Sunday, August 29, 2010

Things that make you go "hmmm" right before you go "What the F***?"

At what point does a tactless thought actually become a crime? I've never been a big fan of hate crime legislation. Not because I love to dream racist, homophobic, or misogynist scenarios but because I believe that curbing such thought should be done through education and the occasional public flogging as opposed to legislation.
But is tact a qualifier of whether or not something is hate speech? Let us hope not.
For instance, there's a sick little bastard in me that would probably enjoy Justin Bieber being repeatedly kicked in the shin or held down while someone tattooed "KICK ME" on his forehead. Though it's probably not worth it to put it on his forehead because no one could see it with his combination Twiggy/Donny Osmond haircut. Now, I'm not calling for it to happen or putting out a bounty or anything but still...
Then there's Snooki.
I've decided I've wanted a Snooki bobblehead for Xmas. Doesn't have to be her real head. It can be plastic if that's easier and within the laws of your nation.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Does music soothe the savage beast?

I was lamenting the fact that I met someone this weekend who I was unable to contact again. Walking up the hill at about 1am this morning, my iPod was rattling my skull. I usually don't listen to my iPod walking up this hill in the dark; we have a bear and a cougar roaming about, and they, like I, do not like to be surprised. I was taking the risk. Did I mention I was really really drunk? My feet weren't quite dragging and my mind was racing thinking about her, it, them.
"60 Feet Tall" by The Dead Weather was bouncing around my head at full volume.
No bear.
No cougar.
A coyote dropped by for a visit. We spend a moment looking at each other. My music was loud enough for it to hear. It nodded and scampered off into the undergrowth.

*Turns out my Cinderella has a fella. Oh well.
The coyote and I have a plan.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Here's a wee story for yeh...

So I'm watching TV and an ad comes on, trying to get me to pay some service to track down my family history. For my mother's family, The Bradfords, I'd ask my Great Aunt. She seems to have it pretty much down. For my father's family, The McQueens then Camerons, I need go no farther than my bookcase.
My great great great grandfather, Alexander McQueen, was born in Contrea, Invernesshire, Scotland. He came to Nova Scotia with a contingent of Scottish soldiers to reinforce the 82nd British Army Regiment. Apparently they were having a problem with some pesky colonists to the south. The year was 1778. He was 30.
After [losing] the American War of Independence, Alexander was given property in Nova Scotia. According to the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, Alexander McQueen was the first McQueen in Nova Scotia. That's kind of cool...
My father's mother was a descendant of Alexander McQueen.
Below are Alexander's papers for his honourable discharge from the King's Army and the McQueen clan badge.

My father's step-father, Colin Cameron, was born in Glasgow in 1900. When Colin was five, his father, David (a Glasgow dock worker) decided to move the family to Canada. They lived on a farm in the Fort Steele area of British Columbia's East Kootenay region. My grandfather was a trapper, a B.C. Forest Service ranger, and eventually a lumberman, starting Colin Cameron Lumber in 1942. He died in 1963. I never met him.
My grandmother died in 1985. Both sources I consulted for this blog, talk of her love of music and her piano. She left it to me in her will and it sits seven feet to the right of me as I write this entry.
Below are pictures of Colin and Queenie on their wedding day, Colin's logging camp and a pay stub, and the Cameron clan badge, as tattooed on my right shoulder.

I think this stuff is pretty cool. You may not share my enthusiasm for my father's family but I posted this, not for my father's family, but in the hopes that you might take an interest in your own. We are all connected to history so we all share the stewardship of the future.

This little stroll down someone else's memory lane retold from The McQueen Story by my great aunt, Phylis McQueen Smith; my great uncle, Archie McQueen; with memorabilia supplied by my grandmother, Margaret "Queenie" McQueen Cameron. I also used pieces written for Kootenay Ripples: Wasa, Ta Ta Creek, Skookumchuck by Scott Owen, Frances West, and Ken Roberts.