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Monday Morning Smile XLIX – Great Canadian Moments


 Wow, what a great! weekend!  Fantastic weather just makes everyone feel better doesn’t it?

After doing a lot of the normal suburban stuff (baseball practice, cut the grass, etc..) I took in the Blue Jay game on a sunny sunday afternoon with my son. A little popcorn, a little umpire baiting, a fair amount of cheering, a great day all round. Did you catch the big news on the weekend?  I mean, really, really big news? No, not the Mayor Ford saga…..

It was really, really big news. …

Got me thinking – what are the big moments throughout the history of Canada that really define the Canadian experience – that Canadian fabric of life. (I’ll try and resist inserting the invention of the donut or Tim Horton’s ….)

Here’s the countdown of the Top Eight

8. Vikings come to Newfoundland. They stay one winter, and hightail it back…they’re no dummies. Winter in NF? yikes.Newfoundland - Viking Trailblizzard

7.  Jacques Cartier ‘discovers’ Canada.  For the next 150 years or so the British and French argue (pitch battle) over a bunch of trees, beaver pelts, and maple syrup. Brit James Wolfe finally beats the French on the Plains of Abraham – and then dies.

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6. Americans decide that Canada looks good. They invade and find out that Canadians (o.k. Brits) are a tough bunch. Yanks lose the war of 1812.

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5. 1867! Canada is a country. Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia start the greatest nation in the world – and also open the first donut franchise (just kidding about that part).

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4. Women get the vote. (not because it was the right thing to do btw. The Conservative party at the time was behind in the polls and wanted to win, so they expanded the voting population by including women (who had husbands, brothers, or sons in the military). These women supported the party and swept to power. all women got the vote a few years later.

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3. Wayne Gretzky learns to skate.

young-wayne-gretzky gtreztkyfamily

2. 2005 – Canada legalises same sex marriage – enabling an unalienable equal right for everyone to complain about their spouse’s snoring.

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1. 2013 – Hockey Canada bans Bodychecking !! WoW. Without our kids having grown up without concussions, where will all these smart kids find good jobs?

IMG_6208 Yep, this is my kid against a kid from Chicago in a tournament a few years ago. I know which kid wins in a battle against the boards!! I didn’t care if we won, I only cared my kid came out alive.


Monday Morning Smile XXXXVIII – ZIP and other Acronyms


I hope all of you had a wonderful long weekend. It is the unofficial prep weekend for a long and glorious summer. Cottages open, patio furniture is released from the shed, and the BBQ gets its first real workout of the season.

I was in North Carolina for the weekend at a family event. Wonderful time, the weather held (meaning it didn’t rain much, and the temperature, which could have topped 30, held at a comfortable 22 or 23.)

When check ing into the Hotel they asked for our ZIP code. Hmmmm, of course we don’t have one, but why call it ZIP code?

Got me thinking…..did you know that ZIP stands for Zone improvement Plan? Now that is a piece of info that you just can’t live without.

Here’s some others…..and I won’t include the pretenders such as LOL, WTF, etc….An acronym isn’t really cool till it has stood the test of time.

SCUBA – anyone know that one?

scuba

answer: Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus

Billy Idol sings a famous song called MONY, MONY. Actually is was first done in the 60’s and Billy Idol covered it. (as have many others such as Alvin & the Chipmunks, Teh Beach Boys, etc)

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Answer: Mutual of New York, yep – really, it’s true. The song writer had a block, stepped out onto the balcony to have a cigarette and saw the sign across the street for the Finance firm. 

Of course there is the very corporate practical use of WAG. (which is used as a synonym for ‘estimate’, e.g. the WAG on that project is $1.3 million)

Answer: Wild Ass Guess, which is an irreverent way of saying, “here is my estimate, but I really have no idea”. (note: altenate meaning is “Wives and Girlfriends – which refers to the partners of famous soccer players).

Hmmm, there are so many, how about one more……Ever want a JEEP? Only the cool kids get them….How did the name JEEP come about? (and yes, that is a picture of MacGyver for those that recognised it!)

jeep

Answer:  JEEP came from the GP designation in the US military which stand for “General Purpose” vehicle. It got slurred to Jeep.

Let’s end with our friend Dilbert…….

dilbert acronymII


Monday Morning Smile XXXXVII – Oh Yeah?! and Other great comebacks


I hope everyone treated their mother to a great day. All mothers deserve it. Where would the world be if there was no soothing voice that somehow makes a scrape feel better. The world is a kinder, gentler place one hot chocolate, and one bowl of chicken soup at a time. To all of you mothers that are reading this, one day for you is not enough. Happy Mother’s Day.

We spent Mother’s day at a frigid, wind swept, and generally hellish baseball diamond. Just as were were shivering on our misery, the Baseball Gods chuckled, snapped their fingers and fired down hail at a 45 degree angle. Perfect. Or so we thought. Topping off the afternoon, my kid pops a groin running the bases and limps off like a fragile thoroughbred.

Read a great comeback in teh paper the other day, and it got me thinking about some of the great comebacks…..so enjoy….

A warmup…It was mealtime during a flight on American airlines. “Would you like dinner?” the flight attendant asked John, seated in front. “What are my choices?” John asked. “Yes or no,” she replied.

On to the really good ones…..

1. David Niven – of course the Brits, with that wonderful understaded delivery are the best. In the 1974 Oscars when a streaker interupted the indomidable David Niven, he had this to say.

“the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings

niven

2. George Bernard Shaw – famous Irish author & playwright

In 1894, Shaw was enjoying a successful opening night for his play. He joined the actors onstage, basking in the glory of overwhelming applause. One lone heckler  began to boo loudly from the audience. Undaunted, Shaw replied:

I quite agree with you, my friend, but what can we two do against a whole houseful of the opposite opinion?”

Bam! Score one for the witty Irishman.

shaw

3. Winston Churchill – British Prime Minister, orator, and (in)famous drunk.

One night, at a 1912 party, Churchill apparently got quite boisterous (i.e. sloshed) and irked American Nancy Astor. At her wit’s end, Astor stated,

Winston, if you were my husband, I’d put poison in your coffee.”

Churchill replied: Nancy, if you were my wife, I’d drink it.”

churchill-speech

4. Winston Churchill (again) – he had a ton of ’em….

The Zing: “Mr. Churchill, you are drunk!”

The Comeback: Yes, and you, Madam, are ugly but tomorrow I shall be sober …”

Oooooo, now that’s a good one.

5. And finally our own Pierre Trudeau, Prime Minister, bon vivant, debater extrodinaire, (and father of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau)

Upon hearing that U. S. President Nixon, muttering, had called him an asshole…..

I have been called worse things by better men

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Trudeau & Queen here he gets frosty with Queen Liz…

And a Monday Smile wouldn’t be complete without a great Dilbert ending….

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M.M.S. XXXXVI – All Hail Spring!


oldcouple

Welcome back to Monday. It’s tough to tear yourself away from all that great weather, I know. But we’ll get through it together.

Do weekends ever get any better than this one? A little baseball practice (pictures of Fallon the yonger below), a little lawn mowing, the opening of the money pit pool in the back yard. All in all just one great Spring day. All hail Spring! All hail Spring!

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So how can you tell it’s Spring?

Drinks on the patio with Friends? Check. Oh, and you ditch your standard beer, opting for exotic drinks like a Mojito, or Long Island Iced Tea, or maybe a nice throwback drink like anything with gin. Below is one of my favourite patios – Barney’s and the Ceeps. Awesome times. What’s kind of cool is that my dad used to go there too (2nd picture would have been more familiar to Pop).

st-parrtys-day-barneys_ca_ barneys

What else means Spring? Well everyone sheds those ugly winter clothes – and out comes the best Spring invention since the tulip bulb. Yep, you guessed it – the sun dress. If this doesn’t say Spring nothing does…..

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As the weather gets a little warmer we all tend to indulge our secret guilty pleasures. Do you have a guilty pleasure? I do. If you can keep a secret I’ll share – but remember it’s only beween us.  I watch Glee. Yep, there, I admit it. And not just because my wife likes it. I’ll even watch it on my own. Awesome music.

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Enjoy your Monday, and enjoy your Spring.

dilbert spring