Archive for July, 2007

Proof of citizenship? Only this Canadian passport

Monday, July 30th, 2007

We were crossing back into Alberta following our more than three-week-long sojourn in the Great American West. Having received a serious grilling from gun-toting, mustachioed, gravelly voiced (and corpulent) U.S. border agents on the way down, it made me reflective of the generally more relaxed (and less physically imposing) personae of Canada’s border “services” agents – chiefly [...]

If it was “hidden”, I wouldn’t be reading your label

Monday, July 30th, 2007

“Hidden Hitch” – trade name of an aftermarket trailer hitch receiver, the label clearly visible several inches below the bumpers of the vehicles to which it’s mounted We could see use of “Handy” (or the even catchier “Handi”), “Easy” or perhaps even “Quickie”, but “Hidden”? We get the intended point. But it’s self-defeating from an advertising [...]

Unselfconscious multiculturalism

Friday, July 27th, 2007

One of the effortless amusements of travel is idly observing the endless variations of the human parade. My travelogues on rambling with Mrs. K. around the Great American West emphasize the solitude and wide open spaces. We still stumble across a surprising assortment of humanity in the West’s small towns, isolated rural gas stations, campgrounds, [...]

Eyeball-to-eyeball on Jumbo Glacier

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

From the op-ed pages of the Calgary Herald, July 19, 2007: July is not a time when alpine skiing’s exactly top-of-mind, except among a few fanatics – plus proponents of new ski resorts and the politicians who wield life-or death power. With its master plan just approved by the B.C. government, Jumbo Glacier Resort, the [...]

Further flatulence

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

Thanks to two observant local readers we have an update on the crisis of flatulent cows. The rest of you may recall that the methane bubbling from the behinds of our four-legged domestics has long been touted as a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and thereby a bane to world climate. Googling phrases like [...]

Food, not grammatical ideas

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

“Try our new Breakfast Sandwiches staked high with flavour.” – pitch on the Country Style Donut website   Just because donut shops have a reputation as blue collar or even low-brow amongst the cogniscenti doesn’t mean their websites have to reinforce the image. You may recall from a recent entry that Country Style was touting [...]

You can’t eat ideas

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

On a recent trip to Hogtown I had to pick up a rental car at Union Station and then wait for a colleague before departing. As is typical of most of central Canada, one could have hurled a cat in any direction and hit a donut shop. This one was a Country Style – clearly [...]

Checked your Bio-dex?

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Summer has come in Bavaria. According to the locals, it actually came in April which – as has been the fashion of late – was advertised as the “hottest on record”, or at least the hottest in a long time. Now after several weeks of below average temperatures, three degrees Celsius with fresh snow at [...]

Witness to a wildfire

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

The ink-black plume billowing suddenly behind the distant ridgeline reminded me of the handiwork of a NATO F-16 delivering an air strike in Bosnia during the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the early 90s. But I was no longer in kevlar helmet and flak jacket, merely floating down the Green River in northwest Wyoming with Mrs. K. and our [...]

Last of the euro-wine

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

It’s been said – clearly by uninformed cynics – that many veteran opinion writers go through daily desperation finding inspiration for their columns. This cannot but be further from the truth. In the unlikely event that such a drop in cerebral pressure should occur, the afflicted wordsmith might want to have a look at the [...]