You are here

Newsletter Vol. # 35 That's how I see it!

Hello and welcome to this week's newsletter. Just back from a wonderful trip to Victoria/Vancouver. We have family in both locations. I must admit I found the rain and cloud a bit much but family overcame the downside. My feet are just now getting dry/warm.

Downtown Victoria is very interesting with its many little unique shops, eating establishments and places for afternoon tea. The famous Empress hotel is presently getting a facelift; we did a walkabout and discovered that even afternoon tea would strain the budget.

We ate twice at a restaurant called FOO, that is run by Pat Lynch, our son Brad's boyhood friend (K - 12). The food is Asian street cart food and the caramelized chicken is to die for.

We spent three days in Vancouver with daughter Carol, Anne and Oliver and had a blast. Oliver and I got in a golf game on the only day it didn't rain while in Vancouver.

I love going away on a holiday, and I love coming home (despite arriving back in a blizzard).

 Social Networks Improve Longevity

There is a great deal of undisputed evidence that people with strong vital networks of family and friends fare better psychologically and physically than those who don't have such networks.

In one California study, for example, 7000 people were interviewed about their social networks. Their mortality rates were then measured nine years later. Those with the most connections showed the lowest mortality, those most socially isolated died at a rate two to five times higher, even after socio-economic status, cigarette smoking, and other physical health factors were accounted for. A similar study, done in Michigan, showed identical results. Researchers have long known that married people are statistically healthier and livelonger than the single, widowed, or divorced.

It is the "supportive exchange" in strong interpersonal networks that gives people greater feelings of individual autonomy and competence to manipulate their own circumstances. As a result, they have stronger coping and self-healing mechanisms in times of stress or illness. Meredith Minkler goes on to say, studies showing that patients in burn units are better off in shared then in private rooms and that social support improves the recovery or improvement rate a variety of illnesses, including post-myocardial infarctions, strokes, asthma, mastectomy and chronic renal disease.

Social networks really do help!

Established in 1973, the Sourtoe Cocktail Club is made up of people who have drank a shot of 80-proof whiskey with a human toe in it at the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City, Yukon. There is one rule: "You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow, but your lips have to got touch the toe." The original digit reportedly belonged to a rumrunner who lost his toe to an axe in the 1920s after it became gangrenous. In 2013, a patron swallowed the digit forcing organizers to find a replacement. More than 100,000 individuals are members of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club--a number nearly three times the population of the entire Yukon Territory.

I'm A Senior And I'm Looking For A Gang To Join

Thomas Joiner in his book, Lonely At The Top: The High Cost Of Men's Success states, Men grow lonelier and sadder as they age, whereas women's self-satisfaction accelerates.

The condition of loneliness isn't just psychologically detrimental; its health effects can be as fatal as cancer and obesity, suggesting it's associated with "less restorative sleep" and "decreased functioning of the immune system." In a study of middle-aged men in Sweden, "having a close attachment to just one person, like a spouse, did not confer much protection against heart attack and death due to heart disease. But having multiple friendships did.

Joiner theorizes that men sustain fewer friendships than women in part because they are more narcissistic and self-centred. Men seem to be under the impression that friendships will always be provided for them, just as they were in grade school. A lucky few can get by on the friendships they made back in the day. But many can't, and over time, men drift away from friendships and simultaneously earn money and status. They spend years getting to the top, achieving money and status, finally get it and yet they feel lonely and empty.

A practical solution-- Reconnect with your best friends from youth, advises Joiner. Have a reunion with them. It needs to be as juvenile a time as the guys can muster and ideally it needs to occur regularly. The goal of the reunion is to reconnect the man's social connections when they were at their peak.

And bring booze. Alcohol probably does more good than harm, says Joiner. I'm aware of several examples of people who have banned alcohol from their lives, with little effect to their lives. Sobriety, far from contributing to well-being, seems to accelerate their social isolation and thus fuel deterioration.

One approach to male loneliness is simply to revert to a more natural state of interaction with nature, even if only in small doses--look out the window, go for a walk.

Small doses of social connection are strong medicine. You take your medication daily, you take a third of an aspirin every day, well, why not take your social medicine every day and call someone.

Julia McKinnell from her article, Fat Wallets And No Friends

Glenn Gould played his final concert at age 32 on April 10, 1964 in LA. In all, this incredible pianist performed fewer than 200 concerts.

Frank Feldman

A man walks out to the street and catches a taxi just going by. He gets into the taxi, and the cabbie says, "Perfect timing. You're just like Frank."

Passenger:  "Who?"

Cabbie:   "Frank Feldman. He's a guy who did everything right all the time.  Like my coming along when you needed a cab, things happen like that to
Frank Feldman every single time."
Passenger:  "There are always a few clouds over everybody."
Cabbie:   "Not Frank Feldman.  He was a terrific athlete.  He could have won the Grand Slam at tennis. He could golf with the pros.  He sang like an opera baritone and danced like a Broadway star and you should have heard him play the piano. He was an amazing guy."
Passenger:   "Sounds like he was something really special."
Cabbie:   "There's more.  He had a memory like a computer.  He remembered everybody's birthday. He knew all about wine, which foods to order and which fork to eat them with.  He could fix anything. Not like me.  I change a fuse, and the whole street blacks out.  But Frank Feldman, he could do everything right."
Passenger:   "Wow. Some guy then."
Cabbie:   "He always knew the quickest way to go in traffic and avoid traffic jams. Not like me, I always seem to get stuck in them.  But Frank, he never made a mistake, and he really knew how to treat a woman and make her feel good.  He would never talk back to her even if she were in the wrong; and his clothing was always immaculate, shoes highly polished too.  He was the perfect man! He never made a mistake.  No one could ever measure up to Frank Feldman."
Passenger:   "An amazing fellow.  How did you meet him?"

Cabbie:   "Well, I never actually met Frank. He died. I'm married to his ....... Widow."

Bert Goodfellow in Letters To The Editor makes an interesting point in reference to Canada's Senate scandal.

The federal government spent $23.6 million to uncover less than $8 million in expenses' only some of which will be repaid. The government would have been far better off if they had drawn a line in the sand, ignored past sins and laid out firm and solid rules to be followed by Senators forward and put in place a stronger check on future spending. Then taxpayers would have been ahead by $23.6 million, not to mention the legal costs associated with collecting any of those questionable expenses.

Peter Jennings states, The Canadian Senate is a redundant and irrelevant colonial relic. It is costly to maintain and out of step with the values of a modern democratic country. Abolition is the Senate's only future. It's way past its best-before date.

Kell Peterson adds to the discussion, The behaviour of some Canadian senators should outrage all Canadians, but will abolishing the Senate strengthen the capacity of our institution to solve social, economic, and environmental concerns? If there are problems with corrupt politicians in our Senate, the solution lies in reforming the Senate, not abolishing it.

So what is your opinion on what should have been done in reaction to the corrupt senators and what should be done to prevent this from happening again or should we just scrap the Senate?

                                                 THE GRANT & WILTON COFFEE HOUSE

                                      Presents ~~~~~~~\\\\\\~~~~~~~\\\\\~~~~~~\\\\\

                                                             THOSE GUYS

Made up of eight performers who represent a cross-section of the Winnipeg music and theatre community, Those Guys have built a reputation for dynamic, feel-good performances since 2009. Their repertoire, which ranges from The Nylons to Justin Timberlake (and everything in between), features complex (often original) musical arrangements performed without a single instrument. In 2012, Those Guys released their first studio recording, "That Album". Their follow-up EP, "LIVE!" was released in December 2014.

The ticket includes Coffee/Tea + Munchies

DOORS 7:00PM  / TICKETS $17 / ADVANCE $15,
TEL: 204/488-0207 204/895-1719

I have seen them and they are great.
I am going!

The Bluenose of Lunenburg, of N.S. won the International Fisherman's Trophy, a race to determine the fastest fishing vessel in the North Atlantic, in 1921, 1922, and 1924. The tall ship has appeared on Canadian dimes since 1937.

Reader Response

Response to Drunk Drivers article:

Here's my response to your question about drunk drivers:
1st offence - a hefty fine and suspension of license for a month
2nd offence - heftier fine and license suspended for 6 months and the car impounded for that time
3rd offence and beyond (if a beyond exists) license suspended and car impounded until the driver has gone through a rehab program and passed a rigorous exam at the end of the program
All offenders after this suspended for life - don't even send them to jail. There's no room in that Inn and they just learn new tricks.

Thanks Jake for all the cartoons, the most interesting videos, and your opinion.

 Have a great week and it certainly is okay to share the newsletter with in-laws, outlaws, and friends.
To subscribe to the That's how I see it! Newsletter click on or send E-mail to