The Decaying Legions

Have you ever considered the first impressions when entering one of our Royal Canadian legion branches? At the entrance we are often greeted with an overwhelming odor of cigarette smoke and a walkway littered with butts. Once through the doors we have to accustomed our eyes to the dark and gloomy interior with few or no windows. The air smells musty with stale beer and the walls are stained and yellowed with the nicotine of years passed. One wall greets us with row on row of framed and dower looking past presidents. Maybe they are remembering better times. The opposite wall there stands a large display cabinet of ancient WW1-2 and Korean medals, it looks dusty and unused. Not a sign of a medal from later wars. Crossing the bar I feel the eyes of the few members following my progress. No one speaks or shows any sign of welcoming, I feel like an intruder wondering if I have any right to be here. Why would I remain in this place of decay and ghostly shadows? Simply put I wouldn’t and I don’t. I’d much rather pop into MacDonald’s and share a very reasonably priced morning cup of coffee with my senior friends and neighbours, many who are veterans. That folks is my impression of today’s legion.

God Bless and keep reading

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My Legion Letter of Resignation.

Below is a copy of the letter I sent to my local branch roughly four weeks ago. I thought or perhaps expected that someone would try to reach me to say they have changed the rules regarding veterans and wives paying for special dinners. Alas, nothing to date, not one member has attempted to reach me. Not one member has tried to change my mind and return me to the fold. While I’m a little disappointed, I have no regrets over my decision and indeed have no intentions of changing my mind. However, it would have been nice if at least one soul had tried to win me back. This clearly illustrates the lack of interest the present legion organization have in building and or retaining membership of veterans.

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 17
97 Sunset Dr,  Wellington Box 27
Wellington Station PE. C0B 2E0
1st March 2017.
Comrades I’m in receipt of your membership reminder dated 28th February 2017.
Unfortunately this was not due to a lapse of memory but rather a decision I came to after the regular meeting of January 2016. Members may recall I raised the issue of the branch having a double standard for veterans.  I became aware that WW2 and Korean veterans and their wives ate free at the Remembrance Day Banquet, while all other veterans paid for their wives. This was never about the money, but rather the discrimination of some veterans within the branch. This surely violates the very principles of the Legion,  an organization founded by veterans for veterans. For these reasons I find that I can no longer remain a member of a branch that considers me a lesser veteran.
It is with some regret that have reached my decision, I have enjoyed my brief time at the branch. I have met some very good people and they will be missed. Nevertheless, I cannot remain a member under these circumstances. I wish all branch members much success in the future.
Yours Respectfully  F.Ben Rodgers

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A Little Sunday Humour

Colonoscopy Journal: nothing to it says
                                              Trump, but then he is a big A-hole
I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy.
A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through Minneapolis.
Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner.
I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn’t really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, ‘HE’S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BEHIND!’
I left Andy’s office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called ‘Go Lightly,’ which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven. I will discuss Go Lightly in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America ‘s enemies.
I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous.
Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn’t eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor.
Then, in the evening, I took the Go Lightly. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-litre plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a litre is about 32 gallons). Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because Go Lightly tastes – and here I am being kind – like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.
The instructions for Go Lightly, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, ‘a loose, watery bowel movement may result.’
This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.
  Go Lightly is a nuclear laxative. I don’t want to be too graphic, here, but, have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch? This is pretty much the Go Lightly experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently.  You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another litre of Go Lightly, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.
After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep.
The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous. Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of Go Lightly spurtage. I was thinking, ‘What if I spurt on Andy?’ How do you apologize to a friend for something like that? Flowers would not be enough.
At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms said. Then they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked.
Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand. Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down. Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their Go Lightly.
At first I was ticked off that I hadn’t thought of this, but then I pondered what would happen if you got yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode. You would have no choice but to burn your house.
 When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere. I was seriously nervous at this point.
Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand.
There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was ‘Dancing Queen’ by ABBA. I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, ‘Dancing Queen’ had to be the least appropriate.
‘You want me to turn it up?’ said Andy, from somewhere behind me…
‘Ha ha,’ I said. And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade. If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like.
 I have no idea. Really. I slept through it. One moment, ABBA was yelling ‘Dancing Queen, feel the beat of the tambourine,’ and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood.
Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt. I felt excellent. I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that It was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors. I have never been prouder of an internal organ.
 On the subject of Colonoscopies…
Colonoscopies are no joke, but these comments during the exam were quite humorous. A physician claimed that the following are actual comments made by his patients (predominately male) while he was performing their colonoscopies:
1. Take it easy Doc. You’re boldly going where no man has gone before.
2. ‘Find Amelia Earhart yet?’
3. ‘Can you hear me NOW?’
4. ‘Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?’
5 ‘You know, in Arkansas, we’re now legally married.’
6. ‘Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?’
7. ‘You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out…’
 8. ‘Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!’
9. ‘If your hand doesn’t fit, you must quit!’
10. ‘Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.’
 11. ‘You used to be an executive at Enron, didn’t you?’
12. ‘God, now I know why I am not gay’
And the best one of all:
13.  ‘Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?’

 

God Bless and keep reading

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A Bloody Week!!!

You might wonder at the meaning of the title of todays blog? Well, its all about blood, my blood. I did learn one important fact , don’t joke about your blood in a hospital situation. Yesterday I attended the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to see my heart doctor. Entering the elevator I was followed in by a young nurse pushing a trolley with the equipment for doing blood tests. Jokingly I said, hope you don’t want me to roll up my sleeve in the elevator? She just smiled that knowing medical kind of smile we so often see in hospitals but said nothing.  During my doctor visit I was sent for blood tests, and you have probably guessed, the nurse waiting to take my blood was the same one I’d met on the elevator! I expect by this point you are wondering why I’m making such an issue of a wee blood test.  Well, let me explain , I was seeing my doctor because I’m anemic and my body is approximately short four pints of blood. Not sure of the cause yet and still have myriad of tests to do. However, every test seems to include taking blood, and I’m not talking a couple of small test tubes. On average each test has required six or seven tubes of blood, Both my arms look like bruised pin cushions. By now you are probably saying ,what a wimp, blood tests are almost painless!. I’d agree, expect in the last eight days I have had seven blood tests,  When the nurse says which arm, I’m at a loss and wondering if she could use a leg! My last test required nine tubes of blood and I have another scheduled for this coming week.  I’m beginning to wonder if they will find the cause of my blood loss, before I run out of blood. What a bloody week!!!!

God Bless and keep reading.

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Who To Choose???

Kevin O’Leary was on the island yesterday and interviewed on compass last evening. I have to agree much of what he said made sense. Don’t panic! I’m not about to vote for him. Nevertheless, he did make me think, especially about Trudeau? Trudeau sailed into power quite unexpectedly, he suddenly was popular with the young people. Selfies became the rage, nice hair and good looking became the talk of the town. When we think about it he does indeed attract the young voters. He is very good at town hall talks, says all the right things (mostly) open neck shirt, sleeves rolled up, just the right image to attract the youth of Canada. Add to this his name, Trudeau, not a bad way to start a career in politics. However, we need to take a closer look at him, never mind the hair the smiles and the shirt sleeves. How is he doing as Prime Minister? not so hot I think. We have a massive and growing deficit, we have already seen a reversal on election promises. Not the least of which was the blatant reversal of promised election reform. For me this was quite unforgivable and I believe will come back to haunt him in the next election. I see the major issue in politics today as “TRUST!”! who can we trust anymore?. Does any politician ever do as they say they will do once elected. Not from where I’m sitting, not Federally and certainly not Provincially. I believe all that Trudeau achieved was a new and popular image, but under all the glitz, he is just another politician doing what he does best. Telling the voters what we want to hear but never intending to actually follow through.  Now I see the next election as entering the Dragons Den, no matter who we elect we, the electorate will end up getting burned! Just my views from snowy Abram Village. But wait ——————- Maybe there is hope?

God Bless and keep reading

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Canadian Values???

There has been much talk lately of Canadian Values? Especially so when speaking about new immigrants. I suppose much of this talk has derived from the Conservative leadership race and in particular Kelly Leitch. Bye the way she is on PEI today, are you excited? I’m trying to understand what these ever so important Canadian Values are. I have always respected the laws of the land, I keep myself presentable, polite and always ready to help others. I respect other peoples opinions, religions, and political views. However, where I have a problem with these values is when it involves our leaders and politicians.

I have posted a few photos of politicians most of us know well.

So where are their Canadian values?????

Ghiz ran off rather hastily after the E gaming scandal broke and Sheridan was quick on his heels.  Then we have the new premier who promised to do business differently, he almost immediately ignored a democratic vote on election reform among other things.

Wayne Easter MP??? not sure if I can apply any value here?

 

But the biggest blemish on our so called Canadian Values was committed by the leader of the nation, Prime Minister Trudeau! He clearly promised to end the first passed the post during his election campaign and a majority of voters believed him. Guess what? he lied too!!! no intentions of ever reforming the election system.

Where does this leave these ever so important Canadian Values that are being hyped up by eager politicians wishing us to elect them. I think it leaves us with egg on our faces again, we have once more been fooled by these less then honest men and women aspiring to high office.

So to summarize, Canadian Values are for new immigrants, honest and hard working Canadians, they should be taught in schools and practiced by all citizens. But of course they do not apply to politicians, they have no values beyond getting elected and lining their pockets.

God Bless and keep reading

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No No!!!! not that Male Cycle with a Cross bar

The Male Cycle finally explained
When I was 13, I began to notice girls and hoped that one day I would have a girlfriend with big tits.
When I was 16, I got a girlfriend with big tits, but there was no passion, so I decided I needed a passionate girl with a zest for life.
At high school, I went out with a passionate girl, but she was too emotional: everything was an emergency—she was a drama queen, cried all the time and threatened suicide. So then I thought that I needed a girl with stability.
When I was 25, I found a very stable girl but…she was boring. She was totally predictable and never got excited about anything. Life became so dull that I decided I needed a girl with some excitement.
When I was 28, I found a very exciting girl, but I couldn’t keep up with her. She rushed from one thing to another, never settling on anything. She did mad impetuous things and made me miserable as often as happy. She was great fun initially and very energetic, but directionless. So I decided to find a girl with some real ambition.
When I turned 30, I found a smart, ambitious girl with her feet planted firmly on the ground, so I married her. She was so ambitious that she divorced me and took everything I owned.
I’m older and wiser now and looking for a girl with big tits.

God Bless and keep reading

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A little Sunday Humour

Butch the Rooster

Sarah was in the fertilised egg business.    She had several hundred young pullets and ten roosters to fertilise the eggs. 
She kept records and any rooster not performing went into the soup pot and was replaced.
This took a lot of time, so she bought some tiny bells and attached them to her roosters. Each bell had a different tone, so she could tell from a distance which rooster was performing. Now, she could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report by just listening to the bells.
Sarah’s favourite rooster, old Butch, was a very fine specimen but, this morning she noticed old Butch’s bell hadn’t rung at all! When she went to investigate, she saw the other roosters were busy chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing, but the pullets hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover.
To Sarah’s amazement, old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn’t ring.    He’d sneak up on a pullet, do his job, and walk on to the next one.
Sarah was so proud of old Butch, she entered him in a Show and he became an overnight sensation among the judges.
The result was the judges not only awarded old Butch the “No Bell Peace Prize” they also awarded him the “Pulletsurprise” as well.

Clearly old Butch was a politician in the making.  Who else but a politician could figure out how to win two of the most coveted awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the unsuspecting populace and screwing them when they weren’t paying attention?
Vote carefully in the next election. You can’t always hear the bells
( If you don’t send this on, you’re chicken    ……    no yolk! )
God Bless and keep reading
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Health Care on PEI

I was already planning to write this blog before reading this mornings paper. However, the front page article on the closing of hospital beds during the March break fits well with my topic. Regarding closing beds, well it might sound reasonable and fair, after all medical staff need their time off too. However, I wonder how the person suffering pain and awaiting elected surgery feels about this as his/her surgery is cancelled once again. The opposition health critic states, this not about staff holidays, its the budget. Closing these beds save money and help reduce budget costs.  I suppose it depends on who we believe, and of course the opposition will take every opportunity to make the government look bad.

I think this is just the tip of the iceberg, Island health care along with education has been deteriorating for some time now. How could it not, after all the misappropriation of our taxes by the passed and the present Liberal governments. The cover ups and ongoing scandals of PNPs and Egaming, rising salaries for politicians and rising HST for the rest of us. The health situation came home to me with a bang this week. My doctor prescribed physio treatment, so off I went to the PCH to arrange an appointment. Sorry, it is a ten month to one year waiting period! and apparently that is the same at the QEH. Of course I have the option of going to a private clinic and pay. All very well if a person can afford to pay, but it also raises the question of why my taxes are so high?? health care maybe???? I have also been waiting for over a year for cataract surgery. Perhaps my ailments are not too serious, but what about the person in a critical situation, can that person wait for ten months or maybe a year? So it appears to me we have a growing crisis in Island health care but the government says and does nothing. We are short of doctors and now, apparently many other health professionals which politicians fail to mention. It is time we either pressure this government to do better or we kick them out of office. Just my frustration and inability to receive needed medical care.

God Bless and keep reading

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Happy Saint Patricks Day

A Touch of Blarney (A True Story)

My story is what is called in Ireland  a long short story, its a bit long for a short story, but its Irish and an Irish mile is about three miles long!!! Enjoy my tale and please feel free to tell me if you believe it happened.

The Blarney Stone – Myth or Legend?

The Blarney stone has woven around itself a unique tradition of myth, legend and
Romance. It is said that the secret of the holy stone was given to Cormac MacCarthy, King of Munster by the local witch whom he saved from drowning in the lake behind the castle. It is also said that the stone was brought back from the Crusades and that it was made into two halves. One is the Stone of Scone also known as the Stone of Destiny, the other half was given to Cormac MacCarthy by Robert Bruce of Scotland in gratitude for the Irish army of four thousand men which was sent to help him at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Whatever its origins, through the centuries the stone has succeeded in strengthening the mystical romance and legend that reaches to the four corners of the world as is evident by the thousands of people who visit Blarney Castle every year just to kiss this mysterious stone in hope of receiving the gift of eloquence or perhaps to capture a little of the mystique that is the Blarney Stone

—————————————————

Many readers will dismiss this story as mere coincidence, but those of you with a touch of Irish may well believe it, as do I.
————————————————————————————————
In order to tell my story I must first relate an event that occurred one year earlier. My name is Frederick Rodgers I’m a twenty year old Able Seaman and as yet unmarried. I have served happily for three years in the Silent Service. During the summer of 1962 in Plymouth, England I was serving aboard the Royal Navy submarine HM/SM Taciturn. On weekend leave I suffered a severe head injury as a front seat passenger in a shipmate’s car. Three weeks in hospital and thirty stitches later I was sent home on sick leave. Whilst on leave my brother-in-law suggested I claim damages and took me to a solicitor. I recounted what little I remembered about the accident and gave the lawyer a newspaper clipping, the only real information I had
When sick leave expired I was posted to HMS Dolphin, the submarine base in Portsmouth, I remained there until declared fit for sea duty almost one year later.

A Touch of Blarney
****************
In May 1963 I was declared fit to return to sea duty. I reported to the drafting office for my next assignment. I had long since forgotten the solicitor or any hope of receiving compensation.
The submarine base maintains a complete spare crew. If a submarine found itself short a crew member due to health or such, a replacement was readily available. It was to spare crew I now find myself posted. I’m given several forms to complete and deliver to appropriate departments. It was important the pay office knew my whereabouts if I expected to be paid. It was equally important the post office had my new address if I hoped to receive mail. However, the first priority was to transfer with my kit to the spare crew accommodation. By the time I moved to my new billet it was already late. I decided the forms could wait until the following morning. That night I turned in and quickly fell asleep.

Suddenly a blinding light is shinning in my face. Behind it, someone was shouting “ you Rodgers?” You’ve got ten minutes to get your ass aboard the submarine Totem, she’s about to sail.

I landed aboard as they were about to remove the gangway. I was unshaven, unwashed and now underway. The boat was heading out to operate in the Irish Sea with a visit to the City of Cork on the weekend. Thursday at sea being payday everyone was paid. Everyone except me that is! I was almost broke with maybe five shillings to my name. The chance of borrowing from a shipmate was nil. Not a permanent member of the crew, loaning me money was high risk. I could disappear as quickly as I had arrived.

Saturday morning, alongside in Cork City I was free to go ashore. Opposite the gangway was a pub. It didn’t open until noon. However, a discrete tap on a side door my shipmates and I are quickly ushered inside.
The interior was dim blinds still down. We ordered pints of Guinness and headed to a table by the fireside. As our eyes became accustomed to the gloom we saw a Garda (Irish Policeman) standing at the bar.
“Tis British sailors breaking the law I’m seeing here?” he says. We froze on the spot. After a pause he continued. “Ah well! Sure tis breaking the law to let salty young seafarers like yourselves go thirsty.”

A few pints later and my funds reduced by half I returned anboard for lunch. Levity in a seaman’s mess usually increases after the daily noontime issue of rum. This was the case aboard Totem. Someone suggested we head out of town to Blarney Castle to kiss the famous stone.
Having imbibed a tot and two pints of Guinness, kissing the Blarney Stone seemed an admirable idea.

The bus fare depleted a further sixpence from my dwindling funds. Arriving at the castle we were directed to climb a circular stairway to the top of the tower. Here we found the Blarney Stone and an enterprising photographer. For one shilling he would take our photograph kissing the stone. We readily agreed we surely needed a record of our lips touching this famous stone. After paying the photographer I couldn’t afford return bus fare and had to walk the five miles back to town. I returned aboard Totem, depressed, my feet aching and my pockets empty.

A dance was hosted for Totem’s crew that night promising lots of girls in attendance. I knew I wouldn’t be doing any dancing even if my feet recovered in time.

When I entered the mess I noticed the mail had arrived. I showed no interest there would be none for me. Like my pay doc’s, my change of address was sitting in my locker back at the base. Therefore I was stunned when a shipmate asked if I’d got my letter? What letter? It had to be a mistake. It couldn‘t be for me.

Nevertheless, on the table was a large official looking white envelope with my name clearly printed on the front? I quickly tore it open to find it contained several typed pages. But what immediately caught my attention was the attached cheque. It was from my lawyer, a settlement for my injuries in the sum of one thousand pounds. Never in my life had I held such a huge sum of money in my hands.

The first question that came to mind was how this letter found me? How was it possible? The fleet mail office didn’t have my new address.
*******
Now my second question?
A few hours earlier I had kissed the Blarney Stone with only small change in my pocket. Now I was rich beyond my wildest dreams. Coincidence??? Or Luck of the Irish?? You decide!

I served a total of 24 years in the British and Canadian Navies. I’m now retired and living with my wife, Linda, in Abram Village, Prince Edward Island. Canada. I have completed and published three books (two memoirs and one fiction) titled “Lily & Me” and “The Royal Navy & Me” and Chapter XXl Armageddon, they are available in bookstores or online at http://www.amazon.com or visit my.
Web page for more info http://www.irishroversbooks.com
*******
Oh, and yes I did make it to the dance that night!

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