Sunday, January 25, 2009

The New Adventures of Heidi

We got a DVD copy of the New Adventures of Heidi for Christmas. I'll admit I was less than enthusiastic about the gift, but on Friday we just wanted to watch a movie, and it was too cold to go to the video store, so we popped it in. To my surprise I quite enjoyed it.

I was struck by how far we've come in 30 years. For starters, it wasn't digitally remastered, so it was a good reminder how much of a difference video quality has come. The story was about a delightful young girl who lives with her grandfather (Burl Ives) in a cottage on the Swiss Alps but discovers she may need to move away because her grandfather is going blind. Heidi meets a friend who is running away from a school road trip, and they forge a bond that is so strong her friend's family eventually takes Heidi in and they travel to New York City.

Friendship, Family, and Faith all feature strongly in the movie. My eyes got all watery more than once and I had a nice warm cozy feeling at the end of it. What was most interesting is how simple sincere prayers were a big part of the movie, and I can't remember the last time I've seen that. Recently if I've seen prayer in a movie it's either as a lame joke (think Talladega Nights) or it's part of an overtly religious movie like Facing the Giants. In this movie, it was just part of life and it helped advance the plot and conveyed the emotions the characters were feeling.

The neatest prayer was part of Heidi's grandfather's grace, "Lord, Help us to be grateful for all life’s blessings and to accept life’s disappointments without bitterness or complaint." That's good stuff, it foreshadowed the challenges the characters would face, and it got me thinking why don't I pray like that? I didn't have a good answer, so I've worked it into a few of my prayers already.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Taking a Stand at the UN

This is old news now that the latest round of fighting in Gaza has ended, but I still want to say that Canada should be commended for taking a stand against lunacy at the UN. Almost two weeks ago, the Globe and Mail Reported:

Canada was the sole member of the UN Human Rights Council to vote against a resolution, which passed in a 33-1 vote, condemning Israel over its actions in Gaza.

The vote crystallized Canada’s emergence under Stephen Harper’s government as one of Israel’s firmest supporters. At a meeting in Geneva, Canada asked for a recorded vote to emphasize its complaint that the resolution drafted by Arab, Asian and African countries did not recognize that Israel acted to stop Hamas rocket attacks.

European countries abstained, along with Japan and South Korea, because they felt the resolution lacked balance - it gave only brief mention to rocket attacks. Neither Israel nor the United States are in the 47-member council.

That's leadership. Not only was Canada the only country to take a forceful stand against a flawed resolution, we forced the recorded vote to make other countries take a position. Well done, and even though it's an old story. I still feel proud to be Canadian.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Barack O'Bama

I think this is supposed to be funny. The thing is it really is a catchy tune. As much as I have my doubts about this Obama guy, I gotta wish him well. If he doesn't perform he can do a lot of damage to the US and the World Economy. I do hope he's up to the task.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

No More Excuses

If this comes to pass, I'm going to start running out of excuses to take care of the renovations that I need to get done around home. According to the Globe and Mail, "The Harper government has been floating the idea of a tax credit for home renovations - an idea that could deliver significant stimulus for Canada's residential construction industry in the Jan. 27 budget."

This could benefit me if my contractor ever finds time to call us back, but it also sounds like there's solid economics behind it. Most building supplies are made in Canada so the spinoff stays here, and individuals could plan to spend the money a lot quicker than a new government infrastructure program that could take years to plan and then probably come into effect once the economy has already started to rebound.

Honestly a home renovation tax credit sounds like one of the better ideas I've heard to stimulate the economy, and it's probably one of the cheapest. I hope this happens.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Welcome Helicopters

Our troops in Afghanistan are getting much deserved support with the arrival of new helicopters.

CTV reports: "the new air wing fleet includes six Chinooks, newly retrofitted with heavy machine guns to counter Taliban attacks, and eight hefty, even more heavily-armed, Griffons to act as backup. It is believed to be Canada's biggest air force presence in a combat zone since the end of the Second World War."

The support will certainly be welcomed by Canadian Soldiers who have seen more than half of their fallen comrades killed by roadside bombs. Hopefully this will save lives, boost morale, and help accomplish the mission!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Should He Stay or Should He Go?

The Toronto Star keeps on asking the question about John Tory. The answer is simple, he should GO. I don't know why we're still asking the question. He was solidly beaten in the last election and he's done nothing to advance the interests of the Conservative party in the province since he held on to the leadership despite winning less than 2/3 of the votes in a Leadership review last Spring. Now that he's missed his own deadline to get elected to the Legislature or step down as leader it's time to go before he destroys his credibility further.

Monday, January 05, 2009

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas

I'm going to listen to Christmas music on the way to and from work, and I'm going to eat a Candy Cane and I'm going to be generally happy. Today marks the last day of the Christmas Season, tomorrow is Epiphany when we remember the wise men arriving in Bethlehem to worship Jesus. Tomorrow I'll have to think about taking the decorations down, or at least unplugging the lights. I may just keep everything up a little longer. I hope that you have been strengthened by this Christmastime too, and at the risk of sounding cliche that you can carry the spirit with you into the New Year.