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August 24th, 2012:



I’ll elaborate later.


Amber alert


Friday miscellany…

Dead explorer and #ihategarybettman edition!


Every now and then – though rarely – The Head Robot of this fair land does something that I actually agree with.  It hurts to admit it, but yes. It is true.

Such is the case with Stevie’s announcement that he is throwing oodles of cash at an expedition to find the Arctic explorer, Sir John Franklin’s ships, the Terror and the Erebus

Sure, it is as much a political decision as a historical quest for knowledge one. The CPC wouldn’t sneeze if there wasn’t a political advantage to be gained by it. But in this instance, so what?

The Franklin expedition and its fate has fascinated me from a very young age and I welcome the possibility that we may finally learn of the fate of the journey.

Additionally, this is a symbolic “stamp” on the Arctic to signal to the Russians and the U.S. that Canada is serious about its claim to the territory and its waters. This will be important in the coming years as counter claims over parts of the Arctic pick up in intensity.

So there you have it. I agree with the CPC on this one item.

That hurts.


Looks like there may be yet another lock-out of NHL players and that the season is again in jeopardy.

The main issue that divides them is far from complex.

“We believe we’re paying out more than we should be,” said commissioner Gary Bettman. “It’s as simple as that.”

Of course, the NHL Players’ Association doesn’t quite see it that way.

Rich owners and rich players. Bad combination. And we the fans may well be left out in the cold once more.

Remind me why there is an American in charge of the NHL?


There is a right way and a wrong way to use a beach towel.

You think your beach towel is just some colorful barrier between your ass and the sand? Wrong. That water-wicking blanket is actually an intricately designed instrument, fine-tuned to provide you with the best possible poolside experience. And here’s the thing: It’s entirely possible that you’ve been using it wrong all along.

The beach towel is not just an oversized, elaborately patterned bathroom towel, used to dry you off any which way. It has two distinct sides, designed for two very different purposes—and one side has absolutely no business in the bathroom.

The things that one learns through Facebook.


Lance Armstrong. Sad story. Blows up his integrity for sure.

But given his past contributions to cancer research, I refuse to condemn him. I know that this isn’t about cancer, it is about cheating (maybe). But being that this is my ‘hood and I make the rules, I can freely declare how I see it.

And I really and truly believe that he may be innocent of all charges and that his refusal to appeal to the next step of the process may simply be that he is tired of fighting this fight. I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

Others, perhaps justifiably, will do no such thing.

“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now,” Armstrong said. He called the USADA investigation an “unconstitutional witch hunt.”

“I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999,” he said. “The toll this has taken on my family and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today — finished with this nonsense.”

USADA reacted quickly and treated Armstrong’s decision as an admission of guilt, hanging the label of drug cheat on an athlete who was a hero to thousands for overcoming life-threatening testicular cancer and for his foundation’s support for cancer research.

Go ahead. Flame away.



And will be downloading it as soon as I get home tonight.


Wanna check out an interesting and well-written blog? Check out The Winding Path. It’s always an interesting read.


Finally, some comments from an expat living in Missouri on Todd Akin’s absurd “rape” statement.

It’s hard to compare the political scene here in the U.S. or even Missouri with either Canada or Saskatchewan. Here, I consider myself a Democrat, but in Canada, I would lean somewhat left of the NDP.

I never felt threatened, however, from either Liberals or Conservatives. I had friends encompassing all parties, and we’d often talk politics with many common threads.

A common element often was our care and concern for others…our neighbours as well as those who are vulnerable. I find as Canadians we have much more tolerance, and are more open to diversity between parties, and my experience was that religion did not play a part in those politics.

I can honestly say that in Canada, I didn’t know whether a school board member was from a certain political party, or what church they belonged to. It certainly didn’t matter. But this is something that is all encompassing in American politics.

Maybe it is a good idea that Mr. Akin doesn’t step aside. He’s now given a huge boost to his Democrat rival Claire McCaskill for the Senate seat. If Mr. Akin loses, he’ll not be able to go back to representing his district in Congress. It could be goodbye for Todd Akin. Actually – maybe his comments were a good thing!

I have been told by friends and colleagues before about the role that religion plays in the States – be it in politics, education, or who you invite over to a BBQ. And that is simply not the case here in Canada. I imagine there are communities in rural western Canada where it plays a role… but certainly not to the degree it does in backwaters like Missouri.

I am outspoken in my criticism of Ontario’s Catholic school system and I do not at al hide the reality that I am an atheist; though one who does respect the right of others to believe what they will. Respect, yes, but understand? Never. Yet if I were to again run for some level of political office, I cannot envision these views costing me an election. A few votes? Of course. Even here there are some who would judge me solely on my views of religion and it attendant institutions, and they would vote accordingly.

However, I have the feeling that in some parts of the States, I would not only have little chance of success campaigning for any public position whatsoever, but once my views were to become public, I would be branded as a pariah.

Yet another reason for being thankful for the biological happenstance that saw me born in Canada and not the U S of A!


One last note. After re-reading this post, I realized that it could be interpreted as a bit of an anti-American rant! Please believe me when I say that this was not intentional. I don’t usually plan the contents of my Friday Miscellany entries. They are pretty much free form and reflect whatever is on my mind on that day or what I have read or have discussed with others.

So. Yeah. No anti-Americanism intended, OK?