Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Canada and Freedom

Whether or not you agree with Canadian troops being in Afghanistan, I'm sure you must agree that the sacrifices the troops and their families are making to do what they think is right are incredible. There's a photo in the slideshow (linked above) of a man who's meeting his daughter for the first time. I got a little teary just thinking about it!

On Remembrance Day, Dad and I went to the service at the Museum of the Regiments. Jim Prentice, an MP and cabinet minister, spoke and if you're interested, you can read his speech here...

It was really good. The thing that stuck out the most for me was that at the battle he spoke of, "More than 27,000 Canadians joined the battle in Sicily and 562 Canadians died and 1,664 were wounded."

There were about 9,000 people at the service, which is their highest attendance to date, and I've been going there for about 8 years now. But only 9,000 out of a million people in Calgary. Fewer people then were wounded in this ONE battle during the Second World War.

It makes me sad that people have such a hard time taking a couple of hours, one day a year, to remember the sacrifices that others have made so that we can live in freedom, and not just us in Canada, because it probably would have taken Hitler a bit longer to get control of North America, but overseas as well. To sacrifice your own life for a nation of people you've never met - that deserves to be remembered.

My boss was in Europe this fall, and she went to one of the concentration camps, and told me about some of the stuff she learned, a lot of which I already knew from all my reading on the subject (I went through a few years as a young teenager where I read every book in the library on the topic) - but they were things that I was surprised to find aren't common knowledge for a lot of people. What do they teach in schools these days?

Did you know that Hitler didn't just have it in for Jews, he had it in for everybody who didn't toe his party line - Christians, people without white skin, transient people like Gypsies, homosexuals, handicapped people and elderly (who he had forcibly sterilized and/or imprisoned and/or 'put out of their misery')? The list goes on. There are suggestions that he wanted to set himself up as a god, and may have believe that he was the reincarnation of Woden, the god of war (who was worshiped by human sacrifice).

The man was a nutter, and without a whole generation of people who were willing to fight him, we could be suffering under severe lack of freedom in Canada. It seems like many people have no idea how good we have it, compared to how oppressed people were under Nazi rule. The scary thing is, the more we forget, the more likely it is that the warning signs of another Hitler rising will be ignored, and the more likely it is that history will repeat itself.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Neighbours - A Rant

So the worst part about condo living (other then condo association meetings, but those are only once per year) is having to share walls with other people.

On one side of us we have a nice family. Their kids are kind of noisy - playing, stomping up and down stairs etc - but that's normal kid noise so I try to not let it bother me too much. But their dogs! They have two Jack Russells, and they are noisy. Most of the time they have on these collars that squirt them with water when they bark, but when they don't have the collars on, they bark themselves into a conniption whenever we go into our yard. They were so agitated the other night, I thought they were going to try to get through the fence. When they do have the collars on, and they want back into the house, they will spend HOURS banging against the door. I don't know how the owners can ignore it, because it reverberates like crazy all through our house. Thump, thump, thump...pause...thump, thump, thump...for hours, literally. Also, they have a cobblestone yard, and they don't clean up after the dogs very often. GROSS!

On the other side, we have a woman and her teenage daughter, who also have a dog. A white, yippy rat of a creature. It's favourite hobby is to sit by the front window and bark at anything that even thinks about moving. So in the summer I go out to water my garden or even check the mail, and it has a conniption. I open the windows in the living room, someone goes by on the street, and the dog has a fit that sounds like it's in our house. And it will bark, bark, bark for hours when it's home alone. Trevor's mom was so annoyed by it when she was watering our garden while we were away that she sprayed it with the hose and barked back, which I'm very entertained by. And it's not just the dog barking...they have an alarm or something by their front door which buzzes every couple of minutes. The front yard faces south, so early this summer (our first summer in this house) I took my chair and book into the yard for a bit of reading. Between the buzzing and the barking, I went raving mad in about five minutes. I thought I'd try the back yard, even though it's not sunny, but when I went back there, the mom and daughter were having a fit in the kitchen with the window open! Oh, and there was the time I was watering the garden, and the daughter was in the living room on the phone freaking out at someone. I was trying to ignore her and water faster so I can leave, and then she comes over and slams the window shut, and glares at ME! Like I wanted to listen to her stupid phone call! And the mom's boyfriend comes to visit sometimes and brings his big yellow Lab with him, and doesn't keep it on a leash, which is a huge pet peeve of mine. Big dogs can be very dangerous.

So this week we got a new sound system because the old one crapped out, and tonight I watched Dead Man's Chest. Now, there are a lot of explosions, but I had the sound pretty low because Trevor has a headache. So it's about 9:15 (no where near noise curfew time) and they start banging on the wall! I'm really cross, because in general we do not make a lot of noise. Because it's a new system, the bass settings might have been a little loud, but no where near as loud as that stupid dog! Or that door they slammed really loud the other day at about 2am, which woke me up nearly having a heart attack from fright. One movie and they're freaking out! Loud people shouldn't bang on walls, because they might find themselves in a whole lot of trouble from people they've pushed to the edge...a YEAR of listening to them make all sorts of noise is just about my limit! One more button pushed and I'm going to be ready to complain to the condo board about them.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today...

Outside my window...leaves and shadows on the wall next door

I am thinking... about the crick in my neck

I am thankful for... a minute to sit down and breathe after the crazy hour or two I just had

From the kitchen... I need to go get a glass of water

I am wearing... skirt, top, cute brown flats

I am reading... nothing at the moment, but I'm going to start "Between the Plums" by Janet Evanovitch while I eat lunch

I am hoping... that the rest of the day isn't as crazy as this morning was

I am creating... a blog post haha

I am hearing... the server make lots of computer-thinking noises

Around the house... lots of dust kittens! Someone named Trevor needs to vacuum :)

One of my favorite things... sunrises - yesterday's was AMAZING

A few plans for the rest of the week... girl's movie night with Lauren, housework, errands...