Sudden Stop

Back in the days when I got my first hybrid bicycle, a bike for city and country cycling, I had to learn the ins and outs of handling a mountain bike. My boyfriend and I planned on taking some very long cycling trips over some rugged terrain and I needed to be prepared for anything.

And so, my very patient boyfriend, on our first trip, attempted to show me how to ‘hop a curb.’

This means, just before you encounter the curb you use your body and the bikes front shock absorbers to lift the front tire up and the rest of the bike follows in a hop. The point is, if you are full speed ahead and encounter an unforgiving obstacle, like a rock, you can leap over it.

In theory.

So actually, the first few tries went well.

We packed our stuff and were on our way.

We stopped to get some groceries and I decided to practice the hop.

In my enthusiasm I forgot that we were on a trip, and the back of the bicycle was considerably heavier. There were two full panniers and camping gear piled on the back rack. So the bike failed to lift and the front tire slammed the cement and I was airborne. Ass over head over handlebars. I clung to the handlebars and did a perfect handstand swing, like on the parallel bars, only backwards, before I let go. I fell in slow motion onto a grassy embankment. Sprawled on my back I opened my eyes to several strangers who had witnessed my acrobatics and were sure I was dead.

My boyfriend didn’t teach me any more tricks.

Ask an Immigrant

We live in a free country, despite all the screaming that we don’t.

I say to any of you who think our country is a dictatorship, that you need a hefty reality check. You need to ask an immigrant what dictatorship is.

Ask a person who has escaped North Korea. Ask an immigrant who made great sacrifices to live here. Ask those that lived in dictatorships under tyrannical rule what freedom really is. Ask them why so many want to live here.

Freedom is what we already have. In spades! We are so incredibly fortunate. You need to take a look around. You need to educate yourself. We are free in so many many ways. We elect our leaders. We have abundance of everything. We can choose from a huge selection of cars to drive, clothes to wear, food to eat, furniture, electronics, appliances and gadgets. We can get jobs, an education. We can live where we want. Buy a house. We decide who we will marry. We have health care, hospitals, ambulances. We have pensions for the disabled and seniors. We can travel by planes, trains and buses, anywhere at anytime. We can speak our minds. Write books, make art, music. Sure nothing is perfect, but compare our country to the rest of the world. Do you realize these things we take for granted are not available to a huge amount of people in our world? They have no options and they live in constant fear.

Years ago I met a man from South America who was so grateful to live here. The story he told me of his life was shocking, and it is amazing he is alive. He had been beaten and tortured and lost his family. He had to watch everything he said, did and thought. He couldn’t go anywhere without permission. He didn’t have choices. He didn’t have options.

You cry because our government wants to protect us? By making us wear masks and get vaccines while we are in the middle of a global pandemic killing hundreds of thousands of people? I ask you, how do we stop the spread of disease? We are all in this together. The virus is our enemy, not our government. You think wearing a mask and getting a vaccine is persecution?! You know nothing about persecution.

You don’t understand how democracy works. It means we do what is best for everyone, and that sometimes means it may not be the best for you personally. We make some sacrifices. But we have so many benefits. So many freedoms. We live so well!

There are 50 dictatorships in the world, and the number is growing. You want to add this country to that list?

You have absolutely no idea what freedom is.

Mad Max Era

In the post apocalyptic Mad Max world, men fight not for food, not for women, but for gasoline.

Gasoline is power.

The ones in charge are the motorcyclists and the truckers. Our lone hero drives a souped up car, has a pet dog and just wants to be left alone.

In our pre apocalyptic world, enter the truckers and the motorcyclists, wielding their power to overthrow our governments and rain holy hell upon us with dictatorships and fascism. The motorcycle is quick and agile, the truck is brute strength. The car just wants to take a nice trip to the countryside and forget all this stuff.

I thought mechanical hostility reigned only in the movies and that the good guy always wins.

But alas we enter the Mad Max era, and every protest is a violent engine, noise and gas fumes protest, and the good guys are losing.

Every night, drag races rule the streets. Every weekend trucks block our downtown core. Motorcycles blast through our towns. Every day I read about how many tickets (that will never be paid) are issued and how many licenses have been suspended and how many vehicles have been towed. The numbers go up and up and up and lawlessness is wearing us out to the point the Mad Max universe will rule.

Only the world won’t be in the hands of the truckers and motorcyclists. It’ll be in the hands of the ones who own the gasoline, and they won’t let anyone use it, except themselves. Protests and all that go with it, trucks, motorcycles, guns and weapons will be banned. The war on democracy will be over, and the 1% take over.

Our hero, his car and his dog don’t win. Nobody who was in the fight wins. Just the fat cats on the sidelines who incited all the turmoil.

At least it’ll be quiet.


Someone in the neighbourhood just got a new dog.

It barks nearly all night.

How can people do that? Get a dog, leave him outside barking himself hoarse, while they are either out somewhere or at home with the ear buds in, playing video games, oblivious to reality.

It happens also in the apartment building I live in.

A new puppy is purchased and then we get to listen to the poor little darling howl for hours while the owners are away. Or worse, some tenants put their dogs out on the balcony and forget about them. So the stressed and lonely dog barks for hours.

How can people be so cruel and thoughtless? Not only to the dog, but to all their neighbours?

We had this problem when I was a kid at home. The neighbours behind us had a dog that barked all night. Even when we spoke to them, they were like, so what. Problem? What problem?

I realize that puppies have to learn to be on their own, and that if you want your dog to stay outside there is a period where they may bark. All of which I find heartbreaking. Animals need a lot of attention and love, and to me, that is what the real problem is. Dogs need companionship. A little love and care can go a long way.