Welcome –

Imagine Peace

Imagine Peace Tower

 

“Imagine Peace Tower”- Tribute to John Lennon

—Should be a fitting welcome to this site,

—ya think?

~~~~~Jim

 

“Schnarr” is an Ymmpish word for anything stinky, sticky, gooey, slimey or otherwise unpleasant.  🙂 

 

“Anyone who fails to laugh at himself at least a couple times a day becomes brittle inside and runs the risk of premature aging-” TaleRocker Talxalot. 😉

Education Reform

– Wednesday, October 23, 2019 —> +11˚C / +51˚F —> Very Grey & cloudy in Atlantic Canada @ 1:22 pm –

Poster for talk given on Education Reform

– I found out about this talk too late to attend –

— I would have liked to have been there.

— Wow, Education Reform  –

— In the early to mid 1950’s I would often wake up early on a Saturday morning and run downstairs, turn on the television and watch a very silly line-up of primitive cartoons in black and white. Felix the Cat, Betty Boop – and wild and crazy things with hordes of angry mice carrying signs protesting something – those hordes of mice ( or whatever they were ) would rush and swarm all over all kinds of obstacles – I had no idea what that was all about, but I got used to it. I think we had three network stations and 3 independent New York City stations that were watchable and a couple other stations that were so fuzzy we never tried to watch them, there was also the problem of the sound not quite being tuned in properly.

— And if my parents were still in bed sleeping in when the cartoons were finished there were some odd ‘educational’ programs – I learned that by the year 2,000 we should have flying cars or automatic highways where pre-programed hooks would catch a ring beneath the car and carry you along at a uniform speed with all the other cars on that highway and launch you onto your exit when you got there. These highways would run on electricity and you would not have to burn any gasoline to get anywhere on them. Houses would be entirely automated, mothers dressed to the nines, wearing high heels and pearls would press a few buttons and gourmet dinners would appear all nicely presented on dinner plates. There would be automatic dish washing machines and clothes washing machines and dryers and all mom would have to do is fold the perfectly wrinkle free clothing when the dryers were through drying. Vacuum cleaners would be a giant leap forward from the goofy old mechanical things that moms had to push forward and pull back to clean all the dirt and lint from their carpets, and when that magical future came to us all, nobody would have to hang up rugs outside and beat them with wacky things that looked like stylized tennis rackets.

— And then again there were the more ‘newsy’ programs that showed us how the very scary communists in China were stealing children from their parents and forcing them in indoctrination concentration camps to make sure they never learned what it used to be like to be free and think for yourself beyond the limits of communist party guide lines.

— Nobody told us there were things euphemistically called ‘Residential Schools’ where ‘fine-upstanding-Christian’ clergy and nuns and teachers were drumming every last bit of indigenous culture out of what they might have tried to tell us were pitifully uncivilized savages who needed their ‘God-inspired guidance’ in those days. I don’t think anybody had coined the word ‘Cultural Genocide’  back then and if anybody described what was going on we would have believed that things like that happened in totalitarian communist countries, not here. Not in our enlightened and entirely positive United States and Canada.

— In 1968 I think it might have been Look Magazine that did a series of articles they called “Education and Ecstasy”. One of the first concepts that hit me when I read through their material was that “Children Love Learning”. There was a section on experimental, unstructured ‘Free Schools’ where children learned whatever they wanted to and adults/teachers were their to facilitate their learning. Near the end of that series of articles somebody said that if they wanted to build a University they would build a library and fill it with all the books they could fit into it. If they had money left over they would build a few laboratories. If they still had more money they might build dormitories and cafeterias where students could congregate and communicate with each other. Auditoriums where lecturers could come and tell large audiences about ideas they might not have been exposed to – Actors could put on plays, movies could be shown, and musicians could come and play music from other cultures – Museums would be a good idea to expose students to art and all manner of cultural artifacts from distant times and places. If they still had money left they would think about hiring professors. There would probably be a lot of intense, contentious arguments concerning whether or not they needed any administrators.

— I was a bright student. I was also one of the tallest students in any grammar school class I was in. The closest thing to conflict I experienced in the lower grades was when there were three of us who were taller than most and two slightly taller chairs and we three tried to get to one of the two chairs first. In first grade I seem to remember that another boy and I quite often tried to sit next next a certain young woman classmate { I’m ashamed to admit that I have recently forgotten her name. Shhh – don’t tell anybody. }

— My family moved from a neighbourhood that had been hastily put in place to house the work force the USA needed to fuel the war machine when World War II dawned in the US two years after it hit our Canadian neighbours – moved from a neighbourhood that today would have probably raise alarms and worries as to whether or not that might be a nice, friendly or safe atmosphere to raise children in – to a ‘nicer’ ‘higher class’ part of town. I’d spent the first eight and a half years without hearing anybody mutter the ‘eff’ word. Our nicer area was breeding children who were competing with each other to be the ‘coolest’, ‘most popular’, and ‘toughest’ kids on the playgrounds. On my first day in my new grammar school the teacher asked me to stand up and read aloud a section of a book that every other child in that fourth grade class had read already. I didn’t know anybody, I was an awkward stranger in a strange world, and I stuttered and stumbled over the words while my new classmates laughed at my expense. My teacher asked out loud if I should be in a lower grade or with a group of ‘slow learners’. In my first month in that school the only friendly classmate I met was somebody who had been ‘kept back’ three times, his mother was a single parent, a lawyer, and he had hair that was longer than any other boy in class and kind of looked like the style that Elvis sported in those days. AND he wore a black leather jacket with silver studs. He was soft spoken and quiet and told me he thought I looked ‘cool’ – He and his mother moved away before our spring break.

— In fifth and sixth grades in this ‘nice’ school pecking orders emerged. Two boys in my classroom became the better athletes – the kids who didn’t necessarily pick fights, but they were quick to anger and one of them nearly killed a less athletic kid who talked back and then pushed back when he was shoved. The bigger stronger heavier athlete knocked the slighter kid down, covered his mouth and nose and would have suffocated him right in front of dozens of kids on the playground before our afternoon classes began.  Nobody out of several grades, most of which had two classrooms full of kids for each grade did anything but cheer the athlete on.  I stood there and gasped. I’m not a thousand percent sure, but I think this ‘fight’ ended when somebody yelled out that a teacher was coming to see what everybody was gawking at. The Athlete vanished into the crowd and somebody helped the choking. coughing kid up from the asphalt.  ( We went home for lunch. My slightly younger sister and I had the farthest distance to hurry home and back until a year later when maybe half a dozen new kids moved into a series of rubber stamped ranch houses on a series of new streets that ran parallel to each other and at ninety degree angle to the main road that we lived on. In the last few years of the nineteen fifties almost every mother we knew about stayed home and did housework. )

— In sixth grade we had our first male teachers. My class had a dark haired guy with an Italian last name who looked like he might have been athletic in his university days. He entertained us with odd anecdotes that caught my attention when, for instance, he told us about Yogis in the Himalayas who could sit on a mountaintop and not feel the cold and make a bowl of water boil just by looking at it. He had a nephew in the other sixth grade class ( the nephew was shorter than most, wasn’t picked to be a pitcher or catcher when we played baseball, but could throw a semi softball farther and straighter than most, and adopted a mean look on his face and sometimes spit without meaning to when he grew a nasty tone of voice and growled angry questions like “Are you stupid or something?” – or yelled at somebody with “Nice play, Shakespeare!” when somebody playing one of our ‘Physical Education’ sports ( We’d graduated from ‘kickball’ to baseball and volleyball. ) – If he missed a fly ball, he’d laugh and joke, ‘The shade got in my eyes-” if somebody else on his team missed catching a fly ball he’d scream out “What the Hell!” if somebody on the opposing team missed  a fly ball he would roar out his, “Nice play, Shakespeare!” He ended up playing on little league teams and would be unbearable if his team lost. So – the teacher’s nephews were jerks but he had interesting off beat stories that really fired my imagination.

— Seventh grade launched us into junior high school ( many of which later changed their names to something more fashionable? ‘middle school’ -? ) Seventh and eighth grades were a descent into hell. We began moving from classroom to classroom in seventh grade. We were grouped in ‘sections’ there were eleven or twelve sections to each grade. Somebody in the administration had tried to group us according to our IQ scores and our last few years worth of report cards. There was one group full of well adjusted kids who were flagged as ‘college bound’. There was a second group that wasn’t quite as academically acute and the group I was in was secretly labeled ‘underachievers’ – In my case I was busy developing a mild case of PTSD with a mean alcoholic for a father – It was more important in my eyes to make sure I was comparatively safe and avoided being beaten to a pulp by a raging drunk who was two and a half times my size than making sure my homework was always done on time. At the beginning of the school year we had teachers leading each class as a group from classroom to classroom. After a month or so the teachers figured they weren’t needed and we were on our own. There were maybe half a dozen kids in our grade who found it delightful to sneak up on somebody and punch them in the back and then disappear into the packed hallways before their victims could turn around. I was still among the tallest. I was wiry, fairly thin, and might have seemed like a likely target to those guys. Nobody dared telling anybody who the culprits were, if they knew who they were, out of fear of becoming their next victims.

— Also in seventh grade. We began having ‘hot lunch’ at school. We could either pay a minimal amount at a cash register before walking down an assembly line with a plastic tray and taking whatever they gave us, and maybe pay an extra dime or something like that to get an extra ice cream on a stick when those were on the menu, we’d pay our dime announce our choice and get a ticket from a roll the cashiers guarded with their lives. We’d have twenty minutes to wolf down our lunch and then stand in line for a couple minutes to empty the plates and place them in a pile –  and throw away the milk cartons and set the trays in another pile – and then, on days when it wasn’t raining or snowing, we were herded outside to stand on a asphalt in a twin basketball court sized area where the gym teachers sometimes let us play with tetherball contraptions and where girls in their small groups sometimes tortured each other by yelling out that one of their group ‘liked’ one of the boys in her class and sometimes went as far as grabbing their victim by her wrists and trying to drag her to the boy she may or may not have admitted she liked… which often victimized the boy and the girl. For the most part boys hung together in small semi defensive groups of friends and acquaintances with similar interests and or personality types. – After five or ten minutes on the asphalt one of the phys ed coaches would blow a whistle and announce which range of classrooms were to line up in six to eight lines – boys one side of double doors, girls on the other. Four about six months out of that seventh grade school year, there was one of the sneak-up-and-sucker-punch guys who managed about half the time to get behind me and close enough to strike. I found out who this was one day when he snuck up behind me grabbed me by the neck and threw me down a forty five degree hill. When I got back up on my feet and ran back up the hill he jumped out of line and tried to get me in trouble for threatening him. The one phys ed coach who happened to see what happened grabbed the culprit by his ear and dragged him to the principal’s office. I was then accused of being a ‘snitch’.  But one halfway athletic kid laughed at my accusers, “Bullshit, the coach saw the whole thing.” & I only got sucker punched once after that. I did have a series of dreams where I went to punch my attacker in his face and something held my arms back with a force that slowed me down to the point where if I tried with all my strength the worst damage I could do might be to nearly touch the fabric of his shirt. – The coach who had seen the incident where I’d been tossed down the hill greeted me with a smile in gym class and asked me quietly if I’d learned to defend myself yet. When I was slow to answer and other guys were swarming toward us he shrugged, “Well, I tried -” and walked away. I did not tell him about my weird dreams or my religious angst –

— I’d been brought up Episcopalian by a screaming maniac who threatened to beat the bleep out of us ( usually me ) if we didn’t get our butts in gear and get to church on time every Sunday and then he’d drop us off at home afterward and go get drunk at the Local VFW hall and come home screaming or even violent most Sunday evenings. I can’t blame my weird approach to religion on Catholicism. My sister and I were Christened before I went into the hospital for a hernia operation about a month before I started kindergarten. I was almost five years old and my sister was almost three. The either they gave me on the operating table scared me half to death. I was not a happy camper being kept in a crib in the hospital for a week after the operation. Having extraordinarily little time to see my mother and having the nurses tell her she had to go home and leave me there in the semi darkness was traumatic. About a week later I dreamed that I was at a birthday party for me in my grandparents’ yard with the cast from Howdy Doody there and loads of cousins and friends – and Jesus showed up and asked me if I’d like to come with Him. I don’t think I was afraid that might mean I was about to die, but I blurted out, “I can’t leave my parents-” and He walked away. I never fell right to sleep at bed time. I think it was during my seventh grade year I was kind of drifting off and imagined I was climbing a very long and steep stairway to Heaven – I got to the top and found myself in a kind of popular movie depiction of what a village in the ‘Holy Land’ would have looked like in the first decades of the ‘Christian Era’. I climbed an outside staircase on one of the small masonry houses and found an open door to a dilapidated masonry shack-like building on the roof of that house. I looked inside and discovered God was drunk and suicidal and muttering words I couldn’t understand and He looked desperate and scared. That woke me right the heck up. I think I heard our famous evangelist to several presidents on a car radio during a late night drive to or from somewhere and the fire and brimstone scared me. Later on that year I started confessing my sins every night with the prayers my mother had started us on when I was very young. I was trying to keep to a schedule of committing one less sin every day. I thought maybe the dream I had where I couldn’t punch my assailant in the face might have been a message from God. Or maybe God Himself had been holding my arms back so I couldn’t punch the kid.

— Should I tell you about the wise guy who probably believed every word he said when in our group visits to the washrooms he would stand at the urinal and announce, “Well, that’s another baby that will never be born.” – Probably not – I should probably keep that to myself – along with my concerns that that guy, if he ‘grew up and got married’ probably beat his wife regularly or brow-beat her with strings of angry words and violent gestures and totally broke her spirit.

— Should I admit that I learned to fake throwing up within earshot of my mother – and managed to convince her that I was sick so often the guidance counselors wanted to know if I was really sick or did I have problems with anything or anybody in school?

— Should I tell you about the time my father stopped home for something in the middle of a morning, heard that I was upstairs sick in bed, came charging up the stairs, ripped me out of bed threw me around the room, punched me a couple times and roared, “Get Dressed I’m taking you to school myself!” I was shaking and had a hard time standing up as I tried to dress myself while he stood there and glared at me. I was probably pale and broke into a coughing fit and pushed him out of the way, ran to the bathroom and suffered through several dry heaves with him watching before he swore at me and told me to get back in my bleep bleep bed but if he found out I was faking it he would kill me. I managed to gasp, “I already threw up everything that was in my stomach and he nearly slammed in the side of the head with his fist before he shook his head and stared daggers at me, turned around and stomped away.  After he drove away my mother came running to see what kind of shape I was in and helped me push my bed back in place and push the mattress back so it covered the box spring instead of hung there like if I coughed really hard the mattress might fall to the floor and take me with it.

— Eighth grade was marginally better – I think I scored two baskets in our first two gym periods and might have grown a couple inches since seventh grade. I was also in a slightly different section that might have been the upper echelon of under-achievers, or the lower echelon of brainy nerds who may or may not have been destined for college and university life. After our math teacher gave us a standardized test she asked me to see her after class for a couple minutes and told me I had a really score on that test but she couldn’t recommend me for an accelerated math class unless I made an effort from that day on to get all my assignments in on time and participated more often in class discussions. My English teacher read some of my classroom assignments to the class and did not tell them which one of their classmates had written that, but maybe by spring break they’d figured that out. One of the more popular kids came over to my table in art class and asked me how I’d drawn a silhouette of a duck so well on the blackboard and later that year thought the cup I designed and made when we were working with clay was ‘really cool’. But there were still some moments when I felt bullied either physically or psychologically, by teachers as well as classmates and ‘upperclassmen’.

— Ninth grade. Parts of what would have been my junior high school’s ninth grade class was sent to one of the two public high schools in town. There were fewer of us ninth graders left in that school. I think they might have sent the hard cases to the high schools. The newest high school had only been open for a couple years. That’s the one I was destined to go to. They learned immediately that they’d vastly underestimated the extent of the baby boom I was part of. The second year that school was open they were already overcrowded.

— President Kennedy was assassinated in November of my ninth grade year. For an English assignment I wrote an essay saying that I didn’t believe JFK would have approved of the way Lee Harvey Oswald was assumed guilty from the start and then shot in front of live television cameras when everybody in the USA was in shock and staring at the black and white coverage. { I didn’t start listening to any conspiracy buffs until I was in my thirties. But my memory has always been fantastic, not quite photographic, almost audio recording like – and it stuck with me that Oswald called out “I didn’t do it, I’m a patsy!” and then he was silenced. Sounds like a perfect formula to keep anybody from finding out the truth. Executed without due process or even a mock trial. }

— The Beatles exploded in our consciousness almost immediately after they buried JFK. A couple months later most of the kids in my class were asking each other, which are you? Beatles or Rolling Stones? One guy who’d nearly been crucified for not being very manly was suddenly a minor hero because he could play Beatles songs on a piano when the teacher was out of the room. And the teacher did not go into a screaming fit when she returned. My cousin and I got cheap acoustic guitars that Christmas – We’d seen a flash of ‘Beatlemania’ in a newscast that our parents hadn’t seen or noticed. Acoustic guitars and ice skates. It was a cold Christmas season in Connecticut and all kinds of ponds and creeks were frozen solid enough to be fun when we were fourteen years old and often needed excuses to get the heck away from our parents. My father threatened to smash our television set if he caught us watching any show that featured the Beatles. My cousin’s mother was awe struck when he and I wrote our first song and he sung it while we played I think two chords all the way through. My father didn’t complain because he was passed out drunk in the middle of my grandparent’s kitchen floor. But that didn’t keep my Grandmother from spouting “Honor they mother and thy father!” any chance she got.

— But! My class was more or less the seniors of the junior high school. We had not upperclassmen to bug, threat or bully us.

 

 

Discrepansies

Friday, January 19, 2018 —> -8˚C / +17˚F & clear with overbright sunlight on snow @ 10:49 am in Atlantic Canada —

Aum WindChimes

– Windchimes with the sanskrit symbol for ‘Aum’ and a couple crystals in the background. – Against a white curtain? –

— Not so long ago, this morning, our local radio morning talk show host told us it was -9˚C here while my weather app thought it was -15˚C – a difference of 6 degrees C equals a difference of about 12 degrees Fahrenheit. That might be significant.

— I’ve been having some more vivid than usual dreams lately. And I’ve had vivid dreams almost all my life. But these were so stable and so finely detailed that I could easily believe I was either dreaming somebody else’s memories, or their life in real time. — Possibly in a parallel world? — I won’t know for a while, I guess. In one dream I was training to be a Marine. The next night I dreamed I was being told how to use a vehicle and weaponry with biometrics. The vehicle wouldn’t start without verification that it was me in the driver’s seat and the weapons would not power up or fire without similar verification. An automatic pistol could detach itself from an iron tube that it hid inside of, with extra pieces of metal to disguise what it actually was. I was told how to get the pistol out from its disguise and they had me load its magazine and get the magazine back up inside it – They also told me that the pistol had an extra fail-safe. If I couldn’t get the safety off in a certain amount of time on the first try it wouldn’t fire because it would guess that I was impaired. There was an over-ride word I could think intensely that would allow me to use the pistol if – for instance, the reason I couldn’t get the safety off correctly on the first try was something like my fingers were frozen or numb. After I woke up I was not bothered by the idea that anybody was training my dream self how to use weapons like that, I was more fascinated by the idea that these dreams were so finely detailed, and weird dream things did not happen, like: in a lot of dreams  -one person might morph into another – somebody would be there one minute and gone the next – or people I’d never seen before knew my name? — That kind of thing did not happen in these dreams.

Jassper looking serious.

– “Seriously, now-” –

— On other fronts: WordPress keeps updating and one of the blogs I help a friend maintain is constantly tossing out all the changes we made to the fonts, etc., and reverting to default settings each time it decides we can’t live without the latest update/upgrade. So I’m fairly well acquainted with the process of going into the stylesheet { .css }  and resetting the fonts { etc. } —> With this last update/upgrade – when I went to fix their decision that they know better than we know how our blogs should look – it put a popup warning in front of their ‘edit css’ page that said, “Do you really want to do this?” { implying that only an idiot would want to change their default fonts? I cannot stand sans-serif fonts! They are a blight on my creativity! } And in order to get rid of the popup warning – they want us to click on one of two ‘buttons’ = ‘Go Back’ or ‘Okay’. In my first three tries to get to the stinkin edit page, either choice button obliterated the edit page and put me back at the dashboard. Einstein’s definition of insanity aside, I tried again and on the fourth try I was able to actually get to the “edit css” page and – freakin wonder of wonders? – I was actually *allowed* to edit the fonts again. I did have to ignore two more warnings – It looks way too much like WordPress is hell-beant on trying to sell me a premium customization package. && They have more than one scam going, trying to scare their loyal users into spending money on services we never needed before they figured out a way to extort $$’s out of us with ‘Omigod! You’re trying to do something that might not be entirely safe!’ b.s. tactics.

— And on the humourous front: Somebody asked a journalist last night if they thought the latest head of the Conservative Party of Canada was using some kind of clever tactics to push his agenda forward. The Journalist responded with an answer along the lines, of: “No, this guy is not intelligent enough to conceive of something like that.” The current head of the Conservative Party of Canada looks like a pathological liar who is stupid enough to believe he is putting something over on everybody every time he opens his mouth and lets any words march out. It’s absolutely creepy. My flesh crawls every time this guy appears on a television screen in my general vicinity.

— & now when I finish with this posting I need to go into my ‘edit css’ page on this blog and undo their freakin asinine defaults in this blog.

—  grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

~~~~~ Jim

CBC: “Federal “Phoenix” Pay System Was Designed To Fail”

Friday, January 12th, 2018  —> +10˚C / +49˚F & still ‘overcast’ @ 12:26 pm in Atlantic Canada —

overcast sky.

– Overcast sky –

— { This is part of Stephen Harper’s legacy. —> When a Federal Employee is overpaid – the pay they receive has quite a bit of taxes removed so their ‘Net Pay’ is a fraction of what the books claim they were paid. When the government ‘claws back’ the over-payment, they demand the entire amount –  which further penalizes the employee because the employees must pay back their gross pay, not the net pay that they actually received. If this was deliberately designed into the Phoenix Pay system – then the government officials who designed and released this program are guilty of extortion.  They deliberately stole money from their employees. Another problem I have observed:  too many ‘good old boys’ have been promoted over people who understand what they’re doing – when the newly promoted idiots haven’t a clue. Far too often, grievous mistakes are committed by supervisors who do not understand that they are actually breaking laws when they believe they should ‘do things their way’ while the people who could have explained the law to them face mountains of frustration and very often get the blame for problems they could have avoided, in instances they had nothing to do with. —jrw— }

— This falls under the category: “Why are we not surprised?”

 

Phoenix built to fail, HR report finds

Public service pay system ‘deliberately customized’ to commit errors, according to document obtained by CBC

By Julie Ireton, CBC News – Posted: Jan 12, 2018 5:00 AM ETLast Updated: Jan 12, 2018 5:00 AM ET

Public servants protest problems with the Phoenix pay system in Ottawa in October 2017. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

 

[ photo removed, showed a bunch of federal employees during an informational picket. Central figure wearing a sign, “Fix Phoenix NOW” ]

 

The government’s problematic Phoenix payroll software was “deliberately customized” to perform a number of tasks that have led to a cascade of pay errors, according to a document obtained by CBC.

The June 2017 report, titled “Issues with Phoenix as identified by the HR community,” was produced by the office of the government’s chief human resources officer and obtained through access to information legislation.

The document identifies a series of ongoing issues between the government’s pay and human resources systems that have frustrated managers and workers alike for nearly two years.

When it comes to new hires, “Phoenix was ‘deliberately customized’… to default to the lowest rate of pay within their classification, rather than to the amount quoted in their letter of offer,” the report found.

That went for “any new casual or term employee, any new indeterminate employee, students and employees transferred to a new department or agency.”

Those workers are paid improperly until a compensation adviser manually changes the pay rate, a process that can “take a significant period of time, especially at the Pay Centre,” according to the report.

Half of workforce affected

At the end of November, the government reported the total number of outstanding financial and non-financial Phoenix claims had reached 551,000, affecting approximately 156,000 government workers, or more than half of the workforce.

The union representing a majority of federal employees calls the revelations in the document concerning.

“Phoenix was deliberately set up to make sure people were paid at the lowest amount,” said Chris Aylward, national executive vice president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. “So they deliberately set up the system … to have issues.”

ATIP

The report, called “Issues with Phoenix as identified by the HR community,” was produced by the office of the federal government’s chief human resources officer in June 2017. (ATIP)

No fix yet

According to the report, Phoenix was customized to:

  • Recover overpayments from workers before notifying or making arrangements with the employee first, leaving some employees with “limited to no funds.”
  • Freeze an employee’s account when he or she leaves a department or the government.
  • Calculate overpayments which are in some cases “recovered multiple times from the same employee.”

The report also raises concerns about missing, incomplete and incorrect data caused by Phoenix, noting that “government-wide reporting is impacted by this inaccurate data.”

“And that’s the most frustrating part for the workers [at the federal government pay centre] in Miramichi, is when they try to fix one portion of this, something else goes wrong and it’s almost like a domino effect,” Aylward said.

Chris Aylward

Chris Aylward, vice-president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

Hiring in 2018

The department in charge of Phoenix, Public Services and Procurement Canada, told CBC progress is being made when it comes to improving the pay system.

“We are hiring 300 additional compensation advisors in early 2018 in order to continue to increase capacity at the Pay Centre,” the department told CBC. “The objective is to create modernized, efficient processes that will decrease manual treatment, processing times, underpayments, overpayments and wait times for employees.”

But it’s all too little, too late for the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

“We will certainly be seeking compensation for the damages and we’re not going to stop there. We need to continue our escalation of our actions,” Aylward said.

2018-01-12=BBC Article Re: Trump

Friday, January 12th, 2018 —> +8˚C / +47˚F & overcast @ 8:04 am in Atlantic Canada —

 

Snow Squall obscuring landscape beyond Van.

– Snow Squall on Tuesday, January 9th, 2018 –

{ Personally, I’ve heard that negative forces were playing both sides against the middle in the recent political nonsense going on in the USA and that Donald J Trump was actually the only viable choice ‘we’ had to avoid a potential world ending nuclear war. & I don’t know what to think – If I believe what I’m hearing big bad cosmic puppeteers are pulling the strings to control Trump and his followers and they’re also pulling strings to control everybody who wants to get DJT the heck out of the White House. “Any way you look at this – we lose”? – But I don’t think we should totally ignore, it either. So I’m copying and pasting the below article from the BBC. The BBC are, or at least were, a tower of integrity in this confusing world of ‘fake news’ and all that.  —jrw— }

Everything Below was Copied & Pasted from the BBC News web site :  —> http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42656433

= = = = =

 

Trump ‘in crude Oval Office outburst about migrants’

Image copyright Reuters

US President Donald Trump has reportedly lashed out at immigrants in a foul-mouthed Oval Office outburst that a UN spokesman later condemned as “shocking”, “shameful” and “racist”.

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Mr Trump reportedly asked lawmakers during talks on an immigration deal.

He was apparently referring to Haiti, El Salvador and African countries.

The White House made no attempt to deny the comment.

In recent weeks, the Trump administration has been trying to limit the number of family members of immigrants who can enter the US, and has moved to end the protected status of thousands of immigrants already in the US.

What did the president say?

Mr Trump’s reported remark came as lawmakers from both parties visited him on Thursday to propose a bipartisan immigration deal.

Democratic Senator Richard Durbin had just been discussing US temporary residency permits granted to citizens of countries hit by natural disasters, war or epidemics, according to US media.

[ media deleted — jrw ]
Media captionThe countries with Temporary Protected Status that Trump could be talking about

According to the Washington Post, Mr Trump told lawmakers the US should instead be taking in migrants from countries like Norway, whose prime minister visited him a day earlier.

The paper quoted him as saying: “Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out.”

Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, was in Thursday’s meeting at the White House, but would not comment on the president’s reported slur.

What has the White House said?

“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” a statement from White House spokesman Raj Shah said.

“Like other countries that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation.

“He will always reject temporary, weak and dangerous stopgap measures that threaten the lives of hardworking Americans, and undercut immigrants who seek a better life in the United States through a legal pathway.”

What reaction has there been?

UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said: “If confirmed these are shocking and shameful comments from the president of the United States, I’m sorry but there is no other word for this but racist.”

Mr Colville spoke of a 2016 presidential campaign speech in which Mr Trump called Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists, and to his response last year to a white supremacist march that ended in violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, when the president said “both sides” were to blame.

The UN official said such comments went against “universal values the world has been striving for” since the end of World War Two, and opened “the door to humanity’s worst side”.

[ Media deleted – jrw ]
Media captionA look back at some of the things Donald Trump has said about Mexicans

In the US, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) accused the president of falling “deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of racism and xenophobia”.

Mia Love, a Utah Republican and the only Haitian-American in Congress, demanded Mr Trump apologise for the “unkind, divisive, elitist” comments.

Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democratic lawmaker, tweeted: “I condemn this unforgivable statement and this demeaning of the office of the Presidency.”

Another black Democratic lawmaker, Cedric Richmond, said Mr Trump’s comments “are further proof that his Make America Great Again agenda is really a Make America White Again agenda”.

But one Trump official was quoted by CNN as saying: “Though this might enrage Washington, staffers predict the comment will resonate with his base, much like his attacks on NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem did not alienate it.”

How was the slur reported?

The Washington Post broke the story with the word “shithole” in its headline and in the alert that the paper sent out to followers’ smartphones.

On US TV, some broadcasters gave content warnings or avoided saying the word altogether. Fox News used asterisks to obscure the offensive word along the bottom of the screen, but CNN and MSNBC carried it in full.

Around the world, journalists reporting in other languages faced the question of how to translate what Mr Trump had said.

  • In French, headlines featured “pays de merde”, using the expletive to refer to the countries but without the word “hole”
  • In Spanish, “países de mierda” was used, similar to the French, as well as “países de porquería”, which means “trash countries”
  • In German, “Drecksloch” , which literally means dirt hole but like the word used by Mr Trump is considered vulgar
  • In Dutch, one newspaper used “achterlijk” (backward) as its headline
  • In Japanese, a word that translates as “outdoor toilet” was used
  • In Portuguese, one outlet used a word that translates as ‘pigsty’, while others translated the quote literally

What was the meeting about?

Lawmakers reportedly proposed restoring so-called Temporary Protected Status (TPS) permits for certain countries, allowing their residents leave to remain in the US because their home countries are temporarily unsafe for them.

In return, they were said to have offered $1.5bn (£1.1bn) for a wall that Mr Trump wants built on the US border with Mexico.

This week the Trump administration announced it was withdrawing TPS for more than 200,000 people from El Salvador.

The decision gives Salvadoreans who have been living in the US for nearly three decades until next year to leave, seek lawful residency or face possible deportation.

They were granted provisional US residency after an earthquake devastated the Central American country in 2001.

[ Media removed – jrw ]
Media captionTPS recipients from El Salvador worried about their future in the US

But the State Department said on Monday that much infrastructure damaged by the quake has since been repaired.

TPS permits have already been withdrawn from Haitians and Nicaraguans.

Hundreds of thousands of migrants face possible deportation from the US.


Trump’s first year

[ media removed – jrw – ]
Media captionWhat the world thinks of Trump

Wednesday, Almost Time for Mr Robot —

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 — 9°C / 47°F & dark @ 10:46 pm in Atlantic Canada — Eric Majewski’s and Mark B Jacobs’ birthday — But Mr Robot is finished for the year 🙁 —

Castle in Switzerland -

— A Castle in Switzerland —

Um, not an extremely busy day here today – I measured and cut a piece of Luann plywood to go around the air conditioner and mowed about a third of our grass before I hit a pocket of very wet grass at around noon. Not much memorable schnarr going down in the real world. But this is a pretty picture.

Cougar

I was told that “Cougar” was one of my totem animals. A leader who never expects anyone to follow? Someone who sticks to a high set of morals and doesn’t berate anyone who can’t live up to that?

If I remember right, following Cougar was my challenge according to somebody who was interpreting Native American/First Nations wisdom.

Stonehenge at night.

— Stonehenge At Night —

— “Ottawa” is approving a Liquified Natural Gas Pipeline through British Columbia to a new facility they expect somebody will build to load the stuff on big boats and zoom off to China and other points far east. They say that there are so many safeguards in place that the First Nations people should have no problem with it.

— “Duh!” Wake up, politicians, the First Nations don’t want pipelines crossing their lands, period. Why the fupp don’t you idjits understand that? Aren’t you paying attention?

Carisbrooke Castle - I guess it's in England.

“Look on my works, ye mighty and – ” – what???? Megalomaniacs and deluded governments do not go away easy – and they often leave a mess behind.

— So – all those inflated egos out there will burst noisily, probably sooner than later, and right now all I can think of is the pain they will cause cute little kids and kittens and puppies to suffer.

— Sorry, I can’t think of anything uplifting to say at the moment –,

~~~~~ Jim

— Um, I think We’re Good Here —

Sunday, September 25th, 2016 — 8°C / 46°F  — Sunny & ‘Crisp’ in Atlantic Canada @ 9:59 am — Art Von Slider’s Birthday.

John Lennon Annual Concert.

Ooo – Wouldn’t it be nice? A couple of his compositions, mainly the lyrics – were painful for me to listen to – but, apart from the fact that one friendly aunt thought I looked like J.L. – & hey, I’m all 9’s in the birthday/numerology department – I really like this guy. And Donovan too-

— I still need to go back and fix a zillion messed up graphic links on this blog, but it appears to be doing fine. So I guess something I’ve done in the past six months has actually worked.

— & Now —> Today’s inspirations? <—

Nature and Wisdom

Nature and Wisdom are on the same page?

— Looks like a Fantasy Landscape from a story I’d want to read.

Lakeside Villa nestled against a mountainside with steps carved out of stone leading down to stone landing.

— “Um, – Switzerland?”

— Last night I wrote a slightly treacherous flight of steps behind a house that needed a bit of maintainance into the novel I’m nearly finished with. & Here- Am I seeing a visualization related to that? Hmmm-

San Kreestoffe?

— And this looks like a scene from another one of my not yet finished novels-

— “San Kreestoffe” is a small { fictional } country in the Alps that I ‘made up’ for a NaNoWriMo novel one year. The premise was that a US fighter pilot’s plane got hit while protecting bombers on a run against Nazi factories during WWII and the pilot landed in a space that was outside the borders of Germany, France and Switzerland. A boundary river was split in two and/or a boundary mountain was actually two different mountains with the same name. There were old Roman ruins here and there and local legendary accounts of slaves escaping Rome and other ‘civilizations’ in the area found their way through mountain passes and were happy to remain secret and build their hidden society away from the unpleasantness outside – There was an Island with an old Roman Villa surrounded by a lake- the above scene could be the most narrow spot on that lake. The closest thing to a Hotel or Resort was on the ‘mainland’ – east of the lake. In the late 20th century, after the pilot made his way back to the ‘real world’ and gone to university and become a ‘good Mafia lawyer’- a family of outlaw mafiosi with ties to New York and Italy was trying to keep “their little country” a secret where bad guys with loads of cash could hide out until the heat died down. They hired a computer geek to set up anonymous internet connectivity and thoroughly planned to kill the kid when he was finished to keep themselves safe from ever being discovered. – Whattaya think?

Ganesh

While Mercury was Retrograde last week, I moved my favourite little statue of Ganesh onto a shelf to the East of where I’m sitting right now, typing this into my blog. I smiled and then felt a little tingle, and had a strangely happier than expected moment. So I looked up ‘Ganesh’ on startpage dot com’s secure search engine and discovered several nice graphic depictions of Ganesh. Apparently September 5th had been a special celebration day honouring Ganesh in India. Several of the statues show Ganesh as compassionate, loving being.

— One night, while working as a cleaner in a corporate centre that was reputed to be haunted, I began to feel a little ‘creeped out’ and started chanting ‘Shri Ram’ which was reputedly one of Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite chants. I was surprised by the sound of my own [ quiet ] voice and after a few minutes felt quite relaxed. After a couple more minutes I had an image pop into my head all by itself: Ganesh was dancing beside me. I continued to chant to myself and kept on working and soon the image changed itself so not only was Ganesh dancing beside me, but a whole traveling troupe of Indian musicians were walking along, playing drums and flutes and other instruments they could carry with them. I was approaching pure bliss before I had to stop when one of the centre’s clients came in to check on something.

Everybody wants to be free and safe to enjoy their own lives.

– And now, on a slightly more serious note –

— “All people want to be free and safe and to be treated with fairness and respect.”

An international vote on US Candidates.

This was emailed to me by a friend – which is what started me looking at twitter this morning.

— My friend was ‘shocked’ to see that the Green Party Candidate, which he voted for in this highly unscientific tweet, was doing better than Hillary –

Experience -

“Experience teaches better than classroom nonsense.”

— Understanding is a function of experience. “What you can understand is less than you are- What you can’t understand is more than you are” <— slightly misquoted/misunderstood ‘quote’ from Pir O Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan. — Um, what you have experienced, you can understand, what you can’t understand is over your head/ beyond your experience.

First Nations Treaty vs Big Oil.

— First Nations sign a treaty declaring their united front against mining the tar sands and building pipelines and carrying oil by train anywhere. —

— A couple tribes are in favour of getting money from big oil companies/corporations for oil, gas and even fracking. Most tribes know better.

— ***** Go look up, find, buy and read “The Energy Non-Crisis” by { Baptist Chaplain } Lindsey Williams – ***** and bear in mind that big oil has been overcharging for their products, lying in our faces while they’re fleecing us and destroying the quality of life of anybody who gets in their way. They have bought patents on a lot of inventions that could have made our vehicles safer and more efficient. They have blocked development of electric vehicles. They put George W. Bush – who was never honestly elected into that office – into the White House TWICE. There are probably other crimes against humanity I could sit here and rant on about, but I want to get on and experience a happy, spiritually uplifting day.

Swiss Chalet? With lots of flowers.

— Maybe this should have gone up higher in this post – up where I was talking about Switzerland. —

— Somebody likes flowers – betcha they bring them inside when the weather gets cold.

Large Cat with a Russian Castle in the background?

— And, I’ve been seeing Main Coon Cats everywhere I look lately. This may not be one of them but he or she looks like a relative… Yum —

— not sure whether that is Russia up there behind the cat, but the architecture is similar

Purple night fairie flying in front of the moon.

— Et puis, bon soir mes amis —

— I’ve experienced quite a bit of lag working in this blog here today, it still needs more work to get rid of the broken graphic links that you can’t see, and stuff like that – there — but we will be posting positive stuff here in the near future, I trust –

— “Belles Reves, mes amis-” { & feel free to write me a note and scream at me for misspelling anything – }

— I’ve been feeling ‘uplifted’ today – after last week’s geomagnetic storms and time shifts and whatever else the bleep was going on.

— “We Are All One!” – Eric Burdon.

~~~~~ Jim

— Um, We’re in Transition

Monday, August 22nd, 2016 — 14°C / 56°F & “Dark” @ 2:30 am in Atlantic Canada —

— Since this blog was ‘moved’ from a money-grabbing US host/ ‘provider’ – some of the graphics became corrupt and/or were lost. – Not exactly the most encouraging state of affairs –

— But – we’re working on that.

~~~~~ Jim

There is a Mirror to this Blog

Friday, July 24, 2015 -( 17˚C / 63˚F & overcast, threatening rain later here in Atlantic Canada @ 3:15 pm Atlantic Time)-

— Yeah, We were hacked a while ago, possibly by internet security specialists trying to sell their latest, greatest, && most expensive upgrades to anybody stupid enough to believe their nonsense?

— Anyway –   while this site was down we installed back-up versions of our most important stuff.

—> http://www.aerendel.ca/NBnews/  “Lighting The Way” <— is basically identical to this blog with Jim’s face where the Cat being ‘Editor on loan from another dimension’ ‘s face is here on the right –

— Thanks — & Try to imagine me with a smile here 😉 ? —

~~~~~ Jim

 

Committee Breakfast, Friday, May 15th, 2015

Friday Morning, May 15th, 2015 -( 9°C / 48°F @ 8:15 am, Sunny & Bright in our little corner of Atlantic Canada )-

Deer on the hill saying good morning and thanks for the oats.

7:30 am – Three deer looking a bit scruffy as they get ready to shed their winter coats. This photo was ‘auto-adjusted’ in PhotoShop. That made the greens look a bit greener. There is still plastic inside the windows, which shows up when the photos are full size. At 549 x 412 pixels here,it’s about 1/5th the full size.

3 deer in the foreground while a fourth comes in from behind them.

There are at least two groups that seem to consist of a mother deer and between two and four yearlings – depending on who comes with them? – Sometimes I only know there are more than one group when I notice that one of the mothers has a straight line scar on her right flank. – Either a scar or a very weird bit of fur trimming.

4 deer that almost look like three.

All 4 deer are in this photo. The middle two are pretending to be a Dr Doolittle type ‘Push-Me-Pull-You’ – The one facing away from us is on guard duty – the one facing us is busy enjoying the oats I tossed out on the hill about an hour before they came around.

— These photos here are the size I usually upload 549 x 412 pixels or pretty close to that. I told the inner workings of WordPress that ‘medium’ sized photos should be 549 pixels wide because anything bigger than that does not fit right if I copy and paste them into a couple other blogs that I sometimes post in every day, sometimes once a month or once a week? But, anyway, it’s the middle of May. The grass is beginning to turn green. Spring is here. I think we survived another nasty winter. The last bits of snow on our property melted just before Mother’s Day again this year. The bad guys might be trying to bluff us into believing most of the world is going bankrupt while they’re “laughing all the way to the bank”. The sun felt warm even through the windows and across the room. & The guy who owns the field the deer are in either came here and cut the tree that fell down last summer in the Storm they named “Arthur” or paid somebody to do that.

— I can’t think of anything clever to finish this off with just now. Still kind of ‘shell shocked’ over the death of a pet. It feels like life goes on – and silly me, after a couple “Near Death Experiences” myself, I’m pretty sure I’ll see those pets again in the ‘next life’ — But that didn’t make it any easier. And every time life drops one of its ‘little surprises’ – all of our priorities seem to come up for review and have themselves reshuffled. You find out again who your real friends are and suddenly you’re locked in an echo chamber where ideas like: “Nobody ever comes back from a near death experience with the Divine message that they should have spent more time at work-” reverberate in your body, mind and spirit as if they’ve been double or triple underlined.

~~~~~ Jim

 

Ouch: Grief and Hope and Remembering

Thursday, May 7th, 2015 -( 14°C / 57°F  & Sunny and warm @10:15 here in Atlantic Canada )-

Moe perched on round cat furniture thing where we used to live.

Moe in February of 2006 – Hanging out atop the hideout we got for Sasha – who died of a heart attack after being with us for less than three months. Sasha was a bit timid and Domino was much bigger than she was and he played a bit too rough for her. When we told the people at the shelter we adopted Sasha from they unexpectedly gave us a ‘coupon’ good for one replacement from that shelter. Moe was that replacement. When we first saw Moe, in a cage in their cat room, he was very laid back and easy to get along with. He never hissed at any other cats or tried to assert himself as an Alpha Cat. & the was before they ‘fixed’ him. After we said, yeah, we want this guy, they said, “Wait, he’s got some kind of cold and we had to send him off to a special temporary foster home for sneezy cats to make sure he doesn’t have some evil major cat disease. We waited two weeks I think. And now this Long Haired Orange  sweetheart of a cat is the only one left.

— Yesterday was my cousin-in-law Joe’s birthday.

— Also yesterday, & totally unrelated to Joe’s birthday, my stomach was sore. After a while I felt a bit like I might be sick if I tried to do too much, and defined ‘too much’ as ‘trying to do any more than I already had, folding up a big tarp and moving it under the section of unfinished plywood roof that had blown off the frame I was building around the steel yard shed. -The plan was to finish building a protective wood shed for our firewood, outside the steel tool shed. Because we couldn’t finish the woodshed before we were inundated with snow last winter, and because the second part of my pension is in orbit somewhere, we couldn’t afford another cord of firewood, so it cost us at least $300 more a month to heat our house which meant we couldn’t pay a couple other bills which meant- anxiety for mon amour fou.

— Last night I dreamed I was doing yoga stomach lifts. I dreamed that I remembered having done stomach lifts the day or night before and I wondered if that was why my stomach hurt. (Probably not- my stomach probably hurt from crying over our cat’s death, crying to the point where I burst into coughing fits, which probably strained my stomach muscles.) Today I wondered if part of the reason I took Domino’s death so hard was I saw him suffering through his last couple days. Maybe that hurt me more than it did him. He complained, meowing mournfully just a little bit louder than he did when he was upset because a door was closed and doors just shouldn’t be closed. That’s part of many cats’ philosophy. Some doors should never be closed. Some doors should always be closed, but some should never be closed. He also meowed fairly loudly and stared at things that maybe he could see and we couldn’t, halfway up the wall in the living room and other spots around the house.

— Last night before we went to bed, Cathi told me she’d found a photo of Moe from 2004, so maybe he was a couple years older than the “8 years old” she’d reported online somewhere a couple days ago. I went digging through old blogs and found evidence back as far as 2005 and she checked out her old bravenet blog and found the passage she’d written there and posted in April of 2004, the day after she brought Moe home from the shelter. -( my stepdaughter, Cathi’s daughter, Erin, had fallen in love with Max a scrappy little British grey cat, partially because he was an older cat and she was worried that nobody would want him. I’m really not sure of all the details, but I think we were in the Ottawa animal shelter to pick up Max when one of us blurted out the fact that Sasha had died of a heart attack shortly after we brought her home. The right person at the shelter heard that and told us she would give us a voucher good for a replacement for Sasha. We brightened, asked about possible replacements who might be there that day, and we were introduced to Moe, who’d been left off outside the shelter, who seemed to like and get along with all the other animals in the shelter, but who had a cough and needed to be ‘fixed’. Before they ‘fixed’ him they carried him around and brought him up to the doors of several other cages, he said hello and didn’t pick any fights with any of the cats there. Cathi remembered that they handed Moe to Erin and he leaned on her shoulder and gave her a hug. Cathi believes we have a photo of that somewhere on her backup drive. Anyway, I’m about to copy and paste the entry that Cathi found last night. )-

I don’t think this will print itself twice here, but I better check to make sure.

Link —> http://cathi_harris.bravejournal.com/archive/04/25/2004

===== Cathi’s blog entry is below this =====

Sunday, April 25th 2004

12:17 AM

Welcome Tigger!

  • Mood:
  • Music: The Chieftains
  • Weather:

The rain has stopped, but it’s a cool cool wind that blows.  Oh well, it was still a lovely day.  Yesterday was also a lovely day, and with it came the happy arrival of Tigger, the cat formerly known as Morris (for lack of a name), now healthy and happy and anxious to be away from cages.  The trip home was fun; he delighted in sticking one red-haired nose out the holes and talking to me the whole way.

At first he was happy to be segregated in the bedroom, lying in front of the windows watching the world go by.  But it wasn’t long before he made the great escape through my legs to rush out and then, with Domino meowing at him through the vent outside, Jim figured we might as well introduce them.  There was no hissing, no howling, just a sniff of noses and Domino going shrug and turning around and going downstairs.  This looked hopefull.  So a few more breakout attempts by Tigger resulted in one very fast cat finally making a break for it and exploring his surroundings.  He loves the windows, and he Domino had some minor “words” when he went down into Domino’s lair in the basement.  So, back to the bedroom.  This wasn’t Tigger’s idea of fun though, so after an hour or so of “scratch scratch scratch knock knock knock!” out he went again.  Domino was waiting for him, belly up in the hall and when he was let out, Domino led him downstairs.

Last night to give Domino a break, Jim stayed with Domino behind a closed door downstairs, Tigger stayed upstairs with me,  walking across my keyboard, knocking down photos off the piano (he learned that is a loud and clunky thing to do, hasn’t been up there since), played with little guy’s puzzle, played the piano, and spent several happy visits on my lap giving me hugs.  He does give good hugs.

And last night, against his will, back behind closed doors in the bedroom.  He was up on the bed, curled up between my legs (exactly the same way one of my other cats used to ), and then, on the pillow above my head, purring purring purring.  That’s how I fell asleep, to the wonderful sounds of cat purring.  Did you know that the frequency of cat purr is supposed to be very healing?

Anyway, that lasted until about 6:30 with Domino outside meowing, Tigger inside knocking on the door, so okay, out again.  I know, you’re supposed to keep them separate, but these fellows like each other, both are up to date on shots, Tigger is healthy again so I wasn’t too worried.  All day today we have had two cats following each other around the house, wrestling (they are so cute doing that, no teeth, no claws, just literally wrestling), sharing Domino’s futon, admiring the birds together, complete with Domino cleaning Tigger.  Yes, I think we have two buddies – Domino is still dominant (he did try his hissing routine and Tigger didn’t bat an eye at it, so Domino is happy), Tigger is so happy-go-lucky and friendly, he’s just happy hanging out and playing.  All is well with the world, and Domino is also a much happier fellow today  .  He really did miss having another cat around.

Other than that, well, we checked out some garage sales, drove over to Galletta (very neat little town), plan to go back and check out the flea market tomorrow.  Jim has been busy building cat perches with carpet reminants (some given free, some pieces 50 cents from a new store here); was a little too cool to work on the yard like I had planned, but maybe later in the week.

And that’s about it for now!

Cathi

=====

~~~~~ Jim