COVID’s moving front line

The COVID19 pandemic has thrust some people, some positions, onto the front lines. These positions, such as shelf-stocker, usually required a minimal amount of social interaction. Traditionally the term front line workers referred to doctors, nurses, indeed most medical workers, police, firefighters and, other life-and-death professionals. Now, because the front line itself has been movedContinue reading “COVID’s moving front line”

How Do Costa Rican Motorcyclists Survive?

During my second trip to Costa Rica to visit in-laws over the holidays, I could not help but consider yet again how it can be possible that any motorcycle riders survive the roads and traffic. Those of us who are used to more recent urbanization, including streets set out in a grid formation, are atContinue reading “How Do Costa Rican Motorcyclists Survive?”

UPDATED: Montreal’s free parking not so free when using the app

UPDATE: I believe in the concept of credit where credit is due, so I am posting this update. In response to my post last week, the parking authorities have contacted me to ‘own their error’, apologize for it and assure me that all who paid will be reimbursed. Just when you thought customer service wasContinue reading “UPDATED: Montreal’s free parking not so free when using the app”

My Grandfather’s Lexicon

I’ve always liked the word lexicon, defined as the “vocabulary of a language, an individual speaker or group of speakers, or a subject”. I wonder if the words and terms used by denizens of Guadalajara make up a Mexicon? Or if those witty utterances of the wee lucky green people from Ireland constitute a Lexichaun? IfContinue reading “My Grandfather’s Lexicon”

My Great-Grandfather’s World War One Lie

  My great-grandfather, Ernest Henry Blackwell, was born in Sussex, England. In 1893, he and his wife Annie Ellis emigrated to Canada where he would spend the rest of his days. They had five children: three sons and two daughters. His eldest child, George Ernest Blackwell, was my grandfather. I have recounted some of hisContinue reading “My Great-Grandfather’s World War One Lie”

Sorry But We Canadians Do Not Apologize Too Much

This post originally appeared in 2013. At the time it was linked to by CNN. It is often said that we Canadians are polite to a fault.  As a Canadian, I would suggest, but certainly not argue, that it is impossible to be overly polite. People point out that we say thank you way tooContinue reading “Sorry But We Canadians Do Not Apologize Too Much”

Even electric vehicles need parking spots

In Montreal, we are entering the final weeks of municipal election campaigns. The two main candidates vying for mayor of the city are locked in a virtual tie. Promises are coming fast and furious. The incumbent, Valérie Plante, is hoping to hang on to her mayor’s seat, but her opponent, Denis Coderre, whom she defeatedContinue reading “Even electric vehicles need parking spots”

What happened to sardines?

The ongoing, but hopefully soon ending, COVID19 pandemic has played havoc with all sorts of day-to-day lives. From the wearing of masks to the getting of vaccines – and the foolish but not unexpected debates arising from these public health issues – virtually everyone’s life has been touched in some way. Sadly some more direlyContinue reading “What happened to sardines?”