Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Do we push Mother Nature too far?

As we have heavy hearts thinking of the 8 men who lost their lives doing what they loved in the BC Rockies on Sunday afternoon. It is always hard to watch people anguish over the thought that their loved one(s) pushed Mother Nature just a bit too hard and she pushed back. We have all heard of, or maybe even experienced the wrath of Mother Nature. She has created various locations in our country that we can marvel at for her vast expertise that has such a beautiful project come to fruition. I think that one person interviewed in this last incident kind of said it all. People are buying bigger and bigger machines to go further. To the top of the world one might say they went that far. Well this trip someone forgot to tell them was a one way trip. So yes they died doing what they loved, but they left others longing for them for years to come. People could ask why would you knowingly put yourself in harms way? The thrill of the adventure could be an answer to that question. We all work very hard in our lives, and we seem to want to play even harder. When you work this hard it enables you to purchase toys that reflect your fruits of your labor. The manufacturers of these toys know that we as citizens of society buy the biggest, fastest, flashyist, piece of equipment to partake in what ever activity they enjoy. So as they say build it and they will come, or in this case build it and they will purchase it. People yearn to seek these far away vistas, experience that rush too get to this wild uninhabited place. Lets face it most people that get involved in this type of stuff are adrenaline junkies. We seem to be more stressed in our lives today, so by getting involved in such activities gives us such a feeling of still being alive! I admire that these people passed doing the think they loved so much. I do feel saddened for the loved ones that are left behind. The spouses that are left to go on without their soul mates. The children that will grow up without one of their parents. Now I know I can hear it now... that happens everyday suck it up! Your right, but sit in front of that child and listen to them weep longing for Mommy or Daddy to come home, and tell me that it does not tug at your heart strings. So when you push the envelope and test Mother Nature be prepared that she may push back, and have consequences for those actions. Be safe out their!!

Leonard Stier, and his son Michael Stier, Warren Rothel, Thomas Talarico, Kane Rusnak, Kurt Kabel, and Blaine Wilson, last but not least Danny Bjarnason.

Gone but never forgotten!!!!
God speed to those who passed, and prayers of strength and faith for those left behind.

The Big Ape

Monday, December 29, 2008

Why doesn't McDonald's sell hotdogs?

Well as we all push back from life's table from all the festivities, and realized that we have probably sent more then the GDP of a small African country we head towards New Years plump and happy, until our first credit card statements of 2009. Yep the big 2009! Now I must admit that New Years Eve is not so important for myself and the Mrs. She is finding it too hard to keep me on my leash in her old age lol. She finds it just easier to keep me in my cage. It is those banana daiquiris. I just go ape for them!!! That and Jack Daniels and Ice Tea...You gotta luv it!!!! I feel that Christmas is for kids, and we are kid-less so we decided to just relax, and spend Christmas at home this year. It was not with out saying we still had some great food, and goodies. The Ape Trainer can wrestle up a mean spread when put into action. We had friends in on Boxing day along with people popping in through out the holidays. So now we focus on the new year. So if you are a worry wort, and you buy into the; "are we going into another depression???" headlines. Then your 2009 is probably pretty bleak. Maybe it is because I have nothing to lose anymore other then life itself, and even that I feel I have lived a pretty rich life if I was going to die tomorrow I am ready. Now before someone calls 911 and thinks I should go vacation with the boys in the white suits...hold on!!! I said I am ready that does not mean I necessarily want to go, and yes given the opportunity there is things I would like to do yet, but looking at life as a place of opportunity rather then oh what have I missed has changed me for the better! I guess it is a case of a glass half full verses a glass half empty type situation. So now that I have found inner peace with myself, and what is around me; what about you? Now don't get me wrong stress is still present in my life, and I am far from being perfect in my zen attitude, but the new me is trying to find that balance in my life. So when it comes to this time of year people feel that we should buy into the whole idea of cleansing the body of the past year, and starting fresh for the new year. What ever blows your hair back I guess... I gave up on New Years resolutions a long time ago. Most of the time I never kept them for anymore then a month anyway. What is the top ten New Years commitments I hear the music and drum role now! lol :

10. Get organized
Well sparky you should not wait until January 1st to does this. If you are disorganized don't wait do it NOW!!! You will be happier and the world around you will be neater. Hey who knows it will be like December 25th all over again on all the stuff you find that you forgot you had!

9. Help others
Well if you were not so self centered and chipped in and helped others they might return the favor, and then you would not be so disorganized!

8. Learn Something new
Once again if you only wait until January 1st to do this no wonder the world is passing you by. You should try and learn something new everyday! It does not have to be life altering, but stimulating the brain matter keeps the seniors lodges from looking like a parking lot for the compost heap in heaven.

7. Get out of Debt
Well sunshine debt is one thing, but sinking yourself beyond your limits is another. Economics 101 states debt is not bad as along as it is controlled, and we live within our means. It is when we try keeping up with the Jone's that we cause the world to come crashing down. Just ask GM or Chrysler they will back me up!

6. Quit drinking
Have you heard the term moderation? Nothing is bad for you for maybe the exception of smoking as long as it is done in MODERATION!!!! That is what is wrong with people in this world nobody can do anything without going Ape! Now I am even guilty of this or I would not be called the 500 LB Gorilla! Even though I only weighed 98 LBS I think I would still carry the nick name. People just seem to listen to someone that is bigger then if you are tiny. The 98 LB gorilla just does not have the same impact! lol

5. Enjoy life more
Well that is a no brainer! DUH if you were not so busy worrying about all your faults you would enjoy life more. A very wise person passed on the secret of life to me recently. Live simply in the Now! Don't worry about the past as you cannot change it, Don't get hung up on the future as then you will miss what is going on in front of you, and that is the Now! Thanks Cesar I am truly in gratitude to you!!!

4. Quit Smoking
Again Don't wait until January 1st to do this NOW!!! It is a very bad habit, it is killing you, and it is also expensive! Now with that being said I it know it is an addiction, and it will not be easy if you fail once keep trying. You also have to quit for the right reason, and that is for YOU! If you are quitting to make someone else happy you are setting yourself up to fail. You have to buy into the idea to truly succeed. Now look at it this way. You are going to feel better, and save money all in the same resolution! Wow... I should sell this information! Do I smell a book deal??? Get Oprah on the phone...lol

3 and 2. Lose weight and get fitter
Every one thinks they should lose weight, and go to the gym more often. That is why you need to circle the gym parking lots like a buzzard looking for dinner for about 30 to 45 days after Christmas. Personally I thought losing weight would have been #1, but I stand corrected. This is also the time we go use all our gift cards to purchase gym equipment to have it as a stylish close hanger or rack in about 3 months time. (guilty as charged)!!

Now the drum role please.......

1. Spend more time with friends and family
Well again that is a very noble idea, but I feel that you should not be waiting until January1st to do this. If you are feeling that you are not spending enough time or eating properly or needing to change a behavior don't wait there is not better time then the present sparky!!

I know you want one last bash where you know you smoked way too much, and drank enough to make an Irishman green with a hangover just smelling you. So as you drag your sorry carcases around asking yourself why you did this to yourselves? We will be standing back, and counting how long it takes for you to break the promises to god if he just stopped the room from spinning you will quit drinking, or doing what ever else promised in order to feel better. Sound familiar?

Well I would be remissed If I and the Ape Trainer did not wish you and yours a very good new years and all the best for 2009!

In parting I have to share this little story with you. I understand this is true. I hope this was not you, and if it was I think some new years resolutions are in order!!!!

You gotta read this police report
Jacksonville, Fl., Police Dept.

A man goes to a party and has too much to drink. His friends plead with him to let them take him home. He says no he only lives a mile away.

About five blocks from party, the police pull him over for weaving and asks him to get out of the car and walk the line. Just as he starts, the police radio blares out a notice of a robbery taking place in a house just a block away. The police tell the man to stay put, they will be right back and they hop a fence and run down the street to the robbery.

The guy waits and waits and finally decides to drive home anyway. When he gets there, he tells his wife he is going to bed, and to tell anyone who might come looking for him that he has the flu and has been in bed all day.

A few hours later the police knock on the door. They ask if Mr. ????? is there, and his wife says yes. They ask to see him and she replies that he is in bed with the flu and has been so all day.

The police have his driver's license. They ask to see his car, and she asks why. They insist on seeing his car, so she takes them to the garage. She opens the door. There sitting in the garage is the police car, with all its lights still flashing.

True story: Told by the driver at his first AA meeting.

Thanks Diane H...

Remember don't go through life having regrets...face life finishing beaten and battered sliding into heaven with both feet saying woooooooo hoooooo that was fun!

Until Next Time
From The Big Ape

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Are You a Digital Criminal?

As we settle into our warm homes frozen into an ice cube the government taxes us once again on the fact we MIGHT be guilty. I always thought we were innocent until proven guilty. Not in the government's eyes! Once again I am about to climb on my soap box and ask my readers to hold on as this is going to be a rant about our money grubbing government brethren! Well some might not feel this is the right way of looking at things, but here is how I take this thought process. If thought to be a thief why not do what they expect of you! Like they say while in Rome act like the Romans! I watched a DVD the other day, and at the start of the movie the film company is trying to guilt us into thinking that copying this DVD is stealing. They try and make you feel so dirty. Now don't get me wrong even the rebel that I am I even have some moral fiber. Do I think that backing up a movie that you may own is stealing well then Kojack guilty as charged! Going out and copying it and selling it 40 or 50 times that is wrong! We all work hard for our money, and if Mom or Dad want to preserve the classics because they know their bundles of joy are going to use it for floor hockey at least a couple of dozen times before it becomes so scratched even the best archivist in the world is not going to make sense of all those 1's and 0's. So why is it that Canada is one of the highest taxed countries in the world? With tongue in cheek the money collected is to be handed over to compensate the artists for their monies lost. If you believe that you also believe that fat kid is just going into the candy store just to look, and not buy anything. Wink, wink, nod, nod! So where does that money go you ask? Well the government is collecting it, and it is going some where. Well sparky your local political lackey just got a new pair of shoes! That's right... eaten up faster then a bucket of chicken at Opera's house! Administration is the new buzz word. That is just the new speak for Daddy's coming home with a new pair of shoes! So why is it that the movie and music companies have not clued in? Well some artists are actually getting smarter then the music companies. They are starting to weed out the music company or middle man and going straight to the fans by the way of the internet. Some producers are even jumping on the band wagon and doing the low budget sundance film festival type projects. Some are giving away some of their music and productions, and hope that people will go on line to some where like i-tunes or Napster and purchase more of what they hear or see. The other cool idea is giving their fans just what they want. Rather then putting out 2 good songs, and the rest of the album (do they call them albums anymore? OH NO I have just become uncool!!!) (Sorry monkey man...You can' t lose something you never had! SNAP) Anyway the point I am making is I think this debate is the same issues they had in the times when we were growing up. Whether it is the cassettes or the VHS tapes everyone is crying wolf and telling everyone if they buy into this the industry as they knew it is forever changed! Well maybe that might be the case, but is that necessarily a bad thing? I think that people have to keep up with the times. So does business! Keep up or get left behind is what the most innovative say. So rather then trying to tax us into submission try being innovative enough to build a better model, and get people to think it was their own idea, and jump all over it. So why is it that an old ape in Medicine Hat can figure it out, but the fat cats in Ottawa with new shoes have no clue? Lets go one step further and look at the digital cards for all your pictures. Once again you are going to be paying more for your own creativeness! So those memory cards or mini hard drives are going to rise in cost also. Now the bean counters are going to give it the spin it is only a few penny's extra. Well as my Grandmother use to say look after the penny's, and the dollars will look after themselves! So in lands of turbulent times when your dollars are probably the most important to you. We are squirreled out of your hard earned sheckles. So as this Christmas break rolls in, take a few minutes to contact your MLA and tell him that even though there is some pretty life changing matters before us politically these matters need to be addressed too! That is what our goofs in Government is counting on that because of the trying times this matter is going to fly right underneath the radar, and strip those dimes and nickles from us in the short term.

The mint makes it first, it is up to you to make it last.
Evan Esar
From The Big Ape

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Day Of Congratulations

Well as we wake up this chilly day, and dust the snow from our belongings we can also see congratulations are in order times two. It is a special day for two people today. A dear friend of mine has accomplished a life long dream in the last couple of days. I remember growing up with Diana T she wanted to be a nurse. It was her life long ambition to help people. She started many years ago by helping take care of her Grand Father when he became ill. Then take care of her Grand Mother when she was terminally ill. I stood back at a far, and marveled how well she handled things. I had just went through my own time of experiencing sickness and loss, but I was not as good at the nurse duties as Diana T was I am sure. Not only that she looks better in a skirt! LOL There is a lasting image a big hairy ape in a white nurses uniform! Now talk about lasting images. That should be worth about 2 years worth of therapy. Anyway I digress... then Diana T went on to work in the area of special needs. I can say that she was one of the main reasons I joined the industry when I did. Then she took the next step and obtained her LPN. She worked as a very accomplished LPN for a few years, but that was still not enough. She had that desire to continue in her quest for her dream as a nurse. Well as we awake from our slumber once more a dream has come to be, and Diana T has realized that dream. She is now a nurse! For that I send out a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! I am glad to see you accomplish your dream that you have always longed for. You are going to touch many lives over the years, and for that your patients are going to be better for that. The last time Diana and I talked she had not made a decision as to where she was heading for her first position, but I am sure where ever she heads the patients will be better for it, and the care center is going to have a top notched nurse joining their staff! Congratulations again my dear, and all the best in your new placement, and new career!

Now like I said there was two people that was very deserving of Congratulations. Well as promised the documentary of Ethiopia is in the can as they say in the industry. I would like to send CONGRATULATIONS to Kyle Bakx on a job well done. I have seen the 5 episode documentary on Ethiopia. Not only was it informative and entertaining it was touching. Kyle is a very good producer, and I am sure this is only 1 of many documentary's that he will produce in his career. Now he sat down and answered a few questions for the old Ape, but before we get to them as promised Kyle wanted me to tell you this:

The "Medicine Hat Magic" documentary is finished and ready to air.
The half-hour Chat TV special tracks the efforts of a group of
volunteers with relief organization Canadian Humanitarian. The
documentary will air on Chat TV on Tuesday, December 16, at 7:00.
Chat is on Shaw Cable channel 3 and Bell Expressvu channel 248.

We're just finishing up the covers for the DVDs. For those wishing
for a copy of the DVD, it is easy. Call the front desk of the station
at 403-548-8282. The cost is $25 and tax. For those living outside
the beautiful city of Medicine Hat, don't fret, we can mail the DVD to
your doorstep. We will only be taking orders till around Christmas
Day. The DVD's will then be ready to be picked up/mailed early in the
new year.

Enjoy the documentary!

Now as Kyle says don't forget to order your DVD as a keepsake of that documentary hi-lights Medicine Hat people making a difference in Ethiopia. Now as promised I was also lucky enough to get Kyle to sit down long enough to answer a questions as to who Kyle Bakx is, and what was it like doing something like this:

Q Who is Kyle Bakx tell me a bit about yourself?

A I went to school in Winnipeg, graduating with a journalism diploma at
Red River College and a communications degree at the University of
Winnipeg. While going to school, I worked as a radio news broadcaster
for a radio station in Steinbach, MB, then as a TV reporter/producer
for Global News in Winnipeg. After finishing college and university I
made the move to Chat TV as the municipal affairs reporter,
predominantly covering politics and business. Outside of reporting, I
have a strong passion for traveling and being in the great outdoors. I
enjoy athletics of all nature -- including being an active triathlete.
I volunteer for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind in
Medicine Hat and at the Tongue on the Post folk music festival.

Q How did you first hear about what was going on Ethiopia?

A I completed my first triathlon in Okotoks, AB, this past summer.
After the event, I picked up a pamphlet and saw that a Medicine Hat
charity was the recipient. I thought it would make for a great news
story, so I met with the executive director. After learning that many
Medicine Hat residents were going to travel to Ethiopia on an
expedition with the organization, I pitched the idea to the TV station
and to the organization, to track the efforts of the volunteers by
filming a documentary. The organization loved the idea and so did
management at Chat TV.

Q Is there any more trips like this one that we can see from you?

A Hopefully, but nothing on the horizon for now. Although I seem to
always have side projects on the go...

Q What is the biggest message you would like to convey from a trip like this?

A The thing that stuck with me the most is the pride of the people in
Ethiopia. Most live in homes made of tin that are only the size of a
mini-van. Most Ethiopians are classified as living in either moderate
or extreme poverty. Almost 80 per cent live on less than 2 american
dollars a day, while, a quarter of the population earn less than a
single dollar. The situation in Ethiopia is conflicting -- on one
hand, a middle class has slowly begun to emerge over the last decade.
But on the other hand -- economy has made the situation worse for the
poor -- as inflation has doubled and tripled the cost of food. It's
financial pressure that's hard for many parents to burden.

But the people are so proud. We would visit their homes and they made
sure to sweep the dirt floors and make the beds. They couldn't
believe that a white-person would actually take the time to see their
home. The people are very happy as well, despite the hardships.

Q What can my readers do to help the cause over in Ethopia?

A Go on the next expedition -- there's two every year! The organization
is excellent and any contribution goes a long way. Visit the website
on ways to help out -- www.canadianhumanitarian.com

Q Walk me through a day that transpired on the trip?

A Everyday was completely different. One day in particular began with
us volunteers breaking up into small groups to conduct home visits --
where we would visit the homes of the children enrolled in programs
with Canadian Humanitarian. We would make sure that the children have
a safe home, where they are encouraged to go to school and do their

Q What is the biggest thing that the people of Ethiopia are missing?

A It's very hard to say, beyond the necessities. For many, food is the
main concern. Inflation has doubled and tripled the cost of food.
For others, clean water is a major concern -- not only for drinking,
but for washing and bathing.

Q If there was one wish for the people of Ethopia what would it be?

A It's as basic as food.

Q If you could compare the children of Ethiopia to the children of
Canada do they have any similarities? Differences?

A They are identical. They laugh at the same jokes, play the same games
and have the same potential as children in Canada, but don't have the
same opportunities (school, work, sports)

Q What role do you think our Gov't should have if any on trips like this?

A The Canadian government really lacks when it comes to foreign aid.
Not only do they not meet their funding goal -- but most of the money
is spent in Canada, not overseas.

Q How different is the media's role from there to here?

A The media is very well respected in Ethiopia -- but the majority are in jail.

Q You talked about a group of kids that we seen that were sponsered
compared to all the other children that were not. How were those
children picked to be sponsored?

A Canadian Humanitarian choses which children can be enrolled in their
programs based on the most need. That is where the biggest impact
will be made. Children in CH programs receive medical attention, a
hot lunch everyday, help with homework, and much more. But, the kids
must attend school and show commitment to their education.

Q What negative issues did you see from the people of Ethiopia?

A Aids has eradicated the social structure. So often we would see
families with only single mothers supporting the household. They are
then forced to work long hours to put food on the table. A
consequence is that the children don't receive enough attention.
That's why the children showed such great appreciation when us
Canadians would play games with them, or just simply help them read a

Well I hope you enjoyed reading about what Kyle experienced n Ethiopia as much as I enjoyed writing about it. As Kyle reminded to you that special is tonight at 7PM. Again don't forget to place your order for your own copy of the special or better yet buy a few copies and give them away as stocking stuffers or gifts to someone special on your Christmas list.

So in closing Congratulations to Diana T and Kyle Bakx you are very special each in your own right!

From The Big Ape

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a
horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

Monday, December 8, 2008

8 Christmas Myths

I was doing my regular reading today and came across this posting from a fellow blogger. Bret Burquest is the writer and Boldly Going Nowhere is the name of the blog. As once mentioned when I came across something of interest in the world of blogging I would pass it along. Well the vast Christmas Myths are ver humorous, and I could not pass up sending them on to you as my readers. Thanks Brett they are way too funny!

Christmas Myths....
According to Bret Burquest

Christmas, like many other holidays, has its share of historical inaccuracies and myths.

For example, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was not one of Santa's reindeer and didn't live on the North Pole. In fact, he was invented in 1939 by Robert L. May, a copywriter for Montgomery Ward department stores, as a promotional gimmick.

By 1946, a total of 6 million copies of the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer booklet had been distributed to Montgomery Ward customers.

May's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, developed the lyrics and music for a Rudolph song which was recorded by Gene Autry in 1949. It sold 2 million copies that year alone and went on to become the second best-selling record of all time, second only to "White Christmas."

However, May's original story differs from the song lyrics.

According to May, Rudolph lived in an ordinary reindeer village considerably south of the North Pole. Even though he was taunted for having a shiny red nose, his parents were not embarrassed. They brought Rudolph up in a loving home and gave him a high sense of self-esteem. Santa delivered presents to their house one night during a thick fog. Impressed by the glow of Rudolph's shiny red nose, Santa chose him to lead his team of reindeer to complete his rounds.

This brings to mind other Christmas myths.

MYTH #1 -- Santa Claus is a fat man in a red suit. Not true. He's fairly thin and usually wears boxer shorts with a tank top around the house. He just dons multiple layers of clothing to keep warm in late December, when zipping around the night sky in an open sleigh. Santa's delivery outfit is bright red to protect him from trigger-happy sportsmen -- he doesn't want to be mistaken for a flock of geese.

MYTH #2 -- Santa Claus lives at the North Pole. Not true. He lives in Canada, halfway between Medicine Hat and Moose Jaw. The north pole is a large block of ice, populated by three polar bears and a wayward penguin. Canada is a lot like the North Pole -- it's cold and nobody ever goes there. (writers note: Does that mean he lives in Maple Creek???)

MYTH #3 -- Santa has a bunch of little helpers called elves. Not true. They're mostly vertically-challenged (short) Swedes.

MYTH #4 -- Santa Claus climbs down chimneys to deliver his presents. No longer true. He once did climb down chimneys but got stuck several times in Colorado where legislation in 1969 required all chimneys to contain filters. In 1970, Santa reverted to using doors and windows, but he was busted in 1972 in Hackensack, New Jersey, for breaking and entering. Ever since then, Santa has used the Star Trek method of teleportation whereby his molecular structure is disassembled on the rooftop and reassembled directly in front of the Christmas tree. This way he is guilty only of entering but not of breaking, usually a misdemeanor in most places.

MYTH #5 -- Santa Claus likes to have some cookies and milk waiting for his arrival. No longer true. In 1983, he developed a gastrointestinal infection while hovering over Thailand. Too much curry, causing a bad case of diarrhea, which can be quite a dilemma while flying through the air in an open sleigh. (not to make fun of the old boys plight, but that is a picture that I can see Tim Allen reenacting!)

MYTH #6 -- Kids will get presents that reflect the latest craze. Not true. There is no latest craze. Remember Cabbage Patch dolls, Teen-age Mutant Ninja Turtles and Tickle-Me Elmo? They were the latest craze for about fifteen minutes. By the time the kids open presents, the latest craze will become a closet relic. If you want to give your kids a gift that has some worth, give them something that will get them out of the house, like a bicycle or a chainsaw.

MYTH #7 -- Santa knows who has been naughty and nice. Not true. That's the CIA, FBI, NSA, NWO, DEA, IRS, ATF, CFR, KGB, MI6, MJ12 and the Jehovah Witnesses who are keeping tabs on everyone. Santa has enough to do without spying on you.

MYTH #8 -- Santa's reindeer are named Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. Actually, those are only nicknames to make it easier to come up with Christmas jingles. Their real names are Fox Maulder, Elmer Fudd, Engelbert Humperdinck, Johnny Paycheck, Chester A. Arthur, Joe Sixpack, D. B. Cooper and Dweezle Zappa.

Now you are up to date on the latest 8 myths about Christmas. If you have any others that you as readers have heard of by all means pass them along.

Now I can't even take credit fo this statement, but I do like it....

"Myths die hard. We need them to overcome the paranoia of the narrow confines of our perceived reality."

Until next time...Be kind to one another as we are no longer sure who is a spy for Santa these days! Gee maybe I should have been nicer to that door to door salesperson that came to the door last week! LOL


From The Big Ape

Friday, December 5, 2008

It Has Been A Tough Week

When one works in the media as I once did I can feel for all the reporters, and desk people who have had to endure this week, and all the news. We all waited with bated breath to see if we were going to be overturned, and run over by a bunch of bully's masked under the cloak of the coalition. The Governor General listened to us as tax payers and voters that made our decision some 7 weeks ago. I guess that is the reason why it is so important to get out and vote. This should be a lesson to all. We need to run with majority governments not minority's like we are limping along with now. Well hopefully this cooling off period, and some smart politicking between now and January 26 will save us from a major kerfuffle. As a reporter some of the assignments that have been generated from this has made the sale in coffee go up 10 fold I am sure.

Some of us that were following the Steinke trial the past 3 or so weeks have seen conclusion to a horrific tragedy. It took 12 peers 11 hours to find this person (I even have trouble calling this person a man) guilty. I am not sure how there could be any other decision, but it is like go to a decision in a prize fight. When it goes to the judges anything can happen. The only down side to this trial verses a prize fight.... in a fight you have the opportunity to TKO the vermin before the end of the match. Why can't we do that with people such as this. Now you might find me a bit twisted, I do feel sorry for this pukes mother. When women have kids they never imagine that their bundles of love are going to go down in history as one of the biggest murders in Alberta and possible one of the top 10 in Canada if not the World. She is going to beat herself up after each breath she takes until the end. That if she would only... things might have been different. Well I can say it is not your fault! In today's society there is enough stop gaps if the person really wanted to get help to change their ways there is help out there! Now on Dec. 15th the media circus will begin in Medicine Hat as that is where the final sentencing will take place. Can't we do the tax payers a favor and just exterminate him? He is going to be 48 before he see's the light of day. Where is he going to be other then at the Gov't Tit looking for support as no one will ever hire him! Not to mention that the world will be alot different then it is now. Lets do the tax payer song I owe, I owe it is off to work I go to support the people that thinks we owe them a living!

Now as a freelance writer I still have ties to the main stream media world. One of the daily papers that I enjoy reading, and occassionaly report dor is Brooks On-Line. They had a very interesting article one day earlier this week. Now as most of you know I was a long term resident of Brooks Alberta. Now as I have said I consider it my home town more or less. I will say it is not the same town I grew up in. I think that we all can say that due to the big boom especially in Western Canada their is not many towns that we grew up in are still the same. Especially towns located along the trans-canada hi-way. Change is not necessarily a bad thing at times though. Now having a fresh set of eyes looking at a situation is sometimes just what we need to get a new prospective on a situation. Recently Brooks did just that. They brought in FICE now that stands for Fresh Impressions Community Exchange. Now these folks come in and look at your town, talk to people, and then write a report based on their observations. Now sometimes things are pointed out that long term residents would not normally see. It is like living with a family memeber, and then if Grandma has not seen you for a long time says oh how you have changed since I last seen you. Well you might not notice because you see yourself every day. Though fresh eyes all sorts of new things can be brought to light. Now you have to be prepared for some constructive critisim. Again in order to grow to a better place you have to know what you need to change to make things better. Now I must admit I found this submission very intersting. If you live in Brooks the talk of the town is two things. 1. The smell of the city 2. Why is the crime rate so high. I would like to add a disclaimer. Crime is present in Brooks, but I will say I think the media has just picked up on it more. I am going to share part of the report with you, because of all the things that the outside group commented on about Brooks having a high crime rate was not one of them. Here is the report:
Much of the FICE (First Impressions
Community Exchange) report has been made public already after it was
reported in the weekly papers and to Brooks
Council on Monday. What the group from
Cochrane noticed when they came to Brooks
didn’t come as a surprise to many who live here.
We can see the short falls ourselves.

What the Cochrane group didn’t bring
up in either the written report or with the one on
one vocal presentation is how we think our crime
is a problem and a concern for outsiders. That
didn’t even show up on their radar.
Listed below are random comments from the FICE
report. The Brooks Economic Development
committee has the detailed report.

  • Industrial looking main drag, similar to that of
16th Aveneue in Calgary.

  • Older homes are nicely kept with big trees in
residential areas.
  • Hanging baskets and banners are very
  • The name says “City”, but it still very small town
in appearance.
  • While there are many signs promoting a range of
things, there will little in the way of consistency.
  • The Brooks sign was almost burred in grass.
  • Coming in from Cassils was a pleasant surprise
with the tree lined road.
  • Stunning tree lined streets in older parts of town.
  • For some on our team, the odour from the
packing plant would be a deterrent to move to
  • Quite a bit of low income housing appeared to be
grouped together.
  • The apartment blocks we noticed were not
terribly attractive.
  • Generally people were happy with the level of
education available and the proximity to the
  • The Global Friendship/Immigrant Centre is a
wonderful service to have available in a
community with so much ethnic diversity.
  • There appeared to be a strong presence of police
and bylaw officers.
  • There were numerous store fronts that were
closed or boarded up.
  • A variety of stores downtown, but really nothing
of a speciality nature that would serve to draw
visitors to downtown. Stores downtown were
  • We found parking to be quite good, especially
with the parking lots.
  • The fact that Brooks has industrial land available
is a big plus these days when so many communities
are struggling.
  • There was signage that promoted Brooks was a
Communities in Bloom community, but the beds
were in poor condition.
  • Items such as drinking fountains and garbage
cans were not really visible.
  • As for tourism, it didn’t appear to be a strong
sector in the community.
  • Found some of the staff to be unsure of the
location of some facilities in town.
  • Brooks presents itself as a fairly clean
community. Low in litter.
  • The entrance sign from the west, the feedlots
(smell) and the very commercial strip gave a
negative first impression

Now all and all I thought it was a good honest report. Now you can walk around with blinders on, and say these points were not fair. I think every comment was very honest, and I hope the powers to be take heed of these comments and do something.

So next time you want a honest unbiased opinion use a total stranger that is willing to give you their opinion, you might be pleasently surprised of the out come.

Well it is weeks end all we can do is hope the next week is better then this one. The year end is coming in quickly. I will talk in the coming days about not getting caught up in the whole idea of the giant commercialism of Christmas.

Until then.....Be kind to your web footed friends as a duck may be somebodies mother...

As Red Green says if women can find you handsome, they better be able to find you handy..Oh No I am really in trouble! I am not handy or hansome...lol

Have a great weekend everyone!

From The Big Ape

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Message Needs To Be Sent!

Well as we settle into our warm homes this evening our Prime Minister takes to the air waves tonight at 5PM MTN time to plead to us as Canadians for the sparing of his political life as he once knew it. Please remind me again whey we just voted 6 weeks ago? This coalition as we hear about in the media, and in our email in-box's is just a bullying tactic. I am not sure what you were taught when it came to bully's, but what I was taught is stand up to these spineless cowards and they will cower and run. Well that is the message I am empowering you as a reader to do... stand up, be heard! A good friend of mine that seems to be pretty savvy on life issues, sent me a few links that I would like to share with you. Before I pass these links on I would like you to ask yourself a few questions: 1. Why did our forefathers fight for our freedoms? Many of us have had fathers, grandfathers, uncles and various other important people in our lives fight for our freedoms FOR WHAT I ask? 2. What message does this send to our future leaders, and members of our country? Now as promised check out this site.
Our Governor General is returning home from a trip abroad to try and sit down and work out a peaceful solution between this band of misfits. I don't know about you, but this reminds me of a blended family that just cannot get along! We need you to send an email to the Governor General:


I will even go one step further to add what you can cut and paste into the email so you don't even have to think about what to write. Now this is not a scam this is the direct email to the Governor General so for this to be taken seriously you need to add your name, city or town where you reside, and phone number. Here is what you can cut and paste into the email:

Madam Governor General. If the Conservative Party is defeated on a non-confidence motion,and the Liberals and NDP approach your office requesting a coalition ,I would implore you to refuse their request.I strongly believe this would be a blueprint for disaster.

So if you believe in protecting our country from a political fire storm I cannot stress enough that your help is needed on this matter. Remember if you are not doing it for yourself do it for your kids and grand kids!

A wise man once told me... Stand for something or fall for everything. Lets stand up to these 3 clowns, and tell them if they wanted to be the Prime Minister they needed to campaign harder!

From The Big Ape

I don't mean to hurry you, but there is some what of a urgency on this matter. Please do it as soon as you can as decisions are going to be made with in the next 48 hours.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going to see you naked anyway.

I ask another question. Why is it that people can consume huge amounts of drugs and alcohol, and that seems to be an excuse for the pickle that they seem to have got themselves in? I watched the noon hour news today, and low and behold two different stories were explained as the reason they committed their life altering mistakes. One can add what ever horrific crime here; triple murder, hitting some one in the head with a pick axe, driving so drunk you mow five people into heaven... you get the picture. Why is it that people cannot take responsibility for there own actions? No one forced you to drink to the point of not knowing your name. Even better not only are breaking the law for possessing the drugs let alone doing them, and using that as an excuse. Case in point a young man that was at a house party about a year ago When a fight breaks out a clean cut kid trying to do what is right steps in to stop what hopefully will be just two young men exercising their hormones and dusting it up a bit. Add the alcohol and what ever recreational drug you want to insert here, and someone ends up dying. Then it becomes the great legal dance of your lawyer against the crown. 12 or 14 months later, and the little puke that took that life is made out to be the saint of your local church. His lawyer paints a picture that he never did drugs before. It was a one time event, and poof just when life was the picture of perfect for the puke in question this one time incident happened, and now his life has come before the courts. Well two things on that statement: 1. If that story is what happened, sorry buck wheat!!! You do the crime, you do the time! Responsibility for ones actions. 2. Call me a nay sayer, but I don't believe that this little saint is as golden that his public appointed lawyer is making him out to be.

Lets fast forward to another court room on the next floor. We are winding down to a the jury actually getting charged to find a verdict for that clown that sits in a Calgary Court room for his fateful actions one April night 2 years ago when he killed three members of a family here in Medicine Hat. Now I found it kind of humorous that our local television station had a computer pol asking if their viewers were following the trial of the Murder? Well DUH! You would have to live under a rock, not watch TV, or listen to a radio, lets add not read a news paper to be immune to this story! Just by breathing you are getting injected with news on this story not to mention next to the Governments follies, it is the most talked about story in local coffee shops, and public space. Now I have got to hand it to the Crown Prosecutor Miss Romona Robins. She did a stellar job! She is a very sharp lawyer. I had the privilege of watching her in action for 3.5 weeks on a trial I was covering on a freelance basis earlier this year. She has a gatling gun style when cross examining her adversary. That tends to give her victim enough rope to hang themselves. She just pokes holes in the words that you have already stated. I think between the Windsor trial earlier this year, and now this trial. She is going to send her career into a rock star status. I kind of got focused on a rant there...sorry, but my point was that Steinke's lawyer made him out to be this poor little abused, depressed, addicted young man that was not sure what he was doing. HELLO people this little puke laughed about what he did! He is not remorseful for what he did. He is remorseful that he got caught! Hopefully the jury has seen that poor me attitude is just a lawyer created role instead of the misfit role that he really is. Well I think enough time has been spent on these two, but remember next time you screw up be responsible for your own actions. If there is one skill that we can teach our kids of today. Do the crime, pay the time. You can't hate the player, you have to hate the game!

Remember opinions are like certain parts of the anatomy, everyone has one. Just some are bigger then others!

From The Big Ape ;-)

Monday, December 1, 2008

This Just In...

Well as the title relates the Info. These stories relate to how up to date that the Pondering Thoughts tries to be.

From the friends over at the Blog Catalog they wanted us as bloggers to remind our reading public about today's special day. Today is National AIDS day. As we know AIDS is a medical condition that is so under published. There is many mis-conceptions about AIDS. Now there is many sites from your local Government sites to various education sites. Here is an education site
that I feel best relays up to date postings. There is many mis-conceptions about how some people can or think they can catch aids:

  • Casual, everyday contact;
  • Shaking hands, hugging, kissing;
  • Coughs, sneezes;
  • Giving blood;
  • Swimming pools, toilet seats;
  • Sharing eating utensils, water fountains; or
  • Mosquitoes, other insects, or animals.
Now it is important that we do know some ways as how you can contract AIDS:
  • Unprotected sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal, oral);
  • Shared needles or equipment for injecting drugs;
  • Unsterilized needles for tattooing, skin piercing or acupuncture;
  • Pregnancy, delivery and breast feeding (from an HIV-infected mother to her infant); and
  • Occupational exposure in health care settings.
Now I do want to make light of the situation, but having the HIV virus is not a death sentence there is a lot of mis-conceptions about the disease. I encourage you to visit the posted site or in Canada maybe our Government site.
Now take a few minutes today and visit an AIDS site and get better informed.

From our friends over at the space weather site they wanted to remind our viewers to look into the south sky this evening. Here is why:

When the sun goes down tonight, step outside and look south. Beaming through the twilight is one of the prettiest things you'll ever see--a tight three-way conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and the crescent Moon. The event is visible from all parts of the world, even from light-polluted cities. People in New York and Hong Kong will see it just as clearly as astronomers watching from remote mountaintops. Only cloudy weather or a midnight sun (sorry Antarctica!) can spoil the show.

The great conjunction offers something extra to Europeans. For more than an hour on Monday evening, the crescent Moon will actually eclipse Venus. Astronomers call such an event a "lunar occultation." Venus emerging from the dark edge of the Moon is a remarkably beautiful sight. Sky watchers across Europe will be able to see this happen.

So I hope you have clear skies, and the time to go out and take a peek tonight.

So consider yourself up to date. ;-)

From the Big Ape