Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sore Leg and broken bones

I had a recurring problem since May, 2006. The final diagnosis was a herniated disc, L5, lower back. How the final diagnosis was made is an epic of Odyssean proportions. I had pain in my knee for several months. It was inconsequential. In July, while walking the dogs, I could not move up King Street. It was as if my knee welded shut. Off to my physician, Dr. Cameron. Unfortunately he was on vacation so I saw his partner. She said I was getting bow-legged and needed arch supports. That should have helped. I went to "O My Sole" for some arch supports and they pointed me to a physiotherapy clinic down the mall. I went in, made an appointment, was prodded and poked, and was told I had weak shin muscles. The report was sent to Dr. C. I met with him almost twice a month from August to the end of May, '07. During the visits we (he) narrowed the pain down through many tests: blood work times five; X-rays times three; Cat scan times two; Bone scan, MRI at a clinic at a cost of $800; orthopedic specialist who said it was not his area of expertise ( he thought it was a stenosis - it wasn't); and , anti-penultimately, Dr. O, a back surgeon, who looked at the MRI and said, "herniated disc." He eventually sent a letter to Dr. C. recommending cortisone therapy. Dr. C. forwarded the letter to an anesthesiologist , Dr. F., a terrific guy, and on July 5, 2007, fourteen months since it first started , (and quite honestly, if it were not for a couple of cancellations, I would still be waiting) I got my first treatment. What a way to begin retirement!
It took fifty-eight years, one month, and seven days for me to break a bone. On Friday, July 13, 2007, John and I were biking in Shubie Park and I was going down a hill. I didn't see anyone coming up the hill until I was in a turn. I swerved to avoid a collision, fell, and landed on my back. I do not recall the events of my spill. I swerved and the next thing I remembered was John holding my hand. It happened so quickly. Fortunately there was a cell phone available and 911 dispatched an ambulance which whisked me to the Dartmouth General. X-rays revealed the upper humerus broken in three places. So, I guess, I broke it good. I was released about 4 PM and was waiting for Cathy (my wife at the time) to bring up the car. I didn't make it. I fainted outside the emergency door and the staff decided I should stay overnight. They recommended that I be sent to the Queen Elizabeth ll Hospital and after a series of x-rays, surgery was not an immediate recourse. Rest and a sling. When I got home it was said to me that it was an inconvenience to Cathy that I broke my arm. I replied that I made sure it was my job to inconvenience her as best I could by purposely having an accident and becoming immobile for a couple of days. She hired a dog walker to look after the boys while I just sat around the condo feeling sorry for myself. Imagine, my broken shoulder was an inconvenience. Man, the things I did to piss her off.
On July 19, I went for reassessment and the doctor said surgery wasn't required. He put me in another sling and sent me home with a call back assessment for August 16. He recommended physiotherapy. I took physio for 4 months and it helped a whole lot. After all is said and done, I have 95% mobility of my left arm. Not bad. But I won't be able to play the violin. LOL
By the way, the cortizone treatment lasted 3 years and has helped ease my pain.

Toronto part 2

I spoke with an Hockey Hall of Fame employee about the hall itself and the trophies therein. The information he gave was typical to museums everywhere. He told and showed me the trophy for the best defenseman in the National Hockey League. The Norris Trophy is misspelled "DEFANCE." That is the kind of trivial news I enjoy learning. We had a good chuckle about it. I had my picture taken with The Cup. I voiced and wrote my outrage over the exclusion of Paul Henderson from the hall. He scored the game winning goals in the last three games of the pivotal Summit Series in Moscow. The Soviet goalie, Tretiak, is in the hall. Henderson is not. Outrageous!
I walked around downtown Toronto and discovered terrific Chinese, Thai, and Indian restaurants. Terrific food. Went to a ball game that evening. Who won? Who cares? I had a hot dog and a beer and enjoyed good-natured ribbing with some Boston Red Sox fans. That is a baseball experience.
The treat of being in Toronto during the work week was fantastic. The hustle and flow of Bay Street, the pandemonium of a busy downtown. Where do all the people originate? Not even noon and the sidewalks were packed. Amazing.
The news on the radio was that Eric Clapton cancelled his concert in Detroit because he had a cold. At least the performance in Toronto went on as scheduled. Bruce managed to buy the last ticket TicketMaster had. Eric Clapton in Toronto; awesome. The Rolling Stones in Halifax, at the Commons, in the rain, on the same night. I prefer Clapton, enjoyed the show. Would liked to have seen the Stones, but I don't know how to be in two places at the same time. When I figure that out, I will use it infinitely.

Oops. I forgot... While in Toronto, I walked Canada's Walk of Fame and saw "Blue Man Group." I had seen them on television and think they are terrific performers. But, in real life they put on an interactive show with lots of audience participation. During one sketch which involved "jello' I got slimed. The show was non-stop action, surprises, music, and pandemonium. And it was a sell-out. It had been running for over a year and finally closed in May '07.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I trip to Toronto, part 1

The 2005/06 school year came, officially, to an end. The final staff meeting was held, good-byes were politely addressed, speeches made, "see ya", "so long", and "keep in touch" mouthed but not meant. After thirty-four years, my career was over. The majority of my teaching experiences and work were done. My only job, my vocation, my avocation, completed. Everything ends and this was on my own terms.
I am no longer a teacher. I have left my calling and walked away without regret. The time I spent that last year was the best in ages. I taught what I thought the kids enjoyed. I gave them everything I had left to give. At the end, I was spent, but not in a way that left me worn out. I was spent in the way a dollar is spent. It was quite a ride!
I have no regrets. I always knew when I would go. I did not want to become a survivor, clinging to the flotsam of a career. The time came, the decision made, and the year enjoyed.

I bought a bicycle in July of '06. My buddy John and I would go on rides. It took me a while to get used to the hills. I still do not like them, except for the reward of a long coast down. The first hour I had my bike I cut my leg for six stitches on the derailleur. John and I had two small rides and on the third day we tackled Portland Street, "Breakheart Hill" ( so-called when driving up in the winter, and you think you made it to the top, traffic would halt, and when you couldn't advance because you r tires lost their grip, it would just 'break your heart'), and Caldwell Road. Caldwell Road was a long, six kilometre downhill coast that lead us to Cow Bay. At the end we rested a bit and started home via Eastern Passage and CFB Shearwater. I did not get to the Imperial Oil refinery before exhaustion hit. I was dehydrated and had no energy. My tank was completely empty. It took a long rest before I was able to continue. At the end, my third bike ride was thirty miles ( sixty kilometers). But I kept at it for the summer. John bikes 365 days a year. I am a "fair weather" cyclist.

In September '06, I went to Toronto. I had to go, I suppose, to convince myself that I wasn't tied to a schedule. The only other time in Toronto was as a chaperone for a grade nine school trip.. That was unpleasant because the kids were quite simply a bunch of snots and assholes. My trip had no schedule, no kids, and only one deadline. I had to be at the Skydome for the start of the ball game. Baseball is a sport I love and enjoy. To me there is nothing like the war between batter and pitcher. Even so, I have discovered that my limit is five game in a row. ( I suppose that if my favourite team were playing a different team each night, my limit may be expanded.) The sixth game I spent touring the ball park and sitting in the cheap seats and wondering if I lived in a major league town whether or not I would have season tickets.
During my stay in Toronto I hunkered down at the Days Inn on College Street for a couple of days and then spent the rest of the time at Bruce Slade's home. Bruce is my ex-wife's cousin. and he showed me around downtown Toronto. It is an interesting city with way too much to see and do in a short time. I took Bruce to Hy's Steakhouse.
I spent my first day in Toronto at the Royal Ontario Museum. I was there for five hours and only explored the top two floors, studying the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman exhibits. I could have stayed longer but my leg was acting really wonky. I ate at a sidewalk vendor and enjoyed the ambience of downtown Toronto without the responsibility of looking after assholes. Evenings were enjoyed at the ball game. I neither remember nor care who won. I was at a major league park, watching major league baseball, having a beer and a hot dog. That, to me, is joyous Nirvanna. The second day I toured with awe the Hockey Hall of Fame.. I shook hands with Johnny Bower the Maples Leafs great goalie. I told him that he he broke my heart in 1967 with his team defeated my beloved Habs in six games to win the Stanley Cup. Johnny laughed and said, "We had a good team, lots of good players." Bower is shorter than I thought, about five feet six inches or so.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Terrible. Awful. abhorrent, atrocious, bad, base, beastly, contemptible, cursed, despicable, disgusting, foul, grim, grody, gross, hairy, hateful, heinous, hellish, horrible, horrid, loathsome, lousy, nauseating, obnoxious, odious, offensive, repellent, reprehensible, repugnant, repulsive, revolting, rotten, sleazy, stinking, vile, wretched. abominable, alarming, appalling, deplorable, depressing, dire, distressing, dreadful, fearful, frightful, ghastly, grody to the max,, gruesome, grungy, harrowing, hideous, horrendous, horrific, horrifying, nasty, raunchy, shocking, synthetic, tough, ugly, unpleasant, unsightly

Let me tell you what I really think of "Legion"
Outside the make-up and costume design for the angels this was by far the absolutely worst movie produced and released to the unsuspecting public since "Deadly Weapons" starring Chesty Morgan. "Legion" far outstrips anything cult movie maker Ed Wood ever made, even "Plan 9 From Outer Space" and "Glen or Glenda"
There was such potential in 'Legion". The plot of angels fighting on Earth had possibilities. I sat, slept, through almost 2 hours to get to the fight between Gabriel and Michael and that battle lasted 3 minutes. The movie was in danger within the first 5 minutes when Mike cut off his wings in order to fit in with humans. The dialogue is forgettable and pedestrian. Even the catch phrases weren't. I have seen a lot of movies and have never walked out of one, but this was close to being the sullied virgin. The acting was formulaic and the action predictable. Dennis Quaid leapt to make a football catch of the falling baby and it became a highlight.
Michael says to Gabriel after their fight, "You gave Him what He asked; I gave Him what He needed." Inspirational.

The nativity analogy is almost laughable. "The baby wasn't supposed to be born." Gabriel.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I need catharsis

My parents marriage started to fall apart around June 6, 1949. Coincidentally it was the day I was born. My mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer around the same time she discovered she was pregnant. Thankfully, she did not terminate her pregnancy. After my delivery, Mom decided, along with her doctor - P.A. MacDonald, and without consultation with my dad (which was against the rules way back then), to have a hysterectomy. I don't know the procedures Dad went through but he got Mom excommunicated from the church, the 1940-50s Catholic Church. Up to then, Mom was a devout Catholic. And he stopped loving her then, too. It took a while but Mom found someone to love her and she left Dad in October 1959.
I remember that I went to the Casino theatre that Saturday. On the way home I bought three big, red, candy apples from the French Pastry Shop. There was one for Dad, Mom, and my brother. Since she was often out at work, I thought nothing of her apple being left in the fridge for a week.
One evening Dad took me to Dartmouth where Mom was living. There was a confrontation and I was later sent to live with her and Richard. Richard was a drunk. I didn't like him. I think that at that time I didn't like anyone in my family.
Early in my memory are images of my brother always tormenting, teasing, and beating me. He bullied me unmercifully and I believe he enjoyed it. There was no advantage living with Mom. She owed a lot of money and we were always on the move. There was no home ownership with either parent. They always rented and we always moved. There was no opportunity for me to play or learn to play music ( no place to practice without disturbing other tenants) or participate in sports until I was much older. I love hockey but never learned to skate nor was I taught to skate. I could play baseball and was good at it. But no one would encourage me. Potential and ability was there but never realized.
I was jealous of my friends who had both parents.
I was sent to my dad's when I was thirteen. I believe he wanted me to be someone else. He controlled me unmercifully, never giving me any lee way. I think he became that way since he let my brother do what he wanted. I honestly believe that Dad was trying to lord over me like he couldn't with my brother. I had to be in before the street lights came on even if I were with a church group. I don't begrudge Dad his parenting but in hindsight there were lots of times when his dominance was overly protective. I always told him where I was going and with whom until university. Although living in Dad's house, I was on my own.
Dad never was much for expressions of support, for me anyway. He never really encouraged me beyond saying, or asking, if I passed. He didn't want his sons to walk in his footsteps to the waterfront. He did not want his sons to be bulldog labourers like him. So, I guess, being a university graduate did spark some pride in him. Regardless of my accomplishments, I don't think Dad was happy for me. I felt that I was a constant reminder of his short-comings and failure as a husband. A marriage to him was family and intercourse and when Mom had her hysterectomy marriage for Dad ended.
My father doted on my sister and his first son. He gave them whatever they wanted, especially my sister - the princess. I dislike both my sister and my brother - my sister because she is twelve years my senior and was never in my life to my memory. Both of them think they are my betters and I think they need to believe they are better than I.
My brother was more spoiled than I and I was was spoiled to an extent. He took advantage of the old man in regards to getting a start. He left home when he got married. Dad locked me out when I left to begin teaching. The first year I would come home on the weekends and would stay with Dad. The second summer vacation Dad asked for the house key. (My brother always had a key to Dad's place. Always). I think that is when I began to lose my affection for him. I like him because he is my dad but I didn't love him.
He chose to spend very holiday with my brother's family instead of sharing some with me and my family. My daughter missed her grandfather's appearance at her birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, and many meals. I would invite Dad to come for a Sunday dinner, or a holiday meal and his excuse was that he had to ask my brother. HAD TO ASK. I cannot forgive him or my brother for that (Dad died in 2009 at age 100- I think it significant that the grandchild who was not present at his funeral was the one he never visited).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Junior high school, the supposed formula for a successful social life was anathema to my being. I was MacDuff, untimely ripped from the womb of pre-teen comfort; thrust into a milieu of underachieving repeaters.
I had been a top student, well-liked by most teachers and some of my classmates, especially those with whom I interacted. That is until grade four, Miss Beverly Camp's class at Saint Stephen's Annex. It was the year I was sent to live with my mother, rejected by both father and brother. I noticed that around that time a usually honest person began to cheat.. It began in Miss C's class around a display of dinosaurs. Before class we were playing with it when we were not allowed to. When questioned, the class said it was playing with it and was subsequently detained after school. I protested my innocence and was allowed to go home. That was the beginning, I think, of my loss of stature.
Living with Mom and her boyfriend was, in hindsight, a bad time. For those years I got up early, made some breakfast or not using the old oil burning stove, dressed, got the ferry across Halifax Harbour, bought a newspaper for a dime from the older vendor who would intone, "Mail Stair, Sir," caught the electric bus to the city's Northend, and arrived at school by 8:20 in time for catechism class. Every school day until the end of sixth grade. I remember my teachers; Miss Napier who got married and her name became Mrs. Arab, Sister Francis Agnes (whatever happened to her?), Sister Agnes Christine; some of the kids; but, I have no recollection of any parties. I must have been invited to the occasional birthday party, but I am not sure. Most likely, not. You see, children from a broken home ( as it was called back then) were shunned by good Catholic society.
My school work didn't suffer despite my social hardship. It didn't plummet until grade seven at Bicentennial Junior High Scool in Dartmouth. In order to attend BiHi, as a student coming from Halifax, I had to write an entrance exam in both math and English during the last week of August. Dartmouth schools did not accept the report cards and standings from other districts. Since the tests were in late August and I was a pre-teen, I did not take them seriously. As a result I was placed in the academically lowest grade seven class. My homeroom teacher was an elderly lady from England who taught English, social studies, and French. I remeber the word "pupitre" being pronounce "poop it ear". She was my introduction to the French language. Her pronunciation of both languages was so abhorrent that I had great difficulty learning from her. I would cheat during vocabulary tests and homework and that seed of deciet, planted in grade four, blossomed. In my other classes I started to laze and became a reluctant learner. I was uncomfortable, hated school and teachers, and longed for the comfort of my old chums.
That comfort was no longer available to me and I drifted into the circle of misfits, assholes, and ne'er-do-wells. I was taught how to smoke by one-legged Michael, to steal by Davey T., and of course, I already knew how to lie. It was no problem for me to go to the corner store and sneak extra ice cream into the cone, unpaid candy into my brown paper bag, or a couple of smokes. I didn't realize until much later that I disliked myself. I wasn't truly happy until grade nine when I was back with Dad, and the school I thought I belonged.
The kids were there although in different homerooms. My two year sojourn separated me academically from the kids I competed with and that was a shame. I was no longer able to keep up with them. I was placed in a class with second tier kids and that was OK. I had learned to work as hard as needs be and I learn that expectations differed from homeroom to homeroom. My homeroom expectations were good but not exceptional. I never fully recovered from my introduction to junior high and that continued throughout the rest of my school time, even unto high school.
I was socially awkward, was shy around the fair sex although I had a several serious crushes but was victimized by unrequited love. My social skills were further challenged in high school where the boys and girls were taught in separate areas of the building. Men were never permitted to cross the demarkation line during school hours. Even recess was sexually segregated. Thank God for university!

Monday, January 18, 2010


I really miss my dad. My dad died a year ago. He was one hundred years and a few days short of four months. He died in his sleep. He went into a coma on a Thursday and died on the following Sunday morning. He had a hard life working bulldog labour on the Halifax waterfront as a stevedore for 45 years. His funeral and burial at Mount Olivet Cemetery took place on one of the coldest days of the year. It was appropriate because he would work on the cargo ships in all kinds of weather; wet and dry, cold and hot. Most of his work was in the winter with the wind blowing sub-zero temperatures and he did it without complaint. His internment in the cold was appropriate. My brother had all the arrangements prepaid and he took care of everything. Dad did not want a fuss and did not want a reception. My sister did and we had to placate the princess. Dad would not have approved. He often talked to me about it and if it were up to me, he would have had a simple box and burial in a day. Since I am (was) considered the black sheep of the family, I was not included in any of the arrangements.
I remember how strict my dad was with me. At the time I resented everything and rebelled as often as I could. But as a mature father myself, I understand his concern. Thanks, Dad, for letting me become who I am. He was 41 when I was born and he did not have much time for me as a youngster. At least I thought he didn't. It seemed to me that he would do whatever he could to make sure my brothe and sister were looked after first. Looking back I can see that. My mom and he split when I was eight and I went to live with her. I think that is what caused my brother and I to be so distance and antagonistic towards each other. It was as if I had a choice. Dad was a simple old fashioned guy and believed that a child should be with his mother. My siblings were either married or in high school and thus not under that restriction. They had a choice. I didn't. I would see Dad every weekend. I went to school in HAlifax until grade seven. Then I attended schools in Dartmouth where Mom lived.
I enjoyed my visits with Dad but he was so often working that i seldom saw him. Talk about a fuck up. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
The proudest my dad felt for me was upon my graduation from university. During the convocation while I was speaking to the archbishop of Halifax, His Grace James Hayes, Dad started whistling and hollering. His Grace asked what the commotion and fuss was and I proudly told that it was my dad. He smiled.
I miss my dad.
Dad taught me to fish, to ride a bicycle, to cook, to play cards. He gave me my first pipe. It was during my university days. He knew I smoked and he thought college men should smoke a pipe. More class than cigarettes.
I remember taking Dad to the Bluenose restaurant for clam chowder and coconut cream pie. When I started working I would often come into town and treat the old man to a fancy meal at the best of restaurants. It impressed him that I would take him to the one in the Nova Scotian Hotel and just sign the bill to my room. I even lit a cigar for Dad with a $20 bill.
I remember staying up late with dad on Sebastian Place on a Friday night to watch the Gilette Cavalcade of Sports from Madison Square Gardens. Dad liked the fights. He took me to see Blair Richardson fight Burke Emery at the old Halifax Forum. He dressed so sharply. He wore his best suit and overcoat and his gray fedora with the brim bent down. We sat in the cheap seats and Dad smoked his favourite cigar..Muriels. After the ninth round Dad said we should go to avoid the crowd. Richardson had the fight won but he didn't last much in the tenth. As we were walking down the aisle, Burke Emery, at the bell for the tenth and final round, ran over to Richardson and caught him with a tremendous right hand. The fight was over in less than 30 seconds; Richardson KOed. Dad and I would often reminisce about that fight. Dad: I'll see you in the funny papers you old four-eyed moccasin face
George Thomas Joseph Stone: 1908-2009. 100 years. Requiesat in Pace.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


I would like to meet the individual who first decided that the best way to lay carpeting was to glue and staple the underlay to a beautiful hardwood floor. That idea rapidly infiltrated mainstream society wherein the home owner in a post war economy thought that carpeting was better than natural hardwood such as maple or birch. These pre-boomer owner never had the germ of a concept that maybe the carpeting would become passe, harder to clean each day and would eventually wear out. They never thought that one day the carpet would need replacing. They never thought that the work involved in a carpet replacement would be their concern. "Leave it to the kids, or the new owner to deal with." This mantra must have echoed throughout the halls of baby-boom prefab house construction. The baby boomers were introduced to flooring that actually required carpeting, especially when the floors were simply ply-would and therefore had to be be covered. No one thought of renovating a house except new owners. AND hence the extraneous work load. Instead of fastening the carpet to the older floor with the staple boards at the edges, glue was used. Instead of a simple pull-up of carpet and underlay, followed by picking staples from the maple, then a good sanding, one now faces the daunting task of pulling said carpet, scraping the now glued underlay off the floor, stopping ever more frequently to pull staples and finally sanding the maple floor. The scraping also increases the spread of dust, mites, fungi, and more colourful language which would embarrass a stevedore. Oh well!... I rant, I scrape, and I re-do. I shall endure and before the end of time my floors will shine and no longer have any souvenirs of carpeting.
Oh, I also would like to meet the Einstein who decided to glue the underlay to the tiles which were glued to said hardwood. I am not fond of tile, unless it is ceramic. But the increase in work is going to cause me to increase my consumption of beverages from Belgium (particularly Stella) or the nearby vineyards.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The beatitudes for teachers or "The Joy Of Teaching"

This item I recieved from "Cooters, Tunes, and Pics" a few years ago. I was teaching high school then and shared it with some of my buddies in the profession. I do not know the author, but maybe some pedagogues might find it interesting. Every once in a while, teachers come up with inspirational lessons off the cuff. Based upon experience, reading and utilizing what he/she heard or observed. It does put a decent perspective into the work teachers must do. Atypical classroom contains a wide assortment of intellects, interests, and attention spans. Administrators and experts often forget or, frequently don't know, what teaching is. Sometimes, these experts in pedagogy, in a desire for an all-inclusive classroom environment, make the simple difficult. . So here goes. And to the author, thanks. The teacher of this lesson is a well-know historical Rabbi.

JESUS took his disciples up the mountain and, gathering them around him, he taught them, saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven;
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted;
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth;Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled;
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy;
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God;
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God;
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of their righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven;
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you, because great is your reward in heaven for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

THEN Simon Peter said;"Are we supposed to know this?"
AND Andrew said, "Do we have to write this down?"
AND Phillip said, "Is this going to be on the next quiz?"
AND Bartholomew said, "What came after 'poor'?"
AND Judas (not Iscariot) jerked awake and said, "Did I miss something?"
AND John said, "The other disciples didn't have to learn this!"
AND Simon the Zealot said, "Don't turn the overhead off yet."
AND Judas Iscariot was more interested in counting the milk money.
AND three disciples were tardy and missed the main points.
AND Matthew left early to use the washroom.

ONE of the Pharisees ( school administrator, Principal, Expert, and Education Minister) who was present asked to see Jesus' lesson plan and inquired of him, :Where are your anticipatory questions and myriad responses with follow-up anticipatory questions and your unit objectives based upon Blooms Taxonomy of the cognitive domain?"

And Jesus, the Rabbi, wept.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Did you ever wonder about the value of a dog? I have always believed that a dog, a loyal family pet, is the most caring and knowledgeable members of a family. Holly, an old dear Cairn terrier,was one. She died in her late years shortly after Christmas almost 14 years ago. During her lifetime she had provided me with unconditional love and comfort. Taking her for walkies was never a chore and she always enjoyed the visits to the park. During a serious crisis in my life, Holly never left my side. She would stay beside me on the couch or on the bed giving me comfort even though there were times I didn't realize she was present. I suffered a severe bout of depression and I couldn't even bother to move. When I would go from the bed to the living room couch, she would be at my feet, would climb on my lap and stay with me. I loved her for that. She helped me get better.
Phenix, my current Cairn, has the same innate ability to sense sadness and loneliness. He stays with me and snuggles when I am lonely as if to say that everything is OK because he will take care of the pain.
I ramble on this because of the courageous Lab in British Columbia who tackled a mountain lion which attacked his young friend. The boy did not see the huge cat but the dog sensed something was wrong. When the cat lunged at the boy the Lab intercepted it and protected the child. This dog was willing to die to protect his friend. Fortunately he only suffered a few cuts and scrapes. The police shot the lion. For its bravery, devotion, and love of his "boy" this Lab should be rewarded with some sort of lifetime supply of Kibble or, at the very least, the Purina medal of courage. It can be truly said to all dogs: "well done, good and faithful servant."

Friday, January 1, 2010

Useless information

A hard working adult sweats up to 4 gallons per day. Most of it evaporates before a person realizes it's there, though.
The poison arrow frog has enough poison to kill 2 200 people. I wonder if the frog's legs taste like chicken.
A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle, in the air it is a skein.
There wasn't a single pony in the pony express. They were all horses.
Was John Wesley Hardin just a misunderstood son of a preacherman?
Slugs have four noses.
Pinocchio is Italian for "Pine eye"
A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
Clinophobia is a fear of beds.
If you counted 24 hours a day at a normal pace, whatever that is, it would take 31, 688 years to reach one trillion.
The average life span of a major league baseball is 5-7 pitches.
Recycling one glass jar saves enough energy to watch TV for 3 hours.
One may chose to live in country where individual freedoms are controlled by a dictatorship under the guise of religious purity, but the true freedom lies in the country where everyone has the right to live where he wants, exercise what beliefs he wants, and do what he wants within the mores of civilized society. The cost of freedom is eternal vigilance and blood. In a free society I may disagree with what you say and believe, but I will defend your right to say and believe
The best weather man on television, back in the old days, was the late Rube Hornstien. He introduced a generation into the science of meteorology while giving a recap of the weather on the television programme "Gazette". His co-hosts were Lloyd McInnnis, Don Tremaine, Max "Rawhide" Ferguson.