Monday, March 30, 2009

Today, I'm especially proud to be Canadian

I drove to Eganville today, to attend a wake for the father of a friend/former co-worker. The World War II veteran's coffin is partially draped in a Canadian flag, and he is dressed in his Legion uniform, with his service medals proudly displayed on his chest, over his heart.
I did not know Mr. McMaster, but I think he would be as proud as I am, with something that I witnessed on the way to Eganville.
Along the last five or six overpasses headed west on Highway 417 were fire trucks, all flying Canadian flags. I also saw several clusters of police cars parked along the shoulder of the eastbound side of the highway. Then I noticed two military buses headed towards Ottawa, and finally, a short convoy of maybe eight vehicles, obviously carrying the body of a Canadian soldier to his burial at the National Military Cemetery in Ottawa.
All of that prompted my Canadian pride. While the U.S. is still grappling with whether to announce military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, Canada is characteristically low key and classy in acknowleding those deaths, and honouring the 115 servicemen and one servicewoman who have died in Afghanistan since 2002.
I didn't know what to do. I wanted to pull over and wait for the convoy that I anticipated would be coming, but didn't want to create a hazard. So I simply saluted the convoy as we passed each other, remembering how I was taught to salute as an Air Cadet, about 38 years ago.
On my way home, I saw those two buses again, this time headed in the opposite direction, confirming my suspicion that they are from CFB Petawawa, headed home after the ceremony at the cemetery.
The fire trucks and police vehicles were the Highway 417 version of the tribute paid on Highway 401's Highway of Heroes, as the bodies of those who sacrificed their lives are brought from Trenton to Toronto.
Indeed, today, I'm especially proud to be Canadian.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Indulge me for a minute here, will ya?

I've been out of broadcasting for three weeks now, and haven't had the opportunity to bitch about things I hear on-air. So just let me get this out of my system, please. Thanks ever so much.

The words POLICE and COLLAPSE each have two syllables, not one. DETROIT has two, not three (It's dee-TROYT, not dee-TROY-IT). CANADA has three syllables, not two (stop omitting the DA at the end of that word).

I could go on, but I won't. I feel much better already. Thank you for your time.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Prettiest picture ever of Coffee, the Prettiest Cat Ever

This beautiful creature never fails to keep me amused, and throws in the odd surprise once in a while, too.
One thing she has never done -- until now -- is to bring me any of her toys. I will throw a ball or a mouse around and she'll beat it up and leave it for me to throw again, but she has never brought a toy to me.
I had human company this week that included a three-month-old baby. On Monday night, Teigen was in his little chair on the living room floor, and I was sitting on the floor having a great discussion with him, about what a great gig being a baby is. Coffee had checked him out a few times, just looking at him in his chair and then walking away, very arrogant cat-style. Then as Teigen and I were in the middle of our conversation, Coffee walked up to me, bumped me with her head, and dropped a mouse on the floor beside me.
I got the message loud and clear: "He's okay, Daddy, but enough about him. It's time to pay attention to moi."
I also brought Coffee to the vet for her annual check-up and needle today. She's in top health. But it was traumatic for her. She wouldn't let me put her in her pet carrier, so I carried her. She meowed all the way to the vet's (less than a five-minute drive), and was on needles and pins until I brought her back into our house.
This is my first experience with cat ownership, and after 15 months, I'm still amazed by this beautiful creature.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I'm getting by with a little help from my friends

I'm a bit emotional right now. You see, I was laid off yesterday, along with 34 other employees of 'A' Ottawa & The Valley. Our jobs were terminated effective immediately.
I'll be fine. I have a very generous severance package that eases the urgency to find another job, so I have time to make contacts, investigate leads and hopefully find something sooner rather than later. I also hope it's something in broadcasting and/or journalism, because that's all that I've done for the last 30 years, and can't imagine doing anything else.
I am truly overwhelmed by all the messages I've received on facebook over the past 36 hours, all expressing sympathy and hope. And even though it's not out there in black and white, they each express friendship. That is probably what is most important right now. There are no words to explain how deeply that touches me. So "thank you" will have to suffice.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

For the sake of the animals

A couple of my blog friends have posts dealing with animals they've encountered this weekend, from yet another puppy mill in Quebec being shut down. Check them out at and . Nat and Shawn (a.k.a. Misster Kitty) are among those with kind souls who really care for these animals, and volunteer their time just to give them the unconditional love that dogs are supposed to be giving to humans.
At work today, we had a story about a five-legged boxer mix named Logan, who needs amputation surgery, because legs #4 and 5 are fused together and useless. Check it out at . It also has a link to Hopeful Hearts, the group that specializes in rescuing and finding homes for senior and special needs dogs. God bless Roz Phelps and her group, too.
Every time I see stories like Logan's or the dogs that Nat and Kitty work with, I want to adopt them all.
I just hope that adopting my Coffee, The Prettiest Cat Ever is enough. And as much as I would like to have a playmate for her, I don't think that's a good idea.