Area Man Dies Having Spent 93% Of The Miracle Of Existence Bitching About Immigrants

Another worthy post from my favourite satirist, The Out and Abouter. We all know someone like this. What a sad waste of a life, making yourself even more miserable than you make others. The last line’s the best.

The Out And Abouter

img_9523 Don Mitchum. Seen here unable to enjoy a starry night for fear that someone else might also like to enjoy it. 

Don Mitchum, 82, of Burlington, Ontario, died fitfully today in his childhood home, after a long and unfulfilling life spent worrying that people with names he refused to try and pronounce might come and live in some proximity to him.

Best known amongst his contemporaries as not really having all that much nice to say, and mostly just being the kind of guy you steered clear of once you got to know him, Don was well remembered. If not fondly.

“We didn’t called him ‘Bitchin’ Mitchum’ for nothing,” says lifelong acquaintance, Timothy Hawfield, who pointedly asked to not be referred to as Don’s friend. “He was always complaining about one group of people or another. In the 50’s, when we were teenagers together, it was the Italians and Portuguese…

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Top posts of 2018 – and top countries for readership

The last day of 2018. People are writing about the top news stories of 2018. About the top sports stories of 2018. The biggest tragedies of 2018. The most devastating weather events of 2018. And on it goes. This morning I noticed a number of bloggers sharing their blog’s top posts of 2018; interestingly, most frequently they seem to have chosen their top 7 blog posts. You won’t be surprised that, once I saw these reports, I decided to check mine out, too.

For those of you who don’t blog (and you really should give it a try), the platform host (WordPress in my case) provides all kinds of intriguing statistics if you choose to go looking for them. Once you find them, of course, you have to decide if they really tell you anything that is useful for fine-tuning your blog, but for useless information it can’t be beat. Continue reading

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New Year’s reflections and resolutions, 2019 version

A new year is upon us; January 1, 2019 is just a few days away. My, how time flies. As far as I know, I’m the only one in my family who makes New Year’s resolutions, although I should ask my daughters-in-law and my granddaughter. I can imagine that at least one of them might be part of the club and I just don’t know it. As someone who lives by lists, including daily to-do lists of things that I know I’m going to do but love being able to tick off at the end of the day, I love reviewing my New Year’s resolutions at the end of a year and spending time identifying a few major goals for the year ahead. The end-of-year calm descends briefly with the waning of the frenzy of holiday prep and festivities. Even the news shifts from fast-breaking news to various versions of “the year in review” (well, with a few unpleasant exceptions). This period of calm lends itself to personal reviews of the year just ending, along with personal hopes for the year ahead. Since the year hasn’t quite started yet, we can look upon it as a blank slate, full of promise. We can at least pretend for a few days.

How did I do with last year’s resolutions? Continue reading

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Peace on earth, goodwill towards all: wouldn’t that be nice!

It’s the Christmas season. Whether you lean more towards spiritual traditions or secular ones – or both – it’s the time when songs and greeting cards ring out with heartwarming messages of Peace, Joy, Love, and Goodwill towards all. Hmm. I’m sorry to say this – very sad, indeed – but surely I’m not the only one thinking that these are pretty hollow words this year. What peace? What joy? Within families, one can hope. Within communities, definitely possible. But the world at large doesn’t even seem to be pretending to be working towards peace and joy at the moment. The leader of the most powerful country in the world has made it pretty darn clear that he doesn’t care anything about such sentiments. If we had any doubts at all we just had to wait for this past week to transpire. Meanwhile, Britain is experiencing its own version of chaos. A world order based on cooperation, compassion, and compromise seems to be unraveling.

So what can an individual do to give renewed credibility to these important messages of peace, love, joy, and goodwill to all? We can only do so much, but we can do some things. We can start by nurturing ourselves. We can work harder to find ways to concentrate on positive activities instead of dwelling on (valid) reasons for despair. We can reach out to others in our community to spread positive and supportive thoughts and deeds. [And when it comes time to vote, we can ask the right questions and then vote for the parties whose policies encourage peace on earth, goodwill towards all.] Continue reading

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A View On Borders, And The Migrants Between Them — The Out And Abouter

Not only can Paul Duncan write superb satire at his blog The Out and Abouter, it turns out that he can also defend the desirability for humane immigration policies in a most compelling narrative. I share these values and the concern over the inequities he describes.

This isn’t satire. One of the topics this site most frequently satirizes is the movement of people across international borders. Specifically, I do this from an angle that pokes at the anger and fear with which some citizens of Western nations greet or discuss those who would join their countries to try to build a […]

via A View On Borders, And The Migrants Between Them — The Out And Abouter

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I think I’m too old to give advice to young people

I still remember when I was 10 years old and excitedly told my grandmother that I had bought my first 45 (rpm record), Blue Suede Shoes by Elvis Presley. I was 10; she was 75. She not only didn’t seem to respond to my excitement, she didn’t know who Elvis Presley was! How could that be? I was beyond incredulous (although at the time I probably wouldn’t have known the word ‘incredulous’). Now my husband and I just smile at each other when confronted with ‘cultural’ references to popular music, having no idea who the artists are. Now I can see things from my grandmother’s perspective. What’s important at one stage of life isn’t necessarily important at another.

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Running and cycling races in enchanting Bhutan

If you’re looking for a cycling race or a road race that challenges you physically, boy, does Bhutan have some races for you. And if you’re looking for a cycling or running destination race that takes you to one of the most beautiful, friendly, and culturally rich countries in the world, boy, does Bhutan have some truly amazing destination races for you. Having been privileged enough to have visited Bhutan a few times, although never running or cycling, I can attest to the challenging terrain, the breathtaking vistas, and all the other gifts that Bhutan has to offer.

The Races

The Bhutan International Marathon, March 2, 2019

The Bhutan International Marathon, which also includes a half marathon, takes place in the absolutely stunning Punakha valley. The race website includes pictures of the mountains, and reminds people that they will be running at altitude. It also mentions that the finish line is at the Punakha Dzong. This is worth more fanfare than it’s given. Dzongs – historic buildings that combine monasteries and regional administration – are to be found throughout Bhutan, and the Punakha Dzong is a stand-out among stand-out dzongs.

Punakha Dzong, with springtime jacaranda trees in bloom

All pertinent information can be found at the International Marathon website. This route description from the site gives you a good sense of what you’re up against physically, as well as the utterly delightful place in which you’ll be running – and gasping for breath. Notice that you have 7 hours to be on the marathon course. That tells you something right there! Continue reading

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