Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sunday musings...adieu

Six months have gone by in a blink.....
Welcome back, even if only for a fond farewell...
I said I would wait this long and think long and hard whether or not to continue and so I did....
No regrets....
None at all....
Adieu one and all.....
So thanks and for the last time - take care....
flatlander 52

A Hui Ho!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sunday musings

Well, back a week now.
Settling back into the same old routines.
Somewhat conforting.
Somewhat saddening.
As usual, the more things change - the more they stay the same - right?
One gets tired of the sameness after time after time of it all.
Just human I guess.
You know I have been rattling on for the last couple of months about the right time to end this blog.
The time seems right.
As in every thing in life, there comes a moment that if you astute enough, you know when to end something.
A politician when the public trough is emptied.
An athlete when the ravages of time become apparent.
A singer when the voice and audience melts away.
A Blogger when they realize that the topic(s) repeat over and over and over and......
You get it.
I have had a great run my friends and I am honoured that every week for the last 4 plus years you logged on and took a chance on my column.
I honestly cannot say if this is the forever end or just a period of hiatus.
Perhaps I will get the "itch" again to rail against the vicissitudes of the world some day.
Can't say.
For now, I am taking some time off to reflect, pause and regroup and smile again.
That's a good thing.
If I do return - look for me in October as that is my cut off moment whether or not to return.
If not, then thanks again - you did much more for me than I could have ever done for you - trust me.
take care out there,

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday musings

That's it
3 weeks on the Sandwich Islands gone in a flash
The world repeats itself this past month it seems.
Want some examples?
Sure, here we go starting with yet another veto by the American President Obama of a proposed oil pipeline running from Canada to American refineries for processing and almost all the profit flowing into American hands.
One suspects he will be vetoing this in his sleep 40 years from now.
Another example, ISIS continues its evil rampage against civilization - with little world opposition.
The ugly war in the Ukraine - still going strong. A cease fire agreed to by Mr. Putin - seems he forgot about that before the ink was dry.
And speaking of Russia - the Leader of the Opposition to Mr. Putin was murdered in the middle of Red Square this week.
Are we seeing the return to a dictatorship by that country or has it already happened by stealth?
Indeed Mr. Putin has personally taken a hand in the investigation of this crime - shades of the corrupt Inspector from the movie Casablanca when he says "round up the usual suspects!"
Drought in California - what year is this anyway?
Iran insults America at the bargaining table with no repercussions.
The three companies with total control of Canadian Internet service raise their rates again with no fear of government reprisal.
Heck the Canadian government seems more intent on explaining how it cannot craft a law within a 12 month deadline from its own Supreme Court on assisted suicide because it is "too complex" an issue. Hmm... too complex but not because there is an election this year and they do not appear to have, oh, let us say, the INTEGRITY to do the right thing because they may lose a few votes in that election?
No honour  is there?
Another example?
How about the sanctimonious attitude of folks about the "whiteness" of the Academy Awards?
Like really?
You mean it never was just a "white" industry?
These are the same people that inflict the Kardashians, the Honey Boo Boo's, the Duck folk on you. And they do so because the viewer laps it up because they are filled with envy and scorn of their fellow humans. And anything that demeans them - well that makes the "common" folks just a little bit better.
So, as said, this month seemed like the movie Ground Hog Day to me.
Too much sun, sand and quietness to get annoyed.
That being said, some things to check into in the coming months.
Argentina - where goes that country with an election this year as well and rampant inflation and stories of corruption and dark "things" abounding?
Greece - default now or in 4 months and what will it cost you?
America - what happens with its lame duck President and befuddled opposition?
Canada - the falling dollar and the hit to oil prices - can you spell recession yet?
France - what will you do to help the fate of Jews in your increasingly polarized country?
Germany - bully or European financial savior?
On a different note and truly a sad one, yet another hero is gone from us.
Leonard Nimoy is among the Cosmos now.
He was an actor and the character he portrayed over the decades is a beacon of light for many.
Look up his life and pause.
Live long and prosper - your rest is well deserved sir.
But enough for now as while you read this (today being Sunday) we are somewhere above the clouds heading back to our Island in the sun on the coast of British Columbia.
Looking forward to seeing home again and flowers starting to bloom in the earlier than normal Spring we are getting this year.
So, aloha to my beloved Sandwich Isles - definitely A  hui hou!!
Mahalo folks.......

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday musings

Another week has passed on these marvellous Islands and yet again another gift to you - a shorter than normal that is!
Well to the surprise of many, Greece has negotiated a 4 month loan extension on its debt mountain much to the apparent disapproval of the German government.
And the money markets responded in a small positive way.
Can't figure out if this is a good thing or just delaying what some call the inevitable declaration of bankruptcy of the Greek state.
A cynic might observe that no matter what the outcome, the bankers and inside traders will win and the lonely taxpayer will foot the bill.
Who said something to the effect of "history repeating itself" anyway?
The latest electronic lynch mob frenzy is sweeping the United States in terms of truth in reporting with yet a second and third well known and respected news reporter being accused of "conflabbing" the truth in their recollections of war zone reporting in the past.
Enough already and how about those nameless, faceless keyboard attackers get a life and move out of their parents garage and get a job and hey - pay some taxes??
Oh, and yes I did spot the typo in last weeks blog but in all honesty, felt too lazy to correct it - blame in on these Sandwich Islands OK?
Speaking of OK, this week the "BOSS" and I got to see a free concert given by the talented Henry Kapono.
A true master of Island music with an engaging personality and marvellous voice.
Last year on Maui we saw Hapa and now this year on Hawaii, Henry K. - does it get any better?

I suspect that it was a good thing that he did not recognize me and ask me to get onstage and sing with him as the entire area might have been evacuated in a few seconds as my better half compares my dulcet tones to that that of enduring a session of fingernail dragging on a chalkboard!
I see on the little bit of TV news we get here that many parts of North America are continuing to dig and dig and dig out from snow or still shiver from lasting cold snaps. Nothing funny about that condition and one can only hope that the longed for Spring will make a dim memory of these difficult times for all involved.
We did the drive from Kailua Kona to Hawi this week and it is educational how much the topography on this side of the Island resembles that of the area around Medicine Hat, Alberta. Typical ranchland is the concept that springs to the mind. 
And yet the other side of the Island is tropical rainforest style. 
And that we will see next week when we motor to Akaka Falls near Hilo.
Oh, we have seen a large number of whales this year.
Simple awesome - really and truly.
And mankind hunts and kills them?
And we are the better species?

What is it with folks these days that when a person dies tragically, whether by roadside accident or in the case of a little boy who wandered outside the building he was staying in and froze to death, that they are compelled to leave visible markers such as teddy bears, toys and the like at the site? Or how the trend is to have interweb fund raising sites pop up to pay for the funeral? Is this a case of people really caring or just a way of exposing their shallow "wannabe part of a group" beehive mentality that is a consequence of this Twiiter \Instagram world that now surrounds us?
Heck, you cannot walk on a beach without seeing almost 90% of the people with their eyes staring at a cellphone while they walk along, totally oblivious to the beauty that is around them.
George Orwell must be smiling one suspects.
Sad, really sad.
A friend from My Island e mailed this week and said that Spring is a month ahead of the norm and plants are starting to "bud out". One suspects that this will be a good year weather wise on the Island but water conservation will be a concern possibly due to a lack of snow fall in the mountains this winter.
Oh well, so it goes.
In the meantime...time to go to Da Beach!

A Hui Huo!!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday musings

Aha - you might think this was late being posted and if you live in Old Blighty - you might be correct.
But since we are on the beach here on the Sandwich Isles - right on schedule.
So, with that bit of advance warning, you would be right in guessing that this weeks blog will be both :
(a) short
(b) have a few pictures
One suspects there will be grateful sighs of relieve to read that this will be short!
As usual, world news goes through the filter of American "eyes" here and more time is spent on Washington news and local farm and state items than things like oil prices, the war in the Ukraine and that.
Indeed the brouhaha surrounding the well known national TV News Anchor "fib" and work suspension is much more important.
Oh well.
And since we are in such a special place, world affairs just are not so urgent anyway.
Submarine ride update.
Much to the sorrow of the noted Saskatchewan painter we know, the head of ValMar productions, the screen door on the sub he warned me about was indeed shut for the descent!
No one told me about the leaky skylight though.....
What a gorgeous and marvellous world there is beneath the water surface.
Humbling really.
Mankind can be so inward looking arrogant at times and when you see this even for a short time, you are taken aback.
Everyone should do this ride.
Today we leave for the island of Hawaii or the Big Island as some refer to.
Looking forward to this our first trip in over 25 years.
I promise a longer blog next week (maybe!) and leave you with some pictures.
A Hui Ho!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunday musings

So I mentioned last week about Spring being at the front door - well, tell that to the east coast of North America or even the British Columbia Rockies and area.
Boy oh boy did they get whacked with snow blast after blast after blast.
My bad.
But..... the rhododendrons are starting to bloom in select areas around here on my Island and the local ski mountain has closed for the season due to no snow anymore.
So a famous American News person is admitting to "conflabbing" the truth about an episode in a war zone involving (or not) him.
Since when is the word conflab the same as lying?
Babble speak so as to minimize the impact.
From a reporter no less.
As bad as those "talking heads" that look at a TV camera solemnly and say they cannot comment due to privacy laws. And yet in the large majority of instances these pompous twits would not know privacy requirements if it bit them in the ass.
A smokescreen to hide behind and not be accountable.
You notice more and more in society people are making sure they get all they can and yet refuse to be accountable and spend untold time and resources to avoid responsibility yet piously attack via faceless keyboard anybody who is not "vanilla"?
And what of those folks that refuse to vaccinate their children?
Either because they are lazy or as some might say - stupid.
The autism society of America has flat out said vaccines do not cause autism - but do these "parents" care?
Do they think?
How about making them financially responsible for medical expenses incurred when their infected children infect others because of their irresponsible attitude?
How about making them accountable for the sorrow caused if someones child dies from measles supplied by their infected "free choice" offspring?
A selfish me first generation.
And they have no excuse for this - none - period.
Take your pick but they are wrong.
Heck, they probably vaccinate their dog or cat with no second thought!
The American store chain called Target is shuttering its Canadian operations and it is educational to see a couple of things happening in the process.
First, in line with a somewhat blase approach to consumer - signs indicating stock liquidation ranging up to 30% actually were meant for a small, small, small amount of merchandise. Almost a disdain for the shoppers that came out for the "sale". That being said, it is interesting to see the self entitled spoiled arrogance of the shopper that loudly proclaims to be insulted by the lack of almost free "stuff".
Selfish me first folks - embarrassing to think they are my fellow citizens.
And yes, Canucks can be arrogant in their so called self proclaimed humility when it is exposed to the world.
The Canadian Supreme court has ruled on doctor assisted suicide this week in favour of those wanting the right to do so.
The Federal government has vowed to take the full year extended by the Court to change legislation.
Funny that.
A full year is needed.
Oh, did I mention there is a Federal election this year?
And in the House of Commons, not a single question from the Opposition side on this matter to the Government.
Not one.
Makes a person wonder why.
And the irony in this is that Health care is a Provincial matter by law - and yet no one in the media is mentioning that.
Hello news networks - do some homework OK?
And the dirty vicious wars in the Ukraine, Middle East and elsewhere flame brightly - was it only a month ago the airwaves were full of wishes of "goodwill to all men"?
A slow trickle of news reports now becoming a small torrent is about a demanded restitution of goods seized in the Cuban revolution of over 1/2 a century ago to Americans as a condition of better relations.
One assumes that the American government of the day made restitution to those affected by their war of Independence?
This might be a tough sell to the Cubans and the world community.
Next thing you know, native Americans might demand the same from Washington!
There were and are a lot of treaties made with them and Canadian First Nations as well by Governments that were never honoured - a fact.
 Next week - my submarine ride and that is gonna be cool to say the least.
Hmm, assuming that I can be wedged into the darn thing!
take care out there,
oh- gone fishing!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sunday musings

OK, still torn between continuing this blog or walking away....
Until I make up my mind... let's continue for as long as the road beckons.....
I know a smattering of history, will never claim to be a scholar but do know that many great minds and good people were and are produced by the Muslim culture.
The same can be said for the Christian, Pagan, Buddhist and others.....
And this only shows the incredible disservice to their religion (or so they claim) and to mankind that the "people" involved in the terror group ISSIS do with their foul deeds and thinking.
And now 2 more hostages beheaded.
There seems to be no way to have a dialogue with them.
History will unfold, envelop and dismiss them - a fact to be proven over time.
Eventually mankind tires of petty tyrants and fanatical groups and grinds them into memories.
No one will or should miss them when it happens.
The Canadian dollar continues to slide downward in value compared to the American greenback. Only a short time ago they were equal and now the Cdn is worth less than .79 USA. Apparently this is good for some manufacturers and exporters but the average citizen will pay more for any and all imported goods and think 2 or 3 times before venturing abroad as the cost of living outside Canada will be much higher.
Some blame the falling value of oil.
Some blame the banks.
Some blame the lazy Canadian worker (never seen many of those in my life).
Some blame the infamous "them".
Maybe it is just a cyclical thing.
Greece is getting used to having a "leftist" style government is power.
Still baby steps at this point and the next 3 months will set the tone for that country and indeed the whole European Union.
Will it be able to write off a whole boatload of debt?
Heck, many big businesses do so without apparent penalty but one digresses.
And if it does, will Portugal, Argentina and Venezuela be far behind?
Speaking of my beloved Argentina, troubling times there as a special investigator is murdered and some pundits point fingers at the President herself as being behind this.
Hmm...not sure about that but the country does need answers sooner than later one thinks.
As it is, the economic health of Argentina could use a little boost these days and maybe one day those vulture loan lawsuits will end once and for all and the country can move forward.
A person should see that land at least once in their lives, it is so wonderful and the people are special.
In America, political gridlock is almost upon the country as we see the specter of an incumbent, soon to be retired, President determined to impose his will on the Houses of Government - regardless of what the people voted for in recent elections.
That makes one ask - does any politician care, really care about the folks that pay their wages?
It has been said here before, that the world needs a strong America, not a bemused, becalmed befuddled and impotent America.
In a sign of intolerance in Europe, reports are stating the many French Jews are fleeing that land to live in Israel. Sad to say, a silent fact is how deep was the collaboration of the French authorities with the Nazi regime during the Second World War in the murder of those of the Jewish faith. And yet one of the true safe havens for Jews in Europe seems to be Berlin.
Intolerance whether of religion, colour or nationality is unforgivable in a civilized world and yet many people terrified at the loss of economic stability, plain fear, greed or envy cannot resist base cries against others.
The old canard - better them than me - is their sad justification.
Hey, remember reading here about a possible submarine ride?
Yup, gonna happen.
I will set sail soon on a short trip aboard the Atlantis submarine.
Hope they shut the screen doors when we head out!

In a sure sign of Spring here on my Island, our letter carrier folks are into walking shorts so Winter must be finished - right?
take care out there,