Monthly Archives: September 2012

Recently, I bumped into a co-tenant of mine whom I haven’t seen in quite a while. She appeared very surprised that I could still remember her name. Reason was that she surrendered to the reality that people usually forget other people’s names and don’t bother to remember names at all anymore.

I told her that I’m blessed with a very good memory and as long as I still have it, I will give her the courtesy that she deserves. I always believe that the greatest compliment you can give someone is to remember their name and how that name’s pronounced. I was shocked, mon ami, when she gave me a great,big hug afterwards out of appreciation.

Sometimes, I do get called with a different name altogether by other people who want  to greet me by my name but through an honest mistake or mistaken identity, a different name comes out. If I’m really close to that person, I’ll gently with good humor, point it out. Now if I hardly encounter that person anyway, then I’ll do a judgment call depending on the situation.

It’s so sad to know that some  people are so preoccupied with so many things nowadays,  that simple name recall becomes cumbersome at times . They may not realize that they display a wrong  impression to others that they’re uncaring and not empathic of others. I wonder how they would feel if their names get forgotten by others?

I’m pretty sure that if one works for the United Nations, ,the foreign service or in the world of politics, name recall is important. It sets the right tone for diplomacy so as to wager peace and deals with one another in this ever interactive world. Even in friendship, this rule also holds.

Just remember this. There’s a saying that goes like this:” The sweetest sound to a person’s ears is the sound of his name.”

In my opinion, this saying reaffirms one’s recognition and validity of existence in this world and not out of conceit.




This past May, the Royal Canadian Mint had finished imprinting the last Canadian penny. Reason was that it was more costly to produce each penny than the price of the penny itself. All existing Canadian pennies will still remain in circulation for a while.They expect that it’ll all  eventually disappear from existence. Cash transactions in the future will probably involve rounding up change to the nearest nickel or dime or quarter since pennies by that time would be nonexistent. However, we were also told that if we use debit,credit or other cashless transactions to make purchases, it’ll still be whatever amount it is due,even to the last penny.No rounding up either. Huh?

By the way, that last Canadian penny is now on permanent exhibit at the Royal Canadian Mint  in Ottawa(the national capital of Canada) in the province of Ontario.

I know,mon ami, that we’re beginning to see more people carrying less cash for safety and convenience reasons and just bring out a plastic card to do a paying  transaction. That’s what a cashless society is now. With the gradually disappearing Canadian penny, it’ll be a challenge for any cash transaction here in Canada.

I personally am no avid coin collector but just for reasons of posterity, I have already kept a few shiny Canadian penny coins as souvenirs. If I can find one with the year 2012(final year of coin imprinting),so much the better too. Some other adventurous folks might string them into jewelry(earrings,pendants,bracelets,necklaces,rings,brooches,etc) but that’s another matter altogether.

From time to time, I do still see a penny lying on the sidewalk. As the saying goes, when you find one penny, make a wish and it’ll come true for you.

If I had to make a wish, I wish that the Canadian penny can still stick around. Oh,well. Live and let live.



It has been 11 years since that fateful day—Sept. 11,2001(9/11/01) when terrorists hijacked 4 U.S. domestic,commercial passenger airplanes while on flight  with plans to hit target points in suicide mission mode. 3 of the planes hit on 3 separate targets–2  at the World Trade Center  in NYC and 1 at the Pentagon Building in Washington,DC. The 4th plane(United Airlines Flight 93) didn’t reach its intended target in Washington,DC. We will never know which specific target  because the brave passengers of  United Airlines Flight 93 fought with the terrorists to the bitter end and was able to divert the plane to a farm field in Shanksville,Pennsyvania.

We all know all the horrifying details of that fateful day. We also know where we all were as these tragic events kept unfolding one by one that day. Aside from ongoing TV news coverage, with  the magic of technology,those passengers’ cellphone messages to their loved ones describe their ordeal and encounters with the terrorists. Because of those cell phone messages,air travel was never the same again. Not only for all airports in the United States but worldwide. New airline and airport security measures as well as high-tech surveillance equipment were implemented  and kept being updated through the years as the terrorists try new ways to outwit US airline authorities but weren’t successful because of astute intelligence gathering.

The Department of Homeland Security was created and intelligence data gathering was shared and coordinated with other agencies(FBI,CIA,Defense Dept,etc) so as to be one step ahead of terrorist networks.

Every year since then, we keep observing this specific date in memory of lives which were lost as well as the loss of innocence in one’s perspective that the world is no longer safe as it was.

And to think that on Sept. 11,2001,I remember it as a bright,cloudless Tuesday with nothing much in the news except that Michael Jordan, an NBA veteran is coming out of retirement.

It goes to show you,mon ami, that life is full of surprises. Things happen for a reason even during  this horrific period of time–a turning point in the 21st century. Whatever the reason, we may not know it now but perhaps in due time.

They say that experience is the best teacher. The Sept. 11 event was a very horrible experience. Whatever we learned from it is an ongoing process  through these years consisting of reacting, adapting and reflecting.

As I reflect on it  11 years later on this 11th day of September, the only way that we could do is to try to live our lives the way we want it to be but to be also cognizant of the fact that we have to be on alert just in case another intrusion like this(God forbid!) happens again.

Whether we like it or not, it’s the new normal,folks!


Eversince I came back from my recent US trip, I just found out that my local transit bus company went on a complete shutdown , courtesy of our local city hall. Reason was that there had been ongoing yet fruitless negotiations to agree on pertaining to wages,benefits,etc. This had been going on for several months already and there was already even an official strike vote a few months back. Currently, there’s an impasse with no resumpton of talks so far. This bus strike has already been a little over 2 months now.

I sincerely hope that both parties can start again to lower their respective , hardline stances.

I personally take public transport so I’m fully aware of the repercussions of being unable to get from point A to point B. Luckily, I didn’t have any dire need during this summer season to take public transport since I live in a residential communnity surrounded by an ever expanding commercial  area. Therefore, most of the stores and establishments are within my reach.

Now with the upcoming autumn season and the schoolyear resuming now, hopefully, this transit bus strike will end very soon.

I have seen a lot of people walk very long distances to get to their destination and in some cases, some folks had to take the cab to get to medical appointments,etc. Some had to carpool if necessary.Asking anyone to give you a lift can’t be done too often because it imposes on people understandably.

With the rising costs of things especially gasoline, it’s hard to keep and maintain a car, much less pay for a cab.

City hall politicians and the bus transit union are doing a disservice to their tax-paying citizens by dragging this issue on. It gives us the perception that they’re not empathic of the public’s transit needs and just being too focused only on their personal needs and false sense of pride.

Wake up!!!  It’s been too long already! You can’t just justify this delay any longer! Get ready for the upcoming rallies by everyone(students, workers,seniors,etc) since Labor Day is over and the daily grind begins. It’ll only get worse before winter arrives.


Whenever I hear the song lyrics “When I see you in September,when summer is gone…”, it only heralds the upcoming autumn season. It’s the beginning of the final quarter of the current calendar year and an array of events. Aside from the now increasingly nippy air and the  gradual change of leaf colors, one can’t help but think that until the end of this year, festivities would come up like the major holidays–Christmas,New Year’s Eve,Hanukkah(for our Jewish friends),Thanksgiving,etc. Halloween for example is not a major holiday but a great day to party and for trick or treating as well.

For now, September is a month to observe such gradual changes and to take it slow. Enjoy the moment as we always say and conserve your energy because once October comes along, the pace will only start to gain some steam especially after Halloween.

Here in Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving on the same day as Columbus Day(in the US)–the 2nd Monday of October. After our Thanksgiving, the pace will start to  slowly quicken and after Halloween, it’ll eclipse to a break-neck speed for both Canada and the US in terms of preparing for the upcoming holidays specifically Christmas,New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

I’m quite thankful that the oppressive summer heat wave and humidity is over for now, don’t you,mon ami?



Well,folks.It looks like even here in Canadian politics, shootouts are starting to be common here. During a victory speech early midnight today, the 1st female premier-elect of  Quebec, Pauline Marois suddenly had to be  taken away by 4 bodyguards because a  62 y/o  masked gunman reportedly shooted rapidly from behind the backroom inside the Metropolis auditorium where the victory rally was held.The gunman ran out and even set a small fire outside the venue before being caught.As he was held up, he reportedly shouted”The English are waking up.” A 45 y/o man, a stage technician was reportedly shot dead,a 30 y/o man was wounded and a 3rd man went into shock.

Ms. Marois is of the separatist Parti Quebecois, a political party favoring separation of Quebec,a predominantly French-speaking province from the rest of Canada.

Quebec has been in the news for as  long as I can remember of its desire to preserve its French heritage and to secede from Canada yet wanting a piece of the federal cash and benefit pie.

Frankly, I feel that in this  case, one can’t have their cake always and eat it too. If they want to secede, they go ahead but do it alone,raising their own taxation plans and develop their own currency and Constitution without getting the rest of Canada involved. They got to let the apron strings go but based on the latest Quebec provincial election results, the Parti Quebecois only won a small handful of votes enough only to hold a minority govt.

I interpret that as majority of Quebecers are not too keen of secession and would want to remain as Canadian citizens. Besides, Ms. Marois can’t really make a go of it since she only holds a minority government, unless she starts political alliances to make it happen. I still think that it’ll be political suicide for her since the people have spoken. They just don’t have the appetite for it .

This discussion will go on and on but going back to the topic of gun use,control and regulation, this secession issue will only serve as a cataylst for some very passionate people to use gunfire to drive their point against the secession issue like what that masked gunman did.

Heaven help us!


The recent demise of 91 y/o  Hal David marks the end of another icon in music. He will forever be known as a co-songwriter with a fellow peer in the pop music industry, Burt Bacharach.

Songs like “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”,”Do You Know The Way to San Jose?”,”Close to You”.”What the World Needs Now”, “What’s New, Pussycat?”,”Walk on By”, “That’s What Friends Are For” and many other songs of his  all depict in simple words, feelings of love,hope and laughter  as one goes through the ups and downs of life .

Music is indeed another form of language expressed in tune and lyrics so as to send a message to the listener. The listener in turn, understands and stays focused on the singer’s message and a connection starts. That’s where the saying goes that the singer must connect to his audience in order to deem his performance as a success.

When listening to the lyrics, one would think that the singer’s talking to you as if he’s telling you his life story or of a certain event in a moment of time. You wouldn’t get bored listening to it because you’re anxious to know how the ending of the song will fare for the protagonist.

I would recommend getting  a double CD edition of Burt Bacharach ‘s album titled “Burt Bacharach & Friends”-Gold (Universal Music Company 2006). Most of Hal David’s songs are in that double album as well as the singers’ voices covering some of those songs like Dionne Warwick, Tom Jones, Carpenters, Dusty Springfield ,Herb Alpert ,Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, Olivia Newton-John  among others.

To Mr. David, your songs will live forever and will always remain timeless. Good music never dies.

Au revoir!