Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Farewell to a Gentleman ...

Today Canada LOST an entertainment Icon ... one that we've all seen in tv, movies, and on stage ... Jan Rubes began his career as an opera singer and along the way has appeared in over 40 different films, dozens of Televisions shows from McGyver to King of Kensington, and has taught at University of Windsor, was writer in residence at Wilfred Laurier, AND has won an armful of awards and recognition for his abilities ...

His soft Czech accent set marked him as a distinctive presence on stage and screen, including the role of the Amish Grandfather in Harrison Ford's film Witness.

Today at the tender age of 89, Jan passed away, drawing to a close a long and very distinguished career ... today we've lost a True Canadian entertainment Icon.

Jan is survived by his wife of over 60 years, two sons and three grandchildren ... and a legacy of entertainment ... rest in peace Mr Rubes!

The CBC story is here -"Opera singer and actor Jan Rubes dies at 89"

Telling it like it is ...

In his book "The Silent Fifties" author (and actor) Roger Bown observes:
"These people own the world!" Harold declared. "They always have and they always will! That's why there's no hope for the human race!"

"You've got to keep trying," Arthur said earnestly.

"Don't you get it?" Harold replied in anger and frustration, "People like Swinton, Pomeroy and Nixon and Stalin are the experts, the professionals! They love power, and they work on it twenty-four hours a day! An amateur can no more compete with them then he could with a brain surgeon or an opera star!"

"I thought stupidity rose to the top!" Livia exclaimed.

"A differnt kind! God, I wish I'd stayed home today."

People who love power are the experts, and they will stop at nothing to grab it, hold it and maintain it ... they are found in every bureacracy, every agency, every company, every government, and even throughout the Church ... fortunately, there continue to be those who see their lust for power, no matter how insignificant that power may be, and in time Truth WILL prevail ... it is THAT understanding that breath hope into the social movements of our world, and that tell us that those who lust for power, even if it is in a small town, will one day fall flat on their faces ...

I LOVE the stupidity rose to the top quip though - BRILLIANT !!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Remembering ...

Forty one years ago this morning,
Constable Samuel Ankenmann
of the Ontario Provincial Police
paid the ultimate sacrifce in service
to the people of Ontario
when he died on duty ...
... today 41 years later, his name is etched on no less than
three memorials in Canada ... one in Ottawa,
one in Toronto, and one in the OPP Headquarters in Orillia.
we are reminded that the fallen officers
Heroes in life
not death.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Saying Good Bye to Icons ...

Growing up in the 70's,
THIS was the Farrah we ALL knew and loved.

And of course, lost in the shuffle,
Johnny's sidekick and straight man
has left this mortal coil at the tender age of 86.
Ed was a brilliant straight man,
and because he stood beside on the brightest,
his comic timing was often over looked.
Thanks to video his legacy lives on ...
"you ARE correct SIR !!"

Love him of hate him,
you couldn't ignore him.
May Michael finally find the peace he struggled for in life.

Bye Michael ...

He was a strange and fascinating individual ... his music was ubiquitous and at times amazing ... his personal life was farcical ... he was a human being in deep pain that perhaps he didn't fully appreciate ...

I will never confess to being a fan, but yet I know the words to ALMOST all his bloody songs ... musically he WAS a GENIUS and paralleled in his talent.

He truly will be missed ... and may he rest in peace ...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Garden Update ...

The Lilac border

Cabbage and radishes

Potato Plant
... and the view last week ...

... stay tuned, today is weeding and re-planting day!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

120 ...

Corporal Martin Dube aged 35
became the 120th Canadian Soldier to die in Afghanistan
when the IED he was working disarm exploded,
killing him and severely wounding an Afghani police officer.
Thoughts and prayers for Cpl Dube's
comrades, his family and friends,
and for the police officer.
Lest we forget

Friday, June 12, 2009

God Doesn't Hate Goths revisited yet again ...

It's funny - in a very very sad way - I get criticized by those "righteous voices" within the Church who don't want things to be pushed and changed, for being too opinionated and outspoken, and yet from the world outside the Church, I am frequently praised and thanked for being opinionated and outspoken ... It causes me pause, and makes me wonder who is being faithful in all of this?
Those who defend the Church and want it to stay the same without the stress of change and upheaval, or those who stand outside the Church calling to for something spiritual, and yearning for something more ... I will not even suggest and answer to that question, lest I bring down the wrath of "God's Annointed Ones" yet again ... I'll leave the judgement up to my readers and to our God ... AND I will continue to speak my mind and push at the boundaries and I WILL CONTINUE TO CHALLENGE THE CHURCH TO BE MORE THAN IT IS !!
Today I found yet another comment posted on the original God Doesn't Hate Anybody posting from 2007, that helps to underscore the importance of the medium and the message I convey in this place:
Thank you for writing what you did. its good to know someone out there is accepting towards goths. i consider myself goth even though, no, i do not wear black all the time. not all goths do-contrary to popular belief-just as not all goths are depressed. often they just look at things differently than most people. as for the belief that all goths are atheists ( im not even quite sure what that means :I ) i was raised christian, mant goths are christians are goths, or vis-versa, as well as other religions. however, sites like GODHATESGOTHS just turn more people away from the lord. i was. at an early age i was a very strong believer in christ. later, after seeing how mant of faith rejected lifestyles such as mine and my friends, i began to lose faith in god. so i think your site is very good for those who believe they will only face rejection from god and chruch. thank you and keep writing! :)

My latest contribution to the Wheat City Journal ...

I wanted to call this column - "When the bread for a PB & J sandwich becomes a luxury item ..." But it was instead given the title - "Manitobans really are poverty stricken according to statistics." which is not really what I said ... but whatever ...
For your reading "pleasure" - my latest column in Brandon's weekly newspaper - The Wheat City Journal - click here read it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A word from our readers ...

In response to my posting on the Anniversary of my ordination, I found the following comment:

"Sadly in the Church today, many of those in leadership positions believe they are doing the will of God, and can not, and will NOT open their eyes to the possibility that they have been simply, utterly and breath-takingly WRONG !!!"

To my anonymous reader - Thank you ...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A reminder to JUST love your kids ...

This JUST breaks my heart ... On Sunday night a 12 year old boy was doing what almost every 12 year old boy has done since the bicycle was invented: he was jumping ramps and doing various stunts in his driveway and yard ... unfortunately, this young man fell, struck his head and died ...
Tonight I am thankful that a similar happening in Noahkila's life this weekend ended only with a broken nose and some scrapes and bruises ...
In the meantime, this young man's tragic death is a reminder to wear helmets when riding a bike ...


Hey Ms Raitt, cancer has touched my life too ... I have dear friends who have underwent treatment for cancer, I've had family members under go treatment, I've buried people I've cared about who succumbed to cancer ... your tearful apology is spin doctoring at its absolute WORST!!!!

Yes, we feel sorry for you for your losses, and we understand completely that those loses have been devestating and have hurt - but seriously, your comment was insensitive and stupid AND was a clear indicator of nothing more than your political ambition ...

The CTV story is here

While I for one appreciate your tearful apology to people touched by cancer, it still isn't enough ... stand before the People of Canada and our Prime Minister and do the right thing - RESIGN !!!!

You are an embarassment and your apology is mere diversion, it's time to step aside.

Meanwhile Three Cheers for the opposition parties for hammering on the issue - the scandalous shortage of isotopes and the off-handed way in which the Government has dealt with it is unacceptable ... and NOW the Conservatives are trying to blame the previous Liberal Government for the problems ... hmm ...

Come on Mr Harper ... deal with this crisis and stop trying to blame everyone but your Government ...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

God doesn't hate Goths ...

Periodically people stop by here after having been directed to my blog from the website that erroneously claims God hates Goths ... fortunately, they take time to read my feelings and thoughts and from time to time they leave their response.

It is something I always appreciate.

Today I found the following comment posted in response to my posting from January 2007:

its good someone is speeking out against the "god hates goths" website. whoever wrote it seems to have no respect for anyone throughout the whole article and i felt exstremely sick when i read the website. reading this article has made me feel a whole lot better

To read the original post click here: God DOESN'T Hate Goths.

Is Lisa Raitt, the Canadian Sarah Palin ???

Listening to CBC this afternoon and hearing one of the political
pundits comment on the perspective of the Harper Government
on Ms Raitt, the thought occured to me
that Ms Raitt is Canada's Sarah Pallin:
both women are relatively young and reasonably attractive,
both are very politically ambitious,
both have been tapped as possible leadership candidates,
BUT even more frightening
BOTH have shown breath-takingly bad judgement
bordering on outright stupidity in thier
respective political offices.
Come on Mr Harper - do yourself and Canadians a favour,
accept Ms Raitt's resignation that she gave you last week !!!!
The world only needs ONE Sarah Pallin!!
(and even ONE is too much)

Hey Mr Harper!!

Okay ... let's get this straight ... Prime Minister Harper is rebuffing calls for Ms Raitt's resignation from ALL three opposition parties by calling their actions "Cheap Politics."

Read the CTV.ca news item by clicking here.

He's even sent out the minions to defend Ms Raitt's comments by saying "they were taken out of context."

What part of a shortage of medically necessary isotopes for cancer surgery being SEXY is being taken out of context???

Does the context that it was an unguarded candid conversation make it OK??

Does the context that Ms Raitt was just speaking her mind in what was a behind closed doors setting, and expressing her political ambitions at the expense of Canadians needing treatment suddenly acceptable??

I dunno Mr Harper, but the hole you and Ms Raitt are digging here just keeps getting deeper and deeper ... your attempts at diverting the issue, and muddy-ing the waters by trying to do some political spin are seeming more and more feeble and pathetic ...

As you stand in the House of Commons and accuse your fellow parlimentarians of "Cheap Politics" I can't help but think of what my late Grandfather used to say to us when we called one another names. Grandpa would quietly say - "when you call someone else a name, or call them down, just remember that there are three fingers pointing back at yourself ..."

Damned Mr Harper ... cheap attack ads ... bullying behaviour ... frivilous law suits ... I wonder who is practising cheap politics ...

Oh, and for the record Mr Harper, I have no problem with the tempest in a tea cup about Mr Baird dropping the F-bomb about the GTA ... atleast the F-bomb has a parlimentary tradition with Mr Trudeau ... but the ineptitude exhibited by Ms Raitt and her staff can not and must not be waved off with accusations against your Loyal Opposition ...

Cheap Politics Mr Harper ??

Look at your extended index finger of accusation and consider where the other three fingers are pointing ... then ask yourself who is really practising cheap politics ...

Mr Harper, me thinks the Prime Minister doth protest too much !!!!

My Backyard in the Rain ...

The weather may be grey and dreary ... but even in the midst of a rain shower, there is great beauty to be enjoyed:

WHY is this Woman still in Office ????

Let's see - to recap recent events ...

Ms Raitt's assistant left sensitive papers behind and resigned.

Then it turns out that this same assistant left behind a tape recorder some months ago with a conversation between her and Minister Raitt. When the tape recorder resurfaces, this now unemployed young woman launches what may be an expensive law suit to prevent the contents of the tape from being made public through the media ...

The lawsuit is unsuccessful and we now have heard Ms Raitt questioning the competence of a fellow cabinet minister AND as if that wasn't bad enough, we hear Ms Raitt call the shortage of medical isotopes in Canada a "sexy" issue that would presumably help her political career ...

Today I did a bit of an online search about Ms. Raitt, who won her seat after a rather nasty campaign against former Conservative turned Liberal Garth Turner and discovered a few things:

From Wikipedia there is the following entry:

"S.L.A.P.P. controversy - In 2006, Raitt in her capacity as CEO of Toronto Port Authority, initiated a rare political libel action against a citizen group, Community Air, that had criticized her. The Globe and Mail described TPA's multi-million dollar strategic lawsuit against public participation, as designed to prevent "the volunteer activists from making any more allegedly defamatory statements about the federal agency -- a category of speech, according to the wide-open statement of claim the authority filed in court last week, that would seem to include every public statement any of the activists has ever made in this hotly contested, thoroughly aired, public debate". The suit was eventually settled out of court when Community Air agreed to retract its statements and apologize."

I also learned that Raitt went on record saying that melting polar ice caps in the north would be good for tourism in the arctic, AND NOW the NDP are asking for a review of her spending in her position as President and CEO of the Toronto Port Authority - her expense account exceeding 80 000 dollars for (among many things) hospitality expenses !!!!

Is it just me - or is Mr Harper ignoring the BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS ????

Stephen Harper!!!!
Lisa Raitt HAS to GO !!!!

Ask for an accept her resignation, then have the courage to stand before the House of Commons and take your licks for this silliness ... don't try to spin it as a Liberal-NDP conspiracy ... don't try to blame Mr Ignatieff ... and don't try to pretend that ANY of THIS is OK !!!

AND PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE - don't resort to the courts to pretend this didn't happen by suing folks or slander or libel ...

Come on Mr Harper - use that iron fist of yours to do the right and moral thing !!!

119 ...

Pte. Alexandre Peloquin,
aged 20
serving with the the 3e Battalion,
Royal 22e Regiment,
based at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier Quebec.
Lest We Forget

Monday, June 08, 2009

Too CUTE for Words:

It's like having
our own living breathing
webkinz !!!

Rest in PEACE !!!

Can't we PLEASE just remember David Carradine for the body of work he left behind, instead of how he left it behind????

I prefer to dwell on the details of the man's life, rather than obsess over the details of his death ... Rest in Peace Mr Carradine - I for one, was ALWAYS impressed with your acting ability, and I will miss you !!

What Noahkila did this weekend ...

Yup ... he smacked up his face "real good".

Trying to jump a ramp, Noahkila did a face plant over the handlebars of his bicycle, and in addition to the scrapes, scratches and bruises you can see here, he BROKE his nose!!!

After almost four hours in emerg, he was sent home ... not much they can do ... he NOW has a slightly off-centre nose like his old man's !!!

Guess it means he's officially a member of the Family NOW !!!

Hmmm ...

The pictures you find when you leave your camera unattended ...

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Happy Anniversary ???

16 years ago today, I knelt before the assembled congregation of London Conference of the United Church of Canada and was ordained to a ministry of Word, Sacrament and Pastoral Care ... I rose from my knees with the honourific title of Reverend amended to my name ...

16 years on, and I am no longer welcomed in the United Church of Canada ... my ministry has been driven out by lies, half-truths, gossip and cowardice ... the powers that be found it expedient and prudent to remove me rather than deal with the real issues ...

Today, I remain in Ministry to the Church - not the United Church, they've rolled up the welcome mat and beaten me with it ... I love the UCC with all of my being ... but the feelings are far from mutual ...

Today I am, for the first time in several years proud and comfortable to call myself Reverend Shawn again ... I've learned that God truly does work in mysterious and wondrous ways despite the best efforts of those who have appointed themselves guardians of God's way to the contrary ... as Desmond Tutu noted once - "our God will NOT be mocked ..."

Sadly in the Church today, many of those in leadership positions believe they are doing the will of God, and can not, and will NOT open their eyes to the possibility that they have been simply, utterly and breath-takingly WRONG !!!

Such behaviour makes a mockery out of God and God's presence in the world ... and like the man says - "Our God will not be mocked !!!"

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

My Backyard ...

My garden is coming along nicely,
the radishes are growing rapidly,
and sprouts have been sighted in the rows of:
peas, carrots, beets, lettuce and spinach !!!
Though they are now fading,
the white hawthorn blossoms were both
beautiful and fragrant
while I was planting my garden.
The lilac hedge that borders the north side of my yard
is almost ready to BLOOM!!!
And drooping over the fence on the south is an ancient
apple tree that is absolutely COVERED
in white blossoms !!