I grew up in Halifax.
Halifax has always been the most strategic Naval point in Canada, and the Wars proved that to be the case.
I know that if it were not for the Ultimate Sacrifices made my our brave soldiers, there is no doubt in my Mind that we’d be a Nazi state.
I am honored to recognize what they have done. I wear my Poppy proudly,
I will NEVER Forget - EVER…
In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Courtesy of Bee MacGuire
Obtained From TheMcCrae Museum of The Guelph Museum
McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields” remains to this day one of the most memorable war poems ever written. It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle in the Ypres salient in the spring of 1915. Here is the story of the making of that poem:
Although he had been a doctor for years and had served in the South African War, it was impossible to get used to the suffering, the screams, and the blood here, and Major John McCrae had seen and heard enough in his dressing station to last him a lifetime.
As a surgeon attached to the 1st Field Artillery Brigade, Major McCrae, who had joined the McGill faculty in 1900 after graduating from the University of Toronto, had spent seventeen days treating injured men — Canadians, British, Indians, French, and Germans — in the Ypres salient.
It had been an ordeal that he had hardly thought possible. McCrae later wrote of it:
“I wish I could embody on paper some of the varied sensations of that seventeen days… Seventeen days of Hades! At the end of the first day if anyone had told us we had to spend seventeen days there, we would have folded our hands and said it could not have been done.”
One death particularly affected McCrae. A young friend and former student, Lieut. Alexis Helmer of Ottawa, had been killed by a shell burst on 2 May 1915. Lieutenant Helmer was buried later that day in the little cemetery outside McCrae’s dressing station, and McCrae had performed the funeral ceremony in the absence of the chaplain.
The next day, sitting on the back of an ambulance parked near the dressing station beside the Canal de l’Yser, just a few hundred yards north of Ypres, McCrae vented his anguish by composing a poem. The major was no stranger to writing, having authored several medical texts besides dabbling in poetry.
In the nearby cemetery, McCrae could see the wild poppies that sprang up in the ditches in that part of Europe, and he spent twenty minutes of precious rest time scribbling fifteen lines of verse in a notebook.
A young soldier watched him write it. Cyril Allinson, a twenty-two year old sergeant-major, was delivering mail that day when he spotted McCrae. The major looked up as Allinson approached, then went on writing while the sergeant-major stood there quietly. “His face was very tired but calm as we wrote,” Allinson recalled. “He looked around from time to time, his eyes straying to Helmer’s grave.”
When McCrae finished five minutes later, he took his mail from Allinson and, without saying a word, handed his pad to the young NCO. Allinson was moved by what he read:
“The poem was exactly an exact description of the scene in front of us both. He used the word blow in that line because the poppies actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind. It never occurred to me at that time that it would ever be published. It seemed to me just an exact description of the scene.”
In fact, it was very nearly not published. Dissatisfied with it, McCrae tossed the poem away, but a fellow officer retrieved it and sent it to newspapers in England. The Spectator, in London, rejected it, but Punch published it on 8 December 1915.
Dalton The Dolt
Just in case you forgot! We have that provincial election LIKELY coming up in early October.
Scroll down please…..
Whoever put this together DID THEIR HOMEWORK. Gets you thinking.
Don’t forget, McGuinty also put the HST Tax on Electricity bills, which are increasing every year, by leaps and bounds.
PLEASE READ, PASS ON AND REMEMBER NEXT ELECTION….
Dalton is a dolt and a fake and needs to go down heaped with shame for a job very badly done.
But, Mr. McGuinty will retire with his nice comfortable pension and all his benefits paid. I hope this gets passed around the province of Ontario and everybody remembers the way we got screwed by Mr. McGuinty and the Liberal party and - remember - not one Liberal MPP had enough guts to vote against any of the above.
Wake up Ontario!!
And all pensioners got no raise at all over the past 18 months!!!!!
Do you remember June 4th 2012?
I’ll help you out it was a Monday :)
Well, let me be direct I remember June 4th 2012 very well. That was the day I was driving my goldsmobile on the hwy, heading to Toronto.
It was a beautiful sunny warm day, and it was not even 8 am…
That’s when it happened, my windshield got smashed.
I saw it happen, it felt like life was happening in slow motion…
I saw debris flying out of the back of a heavy duty truck. I couldn’t swerve into another lane, as I would of hit someone.
The truck was clearly labelled “Mini Millenium Disposal Services”
I looked up their name, and found a website for them in Mississauga.
They haul refuse, what a shock, I spoke to the Manager there, he refused to let me speak to the owner, and in no uncertain terms he told me to go fuck myself.
Nice eh..their vehicle damages mine and I get told off - Stay Classy Assholes!
I started calling around various glass repair places getting prices, of course I knew I would eventually have to call the big boys.
I called the number provided on their website. I mentioned my windshield is tinted. It has 2 antennas built in, one for OnStar, the other for my Car Alarm. I also mentioned my car has rain sensors.
They were more than happy to give me a price.
However, I still suspected that it was over priced.
I decided I would take the remainder of the day off and go look at all possible options.
I went directly to Apple Autoglass as my last stop. They had been taken over by speedy. I decided I would set my appointment with Speedy because I figured, what other choice do I have.
When it came to the price, it was close to 3 times what THEIR own company quoted earlier. Apparently, they allege THEIR employee quoted the wrong price.
I discussed this with the shop manager, he told me if I did not like it to go somewhere else.
Oaks will not let anyone talk to him like that, I told him to get his district manager on the phone.
His district manager is located in Montreal Quebec. The shop manager explained the situation as he saw it. I than took the phone from him and listened to the District Manager explain how things were going to be.
During this time, I need to point out his English was perfect. When he realized, that I’m not some sort of ham & egger, his English Language miraculously disappeared.
Funny story, Oaks is fluent in French…Nice try Asshole.
After very clearly laying out what I was going to do if they did not honor the original quote, he realized, he had no choice but do the right thing, HONOR the QUOTE.
Please keep in mind, I took 4 hrs off work to deal with this nonsense…
Long story short, appointment booked, at the PRICE I decided upon.
However, I still had a bitter taste after dealing with their arrogance,
I guess when you are the biggest in the world at what you do, customer service means NOTHING.
I spoke to Stefan, you know him as the legendary, iconic @shakes1 on Twitter.
Stefan is someone I trust more than life itself, he speaks, I listen to his advice,
He suggested, Tint Master http://www.tintmaster.com/
The owner has been in the glass business for about 35 years.
He pointed out that regardless of where the work is done, the glass has to meet Canadian Standards.
The difference he pointed out is how the glass is installed & the after care.
I had a couple of convos on the phone, I told him what I needed, he gave me a price & then my head exploded.
His price was affordable, fair, and surprisingly lower than what I had possibly hoped. Based on his pricing, I could have multiple windshields installed & it would still be cheaper than Speedy.
From Tinting, to electronics, to accessories to rustproofing to detailing & of course Glass Work, they offer a variety of services.
As you can see from the 3 pics, more than 30% of the passenger side was cracked, chipped & from a safety structure point of view, very unsafe.
When I walked into the shop I noticed a few things.
That’s right, as the biggest Leafs fan walking this planet, I was T H R I L L E D to see Leafs related swag, he had lots.
James the owner, dropped some further knowledge on me, they do custom decals that fit in between your window & the tint, including custom made Toronto Maple Leafs ones…
James, also has a dog called Bubbles, which is a Husky/Rotti cross, his dog is awesome. Anyone who brings their dog to work is instantly promoted from Awesome to Super Awesome.
I’ve dealt with people in many walks of life, it was refreshing to see someone who clearly loves what he does. He also took the time to walk me through each stage so I understood what they were doing and why they were doing it.
as Jim & James ( the owner were doing the repair, James was there also to make sure everything was perfect)
Being in the business for over 35 years, James has a ridiculous eyes and he noticed a few minor things he addressed instantly.
ONE thing I MUST point out is the moulding. I was told by every single place I contacted it MUST be replaced. Average cost I was given was $80 to $120 just for the Moulding, Holy Crap!
James took one look at the moulding from my car and said, NO!
It would NOT need to be replaced. There is an example where I assumed it would be replaced, but his honesty saved me additional money.
Honesty and Integrity, YEAH!!!
I give big props to James at Tint Master & his affable worker, Jim.
Two things I recall as well, that need to be shared, he told me about aftercare , to really ensure its perfect, Kudos…
AND this is funny, glass got delivered while I was there, and I was sort of shocked cause it looked like it would fit a compact,
I said to James, that cannot be my glass, he said, sure is, we just add water and it expands, and for just a second I almost believed him,
James, you are awesome :)
I plan on using his shop for other tweaks to my car because I know he cares about his customers. He’s more interested in building a relationship with his customer, unlike others who want the one off at exorbitant prices.
My advice to all of you is, the Goliath’s of the Auto World can be beaten, you just have to be willing to open your mind to that possibility.
James & Tint Master now have a life time customer.
Oaks cannot say thanks enough, these guys are freaking awesome…
Top Work at Rock Bottom prices.
Thanks for reading
It’s very clear to me that there is a lot of emotion when it comes to being employed vs unemployed.
I’ve been in every province & territory, I’ve worked since I was 16.
I’ve always been of the mindset that hard work is good for you.
I was born in the Maritimes where there was not a lot of work.
I always had a job though, no matter what province I’ve lived in,including Ontario.
There are people out there who have no desire to work.They would prefer to collect welfare, or work the minimum number of weeks, then collect EI. I’ve no respect for that, you are a leech.
However, there are those who are unemployed who work harder then others I know who are employed. These people are sending resumes out, going to interviews & doing everything by the book, these people I have such respect and empathy for.
What are me & others doing different. I cannot speak for them, so i’ll tell my story.
I came here to Ontario for a few reasons, my love of sports & for other personal reasons.
I’d been working for about 20 years when I came to Ontario.
I did not really know who & where I wanted to work for.
The first thing I did was update my resume.
The next thing I did was starting finding reputable job sites…such as
http://www.monster.ca/ (this site will help u design free cover letters & free resume builders)
I even checked out Kijiji & Craiglist as well.
I went & bought a business directory for the city of Brampton & Mississauga.
These Directories tell me everything I need to know about a business.
Once I got that of course, I mass emailed every single business that matched my skill sets or I felt I might be a good fit for..
Once I did that, along with all the job sites I was accessing within a week I had about 40 interviews.
That is a lot of interviews, I did not go to all of them of course. The specific companies that I wanted to talk to, those who were I focused on.
There was about 10 companies I was very interested in. Once I emailed them my resume, I waited exactly 1 day before I started calling them.
I called each & every employer everyday till I got my interview.
I’ve heard many pros & cons regarding calling employers.
I don’t exactly play by the rules.
Think about it, if the employer has no plan on calling you back, you have nothing to lose by calling everyday till you are told, come in or piss off.
If you sign up to any of these sites, the sites will also send you job postings you are qualified for.
Once I got the interviews for the place I wanted, off I went to be interviewed.
All interviews are different, they tend to be different because everyone is different.
However, I know how to sell myself. My direct mannerisms are a blessing & at times a curse.
However, following this methodology has found me work in every province.
I got the job I wanted & while I was working, I was still looking at the sites everyday & looking at upgrading my options. That led to another job.
One day I happened to get a call from a company in Montreal, who were accessing many of the sites I was and had seen my resume. They were expanding into Ontario, and they were interested in me.
I went to that interview & the offer was so appealing - but I turned it down.
A few weeks later another Executive with the company phoned me & made me an offer I could not refuse, so off I went to work for them…
And this is where the story gets fun,
I was working for this company from literally dawn to dusk, Six days a week, sometimes 7.
I did not have any life at all.
I felt beaten & broken.
Then Twitter said hello to me.
I slowly got into twitter, so very confused by how it all works. I was becoming addicted to it, sooooo
I went to a gathering of twitter people. I met a lot of people that night including @CorySilver @pshag @dezignated @dallas_price @trishca @gailgabrielle @clickflickca. Amazing people who have changed my life.
After that I was hooked for good.
The strange thing was - the day of that Gathering at Real Sports was the day I quit my job.
I quit a very well paying job, that had lots of potential for me.
I quit because I was unhappy, my life was consumed by working for someone else.
My passion in life has always been Photography, Food, Writing & sports of course.
I’d been involved with photography since I was a child. I knew I was good - I just had no idea if I had the guts to start my own business.
I started a Facebook Page, I already had a built in FB audience, so creating this page was common sense.
I encourage you, if you “Like” this page…go ahead click…
I designed & created my own official website
I wasn’t an expert, so I got a very good guy from Twitter to help me with hosting. Thanks to Roberto Sarjoo for helping me with that, He also designs the worlds best business cards, he designed mine. They are the best I ever had.
Once I started interacting more on Facebook & Twitter, going to tweetups, I started to get people off twitter & Fb hiring me to do small jobs.
This is Toronto however, there are some unbelievably talented people here. I know the photography business will not be easy.
I know bills still need to be paid, so I decided I would look for some work that would not interfere with me building my business.
Once again, I took to twitter because on Twitter there are some great sources for job leads, accounts like @YahooJobs @Spherion_Canada
@googlejobs @Jobs_Toronto @MonsterCareers
@Workopolis @JobsInToronto @RogersCareers @googlejobs
Of course, at this point I had 3 or 4 hundred followers who would tweet on occasion about job leads they had.
About that time, I started following Julie, she is the Chief Matchmaker at Vestiigo. @Vestiigo @VestiigoJulie
She always seems to have an inside scoop to some amazing opportunities. Combining all the twitter links with all the JobSites once again I found a job very quickly.
I was hired to do sales, which I have always had a knack for - I love closing deals.
Once I was there for a few months, I started talking to them about Marketing, Advertising & Social Media.
I am now responsible for building a brand for them using Facebook & Twitter.
At this point, that leaves me with a job in sales, a photography job, & now a job in social media.
I have been steadily getting more & more clients in the photography business. In fact one of my clients was so impressed she introduced me to someone very close to her.
He is looking for someone to run his social media as well.
If I take this job, it will be job #4 for me.
Everything that has come to me is because I followed a system.
Making sure I checked the sites daily,Calling Employers daily and I networked my ass off when I moved to Ontario.
Twitter is perhaps the best marketing tool I’ve ever seen. Think about it, your friends & their friends are on Twitter. Many different businesses are online as well. When they have vacancies, they tend to tweet about it.
Everyone is talking on it. On my twitter list I don’t just follow anyone, or let anyone follow me, I want to be able to offer them something. My friendship, my knowledge, experiences etc. I hope to gain the same from the people I follow.
I’ve thought about this long & hard, I get work because I am tenacious,ambitious & I know how to sell myself in interviews,
If you are unemployed you have NOTHING to lose, so call them daily, use the sites & the twitter accounts I mentioned.
Ask your friends if they know anyone hiring,go to Job Fairs which Toronto has all the time.
If there are certain companies you want to work for, send them your resume.
Keep calling, if they don’t have a twitter account or FB account & you have a knack for that, explain to the company how you can use this to make their business even more profitable.
I’m not saying this will work for everyone, but I have an employer who pays me a separate salary to a different job in the company, so it does happen, its happened for others too.
Be confident, confidence is King…show the world that you are the most amazing person & that you will be an asset to the company, confidence is sexy & impossible to resist.
I believe that anywhere I work I will be an asset for the team. I am also willing to adapt to become more integral to the team.
I believe that if you sell yourself on the phone and/or in person the job will become yours.
I don’t doubt in my mind being unemployed sucks,I can imagine the emotions, anger,sadness, frustration etc.
However, if you use these sites, use these twitter accounts,talk to companies you want to work for, call them every single day & sell yourself,
I believe you will get the interviews. I believe you will get the job. Don’t forget for every company hiring, they are begging for an applicant to stand out & blow them out of the water.
I know of so many people who get into a routine of ho hum interviews,
I approached every interview as if my life depended on it..
Be assertive,stay focused, Do Not have self doubt, Embrace Your Animal Side - BE CONFIDENT.
I’m just a guy, these things have worked for me.
I believe they will work for you…
What have you got to lose?
BELIEVE IN YOU
The Inter-County Baseball League is a great affordable option for anyone who doesn’t like paying inflated prices that Roger’s loves to charge at the SkyDome.
You can see their website at http://www.burlingtontwins.com/
Saturday the Burlington Twins were having their home opener against the Hamilton Cardinals…
The game was scheduled for 2 pm which as far as I am concerned was a great time.
There was everything in this game, hits including home runs, batters being beaned, extra innings and the home team won in 11 innings - 11-10
This game was A W E S O M E…
World Renowned Recording Artist Michael Burgess sang our National Anthem, still have tears in my eyes over that…
Leafs fans, you know who Michael Burgess is.
Afterwards, I was lucky enough to speak to Mr. Burgess & I was even more blessed to have a photo taken with Mr.Burgess.
The game was mostly a blur to me, because I was having so much fun.
I bought a hat and a t-shirt - it cost me less then what 1 hat would cost at SkyDome.
They have a real nice vibe at Nelson Park - the Home of the Burlington Twins..
Here is a shocking fact…
Burlington Twins have the best hot dogs I’ve ever tasted…
They only cost 3 Bucks, so I had quite a few, haha…
In other words, this was an awesome day,
$7 Bucks for an Adult Ticket, $5 for Student/Seniors & Kids under 12 are free…
How is that not amazing bang for your buck.
The players are accessible, you can sit literally anywhere…
Kids can run bases, they give out prizes & cash…
This is actually something MOST can afford,
Unlike the gouging that most teams in the GTA do to people on a daily basis,
Yeah, I’m hooked and I will be back soon…
Only Question is…
Will You Be There
It’s quite a number – It’s the kind of number that makes most people stop, even for a moment.
Now, I’m going to tell you my story of what 100,000 means to me.
When I moved to Toronto a few years ago, I knew no one. I had a life before Toronto and I kept to that life through Facebook and an invention called a telephone.
I knew what twitter was, just had no interest in it. Well In January 2010, after being in Toronto for about 6 months I jumped into the world of Twitter.
At first I just read hashtags to familiarize myself with twitter. I started following the people who appeared to be interesting. The very first person to follow me on Twitter was the @mapleleafs very fitting if you ask me or those who know me.
Twitter is both a blessing and a curse.
I’ve had the opportunity to do things because of Twitter. For example, a road trip to Ottawa with someone who became a good friend of mine. We called this road trip #PlayoffsOrBust
Trust me rather than tell you all the details, you should watch the vids.
@Pshag I am glad to be your friend. In the time I’ve known you, you’ve always made me want to be the best person I can be.
These vids never fail to make me smile, thanks Brad for doing them.
Check out the links to the trip,
Twitter also is the reason I became friends with @GarrettBauman – we’ve gone to Ottawa a few times to watch the Leafs play the Senoritas and to watch the 2012 NHL All Star Game; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mr-sS_YPmak and we even watched the Leafs at ACC too. He’s also a big Jays fan too, and we’ve seen Blue Jays games too. He’s a great friend, a fantastic hockey writer too. He’s the kind of friend everyone should have. Again; all because of twitter.
On twitter I’ve met people like @cdot_in_tdot & @trishca. These two are two of my closet friends. The fact that they keep me grounded more often than not is a big plus.
Trish works for the Toronto Botannical Gardens and I was able to be there for a special night… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iieHFpA5TFU Trish is also the person who helps me find cool places to blog about on this site http://mymonsterappetite.tumblr.com/
Calvin is also one of the most dedicated, loyal people I’ve ever met. I’m blessed to know him
In the time I’ve been on twitter, I would think most of you know I am a Passionate (Obsessed, fan of the Leafs & Marlies) that led to me becoming friends with Matteo of @wewantacupcom. We did a podcast together for a long time. His friendship is invaluable, I consider him a mentor to me in many ways. I encourage all hockey fans to get to know this guy and his site. www.wewantacup.com His passion for the Leafs almost matches mine J
My obsession with the Leafs and Marlies also has allowed me some special access to the Leafs as I won a few contests on Twitter & I’ve manages to meet pretty much all of both rosters at one point or another.
I’ve done a few Marlies themed Podcasts, but these 2 Marlies events were my favorite, the first was an open practice in Bradford, Ontario http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng3uB0Le2NA
The second was at a game, watching it in a suite. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3J2sO-r1P9U
My love of sports has allowed me to partake of another adventure that I will never forget thanks to a friend of mine. His name is David aka @rocky1951
David knew I was a hockey fan, so he let me have a fan experience; that I think many hockey fans would like, I brought @LeafsFan71 along, cause he’s a real huge OHL fan too. Alan is also one of the classiest people I have ever met in my entire life, everyone loves Alan, he’s a world class guy with a heart the sign of Mount Everest.
That day I got to meet both teams including Greg McKegg & Sondre Olden who I hope will have amazing careers with the Toronto Maple Leafs. I also met Max Domi, sat in his dads’ suite too. I will say, one of the best days ever for me. JLC runs a tight ship & the London Knights are one classy organization. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OgDfQrXEkM Thank you David.
Twitter has also introduced me to people like @alexaohamilton – who just happens to be a fantastic writer – she wrote a great book. Please check out her website. http://alexaopalhamilton.com/
I’ve also met a guy by the name of @ZachBussey – he’s one of the most intelligent people I’ve met, a fantastic blogger too. Check out his site http://zachbussey.com/
Zach was kind enough to do a superbowl contest and well, I won that so I took my pal @GarrettBauman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u34gvdkJHS0 what an amazing game. Got to see jevon Kearse, Bruce Smith & Met the Buffalo Jills.
I also won a contest to go help deliver seasons tickets to loyal TFC fans, let me tell you this was a fun experience, thank you TFC http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv6YU1jliFk
Let me tell you about Dez, if memory serves me right, and I’m old, so forgive me, she was the very first person I met from twitter. The very first tweet up I ever attended was #DezignatedBash - this is where I met people for the first time that I will never forget, Dez and I have a friendship that is not defined by one thing. Her passion, intellect and compassion will always keep my friendship securely with here.
My friendships with people in the world of professional wrestling has allowed me to meet some of the who’s who in the industry, past & present. Beefcake, Nash, Steiner, Mickie James, Robert Roode, James Storm, Jeff Jarrett, XPac, Billy Gunn, Tatanka, The Million Dollar Man & Virgil, Steve Corino, Rhino, Kurt Angle & the IMMORTAL HULK Hogan.
Kurt Angle is a true pro and a classy guy. Hulk Hogan was amazing, I got to talk to him before the show started, he posed for a pic with me, signed my WWF World Title. I will always be a Hulkamaniac. Check out this clip I recorded of the Hulkster http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6Vmon1DxN8 The fans BLEW the roof off the building in Brantford for the Hulkster.
I still think it’s cool that on twitter I’ve been tweeted by Colby Armstrong, Velvet Sky & Gail Kim. However, when Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark directly tweeted to me, and Hulk Hogan tweeted to me a few different occasions, I literally lost my mind. I’m still a kid at heart sometime.
I also met the First Lady of Real Sports, @GailGabrielle – she’s so unbelievably awesome, I think most of you know that already. She was there last year when me and Garrett attempted the Hail Mary. Gail was one of the very first people I ever met off twitter. I admire her. We did that on our Birthday weekends as they are so close together. Last year about 40 or 50 people showed up. It was a great party; indeed.
This year I turned 40 – so @cdot_in_tdot allowed me to host the party at a great restaurant called Shoeless Joe’s (Spadina & Bloor)
It was likely one of the most awesome moments of my life. That day I got tattooed haha, really did.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=797ZaTPQM20 That party brought together many of my friends offline and online. The people that came are all friends, but not all were sports fans. Many new introductions took place that night.
Bamboo Tattoo, by the way is the place where you go when you want a real tattoo http://bambootattoostudio.ca/
I also met the great people of iBroadcastTV – I love these guys, I know they are going to do huge things. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CwJQ2aJdvY
I’ve had thousands of conversations with people about the Jays & the Leafs. It never gets old to me, I love sports.
I even went to a tweetup where I was Certified in CPR, thank you Red Cross. That is a special memory for me. I encourage everyone to give blood, sign an organ donor card and get CPR certified.
@BigBadBruDaddy – I keep waiting for you to get your big break, you are one talented comedian.
@Braziliangddess – Lana is a dear friend of mine and unbelievably intelligent, this lady is one of a kind, there are none like here that I’ve ever met. DO not let her outside appearance fool you, she’s a million in one.
@MegButton is another person who I’ve met because of twitter, on a scale of 1 to 10 for beauty; she’s a 43…way off the scale. People, do not let the blonde bombshell look fool you, she’s one of the smartest people I know. Plus, she’s a Leafs fan, much love to you Meg.
Kym Taal aka @Ktaal – the social media guru of @bpsquareone is also an amazing friend I met through Twitter. We watched the games LIVE at the Memorial Cup last year, I’ve been there to help with Pics & Vids for Customer Appreciation days & BP Idol. She is always able to give me the answers I seek.
All my love to you Kym, I’m blessed by our friendship. I also met her rocking pal Senga, who is a good gal, a leafs fan, unlike her Man (BOOO a Habs fan, lol)
I made some great friends with people like @normanjames @moniz9 & @sariclancy. They may live in London, but their friendship is priceless to me. Norman is the King of the Podcast. Nathan & Sarah are awesome in every way, Leafs & Jays fans too.
Justin Baisden (@The_Jmoney) Dan Levy (@TheDanLevy) Two of the smartest guys I know, wish I got to spend more time with them. Justin & Dan always seem to have their finger on the pulse of today. Much respect to the both of them.
My friend @Merreee1 – proud American, friend & one epic player when it comes to “Words With Friends”
@lemonjellie – cake ninja, photographer, blogger, leafs fan, my friend.
@GabiFortinSmith she’s like a sis to me. Dedicated Leafs fan.
@TsarKasim my friend, a guy with morals and integrity, one hell of a Words With Friend Player – wish I got to hang out more with him.
@KarlyJo19 – this pint sized pal of mine is more mature than most my age. She’s been a good friend to me. Dedicated Leafs fan. Don’t mess with her, or it’s lights out.
Rob aka @Robsarj – a good friend, a talented young manm designed my business cards, also helped me with launch of www.enigmaphotography.ca He has a wealth of knowledge and compassion.
Cammi, aka @Cammipham has the soul of a songbird & the heart of a lion, such a passionate, driven young woman, I’m happy to be in her life, a good friend.
Joe at @BeTheGame – this man resonates passion and compassion for the less fortunate. Interact with him, see what he’s doing to change the world, support his mission.
@Alleycat17 – One of the most passionate, loyal, hardcore Blue Jays fans alive. She’s a great Maritimer with a heart of gold, much love April.
Jon aka @JonSinden – this man does more for MLSE sports than most realize,he’s also someone I call a friend, he’s one guy I’d like to hang out with more often, but he’s uber-busy J
Esther aka @soul_whispers – She has an amazing soul, I don’t use the word amazing often, but she is this and more, she’s in touch with her soul and the global community, she has a level of compassion for others that is unmatched by most. She is someone I think everyone should make an effort to know.
Monica aka @JustMeMonica_ a wonderful young lady, loyal leafer and a talented hard working business owner, glad to be a friend to her.
Please take time to get to know these fine individuals as well, I have and it’s been an enriching experience. People like @VintageLeaf @StephGT87 @Benny_SteelLeaf @icehboy @Tonyhson @MarkUkLeaf @DylanWettlaufer @Kennedy76Ca @sassygirlcanada @lolastar @carolaik @d0nnagabbanna @vintagemuskoka @anitaelizar @TomMannington @AyznGurl @BranLwyd @abtheleaffan @Scotsman7@jongauthier @clickflickca @lushbaby @tracieryan_ @notashopaholic @zgarner2000 @cyf8 @brianhuddle @KF_Kadri43 @LeafFan1920 @TML_Talk @JustMeMonica_ @hockeylife30 @kevinkcodes @doomzto
I Love these people; take the time to get to know them. It’s not just sports we talk about. These are some of the most dynamic people out there, wonderful minds they all possess
Stefan, aka @Shakes1 – this guy does more for OHL Hockey & IBL baseball than anyone I know, talented DJ too, my friend, thanks twitter.
@Shashena my friend with the beautiful soul & matching shoes. I find you inspiring and invaluable. I thank you for the gift of friendship.
The two Steph’s @leafsgirlsteph & @steph_leaflover. These 2 ladies are my friends; they also don’t let me get away with anything. I think at times they are way too tough on me, I suppose that’s cause they care. I am glad that they do. It’s an honor to call them friends.
@DavePoaps & @mads_kassinger – a lovely couple both with hearts the size of this country, I’ve known them both for about 2 years. Two friends who are legit amazing. They enrich my life and those of others who know them.
I’ve spent time with Joe_17 and @Paula_Sullivan – both maritimers, both massive Leafs fans, both my friends… get to know them. Paula you are a wonderful woman, with a heart of gold..stay you…Don’t let your warmth be put out my negative energy.
Jonathan aka @Canadian09 – one of my best pals, a great sports fan and friend, one hard working guy.
My friend, @LilSunshineXO – not enough words to describe this princess. But Sunshine is a friend worth having. She’s eclectic and audacious and she has my respect.
@MoniqueBoblin this lady has been here for me on more than one occasion, I trust her implicitly, she’s got the soul of an angel, I love her honesty and passion. My friend, I admire you.
@Fragileheart – Oh sweet Reggy, you are one of a kind. A complex young woman who reeks of awesomeness
My friend Mislav aka @Xterratu – one of the sharpest minds i know, big leafs fan and an unbelievably talented writer, Europe’s gain is North America’s loss.
@PhotoJunkie – Rannie you exude class, I’m also a fan of your work. I think you are a talented photographer.
Ryan,aka RyanSH13 I always wished I had a brother, if I ever did – he’s be you…I trust you implicitly, I’m proud to call you a friend. The best thing about the prairies my friend is you.
Raymond aka the @Funky Barrister a man with morals, conviction and passion, and even though I know he’s a Habs fan, he’s still worthy of my respect. Class personified.
M…. aka @LaBellaVita320 – you read my food blogs, we share many interests and philosophies, I am thrilled to call you my friend. I know you are always looking out for me. Friends like you are priceless, and will always be treasure. Plus you love Nutella & Titanic = Perfect, Ti Amo Bella Principessa.
It would be nice if everything on twitter was always happy go lucky, however, that’s not realistic.
I can honestly say that 90% of the people I’ve ever tweeted I respect and admire. I’m aware there is a group of people who don’t like me. The funny thing is the people who don’t like me have NEVER met me offline.
All that matters to me is that my friends know my heart & they stand by me. I do the same in return.
I may not have mentioned every single person who follows me, but do not discount that, you are part of my journey to 100,000 tweets, therefore, you are important to me.
Never judge a book by its cover. DO that and you really miss out on special. Remember, LOVE is LOUDER.
The journey to 100,000 Tweets is something I never thought would happen. I’ll be honest; I thank each and every single person who has ever tweeted to me.
Even if you came with love or hate, Know this…your tweet meant something to me, good and bad.
I have enjoyed this journey to 100,000 Tweets. it really has been an adventure. The experiences & friendships formed are something I do not take lightly. I had an open mind when I joined Twitter. I think this is a HUGE reason why I’ve had a lot of happiness and positive things come out of it.
I say this with all the sincerity I have. Thank you all of you for being with me on this journey, regardless if you have followed me a day, a week, a month a year or whatever. You are important to me. I don’t just follow anyone.
If I make it to 250,000 Tweets, I am sure I will have more to say…
Twitter clearly has the power to change the world if people work together, NOT work against one another.
It’s made my life a lot more rich and worth living from the friendships and experiences I’ve had through these 100,000 Tweet.
In the meantime, be good to one another, be good to yourself,
Be the change you wish to be in this world, do that my friends and we’ll make history…
I’ll leave you with these words, spoken by a man with great passion…
Love is better than anger,
Hope is better than fear,
Optimism is better than Despair,
So let us be loving, hopeful, optimistic
And we’ll change the world
This blog I worked on throughout the week, it’s my heart, mind & soul in this blog…
I hope those who read it enjoyed it. This is the real Oaks talking, no glitz, no glamour, just an honest blog to reflect how I feel…
Consider this, the Oaks unplugged,
I read this on TSN…
Just wanted it to be NEVER FORGOTTEN…
WASHINGTON - Canada’s Sheldon Kennedy stepped into the American spotlight on Tuesday, the one-time victim of a sexual predator making a Capitol Hill appearance to urge U.S. lawmakers to “empower” anyone who suspects children are being sexually abused.
Under the glare of television cameras and the din of snapping shutters, the former NHL player matter-of-factly told of the ordeal he suffered at the hands of a once-trusted hockey coach. His testimony came as America grapples with the Penn State college football scandal.
“In my case, my abuser was International Hockey Man of the Year,” Kennedy told the U.S. Senate subcommittee on children and families, whose members include Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota.
“In Canada, that gave him almost God-like status. Sound familiar? The kids — and often their parents too — looked up to him as a hero. This was someone who could make their dreams come true and he used that trust to hurt them.”
Pedophiles count on the fact that most people have trouble believing trusted adults in their fields — coaches, teachers, priests — would ever abuse children, Kennedy said.
“Senators, you need to give all adults working with youth and all parents the tools to recognize and respond to abuse when it first arises,” said Kennedy, who stunned Canada in 1997 when he stepped forward to accuse Graham James, his former junior hockey coach, of sexually abusing him for years.
“Empower the bystanders and you’ll be taking an important first step in breaking the silence on child abuse.”
Authorities in Pennsylvania, indeed, have accused several high-ranking officials at Penn State of knowing young boys were being abused by Jerry Sandusky, an assistant coach on the college’s celebrated football team, yet failed to notify the authorities.
Tuesday’s hearing was held the same day that Sandusky appeared in a Pennsylvania courtroom and waived a preliminary hearing. He’s facing 52 charges involving the sexual abuse of 10 boys between 1994 and 2009.
The chairwoman of the subcommittee, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, told the Senate hearing about so-called double victims. Those children first suffered the abuse, then that abuse was overlooked, ignored or covered up, said Mikulski, once a social worker in Baltimore.
The Maryland Democrat said such coverups were a particular problem with institutions that were deemed beyond reproach or “too big to fail.”
“We want to break that code of silence,” she said. “No institution should ever be too big to report, or too famous to report. And no adult should ever feel they are protected because of the brand they represent.”
Kennedy said those close to abuse situations often have an inkling — or in the case of Penn State, an outright awareness, according to authorities — that something untoward is going on.
“In every case of child abuse — certainly in my own — there are people who had a ‘gut feeling’ that something was wrong but didn’t do anything about it,” he said.
“Their attitude was: ‘I don’t want to get involved,’ ‘it’s not my problem,’ ‘he couldn’t possibly be doing that’ or ‘the authorities will take care of it.’ And that’s what pedophiles and predators are counting on. They are counting on the public’s ignorance or — worse yet — their indifference.”
The Penn State scandal ultimately resulted in the firing of Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno. Penn State president Graham Spanier also lost his job, and two other college officials have been charged with perjury and failing to report the assaults, some of which took place on campus.
For Canadians — and Kennedy in particular — the scandal is sickly familiar.
Kennedy, 42, has said he didn’t tell his teammates about the abuse for fear they’d believe he was gay. He didn’t tell his mother because he was afraid she’d pull him from Canada’s revered junior team.
It’s not just victims who are afraid to come forward, he added. It can also be adults close to the situation who suspect something isn’t right.
“These issues carry fear,” he told the hearing.
“So if we can eliminate that fear and give people confidence to act on their gut feelings, you’re going to get a lot more of these parents and these coaches and these leaders and these teachers reporting and listening to our kids.”
James was convicted of some 350 sexual abuse charges and served 3 1/2 years in prison. He was quietly pardoned in 2007 — something that touched off a national firestorm when it was revealed to The Canadian Press by Greg Gilhooly, another alleged James victim.
Last week, James pleaded guilty to fresh allegations of sexual assault from two more of his former players, one of whom was NHL star Theo Fleury. Charges related to Gilhooly’s allegations were stayed.
The political and legislative fallout of the James pardon continues to this day, resulting in much closer scrutiny of all applicants and stringent new rules that prohibit record suspensions for certain types of convicts, including sex offences against minors.
Tuesday’s hearing was aimed at examining America’s child abuse laws.
In particular, the subcommittee says it wants to review the adequacy of current federal and state reporting requirements, in addition to proposals aimed at both preventing abuse and intervening when abuse is suspected.