A Lost Ignorance

As Canada learned all too quickly yesterday, no country in the world is immune to terrorism.  Canada’s issue–as clearly stated in Andrew Cohen’s opinionated article featured on CNN.com– is/was ignorance.  Welcome to the club.  America was once ignorant too.

The general population of the world used to walk around with blinders on because we could.  Now we live in a world where eyes need to be open WIDE at all times.  We need to be greatly aware of everything around us.

Who would fathom that one day planes would fly into buildings, that bombs would be set off at marathon finish lines, that innocent children in classrooms would be killed, that people watching a movie would be shot down, that someone would sneak past Secret Service and enter the White House undetected, that someone would shoot and kill a soldier guarding a war memorial and then cause mayhem within the government to cause it to be locked down for the day.  Who ever knew?  In our ignorant minds shit like this could never happen.  Only in the movies.  Guess what?  Hollywood has become reality.  We’ve learned it can happen:   in America, in Siberia, in Burundi, in Canada.  It can happen anywhere in the world.  No country should ever think it is immune to the disease of terrorism.

Unfortunately there is no vaccine for terrorism so the big question remains:  how to stop it?

A “Bad” Decision

What is bound to be the hottest toy this holiday season?  Hopefully not the new “Breaking Bad” animated figurines available for sale at Toys R Us.  What was the toy conglomerate thinking?  What’s next?  “Walking Dead” zombie dolls, “Orange Is The New Black” fashion dolls and “Game of Thrones” characters?

I’ve never watched “Breaking Bad” but I do know the premise of the show involves a former chemistry teacher turned meth maker.  What is disturbing is the fact that this action figure comes complete with a bag full of cash and its own meth stash.  More disturbing is the fact that there are adults out there that will actually buy this shit, even if it’s just to have as a collectible.

To their credit Toys R Us has issued the following statement:  “The products…. are carried in very limited quantities and the product packaging clearly notes that the items are intended for ages 15 and up. Items from this TV series are located in the adult action figure area of our stores.”

Intended for ages 15 and up?  If I had a 15 year old I’m not certain they would want to play with an action figure and at that impressionable age, they sure as hell wouldn’t be watching “Breaking Bad”.  They can be found in the “adult action figure area” of the store?  Don’t tell me.  That area is right next to the “Holly The Happy Hooker” and “Carl the Cocaine Addict” sections, right?  I’ve been in Toys R Us many, many times and have NEVER seen an “adult action figure area”.

If adults with children are stupid enough to waste money on shit like this, they can knock themselves out.  Hopefully Mom and Dad won’t catch junior in his Hazmat suit cooking up some lovely meth in the kitchen.

Flu Shot Or Not?

That time of year is upon us again:  flu shot time.

What I find disturbing is that with the recent evolvement of flu-like diseases such as Ebola and Enterovirus there are still parents out there who are willing to risk the lives of their children by disregarding the need for a flu shot.

These parents believe that the flu shot will cause autism.  They are concerned because today it seems that everything causes cancer.  The most lame excuse I’ve heard is “lack of convenience” because it’s not easy to get the kids into the doctor.  That’s bullshit because you can drag your kids to CVS, Walgreens or even Walmart and they’ll provide flu shots–sometimes for free.  If your kids get the flu you’ll see how “convenient” it is as you lose lots of sleep being up all night worrying about them.

For those parents who are diligent about getting their own flu shots, as well as making sure their kids get one, I praise you.  Not only are you protecting yourselves, you are also protecting the community around you.

For the parents who are still ignorant and refuse to get a flu shot for either themselves or their kids, I wish you the best of luck.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

From the looks of the Garden Center at KMart, I’d say that Christmas has finally arrived!

Need Christmas lights?  They have them.  Ornaments?  Yup.  Those annoying musical stuffed animals?  Plenty to go around.

If we do the count down, it goes something like this:

From today:

About four 1/2 weeks until Halloween

Two months and three days until Thanksgiving (less than that if you live in Canada)

90 days until Christmas Eve

So for those who walk around the stores and exclaim “Christmas already?!”, I say there’s only three months until the holiday.  What are you waiting for?

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

While in Canada, do as the Canadians do. Eh? And B

There I was driving along minding my own business when the guy on the radio suddenly blurts out, “…and it’s a balmy 29 degrees…”.  I did a double-take, began looking for ice and snow and then remembered I was somewhere in Canada…

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Weirdest experience while driving in Canada:  going 90 on the 401 and getting passed–by a COP!

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We do have a few Tim Horton’s south of the border, but Dunkin Donuts outnumbers them big time.  That’s probably why the clerk at Tim Horton’s looked at me like I had three heads when I asked for a Dunkacchino and then tried to pay with my DDPerks card.

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I’m fascinated by the Beer Store.  Imagine.  An entire store full of beer.  In New England we call those “packies”.

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The first time someone asked me if I wanted a “pop”, I was prepared to punch them back.  Then they handed me a Diet Coke.

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A cool, yet weird experience:  while driving hearing “Thin Red Line” and realizing that it’s actually coming from the RADIO and NOT your Glass Tiger CD!

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I’ve noticed how much heavier my wallet is while in Canada.  It’s not that I have more money.  It’s just that Loonies and Toonies weigh a hell of a lot more than paper.

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One Second, One Minute, One Hour, One Day, One Week, One Month, One Year

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”   – Bob Marley

 

 

Let The Music Play

Other than being a music consumer, I’m not too familiar with the music business or how music sales are measured.  Having said this, as a mere consumer I do have some insight into a recent article I read about American album sales hitting an all-time low.

The article I read stated that during the week ending August 25, weekly album sales had fallen below four million, to 3.97 million.  I’m not a genius but that isn’t much of a difference.  Still I guess people in the music business are concerned since that is the lowest sales have been since 1991.  I understand the best-selling album last week was by a rapper named Wiz Khalifa.  That album only sold 90,000 units, which more than likely were mainly purchased by Wiz’s family, friends and people who owe him money.

There seems to be some concern over sales of the “Frozen” soundtrack.  For the first time in more than a year sales for the soundtrack fell below 100,000 units.  Has it occurred to anyone that maybe the reason for this is because just about anyone who is going to own the soundtrack already has bought it?  It’s just a shot in the dark, but maybe THAT is the reason why sales fell below 100,000 units.  After all, the movie was released almost a year ago and talk of another movie featuring the characters is currently in the works.  Don’t worry.  I’m sure another soundtrack will emerge.

The article mentions the decline in CD and digital sales, as more and more people are seeking their music through free streamers.  Speaking from a music consumer’s standpoint, I’m guilty of doing the same.  Who wants to pay anywhere from $12.00 to $21.00 plus for a CD when all we really like is one song?  How many people can actually afford that?  It can cost anywhere from 99 cents to $1.29 to buy one song on ITunes.  That’s much cheaper than having to purchase the entire CD.  Better yet, if you can stream the song for nothing on YouTube, why wouldn’t you?

Although it is just my opinion, I also feel a big reason for the sales decline is the state of the music industry today.  When I spend more time changing the dial on my radio than actually listening because every station is playing some shit song at the same time, I know it’s time to just turn the damn thing off.  Or I pop in a CD of music that I actually like.  I can’t defend purchasing music that sucks.  I also can’t defend artists from past decades who have run out of money.  They feel the best way to make some quick cash is to write a few new ditties, throw them on a CD with all their old rehashed tunes and hope people will buy the entire package.  For one or two new songs?  Not this music buyer.

Maybe if the kind of artists the music business generates improves, the music will improve as well, enhancing album sales.  Until then, we still have the same old ho-hum shit to listen to day in and day out.  I won’t be rushing out to buy a new CD anytime soon.