Archive for July, 2008

Driven to Distraction

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

My Open Range column from the July 2008 issue of Alberta Venture magazine: By any comparison, our roads have become a national disgrace It took three Roman legions barely six years to move 1.3 million cubic metres of rock and turf by hand and build Hadrian’s Wall, 80 Roman miles across the top of Britain. [...]

Ghosts of the Indian Wars

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Among the foremost historical sites in the Great American West that continue to lure and fascinate visitors from across North America and around the world is the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monumment (formerly known as the Custer Battlefield). It overlooks the Little Bighorn River, just off the Interstate between Billings, Montana and Sheridan, Wyoming. Touring the [...]

History on a carefree camping trip

Monday, July 28th, 2008

One of the nicest pleasures of travelling the Great American West is the unmistakeable sense of history encountered at nearly every turn. Part of this stems from the Americans’ impressive preservation (and characteristic promotion) of historical sites large and small. At one end are modest, out-of-the-way examples like the quietly beautiful log cabin Mrs. K. and I found [...]

Short Hiatus?

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Dear Readers, As MrK and I are both on holidays until July 23rd, and I can’t guarantee either of us will be diligent enough to blog on the road, please be warned that you may see nothing new for the next week or so. If relaxation and endless road miles are insufficient for us, perhaps you [...]

Rusting boxes

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Remember the paperless office? Well remember is the wrong word because, of course, it never happened. Twenty-plus years ago, when office memos were still delivered by people called “secretaries”, there was much talk about the brave new tomorrow – one where all transactions would be done electronically and massive tracts of virgin forest would remain [...]

Rarer than what?

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

“It’s like trying to pull hen’s teeth” – Un-named member of DrJandMrK blogging duo This is a homegrown Stupidism that slips out every once in a while. One is of course familiar with the mythic rarity of hen’s teeth and the difficulty of a task being compared to extracting a tooth.  Try combining the two! [...]

Three times trashy

Monday, July 14th, 2008

An alert reader, H.S. from Chilliwack, B.C., sent some interesting observations of waste disposal developments there. I paraphrase: “We had garbage service by civic employees. Then we went to a system where each household contracted with any company they wanted to collect their garbage. This resulted in a lot of garbage left beside roads, in [...]

More trash talk

Friday, July 11th, 2008

I thought my trash talk from Wednesday was just another hollow rant, reverberating in the lonely echo chamber that is And then I saw Thursday’s Ottawa Sun. Guess what? Not only is garbage bag-tagging alive and well, but – surprise! – more and more Ontario communities are using it. Furthermore, places like Kemptville are [...]

No dumping

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

I have no memory for jokes, long involved stories with a sharp punch line at the end. That said, I couldn’t help thinking last week of one schoolyard joke, vintage 1966, that has stayed with me: Q. Where does the Lone Ranger take his garbage? A. To the dump, to the dump, to the dump, [...]

Council of Canadians: to the left of Barack Obama

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

I’ve found that ignoring groups like the Council of Canadians makes for a better state of mental health. Its brew of presumption – the name itself suggesting that anyone who disagrees is not quite a legitimate citizen of this country – exaggeration, falsehood and reflexive positioning on the wrong side of virtually every aspect of the [...]