Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Friday, December 14, 2012

An Open Letter To America

Hello my Southern Brother. I bring greetings and a message.

That was the greeting.

This is the message:

It’s time to grow up. Growing up means looking around and seeing what is really true. What is really true is your society is fecked and all the John Waynes in the world cain’t hardly fix it.

How many of your children do you need to see killed by your own people’s hands - with the guns you make so readily available - before you begin to suspect that maybe, just maybe, your almighty worship of the 2nd Amendment is a bit - well, so 19th century? (I sincerely and deeply apologize for the previous sentence. Parse it at your risk.).

It’s 2012. Most of the developed world’s citizens handle gun ownership sensibly. Only one of them still considers it a Divine Right of The Only God That Matters.

That would be YOU, USA. You, who continue to kill your children in your schools. Or movie-goers in their theatres. Or wherever a crowd - and future, fleeting internet/tv glory - abides.

Your gun-worshipping culture is killing your children at a rate that appals the rest of the world. Yet here and there, I see and hear pockets of Americans whispering the heresy of...gasp...gun control. They are quickly and vociferously drowned out by the outraged Gun Worshippers and their well-funded PR machine.

They even somehow manage to spin their voodoo to suggest that only gun-totin’ “real” Americans are favoured by Jesus Christ All-Mighty His Own Self. And that pencil-necked Liberal pansies are first in line for eternal fiery torment - so help ya’ god.

And so it goes.

On and on.

The heartbreak of torn-apart families. The burials of small children who had no understandable, earthly reason to be dead so soon. Communities, teachers, parents everywhere living with a new nightmare.

It’s very wrong. And I think making guns, especially handguns and assault weapons, more difficult to buy, would go a long way towards stopping horrors like that of Dec. 14th, 2012 in Newtown Connecticut.

At least talk about it. Nobody is taking guns away. Just talk about making them a little tougher to get and their owner vetted more closely.

 In Canada, if you want to buy a gun you need to get a Firearms Acquisition Certificate. In order to get said certificate, you need to pass a police check and a firearms safety course. Then, and only then, can you purchase a gun and ammunition.

If you feel the need to carry a handgun because of your business or the fact you belong to a gun club, you apply for a permit to buy and carry one. As far as I know, this may require a deeper background check and/or more training with a weapon before the handgun permit is issued.

If taking one more course, or having to purchase one more permit, or having to wait two more weeks, means one more whacko flips out BEFORE getting his hands on a piece - all of society will benefit.

So please, my Brother By A Southern Mother, just talk about it.

Don’t bury more of your children. It doesn’t need to be like this.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Still Alive - Still Not Funny (#245)

A couple of months ago, a friend wrote that while she enjoyed the pics I posted in my Canon Fodder blog, she missed my writing. Especially from way-in-the-long-ago when I used to be funny. As a reminder, she pointed to the sample column on my website - posted half an eon or so ago. I hadn't read it in several years so I went to the site and, despite sore lips from tackling the sports pages the night before, I perused the whole darn thing.

Yep. Not much doubt. I used to be funny. In case that posted piece was a fluke, I checked a few other oldies. (Hilary was kind enough to compile my first few years' worth of columns into a book, so the checking was pretty easy.)

Muttering, reading, and flicking pages, there was no denying it: that Frank Baron was an amusing dude.

Concerned, I turned to the people who know and love me best.

"Son #1, when's the last time you thought I was funny?"

"Looking? I'd have to say now. Ha-ha-ha!"

I should have known better and turned to Son #2. Same question.

"You mean funny looking? Right now! Ha-ha-ha!"

 Strange how some apples roll quite a distance from the tree.

 I could depend on Hil, pretty sure. "Hil, think before you answer: When's the last time you thought I was funny?"

"Um...I guess it was this morning when you were sleeping. Your hair was sticking straight up on one side and drool was puddling into your beard. Although ... that wasn't as funny as yesterday when you tried to button up that old jean jacket. You looked like a blue sausage! Ha-ha-ha!"

Now, I didn't just tumble off the turnip truck yesterday. I'm not as dumb as some people, probably. And if nothing else, even though I may have lost my sense of humour, I still have the hard-won maturity that comes part and parcel with 61 years on the planet. In other words, I can accept reality.

So folks, if you want a chuckle from me, drop me a line and I'll send you a photo.


 - We're still looking for a waterfront home. We thought we found one last month but it didn't work out. We're checking out a couple of new possibles next week.

- Remember when I was trying to lure you folks to the message board I set up? Well, I'm still in lure-mode. Some of you have joined. Some of you visit as "guests." But MOST of you are still reluctant to check it out. Consider this a nudge. (The full-fledged, all-out whining, begging, guilt-tripping and crying will occur when we're settled in the new place.)

All you need do is visit http://www.runboard.com. To join, just make up a user name and password. (I use my real name there but most folks use a nickname.) Once you've joined the overall Runboard community, you can visit any of the message boards set up there, including The Nest. The URL for it is: http://bwritersnest.runboard.com/

I hope to see you there.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What The Flux! (#244)

Noun 1. state of flux - a state of uncertainty about what should be done (usually following some important event) preceding the establishment of a new direction of action - The Free Dictionary

Yep. That s'plains it. That's howcum I haven't posted here in six months. I was fluxing. I meant to post. But I was fluxing my fool head off.

Life has been weird - but in an unusual way this time: It's been interesting and fun and busy. For the first time in my adult life (which, for those who don't know me well, extends some 40+ years) I don't have to worry about paying next month's bills. Or the month after.

Hilary and I are looking for a house together, someplace in Ontario's cottage country. We want to be on a lake and live there year-round. So, much of my time the past few months has been engaged in that pursuit.

I'd never really considered the fact that at 60 (okay, 61) such a path would open. But it has, and as my guru Yogi Berra once opined: When you come to a fork in the road - take it.

So, we're taking it.

However, it's a big step for anyone at any age: moving from what has been home for more than 25 years to some place new. But the prospect of waking every morning and looking upon a lake and forests where wildlife abounds is incredibly exciting. My somewhat-dormant fishing skills will be reawakened by the challenge of learning the ins and outs of a new lake. Our cameras are drooling at the prospect of photographing birds, deer, moose and possibly bears and wolves.

In the meantime, as we search for the right place, there is much to keep us busy here. Offspring need to be schooled on taking care of a house. ("What? House taxes? Really?") We still live in different cities, so traveling back and forth eats up days at a time.

Aside from taking new forks and fluxing, I've been working at keeping The Nest off the ground. You remember, it's that message board thing that a few of you have joined, and a few others have peeked at. Slowly but surely, it's evolving into a pleasant and interesting place to spend a little online time. I'm going to keep bugging you folks about it periodically and am fully confident that within a couple of years, many dozens, perhaps hundreds, will have joined.

Once settled into the new place (we're going to call it The Nest too) I hope to do more writing. Not necessarily more blogging but that may happen as well. I just might have another book or two in me. We'll see.

In the meantime, I'll post photos with some degree of regularity at my Canon Fodder blog. I still have quite a backlog of pics to upload.

And remember, you'll be welcome at The Nest. All you need to do is join the Runboard Community (free) at: http://www.runboard.com/ and then if you visit: http://bwritersnest.runboard.com/ you'll be at The Nest.

Come on over. I guarantee you'll meet new people whose company you'll enjoy and you just might meet a familiar face or two as well.

So long 'til next time. Hope all's well in your worlds.