Tuesday, April 28, 2009

There is something so wrong with all of this...

I hate the news.
I really truly hate the news.
Just yesterday I was talking how sad I am that wonderful Bea Arthur was stolen away from us by cancer.
I casually mentioned that I would have put up a Bea Arthur poster beside the Farrah Fawcett poster that every young boy had on their walls in those days.

Today I heard that poor Farrah is not doing so well with her battle against cancer and her son Redmond O'Neal, who's in jail pending a hearing on his latest drug charges, was sprung for a few hours over the weekend to spend time with her.
How nice, what a wonderful thing for a mother to think about at such an awful time.
Good going Red! You jerk.
Redmond the idiot apparently told a judge that his mother weighed only 39 kilos to get the judge to let him out. I have since read that he lied to get leniency and Farrah is actually 45.8 kilos which is 101 pounds right now. It's not much but it's a lot better.
Redmond and his dad Ryan O'Neal, spent three hours with Farrah.
I would like to think that Redmond did something to ease Farrah's suffering by lightening her heart of a dark cloud which he causes.
Time to think about someone else Redmond.
I hope you are thinking about your mom as much as I think about mine. Or as much as I am thinking about YOURS for that matter!

Farrah has had some interesting moments over the years but she has done some amazing things.
Charlie's Angels was the Baywatch of my generation with the 3 beauties getting our undivided attention every week.
Then there was the movie Saturn 3 with Kirk Douglas. My Rover Scout crew went to the theatre to see this in 1980. Not a very good movie I'm afraid.
There was one scene where we got to see Farrah topless! I'm serious! It was done so quickly though that we stayed in the theater for the next sitting to get a better look.
It was pretty funny when the scene came on again. When it was done all of us stood up and left. You should have seen the faces of everyone else in the place! That was priceless.
In 1984 Farrah proved she is a true star in "The Burning Bed" .
It was one of the most powerful things I had ever seen and remains so to this day.
Farrah played the battered wife of Paul Le Mat who had enough of him beating her. Nobody helps her. Nobody listened to her.
After he rapes her one night, she sets the bed on fire with him in it while passed out.
I can't say for certain but up to that point in time I don't think I had ever wished death on another human being. While watching that movie I did just that. I really wanted Paul Le Mat to die.
Farrah showed us that she could be taken seriously as an actress and deserved her fame not only for her looks.

An odd coincidence. The Burning Bed was directed by Robert Greenwald who also happens to be the director of "Steal This Movie" which was released in 2000.
It didn't do very well but had the first appearance of a couple of little stars who were only several weeks old when it was filmed in Toronto.
Have a look here http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0161216/fullcredits#cast at the full credits. You'll see a couple of kids listed as "Baby America" who you may recognize their names.
I got to meet and talk to Mr. Greenwald as I worked the babies and he worked the scene. :) The whole scene took a small amount of time to film.
It was a scene where the FBI kicks in the door to arrest Abbie Hoffman (Vincent D'Onofrio) while he and his wife Anita (Janeane Garofalo) are talking to Baby America (My Stars).
We don't know which baby made it to the big screen but they always use twins in case one starts fussing. They did the scene a couple of times to get it just right. At the end of the last take my guy started to cry almost right on cue as the FBI dragged Vincent away. It was perfect for the moment.
Robert said "cut". I looked over at him and he looked at me and gave me a big thumbs up. We nailed it!

Anyway, Robert has also had the pleasure of working with the lovely Farrah and he drew out the horror, pain and passion that Farrah needed to play the role in a way to make the audience feel what she felt.

When I met Mr. Greenwald I didn't realize that he directed "The Burning Bed". If I did I would have said something.
Maybe he will find this blog one day?

I hope that Farrah will stay with us much longer and perhaps find this blog in the massive web of the internet.
I would really, really like that.

The things I would tell Farrah are the things I would have told Bea Arthur if I had a chance.

I was one of the boys who looked at her and said "Wow!".
Then I discovered that she was also an amazing talent and said "WOW!".

Personally, I haven't seen enough of Farrah's talent and want to see more movies and shows with her in them.

Please stay with us Farrah.
I don't want to say goodbye to you too. Not for a long time.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Goodbye Maude

It's a little late to be doing a blog when I have to get up early but my heart feels a little heavy since watching the news just now.
Bea Arthur died today at 86 years old as a result of cancer.
I don't think that too many people know this but I had such a crush on her when I was young.
I used to love watching her on Maude and loved the sound of her voice.
There was something about the way she sounded and the way she looked that I thought was so sexy and made her seem like such a complete woman to this young guy in the stages of puberty.
If I could have I would have put up a poster of her beside the standard Farrah Fawcett bathing suit poster that every young guy had at that time.
I was afraid that my buddies would think I was weird for fawning over Bea.
But I'll tell the whole world now.
I'm sorry I didn't say it sooner or get to say it in person Bea but I sure would have liked to.
I'm sorry to see you go but thank you for everything you did for everyone who watched you.
Bea Arthur was a classy wonderful lady.
And I had a crush on her.

Now you know.

Stay well,

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Now what?

In an hour and a half or so my 2 year term as president of NBSCETT will be over.
What AM I going to do with all of the spare time I'm going to have now??
Don't worry. That won't happen.
Several years ago when I first accepted the nomination I questioned my decision.
Now I question why I questioned.
It's been hell at times but thinking back I've realized where the real education in our lives comes from.
It's not school.
It's in the things we do as volunteers or present ourselves into the public eye for.
This has been great education.
Without it I truly believe that I may not have been prepared to take a position on New Maryland Council.
Fear not however, after 2 years as past President I will become the New Brunswick director on CCTT.
That will be a whole new bundle of fun.
At least I have 2 years to rest up for it.

Stay well,
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Friday, April 24, 2009

There's someone that I'd REALLY like you to meet...

Chances are, if you are reading this you already know how strongly I support rising talent of any type.
I am very passionate about this.
If someone is willing to share their talent we should do whatever we can to make sure that the whole world receives this gift by spreading the word.
This blog is another about this very thing.

Quite a while ago I registered for a Myspace account at the recommendation of a good friend of mine.
My good friend has issues with Facebook and refuses to get an account.
It seems that the only way to communicate with my pal is by email or Myspace.
My account sat there untouched and unloved for the longest time, being glanced at once a month or so.
When my friends Age of Daze mentioned that they have a page I took a renewed interest in Myspace.
When I learned of the Myspace application for BlackBerry I was hooked!

One day not too long ago I received a friend request from a young Australian lady named Miss Maggie B.
Today I am honoured to call Miss Maggie B a friend.
That's her in the pictures above. The young man with her is Peter Aoun who is her producer, co-writer and her very close friend.
What an amazing young woman she is. And she has such an incredible voice!

Don't take my word for it. Go here to see and hear for yourself.


Rather than trying to tell you about her I'm going to use Maggie's own words from her Myspace page.

"Born and raised in Sydney, Australia. Discovered I can song write at the age of 6 when my sister and I started to write a song together. Ever since that day, songs and melodies have come through my dreams, when I am at church, when Im speaking to somebody in a middle conversation and when I need to vent. Sometimes I write one sentence and the rest of the song writes itself. I knew that I had to continue this journey. Singing and song writing was always kept a secret for many years growing up, because of confidence issues, but I have built my confidence on my own and teamed up with my childhood friend Peter Aoun (Mystro). He brings my melodies to life and one of the greatest producers I have ever known. We have been song writing for 14 years together and hopefully we can continue writing together for another 50. My music is influenced with my upbringing. Church Music, dance music, pop music, Arabic music and mostly belly dancing. But my world, image and song writing changed when I fell in love with rock music a few years ago and appreciated the guitar sound. So my music is a mixture of pop cultures, Arabic rock influences mixed into one flavour. There are so many more songs I would like to share with you. Enjoy! Xo Magi"

Our family has a developed a neat relationship with Miss Maggie B.
We love her music.
Maggie loves the Youtube videos I post of the boys playing drums and piano.

It's a case of fantastic young talent enthusiastically supporting another. I like that a lot.

She even sent the boys a personal birthday letter last week!

Miss Maggie B just released her CD. I'm waiting for my copy to arrive in the mail.
Contact her manager at seacoastfmradio@comcast.net to order a copy.

Also just in case anyone reading this would like to book her for show and make her a household name immediately, please do so.
Consider it a personal favour to me :).

I know that one day soon my lovely new friend Miss Maggie B is going to take the world by storm and charm everyone as she has charmed me.
Just remember that you heard all about her right here first.

I'm inviting you to jump on this bandwagon as it is picking up speed.

Stay Well,

Friday, April 17, 2009

He's back!

Remember my handsome bald eagle friend that I photographed several weeks ago beside the Saint John River?

I had not seen him since then and thought he may had picked up and moved away for good.

I am very happy to report that he was back this morning.

Looking as majestic as ever and peacefully surveying his domain.

I didn't have time to stop and say hello or take a picture but I did smile when I saw him there.

I'll try to get another shot next time.

By the way, I sent the last one to CBC television and The Daily Gleaner.

CBC used it during the weather report. The weather man has a different picture every night that he puts up from those submitted by viewers. I missed it myself. I was out at the time. Someone told me about it.

The Daily Gleaner put it in as well.

I'll get a better picture next time and get it used across the world. :)

Today is Tiny's 11th birthday. Boo's is tomorrow. They were born before and after midnight.

Pretty cool isn't it?

Tiny is older but has his birthday on a school day while Boo's is on the weekend this year.

Stay well,


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Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Most Amazing Video I Have Ever Seen!

Today I watched the most wonderful and touching video that I have ever seen on Youtube.
The entire world has also been watching and everyone feels the same way as I do The video has been viewed more than 12.9 million times.
We are all in love with Susan Boyle who recently appeared on the television show Britain's Got Talent.
This is the British version of American Idol complete with Simon.
I've never been a fan of these shows but I have fallen in love with Susan Boyle.
I'm not sure how to insert a Youtube video in here like Charles does so I will just insert the Youtube address.


My friend Rhonda sent it to me today and I wasn't quite sure what to expect.
When I first saw Susan I realized that something incredible was coming.
She was far too average looking to be an average singer.
Why would everyone be watching this video if she is merely average?
What a charming lady she is! The way she replies to Simon Cowell's questions is so sweet.
You can almost hear in her voice that she has a secret that she is about to share with the world.
As Susan answers Simon's questions you see everyone being sceptical thinking that she doesn't have a chance.
The accompanying music is turned on and she starts to sing a song of angels the likes of nothing I have ever heard before.
At one point she does a 5 step rise in notes and nails every one beautifully and perfectly.
I got tears in my eyes listening to this wonderful 47 year old songbird.

I started using Twitter a couple of weeks ago and today everyone was twittering about Susan.

I'm watching The National news on CBC at this very moment and they are showing a piece discussing Susan and how she has captured hearts around the world.
I am thrilled to see that she is not about to slow down any time soon.
Everywhere I looked on the internet has Susan! Try Googling her name and see how many hits come up.
I have yet to see anyone saying anything bad about her. How could anyone possibly say anything negative?
Everything about her is charming and lovable.
She says in a news video that she has never been married, never been kissed and lives with her cat Pebbles.
If you haven't already, do yourself a big favour and watch the video.
If you have seen it already, do like I am and watch it over and over again.
I get a tear in my eye every single time.
I am so looking forward to seeing much much more of Susan in the near future.

Stay Well,

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Place Where Nightmares Are Made

This afternoon I drove along the south side of the Saint John River on Highway 102 from Fredericton towards the Mactaquac Dam, then on along to my father and stepmother's place in Lower Queensbury.
Every time I travel this route I pass the haunting reminder a horrific period of New Brunswick and Canadian history.
This place has been closed for years now.
The buildings sit empty except for the ghosts that must exist here.
The ghosts are good company for the skeletons that sat in the closet of the province for so many years.
Spelled out clearly over the front doors are the words "New Brunswick Central Reformatory". Most people remember it as Kingsclear Reformatory.
It was here that New Brunswick's most infamous pedophile, Karl Toft, now 71 years old, is believed to have molested more than 200 boys while serving as a guard.
As a result he was imprisoned for 13 years.
I recall in the news in 2005 that he had decided to remain in Edmonton following his 3 year stay at a halfway house there.
I'm guessing that he realized that he would not survive very long if he chose to return to New Brunswick.
Good decision Mr. Toft.
There is an interesting report posted here http://www.cpc-cpp.gc.ca/prr/inv/Kingsclear/rep-rap/kingsclearR4-eng.aspx concerning the investigation into the Kingsclear horrors. The web site is "Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP". It is quite an interesting read.
In the Edmonton Sun of May 21, 2008 Karl Toft was interviewed and said "I'm so very, very sorry".
He said he owes the people of New Brunswick "one heck of a lot," "financially, along with the damage I did to their children."I've hurt everybody in the province of New Brunswick."
Well I guess that makes everything all better Mr. Toft. You are sorry so you can come back to New Brunswick now into our open arms.
You bastard. You are sorry that you were caught!
If no one ever found out about anything that you did to those poor kids you would have peacefully carried on to the end of your days as you were.
You filthy bastard.
Even if you never look at another young boy again the damage has been done.
13 years is NOTHING for what you did to those kids which will haunt them for the rest of their lives.
I wish I could have a few minutes with Karl Toft to show him how I think his penalty should be served.
1 minute. Give me 1 minute. That's all I need.
What is interesting is that Toft was in my father's Rover Scout group.
Dad says that he always seemed a bit odd.
Even then he had a thing for young boys. I read that he was violating boys when he was a Scout leader at 16 years old.
I'll say it again. You are a slimy bastard, Karl Toft.
You deserve to be beaten within an inch of your life, given time to recover fully and then be beaten again.
I suppose I may be a bit emotional about these things but nothing turns my stomach more than those in positions of trust violating the weaker members of our society.
The children placed in Kingsclear Reformatory were placed there for other reasons but these horrors must have pushed them further down into the depths of their personal hells.
It was stated several years ago that the late New Brunswick Premier Richard Hatfield had been identified by several former Kingsclear residents as having been with Kingsclear children taken from the institution. The actual truth of that allegation will probably never be known.
An article that mentioned that if Karl Toft ever came back to New Brunswick he may be able to confirm the allegations against Premier Hatfield which would tarnish the image of the provincial Conservatives.
Here's a question.
Who the HELL would ever place any validity or truth in something that Karl Toft would say?? Really. If he was capable of such pure evil what makes anything he says have any semblance of truth?
Thirteen years of incarceration? Not bloody likely!
It was no secret that Richard Hatfield was a homosexual and led a pretty wild lifestyle.
He was acquitted of marijuana possession charges but rumours of Premiere Hatfield's taste for teenage boys was gossip throughout New Brunswick.
Based on this I would personally believe without a doubt that he was part of the molestation that took place at Kingsclear.
However he will never be able to confess to it.
We can't place any value on what scumbag Toft could say, even if he wishes us to believe that he feels remorse for his actions.
I wish we could take what the accusers say as fact but the legal system doesn't work like that.
We will never know the truth about Richard Hatfield.

We do know all about Toft though and as long as he walks free I will feel sick at the thought.

What boggles my mind is that the provincial government has allowed the buildings at Kingsclear to remain standing for all this time.
They are not being used for anything at all.
They just sit there closed off as the haunting reminder of what happened behind their walls.
This isn't a tourist destination like Alcatraz with mystery and intrigue and wondrous stories of the many interesting inmates it once housed.
There were only children who will never recover from the nightmares they faced here at the hands of those paid to watch over them.

The property is made up of approximately 25 acres of land and several buildings including a two-storey house, administration office, garage-workshop, detention facility, dormitory, kitchen and dining hall, and a laundry and boiler room.
Sounds like quite a place doesn't it?
In May 2007 the province announced that it had found a buyer for the property. For some reason that deal appears to have fallen through.
I'm curious who would want to own a place like this?
As nice as the buildings could look the true ugliness could never be masked.

It is my opinion that every building here should be torn down and all traces demolished and taken away. I like this route and enjoy the nice views along here.
What I don't like is looking up and seeing this place in full view on the hill.
There are several gravestones on the front hill of the property. I have never had the chance or the heart to see what they say on them. I don't want to know the stories behind them.
It may give me more nightmares about this place than I already have.

Enough is enough.

Tear this place down.

And give me 1 minute alone with Karl Toft.


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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

In case you were wondering.

I will do a full proper blog again very soon but wanted to do this quickie.
I am glad to say that the weekend meetings in Toronto went quite well.
As I mentioned previously I admit I went in without a very open mind.
Despite that and some evident caution on many people's parts we ended everything on Sunday afternoon with all of the items on the agenda discussed and moving forward.
I was proud of my Executive Director Ed and I for keeping restrained even when it was very difficult for me to do so. My pal Tony from Newfoundland sitting beside me was fantastic at restraint and saying what needed to be said.
I was proud to sit beside Tony and even moreso being his friend.
However, as Tony pointed out, the proof is in the pudding.
This means that although it ended in a big love-in the agreements still have to be put in place and carried out.
Not to worry.
Who would dare foil such positive steps?


Stay well,
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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Exercises in Boredom

I'm in Toronto right now at a meeting for Presidents and Executive Directors of the provincial associations of Technicians and Technologists.
The gist of this is to determine how the national body, Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists, is to be governed and how each provincial group controls what CCTT does.
This is such a long story and far too boring to get into here.
What I will say though is that there are two or there differing opinions of how this should be done.
In my opinion the differences are due to several factors.
I do stand to be corrected by my good friend Tony of Newfoundland (who just happens to be sitting to my left this very second), but the differences I observe are mainly due to regional variations and assorted sizes of the provincial associations.
I wish I could say that I arrived here with an open mind but I would be lying.
A firm was hired to gather information and interview several officials of every provincial group.
I was interviewed on the phone by these consultant guys and did not like the way the interview went.
It started out well enough as they asked me questions and I gave my replies.
It has been my view from the beginning of this process that it was ordered and manipulated by the big three organizations to eventually lead conclusions to suit their desires.
It seemed that when I gave my replies the consultants tried to steer me further to other answers with leading questions.
This is totally unacceptable for this activity.
I suppose we will see by the end of today or tomorrow how this will work out.
I am not alone with my frustrations of this whole thing.
This has been "out there" for years.
Six years ago we had a firefight when Ontario threatened to pull out of CCTT if they didn't get their way.
I just happened to be a member in Ontario as well as New Brunswick at the time and was a little upset at this.
I stirred things up a lot by email back in Ontario and resulted in Ontario changing their mind.
It was too easy and I knew it. I knew that Ontario would take to back rooms and unofficial meetings with other provinces to gather support for their view.
But I'm a little paranoid sometimes.
Maybe everything will be lovely.
But I'm feeling something in this room which may not be all peaceful.

We'll see.

Stay well,

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What would Bobby Orr do?

Something very sad happened this hockey season in the Fredericton Youth Hockey Association.

This is not what you think but a wonderful little sportsman was lost to us.
Last year this little guy and his brother scored 1 goal each but had the best time they had ever had.
They would leap out of bed on cold early mornings and rush to get onto the ice as soon as they were allowed.
Last year's team won almost every game but that didn't matter to the boys.
They just loved being there.
And we all loved watching them as they had so much fun.
There was a couple of guys who were a little intense sometimes but Coach Chad usually knew how to settle them down to get back to fun.
Overall, it was an amazing year. The team came in 4th overall but everybody became great friends, kids and parents.
And my boys only scored one goal each.

I don't want to say their names on here so I will call my sons T and B.
T is a solid little defenseman. He reminds me a lot of myself from my hockey days except that he is much quicker on skates than I ever was.
B is forward. He switches between left and right wings as well as Center.

The reason I mention Bobby Orr in the title is that he was arguably the best hockey player of all time and one of the most humble.
Over a year ago I found a DVD of Bobby Orr's greatest plays.
The boys and I have watched this so many times the disk will wear out before too long.
We are in total agreement with Don Cherry that Bobby was the best to ever strap on a pair of skates.
He would skate circles around everyone and punch the puck right past the goalie almost every time.
He was the first defenseman in the history of the National Hockey League to win the annual scoring title. Several times.
Other player that shared the ice with him found their statistics rise as well. Bobby made everyone shine. Derek Sanderson and Phil Esposito scored most of their career goals thanks to Bobby's assists.
He cared a great deal for his teammates.
One of the most dramatic videos I have seen is of Keith Magnusson of the Chicago Black Hawks taking a cheap shot at Derek Sanderson when he wasn't watching.
Like a bolt of lightning Bobby shot over and took Magnusson on and handily pounded him.
Whenever he scored a goal Bobby would briefly celebrate with his teammates and then skate away with his eyes down to the ice ready to continue the game. I could never imagine him with the stupid fist pumping and dramatic gloating we see from players today.
He was poetry in motion taking the puck from one end to the other.
Bobby just wanted to play the game and play it well to the best of his abilities.
Ever since I was 7 years old I was number 4 in every sport I played as tribute to Bobby Orr. I still do to this day.
I remember the day Bobby was forced to retire because of his failing knees. It was so sad.
My sons know all about Bobby and his grace and humility. We have talked about this extensively.
T has been number 4 last year and this year. The amazing thing is that their team became the Bruins which was where Bobby played most of his career.

This hockey season something changed dramatically.
It was most likely due to the fact that the boys were second year and now the senior members of the team.
T continued to be the spoiler of breakaways and defender of the blue line. But he was much better than last year.

B found his groove and became a goal scoring machine.
It was amazing to watch. He made it look so easy the way he stepped around the other players.
At the end of the season he was the second highest goal scorer in the Atom C level.

Along with the transformation to scorer something troubling happened.
I mentioned that we lost a great little sportsman. This was B.
Oh yes, we gained an amazing player but the sportsman sadly disappeared.
For the life of me I can't figure out why.
We continued to congratulate and encourage him for every play if he scored or not.
What started to happen is that if B went in to score and missed he would smack his stick on the ice and get so angry.
There were many times that he was so busy fuming that he didn't even see his own rebound and missed perfect scoring chances.
We tried explaining this to him.
It was embarrassing to watch. I had seen other kids doing this but never imagined that one of our guys could become like this. As it turns out, the top scorer in the league was a poor sport too. I'll get to the relevance of that in a moment.
A couple of times I had the coach bench B to show that I was not happy at his behaviour.
Sometimes it actually worked.

The kicker came at the very end of the year when the Allstar team was selected from every team.

B was not picked.
Neither was the top scorer in the division.

T was picked along with 2 other players on the team.
Not because they were the fastest players or were scoring machines but because they were good sports and enjoyed the game.

I was very pleased to see that. This is the way all selections should be done.
I was impressed that B did congratulate T and the others for the game.

I think he'll come around in time for next year. At least I hope he will.

I wish I could speak to Bobby Orr and ask him for advice on this.
What made him the way he was and the amazing sportsman he was?

What would Bobby Orr do if he was in my position?

Stay Well,

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