Monday, November 28, 2016


My brother Murray and I Facetimed today and he told me this.
My Dad was 92 years old and he was over the moon because he was going to a Christmas Dinner with his favourite girl. Mom had been in long-term care for one year while dad lived alone in an adjoining apartment facility. It was December and Dad's apartment neighbours were scheduling an annual Christmas Dinner. Mom's meds were balanced and she was feeling better than she had in a long time. Dad asked my brother Murray, "do you think it would be okay if I took Mom to the dinner?" Murray replied, "I don't see why not." Murray made the arrangements. The caring staff promised to have Mom's hair done and a lovely dress ready to wear. Mom could be seated in a wheel chair and if she grew weary during the evening, he could leave with her. Murray sensed Dad's excitement as the date grew nearer.  Murray had Dad's suit dry cleaned, and Dad had a favourite tie to wear. Murray said he would accompany Dad to Mom's room to insure all was well. Dad was noticeably pumped about this evening. His face and his mood told Murray that Dad was going on a date, a special evening with his sweetheart. They took the elevator to the first floor and as they walked down the lengthy corridors, an enthusiastic Dad surprised Murray by breaking out in song. The tune was unfamiliar to Murray as Dad sang heartily the words to 'Darktown Strutter's Ball' a landmark 1917 recording by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. Upon finishing it by the end of the corridor to Murray's utter shock, Dad jumped off the ground and clicked his heels together.

I'll be down to get you in a taxi, honey
Pick you up 'bout half past eight
Oh honey don't be late
I want to be there when the band starts playin'

Remember when we get there, honey
Two step, we're gonna have a ball
I'm gonna dance out of my shoes
When they play the Jelly Roll Blues
Tomorrow night at the Darktown Strutter's Ball

Got my new threads ready
And they're really something
With you in yours we'll look a smash
We're gonna make a splash
And when the band starts playin'
Baby we'll start swayin'

Remember when we get there honey
We're gonna dance the night away
And things are gonna hit the roof
When they see the way you move
Tomorrow night at the Darktown Strutter's Ball

Mom and Dad have been gone since 2007 and 2008 respectively, and Murray, Neale and I cannot help thinking about them occasionally.

Saturday, November 5, 2016


The light of my new 50-watt flood lamp will last longer than I do. If I let it shine 24/7 it will shine for 15 years.  My genetics project me that far without guarantees. Think of it, my Phillips 50-watt lamp and its two siblings in the 3-pack, will each glow through three more US Presidential campaigns and be on the cusp of a fourth. From north of the 49th Parallel, this Presidential amusement is spectator sport held every 4 years like the Olympics, Football World Cup, UEFA European Championship, and Rugby World Cup but is comparatively more costly.


IF President Trump wakes up Nov 9th.
§  2017 trade war with China; 45% imports tariff
§  2017 trade war with Mexico; 35% imports tariff
§  China & Mexico go into recession; block US businesses
§  US businesses lose 7 million jobs
§  Soaring US inflation, recession, even depression
§  U.S. renegotiates NAFTA
§  Repeal Obamacare; 24 million without insurance.
§  Deportation 2 million illegal immigrants; cost $20 billion
§  Huge tax cuts > spending cuts > job loss
§  Halting immigration from Terror prone countries
§  Pull out of Trans-Pacific Partnership and Paris climate-change agreement
§  Cancel US climate change programs
§  Devalues ally nations risking international instability
§  military standoff with China in South China Sea
§  military standoff with North Korea
§  resumption of waterboarding
§  federal agencies go after Hillary Clinton

IF President Clinton wakes up Nov 9th.
§  Comes into office under criminal investigation
§  Scandals and Wikileaks never go away
§  foreign policy and national security platform follows Obama's
§  builds on Obama’s affordable universal health care
§  a Paycheck Fairness Act to challenge sex-based pay discrimination
§  Increases minimum wage to $12 or $15; requires Congressional approval
§  Creates a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants
§  Deports criminal illegal immigrants
§  Republican House resists all Clinton moves
§  Her administration raises tax for ultra wealthy
§  Withdraws from the Trans Pacific Partnership
§  Eliminates tuition for families with income less $125,000/yr
§  amends constitution to undue Citizens United (super PACS)
§  Expands background checks for gun sales

§  Increases federal infrastructure funding $275 billion over 5 yrs. (bridges, highways, airports