Ex Pervs

To defeat the Delta Variant and other variants that may arise, experts recommend doing all of the things that didn’t work the first time (Babylon Bee);

And…experts also warn that there are only nine years left until we have to change the timeline again to the climate change catastrophe;

Experts also warn that ridges of high pressure, now commonly known as heat domes, will occur again and again in the summer time…the horror of it all;

Experts also warn that summer will arrive 21 June every year until they say it will not;

And winter will come 21 December every year and last for…..tad da….three months;

Experts also warn that polar vortexes, or what used to be known as cold snaps, are here to stay in the winter time for many years to come…oh the horror of that all;

Expervs also state that wearing specially fitted trench coats for dirty old men is a human right;

Experts are also saying that the Covid 19 vaccine will not prevent…the flu…or the measles;

Experts also state that standing on one leg and jumping around for 15 minutes a day will prevent the spread of Covid 19;

Experts also say that playing “Imagine” everyday will prevent Covid 19  from spreading anywhere; and

Experts say that if the recommendations of Dr Fauci leave a bad taste in your mouth then take a Dr. Pepper.

 

A picture of Dr Fauci is at the beginning of this post so I thought the following picture to end it would be apropos:

See the source image

 

Whew, what would we do without experts.

 

SJ…Out

 

 

 

At Sea

Love this. An excerpt from a book I am working on:

And it was. A two day feast of delectable and juicy Mahi Mahi. I took the helm so Nigel could clean it and prepare it for dinner. Out of nowhere a host of sea birds – Frigates, Cormorants and Gannets – found themselves flying in a raptured, frantic state as Nigel threw the Mahi Mahi innards over the side and into to the wake astern. After a frenzied feeding the birds disappeared as magically as they appeared, except one. That bird claimed a spot on the starboard yardarm of the main mast. He would remain there off and on for our entire voyage. We named him (or her) “Freddy” the Frigate Bird.

We finally fell into a routine. One day, one night fell into the next, and the next, and the next. Before long we didn’t know what day it was, or night. You would think one would be bored out here. There was no visual stimulation to be had except for the unbroken horizon all around us. There was nothing to see or feel except for the fluid motion of the surface of the sea.  The night sky was dark and brooding, mysterious and frightening, especially during the moonless night. During the day there was nothing except blue skies, a blue sea, fair weather puffy, or brilliantly white, towering cumulus clouds. There was the constant spray from our bow wave and a short foaming wake that sparkled and glimmered like diamonds in the heat and intensity of the noon day sun. Nothing to see or feel, you say? You must be bored out of your mind? Oh but you would be sooo wrong about that.

Years later, in the Navy, I was surprised by the fact that many of the sailors, the lower deckers, non officers, were from the prairies. Why? The endless sea reminded them of home: the big sky, the limitless horizons, the undulating prairie grass or the soft sweep and sway of a wheat field as it comes alive in an afternoon draught of wind or a zephyr. I could relate to that.

SJ…Out

Weather vs Climate Change

See the source image

July 29, 1916 began as a hot, dry, hazy day in the northern Ontario town of Matheson. Despite the smoke in the air, residents went about their usual Saturday morning chores—the smell of burning wasn’t unusual in the tiny settler village, built along the new Temiskaming railway line. Encouraged by the government to set up homesteads, European immigrants cleared the land by burning the dense brush. With no rain for weeks, several small fires on the outskirts were already beginning to grow, but the townspeople had no reason to believe anything was out of hand.

It morphed into the largest forest fire in Canadian History: Sound familiar?;

 

See the source image

The Great Galveston hurricane, known regionally as the Great Storm of 1900, was the deadliest natural disaster in United States history and the fifth-deadliest Atlantic hurricane overall. The hurricane left between 6,000 and 12,000 fatalities in the United States; the number most cited in official reports is 8,000. Most of these deaths occurred in and near Galveston, Texas, after storm surge inundate…The city of Galveston was effectively obliterated. Six Canadian Provinces suffered severe damages.

The deadliest natural disaster in US history: Sound familiar?;

 

The great European Flood of 1953 where over 2100 people lost their lives: Sound familiar?;

 

See the source image

 

Severe drought, hottest decade on record and a dust bowl in Canada and the US that lasted over 10 years: the 1930s. Sound familiar?

See the source imageSee the source image

It is not climate change, it is weather. Stop with the BS.
SJ…Out

The Rideau Canal

A change of pace. This is a poem I wrote back in 2005. It tells the story of the building of the Rideau Canal of eastern Ontario, between Ottawa and Kingston Ontario. It was built in response to American aggression that led to the War of 1812. Hope you enjoy it.

You can support my literary efforts by purchasing one of my books above. Kindle is cheap…about $3.99 whereas hard copy is $24.95. Click on the links above or do a search by title at Amazon.ca or Amazon.com….thanks….John aka shakeyjay.


The Rideau Canal

 

The curtain does fall so majestic and proud

Such a natural wonder, so gracious a shroud

As if a powerful train of glory descends

As a continuous fall at the Outaouais end

 

A fire alights from the south it did spread

To the north like a plague through its heart it has bled

With a mawkish like cry for freedom and joy

But freedom’s best chance was a fraudulent ploy

 

From a flicker of flame to a firestorm bred

Death escalates through a life cycle of dread

And taming this shrew with its penchant for blood

Was a foolish man’s bait for poor Madison’s club

 

Yet the fire would spread in a harrowing scene

From a spark it would roar with a devilish scream

From Niagara on east, to a Forty Mile Creek

To a nondescript farm and a Chateauguay sneak

 

From Queenstown to Lundy, Detroit and the Thames

The Boxer and Enterprise, surrender of Maine

Through Ohio and Plattsburg, to a Moravian town

The war it did rage for Miss Liberty’s crown

 

Cities would fall and the towns they would burn

First Newark then York; it was Washington’s turn

War’s firebrand eyes thrust farther to yield

And finally burn in an Orleans field

 

What came but a draw in this foolish man’s quest

For power and glory are such meaningless guests

Whatever the gain from the lives that were lost

For the hawkish bent men who lied at great cost

 

And the curtain still fell, so majestic and proud

As if sensing the chaos, so soothing its sound

Like the rapturous strains of a torrent, transcends

To emerge as a call at the Outaouais end

***

The years fell away and the anger did wane

Rush-Baggot had calmed such a petulant strain

An American age brought prosperity’s peace

As a confidant pace of change was unleashed

 

But the land to the north so upright and proud

Was paranoid still to the south’s freedom sound

A country that cried for security’s calm

Yet stands all alone ‘gainst a threatening psalm

 

But this land full of lakes and rivers and streams

Was a natural course for a military dream

For fear set in stride a magnificent quest

To build a canal that was strategically blessed

 

While the mighty St Laurence was a natural draw

It was fraught with real danger from its rapid rock falls

And upstream it ran from a thunderous roar

Too close to the south with its threatening core

 

And the Ottawa ran to St Laurence’s call

To strike from the north and a western landfall

An historical route that opened the west

Where the traders would meet at the curtain for rest

 

Yet two rivers did run from a common high ground

To the south and the north from Lake Rideau their sound

From the shallows and falls through the marshes and swamps

From King’s town to Wright’s town, two rivers as one

 

To build a canal through this wilderness screams

Of a madness and curse of the military’s dream

A task so immense, so daunting and brash

That only the British could fathom this task

 

But the British did find a man of the Corp

A Wellington man from the Peninsular War

A man who had held the Canadian Shield

So right for this task with indefatigable zeal

 

John By was a Colonel and a leader of men

Ahead of his time and a genius, well bred

An engineer’s man with a passionate streak

For simplicity’s beauty with its functional tweaks

 

With orders to build a navigable path

From the Outaouais south to Ontario’s wrath

To rise from a bay named the Entrance – way crept

Up flight after flight, like some nautical step

 

A plan was developed and contracts were signed

Engineering so simple with symmetrical lines

Pure genius at work with a heavenly hand

To guide and instruct a magnanimous man

 

With Drummond and Redpath, Phillips, MacKay

Canadian contractors, strong men of their day

These artists of stone were men of their word

So forthright and loyal to the Colonel’s accord

 

The sappers and miners and mason’s stones lay

Stonecutters and woodmen, all of the trades

For comfort, their spirit; their love of the crown

Romantic and colourful, these men of the realm

 

But the marvelous work that was soon to unfold

Was dependent upon the poor labourer’s code

The back wrenching work to clear out the land

And dig such a ditch with just spades in their hands

 

Such men from hard times, forever were cursed

To fight for survival and work through their thirst

Through backbreaking strains as their calloused hands scream

As they toiled and they toiled for this military dream

 

The Frenchmen held sway with their skill and savvy

So noble these men and their role as navvies

Independent of mind with a will to succeed

Just pride in their work and their songs and their deeds

 

But an Irishman’s fate to arrive at this place

To rescue one’s life from some wretched like fate

The scourge of the earth in the Englishman’s eye

Forgotten at home, they severed all ties

 

For a pestilence spread to drive them afar

From an emerald isle to this devil’s back yard

Though beauty may rest on the eye from beyond

A hellish nightmare was reality’s song

 

Just rags on their backs with their wives by their side

With children so weak from starvation and pride

A thousand would fall from a dengueish like hue

And die from this work’s laborious flu

 

Poor brothers would cry as their graves had been marked

So blind to the danger and the peril from sparks

As the powder was set with a magical link

Their lives were extinguished from the death blast’s cruel drink

 

Yet the lakes and the streams, swift water, rock falls

Were captured and tamed by this engineer’s call

Magnificent feats what By had achieved

In this harsh, hellish wilderness was hard to conceive

 

The entrance way blessed by a protestant prayer

The first stone was set by John Franklin with care

Not mindful as yet that his greatness was cast

To die in the Arctic from an arctic cold blast

 

The curse of Hog’s Back; an Isthmus scourge

The tranquility of Chaffey’s; Long Island was purged

At Burritt’s and Black, these rapids were tamed

And Merrickville’s beauty, a religious refrain

 

With names like Poonamalie, with its cedar incense

An Indian aura in a wilderness sense

Opinicon’s names and a Cranberry fog

The curse of the labourer to die in this bog

 

The dam at the falls known locally as Jones

Is a testament still to its magnificent stone

Block upon block in a crescent like stance

Like a rampart of genius or an engineer’s dance

 

The work underway, six years to progress

The locks were completed and the dams were well dressed

Through steamy hot summers, through sweat and death’s fear

Through winter’s ice jams; hell’s nightmare those years

 

The locks and the dams, wastewater and weirs

The cut at the entrance, eight steps to the piers

The breadth of this work remains unfathomable, sealed

As a masterpiece set in the Canadian Shield

***

The threat from the south was all but contained

For the status quo boundary was all that was gained

From the firestorm set in those years long ago

Extinguished for good as a friendship would grow

 

Poor tragedy’s mark on this cornerstone lay

On the heart of a man who held the Rideau at bay

Called back by a King who questioned his deed

A question of funds from some zealot to heed

 

An inquiry would set the tone through the years

To diminish By’s feats; he was ignored by his peers

His spirit would die from his countrymen’s chill

And not from the bog or the Isthmus ills

 

Yet his legacy flows for our nation to see

A wonderment still, a magnificent deed

To balance such beauty with a functional stream

Through a Canadian wilderness with just minimal means

 

But the jewel in the crown of this engineer’s quest

Was not the canal or his technical best

For a town had been born in the Outaouais scene

In this land full of lakes and rivers and streams

 

By the Barracks Hill shanty near the Sapper’s stone bend

A magnificent tower of peace would ascend

From a lower town swamp to an upper town’s view

A great city would grow with great values imbued

 

For this capital’s crown of achievement remains

From the peaceful green flow of the Rideau, contained

The seeds of a city and a national theme

To build a great country with the freedom to dream

 

And the curtain still falls, so majestic and proud

Like a sentinel’s call or a passionate bow

For the genius who toiled on the Outaouais scene

And left such a mark with this beautiful stream

 

Rideau: French for curtain

Outaouais: Ojibwa for Ottawa region

(C) 2005


Thought for the day:

When everything is racist then nothing is racist.


SJ…Out

Father Knows Best

Continuing on from yesterday’s post, another excerpt from my first crack at writing a novel: I Thought I’d Died and Gone To Heaven. You can support my effort in purchasing a copy. Click on the link above and / or check out my other two attempts at being an author. Every little bit helps this poor Canadian author.


In today’s vernacular, what had just occurred was all shock
and awe for the rest of us. We were agape, our mouths wide
open, our eyes and minds in disbelief at what we had just seen,
witnessed, and processed. “Holy shit,” these words being
mouthed in silent unison. This was going to be really different
from elementary school and all that the nuns could ever muster.

This was not corporal punishment but major pain. Now I understand
the reasoning and the escalation of pain from the Sacrament
of Confirmation through our elementary days to high
school. Sister Mary Bernice’s punishment would pale in comparison
to Father Stack’s ingenuity and that of the other priests and
priests in waiting here. Nevertheless, it was considered a natural
progression of discipline in the overall Catholic scheme of things
and a transition from the rudimentary slap on the face by the
priest during the Sacrament of Confirmation, to the more classic
Catholic penance of major punishment and pain for the slightest
transgression. Self-sacrifice, flagellation, for better or for
worse. Whoa!

Thank God again for the geniuses at Hilroy. They produced a
school classic in the “Hilroy Scribbler.” These innocuous-
looking writing books were an essential part of any student’s
toolbox at St Basil’s Catholic private high school for boys. They
had an important role to play in the classrooms of St Basil
Catholic private high school for boys and the survival of its
students’ backsides. Flexible and malleable, these scribblers were
more than just a tool of record. No, they provided the perfect foil
against Father Stack’s unique method of class management and
control. Not knowing who or what might set Father Stack off
during any given class or who might find themselves at the
receiving end of his methodology of good order and discipline, it
was absolutely prudent that one protected oneself appropriately.
Consequently, prior to entering his classroom and domain, it was
necessary to stuff one or two of those scribblers down the rear of
one’s pants. Personally I preferred just one as two or more scribblers
were difficult to control. They would separate, move
around, or slide down one side or the other, especially after
sitting down on them during his discourse. Any one of us could
be caught and snared into his devilish trap so it was absolutely
essential that these binders worked but in a stealthy kind of way
as we did not want Father Stack to have any inkling that his
punishment was being met with some resistance and was therefore
ineffective. The nice thing about these Hilroy scribblers is
that they could conform to the contours of one’s backside. Even
bending over, and we did test this out, they were difficult to
detect. The tails of our blazers overlapped the upper portion of
our backsides to such an extent that, on closer inspection, the
outline of the hard spine of the binder could not be seen. It was
even better if one’s trousers were baggy in the crotch area.

This stroke of adolescent ingenuity and genius only worked
once, I’m afraid. Thinking back, it was insane for us to believe
we could outsmart these priests and their corporal ways. They
had seen it all before and no amount of creative effort on our part
could outsmart them. When they did discover our inspired inventiveness
and resourcefulness, the punishment only got worse. At
least Father Stack had a sense of humour about the whole thing:
smirking and chuckling as he was giving it out whenever we
were found out. Yet after awhile, after few months of suffering, it
became evident that Father Stack’s bite was worse than his bark.
We began to respect him, enjoy his lectures, and admire his way
of expressing himself. While we were constantly trying to
outsmart him in a juvenile sort of way by playing with his form
of corporal punishment, he never belittled us or made us feel
insignificant. Funny too, as with the feeling of being recognized
by an adult by the use of your first name, it felt really great when
Father Stack would dispatch one of us to the local corner smoke
shop during class to pick him up a carton of smokes. Keep the
change, he would often say. You had the sense that you were
trusted and respected by him. Over the course of the school year,
each and every one of us made that trek across the street to the
smoke shop to get him that carton of Camels. Good thing he was
a chain smoker.

There always existed a bit of cat and mouse play in Father
Stack’s class. We would attempt to mitigate our circumstances by
trying to undermine the tool of his trade. More than once we
addressed that bookcase by placing a multitude of objects on the
empty shelf. To no avail. He would just go over to the bookcase
and with a broad sweep of his arm scatter everything that was on
that shelf over a wide expanse of the classroom floor, then carry
on. The poor sod who was the victim of the day would then have
to clean up the mess after he received his punishment. We even
tried to hide the shelf itself. He was nonplussed about that
because, to our consternation, he would somehow produce an
exact replica of the delinquent shelf. Our most daring bit of espi-
onage was to nail the shelf into its cradle, doing so before class
and before the great inquisitor arrived. This worked to some
degree but was again thwarted. Quite ominously as it turned out.
For when Father Stack went over to grab the shelf in his
customary fashion, the shelf would not budge. But the resulting
flash of his kinetic energy caused the entire bookcase to come
crashing down, missing him by a hair’s breadth. The cacophony
of the resulting noise attracted some of the other priests in the
adjacent classrooms to come running. He just waved them off.
More importantly and more ominously for him, the action and
momentum of his arms was suddenly squelched. The causal effect
on Father Stack was equally momentous as the energy released
was oriented toward him and his entire body mass. This was unexpected
and resulted in an unflattering predicament as he found
himself off balance, falling, and landing squarely on his ass. We
were all shocked, fit to be tied, and laughed ourselves silly.
Fortunately Father Stack was not hurt except for a toss of
wounded pride. To his credit and our growing admiration for
him, he got up, brushed himself off, and continued the lecture
without missing a beat. The poor lad who was about to be the
focus of this latest cause and effect sauntered slowly and
cautiously back to his seat for he was still unsure of the consequences
to occur to him as a result of this latest student transgression.
Nothing. The next day the bookcase was back in its normal
state, the middle shelf intact, empty as always. We did have a
short respite but, in time, we were, and he was, back to our
normal selves and our normal state of affairs. We did detect that
there seemed to be a hint of mutual respect in the air in his
manner of teaching because the punishment never seemed to be
as harsh as it was at the start of the year. The whacks were bit
more subdued. Father Stack always seemed to chuckle as he was
giving it out as if to say to all of us:

“Hey, you may have won that battle, good on you, but you
will never win this war.”

Over time Father Stack met a woman, fell in love, and even
got married. He was then excommunicated.


Thought for the day:

If things need to be so diverse, why is diversity breaking up my country.

Leave well enough alone.


More of the blues: Moody Blues

SJ…Out