Monday, August 31, 2009

The Problem with Ranting - Hey Politicians and Handlers are you listening?

I received another email trying to solicit my support. It was from the Progressive Conservative Party. I will include the content at the end of this posting to let you see some of my frustration.

I think many fellow Canadians are frustrated too. We are sick of negative stuff all the time.

Here is my Letter to Doug Finley of the PC party. He is the National Campaign Director for these folk.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dear Doug Finley and your fellow Planners and Supporters of the Conservative Party..

Doug you may be the greatest thing to the PC Party - since sliced bread. I am sure that you have earned the right to write emails... and get the public's attention.

I like our local MP - Dean Del Mastro... he has done a good job. He is positive... and has shown positive initiatives... and speaks positive all the time.

The last four or so emails from your PC office and the other PC fund raising offices of the PC - have gone on and on about Michael I. - as if you think that I and others need to fear him or an election... These messages have the most negative tones possible... and scared skinny feelings.

Why are you frightened if you have the good stuff? I believe that you do... and so do others. SO STOP TRYING TO SELL US SOMETHING BY PUTTING THE OTHER ONE DOWN!

If anything will turn off a listening audience it is this constant M.I. is bad. M.I. is in bed with other bad guys. Michael this - Michael that....So no one in "our party" will read this email anyway... why should I bother sending it?!!!!!?

I truly believe that someone will eventually hear some of us idiots in the populace that actually think.

Betsy McGregor(Liberal) is running locally. Nothing turned me off more than her ranting and double ranting on my front porch one day - about what an idiot Dean D was. If I had not been leaning toward PC at that point I would definitely after she stopped by for her RANT. But just before she could listen to what I was about to say... her handler on the sidewalk pulled her string and she obediently followed him... THAT IS A LEADER? BULL!

Dean got my vote locally because he is not a RANTOR. Betsy will RANT again... I have no doubt.

But if both possible parties that I could vote for... start to RANT and RANT and RANT - who the heck will I vote for? The NDP was built on RANTS and PUT DOWNS. Liberals and their lot constantly RANT. Why does the PC have to sink to that level? The GREEN people rant about GREEN - until it turns people off too.

The one final level is to decide to NOT VOTE... like millions of others have. And it is an alternative. I would rather NOT VOTE than support any RANTING POLITICIAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT DOES THE PC PARTY STAND FOR...? Make that your CORE of further letters. When what you think is not what I think - you will not get my vote. But how can anyone vote for you when all you do is tell us what the other Guys think? Do you see the PROBLEM YET?

SOME OF US IDIOTS out in the community still think... really we do.

YES - Dean Del Mastro is getting a copy of this email.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Doug Finley’s email to supporters…

Canadian Press is reporting that the Liberals are preparing to launch a multi-million dollar advertising campaign after Labour Day. The campaign could lay the foundation for the unwanted and unnecessary Fall election that Michael Ignatieff keeps threatening; an election he would force with his Coalition partners, the Bloc Quebecois and the NDP; an election that would hurt Canada's economic recovery at a critical time.

We're not surprised by this development. The Liberals must do something to shore up Michael Ignatieff's declining personal numbers in advance of an election. Over the past few months, Ignatieff's post-leadership convention momentum has been reversed. Our polling shows that Canadians agree with us that Michael Ignatieff is just visiting. And Ignatieff is now a clear drag on Liberal party support.

We anticipate the coming Liberal ad campaign will attempt to fix the three big problems Ignatieff has with voters:

Ignatieff problem #1: Voters do not believe that Michael Ignatieff has along-term commitment to the country he seeks to lead. Expect to see Michael Ignatieff talking about his love of country and surrounded by patriotic images. Unfortunately for Ignatieff, he's on the record calling America his "country" and the Canadian flag a "pale imitation of a beer label" and he endorsed - in writing - the Liberals' coalition agreement with the Bloc Quebecois, a party committed to the break-up of Canada.

Problem #2: Voters believe that Ignatieff is an arrogant elitist who can't relate to ordinary people. Expect to see Michael Ignatieff interacting with Canadians of all ages, from all walks of life and from various cultural backgrounds. Unfortunately for Ignatieff he's on the record describing himself as everything from "horribly arrogant" to "cosmopolitan" to some sort of intellectual "samurai warrior" who belongs to an "academic tribe".

Problem #3: Voters don't have a clue where Ignatieff stands on the big issues of the day, particularly the economy. Expect to see Michael Ignatieff attempt to raise Canadians' personal fears about the global recession without committing to any specific, detailed or costed policy ideas. Unfortunately for Ignatieff he's on the record calling himself a "tax and spend" Liberal who has admitted that he "will have to raise taxes" and is currently pushing an EI spending scheme economists have labeled as being catastrophic for the Canadian economy.

I have no doubt that the Liberals will go the wall with this campaign. They are desperate to re-gain power. And they will do anything to win. This is, after all, the party that created and issued the shameful "soldiers in the streets" ad; the party that signed a Coalition agreement with the Bloc Quebecois. We all know that Michael Ignatieff is back in Canada for one reason only - to become Prime Minister - and he doesn't want to waste any more time on the Opposition benches.

As National Campaign Director, I can assure you that we are ready for the Liberal ad campaign. We will not let an arrogant, tax-and-spend Liberal pull the wool over the eyes of Canadians.

I would ask that you - as a proud Canadian - join me in helping the Conservative Party fight back against the coming Liberal ad campaign. Would you please consider making a special, one-time donation to our Fight Back Fund - $50, $100, $250 whatever you can afford - so we can respond to the coming Liberal campaign while working hard as a Government on Canada's economic recovery.

Sincerely, Doug Finley
National Campaign Director

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bill Clinton and the Changing World

(Bill Clinton speaking in Toronto -August 29, 2009 - at The CNE - photo by Mark Blinch)

Today is Sunday. Church Preachers/Pastors all over Canada and the USA will be preparing their last minute touch ups to their speeches/sermons for this mornings Church Service. Most of the speeches will be around 30 minutes in length… some are shorter – some maybe longer. Any where from 12 minutes flat to a well anointed 45 minute oration.

A host of men and women will make their spare change this day by using words.

Yesterday Toronto was blessed by a well healed, slick talking dude from south of the border. Former President Bill Clinton gave a speech at the BMO field at the Toronto BMO Field – normally used for big professional soccer teams.

BMO has 25,000 seats. Yesterday they filled 12,000 to hear the man. And in order to get this many they dropped the price of the tickets to a mere $5.00. That was a drop from $50 a seat to here Dear Bill.

This past week when I first heard that they were dropping the price of the tickets to hear Dear Bill… I smirked. Even Bill is having a rough time of it. He is losing his appeal too.

I smirked because the site of a one quarter full BMO field could be embarrassing to say the least. Bill came in from Boston on a special flight to address the lowly, poor people that attend a fun exhibition – The CNE! And no one wanted to hear him.

As of yesterday before Bill arrived… they were hawking the tickets at the gate at $5 on top of the $15 that is paid at the gate to get in.

Please Note:
Prior to the Clinton Speech of August 29, 2009 – Adrian Morrow reported…
“Advance tickets are available through Ticketmaster for between $20 to $40. At the event, they will cost between $5 to $25, plus $15 for admission to the CNE - meaning that the overall price of seeing the ex-president remains unchanged.

The most expensive tickets, priced at $50, are sold out. Ticket sales have been much lower than originally anticipated. When Clinton's speech was announced, the CNE expected to make 25,000 seats available. So far, about 7,000 have been sold. Organizers also scaled back the number of tickets available to just 10,000.”

BUT you see… Bill gets a lot of money for his 30 minutes of talking. He isn’t cheap when he talks.
In 2005 Bill made lots of money…
Robert Yoon states(in CNN’s article entitled “Bill Clinton’s isn’t cheap”)
“Clinton's speaking tour in 2005 included 43 speeches in 14 countries. He began in February and averaged about four speeches a month, usually charging about $150,000 per event. On occasion, the price was much steeper.

On October 18, 2005, for example, he addressed about 8,500 business executives at a "Power Within" motivational speaking conference in Toronto, Ontario, for a price of $350,000.

The next day he addressed a similar group at a "Power Within" conference in Calgary, Alberta, for $300,000.

When factoring in his $125,000 fee for remarks to a different business group delivered via video-conference before the Toronto event, the former president's total two-day haul was $775,000.”

DID YOU GET THAT? Bill made $350,000 in Toronto’s October 18, 2005 speech!!!!

In yesterday’s BMO speech the CNE must have made around $100,000 on ticket sales – if that. When you drop the price to $5 bucks and then only sell half the seats – it aint good!

I bet the CNE’s bottom line will be affected by the Bill Clinton speech. The person that is on the planning committee is probably making up excuses now of why it failed.

In the past Dear Bill received a whack of money to talk…
The Middle East Analysis Blog states…
“The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has paid $500,000 to Bill Clinton for a single lecture he delivered in Kuwait City on Sunday on his assessment of Barack Obama's foreign and economic policies. It was delivered the day after the Kuwaiti stock market resumed trading after it was suspended by order of a Kuwaiti court on Thursday to avoid a total collapse.”

Now how about the Speeches being given in the next three hours from this posting?

This is the last Sunday of August – and a whack of people are a way from church still. Attendance may not be that high today. For that last 8 weeks the annual holiday exodus has been taking place steadily. The Trailer Park People and the Cottage People have slipped away into the wild areas of our country. With them went their offerings that normally come to the church offering plates.

The News Headlines today should read… “Local Minister giving speech at 10:30 AM Sunday AM” There is no charge – seats are free… and only the ones that want to give something in the offering plate will be required to do so. Again Seats are FREE! People should rush into these events/happenings. Right?!

You and I both know that it isn’t going to happen. Not much will affect the changing attitudes of the populace. They have changed big time… BIG, BIG TIME!

No longer is the Preacher the best educated in the community. No longer is he the almost celebrity status with a special something about him… He is pretty normal most people have found out. Most importantly his 30 minutes speeches are not worth $140,000 each. I won’t even guess what they will pay locally for his talk today. Not much is my guess.

Society is changing rapidly. People on the outside have so many more interesting things to do on Sunday AM. – and at the CNE! Sadly what is offered is not attracting them. This summer I have sat through and in a lot of empty churches.

I have preached in a few as well… and many, many seats were empty… very empty. And Empty Seats don’t pay – or support.

I have thought of a gimmick or two… you know dress up like Elvis and shake my booties… to get a crowd. The problem is that I would have to be Gene Simmons of KISS next week. Then the third week I could be Bill Clinton with a rubber face on….

I somehow don’t think it would work.

The world has really changed… oh boy.

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Jimmy the Jerk

Jimmy always hung around at the edge of what others were doing. I cannot remember one time that he joined into the baseball games or anything else that we played in the community.

But Jimmy did get involved – he was a BULLY. Wherever and when ever he could he would bully someone. It was a nightmare to live with Jimmy in the community.

We tried to hang together so that he couldn’t get to one person and do his thing.

His thing was sometimes to hurt the younger kid – or maybe just pester them with words or a slap or by stealing something of theirs. He would use words to pester someone older.

I was his age but not as big as he was. My brother Glen and his one friend would hang around with me and my friend as well. We may not have liked it, but with Jimmy around we were their protectors. My brother and I fought some – but when it came to some one picking on him I protected Glen. Being that he was five years younger than me, I WAS HIS BIG BROTHER.

Jimmy would always wait till the opportune moment to inflict the damage that he so enjoyed. He would find you and then come after you.

This one day we were enjoying a good game of pick up baseball using the four guys and a few gals that wanted to play. Then another couple of guys came along as well.

Jimmy wasn’t one of them. I am not sure that he knew how to play baseball. He likely didn’t because it meant acting as a Team Player – and that he wasn’t. He was a loner.

I was pitching as I usually did. I could throw very straight and also fast. When little kids came up to the home plate to bat – I could also slow down the balls to let them hit.

The game was going well. Kids were cheering each other on. They were making lots of noise.

Perhaps when the game was at its best and the most noise was being made, became the reason for Jimmy to arrive and make his presence known. The BULLY IS HERE and he wants some attention!

My sister called me, “Murray, look whose here…”

I looked up and saw him walking toward the opposing team’s sideline – where the younger kids waited for their turn to bat. There was that gut feeling that there would be trouble – and that he was about to hurt someone again.

The younger ones closed ranks together to avoid his possible attack by standing closer together. It was almost animal like. Jimmy sensed their fear and closed in for the “kill”. No one had any idea what he would do – and I doubt that he did either – he just needed to hurt someone right then. I mean- they were all having too much fun and he wasn’t involved in the fun – so he had to hurt someone. That was Jimmy… the BULLY.

The kids looked at me for help.

I yelled at Jimmy to knock it off and leave the kids alone. He sneered at me and said back, “Who is going to make me…!?”

The challenge was on. The bigger Jimmy the Bully and little Murray – oldest but not the biggest. There wasn’t time to consider my options to lay a carefully devised plan of escape out. No body was going to run this day. We were trapped by the Tyrant Jimmy – and he knew it. The smirk on his face was like icing on his cake.

I had been standing on the pitchers mound – that wasn’t a mound but rather a depression. Every pitch was executed by stepping around the mud puddle that had been left after yesterday’s rain. Though it makes little sense to you – it was good Saskatchewan, Gumbo Clay, MUD – the sticky kind that makes super mud balls… a weapon of choice for any child soldier.

I glanced down… quickly stooped to pick up a hand full of mud that could quickly make perhaps four good mud balls. The size and distance to be thrown is all in the calculation of Mud Ball construction.

Jimmy taunted again, “I said… Who is going to make me…!?”

I looked at him straight in the eye and answered shakily, “I am…” To which he took one step toward the pitcher’s mound.

By that time the first two mud balls were ready and already in my pitching hand.

I wound up and threw as hard as I could at Jimmy. My aim was good – always – but with the tension and the possible beating that I was about to get – I held my own breath as the first mud ball flew fast toward the enemy.

SPLAT it hit and stuck – right on the target. And it stopped the enemy dead – right between his eyes – just a tad above his eye brows.

The second mud ball was now ready and the arm was cocked. The next was aimed at his mouth or either eye…which ever he preferred to find out…

The arm was ready and pulled way back to fire… but it was not needed… Jimmy backed away like a sacred rabbit… not a powerful BULLY that he was a moment before.

My team and the other team cheered – “David had killed Goliath”… which made Jimmy glare back at me and scream, “I am going to get you…!”

Though Clint Eastwood had not yet uttered his famous words, Murray Lincoln thought them, “Go ahead…Make my day!”

I will never forget that day and that moment. Jimmy was stopped by one good, well thrown, well placed and very sticky mud ball. Oh that felt so good. Now even 53 years later I can still feel the weight of that wonderful mud ball as it left my hand… and delivered that blow.

A BULLY never impresses me. They are insecure little jerks that try to get their own way. And when they think they can control the situation – they will. They will hurt – they will harm and they will destroy others… by attacking their confidence… their ideas and their very person.

53 years later I have met another “Jimmy”. I won’t give you his real name as the jerk works at an important job here in the city.

He had been “picking on people” in public meetings. In one case he derided a young lady in a meeting of approximately 12 people. Everyone sat and listened to “Jimmy the Jerk” chastise the young lady – who had done nothing at all. “Jimmy the Jerk” was attacking the other group that she represented and making sure that she was the target.

The attack went on for about three hours I was told… an evening meeting full of “Jimmy” – yikes!

Yesterday I was asked to attend a meeting that would address “Jimmy the Jerk” and his actions in the previous few meetings.

Dear “Jimmy the Jerk” didn’t know I was attending this meeting. He had one friend to back him up meeting against two of “them”. That made it a “two on two” fight. But little Murray Lincoln made it a “three on two”…! Not fare.

“Jimmy the Jerk” refused/was reluctant to go on with the meeting because I was there.

What would you do if you had been there?

I carefully reached down… and placed my coffee cup in the sink and walked out. I didn’t need this kind of crap. I am retired. I have had that kind of thing happen in my working career and I didn’t need it again.

My ‘walk out’ yesterday was my 2009, Saskatchewan Gumbo Clay sticky mud ball. And guess what… it landed nicely.

I can now walk away and watch another way to take care of the “Jimmy the Jerk” kind of guys.

The sad part in 2009 – this present “Jimmy” is still doing the same kind of thing that like the Jimmy I knew 53 years ago.

My guess is that… this new “Jimmy” will not be allowed to continue what he is doing. I think that his surrounding buddies – a Board of Directors may get the hint – that these kinds of actions ‘Dear Jimmy’ are simply not acceptable.

Now I have to go wash my hands again… Oh yah!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Friday, August 28, 2009

Strong Feelings Coming from Prison

If you have been there yet – YOU need to GO! I have driven by it many times – but had never gone in. It is the Correctional Service Canada – Prison Museum. You will do a lot of thinking after you take part in the tour.

This small museum sits directly across from the Kingston Penitentiary. Originally built and used as the home of the Warden of Kingston Pen – it now serves as a Museum.

Shown in the photos below are two kinds of discipline apparatus used in the 1800s.
The one shown above is chair that has the “stocks” holding restraints for arms and legs. The head is then covered with a small barrel. This barrel has a hole in the bottom where the neck is surrounded… and a hole in the top where another hole allows the cold water to rush in over the prisoner’s head from the barrel up above. The method was used to help the Prisoner’s Body Temp/Anger cool down. It was thought that this method would serve well to control the person’s attitude.
The next method displayed was for women – shown above. It was a Discipline Box – in the shape of a coffin. A sturdy coffin lid was fixed to it by powerful hinges – and one small hole to allow air. It was said that the disruptive woman could be placed in there for 8 hours or more.
There were other methods of old time prison methods shown. The final one here I show is the “Strapping Table”. After the prisoner was secured to the table with strong leather belts, a leather eye covering was fastened in place to not allow him to see which Keeper was strapping him. This simple part of the discipline would prevent the prisoner from getting retribution later against the one who had hit him.

So you shudder a little when you see these photos eh? Well think of the convicted man or woman that was marched into room and then disciplined.

Exiting the Museum the first sight is the mighty walls of the Kingston Penn… standing solid for well over a hundred years. Mighty and powerful expressing Canadian’s displeasure with Bad People – thousands of them over the years that have lived and many that have died inside its walls.

I serve as a Volunteer with the CAC – the Citizen’s Advisory Committee in Ontario. I am witness to the ways and methods that are used today to control, apply and dispense discipline in a humane way.

Today there is now use of these methods shown. We are better than that now. Prisoners are treated with respect and care. However they are prisoners of the Justice System serving time for what they have done. 22 years inside is not easy at all…let alone 27 or 32 or…

Living closely with other men that have attitude problems is not easy. Working with these men is not easy either. I Observe, Liaise and at time Advise when there seems to be something that may not look right or be done properly.

I am recouping today from being inside of prison settings for three days. Can you imagine what you might feel like if you were coming out after 15 years or 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

Most good Canadians will give it some thought when the man’s name is flashed on the Front Page of their news papers. Then they will not hear about him again until he is released from prison and tries to live next door to these kind folks.

You can tell that I have lots of feelings swirling around inside of me now. I need a good long bike ride. Whew….!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


This is Gene Simmons...
This is Gene Simmons - too...
Again - For my ultra religious friends this will make no sense at all. Oshawa has been KISSed. Even more funny today. Gene Simmons and his band decided that Oshawa is big enough – they dumped Toronto – or maybe play it at another time.

If you read yesterday’s post….Last year an OnLine promotion gimmick took place to rouse the world of Old Rockers. The city that responded the best would have KISS come to play for them – actually do a concert for your city! People went wild.

But in the world of music there is no place that was more excited than Oshawa, Ontario.

I watched the news last night and the most faithful fan was tearing the KISSer off of Gene Simmons that was on his VAN. Now that is radical – when a loyal fan decides on separation!

Well – all is well in Oshawa now – KISS is coming on October 7, 2009. The world is saved. All is peaceful in GM country again… and it will be noisy on October 7.

A report in the STAR today by Dan Robson states…quote..
Shout it, shout it, shout it out loud – Oshawa will get its KISS concert after all.

Band manager Doc McGhee announced last night that KISS will be playing Oshawa's GM Centre on Oct. 7. "After the outpouring of emotion we saw today, there was no way we could follow our original plan and make you wait until a later tour leg," McGhee said. "You'll now be getting a special record release show. Oshawa, we promise a good time."
End quote

In the Dan Robson article today he points to a city councilman and also the mayor – guys that perhaps have saved the day for Osahwa. KISS actually called the Mayors Office to tell them they were coming.

Show me another city where a potential Rock Group calls the city to let them know that they are coming… and the city is relieved.

Real Life…
I have sat through meetings and watched people make some strange decisions. They were convinced that the choice they were making was that of a “Savior” to the difficulties they were caught in.

Now there is nothing wrong with a Savior (I believe in one as a Christian) – but there is something wrong with some of the pictures that appear in my world. If the Savior is not what he promotes himself to be… well?

And I know that the Oshawa/KISS Adventure is one of the best publicity stunts ever. Gene Simmons is a master at what he does… have you ever watched the reality show with him featured in all his finery – real life – no paint. He is a master!

But so is the man(or woman) that has done a great resume. They look like they could walk on water. In reality they can’t get out of the boat.

In the world of the church I have read resumes many times. I served as a minister and at times looked for people to assist me. My goodness you should see what some promised they could do for me.

In the world of leadership I have taken part in selecting other leaders for really important positions. In one setting a new person to the table turned to me and asked, “How do I know which resume is better than the others?”

I replied, “Just think of it this way… these folk that wrote this use words all the time… and the better it sounds… means that they write a good resume.” She looked at me in a weird way.

I don’t always believe what I read… or hear.

And the hardest part is that I am not prepared to be one of those people that promise big – and deliver little.

Dr. Laurence Peter in his Peter Principles stated a powerful fact…"In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence."

Oddly enough today I have to make another BIG decision. Actually that isn’t quite right… I already made it. I am not going to do something. (TaDa – my wife will be pleasantly surprised with that one)

I have run out of time with life now… an extra step up… simply means more work that might not get done. My favorite Peter Principle will become a part of my life… and I could show how incompetent I really am if I said “yes”.

And with nothing at all to do with what is written above I conclude with a “Peter thought”…
“Peter pointed out that a class or caste (social stratification) system is more efficient at avoiding incompetence. Lower-level competent workers will not be promoted above their level of competence as the higher jobs are reserved for members of a higher class. "The prospect of starting near the top of the pyramid will attract to the hierarchy a group of brilliant [higher class] employees who would never have come there at all if they had been forced to start at the bottom". Thus the hierarchies "are more efficient than those of a classless or equalitarian society".

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Church and KISS

For my ultra religious friends this will make no sense at all. Oshawa has been given the “KISS OFF”. Too funny really. Gene Simmons and his band decided that Oshawa wasn’t big enough – they have chosen Toronto.

Last year an OnLine promotion gimmick took place to rouse the world of Old Rockers. The city that responded the best would have KISS come to play for them – actually do a concert for your city! People went wild.

But in the world of music there is no place that was more excited than Oshawa, Ontario.

A report in the STAR today states…quote..
“It worked – Oshawa placed first, ahead of New York and Toronto – but the hurting city of heavy motor metal was left off a list of tour dates released by the rockers yesterday.

The size of the production turned out to require a larger venue," KISS spokesman Erik Stein told the Star.

"In this case, that turned out to be the Air Canada Centre."
End quote

Who did Oshawa think it was anyway?!? Peterborough was the city north of Oshawa that was after the rights and privileges to have the goons come here. I mean what the dickens did they think was going on anyway? Peterborough has the oldest and best rockers around. We are old and experienced in every form of Rock that there is. All of us were born way before Simmons was! We are the Old Rockers of all time.

No – No Silly – not Rocking Chair Rockers… Real Rock and Roll… “the kind that satisfies the soul..” And I am one of them! I have 8 Tracks – hundreds of them in my “Garage Studio”… the place I create all kinds of stuff. I create to the beat.

My friend Chad, who is a real Rocker, is often there with me getting down on the old stuff. I mean Chad knows the names and history of almost every old guy that has ever played a guitar… or hammered a drum. Chad is cool!

The amazing stuff that happened when Gene Simmons (and his promo people) did their thing with last year’s voting was so cool. Talk about an amazing business dude. He is very cool. He can’t really play that good and his music “kind of sucks” according to a younger rocker that I know… but this guy is way ahead of his time. He knows just what to do to create a sensation.

Poof – over to the church scene..
Over the summer I have attended a number of different churches. WOW! What a difference in styles and forms of worship. Every church had a different kind of musical presentation. Some were fun – some were boring and many had people sitting and listening.

In one church when songs were sung that they liked – they sang. When songs were sung that they didn’t know (or didn’t like) – they simply shut up.

Radical as it may seem and even heretical I think the church needs a “face lift” – some one like Gene Simmons to run it and take up the show. I mean with a little paint and lot more hype the most boring pastor could be re-made by a Simmons approach.

Can you picture the minister that you know dressed the way the photo above looks – doing his stuff on a Sunday AM? I mean – like – wow church would become a place that might be interesting to attend.

My granddaughter Emma talked to me this summer. She stated it honestly… “I can wait for the Fall when our Sunday School Class starts again. In the summer you have to sit through church and it is boring. They just talk, talk, talk…”

I grinned when I heard her honesty. She was simply expressing what others are thinking. It is a drag.

Last Sunday morning our family sat together in one pew. It was my first time to be able to do this since retirement. Emma and Clifford were sitting beside Grandma – down the row from me. As the minister, Pastor Tim, asked for people to respond to his questions… by raising their hands – Emma did so… she was listening. Pastor Tim caught her attention so maybe it ALL isn’t boring…maybe just some of it.

Clifford just sat staring straight ahead. My guess is he was solving a “War Hammer” problem miles away from the sanctuary.

I fear for the future of the church really. The world outside of it definitely has stirred the senses and the feelings of attendees – whether a concert or just the radio/TV.

A long time ago the church was the central focus of every community. It was the pause day, the concert day, the happening day of every week. It was when people came together to enjoy each other’s fellowship. The minister dressed differently from everyone else… his fancy clothes set him aside. Even after Sunday services were done – he still dressed differently than others in the community.

And as I press the thought button harder… the church was the KISS of its community… the Pastor – Reverend was the “Gene Simmons” of his community. He as the promoter and the front guy, that could wear his paint better than anyone else, was something else. When he stepped on to the stage the people stopped talking and listened up. WOW – what a show it was!

The only rival to the church in any community one hundred years ago was the once a year Fair that might come your way. The sports day might have been a very close second to the Fair.

Today… can you imagine if a church had an online poll that would ask the community if they would like the CHURCH to come and play at their community venue…? I think I can see your face either grin or grimace. The truth of the matter we as a body of people are about as irrelevant as we can be.

People on the outside don’t really give a rip or have any idea what we do inside that strange looking building. We do not fit into their world at all.

“They” are about as interested in us, as you are in the KISS concert making an appearance in Oshawa or Toronto – or where ever it might go.

And you sure don’t want your pastor to act like Gene Simmons. Nope – no way. He should act and dress like they did in the Old Days… and stay the same.

I know I can get off on a tangent with the next statement… BUT here goes… one simple example…
Question: Why do we have church starting between 10 AM and 11 AM? Why do we start so late?
Answer #1: One hundred years ago – Most churches had farmers attending… and the chores were not done until about 9 AM. 10 AM allowed them to get dressed up and get there on time.
Answer #2: Most people lived a distance from the church with the need to get their horse and buggy ready so you could drive your family to church… the horse had to be fed as well… cleaned up after and ready for the trip to church.

Sunday PM was the same – a 7:00 PM start – again after chores were done on the farm… it simply made sense.

So today as I contemplate deep and wonderful things in my Garage Studio… I thought I would share some of the thinking.

Simply – what needs to change…? Hmmm?

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Monday, August 24, 2009

FaceBook Modification Needed

With the addition of Facebook to my life it has been interesting to say the least. I have more and more contacts all the time. But added to more contacts is the additional list of friends – that are not only friends but rather more clearly being designated as potential relatives.

This morning I received a list of potential relatives. Goodness I now have about 204 people that could be related and the Facebook App is asking me to give them a potential designation to their “relative-ness” to me. When the “We’re related” notification arrived I nearly fell over. I have possibly 204 people on Facebook that may be related to me!

Looking closer after I opened the email and clicked through to the Facebook App – I don’t know these people – but the Facebook people are assuming that I not only know them but also am connected via blood lines.

One of the people suggested is a son of my son-in-law’s cousin. I don’t think I have ever met this cousin let alone his cousin – yet I am potentially related. Maybe I heard a story about him some where along the way. But I don’t know if you are related to some one like this or not. Facebook says there is a possible link.

As I looked at the list of 204 real people I started to think about the total amount of information that the Facebook computer has on me. They know all about me. They know who I might be related to – even when I have never met this relative! I recognize the name – but am at loss to know if we are connected.

But it doesn’t stop there… they want me to describe how we are related… like my daughter’s husband’s cousin’s son’s dog. Or… my aunt’s husband’s second wife’s son’s second child’s wife.

I don’t think they are related… but maybe they are.

But so was Adam and Eve – with my Christian Biblical belief system… so were Noah’s sons and their wives. I am sure about Adam – but not sure which of Noah’s sons I was connected to – one was a Grandfather and the other two were Uncles with a lot of Greats in front of their names.

I am waiting for Facebook to try to connect all the dots that makes me linked in some way to some really old relatives that are even gone. I can see a new App for Facebook – “Family Tree” which will include all the dead relatives as well as the alive ones.

Seriously though – there are some real issues in Canada with our privacy laws – and the Privacy Commissioner’s Office.

Recently a delegation from Ottawa was forced to spend a whole 30 days in sunny California trying to get the Facebook attention. Tough eh?

In an article today Matt Hartley of the National Post states the following…

“Privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart's office identified four areas in which Facebook's policies violated Canadian privacy law.

Among her concerns were Facebook's practice of indefinitely storing personal information of its 250 million global users, even after users deactivate their accounts or die, and that the privacy information contained on the site is often confusing or incomplete.

The report also detailed "significant concerns" about the way Facebook shares the personal information of its users with third-party software developers who create games, quizzes and other applications run on its network.”

I never thought of this before. They tell on me. They tell on the idiot things that I do – and then tell companies about my idiot ways so that they can keep me trapped into deeper idiot things.

Then there are the Facebookers – friends of mine and even some relatives that keep sending me information that I can join in on… i.e. “Save the Endangered Cricket of Southern Saskatchewan Living Under Olaf’s Granary”

I had made an idiot move and joined a Friend’s cause to support him… now that has ushered in a whole new era for me… I can join into protests of all sorts.

On CNN today the short video report tells of the “12 Most Annoying Facebookers”
Here is the list from CNN –
The Let-Me-Tell-You-Every-Detail-of-My-Day Bore. "I'm waking up." "I had Wheaties for breakfast." "I'm bored at work." "I'm stuck in traffic." You're kidding! How fascinating! No moment is too mundane for some people to broadcast unsolicited to the world. Just because you have 432 Facebook friends doesn't mean we all want to know when you're waiting for the bus.
The Self-Promoter. OK, so we've probably all posted at least once about some achievement. And sure, maybe your friends really do want to read the fascinating article you wrote about beet farming. But when almost EVERY update is a link to your blog, your poetry reading, your 10k results or your art show, you sound like a bragger or a self-centered careerist.
The Friend-Padder. The average Facebook user has 120 friends on the site. Schmoozers and social butterflies -- you know, the ones who make lifelong pals on the subway -- might reasonably have 300 or 400. But 1,000 "friends?" Unless you're George Clooney or just won the lottery, no one has that many. That's just showing off.
The Town Crier. "Michael Jackson is dead!!!" You heard it from me first! Me, and the 213,000 other people who all saw it on TMZ. These Matt Drudge wannabes are the reason many of us learn of breaking news not from TV or news sites but from online social networks. In their rush to trumpet the news, these people also spread rumors, half-truths and innuendo. No, Jeff Goldblum did not plunge to his death from a New Zealand cliff.
The TMIer. "Brad is heading to Walgreens to buy something for these pesky hemorrhoids." Boundaries of privacy and decorum don't seem to exist for these too-much-information updaters, who unabashedly offer up details about their sex lives, marital troubles and bodily functions. Thanks for sharing.
The Bad Grammarian. "So sad about Fara Fauset but Im so gladd its friday yippe". Yes, I know the punctuation rules are different in the digital world. And, no, no one likes a spelling-Nazi schoolmarm. But you sound like a moron.
The Sympathy-Baiter. "Barbara is feeling sad today." "Man, am I glad that's over." "Jim could really use some good news about now." Like anglers hunting for fish, these sad sacks cast out their hooks -- baited with vague tales of woe -- in the hopes of landing concerned responses. Genuine bad news is one thing, but these manipulative posts are just pleas for attention.
The Lurker. The Peeping Toms of Facebook, these voyeurs are too cautious, or maybe too lazy, to update their status or write on your wall. But once in a while, you'll be talking to them and they'll mention something you posted, so you know they're on your page, hiding in the shadows. It's just a little creepy.
The Crank. These curmudgeons, like the trolls who spew hate in blog comments, never met something they couldn't complain about. "Carl isn't really that impressed with idiots who don't realize how idiotic they are." [Actual status update.] Keep spreading the love.
The Paparazzo. Ever visit your Facebook page and discover that someone's posted a photo of you from last weekend's party -- a photo you didn't authorize and haven't even seen? You'd really rather not have to explain to your mom why you were leering like a drunken hyena and French-kissing a bottle of Jagermeister.
The Maddening Obscurist. "If not now then when?" "You'll see..." "Grist for the mill." "John is, small world." "Dave thought he was immune, but no. No, he is not." [Actual status updates, all.] Sorry, but you're not being mysterious -- just nonsensical.
The Chronic Inviter. "Support my cause. Sign my petition. Play Mafia Wars with me. Which 'Star Trek' character are you? Here are the 'Top 5 cars I have personally owned.' Here are '25 Things About Me.' Here's a drink. What drink are you? We're related! I took the 'What President Are You?' quiz and found out I'm Millard Fillmore! What president are you?"

Okay – Okay – I know that I joined into the group and that I can drop it at anytime… but there is something about being needed. People want to connect with me. They are my friends and relatives. If I disconnect or nuke them or ban them – who will I have left?

Someone asked me about another person and a relationship that had gone sour… according to that person… I was dumbfounded. The day before I had been with both persons at the same time – they were together and looked very happy. The “new reporter” had shared that the relationship was going down… this week!

What a nutsy world I live in. How many crazys am I related to – or are friends with.

I experienced the first two break ups – a couple separating from each other – on Facebook. The ripping and tearing at each other was something else. Right out their in public.

In the old days they only did that in the house next door. When you heard the fight spill out on to the street, then the Cops arrived, you kind of not look the other way any longer. Now their fight comes to my Computer Monitor. Hokey Mokey!

My world has changed in ways that are hard to imagine. It is very difficult to keep up to…

When my Great Grandfather moved his family to Southern Saskatchewan from Iowa it was very different from now. No airplanes or runways. No TV or the many other media things that flood their way into our lives today. His world was so different… so very, very different than now. They only relied on Gossip and Gossipers – now I have so much more.

And before I complete this posting I must admit that it is I am a Facebooker along with all my Friends… and I have committed many of the Annoying Things stated in the list above.

Facebook modification is needed – not because the Privacy Commissioner of Canada says so… but because I need to spend a whack of time just keeping up.

How about you?

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dr. Bruce Lindsay – Embalming Surgeon

Sixteen years ago I stood with my friend Pastor Doug Lindsay and together we married our kids to each other. My daughter married his son. WOW! What a time it has been. Now two grandkids later we are watching the family grow and the kids develop into what they will be some day. What a journey it has been!

When my daughter met Bruce he had just finished his University studies and was on his way to a Career in the Banking Industry.

Imagine a Banker – and all that money that could be available through a capable Branch Manager some day… or maybe Bruce would end up as a powerful CEO of the largest Bank in the World.

Every father-in-law has great aspirations for his child’s spouse – just like his own kids. I mean if they don’t marry well… and marry big… and perhaps even dare I say this – RICH… I may not get a second chance at it all.

The basis of it all is that with two daughters, who are the nurturing type, my wife and I will likely be looked after when we get old… that is either one of us – after the one of us dies. I mean what do you have to count on except family?

Now knowing this factor at a younger age – I tried to groom my daughters into a right relationship as they grew up.

I read them stories of Prince Charming. I read them stories of Cinderella and her Prince of the Ball… In fact over the years I chose the stories that described poor little girls that were rescued by handsome young men – that live in castles and owned their worlds. Naturally it was assumed that some day when they married they would chose a really cool guy that would allow the Queen and King, Mother and Father, of the Princess, to move in with her when the time came to do so.

I mean loving Princes that find poor maidens in distress, marry them and treat them like royalty… along with their families. Isn’t that the way that you read it?

Well it didn’t quite work that way. The possibility RICH banker that entered my daughter’s life would transformed to become a Funeral Director. And in this picture he would take care of millionaires and poor people. Certainly he shows great care and respect.

Well – something else happened. Every once in a while this son-in-law of mine kind of changes. The transformation is amazing really. Simply by walking from one room to the next he went from the present Funeral Director to one of becoming a Surgeon. AND not just any Surgeon – he is an “Embalming Surgeon”. With that few short steps he walked he walked into the period between 1840 to 1880 – or so.

It happened today with our visit to the Comstock Funeral Home where Bruce works his trade so well. We were invited to attend a special day for family members and relatives. The day was planned to let the children and any one else that came to see what dad or mom does for a living.

In the chapel area Bruce and my daughter Dana were sitting just in front of me as the first presentation was made. The second presentation was to be just next door. As we stood to walk into the next room… Bruce led the way.

There he was, dressed in his long black coat and his tall black hat. He welcomed us to the talk and began to share his many stories and his vast knowledge of the past

Behind Bruce lay the long basket that was used to transport the Body from the place of death to their home where the funeral wake would take place. There at home on top of a “cooling table” the body would be preserved – or readied for the wake and visitation of friends and relatives that would come to console the family.

Embalming didn’t begin until around the 1840s. Then it progressed to the point to grow more common as the days of the Civil War in the USA took place.

Before Embalming methods were incorporated, methods were used to cool the Body of the loved one to slow decomposition. Bruce described what the cooling box looked like where the body was placed in ice. Then shortly before the time it was needed to be “on show” – it was removed and prepared with the clothing that was used.

It wasn’t until the days of the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency that Embalming would become a major new community possibility. Methods were developed to make it possible for the Body not to begin decaying for at least four days (or more).

Bruce told how Abe Lincoln’s son died as a result of an accident. The body of the President’s Child was then embalmed and taken home to Springfield to be buried. Stops of the train carrying his body were made along the way… and people approached the mourning car to view the child. “It was as if he had only fallen asleep” the newspaper of the day stated.

As Dr. Bruce Lindsay shared his knowledge that had been gleaned over many years of study if was amazing to listen to.

I didn’t get a Banker… nor a Funeral Director for a son-in-law – I got an amazing guy that loves his life and work. There in front of his colleagues he described the roots of what they all do. When he finished speaking we all were moved by this information.

I say with this post today – Dr. Bruce Lindsay, Embalming Surgeon, you are amazing. I am proud of you son.

I know that I may not get a crack at seeing the executive suite of the Banking Mogul… nor will I get to be there with a Prince Charming allowing me into his domain to live…

BUT WHEN I DIE… I will look good to say the least. I know that whatever happens at my end – it will be done well. And that will happen because I am “Dad”. That is so cool.

Most guys my age won’t even discuss what might happen to them when and if they die. I can brag about my final day… final week and know that it is/will be all true.

I think this is so cool. Thanks Bruce for a great day and wonderful presentation!

~ Murray Lincoln ~
PS – the photos are not the best quality because I snapped them on my rinky dinky cell phone.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fare you well Husband and children dear, I am not dead but sleeping here.

We stopped under a large Maple Tree with the beautiful breeze blowing softy on the warm day. What a refreshing moment it was.

There beside us was a giant grave stone with these simple words engraved on it. They were placed there two centuries ago.

“Fare you well Husband and children dear,
I am not dead but sleeping here.
You went home my dear and left me lonesome
Lonely wandering all my days.
The time will come when I will be laid to rest beside you
And I hope to the Lord we will meet in Heaven.”

Six simple lines outlining two dear people with very deep feelings. Likely penned by a husband that was so sad there were only these words to outline his sorrow.

She passed away fairly young – and left him with a family to rear on his own.

Many of the graves in that area are of women aged some where between 20 years to 45 years of age. Child birth was likely the reason.

A very old doctor that I had met in the last century describe how, during his training, almost half of the women who were having babies did so knowing that they would not be alive to raise their kids. They would die in child birth.

Infection of some kind took these young women very early. The medical folk of that day didn’t know what we know about washing their hands. The older doctor looked at me rather sadly that day and just shook his head when he related the story.

There on Mrs. Galvin’s grave was the sorrow of long ago.

I thought of her as we rode away on our bikes. I thought that today it might be good to say – I remembered.

The last words were powerful…
“And I hope to the Lord we will meet in Heaven…”

What a thought… maybe I will make it – maybe not…?

Something to ponder…

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Lincoln Sandwich Generation

My mom needs your prayer today. She is in great pain. It appears that the osteoporosis has taken another piece of her life.

Yesterday we visited the Doctor again. In the last week a new and great pain has come again in her vertebrae. We haven’t heard the results from X-Rays yet but from all physical appearances it has happened again.

In 2006 she suffered a compression fracture in a few vertebrae. The process of healing was long and slow. The Doctor told us yesterday that it may well have happened again.

At 88 years of age the body has served her well. But as we talked about it yesterday she said quietly, “Maybe if I had taken care of my body better when I was young I would be better now…”

I don’t think that is the case… but who knows with the need for calcium to build strong bones… it may not have been something that a young girl in the 1930s and a young mom in the 1940s would have thought of. Then as she reached the mid 1950s and 1960s it was not even a consideration to drink more milk – or take more calcium supplements.

The Doctor told us plainly that the best that can happen now is to slow the progress of the osteoporosis.

As I write I am of the “Sandwich Generation”. Sandwiched between my own family and life – and – the Life of my mom. I am squeezed at times to find the sanity and time to do it all. It is at times one big YIKES!

It would happen even if my mom lived in a Senior’s home. Because she lives with us makes little difference. In fact it is easier. I don’t have to leave early to go and pick her up for the two or three Doctors appointments that take place some weeks.

In 2006 her Doctor in Regina had a very direct conversation with me. He told me plainly that, “…the Family needs to begin planning for the Assisted Living that your mom needs NOW!”

Mom still does not know why he didn’t tell her that. He left it to me. Wahoo!

Well I am the oldest child… why not!? I am the one that has more resources facility wise. I am the one that said, “Mom we want you to come to live with us…” And in 2007 – the month of March – she did.

The Sandwich Generation has some wonderful things about it. The best part is the relief that comes from watching grandkids grow and change daily. With the other changes that are so common around us now with the severe aging process… the wonderful new and sparkling life of six grandkids balances it all out.

I fear for my own kids however. I am looking at them and know that they will be ‘sandwiched’ as well. Resources for us are not great. At one point we will become the ones that the Doctor will kindly/directly talk to our children about.

Aging is weird. At one point I couldn’t wait to get older. I couldn’t wait for that next birthday. Today I am not sure I want another Birthday. With everyone now comes a down burst from a new cloud of problems.

Someone said it well… “Aging Sucks!” The person that first said that to me was 77 years old and had picked it up from his grandson… at least the “sucks” part.

I agree completely. But then the dichotomy comes – I love being this age. It has never been a better time in my life – NEVER. I have freedom beyond imagination. I have peace that passes all understanding. I have a wonderful wife, a fantastic home, the best garage ever and many things to do. I am having a ball.

But yesterday my world slowed as the Doctor told mom and I some of the next steps that they would need to do in order to help us.

“Doctor GD” is amazing. She is old enough to be my granddaughter. She is brilliant beyond anyone’s imagination. And she cares. But rumors are that we might lose her to the next job that she will take.

So today I am off to launch a canoe – at least launch my two grandkids and a son-in-law on their canoe journey for the day. It is good to have this balance.

Hey I am too busy to think about the bad stuff… but oh so thankful that it has worked out the way it has.

Thanks for praying.

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

564,200,000 pairs of PJs

Some of my friends that read this Blog have spent time in Prison. In fact many from Prison have looked in on what their friend Murray writes about. I suppose they are checking to see if I tell any of their stories or not. I know too much. And also please note I said they have spent time in prison… they are not there now.

Well this story appeared in the Taiwan newspaper “Taipei Times”.

The story is about France… and its new decision to help curb the high rate of suicide in France’s prison system.

It is reported that France has more than 62,000 inmates crammed into facilities that should have a maximum of 51,000. That is serious over crowding.

On top of that the Prison facilities are in terrible shape.

A quote by the Taipei Times states…
"The government yesterday said 81 prisoners had killed themselves in jail this year. But non-government organizations say the figure is higher. Suicides in prison have largely been men, with around one in five aged under 25, but also including teenagers. More than half are on remand, often it is their first time in prison. "

81 people have killed themselves since the beginning of this year.

France has 188 prisons in their country and overseas territories.

Simple math shows that there have been almost 3 per week since January 1st.

That is staggering to say the least. 81 families were told that their sons had died in prison. More than half of the men were on remand – meaning that they were not yet found guilty – still waiting for trial.

Now the solution… what is it? They have issued all the men Paper Pajamas. No kidding.. the guys will be wearing paper PJs to solve the problem. You cannot hang yourself with one time worn PJs.

But in Canada one prisoner that I knew in my early days of working as a volunteer in the Ontario Provincial system tried to choke himself by swallowing Bible Pages. When we asked the Chaplain where the Bibles disappeared he told us that the Admin had taken them all out – because some one tried to kill himself by choking on Bibles pages.
Something is seriously wrong with the thinking process of the authorities in France. Paper PJs will not improve the horrible living conditions in the prisons.

Horrible prisons are not only hard on the Prisoners… but also hard on the Guards. They work in it for long hours with the angry mob of inmates that are suffering. Coming into work cannot be a joy – like other people might sometimes feel. You just have to cringe in the morning when you wake up and thing “Whoa… another day of work!”

Now add to the fact that at least four guards would be there to take the dead man down and out. Four families are deeply affected when dad has to look at that scene in his mind over and over again.

Have you ever witnessed the worst nightmare possible – then tried to shut it out with closed eyes that night.

Just give them Paper Pajamas and that will solve the problem. And give them a new pair each night.

Let see… 62,000 pairs of Paper Pajamas times 7 days a week times 52 weeks a year times an average of say 25 years = 564,200,000 pairs of PJs are needed. Or that is 22,568,000 pairs a year. Talk about a Tree Hugger’s time to step in. When all the world is Tree Sensitive – France is bundling its tree products up to wrap up their inmates.

I wonder who is related to the PJ maker? What lucky politician is connected some how? Is there a system in place like there is in Canada where conflict of interest is highly cared for in everything our Government takes care of?

Now I know for most readers of this Blog – this caught them off guard. Why write about it?

Well for one thing I hope that Canada’s leadership doesn’t get any ideas about making changes like this. Our politicians can come up with some pretty strange ideas.

It points to some simple problems that most human problem solving comes up with. Then when they are absolutely convinced that their way is right… they act on it.

I have been studying the Lace Industry and Lace Making that took place over the many years. Britain became known for its beautiful laces over the years. Starting at about 1568 and then again in 1572 the Lace in Britain improved tremendously. It became the best in the world at the time. Then again in 1685 it happened again… more improvement… more wonderful designs.

In 1568, 1572 and 1685 the French Monarchy, highly controlled and influenced by the Roman Catholic Church issued edicts that made being a Protestant in France impossible. The Flemish and the Huguenots were murdered by the thousands… even the hundreds of thousands. If you were not a Catholic then or if you would hide someone that was a Huguenot; you were also murdered.

These people fled across the English Channel and found refuge in England. They settled in different areas across southern and western England. With them came their abilities and craftsmanship.

Now I am not linking the present decisions in the Prison system of France with the Huguenots.

But once people make up their minds that their way is the only way – reason or other ideas will not be possible. In 1568, 1572 and 1685 some really stupid decisions were made and acted on.

All over the world today consistently stupid decisions are made regularly by perfectly normal people. Their decisions are anything but normal… for the end result is anything but normal… or humane.

Most of the guys in prison in Canada acted on really dumb decisions they made at one tragic point in their life.

I simply offer a finger to point at Dumb Ideas – and ask people to think better. Who knows French Bloggers may be reading English Bloggs… and may be someone will ask better questions.

564,200,000 pairs of PJs must be worth about the price of one new Prison – that will be just that … NEW. I don’t know – but that only seems to make some sense when you stop and think about it.

What do you think?

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I was caught red handed!

I was caught red handed! It was a stupid thing to have done and I am guilty. How can it happen? I feel like an idiot!

Have you ever felt like this?

I know the feeling when I saw the police car behind me with his lights blinking. I kicked myself all the way down the road as I held the newly written ticket for my speeding.

I felt that way also with the parking meter violation. I was just 5 minutes late and there is was a fluttering ticket under my windshield wiper blade.

I was guilty in all the situations that I have shown.

The one that many will not know about was on my Web Page. I had “borrowed” a photo from another man’s Web Site and used it on mine.
The honest intention was to go back and replace the “Mock Up” of the Web Page with my own photos… but I got too busy doing stuff and Bingo I got caught!

Out of the all the Web Pages that I have looked at and the one that I admired I stole the photo from – by simply copy/paste. Then I posted it with the wrong intention.

The page is changed and no one will ever know. But I know and so does the man in Britain that I have wronged with this infraction. I wrote to him asked forgiveness. And I feel dumb for forgetting to change the photo.

It is doubtful that any readers of this Blog will even know what I am talking about. But I do.

Some one said we need to be true to one self. I could not agree more.

Today as I drive down the Internet Highway with the newly minted “ticket” in my hand – I feel better in that the ‘mistake’ has been corrected.

A ticket once in a while is not that bad. It has an effect on me to help adjust the attitude and bring about humility.

Now I can sleep better tonight.

Have a great day. I am going to try to…. yikes… that was so stupid!!!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Monday, August 17, 2009

Health Care When I Need It

A month or so go a Canadian woman appeared on American TV as part of a promotion to shoot down a better/different health care system being talked about in the USA. Her claim was that she had to go to the USA to get better health care and be able to get it when she wanted it.

What a bunch of baloney! She simply wanted it when she wanted it! She was unwilling to wait for anything. And the worst part is that the political agenda picks up only what they want to pick up and tell only one side of the story.

This Blog has many American Readers. If anything there is a need for a more balanced approach to what is said and reported.

Last week the groups that opposed President Obama’s approach to health care reform. The pictured him as a tyrant that was pushing his agenda and was likened to Hitler.

What a crock! Though I am related to many Americans and have relatives that are deeply affected by the non-system that exists now… I understand the fear. But what a crock – fear mongering at its best.

I lived in the era of CCF in Saskatchewan – the Socialist way of thinking and doing things. I lived just doors down from where Premier Tommy Douglas lived – the promoter and politician that groomed the Medical Care that entire country of Canada eventually adopted. I was at the heart of where it all started.

I am now at the heart of all of receiving end of what is available now. We have one of the best Health Care Systems in the world – where everyone is welcome and everyone gets care. When I am sitting in the emergency room waiting for my turn, I get care as soon as the bed and the doctor is available. The poor and socially challenged person sitting next to me that has no job and very little future – gets care as well – the same as I do. We are equal and we all need help.

Now if I don’t like sitting beside someone that is really poor – knowing that they might get into the Doctor sooner than I do – I simply need to get over it. He or she matters as much as I DO.

Now should I lose my job or the company that I work for gets shafted with a really greedy CEO – I will not lose my ability to sit in a hospital and get health care that I need.

In Canada we are now seeing some new American threats – new ideas that are positively scary. The American based companies are taking away any offer for Health Care Packages in the Union’s deals. You are required to take it or leave it. Extra medical stuff is taken away. When you need bigger and better pills that the rich system gets – you will not get it… you have to suffer with the no name brand… and sometimes pay for the extra.

Things are changing in all parts of our company.

In many ways Canada needs to fear the American System from approaching our borders and crossing over. My American Cousins need not fear what we offer. We need to have our border guards up and watching. The problem is that you cannot stop ideas… they pass easily with little push.

I care for my American Cousins. I care for the people that sit in the waiting room beside me. I care for my own health as well.

But why shouldn’t every person be given good care? Why can’t each person be given the help they need? No one has yet been able to give me a reason that will stand any kind of moral scrutiny – why they should be first and matter more.

I come into this debate with some radical Canadians that think they are better than others as well. But most are just one pay check away from nothingness too.

Yes we need a better system – yes I will work to see it happen. Yes I will make more noise too.

Come one people – grow up.

And Yes – one of my American Cousins was Abe Lincoln. So my roots go deep and so does my thinking!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Sunday, August 16, 2009

From Robert Allen Zimmerman to Bob Dylan

Yesterday with my tongue in my cheek I poked fun at my aging. I used the story of Bob Dylan to illustrate what it is like to have the younger generation not know who you are – no matter how important or popular you ‘used to be’.

When researching Dylan’s life you discover some fascinating things about the man. Perhaps, like the young cop that mistook Bob Dylan for a possible burglar or reprobate, we will never really know who he is or was.

As “Mike” pointed out to me after my last posting… what name did Bob Dylan give the young cop that day? You see he is not Bob Dylan…

On May 24, 1941 he was born in Duluth, Minnesota as Robert Allen Zimmerman. Wow has he ever come from no where to somewhere. (Sorry Duluth – I don’t mean that Duluth is really a ‘No Where’ – that is the easiest way to describe it – and it is a long way from ‘Any Where’.)

Like Duluth’s Web Site says;
“Duluth is a four-season city — as breathtaking in winter white as it is in summer green. Come at a different time of year, and you’ll find an entirely new place to explore. The quiet of our forests and the splendor of the Lake Superior shoreline mesh into a getaway experience that will both relax and rejuvenate you, any time of year.”

And it is among the “Top 10 Outside Towns” in America.

Yes – I know that. I have been there a number of times traveling from Saskatchewan to Ontario – Ontario to Saskatchewan. And as I come from southern Saskatchewan – which I thought was pretty much ‘No Where’ all my growing up years… when I found Duluth I felt I could identify.

Robert Zimmerman wasn’t really from Duluth though – he was just born there. He was raised in Hibbing, Minnesota. Which is a very small city or town depending on the way you look at it and is ‘No Where’ in the eyes of the rest of the world.

Hibbing was not far from Duluth, also being a real ‘No Where’ but amazingly look at the people that Hibbing produced…
Bob Dylan (born Robert Zimmerman), singer-songwriter, and Pulitzer Prize winner (grew up in Hibbing from age 7 to age 18).
Steve Deger, nonfiction author
Vincent Bugliosi, prosecutor of Charles Manson
Bruce Carlson, United States Air Force Commander
Carl Wickman, founder and long time CEO of Greyhound Lines
Dick Garmaker, professional basketball player
Chi Chi LaRue, adult film director
Marie Myung-Ok Lee, novelist and essayist
Roger Maris, professional baseball player
Kevin McHale, professional basketball player, former Minnesota Timberwolves Vice President
Bethany McLean, co-author of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Robert Mondavi, American wine entrepreneur.
Mike David Peluso, professional ice hockey player
Rudy Perpich, Minnesota governor
Gary Puckett, musician
Burt Butler, Court Administrator
Jeno Paulucci, founder of Jeno's Pizza and Chun King Foods brands. Hibbing's Paulucci Planetarium, on the Hibbing Community College campus, is named for his family.
Jeff Halper, professor of anthropology, author, lecturer, political activist and co-founder of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
William Calligan, Military hero, of the 3rd Batallion Marine Raiders distinguished during the pacific islands campaign.
Robb Zbacnik, contestant on the hit CBS Reality Television show, Survivor: Thailand. Born in Hibbing.

In Wikipedia the information about Bob Dylan is quite fascinating. Rather trying to encapsulate what is stated, I copy/paste instead.

From Wikipedia…quote…
Origins and musical beginnings
Robert Allen Zimmerman (Hebrew name Shabtai Zisel ben Avraham) was born in St. Mary's Hospital on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota, and raised there and in Hibbing, Minnesota, on the Mesabi Iron Range west of Lake Superior. Research by Dylan’s biographers has shown that his paternal grandparents, Zigman and Anna Zimmerman, emigrated from Odessa in the Russian Empire (now Ukraine) to the United States following the anti-Semitic programs of 1905. His mother's grandparents, Benjamin and Lybba Edelstein, were Lithuanian Jews who arrived in the United States in 1902. In his autobiography Chronicles: Volume One, Dylan writes that his paternal grandmother's maiden name was Kyrgyz and her family originated from Istanbul.

Dylan’s parents, Abram Zimmerman and Beatrice "Beatty" Stone, were part of the area's small but close-knit Jewish community. Robert Zimmerman lived in Duluth until age six, when his father was stricken with polio and the family returned to his mother's home town, Hibbing, where Zimmerman spent the rest of his childhood. Robert Zimmerman spent much of his youth listening to the radio—first to blues and country stations broadcasting from Shreveport, Louisiana and, later, to early rock and roll. He formed several bands in high school: The Shadow Blasters was short lived, but his next, The Golden Chords, lasted longer and played covers of popular songs. Their performance of Danny and the Juniors' "Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay" at their high school talent show was so loud that the principal cut the microphone off. In 1959 he saw Buddy Holly in the Winter Dance Party tour and later recalled how he made eye contact with him. In his 1959 school yearbook, Robert Zimmerman listed as his ambition "To join Little Richard". The same year, using the name Elston Gunnn, he performed two dates with Bobby Vee, playing piano and providing handclaps.

Zimmerman moved to Minneapolis in September 1959 and enrolled at the University of Minnesota. His early focus on rock and roll gave way to an interest in American folk music. In 1985 Dylan explained the attraction that folk music had exerted on him: "The thing about rock'n'roll is that for me anyway it wasn't enough ... There were great catch-phrases and driving pulse rhythms ... but the songs weren't serious or didn't reflect life in a realistic way. I knew that when I got into folk music, it was more of a serious type of thing. The songs are filled with more despair, more sadness, more triumph, more faith in the supernatural, much deeper feelings." He soon began to perform at the 10 O'clock Scholar, a coffee house a few blocks from campus, and became actively involved in the local Dinkytown folk music circuit.

During his Dinkytown days, Zimmerman began introducing himself as "Bob Dylan". In a 2004 interview, Dylan explained: "You're born, you know, the wrong names, wrong parents. I mean, that happens. You call yourself what you want to call yourself. This is the land of the free." In his autobiography, Chronicles: Volume One, Dylan acknowledged that he was familiar with the poetry of Dylan Thomas.

End quote..

What an amazing story behind this amazing man – Bob Dylan. Who would have known what would happen from an 18 year old that lived those years in ‘No Where’.

As I have been thinking of Bob Dylan and the story that came out of New Jersey with the young cop that has become an icon of “knowing nothing about an old world”… I have thought a lot about my own ‘No Where’ roots.

I was born in a small nursing home in Ceylon, Saskatchewan – which makes Duluth, Minnesota look like New York City and Hibbing like Toronto, Ontario. From my birth place I was taken home to a little farm place near Keydive, Saskatchewan – that no longer exists. It died and disappeared entirely.

In fact hundreds of us came from these small settings and very humble beginnings to eventually become what we are today.

No I am not comparing myself to Dylan – other than in the era and age department. My songs are in the shower and “Blowin in the Wind” We both came from very humble roots and through some difficult times. But we never stayed there.

As I read over the posting on Wikipedia I am amazed at the powerful influence one man has had on so many. But then many from our generation had that opportunity to impact our next generation in very unusual ways.

Hey Bob Dylan – Robert Allen Zimmerman – I appreciate you more than ever. From One Old Guy to another – you Rock Bro… You Rock!
~ Murray Lincoln ~


Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Old Rolling Stone

In order to understand this story you need to picture it first.

The day is rainy and gloomy outside. It is a day that normal people just don’t walk around.

There on the street is a strange person walking. Then he stops and walks up to the house across the street and peers into the window. The person is dressed with a hood on – and likely because it is raining the hood is up.

This scene in front of you – if you are looking on you might be concerned. Maybe as much as it did the person that called the police and reported the strange man doing odd things on your street in the little town you live in. I mean in this town you know everyone…

So… when the police arrive the story in front of you gets better. They talk to the man and he is shaking his head. He reaches into his pocket and produces nothing… This is going to be interesting…

On the scene…
Police Officers Kristie Buble and her partner Officer Derrick Meyers, both in their early 20s, look on as the old guy tries to explain who he is. The man is well seasoned looking, wrinkled and rather sad looking. He is soaking wet from being in the rain. Perhaps he has wondered away from his shelter or hostel?

When they asked him for his ID he couldn’t produce it. He had none on him.

When he told them his name – they didn’t know him. I mean they deal with felons of all sorts every day and how would they know or remember everyone. The name sounded somewhat familiar – but really didn’t ring a bell.

The mystery grows.

Across the street… the person that called watched as they herded the man into the police cruiser and drove away. That person musty have felt good at that moment. Another culprit apprehended.

Back in the cruiser…
The mysterious man had convinced them that the Bus he had been on was not far away and if they would take him to it he could show them his ID and prove who he was. Sure Sure…

I just bet the Coppers had not had a whacko like this one before. AND I know they will never have one again.

The Hooded, Soaking Wet Stranger peering into windows of the house on that street was none other than Bob Dylan, the absolutely famous singer, composer and stage person that is now 68 years of age, wrinkled or should I say well seasoned… well done!

There is no way that two young cops, 20 some years of age, would every know who this old dude was. I mean under a soaking wet hood he didn’t look like a famous person! And to top it off they would never have known his music… they just don’t know THAT kind of music… nor listen to that kind of singing. Talk about weird!

One of the articles that I read described it this way…
“Police were called in a quiet seaside town after he was spotted freewheelin' down the street and apparently acting suspiciously. A 22-year-old female officer demanded to see his identification papers.

He assumed she would at least recognise the name if not the face. But she ordered him into the back of her car and took him to his hotel to check his story.

Then she radioed her older colleagues at the police station to ask if anyone knew who Bob Dylan was.

'I'm afraid we all fell about laughing,' said Craig Spencer, a senior officer in Long Branch, New Jersey. 'If it was me, I'd have been demanding his autograph, not his ID.

'The poor woman has taken rather a lot of abuse from us. I offered to bring in some of my Dylan albums. Unfortunately, she doesn't know what vinyl is either.'

It was in 1965 that Dylan wrote Like A Rolling Stone, with its line: 'How does it feel to be on your own, a complete unknown?'

He found out while staying at the Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch. Before taking part in a concert with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp, he decided to take a stroll through the town's Latin quarter.

'Residents called to complain there was an old scruffy man acting suspiciously,' said officer Spencer. 'It was an odd request because it was mid-afternoon. But it's an ethnic Latin area and the residents felt he didn't fit in.'

When I read this story I nearly died laughing. What a crock! This youngster had no idea who this old turkey was. Too funny…

Two days ago I was preparing some photos to scan for my daughter from her wedding 16 years ago. There in the photo was a very young man standing with his wife and two daughters. He had dark hair and was much younger looking. He was me. Hokey Mokey – how things have changed on this “Rolling Stone”. I got old over night! In fact if the truth be told I got old over several nights… WOW! How could it happen?

I know reports are phony when they say that “Elvis is Alive” – he would be so old and wrinkled now that NO ONE would recognize the dude!

In this Blog I show Bob Dylan’s photos. The one above is the NOW edition… the ones at the end are the THEN editions.

The moral of this story… if you are 68 years of age – don’t wear a hoodie on a very wet day and peer into empty houses – even if they are for sale. And even if you are writing a new song about empty houses you gotta know that they will suspect you of doing something weird… just because you are old and seasoned looking.

For all the Old Guys out there… married to a somewhat younger person… watch out… you are old and dangerous!

Alida and I looked at a Motor Home to travel to Arizona sometime… you know – do the Rolling Stone thing… but I looked in the mirror and I am way more dangerous than Bob Dylan and nobody knows my name and I wonder around allot!

Now read the lyrics below… how prophetic is the sentiment that Dylan penned? How fitting… too funny!
~ Murray Lincoln ~
Like A Rolling Stone
Once upon a time you dressed so fine

You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?

People'd call, say, "Beware doll, you're bound to fall

"You thought they were all kiddin' you

You used to laugh about

Everybody that was hangin' out

Now you don't talk so loud

Now you don't seem so proud

About having to be scrounging for your next meal.

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be without a home

Like a complete unknownLike a rolling stone?

You've gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely

But you know you only used to get juiced in it

And nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street

And now you find out you're gonna have to get used to it

You said you'd never compromise

With the mystery tramp, but now you realize

He's not selling any alibis

As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes

And ask him do you want to make a deal?

How does it feelHow does it feel

To be on your ownWith no direction home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone?

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns

When they all come down and did tricks for you

You never understood that it ain't no good

You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you

You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat

Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat

Ain't it hard when you discover that

He really wasn't where it's at

After he took from you everything he could steal.

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be on your own

With no direction home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone?

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people

They're drinkin', thinkin' that they got it made

Exchanging all kinds of precious gifts and things

But you'd better lift your diamond ring, you'd better pawn it babe

You used to be so amused

At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used

Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse

When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose

You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be on your own

With no direction home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone?