Friday, June 26, 2015

Yep, I’m Old Enough to Remember…

…why I write this stuff.

Better be more around here!
It certainly isn’t for the money! There is no better way to be poor than to write for someone else for what they consider reasonable amounts of money—especially on the Internet. A penny for your thoughts comes to mind because they like to pay about that or less per word.

I write because I enjoy it most of the time when life hasn’t dealt some not so nice blows. It reminds me of what is important in life like friendship, kindness, health and bum wipe. Making people laugh is a form of an act of kindness and lots of folks need that today with all that goes on now. So not all that I write is humorous because sometimes too I have had my own bummer experiences.

Oh yeah, you are on your own on the bum wipe. The Internet is mostly paperless now (if you do it properly) and besides the exercise of going to the store is good for your health. I got your back but not down there. You are on your own.

Have a great day. BTW stuff has many synonyms.

…my mom hanging the clothes to dry on a clothesline (in winter!!).

Improvised wind brake for the clothesline
The clothes dryer was not a common appliance in our neighbourhood when I was a tyke. My mom also did the wash in one of the ringer type machines that squeezed out the excess water when she fed them through the powered ringers prior to them being put in the laundry basket for the trip to the backyard.

And sometimes it was cold in the winter so the clothes froze and got kind of stiff but there were two advantages to that happening. Firstly, they had this really fresh smell and secondly, the clothes were board-like stiff so they made for great kitchen wars with my brothers. We would take the stiffened clothes and whack away until the inside heat kind of softened them up or Mom got us to stop but we all still had a good laugh doing it (including Mom).

The neighbours also hung their clothes out to dry on their lines as well. Mrs. B down the road a bit (like 3 backyards) was a little different. She hung their clothes out on the line while smoking a cigar and when she got to Mr. B’s combination underwear well it created quite a few chuckles. Seems Mrs. B was not into the use of bleach and the white long johns were more of a kind of grey shade with cigar colour stains down in the bum wipe area. Mr. B was kind of full of hot air but I guess he let some go every once in a while.

I don’t ever remember being inside their house. I think there were a few good reasons.

…bread and milk being delivered to the house and the delivery guy got off a horse drawn wagon.

Living in the city, you really lose out on being close to a lot of animals like country folks do every day so when we heard the clop-clop of hooves of the majestic beast pulling that cart, we ran out from everywhere to just go up and pet that visitor to our neighbourhood. No not the delivery guy, the horse you bozo.

The horse was very content because it mostly would have a feed bag of oats or something strapped on and it would even know when to stop to make a delivery. The driver would put out the “anchor” that I guess would just help slow down the horse due to extra weight if it bolted for some reason (in the picture above without the tether). Mostly it just chomped away on the oats since it also had blinders on to screen motion from the left or right some. And since it was eating, it needed to make room for the new oats in its gut and would drop a road apple or two. Well that would attract some of the mothers in the neighbourhood who were raised in farm country and they would go running for the garden spade to get the warm road apples for purposes of fertilizing something in the household garden.

Seems Mrs. B never took part in that neighbourhood game. I’m thinking she didn’t come from farm country. It would have been quite the picture though of her running to get a garden spade with a stogie hanging from her mouth. Maybe that is how Mr. B got those marks down around the bum wipe area of his combination underwear. Nah, he didn’t need help. It was pretty obvious he was full of it.

I’m Old Enough to Remember…

…when colas were brown.

It seems to me that all of today’s “bottled” colas, root beers, iced teas, etc. are almost black in colour and that has much to do with the current process of caramelization used to produce the colorant in these liquid products. I don’t think the green bottle had anything to do with the colour being more of a darker brown tone. 

The fact that the process produces a cheaper ingredient than the old one should be of no surprise since it fits with the “bean counter” approach to all businesses now. Apparently it also makes for no calories and most likely because it has no food value at all. I also understand that the process uses a form of “rat poison” to make the darker additive. The MSDS sheet for that modifier says it is quite nasty. Some believe that the colouring can cause cancer but that is a little difficult to prove.

I don’t drink colas anymore after giving up on rum and cokes because they made me feel not so good after consuming a bunch and it was not the rum that did it since drinking just rum on ice or even with soda did not provide the same level of discomfort. So you can have your colas, I am much happier drinking juices instead now and even get some food value in some of them (the ones that provide Vitamin C and other vitamins). The new colas don’t taste anywhere the way I remember the colas of my youth so once again big business, you messed up a good thing in search of greater profits, well for me anyway, not that I can break your bank. By the way, I make my own iced tea at home now as well.

…trough urinals at sporting events.

Specifically, they were most definitely in the men’s’ washrooms in Maple Leaf Gardens, I believe in the Grandstand at CNE Stadium and I think also at Maple Leaf Stadium (all sports venues with historical routes in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada). Back in the day, you couldn’t buy alcoholic beverages at these venues (I was way too young anyway, drinking age was 21 then), but they did serve very bad soft drinks made with syrup, carbonated water and lots of ice and it was inevitable you had to relieve yourself sooner or later. Generally, that was a break in a game or event (period, inning, quarter, between stock car races, etc.) and you only had so much time to use these ugly long porcelain troughs ( I remember some were more like 50 feet long not the 6-8 feet like in the picture).

So a whole bunch of guys made their way up to these ice-less wonders (seems some pictures showed where someone actually dumped a bunch of ice in them, not at these venues!) and commenced to “draining the snipe”, “doing God’s work”, “taking a leak”, etc. and, lo and behold, the river flowed by as you tried to get this unpleasantness over as quickly as possible. I don’t remember how I actually reached the level of some of these troughs when I was smaller (like 8 or 9), and maybe there were step up stools under the trough but would you reach under that for one. I don’t think so.

And to wash your hands there was this big circular trough thing with soap dispensers set back too far for us little guys and the water was released by you stepping on a foot rail but to get at the water you had to lean over and you got off the foot rail so you had to wait for someone bigger to do that for you. I don’t miss either of these poorly conceived contraptions in a men’s washroom but they were sort of efficient for a larger crowds as long as you didn’t breathe deeply.

…when milk came in a glass jug.

Yes originally it was available in various quart bottles but I am talking about the first attempts to sell it in larger sizes since a quart didn’t go very far in any household with any number of kids or pets. Many argue that milk tastes better in glass bottles or jugs than in cartons or today’s plastic bags.

The inherent problem with the glass jug is that it was hard to handle or pour especially in the hands of young tykes like us and occasionally the plastic handle would just decide to break and you ended up with a milk lake in the kitchen complete with many shards of broken glass. It would immediately seek its way under the stove and refrigerator and hide in various other places. Soured milk does not smell very nice! And like glass soft drink bottles, you had to return them to a store for the deposit, usually to get another jug and they were quite heavy for little tykes to carry and get home in one piece.

There was a time that it was sold in plastic jugs but I think it was very difficult to sterilize those containers properly so they were replaced by today’s bag-o-milk approach which seems to work well enough as long as one of the bags don’t decide to spring a leak or get poked open accidentally. Then you just get a slower version of the milk lake but no shards of glass, thankfully. Those buggers were difficult to find in the lake of milk on the floor. Also the bag-o-milk takes away the return for deposit problem but creates another environmental problem of its own.

Well I’m not going to solve the problem of how milk should be packaged but rest assured that I will continue to buy milk because what would you drink with cookies, if there was no milk—cookies and water? I suppose you would suggest I eat Cheerio’s with some form of juice drink (most of them are just sugar and water with some colouring. Read the label if you don’t believe that one).

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fly High Sweet Girl


You sat on the porch
While we talked on the phone
So many miles
But it still felt like home

I so liked to talk to you
Given the choice
Music to my ears
Was the sound of your voice

We shared all our dreams
And even some pain
Oh I how just wish
To do it over again

But now you are gone
To a place far away
I know that you thought
You’d be better that way

Fly high sweet girl
Some memories just fade
But some will hang on
Like the good ones we made

Fly high sweet girl
We miss you so much
Lucky are the few
That got to know your touch

Fly high sweet girl
Yes I miss you so much
And what would I do
Just to feel that touch

So fly high sweet girl
Yes memories will fade
But some still hang on
Like the good ones we made