Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Is Africa a continent or a body of water ?

I love this rant from a good friend, Craig, originally from Zimbabwe and now living in Vancouver :

Why are people so ignorant of African political geography? Why can people in the "educated" First World differentiate between England and France, but they can't differentiate between Egypt and South Africa? Why do people go on holiday "to Africa" (rather than, say, Kenya), but they go on holiday "to Italy" (rather than Europe)? If you told someone you were going on a trip "to Asia", do you think they might ask you to be a bit more specific? I think what's "dark" about Africa is not the continent itself, but the minds of people who don't pick up an atlas occasionally.

I'm moved to write this today because, on Sunday at a Starbucks in Vancouver I noticed that they had some beadwork for sale. So I picked it up and, according to the label, it was "Made in Africa". This is Starbucks' patronising attempt at "fair trade" (or whatever they call it), but they're too damn lazy to actually note the country of origin. Has anyone ever seen a label that says, "Made in North America"? Of course not! Most people -- anywhere in the world -- would scoff at that as being useless and lacking in specifics, and I'll bet the label doesn't meet labelling laws either.

And then today I read the following in an obituary:

"When confronted by World War II, Peter joined the RCAF and ferried airplanes [sic] around the world wherever they were needed for the war effort, ultimately earning the commission of Flying Officer. He survived two crash landings - in Africa and in Victoria Harbour."

I think that has to be the most extreme parallel I've ever seen drawn -- between the second-largest continent and a minor body of water -- but at least we know where Africa is, as opposed to the non-specific Victoria Harbour, of which there are several in the world on different continents.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Saying for the week

"Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary." by Sir Cecil Beaton, British photographer and award-winning set designer

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Pancake Breakfast #12

The final Capital Ex week breakfast at Safeway in North West Edmonton. Reasonable value for $ 3.00 per plate - pancakes, sausage and bacon. Juice and coffee quality were below average again. The event was not very "green" with a lot of extra throw away bits. Edmonton Capital Ex organizers need to do a better job of that. Rita and Gordon in attendance.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Pancake Breakfast # 11

Alberta Premier's Annual Capital Ex pancake breakfast in the Legislature grounds. It was a great day for it. Well organized to deal with crowds that poured through the lines. This one is in joint first place with the Calgary Stampede breakfast for overall most impressive. Pancakes, sausage, scrambled egg, juice box, milk box and coffee - all for free. Although not really free 'cos no doubt it was all paid for with our tax dollars ! Okay so that fact is off-set by the splendid location so still tie with Calgary for first place.

Although I was on my own - the team let me down ! - I fellowshipped with a very interesting Dave McNaugton who I sat down next to so that made the event special too. Gordon

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Pancake Breakfast #10

Old Grain Elevator, Spruce Grove. Billed as "Flapjacks at the Tracks" this was a fund raiser for the museum now located in the elevator. $ 6.00 for an and $ 4.00 for a child seemed a bit steep but then it was for a good cause. Food - standard two pancakes and two sausages - was good but coffee and juice not great. Gordon, Ritie and Cai were the participants.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Pancake Breakfast #9

Today was at Sir Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton - the kick-off to the Capital Ex. Pretty good value for $ 3.00 per plate - pancakes, sausage and bacon. Juice and coffee quality were average. The event was not very "green" with a lot of extra throw away bits. Good team effort by Gordon, Bronwen, Brennan, Johanna and Mark to get up so early to be there in time to beat the crowds !

Friday, 10 July 2009

Pancake Breakfast #8

Today we got up very early 5:00 am and drove to Calgary to be there in time for #8 breakfast at Sunridge Mall put on by the Calgary Stampede Caravan. Boy do those guys know how to do a pancake breakfast. Best value we've experienced so far - pancakes, sausage patty, scrambled eggs, juice and coffee - all for Free ! We had hoped to catch another breakfast that day being that Calgary Stampede week is so renowned for them but it would have been too much ! It was good to have our Australian friends Daniel and Jenny New as part of the team this time, as well as Kate Gauthier and her Mum.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Pancake Breakfast #6

Today Cai and Gordon attended the breakfast in Wabumun as part of the town's centenary celebrations. It was great value for money at $ 2.00 for adults and kids free. Instead of sausages they did sausage meat patties which were an innovative alternative as they are much easier to cook.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Pancake Breakfast # 4 & #5

Today we attended two pancake breakfasts - a very popular feature of annual July 1 Canada Day celebrations.
#4 was the annual Canada Day breakfast put on by the Ismaili Muslim Community in the Legislature Grounds in Edmonton. Being free and open the the public they would have had to cater for thousands of people and did a great job. The food was pretty basic - pancakes and water melon slices. Very festive with everyone wearing red and white and wishing each other happy Canada Day ! Attended by Gordon, Bronwen and Brennan.

#5 was the annual Canada Day breakfast in Spruce Grove. Not a very good experience as it was so badly organized that it took an hour and a half standing in a line up (seen in the photo below)to get served and the food was pretty average for the $ 2.00 per plate. Attended by Bronwen, Brennan, Cai, Rita and Gordon