Archive for the ‘blog business’ Category

TUESDAY WRITING CONVERSATION

September 19, 2017

Spraying the potatoes.

by Patrick Kavanagh

 

The barrels of blue potato-spray
Stood on a headland in July
Beside an orchard wall where roses
Were young girls hanging from the sky.

The flocks of green potato stalks
Were blossom spread for sudden flight,
The Kerr’s Pinks in frivelled blue,
The Arran Banners wearing white.

And over that potato-field
A lazy veil of woven sun,
Dandelions growing on headlands, showing
Their unloved hearts to everyone.

And I was there with a knapsack sprayer
On the barrel’s edge poised. A wasp was floating
Dead on a sunken briar leaf
Over a copper-poisoned ocean.

The axle-roll of a rut-locked cart
Broke the burnt stick of noon in two.
An old man came through a cornfield
Remembering his youth and some Ruth he knew.

He turned my way. ‘God further the work’.
He echoed an ancient farming prayer.
I thanked him. He eyed the potato drills.
He said: ‘You are bound to have good ones there’.

We talked and our talk was a theme of kings,
A theme for strings. He hunkered down
In the shade of the orchard wall. O roses
The old man dies in the young girl’s frown.

And poet lost to potato-fields,
Remembering the lime and copper smell
Of the spraying barrels he is not lost
Or till blossomed stalks cannot weave a spell.

 

 

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ARE WE LOSING OUR PRIVACY?

August 31, 2017

 

Neil had a knack for asking the questions that need answering. Back in 2009, he wonders in the post below about technology and privacy – with the information-gathering that companies such as Facebook, Google are engaged in – this is more important than ever.

A new study says emerging   technologies are threatening our privacy and anonymity. Now the focus on safety and security trumps the call for privacy.  And many countries, including Canada, are considering introducing  ID cards which will have a chilling effect on privacy..  Also judicial rulings in some jurisdiction have lowered the threshold for police to detain people and make them identify themselves.  Furthermore the use of video surveillance in public places is increasing diminishing the de facto anonymity once enjoyed in those spaces. The study finds that technology such as radio frequency identification chips and software built into everything from the clothes we wear to the furniture on which we sit appear be transforming communications systems from  “architectures of  freedom to architectures of control.’ “The space for private, unidentified activity is rapidly shrinking.’

Are you concerned we are losing our privacy.? Should security considerations always trump privacy considerations?

Small farmers in Québec

July 13, 2017

9847128

 Photo : Marie-France Coallier, The Gazette

I was lucky enough to have always lived in a first floor apartment in the city of Montreal. So I’ve always have a small garden to grow some lettuce, green onions, basil, tomatoes, pepper and little more. So when someone talked to me about this article, I thought I should share and maybe it could inspire some.

This article was published in the Gazette about small Farmers in Québec, on the May 16, 2014. Today, even big stores like Loblaws and Metro are now carrying free range meat they say is raised with no antibiotics, as well as organic fruit and vegetables, albeit from beyond our borders. But the big story, in lockstep with the farm-to-table movement, is the new life on Quebec’s small farms.

In the article we are introduce to the Ferme Tourne-sol, who started with 5 students who met at McGill University and decided to farm together. They found a piece of land to rent and started their work in Les Cèdres. They started in 2005; they wanted to offer fresh and organic vegetable and fruit for the community. As Pascal Thériault , an agricultural economics expert who teaches at McGill’s MacDonald Campus in Ste-Anne de Bellevue said, “Historically, our particular program has been in place to train farmers, and we usually get sons and daughters of farmers who will themselves take over the farm. This coming year, 23 of the 48 completed applicants did not come from farms or have only a limited knowledge of agriculture.”

We are also meeting Jean-Marie Fortier (in the picture above), from Les Jardins de la Grelinette in St-Armand, who only uses hand held tools to work his field, “People are super stoked hearing that young people make a living on an acre and a half without a tractor,” he says.

The movement toward small, organic farming is so strong, Thériault says, that many farmers can’t accept more customers for their CSAs. But that doesn’t mean all new farmers will be successful.

“Jean-Martin is a great example of being able to make a lot of money,” he said. “Having a sustainable farm is cool but it has to be financially sustainable. Direct sell to consumer is more work and more trouble, and distributors won’t do business with them, since they can’t guarantee the volumes.”

I recommend you to go and check this article :

http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Appetite+organic+Quebec+small+farmers+thriving/9847124/story.html

Would you decide to make a change and become a farmer ?

When buying your vegetable, do you know where they came from ?

Are you trying to eat fresh and organic food ?

What do you think of GMO ?

 

Stephanie P.

TUESDAY WRITING CONVERSATION

July 11, 2017

 

 

Tis The Last Rose Of Summer

 

‘Tis the last rose of summer,

Left blooming alone;

All her lovely companions

Are faded and gone;

No flower of her kindred,

No rose-bud is nigh,

To reflect back her blushes,

Or give sigh for sigh.

 

I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one!

To pine on the stem;

Since the lovely are sleeping,

Go sleep thou with them.

Thus kindly I scatter

Thy leaves o’er the bed,

Why thy mates of the garden

Lie scentless and dead.

 

So soon may I follow,

When friendships decay,

And from love’s shining circle

The gems drop away.

When true heart lie wither’d,

And fond ones are flown,

Oh! who would inhabit

This bleak world alone?

 

 

By Thomas Moore.

Driving with your mate

July 6, 2017

Catharine writes :

While I was packing to go by car to Kingston, with my nephew, I couldn’t help remembering what Neil called his zaniest program.

Do you have any stories about a road trip ?

What do you do when your are stressed in your car ?

Are you a good co-driver ?

 

NEIL’S RADIO SHOW

June 28, 2017

Exchange on CJAD with host Neil McKenty.

The Lines Are Blazing!

On this show, Neil discusses with Clark Davey, Montreal Gazette publisher and the live callers.


https://neilmckentyweblog2.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/montreal-gazette-clark-davey-publisher.wav

Jean P.

TUESDAY WRITING CONVERSATION

June 27, 2017

The Senior Times

Pit Stop by Neil McKenty

Pope’s reaction to Williamson curious and disappointing

It is now clear that Catholic-Jewish relations have been seriously damaged by the Vatican’s lifting the excommunication of a schismatic bishop who is a Holocaust denier.

Vatican authorities claim Pope Benedict XVI was unaware of the anti-Semitic attacks that Bishop Richard Williamson has launched in the past. Is this claim credible? Williamson’s diatribes have been in the public domain for years. In 1989, for example, Canadian police considered filing charges against Williamson under Canada’s hate speech laws after he gave an address in Quebec charging that Jews were responsible for“changes and corruption” in the Catholic church, that“not one Jew”perished in Nazi gas chambers, and that the Holocaust was a myth created so that the West would “approve the State of Israel.”

Williamson also praised the writings of Ernst Zundel, the Germanborn Canadian immigrant whose works include Did Six Million Really Die? and The Hitler We Loved and Why, both considered mainstays of Holocaust denial literature.

A 2008 piece in England’s Catholic Herald documented Williamson’s anti-Semitic record and included a judgement from Shimon Samuels, director of international relations at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, to the effect that Williamson is “the Borat of the schismatic Catholic far-right.” Samuels also said at the time that Williamson is “a clown, but a dangerous clown.”

To be sure, the subjects of Williamson’s controversial views are not confined to Jews. He has also suggested that the 9/11 bombings were not the result of airplanes hijacked by terrorists but rather “demolition charges,” has criticized The Sound of Music for a lack of respect for authority and has expressed sympathy for what he described as the “remotely Catholic sense” of the Unabomber for the dangers of technology.

A number of strong voices have spoken to condemn Rome’s rehabilitation of Bishop Williamson and none more so than Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, who reminded the Pope that in her country denying the Holocaust is a crime. Several Jewish groups have suspended all dialogue with the Catholic Church and, by all accounts, the French bishops are furious. Recently the New York Times questioned why no U.S. or Canadian bishops had publicly deplored the Williamson scandal.

It is also curious that the moderate German Cardinal Walter Kasper was not consulted in this whole damaging affair. Cardinal Kasper is the head of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with Jews.

Nevertheless, the Vatican moved swiftly to try to contain the widespread damage done by the Williamson affair. The Pope confirmed that he was looking forward to his visit to Israel this May. The Secretariat of State said that Bishop Williamson must retract his views unequivocally if he is ever to serve as a bishop in the Catholic Church. In the meantime Bishop Williamson has been dismissed from his post running a seminary in Argentina and the government there has expelled him from the country.

To make matters worse, the Pope named a new bishop in Austria whose well-known public utterances are as outrageous – he described Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans as divine punishment for homosexuality and abortion, and the Harry Potter books as Satanic – as Bishop Williamson’s are evil.

This appointment raised such a storm of opposition in the Austrian Church that the appointment has been rescinded. The irony here is that when a bishop is appointed the diocesan authorities submit three names for the Pope’s consideration. In the Austrian case the Pope rejected the three names and appointed another candidate so unpopular he had to withdraw.

There may well be a silver lining to the affair in Austria. If the Vatican backed down because of opposition at the local level, will this set a precedent for future Episcopal appointments. At the very least it would seem that Rome must take more seriously the views of the local church. In fact, this would be in the spirit of Vatican 11, which urged a more collegial governance for the Church.

Both the fracas over Bishop Williamson and the aborted appointment in Austria beg the question of whether the universal Catholic Church can be competently led by a small group of male celibates isolated in Rome. It is a question that requires an urgent answer.

Originally published in March 2009

Jean P.

DOES A STAY-AT-HOME VACATION MAKE ANY SENSE?

June 26, 2017

For starters a stay-at-home vacation means you don’t spend a nickel on travel or accommodation.

The experts say the key to a stay vacation is planning:

Just as you do when actually away on vacation, a start date and an end date.

Avoid working on projects around the house.

Avoid everyday routine:  Avoid the mail, e-mails and phone calls just as you do when away.

Set a stay vacation budget.

Act like a tourist in your own town.  Visit with fresh eyes places you would take visitors to visit.

Have you ever had a stay-at-home vacation?  How did it work?

Would you try one?

ARE YOU TIRED OF WAITING?

June 21, 2017

 

 

Did you know that a new survey reveals that 86 per cent of Canadians say they’ve given up on their purchases and walked out of a business after waiting too long for service.

Department stores are deemed the worst offenders with 78 per cent of customers say they’ve bailed out.

More than half have left a bank or convenience store in frustration. Two-thirds say they’ve given up on public transit and half have abandoned a medical facility.

Have you walked out of any of these places? Other places?

How long are you prepared to wait?

On average, consumers said eight minutes was enough time to wait in a grocery store and they’d give up after 15 minutes; they’d wait up to 22 minutes for public transit and 81 minutes to see a doctor before they walked out.

What is your experience waiting in these places? Other places?

How long do you think it is acceptable to wait?

Now, if you want to read how others handle this subject check out Larry Chung at IHateBadService.ca

TUESDAY WRITING CONVERSATION

June 20, 2017

 

 

Catharine writes:

 

Today, Friday June 16 is Bloomsday, named in honour of James Joyce’s hero.  I was hurrying out of the Manoir Westmount to attend a reading of ”Ulysses” by Joyce, at the Westmount Library.  This novel, which I had never attempted to read, has been translated in many languages, and is considered perhaps the finest work of its kind in the 20th century.

As I walked away from our front door, I caught sight of a small bed of white flowers, their petals glistening from the rain that had just stopped; they exuded joy.  I stopped for a moment and suddenly I was back in my grandmother’s garden at Donlands Farm on the edge of Don Mills Road, Toronto.  I had just been scolded for some minor misdemeanour by a well meaning but stern aunt.  I was four years old.  I crouched by my favourite stone, thrown up centuries by a volcano.   The sun had melted the snow around part of the rock.  There in the warm brown earth was a single blue flower.

I had the strongest feeling that small flower was trying to send me a message.  I couldn’t quite decipher its meaning.  Years later, I thought, that flower was saying ”Bloom for the day.”  Now here I was on Bloomsday, 2017, and these small white flowers were nodding the same message.

I also attended an absolutely outstanding lecture by Prof. Micheal Kenneally about Jane Joyce’s “Ulysses”.  For many of us there we decided we could dare to approch the complexity of this book.  The book may, however, have to wait until next winter, since Montreal in summer is so captivating, with its flowers and trees and strolling musicians.  I am told Westmount Library has 30 books just about trees.  Which reminds me … but that’s another story.  

If there is that much to say about trees, what could be said about the lives of each of us?  The entire book ”Ulysses” is almost just one day in the life of Bloom.  (Perhaps I won’t wait until winter to start.)