A thought provoking video?

Every now and then, I see an ad on TV, or come across a short video, which makes a huge impression. I may not rush out and buy the product, but I will be in admiration of the creativity behind the ad. I may not save the short video as a favourite, but I will share it with anybody who is interested in my taste in sensitive videos. I will say no more, except that the link below goes to such a video.

The link below is an interesting read giving the background to the above linked video.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/simons-video-jennyfer-hatch-1.6641543

Before you vote……………..

Many of us have imminent elections, and the rest of us are likely to have them in the not too distant future, so here is an interesting read (author unknown):

Butch the Rooster

Sarah was in the fertilized egg business.  She had several hundred young pullets and ten roosters to fertilize the eggs.  She kept records and any rooster not performing went into the soup pot and was replaced.
 
This took a lot of time, so she bought some tiny bells and attached them to her roosters.  Each bell had a different tone, so she could tell from a distance which rooster was performing.  Now, she could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report by just listening to the bells.
 
Sarah’s favorite rooster, old Butch, was a very fine specimen but, this morning she noticed old Butch’s bell hadn’t rung at all!  When she went to investigate, she saw the other roosters were busy chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing, but the pullets hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover.
 
To Sarah’s amazement, old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn’t ring.
 He’d sneak up on a pullet, do his job, and walk on to the next one.
 
Sarah was so proud of old Butch, she entered him in a Show and he became an overnight sensation among the judges.
 
The result was the judges not only awarded old Butch the “No Bell Peace Prize” they also awarded him the “Pulletsurprise” as well.
 
Clearly old Butch was a politician in the making.
 
Who else but a politician could figure out how to win two of the most coveted awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the unsuspecting populace and screwing them when they weren’t paying attention?
 
Vote carefully in the next election. You can’t always hear the bells.

Could not overlook this!

The following is apparently an extract from the 2019 inaugural address by the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky:

“We need people in power who will serve the people. That is why I do not want my picture in your offices, for the President is not an icon, an idol or a portrait. Hang your kids’ photos instead and look at them each time you are making a decision.”

Just imagine what the world would be like if everybody considered their kids before making any decision.

 

 

Life Circumstances

“Life Circumstances!”

Having Ray’s book* released to the world triggered many thoughts, not the least of which is how one’s life journey can change directions in ways that could never have been predicted, simply as a result of specific circumstances.

If I had not failed my pre-career medical, I would have never met the girl that I married.

If I had never married that girl, I would have never come to Canada because it was her aunt that sold us on the idea and eventually sponsored us.

Many years later, if I had never been put on a special project by my employer, I would have never met Carol.

If I had never met Carol, it would have been virtually guaranteed that I would have never contemplated letting a dog into my life.

If I had never let Ray into my life, I would have never written the book about him!

If somebody told me in 2008 that, in 5 years, I would be living with an almost 80 pounds dog who had been abandoned and carried significant emotional baggage as a result, I would have grinned and responded “Yeh……….. right!”

If that same person told me that I would do pretty much anything for that dog, I would start to wonder what they had been drinking.

If they then told me that I would write, and publish, a book* covering the trials and tribulations of his first 18 months with us, I would be convinced that they were totally delusional.

Circumstances! Aren’t they wonderful? They can just happen, and our life takes on a completely new direction.

Circumstances! Provide us with incentives to step out of our comfort zones.

Circumstances! Offer us challenges from which we can expand our horizons and generally grow.

Perhaps we should all reflect on the circumstances that brought us to our current “place” and celebrate because, regardless of the positives and negatives of the various life-changing circumstances, they did happen and they did make us who we are today. As for tomorrow? There will hopefully be more circumstances.

* “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” is available direct from the Friesen Press Bookstore

https://books.friesenpress.com/store/title/119734000018826578/Colin-Chappell-Who-Said-I-Was-Up-For-Adoption%3F

A Reality Check!

I wonder how many of you have contemplated what you would like to do, but have not actually started yet. Perhaps you have an  artistic flair you want to develop? Perhaps you want to do some volunteer work? Perhaps you want to get yourself into a fitness routine? Perhaps? Perhaps? Perhaps?

There are so many aspects of our lives that could be developed, and we have every intention of working on them one day don’t we … but here’s a reality check to which some of you will be able to easily relate.

For me, the past 10 years have been a blur of events. Ray came into our lives – I lost a couple of dear friends – COVID arrived – Ukraine is fighting for survival. Then there are the various elections; the significant localized events.  Of course we can’t forget the extreme weather patterns that are generally attributed to climate change, plus events that are a natural part of our aging planet. If you are a regular news “junkie”, then you have probably pondered the “sabre rattling” by North Korea, and also by China. Will Hong Kong maintain its status quo or will it be absorbed into mainland China’s political structure?

So much of the above is simply a sign of my age. I am at an age (75) where I can recall simpler times. Of course they weren’t really simpler times at all, but I was so much younger and more self-involved so was not impacted too much by those kinds of events …. but here’s the reality check:

I was in a thoughtful mood the other day, and generally contemplating the world (and life) in general. It crossed my mind just how fast the past 10 years had gone by. It made me wonder how our world will look in 10 years time … and then it crossed my mind that I may well not be around to see it! Given the average lifespan of men here in Canada, and looking at the male side of my family tree, there is a very strong possibility that I will not be around in 2032.

The significance of that is when I think of how fast the last 10 years went by, and concluded that the next 10 years will presumably pass equally fast. I don’t know about you, but if that perspective doesn’t make you get moving on some dreams/goals, then I don’t know what will!

Food for thought!

Money! Money! Money!

I thought I had broached the topic of money a few years ago but, in the absence of a successful Blog search, I’ll pour out my thoughts on money here and now!

Money is nothing, in that it has no value until it is used to do something.

Money invested serves no purpose except to make more of the same. i.e. it is generating more nothing!

The above may sound a little irrational to some of you … but think about it.

It is an obvious fact that money is a means to an end. If you  are saving to buy a home (e.g.), then when sufficient funds are created, and the home selected, the money serves its purpose. The same rational obviously applies to cars, boats, furniture, weddings, Christmas etc. etc. The point is (and without wishing to be repetitive) that money only has value when you do something with it.

So now let’s move on to those of us who have pretty much what we want. We have probably worked for many years and have managed to achieve a low debt load, or perhaps even a zero debt load. We may still be working. We may have financially lucrative interests. We may have investments. In fact, if we have lead a financially responsible life, we could now be enjoying a relatively (financially) care-free life.

Most of us have been raised in a culture that is extremely money driven. This is neither wrong in any way, nor should it be a revelation to any of you. Money really does make our world go round. We need it to provide the basic necessities of food and shelter. We need it to ensure we get the medical treatment we need, but these are all examples of money showing its value by being used.

What about the money that is not being used? What about that investment made a few years ago on the advice of perhaps your bank. You had it in your bank account doing nothing so investing it made sense, but what are you investing it for? You may have a very precise answer, but for so many people,  the investment is “Well … why not?” “It might come in useful one day.” “Who knows what the future will bring?”

This brings to mind a quote (author unknown) “99% of what we worry about will never happen to us. Insurance companies know that and flourish as a result …………. and at our expense!”

I have suggested to a number of people that they withdraw their savings and treat themselves. Take an exotic holiday. Buy a luxury car. Do something that they have often thought about, but have hesitated because of the expense. The reality for so many people is that they work for most of their lives, and have managed to create a financial “nest egg” … which eventually is inherited by their dependants. i.e. They will enjoy the pleasure of the deceased person’s financial decisions.

There is something wrong with the concept that you and I should spend our lives saving as/when we can, but it is our dependants that get the pleasure from it all.

It should be stressed the leaving a financial gift to one’s dependants is a lovely gesture, and one which I totally support however, at what value is that gift excessive. It is my belief that my children (now middle-age!) should be given a financial gift as/when I leave this earth. My emphasis however is that it should be relatively small gift, rather than a life-changing one.  The issues I see with large gifts fall into two areas.

If they are aware of a large inheritance, they will likely plan accordingly and generally behave like privileged individuals. As their father, I want them to stay financially well grounded and be productive  members of society.

I have the options to enjoy my savings now, or let somebody else enjoy my savings later. I can determine where my money goes in advance (specify in a will),  or I can let the recipients determine where it goes.

So what was the point of this post? I wanted to stress two rather obvious, but often little thought about, aspects of money.

  1. It has no value until used to do something. Saving it for the sake of saving and with no defined end purpose is not only pointless but rather insensitive given the amount of publicly funded organizations providing key services to our less fortunate members of society.
  2.  I would suggest that we all have financially dependant dreams for ourselves. It may be a luxury cruise, or perhaps buying a boat etc., or perhaps helping a local charity achieve its goals.  Do we want to pursue those goals while we can, or do we want our dependants to make the decisions about how the money is spent?

Finally, and only if you do have some available money, click on the book covers in the right hand column and decide which one (or two) you are going to treat yourself to! I can highly recommend “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” to anybody who has a “soft spot” for a rescue dogs. I can also highly recommend “The Odessa Chronicles” to anybody who loves fun fiction, especially when it involves a human trying to negotiate his way through life, but having to deal with a Barn Owl, a Jackalope and a Cat! If there is a child within you … you will love this book. There is also “Just Thinking” …. highly recommended if you are a thinker, and love to ponder various aspects of life!

Food for thought.

 

Laughter really is the best medicine!

The following were sent to me with an introduction that read – “These are from a book called  Disorder in the American Courts and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while the exchanges were taking place.”
Given that I heard a slight variation to one of them around 50 years ago in England, I strongly doubt the authenticity however, I give the writer full marks for creativity … and welcome anything that causes smiles! Enjoy!
**   ***  *****  ***  **
ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?’
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
 WITNESS: My name is Susan!
**   ***  *****  ***  **
ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
**   ***  *****  ***  **
ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.
**   ***  *****  ***  **
ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?
WITNESS: July 18th.
ATTORNEY: What year?
WITNESS: Every year.
**   ***  *****  ***  **
ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?
WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.
ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?
WITNESS: Forty-five years.
**   ***  *****  ***  **
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget..
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
**   ***  *****  ***  **
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
**   ***  *****  ***  **
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He’s 20, much like your IQ.
**   ***  *****  ***  **
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?
**   ***  *****  ***  **
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Getting laid
**   ***  *****  ***  **
ATTORNEY: She had three children , right?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
WITNESS: None.
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
**   ***  *****  ***  **
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death..
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.
**   ***  *****  ***  **
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.
**   ***  *****  ***  **
 ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
 WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
**   ***  *****  ***  **
ATTORNEY: Doctor , how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
**   ***  *****  ***  **
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
WITNESS: Oral…
**   ***  *****  ***  **
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
**   ***  *****  ***  **
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?
**   ***  *****  ***  **
And last:
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
WITNESS: No..
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.