• Vernon's Homepage
  • Kelowna's Homepage

Old as dirt. Twice as gritty.  

Seems legit

Nov 17, 2015 / 6:00 am
I’ve been getting a lot of great email these days. It’s as though I’ve signed up to some awesome all-inclusive mail delivery service that has a sole purpose of keeping me happy and well-informed. Don’t recall signing up for such a thing, but clearly they’ve found me....

Remember, honourably

Nov 8, 2015 / 6:47 am
With each year, Remembrance Day grows more angst-ridden and superficial, with too much focus on the banal online messages and too little on simple silence for contemplation. Consider something different this year. Honour the war dead with your willingness to learn, and to teach. Educate...

The Nanny State

Oct 20, 2015 / 5:00 am
Social media has made a dramatic difference in the way we stay connected to the world around us. It allows us to keep our grubby little fingers on the pulse of current societal sentiment, and an hour doesn’t pass without checking that pulse. “Hmm, I wonder if everybody is still...

When you die, you're dead

Oct 6, 2015 / 5:00 am
If the title of this column makes you shrug because you think it makes pretty good sense, you are probably a card-carrying member of the State The Obvious Club. If the title makes you shriek and whack the person nearest you in frustration, you are correct. Like it or not, the world is full...

The Machine

Sep 21, 2015 / 5:00 am
Few know about this, but in a hidden room somewhere in Ottawa resides the The Machine. Our political leaders turn to The Machine for help with speeches and ‘image’, especially during elections. The Machine has a lot of settings, with something for everybody from the tentative but...

Election voting guide

Sep 7, 2015 / 6:00 am
Wrote this item in 2011 for the last election. Same scenario, different year, so here's a rerun for you. Here we are on the cusp of the federal election, and you are probably feeling pretty torn up inside, and are asking yourself, “Who should I vote for? What if I get it wrong?...

Exploding heads

Aug 24, 2015 / 5:00 am
Hello. My name is Jo Slade, and I am a catchphrase addict. It is a trait I inherited from my father. During the 70s, he would say things like, ‘sit on it, ya noid’ and ‘up your nose with a rubber hose’. He looked normal, but underneath lurked those crazy...

Princess Jim

Aug 10, 2015 / 5:00 am
For reasons I cannot begin to understand, I have a reputation in my family for being fussy. A fuss-pot. Difficult. Hard to please. A princess. Mind you, when I say ‘in my family’, I really just mean ‘Jim’. And he is wrong. And he is the pot calling the...

Lion-hearted you

Jul 31, 2015 / 12:00 am
Last year GoDaddy was forced to pull a Superbowl ad (the infamous puppy ad) because of angry people taking a stand. The ad showed a puppy falling off the back of a truck, becoming lost and afraid, then finding its way home only to be sold. There was so much indignation over this that the ad...

Said no one ever

Jul 27, 2015 / 5:00 am
One of the cool things to do these days is to stage your random sarcasm with ‘said no one ever’. “I would much rather have a glass of warm tap water than a icy cold locally made craft beer,” said no one ever. “If I win the lottery I am going to say...

The bubble burst

Jul 13, 2015 / 5:00 am
With all the news of wildfires, heat waves, financial collapse of an entire nation, a sinking dollar, and god knows what else, you may have missed the worst news of all: Bubble wrap has a new recipe, and soon it won’t go pop for you anymore. Pop. Pop. Pop. Yes that’s...

Hold on, are you sure?

Jun 29, 2015 / 5:00 am
STOP! What on earth are you doing, are you really sure you want to do that? Positive? Please wait, maybe give yourself some time to think about it, don’t be so hasty. Yes, this is the number one bane of all users: The message your computer worriedly throws onto your screen whenever you try...


Jun 15, 2015 / 5:00 am
After my peeve-filled column last week, a concerned reader wrote to me to ask, “Well then, what on earth do you curmudgeons LIKE?” I threw something at that person, but missed and therefore feel obligated to answer the question. Of course I like stuff. There are lots of...


Jun 1, 2015 / 5:00 am
The newest trend on Facebook is the nausea-inducing ‘happy’ news that everybody is supposed to share to counter the endless negative stuff. And I say, phooey to that. We curmudgeons will stick with what we know: The incessant peeve. It’s not easy being a...

Greenway wars

May 18, 2015 / 5:00 am
A treat - this week you get an entire column crammed into a video meme. Long live the Greenway, and all the combatants within.

A real mother of a day

May 9, 2015 / 5:00 am
Mother’s Day is such a nice sort of day, a lovely little Sunday in May, set aside for people to give their mums appropriate adoration, heartfelt appreciation, and material goods. Love, kindnesses, memories shared, laughter and smiles, oh what a nice day, what a dear sweet...

The letter

May 4, 2015 / 5:00 am
When you want to get a message to a friend or foe these days, you sure have lots of choices. However, today, being International Standard Letter vs Email Day, we will focus on standard letter vs email. I mean, I already know you’re just going to send the email, but a day may come when...

Dear Old As Dirt readers

Apr 20, 2015 / 5:00 am
The following letter has been provided by Dr. Fingelsnit of the world famous Fingelsnit Research and BioStuff Group, a renowned and highly questionable medical establishment that specializes in almost everything except maybe the kitchen sink. Please excuse Jo Slade’s...

Mmm, ala French

Apr 6, 2015 / 5:00 am
Ahhh, ohhhhh yes . . . yes, yes, yes. No wait, don’t hurry, be gentle. Press slooooowwwwwly, yeah like that. Mmm, nice, so smooth - press a little harder, now oh yeah, feel the resistance, feel the movement, enjoy the anticipation. You’re almost there, almost! ALMOST! OMG!!...

The perfect child

Mar 23, 2015 / 5:00 am
Once upon a time, in that alternate universe we generally call ‘the old days’, parents grabbed at any opportunity to show off the extraordinary beauty, exceptional intelligence, and remarkable artistic talent of their perfect children. They did this out of sincere pity for the...

Suck it up, buttercup

Mar 9, 2015 / 6:00 am
We suck up to people when we think it might help make life easier for us. Don’t deny it, everybody does it, it is human nature. You’re sitting vulnerable in a chair with a dentist hovering over you with assorted tools of torture, and you, like most people, have the good common sense...

Mandatory condolences

Feb 23, 2015 / 6:00 am
First it was mandatory birthday greetings on Facebook, the ‘surprise’ birthday-wishes schtick in which you get to show your utter amazement that so many people actually remembered your birthday despite that you put your birthday in your profile knowing full well that all your...


Feb 9, 2015 / 6:00 am
Oh sweet sleep. I love those slipping-down seconds when you feel yourself disappear into another world, your brain drifting away on the promise of a good dream. Then maybe you grind your teeth for a bit if you’re into that kind of thing, then it’s time to maybe snore and drive your mate...

Superlatively speaking

Jan 26, 2015 / 6:00 am
Our society has managed to fall (or dive) into a steamy vat of superlative muck in recent years, and it has changed the way that we communicate. I’m not sure what, if anything, is still said or written in a normal low-key way, even the extra-low-key Brits are losing their ‘keep...

El cheapo 2015 horoscope

Jan 12, 2015 / 5:00 am
Welcome to your brand new year, fresh out of the box and sparkly clean. A new year means there are fresh horoscopes baking. You already get a quality horoscope on Castanet from Heather Zais, but we’re not talking quality in this column. This is the low-end economy horoscope for cheap...

Haiku to you too

Dec 29, 2014 / 5:00 am
It is haiku season here on Old As Dirt. So, Happy Haiku to you, or to be more politically correct, Happy Really Short Poem to you. A haiku is a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables delivered in three lines of five, seven and five. I may not be Japanese, but by god I have lots of...

At a loss for jargon

Dec 15, 2014 / 5:00 am
I’m never at a loss for words, but once in a long while I’m at a loss for jargon. I’ll reach out to spew just the right jargonesque triteism, and so thoroughly miss the mark that the listener becomes emotionally agitated. If you think people cannot become emotionally...

Oh she did not

Dec 1, 2014 / 5:00 am
A couple of weeks ago, an article in Huff Post called ‘10 Things Your Mother Never Told You’ went semi-viral on facebook. I’m sharing. If I had to read it, so do you. It’s a rule: ...

Seasoned hello

Nov 17, 2014 / 5:00 am
Oh no. Remembrance Day has passed and that can mean only one awful thing: It’s time for The Annual Bombardment of Everything Christmas. Ahem, including, of course, this column. It happens that I have a long list of peeves about Christmas. The (Many Many)...


Nov 3, 2014 / 5:00 am
In theory when you take a break from work you return feeling fresh and eager. You fully intend to stop being a slacker. However, ‘theory’ is just another word for ‘yeah right’, because you will soon find that your brain has come to a complete standstill from too many...

Finding a way home

Sep 22, 2014 / 5:00 am
What is home? Ask a hundred people and you’ll get a hundred different answers, but what they’ll have in common is this: all want to be there. This story is about a human who spent his life searching for a home. This story could be about anyone: You, someone you know,...


Sep 8, 2014 / 5:00 am
Hard to choose a topic this week. Teachers or ice buckets? Strikes or causes? Something that drives me crazy or something that drives me insane? It was a tough call. However, the BCTF strike is at the peak of passion as I type this on September 3, and some crazy hopeful part of me feels that...

He walks on water

Aug 25, 2014 / 5:00 am
The other day I was searching for songs to play on my guitar, and came across an old favourite called ‘He Walks On Water’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCVw8Qjeg84 It’s sappy - yeah. It’s country - yeah. It’s . . . oh who cares, I like it. I used...


Aug 11, 2014 / 6:00 am
There was a time many years ago when I was willing to go shopping. ‘Willing’ meant I’d go if nothing could stop it from happening, and the willingness came dressed in whines, “Okay, okay, I’ll go, maybe, sure, I guess so, as long as we stop for coffee and goodies every...

I'm sick

Jul 28, 2014 / 5:00 am
The other day I took a life-changing test on facebook. Oh come on, stop dissing facebook tests, how else would I know what kind of appliance I am (blender) or what kind of car I am (Volvo station wagon)? At any rate, this particular test was ‘Guess Who I Am’, and it...

Baby, you're so hot

Jul 10, 2014 / 5:00 am
There shouldn’t be a need to write this particular column, yet for some insane reason there is, because no matter how many times the message is put out there, people are still leaving their babies and dogs in enclosed cars on hot days. The disturbing part is that despite the intense...

The day I shamed B.C.

Jun 30, 2014 / 5:00 am
I have a confession to make. Several years ago, my daughter and I were on a summer road trip traveling across the Canadian prairies. In Saskatchewan we had to take a detour because of road construction, and we managed - don’t laugh - to get lost. Yes, in Saskatchewan. We were on a...

Run-on, little sentence, run on

Jun 16, 2014 / 5:00 am
I have recently rediscovered my fondness for the run-on sentence, it is something that I’ve neglected for many years now, years that were, truth be told, in rather dire need of the occasional run-on sentence, a situation forcing me think how very odd that I, personally, have neglected...

Fanatic dog owners

Jun 2, 2014 / 5:00 am
The Fanatic Dog Owner, a subspecies of Pet Owner, is a growing branch of pet ownership that is daily reaching new levels of of frenzied emotions, enabled by kinship with fellow Fanatic Dog Owners, and fueled by online social media. To be clear, I am not referring to the standard and...

No complaints please

May 19, 2014 / 5:00 am
Someone on Facebook posted a challenge the other day, for people to go 24 hours without complaining. I thought, well, that’s a piece of cake. Easy as drinking water. Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy. And other than the fact that I was wrong, it did sound like a walk in...
About the Author

This bio was written by Jo Slade. As you can see she has written about herself in the third person. What normal person would do that? They just wouldn't. Who knows how many other persons might be involved in this thing, a second person? Another third? I worry about it. I - she - we - can't even keep it straight, this paragraph is a damn mess, there are persons all over the place. Round 'em up and shoot 'em. That's what I'd do, and by golly I think that's what Jo Slade would do as well.

Biographic nutshell: Jo has been messing around with words for a long time. Sometimes she'll just say words instead of writing them, it saves on paper.

The columns that appear here are of a highly serious and scholarly nature, therefore it is advised that you keep a dictionary and ponderous thoughts nearby.

If, after reading so many thought-provoking words, you find yourself tossing and turning at night, burning with the need to email me, just do it. I answer to [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.