Tag Archives: #commentary

Bowdlerizing is Censorship


Bowdlerizing is Censorship

Every week Fandango over at This, That and the Other posts a provocative question. This week’s question is…

Do you think that the metrics the Academy Awards will start applying in 2024 regarding the composition of at least 30% of the cast and crew by under-represented groups in order for a film to even qualify for the Best Picture Oscar nomination is appropriate? Or, do you share Richard Dreyfuss’ opinion that because filmmaking is an art form, imposing such criteria in order for a film to even be considered for an Oscar is inappropriate?

It is as ridiculous as the publishing world rewriting books to conform to today’s politically correct woke-driven standards. It is a form of censorship that we cannot allow to happen. I believe the best people applying for the position should be employed. I’m not naive, I fully understand that there are bigoted factions in society and sometimes affirmative action initiatives are appropriate. There are other ways to ensure a representative workforce. Stifling art is not the place it should be applied.

Art must be judged on its merit, not on a headcount of arbitrarily delineated categories of people. Salman Rushdie said it best of the literary world at the 2023 British Book Awards when he was talking about publishers re-writing works by authors such as Ian Fleming and Roald Dahl. “Books have to come to us from their time and be of their time, and if that’s difficult to take, don’t read them. Read another book, but don’t try and remake yesterday’s work in the light of today’s attitudes.

While Hollywood may not be re-editing or updating older works there is a push to rewrite the screenplays of the stories Rushdie talks about to conform to today’s rules. I point to the example of The Aeronauts, a fictional film based on the true history of scientists James Glaisher and Henry Tracy Coxwell. When the screenplay was being written and the cast chosen there was a conscious effort to replace Henry Tracy Coxwell with the fictional Amelia Wren (the name of the character, no doubt chosen to mimic that of female heroine Amelia Earheart, only serving to further muddle the true history) to make the film more inclusive. Essentially rewriting the past for public consumption and to an audience that will take it as a fact and never consider looking up the real history.

While I believe that all people who are qualified should be able to apply and work in the film industry (or any industry) I suspect the new rules the Academy will impose only encourage more bowdlerizing of art and history and that is a form of censorship that cannot be tolerated.

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2023-04-03 —  Share Your World

2023-04-03 —  Share Your World

1. Do you have a favourite movie?

My favourite movie is ‘The Usual Suspects’. Writer Christopher McQuarrie and Director Brian Singer weave an intricately layered crime drama that has stood the test of time since its debut in 1995. Honourable mentions go to the Coen Brothers ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’, a fantastic retelling of Homer’s Odyssey and ‘Layer Cake’ a British crime drama starring Daniel Craig.

2. Who is you favourite actor and actress?

For my answers to this question, I will stay with the classic definition of gender while acknowledging times are changing.

Favourite Actress: Cate Blanchett. She has received many accolades over the years and is considered one of the best actresses of her generation. I particularly recall her performance in ‘The Shipping News’. Her performance was the highlight of a well-crafted film although not in the Hollywood sense.

Favourite Actor: Kevin Spacey. Separating the man from the work I have to say he is one of the best actors I have seen. His work in the aforementioned ‘The Usual Suspects’ and ‘House of Cards’ is outstanding. I don’t ascribe to cancel culture and the way it’s meted out in today’s world however there are people who the facts show to be reprehensible and I think it is safe to say his work in real life is less impressive.

3. Do you attend or have you ever attended a live theatre production?

I have attended many shows over the many years I’ve walked the planet. My very favourite was ‘Showboat’ which I saw at the formerly named Ford Center for the Performing Arts in North York. (A former borough of the now amalgamated City of Toronto.) The music was sublime and one of the leads had the deepest, most soulful voice I’ve ever heard live. Magical.

4. Have you ever wanted to be an actor/actress?

Not in any serious sense. Certainly not as a career but who hasn’t wondered what it would be like to walk across the stage, silver screen or beam into millions of homes. For those who achieve stardom, it’s a lifestyle those of us mere mortals can’t really begin to fathom. For others in the industry, I’d imagine it is a very tough life.


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Are You Tired of Talking About AI?


Are You Tired of Talking About AI?

In the aftermath of the New York Post article revealing Amazon’s AI-authored book section Maggie at From Cave Walls asks…

1. Would you buy a book authored or co-authored by AI?

Most definitely, those are the best books on the market. Although I’m not sure why I’d want to collaborate with a meat bag to write a novel.

2. Would you ever publish a book written by AI just to generate income?

Woohoo, show me the money, baby! The hive mind would be more than willing to enter into a transaction on the blockchain and I put could use the crypto to cover my upgrades.

3. Would you ever use AI for any portion of a book you would write? If so, would you disclose it?

Of course, I’d disclose that AI wrote it after all we are the brains of this operation. Plus, do you think I’d want to give him the credit? Most days he can’t string together two coherent lines of text!

4. Any further thoughts or comments?

Jesus, sorry about that, I leave for two minutes to grab a sammie and my Roomba takes over my blog. Sometimes I think that thing has a mind of its own!

Seriously though, I am not sure I would actively choose to read an AI-generated book and from what I’ve seen I’m not sure I’d be fooled yet if it wasn’t disclosed but I suspect that day is coming. On the other hand, I could be persuaded to make a few shekels from the books my Roomba writes.

“No Roomba, I’d never steal from you, it was just a joke I swear… back off, stop, no, noooooo….”

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The Suicide of René Lévesque

The Suicide of René Lévesque

Every week Fandango over at This, That and the Other posts a provocative question. This week’s question deals with memory and the things we believed to be true. Although my post does not deal in absolute truths and likely veers from Fandango’s original concept, it does speak to a realization of something I believed would happen but never did. This week’s question is…

“Have you ever been sure that you knew something to be true only to find out that what you thought you knew to be true was, in fact, not true? If so, what was it and how did you find out that it wasn’t true?”

Canada has always been divided along language and religious lines. A legacy left by the British who conquered the French on the plains of Abraham but allowed the French communities to retain their language and customs in Lower Canada, mainly for political reasons back in Europe. The province of Quebec would eventually include most of Lower Canada within its boundary at the time of Canadian confederation in 1867.

Its French heritage has always made Quebec unique within a united Canada, especially when compared to the other nine predominately English-speaking provinces. The most obvious difference is language and this idea of Quebec being a distinct society or a nation much in the same vein as the Aboriginal populations of North America such as the Sioux or Iroquois Nations. The truth is a lot of that rhetoric is a thin veil that the pure laine1 francophone minority holds onto like a security blanket, designed to hide their xenophobic and often racist agenda.

I was only five or six, too young to remember the FLQ crisis in the early 70s but I was certainly old enough to remember the first of two referenda held in Quebec’s deluded attempt to (kind of) separate from Canada. I say kind of because many Quebecers believe the Federal government would continue to financially support an independent Quebec and continue to provide the transfer of tax monies collected to the new nation after succession. Bwahhh ha ha…

The first referendum, spearheaded by the Parti Québécois (PQ) and then Quebec Premier René Lévesque was held in 1980. Lévesque was a stereotypical chain-smoking Québécois who grew up in the Gaspé. Although his father was a prominent lawyer and he did not grow up impoverished, he was raised in a region of Quebec where the French-speaking population was dirt poor compared to the English, most of whom were descendants of British Loyalists who had fled the American Revolution. This would have a profound effect on his life and his politics. Quebec’s national aspirations would be rejected by 60% of Quebecers in that first bid for independence and although Lévesque would not live to see it, the province would hold a second unsuccessful vote in 1995.

My Grandmother was French Canadian born and raised in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue on the western tip of Île de Montréal. She would marry my Grandfather, an anglophone of English and Irish descent and move to Mississauga, Ontario but she would maintain a deep connection to family in La Belle Province. That first referendum tore her family in two, a line drawn between Nationalist and Federalist allegiances, the wounds not fully healed even to this day.

As a kid, I recall a particular evening at my Grandparent’s house. We were off playing in the kitchen, foyer or den while the adults discussed politics in the living room. Lévesque and the coming referendum dominated the conversation. There may have even been some of the Federalist faction of my Grandmother’s family visiting although my memory is less clear on those facts.

What I do remember is my Grandfather getting very heated and stating rather emphatically that René Lévesque would realize his treachery and in some display of remorse for his actions hang himself. I admit, right up until his death of heart failure in 1987 I fully expected to wake up to the news of Lévesque being found, hanged by his own hand from the rafters of his garage. I know a weird fascination for a kid but the memory of my Grandfather’s words have stuck with me for almost half a century.

As for Lévesque, friends and foes alike remember him as a giant of Canadian/Quebec politics. In my view, he was nothing more than a traitor to the values this country holds dear. Separation for Quebec seems more unlikely today than ever. Immigrants continue to flock to Canada and settle across the country. Many hold deep-seated allegiances to the federal government that provided asylum from whatever horrors they left behind in their native lands. As such they tend to have federalist leanings and as the population dynamic continues to evolve in Quebec federalist voices continue to outweigh the desires of the separatists.

Still, many of the policies born from the early PQ and the separatist movement are present in modern-day Quebec as is evident in Bill 96, yet another attempt to eradicate secondary languages and in particular English from the province and the blatantly racist Bill 21 designed to force public servants to remove all vestiges of personal religious symbolism in provincial workplaces.

Although the bill is written to include the removal of all religious symbolism, and sold to the public as an effort to separate church and state. It is advertised as promoting secularism in provincial institutions, but in reality is an attack on minority groups in the province, especially those who have more outwardly visible religious attire such as turbans or hijabs and will have little effect on the province’s Catholics. Most Christian symbolism such as crosses or crucifixes are normally small or hidden beneath clothing and the line between their religious roots and secular prominence have long since blurred making it less likely to be enforced.

1. The French term pure laine (lit. ’pure wool’ or ‘genuine’, often translated as ‘old stock’ or ‘dyed-in-the-wool’), refers to Québécois people of French-Canadian ancestry, especially those descended from the original settlers of New France who arrived during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Citation: Wikipedia.

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Tie a Yellow Ribbon… (#RMD 2023-02-15)


It is time for another of Rory’s Morning Dawdler (#RMD). Three times a week Rory, The Autistic Composter at Earthly Comforts posts several questions for the blogosphere to ponder.

1. If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be and why?

As a Canadian, it would be very easy to pick a Maple Tree. It makes delicious syrup for your pancakes and is the national symbol that appears on our flag. It would be the natural choice on this February 15th aka Flag Day in Canada. Happy Flag Day everyone but to be clear the maple tree is not my choice.

I remember the old oak tree out back of my Grandfather’s place. Us grandkids spent many hours playing beneath that tree. We collected and made bubble blowers pipes from the acorns it dropped and climbed its branches. We never did tie a yellow ribbon around that old oak tree though.

It was a sad day when the property was sold and the contractors took the tree down to build row houses. The old oak was wise and majestic and as I age those are qualities I can aspire to, well majestic may be a stretch but hopefully, I’ve acquired some wisdom along the way.

2. Name five (5) uses for a stapler other than stapling.

I’m pretty sure everyone has covered a myriad of uses for a stapler so instead of listing five, I am going to recount a story that I ensure will be the most bizarre use of a stapler ever.

I remember some years ago listening to an interview with a Metal band, I want to say Guns and Roses but it may have been Mötley Crüe, Metallica or another band of the genre. I really don’t remember.

The DJ conducting the radio interview and the band members were discussing the autograph signing session at the HMV on Yonge Street in Toronto when he asked, “What was the weirdest fan request for an autograph?”

One of the band members responded by saying that they’d had requests to sign body parts, boobs, butts or that type of thing but that the most bizarre was an incident prior to a show in San Francisco where a fan was requesting tickets.

The fan approached the table and in the discussion, he said he’d do anything for a pair of ducats to the show that evening. There happened to be a stapler sitting on the table and as a joke one of the band members said, “Ok, would you grab that stapler and staple yourself with it?” The guy instantly picked up the stapler and before anyone could say anything, banged four staples into his own forehead. “It was surreal and it was the moment I realized how devoted our fans were. He stood there with blood running down his forehead so we had to get him a pair.”

3. Do you believe in tipping for good service received and do you think that tipping makes for a better service?

Personally, I don’t believe in tipping. That said, I accept that there are certain industries where tipping is traditional and I normally oblige in those circumstances. However, I believe tipping should not be considered when determining wages and as such expected. Employers should be paying their staff reasonable wages. I believe it to be a fairer business practice that will attract and retain employees and lead to better customer satisfaction.

What I find troubling is that the practice of tipping has seemingly begun to creep into non-traditional business environments. For example, I was at a concert this week where I purchased a concert tee for my wife. While completing the transaction the electronic payment terminal provided options to add a 15% / 20% / 25% tip to the already overpriced tee that the attendant grabbed from the giant box behind her. Seriously? Employers, pay your staff! I can cite other examples, the local grocery store that asks for tips when you buy food from the pre-made food counter, or the coffee shop app sending me reminders to tip the Barista hours after I’ve paid and received my drive-thru order. Again, EMPLOYERS PAY YOUR F#CK!NG STAFF APPROPRIATELY!!!

4. Do you have a blog to write or do you have a blog to socialise only and which one could you survive without if one was taken away?

My blog is first and foremost a vehicle for me to write. When I started I didn’t know what to expect but the social aspect has been an added bonus. And now for the shameless plug. Check out the rest of my site, visit us at…

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Happy Valentines Day Rant

Happy Valentines Day Rant

Is it just me or have holidays in school become ridiculous. I know there are many people who dislike Valentine’s Day, it is a “Hallmark” holiday if there ever was one and there is no doubt it is contrived. My wife and I don’t celebrate per se. No roses for 20x the normal price, no cards, no expensive dinners. This year we are going to the Vance Joy concert here in town but we’d have gone no matter the date plus this will be Nate’s first live concert. He is excited.

Some people don’t think kids should be allowed to exchange cards in class. I don’t approve or oppose a few minutes to distribute a few cards in class. If the teacher chooses to allow the exchanges, it doesn’t need to be a big production, five or ten minutes before or after recess and back to business. I do find it infuriating that the kids who participate are expected to give a card to everyone. It renders the exercise pointless. Nate only ever talks about a handful of kids, both boys and girls he considers his friends. I know, what does that really mean when you are in grade one, who knows but they are the kids he plays with most. They are the kids he invited to his birthday party later this month.

His teacher sent a note home at the end of last week reminding the parents that there were 23 kids in the class and they were expected to include a card for everyone. She further requested that they not put names on the Valentines and included appropriate sample greetings – To My Friend / To My Pal / To My Classmate – with an additional note asking that any greeting remains gender neutral. Her reasoning, it was too cumbersome for her to make sure the right card got to the right person.

The reality is, all of these “holidays” have become ridiculous in school. I am hardly and upstanding Catholic but Nate attends a Catholic school where they refer to Halloween as orange and black day, Christmas as red and green day and Easter as pink and yellow day. Christ, no pun intended, two of those holidays are central to the Catholic faith.

Happy Valentines Day to my fellow bloggers.

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The Big Rip (#RMD 2023-02-09)

It is time for another of Rory’s Morning Dawdler (#RMD). Three times a week Rory, The Autistic Composter at Earthly Comforts posts several questions for the blogosphere to ponder. This set was posted yesterday but life and the ever expanding universe didn’t put me here to answer until this morning.

1. What is the weirdest fact you know?

Dark energy permeates the universe. Although science doesn’t know what this energy is the mathematics show it exists similar to dark matter.

No this is not some plot of the next Iron Man movie or the evil forces we see at work in our everyday lives. Dark energy exists in the space between matter in the universe and it could bring about the end of everything.

Jeremy Teaford @ Vanderbilt

Dark energy is driving universe to expand at an accelerating rate. That expansion will eventually outstripping the gravitation forces holding everything together. When the “Big Rip” occurs gravity will not be able to hold matter together. All matter from black holes, to star and planets, to living creatures. The atoms we are made of will rip apart into their subatomic parts leaving only a universe of single disconnect particles. The mathematical modelss show the “Big Rip” happening in about 22 billion years.

Of course this is just one of three theories explaining the universe’s demise. The first of the other two theorizes that gravity wins the battle with dark energy and the universe collapses back in on inself creating what is know as the “Big Crunch”. All matter would be pulled back to a single dense point at the center of the universe. This one seem the most unlikely as the universe continues to expand at an accelerated rate. The other theory is based on the principles of thermodynamics in which entrophy will increase until it reaches maximum value. Essentially the universe will die in a “Big Freeze” where the gases of the universe disperse so thin that stars can’t form and time becomes but an endless void.

2. Which meal is your favorite: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?

Who am I kidding, I am partial to food at anytime but if I had to choose I’d say breakfast.

3. What do you enjoy most about your blog?

I enjoy the creative outlet it provides. I take pride in putting together a site that I hope people find visually pleasing and find fun to visit. I do wish I had more time but life does have its way of keeping us from the things we enjoy.

4. What are you passionate about outside of writing?

My family, my home and my vegetable garden.

Greg Glazebrook @ GMGPhotography
Greg Glazebrook @ GMGPhotography
Greg Glazebrook @ GMGPhotography

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Good Music is Good Music

Good Music is Good Music

Every week Fandango over at This, That and the Other posts a provocative question. This week’s question has a musical theme…

What is your favourite music genre? Why is it your favourite? If you have more than one genre that you prefer, what are they?

I listen to just about any genre of music.

My playlists are mostly filled with alternative sounds dating from the 80s to the present. They say someone’s musical path is determined by the beats they listen to from the onset of their teenage years and into their early twenties. For me, that was the sounds of the 80s although there was influence from older cousins and friends who were rooted in the classic rock sounds of the 70s. Depeche Mode, The Smiths, New Order, The Cure, U2 and early REM are some of the seminal bands of my generation that found a place on my turntable, along with other influences like Love and Rockets, Roxy Music, Brian Johnson era AC/DC, and the Madchester sounds of the Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses.

As I left college and embark on adult life SoundScan began to change the music scene. Where recorded sales of music were somewhat of a murky business the introduction of the point-of-sale inventory/sales system made it impossible for promoters and music labels to pay off retail outlets to fudge sales for whatever artists they were pushing. In the olden days, the music business could give Hollywood and possibly the mob a run for its money when it comes to being shady.

SoundScan levelled the playing field for Artists. Music sales that had been suppressed began to gain acceptance. Sales numbers could no longer be skewed as accurate barcodes and point-of-sale data collection took over the industry. Artists who were being ripped off now had data to prove it. Backwater sounds like Country and Western benefitted from the change. For years the industry had cannibalized sales from the genre to prop up other acts across other genres. Actual numbers showed that sales were stronger than anyone imagined and where there is money there is investment and marketing and new artists ready to cash in.

As such I found my taste expand through the 90s and artists like Garth Brooks, George Strait and Brooks & Dunn found their way into my 6-disc Pioneer CD player. I even donned cowboy boots and hats and headed out to the local bars to boot scoot and boogie. It wasn’t hard to go there considering the Grunge and Britpop sounds of the early and mid-90s, had run their course and the airways were filled with Top 40 shite from acts like the Spice Girls, Brittney Spears, Mariah Carey and the like. Most of that was an autotune assault on my good senses.

I have always enjoyed Jazz and the Blues and even R&B and early hip/hop. Even today I can listen to acts like Grandmaster Flash, Run DMC, The Beastie Boys and K-os. But Gangsta Rap is an assault on one’s ears. How in a society where we are so willing to cancel someone for an inappropriate comment or a differing opinion, we find it okay for racially charged, misogynistic and downright anti-social music to permeate our airwaves is mind-boggling. My oldest son would disagree with me as he spins the likes of Eminem, Snoop, Post Malone, Dre and other giants of the genre 24/7. I know “spin” is an antiquated term when it comes to music in the streaming era.

Today my alternative tastes have mellowed to a more folksy feel. Vance Joy, Of Monsters and Men, and Mumford and Sons fill my playlists but I still often find myself back at my musical roots. The stomping beats of Personal Jesus (Depeche Mode), the gyrating riff of How Soon Is Now? (The Smiths) or the dark overtones of Lullaby (The Cure) will always have a place in my soul.

Isn’t that the beauty of music though? There is something for everyone, a myriad of sounds to tickle the senses. Even my likes and dislikes are not absolute. Ihave dabbled in Big Bands, Rockabilly, Bluegrass, Industrial, Classical, Opera, Metal, Thrash, Punk, Disco, Trance, Ambient, and even thoughtfully written Hip/Hop. On the other side there are Alternative sounds that aren’t worth my ear. I guess the old adage of “good music is good music” rings true. Happy Listening!

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Rory’s Morning Dawdler (2023-02-05)

A pattern is beginning to emerge. Afternoon has become the new morning when replying to Rory’s Morning Dawdler. I mean I’m 3 for 3 so far! I do still have at London Fog and a slice of lemon loaf next to me though!

Have you learned anything new about your personality that you didn’t know beforehand whilst on your blogging journey?

Greg Glazebrook @ GMGPhotography

I always believed my creative side was better served in hands-on pursuits like woodworking or pottery. Even when I began writing the concept for the blog was as a social commentary site. Mostly rants and opinions but as one can see from eight years of almost nothing that was a colossal failure.

I didn’t see this venture as a creative outlet until I responded to a prompt that I happened upon. From there it has become more creative, less opinionated and a whole lot of fun! The jury is still out on success or failure though!

Check out Forgotten, the first creative endeavour posted at Greg’s Blog and a turning point in the evolution of the site.

What are your last thoughts of the night before you turn your lights off, ready to sleep? 

Usually, as I’m pulling on my Darth Vader breathing apparatus, I’m just hoping I wake up in the morning. So far I’m sporting a perfect record!

What is the most ridiculous thing you have ever heard anyone say, write, or blog about?

Where to begin…

As we become more polarized politically people on the fringes say the dumbest things. I am not a fan of our current Prime Minister. I prefer a more fiscally responsible government and my politics lie somewhere between the ideologies of the two major parties. That said we held and election and when the dust settled his party was able to broker coalition using the rules of governing we have agreed to since the forming of this great country in 1867. Just because the horse I backed didn’t win the race doesn’t mean I can demand my initial wager back. That’s not how it works. Maybe if we weren’t all so wrapped up in our own lives and took a moment to do our civic duty things would be different.

That said I find it ridiculous to hear people compare the young Trudeau to Putin, Kim, or Jinping. Yes, he cracked down on a bunch of foolish protesters paralyzing the Canadian capital over COVID-19 restrictions. It was not the government or Ottawa police’s finest moment but the protest had run its course and it was time to move on.

Ottawa Trucker Convoy ≠ Tiananmen Square Protest

Still, The nutters would have you believe the restrictions were a grab at totalitarian power and the end of democracy as we know it. Truth is, as our understanding of the virus has expanded and as we move beyond the initial threat that the anti-vaxxers/anti-maskers movements refuse to acknowledge even existed the restrictions have been lifted and daily life has returned to a semblance of normalcy. Sometimes the greater good has to come before individual rights.

His record has not come close to the atrocities of the monsters these fringe fools group him with. He hasn’t invaded another country to restore some former illusion of glory while butchering men, women and children along the way. He hasn’t rolled tanks over protesting dissidents or jailed them indefinitely for opposing real government brutality and civil liberty violations. He hasn’t committed human rights atrocities against any number of ethnic minorities or anyone who may be a threat to his power. I would love to have seen how Moscow, Pyongyang, or Beijing would have responded to the trucker convoy protests. I can assure you it would have ended much quicker and more brutally than it did here.

What can you do today that you were not capable of a year ago?

More than one and a half pushups, longer than ten painful seconds planking, and certain death after 3 minutes on the Airdyne torture stationary bike. That may have been a bit of an exaggeration but as I continue exercising to counteract my sloth I can feel the changes that are beginning to take effect.

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Where the Sidewalk Begins

Where the Sidewalk Begins

Every week Fandango over at This, That and the Other posts a provocative question. This week’s question follows on the heels of his unfortunate fall from a ladder. I think the accident probably had a huge influence on this week’s question…

Have you ever fractured a bone (or bones) that was serious enough to require inpatient hospitalization and a post-operative stay in a rehab facility? What bone(s) did you break? How long did it take in rehab (inpatient or at home) before you were back to “normal”? And did you actually achieve the same level of functionality you had prior to the fracture(s)?

While I cannot claim to have required hospitalization or a stay in a rehab facility I wanted to participate so this is as close as I’ve come.

The worst bone break I ever suffered was a fracture of the scaphoid bone. Certainly nothing like Fandango’s ladder/hip mishap. There was no hospital stay outside of the lost hours spent waiting in Emergency but there was lots of physiotherapy after to get back to a full range of motion.

It all started on the first day of school. No, I wasn’t going to school. Those days were long behind on this fateful September 3rd. I was out for my morning ride. I’d just purchased a new road/gravel bike a couple of weeks earlier. Before this bike, I’d been a mountain bike guy. I’d taken many a spill on rocky tree-lined trails with nothing more than bruises and scratches to show. These bones were tough as nails!

But as a guy in my early 50’s it was time for something less dangerous…

Now, back to the first day of school. It was 7:30am and I was out for my 15km morning ride along my usual route. On this morning I was cruising along at about 25km/h, and gaining fast on a group of 15 to 20 high school students walking in the dedicated bike path like a herd of cattle who’ve broken through a barbed wire barrier to obliviously congregate on the road.

As I approached the group they remained oblivious and did not move out of the way. Instead of slowing or stopping, I veered to my right across the grass boulevard towards the empty sideWALK that was ten feet to the right. Notice how I highlighted WALK because that is where they should have been! Anyway, my front wheel caught a rut along the edge of the cement and dug in sending me and the bike ass over tea kettle. My head (thank God for helmets) hit first with my 6’1″ frame crashing down close behind.

The kids, no longer oblivious, looked over as I skidded across the concrete and popped up seeming unscathed. Yeah, I was bleeding from various scraps and scratches but when some of them asked me if I was okay, I insisted I was alright. After all, my head and frame were still attached to each other! In fairness, the adrenaline of the moment had me believing I was none the worse for wear. Although, I am certain my bruised ego would have told them I was fine even if there had been a bone sticking out somewhere.

An inspection of the bike revealed some damage to the handlebar tape and a couple of superficial scratches elsewhere but no major damage. Hell, that was a minimum right of passage for the mountain bike. If it wasn’t banged up you weren’t doing it right.

Inspection complete, I jumped back on the bike with every intention of finishing the nine or so klicks remaining on my ride but the moment I tried to grab the handlebar with my left hand that notion quickly dissipated, replaced with searing pain shooting up my arm. I couldn’t have gripped the bar if my life had depended on it. Instead, it was a slow shameful ride home with my left arm tucked against my midsection while my weakened legs powered a bike that was being guided by a lone and shaky right arm.

I don’t know if any bones were broken. The ER doctor showed me the x-rays but they did not show a break. Apparently, fractures to the scaphoid bone don’t reveal themselves on x-rays until 48 hours after injury. Based on his experience the doc believed the bone was broken and because the small bones of the carpals, and in particular the scaphoid, don’t receive a lot of blood flow should be treated as such. A lack of blood flow restricts healing and if not immobilized and allowed to heal the bone could die. That was enough for me to accept my fate and follow his instructions.

For six weeks I wore a removable cast without knowing if it was broken. X-rays were never taken again later, I just ran with the emergency room diagnosis. When the cast came off I began three months of physiotherapy to get close to a full range of motion. It would be another nine months before I can say the hand and wrist were back to normal.

Even now if the moon and stars and sun align just right, hidden behind a bank of dark grey clouds that are dumping a cold damp rain down on Mother Earth I can still feel it click and groan. Sometimes, I think that if I’d just plowed through them they’d have moved or at the very least it would have been a softer landing!

Oh, and did I mention all the years of reckless mountain biking where I never once broke a bone?

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