Posts tagged ‘Thornhill’

Balls, Bags and more…

WHAT’S IN THE MEATBALLS? – We had a wonderful, early dinner at the Vietnamese Noodle Soup Restaurant at Times Square in Richmond Hill.  You’ve got to Love and appreciate a restaurant that has such a simple name.  You probably don’t even need a menu.  Just sit down and a fellow would bring you just that…  Vietnamese Noodle Soup.  I so thoroughly enjoyed the steak and meatballs, I had to ask the proprietor:  “exactly what is in the meatballs”.  Apparently, only asian spices, beef and beef tendon.  Mmm, mmm, good.  Deb has a spicier version for her chicken noodle bowl.  The red pepper broth reminded me of Thai tom-yum soup.  It’s nice to try different places.  In this particular neighbourhood of Richmond Hill and Markham, one could probably try a new Asian restaurant every single day of the year.  Soup, dim sum, buffets, bakeries, barbeques, steak houses, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Asian fusion…  I’m Lovin’ it all.

ALL HER BAGS ARE PACKED – My sweetheart, the Duchess of Thornhill is leaving Stately Way, the official residence tomorrow.  She’s heading to Kingston for two weeks.  It will be longest we’ve been apart since last spring.  How will I cope?  How will I make it through?  I’ll probably gorge myself on guilt-free junk food.  That always makes me feel better.  But when she comes back and I’ve gained 20 pounds, she’s probably won’t approve.  At least I’ll have the dog to keep me company.  Those of you who know me, know how thrilled I am about that.  Some of the things I’ll miss the most: singing to her every morning, opening the car door for her, and telling her how beautiful she is everyday.  Although, I suppose I can do that by telephone.  Lots can be accomplished on the phone.

NO TIME TO UNPACK – When she returns Deborah and I will be travelling to Montego Bay for a little romance and ‘R and R’.  Looking forward to our long weekend adventure to Jamaica.  We’ll be staying in a gorgeous private beach villa, complete with our own kitchen staff, car and driver, private pool and private beach.  We’re looking forward to travelling with our gracious hosts, Joe, Fiona and little Matteo.  Such generous and beautiful people.  Snorkeling, reading on the beach, tennis and some fun in the sun.  Oh yeah, Baby!!

FACEBOOK – I tried to get Facebook “Places” going today, but my device doesn’t seem to want to load it.  I’m Loving all the new functionality of the service.  Today, Facebook launched the new service that can share to other users where you are, and where you’ve been.  Just in case you want other people to know you are at Winners or Cassis.  During our walk today, I was just telling Deb that I haven’t been on Facebook all that long.  For the longest time I resisted joining, instead trying to develop, program and code my own server and database.  It’s a great, geeky hobby to have, but it takes a lot of time and patience.  When I seen everybody and their grandmother had a Facebook profile and sharing notes better than I can, I was a bit miffed.  So I decided to join the Facebook revolution.  For my website and blog, I resorted to a open source app and a mainstream server.  I hope to do a redesign this winter and write a little more often.

MUNICIPAL ELECTION – Who exactly are we going to vote for in the municipal election?  Suburban elections seem pretty dull.  There is a lot going on in the Toronto election, but it seems there is very few issues herein Thornhill-Markham.  Nobody seems to be courting our vote here.  We’ve had a couple of people come door-to-door to leave junkmail but not enough to get any information from.

THE TOWN – okay, more than half-way through the year and I don’t have a clear favorite for the Academy Awards.  However, I may have a personal favorite.  Yesterday, Deb and I seen The Town, starring and directed by Ben Affleck.  We really enjoyed the film and a couple of time I caught myself holding my sweetheart’s hand a little too tight.  A couple of twists and turns and some pretty good characters.  It’s a pretty quiet time for movies, but I was glad we went and seen this one.  Critics seem to enjoy the film as well.  You never know what Oscar time will bring.

And how was your week?

Sincerity vs. Disingenuousness

I’ve worked with quite a number of politicians over the years. During that time, I’ve met hundreds of them. I’m convinced, perhaps rather naively, that they all mean well. However, aside from the need for your vote and your money, they are all quite different. Some are brilliant while others are merely able. There are a few that seem so overwhelmed with their responsibility or their own ego, they are downright dim-witted.

For me, I can break down any politician into two categories. Category one: caring and sincere. Category two: disingenuous.

It’s those in category one that keep me motivated and willing to put in the hours throughout the campaign and election day. It’s those individuals in category two that fuels scepticism, even in me.

George Smitherman is a brash man. He’ll offer you a firm handshake and a smile but you’d better get down to business. That doesn’t mean he’s not a kind man either. The last time I seen him, he went out of his way to initiate a quick pleasant conversation with me on Bay Street.

Phil Fontaine is one of the most misunderstood people in politics. Honestly, he is one of the kindest, most sincere, giving person I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. I think I still owe him $20 bucks. But Phil’s detractors unfairly paint him as some sort of villain. That’s the furthest from the truth.

Both Phil Fontaine and George Smitherman have two completely different styles and personalities, but are still in category one: they are both caring and sincere.

John Beaucage, my former boss – is untouchable in this category. Kind, caring and sincere and means it.

I’ve recently moved into the riding of Thornhill, which is going to be an intense battleground when a federal election is called later this year. This is a perfect example of sincerity vs. disingenuousness.

Dr. Karen Mock, Liberal candidate for Thornhill

Dr. Karen Mock, Liberal candidate for Thornhill

KAREN MOCK

– is among the most sincere, visionary people I’ve come to know. Her smile, handshake and words mean a lot. She’ll take as much time as she can, just to get to know you and your issues. She polished but personable. I don’t expect these qualities to change in the near future.

Karen is a tireless advocate for anti-racism, human rights and diversity. She was Executive Director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation as well as the National Director of League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada. She knows her stuff.

When asked about aboriginal issues, she knows them like the back of her hand. She knows about the growing socio-economic void. She knows, first hand, about racism faced by aboriginal people.

She is the personification of category one: kind, sincere and caring. To see her at work is to be inspired.

PETER KENT – is the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs for the Americas. He is the former anchor, reporter and correspondent for Global TV News in Toronto. He is polished and, I have to admit, a natural politician. However, having met him on more than a few occasions – he seems rehearsed – but not in an impressive way. It’s like his personality comes from years of TV practice.

A few months back, Jasmine, who just turned twelve, asked him about aboriginal issues at annual Thornhill Village Festival. He barely gave her the time of day and his response was not adequate, even for her. He was obviously not prepared to answer questions on aboriginal issues without a formal briefing from staff complete with prepared questions and answers.

Peter Kent is the personification of category two. On the surface he seems completely disingenuous – with a wink, smile and quick handshake to boot. Just enough to get the donation out of you and send you on your way.

But you can’t expect too much sincerity from the Harper Conservatives. We’ve all heard the words that folks like Harper use when the cameras aren’t on. To borrow a line from Michael Ignatieff, “there have always been two Harpers. The real Harper comes out when he thinks he can’t be heard.”

At least they are not the same kind of words used by Mike Harris, the king of the Conservative disingenuous. “those Fucking Indians…” If John Beaucage is at one end of the sincerity spectrum – Mike Harris is at the absolute other end.

However, not all conservatives are in category two. Tony Clement, the Minister of Industry is one of the hardest working, most genuine politicians I know. I’m happy to call him a friend. He always considers the public good in a positive, productive way.

I truly look forward to the next federal election and working with Dr. Karen Mock in Thornhill. I’ll also do my best to support Anthony Rota back home in Nipissing. Both are excellent examples of caring politicians who are most definitely cabinet material when the Liberals eventually take office. They are the reasons I continue to support the Liberal party and have hope for souls of politicians everywhere.

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