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

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 –

Prime Minister ‘No Intention of Triggering an Election’ Calls an Election

May 2021: There Will Not be a Pandemic Election in Canada: A motion in the House of Commons was supported by all but one of Canada’s parliamentarians. It denounced a pandemic election and agreed that the government should prevent it from happening. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reinforced that the Liberal government had no intention of triggering an election before the pandemic is over.

June 2021: The moment Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cut his ‘quarantine curls’ and shaved his greying beard, some pundits speculated that he would call an election. Others said Trudeau would uphold the intent of the May motion and that he wouldn’t put the lives of Canadians in danger with an unnecessary pandemic election.

August 2021: There Will be a Pandemic Election: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a snap election for September 20 in the midst of what Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, says is a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, now being driven by the Delta variant.

Are you a politician or does lying just run in your family?
– Fannie Flagg, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe –

Why would Trudeau call an election? He wants more power. Justin’s Liberals won only a minority government in October 2019. Though they have been supported  by the other left of centre parties (which has allowed them to govern as though they have a majority) he wants a Liberal majority government. The health cost to those who will be involved in this campaign, and the financial cost to the taxpayers, apparently isn’t a concern to him.

Trudeau says “Canadians need to choose how we finish the fight against COVID-19.” The election comes as Canada is experiencing a new wave of COVID-19 cases, driven by the delta variant of the coronavirus. Trudeau called it “the fourth wave amongst unvaccinated people.”
– ROB GILLIES, Associated Press –

This and That – Some ‘Groaners’ and a Bear (Video)

First up,  ‘Groaner’ Jokes – some as punny as they are funny

A couple of lads grew up together in a large city Greek neighborhood. They were good friends whose names were Euripides and Eumenides. They parted ways when they grew up. Euripides become a rich and famous celebrity while Eumenides took over his aging father’s tailor shop.

Many years went by and one day a limousine pulled up in front of the tailor shop. A man got out with a pair of torn trousers and entered. The tailor looked up from his work and saw who it was and shouted, “Euripides? Euripides?” To which the man replied, “Yeah, yeah, yeah… Eumenides?”

– Sidebar: This joke has apparently been around for awhile, though isn’t as old as Euripides (480 – 406BC) (sounds like “You-rip-a-these”) who was a great Athenian playwright. Eumenides, “You-mend-a-these”, is the third part of a tragedy by Aeschylus. I ‘borrowed’ this joke from The Haps with Herb and edited it slightly. –

What does an insomniac ­agnostic dyslexic spend most of his time doing? Stays up all night wondering if there really is a dog.

A local monastery was going bankrupt. The abbot didn’t know what to do. The brothers had a meeting, and decided to open a great Olde English Fish-N’-Chips stand. One day, a man knocked on the door. After one of the brothers answered the door, the man asked, “May I have just an order of fries?”
The brother said, “Hold on a moment. I’m the fish friar. You want the chip monk.”

There are many stories related to the sinking of the “Titanic”. Some come to light due to the success of the movie. For example, most people don’t know that back in 1912, Hellman’s mayonnaise was manufactured in England. The “Titanic” was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after New York City. The Mexican people were eagerly awaiting delivery and were disconsolate at the loss. So much so that they declared a national day of mourning which they still observe today.
It is known, of course, as: Sinko de Mayo

Back in the 1800’s the Tates Watch Company of Massachusetts wanted to produce other products and, since they already made the cases for pocket watches, decided to market compasses for the pioneers traveling west. It turned out that although their watches were of finest quality, their compasses were so bad that people often ended up in Canada or Mexico rather than California.
This, of course, is the origin of the expression; ‘He who has a Tates is lost!’

I will undoubtedly be borrowing more content from this page for future posts: Groaners.

Some of the other puns I have collected are at the bottom of this post. Click the link for Pun.

There is More Than One Way to Get What you Want

An elderly lady handed her bank card to the bank teller and said “I would like to withdraw $10”. The teller told her “for withdrawals less than $100, please use the ATM”. When the lady asked why, the teller told her it was bank policy.
The lady remained silent for a few seconds and handed her card back to the teller and said “please help me withdraw all the money I have.” The teller was astonished when he checked the account balance and replied: “you have $300,000 in your account but the bank doesn’t have that much cash currently. Could you make an appointment and come back again tomorrow?”
The lady then asked how much she could withdraw immediately. The teller told her any amount over $100 and up to $3000. “Well please let me have $3000 now.” The teller did as he was asked.
The elder put $10 in her purse and asked the teller to deposit $2990 back into her account…
This is called ‘adapting to adversity’.
– Author Unknown –

What was the Bear Thinking?

Cricket is a game that gives ‘not very spiritual people’ some idea of what eternity is.
– Author Unknown –

Fastest Guys Around

Police Car Moth – Black and White

The Police Car Moth gets its name from the overall black and white wing colouration and two orange-red spots on the collar (like a police car). It is a Diurnal moth (flies during the day) unlike most moths which fly at night. One way to differentiate between butterflies and moths is to look at the antenna. Moths have feathered antenna and butterflies have clubbed ends.


The Flutter Files

Name: Police Car Moth
Species:
Gnophaela vermiculata
Native to: A common western North American species found from southern British Columbia across to western Manitoba and south to northern New Mexico.
Date Seen:
August 2021
Location: North of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Notes:
Adults feed on nectar from flowers such as thistle and goldenrod.

The problem with cats is that they get the exact same look on their face whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer.
– Paula Poundstone –

Color television! Bah, I won’t believe it until I see it in black and white.
– Samuel Goldwyn –

It’s an amazing thing to watch a lizard fold a moth into its mouth, like a sword swallower who specialises in umbrellas.
– Elizabeth McCracken –

If intelligence were a television set, it would be an early black-and-white model with poor reception, so that much of the picture was gray and the figures on the screen were snowy and indistinct. You could fiddle with the knobs all you wanted, but unless you were careful, what you would see often depended more on what you expected or hoped to see than on what was really there.
– Madeleine Albright –

White Lily

Lilium ‘Regale’ (Trumpet Lily)

Topaz Studio Painter filter

Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies for instance.
– John Ruskin –

Lily Stigma and Anther

Botany plants lately?

Stripes on outside of petals

Alexa, water the plants.

Gardening – It comes in handy when you need to hide the bodies.

If a plant is sad, do other plants photo-sympathize with it?

Whiteout Scrumble

Every kid goes through the same process with the white crayon. Pick it up, color for a second, stare at the paper with a confused look. Try it again. Chuck it back in the box. Make a mental note to never use that defective crayon again. I mean, what’s the point of coloring with a crayon when you can’t even see what you’ve colored?
– Story of This Life, blog –

So, OUT with the white – but is that the same as Whiteout? Nope. Whiteout can mean:

– a blizzard that severely reduces visibility
– the correction fluid that was once widely used for fixing mistakes when typing on a typewriter. It is still used by people who do bullet-journaling, hand-lettering, and similar paper crafts.
– the name I gave to a crochet piece (scrumble) that took me all winter to stitch.

The title of this piece is ‘Whiteout’.

Renoir said once that nothing was so difficult, and at the same time so exciting, to paint, as white on white.
-Ambroise Vollard, French Contemporary artist, 1866-1939 –

White. A blank page or canvas. So many possibilities.
– Stephen Sondheim –

I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
– Mae West –

As white light contains all the colors of the spectrum, it’s an inclusive, impartial color, favoring no single hue and refusing to take sides.
– Kate Smith –

My Other Scrumbles (no pattern, rhyme, or reason):

Sunny with a Chance of Being Not Sunny

On cable TV they have a weather channel – 24 hours of weather. We had something like that where I grew up. We called it a window.
– Dan Spencer –

Sometimes I want a broader perspective than what I can see out my window. For example, yesterday we were blanketed in smoke. I didn’t want apocalyptic media reports about forest fires and climate change, so I opened up my favourite site for weather information: windy.com It showed where the fires were and which way the wind was blowing. (Today it is hazy too – but it is fog…)

Fires

Weather is a literary specialty, and no untrained hand can turn out a good article on it
– Mark Twain –

When you open the site, you can click on the ‘More layers…‘ item on the right hand toolbar to see dozens of options including:

Temperature

Wearing a hoodie and shorts because you’re confused about the weather.
– Unknown –

Clouds

There is little chance that meteorologists can solve the mysteries of weather until they gain an understanding of the mutual attraction of rain and weekends.
– Arnot Sheppard –

Wind

Just wanted to warn you that tomorrow may set records for people talking about the weather.
– Unknown –

Here is a look at today’s Air Quality in the South Asia, Far East and North America (India and China rank in the top 14 for worst air quality in 2020.)

Air Quality

Weather forecast for tonight: dark.
– George Carlin –

For more fun weather quotes, click on my Weather and Seasons Quotations.

Dandelions – Too Many to Love

If you find yourself worrying, go outside, take three breaths, address a tree and quietly say, ‘Thank you.’ If you can’t find a tree, a dandelion will do… Nature is magic.
– Robert Bateman –

“A Dandelion.” Not millions of dandelions that blanket your yard and smother the grass and all other flowers…
A single plant can produce up to 20,000 seeds. The have a deep tap-root, up to 3 feet long (but usually 6-12”), which allows it to survive drought and competition with other weeds.

Photo on the left is one of our ‘dandelion fields’ (in 2011) when there was still more grass than dandelions. Today it is almost solid dandelions.

Dandelion seed head – original Macro Photo

The ability of dandelions to tell the time is somewhat exaggerated, owing to the fact that there is always one seed that refuses to be blown off; the time usually turns out to be 37 o’clock.”
– Miles Kington –

Cluster Filter

Some people need flowers, some people need dandelions. It’s medicine, it’s what you need at that time in your life.
– Sandra Cisneros –

Impasto Filter

Some ideas, like dandelions in lawns, strike tenaciously: you may pull off the top but the root remains, drives down suckers and may even sprout again.”
– Elizabeth Bowen –

Line-ink filter

By the time we left college, I had become my own image: a dandelion in the flower bed of society. Kinda cute, but still a weed.
– Anne Fortier –

Filter by Topaz Studio user Telbarin

Don’t hover around lives that you are supposed to touch only for a brief while. If you don’t know how to drift away, ask a dandelion and it will show you the way!
– Indhumathi –