Monthly Archive: September 2008

The end of the beginning

If this economic chaos were caused by Wall Street revels, as President George Bush would have us believe, he’s the one with the hangover. He looks awful, like a frightened boy, as I watch his 8:45 a.m. televised address to the nation. Worse, the sniff he gave at the end of his comments, as he turned and walked away, was a signal that he believes his pitch will reassure investors. When I heard last night that he was due to speak this morning, I assumed he was going to announce that the stock markets would close until bailout legislation was...

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Reveries and revisits

In the last week, I’ve talked to half a dozen people who are headed to Florence this fall. Lucky them. This is absolutely the best time to be traveling there. The sweltering days of summer are gone and so are the throngs. The lineups at the Uffizi will be almost bearable; getting a table for dinner just about anywhere should be fairly easy. A few days ago, Sandy and I went for a walk there, too. We started at Via Roma 3, stopped at Gilli in Piazza della Repubblica for a latte, continued under arch, past Armani and Palazzo Strozzi...

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Stop! In the name of love

It may just have been coincidence, but the first vocals I heard this morning when I tuned into the “new” CBC Radio 2 were these opening lines from One sung by Johnny Cash: “Is it getting better/Or do you feel the same?” The answer: no, it’s not getting better and, yes, I do feel the same. Poor Tom Allen, host of Radio 2’s morning show for ten years, is doing his best under the new regime, but it’s sad to hear him talk about his mysterious playlist. Who exactly, I ask you, is the audience that CBC is aiming to...

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Glory days

In the last few months, Cito Gaston (Blue Jays), Cliff Fletcher (Leafs), Don Matthews (Argos) and Pat Quinn (world junior hockey), have all been hired to manage or otherwise lead teams. What do they have in common, other than talent? They’re all seniors. (OK, I cheated; Cito is a spring chicken at 64.) What does this say about sports? (a) It’s back to the 90s; (b) There’s no one else available; (c) Geezers are in style; (d) all of the above. If you answered (d), congratulations. You’re likely a geezer, too. I, for one, welcome this resurgence of retirees being...

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Women helping women

My wife Sandy has launched a new website, Women helping women. It’s about her art and her initiative concerning colorectal cancer. Take a look at http://www.sandramcqueen.com

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Ready, aye ready

That’s a silly looking photo of Rick Hillier in my morning paper. The former Chief of Defence Staff appears to be standing atop the stone plinth outside the TD branch at King and Bay promoting the bank he just joined. At this rate, TD CEO Ed Clark, another escapee from Ottawa who had previously retained former politician and ambassador Frank McKenna, will soon alter the entire culture at TD Bank. Clark’s performance is rightly praised but his predecessors did well, too, even those for whom Ottawa was a place you only visited every ten years when the Bank Act was...

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The first days of summer

The pink granite of the rock cut in the tiny town of Severn Bridge signals the beginning of Muskoka, Ontario’s finest playground since Timothy Eaton summered there in the nineteenth century. We spent this past weekend with family at Taboo, on Lake Muskoka, enjoying the best weather in weeks. The resort, that includes the home course of 2003 Masters winner Mike Weir, took on a particular resonance as Weir led the Deutsche Bank Championship after three rounds, only to be overtaken today by Vijay Singh and had to settle for second. Stories abound of McMansion cottages and noisy Sea-Doos ruining...

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