All good reasons

Posted: March 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm   /   Columnists

NHL on the brink of the playoffs At this point in the National Hockey League season, with less than a dozen games left, teams and individual players have a variety of motivations. Some teams are on the brink of elimination from post-season play, and are desperate to win to make the playoffs. Others have discovered […]

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Columnist bite hands that feeds

Posted: March 25, 2011 at 2:44 pm   /   Columnists

A vulnerable headline: you just knew it would touch off a firestorm. The cover of the March 9 Wellington Times showed five swans gliding rather gracefully past the camera lens. The caption ran: “Spring thaw: a herd of swans finds open water as the winter’s ice and snow retreat from the harbour in Wellington.” Aherd? […]

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Unplug me

Posted: March 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm   /   Columnists

I live in the dark. I mostly work from home and electricity rates are high during the day so, even on the most overcast and dreary days of winter, I only turn on lights if I can’t see my hand in front of my face. Mechanical timers abound in my house lest I overuse and […]

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St. Patrick’s Day

Posted: March 18, 2011 at 1:06 pm   /   Columnists

It is romantic to glamorize the European age of discovery, yet in the most simplistic terms it was driven by trade. The Ottoman Empire strictly levied the trade routes to the Orient, forcing Western powers to find alternative routes to bypass the Empire, thereby cutting out the middleman and their ensuing taxes. Adventuring west was […]

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Great sports traditions

Posted: March 18, 2011 at 1:06 pm   /   Columnists

From the time that games began, several centuries ago, sport traditions have become an important part of life. Consider soccer without its cheers, and songs, and yes, its hooligans. Cricket goers always assemble on the lawn during a break to consume their cucumber sandwiches. And football without tailgating? That just won’t work. There are a […]

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I see a problem here

Posted: March 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm   /   Columnists

Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope. Where’s the light sabre when you need it? Enquiring minds want to know. I want to do battle with the overlords of communication. Whenever I’m in Ottawa, Toronto or in Vancouver, I usually stop into the MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-operative) to stock up on “ladies’ fine […]

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Topps Baseball Cards

Posted: March 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm   /   Columnists

2011 Edition My hands always tremble a little when I open my first pack of cards from a new issue. While checking out of the local Target store, I happened to spot a rack of trading cards near the newsstand. There was the usual mix of sport and non-sport cards. Surprisingly, there were packs of […]

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Just around the corner

Posted: March 11, 2011 at 2:08 pm   /   Columnists

Continuing our historic perspective of the wine trade, after the fall of the Kingdom of Granada, over the next centuries, Western Europe’s trade with the Orient declined as Constantinople fell to the Turks. In particular, this affected trade in sweet wines from the region, due to diminishing supplies. Supply was further affected when the island […]

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A dubious legacy

Posted: March 11, 2011 at 2:07 pm   /   Columnists

I looked at my SOCAN statement this week. I didn’t know it would create emotional turmoil. SOCAN is the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada. It collects royalties for music composers from performances of their work, at rates established by a federal agency. After I began writing songs a few years ago, […]

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I’ll be the judge of that

Posted: March 11, 2011 at 2:02 pm   /   Columnists

Well, here I am. On the west coast. I’ve never been here at this time of year. The “not really winter” time and the “not really spring” time of the year. The city I’ve grown to love, and consider my second home, seems dirty, grey and crowded—without promise. On the “correct- change-only #20 bus,” coming […]

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