Monday, September 29, 2008

OLD BLIGHTY..

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Only 4 more sleeps before I begin the epic journey home to see my family.  This will be my first time home since October two years ago when my Dad passed away.  It is going to be a very strange feeling my first visit to England without seeing one of my parents.

I am looking forward to seeing my family and see how they live, of course going to the Greek Island of Corfu for a week is going to be a drag but some one has to go….

Get ready for daily blog reports and news of my visit to have afternoon  tea with the Queen……

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Time for another blast from the past!!

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The only time I drank a beer!!!!  My 21st Birthday…celebrated in Marjorca…I can remember this photo being taken like it was just yesterday!!!!!!  Check out the skinny tie…just in case there any doubts that is me on the right with my buddy Derek, those were the days!!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My great Nephew……….

Tom's 1st Day at School This is the “kid in progress” on his first day of school, isn’t he just great can’t wait to see him in a few days!!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

TWO WEEKS TO GO…

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zzzzzv 008 Hard to believe but in two weeks I shall be on the move again, first to England to visit with my family and a side trip to the Greek Island of Corfu for a week.  Then back to Nanaimo for a few days to get Ramona loaded up and away down south for the winter.  I know I shall be seeing some beautiful and wonderful sights but just wanted to remind you all of a great place where I live for the summer, even though it was a little cloudy…..enjoy!!!

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

INDEPENDANCE DAY!!!!

16 de Septiembre:
El Grito de Independencia

          

 

 

Map image



 

 

El Grito every 16th of September is the Mexican Fiesta par excellence! On this day Mexicans all over the world celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spanish rule.

As you know, indigenous peoples were the first to inhabit what is now known as Mexico. They created great civilizations such as the Olmec, the Teotihuacan, Maya, Toltec, and of course the most powerful of all, the Aztec Empire.

After Christopher Columbus “discovered” America, the Spaniards carried out expeditions to find gold and riches from these faraway lands. In 1521, about 500 Spanish soldiers arrived in Mexico, headed by an ambitious man: Hernán Cortés. At this time, the Aztecs had built a great empire that ruled over all Mesoamérica. So the Spaniards decided to direct their attacks towards them.

The indigenous nations that were under the Aztec rule were tired of the physical and economic hardships imposed upon them by this empire. This circumstance made them think that by helping the Conquerors defeat the Aztecs, they would be better off. So they decided to aid the Spaniards.

This is how the Conquest of what is now Mexico began.

  On the 13th of August 1521, Cuauhtémoc, the last Aztec emperor was captured. The indigenous allies of the Spaniards raided Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec empire.

They didn’t know it at the time, but they had been liberated from one oppressor and fallen in the hands of a much more powerful authoritarian.

This was the beginning of three centuries of Spanish rule. The new colony was named Nueva España, New Spain.

The years that followed were devastating. The conquerors brought with them diseases unknown to the natives. The epidemics that broke out as well as the merciless workload imposed upon the natives dramatically diminished the Indian population. There were approximately 20 million Indians inhabiting this territory before the Conquest, and after just one century of Spanish rule there were only 1 million left!

  Colonial society was highly stratified. Spaniards born in Spain, occupied the higher echelons, followed by Criollos, those born in Mexico from Spanish parents; Mestizos, the mix- blood offspring of Spaniards and Natives; Indios, Native Indians; Negros, African slaves.

  Each socio-ethnic group had different rights and duties. The privileged were the peninsular Spaniards. Discontent steadily grew, especially amongst the Criollos, who were always treated as second-class subjects of the Spanish Crown.   It is no surprise then, that Criollos were the spark that ignited the Independence movement.

  In 1808, Napoleon invaded Spain, and decided to impose his brother José Bonaparte, as king of Spain (1808-1810). The Criollos found in this circumstance the opportunity to seek their independence form Spain.

Influenced by the concepts of liberty, equality and democracy proposed by the French philosophers Rousseau, Montesquieu, Voltaire, and by the war of Independence of the United States, they decided to start a revolt. It was 1810, and their plan was to start the war on the 2nd of October. Unfortunately, their plans were discovered in early September. The movement was in trouble. They had two alternatives; either abandon their plans, or move faster and start the revolt immediately. Fortunately for our country they decided upon the second alternative.

In the early hours of September 16, 1810, father Hidalgo, accompanied by several conspirators –Iganacio Allende, Doña Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez- rang the bell of his little church, calling everyone to fight for liberty. This was the beginning of the Independence War, which lasted 10 years.

Celebrating!

And this is the moment that every 16th of September is re enacted in every plaza or zócalo of Mexico, and commemorated by Mexicans all over the world. 

Streets, houses, buildings and cars are decorated everywhere in the country. On every street corner there are vendors selling flags, balloons, sombreros and rehiletes -shuttlecock, all with the green, white and red, our National Colors.

Flags wave from practically every house and building.

Lighted decorations are set up in every city, the most spectacular being those of the Zócalo, main plaza, in Mexico City.  This main plaza of every town and city is the place where the great 16 De Septiembre celebrations take place. People of all ages come to this fiesta, to take part in the collective gaiety!

Food is always a very important part of these festivities. Literarily hundreds of stands are set up several days before and offer the traditional antojitos, most aptly described as a variety of finger foods, Mexican candies, and punch.  Punch. ponche, is a drink made of fruits that are in season: guayabas, sugarcane, raisins and apples, and such a delicious aroma!

During September, Mes de la Patria, the month of our nation as it is called in Mexico, restaurants serve traditional Mexican dishes, such as Mole Poblano, Chiles en Nogada, Guacamole and chips.

During the evening of September 15, people start gathering in the zócalo. Many people walk around dressed in typical Mexican dress: men as Charros and women as China Poblanas, or indigenous dresses. Those who don't own a typical outfit, at least dress find something to wear in the colors of the flag.

Live Mariachi Music bands play to the delight of all present. There are also photography stands where one can have a picture taken, attired with a sombrero and atop a wooden horse!

The euphoria is collective and all are prepared to shout, yell and make as much noise as possible with fake trumpets, noisemakers and whistles!

As the evening advances, the plaza gradually fills with more and more people; suddenly there is practically no room to move. Excitement and euphoria reach a crescendo at the culminating moment when a government official arrives in the zócalo, at 11:00 P.M. to give the grito or cry of Independence. This ritual recreates the moment in which Father Hidalgo, gathered his followers in Dolores Guanajuato.

It is customary for our President to deliver the grito in Mexico City’s zócalo. It is in this plaza, atop Palacio Nacional, the National Palace -a beautiful colonial building where the President’s offices are located-, that the original bell rung by Hidalgo is placed. And this is the bell that is rung
every 16th of September.

The ceremony reaches the high point when the crowd joins in proudly shouting out the names of the heroes of our Independence, to end with the exciting VIVA MÉXICO!

When the grito ceremony ends, the sky lights up with multicolored rockets that shower our hearts with the pride of knowing that we are a free and independent nation.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Well here I go again…

I know I used to annoy some of my regular readers (Annie I mean you..) when I used to start my writings “with another lovely warm and sunny day”……but how can you not boast about the great late summer weather we have been having here in Nanaimo.

As you know because of these lovely ladiesgogs 010

my mornings start early but I have sort of enjoyed the sunrises and the view here from the house is spectacular, this taken about 6.30pm tonight..gogs 013

With all the turmoil and disasters in this world I am ever thankful to live in a beautiful part of the universe.  Wish you all a great evening, blessings….

Sunday, September 14, 2008

NOW HERE IS A REAL SPORTS HERO!!!!

 


Terry Fox has been described by his mother as "a very ordinary young man."
But the "ordinary young man" became a national hero when he ran across the country to raise money for cancer research. To millions of Canadians he represented everything that is good, inspiring, generous, selfless and decent.
June 28, 2006, marked the 25th anniversary of the death of Terry Fox. Fox died nine months after his cancer forced him to abandon his cross-country run "The Marathon of Hope." In 10 years, the annual Terry Fox Run raised more than $250 million for cancer research worldwide. By 2004, according to the Terry Fox run website, that had surpassed $360 million.
Ordinary beginnings
Terry was born in 1958 in Winnipeg, Man. A few years later his family moved to Port Coquitlam, B.C.
As a kid, Terry was always enthusiastic about sports, even when he was the worst player on his Grade 8 basketball team. A teacher encouraged him to go out for cross-country running, a sport in which he had little interest. But Fox was determined to be better and to please his coach.
In his final year at Port Coquitlam secondary school he shared the Athlete of the Year award with his friend Doug Alward. After that, he went on to study physical education at Simon Fraser University.
Then, in 1977, when a pain in Terry's knee got so bad he could barely stand, he went to the hospital where he was diagnosed as having osteogenic sarcoma, a form of bone cancer. His right leg was amputated six inches above his knee.
He hated the time he spent in hospital and pushed himself to learn to walk again. His determination had him out playing golf only six weeks after the operation. Later, basketball returned to his life when he was invited to play wheelchair basketball with Rick Hansen.
But Terry never forgot his experience in the hospital. He was angry at how little money was spent on cancer research in Canada. He turned his anger into a mission – he would run across the country to raise both awareness and money in his fight against cancer.
Marathon of Hope: Fox's journey across Canada
When he began training, he kept his dream a secret. He told his family he was training for the Vancouver Marathon. The beginning was tough. He spent most of his time falling down and picking himself off the floor. He kept going, though, and after more than a year, and over 4,800 kilometres of running, he announced his plans to his family. He said his goal was to collect $1 for every person living in the country – at the time Canada had a population of about 24 million.
Support for his cause gradually built. Before his run, he collected donations including the camper van his friend Doug drove during the run. It was given to him by the Ford Motor Co.
Finally, on April 12, 1980, Terry Fox dipped his artificial foot in the Atlantic Ocean off St. John's, Nfld., and began his Marathon of Hope.
Terry ran about 42 kilometres each day no matter the weather – freezing rain, high winds, even snow. Skeptics thought he'd never make it past New Brunswick but he proved them wrong and Terry Fox became a household name.
He ran through Dartmouth, Charlottetown, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and a long list of places in between. When he wasn't on the move, he gave speeches that were often emotional, touching the hearts of many Canadians.
When August came along, Terry passed through Sudbury, the halfway mark on his journey west.
But on Sept. 1, chest pains and breathing problems forced him to stop running at a spot along the Trans-Canada Highway northeast of Thunder Bay. After 143 days and 5,373 kilometres, he announced he would have to postpone the rest of the run, saying "I'm gonna do my very best. I'll fight, I promise I won't give up."
Terry was sent to a hospital in B.C. where doctors discovered the source of his chest pains: cancer had spread to his lungs. The Marathon of Hope would have to go on without him. In the months that followed, donations kept coming. A total of $24.17 million was raised, surpassing Terry's initial goal.
When Terry was in hospital, he received a letter from one of the many people he had inspired along the way. Isadore Sharp, president of the Four Seasons Hotel, wrote Terry saying his dream would continue with an annual fundraising marathon, to be called the Terry Fox Run.
Terry himself laid out many of the guidelines for the Run that are still followed today – probably the most important of which is to keep the event non-competitive – no winners, no awards, just the goal of raising money for cancer research.
Terry Fox died on June 28, 1981, but not before becoming the youngest person ever to be awarded the Order of Canada.
Terry Fox Run
On Sept. 13, 1981, the first Terry Fox Run was held. More than 300,000 Canadians took part in the event at 760 sites across the country. The run raised $3.5 million.
The Terry Fox Run is a family affair for the Foxes. It was their idea to create a non-profit organization to run the charity after a family friend calculated that administration costs were eating up 35 per cent of the money raised. Since the Terry Fox Foundation was formed in 1988, those costs have dropped to two per cent.
Terry's brother Darrell is the national director of the run, his brother Fred is in charge of the foundation's provincial office in B.C., his sister Judith often speaks at schools, and his mother Betty spends five to seven months a year travelling across Canada giving presentations.
More than 25 years of Hope
And, in 2005, a quarter-century after Terry Fox dipped his artificial leg in the Atlantic Ocean, the Canadian icon was still leaving his mark.
On March 14, 2005, Terry Fox became the first Canadian whose image has appeared on a general-circulation Canadian coin. He is pictured on the reverse of the Terry Fox commemorative $1 coin, wearing his Marathon of Hope T-shirt. The detail on his face shows his determination and anguish as he ran the equivalent of a full marathon daily. The Queen occupies her usual place on the other side of the coin. By September 2005, an estimated 20 million of the coins had been produced.
Adidas Canada also came out with a limited-edition Terry Fox shoe, which sold a whopping 6,500 pairs in seven days, raising close to $500,000 for cancer research.
Terry Fox also graced the small screen in a made-for-TV movie, Terry, in September 2005. About 1.6 million viewers tuned in to see the biopic.
More importantly, Canadians and people across the globe are still following in Fox's footsteps. On Sept. 18, 2005, more than 200,000 Canadians took part in almost 1,000 Terry Fox Run events. And, more than 4,000 Terry Fox Runs were held in countries outside of Canada. In total, $36 million was raised worldwide.
To commemorate the quarter-century milestone, the Government of Canada gave the Terry Fox Foundation a $10-million grant.
With the money raised, the foundation is funding $20 million in NCIC research across Canada in 2006/2007, including studies on how viruses can be used to kill cancer, and new ways of detecting the disease.

THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING…

ppppl 002 ppppl 008  woken up by my babies at 6am in the morning…..the spectacular morning sunrise….

 

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

WHY MEN DON’T WRITE ADVICE COLUMNS!!!!!

> Dear Walter,
> I hope you can help me here. The other day, I set off for work leaving
> my
> husband in the house watching the TV as usual. I hadn't driven more than
> a
> mile down the road when the engine conked out and the car shuddered to a
> halt. I walked back home to get my husband's help. When I got home I
> couldn't believe my eyes. He was in our bedroom with the neighbours
> daughter. I am 32, my husband is 34, and the neighbours daughter is 22.
> We
> have been married for ten years.
> When I confronted him, he broke down and admitted that they had been
> having
>
> an affair for the past six months. I told him to stop or I would leave
> him.
>
> He was let go from his job six months ago and he says he has been
> feeling
> increasingly depressed and worthless. I love him very much, but ever
> since
> I
> gave him the ultimatum he has become increasingly distant. He won't go
> to
> counselling and I'm afraid I can't get through to him anymore.
> Can you please help?
> Sincerely, Sheila
> ******************************
> Dear Sheila:
> A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a
> variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no
> debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the vacuum pipes and
> hoses
> on
> the intake manifold and also check all grounding wires. If none of these
> approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is
> faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the injectors.
> I hope this helps,
> Walter

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Weekend of soccer

It was a beautiful hot sunny two days and I spent most of the weekend either watching or reffing soccer games..tttr 003

Wish this sign could be attached to every field in every country!!!!!!

 

tttr 006 The college game I watched..

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The same college game except this photo taken from the balcony of the house where I am staying..tttr 014 Look really close and see the players…

Try again..

kid

I think I did it!!!

Sorry…

The below photo never came through will have to try and figure out how to download and put it through again…

Picture of the year!!!!

If this isn't the most precious picture...
The intensity of the dog's face shows more sincerity than most people!
Picture of the year!!


Ya' gotta' love the face on the dog!

Of all the junk we get over the Internet, occasionally we get something like this.
It was too good not to pass on

This was sent to me today in an e mail and I just had to post this!!!!!  Enjoy the evening…

Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday night in the hood…

 mmmk 008 Eileen, Irene and I went for a drive this evening and came across a sub division and we counted over 20 deer!!mmmk 007

These shots are taken from the balcony of the house where I am staying, I still need a lot of work on taking night photographs.mmmk 011

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Getting ready for the weekend….

MAP OF CORFUcorfumap

Had a pretty busy week and this weekend is going to be all about soccer.  Just confirmed by my brother this morning then when I leave for England early next month, some of the family and I are going to go to the island of Corfu for a week.  I have never been there before and really look forward to that trip.  Wish you all a great weekend…

grnewzz MAP OF GREECE, CORFU IN THE TOP LEFT HABD CORNERgreu THE OVERVIEW..

Monday, September 01, 2008

Wednesday 16th August 2017...how does your garden grow and a survey!!!!

Well my garden or to be more exact plant is growing!!!!!!! From about 1971 till 1985 I had long black hair and a black beard....then on...