Archive for July, 2010

I do this to make you look good…

July 27, 2010

I’m not a real fashion conscious guy. I never have been, really… except for a few times. Some of the nutty things I DID try to make myself look hip remain painfully etched on my memories.  So much so that if I could travel back in time I would change each and every attempt then apologize for my folly to all onlookers.  But the thing is; while I am very much aware of my past fashion faux pas, not many other people these days are and that is why I bring this up, because… 


I know we live in an “in your face” society today.  People proudly wear their garments as a symbol of bravery or non-conformity.  They are proud of their less than fashion sense and leave it to you to deal with it.  It is your problem if you find yourself doing a double take and react to their ignoble efforts with disdain, not theirs.  After all, it is a free country…

My BB and I were out yesterday morning grabbing a quick bite before I headed off to work (on a Saturday, no less).  She and I like to sit at the counter facing traffic so we can watch the world go by.  I spotted one man wearing a wide striped, red and blue long-sleeved cotton jersey and plaid intricate print, green-yellow-blue polyester  Bermuda shorts with white ankle socks and brown shoes.  He was leaving his friends and moving through the parking lot oblivious to his effect on people with normal vision.  This guy looked like he could be an insurance salesman or a realtor ( you know, one of those commission based occupations?)  I admire a man who can wear such garb with a straight face, but does it have to be so early in the morning?

I’m not advocating fashion police or Skewered Eye from the Straight Fly, but you have to wonder… where do people get their fashion sense?  From celebrities!  Of course.

 =  ?  or how about this? or this?  =  ? yuck!

Oh, I don’t mean to pick on women… men do it, too.

 double yuck!

So people, are you concerned about the type of fashion statement your 13 year old might be making?  Take a good look at the celebrities out there strutting their stuff and then ask yourself, “If I think this is yuck on Amy “where’s my missing tooth?” Winehouse, why would I let my daughter dress this way?”

  Lady Gag Gag…


What You Need…

July 17, 2010

Surprise!  Your momma was right!  Better eat your vegetables… ?gt1=43001  but oops!  somebody forgot to put the nutrients in!

Doesn’t that just beat all?  The good ol’ days were really good…

and good for us, too.  Seems like today we just are not getting what we need.

So this morning as I contemplate my second cup of tea, I wonder about what other things were better for us when we should have eaten our veggies…

1)  Music was better.  But don’t take my word for it, ask the recording industry.  Record sales have plummeted  recently and plug my ears with nostalgia but I gotta think it has to do with content.  Better music means more satisfied ears.  I keep telling RIAA executives this, but they don’t listen.  They are not giving us what we need.

2)  Automobiles were more interesting and friendlier, too.  It used to be you could tell a Ford from a Chevy at a glance.  Cars seemed to be made stronger, too.  I remember jumping up and down on the hood of our car when I was a kid and nobody thought a thing of it.  Backing into another car meant merely a “kiss” of the bumpers, you could lay down in the back seat and the trunk was large enough to rival a wading pool.  In fact, I think we filled ours on occasionally hot summer days in order to cool off.

  Simple transportation is what we need.

3)  Fashion.  Well, fashion is a funny thing.  Get some fool to wear a visor backwards and upside down then the world follows like he’s the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

One artist claims another is a copycat whilst archive footage reveals THAT artist ripping off another previous to her.


 I use the term artist loosely… (see #1 above)

But fashion is one of those things that never go out of style.  Old is new and vintage is hip.  I remember when you had to wear out your jeans in order to have them faded, ripped and thread bare… now you can buy them that way.  It is almost as if fashion can’t wait.  I saw some knee-high lace up boots advertised for fall this morning, ugh! can you imagine? 

 The things we do to look good but is it really what we need?

4)  Money.  Remember when money was really something?  I mean, win a million dollars and you were set for life.


Nowadays millions are not enough.  8lotteryWinnersWhoLostTheirMillions.aspx  Money can tear families apart.108590 or turn friends into enemies. crime  Still you gotta think, what’s wrong with money?

A devalued currency in the U.S. has made the Canadian dollar stronger while China blossoms into a financial juggernaut.  Remember the good ol’ days when our greenbacks were backed by gold and silver?  Substantial backing meant strong consumer confidence.  This Federal Reserve note business is a jinx.  It does not give us what we need. 

5)  Health.  There is an old saying that “health is wealth” and the key to happiness is longevity but it seems we are less healthy now than any time in our history.  Though our average life span has risen substantially, health issues are a multi-billion dollar industry. 

Some people blame the food we eat.  So are we living longer, unhealthier lives?  See the advertisements on T.V.?  Ask your doctor then get a second opinion?  Can we really buy better health? ?Do-We-Really-Need-to-Take-Vitamins-for-Our-Health?&id=1066888  Seems like a “pair of docs” to me. articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100260381>1=31036 

6)  Politics.  Do we all agree that our political system sucks? (see the post, un-American activities )  I have advocated a strong 3rd party on this blog for a while now. (see the post, Have a little cake with your Tea Party? )  I think it is past due.  When our society has to choose between the “best of the worst” it is no wonder that people get fed up.  Our political system has sunk into such a quagmire that our faith in our politicians has been shaken down to the roots.  Are we doomed to be lost in a vacuum that continues to draw out the worst in us?  When citizens view their representatives with contempt, that form of government is clearly not giving them what they need.

7)  Religion.  They say two things you cannot discuss with people are politics and religion.  I think that is wrong.  Politics and religion are the bond that holds a society together.  When either falter, the people suffer.  We can have our own views, ideas, beliefs and faith as long as they don’t interfere with the rights of another having their freedom of choice in kind.  You may have your moral convictions, but others have the same path they must travel to come by those beliefs.  If there is a God, we should all try to immolate His qualities of Love, Patience and Tolerance.  Because, as the Bible says, if God looked for perfection, who of us could stand before Him? (see the post, Does God Hate Haiti? )  If a religion divides us, that congregation does not have the teachings that we need.

So what is it that we really need besides better vegetables?

Maybe we need to laugh more and not take ourselves too seriously.  Let things roll off our backs and be satisfied with what we need rather than dwell on the things we want.  Have a little more faith in our fellow man.  Try some kindness and treat people the way we would want to be treated.   

This old world can be like a used car salesman telling you this and selling you that to the point that we are never happy with having just what we need.

  Ultimately, walking is safer and better for you.


It’s a “guy” thing

July 10, 2010

I have yet another pet peeve.  Is it possible to have too many?  I don’t think so.  Case in point, dining out…

I took my beautiful girl out for dinner last night to a nice restaurant. Not quite formal dining but right up there.  Clean jeans, vintage T-shirt, I even shaved the night before.  Anyway, we arrive early to beat the crowds and BB asks for a booth (for our cozy rendezvous) and after a slight delay, we were cheerfully assigned one.  The manager’s seating person steps up and directs us “guys” to where we will be enjoying the next 1.5 hours of the evening.  

It irritates me to be out with my wife and hear us being refered to as the “guys”.  If we were in a sports bar or attending a monster truck event at the local arena, I would concur we probably were just a couple of “guys” out having a good time.  But my sweetheart was looking fairly fab and being addressed as “guys” seemed to diminish that a little in my mind.  So after beckoning us to “swagger along behind” I said, “We guys would love to follow you.”  My always intuitive better half smiled and said, “There’s a new post for you!” and so here it is.

As stated previously on AMRFP (Let Me Call You Sweetheart,   01/06/07 )  I do not mind a little familiarity with my servers, but that is just me.  When it comes to dining out with my wife at a nice restaurant, I would like a little more proper decorum. 

So how does one distinguish between being or not being called “honey”, “babe”, “sweetheart” or “guys” when assisting patrons at an eatery?  Simple.  If there is sawdust on the floor, the people coming through your door are probably “guys”.

  If there is a television set anywhere within the public area for viewing, the cheers and jeers you are hearing probably are coming from the “guys”. 

If you serve pickled pigs feet, Slim Jims, chicken wings or Bar-B-Q ribs, the people wiping their mouths on their shirt sleeves are without a doubt “guys”.  If your all-night Diner is within 500 feet of a truck stop, chances are the people pluggin’ quarters into the jukebox are “guys”. 

You can call me “sweetheart” in front of my wife if you have the kahunas, but not if you are a “guy”.  That would be too awkward.  “Guys” should not call guys “babe”, “honey”, “dear” , “sweetheart”, “pumpkin” “swivel hips”, “daffodil” or “sweet cheeks”, it is just too weird sounding.

“Guys” do like formal dining.  “Guys” enjoy ordering from the wine list, having appetizers, eating 4 course meals and scarfing down deserts that are large enough to satisfy 3 normal sized persons.  We marvel at the simplicity of using our charge cards and confidently figure out 20% gratuities without the little “helper” guidelines (more for exceptional service, of course) and we won’t bat an eye when our bill exceeds a measly $100 for the two of us.  Nope.  It is a guy thing to be able to go out and mingle with society incognito without the astigmatism of being cast as “guys” when you clearly are not in your “guys” mode.

While I am out with my fair one, I may be a guy “out of water” (and I am proud to be an ordinary guy with aspirations…) but she is my lady.  Always.  In that respect, I should reach an elevated status simply by association.

It is a guy thing. 

The women we choose to associate with reflects our good taste.  They in turn should qualify us as “gentlemen” in certain instances. 

A respectful person providing a service should be mindful of that.


un-American activities

July 3, 2010

Oh beautiful for spacious skies…

Have you heard about the mural that was painted over in California?  Not only did I find the article disturbing but the comments afterwards made a lot of good points about the sad state our government is in.

I live in a foreign country now, and while Canada is not that much of a stretch, it never ceases to amaze me how much I DO know about the U.S. when having a discussion with the kids… things that I take for granted.  Things that an outsider does not know.

For example: the fam was having dinner the other night when we started talking about our national anthems (Canada and the United States) and their origins.  The kids were comparing Oh! Canada and its melodious content to The Star Spangled Banner.  I have to admit, when I hear Oh! Canada it brings a lump to my throat because it is a beautiful song.  To make a case for The Star Spangled Banner  I would have to delve way back into a part of my brain that hadn’t been tapped in a while.

Francis Scott Key was being held by the British in a ship off the coast of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.  As the cannons blasted on into the night, Key watched from the deck to see if the American forces would prevail.  As the smoke cleared, the American flag remained!  Later, Francis Scott Key penned the words that would become our national anthem. 

Oh!  say can you see

by the dawns early light

what so proudly we hailed

at the twilights last gleaming?

Whose broad stripes and bright stars

through the perilous fight

o’er the ramparts we watched

were so gallantly streaming!

And the rockets red glare

the bombs bursting in air

gave proof through the night

that our flag was still there!

Oh! say does that star spangled

banner yet wave

o’er the land of the free

and the home of the brave?

 (the flag that inspires…)

The symbolism of the American flag is not a graffiti object.  Whether it be hoisted up on a pole, displayed from a front porch, carried in a parade, worn as a uniform/article of clothing or painted on the concrete embankment of a state-owned highway, it is the representation of a people united against tyranny.  We were not granted our freedoms by some foreign dignitary’s masterful stroke of a pen.  WE TOOK OUR LIBERTIES BY FORCE!  They were not handed down to us or granted as if by favor.   

I sometimes forget where I came from.  I sometimes forget the history of my native land.  I hurt inside when I hear disparaging generalities hurled at the people I grew up with and the heroes I cheered for.  Still, I can forgive the outsiders, because they know no better.  They do not know my home as I do.

But when representatives and employees of the very government that protects them fails to show proper respect to the American heritage and the republic for which it stands I just gotta say…

shame on them.