Better Days To Come

This year, in some ways, kinda sucked. But Gill is here to offer up some hope in poem form.

2017 will go down as a tough year for many, in this poem I hope you out in Readerland will find hope.

Better Days To Come

People sitting with stacks of bills
the ever present threat of the wolf at the door
kids crying for parents in distant lands
gone by violence disease never to return any more
Hate on my doorstep leaves me scared
wanting to take up weapons and be prepared
My pastor says not to be intimidated
it’s only his skin that sees him hated
We are daring
the few in numbers
not to be intimidated
each day growing strong
with hope
with love
with faith
and with compassion
with the promise
in the turning of the year
the better days to come

Some Cool Facts To Nerd Up To

Not sure what exactly compelled Gill to write this, but the TV show she mentions is absolutely a real one.

It’s getting cold outside, but here in Nerd Power Central it’s toasty warm. Here I am to serve up some freshly baked facts and help you increase your nerd power. So go grab a hot drink, sit on down and chill, because it’s about to be a nerd party in here.

Around It Goes

Did you know that when the planet Uranus goes around the moon it tilts on its side? It would take approximately eight hours to travel from close to the sun to Uranus.

Since When Was That ok?

We head from the super cool, to the I can’t believe they aired that. In September 1990 a British production company, attempting to capitalize on 1950’s sitcoms like I Love Lucy brought out Heil Honey I’m Home. Don’t worry friends the tasteless train’s on it’s way to Bad Idea Junction. The supposed sitcom featured a modern day Hitler living with his whatever Ava was next to a Jewish couple called the Bronstines. Thankfully, although eight episodes were produced only one aired.

You Know What To Do

If you have any cool facts to share about anything send them, and help us build more Nerd Power.

It Used To Be Fun

Gill doesn’t seem to be feeling Christmas this year. I’ve been there, though for different reasons.

Some of my favorite memories are coming downstairs Christmas morning and sitting by the fire to open the stockings. Other favorite moments involve sitting in the living room of my family’s 100 year old farmhouse hot chocolate, or in later years a coffee at my side opening gifts and having laughs and joy.

When The Fun Stopped

Having a disability meant having to collect money from the government, and being on a very fixed very low income. When Christmas advertisements come around in early November, sometimes I am still reminded of the farmhouse fun, but others, especially if it’s some fine jewelry that I couldn’t possibly afford to give my mom I have mixed feelings.

How It Makes Me Feel

For the most part there’s a touch of sadness, but sometimes it spirals down in to something that resembles anger mixed with embarrassment. Case in point, in 2013 I bought my sister something from Wallmart, and initially she seemed grateful, but a few months later she basically told me I was “white trash`.

The Tiffany’s Incident

Not to be out done my sister that same Christmas gave my mom a bracelet from Tiffany. It needed a little fix up a few months later, and since we were in Toronto we went in to Tiffany. I immediately got uncomfortable, and longed to tell my mom to leave me outside because I clearly didn’t belong in such a classy place.

What’s My Point?

I honestly feel that the holidays should be more about time honored traditions, the turkey, going visiting, or gathering around great-aunt Merna’s piano to sing those classic carols.

Techniques For Love Spreading

I think 2017 is starting to get to Gill a little. She’s right though, we could all do with more kindness.

Remember six days ago when I talked about Mr. Patel and how he helped me out? No big deal right? Actually what he was doing, with out knowing it was spreading love. That was the first of several techniques people use, or should use to make this world better.

From My Childhood

When I was maybe four or five a thought occurred, what if people sat down with chocolate chip cookies and milk and used their words rather than weapons? Wouldn’t that be nice? I even had the perfect place for it called Idea House.

The Rules At Idea House

  • 1 you had to sit and talk nicely.
  • 2 There would be a never ending supply of cookies and milk.
  • 3 Weapons weren’t allowed.
  • 4 You had to shake hands with whomever you hated before leaving the house.
  • 5 You had to make a vow of doing only kind things to others also before leaving.

Believe It Or Not

I still visit that spot in my head from time to time, and although over 30 years has gone by I still believe that there is hope.

Ms. Gillie wishing you peace and love

Where Have All The Good People Gone

And now, Gill is here to remind us that in spite of the general state of things, the world is not, in fact, filled with nothing but shitheels.

A song from almost fifteen years ago asks this very question, and I know many of you have asked the same question yourselves especially with recent events. Don’t lose faith in humanity they do still exist.

The Opened Door

Last June 23rd in a freak accident I broke my ankle and was rendered a wheelchair user for a time. I discovered just how hard it was to be in one, and became frustrated. There was however one individual who stepped to the plate, a hero so to speak. Mr. Patel, runner of a variety store where I often purchased bus tickets saw my predicament and not only opened the door long enough to accommodate my wheelchair, but set the debit machine closer to me to make it easier for me to reach.


While there are many people willing to do bad out there, there are also the Mr. Patels who do that slight something extra to make the world that much easier.

Family Trip

Gill just got back from a trip to Florida and wants to talk about it, so I’ll let her do that now. I’ve been to Florida twice myself, once for a family vacation to Disney and once to go to the Space Camp for a week as part of the coolest grade 7 field trip ever. On neither of these occasions did I hold a live alligator like she did, but I do remember one of my buddies dropping his glasses into a pond full of them, so there’s that.

Here are in no particular order some highlights of my recent trip to Florida.

Wheelchair Friendly Fitting Room

At one of the many department stores, Beals, I was dumb struck by the wheelchair friendly fitting room. There was a bar for people to balance on, and the room itself was large enough to accommodate not only a wheelchair user, but a friend or attendant. Two thumbs up Beals department store!

Holding the Gator

I wouldn’t say I’m daring, but on the first Saturday of my trip, we went to this farmers market. Aside from the usual farm fresh vegetables and fruits there was also delicious kettle corn, and plantane chips. That was only part of its cool factor. In one of the quieter areas of the market some gator farmers had a live gator. It had tape over its mouth, to avoid anyone becoming an episode of “when Animals Attack.` It was kind of a dark brown color with button like dots along the topside, and the underside is often used for boots. The photo my sister posted showed me holding a very chill gator in my hands.

Golf Cart Paths

Where my parents stayed there was a lane set aside for golf carts, the main form of short distance travel. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately for the locals, I having 3% vision was not allowed to drive.


I had a great time down there, so thank you Florida, and all the good people reading this from down there.

Gillie out

Remember This

Gill is back with a Remembrance Day message. She’s right. War sucks and we all can and have to do better.

Normally I am around to write a Remembrance Day article, however this year when the day comes I will be out of town. This year I am taking things in a new direction, and I hope you out there find this informative.

Two Worlds Apart

On October 24 1979 in a small Canadian town a baby let out her first cries, four days later in a distant land in the midst of a civil war a baby let out his first cries. One, we’ll call her Rose for now, felt the safety all around, while the other, let’s call him Jeff wasn’t promised tomorrow. The two would meet over twenty-five years later in a city, and strike up a friendship.

What Jeff Told Rose

Rose noticed that Jeff sometimes sported crutches, while other times rode around on a mobility scooter, and in a wheelchair. Rose, ever curious questioned this and initially was told by Jeff that he’d been injured severely in a jeep accident.


I guess by now you should know that I’m Rose, that’s my middle name. I asked Jeff about six months in to knowing him what really happened. He told me that he had been born in Cambodia in one of the darkest times, and when he was three weeks old a bomb hit his house, he then went on to explain how by the time he crossed the border with his family some of his wounds were full of infection, and his finger tips were black with gangrene. Five days after arriving in a refugee hospital a Catholic priest was called to read his last rights, but somehow he pulled through to make it to Canada. Forty-five surgeries and countless hours of painful therapy later he’s still putting up a fight. When I heard his story I don’t think I slept very well for a few days.

My Thoughts

We need to be agents of change and peace in order to prevent things like this from occurring.

Lost In Translation

Gill is really firing out the posts this week!

It’s kind of funny. I’ve been on both sides of this scenario. There’s my old post about people who don’t speak the language but say “yes” anyway. I had a more recent experience with that. I was in Nashville a few years ago for my awesome job, and at one of the events, a woman was walking around with a tray of sushi. One of my coworkers asked, “What kind of sushi is this?” The woman responded with “Sushi.”
“coworker: What kind?
server: Fish!
Coworker: What kind of fish?
Server: Yes!
At this point, we stopped asking questions and avoided the sushi.

On the other hand, I’ve been the probably stupid-looking person who can’t speak the language. I don’t know how many times I mentioned this, but I spent five weeks in Northern Quebec in an attempt to improve my ability to speak French about 16 years ago, wow do I feel old. While I was there, I painfully learned the lesson that there are multiple words for the same thing. I have only heard the French word for “steps” as “escalier.” But apparently, people say “marches” as well. So one day, when I was really new and particularly tired, I was walking with someone. I may not have been using my cane very well, I don’t remember. At one point, the person I was with said “marches.” I thought they were telling me to keep walking, which perplexed me because I *was* walking, was I not walking fast enough…and at this point I learned with my shins the other meaning of the word “marches.” I tripped over the steps, thankfully they were going up, and looked like a dork.

And don’t get me started on the whole formal and informal “you” when French isn’t your first language. Why can’t they at least start with the same letter so I can bluff a little bit? That first night with my host-mother, I was desperately trying to avoid using you at all, but figured I’d better get on with it, and used the formal, but I was scared of offending her with a single word.

But I should stop talking about my own life. Take it away, Gill!

I have been places where people have yelled at immigrants for messing up orders and directions.  I have often wondered what it would be like not to understand the language or turns of phraise that we as English speakers use freely.

       Slangin It

A few years back my sister worked as a bank manager in Toronto.  She worked with people of all races and backgrounds, some had been born here, but others, like one of her colleagues had left a war torn country.  One day my sister said “could you bring this to me?` he obliged, and asked, “what do I do with this?` to which she responded “oh just plop it on my desk.` the colleague must have been bewildered because his reply was “tell me of this word plop?`

       Not always Universal

Like in the instance above some words or phraises may not make the trip over from English, but this makes for an opportunity to relate and bridge gaps.

       Pass The Compassion

The next time someone mistakes your chicken and spinach salad for something else, don’t resort to uncivilized behavior like racial slurs or telling them to “go back to their country!` just remember that could have just as easily been you.

Ms. Gillie hoping we can work together for a better world

Could That Be Made Today?

Gill is back and wondering about television, specifically what shows from the old days would look like now if they could even get made.

My pick for best show that may not get made today is Bizarre.

It gave us Super Dave Osborne, was a platform for some excellent comedians who wound up being pretty famous and featured some very funny sketches, but I’m not sure how well the Bigot Family and some of the more sexist stuff would fly in these times, especially on network television.

For almost seventy years TV has been an integral part of our lives from those classic cartoons to those smut driven reality shows we watch many things for many reasons.

My Question

What did you race home after school for, sneak out of bed and curl up on your mom’s lap, or what in the case of our immigrant readers taught you pre-playground English?

The Answer

Well, that depends on the time period you grew up in, whether you had cable, or in my case were restricted from certain programs due to certain elements.

Ok I Was Thinking Again

What would our favorite childhood shows be like taken out of the decade they were made in and plopped in to the 2017.

The Brady Bunch

Originally airing from 1969-1974 this wholesome look at a blended family may look more like this today. Stepmom to Greg, Peter, and Bobby Carol runs the company, Mike, stepdad to Marsha, Jan, and Cindy works from home as an internet consultant. Greg, is a closeted homosexual, Peter is stoned half the time, and Bobby is in a hard core band called Living Neon Snot. Marsha! Marsha! Marsha! Spends hours at the like mall maxing out Mike’s credit cards shopping for that perfect Kardashian look, Jan is constantly getting fat shamed by older sister leading to an eating disorder, Cindy is a little hipster in the making.

Danger Bay

In the mid 1980’s a Canadian show, yes friends I’m moving this cut and paste party north of the 49th Paralell. I watched this show at the time, and thought little of it, but fifteen years later once fully grown I noticed some things. All the bad people, well about 90% were American or some non-white foreigner. Here’s what it would look like today, Nicole would probably have a love for science, and carry with her some, maybe not all her Canadian Nationalist ideas, Jona, her older brother would go down to a school in California on a tennis scholarship, and not only meet but fall in love with a girl in a wheelchair. Grant and JL would pretty much stay the same.

Just Reboot It!

Family Ties was a show I loved as a child in the mid 1980’s, but how would it fair today? Steve and Aleis would stay pretty much the same, cool, without having to try hard. The jury’s still out on if Alex P would be a Trump Republican, Malery would still be not only fashion savvy, but have some computer smarts, Jennifer, the Thom Boy, and one I most related too, would start out Thom Boy and become hipster or maybe Goth, Little Andy, well, he has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair.


What show from your childhood would make it today, which one wouldn’t, and which do you think deserves a 2010’s remake?

This Boils My Potatoes

Gill has a question. I’m not going to answer it myself since complaining about shit is one of the reasons this place exists and anything that’s already happened has likely been covered, but the rest of you can feel free to have at it.

Do you have pet peeves, or things that make you just want to dump a glass of ice water on someone? Of course, everyone does. If you have a disability you might have some of these potato boilers as I call them.

In Someone Else’s Shoes

One day I was talking to a friend of mine, and he asked what my pet peeves were. I told him that I hate when people assume:

  1. That I know or want to hang out with their blind cousin.
  2. That I don’t wash frequently, and bring bed bugs.
  3. That because I’m blind it’s ok to say something like “wow! Your smart` in a tone that means “you don’t have brain damage? I thought all blind people did.”
  4. That I always have someone with me.
  5. That it’s ok to violate me with out asking. E.G. if I’m standing minding my own business at the street corner don’t just grab me!

He thought about it for a moment and before I get to his I must give background. My friend was born in Cambodia in 1979 during the reign of The Khmer Rouge. At three weeks old a bomb hit his home leaving him with severe burns to 70% of his body and traumatic brain injury. Here’s what he considered his potato boilers.

  1. When someone suggests that it’s a good idea for him to go kill himself to end his pain.
  2. That he’s Chinese, even though some relatives of his came from there hundreds of years ago, he self identifies as Cambodian.
  3. That his mom could give a good pedicure, come on people it’s 2017 let’s be civilized here!
  4. That one or both of his parents committed horrible sins and that’s why he is the way he is.
  5. That he can’t speak English very well.

My challenge for you is to tell me some of your potato boilers {pet peeves} let’s start a discussion.