make photocopies, attend training or do any paperwork.
Library workers will not clear photocopier jams or prepare materials for any classes.
Anyone employed in the information technology field will not clear photocopier jams, attend training or do any paperwork and all requests for work must be submitted in writing.
All instructors will not complete learner reports or submit lesson plans.
My only question is if this is a work to rule and these things are not in their job description, why not? No doubt that if such thing that are clearly part of their normal work routine were to be added to the proposed contract the union would be squealing for even more money. As with the Elementary Teachers I find it difficult to believe that the majority of the folks with a relatively secure and well paid job are so dissatisfied with their job and compensation to disrupt the normal school activities in this manner. Is the union dictating to its members, are they being consulted regularly? I dont know, I just know that those struggling for one reason or another to make ends meet, working part time or at minimum wage or desperately looking for ANY work are sick and tired of hearing this kind of crap from the unions, particularly 'public service' unions.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Be Prepared, Voter Identification

Much has been made of late of the removal of the voter card as a piece of identification, there was even a court case in Ontario to challenge the provision which was rejected. Frankly I believe the rhetoric that this change will disenfranchise some voters is a little overdone, it is the assumption that if you have received a card that’s all you need to vote that is the problem. You still need to positively identify yourself by other means, if you received the card by mail it is highly improbable that you don’t have some kind of addressed mail / bills etc that is acceptable as proof of residence.

A far greater impediment to voting, particularly in rural Canada, is that if the address on your drivers licence or other ID does not match that on the voters list (and thus you card if you got one) you may have difficulty. If you drivers licence still says RR something but the voters list says 123456 This Road then you could have a problem if you leave things to voting day. Even errors in the list that puts you to the other side of the street and thus sends you to a different poll location can really throw a spanner in the works, you MUST be registered with Elections Canada to vote. On voting day you MUST vote at the right polling station, at advanced polls and at Elections Canada offices prior to that there is much more flexibility.

There are several ways to both check and correct such errors and it is not unreasonable to ask voters to do so if they suspect the voter list is incorrect, or they have moved recently, they are just now old enough to vote or they are away at school for an extended period. The thing is they must be aware that they need to do so and that is what this post is about.

The Elections Canada web site detailing all the information required was updated in late June and clearly answers just about every question you may have but there are a few wrinkles that are not immediately obvious and not generally included in the discussions about who can and cannot vote and what they need to know to do so. I will try and cover some of those things here but please check the imbedded links for the details.

  1. Your mailing address and your residential address are not necessary the same, you may use either one but your ID must match the address on the voters list (and thus the voters card). Your drivers licence with a different address can be used to establish you identity but you then need a separate piece of approved documentation to establish your address. http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=vot&dir=ids&document=index&lang=e

  1. If you do not receive a card, the address does not match the ID that you can provide, you are going to be away from home either temporarily or longer, you just have to make some arrangements ahead of time. This is not unreasonable, if you want to vote and have a say in Canada's future get off your arse and make sure you can do so. Here is how! http://www.elections.ca/content2.aspx?section=id&document=index&lang=e

Elections Canada sends a voter information card by mail to each registered voter. It should arrive between September 28 and October 2. The voter information card gives the hours and address of your advance polling place, election day polling place and local Elections Canada office.
You may correct the Elections Canada voter listings to agree with you ID, (AND vote by special ballot whilst doing so), by visiting any of 400 Elections Canada offices before the deadline of Tuesday, October 13 at 6:00 p.m. (local time). Offices are open Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bring your proof of identity and address. You can vote by mail but need to apply for a special ballot voting kit as soon as possible, to allow time for your voting kit to reach you and for your marked ballot to reach Elections Canada by election day.
The deadline to apply to vote by mail is Tuesday, October 13 at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time for anyone applying online or sending their application to Elections Canada in Ottawa.
You may vote by special ballot at any Elections Canada office at any time prior to the election, be sure to have the name and correct spelling of your preferred candidates name when doing so as the 'special ballot' is not preprinted with the candidates name and the office may not have an up to date list!
You can find the Elections Canada office nearest you on the internet or call Election Canada at 1-800-463-6868
When you vote at an Elections Canada office or by mail, you must use a special ballot voting kit.
In all cases, the elector must have a civic address for his or her place of ordinary residence in Canada, for electoral purposes. The elector's vote will be counted for that electoral district.

If you're not sure what address E.C. has on file, check your voter registration here.
If you need more help with voter registration, contact them here.

  1. If you are unable to probuce any ID showing your current address you may take an oath
    Show two pieces of ID with your name and have someone who knows you attest to your address. This person must show proof of his or her identity and address, be registered in the same polling division, and can only attest for only one person. The identity of a person without documentation cannot be vouched for only his or her civic address!

Those living in residence or in a home with a roommate off campus may have difficulty because some of the bills may not be in their name. In situations like that students can get a letter of  confirmation of residence from their student residence. The same could apply for someone staying in a shelter or senior’s residence or living on reserve. These forms can be found online at www.elections.ca or by visiting a local election office.

I am told by someone who recently took poll clerk training that should you turn up at a poll with address information that does not match the listings or when you are not on the list then you will NOT be turned away but added to the list and asked to swear that you have not voted elsewhere.

Remember under the new (un)Fair Elections Act, Elections Canada can tell you where and how to vote but cannot advertise or otherwise encourage you, or our under represented youth or native population, to get out to vote. So bloggers let us take up the challenge and do all we can to get everyone to have their say on Canada's future.

Election date is Oct 19th

The above information cross posted at Democracy Under Fire

Elections Canada Offices in the Grey-Bruce Owen Sound Riding
All offices open 10am – 5pm Monday – Friday

Main office of the returning officerThe Professional Centre
945 3rd Avenue East, Suite 24
Owen Sound, Ontario N4K 2K8
Tel 1 866 238-4198

Other returning offices
The Former Rona Building
185 Elizabeth Street
Durham, ON, Ontario N0G 1R0
Tel 1 866 450-9918

The Meeting Place - Propeller Club
575 Edward Street
Wiarton, Ontario N0H 2T0
Tel 1 866 374-4031

The Candidates and their offices for Grey Bruce Owen Sound are:-
Chris Albinati, Green Party 148 Garafraxa St. N., Durham 226-432-2152
Kimberley Love, Liberal Party 155 8th Street East, Owen Sound 226-909-2046
David McLaren, NDP 1043 2nd Ave. East, Owen Sound 519-270-4333
Larry Miller, Conservative Party 1260 2nd Ave. East, Owen Sound 226-909-1925

Upcoming Candidate Debates in Grey-Bruce Owen Sound
Monday, Sept. 28th – Hanover – Civic Centre Theatre – 7-9pm (no L.Miller at this time)
Thursday, Oct. 1st – Owen Sound – Bayshore Centre 7-9pm (yes L. Miller)
Wednesday, Oct.7th – Keady – Keady Community Centre – 7-9pm (yes L. Miller)
Thursday, Oct. 8th – O.S. – St. Georges Anglican Hall – Women’s Issues debate – (no L. Miller)
Wed. Oct. 14th – Paisley – Paisley Legion/Town Hall – 7-9pm (no L. Miller)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Party Platforms, some thoughts!

If the choice is between fixing the hole in the roof and remortgaging the house then the choice is obvious, particularly with the interest rates so low. Throwing a tarp over it and putting a bucket under the drips is not a long term viable solution, that for so many of us finding a job to even purchase a tarp is a major problem simply highlights the position we are in both individually and as a country. If the roof has been leaking for some time and just moving the buckets around as needed was the solution chosen then simply doing more of the same is equally illogical. When your accountant then proposes that you go out and buy a shiny new Caddy with the money you did not know you had, saved by not fixing the roof, would you rehire him!

With Harper promising billions in funding for various projects across the country despite the numbers that put us in recession whilst at the same time saying that there is / will be a surplus of income over spending is troubling enough but that Mulclair is echoing that scenario is bizarre. Anyone who thinks that the books will be shown to be in the black when the 'new' government is sworn in must be drinking more than coolaid and to promise that all the goodies being proposed can then be paid for without substantial new income is a fantasy. The fantasy includes the recently announced $1.9-billion surplus for 2014-15, a $4 billion jump from the announced deficit just a few months ago and revealed just a month before the election....are you kidding?. The deficit still exists even if only in unfulfilled promises and programs! Of course close examination of many of the promises reveal that the amounts flaunted are to be trickled out over several years, in some cases even decades, and thus can be reduced, redirected or cancelled as required. It is the promise of big bucks for this or that that gets the attention of far too many voters.

It is understandable that all the partys (except the Greens) are reluctant to talk about minority and / or coalition government, they all want the power to pass legislation of their choice without having to 'comprise' by 'cooperating' with those damned folk from other partys who have been elected by their constituents to represent then in our search for a better Canada. We have seen what majority government has brought about, and it has not been pretty, whilst the Cons have been particularly destructive of process and ideologically rigid I suspect any party with a majority will not embrace 'comprise' and 'cooperation' which to my mind is what we need to move forward.

I will be very surprised if we are not in a minority situation come October and that will at a minimum require two or more partys to work together to undo the Havoc that Harper has wrought be it on a case by case basis or on a more formal agreement. I applaud Elizabeth May's efforts to get a conversation started about this possibility (probability?) BEFORE we find ourselves in another constitutional crisis. We cannot forget that despite Harper & Mulclair having said they will not appoint senators and that they want to abolish it, it still is part of our parliamentary process and legislation must be passed in the senate before becoming law. That as it sits now it is a body dominated by Conservative appointees who can be counted upon to oppose just about anything that does not fit their view of the world will be difficult enough without adding further dis-functionality to that body by calling in to doubt its legitimacy.

All the opposition partys are promising to move towards election reform, the Libs say they will introduce a new voting system in time for the 2019 election, are leaning towards a preferential voting system but will form a committee to study it first. The NDP say that they will impose a Mixed Member Proportional system and the Greens have long advocated for change and say that they will “establish an all-party Democratic Voting Commission to review past research and conduct a public consultation on the style of proportional representation best suited to Canada.” With even those of us who strongly flavor electoral reform unable to agree on which of the several systems and variations of same is the best option this one is going to be difficult for all concerned. Then there is parliamentary reform, the return to following the traditional rules and strengthening the system so it cannot be abused as it has been in recent years. Little has been said about that by the partys, they are all too busy trying to GET power rather than restrict and share it!

Finally, little has been said about reinstating our scientific research, Census Canada data collecting, environmental protections, search and rescue capability, social support mechanisms etc etc etc gutted by the Con Regime. These things will all take time and money and require a vibrant “economy” with folks able to finds jobs and pay taxes, stopping the exodus of corporations to other jurisdictions and ensuring those that do stay pay their fair share. In short we need a leader and a government that instills confidence in Canada both internally and overseas, are any of the partys going to provide this dramatic change so desperately needed? Frankly I see a few glimmers of light but still await the rising of the sun over Canada bringing a new era of our 'representatives' working together to bring a new day to our diverse country.

Who is going to be that bright light, I have no idea!

This article cross posted at Democracy Under Fire

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Brits “Peeved” over recent events.....

Various versions of this bit from John Cleese, English actor, comedian, writer and film producer have been circulating for years.

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France 's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbour" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels ..

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be right, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!" and "The barbie is cancelled." So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.

John Cleese ,
British writer, actor and tall person

And as a final thought - Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC.

Life is too short...

............And Canada has gone from “Who gives a shit” to Pity eh!” but are considering raising it to “Audit the bastards” but haven’t yet reached the top level of “Hide in the closet”.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Not News to Us.

The unemployment rate for the Stratford-Bruce Peninsula economic region increased from 5.4% to 6.1% last month, led by a loss of 3,500 jobs in trades and 1,400 in educational services.” This area includes a wide geographic area and does not properly reflect the Grey- Bruce part of that “economic region” in my opinion, we may not have “lost” as many jobs simply because there have been very few in this area to loose and the unemployment numbers are suspect in that they do not generally include the thousands that have not been counted due to having long ago run out of EI and despite still wanting a job cannot find any to even apply for!

A young man in our family in the trades who was laid off due to “lack of available work” and who exhausted his Employment Insurance many months ago who has been looking for almost any full or part time job recently attended an information session for a new national parts and surplus store being opened in our area shortly. He tell me that the two day session had several hundred attending on the day that he was there and after a couple of interviews received yet another “thanks but no thanks” letter. He was told he had many of the qualifications required but others “were more qualified”, this for an entry level warehouse / clerk type position. Looking at the local job listings I cannot fault him for not finding a job, there are simply no jobs to be had, and most of the few that are available require speciality certification or training, there are not even any jobs bagging groceries to be had!

Our fact spinning PM and his mouthpieces are crowing
that "Under Conservative economic leadership, we had strong economic growth in June, exports are up — particularly in manufacturing — and now we've seen that Canada created over 50,000 full time jobs last month," Oh wow! 50,000 “new” jobs across a country the size of Canada and the unemployment rate ROSE to 7% And a loss of 42.000 (part time) jobs offset this number for a net gain of around 12,000.

Meanwhile here in Ontario the job losses in just trades and educational services exceed that considerably with the loss of 6,900 and 23,300 jobs respectively. Hell the job losses in just our economic region alone is almost half that at 5,300, so don’t tell me about a slight rise in the number of jobs across the country, the miniscule gain is totally meaningless to those in this area who cannot find work.

Oh yes and the budget is balanced and we are not in a recession and Harper puts no limits on who attends his election 'photo opportunities' and how may questions he will answer!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Harpers Speech

Please find below for your enjoyment a few extracts from Harpers speech upon dissolving parliament and launching us into an extend taxpayer subsidized 11 week campaign.

As it is my intention to begin campaign-related activities, as is also the case for the other party leaders, it is important that these campaigns be funded by the parties themselves rather than taxpayers..........
.....and my use of taxpayers dollars to inundate them with advertisements promoting our “Economic Action Plan” and our “Bribe Families with Kids Plan” was not partisan at all. It is just coincidence that our MPs have been out handing out more funding cheques in the last few days than in many years. Also I will not be accepting the 50% taxpayer funded reimbursement of our expenses.

It is an election about who will protect our economy......A national election is not a popularity contest.......
.....which is why we have spent millions trying to reduce the popularity of Justin and ignored the fact that the Economy still has not recovered from the recession.
Our choices have been prudent and our actions have been disciplined........
........the closure of scientific library’s, coast guard stations etc and the defunding of organizations supporting democracy and womens rights etc were not ideologically driven at all.

As a result, our economy and our employment have grown steadily over six years......
.........and those studies and charts that say that the economy is tanking and 1000s of Canadians have given up even trying to find a full time job and similar reports were not dreamed up by us and therefore must be wrong.

Our budget is balanced........
........ and we have a pristine island for sale in an Albertan tar sands effluent pond.

Our social programs have been preserved.,,,,,,,
.......the veterans, womens groups and others that say they are not getting federal support are just a bunch of whining sissy’s.

Jihadi terrorists have declared war on Canada and Canadians by name, and last October violent attacks were carried out on our soil.......
...........I know because I heard the shooting from the single disturbed gunman from inside the closet I was hiding in.

Now is not the time for political correctness, inexperienced governance or an ideological unwillingness to act...........Now is the time to face those who threaten us with moral clarity, strength, and resolve.........
.........those threats include opposition politicians, environmentalists, scientists, charitable organizations and anyone who does not agree with me. My dismantling of our parliamentary democracy and refusal to debate these issues is a measure of my resolve to finish totally destroying Canada as you once knew it.

I will be asking Canadians for their support to continue to deliver sound economic management, and to take the difficult decisions necessary to protect our country’s security...........
...........and if that fails we will lie, cheat, ignore the rules and try and buy you votes in any way possible because we are the only ones who know anything and all others are terrorists trying to kill you.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Old Fergie & Big Blue.

A few weeks ago I waved goodby to my faithful old British built Ferguson tractor, I remain so totally impressed with this, the first of the factory built farm tractors with the ability to hook up to, lift, and provide power to implements that I was sad to see it leave. It did not however go to the tractor graveyard but on to another owner who will, I am firmly convinced, get many years of use out of it yet. That I can say that for a 60 year old piece of equipment says much for the quality and longevity of these tractors conceived by Harry Ferguson just after the end of WW2. They simply do not make stuff like this any more, even the steel seems to be of better quality, removing a bolt from a 5 year old piece of junk is often an almost impossible task, rusted, seized or broken off is the norm whereas working on this tractor near as old as the owner I never has such problems during the 15 years I had it.

The only reason I replaced it is the need for something with 4WD both for safer use in the hilly terain in my bush and for ease of use in blowing snow during the winter. After looking for used Kudoba and similar “compact” tractors in the 30hp range I stumbled upon a New Holland TC30 at a price I could not turn down. Lined up for auction I asked for the price 'pre auction' and got it at the reserve price.

In the last few days, having hooked up the home built hydraulic winch not sold with old Fergie and hauled out the first big hardwood logs with it (not the first logs but the first with this tractor). I must say that everything went well, the biggest advantage was not so much the 4WD but the power steering, it was tough to get Fergie into a tight spot with the armstrong steering but with this one its a piece of cake. So it works good, now to figure out the maintenance on it, with hydrostatic drive, a diesel engine instead of gas and more pipes, hoses and filters than I care to count it is much more complex that the old 50s tractor and probably will need much more TLC, only time will tell!

Old Fergie has now gone on to continue with its long career with a new owner, but what to do with his compatriot full of spare parts sitting behind the barn, is it now parts for someone else , scrap metal by weight or a boat anchor? 

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Hair

Found in my in box.......

The Hair
Countdown to Election..Eh..!!

I spilled some oil, you wiped it up
I lost some leaders, that had enough
I changed commanders, hope this one listens
Liberals/NDP didn't screw up "all said systems."

So I beg of you, for another chance...
I only sing, can't really dance
Yes natives worried..watered oil
Other places also, waters they to boil....!!

I'll give you money, not really mine
Screw voting system, lawyers not to find
Show you books...no cash left there
All I ask, is please don't mess my hair.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New "Pot Garden" finished.

Besides getting the tower up as shown in my last post I have been busy with constructing a new "Pot Garden" to try and eliminate garden weeding but still permit the moving around of plants as they come into bloom or as they are done flowering. The previous beds done this way last year seem to be working well for us and plants left in place over winter all survived except one that got destroyed by the voles!

Step one, two and three, dig the hole, install the center feature (an old well pump from our previous property) and start pouring a concrete retainer......

Then add decoractive bricks around the edge and layout previously cast concrete pot holders.

Finally level around outside and add washed stone and potted flowers.

Looking good .......... but oh my aching back!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Grey Bruce Telecom comes through!

Regular readers here (all two or three of you) will know I have been struggling for years to get a decent internet connection out here in the “boonies”. Even my original dialup crapped out much of the time due to lousy telephone lines and problems every time it rained, took me 5 years of bitching to Bell to get that one fixed. Its an ongoing problem for many rural residents. The only other option at the time was Bell or Roger “hub” (connection via cell service) and so I went with Rogers, it was somewhat faster at around 500k average and at first fairly reliable at first but in recent years less so. Besides being expensive (especially if you go over their 3GB basic monthly limit) their internet service is the bottom of the heap and when the traffic exceeds the networks capacity you are the first to be “throttled”, often to the point of un-usability!

My next attempt was to investigate satellite internet via Explorenet, this turned out to be a non starter due to the size and weight of the dish required and the height of the trees to the SW. Being too big to mount on the house or garage the only option would have been a 6 or8 foot pole cemented in some distance from the house. Upon hearing that I decided if I was going to have to spend time and money with installing “infrastructure” I would do so with the aim of getting a wireless connection to one of the several suppliers who service this area. To do this I would have to get above the 50' to 60' trees that surround the house, fortunately I had, some years ago, taken down a 68' tower with this in mind but had shirked the work needed to plant it. So after checking the availability of signal here (so long as I got above the trees) We proceeded to dig a big hole at the highest point near the house (about 200' away by hand in our rocky clay) and plant the tower base with almost 2 yards of hand mixed cement, it being impossible to get a backhoe or cement truck anywhere near!

To make a long story much shorter I will just say it is up, I am connected and getting unlimited internet at around 2Mbs and can now tell Rogers where to stick their expensive and unreliable service. Now here is the good bit that involves the Internet service provider chosen.

When I first decided to make this move I contacted several local providers (by email) asking about signal availability and tower erection services (I used to put the darn things up for a living but old age and old bones has taken its toll on such activities) only one company seemed to provide tower services and it just happened to be the one that responded in a timely fashion with a minimum of BS and clear information about their services. Grey Bruce Telecom was that company and “Richard” showed great patience in answering my many questions over a period of time whilst I made my decision, for those in the Grey Bruce area that are considering upgrading or changing their internet service I can recommend this company. Whilst I cannot speak personally to the reliability of their hook up having only just got everything working I can speak to the service I have so far received, it has been top notch!

The guys were out within a couple of days of me giving them the go ahead and quickly and efficiently finished erecting the tower and hooking me up, I was particularly impressed that one of the guys doing the work was one of the owners / boss of the company. Perhaps being a long time self employed individual I am biased but those “supervisors” who “get their hands dirty” always have my respect and smaller companys where you can speak to the boss or owner is always my preferred supplier over those where customers are just a number and every time you call you get a different “service representative”, or the technician is a “contract employee” who receives his orders by email and is not even sure who his boss is!

In short after dealing with a number of companys over the years regarding internet services often with less than stellar results I can truly say that it was a pleasure to deal with Grey Bruce Telecom Internet Service and I have full confidence that I will have no major issues with their service in the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Missing Murfey

Around here as we go about our various chores and projects we have always had Murfey drop in and “help” on a fairly regular basis. He never lets us know when he is coming and generally screws up anything he goes near, never the less we have come to expect him to arrive quite regularly quietly sneaking up and whispering in our ear “if it can go wrong it will go wrong”

I recently suddenly realized that I had not seen him for some time, even his companion Bad Luck who often came along with him seems to have gone missing, although Mr Luck's brother Good did drop in a couple of times this week. Now to be quite honest I hate it when Murfey and his regular companion drops in whist I am working, about all one can do is walk away from the job you are trying to do until he goes away. Trying to complete the job with him looking over your shoulder is futile and an exercise in frustration.

So even though he is not really welcome here, after several weeks absence I expect him to return and get his fingers into all kinds of trouble, no doubt chasing off Good Luck with whom he does not seem to get along.

Strangely I miss the old sod, he sure makes life “interesting”!

Friday, May 29, 2015

A Teaching Moment?

Re Ontario Elementary and Secondary Strike Threats

Kids, now would be a good time to 'negotiate' changes to how your teacher teaches. Why not tell them you want more control over how much homework is issued, and what the subject is, and tell them you want to hand it in when you feel like it. If you dont get your way tell them you will refuse to answer questions in class and if that does not work you will walk out.
When they tell you that they are the teacher and you are the student and they set the rules, and since most of you have been getting As for years they see no reason to change their teaching methods, remind them that they are the employees and your parents are the employers so refusing to negotiate is not an option.
Perhaps you should also ask for padded seats, larger desks, more field trips (all expenses paid for) and guaranteed As no matter how good or bad your work is.

Just saying!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


The following is presented as a service to my local Greens

The Annual General Meeting of the Bruce-Grey Owen Sound Green Party of Canada Electoral District Association will be held Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 7:00 pm at the Williamsford Mill Book Store & Cafe, 316070 Highway 6, Williamsford, ON.

A new executive is elected at the AGM. Nominations will be taken from the floor for the positions of President (CEO), Chief Financial Officer and other executive positions. The meeting is open to all Green supporters and to the general public. Green Party of Canada memberships will be available and volunteers with Green thoughts are urgently needed to support the party through the coming election and beyond.

For more information: http://www.bgosgreens.ca/

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Birds of Spring

Besides our usual visitors the Downy & Hairy woodpeckers, the Chipping sparrow and an almost unlimited supply of Chickadees the last few days have seen the spring influx of both our summer residents and those passing through to parts north. The Robins of course have been here for some weeks and the Blue Jays and Cardinals are brighter and more vocal this time of year but its good to see the White Throated Sparrow, the White Crowned Sparrow and the Fox Sparrow passing through along with a Yellow Rumped Warbler getting a drink at our pond feature.

White Throated Sparroe

Also seen was our Red Bellied Woodpecker and a brief glimpse of the Pilated Woodpecker although there is lots of evidence of his activity in various decomposing logs around out property. I haven’t yet spotted them but both out House Wren and Song Sparrows are definitely here singing their little hearts out and looking for nesting spots along with the Rose Breasted Grosbeak and the Baltimore Oriole.

We have not been back on our bush trails for a couple of weeks but I know that the Trout Lilly are out and the Trillium’s are showing colour, I am hoping that the much needed rain forecast (after a week of mid summer temperatures) will both give all the flowers the little drink they need and give us a couple of breaks so that we can get back there and enjoy the show.As a bonus I have just seen our Ruby Throated Hummingbird at the feeder just put out yesterday in anticipation of his arrival, what a great week for outdoor enthusiasts.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Harpers Mind

This little contribution from a good friend and fellow curmudgeon was recently found in my inbox and lightened my day so I thought I would share it with my readers. Enjoy!

Harpers Mind

Now I know why my people quit
Not because of my fancy beautiful hair
Seems they were talking, advising I
Only to find, minds just not there.

Where oh where has my mind gone
Had it on stage, singing wonderful songs
They had to applaud, payroll I pay
If wishing to work Con...for another day.

All is quiet not, big trial began
No I shant go to court, I the top man..!!
I have people I bought, with your dime
Best hide some cash, for harder times.

Won't be sad, to see this guy go
Like Mulroney his buddy, minds a bit slow
New leader we need, enough screwing around
Lard thunder jases laddy..narry one yet found.

WallyGuy, May 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Shorter Federal Budget

We intend to spend more than we bring in during the next year, much of it buying votes from higher earning taxpayers, but because we sold off our GM shares and took $2 billion out of reserves we HOPE the books will show a little left over by this time next year. Our current year end figures are a guess as the true figures will not be available for a number of months yet, maybe after the election, we don’t know if we will be able pay off any of the national debt that has been increasing for the past 8 years but will continue to pay massive amounts of interest on it. Most of our promises wont effect our books this year as they don’t take effect for several years up the road and will be the new governments problem and if we get voted in we can always use creative accounting again.

Also see Budget Balanced with EI Surplus

And Making a Mockery of Working Canadians

And Worst 5 things about the Budget

Monday, April 13, 2015

First Flowers of Spring

With the snow all but gone we were able to get our first hike around our bush trails yesterday and whilst there is little new growth showing yet these Hepitica were flowering in this crevice in our favourite rock. Each year a series of forest flowers and plants show their face from this little spot before showing up elsewhere, the rock giving a moderating effect I presume.

The wild Leeks are just showing their tips through the leaf cover and here and there a few violet leaves can be seen just starting to emerge. We thought with this never ending winter the spring flowers would be late this year but with a week of warm and mostly sunny weather forecast they could be early. All I can say is its good to be able to get the old bones moving and see signs of life once again springing up from the forest floor even as the 'to do' list rises faster than the temperature!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Tribute to Grandma & Grandpa

This one came in by email this morning and is worth sharing.

The computer swallowed Grandma,
Yes, honestly it’s true!
She pressed 'control and 'enter'
And disappeared from view.
It devoured her completely,
The thought just makes me squirm.
She must have caught a virus
Or been eaten by a worm.
I've searched through the recycle bin
And files of every kind;
I've even used the Internet,
But nothing did I find.
In desperation, I asked Mr. Google
My searches to refine.
The reply from him was negative,
Not a thing was found 'online.'
So, if inside your 'Inbox,'
My Grandma you should see,
Please 'Copy, Scan' and 'Paste' her,
And send her back to me
This is a tribute to all the Grandpas & Grandmas, Nannas & Pops, who have been fearless and learned to use the Computer.........
They are the greatest!!!

We do not stop playing because we grow old;
We grow old because we stop playing
NEVER Be The First To Get Old!

As one of those 'Old Grandpa's' who looses stuff all too often into the depths of my computer and is still learning I just hope all those of you of similar age enjoy many years of 'Playing' yet.
Happy Easter to all my readers.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Getting Limber for Lumber

Well finally got outside and actually accomplished something, with the snow packed down a little but temps dropping back down to -10 overnight its now possible to get back in the bush without needing snowshoes or being up to your knees in the white crap.
So with my lumber supply dwindled down to scraps I figure I need to get some more pine sawn this year for all those 'Honey Do” and “Dad can you....” projects and to rebuild the back porch that did no survive the avalanche of snow and ice from the house roof when things finally warmed up.

With the sun out and it warming to -5 it was a good day to go and cut some pines, there is little time before the sap rises and once that happens the wood will be stained with a blue/grey left over from the excessive sap once dried. Does not hurt the wood so far as I can see and still usable if being painted but not good for fancy projects or natural staining. The next thing is to get the logs sawn by early June before the Pine Sawyer lays its eggs under the bark and their larva starts to chew the hell out of the wood. These grub are voracious, you can hear then chewing from 15 feet away and after a few day can see the pile of sawdust under the log or tree they have attached. Its a good job they will only lay their eggs on 'dead pines', those that the bark has started to peel so far as I can see, but with any cut log laying past June for any time its taking a chance on it being scrap if not sawn or bark removed.

So we got a few cut, some even fell over (always a problem when selectively cutting in a closely planted pine plantation), none trimmed or cut to length but once cut there is no rush for that. We may even cut a few more Tuesday when its forecast to be a mite warmer, I don’t really need a whole bunch more wood but so long as we are bringing in the sawmill may as well make it worthwhile. Now just got to figure out what size lumber I meed, will be mostly 1” boards but should cut a few 1 1/2” planks and possibly 3/4 for smaller jobs, whatever I cut will not be what I need next year when its ready so its all a guessing game eh.

But it was good to get out and DO something even if the old bones are now telling me that its going to be a while before I am back into summer “working” mode!

Here's to an early spring and a super summer..... Cheers!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Join the National Day of Action Against Bill C-51

Elizabeth May was the first MP to stand up against the Harper government's so-called “anti-terror bill,” which does nothing to improve national security, and is likely unconstitutional.
Join Elizabeth and thousands of other Canadians this Saturday at the National Day of Action To Stop The Secret Police Bill.
Rallies are being organized all across the country.
This Saturday, stand with Elizabeth May in rejecting this dangerous, vague and invasive new legislation.

Defend our Freedom Day of Action: City Hall (Owen Sound)
When: Saturday, March 14th, 2015 at 12:00pm
Where: 808 2nd Ave E, Owen Sound, Onatario 

To find a Rally near you go to http://we.leadnow.ca/stopc51

For more information see

Harper’s police state law

Friday, March 6, 2015

Signs of Spring?

Forsythia Buds - Mar 6 2015

Its been a long cold winter the proof of which many urban folks are being made well aware off with water mains freezing up and others being told to run their taps full time in order to prevent further loss of supply. Here out in the 'boonies' we have our own private well system and thus far it has not frozen despite the recent -20 temperatures, perhaps my failure to clear the snow back to the barn has helped insulate the pipe which runs under that area. There was much less snow this year than last but with no real thaws there is still a good 18” on the ground, I hope it also insulates the perennials out in the garden because the plants in the (largely unheated) greenhouse sure took a hit.

Even as the weather folks say its going to be a late and cool spring I am more optimistic on the days that the sun comes out, it seems like forever since we got a few sunny days. There sure were not many since I last wrote about a sunny day lifting my spirits! The last couple of days have further given me hope as we heard a Cardinal singing and a squirrel emerged and was running around giving our dog Nikki something to chase to work off her spring fever. Those weather forecasters are telling us we will have THREE DAYS in a row with temps ABOVE FREEZING next week, this after almost two months without any kind of thaw! Could this be the start of spring, I sure hope so.

So with the sun out and some small indications that warmer time are coming I feel much better......... till I look out the window and see the ladder up against the house as a reminder to get out and remove the snow and ice from the roof where it is creating an 'ice dam' that will create problems when (if) that partial thaw happens next week. Ah well you cant win them all but at least the race is taking place in SUNLIGHT!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sunny out...the future not so much!

Its been a while since I wrote anything on this my personal blog having been busy assembling a series of articles detailing the demise of our democracy under the Harper Regime for my Democracy Under Fire blog. Needless to say this is a very depressing undertaking and the almost unrelenting snow and lack of sunlight in recent weeks has not helped so its a real lift to have several bright sunny days this week to brighten my mood.

Following Canadian politics is in itself a depressing undertaking and I very much understand why so many folks are turned off by it and are not up on what our 'leaders' (and I use that term very loosely) are up to, other that the few snippets we see on the nightly news. Having been writing about our democracy deficit for more than 5 years now I can only say that if you care about Canada then you had best start taking notice over the next few months, for the rhetoric emerging from most of the political parties is going to get hard to ignore. That much of it will be total BS and just be a vehicle to try and 'buy' you votes should be a given, not the least of which is the latest assertion by the Cons that there will be a budget surplus at election time.

Regular readers will know that I am a Green supporter, mostly for my admiration of Ms May's ongoing efforts to protect and enhance our parliamentary democracy, but also in that I can find little in their published Vision that I can find serious disagreement with. Unfortunately the best that can be expected for the Greens is a few more seats in the HoC with perhaps the balance of power in a minority government, both of which outcomes would be a good thing IMHO. Locally there is little chance that they will have any meaningful impact other than possibly splitting the vote, this outcome is further supported by the announcement of the resignation of the local EDA president. According to the election results both federal and provincial Green support in Grey Bruce has been steadily declining since the high achieved in the 2008 federal election where they received some 13,000 votes and came in a strong 2nd. In the last federal election some 5000 folks voted Green here but getting any of them to actually directly support the local EDA, stand for office, become or seek a candidate, or otherwise become directly involved is like trying to get blood from a stone.

Whilst it may not be popular amongst my fellow Greens and given that the Cons have such a strangle hold on this riding I am going to advocate for not running a Green candidate here in the Oct election but encourage citizens to vote for the candidate most likely to defeat the Conservative candidate. Local Greens should be encouraged to support the national campaign and those green candidates in other ridings where getting elected is a real possibility. (I note here that we are supposed to assess for the candidate on his individual strengths or weaknesses however such things have become meaningless under the top down governance and strict adherence to party lines required by the current regime.) This is the strategy advocated by Lead Now who are compiling a list of those riding where such strategic voting may have an impact. I doubt whether GBOS will be on that list given that in the last federal election the Conservatives in this area received more votes than all other partys combined, mind you with 27,000 not bothering to vote anything is possible if folks take a greater interest in our future.

When I started writing this I was trying to be positive and find some optimism, guess that didn’t work, now I’m depressed again ..... time to go out and let that sunlight do its work despite the cold!