Dishwashers, Goldfish and Death

Years and years ago my grandson and daughter lived with us. We bought our grandson a goldfish when he was almost four. He named it Skipper. One day, after several months, he came to me and said “Grandpa, Skipper stopped.” He was new to the concept of death. Observing him taught us so many new ways of looking at life. He turned twenty in October and is doing well in his sophomore  year working toward a Bachelor of Animation. He is now showing his professors new ways of looking at their worlds and their art.

Now for a more mundane topic: About six weeks ago our dishwasher, like Skipper, “stopped.” It was only six. No lights at all. No noise. No water. Nada. Continue reading “Dishwashers, Goldfish and Death”

I’m Not Whining Alone… Oh, Shit! Pete’s gone!

Just to prove that I’m not alone here whining (and singing) in the forest…

Oh shit! Pete’s gone!

On February 2 Michael Enright played the following quote from his 2000 A.D. interview with Pete Seeger – while interviewing Alec Wilkinson about his short (at Pete’s insistence) biography of Pete called The Protest Singer: An Intimate Portrait of Pete Seeger. 

The average person is now gradually  coming to realize that settling problems with guns, bombs and other forms of violence will have to be phased out – quickly or slowly. The bombs have gotten too powerful and war is no longer something that is engaged in by a few professional soldiers. It’s something that wipes out whole countries and civilian populations Continue reading “I’m Not Whining Alone… Oh, Shit! Pete’s gone!”

South America Trip.2

OK. Still not about South America yet, but I warned you last time. Anyway – if I hadn’t gone to teach in Trinidad in 1965, I probably wouldn’t have done the two month South America trip in 1967. So kindly bear with me, or, if not, feel free to skip to the end of this post or go elsewhere with my good wishes and abject apologies.
Boarding The Plane in September 1965 Boarding The Plane in September 1965

Our West Indies CUSO volunteer contingent (young adults with university degrees or special skills who had selected to serve in the sunny Caribbean over more distant sunny places like Malaysia, India or Tanzania – about two dozen of us in all) assembled at Ottawa’s international airport on a very chilly morning in early September, 1965. We climbed an outside ladder, waved to our loved ones and entered Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson’s Canadair North Star. This was not a jet, but a plane powered by four Rolls-Royce Merlin propeller engines. They were proudly termed “turbo-props,” whatever enhancements that meant. Still slow and noisy compared to modern jet planes. Simpler times. It took us 19 hours of island hopping before our 8-member Trinidad contingent arrived at Piarco Airport in Port of Spain, the North Star’s last stop. Continue reading “South America Trip.2”

Educating the Young … And the Old… And Quick

Now, if Joe Canuck could only get it...
Now, if Joe Canuck could only get it…

From an article on Civil Disobedience by Camillo Bica:

We must make clear to young minds that there is objective truth regarding law, morality, and our nation’s behavior in the world, and that the injustices and immoralities — the wars, occupations, torture, assassinations, exploitation, greed, inequality, etc. — are real and not merely the consequence of differences in interpretation, ideology, or perspective. We must inform students that despite what they’ve been told, such laws, policies, and behaviors are neither in our nation’s interest nor legally or morally acceptable whether practiced by our “enemies” or by us and/or our allies. We must instill in them a sense of responsibility for the policies and actions of our political leaders, for how they govern, and for the effect such policies and laws have on human beings and the environment. We must motivate young people to become socially and politically engaged, to speak out, make demands upon their elected officials and not be satisfied with or mislead by deceptive rhetoric and further lies.

Two things I would add to this quote:

  • Older minds must also be changed
  • There is no time to lose.

By the way, Bica doesn’t like drones any more than I do.

August 2008 – Québec, “La BelleProvince”

This is an old blog recovered from my old website. From time to time I will post one of these. The photos all need to be uploaded, so I don’t do this often… It records a road trip back to Montréal,  Québec City and Ile d’Orléans. It deals also with my France and Ile d’Orléans roots. I can trace my family tree back to the time of Louis XIII in France.

The church where my ancestor, Abel Turcault, is buried

Ste. Adèle

Mary’s home in Ste. Adèle

We began our August with a road trip to Québec, the province where I was born and raised. Continue reading “August 2008 – Québec, “La BelleProvince””