Thursday Tidbits

Posted on February 7, 2019 under Thursday Tidbits with 3 comments

“Whatsoever things are true”

 

“We sure could use a little good news today.”

Anne Murray recorded “A Little Good News” back in 1983. The song despairs about the plight of the world. It speaks of war, gun violence, hatred, assassinations, hostage taking and bad economic news. Sadly, the more things change, the more things stay the same. The big difference between 1983 and 2019 is the internet. We are being bombarded with information every waking minute of the day and even during the night when we’re supposed to be sleeping.

So, where do you get your news?

Is the news you’re getting real news or fake news? Do you check more than one news source to get different points of view?

Those of us getting longer in the tooth are probably less afraid than those coming up behind us.  But many of us are very concerned about the world we’re passing on to our children and grandchildren.

I suspect that some of you attended the Linden Macintyre lecture a few weeks ago. Linden was and still is a respected journalist and author. I was away at the time and couldn’t attend but thanks to technology, I was able to listen to the lecture in its entirety a few days ago. If you have time ( about 90 minutes), grab yourself a coffee, a glass of red wine or some legal cannabis (or all three!) and listen to some sobering thoughts of someone who has an excellent grasp of what’s going on here, south of the border and around the world.

He explains how blatant lying by politicians is imperiling our world.

“Veritas vos liberabit.” (verse 3:82 of the gospel of St.John)  The truth will set you free. What is truth? The lines appear blurred.

Do you know Chris Hedges? No, he’s not one of the Hedges from Hawthorne Street! Chris Hedges is an American journalist and an ordained Presbyterian minister. He has reported from over 50 countries and has worked for the Christian Science Monitor, NPR, Dallas Morning News and the New York Times where he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years. Among other things, he has taught college credit courses for several years in New Jersey prisons.

Mr.Hedges delivered a lecture at the University of Victoria on January 17th. The title of the talk was “Christian Fascism and the Rise of Donald Trump”. Being a scant 10 minute walk from the lecture hall, my brother and I wandered over for the 5:00p.m. presentation. There were dozens of other people walking in front of us which led us to believe that this was a much anticipated event. Indeed it was. The first classroom holding 350 people quickly filled. By the time we arrived, there was quite a throng standing outside the building. The organizers had to scramble to find extra space. Two more classrooms were seconded and when all was said and done, in excess of 1,000 people heard the lecture.

Once again, here is a person who had traveled widely and has been on the front lines witnessing history unfold. You could hear a pin drop as he traced a series of events that provided the opportunity for Donald Trump to become president. Lest one thinks that he was cheerleading for the Democrats, this was certainly not the case. He posited that neither political party south of the border holds the moral high ground. One of his underlying themes was the gross inequity between the rich and the poor. For you serious political junkies, here’s the video:

Sorry for all this heavy stuff but it is incumbent that we pay attention to what’s going on. For our  children and our grandchildren .Democracy is under siege.

On a much lighter note, I left the beautiful weather of Victoria last Saturday and arrived home to moderating temperatures. The day after I left, the west coast received their first taste of winter weather as the polar vortex swept westward. Victoria had -10 wind chills and a skiff of snow. I sent a note to friends and relatives suggesting that they shouldn’t have run me out of town so soon!

Have a great weekend.

 

 

 

Enjoy this? Visit the rest of my website to enjoy more of my work or buy my books!
Highland Hearing Clinic
Advertisement

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Thursday Tidbits

Posted on January 31, 2019 under Thursday Tidbits with one comment

 

So, how are those New Year’s resolutions shaping up with one month under your belt?

After a year of questionable eating habits, I looked forward to 2019 to hit the rest button. I flew to Victoria on Christmas Day enabling me to get a head start on my plan. Or so I thought. It started rather badly on Christmas Day. With three different flights and one lengthy layover, I ate a lot of airport food, fearing the vaunted airline menus of salted peanuts and stale cookies. When I finally touched down, I was treated to the most magnificent Christmas dinner in the evening. I wasn’t counting calories but I reckon on day 1 of the new regime, I probably ate about 6,000 calories.

Things had to get better and they did. Sort of. I’m normally not one who counts, calories, steps or kilometres. My belt buckle tells me everything I need to know. Having said this, I do have a few numbers to pass along: In the month of January, I walked approximately 775,000 steps or roughly 25,000 per day. I averaged 20 kilometres a day for a total of 620. Then how am I going to explain to my doctor at my next checkup how I managed to exert all this energy and still gain 5 pounds?

I happen to have a sweet tooth as I have mentioned in this space… repeatedly. December is a killer. Unless you are supremely disciplined, it is hard to avoid sweets when they are lurking around every corner. But I figured that spending the first three weeks of my west coast stay looking after a dog, that I could slay my sugar craving.

Wrong.

My sister in law is an amazing dessert maker and during my stay, I was presented with some of the most amazing treats imaginable. I certainly didn’t want to offend her and made sure that I ate my fair share. I also received numerous dinner invitations where desserts were always served. I also ate several restaurant meals. Add it all up and despite the fact that I walked the equivalent of the distance between Vancouver and Nelson, B.C. or Sydney to Yarmouth in Nova Scotia,I gained weight.

When I get home, I will find an old slate blackboard and write 100 times: I promise to do better in February.

There are so many great places to eat in Victoria. The other morning, I was feeling a bit peckish after a 23K walk. I was in the downtown core and had heard about a small eating establishment called the Cook and Pan Polish Delicatessen and Café. It’s located on a small side street near one of the major thoroughfares. While the café is quite small, it has a great vibe. The owners left Poland back around the time of the first direct presidential elections which took place in 1990. Lech Walesa became a household name throughout the world. He was an electrician and union leader and became president. This was a year after the fall of the Berlin wall.

I chatted with the owner during lunch. He and his wife own the business and put in long days. Michal is quite an artist and does all of the posters and menu boards. When his wife suggested that he do a special poster for Christmas, he decided to do one poster (pictured below) that would include all of the big feasts. Michal has run 50 marathons and completed 8 Iron Mans. If you happen to be in Victoria, check this place out. The food is fantastic and the Tzaczyk’s are wonderful, warm people.

Have a great weekend.

 

Enjoy this? Visit the rest of my website to enjoy more of my work or buy my books!
Highland Hearing Clinic
Advertisement

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Thursday Tidbits

Posted on January 24, 2019 under Thursday Tidbits with one comment

Doesn’t get much better than this

 

Perfection.  /pərˈfekSH(ə)n/ the condition, state or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.

Initially, the thought of rousting myself out of bed at 5:00 a.m., climbing into a car and driving for three hours to go snowshoeing was not totally appealing. After all, I had left Nova Scotia on Christmas Day to come out west in an attempt to avoid wintry conditions.  I learned a long time ago that when my brother has an idea to do something adventuresome, I just say yes. Rarely has he not delivered on a promise of a good time.

The trip to Mount Washington on Vancouver Island was planned for this past Monday, the day after the blood wolf moon on Sunday night. I caught the early hours of this spectacle but was asleep when sunlight passed through the earth’s atmosphere and lit up the celestial body in dramatic fashion. However, on the trip “up Island,” we watched the giant moon do a disappearing act behind the mountains as the sun was rising behind us. At one point, we stopped the car and stood by the side of the road marvelling at the sky in front of us and behind us.

Needless to say, we were among the first people to arrive at the facility. Actually, there are several facilities catering to downhill skiers, cross country skiers and gliders, fatbikers (I’m not sure if this is the right moniker),snowmobilers and snowshoers. You could even rent gear if you wanted to take a shot at biathlon.

Mt. Washington has plenty of snow. According to their website, there was a base of some 200 centimeters of the white stuff. The sky was cloudless and deep blue, there was no wind and it was -4. It truly was a “Chamber of Commerce” kind of day.

Upon reflection, the most onerous part of the day was attaching the snowshoes to my footwear. My wonky back made it tricky to bend down to affix the three straps that would prevent me from becoming shoeless along the trail. Sometimes appearing old and helpless (a self- fulfilling prophecy) is advantageous as a young staff member wandered by to assist me.

We decided to start on an easy trail to get warmed up. Within minutes, we were meandering through old growth forests on paths perfectly groomed. The snow glistened and sparkled like diamonds. The air was pure and crisp and the silence was deafening, save for the scrunching of our snowshoes on the trail. We stopped a few times to stare in wonder…. and to catch our breath! Wanting to push ourselves, we climbed a reasonably steep section of the mountain. An audio track would have detected some serious huffing and puffing. There was one tricky spot on this trail where one had to cross a very narrow section with a precipitous drop into a ravine filled with alpine waters. I silently prayed that neither of us slipped into the abyss. I doubt that either of us could have done a lot to extract the other. Yelling would have been our only recourse.

The mountainous route took us to a frozen lake. We met a small party of people who were taking a break on a 5 hour hike. We asked a woman to take our picture. She mentioned that she had been in a dragon boat the previous day. I told her that back home in Nova Scotia, one could have been boating and snowshoeing a day apart on the weekend too  with the lovely combination of snow, freezing ice pellets, torrential rain (causing sever flooding) followed by a deep freeze.

As we made our way back to the lodge, we met an employee on cross country skis who worked at the facility.Her job? To ski all day and make sure that everyone was safe and having fun. Good work if you can get it.

It was a day to savour. We both remarked that we were feeling very grateful for being able to experience a day that could only be described as perfection.

We were understandably fatigued at the close of the day. That did not stop us from walking the dog for almost an hour before bedtime.

I sent a picture of the two intrepid snow warriors to my wife. Her comment? “That don’t impress me much.” (Thanks, Shania for planting that seed).

She sent me back a photo of the two lads from Canada who climbed Mt.Everest …with canoes on their back.

Have a great weekend and get outdoors, even if it’s canoeing in the flooded parking lot!

 

 

 

 

Enjoy this? Visit the rest of my website to enjoy more of my work or buy my books!
Highland Hearing Clinic
Advertisement

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.