When Does Opinion Become Rant?

At work today one of my friends told me he saw the title of the post I wrote last night – “Scientology – You Don’t Fool Me”, and didn’t read it because he thought it would be another “rant”. His disclosure hit me on the head like a hammer – I rant?  In my mind I have strong opinions and always try to give reasons or facts to back them up. Sure, I visit topics of religion quite often – but rant, this was disturbing.

In my mind a rant is what happens when I comment on a post about abortion or sex abuse within the church and am told to “go kill some babies” or asked ” does loving Jesus make a man gay”. To me a rant just doesn’t make sense; it’s an eruption of emotion based on bias and designed to be hurtful. I see a rant as opinion without thought or regard.

  1. rant


    Speak or shout at length in a wild, impassioned way.
    A spell of ranting; a tirade.

    Pondering “rant” all day has failed to clarify things or make me feel any better.Rant is such an ugly word; it eludes to ignorance, short tempers, and bias. The thought I could be perceived as any of those things is driving me out of my mind. Strong opinions certainly fuel some of my posts – the idea it might be viewed as ranting and raving has stopped me dead in my tracks.

    1. o·pin·ion


      1. A view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.
      2. The beliefs or views of a large number or majority of people about a particular thing.
      view – judgement – judgment – mind – notion – idea

      In my pondering mind the “opinions” I write about are simply that. My point of view backed up by my reasoning, facts, and hopefully points to think about. Not in a million years had it crossed my mind that I may have ranted. The holy crap moment came when I realized those people who I considered “ranters” probably feel the same way.

      My question is – when does opinion become rant? Does opinion become rant if you disagree with the point of view, or it contradicts your morals? Does “rant” rear it’s ugly head when you visit the same topic over again, or does “rant” simply mean you don’t want to read about a certain topic?  When does “opinion” cross the line to become “rant”? Are rant and opinion strictly reserved for judgement by a reader? I need help on this matter – my world is in tatters.

The Power of One Chance “Like”

I have always believed that things happen for a reason, and not to discount anything that crosses my path. This isn’t based on so much as a whisper in God, religion, divine intervention, or the will of any sentient almighty. To be honest; if any of those things clouded or narrowed my open mind, I’m fairly certain these “chances” would evaporate behind a cloud of blind faith. I spend my life pondering wonders, gazing into the night sky, listening to the wind, sharing ideas, learning from others, and every so often stumbling upon a moment that changes the direction of my life. Since starting this blog, wordpress has introduced me to remarkably intelligent people; people who may hold different views than mine, people I look forward to reading, discussing, and sharing thoughts with. I approach it as I approach my life – with an open mind and heart.

A few days ago, a chance “like” on one of my posts by wordpresser – http://buffalotompeabodyblog.wordpress.com/ changed lives. As soon as I read “buffalotompeabody” something told me my path had just been crossed. Obviously anyone called buffalotompeabody plastered an instant smile on my face; there was more – my “lucky feeling” as it has come to be known in my household, had goosebumps erupting on my arms, and every hair on the back of my neck standing at attention.

I couldn’t get to his “About” page fast enough. I read eagerly, and suddenly – there it was – this man is blind. Hardly able to contain myself while hoping this person would understand; I asked for his help. My mother is blind; it’s been at least 10 years since she could read any print.The CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) sends her spoken DVD’s of books and magazines, has given her a white cane, free bus pass, sold her a $700 computer program, and she was considering dropping $3000 on some sort of screen magnifier device. We knew in our hearts it would be about as much help as the “Zoom text” program – in other words, beyond something she could practically use the way she wanted. As buffalotompeabody put it “having first to wrestle an elephant to the floor takes the fun out of it”. I’m getting ahead of myself.

buffalotompeabody responded within a few hours, answering my burning question – how was he able to do something that’s eluded my mother for years? Still unable to grasp how he could reply at length; a task that my mother couldn’t do if her life depended on it,I read on. His answer blew me away; enter the Android phone. It seems Google has a soft spot for low vision and blind people. Most of their Android phones come with TTS (talk to speech) programs pre installed, and simply need to be enabled. He explained about low vision apps, the feature Androids have of allowing text to be made huge, and youtube videos showing how to use different apps. He told me he hadn’t opened his lap top in a year and a half.

I was like a kid on Christmas morning as I called my mother with the news. The excitement and hope I heard in her voice reminded me of who she was before blindness crippled her with depression. She believed, actually believed she might once again use her voice, and mind to connect with the world. She didn’t say so but I knew she dared to embrace the possibility of writing again. I copied and emailed buffalotompeabody’s comments to my sister who lives in the same city as my mother. That was yesterday. By this afternoon they had gone to a cell phone store; with copied emails in hand the clerk had her a phone meeting all the requirements, enabled the TTS, and set the everything to “huge”. Tomorrow they will download apps, and I expect by the weekend I’ll be getting emails from her.

In all our visits to the CNIB, eye specialists, and computer geeks; not once has this simple solution been suggested. We’ve watched helplessly as she slipped further into despair; then a single chance “like” turns all our lives around. Better still it’s poised to change even more lives. While telling this story to a friend today I learned she knew of someone in a similar situation. Again I forwarded buffalotompeabody’s comments, setting another life changing moment in motion.

Thank you buffalotompeabody for crossing my path – your fortitude and patience inspire me beyond words. In 24 short hours you’ve managed to accomplish something we’d nearly given up on. You set something so powerful in motion, our world will forever be changed.

For anyone who knows someone this might help – go to buffalotompeabody’s “About” page and read the comments he sent me.


Regret Large Tomahawk Vanity in Leningrad

Tonight I ponder my favorite posts. Impossible to explain why – they just are. “Regret” is not well written, but is the first time I hit “publish” on personal thoughts. My intention was to nudge the reader, as there is a message in it that we can all relate to.


“Worlds Largest Tomahawk” – nothing more than a couple hundred words; reminding me of a perfect day driving across Canada.


“Vanity” hit me on the head one night after a glass or two of wine; extremely pleased with myself for writing such a clever observation.


“Leningrad Symphony” represents a holy crap moment – I knew nothing of the siege of Leningrad; a testament to the human spirit.


As with any proud mother, I could list favorite after favorite – my blog year, close to a first anniversary has taught me volumes about myself, and opened my eyes on the world. A hearty thank you to those who liked or followed me along the way.

Justin Bieber and Foot Fetishes

I started this blog almost a year ago; closing in on 300 posts my mind is blown over which ones rose to the top. The term “blown” is perhaps a tad dramatic – lets say I’m amused and slightly annoyed by my top posts by views. After a year of pondering one thing is certain; there are a lot of Justin Bieber fans, and foot fetishes are definitely out of the closet. A ridiculous number of people had to learn if all Vikings had blue eyes, and how much the tongue of a blue whale weighed. The discovery of a planet made of diamonds, the planetary alignment over Giza, and Ann Coulter making me nuts settled in below that.

“Pondering Stephen Harper” wasn’t about Bieber; I made reference to Bieber innocently enough in the last paragraph. Harper ditched a meeting with provincial premiers to shake hands with the Biebs. After my About/home pages this is my top post. The search terms Stephen Harper (misspelled as Steven 95% of the time) and Justin Bieber led to the bat shit crazy number of hits.


Then “Feet” – search terms like “dirty feet on children” , “curled toes on feet”, “bare feet in bed” – it was a post about how much I hated my feet as a child because they were wide. I wrote about reaching a place where I stopped burying them in the sand; how feet told a story – once you accepted perceived flaws – beauty could be found in unexpected places. Nope. That post sits at the top because multitudes wanted to look at bare feet.


At a loss to explain blue eyed vikings or a blue whale tongue weighing as much as an elephant – 55 Cancrie E; a planet made of diamonds makes a little sense. It’s made of diamonds! “Help – Ann Coulter Exploded my Mind” makes me feel a lot better – at least it’s a post expressing my opinion, and arrived at honestly.


My first post rests comfortably in the middle. In 1804 Thomas Jefferson publicly announced seeing a UFO…


Tomorrow I’ll ponder my favorite posts.

Justin Bieber and Stephen Harper Friday

Very Inspiring Blogger Nod

Many thanks to Petril41 at Dear Kitty for the Very Inspiring Blogger nomination.

Very Inspiring Blogger Award


This nomination carries some rules and responsibilities. First – thank and link back to the person who nominated you. Second – nominate 15 other bloggers you admire, and notify them of the honour. Last – tell 7 things about yourself.

Seven things about notestoponder….

1. I gave flowers to Queen Elizabeth when I was twelve.

2. I have dried flowers from Queen Elizabeth’s bathroom. (She dropped the puck at a hockey game when I worked backstage at the arena)

3 This is my 248th post.

4. My post ‘Pondering Stephen Harper” has received the most views, with 967.


5. I’m not able to wink or whistle.

6. I can’t turn out the light at night unless I’ve checked space weather.


7. Given the opportunity – nothing would make me happier than to be a storm chaser.

My Nominees….
















My First Award

I’m certain now; there is no better medicine than waking from your sick-bed to find you have been nominated for a Liebster Award. Many thanks to Mrs P  her thoughtful and interesting perspectives at Destination Unknown are words all of us should not only read, but apply to our own lives. I value the comments and insights Mrs. P posts on my blog, and truly feel honored.


This award stuff is new to me. The purpose is to pass along blogs with less than 200 followers so others can discover worthy wordpressers that deserve a read. As Mrs. P explained to me, a bloggers chain letter. It comes with some rules. First – the nominee must list 11 random facts about themselves, then answer the 11 questions posed by their award fairy. When that’s done – nominate 11 bloggers you follow who have less than 200 followers, and come up with 11 new questions for them to answer. Finally – contact them with the pat on the back.


So here goes, eleven random facts about notestoponder –

1. I’ve been happily married for almost 32 years, with 3 children.

2. Symmetry makes me crazy and I group in three’s and fives.

3. My kids call me “the MOST” ( Master Of Small Talk )

4. My favorite scent is sagebrush after it rains.

5. Love South Park, but try as I might The Simpsons does nothing for me.

6.The jury is out on ancient aliens, but firmly believe in Atlantis and civilizations lost.

7. I’ve found a tampon for Beyonce, told Robert Plant to find some manners, talked for half an hour with Joe Cocker clad only in his boxer shorts, helped Elton John get dressed, drank till the wee hours of the morning with Tina Turner, hidden a groom from his bride on their wedding night after a date with a hooker gone terribly wrong – just a few of the numerous reasons I love working in the hospitality business.

8. One of my earliest WTF moments was getting “the strap” in elementary school for pushing a boy over the edge of a gully after he put Ex-Lax in my sandwich.

9. Dogs over cats, though I wish my boxer would stop eating squirrels.

10. I’m fearless until you put a snake in front of me – I did however allow my husband to catch a garter snake my kids wanted as a pet. Mrs. Slithers promptly had 11 babies.

11. I don’t like chocolate.

This is fun. It may be my weakened state getting over the flu, but I feel like I’m doing homework again. Onward to my 11 questions. I cut and pasted them; and swear Mrs. P only asked 10 so I’ll make up number 11.

  1. If you could see any historic landmark or artefact, what would it be? Not a fair question for an ancient history addict; when pushed – would have to say Puma Punku.
  2. Do you speak more than one language? I wish and try, but like math, languages elude me.
  3. What is the strangest food you ever ate? Bear liver and it was nasty.
  4. If you were standing at the front door of the place you live in, looking outside, what direction would you be facing? (North, South, East or West) South
  5. Have you ever played in a band or musical group? No, but I sing and dance every day.
  6. What is the longest distance you have ever gone to satisfy a craving for a treat? 40 miles for a Big Mac in the days before my hometown had a McDonalds.
  7. What creature from the animal kingdom gives you the creepy crawlies?SNAKES!
  8. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you accomplish that? Strange as this may sound – I honestly never gave it any thought. I wanted my life to find me; and it did.
  9. Where were you working when you got your first paycheck? Picking cherries on our orchard in Penticton.
  10. Is there something that you enjoy doing that would surprise the people who know you best? Oh man, not fair! Answering that one is like letting the cat out of the bag.
  11. (This is my question) Why did you start blogging? It was a Mother’s Day present from my daughter. She set up my wordpress site because she thought I needed an outlet. She was so right.

DRUM ROLL PLEASE ……..My nominees –












I confess that it is possible a couple of my nominees have more than 200 follows. Being somewhat lacking in computer skills if follows aren’t ablaze on home or about pages, I’m at a loss to find them. I like these blogs, and would have considered it cheating to hastily follow blogs on the spot just because they had under 200 follows.

Now for the questions –

1. If you could have lived in any other time, where and when would it be?

2. Would you rather be too hot or too cold?

3. Do you watch the Oscar’s?

4. What was your first WTF moment?

5. Do you think Christopher Columbus discovered America?

6.Have you ever regretted your vote in an election?

7. Should voting be mandatory?

8. Are Reddit rules a little too harsh?

9. Have you ever flown a kite?

10. Would you drop everything and jump at a chance to travel into space?

11. Have you ever seen an aurora?

Whew! Almost done – all that’s left is to notify my nominees. Taking my cue from that cheeky Mrs. P, I’m going to sneak a couple of blogs over 200 followers in under the radar.









Growing Up

As a child all I wanted was to grow up. Milestones were measured by a year or two rather than decades. The first day of school, becoming a teenager, the start of high school, sweet sixteen, drivers licence, graduation; all marked on the calendar and counted down with anticipation.

Wanting to grow up, but not be like the adults I knew was worrisome. They seemed to have lost imagination; their lives appeared stagnant and predictable.  It never occurred to me that responsibility was a serious matter, nor did it cross my mind that they were doing the best they could. I lost sleep over an imaginary line I had to cross; the point of no return when I would become like them.

Outrage crushed my excitement; years of anticipation exposed as a lie. They came clean on Santa, the Easter Bunny, and Tooth Fairy; I settled into the reality that the truth about growing older was too much for any child to bear. So I waited. I wondered if it would be merciful; would it come in the night? Would I fall asleep a child and wake up an adult? Would it erase any memory of my former self, or would it suffocate me with lingering flashbacks to a simpler time?

Waiting was more excruciating than the anticipation. Like watching paint dry; day after day and it was still tacky. Rebellion eased the pain. I was smarter than it; I had its number and wasn’t going down without a fight.

Days turned to weeks, months, then years. I woke up one morning and knew something had happened overnight. Laughing out loud was the only response I was capable of. So unexpected was the understanding that I would always be the same. Blinding clarity replaced dread.

For the first time in my adult life I could breath. I forgave everyone in my life for not living up to childhood expectations. Storybook cut-outs were replaced by people I loved. Suddenly they had dimension, their flaws beautiful, their mistakes understandable.

Best of all – I knew I never had to change.