Thursday Tidbits

Posted on February 15, 2018 under Thursday Tidbits with no comments yet


SAFE is having its Annual General Meeting on February 27, 2108… and you’re invited to come.

Our Syrian families have settled in quite nicely in our community but this doesn’t mean the crisis is over in Syria. Not even close. If it is humanly possible, things are worse and there are millions of families desperately seeking refuge.

The work of SAFE, CARE and Tri- Heart, the three sponsorship groups in Antigonish continues. It is not likely to end any time soon.

We need your help. There are two new Syrian families arriving in the very near future. One of the families, we were expecting and we have housing lined up for them. The second family was not supposed to come until late 2018 but SAFE has now been informed that their arrival is imminent.

We need your help… specifically housing.

SAFE needs a three bedroom house, preferably near the town of Antigonish. We all know how hard housing is to find and how expensive it is. The people of Antigonish Town and County have been extremely generous in assisting with housing for the Syrians who have already arrived. They have provided inexpensive rents, in some cases for a two year period to help new families get on their feet.

So. if you know of anyone who might have an unoccupied house and might want to partner with SAFE in providing a home for one of the families coming soon, please get in touch with me or any member of SAFE.

Our new Syrian neighbors and friends have proven that they belong in our midst. They are friendly and incredibly industrious.

Please help our new families make Antigonish their home.

Thanks and hope to see some of you at the AGM.

P.S. It would be appreciated if you would ” share” this with your Facebook contacts. Thanks.

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Thursday Tidbits

Posted on February 8, 2018 under Thursday Tidbits with 2 comments

My 15 minutes of fame. Check the caption ( Compliments of Peter! )


“And it goes on and on, watching the river run.”

Watching the River Run. Loggins and Messina.

People are fascinated with natural disasters. It’s like going to a car race waiting for a pile up to happen or watching a tightrope artist crossing Niagara Falls. There’s a bit of voyeurism in all of us.

By historic standards, the recent ice build, heavy rains and ensuing flood certainly wasn’t an anomaly. Here’s an old photo from the Antigonish Heritage Museum’s Facebook page:

The confluence of the Wright’s River, West River and Brierly Brook, combined with tidal water and a flood plain, has caused problems in Antigonish forever. Remediation to the Wright’s River years ago more or less solved the problem at the east end of town. But in the downtown core, when the ice builds up in the Brierly Brook and you get a torrential rainfall like we did last Friday, flooding is sure to follow. It happened suddenly and dramatically resulting in the stranding of 23 vehicles in the town parking lot behind the 5 to $1.00.

Living close to the action, I wandered over on Friday evening and took a short video. Pete Norman’s video was the best I’ve seen. I knew people were engaged when I received tens of thousands of views on Facebook.

After more rain overnight on Sunday night, my curiosity got the best of me and I shot another video first thing Monday morning. I now fully understand the concept of a video going viral. That video received over 42,000 views and 982 shares… and counting. Heavy rain continued unabated for hour’s .Realizing that people locally and globally were engaged with the story; I took a few more videos throughout the day and felt like a roving storm chaser. For a while, it looked like our apartment buildings adjacent to the Brierly Brook were in danger of being flooded as the water crested at high tide. We had to evacuate all of our cars. When the media got a hold of it, the end of Court Street became a very popular spot. We should have charged admission. Hundreds of people wandered down to check things out.

My appearance on CTV prompted my son, Peter to do a little photo shopping of my image!

“Please sir, I want some more.” (From the musical “Oliver)

If you haven’t had a chance to see Oliver yet, you must go. It is an excellent production. It’s in the home stretch of its run at Immaculata Hall. There are performances Friday the 9th. At 7:00 p.m. Saturday 10th. At 2:00 (matinee) and 7:00 p.m. and Sunday the 11th. At 2:00 p.m. I’ve seen it once already. “I want some more!”

I attended the official opening of African Heritage Month yesterday in the McKay Room at St. F.X. The ceremony was exceptionally well attended. As usual, the African Drumming Group comprised of students from Grade 5 all the way up to Grade 12, stole the show. The theme this year is “Educate, Unite, and Celebrate Community.” It was a wonderful event. I hope to join in the celebration by doing a “Faces in the Crowd” piece sometime this month.

“Like a bridge over troubled waters.” Hallelujah. The ice jam is gone and the Brierly Brook is running as it should.

Have a great weekend.


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Thursday Tidbits

Posted on January 11, 2018 under Thursday Tidbits with 3 comments

The Missouri River

( Peter MacDonald photo )


“ Naboline, naboline,

Nastiest drug that I’ve ever seen”

(Sung to the music of “Abilene”)


Chronic pain.

Show of hands. How many of you suffer from chronic pain? Thought so. Lots of us. It goes with the turf when you’re north of 65. We’re all looking for something magical to minimize pain. This could be through aquasize, chiropractic medicine, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, cortisone injections heating pads, extra strength Tylenol and when things gets really serious, Captain Morgan dark rum.

Oops. Forgot one. Medical marijuana. Having run out of options, I spoke with my doctor about medical marijuana. When the discussion ended, I had in my possession, a prescription for Nabilone which is a synthetic drug having some of the characteristics of marijuana… minus the high.

A few days ago, I took my first pill.

You’ve all seen the ads in the U.S. when they’re touting a new “wonder drug.” Yes, it’s wonderful for the pharmaceutical companies but the side effects are what get me. The list is gobsmacking and runs from benign to lethal. I read the sheet that accompanied my prescription to see what I might expect… besides relief from pain.

I will not bore you with all the sordid details of the next 18 hours other than to say that I now know what it might be like in the Sahara Desert; such was the dryness in my mouth. Throw in confusion (more than normal!) and mind racing all night and I concluded that the remedy was worse than the pain. The next day, I trotted back to the pharmacy to return the 59 unused pills.

I think I’ll just wait until pot is legalized, go to NSLC and grab a few joints ( ones that don’t creak and ache! ) and then listen to George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord.”

I sing in the Antigonish Chorale Ensemble (ACE). It is an excellent choir. The musical arrangements are quite challenging for someone who doesn’t read music very well. Having talented people on either side of me who can read and sing very well it an enormous help. But I am trainable and after several practices, I can follow along. The choir had its first practice of the New Year a few evenings ago with a whole new batch of songs to learn before our spring concert.

“Oh, Shenando, I long to see you and hear your rolling river…”

Shenandoah is an American folk song classic. At least it was until I started to sing it. I was drifting along, like the Missouri River when all of a sudden; I got caught in the current. I kept looking at the page and what I was reading was NOT what was being sung. I wondered if I was suffering a delayed reaction to the Nabilone! I then did what I do best. I started faking it. It was something between a mumble and a stutter. I turned to Michael on my right. “Where in the hell are we?” I queried. He pointed to page 5. I looked at my music. Page 5 was missing… as were pages 6, 7 and 8.

I opened my music folder and sitting there amongst the other half dozen pieces that we would be working on, were the missing pages.

“Growing old graciously…. Priceless!”

Have a great weekend.

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