Light at the end of the tunnel for VIA Rail upgrade plan?

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If you’ve taken the early morning VIA Rail train between Quebec City and Montreal in the darkness of winter and have a window seat on the side facing southward, you are treated to what might be described as a terrifying thrill ride while sitting still on a siding.

“Earth has not anything to show more fair . . . ”

Photo: Rivière-du-Loup Tourism

Oh, I know the poet was writing his impression of old London in the early morning, but he might just as well have been describing what I’m looking at right now . . .

(Summertime. A pause in a riverside walk, St. Patrick, near Rivière-du-Loup.)

Euphoria, Elation … and Political Reality

The recent federal election ushered in a host of new faces in the province of Quebec; 59 of the 75 ridings have new incumbents. Since this outcome was quite unexpected, there is a justifiable and understandable feeling of euphoria and elation amongst the winners, all of whom are from the NPD. Quite a feat! Congratulations to them all and good luck in their new lives and responsibilities.

Ash trays and cigarettes

Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette, Puff, puff, puff until you puff yourself to death… [words of a Country and Western novelty song written by Merle Travis and sung by Tex Williams in 1947]

Synchronized traffic lights

Almost daily, I drive to work using a good portion of René-Lévesque Boulevard where traffic lights are synchronized to 50 kilometres an hour. When I hit the first green light I can usually cruise along the full length non-stop to my destination. The only obstructions are cars in your lane waiting to make a turn or a bus taking on passengers.

Why we love Hollywood action heroes so much

I was thinking the other day about why we as a society love Hollywood action heroes and their movies so much. What is it about the Rocky Balboas, Rambos, Chuck Norrises, Terminators, James Bonds, Steven Segals, and so on, of this world that appeal to our visceral sense of fulfillment and catharsis?

The Inner Sanctum

I recall a way back when I was a young teenager; we would sit around the impressive RCA radio in our living room and listen to the "Inner Sanctum Mysteries".

Majority-minority blues

We don't hear much out of Ottawa these days. That's because, as you know Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government prorogued Parliament recently, in the hopes of taking the heat off of his beleaguered government.

Acid indigestion and stinky feet

I was on the city of Québec website the other day, looking at how our fair city presents itself to the outside world. There was a lot of talk about the great quality of life here, green spaces, and especially, a growing research-driven high-tech economy with a strong emphasis on the life sciences, high tech materials, and materials processing, as well as optics and photonics.


Am I a male chauvinist pig? Maybe am I just one among many concerned about Social Deconstructionism?

At the risk of coming across to all my friends, especially the female ones, as a retrograde, anti-progressive, misogynist, male chauvinist pig neo-conservative macho man, I feel that I have a confession to make.

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