Saturday, April 29, 2006

Nova Scotia SPCA's Annual General Meeting

I went to the annual General Meeting of the Nova Scotia SPCA today because I'm a voting member of the Society and I was interested to see what happens at the meeting. I'm very happy to see who is the incoming president - Lisa Murphy - who has a huge job in front of her, and I don't envy her at all.

Speaking very politically - and a lot of you guys won't have any interest in this and you can just skip this part - but she said that something that has to be looked at is separating the relationship between the Provincial Office and the Dartmouth shelter - within the next year - and that will be a very interesting thing if that actually happens.

And if that does happen that might put even more pressure on a position like hers because then outsiders like me could hassle her even more if we believe that things are happening at the Dartmouth shelter that shouldn't be. BECAUSE the Provincial office has taken their hands out of the day to day operation they'd have more ability to step in and censure shelters that aren't "up to code", so to speak. Shelters that aren't "sheltering", but are in fact "controlling".

So it should be an interesting next 3 years, that's for sure!

Our new President Lisa

Friday, April 28, 2006

A Super Day at Prospect Bay Today!

What a super day we had at Prospect Bay today. The weather was absolutely perfect - it wasn't too hot, it wasn't too cold, the sky was a brilliant blue, and there were some clouds in the sky to give some colour - the dogs were in a good mood. I noticed a tree that shaped just like a bonsai tree - and Charlie plunked himself down right in front of it just like the perfect dog he is and he let me take some pictures of him. I even saw a little snake who was gracious enough to wait for me to pull my camera out and he (or she) let the dogs walk all over him and then even HISSED at me when I took his picture. Can you imagine!

The water was chock full of buoys too, but I think they were doing their job and still attached to lobster traps. There were a couple that were close enough to shore I could have almost touched them. Ah, the elusive buoy booty.

Local Dog Stuff!

This past Saturday I went to the Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada's (GPAC) yearly auction that was held at the Colby Ale House over in Dartmouth. From their website they said that they raised more than $4,000 - which Scotiabank said they'd match - which means they raised more than $8,000, which is awesome! The food was really good too. I haven't had spatzel - a german noodle - since my husband stopped cooking for me, and it was yummy. I heard the Colby Ale House is getting well known for their german food, and it seems well deserved. Greyhound people really ARE nuts for dressing their dogs up in warm clothes though - they auctioned off a ton of funny looking clothes that would NOT fit any of my dogs, that's for sure! haha! But that just shows you that there are dog lovers in many different places. They DID have some beautiful collars though that I was drooling over, if only they were a few inches longer or a few inches smaller - but perfect for someone else's dog I'm sure!!

These are my friends Janet - who is the vice president of the Dog Legislation Council of Canada and owner of the local doggie day Care "Canine Casbah" and Lisa - who has the very pretty dogs Delta and Oscar who you see from time to time here on the blog. They were the successful bidders on several items.

This is Harv Stewart - local radio celebrity from Q104 - and Lisa Blackburn is in the background - she was the mc for the day.

Coming up this weekend (April 29th) is the annual General Meeting for the Nova Scotia SPCA - which should be interesting! All the new board members are going to be voted in - and I made sure that I bought my membership on time so that I'll have a vote on who gets in. I'll be loud mouth #257. haha!

And then NEXT weekend (May 6th) is the Bully bowl-a-thon over in Dartmouth in support for the legal challenge in Ontario. If you see me in person, prepare to be hit up for a looney or two because I'm bowling!! It's being put on by the Dog Legislation Council of Canada - among other organizations - in support of the legal challenge to overturn the pit bull ban in Ontario - so everyone should throw in a buck or two!

Sunday April 30th is International Day of the Dog!

This is so neat! And it's neat for a couple of reasons - it's interesting because it's being started by a lady who's an animal communicator (and I like animal communicators); it's interesting because it's all about being kind to dogs - including not bullying dogs by harsh training methods - and I am a person who believes in a certain kind of dog training; and the kicker? April 30th is my birthday!

And the way that I found out about it is fateful, because I have a "webring" that I started that has almost no members and the lady who started it has applied to join it because she has a dog-blog - and she had a posting on her blog about April 30th - so it is just serendipidity that I found out about it. But now that I know about it - so do you!

I realized today I have an incurable condition!

When I was on the deck this afternoon tearing up the linoleum that I removed from my living room floor last weekend I realized something about myself that's never occurred to me before. I have a dreaded condition that was coined by the great Dr. Jerry Seinfeld who did most of his clinical research in the 1990's when he came upon the condition that torments tens-of-thousands of women around the world just like me - an incurable genetic disease called: Man-hands.

The part of me that you'll see the most on this blog is my hands - and I've never thought about the fact that I've been showing the world my genetic malformity - my size 10 reasons why I'll never get a opposite sex mate. Oh well. Maybe someone out there can handle my shame.

An excerpt from Seinfeld, October 1996:

Jerry: She had man hands.
Elaine: Man hands?
Jerry: The hands of a man. It's like a creature out of Greek Mythology. I mean, she was like part woman, part horrible beast.
Elaine: Would you prefer it if she had no hands at all?
Jerry: Would she have hooks?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Happy Secretary's Day!

To all you administrative Professionals out there - how did your special day go today? Did your boss take you out for lunch? Did they buy you a coffee? Did all the managers you do work for pool together five bucks each and buy you some flowers? Isn't that awesome of them that on this one day a year they tell you that they appreciate everything you do for them all year long - making them look good and having everything done for them before they ask for it.

For Secretary's Day this year my employer thought it would be great to give me one week of unpaid leave. I think that's just super. And to do it on Secretary's Day too. Nice touch.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Tidus is Triumphant in Ontario

I know I'm a couple days late with this - but better late than never! Especially since I read for the first time tonight that poor Tidus was kept on death row while he was waiting to go to trial - that to me is inexcusable.

The story of Tidus is that he is was going to become a victim of the pit bull ban in Ontario. But his owner fought the charge in court and guess what? She won! It's the first court challenge that has won in Ontario - and it's not going to be the last. The judge saw that the legislation is flawed and vague and will do nothing but kill the wrong dogs for the wrong reasons. So Tidus gets to live - after spending months in a cage for no reason at all. What a waste of a short life.

I found a couple articles at a good dog blog about the Ontario dog problem that I found tonight at - "Defend a bull blog"


The weather here in Halifax was absolutely beautiful all weekend and what did I do? I chose to tear up 10 layers of linoleum off my living room floor instead of doing my usual thing of dragging the dogs to hell and back enjoying the outdoors.

One ting I DID learn was that it's a lot harder to hold a dog and tear up linoleum and nails and carpet tack than it is to paint walls and moulding and hold a dog at the same time. Teddy is always teaching me something new every day! haha!

These pictures here show you what the finished floor look like after I lifted all the linoleum off it and everyone's having a wrestle. It's obviously had a lot of living done to it - and it's going to have a lot more done on it now. My house is very old. I'm going to sand the wood floors and stain it dark - because wood should be painted or stained dark in my opinion. I like this picture because Buttercup is just about to go into a very deep hump. The other picture is of a poster of biscuits that was used as filler between the linoleum. I'd say it's at least 40 years old. Pretty neat, eh?

So tonight was when I chose to give the dogs some exercise - not this weekend when it was beautiful and sunny - tonight when it was pissing rain - and we went to Seaview. But once again the dogs didn't notice, and had a good time anyway. I got a hilarious shot of Charlie and Daisy - they are so funny when they're wrestling.

Did I hear liver? Posted by Picasa

I heard you! Posted by Picasa

I'm coming! Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 21, 2006

An Awesome Link - Faith the Wonder Dog

I found a link to a video in the last couple days about this amazing dog named "Faith" who has been taught to walk on her back 2 legs because she was born with a birth defect and doesn't have her front 2 legs. I think it shows just how truly amazing a dog can be - and how the purity of a dog can bring out altruism in humans. Her website is at - and the video of her is here -

On a completely non-dog note - it pays to get your eyes checked regularly - if only because not all eye doctors are competent. I haven't had my eyes checked in 3 years and it turns out I've been wearing a completely wrong prescription all that time. I'm a "coke bottle glasses" person, and my prescription is really strong anyway - but the difference in the mistake the last person made was really bad - so for the last 12 hours or so - I feel just like I did when I was 10 years old and got glasses for the first time and could see clearly for the first time in my life. It's pretty amazing. I thought it was because I was getting old and there wasn't too much I could do about it. I didn't even realize how bad I'd been straining until I wasn't straining anymore. It's awesome!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

New Template

Please bear with me the evening of April 16th - I'm installing a new template - as you can see! And so the look of my blog is a bit screwed up tonight!!!

Update: Morning of April 17th - for the geekified and those who care about such things - I turned the 2 sidebars into percentages - 23% instead of fixed, found the spot where the centre content margins were and lowered it to something like 190, I moved some code that I had in the main content html area, enlarged the font of the main content because my Dad emailed me to tell me he couldn't read it - and bob's your uncle - everything lined up. Thank Dog. I had relunctantly started surfing 2 column templates this morning feeling completely defeated. I've been working on this template for a couple months a couple minutes at a time when I'm at work and it had been lining up perfectly. So I was pretty pissed off last night when it didn't look perfect. So I'm happy that I can now move on and continue creating useless content and stop frigging around with the equally useless container!

Update: April 18th - so I guess the blog looked okay on my pc but not okay on most othre pc's.... so I posted to the usenet group - blogger-help-customizing and a fabulous lady posted some suggestions which I have tried and hopefully everything looks okay now. She has a super dog blog called "Turkish Dogs".

And from now on you'll notice that every post I make will be between 8:30 and 4pm every day to prove a point to my place of employment that the date and time function of Blogger is absolutely meaningless. haha!

Update April 28th: The 3 column template is gone - pictures just don't work with 3 column templates unfortunately - there isn't enough space for them, and I have a ton and a half of pictures. So I went back to a 2 column template that's on the Blogger main template page and replaced a graphic that's supplied with the template and used my own graphic. And with the help of Janice who helps people on the above google group and has the dog blog as well - actually, she just told me what to change! haha! - I got everything to line up correctly. She also showed me the blog - blogger for dummies, which I think she's involved with - which is also an excellent resource.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Muddy Buttercup & Relaxed Teddy

On our walk today Buttercup got very very muddy. It was raining and it was also raining through the night last night and Buttercup took full advantage of the occasion to completely immerse herself in the surroundings. Once Teddy figured out that there puddles involved in the walk he wasn't interested in being on the ground anymore. At exactly the same spot where he got stuck on a rock a couple months ago - he decided today that he was not going to walk any further today. He's a funny little dog.

This picture was taken yesterday while I was tearing up the carpets in the living room - he seems to be starting relax a little bit I think, little by little. Maybe after a couple years he'll start acting like a dog. That will be nice.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

What in the hell is this mess?

This was my living room yesterday - I'm pulling up the carpets after 2 years of living in this house. When we initially came and viewed the house the first question I asked was - "do you think there's wood floors underneath this carpet?" and the realtor and my parents looked at me and gasped and said "but this is really nice carpet!" and I said "it won't be for very long with 4 dogs!"

I'm down on my hands and knees every day cleaning up spots because I cannot stand stains on carpets, and right now - I need something new to obsess about - so this weekend - the carpet is coming up. There's about 4 layers of oil cloth, and I have no idea what the state of whatever is at the bottom of it - and I have NO money to put down laminate, wood floor, or even any plywood to paint - so this is an adventure that is going to be truly that - an adventure.

These 2 pictures were taken yesterday afternoon. The room at this moment looks 100 times worse. The dogs are so freaked out right now you wouldn't believe it. They are like any other dogs and cannot handle chaos at all. I'll have it cleaned up soon enough. I can't handle chaos either!

On a much nicer note though - my parents arrived home from Florida yesterday after being down there for 6 months - Teddy and Buttercup have new laps to lay on and I'll be having more regular hot meals - it is great great happiness all around! Yea!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

A Very Nice End to a Very Shitty Week

Is this an awesome photo, or what? These 2 dogs are the most beautiful dogs in the whole world. And have I said lately that all the light in the universe emanates from the asshole of that little white dog. Crystal Crescent beach was lovely this afternoon - although Teddy refused to come out of my coat seeing as how he's almost naked currently since he has no hair.

I was reading something today and I thought to myself - "how did that person get away with having that published!" - and all of the sudden I realized that I have become so browbeaten, so demeaned, so debased, so devalued - and today I suddenly realized that I have begun to second guess what I write. IS what I write inappropriate? The normal me says "absolutely not!" But the browbeaten, debased, current me is buckling. I'm starting to believe them - starting to believe that I am a piece of shit who doesn't know one little thing about anything and doesn't deserve to have any authority over anything or be able to make any kind of decisions or be able to email anyone about anything. Ever. And just sit there and take it, because I said so.

We only have this one life to live, and I don't need to waste any of it around people who think I'm a piece of shit. I get enough of that at home from Teddy.

I have to include these couple of pictures that I took of Daisy on the bed a couple nights ago - is it possible for a dog to have a sly grin on their face? I really wish I could know what goes on inside her head sometimes. And then last is a picture of my fish - it turns out I've got a couple females and a couple males and they keep having babies and eating them. They are some very horny fishes that I have. At least someone in my house is getting some. I hope it's not shortening their lives.

To dream...therefore to... Posted by Picasa

To dream, therefore to munch...on...yummys... Posted by Picasa

Mommy, and 2 Daddy white cloud minnows.... Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 8, 2006

Pictures of Buttercup Running Towards Me

I've had a long running series of pictures of Buttercup running towards me that I've been accumulating for a while now and I've finally put together a web album of them today. She really is the cutest and most beautiful dog on the planet as far as I'm concerned. Definitely the most joyous, anyway. Until she sees another dog - then it's all business.

Daisy is a close second though. I also have a series of her too that I'll have to post as well. These pictures were taken today at a foggy Conrad's beach - at least the rain held off while we were there.

Friday, April 7, 2006

A picture from the way BACK of my property

Here's a picture that I took today from the back of the wooded part of my property - you can sort of see my blue shed on the right and at the top is my house in the middle - so you can see that most of my property is wooded. This is where Charlie likes to go and poop. All this wooded area is completely filled with garbage from the last 40 years. It will take me 40 years to clean it up.

Charlie's Health

Charlie looking into the eyes of a spoon-ful of pudding-cake.

On the animal-communicator note - we're both a bit worried about Charlie - he's been off his salt a bit lately - and we're wondering if it has anything to do with this being the almost exact one year anniversary of Leonard moving back with her "father" to Toronto. He seems to be acting the same way he did the very first time he was separated from Leonard - which he didn't do at all last year when Leonard went away. When he and Leonard first were separated in 2002 - he became severely depressed and got very sick, but last year you'd never know that he had noticed that Leonard had disappeared from his life at all. But in the last month-and-a-half he's been acting quite depressed again. Poor Charlie. It's hard when you're the protector and soul conduit for everyone you love it's a big job to do day after day to save any of it for yourself after awhile.

I think my once in a lifetime perfect dog may be starting to get a bit tired. Luckily it's spring time and there's lots of the outdoors to sniff coming up. Hopefully that will perk him up. With some extra belly scratches and seaweed rolling sessions.

Teddy has been to the Beauty Parlour

And I don't think he's too happy about it, but when you're a poodle - it's got to be done far too often!

He did a lot better than last time though. I didn't get bit once, and since the appointment he hasn't seemed to have regressed nearly as bad as he did the first time - he's actually used the bathroom outdoors a couple times - and he's still seeing me as a thing that gives him comfort from time to time, which is a good thing.

I also had the animal communicator Maggie Carruthers over last night - the day after he had his hair cut - and she said that he looked good from the inside out - which I was very happy about. So he is continuing to improve.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Peter Duffy's take on Pamela Anderson's boobs & the seal hunt

You'd think I'd have something to say about the Juno's that have been going on in my city for the last week since the effervescent Pamela Anderson has been using the occasion has taken on Paul McCartney's cause to try and end the seal hunt "once and for all" through her participation as the MC of these aforementioned Canadian music awards that were hosted here this past weekend.

I have been staying as far away as I could from the whole thing - I didn't watch the awards at all, and didn't venture to the downtown core at all in case I came into contact with any of the Juno "doin's". Hassle scares me as I'm aging. But Peter Duffy's column today amused me enough that I thought I'd let his comments speak out - and then as a final say-so for the post - I'm going to debut an email I received more than a month ago from a guy who's from Newfoundland but now lives down in Louisiana that he sent to Larry King Live when Paul McCartney was on the show that is the most articulate piece of writing that you're going to read in a good long while. I wrote to him when I received it and he emailed me back to say that he received more than 500 emails thanking him for writing it. It gives an entirely different and thought provoking take on the fishing industry in Newfoundland and the Maritimes - and actually anyone who lives near the ocean - that I'll bet 99% of us have never thought of but that in our bones we have always felt.

One last thought about Ms. Anderson though - do you know that the government of Nova Scotia paid good money so that I could have the majority of those most precious of Ms Anderson's assets cut off my body? And I have never regretted it for one day! haha! I wish they wouldn've cut off more! It's one thing to have those things at 20 - it's quite another to have them at 60 - but I don't imagine that Pamela will still have them at 60 - she'll look like the idiot that Dolly Parton has become. Blech.

So here's some of Mr Duffy's column from today:

Not a dumb blond in sight as Anderson takes on the media
By Peter Duffy

THE LARGE ROOM is filling fast.

Here they come, dozens of self-important young men and women, some nicely turned out in expensive suits and dresses, most in fashionably grubby jeans, jackets and T-shirts.

It’s Saturday afternoon on Juno weekend in a downtown Halifax hotel. In they straggle, the movers and shakers, the trendsetters and the posers, laughing and hugging.

And this is just the media!

Armed with our tape recorders and cameras, we’re all set to pounce on the real star of the show, now a fashionable 45 minutes late.

We’re waiting for Pamela Anderson; the much-snickered-about, big-breasted actress who’s in town to host the awards show. She isn’t doing interviews during her visit but she has agreed to this one news conference.

So here we are, loaded for bear, or should that be seal? It’s no secret Canadian-born Pamela is dead set against the annual seal cull in this part of the world, so no doubt it’ll come up this afternoon.

I hope she knows what she’s doing. If she really is just a well-endowed airhead, these media sharks will eat her alive, especially the contingent from the Toronto newspapers. Judging by some of the catty dumb-blond comments making the rounds of the room, frankly, I’m starting to feel sorry for her already.

Fifteen minutes later, magically, the din in the room subsides. As if by instinct, smelling blood, we know she’s close. Sure enough, an official reaches for the microphone and makes the introduction.

The double doors swing inward, and here comes Pamela Anderson on the arms of two strapping Mounties, each in his dress uniform. The two officers, Cpl. Steve Gloade from Millbrook and Staff.-Sgt. Jim White of Halifax, tower over the diminutive blond star who’s nodding and smiling at the crowd.

She’s wearing a Grecian-style baby-blue dress cut high enough to deny a look at her famous breasts but short enough to expose her shapely legs. Her feet are in silvery-pink high heels, and her blond mane is carefully tousled. Her eye makeup gives her a bit of a hard look, contrasting sharply with her open smile and tendency towards the occasional, endearing giggle.

The photographers climb over each other for a shot, their flashes exploding like sheet lightning. Pamela makes it safely to the small stage and obediently poses for photos. Click! Click! Click!

"Pam, over here!" we yell. "Pam, right here, please!" we implore. When we’ve all settled down, Pamela sits at a table and prepares for the onslaught.

She’s articulate and well-spoken, handling every question and comment calmly and politely, even the dumb stuff. She doesn’t duck anything and comes clean when she gets an answer to a Juno question wrong, like thinking Britain’s Coldplay and America’s Black Eyed Peas are Canadian groups. She even flashes some self-deprecating wit when talking about her own career or her recent attempt to sing. ("Some of the notes . . . I embarrassed myself.") But it’s the questions about her stand against the violent seal hunt where she really catches fire.

She reminds us that she’s been a member of an activist group called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for the last 15 years. This isn’t a fad on her part, she assures us. She wishes our prime minister would meet with her to discuss the issue. She feels it would be a great way for him to earn popularity with young people "because there’s not one young person, I think, in Canada that agrees with the seal hunt."

It’s a bold statement and it doesn’t go unchallenged. A Toronto journalist rises to tell her of a popular young singer from northern Canada who wears sealskin fashions. (He mentions a name, but it means nothing to me.) Politely, Pamela lets him finish and then launches another attack on the hunt. "We can force them to stop!" she declares of the seal hunters. "It’s not a huge (industry). Natives get hardly anything! It’s really being twisted and it’s not necessary." Someone asks her if she plans to escalate her anti-sealing efforts. "You’ll see," she promises. "It’s my mission right now. It’s important to be heard!"

After 45 minutes of this, the blond from Malibu begins to wilt visibly. Defending the cause of baby seals has drained her completely. Organizers cut off the questions, and Pamela rises to leave.

She hesitates at the edge of the stage and looks out at us a final time.

"Say what you want," she says dismissively in a barely audible voice.

And then she’s gone, sandwiched between the two Mounties. And for a long, awkward second, not a soul in the room moves.

Now here's the email from the fellow who's now living in Louisiana - read this and wonder...

Re: Interview With Paul McCartney, Heather Mills McCartney Aired March 3,
2006 - 21:00 ET

Dear Sirs and Lady McCartney;

While CNN and you, Larry, tried to display a balanced perspective on the Newfoundland Seal Hunt, there were significant elements of "not letting the truth get in the way of a good story". It is obvious that even the website mentioned by the McCartney's is a false revenue generation front for the US Humane Society automatically forwarding to the URL

This latest onslaught against the seal hunt is little more than a socio-economic terrorism campaign against the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. Who are the Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans you may ask? We are the Inuit and Innu who migrated east out of Africa eventually setting on the northeast extremities of North America; with the final leg of the journey avoiding the warring of the central pre Columbian tribes to a place where they could be free. We are the Scots, Irish, Welsh, French, Basque, English, etc... Migrating west out of Africa were; the highland Scots escaping the great clearances. The Irish escaping poverty, rebellion, the English crown and famine. The French and Basque escaping wars and rebellions, and Acadians hiding from the English clearances of Acadia. The West Country fisher folk who were left behind on our rock shores to fend for ourselves through cruel winters after the fishing admirals' holds were too full of fish to ship those poor people back whence they came. Much of the inhumanity foisted on Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans was either directly or indirectly at the hands of pompous English Lords.

But on our rocky shores they were unfettered and free; the deer in the woods were not the king's deer, the trees not the king's trees, the fish and seals in the ocean not the king's fish. What we had was ours to subsist upon and grow. In the post ice age trans-Siberian migrations, the millennia since Norse settlement and half millennia since English and Portuguese rediscovery we have become a unique society with our own culture, music, customs and folk lore. Two of the most recognized and best loved dog breeds in the world, the Newfoundland Dog and the Labrador retriever hail from our shores. We have thrived here by subsisting off nature's bounty as men and women of steel in frail wooden boats.

Every season had its purpose in our symbiotic relationship with this New Founde Lande. One of those seasonal bounties were the seal herds following the ice flows in the harsh winters when the root cellars were nearly empty of the previous years crop and the fish and caribou were out of reach in the thick sea ice and deep woods snows. Seal meat rich in omega 3 fatty acids sustained families through the lean winters, Seal oil lit lamps against winters darkness, seal skins became parkas and boots against winters cold fingers. It was then and still is subsistence hunting. Seal meat today in addition to being a pure, growth hormone and antibiotic free beneficial food source, is as much a delicacy in Newfoundland and Labrador as Veal and Fois Gras is in Europe. Yet the seals live wild and free and that some of their number fall to the hunter's bullet on a hazardous winter ice floe has none of the inherent inhumanity associated with the production of Foie Gras, veal or any other intensive factory farming technique. By comparison Sealing is a small scale near cottage level enterprise in which the sealers get a significantly larger percentage of the profit and healthy meat from the endeavour than workers with the Agri-food Multinationals responsible for the mass production of hormone and antibiotic laden Chicken, Beef , Pork etc...

Sir Paul tries to differentiate between Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans pursuing their traditional Seal Hunt and aboriginals who do it for subsistence. The Inuit seal hunter who leaves Makkovik or Cartwright in his boat to hunt seals is pursuing the same basic human right as the sealer who leaves Twillingate, Bonavista or St. Anthony; Feeding, housing and clothing ones family. To say there is any difference smacks of racial discrimination and elitism, claiming that one class of human being has different inalienable rights than another. If you were to completely map the genome melting pot of Newfoundland and Labrador society after the past millennia, the boundary between those whose ancestors exclusively migrated from the East out of Africa are as rare as those who exclusively migrated west from Africa.

These are the same small boat, inshore and near shore fish harvesters whose 500 year history of sustainable fish harvesting has been destroyed by the foreign offshore draggers and factory freezer trawlers. Primarily from the European Union, these wealthy and powerful multinational corporations have vacuumed the fish stocks before they came ashore to feed these rural families. Despite decades of outcry by our rural communities, no high profile bleeding hearts like the McCartney's ever lead the banner march to stop the corporate pillage and return that world heritage resource of the Grand Banks to its former abundance.

I am an engineer in the Petrochemical Industry and my westward migrating ancestors have been on Newfoundland's shores since the mid 1500s. Despite my ancestors of the recent two centuries being Engineers, Lawyers, Doctors, Nurses, School teachers, Merchants and Artists, we all farmed, fished, hunted and ate what we hunted and fished. I have had a personal use sealing licence, for mature adult seals only, whenever I lived in Newfoundland and ate what I hunted. I am very conscious of what I eat and stick to organic, naturally raised or sustainable/wild caught animal and fish products.

Likewise I am conscious of the clothing and products I buy, gravitating towards cotton, hemp, silk, flannel, leather, fur, etc. all biodegradable. In fact when my seal skin boots of 18 years service were finally beyond repair, the boots and felt liners were put into my compost heap to eventually be recycled into fresh vegetables. I wonder what could be said of Lady McCartney's much touted synthetic boots, manufactured from non-renewable petrochemical resources in plants that use many carcinogenic compounds and are often cited for fugitive emissions polluting the air, soil and water. Such synthetic clothing items are exceedingly difficult to and rarely recycled usually ending up in the morass of land fills or burned to release their constituent toxins into the air, soil and water.

Rather than focus on the plethora of inaccuracies in most of Sir Paul's and Lady Heather's arguments, I would prefer to direct you to the governmental web site for Fisheries and Oceans responsible for the Seal hunt.

I think Lady Heather and Sir Paul would find it difficult to accuse the same Government of Canada of lying about a small rural cottage industry as the seal hunt, while being such a stalwart supporter of Lady Heather's ban on land mines and its 40 year history of international peace keeping activities.

Sir Paul your desire to completely stop the Seal hunt is not a one issue campaign, but a case of tunnel vision brought on by the propaganda of those who reap enormous financial benefit from using you and Lady Heather as the poster children for their cause alongside a newborn Whitecoat Pup. Speaking of which, I think is it time that Premier Williams launches a lawsuit against using the Whitecoat pup image associated with campaigns to ban the seal hunt as fraudulent misrepresentation, since the federally regulated hunt does not permit hunting and killing of these seals in the Whitecoat stage.

Furthermore, Premier Williams should request Congress and the FBI to do a forensic audit of the Humane Society of the US and any other agency that uses the seal hunt as a revenue generation mechanism to show what proportion of the seal hunt revenues go towards the seal hunt campaign, and what portion are diverted into general revenue, as none of these monies are ever directed towards the rural communities whose fabric has been ripped apart by the fishery collapse. If found guilty of such misappropriation of cause specific funds, then these agencies should be stripped of their taxable donation status.

Sir Paul, if you are looking for a just cause in your golden years, then put your weight and wealth behind stopping the EU based over fishing on the Grand Banks. Help restore a sustainable Cod Fishery of 500 years to its former abundance and the outport Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans reliance on the Seal hunt will taper off accordingly. Plus the seals won't have to scour for food on the Trans Canada Highway far from the sea.

Desmond McGrath
A Newfoundland Patriot
Living in Political and Socio-Economic Exile in the Bayous of Louisiana

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Charlie's dirty little secret...

Don't tell anyone - it will lower Charlie's street cred amonst his dog friends - but his longest life friend - besides his sister Leonard - is Liam - the rat bastard cat. They've been together Charlie's whole 7 1/2 years, and I don't imagine he'd like it if he knew I was telling people that.

They usually will snuggle up together when they're waiting for supper - like they are in this picture - and probably in the below picture. In the 3rd picture - all of the house animals at the time were on the bed with me - Charlie, Leonard, Liam, Liam's brother Noel - who died of a long-standing urinary infection, and Cuddles - who died after having been found a month after being hit by a car. Very sad story that can be read on the cats page at my "Charlie loves Halifax" website.

Anyway - I took this picture last night while they were waiting for their supper and I thought I'd expose him once and for all for the good of all dog-dom - so that other dogs would know that it's okay to love a cat. You can still chase them when you're outside - outside they're still fair game! Inside they're your brother or your sister and you've got to love them - but outside it's all business!