The F word became a topic of conversation following dinner with friends last night. (What, you don’t have conversations with people like that?) The F word is used everywhere these days by male and female alike, no matter what their age and stage. We see it all over the internet, social media and it is rapidly becoming acceptable on our TV screens (try Netflix), in the office, and has been used in mainstream movies and comedy for decades. The whole purpose of the F word is to shock us but what its users don’t understand is that it is no longer shocking but merely annoying. It has little or no meaning when it is used so commonly and frequently.

It is used as a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, and a punctuation mark interchangeably. It is meant by its users to get our attention, to express some sort of shock or awe. But what it really is is lazy language. Rather than describe, articulate or make a meaningful point, we would rather use the F word to try and accomplish the same thing – lazy. It would have so much more weight to use actual language to make the point, so much more powerful because most people simply dismiss the F word and the thought around it. Consequently, what was trying to be accomplished is lost.

I am definitely not holier than thou so I am going to make a conscious effort to eliminate the F word from my own language choices. I will allow myself dispensation when whacking my finger with a hammer, although a forcefully used, “Shit!” may perchance make a suitable substitute.


There is no connection between the title of this blog and the title of this tune by the Righteous Brothers. I heard it on the way to the grocery store. Back in the day, it seemed like every dance seemed to close with this song. This 1964 offering was produced by Phil Spector and is usually thought of as one of his best recordings. Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley (cool name – I wonder if it’s real) had several top 10 hits including Unchained Melody. Their stage name came from a marine who used to attend their concerts and after each one would yell, “Hey, that was righteous, brothers!”

Lazy language is everywhere but wouldn’t it be much more impactful if people, ourselves included, actually used descriptive language to express their feeling and emotions to shock us? I suspect it would be. My sexism is going to show here but I still get a twinge when I hear a woman using the F bomb although I don’t think it makes it any more acceptable for a guy to use the lazy way out either.


Barbecues are one of the better bargains of our time. If you assume the cost is about 1000.00 and they last about 10 years, it works our to about 2.00 per week. Not bad economics. I’ve had mine about 10 years now (and the cost per week is less than half the 2.00)  and it is ready to retire. I’ve been pondering my next barbecue purchase for a bit and have always wanted a Weber. The ratings are excellent and apparently the quality tops everyone’s list even if the price seems a bit steep. Over the past couple of months I have been checking and comparing models based on our needs and also hoping for a sale. My standard approach to making a purchase, research, comparisons, shopping and asking questions has been proceeding as usual until this week…

Now, I should admit that I have often suffered from U.S. envy. When I was a young lad, I thought that I wanted to move to California to attend college – I may have had that mixed up with Beach Boy songs about surf, sun and girls but nevertheless – California dreamin’ I did. As I got older I spent time researching the possibility of living in Hawaii and doing some more dreaming. I have many relatives who seem perfectly happy living in the States and I have traveled to many parts, east, west, north and south, for both business and pleasure. However, in my dotage, and as I ponder the recent events originating south of our border, I am frankly getting pissed off.

Yes, it’s a very small thing and will have absolutely no impact on any of Trump’s foreign and trade policy announcements, but I no longer want a “built in the USA” barbecue, any more than I want a built in China barbecue either. So, I have now narrowed my search to Canadian manufacturers and seem to be looking mostly at Broil King made in good old Kitchener. Regardless of ratings and everything else, I am supporting our own manufacturers as much as possible until this “dark night of the orange narcissist” passes.


 I don’t know if this happens to you but some songs bring on instant memories for me that are very vivid and detailed. I heard Dream Weaver by Gary Wright three times this past week and it meant that I had to share it today and also allowed me to relive my first few months living in Winnipeg. I moved to Winnipeg from British Columbia and was offered some help from a friend of a friend in locating some living accommodations. Unfortunately, I took his advice and moved into a penthouse in North Winnipeg, on Adsum Drive if you must know. I say unfortunately because I was single and fancy free and living in the heart of the suburbs is NOT where I should have been. I corrected that mistake later but in the meantime I had this brand new apartment complete with fireplace and white shag carpet, swimming pool and covered deck. One weekend afternoon, Dream Weaver, a top ten hit at the time, comes on the station I was listening to, and as I often do when alone, I cranked the volume up to ear-bleed. I stepped out on to the deck and left the doors open as I enjoyed the music. Now this is absolutely true; it was summer time and most people had their doors open and instead of complaints about the loud music coming from the top floor, I heard stereo after stereo being tuned to the same station and everyone else turning up their volume too. It was a great 3 minute party in the middle of the burbs. Oh, and to the girl in the chartreuse bikini by the pool with whom I shared a rhythmic moment or two, “Hi.”

I’m just as smooth as I ever was.

Tax season is coming to a close and I have booked a couple of weeks off starting next weekend. I was just looking at the “To Do” list and I have a feeling that I will be glad to return to work for a rest.


I had a landscaping service clean up our yard yesterday since spring seems to be putting a tentative toe in the water these days. Good timing I think because it has decided to rain today and I hear that there is wet snow in the forecast. If we ever get some sun and warm temps, the lawn should look great. Speaking of lawns and lawn mowing, I made the huge switch this year. For about 8 or 9 years I have been using a push mower. I got rid of the gas powered beast in order to lower the noise and air pollution in the area but the real reason was because I simply got tired of repeated pulling on the cord to get the damn thing started. The push mower started first time, every time.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I bought a cordless machine – battery powered – I’m such a tree hugger! I haven’t had a chance to use it but I have high hopes for it being powerful enough and pollution free enough to justify the cost. I could continue to use the push mower but frankly, I’m getting a bit tired of having to constantly pick up pine cones and finding that the cut is not all that even if the grass is wet. Such are the problems of those of us surviving in the first world.


39 years ago, this weekend, The Blues Brothers made their debut on Saturday Night Live. John Belushi was a recent convert to the blues at that time but Dan Akroyd had spent many years roaming the blues clubs in his hometown of Ottawa and had already jammed with some of the greats like Muddy Waters. We all know the success that the Blues Brothers reached with albums and movies and since Belushi’s death on March 5, 1982 others, including his brother Jim, have filled in the spot. One of my absolute favourites is their cover of a Sam and Dave hit, Soul Man

Speaking of the first world, the border wall between Canada and the US seems to be getting harder to climb every day. On the south side, we have a leader who seems to want to make an enemy of everybody he comes into contact with. Nothing but conflict, imagined anger and threats. On the north side of the border, we have a leader who is constantly kissing ass with everyone he encounters regardless of their intentions or reputation. Approval ratings for both of these clowns are dropping every day with good reason. It’s too bad that people of talent and ability are no longer willing to subject themselves to the poisonous atmosphere of politics – only the narcissistic ego maniacs are willing to run. Perhaps we should be a bit more selective with our votes.

Simon Winchester is the person we all should have had as a history teacher. He takes one dimensional facts and information and turns them into living breathing books. I just finished reading Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World’s Superpowers. Clearly one of the best books I’ve read this year, it is the third one of his I have thoroughly enjoyed. He has a knack for finding the story behind the facts and creating human interest in geological or political information. If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that I firmly believe that there is a story behind everything and that’s what makes life interesting. Winchester makes history, events and circumstances come alive with incredible research to reveal the causes and effects behind some of the biggest stories of our planet.

Given the scary threats and posturing currently unfolding around the Pacific (which covers 1/3 of the planet’s surface) I found that reading Pacific by Winchester was timely and gave me an excellent background on what is in the headlines today.