Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Good Reporting Folks, Now Fix It!

I'm still having pretty strong emotions of the death of Kenny MacLean.
Even though I saw Bill Clinton in Moncton yesterday and enjoyed it very much, Kenny is at the forefront of my mind.

The emotions are not all sorrow at this point. There is quite a bit of anger now.

This anger is at the media outlets who reported yesterday that "Local police were releasing few details last night, but early reports suggested Mr. MacLean succumbed to a drug overdose".

Today this same media has told us:
"Canada Washington/Toronto  - The death of Kenny MacLean, the former Platinum Blonde bassist, was likely due to heart problems, the Toronto Star reported Tuesday."


"Mark Holmes, a friend of MacLean, told the newspaper that the preliminary results of an autopsy suggested his death was due to a heart problem."

Who the hell gave out these "early reports"? Was it a police source? Was it a friend of Kenny? Was it an ambulance attendant?
Perhaps it was someone walking by the reporters and commented that he had once seen someone going into a house with a big bag from Shopper's Drug Mart and thought to himself "Wow! That's a big bag! I hope it's not all cold medication in there. That could cause an overdose!"

Does this same source go around to all of the papers etc. afterwards and apologise for being wrong?
Who apologises to Kenny's family and friends?

I know what the answer is. Noone apologises.
There is no accountability for poor research and journalism.
And that stinks.
I spent time today hitting numerous web sites and forums correcting and scolding people for making stupid comments about Kenny based on stupid information.
I know it was an exercise in futility but he deserves some respect!
Kenny MacLean did so much for so many, including extensive volunteering and charity work, that I'll be damned if I don't try.

If the ones doing the damage won't help repair it, the rest of us will have to.

On the National Post web site I commented "Wednesday, Nov 26, 2008 Why the heck would this article mention a drug overdose? Today it is being reported that the preliminary results of an autopsy suggested his death was due to a heart problem. Why don't you wait for the facts before saying something stupid! You owe many people an apology."
Another reader responded to me "Gargoyle_7,  Wednesday, Nov 26, 2008 Tim, Do you want a list of 80's rockers who have died in their early 50's due to 'heart problems'? (not to mention the rockers who actually OD'd) My understanding is that (excessive) cocaine use weakens the heart and even if someone has been clean for years (or decades) the damage may be done. I have no opinion as to Mr. MacLean's lifestyle, but it seems at least reasonable to mention it."

While I admire Gargoyle_7's manners and diplomatic writing style I don't agree with his/her logic at all.
To me, if a malfunction of the heart is the cause, it is the cause.
There is absolutely no way that anyone could say beyond a doubt that Kenny's heart stopped functioning because of a substance in his past.

He was brushing his teeth getting ready for bed!

That's enough about this foolishness.
I've done all that I can to battle the forces of stupidity for today.
I'm not wasting any more time on it.
We all have to start healing now.
Personally, I'm going downstairs to listen to some Platinum Blonde before I go to bed.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Goodbye to another Canadian Great

I just found out from my old school friend Bruce Barker that former Platinum Blonde bassist Kenny MacLean has died.
This is tragic news.
A good friend of mine, Sascha replaced the original drummer for several years before Platinum Blonde disbanded.
Sascha remained very good friends with Kenny and continued to work with him on his albums and shows.
The last time I saw Kenny play was many years ago in a downtown Toronto club promoting his 1995 album Clear.
Sash played drums at that show and on the album.
I loved the show and loved the album.
So much that I bought a cassette at the show.
My best friend Mike just mailed me with this.
"Had the pleasure of meeting him once in the early 90's at the Unicorn pub on Mount Pleasant road. Had a good conversation about guitars (He was also a very good guitar player as well) and watched him play with the house band. He was in a band called the Aliens (I still have the album) and I asked him what happened to that project because I played that album a lot. Thought they were really good. It's a sad day for the local music

Now Kenny is gone. Damn.
I offer my deepest sympathy to Kenny's family, friends and fans.
I have no doubt that we are numerous.
We will always have his music to remember him.
How sad that there won't be any more.
I have a special sadness for Kenny's poor sister who found him. Poor, poor girl.

I found this on

Platinum Blonde bassist Kenny MacLean dies
Last Updated: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 | 8:40 AM ET CBC News
Kenny MacLean of the 1980s band Platinum Blonde has died in Toronto. The 52-year-old bassist was found in his apartment-recording studio.
MacLean had just released his third solo album, Completely, last Friday at a club in the city. "This is devastating," Mark Holmes, former lead singer of Platinum Blonde, told the Toronto Star.
Holmes performed with his old friend Friday night at the Mod Club. "He was incredibly happy – everything was going well for him." According to the Star, MacLean's sister Pamela had been unable to contact the musician and decided to get the landlord to let her into his studio and living quarters on Yonge Street in downtown Toronto.
Pamela found her brother collapsed in the bathroom with the tap running, Holmes said.
MacLean had another home in the city, but likely stayed at the studio after the Friday night party. The cause of death is not yet known, but police say they are not treating MacLean's death as suspicious.
Platinum Blonde, a New Wave band that sported big hair and synthesized sounds, hit it big with singles such as Crying Over You, Standing in the Dark and It Doesn't Really Matter. Guitarist Sergio Galli and drummer Chris Stefller were also band members.
The band broke up in 1991.


Hanging Out With Bill

I'm headed to Moncton to a conference tomorrow. Or I guess I should say later this morning.
The speaker is Bill Clinton.
You may recognize him as the husband of Hillary Clinton.
I received the notice of the conference through the Village a while ago.
I felt that it could help me become a better Councillor and representative of the people so Council agreed to pay my way.
It should be good.
I'll report further tomorrow.
The notice says that we can't have any cameras or recording devices. What a drag.
That's one of the ultimate schmooze photos I could ever hope for!
Oh well.
Whenever I think of Bill and Hillary Clinton I'm reminded of this old joke from when Bill was president of the U S of A.
I really like it because I understand what is close to the truth.

Bill and Hillary Clinton are driving in the country near Hillary's hometown.
They are low on fuel, so Bill stops at a gas station. The man at the gas station comes out and looks into the window.
"Hey, Hillary! We used to date in high school, do you remember me?" he asks. They talk merrily for a few minutes. Bill pays, and they leave.
As they drive, Bill is feeling very proud of himself and looks over at Hillary. "You used to date that guy? Just think what life would be if you hadn't married me," he says.
Hillary looks at Bill and says to him, "Well, I guess you'd be pumping gas and he'd be President"

I wonder if Bill has heard that one?
Maybe I can tell it to him?

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Great Guy and a Great Place

I'm not planning to turn this blog into a place to advertise and promote businesses and companies.
I will however do everything I can to support my friends and decent people in their ventures.
Last night Cheryl and I were invited to a pre opening event at the Garrison District Ale House at 426 Queen Street in Fredericton. I never even knew that this place was here but found out that it's been here for a while under other names.
My friend Doug Williams has taken it over and is opening on Tuesday.
Doug is a wonderful guy and really knows his stuff. He's had many years of experience in the hospitality industry.
Recently he had found himself stagnating in his position and decided to take a chance and strike out on his own.
From what I saw last night he is taking a good chance and should do very well for himself.
We loved this place!
Of all the times not to bring my real camera this wasn't one of them.
I would like to apologize right now to Doug for the lousy quality of these pictures.
They were taken with my Blackberry and aren't very good. I felt that even lousy pictures were better than none but these certainly don't do the amazing decor justice.
The ceiling is a cathedral ceiling rounded at the edges. I've always been a huge fan of cathedral ceilings.

As one enters there is a long bar which runs along most of the left wall. There were bartenders spread out over its entire length making anyone's waiting time very short. I don't need to tell anyone how frustrating it is waiting at a huge bar trying to get a server's attention for 10 minutes.
I don't think Doug is going to allow that to happen in his place.
You really have to see it in person to appreciate how nice it is.
I ran into a beautiful young lady that I work with named Mary. It turns out that she and her husband are very good friends of Doug and his wife.
Mary told me that Doug's wife did all of the decorating of the place.
I assume that she meant Doug's wife chose the colours and the style of the decor and not that she physically did the actual decorating.
Either way she is a very talented lady and I salute her.
For the open house Doug had free beverages for all. Cheryl and I enjoyed pop since we don't drink alcohol but the beer being served looked pretty darn tasty.
The server girls were circulating in the room with large glasses of dark ale for anyone that wanted them.
As tempting (it was indeed) as it was we passed.
From what I understand the selection on the beer menu is VERY extensive.
It's highly unlikely that one won't find at least one that they like.

The best thing about the whole night was the food!
The lovely server girls did an excellent job providing finger foods throughout.
Everything was amazing but the things that stuck out the most were the "feta fingers" - deep dried feta cheese sticks and some wonderful little hamburgers. I've never heard of a feta finger before. I am happy that I have now.

One of the small burgers is pictured above.
Certainly not your average burger. Apart from the obvious smaller size, the bun was like a fluffy tea biscuit. There was something else which I tasted in the meat but I'm not sure what it was.
It was spiced with something that we loved.

There were four of us sitting at a table near the back. We met a very nice couple and sat chatting for most of our time there.
Between the four of us the servers almost never made it past out table with a tray of chicken wings.
Cheryl and I don't like spicy wings and the ones being served were nice and mild and crispy under the sauce.
Another thumbs up!
I'm certainly hoping that the food last night represents the usual fare when Doug opens up this Tuesday. (If it's not I will be speaking with him about it.)

The place was absolutely packed with many people of all ages. Well, over 19 years old anyway.
I wish I had my camera with me. I could have done one of those "seen about town"
article things here.
There were many people that I recognised from around town.
I confess that even though it was wall-to-wall people the atmosphere was still like the comfort of my living room.

Personally I am going to do what I can to visit this establishment as often as possible. I'm also going to recommend it to everyone I speak to.
I know Doug well enough to trust that everyone who enters the Garrison District Ale House once will surely want to come back again.

The web address is
I don't think the site is up yet though.

Best of luck to you Doug. You deserve it!


Saturday, November 22, 2008

And so it begins....

I was mentioning the little bit of snow the other morning.
Today we woke up to this. It's still coming down.
I just took this as I drove past Fredericton city hall after my Saturday morning coffee mob thing.
Actually it's only 9:40 a.m. but I've been up for many hours already.
The boys had a hockey game at 6:45 today so we were all awake and bushy tailed by 5:15.
I want to tell you something interesting.
On an average weekday when we are working and going to school it's pretty tough to drag our behinds out of bed at 7:00.
On hockey mornings we get up before most of the world but we pop out of bed raring to go.
I barely have time to open their doors to tell them it's time to get up and they're already half dressed!
We love our hockey, that's for sure.
I haven't personally played for many years. I can still skate but with the extra pounds I've accumulated my ankles don't take very long to scream in pain.
One of our lads scored his first goal of the season this morning. What a thrill!
The other lad almost scored a winning goal with only a few seconds left in the game!
As it was we (do you like how I say "we"?) tied 4-4 which was perfect.
Our boys started hockey last year and were the first year guys on the team. It took a while to get their grooves but it was a great season.
Now they are the older boys in the division and have that experience behind them.
They are doing a very good job of becoming team leaders and motivating the others.
It doesn't matter if they win or lose, they are just completely stoked to be on the ice.
We are very proud of them.

Back to this weather.
I wasn't overly surprised about this snow since my family and friends in Ontario have been telling me about all of their snow for many days now.
It's a darn good thing that Cheryl kept at me about putting the snow tires on the car two weeks ago.
If it was left up to me I would be scrambling around right now trying to find some and get them installed.

One thing is certain. This is only the first of what will undoubtedly be a long cold New Brunswick winter.
Bring it on! We're ready for it!
We've started hockey!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sneaking In

Do you see this??
I'm pretty sure that this is the first snow of this winter season.
It didn't blast in but did a little blow last night while everyone was sleeping.
How sneaky.
Before you know it this little bit of snow invites all its friends and family to join it and hysteria and mayhem follows.
There goes the neighbourhood.
I'm not looking to this but I accept that it's coming.
Bring it on. I can take it.


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Monday, November 17, 2008

Who's got time?

It amazes me every time I read Charles blog.
He has videos, pictures, typing, more videos and more pictures.
He does this for a bunch of stories every day!
I can't even find the time to get my Dr. Seuss blog started the way I want to do it?
Is it building reader's suspense or just making you ignore me? I would say ignore.
I know I said this last week (or the week before) but Dr. Seuss IS coming. I swear.
It's just that I want it to be great so I have to get the perfect time to do it.
Until then I'll just read Charles' blog and marvel at him. You should too.
He doesn't have twin sons who have started another season of hockey and take music lessons.
Or, Charles isn't on local Council and the school PSSC and Home and School Association.
Heck, that guy doesn't even have a phone to ring and interrupt him in the middle of trying to do something!
Whenever I need to contact him I have to send an email and hope he's near his computer!
I'll tell you something though.
I do what I can in my way to save the world bit by bit. It's not always fighting the forces of evil. Most of the time it's using my superpowers to build things the way I think they should be built for the future citizens of Earth, or at least New Maryland.
I am Big Mouth Man.
My fight for the train station is best fought mouthing off to the media.
I fight on Council by saying things that I want to say.
At the school I say what I feel to affect the policies of the school.
I am a superhero.

Charles and I are so much alike it's scary.
He fights evil and corruption where he sees it.
Charles patrols the City of Fredericton just the same way as Spiderman patrols New York.
At the first sign of danger he whips out his trusty camera and saves the day!
What a guy!
He is Far Bigger Mouth Than Even Tim Man.

He's a superhero's superhero.

Plus he even has his own comic of him with a cape!

I'm jealous.

Keep at it Charles. We'll clean up this province soon enough.


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Thursday, November 13, 2008

To Those Who Wait...

I truly want to thank those of you who dropped in and left good wishes the other day.
Please accept my apologies for taking so long to do my follow up post.

The Remembrance Day service at Victoria Hall in New Maryland went very well.
One thing I wasn't thrilled about was that for the first time in all the years I have attended this ceremony they decided not to have chairs for those on the stage.
You recall that I was very sick the entire day prior and really could have used a seat. I almost took an involuntary nap a couple of times but stayed upright thankfully.

My reading expressed Remembrance Day completely.
It was quite short though.
So short that I don't mind typing it out for you.

Act of Remembrance
Read by Councillor Tim Scammell

Shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

I have found out that this passage is part of the poem "For the Fallen" by Laurence Binyon (1869-1943).

It is unlikely that I could have found a more fitting passage and hope that everyone really listened to the words and thought about their meaning.
I tried as hard as I could to speak in such a way that might make people do so.
I think it worked but I was too nervous to look up from the paper to see.
The kids told me I did very well. Those little guys made me so proud by behaving perfectly and doing everything when the rest of the people did.
This was the first time in their lives that neither Cheryl or myself were with them during the ceremony.
They're little men now. I wish they would stop growing up but I'm happy that they will have the chance to do so and become anything they choose to be.

Could we ever imagine the thoughts of the mothers and fathers of the boys (they were only boys) as they watched their childen leave home to fight in the wars?

Nothing could possibly describe a parent's fear that their child may not come home alive.
In these times it's difficult to imagine but it was common not very long ago.

I want to remind everyone of something that is more easily identifiable to us.
Remembrance Day is just as much about the loss of men and women in modern times.
On October 2nd 2003, a young Canadian soldier Sergeant Robert Alan Short was killed when the jeep he was in drove over a landmine outside of Kabul in Afghanistan.
That is Robert in the photo above.
He was only 42 years old at the time. Only slightly older than me.
I will always remember his passing with great sadness.
You see, Sergeant Short was from Fredericton.
He was buried in a little cemetery only a short way down the road from my house. The funeral was one of the largest and saddest events I have ever seen.
Some friends of ours at the time had known Robert for many years from their time at Petawawa, Ontario in the Forces together.
When his body was flown back to Canada it was televised across the country. Our friends had to send their son over to play with our boys while they watched it to spare him the emotion.
The most powerful memory I have of Sergent Short's passing is that on November 11, 2003 his wife, son and daughter were at the Remembrance Day service in New Maryland.
Just over 1 month later!

I felt such sadness that day as I saw Robert's family and the overpowering grief they were feeling.
I remember looking at his son's face and wondering if he could ever feel happiness again.
At the end I shook his hand and he gave me a small smile in appreciation.
He didn't know me but I wished I could have been his best friend.

On November 11, 2008 Robert's family was there again, as every year.
I am very happy to say that his son was smiling this year. He was there with his own little one and it was clear to see he has been feeling much happiness.

I smiled when I saw them together.

Robert would be so proud.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Lest We Forget

I really wanted to get into my Dr. Seuss blogs but they'll have to wait for a few more days.
The past 7 days or so have certainly not been very good for me.
My mother in Ontario has had some setbacks in her progress to recovery so Cheryl has gone to be with her for just over a week.
I would like to have been there with her but one of us should stay with the kids and I don't have any vacation time at work.
Cheryl has been there every day with Mom which seems to be helping Mom's spirits.

Today I was to be at work all day. The kids have a PD day (right before a holiday day, imagine that.)
I had a sitter all lined up. I just had to drop them off in the morning.
It was all set.
Then it all went bad last night.

Around 10:30 my stomach didn't feel quite right.
From then on I was up every 45 minutes or so. It hasn't been nice at all.
Then one of the kids started.
What an adventurous day we've had!

I don't care how I feel tomorrow though.
For the first time in my life I will get to speak at a Remembrance Day ceremony.
It will be at Victoria Hall in New Maryland.
I have this honour as a Village Councillor and I am tremendously proud.

Remembrance Day is one of the most important days to me. I think about relatives and strangers who left home to fight and offer their lives so that Canadians they would never meet could live freely.
This is the least we can do for them. I wish it could be more.
Upset stomachs didn't stop these brave souls from marching ahead. It won't stop me from doing the best public speaking of my life tomorrow.
My sons will be sitting in the front row seats watching me. I'll make them proud of their daddy.
Almost as proud as I am of our brave soldiers.

This poem is the best ever written in my mind.
It always puts a lump in my throat.
When The Last Post plays the tears are always in my eyes.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead.
Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

- John McCrae

I hope to see you all tomorrow.


Friday, November 7, 2008

The Greatest Doctor Who Ever Lived - Part 1

The greatest doctor who ever lived on this planet is one who passed away several years ago on September 24, 1991.

I remember hearing the news at the time and feeling very very sad at the loss.

I'm quite confident that his work had an effect on everyone on the planet who had ever experienced it.

I feel that his wisdom far surpassed any of the great minds in history.

I am unable to say if he personally saved any lives directly but guarantee that indirectly he saved many.

Amazingly, his writings are read and studied thoroughly by thousands every single day over most parts of the world.

More amazing is that the most open young minds understand his work instantly where the most studious analytical persons may miss the meaning for a little while.

Even though most of his work was done decades ago it remains completely relevant to today's society.

His name was Theodore Geisel.

We all knew him as Dr. Seuss.

The greatest doctor who ever lived.

In my next blog I'll start to tell you why I honour and respect him so highly.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Why Thank-you!

Something quite interesting happened the other day.
In a letter addressed to Charles and copied to practically the whole world I was mentioned and referred to as Big Bald Timmy and something about being Charles' Blogger Buddy.
I'm pretty sure that was talking about me since I am big and bald and am a friend of Charles.
But to be referred to as a Blogger?
Is that my claim to fame?
That's a new concept for me.
I have been writing this as a sort of diary and some folks have actually stopped in to read it.
But to be thought of as a "blogger"? That's pretty heavy and quite a compliment.
Over the last few years I learned what a blog is and have read some remarkable blogs that I could only dream of holding a candle to.
I have come to the realisation that there is likely a blog about absolutely anything.
So it just stands to reason that the topic of politics is being (b)flogged to death.
Is that really fair to the folks browsing to read some cool items about cool stuff?
I suppose it doesn't really matter. I don't do this to be a crowd pleaser. If no one comes to read it that's fine.
As long as I am happy with it.
Charles' blog is packed with pictures and videos and hits the hot topics in the news.
When something goes down and I am interested or involved with it I'll write about it.
Not much interesting is going on at New Maryland Council at the moment though.
Really, it's pretty dry. We're doing our budgets for 2009 presently.
Let's think about it this way. In 10 years if someone like my kids read through this blog is it going to be somewhat interesting for them?
It will be interesting to see how some of the more political topics of today turn out in the future but certainly not every one.
For example, if I could travel into the not too distant future I would like to see how(if) the York Street Station works out. Or maybe not.
It looks to me like Charles and other local folk are doing a pretty good job of digging and prodding into the hot local topics of today. There's not much that I could add to that really.
I will when I can.
With that in mind I think I will try to focus this blog on other things on my mind.
If anyone comes to read it I hope they enjoy it.
Let me know either way.

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Monday, November 3, 2008


Just heard that Jack Carr won by 270 votes.
He's my new MLA.
That's a good thing. He's a nice chap.

Interesting Numbers

I'm watching the numbers of the provincial byelection for my area.
At this time liberal Debbie McCann has 1312, PC Jack Carr has 1767 and ND McCaffery has a whopping 97.
20 polls have been done.
This should be good.
Stay tuned.
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Sunday, November 2, 2008

It was great! You should have seen it!

Stupid BlackBerry.

I was working on a great blog this week about air travel and how it's changed since the 1950's and 1960's.

I wanted to write it after my trip to Vancouver last weekend.

I had a great old picture of the grand old glory days showing the friendly stewardesses smiling and everyone was so happy.

Nowadays nobody smiles because we are all crunched in like sardines and miserable.

For a 6 hour flight we didn't even get anything to eat. They were selling a little pack of Pringles for 2 dollars. What a deal.

At least we had pop at no extra cost.

Oh yes, they offered us a candy!

That's all I'm going to say about that amazing blog. It's gone now.

Let me tell you why.

About a year ago I bought this BlackBerry Pearl.

One day I noticed that a bunch of my emails were gone.

I figured out that when the memory of this thing gets full it just arbitrarily dumps email messages and Facebook notes without asking me first.

If I happen to do some web browsing for a while the BlackBerry memory fills itself up with web page stuff which stays there until I do a "battery pull" (reset) and clear it off.

This burns me. Even more when I note that I can't save any emails or messages to the 2 gigabyte card that I put in.

I researched forums and web sites everywhere to see if there was a solution for this.

I found out there is none.

Since learning this I have had to monitor the memory and clear it when it's getting full.

Sometimes I don't catch it in time and this is what happens. I lose something that I've been working on. Most reading this will think "why don't you blog on your PC like everyone else?"

I could do that but don't want to.

It's far easier doing this when I'm comfortable.

I suppose if I lose too many more of these I will consider the old PC again.

Stupid BlackBerry....