Mosquitos Suck

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A world without mosquitos. 

The deadliest creature alive probably munched on you this summer. This dastardly winged creature is responsible for the death of over a million people this year. They are nature’s most efficient carrier of deadly viruses. They are responsible for transmitting Malaria, Dengue Fever, Yellow fever, Encephalitis, Chikungunya, West Nile, the Zika Virus, and even heartworm through their saliva. Can you believe it? They even go after the dogs, the heartless wankers.

That is quite the résumé you have little insect.

And did you know, that it’s only the female mosquitos that suck our blood? I would hope they had a good reason, and they do, it’s for the children— for the mosquito children for Gosh sakes. Does that make you feel any more giving? Here take my blood. You need it more than I, you’re using the protein and iron to make darling little mosquito eggs.

Just jesting. No. No more life essence for you, tiny reaper of death. It only contributes to the horror— these mini-vamps steal our blood, only to create more creatures to steal our blood. Count Dracula was a mosquito. I’m certain of it.

We might curse Mother Nature for the creation of this plague upon nations, but it is a frugal system once your blood goes into the insect. The female mosquito squeezes the water from your blood, and then she pees it out on you as she fills up to maximum capacity on red blood cells. I guess they had time to become efficient. After all, they were here 20 million years before us.

Not only do they pee on you, an abuse I never knew, but did you know mosquitos are magicians? How many nasty needle-like proboscises do you think the heinous little beast has? One? Nope. And the buzzard sounds— Six! There are six needle-like pieces entering your flesh in a mosquito bite. The outer mandibles saw into your skin, the second set holds the tissues apart as they saw, the hypopharynx drips saliva into the opening to prevent blood from clotting, and last but not least the labrum sucks it up by joining up with the hypopharynx to form a straw. Slurp, slurp. How creepy is that? Do you feel violated yet?

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A child-like drawing to show all the needles in a mosquito proboscis, and the pee coming out as she hordes the red blood cells and gets rid of the water.

Did you know that mosquito is Spanish for little fly? Which is brilliantly different from a Spanish fly. Well maybe not so different. A Spanish fly is an aphrodisiac made from ground up blister beetles. The term was wildly popular in the 1980’s. When it’s eaten, it’s supposed to make men amorous. A common side effect is death. A mosquito with malaria could kill you too. So when we examine the terms in that light, they are actually quite similar.

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 odd ball but curious question. How many mosquitos would it take to drain an adult human of their blood? It would take approximately one million mosquitos to drain you dry. But truth be told, you would be dead before then anyway. Your body would be releasing so much histamine you’d go into shock and die long before all your blood had been transformed into mosquito eggs. It’s probably for the best.

And one last freakish question— how big does one mosquito have to be, to drain you dry? In theory  it would need to be the size of a large dog, but then considering the upgraded size of the outer saw like mandibles, it might become more of a person sawed in half magician trick without the revival. I think I’ll stick to the little blood sucking buggars I can smack.

Are you looking forward to winter yet?

What You Did.

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I’m putting in my two cents worth.

We all start out from 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 expectations from our culture around us that wipes the sparkle from our existence. It happens through dogma and brainwashed beliefs. It’s taught to us young— be normal, work hard, and don’t fool around. Society wants normal, well-behaved, tax paying citizens.

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 like food and toilet paper. Most of the time you buy hogwash you don’t really want, something the TV tells you to buy, or the latest hot ticket item that this month’s fashion weekly instructs you to buy. Or sometimes you purchase something because your neighbour has one, and your ego wants to keep up with the Joneses. Apparently the Joneses have everything. Granted there are a few people who are exceptions to the rule— they are the ones smiling.

During your week you might occasionally indulge in exercise, socializing, sports or artistic endeavours. You step out of the robot box. That feels whoo-hoo fun. You feel light and energetic, and you promise yourself to do it again, and then obligations get in the way. You find yourself back on autopilot in a lackluster state.

Let’s pause for a second— You do realise we are all just blood and bone with some muscle and gristle thrown in for good measure, right? You do know, that we are all on our way to the compost heap? Yeah? Then why are we stuck in the robot life? Why not have some fun on the way? As a matter of fact, why not have a whole heap of fun? We don’t need to be so serious about living—  Drop the frowsy faces. I’m serious right now! I am the robber with the balaclava on. I pump the 12 gauge shot-gun and fire it into the air. I holler out, “Listen up folks. I’m taking all your frowns. You figure out how to put a smile on your face, because no one is getting out alive.” The dust from the hole in the ceiling sprinkles down, like fairy godmother glitter in the sunlight. “I bring to you a glimmer of truth. The compost heap is down yonder, and while the timeline is individual for each of us— we’re all heading in the same direction— and it’s a straight shot.” So decipher what brings enchantment into your life now, before the clock strikes twelve.

Plug your ears. Ignore all the shoulds, and coulds, and woulds that try to rule your life. I should do that. I would have done that. I could do that. They all come with a big fat BUT on the end. What’s holding you back? Why are you hesitating? Grab hold of your dreams. Can you smell the compost pile? What is keeping you from what you desire? Is it worry and fear? Or is it about other people? And how they would view you, if you did what you actually wanted to do? At this point I am not supporting fantasies of self-mutilation or murder.

I can almost hear people shouting “Money!” It’s a lack of money keeping me from my smile. Well, you know the line from the Beetles song, ‘Money can’t buy me love?’ Well it’s true, and not only that, it can’t buy you happiness either. You need to figure out what it is that tickles your bliss, and puts a goofy grin on your face. You find that truth, and then  actively do more of that. Be more you and less ‘normal’. Unplug from the robot routine and search out your joys. It is in the doing of it which brings happiness, not in the having of it. And how do you want to be remembered when you hit the compost heap? Do you want to be memorialized by what you did? Or what you had?

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

Dad was the oldest of two children. He excelled at annoying the crap out of his younger sister Shirley. Yet, he still managed to remain the apple of his Mom’s eye. He adored his Mom. “She was a great woman,” Dad said with great emphasis. “A hard working woman —And boy could she swing an axe.”

Being a determined farm boy, Dad was always up for a challenge. He went straight from the field, and right to the oil patch working as a rig hand. When the rigs ran out of jobs, he joined the Navy on a whim. He travelled the seas from San Francisco to Singapore. On shore leave in Victoria, B.C. he met his future wife, Gail.

Then my Dad’s father, Walter, injured his leg in a farming accident. Dad received a compassionate discharge from the Navy to run the farm. When Walter’s leg healed enough to work, our Dad got a job as a timber cruiser. His performance led him into a position working as a Forest Officer for the Alberta Forest service.

During the next five years, at separate intervals, Dad became a proud/confused father to three bouncing/ squealing baby girls. During this time it was with great pleasure he earned his pilots licence by taking night classes.

After a few years of working in the bureaucratic bungling of a government job, Dad escaped the red tape. He bought the family farm off of our Gramps. He worked it for many years until he decided he had enough of cow poop and tractor exhaust.

He 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.

Dad never considered the possibility that cancer might be the thing to snuff out his life. I’m not sure why. 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, gave him a colostomy, chemo and radiation. He toughed it out. Even though 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 after a lifetime of good health.

When the cancer came back, it sapped his strength and ate away at his body. It angered him, “I look like a goddamn concentration camp victim,” he would say. And he did, I could have learned every bone in a human skeleton on my Dad. Yet he breathed.

He spent his last days staring out the window watching the river meander. I could see in his wistful gaze he wished for the strength to toss a fishing line, and hook a fish one last time. The constant drone of the T.V played, sports, or news. And then for some bizarre reason ‘My Five Hundred Pound Life’ became a short term favourite. He would sip on his coffee and pull deeply on his cigarette finding comfort in those small things.

I asked if he had any regrets. If there was anything he would have liked to change in his life.

He pondered the question inhaling 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. I’ve had a pretty good life.” He nods slowly. “A pretty good life.” And then he gives me a grin, weathered and worn. The familiar smile that all his friends and family loved, the one inviting you to smile along. And of course we all would. That was Alvin, 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 step, 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. Later in life Dad said, “I know I was hard on all you girls, but it’s important to do a good job.” It’s true. If I would have played football, I would have gotten many ass slaps for a job well done.

Growing up on the farm 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 our body parts safe. He taught me to skidoo—but I missed the part on avoiding trees. He taught us how to dance to the oldies, the jive. 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 swivelled on it’s stalk to follow the glow in his heart.

My Dad died at the age of 76, one year ago today. He was the oldest, young hearted  person, I ever knew. He is deeply missed. For such a slender fellow he sure took up a big space in our hearts. God Bless Pops.

 

 

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 23 billion dollar deficit. In 2017/2018 the deficit is supposed to be 28.5 billion. 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 aren’t exactly sure.

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?”

“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! Justin remembered the Albertans when it comes to the blame game. 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.