Ian was in New York. I was in PEI in the country, the mainline from NY to Europe above in the sky quiet, the roads still and you could hear the sea two miles inland. I watched the news all day with visiting Swedish relatives who needed translating. Soon, the con-trails of jet fighters were in the air above us.
Even mildly attentive readers will know I am a fan of certain sports teams. I can't stand NFL or NBA but I love the AL's Red Sox, EPL's Arsenal, SFA's Morton and, perhaps most personal of my loves, the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League. I loved them since I bought hockey cards in 1969 when I was six during my suburban years from birth to seven on Queenston Drive, Mississauga. I carried the 1969-70 O-Pee-Chee Pat Quinn in my wallet (it was a trader) until undergrad and still have and still buy cards from that series. Tim Hortons is a tie to my childhood love of the player cruelly traded to Buffalo when I was around grade one. In my way, I love Bill Root.
But let's be clear. I do not love them because they are good - that's for Habs fans and Colorado fans and New Jersey...do they have fans? Or because they are well managed or well coached. Or because they have great players. I certainly do not love them because Hockey Night in Canada's twisted version of sports reporting seems to require you to love them. I love them beacuse I do, like a person who shells out a thousand dollars to give a dying cat dialysis. So when Nieuwendyk joins the Leafs I am happy and when Dougie packs it in I am sad.
Gwynne Dyer, who frosted the cake of my teen nuclear fears with his TV series War, has written on the situation faced by the US in Iraq as the money starts to tighten. First, good call having the Barbados Advocate as a client, Gwynne. It is always important to organize your tax deductable business trips well. Second, interesting observation:
...many governments are also privately debating whether they want to help save the Bush administration from the consequences of its own folly. Without a lot of military and financial help that can only come via the UN, Bush may be dragged down to defeat by the Iraq war in the November 2004 election. With the extra troops and money, he might contain the problem enough to survive. However, they ask themselves, do we really want that?Hat nod for the topic to Ron's Box of Soap, librarian and, with Gwynne, fellow Newf.
More than money or power, thought is the stuff that runs the world. Not necessarily good thought – just thought. I presume like most people, I have opinions about their own thought and capacity for good thought and, I also presume like most people, have layers of confidence in my own ability, onion-like, alternating towards the core between brilliance and boneheadedness. While the relative placement of any one thought might be up for debate, I think it is at least a fair range for anyone to place the quality of their thoughts, though weighted to the mundane end - like most, much of my brain activity relates to my debt, my weight, my sloth or my work, my family plans, pointless personal projects.*
About twenty years ago right about now, I was entering the third year of my four-year slacker-paced BA in English Lit. I can't say I have carried the literary banner high since about then, especially as law just about killed my ability to read books - as being an usher in a playhouse just about killed my ability to sit through a play or a movie. But, this being the first summer since 1991 that I have not spent September picking beans, digging up spuds or braiding onions, one poem kicks tricking its way into my mind: Keats's Ode to Autumn. [Once, when absent mindedly signing up for seminars, one of the others, all-female in romantic poetry, tuned and said - "sorry, I took the last Keats". I couldn't recall when I had been aleing with her.] So, in honour of three years of English Lit classes, the impending season and our planning for the next garden plot in, maybe, 2005, here you are, copyright-free 'cause he's a long time dead.
I live in the half or so of the country made of one province called Ontario. Five days into the election I only know one thing. I do not want the Tories to get in again. I knew this six days ago. If I am honest with myself, the party I really agree with are the Greens but I am too much of a slacker to get out there and think locally and act globally - it's all that thinking and acting stuff... I just never get around to it. I fear I will vote Liberal out of fear of the Tories - nothing as desperate as organizers 13 years in the wilderness expecting a hand out in return for that loyalty. Howard Hampton of the NDP is the best educated and best spoken of the three top leaders - but it's hard not to be when you are up against Eves and McGuinty.
The Globe and Mail's lead story in its first section Saturday was about the first poll showing the Liberals now five percent ahead of the Tories where they were 13 percent ahead a month ago while the NDP still rot at 12%. Goody. Why the Tory rebound? Why, given the meat factory scandal, on top of blackout, Walkerton, the second wave of SARS - all of which to one degree or another can be pegged to the failure of the Tories to inspect, maintain or anticipate parts of the community and economy under their care? Is McGuinty that much of a ninny in the public's mind? (A faint "yes" is heard...) And are the NDP still so unloved for Rae-days, a socialist cutting costs? (There's that "yes" again...)
Rex Murphy's column at the end of the same newspaper section compares Ontario's Tories to those of his home Newfoundland and finds our bunch lacking - hard to pin down Ernie as a Tory, really as anything in particular - no fire, no nothing. [Given that the next Liberal leader in Ottawa will be the man who made Mulroney's promises of spending cuts and payments on the debt come true, its hard to tell Tory from Liberal there, too.] The local candidates - contending for one riding with about as many voters as the entire electorate of PEI - are compared in The Whig but they come across as not much better than caricatures: incumbant Liberal gliding, cranky Tory business guy and NDP tree hugger. Having watched recent elections in Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, all where parties had to work for their votes by being clear about what they were going to do and how they differed, it is all a bit sad here in the Middle-of-It-All. People ought to be raring to boot the bums out but it feels in this late summer that they are just having a nap like the Jays, happy enough that the air conditioning is working, worried more about Canadian Idol or quietly uneasy about that anniversary coming up next Thursday.
Reproduced under licence from Football Dataco Limited. All rights reserved. Licence no.INTERNET/ALL/BBCON103.I am sure there is a court case behind this but what is odd to me is the fact that fixtures, or what we call in North America the schedule, is a fact not an expression. So if I write "Red Sox v. Yankees - 5 September 2003" I have expressed my knowledge of the fact of an event, which turned out to be a glorious thrashing of the pin-stripes last night at the hands of Pedro. It is not Major League Baseball's expression.
These fixtures are copyright of the Football DataCo Ltd and must not be reproduced in whole or in part without consent of the Football DataCo Ltd and without the acquisition of a copyright licence.
Given that it has no posts as of 9 am Friday the 5th despite being up for days, no comments functionality (gee, I guess he doesn't care what you think) and it's by a classic high-spending, deficit-riding Tory whose model is apparently John Bucannan, how can PEI's Premier Pat Binn's campaign blog not be the worst in the world?
You can expect a new entry every day so bookmark this site and we will see you on the campaign trail....yea, see ya...
The darlings of those with inherited wealth and shares in big tobacco have done it again. The Fraser Institute has out done its call for a flat income tax - an idea raised in the late 1800s when children were chained to industrial machinery and consistently rejected by even the most hardened and twisted Tory since. It now has declared that "Public Auto Insurance Causes More Deaths". [Hmmm...have they thought to research a paper on how deregulated private business causes more deaths? Doubt it.]
Anyway, I am not suggesting that [...well, I am not considering whether...] they have the facts wrong on where and why driving deaths occur but the talking head pushed out the door to talk to inordinately present CBC cameras on TV tonight seemed to be indicating that if car insurance rates reflected actual risk, those engaging in higher risk driving would be given pause not to engaging in car totaling traffic accidents if they paid more to a private company [umm...like those that fund the Fraser Institute.] I think what was being said was if my insurance were to be $2400 a year to a private insurer instead of, say, $1800 to a public one, I am going to give myself a good hard look in the mirror and tell me to drive more safely. Well, no doubt a dreary few are that...er... sensible. Then again, if I:
- have bought a $30,000 car on $500 per month payments;
- spend $200.00 a month on gas, oil, car washes and cool rear view mirror baubles; and
- drop $100.00 a month on a second set of winter tires and rims and other odds and ends
My facination with things Brunel grows. This image appeared on the BBCi site this morning, the hulk of the ship which laid the Trans-Atlantic cable, the greatest ship before the Titanic, rotting near Liverpool in 1889.
Apparently the BBC is running a series on great events of the industrial age with an entire show dedicated to the Great Eastern. We'll maybe see it on A&E in 2008.
On the BBC site right now there is a gallery at the link above. At the gallery there the following description of the time of the photo:
At the end of its days, in August 1888, having been used as a fairground and advertising hoarding, the fate of the Great Eastern was sealed when it was sold for scrap. Deconstruction work on the ship started on 1 January 1889, on the banks of the Mersey. Taking the iron hull apart was a matter of brute force, and over the next two years men chiselled, levered and hammered its plates apart until there was nothing left.My great-grandfather McLeod and others, great-uncles and the more distant, were riveters and other forms of ship builders on the Clyde before WWII so such stuff has always facinated me. My own grandfather fell out with his steel moving brothers when he moved into ship steering gear sales before that war.