Let’s hear it for our youth, the adults in the room for fighting the climate change crisis

Today, September 20, 2019, literally millions of young people worldwide are participating in a strike for climate change, organized by themselves. They are fighting for the survival of our planet. They are fighting to convince all of those of us who believe in science – not to mention the obvious signs that it’s real – that mankind has indeed had a huge accelerating impact on global warming and that we have to do something – actually more than just something – about it NOW.

Image credit: The Guardian

Yes, this means reducing, phasing out, and eventually removing our use of fossil fuel. Oil and gas industries can be part of it by continuing to improve their processes to reduce emissions, and they can be part of it by leading the way in investing in new, emission-free sources of energy as they move to new businesses. But head in the sand can’t work anymore. The dependence of industrialized societies on fossil fuels has impacted our own climate enormously, and what we have done to those living in non-industrialized countries is even worse. The lives of people living in the Arctic and on islands in the Pacific, for example, have been altered irrevocably, through no action of their own.

When I was a kid, a very long time ago, both my parents smoked. All the parents smoked. In the 50s the tobacco companies undoubtedly already knew they were selling poison, but their customers and the world around them didn’t know. They lived in ignorance … until they died of lung cancer. Their lobbies were so powerful and their product so addictive that all of society suffered with second-hand smoke. The smoking section in airplanes was in the row in front of the non-smoking section. Very effective. Restaurants were filled with smoke. Offices were filled with smoke. The donuts in Tim Horton’s tasted of cigarette smoke. It took a very, very long time for people to wake up to the truth and admit that this couldn’t continue. It took a very long time for policy makers to believe that they could actually take control of the situation. A very long time. But, believe it or not, things did finally change. Continue reading

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Pressure is a privilege – really?

We have just finished spending more time than I should admit watching one of the best US Tennis Opens ever. The quality of the tennis and the remarkable level of the young emerging tennis players was something to behold. Energy, brilliant play, joy, and disappointment were all on display throughout the two weeks. Sometimes it seemed unfair that one of the players was going to win and the other one lose when they both seemed like winners.

Go, Bianca – how nice is it to see the Canadian flag with the US Open tennis champion?!

Throughout the two weeks of matches, when the players passed through the tunnel to play in Arthur Ash Stadium, they passed a plaque with Billie Jean King’s quote embossed on it: Pressure is a Privilege. And often one of the commentators would remind the viewers of that quote and how inspirational it is. The first time I heard it, and even the second and third time, I thought, “Hmm, this sounds like it must be profound. I should give it more thought.” I’ve been thinking of it often these past few days and, I have to say, I’m not convinced this quote is particularly appropriate in most situations. However, it certainly has been embraced. When I googled it I found a number of references to books and articles using “Pressure is a privilege” as their main motivator. Virtually all of these books and articles were about business and leadership.

Arthur Ash Stadium tunnel, Billie Jean King quote

Continue reading

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Us old folks looking after one another

As we know, having friends is an important contributor to good mental and physical health, at all ages. And humour is an excellent contributor to good mental health as well. What can be a better sign of friendship than sharing some good humour.  Thanks to my friend Bill for sharing and caring. I decided this story is worth passing along; you never know who else in the blogosphere might need a boost to their mental health!

The Road Trip

While on a road trip, an elderly couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch.

After finishing their meal, they left the restaurant, and resumed their trip.

When leaving, the elderly woman unknowingly left her glasses on the table, and she didn’t miss them until they had been driving for about forty minutes.

By then, to add to the aggravation, they had to travel quite a distance before they could find a place to turn around in order to return to the restaurant to retrieve her glasses.

All the way back, the elderly husband became the classic grumpy old man.

He fussed and complained, and scolded his wife relentlessly during the entire return drive.

The more he chided her, the more agitated he became. He just wouldn’t let up for a single minute.

To her relief, they finally arrived at the restaurant.

As the woman got out of the car, and hurried inside to retrieve her glasses, the old geezer yelled to her, “While you’re in there, you might as well get my hat and the credit card.”


This coming week is National Senior Mental Health Week.

You can do YOUR part by remembering to contact at least one unstable Senior to show you care.

I have now done MY part.


Addendum: We oldsters are pretty good at looking out for each other, between our gentle yoga classes, bridge, bowling, and emailing jokes to each other. But you younger folks should feel free to reach out to us oldsters in friendship and good humour anytime!


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Four Young Boys Growing Up in America, Part 2 (from Aging Capriciously)

Now we come to Part 2 of John Persico’s tale of the four boys. You don’t have to wait a week wondering what happened to them like I did, instead you can have a week to think about it afterwards. He provides us with a potent message. What optional endings might we come up with?!

(If you haven’t read Part 1 you’ll want to start with Four Boys – Part 1.)

Twenty years have gone by since we have left our four young men. They have now each reached their 32nd year of life. Not one of them will see their 33rd year of life.

Whitaker had achieved everything his parents had wanted him to.  He had gone to college, taken over the family business, got married to a beautiful young debutante and now had two young children.  The oldest, a girl, was nine years old and a boy seven years old.  Whitaker loved his wife and children very much.  Like his parents, Whitaker joined the prestigious country club and was head of the planning committee for events.

The investment business was going very well, and his many clients were always pleased with the way that that their accounts were growing.  Whitaker seemed to have a magic touch.  Everything that was bronze or copper, he could turn into silver or gold.  His family life was also picture perfect.  Two very well-mannered children and a stay at home wife who alternated time between home and working on various local committees to help the less fortunate in the community.  […]

via 3535– Tuesday, August 27, 2019 — Four Young Boys Growing Up in America, Part 2 — Aging Capriciously

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Four Young Boys Growing Up in America, Part 1 (from Aging Capriciously)

This story – Part 1 of two parts – was posted a week ago by John Persico in his thought-provoking blog Aging Capriciously. After reading Part 2 today I decided it needed to be shared widely. This is an American story, one that could follow many inspiring and heartwarming paths – or not!  It’s a bit of a long read, but worth it. I’ll post Part 2 tomorrow!

Once upon a time, there were four boys. Their names were Jack, Whitaker, Jamal and Robert. They were born and growing up in the United States of America. The land of the free and the home of the brave. Each boy was now entering his twelfth year of life. Each boy lived within ten miles of each other […]

via 3539– Friday, August 23, 2019 — Four Young Boys Growing Up in America, Part 1 — Aging Capriciously

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Wordless Wednesday – what are we doing to our planet? | Aug 21/19

I know this is cheating, because the pictures aren’t wordless, but their message is so important, especially as parents wait for their kids outside schools.

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Trump lands on Greenland, offers to trade for Puerto Rico and 3 golf courses

Maybe Trump thinks world domination is like Monopoly or Ticket to Ride. He wants to buy Greenland? BUY Greenland? In 2019. The colonialist mentality just doesn’t end, does it?

Does President Trump know that nearly 90% of Greenland’s population is Inuit (similar to what non-Inuit Americans call Eskimos). Does President Trump know that these Greenlanders have lived there for 5000 years? He thinks maybe he’ll buy their homeland for the U.S.? Would the Inuit, the Greenlanders, be part of the package???! Continue reading

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