Thursday, November 22, 2012

Irony of ironies

I just received a pamphlet from my M. P., Stephen Harper.  In it he has a precis of how Parliament works.  Seriously.  His depth of knowledge does extend to such things as contempt, responsibility to report to Parliament, responsible government, prorogation or confidence.

He did go on about how the prime responsibility of the Queen/GG is to ensure that Canada always has a Prime M(onarch)inister.  Care to debate the ghost of Eugene Forsey on that one Steve?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Guy Clark

Wanda and I went to see Guy Clark (with Verlon Thompson) at the Knox United Church last Friday.  What a great venue to see an artist described as the greatest living American songwriter.  When you are new to Clark's music it is surprising to hear how many of his songs were made famous by other performers.  He opened with one of my favourites: L. A. Freeway.  The back story he told was very funny.

It was an excellent show.  His sideman, Verlon Thompson, played one of his songs which was very well crafted and touching.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sports served it's purpose

This photo is of Hannah running her GS race at the Provincials.  She was skiing beautifully and was headed for a great time.  Unfortunately she lost a ski and crashed spectacularly soon after this picture was taken.

She was heartbroken and has had difficulty matching the racing form she had going into the competition since the fall.

While she may look at this as a failure on her part, I am thrilled with her performance.  She regained her ski-mojo, she found it within herself to push the envelope and she competed and went for the win.  It didn't work out with a story book finish but the gains she made will last longer than a bit of medal or a ribbon would have.

The challenges she faced by pursuing her dream led to a lot of growth.  She can be proud of what she has accomplished.

Nathan Rogers - Home Routes

Wanda and I went to a Home Routes concert on March 26.  And the artist was... Nathan Rogers
In addition to the usual anticipation that is part of hearing live music, we were definitely intrigued to hear how the son of Stan Rogers would measure up.

And it turns out, the answer to that question is: Very well.  I really enjoyed his original songs.  He has a distinctive voice that is his own but when he wants to he can invoke the unique qualities of his father's voice to an extent that is spooky.  When he finished with "Northwest Passage" and we sang along, Wanda and I looked at each other in amazement.  We never had a chance to hear Stan live but this was an experience related but different and special in it's own right.

I have been listening to his album "True Stories" a lot over the last three weeks.  It is very good.  The follow-up will be released in time for the Canmore Folk Festival.  We can't be there but I have asked a friend to grab a copy for us.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I am off to the BC K2 Provincials with Hannah tomorrow.  And regardless of the results, this ski racing season has delivered, once again, proof that being involved in competitive sports is great for the development of a child's self-confidence, maturity and so many other aspects of their lives.

Hannah broke her ankle on the day Fernie opened in December 2007.  She was heartbroken because she had made so much progress in her skiing.  She had been dedicated in dry land training and when there was an afternoon session at Lake Louise at -28C, she was the only one to show up.

Being laid up while all of her family and friends were skiing powder was tough for her.  The rehab was even tougher.  I could tell it was discouraging for her when she came back to skiing and found that it took some hard work to ski.  It hurt a lot too.  Especially any races where there were hard ruts on the course.

Come this fall, she worked hard at dry-land again.  She started out slowly with the skiing and she didn't seem to have the same form.  But recently, with the assistance of her coach who has that magical ability to get kids to realize what they are capable of, she has got her form back.  At the last race, she wowed everyone with her skiing and results.  Her reward?  Her coach immediately increased the goals she is reaching for.

So Hannah and I are off to Rossland and I am hoping for the best.  But as far as I am concerned, this season has been a success.  I am as proud of the person she is than I ever have been.

(Go Hannah go!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Christmas 2000 poem

Oh no.  Not another tacky Christmas poem from the Watsons


We’ve had a Merry old time

Since our last Christmas rhyme.

And we hope the season finds you

Without A reason to feel blue.


So now, the Happy news let us relate

The activities old and New so great.

(Was there enough news in the Year

To do a whole page like this? – No fear).


Of all the well developed proclivities

Of our family towards outdoor activities,

From skiing to camping to hiking,

We really enjoyed our trips sea kayaking.


For the tenth anniversary of their wedding

Neil and Wanda to Belize were heading.

We had so much fun travelling by kayak

We wanted the girls to try it when we got back.


So this summer we hopped in the car and

Headed to the west coast of Vancouver Island

In the greater vicinity of Barkley Sound.

Where seals and Gray Whales abound.


Despite rookie mistakes somewhat humbling

We overcame all our beginner’s bumbling.

Due to our partnership with the family Wood.

Everything turned out as a dream vacation should.


If since the summer to us you’ve spoken

You’ll have heard of the group of islands Broken

Of all the stories with which our friends we regale

The most exciting is when we saw a Gray Whale.


One of the things our girls think mighty fine

Is anything slightly related to matters equine.

What we refer to, I’m sure you know this of course,

Is that Heather has taken up riding a horse.


So now our dinner time back and forth banter

Is taken up by discussions on how to canter

And the topic that comes up second most

Is how to properly tack up and post.


A sure sign time continues its parade

Is that your baby begins the first grade

Into Hannah’s head Mrs. J has been feeding

The essentials of counting and reading.


This means, as you can plainly see,

That Heather is now in grade three.

She does the home work she oughter.

But she would rather read Harry Potter


Our dog has needed lots of veterinary care.

From hormones, to help a patch of missing hair,

To glaucoma and tendonitis of the shoulder

(Poor Kayla is getting a little bit older.)


Part of each of the girls’ birthday wishes

Was for their very own Siamese Fighting Fishes.

With names like Starfire and Moon you’d figure

These fishes would be an awful lot bigger.


To the workplace Wanda’s thoughts sometimes roam

During her first whole year full time at home.

But no job could provide such lovely pearls

As spending all this special time with her girls.


The latest from our downhill skiing scene

Is Heather’s success in Nancy Greene.

She has shown much courage and pluck

While learning to schuss and to tuck.


Not one to be happy with second place,

Hannah too will be putting on her race face.

She set joining Nancy Greene as one of her goals

In return for earning her first set of ski poles.


Wanda is planning a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada.

But of the slots she is planning to play nada.

This lady’s idea of hedonistic desert fun

Is doing her second marathon run.


In March we moved to our new home in Kelvin Grove

Which has an ensuite with fixtures coloured mauve.

The need for renovations really started to peak

Once we found out the bathroom had a leak.


Wanda puts up with my rhymes somewhat punny

But doesn’t think the previous stanza at all funny.

But our house purchase will again seem sunny

Given the judicious application of lots of money.


We would like to end with a sentiment already told

By words previously outlined to you in letters bold.

And wish you on the eve of the millennium’s first year

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Christmas 2002

We don’t mean to make your Christmas blue,

But we wanted to update you on our 2002.

And we hope this annual spam

Won’t automatically end up in the garbage can.


There isn’t enough room for us to sing

The praises of a Disney World trip this spring

But everyone’s demands keep mountin’

To tell of our ride on Splash Mountain.

 You see Granny Audrey is tough to scare.

Unless she thinks you plan to muss her hair.

And her tongue really started to lash

When she saw why the mountain is called Splash


The next week, if you please,

Was spent in the Florida Keys.

Some might prefer to have gone golfin’,

But we went swimming with dolphins.


Here, about Neil’s knee, is the skinny.

He was in the clear to ski, play tennis and shinny

Since all this hasn’t changed his ability to skate.

Perhaps at hockey he isn’t all that great.


Here is a story you’ll really like.

Wanda took a course on how to mountain bike.

While it did clear up some downhill confusions.

Several falls resulted in magnificent contusions.


You must know of Kayla our loveable mutt.

Well, her hair hasn’t come back since her spring cut

So that people don’t think we are Samoyed owners careless.

We tell them her breed is Siberian Hairless.


Glub, glub, glub.

The girls have joined a swim club.

Now their breast and back stroke

Are nothing of which to joke.


Once again we went to the coast

Where we enjoy our vacations the most.

The island called Saltspring

Is the latest for which we have a thing.


Heather is fast approaching 5 feet.

Which is really quite neat.

But as she grows and grows

She has begun to wear Mum’s clothes.


Hannah has really begun to flower.

As she reads Harry Potter by the hour.

Soon she too will start to probe

The depths of Wanda’s wardrobe.


As you may very well know

Fernie has next to no snow.

Let’s cheer on the coming of the Grizz,

And hope he hasn’t lost his fizz.


Well that’s the end of our Christmas epistle.

And you probably want to whistle

On reaching the end of his literary gristle

And news of all the Watson drivel.