Archive for April, 2006

This Week on my i-pod #8 – To Dance

April 30th, 2006

This week I am doing this a little different as it is my 15th anniversary. I have tried to express in this feature how music is an important, vital part if my life. This holds true in my marriage as well. My wife is a great music lover and has said my passion for it is one of the things that attracted her to me in the first place. A couple of years ago on her birthday, my wife’s one request was a dance on the patio: it’s romantic or something. So this year for our anniversary, I offer the following dance on our virtual patio.

Any talk of anniversary music must begin with our first dance. We struggled to come up with the perfect song, and were having no luck. Then we saw an episode of the Wonder Years, where Kevin and Winnie have there first kiss, and they played an Elton John song called Seasons, from his album the soundtrack from the movie Friends:

For our world, the circle turns again
Throughout the year we’ve seen the seasons change
It’s meant a lot to me to start anew
Oh the winter’s cold but I’m so warm with you

Out there there’s not a sound to be heard
And the seasons seem to sleep upon their words
As the waters freeze up with the summer’s end

Oh it’s funny how young lovers start as friends
Yes it’s funny how young lovers start as friends

It was perfect and we went to some trouble to make it work perfectly, editing the orchestral section for brevity, even finding the song took some work. Nobody cared, nobody listened but it was without question a special song to us. We still have the cassette with the edited version on it, and have played it for our kids, to great yawning indifference.

But through the years other songs have taken prominence, probably too many to mention here. But the last few years when she has a yearning for some romance and asks me to dance on the deck, always the music is my part of the responsibility. What the neighbor’s think when they look outside their kitchen window and see us fools dancing I have never heard, nor do I really care. But for our anniversary, if she wants a dance, this is my choice of music:

Shania Twain – You’re Still The One. Not the old Orleans song, but the far more modern Shania song. I’m not a big country fan, and neither is she, but Shania Twain isn’t bad. Our daughter is a fan so we have her Greatest Hits around, and I always think of my wife when I hear this song:

Looks like we made it
look how far we’ve come my baby.
We might have took the long way,
We knew we’d get there some day
They said, I bet, they’ll never make it
But just look at us holding on
We’re still together still going strong.

Still the One
Still the one I run too
The one that I belong too
Still the one I want for Life
Still the one that I love
The only one I dream of
Still the one I kiss goodnight

Ain’t nothin’ better
we beat the odds together
I’m glad we didn’t listen
look at what we’d be missin’

Can you beat those lyrics to sing to your lady or man? Especially when they are true. And for my wife let me say, you are Still the one.

Next up is some Dave Matthews Band from his latest album Stand Up. There’s a few lines on the song Dream Girl that are so appropriate:

You’re my best friend
And after a good, good drunk
You and me wake up and make love after a deep sleep
Where I was Dreamin’, I was Dreamin’ of a
Dreamgirl, Dreamgirl, Dreamgirl, Dreamgirl

I was feelin’ like a creep
As I watched you asleep
Face down in the grass,
in the park, in the middle
of a hot afternoon
Your top was untied
And I thought how nice
It’d be to follow the sweat down your spine

But that’s not the song of choice here. For this dance, I choose Steady as We Go.

I’ll walk halfway around the world
Just to sit down by your side
And I would do most anything, girl
To be the apple of your eye
Well troubles, they may come and go
But good times, they’re the gold
And if the road gets rocky, girl
Just steady as we go

Any place you wanna go
Know I’ll be next to you
If it’s treasure, baby, you’re looking for
I’ll search the whole world through
I know troubles, they may come and go
But good times, they’re the gold
So if the road gets rocky, girl
Just steady as we go

So if your heart wrings dry, my love
I will fill your cup
And if your load gets heavy, girl
I will lift you up
Well troubles, they may come and go
But good times be the gold
So if the road gets rocky, girl
Just steady as we go

The sentiment is syrupy, but true. After all, how do you survive 15 years of marriage? Steady As We Go.

When the storm comes down you shelter me
When I don’t say a word and you know exactly what i mean
In the darkest times, oh, you shine on me
You set me free and keep me steady as we go

It’s simple sentiment, but honest. If not Steady As We Go, I would replace it with John Hiatt’s Have A Little Faith in Me, the Delbert McCLinton version:

When the road gets dark
And you can no longer see
Just let my love throw a spark
And have a little faith in me

And when the tears you cry
Are all you can believe
Just give these loving arms a try
And have a little faith in me

And when your back’s against the wall
Just turn around and you will see
I will catch, I will catch your fall baby
Just have a little faith in me

That’s what we have done all these years, have faith in each other and it has never let us down. This one would usually be higher on this list, except it’s old to us, so down she goes.

Finally, I offer The Temptations Sugar Pie Honey Bunch because it’s an anniversary, not a funeral, and what’s wrong with having a little fun on our anniversary?

Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch
You know that I love you
I can’t help myself
I love you and nobody else…

‘Cause, Sugar Pie Honey Bunch
I’m weaker than a man should be
I can’t help myself
I’m a fool in love ‘ya see

Besides, she married me, and fell in love with me, when there was more playful child than man ready to take on the challenges of family life about me. Doesn’t she deserve that guy once in a while?

So there it is. If my neighbours read this wonder no more, we are dancing. And sometime this week, next week or next month we will no doubt be doing so again. I’m sure you’ll find the soundtrack familiar.

This Week on my I-Pod

April 27th, 1991

April 27th, 2006
Comments Off on April 27th, 1991

A man walks into a bar and sits down. The guy beside him is drunk as a skunk and crying. “Hey fella, what’s wrong?” he asks.

“I got my girlfriend pregnant,” he says “and her Dad brought out his shotgun and said either I marry her, or I go to jail for 15 years.”

“Oh, that’s bad” says the man.

“You don’t know the half of it. Today is my fifteenth wedding anniversary… I would have been free!”

Happy Anniversary honey, I don’t know how you managed to get us here. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If I had to do it all over again, I would still choose you!

We’ll be in New York for the weekend. With luck I will be posting a special This Week on my MP3 on Sunday, otherwise I’m shutting it down until Tuesday or Wednesday!


Sportscaster Pat Marsden Passes

April 27th, 2006
Comments Off on Sportscaster Pat Marsden Passes

Condolences to the family and friends of Pat Marsden, who passed away this morning due to lung cancer. He was 69 years old, and leaves a wife T.A. and 2 young kids, as well as three adult children from a previous marriage.


Picture of the Day – School Play

April 26th, 2006

Almost Falling for the Popular Wisdom

April 26th, 2006

I try and stay away from issues military, mostly because I have a remarkable ignorance about things military. In fact, the main reason I brought Ron aboard was to have someone around that has some knowledge in that area. So I have spent the past few days listening to the arguments pro and contra raising/lowering the flag and letting reporters on to CFB Borden for the Repatriation Ceremony. I have thought it through, try to separate the chaff from the wheat, and managed to form an opinion.The flag flap was the easier of the two. Quite clearly the military brass, members of the military and former members seem to concur that Remembrance Day is the appropriate time to lower the flags to half-staff in commemoration of members of our services who have been lost while in our service.

The question of reporters at the Repatriation Ceremony has been a bit trickier. My initial reaction was to disagree with the Prime Minister on this one. The media belong, journaling the event for us all. That was yesterday. I read in all the papers about how the media is always respectful at these events, how they wouldn’t dare turn it into some sort of circus.

While I was reading, the media were busy turning into a circus. Dear MSM: standing on ladders at the fence taking pictures with super-telescopic lenses is not respectful. It isn’t whenever Madonna gets married; it isn’t at a Repatriation Ceremony. After seeing the pictures of the media standing in a line on their ladders, on top of the news vans, is there any doubt they would have hired helicopters to flyover and shoot their pictures if it wasn’t restricted air space?

However, I was still unsure until I read this quote from Garth Turner: “It would appear to me that a lot of people want to participate in the grieving vicariously…”

Vicarious grieving has become a de-rigueur thing in the past fifteen or twenty years. Many say it started with Princess Diana, but it started long before that: it just climaxed into inglorious spectacle with the death of the Princess. Whether it’s the walls of teddy bears when a tragedy occurs involving a child, or the online signing of condolences whenever a tragically newsworthy event occurs, people all too often ” participate in the grieving vicariously.”

Frankly, if that’s what this is about, if all this newsprint is being expended because people can’t have a symbolic teddy bear mountain outside CFB Borden, then I say ban the media, arrest them when they show up with step-ladders, and execute them when they whine about lack of access.

Leave the families, and the forces with a little dignity, even if you won’t do so for the rest of us.

Update: I made the right call on this one.


Sophist’s Saga for Tuesday April 25th, 2006

April 25th, 2006
Comments Off on Sophist’s Saga for Tuesday April 25th, 2006

The Sophist?s Saga:

At my local gym today, having an after workout shave when I noticed something new in the change area: The facility had added aroma therapy soap. I wondered who decided the men’s change room needed aroma therapy, and was there a single man present at the meeting? Such items rate as far down the list as imaginable on the list of men’s preferences. Next they will be putting in shower curtains.

The Sophist?s Saga updates every Tuesday and Friday.
Please forward the Sophist’s Saga to all who you think may enjoy it.

The sophist?s on-line presence is at:

Next Sophist’s Saga: Tuesday May 2nd, 2006

You received this e mail because you are subscribed to the sophist?s saga. To unsubscribe, e mail to with the word unsubscribe in the subject header.
If you are not a subscriber but would like to be, send an e mail with subscribe in the subject header


Show your true colours

April 25th, 2006
Comments Off on Show your true colours

Once again, the military, and the deaths of soldiers are being exploited for the sake of political posturing. The (simulated) outrage from the Opposition parties regarding the government’s decision to return to the long-standing tradition of only lowering the Peace Tower flag on Nov.11 just makes me ill.

I find myself becoming increasingly irritated by the people who have been quoted on this subject who are simply using this as an opportunity to take a shot at the government or at our deployment in Afghanistan. I have had a couple of people at work try this with me and it becomes quickly obvious. They know nothing about Canada’s flag, military, or military history. A few basic questions soon shuts them up.

The parliament flag should only be lowered on Nov. 11 or to mark the passing of a prime minister or a senior member of the Royal family (head of state). Now, this is just my opinion and it really doesn’t carry that much weight.

You want an opinion that matters? Forget asking someone at Starbucks over a latte. Forget asking a politician, journalist or radio host. Go down to the Legion, or the retirement home, or the veteran’s wing in a hospital and ask around there. Go to your local armoury and ask there. These are the opinions that count!

Just because that particular flag is not lowered does not mean that the practice is not being observed. Flags at the relevant bases will be lowered. The soldiers’ hometowns will be marking their passing. This is how it should be, and how it has been until a couple of years ago.

If you are still not satisfied, why not make the strongest statement of all. All of you with front yards go out and get a flag and flagpole. Raise the flag, and if you wish lower it for the proper mourning period. Then raise it again. You don’t need someone else to make the statement for you.


Picture of the Day – Showing My Support

April 24th, 2006
Comments Off on Picture of the Day – Showing My Support

Big Stories Made Little

April 24th, 2006
Comments Off on Big Stories Made Little

I have had a bunch of stuff in my mental filing cabinet for a spell now that I want to comment on, but can’t quite get out. Here’s the readers digest version of each:

Gas Prices – I have had half a report on this written since last week. I’m beginning to think you guys will never see it. Here’s a summation:

Stephen Harper’s response to this so far has been, simply put, not good enough. It is a serious problem being faced by all us hockey moms and dads who have to drive our own limo’s to the games. He has shouted long and loud about tax relief at the pumps in the past and, although he never promised it in the election, it wouldn’t be hard to make it look like a broken promise.

In fairness, without a budget there’s nothing real to complain about, yet. However, if there is no gas tax relief in the May 2nd budget – look out. This one could be a killer (unless Bob Rae wins the Liberal leadership).

Bob Rae – He is actually doing it, running for the Liberal leadership. I have a hundred jokes and I can’t use any of them because the thought of PM Bob Rae scares the hell out of me – I hate to use that over used ‘he’s scary’ claim, but I lived through the Rae years in Ontario. It was THAT bad.

How bad?. Ontario, which is so leery about Stephen Harper voted for Mike Harris, twice. I offer the following commercials free of charge to the Conservative Party of Canada should Rae win the Liberal leadership (OK, a shiny new laptop, and a crackberry would be welcomed): Start with the Liberal Mike Harris ads, that dark scary picture, same-ish voice over.”Remember Mike Harris? Remember the strife, the days of action, the illegal teacher’s strikes &tc.? Now, remember why you voted for Mike Harris.” Picture changes to a similar toned one of Bob Rae. “The welfare rates, the massive taxation, the staggering debt, the jobs fleeing Ontario, Rae days, days of action &tc.”

Scott Brison: From the National Post today:

“Scott Brison hasn’t got a hope,” Mr Wiseman (Nelson Wiseman, political Science Professor at University of Toronto) said in an interview. “He doesn’t have a history in the Liberal Party, he’s part of the last government… and also of course there’s the income trust thing.”

More importantly, there’s the French thing never forget the French thing! Oh, and the arrogance thing. Never, ever forget the arrogance thing!!”

As a Conservative I am sad to say I agree with Mr. Wiseman, Scott Brison doesn’t stand a chance.

The Senate – Does anybody else think this whole Senate is going to block the accountability act too much? Let me get this one straight:

Moreover, The Hill Times reported last week (April 17) that several Liberal Senators are against the idea of a single ethics commissioner under the Federal Accountability Act, promising a political showdown in the Upper Chamber.

So the Liberal’s in Senate are going to block the accountability act over questions about an independent ethics commissioner? NO. Not happening. They may not like the tie in, but there is no selling that position. Do you really believe the Libs want to force an election over a question of Cretien/Martin/Trudeau appointees blocking ethics legislation?

Brian Mulroney – I am still trying to figure the motivation behind a who’s who of environmentalists awarding Brian Mulroney the “Greenest Prime Minister” award. Is this because he sang “When Irish Eyes are Smiling?”

Excuse the cynic in me, but I can’t help but think the feting of Mulroney has more to do with trying to get Stephen Harper on the environmentalists good side. Kind of a “hey, we like Conservatives. See? … SEE?” Smarter than the CAW running an anybody but the Conservatives campaign, I must admit. But where were all these tuxedoed environmentalists when Jean Cretien was PM?

But, Stephen is smarter than that, check out his remarks when introducing Mr. Mulroney:

“At the time, I don’t think there was any environmentalist who had anything good to say about Mr. Mulroney,” Harper said of the back-to-back Tory majorities in the 1980s.

“Now he’s regarded years later as the greenest prime minister. I believe the reason he’s regarded that way is that he didn’t pursue grandiose schemes and unworkable arrangements and the kind of problem we got into on Kyoto (greenhouse gas protocol). Instead, he decided to make real progress, concrete progress, on particular issues.”

Stick that in your exhaust pipe and smog it!

It looks like I am fixing my computer again this week, and then I am away for the weekend so expect a light blogging load.


Just covering all the bases

April 24th, 2006

It was with great fanfare and no surprise that Conservative/Liberal/Whathaveyou Scott Brison announced his bid to run for the leadership of the Liberal party. “I am a product of a Liberal Canada with Liberal values, blah, blah, blah” said the former contender for the Conservative crown.

Over the next three days Brison is also expected to announce his candicacy for the leadership of the Alberta Conservatives, the Israeli Kadima Party, and to be the coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs.



April 23rd, 2006

I hate Spam. If you are a scumbag spammer, please stop reading. I have nothing to say that could be of interest to a low-life weasel like yourself.

For the rest of you – comments have now been changed to require word verification. I apologize. I am not a fan of this feature, but due those who should be no longer reading this post, it has become a necessity.


This Week on my i-pod #8 – New Stuff from Sam Roberts

April 23rd, 2006
Comments Off on This Week on my i-pod #8 – New Stuff from Sam Roberts

As I mentioned a while ago, I love discover new music. Last year I took a rider on a couple of CDs that interested me for different reasons, and found Dave Matthews Band’s Stand Up and the Foo Fighters In Your Honor to be CDs that I enjoyed a lot. In the past few weeks I have tried The Strokes and The Arctic Monkeys, both enjoyable bands (although in the latter case, maybe not worth all the fuss). This week I added Sam Roberts Chemical City to the hard drive and loved it.

I first heard Sam Roberts during the CBC fawn-fest that was Sars-A-Palooza two summers ago. Sam Roberts opened that show, and got a fair bit of airplay. I thought he was alright, but not great. But hey, at least he looked Rock and Roll, can’t say that for Justin Timberlake! (Actually, Mom always said “if you can’t say anything nice about someone…” so I can’t say anything about Justin Timberlake). When The new Sam Roberts album was released recently to moderate to good reviews, claiming it was a roots CD, I was interested. Listening to it this week, I have to tell you, it is far better than the reviews give it credit for.

Many of the reviews stated this album is good, but looses focus at spots, and it’s not an assessment I would disagree with. The problem is, the lost focus is a far smaller part of this CD than you would get the impression from the critics.

Chemical City starts with a great song, The Gate. It is very reminiscent of some early 70’s stuff and would not have been out of place then. The intro actually reminds me of Steve Miller’s Fly Like An Eagle, but it quickly changes gears and rocks up. A very solid song, and a very solid start.

When I’m trying something new, here’s how it works. The CD generally has one or two songs to impress me. After that you run the serious risk that I lose interest. On this one thirty seconds in, I was thinking, ‘I’m gonna like this.’ That means my mind is far more open to the rest. The second song, the acoustic laced Bridge to Nowhere is equally good, and equally at home 30 years ago.

As a Conservative blog, I should mention An American Draft Dodger in Thunder Bay. Based on the title, I thought oh no! Even Sam Roberts has to have an anti-Bush, anti-Iraq diatribe. Fortunately, it was a piece about a Viet Nam draft dodger who rebuilt his life in Canada. No moralising, a straight story lyric that was, in fact, an upbeat, hummable piece that I quite enjoyed.

Overall, this is a good CD that I think is going to get a good wearing out in my player. If you are thinking of taking a chance on something new this year, you could do a lot worse than Sam Roberts Chemical City.

This Week on my I-Pod

Dalton McGuinty: Still Not Up to the Job

April 22nd, 2006

While native standoffs escalated this week, Dalton McGuinty lead from the rear:

Mr. McGuinty agreed that the move by the Ontario Provincial Police came remarkably close upon the heels of discussions over the past five weeks aimed at settling the dispute.

“I want to be perfectly clear in this regard, this police action comes completely independent of me, my office or my government,” he said…

Mr. Tory asked the Premier why he did nothing about the matter when government officials were aware of it for more than a year.

Mr. McGuinty responded that the individuals involved in the dispute regard his government as secondary players. “They insist on being dealt with as a nation,” he said. “They want to deal with the government of Canada on a nation-to-nation basis.”

Which leads to the question. If a negative ad is true, is it still negative?


Sophist’s Saga for Friday April 21st, 2006

April 21st, 2006
Comments Off on Sophist’s Saga for Friday April 21st, 2006

The Sophist?s Saga:

Garbage day today. Struggled a large piece of particle board to the end of the driveway, fully expecting the garbage-man to ignore it at best, send me a letter explaining weight and size requirements of my garbage, complete with a description of the exact weight, size and component make up of my offending article of waste. Instead, much to my surprise, they took it… Later it occurred to me that I had probably donated third prize in the 3-legged race at the garbage-man’s picnic.

The Sophist?s Saga updates every Tuesday and Friday.
Please forward the Sophist’s Saga to all who you think may enjoy it.

The sophist?s on-line presence is at:

Next Sophist’s Saga: Tuesday April 25th. 2006

You received this e mail because you are subscribed to the sophist?s saga. To unsubscribe, e mail to with the word unsubscribe in the subject header.
If you are not a subscriber but would like to be, send an e mail with subscribe in the subject header.



April 21st, 2006

I’m back at my desk today after two days off with a cold. You know, one of those colds that turn a reasonably self-reliant man into a whiny, sniffling, somebody-take-care-of-me suck.

The major flaw in the plan is that there was no one there to take care of me. Heck, even the voices in my head were saying “shaddup already”.

My late cat used to try. But without opposable thumbs she could never open the bottle of ginger ale.