Saturday 19 February 2022

Pushing Back

I've been writing, re-writing, re-re-writing, and re-re-re-writing this post over the past 24 hours, trying to create an update on the situation regarding the Freedom Convoy in Canada. Things have been changing so rapidly it is hard to keep up.

I have paraphrased a number of CBC live video interviews to provide the information in this post. The situation has been evolving so quickly there are very few written articles that I can link to. Where possible, though, I am including links. I am trying to provide objective information in summary form for those who don't have the time or inclination to follow extensive news reports. Even as a summary, this post is long and I don't expect it to appeal to every reader.

What began as a protest against vaccination requirements for truckers crossing the US-Canada border in the course of their work fairly rapidly changed into a protest against the federal government and a commitment to continue to protest until the government was overthrown and replaced by a certain faction of the protesters. As I mentioned in my previous post on this, the group of protesters is a mix of people: those opposing public health measures and those who are trying to create civil unrest, not just in Canada but across the world.

The main bridge between Canada and the US, as well as a couple of other border crossings that were blockaded by protesters, were cleared earlier last week. A significant number of weapons were found at one crossing and arrests were made. The linked article described a "neo-facist, white supremacist group" related to the weapons and arrests in Alberta, and indicated the group's leader was involved in the Ottawa occupation.

On February 14, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act to pass laws to give specific powers to police to deal with the current unrest, powers not provided by existing laws. The Act was passed in 1988 and replaced the War Measures Act of 1914.

Whereas the War Measures Act, if invoked, suspended all Canadians' rights, the Emergencies Act is targeted only at specific threats to public welfare, public order, international emergencies, and war emergencies and any laws passed under it must consider the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Bill of Rights. Before the Act can be invoked, the federal cabinet must consult with provincial cabinets. The Act must be debated and passed in Parliament but takes effect immediately upon being invoked. If passed, it is valid for 30 days unless revoked earlier. The Act has a provision that requires a review after the crisis situation is over, to determine what went right or wrong. It has been described as self-correcting because of this provision.

As of yesterday, police numbers in Ottawa have greatly increased, with officers coming from across Canada to assist in clearing the occupation. The Emergencies Act allows those officers to immediately step in to enforce its laws. Without the Act, those officers would have had to be individually sworn in as members of the local police force, a process which would take several more days.

The response of the police to the protesters is required to be measured and proportionate - only enough to get the job done - and it certainly has appeared to be so. This statement is based both on observation of live coverage over the past 24 hours and CBC interviews with experts on the topic of law enforcement.

It is important to understand that the convoy participants have been given repeated opportunities to leave peacefully, but many of the crowd doubled down on their occupation. Information has been distributed to every participant as to how they are breaking the law and what the penalties could be, but many people either discarded or destroyed the pamphlets or did not believe the information to be true. 

Those who did not believe the information to be true have been repeatedly been told by protest organizers that the police are merely using scare tactics and do not have the power to arrest them. They were shocked and crestfallen when arrests were finally made. A certain number of these people decided to take their trucks and themselves home.

The group that remains are, predictably, more hard-core and belligerent. It includes those who refuse to recognize the authority of officers and the law and those directing profanity at the police and media and spitting on officers. It also includes parents who have brought their children to the protest and to the front of the police line, exposing them to a potentially dangerous situation. One of the provisions of the Emergencies Act has made the presence of children under the age of eighteen at the protest illegal. Parents have been informed they are breaking the law and could be arrested and their children would be given into the care of the Children's Aid Society while they are detained.

Another provision of the Emergencies Act is that funding of the protest can now be shut down. Anyone who takes part in the protest can have their personal bank accounts frozen and insurance on their vehicles suspended. The objective is to stop the replenishment of food, fuel, and other supplies to protesters. Again, I point out that participants have been repeatedly warned of the consequences of continuing to occupy Ottawa and encouraged to freely leave in order to avoid those consequences.

Now for my opinion.

After 22 days of protest and occupation, the participants have made the lives of tens of thousands of nearby residents miserable with their noise, diesel fumes, nightly street parties and barbecues, and blocking of normal movement to jobs and school; they have significantly affected the livelihoods of downtown business owners and residents; and they are breaking the law.

Our society cannot be a place where everyone does whatever they feel like doing. Individual rights stop where they begin to infringe on the rights of others. This is why we have laws to begin with. Peaceful protest is permitted under the law. Prolonged and aggressive occupation of public property is not.

How can these protesters not understand this simple concept?


Still cleaning out my memes files. Today's actually DO have a theme because apparently I saved some things in groups if that's how they were presented online. The theme is "Breaking the Rules", rather a timely topic.


Not allowed on the counter. Technically is not ALL on the counter.


Not allowed on the table. Nobody said anything about being on the owner's purse.

Technically, only 1% breaking the rule.

Hmm ... I'd say 50% compliant, and 100% lovable.

IN is not ON.

If only all rule-benders and rule-breakers were as harmless as this bunch.

Monday 14 February 2022

Second Verse, Same as the First

Except it's not the second verse, it's the fifth in six weeks.

Snowstorms, that is.

Another week, another storm, another sleepover for my mom.

I'm now at the point of shovelling the snowbanks out of the way to make room for more snowbanks.

It's good exercise if you don't have a heart attack.

I'll be back when things clear up :)




I wonder if having a dog would make winter better? One thing I know, it was easier to find memes of dogs having fun in the snow than it was to find cats ..........😀

Sunday 13 February 2022

Canadians: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

You might have heard or read about the so-called Freedom Convoy that has commandeered various locations in Canada over the past couple of weeks.

Its organizers supposedly began the convoy to the city of Ottawa, the seat of our federal government, as a way to protest the vaccine requirements for truckers who drive from Canada to the US and back. It quickly devolved into a hodge-podge of groups which are all demanding different things but which can be summed up as trying to force an end to all vaccine mandates and public health measures. The number of actual truckers involved is very small compared to the total of truckers in Canada. The movement has attracted all kinds of dissatisfied people with no clear leader or spokespeople.

They have occupied streets around the Canadian parliament buildings, honking horns day and night (including the air horns on transport trucks) and affecting the movement of healthcare and other workers and ordinary citizens, making their commutes to work difficult and preventing sleep. And they have occupied a bridge, the main conduit between Canada and the US, with dozens of transport trucks, bringing traffic to a standstill and affecting manufacturing industries both north and south of the border.

They don't seem to understand that it is the provincial governments, not the federal government, which set most of the mandates to which they object. There is also the irony that many of those protesting claim that vaccines and public health measures implemented over the past two years are destroying the economy, while their protest has added enormously to the country's economic problems in just a few days.

When the province of Ontario, where most of this is happening, declared a state of emergency, with the potential for penalties of up to $100,000 and one year in prison, protesters interviewed for the news invoked everything from "Bring it - we don't care" to "God will judge those who dare to intervene in our protests". The protesters have financial support from mostly anonymous donors, many of which have been traced to the US right, and this support provides food and fuel so they don't need to leave the area where they are set up. Those who are driving transport trucks are living in them, as they typically have self-contained units with beds and toilets, and a good number of them have young children with them. Others are living in hastily built shacks on public property. They are mostly maskless, and are hostile and aggressive.

The protests come at a time when the numbers of those hospitalized in the latest wave of the pandemic are just starting to recede to levels at which healthcare facilities are no longer stretched beyond their limit. I don't know if the protesters have thought of how healthcare workers are feeling at this point in the pandemic, having worked so hard to keep people alive for two years. If they did stop to think about it, they might have a light bulb moment and empathize with those workers. Or they might realize they themselves may need hospital care, sooner rather than later due to their determination to mingle closely, without masks, with hundreds of strangers.

They are tired of pandemic restrictions. Aren't we all? But the rest of us are valiantly slogging along, continuing to follow the advice of our top health advisors and medical science, in an effort to avoid crashing the healthcare system and to progress to a point where we actually can resume some kind of normalcy in our lives. The rest of us are aware that we need to work together to protect everyone in our society and are willing to give up some of our individual freedoms for the common good. 

Yes, our citizens have the right to peaceful protest. But with the 24-hour blaring of horns, the blocking of other citizens' movements as they go about their daily lives, and the shut-down of a major economic corridor that has already idled plants on both sides of the border, this is not a peaceful protest. It is blackmail. And it's ugly.

Thankfully, the protesters represent only a tiny percentage of the Canadian population, which has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. 

Unfortunately, this tiny percentage is highly vocal, armed with vehicles huge enough to act both as barriers and weapons, and appears to have not the slightest idea how vaccines are developed, tested, or approved. Their actions are self-centred, childish, uninformed, and thoughtless.

If or when you see them on the news in your area, please remember that although they are (mostly) Canadians, they don't represent the views of the vast majority of Canadians. They are just a noisy minority using bully tactics to push around their fellow citizens and the governments fairly elected by them.



Rant over. Mostly.

I'm not going to let the news keep me from looking for the humour to share with you.



Here ya go, my friends. There is a theme today, and that theme is ANARCHY. (Props to the many YouTube videos which are compilations of memes with a theme. I have started taking screen shots of the individual memes, which is a shamelessly lazy way to harvest them.)

Definition of anarchy:  a state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority. (source)


In case it's too faint to read, the green screen says "Cash Only".

Wishing you all a good week, with a minimum of stupidity of all kinds. Is that too much to ask?



Monday 7 February 2022

Okay, *THIS* is the Last Word on Dogs on Trampolines. Probably.

I'm sure you've all just been holding your breath for this, the absolutely final post (probably) about the dogs I first featured here. 

As it turns out, those dogs weren't even ON TRAMPOLINES.

They were being dropped, by their owners (traitors!!) from a few feet above a padded surface.

After linking to this article explaining the process, I was still undecided about whether this was fair to the dogs or not, and came down tentatively on the side of "okay", based on the author's description of what they did and how they did it.

But I failed to notice the video that was at the bottom of the article.

So much for exhaustive research. Hah.

After a commenter pointed out the video and I watched it, I changed my mind.

Maybe some of those dogs enjoyed it. I didn't see enjoyment in the video. I saw dogs surprised by being dropped. By their owners!! Who they - hopefully - had trusted before that point in time.

Maybe the owners felt it was okay. I don't understand how they could, any more than I understand why some owners keep their dogs tied up all day, or out in the cold or heat.

Maybe I don't know enough about dogs, but we had one when I was growing up and I would not have dropped her from any height.

The video about dogs on trampolines I posted here, on the other hand, genuinely seemed to show dogs enjoying their time on the bouncy thing.

But the dogs in the meme photos in my original post were not on trampolines. 

False advertising.

Fake news.

Fake information.

I apologize to all the dogs for the stupidity of humans, including me.


In other news, my mother did indeed stay over at my house for another two nights. It was mostly so-so, with a dash of clash thrown in. But, as always when we clash, I learned a new lesson. Or maybe it's more precise to say I had an old lesson reinforced, and extended to more situations.

The lesson was that if Mom says something I find outrageous, and I then get outraged, I need to just shut my pie hole. Because arguing won't change her mind. Because she can't help that she doesn't know it's outrageous. Because she is already feeling like she is losing control of her life, and doesn't need to have her speech policed too.

It's not easy, but some lessons are like that.


Funnies!There's no theme here. I'm just housecleaning my memes. When I find a meme, I stick it in a folder. When it gets too big, I create another folder. And so on. I'm losing track of which memes I've posted, so I decided the only way to eliminate a folder is to use them up, in the order in which they appear in the folder, which is alphabetical. Thus, no theme. But I feel very righteous getting the housecleaning done.












Wishing you a good week.


Friday 4 February 2022

Last Word About the Dogs on Trampolines?

Are you thoroughly sick of this topic yet?

I found that I couldn't rest until I located the source of the photos of dogs in mid-air in this post.

I remembered I had found the photos on the website (here), and when I checked that site I found that they were taken from a book by Julia Christe, called Flying Dogs.

You can click on that link to go to the Amazon website where the book is listed and described.

The last line of the description reads: "No dogs were harmed in the making of this book."

All good, right?

Then I read one of the reviews that disclosed the dogs were dropped onto a mattress with a wind machine blowing on them while the photos were being taken.

Horrors, right?

So then I really got serious about digging further, Googled some more and found an article which I hope is the end of this rabbit hole. The article explains exactly how the photos were done and what precautions were taken.

Bottom line, I think I can assure you that the whole procedure was okay. But check the article just above and read it for yourself. And tell me if you know anything else about this that would change my conclusion.

Fact-finding is exhausting! Maybe that's why some people don't bother.

Don't listen to the lying cat.

Thursday 3 February 2022

Dogs on Trampolines - Yes or No? ... plus other things

One thing that I've learned to do since my husband died is to handle most of my pain, grief, and anxiety on my own. Not having my husband to talk to every day was really hard for a long time. We always talked about everything - the good, the bad, and everything in between. The big irony in the first months of grief was that it was my husband who I most wanted to talk to, and that was obviously impossible. I had to learn to live with my emotions without the tool of easy sharing. It wasn't easy, but I think I am stronger now because of that. I realize that sooner or later we all must deal with something - or some things - alone. It is nice to have someone to share the burdens, but it is also a good skill to know how to shoulder the burden essentially alone.

This is not to say I never talked to anyone. I did. Certain people were especially helpful and willing to listen. And I always knew I could write about it here if I needed to ... and I did. For your willingness to read and support me when I needed it, thank you. 

I said in my last post that I worry that I am complaining. Many people pointed out that sharing is not the same as complaining. I get that, when it's other people. Somehow it's harder to understand when it's me doing the sharing. But I am trying to remember the difference and not let my worry keep me from writing about the things I have to get out of my head.


Several commenters on the last post wondered if dogs really like trampolines. I understand the concern. When I post animal funnies I do try to assess whether the animals are being forced to do things they don't like. Even though I can't change what people have done to their pets in the name of making memes, I can refuse to circulate them. It's a realization that I didn't start out with but have come to understand. (Evolution: even in one puny lifetime we have the ability to do it.)

Of course, all animals are as different as we humans are, and have their likes and dislikes. I have seen cats who placidly endure being dressed in baby clothing or covered with a blanket like a person in bed. And I've known cats who would bite you if you even walked too close.

But it does appear that some dogs, at least, really do use trampolines and seem to enjoy it.

You can see that the dogs in the video below can easily get off the trampoline if they wish. They do not appear to want to do so.


There are videos on YouTube showing other animals on trampolines as well. I didn't include them because some of the footage was clearly a clever fake (an elephant soaring over a hundred feet in the air, anyone?), but some of it was quite interesting, including young foxes using a trampoline at night. If you're able to read blogs, you're probably adept at using Google to find these if you're interested.


The weather forecast calls for rain, then freezing rain, then ice pellets, then snow, in the storm starting tonight. If I seem to disappear for a while, it will be a combination of needing to entertain my mother plus possibly the power being out! Normal service will resume as soon as possible.


Wednesday 2 February 2022

Please Make It Stop

My posts over the last year and a half have been intended to explain, not complain, about what is going on in my life. I hope it doesn't come across as complaining, but I realize it might.

If you've been reading during that time, you know about my husband's illness and death, my mother's increasing dementia, and just recently our series of snowstorms that brought extra physical labour that I feel poorly equipped to deal with.

What you didn't read about over the past year, because I didn't write about it, because I was having a hard time coping with the rest of my life at the time, was that there was a fire at my workplace and we had to move to a new location, and that there was another death in my extended family - a cousin with whom I became close after my dad's stroke. She had a rare medical condition but kept going and going and in my stupid naivete I didn't think ahead to the probability that she wasn't going to keep going forever. She passed away in July 2021, something that seemed both unthinkable when it happened and completely predictable in hindsight. I miss her optimism and sense of humour and wish that life had been kinder to her.

Now there has been another death, this time in my work family. My boss of twenty years died suddenly last weekend. We are a close-knit group at the office, and although he had recently retired and moved away, he was still doing some work for us remotely. He had a big personality and a huge heart and it seems impossible that we will never see him again.

In a much less sad - yet still significant - update, we had another 18 inches of snow last weekend, and have another storm coming this weekend. I didn't take my mother to my house the last time and I regretted it, as the roads were not plowed by the time I was supposed to deliver her medications. I have a 4-wheel drive and eventually just parked in the middle of her street while I ran in with her pills, but it was dicey driving and I worried non-stop for the duration of the storm that we would lose power because I knew I couldn't get my mother to my house if it did. This week I think I need to convince her to stay with me again. This is not what I want to do. It disrupts both her life and mine, and I find it very stressful. But I don't see that I have much choice.

Please, universe: make it stop. MAKE IT STOP. 


Because I know the universe is not listening and I need to take things into my own hands wherever possible, I've decided I have to consciously write about other things in my life besides the hard stuff. Lately I tend to write as a relief valve when the pressure gets to be too much. I would like to write for the enjoyment and the escape it provides, and I'm going to try to do that. So if it seems that I've done a complete about-face, you'll know why.

Some funnies to seal the deal: Dogs On Trampolines ...



May your week and your spirits fly as high as these doggos do.