Favourite Books

  • The Green Mile
  • Animal Farm
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Lord of the Rings
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The King Eddy

I have decided to write about someplace famous. Actually, it is famous to only a select few, those who resided in the very tiny town I grew up in. No, it is not a museum, nor an art gallery, or a monument, hummm...perhaps that is wrong, it may ,in fact, be a monument. It was, the local hotel and restaurant.
  I wish I was technological enough to figure out how to post pictures, as this hotel has an amazing history.
  The town I grew up in, was really born because of mining. I hear about folks heading off to Barkerville, and all the stories they tell of the historic buildings, and the "actors" that play in this town. Well, perhaps those same people who do not understand why I am always bragging about the place I grew up in, can get an insight now. I grew up in a place that was a functioning Barkerville. The buildings all had false fronts on them, the roads were gravel, the sidewalks were wooden. We had the Drugstore, with the "sundae fountain bar", we had the General store with the wooden floors, and the horse snow shoes on the wall. We had the local Grocery store with the boy who would haul the ladies paper bags full of groceries home in his wagon. We had a restaurant called "Bonus Nick's" and a Ladies Clothing store called "Marie's". We had the old "Marmot" an enormous wooden building, with a "porch" that ran the length of it. The old "Empress" was always empty when I was growing up, but in the past, it had been a sight to see, with a fancy Ballroom.
   By far, the most interesting place, to me, was the King Eddy. The real name was the King Edward Hotel. Oh, it was massive, centered right in the middle of town, with a restaurant attached. It had a porch as well that ran the front of it, with hitching posts. In one window, there was a barber chair set up, and one of the local women would cut men's hair, so if you were lucky, you would catch a glimpse of this excitement.  It was two stories, with a bar that had a Mens and Ladies entrance. I am sad to say, I never set foot in this Bar, but I bet it was filled with stories of Miners and Painted ladies, who had arrived in this tiny town, hoping to make their fortunes.
  The hotel was used to tell everyone where to meet. All the events of the small town were "Down by the King Eddy". Santa Claus used to arrive in advance, in a helicopter on the street in front of the King Eddy. The July 1st Queen always drove down the road, past the King Eddy. As Kids we would be able to walk as far as the King Eddy, but not in front, because kids just didn't hang out uptown.
   Now, keep in mind, all grownups in my childhood, were Mr. or Mrs. something. I am from the old school, when you were almost frightened of adults, if you goofed up, they might just speak to your parents, and then you would get a spanking, for being rude. It was simply safer to just cross the road when you came upon a grownup, and we did this. Gosh, as a child I longed for the day when I would be the grownup, and children would scatter, in respect to me. Hah! That never happened, somehow all that respect went out the door with my generation.But, perhaps the reason we did not go past the side of the hotel , was that you were certain to run into a Mr. or Mrs. out front.
  When Mr. McLeod senior passed away, his son took over the King Eddy. He built onto the original building, and added more rooms. I remember this section lasted for a short time,then, suddenly one night, the King Edward hotel burned to the ground. Oh, we had many buildings burn, most of the false fronted original buildings in town were destroyed over a few years, and sadly, the Barkerville look to the town changed.
  The new King Edward was finished the year I turned 15. It was lovely, all brand spanking new, and so modern. I saw a notice that the hotel was looking for a weekend front desk clerk. For some reason this just seemed like a dream job to me. But, I was 15, people didn't hire kids under 16, right? I clearly remember my mother telling me to sit down, and write the owner, and let him know how much I wanted this job, and that I would be willing to go in, and learn for free, if he would give me a chance.
  This wonderful man gave me my very first job, and paid me right from the start. He was the best boss anyone could ask for.(I have mentioned this in the past) I met an amazing group of people throughout my years at the front desk of this hotel, but perhaps, only one held a candle to my boss, and that was his good friend Adam O.K. who would run the hotel when the boss was away.
  The King Eddy was the place every teenager worked. It was the place we would hang out after school, eating fries and gravy. It was the place the friend who was waitressing would "steal" saltshakers from, so we could go hide out at the park and play 21 for shots of tequila. It was the place when we turned 19, we would get plastered and make fools of ourselves. It was the place we would drink until last call, and find someone willing to drive us over the border to Alaska (15 minutes away) so we could continue drinking until 5-6 in the morning.
  To this day, each and every person I connect with from my past, has some memory of the King Eddy. Most of those stories will never be written,and some are likely best forgotten. It was a place to go with old friends, and a place many of us made new friends.The moment you walked in the door, it was like putting on a pair of favourite slippers, just cozy, and welcome. You knew everyone who worked there by name, and everyone sitting at the other tables. You just belonged.
  Sadly, times have changed, tourism is the main goal of almost every place in the world. To make things appeal to visitors there must be some sort of rule book. Little towns all appear cookie cutter, flowers, parks, boardwalks, and signs, signs, signs. I return to the old hometown, and no longer get that feeling of comfort, and belonging. It has become clear, a town is not home because of the buildings, a town is built on the people who reside within them. Those people who made the hotel seem like the hub of my world for so very many years, have since passed away. They took something very special with them, and the world is a much sadder place without this. The warmth and compassion, and sense of community, has been lost.
   If only we had taken lessons.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Paying Taxes to be Taxed

Holy Cow!! I have written so many times, and just deleted, again, and again. Once again, I have far too much crapola flittering about in my head, I can't focus on any one thing. I have been so mad, then so tired, then so defeated. Just can't seem to get my S*it together.
   That in itself, is not unusual, think total disorganization is one of my set standards. I dream of awaking each morning with my day planned, every little detail listed in line, ready to be checked off, as completed. Hah! Each night when I lay down, ready to drift off into dreamland, I start to think (yes, it is possible for me) all the loose ends start to collect, how am I going to deal with them? What has to be put at the top of the To-do list, what can wait until later? What is going to cause me the most grief, if I don't get it over and done with? That's when the problem arises. There are just far too many of those grief causing problems, and I begin to get swamped, thinking how am I ever going to get to them all. Oh, keep in mind, this is all over and above actually accomplishing my work day.
  So...then it is a matter of deciding, which unsolved issue is not government related. Yep, got to deal with anything, and everything connected to government.
   I know, now you just assume I am speaking of bills. Well, yes, of course I am!! The root of all evil is money. The cause of most sleep depriving problems, are geared around money. Bills can make or break a person. They can cause stomach ulcers, headaches, and sundry other medical problems. But, the worst type of bill is one owed to the government.
  I can breath a sigh of relief, I am up to date with my damn income taxes. Lordie, each pay day, I see the whack of money they take, so I can enjoy the finer things in life????I pay taxes on everything, some things, I pay various taxes on. I pay a tax on food, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, my property, my water, my sewage, my clothing, my electricity and heat. Then I pay tax on my wages. Why on earth do I have to pay money to make money? That is about as stupid as paying to receive a paper bill.
  In my special little province, we also have this new bully. That is the Medical Services Plan of British Columbia. Wow, this has become a real scam. We are so very lucky to have such an amazing medical service. This system is overrun by contractors. Our province has opened up the door and brought in a collections service for any and all citizens, who have somehow fallen behind with their premiums. These premiums run about $64, for those lucky enough to work for a living. That is when the trouble starts. If you do NOT pay these people, they will begin to harass you. They will threaten you, they will call night after night, then they will simply do what, as government related folks can, t garnishee your wages. You will not speak to the actual Medical Service folks, oh no, these people are paid by our tax dollars, as an outside collections agency, to ensure the government gets your money. Hummm...O.K. question here is, if the government is paying a collection Agency to collect the actual amount you owe them, where does the money the collection agency profits come from? Yep, you guessed it, something else our tax dollars are used for.
  One issue I have seen happen time and time again, is this new extended Health care benefit scam. I call it a scam, because when Old Tommy Douglas first brought out the idea of a country where every Canadian had Health care, I am absolutely sure he did not envision what has transpired. Back in the "old days" folks often found a job that paid the medical premiums. That is how I first ran into issues with MSP. We came to a new place of employment. I noticed that medical was included, and as a total idiot, I assumed this simply meant, the employer did as before, and paid what the government wanted. Hah!! This was simply the luxury package plan. My honey paid a pretty hefty chunk to allow us the options, not included in MSP. You know, like that possible ambulance trip, or maybe crutches, or casts, things no longer covered by the standard medical.
  I learned this the hard way, after years, I got a call from MSP informing me that I owed them a ton of money. I had not signed any papers, didn't have a clue, and was left with no leg to stand on, had to find some way of paying these blood suckers off. Hey, I had never been to the Doctor..sorry..mandatory I pay for the ability for pi$$ poor medical services. I pay the same as Joe Blow in Vancouver, but I get no frills. No Doctor on weekends, no Doctor at night, no Doctor on specific days. No emergency, no surgeon, no new fangled machines, no Cancer Clinic..NO,NO,NO!! Oh, a bus that will haul my sorry hurting A$$ the 12 hours or more to Vancouver, where I can access something, after I wait on that long list.
  I didn't pay that big bill fast enough, years back. I will honestly inform you, that one day, I went to work, to be called into the employers office, where I was told. my beloved MSP Collections Agency had garnisheed my wages. I paid on this for many months, 1/3 of my wage going to this mandatory bill. I kept track, and they continued to withdraw their chunk, long after it was paid off. I called, and was informed that if I had not been behind, I would not be in this mess. They would get to refunding me when the time came!!Yep, a collections agency, with the power of government!!
  When I see the glimmer of Health Care over in my neighbours yard, I wonder,do they have a clue. Should I be grateful that I am able to dish out $64 a month, for substandard services? When over in another province, folks never worry about the monthly bill, because their provincial government has found some way to include this once a year in their income tax? Should I be grateful that if I break my back, I will have to find some way to purchase a back brace before I can be allowed to leave the hospital?
  I think I will try and find out what health care provided when this all started. I bet like everything else the government has been left in charge of, it has been chipped away so badly, it resembles nothing like the past. Things now costs so much more, for so little. Red Tape is wound so tightly about everything , that costs have soared, because there are so many taking their little piece of profit. In the end, we are simply paying taxes to allow ourselves to be taxed. Incredible!!!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Mouth Piece

 What would I think of me, if I was someone else? Do I really think of my self as a mouth piece? Why am I so blatant? Does anyone else, not feel the need to have questions answered, or reasons given for things that are done? Am I the only one who spews their personal take on things? If something seems wrong to me, is it not right to state this? I want everything to make sense to me, and I am not sure why this would make me loud and obnoxious, as I am sure some feel. I am often told to keep my voice down...Helllooo...if I feel that I am being ignored with my questions, or that reasons given for certain things are, in my mind, ludicrous, and I am expected to accept, I can't stop. Perhaps I get louder, because I get irritated. I hate having to quietly accept that which is not acceptable to me. I suppose, in truth, I refuse to accept. Most of the time, I understand that no matter how long, and how loud I get, things will not change, but..maybe if I can manage to find a group of folks, like myself (what a horror scene that would be) and together we refuse to accept, things may change.
  Oh, don't get me wrong. I know my personal opinion is not always right, but...I am going to blurt this out, most of the time, it IS!!!There are times when, maybe, I might change my opinion, if someone would take the time and have the patience to convince me my way is wrong. There hasn't been anyone step up to that plate, yet.
  Many times, I have had to walk away, knowing that what I think would be best, is not popular, and therefore, not going to happen. Maybe if I was able to organize, and write down my thoughts, in order, I might get farther in convincing others. My problem is, I tend to feel so strongly, that I ramble(shock). Cripes, even years back when my honey and I would have blasting verbal fights, I would go off on tangents, and, after rambling for hours, finish, only to clue in, I never got to the point. Oh, plus, he would never, ever, join in these verbal clashes, so I would be the only voice screeching away.
  I find that when I start on some subject, I see eyes rolling, and those I am attempting to get answers from, will attempt to mollify me, in a condoning way. Folks, do not talk to me like a child!! I may appear to be loud and stubborn, and I guess that is all true, but I am NOT an idiot. I know the way things are suppose to be done, and I get mad if those in power, do things against the rules. I refuse to accept a reason to break the rules. I have had to follow rules for the past 56 years, many of them, I wished I could break, but, my generation had things written in stone (like our wheels) and, actually the rules kept things running in a straight line.
  Now I find, when I am getting old and feeble, the rules are being broke all the time. I am a mass of confusion trying to figure out when the rules of life were changed. I am not talking about rules of marriage , or fashion, or heaven forbid, even religion, I am speaking of honesty and truth. I HATE liars, and I hate people who twist facts, and skip rules they don't like, just to get the end result they wish for. I hate it when things that are wrong, are ignored. I can't ignore them, and often I feel all alone, because my voice is the only one I hear speaking out loud. Then I begin to think, maybe I am wrong, maybe my personal take on things is off, but no one is answering, and I am still screaming.
  The only way to silence this mouth piece,is simple, just answer my questions and my concerns. If I am wrong, the answers should be right there. Because I am not getting any answers, I must accept that, once again, my personal opinion on things must be the correct ones! Therefore, I am absolutely positive, me, myself, and I would definitely like ourselves!!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Said Hummm...

I understand, most folks will not understand the title. Those who had the privilege of growing up with me, will. We used to have this poem we said,it went something like.."Tied on the railway tracks,said Humm.. train coming..said Humm...Train ran over me...said Hummm." In my mind, this was basically something that would be said when crazy stuff happened, that a person had no control over, you just had to wait till the train ran you over, and hoped that you survived.
  Today, that poem kept going through my head. I feel like my buddy and I are simply tied to the railway tracks.
   Years ago, because we had worked at our jobs longer than those who would flitter in and out, our wages were a few dollars more than the average worker. Now those dollars were hard earned, we both started at minimum wage back in the day, and I think we can honestly say, we have worked for each and every raise we have received. I admit, we do make a decent wage, the job is hard, and in truth, worth every penny we make. I can go home after a days work, and feel that I have given my employer their monies worth of my labour.
  O.K. perhaps there have been a few days, and, really, only a few, that I may have "made puppies" for a couple of hours, but, those have been very seldom in the past 2 years. I admit, I enjoy having the "puppy" time, it is unusual, and such a pleasure to not feel strapped for time, to get everything done. But, to be totally honest, I feel guilty when this happens, I do not expect to receive money for nothing (unlike Dire Straits).  I have taught myself to begin my days attempting to complete as much as possible before lunch break, just in case the unexpected occurs, and things are added to my To-Do list. Sometimes I will finish early, but most times, there is always something extra I could do if I wanted to finish at the regular time.
  Times have changed, we now have a few others who have been with us longer than a couple of months. Before the raises, I could understand(sometimes) why everyone did not feel the urge to commit as much effort as my partner and I , since we did in fact make more in wages. I wondered if the others realized how long it took the two of us to get to our rate of pay, how many years we worked making far less than they did, doing far more. We were the pioneers, learning what was expected, getting in trouble for mistakes, learning the easiest way to do jobs, in the quickest way. Ensuring that we did not constantly get complaints for jobs not done properly, working sometimes 9 hours a day, 11-13 days in a row. This is NOT done by anyone now. There is no need, but there is still the need to do our share. Yes, we used to have the unspoken rule, when one of us finished our work load, we would check to see if another needed help, because they got a sudden bad strip, or had an abundance of weeklies. This was done, because we had all got stuck overworking, we understood how tired another would be, and we had to be considerate of our co-workers, because we knew, the next day, it might be ourselves that needed their help.
  Fair is fair, right? Now we are all in line with our wages. With the raise in pay, comes the expectation to give the employer what they are paying for. Do I feel I have to accept more work on my plate for the raise I received? No!!! No, I don't!!! I feel what I have been given in in line with the performance I have given for the past years, without the extra money. I will continue to work at the same pace, because I know I am giving all I have (90% of the time).
  The problem now is, what about the rest of the employees? Do my partner and I have to continue working at the same pace we do, and end up, once again, as the idiots, working our butts off ensuring all the work gets done, tip toeing about without ruffling any feathers?
  I have decided that once again, I will bring up the word "Consideration". I complained in the past about the lack of this from my employer, and that, bad as it can be, is nothing like feeling this lack from co-workers. We need to consider those who work beside us. We all have lives outside of work, we all have good days and bad days, but, without each other, the job would be impossible. We are friends in respect that we actually like each other, and we are the only ones who truly understand what our jobs consist of. I know what it is like to have sudden surprises in a work day, and I want to be able to offer my co-workers assistance on a bad day. But, I don't want to continually do my share, and then have to step in and help complete that of a co-worker because they did not make proper use of their time. I am tired of taking a large clump, to ensure another gets something that is small enough that they can waste time each and every day. I want some puppy making time once in awhile, too. We are a close group, we understand everyone can have a bad day, and we accept that, and it is a simple thing to support a co-worker when these days happen. But..we also expect something in return. If each of us can return the support, and if all of us can count on the other, the disappointment and hurt, will not dissolve into anger and resentment.
  I can't believe I am going to write this, but...I am far too old, and far too tired to waste anymore energy on being mad at someone. Oh, don't worry, I will continue to blog my guts out, but, I like to stay on my fine wire...and I am afraid I am getting a little wobbly right now.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Chocolate Pudding

Well, let's start by saying...I am wealthier than I was last pay day. Yep...it finally happened, after years of doing without, many of us got a raise. Now, I expect I am not suppose to speak of this, why is that? I have gotten raises before, and always with the same comment..." don't say anything to the others". Helloooo...I would think that handing someone a raise, is something others should know. It would give them hope that perhaps in time, they could make the same wage as I do. Hey, my workplace isn't abnormal, I remember the secrecy in my honey's work place. Wages are now kept under wraps. So....I am going against the grain, and stating I am so relieved that at long last, I got something that will help with the increase of the cost of living. Cripes, heading into winter, certainly need a little extra cash to spend on utilities.
  So, onto the title subject. Now, I have mentioned before that my buddy is always calling me a detective. My job is so menial that my tiny little brain has come up with the ability to over think stupid stuff. I have to figure out reasons for things that occur in Bizarro world. Hey, I am at an age where apparently this is good, I could simply buy myself a crossword book, or Suduko and get the neurons or whatever they are, flashing away to ward off memory loss, instead, I spend hours scrubbing away, detecting whys or whats that happen at work.
  You may have read my blog about Med Forman..in which I state, and it is fact, that this stuff causes dinahrena (inside joke) and as toilet scrubbers we have seen the results many times of this medication. Those folks who have to take this, do so to help with an illness, so in truth, they do not do this simply to make our jobs more difficult, and, I suppose, I could try and be a little more understanding, as I scrub the glue poo.
  However!!!! That crapola that comes in the ginormous plastic black containers, that all the young guys haul into their rooms, filled with powder that claims it is going to help them build muscles or whatever, should be banned! First off, when a young guy wakes up at an ungodly hour to get ready for work, and attempts to take the required amount of this powder out of the container, it tends to spill everywhere. Crap, it is like coffee whitener. I admit, some of these guys are pretty buff, but I doubt the powder is the reason, perhaps weight lifting, or a labour intensive job?
  The past few days, we have had a young guy in one of the outlying rooms, Every single day, we have had to scrub his toilet. The stuff is all over the sides, hellooooo..how the heck does someone poop so much, it sticks to the sides of the bowl daily? Well, mystery solved. My buddy happened to get the job of going in there the other day, and found the bowl full of chocolate pudding. It was like he ate a whole cake, and it came out in the bowl. I am not sure if it was a good thing he forgot to flush, I do know she doesn't think it was good, but it did answer the question I had as to why I had to always scrub the sides,lol. Heehee, this grossed her out, and it does take a fair bit to make that one gag. But, as my neurons flashed, I detected it was a result of that damn black container. I think it is full of laxatives, guys are not building muscles, they are simply flushing out anything they eat!
   I think instead of this horrid powder garbage, they should eat cashews. Why, you ask? Well, I know when I eat those tasty morsels, I also flush my system out. They taste really good, likely far better than powder, and the end result is the same. Plus, the hardworking housekeepers could have one or two of these nuts, after they work up a sweat scrubbing the pudding off the toilet walls.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

She feels sooo Dirty

Now, I have my suspicions of why my buddy gets herself into uncomfortable positions, more than any of the rest of us. She is the one I mentioned will ignore a Do NOT Disturb, if it is left on a door too long. She is also the one who will start off early in the morning, on a day when we semi- know that guys have the day off, knocking and opening doors. She is the one who will whip a door open and trudge upstairs in the large out lying units, checking closed doors. Therefore, she is also the one who has seen more buck naked bodies, caught more folks sitting on the throne,and actually caught folks in the midst of romance. She has no fear of opening a door. Myself, I knock, I listen, I knock, and then I creak the door open very slowly. Yes, I have caught a glimpse of legs and the occasional bum, but, nothing like my buddy.
   I have mentioned the crackerjack prize before. This is the one who plopped herself outside on a chair, allowing me to enter and clean up her room. She has been camped out in her little cave of a room forever. We HATE her!!! She has rearranged her tiny hole (pardon the pun) so she can lay in her bed, facing the TV. This room does not have a kitchen, so she has been living without a sink for months. The dishes are dumped into the bath tub, and cooking is done in a frying pan. The room is a dust ball. When we do get in, we have to skim a coating off everything. The toilet is a mess, the sink is disgusting, coated in makeup, and hair. I suppose when your only job is to be at the beck and call of your "man" you have plenty of time to coat yourself in makeup, to cover a body that apparently does not bathe. Really...one day, we used a full bottle of febreeze to cover the BO long enough to clean. Hummm...you would think she would at least shave her legs, and clean and polish her assets, if she is simply there for"romance", not this chickie, she is gross!!
  So, my beloved friend sets off to clean the room next to these lovebirds. Oh lordie, she enters the adjoining room just as they are in the middle of nookie. Yuck, puke, and gag...the walls are paper thin, and every single sound stings her ear drums. Yeeew..the whole problem is, we have cleaned after her, we have seen them, the imagination is not needed for the visual that goes along with the sounds. Hey, again, not a prude, I imagine cooped up in that shabby room, there is little more to do besides TV, totally understandable, but....because we HATE her, and because she is filth, and because my buddy hears "Did THAT feel good" it was just too much. We feel so sorry for the poor fellow that has been staying in the next room, he must hear this many nights, as he lays in his tiny single bed, next to the cardboard wall. I told my friend, it was a good thing I wasn't with her, as I would have simply answered the feel good question with a snide comment. She held back the vomit, and left the building, feeling dirty.
  I am aware that these folks are adults, and sex is natural and enjoyable, however, now we have to enter the rooms on either side, with a fear that they will be breeding yet again. I suppose we can begin carrying around ear plugs, but the damage is done. Like someone I know used to say, we will all have to kill a puppy just to get this horrid picture out of our minds.
  If she had been spending her time, cleaning up her stink, making things nice for her man to come home to, having the dishes cleaned and out of the bath tub, even if she had a ring around the tub from bathing, it would not have been so horrifying to have the sound effects. I have a difficult time walking into the nasty, smelly hovel, gloving up and making that bed, my imagination just goes into overdrive. I do NOT ever, ever want to know what it was he asking "felt good", I think he may very well have had a hot wash cloth, and soap, and was cleaning her from top to bottom...Hey...that's what I want to imagine, and so that IS what was happening!!!