When “Tag” Crosses The Line

When I was in elementary school recess and lunch were full of adventure. This was when our imaginations ran wild; a time to learn valuable lessons in diplomacy, problem solving, and the law of gravity. Recess offered dangerous playground equipment, raucous games of capture the flag, dodge ball, and games pulled out of thin air. We skipped rope, dug holes, captured grasshoppers, played tag or whatever struck our fancy. This was a time for sorting things out, finding our limitations, or expanding our boundaries. Recess wasn’t “politically correct”, it didn’t have to be – we learned quickly what was and wasn’t acceptable.

Upon hearing of a recent decision by Coghlan Elementary in the Aldergrove school district, my jaw fell to the floor. Kindergarten students are banned from play fighting, holding hands, and tag. A letter was sent home to parents on Nov.5 outlining the “no touch” policy, and advising a zero tolerance position for children breaking the new rule. The school based their decision on several playground injuries resulting from rough play. Children who violate the edict will be removed from the playground and sent to the principal’s office.


Telling kindergarten children they can’t hold hands or play tag simply blows my pondering mind. Try as I might, I fail to come up with a positive outcome for such an outlandish “solution” to playground problems. Kids deserve free time to learn cause and effect, to experience interaction and gain the confidence that comes with playground dynamics. I can’t imagine children forced into a paranoid “no touching” recess. Children need guidance and boundaries, not bat shit banishments of natural behaviour. It takes the joy out of childhood – replacing it with fear and oppression. Shame on you Coghlan Elementary School for being fear mongers and dictators rather than role models and educators. You aren’t doing those kids any favours – life has to come with lessons, without them kids are lost. Yikes.



Fight Sexual Urges

I couldn’t make this up if I tried. The following is actual copy for Anti-Masturbation Gum or Cream if you prefer to cheat a little….

“Do you struggle with uncontrollable urges? Do you risk death when driving by being unable to keep your hands where they belong? Your days of uncontrollable touching, stroking, rubbing or whatever term you like are over. Say goodbye to calloused and rug burned skin with the careful use of any of these anti masturbation products.

Anti-masturbation gum is preferred by many due to its ability to be used at any time no matter where you are. It has a quick response time so if you’re suddenly plagued by those old standby feelings you can put an immediate stop to them. Your days of embarrassing agony are gone forever as long as you keep a fresh pack of anti-masturbation gum in your pocket at all times.

For a more immediate approach you can use Handz Off anti-masturbation cream. This particular product not only gives an instant relief it also offers a controlled option that allows you to slowly stop rubbing one out. When applying this product try not to massage this cream in for more than 5 minutes, this can actually dull the anti-masturbating ingredients and can in fact be considered masturbation cheating.

For  continuous relief from masturbation urges you can use the new Handz Off anti masturbation car deodorant. Simply hand the deodorizer from your visor and you’ll have a constant fragrance distribution that’s known to prevent any masturbating urges from appearing. This can be very beneficial in protecting your life and lives of others while you’re driving as masturbating while driving can be distracting and dangerous. Always remember don’t masturbate and drive.”

A link…


Are you kidding me! This has to be a joke; I found it advertised on Amazon, but they are currently out of stock. A British website is also out of stock and apologizes that the product is now discontinued – they did how ever have a price posted of .99. Worse still – it’s made in Canada. Holy crap, my head hurts.


Imagine Change – A Challenge


I’ve spent a lot of time pondering change, action and apathy; time spent writing posts about our divisions or differences. Every once and a while I sprinkle a dose of Playing For Change in the mix. Tonight I’m reminded how short sighted I am to wring my hands and cluck about inaction; tonight I remembered to look at the glass as half full. Tonight I launch my Playing For Change campaign.

Music has the power to transcend boundaries; a crowd listening to a street musician perform doesn’t care what religious or political affiliation the person next to them has. Music is the logical place to stop squabbling over petty differences while forming a common goal. Song might just have the power to bring about a shift in rigid thinking – dare I express a tiny seed of hope growing in this pondering mind – a secret little smile curling at my edges, a faint hope that unexpected joy stemming from shaking your ass or tapping your toe – could be the spark needed to make us understand how incredibly silly mud slinging accusations are. A tool to make us realize how futile and incredibly boring our world would be if all of us were cut from the same cloth. An instrument to lead us away from suspicion, bigotry, and stereotypes – come on, lighten up people.

Here’s my challenge – click on the link below and learn about the Playing For Change movement.


Where ever you are, whatever you might do, no matter your age, race, profession, economic status or political/religious affiliation – set those aside and ponder how you can spread the Playing For Change message. Put your thinking caps on – spread the word – I want to hear your ideas.

Help Me Understand

I need help understanding why some are incapable of exchanging points of view without making a personal attack. Why do so many lack the ability to debate without hate? Why are some of us born with open minds while others simply switch off at suggestions of  different points of view? How is it that some people repeat only what they hear, never stopping to ponder logic or offer opinions of their own? What triggers the closing of minds –  ignites suspicion, fear, bigotry and exclusion? Help me understand.

Strong opinions from politics, religion, environment to my silly dog; I make myself abundantly clear – writing from the heart without mincing words. No intention, other than matching word to thought.. What you see is what you get; this is who I am. Along the way I’ve met people with vastly different viewpoints – people who present their side of an issue thoughtfully, concisely and without malice. People I respect and consider friends, people willing to “agree to disagree”.  This I understand.

I encounter closed minds – those wishing myself or family harm; people full of hatred. These are the people quoting opinionated broadcasters verbatim, people choosing to spew unsubstantiated rhetoric, people without an original thought or perspective to cloud their venom. Help me understand.

If I didn’t possess a fundamental belief in humanity, my ability to function without despair would have collapsed years ago. I shake my head, scrape my jaw off the ground and carry on. That said – at times the weight of closed minds becomes unbearable. Help me understand – what would it take to strip the blinders from millions of scared, angry people?

Chinook Jargon

Absorbing tid- bits of knowledge during functions, meetings or parties is a workplace perk.. But for today’s luncheon, I would  remain clueless to the importance of Chinook Jargon. As a proud British Columbian, it escapes all reason why school aged children don’t learn this chapter in Canadian history. Hard as I ponder; reasons for failing to include Canada’s first language in school curriculum eludes me.

Chinook evolved from the need to communicate; a simple tool consisting of fewer than 500 hundred words – easily mastered by Europeans, Chinese, Japanese and Polynesians. The common language of trade and commerce. A universal tongue in an increasingly multicultural colony.

Chinook jargon was one of those casseroles your Mom plunked on the table – a little of this, a little of that, crush corn flakes or potato chips on top and you had dinner. Somehow it just worked. Chinook took away barriers; people could appreciate similarities rather than differences, learn from one another and developed a sense of community. Chinook Jargon reflected the true meaning of a multicultural society. From the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s, Chinook was spoken by as many as 250,000 people.

Chinook’s march towards obscurity is understandable; the first world war, Spanish Flu epidemic, increased movement of people across the country, and changing attitudes towards “colonial” thinking. What I don’t understand is how I managed to live in B.C. for over 50 years and not hear mention of it until today. Canada is a special place, a place built on principles of acceptance, inclusion and tolerance – regardless of race.

The more I ponder – the angrier I’m getting. Angry is perhaps too strong a word – flabbergasted that we squander one of the most useful and valuable learning tools to cross my path in a very long time – a concept rich on so many levels, an opportunity to teach our kids the value of not only communication but acceptance. Not to forget how amazing it would be for kids to speak to each other at recess in Chinook. Kids would gobble it up -my head spins with possible angles to enrich young lives.

This link is to an article  The Tyee is a great place to start thinking Chinook.


“Konoway tillicums klatawa kunamokst klasa mamook okoke huloima chee illahie” – Everyone was thrown together to make this strange new country.


Most people have knowledge of Stonehenge; without question the daddy of Neolithic sites. A sprinkling know of Carnac; over 3000 carefully aligned stones – some of monolithic proportions, erected between 3300 – 4500 BC near the village of Carnac in France. Fewer still have uttered the word  Gavrinis.

Gavrinis, a tiny island off the coast of Brittany in France clung to the mainland between 3,500 and 5,000 BC., a time defined by burial tomb construction. Not more than a bumpy  outcropping of rock (750 by 400 meters) uninhabited Gavrinis slept undiscovered until 1835 when French archaeologists started poking about a sunken burial tunnel entrance. Serious excavation began in the 1930s.

Gavrinis defies explanation. Over 50 stone slabs form the entrance tunnel and inner chamber – curiously carved slabs begging for stand at attention while humming the theme from 2001 Space Odyssey reverence. Gut reaction to a mind blowing epic – Gavrinis is no ordinary Neolithic site..

Roughly half the slabs boast intricate carvings resembling fingerprints. Mathematicians  believe it’s a code of sorts. Computer analysis dropped a bombshell – patterns represent the number of days in a year, references to solstice and equinoxes, an exact longitude and latitude of the island, and the “mathematical constant Pi”.

Much as this makes me grin from ear to ear, I have to admit not everyone is on board.  Many mysteries of the ancient world find themselves living on book shelves in “wing nut” land. Irrefutable archaeological evidence hasn’t taken Gobekli Tepe or Puma Punku off the crazy shelf and into mainstream consciousness. If 16th century Turkish admiral Piri Reis could produce a map of Antarctica, precisely as it would appear without ice, yet wallow in conspiracy land – it’s doubtful Neolithic people at Gavrinis coding “Pi” into fingerprint carvings will make a ripple.

Call me a pondering fool, I don’t care.Not for a second do I entertain the notion “alien” or otherworldly intervention had anything to do with ancient head scratchers. I’m going to fall asleep with a silly little grin; content in the knowledge that ancient civilizations kicked ass.



Bottle Drives and Chocolate Almonds

I can’t take credit for this ponder. It took shape after reading a post from one of my facebook friends. At first I laughed; soon irony took hold,  forcing one of those holy crap moments – that split second when clarity replaces mirth, leaving me pondering – why not?

Obviously this isn’t a suggestion that prisoners go door to door with satchels of chocolate almonds. My “why not?” more of a “why not fund education?” Correct me if I’m wrong; isn’t education the single most important thing society can provide? How can we erase ignorance without education; without a basic frame work or point of reference on which decisions and opinions are formed?
I ponder the state of basic schooling in both Canada and the U.S. – it gives me the willies. Teachers backed against a wall – oversized classes, lacking basic supplies, drastic cuts to ESL and special needs assistants, music programs dropped, library resources trickling away when it comes down to new books or paper.
I can’t speak for America but in Canada more and more financial burden is placed on parents.Depending on which side of the tracks you happen to fall, the line between “have” and “have not” schools is unmistakeable. “Public” education is a joke – the punch line is biting us in the ass.
Bizarre, is the only word I can think of to describe our lack of education funding. I can’t wrap my head around our lack of attention to one, if not the most important issue facing society.  The cliché “knowledge is power” should be the battle cry sung from every last roof top. It simply doesn’t make sense to gloss over mankind’s first building block.