Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Humour In The Military!

Laughter ~ the Sweetest Medicine for Mind and Body
Laughter relaxes the whole body...boosts the immune system...triggers release of endorphins...protects the heart...burns calories...lightens anger's heavy load...may even help you to live longer!

You know why women like men in uniform?
Because we women know they can follow orders! (Anonymous)

Old Guys Make the Best Soldiers!
I'm a pensioner and the army forces think I'm too old to track down terrorists!
If you're over 42, then you can't join the military. They've got their whole system backwards! Instead of sending 18-year-olds to war zones, they should take us old guys.
They shouldn't let you join the military until you're at least 35!

18-year-olds have been proven to think about sex every 10 seconds, while pensioners only think about it once or twice a month. This leaves us an extra 280,000 seconds per day to focus on the enemy.

Young soldiers don't have enough life experience to be cranky, and a cranky soldier is a terrifying soldier! ' I'm tired and hungry, my back hurts, I can't sleep! Aaaargh!'

We're impatient and bad-tempered, so perhaps letting us kill some jerk
who desperately deserves it, will cheer us up and keep us quiet.
18-year-olds never usually get up before 10 a.m. Old guys always wake up early to pee! Besides, like I've already said, 'since I can't get to sleep...I may as well be off killing some fanatical son-of-a-bitch! If they capture us, we'd never spill the beans, because we wouldn't remember where we put them. Name, rank and serial number would be a huge braintaser!

Old guys would ace boot camp! We're used to people yelling at us...and we're accustomed to eating soft food. We also have a deep appeciation of firearms. We've been using them for years as an excuse to get away from all the yelling!

They could lighten up on the obstacle course, though. I've been in combat, but I've never come across a 20-foot wall with ropes hanging over either side! They can probably get rid of the running part as well. I've never seen anybody outrun a bullet!

18-year olds have their whole lives ahead of them. They should still be learning how to shave...and how to talk to pretty girls. They still haven't even figured out how to properly wear a baseball cap!
These are all good reasons why we should keep our kids at home.
Let us old guys track terrorists down! No enemy wants to see a couple million hacked-off old farts, with automatic weapons and with bad attitudes...who know that their best years are behind them!

And what about recruiting women in their 50' menopause?
You think only men have a bad attitude? You ain't seen nothing yet! If nothing else, they can be put on 'border control'! It'll be secured by the end of the first night!
(With thanks to one of my readers re the above submission)

Brotherhood means: I will always come for you, no matter what the cost!”

Military Jokes!
Pregnant With Doubt: When the sergeant told our new commander, his driver could not participate in an upcoming field maneuver because she was pregnant, the enraged commander demanded to know how pregnant she was. The sergeant's reply was, “Completely, Sir!”

The Deadliest Job in WWII: My high school assignment was to ask a veteran about WWII. Since my father had served in the Philippines during the war, I chose him. After a few basic questions, gingerly I asked, “Did you ever kill anyone?” Dad became quiet. Then, in a soft voice, he said,
Probably. I was the cook.”
Never Lose a Tank: When I lost my rifle, the Army charged me $85. That's why the Navy captain goes down with the ship!
Military Lesson ~ Never Volunteer: During basic training at Fort Leavenworth, our sergeant asked if anyone had 'artistic abilities'. Having been an architectural draftsman in civilian life, I raised my hand. Then the sergeant announced that everyone would get a 3-day pass...except me. I would stay behind and neatly print each soldier's name onto his Army-issued underwear.
In college, my freshman-year roommate was in ROTC
and came from a long line of military men. Trask (his last name) used that heritage to 'lord' it over me. But I had the last laugh. Upon his return that night in his perfectly pressed uniform, his newly acquired name tag in hand, reluctantly he showed it to me. In large gold letters was printed TRASH.

The Time-Travelling Soldier: When a soldier came to the clinic where I work for an MRI, he was put into the machine by an attractive young technician. Some time later, when the examination was over, he was helped out of the machine by a far older woman. The soldier remarked, “How long was in there?”

Airman Express: My friend, an Air Force officer, was riding his scooter when he passed an airman who didn't salute! My friend stopped, turned around and glared at the airman. “Thanks for coming back for me,” the airman said, jumping on the back of the scooter. “Airmen's Mess, Sir!”

Confessions of a Military Wife: My husband is infantry and he said the most wonderful things to convince me to marry him. The closets could all be mine since he wears the same thing every day. I could have as many babies as I want because giving birth is free. He would never get on my nerves because he would usually be gone.

An Army of None: We were an Air Force family, but our young son could not grasp that fact. Anytime when asked what his father did, he'd say, “He's in the Army.” I told him umpteen times, “Stop telling people I'm in the Army!!!” It finally seemed to hit home because on the kindergarten admittance form for “father's profession”, the teacher wrote, “He doesn't know...but he's not in the Army!”

Bad Soldier Mistakes: It's important that soldiers learn from their mistakes, otherwise, they're bound to repeat them at inopportune moments. One soldier who replied, “I was cold” was reprimanded as being not a sufficient reason for being caught in the female barracks!

Basic Flying Rules: Try to stay in the middle of the air. Do not go near the edges of it. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of the ground, buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space. It is much more difficult to fly there!

The Meaning of War: Sometimes I think war is God's way of teaching us geography!

Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...November 4, 2017
All comments welcome: or

Sunday, November 12, 2017

"The Road to Remembrance"

Yearly I watch the televised Remembrance Day Ceremony at Mount Hope's Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum on Airport Road. The program commemorates those who served in our armed forces and lost lives...and honouring those veterans who remind us of the sacrifices given to protect
our homelands...the 90 minute program, most heart-warming!

Spectator reporter, Mark McNeil travelled with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry in August (2017) on a First and Second World War pilgrimage through northern France and Belgium where tens of thousands of Canadians...and thousands of Hamiltonians gave their lives. In his article published November 11, he wrote about First World War Battlefields and cemeteries that were part of the trip and reflects on local servicemen who took part in the Great War. “ Even after all these years, the world wars of the last century still haunt us,” he writes.

The brutality of so many lives torn apart still aches through the generations and has forever twisted the Canadian psyche. And while no soldier remains from the First World War to talk about the experience ~ and the number of survivors from the Second World War has severely declined, it has fallen on the rest of us to not only remember the sacrifice, but reflect on the capacity of humanity for inhumanity! How does such a catastrophe of carnage happen? Could forces be unleashed again to start another world war? War has certainly touched my family.

I would not be here without the First World War. My grandmother's first husband, William Reid, was killed in the Battle of Amiens, an Allied offensive in August 1918 that ultimately led to the end of the First World War in November of that year. She remarried a young man named John Gilbertson and they had a daughter named Hazel, who became my mother. They also had a son named Jack who would be killed in the Second World War.

In his book, “We Were Just Doing Our Bit” by Ed Keenlyside,
he comments, “Hamilton's main cenotaph at Gore Park does not list the names of the fallen on the monument as it is a large community. There is a scroll inside with the names of 1,800 service people who gave their lives in the First World War...yet no one knows how accurate that list is.

Stories Behind the Names on the Burlington Cenotaph
(First World War)
Sapper Harry Ernest Brain: (Oct. 29, 1896 - Aug. 20, 1918...(21 years).
Died Caix, Somme, France. Buried Caix British Cemetery. The son of a linesman, Brain was one of 10 children ~ 4 boys and 6 girls. He was born in Oakville, but grew up in Burlington. On August 30, 1915, he joined the 92nd Highlanders Overseas Battalion, C.E.F. as a sapper. (A sapper is someone who builds roads and bridges, lays or clears mines and takes part in other construction projects). On the afternoon of August 20, 1918, this soldier was one of a party awaiting orders at the edge of a wood, when an enemy high velocity shell landed in the middle of the party, killing Sapper Brain and (15) others instantly, according to Veterans Affairs records.

Lance-Cpl.Herbert William Kearse: (Aug. 27, 1888 - April 28, 1917...(28 years).
Died Arleux Loop near Arleux-en-Gohelle. known grave.
Commemorated at the Vimy Memorial in France.
Kearse born in Burford, Oxforshire, England, moved to Burlington in 1910. He was married with two sons, living on Brant Street. He enlisted with his brother, Harold on Sept. 1, 1915. Harold survived the war. Kearse was in charge of a Lewis gun crew...and while proceeding to the jumping off position, just prior to an attack on the village of Arleux-en-Gohelle, he was instantly killed by concussion caused by the explosion of an enemy high-explosive shell,” according to Veterans Affairs records.
Capt. George Orme McNair: Oct. 15, 1872 – May 1, 1916...(43 years).
Died Zillebeke (3 kilometres from Ypres). Buried Maple Copse Cemetery, Ypres, west-Vlaanderen, Belgium. McNair was born in Lowville, and after living out west for a time, returned to the Hamilton area. He worked for the freight traffic department of the Grand Trunk Railway and was in his early 40's when he enlisted in 1915. He had at least one son, also named George. A postcard written to the boy from McNair said, “Hurry up and write me some more letters. Take good care of Mummy Muff and the rest. Remember you are 'the man of the house now'. Lovingly yours, Daddy.” About 2 1/2 months after arriving in France, McNair was killed when a mortar shell exploded in his trench 3 kilometres east of Ypres.
Second World War
Sapper Joseph Paul Breckon: (April 11, 1920 – Sept 3, 1944...(24 years).
Died Normandy. Buried Bayeux War Cemetery, Calvados, France. Breckon was born in the small community of Wiseton, Saskatchewan, but shortly after his family moved to a farm in Nelson Township (now part of Burlington). 'Paul' as he was known, cared for an ill mother who died in March 1937. Five years later in October 1942, he went overseas with the No. 1 Road Construction Company, Royal Canadian Engineers. A month after D-Day, Breckon was working on road and building construction in Normandy when he stepped on a buried mine on August 26, 1944, suffering severe injuries that he died from on September 3.

Gunner Gordon Walter Langford: August 4, 1913 – August 1944...(31 years).
Died near Caen. Buried Bretteville-Sur-Laize, Canadian War Cemetery, Calvados, France. Langford was born inWinona and attended Burlington Central High School and later worked as a truck driver. He enlisted in Dundas with the regular army in May 1941, eventually shipping to England. Langford's regiment was sent to France on July 26, 1944 to help reinforce Allied advances after D-Day on June 6. On the evening of August 14, he was laying in a slit trench with the added security of a truck parked above him. A German plane hit the truck with an anti-personnel bomb and Lanford and another soldier were killed instantly.

Cpl. Alexander Rennie MacDonald: July 9, 1910 – July 13,1944...(34 years)
Died near Caen. Buried Beny-sur-Mer Canadian war Cemetery, Calvados, France. MacDonald was born in Burkie, Scotland and moved to Burlington with his family when he was a boy going to Burlington schools where he was remembered as a strong football athlete. He enlisted with the 27th Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers on September 22, 1942, shipping overseas on January 7, 1943. He was sent to Normandy, France one month after D-Day. Less than a week later, he was killed in bitter combat efforts by Canadian troops moving inland to try to take the City of Caen.

There is just one woman's name on the cenotaph: Cpl. Thelma Florence Passant, a talented cipher clerk with the Canadian Women's Army Corps in Toronto. She coded and decoded military correspondence. She died of a cerebral hemorrhage and was buried with full military honours.

In honour of the men and women who served and sacrificed
for the freedoms and peace we enjoy today.

Info compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...November 11, 2017
Your thoughts appreciated: email or

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Gone But Not Forgotten!

(Excerpts from an article written by a local retired Real Estate Broker)

As a young boy I can remember going to Sunnybrook Veterans Hospital to visit my Dad who constantly seemed to be having an 'operation' to relieve the pain from his war wounds. At the time, it was hard for me and my 3 brothers to understand why my father was in so much pain...always took prescribed drugs...or seldom able to play ball with and golf were out of the question.

He had served in France, survived Dunkirk. Then commando trained in Scotland while everyone waited for the invasion that was to come...dispatched to North Africa to join the battle against Rommel.
My father never really talked about what happened, until near his death. History tells us that the battle at El Alamein was a great victory for the Allied forces. There were 12 days of fierce fighting from late October to early November 1942. Casualties were high and the victory was significant. Churchill was to say, “Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat.”

That victory for my dad meant capture, escape and a life filled with 38 operations in an attempt to stop the constant pain, plus his final battle with Melanoma. There was no such thing as 'sunblock' in those days for the fair-haired boys in the tropical sun. Diagnosed as terminal, my dad called me and spoke about how he would like to die and be remembered. He asked that he not be kept alive if he was not able to think and reason. He said to me, “I am at peace with my God and myself.
When the time comes ~ let me go!”
I cannot begin to imagine the frequent nightmares my father had...he asked me to maintain membership in the legion and to honour all soldiers from all wars. He wrote on his final note to me:
Remember ~ 'to the victor go the spoils'
because they write the history books!
We fought so you could live in freedom”

Forgotten Hamilton Hero Honoured October 11, 2017
A Second World War soldier from Hamilton ~ who was credited with capturing 160 Germans in a single day, but died two months later after being shot by an enemy sniper was honoured at a council meeting. Argyll and Sutherland Highlander, Lance Sgt. Earl McAllister, was supposed to receive recognition from the city in 1944 with a day named in his honour. Earlier this year, a surviving sister, Joyce (McAllister) Mason, 97, asked the city to rectify the oversight before she passes on.

The North Wall Riders Association, a group of motorcycle riders, dedicated to supporting veterans and the military, commissioned a plaque for McAllister and officially unveiled it at East Memorial Park at 85 East 36th Street which was open to the public. He was a 21-year old, short in stature, a 135 pound soldier when capturing the 150 Germans in 3 engagements one day in August 1944 in Falaise, France.
The exploit received international media attention. Sadly, on October 20 of that year in Kapellenbosch, Belgium, he was shot while trying to help a wounded fellow soldier.
(The foregoing excerpts are from a writing by The Spectator's Mark McNeil.)

They shall not grow 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 shall remember them. (Unknown Author)

Freedom! Its Cost!
Irena Sender Died May 12, 2008 (aged 98) Warsaw, Poland

During WWII, Irena got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an ulterior motive. She smuggled Jewish infants out, in the bottom of the tool box she carried.
She also carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck, for larger kids. Irena kept a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto.

During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2,500 kids/infants. Ultimately, she was caught...and the Nazis broke both of her legs and arms and beat her severely.

Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she had smuggled out,
in a glass jar that she buried under a tree in her back yard.

After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived...and tried to reunite the family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped, got placed into foster family homes or adopted.

In 2007 Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize;
unfortunately, she was not selected.

Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming.
Later, another politician, Barack Obama won for

It is now more than 65 years since the Second World War in Europe ended.

This e-mail, from one of my readers, was sent as a memorial memory of the 6 million Jews...
10 million Ukrainians...6 million Russians...1 million Byelorusyns...1 million Baltics...10 million Christians...and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred.

Now, more than ever, with Iran and others claiming the HOLOCAUST to be 'a myth' it's imperative to make sure: the world never forgets...because there are others who would like to do it again!

Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr: November 3, 2017
Your response is welcome: or

Friday, November 3, 2017

Remembrance Day Poppies

Most people will start to wear the 'poppies' on October 31, being 11 days before Remembrance Day. The poppy should be worn on the left side to symbolize those who were lost, as being close to our hearts. Also known as Armistice Day, November 11 is the day World War 1 ended.

Poppies are said to be the flower that sprung up out of the freshly-dug graves of dead soldiers in Flanders Fields in Belgium. The poem, In Flanders Fields recalls the scene and was composed by Canadian physician (from Guelph, Ontario) Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae at the battle front May 3, 1915 during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium. His close friend and former student, Alexis Helmer was killed by a German shell.
The poem, published in Punch magazine on December 8, 1915
inspired the use of silk poppies as a sign of remembrance and hope.
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.

Remembering the Fallen: Canadian National Vimy Memorial
The Canadian National Vimy Memorial does more than mark the site of the great Canadian victory of the First World War. It stands as a tribute to all who served their country in battle and risked or gave their lives in that four-year struggle.

Designed by Canadian sculptor and architect Walter Seymour Alward, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial stands on Hill 145 overlooking the Canadian battlefield of 1917, at one of the points of the fiercest fighting. It took 11 years and $1.5 million to build and was unveiled on July 26,1936 by King Edward V11 in the presence of President Albert Lebrun of France and 50,000 or more Canadian and French Veterans and their families. In his address, the King noted, “It is a memorial to no man, but a memorial for a nation.” At the base of the Memorial, in English and in French are these words:
To the valour of their countrymen in the Great War
and in the memory of their sixty thousand dead,
this monument is raised by the people of Canada.

In fact, more than 66,000 Canadians died in action, or of their wounds after the war ~ more than one in ten of those who had worn uniforms. Among the dead are many who have no known grave. Inscribed on the ramparts of the Memorial are the names of 11,285 Canadian soldiers who were posted
'missing, presumed dead' in France.
Another 6,994 names missing Canadians are carved on the Menin Gate at Ypres, Belgium.

My Vimy Experience
written by Molly Spurr, Grade 12: Sherwood Secondary School;
published in The Hamilton Spectator October 18, 2017.

On the morning of April 12, 2017, I awoke in my hotel room in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France. For the six days prevous, I had been experiencing the trip of a lifetime. Vimy 100! I had already explored the streets of Amsterdam before October 12 ~ the infamous Anne Frank House...the alluring Oude Koornmarket market in Antwerp...the haunting Flanders Fields...and the historic Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland memorial in France. Throughout these days, I had seen history live and in colour, alhough nothing could have prepared me for Vimy!

At 9 a.m. on April 12, all 42 Sherwood students made their way onto the bus and set off for Givenchy-en-Gohelle, the small township containing Vimy Ridge. As we took the hour-long bus ride through the town, I stared at the aged brick houses we passed. With each passing house, came passing thoughts of war, destruction and peace. I pondered what the citizens of this hamlet would have thought during the war? Although the battle of Vimy Ridge only lasted four days, I can imagine the days were an eternity to those who feared the loss of their homes and families.

Shortly after 10 a.m. we switched to a city bus just outside of Vimy Ridge. This bus would take us through the final stretch of our drive. As we began to draw closer to Vimy, I imagined what the soldiers would have been doing 100 years ago at that moment.
Did they understand they were making history?
Little did they know, their historic capture of the ridge
would lead to a moral symbol of the unification of Canada!

OUR PULSE” is a weekly page of news, ideas and thoughts
in text and imagery from students in local elementary and secondary schools,
published by The Hamilton Spectator.

* * * * * * * * * * *

To commemorate Remembrance Day, the foregoing is the first of three articles
I submit for your reading appreciation.

Merle Baird-Kerr...written November 2, 2017
Your views? Respond to or

Monday, October 30, 2017

Dreams and Challenges

Positive Affirmation: Today, I shall remind myself that in one hand I hold the seeds to my future; and in the other, I have what life gives me. (Unknown Author)

Thoughts moved with definiteness of purpose, persistence
and a burning desire are powerful things. (Napolean Hill)

Growth: Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered,
you will never grow. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams
than you are to your comfort zone. (Anon)

Plants Still Think It's Summer” writes Kathy Renwald... “the burning bush, rosebud tree, oak leaf hydrangea, the perennial geraniums, beautyberry, Virginia creepers. October has been delicious, but there's a reason why I move the portable jungle inside. It's called November!”

Misplaced Monarchs: Clusters of Butterflies Stuck Up North!” (by The Associated Press Oct.26, 2017). Monarch Butterflies, those delicate symbols of spring and summer, should mostly be in Texas by now ~ winging their way to Mexico for the winter. But Darlene Burgess keeps seeing colourful clusters of them ~ and she lives in Canada. 'As this is nice to see, I really wish I wouldn't see it because they're running out of time.' She does evening 'monarch counts' at Point Pelee National Park in Canada (south-western Ontario). “It's not really good news for them.”

It's not just Canada: swarms have been seen elsewhere, including Cape May, New Jersey, at levels more abnormal for late September and early October. Scientists say tens of thousands of the butterflies are likely to be stranded far north of where they'd usually be this time of year...due to unusually warm weather and strong winds that have kept them from migrating south.
(Such is the dilemma for Nature's creations!)

Once in a while, it's good to challenge yourself
in a way that's really daunting. (Alan Cumming)

Size Doesn't Always Matter
(Excerpts from The Spectator View by John Roe: October 15, 2017)
Imagine little David kicking big Goliath's butt. Imagine a roaring mouse making a lion run away! Imagine an angry minnow fighting off a great white shark! Now, imagine the tiny nation of Iceland ~ population 330,000 and half of Hamilton's ~ battling its way to a place in the planet' s second biggest sporting event: The World Cup Soccer!!!
Who doesn't love seeing the underdog have its day?
But in Iceland's case, no stretch of imagination is necessary!
A few days ago, a determined team from North Atlantic's isolated, storm-swept volcanic island earned itself one of the 32 spots at next summer's World Cup in Russia.
This achievement is as extraordinary as, just a few years ago, it would have been impossible to predict. It's also an example to everyone ~ on both a human and sporting level.
Iceland is the least populous country to ever win a berth at the World Cup
and the only one with fewer than one million people.
It has no professional soccer league. The team's coach is a part-time dentist. Only 5 years ago,this soccer team was ranked 131st in the world out of 121 countries. But the country had desire, a plan and was willing to invest money in soccer. Over the years, Iceland trained hundreds of highly qualified, licenced coaches ~ more per capita than soccer giants such as France or Germany ~ to teach children how to play. It built 30 full-size all-weather soccer ptiches, seven of which are outdoors, and another 150 smaller, artificial arenas. Kids can play year-round, whether it's sunny, rainy or snowing. The core of Iceland's squad has been together more than a decade. Iceland made it to the 2016 Euro-Europe's soccer championship, beating the World Cup semi-finalist Netherlands on the way.
Last week, Iceland trounced Turkey, a nation of 80.7 million people:
U.S.A. with a population of 325 million failed to qualify.
But as Iceland just demonstrated, Size Doesn't Matter! Here's to the Davids, the mice, the minnows and Iceland! 'Our reach should exceed our grasp because there is a 'heaven'... that awaits!

Ask yourself, if what you are doing today,
is getting you closer to what you want to be tomorrow.”

Despite the Rain, the Olympic Flame Shines Again!
Nicholas Paphitis from The Canadian Press reports:
ANCIENT OLYMPIA, GREECE! The flame for the 2018 Pyeongchang Games was lit at the birthplace of the ancient Olympics on Tuesday, despite a brief cloudburst that disrupted the sun-reliant ceremony. It launched a long torch relay culminating with the February 9th Opening Winter Games.
Using backup fire,
kept from Monday's last rehearsal,
an actress playing an ancient pagan priestess ignited the torch in front of
the 2,600-year-old Temple of Hera in the southern Greek Peloponnese region
She then passed the flame to the first relay-runner, Greek skier Apostolos Angeles who ran with it a short distance before handing over to former Manchester United soccer player Park Ji-sung, a South Korean...who commented, “As a sports person, I have been watching the Olympics throughout my life ...and I really wanted to be involved in the Olympics. We will show to the world, how we can organize a sports event.”

From the verdant, rain-soaked valley of Ancient Olympia, where the Games of antiquity were held for more than a thousand years, the flame will course through Greece for eight days and reach South Korea on November 1. The Ancient Games were held at Olympia from 775 B.C. to 393 A.D. 
Ancient traditions point to an earlier date for sports at Olympia, 
where the first traces of human settlement
go back to the third millennium B.C.

In order to succeed, your desire to success
should be greater than your fear of failure.”
(Unknown Author)

From Psalm 27:6
Then I will hold my head high above the enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary, I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
singing and praising the Lord with music.”

Written by Merle Baird-Kerr...October 28, 2017
Comments appreciated: or

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Blog Readers' Observations

Childhood Recollection
At my grandmother's house in Brantford, I had a slide, a swing set and a wading pool”.
I perceived that the slide was teetery...and was therefore fearful of it tipping over when I was at the top due to a high center of gravity. I believe it was my Dad who had a bright idea of putting the bottom of the slide in the wading pool, supposing that it would be pleasureable to slow my descent to earth by displacing a small amount of water.

And my grandmother tied the garden hose to the top of the slide, that I might hydroplane over the film of water...and thus experience a much greater gravitational acceleration. I quickly learned that the rate of descent, coupled with my size and weight, exceeded the vertical challenge of the burms, thus causing a significant risk of sliding over the edge.

Furthermore, the water had sufficient depth to absorb and displace my kinetic energy, thus allowing my tailbone to impact the bottom of the pool upon landing...and not allowing my back to sufficiently clear the bottom edge of the slide, causing more aggravated discomfort.
So I played more on the swing set!”

With “Tongue in Cheek”
in response to my posted article re Las Vegas Ignites My Ire!
It's a good thing alcohol control is so effective at preventing drunk driving, otherwise innocent people would be killed by drunk drivers. I'm glad nobody ever drives 'drunk, due to its being illegal'.

And it's a good thing we've never had a mass shooting here in Canada, like the shooting that never happened at General Brock High School. And wasn't there one at McGill University?

And it's a good thing child pornography is illegal, or someone like Mike Rafferty might kidnap, rape and kill an eight-year-old girl. Thanks to it being illegal, he had no access to such media.
There is no such thing as a law that criminals obey!

And there is no such thing as a gun-free-society. Even if you had one, history has shown that such societies precede a totalitarian government that genocides the part of the population that disagrees with said government. And a dubious government with such aspirations will always tout gun control following such an incident.

And in the case of Edmonton, they refuse to call it what it is: an act of guerilla warfare, perpetrated by a foreign enemy soldier, who thinks he is at war with us.

And in the case of Las Vegas, an act of guerilla warfare, perpetrated by an American, who is guilty of high treason by serving a foreign enemy to make war with the United States.
If they just call it what it is, and treat it accordingly, it's all very simple!”

You Are Condemned!
A man was in New York on a business trip and decided to head to a bar for a drink. Standing outside the bar was a nun holding a tin cup. As the man threw a few bucks into her cup, she launched into a long tirade about the 'evils of alcohol'. She went on and on about how alcohol was tearing apart the fabric of it was the root of all the city's problems!

Slightly annoyed at having to listen to the nun, the man told her, 'Listen, Sister, I work hard for my money...and sometimes at the end of a long day, I like a drink or two. That doesn't make me a bad person. I have a wife I idolize and two wonderful kids at home...I provide for my family...I volunteer my time to several local service clubs...and I contribute regularly to various charities.
Yet you stand here and condemn me
just because I drink the occasional glass of scotch!'

The nun was slightly taken aback and replied, 'I see your point, my son, and I apologize if I offended you, but alcohol is such a powerful demon, that all who consume it are doomed!'

There you go again,” said the man. “How can you make such a sweeping statement? Have you ever TRIED alcohol?” 'Of course not,' gasped the nun, 'the evil alcohol has never touched my lips!'

Do you really think that one glass of booze can change you from a devout nun to some kind of evil degenerate?” 'Well, I really don't know...' she replied.

I'll tell you what ~ come into the bar with me and I'll buy you a drink. One drink! I”ll prove to you that 'evil' is not inside the's inside the person.”

Oh, I could never be seen going into such a den of's out of the question! However, your comment about 'evil' residing in the person, rather than the glass, is intriguing. I must admit, you've aroused curiosity in me.”
Well, let's go inside and settle this situation.”
No, my son, I could never enter such a place...but how about this? Take my tin cup with you and fill it with this 'scotch' you mentioned. Bring it out to me...and I'll try it.”
You're on,” said the guy.
The nun removed all the change and handed him the tin cup. He went into the bar and said to the bartender, 'Two scotch-on-the rocks...and could you put one of them in this tin cup, please?'
The bartender sighed and said,
Is that darn 'nun' out there again!?!”

God as Inventor!
A colour cartoon shows a woman walking along a flagstone path in a flowering park garden. Two men, one with a cane, sit together chatting...on a bench. “When you think about it...God has to be the best inventor of all time. He took a rib from Adam and made a loudspeaker!”

Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...October 25, 2017

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Canadian News to Enlighten You

Yes, you may have heard or viewed or read the news through various media,
but in case you missed it, I send you significant data of interest.

Best Dressed: Hudson's Bay Co. Unveils Kit for Pyeongchang Olympics
(Excerpts by Toronto's Lori Ewing)
The moment Canada's athletes, clad in the iconic read and white, march into the stadium for the Olympic opening ceremonies, never fails to take Alison Coville's breath away. The president of the Hudson'Bay Co. expects nothing less when the the Pyeongchang Winter Games open February 9 in Hoenggye Olympic Park. Hudson Bay Co. unveiled its Team Canada collection on Tuesday and Colville said the kit will have Canadian athletes winning the fashion game. More than a dozen athletes modelled the collection at the morning unveiling at a downtown Toronto mall.

The patriotic apparel flaunts colour-blocks of Canadian red and white, plus black. For the opening ceremony, the parka falls to the mid-thigh and features “Canada” emblazoned across the chest in bold white letters...and a large white Maple leaf on the back. Medal podium outfits feature a puffy red coat, while the athletes march in the closing cermeonies in red and black softshell jackets.

We really looked to capture what we believe is the iconic Canadian winter style. We considered the strength of our country, the backdrops of the mountains and the white in the snow. And we looked for inspiration, what our athletes are inspired by...and we also want them to feel super confident...and beyond that, we do believe that comfort plays a big role,” stated Coville.

Introducing Canada's 29th Governor General
(Excerpts from The Canadian Press)
Former astronaut Julie Payette took the formal oaths of office Monday as she became the country's 29th Governor General in a traditional ceremony on Parliament Hill. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin administered the oaths to the 53-year old in the Senate chamber under the watchful eyes of hundreds of high-powered Canadian audience members, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his cabinet, Indigenous leaders and other dignitaries. Payette was presented with the ceremonial collars marking her as chancellor of the Order of Canada, the Order of Military Merit and the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, as well as head of the Canadian Heraldic Authority.
While much of the ceremony is dictated by protocol, Payette, herself chose music,
which included a rendition of Leonard Cohen's “Hallelujah”
Trudeau spoke of Payette's flights into space as inspiring moments ~ a two-time extraterrestrial Canadian. He praised her as a mother, an athlete, a pilot, a scientist and someone who “went where very few others had dared to go.” Payette had her first audience with the Queen two weeks ago.

Families Walking Highway of Tears
(Excerpts from The Canadian Laura Kane in Smithers, B.C.)
Rhonda Lee McIsaac says she's walking the Highway of Tears for all the women who can't. She was among the dozens of family members and advocates of missing and murdered Indigenous women who walked the final stretch of an emotional 350-kilometre journey along Highway 16 on Monday.
They sang and beat drums while carrying a banner emblazoned with the faces
of those who have disappeared or been killed along the notorious
stretch of road in British Columbia's Interior.
McIsaac said, “I have lost a loved one.
I grew up in foster care and I was adopted out.This is part of my story.”
(Indigenous Women Hearings Set to Resume!)

Canada's Women's Eight Captures Silver at Worlds
News Services reports from Sarasota, Florida:
Canada's women's eight made a late push to capture silver at the rowing world championships Sunday. The Canadians were able to get past the United States and New Zealand in the last 250 metres to finish in 6 minutes and 7.09 seconds. Romania won gold in 6.06 minutes.

The Big House, In Every Way.
Kingston Penitentiary was the largest public building in Upper Canada When it Opened.
(writes Mary K. Nolan in The Hamilton Spectator)
The joint. The slammer. The clink. The institutions where miscreants and malfeasants do time for their misdeeds go by many names. But there's only one KP...Kingston Penitentiary...which as lock-ups go in Canada, was the big house in every way. When it opened for business in 1835, it occupied 80 hectares of waterfront land that included stone quarries, a prison farm and a four-hectare complex of buildings to accommodate up to 1,000 prisoners.
But more formidable than its physical presence is the roster of offenders
who served their sentences behind KP's massive limestone walls.
They were the worst of the worst ~ Black Donnelly patriarch James, serial child-killer Clifford Olsen, murderous rapist Paul Bernardo, homicidal air force colonel Russell Williams, wife slayer Helmuth Baxbaum and prolific pedophile James Cooper ~ once described by a Hamilton judge as “a lowdown, mean, despicable, evil manifestation of a human being.”
Mobsters, bank robbers, cop killers, fraudsters ~ thousands upon thousands
who failed to follow society's rules languished behind KP's iron bars
over its 178 years of operation.
On September 30, 2013, the massive wooden doors groaned open to release the last prisoner, a man who believed he was the King of England and the guards were his servants.

Trouble Sleeping?
From a Canadian novel I recently read, the author wrote about Steve, who didn't usually have trouble sleeping ~ even with the distant noise of jets on the nearby runways, but one night was different. He usually knew just what to do with worries and unsettling thoughts. They went into a compartment in his mind: walled off by themselves where they wouldn't bother him until he chose to deal with them. The navy had taught you that.
You divided yourself ...your mind...your heart...your life into compartments...
and then managed these things one by one.

Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...October 5, 2017