Nice to see that the favorite tactic of NS Tories came back to kick them in the pants. The greasy smile that was Premier John Buchanan always held votes before the university students got to Wolfville, Halifax and Antigonish so that they had a hope of holding the seats. Premier "Dad of Kingsman Mumbly" Hamm took one in the arse for trying it himself. A fairly nice guy for a Tory and the only leader they could find after Westray, Kingsman Hamm now leads a minority facing Kingsmen Dexter and cousin Steele and the NDP as well as this year's Liberal leader...can't they find a woman or man from Kings? Brother of Kingsman Swick gives his call on the reasons.
Finally stinking hot. Humid and above 30. Maritime Boy sweats in central Canada. Good thing the unhappy niece is here. Good thing I have new ska albums to soothe the baby's wailing. Or cover it up. Wee skanking thing.
Ska is the music from the planet of beautiful women. It came out of R+B heard drifting down from the USA across the Gulf of Mexico to Jamaica in the late 1950's. I picked up The Rough Guide to Ska and Trojan Ska Box Set, Vol. Two in Burlington. Both are compilation of Jamaican 45's from the early 60's. I also picked up the Mighty Mighty Boss Tones Pay Attention.
In high school the second wave of ska was the thing - the Specials, Madness, the Selector, the Beat. These bands were the kids of immigrants to Coventry and their pals meeting punk rock. We bought what records we could in Truro and wore the little badges and pins with the 2 Tone man dancing on them. The Boss Tones are part of the third wave of ska in the US from the mid- to late-90's.
Whither ska? It is still the best dancing music even as you get into the old and wrinkly years. I suppose I will pick up any compilations I find from time to time. We are due a fourth wave in the next few years.
Though it was something of a challenge over beers during a raw oyster eating session - aka "deexpectoration" - I do find myself wanting to learn a few more songs to do wrong to on the guitar. Here are the lyrics - perhaps familiar to some of you - to my first choice:
When I was a kid, I found a robin's egg and hid itIt's by Bob Snider, a good son or at least cousin of the Annapolis Valley whose path to semi-CBC-stardom was pretty rough or at least rustic. Buy his music.
On a timber in an old abandoned shack
That was sitting in a field full of raspberry bushes
With a crab apple tree around the back
And a stream going by at the bottom of a hill
With a rock in the middle, and if you sat still
You could see the minnow swim, and from an overhanging limb
You could listen to the heat bugs trill.
And early every day all my friends and I would play
Digging holes and finding gold among the rocks
And looking for salamanders, and eating all the berries,
And rolling down the hill in a box.
Until one day they came with their machinery
And dozed down the shack and hacked up the greenery
And stuffed the stream into a concrete pipe
and levelled the hill away.
Then they built a couple of mounds, just to make it look round,
And brought in loads of sod.
And they planted a row of trees, that came up to our knees
Without a speck of shade it looked so odd.
And there were no more dragonflies and no cray-fishin',
They called it a parkette after a politician,
And put up a sign saying "No Ball Playing,"
And nobody ever went there anymore.
Back. Nice to see the typo twins chimed in over the weekend. I don't know why I don't care too much about spelling but I don't I think it was all the teachers who made so much about it but didn't seem to have anything to say with their perfect grammer. Couldn't have been. That being said, I am sure it is on my "permanent record" so I should start feeling bad any day now.
Tales of the road? Not really many:
- Vermont's unoffical state bird is apparently the Crow - gotta love that. The law says the hermit thrush. Who picks a hermit as an emblem?
- The nicest vista on a highway is the view at the top of the hill on I-83 just west of Barre heading for Montpellier, Vt. - layer upon layer of Green Mountain each one a little more faded than its next nearest neighbour.
- Tim's is a welcome site whether in South Portland, Maine or Cornwall, Ontario.
- I had the best raw oysters ever from the Portland Public Market - each one was about a ten-chew half-cup of living sea animal. Dandy with a Shipyard ale.
- Burlington's Church Street is kinda losing it having an Old Navy and a Borders and losing its own independent bookstore - was it Hickson & B****? Heidi will know. That being said, Borders has a heck of a music section. Everyone I know under 30 will think me a fool for buying 145 US bucks worth of art on 1990's media.
- The Gulf of Maine at 60F is better swimming at Higgin's Beach than 70F water farther north or south.
The road back was pretty much off the highway again so I can't say we broke any speed records. Interesting how the Thousand Islands here seem more than anything a continuum of the Lake Champlain and even New Hampshire's busy lakes region. Best drive back twisty road - New Hampshire's 25A west to the beautiful little village of Orford on the Connecticut River, shown here.
New Hampshire has redeemed itself. For years bad thinks happen everytime I am driving through New Hampshire - people giving me the finger, getting lost out of Dover because the "Live Free or Die" folk don't like spending on road signs. I only drive through New Hampshire - like New Brunswick. Last evening at 7:00 pm, we blew a tire on highway 4 at the westerly Durham exit and New Hampsire came through big time.
I can change a tire. I cannot change a tire when the tire jack and lugnut wrench was left in PEI in a house I have since sold. We started to walk into town down the highway on ramp. First, a guy about 19 in a pick up driving the other way goes down the ramp into Durham, goes around and up our ramp to meet us as we are walking down. He drives us into town calling on his cell phone to all the VW owners he knew. We make about 5 stops with no luck. 25 minutes minimum. He leaves us with a happy wave at the cop shop where we call for help (being after hours). This guy has just done this one a Friday eveing coming home from work at the Portsmouth Jiffy lube. Someone raised that kid right. Didn't get the name but thanks.
Next, the cops call Smitty's Towing and in 15 minutes we are back at our car where for 30 bucks on my VISA, the nephew of the owner - about 23 - replaces the tire with our doughnut in about 47 seconds. Tells us all about the town as we are driving back, how the University of NH sucks up property taxes, how they came second in NCAA hockey last year, tells us about being a tow operator in Durham (picked up two DWIs Thursday night) and gives us directions on to Portland via back roads to stay under 50 mph. Again, someone raised this kid right. Again, didn't get the name but thanks.
The trip was made by this. Less than one hour delay. Before that the highlights were the drive on NY highway 3 through to Saranac Lake; the 10 mile drive up and over the Green Mountains east of Middlesbury where you can pretend you are in a car ad pumping second and third gears through hairpins at a 12% ascent and decent; seeing Middlesbury College founded in 1800 sitting in a landscape of rolling farms with the lake to the west and the mountains to the east. Also ate beef jerky for the first time. Ate a whole bunch and then worried for an hour whether a entire pot roast was rehydrating in my gut. Buy a VW, by the way. Whole drive was less than 30 bucks Canadian for the gas. My car is a '93. And make sure the jack and lugnut wrench are in the back.
Route: Kingston to Cape Vincent to Watertown to Saranac Lake to Lake Placid (avoid) to Westport to Champlain Bridge to Middlesbury to Concord to Dover to Gorham to South Portland: left house at 7:35 am, got to Ross's at 10:20 pm. Off to the tire shop today.
Being booted off another blog for rue-ning threads, I have made a home for the mystery man on Moncton where he can spout off about anything. I will take him on but this is a dirty fight so you can all jump in too.
Later: Feel free to add your own rants here too for general kicking around...
Much Later: Wayne is now on probation if he cares to come around.
I was checking and here are last year's results from the 2002 Beach to Beacon race:
Name: ALAN MCLEOD
Home Town: HUNTER RIVER, PC
Division: Male (35-39)
Place In Div.: 336
# In Div.: 343
Net Time: 1:15:56
While this was no great showing, I hardly broke a sweat and have high hopes for this weekend's break into a new class as the young kid. It sure would be nice if the netting out of time included a body mass index factor.
As we watched two recent Charter rulings play our during yesterday's TV broadcast of the SARS-stock concert - public weed puffin' and happy nudies - the Pope was planning a statement on another Charter Right, as rightly pointed out and rejected by the Flea. Butt out, JPII. Nunya.
As a UCC PK (United Church of Canada Preacher's Kid) I was very proud of the recent statement of a representative in response to the Roman Catholic position - I see that shellfish are banned under the Bible, I do not see you protesting "Red Lobster" restarurants. For more on JPII's logical next step, see this webpage.
Even as he made it clear that he did not support the idea of gay marriage, Bush appeared to issue a call for tolerance. "Yes, I am mindful that we're all sinners," the president said Wednesday when asked for his views on homosexuality. "And I caution those who may try to take the speck out of the neighbor's eye when they've got a log in their own."For a right-wing evangelical protestant, that is a pretty good line to throw out on the topic.
Go south, south-east, east, north-east, north-east
I need help. We are going from Kingston, Ontario to Portland, Maine Friday and there are a few things to deal with once we ford the mighty St. Lawrence, crossing on the somewhat less mighty St. Vincent ferry: Adirondack Park, Lake Champlain, Green Mountains, White Mountains. Map Quest sends us within spitting distance of Connecticut on the Mass Turnpike. Is the smart way to go? Is it better to make Lake Placid, nip south of Lake Champlain and find I-89 and cross from southern New Hampshire to Portland.
It is all in a good cause as I am going to pretend to run the Beach to Beacon race in South Portland. The website says:
The elite races for both the men and women are shaping up to be as competitive as ever. Can James Koskei of Kenya overcome a top-heavy field and repeat? Can Kenya's Catherine Ndereba reclaim her crown after last year's third place finish?I note I am not mentioned. As I am not going to run but may take a leisurely stroll, I fully expect my view of nylon covered Kenyan bums to be scant and fleeting. Maybe we'll meet up with them at Gritty's after for a couple of pitchers.
As David Swick points out in today's Halifax Daily News [the column], Nova Scotia is facing a squeeker of an election in a few days. After living in PEI - where the NDP is a factor only in keeping the Tories in power by splitting the center-left, a sad fact due to the Province's failure to participate in the industrial revolution - a real three-way race is great to watch. My hopes for the upcoming Ontario provincial election is for a similarly vital process. More than even an Arsenal beating of Man. U....or anyone beating Man. U. for that matter...a good election makes compelling TV - even the recent close call for the Tories in New Brunswick was interesting...I don't think I have ever used "New Brunswick" and "interesting" in the same sentence before...hmmm.
My favorite bit of election TV has to be a UK election where the candidates have to be on the podium in their local constituency for the reading out of the final tally for their seats. There are no interim releases of poll results so the news is always a surprise. Last election, the Monster Raving Loony Party's candidate was up there next to Tony Blair. Down the row was the nice Cat Lover's Party grannie. Announcement. Polite applause and handshakes all around. One man has a silly hat, another has a nuclear arsenal.
Beware. Like an interest in listening to radio at night, however, it is not a thing to be raised during courtship:
"heeey...neato...look, honey, the Liberals are holding on in the Annapolis Valley...pass the corn nuts, woudja...honey?
(offstage: door slams, car starts and roars away)