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Various Veins

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Do you test your knowledge of trivia by trying The Quiz in Maclean's or Quiz Yourself in The London Free Press?

I scored one out of ten in the quiz on World Sleep Day. Bending my specs out of shape when my face contacts my table accounts for getting the first question right. I know quite a lot about narcolepsy. Maybe I'm just salving my ego in considering the other nine totally worthless in daily life.

Hey, it's my ego and I'll pamper it if I want to.

Got five out of thirty-four on the last Maclean's quiz. There was no theme. I'm pleased with myself over one of those, but I'm not giving details. I merely knew which of four speakers would have asked such a thing.

Here's a question related to St. Patrick's Day. It was put to me by an Irishman. Why did God invent alcohol? The answer: to prevent the Irish from ruling the world.

You might benefit from looking for the modern version of the tale of the grasshopper and the ant. I don't know who was first, Solomon or Aesop, to produce the comparison, although Mark Twain gave an excellent second opinion about the wisdom of the ant. You probably wouldn't be willing to tackle James Joyce's take-off, but I get the giggles from the case of "The Ondt and the Gracehoper" in Finnegans Wake.

Incidentally, the title is correct. Joyce didn't put an apostrophe in it for a very good reason.

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame came to mind as I read about the poor grasshopper in the latest version chittering about the unfairness of it all. Toad was luckier than either insect in this lampoon of cultural inanity.

There are lots of useful questions to guide us in daily activities. If we drive, what colour in a traffic light tells us to proceed into the intersection? If you are blind in one eye what do you need to know besides the colour of the light?

That last question could have saved lives not long ago. A related question: why did a doctor approve the licence for the particular driver who not only was blind in one eye, but legally blind in the other?

In a lighter vein, what should you check before sitting down on a john in the dark? Thanks to Linda Hoffman for that one. She said men just don't get it, but I heard enough stories from Martha over the years to have a, good hardly fits this, picture. Murky?

Which is more important to know about the first prime minister of Canada, that he had a vision of a nation that reached from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean or that he often drank to excess?

Which is the better order of operations: plant a whole bunch of crops and look for a market or study the existence of customers and plant to fill their needs?

This last came to my attention when a man who knows absolutely nothing about the existing conditions or what went before, launched a drive to produce more food for Ontario. He announced his ideas on radio not long ago. A senior inspector with Agriculture and Food thought it was a spoof until it became obvious he had no knowledge to back up his great idea.

He didn't know the canneries and other facilities had been torn down or moved to the United States years ago, or of all the jobs that died as a result. Sort of like saying, "Get the station wagon out to take this delivery" after the wagon has been incinerated in Hamilton, or China.

Hey! A bluejay appeared outside my den on Saturday, first bird I've seen in my yard in months. Sunday the green spots between snow cover were alive with juncos and sparrows. Spring is definitely here. Time to re-read Putting Winter to Bed by E.J. Pratt.

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