Follow by Email

Friday, March 20, 2015

Fwd: Got any change man?

Where I live, just outside of Vancouver Canada, we have experienced in recent years a large influx of Asian residents. Wonderful, quiet, neighbours that have brought their businesses with them from Asia. Businesses plastered with hand written signs all in Chinese (no English). A large part of the residents here would like to see English on the signs too. City hall won't act because,…..? well we are and have become the minority. Offending the Chinese population is political suicide! 
Maybe where you live you might have experienced the same thing. The following is my take on it.

Thanks for following my blog
Bob Niles

                                          Got any Change Man?

The definition for awkward is heading to the bank with your big bucket of loose change, to turn it into real cash, and encountering a needy homeless person who's looking for just that. "Got any change man?" He asks.  Awkward!
I respond with an extended "Ahhhhhh......". While reasoning to my self, I saved all his change for me! I didn't really plan giving it to you. I carried it around in my pocket for a day, then I had it sit all across my dresser for a week,....a month. Then I gathered it all up in a large jar and let it age and lose worth through inflation. Then at a set time (the wife gets tired of dusting around all the jars or you figure you've got enough change to do something really big with it) you carry your now penniless shiny change to the closest bank you know.
  And still! "Got any change man?"
You turn away from the wanting person, and from under your coat you dig through your Kentucky fried bucket bank looking for nickels. Finding two quarters, no three, you reach back, carefully not exposing its origin, and hand him his 1/2 cup of coffee at 7-11. It's not all he wants but it's something.
"Thanks for the change man." you manage to make out through the deafening jingle of change as you waddle away feeling cheap and wishing he hadn't asked.
Change. I don't  like it as a noun or a verb (change, (verb)..make or become different).
Stay with me, the jets about to take off. I'm getting around to the language bylaw.
Where was I?....Oh ya, change. Living in Richmond for the past 51 yrs. I have been given to a lot of change. And many of Richmond's new residents saw much change in their countries and found it was unacceptable. So you picked up sticks and changed your country and home. Big change! You looked around the world and picked Richmond as a city you trusted enough to move your home and business to. So you bought my buddy's parents home and built a beautiful mansion on it. And then went on to remodel the old neighbourhood I grew up in. Plus a few more.
To realize change in your life, I had to changed my life. More and more of the Asian community chose Richmond as the years went by as an ideal location to live. More and more of what I remember as Richmond (the Richmond you first fell in love with) had to changed to fit it's/your/our needs.
I could go on and on but I think you know,.....'ya ya got it, we asked for change. You're tired of handing out change.  You think it's all our fault wanting change. Move on.'
Okay I'm moving on. Just as long as you know that change is mine to give. You moved here and were happy ( but with growing pains) you did. But it can feel at times like the guy with all the change available to him, doesn't get what he really wants because he's given all his change before he gets where he's going.
"Got any change man? I need change." So I hand out some to you. Then I turn around and its more change needed from me. Then a little further someone else needs change.      And to you who need change it's really not all you want. I should hand out more but over the length of my journey I've handed out all I have. Now I'm saying "Got any change man? I need change. I can't read the signs. How about a little splash of English on them." and you're walking by giving excuses. "Sorry man either you or me need to get educated and take inclusion classes. So I don't need to give you change."
"Come on just a little change?" What you give me isn't going to do much good. It's like the three quarters that really can't get you anything, but it's a start to something. I didn't try to belittle you when you needed change.
Weeks go by, months and then years and I'm still asking for change. City hall gets involved and decides,....well, it decides it doesn't want to get involved so we'll have a workshop down by the river  with learned speakers and 2014 council hopefuls, Mayor Brodie and people with name tags on.
And it was proven after several hours that if you were looking for change you'd have better luck in front of the liquor store on a Monday morning.
 Our mayor believes mandating language bylaws not necessary.... No change from him
UBC professor Dan Hiebert said four other places in the world  enacted a sign bylaw.... Somebody else got change.
2014 council candidate Henry Yao supports giving change on language bylaws....But no change given yet
Esoteric questions about Chinese only signs had to be proven so change can happen.
Notions were supported of a sign bylaw to enforce English on signs...... Maybe change.
Another 2014 council candidate Jerome Dickey opposed an English mandatory bylaw. He pointed out Richmond culture has become disconnected and wanted to spend money on it. So it looks like he needs more change from me.
So I guess, they we elected, are saving our change till later. They'll just dust around it and wait till there's enough change to do something big with it, like an election. I wish they were as careful with my tax dollars than they are with their change sometimes. It's like they have a big bucket of change on their way to city hall and I'm sitting there with my hand out and they ask "Got any change man?". Awkward!

Bob Niles

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Fwd: Heaven Can Wait

                                            Heaven Can Wait
                                            (but not for long)

Yes I'm ready to go to Heaven, but I don't want to go today! I mean, if all you guys are going today,... Sure I guess I could move a few things around, cancel a few appointments and make it. But only if you're all going.
I don't want to go by myself just to wait for the rest of us. Like the one they send on ahead to the restaurant to let them know a few billion people are on their way. "Look under Earth or human population. I'm sure there's a reservation. Sorry we're late.----Oh just 15 years?"
Now Heaven is a wonderful place. Streets of gold, no sorrow or pain filled with our loved ones who have gone on  before. Crazy old loved ones who pull the old surprised to see you joke. "You'd better hide from St. Peter till I figure how you got here!" Them kinda crazy relatives.
Heaven is our final goal. Unless of course you're a minister of the gospel. For you it's an eternity of unemployment. You'll have to find another job suited for your qualifications. Maybe it would be giving away real Faberge Eggs over the phone. "No such thing! It's all a big lie!" They'll say.
Heaven is full of unknowns that make it a big mystery. It's like booking a vacation sight unseen that you heard good things about from old people. Things to incredible to imagine that make you think it can't be true. "All inclusive except for the motor sports?"
But then there's the air travel I'm queasy about. I'm not a good flyer. I don't want to arrive at Heavens Gatepp with a bad case of the trots. What kind of candidate for Heaven am I going to be? All sweaty with sticky palms and running a fever.  Trying to get through security so I can get into Heaven to hit the first throne I see. St. Peter will send me to secondary screening thinking I'm trying to bring it with me.
I thought I'd stay here on earth as long as I can. I'm still healthy, somewhat sound of mind.  And with my ability to drive after supper I'd be a real catch in the old folks home someday.
And besides the kids had me make a bucket list I gotta do before I go. They thought I would have things I would like to do before my flight.. So I made a list of 10 things that I thought they would want me to say. But only one of which I want to do. And that is to dance at my 100th birthday party with my wife. I said wife because all the hot babes (not that she ain't hot!) I see on TV now won't be hot by then. Plus that would mean she's still health too. I don't like seeing half an old couple. And it wouldn't be me, the wife usually survives and is left behind. Which is fine because old guys don't do well on their own. You'll see us walking around town with a dog older than we are. Living in an apartment that smells like urine and Ben-Gay. We fill our days writing letters complaining to anyone who's doing anything new or different. Handing out advice that always starts with 'Back when I was young........!'
It's the ladies that handle the loss of a spouse much better. Ladies form committees at churches and halls to bake, sew, knit and quilt. Ladies stay in touch with all the families and listen to their ups and downs without giving the 'Back when I was young' spiel. Ladies mostly stay off the roads and let the old Ford sit in the garage and become valuable again. Old ladies seem to do all the right things.
When a guy dies by himself and goes to Heaven I bet it's the worst run down spot there. It's populated with just old men waiting for their wife's. A spot filled with just grumpy old men waiting for their Myrtle or Effie because nobody can do it right except them.
It's the junky part of Heaven with dirt roads all lined with log cabins and double wide trailers and an RV in every yard.  In the back of the lot is a garage bigger than the house, with walls filled with every tool imaginable. And there is no empty outlines of tools missing because Gordon next door and every guy on the block has every tool too. Nobody cuts the grass cause nobody cares. The days pass sitting on the porch with Andy and Barney sharing an apple pie Aunt Bea sent over.
Every now and then you'll see a neighbor heading down the path toward The Gates.  He's off to meet up with his wife once again. We bid him a fond farewell  as we know he won't be back. His wife for sure has a different mansion in mind with which to spend eternity in. But, sometimes we are presently surprised and his wife  agrees to eternity in a double wide. But with a few additions. Curtains being the first.
Yes as we age we think about what's next. We've had friends and family go before us so you believe and have faith of a much better place. It's a Heaven with your old dog or cat. A Heaven filled with the lives of the very young that we're taken before their time really began. A Heaven that allows healing to the mentally and physically challenged that were unable to receive it here on earth. A Heaven that you've chased all your life trying to buy. But in the process lost your family in the haze of many lost years. A Heaven that's not attained  in a personal bomb blast. A Heaven far from the pains and worries of earth. An eternal home,....till St. Peter finds out you're there!
Quick hide!

Bob Niles

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fwd: How I Spent my Spring Break

Begin forwarded message:

Subject: How I Spent my Spring Break
From: Bob Niles <>
Date: March 11, 2015 at 8:09:17 AM PDT

            How I Spent my Spring Break
                  by Gabriella Griffin gr.3 div.4

We got in our car and drove and drove and drove and then we got gas and went to the bathroom and drove some more. You see it's all because we were going to see my grandma and grandpa who is now retarded. They sold their brick house with the way cool tree in the backyard in Vancouver and now live in a tin house in Arizona mom says. We stopped for gas a few more times and stayed in a motel. Dad said that's let'om spelt backwards and mom hit him with her elbow. She laughed and dad opened the door to a room that smelt funny. I got my own bed by the bathroom. Next day we found grandma and grandpas new house. A man who lives in the smallest house I've ever seen told my dad what number to look for to find them. Dad told me everybody there is retarded and the man lives in the little house to stop people so nobody escapes. Dad got hit again and I saw someone drive a little car out the gate past the guard. All the tin houses look kinda the same with old people wearing name tags. We found the number and their name was on the house so they wouldn't forget. Grandma was home and grandpa was off playing, riding his bike somewhere. She said he had to be home for supper but he might be at the wreck center. We looked but it wasn't wrecked. He was doing exercises with other old people all wearing name tags. I guess they don't know who they are now and they can't exercise very well. He knew who I was though! He cried when he hugged me so tight and let me wear his bike helmet. I guess he's sad. He showed us the swimming pool I could use if I wanted to but everybody in the pool was old wearing hats jumping up and down playing Simon Says. Maybe later I said and squeezed his finger twice. That's code we made up for I love you. He squeezed back 500 times. He pushed his giant tricycle back to his house with the same last name. He didn't have a yard I could play in but I told him he did a good job painting the rocks in the front yard green. Grandma had put on a pretty dress and said if we could go right now we could get the early bird for dinner. Grandpa said they have the early bird every day and for some reason he said today was a special day and we didn't have to have the early bird. Must taste awful! Grandpa showed me all his neat stuff but it wasn't as much as he use to have in the brick house. He didn't have my favorite Indian arrow head anymore. We all squeezed into a taxi and snuck past the guard in his doll house. I guess he didn't know we could all get in a taxi. We drove to a fancy restaurant for a special dinner. I got to sit between grandma and grandpa at the table. Grandma said grandpa worked hard all his life for retardment. And if I worked hard I could be retarded too some day. I had ice cream for dessert and half of grandpas too. We stayed two more days and it was fun and boring and hot. When we left grandpa cried again he must be really sad cause he made me cry too. He said my pockets weren't very deep and for me to be careful. Everybody said it was good to see each other again and summer's not far away. I don't understand old people.
That night at the let'om when I was getting in the tub grandpas Indian arrow head fell out of my pants. Mom asked me how it got in my pocket. Maybe grandpa I said. He knew I like the story about how he found it. Maybe mom said. You're pockets aren't very deep. Mom when I become retardment I'm going to live with grandma and grandpa. Only I'm going to be that guy in the doll house. Then I'll let people out so they can visit their grandchildren.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Fwd: I Wish I Could Love Bubbles Again

                         I Wish I Could Love Bubbles Again

bub-ble (bub/-l) n. a hollow globe of water or other liquid blown out with air or gas

It's no wonder my granddaughter loves bubbles so much. Imagine building a hollow globe of liquid soap, and then releasing it into a beautiful Summer day to dance but for a few moments on the whispering edges of a warm sunny breeze. To wonder at it's rainbow reflection on a surface so thin and fragile that it's viewed only but for a brief moment. Oh sure there's the occasional bubble that lives far beyond expectations. The one that floats past the tree over the fence into the neighbors yard, then it's slammed by a rouge breeze into a blue flannel shirt on old lady Griffins clothesline. You hail it as new world record holder as you dance with triumph. But this miracle is not mourned, others are produced as fast as you can breath in and out.
This small miracle that I have come to take for granted is not lost on her. She dances and laughs with each and every on she can. Each new bubble is a new friend. Each new bubble has a different character. Some bubbles are fat and heavy and sit down quick. "They don't like to dance." she giggles "They lost their breath too quick!" Some bubbles pop as soon as they're given the breath of life. "Boomers" she calls them. Most bubbles linger for awhile, dance a bit, blend in with the others and then they're gone....kind of like most our lives.
But a few bubbles become legends in song. She runs into the house (can't blow bubbles inside) and in a sing- song high-pitched soliloquy, some parts only audible to the dog, breathlessly recounts their plight.
She starts each story, and here I'm not 100% sure but the dog thinks so, with "Guess what?" Then dancing from one foot to the other she acts out the story of  'Floaty the Runaway Bubble.' "I blowed softly for like a real long time," pant pant puff (she always talks like she's just finished the one-hundred yard dash) "and then, and then I thought it was going to explode. But it didn't! It started to go up, and then it went down! And then almost clunked me on the head! And then it just flew over me!" pant puff pant pant puff, "then it almost landed in Charlottes pool! Then Scratchy chased it and almost caught it........but then it went up ( it's here you should try to imagine some sort of ballet move that looks like it might hurt because she's in that position) and just missed Daddys basketball hoop, and then guess what? (by this time the dogs howling) it popped, it just popped and disappeared!"
I watched as my granddaughter danced her story. A story that couldn't be accurately told without interpretive arm and leg movements. Her constantly moving limbs match her hazel brown eyes that move to even the slightest distraction as she pirouettes around the room. Her black bubble stained tee-shirt could easily be confused for a young girl who managed to flee the clutches of an eight, no twelve armed octopus attack. And her dirty sticky bare feet speak of bubbles that didn't get away. And, then as quick as her story started....guess what? She's gone! Some invisible rope tied around her waist had yanked her back outside. Slam! Goes the screen door. "Watch out!  Oooh oooh get up there! Move over! Higher!" sings my granddaughter from the back porch as she directs another batch of new found friends.
I sit back in my leather recliner and half-heartily turn my attention back to my wide screen TV. All 105 channels of it! All available for my personal pleasure 24 hrs. a day seven days a week in HD. And I sit there, jealous of the total love and enjoyment my granddaughter has for the simplest form known to nature. The sphere. And it's a sphere in it's simplest form, made from liquid.
Why can't I love something that much? Oh I love my kids...most of them. And my grandchildren....all of them, but why can't I obtain the simplest form of pleasure, being love, from something I have or like to do. I want to L O V E to do something or have something again!
Is it because with age we can't have love without desire? If I was going to blow a bubble I would think about making it bigger than my granddaughter did. To impress her, it's what we do. It would have to go higher and further and last lost. The desire to blow a better bubble has made it a competition, but only to you, not the child. She still celebrates every bubble. Love has left the equation and desire and competition have set in. Polluted love.
Or is our now understanding of love changed? We love our spouses. That's a fancy name for husband or wife, you know the one at the other end of the couch each night. We look across at them in all their evening, ready for bed glory and remember a time not so long ago. Then you go look in the mirror and thank them for staying on. We still love them, but some of the shine is gone.
Its sad to think I'll never love something ever again as simple and purely as she loves bubbles. That kind of innocent love is rewarded to the very young.  Remember to celebrate it with them. Colour,blow bubbles, take walks, watch cartoons don't feel silly being a fairy princess grandpas and dads, because, that love she has for bubbles is only one tenth of the love she has for you.

Thank-you Gabriella and Charlotte   


bobby did this