Proudly Canadian?

Having been educated in Canada, we learned proper Canadian spelling (years ago!) but were influenced by an onslaught of American writing since. We teeter on the precipice between the Motherland and Big Brother. Our spellcheck program may be loyal to one country and Grammarly to another. (What do those squiggly red lines under some words…

An Unexpected Cheque in the Mail

Although I’ve been writing and publishing—both literary and visual work—for over 25 years, I only heard about the Access Copyright recently. It’s a Canadian government licensing body (established 1988) that collects fees from organizations for their right to copy protected work; it distributes money annually to affiliates. I got busy collecting the data (e.g., photocopies…

Calgary Flood

Hard to believe I live in a “semi-arid” region. Possibly the worst flood in Calgary’s history resulted from a combination of factors. Apparently, the ground in the mountains had not yet fully thawed; spring runoff was still ocurring. Then, we were pelted with rain non-stop for two days. The results were devastating to the downtown…

Getting Ripped Off

If you travel, you should be prepared to be robbed. No matter what precautions you take—the criminals have strong incentive, are smarter than you, and they’re looking for you. You’re on holidays, your defenses are low; they’re poor, savvy, make a career out of trickery and/or violence and they’re good at it. The first time…

Rats

We don’t have rats in Alberta. Over 50 years ago the provincial government waged war at the border to keep out rats scurrying from the east of Canada where they disembarked European ships after WWII. I saw my first rat en vivo surveying the trash banquet one night on Av. Corrientes in Buenos Aires. It…

Travel Advisory

When you mention that you’re travelling to South America you get looks of concern for your safety. Banditos, guerrillas and drug lords will no doubt have their eyes on you. La policia will stop you at blockades and threaten you for cash. You will be expected to bribe your way out of every confrontation. Keep…