Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Average Flower Child

Pictured above is the house where Anthony Flower and his wife raised four little Flower blossoms. That's a pretty small house for six people, but that's the way things were in the early 1800s. Without a large screen tv, there was no need for a monstrous McMansion like we see in Mississauga, Toronto and (increasingly) Cambridge-Narrows. Without cars, there was no need for an attached Garage Mahal. It was a simpler time.

The average Canadian house size in 1945 was 800 square feet. By 2003 that number had shot up to 1800 square feet. Our houses of today have become larger, yet our families have become smaller. In 1976 the average family size was 3.5. In 2006, the average family size was 3.0. This makes me very happy because I always felt badly for that o.5 half child, probably born without a brain or talent. Coincidentally, though unrelated, Ben Mulroney was born in 1976.

My wife and I have one child. Actually, he's more of a man-child since he's bigger than the average Canadian man. The average Canadian male is 5' 8.5" and 182 pounds. Julian is 6' 1.5" and 222 pounds. NHL big boys Mark Messier and Eric Lindros were 6'1, 205 pounds, and 6' 4", 230 pounds respectively. I say respectively because when they're that big, you respect them. Gretzky was 6' and 185 pounds. Sidney Crosby is 5' 11", 200 pounds. Jared Fogle, not a hockey player, is 6' 2" and once weighed 425 pounds but got down to around 190 pounds, mostly by eating Subway sandwiches and walking to the bank to deposit his spokesperson cheques.

Our boy has just graduated from high school, which 75% of kids his age manage to do. He's one-third of our average family, and we are perfectly average according to Stats Canada in terms of family size. I don't appreciate being called average, it makes me feel unspecial...that's why I decided to be tall. The average Canadian family has two working family members and one who is dependent. Since our son started his job at the Anthony Flower House Museum, we're now average in that regard. Wendy also works.

Stats Canada offers no information about the average leisurologist so I'm going to take this time to offer some:

- the average amount of yearly income: $0

- the average amount of employment insurance payments collected: $0

- the average amount paid into the Canada Pension Plan: $0

- the average amount of time spent filling out income tax forms: 17 minutes*
* sixteen minutes to find a pen, one minute to write in the zeroes and sign name

- average height: 6' 3.5"

- average weight: 192 pounds

- average IQ: too embarrassing to mention (somewhere between Ken Appleby and a programmable toaster oven)

- average number of leisurologists living in New Brunswick: 1*
*source: theleisurologist.blogspot

- average number of people who read theleisurologist's blog: 3 (thanks Wendy, Dad and you!)

- the average amount of time writing each blog posting: 2 hours

- the average number of mornings, per week, when I have no idea what I'm going to write about when I wake up: 5 (out of seven), including this one

- the average career, in years, of a leisurologist: 17 (and counting)

- the likelihood of a leisurologist taking a job with the Irvings, Air Canada or eTalk: 0 %.

Today we've addressed the world of averages. For fun I took all of my words above and pasted them into a very cool web site called Wordle. If you go to their web site and click 'create your own', all you have to do is paste in some text and the Wordle Wizard will create a neat looking Word Cloud which takes your most often used words (excluding words like 'and' or 'the') and displays them prominently in a graphically artistic manner. Click on the 'randomize' button and you'll see variations.

I've created a Word Cloud below. If you click on the image, then you'll make it larger and it will be easier to see all the words. Note that the word 'average' is very large, that's because I used it more than any other word in this posting.

Anthony Flower never had the luxury of pasting his words into a web site to create a Word Cloud. He never had a digital camera to take pictures of puffy Mike Duffy clouds over his home.

Anthony Flower was a painter of portraits and landscapes, many of which related to his life on the shores of Washademoak Lake. You can visit a web site, created by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, which highlights Anthony Flower's life as an artist. The web site is really well done, dare I say, well above average?

You can also visit the Anthony Flower House Museum in Cambridge-Narrows, which will appeal to people of above average intelligence. I'm hoping that someone will go there and tell me all about it.


  1. Make that 4 people that read your blog... I find it entertaining to read the stuff about my dad... Ken Appleby. I think your IQ is way above my dad's. His is definitely closer to the programmable toaster oven.. hee hee. :)

    ~ Chelsea Appleby

  2. Nothing that I write is half as funny as Chelsea's that was hilarious! Ken, looks like you're outnumbered!!

  3. I will tell him that for sure!