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Who is the guy with the machine gun?

The Conservatives have taken out the pooping puffin off the Professor Dion web ad, or at least have taken out the poop but...who is the little machine gun totting guy in the right hand corner supposed to be, Stephen Harper?
Check it out.

It ain't over yet

The New Democratic Party has nearly doubled its support in British Columbia battleground ridings in less than a week at the expense of both the Liberals and the Conservatives, a poll shows.

The NDP has the support of 30 per cent of voters in those key ridings, according to a poll conducted Sept. 7 to 9 for The Globe and Mail and CTV News. That's up from 17 per cent in a poll conducted Sept. 4 to 6.

Full story at the Globe & Mail


The Greens will participate in the debate

Harper and Jack Layton checked which way the wind was blowing around their refusal to participate in the leaders debate if Elizabeth May was included, and flip flopped.
Canadians generally were pissed off at their earlier decision to exclude May and let the leaders know it..

Williams says Harper Majority not worth the risk

The CBC today reports that Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams is working hard against a Harper majority. In Newfoundland today he said

"If [he] is prepared to slash program spending when he has large surpluses and break his written word as the leader of a minority government, the future of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians — and indeed all Canadians — will be very bleak under a Conservative majority,"

Read the full story at www.cbc.ca

Greens have the best day yet

To be fair, Green Party chief Elizabeth May had the best day of any of the leaders yesterday. Neither Harper nor Layton gained any points by threatening to pull out of the television debate if she got to participate. That position was we have come to expect from the arrogant Harper but it was a bad move on Jack's part. The average NDP supporter believes the more voices the better and it just makes Layton look like one of the good old boys.

The TV network consortium that made the decision to exclude the Greens didn't gain any friends either but of course, they are not running.

Things are heating up on the web, left, right and uncommitted. One of my favorites is
http://www.scandalpedia.ca/ Billed as "A free encyclopedia of Conservative scandals" this one is great fun. For those who forget just how much of a idiot "A Team" member Tom Lukiwski was/is, the infamous video is posted there.

I note that the Regina Leader Post actually covered Jack Layton's breakfast rally at the Catherdral Freehouse. A bit of a departure for them but. "Good on 'em"


Harper Pulls Ad

Harper's Conservatives have pulled an online campaign attack ad that featured a bird defecating on Stephen Dion.

The Tory web page, which was active until Tuesday morning, featured an image of "Professor" Dion at a school blackboard, followed by puffin flying over his head and dropping excrement on Dion's shoulder.

CBC News

Jack in Regina

Jack Layton hosted a breakfast meeting at the Freehouse in Regina this morning. Contrary to what local media seem to suggest there was a lot of energy in the room. The place was packed. A much better turnout and response than the same type of event last election. Jack was folksy - kitchen tables not board room tables kind of thing. He spoke well and the crowd loved it.

After the suck up job the Leader Post did on Harper's visit yesterday it will be interesting to see if Jack actually make the paper tomorrow. Not big supports of old Jack, the Leader Post.

Janice Bernier acted as MC. Lorne Calvert and many NDP MLAs were on hand as well as the NDP candidates, except for Moe Kovach who we never see much of.

Duceppe on Harper's new family man image

That is my favorite quote of the day

"Lots of people are family men. It's not All in the family it's an election"

Was Dion talking about Shotguns?

While at Dawson College in Montreal yesterday Dion called for a ban on combat weapons sold in Canada. Makes good sense.

Harper responded by saying "I don't think registering every shotgun or long gun or by having further restrictions on weapons you're going to deal with gun crime. I think it is crime you have to deal with. Not some duck hunter with a shotgun"

It is no wonder Canadians are confused. You can't get much more confusing than the Prime Minister

Four Former Prime Ministers Call for Action

Two days into the campaign for the Oct. 14 federal election, four former prime ministers have joined a coalition of Canadians demanding urgent action on climate change.

The group of about 60 business people, academics and environmentalists calling themselves Canadians for Climate Leadership is set to release a document Tuesday entitled Time To Get Serious on Climate Change.

The report calls for a $30-a-tonne price tag on emissions, and says a "staggering" investment in green technologies is required.

The document has been signed by four former prime ministers, Joe Clark and Kim Campbell, both Progressive Conservatives, and Liberals Paul Martin and John Turner.

"We simply can't afford another round of posturing and denial in this next election," said Clark in a news release Monday.

"Climate change shouldn't be dealt with as a political football," Nova Scotia businessman John Roy, who helped draft the report, told CBC news.

The report stops short of endorsing the Liberals' Green Shift carbon plan, which would offset a tax on emissions with income tax cuts, but Roy said funds generated by an emissions tax must be redistributed to those who would be hit the hardest.

With files from the Canadian Press


Just who does Harper speak for?

Harper now talks about a "Canada First" policy but for thirty years he and the pro-American think tank at the University of Calgarypromoted "Alberta First." In a letter to the National Post in 2000, Harper wrote:

"If Ottawa giveth, then Ottawa can taketh away... This is one more reason why Westerners, but Albertans in particular, need to think hard about their future in this country. After sober reflection, Albertans should decide that it is time to seek a new relationship with Canada.... It is time to look at Quebec and to learn. What Albertans should take from this example What Albertans should take from this example is to become 'maitres chez nous.'"

In another letter to the Post, Harper stated:

"It is imperative to take the initiative, to build firewalls around Alberta, to limit the extent to which an aggressive and hostile federal government can encroach upon legitimate provincial jurisdiction."

He also recommended Alberta:

  1. "Withdraw from the Canada Pension Plan to create an Alberta Pension Plan...
  2. Collect their own revenue from personal income tax,
  3. Start preparing to let the contract with the RCMP run out in 2012 and create an Alberta provincial police force...
  4. Resume provincial responsibility for health care policy.... "we can afford the financial penalties Ottawa might try to impose under the Canada Health Act."
Well the election is already in full swing and as usual it is going to be difficult for average Canadians to cut through the bullshit.
Harper's people are claiming that a vote for the Liberals is a vote which will result in the loss of the $1200 a year in child care benefit. No mention of the fact that Harper's Conservative/Reform/Alliance cut the previous government's child care program altogether and replaced it the $1200 handout.
Harper is trying to sell himself as warm and fuzzy instead of the bully he really is. Dion is trying to scare Canadians about the right wing agenda (with good reason), Layton is ignoring everyone but Harper and selling himself as the real Prime Ministerial alternative, the Greens won't do much but split the vote even further and the Bloc is the Bloc.
The polls are scary and the media are reporting them like it is a done deal. Things will shift and change. No question, it will be an interesting month.


I have been experimenting with High Dynamic Range (HDR) photographs. It is a process which goes back to the 1930 and 40’s but is recently is becoming more popular as people are looking for new ways to work with digital images.
Even the most sophisticated digital camera cannot even come close to reading the range from light to dark as well as the human eye. HDR helps deal with that problem. Basically, you start with three of more images of the same scene taken at different exposures. Then by using a process of tone mapping together with bracketed exposures of normal digital images, one can get an end result which has a high, often exaggerated dynamic range.

I will from time to time post some of my photographs and may try to find a way to link them to this page.
I have recently become intrigued by the flavours used in Moroccan cooking. I bought a tagine which , according to Wikipedia, is formed entirely of a heavy clay which is sometimes painted or glazed. It consists of two parts; a base unit which is flat and circular with low sides, and a large cone or dome-shaped cover that rests inside the base during cooking. The cover is so designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. With the cover removed, the base can be taken to the table for serving.
A tagine is also a type of dish found in the North African cuisines of Morocco.
I have posted a Tangine Lamb with carrots, apricots, dates and figs recipe on this site. It is a wonderful combination of flavours and should be served with couscous or rice.
After neglecting this blog for a very long time I have decided to try and get it going once again. I will be updating and adding to it over the next few days and weeks.
I am also trying to change the direction and focus of the blog by adding new components.
I will be adding recipes I like and may link to a recipe archive as I get into this.
I will also try to add some new photographs to the site and links to my photographs.
So...what is new?
An election has been called in Canada by a Prime Minister who not so long ago passed fixed election date legislation which he said would prevent governments from picking an election date which gave them an advantage. What hypocrisy. The polls would suggest that the right wing Conservatives will win again. I think Canadians may have lost their collective minds. If they win a majority, I will explode. No doubt there will be more to say later.