The Inner Struggle

Peace To Men of “Good Will” … Humility & Good Will

The Beatitudes”, from the album “Biscantorat – The Sound Of The Spirit From Glenstal Abbey” – The Monks of Glenstal Abbey – (2009)

Peace to “Men (and Women) of Good will”. What is this “Good Will” which is the prerequisite to attaining peace? Some translations have it as “Men of Good Will”, others have it as “men with whom He (GOD) is pleased”. It all comes down to the same thing in the end … what is pleasing to GOD is Good Will, so what are we going on about here?

At Bethlehem the angels announced two things: glory to GOD and peace to men; the one corresponds to the other. No one glorifies GOD as much as that little Babe lying on the straw. He alone, being the eternal Word, can give GOD the perfect, infinite praise that is worthy of Him.

And no one more than Jesus, our Savior, brings peace to men; making reparation for sin, He reconciles man the creature with GOD his Creator, and establishes a new covenant between them: the Creator becomes Father and the creature becomes His child.

So how do we understand this in our daily reality? It seems to me obvious that those who obey GOD’s law enjoy peace; observing the divine law they also glorify GOD. The glory of GOD corresponds perfectly to the peace of men and that peace comes only through Jesus, from His grace.

It also seems obvious that we seek in vain for that peace from any other source, from the transient things and creatures of this world which is passing away before our very eyes. If we are lacking in peace in our daily life then it seems inevitable that we are somehow not corresponding with GOD’s will.

We can dress it up in all kinds of ways and look at it from all kinds of angles and blame any number of others but in the end we are only fooling ourselves and the peace we seek remains absent.

Aphorisms

Peace, Rule of Law, and Good Government, are conditions of the desirable life, the desirable society, and we often observe in the world around us that absent any of those three we have nothing but misery, death and destruction.

Our media are full of the bad results of the absence of Peace, Rule of Law, and Good Government, think about “If it bleeds it leads” and other such aphorisms. Remember Aphorisms?

An aphorism is a concise, terse, laconic, and/or memorable expression of a general truth or principle. They are often handed down by tradition from generation to generation.

In many ways, “Peace” and “Good Will” are ideas or concepts, like “Quality”, which are easy to identify when they are right before us but difficult to describe and define, absent the thing in question. References to “Peace” and “Good Will” have become figures of speech like “Sorry”.

Most the time we end up with a mess of generalities while using the modifier “like” rather more than we are comfortable with … “Like, man … you know …”. “Peace” and “Good Will” seem rather to be more a desirable but mythical place than a process involving personal effort and humility on the part of the “person of Good will”.

Snow”, by Kobudo, from the album “Ototabi”  (2013).

It seems to me, observing life around me, and as reported in the media worldwide, that absent humility there is precious little Good Will on the part of anyone alive today. The absence of humility appears to be pretty much a genetic predisposition inherent in every human animal from birth. As in families, there are said to be predispositions to cancer, or to heart disease, or to blond hair, or to alcoholism, or even (heaven forbid) to intelligence or lack of same, so the whole human “family” has a predisposition to Pride, which is of course the opposite of humility.

Saint Thomas Becket, 1117-1170Anyone who actively attempts to cultivate humility is subjected to humiliation all the more, played as a sucker, or a target of ridicule, treated as a scapegoat, and we see this played out throughout history …  for example, which of the two protagonists in the following story was a “man of good will” and which was not?  Dec. 29th is the feast of Saint Thomas Becket, son of Gilbert Becket, was born in Southwark, England, in 1117.

When a youth he was attached to the household of Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, who sent him to Paris and Bologna to study law and he was ordained a deacon. His support of Henry II’s claim to England’s throne led to his appointment as royal chancellor.

He became Archdeacon of Canterbury, then Lord High Chancellor of England; and in 1160, when Archbishop Theobald died, the king insisted on the consecration of St. Thomas in his stead. St. Thomas refused, warning the king that from that hour their friendship would be broken. In the end he yielded, and was consecrated.

The conflict at once broke out; He was the king’s great friend until 1162, when, as the archbishop of Canterbury, he said he changed from being “a patron of play-actors and a follower of hounds, to being a shepherd of souls.” St. Thomas resisted the royal customs, which violated the liberties of the Church and the laws of the realm.

This British Library painting from circa 1200 is the earliest known portrayal of Thomas Becket’s murder in Canterbury Cathedral. (Public Domain)

He and the king clashed over many issues, notably the jurisdiction of ecclesiastical courts. After six years of contention, partly spent in. exile, St. Thomas, with full foresight of martyrdom before him, returned as a good shepherd to his Church.

On the 29th of December, 1170, just as vespers were beginning, four knights broke into the cathedral, crying: “Where is the archbishop? where is the traitor?” The monks fled, and St. Thomas might easily have escaped.

But he advanced, saying: “Here I am—no traitor, but archbishop. What seek you?” “Your life,” they cried. “Gladly do I give it,” was the reply; and bowing his head, the invincible martyr was hacked and hewn till his soul went to God.

Six months later Henry II, submitted to be publicly scourged at the Saint’s shrine, and restored to the Church her full rights. Saint Thomas Becket was also known as Saint Thomas of Canterbury and also Thomas of London.

Frederick William Faber, circa 1860

Fr. Frederick William Faber, circa 1860

“Learn from St. Thomas,” says Father Faber, “to fight the good fight even to the shedding of blood, or, to what men find harder, the shedding of their good name by pouring it out to waste on the earth.”

Dec. 30th, Sunday, is the Feast of the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I hope you are able to find many opportunities in this holy season of Christmas to give “glory to the newborn King,” as the old carol says. Today, we take a closer look at family in our lives.

God honors, upholds and rejoices in the community of family. The relationships between father and child, mother and child, or husband and wife each reflect God’s perfect love—both for us and among the Divine Persons of the Holy Trinity.

Jesus, conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, nonetheless grew up within a close-knit, human family.  In today’s Gospel (30th), where Jesus gets left behind in Jerusalem after Passover, there is a surprisingly intimate look at Jesus’ family dynamics.

Mary and Joseph demonstrate a strong, spousal partnership in their search for 12-year old Jesus who has, unbeknownst to his human parents, stayed behind in the temple.

Jesus, once found and gently questioned by His mother, Mary, “…went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.”

Can you think of a time in your own family of anxiety, then resolution, forgiveness and the restoration of family peace?

Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, (1865 – 1930)

Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, (1865 – 1930)

It appears to me that any conflict at any level has it’s root cause in the absence of humility on the part of the players in whichever drama is being considered in any venue. I have remarked before that: “It seems a hallmark of Truth that it always believes and expects the best of others and acts accordingly. It also seems a hallmark of untruth that it always believes and expects the worst of others and acts accordingly.”

My guess is that it all depends on what your starting assumptions are, one’s own motivations and default responses to events, as to how you believe others will act. This morning I prayed a litany of humility, a pius Catholic custom, and afterwards thought how the petitions of the litany encompass the entire gamut of all the underlying provocations of human conflict, in families and outside the family circle in the wider world.

All human conflict and rancor seem rooted in either fear of something or desire for something, the conflict arising from disappointed desires or realized fears.

For non Catholics, it may help to understand that a litany is a form of prayer with a repeated responsive petition, used in public liturgical services of the Catholic Church, and in private devotions of Her adherents. This then is the Litany of Humility (with emphasis on the desires and fears) :

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, Make my heart like yours.
From self-will, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being loved, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being extolled, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being honored, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being praised, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being preferred to others, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being approved, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire to be understood, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire to be visited, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being despised, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being calumniated, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being ridiculed, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being suspected, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being wronged, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being abandoned, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being refused, deliver me, O Lord.
That others may be loved more than I,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
At being unknown and poor, Lord, I want to rejoice.
At being deprived of the natural perfections of body and mind,Lord, I want to rejoice.
When people do not think of me, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they assign to me the meanest tasks, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they do not even deign to make use of me, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they never ask my opinion, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they leave me at the lowest place, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they never compliment me, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they blame me in season and out of season, Lord, I want to rejoice.
Blessed are those who suffer persecution for justice’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Attributed by many writers to: Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, (1865 – 1930)

Cheers

Joe

The rather obvious point of this post is to imply that we should be striving for humility … how’s that working out so far, Joe? What kind of progress are we making on our quest for peace?

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Life in a small town

A Good Day In The Life … (reprise from March 2015)

Oh Earth Oh Earth Return”, Bill Douglas, (1996)

Heaven and HellI just re-read this piece which was originally posted on March 28th 2015, back before we, the citizens of Alberta voted out our Conservative government and replaced them with the Socialist NDP, thereby bringing our previously booming economy to a screeching halt like hitting a bridge abutment at 90MPH — just a sudden dead halt in smokin’ ruin.

Why I re-read this is because I got a comment today from a fella in the EU… Actually I guess he is not in the EU any more since he is actually a Brit and a football fan which means he is probably a fella I could really get along with … maybe … if we were fans of the same club. Anyway, the comment and the piece reminded me of what is so good about living here and just how damned good we all have it.

It reminded me that things are actually pretty good in spite of the frothing insanity of the current government and their legions of minions in academia and the MSM.  And my depression about our economy (or lack thereof) which has haunted me for months was dispelled at least for now, because I really realize that the fundamentals are all still in place and the economy will come roaring back just as soon as Albertans smell the coffee and wake up…

*****

(from March 2015) Started out today about 7AM, feeling kinda fuzzy … went out to the kitchen, made a couple of pressed Espresso (roast) for the wife and I to start on. Put on the 12 cup coffee drip for the pot for the rest of the morning – have I mentioned that we are heavy coffee drinkers around here?

Anyway, went back to the lounger in the bedroom to watch the (televised) morning rat race and accident reports from Redmonton which I do every morning to remind myself of what I haven’t had to do for over 7 years now. It’s great! Sunny with a high of +15, clear and no ice and they are still driving into each other all over the place (6 so far at that point)  in their mad rush to get wherever … people!

Whilst relaxing and sipping my Espresso I noticed in the background … behind the overlay of teachers and NDP’ers whining about how evil the gov’mint is and how they are all being shafted by the new budget, and they should confiscate more from the evil corporations and so on blah, blah, blah drone, drone, drone … a strange hissing, frying sound … I didn’t put anything in a frying pan, thought I? What’s up? Went back out to the kitchen and SHIT!

Forgot to put the coffee pot back under the drip filter on the hot plate.  In shock I promptly inhaled my Espresso and then sprayed it all over the kitchen in one mighty cough. Human lungs are definitely not designed to breath Espresso. And then got the pot back into the coffee maker and saved half a pot. The rest went all over the counter and dripped down to the floor, grounds and all since without the pot in the dripper everything overflows over the top going down the sides and back into the hot water reservoir and everywhere else as well. Sigh …

By the time I got it all cleaned up and made some fresh Espresso it was time to go down to the store and start my day. Maybe it’s a good thing I’m not driving to work any more if I can miss putting the pot back into the coffee machine. Duh!

Now, you might think that would be enough to start one off on the wrong foot but no … everything went smooth as silk, all the till cash outs,  invoice downloads, and inventory database updates, and all the start-ups and sign-ons and everything ’til about 15 minutes into the busy morning when the wife announces that the multi-function laser fax printer copier has stopped working. and she is a little irritated because that’s MY job and it has been acting up for a couple of weeks and I have not been able to sort it out yet.

But now we have a mission critical issue – in our kind of business we send and receive over 200 faxes  a day so we need it now! And as any guy who has been married for almost 40 years to his first wife can attest to, if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! So I start stripping it down only to discover that one of the main feed rollers in the printer assembly has gotten mushy and wrinkly on both ends – OhOh … not good. This must be the Brother printer made in China version of lead in the Chinese baby formula.

Too bad really, the first unit lasted 7 years and this one lasted 7 weeks. Heavy sigh.  Got it at Staples. Nuf said, they are as useless as the proverbial tits on a bull when it comes to returns and repairs so we aren’t going back there, and we are definitely never buying anything made by Brother again, sooo, it’s 4 hours driving to visit Costco in Redmonton for Joe to pick up a HP unit which the Costco web site said was available for $200 bucks cash and carry at the warehouses in Redmonton (there are 5 Costco warehouses in Redmonton – who says the teachers don’t have enough money).

Which traveling in the warm sun wasn’t too bad because once I stopped for coffee and a snack half way there I had calmed down and was feeling pretty good about a warm sunny  (+15) afternoon shopping by myself. I have never found entertaining myself to be particularly difficult especially if it involves spending money. And then, upon arriving at the first warehouse I was informed that Costco had not carried laser printers at their warehouses for over two years and the web site was, well, wrong.

And suddenly I had a feeling, as clear as a highway sign, that I was at an inflection point. As clear as the nose on my face, I could “choose” to get upset and go away mad, and things would just keep going downhill, or I could “choose” to just say “Whatever” and continue shopping since I was already there, and just see what developed. I chose whatever … and the day just kept getting better and better from there.

I found a trio of good appliances I had been looking for, off and on, for over a year, a rice cooker from Japan, a low fat fryer from France, and a Croc-pot from the good ole USA, and I also found all kinds of wonderful food products from all over the world and $1500 later I was feeling pretty good over all and the only thing left to find was syrup for my Israeli Soda-Stream machine and a multi-function printer.

Well, I know I can get syrup at London Drugs, so I head over there, and of course they have everything I am looking for in the amounts I want. Then a geek I know walks by, hey! he works there. Hey buddy, have you got any multi-function fax printers for sale?

Why yes, we have a very nice Japanese Canon unit on sale for $149 and since you are such a good customer here we can also give you 10% off on everything you buy today.  TaDa!  That works out perfect and he helps me load everything in my truck. See ya later buddy. Gotta luv Drug Stores – real folks serving real folks.

So here I am at the end of a perfect day, I started out with a succession of issues but in the end, attitude and $1800 led to everything working out very well. I thought to myself just how damned lucky I am to have been born and to live in the time and place I do. I can hop in my 1 ton at any moment and drive 1400km, over excellent roads, without fueling up or stopping, in any direction I choose, without having to ask permission, I can walk in anywhere and with a little effort find anything I want for a price I am willing to pay.

And before anyone starts whining about not having $1800 bucks I am declaring LOUDLY … ANYONE with heart and will and energy can get and hold a job here and now which will easily give them that kind of money and you will make it faster than the gov’mint can inflate it and tax it away, unless of course you’re an NDP’er or one of their brain dead gliberal progressive gang members.

I didn’t have to bribe anyone, or show my papers. No one shot at me or tried to blow up my truck, or even blew their horn at me in anger. I didn’t see any starving people, or fire bombs or burning tires or smokin’ ruins. I passed about 20 active oil wells and over 2000 head of fat cattle, and a brand new multi-million dollar Canola crushing plant, and several dozen tandem Axel B-train grain trucks and tanker trucks and cube vans everywhere all busily moving the products of our thriving economy to market. All private … hmmm … something in that, eh?

And horizon to horizon diesel pickup trucks in their hundreds, not so many prissy little high mileage cars around here (take that, you global warming wankers). And four huge unit trains (over a hundred cars each) hauling oil and grain and potash and containers of stuff from everywhere under the sun. I only saw 2 cop cars with one officer each all day.

And it all happens because of our Christian patrimony, market economy, work ethic, private property and rule of law. Never before, anywhere, in the history of the world, have so many had it so good. It is really heaven on earth if one looks through the right lenses. And the progressives want to throw it all away ’cause it ain’t “fair”? For God’s sake, why can’t the rest of the world get it?

What’s not to feel blessed about?

Cheers

Joe

CSR

Disclaimer for nitpickers: We take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately

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Politics and Economics

It’s a Mess … and silver linings

Subterranean Homesick Blues, Bob Dillon, from the album “Bringing It All Back Home”, 1965

Whenever I start to get depressed about the state of our local economy and the morality of our Socialist Progressive governments (see last post here) I tend to take a step back and consider all the good things globally, that’s right, I see many good things globally — good for Canada and Alberta at least.

Friend or Foe in the Middle East

Friend or Foe in the Middle East

On the right is a wonderful chart from one of the many newsletters I read …  as a proud resident of the only province in Canada with a future (in spite of looking grim right now) I see reason for hope on the horizon. Alberta’s future is intimately tied to energy and the production and export of energy resources.

To say that the Middle East is a powder keg just waiting for a spark is actually an understatement of the reality on the ground, at least as far as I can determine reading all the international news feeds, newsletters and blogs.

Now God forbid that we should pray for a major melt down in the Arabian peninsula but any way you paint a situation where our mortal enemies and OUR major competitor in global oil markets destroy themselves without our intervention is just plain good news for western Christian oil producing nations (there’s just got to be a sin in there somewhere). And Canada is at the head of the pack when it comes to production and proven reserves amongst nominally Christian oil producing nations.

OPEC Oil Exports 2014

OPEC Oil Exports 2014

One can safely assume that literally anyone trying to pretend that things there will be OK and we don’t need energy independence is taking the same drugs as the Main Stream Media and the “Trump Hate” crowd.

A determined terrorist campaign in Saudi Arabia would (hopefully) completely revise the global economy. Do you think that world oil production just might be impacted by a full scale war in a more chaotic Arabian peninsula?

Do you suppose that such an event wouldn’t be great news for North American oil and coal producers? Do you think passing laws against coal and oil consumption makes the resource mysteriously disappear? Seriously folks, “Stupid is as stupid does”, and a firm belief in a fantasy  no more alters reality than writing “Darkness!” on the wall of your padded cell extinguishes the Sun.

“Alberta”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Self Portrait”, (June 1970)

While the Progressives crow about our coreligionist’s lack of proof of God and the foundations for our religious beliefs, they never think to question the complete absence of any evidence for their own beliefs or, for that matter, for any intelligent consideration of the impacts of their own religious beliefs on the populations over which they claim to rule. C.S. Lewis’s mandarins of N.I.C.E. in his book “That Hideous Strength”  haven’t got a patch on the modern crop of mandarins in the halls of power in our fair land.

Current reality places Canada (Alberta) as the 7th largest oil producer in the world, but three of the highest producers ahead of us on the list are Muslim nations who are prominently center stage in the chaos of the Arabian peninsula. In fact it is not unreasonable to attribute all the chaos in the geopolitical environment found today in the Arabian peninsula to the internecine rivalry between these three Muslim nations.

Countries by Oil Production

Countries by Oil Production – CIA factbook 2013

Any significant change in the geopolitics of the Middle East could catapult Canada (Alberta) to 4th place in the production charts at 3.6 million barrels a day after Russia, U.S.A. and China.

This in spite of the willful stupidity of her government(s). Even the NDP are essentially powerless to screw up the global economy, and I am optimistic that they will not be able to permanently damage the most productive Province in Canada.

An even more important part of the picture is the proven reserves picture. Another slice of reality is that Canada (Alberta) is currently in 3rd place  after Venezuela and Saudi Arabia in proven reserves. In a world economy suddenly deprived of access to half of global energy resources “Who Ya gonna Call?”. If you are looking for stable sources for your energy supplies do you pick a nation where violence and corruption are the rule of the day, or do you pick the nation where peaceful rule of law prevails?

Now a little corruption goes a long way to grease the wheels of governance and Canada has fallen a long way from the 50’s when we had the international reputation as the most honest bureaucracy on the planet. I suspect only the slightest nudges would be necessary to move our political masters in the appropriate direction. After all, our current governments are full fledged players in the “Pay to Play” schemes historically developed in other world capitals.

Oil Producing Countries

By Ekrub-ntyh at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1914119

It may come as a shock to some but we have enough energy reserves right here in Alberta alone, including all sources, to fuel current and projected demand in North America for the next 4 to 5 hundred years. You read that right, enough energy to fuel current and projected demand in North America for the next 4 to 5 centuries.

Back in the late 70’s early 80’s I worked as a contract administrator for a company called JOY Manufacturing. Among other things we produced electrostatic precipitators and bag filter systems for heavy industries like steel mills, foundries, paper mills and especially for coal fired electrical generation plants.

For at least 40 years now we have had the technology to clean emissions from coal to at least approximately the levels produced by natural gas. These systems are currently in use all over the world. The only thing preventing their adoption here is religion and politics.  Canada also developed and produces the safest nuclear reactors on the planet and a large chunk of the fuel for those reactors

But using that clean energy technology flies in the face of the religious position of the Socialist Progressive ninnies in our governments. It’s just A-OK with them to impose their version of the “final solution” to eliminate inconvenient babies and seniors but Gaia forbid we should use clean coal technology to give every one cheap electricity.

The only thing standing in the way of Canadian global dominance in oil production is weak prices and government policy. The Venezuelan government did a pretty good job of destroying the rosy future for it’s people and Alberta’s government is looking to try the same path right now.

Given the current state of “Rule of Law” in Canada I think we are a long way from following the Venezuela model. Notwithstanding the rule of law there are still legions of zombie voters in Redmonton who could conceivably keep the NDP in power for more than 1 election. We will no doubt see that play out since we are not considering moving away just yet.

So the point of this polemic is that there are actually lots of reasons for optimism despite current conditions in the neighbourhood.

Cheers

Joe

cooling stacks steam plantSo we can pay $100.00 per month for electricity using steam , or $1200.00 per month for electricity using wind and solar.  Seems like a no-brainer to me. So come on voters, we’ve had our Friday night stupidity binge, let’s change the landscape of Canadian politics and turf the Progressive parasites out.

 

 

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

A Good Day In The Life …

Started out today about 7AM, feeling kinda fuzzy … went out to the kitchen, made a couple of pressed Espresso for the wife and I to start on. Put on the 12 cup coffee drip for the pot for the rest of the morning – have I mentioned that we are heavy coffee drinkers around here? Anyway, went back to the lounger in the bedroom to watch the morning rat race and accident reports from Redmonton which I do every morning to remind myself of what I haven’t had to do for over 7 years now. It’s great! Sunny with a high of +15, clear and no ice and they are still driving into each other all over the place (6 so far at that point)  in their mad rush to get wherever … people!

Whilst relaxing and sipping my Espresso I noticed in the background … behind the overlay of teachers and NDP’ers whining about how evil the gov’mint is and how they are all being shafted by the new budget, and they should confiscate more from the evil corporations and so on blah, blah, blah drone, drone, drone … a strange hissing, frying sound … I didn’t put anything in a frying pan, thought I? What’s up? Went back out to the kitchen and SHIT!

Forgot to put the coffee pot back under the drip filter on the hot plate.  In shock I promptly inhaled my Espresso and then sprayed it all over the kitchen in one mighty cough. Human lungs are definitely not designed to breath Espresso. And then got the pot back into the coffee maker and saved half a pot. The rest went all over the counter and dripped down to the floor, grounds and all since without the pot in the dripper everything overflows over the top going down the sides and back into the hot water reservoir and everywhere else as well. Sigh …

By the time I got it all cleaned up and made some fresh Espresso it was time to go down to the store and start my day. Maybe it’s a good thing I’m not driving to work any more if I can miss putting the pot back into the coffee machine. Duh!

Now, you might think that would be enough to start one off on the wrong foot but no … everything went smooth as silk, all the till cash outs,  invoice downloads, and inventory database updates, and all the start-ups and sign-ons and everything ’til about 15 minutes into the busy morning when the wife announces that the multi-function laser fax printer copier has stopped working. and she is a little irritated because that’s MY job and it has been acting up for a couple of weeks and I have not been able to sort it out yet.

But now we have a mission critical issue – in our kind of business we send and receive over 200 faxes  a day so we need it now! And as any guy who has been married for almost 40 years to his first wife can attest to, if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! So I start stripping it down only to discover that one of the main feed rollers in the printer assembly has gotten mushy and wrinkly on both ends – OhOh … not good. This must be the Brother printer made in China version of lead in the Chinese baby formula.

Too bad really, the first unit lasted 7 years and this one lasted 7 weeks. Heavy sigh.  Got it at Staples. Nuf said, they are as useless as the proverbial tits on a bull when it comes to returns and repairs so we aren’t going back there, and we are definitely never buying anything made by Brother again, sooo, it’s 4 hours driving to Costco in Redmonton for Joe to pick up a HP unit which the Costco web site said was available for $200 bucks cash and carry at the warehouses in Redmonton (there are 5 Costco warehouses in Redmonton – who says the teachers don’t have enough money).

Which traveling in the warm sun wasn’t too bad because once I stopped for coffee and a snack half way there I had calmed down and was feeling pretty good about a warm sunny  (+15) afternoon shopping by myself. I have never found entertaining myself to be particularly difficult especially if it involves spending money. And then, upon arriving at the first warehouse I was informed that Costco had not carried laser printers at their warehouses for over two years and the web site was, well, wrong.

And suddenly I had a feeling, as clear as a highway sign, that I was at an inflection point. As clear as the nose on my face, I could “choose” to get upset and go away mad, and things would just keep going downhill, or I could “choose” to just say “Whatever” and continue shopping since I was already there, and just see what developed. I chose whatever … and the day just kept getting better and better from there.

I found a trio of good appliances I had been looking for, off and on, for over a year, a rice cooker from Japan, a low fat fryer from France, and a Croc-pot from the good ole USA, and I also found all kinds of wonderful food products from all over the world and $1500 later I was feeling pretty good over all and the only thing left to find was syrup for my Israeli Soda-Stream machine and a multifunction printer.

Well, I know I can get syrup at London Drugs, so I head over there, and of course they have everything I am looking for in the amounts I want. Then a geek I know walks by, hey! he works there. Hey buddy, have you got any multifunction fax printers for sale?  Why yes, we have a very nice Japanese Canon unit on sale for $149 and since you are such a good customer here we can also give you 10% off on everything you buy today.  TaDa!  That works out perfect and he helps me load everything in my truck. See ya later buddy. Gotta luv Drug Stores – real folks serving real folks.

So here I am at the end of a perfect day, I started out with a succession of issues but in the end, attitude and $1800 led to everything working out very well. I thought to myself just how damned lucky I am to have been born and to live in the time and place I do. I can hop in my 1 ton at any moment and drive 1400km, over excellent roads, without fueling up or stopping, in any direction I choose, without having to ask permission, I can walk in anywhere and with a little effort find anything I want for a price I am willing to pay.

And before anyone starts whining and winging about not having $1800 bucks I am declaring LOUDLY … ANYONE with heart and will and energy can get and hold a job here and now which will easily give them that kind of money and you will make it faster than the gov’mint can inflate it and tax it away, unless of course you’re an NDP’er or one of their brain dead gliberal progressive gang members.

I didn’t have to bribe anyone, or show my papers. No one shot at me or tried to blow up my truck, or even blew their horn at me in anger. I didn’t see any starving people, or fire bombs or burning tires or smokin’ ruins. I passed about 20 active oil wells and over 2000 head of fat cattle, and a brand new multimillion dollar Canola crushing plant, and several dozen tandem Axel B-train grain trucks and tanker trucks and cube vans everywhere all busily moving the products of our thriving economy to market. All private … hmmm … something in that, eh?

And horizon to horizon diesel pickup trucks in their hundreds, not so many prissy little high mileage cars around here (take that, you global warming wankers). And four huge unit trains (over a hundred cars each) hauling oil and grain and potash and containers of stuff from everywhere under the sun. I only saw 2 cop cars with one officer each all day.

And it all happens because of our Christian patrimony, market economy, work ethic, private property and rule of law. Never before, anywhere, in the history of the world, have so many had it so good. It is really heaven on earth if one looks through the right lenses. And the progressives want to throw it all away ’cause it ain’t “fair”? For God’s sake, why can’t the rest of the world get it?

Cheers

Joe

CSR

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