Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday musings

Come and gone in a blink...what the heck?
Yah, you wait 51.75 weeks for Christmas and that's it.
Done.
Finis.
Toast.
History.
Humph.
So now the short few days of ennui before the start of the New Year and the world slowly cranks up to speed again.
All the things that seemed to be far in the future - you know, "next year country", well, all of a sudden it really is next year now for crying out loud!
Time to plan the year unfolding and making sure all checkpoints are identified and slotted in some sort of timeline.
Did I mention learning to sky dive maybe? 
Oops.
I suppose the submarine excursion yearned for, well did I forget to mention that as well?
Oops again.
Drats.
Speaking of oops - it appears that I am the cause of an uproar online these days due to yet another small "oops" that happened in last weeks' blog.
Yes, someone actually does read the blog!
How cool is that???
Anyway, apparently when I modestly mentioned that we hung Christmas lights this year on our ramshackle abode, well........instead of the photo of the 3 tiny l.e.d. bulbs spasmodically flickering dimly in the night, a photo of the lights from the folks across the street was inserted!
And now the buggers want and demand royalty payments from your impoverished blogger!
Oh the pain.
Hmm...
Maybe they will be satisfied with a hand delivered copy of one of my travel vignettes from Goats R Us Productions?
Maybe.
Maybe not.
Oh well.
 I have been asked to make a few predictions (wild guesses actually) about some items of interest for the year 2015 so - here goes.
1. The petro dollar - down now but by mid year back up-up-up again.
2. Crimea - quiet now but hmm, could be a smoldering fuse there.
3. Ebola in Africa - this will not go away quietly.
4. Civil unrest in America - scary thing that.
5. Canadian election - possibly more of the same.
6. Argentina debt and inflation - worrisome to say the least.
7. Odds of me winning the lotto? Still less than zero
That is it for projections and in all likelihood all wet except for number 7 and that will be something to look forward to.
That being said, one would be remiss if, at this year end blog we did not thank all that took a few moments to read the odd blog during its almost 4 years of existence.
Not sure at this time if there will be a year 5.
Not be easy to do this week in and out and not become stuck in a whiny groove endlessly repeating the same old rant.
Some say that that is too late.
Others demure and still enjoy the words.
So with this, the last blog of 2014, I leave you with a few photos and thanks and best wishes for a great 2015.


take care out there,
flatlander52

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday musings

Well, it is the last Sunday before Christmas and as is the norm, the pace of my life has slowed to a crawl which is OK.
It is difficult to get wound up about this and that around the world.
Just not so into it right about now.
So....let's catch up on a few things and people alright?
Remember over the years ( can you believe that we are almost done with the 4th year of this blog?) my talking about my three "daughters"?
Well, one is now a mother twice around and this winter her house has been recognized online as one of the "sparkle" homes (Christmas light festooned that is) in the city we used to live in.
Pretty special person she is.
"Daughter" number two is vacationing right now in a sunny and warm spot with her better half and looking forward to the upcoming wedding of one of her own daughters.
Pretty special person she is.
"Daughter" number three continues to weave her literary magic with three books published in the last year and yet another in the final stages right now.
Pretty special person she is.
And yes, to all you naysayers reading, these are not my actual daughters but I would have been proud and honoured to be their actual father.
They have enriched my life over the years.
What better continuing Christmas present could one hope to ask for?
And receive?
Thought so.
On another small, yet totally immodest note - a vignette from my own film production company (thanks for asking - it is called Goats R Us Productions!) is making the rounds of the Interweb!
And there is talk of possibly an invitation to the Short Film Festival held on the Sandwich Islands next year, now who woulda thought eh?
We had friends and family visit us throughout the summer this year and loved to show them our "new" home here on this fabulous Island.


And yes, sometimes it seemed a little chaotic but when all was said and done - it was a lot of fun.
We continued to explore this Island called home and spent a wonderful time on the shores of the wild, west side - truly awesome in scope.

video


 Visited the Prairie flatlands after 3 summers away and was re-introduced to wind and mosquitoes the size of small ponies but still nice to do again.
Flew in a floatplane for the first time - striking yet another item off our so called "bucket list" and wow, what a treat that was for us to experience.


Heck, even put up Christmas lights for the first time in over 30 years - what is going on here?
Perhaps I can put that on the shoulders of Mrs. Claws?
Ya think?

And yes, we were so very fortunate to once again spend precious time on those marvelous Sandwich Islands - second only in affection to my own Island.
And yes, many decry the place and criticize the sometimes over the top schmaltzy portrayal of life and the people that live there but there is a certain magic that no one can deny.


So....in the spirit of goodwill that exists so briefly among us at this time of year, count your blessings and take a moment to savour what you have.
For many it is not anywhere near as good as what you might complain about at times.
And truly...take care out there,
flatlander 52

and of course- Merry Ho Ho from the Elves!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday musings

Solitude.
Quietness.
Reflective time.
Went for a walk the other day in one of my favourite haunts amid a gentle drizzle just to appreciate some of the things I have in life.
With it being a tad cool and wet, the usual number of folks walking about were not as numerous as is their normal wont.
And that was just fine.
Stopped at the base of an arbutus tree and saw water droplets glistening on a woodland fern.
Shimmering silver sparkles on a day with limited sunshine.
A pair of hummingbirds thrummed by in the search for food - food and even more food.
So determined and so tiny.
Further along the walk, a small river fed by recent rains thundered and roared filling the silence of the walk with its all encompassing volume.
Ferocious and compelling.
A deer walked out from between a stand of trees - saw me, seemed to nod and then slowly turned and continued on its solitary way - similar to my own.
Kinda put me in my place in the scheme of things.
Further along, stood by the resting place of some totem poles that had been "retired" and returned to the ground to become one with the land again.
Could only stare and wonder.
Walked by an empty swimming pool that echoed with the memory of playing, laughing children of the summer just passed.
And smiled.
It is a big world we live in, isn't it?
And people live in all kinds of ways.
Some opulent.
Some tacky.
Some so desperately needing.
Some so blessed.
Some so cursed.
One could go bonkers grieving for the ones that have so little future and so little to live for but there is so little that one can do by themselves.
And yet... every little bit does help if only a little.
If a person can develop a pattern of doing the small things - peoples lives can improve, if only a little.
So yes, the once a year conscience driven donation to a food bank works.
Giving away old furniture/appliances to the needy rather than selling or trashing works.
Paying it forward as it is called - truly helps those that need it the most and is a good thing.
Just think, it could be you in dire straits and not some unknown face in the news video -right?
Sometimes a walk like that calms you down and puts a perspective on certain things back into your vision.
Not a bad thing at all.
The world continues to spin in its own puzzling ways as well.
Greenpeace, an organization that many people admire did a horrible thing this week in South America. As a visual form of protest promoting renewable energy - they desecrated the historic Nazca line drawings in Peru.

What excuse is there for this?
They lose credibility in my eyes when they are worse than what they profess to despise.
As Pogo said - "we have met the enemy and he is us."
Why?
Over in America it seems that the fiscal cliff was averted due to a compromise among leaders including the President. This means no Federal government shut down for a year now.
That is a good thing and not just for America but the whole world.
And already vague non attributable news sources are muttering about interest rate increases possibly starting in the upcoming year in North America and Europe.
And that might not be a bad thing.
With such low rates as we have had for the last number of years, many, many people have taken out loans to purchase items possibly not really needed and the resulting personal debt levels are reaching scary levels these days.
Time for a breather perhaps.
It all depends on how any possible rate increases are implemented and the amount of any increase will be critical.
Moderate and balanced increases will halt the debt load increase.
Large jumps will financially destroy a generation.
Over on the Sandwich Islands, at the Lahaina Cannery Mall last weekend saw the kickoff to the holiday season with the arrival of Santa and the Angel Tree giving project sponsored by the Salvation Army at the Mall.
As well free entertainment, the always welcome Hula Show is presented to shoppers.

And who cannot enjoy the Hawaiian salutation to Merry Christmas?

Here on my Island, once again this year the noted Saskatchewan artist, V. Morhart sent out his limited edition Christmas card greetings to a select few folks and as always, is very appreciated.

take care out there,
flatlander52
The holiday season kicks into high gear Saturday, Dec. 6, at Lahaina Cannery Mall with the arrival of Santa and the Kahiau Angel Tree giving project donation drive in partnership with the Salvation Army Lahaina Outpost. - See more at: http://www.lahainanews.com/page/content.detail/id/531040/Santa--Angel-Tree-giving-program---song-and-the-holiday-spirit-arrive-at-Lahaina-Cannery-Mall.html?nav=8#sthash.cllrEsIR.dpuf
The holiday season kicks into high gear Saturday, Dec. 6, at Lahaina Cannery Mall with the arrival of Santa and the Kahiau Angel Tree giving project donation drive in partnership with the Salvation Army Lahaina Outpost. - See more at: http://www.lahainanews.com/page/content.detail/id/531040/Santa--Angel-Tree-giving-program---song-and-the-holiday-spirit-arrive-at-Lahaina-Cannery-Mall.html?nav=8#sthash.cllrEsIR.dpuf
The holiday season kicks into high gear Saturday, Dec. 6, at Lahaina Cannery Mall with the arrival of Santa and the Kahiau Angel Tree giving project donation drive in partnership with the Salvation Army Lahaina Outpost. - See more at: http://www.lahainanews.com/page/content.detail/id/531040/Santa--Angel-Tree-giving-program---song-and-the-holiday-spirit-arrive-at-Lahaina-Cannery-Mall.html?nav=8#sthash.cllrEsIR.dpuf
The holiday season kicks into high gear Saturday, Dec. 6, at Lahaina Cannery Mall with the arrival of Santa and the Kahiau Angel Tree giving project donation drive in partnership with the Salvation Army Lahaina Outpost. - See more at: http://www.lahainanews.com/page/content.detail/id/531040/Santa--Angel-Tree-giving-program---song-and-the-holiday-spirit-arrive-at-Lahaina-Cannery-Mall.html?nav=8#sthash.cllrEsIR.dpuf

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday musings

And now it is the third last week of the year.
Huh.
Something parents never told you about was that as you yourself age - that while every day seems so long at times, the weeks/months zip by in a blink.
Go figure.
Anyway, the price of oil continues to slide but you notice how airline ticket prices do not?
Or here on my Island - ferry ticket prices go up rather than down!
Go figure.
Met with a chap this week who wondered why the UN (Useless Nations that is) blathered about emissions produced by Canada when this country apparently produces 3.3% of the worlds emissions. But the same pompous twit from the UN (Useless Nations that is) says nada to China or India which happen to be number one and two in that category.
Go figure.
Ah heck, does it really matter anyway?
Does anyone think that they can make a difference anymore?
Maybe.
Just don't think so.
And the Philippines just got hammered again by another large typhoon - Hagupit with massive water and structural damage happening. Not even a year since the last hit by typhoon Haiyan.
Not fair is it?
73 years ago, on December 7th, the American nation was sucked into the conflict historians call World War Two, by an attack from the armed forces of Imperial Japan. Even after all these years, this is a case of black and white and not the revisionist shades of grey that is so popular with social media wimps these days.
And yes, that was indeed - A day of Infamy.
America might be a bit battered and bruised these days but still is the brightest beacon of hope in this savage world for the average person.
The New Year will see a change in the federal power structure in America with the Republican Party controlling both parts of government and the President being a Democrat in the twilight of his Presidency will probably do as much as possible to hinder any programs they may want to implement. Already he has obfuscated nonsense on a proposed oil pipeline from Canada to the American Gulf refineries in order to appease his voting base in direct contrast to real logic. And this is probably the start of what may sadly called a silly season in American politics.
And the threat of fiscal shutdown is growing by the day - been a while since this old bogeyman has been mentioned right?
The fun and games in American politics is really gonna heat up starting in a few weeks so hold on to your hats folks.
Strange, well really sad, not strange saga unfolding in Canadian politics these past weeks in the accusations of 2 member of an Opposition Party of sexual harassment against 2 members of an other Opposition Party.
All of a sudden the Leader of the Party making the accusations is outraged that the Leader of the other Party suspended the 2 members accused.
He says it embarrasses the 2 accusers.
He says it should have been hushed up and keep quiet and handled behind closed doors.
Does this sound right to you?
Sexual harassment is a serious charge and if true - a horrible crime.
Punishable by a civilized society that has basic human values.
But because this happened in a Government environment - closed doors and no legal accountability?
Wrong.
Wrong.
Wrong and he should be ashamed and apologize for that lack of.....perhaps moral fiber is the best set of words to use.
As it stands, 2 men have their lives and careers destroyed by innuendo.
No chance for it to be proved or disproved.
And that is right?
Oh Canada.
What is with your politicians?
Off to the Sandwich Islands for some good cheer.
This weekend sees the 17th annual lighting of the Banyan tree in downtown Lahaina on Maui. It is arguably one of the most famous landmarks of that town and was planted in 1873 by Sheriff Bill Smith to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the arrival of missionaries to the Island.
The tree came from India and was 8 feet high.
Now it has a dozen main trunks and has spread over an acre.
We have been very fortunate to have walked many times under this wondrous tree in Lahaina town.

Back on my Island we have, as you do, only a few short weeks until Christmas and as mentioned last week, I have indeed been a good person this past year - at least in my opinion!
The malls are full and there really is some sort of bustle all around.
My better half has even put up a number of lights and the like in spite of my whiny grumblings...sigh..oh well...perhaps Santa will leave me 2 lumps of coal this year instead of the usual IOU note!


take care out there,
flatlander 52