Wednesday, September 30, 2009

“I wouldn’t touch that with a ten foot pole!”

“I wouldn’t touch that with a ten foot pole!”

Last Monday when Ralph Goodale announced loudly that the Liberals would be bringing in their non-confidence motion/vote to be dealt with tomorrow… one person I know said the above words… about the pole. Knowing the political climate at this time – it was deemed foolish for the weakened Liberal Party to go messing around with this kind of thing. “People are not going to like this happening now… so don’t touch it with a ten foot pole.”

Within one day the Liberal Party suffered some bad press and a poor reactions on behalf of their leader Michael Ignatieff as sputtering was done in reaction to the resignation and strategic protest of a key Quebec politician. Instead of looking like a rising and powerful, potential leader… he was ‘Buffooned’ by the TV report.

I bet the Liberals wish now that they had not touched that with a ten foot pole!

One the Other Side – the Conservatives… and a really dumb decision… about sex offenders…
The Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan’s office, or some part of it, has cut off funding to a vital community program entitled COSA – that is Circles of Support and Accountability. COSA is a powerful group that works directly with sex offenders and in particular Pedophiles when they come from prison. The COSA helps these men to get back on their feet, keeps them safe in the community – and above all keeps the community safe from a very real potential of RE-OFFENSE by these ex-offenders!

In an article posted yesterday by the Canadian Press and reported on CTV (see Link Below)– the money needed to work with the sex offenders was being cut. And in another report that I received the money was cut off entirely.

In this situation the Conservatives are going to wish that they had not touched this one with a ten foot pole! When the Liberals finally get to know what this is about and how dangerous this makes each community – they will use it to their advantage – BIG TIME!

Cutting off money that helps coordinate an unbelievable volunteer group is so stupid that there are not words for it.

But our Conservative Party in Canada thinks some very uninformed thoughts and make some really weird decisions. But it isn’t until they typically get into really hot water or deep mud that they realize that they shouldn’t have touched that with a ten foot pole!

Messing with one dynamic and the best organized safe community group ever designed – is so stupid.

How can it happen?

Well COSA being what it is as a quiet group, for the sake of its clients and volunteers, makes little noise – but does a gigantic work in every community.

At the present time there are about 150 people that are core members in the COSA from what I can determine. Soon it will rise to 300 with more sex offenders coming from prison.

Each person gets a group that has between 6 to 12 volunteers around every man. Each situation is guided by Federal Community Chaplains or Federally funded support groups.

That is where the funding will be cut. There will be no more money going to the organizing of the groups. My prediction is that the groups will fall apart in less than 2 years… then sex offenders will be lucky – very lucky to make it in our present society.

YES – I am very knowledgeable about this – I have been a volunteer that works with pedophiles in COSA. I have witnessed the value and power of this group! Cutting it or destroying it is not something that a politician would want to do!

Again they should never – and would never touch this with a ten foot pole – if they really knew anything about!

So what about the ten foot pole?

“” states… quote…
“Stay far away from, avoid completely, as in Ronald wouldn't touch raw oysters with a ten-foot pole. This expression dates from the mid-1700s, when it began to replace the earlier not to be handled with a pair of tongs. In the 1800s barge-pole was sometimes substituted for ten-foot pole, but that variant has died out.” End quote (from

With this simple definition in mind – the Liberal Party is wishing now that the resignation and accusations within the party would have never been made – their not-so-good friends in the Conservative Party will use it to sink their barge!

And when the Conservative Party’s brilliant decision about cutting COSA Funding is known by their not-so-good friends in the Liberal Party – their going to wish they never got their barge stuck in that mud… or hung up on that river bank – and stopped dead.

I have a ten foot pole made of iron wood that my friend Winston let me cut from his yard. When the next politician comes near my door – I am going to pick up my ten foot pole and holding “him” or “her” at a ten foot distance from me. I don’t really want to touch them with a ten foot pole!


~ Murray Lincoln ~

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

MITCATPH and Celebrating the One Year Anniversary

“Misty Hollow Carving” seen at is One Year Old – Wahoo!

One year in business! The anniversary is tomorrow. What a feeling to own your business and be completely responsible for what you do. You can’t blame any one else for slacking off. You can wonder who dropped the ball when it doesn’t go well. And in my position of being the sole proprietor and sole staff member and sole production manager and sole whatever else comes down the pipe… I am it!

Now if it takes off and gets to be the business of the year – no one will know. It is dies a death over night – who cares? Pretty much on my own is my guess now.

Over the past 364 days there have been a good number of distractions. Pretty much anything that moves or stirs the imagination will get me to look away from what I am suppose to get done at that moment. As I say that someone is diagnosing me as ADHD.

Maybe they are right. I definitely have a time of it.

The article states…
“ADHD signs can insidiously and severely interfere with one's ability to get the most out of education, fulfill one's potential in the workplace, establish and maintain interpersonal relationships, and maintain a generally positive sense of self.”

I don’t think that is me… I am 99.99% positive. I have hundreds of interpersonal relationships that are simply a ball to maintain. I can fulfill anything I want to in the workplace… and have for 45 years. Get the most out of education – WHAT?– I had more fun in school than anyone – what do you mean “get the most out of education”?

But I honestly don’t think it is ADHD. It is rather MITCATPH. That is “Multiple Ideas That Come At Twenty Per Hour”. And every idea is valid and possible.

With MITCATPH you can cause a riot at the back of the class. I guess that is why I was always seated in the first one of two seats in every class. Looking back on it I thought the teacher just wanted to be near me! At the back of the class was a bummer though – so I gladly took the front seat… that way when I had a good thought that could be acted on easily – more people would laugh… sometimes I could even see the teacher snickering.

MITCATPH helps in my business – sometimes. The ideas are fresh and new and catching someone’s attention all the time.

What in the dickens has MITCATPH got to do with business? Well in my wood carving business – my edge is doing one more and better wacky thing that other people.

MITCATPH can also bury me with an almost impossible stream of ideas that come…. so I write them down… someday maybe I will use them – and maybe not… doesn’t matter much because new ideas are coming all the time.

Now when you register your new business and become better known the stuff that comes your way is amazing. Each email, each letter, each new suggestion can fire off the MITCATPH. Getting a new magazine or seeing a new catalogue will rapid fire hundreds of ideas of how it could be changed to make the thing better.

That was the problem this weekend with my Tatting I think. I attended this Tatting Conference in Cambridge as some may have read about it. I was supposed to follow a pattern that the instructor of the small class gave out. One problem the pattern called for the use of ridiculously small and impossible beads to be placed in your Tatted piece.

I hate beads and beading – too slow and far too restricted in opportunity. So in the class I made the necessary changes to the pattern to eliminate the beads all together. The MITCATPH took affect in a heart beat.

Ooops! The phone just rang and a friend called me to go for a coffee. I gotta run. This is important. The carving can wait one more hour and besides I have a new idea that I want to share with him.

I think I will take along my Tatting Shuttle to work on the new idea just in case he doesn’t show right a way. I know he said that he has some new ideas that he would like me to look at.

I am going to celebrate the One Year Anniversary of my business with a new idea today… in fact I just had three more. MITCATPH – forever.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Monday, September 28, 2009

“Daddy can I have an election now…? Daddy can I have an election NOW…? Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!”

6 AM – Peterborough…
The Winnipeg SUN Newspaper was updated at - 28th September 2009, 2:22am and the Ottawa SUN reported the same story…

The article by PETER ZIMONJIC stated… quote…
OTTAWA -- Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has so far failed to convince Canadians he's ready to lead the country, and if an election was held today, Prime Minister Stephen Harper would likely lead the Tories to another minority government.

An exclusive Leger Marketing poll for Sun Media reveals 36% of Canadians would vote for the Conservatives, down almost two percentage points from the last election. Only 30% would vote for the Liberals, but that represents a gain of 4% since the Liberals won 26% of the popular vote in the last election. The NDP is at 17% support, down 1%

"The most likely scenario would be another Conservative minority," said pollster Christian Bourque, vice-president of Leger Marketing.

"The Conservative numbers are not in the 40s, which would be majority territory, so a lot would come down to the campaign."

When asked which leader would make the best prime minister, 32% said Harper, 21% said Ignatieff and 18% said the NDP's Jack Layton.”
End quote…

The Toronto Star (Susan Delacourt) reported today…at their posting on Sep 28, 2009 04:30 AM that the…quote…
Liberals are decided: Stephen Harper gets a 'fail'… quote…
OTTAWA–It's report-card day for Prime Minister Stephen Harper and though Liberals will issue him a "fail" by the end of this week, his government will almost certainly pass that survival test with help from the New Democrats.

Further…quoting Ms Delacourt…
“A confidence vote, also spelled out in the June agreement, will be launched by the Liberals on Thursday, Jill Fairbrother, a spokeswoman for Ignatieff, confirmed yesterday. Liberal House leader Ralph Goodale said the precise wording of the Liberal-led vote hadn't been worked out by the end of last week, but he promised it will be a "very clear" expression of the Liberals' desire to see Harper's government collapse as soon as possible.

"It will not be obscure or convoluted," Goodale said.

Even without seeing today's update, Goodale said, Liberals have already decided that the government deserves defeat, simply on the basis of the escalating, $55 million deficit announced earlier this month by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and the absence of any strategy to get Canada out of the red.”
End quote…

Good Lord NO! What a way to wake up on Monday Morning! Another week of political antics! Hokey Mokey! Are you ready for this Canada?

Sorry Mr. Ralph Goodale… you statement takes the Cake…. And as of this “Early Morning Moment’ – you can have YOUR CAKE! Go on eat it!

Quoting you Ralph… “It will not be obscure or convoluted.” Ralphy… Ralphy… I come from Saskatchewan too… (though I do live in Ontario now…) and EVERYTHING ABOUT POLITICS IS OBSCURE AND CONVOLUTED! Sorry Ralph… everything you politicians do is Obscure… and to add the word Convoluted to that statement is nothing short of funny! No not FUNNY – it is Hilarious!!!!

And Susan Delacourt you could not have caught it better… A Failing Mark given before the Exam is passed out!

Can you imagine… our old Prof in College or University standing up and telling you that it has been decided that you will fail before you wrote the Test? What a statement! What an action! Word will get around the Campus pretty quickly that our Prof doesn’t listen… and is in this for himself.

Now if I have this in a correct order… Mr. Harper has decided to go to the Maritime to make the great announcement today that we are still in a recession and we need to be careful. So what’s NEW?

The Maritime Provinces are split down the middle according to the one pole taken – 46% say they are happy that the Government is run properly… and 46% say it isn’t… and the rest of the country except Quebec says it is OK…! Right?

The Liberals and the Media are not pleased – they can’t Hammer Harper in Ottawa – they have to get off their DUFF and go to the Maritimes to hear what happens or is said.

I pity the Maritimers that drink Coffee today… the ‘Hammer Harper’ will take place in one of your Coffee Shops… with Mr. Harper standing in front of the Chocolate Donuts and the Blue Berry Fritters.

I also pity the people in a Park somewhere that were pushed out of the way so Mr. Ignatieff will be able to talk to us from a Green Tree back drop… And if the Liberals are listening – the Trees are turning colors and it will soon snow. That $2 Million dollar TV ad will be and in fact is OUT OF DATE now! It is Fall in Canada… you need a Halloween Pumpkin or two behind the dude! Oh sorry – you mean he is the pumpkin… too funny!

Sorry to have to dump this on to your breakfast table this AM… but it is just to silly for words. But if you are reading it in the afternoon the Government may have falling by then… so what does it matter anyway?

You know as an average Canadian citizen you could easily get discouraged with this. I personally paid more tax last week… and have paid it out for almost 45 years of working. Now the Characters acting out this great drama called Government – are going to do it again.

READ MY LIPS and READ THE TYPE – We D-O N-O-T want an election – and that goes for Liberals… NDP…. Green whatever…. BLOQ…. Or Conservatives… Please stop bugging us! P-L-E-A-S-E S-T-O-P!

Good gracious I feel like a harangued parent in a Super Market… “Daddy can I have an election now…? Daddy can I have an election NOW…? Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!”

P-L-E-A-S-E S-T-O-P!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Sunday, September 27, 2009

The “Grandparent Supporter”

“Grandma, be sure to not throw out the Newspaper – it’s on your dinning room table. I am in it.” Emma, our granddaughter, was calling us on our Cell Phone as we traveled through Toronto on the highway. As my wife took the call she listened to our granddaughter’s happiness.

Later we did read it when we came home late.

There she was crunched down into her fearsome football blocking stance… one small arm extended to hold some one off and the other touching the ground by her left knee…helmet on, pink mouth guard in and staring at the camera. She certainly doesn’t look mean… but she can hold her own.

The text of the article is under “Austin Trophies Athlete of the Week” and reads… quote…
Emma Lindsay's second year in the Kinsmen Minor Football League couldn't have began in a better way.

Her junior Steelers team outscored the Stars 54-39 on opening weekend, while she split the up rights for three extra-point converts and six points.

"It felt really good since I didn't make any last year. My coaches showed me how to do it last year but I found a different way and practised it," says Lindsay, the only girl playing in the league this year.

The 10 year old also plays left guard and wears number 62.
"I mostly like kicking and blocking. I think I am good a good blocker because I am really strong," adds Lindsay.

As for being the only girl on the field every Saturday at Kenner, she likes it.

"It's pretty cool. The coaches tease me a little bit about it but it's fun like that," she adds.

The Edmison Heights Public School student's strong leg also helps her excel in soccer. She has been playing since she was five and captured two division championships with the her U7 and U8 teams respectfully, while playing in the Peterborough Youth Soccer League.

This year she made the jump to Peterborough City Soccer where she played defense on the U10 club, who she helped post three shutouts in three of their last six games.

Emma also likes to swim, skate and snowboard in her free time.
End quote ~

Now what more can a Grandpa say… my granddaughter is something else! What a kid! She really does do all that the article says.

I am a true Grandparent… I will do almost anything to get to their games… sit in the cold… endure the rain… shiver a lot… and scream loudly!... shouting suggestions from the sidelines like every grandparent should….

The last time I did shout out some encouragement for Emma I said, “Emma… get down lower on the ball… kick the bottom… you can do it… COME ON EMMA!!!”

She kicked the ball…it didn’t go up it went straight and missed the up rights on the goal post… Sheesh… she missed again!

Later after the game she came over to me and said, “Grandpa next time don’t yell or say anything when I am kicking the ball… it is embarrassing! You need to be quiet!”

Now just a minute – you are my Granddaughter… and Grandpas are suppose to yell and cheer and give instructions from the sidelines… that is why we come to the game… we are many years older and wiser and we used to play and kick and run and push and shove and tackle and grunt… we KNOW WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN!

I mean… I am GRANDPA and all these years as you grew up – I HAVE KNOWN WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU…

I know – I know… you don’t like the embarrassment when I get louder and louder…

But the next time one of those boys tries to hurt you…. or hits you tooooo hard… and you start to cry… I will be ON THE FIELD to get him!!!! and take him to his parents for a good talking to~!

Nobody better hurt my granddaughter! Did you get that BOYS!? She is the only girl on the team – leave her alone.

Last week one of her friends told her older brother about Emma playing football. He didn’t believe his sister. They came to the Football game – he wanted to see for himself. She brought her brother over to see Emma in her uniform. His expression was “WOW!”. In her full uniform she is a chunk of padding and rough looking. She seems to increase in size with all the padding and colour… and the helmet tops it off. No wonder the brother was impressed!

Now I hope he wasn’t looking at the cute girl behind the face mask and mouth guard… with the cute grin and the dimple. How did he say that, “WOW!”?

I have a strong feeling that Emma will knock ‘em dead in days to come. This kid is something else.

Last week on the school trip… she sat next to me on the ground as we were drawing the pencil sketches. We were talking and laughing at some of the things we saw around us… specially when the black bug walked across her paper.

Her friend looked at her drawing and said, “Wow Emma… that is good!” She told her friend that she got it from her grandpa… to which I smiled.

Now if I sound like I am bragging a little… well… you are correct in making that assumption. You bet I am.

Later today I will stand in a wet Baseball field bleacher and hoot loudly at another grandson who is coming to play baseball today. Under the umbrella I will shift from foot to foot… stamping to keep warm… and sipping my coffee…

I am an unusual breed… entitled the “Grandparent Supporter” who will just simply be there hot or cold… rain or shine… sleet of snow… because I know that my grand kids are great!

As I listened to another “Grandparent Supporter” last game… he was hooting just as loudly… and every time he did his wife looked at him and shook her head… I didn’t miss the connection… his grandson was playing on the other team opposing ours…!

When our team beat theirs I wanted to go over and ask him what he thought of the game… but his wife was giving him instruction to not say any more… as he followed her to their vehicle.

But just so he didn’t miss it… I yelled out again… “Great Game Steelers… GREAT GAME EMMA….” I saw the poor old fellow look back… and then turn back to his wife… wahoo!

Come on – don’t tell me you are proud of your grand kids too!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Saturday, September 26, 2009

“The Winner is ‘Murray Lincoln’!!” Wahoo!!!!!

The Mistress of Ceremony called out, “The Winner is ‘Murray Lincoln’!” – which was then followed by some applause and appreciation that I had won. That was nice! I won something. I never win….!

I named her the ‘Mistress of Ceremony’ – not ‘Master’. It was basically an all ladies meeting with around 35 ladies in attendance with only two men – myself and another fellow.

The setting is the Annual Meeting of the Fringe Tatters held in Cambridge, Ontario. Which is best described as a group of very interesting people from all over that have committed themselves to a time to do and talk about ‘all things Tatting’.

The participants come from many places. The first two ladies that I met drove over 9 hours to get there. One from a place in New York State near Connecticut – the other from Indiana. The person that came the furthest was from Guildford, England – which is just south west of London, England. My guess is that about half the audience was from outside of Ontario.

The Mistress of Ceremony again called out, “The Winner is ‘Murray Lincoln’!!” To which the dear folk now applauded louder and called out some funny comments. Everyone laughed.

I thanked everyone and told them all as I accepted the gift, “It’s my wife’s birthday tomorrow (that is today) and I wasn’t able to buy her anything because I am attending this conference…” to which they laughed and teased more.

The ladies in this group are simply amazing in their ability to do things with a Tatting Shuttles and/or Tatting Needles and the thread that is loaded. They know this ancient craft so well that I am blown away.

For years I have thought that I was the only person in my area that has every learned how to Tat… or better said still knew how to Tat.

For the those reading this Blog but not understanding what I am talking about – Tatting is a very old Lace making that has not died but is now coming alive again.

Sadly as I spoke with different ladies in the group they almost all mentioned that there are few people in the areas that they come from that still know how to Tat. Many people that once knew how have passed on. Worse yet they couldn’t or didn’t teach their kids how to do Tatting… perhaps because the children were all too busy. It just didn’t happen.

Thanks to the efforts of this amazing group of Tatters – this Lace Making is gaining a new popularity and starting to grow again.

Are you ready for this… The Mistress of Ceremony again – for the THIRD TIME called out, “The Winner is ‘Murray Lincoln’!!!!!” To which the dear folk now applauded louder and called out some funny comments…but many were HOOTING. Everyone was laughing… I was red faced and not really sure what to say. The dear lady had drawn this man’s name one more time!!!!

Yesterday we sat from 1 PM to 5 PM and then later from 7 PM to 9:30 PM Tatting together. Talk about interesting and fulfilling. Everyone was there for one purpose – to learn more and share more ideas that would encourage others. I fit in just fine – right alongside my brand new ‘Sisters’… this was a family that I didn’t know I had.

One of the Ladies commented as we shared together over the Tatting Project that we were doing… “We find that a lot of Tatters feel that they are the only one that has or is Tatting in their area of the world. Many people feel all alone.”

It is hard to imagine the room full of Ladies all concentrating on their Tatted pieces. One by one they were finished and a little celebration would take place in the conference room of the Best Western Hotel.

Next.... you guessed it.... another announcement took place was 9:45 PM… are you ready…? The Mistress of Ceremony again – one more time – called out, “You won’t believe this….The Winner is ‘Murray Lincoln’!!!!!!” The audience roared! NO WAY – FOUR TIMES A WINER!!!!! Everyone laughed.

How did the winning take place?

Well many donations were given to a Prize Table in the center of the floor area. It was announced that a Draw would take place later in the day and that you could buy tickets for a chance to win. One of the ticket offers was ‘One Yard of tickets for $5.00’ which was about 12 tickets. Upon purchase of the tickets you then wrote name on the back and placed the tickets into different bags with a prize name on it.

I tore off each ticket and placed them in different bags made available.

When the Draw took place I won with 33% of my tickets! I am seriously thinking that I need to go buy a Lottery Ticket – SOON!

Over the past week I have carved several new shuttles that I have been showing at this conference. A number were sold yesterday for which I am very thankful. From a Marketing point of view – this has been an excellent way to bring Misty Hollow Carving into the lives of a whole bunch of new friends.

J.C. Penny stated one time, “A Good Business is built on friendship.”

This weekend I have discovered a whole bunch of new Friends… fellow Tatters… that are a hoot to be with!

“The Winner is ‘Murray Lincoln’!!” Wahoo!!!!!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Way of Wayne Gretzky

I have never dared to discuss Sports in this Blog. With the nature of what I have always taken on Sports had nothing to really get your teeth into. Their narrow and focused subject matter has left little room for someone like me to think about – in a Blog.

I mean I deal with the light hearted side of things and then flip over to sometimes the really stupid things – and then mix in some politics for good measure – which at times provides fodder in both areas.

Well with Mr. Wayne Gretzky’s resignation from the Phoenix Coyotes Hockey Team it is impossible not to take note. The more that I have read and the more that has been said in different media forms – the more opportunity they give us.

I could say, “How sad…” – or – “How insane…” – or – “What’s wrong with the organization…?!!!”

My one son-in-law, who is connected closely to all things Hockey, simply will state that Gary Bettman, the Commissioner for the National Hockey League – is the problem. Plain and simple – everyone knows that.

Others have been emphatic that it is the Toronto Maple Leafs that is the problem with the possibilities of a sale of the Phoenix Coyotes. The Leafs are very territorial and would block the move of the Coyotes to Hamilton, Ontario – in every way that they can. (For those outside of Canada – this Sale has been an ongoing drama as a result of the fact that they are Bankrupt… and a whole lot of NHL folk have been messing with each other over this… it has been like watching a Family Feuding next door to where you live.)

First I must say that I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE POLITICS OF SPORTS. They FIRE one coach in disgust – turf the dude – then make a big deal out of hiring an even ‘better coach’ that was fired in disgust from another team. Something smells funny with that one.

In Gretzky’s case they didn’t fire him – they simply stated that whoever buys the team finally – one of two at this point – neither potential owner wants to have him as Coach. Making that statement to the “Gentleman Wayne Gretzky” produced a Gentleman’s Response… and he quietly made his resignation known.

What an amazing person he is.

To top it off it is reported that Gretzky is one of the Creditors that is owed $22.5 Million… that would get his money if the Canadian Gazillionaire bought the Coyotes. If the opposing group gets their way and is able to lock out the Gazillionaire Jim Basillie Wayne will not get anywhere near that amount – maybe less than $1 Million – who knows.

Sheesh I have become an “Arm Chair Know It All” – or a “Coffee Shop Mogul” that can spew my Hockey Baloney to whoever will listen.

Now here is the scoop… are you ready?
The Great One, as Gretzky is known in Canada, blew it when he went south away from Canada’s cold. He took himself out of the running for Canada’s Employment Insurance – or as we lovingly know it… “E.I.”

Wayne Gretzky will not get one dime from the Canadian Government to start with. If he was here he would possibly get the maximum amount of $435 a week. And with the new rules that may come down soon – he could get it sooner than what has happened in the past. The Government almost fell over this issue… but his benefits would be somewhat better.

You think I am joking around… no way dude… Wayne won’t get a cent.

Now if he was here in our Great North he would also be offered some re-education programs… maybe go back and become a short order cook, train as a carpenter, or maybe a plumber… But not being here – he will get nothing.

It is Close to Home for Me…
Fifteen Months ago I went 'the Way of Wayne'. (That is one good thing that has come out of it – a new statement that describes what happened to us all… “We went ‘The Way of Wayne’…”)

Hey Wayne… I understand… It happened to me too… but I got the E.I. and the other stuff that they offered me. It was good – very good!

As I read the stories over and over again I had that sinking feeling that I had a year ago… unemployed and losing touch with my old world… enrolled and waiting for E.I. and whatever would happen for the next years to come.

But with Wayne entering this new role I feel better to have him in the waiting room with me.

I am not Bitter – I am Better…
Now because some of the folk that helped me make ‘my decision’ to vacate the Office that I was had given my life blood to – read this Blog too… I state it clear – leaving the tasks that I used to do – was the BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME!

For this reason I can advise Wayne – you will be a much happier man – very soon. You will not be Bitter – but Better – MUCH BETTER!

Wayne I saw the look on your face in the Photos that people snapped of you… you were sad… confused… frustrated… and wondering what the heck had gone down. As a coach you had done everything thing possible except maybe put on your skates and score the goals… and the team was still losing – every time.

Wayne I know that feeling – oh boy!

But you will be BETTER soon. There is life after MINISTRY – and HOCKEY. There is a big world waiting that will appreciate what you do.

One thing that you will already know Wayne… The Coyotes Hockey Team was not Wayne and Wayne was not the Team… management, staff and players are the Coyotes… and when you leave whatever will happen – will happen… and some one else will have to shoulder the stuff that takes place. I mean a Hockey Team where people don’t even know what Ice is all about – that is stupid – just plain stupid and it happened before you came along!

Wayne – that is why I can say you will be BETTER. It is not about you – it is about THEM… and they have to live with THEMSELVES… you can watch from the stands or even just read about it in the Newspaper.

The Way of Wayne Gretzky is great!

You go Boy.. go play with your kids… love your wife and get on with a life that will pay you Gazillions just to talk about it… Look a President Bill Clinton for Pete’s Sake… (but that is another story that is just too funny!)

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Whole Buck Passing Business

I can’t remember which of my Aunts first said the expression. I can hear their voice today as I think the about it, “Someone sure passed the Buck on that deal!”

Passed the Buck? Try to teach that one in an ESL Class (English as a second Language) if you will!!! What good is passing a Buck? If I passed a Buck to someone I know – they would spend it!

But then in Canada when my Aunt said that – we had a Buck. Now it is the Loonie – with our paper money being changed to a $1 coin with a picture of a Loon on it (thus a Loonie).

But this expression seems to have come from an earlier time when American’s had a Silver Coin that was their Dollar Bill… not their paper money of more recent times.

But “passing the Buck” also had a cousin expression that stated, “The Buck Stops Here!”

If I passed the Buck to my friends, either paper money or the Canadian Loonie – it would definitely not go further – it would stop wherever I passed it. But even before that I would not have passed it on… I would have kept it. I mean a Buck is a Buck… and if you can collect One Million Bucks – it all starts with one of them!

However the Buck referred to with the first and second expression is not the money “Buck” – but rather originally a large hunting knife known as a “Buck Knife” – made with an antler handle of a large male deer – called a Buck. The knife would last forever.

In a Poker Game, it is said, that the deal of the playing cards would be passed around the table – with each person taking a turn. The Buck Knife was passed from person to person showing the others who dealt that hand. “Buck” was the knife’s nickname so to speak.

A dealer could at times be accused of doing something not so nice – cheat a little shall we say. Rather than be accused he simply passed the Buck to some one else.

But when some one wants to emphasize the fact that they will take care of the business at hand – and perhaps there has been conflict with others around the position, they keep the Buck and state, “The Buck Stops Here!”

Today’s Buck Passing…

I have been listening to the reports that have come out of the UN this past week… and the G8. The “UN Summit on Climate Change” has caught my attention. The reports about who is saying what and what they are really saying – whether it be posturing and puff – or the real deal is not clear where they will commit their country to a solid change that will help the environment.

Our world is filled with polluters… and pollution. It is positively yucky to live in. Not something nice to pass on to your grandkids and great grandkids. But unless something changes radically and quickly there will not be much left for anyone to enjoy.

Two days ago as the Grade Five student waded in the Indian River with me looking for some creepy crawlers, the excitement was heightened as the 10 year old saw the bright object at the river bottom. She scooped her capturing net into the river bottom thinking she was getting a prized shell. “Yuck!” was her comment as she retrieved a pop lid from a can of pop.

There was more than one on the bottom of this pristine river ambling through the lush countryside.

We are filthy creatures that lay our garbage down wherever we darn well feel like it.

Two years ago as my wife and I visited Africa it was a dream come true. We visited Kenya – Nairobi and Mombassa – two big and important cities.

The beauty and lushness of Africa was all around us from the moment that we arrived. You would think of it as perpetually clean – not so!

The cities were jammed with vehicles of all sorts. Sitting in a low car placed you closer to the road than you would have been – if you were in a Lorry – or a Truck. Most of the time you were nose to tail pipe with these mega-trucks that were diesel powered monsters.

At many intersections you could not read the licence plate of the truck in front of you because the BLACK CRAP spewing from the Tail Pipe filled all the air between you and the plate.

On one hill we climbed with the motor laboring. We were about to pass a large truck that was also pushing its power up the steep and long hill. On the side of the road was another vehicle that was man powered – an old Bicycle powered by a man with a scarf wrapped around his face. We couldn’t see him until the cloud of diesel fumes pushed aside. The poor guy couldn’t breath so he needed a scarf to filter out the black matter.

Not all diesels pollute – but in Nairobi their is little or no vehicle standards for emissions like we do in our country. They have a simple standard – if it starts up and move ahead it gets a pass mark – roll it on out!

Hong Kong was the same. So was China and Thailand… All were dirty and filthy as far as emissions were concerned. And that was just the dirty vehicle emission – not yet looking at the factories and the horrible air producers.

It didn’t make much sense to me until that night in Nairobi, Kenya when the pollution of that past day finally did my lungs in… I couldn’t breath or get my breath. I thought is was a cold… fought it for a few days and grew worse.

The Doctor that saw me stated that I needed to get home to Canada and the fresh air. He said that my breathing was being affected deeply with the poor quality of air in Nairobi. “If you are not careful you could put your life in danger.”

Dirty air could kill me. A sobering thought. But the thought is not nearly so hard to handle as the other thoughts that come – will I get enough breath this next inhale to stay alive? Do I need a breathing tube right now? Will I make it through the night? I cannot go to sleep – because I cannot breath!

So who passed the Buck on this one? Who will say, “The Buck Stops Here” as far as pollution is concerned?

I am going to stand up and say, “ME, I will do something now! Count me in – NOW!”

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mr. Drew Monkman – An Amazing Teacher

Sitting under the big tree with the silence was a Royal Treat. The morning was set aside for all of us to sit and listen, be inspired and then to create something from the influence of our surroundings. I was alone.

Not far away was a Grade Five student and further down the way was another and still another. Each sat with their clip board to which a sheet of drawing paper was attached. Brilliant minds were setting themselves quietly aside from a very full school schedule to spend the whole day in Nature’s Surroundings.

Pure bliss.. simply pure joy.

That was the beginning of a wonderful day with my Granddaughter’s Grade Five class.

It ended with us all walking in a shallows of Indian River looking for all sorts of creatures that live in the river and the river’s edge habitat. Their teacher Drew Monkman is an amazing man that has impacted many students year after year at this Public School. It was a delight to walk and talk with him. He loves every inch of his world… and the kids as well. He is a Teacher.

He loves his kids – and they know it. And that is the reason that I suppose that they all cooperate so well. They are an amazing class.

(Mr. Monkman has earned some special awards – see the Links below…)

I have now walked with school classes for almost 31 years – starting with my own daughters and now being available for their kid’s school trips as well.

I dropped back slightly from the wandering students and their teacher as they plodded through the heavy forest down the road. There up ahead was the Master with his listening students as they walked together. (See photo above)

Now they are not all saints. They laugh and giggle and shout and tease and watch each other closely. They are 10 year olds.. and are as full of life as anyone could ever be.

It was a silly moment that I shot this last photo… Emma was looking for her Prince – so she tried KISSING a Frog. Maybe the problem was that it should have been a TOAD to get the prince…but nothing happened. WHAT a Wedding shot for later!!!!

Finally I want to say ‘Thank You’ to Mr. Drew Monkman for his efforts to simply impact the next generation. You are doing this very well. And I want to thank you as well as all the other teachers that have left something special as a mark on each child’s life.

Some people may think that a University Prof is one that made a difference for them. I am thankful for some of the Profs I have had over the years. They were great. BUT there is nothing like a GREAT Public School Teacher that lights the first fires for others to begin building on.

These people are special – I thank them all!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tramp through the Wilds of Ontario - A Grandpa trying to keep up...

Off to do the impossible... today I am following my Granddaughter's Class deep into the Marsh... or woods... or brush... not sure yet. Poilce Check is done, lunch is made, rubber boots are out and ready to go... I t-h-i-n-k I am r-e-a-d-y to g-o....

More later...

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Monday, September 21, 2009

How to Handle the Dreaded HST

Better get your haircut before July 2010… and then question what happens afterward. In my case that is very true – my Barber may fold up after that date. “Henry”, the owner of Henry’s Barber Shop downtown Peterborough, told me that people are not going to like the prices after that date.

So what is the issue? Well my Government in Ontario is about to initiate a new way of handling Tax on things that I buy and have to pay for. The Ontario Government is bringing in a very suspicious new Tax that is called the HST – or Harmonized Sales Tax.

We have at present the PST and GST – at 8% and 5% on most items that we buy. That makes everything that I need an additional 13% higher.

The new program will simply make it 13% in Ontario. In British Columbia it will be 12%. Both provinces now are making it happen… soon the others will follow suit.

The Government Leaders say that it will be Harmony – or Harmonious – or Happy… or it will save the next generations from all kinds of horrible things happening to them – save the school systems – save the hospital systems – yadda – yadda – yadda.

In the review of the Ontario Legislative Assembly – Question Period – the Premier certainly spoke strongly for it and suggested that the HST is the best thing since Sliced Bread or Ice Cream. Well maybe not in those words – exactly. But he is all of it! It is his baby!

What is going to happen is the few things that are not taxed with the extra 5% now will be now under additional tax levy.

But think for a minute – 8% & 5% is the same as 13%. So why get upset. Accept it… go with the flow for goodness sake… let it go… relax… it will happen whether you get upset or not.

But I can see what the folk in the Coffee Shop are upset about – the old folk that is. They don’t trust these young whipper snappers running the show down in our Legislative Assembly. When they shove this through to a new name of HST – what will they do next?

So when will the HST go from 13% to say a nice round 15%? And when will they change it to an even easier 20%? According to the coffee shop crowd it could happen.

They remember when there was no Tax. Then they remember the various and sneaky ways that the Taxes came in one by one… until it received new names and new reasoning for their existence.

They remember watching the Government being transformed from little to VERY BIG and with a Budget that staggers most people’s imagination!

It is kind of funny really. It reminds me of the feelings that I have just before surgery. There is something inside me that is hurting or not working right… and the Doctor tells me that it is for my own good that he or she take it out, patch it up and maybe replace it. My anxiety level sky rockets… my blood pressure takes off to the moon and I will not sleep right until it is all over… Sheesh – I just felt all that again!

If I lay back and take it easy – let the Doctor have his way – it will be okay. I think it will be okay. “Trust me” he says… “Trust me, I am the Doctor and you are my patient. Trust me.”

In the procedure I offer my body and very soul to this group of experts and they then can take care of my organs, replace my heart, work with my liver, understand my kidneys and love them to life, thoroughly inspect every inch of my bowels, and do all kinds of wonderful and interesting things to my physical body. Because I trust them… I submit with apprehension…

Then when the operation is over I hurt for a few days and maybe even weeks… but I know I should be better when it is over. I will be a new man!

But can the Coffee Crowd feel the same about the Politician in our Government? Not likely. Maybe it is because they are not Doctors but rather mainly Lawyers. That makes it simpler to understand – really!

So what will I do? I have bought the Hair Clippers already… just incase Henry’s Barber’s Shop goes to the death blow of HST. The fact that Henry is near 80 years old now might make his decision easier too. Why should he have to duke it out with another round of Government Changes?

I know a Better Way that the Government could bring about this change. Here goes…

Give the people over the age of 65 years old a break. Make sure that they are not charged the GST on anything. Instead of 13% they get only 8%. That is 5% off for living this long, paying all the Taxes that we have up to this point and for simply good behavior and healthy living.

That is a Good Idea!

The Government could issue all of us a “Good Idea Card” – or GIC for short. Each time we buy something we offer the sales clerk the GIC card and the Cash Register can call out, “Thank you for being such a Great Senior – Tax Exempt!”

You know it is like the Lottery Machines in most stores now… they take your ticket and the machine screams out “WINNER, WINNER!” The machines can all do that now… and it would be so good to have the Machine tell me that I was Tax Free!

For the Coffee Crowd it really hits home when they think they may not be there for coffee next week. If they die… and they will… it will now cost an additional 5% on their Funeral Costs.

And in the real world – many of this Coffee Shop Crowd have already PrePaid their Funeral Costs – which excluded the Hated GST of 5%. Upon their death the Government will get them one more time.

Wouldn’t it better to have a Machine at the Funeral Home scream out “Winner Winner…”? or “Thank you for being such a Great Senior – Tax Exempt!”

I do… and I would love to hear your thoughts on this one!!!!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Lottery – she is a ‘Changing’…

Édouard-Henri Avril wrote in his posting…
The lottery - if you allow yourself this understanding - is essentially a perverted addiction whereby a giant chunk of cheese is held up for millions of mice to see and smell. The disgusting reality is that only one mouse gorges on the prize, while millions leave the small scraps of real food for the imaginary cheese up in the sky. More unthinkable than that - it's a government regulated entity that promotes poverty, under the thinly veiled corporate slogan 'for entertainment purposes.'

I caught Édouard-Henri’s words in a post that he made about the changes that have been made to the Super 7 Looto – ooops I meant Lotto.

It seems that they have raised the cost of this particular Lotto from $2 to $5 and changed the name to “Lotto Max”. That sounds more – well simply MORE… than “Super 7”.

Odds are better now and you can make more money.

The article stated that…
“Over the past 15 years, Super 7 has sold $11.5 billion worth of tickets and paid out almost $7 billion in winnings.” (CBC link below)

Let’s see that is $11,500,000,000 have been made by selling 5,750,000,000 tickets @ $2 a ticket in 15 years.

Now if the Lottery Folk then set the price at a measly $5 – a increase of only 250% - the increase in the Income portion will be about $28,750,000,000.

They stand to make a lot more money for the simple change or a Twoonie to a simple piece of paper money – the Blue Canadian $5.

Who will notice it? I hardly every have a Five in my pocket now – it is often Tens and Twenties – and they go faster that you can imagine. $5 is as small as the other pocket change – in fact it is only two Twoonies and a Loonie (Canadian Talk for $2 and $1 coin)

Thinking this through a little further… In Canada we have about 30,000,000 people. Doing the math there has been 192 tickets bought for each Canadian over 15 years.

I know that I didn’t buy any – so some one else bought at least 383 tickets… In fact I know a lot of people that didn’t buy any... so the amount per person purchase for many people is way higher than 192 tickets over the 15 years.

But then again that is only 12.8 tickets per year per person. Not a big deal – really.

That is about the same as the church gets in its offerings on an average Sunday.

But why is it that the church doesn’t have the equivalent to $11,500,000,000 after the 15 years. Maybe people don’t give a $2 amount 12.8 times a year to the church.

Maybe we need to raise the price of Admission to the church to 250% of the amount that we ‘charged’ in the past. Can you imagine the uproar if that was suggested?

Now don’t think about the church… think about the Food Bank kind of agencies, the help the public agencies, the United Way groups that all struggle to make a go of it. The church isn’t alone.

The United Way in our area has just launched a new program and goal for this next year. Smart – very smart was the recent comment made by one of the leaders… “If you can only set aside $2 a week – that is $104 for this next year… that will help us make our Goal this year!”

Smart thinking. When I give my $2 a week and then begin to think… “That isn’t very much considering the need…” I will likely give more.

I believe it works the same at the Lottery Kiosk. $2 sure isn’t much… neither is $5… “Give me 8 tickets please.” That is 8 chances to win!

I attended an event last week that was completely supported by the OLG (Ontario Lottery and Gaming) organization. It was very good to be there and enjoy the function. We had a great time. They do it up very well!

Again… Édouard-Henri Avril wrote…
The lottery - if you allow yourself this understanding - is essentially a perverted addiction whereby a giant chunk of cheese is held up for millions of mice to see and smell. The disgusting reality is that only one mouse gorges on the prize, while millions leave the small scraps of real food for the imaginary cheese up in the sky.

I like cheese… but I know that it may not be good for me. But the fact that I could be the one that is eating the chunk of cheese that is bigger than your chunk… kind of makes me to really want it – even more.

Darn it… I am caught… just like the other ‘sniff-ers’.

Oh boy!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Michael and Stephen… listen up… What will our neighbors think?

If I hear that stupid Conservative Ad one more time I will throw up! Each time it comes on now I grab my remote and try to hit MUTE.

You know the one that has the strong statements about Michael Ignatieff being accused of being ‘whatever’ – and anything but a true Canadian. It infers that he is in politics for himself… that he is cahoots with the other 'bad opposition’ parties'… and that people should wake up.

Okay I got the message loud and clear… it is very simple… the Conservatives don’t like the Liberals.

Then immediately following the Ad about ‘Bad Boy Michael’ comes ‘Good Boy Michael’ sitting in a lovely Forest setting… and smiling his chiseled way… telling everyone that his party has a better plan… but he never tells us what it is. I feel like I am at the edge of the Forest and Michael wants to lead me still further into the Forest… but I am not sure that I should go there.

I always look at his teeth… his smile frozen… and his face never changes… I don’t know what he is thinking – really!

Why are there no bugs flying around Michael’s head? This is Canada. There should at least be some Wasps or Hornets swishing in and out of the scene… or even a mosquito if you are that far into the trees???? There should be the sound of river in the background – if not a semi trailer going down a highway?

Michael is not a P.E. Trudeau – a former Liberal Leader – that swished down the river in a canoe… and wore that beaded buckskin jacket. Trudeau got wet… Michael got makeup.

The Conservatives have painted the person of Michael as real bad.

If Michael responded to my invitation to personally come over for a BBQ at my home with his wife – I would love to have him come. As long as he doesn’t talk politics – he is welcome…

But that is not a good idea because the local Liberal politician Betsy McGregor would want to come too… and well Betsy has already been to my place… stood on my porch and ranted about what an idiot her opponent was. That turned me off so far that my switch had to be fixed! And guess what – her opponent Dean Del Mastro was elected.

To reconfirm that it hasn’t changed any – this week I stood beside Betsy as she explained more of her opinion to another potential voter – she hasn’t changed. She is still a University Prof that talks down to you like a High School teacher used too…

If you pick up from this that I am frustrated – you got it right.

It is not election time. It is our beautiful fall season… it is our soon to be Christmas rush. It is good – Harvest Time. But my TV is filled with Anti- Michael Ads and Come with Me into the Forest Ads.

Next is coming the “We Can Really Do it Better” and “They Got in Bed with the NDP and BLOQ – WE DIDN’T”

I could go on… and on…

But in reality it is really the same as a Parent’s early years with small children that are fighting. If you want to get any Peace in the house where the kids are giving you a nightmarish day… you separate them… put them in different rooms with quiet music and a coloring book… then check on them from time to time. The sweet strains of music fill your home. Then a soft little voice comes from behind you and says, “Daddy, look what I drew for you…” A half hour earlier that same little voice was screaming its lungs out with rage and anger!

In Canada, for my American Readers, we have a huge building that houses the antics of our Canadian Politicians. It is called our Parliament Buildings generally. It is also called something really funny. It is the called the “House of Commons”.

But there could be nothing further from the Truth… they have NOTHING IN COMMON! Other than the fact that they are all human beings created equal… they are in opposition to each other all the time.

In reading the one article shown in the Link below it is really comical when Michael makes a statement to me, “Don’t Take the Liberals as Fools”.

I don’t take them or any other Party as Fools. They are the sharpest and smartest people that I can read about. They just don’t act too smart sometimes… and act like children… all the time.

In Michael’s statements today a very human side came out as he spoke to the Star Reporter Susan Delacourt. He described how he was watching a TV program and the series of TV Ads came on – three of them… all from the Government… and presumably the same ones that I see all the time.

Michael didn’t enjoy his TV Program anymore.

I would have believed Michael and even felt a bit of tenderness… until he made it look like Stephen had made the TV Ads and personally shot them.

Michael – Michael – Michael – it isn’t about Stephen… but about both of your hidden crews of people behind the scenes that keep jabbing at each other until everyone wants to fight.

Michael and Stephen… listen up… look at me… read my lips… it is called “The House of Commons” – get your act together. THIS IS GETTING EMBARRASING! What will our neighbors think?

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Friday, September 18, 2009

Letter to the Serbas after Nicholas Crowdis received the 10 years sentence for the Manslaughter conviction of Michael Serba

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Serba, Parents of Michael Serba;

I am writing today to express my indignation and sorrow with the results of the Trial of your son’s murderer. The reports that I read from the Newspapers was disturbing to say the least.

With Nicholas Crowdis receiving the 10 years sentence for the Manslaughter conviction I know that it must be very hard to take in.

The newspaper’s report states that he will serve less than 4 years for the conviction and the sentence of 10 years – in that he has already been in jail for 3 years – which counts for actually 6 years.

Your statement that I quote from the one Newspaper said, “The justice system simply just didn't work -- Nicholas Crowdis simply got away with murder...”

I am not sure of how the court case actually proceeded. But I know that it must be very frustrating.

I am writing to tell you that there is help within the community in days to come.

I am involved with the Correctional Service Canada – CSC – as a Citizens Advisory Committee member (– CAC). In this role I witness what CSC does in its many different ways of dealing with men like Mr. Crowdis as he comes inside their system now.

CSC has a new system in place that they stand very positively with now. It is a “Victims Service” where they take into account what the Victim of Crime is going through and make sure that there is follow up.

I have published the Links to the CSC sites that might be a help to you. You will need to Register with CSC to have your voice heard.

You are a Victim of Crime without a doubt.

In the “old days”, prior to 2007 and the establishing of the Victims Service at CSC, most Victims of Crime received very little help – actually none. The horror they faced with the loss of their child or loved one through murder was always there. After the media finished reporting the story, the court case wrapped up and everyone went home – the nightmare just began for the parents like you.

Each anniversary date, each birthday celebration that should take place for Michael will be something you will be living with – forever.

In the old days no one seemed to care… or even remember. Today it is different. A host of people do care and will be there to help you.

The situation that Nicholas Crowdis faces is not over either.

The courts have had to deal with the issues at hand – sometimes with their hands tied. I know too that you will not be the only frustrated people in this case.

Now CSC will begin to work with Crowdis. He will be assessed first and then sent to one of the prisons to begin his incarceration. Along the way he will be watched in all that he does.

I noticed in the sentence handed out to Crowdis that it was suggested that he may get out earlier than 4 years. That is not necessarily the case. He has to appear before a Parole Board which will consider many factors before he is released.

You will have input into the Parole Board hearing – each and every time that he applies or asks for release. And you will be given help by CSC in a number of ways. The Victim Service folk with help you to know what is next.

Then there is the 10 years of LTO after he is released that will be crucial as well. It is far from over in 4 years from now when and if Crowdis is released.

I am sending a copy of it also to my MP, Dean Del Mastro. I think he is listening as well and from his position in our community of Canada he will also take note of what has happened.

I hope you find some Peace in these days to come. I know it is very difficult. I have been through this with folk have lost their child through the horrific acts that others committed. They live in our community as well.

I am posting this letter to you today on my Blog. Many other people read this Blog from time to time. It is my hope that others will read and hear what is happening to you – and respond as well.

Be assured that we do understand.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

CSC Help


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Modified Osteo-Odonto KeratoProsthesis (MOOKP)

My friend Winston almost immediately summarizes what you say with a quip of some sort. They are “off the wall” suggestions that he grabs from some where deep in his sense of humor. Well Winston I have one for you…

One lady now has her eye tooth seeing for her! No really Winston, you didn’t read it wrong. Her tooth is the means that she now can see. I don’t know what your quick witted brain will do with this one Winston?

Sharon “Kay” Thornton lost her eyesight because of reaction to medication.

Dr. Perez performed the operation on Kay. "The surgical technique -- modified osteo-odonto keratoprosthesis (MOOKP).”

The MOOKP has made it possible for her to see again.

What in heavens name is MOOKP?

Well its seems that they took out Kay’s eyetooth along with some bone from her jaw, shaved it down, mounted a prosthetic lens into the tooth, then placed it into her chest to allow the tooth and the lens to bond. Then later it is implanted into her eye to allow her to see again.

Now Winston’s brain will be whirling with that last paragraph… and some of you will be grossed out with what is written.

No I DID NOT MAKE IT UP – see the CNN link below.

My question today is simple… who in the dickens thought up this procedure and who would ever dreamed this might work? Why an “eye tooth”? Maybe it was because its the other English colloquial name for the canine or cusped tooth.

And there just must be some problem with the way a person looks after having a tooth planted where the eye normally is… wouldn’t you think?

The article quote…
“Dr. Ivan Schwab with the American Academy of Ophthalmology told CNN he believes the process is too difficult and the result too disfiguring. There are alternatives that are nearly as good, he added.

"We've known about the procedure since the '80s. It's been going on for a while," he said. "We've viewed it with some scepticism. It requires a sizable team and several operations. It seems to be reasonably successful on the small numbers that have been done," though it does bring some disfigurement. – end quote.

“Some disfigurement…?” I think maybe that is the way it happens.

Kay doesn’t really care from what I read. Now she can see again. And her greatest desire was to see her grandchild.

Winston – you and I live in a weird world that is changing every day. They have just placed new screws and a plate in our friend Terry’s neck as well as piece of his hip bone. There has been some side effects to this as I reported yesterday.

Winston my body is getting old – just like yours is – but you are in better shape. I am searching the Internet for new procedures that might help us both.

My body is giving me problems because I used it pretty hard over the years – I need a new one. Your head is giving you problems… and your body is not bad. Hmmm… do you think some day… that some one will be able to make that switch…?

Now Winston I am not suggesting that you “lose your head over it…” It is just that the eye tooth in the eye made me think about it.

Enough – time to start running again… too much to do.

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This is officially – Pray for Terry & Marion Day

I have a helpless feeling this morning. Something I can do nothing about is taking place right now. My friend Terry is suffering greatly with ‘post op’ pain in his neck.

A while ago they operated on Terry’s neck placing a metal plate up against the vertebrae in his neck and also placing a piece of bone from his hip – between the vertebrae in his neck. This solved the pain that he was having most of time. The pain would radiate down his arms until he could not stand it any longer. After the operation the pain lifted and was no more.

Suddenly a different and more persistent pain came again.

The metal plate was being held to his vertebrae by some screws. One screw has now worked loose and there is also some other things happening in that area.

The pain is almost more that anyone can imagine.

I wonder at how much pain one person can stand – even with medication?

I want to go in there a fix Terry. I want the Doctors to do more. But none of that can happen yet.

More than all of that Marion, Terry’s faithful wife, is there to help him in any way she can. And it is heavy to say the least… I can only imagine what she is going through today.

If you are a person of prayer and believe that God listens to people that call on him… would you please pray for Terry and Marion today. If you don’t believe in God and you can’t pray… would you simply remember them today. We all need you to help!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Root Cellars and Ice Houses and other weird places

The fact that I know what a Root Cellar is ought to tell you my age. Add to that an Ice House and you will know that I lived in a rural area of Canada prior to 1955.

If you can remember both the Root Cellar and the Ice House being not only in the rural setting but also in town or even a city – you are at least 80 years old – or very close to it.

A few weeks ago I was pointing to a long and odd shaped saw that hung on the wall at the pioneer exhibit. Beside the saw was large pair of tongs – that looked like a big “C” when opened up wide. I told the kids listening that this was used to make Ice Cream… and puzzled looks came over their faces.

Of course the saw was used for cutting ice blocks from the frozen lake and the big “C” was the tongs that were used to lift the massive blocks of ice on to the sleigh to head back to the Farm.

Root Cellar first…
On the old farm at Truax, Saskatchewan was the first place that I witnessed the freaky Root Cellar. My Aunts loved to take us down there with a lantern as it seemed to spook us out.

The entrance to the Root Cellar was below the middle and west room in the farm house… just below the old crank, wall telephone… and in front of a storage shelves that covered the north wall of that middle room.

In order to go down into the Root Cellar it was necessary to roll back an old rug that covered the trap door that was lifted. I think the rug likely helped to insulate the Cellar from heat above and the room from the cool below.

The large black ring was secured to the floor door and when pulled up the dark cavity deep below was ready to swallow you up. When I was 7 years old it looked a cavern. The wisp of dank air that rose was cool and damp. The first few steps down stirred the air that then rose up to meet your nostrils. My aunt was just a head of me holding the old lantern…and as it moved from side to side in her hand it cast shadows on the walls at all sides. Spooky!

That particular Root Cellar was simply dug deep into the black soil beneath the house. The sides of the Root Cellar were dirt…not fancy lumber or cement… just good old prairie dirt.

Over on the south east wall someone had built kind of wooden bins to hold things… As I came closer the shadow cast made everything bigger and moving. In the one bin was the strangest ‘monsters’ peaking out… and their tentacles danced in the shadowy light. These were the potato monsters with their huge tentacles of sprouts protruding upward from the bin. Some of the sprouts were more than a foot long. The potatoes were trying to grow – but couldn’t…

My Aunt told me to pick up some Potatoes which meant reaching into that mass of tentacles and fetching a potato for her bowl.

The first reach in was dangerous… and proved to be real yucky… my fingers went right into a rotten potato… squishy and smelly. My Aunt stated that she figured so… as she could smell a rotten potato a mile away. If she could why did she take me below and make me put my hand into the potato bin first?

I can remember some one calling some one else a “rotten potato” and now it made sense. They were squishy, smelly and not something that you wanted near you.

On the north wall was the make shift plank shelves. On the shelves were dozens of bottles that were filled with all kinds of weird things immersed in fluid. There were red colours, white colours and even green… in large jars and small jars… dozens of them.

This was not a strange laboratory of some kind – it was Grandma’s preserves. In the season before and before the frost came she had pickled and canned almost everything from her garden… and now the produce was stored on the shelves.

Between the potato bin and the canned produce was another bin… it was cool and soft to put your hand in. The content was of sand and a little dampness. My Aunt told me to stir my hand in the sand to see what I could catch… The first dip into the sand yielded a big fat carrot… firm and clean.

After we retrieved enough carrots for supper my Aunt cried out, “What do we have here…” and then she dipped one more time into the carrot bin… and brought a super ugly lizard by the tail. It was truly the dinosaur of the Root Cellar. As she held it the wiggle to get free started… then its tail came off in her fingers… and the thing dropped to the sand again.

I was concerned that the lizard has lost its tail. My Aunt reassured me that the lizard would grow a new one soon… he sheds his tail to get away!

Go figure – Grandma’s Root Cellar was a place to learn more about Biology and Monsters at the same time!

My sister freaked at the sight of the lizard.. which meant that I just had to pick it up – even though it had no tail… which produced the desired effect both with my sister and my Aunt. Yes… the Root Cellar would be a place I would come again.

The one real fear of the Root Cellar was the real possibility that Mr. Skunk would burrow under the side of the house and into the Root Cellar… in which case he would be there when you came down the small stairs… which would not be good at all… worse yet the hungry Skunk might eat some of the food stored there!

The Ice House
Just to the north west end of the house was another odd building that was built very strong. It was one story high with no windows. The door was fastened shut and secured so nothing could get in.

Upon my Grandma’s instruction my Uncle went to the Ice House to get a treasure. Together we stepped inside. The air smelled different and it was cool… very cool. There was a tinge of a straw smell mixed with dank whatever. The darkness inside yielded to the light coming over our shoulders… and there below was a deep hole… filled with straw. The straw was kind of not piled up but rather square looking.

My uncle brushed aside the straw and there in the Middle of Summer was a large block of Ice – white and blue in colour peeking out of the strands of straw sticking to it.

My Uncle’s big arms picked up the Block of Ice with the tongs and away we went back to the house.

Needless to say we didn’t have a refrigerator in those years. I think there was an Ice Box inside the lean-to… but my memory is failing now…

That day I helped Grandma make Ice Cream… by turning the crank as she salted the Ice on the outside of the Ice Cream tub that turned steadily.

Memories of strange places for sure…

Two days ago Alida and I walked into the gigantic COSTCO store in our community. I followed her into the cool room with the perishable fruits and vegetables all neatly in the shelves.

One package stated that it was a product of the USA… another said Portugal… and still another stated Grown in Israel…

There was no lizard there. The vegetables were not in weird, science experiment kind of bottles either.

My how the world has changed! My grandkids will never see the wonders of Root Cellar or an Ice House. It is unlikely they will ever be spooked by the tentacles of the potato bin – or the live lizard in the carrot’s bin… Too bad.

I raise my glass today to an old memory that came flashing back today…

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy Belated Grandparents Day

Okay! Okay! Stop the Press! Hold everything… I said STOP!

Yesterday was Grandparent’s Day! What the heck happened here? Do people not read the Newspaper? You had your warning in advance. Since 1978 – when Jimmy Carter proclaimed that each Sunday after labor Day would be the National Grandparents Day – you should have know!

I didn't get a Card or nothing!

On the Web Site that I found it shows that they have had a council that deals with all things about the National Grandparents Day since 1997… or so….

I know what happened… someone forgot. It happens a lot to us old guys and gals… the ‘forgetter’ works better than the “Rememberer”… and if your kids are close to you and see you often… they catch it too – then forget to remember that it was National Grandparents Day.

People are in a big flap about H1N1 – or that Swine Flu virus that is floating around…. That is DUMB. The “Forgetter Virus” is far more persistent… and far more dangerous. Someone else called it the “Oldtimers Virus” (OV).

Look at this way…
The old fella drops of his bride of 56 years at the hairdresser down the street… then forgets to pick her up.

Another old geezer goes to the Mall to buy something from his list – and then can’t find the darn car in the gigantic parking lot. As his friends see him listlessly walking among strange cars with arm in the air- rapidly pushing his thumb button on his car beeper… they think something is wrong.

There is something very weird about Grandpa playing the “Giraffe Game” in the Mall parking lot. His teenager grandson just thinks he is “weirding out” again… when he really is only looking for his car.

The third old duffer is odd too. When the young buck at the Supermarket found him wandering down the long aisles with no cart… slowly looking at the shelves… and not picking anything up… the clerk stopped to ask the old fella if he needed help…

His answer was funny… “Nope, just walking up and down the aisle to see if I can remember what she told me to get. I don’t want to call and ask her what it was… She will be on my case again about forgetting everything. She is not going to get that satisfaction this time!”

I know that I am a Grandparent… and that the “Oldtimers Virus”(OV) gets to me some days too.

I can go into one room to fetch something that will not work on the thing I am trying to fix. Some how the hedge trimmers won’t loosen the tight bolt. But you have no idea how many things I have found – that I was sure someone borrowed or were lost on the last job I was doing. The other day I found my favorite pliers behind the big box… I had been sure that the Grandkids had taken them into the Backyard… nope the “OV” was acting up again!

One great thing of going out for coffee with my buddies my age… They almost all buy the coffee for me… because they have a bad attack of OV. “No Murray… it’s my turn to pay… you got it last time…”

“Okay – but I really didn’t pay… you did.”

“No way…” he says… “It is my turn to buy…”

Thanks buddy…

The really funny thing is that he can’t remember that we were out for coffee just last week – four days ago.

So – just in case you haven’t had someone tell you… or you can’t remember… and “OV” has set in… Happy Belated Grandparents Day!

What’d you mean you can’t remember what that is about – read the second paragraph above!!!

Hey – want go for coffee soon? Give me a call…

~ Murray Lincoln ~


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Second Post for This Sunday

In order to understand the photo below read the previous Posting - just prior to this one.

The remarks in the Van as they listened to the story I told was amazing. We were dealing with Moses and the people that followed him. As they listened to the Garmin GPS one remarked that Moses wouldn't have had this kind of apparatus... they all laughed at that.

The Garmin took us to four different places while Teens tried to guess where we were - blindfolded. They were close but not right on... and then they become confused as more and more corners were turned... and more and more instructions were given by the computer - first in Cantonese, then in Korean - then in French... then in Australian English...

We completed our class in Tim Hortons with Tim Bits and a drink as we discussed the issues that the Children of Israel faced with disobedience...

There was an ahaaa moment as we listened to each other.

I am loving this... they all stayed awake and all particpated... this is what church is all about...

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Establishing a New Record the Insane Way

I am on the threshold of insanity this morning! Whatever possessed me to say yes???! I am about to potentially commit emotional suicide… maybe even worse than that! This is plain nuts!

After 34 years of successful ministry as a Pastor and whatever else I did along the way… I am about to enter the Ministry again. After 15 full months of retirement from full time ministry I am about to set a new record to top it all off! I am going back at it again… this time as a volunteer!

Hang on… are you ready for this… I am going back as a “Youth Pastor” – NO KIDDING. I will take up the challenge to work with young teens – with the average age around 14 years old!

When I completed the Phase of Youth Pastor at the age of 51 I thought that part of my life was over. I had established a RECORD with no one else every having done this kind of ministry at that age! When I left it there were No more “all-nighters” – no more Teen insanity that was so much fun.

I had “graduated” to working with older, more mature Christians… simply put – Old People – that are sometimes cranky and bossy – not nearly so much fun to be with as the Teens were.

Now at 65 years of age I will enter a new world of teenagers – and begin to try to understand them – all over again.

The fact of the matter is – whatever I did with the Teens before is now completely different as they are now different from the Teens of yesterday. Yet much is still the same… it is just the language that is different and some of the sub culture.

I entered the Hong Kong culture in 1980. I learned their language and many of their cultural norms of that day. That phase lasted for 5 years. I thought I knew it well – the culture that is.

In 1988 we returned to that part of the world again. The colony was preparing for its return/annexation/repatriation to China. Things had changed in 8 years time. The buildings were taller and many, many more modern buildings had replaced the old ones. Chinese young people were all beginning to study the Mandarin language – until today almost everyone speaks the newer “common” language of the Mother Land.

Things changed for this small country. It grew up after 100 years of being in Britain’s control and it was moving on in the World.

Hong Kong for me is a lot like a Teenager. We once knew them with their cultural norms of that age… but now they are taking on new languages and norms that we do not understand. They are becoming part of new emerging culture that we, as adults, have little clue about – or perhaps fear and even distrust deeply.

Back in Hong Kong – prior to 1980 – all the people that we worked with had escaped the horrors of the Communist take over to China… Hong Kong had become a refuge for all of them. Children born into the colony knew nothing of what their parents had known – murder, rape and personal loss.

Now the older people were watching the hated “Mother Land” swallow up the old culture and language that they knew… and the NEW was taking over all that they had cherished. They were losing their Young People.

A Teen…

Between the ages of 13 and 16 – today’s Teen – is in a new discovery mode. They are finding a whole new world that is waiting for them. They are discovering their physical abilities, team sports, relationships, and the opposite sex. That is pretty much what happened to their parents as well.

BUT – and it is a BIG BUT – the parents never had it happen at a such a “Gimongous Speed” – That is Gigantic and Humongous together meaning really big and fast.

Utter dependence upon E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Text Messaging, onboard Music, Gaming, and whatever is coming down the pipe at the speed of light is the norm for a teenager today. All of the above things didn’t exist when they were born… in fact for an average 14 year old – other than the Music and E-mail – all of it was developed in the last three years of their lives. Adults don’t even know about any of these because they were not invented four years ago. Today you, as a Teen, cannot survive without them.

And most Teens are introducing their much older parents to this new world of Social Networking…

And I am a Grandpa… that is about to take on the challenge three hours from now – to begin relating to them… and their world.

Hokey Mokey! How will I do it?

Well this Grandpa has a trick or two up his sleeve. Today we are going to catch a vision of Moses and God and the silly people that Moses lead out of Egypt. How can you make it interesting to Teens?

Well for one you “Blind Fold” them, sit them in the Van and then drive them somewhere that they may or may not know. They will be listening to the Garmin GPS unit that I have now installed in my Van… where it tells you to proceed 250 metres and then turn right on to Chemong…and so on… The seven or so Satellites far above their heads will be referencing what is happening inside the computer in my Garmin… telling us exactly what to do next.

To make it more confusing for the Teens.. the Garmin speaks English, the American kind, or Australian kind, or the British kind, also French (three kinds), Chinese (2 kinds), and about another 20 plus World language groups… By switching the directions in different languages as we go along – and they are blind folded… with several stops along the way… they will get a feeling of what Moses felt as he lead the People of Israel out of Egypt.

Crazy? Silly old grandpa…? Nope! I am cool and understand most of what they use or will use. I am just one step ahead of where they are… puffing a little to keep there – but still ahead…

Today a Teen can purchase a GPS Unit that is hand held… with an ear piece… it tells you exactly where to ride your bicycle – or walk to on any street in North America – including every alley way… every side street… every where… and also every trail and back country possible pathway that might exist… and when they step off the pathway heading just over the ridge… it catches them and tells them to turn left or right and how many miles or kilometers they should walk to get to safety.

Their Blind Friends have been using these GPS Units for more than 5 years now.

Who needs a map or a compass… it is all on your GPS Unit…or your Cell phone… or iPod…

In three hours from now I will be entering a brand new world… I couldn’t be more excited now than if I was going to Hong Kong again… or Africa… or Indonesia… or….

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Saturday, September 12, 2009

David Shannon and Chris Watkins – Men with Abilities

I cannot imagine the struggle that David Shannon and Chris Watkins went through to plant the “Disabled Parking” sign at the North Pole!

I first caught the story this week and have been thinking about it for days now. The amount effort and energy that was required to do this is astounding.

Way to go David and Chris – and all your support team – whoever they might be.

When I lived in Regina I had a close friend that was in a wheel chair because of a motorcycle accident. The accident had severed his spinal column. But did that stop him? No way! The indomitable spirit with the man was something else.

One day when I went to see him we talked at length about the problems of getting around the community. He asked if I would like to experience the challenges for a day. I took the challenge.

The next day he picked me up in his van – which was completed adapted to his personal disabilities. I should say that it was adapted to his abilities – with this guy – NOTHING WAS IMPOSSIBLE – there was no “DIS” in his language!

He arrived with two wheel chairs… his own and one for me. I slipped into the passenger side of the van and away we went.

We headed for the mall and then set out in our wheel chairs.

Before we got into the mall I was already pooped. But that was because the first slope was hard to get up… the mall parking lot is sculpted somewhat to allow for good drainage – making the approach up hill.

The next little bump in the road was some construction on the mall parking lot where the workers had used a special grinding saw to remove the top level of pavement – leaving a depression that was rough and ready to receive a new layer of ceiling pavement – someday. I had noticed this depression weeks ago – just never thought about it – until I rolled a wheel chair through it.

The next bump in the road was the wheel chair accessible curb… where the construction crew made it possible for wheel chairs to get up on the curb…. BUT these guys never have taken a wheel chair up this slope – there was a ONE INCH bump at that spot that took a lot of extra oomph to get over it and mount the sidewalk…

At that point I was already tired. I had yet to get into the Mall. Punching the Button to open the electric door was easy… waiting for the slow opening door was hard – the cold wind and light rain was biting at my ears by now. Other people were rushing through the other doors and shaking the rain off inside… while we waited for the door to open far enough to get in…

In the Mall the Sale was big… and it meant that the Sales Folk in each store had all their products out and ready. Do you know how much stuff they cram into small aisles in a Sale? Tons of it is the answer… and just try to get in with a wheel chair… as excited shoppers grab for their bargains. You will not understand the frustration until you are sitting “Butt High” to a pushy woman!

We went downtown next to the places that were never made for wheel chairs of the old days. Bumps were bigger and doors were harder to get through.

We had started at 10 AM. It was now 3 PM. When he dropped me off I was tired. I had done something that had pooped me out – and that was only 5 hours in the chair.

Can you imagine the North Pole… no matter how many layers of clothing you would wear – you are sitting still in a wheel chair… and it is cold. When you sit still your feet cannot work or move… and they get cold.

David Shannon was paralyzed from the middle of his back down – like my friend was. Circulation in the legs and feet is a problem. Now add the temperatures of the North Pole with Ice and Snow and Wind.

David and Chris made it there this past April 11, 2009.

My hat comes off to you guys and what you have done for the rest of us with abilities. You guys definitely have abilities – not disabilities! The rest of us have disabilities when we could care less – or do not even think about what is needed to do the wheel chair thing.

At home…
My 88 year old mom is not disabled… but she uses a walker.

One day I walked alongside her to the Drug Store. The sidewalk made her walker bounce all over the place. The sidewalk is made up of many, many pieces of poured and repaired cement – that has heaved and moved a lot over the years… it is an old sidewalk!

Mom slowed and then asked if we could stop. I asked if she was tired out. “No” she said, “My arms and shoulders hurt with this bumpy sidewalk.” I watched from then on as she walked. The front wheels of the walk danced crazily as they hit each and ever bump.

There is a world that those of us with our own abilities know nothing. We do not see the little bumps and rises and falls that some others do.

Today I take my hat off and bow low to people with amazing abilities that do things the rest of us could never – ever do!

David and Chris – and your team are amazing – simply amazing!

~ Murray Lincoln ~