Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Election 2009 (Part 2)

In yesterday's blog, I looked at the reasons why the various political parties may be interested in a fall election. After all, we went through a whole summer without being bothered by them and I guess it's inevitable. According to one article, a vote of confidence could happen by the 30th of September, which would mean an election some time in early to mid-November.

That could be exciting although most pundits think the result will be more of the same, so you have to wonder, why? This is not the worry for this blog but to consider some of the thinking which might inspire the various parties not to pull the plug on this 40th Parliament since Confederation.

I'm not posting too many links since a lot of them are on yesterday's blog.


The Conservatives: Stephen Harper is probably getting tired of being nice to those people in the House of Commons. He has to entertain the likes of Jack Layton, Michael Ignatieff and Gilles Doucette. I believe he would rather cut their heads off and drink their blood. But because he has a minority government, he has to smile a lot. He desires to have a majority government. This is his dream and could become his obsession. If he is not careful, this could be his downfall. Perhaps instead of dreaming about a majority, he should read up on the life of Lester B. Pearson, he served five years as PM and never had a majority. Yet he was able to have a successful career.

So why wouldn't they want an election? One word: the Economy. The great meltdown of 2008 took place during the election and he managed to avoid having to deal with an election when the bottom falls out. Think a governing party wants to have that on their plate, just look at the campaign of John McCain, the economy killed his chance of election.

While things may be starting to look well, the recovery is still fragile. It could just as easily go south and sideways all at the same time. I suspect the Conservatives would like a couple of quarters of growth before dropping the writ. If you noticed they have been very careful about the recovery, no great crowing from any Minister. They have been very cautious about saying good things about the end of the recession. I think Stephen Harper is a master tactician and he likes being Prime Minister. With the autumn coming he wants to enjoy watching the colours over in the Gatineau's.

The Liberals: if this party has the most to lose in an election, then its leader Michael Ignatieff has the most to lose of everybody. If you recall he was crowned leader of the Liberal Party, I suspect a number of potential leadership hopefuls are angry and are keeping their anger within, if Iggy slips up, trust me it will be a nasty few months. If the Liberals have learned one thing its this; they hate losing and they hate losers. They dumped Dion because he was a loser. They thought they were getting the new Pierre Trudeau instead they may have gotten the English clone of Stephane Dion.

Consider their platform, they want to reform EI and make it standard across all reasons. They want to lower the requirement to 360 hours. So consider what their platform is all about, they want to make it easier for Canadians to get on the dole. Now that's a profound and moving policy, you can almost hear the Liberals on the stump trying to sell that to the average Canadians: "Vote Liberal and get onto EI sooner". Mind you it probably won't help anybody already on EI and doesn't seem to include topping up the percentage you receive or the length of time you can receive it. It will probably cost the average worker and average employer more in EI deductions. Let's face it, this is not scintillating stuff. This isn't the "National Dream" or "Just Society". Got news for you, Gordon Lightfoot isn't writing any songs about 360 hours to the dole, nor is the late and missed Pierre Berton writing a two volume definitive history on the EI reform. May be an epic fail.

Iggy tried to challenge the PM but blinked. He could have pulled the plug but couldn't. He knows the Party is not ready to take on the Conservatives.

The NDP: Jack has trimmed down his goals. The last election he was going for Prime Minister, this time he wants to be a coalition partner and a cabinet seat with his junior party, the Liberals. The problem is, some in his party are attacking Ignatieff as much as Stephen Harper, not a good move when you wish to be nice to each other after the election. That will make things interesting around the cabinet table, you will have two forces trying to stick it to each other at every second. That will make a stable government.

The are bolstered by reports from themselves about their successful convention. They love Obama and hope it will rub off on them, as long as they don't make mention that Barak wants to stay in Afghanistan and the NDP doesn't. An election could give them some problems.

The Bloc Québécois : again, meh. Who honestly cares what they think.

So this is my thoughts. Will there be an election this year? Hard to say.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Elections 2009

As the summer draws to a close and the Zucchini plants begin to wilt, their summer of producing delicious vegetable coming to an end, we now consider what has to be the topic at hand and that is, will there be an election this year. On one hand, we haven't had one in nearly a year and after four this decade alone that makes it one of the longest stretches we enjoyed in this new millenium. But before I say anything further, a word of thanks has to go to the leaders of all the major political parties for not subjecting us to a summer election. With this summer of either too dry or too wet conditions, either too hot or too cool with almost no weekend that had the right weather to be enjoyed, the last thing we needed to see was any of you clowns on our doorsteps. So thank you for not annoying us because if you had, we as a nation would have thrown all of you out and voted Rhino.

However all good things must come to an end and since Canada wants to have as many elections in the space of one year as there will be parts to the last Harry Potter movie, it seems the leaders are all beginning to drop the "E" word. Before you gather the pitchfork and light up the torches and march to Ottawa, perhaps we should consider whether an election will come to pass. To do so, I want to examine for the next few minutes, who would favour an election and why.

In Favour

The Conservatives: their numbers are starting to climb in opinion polls. The latest shows them with an 11 point lead over the Liberals. Plus they are beginning to portray Michael Ignatieff as the new Stéphane Dion. As well, the economy is starting to turn around, it may be a weak recovery but it is a recovery. Plus with it being weak, it could easily go the other way may be best to strike while the iron is hot sort of thing. Stephen Harper had a pretty good summer both on the domestic and international front. He might just get his wish and gain that majority.

The Liberals: they are sick of propping up the Conservatives, they are sick of being seen as indecisive, they are tired of being in the Opposition. The "Natural Governing Party" has had it, they think they can win an election, plus they have Michael Ignatieff who probably doesn't want to be the answer to the trivia question, "what two Liberal leaders failed to become Prime Minister of Canada during the first decade of the 21st Century?" The party's debt is coming down and they are able to raise money, plus another opinion poll shows them tied with the Conservatives. As well, Iggy may be getting bored quickly with life as Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, Harvard is starting to look real good. Better win now or its back to the States. He misses the intellectually stimulating discussions, something lacking in the weekly Liberal Caucus meeting, plus he has learned much to his chagrin, Canada doesn't believe in torture.

As an aside, Bob Rae is secretly hoping for an election because he knows the Party will probably lose and then he can do to his former BFF what Iggy did to him by manoevering the party to annoint him leader. I suspect Bob travels with his portable knife sharpener always close at hand.

The NDP: they want an election because they think the results will be a minority and they can force the Liberals into a coalition. Jack Layton wants a cabinet seat. The party had a great convention, at least in their eyes, most of Canada, if anyone really paid attention, remember it as the 'convention the NDP almost dropped the N in their name'. Plus they had a couple of people from the Obama campaign and think they can learn from that team how to win an election. Jack still will add you on Twitter, so he thinks he's got the social networking thing down. As well, the NDP now govern two of Canada's ten provinces. Even though its; Manitoba and Nova Scotia, it's still two. They think by identifying themselves with Barak Obama and the United States some of that success might rub off, as well, they know they must hurry before their kneejerk anti-Americanism surfaces. They can't smile around Americans all the time like that, it hurts their faces.

The Bloc Quebecois: meh, they will win the same number of seats as previous elections. They will have the same opportunity to complain how mistreated Quebec is in Confederation. Wants an election because they can't lose because they don't have to worry about winning.

So that's the reason why all the parties want an election in November, before the snow starts to fly. My next blog will examine who doesn't want an election.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The End of Food- A Review

I picked up the book "The End of Food" by Thomas Pawlick. I point out the author because there's another book of the same name by Paul Roberts.

What can be said about a book in which the author suggests that gardening can be considered an act of subversion (pp184-185). He writes:
For thousands of years, in every unjust society, those who, from Robin Hood on down, have affirmed life over the version of reality promoted by the 'powers that be', have been seen as outlaws. There is no reason why gardeners should be exceptions. Guerrilla gardeners. It has a nice, allitertive ring to it.

He believes that if we want good food we need to grow our own and doing so can be thought of an act of subversion.

The second thing to enjoy about the book is his review of the book Walden by Henry David Thoreau. He suggests:
In today's corporate America, Thoreau would likely have been arrested, stripped of his citizenship and shipped off to a cage in Guantanamo Bay, by defying the corporate 'will to power'.

And if they got hold of his writings of "Civil Disobedience", it would have been waterboarding.

The book begins with Thomas recounting a story of buying a tomato that was so red, so attractive but too hard to eat. He bought the ingredients to make a salad but discovered the tomato was impossible to cut. So he left it out to ripe. He waited one week, two weeks, but nothing happened. He got so frustrated he eventually threw it at his fence. He thought he would get a vaudvillian splat, but instead, it bounced back. It didn't break, he described it as a red tennis ball. He picked it up and threw it again, this time it cracked, still no splat. He examined the inside and some of the seeds had started to germinate. In an interview he did at it happened in Windsor, which he reminds us is close to the tomato capital of Canada, Leamington. This started his study of the food industry as it exists today.

As for tomatoes, he discovered there are only a handful of companies involved in the production of the fruit. These companies have had as their motive, to produce tomatoes that are good for shipping. In fact the wish list does not include ripeness, taste or nutrition.

His target is the transnationals that control food production and distribution, their motive is not taste but profit. Feeding people is not part of the equation in their quest for profit. In fact, the food industry has brought about food which over the last fifty years, has had a decrease in nutrition. He gives information on how the vitamins content has decreased and not just by a little, but a great deal. Again, food value is not part of the equation.

But, nature abhors a vacuum and the food industry as well, when the level of vitamin C has increased, sodium and some very nasty chemicals have increased. One of his chapters give us what we can find in our food. One might think that he is talking about meat, but he does bring in vegetables into the picture, so if you think you can become a vegan and miss it all, think again. It's all affected and it is all troubling.

The food industry has changed the relationship between the producers and the markets. He spends time considering how the food industry has impacted the production of pork, chicken and beef. In all three, the emphasis is profit and the animals are commodities to be used, and abusd and then eliminated. He considers the case of mad cow and the source of it all is the adding of beef 'stuff' into the feed of cows. So this is what the industry did:
What could be more unnatural than to turn herbivores into carnivores- and worse, into cannibals of their own kind.

The result was Mad Cow and people got sick. The blame for this can be laid no place else then simple human stupidity, the belief we could do better, cut corners and cost and wring out another penny of profit.

It is this desire for profit which motivates everything and it seems, according to Thomas' writing to bring disaster and potential disaster. He considers how for the millenia, farmers practiced the method of either allowing a field to go fallow or rotate crops. For the latter after one harvest, the next food grown would be one that would restore a balance to the field. Also there was the use of natural fertilizer in the form of manure from only a few cows. The practice of the transnationals is to never take a crop out of production, but to grow the same one over and over- and to compensate for the demand on the ground by dumping a huge load of fertilizer and pesticide as part of the planting regimine. The downside is the killing of the soil, by killing the worms and benigh bacteria that restore the soil. It is also expensive to add the petroleum based fertilizer, which puts the regular farmer into debt and makes the family farm easy picking for corporations looking to expand.

Then he discusses the potential disaster that could come from GE foods. Europe has banned GE crops and food and hearing the initials scares a lot of people. While the industry may suggest all they are doing is making food that is resistent to certain fungus and viral strains, or more robust in dealing with frost or cold weather, many look at this as the food equivalent to Three Mile Island. The concern is there is no controls, the pollen of the GE food can enter other crop fields and become part of that genetics. Also issues such as turning weeds into super-weeds or the potential impact on our health as well as other parts of nature is gotten into. Don't expect Thomas to address the stockholders meeting of Mosanto any time soon.

The question when one reads a book such as this is, are we stuck with the status quo? Is the death of the family farm, with the end of the experience of farmers who treat the environment with respect the reality? Certainly an industry where the average wage is $12,000 there is not a whole lot of motivation to remain in the business.

He sees potential. He realizes that it will be a grassroot movement of people becoming concern with what they eat. It is people getting educated and learning the truth. He sees the change happening with the renaissance of the Farmers Market, where people can again enjoy properly grown food. It can be found in movements which are coming to the fore demanding proper packaging and labeling of food. In most of North America, for example GE food is not labelled as such, this could change and change quickly. Again, its the grassroots, Thomas does not have a high opinion of politicians, calling them political whores for example. He sees the act of gardening, either in a plot behind the house or involvement in a community garden as another means of taking food back. It is campaigns to boycott certain food or food produced by certain companies, after all, if the bottom line is all that matters, then anything that affects the bottom line gets their attentions.

He talks about his own experience in gardening and farming, he has done both, at times he waxes a bit too poetic, but then again, he views food as part of the spiritual existence of humanity. In fact food besides being the way we stay alive, is also part of our calling as social beings. It is not to be gulped down but shared with family and friends.

As an addded plus for me, Thomas is a Canadian so he gives a lot of information as well as facts and figures that apply to the Canadian scene specifically.

I want to conclude with one of his last paragraphs:
We dont need to turn cows into cannibals, or lace our meals with tiny, hrrid molecular machines, or destry the soil, in order to creat a higher quarterly return for some greedy set of imbeciles in hand tailored suits and Gucci ties, sitting smugly around the boardroom table in a highrise somewhere. We dont need to despoil the earth and end up eating soylent green. We need to take back control of our own food supply, our own meals, and our own humanity.

A book to read and to think about.

In fine bookstores and in your local public library.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What is in a Name?

What is in a name? Very much if the wit of man could find it out

You have to love the Dog Days of Summer as it pertains to news. Not only is August the warmest month and the month when gardens are in full bloom and displaying their wares, you have generally slow news. Yes there still are wars happening and celebrities are still doing stupid things. Certainly a study of any flyer reveals that stores have begun their push for all things school related. In fact one store is selling pencils for 39 cents.

What makes this season interesting is not the fact the Detroit Tigers are still in first place in the AL Central, way to go boys!

It's some of the nuttiness that seems to be happening on both sides of the border. For example, in the States you have the various town hall meetings that are dealing with people's opinion of Health Care Reforms. For the most part these seem to be civil affairs but then again, every so often the crazies take over and you have this:

Yes, all that has happened in the last forty something years have been manipulated by the Kenyans so that Barak Hussein Obama could become President. To say these Birthers are lunatics is in a way an insult to honest, salt of the earth lunatics everywhere. Of course you have to put them in the same catagory as the flat earth society and those who believe in Death Panels. As for the latter, even everyone's favourite former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin has given an opinion of this matter:

As more Americans delve into the disturbing details of the nationalized health care plan that the current administration is rushing through Congress, our collective jaw is dropping, and we're saying not just no, but hell no!

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Health care by definition involves life and death decisions. Human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion.

I could go on with the States, but this is not the theme of the blog. I want to talk about the silliness of Canada. Right now all sorts of attention, comments and news ink is being spilled over the NDP's Annual Convention in Halifax. HFX09, as its being called is the Party's annual meeting in which and I suppose it is possible, the Party will plan its election strategy for the next couple of elections, which should take place in the same time span as the next two Harry Potter movies.

One issue that seems to have captured the popular media is the potential name change for the Party. It seems after 49 years, there are some thinking its time for a change. The suggestion is going from NEW Democrats to Democrats. So that the party would change from NDP to DP.

There is a few reasons for this, besides the fact that 'New' seems odd for a party that's been around since the 1930's, perhaps a name should be changed. After all this would not be the first time, since it started out as the CCF.

I suppose the question, why just Democrats? There are some who suggest it is an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Barak Obama and the Democratic Party of the United States. Canadians love Barak. In fact had we been able to vote, it would have been a total runaway with all 20 electoral votes of Canada going to President Obama. This may be the reason why there is so much popularity for the change. A recent poll discovered this:
45 per cent of Canadians and 59 per cent of federal NDP supporters are in favour of the name change. One in five, or 20 per cent, are opposed, and more than a third, or 37 per cent, are undecided.

62 per cent of Canadians and 75 per cent of federal NDP supporters believe that if the federal party changes its name, the provincial NDPs should also adopt the Democratic Party name.

Another good reason is the fact that so often, the Party is mistaken for the New Democratic Party of Sri Lanka, I mean its bound to happen.

As the columnist Cathal Kelly wrote:
There is the whole apathy-of-the-electorate thing to shake off. Then there's the allure of hitching your wagon to a rock star politician.

"I guess they're hoping for some kind of subtle link," says Roger King, the Toronto-based spokesperson for Washington's Democrats Abroad.

The problem I have with dropping "New" is it does not stake out what the Party believes. Think of the other names, when we hear Liberal, we take it the party follows the policy and programs of liberalism. The Liberals Party of Canada follows that ideology for the most part throughout its history. It is what is accepted when we hear that name.

The Conservative Party has had a number of changes, it was Conservative, then it went Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and now, through the merger between the Reform/Alliance Party and the Progressive Conservatives has come full circle. But through it all, it was seen as the party of conservative ideology.

What does the Democratic Party believe? Democracy? I would assume almost all of the Canadian Political parties believe in Democracy. Even those who hate Stephen Harper and think he's the love child of Adolph Hitler and Attila the Hun must admit he believes in democracy. In other words, the name means nothing. I'm not going into the issue that the initials DP (Dee Pee)is actually a rude swear word in French, because everything is eventually a rude swear word in some language. It's a throw away word, it speaks of nothing different, all it says is the party believes in democracy. What else?

Plus, historically speaking, the NDP has always had an anti-American slant to its ideology, so how identifying itself with the country they don't really like will do. Might make the party a bit paranoid that's for sure.

Some have suggested the name Social Democratic Party, which would put the party in line with most European Social Democratic Parties, which it is closer in ideology. It would allow the party to put itself and accept itself as a party of Socialism International, which also includes parties such as the Labour Party of the UK.After all, in comparison, the Democrats of the US, if put on the political spectrum would be some place between the PC and Liberal party. More of a Central- Central Right party. After all, it still is debates universal health care, which even the Conservatives believe.

So it will happen tomorrow. If you go to the NDP website you can watch the live stream, it should make for compelling watching.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

God, Guns and ...WHAT!?!

So I was reading some blogs and news reports when this little bit of information came across my computer: Pastor Urges His Flock to Bring Guns to Church. This minister, Pastor Ken Pagano had, a couple of months ago a special meeting to celebrate the right to bear arms and to own enough firepower to put a small country to shame. He decided that the Church hasn't done enough to celebrate the Second Amendment and to obey the recently found 11th Commandment which reads in part, "Thou Shalt Carry a Glok when thou entereth the Sanctuary of the Lord", or words to that effect.

It promises to be a fun evening. If watching people carry heat in with their Bibles wasn't enough, there's other events:
The bring-your-gun-to-church day, which will include a $1 raffle of a handgun, firearms safety lessons and a picnic, is another sign that the gun culture in the United States is thriving

It's quite possible some people may wonder about attending that service. I mean if you have a small family do you really want to expose them to gunplay during the Children's story, for example. Not to fear, because Pastor Pagano will provide:
The celebration will feature lessons in responsible gun ownership, Mr. Pagano said. Sheriff’s deputies will be at the doors to check that openly carried firearms are unloaded, but they will not check for concealed weapons.

You see, you can bring your gun, just leave your amunition at home. Oh and this is only for the weapons he sees, if you conceal it, bring it and don't worry, no one is going to search you.

Let's put this into it's historic perspective, because its something the good Pastor seems to be lacking. What is so fascinating is the total callousness of the invitation and also where this is taking place. Last year, in the State of Kentucky, one individual decided, being the trendsetter he is, to do this very thing. Jim David Adkisson brought a gun into a church service, one that featured a childrens' concert, only he brought bullets. The result of this was the death of two people and the wounding of seven. The gunman was motivated by a hatred of:
After the shooting police found a letter in Adkisson’s car in which he described his “hatred of the liberal movement, liberals in general, as well as gays.”

Then there was the killing of Dr. George Tiller, who was an usher in his church that Sunday when a rabid anti-abortionist decided that he beliefs in the right to life included the right to kill. Look I disagree with abortion about as much as anything but right to life means everybody deserves the right to live and stay alive.

Of course, if you want the real history of why its wrong to be weapons in a church service, you need to go back to 1170, when Archbishop Thomas Becket wsa murdered by two knights who were working at the behest of King Henry the Second. Seems these two had heard the King complain about the Archbishop:
What sluggards, what cowards have I brought up in my court, who care nothing for their allegiance to their lord. Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest.

Clearly arming a congregant is never a good idea.

To say this is potentially dangerous is an understatement.

To say Pastor Ken Pagano is certifiable is also an understatement.

If all this wasn't enough and let's face it, having a raffle during a church service- so gambling and guns is okay in his church but I bet voting Democrat will get you excommunicated, he decides to justify himself this way:
“When someone from within the church tells me that being a Christian and having firearms are contradictions, that they’re incompatible with the Gospel — baloney,” he said. “As soon as you start saying that it’s not something that Christians do, well, guns are just the foil. The issue now is the Gospel. So in a sense, it does become a crusade. Now the Gospel is at stake.”

My question to him would be is 'how is the Gospel at stake'. The Gospel is the good news of Jesus dying on the Cross for the sins of humanity. The Gospel is the good news that we can have eternal life and enjoy life in all its fulness. How the Pastor now decides the validity, nay the very existence of the Gospel now depends upon the congregation bringing in the weaponry is beyond my understanding.

This is not an anti-gun screed. I don't own a gun, I'm not interested in owning a gun. I accept the fact that there are a lot of people who own guns for the enjoyment of firing one and also for the purpose of hunting. if you idea of a fun Saturday is going to a rifle range and shooting, good on you. If you like to go hunting, there's nothing wrong with enjoying outdoors and killing one of God's creatures. If you shoot a moose you're more then welcome to send me a couple of roasts.

What is also sad is that there is enough right-wing rabid religionists who would agree with the good Pastor.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Polaroid PDC 5355, thanks for the memories

I got for my birthday about 4 or 5 years ago, it was time to get a newer digital camera and it was a Polaroid PDC5355. It was a 5.3 megapixel camera and I truly enjoyed it. I took it everywhere and used it to develop what little skill I do have with a camera. I learned to enjoy taking photographs, walking around and snapping a quick picture was a great experience. As well, with the camera I took take pictures and videos where ever I went:

From Collingwood to Brantford and Ottawa, I was with the camera taking the photographs:

However, after all those photographs, it ceased working. It was a good camera and managed to last through the challenge of taking all those photographs of Isabelle:

With all the photographs taken during the first few days of her life, it did quite a service and made sure those first days, in fact those first minutes in a very admirable way. But, alas, all things must come to an end and like all things electronic, it reached the end of its life and simply stopped.

With Isabelle going to church for the first time, plus wearing a dress, it was important to purchase a new camera. Off to Future Shop and do some comparative shopping. Lots of very nice camera, with some very nice prices. So no camera. Then it was off to Wal-Mart.

There I found the Polaroid i1037, it was reasonably priced, had a nice spec, 10megapixel to start, plus a very nice sized LCD screen and a lot of features, such as image stablization, red eye and different modes of photographs. It's taking a bit of time to figure it all out, but its a nice learning process.

I must admit the name 'Polaroid' was one of the selling points, if it was like my former camera, I have a good one.

You'll see much of my work from that camera.


Monday, August 03, 2009

Rail Travel, Granddaughter and Zucchini

To say the last couple of weeks have been interesting and hectic would be an understatement. I know there were a number of issues I wanted to blog on, but all had to sort of take a back seat to personal and family matters.

I'm sure there are a number of things which crossed my computer, things such as what has been going on in Ottawa with, well, who knows, at least things are quiet. Of course there is the problems of Iran, the show trials are moving forward.

Being in Ottawa was a good thing. It was good to see what is going on in our nation's capital. It is a lovely city after all, then again it has 30,000,000 people keeping it pleasant.

The reason for the visit, the birth of first granddaughter. Isabelle entered the world on July 29th. She is such a cutie. She came in at 10 lbs, so she's a healthy baby girl:

I may be biased, in fact I had a lengthy discussion as to who has the cutest baby girl with another couple. But really:

One of the issues I faced was returned to Brantford. Early on in the Ottawa visit, there was a strike of Via Rail. Fortunately, it was settled within a couple of days. To bring people, they offered a great sale, a saving of 60% to all who booked by last Friday. Taking full advantage of the situation, I booked my tickets and saved a lot of money. So off on the train I went:

It was great to travel by train. I did it early in the year to London so this was one of the longest trip I had taken for quite a number of years. The trip was pleasant and quite rapid. There were a number of stops, so it was interesting to check out some of the communities. I can tell you that the sale is a great action for Via, the ride from Toronto to Windsor was crowded, even the car to Brantford was full. So perhaps Via should consider keeping it up with volume sales rather then straight price. If they can fill each and every train, then they got to be making a lot of money. It is a pleasant way to travel, the roads were crazy but the rail was great.

On the trip, to continue the Canadian experience, I listened to Gordon Lightfoot's, "Canadian Railway Trilogy"

If you read the Wikipedia entry, you can read
what Pierre Berton said about the song.

Now what about the garden? Seems there was a lot of rain and it is thriving. In fact the Zucchini is doing quite well:

Yes that is a zucchini. It measures 16 inches in length and 16 inches at its widest point. Now that's large.

The funny thing I was concerned about things growing my garden.

I'll get back to blogging this month.