Archive for June, 2009


A Poetic Lyric

June 14, 2009

While I’ve never been a big fan of the older style country & western music, nor ‘new’ country, every once in a while I chance upon a song that grabs me. I have yet to hear this one performed but have heard it recited twice now; once again tonight so it was fresh on my mind. Both times it has elicited a ‘been there; done that’ response reminding me of past losses and times I don’t wish to revisit.

Hank Williams Sr, an alcoholic, died on New Years Day 1953 as the result of an accidental overdose of alcohol and morphine at the tender age of 29. He had already charted 11 #1 songs as well as a number of other top 10 hits.

Hank Williams – Men With Broken Hearts

You will meet many just like me upon life’s busy street,
with shoulders stooped and heads bowed low and eyes that stare in defeat.

Poor souls that live within the past where sorrow plays all parts,
for a living death is all that’s left for men with broken hearts.

You have no right to be the judge, to criticize and condemn.
Just think but for the grace of God it would be you instead of him.

One careless step, a thoughtless deed and then the misery starts
and to those who weep death comes cheap, these men with broken hearts.

Oh so humble you should be when they come passing by,
for its written that the greatest of men never get too big to cry.

Some lose faith in love and life when sorrow shoots her darts,
with hope all gone, they walk alone these men with broken hearts.

You’ve never walked in that man’s shoes or saw things through his eyes,
or stood and watched with helpless hands while the heart inside you dies.

Some were paupers, some were kings, some were masters of the arts,
but in their shame they’re all the same, these men with broken hearts.

Life sometimes can be so cruel that a heart will pray for death.
God why must these living dead know pain with every breath?

So help your brother along the road, no matter where he starts!
For the God that made you, made them too. These men with broken hearts!


Tail Wags Dog

June 13, 2009

Ya know, it’s a given. I’m an alcoholic; albeit a recovering one…. (and I do continue to recover.) It’s very much an individually paced process and I like to think I get a little more fully recovered each day. One part of that process is gaining a measure of self-awareness, identifying defects of character and working toward correcting or eliminating them. It’s a battle, I tell you. And it’s a never-ending journey – focus on ideals and work toward them without the expectation of ever attaining the goal. Slow constant progression; that’s the deal.

I get myself into trouble every so often thinking it is beneficial to share my opinions or to offer advice even when those opinions and advice haven’t been solicited. However well intentioned it can sometimes be unwelcome. Most times reaction is good but there are times when I wonder whether I’ve thrown someone for a complete loop. What can I say? I’m a slave to being a ‘helper’; I care about people. That is what has wagged me tonight – trying to understand a situation and jumping in, tongue in full gear.

Just so we’re clear, if you ever feel you’re running short of opinions just give me a nudge and they will be spilling out all over the place. You needn’t even ask; they are yours for the taking.

Still working on that particular defect.



June 12, 2009


I haven’t written much this week cuz I’ve spent some time tweaking things here on the blog and making a few additions. The selection of tutorials that I pulled up and viewed for this version of WordPress were pretty limited I thought. Most of the material covered was stuff I had already figured out on my own. One thing I’m still a little confused about is the difference between the ‘Profile’ page and the ‘About’ page (as you’ll see if you click on my ‘About’ page – I copied and pasted that blurb from the profile page. It also took me a while to figure out how to display ‘About’ but finally finagled that one.

Other additions: 1) Well, because Lea Kelley has suspended her daily posts at ‘Lea Kelley Saying Thank You For…’ I decided to add a link to her fine art gallery page. Her usual link will stay up because it contains so much great writing and (I hope) someday she will decide to revive it.

2) I added another link category for ‘On-Line Listening’ which to begin with contains links for CBC Radio 2’s FM feed of live streaming audio – choose which feed you want by region at the right. Also, America’s NPR – National Public Radio. I’ve provided an entry point with their station list – right now I’m listening to 89.3 from St. Paul, MN. You can choose by city, state or music type. Through NPR I’ll be able to catch up on Garrison Keillor’s ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ show. I might add further links for a couple of local stations.



I hadn’t dug out my art materials for a number of days but I did last night hoping to come up with something for Kel’s latest Art Attack Challenge over at xfacta. Unfortunately I’m having a little trouble getting used to working with oil pastels and wasn’t pleased with the outcome. Check Kel’s most recent post for her exciting news; she has self-published a book using ‘Blurb’ in regard to the building of their home ‘Anamrae’. The book is titled ‘Soulspace’.


We’ve heard a couple of remarkable speakers at A.A. meetings we’ve attended this week. One of them, Dorathea who has 53 year sobriety, referred to something that was a staple in the early days of A.A., ‘The 4 Absolutes’ (which were an import from the ‘Oxford Group’ in England). They are: absolute honesty, absolute unselfishness, absolute love, & absolute purity. For more on them and relation to biblical texts see here. She related about having met Bill W. at the world conference in Toronto back in the 60’s and their ensuing discussion about recovery.


These last couple of days have been a bit of a trial in that last night was one of those ones that didn’t seem to want to end; the hands on the clock were in slo-mo for sure. I got home exhausted, fell into bed and wound up oversleeping… having to rush around, clean myself up, eat and jump into the car for the ride back to work. Tonight is moving along much better, thank you very much.

One bit of good news last night was a call from my boss thanking me for some work I’d done with one of our clients the night before. Apparently the fellow told my boss that if we hadn’t talked he was ready to self-discharge and leave the program. “No problem John… all part of a days work around here.” He’s invited me to lunch one day next week for a gab session.


This was sent by cousin BJ today from the daily readings of the Dalai Lama. I like what he has to say about remorse.

“Guilt as experienced in western culture, is connected with hopelessness and discouragement and is past oriented.

Genuine remorse however is a healthy state of mind – it is future oriented connected with hope, and causes us to act, to change.”


That’s it; that’s all… unless you want to hear my friend John’s joke about the guy who invited his pet centipede out for a beer?!?!




June 11, 2009

Sucked in; that’s what I got.

There is an email circulating about how we’re to soon have our closest encounter with the planet Mars in eons. Hmmm, I thought… pretty interesting as I like checking the sky periodically for things of an unusual nature. So I promptly forwarded it on to some other folks who I thought would like a heads-up about this rarity. A once in a lifetime occurrence.


Awhile after I sent it, it occurred to me that something this significant would certainly be mentioned over at ‘Sky & Telescope’ and I’d be able to get full details. Well, I did….. they had a specific post about this bogus email which apparently has gone round the globe annually since 2003.

“p.s. – Hi again; Norm here. That Mars email I sent?? Chuck it; it’s crap! Bye.”


Neil Young As Muse

June 10, 2009

For art director and artist Jenice Heo her time spent working with Neil Young inspired her to create these assemblages.

Check out the link; push play.


Check Your Local Listings…..

June 10, 2009

On PBS – American Masters begins broadcasting it’s Neil Young documentary ‘Don’t Be Denied’ on June 10 – today. I’ll be setting up the VCR.


Canine Surgery

June 9, 2009

Meant to mention…. when I went to pick Freedom up from the vet’s and she was explaining all that had been done she mentioned one thing that really surprised me. In order to cut down on the amount of gaseous anesthetic they used during the operation they gave Freedom an epidural!!??!! She has a nice clear bald spot near the base of her spine to show off to her doggy friends.

I suppose there’s no good reason why you couldn’t give an animal an epidural but I’d never heard of it before. Apparently they were able to use just 30% as much anesthetic by doing so.

I’m thinking of her now because there is a line of severe thunderstorms rolling through and Freedom quivers and quakes like crazy during them. God love her.


Trainwreck Part 2

June 9, 2009

Here is a link to a news report on that includes a photo of the crash site taken from the air:

Lynda said she heard them starting to slowly shuttle cars past our place at about 2 a.m. I saw just one this afternoon after getting up for the day and it was crawling up the track. Perhaps another incident like this will bring a reduced speed limit for trains running through urban areas – I hope so. Anything that will further protect people, property and infrastructure. As you can see this could easily have taken out the overhead bridge.

Here’s another link courtesy of CityTVNews:

Ah well, the peace and quiet has been nice for those who appreciate it. It’ll be back to situation ‘normal’ very soon, I’m sure.



June 8, 2009


Late Friday afternoon 30 rail cars derailed less than a mile west of our place. The line runs beyond the greenbelt behind our house and just across a small creek. As a result there have been news choppers flitting about over the weekend but otherwise there has been an eerie silence about the neighbourhood. Lynda has positively been in her glory as until we moved here almost 10 years ago she had never lived near a rail line before. I grew up close to one so they’ve never really bothered me unless it’s a particularly noisy one. Yup, just a couple of heavy maintenance and repair vehicles have moved up the line and nothing else. Beautiful!

No injuries reported; a few backyard fences got busted in; evacuation of residents within a 1,000 metre radius for about 24 hours because of diesel fuel fire and some chemical cargo that had to be off-loaded.


Enforced Idleness

June 8, 2009
Abstract Construction

Abstract Construction

A typical night to lead off the week back at work tonight; I’ve organized myself and straightened out a couple of small messes. I’ve also browsed around all my regular reads and caught up on days worth of posts.

So, picture this… it’s 7 days since Freedom had her surgery. We agreed that in order to protect her we would follow instructions and keep her as calm and immobilized as possible. BUT, we didn’t want to have her crated all the time and feeling isolated so we’ve pretty much camped out in the living room keeping her company. Besides a couch, a couple of chairs and small tables there is also Freedom’s dog-bed and a double size mattress lying on the floor. Lynda slept with her the night of the surgery and the following night; I took the next couple; we slept there together the last two. Lynda arranged for a week holiday so as to be around for her this week while I’m on nights. A pair of nuts who spoil their pets – that’s us. Thursday and Friday evenings, as well as all day Saturday, were BEAUTIFUL so we had her lying out on the front lawn for hours at a time under the crab-apple tree.

I learned two things last week. 1) – I’m not good with doing nothing. The first few days I found really frustrating being bound in place simply attending to her. Thursday evening was the first time all week that I felt any measure of ease. Not to say that I didn’t take an hour or two out here and there – I just feel that unless I’m doing something useful that I’m wasting time and ought to be DOING something. 2) – Freedom really is a good dog and a good patient 90% of the time. Being female she’s an independent beast and wants to do for herself despite being waited on and tended to. She has a tendency to spit her antibiotic pills back at me if I don’t get them placed far enough back on her tongue and her snout clamped shut quickly. Leave the room for a couple of minutes and she’s up on three legs heading for the door or her water dish – and not because she needs a drink or to be outside. Just because, dammit!! Anyway, there is to be another full week of very limited walking as the vet doesn’t want her wearing out her good back leg.

One really dramatic change is how Milo has behaved since bringing Freedom back home after the operation. Normally he is so high energy and full of bounce that he has already crashed into something before realizing it is in his vicinity. So far he hasn’t made any fast moves anywhere around Freedom and saves his energy for outside tears around the yard. Bloody amazing. He’s growing up to be a really good dog, too. The cats have been making their individual approaches, sucking her up and occasionally grooming her for a few minutes at a time.

Seeing as how our home computer is stashed away in a cubbyhole of a basement room my computer time last week was very limited, to say the least. It’s about time to go wireless I think.

Okay – the photo above. Yes, it’s a re-print from the old blog but I like it so much I thought it worth a repeat posting. I find my eye is drawn to two of the rocks in it – one for shape, first of all; then one for colour, second. The anomalies. Oval, then rusty. Look again and see where it is your eye goes.