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My mother, her brother and sister grew up with Stan Rohatinski in her life from a very early age. Stan and Mary were living next door to my grandparents at CFB Trenton and, as often happens, the two families sort of blended into one. When my grandfather would be away, Stan and Mary were always there helping take care of the kids. Stan’s kids talk about my grandfather in the same way.
Edmonton was their home, but they moved to Abbotsford which is where Stan ultimately retired from the Air Force. Mom and I always made it out there to visit when she was here. They moved to Kelowna last year, and we got news in the middle of March that Stan wasn’t well. He was moved to palliative and passed away at the age of 90 on March 17th.
Ninety years is a pretty good run, Stan, and you had an impact on a lot of lives. Rest in peace.
On March 17, 2015, Mr. Stanley Rohatinski of Kelowna, BC passed away at the age of 90 years.
Stanley is survived by his loving wife, Mary and his family. Divine Liturgy Thursday, March 26 at 10:00 a.m. at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church, Star- Peno, AB. Basilian Fathers officiating with interment in Church Cemetery.
From that sand swept crashed star destroyer to those words uttered by Han Solo, this is just so good. This is going to be a good Christmas.
I buy a lot of Patagonia gear and I take a bit of flack for it. The stuff’s not cheap,and the Patagucci moniker stings a bit.
The thing is the stuff is well made, and the company stands behind the product. I had a cycling jacket that I wore for at least 15 years and when the fabric started to delaminate I bundled it up into a tiny box and mailed it back, expecting…nothing, maybe? I figured it was worth a shot at the lifetime warranty.
Sure enough, three weeks later a new jacket showed up. No cost.
So I buy a lot of Patagonia products, because Patagonia products really are products for life and the company doesn’t just talk its values it stands behind its values. That’s important.
This is, to be quite frank, better than anything George Lucas has put out in the last 20 years.
The Globe & Mail’s home page has been overrun with advertising from Via Rail lately. Two people have been on trial for a plan to bomb a Via Rail train. When those two meet, the only word that comes to mind is Oops.
Everybody loves Courtney Barnett right now, praising her deadpan lyrics and straightforward style. I’m not so sure but I do know one thing: Depreston is the most hipster song I’ve ever heard. From the theme of how depressing it is to live in the suburbs to the 23 dollars a week saved on latte’s, I think we’ve hit some kind of peak here.
I heard this on a drive down to Seattle for the first time as I was pulling into town. Maybe she’ll grow on me.
I met Rocco a few years ago in Hamilton briefly, and he’s been a frequent accompaniment to Daniel Lanois shows. Congregate closed the most recent show and it was stunning.
Beautiful video that shows a watchmaker disassembling a Rolex Submariner. Beautiful, and it takes me back to the days of my misspent youth in the back of a jewelry store in Trenton, Ontario owned by Jack Hadley. Jack used to do watch repair, a skill that’s rapidly disappearing in a world where fewer people wear watches and most of those are cheap and disposable.
Television without Tina Fey is just almost not worth watching.
Prince’s Purple Rain celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. That means I was 13 when the album and film was released, and holy cow do I remember that year: dearly beloved, Prince was everywhere. It was an electric thing this album called Purple Rain but I”m here to tell you there’s something else—the movie.
Purple Rain is probably the worst movie with the greatest soundtrack you’ll ever hear.
I haven’t written much about the Jian Ghomeshi situation that’s been unfolding at the CBC. To some extent, that’s because I didn’t have much to add. No sooner had the story begun to spin in Jian’s favour with his now infamous (and removed) Facebook post than it quickly turned and pretty much every social media network’s Canadian contingent was overwhelmed with stories about Jian.
This had a somewhat in direct effect on me: I had run a hulkghomeshi twitter account for a while before it got both boring and time consuming. When Jian’s Facebook post went up I reactivated it with a few posts that were arguably funny but as it became clear that the situation was anything but funny I shut it down for good after tweeting out some rape crisis links. (That account sort of peaked for me with my imaginary live tweeting of the Scotiabank Nuit Blanche was sitting in the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver at the time. It was kind of genius.)
The Jian Ghomeshi story was on my mind a couple of days ago: December 6, 2014 was the 25th anniversary of the dath of 14 young and female engineering students at L’Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal. I was in school that day in Toronto—my last year of high school—and it was horrifying. It felt like it was happening just down the road. We knew what was happening to some extent: radio was a critical medium, tuned in on Walkmen. It was horrifying.
It’s not hard to draw a direct line from Jian Ghomeshi to the shootings. Both involve men who seemed to feel that they were entitled to women; that women weren’t the same as men in the workplace; that women were somehow meant to serve their needs, and not be equal. The specifics of the manifestation of that attitude may be different, the intent was not.
I work in tech, and it’s not an industry that’s known for welcoming women into the workplace. Google is fairly dominated by men, as is Microsoft. Those 14 women at L’Ecole Polytechnique were engineering students and they were entering a male dominated industry. It’s sad that 25 years later, not much has changed.
I think I’m respectful towards the women I work with—my last two employers have been women, and I’ve quite liked working for both of them on most levels. The Jian situation did make me realize that I’m not perfect though: jokes get told and comments are made, and I’m not immune from making them. More commonly I become a passive participant in the jokes that others make. That’s something that I need to stop, and I’m going to try even harder than I have in the past. Even jokes and comments that seem harmless have a sort of undertone that perpetuates the history of sexism in the workplace—I’m tempted to call my participation unwitting, but that wouldn’t be accurate.
Jian Ghomeshi created a workplace and a culture for himself that allowed him to, at the very least, exploit women. Whether some of his activity was consensual (The Guardian printed a particularly interesting article) it seems clear at this point that not all of it was. Jian Ghomeshi took advantage of women because he could.
Twenty-five years ago fourteen women died because they were pursuing an education, and because they were women. There was no other reason—there was no logic. The man who did this to them made that clear. It’s sad that twenty-five years later not that much has changed.
For my small part, I’m going to do everything I can to make sure the same thing isn’t happening in another twenty-five years. Here’s hoping.
A while ago, someone I follow on twitter sent a message with the hashtag #vancuber and the hastag has been gaining traction quickly. There’s been quite a bit of fuss about Uber in the city lately, and even more in the press. When I asked the person in what way Uber was different than a taxi I got the same reply I more or less always do…basically “I don’t know.”
So why does everybody want this so badly?
The death of Robin Williams has drawn a lot of attention to the topic of depression, again. The video above was posted by Spencer Tweedy to twitter and it’s worth watching—even if it doesn’t star a major Hollywood star. Millions of people live with depression in their lives: this tells one man’s story.
I was never really a Beatles fan in the way that many people are. My aunt and uncle were—they had a complete collection of the albums on 8-track to play in their Plymouth Duster—and that may have led to some overexposure. Who knows.
I do remember one of the first records I found and played on the portable record player I kept in my bedroom being my mother’s copy of Meet the Beatles and it was in Grade Five when I bought a copy of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band for myself. Holy cow, that record was a revelation. I may not have been a fan but I sure liked what I’d heard there.
Watching and hearing George Martin talk about the creation of that album’s unique and distinctive closing track A Day in the Life reminds me of talking to other restless musical collaborators I’ve known. The creative process is a group effort and that music does not, as Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno explain, simply burst forth fully formed.
I’ve actually had A Day in the Life on repeat quite a bit this week, though I’m not sure why. It’s the kind of song that gets into your head and stays there for a while. It’s a rich sonic trip from the acoustic beginning through that disjointed middle part to that glorious orchestral conclusion.
Songs like this don’t come every day, and it’s a reminder of the level of creative genius that resided in that foursome—along with their producer.
My uncle Gerry died a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday—August 16th, 2014—would have been his 67th birthday. Gerry was one of those really solid, great guys that you were lucky to have in your life. Even tempered and quick to smile his quiet laugh was an undercurrent to every conversation he ever had.
Gerry became a golfer later in life, but his first love was always baseball. When we were kids he had seasons tickets to the Jays and it was alway a treat to go to a game with him. My brother and I would usually go together—one of us would sit with Gerry, the other one with someone else (often my Grandfather) and we’d switch seats partway through the game. Gerry was a catcher as a kid, and he never lost the love for that game that runs through our family. On the wall in his house he had a map with a a ticket for a game from every single major league stadium in North America. He managed to get to them all, and the last time I saw him he talked about having to redo that adventure now that new teams and stadiums are in the league.
He loved music, that guy. His taste centered on Willie Nelson and what would now be considered classic country and western. The last time I saw him was about a year ago when I was in Hamilton for the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic. I had been lucky enough to attend a dinner the night before with the Harvest Picnic crowd including Emmylou Harris and Daniel Lanois. It was a pretty special night for me—my birthday, actually—and Gerry and I got together before I headed to the show the next day. He was proud of me that day: he always enjoyed the success I’ve had in the music industry, and our tastes sort of converged in later years. He gave me a short message for Emmylou and I passed it along later that day in the backstage area. It was, no doubt, one of thousands of such messages she’s received in her lifetime and quickly forgotten but I’m glad I got to pass it along anyway. I wish Gerry could have been there.
I never went to a show with him, and that’s a chance that’s slipped into the impossible now. I’m lucky though, and have some very good and talented friends and a couple of weeks ago Reid Jamieson was playing a show just down the road from where I live. Reid’s got a beautiful voice, a gift for songwriting and taste in music that overlaps with Gerry’s quite a bit. I chatted with him briefly before the show and asked him if he could play some Elvis for me—Gerry loved Elvis, and it wasn’t lost on him that his birthday was the anniversary of Elvis’ death as well. Reid got up on stage and played a beautiful set of music and just before launching into the Elvis tune he was planning on playing looked out into the audience, pointed and said “This one’s for your uncle.”
And so it was. I sat there on the shore of the pacific ocean where I live sipping a beer and crying behind my sunglasses, while Reid sang. It meant a lot, and Gerry would have loved it. I only wish he could have been there with me.
So long Gerry. Your friends and family miss you. Don’t worry though: I’ll keep playing records for you, and if I ever get the chance again I’ll make sure to tell Emmylou you said goodbye.
IBM does a pretty fantastic job of pushing information loaded email messages out. They’ve moved some communications to Twitter as a primary distribution channel, but email remains better for much of the stuff they do and they still do it well.
The most recent note I got from them made me chuckle though, especially after I verified what I suspected was the case: them email’s legal disclaimer was almost as long at the email content itself.
I’d find it funny, if it weren’t entirely unsurprising.