I Propose A Later Canadian Groundhog Day

punxsatawney-phil-ftr

As the walrus said, the time has come. Not to talk of many things, but to rejig the calendar so that Groundhog Day makes sense in Canada.

The day when we North Americans turn to the highly scientific method of weather forecasting, namely the actions of a sleepy rodent, is observed on February second. If he sees his shadow and scurries back into his hole, there are six more weeks of winter. If he does not hightail it back to bed, but stays out, signs a few autographs, poses for a bunch of selfies, and does some interviews, then an early spring is in store.

And let’s face it, when you are forecasting weather via a furry beast, it’s all about the accuracy!

The six weeks outcome, the ‘bad’ one, has many Canadians puzzled. It would bring us to mid-March or almost the end of ‘calendar’ winter. In Canada this would be a most welcome time to see spring. Considering that realistically mid-April is when things start to warm up here. There are places I suppose where the February second date works, but not here.

So I hereby suggest we move Canadian Groundhog Day to a later date. Just like we do with our earlier Thanksgiving. Both Canada and the USA celebrate Thanksgiving; a way to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. But here in the north our harvest time is much earlier than in the south, so we celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October, not in November. If we had Groundhog Day on March first, it would reflect a more accurate reality. And let’s face it, when you are forecasting weather via a furry beast, it’s all about the accuracy!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Roll Over Beethoven’s Classic Riff

Beethoven

There are probably as many famous riffs in the history of rock ‘n’ roll as there are fans. But perhaps the best known is the opening riff of Chuck Berry’s Roll Over Beethoven.

Chuck’s classic has been covered by just about everyone over the years. But the version by Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra may be my favourite.

Of course, it is well documented in the annals of Rock ‘n’ Roll that many a band split up because of arguments over various riffs. These have come to be known as riff rifts.

 

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

The Rolling Stones, Commas, and Painting Things Black

Paint It

In 1966 the Rolling Stones released Paint It, Black – the comma being an error by Decca Records, but, nonetheless, stirred controversy among fans over its racial interpretation. In later issues, it was titled Paint It Black.

The importance of commas …

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

Halloween Midnight Picnic

Pik-Nik

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

Montreal’s Traffic – A Thorny Issue at Best

Bishop

The one lane Bishop Street from GOOGLE EARTH

With the city in the midst of a major multi-year project to redo a large highway exchange, it is an understatement to say traffic, which can be a thorny issue at the best of times, in Montreal is bad. It is horrendous with gusts to devastating. Some recent traffic induced situations have shone a light on human nature.

… it is an understatement to say traffic in Montreal is bad. It is horrendous with gusts to devastating.

Many streets in Montreal’s downtown sector are old and narrow. In many cases, these secondary streets are reduced to one lane of traffic when there is parking on both sides. Twice this summer I have witnessed how this can bring out the worst in drivers.

One day a month or so ago I was on MacKay Street watching a large tractor-trailer as the driver attempted to back it into a lane. This involved blocking the street, almost putting the cab of the rig on the opposite sidewalk and I suspect a few prayers that the whole thing would not jack-knife.

… until a cop strolled by and told him to get out of the way, go around the block. Even then the driver started to argue with the cop about having to make his delivery.

The driver of the truck was not having any luck after several shaky tries. In addition, traffic was backing up for some distance and starting to block an intersection.  However, people were being patient. Until a fire truck, sirens blaring lights flashing started down the street. Horns began to hoot as drivers wanted to get out of the way. I figured the driver would pull out, go around the block letting traffic flow, and try again. But no; just when it looked like he was going to do so this guy opted instead to give it another shot. With traffic building, sirens getting louder he tried to get that trailer into that lane until a cop strolled by and told him to get out of the way, go around the block. Even then the driver started to argue with the cop about having to make his delivery.

Who in their right mind would a) do recycling or garbage pick up at rush hour and, b) have only one person to drive and collect?

Yesterday was recycling day. On the next street over, Bishop, at 5:15 pm the contractor started to collect the recycling put out by the many restaurants, bars, and condos on the street. Yep, at rush hour. To make things worse, the truck had but one person to drive it and pick up the loads of cardboard and other recyclables. He would move up a few feet, get out of the truck, run from one side of the street to the other collecting, toss things into the truck, get back inside and move up a few more feet. All while a line of cars is growing behind him, down the street and causing a tie up on another street as drivers wait to turn. Who in their right mind would a) do recycling or garbage pick up at rush hour and, b) have only one person to drive and collect? It defies logic but probably puts a bit more cash in the contractor’s pocket.

But it wasn’t all bad. Last weekend I was driving west on a main street that intersects a highway exit. While waiting at the red light with my left turn indicator on several cars exiting the highway got stuck in the intersection blocking me from making my turn once the light changed. One fellow was so close to me that I could see he was going to do everything possible not to make eye contact, knowing he was in the wrong by “blocking the box”. But human nature being what it is he eventually looked at me no doubt expecting some rude gesture or comment. But all I did as our gaze met was shrug. A sort of “don’t worry we’ve all been there” shrug. He smiled and shrugged back and it was over.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Sorry, But We Canadians Do Not Apologize Too Much

Originally published September 3, 2013

This post was linked to by CNN to explain the backhanded apologies of some Canadians!

Sorry, I didn’t realize you are a total arsehole unable to function in normal society

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 too much, perhaps even when being given a traffic ticket. If someone gives you something you have two choices; you can say thanks, or no thanks. As the latter probably won’t work with most cops you’re left with the former. Thanks for the ticket. Just as an afterthought, when someone does say thanks, or thank you, it is customary to reply with “you’re welcome”, or “my pleasure”, or even “no problem”. It is never appropriate to reply with “sure” or “uh-huh”!

800px-Canada_flag_halifax_9_-04But maybe we are more often accused of being overly apologetic, so let me enlighten you as to the true nature of the Canadian apology. Saying sorry is often depicted as a national pastime in Canada: bacon, hockey and apologizing. However I think it would be of benefit to those who hold this opinion of Canadians as apologists to explain our apologies, because they can be very subtle in nature – often more empathetic than apologetic.

Let’s say a Canadian and a non-Canadian turn a corner and bump into each other on a sidewalk.

… because (Canadian apologies) can be very subtle in nature – often more empathetic than apologetic

The Canuck will probably be the first to say cheerily “Sorry about that” even though  both were equally at fault, or no fault existed. The other person may also apologize, just as cheerily, resulting in what is known as a civilized exchange. Then again he or she may seize upon the Canadian’s apology to feel superior and reply “You certainly should be sorry” or some other witty retort.

… don’t be fooled by our oft used  “sorry”, sometimes we’re actually expressing our sympathy for your shortcomings

In this case the subtlety of the sorry masks its true intent, which is along the lines of: “Sorry, I didn’t realize you are a total arsehole unable to function in normal society”. You see, the sorry in this case is more akin to the sorry expressed to someone recently bereaved; you weren’t responsible for the death of the loved one, but you “feel” sorry for their loss – you empathise with them. In our case you feel sorry for the cloddish boor for being a cloddish boor.

Keep this in mind the next time a Canadian apologizes to you; don’t be fooled by our oft used  “sorry”, sometimes we’re actually expressing our sympathy for your shortcomings.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

May Day Images

Workers of the world unite!

May Pole dance.

 

Sam “Mayday” Malone

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Outlier Defined

From Merriam-Webster
out·li·er
noun
  1. 1:  a person whose residence and place of business are at a distance His house was a place of refuge for outliers.

  2. 2:  something (as a geological feature) that is situated away from or classed differently from a main or related body The island is an outlier on the southeast side of the archipelago.

  3. 3:  a statistical observation that is markedly different in value from the others of the sample Values that are outliers give disproportionate weight to larger over smaller values.

From DCMontreal

out·li·er

  1. 1: A person who can out-lie all others; see Trump, Donald

 

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Fibre 1 or Fiber 1???

Is it centre or center? Currently there is an ad running on TV for Fiber 1 in which the parents fool their child into thinking the cereal is called Number 1 (they do this by holding the box in such a way that the first three letters are blocked and only “BER 1” is visible). The kid eats what he thinks is his cereal and likes it.

Great…so far, so good.

Except here in Canada we spell it Fibre 1 thereby making the little hide-the-letters game impossible. But has that stopped the ad from running? Nope!! I have not been able to find the video online, but I can assure you the ad runs with the father hiding the first three letters but this time the “BRE 1” are visible and that is no way to spell Number 1!!!!

Do they think we are fools???

I like to drown my cereal in about a litre, or is that liter, of milk. Sometimes I need  a milk metre, or meter, to make sure I have enough. To hell with it, I’m off to the theatre, or theater.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

#TBT Sorry, But We Canadians Do Not Apologize Too Much

“Sorry, I didn’t realize you are a total arsehole unable to function in normal society”

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 too much, perhaps even when being given a traffic ticket. If someone gives you something you have two choices; you can say thanks, or no thanks. As the latter probably won’t work with most cops you’re left with the former. Thanks for the ticket. Just as an afterthought, when someone does say thanks, or thank you, it is customary to reply with “you’re welcome”, or “my pleasure”, or even “no problem”. It is never appropriate to reply with “sure” or “uh-huh”!

800px-Canada_flag_halifax_9_-04But maybe  we are more often accused of being overly apologetic, so let me enlighten you as to the true nature of the Canadian apology. Saying sorry is often depicted as a national pastime in Canada: bacon, hockey and apologizing. However I think it would be of benefit to those who hold this opinion of Canadians as apologists to explain our apologies, because they can be very subtle in nature – often more empathetic than apologetic.

Let’s say a Canadian and a non-Canadian turn a corner and bump into each other on a sidewalk.

because (Canadian apologies) can be very subtle in nature – often more empathetic than apologetic.

The Canuck will probably be the first to say cheerily “Sorry about that” even though  both were equally at fault, or no fault existed. The other person may also apologize, just as cheerily, resulting in what is known as a civilized exchange. Then again he or she may seize upon the Canadian’s apology to feel superior and reply “You certainly should be sorry” or some other witty retort.

… don’t be fooled by our oft used  “sorry”, sometimes we’re actually expressing our sympathy for your shortcomings.

In this case the subtlety of the sorry masks its true intent, which is along the lines of: “Sorry, I didn’t realize you are a total arsehole unable to function in normal society”. You see, the sorry in this case is more akin to the sorry expressed to someone recently bereaved, you weren’t responsible for the death of the loved one, but you “feel” sorry for their loss – you empathize with them. In our case you feel sorry for the cloddish boor for being a cloddish boor.

Keep this in mind the next time a Canadian apologizes to you; don’t be fooled by our oft used  “sorry”, sometimes we’re actually expressing our sympathy for your shortcomings.

This post was linked to by CNN to explain the backhanded apology of some Canadians!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+