Saturday, April 29, 2006

Newfoundlanders clean up at Atlantic Book Awards

Newfoundlanders did pretty well last night at the Atlantic Book Awards. Congratulations to Donna Morrissey who won both the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize (up against Lisa Moore's Alligator) and the Booksellers’ Choice Award (up against Michael Crummey's The Wreckage) for her novel Sylvanus Now.

Congratulations to Kevin Major who won the Ann Connor Brimer Children’s Literature Prize for Aunt Olga’s Christmas Postcards.

And congratulations to Breakwater Books and editor Ronald Rompkey who won the Best Atlantic Published Book Award for Reginald Shepherd and Helen Parson Shepherd: A Life Composed.

Other Newfoundlanders nominated were, as mentioned, Lisa Moore and Michael Crummey as well as Robin McGrath for her wonderful book of poetry Covenant of Salt which was nominated for the Atlantic Poetry Prize. Congratulations to them as well.

Friday, April 28, 2006

More nominations for NL artists

Nominations, nominations everywhere.

Jennifer Kennedy of Hr. Grace, is nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award. You can find out tonight on ABC if she wins or not.

The nominees for the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Arts Awards are:

The Artist of the Year award ($2000 cash prize) :

· Duo Concertante(Nancy Dahn and Timothy Steeves), Musicians
· Lisa Moore, Writer
· Anne Troake, Filmmaker/Dancer

Emerging Artist award($2000 cash prize) :

· Duane Andrews, Musician
· Tina Dolter, Visual Artist
· Alison Pick, Writer

Arts in Education award ($2000 cash prize) :

· Beni Malone, Actor/Artistic Director
· Louise Moyes, Dancer
· Derek Norman, Filmmaker

And congratulations to Michael Coyne and Ken Livingstone, co-founders of the Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Division of Fine Arts who will be the latest inductees to the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Hall of Honour.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Nice work if you can get it

Let's say you have a job and you're not doing so well with it. Let's say your company, with you at the helm, lost 5.1 million bucks in three months. Let's say you then decide it is time to leave that company, time for someone "with fresh eyes" to take over the company. You say so as you announce your resignation. So, you've resigned, after a bad loss and basically said someone else could do a better job. You should get, at best a pat on the back with a "nice knowing you". But if you are Derrick Rowe, former CEO of FPI, you get three quarters of a million dollars in a severance package. If you didn't already know the difference between the rich and the rest of us, now you do. Regular folk would have been fired for doing that kind of job and given a boot on the way out. Wonder if Rowe qualified for Employment Insurance after he left? Well, probably after he gets his monthly cheque of $10,417 for 36 months (on top of his lump payment of $375,000). I just want to know how I can get that kind of pay for not working. Any ideas?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

World Pinhole Photography Day approaches

Four days left photographers, to get your pinhole pictures in.

Flags and coffins

It started with the cease and desist on half-masting the flag in the government buildings, now we're not allowed to see coffins. Is Harper getting defence advice from Donald Rumsfield and the gang? It all doesn't bode well. When I first heard about not putting the flags at half mast, I was concerned. I figured it meant that the higher ups in the military knew the awful truth, that there would be a lot more deaths in Afghanistan and that if we lowered the flag every time it happened, the flag would be at half-mast a lot. Then I heard that it was against protocol to put the flags at half-mast and had only been a recent development. Even last year, when a soldier died in a noncombat related incident, they didn't lower the flag. Well, I disagree with that. Every single time a Candian soldier dies in the line of duty, be it from "friendly fire" or a land mine or suicide bomber or a tank rollover or anything else, those flags should be lowered. If the government can send them off to war, they can bloody well lower their flags when those people give the ultimate sacrifice for us.

As for the coffins, I am torn about that (I am a Gemini so being torn is part of my nature). On the one hand, I think it is a very Bush-like thing to do so automatically I don't like it. On the other hand, I know the families may want privacy and they should not have to decide, as was suggested by one family member of a soldier, whether or not cameras should be permitted in the awful homecoming of their loved ones. I think we should be able to see the coffins, see their entry into the country but the families should be off limits. I don't need live footage of a tear stained face to know they are sad. I know that already so just keep the footage off of them. If we don't record it, people will forget and that is not right. We should remember, we should be vigilant.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bad blogger again

I've been bad but have been working furiously on an important deadline so I just haven't had time to post. A few quick thoughts about things for now:

The price of gas is getting nauseating. I hear rumblings about $1.50 per litre by the summer. I am torn because on the one hand, the price of crude oil going up is good for the province's coffers but my coffers are taking the hit. Plus, it will probably hurt tourism and we need to keep capitalizing on that.

Thanks to those who added their fibs here and thanks to Nancy for plugging it. I think it is fun so keep going.

I was so sad to hear of the death of four Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. My thoughts and prayers go out to their families and to all the brave soldiers serving "over there". I'll have more in the days to come about my thoughts on Afghanistan and our role there.

I should be back to blogging normally in a day or two. Almost there, almost there.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Gotta Fib

If you don't know what the Fibonacci sequence is, don't feel bad. It's a geeky thing. If it sounds familiar you're either a geek or read the DaVinci Code and the part where the Fibonacci sequence was used as a clue, stuck in your brain. Now, Gregory K from the GottaBook blog has created a new kind of writing, called "the fib", based on it. As in the Fibonacci sequence, he started with 0 and 1, added them together and got the next number, then kept adding the last two numbers together for the next number. He ended up with a six line, 20 syllable poem with a syllable count by line of


is pretty
damn cool. Do you think?
Are you a wordy geek like me?

So, fibs anyone? Come on, I throw down the fib gauntlet to you all.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

WANL Announces Finalists for the 2006 Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards

The Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador has announced the short lists for the 2006 Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards. Every year they honour different categories with last year being Non-fiction and Poetry while this year it's for Fiction and Children’s Literature.

The short-listed writers and their books are:
The Bruneau Family Children’s Literature Award:
Ed Kavanagh for Amanda Greenleaf: the complete adventures, Flanker Press, 2005
Kevin Major for Aunt Olga’s Christmas Postcards, House of Anansi Press, 2005
Janet McNaughton for Brave Jack and the Unicorn, Tundra Books, 2005

Bennington Gate Fiction Award:
Joan Clark for An Audience of Chairs, Knopf Canada, 2005
Michael Crummey for The Wreckage, Doubleday Canada, 2005
Lisa Moore for Alligator, House of Anansi Press, 2005

Congrats to everyone nominated.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Good, the bad and the ugly 2

I am leaving in a couple of hours, for a 4.5 hour drive to go "out home" for Easter. I hope everyone has a safe and good weekend (and a blessed one if you are so inclined). I leave you with another installment of the good the bad and the ugly.

The good, the bad and the ugly

The Internet is an amazing thing. It can be used for everything from spewing neo-nazi hatred to searching for a way to end poverty; from making people laugh at cartoons to making people weep with a poignant true story. In a semi-regular feature, here are the good, the bad and the ugly for this week:

The good:


You know the old saying, one man's trash is another man's treasure. Well, whether you're looking to get rid of trash or find some hidden treasure, here is the place for you. Freecycle allows people to post information about things they want to give away. Individuals or groups can get the things that are posted. They get what they want, you get rid of the trash and everyone is happy. And, it can only be given away for free. There are four chapters in Newfoundland and Labrador: Burin Peninsula, Clarenvillle, Goose Bay, and St. John's.

The Bad:

Pro anorexia web sites.

There are web sites out there, called Pro-Ana sites, where anorexia is touted as a positive alternative to being fat and where anyone so inclined can get tidbits about how to distract yourself from wanting to eat. diet tips, calorie advice, and "thinspiration", or pictures of celebs and others who look emaciated and are supposed to be inspiring to those with this disease. So these websites are helping those with a fatal disease, kill themselves. Do I have to say that this is bad? Of course, no links to any such sites from me folks. Just want to let you know that they are out there and yet another reason to make sure your family computer is in a communal area of your house.

The Ugly:

Roadkill Rugs

There are some ideas, probably thought up under the influence of heavy duty medications, which should not be followed through on. Nuff said.

And a bonus!
The bizarre:

Missing Digits

You know, I'd say that at least once a week, I hear someone saying "I wonder which famous people have lost a finger or a toe?" Okay, maybe just once a month. Alright, so I've never heard anyone ask that but that doesn't stop anyone from finding out. Now that you're just dying to know, check it out. As you stand at the water cooler to tell people your interesting tidbit about a famous missing dactyl, you'll quickly become the one the people in the office whisper about and are afraid to work after hours with. Try it, you'll see.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Godd*&m Potholes

Spring brings great joy. Sunshine, lawns revealed by melting snow, temperatures above zero. But it brings other things as well. The melting snow has also revealed a winter of dog doo-doo on my lawn. Also, there are the potholes. Large, gaping, car-swallowing, strut-crushing caverns in the road which hide until you are on top of them only to jump out in the second before your tire becomes enveloped by them. I struck one the other day. It broke things in the bottom of my car like springs and struts. It took lots of money to repair it. So I am pissed off with potholes but I saw my first Robin of the year yesterday and this day is sunny and relatively warm so I have to move on and look forward to the summer. Be careful of the dreaded hiding potholes, readers, they are waiting for your car.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Body Shop Sell Out

So, the Body Shop is getting some bad press for its sale to L'oreal. The Body Shop built its reputation on being an ethical company and using only products that test on animals. Then they sell to a company who has refused to stop its animal testing on cosmetics. Now, I'm not going to get into the whole larger animal-testing-for-medical-purposes debate here. I just know that I have only used "cruelty-free" cosmetics for years now. So, here's the thing. I have been going to Caring Consumer (from PETA) to find my lists of such products. I won't buy cosmetics on their "Tests on Animals" list and do buy from their "Don't Test on Animals" list. Been that way for several years now. I usually pick the Body Shop and Revlon to buy from and, as much as I'd love to try some of their products, shun Cover Girl cosmetics. I do not intend to change that. I think testing on animals so I can have mascara that gives me thicker lashes or lipstick that lasts longer is inane. But, looking at Caring Consumer's main web page and seeing Heather Mills McCartney's mug staring back at me, has made me question some of the information I've been getting. I'm fine with buying from the "Don't Test" crowd. If PETA says you're alright then you must be, but I am now questioning my boycott of other companies like the aforementioned Cover Girl and Olay (I need something for these rapidly appearing wrinkles, for God's sake!). After all, this is the same group that says the seal hunt is cruel and still uses white coats (illegal to kill for years) as its anti-sealing mascot. I'm going to stick to my boycott for now, but will definitely look more carefully into who my information about cosmetic testing on animals is coming from and how they get it. So, for me, for now, the Body Shop is off my shopping list.

Monday, April 10, 2006

World Pinhole Photography Day

With all the technology around these days, maybe you would like to do something a little retro. Well, here is your chance. April 30 is World Pinhole Photography Day so that means you have just enough time to make your pinhole camera and take your pictures. The site also gives you links to pages that will tell you how to make the cameras. Here are a couple of others. I know nothing about pinhole cameras so I can't vouch for how helpful these pages are:

From Kodak
From ehow

I hear that there are usually only one or two Newfoundlanders and Labradorians that partake in this event (you can search for Newfoundland pictures on the gallery page at and see their pics) so come on, you photogs out there. Step up and take a pinhole picture.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Because I have no time to think new thoughts

I must steal them. This time from Laurie

Go to Wikipedia and look up your birthday (excluding the year). List three neat facts, two births and one death in your journal, including the year.

May 25

Three facts:

1521 - The Diet of Worms ends when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw.

1935 - Babe Ruth hits his 714th and last home run at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, setting a baseball record that will stand for 39 years.

1979 - The movie Alien opens in theaters.

Two births:

1803 - Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist and philosopher (d. 1882)

1963 - Mike Myers, Canadian actor and comedian

One death:

1085 - Pope Gregory VII

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Giller Longlist

Looks like the Scotiabank Giller Prize will have a longlist, starting this year. Somewhere between 10 and 15 titles will be announced in September with a shortlist announced in October. I think it will make it all much more interesting and will provide more authors the chance to paste the Giller nominated stickers on their books, thereby increasing sales.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

baby seals, newfoundland, larry king, danny wiliams, larry king, sea sheperd society, pamela anderson

There, I think that title may get a few people here through google searches and the like so now that I've got you here, if you have any interest in the sealing controversy/debate/industry/whatever, you MUST watch CBC Newsworld's The Lens (10pm ET/PT, 11:30 in Newfoundland) tonight for a documentary entitled My Ancestors were Rogues and Murderers. This explains the seal fishery and the people behind it, the people Paul Watson says (as he does of all Newfoundlanders) are like the members of the Third Reich. Surely such inflammatory, racist, nonsense as likening me to a Nazi because of where I was born and live, is reason enough to look at this issue with a level head and to watch a little something to tell you about this issue-the good, bad and the ugly of it. That's all I ask. Watch the show, listen to what it tells you, and try to understand. That's all.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Too True, Too True

Because it's Monday, it's been a very hard weekend, and it's not over yet, --damn it-- it's time for a little fun:

Sure B'y

Benevolent to a fault

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at

Your hidden talent is writing

Your hidden talent is writing. You have a unique way of viewing the world and are able to express your thoughts eloquently on the page. Some people might think that you are weird, but you are just the next Pulitzer prize winner.

Take this quiz at

Your walk is:
Possibly Influenced by Narcotics
Take this quiz at