mdyetmetaphor.com

Michael's Metaphors of Life Journal

mdyetmetaphor.com header image 4

My New Bandwagon Political Party

May 18th, 2024 by Michael Dyet
Respond

Hmmm, will you jump on the bandwagon whatever it represents in the moment?

I have become completely disenchanted with the main political parties in Canada, what they purport to represent and how they conduct themselves. The legislative assemblies shift on a regular basis between trench warfare and the sandbox squabbles of spoiled five-year olds.

Therefore, after much soul-searching and self-reflection, I have made the momentous decision to form a new and never before envisioned political party. It will be called the Liberally Conservative Democratic Green Party of Canada (LCDGP).

You will want to know where my party stands in the political spectrum: far right, right, left or far left. The answer is all of the above and none of the above simultaneously. The LCDGP will float across the political spectrum from day to day depending on how I feel and how pissed off I am at one more of the mainstream parties on that particular day.

You will also want to know whether the LDCGP is a ‘big tent party’ (covering a broad spectrum of beliefs) or an ideologically specific party. The answer is all of the above and none of the above simultaneously. By its very nature the LDCPG will resist definition. It will champion different issues on different days depending on how annoyed I am at the various special interest groups that are or are not active.

You will want to know where the LDCGP stands on the big issues that affect everyone. Our platform is by random design both broad and narrow:

Opposed to personal tax increases in favour of tax increases for big corporations and vice versa as the situation and the flavour of the day dictates.

Favouring individual freedoms for present and future generations and vice versa except in situations where the alternative makes more sense or is politically expedient.

Favouring social democracy and democratic socialism and radically pro-environment except and unless there is a compelling reason to lean in the other direction.

Reducing the budget deficit will be a key and non-negotiable priority except in the short term and in long term situations where it makes sense to act otherwise.

I have thought long and hard about my party’s slogan and arrived with certainty at the following: Whatever and Whenever If Ever. The party official colour will be an earthtone muddy brown in keeping with our top-down, grassroots approach.

The Liberally Conservative Democratic Green Party of Canada will be, with apologies as necessary, an unapologetic bandwagon party that prides itself on being definitively difficult if not impossible to define. All party members will be narrowly open-minded or openly narrow-minded as, when and if appropriate.

Can I count on you to jump on the bandwagon in the next provincial and/or federal election?

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

Tags:   · · · · · No Comments.

The Leafs: A Cheque Book that Won’t Balance

May 11th, 2024 by Michael Dyet
Respond

Hmmm, who will finally lead the Maple Leafs out of the Stanley Cup wilderness?

It was all but a foregone conclusion that the axe would fall on Toronto Maple Leaf head coach Sheldon Keefe after the Leafs made another early exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs. GM Brad Treliving made the announcement this week with the usual “He’s a great guy but…” speech.

No need to feel sorry for Keefe. He had signed a two-year extension on his $1.95 million contract earlier this year. That extension, if I understand correctly, still applies so the pay cheques will keep coming while his agent fields new offers.

The average tenure for an NHL head coach is 2-1/2 years. Keefe had a good run as Leaf’s head coach holding the job for five years and compiling a 212-97-40 record. He bested his predecessor Mike Babcock’s reign of four years. But he was nowhere near the legendary Punch Imlach who coached the Buds for 10 years and 760 games including their last Stanley Cup.

Make no mistake: The job of an NHL coach is a lucrative although tenuous gig. The top 10 head coaches by salary as of the start of the 2023/24 season were:

  • Todd McLellan, Los Angeles Kings: $5 million
  • Bruce Cassidy, Vegas Golden Knights: $4.5 million
  • Peter DeBoer, Dallas Stars: $4.24 million
  • John Tortorella, Philadelphia Flyers: $4 million
  • Paul Maurice, Florida Panthers: $3.9 million
  • Gerard Gallant, New York Rangers: $3.5 million
  • Craig Berube, St. Louis Blues: $3.5 million (Fired by the Blues in December of last year and rumoured to be a leading candidate for the Leafs head coach job)
  • Martin St. Louis, Montreal Canadians: $3 million
  • Rick Tocchet, Vancouver Canucks: $2.75 million
  • Rick Bowness, Winnipeg Jets: $2.5 million

However, being at the helm of an NHL team is a high pressure job. Regardless of your past record, you are always one losing streak away from getting the boot. Coaching an original six team like the Maple Leafs is particularly stressful with constant media scrutiny and very re

The Maple Leafs have been looking for a head coach to lead them out of the playoff wilderness for decades. The team holds the dubious record of the longest Stanley Cup drought at 57 years. More than 20 coaches have come and gone in that time span.

I went looking for a suitable metaphor for the challenging task of being the Maple Leafs head coach. The best one I could find is working with a cheque book that won’t balance. Money is no object for a franchise with very deep pockets. But the cheque book is not going to balance until

the Leafs captain raises the Stanely Cup over his head for the celebratory skate at center ice.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

Tags:   · · · · No Comments.

Poilievre: On a Witch Hunt

May 4th, 2024 by Michael Dyet
Respond

Hmmm, how did we get to the sad state of affairs where the legislature is the verbal equivalent of an MMA ring?

I do not much pay close attention to the proceedings in the federal and Ontario legislatures these days. It is not that I am indifferent to what happens in these forums. Important decisions are made there that directly impact our lives. The problem for me is that the proceedings often degenerate into political posturing, name-calling and childish insults that leave me shaking my head.

Case in point: This past week federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for allegedly supporting moves in British Columbia to decriminalize some hard drugs in an attempt to reduce the number of overdose-related deaths. He did so in language that degraded himself and his party: When will we put an end to this wacko policy by this wacko prime minister?

The Speaker of the House ruled that the comment was unparliamentary and asked Poilievre four times to withdraw it. Poilievre declined each time – offering the alternative words extremist or radical.

The Speaker accordingly booted him out of the House for the balance of the sitting which Poilievre knew full well would happen. He is anglinig for media coverage at any cost. He continued his tirade on social media: This is a wacko policy from a wacko PM that’s destroying lives. 

Liberal parliamentarian Steven MacKinnon, who is in charge of government business in the House, was quoted as saying that the incident had been a disgrace and showed a disrespect for institutions. Really? No shit, Sherlock!

It needs to be said that Trudeau does not hesitate to get his own licks in with regard to his rival. He has accused him of being an extremist, of being a Donald Trump supporter and of spending time with far-right groups.

The sad reality is that it no longer matters what issue is being debated. The immutable rule of party politics is: Whatever the other guy says or does is by definition wrong, self-serving and downright dangerous. I repeat: It no longer matters what issue is being debated.

If you are one of the opposition party leaders, the rules of engagement dictate that you must attack the leader of the party in power twice as vehemently and below the belt. This is seen as the only and inevitable path to victory in the next election whenever that may be.

The political arena has become an unending and no-holds-barred witch hunt. Whether you are the party in power or one of the opposition parties, your rival across the floor must be demonized unrelentingly. Being reprimanded or tossed out for your behaviour has become a badge of honour.

The floor of the legislature is no longer a place of honour and decorum. It is the verbal equivalent of a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) battleground where the rules of order exist only to be violated. Pierre Poilievre is the worst example of this type of behaviour. The sad part of the matter is that it is this very behaviour that may earn him the PM’s seat after the next election.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

Tags:   · · · · No Comments.

My Greatest Fear: The Digital Dungeon

April 27th, 2024 by Michael Dyet
Respond

Hmmm, will I be trapped in the dark and gloomy digital dungeon for all time?

Ask a group of friends what their greatest fear is and they will likely cite one or more life or death situations. Ask me that question and the answer will be: Getting hopelessly lost in the digital dungeon and never finding my way out.

Everywhere I turn these days I have to do battle with online systems or the guts of digital devices. Applying for retirement pensions, product registrations, set-up or troubleshooting a mobile phone or laptop or wireless printer. Every time I have to do one such thing I half-expect to be sucked into the bowels of the system through a phantom portal with no escape route.

It is not unlike the series Star Trek: Voyager where Captain Janeway’s starship is sucked into a black hole, spit out in the Delta Quadrant on the other side of the galaxy and condemned to roam for years trying to find the way home. My every foray into an online system or digital device feels like one wrong menu selection away from falling prey to a black hole.

Within a minute or two of accessing these systems or devices, I am disoriented and at a loss what to do. The instructions in the online User’s Manual or How To page are like a foreign language to me. The screen illustrations included in them never seem to match what I am actually seeing and are of no use to me.

Invariably, after one or two tentative screen taps or clicks, I stumble into an area I do not want be in and do not know how to exit. There is no such thing as a Back Button to rescue me. The more I flounder around the deeper I get into sucked in and the more damage I do. My only option is to shut down and hope the system lets me out.

I feel like Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit as he enters the Smaug the Dragon’s lair in The Lonely Mountain looking for the Arkenstone in a mountain of jewels and gemstones. In my case, the Arkenstone is the magical and elusive solution to my problem which lies somewhere beneath layers and layers and layers of technical jargon and dead ends.

I hear the digital Smaug proclaiming: Hah! Got you now, digital incompetent. There is no escaping the labyrinth of my lair. No black arrow for you. Feel my fury!

Attempting to use the system or company tech support is just wandering into another dungeon. The techies one-third my age ask me questions I do not understand. They assume I have a basic level understanding of the technology which I never do. I can sense them fuming at their end: What a dolt! I don’t get paid enough to deal with idiots like this guy.

On the rare occasion that I actually manage to get where I need to be or do the setup I need to do or solve the problem I have, I have hopelessly messed up two or more other functions in the process and am further behind than when I started.

I expect that my obituary will read something like this:

Last seen entering the digital dungeon and heard cursing like a drunken sailor. Assumed to be lost forever. Celebration of Life next Saturday unless the system spits him out half alive before then.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

Tags:   · · · · · · · · No Comments.

Demise of the Good Samaritan

April 20th, 2024 by Michael Dyet
Respond

Hmmm, how did we reach a point in our society where fear outweighs compassion?

I had a bit of a mishap earlier this week when I was at Dundas Valley Conservation Area (DVCA) on one of my bug-crawl nature hikes. DVCA has a trail running through it that was once a rail line. A piece of track has been preserved with a vintage locomotive on display. The area around the tracks has a rocky base as rail lines always do.

Insects are drawn to artificial surfaces warmed by the sun. Hence, I was walking beside the locomotive scanning the side for insects and not paying attention to where I was walking. The rocks beneath my feet shifted a bit. You know what comes next. I lost my balance, staggered a few feet with arms flailing in a futile attempt to stay upright and went down.

Fortunately, other than a scraped and bruised knee, I was not injured. Unfortunately, my camera was in my right hand with the telephoto zoom lens fully extended. The lens took part of the brunt of my fall and snapped off taking part of the camera lens mount with it. But that misfortune is a sidebar to the purpose of this post.

There happened to be a woman about 30 or 40 feet away walking toward me when I took my tumble. I expected her to approach me and ask if I was okay. But she did not. She walked past me as I gathered myself and stood up with the shattered remains of my camera in my hands.

If the situation were reversed and I was the observer, I believe I would hurried over to ask if she was okay. However, looking back on the event, I realize it would have been a worrisome should I or shouldn’t I situation for her. There was no one else in the area so approaching a strange man, who might conceivably have faked his fall, would have felt like taking a risk.

An acquaintance of mine had a similar experience a few months back. She was walking to the grocery store and fell on the sidewalk. She called out to several passersby for help. But they all ignored her and kept on walking. She managed to struggle to her feet and get to the grocery store where a compassionate staff person helped her.

These experiences reveal a troubling reality in our society. What do you do when you see someone who appears to need help? The options:

Automatically come to the person’s aid putting aside the risks that might entail.

Call out from a distance to see if they are okay and evaluate their response for sincerity.

Adopt a not my problem, do not get involved attitude and look the other way.

We are all walking a tightrope when it comes to navigating our lives in a society where a  percentage of the population is actively looking for opportunities to take advantage of others. Self-preservation clashes with a desire to be helpful.

I cannot condemn the woman who chose not to offer assistance to me. She watched me gather myself and carry on and judged it best not to get involved. But I cannot help but be saddened by the reality that compassion has become a victim of fear in our society. The biblical parable of the Good Samaritan has never been more relevant.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

Tags:   · · · Comments Off on Demise of the Good Samaritan

Decoding the Internet: Wrestling with Jello

April 13th, 2024 by Michael Dyet
Respond

Hmmm, from the surface to the deep reaches and the dark side, what makes the Internet tick?

The realm of digital technology, and its god-incarnate the internet, is for the most part an unintelligible mystery to me. The more I try to understand it the more perplexed I get. But occasionally I feel the need to educate myself since it is an unavoidable part of my world. I tried again today.

First there is the Surface Web which is open to everyone. All its content can be found using a web search engine including things like news sites, company websites, blogs and open forums. It makes up less than 10% of the whole internet and is sometimes called the Visible Web. Okay, I get that.

Next there is the Deep Web with makes up the other 90%.  It includes everything not indexed by standard search engines and/or requiring a log-in to access. It is also known as the Invisible Web and includes things like company intranets, internet banks, private forums, company databases and medical records. Okay, that is a bit fuzzy but I get it in broad terms.

But wait. There is a subset of the Deep Web known as the Dark Web. It consists of Darknets which are overlay networks that use the Internet but require special software or authorization to access. No one knows the actual size of the Dark Web but it is where most of the illicit activity takes place. Okay, rather nebulous. But clearly I do not want to go there.

The Internet, of course, has evolved over time and can be subdivided into generations or eras.

Web 1.0 lasted from 1991 until the early 2000’s. Websites in this era were static pages that did not have much functionality for interaction. More or less a giant Wikipedia. Okay, been there and done that in my working career.

Web 2.0 kicked in somewhere around 2004 and is still being developed. It was built around the idea of the web as a platform and gave birth to social media. Site visitors have the option to consume or create content themselves. Web 2.0 opened the door for Big Tech companies like Amazon, Google and Meta who are centralized repositories of content.  Okay, rather intimidating but I get it.

We are now apparently in the infancy stage of the Web 3.0 which is characterized by bottom-up design, decentralization and community-owned platforms rather than company-owned ones. It democratizes content by storing it in multiple locations on the network simultaneously thanks to something called blockchains. Okay, now my brain is overheating.

But wait. We are also apparently in the infancy stage of Web 4.0 which includes advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, cloud computing and the Internet of Things – technology in many electronics that use online access for sharing information. So Web 3.0 and Web 4.0 co-exist while we are still sort of in Web 2.0? My brain just threw out the white flag.

Do I understand the Internet better after this brief exploration? Not really. Trying to get a grip on the beast is rather like wrestling with Jello. It is a slippery, shapeless, formless thing that I cannot grasp and frankly do not want to.

Fortunately, I do not have to understand the internet in depth to use it in the limited manner that I do. So I will go back to chasing insects and leave the technology beast to move onto the Web 5.0 whatever that may be.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

Tags:   · · · · · · · · · · 2 Comments

Eclipse: A Totality Moment of Light

April 6th, 2024 by Michael Dyet
Respond

Hmmm, is April 8th an opportunity to change the narrative and see the light?

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that next Monday a “once-in-a-lifetime” total solar eclipse will take place in parts of Canada and the U.S. The last time it occurred in our particular area was January 24th, 1925 and the next time will October 24th, 2144.

I did a bit of reading up on the topic. Turns out that a solar eclipse itself is not all that rare. Partial solar eclipses happen two to five times each year. Total solar eclipses happen roughly once every 18 months. But the effect of an eclipse (the moon blocking the sun) is visible only in a relatively narrow corridor each time – a 200 kilometre corridor this time around.

Experts consider a total solar eclipse to be a kind of cosmic coincidence since the moon is 400 times smaller than the sun. The moon has to sit at the perfect distance away from the Earth to make it appear the same size as the sun to people on the ground.

The moment of totality, when the moon completely blocks the sun, will only last about three and a half minutes in this area. You will need to be in specific region to witness the totality. In this area of Ontario the city of Niagara Falls is the place to be. 

Niagara Falls is anticipating that as many as a million people will congregate in the city to view the eclipse. A once-in-a-lifetime economic opportunity for a city whose economy is based on tourism. City officials have proactively declared a state of emergency for the day so that they can implement special measures to handle the huge crowds.

A state of emergency declaration is a bit ironic given how some cultures have historically interpreted an eclipse. In ancient China, it was believed that solar eclipses occurred when a celestial dragon attacked and devoured the sun. The Incas of South America believed that a solar eclipse was a sign of wrath and displeasure by the sun god Inti.

The belief of ancient West African tribes is the one I find most interesting. According to their legend, human anger and fighting spread to the sun and the moon who began to fight each other thereby causing the eclipse.

Since I proclaim myself to be The Metaphor Guy, I an inclined to put my own symbolic spin on the event. The totality period of the eclipse when total darkness presides strikes me as a metaphor for those moments of blindness society experiences when one group of people become completely blind to any viewpoint but their own.

There are instances of this point of view totality at play in the world as we speak: Russia’s rationale for their invasion of the Ukraine and the Israel – Palestine conflict. There are profound blind spots in the minds of those exercising power in these conflicts.

And so, perhaps we should use those few minutes of totality next Monday to examine and deconstruct our biases. The world will be a much better place if we experience the eclipse totality as a moment of light in a time when darkness has descended around us in many destructive ways.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

Tags:   · · · · Comments Off on Eclipse: A Totality Moment of Light

Retirement: One Year In

March 30th, 2024 by Michael Dyet
Respond

Hmmm, what better way to enjoy retirement than go my own quirky way?

It has been a full year since I turned in my key fob and rode off into the sunrise of retirement. It seems like a good time to take stock and answer the questions that people typically ask.

Do you miss your job?

My answer is emphatically: Not all. Not one bit! I was fortunate to work for a good employer for the last two decades of my career. But I was eager to disentangle myself from the relentless web of technology and the constant waves of new programs to which I was forced to adapt.

How are you spending your time?

I have been immersing myself in nature which is my first and enduring love. I treated myself to a DSLR camera and telephoto lens so I could expand my observations from butterflies and dragonflies to the full gamut of the fascinating world of insects.

Would you believe that I have taken over 9,300 shots with new camera? Probably hard to believe but it is true. I have observed 600+ species of insects in the last year. Yes, I am a full-on nature geek. The web of nature is one I am happy to be drawn ever deeper into.

I was rather dreading the winter months. But fortune smiled on me with an El nino winter, aka the winter that never was, that will undoubtedly be recorded as the warmest winter ever in these parts. I was able to continue to pursue my passion and discovered to my delight that there are some hardy insects which remain active on warm winter days.

Did anything exciting happen?

I am not sure if it qualifies as exciting but my 14 year old car gave up the ghost at an importune time. The timing belt snapped late last summer when on was on Highway 407 on a Friday afternoon. It is a sinking feeling when you realize your car has lost power on a major highway.

Fortunately there was a wide shoulder at that particular location. I was able to steer off onto the shoulder before it quit. I am now the proud owner of a new(er) car which should last me another eight or ten years. Yes, there is a lot of technology packed into the car which draws me back into the technology web to a degree. But I only use a few of those features.

Do you have any plans for the next year?

The main plan is not to have a plan. I will continue to do what I want, when I want and at the pace I want. There are over 55,000 species of insects in Canada so that hobby will keep me occupied for many years to come. In-between nature outings I will continue to work on the next great Canadian novel.

There are numerous metaphors for retirement. The best fit for me, as referenced above, is disentangling from webs. Life in these complex times ropes us into multiple webs of responsibility. Retirement has allowed me to disengage from many, although admittedly not all, of these webs. Freedom to go my own quirky way is what retirement is all about for me.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

Tags:   · · · · Comments Off on Retirement: One Year In

Money to Burn: Barbiemania

March 23rd, 2024 by Michael Dyet
Respond

Hmmm, do you have money to burn and a Barbie obsession?

Did you see the movie Barbie with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling? (For the record, I did not.) If you did, did it inspire Barbiemania in you and a desperate, unquenchable desire to immerse yourself in her pink, dream world? If so, you are in luck!

You can now book yourself and three of your besties into the Barbie Dream Suite at a high-end, luxury Montreal hotel. A one-of-a-kind getaway! Canada’s first Barbie-themed hotel suite curated for adults. Yes, that’s right: curated. You cannot go wrong if it is genuinely curated!

What does the Barbie Dream Suite include? An immersive, Barbie wonderland designed to cater to every aspect of your Barbie obsession. A 1,200 square foot suite with a view of a prestigious Montreal neighbourhood. Two bedrooms with king size beds! A living room, a dining room, a kitchenette and two full bathrooms.

But wait! There’s more! The suite also includes an adjoining Barbie Powder Room. Oh my God, yes: A Barbie Powder Room! Does it get any better than that?

But wait! There’s still more! Round trip airport transfer in a luxury Barbie vehicle. Barbie bathrobe and slippers. Barbie cocktails. Breakfast and evening canapes. Mani/pedi at the spa. A $50 credit towards Barbie merchandise.

All for the bargain price of $1,499 per night! You could escape to Barbieville for an entire week for just over $10,000. But you must act now! The ultimate Barbie Dream Experience is only available until September 30, 2024.

But wait! There’s still more! You can enhance your Barbie experience with:

A Barbie Dream Tea for up to 6 people with Rosè champagne.

A Barbie Spectacular PJ Soiree with Barbie bites, Barbie cocktails, Barbie bathrobes and Barbie slippers for up to 10 people.

A Fabulous Barbie Party including a Barbie Birthday Buffet.

There is even a Barbie Concierge to cater to your every need. Yes, you read that correctly. A Barbie Concierge!

But wait! There’s still more! Visit the Barbie Sweets Shop for Barbie-themed pastry delights! Browse and shop at the Barbie Boutique for hot pink shades, pink bathrobes and more Barbie-themed merchandise.

I hear you saying: This cannot be true! It must be an urban legend. Mais non, mon ami. This profusion of pink perfection, this potpourri of pink pandemonium, this powder keg of pink passion, actually exists. I could not come up with something this absurd on my own.

So if you have money to burn and an obsession with all things Barbie, the ultimate fantasy awaits you. Hey, it’s cheaper than a psychiatrist!

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

Tags:   · · · · Comments Off on Money to Burn: Barbiemania

Kill Notice: The Botched Photo Story

March 16th, 2024 by Michael Dyet
Respond

Hmmm, can we please acknowledge it as a red herring issue and move on to more important concerns?

One of the front page news stories this past week was the botched photo editing job on the photograph released of Kate Middleton and her children. Kill notices, a relative rarity, and retraction alerts were issued by the world’s biggest news agencies once the photo editing was noticed. Apologies followed from the royal family which extended the life of the story.

Whether the editing was done by Kate Middleton herself or royal family staff, and whether it was well intentioned or a manipulation, are irrelevant to me. My question is: Why was it front page news at all? A minor lapse in judgement by the royal family is hardly our biggest concern these days in light of what is happening around the world. A few examples:

The Israel – Gaza War in which reportedly 31,000+ have been killed, 73,000+ injured and 8,000 gone missing. More than a million people are homeless and starving. On the Israeli side, reportedly 1,100 have been killed. Please understand that I am not taking one side or the other in the conflict. It is the humanitarian crisis in Gaza that wrenches my heart.

The Russian invasion of the Ukraine which is into its third year. The invasion has become the largest attack on a European country since World War II. Ukrainian civilian casualties are in the tens of thousands with hundreds of thousands of military casualties. Eight million Ukrainians have been internally displaced and more than eight million have fled the country.

The political crisis in Haiti, one of the poorest countries on earth, which has the small country on the brink of collapse. Armed gangs, violence and looting have made everyday life desperate in this nation of 11 million. The resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry plunged the country into further chaos.

The homelessness crisis in this country and around the world. 25,000 to 35,000 people are homeless in any given night in Canada. Here in the Hamilton alone there are over 1,600 people who are homeless. Encampments in parks and wooded areas have become all too commonplace as these people struggle to survive from day to day.

I do understand that Kate Middleton underwent abdominal surgery and that there is concern about her health. But the botched photo editing job is a giant red herring in the world context. The fact that it occupied a place in the news, and competed for headlines and readership with the desperate situations outline above, is a sad commentary on the state of affairs.

Let us please collectively issue a kill notice on that story and turn our concerns to the dire circumstances of so many people less fortunate than us and far less fortunate than the royal family. The photo of Kate Middleton and her children will be forgotten in a few weeks. The desperate circumstances of people struggling to survive each passing day will resonate for decades to come.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

Tags:   · · · · · Comments Off on Kill Notice: The Botched Photo Story