A pic is worth a thousand texts

I don’t use my phone a lot when it comes to taking pictures, other than for business. I take before-and-after shots of repairs, snap a key tag so I can get the info off it later, etc. But once in a while I see something I want to remember, or send to someone, etc. I’ve not had my current phone for very long, but scrolling through the few pics on it I thought the following would be fun to share.


First of all, I stumbled upon this beauty in a Saint John parking lot. earlier this summer. I’ve seen a lot of old cars, but none like this one. The spare tire wrap with “Ford Motor Company” on it and the “trunk space” especially caught my eye.


It happened again. That chocolate bunny took my real tooth, then this replacement one just came loose and fell out. I was eating a garlic finger and realized something else was in my mouth. I took it out and my first thought was, Holy cow! Someone’s fake tooth got into my garlic finger!


I wasn’t planning on sharing work stuff, but I loved the dramatic change in this one. So… here you go.



This was either intended to be sent to my brother for the Leafs or to my sister for the Diet Coke. Either way, it didn’t get sent. But I think I was having a nice Saturday matinee at home. Might have been Jackie Brown (1997). Very good movie.



Joy and I like to go to McDonald’s for a coffee and play Yahtzee. This was a roll I got and I had to send it to my sisters. You see, when we were kids our mom and her sisters decided to teach us Contract Rummy. They did their best to explain the object and rules of the game, but we didn’t understand. Then they uttered the fateful “Let’s just play a few rounds. You’ll catch on.” If anyone is teaching you a game, I’m sure you know by now not to believe that crock! At the end of those rounds one of my aunts would look at the hand I had and say, “Oh my goodness, you could’ve gone out Troy!! LOOK AT THIS! I wish I had this hand!” Deuces were wild, so this would be followed by showing the other sisters my hand and saying, “Look at the twos! Look at the TWOOOOOOOOOS!” Hence, the pic was taken.

For those of you who might not know her, this is Twila. The meanest cat—and maybe oldest—in Sussex and surrounding areas. But she loves snuggling with me, and if no one else is in the house, she lets me put her up on my chest and snuggle like that. And when I saw her  self-snuggling one lazy weekend, I just had to capture it.


Lukey took this pic for me. It’s been another great summer of NWE wrestling in good ol’ Miramichi. Would you believe my daughters have no interest in going to this?? Well, they’re missing out on Precious Preston getting his butt whooped by El Fuego Dragon, so, their loss.




I love this picture. Each “mouth mask” is perfect for each of my nieces. And it almost looks like my brother has his own mouth mask: a big blonde beard.




Congratulations The Next Karate Kid. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Hilary Swank as Julie Pierce in The Next Karate Kid.

Best Actor: I choose Arnold Schwarzenegger because his performance as Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin was so over the top it deserves the nod.

Best Quote: “If I go any faster this thing will turn into a flying Cuisinart and we’ll all be diced into oblivion!” — Michael Caine as Hoagie in Jaws: the Revenge.

I really thought Jaws: the Revenge would be our movie of the week seeing as it is far worse than the other two. Still, all three are pretty awful, and the votes likely had more to do with which one would be most bearable to watch. I mean, who wants J:TR to be the movie of the week?? I was looking at the plot outline of The Next Karate Kid on Wikipedia and my favourite part was this: “When Julie survives almost being hit by a car by jumping into a tiger position…”

Pick your movie of the week: Bad Sequels (Sept 1-7/19)

This past week I heard that there will be new sequels coming soon to theaters including ones for 101 Dalmations, Maleficent, Kingsmen, and The Matrix. It’s always hard to tell whether it will be another stinker like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull or a home run like Mad Max: Fury Road. Time will tell, but until then, let’s pick a king of smelly sequels. The following are not only all terrible, but like Crystal Skull, they are all also fourth installment movies. Which one do you believe receives the vote for worst sequel? (NOTE: As always, you don’t need to have seen them. Choose yours any way you like.)

Jaws: The Revenge (1987)

The Next Karate Kid (1994)

Batman & Robin (1997)

They Call Him Bruce: What You Didn’t Know About the Kung Fu Master

Bruce Lee is regarded as the greatest martial artist of the 20th century. Most of us remember him for either his movies, his role as Kato in the Green Hornet TV show, his “waaaaaaaa” expressions, or all of the above. Sadly, most of us remember him as a legend who died far too young at the age of 33 from a brain edema.

But did you know…

  • He was born the year of the dragon (1940) and at the dragon hour (6:00-8:00 AM).
  • He was not only a great martial artist, but also an accomplished dancer. He was literally a champion at doing the cha cha. When he left Korea for Seattle, WA, he had only $100 in his pocket. On the ship crossing the Pacific he taught first class passengers the cha cha to earn extra money.
  • He was trained by Ip Man (aka Yip Man)…perhaps you’ve seen the movie(s) about him.
  • He trained Kareem Abdul-Jabar.
  • He spoke 3 languages: Cantonese, English, and Japanese.
  • Lee would do a little trick to showcase his speed. He would get a volunteer to hold a coin in his/her hand, then instruct them to close their hand. Before they could close their hand over the coin he could snatch it, and could even replace it with a different coin.
  • He and Chuck Norris trained together and would swap ideas and techniques. Some have claimed he trained Norris, but they never had that relationship.
  • The people of Bosnia have a special appreciation for him. They have suffered many years from war and violent religious splits, and in 2004 they erected a Bruce Lee statue as a tribute to his ability to successfully bridge of culture gaps in the world. It stands in between two regions that had fought for years prior.
  • As a teenager he was a gang leader. Their name was “The Tigers of Junction Street.”
  • He once made a kick so fast that editors of the film had to slow it down because it would otherwise look like they had sped it up.
  • He never weighed more than 160 lbs.
  • Jackie Chan was also in Enter the Dragon (1973), and during filming was accidentally struck by nun chucks by Lee. This remains one of the most painful injuries he faced in his entire career.
  • He was a huge soap opera fan. Apparently he was pretty dedicated to watching General Hospital and would be upset for days if he missed an episode.
  • He developed his own martial art, which was simply a more practical and flexible approach to Kung Fu as well as any other martial arts. He called it “Jeet Kune Do,” meaning “Way of the Intercepting Fist.”
  • Once news got out that he had invented this new martial art, Lee was challenged to fight a former Karate champion as a way to prove his claims. He not only accepted but stated that he would beat his opponent in one minute. And he did it, in 58 seconds.

Congratulations Enter the Dragon. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Michelle Yeoh as Yu Shu Lien in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

Best Actor: Jackie Chan as Quan Minh in The Foreigner.

Best Quote:No growth without assistance. No action without reaction. No desire without restraint. Now give yourself up and find yourself again.” — Yun-Fat Chow as Li Mu Bai in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

And a very happy birthday to my brother James. I won’t be improper and spill the beans on his age, but I will say that he’s older than half of Queen Elizabeth’s age. Talk about a milestone!

Queen Elizabeth II, that is.

Pick your movie of the week: Hong Kong (Aug 25-31/19)

Though I’m concerned for the safety of the people of Hong Kong, I am overjoyed to see them standing up for themselves and their freedom against one of the biggest world powers. My heart is with them and I thought it would be good to focus on them this week. There are three Hong Kong stars that would be considered most famous from that region, or at least from the perspective of the west. Bruce Lee was actually born in California, but his parents were from Hong Kong and raised him there. Which star and his movie would you choose to represent HK and be our movie of the week?

Enter the Dragon (1973, Bruce Lee)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  (2000, Yun-Fat Chow aka Chow Yun Fat)

The Foreigner  (2017, Jackie Chan)

She’s Such a Character

Meryl Streep is SO good as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada (2006). I always enjoy a character performance, the kind that is instantly unforgettable. I’ve already made a list of my favourite movie characters on this blog, but the following are my top 20 favourite female movie characters of all time:

  1. Holly Golightly [Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Audrey Hepburn]
  2. Mystique [X-Men series, (2000-2019), Rebecca Romijn and Jennifer Lawrence]
  3. Ava [Ex Machina (2015), Alicia Vikander]
  4. Tonya Harding [I, Tonya (2017), Margot Robbie]
  5. Maria [The Sound of Music (1965), Julie Andrews]
  6. Clarice Starling [The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Jody Foster]
  7. Jenny [Forrest Gump (1994), Robin Wright]
  8. Marge Gunderson [Fargo (1996) Frances McDormand]
  9. Scout [To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Mary Badham]
  10. Domino [Deadpool 2 (2018), Zazie Beetz]
  11. Latika [Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Freida Pinto, Rubina Ali, Tanvi Ganesh Lonkar]
  12. Miss Piggy [Muppet movies (1979-2014), Frank Oz, Eric Jacobson]
  13. Adrian [Rocky (1976), Talia Shire]
  14. Sarah Connor [Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1992), Linda Hamilton]
  15. Hermione Granger [Harry Potter series (2001-2011), Emma Watson]
  16. Ellen Ripley [Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Sigourney Weaver]
  17. Regina George [Mean Girls (2004), Rachel McAdams]
  18. Rey [Star Wars series (2015-2019), Daisy Ridley]
  19. Princess Leia [Star Wars series (1977-2019), Carrie Fisher]
  20. Imperator Furiosa [Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Charlize Theron]

Honourable Mentions:

  • Olive Hoover [Little Miss Sunshine (2006), Abigail Breslin]
  • EVE [WALL-E (2008), Elissa Knight]
  • Jill McBain [Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), Claudia Cardinale]
  • Dorothy Boyd [Jerry Maguire (1996), Renée Zellweger]
  • Mia Wallace [Pulp Fiction (1994), Uma Thurman]
  • Sister Conceptión [Nacho Libre (2006), Ana de la Reguera]
  • Fiona Brewer [About A Boy (2002), Toni Collette]

Congratulations The Devil Wears Prada. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Both Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep deserve this for their roles as Fantine (Les Misérables) and Miranda Priestly (The Devil Wears Prada) respectively.

Best Actor: Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables.

Best Quote:Excuse me, can we adjust the attitude? Don’t make me feed you to one of the models.” — Stanley Tucci as Nigel in The Devil Wears Prada.

And here are my top 15 female characters of television:

  1. Eleven (Stranger Things)
  2. Stephanie (Newhart)
  3. Chrissy Snow (Three’s Company)
  4. Phoebe Buffay (Friends)
  5. Florence (The Jeffersons)
  6. Roseanne Rosannadana (SNL)
  7. Lady Violet Crawley (Downton Abbey)
  8. Miss Piggy (The Muppet Show)
  9. Jamie Somers (The Bionic Woman)
  10. Hotlips Hoolihan (M*A*S*H)
  11. Just about any Carol Burnett character (The Carol Burnett Show)
  12. Alexis Rose (Schitt’s Creek)
  13. Dorothy, Rose, Blanche (Golden Girls)
  14. Edith Bunker (All in the Family)
  15. Sophia (Golden Girls)

Honourable Mentions:

  • Lucy and Sally (Charlie Brown specials)
  • Arya Stark (Game of Thrones)
  • Elaine Benes (Seinfeld)
  • Moira (Schitt’s Creek)
  • Lisa Simpson (The Simpsons)
  • Marion Cunningham (Happy Days)
  • Daisy Duke (Dukes of Hazzard)
  • Wonder Woman (Wonder Woman, 1975)
  • Blair (The Facts of Life)
  • Laura Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie) 

Pick your movie of the week: Anne Hathaway! (Aug 18-24/19)

She is one of those actresses who just stormed onto the scene. She starred in a TV show, then -BOOM- she’s the main character in her first movie, The Princess Diaries. Pretty impressive. I loved her as Selina aka Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, but I think these are probably her best performances. Which one do you like best?

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Love & Other Drugs (2010)

Les Misérables (2012)

Losing My Hat

My wife and eldest child both made purchases this week that were pretty epic. First, my daughter had saved up and bought for herself a car. A yellow 2000 VW Beetle that she has lovingly named “Yellow Submarine.” Her mother and I drove with her for a few hours to pick it up and it was a pretty great experience. An elderly couple sold her the car that they’d had since 2005 and impressively kept in very good shape. They were a sweet pair that seemed to love their car. They loved Leah, too. But I figured that would happen.

My wife’s purchase was a set of books at the local ReStore. What made them special was that they were readers she and I both had in elementary school. On our way to pick up Yellow Submarine I was leafing through the I had in grade 2: Seven is Magic. It was nostalgic, of course, to see the familiar pictures and stories, but one caught my attention that I didn’t remember. “Mr.  Harvey’s Hat” is about a man who had gotten a new hat and lost it almost as fast as he’d gotten it. He seemed to love the hat but then went for a walk in some heavy wind and off it blew.  He yelled “Stop!” continually as he chased it down the street, but it kept going far away from him. The story follows the hat’s journey until it lands in a farm where a crow finds it. The bird places it on a scarecrow’s head so that he’ll be able to tell which “man” is the farmer and which is the scarecrow.

Spoiler alert! I know none of you are eagerly awaiting to read this story yourself, but I want to be fair. I’m about to give away the ending. Me so sorry…

So in the end we see Mr. Harvey going on a Sunday drive with his wife. They drive by the farm and Mrs. Harvey points out that the scarecrow’s hat looks just like his new one. The farmer looks up and is gobsmacked. “How could my new hat get out here?” he asks aloud. And then, without waiting for an answer, he smiles and says, “That is not my hat at all. Let’s keep going. It’s a good day for a ride in the country.”

It’s always fun for me to find a children’s story that allows the children to think on their own. The writer didn’t say why the farmer smiled nor why he made his decision. Some of the best books and movies leave the story open-ended like this. My take on the story? Mr. Harvey knew it was his. He saw that the hat had found a new home and loved that he’d had such a serendipitous experience in seeing it again. Now it was for someone else to enjoy, even if it was a scarecrow. Or a crow. He was happy with the ending and thought he’d leave it that way.

And that’s how I feel with my kids right now. We are not empty nesters, but we’re getting close. I don’t want to lose my children, and when they leave I may even run down the street yelling “Stop!” But I don’t own them. Someday I will see them living somewhere else making other people feel special just like they did for me. And I’ll be able to walk away with pride and happiness. I may even go for a ride in the country at that point.

Congratulations Toy Story 3 (another story about letting go). This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi.

Best Actor: Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (as well as Jedi).

Best Quote: KEN: “Love your leg warmers.” BARBIE: “Nice ascot.”

Just wanted to also add that I’m so proud of the people of Russia and Hong Kong fighting for their rights, freedoms, and justice as we speak. My heart is with them.