Thoughts On The Last Few Days In Canadian Politics

The moment someone labels you something so outrageously false a few things happen.  There is an immediate sense of anger, of defensiveness and even some sense to retaliate. But as calmer heads prevail, you start to think about a) why did they think this, b) how do I convince them this is not true, and most importantly to me c) how can we break away from the cycle spewing vitriol at each other pushing us further and further apart and building walls made with not just bricks but with hatred.

I have been thinking long and hard about what I have seen on my social media the past few days and, to be frank, I am quite disappointed in many of those on all sides of the political spectrum.

Yes, like many, I was quite disturbed at the photos. But I am also extremely upset at those who are being obnoxious about it. The most egregious ones are those who have worked hardest to get away from the false accusations which have been thrown their way for simply being on the right side of the political spectrum. Would it not make for a better world if we all simply took a few breaths when it comes to using the turn “racist” and think about the damaging ramifications it carries with it should someone be incorrectly labelled?

There is enough hypocrisy going around for everyone to wear some of it. And yes, one in particular may need to wear it more. But simply saying “well YOU were worse than me.” is not good enough to better our society. It is simply NOT GOOD ENOUGH.  Because if it is, we are all officiallyscrewed.

True Story

I drive through McDonalds this morning and order two round eggs and three sausage patties for breakfast. (A good old Atkins breakfast). I pull up to the pay window and the cashier turns to me and she says “How can you eat all that pork. Don’t you know it’s the leading cause of cancer?”

I didn’t know what to say and to leave me speechless is a pretty difficult thing to do.

Any comments?

Just Because I Like The Commercials

For those of you who have seen the commercial where the elderly woman is telling the young man about different items in a pharmacy and says “This one heats up, and this one tingles and this one is minty”, etc etc.  And it ends up being a gum commercial.

Well when the young man leaves, the shot of the pharmacy, called Surrey Drug Mart which is in a little plaza where a great little pub called KCMcFly’s is.  I used to hang out there and play trivia on the NTN network a couple of nights a week back in the early 90’s.

Nice to know it is still there.

 Surrey Drug Mart


This may not be interesting to most of you, but tough noogies.  It’s my blog and I want to point this out because it was a part of my life and I like the gum commercial.

The Prime Minister is Stalking Me…But Only On Weekends

Saturday March 26th, 2011 I was asked to deadhead to Quebec City on a 130 pmish charter to drive an empty truck back to Ottawa to save the Conservative Party some campaign expense. (Little did I know it was on the Conservative Party campaign jet as it flew its’s first leg of the long campaign tour.) After getting on what must have been the safest airplane in the nation and sitting in my seat, the Prime Minister came on board. I then had the privilege of seeing the Quebec City rally where I got to speak to Senator/Minister Marjory LeBreton for a good hour or so.

Then last Saturday afternoon as I was working in the campaign office of the Honourable Gordon O’Connor, the phone call came in. The party was looking for some athletic youth for a photo op at Greco Lean and Fit on Sunday morning (April 3rd, 2011) in the north side of Kanata which is in our riding. So I voluntold my kids (who were actually keen on the idea) and Saturday by 9am I was in a room full of press and supporters as my kids worked out in the background. Senator Jacques Demers gave a rousing introduction of all the local MPs and then proceeded to introduce the Prime Minister and his wife. I think the best moment for me was watching from afar as the Harpers spoke to my kids.

Which brings us to Saturday April 9th. My daughter Cookie, as many of you know, plays volleyball with the Ottawa Fusion 15u Girls competitive team. The provincials this year are being held in Waterloo again at RIM Park. The girls did fine yesterday winning their pool which put them into the top 16 in the province for today’s seeding round. We arrived early and got to spend some time watching the 15U boys play as they played in the gaps between the girls games. So as the day goes on, we notice the number of RCMP security in the building creeping upwards finally culminating in the PM arriving to watch his son play in the provincials. (and may I add, the Boys 15U team from Ottawa has a great team likely to medal this year).

So there you have it. Three Weekends…three different cities…and the Prime Minister is there each time. I told you that he was stalking me.

Seriously. I consider myself pretty fortunate to have the opportunity to have met him once, let alone the few times that I have gotten to meet him. I am proud to say I am a supporter of him and the Conservative Party of Canada and I am glad to put in volunteer hours above and beyond what many consider normal. I am of firm belief that the party is on the right track and guiding our government properly with minimal problems.

Furthur Part 7 – Mann Center in Philadelphia

We’re here. Scene’s better than Mohawk or Ottawa.  Vendors abound.  I resist the temptation to buy a veggie burrito for old times sake.  We have pretty good seats in orchestra B row B just right of centre.  It’s not as hot as Ottawa and we’re in the shade which is nice.

Set 1:

Feel Like A Stranger
Shakedown Street>
Money For Gasoline,
Magnolia Mountain
Lost Sailor>
Saint Of Circumstance
In The Midnight Hour

Set 2:
Mountains Of The Moon>
St. Stephen,
Blues For Allah
Terrapin Station Suite,
Let It Grow
Morning Dew,
Unbroken Chain>
The Wheel,
Not Fade Away

E: Brokedown Palace

Of note.  Three Phil tunes and his voice was great at 70 years old.  Kadlecik was simply smoking during Morning Dew.  Joe Russo was awesome during the Terrapin Suite.  Unbroken Chain was great.

p.s. I got my Philly Cheesesteak at a little brew pub called the Sly Fox.  Their Royal Weisse was a REALLY smooth wheat beer.  Kudo’s to their brewmeister.

Furthur in Herkimer part 3

While waiting for the second set the sun goes down and directly to our left and low in the sky is the bright Venus shining in the sky foreshadowing something. I point the planet out to Vlad and he nods not sure what I mean. He thinks it’s a star but it ain’t flickering so I know it’s Venus. The band comes out and starts playing. The early part of the set is new music for me. I have never heard the instrumental Sage and Spirit or Bob’s new tune. As the dig in the music really gets moving and when they cut Sugar Mags off before the Sunshine Daydream I was a bit disappointed but figured they would reprise it at the end of the jam and as they swing into Dark Star the crowd is really starting to dig it.

Then the foreshadowing came true. A lyric from Terrapin Station:

Counting stars by candlelight, all are dime but one is bright;
The spiral light of Venus, rising first and shining best.
Oh, from the northwest corner, of a brand new crescent moon,

They then proceeded to play the full Terrapin Station suite. The whole crowd singing along must have reverberated through the hills for miles and miles.

Near the end of Terrapin I turn to Vlad again and tell him that they need to play the Sunshine Daydream finish to Sugar Mags. He nods but I don’t think he realized what I was talking about.

For me the sweetest part of the night was Uncle John’s Band. It’s a favourite for me because I have an Uncle John who passed away far too early in life. Coincidentally, after this concert I would be driving the 60 or 70 miles back to Syracuse to stay in my late Uncle John’s home for the night.

Then the encore which was an easily predictable One More Saturday Night. Additionally what was predicted by me was the finish. They kicked in to the overdue Sunshine Daydream for a kick ass double ending. I was one happy man.

Set 2: Sage And Spirit>
*Seven Hills Of Gold> Althea
Magnolia Mountain> Sugar Magnolia>
No More Do I> Dark Star>
Terrapin Station Suite>
Stella Blue> Uncle John’s Band

E: One More Saturday Night>
Sunshine Daydream

*1st Time Played, New Bobby Song

That pretty much ended the show and night. Vlad and I walked back to the car and as we turned the corner into the field we saw the crescent moon so low in the sky (foreshadowed by the Terrapin lyrics).  We  escaped the traffic, and were briefly questioned at the Sobriety checkpoint and made our way back to the Cafe where my car was parked and off to Denny’s for a 2am breakfast before the trek back to Syracuse where I rolled in at 3am and crawled into bed.

Furthur on Stage at Gelston Castle July 3, 2010
Furthur on Stage at Gelston Castle July 3, 2010

Furthur in Herkimer part 2

It’s 720pm. Vlad’s still not here. He asked if we should meet at venue but chances of finding him are slim so he agrees to come to the cafe. At this point I am sitting in my truck surfing the web on my bb via a free wifi called collis (from some collision repair centre). Lucky me because roaming charges in the U.S.A. Are disgustingly unfair for canucks.

Ad shows up and I leave my truck at the cafe and after 2 missed turns, a closed road detour and some crazy sticky tar that made his car sound like it had a flat we get to the venue just a few minutes late. But it’s an open air show so we can hear the tunes.

Set 1: The Golden Road To Unlimited Devotion>
Born Cross-Eyed> Alligator> Truckin’>
Feelin’ Alright, New Potato Caboose>
Cream Puff War> Viola Lee Blues

But what was noticeable was the shortness of the set.

After grabbing a couple of pints we were in the thick of it about 20 or so people back from the stage.

To be continued…

The Venue at Gelston Castle
The Venue at Gelston Castle

Blogged Via Blackberry

Furthur in Herkimer part 1

I cruised down through Syracuse and across the 90. Vlad has the tickets so we agree to meet at 5pm at the Albany Street Cafe/Pub in Herkimer. I arrive at 430, park and know that I’ll be awhile because Vlad’s let me know he is way behind schedule. I grab a seat and order up a Magic Hat 9 (nice little apricot beer from Vermont), and a French onion soup. I really need to reiterate the beer is pretty darn good with the smell of berries.

While waiting, several other Deadheads come in. One who used to live in Montreal and Hawkesbury, (practically a neighbour) but now residing in Woodstock, NY, sees my tiedye and comes over to say hi. We chat about this iteration of the band for a bit and he let’s me know he has seen them with Warren and now with John Kadlecik and he is impressed with John. Having played with the DSO for 12 years, he is pretty ready to make an attempt at being Jerry 2.0 and 15 years after Jerry’s passing has probably left enough of a gap in fans minds for them to be pretty accepting of him doing Jerry’s part in the new band. I’m pretty stoked by this point.

The soup is piping hot and tasty, the stuffed porkchops even tastier. The Utica Club beer I swish it down with is nice but I go back to the Magic Hat 9 for my third. It’s now 6pm and the concert doors are open. No more tiedyed people are scattered around the place. At this point in time there is still no sign of Vlad and I am ticketless…waiting for a miracle.

To be continued…

Albany Street Cafe - Herkimer
Albany Street Cafe - Herkimer

(sorry about the mess that was here previously, It looks like this message was scattered in bits and pieces through the internet.)

I Am Calling Bragging Rights – Personal Post Alert

Y’all know family comes first.  In light of that, I have to post that my daughter Cookie and her partner took Gold with their duo routine  in the Ontario Provincial Rhythmic Gymnastics championships in Toronto On Friday night.  This is their 3rd championship in a row!!

Additionally she eked in to the provincials in 10th place after the first two qualifiers for the individual events.  I told her that all it would take for me to be happy is if she surprised herself with her performance and scores.  Simply surprise yourself.

Well in her ball routine she took the bronze, in her hoop routine she came 7th and in her ribbon she took eighth for a 7th place overall out of ten.  Considering where she qualified, she told me that she surprised herself.

So today I am a happy man.   Way to go Cookie!!