Monday Morning Musings

Posted on February 12, 2018 under Monday Morning Musings with one comment

It’s definitely ” man cold” season

 

“Sittin’ downtown in a railway station,

One toke over the line.”

One Toke Over The Line. Brewer and Shipley.

ALLERGY ALERT: IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO BAD PUNS, YOU MIGHT WANT TO SKIP THIS POST. IT’S LIKE A NOXIOUS WEED.

There was a time not all that long ago, that a 1000 point drop on the Dow Jones Industrial Average would tie up my stomach in knots and result in sleepless nights. I was in the financial business during the technology “dot com” bubble meltdown in 2000 and of course the epic market crash of 2008-09. I can put the blame on my hair loss squarely on the shoulders of the stock market.

These days, I am merely a spectator… mostly.

My brother from Victoria has been visiting this past week and during our early morning get togethers for coffee (usually around 6:30 a.m.); we cover a wide range of topics. The other day, we were comparing aches and pains and the topic of medical marijuana came up. Well, one thing led to another and while we were sipping the last of our java, I bought a handful of stocks in a Canadian marijuana company.

Warren Buffett, arguably one of the most successful investors ever, has always lived by the mantra, “don’t invest in anything you don’t understand.”

I started university in 1970, the very year that the power house band (?), Brewer and Shipley”, wrote the iconic lyrics to “ One Toke Over The Line.” I took those lyrics seriously. The Doobie Brothers became one of my favourite bands. So when I decided to buy shares in a “joint” stock company, I felt comfortable that I had a better than average knowledge of this soon to be legal consumer product.

My newly purchased shares went to pot in early trading but recovered at the end of the day on a high. At one point, when the price dropped 10%, I thought my investment had gone up in smoke.

I think that’s enough groans for today!

“Live From The Beach.”

You asked. I delivered.

My 15 minutes of fame last week with my videos of the flood, prompted many of you (tongue and cheek, of course) to suggest I take up a career in broadcasting. Particularly weather forecasting.  Well known television meteorologist, Cindy Day, retired recently prompting one of my children to dub me “Cindy Dad.”  Where do they get their quirky sense of humour?!

On the weekend, I headed out to Mahoney’s Beach to broadcast the weekend weather. I was tired of filming on the banks of the swollen Brierly Brook. (Those videos, by the way, were viewed over 125,000 times). Now obviously I’m no Frankie MacDonald when it comes to weather prognostications, even though we share the same last name. If you haven’t heard one of Frankie’s famous storm predictions, just Google him. He’s a legend in these parts.

As expected, I received lots of cheeky responses. I’m still puzzled about the comments suggesting a “bobble head doll.”

So, here’s the deal. Starting this Saturday, weather permitting (!); I will be doing a live weather forecast from “Some Beach, Somewhere.” (For you harness racing fans out there).  “Live from the Beach “will be a 60 second video bringing you up to the minute weather forecasts. But wait… there’s more. (This sounds like an old K-Tel commercial.)  If you have an event that you want plugged at the last minute, just send me the info by Friday and I will do my best to include it in my one minute video. No bingo cancellation notices please!

Get high on life.

Have a great week.

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Monday Morning Musings

Posted on February 5, 2018 under Monday Morning Musings with no comments yet

Will ye no come back again?

 

“There’s a time for joy, a time for tears,

A time we’ll treasure through the years,

We’ll remember always,

Graduation day.

Graduation Day. The Beach Boys.

Do you remember your high school graduation? Did you write Provincial exams? Did you go to the prom?

In two years’ time, it will be 50 years since I graduated from high school. How in the hell did that happen? Wasn’t it just yesterday that we sat on the railing outside “The Alleys”, watching the world going by, wondering where the journey of life would take us? I suspect every one of us reels just a bit when we consider the passage of time.

Fifty years.

The present day Annex, on the campus of St.F.X. University, was once Antigonish High School, my alma mater. And yes, I was a member of that class, the very last graduating class before the school became the property of the university.

Fifty years. I’m still in disbelief.

A few of my classmates from that era got together last week and have put the wheels in motion for a reunion. I used to pooh pooh reunions but now I treasure them. And it won’t be just the “class of 70” who are being invited. Back in those days, you could go directly from grade XI to university. So anyone who was a grade XI student in 68-69 will be receiving an invitation as well. Keep your eyes open for a new “AHS Reunion” Facebook page. Apparently the PINS Bowling Center has the original wood from the Braeside lanes. Maybe we’ll bowl a few strings… if we can bend over to toss the bowling ball!

Somewhere in the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln is weeping. I’m currently reading Ronald C. White’s excellent biography called “A. Lincoln.” Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican President. He would not recognize his party these days. He was humble, self-effacing and had a wonderful, self-deprecating sense of humour. He was also a voracious reader and had a keen intellect. He championed the anti-slavery movement. And he preached equality. When he became President, his country was deeply divided.

That paragraph will likely get me in trouble but it is so interesting to read history to help understand the present.

Calling all volunteers.

The National Special Olympics are coming to Antigonish this summer from July 31rd to August 4th. It is quite an honor for an Antigonish and a chance for us to strut our stuff. In order to deliver a high quality event the organizers needs lots of help, of every imaginable kind. I have agreed to do some media stuff. What about you? No experience necessary… just a big heart. Please check out this site and put your name in if you can spare a few hours of your time. http://www.specialolympics.ca/2018-national-games/volunteer/volunteer

Have a great week.

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Monday Morning Musings

Posted on January 29, 2018 under Monday Morning Musings with 4 comments

Happy ( Cabot ) Trails, Don

 

So long, Don!

It’s the end of an era.

I met Don Connolly in the late 1960’s. He was in the final throes of his illustrious educational career at St.F.X. I was just beginning mine. Even though he was from Northern New Brunswick, it was no surprise that he chose Antigonish as his mother ( a MacDonald )  grew up here…. and he was born here.

Radio. Golden radio.

Max Ferguson. Allen McPhee.

Don finished a 42 year career in radio last Friday. I know that many of you had your radios on and were listening to every word of the program like I did.

Radio is so special. It is intimate and personal. At least it was in a bygone era. Regular readers know that I am routinely plagued with bouts of nostalgia but it is truly sad that our children and grandchildren might never have the pleasure of listening to (quality) live radio with so many other distractions.

Foster Hewitt. Danny Gallivan.

Don had a rare gift for a media star: humility. He was just one of the guys to most of us. Listening to his early morning show, you felt that he was sitting in your kitchen by the wood stove, having a coffee as you dawdled around in your tattered sweater and worn out slippers.

Don Tremaine. Liz Logan. Costas Halavrezos.

Don had a conversation with his listeners. He was the facilitator and provocateur. He was a great speaker but God gave him two ears so he was blessed with a rare skill: listening. Unlike so many media darlings today, Don didn’t interrupt. He knew that the show wasn’t about him.

Stuart McLean.

“Oh radio, oh radio, where art thou?”

Like many sports enthusiasts, I listened to the World Series and NHL hockey games on my rocket radio. Our local radio station was no slouch when it came to excellent programming. We had “People’s School” and “Farmer’s Forum” and “Fun at Five.”

Rhonda. Marilyn.

John “a Go Go.” Dr. Cecil and Ken, Ray Mac, Gus, Armond Soucy and the Old Timer.

Don Connolly shared many passions including The Habs and golf. At University it was a tossup who had the biggest afro!

On air, Don talked with you, not at you. He had such a wonderful sense of humour. As one person said at his on air tribute last Friday, “Don was well informed and curious.”

Barbara Frum. Possibly one of the best interviewers of all time.

I don’t play golf anymore. I used to bump into Don and his Black Street Aces cronies at the Cape Breton Highland Links on Labour Day weekend. I don’t think anybody enjoyed life more than those fellows. I might just make a trip up there this fall and caddy for Don. I’m sure I could get enough material in 5 hours for another book!

Peter Gzowski.

Farewell, Don. It is the end of an era and like many people my age, there is a feeling of sadness. Not only have we lost Don but we have also lost a part of our youth and our past. Make no mistake, radio still plays a vital role in our daily lives but as baby boomers are wont to say, “It’s just not like the old times.”

Don Connolly.

Have a great retirement, Don.

 

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