Preconceived Notions

I am going through an interesting experience in my life these days. I am facing off against some preconceived notions that I have. Preconceived thoughts about people and about relationships. I find it quite interesting because I seem to be able to look at myself from outside myself and actually chuckle a bit at my predicament.

One thing that I came to realize a few years ago is that I do not handle change well. I used to think I was terrific in that part of my life, but then some experiences taught me that I like going in a straight line. The changes that required a turn were hard on me, as momentum was a very strong force in my life.

Then there was the issue of how I receive thoughts from others. If someone came to me and suggested I should do something differently, how did I receive that. I didn’t always listen right away, but I was willing to accept it without trying to defend myself or argue, and would give myself several days to let it sink in.

This situation I find myself in right now is pitting me against some preconceived notions that I have. If I ignore the whole thing, it will go away and I will keep going in the same straight-line. If I accept a new way of thinking about a facet of life, it may require a big change in my life, a positive one at that, but it is still scary.

How do you respond to change? How do you respond to advice that others give you about your life? Do you have preconceived notions about life that get challenged?

And that is what Grandpa Richard Speaks today.

Dental Care Is Not Cheap

I read in the newspaper that there is a push to have a national pharmacare system. The article told me that Canada is the only country that has a national healthcare system, and yet does not have a national pharmacare system to match. Furthermore, one in 10 people in Canada cannot afford their prescription drugs. My question would be “How many people in Canada cannot afford their dental care?”. My guess would be it is more than one in 10.

I believe there are programs that help lower income families with dental care for their children. Is there something like that for adults? I also believe that if you are on welfare you can qualify for some dental help. Lower income people who work get nothing. When you’re making only 11 bucks an hour, or whatever the minimums are in Canada today, it’s pretty hard to pay for even a dental checkup, let alone cavity work.

I will be honest with my readers. It is hard for me to afford prescriptions or dental work. Whether there are systems to help me once I turn 65 I do not know. I am pretty sure there is help with prescriptions, but not so sure about the dental side. My memory tells me that even a simple trip to the dentist exceeds $200 and as soon as you need cavities filled … well.

Perhaps we need to reconsider what is more important to lower income Canadians. A pharmacare system or dental care system.

And that is what Grandpa Richard Speaks today.

pharmacare vs dental care

What is a True Hiker?

I have become a big fan of hiking in the last several years. There are probably two main reasons. Number one is a desire to get more regular exercise. Number two is the proximity of over 100 waterfalls here in the Hamilton Ontario area.

What does it mean to be a true hiker?

A true hiker is healthy. At least healthier than they would be without their activity. Walking is considered one of the best ways to keep your body active. It gets you out into fresh air, since most hiking occurs in more natural areas, and the exposure to sunshine gives the vitamin D that many of us are deficient in.

A true hiker is inspired. If you hike regularly you can’t help but be inspired by what you see in the nature that surrounds you. You start to notice things like beautifully constructed spiders webs, and the intricate design of flowers.

A true hiker is kind. Not only are we inspired by nature, but the more a person is in nature and surrounded by it, the gentler our spirit becomes. We become a kinder person.

A true hiker is engaged. Hikers become more environmentally aware and engaged. They start to care more about our natural surroundings and want to do something to help keep them that way.

A true hiker is respectful. We go into nature and when we are done our hike, we leave only footprints and take only memories.

Become a true hiker today. Your body, soul, and spirit will be the better for it.

p.s. Do you have any additional words that describer a true hiker?

And that is what Grandpa Richard Speaks today.

a true hiker is

The Canadian Senate

We have read about it. We have heard about it. Do we really need Grandpa Richard to tell us more?

My initial thought when this issue started to get big is that we should get rid of the Senate. However, when I looked into the issue deeper, I realized that it had its role and when working well it was needed. It provides for sober second thought on the bills that Parliament passes. Quality senators spend quality time looking at parliamentary bills and even researching them. In some cases the bills are sent back to Parliament for fine-tuning.

The spending scandal that has directed has caused many of us to say get rid of it. I am now thinking that we should fix it. I see two problems.

The first is that senators are appointed. Not only that, they are appointed to a particular side of the Senate as either liberals or conservatives. I would prefer to see a neutral Senate. Not one that is along party lines. We should consider, in fact reconsider, electing senators. And instead of giving them their jobs for life they should have them for a specific period of time. Perhaps five years.

The second point I would make is that the spending scandal has suggested that moral compasses do not always work. Thus, we should tighten up the rules. And perhaps even in Parliament as well. There was the one liberal member of Parliament who voluntarily posted expenses for all her constituents to be able to see. She was chastised by her party’s leadership. Probably blackballed.

Our Prime Minister was quoted as saying that the Senate governs itself and thus he could not get involved. He is the one that has been appointing lots of senators lately. He is involved.

And that is what Grandpa Richard Speaks today.


As many of my readers would know, I am a practicing Christian. Part of being a Christian is to believe in prayer. I believe in prayer, but I’m not always very good at practicing what I believe. Lately I have felt more impressed that prayer needs to be an important part of my daily walk in this world that we’ve been blessed with.

I have many friends, acquaintances, and of course family members. I have started to keep a list to remind me of issues that are in their lives, and how I could pray for them. There are health issues. There are financial issues. There are relationship issues. These seem to be the big three in the list that I have created.

No matter what your belief system, I am sure there are people that you care about. And whether you believe in prayer or sending them your positive thoughts or whatever method you may personally believe in or practice, stop right now and consider somebody in your life and what their need may be.

My prayer right now is that you will have an awesome day, and that someone in your circle will be blessed because of you.

And that is what Grandpa Richard Speaks today.

The Gap From the Top to the Bottom is Getting too Big

Interesting article from a man who is in the top 0.01%, mainly due to being there at the start of Amazon. As he himself states …

Then I got as lucky as a person could possibly get in the Internet age by having a buddy in Seattle named Bezos. I look at the average Joe on the street, and I say, “There but for the grace of Jeff go I.”

The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats

Dear 1%ers, many of our fellow citizens are starting to believe that capitalism itself is the problem. I disagree, and I’m sure you do too. Capitalism, when well managed, is the greatest social technology ever invented to create prosperity in human societies. But capitalism left unchecked tends toward concentration and collapse. It can be managed either to benefit the few in the near term or the many in the long term. The work of democracies is to bend it to the latter. That is why investments in the middle class work. And tax breaks for rich people like us don’t. Balancing the power of workers and billionaires by raising the minimum wage isn’t bad for capitalism. It’s an indispensable tool smart capitalists use to make capitalism stable and sustainable. And no one has a bigger stake in that than zillionaires like us.

Grandpa Richard would say this to the super rich. What will it be? Bring back the balance, or, await the pitchforks?

Man with pitchfork

image based on a file from

Absurd Compensation Levels of CEOs

One of my favorite topics of conversation is in the news again. As you know, all of the target stores in Canada will be closing soon. Their attempt to invade Canada has failed miserably.

It is estimated that the 17,000 employees will receive a combined total of about $70 million as they lose their 17,000 jobs. It is also estimated that the CEO of target Canada will receive about $76 million as he loses his job. Look at those two $ numbers.

I do not know how much of the decision-making was within the hands of that CEO. Perhaps some of the decisions that were not very good ones were actually made in the head office in the United States and the CEO here in Canada had no choice but to follow through. In that case, I would like to know if somebody down in the States lost their job with little to no compensation. The cynic in me believes that that is not possible. They say that CEOs make a lot of their money due to bonuses. It seems to me that you get a big bonus even if you make horrible mistakes. Not so with the rest of us.

That is how I speak today.

Grandpa Richard