Inspiration #18


It’s the last day of winter,
But in Canada, the season endures:
Even Scotties embraces this fact;
Can you read the word formed by laces?

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Get Out of Jail, Free Card?


College Admissions Scandal

Imagine, if you will, a world in which everyone is treated the same. Now, open your eyes and look around you: that world is not here on planet Earth!

This latest distraction from the States is a case in point. Knowing that their children were not good enough to get admitted to select colleges on their own merits, these parents resorted to greasing the wheels a little. A little? No, a lot.

But their intentions were fed by a little lie: they were told that if they donate some money to a charity that helps underprivileged¬† students, a way could be found to use a ‘side door’ entrance for their own children.

I can imagine that they didn’t want to know the exact details of how these side doors could be opened, but they would have understood that it wasn’t exactly kosher.

A Possible Defence

When Singer was caught doing what he does, he pleaded guilty and, to mitigate the punishment, he cooperated with the authorities by telephoning and taping the subsequent conversations with some of those parents. The purpose? To get them to admit that they knew what was happening on record.

That’s entrapment.

I’m sure that the hotshot legal teams that have been hired by these parents will shoot holes in the prosecution’s case.

It’ll be like getting a “Get Out of Jail, Free” card in Monopoly…


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Hockey: “The Big M” Shoots, He Scores!


Frank Mahovlich

When I started watching the NHL in 1958, Frank Mahovlich was already a big deal.

A big, rangy skater, he scored a lot of goals and helped the Toronto Maple Leafs to four Stanley Cup wins. If I had to say who was my favourite player at the time, it was #27.

Years later, he became a Liberal member in the Canadian Senate.


Like a lot of Maple Leaf players, he studied at, and played for, St. Mike’s College. His ‘sensitivity’ as documented in his hospital stays may have evolved from his time there.

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Your Mind’s Circular Thinking


The Windmills of Your Mind

When Michel Legrand composed this song in the 60’s, we all thought, “How clever!”

Now, it is beginning to look like he was spiritually in touch with why we have such a hard time thinking about anything and everything. Even then, he recognized that we are locked into whatever thoughts have been programmed into our consciousness.

But how do we get ourselves out of the spiral of ‘a wheel within a wheel’? By meditating.

Round like a circle in a spiral,
like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
on an ever spinning reel
Like a snowball down a
mountain, or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that’s turning
running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple
whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
in the windmills of your mind!

Like a tunnel that you follow
to a tunnel of its own
Down a hollow to a cavern
where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
in a half forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble
someone tosses in a stream
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple
whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
in the windmills of your mind!

Keys that jingle in your pocket,
words that jangle in your head
Why did summer go so quickly?
Was it something that you said?
Lovers walking along a shore and
leave their footprints in the sand
Is the sound of distant drumming
just the fingers of your hand?
Pictures hanging in a hallway
and the fragment of a song
Half remembered names and faces,
but to whom do they belong?
When you knew that it was over
in the autumn of good-byes
For a moment you could not
recall the color of his eyes!

Like a circle in a spiral,
like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
on an ever spinning reel
As the images unwind,
like the circles that you find in
The windmills of your mind!

(This is the version that Alison Moyet sang later.)

Here’s the first version that we heard in 1968 in the opening title sequence of The Thomas Crown Affair, sung by Noel Harrison:

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Hockey: a Canadian Coffee Legend


Tim Hortons

If you live elsewhere, you may or may not recognize this brand of coffee. In Canada, we refer to it as a cup of “Timmies”.

Did you know that an NHL hockey player started the company carrying his name in 1964?

His name was Tim Horton. Horton died in an automobile crash in St. Catharines in 1974.


tim horton pic

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My Favourite Vancouver Actress


Nicola Cavendish

It wasn’t impossible to track this name down: I looked up the Vancouver Playhouse history for 1983-4¬† and there she was, one of the three writers of¬†North Shore Live.

When she acted in this production in North Vancouver the night I went to see it, she caught her finger in a prop and had to be taken to hospital. The show did not go on, as there were only two actors playing the roles, with no understudies.

I met Nicola Cavendish once at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. She is a very gracious lady.

I just wanted to honour her talent. Here is a clip of her stage presentation of Shirley Valentine:

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Hockey: Taken Seriously Here in Canada


The Richard Riot of March 17, 1955

I started watching the National Hockey League games in 1958, so I wouldn’t have directly known about this ‘uprising’ at the Montreal Forum. But I was well aware of who Maurice Richard was: at the time he was the highest scorer in the NHL, although he never achieved the scoring title even once. The fact that he was on track to do so in 1955 may have been partly behind the fans displeasure when he was suspended for hitting a linesman during the March 13th game against the Boston Bruins at the Boston Gardens. But that the suspension was for the rest of the season and the Stanley Cup playoffs was a punishment considered too harsh for the Canadiens best player, so the fans ‘protested’ at the very next game.


(The video shows a game between Detroit and Montreal from that era, but it wasn’t that particular game because Richard had already been suspended. The egg pelting of Clarence Campbell and the smoke bomb, followed by the rioting outside, are from that fateful night.)

Years later the ‘event’ would be seen as the opening chapter of the ‘Quiet Revolution’ that took place later in the 60’s in Quebec. Yes, hockey is taken seriously here in Canada.

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