Who Named the Planet Earth, Earth?

Here's something to ponder. Obviously the Earth has been misnamed.

Why wasn't it called Water instead of Earth?  

Since water is almost 71% the surface area of the planet.  That's 360,059,000 square miles of water.  Oceans and seas, which give it that blue colour when viewed from outer space.  Compared to Mars or Venus, Earth's neighbours, water and the presence of life are the only thing that distinguishes it apart from them.  Life and water both being linked together.  We depend on water to drive the Earth's climate, without it we would not be here.

I can imagine aliens coming to Earth, confused.  

"Stupid humans," they say in an alien language.  "They call this Earth, we call this planet Water."

Dog Brindle

Money the Root of all Fear - Abundance

I always believed money would buy me happiness.

People who don't have any or enough, grow up believing in the lack of it, while others with money coming out of their yin-yangs, believe in abundance, money miraculously appears whether they need it or not. They understand the cycle of money.

Money the root of all fear.

What is your relationship to money?  It started when you were very young and impressionable. 

When I was growing up, money was a scarcity.  We never had enough, even though my parents worked, there was always a feeling of lacking mentally, the cause of many an argument.  It was one of our major concerns. I never asked for much, knowing we didn't have extra money for this or that. 

I always thought of money the same way as I thought of relationships, as a source of completion.  No matter how much I accumulated, it still has that addictive control which as it grows still leaves me with the feeling that I still need more.  A cycle that repeats itself over and over again.

That was then this is now. To this day I still feel the lack, I feel guilty, when spending, remembering the old memories of not having enough.  I still see money as a status indicator and a meter for self-worth but...

Today I look at money as a tool, not as an end in itself.  It's that same old saying, you've heard a million times. 

"Money won't make you happy!"

I've finally taken heed and honestly asked myself,  

"What do I really want from life and does it matter if I'm rich or not?"

Here's my answer. 

I want to be loved and be able to love. I don't need money for that.

Dog Brindle

Black Friday, Sounds Like a Medieval Disease

The mask of the Plague

There's Sober Sunday. There's Cyber Monday, where China sold 2,000,000 bras in one hour. Pan Cake Tuesdays where moms all over the world make pancakes. Welfare Wednesdays! All the days of the week...

Where, when and why did Black Friday start?

The term Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, since 2001.  It took the title away from the Saturday before Christmas.  It always takes place the day after Thanksgiving and at one time, Black Friday referred to the stock market crashes during the 1800's. 

Why Black?

The word Black has been used for centuries, whenever something bad happens. Black Friday was first used when two men, gold speculators, named Jay Gould and James Fisk, tried unsuccessfully to corner the gold market.  It sent the New York Stock Exchange into a whirlwind, the price of gold fell and people lost fortunes.

Black Friday means shopping for the Christmas season officially begins.  Many attempts were made to change the name to Big Friday but all failed.  Black Friday became an American national term in the early 1990's. The name, Black Friday sticks to this day.

It's estimated that 60 billion dollars were spent yesterday, Canada is now following America as usual and we now have our own Black Friday, it just so happens to be the same day America celebrates it but a little milder.

To me it sounds medieval, like the disease, the Black Death.

It's spreading like one.

Dog Brindle

A Soldier Remembers - Turned Away From the Legion for Wearing Turban

There is a new book launch...  "A Soldier Remembers"  a memoir of a second war veteran Lt. Col. Pritam Singh Jauhal a Sikh.

A man fights for Canada and is decorated as a World War II veteran.  

What makes this story interesting is;  he was denied entrance on Rememberance Day back in 1993, to the Surrey Newton Legion Branch because he was wearing his turban, that's why the book was written in the first place. 

It's being launched here in Newton (Surrey) because that was where the incident took place.

Launching takes place at the Newton Library  13795-70 Ave and is presented by the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley.

For more info: sharanjit.sandhra@ufv.ca

Dog Brindle

Evil Eye - Joyce Carol Oates

Four believable horror stories, of love/life, everything, all gone wrong. The type of stories you've heard about but never would have experienced, hopefully. They are real life horror situations, no matter what you might want to believe.

Infact, stories most people don't even want to talk about let alone to acknowledge it exists. Incest, child molestation, and suicide. Stuff that make your skin crawl.

I picked this book because of it's cover, it caught my eye. Finding out later that two of the novellas contain characters with one eye. It really doesn't explain why. I guess one of those inside jokes, you'd have to be there, played by the writer. Don't expect any conclusions to these stories because there isn't any. You just know life carries on.

The book started slow, with the Evil Eye Novella. I read it and wasn't that impressed but instead of not finishing, I'm glad I stuck with it and finished to the end. Then I reread the first chapter and it clicked. I was left wanting more.

All of them, made be gasp, like a little old lady.

I give this book 5 stars. ***** 

I loved it.

I'd file this book on the Odd and Bizarre shelf. Mysterious and intriguing.

Dog Brindle


Product Details

More About the Author


Joyce Carol Oates is the author of more than 70 books, including novels, short story collections, poetry volumes, plays, essays, and criticism, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde. Among her many honors are the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction and the National Book Award. Oates is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.

Like most of the books I read, this one came from the Surrey Public Library. On the shelf Books We Liked

*This review has been, posted on:
          AmazonGoogle Books, and Goodreads

Poetry for The Apprentice Chimney Sweep, Child Labour by William Blake

The Master Sweep

Aren't we are lucky to be born at such a time in history.

There was a time when most people heated their homes using coal. The age of Industrialization. 

A chimney sweep was hired to clean a chimney after a layer of creosote would build up on the inside of the flue.  A coveted position among children, boy or girl. This was done so the air flow across the coals was not restricted and it was also a fire hazard, so had to be removed.

The Apprentice Sweep

This is when the master sweep, would use child labour (apprentices) to complete the task, because of their size, they could crawl easier into the depths of the chimney.

These kids (apprentices) as young as four years of age, from organized work houses would climb up and down hot flues as narrow as 9 inches square.  The job was dangerous, many kids died, getting caught and jammed in the flue, where they suffocated or burnt to death.  

Most of the kids (apprentices) died from breathing in the carcinogen soot, known as Chimney Sweeps Cancer, they rarely washed, and slept on soot sacks.

In the colonies, (North America) Black children were taken away from their owners and used in the same way.

This practice continued right up until 1875.  

The Chimney Sweeper  

in two parts 
by William Blake

Songs of Innocence (1789)

When my mother died I was very young,

And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!
So your chimneys I sweep, and in soot I sleep.

There's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head,
That curled like a lamb's back, was shaved: so I said,
"Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head's bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair."

And so he was quiet; and that very night,
As Tom was a-sleeping, he had such a sight, -
That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, and Jack,
Were all of them locked up in coffins of black.

And by came an angel who had a bright key,
And he opened the coffins and set them all free;
Then down a green plain leaping, laughing, they run,
And wash in a river, and shine in the sun.

Then naked and white, all their bags left behind,
They rise upon clouds and sport in the wind;
And the angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy,
He'd have God for his father, and never want joy.

And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark,
And got with our bags and our brushes to work.
Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy and warm;
So if all do their duty they need not fear harm.

Songs of Experience (1794)

A little black thing among the snow,

Crying "'weep! 'weep!" in notes of woe!
"Where are thy father and mother? Say!"--
"They are both gone up to the church to pray.

"Because I was happy upon the heath,
And smiled among the winter's snow,
They clothed me in the clothes of death,
And taught me to sing the notes of woe.

"And because I am happy and dance and sing,
They think they have done me no injury,
And are gone to praise Yaweh and his priest and king,
Who make up a heaven of our misery."

Dog Brindle

"Knock Out" a new street game going viral. Except it's for real!

Imagine walking down the street. You could be a girl or a boy, a man or a woman, but usually walking alone. You come across five young teenagers and they are walking your way. Its okay! You feel safe. It's in the middle of the day. There are people around. When suddenly WHAM! The next thing you know you're in an ambulance being rushed to the hospital with a concussion and a broken jaw.

You've just been an unsuspecting victim of the new viral craze, called 

"Knock Out"

The idea is to randomly select a victim, preferably in a public place and sucker punch that person.  The move, nicknamed "The One Hitter Quitter" is where the person has to be knocked out with that single punch or it doesn't count.

It hasn't crossed the border yet, but is increasing in frequency in American cities.

Scary, it won't be long before we see it being played out here in a Canadian city. 

People are dying just from the fun of playing this game.

I guess "having fun" doesn't mean the same anymore.

Dog Brindle

The Ghastliest of Crimes - Infanticide

It happens all the time.  Why am I so surprised?

The latest, a Calgary mother, Meredith Borowiec who put three of her newborns in plastic garbage bags and tossed them in dumpsters was charged with two counts of infanticide. Only one body was ever recovered. 

It sounds so barbaric, doesn't it?

What would make a woman or a man commit such a ghastly crime. Kill their own babies.

I had to dig further. The practice of killing newborns is called Neonaticide. Neonaticide happens soon after birth within 24 hours and is commonly committed by the mother. If it happens when the child is more than a day old, the father is more likely to be the murderer, possibly a step father. Like male lions that take over a pride and kill all the cubs from the former pride leader to replace with his own. 

Since ancient times, the most frequent method of infanticide was abandonment. Leaving the baby out in the elements to fend for itself. The wild animals usually got them, or the weather, exposure, hypothermia, hunger, thirst, the list goes on. This form of infanticide is still common today, such as the case of Meredith Borowiec where she abandoned the babies, left them in the dumpsters, come what may.

It's estimated that 2.1 per 100,000 newborns are killed today, by this method, and is much higher in poverty or in over populated regions of the world, females are particularly vulnerable. 

In Canada if a mother commits this crime while still under the duress of giving birth, she is charged with infanticide, a lesser offence than homicide.

Sex education at an early age should be mandatory and the use of contraception, birth control and abortions are ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies the basic cause of infanticide.

Dog Brindle

If you don't want to die early - check the numbers!

I'm no doctor but...

It's a guarantee you'll live longer and have a healthier life if you know the numbers. They are no secret...

Here is a small list of the four major things you should be concerned about. 

 1. Cholesterol levels. LDL the bad one (low) and HDL the good one (high).

Cholesterol is lipid fat produced by the liver. There is good and bad cholesterol. Good, the number should be high, bad low. Nearly 1 in 10 children are reported having elevated cholesterol levels. 

It comes from the Greek word chole & stereos which means bile and solid. Hence "solid bile to clog your arteries."

Cholesterol-lowering drugs a success story in modern medicine. They are cheap, well tolerated and extremely effective, everyone should take advantage of this new medical advance.

2. BMI. Body Mass Index. 

Have you heard of it? It's the body fat of a human and is determined by the total mass of fat divided by total body mass. The average BMI is 25, but 24 is the desired goal. 2.5% in men and 10-13% in women. Grab that handle around your waist and squeeze with finger and thumb.  That's what I'm talking about. Most of the health effects from obesity, which are many, can be avoidable. You've heard of the expression, 

"Pinch an Inch you can loose a pound."

*Learn how to do the Pinch Test Technique

3. Blood Sugar Levels 

"Know your blood sugar levels. High sugar levels makes plaque and narrows the blood vessels. You can damage nerves, kidneys, your immune system and even your eye sight. Millions of people have diabetes, walking time bombs for strokes, heart attacks and kidney failure.

*Learn about Blood Glucose Testing

4. Blood Pressure

Check your blood pressure. Every drug store has a machine to test yourself. High blood pressure is referred to as the "Silent Killer." Being on a dialysis machine is not fun and can promote other problems, like hemorrhages of the brain. Sudden death is the first symptom. 

Yikes! I know none of these numbers. I better get off my ass, and run down to the drug store and do that blood pressure test, first. Then, I'll call my doctor and make an appointment for that check-up I've been putting off.

Dog Brindle

Do men who drive big trucks have small penises?

How true is this statement...  Men who drive big monster trucks have small penises.  Included in this monster truck grouping is Hummers, the ultimate in a small penis car.

I've always secretly thought this to be true, I've heard all the jokes. 

As it turns out, Yes, there is scientific proof that size does exist with drivers of big trucks or Hummers. 

There once was a group of scientists sitting around pondering this exact question. They all had been drinking. When one arrived late to the meeting he related a story of being almost driven off the road by some little bald headed man driving a big honker of an SUV. 

The scientists started to do research on the topic.  They needed several hundred, erect penises for the test. Flaccid penises are difficult to measure. One would have to hold it while the other measured it, as you can imagine there was a lot of shrinkage. 

They came up with this ingenious idea. They'd hire a bunch of prostitutes to do the testing and go to areas of the country where men with excessively big trucks are most often found. The girls hit the truck stops, the tractor pulls, all you can eat buffets, baseball cap stores, tattoo parlours and most important of all the truck dealerships. The prostitutes were to ask, if the men were willing to be part of a test in exchange for a hand job which allowed their erect penises to be measured.

After about a year the data was collected, 27,000 penises were measured. It had always been surmised the average length of a full erect penis is 5.64 inches length and 4.9 inches round but with this study (men with big trucks) it was found that among the test subjects the average was 4.92 inches in length and 4.06 in circumference.

In conclusion, women looking for future sexual partners with girth should ask the question, "What kind of car do you drive?" 

Car & Truck Magazine did their own survey and found it was not exactly the size of the truck but the lift of the truck from the wheel.  The larger the lift the smaller the penis.

Of course the survey has it's non-believers. They all took off in their big trucks before being questioned and measured.
Ironically it's women and gays that are asking the question. "Do men who drive big trucks have small penises?"

Take my own car. Not a chick magnet. I'm waiting for the next survey to be conducted.  

"Men who drive small cars."

No one cares...

Dog Brindle

Man-Boobs, the decline of testosterone levels.

Gynecomastia have you heard of it? It happens in males. When suddenly his breast tissues enlarge and he developes breasts.  

Now I remember, it comes back to me... 

I was a kid, I was at school. It was during gym and we were in our bathings suits, standing in a row, at the edge of the pool, ready to dive in. 

That's when I noticed some of my male class-mates had boobs. I now find out that it is quite common in newborns and half or more of adolescent boys have some kind of breast development during puberty. Most boys resolve these issues naturally within two years.

But this is not the case if you're getting older. In normal ageing testosterone levels decline. Known as senile gynecomastia, hitting men after the age of sixty for a number of reasons. Reasons like tumours, that produce hormones that alter the male-female balance or your thyroid gland producing too much of the hormone thyroxine which leads to gynecomastia, the same with kidney and liver problems, resulting in big boobs!

Surgery is the only option and is not a guarantee, there is a multiple number of complications that can occur. 

Before and after surgery.

And the worlds record for the "man with the largest boobs" goes to an unidentified Chinese man.

One good thing is, it's not harmful.  You won't die from having big breasts. My advice. 

Enjoy them!

Dog Brindle

Since I've seen one, I've always believed in ghosts...

What is it, that fascinates people about ghosts?

I once saw a ghost...

I was young, in my early teens, maybe twelve.

I had bunk beds placed in the corner of my bedroom, with a wooden ladder near the foot.  Even though it was my bedroom and it was only myself that slept there.

I always slept on the top. The bottom vacant, but at the ready if one of my pals decided he wanted to sleep over. 

I never liked the claustrophobic feeling, sleeping on the bottom after seeing Vincent Price's movie "The House of Usher" where a woman sleeps in a bed in this old castle, and the bed canopy slowly comes down while she is sleeping, and smothers her. 

Sometimes during the middle of the night I would awaken to the bunk bed shaking. I'd look over and find my dog scratching a flea. He had snuck up onto the bottom bunk when I was asleep.  It happened often. I'd, shoo him off, but he'd be back as soon as I fell back asleep.  He was a great dog, but for that!

One night, the bed shook...

I was facing the wall corner. The blankets pulled up tight. I woke. I looked at the black wall infront of me. It was black, dark.

"Rex" I said, without turning or looking down.  I waited.  I didn't feel that slink as he would if he slid off the bed.  "Rex," I said louder. Nothing! I laid there facing the wall, listening for him to get off the bed.  Nothing!

This is when I saw the ghost, but first, as I'm facing the wall, I felt something drop on my legs, just below my knees, and slide across my legs. It startled me. My blanket was being pulled off. I jumped and turned to see what was happening, even though it was dark.

An old lady standing on the ladder had her arms up over my legs clawing, trying to climb into the bed, trying to grab onto my legs. I froze, as she pulled the blanket right off the bed, I watched as it was being pulled and disappear over the edge of the bed. The ghost was still trying to grab onto my legs, even though I no longer felt anything.

Before I screamed in terror, I got a good visual of her. She had something on her head like what "Aunt Jemima" wore.  A tied up bandana, and what seemed like a long old fashion dress with a huge white collar, her whole image was white, against the blackness of the room.

I started to kick at her, but felt nothing, my feet went right through her, but she did look like she fell off the ladder. Latter I realized it looked more like she disappeared, like the bad witch in "The Wizard of Oz" as if she melted.  It took a few seconds before I had the nerve to look over the bed to the floor to see who it was. 

I could hear Rex, running up the stairs when I finally did let out that scream reaching for the light switch.

Of course there was nothing there.  That's why it's a "Ghost Story"

Dog Brindle

The haunted house where I grew up.

Yes, there is sex after 75, 85, 90...

Sex in your old age is not just about intercourse anymore... it's about emotional, sensory and relationship pleasures. Intercourse is not the only way to have sex, don't forget touching, kissing.

Of course sex between a 75 or 85 may not be like it was when you were 20 or 30. Older people are more self-confident and self-aware compared to their counter parts and are wiser concerning their partners needs. When you're that age, you have more time to relax and get into the mood.

When I look in a mirror at myself naked, and I'm only 63, I see an older man. I worry what others will think now, let alone when I'm 85. I'm worried about my body image, my performance. Then I remember when I was 20. I didn't like my body image back then either, and I'm sure a lot of you feel the same.

I know sex will or should increase my lifespan and could improve my mental health, burn fat, release endorphins in my brain, and reduce my anxiety.

This is what they tell you to do, if you find being intimate difficult; 

  • Be playful, tease, tickle, use humour. It will lighten the mood. Use foreplay.
  • Be honest, which fosters trust and relaxation, surprisingly it can be very attractive.
  • Be inventive, experiment and discuss new things with your partner.
  • Lose those inhibitions, forget what you've been taught when you were younger, you are a completely new person now.
  • Don't rush, stretch the experience to the limits. Don't be shy. Touch and encourage others to touch you back but most of all, relax. 

If you lose your desire for intimacy and touch entirely, then that might mean something else wrong. Get checked out!

Hopefully, nothing a bottle of Viagra won't cure.

Dog Brindle

Poetry in the Old Testament. Job

Nothing but one big love story...

Job after he lost everything, 
including the shirt off his back.

The Bible, the Old Testament has five books of poetry and wisdom. Written in Hebrew and often in pairs of two lines. The second line usually repeats a thought from the first line or describes the complete opposite.  

These books are, first the books of Job. Job is the name of a man, a good and just man. He lost everything after becoming sick, but kept his faith. The book questions man's suffering, of the young and the good. The main theme of this book, "God is much too powerful and wonderful for anyone to understand let alone comprehend."

Then the book of Psalms, the most beautifully written of the five books. I didn't say that, some old time theologist did. The poems were written for praise, worship, thankfulness and repentance. Most were written by King David.

The book of Proverbs is a collection of wise sayings giving good advice on living life. It begins by reminding people... 

"The fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Knowledge." 

Most were written by King Solomon, the last two weren't. Two other guys that I've never heard of, wrote them, Agur and Lemuel. Ring any bells?

Ecclesiastes studies life. Is the teacher. He has decided the meaning of life. It was him that coined "A life without God is not a life at all," or was that Billy Graham, I forget?  

Last is Song of Songs a bunch of love poems between two lovers.  I hate to say this, but nary a one written in praise for same sex marriage.

That was then, this is now. There must be a sixth book out there somewhere, sitting on a shelf, never published, collecting dust, a newer edition.

I'm not preaching again, am I?

Dog Brindle

The Fifty2Ninety - Take it to work with you.

Free On-Line Newpaper

Do you need a quick read on your way to and from work? Do you need updated on all subjects concerning your health and ageing. 

Then, I'm going to promote my friend, Prof. Martin Rice's blog: 

"The Fifty2Ninety Daily" An on-line newspaper Celebrating Our Third Age 

He's good at sniffing out the best stories, articles, interviews and what's happening around the world. 

Updated regularly. Just like getting the newspaper delivered but without the paper. I give it two thumbs up!  

Check it out! Tell 'em Dog sent ya!

Dog Brindle

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Dementia, a living hell!

Could you imagine not worrying about tomorrow?  Or, caring less about yesterday. The past.  You don't even think about right now?  You can't even remember your name, who you are or where you are. Everyone's a stranger even though most of the people at your side, you've known most, if not all your life.

Not even caring about loved ones, not recognizing anything, though you're in your own home, in your own bedroom and in your own bed, with a stranger every time you roll over, the person always someone else, and you don't care.  You couldn't care less about yourself!  You couldn't give a rat's ass if the sun came up in the morning or set at night. You didn't even realize you woke up this morning, the same every morning.


It means darkness. From the a latin word which originally meant "Madness."  Actually it's not a disease at all but a non-specific syndrome of signs and symptoms of affected cognitive areas of the brain, which involve human skills such as memory, attention, language and problem solving, and you have to have these symptoms for at least 6 months before you can be diagnosed with dementia, anything before that a person is diagnosed as "delirious."  

I've lost the time before. I've asked, "What time is it?" or, "Is today Saturday or Sunday?"  Haven't you?  

It's different with dementia, you become disorientated, not just in time, but in place, and body.  

I've looked in the mirror after drinking heavily years ago and said to the stranger looking back at me. "Good grief what happened to you." Not recognizing myself! 

Haven't you?

5% of the geriatric population with dementia are over 65. If it happens before the age of 65 it's called "Early Onset Dementia."

It's often confused with Alzheimer's disease which usually has an onset of Dementia.

See if you might be/are demented...

Take the Abbreviated Mental Test Score. Answer Quickly.

Question :

1. I'll start off with a hard question. What is your name, age and sex? Give yourself 1 point if you answered correctly. If you missed. Please sign your will. 

2. What is the time if the large hand is on the two and the small hand is on the ten? Ten to two we will accept. This is not an exact science. (1 point if answered correctly) 

3.  Remember this address.   86 East Avenue. Without looking... at the end of this test write your answer. (1 point) if you accomplished this, remember no cheating

4.  What is the year? (1 point)  AD or BC. If you live in British Columbia.  (Trick question).

5.  Is the name of the city you live in, Vancouver? Substitute Vancouver for your city, if you can remember. (1 point) 

6.  Can you recognize these two persons  (1 point)
If you answer correctly.  You pass.  No need to go any further.

7.  What is your date of birth? (day and month - 1 point) If you're a woman omit this question, if you want!

(Lying will do no good, you've already kinda answered in question one.)                                                                

8.  In what year did World War II begin? 
a. 1939  b. 1939  c. 1939  Circle one with an X. (1 point)

(You don't have to be exact on the date, other dates can be used, as long as it was a long time ago.)

9.  Name the present Prime Minister. (1 point)

(You can always substitute this question with something like "When did you come to Canada? " just a suggestion)

If you must take a look at his photo.  Do you recognize him?

10. Count backwards from 20 down to 1. Starting at 100. (1 point) 

Did you forget to write that address down?  

If you forgot or got any wrong, I'd suggest seeing your doctor right away. But sorry, there's no cure for Dementia.

Dog Brindle