I want to know why gray hair on men is considered distinguished, even sexy, but on women it’s aging. “Letting herself go” is the term used when one decides to quit fighting reality by embracing their gray hair. At least for women. Men, on the other hand, are said to “rock” their gray hair.
Popular and Dashing Gray-Haired Men
George Clooney comes to mind as a popular movie star that recently (within the past few years) has let gray hair take over. He was always good-looking (to me) in that tall, dark, and handsome way. But lately, everyone seems to be swooning over his new, gray look.
Anderson Cooper, another household name, turned gray prematurely (like me) but has been recognized, even celebrated for his “natural” look for years. Decades even. So much so that he has earned the nickname of the silver fox.
Gray Haired Women Over the Hill?
Closer to (my) home, Lisa Laflamme, on the other hand, was recently released (in her words blind-sided) from her long-time news anchor position with CTV. Why? Rumour has it because she made the decision to let her gray hair grow out after the pandemic. Fans were outraged but Bell Media denied the (obvious) allegations:
the termination of Lisa LaFlamme’s contract had nothing to do with age, gender or grey hair,”
No one is buying it. Even Wendy’s Canadian franchises stepped up to show their support by replacing their mascot’s iconic red pigtails with gray ones and taking to Twitter in Lisa’s defense:
This month Andie MacDowell was celebrated for embracing her gray hair during Paris Fashion Week. She too decided to let her gray hair come in during the pandemic. Perhaps Hollywood and Paris have it right.
It sounds to me like MacDowell speaks the truth:
“As we age, we deserve dignity and pride. We deserve to feel glorious! I’ve always said there’s no expiration date on beauty.”
Why the difference in perception? Talk about sexist, archaic, and blatantly obvious. Why are women like MacDowell and Laflamme forced to advocate for the right to age gracefully? Men have done it for ages.
In general, it seems that women reporters are “put out to pasture” so to speak as soon as they start looking tired, old, heavy, etc compared to the younger, fresh-faced, airbrushed girls that are new on the scene. Men, on the other hand, seem to get more air time (and respect) as they advance in age. We see it all the time.
I’d like to see statistics on the number of over forty-year-old TV reporters, women vs men.
I vote yes, leashes for cats should be mandatory. Why are dogs not permitted to roam at will through neighbourhoods but cats are?
Last night we came home from a stressful day at the cottage spent cleaning up our property from the storm damage. We also spied a black cat prowling around at the side of our house. It took off when my husband chased it away. Why did he chase it away? Because last year he watched the same black cat kill a baby bunny in our (private) backyard. This morning, we discovered a dead chipmunk on our back deck. Coincidence? I think not! We’ve seen a few baby bunnies in our yard recently, so we’re hoping the cat did not get them too.
As you can probably tell, it annoys me to no end when I see cats in my yard. I believe it is irresponsible of cat owners to let their cats roam indiscriminately. Our backyard is an oasis forbirds, rabbits, chipmunks and the like, so cats are not welcome. Our backyard, our choice, right?
I have a good reason for this opinion, besides the fact that cats prey on small animals just to torment and kill them for their amusement. I am not amused.
Cats and Toxoplasmosis
Years ago I sufferedthree stillbirths. We were told the most likely cause was toxoplasmosis contracted from cat feces. Well, we have never owned a cat. But, several cats used our front garden as a litter box back then as it was hot and dry, sandy soil. When we first moved into our home, this south-facing garden was newly planted, so cats could access the soil easily. We’ve since covered that area with a veranda and moved the garden out from the overhang of the house so it gets more moisture.
Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by the single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii). It is one of the most common parasitic diseases and infects nearly all warm-blooded animals, including pets and humans. Although cats are a necessary part of the life cycle of T. gondii, the parasite rarely causes clinical disease in them. While T. gondii seldomly causes significant symptoms in healthy adults either (see below for exceptions), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently identified toxoplasmosis as one of five neglected parasitic infections of people due to its high prevalence.
Toxoplasmosis is a common infection that is usually harmless. But if you get toxoplasmosis for the first time while you’re pregnant, or a few months before you conceive, there’s a small risk the infection could cause:
birth defects or problems after the baby is born – this is very rare
I belong to a neighbourhood Facebook group where posts often discuss missing or found cats. There also seems to be a large presence of “lost cat” signs pasted on any flat surface on our streets. Am I the only one that finds it hard to believe people let their cats wander around the neighbourhood, especially with the steady increase of coyote and fisher sightings in our neighbourhood? Perhaps if cat owners didn’t let their cats roam, these wild animals would stick to the wooded areas. Instead, they are enticed by a buffet-like selection of victims.
Leashes for Cats
Are leashes the answer? They certainly would be a start. If you want your cat to walk through the neighbourhood, take it for a walk on a leash. Just like the dog owners do.
And, while you’re at it, take along a bag to scoop up their poop.
Vaccines have eradicated many diseases in Canada that are still prevalent in other countries around the world.
There’s a good reason for that; science has proven that vaccines work.
We should be proud of that accomplishment and go the extra mile to protect it and our compliant citizens. For some reason our country is more concerned about the cultural rights or beliefs of everyone except our own citizens.
We have become all inclusive to an extreme, risking the safety and health of our own, especially those most vulnerable.
If not non-existent and unavailable, exemptions should be much stricter, for valid (proven) medical reasons only.
A simple immigration rule or federal law could enforce the no exemption/exception. No vaccines, no entry into the country.
Vaccine exemptions should also be banned in schools. Most of us must have our children vaccinated before they attend school. No proof of vaccination means no school attendance…simple, no exceptions or exemptions.
Are the monstrously ugly wind turbines (windmills) dotting the otherwise beautiful countryside efficient? You can probably tell I don’t approve of them. I am reminded how much I don’t believe in their efficiency or practicality every time I drive to my favourite farm.
That’s because there is an enormous north-south swath of them crossing highway 43 near the intersection of county road 11, the last leg of our trip from Ottawa to the farm in Eastern Ontario.
My last venture in that direction that was no exception. My four year old grandson, my travelling partner that day, summed up my feelings pretty well with a loud “whoa, what the heck is that big thing?” When I explained that it was a windmill, there to gather energy from the wind, he was quick to point out “but it’s not even moving!”
Exactly! During my last visit none of the windmills were operational. I mentioned this to my uncle upon arriving at his farm; apparently they were just installed. This time, a month or so later, maybe fifty percent were in motion. Not exactly a great track record.
How do Windmills Generate Electricity?
This YouTube video posted on Good Energy in the UK explains how well the windmills are working, especially within the north-western corner of Europe where it is almost always windy:
Are Windmills Efficient?
In reducing carbon footprints, these windmills are efficient, actually one of the smallest footprints in current practices of renewable generators. That’s because they do not release emissions of any sort into the atmosphere. However, their actual physical footprint is enormous, taking up huge amounts of land.
Optimal sites for wind farms are in remote locations due to the amount of space they require. The problem with this is that (expensive) transmission lines must be established to get the electricity from the remote locations to the big cities that use the most electricity. This however can be lucrative in the form of extra income for the owners of remote properties since the owners of wind power plants pay rent to the landowners, often farmers or ranchers, for the use of their land.
A windmill or wind turbine is typically only a maximum of 50% efficient when the wind is at a peak level. Wind, however, is typically inconsistent; very few global locations would have consistent winds to maximize the efficiency level.
Theoretically wind power is cost-effective because the electricity generated can be sold at a fixed price over many years, unlike the price of gas and oil which fluctuates like our Canadian weather. Wind turbines are exorbitantly expensive to make, install, and maintain, then only last on average 25 years. The wind is the inexpensive part, as it is a (free) natural resource.
Esthetics and Dangers of Wind Turbines
Not only are wind turbines hideous to look at, but they have also proven to be annoyingly noisy (when they work) as well as harmful, often fatal to birds. Hundreds of thousands of birds and bats are killed annually, in collisions with the massive rotating (and sedentary) arms of the wind turbines.
I like to think I am open-minded as well as a proponent of green energy. Why then, do these wind turbines bother me so much? Probably because I am also a proponent of sensibility, natural beauty, and efficiency, especially cost-efficiency.
This is the Worst Canadian Government Ever: is a scathing (but accurate) article from Rex Murphy in the National Post. Not my words, but many of my thoughts and opinions!
The country is in an economic coma. The House of Commons is a movie set. We are shamed in the international community. And the list goes on.
It’s a mess. It’s a shambles. It’s an embarrassment. It is the worst ever by any reasonable measurement.
Judging by their performance on the most important files, the current bunch in Ottawa would need to hire a consultant to figure out how to get wet in a thunderstorm and set up a task force to study how to tie their own shoes.
Look around you. Canada is in the biggest, most persistent, and threatening crisis since — well since ever. The long-term care homes are under a blizzard of mortality. There is heartbreak in every small business in the country. The worry and anxiety level of most everyday citizens — especially those not shielded by uninterrupted cheques from provincial and federal governments, and those not serving as a member of a legislature — is at an all-time high.
On the Covid Nightmare
This government hoards any real details about what vaccines are here, how many are “secured” on paper only, and what they have promised to pay for them, as a miser hoards gold. Every press briefing on this most important of concerns is a dance of evasion, platitude, confused projection, and sometimes just pure ignorance of what is actually the case.
They are the most deliberately obfuscatory, opaque, access-of-information-allergic administration under the democratic sun.
One year into COVID our venerated House of Commons is a disemboweled, non-functioning, neglected wreck. The targeted disrespect of the absolute and central symbol and instrument of our democracy has no parallel. No “minority” government has ever operated with the smug insouciance and patented, virtue-perfumed arrogance towards the Commons as the Trudeau government. This is, when we step back, their biggest sin.
Shutdowns and Cabinet Shuffles
Since 1867 no prime minister has abandoned the House of Commons and downgraded its significance for so long a period and for such obviously self-centered and political opportunistic reasons. It is so much easier, so much safer, so much more convenient — to walk from the bedroom to the one-printer office and mail in platitudes and arias of evasion via Zoom
What other government has parted ways with a governor-general, and to top it off, a governor-general brought in by the world’s No. 1 “male feminist” as a role model for young women and girls? The same male-feminist who conveniently loses all his top-performing female ministers. Someone should do a “gender analytics” study on Justin Trudeau’s cabinet.
Not to worry. It has lost a finance minister over ethics charges during the mightiest spending binge since the Big Bang. An attorney general, the prime guardian of our rule of law, was hounded out because she would not bend the rule of law. The most qualified and respected woman, a doctor of medicine no less (in other words a real doctor) could not abide staying in so carelessly unethical a cabinet. Thus, at the very time Canada would have wished the most competent person to deal with a once-in-a-hundred years medical emergency, Dr. Jane Philpott is not even in the government.
Meantime Seamus O’Regan, the Trudeau cabinet’s favourite nomad — he takes up and puts down portfolios with the “greatest of ease,” leaving no impression behind as he goes — burbles on, during a pandemic, about planting two billion trees. Imagine, two billion. We only have about 300 billion already! Priorities I guess. Repeat after me the holy incantation: climate change, climate change, climate change. It’s better than a vaccine.
Hostages in Chinese Prisons
We have two hostages in the tyrannical torture houses of Chinese prisons. Those poor, suffering and tormented men must truly have been uplifted — if any news ever reaches them — to learn that their government, during a world pandemic, was collaborating with the Chinese government to “jointly develop a COVID-19 vaccine.” Remember the line from Casablanca — “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world …” — and Insert “countries” for gin joints. Of all the countries in all the world, why did the Trudeau government pick …. China? Incompetence can’t cover it. We need some term that speaks of dedicated and determined, merciless and staggering wrong-headedness: the purblind leading the purblind.
We have had no budget in two years. (Actually, we have one now, this article was penned pre-budget release, but unbelievably irresponsible) We have spent more than any other government, by far, in our history. We have no idea where all the money has gone. The auditor general has been denied the resources to even keep track of a portion of it. There is no coherence, or trust, between the majority of the premiers and the prime minister. We have been offered occasional delights, like the celebrated comic opera of the WE brothers and the (temporary) $43-million gift to them to administer half a billion dollars of your money.
The Liberals have given far more time and dedicated energy to the Derek Sloan affair (whatever that was) than the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, and the emergent threat of Alberta leaving the Confederation. (Query for a serious panel discussion: Is Canada safe from Bidenism?) Alberta groans while the Trudeau government spends over $36 million for “stay-at-home chairs” for its civil service.
Is our present government the worst Canadian government ever. Can there be any question?
The country is in an economic coma. The House of Commons is a movie set. We are shamed in the international community. Contracts on COVID are all Top Secret. There is zero reliability on any projection made by a minister or the prime minister on where we are on vaccines and distribution. Rideau Hall is shortly to be listed on Airbnb. Farmers have been hit by fuel and carbon taxes. Newfoundland teeters on bankruptcy. The West has never felt so far out of things. I could go on.
Is this what was meant when the rosy words were first pronounced: Canada’s back?
To calm yourself, however, there is always this: Climate change.
Climate change. Climate change. Two billion trees. Two billion trees. Home chairs. Home chairs. Derek Sloan.
Photo credit: SEAN KILPATRICK/THE CANADIAN PRESS
Is Rex Murphy correct? Do we currently have the worst Canadian government ever? What do you think?
I find it extremely annoying and disconcerting that people want to eradicate historic people and events. History is based on facts, some good and some not so good, but none that should be erased to make us feel better about ourselves. Hopefully we have evolved enough to avoid repeating the same politically incorrect transgressions.
Canadians (some) Demanding all Traces of Sir John A MacDonald be Removed
Sir John A MacDonald has been on the literal hit list in Canada lately. Schools, buildings, streets, statues, bridges, and the like are being renamed because of the belief that his federal policies were suspect when he was our Prime Minister. As our very first Prime Minister, he was instrumental in our country’s development and deserves a place in our history.
I find this obsession to erase history frustrating and ridiculous. Where do we draw the line? Who decides who was bad, really bad, bad enough to wipe them out?
What About O.J?
These feelings of disgust were re-awakened yesterday afternoon when I was watching football and O.J. Simpson’sname came up. Inducted into the football hall of fame for his prowess on the field, he is still idolized and celebrated often by commentators and fans.
I don’t know about you, but I was totally dismayed that O.J. literally got away with murder. Twice. Talk about a travesty of justice. Yes, he was convicted in a civil suit, awarding money to the families of his victims, and spent some time in the clinker, but still got away with murder in the criminal courts.
What’s the Difference?
The point of this rant? Why is there a difference between the way we are willing to acknowledge the historic actions or behaviour of Sir John A and O.J? Why does O.J. Simpson continue to be idolized and revered when Sir John A. MacDonald and other historic figures are getting toppled from our graces, shunned, with all traces of them discarded from our lives?
Learning from our mistakes should be considered valuable life lessons. We should be taught to move on and refrain (hopefully) from repeating the same mistakes. That doesn’t mean the lessons or mistakes didn’t happen and shouldn’t be acknowledged. Life lessons get chronicled in our brains, or, in some cases, our journals or diaries.
It seems to me that we are offended by everything and everyone these days. If our ideologies are threatened (??) we demand all traces of the offender removed from society. If we can accept the accomplishments and talents of one man without judging him on his lifestyle, ethics, or morals, why can we not accept the valuable contributions of others?
I believe that history is in the past; we learn about people, places, and things and decide how to incorporate the good from the past into our futures. Every country in the world can dredge up unsavory actions of their leaders and heroes. It’s how the indiscretions are dealt with that should decide the success and health of the country moving forward.
Well, I feel (somewhat) better after this rant, but I would like to hear from others. Am I wrong? Or just easily offended.
Bill Maher hits the nail on the head!! My blog has been saturated with posts related to COVID-19 lately. This video sums them all up pretty well…
Other than the fact that the Spanish flu didn’t start in Spain, the points Maher makes are all valid. History buffs know that as Spain was one of the neutral European countries in WW1, their (uncensored) media were the first to report the ravages of the virus that was killing off millions.
John Cleese, the English actor, and comedian of Monty Python fame has a theory on why political correctness is getting out of hand. Jon Miltimore published this theory on Intellectual Takeout.
Political Correctness Killing Comedy
He’s hardly the first comedian to say so, of course. Funny men such as Jerry Seinfeld, Mel Brooks, and others have complained that political correctness is killing comedy. Cleese, like Seinfeld, says he no longer performs on America’s college campuses, where political correctness enforcement is particularly strident.
In a recent monologue with Big Think, Cleese said the effort to protect people from negative feelings is not just impractical, but suffocating to a free society.
“The idea that you have to be protected from any kind of uncomfortable emotion is one I absolutely do not subscribe to,” Cleese says.
Cleese, who spoke to psychiatrist Robin Skynner about the phenomenon, posited an interesting theory on why many people feel compelled to control the language and behaviors of others.
“If people can’t control their own emotions, then they have to start trying to control other people’s behavior,” Cleese says.
You can watch the entire monologue below. What do you make of Cleese’s theory? Is he right?
I agree political correctness is getting way out of hand in our culture, and not just comedians are noticing.
Political Correctness in Sports
For example, it is ridiculous that in our children’s sporting events everyone gets the same award, just for participating. No winners and no losers allowed; treat everyone the same. Competition is healthy. It should not be discouraged, especially if a child shows interest in an activity. Kids need to learn that people will be better than others in all of their endeavours. This includes sports, scholastic abilities, job skills, and any other activity. You excel at some, others not so much. You learn to win graciously and accept defeat just as graciously. That is a healthy skill that all kids need to learn.
My three sons were (are) very athletic and good at any sport they chose to play. Were/are they the best? No, but they learned to recognize and respect those that were/are better, more successful than they were/are. This is an important life lesson and important for developing self-esteem. Sadly, it appears that this valuable lesson is low on the priority list these days.
Anxiety, Depression, and Suicide
It is no small wonder that more teens today suffer from anxiety and depression than ever before. Teen suicide too is rampant, doesn’t it make you wonder if there is a connection to our current excessive demand for political correctness and the rise of anxiety and depression?
Suicide Prevention Hotline (USA and CANADA) 1-800 273 8255 It’s OK not to be OK
Shame on the haters that are so quick to judge others. It is disgustingly common on social media these days. Anyone commenting or posting is quickly pounced on by these haters who respond with scathing comments of their own. It’s called trolling for a reason; these haters are ugly as trolls, and I’m not talking about their outward appearance.
Bianca Andreescu’s Mom
The latest example I encountered was all the nasty comments surrounding the appearance and demeanor of Bianca Andreescu’s mom during the recent US Open. At a restaurant watching the final, I heard firsthand things like “oh my god, that must be a wig” “what’s with the sunglasses?” and “doesn’t she ever smile?”
This Twitter conversation started with a tweet from Chrissy Teigen, answered by other examples of nastiness:
Bianca’s mom looks like someone is pretending to be Bianca’s mom. Someone check on Bianca’s mom!! — christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) September 7, 2019
That’s what I thought, too! Hahaha! I was like Is that a wig? Sunglasses? Is the in the Witness Protection Program?
Was she trying to disguise herself or is she just Unattractive 🤷🏽♀️
Bianca’s response? “My mom’s a straight G. I will never be that cool”
I chuckled when I later heard an interview with Bianca, knowing some of these haters might be (should be) pretty embarrassed about their comments. When asked how she maintains her composure and concentration during such stressful times (US Open against Serena Williams), Andreescu was quick to credit her mom. Apparently, her mom has been teaching her talented daughter yoga and mindfulness for several years. When stressed on the tennis courts, all she has to do is look up and focus on her mother’s calmness to settle her nerves. She can then block out the external issues (like the noisy crowd cheering for Williams) and return to concentrating on the game at hand.
“I don’t only work on my physical aspect. I also work on the mental, because that’s also very, very important,” Bianca added. “It’s definitely showing through my matches where I’m staying in the present moment a lot of the time. I don’t like to focus on what just happened or in the future.”
Shame on the haters! As Taylor Swift advised, “haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate, shake it off!” Good for you Bianca for shaking it off, putting these haters in their place, refusing to let their judgments ruin such an awesome achievement. Your parents are obviously very proud of you and you of them. Your appreciation for the sacrifices your parents made for their family is very mature and touching.
On a more comical note, after thrilling us with her tennis prowess, trophy in her arms, Bianca addressed the Williams’ fans displaying her sense of humour too:
“I know you guys really wanted Serena to win, I am so sorry about that”
Does anyone else think the Francophone vs Anglophone battle in Ontario (and the rest of Canada) is getting (literally and figuratively) old? The number of ethnicities populating Canada reported on censuses rose from just 20 in 1871 to 250 in 2016! Thanks to the massive increase in immigration since the mid-80s, the population of allophones (mother tongue is neither French nor English) doubled to 20% in 2006 and is projected to be a whopping 30% in 2030.
Francophones (French being their mother tongue) now make up less than 20 percent of our nation. Anglophones (English as a mother tongue) have dropped from 62% to 58%. So what makes the Francophone population so special and more important than any others in Canada? Why are they demanding their own universities and hospitals within Ontario? Why has this issue invaded our provincial politics? Have we not got more important things to worry about than the francophone vs anglophone issue?
Canada has always been known for its acceptance of all ethnicities and I hope we continue to carry and own that reputation. My maternal grandfather was named Beaudette; you can’t get much more French than that. His parents immigrated from France shortly before he was born in 1904. I am very proud of my own French heritage, but not to the exclusion of the other parts of my ancestry,