Winter Vacation Booked! Moon Palace Cancun @palaceresorts, Here We Come!!!

And the countdown is officially on…



Music Monday – “Hold tight, Wait till the party’s over/Hold tight, We’re in for nasty weather/There has got to be a way/Burning down the house”

Burning Down The House” – Talking Heads

[My Internal Monologue Right Now]

There’s lots of stuff going on in the news and politics and the world and on social media that feels interconnected and important and I’d like to talk about some of this stuff too.

But increasingly, I don’t know how to do that without offending someone.  Or saying the wrong thing.  Or being attacked for even having an opinion (or sharing it in the wrong place or at the wrong time.)

Hell, I know that just doing a vaguebook post like this one opens me up to charges from some that I’m somehow making all of those issues I’m alluding to above about me rather than the actual issues in question.

Double hell – or there’s the fact that I’ve read and re-read this short post over and over for nearly half an hour, imagining how different people might read it, react to it, even change what they think about me because of it.

And I haven’t even really *said* anything! (But then again, some people will likely read this post and think I’ve said everything.)

So I’ll just leave off by saying that I’ll likely have more to say on some or all of these topics eventually.  Or I won’t.

But right now, I’m going to go to bed with my mind spinning with thoughts of ego, hypocrisy, culpability, loyalty, positivity, and the inanity of the circular firing squad.

Saturday Snap – Blushing Bride Wine

Cleaned out our basement store room the other day and found this cool gift we got for our wedding from a relative who works as a graphic designer.

Hard to believe that next March will be our 15th wedding anniversary and we’ll once again be back in the Mayan Riviera to celebrate.  Might even have to try to re-create this photo!

Friday Fun Link – Country Corner Donuts (and the Value of Immigrants) #yqr

I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a post by the good folks at Rebellion Brewing talking about a nearby donut shop which they frequent. (I love seeing locally owned businesses supporting each other like this!)

That led me to a YouTube video of the donut shop’s owner which reinforced my strong belief that anyone who thinks that immigrants are lazy, freeloaders, or somehow bad for Canada is full of absolute shit.

There may be the odd bad apple (just like with any group of people) but the majority are hardworking, enterprising and incredibly grateful for the opportunity to build a life in Canada.

Great story…


Throwback Thursday – #tbt – The Premier of Mexico? (February 2017)

It’s funny how things swirl and combine in unexpected ways.

I haven’t written a lot about the ongoing Sask NDP Leadership Race (yet) and I haven’t posted a lot about the Mexican resort we’re planning to go to next February (yet).

But, as I think back to the Mexican resort we visited last February, I can’t help but think about how, in a total coincidence, we ended up going at the same time and staying at the same resort as Trent Wotherspoon’s sister and her family.  (Shea and Trent’s sister used to work together which is how I think we found out they’d be going at the same time as us.)

And given that Trent and Ryan are now running against each other for the leadership of the Sask NDP, it becomes a bit more funny to think back on the (brief) conversation we had on the bus from the airport to the resort about what was, at the time, the campaign Ryan was running (and eventually won) to become MLA for Saskatoon-Meewasin as well as some observations Saskatchewan politics in general.

Probably by choice for all of us (we were on holidays after all!), that was the extent of our political talk and any other time we spent together (most notably when we shared a cab to our hotel’s sister resort in what might have been the single best beach day of my life!) was spent talking about our kids, our jobs and everything *but* politics.

Oh, and it also meant we had someone to act as our photographer for a family portrait. (I was able to return the favour by taking a few pics of Trent’s sister’s family with my water camera and sending them to her when we returned.)

There are concurrent leadership races happening for the NDP and the Sask Party and while some observers might find the races cool, the reality is that I believe there is a genuine warmth between the candidates (at least on the NDP side) and that will serve the party well, no matter who emerges victorious in the end.

(Disappointingly, the change in the date of the NDP Leadership convention means Shea and I will most likely be out of country when it’s being held. But if it means clear blue water and a margarita, that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make!) 😉

Swedish Death Cleaning

This article says people should start slowing getting rid of unnecessary household objects in their 50’s so as to not burden others when they eventually pass away.

But given the amount of junk Shea and I have in our house, I think we should probably start now in our late 30’s (her), early 40’s (me) to get a head start! 😉

YouTube Policy Changes – Censorship or Just Good Business Practice?

I think I’ve mentioned before that one of my highest marks in library school was, ironically, for the one class I took within our faculty but outside our department – a “History of Information” course that was offered through the journalism school.

My final presentation in that class was about the future of online video and although I don’t write as much about changes and developments in this area as I used to (heck, at one point, I was going to start a whole different blog specifically about this topic!), I still am very interested in how how online video is changing the world in so many ways, good and bad.

Recently, there was a controversy when YouTube (who have 80% of the market for online video services) changed its rules to not post ads/generate revenue on videos relating to tragedies or other inappropriate content.  (Er, reading further, they say they didn’t change their rules – they claim they’ve actually just started notifying creators whose ads were affected, ironically, in an attempt to be more transparent.)

YouTube is a business so obviously they can set their own policies.  But it’s also a near-monopoly that, in many ways, acts like a public square.  So the line between YouTube following good business practice and YouTube practicing censorship will be different for everyone.

And even if you allow that YouTube can make their own policies, some feel the new rules aren’t being applied equally…

Popular YouTuber Philip DeFranco, who has 4.5 million subscribers, is one of the leading voices expressing irritation about the service’s pulling ads for violating its terms of service. He said ads were disabled recently for 12 of his videos apparently because they included “excessively strong language” or covered “controversial or sensitive subjects,” thereby running afoul of YouTube’s advertiser-friendly content guidelines.

Also this guy whose rant has around five million views as I type this…

Oh, and it turns out that I’m affected too.

One of my Top 5 most viewed videos of all-time is a clip of Shea having a doppler scan while pregnant with Pace which has been labeled by YouTube as “inappropriate”.

(YouTube says they haven’t changed their underlying policy but it appears that a video that made me a few bucks over the years will no longer have ads – or may only have limited ads – so this is a big change, especially for the increasing number of people who now rely on YouTube for their income.)

On that note, due to the volume of complaints about this change, YouTube will only review videos that have had 1000 views or more in the past week (mine has had 17,000 but that’s over a decade so it’s frustrating that there is no real recourse for situations like this either.)


Music Monday – “Yeah, the lord is my refuge and fortress/My God with whom I trust/But I’ll never know why the wicked/Gets to prey on the best of us”

Hard to believe it’s only been a week since the worst mass shooting in modern US history.

So many stories, speculations and even songs coming out over the past week.

Here’s a new one from Eric Church, the Friday night headliner at the Harvest 91 Festival who had actually jumped into the crowd during his set and, had circumstances been different, might have not had a celebratory experience with his fans like he did.

He’s written a song in response to the experience going from the highest of highs at the end of his final show of the year on Friday night to hearing about what happened on Sunday…

Why Not Me” – Eric Church (this link leads to a front row recording which includes not only the new song he debuted at the Grand Ole Opry but a cover of “Hallelujah” he followed it with.)

Alex Ovechkin On Pace for 287 Goals, 0 Assists This Season

After a hat trick in his first game and four goals in his second game (two hat tricks in the first two games hasn’t been done in the NHL for 100 years!)…

…Alexander Ovechkin is on pace to score 287 goals this season. (I hope I’ve got him in my hockey pool!)