Ed’s Weekly Rant – Indian Givers

783b762a999e06ac8e604611fb441870I’m sure this topic will spur some interest and have readers thinking I’m native bashing, but sometimes I have to wonder, where will it all stop? You don’t need a history lesson to appreciate all that’s gone on in North America when it comes to native or immigrant occupation of the lands we all call home.

I guess what ticks me off the most is how many gazillions of dollars we give back to our aboriginals in order to ‘buy them off’ and keep them quiet after we’ve raped, pillaged and plundered ‘their’ land. After all, ‘they’ say it was ‘their’ land. Who are ‘they’ and are we to rely on who owned what when various tribes couldn’t decide that and fought each other to claim title.

Did the Spanish, Portuguese, Italians, or French pay anyone back after they crossed the Atlantic Ocean and claimed the new world for themselves? So why are we, their descendants, paying the price now? And when, exactly, will it all be paid for? Just curious. And why is Canada always paying and the U.S. only says, ‘Sorry, our thoughts and prayers are with you.’

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Four – A Paranormal Thriller by Edmond Gagnon

Here’s my latest novel, coming soon…

Front Cover

While sitting around a campfire at their cottage in Northern Michigan, Kevin Jordan and his son, Timothy, witness strange happenings in the starry sky.

Timothy is introduced to friends of his father; three men, each from a different corner of the world. Throughout the night he learns how unexplained events in their lives brought them all together.

The Young man is skeptical of their fantastic stories and unique adventures. But when extraordinary things begin to happen on his own familiar shoreline, he must reconsider his thinking.

Four is a paranormal thriller that will have you questioning your own beliefs.

Ed’s Weekly Rant – Litter

wZ4_pH6zwyHfP2icTUVb4LXXYEwRt0KNUer-bsCWFLgCathryn came home all worked up today about the piles of litter around the east end Walmart store in Windsor. She noted garbage in the parking lot, as well as around the front of the store and in the shopping cart storage area. Going there to buy groceries, she was put off by the uncleanliness of the property as a whole.

I can relate and have seen all kinds of paper and plastic bags strewn across empty fields and neighboring lots and properties. Cathryn chose to complain to someone in the store on this occasion, since they obviously don’t care about the appearance of their store outside. Are employees and managers blind to this when they come and go from work?

Litter has always been a pet peeve of mine – and not this latest crusade to ban plastic to keep it from our oceans. When I was a beat cop I went out of my way to stop pedestrians or pull over cars if I witnessed them littering. Do people think their fast food containers or bags are going to disappear when tossed out the window? It’s just laziness and ignorance.

My newest beef is with cigarette smokers who toss their butts at traffic lights. The city has gone to the expense of laying artificial grass on medians to make the appearance of our roads more palatable, but now they’re an ashtray for drivers who don’t know what to do with or don’t care about where they put their buts.

I make no apologies to any of my friends who are smokers. Maybe you should try swallowing that butt. Disgusting right? That is how I feel when I stop at a traffic light and look out my car window.

Ed’s Weekly Rant- Navigation – Paper Map or Electronic Device

a user is setting the gps on his carCall me old and stupid because I’m a map guy, but has anyone else every put their trust in a GPS while driving and ended up in a parking lot or dead end street? Maybe I wasn’t listening and should pick a better voice, one that says, “turn now you big dummy.” I’m sorry, but these devices are not foolproof and I know I’m not the only person who’s been led astray by one.

My first experience of trusting a GPS was on a boys bike trip where I was the old map guy and the three younger dudes all had fancy electronic gadgets that were supposed to take us to our cabin in the Smokey Mountains. When my buddy’s GPS said we’d arrived at our location I laughed out loud. There wasn’t a cabin, house, mailbox, or anything inhabitable in sight.

Cathryn and I relied on our GPS, a road atlas, and a guidebook on our recent cross-country trip on Route 66. Although not perfect, the book was the most reliable resource. I’m ranting on this topic because of Cathryn’s niece who recently told us paper maps are completely useless. This is from a Millennial who relies on Google to find the nearest shopping mall in the city.

Navigation systems are now built right into our vehicles and are supposed to be safer and more convenient – no more distracted driving or wire plugs hanging from your rear view mirror. But what about those fancy displays that tell you everything except what you ate for lunch?

The display on my dash likes to change when it feels like it and I constantly have to take my eyes off the road to get the proper screen back up. Same with the read-out for my odometer and speedometer, fluid levels and tire pressures that change with the weather.

My favorite is when my display goes black with a message that’s it’s unsafe to take your eyes off the road while driving. And how does one clear such a message? By taking their eyes off the road to select the appropriate button. It must have made perfect sense to the idiot engineer who designed it.

Ed’s Weekly Rant -Turning Wrong

GREEN+ARROWI know it’s not just me who has to look ahead and both ways before entering an intersection on a green light. Since when does green mean wait for everyone else who’s blowing the red before you go? And wasn’t it yellow lights that used to mean hurry up and go?

My wife complains to me almost daily about how many people who turn after the green and yellow arrows and then the red light. Is there a contest I don’t know about where ignorant drivers get a prize for being third or fourth or even the fifth car to blow through the intersection instead of stopping like they are supposed to.

Personally, I lay on my horn and barrel towards the blatant offenders, trying to scare the shit out of them or at least wake them up. One would expect to have the bird flipped in their direction for such behavior but most drivers continue through the intersection as if I’m not there and about to broadside them.

I wonder why the police don’t sit at these intersections instead of picking off dangerous speeders going 15km’s over the limit-it would be like shooting cars in a junk yard. Is blowing red lights not more dangerous than breaking the speed limit on an open road? Would camera’s at intersections make a difference? Is there a better solution?

Maybe it’s just Windsor drivers. I’ve driven in many other cities and some countries and haven’t seen it this bad at controlled intersection. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen safer intersections in some countries where there are no signs or lights at major intersections. We obviously couldn’t handle such responsibility here.

Ed’s Weekly Rant – Computer Woes

photo-1517430816045-df4b7de11d1dWe have the technology. Too bad it’s always way ahead of us in what we can understand or comprehend. Thank God for kids who live on electronic devices and computer nerds like the Geek Squad.

I mentioned in my previous rant about electronics how guys like Bill Gates stay rich by making your gadgets obsolete and disposable. Take our desktop PC for example. It was my fourth or fifth computer, which was bigger and better and faster than all the previous machines put together, but those hidden update fairies jammed it with so much magic dust it was almost as slow as my first dial-up.

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Ed’s Weekly Rant – T.V. Commercials

downloadThere’s something I just have to know. Has anyone ever bought any product or service because they saw it advertised on television? If so, I have to wonder how many millions of dollars are spent on those products that we couldn’t care less about.

But how do we ignore commercials? They are everywhere and competing broadcasters sync them with each other so when you channel surf to avoid commercials on one station you only have to watch them on another. And sometimes it’s the same ones!  This is why some of us love recording shows and others binge on Netflix.

What really pisses me off now is how the station has their logo permanently emblazoned at bottom of your screen. What’s even worse is they know you’re going to hit the bathroom at a commercial break so they’ve taken their sales pitch a step further and now advertise across the bottom of the screen during your favorite show.

And those pop-ups seem to be getting bigger all the time. My guess is next we’ll be watching a split screen like we do on the internet, with our show on the left and a shit load of advertisements on the right. It’s bad enough they now listen and look in on everything we do electronically so they can suggest the right ads for us.

Just mention the word pee around one of your devices and you’ll be bombarded with ads for bladder control pills and diapers. Where will it all end? Why can’t we just google it if we’re looking to buy something.

And on a closing note, I just love how pharmaceutical companies have a list of side effects for their products that outweighs any health benefits. I’m truly afraid of what comes next.

Ed’s Weekly Rant – Shopping Cart Etiquette

oI know it’s not just me, because my wife comes home from shopping and bitches about stupid people and their shopping carts. Let me vent and share my experience at Zehrs yesterday, while picking up a few groceries.

Considering myself a prudent shopping cart driver, I stay to the right in isle-ways, seldom tailgate unless someone suddenly stops in front of me, and I never abandon my buggy in the middle of an isle. The later ticks me off and is what happened yesterday.

Me and another guy were approaching each other in our proper lanes, doing the appropriate speed limit when a woman in front of us dumped her cart right smack in the middle of our isle. Her gaze fixed on the prices of canned brain matter, she was concerned about nothing and no one else.

The other dude and I exchanged looks – rolling our eyes and shaking our heads. He decided to park and wait for the woman to clear the road. I handled the matter a bit differently. My ‘excuse me’ fell on deaf ears so I gently nudged and sideswiped her cart so I could get by. That caught her attention and a dirty look was thrown my way. I pushed my way by and the other guy smiled from ear to ear.

A couple weeks ago at another store a woman with a full shopping cart of groceries cut in front of me in the express lane that was for 10 items or less. She had the audacity to ask the cashier if she could go through that lane. Maybe she couldn’t count or read.

Then there’s those lazy bastards who abandoned their buggies right beside or near their cars because the cart station is another twenty feet away. And I always love seeing project people pushing a $200 or $300 shopping cart down the road and all the way home, only to leave it there and bring another one home on their next trip.

Perhaps the government should get together with grocery stores and offer driving lessons for the proper operation of shopping carts. They’re complicated devices and should at least have driving and parking instructions posted on them.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

HollywoodI think Cathryn and I may have felt this way about the last Quentin Tarantino movie we went to see; it sucked and was one of the worst movies we’ve ever seen. The best part of the movie was the soundtrack – lots of great songs from the 60’s and 70’s. Those responsible for set locations and wardrobe did a great job in reviving memorabilia and the fashion of the time.

To be fair we enjoyed some of the acting and the interaction between Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. Small parts or cameos by other big names weren’t enough to make this movie enjoyable. It started out slow and continued to painfully drag along right up until the explosive ending that was completely different than the real life events it mimicked.

Two other people in the audience left about half way through the yawner and we both considered following suit. I almost nodded off twice. Cathryn finally bailed about fifteen minutes before the ending which I thought was completely ridiculous. The whole movie was too long and drawn out.

In considering the little things we liked about the movie we’re each generously giving this flick a 2 out of 10.

Ed’s Weekly Rant -Disposable Electronics

DocumentI’m not one to complain about the amazing advancements in technology that I’ve witnessed in my short lifetime, but at what monetary cost are these wondrous inventions delivered to us? I know I’m not the only baby boomer who’s noticed how disposable our electronic devices and gadgets have become.

Let me start with my personal computer. I’ve recently switched carriers, going for newer and more advanced fiber optic service that promises faster internet speeds than their old style cable competitors. My installation went smoothly but the service technician found my computer was running slow. A speed check on the new line confirmed it was my hardware.

My computer is about 5 or 6 years old (had to replace the previous one cause it was slow) and I added RAM about a year ago to speed things up. Slow response times on the internet was one of the reasons for switching companies. So why, I asked my friendly installer, is my computer continually getting slower. Updates, was his first response – think about your cell phone he said.

I’d already learned long ago not to add all the suggested updates to my phone because it becomes completely locked up and you have to get a new phone. If you think that big companies like Microsoft would never do something like that on purpose, you’d better think again. They need to sell new products to make money so it’s only good business sense to make your devices obsolete because they know you’ll buy new ones.

Just in the last couple years we’ve had to buy new computer components and  replace audio equipment because the old stuff wasn’t compatible to our new smart TV. If it’s so smart why couldn’t if communicate with our other electronics? We had to toss our Blackberry because they’d no longer service it and the Kobo because they don’t make parts for it – so much for buying Canadian.

We also have an old wifi router sitting in the basement, along with an old stereo and DVD player…who uses those anymore? We just stream everything now and ignore the hundreds of DVD’s that I wasted money on. The good news is that I made some good cash selling a bunch of movies to a pawn shop. The bad news is that now I have to buy a new computer so we can enjoy all of our other helpful gadgets that we’ve come to depend on.