One Bad Apple

It is ironic that the very things that makes us decent and civilized, are the very things that work against us.

As decent human beings, we extend compassion, empathy and the benefit of the doubt to everyone, even those among us who are incapable of doing so themselves. Those who have no understanding of it and no ability to change. Those who view such traits as weaknesses to be exploited. And exploit it, they do.

One bad apple can, and often does, destroy the rest.

I have read how our systems of democracy and socialism work against themselves in much the same manner. We treat individuals who are not part of the system, (the system comprised of those with the collective understanding and mentality of decency, honour and caring), with decency, and they use that to tear the whole structure down.

We mistakenly believe everyone has the same capacity to be decent, and this is just not true.

So we stand in shock and watch as people bilk our institutions, dictators commit genocide, people abuse us and leaders destroy our sense of normalcy.

Or worse, we become participants, the apples spoiled by one.

The common good is to excuse, justify, ignore and ultimately accept another’s bad behaviour, their disregard for social norms, laws and decency, especially one who has rose to great power or has authority over us. We think at any moment that good, that decency, will appear, that it is in that person somewhere. And this is how we get fooled. They give us that moment of normalcy, kindness or praise and we are hooked. And we seldom, if ever witness it again. This is how they spoil the barrel of apples. They have to have enablers.

We fail to see that they do not respond as a normal person would, so our ways of punishment, or redirecting such people, namely through laws, reasoning, therapy and common understanding do not work. They easily disregard such things because they are on a different level, they live in an entirely different reality. The threat of punishment does not work on a person who has no understanding of decency. Their values and priorities are so removed from ours.

The answer of course, is not retaliation, because then we are no longer part of the common good and are now them. I believe the solution is in education. To recognize such individuals and stop or severely limit their ability to wreck havoc in our society before they do. If you know a persons game before you get involved, you can choose not to participate. Without participants, such people are not enabled and cannot cause harm.

Why are we not taught about humans? Why are we left to struggle through life figuring it out for ourselves, with faulty logic and reasoning? Why are we not taught, in our education system, basic human nature and how to get along with others? Why are we not taught about governments, politics, society, money?

Why are we not taught how to think?

Just a Bit Less?

I am a notorious note taker, that is I keep track of a lot of mundane things, like when I last changed the kitty litter, or did my laundry, and other stuff, like how much product did I actually get for what I paid for, compared to last purchase.

One thing I’ve noticed is that quantities of purchased items sometimes get discreetly smaller. That is, less stuff for the same price.

This is not new by any means. It is an old trick. I started noticing it when I was younger, how chocolate bars were just slightly smaller for the same price. No, it is not my imagination. Mind you, candy bars were a bit more honest about it, they recorded the change in grams, but they kept the same size packaging.

A few weeks ago I noticed that my loaves of bread are almost one slice less. Almost, because the last slice is now a very small, untoastable bit of crust, where as before it was a whole, toastable crust. There used to be 16 complete slices, now 15 and a bit.

It is a consistent anomaly. Every loaf is the same. I eat lots of bread.

The package claims the same amount of grams, and no doubt the difference is so slight as to be excusable, except, I notice.

I know, big deal.

Still, it irritates me a little.

Today I discovered that the lined paper I bought recently is slightly less than 8 1/2 by 11. Not that I measured it at first, I didn’t notice, until I went to put a bunch on my clip board under a stack of paper I bought last year. Then I measured, as I could plainly see the difference. Last years is definitely standard letter size. This stuff is 8 1/4 by 10 3/4.

Interesting no?

It doesn’t make a whole lot of difference to anything actually, just to me. I find it sneaky and a bit unsettling.

System is Broken

Prime Minister Trudeau said it, “The system is broken and the world is in crisis. Things are about to get much worse unless we change.”


The corona virus has brought all that is wrong with our world right out front and center.

But let me just talk about work.

The way we work, is not working.

If the governments and corporations and every place in between say workers will get lazy and not work if we give them a basic income, something is horribly wrong. If they also say, if workers get paid sick leave they will take more leave, then something is wrong with our thinking. The problem is not people, the workers, the problem is deeply hidden in our way of doing things, in our perception of how things ought to be. There is something wrong with our employment if we don’t want to work, because people like to be productive and have value. We like to buy things and contribute to society. We like to have a good quality of life. The problem is with the system, of how we are made to work, and of the values there.

We are forcing humans to behave in non-human ways. Think about it. If we were working in a way that meshed with who we are, we would not be miserable. If we worked where our needs are being met, we would not be miserable. There are people who have accomplished this, and the ones who have, guess what, are the ones who are helping one another, who are cleaning up the environment, who are finding ways to improve our lives without cost to our planet or to their and our well being. People who are creative, who bring beauty to our world. People who are finding solutions. People who care about one another, where we live and the future.

People who do what they love are happy. They tend not to exploit others or our home.

Think about this. The people who sell us stuff often cannot afford to buy that stuff themselves. Nor can they afford the services they provide us with.

There are grocery clerks who can’t buy the very food they sell.

I worked for an optometrist and I could not easily afford the services we provided. It would cost me over two weeks salary to have an exam, tests and get glasses.

I once worked for a high end department store where I had to have one of their credit cards and buy a certain amount of items, and type of items in order to continue my employment. Items I could neither afford nor want, while being paid minimum wage and having to work whenever they determined. One of my fellow employees was already $70,000 in debt! And the worst part was, the company fully admitted that this is how they made their profits, from interest on credit card debt. So much so, they didn’t even worry about the tens of thousands of dollars they lost in theft each year! Theft not from employees, because we were instructed to watch each other and report on each other and there were cameras over every cash register, and not elsewhere in the store. Ask yourself some questions about this set up.

Doesn’t this spell misery?

Employees are monitored in ways that are not unlike a communist regime, or at the very least treated like irresponsible children. If employers think employees are just waiting to rip them off, ask yourself WHY would they be thinking that way? Is it perhaps because employers are ripping them off, or mistreating them? It is not a normal way for people to think or be. We do not normally wish other people misfortune unless we are made to stoop that low, because we are being taken advantage of or mistreated. If we are abused long enough we end up hurting others. This is not who we are. We are social animals who care about things. God said we are stewards and we are. Something has gone amiss.

We have a system called slavery.

This is how people are enslaved. Not paid enough to live on and kept forever in debt.

Something is wrong with this, don’t you think? The system is not in synch with who we are. It is forcing us to behave in ways against our nature. To work beyond our mental and physical capabilities. To be unable to help others because we can’t even help ourselves. To have to choose between eating, our life saving medications or having a roof over our heads. To have someone else control our life completely, whether we live or die.

If you read about how populations are forced to make a state (James C. Scott) you will see that these are extremely unstable entities that cause enormous amounts of suffering to benefit the few. And it is not, in my opinion, a natural way for people to be. I don’t think that most of us condone slavery, pollution, corruption. I think we embrace altruism, and we are being taught this is wrong. We are being educated to think socialism is wrong. Why? People don’t even know what it is but condemn it.

Just asking you to think about this.

If you look at situations where people are allowed to be themselves, you will see them do heroic acts of kindness and self sacrifice. Sure, there are exceptions, but in most cases I think you will see people embrace their true nature of kindness and caring when called upon to do so. We are always looking for ways to help others. We like to give more than receive.

We need to overhaul our work life to properly reflect the values that people are born with.

Along with virtually everything else in this world that man has touched.


Whenever there is a change in season I usually start to get restless, mostly just for a change of scene. A change is as good as a rest – well, maybe later after you’ve made the change, then you can rest. Making your apartment different takes a lot of work. Moving stuff around in a tiny crowded space is a challenge.

So, I moved some furniture around while cat supervised.

I got sweaty and tired, and did a good cleaning too. Actually got rid of a piece of furniture, a bench I made, that although I made it to last a thousand years (I could not get the thing apart!) it was mostly useless and hogging space. Not easy to discard stuff you make yourself, but sometimes you gotta.

And as usual, I experienced the same phenomena that happens every time I think I am making things better.

That is, I end up with many displaced items, wondering where the heck it all came from, and where the heck am I going to now put them?

Yeah, I know, a purge is a good move.

That is where the other strange phenomena happens.

I can discard bags of stuff, and I mean, BAGS of stuff, and nothing looks any different.

This time, there is a bit more space to walk around, in the living room, but now the bedroom has taken on the brunt of that.


Spring will come and I will do it all again. Move stuff from the bedroom back to the living room.

With the same results.

Is all good.


I have posted many rants about mask wearing, because to me, it is very simple. Covid is spread by your breath. Wear a mask and covid cannot go anywhere, and to some degree, prevents you from breathing in someone else’s covid. It has been proven in other countries to be very effective, and this whole mess could be over if everyone would just comply.


But humans, with their big, mostly useless brains, have made it an issue, and so complicated.

However, I have adopted a mask as part of my daily attire. Much like, I usually don’t go out without underware, kind of routine. I don’t think about it much, including the foggy glasses. It just is.

When you need to make a quick trip to the store, the fuss of how you look is eliminated. I don’t have to wear makeup or worry about bad breath. It hides a lot of ills. My friend says he doesn’t have to shave.

It also can make a fashion statement. I have seen some pretty ones, some clever ones, some very comfortable looking ones. And then there are the ugly ones, the ill fitting ones, the ‘I don’t give a F’ ones. My personal pet peeve is the below the nose mask. It aggravates me in the same way those pants worn at the hips do, I want to pull them up!

I watched a doctor on You Tube don one mask after another, up to 6, to prove you do not compromise oxygen transmissibility by wearing a mask. So when I had a biopsy done recently I wore 8 masks! I tell you truthfully, I had no trouble breathing. And since I had 2 surgeons hovering inches from my face, I felt a bit more secure. So a lot of the BS you read about ‘I can’t breathe’, is, well, BS.

So just wear a mask and enjoy the benefits, like, still being alive.

The World Looks Different Now

We used to joke about looking at the world through rose coloured glasses, until I worked for an optometrist and discovered this really is a thing. Not only that, a very desirable thing, as it can soothe eye strain and relieve headaches for some.

But today, I view the world through fog covered glasses. With a mask on my face, the lenses are perpetually fogged, and I’ve gotten used to it. Just one of those ‘givens’ we must adapt to. There are a lot of new ‘givens’ during the pandemic.

Some days I have little rain showers inside my glasses. Fog condenses, and it rains, droplets run down like tears. Sort of like being in a car with no windshield wipers. I’m moving forward, but with little idea of where.

When I used to go to the gym I was teased about being my own cloud burst, that is how hard I sweat. It spurted off me with little exertion on my part. I was a walking rain shower. Well, times have changed, and now the rain shower is scaled down to my glasses, with the same amount of minimal effort.

I leave my ‘smoky’ glasses on because they provide some additional protection, or so I have heard, and I can’t see great without them either. In fact, I have them tied around my head, because they keep falling off and you are not suppose to touch your face! Being so tethered, they are not accessible for the odd wipe, so there you go. The end result is, I basically just can’t see any more, and perhaps this is not so bad. There are a lot of things I’d rather not see. A lot of things I wish I had never seen.

Additional bonus, no one can see me now either! Glass-less persons can’t see my eyes, and those with lenses are just as fogged up as me. So none of us knows who we are or where we are going.

Zaphod Beeblebrox of the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy fame, had glasses that automatically blackened at the first hint of danger. So, the pandemic has given me fog, with a light drizzle. Enough to soften and distort the world, but let me know shit is still happening.

Foggy glasses used to be embarrassing, and annoying, now it’s a new normal, and no one notices or cares, except if I bump into them.

Next week, some thoughts about masks.

That Voice

A great deal of my working days consisted of me yapping. Mom was right, I never lack for something to say. There were clients and staff to talk to in person, lots of phone calls, lots of conversations. My gums got a good work out.

Now that I am retired, having left my job because of covid concerns, my mouth has gotten a rest, and alas, many people, their ears.

I still talk, but the audience has changed.

I have great conversations with the cat, myself, the odd inanimate object, plants. They listen very well. They lack a bit for debate, but I think they tend to agree with my points of view anyhow. Cat just walks away or falls asleep in protest, disagreement or boredom. No arguments or shouting matches, just a nice disregard. I kind of like that. It is humbling. So far, the plants haven’t wilted, their leaves turn brown or fall off. My ornaments quietly collect dust as usual. So it is all good.

I read books and my own writing aloud. My apartment has some neat acoustics I hadn’t noticed before. My voice sort of like drums in a ventilator shaft, voluminous and rising to the sky, but not nearly as exciting as a drum solo from Led Zeppelin.

I can almost hear my neighbours groan on occasion. But when they get my flute practice sessions, they concur that perhaps my reading aloud in not so bad, well, not as bad. It just goes on a lot longer than the flute.

Being ones own audience is quite interesting; to laugh at ones own jokes, especially if they are not that funny, or not funny at all. Interesting to debate with oneself and have some pretty convincing arguments, make some nifty observations and get some startling insights. It is all very cool.

And I get to have whole 3 act plays with myself. I get to be the entire play! I write it, direct it, act in it, edit it. I can be very loud if the script calls for it. I end up laughing when I try to be dramatic. Laughter is the best sound my voice makes. Oh yeah, it is very loud too. Think maybe, barking seals. With clapping flippers.

I have to keep that booming voice fine tuned after all. I might need it some day, for a sermon or just to let everyone within 5 blocks know that I am still around. Perhaps I should have been a Sergeant Major like my Dad. Hmmm, maybe that’s where this voice came from. Ya think?

I am not much for making phone calls, the telephone was not my main way of communicating in the past. I tried to keep calls short and sweet.

Now I have marathons.

Before you call me, have your meal, pee break and a nap, because you’re in for a long session. Get comfy.

I’ll never be lonely as I can talk to most anything. Yes even rocks. Now there is a whole other story I will bore you with in a later blog.


When I was working I accumulated piles.

No not, hemorrhoids!

Actual piles of ‘to do later’ stuff.

Piles of ‘I can’t deal with that now’ stuff.

And mental piles, virtual to do lists that clog up the brain like sludge.

Come to think of it, they are sort of like hemorrhoids. Ugh.

Piles destroy your quality of life. You cannot live well when you have piles, of any type.

I quite literally had decades of stuff piled up. The actual piles of stuff like paper etc. were annoying to clean up and time consuming but once all was sorted, trashed, cleaned and put away, I could start working on the mental piles.

Things that are stashed away in your mind are the things that make you exhausted and irritable and sometimes crazy. They are unfinished business, and your brain hates unfinished business. It will work 24/7 to solve your problems, to get what you want, to complete your lists whether you are conscious of them or not. This is what your brain is suppose to do; think, solve, plan, organize, be a manager of the rest of you. So mentally file something away and your brain is on it! And no, writing them down does not quiet your brain. It will work even harder on those because they are in writing

The tasks of finishing the unfinished, loving the unloved and the neglected is gut wrenching. From the simple things of sewing a bra strap back on, to finally writing a thank you note (it is never too late for either, your bra and friends understand) I gradually cleared all those mental to do lists out. In the process I discovered many things I’d forgotten about. Embarrassing stuff. Silly stuff. Oh, that would have been great to do stuff.

The great thing about being retired – no matter how short term this may prove to be (money!) is I seemingly have vast expanses of time to do more. Seemingly, because now I really don’t want to do more. I’ve stopped collecting piles, real and imagined and just live for the moment. If something catches my attention, well, if I don’t do it now, I probably will never do it. I will not file it away as a to do later, or sometime if I feel like it.

I am happy to be free of piles for the time being. Life gets so far ahead of you when you are working. Your life belongs to the office and everything else is neglected. So glad those days are OVER.

Near Death Experiences

Many years ago, at the dawn of Harry Potter, my friend and I, being of an older generation, were intrigued and wanted to discover what all the fuss was about.

Now I know at the moment J.K. Rowling, Harry Potters’ author is getting some bad press about something she posted that I have not read, nor do I even want to go there, but at the time, she was high priestess. So it was pretty close to sacrilege to not take Harry Potter seriously.

Knowing this, we decided to take in the movie, the original, at a big theatre in town. The place was packed. We took a spot among the throngs of mostly youth and settled in with popcorn, not knowing what to expect. We had not read the book, nor had much clear idea of what we would see other than wizards and some special effects.

It was enjoyable and fun, until we met the dog.

The dog in the movie is a massive, menacing, drooling, outright terrifying 3 headed cerebus from hell (but not that scary really). But when the keeper was asked what the dogs name was, well, my friend an I literally fell out of our seats in hysterical laughter at his reply.


When we composed ourselves that theatre was so quiet it was like a morgue, but with a thousand eyes all trained on us. For a moment I thought they would stop the movie, turn on the lights and throw us out!

We stayed to the end, frozen in our seats, daring not to even sniffle. At the end we slunk out like a couple of felons on a day pass.

Our apologies to Fluffy et al.

Only WE

Often lately I’ve been hearing we are in end times, and over the last few years, it definitely appears to be. I have been surprised that even atheist friends have mentioned we are stepping into the Book of Revelation. This is not said glibly, but with some panic and belief.

I once read a book about the Book of Revelation that suggested this is a period of enlightenment as opposed to wanton destruction. That all of these problems; fires, floods, pollution, corruption, poverty, suffering, political upheavals, all this chaos, is a call for us to embrace love. It is meant to open our hearts and make us see the truth.

That is what Revelation is, an awakening. Enlightenment. The truth revealed.

The truth is, there is no US and THEM. There is only WE. We are one.

We are all humans, living in the same place, with nowhere else to go, despite what Elon Musk might envision for Mars (an entirely hostile place. WHY would we leave this Eden to live there?) We are a global community. You can’t separate one place from another. Not with walls, moats, fences, hedges, conspiracy theories or hoaxes! All other living creatures, plants and lo and behold, viruses, understand this. It is just humans with our little egos that don’t. The sooner we get this, the sooner we can fix the world.

My cat is a cat, and I don’t have any prejudices against tabbies, or tuxedo, or persians, or scottish folds or . . . they are all CATS.

We are all humans. It does not matter what we look like, where we live or what we think. We are all the same! We share the same world and the same problems. Why can’t people get this? Because they are not enlightened. And this is what it is all about.

This age of Revelation is going to continue until we smarten up. Our resistance to our problems perpetuates them. And that is probably why the Bible gives us such a terrifying account. It shows us what our ignorance is capable of, and it ain’t pretty.

The sooner we all return to love and oneness, the quicker our suffering will end. The faster our global disasters will subside. We created our own messes, we can clean them up.

There is only WE.