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Here there be dragons…

… are words that you can find on old sailor navigation maps that are meant to say: “Hey fools! Stay away from here! Like, don’t even THINK about it!”.

The American people would serve themselves well to heed these warnings. Rachel Maddow of MSNBC outlines a solid case that the escalating violence around the Trump supporters has been deliberate and planned. If true, our southern neighbours are headed full-steam toward those dragons… and they may not find it that easy to escape them.

Those are pretty dangerous beasts, those dragons. They have a nasty bite.

Be careful, my American friends…




That point when you know that something has gone too far…

You know, extreme fashion like bell bottoms and clothes made from meat, a practical joke that pushed the limits of good taste, Boy George…

That kind of too far.

Sooooo, America?

You have now and officially gone too far.

Stop the stupidity.

Now, please.




Quote of the week…

… from the Guardian:

Stephen Harper, Canada’s former prime minister, was a vacuous, anodyne nothing, as magnetic on the public stage as the podium he spoke from. His occasional efforts to ingratiate himself to younger voters – or rather the efforts of his staff to make their boss seem plausibly nonrobotic – ranged from dismal to pathetic, such as a kitty-petting photoshoot so unconvincing that you fear for the safety of the cat.



About that storm…

… that we had in Ottawa yesterday.

  • All things considered, I think the City staff and equipment handled the situation the best they could. More than fifty centimetres of snow fell in about a 14 hour span… very challenging for City crews. Hopefully the aftermath will be cleared away quickly.
  • What switch doesn’t go off in some drivers’ heads during a storm? Clearly it’s the “wow, I guess I should slow down” switch
  • Speaking of failed switch openings – please, please, PLEASE clean off your vehicle BEFORE you leave the parking lot! Do NOT do so in the middle of a busy street after your “clear the car of snow” switch finally does trip.
  • Last -and this will be sure to bug some of my cycling friends. I get it that you pedal-pushers have the right to share the road with we drivers. And normally I never have issues with that. But do you really, REALLY have to exercise that right in the middle of one of the biggest storms EVER and cycle along one of the busiest streets in Ottawa (Heron road and Riverside Drive, for those of you in the know). Witnessed this yesterday (and not for the first time)… couldn’t see a freaking thing because of the blowing snow but here’s this idiot, riding along, cars swerving to avoid him… being a hazard to himself and others! Can the City pass a bylaw prohibiting this type of activity? Or maybe a change to the Highway Traffic Act is in order? It is sheer lunacy to cycle in those conditions.


The death of a newspaper

I have never been the biggest fan of the Ottawa Citizen. Ever. Preaching, self-righteous columnists like David Warren turned me off the paper years ago. Their coverage is usually biased, overtly partisan and sometimes poorly written.

However. And it is a big “however”. Those are my opinions, and I am entitled to them. Others think differently and that is how it should be. A healthy democracy needs all opinions to be aired and discussed. Newspapers have traditionally performed that function and usually very well.

That is why losing another newspaper like the Ottawa Citizen is a tragedy. With each passing of an Ottawa Citizen or a Sun or any other paper, a little bit of our democracy is eroded.

There are some talented people named in the Tweet below. I have had the pleasure of meeting Joanne Chianello on a couple of occasions and she and her work is top-shelf. Same goes for Andrew Potter. They are both talented individuals who will land safely somewhere. And I wish them the best.


Maybe it is time for another one of these?

Why is this happening? Like Warren Kinsella, I am not buying all of the B.S. excuses that Godfrey et al are spewing.

What does it mean? Well, it means Paul Godfrey doesn’t give a sweet shit about Canadian journalism, for starters. That much should be clear to everyone, by now. All that he cares about, seems, is fattening the accounts of U.S. hedge funds, and giving himself big bonuses as amazing people like the ones above are shown the door. –


Diamond dogs and suffragettes….

In spite of my love for his music since I was a child, I didn’t get a chance to see Bowie until the spring of 2004 here in Ottawa. I took my then 11 year-old eldest daughter with me. I thought it important at the time that her first live concert be someone who should could brag about later in life (Since then, my wife and I took our second daughter to see Rush at Bluesfest… for a similar reason). And to my recollection, she loved the show.

This wasn’t at all surprising. Ziggy’s music was timeless; Heroes is just as poignant now as it was when it was first released decades ago. The duet with Freddie Mercury on Under Pressure is still breathtaking. Space Oddity, still haunting. In this age of kiddy-pop, boring melodies and meaningless lyrics, when a Bowie tune comes on the radio, it stands out as something unique.

Below is the only – and I mean ONLY – Christmas tune that I do not automatically switch off when it is played, at any time of the year.

Thank-you, Sir David.


Crazy will beget more crazy…

So bye-bye 2015 and hi to 2016!

2015 was pretty momentous, yo. What with a new game in town on the Hill, the Jays making a legit run to the WS and Donald Trump proving once again that are neighbours to the south can be a bit unbalanced from time to time, it was full of hope, it was heart-stopping, and bizarre and unpredictable!

But hey, let’s look ahead to the next 12 months.

  • Will Team Trudeau live up to the hype? The shine will come off at some point over the next year and the country will see whether the bravado is just that, or if there is real substance in the leadership and Cabinet. I believe it will be the latter.
  • Will the American GOP actually, really, truly nominate the white-trash racist blowhard? I hope and think not, but they are an unpredictable folk, those ‘mericans…
  • Big year in sports coming up with the obscenely massive waste of money called the “Olympics” in Rio, and for we footie fanatics, the UEFA Euros…
  • Speaking of sports, will the Jays make another run? Will my beloved Gunners finally win the Premiership again? Will the Leafs get first pick in the draft??? Will my hometown Red Blacks and Fury have another successful season?
  • Will I win the office hockey pool?
  • Will Mark Zuckerberg FINALLY give us all that money that he has been promising on Facebook?

So many questions!

Happy New Year!


Request that the CBSA ban Donald Trump from entering Canada

The following is a letter from my buddy, Mike.


Open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Dear Sir:

On behalf of Canadians everywhere I respectfully request you instruct the Hon. Minister of Justice to initiate proceedings to place the name of Mr. Donald J. Trump of New York City, NY on the Canadian Border Services watch list for individuals prohibited from entering Canada.

Mr. Trump has publicly supported significant and repeated racist actions, made statements that violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and has endorsed actions in violation of the United Nations treaty on basic human rights. Mr. Trump has clearly demonstrated his intention to spread intolerance of specific religious and race based groups and as such should be immediately be placed on all official lists of individuals prohibited from entering Canada.

Trusting you understand the seriousness of this request and the need for Canada to stand absolute in its refusal to allow blatant racial and religious intolerance to be spread within our borders.

I remain;
Michael B. McGrattan
Peterborough, Ontario


The world may be a bit crazy right now…

… but at least the weather is awesome – if you are a winter-hater like me!

No white death powder in the forecast well into December! Woot!

Yeah, Turkey has provoked war with Russia, the whole freaking world is freaking freaked out by what happened in Paris and security is at its highest since 9/11 and it looks like David Price will leave the Jays… but….

NO SNOW (yet) and it’s gonna be 11 C tomorrow!!!!!

weather 2