This post is not by a Canadian who dislikes Americans. Nothing could be further from the truth. I like Americans. Most of the ones I’ve met are smart and friendly. I just dislike most American politicians. That’s only a misdemeanor compared to how I feel about Canadian politicians. Visiting Ottawa is a pleasure for me. I love the galleries, the museums and the strolls along the locks. But I have never ever entered my country’s parliament buildings. Suffice to say that I suffer from high blood pressure and I just know if I pass through those portals, my heart will explode in my chest. I know this attitude towards my government is immature, but when you’ve been diddled by them for most of your life, it’s tough to be magnanimous. Continue reading Harper Kicks Some Obama…, But
I wouldn’t write this post if they still had a pillory in the town square. I could stand the public humiliation, but being exposed to the Canadian weather in January or whipped on my bare backside with a birch switch is just too much. You see, I have an issue with Sigourney Weaver’s characterization in Avatar. I think James Cameron has made a serious mistake in trying to personify her as “off-putting and even unpleasant”, as well as “obnoxious”, by having her smoke cigarettes. The press jacked up this trait to “evil”. My generation grew up on movies where smoking was ubiquitous. So for many of us, using this habit for characterization only moves Cameron’s efforts from the sublime to the ridiculous. And that is objectionable because of my admiration for Sigourney. Whenever I see her on screen, whatever her role, deep in my heart she will always have a touch of the quick-witted heroism of Ripley — just like Gable will always have elements of Rhett Butler and Cooper of Marshal Will Kane. Continue reading Could Snus Have Saved Avatar?
Last week I visited the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. I took a few pictures in the World War 1 section and then put the camera away in frustration. On the way over, I had made the mistake of driving by that mausoleum on Parliament Hill. My ability to focus on gas attacks and trench warfare was gone: by the time I reached the museum, all I could think about was the war in Afghanistan. Continue reading Keep Your Enemies Closer
The second wave of the H1N1 flu was washing across the country before the vaccine arrived this fall. Government told us that only designated high-risk groups would receive the first shots, the rest of the population would have to wait their turn. I didn’t dwell much on this preferential treatment until a friend, who is a medical doctor, surprised me one day with his comment about this government directive. He told me that the process was “unfair” and that everybody should have had equal access to the vaccine when it was first released. Continue reading Women and Children First
Did you know that until World War II, the only land links spanning Canada from coast to coast were railway tracks? It’s true, the war stimulated the Canadian government to build roads between small towns north of Lake Superior (where I was raised) so motor vehicle traffic could eventually cross the country, too. There were good reasons. Three sets of track stretched over this area. If German saboteurs ever blew up three bridges simultaneously, our country’s only method of land transportation would have been severed, at least temporarily. Continue reading Mighty Miniatures of Quinte