Category Archives: Joke

Ramble: Waterloo Region Record: Failure to Deliver the News.

Hello Circulation:

I just received my renewal notice and I am writing to inform you I will not be renewing my subscription. I had hoped to receive the paper before I left for work 8 AM weekdays and 9am Saturdays. Which I think wasn’t a very high expectation on my part. Yet it was an expectation that was never met. Instead I would come home to find my paper tossed under my bushes or in the puddle when it was raining. While the hunt for the papers was somewhat exhilarating, that small delight was negated by the waterlogged papers.
On my vacations I did catch sight of my local delivery person carelessly tossing the paper out the window of their truck as they sped by my driveway and on to the next driveway. They paid no attention to where the paper ended up (under my car on that occasion).
I did complain about the failure to deliver in a timely fashion and nothing was ever done to improve the delivery. So I went from weekly delivery to weekend only. Oddly enough I continued to receive a weekly paper for an extended period after changing my service. A small ray of sunshine.
Suffice to say I am less than impressed. I have regaled my neighbours and co-workers with my stories of the poor service. I realize you do have to work with whomever is available to deliver – however in this case your employee has failed to perform. And that in the end reflects poorly on your organization.
I had subscribed as my small contribution toward keeping The Record a viable local news source. I now am surrendered to the fact that The Waterloo Region Record doesn’t care if it delivers.
Stephen M.

Ramble: Just Saying

There are words inside me. And no one to hear them. They float on the tip of my tongue in swirling poetic tones. Waiting for the moment to arrive and launch their crisp sonorous meters into the air. I stay silent because I do not dare to break the silence when none are near to hear or care.

The ticking clock winds down past the hour into the next and then around again, clicking into the sunset crawling across the eastern walls of my living room. Gone gone gone much to soon is the charm of my youthful truth spilling out from my pain into the wounded evening light bleeding from behind the clouds.

And there it is then. The finality of the moment breaching the infinity of our progress into some other tomorrow we never imagined happening. It is always just there. Out of sight and out of mind. Lurking between here and the garden gate.

And so now I sleep. Deeply. Forlornly. Avoiding my fate. Avoiding the light. Avoiding the dawn that will rattle me awake,

Ramble: Sleeping Muses; Silent Voices

Some days are better than other days. And some days are more bitter.

Here I drift within the doldrums of darkness. I am creatively unsparked. Where my writer’s heart should be playful beating out a cadence for each line – there is only the flat-lined hum of cardiac failure. Does anyone even read this blog anymore? Why would they? There is nothing new here. No new words and thoughtful inspirations. Just the ongoing recycling of hunger unfulfilled.

I need a new shtick.  A new gimmick for a new audience. I could write about food and beverage. Indulge in fine craft beers paired with exotic hand-crafted local cheeses. Spew sensual sentences about the tantalizing tastes teasing my tongue with balanced tones of esters and glucose exciting my hunger for more. And no I cannot do that. I would be lost in my enjoyment of the food and forget to write my thoughts.

Oye.  Sports? Ick. Music? <yawn>

Book reviews – oh wait I would have to start reading again. And I find I get side-tracked by wondering why the writer decided to branch the story away from an enticing side-quest into the normal well-worn plot points of what sells books. Ah yes – I guess that answers that thought. I have a dozen books strew around my house partially read and bookmarked inside and beneath the dusty dust-jackets. Award winning books I was told I should read for their current cultural relevance and revelations. Oh god they read like re-warmed shit strained through  pompadour to mask the unpleasant stench of plot banality  and the de jure unexpected plot-twist de jour….

Oh I would pluck mine eyes from my head if I am forced to read another word crafted by Joseph Boyden.

Yes I know he is renowned and regaled and endowed with awards. I cannot stand how he writes. But I guess that is why there are a thousand other writers waiting to be discovered. Oh my god – I actually wrote a review? What? An unintended and unenlightened review! I must also admit I hated the movie Titanic – so that may be a sign that you should go read Boyden!

Enough for now. I just felt I should force myself to write something. ANYTHING!

And I did.

Happy November.


Ramble: Infinite Sadness

Some days are better than other days. And some days are more bitter.

I write poetry and short prose as the cadence of the moment catches my heart and soul. My words are alive with thoughts and feelings inspired by the turmoil inside, and by the words I read on luminescent screens. What I write is fictionalized reality. Not to be confused with the augmented reality of Pokemon Go.

Oh boy augmented reality – and now I must digress as to me that is a marketing spiel misnomer. How on earth is a virtualized representation of the world reality? Google maps and Google earth is not reality. It is a digitized and abstracted representation of the world as documented at a specific point in time and space. It is not reality.

To then layer an further abstraction on top of an abstraction is not augmenting reality. It is at best an augmented abstraction. If you abstract the abstract, is it now more or less real? At what point does abstraction become avoidance and distraction?

Augmented reality is simply an extended and extruded artificial reality.

Okay now where was I? Ah yes – the creative process that drives my random blather. Am I then also an abstraction of an abstraction? And if you cut an abstraction is that a castration? Oops I mean a subtraction…


My brain is not here today. Monday is blamed for the blues – yet this Monday wallowing in depths beyond the normal start of the week blues. These blues have deepened into midnight black of the inner abyss, spiraling down into dark pits. Crushing gravitational singularity black hole. Now I write to find the theoretical wormhole of escape to escape into other dimensions. And I find….

I got nothing.

Complete blank. Zilch. Zip. Nada. Zero. Negative infinity. Oi.

I am at this point in time creatively flat-lined. And no amount of artistic electricity is reviving this one. Call it. This post is officially dead at 3:33 PM on August  15, 2016.

Ramble: Manufacturing Consent

I woke early my brain flipping and spinning from what I have been reading the last few days of what it means to “consent.”

Here then are the troubling thoughts of the day on an issue I understand yet cannot comprehend. What exactly is consent?

When I ask this question what I am speaking about is not only the specific concept of Sexual Consent; I am speaking of the broader and wider aspects of consent in a digital community that is pervasive, always on, always recording, always sharing. When does the bubble of “I” begin and when does the bubble of “YOU” intersect to create the sea-foam of “WE”?

Consent obviously has a lexical meaning which I looked up via the online Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. (accessed May 22, 2016).

That states consent is both a NOUN and  VERB.

NOUN: Permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.
VERB: To give permission for something to happen.

In both cases it would seem the word ‘consent’ is an active participatory process between individuals, that requires an expression of what is wanted/desired; and a response that indicates active agreement.

Then we get all legal on the issue. Wikipedia the omnipresent quick summary of collective knowledge provides this adequate summary of how ‘consent’ can be analysed: (see for full article)

  • Implied consent is a form of consent which is not expressly granted by a person, but rather inferred from a person’s actions and the facts and circumstances of a particular situation (or in some cases, by a person’s silence or inaction). Some examples include implied consent to follow rules and/or regulations at an education institution.
  • Expressed consent is clearly and unmistakably stated, rather than implied. It may be given in writing, by speech (orally), or non-verbally, e.g. by a clear gesture such as a nod. Non-written express consent not evidenced by witnesses or an audio or video recording may be disputed if a party denies that it was given.
  • Informed consent in medicine is consent given by a person who has a clear appreciation and understanding of the facts, implications, and future consequences of an action. The term is also used in other contexts.
  • Unanimous consent, or general consent, by a group of several parties (e.g., an association) is consent given by all parties.
  • Substituted consent, or the substituted judgment doctrine, allows a decision maker to attempt to establish the decision an incompetent person would have made if he or she were competent.[2]

Without getting to much into the intricacies of the four concepts of ‘consent’ outlined above, it is clear that in all cases there is a requirement for active participation in a process. Yet we live in a world that seems to take consent for granted, by the way our own governments treat us and our data. It is evident in the way law enforcement works to monitor and manage our daily lives. It is pervasive in the way the Internet is used to record and analyse our daily lives and activities. And now it is in the way we move through public spaces can be used to track and monetize our economic interactions.

In other words we live in a world predicated on “Implied Consent”. On the age-old legal rationalization that since we did not protest, then in fact we gave SILENT consent. Or as has been argued before: “Silence is Consent.”

And here is the problem we enter into: When the bulk of our real world interactions is based on our IMPLIED and SILENT consent, how the fuck do we teach people when EXPRESSED consent is absolutely required? How can we as a modern and diverse society accept on one hand that IMPLIED consent is the normative operating process of our modern economy; and then say but in personal relationships you must always have EXPRESSED consent?

To really change the world, to change our operations our normative operation must be to always assume that EXPRESSED consent is required. And yes this is not easy. In fact it is incredibly and horribly difficult.

Here then is the rule for consent, for all consent:

Always Ask. Every time.

Just because the answer was YES for yesterday; doesn’t mean it is still YES today.

I am guilty of this same presumption and assumption.

Here is the rule of living in a community:

Always listen, Always look, for a change of consent. We all need a safe word, and that safe word by default is: STOP.

When you hear that word from another person I advise you to take it to heart. And yes you can get all pedantic on me and show me the times when you really shouldn’t STOP ‘because what if…” Dammit just STOP it! Yes there are times you should RUN when you hear STOP – and you will clearly know when that is the case.
I am not asking you to stop thinking.  In fact it is the exact opposite: When you hear STOP it actually means START THINKING.