Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Proud to be White!

Hating people because of their colour is wrong.
And it doesn't matter which colour does the hating.
It's just plain wrong! (Muhammad Ali)

H.G. Wells stated, “Our true nationality is mankind.”

I'm proud to be a Canadian.
I'm proud to be a Christian.
I'm proud of my Culture and Heritage.
I'm proud of my Courage to combat Life's inflictions.
I'm proud of the Circumstances whereby I made wise decisions.
I'm proud of the Wonders in this world.
And I'm proud to be White.

Usually I steer away from controversial topics. In the following sent to me by Carolyn, I share Michael Richards comments...to which you can agree, stalemate them or totally ignore his words.

Better known as Kramer from TV's Seinfeld, Michael Richards does make a good point. This was his defence speech in court after making racial comments in his comedy act. I do agree that he raises a few interesting points.
There are African Americans,
Mexican Americans,
Asian Americans,
Arab Americans, etc.
And then there are just Americans.

You pass me on the street and sneer in my direction. You call me 'White Boy, Cracker, Honkey, Whitey, Caveman'...and that's OK. But when I call you 'Nigger, Kike, Towel Head, Sand-Nigger, Camel Jockey, Beaner, Gook or Chink'...you call me racist.

You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you...so why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live in?
You have the United Negro College Fund.
You have Martin Luther King Day.
You have Black History Month.
You have Cesar Chavez Day.
You have Yom Hashoah.
You have Ma'uled Al-Nabi.
You have NAACP.
You have BET.

Imagine if we had WET (White Entertainment Television)...we'd be racists.
If we had White Pride Day, you would call us racists.
If we had White History Month, we'd be racists.
If we had any organization for whites only to 'advance' OUR lives, we'd be racists.

We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a Black Chamber of Commerce...and then we have the plain Chamber of Commerce. Wonder who pays for that?

A white woman could not be in the Miss Black American pageant, but any colour can be in the Miss America pageant held yearly.

If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships, ...you know we'd be racists. There are over 60 openly proclaimed Black Colleges in the United States...yet, if there were 'White Colleges', that would be a racist college.

In the Million Men March, you believed that you were marching for your race and rights. If we marched for our race and rights, you would call us racists.

You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange...and you're not afraid to announce it. But when we announce our white pride, you call us racists.

You rob us, carjack us and shoot at us. But when a white police officer shoots a black gang member or beats up a black drug dealer running from the law and posing a threat to society, you call him racist.

I am proud... but you call me racist.
Why is it that only whites can be racists?
That's why we have LOST most of our RIGHTS in this country:
We won't stand up for ourselves.
It's not a crime YET...but getting very close!

Words of Wisdom
Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud,
adopts as a last resource...pride in the nation to which he belongs;
he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies, tooth and nail,
thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.
(Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays & Aphorisms)

Be not like...the pot that calls the kettle black!

Merle Baird-Kerr...composed September 29, 2014
Comments welcome...e-mail to:

Friday, June 24, 2016

Turks and Caicos Islands...Next Canadian Province?

Picture a tropical paradise with majestic turquoise waters...
gorgeous beaches and arching swaying palm trees!
Now, imagine if that destination was officially part of Canada!

It may seem far-fetched, but MP, Peter Goldring believes Turks and Caicos, an archipelago of 40 small islands and cays, some 600 square kilometres (8 of which are inhabited), could one day become the nation's 11th Province. And he's been doing his part to make it happen. The idea of the British Territory joining the Great White North is not a new one. Currently a British Crown Colony, located north of Haiti and south-east of Bahamas in the Caribbean Sea, they are an international investment center for the off-shore investor. Tourism is a major business here. The 7-mile Grace Bay Beach on the Island of Providenciale, is rated by travel experts as one of the best beaches in the world...inclusive of resorts...fishing...snorkelling and scuba diving as major recreational and scenic attractions.
The relationship between these islands and Canada
 stretch back almost a century to 1917.

Negotiation Steps

In 1917, Prime Minister Robert Borden tried to perusade Great Britain to let us annex the lands, but was given the 'brush-off'...annexation considered vastly complicated...health-care, changing of tax policies, just for starters!.

In 1974, a private members' bill from a NDP MP examining annexation, with the Turks, also failed.

In the 1980's, according to the Globe and Mail (Toronto), the Turks/Caicos Islands sent a serious offer to discuss joining Canada...but it was 'politely ignored' as politicians grappled with the Canada-United States Trade Agreement policies instead.

But, Goldring believes the Islands, home to about
300,000 full-time residents, may be a natural fit for Canada.
The Edmonton-East MP met with the country's premier, Rufus Ewing, at a reception in Toronto and told The National Post (Toronto) that while there is still interest in an economic association between the Islands and Canada, he remains in favour of pursuing 'full provincial status'. Goldring told The Post that a Caribbean province could mean development of a strategic, deep-water trading port for Canada and do wonders for national unity. “Canadians holiday north and south...they don't holiday east and west,” he said. “So we don't get a chance to meet and greet each other on a regular basis. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a common destination in the south?”

Goldring further stated advnatages in technology and air travel, mean concerns about distance, no longer apply. “Turks and Caicos are actually closer to Ottawa, in kilometres, than in my riding in Edmonton (Alberta),” he told The Post. With air travel and electronic communication, it's a whole new world!” This Tory MP has been focused on this issue since at least 2004. In a newsletter, Goldring wrote that while Canada does not want to be thought of as a 'colonial power', the Islanders would welcome an association to help them achieve their full potential.
Perhaps the time has come to end the courtship and finally be wed,”
he wrote. The Province of Nova Scotia fully agrees.

In 2004, the provinces of 3 political parties voted unanimously to invite the Turks and Caicos to join as a 'province' . If the Caribbean islands ever become part of Canada, “What Do You Think?”
Would you like to see the Canadian Government
make moves to bring the Turks and Caicos Islands to Confederation?
There have been many positive comments.

In 2014, Goldring pitched the idea again saying,
Canada really needs a Hawaii!”

The Conservative Government dismissed his request!

Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...June 21, 2016
Replies appreciated...email...inezkate@gmail.com or mbairdkerr@cogeco.ca

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Ontario is a Canadian Province, bordering Hudson Bay to the north and the United States to the south.
Toronto, its huge, vibrant capital on Lake Ontario, is home to the iconic 583 m CN Tower and the 400 acre High Park in the city's downtown. Ottawa, the National capital, is known for Parliament Hill's grand Victorian architecture and glass-and-granite National Gallery with its renowned collections from Canadian and Indigenous artists.

Founded: July 1, 1867
Colleges and Universities: University of Toronto, Western (London), Waterloo, McMaster (Hamilton), Queen's (Kingston), York University (Toronto), University of Ottawa, University of Guelph, Mohawk College (Hamilton), Sheridan College (Oakville), George Brown College (Toronto)...and many more!

Top Attractions in Ontario
Ontario is one of the most populace provinces in Canada. Find facts on festivals and sight-seeing.
Niagara Falls...1000 Islands Skydeck...African Lion Safari...Black Creek Pioneer Village...CN Tower,... Casa Loma...Royal Ontario Museum...Lake Ontario...Algonquin Provincial Park...Ottawa's Rideau Canal and its spectacular Winter Carnival...Ontario's Northland...Centreville Amusement Park...Ontario Place...Toronto Zoo...theatres and concerts...Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) on the lakefront.

Consider also...Saint Marie Among the Hurons (celebrating Aboriginal Heritage)...Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton...Canada's Wonderland...Marineland in Niagara Falls...and of course the magnificent world recognized Niagara Falls as it tumbles tumultuously over the Escarpment!

Fascinating Facts of Interest
Born in Sri Lanka, Michael Ondaatje, made Canada his home after arriving from England in 1962. His novel, The English Patient, won him the 1992 'Booker Prize'. In 1996, it was turned into an Oscar-winning film by Director Anthony Minghalla.

The world's most famous war poem, In Flanders Fields was written in 1915 by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, a doctor from Guelph, Ontario who served France during World War I. He wrote this in May 1915 after presiding over the funeral of a military friend.

Did you know...basketball was initiated by an Ontario professor? Dr. James Naismith introduced the game in 1891...using peach baskets nailed to a gymnasium balcony in his hometown, Almonte.

Ontario has two Time Zones! The boundary line between the Central Time Zone and Eastern Time Zone is just west of Thunder Bay.

Did you know? Royal Air Force Flight Commander Roy Brown is the fighter pilot officially credited with shooting down WWI ace Manfred von Richthoven known as The Red Baron on April 21, 1918. Brown was an Ontarian, born in Carleton Place.

The comic book character, Superman, was first drawn by comic artist, Joe Schuster who was born in Toronto. He was the son of Jewish immigrants: his father came from the Netherlands and his mother, Eda, from the Ukraine. Superman was co-created by Schuster and American writer, Jerry Siegel and first appeared as a character in Action Comics in 1938.

In July of 2015, Greater Toronto Area (GTA) hosted the Pan American Games with Canada represented by 717 athletes. The other 40 countries were represented by other countries in North America, South America and the Caribbean. The “Theme Song” was Together We Are One!. Mascot for the Games was Pachi, the fun-loving raccoon.

Ontario's Communities: This province is one of the most multi-cultural societies on earth. Half of all immigrants to Canada settle in Ontario. Of these, half live in Toronto (Canada's largest city)...the other half in communities across the province. Know your home and neighbours ~ explore!

Languages: After English (8,674,200 people) and French (473,315), the eight languages most commonly spoken in Ontario homes are: Italian (248,475), Cantonese (189,160), Chinese (187,160), Panjabi (174,875), Spanish (173,935), Tagalog (161,360), Portuguese (146,975), German (135,915).

How Windsor was Made: The City of Windsor was first settled by French voyageur fur traders. The French named the Detroit River in the late 17th century, but the small village south of the river was named Windsor by a Scottish immigrant in 1836. Discover the rich history and diverse heritage of Windsor...and how the region developed and changed from being a...'beaver-pelt-trading-outpost'.

Mass Migration: One of the largest population migration of modern times occurred after the unification of Italy in1861. An estimated 26 million Italians left their homeland over the next century. After the Second World War, almost a half-million Italians moved to Canada...where workers were in great demand. By 1991, more than1.1 million called Canada their new home...and 700,000 chose to settle in Ontario.

New Metro Moves Toronto: Canada's first subway opened for service in Toronto on March 30, 1954.
Running from Eglinton Avenue south to Union Station, the tube carried 250,000 riders on its first day.
Today it's a very intricately developed underground transportation system ridden by thousands.

Pelee Island and Middle Islands are the most southern points in Canada. Located in Lake Erie, the islands and Point Pelee National Park are renowned for bird-watching, diving, shipwrecks and history. The islands are also home to Pelee Island Winery.

The “Group of Seven”, also known as the Algonquin School ~ was a group of Canadian landscape painters from 1920 to 1933, originally consisting of: Franklin Carmichael, A.Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer, Frank Johnston, Frederick Varley, J.E. MacDonald and Lauren Harris. A few others, by invitation, joined later. Two artists, commonly associated with the group are Tom Thomson and Emily Carr. Large collections of their work can be found at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto...the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the McMichael Canadian Art Collections in Kleinburg, Ont.

Origin of the Name: 'Ontario' comes from the Iroquois word 'kandario' meaning 'sparkling water'.
The province is aptly named for its lakes and rivers making up 1/5th of its area. In 1641, the land along the north shore of the easternmost part of the Great Lakes was described by the name Ontario. Later, the southern par of the province was referred to as Old Ontario. The name Ontario was adapted for the new era that began in 1867...when the area became a province.
Population (2006) ~ 12,687,000
Area: Land ~ 891,190 sq. km
Fresh Water ~ 177,390 sq. km
Capital City ~ Toronto
Date of entry into Confederation ~July 1, 1867

History: Ontario was first inhabited by the Algonquia and Iroquoian-speaking nations. The most important Algonquin nation in Ontario was the Ojibwa,which lived in northern Ontario. There were two major Iroquoian confederations ~ the Iroquois and the Huron. The Five Nations of the Iroquois (Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Mohawk) lived near Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The Huron natives inhabited the area near Lake Simcoe.

These natives were highly developed 'politically and culturally' by the time the Europeans penetrated the area. In 1610, Henry Hudson became the first European to set foot in Ontario. Samuel de Champlain and Etienne Brule established contact with the First Nation of Southern Ontario in 1613

By 1774, the British controlled what is now Southern Ontario, then part of the Province of Quebec. After the American Revolution, the great influx of Loyalists to this region led to the creation of a new province. The Constitutional Act of 1791, which split the province in two, renamed the area Upper Canada. The Act of Union of 1840 joined Upper and Lower Canada once again...this time as 'The Province of Canada'. Canada East and Canada West continued to be two distinct regions. They entered the confederation conferences of 1864 as though they were separate...and they became different provinces...Ontario and Quebec at Confederation in 1867.

At Confederation, the province was little larger than the present day Southern Ontario. Bitter border disputes with Manitoba over the area north of Lake Superior ended in 1889...when it became part of Ontario. The rest of Northern Ontario was annexed in 1912 when Ontario expanded to its current size.
Ontario is the 2nd largest and most populous province of Canada today!

Coat of Arms: Ontario was granted its Coat of Arms by Queen Victoria in 1868. The 'Arms' were augmented with a crest, supporters and motto by King Edward VII in 1909. The red Cross of St. George (symbolic of England) appears in the upper third of the shield. The lower portion of the shield features...three golden maple leaves (emblematic of Canada) on a green background. The shield is supported by a 'moose' and a Canadian 'deer'; a 'black bear' on the crest above the shield. Ontario is the only province or territory that uses a highly stylized rendition of its 'Coat of Arms'.
Motto ( in Latin): Loyal she began and loyal she remains.

The Flag of Ontario was adopted by the Legislature in 1965, with Queen Elizabeth II approving use of the Royal Union Flag written within the flag design the same year.

Floral Emblem: The white trillium was adopted in 1937. It blooms in late April and May and are very sensitive to light...and the white flowers bend toward the sun as it moves across the sky. The white trillium is found in the deciduous forests and woodlands of Ontario.
Other Emblems: Tree ~ Eastern White Pine
Bird ~ Common Loon
Gemstone ~ Amethyst
Slogan ~ Yours to Discover (as displayed on vehicle licence plates)

Theme Song ~ “A Place to Stand” is an historic part of Ontario's culture! You may recall its title as
Ontari-ari-ari-o, but its real name was A Place to Stand commissioned by the Ontario Government as a soundtrack for a short documentary film that was screened at the Ontario Pavilion at Expo 1967 in Montreal. For about 30 years,” A Place to Stand” was considered Ontario's “Unofficial Anthem”.

Give us a place to stand and a place to grow
And call the land Ontario.
A place to live for you and me
With hopes as high as the tallest tree.
Give us a land of lakes and a land of snow
And we will build Ontario:
A place to stand, a place to grow

From western hills to northern shore;
To Niagara Falls where the waters roar.
Give us a land of peace where the free winds blow
And we will build Ontario:
A place to stand, a place to grow

The music was spirited, the words 'catchy';
and was sung by Ontarians province-wide.

Merle Baird-Kerr...scripted July 9, 2015
To comment...email to

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Women's Insight

Written by Heidi Stevens, the following was published in the Chicago Tribune:

Book Offers Next Chapter in 'Having it All'

Ann-Marie' Slaughter's essay,“Why Women Still Can't Have It All” is among the five most-read articles in the history of “The Atlantic”. It has been viewed an estimated 2.7 million times since its 2012 publication and is widely credited with injecting energy (positive and negative) into the long-running conversation about work/life balance. Slaughter continued that conversation in her new book: “Unfinished Business ~ Women, men, work, Family which she devotes considerable time to redefining the 'all' we're struggling so mightily to have.

I grew up believing my father's work was more important than my mother's work...and that to become a liberated woman, was to be like my dad and become a lawyer. Slaughter went a few steps beyond lawyer, serving as the first female director of policy under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She commuted to Washington, D.C. every week from her home in New Jersey, where her husband, Andy, served as 'lead parent' to their sons (aged10 and12) when she started the job in 2009.

Two years later, she headed back to Princeton to resume her post as law professor. “I had always believed, and told all the young women I taught and mentored, that women could 'have it all', meaning simply that they could have careers and families in the same way and at the same levels as men do,” Slaughter wrote. “Men who are presidents, CEO's, directors, managers, leaders of all kinds have families too...but here I was, committed to my career as I had ever been.

I no longer think my dad's work was more important than my mom's. I see the way my mother invested in all of us ~ her three children and her extended family ~ and I think that is an equal achievement. We grow by investing in others as much as we do investing in ourselves. Traditionally, the world of men's work was investing in themselves and competition.

Women should have ample time to nurture children, aging parents, ailing spouses...without watching their careers suffer. It's up to us to create the conditions in which the two can reinforce each other. This means referring to men with careers and kids as working fathers...the same way we call women as
working mothers. It means pushing corporations and the Federal Government to support flexible hours and generous family leave and quality child care”.
It is society as a whole that assigns value and prestige to what people do.
That is the world we must now create.

Diana Nyad Explains Why 66 is Better than 28

I was 64 when I became the first to swim the 110.86 miles from Cuba to Florida, something I failed when I was28. The truth is, I am a better athlete in my mid-60's than I was, even as a world champion in my mid-20's. The cliche is that we reach our 'prime in middle age because we are mature; we have found patience and perspective. We recognize that our time is more and more valuable with each fleeting year. We tap into a well of experience and open-mindedness.

There is no doubt that I am breathing the life force of my prime physical self now, at age 66:
I am more resilient. My immune system is a stronger fortress.
I can summon a brute strength I never had back in the day.
I was a thoroughbred then, more finely tuned, but also somewhat fragile.
These days I'm more of a Clydesdale, sturdy and stalwart.
If you told me I'd be left stranded in the wilderness for many months and could choose at which age I would attempt to survive the ordeal, I'd pick this very age, 66. I accept the lines on my face, cartilage thinning in the knees, the breasts riding lower and lower. Who calculates that we're too old to work in our profession? Who decrees the assigned ages for productivity and vitality? I accept the laws of the universe when it comes to aging ~ but I point-blank refuse to cower in the face of the weak and faulty statistics, geared for the masses, that pay little respect to the will and potential of the individual.
This is the crux of it all:
We rabidly pursue youth in the name of appearing young.
Too many of us aren't exercising our bodies and carefully contemplating every food morsel we eat.
Age is not only a 'state of mind' ~ it is a state of body, as well.
We think our value lies in what age we are perceived to be rather than in the measurements of how we are performing and what we're experiencing. I insist to be left to my own reckoning!”

A Woman's Contentment ~ Her Perfect Breakfast

She's sitting at the table with her steaming gourmet coffee. Her son is on the cover of the Wheaties box.
Her daughter is on the cover of Business Week. Her boyfriend is on the back of the milk carton.

Audrey Hepburn's Beauty Tips

For attractive LIPS...speak words of kindness.
For lovely EYES...seek out the good in people.
For a slim FIGURE...share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful HAIR...let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.
For POISE...walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two HANDS:
one is for helping yourself and the other for helping others
Remember that people, even more than things, have to be
restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed.
Boost someone's self-esteem today.

Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...October 31, 2015
To share your views, email to:

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Father and Daughter Discussion

Difference Between a Conservative and Liberal

A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she deemed herself to be a very Liberal Democrat, and among other liberal ideals, was very much in favour of higher taxes to support more government programs...in other words, redistribution of wealth.

She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Conservative...a feeling that she openly expressed. Based on the lectures she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harboured an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his. One day she challenged her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs. The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by asking how she was doing in school.

Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA...and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many college friends...because she spent all her time studying.

Her father listened and then asked, “How is your friend, Audrey doing?” She replied, “Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes...she never studies...and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She's always invited to all the parties and lots of times, she doesn't even show up for classes because she is too hung over.

Her wise father asked his daughter, “Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0 GPA?” The daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired back, “That's a crazy idea...how would that be fair? I've worked really hard for my grades! I've invested a lot of time and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!”

The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, “Welcome to the Conservative Party. If anyone has a better explanation of the difference between 'conservative and liberal', I'm all ears.”

* * * * * * * * *

If you ever wondered what side of the fence you sit on,
this is a great test!

If a Conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.
If a Liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a Conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.
If a Liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a Conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a Liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a Conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better the situation.
A Liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a Conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don't like, be shut down.

If a Conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A Liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.
(Unless it's a foreign religion, of course!)

If a Conservative reads this, he'll forward it so his friends will have a good laugh.
A Liberal will delete it because he's 'offended'.

(Thanks to Tom for the above debate.)

Words of Wisdom by Winston Churchill

A politician needs the ability to foretell what's going to happen
tomorrow, next week, next month and next year.
And how to have the ability afterward ~
to explain why it didn't happen.

Submitted by Merle Baird-Kerr...November 2, 2014
Replies appreciated...email to:

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Father's Day

The Discovered Mysteries of Fathers
and suggested “Gift Guide”.

Who's That Man? He's that man upon whose shoulders you rode at the zoo. That man who showed you how to swing a hammer. That man who gave you your sense of humour. He's “pop, father, daddy, dad, the old man. But there's more to him, isn't there?

He's a man with interests, passions, likes and hobbies. 
 He's a golfer, craftsman, sports nut, traveller, chef or professional hammocker. 
 Who he is...you'll know best. What gift to affix to his Father's Day card.? 
Find something that makes you think....That's so Dad!

The Apron Man...bringing home the bacon...followed by wrapping it around pork tenderloin stuffed with apples, dried cranberries and spinach. This is the recipe of a dad who appreciates cuisine, intricacy and the importance of family dinner. For him...a gift that enhances a meal!

The Botanical Man: Before Facebook and Googling, a man's front yard was how others got a sense of him. Your dad still believes this. Pruning, planting, watering and mowing is how he spends his weekend. And, enjoyably so! He's a dad who knows the feeling of earth between his fingers...give something that complements his passion!

The Handy Man...wrenches, pliers, saws, chisels, drills. For some men, “tools” isn't isn't a computer menu bar option. Tools are actually tools...made of metal, wood and sharp edges. Put one in his calloused hands and he can build or fix anything. To these dads, a gift made by a like-minded craftsman is one he'll proudly accept and place on his bar, which he probably constructed!

The Trophy Man: No, he's not your mother's arm caddy. Instead, he's the dad who turned Mom's spare bedroom into a trophy case. Because of him, you can throw a football straight, ski a Double Black Diamond and never lost a school yard game of...”Oh, yeah, my dad can...”

The Hammock Man: That cloud looks like an elephant driving a car. Should I get off this recliner to answer the phone? These (or ones very similar) are the weekend thoughts of a dad who has figured out how to enjoy life with his feet up. For him...a gift that pairs well with a slow Sunday afternoon or long conversation is a gift carefully chosen.

The Thinking Man: A book on his bedside table...the crossword completed (without the help of the Internet)...a corduroy blazer with elbow patches. These are telltale of an intellectual man. A gift that can hold its own next to a thickening storyline or political debate is proof, some of dad's intellect trickled down a generation.

The Reel Man: Not clubs on Saturday nights, but bait shops on Sunday mornings. Not rooftop hot tubs, but sitting in a bush or boat waiting for something to move. That's the wild life some men are drawn to. Dads of this nature value the “hunt and the effort.” A gift, patiently and carefully sought wouldn't go unnoticed.

The Dashing Man...Paris, Milan; the grocery store...no matter where your father is, he's the best-dressed man there. He has an eye for beautiful clothes, sharp grooming and gorgeously designed things. All reasons why a gift that highlights artistry and aesthetics is one he'll be excited to add to his collection.

The Encore Man: If you're asking, “Is my dad rock 'n roll?” He isn't. You'd know...by the hair on his head, the leather in his closet, the records in his basement and the look on his face when he hears music from the millennium. Rock 'n roll is about loudness. A gift for your dad needs to be bold.

The Boarding Pass Man: Men with an unusual amount of pushpins in their map of places been...or peculiar collection of hotel slippers under their bed at home...love experiences. A gift that tests his boundaries will be a weekend adventure...and one he'll savour and share with friends who visit from far-away places.

The Old School Man: Tastes, Perspectives, Hairstyles...for some men, these things don't waver. It's the “if it ain't broke...” philosophy to life. A gift that beckons a time when things weren't done right and a quarter could still buy you something, will put a smile on his face...even if it's something dad hasn't seen before.

The Impossible Man: Whiskey or rum or socks with the gift receipt tucked into the box??? What to get the dad who keeps his likes guarded requires a different route. Give him an experience...perhaps to shop with a “Gift Card”. That may be the gift that suits him best.

Of interest:
Curators tapped the wisdom of nine LCBO buyers
to bring you what just might be the best
Father's Day Gift Guide...ever!

Merle Baird-Kerr...crafted June 24, 2013
To comment...scroll down...may sign in as “anonymous”
or e-mail...inezkate@gmail.com

Saturday, June 4, 2016

"Satan's Shoes"

... as described by Jennifer Lawrence in USA TODAY

I have arthritis!
Originally diagnosed as 'degenerative osteo-arthritis', it was first noticed several years ago when playing my regular 9-hole golf game on Tuesday mornings. Friends commented that I was limping. Shortly thereafter, my left knee pain ensued. I began medicating with the advertised herbal pill remedies...name them...I tried them all over a couple years without relieving the arthritic pain. I then consulted a recommended physio-massage-therapist. Bohdi Haraldsson (Icelandic) who was an instructor at the local therapy college, and had his own practice, treated me weekly. Also a specialist in acupuncture, he administered this treatment with little or no success. His advice to me was, “Discard your high heels today!” He further stated, “Women love them....but arthritis is no friend to them!”
Arthritis could be caused from 'wear and tear' on the joints.
Recreational sports were my forte ! Skiing, summer and winter tennis,
dancing a couple times a week, golf.
Could also be caused from constant standing and walking in high heeled shoes. Bohdi's diagnosis was correct. He recommended I take water-therapy a couple times per week. It was very relaxing for a few hours...then the former pain would again return. The therapist loaned me a magnetic mattress upon which to sleep; in addition I wore an ankle bracelet...to no avail. X-rays and specialists indicated arthritis was attacking other body areas: right knee, hips and back. Surgery was not an option...their best advice was 'learn to cope' with it. I could have worse diseases! So now, Tylenol taken daily is my relief...and I walk with a butterfly-decor cane...frequently using a 'walker' when carrying items.
I comment here that I never wore high heels constantly...
usually a half-day in the classroom or on real estate appointments
then resorted to 'flats' remainder of the day.

A Red-Carpet Must for A-Listers and Most Actresses
Where Fashion Trumps Comfort
(Excerpts from an article by Donna Freydkin)

Flat shoes BANNED from Cannes Red Carpet
after organizers insist all women wear high heels.
Regardless of age or medical condition,
all women must wear heels to screenings.”

Somehow, while promoting her thriller, 'Sicario' at Cannes Film Festival, Emily Blunt became the saviour of soles. “Everyone should wear flats, to be honest. We shouldn't be wearing high heels any more,” she said at a news conference after reports that women were turned away from a gala premiere because they weren't in heels. “That's my point of view. I just prefer wearing Converse sneakers.”

Jaime Maser, a New York-based public relations guru who has handled many glitzy red-carpet galas stated, “While I wish it came down to comfort, there are certain situations where style comes first ~ and when you're a celeb, one of those situations are red carpets. It's part of the job...to dress the part.”

Most women do opt for heels because it makes them feel 'dressed'...elongates the legs and pulls the look all together, but they are not for everyone. At the end of the day, it depends on the look and how you feel. The dress will speak to you. But, no trickery can compensate for comfort. For many women, it's a mindset. “Heels are instant power and confidence,” says Aliza Licht, longtime fashion publicist.

The author examples several actresses with quotes about pros & cons of 'high heels'.

The Physical Truth about Wearing High Heels

True 'perfect pumps' can create the perfect storm for permanent health problems.
If you frequently wear high heels, you are setting yourself up for long-term issues.
Extended wear of high heels and continually bending your toes into an unnatural position can cause a range of ailments ~ from ingrown toenails to irreversible damage to leg tendons. Also, cramming your toes into a narrow toe-box can cause nerve damage and bunions,” says Dr. Nevins. “High heels are further linked to overworked or injured leg muscles, osteoarthritis of the knee(s) and low back pain.”
In addition, Plantar Fascilitis can develop: a foot injury...whereby walking (even a short distance) is excruciating!

Dr. Nevins states, “When you wear shoes with a heel 2 inches or higher, your foot slides forward in your shoe, forcing the toes into the unnatural shape of the shoe and redistributing your weight incorrectly ~ causing your body to tilt forward...and to compensate, you lean backwards and over-arch your back ~ creating a posture that can strain your knees, hips and lower back.
To change this position of your spine puts pressure on the nerves in the back
and can cause 'sciatica'...a condition where nerves
become trapped, trigger pain and numbness as far down as the feet.

Recommendations to Avoid These Problems:
Choose sensible heels (1 ½ inches or less) with a wide heel base (spreading the load more easily).
Narrow stiletto-type heels provide little support; 3 inches or higher may shorten the Achilles tendon.

Wear soft insoles to reduce the impact on your knees.

Ensure your shoes are the right size, so the foot doesn't slide forward. Select a shoe with a wide enough toe-box to allow you to wiggle your toes.

Wear heels only on days that require limited walking or standing.

Alternate your shoe choice throughout the day...or from one day to the next.

Stretch...take time every day to stretch calf muscles and feet. Dr. Nevins recommends standing on the edge of a step with your shoes off; with the weight on the balls of your feet and your heels extending off the edge, drop your heels down to stretch. You can also put a pencil down on the floor...and try to pick it up with your toes.
Your feet are your base of support.
If your feet aren't happy ~ nothing above them will be!

Merle Baird-Kerr...written May 24, 2015
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