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Videotron Internet service knocked out on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Was yours?
NEIGHBOURLY NEWS for January 16, 2013

Remembering Neil Armstrong - Astronaut and frist person on the moon

Holiday Greetings (2011) from me to you
Remembering Rasputin's
Motorists Caught Using Cellphone
Email -vs- E-mail! Which is it? (and website -vs- web site)
Cairine Wilson - Canada's first female senator lived in Rockland
The Moscow airport bombing - bringing it home

Hats off to tradition
City of Clarence-Rockland deserves better than gutter press

Dullard drivers irritate
Sunday family mass - Short Service, Short Sermon!
SOLO mobile actually works for me
My very first column is still up on the Internet!

Please Note:
I stopped writing in the Vision Newspaper in November 2008, due to their current policy of not carrying non-employee material... money seems to be the bottom line. That happens when a newspaper is run by business people and not journalists. I wrote over 150 "Canaan Conenxion" columns, and over 50 "Standing Pat" columns and people still comment on my columns from time to time. Nice of you to remembr.

I hope to offer some of the same information from time to time through this Web page and I will occasionally write other notes in this blog, make comments on certain stories, and of course offer the odd editorial.

In the meantime if you have any story ideas you can e-mail them to me at: or leave your own comments on our Message Centre. Thanks for your patience and support. - Patrick Meikle, Editor.

Videotron clients:
Was your Internet knocked out on Wednesday, April 23, 2014?

(Wednesday, April 23, 2014) People logging on to the
Canaan Connexion on Wednesday were wondering why Tuesday's news was still showing?

The reason? Our Internet connection to our server, hosting our website, was mysteriously unavailable. It seems that there was a blockage down the I-Net highway. Technicl support was able to trace our signal which would reach a circuitous route to Chicago, and then it was lost!

It seems that anyone using Videotron was knocked out.

We have a unique Internet service. We use Videotron cable because of our location (off the Canaan Road), and it was the first and only high-speed available when we needed it years ago.

Our first Internet service provider (ISP) was
Storm and because of the excellent and reliable service, we have stuck with them since they started almost 20 years ago.

So as we mentioned, our service is unique. Storm is our host, but everything we send to them, must go through Videotron first.

As has happened in the past, when service is down, we have to check with both companies... Videotron and Storm. Both said that there was no problem showing at their end, with our Internet connection.

What was perplexing was the fact that our browser (we use Firefox) was able to bring in almost everything we logged on to, except for anything related to the Canaan Connexion. So we could not open any of our Canaan web pages, let alone update our website.

We finally found a Storm technician who was willing to take the time to help. It was he who advised that the network path that Videotron was using, was somehow blocked.

After spending almost two hours on the phone trying to resolve the problem with Storm's technical support, we had to give up as we had to keep an evening appointment. Meanwhile the problem was left in Storm's capable hands.

While we were away, they called and left a message...

Just as the service had mysterioulsy disappeared, sometime in the mid-evening, service was restored, but it was too late to make any changes until Thursday.

So here we are, still trying to recover some lost files.
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NEIGHBOURLY NEWS for January 16, 2013
Garbage and Recycle, Vision Newspaper, Mail Boxes, Dogs:

(We have written this up for residents living off of Canaan Road, but much of the information will apply across our City of Clarence-Rockland.)
Please try to abide by the three-bag-rule... if you recycle you will have less refuse.
(One guy in Blue Jay often cheats. He will take his extra garbage bags and put them at the end of a driveway, where the people are away, or if it is an empty house.) Also a good idea to put your garbage (bags) into closed containers. Every week up to ten homes in our area are hit with crows attacking the bags and pulling out nasty bits!
Folks, please recycle! A lot of our neighbours are not recycling, and the landfill sites are rapidly filling up. Check out the
front page of the Canaan Connexion to see what box to put out each week, blue or black. For recycling information, click here.
If you miss picking up the Vision Newspaper in the AD-bags, we usually post the
weekly link, so you can read it online. Their website...
One or two of our lazy neighbours (Blue Jay) are dumping their unwanted "junk" mail on the ground, under the Community Mail Boxes... too lazy to bring it home to recycle. Canada Post
information on Community Mail Boxes.. ie. How do I stop delivery of Admail items to my home or business?
Our mail lady (Blue Jay/Forest Hill) usually plays by the book, so if you are going to post something on the Community Mail Boxes, best to do it on a Friday afternoon, then it will stay for the weekend, before she rips it off.
RURAL MAIL BOXES (For our neighbours along local rural roads... Canaan, Baseline, Joanisse, etc.)
What are the specifications for a rural mailbox?
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I stop delivery of Admail items to my home or business?
A few people are not picking up after their dogs... these cretins will often walk their canines after dark so they think people will not see them... shame (and lazy)! Dog waste is an environmental pollutant and one of the most common carriers of several diseases:
Pet license renewals are now due for Clarence-Rockland. $20 a pop for dogs. It goes up to $40 after March 31.
Forest Hill Facebook Page has had a discussion going about adding a "dog park" to the Cathy Cain Park, with several pros and cons. If this were to be done, it would have to go through the City of Clarence-Rockland's Community Services (Recreation) Department. The director is:

Lefaivre, Thérèse, 613-446-6022, ext 2226
Community Services Director

This would require public input and eventually approval from the city council, and before that would happen, there would have to be certain criteria met.

(2012/2013) There is currently a move afoot to set up an "off-leash" dog park adjacent to Poupart Road, St. Jean Street, on property currently held by Brigil, however as we understand it, the City has set up specific guidelines before the park can be put into place, and the City apparently will not offer any funding for this project. SEE:

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Remembering Neil Armstrong - Astronaut and first person to walk on the moon
(Saturday, August 25, 2012) Tributes keep pouring in for Neil Alden Armstrong, the first person to set foot upon the Moon. He died following complications from heart-bypass surgery he underwent earlier this month. He was 82. You will find many articles and references to this great space pioneer by going to the Google "News" option and entering his name. You can also find a comprehensive biography on wikipedia, here.

If you were alive then (like people remember: "Where were you when John F. Kennedy was assassinated?") you probably remember what you were doing on July 20, 1969. Where were you? I was stationed in Yorkton, Saskatchewan with the R.C.M.P., enjoying one of my infrequent days off, taking black and white photos off the TV, as the event unfolded live, with a teary
Walter Cronkite reporting. What a momentous time. We never looked at the moon in the same way, ever again. Armstrong is also featured on our "Lives Lived" web page.

By the way, "Where was I when Kennedy was assassinated?" I was in Prince George, B.C., enjoying my very
first posting with the RCMP, a green recruit just out of training depot in Regina. I had been working the night shift (that's the only shift junior members got!) and was sleeping when the news hit the wires. It was pretty devastating because Kennedy was such a huge world figure and we were happy to have him on our side... remember the Cuban Missile Crisis? I did catch the live action when Lee Harvey Oswald was shot coming out of the jail, escorted by that Texas lawmen in his white stetson.

And then the
funeral, watching Jackie Kennedy walking behind the funeral cortege, and John junior saluting his father's casket. Significant times... Kennedy, Trudeau, and now Armstrong.
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Holiday greetings from me to you
Hi all,

(December 24, 2011) Coming up to the end of another year, I never marked the passing of time with a New Year's Eve, but rather with Christmas. Family was always most important to me and if I had a choice, whenever I could I would always choose Christmas over New Years to take my holiday time...

The tradition carried on throughout my life and continues to this day... so when Christmas approaches and it seems to come faster ever year, I
realize that time is passing by more quickly as I get older.

With grown children and no spouse, the holiday has lost a lot of its spark, but it is still a special time and I keep the spirit alive through the memories I hold dear.

So it is that spirit that I wish you and the people that you hold most dear the very best of the holiday season, and especially a very Merry Christmas.

(I would like to share this virtual Christmas card with all of you.
Click here.)
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Remembering Rasputin's on Bronson Avenue
(December 21, 2011) How many remember Rasputin's on Bronson Avenue? It was a great venue for music, especially of the Folk kind.

It wasn't that long ago. Dean Verger was the owner and besides owning Rasputin's, he was also a dog behavioural person. I met him years ago when I was working for Menagerie Magazine, a magazine for "pets and their people". Dean used to send us his weekly newsletter which we passed on to
WD-List members, then on July 6, 2008, fire gutted the building and Rasputin's was no more. READ: Arson to blame for $300,000 Rasputin's fire.

The café, which had been an Ottawa folk landmark for more than 25 years, had only 40 seats and a scattering of small tables ringing a tiny stage. Well-known musicians who have played there include Loreena McKennitt, Garnet Rogers and Bob Snider.

Dean, along with his mother Helen Verger, founded Rasputin’s Folk Café on Bronson Avenue in August 1981. Sadly, the café closed three years ago following the fire.

Now the restaurant lives on through the "Spirit of Rasputin's" (Welcome to the Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society website, the home for folk music in Ottawa. We organize over 130 events each year. ) and we are still on their list for upcoming activities.Dean Verger

The Citizen recently published an article, "Spirit of Rasputin's lives on" outling some of the activities which are regularly held at the Westboro Masonic Lodge... "Country-folk newcomer Amanda Bon, blues veteran Gerry Griffin, witty Brit Julie Element and the folk-roots group Ottawa Valley Special were all part of an open-stage concert hosted by the Spirit of Rasputin's folk-music organization at the Westboro Masonic Hall on Saturday." Read more...

In October 2011, the Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society inducted Dean Verger as its first honorary Lifetime Member. Read about it here along with a little history of Rasputin's... Read more... (Click on his picture to enlarge...)

(Share the memories if you can, send us an email: )
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Motorists caught using cellphones
(Let's ban them at council meetings too!)
(Rockland, March 15, 2010) There have been several references in the news these past weeks of motorists using cell phones and other hand-held devices while driving. In spite of the fact that Ontario introduced a law to ban such use over one year ago, and the fact that several serious accidents have been attributed to driver distraction, many motorists ignore the law, and when they get caught they usually say, "well, I didn't know."

No excuse! It is a common law principle that
Ignorantia juris non excusat ( "Ignorance of the law is no excuse"), period!

Ontario's law prohibiting the use of hand-held devices while behind the wheel has been in place since October, 2009, with enforcement beginning in February, 2010.

A story in today's CFRA online news states:
Motorists Caught Using Cellphones.

As part of the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program, officers issued 174 tickets in February to motorists using a hand-held communication device while driving.

In other related incidents, a number of bus operators (Toronto and Ottawa) have been caught on cameras, using their cellphones or texting messages while driving. And in one high profile story, Alain Mercier, the head of OC Transpo,
was caught using his cellphone while driving a company car.

Ironically, the pictures and videos that have captured these infractions have been taken on personal cellphones!

One local OPP officer, speaking to the Canaan Connexion, said that catching the offenders is very difficult. "I see all kinds of cellphone users when I am in my own car, driving around town, but when I am driving in the police car, they can see me coming before I can spot them."

Cellphones going off at meetings and events
In related stories, the sound of cellphones going off during meetings and some public events is not only annoying, but IMHO shows ignorance and a lack of respect.

Having attended the last few city council meetings in Clarence-Rockland, there has hardly been one meeting where someone's cell phone has not rung, to the point of distracting both the councillors and the attending citizens. Come on people... turn them off before you enter a meeeting room. If you must know when there is an incoming call, put your device on vibrate... most of them have this option.
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"Email -vs- e-mail" and "web site -vs- website"
The dawning of the Internet has brought on many changes in the way we write, including several short cuts and acronyms such as "IMHO", "LOL", BTW, etc. Text messaging has even extended the brevity to the point that old farts like me (I'm apparently not that old according to some of my 80+yer-old friends and colleagues) when reading the younger generation's phone messages, almost need a translator as if we were learning a second language... instead of ESL, it should be TSL.

One of the constant conundrums that I have is "Should I use 'email' or 'e-mail'?"

There apparently is no simple answer... like the song says (You say eether, I say eyether; you say neether, I say neyether...) BTW, I personally like
Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong's rendition.

Email -vs- e-mail:

In an article from
The Fiction Desk blog, "Spelling: email vs. e-mail":

You might say, ‘nobody knows how to spell e-mail,’ but you’d be wrong. Or would you?

The issue of email vs. e-mail clearly raises blood pressures across the world. At the time of writing, the spelling question is right at the top of the Wikipedia article on e-mail. Meanwhile, a group calling itself the
Email Experience Council has declared the official term to be email. They’ve even got a petition. (You can read the rest yourself, here).

The article concludes by saying "At least there’s one thing that everybody is agreed on: whether it’s e-mail or email, it isn’t capitalised. Unless it’s at the beginning of a sentence, obviously.

An another article on the
Motivated Grammar site, they write: "Stupid grammar rules I: Email vs. e-mail":

There’s a big debate amongst prescriptivists as to whether one should write the term for electronic mail with or without a hyphen — i.e., e-mail or email. That’s a really dumb debate. Why on earth should it matter?

WebProNews has yet another take on the subject: "E-mail" vs. "Email"

What is the correct form? Is "e-mail" for stodgy pedants and "email" for hip digerati? The bottom line? There is no consensus

So I think I will use "email"

Web site -vs- e-website:
Another spelling I
have had problems with was "web site" -vs- "website". However now that AP has official changed "web site" to "website", I'll go with the latter. (SEE: AP Stylebook Finally Changes “Web site” to “website”)
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The Writers' Deadline!!
is a locally based website for
writers of all genres... authors,
poets, freelancers, journalists
and people who would like to be.

If you have an interest
in writing, be it mystery,
poetry, family history,
whatever, you may want to visit
The Writers' Deadline!!
Join their free mailing list to see.


Cairine Wilson - Canada's first female senator lived in Rockland
(Rockland - Friday, February 4, 2011) It was serendipity. I don't always check the
"Today In Canadian History" link on our "News" page, but today I did, and I came across this item:

And in Today's Canadian Birthdays...

Cairine Ray Wilson 1885-1962
Canada's first woman senator, was born on this day in 1885 at Montreal Quebec, the daughter of Senator Robert Mackay and Jane Baptist; dies in Ottawa March 3, 1962. Wilson was appointed in 1930 by Mackenzie King. She was President of the National Federation of Liberal Women 1938-48, the League of Nations Society 1938-42, and was Canada's first delegate to the United Nations in 1949.

I have been living in the area for over 18 years, and I learned some years ago that Cairine Wilson evidently lived in what is now known as Cumberland Village, in the old stone house on the main drag, Old Montreal Road. (Research showed that this was incorrect.)

To find out how I learned that Wilson actually lived in Rockland, click here.
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The Moscow airport bombing - Bringing it Home
(Tuesday, January 25, 2010) Far away events like the awful
bombing at the Moscow airport often time don't get a second glance as we become inured to violence... names and bodies become a lost statistic in our daily lives.

In another field of interest, I am very much involved with the local (Ottawa) writing community, through a
website and an electronic mailing list for writers, that I maintain: http://www.writersdeadline.ca/.

When scanning through one of my daily reads (the "
Recent deaths" column on Wikipedia), I came across this item:
"Anna Yablonskaya, 29, Ukrainian playwright, bombing."

Doesn't say anything, but the word Playwright, then bombing prompted me to look at her Wikipedia narrative:

"Anna Yablonskaya (July 20, 1981(1981-07-20) – January 24, 2011(2011-01-24)) was born Anna Grigorievna Mashutina (Russian) in Odessa USSR (now Ukraine). She was a Russian-language playwright and poet, and one of the victims of 2011 Domodedovo International Airport bombing."

Brings it closer to home, doesn't it?!
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Hats off to tradition
Is it just me, or is it Rockland? Where do men get off wearing their headgear in restaurants, City Council chambers and church... yes, church! More specifically it's caps... the good-old-boy caps, the wannabe-rapper-put-on-backwards caps, and in the winter, toques.

Taking one's hat off shows a sign of respect and good breeding. Back in the days (click on the picture) when men always wore hats (I come from that era, so maybe it
is me!), they took them off when entering a home, a church, a public building, etc. They even tipped their hat as a sign of respect when meeting a woman or a person in a position of authority or leadership (ie. priest, mayor, senior, judge, etc.).

If you were a member of the Legion, the RCMP, or the Armed Forces, and you wore your hat into a mess, bar, or dining room, you would be ridiculed with shouts of protest, loud clapping, even stamping of feet. You ought to hear that in a dining hall with some 300 or more men in boots!

So back to Rockland and men wearing their, mostly caps. Must be a sign of the times. Restaurants? O.K. times have changed, but City Council meetings? Church?! Where is the respect?

I wonder if they wear their hats in the local Legion? I don't think so!

Other references:
In the Western culture derived from Christian tradition, removing one's headgear is a sign of respect (
Why is it that Women wear hats in Church but men take theirs off?

Now if you feel strongly about it one way or the other, you can join in on a blog on this very subject... "
Wearing hats in Church".

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City of Clarence-Rockland deserves better
than gutter press

(Friday, November 5, 2010) I was pleased to see that the City of Clarence-Rockland received an award this week. It wasfor Workplace Health. The City does not get much recognition from Rockland's only real newspaper, and has been dumped on for a long time by an opinion rag that started over a year ago. The City, council and some employees have been constantly and consistently under attack by the rag. I believe that criticism is good when it is constructive, but to provide a negative slant, month after month, without some objectivity is simply bad journalism. In fact calling it journalism is a misnomer. It's more like "gutter press"*
And on that I am "Standing Pat".

*gutter press - press that engages in sensational journalism (especially concerning the private lives of public figures)

Dullard drivers irritate
Funny, there doesn't always seem to be a happy medium when I visit downtown Rockland. I either seem to meet the nicest people and have positive encounters, or I seem to run into some real slugs! The latter seem to be mostly drivers. Examples:

1. Driving north on St. Joseph Street which runs along the east side of the LCBO building, I was about to turn left into the LCBO-Giant Tiger lot, when I spotted a pedestrian who was walking north on the sidewalk and about to cross the driveway that I was entering. When I stopped to let him continue, young driver with a young passenger, both wearing crooked baseball caps, windows down and music playing, came up behind my vehicle, pulled out and turned left into the parking lot, cutting off both the pedestrian and myself. As soon as I was able to park, I walked up to the young dolt, and told him what I had seen, and only wished I was one of the local "men in blue" so I could write him a ticket. I didn't have my camera on me at the time.... too bad!

2. Next day, driving west on Laurier Street, I slowed down and turned my right signal on to warn drivers as I was about to park my vehicle in front of the Compufix store. I stopped in order to parallel park, but as I started to back into the parking spot, a woman who had been following me, honked her horn, evidently to warn me that I was about to hit her vehicle. She was within a few feet of my car. When I turned around, I observed that this (expletive deletive) witch was talking on the phone, cigarette in one hand and a kid in the back seat. I yelled at her to get off the phone, but she was totally oblivious to my voice. Even the driver behind her gestured that she was a little crazy. As soon as I was out of her way, she gunned it, still talking, still smoking and still with a child in the car. Doesn't she know that talking on the phone while driving is now banned, as is smoking with a child in the car? Obviously not. Again, no camera!

What does SSSS stand for you ask? It means "short service, short sermon!" Ste. Trinité Roman Catholic Church in Rockland offers a Sunday service (a family mass) at 4:00 p.m. It may be a convenient time for late risers or those who cannot make it on Saturday evenings. Best of all the service is short and so is the sermon. Father Jean-François Morin is the priest and he is very dynamic, catering to the families and children who are present. The background music is inspiring, perfect for mediation, and Father J-F has a pretty good singing voice too.

I like the motto on their bulletin: "
Un phare au milieu de sa communauté depuis... 1889". ( A lighthouse in the middle of the community since 1889.) For more information, click here.
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SOLO Cell Phone Service with three month Bell Sympatico trial
(I recently signed on with Solo cell phone service (Solo is owned by Bell), through Wireless Wave in Place d'Orléans and I am now actually able to send and receive calls in and around Rockland and my home area, for the first time in years! The package also came with a free three-month trial of Bell sympatico Internet service.
Read on...)
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Click here for previous blogs

First Column - My very first Canaan Connexion column is still on the Internet. Click here to read it.
( Patrick Meikle is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Blue Jay and operates the Canaan Connexion Web site. If you have an opinion or comment, he can be reached at: . )


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