Monthly Archives: January 2020

Favorite Shoes

I was tired. I needed new running shoes. It was hot. All in all, it was a bad combination, and I left the market feeling I had been ripped off. I paid too much for the shoes. It was the spring of 1990, and the market was Waterside in the Liberian capital, Monrovia. We had […]

Taking Aim At Gun Crime

One of the big differences between Canada and the United States is the attitude towards personal firearms. I don’t know if two nations with so much in common could be farther apart than on this issue. Americans think it is a constitutional right to “bear arms” and woe betide anyone who tries to take away […]

Typha Fever

One of the things I like about being a blogger is the opportunities it presents to learn something new. As evidenced by the subject of today’s post. I expect to learn something new when I travel. That’s part of the reason for going some place you haven’t been before. With a love of history and […]

Memories of Winter

  I’m back in Germany, where if there was a winter of 2019-20 it is long gone. It was minus nine Celsius when we boarded the plane in Ottawa, plus 13 when we arrived in Basel Switzerland (the closest airport) too many hours later. Winter was late arriving in Canada – I was wondering at […]

Integrity Versus Elect-ability

  It was hardly a secret, but it became official on the weekend: Peter MacKay is running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. He seems likely to win – and I can’t think of a worse choice. It appears the party is confronted with a simple choice: integrity or elect-ability. McKay may […]


Spoiler alert; the book became a hit. But probably anyone who watches Tolkein knew that already. I remember reading about this film when it was being made, but missed it in theatres. Thank you Lufthansa for showing it when Air Canada didn’t. (I should note, Lufthansa had no Canadian movies available. Sometimes hard choices have […]

In The Courtyard

The Alsatian town of Kaysersberg was given the title “City of the Empire” in 1293, according to a mural I discovered when checking out a courtyard off one of the main streets. There I found this mural commissioned to mark the 700th anniversary of the event. The title was given by Adolf, who was King […]

Revisiting Trump

I’ve been doing some “housecleaning” on my phone and found today’s post, which I had written to post around before Donald Trump’s election in November 2016, then an addendum to go with his January 2017 inauguration. It is a topic I explored in a book review last year, but I figured as Trump enters the […]

Man’s Inhumanity

The first question I thought when visiting the Dachau concentration camp was: “How could they not have known?” Of course, many Germans did know of the concentration camps and bought the lies about what was happening there. It was easier to pretend than to confront the reality. After all, as it said on the gates, […]

Mind Games

Some days it seems like I have a mountain of books to read – and never enough time. It could be worse though. Back when I was working in radio, a couple of book publicists discovered that I was willing to not only interview authors coming through town but that I would actually read the […]