My Takes

Just my humble opinion…

Christmas Loving

There’s a popular Christmas song called, ‘Give Love On Christmas Day’.  It has been around for a while yet no one thinks anything of it.  Yeah, let’s show love on Christmas day, what’s wrong with that?  Well what about the other 364 days of the year? It’s fine not to show love on those days as long as we remember to show it on Christmas day?

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. One of the main reasons is not the gifts or the shopping, it’s the friendliness of everyone.  The smiling faces, the warm holiday greetings, the coming together of family and friends, the love.  It’s palpable.  Unfortunately, it’s also temporary.  It’s not easily maintained.  Now my question is, why can’t we love all year? Why can’t we be nice all year? Something to note here, many of us, myself included, usually feel a letdown of sorts immediately after Christmas.  A sadness that we can’t explain.  It’s actually a withdrawal.  It’s like coming down from a high.  For about a week, you are surrounded by so much love and laughter and you wake up one morning and you are back to the grind. Where’s the love and laughter? Be patient, only 364 more days.

Some might say ‘The year is so busy that it’s difficult to really share love or hang out with friends and family so Christmas is the perfect time.’ But Christmas is also one of the busiest times of the year, so how is it we could find the time to hang and share love then?

Most of the Christmas songs out there, encourage us to smile, love, laugh, have fun at Christmas.  Again, how about the other 364 days?  Other songs tell us that ‘Everyone is happy on this day’.  Really? That should be changed to, ‘Everyone SHOULD be happy on this day’.  For the unfortunate ones, Christmas is really just another day.

My Take.

Racism Or Ignorance?

Today I read with disdain, the news that three effigies of blacks were found hanging by nooses at the Berkeley Campus of the University of California.  As we speak, tensions are high in the US with the past shootings of blacks by police under suspicious circumstances.  Stories like the above add fuel to an already smouldering fire that is threatening to turn into a firestorm.

Now is this just some idiot thinking it was funny to take advantage of what is happening in the USA? Or using it as a springboard to air his or her racist agenda? Or just some ignoramus thinking something like this is funny and could make it on the evening news?  Either way, it’s dumb, stupid, ignorant and totally unacceptable!

It’s painful to read and watch something like this.  We are trying to build bridges to create two-way traffic between races but as we build, there are some who insist on demolishing these bridges.  These cowardly creeps use the cover of night to sneak up and destroy the hard work of those who seek to make this world a place where all people regardless of color are treated equally.  Is it ignorance? Is it racism? Ignorance breeds racism, racism is the product of ignorance.  Ignorance creates fear, fear makes people do stupid things.

Unless the world sees a Global societal cleansing, the wheels on this vicious cycle will continue to turn…

Just My Take.

 

Oh Holy Night By Who?

Yes mon!

One of my favourite Christmas songs is ‘Oh Holy Night’.  I like this song so much that I got carried away and purchased the too-many different versions of it.  If a singer that I like sings it, I buy.  Aaron Neville’s sweet rendition in his honey-like voice, Mariah Carey’s diva-like rendition, Michael Bolton’s, yes I used to like him, soulful spin, and a few reggae versions of it as well.  By the way, reggae Christmas music is the best! So too is reggae gospel music.  Enough digressing.  I collected Christmas albums too.  Boyz II Men Christmas album, Luther Vandross, Hip-Hop Christmas mix Album, Classical, Country, you name the genre, I have it.  Even Clay Aiken’s!  And Justin Bieber’s! 

The funny thing is, I have never listened to any of these albums in their entirety.  Really, how many times and ways could I listen to ‘Oh Holy Night’? So it’s back to old trustworthy I go.  ‘Natty Christmas’ by Jacob Killer Miller, now deceased.  This is a really good reggae Christmas album and is even on a 25 Best Christmas Album List. Check it out here. I also found that I own most of the albums on that list! I am officially a Christmas Music Nerd slash Geek!

Is it me or does it seem like every singer wants to cash in on my penchant for the yuletide choruses?  Fading career? Make a Christmas album, Carlos will buy it!  Well I have news for them, I am done! I have enough. Plus CDs are so 90s.  I’ll stick to my Natty Christmas and have a Irie Irie Christmas!  I suggest you do the same but it’s just…

My Take

Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album

Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes mon!

 

Home for Christmas cover

So You Want To Free Your Nipples?

I can tell you why but it's kinda obvious

I can tell you why but it’s kinda obvious

I understand that we are remaking and rebranding our society.  I understand that to do this, we need to make some drastic, questionable and sometimes ridiculous changes to what we once held sacred.  We need to be a more accepting society, we need to make everyone happy, change ‘Christmas’ to ‘holiday’, take bibles out of schools, yes, I totally understand.  It’s a inconvenient necessity.

Gone are the days when egotistical men armed with personal agendas opened doors for the ‘weaker sex’.  How rude of them!  Equality for all! We need a non-gender specific world where men and women are free to roam around shirtless. Yes, in fact, we need an non-gender world period! It’s time we get with the times! Let’s raise our sons to be ‘its’ let them wear pink dresses, flaunt their freedom of choices, let our daughters show their nipples. Free The Nipples!

Of course it’s a travesty.  Why shouldn’t women bare their chests to the delight of men?  If Miley Cyrus, Madonna, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and a bunch of other highly respected celebrities are in on it, then why shouldn’t we take notice?

I am sorry but I can only maintain my sarcasm for so long.  Of course the idea is utterly ridiculous!  I am not against women fighting for some form of equality like equal pay, but sacrificing your self-respect to fight for something like showing your privates in public is definitely not the way to go.  You will get noticed for sure but not the way you want or is it the way you want?  What next? Don’t answer that.  The unification of the bathroom? I hate to break the news to you women but when it comes to gender, the sex detector has determined that you ARE indeed a woman.  Be proud of it.  Accept the difference, yes there is a difference.  Free your mind, not your nipple.  And that’s just My Take.

Best Customer Service Experience

Last Christmas my wife got me a Fitbit.  In case you don’t know what that is, it’s one of those electronic wristbands that tracks your sleep and your steps.  She was tired of listening to me complain that I never get enough sleep.  Throughout the year, I have had to contact the company for various reasons.  The first one was when I misplaced it. Fortunately I found it before they could intervene but I was still impressed by how ready they were to assist me.

My bands broke twice and after emailing them, received new ones within days.  Then it happened.  I lost my Fitbit, band and all.  Again I contacted the company but this time I didn’t want or expected anything. I just wanted to make a recommendation that maybe they should revisit the way they constructed their bands.  They asked me to confirm my purchase and address and promised to send me a gift card or a replacement after weighing my case.  A week later, I received a new Fitbit in my mailbox!

Working for a retail company and having years of experience in the industry, I know what it’s like not only to provide excellent customer service but also to receive same.  Most often than not, a good customer service experience goes unacknowledged.  A bad one you will mostly likely hear about it for a long time.  If you are one to complain when the receptionist at your doctor or wherever, is rude or curt to you, don’t hesitate to also share your when you find one who is nice to you.  With the busy shopping season in full swing, employees are working long hours away from their families to cater to us. Show them how much you appreciate it.

This place is already over-saturated with bad stories.  Everyone’s got one. A feel-good story is scarce.  Don’t believe me? Check your friends’ statuses on Facebook.  To the Fitbit company, thank you for your providing me with continuously great customer service. It’s not about the product, it’s all about you.

Tuesday’s Teaching: Money Is Not The Root Of All Evil

We have all heard the saying, “Money is the root of all evil”. Well do you know that it is not?  This saying is actually of biblical origin and in its entirety reads,  “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (I Timothy 6:10).  Money itself is not evil but our love for it causes us to do evil, like kill, hurt and steal, even from those we love.  It would be more worthwhile to say the heart is the root of all evil.

And that’s not just My Take.

Wild Bill’s Bitter Pill

Bill Cosby: Himself

Bill Cosby: Himself (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unless you are hibernating for the winter, otherwise known as living under a rock, you would have heard about Bill ‘yes that bill’ Cosby finding himself going up something that looks eerily similar to chocolate pudding’s creek with nary a paddle.  He’s landed himself in hot water.  Bill has recently been accused of sexual assault on not one, not two or three but let’s just say a lot. Like in the teens.  If you are one of those aforementioned under-the-rock dwellers, you would be sitting there with mouth hanging open thinking, “No! Not Bill Cosby from the Cosby Show! I don’t and won’t believe that!”  Well it’s up to you.  I chose to believe.  Maybe you didn’t believe CBC Jian Ghomeshi either…who would have thunked it?

I know, it’s hard to imagine loveable Bill Cosby from The Cosby Show drugging young women then raping them. But then, it’s hard to imagine a lot of other things but that doesn’t make them false.

As Bill’s stock falls faster than you could say ‘pudding’, we are reminded to treat celebs like they are one of us, which they are.  Prone to the same temptations we are prone to.  Liable to commit crimes, lie and cheat just like us ordinary folks.  Bill is not alone so don’t be surprised.  He’s only human.  A human being who if the allegations and accusations are true, committed offenses that should not be allowed to be swept under the rug.   Sexual assault is a serious violation of ones sanctity. Something that is difficult for the victim to overcome.  It should be treated as such. Let’s see if it is…

 

My Take…

How I Shot Bin Laden…And Also JR.

You know that Osama Bin Laden was killed, right? When you heard he was, did you immediately ask who fired the fatal shot? Did you even care? Do you care to know the identities of the persons who administer fatal injections to death row inmates? Of course you don’t.  Why would you?

Turns out some people like to take credit for being the ones who wasted the bad guys.  You probably thought that the US Navy Seals were a tight-lipped organization, not prone to taking personal credit for their work.  Well apparently when it comes to something like this, something that has the potential to make them a hero of sorts, they want us civilians to know by name, the man who shot Bin Laden. Do you give a crap now? Me neither…

So while they bicker amongst themselves over who was the trigger man so they could go on and write a tall-all book maybe aptly titled, “How I Shot Osama Bin Laden”, let’s go on with our lives. Oh, while we are on the topic, who the heck shot JR. Anyways?

Our Soldiers Are The Real Heroes

There’s just something about a war veteran that enthralls me.  To me they are like deep vessels containing so much experience. Experiences that would cause many of us to faint. Acts of bravery, seeing their friends blown to smithereens, the sound of incoming rockets, looking into the eyes of the enemy before their bullet pierced his chest…yes, these brave guys have seen it and heard it.

Yet here they stand among us, some barely remembered except for Remembrance Day.  Even the government that sent them out to fight their fights have forgotten about them.  They are the faceless, the nameless and sadly, the homeless.  Our heroes are greedy overpaid hockey players who go on strike for more money.  And get it.  These men were never promised riches yet they were willing to sacrifice their lives for our future, so that we could enjoy a good game of hockey, watching Bobby Orr or Wayne Gretzky.

There are  not too many of them remaining from WWI and WWII but there’s one that shows up at every Winnipeg Jets’ game., Len Kropioski.  He is shown on the jumbotron at the end of ‘O Canada’, his arm raised in salute.  I enjoy watching him and sought him out when I attend Jets’ games.  As I stare at him on the screen, I wonder what he must have seen and wishing I could sit with him while he regales me with his stories.  Did you shoot anyone, sir? Did you see your friend die? How did you feel? Did you ever regret it? Sir, you are the real hero. 

My wife’s grandfather was also a war veteran.  Unfortunately, he took his stories with him when he died.  He never discussed what he saw or did.  One day, my hero at the Jet’s game would fail to show up.  The hero outside the Salvation Army store would not be there.  Some of us would not notice but the rest of us will always remember…

I am a pacifist, which means I am anti-war. This does not mean I would allow myself the ignorance of not recognizing what these brave men and women have done to secure a free world for the rest of us.  They fought battles with enemies they didn’t know or had a beef with.  Many knew not what the fight was about or who started it but off to battle they went bravely.  To countries outside of their farmlands.  Countries they never heard of.  I recognize and salute bravery. Today, I salute these people who served and who are serving. God bless you!

Note:  Sometimes we seem to forget those soldiers who continue to carry the baton. Fighting to maintain peace and keep away the enemies who threaten our peace.  They are heroes too. When we hear of war veterans, we also see the face of an old man but lest we forget, many great women fought and died also.  LEST WE FORGET.

My wife’s Grandpa.

Those Halloween Sickos Make Me Sick!

There are some people who use Halloween as a time to engage in their sick games. Games that could be deadly to victims.  Victims who are kids.  Today, my 6 year-old brought home a letter from his school.  The letter stated that at lunch, a student from a neighbouring school found a needle in his candy that he got while trick or treating.  I can bet it wasn’t accidentally placed there.  Someone obviously thought it was fun to put needles in candies that innocent kids would eat.  Now what did that person think would happen to the kids after digesting a needle? That they would laugh and see humor in it?  Is this where the ‘trick’ part of ‘trick or treat’ comes in?

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident.  It’s quite common to hear.  The worst part is, you can never tell who is the sicko. It could be the friendly old guy who smiled as he placed a handful of candies in little Jessica’s bag. Or maybe his grandson thought it would be funny if he spiked Grandpa’s halloween treats. You never know.  Fortunately, this student was uninjured but the potential was there for a very bad ending.

A friend of mine complained that the Halloween tradition is slowing fading due to malls handing out candies in a controlled environment.  She wasn’t too fond of parents who took this easy route, it was like cheating.  I agreed with her.  After this, I don’t.  The mall might be the best way to go.  Let’s hope it is.

Those sickos/psychos are darn lucky that we never know…but someone knows…

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