Saturday, February 25, 2006


Nobody likes to see someone suffer. And euthanasia is a huge and divisive topic. But what happens when euthanasia becomes accepted by a society, far past the point of an individual choosing when to end his or her life? The answer is given in a link below. Doctors in the UK have withdrawn life saving treatment to a two year old child, AGAINST THE WISHES OF THE PARENTS, and a court has backed the doctors. This is not only sad, but downright pathetic.


The good news is, we survived the earthquake. Not surprising perhaps, since nobody was hurt and there was no property damage. It was a 4.5 on the Richter Scale, and was centered 45 km north east of Ottawa. We are told that Ottawa experiences one of these every 5 to 10 years. The house shook a bit, Karen asked me what happened, and said it was either a truck driving by or an earthquake. Both of us we surprised when we saw the news this morning.

Of course a severe earthquake in February would be the worst possible natural disaster for Ottawa. No power, severed natural gas lines, no water. Cold, hungry, dark, thirsty and in a big city.

Went to the library today, and because the chess club meets there, there was no parking in the main lot. We needed to park down the hill and walk up in the -25 degree C windchill. And boy was it windy. Then I found out that the book I had on hold had expired. I put my name in for a book, I was number 74 on the waiting list, it finally came in, apparently they phoned, and after we didn't pick it up they sent it back. If I was to put my name on the list, I'll now be number 136. I think I'll bite the bullet and buy the book.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction

Last night we got a babysitter and went out for supper. We went to the Lone Star. Good TexMex food. I had a charbroiled steak and ribs, with a salad, Mexican rice and onion rings. Yum. And it was great to get out with Karen and have a conversation that wasn't interupted by "Can I have some more milk?"

After we got home, the downstairs toilet flooded. I got to clean it up with about a dozen towels... including what poured through into the basement.

Actually I would put up with the overflowing toilet every night, if it meant I also got to go on a date with Karen. But hopefully our next date will not be balanced off by near disaster. Of course, our next date will probably be in 2010!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Private Members Bill

A member of the Ontario Legislature is sponsoring a private members bill which would make organ donation mandatory unless you opt out. Yes, it is illegal to automatically subscribe people to cable TV unless you opt out, but this bill will give the State the right to harvest you for spare parts unless you opt out. And to which political party does this member belong? Any guesses? Yes, of course... the NDP. Remember, the NDP stands up for families and working people! I wish I could say this is unbelievable, but in today's society it has become all too believable!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Karen is going to a Birthday Party for her Mom tonight, and we aren't ones to battle the crowds in order to get a table in a restaurant on Valentines Day. So Karen ended up making her wonderful Cashew Chicken. This is pieces of boneless chicken in a cream and cashew sauce, mixed with Indian spices. It is served with rice. For dessert? Chocolate molten cakes! Yum.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Freedom of the Press, Conscience, Thought and Expression

Is it really freedom if you are forbidden to offend anyone? Can I really say that I have freedom of the press, of conscience, thought and expression if the only things I am allowed to say is that Motherhood and Apple Pie are good (with the suitable disclaimers that in supporting motherhood I'm not making a value judgement on althernative lifestyles, single parent fathers, single parent mothers or cloning)? A freedom is only a freedom if it has the potential to cost something.

Some of these Danish cartoons are simply inane. One of them is quite offensive. I wouldn't personally draw or publish them. But is there really freedom if we are forbidden, discouraged or persecuted for publishing something which is offensive to Muslims, Christians (including myself) or even Atheists? I would prefer a world where someone is allowed to insult my Christian sensibilities, and where I am allowed to preach Christ as the only way to Heaven. If we are forbidden to address certain topics, sooner or later the list of forbidden topics will include something of great value to me (such as my freedom to preach the Christian Gospel).

Governments around the world are struggling with this issue. But Muslims around the world need to understand that the same freedom which allows some people to offend their sensibilities also allows them the freedom to preach their faith. Would they be happier if we pledge not to allow anything offensive to ever be printed about Mohammed, but tell all the Muslims in Canada that they have 48 hours to leave the country? Surely not.

Homiletics Seminar

It was a busy day. This morning I did a seminar on Homiletics at Bridlewood Bible Chapel. It seemed to go well. There were about 25 people from 7 different churches and 4 different denominations present. The feedback was positive. The only downside is my voice. After battling a cold for the last week (which continues), talking for two and a half hours wasn't great. My voice is still rough!

Back home for lunch and then back to the chapel for the AWANA Grand Prix. This is where the children race the wooden cars we made. I don't think I have the knack for making these cars, because my children's cars usually come in last (which makes me feel like a bad father for not having more woodworking tools; yes, this is crazy but it is how I feel). Anyway, I think I'll buy a scale so that next year I can get the weight just right.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Crazy Talk

Yesterday I wrote that I was getting better. Evidently this was some sort of crazy talk. I am definitely getting worse, with a heavy chest and a lot of coughing. I was off work sick last Friday, I took 1.5 days off this week to help Karen, and I don't know if I'll make it to work tomorrow.

Hannah slept for over 3 hours this afternoon, and was a bit better on waking up. We were also firmer with her today. She could whine for apple juice, but we made it clear she was getting milk with her meals.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Memories of My Education - Part 2

I got mugged during Frosh Week, by a couple of girls, who were after the tie I was wearing with my T-shirt. I guess the story requires some elaboration. During my first year at Western, I lived for the entire year at Sydenham Hall residence. Those who have attended Western sometime in the last 15 years might consider this somewhat incredible, but back then it was an all male residence. It changed to all-female the next year, and no I did not play a direct role in any of the riots (I was an innocent bystander who happened to be in the rioting crowd).

Anyway, during Frosh Week, all the Syd Frosh had to wear these polyester red ties at all times. I was walking along the sidewalk when a couple of girls asked me were the pub was located. Because I don’t drink, I wasn’t sure, so I turned around and pointed between some buildings and explained as best I could. When I turned back to face them, there were now four of them. Being nobody’s fool, I knew they were after my tie. I guess they had little experience with ties, because they thought they could remove it my grabbing on the ends and pulling… which of course is like trying to remove a dog’s choke collar by choking him. I had one finger over the top of the knot, and the rest of my hand on the tie. It was awful tight, and by this time I was down on my knees. But through the tangle of legs I could see a couple of guys walking along and they were wearing… red ties! With the last of my air I screamed, “Hey Sydenham. HELP!” They came running, and the girls went running, and I retained both tie and honour.

I kept the tie for many years, but I’m not sure where I put it, which is surprising considering the price I was willing to pay to retain it. One thing is for certain; after Frosh Week I NEVER put that tie on again. Ah, higher education…

Sick... but getting better... but...

I was off work sick last Friday, and while I’m somewhat better, I’ve still got the bug. I went to work on Monday, but ended up coming home today before lunch because Karen is sick. She’s got some antibiotics and goes for an x-ray tomorrow. Bethany still has a cough, but the fever has gone. I'm taking tomorrow off work to help out.

The real story though is Hannah. I don’t know if it is coming back to make her sick again, but she is a total bear. Incredibly crabby, unhappy and constantly complaining. I guess because I’ve been home a lot during the last 5 days, she’s been getting lots of my attention and now demands it constantly. Hope my throat is better before the Homiletics Seminar on Saturday.

Wow… what a week.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Memories of my Education

Mike K over at Sanitized Perception of Life: Truth Reworded has an interesting story about fire safety testing. I posted a comment, which I'll reproduce here:

Reminds me of an event during Frosh Week, so many years ago. About 5 days into Frosh Week, one of the Sophs asks, "OK Frosh, who here likes to start fires?" By this point in Frosh Week, we knew better than to answer any questions in the affirmative. So he repeats the question in a voice run hoarse from screaming at us for 5 days, "Who here likes to start fires?!!!" There was still no answer. So finally he explodes, "OK, which one of you pyro-nuts has been lighting gerbils on fire since you were 8 years old?!!!" Two guys put up their hands and were immediately entrusted with pyrotechnic responsibilities. Ah, higher education...

Cartoon Wars

Protests around the world are condemning the publications of cartoons in Denmark about the Muslim prophet Mohammed. To some extent, they have a point. A cartoonist would never be permitted to use free speech to mock Chinese or Aboriginal peoples. So why is free speech allowed to mock Islam? Even if this is technically allowable by Danish law, why is it socially acceptable?

That being said, many of the world’s Muslims are using this as an opportunity to shoot themselves in the foot. Consider the following clip from

"This is not a protest, this is a warning," said Khalid Kelly, 39, an Irish
national who converted to Islam five years ago. "Stop murdering our women and
children. We gave the same message before 9/11. We are now saying to insult our
Prophet means death. We are being attacked and an attack against our Prophet
will mean death."

Abu Jihad, 43, who was born in Pakistan, added
that the cartoonist and the editors of the papers should be killed. "It is very
clear: Anyone who insults the Prophet must be beheaded. Remember van Gogh?" he
said, referring to the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh who was murdered in 2004
for his controversial film about Islam. "Whoever did it, bless him. Islam is
peace but you see there will only be peace when Islam is implemented across the
world. In the Prophet's time anyone who insulted the Prophet was beheaded. The
same should happen now."

In London, England, protesters carried the following signs:

  • Europe you will pay. Your 9/11 is on the way.
  • Annihilate those who insult Islam
  • Behead those who insult Islam
  • Freedom go to Hell
  • Be prepared for the real Holocaust!
  • Massacre those who insult Islam
  • Exterminate those who slander Islam
  • Slay those who insult Islam
  • Butcher those who mock Islam

Since 9/11, our political leaders have been telling us to be tolerant of Islam, because it is a religion of peace. And I can personally attest to the fact that I know a number of Muslims who take their faith seriously, but who are also nice and kind-hearted people. But these protests have set back the image of Islam by about 20 years.

The way to handle these cartoons is not violent protest, but condescension. Europeans (and North Americans) tend to feel they are superior to everyone else on earth. So the way to handle this is to shake your head at how backwards and benighted the Europeans are. Perhaps public prayer services where leaders pray that the Danish people would use their freedoms to better mankind. That’s the best way to handle these cartoons. But I guess it’s easier to get a crowd together with signs saying, exterminate, annihilate, massacre, butcher, slay and behead.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Dilema for the Liberal Party

The Liberal Party is now faced with a dilema. In some ways, it would be best to wait a while before trying to force an election. If they force an early election, I think the Canadian people will punish them at the polls, because we are weary of elections. Also, they need a leader and they need money. On the other hand, they absolutely cannot have a situation where the Conservatives are given a chance to deliver good government, and Stephen Harper is given a chance to demonstrate that he is not scary. The best course for the Liberals will be to wait, rebuild their party, and hope the Conservatives make some mistakes.