Handshake Battle in Singapore – Young’un vs Donnie Boy

I think the little guy might have edged it! Young’un was strategically positioned on the right for most encounters. I think he put some thought & practice into his preparations for the summit. And he came, ready to play the game. Really smart. Maybe the smartest summit move ever. Of all time!Fist Bump-C

But how did he do it?

It’s tough enough to wield the bully boy handshake tactics from the seated position but you’re coming from behind when the opponent is seated to your right. And Young’un was seated at the right of the pairing for every seated encounter. This gives him the Dutch Reach advantage. What in the name of jumpin’ jacks is that, I hear you ask!

Now the Dutch Reach is primarily thought of as a way of opening your car door so as not to cream a passing cyclist with the door. And it’s a very good thing for that, we should all do it more often!

But it’s also a way for a little dictator to cream a big dictator in a handshake battle. By having to reach over from the right, the little guy’s hand was already pronated. Or in the superior position. On top!

If you’re not prepared for this sneaky move, the opponent will automatically find his or her hand supinating towards the inferior, or lower, position. They have to match the immovable superior position of the combatant reaching across the body, you see! And that’s pretty much how Donnie Boy found himself in all the seated handshakes during the event. Young’un did a real number on him during most encounters.

Donnie Boy must have felt that he was losing but he had no clue why. You could see him in the standing handshake almost jerking Young’un across the stage when their hands connected. You could tell that he was trying to recover from those earlier losses. I’d have to give that one to Donnie Boy but you wouldn’t believe it, I think Young’un still had his slightly over the top.

You’d have to think that a little bit more preparatory work would be required if a different result was hoped for at the next get together. It’ll be an exciting series to watch, no doubt!

What are Real Americans Thinking?

GatorThat’s it, no more going to the diner for lunch!

They’ve always got one of the cable news channels on & it’s all beginning to stress me out!

What I really want to know is this …

Where do Real Americans stand on Canada bashing?

President Trump is pounding on Canada again. Today on an ABC News interview, while basking in the afterglow of his new bromance with the North Korean leader, he continued to pummel Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau. He finished off another Trudeau bashing session by saying: “That’s (referring to Trudeau’s post G7 summit remarks) going to cost him a lot of money.”

And all this while continuing to heap praise on the DPRK’s dictator.

Meanwhile, the White House Trade Advisor, Peter Navarro, walked back his “special place in hell” comment about the Canadian Prime Minister. While it’s being billed as an apology, it wouldn’t impress me much as such. Seems like you’re better off not being an American friend & ally these days. What gives!?!

Unless they are not seeking reelection, most house & senate republicans remain silent. Is this a reflection of what people on the street think? I’m not talking about the anti-Trump people here but ordinary, everyday republicans. Or any person who is not heavily polarised in the current economic climate. Are real, everyday Americans okay with their President treating America’s friends in this way? And if not, do you speak out? Are you letting your President & representatives know that it’s not okay?

Or … should we be getting really scared up here!


Stand Up For Canada!


I can understand that the G7 meeting fallout still rankles a little with many Canadians. My own Irish blood boiled for a bit, but my Canadian “nice conditioning” cut in before I cut loose! It probably doesn’t matter if you’re liberal or conservative, all Canadians might justifiably take just a little umbrage at having the Canadian Prime Minister attacked in such a manner by the US President & his advisers.

Canadian Flag Art

The US runs a trade surplus with Canada. And isn’t this what the Trump trade policy is all about these days? So why pick on a country where this is the case? Canada does protect its dairy. Just as the US protects its tobacco & softwood lumber. Canada traded a key segment of  its aerospace industry for automotive jobs back in the day. Surely there’s enough give & take in all this to come to an amicable agreement?

Like it or not though, I guess we’ll have to grin & bear it. While the trade volumes between the two countries are less significant from an American perspective, trade volume with the US is a really big deal for Canada. We are the little brother & we are in the perfect position to be bullied.

Individually, we can all do a little more. We can all stand up for Canada every time we make a spending choice. We can buy Canadian products, from Canadian companies. If we feel we can’t, we can tell them why not. Maybe they can improve. I have too many American family & friends to be anti-American. And I love the place anyway. But I don’t have to love how we’re being treated by the current administration.

In general, I see buying North American as the responsible thing to do. Okay, I’ll admit that every now & again I visit the British & Irish shop for a taste of home. And yes, I’m also guilty of buying the ten cent version of something off eBay every now & again. Instead of paying a dollar for the local one. For the most part though, I see buying something from anywhere on this continent as the right thing to do. And, with no leading Canadian product to choose, I would typically choose American, or Mexican, over something from elsewhere around the globe.

But just for now, & by way of standing up for Canada, I’m going to be a little more focused on that Made in Canada logo. I think I might take my summer break in Canada this year.

And I’m going to do it all nicely!


Rose Coloured Rear View Mirror

My memories of the past are generally …. well … fantastic. I didn’t know to what extent this was so ’til this past week, when we were discussing making a return visit to the Canadian Maritimes. It must be 15 years, maybe more, since we were last there. The kids were young then. Though I don’t think we’ve aged a day since. Anyhow, I was happily reminding everyone of the great time we had during that last trip. It appeared, somehow, that my memories were way more detailed than those of the rest of the gang. I remembered the kids climbing on rocks, going up to the gantry surrounding the lighthouse, waiting for the fisherman’s boat to dock so we could have lobster for lunch. The whole trip was one gorgeous, wonderful, idyllic set of experiences. Golf, beaches, patio dining, boat trips. And all in the most wonderful sunshine. The whole time.

Except it wasn’t!

Since nobody else remembered anything, I had to go digging around on the old backup hard drive to find the pics. When I found them, I gathered the flock around to bear witness to this amazing ability I had to remember things. Pretty much everything I’d reported was accurate. With one big exception: most of the days, ac

Maritime Lighthouse

All my lighthouse, lobster & linguini memories were drenched in sunshine but the pics made a liar of me.

cording to these pics anyway, were grey!

There are two lessons to be learned from this. The first is that you should ignore that advice about focusing on the beauty of a place & not be taking photographs all the time. As you age, you’ll forget stuff, & photographs are how you retain those memories. The second thing is that you should probably ignore all those feelgood posts on social media. You know the ones I mean: “You are at one with the Universe … woohoo … allow the happiness to descend upon you from the mystical non-being entity” kind of crap. Based on this experience, I’ve realised that today will always look better when viewed from tomorrow. So now, I’m just not going to worry so much about today’s anguish.

Have a nice day. Tomorrow!