Snow White

History gets buried, but not erased. With a little effort and a lot of research, truths long forgotten find their way to the sunlight.

Clyde Wray, a Saint John, New Brunswick poet and playwright did a little digging. Unearthed the stories of Black Canadians who never made it into the history books I read in high school.

In his play, We Were Here—livestreamed by the Saint John Theatre Company Feb. 25-27—Wray gives voice to eight Saint John residents most of us have never heard of.

One of the eight, Cornelius Sparrow escaped from slavery in the U.S. and arrived in Saint John in 1851. He opened a barber shop and then became the owner of the Victoria Dining Saloon, the largest saloon in the city. A local newspaper claimed Sparrow’s saloon was the nicest in Saint John, rivalled by only a few saloons in the whole country.

In the same year that Sparrow arrived in Saint John, Abraham Beverley Walker was born near Belleisle. He became the first Canadian-born Black lawyer in the Commonwealth and the first person of any colour to enroll in the Saint John Law School.

Race issues being what they were, and still are, Walker struggled to build a law practice. While working for a time as a court stenographer, his colleagues ridiculed him in open court. In later years, when Walker was recommended for the designation of Queen’s Counsel, white lawyers who had received the same honour vowed to renounce it.

In Michael Moore’s 1995 comedy, Canadian Bacon starring John Candy and Alan Alda, Canada is portrayed as a “White” country with no minorities. Not true then and not true now.

Our snow may be white, but we aren’t, and never have been.

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Small, Smaller, Smallest

Humans are fascinated by the rare, the strange, and the extreme. The tallest man, the oldest woman, the largest pumpkin. Add the suffix est and you can sell tickets.

Personally, and probably because I’m knee high to a grasshopper myself, I like small. Miniature shoes, tea cups, Disney’s Tinker Bell. Shrink anything down small enough and it’s adorable.

Almost anything.

A German-Madagascan expedition team has discovered what they believe to be the smallest reptile on earth. The Brookesia Nana or nano-chameleon’s total length, from nose to tail, is just under 22 mm (0.87 “).

Tiny, yes, but cute? Not so much.

Frank Glaw

Nothing like this guy…

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Now, that’s adorable. For a lizard.

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Despicable Me

No, not this guy…

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This guy, and his wife…

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Recent inductees to Canada’s Hall of Shame, Rodney and Ekaterina Baker. Honoured for chartering a private plane, sneaking into Beaver Creek—a White River First Nation community of 125 people—and claiming to be motel employees in order to get the Moderna vaccine.

Baker has since been fired from his position as president and CEO of The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. Both he and his wife have been fined for breaking Yukon’s quarantine regulations, and face a possible six months in prison. A court date has been set for May, 4, 2021 at 2 pm in Whitehorse.

British Columbia Premier John Horgan called jumping the line “unCanadian.” I call it unconscionable.

Someone, please, take their maple leafs away. They don’t deserve them.

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A Covid Wedding: Canadian Style

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Like many other couples during this past summer, Keith and Chris had to make a few changes to their wedding plans. First up, whittling down the guest list. At the time, Covid restrictions in British Columbia limited outdoor gatherings to 50 people or less.

The outdoor part was easy, the men having always planned on having their service in Keith’s parents’ backyard.

Scaling down the guest list from a cozy 105 to a painful 45? Not so easy.

Because the invitations had already gone out, Keith and Chris had to make a lot of tough phone calls. Tell people they cared about that they couldn’t come to their wedding.

When Covid concerns had their catering service bowing out, a determined Keith and Chris rolled up their sleeves and prepared all the food for the wedding party.

Amid all the Covid-dictated changes, some things remained the same. The couple didn’t have to go looking for another ringbearer…

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Their Bernese Mountain Dog, Gus had no problem walking down the aisle with them.

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Pod People

Cars, buses, trains—gone.

Okay, they’re still here, but not for long.

Virgin Hyperloop wants to get you there—anywhere, everywhere—faster, much faster. From Gatwick to Heathrow in four minutes, from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in twelve. That kind of faster.

How?

No problem. They’ll just pop you into a pod inside a vacuum tube, and blast away at 1000 km/h.

Virgin Hyperloop

A futuristic transport system? Definitely, but the future is closer than you think.

Virgin Hyperloop has completed its first passenger journey. Meet Sara Luchian and Josh Giegel—pod people.

To quote Sara, “It’s an exhilarating ride.” Smooth with no roller-coaster effects, meaning neither she nor Josh got sick. Good to know.

One not so small problem?

The vacuum tube sits on a track. Space has to be found and tracks have to be built for each trip. Lots and lots of track.

Virgin Hyperloop

You didn’t think the future would be easy, did you?

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No Excuse

It’s no secret I have an on again, off again relationship with exercise. Mostly off these days.

I have no excuse, not with Covid still lurking about. It’s not like I’m going anywhere.

As an official senior citizen, with a cheque from the federal government to prove it, I’d like to claim age as an excuse, but that’s BS and Bill Mason knows it.

Bill is 96 years old. He’s recovering from a stroke he had two years ago—and he works out twice a week.

Sarah Keaveny Vos/CBC

On a suggestion from his grandson,

Sarah Keaveny Vos/CBC

Bill decided to try a Crossfit class for seniors. He celebrated his 96th birthday by doing a series of deadlifts, sit-ups, push-ups, and a 200-metre row.

See what I mean? No excuse.

Monday, first thing.

Heard that before, huh? Yeah, me too 😦

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Ghostbusters?

Covid-19 has changed everything and Halloween is no exception. The scattering of houses in our neighbourhood dressed for the ghoulish holiday won’t be handing out candy. Not this year.

Kids are still buying costumes, but they won’t be roaming the streets. Pumpkins, candy apples, and ghost stories will be shared among bubble members in numbers of ten or less.

No parades of miniature Darth Vaders, but if you happen to be in Edmonton come October 31, you might find an unusual funeral procession winding its way through the streets.

No dearly departed, no cemetery visits, just a bunch of car enthusiasts celebrating the Halloween with a display of their favourite rides—hearses.

Robb Eggertson

Who you gonna call?

Robb Eggertson, founder of the the Edmonton Bone-Wagon Association, 460 members strong. Their usual parking lot meet-and-greet being a bad idea this year, they’ve decided to share the fun—and their vintage vehicles.

Ghostbuster decals optional 🙂

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Write What You Know

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

After months of using Covid-19 as an excuse to procrastinate, I finally forced myself to sit down and start working on the last book in my Blood Bond Trilogy. Thanks to the previous books, I already have an MC. I know what he looks like, how he dresses, where he works, what he drinks, and who his love interest will be, but…how to start?

Write what you know, right?

I trolled through my memories, more years of memories than I’d like to admit, and came up with a scene, something that happened eons ago. A tourist on my first trip to Ireland, I was checking out a small display case in some church basement and I heard a man talking behind me. His voice, his accent, truly charming. Naturally, I turned around, and the real world being what it is, the man was nowhere near as attractive as his voice.

Perfect. There’s my attention-grabbing first paragraph. Enticing accent, alluring voice—hail the love interest.

But…

I haven’t been to Ireland in decades. I can barely remember the accent now and I have no idea what expressions or slang they’re using in Dublin these days.

Write what you know?

I don’t know how this character speaks. There’s no way I can write dialogue for him, not without spending weeks researching speech patterns in Irish novels.

I’m in awe of authors who can create dialogue for characters of a differing ethnicity, nationality, or time line than their own. I have no idea how they do it. How exactly does a blacksmith in the eighteenth century speak, or an alien in the twenty-fourth?

Back to the drawing board. Ditch the accent and rewrite the first page, so far, the only page.

Write what you know?

What I know is, I never should have started writing this trilogy 🙂

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Excuse me, but…

To paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy, you know you’re old when—

1. You’ve never heard of half the shows nominated at the Emmys.

2. You sit down to put your shoes on.

3. You think TikTok is a new clock.

4. You remember when Amazon only sold books.

5. You’re phone takes you aside, and says, “Look, we’re really sorry. We know you’re one of the dinosaurs who still buys music on Google Play, but we’re switching over to YouTube music.” And you say, “YouTube has music?”

Excuse me, but—I’m old.

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Lucifer

Tom Ellis has been working the British accent and devilish charm for five seasons now. As Lucifer Morningstar, he takes us into a world where the Devil is real—and runs a club in L.A.

In the tradition of Death Takes a Holiday and Meet Joe Black, the Devil is on vacation. As one would expect, he’s keen on all the things our mothers warned us about, liquor, drugs, and sex in all its many incarnations.

Unexpectedly, this Devil wears a three-piece suit, plays the piano, and has daddy issues. The ruler of hell spends his time solving crimes with an LAPD detective and chatting with his therapist—when he’s not otherwise engaged.

According to this Lucifer, hell is fueled by guilt. Humans torturing themselves in endless loops of their worst sins. No brimstone and fire, just people blaming themselves for eternity.

Damnation based on human psychology; I like it. That’s why I watch the show. Absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the devil looks like this…

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