Mosquitos Suck

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The deadliest creature alive probably munched on you this past summer. This dastardly winged creature has been responsible for the death of up to 2.7 million people every year, far more than any weather-related fatalities. These blood-sucking demons are nature’s most efficient carriers of deadly viruses. They are responsible for transmitting Malaria, Dengue Fever, Yellow fever, Encephalitis, Chikungunya, West Nile, the Zika Virus, and even heartworms through their saliva. That, is quite the résumé,  little insect.

Perhaps, even more interesting is that only the females of the mosquito species suck blood from living creatures, the males only consume flower nectar.   And do you know why the females have an insatiable need for blood? It’s to enable their reproductive cycle to succeed, our liquid life is an essential ingredient to enable the creation of mosquito children. That’s right, the most irritating insects in the world uses the protein and iron pilfered from mammals to bring bouncing baby mosquito eggs to life.

These dastardly demons of the insect world would give you the chills if you saw them up close. How many nasty needle-like proboscises do you think the heinous little beast has to gorge on your blood? One? Two? Three? Nope. And the buzzard sounds— Six, in a single mosquito bite, six needle-like components enter your flesh. First, the two outer mandibles saw into your skin, then the second set holds the tissues apart as the hypopharynx drips saliva into the jagged opening. The saliva prevents the blood from clotting. Lastly, the labrum siphons up the crimson liquid by joining up with the hypopharynx to form a straw. Slurp, slurp, slurp. The female strives to fill her abdomen space up to the maximum capacity with red blood cells. To accomplish this,  while she is extracting the blood from the mammal, she is separating the water from the iron-rich beverage, and squeezing out the excess water in the form of pee. So not only is she stealing your blood, she’s taking a whiz on you at the same time. How horrid is that? Do you feel violated yet?

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Did you know that the word mosquito, is Spanish for little fly? Yet a mosquito is entirely different than a Spanish fly?  A Spanish fly was an aphrodisiac formulated by grinding up blister beetles, and when it was consumed, it was supposed to provoke extreme sexual arousal in men. Alas, a common side effect was death. So, I surmise from that tidbit of information that, a Spanish fly and a mosquito are actually quite similar in that they can both cause an unexpected demise.

Did you know a male mosquito lives for five to seven days? Yet the female can live up to a month. I find that fact oddly satisfying.

Now here’s an oddball but curious question. How many mosquitos would it take to drain an adult human of their blood? Amazingly enough, it would take approximately one million mosquitos to bleed you dry. However, that particular fact is irrelevant, because you would be dead before they finished with you. The human defence system would release such a massive amount of histamine into your body that you’d go into shock and die long before your veins were emptied. Histamine is a chemical that is released when foreign pathogens are detected in your body. The saliva from the female mosquito is what produces a histamine release, and then in turn, is what causes the insane itching at the bite site.

Let’s wrap it up with the most grisly question of all, how large does one mosquito need to be to bleed you dry? Although the answer can’t be proven, some scientists say, in theory  a mosquito should be the size of a large dog in order to have the ability to slush puppie you dry, but then again, once you take into account the monstrous size that the outer saw-like mandibles would become, it’ll be more like the magicians trick of a person being sawed in half without the revival. I think I’ll stick to the tiny blood-sucking mosquitoes I can smack.

Are you looking forward to winter yet?

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A world without mosquitos.

 

 

What You Do.

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We all begin at the same place, as wide-eyed innocent children, full of wonder, exploring our amazing and magical world. More often than not, it’s the people and the expectations from our culture around us that banishes the sparkle from our existence. We begin to give our attention to what everyone else wants for us as opposed to whatever we might desire. It happens through dogma and brainwashed beliefs. It’s taught to us when our sponge-like minds are ready to soak up knowledge like water from a sink; be normal, work hard, and don’t fool around. Society wants typical, well-behaved, tax paying citizens. Don’t listen. I dare you to ignore the propaganda of all news related feeds. If you want to read something worthwhile, read psychology books, so you can become familiar with human thought processes, and as a result you will find the clarity to live your own future.

I’m here to remind you that living within the constraints of society’s ‘normal’ is soul sucking. It leads you into the robot factory. Rise and shine, eat, have a big poop, go to work, eat, work, come home, eat, watch TV or play video games. Intermittently, you will shop and buy stuff you need; food, clothing, and toilet paper. Much of the time you purchase extra hogwash you don’t really want, or need. Usually, it’s because the television recommended the product, or a fashion magazine demanded you to buy it to remain en vogue.

Let me ask you, what did you do last night? Did you do anything that fed your inner spark that leads to feeling alive? Or did you simply zone out in front of the television while it brainwashed you into new purchases that will max out your credit card? Listen, I don’t want to be a nagging voice. I’m pretty sure you already have one of those. I simply want to say, you are potential incarnate. Don’t settle for where you are, or you will find yourself on autopilot sporting a vapid stare.

Let’s pause for a second my confidante, consider the fact that our bodies are simply blood and bone with some muscle and gristle thrown in for good measure. Consider also, that we are all on a continuous path to the compost heap. Looking at those facts, I have to wonder why we get stuck in the robot life? Why don’t we have some fun while we are here? As a matter of fact, why not have a whole heap of fun? We don’t need to be so serious about our lives. I seriously think we need to drop all the frowsy faces. As a matter of fact I’m going to insist. I’ve changed into a kickass desperado. I’m a brigand with a black balaclava on, fighting for fun. I pump  my 12 gauge shot-gun and fire it into the air to wipe away the vapid stares and frowns faces. “Listen up folks,” I shout. “I’m taking all your frowns. You figure out how to put a smile on your face without using money, because no one goes to the grave with all their stuff. The pyramids are closed for business.” A ray of light shines through the blast hole in the ceiling, dust drifts down like the sparkles from a diamond. I rip off my balaclava and stand in the glittering glow like a fairy godmother in the sunlight. “Tick tock, my friends, the compost heap is near. Decipher what brings enchantment into your life before the clock strikes twelve.”

One last bit of useful advice, ignore all your shoulds, coulds, and woulds that will undermine your ability to create your chosen life. You know what I speak of, I should do that. I would have done that. I could do that. Should, would and could are words that will hold you back because they attached to the energy of a big fat BUT. Speak no more buts, instead, ask yourself; what’s holding you back? Why are you hesitating? How can I make my dreams come true? Grab a hold of your desires today. Begin your plan today to manifest the best life you can imagine. Keep in mind however, that I am not condoning acts of self-mutilation or murder.

 

A Good Life

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Alvin Richard Mitchell  May 12, 1940 — August 2, 2016

“That was when the world wasn’t so big and I could see everywhere. It was when my father was a hero and not a human.” — Markus Zusak

My dad, Alvin was born into a family as the oldest of two children. During his early years he excelled at annoying the crap out of his younger sister, Shirley. Yet, somehow despite the fact he was a shit disturber, he remained the apple of his Mom’s eye. He adored his Mother until the end of his time. “She was a great woman,” he would say  emphatically. “A hard working woman —And boy could she swing an axe.”

He was raised to be a tough farmboy, who wasn’t allowed the luxury of using excuses for unfinished work. As a result of his upbringing with high expectations he became a determined individual. Al was always up for a challenge. He went straight from the farm fields, and right into the oil patch to earn his livelihood as a rig hand. Then when the jobs on the rigs slowed for spring breakup, he joined the Navy on a whim. He became the ships signalman. He travelled the seas from San Francisco to Singapore. On shore leave in Victoria, B.C. he met his future wife, Gail. Then shortly after, Alvin’s father, Walter, injured his leg in a farming accident and was unable to work. Under those circumstances, Alvin was given a compassionate discharge from the Navy in order to return home and run the family farm. Once Walter’s leg was healed he went back to farming, and once again Alvin found himself looking for work. It didn’t take long before he was hired on through the forestry as a timber cruiser, and once again his amazing work ethic led him into a position working as a Forest Officer for the Alberta Forest Service.

During the next five years, at separate intervals, Alvin became a proud/confused father to three bouncing/ squealing baby girls. During this time, it was with great pleasure that Al took night classes to earn his pilots licence. Eventually the trials of continually dealing with people within the rules of a bureaucratic government job took its toll, and he escaped. He bought the family farm from his father, Walter. He worked the land and raised cattle for many years until he became too cranky and fed-up to handle one more day of cow shit and tractor exhaust.

Alvin retired to British Columbia, with his second wife, Gil, to a life of fishing, curling, and golfing. He even had the occasional game of ‘Why the hell did I play ball? I can hardly walk‘, with a slow-pitch team called the Brew Crew, in Robson, B.C.

It’s funny, my Dad never considered the possibility that cancer might snuff out his life. I’m not sure why he hadn’t, after a lifetime of smoking he should have known the big C would be the logical result. Oddly enough it didn’t take hold in his lungs, it took root in his bowels. They operated, and then treated him with chemo and radiation. He toughed it out. As time went on, I knew for a fact that he would have preferred a bolt of lightening, rather than the long drawn out treatments, making him feel sicker than the illness itself. It was a shocking experience for him after a lifetime of good health.

When the cancer came back, it sapped his strength, and ate his body. The damage caused by the sickness angered Alvin, “I look like a goddamn concentration camp victim,” he would say. And he did. I could have learned every single bone in a humans skeleton on his ravaged body. Yet, Dad still breathed.

The vibrant man of action that I had known all my life was now replaced by a ghost of what he had been. He was a mere shadow of his former self, and he spent his final days staring out the window, and watching the river flow along. I could see in his wistful gaze, that he wished for the strength to toss in a hook and snag a fish one last time. In the confines of his living room, the constant drone of the television sounded; hockey, golf, curling, and of course, both the morning and nightly news, for both Alberta and British Columbia. And then for some bizarre reason Alvin choose, ‘My Five Hundred Pound Life’ as a short term favourite. The fragility of a human life had never seemed so clear for this man who had once sailed around the world. Now, confined to his living room by his illness, it was there in that small space, where he found comfort in small things. He sat in his recliner, sipped on his coffee, and pulled deeply on his cigarette. They were the only things he had the strength to do.

I asked if he had any regrets. If there was anything he would have liked to change about his past life. I watched him ponder that question as he inhaled another lungful of smoke. “No,” he said as he paused tilting his head, and tapping the ashes off his ciggy. “Well— I don’t think so,” he replied in his gritty voice. “I’ve had a pretty good life.” He nodded slowly. “A pretty good life.” And then he offered me a grin, weathered and worn. The familiar smile that all his friends and family loved, the one that invited you to smile along. And of course a person would. That was Alvin, that was my Dad in his final days. Gil’s cinnamon buns for breakfast, a good cup of coffee, and his smoke. He was a simple man, satisfied with the abundance of ordinary things. Nothing fancy for him in his faded flannel, thread bare, plaid shirt, his favourite attire— with, of course, a pocket to hold all the lighters he would inadvertently borrow when looking for a light.

It’s a painful process watching your Dad whither away. He was my hero when I was young. I thought the sun choose him to shine on all day long. I remember being a bobbling child and following his light around just to feel it’s warmth. He walked with giant steps, and towered over all things. He was the most handsome, athletic, brilliant Dad that anyone could ever wish for. I felt bad for all the other kids with ordinary Dads.

As age often does, there came a time I saw my Dad as a mortal. He struggled, but he did the best he could. He taught us the basics to succeed in life. First and foremost, he instilled a strong work ethic in his girls, Holy Hannah, the work ethic was strong. Later in life Dad said, “I know I was hard on all you girls, but it’s important in life to do a good job, it shows strong character.”

Growing up on the farm our Dad taught us how to drive, disc, rake hay, give a strong left hook, hammer, paint, shoot, fish, and run the grain auger while keeping body parts safe. He taught us to skidoo—but I missed the lesson on avoiding trees. He taught us how to dance to the oldies, the jive, the twist and the two-step. I may have kicked my sisters inadvertently. He schooled us on poker, and how to lose the entire contents of your piggy bank at poker. All great lessons.

When he became a grandfather, he literally beamed when spending time with his grandkids, a sunflower would have been persuaded to swivel on it’s stalk to follow the light in his heart.

My Dad died at the age of 76. He was the oldest, young-hearted  person, I ever knew. He will forever be missed. For such a slender fellow he sure took up a big space in plenty of hearts. God, Bless him.

 

 

Ragging on Trudeau

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I love Canada, I love the expansive diversity of the people within it, because for the most part we are all top drawer, fly, awesome, all that, and a bag of chips. But you know what makes me hang my head in shame? It’s our leader. It’s our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. I end up with a permanent sauerkraut face every time I hear him speak. Can somebody get this guy some acting lessons?

I spent a couple of hours on the Internet watching footage during question period in the House of Commons. I couldn’t help but notice Mr. Trudeau rarely answers a question from the opposition. He just reiterates that they lowered taxes for the middle class, and raised taxes for the wealthiest 1%, and increased the child tax benefit. Yes, to his credit he did do those things, but he also implemented an increase in the CPP and the EI. The whole thing made me nauseous. I ended up taking the dog outside for some fresh air. We both ate grass in the ditch to make our tummy’s feel better.

Mr Trudeau’s first budget for 2016/2017 was supposed to bring us into a 10 billion dollar deficit. It ballooned into a 17.8 billion dollar deficit. In 2017/2018 the deficit is supposed to be 19 billion. In 2018/2019 the government ran a 14 billion dollar deficit. With all this debt, the red ink is running out and the pen with the black ink has been sucked into the black hole of liberal spending— And for what?

We all know Justin believes in peace and love. Me too, that’s why I’m not in politics. But did he really need to give $20 million dollars to the Clinton Foundation when we have hungry and homeless people at home? Is he trying to buy his way into fame with the tax payers money? I just want to say, “Let me give you a heads up Junior, you can’t buy love or respect. You can buy sex though. And selfies are free. Not saying you ever bought sex, but the whole country knows about your selfie addiction.”

I would like to believe Justin Trudeau will evolve into a great leader. I want to believe in miracles… but I think I have to face the facts. Here are some Justin Trudeau fact quotes,

Justin— “I can do anything I want, and there is nothing I want more, than to be a teacher, and maybe create more people like me, who recognise the importance of taking responsibility for the world.” (The Globe and Mail, February 3, 2001) So now you understand where the Canadian taxpayers money is going. He is building a secret laboratory and cloning his DNA to make more people just like him.

Justin—“One of the big difficulties for me, has been all my life, I’ve been an international traveler. I’ve spent years travelling around the world, seeing all sorts of different countries.” (Salam Toronto, March 27, 2014) It’s a hardship indeed. Was that an arrogant statement? Or a smug statement? Maybe his next quote will clarify.

Trudeau was asked, “Do you regret making the comment about China? That it was the country you most admire?” Apparently he admires China a great deal, after all he gave them the LNG project worth billions instead of using Canadian companies and Canadian steel.

“Maybe we shouldn’t be so smug about Canada,” replied Trudeau. (Xtra, November 20, 2013)

Holy horse pucky, damn rights I’m smug about Canada. Would you like to live in China Mr. Trudeau? http://thediplomat.com/2017/03/chinas-human-rights-crackdown-a-global-problem/

Justin “But 15 million dollars a year, which is not a whole lot of money in the grand scheme of things.” (Sun News, March 30, 2012) Pffff, it’s just a drop in the bucket Justin. Which leads directly into the next quote— Justin said,  “The budget will balance itself.” (CPAC, February 11, 2014)

Justin— “Canada isn’t doing well right now because it’s Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda. It doesn’t work.” (Tele-Quebec, November 24, 2010.) Hey! Funny how Justin remembered the Albertans when it comes to the blame game, and redistributing Alberta’s wealth. I guess he just leaves us out of the celebrations.

Justin— “I am very much in favour of the west-east pipeline.” (Your McMurray Magazine, May 29, 2014)

Justin— “The East Energy Oil pipeline is not socially acceptable.” (Le Soleil, December 13, 2014) Excuse me Mr. Prime Minister— Omega 3 might help with your memory troubles.

Justin— “The thinking that got us into this place no longer holds. We have to rethink elements as basic as space and time.” (Sun News, September 11, 2014) Beam me up Scotty. Preferably to a space and time without Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister.