Sunday, December 30, 2007

On motorcycles...

My very favorite pursuit in life, is riding. I have been riding for many years now and have had an even longer affiliation with riding if I go back to my younger years. Yet riding is something, for the privileged amongst us, that never gets old. It is something I always look forward to doing and and it is also an activity that never disappoints. How many activities can you think of that would fit into these categories?

My ride is a 2004 Honda VTX 1800C. When I bought this bike, new, out-of-the-crate in August 2005, I could have purchased any bike on the planet. I chose this bike among all others, with a great deal of investigating and research beforehand. What do I know about bikes? I have been involved with motorcycles since just after the Earth cooled. I am accredited as a Harley-Davidson Technician by the American Motorcycle Institute (AMI) in Daytona Beach, FL. I graduated on 03 March 1997 with a 3.75 grade average. I worked in the motorcycle industry for 4 years after leaving the Navy (1996) at a shop called Powertrend Cycles in Dartmouth, NS. My boss and mentor was Garnet Hill, who is arguably the best wrench in the Province of Nova Scotia, if not the entire Maritimes. Mike (Toad) Roach was the only person I ever knew that could give Garnet a run for his money. Unfortunately 'Toad' passed away in January of 2007, to the great sorrow of every rider on the East Coast and many others in countries around the world.

We wrenched mainly on Harleys, though we'd fix or customize anything out there. Our specialty was building 'frame-up' custom bikes. These were big-bucks, big-inches custom Harley-clones that outshone anything produced by any other shop. So yes, I am intimately familiar with all products 'Harley-Davidson'. No, I did not buy one when it came to buying a new bike... If I have to explain why I didn't, then it is clear that you know very little about motorcycles. In fact, and I say this without any type of brand-bashing in mind, most people who don't know a goddamn thing about motorcycles or riding, will drop the name: "Harley-Davidson" when asked about motorcycles. To the bike-wise, this does not instill condifence that you know what you're talking about. Figure it out for yourself... I am a proud member of the Canadian VTX Riders, by the way.

What I define as riding, results in a quasi-transcendental state of mind. There is simply nothing that can compare with the feeling I experience when I ride. It is the ultimate serenity vehicle. I believe that riding is meant to be done alone, to derive the maximum pleasure from the experience. While it can be pleasurable to travel with a companion, this only holds true if your passenger enjoys riding to the same degree that you do. There are such people out there who may never graduate to riding their own bike, but who actually love to travel with their mate. These are a rare find. Riding two-up is a totally different type of riding. It's a little more complex, less spontaneous than riding alone, but it can have it's own rewards if you have the right partner. You'll discover what mode of riding suits you best.

I consider riding to be the most selfish of pleasures. I do it for myself only. I'm not big on riding with a group. Too many distractions, which would take my attention away from the number 1 priority: "Cagers". Cars and trucks are enough to look out for, without having to keep tabs on a slew of 'newbies' on bikes. With a pack, the pace is dictated by whoever is leading and good leaders who are able to understand the dynamics and rules of pack riding, are few and far between. Group riding should always be a disciplined method of riding, if it is to be done with any margin of safety. I don't mind riding with three or four more riders whom I trust, but no...I don't do groups...

Close calls with cars and trucks should not ruin a good day's riding. They are accepted as a daily eventuality, for as unfortunate as that may sound. The experience of riding a bike, or even riding as a vulnerable passenger on one, is something every car and truck driver should experience. I fully maintain that in order to get a car license, every individual should have to qualify for their motorcycle endorsement first and spend at least a year on a bike, before being allowed to get behind a steering wheel. You truly have no idea how many absolutely, retardedly-stupid, incompetent drivers there are out there, until you have to face them on two wheels. Anyone, and I do mean anyone, who has ridden for at least a year, will be able to attest to this simple fact.

Riding (amongst other benefits...) takes you away from the negative influences in your day, as well as the everyday stresses and hassles associated with life on this Big Blue Orb of ours... What it provides in turn, is an opportunity to commune with the road, the machine, the wind and my own thoughts. Many times, my own thoughts just go for a walk... and it's just myself, 'Baby' and the road.

There are some up here in Canada who might be a tad jealous of our brothers and sisters to the South, who might get to ride just about all year around. This is certainly understandable on many levels. You know who you are... But Northern Riders such as ourselves, follow different rituals than our 'Murrikan' counterparts, who live in the Southern States. Winter for the Northern Rider, is just another part of the riding season. It is the one where we tend to our beasts, that have given us such wonderful moments and experiences during the warmer months. It is a time for perusing catalogs and travel maps, reminiscing over past travels and planning new ones. It is a time for periodic maintenance, of replacing fluids and parts, of fogging cylinders and hooking up battery tenders. It is a time for removing panels, nursing a coffee while cleaning and detailing areas left untended during the riding season, trying to remember on what trip it might have been that we picked up that dragonfly stuck in the air filter.

For many, winter is a time of metamorphosis for their machines. It is the period from which their rides will emerge, transformed, glistening with new paint, chrome or that long-awaited 240 rear tire kit. It is a time for washing and reconditioning our riding gear, whether they be leathers or ballistic nylon. No, we don't get much riding done...but we do a bunch of bench-racing and tall-tale telling whenever we get together. I believe the winter months keep us from ever taking for granted, how wonderful riding truly is. And come spring, our love of riding is as strong and vibrant as it was the very first time we rested our boots on a set of pegs. Our love never grows old, or jaded. We are a special breed, us Northern lot...and I am ever so thankful to be part of such a crew.

I will leave you with a final thought. In any of my posts here on this site, I WILL NEVER LIE TO YOU. We may not see eye to eye on my view of some things and that's okay. I don't write this prose to have anyone agree with it or to win any popularity contests, but I will never post something that I know or even suspect of being UNTRUE. So...Listen up, here: Learning to ride a motorcycle is the nicest, most generous, most soul-affirming thing you will ever do for yourself. Take this undeniable truth and do whatever you wish with it. But be forewarned. Once you're hooked on it, it's a lifetime affair. You're done... :)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Military service and human rights...

Quote: "Just so that we are absolutely clear, gentlemen...the military in general (and the Navy in particular...) is NOT a fucking democracy! You are here because you have chosen to defend and protect the rights and freedoms of this country's citizens. So briefly put, you are here to defend human are NOT here to enjoy them!" - Unquote. From my "Welcome aboard" speech, HMCS Fraser, Montreal, QC. - June 1976, while posted as athlete security for the Montreal Olympic Games.

Military Training 101...

Quote: "Civilians are the lowest form of life on this planet. They are filthy, slovenly, self-absorbed , soft, unmotivated and uneducated individuals who have no concept of honour, loyalty or teamwork! Despite this they may eventually rule the world, but they should never count on occupying a responsible position!" Unquote. - Basic military indoctrination training, CFB St.Jean, QC - December 1975.

God love Charles Darwin...

I've been reviewing some of the articles I have posted here lately and it occurs to me, that some of you might think me bitter and devoid of any humour. Trust me, nothing could be further from the truth. I enjoy a good many things in life and have developed a knack for finding humour in just about any situation. Military life will tend to do that to you. True, some people believe that my humour tends to stray to the dark side every now and then, but that's only because I derive such enjoyment out of reading the posts which periodically appear on the Darwin Awards website.

For those of you who may not be familiar with this whole premise, Charles Darwin developed a theory of evolution, which would have it that individuals of any given species were allowed by nature to progress and multiply, if they had the genes to carry on the bloodline. Nature itself would select those destined to carry on the species, via the law of Natural Selection. Natural Selection being the process by which Nature weeds out the weak, lame, sick and/or stupid who are of inferior genetics, so that the species' gene pool might remain viable. Basically, it's nature's way of skimming the gene pool.

Far too many people believe nowadays that just because we possess opposable thumbs, we're not subject to the Law of Natural Selection. They believe (mistakenly, as it turns out...) that human beings are above such laws of nature. What invariably results, is an ongoing litany of people who end their own existence through what could charitably be termed 'misadventure'. The actual reason for their demise would be "boneheaded stupidity". Remember that old chestnut: "What you don't know won't hurt you..."? Well predictably enough, it's been discovered that this is a load of bullshit. What folks don't know can hurt 'em plenty... In fact, it's likely to get 'em killed. And if you look around you, wherever you happen to live, you will soon discover that you are surrounded by a great many people that don't know a whole lot about anything. These then are your potential Darwin Award winners.

So how is it possible to actually derive mirth from someone else's misfortune? Simple. Very much like watching a totally implausible movie nowadays, which is filled with incredibly well-done CGI, when reading the Darwin Awards you have to temporarily suspend your sense of disbelief. The ONLY response you can muster when reading these tales of mind-bending idiocy, is laughter. I would even add laughter, mixed with a sense of actual relief (if you care anything about our species as a whole...) that these individuals did not get to reproduce, thereby preventing our already shaky gene pool from becoming even further contaminated.

In this age of medical marvels and prodigious leaps in the fields of science, one truth still holds: "You cain't fix STUPID!!"

A special mention has to go to those Westerners who materialize in radical muslim countries, where they are promptly kidnapped, tortured and killed. Had you people not verified with your travel agent about this type of situation? Are you really so situationally unaware of the goings on in the world, that you would think your religion or good intentions could hold you safe from such insanity? That's just asking for it, I'm sorry...

I think of this often, as I travel through this city and am exposed to my fellow citizens. I note how most civilians negotiating malls or city streets, resemble cattle that has just been released on a stretch of freeway somewhere. They bimble about with no sense of purpose or direction, blissfully ignorant and electronically isolated from the threatening reality which surrounds them. In truth, most of 'em will never see it coming.

So happy reading! At the very least, it can't fail but to boost your own feeling of self-worth. If you happen upon a passage which rings the least bit familiar, I would suggest you heed the writing on the wall...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Don't be so smug...

I have noticed over the years how the residents of 'certain provinces' feel an almost pathological need to speak ill of other Canadians, in order to make themselves feel better about who they are and where they live. I will purposefully leave the Province of Quebec out of this, as being the xenophobic, rampantly-racist, anti-semitic cultural ghetto they revel in being, they automatically dislike all the other provinces and territories. They may however make a somewhat favorable mention of a province which allowed them to spend money there, without reminding them of what dicks they are. As a sidenote, I was born and raised in the Province of Quebec. I was schooled in both school systems, the English one and the French... I moved from Quebec in 1976 as a political refugee, wanting my children to grow up in a democracy.

So take your basic 'Upper Canadians' for example. As in those who inhabit certain parts of the Province of Ontario.

They have a marked tendency to look down on those who inhabit the Maritime Provinces (and for the most part are not aware that Newfoundland and Labrador are not part of the Maritimes, but of the Atlantic Provinces). Apparently the belief would have it that Maritimers are either dumb, poor, uneducated folk, or simply dope smokin' fishermen...

As many of you out there may or may not know, when the many flights were diverted to airports across Canada on 9/11, fate smiled upon this country. How so you ask? Well for one, these flights were diverted to the coasts, away from our "important cities" such as Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. Disregarding what a monstrous slight that is to Maritimers and Newfs (classifying us as 'disposable Canadians'...), how very fortunate we were to have so many foreigners introduced to Canada in such a way!!

True story:

Caller: "I want a number to get a hold of the Canadian Embassy!"

Me: "Absolutely, ma'am... And in which country do you want to contact the Canadian Embassy?"

Caller: "Pardon...?"

Me: "Madam, Canada has embassies in just about every country in the world. In which country did you want to contact the Canadian Embassy...?"

Caller: "!! In Toronto...".

(If you are reading this and are from Toronto, let me explain. Canada's interests are represented in foreign countries by an ambassador, who is assisted by a consular staff. They operate out of an Embassy. A smaller version of an embassy is a consulate. These offices operate only in foreign countries. There are no Canadian embassies or consulates in Canada... Toronto is located within the Province of Ontario. This province is in fact part of Canada, the country in which both you and I live. Toronto is not a foreign country, just as the Province of Quebec is not a foreign country. They both are simply smaller parts of this great country of ours. We do have however, embassies and consulates which represent the governments of many foreign countries here in Canada. I hope I've managed to clear this up for you.)

Those 'accidental tourists' who spent time in the Maritimes as well as Newfoundland and Labrador, still talk about their stay in terms overflowing with affection and gratitude. I shudder to think what their impressions of Canadians would be, had they actually let the flights land at Pearson International.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

If you move to Canada...

Let's get one thing straight, right off the bat. Canada is still a democratic country. While it is recognized that there is no universal definition for 'democracy', it is largely understood that it is characterized by the principle of political and social equality for all. If you've stopped laughing by now, read on... Now, let's talk immigration. If I wanted to immigrate to say... Germany, I would do so with the implicit understanding that I would have to learn to read and write German, as well as adopt the German way of life. After all, I am moving to their country. If I do so, it is because I too want to become a German. That is the purpose of immigration. I would not be so arrogant as to assume that Germany would bend to my way of doing things. I would not be so arrogant as to assume that the German government and the German people owed me any special favors, just because I had decided to grace them with my presence.

I would certainly not think that I was entitled to build my own section of Canada, inside Germany, where I would then live outside of the laws and conventions of German society, because let's face it, they're not good enough for my kind. What kind of insult would that be to the country and it's people? I would be rightfuly classified as an "Auslander" and probably harassed.

"But some people leave their country because life there is unfair, or too hard, or too dangerous...". No kidding... Leaving one's country has never been seen as an active means of addressing whatever ailments it might have. Transporting the cultural and religious baggage that made that life so hard, or unfair, or dangerous, to another country...only serves to spread the insanity around. It doesn't make anyone's life better. Have you ever wondered why there are no long queues here in Ottawa, which form outside the embassies of Muslim nations...?

Immigration implies that I want to become as those in my host country. Those who decide to move into another country and set up a small version of the country from which they came, are not immigrating. They are invading. There is a marked difference between the two.

"They want to move to Canada so that they can be free...". Ummm... No! If that were in fact the case, they would not persistently hold onto the same cultural and ideological beliefs which imprisonned them in their home country in the first place.

Does nobody read the brochures before they decide to immigrate here? Ah, wait.... Yeah, they probably do. I keep forgetting that our country, to say nothing of our birthright, is being traded in order to expand the taxation base, regardless of where the constituents of said taxation base come from. Yes, I know. Birth rates here in Canada are at an all-time low in many Provinces. There's a reason for that, you know... Canadians know full well how much it costs nowadays to have and raise children in Canada. I know those who lord over us would have no idea, but take it from me... It's prohibitively expensive...

So seriously...? You're going to import hordes of foreigners (immigration quotas are going up every year...) who are used to/willing to get along with far less, in order to make up for the shortfall not in taxation revenues, but for your own personal greed? Let's face it... Much of our tax dollars are severely mis-spent in the first place. And all the while telling us to not wish people a Merry Christmas, because they might be offended as they're not from around here where we happened to grow up? I have a much better idea. Notably in light of events which have transpired around the globe since 9/11.

Here's the deal....

1. Anyone who might be offended by a native Canadian wishing them a Merry Christmas, show 'em the way to the nearest airport. As stated, I don't believe in religions of any kind, but taking offense at any type of well-wishes (notably one which is endemic to your new country of residence...) is the sign of an unstable mind. You "gots to go..."

2. Anyone who thinks that the establishment of sharia law in Toronto (although they may well deserve it...) or anywhere else in Canada is a good idea, should be shot in the street, without any type of dialogue being offered. This type of howling ignorance is far too dangerous to be allowed to exist. Using the whims or edicts of any perceived deity (delusion) to base a system of laws or government, can only be described as insanity. Encouraging the establishment of such laws, knowing they will rob newly-arrived female immigrants of their rights and drag them back some eight centuries in time, as well as crush any type of civil liberties they might enjoy as Canadians, well... I'm not even going to touch that...

3. Muslims: Before you decide to even consider moving here, you should think of leaving your 'religion' at home. I understand that for many of you, your 'religion' is worth more than your life. We will never see eye to eye on this so perhaps it's best if you just don't come at all. Your beliefs are great for you, but they hold you back in the tenth or eleventh century. They are not compatible with modern, progressive society. A caveman with a Blackberry is still a caveman, only trendier... More and more, Islam is being driven by the religious zealots, while those who claim to be 'moderates' do and say nothing to counter this trend. In the name of the greater good (read: Canadians who presently inhabit this goddamn country...), we know which team the bad guys are on. Hint: They are NOT red-headed Irish gentlemen. They aren't about to give us programs listing who the baddies are either, and the so-called 'good ones' are not going to be of any assistance to us, for fear of being labelled 'traitors' by their psycopathic stable-mates and having 'fatwas' issued against them. If these were Italian mobsters issuing hits on their rivals, they'd be in jail faster than you could say "John Gotti". But since all this idiocy is masquerading under the guise of 'religious freedoms', we apparently don't know what the Hell to do... Fear not, I do...

So guess what? You should obviously be labelled as traitors by the Canadian population, herded onto whatever means of transport is available and sent back whence you came. Enough is enough... Our borders should be closed to those who have not managed to make it here so far. Yes, any politician would say: "These are the politics of fear!!" Well, horseshit to you... These aren't politics, this is common sense. The two are mutually exclusive, apparently. And it's not based on 'fear' but on self-preservation... you know, that trait that you've been trying to breed out of us North Americans for the last 40 to 50 years now? Yes, it's called religious profiling and it actually works... How shocking is that!?!?!
If our neighbors to the South ever developed the balls to exercise such an immigration screening program, they could save billions on security expenditures and free up precious resources to carry out other pressing missions or maybe invest in other social programs. It's such a grand idea that the Dutch (of all people in the EU...) have adopted this idea and the Germans are giving it serious consideration as well. True, we haven't had any persons of note 'slaughtered in the streets of Ottawa' as of yet, but give it time. We have had a few 'honour killings' across the country, but of course the various authorities and the media (surprisingly...) have downplayed them as being of little consequence. Aaaahhh...freedom of religion...ya gotta love it! But what do I know...

I'm not saying that I'm death on immigration. I'm just saying we need to ensure that those who are allowed access to Canada be the type of people we don't have to monitor 24/7 and who actually share our values and beliefs. Is that so friggin' hard? Does that really sound so unreasonable? Entrance to this country and access to the opportunities it offers, is an honour and a priviledge. It should be afforded only to those who want to become Canadians, with all that this entails. The much vaunted "multiculturalism" pipe-dream has come to naught, I'm afraid.
We have become not a melting pot, but a collection of solitudes. Much to the detriment of our population as a whole. We have been made to embrace and respect every culture but our own. A country that would prostitute itself to such an extent, is one that is ripe for conquest by any other country/race that actually has an identity. It is time perhaps that we took control of our country once more. It is definitely well past time, that we remind our so-called elected officials as to where that line lies that they dare not cross.

I don't like the bus...

My normal mode of transportation is my bike. It is an awesome machine and brings me great amounts of joy (as well as a Zen-like sense of tranquility) whenever we become one. There is no better mode of transportation, period. It is ecologically sensitive and sensible, economical and the best reason of all, more fun than I can stand.

Enter winter, truly the season of my discontent. Winter means many things and in my books at least, most of them negative. Oh I can handle the cold, even the snow and ice and the short-ass days when it's constantly dark (going to work and coming back from...). But the worse that winter has to offer those of the riding persuasion, is no riding and worse yet, the bus.

Yes, the bus... or as I invariably refer to it: "The Loser Cruiser". It would be hard for me to be precise as to which aspect of busing I loathe the most. Surely, being at the mercy of it's timetable would rank way up on the list. And again, it would likely depend on which direction I was going. If I were to be perfectly honest and not inclined to dramatics, I would have to admit that the morning trip in is in fact not that terrible. Let's face it, when the weather is really crappy, snowing, blowing, freezing weather... I'm actually pretty stoked to see the dim outline of it's lights in the distance, as it trundles along Innes. I am fairly near the start of the inbound run and as such there is always a seat available for my carcass when I get on.

Normally, 1 bus is all I need take to get me from home to my place of work. I have a brief walk from where I get off the bus to my particular office space. It's very convenient, really. On the way home, well that's another story. If I happen to finish early (1615hrs), I will have to wait with uncounted multitudes as we watch bus after bus, crammed impossibly full with commuters coming from God only knows where, sail by our stop...the drivers not even so much as touching the brake pedal, so as not to give us even the slightest illusion of false hope. With all the Gods smiling on me in unison, I may finally get to board a bus 45 to 50 minutes after having began my vigil. But at least it's my bus and I won't have to transfer between here and home.

By this time, any notion of boarding a bus AND finding a seat is not to be entertained, unless you really enjoy torturing yourself. On a good day, I might get a seat five blocks before I finally disembark. Score!

True, I could attempt to sardine myself onto any particular express bus headed out to Place d'Orleans and from there take a secondary bus. When I work the late shift, I have absolutely no choice but to do this. This means facing the one scenario which renders busing the absolute Hell that I normally associate it with. The Transfer...

There is only one bus other than 94, which can get me home. Sad, when you think of the scads of buses which go tearing by my house... But no, there are only 2. The second one is the 135. Or as I normally refer to it: "That mother-------, p.o.s, ----sucking 135!!" I hate this bus. I loathe it. I despise it with the same fervor I would normally reserve only for French Nationalist Quebecers, who are the sworn enemies of my country and who should be put to the sword indiscriminately, every one of them. (I am allegiance is to my country...they seek the destruction of my country...Try to keep up here...). Okay, I can hear you asking why I would dislike this one particular bus with such a white-hot intensity. Having to Transfer to this one bus inevitably extends my commute home by at least another 40 minutes. Normally more than an hour longer. Powerless to avoid such a wait, I normally manage to escalate my discontent into a murderous rage.

Rumour would have you believe that there are 2 buses which serve the 135 route at any given time. The times listed at the Place d'Orleans station are obviously figments of someone's imagination and clearly have never been shared with any of the drivers who pilot that bus. My own take on this would be as follows: Each 135 bus is hancrafted by twenty or so 10-year-olds with Downs Syndrome before being put into service. This accounts for the inordinate wait time when you happen to disembark from a 95 Orleans bus. Once it is finally put into service it meanders lazily through the southern subdivisions until it reaches the boundary of Trim Road, before meandering back to rejoin 10th line and then proceed southwards towards Innes, a street it could have reached some 15-20 minutes ago had it only continued uphill along 10th Line in the first place. After finally turning onto Innes and passing my stop, I am fully convinced that it bimbles along eastwards, possibly cruising out to Rockland and maybe even Hawkesbury (I hear some have been sighted in Pointe Claire on Montreal's West Island...), before it decides to consider heading back to Place d'Orleans, where other hapless commuters are tearing their hair out by the roots, cursing this bus with their every breath, as they wait to finish their seemingly interminable commute home.

In many of my fondest dreams, I see the 135 come wheeling into the shelter at Place d'Orleans, the driver smiling broadly, waving as he manoevres the bus alongside. Me smiling broadly as well, as I heft an RPG-7 onto my shoulder, take aim and send this petulant, cantankerous piece of crap to Bus Hell... Oh yes, and I have multiple reloads too... which I will gladly expend before cheerfully deciding to walk the rest of the way home. *Sigh!*

I truly don't like the bus some days...

Monday, December 24, 2007


"For those who fight to defend it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know!" - Unknown.

Poppy Etiquette.

Every year, I note with pride and gratitude the number of Canadians who wear the poppy during the month of November. I am supposing that most who wear it understand the why of it all. Yet also every year, seemingly without fail, I note those who continue wearing the poppy once Remembrance Day has come and gone.

It goes without saying that were any of these people wearing military attire, I would confront them and proceed to give them a violent tongue-lashing which would leave them with their ears ringing and their dignity in tatters. Military personnel have no reason, or excuse, or will to insult the memory of our war dead, which is what the wearing of the poppy beyond Remembrance Day accomplishes. Why, I would hazard to state that even the youngest, greenest recruit would not commit so ghastly and terrible a misstep as this.

So why is it then, that a disproportionate number of civilians are seen wearing the poppy after November the 11th.? Is it possible that they have never learned what to do with their poppy on Remembrance Day? Do they think it simply a fall fashion statement? Let's assume so, for the sake of being magnanimous and not wanting to believe that this mass insult is indeed intentional.

"What do I do with my poppy?" For the record, the proper fashion of removing and disposing of a poppy is as follows:

Following the attending of Remembrance Day ceremonies at any Cenotaph in Canada, the wearer will then approach said cenotaph and lay his/her poppy amongst the wreaths laid there during the ceremonies. And voilà….

For those who do not attend Remembrance Day ceremonies, first of all: Shame on you. There… I said it and I'm glad.

Secondly, if you are not close to any type of ceremonies or a cenotaph, by twelve noon you may remove your poppy and dispose of it however you wish. I attend the ceremonies here in Ottawa and yes, it's a logistical nightmare to get near the cenotaph during the ceremonies proper. I simply return a little later and lay it down, normally upon the Tomb of the Unknown, with an added prayer for those who are still missing or unaccounted for.

We do still have 8 who are unaccounted for in Southeast Asia…

Yes, I know…some people hoard poppies at home so they won't have to buy another one next year. I will purposely refrain from commenting on this practise…

So there you have it.

Now you know when to stop wearing your poppy and what to do with it.
Please don't count yourself amongst the ranks of the utterly clueless next year.

We're Canadians, goddammit.…. We really ought to know better.