Saturday, October 21, 2006

US Sends Rice to China

Coals to Newcastle? Another Canadian comedian to Hollywood (lets see, Mike Myers, John Candy, Jim Carrey, Leslie Neilsen, Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Rick Moranis, Rick Green, Eugene Levy, Matthew Perry)? How useful is it to send this dear Condoleeza lady when apparently she departs Beijing without, yes without, being told North Korea has made the concession not to implement further nuclear tests. Do the press in South Korea and Japan have it wrong or is Rice in China as useful as a wet noodle? Meanwhile the same old reliable press, albeit worlds away, is linking her romantically to Peter Mackay our foreign minister, who himself is currently in the dog house over his supposed sexist remark about his previous paramour, millionairess Belinda Stronach.

Friday, October 20, 2006


Now that North Korea has caught the world's attention with its nuclear shenanigans, some perspicacious commentators are saying that the new acid test for Sino-American relations, perhaps the most important bilateral relationship that exists, passes through Pyongyang. As goes China's ability to reign in its neighbour and ideological comrade, so goes trade and geopolitical harmony with Uncle Sam. Now where did you say Pyongyang is? How far is that from Reading? Meanwhile the media is reporting China has erected 20km worth of fencing along the Korean border in a week. When the industrial giant (panda) sets its mind to it, things happen. China fears an influx of economic refugees if things go from bad to worse for King Kong Ill, to only slightly butcher the man's name.

Cerebral Palsy

Last Sunday on CBC radio I was lucky enough to tune in to one of the most moving mea culpas I have ever heard. Paula Boone, who is from Huntsville just down Highway 11 from here, had the bravery to go on the national network and explain to the nation how much of a fraud she had been in her youth. Her mother had been a nurse at an institution and regularly brought home to the family a young fellow Timmy with cerebral palsy. He was confined to a wheel chair and his communications were grunts. Paula was much admired for the manner in which she communicated with Timmy, regularly singing a particular song to him to his delight. Turns out though in many ways she despised him and was scunnered by his handicap. Years later after not having seen him or indeed given him much thought, she visited to tell Timmy of her engagement. He went ballistic and she had to leave. See, the song she had sung to him promised of her marrying him, and Timmy had taken it to heart. Now he felt betrayed. His feelings ran deep, something we often overlook in the way we treat handicapped persons. Why would his emotions differ just because he couldn't share them in the "normal" way?
Source: Paula Boone, CBC Radio, Sunday Edition, 15th October, 2006.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Missed the boat again. Going to be late for work. Posted by Picasa

My front yard so to speak Posted by Picasa

Tough having to report to work here, eh? Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 05, 2006

They All Look Alike

I'm not much of a ladies man, not a prominent surgeon. Neither am I a Communist which if I were would invite instant pariah status. Nor am I known to at least a quarter of the world's population. Nonetheless for the fourth time since greeting guests at Bethune Memorial House visitors have suggested I look like long dead Norman Bethune. All have been Asian so to me it smacks of "they all look alike," which of course is utterly incorrect. The variety of faces in China is one of its endearing features, forgive the pun. A portrait of our hero (26th greatest Canadian remember) hangs in the visitor center lobby. I am willing myself to look more like him by the day since he was a handsome old dog in a Peter Mansbridge sort of way. The twice married, twice divorced, ask a third time (all to Frances his Scottish mate), well that part I will skip. I have now guided about 100 people through the premises. Soon I will be able to download photos to my blog which will allow you to see where I work. Each is worth a thousand and one words, to coin a new saying. My place on the lakeside? Really neat. The night I moved in deer ran off the property as I arrived. Chipmunks squealed, whether in delight or not who knows. Ducks dive just below the picture window. Herons fly by. Bears go through the garbage apparently. Think I might invest in a flashlight, always good to fend off 400 pounds of carnivore. Wild turkeys abound just around the corner. Steamers navigate the nearby lake narrows on a regular basis. Too bad the sailing season ends in a few days. To-day I have to uncover my phones and bedding buried in the storage unit. Wish me luck!