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Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Expat Shopping by Expat
The first time that I went grocery shopping in the US, I felt very much like a fish out of water. Milk was no longer in cartons, Kraft Dinner was no longer Kraft Dinner, and there were aisles upon aisles of beer, wine, and other spirits (in the grocery store!). I still remember the shock of learning that one could buy both firearms and beer in a single Wal-mart shopping spree.
It was, therefore with much glee that I read of US expat, Kelly Garriott Waite's, initial trip for groceries in Canada:
The cashier is friendly. "Did you find everything you were looking for today?" she says with a bright smile. Should I ask her?
"Well, I couldn't find where you keep the beer."
"Beer?" she asks, confusion all over her face.
Do they call it something different up here? What's the French word for beer again?
"Yes, beer, I say. You know, the drink."
"I know what beer is. You can't buy it at the grocery store. You have to buy it at the beer store."
"You're kidding," I say.
"No," she says, beginning to pass my groceries across the scanner belt. "I'm totally serious. You new here?"
I don't bother with explanations. "What's the name of this beer store?" I ask.
"The Beer Store," she replies. A clear "duh" tone in her voice.
You can read the entire article here, Comparison Shopping in Canada. It is definitely worth the read and offers quite a chuckle for those who have found themselves in a similar position.
"Reel it in," yelled my husband, enthusiastically. "You can do it! Use your muscles."
The fish on the other end of the line jerked me forward. I was unsure that I was ready for this battle. The heat from the sun bore down on me. I could feel the back of my neck and shoulders smolder under the blazing inferno.
Someone in the boat grabbed a leather belt and fastened it around my waist. "Put the end of the pole into that anchor on the belt to keep it steady," I was told. Concerned that I was going to either end up in the Gulf of Mexico myself or lose the entire rod to the sea, I complied. At this moment I was not concerned about how I looked. Besides, the added support of the belt helped to ease the pinching that I felt on my hands.
The humidity in the air and the smell and taste of salt made it difficult to breathe. The sensation of my flesh burning under the unrelenting sun was beyond uncomfortable. The sound of the waves crashing against the offshore oil platforms was a constant reminder of the fact that we had been on the water for the last three hours, drinking Gatorade, far far away from the nearest lavatory. Yet, I was not about to give up. Being the only woman on that fishing trip, I had to reel in this fish. I had to prove that I was "one of the boys". Steel entered my soul and I strengthened by resolve to win this battle.
Fifteen more minutes playing tug of war, and I had a shark in my hands. The previous day, I had boasted to my husband that I was going to catch a shark on my first deep sea fishing adventure. Holding the shark though, I felt sorry for him. He had so much potential. At nearly three feet in length, it was clear that he was no where near full grown.* I held the shark while my husband's uncle removed the hook from his mouth. Deciding that he was best to live out the rest of his days in the Gulf, we held the shark under water until he figured out his bearing and swam away.
After few more catches, we decided that it was best to head back to shore. The wind and the ocean spray felt so refreshing against our roasted flesh. We pulled into the marina and walked the short distance to my husband's family's vacation home, nicking the soles of our feet on the sea shells that comprised the road.
That evening, we cleaned and fried our day's harvest from the sea. It was the first time that I had ever eaten fresh shrimp, which we had purchased directly off of one of the local shrimp boats. The shrimp had been rubbed in a mysterious black powder that packed a delicious punch. Nobody remembered what the powder was called, just that it had lived in an unlabeled bucket in the storage space beneath the stilted house for at least the last seven years. Always the gentleman, my husband ensured that I was properly schooled in the fine art of shrimp shelling. When it became clear that my Canadian roots put me at a severe disadvantage against the more experienced shellers, he shelled some additional shrimp and added them to my plate.
This morning at 6:10 am CDT, the eye of hurricane Katrina hit near Grand Isle. I don't suppose that much is left of the stilted house, the marina, or the island itself. We have not heard word from our relatives, but are certain that the evacuated the island.
* Like all great fishing stories, the shark is bigger today than he was when I caught him. My family may remember that he used to be two and a half feet long. ;)
A satelite picture of the small island.
Click the image to enlarge.
August 30th Update: We finally got in contact with the in laws. They had evacuated the island and are fine. They heard word that at least 75% of the island has been severely damaged, as is the only bridge to get there. At least they are safe. Property can always be replaced; people can't.
Two articles. Both are written in response to American Ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins' comments regarding Canada's "emotional tirades" when it comes to the softwood lumber dispute. Those comments can be found here, US to Canada: Trade "Tirades" Unproductive.
"I respect Ambassador Wilkins, but I found his comments a little hypocritical," [David Emerson, Industry Minister,] told reporters as he entered a federal Liberal cabinet meeting.
The Minister, a former CEO of a forestry company, said his experience during five years of negotiations was that the U.S. uses "punitive duties and whatever aggressive actions they can take to force us to come to our knees in a dispute where legal rulings have shown time after time that we are in the right."
Mr. Martin told reporters after the meeting that he backed the tough position taken by Mr. Emerson and other ministers.
"It's not emotional to state the facts," he said, "and the facts are that when you sign an agreement you should live up to its terms."
Mr. Martin declined to lower the volume of the war of words, rejecting suggestions that some of his ministers' language may have gone too far and hurt chances of resolving the dispute.
"No," he said. "What the ministers have done is to simply outline the options, and they outlined them in as dispassionate, but as comprehensive way as they could. And they should have."
The second article is from the Toronto Star. Its original headline reads Liberals Take Aim at US Bullies, but NealeNews' headline for the article is far more apt of the sentiment:
Isn't it interesting that anytime the government takes a tough position against the United States, it is met with cries of "anti-Americanism" rather than a rallying cry of "pro-Canadianism".
Will the day ever come when "pro-Canadian" and "anti-American" are no longer used as synonyms of one another?
Living abroad, one sometimes assumes the characteristics of their adoptive land. For instance, more and more I catch myself pronouncing words slightly differently ("dawg" rather than "dog") and am not nearly as polite nor as patient as I used to be. (Whether that is an affect of "Americanization" or just getting old and crotchety, I am not sure. More than likely, it is the latter.)
As such, I found the "How to Tell if You are Canadian" list to be an interesting refresher course in our home and native land. There are several points that I don't necessarily agree with, but overall it is apt.
Canadians are renowned for doing some odd things to french fries. We love our poutine, our poutsino, and our fries supreme.
It is, therefore, with great reluctance, that I announce that Chicago's Max's Famous Italian Beef has us beat with their freedom french fry, cheddar cheese, giardiniera, gravy, barbecue sauce, and raw onion concoction.
Today I learned why bilingualism is important to Canadians* - even to expat Canadians. Without an understanding of both official languages, Anglophones are left in the dark when it comes to radio pranks like the following:
Two popular Quebec radio hosts have interviewed Karla Homolka and her lawyer Sylvie Bordelais in a remarkable prank phone call to be aired today.
CKOI hosts Sebastien Trudel, 24, and Marc-Antoine Audette, 25 -- known to their listeners as the "Masked Avengers" -- called Bordelais yesterday posing as Quebec's justice minister and his assistant.
The "assistant" told Bordelais the "minister" wanted to make a statement on the case today and needed to clear up some issues with Homolka and Bordelais.
The lawyer then contacted Homolka and set up a conference call with Trudel and Audette.
It will be interesting to see just how rocky my French has become since my university days. :p
* Disclaimer: This post does not, in anyway, imply that bilingualism is only important in matters of prank calls, nor does it show support for those who wish to prank call Homolka or her lawyer. Stay in school kids. Learn your French (or English - whichever applies). The telephone is not a toy.
The yellow light on the dashboard lit up, signifying that the car was thirsty. Pulling into the gas station, I felt the pain as my pocketbook recoiled in fear. Gas was an incredible $2.71 a gallon for the good stuff (71.6¢ a litre for our Canadian readers!). I thought that was excessive.
This morning when I logged on to Canada.com and saw the chart to the right. Gas prices are astronomical in the Nukland! (Note the cent symbol buffoonery. See how they are trying to fool Canucks into thinking that they are paying mere pennies rather than solid dollars? Sneaky sneaky!).
A quick bit of math wizardry reveals that the good folks in Montreal are paying $3.97 a gallon for regular. Wow.
Canadian Expatriates would like to thank all of the visitors who have made the following announcement possible! :)
My apologies for the broken image links. Certain items such as smilies, the tag board's external css, and miscellaneous images are hosted through Ripway and it would appear that Canadian Expatriates has blown through its transfer allowance and downloads from the account have been temporarily locked since early yesterday afternoon.
Things should be restored sometime today. I suppose that it is time to research other options for hosting.
Cheap and reliable is always good! I love double coupon day. ;) LOL
According to Karla Homolka, the burden of responsibility for the rapes and murders of her sister Tammy, Leslie Mahaffy, and Kristen French falls directly on the police.
In her allegations against Ontario authorities, Homolka asserted that if police had not "f----- up" the Scarborough Rapist probe into her ex-husband Paul Bernardo, the pair's three victims would be alive.
"They f----- up royally. If they had of done their job, nobody would have been killed -- nobody!" she said.
"They didn't do their job. They had the DNA a year before anybody was murdered -- a year! They didn't test it! They had him. They f----- up! They f----- up big time!"
She goes on to blame her current situation on the media, politicians, and "crazy" Ontarians. The concept of "personal responsibility" is clearly beyond the reach of her tenuous train of thought.
The entire article can be found here, Spitting Venom. It is nothing short of a walk down Delusion Drive as Homolka tries to garner support from Quebec's separatists in her "Blame Canada" campaign.
Another article, Karla Out of Line, provides some details regarding Homolka's life since her release, as well as a picture since her incognito make-over. The article includes an interview with her boss who reveals that she is breaking several of the court-imposed release conditions.
For being someone who wants to be low key and blend into society, Homolka certainly is making some odd choices. Then again, her decisions to be so outspoken and aid her criminal pals is not directly her fault either. More than likely, the police, the media, politicians, and "crazy" Ontarians are to blame for that as well.
"Would you like a Coke?", asked the then-future-husband-guy.
"Sure!" I responded, never one to turn down a glass of the sweet stuff.
Rather than continuing on his way with his beverage mission, he asked"What kind?".
At that exact instant, I realized that we had encountered a cultural divide - one that could never be overcome. No amount of counseling could ease our differences when it came to the great "pop" vs. "soda" vs. "Coke" debate. Could we work through this? Would it be something that haunted us for the rest of our lives?
Little did we know that this conflict within our small cosmos, was representative of the same conflict that affects North America at large. In fact, this linguistic battle is being playing out on the internet right now and you can get involved! Just go to The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy and enter in your information to plot your point on the map. Thus far, it would appear that the term "Coke" is popular south of the Mason-Dixon line, while "pop" rules the Midwest and Canada, and "soda" is the term of choice in California and the Northeast.
As for the Expat household, how did we solve this linguistic problem? We limited ourselves to buying Coca Cola's many incarnations - Classic, Diet, Diet with Splenda, Zero, Vanilla, Lime, Cherry, Lemon, Caffeine Free, etc.
Benchmarking consists of using a GPS device to search for geodetic control points. These points are permanently affixed objects that enable land surveying, civil engineering, and mapping to be done efficiently. The objects are generally metal disks and denote either vertical or horizontal control.
Fascinated by all of this? You should be! ;)
The following are some of the pictures from this weekend's benchmarking adventures. Together, they comprise the Illinois Virtual Reality Tour: More than Just Chicago (Now with added corn!). If you love corn, you are in for a real treat!
As I was taking a picture of the witness a post to a nearby benchmark, this equine witness came by to ham it up for the camera. She was a remarkably friendly horse. In fact, I think that she wanted to follow me home. Can I keep her?
In case you didn't know, there is a whole lot of corn in Illinois.
A whole lot of corn.
Even in death, Illinois residents are swallowed by the corn, giving credence to the old saying, "There is no escaping death and corn in Illinois". (Yes, that is a cemetary amidst the corn!)
Of course, no tour of Illinois is complete without the compulsory Abe Lincoln money shot:
If you love corn and loved this post, stay tuned for the official Illinois corn wallpapers, screen savers, and AOL buddy icons. ;)
According to [Radar magazine], Canucks are giant steps ahead of Americans in adopting the latest personal care product: luxury toilet paper. Will Miller, a commentator at Indiana's Purdue University, attributes the trend to a desire for stress relief. "Time in the bathroom is sometimes, for a harried person, the only relaxation that they get," he says. Haute bathroom tissue is one of the more practical ways a person can indulge in the luxury market. "If you can't buy a Mercedes," Mr. Miller says, "then, by God, you can get good toilet paper."
Not only are we expats deprived of Tim Hortons, we are also without luxury toilet paper. Think of us with our chafing as you indulge. :p
Expat Exclusive: The Elite Canadian Forces Revealed by Expat
In the wake of yesterday's revelation regarding Canada's action plan for Operation: US Annexation, an anonymous source emailed the following list of notable Canadians to the editors of this blog. Some research into the list revealed that the Canucks named were, indeed, past and present members of the Elite Canadian Forces.
Guarding ourselves against "pulling a Rove" we, at Canadian Expatriates, have encryptically reproduced this list so that the Expat Forces can access it without the information falling into the wrong hands. Amazingly, this very same list was published with the headline 135 Reasons Why It's Great to be Canadian in the Vancouver Sun (code name: "Turd Blossom, Inc") in 2002.
HINT: To decipher the list, click the "+" symbol below.
BRYAN ADAMS: Canadians are a forgiving bunch, so who cares if Adams twice forgot the words to our national anthem in public. He's still an international superstar and supporter of Canadian culture.
PAMELA ANDERSON: For her acting roles, she has been known as everything from the Blue Zone girl to the Tool Time girl to C.J. Parker on the international series Baywatch. And the girl from Vancouver Island has been on the cover of Playboy five times -- more than any other woman in history.
PAUL ANKA: Let's all croon together, D-i-a-n-a. So how did a good Lebanese-Canadian boy from Ottawa become a `50s teen singing idol? Let's just say he did it his way.
JUSTICE LOUISE ARBOUR: As chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, Arbour issued the charge of crimes against humanity against Slobodan Milosevic, "The Butcher of the Balkans,'' who was handed over to the UN war crimes tribunal.
MARGARET ATWOOD: The reigning queen of CanLit, she is the phantom featured guest at many a women's book club. Her works include The Edible Woman, The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye and Alias Grace.
DAN AYKROYD: This Saturday Night Live alum and actor, along with the late John Belushi, were the Blues Brothers in an unforgettable flick that became a cult classic.
GEOFFREY BALLARD: The Burnaby-based scientist behind pioneering work in fuel cell technology was named by Time magazine as a Hero for the Planet.
SIR FREDERICK BANTING and CHARLES BEST: One of Canada's most famous duos, they discovered insulin in the early 1920s and Banting was a co-winner of the 1923 Nobel Prize, sharing his half of the prize money with Best.
BARENAKED LADIES: Once banned from performing by former Toronto mayor Barbara Hall, these band members, none of whom are ladies, sing fully clothed about everyday things like Kraft Dinner and McDonalds. They released several independent cassette tapes before hitting it big with a 1991 self-titled tape, the first independent release to reach the Top 20 and go platinum in Canada.
ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL: The inventor of the telephone. For more information, press 1.
W.A.C. BENNETT: For two decades and seven elections, Bennett ruled B.C., spanned rivers with bridges, paved roads and set sail the ferries.
PIERRE BERTON: Who says Canadian history is dull? Berton makes us look downright dashing. His first book, Klondike, was published in 1958.
NORMAN BETHUNE: Surgeon, inventor and communist, Bethune invented surgical instruments, devoted himself to the victims of tuberculosis, set up the world's first mobile blood transfusion system during the Spanish Civil War, and became a hero in China, where he assisted the communist forces fending off Japanese invaders.
BILLY BISHOP: First World War flying ace who was credited with 72 victories and became the first Canadian airman to win the Victoria Cross.
CONRAD BLACK: A financier and the subject of controversy over receiving a title in the U.K., Black shook up the Canadian newspaper industry with the 1998 launch of the National Post.
ROBERTA BONDAR: A Flash Gordon wannabe, she became the first Canadian woman in space when she boarded the space shuttle Discovery in 1992.
ED BROADBENT: This colourful politician took the New Democratic Party from the fringes to the mainstream. He's since gone on to campaign for human rights around the world.
RAYMOND BURR: He played American journalist Steve Martin in Godzilla, an almost unbeatable lawyer in Perry Mason and an indomitable cop in Ironside. Then he played himself in Block Brothers commercials.
JUNE CALLWOOD: Journalist, board-sitter, panel-judger and founder of houses for a grocery list of what ails people, Callwood gets involved in issues while other journalists keep their distance.
JOE CANADIAN: Neither a lumberjack, nor a fur trader, nor, in fact, a real person, Joe Canadian was, instead, a pitchman for Molson Canadian beer. His "I am Canadian'' rant became a cultural phenomenon -- memorized, repeated, parodied and loved.
JOHN CANDY: In Hollywood films, he was the loveable slob or the loser with a heart of gold. In real life, the late actor never stopped being a Canadian.
JOE CAPILANO: In 1906, the Squamish Indian leader led a delegation of elders to England to meet King Edward VII to talk to him about this niggling little issue that was bugging aboriginals. It was called aboriginal title.
EMILY CARR: Sure, she had a monkey on her back, but it never interfered with her art. Carr became famous painting westcoast landscapes, Indian villages and totem poles.
JIM CARREY: Mr. funny guy found his calling early in life, performing in front of classmates in elementary school in Newmarket, Ont. At 19, he packed his bags for Los Angeles. He starred in Ace Ventura, Liar Liar, The Truman Show and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. He stole our hearts.
LEONARD COHEN: Poet, singer, songwriter. "Oh bless the continuous stutter/Of the word being made into flesh.'' That's vintage Cohen. Surreal, religious, obscene, comic, ecstatic, mystical, hard to understand.
STOMPIN' TOM CONNORS: This singer-songwriter has stomped his way across the land, singing about tomatoes and potatoes, truck drivers and tobacco pickers.
JEAN COULTHARD: By the time she died at age 92, Coulthard had composed more than 350 scores in all genres.
DOUGLAS COUPLAND: Author of Generation X, the defining novel of the post-baby-boom generation, he knows better than most how to describe today's lonely children of television.
GENERAL ROMEO DALLAIRE: The commander of the United Nations' peacekeeping force in Rwanda, Dallaire tried to prevent the massacre of as many as 800,000 people, but his warnings were ignored.
ROBERTSON DAVIES: An eminent man of letters, he cut a grandfatherly figure with his flowing white beard and piercing eyes. A Jungian junkie, he was famous for his trilogies and perhaps one stern bit of advice: "People who can write do, and those who don't should shut up.''
CELINE DION: Near, far, wherever you are, you can hear her. What a voice. People who know nothing else about Canada, know this Grammy-winning singer is one of ours.
UJJAL DOSANJH: When the immigrant Sikh from India's Punjab won the leadership of the B.C. NDP, he was the first premier from a visible minority to take power in any Canadian province.
TOMMY DOUGLAS: The Baptist minister led the first socialist government in Canada as premier of Saskatchewan from 1944 to 1961, and was a founder of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, which later became the New Democratic Party.
ARTHUR ERICKSON: So he's not great with money, he designed some of B.C.'s greatest buildings -- Simon Fraser University, UBC Museum of Anthropology and Robson Street Law Courts.
ROB FEENIE: If the road to happiness runs through a good restaurant, then the owner/chef of Lumiere restaurant has paved the way.
DAVID FOSTER: His work as a composer and producer is apparently not enough for the Victoria native, who after studying at Pepperdine University in the next few years, may feel educated enough to run for political office in B.C.
MICHAEL J. FOX: The boy from Burnaby made it big on the sets of Back to the Future and Spin City. Parkinson's disease has slowed some of his spinning, but he's still going strong as a powerful fundraiser for the disease.
TERRY FOX: His name has become synonymous with heroism in this country. Terry Fox Runs worldwide have raised more than $270 million for cancer research.
NORTHROP FRYE: In ivory towers everywhere, this literary critic and university professor is regarded as a man who knows a lot. But if you're looking for some light summer reading, don't pick up his Fearful Symmetry or Anatomy of Criticism.
JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH: The economist dared to question conventional wisdom, like the sacrosanct notion that unbridled capitalism is God's gift to humanity.
MARC GARNEAU: Time in space: 677 hours. Number of space flights: three. Number of orbits around the Earth: too many to count.
CHIEF DAN GEORGE: Actor, public speaker, chief of Squamish Band of Burrard Inlet. Framed by his snow-white locks, he was the Indian Hollywood loved. Little Big Man, Harry and Tonto -- he starred in these and lots more.
JOE GOSNELL: The president of the Nisga'a Tribal Council possessed a singular drive to bring a modern treaty home to his people. The Nisga'a treaty ushered in the most far-reaching form of aboriginal self-government in North America.
GLENN GOULD: The pianist revolutionized perceptions of Bach with his personal, non-academic way of playing that continues to fascinate musicians today. He was both a health nut and recluse who died at age 50, a tragic genius.
GRAHAM GREENE: He was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Dances with Wolves and he won a Grammy last year for his part in a spoken-word album for children. Oh, and he's been honoured in this country, too.
NANCY GREENE-RAINE: Canada's Female Athlete of the Century and Olympic gold medal slalom champion in 1968 now wants to turn Sun Peaks into a skiing resort.
WAYNE GRETZKY: He was perhaps the greatest hockey player ever to lace up a pair of skates, and the worst to ever appear on The Young and the Restless.
THE GROUP OF SEVEN: Landscape artists Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Franz Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald and F.H. Varley count as seven on this list. Their famous friend Tom Thomson died three years before the group was formed.
THE GUESS WHO: Winnipeg rockers Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman, Garry Peterson, Bill Wallace and Donnie McDougall hit the charts with American Woman and These Eyes. They received honorary doctorates of music from Brandon University.
PETER GZOWSKI: Er, um, ah -- What can you say about a broadcaster so beloved by his listeners that author Mordecai Richler once called him everyone's favourite uncle? His soothing, affable voice brought a nation together when he hosted CBC radio's flagship Morningside for 15 years ending in 1997.
CHRIS HANEY AND SCOTT ABBOTT: Quick, what is the tallest bridge in Canada? Over a couple of beers in Montreal, the former photographer and ex-sports writer cooked up Trivial Pursuit, a monstrously successful board game, in 1981.
RICK HANSEN: The Man in Motion rolled to fame in his wheelchair, circling the globe over two years to raise $20 million for spinal cord research, rehabilitation and wheelchair sports.
TARA SINGH HAYER: The outspoken editor of the Surrey-based Indo-Canadian Times was assassinated in November 1998, a decade after being paralysed in another attempt on his life.
PAUL HENDERSON: Moscow. September 28, 1972. Phil Esposito gets the puck behind the net. "Paul Henderson has scored for Canada.'' 'Nuff said.
BEN HEPPNER: UBC grad and world opera star who has played the world's most famous concert halls and racked up a pile of awards, including the 1998 Grammy for best opera recording.
GORDIE HOWE: From Floral, Sask., Mr. Hockey was such an amazing player, the Abbotsford school district recently decided to name a middle school after him and his wife, Colleen -- though we prefer to think of it as Elbows Elementary.
JOHN HUMPHREY: The Montreal lawyer who died in 1995 was the principal author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights -- one of the most influential documents in modern history.
BRUCE HUTCHISON: "How did one of those ink-stained wretches make the list?,'' you ask. Well, for one thing, he was an outstanding journalist and author who helped define the national identity. For another, ink-stained wretches put this list together in the first place.
DANIEL IGALI: The Canadian and B.C. Athlete of the Year, Igali won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
JOSHUA JACKSON: His character Pacey Witter may have lost Joey Potter to his arch rival Dawson Leery, but the Vancouver actor will return to Dawson's Creek this fall a better man and a high school graduate.
SIMON JACKSON: Environmentalist and teenager, he campaigned to save the habitat of the white Kermode or Spirit bear, while most kids were just trying to save their allowance.
PETER JENNINGS: Never heard of him? Here's a hint: The ABC Evening News with Peter Jennings. Born in Canada, he's been in the U.S. so long he says Zee, instead of Zed.
NORMAN JEWISON: For more than three decades, Jewison has directed and produced some of filmdom's sharpest commentaries. Unforgettable images from his films include Topol singing "If I Was a Rich Man'' in Fiddler on the Roof and Cher slapping Nicolas Cage telling him to "Snap out of it!'' in Moonstruck.
DOUGLAS JUNG: First Canadian of Chinese heritage to be elected an MP. First Chinese Canadian veteran to receive a university education under the auspices of Veteran's Affairs after the Second World War. First Chinese Canadian lawyer to appear before the B.C. Court of Appeal.
KAREN KAIN: We love her for different reasons. For her artistry, her grace, and for getting our little sisters out of the house to ballet lessons every Saturday morning.
DIANA KRALL: Sultry, swinging jazz singer and pianist, Krall grew up in Nanaimo before making it big in the U.S.
DAVID LAM: Canada's first Chinese Lieutenant-Governor may not have invented tolerance and multiculturalism, but he became the embodiment to later generations of immigrants of what could be accomplished with hard work and kindness.
K.D. LANG: The Alberta-born chanteuse chose sports over drinking, girls over boys, veggies over meat, and a successful singing career over the kind of mundane jobs the rest of us have.
SILKEN LAUMANN: Nothing to sneeze at, this Mississauga-born rower personifies grit and determination. She received a leg injury two months before the 1992 Olympics and still came back to win a bronze medal.
MARGARET LAURENCE: At age seven, she started writing stories. Beautiful stories, including The Stone Angel, A Jest of God, The Fire Dwellers, The Diviners.
JULIA LEVY: From watching tadpoles grow in her childhood basement to co-discovering photosensitizer anti-cancer drugs, scientist and QLT founder Levy has spent a lifetime trying to understand the human body's failings.
GORDON LIGHTFOOT: If you can ever get the SCTV parody out of your mind -- "Gordon Lightfoot sings every song ever recorded'' -- sit back and listen to one of Canada's best singer-songwriters belt out The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
NELLIE McCLUNG: Suffragist, legislator and author, McClung wrote best-selling novels, advanced the feminist cause and served in the Alberta legislature in the 1920s. Her story inspired feminists of the 1960s, though it's unclear whether she anticipated that whole burning bra thing.
SIR JOHN A. MACDONALD: The father of Confederation and Canada's first prime minister, Macdonald led the Conservative Party for 24 years from 1867 to 1891, dying while still in the office.
TODD McFARLANE: In his quest to conquer evil, comic-book multimillionaire McFarlane has spawned a new generation of artists who have joined his publishing company. Booted from the Blue Jays farm team in Medicine Hat, McFarlane can take his $3-million Mark McGwire home-run record ball and go home.
PAT AND EDITH McGEER: The husband and wife brain researchers and professors emeritus at UBC are pioneers in the field of Alzheimer's research. Pat is also a former cabinet minister.
LEWIS MACKENZIE: The handsome general led the United Nations peace mission to war-torn Bosnia in the early '90s. After retiring, he went from leading columns to writing them.
SARAH McLACHLAN: The Grammy-award winning West Vancouver singer-songwriter and founder of the all-female Lilith Fair is at work on her fifth album.
BEVERLEY McLACHLIN: First female chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, first female chief justice of the B.C. Supreme Court, first woman appointed to the B.C. Court of Appeal.
MARSHALL McLUHAN: A communication theorist and English professor at the University of Toronto, McLuhan studied mass media and coined the phrase, "the medium is the message,'' which is interesting, but way too deep to be explained in this list.
AGNES MACPHAIL: She became the first woman MP in 1921 and helped found the Elizabeth Fry Society. When she toured Kingston Penitentiary, she was told ladies were not allowed inside. "I'm no lady. I'm an MP,'' she said.
KAREN MAGNUSSEN: As a young North Vancouverite, she won the world figure skating championship in 1973. She could out-soar, out-spin and out-skate everybody out there. Go figure.
MAQUINNA: In 1778, Chief Maquinna, the leader among the Moachat people at Friendly Cove, did the friendly thing of greeting the first white men landing on Vancouver Island. Thus sparking the start of traffic jams, suburban malls and white socks.
LEN MARCHAND: Canada's first native to be elected to the House of Commons, Marchand was also the first native to serve in the cabinet in the Environment portfolio. He was appointed Senator in 1984.
RICK MERCER: Is there anything we love more than poking fun at Americans? The star of This Hour Has 22 Minutes got George W. Bush to talk about Prime Minister Jean "Poutine.'' For that, he earns a permanent spot on this list.
JONI MITCHELL: With her long, stringy blonde hair and acoustic guitar she became the consummate folkie and darling of the coffee-house set.
LUCY MAUD MONTGOMERY: Prince Edward Island author who wrote a lot of novels about this girl called Anne, with an 'e'. Lived in a place called Green Gables.
GREG MOORE: The Maple Ridge racing ace became the youngest race winner in CART history at age 22, establishing himself as one of the top drivers on the circuit. He died at age 24 in 1999 when he crashed into a wall at the California Speedway.
FARLEY MOWAT: Beloved yarn-spinner, he writes about the North, about snow, about whales and deer and all that good Canadian stuff. A mere 14 million copies of his books have been sold.
EARL MULDOE: Better known as Delgamuukw, the artist successfully sued B.C. in a case that recognized the legitimacy of aboriginal title in Canadian law.
ALICE MUNRO: This short story writer is so good at picking up local dialects, you could swear she has been there, done that. At other times, her stories are so real, she makes you believe she is not just telling you; she is writing about you.
ANNE MURRAY: For years, it wasn't cool to like Murray. But she invites you into a song, as though inviting you to draw near the fire. We love her. We love Snowbird. Admit it.
DAVE MURRAY: Unofficial leader of the Crazy Canucks, that group of daredevil skiers that took the European media by storm in the late 1970s when they kept winning on the slopes. When he died at age 37 of skin cancer in 1990, the country lost an athlete and a pretty amazing guy.
STEVE NASH: How many Victoria boys ever make it big in the National Basketball Association, play for Canada at the Olympics and are rumoured to be a love interest of one of the Spice Girls?
PETER C. NEWMAN: Hats off to the author of The Canadian Establishment, who came to Canada as a refugee in 1940 and proceeded to learn more about us than we knew about ourselves.
NORTHERN DANCER: The racehorse owned by Edward Plunkett Taylor was the first Canadian-bred thoroughbred to win the Kentucky Derby in 1964.
MICHAEL ONDAATJE: The English Patient was a book and subsequently a movie to die for. Hollywood thanked him for his literary gift. So do we.
BOBBY ORR: Television set: $200. Armchair: $50. Beer and chips: $10. Watching Orr play hockey: Priceless.
DURAI PAL PANDIA: A civil rights activist and lawyer, Pandia is credited with mustering the political support that got Sikhs and other immigrants from India the right to vote in 1947.
JIMMY PATTISON: B.C.'s consummate entrepreneur got his start hawking used cars for a living. And, believe it or not, he's generous, operating one the largest charitable foundations in Canada.
LESTER B. PEARSON: Liberal prime minister was smart (educated at the University of Oxford) and peaceful (awarded the Nobel Peace Prize).
OSCAR PETERSON: The pianist left a significant mark on the world jazz scene.
ROSS REBAGLIATI: Winner of snowboarding's first gold medal in the giant slalom at the 1998 Winter Olympics. The brash bad boy of the snowboarding set managed to hang onto his medal even when it was discovered that he -- gasp -- had inhaled marijuana at a party.
JUDY REBICK: Activist, broadcaster and magazine columnist, Rebick led the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, founded the Ontario Coalition of Abortion Clinics and generally drove REAL Women to distraction.
BILL REID: A Haida sculptor and CBC broadcaster, he was credited with the resurgence of Northwest Coast Indian art. His last work, the monumental bronze Spirit of Haida Gwaii, is at Vancouver International Airport.
STAN ROGERS: Is it really a party until someone belts out a few a cappella verses of Northwest Passage or Barrett's Privateers? We think not.
WILLIAM SHATNER: For a long, long time to come in syndication, Captain James Tiberius Kirk will banter with McCoy, make Spock reveal human emotions, and watch helplessly as the officer in the red uniform gets killed.
CAROL SHIELDS: Birth, life, love, work, death. That is the grist for a Shields novel. In her Pulitzer-prize winning novel The Stone Diaries, she explained women. In Larry's Party, she explained men.
MICHAEL SMITH: Awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1993 for his groundbreaking work in reprogramming segments of DNA. He later became director of the B.C. Cancer Agency's Genome Sequence Centre to draw genetic attention to a disease that would sadly, ironically, be responsible for his death at age 68 last year.
MARTHA STURDY: Designer creates art from steel, tables from resin and jewellery from metals, selling her pieces to celebrities from J.K. Rowling to Calvin Klein.
DONALD SUTHERLAND: His movies ranged from the abysmal to the sublime, with smashing performances in Klute, Bethune and Ordinary People. A vociferous anti-Vietnam war activist, his big breakthrough came in 1970 when he became Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H*, the movie.
DAVID SUZUKI: Scientist, activist, writer and television personality, Suzuki started on the tube in the 1960s as the long-haired, quasi-hippie host of Suzuki on Science.
KEN TAYLOR: As the Canadian ambassador in Iran in 1979, Taylor successfully helped U.S. Embassy staffers escape the country by posing as Canadians.
BRIAN TOBIN: Politician and former premier of Newfoundland, Tobin became a hero in that province for saving the turbot fishery from the Spaniards.
ALEX TREBEK: Who is the host of the popular game show, Jeopardy, and the guy who can be oh-so patronizing to people when they get the wrong answer?
JUSTIN TRUDEAU: His passionate eulogy for his father vaulted the 29-year-old schoolteacher into the public spotlight last year.
PIERRE TRUDEAU: The prime minister from 1968-79 and 1980-84, he patriated the Canadian Constitution with an entrenched Charter of Rights and Freedoms protecting individual, minority language and education rights. His death sent an entire nation into mourning.
SHANIA TWAIN: The country and western star has been honoured by her hometown of Timmins, Ont., with the opening of the Shania Twain Centre, a museum featuring Shaniabilia, including some of her skimpy animal print outfits.
JEAN VANIER: Spiritual leader and author, the son of Governor-General George-Phileas Vanier established homes for the handicapped in Canada and around the world.
JACQUES VILLENEUVE: He looks more like a bratty, bleached college kid. But his father was a racer. It was in his blood. So the imp, the rebel, the kid from Iberville, Que., yowled his way to the world championship of Formula One racing in 1997.
AL WAXMAN: Hey, King. Al Waxman starred in more than 1,000 television shows, movies and theatre productions, but was best known for his role as television's King of Kensington. He died at the age of 65.
NEIL YOUNG: The guy bringing up the rear in Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, the Toronto-born rocker founded Buffalo Springfield and turned out a pile of best-selling albums to earn a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Sources: The Canadian Encylopedia, The Encyclopedia of British Columbia, Canadian Who's Who, Internet, Vancouver Sun files.
Why does Canada need to take over the US? Because Canada is bloody cold up here in the winter! Our seniors have long been invading Florida as snow covers our entire landscape in winter. While Canadian territory is already enormous in size, imperialist Canada has been eyeing American territory with great envy for generations and has been coldly plotting its evil plans.
The entire article, including the plan of attack, can be found here.
"There might be an increase on off-trail travel in those locations which could displace animals and wildlife or perhaps lead to trampling and erosion, " Parks Canada spokeswoman Claire McNeil told CBC News.
Geocachers will have to remain patient until the government agency devises a policy regarding the game, which will likely be next year. In the meantime, Parks Canada is offering this interim geocaching policy which states:
A moratorium has been placed on new physical caches. Existing physical caches will be removed, as will the website postings of physical caches. Web material will be archived through cooperation with website administrators.
Physical geocaching is now posted as a prohibited activity in all Parks Canada-administered protected heritage areas, in order to provide a regulatory and compliance mechanism for managing the activity.
Personally, I would like to see Parks Canada work with geocaching and use it to fulfill its mandate to educate. Caches are hidden in the same areas where you will find campers, hikers, mountain bikers, and photographers - public areas. As long as caches have been placed in these areas and not in nesting regions or other areas of concern, there should not be an issue. Geocachers in general are very eco-savvy and caches tend to be just a few feet off of the beaten path.
Parks Canada is to manage the parks for use by all Canadians, not own them. I am sure that a solution could be arranged, barring all of the bureaucratic red tape. The concern will be if provincial and municipal parks blindly follow the lead of Parks Canada and ban geocaching there as well.
"This year we have a family of foxes that have become habituated to humans - likely from feeding - and they're hanging out on the beach and getting quite close to humans," Darlene Upton, a spokeswoman with Parks Canada, said Saturday.
"They have been reported to steal sandals, sniff around purses and take any food that's handed out to them."
Park officials are trying to trap the animals so that they can be located.
We are having a similar problem at the Expat household. A tray full of "salt clay" chickens was last seen at 7pm yesterday evening. Shortly thereafter, they all disappeared. The only witness to the disappearance was a black and white dog who refuses to cooperate with authorities. A reward has been offered for the safe return of the brood.
Lead by the omnipotent yellow box, we walked along in the rain following an invisible path to an unseen treasure. Having been to this park once before, we had a rough idea of where we needed to be - in the bushes along the far side. Last time we were here, refuse was strewn about, making it difficult to differentiate between trash and treasure. We gave up that day, without putting in much effort.
This day would be different. We had already been out earlier in that morning and found a number of caches, including one that had eluded us on previous adventures. We had a perfect record and it was not about to be broken by a "did not find". As the raindrops collected in our hair and dripped down our faces, steel resolve set in.
We knew that the cache was no longer in its original location. Reading the log, we learned that it once hung in a tree but was now somewhere on the ground amidst the litter. That did not matter though, as we were determined. Approaching the bushes from all angles, we ascertained the best path inside. The little yellow dog at our heels bounded ahead, sniffing spots where squirrels and other wild animals once trod.
Against the trunk of a tree rested a pile of maple leaves, reminding me of my heritage. Beneath the leaves sat the treasure - a camouflaged peanut butter container. We picked up the cache, signed the log, exchanged a rubber gecko for a rubber fish, and quickly replaced the container where we found it - beneath the symbol of my Motherland.
As we soggily walked back to the car, I reflected upon the irony that I had never seen a real maple leaf until I was in my early twenties and passing through Vancouver's Stanley Park on the way to Seattle.
For more information on this treasure hunting game, see the Geocaching FAQ.
The Glenbow Museum has an interesting online exhibit showcasing Calgary in the 1950s and the photographs of Jack De Lorme.
The exhibit includes topics such as the emergence of the suburbs, modern progress, immigration, remembrance of war, clubs, family life, the role of women, fear of polio and atomic war, the Television Revolution, and the man behind the camera - Jack De Lorme.
A new Ipsos-Reid poll says half of Canadians do not want to follow the United States on extending daylight saving time.
If Canada does not make the time change, it may complicate things for business but John Wright, senior vice-president at Ipsos-Reid says:
"We may have a bit of pro-Canadianism here," he said, adding Canadians may see the decision less as a North American move to save energy and more as a unilateral one bearing the fingerprints of the Bush administration. "It's again seen as something that, unilaterally, is undertaken with no consideration given to other countries which may be affected by it," Mr. Wright said.
The headline is pretty loaded considering the content of the article.
This same story was translated into this headline on NealeNews:
Click image to enlarge.
Did you spot the spin?
Apparently the Canadian desire not to tinker with the clocks translates directly into "Anti-Bushism".
And here I was thinking that the original headline was loaded! :p
Ingredients: Syrup 3 cups pineapple juice 3 lemons, juiced 1 cup white sugar 1/2 cup honey
6 slices lemon 1 (2 litre) bottle carbonated water
Directions: 1. To make the pineapple lemon syrup: In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine pineapple juice, lemon juice, sugar and honey. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 minute. Allow to cool, then refrigerate overnight. 2. Fill 6 glasses with ice. Place a slice of lemon in each glass. Pour in 2 fluid ounces pineapple lemon syrup. Fill glasses to the top with carbonated water; stir. Garnish with mint leaves.
Note: The syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Growing up on the Canadian prairies, summers were hot and dry. You could walk outside and feel the heat upon you, but it didn't weigh on you. When the weather did get muggy, there was generally a storm on the way to provide a break in the weather and cool things down. Until a few years ago, that was the only kind of hot weather that I had ever known.
One of the best features of my car, known affectionately as the "Nukmobile" because of its metric tendencies or the "Puppy Hauler" because of its frequent trips to the dog park, is its heating and cooling systems. On a -30C day, my car can heat up in mere minutes, stopping one's teeth from chattering. Likewise on a 30C day, it can cool down in mere seconds, leaving one shivering. In fact, the air conditioner works so well, that a layer of frost will sometimes form on the dash, obscuring the numbers on the speedometer. As such, friends are well aware that a trip in the Nukmobile during the summer months generally requires a pair of socks with their sandals and even a sweater.
Sweater, shorts, socks, and sandals. That was my wardrobe when I stepped out of my car for the first time as we traveled from Saskatchewan down to the southern United States. We were in Missouri and it was hot. Not dry hot. Not hot hot. Wet hot. The kind of sticky heat that weighs on your skin, steals your breath, and makes you feel dirty.
There stood the Canadian dressed in what could well be considered the oxymoron of clothing, pumping gas and melting into the pavement in the Missouri heat.
There are steps in letting go of things you love. Your first year away all you can think of is how different everything is from where you were. This is exciting if you are dating and can be depressing when it comes to food. If you are a frequenter of this blog you may have noticed a pattern with Tim Hortons , Ketchup chips and Coffee Crisp. If you were in my household in Thailand it was good pasta sauce, pirogues, Slurpies, Nibs, good multi grain bread, berries and so on. One year I was freaking out over Nibs. The next year it was cheep dill pickles. Most of the items I never ate much of prior to leaving but somehow represented that comfort of home, and that things were that different where ever I was. The fact that there were no pickles meant that I was, in fact, different and would spin me into an appreciation for anyone who has ever immigrated to another country. A few days ago I was shopping and saw they had “White Clover Honey; Canadian Product”. I haven’t had whipped honey in ten years. I have never seen it sold in the States and forgot about it a long time prior to moving to Asia. I bought the little tub and have used it in almost every recipe I have made. Today I sat down with a spoon and ate it like ice cream. It reminded me of crushed up Aspirin, of my mum, of a home I am I don’t know anymore.
As the legend of Bigfoot remains afoot in the Yukon, Manitoba residents are also seeing signs of the mysterious - UFOs to be exact.
Over the weekend residents of Piney, Manitoba had an encounter of the third kind when an object described as "shiny", "three times the size of a jetliner", and "pointed with no wings" silently flew overhead.
"It was silvery, tubular-shaped, with some odd protrusions on either side, and it flew overhead very silently," Ufology Research of Manitoba member Chris Rutkowski told Canada AM. His organization tracks UFO sightings in Canada.
The three observers watched for about 20 seconds as the object flew past them. They had a camera but were reportedly so amazed they forgot to take any pictures.
"They said it definitely was not an aircraft in their opinion, and they tend to see a lot of aircraft," Rutkowski said.
Recipe Corner: Swiss Chalet Chicken Sauce by Expat
The first Swiss Chalet restaurant opened in 1954 on Toronto's Bloor Street. It has since spread across Canada and into New York. Swiss Chalet is best known for its rotisserie chicken and ribs. The following is a copycat recipe for its chicken sauce.
List of Ingredients 3 cups water 1/4 cup tomato juice 1 cube chicken bouillon 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon basil, dried 1/4 teaspoon parsley 1/4 teaspoon chicken seasoning 1/4 teaspoon thyme, dried 1/4 teaspoon ginger 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard 1/4 teaspoon onion powder 1 bay leaf 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 6 drops Tabasco sauce 2 teaspoons lemon juice 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 tablespoon water 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Directions In sauce pan add everything up to and including Tabasco sauce. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf and add lemon juice. Mix cornstarch and water. Add to mixture and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes until sauce thickens. Whisk in oil.
It looks like a combination of a straitjacket and a corset, but it could also be part of a costume for a gladiator. Actually, it is a garment constructed to combat the effects of tuberculosis. Cecily King wore this lace-up restraint in the episode "Christmas in June" . This is why, upon hearing about her upcoming costume, the original Cecily, Harmony Cramp turned tail and fled, to be replaced by Molly Atkinson. In the absence of a rack, the ecommerce department uses this restrictive uniform to improve productivity. The employee, lashed to the computer, is endlessly forced to write amusing descriptions of Sullivan memorabilia.
This episode stands out in my mind, not only because it marked the departure of Harmony Cramp and the introduction of Molly Atkinson as Cecily King, but because it was the first episode that totally focused on Cecily. In five seasons, Cecily had always been the child in the background with very few lines.
I am tempted to bid. I really am.
* Check out the inspired reenactment of this episode. The link is located just above "rhetorical questions".
There was a scourge in the city. The mean streets were getting meaner. From an old set of criminals, a new villain had appeared - the Canadian. He and his gang had a look and a set of crimes all their own.