Phoenix Rising

IMG_3766It took heart failure and a stroke to reaffirm my suspicions that men are essentially stupid, and intelligent women should be running the world. My wife had seen the signs building long before the state of my health reached emergency proportions. How many men have heard their loving partners say, “Have you seen your doctor lately?” or “I think you need to go for a check-up.” Men dismiss these early warnings as an assault on their invulnerability. And an only child male, supremely independent  as I am, is even more difficult to advise.

When I finally said, “I think I need to go to the doctor,” it was almost too late. The only things open were the hospital Emergency wards. The first one we went to admitted me immediately into cardiac care.  At 3:00 am the next morning, they called my wife to gather our family together to come down and say their goodbyes. It was that close.

When I shocked everyone by reviving, they sent me by ambulance to the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at Toronto General Hospital where I spent the next 28 days. For the first two weeks, I was bed-ridden in Intensive Care with tubes on IV drips coming out of both arms and a plethora of chest stickers wired to monitors. Then I graduated to the care of the Cardiac team, who spent the next two weeks monitoring my cocktail of  heart medications. They got me out of bed and walking the corridors, stressing the need to get mobile and begin mild exercise every day – slow and steady.

When the team finally determined that the blood clots had cleared from my heart and lungs, they shocked my heart to stop and then shocked it to start again, When I woke up (to the smell of burning chest hair), they told me that my heart was back in regular sinus rhythm. Best news ever! No transplant, no artificial heart, no more excessively rapid atrial fibrillation. A few days later I was cleared to go home.

My wonderful, exhausted wife, who had spent the entire month of August driving back and forth from Caledon to Toronto General, looked at me and said, “The Phoenix, rising from the ashes. You’ve been given a second chance.”  Now I had to earn it.

The primary culprit in this health decline was stress. Stress over financial concerns that I had been trying to deal with by myself, and fighting a losing battle. I wonder how many other retired, economically illiterate males fall into the same category, hiding their weaknesses and becoming more isolated day by day. According to recent news reports, quite a few. There are an increasing number of retirees and seniors falling into high debt. With that must come the stress of trying to successsfully meet all of the needs of our families, and realizing we are falling short, My advice to all stubborn senior males is to share the burden with your loved ones, work out the solutions together, as we are doing now, and get rid of the depression.  I am certain that there is a direct link between an overload of the stress hormone, cortisol, and heart failure. It is not worth preserving the myth of male omnipotence. Find humility.

And listen to our partners when they tell you you’re not looking so well. They may, after all, be just a little more perceptive than we are.

*****

Skid Crease, Caledon

Job Application

Frame: several ethnically diverse citizens around a desk …

images-8East Indian Citizen: We just got his job application – it came with a picture!

Oriental Citizen: Really, who is this Stephen?

African American Citizen: Well, it’s pretty sketchy – he seems to have made some very bad judgement calls on people he has appointed.

European Citizen: Yeah, the RCMP are investigating them! And what’s with this $90,000 cheque that came out of his office. He claims he didn’t know about it.

Middle Eastern Citizen: Well, that’s unbelievable. Apparently the guy is a micromanager – that’s not good.

Israeli Citizen: Well, he has promised to save us from IS/IS/IL and Palestine and Putin…

Scandanavian Citizen: We lose more people to cancer and car accidents than to wacko extremists – he’s way off base.  How about taking care of our veterans first!

Australasian Citizen: And look at the record – the environment and economy in decline – no climate change policies and tax breaks for the richest. What about the rest of us?

Aboriginal Citizen: Exactly. Remember that he killed the Kelowna Accord. And Kyoto. And National Child Care.

South American Citizen: Well, it’s pretty clear he’s just not up for the job.

Central American Citizen: Yeah, but check out the picture – nice hair.

Youth Citizen: Is that hair?

*****

The hockey and radio ad I’d really like to see and hear… constantly.

Skid Crease, Caledon

Lifting the Niqab on the Economy

Breaking News!

Yes, Canada, “Our Government™” has carefully and modestly kept it’s economic agenda hidden behind a PMO niqab, a veil of mystery that hides the faces of the Prime Minister and his Finance Puppet. Like the hands up the backside stuffed stars of the well-intentionned Canadian movie, “Two Muppets in Ottawa”, they are frantically trying to cope with $45 dollar a barrel oil in the world of descending Canadian dollar value, rising unemployment, and chaotic stock markets.

images-6The niqab of choice used to disguise their real agenda is the “Terror Niqab” intended to convince hard-working, law-abiding, tax-paying Canadians that there is a jihadist recruiter behind every Tim Horton’s dark roast store (those blackened out windows have to be hiding something).

The vision of Canada as an “Energy Superpower” with “Our Government’s™” head completely buried in bitumen may be in serious trouble, but “Our Government™” has an “Economic Action Plan™” that will help to bring back prosperity. Just keep your faces uncovered at the next Citizenship swearing in ceremony and it will all be better. Let your women make only fashion choices dictated by “Our Government™” and we will rise from the ashes of jihadist terror.

A diversified economy? Alternative energy research and development? Jobs creation  programs? A carbon tax? A budget statement? Easy Canada – don’t be distracted from the real issue – the niqab!

“Trust me,” says “Our Government’s™”  Prime Minister, “I never wear a mask…”

*****

Skid Crease

 

 

 

Famous Emperor Harper Quotes

1984“I haven’t seen the video yet, but I can guarantee all hard-working, law-abiding, tax-paying Canadians that the lone Parliament Hill shooter was an ISIL recruited jihadi terrorist determined to terrorize all Canadians with terror. And we should all be very afraid. I was really afraid when I was hiding in the closet.”

“I haven’t read any of the scientific reports, but I can assure you that there is no such thing as acclerating climate change.”

“The approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline is a no-brainer.”

“I love the Canadian Arctic – it’s such a great locale for my media team to do a summer photo shoot.”

“Let me be absolutely clear on this matter; If you are an ethnic group with a big supportive voting block, I will certainly look like I care about you. If not, you are of no political value to me. Go to the back of the line.”

“Clearly, the loss of Sun Media was a major blow to our propaganda machine; but now we have hired our own “news” marketing company to keep Canadians well-informed.”

“Those who claim that Bill C51 is a dangerous violation of civil rights also believe in evolution, climate change, and social justice. They have no place among hard-working, law-abiding, tax-paying Canadians.”

Taken from Quotes By Fictional Leaders published by Vanity Press, October 19, 2015.

*****

Skid Crease, Caledon

 

 

The Federal Party That Gets My Vote

images-4There is supposed to be a federal election in Canada on October 19, 2015. Of course that is all dependent on oil prices, the Mike Duffy trial, and “wag the dog” terror alerts. On the other hand, by then enough members of federal parliament may have crossed the floor to the opposition parties to make an election unnecessary .

Whatever happens, the Party for whom I vote will champion the following policies: a carbon tax; elimination of subsidies to oil, gas, and coal industries; strong financial support for alternative energy research and development,; a polluter pay/precautionary principle applied to all industry; the return of the Long Form Census; and the creation of a Minister of Ecology who is on equal footing with the Minister of Economy, both of whom report to the Minister of the Environment who is second in rank only to the Prime Minister.

I will vote for the Party that balances social justice with economic development, that stops talking about hard-working, law-abiding, tax-paying Canadians, and starts talking about ALL Canadians.

I will vote for the Party that eliminates every Economic Action Plan ad and logo ever created, and invests an amount equal to all of the money wasted on those ads into a Commission for the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women.

I will vote for a Party the resurrects, refines, and passes the Kelowna Accord. And National Child Care.

I will vote for the Party that truly honours our veterans, stops using our armed forces as backdrops for their election campaigns and starts doing something about their need for the best equipment when in harms way, and their need for medical care and support when they return home.

I will vote for the Party that recognzes the impact of accelerating climate change, renews it’s commitment to the original Kyoto Protocl, and leads the world in inspiration and action at the Paris Climate Summit.

I will vote for the Party that is strong on peace, strong on the values of a just society, and is defenders of those who have no voice in this world.

I will vote for the Party that disregards those with the most money and power, and does not cater to the ideologies of ethnic groups only to secure their votes.

I will vote for the Party that raises taxes on corporations and the wealthiest .1%, while closing all of their tax evasion loopholes at the same time.

I will vote for the Party that reforms the last two Omnibus Bills, restores environmental security for our watersheds, rivers, lakes, acquatic life, and brings back the independence of environmental reviews.

I will vote for the Party that blends Proportional Representation into the First Past the Post electoral process, while banning election campaign Robocalls.

If anyone finds a Party out there who can do all that, let me know. Hope springs eternal.

*****

Skid Crease, Caledon