Category Archives: Public Service

Adbusters Anti-Harper Attack Ad

We are better than this.

Click pic to watch ad.

better

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Filed under Canada Strong and Free, Education, Inspiration, Public Service, Wisdom

How Do You Ask for a Date? The Good Old Days Part 1

Snapshot 1 (29-08-2014 10-46 PM)

 

 

CLICK EITHER PICTURE TO FIND OUT

Snapshot 2 (29-08-2014 10-47 PM)

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Getting Out of Your Own Way

Stuck for a New Year’s resolution?

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

by Marc Chernoff

As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
  2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.  No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
  3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
  5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
  6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
  7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
  8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
  9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
  10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
  12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
  14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
  15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
  16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
  17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
  18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
  19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
  20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.
  21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
  23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.  Read Getting Things Done.
  24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.
  25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.  You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
  26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
  27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.  But making one person smile CAN change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus.
  28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?”  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
  29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

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Filed under Life and Life Only, Public Service, shaman, Wisdom

Top Five Bum Wines

As a public service, I offer these reviews from bumwines.com

Cisco
18% alcohol by vol.
Cisco is bottled by the U.S.’s second largest wine company, Canandaigua Wine Co., in Canandaigua, NY and Naples, NY – the same company as Wild Irish Rose.

Known as “liquid crack,” for its reputation for wreaking more mental havoc than the cheapest tequila.  Something in this syrupy hooch seems to have a synapse-blasting effect not unlike low-grade cocaine.  The label insists that the ingredients are merely “citrus wine & grape wine with artificial flavor & artificial color,” but anyone who has tried it knows better.  Tales of Cisco-induced semi-psychotic fits are common.  Often, people on a Cisco binge end up curled into a fetal ball, shuddering and muttering paranoid rants.  Nudity and violence may well be involved too.  Everyone who drinks this feels great at first, and claims, “It’s not bad at all, I like it.”  But, you really do not want to mess around with this one, because they all sing a different tune a few minutes later.  And by tune, I mean the psychotic ramblings of a raging naked bum.

In 1991, Cisco’s tendency to cause a temporary form of inebriated insanity led the Federal Trade Commission to require its bottlers to print a warning on the label.  The FTC also forced them to drop their marketing slogan, “Takes You by Surprise,” even though it was entirely accurate.  Since those days, Cisco is harder to find outside the slums, although the FTC’s demonizing of the drink only bolstered its reputation for getting people trashed.  Anyone who overlooks the warning and confuses this with a casual wine cooler is going to get more than they bargained for.  Cisco will make a new man out of you.  And he wants some too.

Our research shows that Cisco is actually the second best tasting of the five great bum wines, especially if you’re having one of those hankerings for cheap Vodka, Jell-O and Robitussin.  We must also note that Cisco is the best of all 5 bum wines at putting the darkest and puffiest bags under your eyes.  The nuclear-tinted color of “Cisco RED” is reminiscent of diesel fuel.  Most Cisco flavors are named by the fruit flavor that they are trying to emulate, but the one picture is simply called “RED.”  This chemical disaster will get your head spinning in no time.  A test subject reports, “Strawberry Cisco has a bouquet similar to that of Frankenberry cereal fermented in wine cooler with added sprinkle of brandy for presentation.”  The sticky, sickeningly sweet taste with a hint of antifreeze really comes through in the repellant taste of Cisco.  Available in various flavors, 375 mL and 750 mL sizes.  Down a whole 750 mL and you had better be ready to clear your calendar as you suffer through Cisco’s legendary 2-day hangover.

MD 20/20
18% or 13% alcohol by vol.

As majestic as the cascading waters of a drainpipe, MD 20/20 is bottled by the 20/20 Wine Company in Westfield, New York.  This  is a good place to start for the street wine rookie, but beware; this dog has a  bite to back up its bark.  MD Stands for Mogen David, and is  affectionately called “Mad Dog 20/20”.  You’ll find this  beverage as often in a bum’s nest as in the rock quarry where the high school kids sneak off to drink.  This beverage is likely the most consumed  by non-bums, but that doesn’t stop any bums from drinking it!  Our  research indicates that MD 20/20 is the best of the bum wines at making you feel warm inside.  Some test subjects report a slight numbing agent in MD 20/20, similar to the banana paste that the dentist puts in your mouth before injecting it with Novocaine.  Anyone that can afford a dentist should steer clear of this disaster.  Available in various nauseating tropical flavors that coat your whole system like bathtub scum, but only the  full “Red Grape Wine” flavor packs the 18% wallop.

Liquor stores are starting to be infiltrated by a 13% variety of MD 20/20 Red Grape.  There is also a  new “Blue Raspberry” flavor with “BLING  BLING”.  Even the lowest functioning of bums will know not to  get swindled out of 5%.

Night Train Express

17.5% alcohol by vol.

Don’t let the 0.5% less alcohol by volume fool you, the Night Train is all business when it pulls into the station.  All aboard to nowhere – woo woo!  The Night Train runs only one route: sober to stupid with no roundtrip tickets available, and a strong likelihood of a train wreck along the way.  This train yard favorite is vinted and bottled by E. & J. Gallo Winery, in Modesto, CA.  Don’t bother looking on their web page, because they dare not mention it there.  As a clever disguise, the label says that
it is made by “Night Train Limited.”  Some suspect that Night Train is really just Thunderbird with some Kool-Aid-like substance added to try to mask the Clorox flavor.  Some of our researchers indicated that it gave them a Nyquil-like drowsiness, and perhaps this is why they put “night” in the name.  The picture shows that the subject that drank Night Train is down for the count, while the Cisco guzzling subject is ready to rock.  Guaranteed to tickle your innards.

Thunderbird

17.5% alcohol by vol.

Look for the pigeon feces and you’ll find this old bird.  As soon as you taste this swill, it will be obvious that its makers cut every corner possible in its production to make it cheap.  Self-proclaimed as “The American Classic,” Thunderbird is vinted and bottled by E. & J. Gallo Winery, in Modesto, CA.  Disguised like Night Train, the label says that it is made by “Thunderbird, Ltd.”  Anyways, if your taste buds are shot, and you need to get trashed with a quickness, then “T-bird” is the drink for you.  Or, if you like to smell your hand after pumping gas, look no further than Thunderbird.  As you drink on, the bird soars higher while you sink lower.  The undisputed leader of the five in foulness of flavor, we highly discourage drinking this ghastly mixture of unknown chemicals unless you really are a bum.  A convenience store clerk in Show Low, AZ once told me that only the oldest of stumbling Indian drunks from the reservation buy Thunderbird.  Available in 750 mL and a devastating 50 oz jug.

The history of Thunderbird is as interesting as the drunken effects one experiences from the wine.  When Prohibition ended, Ernest Gallo and his brothers Julio and Joe wanted to corner the young wine market.  Earnest wanted the company to become “the Campbell Soup Company of the wine industry” so he started selling Thunderbird in the ghettos around the country.  Their radio ads featured a song that sang, “What’s the word? / Thunderbird / How’s it sold? / Good and cold / What’s the jive? / Bird’s alive / What’s the price? / Thirty twice.”  It is said that Ernest once drove through a tough, inner city neighborhood and pulled over when he saw a bum.  When Gallo rolled down his window and called out, “What’s the word?” the immediate answer from the bum was, “Thunderbird.”

WARNING:  This light yellow liquid turns your lips and mouth black!  A mysterious chemical reaction similar to disappearing-reappearing ink makes you look like you’ve been chewing on hearty clumps of charcoal.

Wild Irish Rose

18% alcohol by vol.

The thorn in your hangover is a wild rose.  Bottled by Canandaigua Wine in Canandaigua, NY, the same company as Cisco.  Like its brother Cisco, “Wild I” definitely has some secret additives that go straight to the cranium.  Another web page claims that this foul beverage is a conspiracy by the Republicans to kill the homeless.  It’s called “wild” for a good reason, and bystanders should beware.  Wild Irish Rose is sure to light a fire of drunken rage in your soul.  A guy named “Richards” is mentioned on the label.  A helpful guy named Carl wrote an email directing our
attention to a web page which claims that “Richard’s Wild Irish Rose was named after his son, Canandaigua’s current president Richard Sands.”  Carl also found this URL that talks about a Neil Diamond song with a part about this beverage in it.  Neil Diamond agrees that where Wild Irish Rose is concerned, only those willing to sacrifice their liver need apply.  The “White Label” variety of this beverage is definitely a hard wine to come to terms with.  “White Label” smells like rubbing alcohol, and has no added flavoring to mask its pungent taste and noxious odors.  Available in 375 mL, 750 mL, and a 50 oz jug.

Field reporter “Greyham” brings us this report:  Here is Wild I’s devastating new addition, “Wild Fruit with Ginseng”.  I’ll be honest with you: the normal Wild I has turned into some sort of fierce energy drink gone wrong mixed with the original to create a bum-worthy migraine-inducing concoction.  I purchased a 750 mL which goes for 3.99 and a 375 mL which goes for 2.59 (at least here in FL).  Word on the streets here is that the bums are wary of it.  I talked to a couple that said they’d prefer to “stick with what’s tried and true”.  Apparently, they haven’t accepted it yet as the real deal.  As for me, I drank the 375mL on a semi-full stomach and was just ruined by the stuff.  The flavor retains its same potent Wild I nastiness but has a whole new bouquet of fruity flavor added as well (potentially aimed at bums of the female persuasion).  Upon completion of the 375, I was thoroughly inebriated and found myself honestly wondering where my next fix of the stuff was going to come from.  This scared me so I immediately started drinking water….here’s the best part.  After that relatively small bottle, I didn’t piss until the  next evening despite drinking copious amounts of water.  There is DEFINITELY something in this stuff that dehydrates you…possibly the “ginseng” or whatever it is that they added to this already foul stuff.

You might also be interested in my video about The Hobo Code.

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Obituary Euphemisms

Reid Dickie

“Some say he’s doing the obituary mambo…” – Tom Waits

“It’s never too early to start beefing up your obituary.” – The Most Interesting Man in the World

There is always an understory to an obituary. I have read and written enough obituaries, including my own, to know what’s being said between the lines. Alarmingly frequently people succumb to short or long battles with cancer or something equally thorough in heroic and/or valiant ways. If not fully stated in the story, the disease becomes explicit in the donations section. Not much mystery there.

Vivacious is a drunk as is his door was always open, so is a character. Fun-loving bachelor and he never married are usually gay; free spirit is unemployable, utterly carefree is utterly senile. Death has its own clichés: passed, passed on, passed away, passed over, passing, met his/her maker, crossed over, departed, lost, ad infinitum.

Finding the hidden meanings in obituary euphemisms can tell the story of an unclear death. Tragically usually denotes an accident. Suddenly indicates suicide more often than not. Unexpectedly cuts closer to suicide. I have even seen by his own hand followed by a short bitter obit. Taken by the Lord is wide open to interpretation as is Ascended.

Since Linda’s death, I have discovered several of life’s loose ends, including writing my own obituary. Very few people write their own obituaries, usually leaving the difficult  task to close family members under stress. I think it would be a loving gesture on anyone’s part at any time of life to write his or her own obituary. Think how much stress you’ll relieve when its time comes. You’ll be even more popular!

There are no children to write my obit, that’s why I did it myself. Plus I’m a writer. I enjoyed it. I recommend it as a thought-provoking exercise in self-awareness. I reflected on what was important to me in my life, what I wanted people to remember about me, my family and my accomplishments. I often tweak it. I chose the picture I want to accompany my obituary in the paper, where to run it, who to contact to get it in the right papers.

This isn’t the first time I’ve written my own obituary. In the late 1960s I attended Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now University) in downtown Toronto to study radio announcing in a course called Radio & Televisions Arts. The curriculum included a writing class that I was keen to attend. The first day the writing instructor, whose name I have regrettably forgotten, walked in and told a room full of fresh faced kids, including this 19 year old from a little prairie town, that we were all going to die today and needed to write our own obituaries. He gave us very brief guidelines: write it all in past tense, say what you want people to remember about you, a short list of life data to include. We spent the rest of the sombre class quietly pondering our lives and scribbling out our death notices.

At 60 there’s plenty of source material to draw from but at 19, there isn’t a huge pool of fact to access. We were told not to embellish, be truthful. Many were flummoxed, a few, like myself, dived in trying not to flourish too much. One girl started to cry thinking about being dead. She got a pass on the obit. With his introductory bit of drama and flair, the instructor got my attention and I learned a great deal about the craft from him that year.

OBITUARY OUTLINE

An obituary is a person’s final and personal contact with the world. This list offers suggestions on what to include, all are optional. The list is not exhaustive. I provide it as a public service.

  • Intro including date and place of death
  • Predeceased by
  • Leaves to mourn
  • Kind of person she/he was
  • Parent’s names incl. mother’s maiden name
  • Birth date and place
  • Upbringing location and schooling
  • Youthful accomplishments
  • Further education
  • Marriage date, to whom
  • Offspring in birth order
  • Work life
  • Hobbies, sports, pets, achievements, other activities, what gave her/him pleasure
  • Spouse death
  • Life since then
  • Service date time and place
  • Where buried
  • Donations
  • Funeral home in charge

Do you have a last will and testament? Check out my post.

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Filed under Death and Dying, Life and Life Only, Public Service