Category Archives: Commentary

One hundred years

The Wire SoldiersToday is the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice between the Allied powers and Germany that ended the hostilities that has become known as the First World War. There have been a number of ceremonies honoring those soldiers who fought and died in the “Great War” on this momentous anniversary. One that really caught my eye was by the artist Jackie Lantelli. She felt that something special was needed to honor those soldiers from her small village that went off to war.

The Wire SoldiersMs. Lantelli said that she has always been “passionate about remembering on Remembrance Day” but this year she wanted to do something special. There were 11 soldiers who lost their lives from their little village and she has sculpted all eleven men in chicken wire statues. The result is ghostly, moving and emotional.

The Wire SoldiersI think they are quite haunting and deserve a tribute here on this blog. I find the two soldiers together, seeming to console one another to especially poignant. It’s a time of year that is important to Canadians, but especially to those of us who have family members who were soldiers.

Rest in Peace.

(I have uploaded several other pictures – check out this url to see them.)


Was it a bird?

Something came streaking across the sky last night, and while some people might have thought it was a UFO, there was a rational explanation.

As a side note, one of the NASA astronauts on Twitter did some quick calculations and told us it was a Chinese satellite. And I really thought Superman knew what he was talking about!

RIP Mr Gordie Hockey

The icon of hockey is gone. Gordie Howe, Mr. Hockey is dead at 88. My father never was much for sports heroes, but Gordie Howe was the exception. He took great delight in the farm boy from Saskatchewan dominating the hockey world.

Gordie took care of himself, and this tweeted pic from Bob McKenzie of TSN shows off his physique. No wonder you didn’t mess with Gordie!

Unlike Ali who transcended his sport, Gordie became his sport – he became the temple at which we Canadians bowed to our hockey gods. We have lost a legend.

Where is his first statue going to be erected?

No surprise

Old VancouverSaw how Vancouver was declared the second most beautiful city in the world, beating out other world class cities like Venice (3rd), Paris (10th), and London (12th) .

The only other North American city in the top ten was San Francisco (8th). No other Canadian city made the list.

Just another accolade for the city ranked number 3 in the EIU’s world’s most livable cities list, and the number 4 spot in the Mercer’s Quality of Living rankings.

Some thoughts on Bonaire

Downtown BonaireI have been surprised by how few people there are here. When we’ve been in the Caribbean for Christmas in the past, it’s been very busy. This year I’d call it dead! One day there was only ONE person laying on “the point,” a normally very busy section of the resort that has bar service. Is it the economy? Fear of ISIS, as one restauranteur insisted? I don’t really know, but it is concerning.

In the casinos, most of the people used to be visitors, having a bit of fun on a night out. There is precious little night life here on Bonaire (one of the things we like and dislike) and the casinos are a nice diversion. The other night, we were in the casino, and there was only one other vacationer – all the rest were locals. Used to be us tourists injecting the cash! That can’t bode well can it?

Impressive fenceBut what keeps people coming back, of course, are the diving and snorkeling opportunities. If there is no dock, entry into the ocean is often very difficult here, due to the mostly rocky coastline. But somehow Bonaire has allowed it’s best coastline to be gobbled up by individuals who restrict access to the sea, as if it is their private playground. On Bari Beach, some one has constructed a rock wall barrier right on the beach to block people from using the only sandy entry point to the bay. They have even put up No Trespassing signs!

It is unconscionable that this is allowed to go on. For the most part, Bonaireans don’t seem to care that this is the case. And people like Pam and I are wondering why bother coming back? If you’re going to go the route of Aruba and lose your soul for the all mighty dollar, then you deserve your fate. And maybe empty hotels, bars, and beaches will impress upon them the need to change. But I’m not holding my breath…

Salt marker in BonaireDo I want something for free? Not at all! Do I mind paying to enter the ocean if someone has constructed a dock? Absolutely NOT – I’ll gladly help pay for any infrastructure.

We pay fees at a lot of the bays in Curacao – Jan Thiel, Blue Bay, and others have parking fees, as well as beach chair fees. Not a problem. You’ve created something for which you should be paid.

Places like Captain Don’s resort say they have a fee for snorkelers to use their facilities, but every time we try to pay it, they tell us to go ahead and jump in. As a result, we grab our lunch in their restaurant after our snorkel – it is a win-win situation. They get way more of our money, and we get an easy entry into the ocean.

Here’s a brief movie just to put the focus back on the ocean, which is why we come here!

I’m asking you

Safyre TerryDo you have a heart? Will you help a young girl deal with her grief?

Safyre Terry, now just 8, lost her parents and three siblings in an ARSON fire. She was savagely burned, but has survived after numerous operations to repair the damage.

She would like you to send her a Christmas card. Will you do that?

Her address is:

P.O. Box 6126,
Schenectady, NY

Pam and I have sent her a postcard from Curacao (which will never reach her before Christmas I’m sure) and we’ll do the same from Bonaire.

I hope you will too.

Click Here for a link to a Facebook page her aunt has set up.