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Wasting Away in Geezerville

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Issue: 2018-03-28, PHOTO: Pixabay

A few days from now, I will undergo a frightening transition from this life to another. Please don’t misunderstand. As far as I know, I’m not about to kick the bucket, cash in my chips, turn toes-up, shuffle off the coil, turn in my Bingo dabbers... more

Humour

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Issue: 2018-02-28, PHOTO: Robert Couse-Baker on Foter.com

I need a little help here, folks. Valentine’s Day has already come and gone, but it’s left me in a bit of a quandary. This isn’t an event Herself and I normally celebrate with a lot of folderol and fiddle-dee-dee. A nice card, a special hug, a... more

Humour

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Issue: 2018-02-07, PHOTO: Pixaby

We all know nostalgia ain’t what it used to be. My concern is that the noble art of the insult is also on the skids these days. When I was a kid, one of the worst taunts you could throw at someone was, “Ah, your mother wears army boots.” Stupid... more

Humour

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Issue: 2018-01-17, PHOTO: Pixabay

In the hyper-sensitive world of childhood, an ill-chosen word can sometimes have a devastating impact, even if no harm is intended. I’m not talking about the kind of taunting, bullying talk that was unfortunately common on the playgrounds of my... more

Humour

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Issue: 2017-12-06, PHOTO: Rina Pitucci/Flickr

I could be wrong, but I’ve never bought into the notion of predestination – that the cosmic fix is in, and our ultimate fate is set by forces beyond our control. By the same token, I don’t subscribe to the idea of karma – the Hindu-Buddhist belief... more

Humour

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Issue: 2017-11-01, PHOTO: Pixabay

Just for the heck of it, let’s take a look at three English words that, on the surface of things, appear to have a lot in common. Before we start, I want to mention once again my amazement that anyone can actually understand the English language... more

Humour

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Issue: 2017-10-18, PHOTO: foter.com

The first week of September, the mice fled the fields and snuck indoors, as mice are wont to do. It happened in the quiet hours of one night. The day before, the kitchen drawers and cupboards were spotless. The next, they were festooned with... more

Humour

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Issue: 2017-10-04, PHOTO: William Warby - Flickr

It’s the age-old debate about the chicken and the egg. Sometimes, we simply don’t know what is cause and what is effect. This is especially true when it comes to matters that touch on personal feeling. As a for-instance, do you love cream of... more

Humour

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Issue: 2017-09-13, PHOTO: Pixabay

One of my favourite pastimes is exploring the origins and meanings of common English words and expressions. Our language is such a hodge-podge (dare one say “hotchpotch”?) of thefts, borrowings and adaptations from others, that an etymologist can... more

Humour

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Issue: 2017-08-30, PHOTO: Pixabay

The way some people talk, you’d think farmers’ markets were a recent invention by eco-conscious millennials spurred to action by reading a book about the 100-mile diet. Nothing could be further from the truth. more

Humour

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Issue: 2017-08-16, PHOTO: Pixabay

Those of us who relish a good outdoor music festival – especially of the grassroots-and-granola variety – have learned to endure any number of indignities in the pursuit of someone else’s towering art. more

Humour

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Issue: 2017-08-09, PHOTO: Pixabay

As family reunions go, the event I attended in Ontario’s Georgian Bay district on a recent weekend was a fairly small-scale affair. At its peak, a mere 24 people were in attendance. Officially, it wasn’t really a reunion, just a gathering in... more

Humour

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Issue: 2017-07-19, PHOTO: Pixabay

He was a foundling on the streets of Edmonton – a golden cocker spaniel whose hair was so matted with burrs that much of it had to be shaved off. It was my 6-year-old daughter and two of her friends who brought him home, after he had attached... more

Humour

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Issue: 2017-07-12, PHOTO: Jonas Bergsten

It was a strange encounter that still has my brain abuzz. I was walking home from the grocery store in my current city of residence southeast of Whitehorse. My route took me past the site where small men and large machines have been toiling for... more

Humour

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Issue: 2017-07-05, PHOTO: Pixabay

The emptying-out of Yukon’s schools signals the official start of that much-anticipated annual ritual: the Summer Holiday. We all know the narrative arc of that story. For the first little while, the kids are bursting to be outside every moment... more

Humour

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Issue: 2017-06-28, PHOTO: Pixabay

Recently, I waxed nostalgic about my beloved first bicycle, a cherry-red Raleigh three-speed that went missing (temporarily, I still insist) on an August day in 1953. But another bike held just as big a place in my heart for the 19 years or so... more

Humour

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Issue: 2017-06-14, PHOTO: Pixabay

Did I just miss skipping and hopscotch season? Marbles and jacks? No matter. For me, this is, and always will be, bicycle season. I don’t test my mettle on the pedals very much these days, but I confess to having a lifelong passion for bicycles... more

Humour

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Issue: 2017-05-31, PHOTO: Pixabay

I'm sitting in my skivvies, contemplating what pearls of wisdom to cram into a 400-word space. As I advise my writing students, when you feel stuck, start with a word. Any word. Today, that word is "engagement". In my days as a working journalist... more

Humour

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Issue: 2017-05-17, PHOTO: Pixabay

Until fairly recently, I had no interest whatever in the idea of writing a book of memoirs. Like most people, I assumed nobody would care to read about the life journey of a nobody-in-particular. After all, autobiography is the purview of... more

Humour

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Issue: 2017-05-10, PHOTO: Ken Bolton

Somebody once said a gardener is just a philosopher with dirty hands and an aching back. Well, maybe nobody actually said that until I just did, but I believe it to be so. Of all life’s pursuits, few can match gardening when it comes to bringing... more

Humour