Ho-Hum Canadian Stories

– As the 2021 Canadian Election ho-hums along, (ho-hum as in we have to accept that something unpleasant cannot be stopped from happening), Prime Minister Trudeau may have got the hint that some voters think the election was totally unnecessary AND find his messaging unpalatable. He is being met at some campaign stops with boos, heckles, jeers and yes, even small stones lobbed his way! (Mr. Trudeau says he wasn’t hurt and compared it to the time a woman threw pumpkin seeds at him during the Hamilton mayoral race in 2018…)

– Also election related – Elections Canada has branded all their election material with the slogan “It’s Our Vote”.  Strange phrasing – did someone make a mistake and leave out the ‘Y’ from the normal slogan “It’s YOUR Vote!”


– Canadian tourists are still not allowed to drive into the United States. They can fly there, but they can’t drive there. Fortunately we have some Canadian ‘snowbirds’ in the USA (Canada Geese) to protest on behalf of their non-feathered friends.

– Last month, the Board of Governors of Toronto’s Ryerson University announced that the university would be dropping the name Ryerson. The University was named after Egerton Ryerson, who has been vilified in some circles for the role they believe he played in the creation of Residential Schools. Many scholarly publications refute these allegations. An article by Lynn McDonald in the Financial Post outlines who Ryerson was and the positive things he did for Indigenous people. This information matters little, of course, if individuals are only judged through the lens of the group they have been assigned to – white, male, colonist, racist… and so on.

– Alberta’s Municipal Elections are in October. Besides voting for Mayors and such, we get to vote on whether we want to adopt year- round Daylight Saving Time, which means we would keep summer hours all year round. I’ll vote for that.

It would be nice if we could have summer weather all year round too… of course, that would mean we would get to vote on whether we are ‘for’ climate change.

History of Daylight Saving (or Savings?) Time
Disturbingly, daylight savings time did begin in Canada. Thunder Bay, Ontario has the odious distinction of being crowned the first municipality in the world to implement daylight savings time in 1908, and we have never forgiven Ontario. Daylight savings time picked up traction during World War I when it was thought that by adjusting the clocks for the summer months would help preserve coal. It was also thought that it would encourage people to get out and about in the late hours of the summer days. By the end of the war, all of the major participants had adopted daylight savings time, and the collective madness of daylight savings time persists today in countries all the way from Australia to Uruguay.
– Ahlstrom Wright Law Firm –

So, what is ‘Ho-humming’ in your part of the world?

Crochet Scrumble – Goldilocks

This crochet scrumble started life as a single ball of Lion Brand Landscapes self-striping yarn. This type of yarn has many colors that gradually change in the same ball. If you look at the lower left motif of this scrumble, you can see how the turquoise blue gradually morphs into blue grey, for example.

The most interesting feature of this yarn is that most of the colors are a mystery. They are hidden inside the ball! The turquoise blue was a surprise, as was the vivid gold. Sadly, there was very little of the deep purple color.

The tight gold curls made me think of the children’s story, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Or maybe the whole thing looked a bit like porridge… not the traditional porridge, but the modern version with an “ancient grain mix of steel cut oats, quinoa and millet simmered in almond milk. Topped with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, bananas, toasted almonds and hemp seeds.”

There is a modern version of the Goldilocks story too, written by the satirist James Finn Garner. It can be found in his book, “Politically Correct Bedtime Stories“.

Through the thicket, across the river, and deep, deep in the woods, lived a family of bears – a Papa Bear, a Mama Bear, and a Baby Bear – and they all lived together anthropomorphically in a little cottage as a nuclear family. They were very sorry about this, of course, since the nuclear family has traditionally served to enslave womyn, instill a self-righteous moralism in its members, and imprint rigid notions of heterosexualist roles onto the next generation. Nevertheless, they tried to be happy and took steps to avoid these pitfalls, such as naming their offspring the non-gender-specific “Baby.”
– James Finn Garner –

My other scrumbles:

Bulwer-Lytton Quotations #3 (2008-2010)

The English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest since 1982. It is a literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence for the worst possible novel. The following submissions are the ones I liked best from the years 2008-2010.

Although it was late at night and the snow was gently falling, Martin, who had gathered the young maidens together in the village church and was now, at the stroke of midnight, leading them across the town square, responded to the town constable’s enquiry as to what he was doing by replying, “I herd the belles on Christmas Day.” —
– Jim Tweedie, Long Beach, WA

Before they met, his heart was a frozen block of ice, scarred by the skate blades of broken relationships, then she came along and like a beautiful Zamboni flooded his heart with warmth, scraped away the ugly slushy bits, and dumped them in the empty parking lot of his soul.
— HowieMcLennon, Ottawa, ON –

Bill swore the affair had ended, but Louise knew he was lying, after discovering Tupperware containers under the seat of his car, which were not the off-brand containers that she bought to save money, but authentic, burpable, lidded Tupperware; and she knew he would see that woman again, because unlike the flimsy, fake containers that should always be recycled responsibly, real Tupperware must be returned to its rightful owner.
— Jeanne Villa, Novato, CA –

Certainly most people in Morris’ place would have had certain misgivings about being stranded aboard a life raft, facing the unrelenting hunger and the possibility of having to eat the weaker members of the crew just to eke out the chance of survival for a few more days, but as Morris was an Asiatic black bear he had absolutely no qualms about it whatsoever.
– Charlie Hill, Auckland, New Zealand –

Dr. Fulton Crisp DMD, stoic superintendent of the prestigious Northwoods Dental College, entered the symposium for new students, took the dais amid the clamor of the first day of classes, produced a #6 dental pick from a pocket, held it aloft for all to see and spoke the immortal words, “May I have your attention please, this is not a drill, repeat this is not a drill.”
— Jim Biggie, Melrose, MA –

He had a drink in his hand and a hole in his heart, a hole big enough to drive a Honda Odyssey minivan with satellite linked navigation and a multi-angle rear view camera down the anterior vena cava, execute a three-point-turn at the atrioventicular valve (thanks to the rear view camera), then exit the pulmonary artery without ever once scraping the Celestial Blue Metallic finish that comes standard on the EX-L.
—Mark Schweizer, Tryon, NC –

He spotted her as he left the Mudville baseball field, a handsome young woman sipping tea on the front porch swing of her house, and, though the boos and catcalls from today’s game still rang in his ears, the Mighty Casey decided that for the first time in his life he would not at all mind being associated with a swing and a Miss.
— Tom Wallace, Columbia, SC –

If Vicky Walters had known that ordering an extra shot of espresso in her grande non-fat sugar free one pump raspberry syrup two pumps vanilla syrup soy latte that Wednesday would lead to her death and subsequent rebirth as a vampire, she probably would have at least gotten whipped cream.
– Margo Coffman, Corinth, MS –

I will not repeat what she said when she came home and found out I’d been spraying Endust on her dog and throwing treats under the bed to get him to harvest the dust bunnies, but you wouldn’t think a young lady would even know any words like that.
— J. Andrew Cleland, Gray TN –

Niles deeply regretted bringing his own equipment to the company’s annual croquet tournament because those were his fingerprints found on the “blunt instrument” that had caused the fatal depression in his boss’s skull and now here he stood in court accused of murder, yes, murder in the first degree with mallets aforethought.
— Linda Boatright, Omaha, NE –

No man is an island, so they say, although the small crustaceans and the bird which sat impassively on Dirk Manhope’s chest as he floated lazily in the pool would probably disagree.
— Glen Robins, Brighton, East Sussex, U.K –

Old Man Dracula forgot to put his teeth in one night, and so had to come home hungry, with a sort of “nothing dentured, nothing veined” look on his face.
– Matthew Pfeifer, Beaman, IA –

Sherlock Holmes brusquely dismissed his companion’s theory that the victim had died from an allergic reaction to either seasoning or seafood, saying “Watson, although the problem is alimentary, it is neither the Thyme nor the Plaice.”
– Owen Roberts, Edina, MN –

Some stories are so compelling they almost seem to write themselves, but not this one.
– Betsy Dorfman –

The Contessa’s heart was pounding hard and fast, like an out-of-balance clothes washer, which can get that way if you mix jeans with a lot of light things, though the new ones have some sensor thing to counteract that or shut off, but the Contessa’s heart didn’t have anything like that, so she had to sit down and tell Don Rolando to keep his hands to himself for a while.
— John Hardi, Falls Church, VA –

There were earthquakes in this land, terrible tsunamis that swirled flooding torrents of water throughout, and constant near-blizzard conditions, and not for the first time, Horatio Jones wished he did not live inside a snow globe.
— Rich Buley-Neumar, Amityville, NY –

Using her flint knife to gut the two amphibians, Kreega the Neanderthal woman created the first pair of open-toad sandals.
— Greg Homer, Placerville, CA –

Vowing revenge on his English teacher for making him memorize Wordsworth’s
“Intimations of Immortality,” Warren decided to pour sugar in her gas tank, but he inadvertently grabbed a sugar substitute so it was actually Splenda in the gas.
— Becky Mushko, Penhook, VA –

Well . . .” began the mother as she attempted to answer her daughter’s question, amid fuzzy memories of a balmy night in Cuba, several empty bottles of pineapple rum lying around the bed she had shared with the Captain accompanied by the worst headache she could remember, “I wouldn’t use the word ‘accident.’”
– Alex Main, Springboro, OH –

When working-class Rosalind had been turned into a frog herself after kissing the enchanted Prince, she and her anguished croaking were shown on countless newsreels worldwide; and even decades after her “15minutes of fame” had lapsed the problem of upward mobility for working women is still commonly demonstrated by invoking Rosie the Ribbitter.
— John Cavanagh, Deer Island, OR –