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Friday, October 24, 2014

God Keep Our Land....(c)

God Keep Our Land....

God Keep Our Land...



Our Capital's still,...on Ottawa's hill,
We pause, breathe deep, our blood runs chilled.
Fear has crossed our borders, has soiled our home
It's now landed here, and far it roams.

Our children now captive of terrible fears,
The freedom of youth might now disappear.
Checkpoints and guards will now come the norm,
To block an apocalypse that blows on this storm.

A storm that stretches across many lands,
That tries to unstable the strong that take stand.
But 'On Guard' we remain, 'Glorious and Free'
Our Canada,... this we promise Thee.

For it takes more than cowards, who take by surprise,
They that are Canada, the strong, free and wise.
Don't bring us your fear, your misguided thinking,
The youth that you've poisoned, with your misguided thinking.

For united we'll stand! Can't break us apart!
Attack us at home, we'll unite with one heart!
For we're stronger when threatened, together we'll be,
A north that runs true, runs strong and runs free.

Bob Niles

Thursday, October 23, 2014

When Oprah Won't Tell Us Who to Vote For. (c)

When Oprah Won't Tell Us Who to Vote For

When Oprah Won't Tell Us Who to Vote For


Outside of work, I don't make any decisions anymore. I haven't made a decision around the home for, .....well since I've been married. It was somewhere between the ceremony and the reception I lost all chances of ever having a choice again. Having said that, it's also been the best thing that's happened to me. No worries, we've saved money and I can blame the wife when things go wrong. Life's good!
But, every couple of years these doggone civic elections come along and me, myself have to choose the right candidate for the job. And choosing the right man or woman for a civic election is not an easy choice. Oh some years we get lucky and nobody challenges an already elected official, and then you can't make a mistake. You don't have to educate yourself on current and upcoming issues, you just go with the flow. "Well he was the only choice." you say to others when they somehow (and it ain't hard) screw up in office. You are blame free.
But with multiple choices and so many offices to fill its very difficult to make an educated well informed vote. Or even a guess. You have to educate yourself on their campaign promises and ideas like it's one of these speed dates where you meet a whole bunch of hopefuls that stretch truths and exaggerate all their good qualities. A bell rings and they give you all their promises and ideas to fix tomorrow. They have all of three minutes to make you believe that they're the one for you. Then, you listen to a totally different idea and conclusion from the next elected hopeful that visits your table. But unlike dating where you can dump someone after a week, this person lasts for years, and years!
And it's not like most of us are really interested what they have to say with the three minutes you allot them. They're talking on about how they are educated and suited for the job, what's important in their lives and how they will fix city issues and problems. While your watching football over their left shoulder.
And your hopeful elected official is not on TV., there's no campaign money for that. They have to compete with all the other fun distractions in our lives with his or her face is in the local paper. There, lost in a page with other hopefuls a tiny black and white picture represents them in an unnatural smile. One that pains them to look somewhat happy, confident and your next elected official for the office they are running for. Boring! So you tune back into the football game because you couldn't find beach volley ball (the wife's at the mall) or reruns of Bonanza,...anything other than dealing with info. on the people you need info. about to make a wise vote.
Why can't I pay more attention?
Oh they're on the 10 yard line!
It's just that they are saying the same promises and ideas that the last election played. The only difference is the picture beside the ideal plan. Oh!.. No, ..same picture. This guy's been around forever. He gets my vote. He hasn't killed me yet so he must be good.
Commercial. Ding! On to my next speed politician date.
Next picture is of a woman, about my age,.. familiar? Oh my gosh it's the woman next door! The one who's cat fertilizes my roses. Better vote for her. Probably have to put her sign in the yard. I'll make it a big one. They make them out of that plastic cardboard now and I can make a new liner for the granddaughters Guinea pig cage with it after the election.
Next commercial,...Ding! On to the next hopeful.
Graduated UBC blah blah blah. Probably, and is a lot smarter than me. Married,..'explains the look',...lived here for five years,...'long time resident',..four young kids,..'can't vote or him he's too busy at home.'
Moving on and down the list I make life changing decision after life changing decision. Not for me of course, but for them. I decide with but a single check mark whether I want them to represent my vote. And if enough votes from citizens such as myself elect them to office, then this could be a life long endeavor for them, election after election. A life in the public spotlight that some seek to create a long shadow in.
So many commercials!
It was somebody that talked them into it, or they themselves thought that they could make a difference in our community by getting elected. 'Bravo,' I say. I hope you make your mom proud. Cause there's a good chance you can embarrass the whole family. I think it was somebody else that said 'If you want to know your family history....run for public office. Cause if you or Uncle Ted have any skeletons in your closet, be sure to know we will soon know about your bony problems.
Who's this next guy? Too long a beard. next! She's cute. (Said that to myself. Even with the wife at the mall it's a good habit to get into) Not married, a doctor of some kind of 'olgy' looks naturally happy,...yup, she's got my vote. She's a good speed dating politician.
I feverishly work my way through my next choices, all commercial long. Okay they didn't get their three minutes each. Elect me! I couldn't take it anymore. Just be happy I get out and vote knowing full well I could be called for jury duty. Great! That would be another life changing decision I'd have to make. And you know how I make decisions!
And it's a quick snap....it's a handoff! He's up...over? No! Blocked at the two yard line. It's third and two to the goal line.
Now it's here in my observational tale that I have to make another decision. Is this Canadian football or American? Three downs or four? I'm a Canadian but I like American football. More decisions! This, among other reasons, is why I wanted beach volleyball. Everybody plays with the same rules. Just like in politics. Right?

Bob Niles

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How I Trained at Age 7 for the Military. (c)

How I Trained at Age 7 for the Military

How I Trained at Age 7 for the Military


I count myself, on all ten fingers, very lucky to have survived the Halloween of my youth. In the years of cold war diplomacy it was, I guess, important for young boys to know the ins and outs of light explosives. And every year around the time of Halloween we were allowed to expand our knowledge on this very topic with the detonation of firecrackers.
I was a 7 yr. old boy in October of 1962 eager to learn the effects of contained gun powder when put to a lit fuse. And the western governments of the known world, thanks to the Bay of Pigs and Russian tensions, were eager to let me.
I believe young kids experimenting and detonating firecrackers were a black-ops program set down by this country's military. Who, were building a fighting force of young children expertly trained in the use of explosives in an urban settings. A force far greater in number and expanding a much larger area than the Hitler youth programs some 20 yrs. before. A mass army of kids stretching from coast to coast to coast. An army with no central command post that could be brought down to destabilize its effectiveness.
We started training every October till about mid November or till your buddy's supply of firecrackers ran out. We would meet every day after school and collectively join ranks with all the other kids. And it was with great imagination we would include fireworks into our after school playtime. We would strike fear into unsuspecting citizens, neighbors, siblings, nosey girls and the occasional household pet. There were no clean precise missions with laser guided smart firecrackers with few casualties. It was total carnage!
The explosive force of your biggest firecracker (Cherry Bomb) or several tied together created a thunderous clap of expanding gasses capable of rendering panic and destruction to anything a young kid puts his mind to.
Firecrackers were glued to paper airplanes where extra distance was achieved in delivering the ordinance. They were blown through drinking straws to practice in tight urban environments. Set in the trunk of a model car, my brother built, with a small bag of gasoline. The resulting explosion looked like a mob hit we saw on the news. We stuck them in tree knot holes, buried them in dirt under my plastic farm animals then went directly to Old MacDonald himself and blew off his left leg.
The possibilities and procedures for explosive detonations were endless. But not the munitions.
Everything we had gotten for Christmas and birthdays were all subject to an explosive destruction. Sometimes we would ask for stuff at Christmas not because we wanted it but thought it would make a great explosion. Dad was so happy when he found out the Barbie House and Yard Play-set he got for me at Christmas exploded into little pieces in late October. Thing was I loved that set! My G.I. Joe used it when he was on furlough.
"Don't play with them in the house!" Was the only rule my parents had when it came to firecrackers. No my parents weren't alcoholics! They were farm people. Accidents of a disfiguring natured were common when they were growing up. Farm machinery is very dangerous, so a firecracker was nothing to them. Why my Dad was hunting with a 22. caliber rifle when he was six (maybe my grandparents drank).
Yes whoever it was in the military who thought of the black-ops training of young kids in light explosives was a genius when it came to military thinking. A nation of trained children in the use of explosives at no cost to the government. But now with the cold war a distant memory firecrackers, and also in many areas fireworks are now banned. "You might hurt yourself." They say. Well DAH! Tell that to my friend Lefty. I told him the fuse was too short.

Bob Niles