Friday, December 9, 2022

Joni was right, Doug

Doug Ford's at it again. He plans to put a new, unnecessary highway through the protected Greenbelt. Now he's getting rid of another prime provincial parcel of land, right on Lake Ontario, land that should be enjoyed by the public.

When I saw this headline in today's Toronto Star:

"Ontario Place proposal sparks criticism:

New plans include five-level parking lot, removal of hundreds of trees to build spa"

(page 1, article by Ben Mussett and David Rider)

I couldn't help thinking of Joni Mitchell's song, Big Yellow Taxi.

"They paved paradise/

Put up a parking lot."

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Stretches for Seniors

I'm always looking for new ways to exercise that 

1) are low-impact


2) won't hurt my knees.

Recently, I came across this gem entitled 

Stretches for Seniors.

Well, one out of two isn't bad.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

September 11 and Other Historical Dates

 Most people can remember where they were and what they were doing when traumatic events happen.

On Tuesday, September 11, 2001

I was in my living room, watching a rerun of L.A. Law, with my sleeping puppy, Echo, on my lap. The program was interrupted by breaking news and I watched in shock as the second plane crashed into the tower. Our house renovator, John, came into the living room, took one look at the tv, and this man who never swore in front of me used some colourful language. I called my mother and told her to turn on the tv.

On Friday, November 22, 1963

I was in front of my gym locker, getting dressed after a Phys Ed class. A rumour started about President Kennedy being shot. I didn't believe it, until it was confirmed in my next class, Geography. Our teacher told us to go home.

On Thursday, September 8, 2022

I was on Twitter when I noticed the news about Queen Elizabeth II's death. Although we knew that Queen Elizabeth was getting old and frail, she seemed as if she would just go on forever. Her death last Thursday is the end of an era and an historic moment. She's joined Prince Phillip. Rest in peace, Your Majesty.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

No Bear Hugs: The Importance of Copyright


It's something all authors need and take for granted.

We place that little symbol on the copyright page of our self-published book. Our traditional book publisher does that. The newspaper or magazine or ezine where we publish articles, short stories, or poems.

I'm not a lawyer and am not giving legal advice here. I'm just noticing something disturbing in an article in today's Toronto Star about the new



I'm not going to give it any free publicity by naming it, but you can easily do a search to find its name.

I couldn't help groaning and shaking my head several times as I read the article. (The journalist was clearly as shocked and disgusted as I was.)

Apparently, the copyright protection for Winnie the Pooh has gone into public domain.

 Anyone can write whatever screenplay or novel or whatever they wish. But sometimes common sense and decency should be at play as well a crass desire to cash in a childhood classic's popularity and turn it into the exact opposite of the author's intention.

I'm going out on a tree limb to guess the intention of author, A.A. Milne:

To share some gentle wisdom and humour that will help a child, lull them to sleep, or brighten their day.

Let this be a lesson to all authors about copyright protection. You'd think 100 years would be long enough to protect a children's classic from this sort of thing. Guess not.

The thought of this new horror movie can be expressed best by Eeyore:

"It moved me to tears."

Friday, May 13, 2022

Friday May 13: Good or Bad Luck?

 Usually I don't notice whether Friday the 13 is lucky or not for me.

There have been a couple of exceptions, February 1981 and November 1992.

The former was the date of my father's funeral and the latter was the day I was in a car accident.

But this May 13 is definitely lucky for fans of Stevie Wonder, born 72 years ago today!

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Right on, Anne!

As I looked at the dismal weather on my terrace yesterday, I remembered something I read a long time ago. The quote is from Anne Shirley, also known as

 Anne of Green Gables.

"Snow is April is abominable," said Anne. "Like a slap in the face when you expect a kiss."

-- L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Ingleside.


Monday, March 28, 2022

Characterization Lessons from Old TV Series

Recently we joined the 21st century and started using tv streaming services. 

I really like the access to old tv series whenever I want. Columbo. Blue Bloods. The Twilight Zone. And the two Hawaii Five-Os.

The original series starred Jack Lord and aired from 1968-1980. 

Link to Wikipedia description:

I didn't watch it when it first ran. (It probably conflicted with something else I preferred.) It's a police procedural, set in Honolulu. The dialogue and the acting style is kind of dated. But it's fun in its own way. Jack Lord runs around scorching Honolulu chasing criminals in a wool suit and tie (wide lapels, wide tie). The young people are always hippies and dumb (and usually the criminals). But there's always a mystery to solve and lots of action.

The reboot, most of which I watched when it was current, is much better. Why? Because the main characters on Reboot Five-O have personal lives, aside from their jobs. Families, romantic interests, personal conflicts, and background stories. They aren't just cardboard figures to slot into a plot to solve a mystery in 53 minutes. They're rounded characters, not flat. There's lots of humorous dialogue, interplay between McGarrett and Danny. We care about them. And because we care about them, the stakes are higher when they're in danger.

Another example of this is the original NCIS. Gibbs is more than just the leader of the NCIS team. He has an elderly father, three ex-wives, a former partner, and a first wife and daughter who died tragically. He dates from time to time. Tony has a problematic relationship with his father, too. And he doesn't relate well to women until Ziva comes along. Ziva has a problematic relationship with her father, has to decide which country has her loyalty (Israel or the U.S.), and has a lovely, teasing relationship with Tony that plays out over several seasons. Even Ducky has lots of background stories: the military, a long-lost brother, an elderly mother with dementia. These are truly rounded characters and we care about them.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Echo's Leash Dance

 In celebration of what would have been Echo's birthday, March 20,

Echo would like to remind you to

"Dance with your leash!"

Monday, January 17, 2022

California Dreaming

First photo, of the snow-covered owls, taken today. Second one, same view, taken December 29, 2013. 

For comparison, the owls are 12" high. The glass railing is 3 ' high.

It's still snowing and will continue for several hours.

This is one of the times I'm glad we're in a condo and don't have to worry about shovelling a driveway or sidewalks. We cancelled M's appointment for today.