How many will answer?

DATE: Nov 20

TITLE: How many will answer?

I found the following in the spam folder of one of my email accounts earlier tonight.

From: ING BANK OF TURKEY
Reply To: mrsel@ya

Dear Friend,

I got your e-mail address contact through your country’s Information exchange online while browsing and after that, I decided to contact you to ask for your assistance in this urgent matter that requires trust, confidentiality because you might receive this message in your inbox, Junk/Spam folder.

My name is Mr. Selim the senior Manager of ING Bank Turkey, Acibadem Branch of Istanbul Turkey (IBT) European Banking Corporation Limited Europe. I am a 55 years old man, married with three children. I have a very urgent, confidential, and profitable business for both of us Valued at (Twenty Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars). This fund is an excess of what my branch in which I am the senior manager made as profit last year. I have already submitted an approved End of the Year 2020 report to our Head Office, and they will never know of this Excess. I have since then placed this amount of (Twenty Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) on a SUSPENSE SECURITY without a beneficiary. As a Senior Manager of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to this money thus I am impelled to request your assistance to receive this money as the beneficiary of the funds.

If we could do this together, we shall share these funds 50/50 between us accordingly and this transaction is 100% risk-free, as no-risk involved during or after this transaction. All I need from you is to stand as the original depositor of this fund, also to keep this deal confidential between us. If you’re interested, kindly write back for more information, while I shall explain more in detail as soon as I receive a response from you.

Thanks for your kind understanding! Awaiting your response,

Mr.Selim

The Senior Manager of ING Bank Turkey,
Acibadem Branch of Istanbul Turkey (IBT)
Bulgurlu Mahallesi Acibadem Caddesi No: 156 34660 skdar / Istanbul

Okay now, let’s tear this apart. The first sign this is not real is that it wasn’t sent to me specifically. In fact, there is no addressee shown at all. Second, although it purports to be from ING Bank in Turkey, the actual email address was a gmail account. I highly doubt the ING Bank in Turkey, a subsidiary of the Dutch multinational ING, would use gmail as their default email. Next, the “reply to” address is “yandex”, which a quick Google search tells me is a Russian search engine among other things.

$25,500,000 is a lot of money in any currency and the proposed 50/50 “split” would mean I’d stand to receive $12,750,000 US,( $16,060,000 CAD at the present exchange rate) if this were in fact legitimate. That itself may entice people to respond.

If I were to respond – I’m crazy, but not stupid, so I won’t – I’d probably be asked to provide various bits of personal information, including my bank account numbers. The result of my gullibility would be to give them access to my account and my huge balance of about $3.84 cents. Of course they would assure me they only wanted the banking information so they could transfer the money to me, but in actuality, they’d just drain my money.

Then there are the legal problems. Most banks are required by law to report any deposit over $10,000 to the government. So, unless I could prove I won the money in a lottery, I’d be answering a lot of questions from federal investigators.

Oh yes, and the personal details “I am a 55 years old man, married with three children.” is a nice but unnecessary touch. I suppose it’s supposed to make me feel all warm and fuzzy and more willing to listen. Well, Selim, I’m a 77 year old grandmother with a healthy streak of cynicism.

If you should receive this email, or any email like this, just delete it. Not every scam artist is a Nigerian Prince, some are Turkish bankers.

Stay safe and remember to give an artist a virtual, socially distanced hug – we need love too.

Cat.

Not your decision

DATE: Nov 11

TITLE: Not your decision

Yesterday was beautiful in southern Ontario – sunny, 13 degrees (about 55F) – so I decided to get the cameras out and get some final photos of the fall colours. One of my favourite spots is a pedestrian bridge over a creek near my home. This bridge approximates the route of the original highway, so the original abutments are still there and, as with most man-made surfaces in an urban area, have been used by graffiti artists. One in particular caught my eye, so with some careful gymnastics, I took this photo.

I was hanging off the side of the bridge trying not to drop my cameras into the creek which accounts for the angle. If you’re having trouble reading it, it says “We don’t want your kids to be trans”. First of all, who exactly are the anonymous “we”? And why in hell is my kid’s status any of their concern?

Should any of my children or grandchildren be trans, how exactly will that impact the life of the person who painted this comment? Oh, I know some people are offended by trans people for no reason other than someone being trans doesn’t fit with their view of the world and “the way things should be”. Well, tough!

The gender identity or sexual orientation of someone isn’t the decision of anyone other than the person involved. As a parent of course I’d like to have a discussion about the choice with the child involved, but in the end, it’s still the child’s decision and I would support that decision. It isn’t and never will be, the decision of some anonymous graffiti artist.

I have lived in this area for a little over seventeen years and there have been very few incidents of anti-trans actions. I’ve been called names from a distance and never to my face, but nothing more. The only other indication of anything related to trans I can recall was this: one day I noticed that someone had taken a broad-tipped felt marker and printed the words “I wish I was a girl” on the back of a bus stop. Other than that, it has been a quiet and picturesque little village.

According to an article I read on the CBC News website this past weekend, there has been a significant increase in transphobic activity in Canada in the past couple of years. The article mentions that this seems to be seepage (my word) from similar activities taking place in the UK and US over the past few years. At face value, this sign would appear to be a clue it has struck my quiet little corner of Ontario.

So to the unknown paint can artist, that is none of your business and not your decision.

Cat.

I think not

I got the following email this morning:

Payment Confirmation

Order Invoice <smithfre9642@

09:28 (3 hours ago)

to ewanherbalmagic, bcc: me

Thank You For Your Recent Purchase With iCloud by Apple Inc
This is an auto-generated confirmation email for the purchase that you have done.
You will receive another email with the invoice shortly.
This charge may appear in your account in the next 24 hours of purchase.
If you want to cancel or modify your order, visit iTunes/apple. store or call at xxx-9348
Please find your order information below:
Order Number: FNJ DCC NM2M
Order Date: 23-Sep-2021
Order Name: 12 TB iCloud Space
Amount: USD 1499.99
Paid via iTunes
We hope you shop with us again soon.
Apple Inc.
Helpdesk : xxx-9348

There is so much wrong with this message.

First, it was sent from a gmail address. I somehow doubt Apple is using gmail. Next, notice that it wasn’t sent directly to me, but to someone else with a bcc to me. I suppose the hope is that I won’t notice that and no, I have no idea who “ewanherbalmagic” is.
This was sent to an email address that I set up for a specific purpose and isn’t one I use as a matter of course, so is not attached to my iTunes account.

Now that I’ve disposed of the obvious errors, let’s look at the rest: According to the message I purchased 12 Terrabytes of iCloud storage at a price of $1,499.99 USD. That price is the equivalent today, September 23, 2021, of $1,889.99 CAD but there is no guarantee Apple would process it today, so that Canadian amount could be different from my calculation. And, I have a 1 Tb drive that still has 884 Gb free, so such a purchase would have been completely frivolous as well as far too expensive.

My feeling is that they expect you to have questions/suspicions about this message and you will either call them or use the email provided. I’ll save you the trouble and tell you that the address provided is not the way the real iTunes site shows up in your browser. This is a scam or phishing so, if you get such an email, I suggest you just delete it.

Cat.

Not this year

Today is June 29. On this date I usually change my profile picture on Facebook to a Canadian flag, or a photo of a maple leaf and leave it up until July 5 because that brackets both Canada Day, July 1 and Independence Day in the US, July 4. But not this year.

I’m still a proud Canadian, but this doesn’t seem like the year to celebrate this country. Here are three numbers to help explain why: 215 – 104 – 751. If you’re among my followers and readers from other countries you might not grasp the meaning of these numbers, but if you’re Canadian, I’m quite certain you understand at least the first and last of these.

For those who for various reasons – COVID 19 takes up much of most newscasts – aren’t aware, those three sets of numbers represent the numbers of unmarked graves recently located by various means, including ground penetrating radar, at the sites of now defunct residential schools.

215, Kamloops B C at a school run by the Roman Catholic Church.

104, southwestern Manitoba. None of the news articles I can locate mention which church ran this school. This didn’t seem to receive the same amount of national coverage as the other two.

751, southeastern Saskatchewan at a school run by the Roman Catholic Church.

Following is an abridged definition and history of the residential school system from The Canadian Encyclopaedia:

Residential schools were government-sponsored religious schools that were established to assimilate Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian culture. Although the first residential facilities were established in New France, the term usually refers to schools established after 1880. Residential schools were created by Christian churches and the Canadian government as an attempt to both educate and convert Indigenous youth and to assimilate them into Canadian society. However, the schools disrupted lives and communities, causing long-term problems among Indigenous peoples.

… residential schools became part of government and church policy from the 1830s on, with the creation of Anglican, Methodist, and Roman Catholic institutions in Upper Canada (Ontario). The oldest continually operating residential school in Canada was the Mohawk Institute in what is now Brantford, Ontario. This began as a day school for Six Nations boys, but in 1831 it started to accept boarding students.

Survivors of these schools speak of harsh conditions: forbidden to speak their native languages upon threat of punishment; the boys forcibly having their hair cut, and physical and sexual abuse. A survivor from the Kamloops school, in an interview, said that if a child suddenly vanished overnight, it was assumed they had simply run away, and the schools would encourage that assumption. The overall aim of these schools, in the words of one survivor interviewed, was “to take the Indian out of the child”.

The Roman Catholic order than ran the Kamloops school has announced they will provide whatever documentation they still have to aid in the identification of these 215 poor unfortunate children. I’ve not read or heard of any such offers regarding the Manitoba and Saskatchewan sites. Both the Ontario and federal government have announced they will make funds available to help in the search for unmarked graves and identification of the remains.

I realize that now, in 2021,society’s attitudes have changed greatly since these schools were introduced, but I can think of nothing at any time in history, not just the history of Canada but the history of the world, to justify such treatment of children.

I can’t say if the news of these discoveries in Canada had any bearing on it, but Deb Haaland, the American Secretary of the Interior this past week announced an investigation into the American version of residential schools. I’d like to be optimistic, but I fear that investigation will reveal similar events in the US.

As a result of these sad and tragic announcements, many cities and towns are cancelling their planned Canada Day celebrations. They too find it hard to celebrate this nation’s birthday.

We as a nation have failed these children and I personally don’t think we have anything to celebrate this year. Maybe next year.

Cat.

They are persistent

I checked an email account for the first time since late last week. In it I found the following two emails:

Geek-Squ Renewal (actual address: adammuche1959@)
May 29,2021

Dear Customer,
Thank you for subscribing Defender Firewall Protection From us .
Today the Service Will Renewed Automatically with $349.89 on the same account provided to us.
Order ID: DFP1476608 Date: 29-05-2021

Description Amount

Geek Protection $349.89

(Inclusive Tax)

Total $ 349.89

Note :- Charges will appear on your statement after 8 hours once debited.
If you want to cancel the charges for $349.89 Auto Renew This time.
Get in touch with us :- +1 (800) (674)

Thanks Regards,
Account Dept.
Defender Firewall Protection
+1 (800) (674) Geek Squad (actual address: felixdolphin060@)
May 31. 2021

We Are Renewing It For You

Dear Customer,
Thank you for choosing Geek Squad Pc Support with us.
Today Subscription Will Be Auto Renewed automatically
with $ 399.99 on the same account provided to us.

Customer Support- +1(800) 274
Order #16589GS-59856
Details are giving below –
Account Type:- Personal Home Subscription
Product :- Geek Squad PC Protection
Quantity :- 1
Tenure :- 3 Years
Payment Mode:- Auto Debit
Renewal Amount – $ 399.99

This Email Confirms That You’ve Renewed Your 1 Year Subscription To Geek Squad For $ 399.99 On May 31 2021

To Cancel The Subscription You Can reach Us at +1(800) 274
Regards
Geek Squad Team
Contact +1(800) 274

To keep myself out of trouble with WordPress (again) I’ve left off part of both the actual email addresses and the phone numbers.
I believe Geek Squad is the tech support team at Best Buy, which presents the scammers with their first problem. The last thing I bought from Best Buy was about 3 years ago, and that was a copy of TurboTax. I paid $20 cash for it, so there is no reason I’d have signed up for tech support. If I can’t put a disk in the drive and follow instructions, I shouldn’t be allowed near a computer. And since I paid cash, there is no record of either a debit or credit card number.

These emails came from different addresses, both gmail and both phone numbers are different. Note also the amounts differ. The first is for $349.89 tax included and the second for 399.99 with no mention of taxes. If the scammers are working together, and I find it hard to believe two separate people came up with the idea of a Geek Squad scam at the same time, you’d think they’d at least stick with the same price. Also notice the awkward sentence structure.

One other possibility just came to mind. Somewhere in western Canada is a woman who seems unable to remember her email address and frequently gives out mine in error. I say “in error” because I’ve received family newsletters and vacation plans from her friends. I’ve also received emails regarding orders from legitimate businesses in western Canada. I know because I’ve phoned a couple of these firms upon receipt of their messages.

If you have bought goods from Best Buy and signed up for support, if you get one of these emails, check with Best Buy then delete the message.

Summer is almost here. Stay safe, wear a mask when and where required and remember to give an artist a socially distant hug – we need love too.

Cat.

Old Air

A comment on a Facebook post reminded me I'd written this and since we could all probably use something to make us laugh or at least smile, I thought I'd repost it.

You mean you’ve never heard the story of old air? Hell man, I’ve seen a guy so taken in by that story, I could hardly keep a straight face when he told me and neither could the cop who was there. Let me tell you about it.

I was working the night shift at the gas station – you know the one, just off the highway when you’re comin’ from the east – on New Year’s Eve it was. A car pulled in with a couple of kids in it and went to the air hose to refill a tire. While they were there, this guy comes just a-flyin’ in, slams on the brakes and slides halfway across the tarmac to the air pump. I seen this guy get out of his car and talk to the first guy. I guess he was asking how long he’d be, since he seemed to be in such a hurry. I don’t know, maybe he was trying to get home before midnight.

Anyway, the couple finish and I see them drive off, then pull off the road about a hundred yards off, where they could still see the air pump, you know? Meanwhile, I see this other guy, the speed demon, pull his car up to the air hose. It’s about ten to midnight by now and quiet, being New Year’s Eve and all, so I’m watching this guy because I’m bored and I’m also worried that in his rush, he might take the stand out when he leaves and I want to get his licence number. From the office, I’ve got a clear view of that part of the lot and the lights cover that area pretty good , so I can see everything he’s doin’.

Well, this guy is actin’ like he’s crazy. He starts with the left front and seems to be taking a long time checking that tire. I guessed the valve cap was stuck and didn’t think anything of it. Same with the left rear. Then, because he’s got the hose stretched as far as it’ll go, he goes back around the front to the right side, where I can see what he’s doing. What I can see makes no sense whatsoever. I’m watching this guy, who seems in a real panic by now. Since it’s almost twelve, I start putting my coat and stuff on and figure I’ll go out and wish him a Happy New Year. I’m still watching him, and I see him take a look at his watch, then let all the air out of his tire.

Now, you know and I know that isn’t usually recommended, ‘cause if it goes down the wrong way, the rim’ll cut the sidewall. But, as soon as it’s flat, he refills it, all the while sneaking peeks at his watch. Meanwhile, I take a look at the couple in the car, figurin’ maybe they’re gonna wait until he leaves then try to rob me. They’re sitting there, just killin’ themselves laughin’.

Then he moved on to the right rear. Same thing again. Let the air out, look at the watch, refill the tire. Well, by now I’m totally lost, so I figure I’ll go ask him what the hell he’s doin’. Just as I step out the door, Steve, the usual constable, pulls onto the lot. I wave at him and keep on walkin’. He sees where I’m headed and follows me over. I get there just as the guy’s finished the right rear and is putting the valve cap back on. I wish him Happy New Year, he does the same, then looks at his watch and he says “I didn’t think I’d finish in time.”

I guess he sees the curiosity on both my face and Steve’s for he says “You know, changing the air in my tires, like that other guy said I should. He said that if I didn’t, I could have trouble with the handling because I had last year’s air in the tires.”

Well, Steve and I can hardly keep our faces straight when we hear this. But Steve, who’s never slow with a line, says “Oh yeah. That’s tonight isn’t it? I guess that’s the reason the cruiser was in the shop when I reported in. The mechanics were changing the air. What about you Lloyd, got your air changed yet?”

I’m tryin’ hard not to laugh at this guy, then Steve comes out with this. It takes me about a minute, but finally I say “Not yet, I’ll do it in a while if it stays quiet. Don’t want to have trouble on the roads tonight. Not many people around and those that are aren’t in any shape to drive. But, I’ll definitely change it by shift end.”

Then Steve, who knows when he’s on to a good thing, says to the guy “Don’t forget the spare. I’ve seen a lot of problems with people who had flats, then discovered they still had last year’s air in the spare.”

“The spare?” says the guy. “Oh Jeez, thanks for reminding me. This is my wife’s car and if she has a problem with anything like that, she’ll kill me because I forgot the spare.”

Well, by now, Steve and I are ready to bust from keeping the laughs inside, so we go back to the office. The first thing we do is just about blow the door off what with laughin’ so much. Then I tell him what happened before he arrived. He shakes his head and says “Give me a couple of hot chocolates, will you Lloyd? I’m goin’ to give them to the kids in the sedan.”

“The kids in the sedan? Why?”

Steve’s still laughin’, but he tries to tell me. “Think about it Lloyd. A guy’s checking the air in a slack tire and someone comes in and ask what he’s doing. Now, it’s about half past eleven on New Year’s Eve and the guy’s probably a bit pissed off. Then some jerk asks him what he’s doing, so he gives him a smart-assed answer about changing the air in his tires before January first. Now, from the guy’s reaction, this other guy knows he’s found a live one, so after he’s finished, he parks somewhere close where he can see the fun. The way I see it, they’ve earned those hot chocolates. They’re probably cold by now, so make them large ones. I’m a cop, so it won’t look suspicious to our patsy out there if I stop to check their car.”

While Steve’s talkin’, I’m thinkin’ about what I saw and I had to agree with him. I reached for the extra large cups. I look out the window as I hand the hot chocolates to Steve and the guy’s clearing stuff out of the trunk. Just as Steve pulls out of the lot, the guy, still holding the air hose, is climbing into his trunk.

Thanks for this story idea to the lady who was in that sedan.

From the home front

DATE: May 7

TITLE: From the home front

Ontario is currently in the middle of a four week mandatory stay at home order intended to slow the spread of COVID 19. For me, the only real change is that I now stay home because I’m told to, not because I want to. But it does give me some time to think and ask questions I probably normally wouldn’t dream of.

Before I get to the questions and other observations, Canada is conducting its official census this month. This year it is all being done online. I’ve already filled out mine and hit “send”. I noticed a couple of questions that I don’t recall seeing on the census before. The first dealt with gender at birth, and part B of that question was current gender. The second asked about past or present military service. In all the years I’ve been doing the survey, I’ve never been asked that before. If you’re curious, my answer was “yes”.

I haven’t picked on commercials for a while. There has been one on recently for Scotties tissues. At the end, there is a scene where the actress is crying and the tag line is something like “send in the Scotties”. Only problem I have with this is that although the dogs are cute, they aren’t Scotties – they’re West Highland White Terriers.

Okay, on to the questions, actually just a multi-part single question: When and how did certain languages become associated with certain fields? For example, in law and medicine, Latin appears to have become the lingua franca. When, why and how did this occur? As I understand it, much of our law is descended from ancient Greece and the middle east, as is medicine. So how did Latin become the common language of these fields?

Classical music is another case. Italian seems to be the common tongue among composers, yet not all composers were Italian. Bach, Beethoven, Brahms didn’t speak Italian in their daily lives. There are French composers as well, such as Saint Saens, Delibes and DeBussy. Norway gave us Grieg and Finland added Sibelius. Yet each of these composers use Italian in their notations.

Ballet seems to be the province of French terms – pas de deux, barre, jete.

Who decided, and when, that such-and-such a language would become the common tongue of a field of endeavour?

I blame all these questions on Doug Ford, the Premier of Ontario. If he hadn’t told me I had to stay home, I’d have been out with a camera and wouldn’t have time to dwell on topics like this.

Stay safe and remember to give an artist a socially distant hug – we need love too.

Cat.

Thoughts from isolation

1 – I don’t know about you, but to me it seems the pandemic and resulting restrictions and social distancing measures have changed the way I shop. For years economists and others have been talking about moving to a cashless society. It seems COVID may be hastening that eventuality. Other than for cab fare, I can’t recall the last time I used anything other than credit or debit cars to pay for anything.

2 – I’m upset with one of the cable channels I get – AMC. Last year they ran a series called “A Discovery of Witches”, which really captured my interest. About a month ago, they showed the complete first season. This was good as I’d somehow missed a couple of episodes. Among the various commercials were some advertising season two and those are the reason for my upset. Season two will be shown on their streaming service, not the regular cable channel. For some reason I am unable to access American streaming services (I’ve tried several times.) This show is set in modern times and involves witches, vampires and others of the fae realm. (Random thought: I find it somewhat ironic that this centuries old vampire drives a Tesla.) Brief synopsis: young woman discovers she’s a powerful witch and gets involved with the above mentioned vampire. Other discover her power and try to capture her for various nefarious purposes. In the final episode of season one, she and the vampire escape through time – she has the ability to do what the show calls “time walking” – to 1590. But since it’s on the streaming service, I’ll never know how and when they return to today. Oh well, perhaps it’ll turn up as a box set on Amazon one of these days.

3 – When I drove taxi, I kept a crossword book with me to pass the time between calls. It was a way to stave off boredom. After a year of COVID isolation I’ve started solving them again because yelling at the television isn’t working any longer. It has been several years since I bought a crossword book and well, I still see the same clues recurring.

The creators of these things still use “Hilo honker”, or “goose that frequents crosswords” when after “NENE”. And they all seem to think the only native tribe in Canada is “CREE”. These are but two examples of clues and responses I recall from my cab days fifteen years ago. They are also fond of using proper names – Esai Morales in various forms is a common choice, as is Ava Gardner. Just once I’d like to see a puzzle that doesn’t involve proper names at all.

Every so often someone will come up with something that is so wrong it infuriates me, such as this one. The clue was “Renee Zellweger faked this for ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’”. The logical answer would be “ENGLISH ACCENT”, but that would be incorrect. For reasons known only to themselves, the creator decided the correct response was “ENGLISH ACCIDENT”! I’ve seen the movie and I have no idea where that came from.

Okay, I’ve ranted and must admit this feels better than screaming at the television. Stay safe and remember to give an artist a virtual hug – we need love (and social distancing) too.

Cat.

The return of Joseph

With the pandemic seeming to monopolize the news I haven’t written anything yet this year. The frequent reporting of case count and death totals, internationally, nationally and locally has me to the point where I now watch one newscast a day. I am aware of the American election and the circus and insurrection that followed (and still goes on) but as someone who isn’t American, I saw no reason to comment.

My regular followers and readers may recall “Joseph”, whom I took to task on several occasions over his comments on some of my “Bring him to justice” postings. Well, he’s back with more inane comments and ad hominem attacks. This time, on a posting, “Bring him to justice – where are the words?” from April 2019 lamenting the lack of news coverage over the George Flowers incident, his comment was “100%”. What the hell does that mean? Does he agree there should have been more coverage, or is he indicating his pleasure with the lack of coverage?

The other two comments were ad hominem attacks that don’t bear repeating here. I will say that they both refer to the fact I’m a transwoman. In one, he obviously didn’t read the post correctly where I said the Court ordered Flowers to serve two years less a day in a federal facility, because he states that length of term is served in a provincial jail. Joseph, read my words again “The Court imposed a sentence of time served plus two years less a day in a federal penitentiary.” (Bold face added. C) The other comment made some weird reference to my chin.

Joseph, three things: first, as I’m sure you know, the word “tranny” is very offensive unless you’re referring to an automotive transmission. Second, I didn’t you know had some strange chin fetish. And finally, my being transgender didn’t seem to bother you when you accused me of just being bitter because Flowers rejected me. What changed?
Cat.

Miscellaneous musings

1 – I’ve come to the conclusions that people in my neighbourhood either can’t read, can’t count, or both. There is a small convenience store down the street from me. This is a long, narrow shop with limited space. On the front door, taking up most of the width of the glass, at eye level, is a sign that reads “2 people at one time only” in large red characters on a white background. As you may be aware, many levels of government, municipal, provincial and federal, have imposed restrictions designed to slow or prevent the spread of COVID 19 and one of these is a restriction on the number of people allowed into an establishment at any one time. As I wrote above, this is a small store, so the maximum number of customers is set at two. I don’t know how many times, I’ve been in that store with one other customer and watched two or three more people walk in, completely ignoring the capacity sign they’ve been staring at. C’mon people, those restrictions are for your and my safety. Learn to read and count. It should be easy: one, two.

2 – Maybe I should change my surname to “Scrooge”, but doesn’t it seem to you that broadcasters started their Christmas programming earlier than usual this year? One radio station in Toronto began playing 24 hour Christmas music on November 2! And some of the cable stations I have access to (note “have access to” not watch”) have been showing Christmas themed movies since late November. By the time the actual holiday arrives, we won’t care because we’ll have been so inundated in the previous two months.

3 – I’ve been reading many comments over Jill Biden using “Doctor”. These comments are usually along the lines of “she isn’t a medical doctor, so she shouldn’t use the title.” Excuse me, but by that logic, a dentist shouldn’t be called “Doctor” either, but I’ll be you do use that title even though by the logic you’ve used against Dr Biden, the dentist wouldn’t be entitled to is. I have to disagree with this viewpoint. Any doctorate requires many years of study and great effort. Doctorates aren’t handed out the way presidential pardons seem to be recently. Anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort of earn a doctorate, in any field, deserves the right to use the honorific. I suspect the party affiliation of the people condemning her use of the title plays a part in their comments.

Stay safe,
Cat.