THE WAR OF 1812: The politics, the battles and the people
Facilitated by Norman Leach
Want to learn more about the War of 1812? Want to know why General Sir Isaac Brock, Laura Secord and Lieutenant James Fitzgibbon were important to all Canadians? Want to know who really burned down the White House?
Learn about the people, battles, tactics and weapons through video, seminars, tours, and group discussions.
The Military Museums Foundation Presents :
WAR OF 1812: The politics, the battles, and the people
WEDNESDAYS: 27 February, 6 March, 13 March, and 20 March 2013
A four week course by
The main news this year was the arrival of Andre Barrett Pagnutti on April 17. We named him for my paternal grandfather, André Chenail, and my maternal grandmother, Shirley Barrett, and tried to encompass his French-Canadian, British, and Italian heritage. We’re also embracing his aviation connections as you can see in this photo!
From the beginning we knew he wasn’t going to be a mellow baby. Luckily Home Depot carries inexpensive industrial-strength ear muffs, and nature endowed him with an adorable giggle and a heart-melting smile.
He put these to good use to charm family and friends on “Baby Tour 2012.” The Eastern Leg took us to Ottawa, Gatineau, and Belleville in June, where we introduced Andre to his grandparents, great-grandparents, and about 100 other loved ones. Then in August we went to Victoria to visit another part of the clan and attend the wedding of our dear friends. Of course Doug took this opportunity to sneak in a bit of scuba diving as well.
All this excitement and upheaval has meant work’s been going a bit slower than usual. I stepped down as president of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society and am now “just” on the board of directors. My unofficial portfolios include managing the social media accounts, and helping with promotion and fundraising. I’ve managed to write and publish a few pieces in addition to working on “the book” and hosted a lively panel at LitFest that included Noah Richler, Alexis Kienlen, and Dana DiTomaso. I was also named to Avenue magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 list for Edmonton, which was really neat!
2013 looks like it will be a fun and busy year for all of us: Andre’s now in childcare three days per week, which he seems to love; Doug’s moving into a new phase of his work with Schlumberger as an engineer that could lead to some travel opportunities; and I have a few essays, articles and poems in the pipeline for publication. My next book, Polar Winds: A Century of Flying Canada’s North, is also slotted to be released by Frontenac House late in the year.
Hope this note finds you well and I wish you all the best this holiday season!
And now the making of that photo…
Getting the antlers on the dog and getting him in position was pretty easy. He takes direction well, especially when there are treats involved.
Wrestling the cat into the Santa suit was a different story. And getting him into the “sleigh” was nearly impossible…the dog is getting anxious now!
This photo almost could have worked, except it’s blurry, and the “reindeer” is looking pretty emotionally battered by “santa.”
Finally the photographer comes to the rescue, holding the cat “just so” so we’ll be able to digitally insert him into a photo with the dog. And voila! A Christmas miracle shot after 15 minutes of painting an old drawer, an accidental discovery of a pet santa suit at Homesense, and a bag of pet treats! (Oh yeah, and Photoshop)
“The shoe lady: a modern cobbler with vintage tools,” Toronto Star (May 6, 2010)
Ryersonian.ca has a short video featuring her and her work. Click here to watch.
Katie also has a blog for here: http://solesurvivorcobbler.blogspot.com/.
There are so many tablets on the market that it can be difficult trying to decide which one to buy. Here, guest blogger and tech-toy junky Doug Pagnutti gives his take on which pass the test for the average consumer:
My favourite one so far is the Asus 10″ Transformer. The tablet itself is pretty much like all the other Android honeycomb tablets but the keyboard that comes with it is genius. Not only does it provide a few USB ports and an SD Card reader (perfect for getting pictures from cameras) but it has a built-in battery so you can double the battery life on the road. Basically you get a netbook where the screen detaches and becomes a tablet.
All the other tablets at the moment seem pretty uninspiring. The iPad and iPad2 are probably the best for ease-of-use but the fact you can’t view flash sites, as well as the proprietary ports make it less useful. The slew of android tablets are all pretty much the same although prices seem to be going down quickly. Definitely get one that runs honeycomb (3.X) because Android 2.X doesn’t really work for tablets. The only other 10″ of note is the HP TouchPad that just came out. Apparently the software is great (it’s really made by Palm, which HP bought) but the hardware is already out of date (HP should only make printers).
Personally I’m holding out for a good 7″ tablet with usb ports and there’s a good chance the Acer A100 will fit the bill. Amazon is planning to come out with a bunch of tablets this year too but it’s hard to guess what they’ll be like. The one I was really hoping for was the Asus Memo but they just announced it would be “indefinitely delayed”.
I should also say that if you’re looking for something to read e-books, you’re much better off buying an e-reader. The screens don’t hurt your eyes, they’re much much lighter (easier to hold for extended periods) and the batteries last months instead of hours.
This past Sunday, September 6, 2009, my wonderful mother-in-law, Dawn Kenny, passed away. Last November this upbeat, energetic woman was diagnosed with an exceedingly rare form of cancer, cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer) at the age of 48. There has been no shortage of exclamations from friends and family: “It’s so unfair!” “How can it be?!” But rule #1 on the playground is life’s not fair.
KENNY-PAGNUTTI, Dawn Adele (nee Atkins) (July 10, 1960 – September 6, 2009) Dawn Adele Kenny (nee Atkins) did not live with moderation. She loved fully, laughed loudly, traveled extensively, and was happiest when surrounded by friends, family, good food and wine. Dawn was also an accomplished shopper – whether at snappy boutiques or garage sales – and collected everything from nutcrackers to tea pots to shoes. So much of what she bought or made (she painted, knit, crocheted and refinished furniture) went to loved ones, but she gave most generously of her time and enthusiasm, which she shared with many as a volunteer at local schools, Vintage Wings of Canada, and other places.
For those of you who don’t know, my mother is a super-hero: she is an incredibly good researcher and advocate who can clearly and concisely get her point across on paper and in a meeting. Since I was a child, she has used her gift to right wrongs and keep people (like me) safe from corporate sloppiness, university bureaucracies, and plain old meanies.
I have been her apprentice all these years and – like a good grasshopper – have gone out in search of additional training. There was the summer I worked at McGill in the Donor Research programme, basically receiving training in sniffing out info on alumni. Then there was my work as a facilitator at the Centre for Teaching and Academic Growth at the University of British Columbia that taught me how to move difficult discussions along, listen to people without rolling my eyes, and ask probing questions to get at the root of the matter. (the second skill is probably the most useful one, btw!)
Well, the Metcalfe genes and training kicked into overdrive yesterday! Someone wrote a vicious (and hugely overblown) email about the Rock Springs Humane Society and had been circulating it for over a week before a caring supporter sent it to the director to give her a head’s up. Basically this alarmist email was trying to raise a mob to descend on our board meeting yesterday. We found out about the email the day before and by yesterday morning the director (my good friend) forwarded it to me. It was on.
Within a few minutes, I had compiled a table of all the people who had forwarded and received the email (at least in the ‘email tree’ that had ended up with us). You see, the people had not thought to use the useful BCC function on their email accounts, and so all their names were in plain sight. Soon I had added their addresses and phone numbers, some of their ages, and some additional details – like place of work – to my table. It’s amazing what you can find out on the internet if you know where to look…
Then I set about responding to the email piece by piece. It turned into a three-page rebuttal. If all else fails, kill ‘em with a logical, reasoned response. It’s a good thing I did, too, since the Rock Springs mayor, Tim Kaumo, had gotten wind of these accusations and came to the meeting yesterday. It was with more than a modicum of satisfaction that I gathered my document up and handed it to him.
I then briefly summarized the contents of my rebuttal to the board members and the dozen or so concerned citizens who had been roused by this email (or who had written it in the first place – that is still unclear!). While they did not show up bearing pitch forks, if we had been blindsided by this whole affair, things could have gotten very ugly.
In the end, though, while there were some heated discussions, I think we managed to squelch what could have been a huge blow-up. I, for one, walked away from the meeting feeling like some valid concerns had been raised, people were willing to be part of the solution (we even had a few people sign up to be volunteers!), and that most people present had conducted themselves in a reasonable manner. In addition, the mayor seems like a very approachable and animal-friendly sort of man, and is willing to work with us in the future for possible funding, etc.
It’s amazing what having a super-hero mom can teach you!
We are two days away from the American election and it’s getting pretty exciting.
The local middle schools here in Green River, WY have already held their mock elections, participating in the National Student/Parent Mock Election Day. The elections were pretty close, but the Republican McCain/Palin team won at both schools (161-103 at one and 145-120 at the other). I love what the local newspaper, the Green River Star, reported these sassy sixth-graders as saying about the election rumour-mills. One student, Alexander, said he had heard a rumour “that Obama is a terrorist and that he is going to make all white people his slaves if he is elected. He said people should focus on the facts and not rumours.” Another student, Erik, said he heard that “Palin has the IQ of a 2-year-old.”
It would be really interesting to know where these young voters have gotten their info: Fox News (the conservative, Rebublican mouthpiece); MSNBC (Democrat all the way); CNN (the “no bull, no bias” network); or perhaps parents, neighbours or their friendly neighbourhoud white supremacist group? Maybe they’re like me and watch Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show and The Colbert Report for their political news.
In any event, the idea behind the Mock Election Day is, of course, to start training pre-teens and teens to be civic-minded. Studies have shown that these sorts of initiatives mean youngsters are more likely to get out and vote for real when they reach the age of majority (but can’t yet drink alcohol, which I still think is very silly). Voter apathy is a real issue and Leonardo Di Caprio and friends have launched a video “Don’t Vote” to get through to US Citizens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhDRVKDcXQo
Then there is the more light-hearted side of things with Quebec comedy duo, The Masked Avengers, who just ‘punked’ Sarah Palin by pretending to be the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/081101/national/prankster_palin or to hear the conversation, go to http://ca.video.yahoo.com/watch/3842140/10491245). Palin was completely oblivious, but was actually quite diplomatic in the face of comments about hunting with Dick Cheney and the recent porn spoof of her in Hustler. But, as the pranksters said, she didn’t come across as all that intelligent.
She should feel like quite the celebrity, though, The Masked Avengers have similarly pranked Bill Gates, Britney Spears, and Sarkozy himself. Now Palin “the down-home, simple American” has more celebrity cachet to go along with her new $150,000 wardrobe.
There are definitely some interesting political happenings here in the US – what with the presidential race and all that… But in my book nothing beats good ol’ Canadian politico-cultural satire.
My dad – ever trawling the Web – forwarded this video to me. If you have ever lived in Quebec or another part of French-speaking Canada, or just like to make fun of Harper’s disconnect with much of Canada’s population, take a peek and be prepared to howl with laughter!
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I am a little worried about what we’ll find in Rock Springs, but my more immediate fear is that the immigration officer at the border will reject us. If that happens, though, I have a plan: we’re going to slingshot across the border!
Doug and I were watching a show called Mythbusters on Discovery Channel last week. Each show, these wonderfully quirky scientists and engineers take an urban legend and try and prove or disprove it. The episode we happened across really fit our current situation: apparently one story in circulation is that people are being flung from Canada into the US using slingshots.
We thought this was absolutely hilarious. First of all, while the US offers many opportunities, who would give up universal health care in Canada to be shot across the border (where, I might add, you would need serious medical attention after being hurled 200 or so yards. And who wants to live in a country that still uses the imperial system with crazy measurements like yards?)?!
Anyway, the show’s experts dutifully constructed a slingshot of monstrous proportions and succeeded in launching a man-sized dummy a reasonable distance. It bears noting, however, that the dummy landed nowhere near the carefully placed mattress (hence the needed medical care). Also, I am sure with all the money being pumped into homeland security that its enforcers would surely notice if a group of people were constructing a slingshot so big it could be seen from space.
That there are enough people who believe in this slingshot idea that it made it on to Mythbusters is really frightening. Someone should tell these paranoid people that most Canadians are not willing to risk life and limb to go to the States. Maybe these folks should be focusing instead on building that big ol’ wall down along the Mexican border…