Thursday Thoughts

And Next I Will Cure Cancer
In case you live on a planet light years away from even Mars, I will tell you that there is an election coming up. I have never missed voting in an election since I turned 18, and I don’t plan on starting now, no matter how difficult a decision it’s going to be. But one thing I know about election seasons, the worst thing about them are the political ads. Man, I hate them. And since advertising is expensive, the same ads are run over and over. There is one ad that particularly gets my goat, so to speak. It’s for a person running for Congress here in Colorado. In the ad, she talks about all of the wonderful things she will do if she’s elected. One of the things she promises is that she is going to make student loans more affordable. Really? And I wonder just how she is going to do that. But she doesn’t have to tell us that, you see. I yell at the television every time I see that commercial. And it’s only the beginning.

Funny Bones
I kept 2-year-old Cole for the day Tuesday. It’s always fun to have my grandkids on an individual basis. You really get a sense of their personality. And I learned this about Cole: he is very funny. I know, I know, 2-year-olds are funny just because they’re 2. But he is funny because he tries to be funny. I can tell he has that comical gene that runs in my family, and that makes me happy. I am waiting for the day that he says, “Thank you, thank you….I’ll be here all this week. Don’t forget to tip your waiter.” Cole isn’t the first of my grandkids to be a comedian. Micah showed his comedic chops when he was about 2, and now at age 4, he makes everyone laugh.


Oh Say Can You See
I don’t know about you all, but I am sick to death of hearing about who stood for the National Anthem, who kneeled, who locked arms, who pointed to the sky. I don’t care. I really don’t. I believe that what they’re doing is disrespectful, but I also believe that because we are the United States of America, they have a right to their own freedom of speech, as much as I have the right to disagree with them. But people, let’s stop talking about it. Having said that, I’m going to talk about it. I have been saying since Kaepernick first shocked us with his stance. (Or lack thereof) that it’s a waste of time and merely a way to bring attention to yourself. Instead, why don’t the protesters do something actively to address the issue? Shockingly, a former football player who I have always heartily disliked because of the whole murder thing – former Baltimore Raven Ray Lewis – says exactly what I am thinking. He and I are two peas in a pod. See the link…

Door Stops
In yesterday’s blog post, I talked about doughnuts. I got a comment from a cousin who has been diagnosed with celiac disease. As such, she is unable to eat wheat not because it’s become the fasionable thing to do but because she doubles up in pain if she consumes a piece of bread or two. Anyway, in her comment, she lamented that she loves doughnuts as much as I, but she is unable to eat them. And, according to her, the gluten-free kind are awful. Could Dave invent a really yummy GF for me? she asked. And so, I have issued my brother Dave the challenge. I’m on it he replied to my text/challenge. I’ll keep you posted.


Pill Canisters and Other Contraband

imgresAfter spending a full week with our family in Vermont, Bill and I traveled with them to Montreal on Friday and flew back to Denver from there on Sunday. This pretty Canadian city is a short hour-and-a-half-or-so drive from Montpelier, and it feels like you are in a different country.

Oh, wait. You are in a different country. But it feels, well, really, really different. Like France, only with nice and friendly people who don’t get mad if you don’t speak French. It makes up for that whole mayonnaise-with-your-french-fries thingy.

Our trip home Sunday started as we flew on Air Canada from Montreal to Toronto. We

The offending pill canister.

The offending pill canister.

went through Customs in Toronto, where once again my pill canister caused a complete examination of my carry-on bag and considerable angst – by them, not me. This time I was prepared and things went a bit quicker. I saw her frantically rooting through my bag, and asked if she was by any chance looking for my silver pill canister. As an aside, I feel compelled to tell you I have carried this particular canister in my purse since Bill was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2009, and it has never caused a bit of concern; never once has it raised any TSA or United States Custom agents’ eyebrows. I’m blaming Colin Kaepernick.

By the way, in Customs, the other thing that caused them concern was my bottle of Benefiber that was in my carry-on because it wouldn’t fit in the suitcase we checked. Lifting it high in the air, the agent hollered over to her co-worker who sat 20 feet away from her, “Don’t worry, it’s only fiber powder.” Thank you for sharing my constipation issues with my fellow travelers who were already concerned about the silver canister. Now they also had to worry about crankiness due to uncomfortable abdominal bloating.

Air Canada is nice, my friends. It’s true you still have to pay for an assigned seat if you aren’t interested in grabbing a vacant seat in the manner of a 5-year-old playing musical chairs. I pay for the seat because I always feel somewhat guilty when I shove aside the elderly Catholic nun to get an aisle seat. Her rosary beads slow her down. Aside from that, however, you get a full-sized tray, your seat reclines a full inch-and-a-half, you get a free pop (including the can – whoo hoo!), you have access to Wi-Fi on many planes, and there are television screens from which you can watch movies or television (well, except you have to pay them 3 Canadian dollars for the earphones that are specially designed and cannot be substituted with the earphones you are carrying with you on the plane). It doesn’t matter, because I mostly read anyway.

Which brings me to the other thing that happened to me on our trip back to Denver. As we made the approximately-one-hour-flight from Montreal to Toronto, I happily read my Kindle book from my trusty iPad. Upon landing, I placed it in my carry-on, and off we went in search of our connecting flight. As I mentioned above, this required going through Customs as we were flying from a foreign country. Aside from the pill canister/Benefiber issue, Customs went flawlessly, given the fact that we weren’t trying to bring home live animals or illegal drugs.

We had about an hour to kill, and I carried my bag with me as we found our gate, then plopped it down at my feet when we found a place to have lunch.

Oh, I have another digression here. At the Toronto airport – or at least in the post-Customs side of the Toronto airport – they don’t have very much regular seating at the gates. Instead, they have this very cool seating where you sit at a table with your own personal iPad. From that iPad station, you can catch up on the news, order your lunch, select an appropriate beverage, and charge up any of your own equipment. It was very cool except for the fact that a sandwich cost 20 Canadian dollars and the cheapest glass of wine was 17 Canadian dollars. Both which I purchased, of course. It was very high tech and Star Trekie, if quite expensive.

Anyway, we boarded our Air Canada plane in Toronto, and for some reason, it was a much smaller plane with no Wi-Fi. No problem, however, because see above. I read. Except after we were up in the air, I pulled out my iPad only to find that at some point in Toronto, the volume button had gotten smushed and was thoroughly jammed. My iPad would do absolutely nothing but show that little volume icon. Bill spent a good 30 minutes using his fingernails, a pen, and various other things to which we had access to try and unsmush it, but to no avail. It was nothing but a flat, useless, metal item taking up room in my bag.

I thought I had the answer because the Kindle software is also on my phone. Alas, I hadn’t downloaded the book I was reading, so though I could see the book, I wasn’t able to read it. And guess what? No Wi-Fi on this plane because of its small size. I’m blaming Colin Kaepernick.

So I sat for three hours as we made our way across the central US states to Denver. Time goes very slowly when you are staring at the flight map. Even I find it interesting that I was willing to pay 17 Canadian dollars for a glass of wine but wouldn’t fork over 3 Canadian dollars for headphones. Priorities, my friends. I’m not made of money.

The good news is that we made it home safe, and Bill – in true MacGyver-like fashion – has jerry-rigged my iPad to work, at least for a bit. Like its owner, it wouldn’t win any beauty contests.

Tomorrow I will tell you all about Montreal.

This post linked to the GRAND Social