Saturday, April 30, 2011

Politics - Canadian Elections

I am voting for the Conservative Party ... I don't see any other present leader that I feel can do the job of running the country, except Harper. 

Stephen Harper has been one of the best prime ministers in Canadian history, in my opinion, and came at a time when he was really needed, given this depression in which the world has found itself battling.  He's not perfect, but he has done good by our country.  I shudder to think what would've happened if the Liberals had been in power, and tremble at the very idea of the NDP being in control of our countries coffers during this economic depression.  We would've been in a far worse situation than we find ourselves in now (which is actually one of the best worldwide).

News - Royal Wedding

Gosh! So tired still! My daughter and I watched the royal wedding on Thursday night ... finished around 5am our time, with the double kiss.  I am glad it's over.  There was so much cover leading up to the event, that I was quite sick of it.  Of course, now the critique of the wedding begins, but it's rather anti-climactic since it's over. 

What I thought of the wedding?  I loved the dress .... the lace was just enough fanciness, off set with the classic lines of the rest of the dress.  The train was not too long for one person to manage, and compared to Princess Di's wedding, this one was quite simple and elegant.  I loved the little pages and bridesmaids.  So cute!

The now duke and duchess will be visiting Canada in June/July 2011. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Holidays - Easter

I had a lovely Easter weekend.  No more small children at home to hunt for eggs, but I made roast lamb for my two adult children on Sunday, and they seemed to enjoy it.  My 18 year old daughter made some chocolate cookies.  We also caught up with the BBC TV series, Dr. Who.

But, throughout, I did remember the reason for Easter.  That day, Jesus Christ gave up his life for our sins, and then three days later overcame death, to rise up to Heaven to be at his Father's side.  Miracles then, and a miracle for us today.

My Opinion - Dreams

"Dreams" have many meanings:
  1. There is the nightly purge of our daily angst which allows us to function clearly. 
  2. Then there is the aspirations and desires we might have for our lives ... the dreams of how we would like our lives to be.
  3. Daydreaming, or imagining things ... this is a creative function, that could include brainstorming.
  4. Negatively ... it could be nightmares, illusions, wishful thinking and fantasies.
Life should be a matter of balance.  We should plan, but also dream.  I, for instance, am planning to be a writer (my dream) by going to university to get a degree in creative writing.  While studying, I write, and what I write is critiqued by my fellow students and I get feedback from my instructor.  And so, I improve, and get closer to my dream of earning a living from being a writer.  But, until then, I do what I enjoy ... in essence, the dream is ever present, ever evolving, whether published or not.
Edgar Cayce said: "Dreams are today's answers to tomorrow's questions."  I believe him.

News - Conservative Party of Canada

I support the Conservative Party in the Canadian elections.  I feel that PM Stephen Harper has got our country through a bad economic time, and we are in a better shape than most countries.  He is also a friend to Israel, hard on crime, and supports low taxes. I like that his wife is Canadian, and so are his children.  I don't know why I like that fact, since I am an immigrant, but I came to Canada to be a Canadian, so that must have something to do with it.  I loved how he handled himself during the english Debate.  The liberals call him cold, but I think he's cool, calm, and collected ... he states his case, and doesn't get all riled up.  From my perspective, to be a Canadian is to be cool and calm and collected.  We are not ones for revolution, and uprisings (... Ignatieff's, "rise up, rise up Canada" speech sounded so ... sorry to say it, but it sounded like an Obama speech ... "yes, we can" tirade).  We are a quiet people, slow to anger, fast to help when someone is in trouble, we stand by our friends, and we don't follow blindly.  I see all that, and more, in Stephen Harper.

I want more jails to keep dangerous people out of society longer than their 1/6th that they presently serve.  How many times have rapists been let out early, only to rape again?  The same can be said for paedophiles. I also want criminals from other countries to sent back despite a possible death sentence.  Who are we to judge the laws of another country, and harbour criminals that can do the same thing in our own country?  I hope this changes.
Some things I would like the CP government to work on:  immigration policy that makes it easier for families to be together, but harder for criminals and terrorists to get in;  smaller government (i.e. I am not keen on the setting up of an office for religious freedom - doesn't make sense to me since we are guaranteed that in the Bill of Rights); and lowering the power of unions while strengthening the rights of the worker through the government, whether provincial or federal (I find that some unions will commit economic suicide for their members just for the sake of making a point and/or gaining more power for themselves); and, more research on green technology, and stricter rules on plastic bottled water.  I would like the rivers and oceans cleaned of pollution, our air breathable for asthmatics, etc.  But, there has to be balance in all things.  We, the people of Canada, can do a lot to fix things instead of relying on our government to do everything.  And, I think most of us do, such as recycling, having campaigns against plastic bottles, switch off your lights, and so on.  We don't need our government to think for us, to have a finger in every part of our lives. 

I hope the CP gets a majority government this time.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Life - Good Friday

It has been a quiet Good Friday spent researching for new stories, and catching up with house cleaning/laundry.  My daughter and I are also watching the Dr. Who marathon. 

I have been reading about the subgenre of sci-fi: steampunk.  I find this genre quite intriguing.  I've always loved trains, particularly steam trains ... I was a railway kid.  I also enjoy the Victorian era history/fashion/architecture, and the authors of that time, for example, Jules Verne.  I have not written much sci-fi ... just tried my hand at one for my latest assignment, and found it exciting to imagine other worlds, other sciences, etc.  I am hoping to stretch that story into a novel.

I am going to write a short story encapsulating a steampunk world.

Travel - Brugge in Belgium

I was lucky to spend a wonderful weekend in Brugge in Belgium early March 2011, with an old friend who I hadn't seen in more than 30 years.  The city was magical, seeing my friend was amazing, and we had an awesome time walking around, going to pubs, quaint restaurants, into beautiful churches/cathedrals, over bridges, and talking/laughing into the night.  I was so happy to find a Tin Tin store where I bought a poster. 
Here is a website of the city:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Opinion - Attitude

Grandpa sandwiched

Charles Swindoll said about attitude: "The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude ... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you ... we are in charge of our Attitudes." 

Attitude is what changes the outcomes of our experiences in life whether good or bad.  If you want a positive life, then you need to have a positive point of view ... a happy attitude.  The only person we can control is ourselves, and the reactions we have toward situations or people.  Of course, we can't always be in this mindset .... sad things happen that require a melancholy attitude, but one must not forget that it needs not be a negative, rather a thoughtfulness about what has occurred.  For instance, a death of a beloved family member does not mean one has to be negative, but have loving memories of that person.

Reading/Review - The Library Cat of all Library Cats

I've just read Dewey by Vicki Myron (with Bret Witter).  I loved it.  It's so nice to read a true story of something/someone about which so many people know, but is new to me.

It's a non-fiction story about a small-town library cat who became quite famous.  It's also about the librarian's relationship with Dewey, and by extension, the town.  I definitely would recommend this to anyone who loves animals, particularly ginger cats (you know who you are).  Or, just enjoys a good real-life story.  Or, likes libraries.  Or, loves small towns, specifically, in Iowa, U.S.A.  I will be passing this book on to someone who fits into the above category. 

The author said she learned the following from Dewey:
"Find your place. Be happy with what you have. Treat everyone well. Live a good life. It isn't about material things; it's about love. And you can never anticipate love."

The epilogue was thought provoking, especially the above, and the story about what happened to Vicki when she was 3 years old.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

News - Strike!

Our university faculty association has been on strike since March 11, 2011.  It is becoming ridiculous now.  It is pretty much the provincial government's fault, having withdrawn a lot of funding from universities province wide.  As I understand it, the administration cannot mediate with money they don't have; the association wants a clause in their contract protecting them from lay-offs (I cannot imagine anyone in this economy being protected in such a manner unless they have tenure).  There is also some issue with cutting courses from programs.  To be fair, the faculty has been working without a contract in place for some time now, and this should've been sorted out by the administration last year.

So, it seems like there is a deadlock.  We students are caught in the middle.  I just think that the faculty is playing with fire ... killing the golden goose, in a way.  Many students are thinking of withdrawing from programs to work, or just fed-up and going to other universities in other provinces.  We are not a university with many rich students.  There are loans to be paid, bursaries to be honoured, savings to be made.  We still have many trades programs from our university-college days, and these students are having a hard time.  Their instructors are not part of the faculty association, but they are barred from crossing the picket line.

The funny thing, to me, is that these are professional people who are part of an association .... not a union.  But, they act as if they're in one.  And it irritates me that they are not honouring the service they promised to provide, by taking our money.  In essence, that money is now stolen money.  The time we have had no classes is stolen time.  I mean both adminstration and faculty .... they should've come to an agreement sooner than this - four weeks and counting.

Yellow daisies

Yellow daisies
taken in Nanaimo

White daisies

White daisies
field of daisies taken in Nanaimo