Justin times for Christmas

In old movies, whenever you hear background sounds and talking, the audio is almost always faked to enhance the effect of the visual art of the film. One such sound was the crowded room background, people talking to each other, just out of range and just indiscernible enough to convince ... read more ››

Of Spies and Men

A lot has happened since the last time I checked out the social climate of the world. In a whirlwind month of November, Friday the 13th became a day known worldwide for terrorist attacks against the people and values of France. Terrorism has been going on for some time now ... read more ››

Widdle Wabbits

The trail was covered in light, dry snow, a dusting less than a centimetre, (that’s a half inch for you Elders). Uncle Loobit was ahead of us, quickly ducking into a thick bush on the side. A half-minute goes by and soon he emerges with his rabbit and stuffs it ... read more ››

Mysterious mushrooms

A mysterious message arrived via Facebook the other day. It stated that I was to receive a package on the plane later that day. I was about to leave on a hunting trip and had just put a caribou neck in the oven for a 10-hour stint. Oh well, wait ... read more ››

The sizzle of my poor man

The sizzle of my poor man’s steak – the pork chop – produced a satisfying smoke that tasted real BBQ and felt comfortingly sooty. The main course – strips of sirloin pork doused in a generic sauce and hot buttered corn on the cob gently wrapped in foil – looked ... read more ››

Space oddities

Looking at the moon, clean and bright against the sunny sky in the crisp, deep blue openness of a July moment, made me remember Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon. It was July 20, 1969, and even though we couldn’t see anything happening a quarter-million miles away, to ... read more ››

Sub-zero ecstasy

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s winter in the land of the wandering polar bear, with the biting and burning winds in this sub-zero climate we like to call home. Taking note of this, the wind chill hovering around minus-50 and my thermometer actually not registering anything, I venture out ... read more ››

Things that go bump in the dark

One of the best things about Halloween is getting scared silly. These days, scary is really scary, as many people can apply makeup with ease and look deader than usual. I suppose that many a zombie, flesh-eater, nightwalker and wannabe dead person will be the big costume hit for this ... read more ››

Hi-tech in the goose blind

The snow was coming down hard on this early September morning. Winds were gusting and howling like the proverbial banshee, and furious cloud formations starkly contrasted the snow and created a false sense of darkness. A small flock of Canada geese showed up low on the horizon, doggedly fighting strong ... read more ››

Funny is as funny does

I wonder where our sense of humour comes from? Why does it pop up when it does, sometimes inappropriately, but most times with exact timing for that last zing of a joke, bringing out peals of laughter and good times. It’s not that joking around is something that can be ... read more ››

Free-range slaughter

Recently, a young Inuk woman started plucking her gift from home, a goose, on a train in Montreal’s métro. This was recorded on a cellphone and uploaded to the Internet. It went viral for all the wrong reasons. Eventually, the young woman came forth to explain that she’s an Inuk simply ... read more ››

Life is like a…

Long ago, before Facebook and email, before television and radio, before we knew what a university was or an outside place to get schooled without being taken away by force or trickery, there was the hands-on training method. This was called the old school way of learning. If you didn’t listen ... read more ››

A year of embarrassments

As many people do, I reflect on the past year with leery eyes and see much turmoil and awful events that didn’t merit my attention. But, there were several embarrassing moments that will forever remain etched in a history that you would prefer to forget. Take, for example, the transportation industry. ... read more ››

I’m dreaming of a white bingo

The wind swept my driveway clean, but my neighbours didn’t do so well in the super storm that reminded us that winter still exists, as eight-foot drifts stranded nearly everyone in the small community of Great Whale River. The night before, we tuned into the radio bingo game and wondered ... read more ››

The one and only

Thirteen years ago, staying at the Val d’Or Friendship Centre and enjoying their hospitality and my anonymity, my cellphone rang. It was Catherine Bainbridge calling me with an offer I could not refuse: to take over the writing of the then-infamous Reznotes column. I asked her what had happened to ... read more ››

The medium is the message

Long ago, when books were rare or unheard of, storytelling was the way to pass on wisdom, humour, dirty jokes, tragedies and just plain old information. Then along came the Bible, which was translated into a new written language called syllabics, or “mi-me-mo-ma,” as some liked to call it. In ... read more ››

Harvest Moon

Neil Young’s classic song Harvest Moon plays on the local radio, wafting through the halls and rooms of most homes, their doors wide open to welcome the warmth of a late fall season that most people call Indian Summer. This usually happens after September 21, when the day and night ... read more ››

Blueberry fields forever

Recently, a cousin of mine appeared as a guest speaker at a conference in Whapmagoostui. Having known him as a young man, the encounter made me realize how quickly time flies. His greying hair reminded me that my own hair, which is turning transparent, and really didn’t match our youthful ... read more ››

Escape from the News

One of the ways I keep in touch with what’s happening in the world is by surfing news programs and other shows among the hundred or so channels on my television satellite system. I happen to like the old-fashioned movies because they make me laugh about how tough their times ... read more ››

Mayday for mayors

I can’t go a day without hearing of some politician from the south getting blasted in every medium over the corruption and collusion scandals that have hit the Montreal area during the last several months. What really gets me is that this corruption has happened over and over again and ... read more ››

Exams for all…

If you are a student or parent of one, it’s that time of year again. June signifies the annual exam ordeal. I’m not sure who is more excited about the exams, my daughter or me. I recall the old days when I was in a similar situation. A hundred kids ... read more ››


“Dad, what’s a hippie?” My daughter wonders about such things. I reply, “A hippie is the opposite of the straight, narrow-minded, war-mongering people and peace and love were the code words of those days.” Also, groovy, cool, hip, dude, chick among many other slang words. Then, what’s a yuppie? My mind ... read more ››

Fifteen minutes later…

One of the many talents I learnt from some very smart people is that time has values. Time for this and time for that both have different values, but in all cases, time has some sort of face value. Time is precious it turns out and it’s the way you ... read more ››

A journey of a nation

I watched the progress of seven intrepid young men on their epic walk from Whapmagoostui to Ottawa, much of it by snowshoe. At first I was sceptical, thinking that perhaps they might come to their senses and give up, but they didn’t. Their walk to express the need to come ... read more ››

A woman’s life

It was once said that the Creator made woman before man and she was enamoured with one of the demi-gods and still is to this day. The Creator, frustrated with the way things turned out, made woman out of man and the rest is basically the birds and the bees ... read more ››

If I were a chief…

  When I was young, I often wondered about those guys who seemed to expel a lot of spit while hollering at the top of their lungs at other people. They often looked riled up enough to speak out, but would hold their tongues, until it was their turn to rant ... read more ››