Archive for March, 2009


What have you done for me lately?

March 24, 2009

OK, I want anyone who reads this to list 10 things that they have done to help the planet. You can borrow some of mine. They don’t need to be big things, just show me and others (and yourself) that you are trying. Then borrow some of the others folks suggestions.

1. I hyper mile (I get 40 MPG in a car that should only get 30)
2. I insulated my garage door, cost me $20, cut my heating bill by about 5%.
3. I recycle like crazy. I used to have 2 bags of garbage and no blue box every week. Now I have two blue boxes, half a bag of garbage and a composter.
4. I turn down the thermostat in winter, turn up the thermostat in summer.
5. I walk to the store.
6. I disabled the heating element in my dishwasher.
7. I stopped using my electric toothbrush and razor.
8. I turn off lights religiously.
9. I don’t water my grass or use fertilizers or weedkiller.
10. I try to convince people to do the same.

OK, now its your turn. I am hoping to get some good ideas generated.



Random Thoughts

March 17, 2009

Here is an interesting bunch of quotes I gleaned from 15 years of emails and letters. When I wrote something particularly deep, funny or profound I wrote them down in my little book. Here they are for your reading pleasure.

I have always worked from an inferior position: it makes the achievment all the more satisfying.

Nothing worth having isn’t worked for. Everything I have I have worked for. Everything I have worked for is worth having. If it comes easy, I don’t want it, I never earned it, it has no worth or satisfaction to me.

The most dangerous thing in an office is a manager with a business plan.

I have seen too much goofy shit in this world to think that “now” won’t change.

Agression is merely the defense of a weakness.

Fear is a horribly crippling thing. It distracts us from winning.

Adventures in Adversity. Adversity breed character. I have enough character to write a book. A book of adventures in adversity.

Its not so much the places I`ve gone as it is the people I`ve met. I have spoken with America.

Live life ‘cause death sucks.

It is the smallest number of men who make up the opinion of a society

Running from your problems will not make them go away. But it will give you respite; strength to fight on.

Rudeness is in the ears of the recipeint.

“I will wait for you” is the dumbest line I ever said. I did not know that time was up when I said it.

Profoundness comes and goes. Mediocrity is a constant companion.

Failing at the impossible is not shameful. Not realizing it is so, is.

Fight only as long and as hard as is necessary. There are many other fights to be fought.

Who are you to say who I am when I myself don’t know that answer. And I know me best of and you not at all.

Screaming may not solve the problem. But it may relieve the stress enough so that a solution becomes clear.

Sometimes for a man to be truely free, you have to leave the door of the cage open.

Have you ever fought to remember who a stranger’s face reminds you of. Only to remember it was the face of a person long repressed due to a traumatic experience? I hate when that happens.

You cannot make yourself happy. You can only realize when you are and enjoy.

Most people are happy but they are too stupid to realize it.

Riding in the rain is like having a gun pointed at you. No sudden movements.

I don’t need a reason to be in a bad mood

Nobody likes a whiner.

If the truth is out there, I don’t want to hear it; I take comfort in the lies.

I thought I lost my mind once. Then I realized that you cannot lose what you never had.

If life was easy then it would come with a book of instructions.

If all else fails, get a bigger gun.

Walk softly and carry and thermonuclear device.

If you can’t babble then with bull then riddle them with bullets.

A problem does not exist that cannot be solved with the suitable application of high explosives.

Trust no one, not even yourself.

Death inevitable follows life. Death is finite, life is not.

Take the initiative. Of it is not yours then take it from someone who has.

Society is best conquered from the inside out. Like a virus. Get in and destroy asunder.

The mistakes of history are bound to be repeated. Not-so-great men feel they can correct the mistakes of great men. Times change, lessons do not.

Attack first, ask questions later. If you were right, then your actions were justified. If you were wrong then you merely made a good decision based on incorrect intelligence.

I have looked death in the eye. Neither of us has blinked yet.

People say that life is a battle against death. If that is the case then all one can say in the end is “It was a good battle”. If it was not, then you lost.

It seems that men are doomed to repeat ourselves. Our ego says, “This time I shall do it differently, and this time it shall work out better”. It explains war anyway.

If it were not for the fact that I’m so tired, I would do more. Or at least do something.

Memories are awful things. They force us to relive the past even though we may have learnt from it already.

Writing by candlelight seems to make my words more profound. Unfortunately by light of day they seem mediocre.

Big words a big man they do not make. But small men use them to seem that way.

In a different place and situation I would not be the same person.

I thought I was reading between the lines. All I got was blank spaces.

You wanted no strings. So why are you so tangled.

Not that you lied to me, but that I no longer believe you, that has shaken me.

I have always been intrigued by the lack of subtly that military men have. Perhaps that is why they generally do not get on in politics. It may also explain why so little gets done in government.
Any form of art must be practiced well to be good and be appreciated. That is why I feel procrastination is an art form.

Interestingly enough I have no desire to better myself. I feel that all that I will be is here already, ready to be discovered.

Depression is the natural state. Punctuated my moments of sheer happiness and eras of despair.

We are destined to die the moment we are born. Knowing this, why do we bother. The weak see only this and die early and by their own hand. The strong realize that this is all we get and seize the opportunity. It is the living we must concentrate on. Dying comes naturally to everyone.

“Get a life,” someone told me once. I replied, “I already have one.” I then suggested he get an objective other than telling people to get what they already have. He told me to stop pointing out the obvious.

Philosophers say that fire consumes all. Scientists say that this is not true due to the conservation of energy. I say that fire burns if you stand too close.

If dark is the absence of light. Then what is light, the absence of dark or the presence of photons. Who cares. I can see in the light and the dark comforts me.

Some questions are best left unanswered. Others are best left unasked. Still others are completely pointless. “Who am I?” fits one of these categories.

Big music requires big instruments. Soft music requires light instruments. My music requires getting used to.

If everybody is different, why do we act so stupidly alike? Or are we just different like everybody else.

Money is annoying. It is important only if you do not have it.

Everyone hates a smart man. For he make them all feel stupid.

You cannot hurt me anymore. I don’t care about you anymore.

If what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger then I am Superman.

I was here. And I am free.

Freedom is a state of mind. However one must have freedom to realize this.

If getting there is half the fun then I want to travel for the rest of my life.

I do not speak too quickly. You listen too slow.

I have found that one learns a lot by being quiet and listening. When does one break the silence and share the accumulated knowledge?

Hold in your anger. Release it in controlled bursts at the appropriate time for maximum effectiveness.

Enemies are like dust in the nose. Expel them suddenly and with violent force.

Friends come and go. Enemies keep reappearing.

I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately it was an oncoming train.

Letters are cheats. The lack spontaneity and truth for they are crafted carefully with time. They may even be written by somebody else. Only trust a voice and only when it is telling the truth.

If turning a chair upside down prevents people from sitting in it then I find it strange that turning a gun the other way does not prevent its use.

Suicide is the ultimate cheat. Someone else may have wanted to kill that person but was robbed of the opportunity.

Suicide in my case is silly. There are many others out there that deserve death more than I.

Dying to prove a point is wrong. You don’t get to live to see your point proven. One only proves a point to gloat.

I would love to live a long time. To see how certain things work out. But that would be wrong. It would deny those who come after me their chance.

There is so much death in this world that mine (or any other) would not cause a ripple. That does not mean that I would not fight for my life.

If what tastes good is bad for you then mushrooms must be really healthy.

It is amazing what historians derive from the writing of great men, especially of their character. It is lucky that these great men do not return to life. A great many historians would be wrong and look like fools.

Every man should carry a knife. Not to defend himself, but to show that he can.

Every person has the capacity for change. Whether or not we do is a matter of choice.

I want to leave here. It is not that I want to go somewhere. It is that I want to leave her and go some where else.

I am not angry upset or stressed. I am frustrated. I am stuck between choosing one of many paths and fear of choosing one at all. I don’t mind choosing wrong.

I have done things that I thought only other people did.

Fighting against instinct takes a great deal of energy. It can, however, be done. It is what separates us as sentient beings. What instinct am I fighting you ask? You can ask.

There is only one place that I would like to be. Gone.

I am in no hurry. I’ll get there eventually.

Too much introspection is not good for the soul. Nobody likes to be stared at.

Loss of respect, in my eyes, is worse than hating someone. It means that your status has been lowered by your own actions.

My heart is like my favorite beer. Cold, dark and bitter.



Gunshot Wound

March 13, 2009

It was the funniest thing. I had never been shot before but I had thought about it so much that I was sure I would know what it would feel like. But now that I see my blood seeping through my sweater I laugh at my arrogance. It feels nothing like I thought. Not noble or grand. There even isn’t a lot of pain. I don’t feel shot. I feel punched. The clarity of though, I thought I would have is not here. I figured I would get to play up and act the great death seen. All I did was fall against the wall and slide down it clutching my stomach. It isn’t pain, just a hurt in my belly. All I can think of is the pain that I know is coming when the adrenaline wears off. I am scared, that is one thing I didn’t think would happen. I am scared I am going to die. That I am not finished doing what I am supposed to do. The metallic taste in my mouth is what I fear most. I always get that taste when I am sick. But I am not sick; I am dying of a gunshot wound.

Bill had watched the guy clutch his belly and slide down the wall. He looked shocked, no, surprised. Like when you expect something and then it doesn’t happen or not happen like it was supposed to. Well it didn’t go like it was supposed to. A simple meeting, to exchange information, but too many strange things went on. The meeting place was changed; the contact changed, the manner of exchange changed. All that was the same was me. But that is a lie, I was changed too, I was nervous as hell. Every instinct told me to get out, to bail but I am duty bound to my organization. When that goofball stated to act like James Bond I started to loose my cool. Then the dumb fuck reached into his jacket. I shot him out of sheer instinct. Who the hell keeps his smokes in the inside pocket. It is done now, he has stopped bleeding and his hand lays limp on his lap. Number 37 or is it 38? I never did know if that Asian guy bit it.

Detective Warren looked at the pale face of the victim. Not a quick death but not a slow one. He didn’t look to be in a lot of pain but then adrenaline would have taken care of that. He bled to death before the pain hit him. A .38 by the looks of it, small, light and easily concealed. Burn marks on the sweater so he was shot at close range. But why here and why this guy. He was small time. Usually a getter of coffee and donuts. His wallet was still in his pants so a robbery was out. An exchange gone wrong? But what went wrong? This guy didn’t have a weapon; he wouldn’t have had time to fire unless he got off the first shot and the other guy took his gun. But leave the wallet? No, he had no gun. Killed to keep him quiet. No, this was too small time. Maybe it was his first exchange and he spooked the other guy. Probably. That is how I’ll write it up. Button this one up quick. It’s an internal matter between two organizations. They’ll take care of it in their own way in their own time. They always do. I still have to wrap up that dumpster murder before the trail grows cold.

He watched the cop get back into his car amid the flashing lights of police and ambulance drivers. There will be hell to pay for this. It will be explained away but he will have to pay for it in some way. I’ll get expelled to Hong Kong again to do errands for that fat fuck Quan. At least I’ll get to see Sherri again….

I have died of a gunshot wound. Dammit, I had so much left to do.


I don’t know

March 9, 2009

I’m not sure what this post is about or where it is going to go.

You see I have been feeding my brain for the last 2 months and it hasn’t fully digested the information yet. Usually when it has it burps out a blog entry. It hasn’t really done that yet. Maybe because it has been such a big meal.

Anyway, what have I been feeding it? I watched the Ken Burn PBS series on the US Civil War, then his series on the Second World War. And finally I watched the Ten Thousand Day War about the Vietnam conflict. I have been trying to put this into context. Huge numbers of men, women and children died in these wars. 620,000 in the Civil War, 400,000 in WW2 and 50,000 US Soldiers in Vietnam. Huge numbers by any account. But then those numbers lose all context when we look at the Chinese civil war where 20 million people died. I can’t get my head around that.

Then I have to juxtapose that with our current conflicts. In 5 years of “war” in Iraq the US has lost 4,000. Canada has lost just over 100 in Afghanistan. And we are devastated?

In the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864 the US lost 4,000 in one morning, on one side. A slaughter by all accounts.

So what am I trying to say? I don’t know. Do we measure a conflict by its losses? By the number of “innocent” victims? Its duration, percentage of population lost, brutality?

Do I put it into my context? In some wars 50% of young men were lost. If I pick 3 of my best friends and take away 2, including maybe me? How would life be different. What if my city was bombed, or I nearly starved because no food could get through. What if my town was overrun by the enemy, or I was sent to a prison camp for my nationality, religion, colour?

Have we been lucky? Or leaders been more careful. Have we evolved to a higher level where we don’t fight big wars anymore? Not likely. Maybe white European people have seen the futility of it all and avoid it at all costs. Our African friends certainly have not learned this, see Darfur or Rwanda.

So what did I learn from all these programs? Good programs where most of the history was first accounts, not some wizened professor’s interpretation. The Civil War was dictated by 4 diaries, the Second World war by its survivors and the Vietnam war by the people who fought it. They were there and they told it like it was. Generals, politicians, soldiers, civilians. An honest account. And they all let you make up your own mind. Maybe that is what I am struggling with. I have made up my mind and it still seems so unreal, so wrong. I cannot even place myself in their shoes it is so out of context for me.

When my father emigrated, he chose Canada because there was no chance of me being conscripted. Was he telling me something, what did he know? He never served, never knew anyone who served and no war ever touched his country in his lifetime.

I guess maybe I am wrestling with what I would do if I was put in a situation where my country decided to go to war. I have no faith in our political leaders. Mainly because they are politicians, they have no experience of war and some seem too eager to fight, as long as they don’t have to pick up a gun.

But what would I do? Enlist? Run? Become a war profiteer? If I was 18 I would enlist because I knew nothing then. I was accepted by the Armed Forces to go to officer training when I was 18 but did not follow through. Maybe I did know what I was doing. At my age and situation I would never be conscripted, but if I was asked, I would not go. I know the horrors and I know I would not survive. Even if I was not killed I would not come back the same. Would I run? Not with a family to support. So I would stay home and not go. And that may be what I struggle with. Because there would be people that would go and would die and would come home damaged. They sacrificed and I did not.

I was raised to be a good citizen in the true meaning of the word and I am raising my family to do the same. Being a citizen means to help others in need, contribute to the whole. Be considerate of others, pitch in when needed, sacrifice when asked. All for the greater good, because I know that if everyone else does the same we will all be in better shape.

Now I know some do not, some take advantage and you will have to live with these people because you cannot send them away. But the vast majority are good citizens. And we do look out for each other but would I go and die to protect that?

Perhaps it is again a “perspective thing”. Would I do it for Canada? Maybe, but probably not. Would I do it for Ontario? Nope. For my city? No. For my religion? Maybe. For my family, yes.

If we lived in small city states where we depended on one another for survival and we were under threat, then I would defend. Yes.

But we do not live in city states, or nation states. The lines are blurred and are almost meaningless.

And that may be the crux of the problem. I would defend a situation that no longer exists. And I would not defend what we currently have.

I think society has grown beyond what our DNA can handle. And we started these horrible wars. Applying old mentalities to new situations with disastrous results. And we are not safe or protected from doing it again for there are those out there who would try to force their outdated way of thinking onto a world which is unable to accepted is as it has evolved too far.

I guess we will have to hold fast while they catch up, or hold out while they destroy themselves in order to learn what we already know.

Maybe. I don’t know.


What does your vehicle say about you?

March 4, 2009

When I see a great big SUV I wonder what the guy/gal inside wants me to think of them. That they are rich? They “Off-road” in their spare time? That they don’t give a damn about the future and that it is all about them?

Yeah, me too. I just cannot see how these people can justify themselves.
These vehicles are too big, crowd the roads and wreck the tarmac.
They are not safer.
They are not more reliable.
They are not status symbols. (They stopped becoming that when everyone got one)
They are not efficient.
They are not user friendly.
So you sit high up so you can see the road. Well if everybody didn’t have one you wouldn’t need to be high up.

Smarten up folks. Cheap gas will only be here for the current recession and then we will be back to $1.30 a litre again.

I’m not saying you should go buy a Hinda Fit or Toyota Yaris (although that would be nice if you did) I am saying, when you buy your next vehicle buy a more efficient one. Going from 12 MPG to 18MPG is far better than me going from a 32 MPG to a 35 MPG. Big savings, huge difference in gas. And then when you trade up, make the jump to 25 MPG.

And slow down, you can save up to 30% buy driving the speed limit.