Archive for December, 2007


Audio argyle

24 December 2007




My girlfriend may sometimes be pessimistic, but she’s my lady, she’s my girl, she’s my woman. And she finds things in this world that bring her a whisker of happiness. Once she does, these things become her innermost circle of friends, at least for an unspecified period of time. At present, they include peppermint ice cream, kitties, and argyle. Yes, the Scottish pattern found mostly on sweaters and socks.


So I wrote her a song. (Or rather, yet another song.) Fortunately, she also hearts silliness. 


Click here 



Victoria & Views

16 December 2007

I took a little trip and spent a little time in Victoria, the provincial capital of British Columbia, and liked it immediately.  



It is home to a number of renowned sites I did not see during my brief stay;  Butchart Gardens, Craigdarroch Castle, Royal BC Museum are but a few. Nor did I see any double-decker buses, street performers or whales. Such is the result of a wintertime visit.


But what I saw I liked very much. An attractive and manageable downtown, the enchanting Beacon Hill Park, and miles of waterfront walking offering a variety of splendid views. And as you may know, I am an out-and-out pushover for views.










This invariably leads to fantasies of living someplace where such vistas can be enjoyed daily. And, in fact, I am blessed with a temporary situation that offers something of the sort (see previous Chemainus blogs). But the reality is that if one were to move to a city like Victoria, the only affordable housing would not be anywhere near what attracted one in the first place. (Besides which, Victoria does not offer enough work in my field to even consider living there.) So I put fantasies aside, and enjoyed the city as a nice place to explore. I want to return with Katharine for a real holiday sometime.


But this “view thing” looms as an unfulfilled yearning. From our apartment in Toronto we can see a few nice trees, but neither the city skyline nor Lake Ontario. Both pale in comparison to the Olympic mountains visible from some Victoria areas, of course, but we can’t even see sunsets from our place. And I fear that ever-tougher economic times ahead will only mean less attractive surroundings, rather than the heart-lifting scenic landscape I have been craving for years.


I guess that’s why some of us travel. Or desire to. 


Why God Laughs and Weeps

1 December 2007

What to say about this Muhammad teddy bear story? Not that the history of Christianity doesn’t reel with such bloody ignominies as the Inquisition, Salem witch trials, and Ku Klux Klan lynchings. And the modern-day Christian Right has had more than a few problems with over-reaction, but rarely (abortionists aside) are there calls for someone’s actual execution.

I suspect the god of any religion can survive cartoons. (Thor has his own comic book, and thunder doesn’t seem in danger of disappearing.) I wouldn’t name my stuffed animals Moses or Jesus, but those who do are more likely to choose such names in tribute than as a scheme to undermine an entire religion.

Other conspiracy theorists are amateurs compared to these anti-Western prophet protectors. Look, I’m not trying to be the target of a fatwa, but if there’s one thing I am intolerant of, it’s intolerance. Being stubborn does not make one correct any more than screaming one’s beliefs makes them credible—and that goes for Christian zealots, Muslim hard-liners, Quebec Separatists, and sports team fanatics.

Absolutes in the dogma of any person, group, sect or movement; the rejection of compromise even as an idea; defending myopia as morality, bigotry as faith and bloodlust as righteousness—nothing so surely attests to our flawed and inadequate evolution as rational beings.

Fundamentalism. Pfui.