This reminds me of late afternoons in Nova Scotia after having played some street hockey and being called home for supper by my grandmother. We’d be no more than 7 or 8 years old. She’d signal by flashing a kitchen light. Amazing what an image like that does for you. I remember it well.
There’s been a new high of journalists over the past year who’ve been jailed. CHINA remains top-of-the-list for the third year in a row with 50 locked up, according to The Committee to Protect Journalists. MYANMAR moved to second place because of a military coup. EGYPT, VIETNAM and BELARUS were the next three. This is the 6th consecutive year that The Committee has recorded at least 250 journalists, jailed for reporting. And of course there’s a whole pumpkin patch of Authoritarian Leaders terrorizing people. Some dictators can’t put up with a free press. Think of the United States & Canada on occasion. No names “s’il vous plaît”.
The United States has at least two of North America’s finest newspapers – Thre’s The New York Times & The Washington Post in the USA, and In Canada there’s The Globe and Mail which is getting better all the time. All three of them are worth reading. <For your information – The New York Times printed this editorial called “A Record Number of Journalists Jailed”. Released on Sunday, December 19th it might be worth finding an issue. Good luck with that.>
A good friend helped us read through the instruction pages, and to make a long story short – we both came through successfully in little more than 20-30 minutes. I kept the clever card, which looked like a lollipop, as a reminder. On December 11, 2021 I read a Globe and Mail story on Lori Laumbach, and her daughter, Jenna Schlender who planned a quiet Christmas holiday at home in Edmonton. They decided this was the safest thing to do. “Other years often we would go and join friends at house parties, but I think that still doesn’t seem like a responsible thing right now, especially because I want to go away,” said Ms. Laumbach. Her travel plan was to visit Punta Cana. Already, she’d double-checked her travel insurance, partly because she’s losing faith given the emergence of notorious Omicron. “I’m not getting my hopes up for this trip because I don’t have confidence that things aren’t going to go south quickly again.” So, like many of us, our Christmases will be celebrated at home – in Edmonton & Toronto.
PHOTO ABOVE – This one is a classic. Santa and his helpers are busy everywhere these days – on Trans Canada Airlines for instance. This T.C. plane is about to leave with Santa on board, flying from Toronto to Winnipeg, the first consigned airmail delivery on that route, which took place in 1939. – kimberleyezeard.com. PHOTO ABOVE – In the good old days, December, 1944, a Milk Man made deliveries in heavy snow, making use of a dog sled for plowing through The Toronto Islands. This photo arrived in my letter box yesterday afternoon, so it’s something new. A beautiful picture – and a pleasant surprise.
They don’t seem to be robbing banks like the Barrows did in the 1930’s, but they do have interests in department stores, bricks and mortar retailers, supply chain delays, luxury outlets, everything that’s smash-and-grab possible. The mobs occasionally number from a handful of participants to as many as eighty. And they’re doing grab-and-go work from big cities to the suburbs. The bottom line, according to Toronto’s Globe and Mail, is this BELOW . . . . “Flash Mob robbers see the stars aligning around a golden opportunity – fewer police, with less power, and laws so lax they can expect slaps on the wrist if they’re caught.” Too bad that Christmas will soon be here.
He has part of a Spruce tree resting on his right hand; a pure white beard; a puppet in his left hand; a large sack of toys on his back; a pleasant looking face; and bright red clothes and shoes. Saint Nicholas is his name, but today in Canada he’s mostly known as Santa Claus with a jolly smile, and known for going down people’s chimneys with bags of toys. It is said that Saint Nicholas gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick. Over many years his popularity kept spreading and he became known as the protector of children and sailors. A feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death, December 6th. This was traditionally considered a lucky day to make large purchases or to get married. Santa Claus of today works hard, year-after-year for millions of children who can’t wait for Christmas Eve. This would be the evening or entire day welcoming Christmas Day, the festival commemorating the Birth of Jesus. Christmas Day is observed world-wide, and most children couldn’t be happier. Many of them expect the arrival of Santa Claus and his reindeer landing on their rooftop. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer always leads the way.
This weekend I focused on The Nightstand. Ted Gachot wrote on December 5/2021 – “It’s not the books writers name, but the assumption they have a Nightstand. I’m surprised so many give straight answers, and don’t say something like ‘Do you mean on top of the box of chocolates or under it?’ The Book Review assumes one has bought heaps of expensive books one might read, and keeps them piled up on that Nightstand. When I find a book . . . there’s no Nightstand. Or if there was we didn’t notice.” On this week’s agenda, actor and singer, Bette Midler, wrote – “A better question is what’s NOT on your Nightstand? There are things I’ve been hoarding, things I don’t have the courage to tackle just yet, gifts, books I buy on impulse and P.G. Woodhouse, a perennial. Politics, race, acting, history, religion, arts, the environment, detective stories – I recently reread ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” – hand’s down one of the greatest I’ve ever read. I finally got around to reading it.Unforgettable.”
The reasons: concerns of public accessibility, legality and safety. “The shelter system is unsafe, demeaning and overcrowded” according to the Shelter and Housing Justice Network. People cannot be forced to move to indoor shelters, so the City issues a notice of trespassing to those living in homeless encampments, and offers help from city services, including referrals to indoor shelters. Toronto plans to spend about $663-million on homelessness and Housing First services this year, and has opened more than 25 physical distancing shelters to house those coming from encampments. < From The Bridge News, November 2021, by Megan Camlasaran,>
I’m being rather self-centered here, but I came across this picture of me doing ‘The Malt Shop’, on-air weekday afternoons after school, 4:00 to 5:00 pm on CKDH, Amherst, N.S. Music discs were lined up on the right near the reel-to-reel tape machine, and there I was, high school student, hosting the show and running the equipment. Since then Toronto has been very good to me in television. Couldn’t have asked for anything more.