Sunday, July 30, 2006

Graffiti - neighbourhood artists dun well; come to think of it my dining room needs a new coat Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Time to Blow This Pop Stand

Each of the 4 topics posted is worthy of its own entry frankly. What links them is that irrepressible thing called time. Love it or hate it time marches on. A year ago according to a diary entry, I purchased a new watch in China for $10. This week it stopped. Maybe it is just the battery. I went looking for my old watch of ten years which had been substituted to see about getting it repaired at the same time. Lo and behold it is working again! Four days later it is keeping perfect time and just keeps on ticking. You would think it was a Timex from Dundee! So this week marks the last airing of that BBC institution Top of the Pops. Forty years later Jimmy Saville is facing the media microphones again as he walks down nostalgia lane. I was weaned on his show, both the radio and TV versions. Where are Mary Hopkins, Badfinger and hey, Jude, these days? Do you remember where you were 25 years ago to-day? Yep, Charles and Di got hitched at Westminster July 29th, 1981. I played an early morning round of golf at the links in Neepawa, Manitoba, then, humbled, slunk back to the hotel to watch some rip roaring pageantry dished up as only Britain can do. Talking of time, or timing to be more precise, have you ever heard of the Five Browns? Piano virtuosos from the same family, born within six years of each other, now in their twenties, they play classical on five grand pianos simultaneously. They have ten pianos in their house which takes up a lot of rural Colorado (or Utah?) as you might imagine. They have been on Jay Leno, Oprah, Sixty Minutes and were live on CBC Radio yesterday with me in the audience. Mum and Dad were poor on their timing if you ask me but the kids are significantly better.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Chess Match

Its not good when the soccer commentators liken football games to a chess match. I have gone all the way to Quebec City from Ottawa to attend a Quarter Final of the World Chess Championship (the days of Kevin Spragett) but normally that drama is far from the excitement of the World Cup. The Quarter Finals of FIFA's showcase this year however were dreary (in fact stultifying is a word which comes to mind to describe some of them). The play acting seems worse than ever. Case in point Portugal against England. Conning the ref and avoiding shooting at goal seem the new mantra. Maybe its sour grapes but I lament the passing of the Czechs, Spain and Ecuador. Even the Japanese and Australia. And the USA if only because they came to play against Italy. One commentator described the lack of timing as shot after shot was off target to days when golfers find the rough but never the fairway (been there, done that). Another thing is that irritating announcer who feels we are all going through an "emotional shredder" anytime overtime looms, which is just about every game. Emotional my foot when you feel like nodding off as the game protracts for lack of scoring. As for the English fans singing little else but the national anthem, when last did any of them pay hommage to God or the Queen outside of a football ground? Oh well, guess it is a religion after all but this is one adherent who is losing the faith.

The rock and recent memorial at Bella Coola, British Columbia, where Sir Alexander MacKenzie first arrived at the Pacific after his transcontinental pioneeering exploration. Posted by Picasa

Tibetan Rail Link

China has just inaugurated the first rail connection with Tibet. The link with the rest of the country in places has been constructed over permafrost. Some of the track is at 5,000 metres elevation and requires pressurized wagons, just like a plane. The train was built by Bombardier, the Canadian multinational company which specializes in trains and planes and, wait for it....... not automobiles, rather snowmobiles. As the Chinese economy expands so does interior development. Tibetans of course do not wish to see their culture swamped but that appears to be what is happening. The han ethnics are flooding out Tibetans by shear numbers just as in Mongolia. Did the North American indian welcome the iron horse?