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so, how ya doin’?

August 27, 2021

I hadn’t intended to wait so long to post, but the past few months have been crazier than usual for all of us, and particularly so for Jude and me. Good crazy, most of it, what with summer projects that keep us at home out of the Covid mainstream. Right now we have a group of geology students and staff camping in our front yard. Their leader Tim is an old friend who visits often because our island is a treasure trove of caves, sinkholes, karsts and such. We’re particularly happy to be part of the students’ education because they soon will be front line workers, in essence, as water becomes the next precious fluid.

My big personal news is that my prostate clenched on me recently, requiring a catheter and follow-up trip to an emergency room, then a procedure which allowed me a brief look at the inside of my bladder. It was trippy. It looked like the camera was hurtling through a tunnel, as stalactites of fatty tissue waved like those air dancing balloons often seen at car dealerships. I’m now in queue for green-light surgery, a sort of laser Roto-Rooter to vaporize the air balloons. It will be a three to six month wait.

I won’t attempt to comment on the abysmal state of world affairs because it’s so, well, abysmal. But I did want to share something related to the recent rash of shootings in the U.S. Monday I took a course to obtain a gun permit. I want to get a shotgun for home protection from burglar, bear or other.

The course took eight hours. I had to pass a written test and demonstrate safe weapon-handling skills to an instructor. My Marine Corps training helped. I now have to apply for the permit, which takes about a year now because Covid has slowed down the bureaucratic system even further. Once I have the permit, I’ll have a 28-day wait from purchase for a background check.

If a gun course instructor senses that a participant is not competent enough to have a gun, he or she can flunk the participant, refund the $200 fee, write a report and submit a copy to the federal firearms centre. The RCMP doesn’t mess around either. When I looked at a pistol at a sporting goods store, a clerk said “You don’t even want to bother with that. If a hand gun crime is committed anywhere in the area, the Mounties will be at your door.”

Indeed, when a neighbour of ours waved a pistol at another neighbour several years ago, the Mounties took all his weapons and he did a year in jail. Another neighbour shot a gun near (not at) some of Tim’s geology students and immediately lost his arsenal.

Canada averages 35 guns per 100 residents, compared to 121 in the U.S. Assault weapons were banned here in 2020 after a shooting in Nova Scotia that killed 22 people. Granted Canada has only one-tenth the population of America, but in one ten-year stretch, we averaged only five murders per year with three or more victims. Mass shootings up here are so rare that public safety authorities don’t even keep an official list.

So please stay safe and — if you’re a male over 50 — please get a yearly prostate check.

  1. August 31, 2021 9:00 pm

    I hope the procedure goes well, and am glad the procedure for getting a weapon in this country is rigorous, and the consequences of misusing one are serious. -Kate

  2. gordon permalink
    September 13, 2021 6:57 pm

    Well at least you still have a prostate. I miss mine but not the alternative That went along with keeping it. Hope your procedure goes well. To bad we don’t have something metaphorically similar to use on U.S. gun policy.

  3. gordon permalink
    September 13, 2021 7:04 pm

    I was thinking of course about a green laser-like roto-rooter to vaporize NRA hot air.

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