Beggar Charlie

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Late Snow, Great Snow

It was supposed to snow today. So far, it's been all sunshine. And it's not too cold. Last week, we had a 14 degrees Thursday. This is November. In the old days, about twenty, thirty years ago, this time of the year was covered in snow and about twenty degrees below zero. It's common in Ottawa to hear people say, "If this is global warming, I like it." Which may be ignorant and selfish but I kinda feel the same way, too. Except I like the first snow of the season. I've always liked the first snow of the season. I love watching the flakes come down and the quiet of it all. Of course since I live in downtown Ottawa it isn't too quiet. Not like when I visit my friends out in Smith Falls, ON in the winter and they have a snow day there. I love to see people walk around in the snow and how happy they are. But in Ottawa, everyone complains about snow. People on the street, the radio and the television. Because of the driving. Now a lot of people who know things will say Ottawa drivers are especially bad. I don't know. I do often see people turn from the wrong lane and not signalling and I've gotten used to watching the driver of the nearest car when I'm crossing the street. Just to see if he/she is paying attention. Sometimes they aren't. A woman texting once almost ran me down in Chinatown. She wasn't even aware that she had done so. Back to snow, Tuesday is also supposed to snow. Now since it hasn't snowed today, I'm looking forward to Tuesday. But I'm not sure I want it to snow too much. I am getting old. Now I guess I'll go and walk around in the sun.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Monroe Isadore

Well, sometimes I don't know what to make of the world. I spend some time trying to figure out which country is the best in terms of safety etc. I used to think it was Norway and then some guy shot a bunch of kids on an island. Sweden's out, too. That leaves Finland and Denmark. But wait, what am I talking about? I heard a story that shocked me and need to talk about it and wonder how many countries this could happen in. I'm talking about the 107 year old man named Monroe Isadore, who got confused when people came to take him away to a nursing home and lay down on his bed with a gun, firing into the ceiling. Someone sent out the S.W.A.T. team. Why? I can't figure out why anyone would need twenty big men with assault weapons to contain a deaf, blind centenarian. They had a camera on him all the time. They knew he was not a threat. He would not even be a threat to a wussie like me. Why didn't they yell out that they were police? His family says he would for sure have come out. I can't get the image from my mind of ten young, strong men with assault weapons pumping bullets into a terrified 107 year old man who couldn't see them. It's clear from the tape that he was terrified, he had no idea who was trying to get into his house. Why didn't they send in some of his family? But the question is: which countries could this happen in? It could not happen in Canada where the cops will wait all night if they have to, just to resolve things peacefully. I think it could happen in South American countries and I really think it's a shame that it happened in America. Of course, happening there, it is on the news and people have a right to comment. Anyway, I think it must be hard to live in a country with so many guns although that isn't really an issue here. Except that an old man shouldn't need a gun. So R.I.P. Monroe Isadore. I'm really sorry that you couldn't end your life peacefully, that it had to end with a whole bunch of panicky cops killing you. Hope you find justice in Heaven.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


October. Great month if you ask me. Thanksgiving. My brother's birthday. Halloween. David's birthday. Of course, Ed lives in Edmonton, AB and I live here and anyway, he's got his own family. But I do wish him happy birthday every year. Not that he remembers when his birthday is. This year, David and I will not do anything for Thanksgiving. No turkey. Nothing. It's not that we don't have anything to be thankful for, it's just that celebrating is starting to take more out of us, than just doing nothing. It's going to be really terrible when I'm older. David is 72 this year. And of course, let's not forget Halloween. I'm already looking forward to television. I know they'll have Michael Meyers on again this year. I don't watch him but it's comforting to know that he'll always be there. I haven't dressed up for Halloween for years now and I don't know if I'll do so this year. Costumes are so expensive. When I grew up, we made our own costumes. Sheets and construction paper. Dad's hats. I don't know about these princess costumes and sexy three year olds. I'm sure the makers think they're being funny and cute but it's to young to be sexy. At any rate, I'll be looking around this year, I have received my book order and will be looking for a place to read to people and sell my books. If this is like other Octobers, it will be a good time.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Sex And Exploitation

If there's one thing that's true in any capitalist country, is that there's a lot of exploitation. The guy bagging groceries at your neighbourhood grocery store is being exploited, really badly, in most cases. I only mention this because I cringe every time I hear feminists complaining that strippers and nude models are being exploited by the male patriarchal society. I mean, as far as strippers and models go: Men like to look. That's just nature. It will always be so, even in one thousand years from now. In fact, it's the women who say. "I may as well make money from it." It's the women who are getting high incomes from man's natural urge to look at women. It's deal. I will show you all of this: Legs. And some of this: Use your imagination. And women have always done it. So that's the way women exploit man's natural urges. Now for the other side. Women like to hear things. Pretty words. "You're the most beautiful girl." That also nature because women have a need to hear nice things to feel good about a man. And unlike men, who can sleep with a women they don't care about, or even dislike. A woman needs to like a man. I need not tell anyone that men will say anything to get a girl. Therefore men can exploit women's nature, too. But isn't that really just part of it? Isn't it just that young people have a lot of hormonal urges? And when they fall in love they leave all that behind. Well, a lot do. Some don't, there's always cheaters on both sides. So, I just thought I'd let off a bit of steam about feminists misunderstandings, as I see it, about what goes on in people's minds. I just don't see it as that bad. The guy at the grocery store makes a lot less than the girls.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Christopher Mannino

Hi people. Today is a bit different, I'm having a guest on my blog. It's Christopher Mannino and he's written a great book. I'll just dive right into the questions.
Hi Chris, I just have a few questions. 1. Tell us about your book and why you wrote it. Sword of Deaths is the second novel, in my trilogy "The Scythe Wielder's Secret." I wrote the series after becoming stranded in Cornwall on a cliff, and imagining a character who is completely alone, attacked from all sides, yet who overcomes that isolation. Sword of Deaths expands on the issues of sexism and racism introduced in the first novel, while going deeper into the fantasy adventure. 2. What engaged you about your MC? My main character is the only girl in a world of men, which is daunting. I find Susan's persistence, despite challenges, to be really inspiring. At the same time, this novel is told from two other characters' point of view. Of the three main characters, one was particularly fun to write, as he's not human, and struggles against his own supernatural powers, which both help and haunt him. 3. What made you choose this genre (which genre is it?) and do you always write in the same genre This is my second Young Adult fantasy novel. I work with kids daily. During the school year I teach high school theatre, and during the summers I work with younger children through a professional theatre company. Writing books that appeal to my students has been very rewarding, as encouraging young minds is why I write. However, in the future, I do plan to expand into other genres. Following this trilogy, I plan to start an adult sci-fi thriller. 4. When did you decide to be a writer? I was an avid reader as a young child, and have dreamed up stories for as long as I can remember. I started my first novel shortly after graduating from high school, and although it was never published, I never stopped writing after that. 5. How long did it take you to succeed and is there any advice you would give to those starting out? It took me a year of writing, editing, and re-writing before I had a novel worthy of submission, and then it took another year of persistent queries before School of Deaths was picked up. Before writing the book, I'd spent over ten years attempting to write other stories that hadn't worked as well. Any new author needs to be persistent and to never give up. It's also tricky to stand out in today's world, with so many new books published every day, but writers need to believe in themselves and keep getting their stories out there.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Groceries, Anyone?

There's always construction in Ottawa. For the last four years they've been building a big condominium and grocery store at the end of my block. The new store was what everyone was waiting for. You see, there is already a grocery store downtown, but so many people had problems with the moody staff and other inconveniences that they could hardly wait for the new store to open up. It was May when it finally had it's big opening. I mentioned that they were much friendlier there than at the other place and was told that everyone she had met in the store said the same thing. Two days later, I went to the old store because the new store didn't carry all the brands I use. It was almost empty. People were gleeful. "That will show old Mr. _____ a thing or two." Today, I went to a corner store. There's a man who works there who also works for the old grocery store. I asked him if he still worked there, and mentioned the name of the store. "Oh. He sold the store. It's now run by someone different. He's retired." So much for glee. He probably got millions for the business, perhaps even, 'dumping' it on someone. So I guess he had the last laugh. If you're on Facebook, I am having a I Want To Go To School Release Party on September 5th. If you want an invite, just contact me through my personal account.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I Want To Go To School

It's almost here! In one month my first children's picture book, I Want To Go To School, will be published. It will be a physical book, your child can hold it, read it, and hopefully, love it. I'm so excited I can hardly wait. One thing, it reminds me of my own 'first day of school'. I was used to being with my mother and I liked being with my mother. I did not want to go to school. I wanted to be with my mom. So I was upset as we walked that first September day to grade one that I couldn't talk. No skipping. No singing. I dragged my feet and asked, "Do I really have to go?" and she would say , yes. We arrived at school and mom filled out some forms. Then the secretary sent a young student to get the first grade teacher, Mrs. Davis. She came out and got me and took me to class. Mom had asked did I want her to stay and wait and I said yes. Now Mrs. Davis was an old hand at teaching. She was also one of the best and all the students loved her. Anyway, she had us speak out loud our names to each other. I was so shy that it was torture but I did it. Then Mrs. Davis said anyone who wanted to leave could or they could stay and hear a story. I left. Mom was surprised to see me so soon. But I held her hand and happily left the school. We walked home, me knowing that I had to come back the next day and this time I had to stay until twelve noon. In those days, grade ones went a half day for six months. So in a way this blog today is a teaser, if you wish to see what my story is about, you'll have to read it. I believe you won't be disappointed. You can look up the Fox Tots Publishing site on Sept. 5 and order it there. I hope I'm not giving you a 'hard' sell.