Saturday, October 26, 2019

Heebie - Jeebies

Heebie - Jeebies

It is not an arrogant government that chooses priorities, it's an irresponsible government that fails to choose. Tony Blair (1953-)

Prelude

The word procrastination is in every government's policy and procedure playbook. It's very similar to a sports team's playbook that have their game plans and strategies for all sorts of situations. However, these so-called administrators take their time to investigate certain issues that may be crucial and urgent. For some strange and unexpected reason, they don't consider some serious conditions or situations the same way their constituents see things. In their own judgment the analysis and interpretation of the problem is far different than what the taxpayer is thinking. There is a good chance the dispute will be a long drawn-out disagreement and therefore many folks will label the government's rationale as truly irresponsible.

I live in Hamilton, Ontario and have heard, read and personally experienced more than enough times how the city drags their feet on certain affairs. One episode that I can reflect on is the constant flooding problem of homeowners' basements in the east end of the city after a rainstorm. We can only hope the "caring councilors" finally fixed the dilemma because it took them a lengthy time to tackle the homeowners' misfortune. In my opinion absolutely disgraceful and disgusting on the politician's behalf.

As stated, I have been subject to the wheels of government that move extremely slow. Not too long ago I was sitting at my writing table in front of the living room window modifying another book I'm in the midst of doing. Every so often I will look out the window and enjoy the landscape of the neighborhood or just daydream for a few moments and watch the world go by. Be that as it may, I gandered out the window and saw something on my neighbor's asphalt driveway. Within a split second I said out loud, "Is that what I think it is?" Without hesitation, I immediately stood up and yelled to my E.A. (Executive Assistant), "I see a fucking rat." I dashed outside and grabbed a long, wooden-handled, round mouth, metal shovel for my killing implement and rushed over to my neighbor's home but by the time I arrived the rat was gone.

The following is the chronological events that took place after I saw the eerie creature.

Thursday, Aug. 1/19 - After the rat had disappeared I phoned Ward 7 Councillor Ester Pauls' office to lodge a complaint and left a message.

Friday, Aug. 2/19 - Councillor Pauls' assistant replied to my call and stated she would contact the appropriate "powers to be" regarding my gripe.

Tuesday, Aug. 6/19 - Councillor Pauls' assistant phoned me and asked if anyone had contacted me regarding my problem. I told her no.

Friday, Aug.9/19 - A representative from the Health Department phoned and asked me a few questions. The official also stated they will have someone to inspect the area for any rat nests.

Thursday, Aug. 15/19 - Received a letter in the mail from The City of Hamilton about information with respect to rats.

Since part of the municipality's network consists of public safety such as health, I deem the time frame for my unease extremely unacceptable. In my opinion, this case should've been considered as major importance. I had to laugh (in disgust) when I noticed the City's return mailing address, it read Health Protection Division, Attention: Health Hazards Program. WOW! Sounds really serious and caring. "They" come across as if they're no-nonsense and have great intentions...if only they did. As far as I'm concerned the professional titles demonstrate a completely wrong impression. After I read the letter I said to my E.A., "Five will get you ten that's all these phony bolognies are going to do. Another group that reminds me of the U.N. (United Nations), plenty of talk but little action. I received a chuckle from Ms. Pauls' assistant when she suggested I talk to my neighbours and have them invest in rat traps. She then added the area will be rat-free. Later on, I analyzed her statement and thought very interesting. It almost seems like the city doesn't want to deal with the problem and let the homeowners cope with it.

Rats have been spotted at various times throughout my neighbourhood. My neighbour across the street mentioned he's caught six in his trap. Another neighbour stated she saw a rat and decided to place rat poison in her backyard. An additional neighbour told me there was a dead rat on the street in front of his house.

The City of Hamilton web site states the risk of rats spreading disease is low. Here we go again. Government trying to disguise a potentially critical health and safety matter into nothing more than seeing a squirrel on your front lawn. I would really like to hear the city's definition of low. More bureaucratic smoke and mirrors from our "illustrious" big top performers. From what I researched, rats can be very dangerous. Their bite or scratch can cause Leptospirosis (bleeding from the lungs), meningitis, Lassa fever, and bubonic plague. However, there is an ongoing debate if rats are actually related to the Black Death. Despite that, their droppings and urine can be dangerous and harmful.

An article in CBC news on July 15/15 that was titled, "Rat infestation will only get worse warns Hamilton Public Health" was without a doubt truly upsetting and frightening. The write-up also mentioned The City of Hamilton included in their budget a new part-time health inspector to deal with rat complaints. WAIT A MINUTE, JUST HOLD ON A MINUTE. PART-TIME. What the hell does that mean? Once again, I shake my head in disgust. These "circus stars" spend millions of dollars on bike lanes and two-way conversions but create a part-time position for a serious health concern. It's so typical of these architects of pandemonium.

CH news stated in an article on Nov. 14/18 that Okin Canada (a pest control company) named Hamilton the fifth rattiest city in the country for the second year in a row. I knew this city would achieve top ten status for something sooner or later. Wouldn't it be logical to hire a couple of full-time rat busters? Golly gee, that's probably too difficult of a decision for our Big Top players to determine. So I think it's safe to say the invasion of rats in Hamilton is a major health and safety problem. But the city hall gang take on this obstacle in their own subtle way or better said, the lack of complete concern and dedication. However, when budget time appears to increase our taxes their behaviours are repressed eagerness.

Epilogue

Our "city leaders" have developed this system. Why they perform this inappropriate conduct is beyond me. It's just another example of how the government succeeds in frustrating, disappointing and angering taxpayers. Without a doubt, it generates a bad reputation of their actions. But we must remember they don't believe or promote competition for any of their services. So we must ask ourselves, do they really care. They say they do but then again these blunderers are accomplished wizards of deception and organized confusion. Recently a long-time good friend of mine told me, "Between rodents and politicians rats are everywhere."

The End

The Harvenut Puritan Project
Puritan will return with "The Joker Is Wild: Uncertain Honesty"


Editor's Notes:

Maybe Bad Orange Man was on to something?

1

2
Health Canada advises human consumption of rat poison.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

The Colourful Plague

The Colourful Plague

Disease is the biggest moneymaker in our economy. John H. Tobe (1906-1979)

As long as greed is stronger than compassion, there will always be suffering. Rusty Eric (birthdate unknown)

Why give the cure when disease makes money. Tabil Kweli (1975-)

Language is a virus, money is a nasty disease. Jonathon Barnbrook (1966-)

Prelude

Sadly some people have very little conscience when it comes to certain commodities. They probably have an inner feeling towards their behaviour in a conceited, arrogant and selfish manner. Yes, once again I'm talking about money. We all know money makes the world go round, always has and always will. Everyone loves money but certain individuals are obsessed. They are so fixated with moolah they may place human life at risk.

Numerous epidemics have occurred throughout the history of the world. They were tragic and millions of people died, such as The Black Death aka Bubonic Plague from 1347-1351. Sources estimate 75-200 million people perished. The Cocoitzli Epidemic in 1576 of New Spain (present-day Mexico) where millions of people passed away. It was similar to the Spanish Flu from 1918-1920 where 50-100 million folks passed on. The Asian Flu in 1957 took 1-2 million lives and the Hong Kong Flu of 1968 was responsible for 1-4 million human beings loss of life. We can't forget about H.I.V. (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) aka A.I.D.S. which made it's debut in the 1960s (so "they" say) and has been responsible for 25 million deaths.

Out of all the above epidemics/diseases (call them whatever you want) they only one that is still alive and kicking is A.I.D.S. The other outbreaks were finally conquered and terminated by medical ingenuity. I think it's safe to say pharmaceutical companies played a principal part in some of the final outcomes. Speaking of drug companies or shall I say thriving enterprises, an article in The Motley Fool on July 31, 2016 stated the total revenue of the global pharmaceutical market was $1.05 trillion. The write up also included, of the $1.05 trillion roughly $515 billion comes from Canada and the United States.

We all know someone, whether it was a loved one or a friend that have had their life cut short due to cancer. Being the year 2019 I find it extremely strange and can't understand that cancer hasn't been cured for once and for all. According to an article in Forbes in 2015 the global market for cancer drugs could be $147 billion by 2018, any guesses what it would be now. However, the story did specify in 1990 half of the cancer patients survived after five years of diagnosis. The write up went on to say now two-thirds do. Nevertheless, the question is for how long? It's always lovely and wonderful to hear women who have beaten breast cancer. Maybe it's similar to prostate cancer, if it's diagnosed early enough it can be treated and wiped out.

Get a load of these staggering and upsetting facts from the National Cancer Institute. Most cancer drugs that commenced between 2009-2014 were priced at more than $100,000 per patient for one year of treatment. More recently the cost is $400,000 a year for medication. Isn't that a happy thought. Now really, are "they" for real? Who can afford that kind of expense? I find it fucking crooked and outrageous. The organization also said one drug can cost $120,000 a year. Isn't it frightening enough someone is identified with cancer and now has to exhaust their life savings or apply for a second mortgage to combat their disease? What is really heartbreaking a lot of the times those drugs have no effect on a patient's future. Sadly I use my E.A.'s (Executive Assistant) niece as an example who passed away in 2001 at the age of thirteen. However, drug companies are happy because their revenue is always escalating.

I haven't forgotten about Kevin Trudeau. In case you aren't aware he's no relation to Justin (I never worked a day in my life) Trudeau. Kevin was the author of a book titled "Natural Cures "They" Don't Want YOU TO KNOW" which was published in 2007. As I stated in a previous rant, I watched him on T.V. when he disclosed The University of Calgary in Alberta had found the cure to cancer. In spite of that the F.D.A. (Food and Drug Administration) found out about the remedy and very quickly put a kibosh on the entire matter. Whether the story is true or just a tall tale you make the call. Personally, I believed it occurred.

We all know there are numerous caring, thoughtful and good-hearted people in the world especially in Canada and the U.S. Many folks volunteer their time and participate in cancer fundraisers such as walkathons, skate-a-thons, and bowl-a-thons. Other individuals will donate some of their cash to help annihilate the ghastly disease. I tip my hat to those hard-working and generous mortals. Nevertheless, it continues to puzzle and mystify me why cancer hasn't been eliminated.

Now for some alarming and hair-raising facts. John Selfrin was C.E.O. (Chief Executive Officer) for the American Cancer Society for twenty-three years. In one year he earned $856,442 as well as an extra $77,859 as President for the ACS (Cancer Action Network). So much for donating money to a worthwhile cause. An article in Slate on Feb. 7/13 stated the National Cancer Institute spent $90 billion on research and treatment forty years after a "war" was declared on cancer. I don't recall any war lasting that long. Sooner or later all wars come to an end but this campaign doesn't want to cease. In the same report, the National Cancer Institute stated funding has averaged $9 billion a year in the past six years. Why shouldn't it? As long as the donors give away their money the management running this racket are absolutely ecstatic. Last, but certainly not least, an article in CBC News on July 6/11 said the Canadian Cancer Society had proportionally shifted finances away from research and "spending more of its dollars" on fundraising and administrative costs. Sounds like a typical government, priorities are upside down. Who cares about the patients anyway? Very, very sinister.

Epilogue

It would be so satisfying to say this whole cancer phenomenon is a myth but unfortunately, this horrible walk with the devil has devastated numerous human lives. Drug companies are like banks. Their sole purpose is to make money, lot's of money. Cancer and A.I.D.S. patients may spend thousands of dollars a month on prescription drugs with no guarantee of a cure. This episode has been creating misery for people too long. Once again, why is cancer still lingering? We certainly can't leave the government out of this deadly and fatal scam.

The End

The Harvenut Puritan Project
Puritan will return with "Heebie-Jeebies"


A fascinating account of how the communists in South Africa dealt with the AIDS crisis there.


Some comic relief?

Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Bungling Bunch Rides Again

Under our scheme of government, the waste of public money is a crime against the citizen. Grover Cleveland (1837-1908)

Prelude

We're all aware that our three levels of government are extremely frivolous, irresponsible and foolish when spending taxpayers' money. Most people work hard at their jobs only to have almost half of their earnings robbed by the political rulers. Too many times we hear our "leaders" ruminate about raising taxes or establishing new "fees" (just another word for tax). Every so often we will hear the bureaucrats whine and complain because they're short of loot. One of their favourite lines that has become very popular is, "We need more money." These bandits are never happy and we all know the more they take the more they want. It shouldn't surprise anyone that the Federal and Provincial governments are operating at absent-minded deficits. And we can't ignore the debt at both degrees which is excessive and preposterous. However, we must remember the province of Ontario had the Inglorious Liberals running the show from 2003-2018. Then there's my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario which is also "managed" very sloppy. "The Hammer" also has an uncontrolled financial shortfall and money owing.

I'm retired and my life is basically uneventful. To tell you the truth, I like it that way. I can always relate to the 1942 song written by Bob Russell (1914-1970) titled, "I Don't Get Around Much Anymore".

Back in May 2019 I had to drive downtown to my dentist office for a 9:00 a.m. appointment. For you folks that aren't acquainted with Hamilton, the city has two major residential areas, the mountain, and downtown. I live on the mountain and it took me twenty-five minutes before I touched down at my engagement. The trip should've been no longer than fifteen minutes. The reason for my longer than usual journey is our clueless and unsympathetic Ivory-tower mandarins. To make a long story short they decided to make John Street which connects to the Jolley Cut from a four-lane northbound street into a two-lane north and southbound "thoroughfare." Which I might add is one of their numerous crack-brained two-way conversions. Without a doubt, these menaces enjoy frustrating drivers.

The only upside I can say about my annoying and irritating trip is I don't have to put up with absurd bull shit every day. I do feel sorry for the poor souls who use that route daily to travel to work. Utter chaos. SHAME ON YOU CITY COUNCIL, SHAME ON YOU!

I will enlighten you on what the mob has been implementing in the last little while. First of all their unlimited fetish for bike lanes continues to flourish and expand. An article in CBC News on Jan. 20/19 titled, "City plans to spend $6.5 million on cycling projects this year" doesn't surprise me. What did surprise me was the agitators have expanded into Waterdown and Dundas. I guess the sky's the limit. Despite that, the report said the majority of money was coming from a one-time grant but the way I read the story the councilors are "donating" $2.7 million of our money for their bike lane obsession.

Another write-up in the Mountain News on May 16/19 titled, "More Bike Lanes For Hamilton Mountain" doesn't amaze me either. The cost will be $2 million but 80 percent will be covered by the province. I knew it was only a matter of time when we would see more bike lanes on the mountain. Why should people driving downtown be the only individuals who become pissed off?

I also have to include another fixation the illogical gang has, property taxes. Just to remind you Hamilton pays higher property taxes than Vancouver and Toronto as stated in CHCH news on Aug. 8/18. An article in CBC News on April 22/19 titled, "Numbers show Hamilton homeowners are struggling to pay high city taxes" is just a sign of the times. Do these "caring" politicians really give a flying fuck? I think not. The report also went on to say the city has $73,737,453 in unpaid property taxes. In 2014 13,829 residential properties were in arrears. In 2017 that number had increased to 17,914. Golly Gee, I wonder why?

A couple of months ago my E.A. (Executive Assistant) and I found out our property taxes were once again increased, this time by a ludicrous $103 a year. The "circus stars" made it public that on an average home of $358,600 people would be coughing up $88. I'll tell you right now our little two-bedroom cottage is not worth their calculated price. As usual, these undesirable crafty performers are taking part and entertaining themselves with the typical government game called "fun with figures." With the addition of my water rate (tax), our amount to city hall is $3,600 a year. I can sum it up with two words, FUCKING ROBBERY!

Sadly businesses suffer from the tax thievery also. About five years ago we had a gentleman repair our stove and he told us he also experiences the greediness at tax headquarters. Besides fixing appliances he also restores and sells used appliances. His store is approximately 2800 square feet and he mentioned his tab for the city's racket is $10,000 a year. He went on to indicate his small company has to sell one or two machines every month just to pay the taxes. I can only imagine what his taxes are now. Downright disgusting.

An article in the Mountain News on Jan. 31/19 titled "Councillors Turn Down Tax Hike To Fix Crumbling Roads" is a perfect example of the gang's lack of responsibility. As usual, our "leaders" refuse to devote attention to the city's aging roads. Stoney Creek Councillor Brad Clark appeared to be in the ballpark when he stated at a council meeting, "We need to put more money into roads." Get a load of the following comments Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson said, "I don't want to lead into reckless spending." Flamborough Councillor Judi Partridge stated, "I'm not onside to increase taxes" and Ward 3 Councillor Nrinder Nann was hesitant to support the issue saying there were other budget priorities that we should consider to spend money on.

I look at this logic as negligent and thoughtless (excluding Mr. Clark's proposal). These three obviously aren't interested and don't give a damn about public safety and infrastructure. And on top of that, they can't see the forest because of the trees. In lieu of raising taxes (they'd probably have some sort of withdrawal complication) start chopping and terminating funding from other programs and departments, did anyone say bike lane?

Which brings me to more waste of our money. What I'm talking about is the new 14,000 square foot Gage Park, Tropical Greenhouse. The cost, now get this, is $4.2 million. Staff say groups of school kids can learn about plants. Excuse me, isn't that what schools are for? And what about the R.B.G. (Royal Botanical Gardens). That kind of cash is a hell of a lot of money and could be spent very nicely on fixing our roads.

Finally, I couldn't help but share this with you. It's from an article in the Mountain News on Dec. 13/18 titled, "Council Approves 4.6% Water Rate Hike." The write-up describes a lot of the city's water mains are in need of drastic repair. The following is priceless. Andrew Grice who is the director of wastewater and water told the council members about the aid state of our water mains and said, "It scares me, it keeps me up at night." Now that is too, too funny. Who is this guy? Another fat cat who is saying in his caring political way we need more money.

Epilogue

The city hall herd are well known for procrastination on serious decision making for municipal issues (let's perform another study for the original study). However, they don't seem to drag their feet on throwing our money away on useless, pointless and idiotic projects. I've always maintained public safety and infrastructure should be a vital priority, in other words, a one-two punch but these "administrators" think differently. As I have said before the real shameful and pathetic ordeal is the idiotic morons who re-elect the same councilors. A sad state of affairs.

The End

The Harvenut Puritan Project
Puritan will return with A Colourful Plague


Editor's Note:

Below is a short video documenting just one of the ridiculous impacts of the City of Hamilton's decision to convert the efficient one-way street system our city was famous for into a sluggish mess of idling vehicles and vacant bicycle lanes. (I call them "Vehicle Exclusions Lanes." It's more accurate.)

Some background for anyone unfamiliar with Hamilton. I filmed this from my car traveling south up the West 5th hill to the "mountain." The line of vehicles you see spewing unnecessary CO2 into the air is headed north to the downtown.

Prior to the political brain surgery that the city government has performed, this northbound traffic was able to smoothly merge onto then one-way (eastbound) St. Joseph's Drive to then one-way John St. S. to continue on their journey to the downtown. It was a seamless, laminar flow. You almost never saw downbound traffic backed up.

After the brain surgery, a stoplight was installed at the intersection of James St. S. and St. Joseph's Drive. As a result of this stoplight, any northbound vehicle must now wait until the light turns green before proceeding. Anyone stuck behind this car must now also wait. As the line grows, and grows, and grows.

And that is just one sorry example of the kind of horse-shit Hamilton politicians ram down the throats of their residents and taxpayers.

At this point, I must say that I whole-heartedly agree with Mr. Puritan's last two lines, "As I have said before the real shameful and pathetic ordeal is the idiotic morons who re-elect the same councilors. A sad state of affairs."

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Dehydrated Wallet

There are some dirty, greedy people out there and unfortunately, I know some. Richard Patrick (1968-)

Prelude

People can't live without certain requirements. Food, water, and shelter that come to mind. The homeless attempt to survive but sooner or later they need those essentials. However, we can't forget about one other very important item that controls a lot of peoples' lives. It's a crazy little thing called money. Everyone loves money, I know I certainly do. It's impossible to exist without moolah. All of us come from the same mold when it comes to cash. We spend our money on necessities and once in a while we may treat ourselves to the "finer things in life".

Every so often we are committed to paying what I call authorized thievery. Unlike government extortion (we have no choice than to cough up our hard-earned wages) authorized thievery is a system that dictates in a simple format. Most of the time it's a straight forward and uncomplicated business transaction, easy as ABC. Humans will be given an option, pay or don't pay and I'm not talking about buying a TV or computer.

Back in March of 2015 my car's muffler system became defective (or so I was told) so I took my vehicle to Speedy Auto Service, previously known as Speedy Muffler King. To make a long story short I spent $1,045.00 when the "work" was completed. Then in January 2019, my exhaust system became noisy once again. So I went back to Speedy. This time $280.00 instantly disintegrated out of my wallet. Of course, very conveniently, there wasn't any warranty on the faulty part. In March 2019 I heard a noise again, yes again, from my muffler system so once again I paid Speedy another visit. I figured the system has to be under some sort of guarantee. As usual, the Speedy employee drove my car into the shop and raised it on the hoist. The technician speedily (no pun intended) showed me the problem.

Moments later I received a quote of $650 from the manager. Needless to say, I was ready to lose it...I was fucking livid and my blood was sizzling. But I didn't show my anger and frustration. I mentioned to the employee I'd already spent $1300 and asked him if anything was under warranty. He told me the part that needed to be replaced was, but only for two years. It had been four years since the original work was done. Immediately I thought how well-timed this was for this business. With an evil and unhappy look on my face, I asked him, "If I get this fixed now and if it requires restoring in another three or four years I'll be paying you another $650?" He nodded his head and replied "Yes." As I stormed out of the office I looked at him and said, "You just don't want to give anyone a break." As I drove away I said out loud, "What a bunch of money grabbing fuckers."

I seriously thought of standing in front of their shop holding a large sign which would've read SPEEDY IS A RIP-OFF but I decided against it. Remember Speedy's old phrase, AT SPEEDY YOU'RE A SOMEBODY. Obviously, that motto has been sunk to the bottom of the ocean. A more appropriate slogan, At Speedy, Your Money Is A Somebody.

I decided to take my car to my honest and trusted mechanics I have been dealing with for twenty-five years. I have sound assurance about them. I have so much confidence in their knowledge I purchase my automobiles from their shop. I showed one of the owners my $1,000.00 Speedy bill from 2015 and he shook his head. He told me they performed a lot of unnecessary work. Once again I thought Speedy was nothing more than a bunch of scuzzbags putting it to the "average Joe". Anyway, my mechanic fixed my exhaust problem. His price was a far cry from Speedy's (Rip Off Car Clinic) $650.00...he charged me $80.00.

I absolutely have no liking for Bell. I also label them as an authorized thievery establishment. My decision to deal with them is because Canadians are extremely limited to our phone, computer and television networks. Speaking of phones and internet service, I pay a suffocating price of $145.00 a month for my telephone and internet. And by the way, I don't have call display. Bell is just another outfit that loves to scam the consumer. I have always taken exception to them but what really opened up my eyes about these bandits happened a few years ago. I was without my land line for five days. This pathetic so-called enterprise had me talking to their annoying call centers in San Salvador and El Salvador. I was really surprised I wasn't chit-chatting to someone on Jupiter or Neptune. I wrote the C.R.T.C. (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) and a letter via my M.P. (Member of Parliament) explaining the stress and irritation the bush league moronic dipsticks had put me through. I also asked for some sort of compensation for my time without a phone. The cynical cheats had the audacity to offer me seven dollars for my inconvenience.

One more quick story about the Bell racket that I experienced just recently. I had to phone my sister-in-law (who lives in Whitby, Ontario) on three separate occasions. When I received my bill these people charged me fifty-two dollars for long distance charges. Each call was about fifteen minutes. Bell certainly doesn't believe in little perks for their long "devoted" customers. Maybe one day we'll see a lot more competition in this field. But if you ask me I doubt it, remember this is Canada.

Over the years most of us were quite aware of doctors charging their patients for return to work notes. To my surprise, the physicians have produced many money grabbing schemes. One I discovered not too long ago was my G.P. is now charging fifteen dollars for a prescription for orthotics. The procedure used to be I would phone my doctor and he would fax Bio-Ped with the scrip. Nice and simple. But oh, how those days are quickly changing. Now I have to drive out to Ancaster, pay fifteen dollars and pick up my scrip. For me, it's a seventeen-kilometer round trip. People might say that's not bad. Well, it is considering I never had to do that before. My Doc's secretary tried to "ease" the irritation by saying other doctors are demanding twenty-five dollars. Oh, golly gee! I'm getting a real good deal. I should stand on my head and spit nickels. So what's next with our doctors. Will they start charging a fee to renew blood pressure pills? Stay tuned, things are happening too fast.

Epilogue

It's very hard to hold on to our money because everyone wants it. If the government isn't performing their extortion game (the ridiculous carbon tax and the possible idiotic soda pop tax) numerous businesses and services will seriously want to fill their pockets with your cash. A lot of us are ignorant on certain issues, like me for example about automobiles and some of these despicable crooks know that. Sometimes our free enterprise system has some selfish and greedy individuals attached to the structure. I'm all for capitalism but sometimes it must be modulated.

The End

The Harvenut Puritan Project
Puritan will return with "The Bungling Bunch Rides Again"


Editor's note: an alternate view. Money is the root of all good.


The Handyman's Tale

Leukophobia - Find a Cure.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Another Piece of Reality

It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. J.K. Rowling (1965-)

Prelude

Women have readily made advances for equal opportunities, especially in the workplace. Decades ago we would've never thought of the female gender toiling in blue-collar jobs such as firefighter, bus driver, heavy equipment operator or the trades. Their jobs were limited to secretaries, registered nurses, school teachers, cashiers, retail sales and waitresses. In 1960 women entered the workforce in sizeable amounts. In 1967 49% of mothers stayed at home while that number decreased to 29% in 2012.

Years ago women were stereotyped as just mothers and housewives. However, a lot of females worked in factories during World War 2. My mother (R.I.P. and God rest your soul) worked various jobs starting at fifteen years of age and retired as a bookkeeper. My E.A. (Executive Assistant) also started working when she was fifteen and retired as an Accident Benefits Specialist for an insurance company.

Nowadays more than just a few single mothers (and single fathers) are forced to perform double duty. What I mean by that is they're required to take care of their children and work for a living. Sadly the world is cancerous with divorce and there will always be some deadbeat fathers. I do admit some of the monthly child support payments are astronomical but the heart of the matter is "it takes two to tango" and the bottom line is it's the man's responsibility to help pay for some of the child expenses. Sometimes divorced couples will arrive at a mutual agreement for monthly installments from the father.

Years ago friends of mine encountered a nasty divorce. I won't get into details but what I've heard over the years (from extremely reliable sources) the father was contributing very little and sometimes nothing to financially assist his ex-wife and three children. In spite of that, the mother didn't go crying to the government. Instead, she found it within herself to raise her children working exceptionally hard, which included working a lot of extra night and weekend shifts. Over the years she did a magnificent job. I have met her children and I can honestly say they are respectful, courteous and wonderful young adults. Undoubtedly and without question, my friend is an excellent mother. She is a self-respecting individual, nothing less than a complete trooper. I tip my hat to her.

While I was working in the Traffic Department I learned never underestimate a woman regarding her physical abilities. My job was a two-person task. My partner and I would dig large holes so various types of signs would be erected into a steel insert. Once the insert was in the hole we would pour cement to secure it. Other times the job consisted of digging holes to erect signs onto 4"x4" and 6"x6" pressure treated wooden posts. A high majority of the time the digging would consist of breaking the ground with a large pry bar because the dirt was hard as rock.

In late spring, summer students were hired and partnered up with full-time employees. Out of all the student colleagues that worked with me I can honestly say the best co-worker was a twenty-one-year-old female student. It didn't take me long to make the assessment she was a far more superior worker than her male student counterparts. Furthermore, I came to the conclusion she could definitely "take care of herself", she was a black belt judo expert.

In 2001 I worked for the Sanitation Department for the City of Hamilton, Ontario. Putting it simply, I was a garbage man. Two women were included in the full-time complement. Once again, these ladies were excellent workers. I hated every minute of my job. It was very physically challenging, constantly bending over and lifting twenty, thirty and forty pound bags of waste. It was also hard on the knees, arms and back. The continuous stepping up and down from the truck could cause severe discomfort, especially in the knees. It was hard to believe the amount of daily garbage for every truck was anywhere from twenty-one to twenty-five tons. Each individual threw for one hour intervals. There was more than a few times I would throw for the entire shift. Working in the heat, rain, and cold wasn't any picnic either. But what I found to be my ultimate dislike was the monotony. Day in and day out, week in and week out nothing changed. The repetition was overwhelming. My stint only lasted for six months but it was certainly a real eye-opener for me. The experience made me appreciate a refuse collector's job a lot more than I did before and especially the women associated with that department.

Since I retired I have created a good relationship with the folks who pick up our garbage. Every July and a week before Christmas I give them six Coors Light "Tall Boys" cans of beer. They are always grateful for my gift and they always "look after me." I never had given the "Blue Box" folks a token of my appreciation until March 2019. One of the regular employees who pick up our recyclables is female. My E.A. and I call her "Honey". She is extremely petite. You could almost say a gust of wind could very easily pick her up and toss the lady ten feet into the air. I'm guessing her age is in the late twenties or early thirties. "Honey" also has a hang up for body art because she has tattoo sleeves on both arms.

One day my E.A. and I received a chuckle from "Honey." She was throwing and the truck stopped in from of my neighbour's house which had three full blue boxes. She grabbed two of them and emptied the refuse into the back of the truck. When she threw the boxes back onto the lawn the truck proceeded to the next house. "Honey" had a very irate and frustrated look on her face. Within a second she shouted, "Hey, what are you doing?" The driver immediately noticed there was still a full blue box. As he backed up the truck our little blue box girl said in an angry tone, "I only have two hands you know." She emptied the remaining box into the truck and continued on her "cheerful" way.

Whenever I see "Honey" working she usually looks gloomy and unhappy. I'm willing to bet five will get you ten she hates her job. I have total empathy for her. I realize people receive payment for their work and some jobs pay a much higher dollar than minimum wage for unskilled labour. I felt compassion for "Honey" during the freezing rain days we experienced in February 2019. Now you might be saying, what about the other folks who were required to work outside in those conditions, what about them Puritan? True enough. However, the difference was I saw her with my own eyes and maybe I just felt sorry for her because of her size. Or maybe I'm just an old softie. Anyway, two weeks later I gave "Honey" a bottle of red wine and told her how sympathetic I am.

Epilogue

Human nature operates in mysterious ways. At times we misjudge the talent, skill, ability, and determination of many women. There is no denying, numerous women can perform a decent and satisfactory job on tasks that were once labeled as man's work. If the "weaker sex" are willing to forgo the makeup, the traditional nine to five career and get their hands dirty there is a golden window of opportunity for them. Once again, welcome to the real world.

The End

The Harvenut Puritan Project

Puritan will return with "The Dehydrated Wallet."


Saturday, March 30, 2019

Beep

Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself. Potter Stewart (1915-1985)
Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak because a baby can't chew. Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Censorship feeds the dirty mind more than the four-letter word itself. Dick Cavett (1936-)
Censorship is advertising paid by the government. Federico Fellini (1920-1993)

Prelude

The Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English defines censorship as the practice of officially examining books, movies, etc. and suppressing unacceptable parts. The government in all it's forceful operations and actions designate themselves as overseer and decide what the population can watch or listen to. The watchful eyes and ears of the regime are unyielding to allow the people to eyeball and hear certain words and scenes on television. Ruling and controlling the citizens the way they feel is fit for all of us.

According to Wikipedia censorship started in 399 B.C. when Socrates refused attempts by the Greek state to censor his teachings and was sentenced to death by drinking poison. Although censorship covers a wide range of topics, I will sound off about editing out in the media, specifically television.

Our big brother lookout in Canada is called the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission or better known as the C.R.T.C. It's a public organization and was created in 1976 which took over responsibility for regulating telecommunications carriers. The agency is operated by thirteen people who are appointed by the Canadian Cabinet and has their headquarters located in Gatineau, Quebec.

I despise T.V. censorship and it infuriates me to no end when I see it happen right before my eyes or ears. I pay $115 a month for my satellite dish and it makes my blood boil when suddenly a word or part of a scene is deleted. For example, I was watching the 2004 movie "Sex and the City" on Slice T.V. who are based out of Toronto, Ontario. My E.A. (Executive Assistant) and I were huge fans of the series and we both agreed the film was excellent.

Just prior to the movie starting the content warning was displayed. It stated the movie contained adult situations, sex, nudity, and coarse language. It also declared viewer discretion was advised. I thought this is typical and so the viewing audience has been warned. It's such a simple decision, watch or doesn't watch, it's the individual's choice. But for some sickening and disgusting reason, the warning was just not good enough.

Ten minutes into the movie the "F" word had been removed twice compliments of the C.R.T.C. so my satellite provider told me. So the C.R.T.C. was starting to "cleanse" the movie. In all honesty, I couldn't believe it. These rulers with unrestricted authority just aren't satisfied with the visible warning but also want to weaken or maybe even ruin the movie for the viewers. Think about it. What gives them the right to spoil our leisure and relaxation time? Downright shameful. The "F" word usage in this movie (like most other films) is very appropriate. I will describe one scene.

Mr. Big and Carrie are moments away from getting married when suddenly Big has pre-wedding anxiety and reneges on the marriage. As he drives away in his limo Big realizes he has made a huge mistake and says, "Fuck, what am I doing?" and immediately orders his driver to turn around and head back to the gala occasion. Big knew he screwed up. The "F" word emphasizes his emotion of the situation and stresses his blunder is entirely wrong. It sounds a lot better than just saying, "What am I doing?"

I would also like to use the 1986 Academy Award for Best Picture, "Platoon" as another case in point. It's the Vietnam war and the film focuses on a platoon of soldiers, many of them, some fresh out of high school, fighting a war halfway around the world. Of course, the "F" word will be plentiful, it's obvious, it's a no-brainer. Once again the "F" word will enhance the realism of the movie. But sadly enough the C.R.T.C. screenplay police will hide from our virgin ears that horrendous and dreadful "F" word.

I ask myself what is the C.R.T.C. trying to accomplish (besides annoying individuals) with this utter nonsense. I would really enjoy hearing their "reasoning." Maybe their "logic" is in the same "thinking" as the ridiculous philosophy of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario when they proclaim the purpose for high alcohol prices is social responsibility. What a bunch of bullshit that is.

Maybe the auditory enforcers are trying to keep our young people from hearing those hideous words. However, five will get you ten if you walk by a group of teenagers it will be noticed that their dialogue is very well lubricated with the "F" word.

Epilogue

Sometimes I wonder how free we really are. Sure, we have more autonomy and democracy than North Korea, Iran or China but either way you look at it, people are under government control. We can watch or listen to our favourite shows but be aware you might hear that beep noise. Government doesn't like it so we're forced not to hear it. They treat us like children but we must remember the C.R.T.C. knows what is good and moral for all us grown-ups. They're like the rest of government, they truly care about us. With a beep beep here and a beep beep there, here a beep, there a beep, everywhere a beep beep. They have the expertise to know what is acceptable for adults. I'm a big kid now.

The End

The Harvenut Puritan Project
Puritan will return with "Another Piece of Reality"

Saturday, February 23, 2019

A Special Treasure

Children re-invent your world for you. Susan Sarandon (1946-)

A child is an uncut diamond. Austin O'Malley (1858-1932)

Seven things every child needs to hear: I love you, I'm proud of you, I'm sorry, I forgive you, I'm listening. This is your responsibility. You have what it takes to succeed. Sherrie Campbell PhD. (Birthdate unknown)

Prelude

Seconds tick into a minute, minutes flow into an hour, hours revolve into a day, days drift into a month and months proceed into a year. It's certainly amazing time stops for nothing, unbroken and continuous. What's even more staggering is the older we age the faster time moves along. I don't know if it's just my judgment but I found the past two years (2017, 2018) have elapsed by in a fast moving pace. My grade twelve geography teacher was undoubtedly correct when she stated to her class in 1973, "The older you get, the faster time goes by".

Most folks marry or live common-law and a very high number have children through conception or adoption. I suspect it's almost ninety percent. I was married in 1986 and divorced in 1997. I had two boys who will be thirty-one and twenty-nine in 2019. A lot of us have children in that age bracket.

Do you ever have the sense it feels like yesterday when we were mixing baby formula and changing diapers? Or how about shopping for baby food and clothes or celebrating your child's first birthday?

I think it's safe to say a lot of parents escorted their kids trick or treating...a lot still do. I did even when I was divorced and enjoyed every minute of it...it was a lot of fun. I recall one year I had to lug my youngest son's pillowcase that was full of candy...it was just too heavy for him to carry. One of the numerous duties in the job description of being a father.

Some parents have extremely horrible and dreadful circumstances when their baby was born. When I retired I obtained a part-time job delivering prescription medications to a pharmacy's customers. I remember one client that always had my heart cry for her. It was a regular delivery (once or twice a month) of canned liquid protein nourishment, usually five or six cases with twelve cans in each case. The "food" was for a lady's ten-year-old son who was confined to a wheelchair. He would sit in front of the T.V. set watching cartoons. His body was always and constantly motionless with his head tiled to the right. It was truly heartbreaking and painful to witness. What was even more agonizing and upsetting is that young boy will never experience what other children have in their lives such as friends, going to school and playing sports. So sad.

Back in 1988 my ex-wife and I received a memorable scare when our first son was born. He was two months premature and if that wasn't frightful enough he had a chance of becoming severely brain damaged or die. He laid in an incubator with numerous tubes and wires attached to his tiny body. I say tiny because he was the size of my right hand.

It was disheartening enough that he was a premie but the possibility of brain damage or death was truly traumatizing. His body was also jaundiced which completely puzzled the doctors. However, one specialist assured my wife and I they would track down the source of my son's mysterious illness.

The staff were true to their word and finally diagnosed my son's problem as a vitamin E deficiency. He received a blood transfusion (good thing there wasn't any Jehovah Witnesses present) and over a period of time he became a healthy baby. Today he is six feet, four inches tall and a solid 230 lbs. His sickness was unquestionably unique, so unusual a doctor told me there was an article in The New England Journal of Medicine about my son's dilemma. Overall an outstanding and sensational job performed by all the staff at the neonatal ward at McMaster Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario.

People say history doesn't repeat itself but sometimes it inches in through the back door and people will say, "Oh no. Not this again." When my second son was born in 1990 he entered the world two months premature and the size of my right hand. Once again my ex-wife and I were frightened and afraid. Who would ever have thought we'd be observing another premie rerun. As usual, his minute body laid in an incubator with tubes and wires attached to his tiny frame. Fortunately, he was basically healthy. The only problem, he was eager to see the world before "regular" newborns. As usual, we had all the faith, trust and confidence with the entire staff in the neonatal ward at McMaster Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario. Today my second son is very healthy, stands six feet, two inches tall and weighs 190 lbs.

Adversely not all parents have successful and cheerful results le we experienced. According to The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine 150,000 babies are born each year with birth defects and 3% of all children born in the U.S. have a major malformation at birth.

Tragedy doesn't always occur at birth. Gut-wrenching and horrible situations may strike at any time. In particular my E.A.'s (Executive Assistant) 13 year old niece passing away from cancer or my long time and good friend's son being labelled with schizophrenia in his late teen years. Sadly some parents can't rejoice with their children because their child was taken away from them for some godforsaken and unknown reason. There is no rhyme or reason how the circle of life is cut short for certain individuals.

Our kids can give us great pleasure, a lot of happiness and enjoyment but when they reach adolescence some youths may become very rebellious towards their parents. Nevertheless we must not forget we were that age at one time in our lives giving our parents a difficult and exhausting stretches of our nasty behaviour. In general it's just a small chapter in most kids' lives. Their teen years may be troublesome but chances are they will outgrow their wayward actions. We did.

Personally, I think a high majority of kids especially teenagers don't receive enough good publicity. Most of them are decent, respectable and courteous. Let's take a look at high school kids for a moment. For more than a few years many considerate, thoughtful and kind-hearted youths from S.T.M. (St. Thomas Moore) Secondary School in Hamilton, Ontario volunteer their time on Halloween night for a worthy cause. About a week prior to that "spooky" evening the students would place flyers in home owner's mailboxes.

The circulars explained the high schoolers would be collecting non-perishable food items for a food bank. If people were interested in donating they were to leave their contribution on the front porch of their homes. The students would pick up the offerings prior to the ghosts and goblins invading the neighbourhoods.

We always provide the needy cause with two or three canned goods. Last year I offered a tooney (two dollar coin) to one of the girls. The reason for my gesture, I explained to her, I thought it was a wonderful and magnificent job she and her fellow students were performing. I was amazed she refused my token of appreciation. I verbally tried to persuade her to accept my monetary gift but she was absolutely adamant and rejected my gratuity. She told me the students aren't allowed to take any money. Undoubtedly I admire and respect these young people. I tip my hat to them.

Another event that involves good-hearted high school kids is the annual Terry Fox walk and run at Sherwood Secondary School in Hamilton, Ontario. Most of the student body participates in the event that has been going on for 23 years and raises about $1,500 a year. Once again the high school unsung crusaders.

I never imagined my guys working full time and owning automobiles. One day you're changing their diapers and the next day they are out with their buddies having a few beers. The time hasn't come for me, yet, but it's another chapter in our lives when we are given new names, Grandpa and Grandma.

Epilogue

I'm extremely proud of my dudes. They work hard for a living, are law-abiding and responsible mature adults. I hope other individuals can say the same about their children. Some folks have encountered sunny and rainy days raising their kids but in the long run everything usually works out. So here's a suggestion for moms and dads who have children. Next time your child/children are around give them a big hug. Why you ask? Because they're wonderful kids and tomorrow is here before you know it,

The End

The Harvenut Puritan Project
Puritan will return with "Beep"

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Jeepers Sneakers

A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.

Michael LeBoeuf (1942-)

Prelude

We take a lot of things for granted including our wardrobe and specifically our footwear. There are numerous stores that sell all sorts of women's and men's clothes with a wide variety of style. We can purchase casual or formal attire and if a consumer shops around enough they may obtain a decent price for what they're looking for. However, it appears there are more specialty boutiques catering to women's fashion than there are shops for men.

Back in 2010, I was experiencing a stabbing and piercing pain in the sole of my right heel. At times the discomfort was unbearable...irritating so badly I had difficulty walking. I paid a visit to my family doctor and he immediately diagnosed my problem as Plantar Fasciitis. The following is from the Mayo Clinic: Plantar Fasciitis is a heel pain that involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. My physician gave me a written prescription to Bio Ped.

Bio Ped is a recognized and reputable foot care establishment. After two visits I walked out of their store wearing custom made orthotics in my running shoes. Orthotics are molded plastic inserts placed inside both shoes. They were a miracle. I can truly say I've never encountered that agony since wearing the orthotics. Now if I can just eliminate my gout.

The Bio Ped employee that served me was tremendously professional and courteous. She strongly suggested to me I purchase a certain type of running shoe called New Balance 623. Being the foot care specialist and expert she was I agreed to her recommendation and bought the shoes. They turned out to be an excellent investment. They were a superb, terrific and comfortable fitting running shoe.

I wear a size eleven 4E. Usually I've never had any difficulty buying my specific running shoes until 2017. I required a new pair and drove to National Sports on Upper Wentworth Street in Hamilton, Ontario. I also hiked across the street to Sport Check located in Limeridge Mall. My shoes were on sale at both stores for seventy dollars, regularly one hundred dollars and sometimes more. Unfortunately either store didn't have my size in stock. However, the salespeople at both outlets assured me they receive shipments every day and proposed I check back periodically. I accepted their advice and returned three days later to both stores.

My visits to both spots was increasing my mood of disappointment and complete discouragement. At Sport Check they still didn't have my size. The sales clerk offered to phone Eastgate Square in east Hamilton and Oakville, Ontario to find out if they had my correct size. I asked the saleswoman if they do have my size can they ship the shoes to this store. Her reply was simple. No we don't do that. Nevertheless she did mention I could order the shoes online and she would initiate the transaction but it was up to me to finish the order. I declined and walked out of the store extremely pissed off. And on top of that I wasn't driving to Eastgate Square and certainly not Oakville (58.7 km's/36.5 miles).

I drove across the street to National Sports and noticed "my" running shoes were still on sale (as they were at Sports Check also). Once again I asked the sales associate if my size was available. He walked into the stock room and quickly returned with the same old story. I asked him if he would order a pair for me and guess what his reply was...we don't do that. That term seems to a regular phrase. Then he added some additional disturbing news. His store doesn't receive my type of shoe in a 4E. This time I walked out of the store irate and livid.

I felt I was in a no-win situation but what really infuriated me was the lack of customer relations both stores had. In my mind their fucking policies stink. I wasn't going to settle for any other type of running shoe. New Balance 623 are by far the utmost comfortable pair of running shoes I have ever owned. Straightforwardly speaking they are without a doubt the finest home for my feet. So I decided to phone my orthotics gal at Bop Ped and ask her to recommend a running shoe at her business. The phone call was successful. She would order a pair of New Balance 623 running shoes for me and the cost would be one hundred dollars. Obviously I was very happy and gave her the green light.

Perhaps you might be asking yourself what's wrong with ordering items online. Five will get you ten we all agree the brilliance and intelligence of computer hackers is unlimited. Their understanding and knowledge of that device is amazing. For those reasons I'm very leery and skeptical of conducting business affairs online. And of course I'm the first to admit I'm a downright moron when it comes to computers. You could almost say they intimidate me.

I've noticed in the past ten or more years (you probably have also) when individuals inquire or purchase an item or service a very high majority of sales representatives will say, "have a good day" as the customer is about to leave. If I remember correctly that phrase "have a good day" originated in the United States long before Canadians started that lingo.

I would like to share the following true story with you. In the spring of 1985 a friend and I attended the University of Texas spring football camp in Austin, Texas for one week. We arrived on a Sunday and returned home on the following Sunday. Since the camp's practice sessions were a steady days, weekends off event I decided to partake in some shopping on the Saturday. I was focused on acquiring items for my girlfriend (she wasn't present on the trip) who later on became my wife and then my ex-wife.

I was browsing through a large mall and walked into a department store's jewellery section. I saw a beautiful woman's gold chain with a gold state of Texas pendent attached to the necklace. I was eager to buy it but noticed it was pricey. My cash flow had decreased immensely and it didn't help the exchange rate was forty percent. I asked the saleswoman if I could see the necklace and she removed it from the display case. She stated it goes on sale Monday with sixty-five percent off.

Now this is how my twenty seconds of fame occurred. Puritan - Damn. That's too bad. I'm from Canada and I'm returning home tomorrow.
Saleswoman - You look familiar. I recognize your face. I saw your picture in the paper. You're visiting the Texas football camp.
Puritan - Yeah that was me.
Saleswoman - Since you're leaving tomorrow I'll give you the discount price on the necklace today.
Puritan - That would be fantastic. Thank you very much.

The Austin American - Statesman newspaper wrote an article about my friend and I attending the football camp. The feature also had a picture of us and Head Coach Fred Akers. You have to admit it's not every day two Canuks fly to Austin (1412 miles/2275 km's) to watch the Longhorns practice.

In my opinion the sales clerk went out on a limb. Furthermore she demonstrated excellent, top quality and first class customer relations. I still wonder if that situation was to take place in Ontario would the same result transpire?

Epilogue

In my opinion National Sports and Sports Check are prime examples of two large enterprises that really don't give a rat's ass about going that extra mile for their customers. As far as I'm concerned the customer relations, well, they don't have any. Maybe one day they may encounter liquidation. I wonder how they would react to their final dance and last hurrah. Is it possible they may ask themselves why did this happen?

The End

The Havenut Puritan Project
Puritan will return with
A Joyful Delight


Heebie - Jeebies

Heebie - Jeebies It is not an arrogant government that chooses priorities, it's an irresponsible government that fails to choose. To...