Archive for September, 2006

Rally in Toronto

September 23rd, 2006
Comments Off on Rally in Toronto

Support the Troops!

It’s a simple sentiment. There out there doing dangerous work, doing it to improve both the world, and our world.

Building schools for Afghani children.
Making Afghanistan a safer place for women. A place where a woman can walk to the market unescorted, without being killed for her sin. A place where women, who were chattel just five years ago, now make up 25% of the Afghanistan parliament.

And just as important, they are taking the fight to the bad guys. Fighting them on their own turf, so we don’t have to fight them on ours.

If you are in Toronto next Friday, Joe Warmington is planning a support the troops rally. Come on down to Young and Dundas, wear some red if you can, and show our troops you support them.

And look for me! I’ll be the guy in red!


Peel Cops Keep Confiscated Booze – Where’s The News?

September 21st, 2006

I grew up in Brampton – Peel Region. Twenty-five years ago, we knew that if you had a tailgate party and got busted, the chances where good the cops would take your beer and give you a warning. Then, it was said, that the cops would keep your beer. There where even rumours of big cop parties with beer they had confiscated.

It was even suggested that if the right cop caught you with pot, they would take the pot, not report the incident, and keep it for personal use.

Twenty-five years ago us kids knew this stuff was going on. So why is it a front page headline today?

Peel cops regularly swig booze at outdoor “drinking holes” across the region, says a former officer.

And they often drink from bottles seized from underage drinkers, the ex-cop says.

This doesn’t go on in other regions? That’s what surprises me. It’s not right, but I grew up believing it was a perk of the job. The cop gets some free beer, the kid doesn’t get busted. It always seemed like a gimme, a win/win.

I’m guessing there’s not a kid, or a person who grew up in Peel, that is surprised by this story.


Belinda & Tie Sitting… in ….. a ……..tree?

September 21st, 2006
Comments Off on Belinda & Tie Sitting… in ….. a ……..tree?

Last week I was lamenting that fish-faced Peter MacKay got all the good women, including the babelicious (Belindalicious?) Belinda Stronach.

Now comes word, which has apparently been common knowledge in the right circles for some time, that it’s Belinda and Tie Domi.

So it turns out it’s not that I’m missing something about Peter MacKay; it’s that Belinda has really, really bad taste in men.

Or, Belinda’s romantic instincts are about as good as her political instincts.

Or both!


A Progressive War

September 21st, 2006

From Stephen Harper’s address to the UN today:

Let us be realistic. The challenges facing Afghanistan are enormous. There will be no quick fixes.

Moreover, success cannot be assured by military means alone. This we all recognize. For success also requires a strong and unwavering civilian contribution: educators, engineers, elections advisors; direct aid and technical assistance. The list is lengthy, but the contributions essential.

That is why Canada is engaged in work like the rebuilding of girls’’ schools, ripped down and destroyed by the Taliban in their frenzy of hate.

That is why this spring we increased our development assistance, raising Canada’’s total contribution to nearly $1 billion over 10 years, to assist the people of Afghanistan.

These two actions – rebuilding a shattered society and providing a stable security environment -– go hand in glove.

And we are making progress -– of that there is no doubt – 5 million refugees repatriated; over 5 million children enrolled in primary schools; 10 million Afghans registered to vote in successive democratic elections.

More than one-quarter of the seats in Afghanistan’’s Legislature are now held by women – remarkable in a nation where a few short years ago girls could not attend school and women had no human rights of any kind.

Don’t these sound like the kind of things Jack Layton would be in favour of? Involving women in society, educating children, repatriating refugees. Isn’t that what progressives are always telling us progressive means?

Or are human rights only for Canadian women and children, Jack?


Picture of the Day – Lunge

September 20th, 2006
Comments Off on Picture of the Day – Lunge

Is Lebanon Now Safe?

September 20th, 2006
Comments Off on Is Lebanon Now Safe?

Half of the people the Canadian government evacuated from Lebanon in July, have returned to Lebanon, according to CTV:

The tab for the large-scale evacuation of Canadians from war-torn Lebanon during Hezbollah’s conflict with Israel cost taxpayers $85 million, CTV News has learned.

But sources have told CTV News about 7,000 evacuees have returned to Lebanon…

Between July 19 and mid-August, chartered ships and planes ferried approximately 14,000 Canadians out of Lebanon from Beirut and the southern port city of Tyre to Cyprus and Turkey.

After all the damn complaining, after the Canadian government waived the normal evacuation fee, after $85 million precious tax dollars, half of these people return?

Hands up everybody who would be shocked, shocked I say, if war broke out again between, say, now and Christmas? Now, keep the hands up if you think we should save these people yet again?

Isn’t it time that being Canadian meant being in Canada, at least some times?


Next on Tie Domi’s "to beat up" list – The English Language

September 19th, 2006
Comments Off on Next on Tie Domi’s "to beat up" list – The English Language

There was this soccer game in July – England VS. Portugal. It’s the last time I regretted that I don’t subscribe to TSN.

Today, this afternoon, was the first time I was ever glad I don’t get it:

Tie Domi has joined TSN.

The announcement was made official during a press conference at the Air Canada Centre as the respected NHL veteran formally announced his retirement. He’s the latest addition to the TSN family following recent signings this year of Brian Williams, James Cybulski and Darren Dreger.

Watching the press conference, Domi couldn’t read a complete sentence from his prepared statement. How is he going to be a broadcaster?

Old Pro’s like Brian Williams and Darren Dreger must be beside themselves.


If The Shoe Was On The Other Foot

September 19th, 2006
Comments Off on If The Shoe Was On The Other Foot

I keep waiting for the photo-op, the shot of some politician going to the cathedral to assure Catholics that there won’t be a backlash.

Of course, it takes guts when the house of worship you are walking into actually has a chance of blowing up while your in there.


Jack Layton Leads theTaliban Follow

September 19th, 2006

If this story is correct:

Did the Taliban time their gutless and deadly attack to coincide with the opening of Canada’s Parliament to add pressure?

…”I don’t think people realize how sophisticated this enemy is,” said one military officer yesterday.

The officer said they are well aware of the critics and were pleased to exploit that.

Then Jack Layton has blood on his hands today.

Best line:

“When people say, ‘This is not the right mission for Canada,’ what does that mean?”

He said it was certainly “right” to allow girls to go to school again, to have people vote and to equalize men and women. In gaining some of these goals…

Exactly! To which I would add it is right to fight people who would blow up a bunch of children so they can hit a couple of soldiers who are giving those children candy?

What could be more Canadian than fighting for those rights? Than fighting for children? Fighting against people who fight against children? Protecting those who can’t protect themselves?

You would think Jack Layton would understand that.


Great Song Lyric

September 18th, 2006
Comments Off on Great Song Lyric
Dr. Hook
The Millionaire
I could get myself a nose job,
I could diet for a year.
But I’ll never be Robert Redford,
Cause I’m much to fond of beer.

This post inspired by yesterdays picture from the Terry Fox run.


Running For Terry Fox

September 17th, 2006

I raised $250 dollars for this years Terry Fox Run, $135 from donations by people who read this blog (or Let Freedom Reign).

I ran the full 5K for the first time, my only stops occurring due to traffic jams. My son ran instead of biked this year, and while he walk/ran the first half with Lady Hespeler, he got bored about halfway through, and was only about 2 minutes behind me at the end.

Thank you to all who donated, linked to my donation page or woke up this morning and thought, “hey Terry Fox day, that blogger guy is running.”

It is not too late to donate to the Terry Fox foundation, where 87 cents of every dollar raised goes to Cancer research. The foundation is ran by Darryl Fox, Terry’s brother who was with Terry for his Marathon of Hope. It is, in my opinion, well run and worthwhile charity. If you are wondering where to make a charitable donation this year, please consider the Terry Fox Foundation.

And if you still wish to donate to my run, you still can:

Donate Here!

Note: This post will stay up top this week. Please read on for more At Home in Hespeler…


This week on my i-pod – More Bob Seger

September 17th, 2006
Comments Off on This week on my i-pod – More Bob Seger

With the new album out, I have spent much of the week with Bob Seger playing. Whether the new CD, or a classic album I have covered a lot of Seger ground this week. By Friday afternoon, I decided to pick a bunch of songs and have the MP3 play them randomly. It’s always interesting to pick songs instead of full albums, as it gives you a closer look at what is moving you.

On this week, I picked two of the new songs: Wreck This Heart and Wait For Me, the first two tracks on the album. Working backwards, there is only one song from the last album, “It’s a Mystery”, that I bother much to listen to, but it’s one of the greats. Lock and Load is a great Seger rocker, possibly even the best in the last 30 years.

Of course The Real Love from “The Fire Inside”, Like a Rock and American Storm from “Like a Rock”, and Even Now from 1982’s “The Distance”. The mid 70’s is his best years and was well represented. However, it was one old and one new (fairly) that where the true gems of the listen.

Turn the Page is the Seger song. All other pale in comparison. Not just Turn the Page though – Turn the Page from the “Live Bullet” album. I have the “Back in ’72” album that the song comes from originally, have quite a few bootlegs and have seen him numerous times. I can assure you, that one performance of “Turn the Page” is heads and shoulders above the rest. It’s not really surprising. He was playing the mid-west bar circuit, travelling club to club. Then he came home to Detroit to sell out Cobo Hall on two consecutive nights; 10,000 people a night. And you sing this song:

Say, here I am, on the road again. there I am, up on the stage.
Here I go, playing star again.
There I go, turn the page…

Out there in the spotlight your a million miles away,
Every ounce of energy, you try and give away,
As the sweat pours out your body like the music that you play.
Later in the evening as you lie awake in bed,
With the echo from the amplifiers ringing in your head,
You smoke the days last cigarette, remembering what she said.
Now here I am, on the road again. there I am, up on the stage.
Here I go, playing star again.
There I go, turn the page.
Here I am, on the road again. there I am, up on the stage.
Ah here I go, playing star again.
There I go, there I go.

Is it any wonder the song had a little something extra in it. After all the years of living the song, finally he wasn’t playing star, he was a star. Yea, that night was special and it came across in one of rock and rolls greatest moments. Turn the Page is a good song – even Metallica couldn’t ruin it (God help them, they tried though. They tried!) – but on this night a great song was born.

The other song was 1998’s Chances Are with Martina McBride, from the Sandra Bullock movie “Hope Floats”. I don’t have much time for country music, mostly because I can’t take the whiny twang of the singers. But there’s a couple of the lady singers I like: Shania Twain is one; Martina McBride the other. Martina McBride might just have the nicest voice in music. It is stunningly beautiful, clear as a bell and pitch perfect note for note. Bob Seger, on the other hand, has a “smoke too much, ah hell it was close” kind of voice. A singer I have always loved, a distinctive interesting voice, but let’s not kid the troops. Like Seger himself, it is a working man’s voice, a voice not presented upon birth as a gift from the Gods, but a voice that is solid only through hard work and years of performing. And when McBride and Seger put them together, it’s magic.

I have discussed my wife’s romantic dances on the deck before, how I’m responsible to a) attend and b) supply the music. I have decided that Chances Are belongs on our deck next time, is a song that I can comfortably sing to my bride, knowing she would appreciate it:

Chances are you’ll find me
Somewhere on your road tonight
Seems I always end up driving by
Ever since I’ve known you
It seems you’re on my way

All the rules of logic don’t apply
I long to see you in the night
Be with you ’til morning light

I remember clearly how you looked
The night we met
I recall your laughter and your smile
I remember how you made me
Feel so at ease
I remember all your grace and your style

And now you’re all I long to see
You’ve come to mean so much to me

Chances are I’ll see you
In my dreams tonight
You’ll be smiling like the night we met
Chances are I’ll hold you and I’ll offer
All I have

You’re the only one I can’t forget
Baby you’re the best I’ve ever met

And I’ll be dreaming of the future
And hoping you’ll be by my side
And in the morning I’ll be longing for the night
For the night

Chances are I’ll see you
Somewhere in my dreams tonight
You’ll be smiling like the night we met
Chances are I’ll hold you and I’ll offer
All I have

You’re the only one I can’t forget
Baby you’re the best I’ve ever met

It’s the kind of song you expect Bob Seger to write. According to Greatest Hits 2, he wrote it in 1990. There where rumours at the time of an album that got mostly scrubbed because the centre-piece was Tom Waits’ Downtown Train. He told Rod Stewart about it, Stewart recorded and released Downtown Train first, so Seger returned to the studio and released “The Fire Inside” in 1991 instead. If 1990 is the date for Chances Are, then we can assume it is from the lost album, and we can are left to speculate how good an album we missed.

This Week on my I-Pod

Picture of the Day – Save!

September 16th, 2006
Comments Off on Picture of the Day – Save!

The Elephant in the CAW’s Room

September 16th, 2006
Comments Off on The Elephant in the CAW’s Room

No wonder the CAW is so keen to eliminate capitalism – now that it is no longer working in it’s favour:

Two stories from yesterday: one about a unionized auto maker, and one about a non-union auto maker.

Ford Motor Co. has nixed the notion that bigger is always better, laying off an estimated 1,000 people in Canada yesterday and vowing to shrink and give up market share so it can build back profits.


Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada is launching one of the biggest hiring sprees in southwestern Ontario history on Saturday when it posts the first of nearly 2,000 high-paying autoworker jobs…

Toyota is hiring 1,700 people for a new assembly plant it is building in Woodstock, Ont., west of Toronto, and another 250 skilled, administrative and maintenance employees for its existing plant in nearby Cambridge.

This is not an aberration, this is happening all the time these days.

Layoffs & closures = union
Hiring and new plants = non-union


Picture of the Day – Oh Canada

September 15th, 2006
Comments Off on Picture of the Day – Oh Canada