Boanerges's Blog (75)

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 and German troops meeting in No Man's Land during the unofficial truce. …


Added by Boanerges on December 24, 2016 at 7:30am — 9 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, of course, along with a lot of other newspaper eccentricities. I remember my…


Added by Boanerges on December 20, 2016 at 8:26am — 9 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…


Added by Boanerges on November 9, 2016 at 6:00am — 4 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)…


Added by Boanerges on October 10, 2016 at 1:30pm — 9 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…


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.…


Added by Boanerges on August 7, 2016 at 2:39pm — 12 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 them were dead, and 40,000 wounded and missing. Too often,…


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…


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 Internet denizens a serious question.

     Apparently no…


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 defect instead.

Armed with more than 100 incriminating files…


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 Prize or doctors and scientists who have achieved international…


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)

                                                                        -- Imperial War Museum…


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…


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,…


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

Thoughts on Memorial Day from North of the Border

     When  James Chaney Palms showed up at the Essex Scottish Regiment's recruiting office one fine fall day to volunteer for the Second World War, he was wearing his riding boots.

     It might have been expected from an irrepressible young man who was the offspring of a prominent and wealthy family, likeable, well-educated and, as they say, well set-up. He was eager to enlist, although as an infantryman, he wouldn't spend any time on horseback.

     The Windsor-based regiment,…


Added by Boanerges on May 22, 2015 at 12:30pm — 13 Comments

In Flanders Fields


     On May 3, 1915, an exhausted and grief-stricken army medical officer sat in a Western Front dugout near Ypres, Belgium, and in 20 minutes produced probably the most famous poem of the First World War.

     Maj. John McCrae, chief surgeon of the fledgling Canadian Expeditionary Force's First Brigade…


Added by Boanerges on May 3, 2015 at 6:10am — 9 Comments


This is the 100th anniversary of the start of one of the bloodiest and most futile campaigns of the First World War. More than 100,000 Turks, Britons, Australians and New Zealanders died in the horror that was Gallipoli. Today, representatives of those countries will meet on the battlefields ... and remember their dead.

    April 25 is pretty much like any other day in most of the world, but not in Australia and New Zealand.



Added by Boanerges on April 25, 2015 at 5:30am — 12 Comments

Ave Atque Vale, Open Salon

     So the grand experiment is over -- 404'd, as the computer wonks like to say.

     Open Salon, in its heyday the greatest writers' colony on the Internet, is no more. In fact, if you try to access it, you're simply taken to Not even the "Page Not Found" remains.

     Yes, it had devolved into something unrecognizable at the end, with a lot of name-calling and personal abuse clogging the feed, no changes to the front page, no new registrations, no oversight.



Added by Boanerges on April 5, 2015 at 1:41pm — 24 Comments

Canada's Day


"It was Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific on parade. I thought then ... that in those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation."
-- Brig.-Gen. Alexander Ross, commanding officer,
the 28th (North-West) Battalion at Vimy

       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…


Added by Boanerges on April 9, 2014 at 6:23am — 1 Comment

Royal Mercy: A Pardon for Alan Turing


Alan Turing


     Well, they finally did it.

     Only 59 years too late, the Queen, at the request of Britain's justice minister, used the Royal Prerogative of Mercy to pardon computer genius and Second War codebreaking hero Alan Turing for the "crime" of being gay.

     It has been said that Turing nearly single-handedly saved Britain from starvation by breaking the Enigma cipher used by the German navy to…


Added by Boanerges on January 4, 2014 at 2:59pm — 2 Comments


Pen for Hire ( Bathos, Pathos)

Posted by J.P. Hart on June 19, 2019 at 11:23am 2 Comments

Always Out Front.... Anyway

Posted by Robert B. James on June 19, 2019 at 8:34am 1 Comment

One Flew Under Radar

Posted by J.P. Hart on June 18, 2019 at 3:15pm 0 Comments

Tolerance and Bigots

Posted by alsoknownas on June 18, 2019 at 2:20pm 6 Comments

Where Jaws was Filmed

Posted by J.P. Hart on June 18, 2019 at 11:19am 3 Comments

I’m Not A Buddhist

Posted by Robert B. James on June 18, 2019 at 7:42am 5 Comments

2 Questions for Kosh and Jon

Posted by Ron Powell on June 18, 2019 at 2:30am 9 Comments

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