Aren’t ur feet cold mister?

Aren’t your feet cold? That is the most common question I get asked at this time of year. As a dedicated barefooter I wear my sandals as long into the cold season as possible, breaking them out every time the temps hover around freezing. I only wear the sandals to keep the cold off the bottom of my feet when walking about. So the short answer is no! My feet are not cold, my sandals keep my feet warm enough to be cold in all but the worst, coldest part of the winter. In truth, apart from the heavily insulated winter boots with felt liners, most “winter” shoes offer little more protection from the elements than my sandals. It’s true that they are closed toe thus preventing wet from getting in (most times) but this also prevents wet getting out when they do get wet inside. If the weather stayed in and around the freezing mark I would do away with the sandals all together, reverting to my summer time practice of only wearing sandals when forced by archaic rules and intolerance. There are many studies that illuminate the benefits of barefooting which I have alluded to before and so won’t reiterate here. For now I will only say once more, my tootsies are quite comfortable even though it is 30 degrees F outside. Keep them bare and happy holidays to all!

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Back again …

August 2009? Has it really been that long since I last posted to this blog? How time flies by! Well it is now November, late November really and weather here in Ontario is cooling. It was about 5 degrees Celsius this morning, not what I would call cold and not cold enough to put on my shoes. I am still barefoot, although some morning I do don sandals just to separate my soles from the cool pavements. Do I get strange looks? Occasionally. Do I care? Not at all.
The most common question I get late into the fall, when I am shoeless is … “Aren’t your feet cold?” or some variation of that. The truth is no, not really. My feet get no colder than my hands and my hands are not “cold” or in gloves usually until late December and even then only on the days when the temp is down below 0 celsius. I much prefer to be bare foot even with cool feet than be shod and have hot sweaty feet. Seems to me to be much like wearing gloves on your hands all day. But then I have rambled on about this all before so I won’t bore you with more on this day.
Instead I would like to tell you about “Global TV Access”, a service (an internet service really) that I subscribe to that allows me to watch British television stations on my TV in London, Ontario as if I was in England. In effect I can watch BBC and ITV at the same time in the same way as any one in England (barring the 5 hour time difference of course!), but even better I can watch it at my leisure through “catch ups”. These television shows are streamed over the internet to my computer then via the HDVI output to my television. This service is so convenient and works well enough that I have completely abandoned my local cable and satellite providers opting instead to use just this service for my entertainment. I would recommend it to almost anyone fed up with high television bills. The only drawback at the moment is the fact that it does not include any American stations (the few who actually stream their service) and so we miss out on stations such as Fox and HBO. If GTVA would expand their services to include some of the American stations then it really would be a replacement for the cable and satellite monopolies.

first star to the right and on till morning …

So my family and I (My wife Jacky, my son Matthew and myself) have decided to up sticks and leave the rat race, commuting 100Km to work, winters, concrete cities, noise, smog and the crazy pace of city life behind and move to the country side of Southern France. For 10 months or so at least in any case. Then we’ll see what is next, maybe stay there, maybe move on. Are we nuts you say? No I don’t think so, time marches on, we all get older, we all talk about doing it but few of us actually do it.

Life is a great adventure, it should be lived, full and vibrant every day. It is far too easy to be stuck in a rut of day to day survival, working 9 to 5 to pay the bills, pay for the commute to work. Both my wife and I are very interested in history, art, classical music so what better place tgo experience ity than from France. Being in France most everywhere we would dearly love to visit is accessible within a day or two of driving, less by train and some by walking out the front door. From Canada, visiting the Louvre or the Artists Quarter in Paris, or Notre Dame (or any of a thousand other places) would be an expensive airpline trip and a weeks vacation away. So we made the decision, “let’s do it!” and “let’s do it now!”.

So now we are preparing for the move and what a job that is! Decided to keep our house  and rent it so we have some minimal fallback should it all go pear shaped (don’t expect that it will though as we’re both of a spirit to make it work). Then discovered that we really should spruce up the kitchen with a lick of paint … but wait that made the counters look dull so we’ll spruce them up … ah but now the trim in the front room looks a little tired, better paint it up as well .. and so it goes. Then we decided to sell up the detritus, flotsam and jetsam we didn’t want to take with us, didn’t want to store and didn’t want to leave. Wowsa! What pack rats we are! Four billion books, two billion nick-knacks, 750 assorted appliances, some classic vinyls records, ancient calculators, old lamps, 17000 bits of old clothing (some fits, some doesn’t), enough shoes and sneaks to keep Immelda Marcos happy, prints, pictures and so much more. Can all this stuff possibly come out of our one house? Not to mention that now we have moved all this stuff from it’s original spot to the living room, the place now looks like several bombs went off! Well it all has to go somewhere by the end of the month (August) because  on September the fifth we’ll be on an airliner headed for France. Winging our way to sunshine, a slower easier pace of life and trying madly to master enough french so as to not embarrass ourselves when we land. Watch this space, I’ll post more as the month progresses, it’s sure to be fun and funny.

pretty tv people

Have you noticed how pretty people on television are? Just the other day while watching the news (a rare occasion really as I seldom watch the news except for the weather) I was witness to a story about some crime or other in Toronto. Now it wasn’t the crime which struck me as interesting but the forensic team going into the scene to investigate. All of them had hair nets, booties and full enclosure body suits so as not to infect the crime scene with foreign matter. This is a far cry from the CSI shows that are so popular on TV. There are no portly graying men in hairnets and full body suits here ladies and gents, oh no. CSI hires only the best, they have muscled young blokes with six-pack stomachs, pretty blondes with lots of perfectly coifed hair to shake in full view of the camera.  They pull up to the crime scene in their immaculately polished Hummer, stride into the crime scene in their designer jeans and Gucci pumps, purposefully dropping their toolbox square in the middle of it.

Cut now to the DNA lab, a place chock a block full of sensitive machines and whirring centrifuges where the smallest particle of DNA will point out exactly who committed the crime. Are any of the lab techs wearing anything other than a sparkling white, strategically revealing lab coat to protect against intrusions into the samples? Nope nary a hair net in site anywhere. They’re all perfectly coifed, perfectly made up in designer clothes looking more like runway models than CSI lab workers.

Switch channels now to NBC, the show playing is Lost, the premise, a bunch of airline passengers crash on an island and are lost. The camera pans up the beach revealing  a burning wing, some parts of a very large fuselage, wheels and a jet engine or two. The planes remains look like they may be from a 747 or something with a few hundred people on board (as do the reminiscing cut scenes of people remembering their old lives), yet only about a dozen are walking up the beach looking for other survivors. On the day of the crash they look a bit rough, torn shirts, dirt smudges and a bleeding cut or two. Hardly the vision of a bunch of people who just crashed into the beach as their plane disintegrated around them. Within a day of the crash the men are all looking like dashing natives showing off their Tarzan physiques and six pack tummies. The women meanwhile are all perfectly dressed, coifed, nails done and looking like Mrs. Howell, not a stitch out of place.

What’s with the premise of Lost anyway? The writers would have you believe these people (the few survivors) are on this island and totally unfindable, unrescuable by anybody, spending many months on the island. Yet the island is not lost, it is run over by villainess pirates, by strange creatures that shake the bushes at night, by a secret underground lab fully stocked with food, medical supplies, guns and ammunition, even a radio. Although somehow the radio seems to get smashed in some sort of argument so they can’t call for help after all. Is there really in this day and age any island or land mass anywhere in the oceans of the world that hasn’t been photographed, mapped, charted and explored by Google Earth, NASA and a hundred other agencies? I doubt it.

I heard the other day that one of the American broadcasters is going to make a mini series about Henry the Eighth and his  wives. The catch? The producers don’t believe that the historical vision of Henry VIII as depicted in every painting of him of a 400+ pound red head is very saleable to American audiences. So they have cast a pretty young American actor with tight buns and a great six pack (can’t recall his name) to play Henry. No doubt they will also cast six entirely gorgeous runway models to be his six wives, all with perfect hair, perfect teeth, perfect complexions and designer gowns. All of which was common in the fifteenth century I am sure what with the crusades, plagues, pillaging, open sewers, no refrigeration, limited hot water, lack of soap and hygiene. I know I’ll be watching for that one.