Monthly Archives: December 2012

Nothing’s sacred anymore,not even in this Yuletide season. Yesterday,around 3:30 pm PST, a mass shootout occurred at the Clackamas Town Center in a suburban area near Portland,Oregon called Happy Valley. This time of year, it’s expected that the shopping mall is full of people going about their usual Christmas shopping.

Initial and conflicting reports stated that a man  entered throught the back doors of the mall’s Macy’s Dept. Store ,wearing either body armor or camouflage and even a hockey mask,carrying either a semi-automatic rifle, AK-47 or,machine gun, jogging along inside that store and going out into the adjoining mall food court. Several people had seen him and a few thought that it was just a dressup costume until he began shooting around near  the food court area multiple times, some say as much as 20 rounds, making a lot of folks realize that he was carrying a real weapon. Many people began to panic and  began running from the mall. Others(customers and mall employees) who couldn’t get out, stayed hidden inside their respective stores for their safety. Several people were believed to be shot.

Upon the first news conference, the police said that it was a lone gunman responsible and was “neutralized” meaning killed, upon further clarification from the press. Another 2 fatalities were initially transferred to a nearby hospital. It wasn’t determined yet if those people were  mall employees or customers. Same with 1 individual with serious physical ,unspecifed injury enroute to a hospital as well.

Ongoing investigations have yet to determine if it’s terrorism- related or not. Both the Oregon State police and SWAT team have already secured the entire shopping mall as a crime scene. Around 10 ambulances are already on the scene ,building up triages for the possible wounded. For sure, they’ll look into the mall security cameras for any new info that they can use in their investigation.

Police already announced that more updates will be announced in the next news conference scheduled for today at 6: 30 AM PST.

This incident reminded me of  2  similar  shootouts,one which occurred here in Toronto,Ontario,Canada just this past May at the Toronto  Eaton Centre Mall food court and the other, on Dec. 2007 at the Von Maur Dept. Store in the Westroads Mall in Omaha,Nebraska.

As I had said time and time again, gun use regulation vs. gun control discussions will be ongoing. At the rate , this year of 2012,with so many shootouts happening , something really should be done! It’s as if no one has learned from all these horrible incidents.



December is finally here and I see around me whether at home or when I’m out on the streets, a flurry of all sorts of Christmas decorations in every size,shape,color and design as I can think of.

Yup! It’s that time of year again. When you look at a piece of Christmas decor, it  gives you a general idea as to  the  type of person who  owns them whether it’s traditional or modern for example. It really reflects one’s individual taste which that person wants to share to every onlooker who bestows their eyes on his cherished Christmas decor. It also gives us a glimpse of that person’s view on Christmas.

Overall, it gives a bright,cheery and festive flavor around us.  It amplifies the Christmas spirit in a nutshell.

Whether you’re into a Christmas pine tree, a wreath, a Yule log,candy cane, Nativity scene, Christmas stockings, Christmas bells and lights, mistletoes, Santa Claus,reindeer  or Frosty the Snowman figurines, etc., it’s your way to celebrate this festive season.

Enjoy gazing at the Christmas decor!


The recent report that CNN anchor/journalist Anderson Cooper had  sustained sunburn to  1 of his eyeballs after being exposed to the intense sunlight in Portugal where he was covering a news assignment is mind-boggling. Added to that , he experienced temporary blindness for 36 hour in the affected eye. He even had to wear an eye patch. It must have been a scary experience for him.

The importance of wearing sunglasses couldn’t be emphasized more in this case. Our eyes are very delicate and sensitive body organs so absolute care should be given to them.

I always thought that wearing sunglasses would help prevent the development of cataracts in the future. Add to that now would be sunburn on our eyes. Another learning experience indeed.

The old adage that looking directly into the intense sunlight might lead us blind holds true in Mr. Cooper’s case but at least, his situation  thankfully was temporary.

Food for thought!


When I woke up early Sunday morning on Dec. 2nd, the first snow  flurries of December came,covering all the cars parked in front of  my building,big driveway ,the roads and trees within my sight like heavy doses of baby powder amidst gray,cloudy skies and chilly air.

It gave me the idea that Father Winter will be coming soon. Here in Canada,mon ami, we always wish for a heavy snowfall on Christmas Eve so that on Christmas Day, it’ll be a White Christmas as the late crooner Bing Crosby said so.

Am looking forward to that. I’ll even play the Christmas song “Let it Snow! Let it Snow!” to drive that point. Please take note: I’m asking for a good snowfall,not a blizzard. Those are 2 different things.

For now this week, the weather has become fickle and unpredictable once again. Since Monday this week, all the snow flurries had disappeared and springlike weather had prevailed once again.

Oh,well. At least we already got a small taste earlier of winter.

Enjoy the day anyway!



The most widely anticipated royal pregnancy news since Princess Diana’s in 1981 had been announced on Dec. 3rd. Kate,Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant with her first child with Prince William,Duke of Cambridge,2nd in line to the British throne. New British legislation is expected to be passed that Prince William’s firstborn will be next in line to the throne after him, irregardless of gender.

She’s currently in the hospital and expected to be there for several days due to severe morning sickness in her early stage of pregnancy,called hyperemesis gravidarum. It’s so severe that she’ll need to get her daily sustenance for now through intensive hospital care. It’s expected that her condition will improve considerably by her 2nd trimester.

I could see in the coming days that she and her husband will be hounded by the press as her pregnancy is being monitored by the public eye. I could also see an onslaught of the fashion designers very eager to get on board and beg her to wear their latest maternity fashion designs. For sure, based on Kate’s fashion history, anything she wears, it gets sold out instantly.

Ah,yes! The news coverage goes on! I just hope that they’ll give the royal couple some degree of privacy since this period of infanticipating can be very stressful especially when under the public eye.

Congratulations to the happy couple!


On my 9/9/12 Blog, I mentioned about my local transit bus strike which had been actually on lockout by city hall since late June. It was just announced this past Friday that the tentative agreement which came out this past Tuesday has already been voted by the bus drivers union by a big majority.

It was a great relief for me since I often use public transit to get around. I’m lucky though that I live in a residential area surrounded by numerous businesses especially big box stores to fulfill my essential needs of daily living.  My local Walmart is only a 5 minute walk from my humble maison,mon ami. Dealing with this strike was tolerable for me but I can just imagine  how some folks who live in the outskirts had to deal with this either by walking long distances, taking a cab or hitching a ride.

The buses are currently being inspected before they officially start running again. It’ll happen before Christmas for sure, probably to help give the stores a last minute surge of Christmas shoppers to help boost their yearend profit. As a token of goodwill,  the bus company will  offer for a limited period of time, free bus rides to the public.

Thank God, both sides of the 2 involved parties had reached an agreement! We, the taxpayers pay for their service. With the upcoming Canadian winter season , it is really unimaginable as to how people can cope without bus service especially if they don’t have a car. Getting and maintaining a car is costly nowadays, no bones about it.

Bus service for sure isn’t the be- all and end- all in any society but definitely, it contributes a great deal in more ways than one in terms of  service for anyone’s personal and commercial reasons.