Not My President! Except he is.

I really hesitated to publish this blog. I am not American. I did not vote in the election. My husband is American. I have all kinds of friends and in-laws all over America. I have been deeply hurt by the divisive, angry, rhetoric that has been tearing apart a great nation. Now that the election is over, I think it is time for reasonable people to stop and think and work for some kind of national unity and healing after one of the most bitter elections I have ever seen. That is why I decided to write this blog.

I have had three American relatives, close relatives, cut us off completely this election cycle! I also had more than three friends cut me off. They decided that Trump is racist, sexist, antiSemitic, and a hate monger, and he is so foul a person that not only is he unfit to be president, but anyone who voted from him (even a friend or family member!) is unfit to call themselves a fellow human being. One close relative told my husband he should move to Alabama and join David Duke and the KKK because he belongs there. That is the last message we heard from her. Such a fine demonstration of progressive tolerance and open mindedness. If it were a one off I think I could dismiss it as ‘she is crazy’. But it happened to us several times.

It used to be the one could hold differing opinions and still have a reasoned discussion when it came to politics, or at least that is how I remember it. It used to be that one could respect the democratic process and agree to disagree. Remember debating in high school where we all shook hands and walked out for lunch together? This time, it seems like the hate and anger is so strong that there is no room for any disagreement.

Both sides in this have been awful. There have been all kinds of vicious rumours from the right on the internet alleging things like Hilary was part of a pedophile ring. As disgusting as these hits on Hilary were it seemed to me that the left was far more likely degenerate into name calling and closed minded cutting off of any opinion that didn’t fit the preset mould, and even outright violent oppression. It was not Trump supporters that beat people up, smashed cars, punched old ladies in the face, and tore down signs and intimidated people. Wikileaks and Project Veritas showed those were Hilary supporters, many on the Democratic payroll.

I also did not have any Republican family cut us out of their life even if I called them on the unsubstantiated pedophile story. I think this is because there is a tradition on the right that everyone has a right to free speech and I might 100% disagree with you but I will die fighting for your right to say what you want. There are no safe spaces in the right. It is the left that promulgates the idea that any speech which offends or upsets others should be silenced, not tolerated, and silenced by force if necessary. So when I defended Hilary, those on the right would generally call me names, laugh at me or present counter evidence. When I defended Trump in any way shape or form, the response from those I knew on the left was to label me with a tag, usually “racist”, and all further contact and discussion ended, often with me being blocked if the contact happened to be via social media. Most of my Republican supporting family members also reported being afraid to voice their opinions and afraid to put up signs on their lawn for Trump and afraid to let people at work know their opinion because of their fear of the severity of the backlash against them. Their fear included acts of violence. Not one Hilary supporting Democrat in my circle has said anything about feeling fearful about merely voicing their opinion because of intimidation or violence from friends or family. Not one.

I am a middle sort of person. I do agree with free speech and I don’t agree with safe spaces. I think government is too large and many government policies encourage dependancy and laziness. There should be consequences for making choices like living in an urban ghetto, breaking the law, taking drugs or not working. Yet, I also think gays should be able to marry and to live free from discrimination. I also think the government should not interfere with a woman’s body and a choice about pregnancy should be between a woman and her doctor and their respective consciences because while abortion is the death of an unborn human, it is also not a black and white issue but has multiple shades of grey that the government certainly can’t handle. I think health care is a right not a privilege. I am, in fact, neither right nor left. So it is really shocking to me to find myself labeled a racist, hate monger, antiSemitic, sexist and being told that I am the one full of hate and being cut off and blocked for simply saying what I think, especially when it is family doing it to me. You really hurt my feelings when you did that. Shame on you.

I do think the mainstream media, CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, to a lesser degree MSNBC and NBC and even FOX were extremely biased against Trump. I listened to many of Trump’s speeches in their entirety and I was constantly astonished at the degree of distortion the media spun on it. I heard the first infamous Muslim speech and I was stunned when it became Trump saying banning all Muslims forever. Did CNN and WaPo and NYT hear the same speech I did? I was also shocked how Trump spoke out against illegal immigrants who come to America to commit crimes and then the media suddenly began claiming he was talking about all immigrants all the time. I was shocked when some members of the KKK came out in favour of Trump but he disavowed them but they are STILL talking about that. Yet another KKK group in California came out in favour of Hilary and that never even made the news. I was stunned when a crude locker room conversation about what woman let you do if you are rich (the operative word being “let”, as in “consent”) suddenly morphed in people seriously stating that Trump was a rapist! I happen to think Trump is a boor, crude, difficult and arrogant, and probably a bully, but he is not a racist, nor is he sexist or a hate filled person and he certainly isn’t a rapist. Democrats calling Trump a rapist was especially hypocritical in my eyes when looking at the man who would have joined Hilary in the White House if she had won. And calling Trump an antiSemite? Come on! The man has more Jewish grandchildren than most Jewish American Democrats do. This was the guy who got Blacks and Jews admitted into exclusive Florida clubs they were banned from, who rode at the front of a parade supporting Israel when no one else would, and who has awards from the NAACP and other community organizations for his good works. If my only news source or knowledge of Trump had been via the sources like Washington Post, I too would likely be living in shocked horror at the idea this evil man had been elected. I just don’t think he is so evil based on what I heard come out his mouth (in its entirety, in context) and what I read about the man outside of what the mainstream media had to say.

I also made a point of reading the Wikileak’s Podesta collection. It was a lot of slogging through a lot of unimportant detail but it did prove to my satisfaction two things about Hilary Clinton. I am convinced she lied about the email server both in her intent for having it and the content of what went through the server. Comey may have been right that there was not enough to justify charging her but there was, in my opinion, more than enough to make me decide she was a liar and therefore unfit to be president. I do not accept “All politicians lie” as an acceptable defense. I also think the Podesta collection of emails showed enough about pay to play for me to decide she is probably also corrupt. And I have no doubt whatsoever that her rapist husband is a far worse sex pervert than any “she let me do some pussy grabbing” Trump may have been guilty of. That is my opinion. I am allowed to have an opinion even if you don’t like it.

Given a choice between the two, Trump, imperfect as he is, was the lesser of two evils. If I had a vote to cast, which I did not, I would have cast it for Trump. There is even  a possibility he might be good for America. And now, like it or not, recounts notwithstanding, popular vote versus electoral college, enough people in the USA voted for Trump that he is going to be president. President Donald J Trump will be President of the United States of America, duly elected by the rules of the American’s Republic. Get over it! Adapt!

So now what?

I really think it is time for the Trump haters in the USA to stop their incredulous fussing and start dealing with the reality of President Trump. Remember all that stuff Hilary said about how the election process is the bedrock of your democracy and we must all abide by the outcome? Even if she said it when she thought she was clearly going to win and she was directing it at Trump and his supporters, it was true then and it is still true today. If you are both horrified about President Trump and a reasonable person (and the unreasonable ones would have long since stopped reading and blocked me by now anyway) then you owe it to yourself and to your country to try to understand just why people voted for him or chose not to vote for Hilary Clinton.

Even if you disagree with their reasons, you really need to get past simply slapping on the label of sexist, racist, white, male, middle aged, blue collar worker, and walking away from us. I assure you, there just aren’t that many sexist, racist, white, male, middle aged, blue collar workers with no education in the USA to explain the Trump win. And Trump did win. I am sorry if you are living in a bewildered state of disbelief and horror. I am sorry you are worried about how the country to going to hell in a hand basket, and racism and sexism, and antiSemiticism, and hate have just become mainstream and how Trump is going to get mad at someone and push the button and blow us all to Kingdom come. I am merely asking you to consider that maybe, just maybe, you might be wrong about Trump. Maybe, just maybe, you were fed bad information and maybe just maybe, there is something about the man worth respecting. Even if you can’t find it in you to respect Trump the man, at least find enough respect for the office of President of the United States that you can stop hating half you countrymen for voting for the man and respect President Trump.

And if you are one of those Hilary supporters who cut off a friend or relative like their opinions were nothing more a bunch of offensive infectious filth you are better off without, I ask you to please reconsider. Consider apologizing to them for the incredibly horrible things you said to them when you called them racist, sexist, antiSemitic and hate filled ignoramuses. Even if you can’t bring yourself to apologize to them for being a cruel ass, at least call them back and say “Okay, Trump won but we are still in this together. It’s time to move along and be a family or friend again.” And if your Republican friend or family member tells you to take your racist, sexist, antiSemitic, hateful labelling of them and go jump out of the nearest Trump Tower with it, at least any ongoing hatred won’t be your fault anymore.

I miss you. In spite of how horrible you made me feel, in spite of the foul names you called me, I miss you. Can we start again please?

trip-south

Winter is coming.

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For various reasons we decided to head south December 1 this year. We knew we were taking a bit of chance weather wise and we weren’t entirely lucky. We left Alonsa after freezing rain and our original planned path through Bismarck was quite literally shut down due to a heavy snowfall. So we were stuck trying to head south along the infamous I29 corridor. I say infamous for a few reasons. It is the most boring drive in the world. It bypasses just about anything neat fun or interesting in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Missouri. There are miles and miles of nothing but flat prairie. It is also infamous because in winter weather entire sections can be shut down. And if you are in a camper there is very little in the way of open campgrounds in December. It is also a major trucking corridor so you spend most of the drive wincing as the big truckers pass you by.

The first hour of of Alonsa was hellish because we were driving on sheer ice. I was so glad we had just put on new snow tires and had four wheel drive. Even then I could not go over 60km/hr (40mph) without the trailer starting to fishtail in a frightening way. So a drive we made many times over the summer in 20 minutes took over an hour. Once we got to McCreary the roads were wet not icy so we were finally able to hit 90k/hr (55mph). We made a pit stop to have our wheel re-torqued after the new snow tire installation and then we headed south. We took the Yellowhead into Portage La Prairie and then headed out joining up with with 75 in Morris.  We arrived at the border about 4:00pm. To our delight, this time we were waved right through. You never know what you will encounter at the border. Sometimes we get searched, sometimes we have to produce paperwork. This time all we got was a cheerful “Have a nice trip” and we were over the border. The road was clear and we were eager to get further south so we drove until we reached Fargo. In Fargo we joined about 10 other RVers parking in the Flying J. Apparently we aren’t the only snowbirds to wait for December 1. I actually like staying on truck stops. Most truck drivers are polite and professional. Always fun new stuff to see. The time it was the biggest dump truck I ever saw. We had a nice big American breakfast at the Huddle House.

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We then headed south to North Sioux City South Dakota where there is a year round KOA. We decided we needed an oil change before moving on so we had a side trip into Iowa to a service place before we continued south. It had still not gone above freezing so we arrived with ice and snow on our trailer. We rolled into another year round KOA in Kansas City Missouri about 8:00pm and finally it was above freezing. Our trailer began dripping as the ice and snow melted. We continued dripping and shedding ice and snow as we followed the I29 south and then veered off for a side trip through Oklahoma. It was a joy to finally leave the standard campground behind and stay at a state park. It was fun to see new territory in Oklahoma. I even felt a genuine Oklahoma earthquake, a gentle rattle and roll from a nearby 3.9. KOAs have their place in RV life and I do like them but not day after day. Plus the KOAs cost more and the campsite in Lake Eufaula State Park was huge, gorgeous and only $26 and we had a grand total of five other campers in the huge place. It rained all night. We woke up to find the ice and snow had finally melted away and the rain washed our trailer and truck clean. From there we travelled to Mt Pleasant Texas for a two day overnight break at another KOA. We had a breakfast meeting with a colleague, a much needed long walk on green grass with the dogs, laundry and quiet.

So that was it. Instead of a nice leisurely trip stopping to see sights along the way and taking our time, we did a straight flying trip south as fast as possible of 2300km running away from winter. And I woke up to news this morning that home has been totally socked in by a mega all out blizzard. So we didn’t leave ourselves a lot of room weather wise by leaving in December.

Will we do it again? I’m not sure. This part of our trip was not fun. It was all about getting south. We saved a lot of money by waiting an extra month and a half in terms of health care costs and our weak Canadian dollar against the American dollar. We got to enjoy our cosy home in Alonsa and the company of our friends for an extra month and a half. But it does take the joy out of the trip south. So we may not do this next year. We shall see.

Grandma’s Holiday Shopping

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It’s that time of year again, when we have to decide in what material way we will demonstrate our love for each other. Don’t get me wrong. I love the holiday season and I love seeing how little kids eye’s pop open as they squeal with delight while opening presents. However, shopping is problematic for this Grandma and Grandpa.

Reason one is that we go to the south for the holiday season so we aren’t physically around. That makes it difficult to wrap packages and deliver them and enjoy the holiday joy. Reason two is a bit more complicated. My husband and I practice as Jews but the kids of a mixture of no religion, Christian, and Jewish. Therefore it can be all too easy to mix things up and upset someone by saying or doing the wrong thing. Reason Three is I want some direct interaction with the grandkids and just sending a cheque isn’t good enough for me. Reason four is I know they know I love them and they love me but it still smarts when I get a present for them and discover they no longer collect those things or they have outgrown what I picked or their tastes have changed.

We have come up with a perfect compromise that is working very well for our family. We decided a few years ago that while we will observe birthdays for the adults, we do not get them holiday gifts. Instead we make a budget and decide what we can afford, and we divide that amount between the grandchildren. Since we are now up to nine in total including members who joined us by blending of their own families, we need to be able to concentrate our resources on the children. (We don’t differentiate between “step” and “biological”. A grandchild is a grandchild is a grandchild. No child can have too many doting grandparents.)

Each year, about a month before the holidays, we tell the parents how much we can afford per child. We then ask them to take the kids shopping on line to a place like Amazon.ca or Toys R Us Canada, and let us know what they want. We order, pay, and have it delivered to them directly at their home. This saves us the entire hassle and cost of buying presents, wrapping and mailing them over the border where they are subject to theft, confiscation and addition of import taxes and costs. Many companies will even send the package prettily wrapped with a special message from Grandpa and Grandma for little or not additional cost. And I get a message when it is shipped and when it arrives so I know it got there safely.

There have also been some pleasant surprises doing things this way. The kids are getting old enough to use social media and this year, I got to exchange a bunch of messages with one grandchild via Facebook as he planned his purchase. The other nice surprize has been that they sometimes decide on one big thing for the whole family. For example, one year, one family wanted an air hockey table and they all played it, including us when we visited. Now that is a good way to max out our limited grandparent resources.

The other wonderful thing is it gives me a yearly glimpse into what the kids are really “into”.  Letting them choose something they want on line, means when I order it I get to see what is special and important to them. This often leads to more conversations and insights about them as individuals. Each child is precious and any chance to learn about them as individuals is wonderful, especially for those grandchildren who were blended into our little clan instead of being born into it.

And there has been one other totally unexpected bonus. The kids have a budget and they have some special limitation on where they can shop. They take the shopping very seriously carefully combing the websites, comparison shopping, and looking for the best possible deal to stretch their money. So the experience is also a lesson in money management, addition, subtraction and prioritizing wants and needs. Now what grandparent would not want to spoil their grandchildren while also teaching them valuable life skills?

This gift giving method also sets us apart from the other grandparents. Children have four grandparents in their lives and with blending, that can grow to eight. One set of our grandchildren are fortunate enough to have grandparents on the other side who can afford very extravagant gifts, the best of everything and anything they might want. Even though they give much more, we give in our own way that is special because the kids shop and choose exactly what they want. Our gift stands out because they got to pick it themselves even if it is not the most expensive of the bunch. I always like it when a child picks a needed accessory for the big fancy present from the other side. It makes me feel like we are sharing the wealth in a way proportionate to our means.

In another family, we are the “rich” grandparents. Their other side gives things like hand made mittens and dollar store specials, made with love and carefully chosen but not costing a lot of money because they just don’t have it. The cousins on that side get very little for the holidays. We do not place our grandchildren in the position of having the modest gifts from the other side opened on Christmas morning next to ours, which are so much more expensive by comparison. Rather, the kids pick what they want from us, and they get it when it is delivered and not when the other side gathers to exchange gifts. And so we get to teach lessons like being compassionate and thoughtful of those who have less material goods.

Finally, with the parents guiding them, we know the kids get what they actually need, even the little ones. When children were very little Mom and Dad did the shopping for them. I learn too. I had this psychological block about playpens. I don’t like them. So I was perturbed when I was asked to send a baby fence to create a quasi playpen area. I trusted my daughter-in-law and ordered it anyway. Later, visiting their home, I could see how she was right. The baby had his safe space and the household had some peace, especially big brother who is very fussy about the special Duplo creations his toddler sibling has absolutely no respect for. My gift was not a playpen to confine my grandson. My gift made for peace in the family and respect for everyone. I would never have gotten him something like that because not being around everyday and living in that house, I either wouldn’t know or my personal prejudices might get in the way.

This is how we solved the problem of being grandparents during the holidays. Every family is unique and will find their own solution but if you haven’t reached it yet, perhaps this one might help you. Happy shopping!

Day 2 of the International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference

Day 2

Embryogenesis Explained

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Day 2 of the International Disability Rights Conference opened with a talk about L’Arche. The speaker was Melanie Saxon, Community Leader / Executive Director of L’Arche Jacksonville (FL). She shared some of L’Arche’s history and mission through the use of short videos  and her own words. I must admit I had never heard of them before and I am kind of ashamed of myself for that since they appear to do wonderful things.

Virtual Ability member Mook Wheeler has created a number of displays and exhibits on Healthinfo Island about l’Arche, Jean Vanier, and the concept of community for persons with disabilities. If you are in Second Life, please visit them.

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The second talk was Dr. Margaret Nosek, Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, TX, US) and two co-presenters, Stephanie Silveira and Rachel Markley. She got some group chat going about how our avatars interact…

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International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference Day 1

How I spent my Friday

Embryogenesis Explained

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I (meaning Natalie) spend time in the virtual word of Second Life doing a variety of things both serious and work related and just plain fun. Today I am attending and have the honor of being an introducer in the International Rights Disability Conference hosted in Second Life by Virtual Ability.

Virtual Ability is a great place designed to provide support and community for people with disabilities. Each year they host a conference designed to promote disability rights and encourage fuller participation of the disabled in their own community.

I have been providing very occasional and small consultative help to Virtual Ability almost since they started in Second Life. It has been astounding to me to see how this have taken off and grown from a tiny single plot in Second Life to an entire huge multi-sim island in Second Life with a large and vibrant community.

Entry into…

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Update for end of October

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I finally figured out how to make a good turkey pot pie after Canadian Thanksgiving.

It’s been a while since I actually wrote anything. Life is quiet and peaceful and so not very interesting. Today, outside my window, is cool foggy weather with the forecast calling for a cold fall rain during the day turning to snow overnight. We’ve already had snow a few times but the ground and daytime temperatures are still warm enough it has always melted. The garden has had several deep freezes and is dormant. We haven’t had to mow our lawn in weeks. The trees are mostly bare.

The geese, the last of the migratory birds to head south, are mostly gone. A few stragglers normally stick around until the water freezes and they are still here so it’s not full winter yet. Our yard is now busy with juncos and chickadees and blue jays. They spend winters here, coming south out of their summer home in the boreal forest. The gentle peeps of juncos and chirps and calls of chickadees are a welcome sound. The sun is not up these days until about 8:30am. We have stopped taking evening walks as it is now dark by 6:30pm and we often hear coyotes just outside of town. We have switched our walking to afternoons.

After all the effort involved in getting the book out, I spent a few weeks just doing almost nothing at all. I was soon busy again with several projects. Gulf Specimen Marine Lab, our favourite charity, suffered real damage during Hurricane Hermine and I am very proud of my small part in the fundraising that has paid for repairs.

 

My other favourite charity is

 

This charity provides a supportive environment in two virtual worlds and in real life for people with a wide variety of disabilities. Last year I was involved in a study with them, called Mrs. A and Mr. B as an interviewer in Second Life and it was very rewarding and interesting. I am currently helping out with a prospect that could lead to a contract for them that would be profitable for all concerned and provide “in world” employment for a lot of people who otherwise don’t get a lot of chances to work. This is good. I like being retired so I can do these things.

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My “working” avatar in the foreground with a Ms White in a teaching place. I do have lots of professional looking outfits and I can even put on a lab coat if required. Since this place is an undergraduate university setting, jeans are de rigueur.

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We have also been busy bees in our local community. My hubby dearest has become a local volunteer fire fighter. He’s second from left in the back row. I took the picture for them and it was published in the local newspaper. We also help out at local bingos and the do some stuff for the Alonsa Historical Society and the Alonsa Community Centre.

I like to just play in Second Life myself too, not just work. Part of recovering from getting the book out has been more play than usual. It’s “Shocktober” in Raglan Shire which has been a blast.

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Here’s me (right) with my buddy Skippy at the Shocktober Ride of Horrors and Dark Carnival in the Raglan Shire. The death guy in the picture is actually another beaver like me in his Shocktober costume.

 

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My little Second Life home where I hang out with my pets, a strawberry body bunny and my hummingbird.

Normally, we would already be on our way south by now. This year we are holding back and don’t plan on leaving until December 1st. We have many reasons for the delay. We will save about $600 in travel insurance by waiting and that will help compensate for how the American dollar has skyrocketed next to our poor sinking loonie. We will have a year of being in the USA only 104 days total for 2016 and that will be far below the time one is permitted so I can avoid having to file the “stronger connections” with the IRS. I am very much bothered by the power the IRS now has to mess up my life if they decide to, even if I am completely innocent of anything, which I am. Our government has given the IRS full access to everything including our bank accounts so they can swoop in now and we have to appeal after the fact if they do. It makes sense to not draw attention to yourself and if that means staying in the USA for under 120 days a year, so be it. I’m not sure why harassing law abiding Canadian retirees who bring their own money to spend in the USA just trying to escape bitter winters while spending a lot of US taxpayer money on supporting illegal immigrants from elsewhere who arrive penniless and are squatting year round makes sense, but to someone in the US government, it apparently does.

The other thing we have become concerned about is the whole way the country just “feels” sitting up in Canada looking south. The sight of beige people being stopped in their vehicles trapped by brown and beige people on an interstate in New Orleans and dragged from their vehicles and beaten on for having beige coloured skin during a George Soros sponsored, Council on American Islamic Relations assisted Black Lives Matter protest is scary as h*ll. Their rioting (excuse me, peaceful protesting) has struck many major American cities. Other election related organized violence, which we now know (thanks to Wikileaks) was paid for by the Democratic campaign at various Trump rallies, have also spooked us. Seeing Hilary get off for what other people go to jail for, makes me worry the country has become a corrupt banana republic. Now I do realize these were all isolated incidents and confined to large city centres and the legal double standards appear to apply strictly to Clintons and their minions. (After all, they sent Dinesh D’Sousa to jail for election fraud so some people are having the laws applied to them.) I also know we would get some warning because it takes time for these thugs (Oh excuse me ‘thugs’ is racist and a sure sign of my White privilege. I should have said ‘activists’) to organize. If we are in a city and we hear of a brown coloured person being shot by a blue coloured person, we have about 24 hours to ‘get out of Dodge’ before the riots peaceful protests start. We also normally avoid cities anyway, but it is a worry. If Trump gets elected what are these thugs activists going to do to my White Privilege? Now maybe they will do nothing at all because the Democratic Party unrelated SuperPAC will have turned off the thug activist money tap once the election is over. That’s what I am hoping.

The Trump followers seem mostly sane and respectful, (in spite of the near continuous ‘loves to grab pussy’ coverage in the Clinton run media) but there is a nasty streak of far far right self righteous “We, The People Need a Second Revolution” going on down there. What if they decide a Hilary win was due to election rigging and decide to start one? What if they mistake me for a member of the Clinton run media? What if we are driving on an interstate and we get stopped by thugs protesters from either side and we get dragged out and beaten on and our possessions damaged? What if our dog Fred, not understanding the need for peaceful protesting or revolution, bites an activist? Our dog is black, white and brown so deciding who he’s racist against when directing his bite could get really tricky. Our insurance policy also very specifically says if we are involved in any kind of riot, protest, civil unrest or insurrection, they don’t pay. That is the way it is even if we joined the riot peaceful protest involuntarily. “No justice, no pay” they say. Our little town here is very peaceful already so giving the Americans a few weeks to sort themselves out after this utterly insane election seems prudent.

Last time someone tried to start a revolution in Canada and put a bomb in a Canada Post mailbox, we called out the military, suspended all civil-rights and arrested anyone remotely involved and vanished them for six months. We Canadians are much bigger on “Peace, Order and Good Government” than we are on “Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness”. We don’t tolerate American style peaceful protesting well either. We had a big drunken post hockey game riot (we call it rioting up here) in Vancouver a few years ago and the Mounties got all their men and women of all colours by spending hours scouring social media and arresting everyone who gleefully shared their pictures of misbehaving. Two years later, the Mounties were still arresting people. They don’t seem to do that in the USA. Let them peacefully protest and we’ll clean up afterward strikes me as a puzzling response. What do I know? I’m not an American. My American husband just laughs at me and says you Canadians say thank you to bank machines. How could you possibly understand us? He’s right. I don’t. Besides we just elected Justin Trudeau as our Prime Minster so who am I to judge?

Friday, April 19, 2013

I have now updated where we are at. Our trailer is sitting outside, winterized and bearings lubed and stuff all checked and ready to travel. Over the next month I will have to start planning and, assuming all h*ll does not break out after November 8th, and Putin does not stop the election by lobbing nukes instead of leaks, we will be heading south in a month. The cold and the quiet is giving me itches. It feels overdue to be crossing the line. I started southern pulled chicken for dinner tonight to get into the mood.

If you are an American, please make sure you get out and vote. I don’t care who you vote for. You don’t seem to have any really good choices anyway. Just do it. (If you vote on an electronic machine double check what you click before you finalize your vote. Some machines are apparently set to default automatically to Democrat.) And if you have the time, volunteer to oversee the election to ensure it is fair and people get their real choice, whatever that choice is. Good luck. I think you’re going to need it.