Dec 24, 2008
Dec 10, 2008
Daring you, BtheB
Dec 6, 2008
Stephane has gone from being Dion the Decent, to Dion the Ditherer, to Dion the Dolt. The main problem for the proposed coalition is that Monsieur Dion is no leader. He is nothing more than a caretaker now. Let Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae carry the ball from this point. As for Gilles Duceppe, he must be greatly amused to be constantly wooed one moment and demonized the next, by all and sundry. Make no mistake though, he is the kingmaker here. It shows unmistakeably on his placid face whenever the coalition's Three Wise Men sit before the press. Whoever is prime minister in the new year, be he Tory or be he Grit, it will happen only when Duceppe says "sit". Is it too much to ask that Stephen Harper leave politics at the same time as his buddy George Bush does. Is he not the crisis for Canada?
Please comment if you wish.
Nov 8, 2008
Oct 28, 2008
Jaxon's grandfather (my younger sister's husband) was a full-blooded Cree, which made Jaxon's father a half-blooded Cree. Jaxon's mum is white, therefore Jaxon is a quarter-blood Cree. The thinning of the blood notwithstanding, Jaxon, so far, is a full participant in his native canadian heritage. Part of the traditional Cree native culture celebrates the early coming of age of infants who are old enough to walk. A symbolic ceremony marks the expectation of what will be the productive behaviour of every growing individual, the embracing of the collective objective of work, and the resultant worth of every person in Cree Society.
The walking-out ceremony sees the children dressed in traditional native clothing and equipped with toy versions of the tools used by Cree hunters - guns and knives for the boys, and scraping instruments, bannock sticks and firewood for the girls. The elders of the community send the children from a ceremonial tent to parade themselves, and the decorated animal facsimiles they have 'hunted', before other members of the village. Sometimes the boys are assisted to fire a rifle into the air. The children return to the elders and present their catches, for which they receive approving hugs and kisses. The ceremony is normally held in the morning, with the ceremonial tent facing the east and the morning sun - a constant symbol of optimism and hope for the future. After the ceremony, refreshments, story-telling and lots of laughs are enjoyed by all.
Below is a picture of Jaxon and his friends sitting on a woodpile and posing for photographs. Many thanks to my sister, Denise, for sharing these adorable photos with the rest of our family.
Please comment if you wish. BtheB
Oct 22, 2008
Oct 13, 2008
And when they're moulting
Oct 4, 2008
Aug 26, 2008
God, how I'd love to see the Tory apple cart upset and that smirk wiped from Stephen Harper's face. But it's not going to happen because Mr. Dion is too anxious to go to the election polls...the opinion polls be damned. Besides, what's another $300 million? Or another $300 million after that, if no one wins a majority. $300,000,000 (looks even bigger with all those zeros) is a spit in the bucket, right? A mere pittance for a man to prove to a nation that he is its saviour. Which reminds me, where is my bucket? I've made myself nauseous.
Aug 25, 2008
Aug 24, 2008
Finally, below, it appears to be: "Well it is a pretty comfortable spot and I do need my beauty rest".
Aug 20, 2008
Aug 19, 2008
Frank admits to being passionate about all things connected with nature. Others, in our village, may have one fig tree, but Frank had dozens of them. They thrive and are protected in a greenhouse which Frank made himself, in his backyard. His wife Anna insisted I take two ripe figs home - one for Linda and one for me. See the photo below of one of the beauties. It may be the best fig I have ever tasted. For sure, it was the freshest. Well done Frank, and thanks Anna. BtheB
Aug 16, 2008
Jun 6, 2008
While the photo above shows me sulking beside my trusty steed, the photo below shows Linda, in a totally uncommiserative mood, off on another jaunt in my little red Jeep. Thank God I am behind the wheel again. Some things should never be taken for granted.
Jun 2, 2008
Rob and Allison and Baby Spencer in their first family portrait.
May 27, 2008
May 1, 2008
Please comment if you wish and please take of yourself.
Apr 20, 2008
There are also two American Birding Association pins with the numbers 200 and 300 on them (they're in the photo of my hat, above, at the top, in the centre). I bought these pins for myself when I reached those plateaus on my bird species life list. At one time , not so long ago, I was sure I would reach 500 and then 1,000, and on and on as I chased world champion birder, Phoebe Snetsinger, and her record of 8,450 species. It's now a few years on into my birdwatching career and I'm just 8,076 bird species behind Phoebe. Not that Phoebe is worried about me. She is dead. She died accidently, binoculars in hand, on a birding tour in Madagascar in 1999. Moments before her death, Phoebe had added a very rare Red-shoulder Vanga to her life list.
I've done an about-face now. I no longer think about adding birds to my life list in terms of quantity. Apart from the practical considerations of finding the money to travel to almost every country in the world to see as many species as Phoebe did, now I wake up each day thrilled at the prospect that there are still 8,000 bird species for me to discover. At 66 years of age, I am confident that I will not out-live my hobby. This pleases me.
Please comment if you wish.
Apr 10, 2008
Apr 9, 2008
There is a picture of our guide, Meno, and me exploring a 250-year-old ruined sugar mill, some local flora, Linda in a volcano-warmed waterfall, and a dusk view over the Caribbean from one of Anse Chastanet's tree-top bars.
Apr 8, 2008
Mar 16, 2008
Mar 15, 2008
Yes, Kettleby is small and laid-back, and that's the way they like it there. Below is a picture of some kids on a rope-swing over the Kettleby Creek, that I took at last year's Kettleby Fair. This spot was once under many feet of water, as the dammed-up Kettleby millpond. Now, 183 years later, the pond and mills are gone, and the scene looks once again as it probably did in 1825, or thereabouts.
Mar 9, 2008
Mar 1, 2008
Feb 4, 2008
Old distant relatives of my wife, Swan Pitman and Starling Shanks, show up in the 1881 British Census and the 1911 Census of Canada, respectively. What a beautiful name for a girl: Swan. What a rascally name for a boy: Starling. Indeed, but these were not the names given to them by their parents. They were the names given to them by census enumerators.
Swan was, in reality, Susan. She was Susan in the 1871 and 1891 censuses, but amazingly, in between, she was Swan in the 1881 census. If one looks closely at a copy of the 1881 enumerator's handwritten entry, it quickly becomes apparent that the second "s" in Susan was sloppily squeezed into a single stroke of the pen. When the very narrow, squished "s" was tagged onto the "u" in Susan, the result was an unintentional interlaced letter that looked like a "w", and so Susan became Swan. Take a pen or pencil and write Susan quickly. It's not hard to see how easily this could have happened.
As for Starling, his real name was Sterling. He was Sterling on his birth certificate and all other records and documents I have found. Once again, a look at the original 1911 handwritten census form shows that an "a" was put in Sterling, instead of an "e". I, for one, think Sterling is a wonderfully impressive name for a man, but there's something about Starling. They say that some census-takers were nearly illiterate in the mid-1800s, but still... there's something also about Swan.
Have a great day and please feed the birds.
Jan 9, 2008
4. Medicine is the assertion that there must be something better than common sense.
5. Crime and anarchy are the destruction of common sense, in the absence of family and love.
Please comment if you wish.