A Nice Sunny Monday For the Federal Budget
Monday March 19th 2007, 10:02 am

Today’s the day of the Federal Budget in Canada. There doesn’t seem to be many surprises anymore, because some of it has been leaked to the press. Why does that happen with every budget now. Years ago, information from the budgets were closely guarded secrets until the big event. I will still watch with anticipation, hoping for some tax cuts. I probably won’t qualify for any of the giveaways, which will be going to the low income, and the provinces which have higher populations than Nova Scotia. Prime Minister Harper has already given away billions in the past few weeks, in anticipation of a spring election, so I hope there is something left. It’s nice to see the government giving us our own money back. I hope to hear about some tax decreases for us middle income Canadians, which will be a nice change.

Test The Nation on CBC on Sunday
Saturday March 17th 2007, 1:32 pm

Tomorrow evening at 8:00 pm on CBC television, there will be a two hour special called “Test The Nation“. It sounds like a very interesting program because it will be an IQ test which can be taken by everyone in Canada. The CBC website states that “it’s Canada’s biggest IQ test, and everyone’s invited to test their IQ”. There will be seven teams who will also be taking the test in the studio. These teams are made up of surgeons, fitness instructors, tattoo artists, millionaires, mayors, radio DJ’s and celebrities, and they will be competing against each other. This program is based on a television show which started in The Netherlands in 2001, and has since spread all over the world to many countries.

Sheila’s Brush, St. Patrick’s Day and My Irish Ancesters
Friday March 16th 2007, 11:15 am

It looks like we will be getting “Sheila’s Brush” tonight. It is a Newfoundland saying for a winter storm which occurs around St. Patrick’s Day. According to folk legend, Sheila was either St. Patrick’s wife, sister or his mother. She brushes away the last of winter with a snow storm which falls around March 17. Because it is Newfoundland lore, it probably started in Ireland hundreds of years ago. There are many Newfoundland weather lores, but this is the only one we hear about in Nova Scotia. If we get any amount of snow around St. Patrick’s Day, this is what our weather forecasters call the storm. I don’t know whether this is a common saying in the rest of Canada, or just Atlantic Canada.

The Ides of March
Thursday March 15th 2007, 12:03 pm

Every March 15, many people including myself, say “beware the Ides of March”, for some reason. The only thing I know about this date is that Julius Caesar was killed this day in 45 BC. It doesn’t mean that something bad may happen to you or me on this date. It has never happened to me yet, but I don’t know about you. It is just superstitious nonsense like Friday the 13th, so I wouldn’t worry about it, if I were you.

2006 Census Data and What it Means to Nova Scotia
Wednesday March 14th 2007, 11:23 am

The first of the 2006 census data was released from Statistics Canada yesterday, and I don’t think many Canadians were surprised by the findings. People are flocking to urban areas from rural communities. Atlantic Canadians are moving to Alberta. The birth rate in Canada is so low that we must rely on immigrants to keep our population steady. Most immigrants are moving to the largest cities in Canada such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. The most populated provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and Britiish Columbia had the largest increase in their populations.

Jimmy in Bangkok and Singapore
Tuesday March 13th 2007, 9:20 am

Last night I put some recent pictures of my son Jimmy on this blog. He lives in Bangkok, Thailand and the photos are of him and his friend Babe at the Dream World amusement park in Bangkok, at her 25th birthday celebration, and on their trip to Singapore in February.

Have a good day,

March Break
Monday March 12th 2007, 9:10 am

March Break has a nice sound to it. It starts today in Nova Scotia, and it means vacations in the sun, freedom, and a break from routine, if you are a student or the parents of a student. To the rest of us, it just means crowded malls, movie theatres, libraries and sportsplexes. Today’s kids prefer to be entertained indoors, rather than playing outdoors, especially if there is no snow to play in. I think the parents prefer it too. Many parents take a week of vacation from their jobs to spend some quality family time with their children, either entertaining them, going on a ski or sun vacation, or chauffeuring them to various activities, so they won’t get too bored. Even if a parent has little money, there are plenty of free activities available during March break.

Development and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Sunday March 11th 2007, 11:43 am

The second of four reports from the International Panel on Climate Change will be released next month, and it doesn’t look good. In fact, I don’t see how we will be able to stop the harmful effects of global warming. A recent article from The Associated Press states that the harmful effects of global warming are already showing up. Within 20 years, hundreds of millions of people in Africa and South America will be facing severe drought and won’t have enough water, and by 2050 more than a billion people in Asia will face water shortages. At the same time, tens of millions of others will be flooded out, due to rising sea levels. There will be an increase in malnutrition, malaria and other diseases. Africa and Asia will be the hardest hit, and North America, Europe and Australia will suffer the fewest of the harmful effects. In northern regions, food will be more plentiful in the short term, because of the longer growing season, but by 2080, hundreds of millions will be facing starvation.

2014 Commonwealth Games
Saturday March 10th 2007, 9:24 am

All I can say about Halifax’s withdrawal from the bidding for the 2014 Commonwealth Games is good, and what took them so long to realize that we couldn’t afford it. Since it was first announced that we would be bidding for these games, I was pessimistic that there would be enough money from other levels of government, and that the Halifax ratepayers would be stuck paying for this for many years. We are not a rich province like Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta, and the Federal government is more interested in providing money for the Olympics in Vancouver, which has a much higher profile. If a city in Quebec had been bidding for these games, I am sure the Federal government would have been more interested.

Friday March 09th 2007, 11:04 am

When I was growing up in central Halifax in the 1950’s and 60’s, we knew the neighbours on our street. It wasn’t unusual for people to sit on their front steps during the summer for hours, greeting and talking to everyone who walked by. The houses were built very close together, and close to the sidewalk. My family had lived in the same house on Charles Street since 1936, and many of our neighbours had lived there for many years as well. There was a lot of history in the friendships we had developed over the years with our neighbours. We knew and cared about their problems and their everyday life. It was a typical street to grow up on during those years. It was the baby boom years and most houses had several children who played together and walked to school at the top of our street. There was no television or computers to keep children inside, so we played outdoors from morning until night, and it was safe.