The Quick Brown Fiox

Welcome to Creative Writing weekly class, Tuesday afternoons, Jan 20 – March 31, in Burlington

Welcome to Creative Writing
10 weeks of exploring your creative side
Winter session

Tuesday afternoons, Jan 20 – March 31, 2015
12:45 – 2:45 p.m.
Appleby United Church, 4407 Spruce Ave, Burlington, Ontario (Map here.)

This is your chance to take up writing in a warm, supportive environment. This course will open the door to all kinds of creative writing. We’ll visit short story writing and children’s writing, writing in first person and in third person, and writing just for fun. 

You’ll get a shot of inspiration every week and an assignment to keep you going till the next class. Best of all, this class will provide a zero-pressure, totally safe setting, where your words will grow and flower.

Instructor Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing teacher for more than 25 years. He teaches at Ryerson University and has led writing workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Charlottetown. But his proudest boast is that he's helped many of his students get published.

Fee: 149.56 plus 13% hst = 169
Number of attendees strictly limited.

To reserve your spot, email:

See Brian’s full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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Posted on 22 October 2014 | 10:04 pm


Miroir, dis-moi...

qui est le plus James?
James Franco

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Posted on 21 October 2014 | 7:59 pm

Other Food - Daily Devotions

The gift of a leader

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 78:56-72

TO CHEW ON: "So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands" - Psalm 78:72.

All in all, this is a pretty depressing psalm until we come to the last three verses. There we see that God didn't give up on these people despite their long history of unfaithfulness. Instead, he gave them what they needed, though they didn't deserve it: a chosen leader in David, whose leadership was characterized by integrity and skill.

The people God chose for leadership and prominence are characterized in many ways in the Bible.
  • God called the tribe of Levi—the Israelites separated to serve Him in the worship service of the tabernacle and temple—as "Mine" and a "gift" (Numbers 3:12; 8:19; 18:6).
  • The prophet Haggai named Zerubbabel as God's "servant" who was "like a signet ring," i.e. His very stamp of authority (Haggai 2:23).
  • God called Paul a "chosen vessel" (Acts 9:15).
  • But God's leader choices are not always the obvious ones. Paul, in Colossians tells us how upside-down they sometimes look: "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world ... and the base things and the things which are despised ... and the things which are not to bring to nothing the things that are" - Colossians 1:27-29.

Actually David was an example of that. He had no royal upbringing but apprenticed for the job as king in the fields  as a shepherd. Yet it was the perfect preparation for his role as Israel's shepherd.

Two things come to mind:
1. Do I, do we, value and support our leaders, viewing them as God's gift, His hand of authority, His choice vessels for us?

2. Maybe some of us are leaders in training but don't even realize it. The Colossians verses remind us that sometimes God's choices are not the obvious ones. We may not feel like leadership material, but that doesn't mean we aren't. Are we ready to lead should God put His hand on our shoulder for the job?

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the leaders—the pastors, deacons, board members, small group leaders etc.— You provide. Help me to respect and listen to them, regarding them as Your gifts to me. Amen.

MORE: Leadership journey

Eleanor Clitheroe's leadership journey was not smooth. A profile article about her begins:
"She was one of the most powerful women in Ontario, controlling not only every light switch in every home, but also the huge industrial machines and every computer in the financial district on Bay Street. Today she is simply an Anglican curate."

Her firing from Ontario's Hydro One in 2002 plunged her into turmoil and stress, but also put her on the path to a different kind of leadership. Read's story of this remarkable Canadian leader: "The Winding Road of Faith"

10-minute 100 Huntley Street video profile of Eleanor Clitheroe

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Posted on 22 October 2014 | 5:00 am

Anglican Samizdat

Bishop Jim Njegovan’s son’s assets frozen

More on the fraud allegations against Noah Njegovan. It’s hard to imagine the bishop or the diocese riding out this dreadful mess: Trips to Sin City, meals and massages were among the fraudulent purchases made by an Anglican priest using … Continue reading

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Posted on 21 October 2014 | 1:09 pm


Proper Exercising

Wow, I have exercised properly again and it feels so good. On Sunday I went for a 90 minutes run. I ran over 8 kilometres and I forgot the heart rate checking and changed speed with the feeling and music I had with me after a long period of silent exercising. Running was nice after a longer pause and my leg muscles were sore on Monday due to the speedy route I did.

And yesterday I made aerobic session of my Nike+ Kinect Training program and it was harder than I recalled. I have done only muscle trainings since I started to prepare myself for the September's half marathon. My three year old daughter exercised with me in her ballerina suite. I think I should try the ballerina suite too because it seemed so much easier to do Burpees and mountain climbing in it. She is going to gymnastics weekly and has been thrilled of the home training since she started. Yesterday she was doing the exercise after her own gymnastics glass and today she has been quite tired due to double exercise she did.

I myself was able to do two drills of Burpees properly and my star jump obviously looks like star jump 'cause the personal trainer didn't have to remind me to jump higher this time at all! Maybe I have got stronger muscles since I did star jumps last time even if the cardio workout itself was hard.

All the time I have had outside the training sessions I've been preparing of the double birthday we have soon. It's nice that the kids have birthdays in the same week. Mum is tired.


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Posted on 15 October 2014 | 2:08 pm

After the Kids leave

Awesome Advice Central goes all vintage

This week, one half of our Awesome Advice team is off gallivanting in Toronto, so we’re bringing you a vintage bit of advice from the estimable column’s earliest days. Enjoy! Dear Awesome Advice Central, This is an unusual problem, but I can’t go to my boss for help because I don’t have a boss. I […]

The post Awesome Advice Central goes all vintage appeared first on After the Kids Leave.

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Posted on 22 October 2014 | 12:02 am

Buzz Feed

Which Television Dude Should You Marry?

We’ll make that difficult decision for you.

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Posted on 22 October 2014 | 2:30 pm

How to survive life in the suburbs

Tide Launches Pods For Sensitive Skin! #Giveaway

The following giveaway is open to Canada only. I come from a long line of sensitive skin sufferers.  My Mom always had to watch what she washed our clothes in, my Sister is uber sensitive to everything, and my BlueEyed girl has the most sensitive skin of us all.  I once rushed that girl to […]

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Posted on 17 October 2014 | 10:30 am

Progressive Bloggers

Parchment in the Fire: Will The Juncker Commission Continue To Entrench Neoliberal Policies?

Will The Juncker Commission Continue To Entrench Neoliberal Policies?.

A few days ago, the designated European Commission finally showed its true colours: It wants to make sure that its economic policy recommendations become enforceable. Deregulation of rent setting systems, adjusting the retirement age to account for life expectancy and increased flexibility in wage-setting mechanisms were mere recommendations in 2014. That is supposed to change now. Its instruments are the competitiveness pacts 2.0 and a separate budget for the Euro area, even though there is no legal basis for such a measure. A decision is going to be made at (Read more…)

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Posted on 22 October 2014 | 10:15 pm

Bird Droppings

Is it a crisis yet?

   Whether this week's deadly attacks on Canadian Forces members in Ottawa and St. Jean-sur-Richelieu are organized acts of war by committed jihadists or self-motivated copy cat rampages by disenfranchised and deranged social misfits, there's no longer any question that Canada is in the grips of a terrorism-related national security threat.  Anyone still arguing otherwise is more than likely motivated by a political agenda that stands to suffer from the possibility of strong and decisive leadership from the Harper government in a time of crisis. Meanwhile, the tinfoil hat crowd already theorizing that the crisis is a conspiracy manufactured by the Conservatives for political gain are too detached from reality to be ashamed of themselves, so they're best ignored. 
   To this point, the government has been cautious and even-handed in its handling of the homegrown terror threat.  Dozens of radicalized ISIS sympathizers across the country have been identified, but subjected to nothing more serious than surveillance and travel restrictions.  Even in the wake of today's attack on Parliament - the very symbol of Canadian democracy - the response has so far been methodical and by the book. 
   If the government has a breaking point for extraordinary measures that would suspend civil liberties, it hasn't been reached yet.  Contrast that measured response with how the government of the day responded during the FLQ crisis in October 1970, when hundreds of people were arrested and jailed without charges after the War Measures Act was Pierre Trudeau.    
   The mind boggles at the irony. 

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Posted on 22 October 2014 | 4:01 pm

Trashys World

Leadership – it’s vital

After watching the municipal campaigns in Ottawa unfold thus far, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the defining issue is leadership. Pro green bin or not (I pity the fools!), love Phase 2 of the LRT or scrap it, raise taxes, lower them or keep them the same, what really sets out one candidate from […]

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Posted on 8 October 2014 | 9:20 am

The Galloping Beaver

Where "decolonization" goes off the rails [updated]

In another venue, fellow inkypixelcreature Alison kindly drew my attention to some aspects of this case that escaped my initial vexatious outburst below. The case is clearly not settled, and the discussion is partly one of collective versus individual rights. The quotes are also from a neighbour, not the child's mother as I missed in my hasty misread.  As with most things, context is critical and

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Posted on 17 October 2014 | 10:14 am

Michael Geist

The Expansion of Personal Information Disclosure Without Consent: Unpacking the Government’s Weak Response to Digital Privacy Act Concerns

Bill S-4, the government's Digital Privacy Act, was sent for review to the Industry Committee yesterday. The committee review, which comes before second reading, represents what is likely to be the last opportunity to fix a bill that was supposed to be a good news story for the government but has caused serious concern within the Canadian privacy community. While there are several concerns (I raised them in my appearance before the Senate committee that first studied the bill), the chief one involves the potential expansion of voluntary disclosure of personal information without consent or court oversight. Bill S-4 proposes that:

"an organization may disclose personal information without the knowledge or consent of the individual... if the disclosure is made to another organization and is reasonable for the purposes of investigating a breach of an agreement or a contravention of the laws of Canada or a province that has been, is being or is about to be committed and it is reasonable to expect that disclosure with the knowledge or consent of the individual would compromise the investigation;

Translate the legalese and you find that organizations will be permitted to disclose personal information without consent (and without a court order) to any organization that is investigating a contractual breach or possible violation of any law. This applies both past breaches or violations as well as potential future violations. Moreover, the disclosure occurs in secret without the knowledge of the affected person (who therefore cannot challenge the disclosure since they are not aware it is happening).

The government is clearly aware that this is a major concern as it attempted to answer the critics during debate over Bill S-4 in the House of Commons yesterday. Unfortunately, the responses were incredibly weak. I've identified at least six responses from government sources below.

The post The Expansion of Personal Information Disclosure Without Consent: Unpacking the Government’s Weak Response to Digital Privacy Act Concerns appeared first on Michael Geist.

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Posted on 21 October 2014 | 11:03 am

Montreal Simon

Stephen Harper, the Terrorist Scare, and the Police State

I warned that Stephen Harper was looking for a way to scare Canadians, so he could try to stampede them into believing that only a Great Strong Leader like himself could save them.

So he could use fear to try to save himself, and turn this broken country into a police state.

Well today he got his "terrorist incident." 

A 25-year-old man who injured two soldiers in a hit and run and was later fatally shot by police in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., was known to federal authorities as someone who had been "radicalized," according to the RCMP and the Prime Minister's Office.

And the way he handled it, and some of the strange things that happened today, should make all Canadians wonder whether we're still living in a democracy.
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Posted on 21 October 2014 | 6:50 am

Ghost of a Flea

Peter Capaldi - A Portrait of Scotland (2009)

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Posted on 22 October 2014 | 2:29 pm

The Disaffected Lib

One of You is Unhinged. Is It You or Is It Your Prime Minister?

How do you source your reality?  Do you discern it out of the best facts available or do you divine it out of your beliefs?

A sane person finds reality anchored in facts.  A lunatic cares little for facts and anchors his notion of reality in the beliefs embedded in his psyche.  That pretty much sums up the cognitive path of our prime minister, Stephen Harper.

You can see our prime minister's dysfunction in both what seizes his attention and what, curiously, does not.

After 8+ years at the helm, Stephen Harper's agenda seems astonishingly truncated.  His focus appears narrowed to doing everything conceivable to promote Canada's fossil fuel resources, particularly bitumen; defunding the federal government; and exploiting the powers of office in the most unconscionable way to stifle dissent and punish opponents.

All in all, Stephen Harper is a nasty piece of work.  He's a true shitheel and very little else.  He's far from a leader of a nation.  He governs, not by anything resembling leadership, but through secrecy, falsehood, manipulation (especially of his supporters), coercion and intimidation.  He sees base instinct as opportunity.

Coming to power on promises of transparency and accountability, Harper immediately threw a blanket over government beneath which he wasted no time transforming the national police force, the public service and the armed forces, into his partisan political agencies.  For eight years we have seen how, as his personal property, these branches of government have been sequestered, marooned, isolated from the public, even from the press.  I do not know what sort of offices Joseph Stalin must have maintained but I suspect they bore at least a passing resemblance to today's PMO, Harper's den of skullduggery.

Even as grave problems loom and evolve that threaten the country and future generations, this empty vessel of manhood simply ignores them.  Climate change, inequality, the faltering of our economic, industrial, social and geo-political apparatus are simply irrelevant to a Canada as it exists in Harper's reality.

It would be one thing if this character's authoritarian instincts were benevolent but they're not.  He has not secured the future of our country and our people.  He has repeatedly advanced narrow interests over the public good.  We know from confidantes that Harper has a decidedly Jekyll and Hyde persona.  He cloaks himself in Jekyll for public consumption but those on the inside must stand dutifully as Hyde emerges when Harper is free from prying eyes.

It is difficult to understand why the opposition fail to attack Harper in the Commons, calling him out, denouncing him for his tyranny and despotism.  A dictionary definition of "tyrant" or "despot" fits Harper perfectly.  He's nothing if not authoritarian, autocratic, arbitrary, cruel and oppressive.

The opposition lacks the numbers to have any meaningful impact on Harper's authoritarian legislative initiatives.  Why not, then, organize a resistance?  Call him out on the floor of the House.  Denounce him as a despot, a chiseler, a liar. Accept banishment from the Commons and establish a resistance movement, akin to a government (in waiting) in exile at the periphery of Parliament.

Harper is unhinged but the Canadian people are not.  Create an example.  Show disaffected, disengaged Canadians that they too can rise up and resist this farce of a government.  I think they would find a welcoming audience from one end of this country to the other.

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Posted on 17 October 2014 | 3:05 pm

De Smog Blog

New Short Film Exposes The Human Cost Of Coal Ash Dumping

The threats posed by coal ash are well known today, but not too long ago, the dangers of coal ash disposal were a dirty energy secret.

For a large section of residents in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, the dangers of coal ash were kept a secret, and in their place the dirty energy industry fed them promises of a luscious, green and blue landscape that they could enjoy with their families. All they had to do was sign off on a coal ash dump in their area.

The energy company was First Energy, and a new short film by EarthJustice exposes the lies and the resulting impacts that their coal ash dump had on local communities.

The whole film, titled “Little Blue: A Broken Promise,” can be viewed here:

The story in the film is saddening and infuriating. Coal representatives were sent door-to-door in areas of West Virginia and Pennsylvania, where they made outlandish promises to citizens. Residents near Little Blue stream were promised by First Energy that a nearby coal ash disposal site would form a concrete-like barrier in the earth, creating a beautiful lake that residents would be able to use at their leisure.

Almost immediately after the company began dumping coal ash at the disposal site, residents noticed strange smells, breathing problems, and a strange color in the stream.

Like most other communities with coal ash dumps, the ones in the film are middle to lower income neighborhoods. This is a common practice among the dirty energy industry. EarthJustice has a website available that tracks both operating and retired coal ash disposal sites, and which ones have been verified to have contaminated the local environment.

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Posted on 22 October 2014 | 4:00 pm


Create Your Own Football Fashion Look

The NFL Women's Apparel campaign is now is its fifth year and the whole idea behind the "Together We Make Football" campaign is that you can take gear from your favourite NFL team and incorporate it into your own fashion sensibility to create a customized look.

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Posted on 22 October 2014 | 5:46 pm

North by East West

Mavor’s Bones: A Gothic Novel-In-Poems by Rolli

“Company’s come. In a ramshackle mansion, meet a family in the same condition—ancient, decayed. There’s the brooding Duke, and his riotous brother. There’s Grandam, lost in wilds of herself. There’s a vicar, a philosopher, an angel, a ghost or two. And somewhere above them all, in a ruined garret…” (from IN the five years that I
read more

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Posted on 13 October 2014 | 12:14 am

Canadian Living

How sleep deprivation affects your body

From chronic illness to weight gain, research shows that lack of sleep can cause a host of health problems. Sleep experts share why it's important to get a good night's rest. Plus, tips on how you can sleep better.

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Posted on 20 October 2014 | 12:00 am

Pro Woman Pro Life

BC Civil Liberties Association: Pro-choicers afraid of pro-life free speech?

I love this quote from John Dixon: At stake is whether the University of Victoria student society (UVSS) has the right to punish student clubs for pro-life activities and whether the University of Victoria has the right to enforce those punishments. While the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) is officially pro-choice, it is supporting YPY […]

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Posted on 21 October 2014 | 10:43 am


"Chow to Ford": Amai Kuda n' Y Josephine release music video in support of Olivia Chow

Is this show currently playing?
October 21, 2014
Toronto musicians Amai Kuda and Y Josephine just released a music video in support of Olivia Chow.

Toronto musicians Amai Kuda and Y Josephine released a music video Tuesday night in support of Olivia Chow -- a catchy tune with lyrics including of "vote "Chow" to Ford" and "get the biggots off the ballot".

The video appeared along with this note on their YouTube account:  "The makers of this song and video wish Rob Ford a speedy recovery from his health challenges. We do, however, feel the city of Toronto also needs to recover from Ford politics and that Olivia Chow is the person to lead us forward." 



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Posted on 21 October 2014 | 10:53 pm

Rolling Around in My Head

Old and New

I am writing this from my hotel room in Edmonton. Clearly, then, I managed to get here. But I got here after a really good flight. I need to give a shout out to AIR CANADA and both their ground and on board crews. They were helpful, kind and generous with their time and their expertise. They really made the trip one that is memorable because of the service I got. From my arrival at the airport in Toronto to getting the rental car in Edmonton every single person I met from Air Canada was helpful. It almost felt like someone had done a course on exactly what my needs were and how to most effectively support me. I have found that Air Canada typically offers pretty good service (I won't fly another airline) but yesterdays trip was way more than pretty good.

I want to tell you of an incident though, that was, for me, surprising and funny. We were the last off the plane. I don't like people pushing me uphill and though I can't walk very far, very well, when there is an incline, I try to walk it. So, I did. I got about two thirds of the way when I turned a corner and found a steeper, longer ramp to the top. By then I knew I was over exerting myself and that I simply couldn't do this last bit of the trip without resting.

I asked for and was given my chair and I told them to give me a few minutes and then I'd tackle it again. The woman who had been sent to meet me at the gate to provide help with getting to baggage was talking to another woman behind me. They both were absolutely sure that they, together, could push me up the ramp. I began to protest saying that I don't want my weight or my disability to hurt anyone. They said that they would get speed up and let momentum take me up the ramp.

I put my feet on the footrests, I felt their hands take hold of the handle and then ... they began to run! We hit the incline and flew up it. We were at the top in seconds. They were both laughing and congratulating each other. One of them said that it was good that's she'd got a workout by 'bringing in the hay' the day before.

From there we needed no more assistance because Joe and I could do the rest by ourselves. We thanked them and they grinned and waved us on.

For the whole day, from the arrival at the airport in Toronto to the top of the ramp in Edmonton, I knew that they were providing help for me, juggling things to get it right, but never, not once, did I feel like a bother to them.

Not once.

At one time, years ago, the essence of customer service was that staff made you feel important, it has devolved in recent years to the point that good customer service is that the staff don't make you feel like a bother.

I got old and new yesterday. I felt like I mattered and I didn't feel like a bother.

That's remarkable, for anyone travelling in a wheelchair, that's just plain remarkable.

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Posted on 22 October 2014 | 7:57 am

A Canadian Foodie

Highlights of Food Bloggers of Canada 2014

Another amazing coming together of Canadian Food Bloggers from coast to coast Sitting at the Edmonton International Airport writing a quick recap of the highlights of my time at the Food Bloggers of Canada Conference 2014 I sit, simply overwhelmed and in awe of the Canadian Food Bloggers that FBC brought together these past 2 […]

** Remember to join %% to create your own online recipe box and then click SAVE on my recipe below to add it! I use my online recipe box ALL the time! **

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Posted on 22 October 2014 | 2:15 am

Dean Somerset

Are We Speaking the Same Language?

This weekend I was in Sterling, Virginia just outside of DC teaching a workshop with Tony Gentilcore at Underground Athlete, and it was an awesome experience. These are always fun to do, especially when everyone’s jaws hit the floor with some of the cool hacks I show how to do and when we get to…… Read More

The post Are We Speaking the Same Language? appeared first on

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Posted on 20 October 2014 | 11:41 am

Knit Nut

Rutting Farm Animals and Pink Lungs

Remember back in the winter I started a migraine prevention medication which is also a popular anti-seizure medication, and which is known to cause significant cognitive impairment? Apparently more than half of the people who take this drug don’t last more than a couple of months on it because of its side effects. Well, I’m [...]

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Posted on 7 September 2014 | 12:04 pm