Monthly Archives: June 2016
In their book A Cow In The Parking Lot, Leonard Scheff and Susan Edmiston say that we get angry because we have an “unmet demand.” For example, I demand that people be courteous. I get angry when people are not courteous and do things such as cut me off to get in line. If I let go of that demand and accept people as rude ignorant assholes, then I don’t get angry when people act as themselves.
I am getting angry less and less the more I look at my unmet demands. But there is one unmet demand I am having trouble letting go. Of course this involves the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). I spend a lot of time on the TTC. Actually, I unintentionally live on the TTC because of its delays, delays, delays.
On the bus level of all the subway stations, Next Vehicle Information boards give the times a bus is due. It’s nice to know how long you have to wait until the next bus.
In the Go Bus and Mississauga Transit stations, the schedule boards are correct. If they say a bus will arrive in 5 minutes, then the bus arrives in 5 minutes. I have yet to experience a schedule board being wrong in the Go Bus and Mississauga transit stations. I cannot say the same for the TTC schedule boards. Rarely are they correct.
On a TTC Next Vehicle Information board, it will say that a bus will arrive in 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, no bus. It will stay on 5 minutes for 10 minutes. Or the schedule may say a bus is Due. Still no bus. It may say it’s Due for several minutes and then change back to 10 or 15 minutes. But after it changes to 10 or 15 minutes, a bus may show up with the board still saying 10 or 15 minutes.
There are many variations to what I described above. The point is that rarely does the Next Vehicle Information board show what is happening with the next vehicle. Thus my unmet demand.
I demand that the TTC Next Vehicle Information board be correct like the ones in the Go Bus and Mississauga transit stations. It’s a reasonable demand, but it’s my demand and has nothing to do with the TTC. It is not the TTC’s fault that I get angry. It’s my fault because I keep forgetting that when I see a bus will arrive 3 minutes, it may arrive in 10 minutes or not arrive at all.
If I can let go of this demand, then I won’t get angry when my clothes go out of style while I’m waiting for a bus.
“It’s some other time,” I said. “What would you like to tell me?”
“Thanks for coming back,” said the building. “I didn’t think you would.”
“So, what would you like to tell me?”
“Uh, let’s see . . . Too much money has killed men and left them dead years before burial.”
“Yes, I’ve heard this before.”
“Time as a stuff can be wasted.”
“I’ve heard that before, too.”
“Be different from other people if it comes natural and easy being different.”
“Wait a minute! You’re borrowing advice from Carl Sandburg’s A Father To His Son.”
“Yes, I am.”
“I didn’t know that buildings read poetry.”
“Not only poetry, but philosophy and classical literature. There’s not much else to do standing around all day.”
“So, you were giving me some of the advice from Carl Sandburg’s poem.”
“It’s good advice. Usually the people I give it to have never heard it before.”
“I read the poem a long time ago—way before you were built.”
“I’ve always been around in some form, but not as this building.”
“Okay, I read it before you were a building.”
“The poem is dated with its masculine emphasis. If Sandburg wrote it today, then it would be a parent giving advice to his or her maturing child.”
“You’re right. Thanks for reminding me of the poem’s advice,” I said. “I have to get going. I have some solitude I promised to creatively play with.”
“You’re welcome,” said the building. “Stop by again, some other time.”
I have blogged before how my conservative friend’s reasoning fascinates me. Recently we discussed the Montreal Catholic archdiocese forbidding priests to be alone with children. My friend believes that the “liberal media” exaggerated the sex-abuse scandal involving the Catholic church.
“It was only a few priests,” he said, “and the media blew it out of proportion.”
“You’re saying that the world-wide sex-abuse scandal, involving the Catholic church, was only a few priests?” I asked.
“Yup. The media exaggerated.”
“If it was only a few priests, then why would the Montreal Catholic archdiocese forbid priests to be alone with children?”
“It’s a public relations ploy. The church is only doing it to appease the media.”
“But the U.S. Catholic church alone paid out nearly 4 billion dollars for sex-abuse settlements involving cases from 1950 until August, 2015.”
“Oh I don’t believe that. It’s an exaggeration because the liberal media likes to pick on the conservative Catholic church.”
“Have you ever heard of cognitive dissonance?”
“No,” he said. “What’s that?”
I am not a doctor or expert on drugs. I form my opinions based up what I see and what I read.
For years I have seen relatives and friends suffer side effects resulting from prescribed medicine. One friend had a near-death experience because two doctors prescribed medication that when combined slowed down his heartbeat.
When I expressed that doctors are too quick to prescribe medications and cause more health problems with their over prescribing, I was dismissed as not knowing what I was talking about because I was not a doctor. The people who dismissed were suffering from side effects yet still had blind faith in doctors.
A study published in CMAJ OPEN, an open-access journal of the Canadian Medical Association, looked at prescribed drugs for seniors and the harmful effects. Although the study dealt with seniors, they are not the only ones suffering from complications from too many prescriptions. Seniors are more vulnerable because they are usually taking more drugs for various ailments.
Professor Steve Morgan, of the University of British Columbia, estimates the cost across Canada for dealing with hospitalization from side effects as close to 2 billion dollars.
Dr. Keith White, a family doctor in Kelowna, British Columbia, said that seniors sometimes suffer complications from taking too many pills. He said, “You go into the emergency department and you get 10 blood tests and three X-rays, which you don’t need. You’re only there because of the adverse effects of the drugs.”
I was walking on Yonge Street towards Finch Avenue when a building said, “What? You think we buildings can’t talk?”
“How did you know what I was thinking?” I said.
“Your mind isn’t hard to read. We buildings know many things. We can teach people a lot, but they’re always in a hurry and too busy to listen.”
“I would love to hear what you have to say—”
“Wonderful!” said the building.
“But I am already late for an appointment. Perhaps some other time?”
“Some other time,” sighed the building.
Mark Saunders, chief of Toronto Police, apologized to the gay community for the police force’s treatment of homosexuals, and especially the extensive raids on the gay bath houses in February, 1981. The apology shows that the attitudes and laws towards homosexuality were wrong.
One day, will a Toronto chief of police apologize for the current extensive raids on the medical marijuana dispensaries?
We always went right to the end of June before our summer holidays when I was in public school. The only time we didn’t finish school, on June 30, is if June 30 fell on a weekend.
On the last day of school, the last thing we would do was go to the room of our next grade. I was ten when I passed from Grade 4 to Grade 5. I remember going from a room on the second floor, of Davenport Public School, to a room on the third floor for Grade 5.
How exciting! The last day of school with the summer promising nothing but fun.
“No more pencils. No more books. No more teachers’ dirty looks!”
Mrs. Duke was my Grade 5 teacher. She was English and looked like Queen Elizabeth. Same facial features and same hair style. The only difference was that the Queen had dark hair and Mrs. Duke had blonde hair.
“I congratulate all of you for passing from Grade 4 to Grade 5,” said Mrs. Duke. “This is the room you will be in when you return in September.”
That is all we needed to know. Summer, here we come!
“Before I let you go,” said Mrs. Duke, “I have an assignment for you.”
She walked up and down the aisles placing a paper on our desks.
“I want you to read six books over the summer, and write a book report on one of the books you read. This paper gives you guidelines on how to write a book report. Your book report will be due in September when you come back. Have fun!”
What? Homework? Homework for the summer holidays? Who gets homework for the summer holidays? Mrs. Duke ruined all the excitement we had about the summer.
I hated reading. I loved watching television. And now I had to read six books over the summer? Sheesh!
I went to the library and borrowed six books. I only remember two of the six: a book about Greek myths and The Three Musketeers. I did the book report on The Three Musketeers.
I felt like an idiot when I returned in September with my book report. Several of my friends had no book report with the excuse, “I lost the paper.” Why didn’t I think of that? I could have lost the paper and not have to worry about doing a report.
Mrs. Duke was big on reading. At some point, soon after I started Grade 5, I started to love reading books. This love has grown over the years. Now I prefer to read books and not watch television.
Thanks, Mrs. Duke!
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), Toronto’s public transit company, wants its customers to be in the moment. Although they do not say this, they want customers to focus on the journey and not the destination.
On Saturday June 11, a trip that normally takes 60 to 90 minutes took 3 hours. On Sunday June 12, the same trip took 4 hours. On Saturday June 18, a 10 to 15 minute trip took 2 hours. On Sunday June 19, the same trip took 3 hours.
The reasons for the delays were the following:
- subway closures because of unauthorized people on the tracks;
- subway closures because of scheduled maintenance;
- bus and streetcar delays for unknown reasons;
- slower weekend schedules.
TTC customers can save themselves a lot of anger and frustration if they adopt the TTC’s hidden philosophy:
Forget about your destination. Be in the moment and enjoy the ride!
Spring is my favorite time of the year. It’s the longer days I love. You can get more done with the longer days and Sun setting after 9:00 p.m.
Today is the climax of the longer days. After June 21, the days will start to get shorter.
I used to feel down with the days getting shorter, but not since I accepted how everything goes in a circle. It doesn’t matter where you are, because you’re always part of a circle. To be more accurate, spring really isn’t my favorite time of the year. Now is my favorite time of the year.
It’s a tradition for me on June 21 to watch Sun get ready for bed. Sometimes the clouds blush a soft red color. They feel embarrassed as Sun undresses and puts on pajamas. Sky may in part blush orange, but mostly stays blue. Sun chooses not to notice who or what is watching it get ready for bed.
“Good night, Sun,” we say as Sun gets in bed and pulls up the covers.
“Good night,” says Sun. “See you tomorrow.”