tvordlj: (Maple Leaf)
I need those peach baskets back!

I was walking up a short block downtown today, from the back end of the Delta Barrington where i'd gone to get a coffee up to the entrance on the corner of Duke and Barrington, into the little shopping area where i was going to get my hair done. I spotted this inside a doorway.

There were and probably still are little short films that were aired on Canadian television that reenacted little bits of history. There was one about a family trying to escape wild brushfires, one about an immigrant couple that were building a cabin made out of sods on the Prairies. Then there was the one that the phrase in the above photo will bring back to most of us. In actual fact, the phrase didn't actually use the word "peach" but everyone knows what it means. Every Canadian, that is, and i was amused to see it graffitied on a door frame/wall.

It refers to the invention of basketball by a Canadian who, according to legend, used peach baskets for the ball to be aimed at. But because the baskets had bottoms, it took some time to climb up and fish the ball out of it so he came up with the idea of cutting the bottom out of the baskets. The caretaker of the property grumbled "I need these baskets back!" Through the cut is the Youtube of the original vignette.
Baskets! )

Rawk!

Feb. 26th, 2010 08:37 am
tvordlj: (Maple Leaf)
Holy crap the wind is strong out there this morning! And it's raining as well (sideways). The front door of my apartment building blew off and was hanging by the ... oh i can't think of what it's called but it's a bendy thing on top of the door. It's right off the hinges though and flapping around when the wind gusts. I called the superintendent, left a message on the machine. Nice. Maybe it's not classified as a personal emergency but it could swing around and hit someone as they try to get by or slam into the pane glass of the front entrance. Anyway he called me back just as i was off the bus downtown and i confirmed yes it was me that called and told him that yes the door was right off it's hinges. I expect he'll have been cursing to have to get dressed and go over in that weather but you can't leave it like it is.

Still pleased about the women's hockey win last night and a female skater from Quebec won bronze which was excellent too. That woman's mom came out last weekend to watch her daughter skate and died of a heart attack just after she arrived. Poor girl has had to perform all week with that hanging over her head. She wanted to win a medal and she did, for her mother. The curling teams are both headed into the final rounds, as well so there may be more medals there. Men's hockey tonight and if they win it's on to the gold on Sunday. They were watching the women's game last night and even after the win, they all seemed to look downcast, not smiling or happy at all. I guess it means more pressure on them to win, maybe! The women have won three gold medals in a row and silver in the one before that so there's a lot to live up to. The men haven't won a gold yet. In fact, 13 of the medals won have gone to women or women's teams, 3 medals have gone to men and one to the pairs' ice dancing. The Canadian women are rocking this Olympics!
tvordlj: (Maple Leaf)
Somone's got a red face today. Apparently a toll free help line for lobster fishermen inquiring about financial assistance actually connected them to a phone sex service! Oops!!! Seems two digits of the proper phone number were transposed in the advertising that went out from the Federal government! *snork*

Earlier this year, a school in New Brunswick banned the daily playing of the national anthem and the principal was actually threatened by a parent for it. The Nova Scotia government subsequently asked all it's schools to ensure the anthem was played and the local school board is going to review it's policy for that this week, just to cover all the bases in case there are parents that object to the anthem. There should be an "opt out" policy for students whose parents don't like the idea. One of the reasons the anthem is going to be played is to help promote better citizenship and it seems to me that there shouldn't be an opt out option. You're in this country, and if the anthem is played, you should respect that, no matter where you are from. That goes for any country you're visiting, i'd say. Even if you don't know the words to the anthem, you stand and give it the respect it deserves. A national anthem is important to a country, they pretty much all have one. Some of them have more religious overtones than others, so there might be objections to that, i suppose, but the point is, it's a song to represent the country. Canada's official version does mention "God" once and it's changed since i was a kid. That phrase used to say "O Canada, Glorious and free" but they decided there were too many "O Canadas" in there so took one out.

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee


I rather like our anthem. It's not difficult to sing, it's got simple lyrics and isn't that complex. It sounds lovely with a full brass band with the drum roll at the start and just before the "God keep our land" bit, where it rouses up to a big finish. I like our flag, too. Also simple but very easily recognizable. And it really is true that when you are overseas, when someone realizes you're Canadian and not American, quite often they smile and seem to be a bit more tolerant when you can't speak their language or are doing typically touristy things like asking for directions or using the wrong spoon or something. I've had it happen to me. And don't be pointing out that because i come from North America i could be called an American! Citizens from the United States have taken "American" for their own and that's an end to it. It's funny, if you are from any other country in North, Central or South America, nobody is inclined to think of you as American, only if you're from Canada.

Someone from the UK on irc argued the point with me once. I forget if they were from England or Scotland, one of the two but I forget which now. When i referred to him as European, he strongly objected. Why? Your country is part of Europe. He saw my point. I won the argument. Just like Canada prefers to be identified as a country, not part of a continent for it's identity, so do the British and Irish, too, I think. They are usually known and referred to in the same way, by nationality rather than continentally. I like being Canadian, it's a pretty damn good country to be from.

I rest my case. :)
tvordlj: (Maple Leaf)
Today is Canadian Armed Forces Day, well, this Sunday is. This morning, there was a proclamation ceremony across the road in front of City Hall and an email went around a few days ago to let staff know that anyone that could get away would be welcome. It's important to show the support for the troops, i always feel, regardless of whether you think the policy of sending them to places like Afghanistan or anywhere else is wrong. It's not the troops' who make that call. they're just there doing their job and as it happens, pretty much all of the men and women who are serving in Afghanistan believe strongly that they should be there. Living in a military town like we do here in Halifax, you tend to be on the side of the troops, it seems. I've had relatives that served in the navy and i lived for 5 years on an army base when i was married before.

Anyway. P. and i went over from our office and there were others from the other departments there. Red shirts on many backs. That's a growing thing here in Canada, wearing red on Friday to show your support for the troops. I don't always remember but i did today and quite a few others did as well. That campaign was a grass roots one that started in the U.S. but Canadians picked it up after two wives of soldiers picked it up and started a campaign for it here, making lots of noise and publicity in the media and on their website. It seems to be fairly popular apparently. Canadians identify with red since it's the main colour of our flag.

So the ceremony. Nice. Military brass band played the anthem at the start and God Save the Queen at the end. Raising of the flags on the pole, opening remarks by the Mayor, a soundless speech by a general (the sound system was only good if you were right on top of the microphone.) and a prayer by another military person. That last one i did hear fairly clearly. A few photos starting here.

I think i've only seen my desk at work for about a total of 2 hours today, and one of that was lunch. I even got pulled out of one meeting to have another one and back to the first one after that. Two more this afternoon. Gah! Don't anyone mention the word "meeting" to me all weekend, kthxbye.

I started a painting a few weeks back. It's not going well. I may rethink and make it more of a folk art type thing than a "realistic" look because i think that's the only thing that's going to save it's sorry canvas.

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