The Magical World of Arts and Crafts

Good Spirit 2005

2005 family vacation to Good Spirit Lake.





Universal "Welcome Skateboarders" Sign

King of the Road


Reflected Cherub


Taking The Message On The Road

Stephen Harper's response to a "slanted" Ottawa press gallery is asinine. Since being elected PM, Harper has sought to control the media in any way possible. A media he deems unfriendly to the Conservative message. Initially he kept his caucus meeting schedule secret so he and his cabinet could not be caught by the press and asked any questions, and his latest attempt was to have reporters put their names on a list if they wished to ask a question, therefore allowing his staffers to pick and choose who would get to ask a question. Bush-league behaviour, literally and figuratively. Thankfully the press corps in Ottawa has a spine, and showed their displeasure by walking out en masse before a press conference.

Apparently it mattered not to Steve, who claims:

They (the Ottawa press gallery) don't ask questions at my press conferences now. We'll just take the message out on the road. There's lots of media who do want to ask questions and hear what the government is doing.

Now, where exactly this "road" is, is anyone's guess. Will it be his hometown, will it be Conservative Party headquarters. Would he get more favourable questions from these people? Just where does Harper expect to find these journalist/lapdogs? The end result of this wrangling between the PM and the press is a lack of information being disseminated to the Canadian people.

Related to this was a good segment on CBC's "The Current" in which American journalist Helen Thomas relates the situation for the White House press corps in the U.S., and comments upon the situation faced by Canadian reporters now that Harper and crew are in power.

Click to listen (real audio file)


We Call It Life


Who knew?

I always thought smokestacks pumped out pollution into the atmosphere. Thankfully we have the good folks at the Competitive Enterprise Institute to set the record straight. They have been kind enough to prepare a couple of 60 second tv spots to offer their opinion on the issue of so called global warming. Turns out it isn't CO2, it's Life! From their website:

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has produced two 60-second television spots focusing on the alleged global warming crisis and the calls by some environmental groups and politicians for reduced energy use. The ads are airing in 14 U.S. cities from May 18 to May 28, 2006.

There's a load off my mind! Now if only someone would make up a couple of spots and rename trash I'd feel much better.


Free Information and Free Advice

Free Information

The Free Information Society has posted on their web site an interesting aural archive, for your free downloading of course. The Society has provided "Historical Sounds in MP3 Format" to be listened to and enjoyed. Kind of like being Forrest Gump. You'll feel like you were at many of the past century's newsworthy events, in fact it's like a window to the past, only it's closed and you can't see out of it, you can try the door to get out but it's locked and no matter how much you pound no one hears you, you're locked in, so you're forced to sit miserably in front of your radio again while cool shit's happening, and cool people are there and you can only listen.

Free Advice

What is up with this DaVinci Code? I saw years of the series on CBC and while the character Dominic DaVinci, a coroner in Vancouver (idea clearly stolen from Quincy), is compelling and the plot lines intriguing I just don't see what all the fuss is about if they want to make it into a movie. If you want my advice, wait for it to come on CBC

**UPDATE**Apparently there is more to this than I knew. Who would have guessed that DaVinci would be such a popular name? Gandalf is even in the movie, and if you follow this link you will hear some sage advice from the white wizard himself. Ok, now I see. My advice, the book is not worth your time unless you're into poorly written mystery novels and as for the movie, judging by critical response -- rent it.

Afghanistan or Rubber Chicken?


Stephen Harper Has Had Enough Rubbery Chicken

or so our good friends at CBS tell us.

Looks like Stephen Harper has been polishing his crystal ball, and his rearview mirror. According to the CBS report Stephen Harper will not be attending the Parliamentary Press Gallery dinner this fall, which is in line with his current "duck the press" strategy. One wonders if he looked at the pummeling President Bush suffered at the hands of Stephen Colbert and has found his worst fears confirmed. When making a public appearance one runs the risk of not being in total control of all the details and one could either make an ass of oneself, or be made an ass of by others. Scary stuff for the captain of the HMS Tightlip.


Now with respect to the members of the Conservative caucus and the tight control they are under, one can only assume the fear is they will make asses of themselves. We need look no further than Maurice Vellacott to see a Tory eager to paint large his ignorance with technicolour brush strokes. Whether he is claiming that the Supreme Court plays god with the law, or bitterly stating:

They (the Liberals) seem to think that they have some divine right to govern and it is greatly upsetting to them when the public judges otherwise

Notice anything? Vellacott seems to be able to link the behaviour of those he does not agree with as being godlike or divine. Perhaps Maurice went a little too heavy on the christian and a little light on the education? From his website his education consists of:

Bachelor'’s degree at Briercrest College, a master's degree at Canadian Theological Seminary (University of Regina affiliated) and an earned doctoral degree from Trinity International University in Chicago.

I guess we can't blame him for being a little out of touch with goings on in this world when he has spent so much time contemplating divinity, and I guess who should know more than Maurice when others are acting like gods?

Just a quick comment on the recent debate on extending the mission of our troops in Afghanistan ... sham. Harper will pay lip service to democracy, but will do what ever he wants, or in this case what ever he can get away with given his status as leader of a minority government. We need to examine our role in Afghanistan. Are we there as peace keepers and nation builders or are we giving the United States a break by not having to police both Iraq and Afghanistan, and so making them freer to impose their will upon the people of Iraq.

Something to consider before making any long term commitment to more time in Afghanistan, is this list of Canadian casualties in that country. This list is also a list of reasons Mr. Harper and his MP's should be allowed to speak freely in front of the Canadian press corps, and as such be held accountable for their actions and decisions.


And He Drinks Johnnie Walker


File this one under - "My how times have changed." That is if you are into filing things under anything at all, or if the changing of societal norms holds anything more than a mere passing fancy for you.
I was at my children's school the other day and there were some magazines that had been left so they could be reused by the students, all good so far. I picked up this one, the October/November 1988 Canadian Geographic magazine and had to laugh, look, read, laugh some more at the ad on the back cover.


Questions arise. Who are these women? Why would she be happy to meet a guy who is "crazy about her kid" AND a drinker of Johnnie Walker. Does not make sense. Who are the advertising people who came up with this and what were they thinking? And what crossed the minds of the execs at Johnnie Walker when they looked at this ad and read the copy?

I just found this too funny, as has anyone I have shown it to since. I am not offended in any way by the ad, it just tickles me to think that only 18 years ago it was thought of as a good strategy for selling booze.

Enjoy, and remember ... "Good taste is always an asset"


Do You Lightroom?

Adobe Lightroom

For those of you lucky enough to be using a Mac, head on over to the Macromedia Labs site and download the Adobe Lightroom Beta. Looking for an app to organize your photos and do some light touch ups? Looking for an app that gives you all the power of a heavy duty RAW image file manipulator? Looking for an app to pull together slide shows with multiple export format choices? Looking for an app that gives you multiple choices when it comes to printing, print layouts and print quality? Look no further - give Lightroom a try - it's free, and for a beta release seems to work extremely well and be bug free.

Summer Pics

Here are some pics taken this past summer at "Buffalo Days".




Larger sizes and more exciting photos are at flickr.