Monthly Archives: August 2013

I recently was visited  by my brother and his family to my neck in the woods. I had a great time going around with them in taking some of the sights and sounds of a place that I had lived in for a considerably long period of time.

It’s funny how as I think back  now that I see my home turf with a new perspective, probably from a new set of eyes i.e., my family’s eyes. It made me know more of the place that I call home. Not only that, it also made me know more of myself as  a person especially as to what made me think in terms of my views and comfort level in living here.

Of course, as some say, before you travel around the world, you should travel as a tourist in your hometown first. I now could see the logic regarding this.

Traveling is a learning experience and it rings so true. When one has a sense of his home turf and goes traveling outside of it, it gives one a new appreciation of the whole world and one’s place in it, home turf or not.

Any place on this earth is a reflection of the folks who live in such places and its corresponding cultures/norms.

Food for thought!



This is a follow-up to my previous blog–Aug. 10,2013 regarding 2 little boys and a python. Obviously, the death of the 2 boys from the hands of the python had become a watershed event regarding animal rights, the right to possess exotic animals and the strengthening of legislature regarding the acquisition,care and maintenance of exotic animals by people with the appropriate credentials and abilities to do so.

A few incidents here in Canada ,particularly in British Columbia and Ontario had revealed the hypervigilance and subsequent reporting  by local citizens with regards to pythons whether such animals were on the loose or illegally detained in unnatural surroundings. On top of that, the police authorities responded very quickly to check on the citizens’ reporting of such python sightings as well as involving zoologists,especially reptile specialists in such situations.

Pet stores and reptile emporiums also are now pressing their local Dept. of Natural Resources regarding the proper procedure to get a license/permit so as to validate their possession of exotic animals.

Local politicians are now reviewing their current by-laws,provincial laws and federal laws if any, to see if any amendments need to be done.

At this time, the Campbellton police in northern New Brunswick are still awaiting the final autopsy on the 2 little boys which may become available sometime next month . When that happens, depending on the findings, formal criminal changes will be determined and if needed on the owner of Reptile Ocean, the scene of the python attack on the 2 little boys–Connor and Noah Barthe.

So far, the owner Jean-Claude Savoie hasn’t said anything further in public upon the advise from his lawyer.

The Campbellton Dept. of Natural Resources had publicly insisted that they had never issued a permit to Mr. Savoie since the python,an African Rock type was a banned specie in New Brunswick province. The agency also claimed that they were never aware of the existence of such a python on their locality.

In the midst of such a tragic event, Connor and Noah’s death will not be in vain  since there’s a new-found awareness regarding exotic animals and how to deal with them appropriately.


Back to school sale season is here once again! Time sure flies fast!


As that popular Staples commercial said ,” it’s the most wonderful time of the year” and I don’t mean Christmas even if the familiar Yuletide lyrics  was  playing over that commercial.

It’s the annual back to school sales which is in a way the Christmas shopping season for Staples and all other stores that sell books,office and school supplies. Electronics like notebooks,etc. are also included here since we live now in a high-tech world so the electronic stores like Radio Shack benefit too. Furniture stores like Ikea also  thrive during this time  since college-bound kids need to look into new fixings for their new pad come the new schoolyear. The clothing stores benefit too since most school-bound folks want at least a fresh set of basic clothes to help them feel comfortable during their school hours.

If budget’s a concern considering that one has to put up with school loans, the thrift…

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Tomorrow will be Aug. 15 once again and it’s Acadian Day here on my neck of the woods. It’s something like a French-Canadian holiday celebrating the French settlers who came to Canada to start a new life. Enjoy!
Bonne Fete Acadie!


Today, in my neck of the woods, we’re celebrating Acadian Day(August 15). It’s mainly celebrated for the past 400 years+  by the Acadians, (a group of French-Canadians here in Canada) as their day of national pride and identity. Some of their  French -Canadian counterparts left Canada centuries ago and have settled in Louisiana,becoming as we say now, Cajuns.

It’s a holiday like no other as if it’s their independence day in a way.

Their cuisine reflects centuries of  history as they struggled as new settlers in Canada. The way they made their dishes speaks of practicality yet charm as it exudes uniqueness  in character and flavor.

Regular Acadian dishes like Acadian pea soup,chicken fricot( a form of chicken stew), apple dumplings,headcheese( pork head/pork hocks cooked  in a way like ham),meat pie and poutine rapee(boiled  and peeled  potatoes made into a ball with pork stuffed within it) for example are usually…

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Eversince this past Monday August 5 here in Canada, most Canadian provinces and territories were celebrating their respective civic holidays( as I had last discussed about it on my very last blog) when the unthinkable and horrible had happened.

On that fateful early Monday morning, breaking news came out of the small city of Campbellton,New Brunswick( population : 10,000,near the Quebec border and a 4 hour drive from my place)of 2 little boys apparently strangled in their sleep by an African rock python weighing about 100 lbs and approx. 3-4 meters in height. The boys’ names were Connor Barthe(age 6) and Noah Barthe(age 4).

Initial details as mentioned by the police were that the 2 boys were having a sleepover with the son of a reptile shop owner at the apartment  which was located above the shop called Reptile Ocean. Accdg. to the owner, he woke up early that morning and was going to check on the 2 boys who were both on the other room and upon opening the light, saw in horror the 2 boys now dead with the python nearby.

Further police details reported that apparently the python was in a cage inside that upstairs apartment and not downstairs in the reptile shop. The latch apparently gave way and the python slithered out and went into the ventilation system located above the cage and due to its weight, had fallen through the ceiling into the vicinity where the 2 boys were sleeping.

An autopsy was performed on the 2 boys and preliminary results revealed asphyxiation by the python as cause of death. The python was put to death and a necropsy was performed. A full autopsy report on the 2 boys will be available sometime next month,together with the python. The python upon initial examination appeared healthy.

The police will continue their investigation now deemed as criminal and will decide on further charges depending on the full autopsy report yet to be released. Determining the actual events which led to the boys’ death is high priority.It’ll take a lot of detective work on that for ,considering so many inconsistencies found during the investigation.

For example, there were a lot of inconsistencies in terms of the python’s behavior accdg. to the reptile experts and it appears that the python in question is a banned species in New Brunswick province and that no permit was ever issued by the provincial dept. of natural resources nor was there any awareness on their part that the python was there in that shop in the first place.

The reptile shop now and still deemed at this time as a crime scene had been inspected and 27 banned reptilian species have been uncovered. Arrangements had been made to transfer them to various zoos and certified reptile shops all over Canada  except for 4 crocodiles which had to be put to sleep since no accomodations can be found for them.

This entire episode is tragic ,horrible ,unthinkable yet preventable if precautions were made in terms of laws regarding possession and care of exotic animals. For sure,animal rights groups will have their say too but in the meantime, 2 boys’ lives are now gone and their parents’ anguish is something that was imposed on them and will stay on forever for as long as they live.

I had just watched today, the TV coverage of the funeral mass for the 2 boys both placed inside 1 coffin per parents’ request since both of them had lived and died together,therefore they get to be buried together as well.

For their sake, I hope their deaths had not been in vain and may actual reform in terms of the laws regarding exotic animals be implemented in light of this horrible event.

Exotic animals in my opinion should thrive in their natural habitat and not be in surroundings like a cage since it usurps the ecological balance of life. They act and react by natural animal instinct and we humans should always bear that in mind especially if they’re considering these animals as potential pets.

I just hope that the boys weren’t aware of what had actually happened to them that is, they died while asleep.

The ongoing onslaught of news coverage both local,national and international had besieged the city of Campbellton beyond the local residents’ imagination. Hopefully, their regular pace of life should return soon though I strongly believe that it’ll never be the same again for them  after this python incident.

My heart goes out to the parents. If it’s any consolation for them, it’s to see how so many people empathizes their situation right now and giving their all-out moral support to help them through this.

2013 may be the year of the snake accdg to  the Chinese lunar calendar but what a tragic irony that it had happened at this very moment in Campbellton,New Brunswick, Canada.

To Connor and Noah, may you  both enjoy your new life in Heaven ! I’m pretty sure that both of your parents will be looking forward to seeing you all someday once their time in this world is over.

Au revoir!


Here in Canada,mon ami,the first Monday of August is a holiday depending on which part of Canada one lives in.

It’s called either of the ff: Civic Holiday,Provincial Day  or the August Holiday.

Various low-key,local events celebrate each Canadian province and territories’ local culture. Many consider this as an extra summer holiday to catch up on one’s individual routine.

There’s no overt symbol for each province/territory for this particular holiday but they do each have its own flag and coat of arms. In terms of overall provincial/territorial symbols, each place has its own provincial/territorial tartan,trees,flowers,gemstones /minerals and birds.

The ff. provinces /territories consider the August Holiday as a statutory holidayBritish Columbia(BC Day),New Brunswick(NB Day),Saskatchewan (SK Day),Nunavut(Civic Holiday),Northwest Territories(Civic Holiday).

The ff. provinces/territories consider the August Holiday a holiday but not necessarily a statutory one depending on their locality: Alberta(Heritage Day),Manitoba(Civic Holiday),Newfoundland and Labrador(Civic Holiday),Nova Scotia(Natal Day),Prince Edward Island (Natal Day),Ontario(Civic Holiday,Simcoe Day or Colonel by Day).

Only the province of Quebec and the territory of Yukon do not celebrate this particular holiday.

Quebec has its own holiday called Quebec Day/National Holiday(La Fete nationale Du Quebec) which is celebrated every June 24,known as Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day or the Feast Day of Saint John the Baptist. it’s a paid statutory holiday celebrating French Canadian culture by holding festivals.

Yukon on the other hand, celebrates its special day every 3rd Monday of August ,known as Discovery Day aka Klondike Gold Discovery Day,commemorating the anniversary of the discovery of gold in the Yukon.

Wherever a Canuck lives in Canada(including moi), make the  most of this holiday and definitely enjoy it!