Archive for February, 2006

2000 hits

February 28th, 2006

Back on December 8th, less than three months ago, I ran a post called, remarkably enough, First Post:

First Post

Welcome to At Home in Hespeler, my little Blog Spot. Here I will focus on Politics, with drifts into music and movies. The political focus will be Canadian, with a definite Conservative slant.

Hope you enjoy!

It was simple, unassuming and spot on. I have managed, without thinking about it, to keep to the mandate I gave myself that day. I have blogged an election, brought victory to the Conservative party, called the first lady a hottie and took a few pokes at Buzz Hargrove. The experience has been fun and rewarding and I look forward to much more.

Today, I crossed the 2000 visitor threshold, and I thank you all for coming; if you are here for the first time, relax, enjoy and nose around. If you are a return reader, I appreciate the support.

And once again, thank you to all who have come and visited.


Picture of the Day – Scenes from Hespeler 5: The Soon to be Former Playfair Bowl

February 28th, 2006

Bill Graham and Child Care

February 28th, 2006

Rules of punditry

Rule #1: Ask yourself why.

When I see something like this, I ask myself, why is he saying what he is saying? Is he serious, or bluffing?

The federal Liberals warn that their first big fight with the Stephen Harper Conservatives will be over child care.

Liberal finance critic John McCallum says the issue will be a key battleground when the Commons resumes sitting April 3…

Opposition Leader Bill Graham says he’’s hoping the Bloc Quebecois and the New Democrats will join with the Liberals in rejecting the Tory day care plan.

So the Liberal’s, according to Bill Graham, want to bring down the Tories on what is looking to be the first major issue of the new parliament. Which leads us to rule #2:

Know the background that the story isn’t telling us. This helps explain the why. And the would they. Leaving aside all those oh so 2005 arguments – “we just had an election, and the voters would punish anybody who brings us an unnecessary election &tc.” – why, and would the Liberal’s do this?

The Liberal’s are leaderless, divided, apparently broke, just lost an election and now say they will force another one on what was a major issue in the campaign. So either one or more of the above statements are patently incorrect, Bill Graham is blowing smoke, or Bill Graham is a bigger fool than I take him for.

There is one more possibility: I’m tempted to think it’s a play to sneak a new leader in the back door without a convention. It’s a tempting line of argument, and could be fun to chase; some pure Machiavelli is always fun. But I really don’t believe the Liberals have the money to have another go round. So stories like this one are probably better ignored.

Just like I’m ignoring it now.


Picture of the Day – Scenes from Hespeler 4: Remember When We Had Post Offices?

February 26th, 2006
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Darren McGavin and Don Knotts Pass Away

February 26th, 2006

Don Knotts, the lovable, fool of a sheriffs deputy, Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith Show has passed away at the age of 81. While remembered most for his bumbling Mayberry deputy role, I personally will always remember him as a fish, taking on German U-boats in 1964’s The Incredible Mr. Limpet. (Click on the picture to enlarge). A tribute to Don Knotts can be posted over at

Darren McGavin has a list of roles that is long and varied, with IMDB showing 173 acting roles listed. For most of us, however, it is as Ralphie Parker’s father in the holiday classic A Christmas Story that he is most remembered and revered. McGavin was 83 and died of natural causes.

Both men will be missed by movie and TV fans, and At Home in Hespeler extends sincere condolences to the families and friends of both.

I wish that the furnaces in heaven work, and the guns don’t.


They Like Me, They Really Like Me

February 26th, 2006

Life is funny. I was finding the blogging experience a bit disappointing this week. I wrote what I though was one of my better efforts. It was a satirical newspaper style piece making fun of possible ban on children’s guns, called Grounding in Hespeler Toy Raid Expected. I linked up to it on Cannuckistan Chronicles and a few people came. Then nothing. I had 2 visitors Friday, 2 more yesterday, one of whom was my wife.

A good wife (or husband) compliments their spouse, makes them better. So it is here at the Hespeler Towers. My wife hasn’t looked much at the blog, but commented in Toy Raid post, implying I was grounded for all the weaponry found within our home. Then came the blogging Tories.

This morning I received the an e mail from Paul at the Blogging Tories:


Blog: Blue Blogging Soapbox
Post: Blogging Tories Site of the Week

When I go to the site, what do I find:

Make sure you read the Grounding in Hespeler Toy Raid Expected post, including the comments. Makes me wonder just who is getting grounded!

My wife, making my blog look good by making me look bad. It’s 10:30 AM, and I have had 16 visitors since 6:00. I am going to have a better day than the rest of the week combined. And instead of discouraged, I am ready to go, ready to blog my heart out. There’s that wife, making me better.

So if you are here from the Bloggng Tories, or from any where else, welcome. Look around, and enjoy your visit. I am glad you are here, and hope you return.

And thank you to my wife and the Blogging Tories. I needed that!


This week on my i-pod #3 – The Delbert Chronicles

February 26th, 2006

This week I am going to cover one of, if not my absolute favourite under-rated, virtually unknown artists: Delbert McClinton. There’s lots of good reasons to love Delbert McClinton, not the least of which is, how do you not love a guy called Delbert? It’s just a cool handle, and the best name for a blues-man since Muddy Waters.

Delbert has been around for years, playing the various circuits, honing his craft in country, blues and rock & roll. I discovered him in the early 90’s, when a great, GREAT song got a tiny bit of local radio play. That song, Everytime I Roll The Dice led me to one of my all time favourite albums, Never Been Rocked Enough. Everytime I Roll The Dice is the lead off song for the CD, and it is a great piece of straight a head rock & roll. A great hook, a very danceable beat, and fun lyrics about a girl; what more can you ask for in a song? Throughout this CD, Delbert puts a very tight band through their straight up R&R paces. There is no weakness on it, with some true greats stuck in there: A cover of John Hiatt’s beautiful Have A Little Faith In Me, the hilarious I Used To Worry the sexy Cease And Desist and two great blues, Miss You Fever & Blues As Blues Can Get. It also has another piece that got some airplay, probably more than Roll the Dice, a reggae inspired number called Stir It Up.

This disc is loaded with subtle humour, The opening lyrics to I Used to Worry being a good example:

Well, I used to worry where all my money had gone
‘Til I wound up with nothing to spend my money on
I used to guard my time like diamonds and pearls
‘Til I wind up with nothing but all the time in the world

Just to think I used to worry about things like that
I used to worry ’bout rich and skinny ’til I wound up poor and fat
Now days I kind of worry where my mind’s been at
Just to think I used to worry about things like that

I have recommended this CD to a few friends through the years, and have been told every time how much they like it – if you are a fan of Rock & Roll the way it used to be played, back when we considered it dance music, then give this CD a try. It’s a true gem.

A great truth in life is when you have a gem like Never Been Rocked Enough in your collection, you try more of the same artist. I have been both pleased and disappointed by other offerings. Delbert had a country phase, and some success, which frankly does nothing for me. But I have heard another album from the later 90’s which is a very solid effort, although with weaknesses. Then last fall I was in upstate New York for a guitar festival, and the local Walmart had his newest CD Cost of Living, for $9.99. I had to take a chance on it, and it paid off.

Not as a complete album as Never Been Rocked Enough, Cost of Living is still good. The first half, One Of The Fortunate Few, Right To Be Wrong, I’’I’ll Change My Style and Your Memory, Me, And The Blues are all excellent. The Spanish influenced Down Into Mexico I have on a magazine CD that celebrates people/songs that have been influenced by Bruce Springsteen. I would consider this a questionable choice, but I not an outrageous one. Delbert’s sense of humour again comes through in the opening song One Of The Fortunate Few:

Well, for one thing, there was a whole lot of guys
That would have liked to have been in my shoes
But the upkeep on a woman like that
Will give an old poor old boy the blues
Still the pleasure was worth the pain
Of everything she put me through
And I consider myself one of the fortunate few

Yeah and another thing she wasn’t just good looking
Her imagination just wouldn’t quit
She’d make you do things you never thought about
And things you wouldn’t want to admit
There must be somebody else out there
That feels about her like I do
And I consider myself one of the fortunate few

The problem with this CD, for me anyway, is the second half veers into country. Not completely so, and it’s new rock & roll tinged, listenable country, but it’s not as good as the music that precedes it. I actually quite like I Had A Real Good Time, but the rest is simply not on par with the first half, and as such Cost of Living is not on par with Never Been Rocked Enough.

That said, Delbert McClinton is a serious artist who has been around since the early 60’s, and if anyone is looking for some great, reasonably unknown music, I couldn’t recommend him enough.

This Week on my I-Pod

Picture of the Day – Scenes from Hespeler 3: The Legendary Ernies

February 25th, 2006

Addendums to List

February 23rd, 2006
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I just love a woman who when she smiles, her whole face smiles:

Chandra Crawford and Jennifer Heil – I love your smiles.

olympians I love

Picture of the Day – Scenes from Hespeler 2: The Damn Downtown

February 23rd, 2006
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Hargrove to NDP – No, You Buzz Off

February 23rd, 2006
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It seems Buzz Hargrove the esteemed (steamed) leader of Canadian Autoworkers Union, has decided not to appeal his booting from the NDP. From the Star:

Buzz Hargrove, Canada’s most prominent labour leader, says he won’t try to rejoin the New Democratic Party after being suspended for supporting some Liberal candidates in the recent federal election.

Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers union, said yesterday he won’t appeal a decision by the Ontario wing of the NDP because it would give legitimacy to a process that was unfair to him.

“There was no notification, no evidence presented to me and no hearing. I don’t want to legitimize that sort of process,” Hargrove said in an interview after receiving a letter from the NDP informing him of the suspension and appeal option.

What’s a Liberal to do? The irony is, Buzz has nailed on the head why he was kicked out – the NDP didn’t want to “legitimize that sort of process” whereby it’s own members go around telling people to vote for another party. Oh and Buzz, you can fume and stamp your feet all you want, but you were kicked out, you didn’t leave. And we all know it.


Picture of the Day – Scenes from Hespeler 1: The Hespeler Beehive

February 22nd, 2006
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Grounding in Hespeler Toy Raid Expected

February 22nd, 2006

Hespeler – Authorities today discovered a cache of illegal toys in the room of a local 8 year old boy. Among the toys discovered where a Chinese manufactured pump action water blaster 1000, a spider man web blaster and a Chinese made cap gun that authorities fear may have been purchased over the counter a dollar store. “The Water Blaster alone can deliver 1/2 a liter of water non-stop” said an adult at the scene “There were handcuffs too, and not the cheap plastic ones either, metal ones.” Authorities also discovered a lone ranger mask, a tire iron for bicycles, 3 hockey pucks “of the kind that is sometimes used in ‘chuck-a-puck’ competitions”, and an H2O Ammo water clip. Not shown in the picture was a Hurl, once used in an assault on a sister and a pointy stick, causing local mothers to fear that someone could lose an eye.

The 8 year old will be sent to his room to wait ’til his father gets home. Further grounding is expected, with crown prosecutors wanting two weeks without TV, while child care experts say time served waiting for Dad is sufficient punishment.

seized weapons are being tested to see if they are related to any unsolved soakings or frightenings of twitchy neighbours with loud ‘bangy’ noises.

Here is a complete inventory of the confiscated booty:

Elastic Gun
Chinese manufactured Shield Blaster 1000 water soaker.
Chinese manufactured Pump Action Water Gun
H2O AMMO Water Clip
Hot Wheels Jet Launcher, with Jet
Spider man Web Blaster with holder
Finger pointed in the classic gun position
Bicycle Tire Iron
3 “Chuck-a-Puck” style Hockey Pucks
Plastic Bullets
Plastic Holster
2 Used Elastic Bands
Irish Manufactured Hurl
24″ Pointy Stick

Also found were:

Wild Planet Spy Listener with attached ear phone
Infra-pink Spy glasses/ Walkie Talkie
Lone Ranger style mask
Handcuffs and Coin Rollers and a couple of dollars in coins.

I think that covers how I feel about this.


Yet Another International Boycott

February 22nd, 2006
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Regular readers of this site (hi mom!) will know I am a James Bond fan, and I happily pass along any Bond related news that hits the wire. But I must admit, like many fans of the franchise, I don’t like Daniel Craig as the new Bond. On fairness, I haven’t seen him, and Bond fans tend to get uppity about every new Bond. But this guy is just too much of a weenie. From his first press conference when he arrived on a boat wearing a life jacket, to last week when he lost two front teeth in a fight scene (with an extra, not even a real bad guy), this guy just stinks of being not-the Bond.

Now, along comes a fan site dedicated to Daniel Craig – has a history of the Bonds, questions the reasons for overthrowing Pierce Brosnan and compiles polls taken on the subject to prove their point – Daniel Craig is no James Bond.

Ultimately, the site wants to create a boycott of Casino Royale, and force the producers of the Bond franchise to replace Craig. And since every blog seems to need to have a boycott to be legit, I’m in!


100,000 CUPE workers set to strike.

February 21st, 2006
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That is one-hundred-thousand unionized workers in the province of Ontario working for the provincial and municipal governments. In a province with 12,541,410, there are 100,000 unionized public sector workers. That is 1 worker for every 125 people. Perhaps when Mr. McGuinty is done jailing Mr. Ryan and his cohorts, he may want to look at how many people there are on the payroll.

Edit: Toronto Sun today says it’s 120,000 CUPE workers – Closer to 1 worker for every 100 people. Add in the 120,000 teachers that Christina Blizzard says there are 1 worker for every 52 Ontarians, before you add in emergency service workers.