Boanerges's Blog (41)

Phaedrus is Home from the Hills

These EYES!. That is the terror of it. These gloved hands I now look at, steering the motorcycle down the road, were once his! And if you can understand the feeling that comes from that, then you can understand real fear ... the fear that comes from knowing there is nowhere you can…

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Added by Boanerges on April 25, 2017 at 1:39pm — 18 Comments

The Anarchist is Cooked

     William Powell ... the name ring a bell? No? Well, maybe you have to be a certain age.

     Oh wait -- I see a couple of you furtively heading for the exits. I know who you are, so don't bother.

     Powell was the author -- at age 19 no less -- of the (in)famous Anarchist Cookbook, a sort of three-part treatise on black ops, bomb-making and agitprop.

     Banned in some countries, the Cookbook is readily available online (I'd suggest using a proxy browser if you want to…

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Added by Boanerges on April 14, 2017 at 1:30pm — 23 Comments

Birth of a Nation

      

       It's not much to look at on an army ordnance map -- a sort of whaleback feature in Nord-Pas-de-Calais that's less than five miles long and nowhere even 500 feet above sea level, overlooking a broad plain of small villages, roads, trees and…

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Added by Boanerges on April 9, 2017 at 9:00am — 23 Comments

Mechanically Declined

     Call me mechanically declined.

     I don't mind -- I'm used to it. Although it's not true I can't screw in a lightbulb all by myself. I can, and there's about a 75-25 chance I won't break anything in the process.

     But it wasn't entirely my fault that replacing the garage door opener remote was so damned difficult.

     Earlier in the week, I noticed that the remote would only work if I was basically sitting within two feet of the door. Had to be the battery, I figured,…

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Added by Boanerges on March 4, 2017 at 3:22pm — 7 Comments

The North Star: A New Chapter in the Flight to Freedom

“Canada is not merely a neighbour of Negroes.

Deep in our history of struggle for freedom, Canada was the North Star.


                                                                                                                 -- Martin Luther King Jr., 1967

     Most everyone has heard of the Underground Railroad that brought so many fugitive slaves to Canada, all of them following the hope that was "The North Star".

    …

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Added by Boanerges on February 21, 2017 at 4:00pm — 16 Comments

The Girl with the Sunset Hair

     I'm going to be 70 this year, which is about twice the life span I anticipated once upon a time, given the nature of my wretched excesses back then.

     That was before I met the girl with the sunset hair, and life took a dramatic turn to the right.

     Imagine the sun going down in the west, beaming fiery red and shot through with gold. That's what her hair looked like the day I met her. For that matter, that's what she's like period.

     The other day, I stood in the…

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Added by Boanerges on January 13, 2017 at 1:58pm — 14 Comments

Christmas in the Trenches

(This was re-posted by request (you know who you are). I wish to assure people it's not about war or even Christmas, but is meant to illustrate that under the most horrific of circumstances, human beings have the ability to rise above themselves.)



British…

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Added by Boanerges on December 24, 2016 at 7:30am — 11 Comments

Christmas in the Darkroom

 

     My God, but we were a disreputable bunch of gibbering, ink-stained hacks. Well hell, we were expected to be, and we worked very hard at it.

      That tradition is long gone,…

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Added by Boanerges on December 20, 2016 at 8:26am — 11 Comments

Remembrance Day

     Red and I won't be attending the Remembrance Day ceremony in our small fishing village on Friday. It's likely we won't watch CBC's televised coverage from Parliament Hill, either.

     Here it takes place around a small cenotaph in front of the library, one that has far too many names on it for a community that has never numbered more than 2,000. In Ottawa, tens of thousands will turn out in front of the Tomb of the Unknown and the awe-inspiring, yet…

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Added by Boanerges on November 9, 2016 at 6:00am — 5 Comments

Death on the River

     (There's a suggestion that Tropical Storm Nicole may push Hurricane Mathew back to Florida. That's a real possibility -- it's happened before, although much farther north and west. This repost is about the events of Oct. 15, 1954.)





"For Lake Ontario and Niagara regions, Toronto and Hamilton cities: Rain tonight. Cloudy, with occasional showers Saturday. Little change in temperature. Winds north 40 to 50 mph (64 to 80 km/h)…

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Added by Boanerges on October 10, 2016 at 1:30pm — 10 Comments

Gunning for the Press

(This was originally posted long ago on another website far, far away, when I thought I'd go for funny, or at least wry. But you know ... really, it wasn't either of those things. And before you ask, yes, it actually happened.)



     Knowing one is to be hanged in a fortnight wonderfully concentrates the mind, observed Samuel Johnson. So, I discovered, does staring down the barrel of a loaded gun.

     The second time it happened, I was on…

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Added by Boanerges on October 6, 2016 at 4:59am — 8 Comments

Oh, Oh Canada

     Canadians, comedian Craig Ferguson once observed, are the nicest people in the world ... until someone hands us a hockey stick.



     Well, to a certain extent that's true, because our sports are something of a metaphor for our national psyche. That is to say usually skilful, often blockheaded and sometimes brutal, whether it's hockey, lacrosse or football. When they're played by men, it's even worse.



     But we can in fact be nice too, in our eccentric way.…

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Added by Boanerges on August 7, 2016 at 2:39pm — 13 Comments

Death On The Somme

Cap badge of the Newfoundland Regiment. (RNR website)

     At 7:30 a.m. one hundred years ago today, British troops went over the top along the Somme River on the Western Front in France trying to break through the German trench system.



     By noon, 20,000 of…

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Added by Boanerges on July 1, 2016 at 6:00am — 15 Comments

For Kim Gamble and His People: Remembering the Anzacs

     It's April 25 in Australia and New Zealand, and the two countries are locked in collective solemn remembrance of the fate of their First World War soldiers during the bloodbaths that began with Gallipoli in modern-day Turkey.

     The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) -- along with British, French and Indian troops -- landed at what is now called Anzac Bay on this day in 1915 in their first major campaign. When the Allies withdrew eight months later, the Anzacs left…

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Added by Boanerges on April 24, 2016 at 6:23am — 9 Comments

And the Winner Is....

NERC graphic

     There are rules in life, you know.

     I mean, there's heeding the social contract, being nice to dogs and cats, obeying the many and various laws of the land and so on.

     One rule you never, ever break is asking…

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Added by Boanerges on March 24, 2016 at 7:30am — 9 Comments

The Man Under the Hood

In the beginning, the man who lit the fuse on the Cold War timebomb couldn't get anyone to listen to him.



Igor Gouzenko was a relatively low-level cipher clerk at the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa when, faced with an order to return to Russia with his family, he opted in September 1945 to…

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Added by Boanerges on March 9, 2016 at 2:30pm — 10 Comments

A Post for Black History Month

William Hall, VC. Government of Nova Scotia photo.

We Canucks seldom, if ever, honour our heroes and heroines -- no Davy Crocketts or Jim Bridgers or Alvin Yorks here.

It doesn't matter much to us that we had a prime minister who won the Nobel Peace…

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Added by Boanerges on February 29, 2016 at 8:57am — 7 Comments

Christmas in the Trenches: A Repost by Request

     

British and German troops meeting in No Man's Land during

the unofficial truce (British troops from the Northumberland Hussars,

7th Division, Bridoux-Rouge Banc Sector)…
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Added by Boanerges on December 24, 2015 at 6:44am — 9 Comments

Football Frolics

     It's a late fall evening on the depressing field where two semi-pro teams are squaring off. I've had to sign a waiver both to be on the sidelines and in the dangerously decrepit press box on the roof of the rickety stadium. Smoke from a foundry across the road belches yellow fumes; it stinks right out loud.

     Armed with a Rolleicord twin-lens reflex camera and Graflex strobe, I stare down, following the…

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Added by Boanerges on November 29, 2015 at 3:00pm — 6 Comments

The Witch of November

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound

And a wave broke over the railing.

And ev'ry man knew, as the captain did too,

'Twas the Witch of November come stealin'.



     There are those who say that "Witch of November" is misspelled. I'm one of them.

     It's nearly impossible for anyone who's not seen it to understand what it's like when the Great Lakes get angry. It can be unnerving to look at from the land; on the water,…

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Added by Boanerges on November 10, 2015 at 5:00pm — 11 Comments

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