What’s left for old lefties

Winston Churchill is often quoted as saying, “If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no brain.” It sounds like Churchill, fearless and funny, but apparently he never said it. And it’s […]

Crossing to the other side to make my mark

In Crinan, the Scotch Presbyterian farming community where I was raised, people displayed a variety of talents – singing, piano playing, humourous readings, bagpipe playing in kilts, poetry recitals and so on – during what we called programs, often in the church basement. A hit at these programs was a recurring series of skits dubbed […]

Things that just make you say HHHMMM

A page 3 headline in the National Post recently announced: “Canada’s high school world champs show how debate is done.” The sub-head said, “Proof that future of argument isn’t bleak”. In our social-media-obsessed and cancel-culture age, this is good news. The beauty about organized debates is that it doesn’t matter what you believe. Both sides […]

Moments from the trenches of the COVID-19 war

Ross Lunn, who’s married to my first cousin, June, is living proof that COVID-19 is no laughing matter. On June 7, his 71st birthday, he emerged from St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital, smiling and waving. Thanks to COVID-19, he had spent 70 days at STEGH, many of them with a breathing tube down his throat. […]

Somebody who outdrew ya

Just after Christmas, Rick, a man I see once in a while socially, told me that he had been working at Winter Wheat before it had unfortunately lost most of its buildings in a fire. I asked Rick what he had been doing there and he said, “Whatever they need. Mostly welding on some of […]

Tasmanian non-devil

Almost a year ago, I reconnected with Richard Osborne Moyer, a man I hadn’t seen since for close to 45 years. We had worked together as farmhands in the early 1970s, but he met a woman from Tasmania, they married, and then disappeared to that island paradise near mainstream Australia. For those of us of […]

Three petite problems with performance evaluations

As part of my job, I participate in an annual performance evaluation. There’s something reassuring about those words “annual performance evaluation”. They’re in a ballpark with “audited financial statements”.  They roll off the tongue reasonably well, inspire confidence, sound like we are doing things right. And I’m sure we are, especially with the audit. When […]

Sex ed the old-fashioned way

My dad took a very straightforward approach to sex ed, at least he did with me. Maybe it was the same with my two brothers. I don’t know, since I’ve never discussed the topic with them. In the area of sex and romance, teenaged brothers tend to say terrible things to each other, or at […]