Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thinking of you. . . down in Mexico

This is one of my better gif/slideshow presentations, featuring beach portraits from my daughter Shannon's trips to Mexico from 2006 until (literally!) today. I won't get into how fast the grandchildren have grown - where did those sweet little kids go? Gone to grownups, practically, but still beautiful and beloved.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Crazy cats!

In celebration of nothing in particular, except maybe having a better week than last, here are some of my favorite cat gifs, most of which I made myself. Oh, I know this blog gets silly sometimes. Once in a while it gets frightfully serious. I had three or four followers flee all at once after I wrote about climate change. It stunned me. So I don't write about climate change. I don't even know all the facts about it, and for the most part I can't even think about it. Sometimes I just want to post funny gifs of cats.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Roomba cat

Smoke and eat, eat and smoke

Thanksgiving Dinner… and then the peaceful feeling that comes from good digestion and smoking Camels!

OFF TO A GOOD START — with hot spiced tomato soup. And then–for digestion’s sake–smoke a Camel right after the soup.

THE MAIN EVENT — The time-honoured turkey of our forefathers–done to a crisp and golden brown–and flanked by a mountain of ruby cranberry jelly. By all means enjoy a second helping. But before you do–smoke another Camel. Camels ease tension. Speed up the flow of digestive fluids. Increase alkalinity. Help your digestion to run smoothly.

DOUBLE PAUSE — First–for the crisp refreshment of a Waldorf Salad–then–once again, for the sheer pleasure of Camel’s costlier tobaccos. This double pause clears the palate–and sets the stage for desert.

WHAT WILL YOU HAVE FOR DESSERT? Reading in a circle, there’s luscious Pumpkin Pie… Mince Pie a la mode… layer cake with inch-deep icing… a piping-hot Plum Pudding… and Camels to add the final touch of comfort and good cheer. For when digestion proceeds smoothly, you experience a sense of ease and well-being.

SO TO A HAPPY ENDING — over coffee and your after-dinner Camels. Enjoy Camels–every mealtime–between courses and after eating–and you can lean back in your chair feeling on top of the world.

FOOD EDITOR — Miss Dorothy Malone says: “It’s smart to have Camels on the table. My own personal experience is that smoking Camels with my meals and afterwards builds up a sense of digestive well-being.”

“THE BEST MEAL I ever ate would be a disappointment if I coldn’t enjoy Camels,” says William H. Ferguson, salesman. “I smoke Camels as an aid to digestion. There’s nothing like Camel’s to set you right.”

Good food and good tobacco go together naturally!

Right down the line–from explorers living on “iron rations” to the millions of men and women who’ll heartily enjoy a big Thanksgiving dinner–it is agreed that Camels set you right! You enjoy more food more and have a feeling of greater ease after eating when you smoke Camels between courses and after meals.

Enjoy Camels all you wish–all through the day. Camel’s costlier tobaccos as supremely mild. Steady smokers say that Camel’s never tire the taste or get on the nerves. And when you’re tired, try this: get a “lift” with a Camel!


Camels are made from finer, MORE EXPENSIVE TOBACCOS . . . Turkish and Domestic . . . than any other popular brand.


Blogger's note. Damn. As usual, I am late for Thanksgiving, but this one (complete with full text) is too good not to post, even a few days late. It's one of the most astonishing cigarette ads I've ever seen. 

In the bad old days, nothing was more horrible than sitting next to a smoker at a banquet, or even in the same room with smokers in a restaurant. Never mind if they were corralled in the "smoking area" (ha ha). Smoke like, uh, er, drifts in the air, see? (Why didn't they know that then? They didn't want to offend smoking customers.) It doesn't matter if you blow it in the opposite direction. It migrates freely all over the room, the sulphurous stink of it ending up in your face, and there's nothing you can do to get away from it.

It had to be scientifically proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that you could drop dead from cancer even from a small exposure to second-hand smoke - that it was, in fact, more deadly than the stuff you sucked in with your lips like an infant with a bottle of formula - before "smoking sections" were finally relegated to the past, along with the socially-acceptable and even expected habit of sucking on cigarettes before, after and even during a festive dinner. 

According to this yummy description, the average person sitting at the groaning board should consume FIVE cigarettes to achieve the desired "ease and well-being", not to mention improved digestion (WTF???). I just don't know where to start here. The purported effect on mood - calming you down and/or giving you a lift, presumably at the same time - is even more alarming, as if cigarettes were just an early form of antidepressant.

When I saw just the bottom corner of this ad, on Pinterest or somewhere, I thought, no. It's a parody. It just COULDN'T be real. But oh yes. It's a time machine of attitudes that I am profoundly grateful are dead. But it makes me wonder how many other horrible things we're still doing that one day will be seen as totally barbaric. Back then, if you'd pointed out to a hostess that smoking at the table makes people die in horrible agony, she'd probably claim you were spreading nasty lies. 

This will be my last vintage cigarette ad for a while, because it's getting old now. I have to stop running curiosities and start actually writing again, which is torture sometimes, but somebody might actually read it, and I must be prepared. I almost never look at my views, but today I did, and I got well over a thousand views for a piece I wrote a couple of years ago about Elmer the Safety Elephant. You never know what people might find interesting.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Funny video of Bob Dylan playing with words

I pounded on a farmhouse
Lookin’ for a place to stay
I was mighty mighty tired
I had come a long long way
I said, “Hey, hey, in there 
Is there anybody home?” 
I was standin’ on the steps 
Feelin’ most alone 
When out comes a farmer 
He must have thought that I was nuts 
He immediately looked at me 
And stuck a gun into my guts 

I fell down
To my bended knees
Saying, “I dig farmers
Don’t shoot me, please!”
He cocked his rifle
And began to shout
“Are you that travelin’ salesman
That I have heard about”
I said, “No! No! No!
I’m a doctor and it’s true
I’m a clean-cut kid
And I been to college too”

Then in comes his daughter
Whose name was Rita
She looked like she stepped out of
La Dolce Vita
I immediately tried to cool it
With her dad
And told him what a
Nice, pretty farm he had
He said, “What do doctors
Know about farms, pray tell?”
I said, “I was born
At the bottom of a wishing well”

Well, by the dirt beneath my nails
I guess he knew I wouldn’t lie
He said "I guess you’re tired”
He said it kinda sly
I said, “Yes, ten thousand miles
Today I drove”
He said, “I got a bed for you
Underneath the stove
Just one condition
You can go to sleep right now
That you don’t touch my daughter
And in the morning, milk the cow”

I was sleepin’ like a rat
When I heard something jerkin’
There stood Rita
Lookin’ just like Tony Perkins 
She said, “Would you like to take a shower? 
I’ll show you up to the door” 
I said, “Oh, no! no! 
I’ve been through this movie before” 
I knew I had to split 
But I didn’t know how 
When she said 
“Would you like to take that shower now?” 

Well, I couldn’t leave
Unless the old man chased me out
’Cause I’d already promised
That I’d milk his cows
I had to say something
To strike him very weird
So I yelled
“I like Fidel Castro and his beard”
Rita looked offended
But she got out of the way
As he came charging down the stairs
Sayin’, “What’s that I heard you say?”

I said, “I like Fidel Castro
I think you heard me right”
And ducked as he swung
At me with all his might 
Rita mumbled something 
’Bout her mother on the hill 
As his fist hit the icebox 
He said he’s going to kill 
If I don’t get out the door 
In two seconds flat 
“You unpatriotic 
Rotten doctor Commie rat” 

Well, he threw a Reader’s Digest
At my head and I did run
I did a somersault
As I seen him get his gun 
And crashed through the window 
At a hundred miles an hour 
And landed fully blast 
In his garden flowers 
Rita said, “Come back!” 
As he started to load 
The sun was comin’ up 
And I was runnin’ down the road 

Well, I don’t figure I’ll be back
There for a spell
Even though Rita moved away
And got a job in a motel
He still waits for me
Constant on the sly
He wants to turn me in
To the F.B.I.
Me, I romp and stomp
Thankful as I romp
Without freedom of speech
I might be in the swamp

Bob Dylan

This video is guaranteed to calm your soul!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

None so blind: the Galloway affair

May as well enter the fray, as most other writers have in this country.  But how to deal with the maelstrom of "issues" that have jumped out of the closet? Why is this strange jack-in-the-box suddenly exploding out of the container, if everything is going so well (as the more privileged writers insist)? Why are you so upset all of a sudden, why are "all you survivor people out there" in such a snit? God's in his heaven, all's right with CanLit: isn't it? Hey, MY paycheque is OK, how about yours? Gone to any signings lately? And let's not get into all the other issues. Better yet: let's.  It's my video and I'll kvetch if I want to. But after all these years, I believe I have a right.

Bentley vs. Cybercat!

White shadow: cats from a mystic world

There are certain cats - for some reason, almost all of them are white - which have a special genetic quirk called heterochromia iridum: meaning, they have two different eye colours, one blue and one green or yellow. But there are a few here who have something even more rare: sectoral heterochromia, which means. . . really pretty eyes! It means they have two colours in EACH eye. In some cases it's just a spot, and a little hard to see, but sometimes the division is quite dramatic.

What is it about white cats? I've also heard that many of them are deaf. But they more than make up for that difficulty with eyes so beautiful, it transports them into the realm of the mystical.

One of these photos looks photoshopped. I doubt if there is such a thing as a heterochromia rainbowia. But you never know, so I included it.

Farewell Fidel

Che, Fidel, Camilo.