Archives for: August 2008

08/31/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 503 words   English (CA)
Categories: Blog Your Blessings Sundays

Blog Your Blessing Sunday: Memories and Music...

It's rare I fall back on posting nothing but a media clip, and I'm REALLY not doing it now... but bear with me...

Unless you loath Beethoven... or really hate classical music... I entreat you to click "Play" on the file below before carrying on...

Growing up, my mother played piano... pretty much constantly. Her favourites were actually show tunes and more "contemporary" songs, but she'd mix in plenty of classical music as well.

She made sure I had a good grounding in music... an appreciation for all types and styles... but I always gravitated to classical... Bach was my favourite... followed closely by Handel... then Mozart... then Beethoven... the list goes on...

Even today, when stress and worries get to me, the sound of the music you're listening to is beyond soothing... it allows me to escape to a more elegant and gentler world within my own head.

One memory classical music also brings to me is a fond memory of listening to a busking violinist in the Paris Metro many years ago that brought my mother to tears...

I remember that incident well despite being over three-decades ago... oddly enough, we were on our way to visit Père Lachaise and in the station we disembarked from (most likely Station Philippe Auguste, but I can't be sure...) was a young man... playing a piece on a violin with unbelievable skill and passion... and my mother, being a somewhat reserved woman, moved away from the crowds... stopped... listened... and started to cry. I asked her why and she said how it reminded her of listening to people practise at The Royal Conservatory...

Kind of extra touching as we were about to visit Chopin's resting place amongst others.

...but the image is in my mind still... of a Paris Metro, a lone violinist... and my mother crying not of true pain, but of a glad and happy memory she has of her own youth.

Classical music evokes many memories for me... the most precious is that of simply being a kid... sitting on the couch... listening to the strains of my mother's prized Lesage sing to me...

I can't really elaborate any more on this blessing... save to say that the music truly saves me more often than not.

My blessing today is the music in our lives... and the memories it stirs...

It doesn't have to be classical... and it probably isn't for most people... as long as it brings up good and strong memories...

Heck, I could have easily included Charles Aznavour, Jim Croce, or even John Denver instead as they all contain memories of my parents listening to music... and therefore, we would be listening in to.

...but that Lesage piano... my memories of it's incredible sound and my mother making it sing to us... as a memory... and the affect of that music on me... that will always be a blessing.

____________________________________________

Blog Your Blessing Sundays is a creation of NeoBluePanther... who may or may not be the famed Luchador!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/30/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 484 words   English (CA)
Categories: Half-Butt Postings

Is there anything more annoying than a blog post about the blogger not doing a blog post?

I've seen this complained about on a couple of blogs... Basically, the blogger in question is taking a day off... or general time off... and does a post to show that, indeed, they aren't posting.

To some, this seems like a complete and utter lack of imagination... and a trifle redundant... either you ARE posting... or you're not.

Most of the complaining bloggers cite that a post ENDING with I'm taking a day off tomorrow or the like would be acceptable, but a post to simply say I'm not posting something today apparently is not acceptable.

Where I find myself thinking about this complaint is what about a day like today for me?

I mean, much as I've spent hours trying to think of something witty or poignant to burn the pixels of your screen, I am, as usual, completely and totally bankrupt of ideas... well, at least ideas that would fill this space...

I've tried... gone through the news... gone through favoured blogs... gone through message boards, newsgroups, and general public chats... and although there ARE things to talk about, I just can't get the synapses to fire and create a worthy post to discuss things... or possibly illuminate or otherwise "broadcast" anything relevant.

I could get all political and discuss this which burned me up... this that made me think and feel bad for some very silly people... or this that made me chuckle.

I could even delve into pop culture and discuss things like this which was followed by this shortly after... but dear God that seems so vapid.

Nah... I think I'll stay quiet for now.

Sure, it could be put down to laziness on my part... perhaps even a bit of sloth... but realistically, it's the ultimate case of absolute writers block... or something like it.

Ergo: As much as some purists might complain, I'm left with really no options other than to say I don't have anything in the cerebral tank to whack out on the ol' keyboard for you today.

I have a "blessing" in mind for tomorrow, (I find those memes really do write themselves,) and I have ONE bit of questionable and frightening bit of news for Doctor Who Monday... but for today, nada... nuthin' but fumes.

So, you'll forgive me today for not writing anything except the apology for not writing anything today...

...wait a second...

Oh crud! I just realised, this INDEED is a full post!

Well then! To those who MIGHT have been offended by my SUPPOSED lapse of presenting anything when the evidence clearly shows that I have, allow me to virtually stick my tongue out and chant some school-yard mantra like Nyeah! Nyeah! Nyeah! at you!

See? Even in creative bankruptcy, One Old Green Bus PRODUCES!!!

...and I even was able to use the picture of the bunny with pancakes on it's head again!

It's a good day after all!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/29/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 875 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Oprah indicative?

No, this is NOT an "Oprah Slam"... been there, done that... and Sue still occasionally watches the show... which is what this is about really.

She watched a show recently where they brought in lottery winners who probably would have been MUCH better off had these people picked the wrong numbers "way back when".

Sue and I, like most people, have discussed what we'd do with a big win... and we almost always start with the idea that the single most important thing is to ensure it lasts...

I doubt anyone who wins doesn't think that, but Sue watched as a parade of people went through the show telling tales of legitimate woe... how they went through literally millions and were left with nothing... sometimes, less than nothing.

It's not really all that surprising... as "found money" is the easiest to spend... and people forget things like property taxes and the ever-present hands that our out...

Still, I wondered and did a little bit of digging... and surprisingly, the reason you hear the horror stories so often is they are not completely rare, but certainly not the norm.

Most people seem to do what I know I'd do almost immediately... and head to the bank or a good financial adviser. the quote that stuck out for me was from an article written by Ellen Roseman for The Toronto Star in 2006 where she quoted a fellow named Jeffrey Rosenthal from The University of Toronto who did a study of lottery winners.

Apparently, according to the article, Prof. Rosenthal found that in his survey of almost three-hundred people that had won over one-million dollars (winner who had won between 1991 and 2006) showed that the winners "showed a strong streak of [fiscal] conservatism."

Only 43% gave up their jobs, returned to school, or opened their own business... and 95% of respondents sought professional financial advice.

Basically, his findings belied the idea that most lottery winners sift through their winnings and go broke soon afterwards.

Even stranger is that I was only able to find three documented cases of Canadian winners going through any major troubles after (and "caused by") their lottery wins... whereas even the Toronto Star article, to cite the negative impact, cited cases in The United States to support the "worst-case-of-good-luck" scenario.

One thing I've always found fascinating is how I do know people that have won "semi" large lotteries... in and around the hundred-thousand mark... who did pay off their debts, but ended up blowing it all on something like new cards and the like.

We even know, through friends, someone who won $3million... who bought an expensive home and lavished gifts on family who did end up with very little (as their expenditures quickly outstripped their capital,) and ended up back at work... and selling the mansion for a more modest home... but still, they were not completely empty-handed and not really terribly bitter for the experience.

...but none-the-less, not all "found money" people seem to end up in bad places... most seem pretty realistic about things.

I guess it would be easy to see $1million as a great ticket... in Canada, it would be tax free... but in a city like mine where the average house sells for between $350,000.00 through to $1,000,000.00 (on average, depending on location... the ACTUAL Toronto housing price "average" is a touch under $450,000.00...) it wouldn't really be a retirement amount... unless you were willing to move and "pare-down" your lifestyle a bit... it could be done, but not really in Toronto on only a million. (Geez! "Only" a million... sounds like I got that in loose change in my grey business suit's breast pocket!)

There's no doubt that SOME (a very small percentage) of people could use the kick-in-the-logic about the possible downs of a large money find... but I do wonder if Oprah had "cherry-picked" people to make it sound like winning a lottery or coming into a large sum of money was one of the worst things a person could go through?

Seems to me, if you're reading this and you're one of those lucky folks, that you should do what the 95% of the respondents to Prof. Rosenthal suggested... talk to a good financial adviser... perhaps through a large bank... and try to enjoy your fortune, but plan for the future.

I guess it's like this... I do play ONE lottery regularly... and it's rare that it's jackpot goes beyond $500,000... let alone a million... this is based on "averages"... and because the tickets for it are cheap. It's also okay as my TRUE goals for my family are as follows...

#1: Make sure the kids are looked after, going to school, and are healthy.

#2: Pay down all our existing debts.

#3: Own a good home.

#4: Make sure #1 through #3 above are stable.

Beyond that, everything's gravy.

Ergo: A big chunk of money, should it fall into our hands, is NOT going to immediately buy several buses, pay for an "around the world cruise", or likewise be squandered on frivolities... unless the four things above are well looked after... then we might "spoil" ourselves...

...if our financial expert will allow us to.

So, chin up! Despite Oprah's shows and some horror stories, winning the lottery is not the end of the world for most folks! :)


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/28/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 1109 words   English (CA)
Categories: Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen: Thirteen REAL Things I'd Like To Impart To My Stepling...

THURSDAY THIRTEEN!

I've brought "Teh Funneh" for a few Thursday Thirteens in a row... so now it's time to switch gears a tiny bit... because this one's been burning a hole in my collective brain cells for a few days now.

Our kiddollo is now heading into the home stretch of teenagehood... and as such, I find it (as most parents... or in my case, EVIL step-parent... finds it) difficult to discuss certain things with her.

I know I will get my chance soon... and I have no plans of not taking every given opportunity to try and communicate things... but allow me to commit to "pixels"...


THIRTEEN PIECES OF ADVICE I WANT
TO GIVE THE KID...


#13: Never be happy with any answer until there is no doubt left in your mind.

Never accept anything until you're comfortable that it is correct and you could justify it to anyone else. This will lead to a lifetime of examination and learning... and you will never be bored or lonely when you contemplate the possibilities and look for the evidence of things in this wonderful universe we are in. In the long run, no one ever suffered from being too clever.

#12: Never be afraid to dream... and never be afraid to talk about those dreams.

If you always hold your dreams and hopes quietly to yourself, then people will never know if or how they can help you... and really, the majority of the people on this rock in space are actually willing to at least listen and impart some form of assistance.

#11: Always help when you can and it's practical.

As stated above, the majority of humans on this planet are good people... so you should always try to return the favour... even if it's in advance. If you ignore a request for help when you are capable of doing something, it speaks far more about you then of the person asking for assistance.

#10: Your first avenue of improvement is always yourself.

Never tell anyone how to improve anything unless you know you can and have done a similar improvement yourself. Speak always, when possible, from experience.

#9: Always ask. The worst anyone can say is no.

Simple enough... and true for anything.

#8: Never be afraid to lose or not come in first... but learn and always come back a little wiser and a lot stronger.

Life lessons often suck... and "hard knocks" are no fun... but remember, any weakness can become a strength if you learn from it. The only regret you'll truly have in life are those thing you never try. There's no shame in losing... there is in never bothering to try.

...and remember, intelligence is strength, and sometime it's a sign of strength to know how to avoid certain things as much as it's a strength to barrel through them.

#7: Diplomacy should always be the first line of defence and offence.

Brute force might sound like a good idea, but really you should always try negotiation first... perhaps any opponent you have can help you if you help them... and then there is no opposition, only mutual progress... and if your opposite number feels the need to continue to be at odds with you, think of the energy that is being wasted in that battle... and where it might be better spent.

#6: If you need to argue, only argue the facts and data of something... never the personality of the person you're opposing.

If in an argument, someone degenerates to name-calling or simply becomes dismissive without just cause, walk away... you won that argument.

#5: Live firstly by the credo: "Deeds, not words." Live secondly by the credo: "Adopt, Adapt, Improve."

The world has far too many armchair quarterbacks... and if something is not to your liking, try to find the bits of it you can work with and then try to change them to be better for you and everyone else. It is easier and more permanent to change a system from within than desperately hacking away at it from the outside.

#4: Remember that anyone and everyone must be given a chance and seen as equal until they prove otherwise... and that can be prove themselves better than expected, or worse... but never prejudge anyone for any reason.

To judge someone because of a faith, philosophy, place of origin, physical appearance, or other veneer of being human is closing most of the world off to endless possibilities and experiences. Never isolate yourself, always expand, explore, and learn... and grow with the people around you.

#3: Try to never utter the words, I don't care.

Hate is not the true enemy... apathy is.

#2: People will only ever have as much power over you as you are willing to give them.

If you allow people to dictate your every thought and action without resistance or questions, you will never, ever truly be free.

#1: Never forget that your love, respect, and trust are precious... and must be earned.

Remember watching Yau-Man Chan on Survivor? How your mother and I really got all excited by his philosophy? Allow me to remind you of it again... Love many. Trust few. Harm none. These are the most sage words I've ever heard... and are not cynical or negative in the least. Live by them and your heartaches will be few and far between... and your joys will honestly be in abundance. Make sure anyone who gets all the way into your heart is worthy to be there. You're very precious... and therefore should only allow the best to be a full part of your life.

Bonus: There is nothing in life that can not and will not be overcome eventually. There will be other days. There will be more adventures. There will be more to life.

Never, ever even feel the need to give up!

And never forget...

If anytime in the future you have doubts, no matter what happens... no matter how awful it may seem... no matter how things are going... your mother, your father, your sisters, and even your evil stepfather will always love you, look out for you, and help you in any way we can.


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/27/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 72 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wednesday Snippets

Fairly Wordless Wednesday: Blogger Play...

Hat Tip to Pretty Shaved Ape...

The link below is something you may or may not know about... and it's wordless...

It's called "Blogger Play" and goes through all the blogs on blogger and extracts random images and displays them in a slideshow...

It's like tiny eye-bites of life flashing by.

http://play.blogger.com/
.
.

Try it out... it's rather mesmerizing...


For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants, please click here.


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/26/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 1431 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

I'm a bad, bad man...

Am I too sensitive? Perhaps... I'll accept that I most likely am...

Still, this is how I felt over the last few days...

I'd say things like...

I think anyone who tells me how to think and what is correct without data is not practising science, but preaching a faith.

Well, you have to admit that if you're telling me how to interpret things because you know better for everyone, that's a touch problematic.

Well, can you prove to me what you believe... and I would like evidence.

Gee, this attitude of yours... you're coming off a touch dogmatic... and you really seem like you're preaching at me and not really addressing my concerns...

Yeah, over the last few days, I've kinda gotten into it over something a little silly on another blog.

It's odd... there was a test (albeit, in my opinion, not a really true scientific one,) that Sue kinda made me take that she saw on Oprah... I don't remember who put it together, but it was from a university in the States and it "measured" whether you had any racial bias by showing you "faces" and asking you to determine how they made you feel.

I bucked a trend and came out wham-in-the-middle with apparently no racial preferences.

This didn't really surprise me as I grew up in a very diverse area of town and my boyhood friends were really a cross-section of the population of this city so no, I feel the colour of someone's skin AND their beliefs do not dictate a persons value as a person. Period. My philosophy has always been, if you're not directly bothering or hurting me, I don't care... and I will base my feeling about you solely on the way you carry yourself... I really do believe in that content of your character stuff.

Your intelligence, likewise, is based on how you handle your surroundings. If you're open to all possibilities and really base your feeling off tangibles... and question those things without caving into any faith or belief "because you MUST", then I feel you're intelligent... and if you do have a faith that gives you strength, but does not "hurt" others... then unless I can absolutely prove to you that faith is not valid, I won't question it. What works for you may not work for me, but unless I can prove without doubt it's nonsense, then I will accept that it is what you believe and is not really my place to question it.

Basically, I'm down the middle on most things... not one way really, or the other. As I was recently charged with, I'm a member of the Church of Neutrality... calling out a code beige... although when I read that, I wondered if the person said it because not being a screechy member of an extreme view, they felt I was just not as much "fun" to read...?

What's all this got to do with the price of bananas in Ecuador?

Well, I've often said here that the three things I can't stand all begin with "I"... Intolerance, Incompetence, and Ignorance.

A blogger who I have a good quantity of respect for posted a thing decrying the behaviour (and justifiably so,) of supposed "Christians" who were threatening and intolerant of Prof. Richard Dawkins, a well known and well written Atheist.

I agreed... the level of shrieking condemnation combined with out-and-out threats showed absolute and utter intolerance...

That said, the commenters (most of them showing "humanist" - read: Atheist - leanings,) all went into lock-step decrying "religious nuts" while saying how saintly and wonderful Atheists are. They seemed to decry the rotten core of religion... and of course, as it always does, tossing out how these "religious types" are afraid of "science".

The dumb, Dumb, DUMB thing is that I do believe whole heartedly in science... and I also am not a "theist" by any stretch... but to shout "THERE IS NO GOD! SCIENCE HAS SAID SO!" is not science. It's faith... and yeah, I had to argue that point (as well as the other about the tolerance of Atheists...)

Let's start with science... why do I hate "Science" being bandied about as the justification of Atheism?

Because the scientific method works by going through certain steps...

Question: -> Hypothesis: -> Experimentation: -> Observation: -> Conclusion. (Repeat as necessary.)

Ergo: To state something CANNOT be - based on no empirical data - is not science... because to say "X" is not without data jumps from question to conclusion.

Oh, and of course, some of the folks leapt up to tell me that scientifically, you can't prove a negative... un-hunh...

What is a vacuum? Apparently, a vacuum cannot exists because you can't prove a negative.

What is ten minus fifty? Apparently, it also cannot be as you cannot prove a negative.

What happens after zero degrees anything? Nothing... because there are no scientific negatives.

It's amazing how many things disappear in a puff of that bad logic. If only my credit card companies were so inclined to accept this science!

...well, unless you feel mathematics and physics aren't real science... then I suppose it stands.

...anyway...

I have an article from a so-called sceptical organization stating that secular art and even architecture is effectively "advertising" for theism and dragging in the masses into belief... and, of course, to be dragged into belief is to show stupidity... ignorance... and general incompetence.

Shred Bach's music for intelligence! Destroy Michaelangelo's paintings and statues for education! Burn down a cathedral to save us all from dragging our knuckles back to the stone age!

I've also sat in on three meetings of sceptical groups and heard the same sort of rhetoric parroted back to the masses at these meeting and watched the "flocks" nod their heads in cult-like agreement.

We've also all heard of "militant" Atheists who lobby to remove ALL references to religion from most common things in life... like God keep our land being removed from the Canadian National Anthem and the banning of Christmas decorations and festivities.

I ask "Why?"

Are these things REALLY hurting people? Has hearing things like "X" store's "Christmas Sale" really boosted attendance to Christian churches? Stats don't seem to bear that "fear" out... and that's what it seems to be... "fear" that a faith will be overshadowed by culture and heritage... despite a more enlightened age for the majority thanks to improved communications and science.

...and then, to actually entertain the concept of some sort of "greater universal intelligence" or any sort is usually met with scorn... and one is called an "idiot" (yes, I've been called this... and I don't practise any dogmatic religion!) or stupid... to have "less intelligence" because I didn't dismiss something... despite being presented with no more evidence than someone tells me so.

I'll say it... my experience is that Atheists and Theists are no better than each other... preaching and desperately trying to convert the masses... all the time mocking and threatening those who ask questions and demand evidence because they know better.

If you don't accept our views as the true word, then you will be cast out!

..."out" meaning from secular society... or "out" meaning being consider to have any intellectual abilities.

I admit, I'm probably a little sensitive about such things... and no doubt, I know that a "moderate" response opens the doors to zealots of all types... but what were those three "I"s again?

Wasn't one of the "Intolerance"?

I guess I just don't like being told how to feel and being told what to believe... by anyone... especially if they're saying that I *must* do so without evidence to prove why.

The greater likelihood is not the only possibility... and I do believe that you can hold a "faith" as can others without having to bow to a greater authority which is only based in faith.

If this makes me a heretic, then fire up the pile of sticks, get the stake ready... 'cuz it's going to have to be the cleansing fire for me.

Oh, and I realise... that the shrieky followers of non-faith are simply the opposite number of the devout and angry people of faith... but it's that darned intolerance thing... it just makes me a little edgy.

What hurts me the most, however, is that I do accept the PROBABILITY of a lack of any sort of deity... I just can't stand preachers, conversionists... and because of that leap, lies in terms of using "science" to back up a claim.

I'm going to heck, aren't I?


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/25/08

Doctor Who Monday - Could be a "Half-Butt" Posting...

I'm not copping out on you today... well, not REALLY...

It's difficult to explain, but let's just say that for the last two (and probably the next three) days, Sue and are up to our eyeballs in tantalizing stuff involving our hobby... which is GREAT for us, lousy for the blogs... but I hope you don't mind my escaping into things outside the blogsphere for just a few days... which does, sadly, eat into my time to craft entries.

That said, I DO HAVE SOME NEWS TO REPORT (in the "Whoniverse"...) and my source THIS WEEK is the Excellent BlogtorWho... (since my two most usual sources are on sabbatical... and there wasn't much going on in my other three stops (well, there is a fourth,) for Who-News...

What is this news??? Warning: COULD be seen as spoilers... but I honestly don't think so...

Supposedly, there isn't any "announced" Children in Need special (like the one's before...) but take this with a grain of salt as it's from Russell T. Davies... who's been known to TRY and pull fast one's on the audience before.

Catherine "Donna Noble" Tate has said she'd "jump at the chance" to come back... which would be GREAT... and I sincerely think that the current creative team isn't above entertaining that come back.

The Sarah Jane Adventures (new Series II) has a new episode coming up called "The Last Sontaran"... Son-Tar-HA!

The five episode "mini-series" which will be aired over one week that IS Torchwood Series III (and is currently shooting,) is one story arc named "Children Of Earth".

So, never let it be said I complete let down my Who-Fan-Friends!

Now, I'm off... to do some very odd work... it's a LONG story.

...and no, my post on Saturday featuring the video cap below does NOT have anything to do with this work...

HONEST!!!



This blog is a "fan blog" only... and not related to or in any way officially involved with the production of Doctor Who. Doctor Who is copyright © by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). No infringement intended. All images, texts, videos, or audio attachments are used assuming "Fair Use"/"Fair Dealing" and, if used here, may be removed at the request of the original copyright holder with limited notice.


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/24/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 1042 words   English (CA)
Categories: Blog Your Blessings Sundays

Blog Your Blessings Sundays: Using the BlogTARDIS today...

I found myself this weekend under a small pile of work that needed to be completed, so I have adjusted the Setting the BlogTARDIS back for the third week of August, 2007... and present my "Blog Your Blessing Sunday" from pretty much one year ago...


First off, I am now feeling better from my illness of yesterday and Friday night for those wondering... I am recovering nicely... which is sad as I have to go back to work tomorrow and being sick on the weekend is the pits.

As a caveat, this post features a lot of audio. I've done my best to make it not-so-stressing on your computer... taxing your RAM and CPU... but it's necessary...

If you ever wonder where my writing style comes from, let me start with my first brief audio clip...

If you clicked play above, and you're a Canadian over the age of thirty-five who, like me, had the radio on a fair bit, you may recognise that theme... but let me explain why that theme is important to me and this post...

When I write a blog entry, most times, I have a voice in my head.

It was a voice I most often heard when my mother and I were together when I was younger... she would listen to the radio while going about her morning... all of this starting when I was fifteen, and right through for many moons.

The voice on the radio never left... I picked it up when I was no longer home and listened to that voice religiously every morning... right up until 1997 when it was gone... and I honestly wept a little when, in 2002, I heard that the voice had been stilled.

Peter Gzowski

Peter Gzowski was a unique individual. Although in and about broadcasting an publishing since the 1950's, his radio program, Morningside, was a staple with many Canadians on The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

While many of my contemporaries and friends were listening to rock and pop stations to start their day, I was listening to Mr. Gzowski interviewing people or reciting one of his (almost) famous five-minute essays.

Gzowski was infamous for asking questions that were longer than his interviewees answers... he had an easy, laid-back voice that had the wonderful sound that, unfortunately, smoking seventy-five Rothmans a day will get a person... by mellowing the vocal chords. He came across, on air, somewhere between a "learned friend" and a "favourite uncle" telling stories and news that otherwise, we may not have known about.

For me, he was fascinating... he was a morning window into what was being talked about in Vancouver, Montreal, Halifax, Yellow Knife, and yes, of course, Toronto.

He made me care about the whole of Canada... and see it's intrinsic politeness and hominess... to appreciate the whole country, not just my little corner of it.

He shaped, in many ways, the way I try to write... I write like you would hear me speak... in my tempo and in my own voice's tenor. I try add the emphasis when needed and try to make you feel what I see as important... in order for you to share my passions and to maybe care about what I care about... even if it's for just a short time while you're reading my entries.

Gzowski interviewed with equal weight, prime ministers...

...and school principals who had to eat worms.

He had a national forum and used it to simply tell stories, interview people, and introduce the nation to each other, and often himself...

Even though he died in 2002, I was reminded of him recently with the news report about author Stephen King being accused, in an Australian bookshop, of defacing books. They didn't recognise the famed author and were very disturbed to see a man taking a pen and writing in the books... he was signing them.

Many heard that and thought, How nice! Stephen King was pre-autographing books!... I, being a cynic, remembered a letter read out at Gzowski's memorial about him doing something similar... and you SHOULD listen to it...

Hmm... what exactly WAS Mr. King up to, eh?

...Anyway...

I wish I could share more, but a friend at CBC kinda warned me about going too far... like playing interviews of Gzowski with a thirteen-year-old Wayne Gretzky... or John Diefenbaker... or W.O. Mitchell... or countless great Canadians...

Suffice to say that, if you're interested, the CBC has many "archived" on their site at http://www.cbc.ca/news/obit/gzowski_peter/

My Blessing is Having Been Able to Listen To and Read Peter Gzowski's Work.

At a young age, he made me care about Canada... and people... even when they were "out of sight" and no where near me.


This blessing was originally going to be about people that can convey passion... and as I was on the CBC remembering Justin Trudeau's eulogy to his father... which is another must see... I came back to Gzowski... and hence what you read above...

Honestly, Pierre Elliot Trudeau is both hated and loved here in Canada... but he is STILL, even after his death, not ignored... and no one can deny that he loved this country... the one he ran for so long... and although many didn't agree with HIS vision, it was undeniable. Even the true intellectual Conservative pundits hate his legacy as far as policies and governance... they will defend him as a Canadian... and I've heard some of the most "right-wing" Canadians jump to his defence when people who don't know and don't understand him try to take a "shot" at his politics.

Only from some very "polarized" people have I heard anyone say he hated Canada... and they are wrong... and I know the people that those folks venerate as their saviours know this too.

Justin has just entered politics... and if you watch that eulogy, you'll agree... Canada is apt to have King Trudeau II... he's as amazing a speaker as his father was.

I admit, and perhaps it's because I lost my own father at an early age, when he ends with the words, Je t'aime, papa.... I got and get bleary-eyed.

____________________________________________

Blog Your Blessing Sundays is a creation of NeoBluePanther... who may or may not be the famed Luchador!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/23/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 481 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff, Doctor Who Fandom

Okay, this whole "debating thing" has gotten out of hand.

Look, I'm good with the idea that you feel differently than me... and provided you bring concrete evidence to change my opinion, I will not only listen, but have and will state that I am wrong on pretty much any occasion.

Between arguing with the overly credulous about some things, and the knee jerk deniers on others over the last few days, I'm tired of the debates...

That said, I must address something that I've been battling about with someone (a reader of this blog,) offline now for a while... something far more important than theism vs. atheism vs. agnosticism, more important than Left vs. Right, more tension filled than Man-Assisted Global Warming vs. Nothin'-Goin'-On-But-The-Rent... oh yes, an epic and decisive argument I cannot possibly back away from or take a "time out" due to simply not having the energy to continue my battle...

Is Darth Vader More Evil Than Davros?

Now, I won't degenerate this into name calling and suggesting that my opposition in this debate is a big poopy head who doesn't understand the nature of science fiction at it's heart and wouldn't know true evil if it jumped up and bit him in the posterior, because I have to look at the evidence.

In Star Wars, the "Empire" was an empire... basically, a political structure trying to effectively rule and control their part of the galaxy far, far away and long, long ago... They were not trying to commit genocide and eliminate everyone and everything... they seemed to simply wish to incorporate it into it's framework. Heck, George Lucas himself simply said Darthy-Baby was just a misunderstood political player working for a higher power that was, in their eyes, simply "correct" in how things were supposed to operate... and in some ways, couldn't understand why there was a rebellion in the first place.

That said, allow me to introduce a little evidence for my boy, Davros...

NOW, remember... Darth wanted to CONTROL everyone... and Davros... well...

Okay then! Now the above clip was from the 1970's... but this year (2008), Davros came back with a new weapon... this is what was said after he "tested" it...

Do you see the trend?

I can also point out that Darth-baby had the loyalty of his own people... Davros created creatures that saw their own creator as weak and flawed... and despite Davros consistently helping them "exterminate" literally everything, they almost always turned on him... but his "God Complex" was such that this was a mere peccadillo to Davros as he felt, If my crazy and universally genocidal creatures survive, even if they hate me, then I am a GOD!

The defence of the evil of Davros rests!

I think I've made my point here... I will now sit back, have a nice cool drink, and bask in the glowing red of the true evil...

...well, as stated last week, that or...


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/22/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 617 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Friday Fourteen... okay, I'm making that up... but fourteen things Google figures I DON'T need...

A sequel! A sequel! Yes, being creatively bankrupt today... er, wishing to capitalize and exploit a good idea... er, because you folks were just SO interested in yesterday's "Thursday Thirteen" where I did the "Google-Needs" meme where you pop your fist name into Google with the word "needs" after it and report the findings, allow me to now do...


FOURTEEN THINGS GOOGLE FIGURES I DON'T NEED!


Remember, if you're considering following this lead, put the search in quotes... (as demonstrated by clicking this link...) as it will ONLY show you posts with the words in that particular order.


Matthew doesn't need my help with the whole corruption bit

Darned tootin'! I'm plenty corrupt without anyone's help!

Matthew doesn't need to create stories like that

I don't know about that... I'm a pretty boring guy at times. Gotta occasionally liven things up with a good tale! (Oh, except in my studies... I'm pretty strict about that... but I've published evidence of me being a little... well... um...)

Matthew doesn't need another rave testimonial for his food photography

...mostly because, to the best of my knowledge, I haven't done any.

Matthew doesn't need to hew to intellectual honesty because he's got a trust fund to fuel his endeavours

Wait... I have a TRUST FUND!?! I've been hewing my intellectual honesty for NOTHING!?!

Matthew doesn’t need that kind of assistance

Actually, I do... because I really can't reach that and it's SO itchy!!!

Matthew doesn't need any of that

Probably true... I do need some of this though... and possibly the other thing.

Matthew doesn't need to have the fact of whether he is circumcised or uncircumcised be a matter of public record for the rest of his life

This made me giggle because of a favourite self-writ post... this one... which, if you look at point #3... also, read the comments for a bit of fun.

Matthew doesn't need a golden ticket to visit a choccie factory

...but I can still sing Jack Albertson's bit from the musical... I've got a golden chance to make my way... And with a golden ticket, it's a golden day (See #4 in yesterday's post...) I really MUST stop breaking into song at the office.

Matthew doesn't need to spell this out for his readers

You're a smart lot... I've never even THOUGHT of spelling this out for you. But, in case it's needed... "Tee" "Aych" "Eye" "Ess"... T-H-I-S... THIS. There, I've now spelled "this" out for you.

Matthew doesn’t need to go to school

When I was a high school lad, I often wanted to change schools to the all girl's high school nearest my home... but I couldn't pass the physical... and I kept hearing the words "fox in the hen house" whenever I tried to get in. I'm a touch old now, but I'm thinking "career university student" sounds good!

Matthew doesn't need to have his midnight snack after 3-4mths

So, you're cutting me off in November or January? Seems hardly fair!

Matthew doesn't need a dummy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Emphasis from Google.)

This is true... I've worked with and for enough of them.

Matthew doesn't need his own money even if he has plenty of it

UNTRUE! I don't have plenty of it and I like money! It makes me happy! It brings me joy! ($20k for starters would be nice... REMEMBER: Blame Google for this!)

Matthew doesn't need an invitation

Wow! This one sounds like I should be uttering something like I came here to chew bubble gum and kick butt... and I'm all outta bubble gum.

...and a bonus...

Matthew doesn't need to be seeing a psychiatrist

This one would be hotly debated by those who know me well.


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/21/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 475 words   English (CA)
Categories: Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen: I'm so needy...

THURSDAY THIRTEEN!

I loved this meme... and it's nice and simple...

Put your first name into Google... and add the word "needs"... and search... and report.

trick with Google... put the search in quotes... "Matthew Needs"... this will make sure it only shows you results for "Matthew Needs"... and not Needs Matthew or Matthew blah blah blah blah needs... it'll make sense when and if you do it.

I forgot where I saw the meme first (SORRY!!!) but I love it and with that in mind...


THIRTEEN THINGS GOOGLE FIGURES I NEED...


#13: Matthew Needs to Bring Sexy Back

I didn't know it was up to me.

#12: Matthew Needs to Realize Its Possible for Him to Be Wrong

NEVER!!!! (Okay, almost never... okay, I'm almost never right... happy now???)

#11: Matthew needs aid

Well, we still would love to find the $20k to make the bus thing come true... so yeah, I guess I still need aid... Hey, I know... I promised NOT to beg on the blog anymore, but Google's forcing my hand here!!!

#10: Matthew needs the toilet

At some point, isn't this true with everyone?

#9: Matthew needs his wisdom teeth removed

Believe it or not, this is a lie... so far, every dentist I've seen said they can stay.

#8: Matthew Needs to Learn

I would like to think we all do, but if you MUST pick on me, I accept this.

#7: Matthew needs your help!

Again, I hearken back to our bus thing... Again, please blame Google for this one!

#6: Matthew needs to double his fluid intake and drink way more

Okay, in my late teens and twenties, I was a bit of a sponge... but now-a-days, I really am a teetotaller.

#5: Matthew needs your help now

No, really... anytime is good... and again, BLAME GOOGLE FOR ALL THIS!!!

#4: Matthew Needs A Recording Studio Fund

Anyone who's heard me sing will violently oppose this idea.

#3: Matthew needs a time out! And a hug!

DING! DING! DING! We have a winner!!!

#2: Matthew needs far more competition

Uh... I do? Well, not really... I don't mind a little competitiveness, but if it's competition for that time out and hug, I'm gonna fight for those tooth and nail! BRING IT!

#1: MATTHEW NEEDS SOME PRAYERS

Yes, this one was shouted at me through Google... but besides this, trust me, it's far too late for me...


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/20/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 22 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wordless Wednesdays

Wordless Wednesday: From 1965 - The Railrodder

Three parts - 24 Minutes Total...

Thanks to the original YouTube "capper"!


For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants, please click here.


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/19/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 399 words   English (CA)
Categories: Half-Butt Postings

Burnt Out Tuesday... (oh, and I'm back to work...)

I attended an orgy of sorts... no, not THAT kind of orgy, I'm using the true dictionary definition here...

Remember, according to Merrriam/Webster, and "orgy" is excessive indulgence in something especially to satisfy an inordinate appetite or craving.

Granted, Merriam/Webster also says it's a secret ceremonial rites held in honour of an ancient Greek or Roman deity and usually characterized by ecstatic singing and dancing.

I'm sure there WAS singing and dancing somewhere, but no, it was not that kind of orgy either...

Nope, I would say excessive indulgence in something especially to satisfy an inordinate appetite or craving... in this case, shopping.

The Canadian National Exhibition USED to be more like a legitimate "fair" (livestock and industrial exposition,) than anything else... but of late, is really an elaborate flea market and warehouse sale for a few manufacturers... and allow me to 'splain why "orgy" is appropriate.

One twelve-year old girl, one eighteen-year old girl... clothing warehouse sale.

Add to this...

International Marketplace... with vendors from literally around the globe selling trinkets from their part of the planet... and Sue is there.

If you're thinking Ah! So it was an Orgy o' Shoppin'??? YOU'D BE RIGHT!

Granted, on the good side, back to school was looked after VERY nicely and really on the cheap... on the bad side, my job in this was to place sound budget constraints (accomplished) and act as a pack-mule... which is why I'm now really rather burnt out.

So, with stiff muscles and a sore back, we have completed a metric tonne of back to school stuff for the two youngest... and since holding my hands and wrist up to type are a bit of a painful chore, I am taking my leave of you for the day... I'm CERTAIN Sue will be blogging about our "Exhibition Trip" on her blogs shortly... so if interested, check back there.

We will be KIND OF going to an "Ex" thing ONE LAST TIME THIS YEAR... before the end of the Summer... and that's down to the lakeshore of Toronto to watch the planes go by... So far, the lineup looks plenty lame... but HOPEFULLY that will change... I'd love to see the Avro Lancaster again, for example...

Anyway, I'm off to work... and to rub Aspercreme on myself...

...and dream about Snowbirds over Toronto...

These GREAT guys need new planes in the worst way...


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/18/08

Permalink 07:41:21 am, by Email , 20 words   English (CA)
Categories: Half-Butt Postings

Breaking radio (CNE) silence... 'cuz I'm taking FULL credit for this...

From The Beeb...

The Banana Splits are coming back.

...and yeah, I'm taking full credit for giving SOMEONE an idea!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 154 words   English (CA)
Categories: Half-Butt Postings

Sorry Whovians... Taking a day off to enjoy The CNE!

Yeah, I'm taking this week off from doing a Doctor Who Monday...

Hey, c'mon now... not a whole lot of Doctor Who Goodness coming down the pipes until Christmas... so don't begrudge this poor old fanboy from taking a day off to head out with the wife and kids (yup, plural today!) to take in The Canadian National Exhibition!

If it makes anyone feel better, I promise we'll all be thinking about Time Lords, Sontarans, Gelf Zombies, and assorted stuff from the Whoniverse while scarfing down Tiny Tom Donuts and generally making merry!

Oh, and if anyone DOES grumble today... you know who you can talk to...

Yup, that "BAD BLOKE" of ours, DALEK BOB!

I promise, something more "Who Like" next week... but for today, it's junk food and general "fair-like" activities for us at One Old Green Bus!

A little "Who-Goodness" for new visitors to this site... from Series Two's deleted scenes...


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/17/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 334 words   English (CA)
Categories: Blog Your Blessings Sundays

Blog Your Blessing Sunday: Anticipation...

Anyone else remember the old Heinz Ketchup commercials where they sang about "Anticipation... Anticipa-ay-tion, it's makin' me wait..." heck, how many people still remember when ketchup only came in slow-spilling glass bottles?

Anyway, the juxt of the spots was that Heinz was worth the wait... worth the anticipation.

Likewise, a person who was really pulling for the dream to come true when we were REALLY gunning for it said that this blog represented An Anticipated Adventure! and I loved that description of our quest!

Now, I know all types of "anticipation" are not necessarily positives... like anticipating the credit card bill... or a visit to the dentists... or being forced to read blogs about upcoming elections... but for this, I'm concentrating on those moments of anticipation that ring in something good...

Take our family today... I have tomorrow off and we're going en masse to The Canadian National Exhibition... and all of us have visions of junk food, cheesey games, somewhat dodgey rides, and the usual festivities one looks forward to at any large fair... and yeah, we're all pumped up over it!

My Blessing Today is The Anticipation of Fun and/or Good Things...

I could be schmaltzy and bring up the anticipation of Spring after a cold Winter... the anticipation of a good party... even the anticipation of a favoured television series returning at some point (like us with our Doctor Who fandom... having to wait for NEW stuff until Christmas!)

One has to wonder... are there ANY better words in the English language than Oh yeah, we're looking forward to that!

...well, when they're said without too much cynicism. :)

Oh, speaking of this... as we're planning a full day's adventure, I'm shelving (again) my Doctor Who Monday for the week... hey, not much to report until Christmas really anyway... and I'm just going to concentrate on spoiling kids and eating horribly unhealthy treats!

____________________________________________

Blog Your Blessing Sundays is a creation of NeoBluePanther... who may or may not be the famed Luchador!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/16/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 200 words   English (CA)
Categories: Half-Butt Postings

Je suis très fatigué...

Oui, je suis très fatigué maintenant... and it's all thanks to technology!

Basically, I am operating on three and a half hours of sleep thanks to a nightmare in the home computer department... (Read: Sue's computer fell down and went boom so I stayed up to make it work again...)

So, a bit of a half-butt posting, I'm afraid... based on me probably power-napping a fair bit today.

That said, I did want to share ONE horrifying realization.

When I was young, I had to visions of the dark side... that I've actually already shared with you...

One who I said has a "nice condo" in the dark side...

...one who I said was a slumlord in the dark side...

...and as an adult, I found myself the OWNER of what I thought was the TRUE ruler and despot of the dark side...

...I was wrong.

There is one more powerful the Lord Vader... more maniacally evil than Davros... and even more sinister and fierce than the Little Black Kitten...

Christie St. Martin showed me the TRUE face of EVIL!!!~!

I now consider you all warned... and I'm off for the first of probably several naps.

Beware of Fluffy.


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/15/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 872 words   English (CA)
Categories: Paranormal Stuff

The Bestest Most Biggest Most Wonderfullest Most Popular Most Wahoo Ghost Person in the UNIVERSE~!!~! (With the most experience to boot!)

I'm ticked. I know, you're shocked...

...and I admit, the object of my grumpiness is nothing new... even to a degree on this blog... (although the first link there is more to the point.)

I don't want to go through the "Ins and Outs" of what triggered my latest grumpy moment... but allow me to reiterate something...

If someone claims (ESPECIALLY ONLINE) to be anything, LOOK INTO IT!

If someone says they are the bestest, most wonderful, well-respected, senior, experienced, magnificent, astronomically spectacular ANYTHING, it deserves looking into... doubly-so for anyone claiming to be those items in my chosen field of study.

The BIGGEST problem in the study of things that are considered paranormal is that there is no governing body... no real peer review... and no such thing as an expert. (As I've often said, HOW can one be an expert on the "unknown"??? If you don't know what it is and can not empirically prove what you THINK it is, then you cannot possibly be an expert!)

Basically, ANYONE can CLAIM to be "The Number One Investigator" or "An Experienced Researcher" and realistically, because we lack any true benchmarks, they might have literally fallen off the back of a banana truck yesterday et voila! They qualify!!

"Dating" someone's experience in the field sometimes just takes "Googling" their name... if they done anything and published anything, you'll find 'em... if they haven't, then they can CLAIM that they are "The Number One Experienced Ghost Whatever", but there's no solid foundation for that claim.

As I said in the first link above, (the one that's linked on the words "nothing new",) you'll see that many people claim magnificence... when their claims are, at best, severely questionable.

The late astronomer, Carl Sagan, when poo-pooing claims of the paranormal (which he flipped-flopped on a couple of time,) often misquoted the phrase coined by the late Marcello Truzzi... saying "Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence."

Truzzi actually did a couple of things other than that quote... one is he ended up leaving a sceptical group he helped found because they became "deniers, not doubters", and he also wished he'd never said that exact quote... instead, he wished he'd changed it to something that should be a mantra for EVERYONE interested in the paranormal...

Claims Require Evidence.

This means the onus is on anyone who makes a claim of any sort...

There's no such thing as ghosts! - Prove it!*

Of course ghosts exist! - Prove it!

I am a great and wondrous experienced ghost investigator! - Guess what...

Yup! PROVE IT!

* - For those about to chant You Can't Prove a Negative...

Simply wanting to be something, visiting a couple of "haunts", watching a couple of TV shows while you surf MySpace ghost sites DOES NOT qualify you, in my eyes, as "experienced".

Labelling yourself as such with little to prove your claim seems pretty false in my eyes.

Also, as stated, "experience" is in the eye of the beholder... Perhaps one MIGHT think visiting ten "haunted locations" qualifies as an experienced ghost investigator... but again, it says nothing to me other than have car and time will travel.

How many tomes have you plied through? How much legitimate investigation have you done using proper controls and methods? How many papers or even proper notes have you published? Who do you credit for helping you or providing source materials?

One "online group" claimed to have had a web page up since 1986! Now that's some experience... When I read that one, I had to giggle... They pre-dated Sir Tim Berners-Lee's introduction of the WWW to THE WORLD by three years... and pre-dated HTML by six! Were they part of some secret Berners-Lee alpha project???

This may sound like some sort of "olde farte" sour grapes... which is silly...

I believe that NEW people can enter this study and bring new things to it. I do not believe that anyone SHOULD claim to be "The Number One" or "Most Experienced" unless they can claim original membership status to Britain's original "Ghost Club" or The society for Psychical Research...

I've admitted I've only been about for about a decade and a few years... and although some see me as an "old hand", I don't. I have SOME experience... I'm fairly well versed from multiple and not always agreeing sources... but am I truly "the best"? Not even close. "An expert"? Nope. "Experienced"? Perhaps... but I can back up that claim as can others... and I still don't think my pitiful amount of work comes close to many others who came before me.

I guess what I'm saying is that if someone CLAIMS to be an authority, really question them on that... and look through what you can find on them...

Because, sadly, there is no governing body... and people can make claims with the flimsiest of proof... and they COUNT on you not checking those claims.

...and to those MAKING claims, you better be prepared to back 'em up... or you best consider clarifying what you say... because I have FULL intention to make everyone that will listen to me demand evidence...

...and if you don't pull up your "experienced" socks, then I'll be breaking out the big guns.


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/14/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 1184 words   English (CA)
Categories: Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen - Intelligent Life on Earth

THURSDAY THIRTEEN!

This one's a simple one...


THIRTEEN THINGS I'VE HEARD MORE THAN ONCE
THAT MAKE ME QUESTION IF THERE'S INTELLIGENT
LIFE ON EARTH...


#13: Have you seen the thing?

If you're speaking of James Arness in a rubber suit, a 1980's remake film by John Carpenter, or a Marvel Superhero, then YES! I've seen The Thing! (Otherwise, it does help when people are a TOUCH more specific about what they're looking for.)


#12: My computer isn't working.

Never seen this one here, have you?

As a technician, I wish I had a farthing for every time someone called and told me this... nothing more... just "It doesn't work."

Really? Get it a job!

Okay, let's try this... would you call up your auto mechanic and simply say, My car doesn't work. and expect him to diagnose the problem with this information?

...or maybe, JUST perhaps... he might ask, "Did you try to START the car?" "Did you turn the key in the ignition?" "Is there any gas in the tank?"

Y'know, I'm just sayin'...


#11: It's over there. (Said without any gestures or even eye movement to indicate where "there" is.)

Oh, this one REALLY ticks me off... Usually, it's when someone is working away at something so they can't be bothered... and taking a second to point or even express in detail where "there" is, is a bit bothersome... but man, I think we've all been there... Honey? Where's the TV remote? "It's over there." Ooo! Great help! Can you use your psychic abilities to levitate it so I can find out where "THERE" is?

Double-special bonus-points if when asked again, "Where?", the person STILL does not show via hand gestures or the like where it is and says again, usually angrily, Over there!

Helpful~!


#10: It's like that movie... you know... you've seen it... that one.

Oh yeah, THAT one! Got it! I totally understand your lack of reference!

Now, if you say something like, Wow, that thing is an alien that's almost stealth-like and it's huntings humans... It's just like that movie... I'm going to say, "OH YEAH! Predator!"

...but if you say Ah, look at those two youngster... holding hands... so in love... it's just like that movie..., unless they're two very little people or are somehow in some costume... I am RESISTING the urge to scream, WHICH ONE OUT OF GAWD KNOWS HOW MANY!?!


#9: Are you okay? (...when asked before anything SEEMS to be wrong.)

Here's something you DON'T want to hear on the phone as an opening sentence... Well, I *was* okay... until now...

Hey, I admit... sometimes I do believe the paranoias are out to get me.


#8: I'm hungry, but I don't know what I want. What can we have to eat?

That narrows the field for me! I'll just whip out my handy Every Meal and Foodstuff Known to Mankind and start with the A's and work my way up, shall I?

Bonus points if this is uttered by someone looking in the fridge or the cupboards... I mean, they can SEE what's there... but perhaps, you're HOARDING something, right?


#7: Have you seen my shirt? (Question ends there.)

I have spent most of my natural life in households dominated by women. This has twisted me a lot, but no more so then when asked for the location of generic clothing.

You see, we men, even men who have spent most of their lives around women, do NOT make a mental note of which is "THE" shirt or really "THE" anything...

...yet, we're expected to use our psychical super-powers to know IMMEDIATELY which garment is being requested... and better yet, we get pooped on when our spidey-sense fails us. You know which shirt! The one I bought last March on vacation! "Of course! What a fool I've been!"


#6: Are you alright? (or "Is everything okay?")

Now, in honesty, nine-times out of ten, when this question is asked, no, not everything's okay... and yes, I'm brooding a little... but I'm brooding quietly... and if I say, "Yeah, everything's fine..." don't push it.

That said, when someone BARKS out the words, "Everything's FINE!" then they should realise that it's kind of insulting for them to think the next response will be, Oh, okay then! If everything's good, I'll beetle off them.

This one's kind of a catch 22...

SUPER-SPECIAL BONUS POINTS for those who ask, "Are you alright?" as you're being violently ill, choking, or in a hospital emergency room.

It's like when you visit the doctors and it's NOT a physical or check up and they say, So! How are you doing? I always want to ask, "How many people, on hearing you ask that question, say 'Fine! I just popped by to see how YOU were doing! Must be off now!' and leave?"


#5: Okay, this one needs a bit of set-up... you go to a specific store... say a book store... and a clerk asks you... "Are you looking to buy a book?"... or, as another example, looking around a car lot... "You looking at buying a car?"

No, I just like aimlessly wandering around places like this hoping to prove that, indeed, one of the constants in the universe is severely dumb questions.


#4: (Said to me by a friend who "bumped into me" at a local restaurant at 6:30pm...) You here for Dinner?

No! I'm REALLY early for breakfast! The lineups here are so bad in the morning, you have to get here this early to ensure a table!

Bonus Point: I had someone ask me, at one of my sister's weddings, if I was at the church "for the wedding"... I was tempted to say, Why no! I'm only here because I was hoping for some wine and a wee cracker! Isn't that happening today?


#3: (After stubbing one's toe or the like...) Ooo! Did that hurt?

No! Not at all! I just love to dance and grimace like my native ancestors did... right now, the dance I'm doing is to call upon the Great Spirit to unleash a thousand blood-sucking ticks to infest your favourite pillow for asking truly stupid questions.


#2: (Coming home with a brand new Canon printer in a box from an electronics store...) Is that for your computer?

No, it's for my toaster oven... or the budgie cage... I'll decide when I get it home.


#1: (One that CAN drive me insane... but I realise that it's usually said with a smile and sincerity...) Have a nice day!

My stock and trade answers:

No, I've made other plans. - thanks Peter Ustinov
Great! Where can I get one? - thanks Groucho Marx


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/13/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 33 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wordless Wednesdays

Wordless Wednesday: Safety Last (1923)

Safety Last: Harold Lloyd (1923) Clip of the film (24 min.) below -

Sorry to those on "slow speed"... the video is pretty big.


For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants, please click here.


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/12/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 1367 words   English (CA)
Categories: Paranormal Stuff

Ghostly Documentaries = High Blood Pressure for me...

The scene: A hospital emergency room somewhere in Toronto... The players... two doctors and a 285lbs. corpse beneath the traditional blanket over the head...

Doctor One: Sure is weird, isn't it?

Doctor Two: Yeah. They found him... his fist through the television... it was a heart attack brought about through stress...

Doctor One: D'ya think this is how people will see it?

Doctor Two: Probably not... after all, the guy did look into spooks and spectres... and considering what he was watching...

Image superimposes on the screen of a newspaper... the headline... "GHOST INVESTIGATOR KILLED BY OBVIOUSLY CURSED TV SHOW"

Next scene: Two guys sitting in front of a computer screen...

Guy One: Yeah, I know that's what happened...

Guy Two: Get out!

Guy One: No! Seriously! He was watching "Most Haunted" and Derek Acorah scared him to death! Honest!

Fade to black...

Rant On!

Welcome to what I honestly believe COULD BE my post-mortem World!

Oh, the two guys... they are wrong... no, I wasn't scared to death... what happened was I finally popped a blood vessel, had a spontaneous stroke, and in a fit of rage, lashed out at my television set whilst expiring from an anger-induced heart attack.

Aside from my thoughts about "Most Haunted" and honestly, Derek Acorah, (which, I admit, mirrors this... although my venom is partially placated by knowing that Mr. Acorah is apparently a very nice person in person...) and I'd like to share something I wrote back in 2003 about the show...

Yvette Fielding - The host. Okay, lady, if you can't take the heat, get the HECK out of the kitchen! This woman goes into conniption fits at every damned location. Her histrionics are the stuff of comedy more than documentary! My goodness, if ghosts scare you this much, why are you on this show???? "I'd wet my pants if I ever saw a ghost! I think I'll go into this haunted castle and wander around in the dark!" For goodness sake, I realise that "selling soap" is important and that the producers probably see her screaming fits as "entertainment" but, let's be honest here, they're not much more than elaborate dramatics.

Of course, THIS and ALL THIS came to light not long after...

Anyway, neither Yvette and the show nor even Mr. Acorah will be the death of me...

I continued in 2003...

The "Parapsychologists". These are the guys (usually) that are supposed to be the science behind the stupidity. What credentials do these guys have? We're never told, but their hypothesis and theories are based on popular misconceptions more so than real science.

Then I could go on about their "evidence collection" techniques... Controls? Who needs those! I'm sorry, if I had a chance to perform actual study in some of these places for the amount of time they're given, I'd be VERY careful about my data collection as this would be an excellent chance to capture evidence... They don't seem to care... again, selling soap wins.

One show that really made me scream "FOUL!" is the one in a basement... I think and inn or pub... where they did an old Harry Price trick which is a really good and cheap way of possibly finding something... They took a piece of paper, and placed an object on it. Normally, this would be a coin and you'd check on the paper and coin later to see if it had been moved without "human intervention", but for dramatic effect, they used a crucifix. This would be bad enough, but there was a light at the end of this very dark, very silly tunnel... They trained a camera on it and abandoned it... and they teased during the show that they had indeed captured something with this experiment. I was excited... until... they ran the footage...

Indeed, the paper moved, but sadly enough, the camera angle DIDN'T show the whole paper and it was the paper that moved, not the cross. How do we know that there wasn't someone there tugging on an edge of the paper off camera? Answer: WE DON'T! ARRRGH!

Why didn't this man of investigation and science ensure that the camera caught all the entire scene and the entire paper? My honest guess, it was a hoax. More selling soap.

Oh yes... those who are SUPPOSED to be "colleagues" of mine... they will truly be the death of me.

What brings all this up?

Well, this weekend past, we watched a show about "Haunted Scotland" on TV... and the show busted out The Local Ghost Hunters to look around.

Armed with equipment of which they knew little, taking readings of which they knew less, using techniques of which they knew nothing, they ran about proclaiming every damned site they traipsed in to be The most haunted place in Scotland!

Earth to ghost hunters... as a RULE, only ONE place can be "The Most X" of all places that "X" applies to... but they had at least three... which begs the question... if we are to assume, as we must, that all the most haunted locations are equal as they all hold the same title, which one's are more equal than others?

...moving on... because although this was annoying, it wasn't stroke-inducing annoying...

No, that's reserved for their secret weapon... a woman in her forties or fifties with "many years experience" as a psychic... with a thick Scot's brogue... who is their resident psychic...

Now, I don't poop on all psychics... not at all... in fact, I've had some truly outstanding moments with psychics that I cannot properly explain... but in this case, oy ist vey!

You see, they went to a well known historic site that is also a well known historic haunt. Even I, back here in Toronto, Canada, knew of this site and it's tales...

BUT...

We were assured by her "team" that she knew NOTHING of this site... and OH MY! Watching her walk about and guess the reported origins of the ghosts was startling! She was practically batting a thousand!

I mean, just because her accent gave her away as a long-time Scot who proclaims psychic abilities and hangs out with ghost hunters, we KNOW that there was NO WAY that she could have POSSIBLY known about this site and it's legends... Nope! It just NEVER would have come up in conversation.

I mean, at a party, when she announced to the attending that she was a "psychic" who conversed with "ghosts", not ONE soul would have asked her about THIS FAMOUS LOCATION AND IT'S GHOST STORIES... no, that could never have happened.

If you didn't read the last bit with your internal voice DRIPPING with sarcasm, you don't understand me very well.

Aside from this, on other locations... most of them historic sites of Renaissance or pre-Renaissance era, she would almost always suggested that the ghost was "A woman and a baby... something to do with a baby... a tragedy..." and her team would "Oooo!" and "Ahhh!" with appropriate impressitude! (YES, I've just made that word up! Deal with it!)

Sue, being a bastion of common sense as always, pointed out...

Can you name a haunted castle or the like from that era that doesn't feature a tragic story about a woman and a baby?

Touché!

There's a way to ensure a GREAT ghost reading on a site like that... just start babbling about the "poor girl" and her baby... Pretty much a guarantee of 98% accuracy as to the legend... no matter WHERE you are!

Folks, I believe that weird things happen. I believe that some people show a startling ability in what seems to be an impossible area of human skill...

...and yes, I believe that some things deserve measuring and looking into properly...

...but I am so sick and tired of p!ss poor attempts by the yuckles they find for most documentaries.

I don't spend a lot of sleepless nights wondering why so few take our work seriously...

...and yeah, one day, the crapulence... it'll be the death of me.

...and YOU WATCH, the bad eggs will make my death some sort of "legend"... in their own mind.

As I often re-quote... The Stupid! It BURNS!!!

Rant Off!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/11/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 542 words   English (CA)
Categories: Doctor Who Fandom, Doctor Who Mondays - To get it out of my system...

Doctor Who Monday: Take a week off and...

You would think that waiting between now and Christmas for the return of the Cybermen would mean there's not much to report on "Whoville"... that things are quiet... that fans and crew are taking a wee break... well, save the folks filming the current Sarah Jane adventures... well, you would be a touch wrong.

The message boards and news sites are buzzing... mostly with news of the The RSC's Hamlet... starring David Tennant as the Danish Prince... and just happens to have Patrick Stewart playing Hamlet's rather questionable uncle.

Never seen Hamlet? Wanna see the OTHER RSC's version? Hey, never let it be said that YouTube I don't deliver! Enjoy!!!

Parte the Firste...

Parte the Seconde...

Parte the Thirde...

Parte the Fourthe (includes "Faster!" and "In Reverse!")...

Speaking of theatre, Catherine "Donna Noble" Tate is in the play Under The Blue Sky in London's West End... and making me feel an UTTER liar in the faith I put in Doctor Who fans not to act like utter twerps...

From Digital Spy...

Tennant showed his support for his former co-star by turning up for a performance this week, but was reportedly horrified when Who obsessives began singing the show's theme and waving sonic screwdrivers.

"Fans had heard he was going to watch former Doctor Who star Catherine, so they turned up in force, complete with props," a source told the Daily Star. "He was very charming and friendly with them during the interval, but he was rightly disgusted when they disrupted her performance by singing the show's music and waving their sonic screwdrivers.

"Catherine is a pro, so she ignored them. But David knew the only way to stop them was by getting up and leaving."

Yup, utter cretins...


Anyway, I should go to "actual" news about the show... and really, that consists mainly of two things...

#1: The title of the upcoming Christmas special is not Return of the Cybermen... but a secret... which, according to the soon-to-be-gone-from-Whodom Russell T. Davies is a three word title. Take that as you will.

#2: Stephen Moffat who is taking over for Mr. Davies has won a prestigious Hugo award for Blink... one of the BEST episodes in the new series by many accounts.

Oh, and speaking of that Christmas show... get ready for the hairy "Cybershades"... whatever that might be.


I suppose, since we are in that "slow period" waiting for things to come back up, I can share some rumours from the "Doctor Who Forum" like...

Donna Noble's return!

...Ace...

...and the eighth and seventh Doctor!

...the amazing John Simms as THE MASTER...

...and some form of The Rani...

...and the Sea Devils.

...and Jennifer Saunders in some capacity...

Are these writ in stone? Nope... but take 'em as you will.


Thanks as always to Sylvester McCoy's Unofficial Website and Outpost Gallifrey for the news this week...



This blog is a "fan blog" only... and not related to or in any way officially involved with the production of Doctor Who. Doctor Who is copyright © by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). No infringement intended. All images, texts, videos, or audio attachments are used assuming "Fair Use"/"Fair Dealing" and, if used here, may be removed at the request of the original copyright holder with limited notice.


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/10/08

Permalink 10:10:01 am, by Email , 503 words   English (CA)
Categories: Blog Your Blessings Sundays

Blog Your Blessings Sundays: Missions Accomplished!

I'm not sayin' who or why, but recently, a well known figure made the words Mission Accomplished seem a little tragically funny...

Now, now... do remember... any good soldier will tell you that you NEVER utter the phrase Mission Accomplished until all objectives have been met... which, when the world figure in question uttered them... well... let's just say I know several soldiers and they still aren't sure right now if indeed the mission is accomplished.

Anyway, what has this got to do with the price of bananas in Bolivia?

Last week, Sue really set out on her own mission... to completely re-code two of our websites into a new look and format. Basically, take them and re-invent them into a new type of site much easier for people to search through and find stuff...

To that end, she took a week off from "full time blogging" and put up "an image a day" only (for the most part,) on the blogs that are primarily her efforts... remind me sometime to tell you the one hassle she had during this week with a walking pantload from a website that I will not link to here, but would be similar in name to "Street Journey United States" (dot com) who was about as nice, business like, and genuinely understanding as most fine folks you find who work overtime at your local department of motor vehicles...

...anyway, where was I??? Oh yes, I was digressing...

During this week, Sue took literally hundreds of documents, re-coded them, and got them up on the new sites at breakneck speed... me? I did help in server set-up, new graphics, and generally trying to make "Tab A" fit properly into "Slot B", in a web-server kind of sense.

...the practical upshot is, after a scant week of really knuckling down, two of our (effectively) three websites are now "NEW" and up and running...

PSICAN.org and ParaResearchers.org.

Next up is a hybrid of TorontoGhosts.org and OntarioGhosts.org... but that will be done over the next few weeks...

For now, Sue and I are more-or-less absolutely basking in the two now completed works... and in an odd way, looking very much forward to the last one...

In this case, we only expected to complete two-thirds of our final goal... and we've succeeded... Mission Accomplished!

There is a genuine pride and genuine feeling of accomplishment at the reaching of these goals... and THAT'S what the blessing today is all about...

My blessing today is feeling accomplished.

It's a pretty short blessing, but one we can all understand... that feeling of setting a goal, working towards it, and then seeing and experiencing the final outcome.

Our goal this time was to convert two of our three websites... next is the last two websites combined into one...

After that, it's to finally get that derned bus we'ze bin tawken abowt!

...just kidding...

...perhaps... :)

____________________________________________

Blog Your Blessing Sundays is a creation of NeoBluePanther... who may or may not be the famed Luchador!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

Permalink 09:53:20 am, by Email , 253 words   English (CA)
Categories: Day Tripping & Travel

Travel Insurance & Graves Disease

This year our family's travel plans consisted of staying within the province of Ontario. We had a great time as you can see above splashing around in Lake Huron, BUT next year I think we would like to take advantage of the weak USA dollar and do some travelling through the eastern coastal states. We would also really like to visit with our friends Rick, and Bobbie in Virginia, and spend some time on their beaches as well :) This means travel health insurance is an absolute must have, particularly now that I have been diagnosed with Grave's disease and that has special travel health concerns attached to it. I do not want to risk ending up in a US hospital and bankrupting my family. :-/

So....during this cold rainy weekend here in Toronto I have been doing some insurance comparison shopping through Kanetix. Here is a screen shot:

Kanetix is NOT an insurance company. What it is is an online resource where you can get quotes, and includes many different types of insurance coverage. The site is very well set-up, and I have found it to be easy to use.

The best part is that this is a local company, which I personally prefer to support, and deal with. If you are Canadian, and in need of a one-stop insurance information, and quote resource check them out. In most cases you can just go ahead, and apply for coverage directly online. Very handy, and can save you bux $$$ by comparing offers. B)

Permalink 09:34:01 am, by Email , 211 words   English (CA)
Categories: Paranormal Stuff, Busly Saturdays

Two-Thirds Success!

C'mon, you missed me, didn't you?

Well, that was a fun five days of coding, building graphics, and generally trying to get things off the ground... and although I "officially" took five days sorta-kinda-maybe off, I did break radio silence once... but hey, we're done... at least, two-thirds of our work.

Sue really did the MASSIVE amount of effort on it... and now we've completely re-did...

PSICAN.org

...and...

ParaResearchers.org

Next is the joint sites of TorontoGhosts.org and OntarioGhosts.org which are pretty much intertwined so it's one job for the price of two websites.

So, it's a given that Sue will probably take another week (possibly more) off to finish them... but this time, I'm going to continue the ol' blog here as normal.

So, I hope you guys didn't mind the wee break in my content-a-mania blogging activities... all is back to normal... and there will be MORE to come as always!

...oh, and if you're interested in "things paranormal", have a boo at the NEW PSICAN.org and ParaResearchers.org and let Sue know what you think of her efforts... because although I did the coding and grunt work, the content is all about the Sue!

See you tomorrow for my "Blog Your Blessing" as always!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/08/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 116 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Five Days Off for Good Behaviour - Day Five

Sorry, no Friday Post this week... I've had to take five days off from "full time" blogging to look after some mutual projects of Sue's and mine... basically, a whackload of re-coding websites. That said, in place of simply saying "NO POSTS UNTIL SATURDAY", between today and Friday, (started Monday,) I'm posting up ONE classic "London Transport Museum Collection" poster per day.

Of course, I will still be loitering around... and if anything comes up that I absolutely MUST post about, I will... but for now, it's a poster a day to keep the blog-posting blues away!

My very special thanks to The London Transport Museum Collection for these images... and I hope you like them!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/07/08

Permalink 11:00:01 am, by Email , 116 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Five Days Off for Good Behaviour - Day Four

Sorry, no Thursday Thirteen this week... I've had to take five days off from "full time" blogging to look after some mutual projects of Sue's and mine... basically, a whackload of re-coding websites. That said, in place of simply saying "NO POSTS UNTIL SATURDAY", between today and Friday, (started Monday,) I'm posting up ONE classic "London Transport Museum Collection" poster per day.

Of course, I will still be loitering around... and if anything comes up that I absolutely MUST post about, I will... but for now, it's a poster a day to keep the blog-posting blues away!

My very special thanks to The London Transport Museum Collection for these images... and I hope you like them!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

Permalink 10:53:35 am, by Email , 188 words   English (CA)
Categories: Helping Hand Thursdays

Helping Hand Thursday - Parental Control Software

Yeah...yeah...I know we are supposed to be taking a few days off from blogging, but here it is Thursday, and I thought I would do a quick post on Internet Filtering Software or to be more specific a site that reviews these types of programs, and gives you a good heads up on bargains that are out there.

The youngest kiddo is almost thirteen, and now more than ever we monitor her internet usage along with utilising Internet Blocking Software so that we can rest a bit easier at the type of content she is coming in contact with. I cannot stress enough how important it is to use reliable Parental Control Software with kids even if they are only accessing the net in your presence.

If you are in the market for this type of software just click on one of the links above, and you can get some further info on different products like Net Nanny, how they are rated, pricing etc. The site is easy to use, and they also provide reviews on other net security products like anti - virus programs etc.

08/06/08

Permalink 12:00:10 am, by Email , 129 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Five Days Off for Good Behaviour - Day Three

Sorry, no TRUE Wordless Wednesday this week... although I did do a post today earlier today... still, I've had to take five days off from "full time" blogging 'full time' to look after some mutual projects of Sue's and mine... basically, a whackload of re-coding websites. That said, in place of simply saying "NO POSTS UNTIL SATURDAY", between today and Friday, (started Monday,) I'm posting up ONE classic "London Transport Museum Collection" poster per day.

Of course, I will still be loitering around... and if anything comes up that I absolutely MUST post about, I will... but for now, it's a poster a day to keep the blog-posting blues away!

My very special thanks to The London Transport Museum Collection for these images... and I hope you like them!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

Permalink 12:00:03 am, by Email , 1280 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

EGADS! I'm a BAD EXAMPLE!!!! (PLEASE DON'T GIVE UP BECAUSE OF US!!!!!!)

I'm breaking my scheduled radio silence to chime in on a very sad thing... that I hope to turn into a GOOD CHANCE for a possible new friend!

Wow... just wow... I don't know what to say... actually, I do... and I beg each and every one of you to read the following... I'll try to be brief.

While cruising through the "blogsphere" (notice, not the blogOsphere... because it's not a "blogo" and the world isn't an "osphere",) yesterday I came across not a blog as such, but a message forum that indeed, mentioned my name and this blog.

A forum members is trying to come up with some money for a trip... a trip that she cannot really afford (for reasons of debts outstanding and low income... sounds familiar...) but it's to "source out" (in person,) some data for her genealogy project... and she had mentioned trying to (effectively) ask people to help her out on a new "blog". She would publish all her "family findings" to date in an easy to read diary style and she hoped it would be enough for people to want to read more... and thus, help this "new potential blogger" out monetarily to see the trip through.

Well, on the forum, someone commenting back to her pointed to this blog... "One Old Green Bus"... and pointed out how we'd failed.

Oh, if you're new here... this link should explain all.

Anyway, the "commenter" did correctly (and very nicely) say that they regularly visited this here blog... and that they often re-visited to see how things were going... and they liked my writing (especially the funny bits... which makes me wonder, I was funny here somewhere? Wha!?!?!...)

The upshot was, according to this forum person, The Old Green Bus Blog Failed And So They Would Fail.

I sent an e-mail through the forum to this woman who is trying to raise the money and I wanted to share my sentiment here if I may...

We, that is to say, One Old Green Bus, did not fail... we gave up for a few reasons trying to find money through this blog, but we did not fail really.*

In fact, we did earn some money from friends and ventures... and although it wasn't enough for even a "hubcap" in many ways, several charities benefited from us giving that money to them when we did change tactics towards our dream... and who knows... we STILL keep things alive... and perhaps a corporate sponsor or a benevolent friend may yet see how much it would still mean to us and help us out...

The only thing we "stopped" doing is asking for help blatantly. If our "benefactor" finds us, GREAT! We'd STILL BE THRILLED!

...but if not, that's fine... we'll get by... and perhaps, when things improve even more (and they should!) we will see our dream to fruition ourselves!

Either way, HARDLY a failure really... just a simple "streamlining" in how we are working towards our goal.

Also, you're offering an interesting family history... good content, no doubt... on the hopes that people might wish to see that content continued and added to in the extreme!

We were asking for money for a truly odd thing... an old green bus.

Honestly now, which one might you be more inclined to help?

I can't promise "blogging success"... no one can... or that like the fellow with his "One Red Paper Clip", you'll be on a plane en route to history thanks to online efforts... that said, the only thing I can guarantee is failure if you don't try.

Don't let (name withheld) get you down... it's worth a try... and even if you only pot money for a cup of coffee once you reach "The Old Country", it's still something...

...and perhaps, as we apparently both are doing "okay" fiscally within our own means as far as basic living expenses, your "old bills" will be gone before you know it... and you'll be able to fund this yourself... with, as stated, a nice cappuccino bought for you by fellow bloggers and readers at the worst!

Hey, for what it's worth, I'll promote you on my blog when you're ready!

Also, you can look into the dreaded commercial blog posts... although people DO hate them, I found that most people would overlook them provided there was good content on both sides of a "paid post"... Most readers just want good content for their bandwidth... and provided it's not a "blog o' ads", you can make SOME extra money from these things.

Back to my lot... I'd hate to think of this blog as a legitimate failure... because it hasn't been yet... and may not be... and you, with your idea, shouldn't feel a failure coming on out of the gate!

Like I said, go for it! The only guarantee of absolute failure is not trying!

...and who knows... maybe we'll see your plane fly over our old green bus!

* - Okay, I want to remind people WHY we stopped "begging" REALLY... briefly...

First, like I said, we HAVEN'T given up on the bus... what we have done is stopped "begging"... and asking for help.

The REAL reason is that to see our dream come true was a touch more important when the kiddollo was younger... and now, she's a precocious pre-teen with the beginnings of the standard teenaged cynicism in place.

After MANY "near misses" with people saying they'd help... but then no real progress would be made... her cynicism was growing at an alarming rate... and so, I decided to put the breaks on things.

That, and although the last time there was a "near miss", she DID get very excited about the prospect of our bus... it was quickly nullified by the fear that this would be something awful in her friend's eyes.

Ergo: The dream INDEED continues... we DO hope to own our "Old Green Bus"... or even ANY old double-decker... and our "feelers" are still out there... and yeah, I'll admit it... we're still in NO position fiscally to consider doing it on our own and NEED assistance... but the public part of the trying has ended.

Does that make sense?

...SO, what I'm trying to say is...

I was really hoping in many ways that this blog WOULD spur people to put their dreams out there... to see if someone might help them... to DARE to dream and ASK for help in achieving what might be thought impossible... and even though this blog MAY have shifted, our dream is still here... on this blog AND in our hearts and minds... and NO ONE should EVER not try just because we weren't able to make things happen quick enough.

For goodness sake, do NOT see our "dream" as a failure... and NEVER give up on your own dreams using us... or ANYONE as a "yard stick" to measure probability of success.

If you can dream it... if you WANT it... you CAN make it happen.

WE WILL OWN AN OLD DOUBLE-DECKER BUS! You watch!

So, if you're thinking about it... please... TRY! (...and try hard!)

Oh, and since I did invite that would-be blogger to read this... check my archives for ideas. I did learn SOME things while trying to do this... and I'm VERY happy if these are passed along to someone!

REGULAR READERS... and newbies here... When this "new blogger" gets going, I'll share the URL (once they've set it up,) and their name with everyone... but right now, I've sent them an e-mail... I haven't heard back... and until I do, I don't want to "force" anything on this potential new blogger.


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/05/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 116 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Five Days Off for Good Behaviour - Day Two

Sorry, no Tuesday Post this week... I've had to take five days off from "full time" blogging to look after some mutual projects of Sue's and mine... basically, a whackload of re-coding websites. That said, in place of simply saying "NO POSTS UNTIL SATURDAY", between today and Friday, (started Monday,) I'm posting up ONE classic "London Transport Museum Collection" poster per day.

Of course, I will still be loitering around... and if anything comes up that I absolutely MUST post about, I will... but for now, it's a poster a day to keep the blog-posting blues away!

My very special thanks to The London Transport Museum Collection for these images... and I hope you like them!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/04/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 115 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Five Days Off for Good Behaviour - Day One

Sorry, no "Doctor Who Monday" this week... I've had to take five days off from "full time" blogging to look after some mutual projects of Sue's and mine... basically, a whackload of re-coding websites. That said, in place of simply saying "NO POSTS UNTIL SATURDAY", between today and Friday, I'm posting up ONE classic "London Transport Museum Collection" poster per day.

Of course, I will still be loitering around... and if anything comes up that I absolutely MUST post about, I will... but for now, it's a poster a day to keep the blog-posting blues away!

My very special thanks to The London Transport Museum Collection for these images... and I hope you like them!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/03/08

Permalink 10:48:02 am, by Email , 158 words   English (CA)
Categories: Paranormal Stuff, "Living" History - Historical Re-enactment

QUICK NOTICE: To PSICAN, Torontoghosts, Ontarioghosts, IMUC, and ParaResearchers Readers...

PLEASE NOTE: If you came here right now to read the "Blog Your Blessing" post, it's here... below this notice...



FOR READERS OF THE WEBSITES...

...and their related sites/sub-sites... including "The Paranormal Blog"...

These sites are currently down as our server company, in their infinite wisdom, has decided with no real notice, to completely rebuild our servers. This was SUPPOSED to have taken about 8 hours last night... but it's been almost twelve now... sadly, there's little we can do an we do apologize for the "downtime".

Our websites SHOULD be up at some point during the day.

...or, I will be being charged with some form of seemingly senselessly violent act in Florida against an internet service provider.

Thanks for your continued patience in these matters.

Update: 11:47am EDT The web servers are up now. E-Mail and FTP are still down... Sorry for any inconvenience.


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 437 words   English (CA)
Categories: Blog Your Blessings Sundays

Blog Your Blessing Sunday: Joint Efforts and Projects

If you're a reader of both Sue's and my blogs, you know that Sue is on a semi-sabbatical away from full time blogging to concentrate on some other work of ours... Which should beg the question, Why aren't you helping, Matthew?

Well, funny you should ask... because I am going to help.

For the next five days, I too am taking some "blogging time off"... at least, from doing as much blogging as I normally do, to concentrate on helping Sue with some coding and graphics... during which time, to kinda ensure there's a decent reason for coming around to this blog still, I'm going to post one goodly "old double-decker bus photo" per day Monday through Friday... and pick up where I'm leaving off (concentrating a touch more on blogging,) come Saturday. If something leaps up and BEGS to be blogged about, I'll jump in... but for now, it's one picture per day until Saturday.

NOW, I hear you ask, how is this a blessing... apart from taking time off from full-time blogging?

Easy!

The job we're doing is re-coding all our paranormal websites... Sue's and mine... and our joint projects.

You see, Sue was looking into Things Paranormal before we met... as was I... and we met and started our initial friendship through our mutual interest and work in the study.

...are you beginning to see the blessing?

Something we both enjoy and take seriously that we share... but our backgrounds bring unique views and takes to.

Once, while on the phone with another paranormal enthusiast, they heard Sue and Bantering... and it dawned on them and they said it out loud... You guys really live this stuff, don't you?

Well, no, it's not our whole lives... but it's a mutual interest, mutual project, and we both respect the other's point of view in a big way.

To that end, it's been a wonderful thing that we share... and love doing... and love even moreso as we're doing it together.

I know many couples like this... not in the field of study we're in... a mutual love of antiques... a mutual love of history... a mutual love of camping... many things to share with their significant other.

My blessing today is Mutual Loves with the One You Love.

Having a special interest or love is wonderful and fulfilling... but being able to share it makes it all the more grand!

...and I am a truly blessed fellow!

Now, off to spend a few days re-coding some websites!

____________________________________________

Blog Your Blessing Sundays is a creation of NeoBluePanther... who may or may not be the famed Luchador!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/02/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 599 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Hoping For a Miracle or Looking For the Train Wreck?

Ever since saying that the ol' blog here would no longer be a "begging blog" to help us realise our dream, there's been a couple of different reactions that are difficult to overlook...

The first is the rather welcome lack of questionable mail and messages (and occasional "comment",) accusing us of many of all the world's ills. As stated though, this is a very welcome thing and not "overlooking" the sudden lack of need to justify ourselves has been very nice.

The next has been a drop off in traffic. Hits are down (according to our stats,) about 15% to 20% overall... which is a bit concerning... but it begs a question...

Why were we more popular when we were begging for help to get a bus?

According to many sources "back in the day", people were staying away in DROVES because of our consistent "marketing" of our dream to grab the "One Old Green Bus" and it was turning people off right, left, and centre...

...and yet... 15% to 20% drop off now that the blog is a generic "blog"... or as generic as this blog is.

You might not agree but I have two ideas for this decrease in traffic...

The Train Wreck Hypothesis...

Is it because without us trying, there's no chance for massive failure? The "train wreck" won't happen, so what's the point of reading our missives?

The Peanut Gallery Hypothesis...

Is it because we had a large contingent hoping we WOULD make it... kinda like a "Blogger Makes Good" thing... the "Happy Ending" scenario...

Personally, I'd say the 150 to 300 people that are no longer coming here each day (we're currently averaging about 700 to 850 hits per day,) because of a mix of the two things above.

Now, I do have a LOYAL "Bus Enthusiast" crowd who come here because they know I'll post up information (when I get it,) about double-deckers... and I do have our blogging friends and still get hits from things like Blog Soldiers and BlogMad... but a chunk of people have stopped stopping by and I suspect it's one of the two reasons above.

Judging by my past correspondence with folks, I'd say the "hopefuls" outnumber the "hoping for a disaster" folks by a good tick, but the numbers indicate that it's a bit of both.

...or is it something else?

Now, I ain't gonna lie to you folks... the dream is a long way from dead... and it STILL gets discussed in "real life" at the old homestead and despite the growing pre-teen cynicism which is what truly buried the pleading on this blog, we're STILL hoping to find a way to get our bus... or right now, any (old double-decker) bus... this is why yesterday's post was so "heart felt".

...but we're not "begging" anymore...

STILL, allow me to point something out to that old crowd that's stopped visiting...

We STILL could get our bus... and TRUST ME ON THIS ONE, if we do, you'll see some serious "Whooping it up" on the ol' blog here... and I still believe people will be genuinely happy for us.

On the other hand, we could still FAIL... and those that want to can REVEL in our FAILITUDE!

Kinda a win-win for those missing readers, n'est pas?

So, if you're hoping for Internet Family with Kooky Bus Dream Makes Good Online stuff... or are hoping for Sobbing Idiots Lose Bus Dream - Look Like Utter Morons stuff... you might just see it here!

Hey, I just hope you're reading all this stuff... otherwise, I'm typing a lot to a very limited and possibly rather disinterested audience!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

08/01/08

Permalink 01:41:34 pm, by Email , 233 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

What An Award Winning Blog This Is!

On the cusp of taking a five-day sabbatical of sorts to work on other projects, I was just given a VERY nice award from Penelope Anne over at The Café at the End of the Universe saying I'm a "Blue Ribbon Blogger"!

Being the humble bloke that I really am, normally I don't broadcast awards, but this one I'll take! Thanks, Penelope Anne... but I am concerned... JUST as you tell your readers about what how this blog is a "joy to read day in and day out from his special Dr. Who posts, to his hilarious meme posts", I'm skipping out for five days (starting Monday) to re-code a bunch of my old websites! (More on that on my "Blog Your Blessing Sunday" coming up...)

That said, there WILL be posts every day during this break (gotta love time-stamping work!) and I will be "about" (but not "full time",) my original content is going to falter a wee bit next week.

So, to those fans of The Café at the End of the Universe, I apologise in advance... and promise the FOLLOWING week will be a touch more... um... "content filled" on this here blog.

Oh, and not to worry... there will be a "normal" post tomorrow, a blessing on Sunday... and THEN I start my coding jobs.

Thanks again to the Sassy Mama Bear... I'll wear my blue ribbon with pride! :)


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

Permalink 12:00:02 am, by Email , 348 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Regrets? I've had a few...

I've been holding this one back for a few days now... but here's a question that will probably mean more to regular readers of this here blog than newbies... but fear not, I'll explain as BRIEFLY as possible...

QUESTION: Who was recently offered a gig looking after (helping maintain) a Routemaster in Toronto and even a chance to drive it about for "special occasions"?

ANSWER: Me.

So, woo-hoo! This is GREAT news, right?

Um, no... and it killed me to have to make a snap decision on this, but I had to decline the offer... for two reasons.

#1: Although it would be very damned close to the ol' dream coming true... and give me probably the "first dibs" on a spectacular Routemaster when things had finished, the current "day-job" would not really allow it... and, worse yet, I have to balance something that may freak a few people who STILL think "The Dream" is a frivolous thing out... the truth is maintaining our home and family as is must come before any "dream".

#2: I don't have a bus license. In Ontario, in order to drive the vehicle, I'd need a special driver's license... and although I have no qualms about getting this, it would take time... and see #1 about that.

On a positive note, thanks to my "fandom" of these things, I was able to assist the company doing this in finding their bus and, hopefully, I've given them a contact who either will work with them or find them someone who can... and I have and WILL continue to support, promote, and offer any assistance to this company I can... and at least there will be a new Routemaster rolling about the streets of Toronto...

Still, OUCH...

Don't think ill of me... I (and "we",) still hold the dream... we play our $10 worth of lottery tickets per week and try to STILL think of new revenue streams and even ideas... but right now, to even take on a part-time job that would need a month or so "full time" training... can't do it.

Perhaps another day... *Sigh*


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

D O.U.O.S.V.A.V.V. M
Et In Arcadia Ego

IMPORTANT NOTICE:


October 28th, 2009

See the "latest post" on the left here... I've decided to concentrate on other work so this blog is kinda done for me... THANKS kindly to my friends and regular readers... and as you'll note, I am still loitering in the blogsphere... and I'm still online... and I honestly haven't given up hope that we will get our dream bus one day! (We've just gotten REALLY quiet about it...)

My Disclosure Policy For Sponsored Posts

Blog-Gone! Thanks for reading!

As of October 28th, 2009, this blog went inactive... basically, the blogger here has moved on to bigger and better...

Please Note: As of October 28th, 2009, I am not maintaining any of these links...

Looking for RV info? Check out phred Tinseth's Poop Sheets on Phrannie.Org

The Toronto Ghosts and Hauntings Research Society

ParaResearchers

Paranormal Studies and Investigations Canada

Virtually Strange Network

The Paranormal Blog

From The Desk Of...

My Clan - The Carlyles

Please Note: As of October 28th, 2009, I am not maintaining any of these links...

PSICAN Message Board

Outpost Gallifrey

Find-a-Death

BBC News

VERY COOL! Big Green Bus Site

Solar Toronto - University of Toronto Team

Friends

Please Note: As of October 28th, 2009, I am not maintaining any of these links...

Abandoned Stuff

Bill Blunt

Buck Naked Politics

Café at the End of the Universe

Christie St. Martin @ LA Times

The Creative Nerd

Driller's Place

Exhausticated

A Gentleman's Domain

The Gnostic World of Candy Minx

Gone With The Wenns Another double-decker bus dream coming to fruition!

High Strangeness Altoona

The Hot Dog Truck

Hydra

I Can Has Cheezburger

Imaginary Magnitude

Incoherent-ish

Jump in the Ocean

Warren Kinsella

Life At The Edge

Life at Star's Rest

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Mad Gringo

Marketing Whore

Moonlight Becomes Me

Motherhood Metamorphosis

Motivated Motion

Musings of Khlari

Northview Diary

One More Word

Pointless Drivel

RealTalk - Biggus Sissus (My Big Sister)

The Spicy Cauldron

Texas RV Travel: USAer Blog

Travels of Stacey

UltraMantis Black

Utenzi Blog

Wandering Coyote

Live from Waterloo

Waterfalls' Paranormal Life

Weird Cake: Treats from a Bipolar Mind

Window in the Web

Writing in Faith

Yarn Harlot

Yellowdog Granny

Please Note: As of October 28th, 2009, I am not maintaining any of these links...

Canada Blog Friends

d bImBo WiF D tWiSt

The DeSmog Blog

Dumpdiggers

Fear And Loathing - The Gonzo Papers

Stephen Fry

Home & Business Interest

Lance Storm

The Lives and Times of Anthony McCunee

New York Traveller

Planet Gallifrey

Pointless Directives

Raymi the Minx

Reflections of Time

Jim Ross

Stacie's Blog

If you're looking to make a little coin from your blog, I whole heartedly recommend Blogsvertise! They've been EXCELLENT and have paid nicely without issue!

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