Bowl With Bernie

Posted on March 31, 2018 under News & Updates with no comments yet


Today is the day. If you have time today, please stop by Pins Bowling Centre on the Post Road from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. and join us in having some fun and raising money for a new endowment fund being created in memory of Bernie Vosman.

If you can’t make it but would like to support this effort, get in touch with me ( you know how! ) and I will pass along your donation. I will be selling my books at the event ($20 per book ) with all the proceeds going towards the endowment fund.

Happy Easter to everyone.

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The Macdonald Notebook: Business & Politics in Atlantic Canada

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Thursday Tidbits

Posted on March 29, 2018 under Thursday Tidbits with 7 comments

Heading off to Morrison School in 1958


“School days, school days, dear old golden rule days,

Reading and wring and ritmetic, taught to the tune of the hickory stick.”

School Days. Cobb /Edwards

School days was written back in 1907. It’s a song about a mature couple looking back sentimentally on their childhood together in primary school.

I visit my mom daily at the RK. Music is a big part of our conversation and there are not many days that she doesn’t start humming “School Days.” Do you look back on your earliest days of education with fondness? Most of us probably got through elementary school without too many battle scars. Junior High and High School was another matter altogether.

Many of us in this part of the world were taught by nuns throughout our schooling. While excellent educators, they knew a thing or two about the hickory stick and weren’t afraid to use it. Discipline wasn’t an issue. I think the television series “Fear Factor” derived its roots from that era. Intimidation and fear kept youngsters on high alert all the time. And public shaming was in vogue. You must remember staying after school and having to write on the blackboard, “I will not chew gum in school” a hundred times?

So, students, here is your task today. Go to your computer and type the following 100 times: “I will not whine or complain once today.” Even better, go into your grandchild’s play room, grab a piece of chalk and write it out on a piece of slate the old fashioned way.

Oh, crap. It’s “Len’s Lecture” time again. I’m sure many of you would like me to come down out of the pulpit one of these days ( soon!) and get back to telling funny stories. Be patient. There’s still lots to chuckle about.

We complain about the most mundane things like the lineup at a grocery store or slow service in a restaurant. Or (gasp) dandelions on the lawn. That’s a real soul destroyer. And, yes, let he who hath not sinned, cast the first stone. My impatience at convenience stores, waiting to buy a quart of milk, while someone dutifully and painfully checks 3 million lottery tickets to see if they’ve won $2.00,is legendary. Those people already know they’ve won $2.00 but have to share their exuberance with winning with the great unwashed mass.

Get to the point, Len.

A few days ago, I met a lady who had a devastating car accident a year or so ago and became a quadriplegic. The accident left her with other impairments. In the blink of an eye, her life changed forever. A couple of hours later, I ran into an old friend who has a family member in the late stages of Huntington’s disease… 20 years and counting. The physical and emotional toll on the family is incalculable.


There are lots and lots of people who have a valid right to complain but those of us lucky enough to be healthy and with a roof over our heads, should resist the temptation to whine.

This Easter weekend, take a few moments and realize how lucky you are. Be consciously grateful for what you have.

By the way,I’m still picking splinters out of my arse from the hickory stick!

Have a great Easter.


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Highland Hearing Clinic

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Monday Morning Musings

Posted on March 26, 2018 under Monday Morning Musings with no comments yet

Don’t forget to check out the performance of “The Way of the Cross” at St. Ninian’s Cathedral this week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evenings at 8:00 p.m.


“Food, glorious food,

Hot sausage and mustard.”

Food, Glorious food. Oliver

Skip the hot sausage.

You are what you eat.

The vegan posse finally cornered me, tied me to the ground and forced me to eat gluten free tofu. If you don’t read my column regularly (shame on you!), then you might not be aware that I have occasionally poked fun at people who are proponents of a vegan diet.  Truth be told, most of the food I consumed last year in India would be considered vegan.

I have been doing a lot of research about pain management and diet continues to pop up as a key factor. There is a substantial body of work that would suggest a plant based diet does wonders for arthritic pain. So, I’m going to give this a go. I have a lot to gain and very little to lose, although my guess is that I’ll shed a few pounds when I stop eating bread , and sweets… and meat, dairy etc.

I have given up on the usual treatments of acupuncture, cortisone injections and coconut cream pie… although the pie gives me a temporary high.

I will start by attending the vegan potluck this Wednesday, March 28th. at the library at 6:30 p.m. I am anxious to learn more about the vegan diet… especially vegan desserts. How will I live without my precious sweets?

I had a big time déjà vu on the weekend. A friend of mine recommended the Netflix series, “Departures.” It’s about two Canadian guys who decide to take a year and travel the world. They leave their homes, girlfriends and work in order to experience the wonders of travel. In season one, episode three, their journey takes them to India. And just like that, bam, I was back there. They arrive in Delhi where I spent three stressful weeks trying to obtain an exit visa. All the sights and sounds came rushing back.

After spending a few days there and a trip to Jaisalmer, they fly to Varanasi. Of all the places I traveled in India, Varanasi affected me the most. It is one of the oldest cities in modern civilization (5,000 years). I won’t bore you with the details. You can read about it in my upcoming book. But watching this show was so riveting.

I try to stay active and involved. It is not a perfect recipe for happiness and contentment but it sure beats boredom and loneliness, twin killers for so many older people. Every person that I have encountered has a gift of some sort. It could be artistic, acumen in business, photography, music, cooking. Having good listening skills may be one of the best. The list is endless. Some talents are in our DNA but more often than not, skills are honed over a lifetime. So, what do you do with your gifts?

Let’s face it. Many of us are staring down the later innings of our lives. This is “go time” so what are you waiting for? Take these gifts and use them while you still have the chance.

We all have regrets and we can’t expunge some of the stupid things we did over a lifetime. That’s what makes us human.

So, go ahead and share those gifts while you still have the chance.

Have a great week.



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Highland Hearing Clinic

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