OH CANADA, EH

Let’s celebrate today, this weekend and all year long. Canada’s birthday – our 150th at that – is reason to rejoice. Canada is an improbability in so many ways. I’m not sure it would be possible to create a country in today’s world like Canada. Seemingly, everything that could cause failure is present but despite the geography, languages, (far more than just English and French), cultural differences, crazy weather, enormous wilderness areas, mountains, rivers, mosquitoes, artery hardening poutine, economic challenges, political silliness, and everything else that conspires to make Canada impossible, we’re still here. 150 years and still rocking on! Happy Birthday Canada!

BOOMER TUNE ALERT

I know this is way before your time and mine, but 1967 was our centennial, Expo 67 was taking place in Montreal and everything was possible. The idea of terrorism, internet, cellphones, 60 inch TV’s, GPS, or another Trudeau in office didn’t occur to anyone. A little known band leader named Bobby Gimby became the Pied Piper of the country with this song:

Happy Birthday everyone and the world needs another 150 years of this!

SITTING IS THE NEW SMOKING

“Sitting is the new smoking,” is a phrase that I heard for the first time the other day. I’m pretty sure that I am months, if not longer, behind the curve on this one. For someone who works 3 – 4 days a week in an office sitting in a chair and staring at a computer screen for 7.5 hours a day – well it hits home. I am very fortunate that I have one of those adjustable desks that allows me to raise it and stand whenever I wish, which is now much more frequently.

As I raise my awareness, along with the rest of me, I notice that other people are standing by their work stations like gophers in a prairie field checking the landscape for potential dangers. While standing, I find that I can raise my foot up onto my desktop – the desk part that doesn’t raise up – and get a nice stretch going in my legs, thighs and other nether regions.

BOOMER TUNE ALERT

This is an easy one this week. Otis Redding died in a plane crash before his iconic hit “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay,” became the first posthumous number one hit on both Billboard and the R & B charts and went on to garner Otis a posthumous Grammy, as well. He was only 26 when he died in 1967 but this song still makes me want to sit on a bench overlooking the ocean – however, perhaps I should now be standing instead.

From my position of heightened enlightenment I can view the smokers (now recognized as social pariahs in the building) huddling together, the mandatory 30 meters from the front door, having a smoke and sharing their various stories. The good news is that they are standing and not sitting – which would be so unhealthy.

F#&K OFF

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┬áperchance make a suitable substitute.

BOOMER TUNE ALERT

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.