Monday, June 28, 2010

Alex Bay in the rain...

This last Saturday, rain or shine, I was fixin' to head on over to Alexandria Bay, NY. It was the 4th Annual Thousand Island River Run. I had attended last summer with my eldest daughter, just before she was deployed to Afghanistan. It had rained just as I was getting to her place and again, just as I was dropping her off.

I should have taken my cue from last year, but no. I had to go on Saturday. So early Saturday morning, my friend Claude and my younger daughter met me at our place and we got set to head out. Well I gotta tell you, it rained on our sorry asses all the way down there and all the way back. Mind you, it was not a heavy, drenching downpour of rain. That would have killed it pretty much from the get-go and we would have re-scheduled it for the next day.

But it was 'showers'. Light rain which at times got a bit heavier, then eased up again for a bit, but it remained with us... a constant companion. Still, we did not let it dampen our moods. We headed out from Orleans and made a stop in Manotick for a quick coffee, then a rest stop in Merrickville, where we had a late brunch consisting of sausages, eggs homefries and a toasted bun. It was delicious and my 'little girl' scarfed hers down like a trucker.

A lot drier and with happier guts, we re-mounted our steeds and headed South down the 15 which took us all the way to Hwy 2 along the St.Lawrence. We didn't stop in Brockville this time but toodled through the town and linked up with the 2S, after a brief and hair-raising dash along the busy 401. But then there we were... cruising sedately along the 1,000 Islands Parkway. Rain or no, it is always a beautiful spot to ride through. In fact, the moisture kind of softened the edges of everything and lent an ethereal, phantom-like feeling to the lush greenery which surrounded us.

There were no critter sightings this time out, but it was just as well. I was happy not having to make any abrupt changes in direction or emergency stops. My main concern was in making the trip as fun and enjoyable for my daughter as I could. It was our first trip together on the bike and I really wanted the experience to be a positive one. She had donned my better half's riding gear (Joe Rocket 5.0 jacket and matching pants...) and was as happy as a clam. Totally weatherproof. She was a real trooper throughout the whole trip and we really did have an enjoyable time of it.

She got excited when we crossed the 1,000 Islands Bridge. It does tend to provide a unique perspective of things when on a bike. The view is astounding. We rolled into Alex Bay and the bikes were everywhere. We parked off the main drag in a little parking lot across from Chez Paree. After dismounting and squaring our gear away, we sauntered down the street to the registration booth. My daughter was duly impressed not only with the number of riders who had shown up, but with the seemingly unending variety of the bikes on display.

After registering and picking up our goodie bags (t-shirt, pin, patch, bandana, sticker and coupons), we headed up the hill to the bandstand where the vendors had set up shop. On the way, we had to traverse the area where the bike builders were showing off their wares. The shops represented spanned the New England States. There is a lot of talent down there, I'll have to admit. Not all were my cuppa tea, if you know what I mean, but that didn't stop me from appreciating the talent and vision that went into each one. I met and chatted with one of the fabricators whose name tag identified him as "Nobody". He was a good ol' boy (Southerner), modest and with a keen sense of humour. I got my daughter to take a shot of us together.

The vendors tents offered up everything from leather goods, to skid lids (helmets), to accessories, to Baker 6-speed trannies. If it had anything to do with the biker lifestyle, you were guaranteed to find it there. The boys from the 'Red and White' were there with a table full of their 'support' merchandise. My daughter liked their one t-shirt which proclaimed: "Silence is golden...duct tape is silver." I don't think she realized who all they were though... Just as well.

I took a couple of minutes to go and pay my respects to PFC Jack T.Sweet and the lads of the 10th Mountain Division. Following which Claude and myself checked out more custom scoots which were displayed under the bandstand. There were many models which evoked that Old School cool. Rigid frames, girder and springer front ends, 21" front wheels, Webber carbs, Panhead engines, Z-bars... the variety and excellence of work was truly noteworthy. There was one bike which was roped off from all the others, which was a tribute bike. It had been built to commemorate the service and ultimate sacrifice of 4 young Marines. It was technically jaw-dropping and emotionally inspiring.

The hand shifter was a Marine ceremonial sword (cutlass). The front downtube was lined with buttons from a set of Marine dress blues. The sprung solo seat was hand-stitched and featured the names and ranks of all four Marines. The rear fender was adorned with a remarkable picture of their likenesses. The bike was done in black, red, white and gold... standard colours of the USMC. The bike itself was an eye-catcher. The tribute theme made it simply stunning...

Before our heads exploded from taking in so much classic steel, we decided to make our way down the hill to the shopping on James Street. As we moseyed along, Claude and my daughter began taking notice and reading the various 'biker theme' stickers that many riders had adorned their helmets with. These range from the irreverent, to the downright scandalous, but are always sure to provoke a smile, if not an out and out laugh. Aaaaaahhh... such cheap entertainment.

We stopped into one of the many t-shirt shops and picked up another River Run t-shirt. From there we headed to a shop called Good Dog Charlie's, as I was trying to locate a specific type of raincoat for my better half. Unfortunately as it turned out, they no longer carried it. We began making our way back up the street, on the other side. Again we were treated to all kinds of bikes and riders. We saw a member of the 1st Cav. (another Canadian military riders' group) who was bimbling down the street with a hat shaped like a stuffed crab. My daughter snapped a pic for posterity (or possibly future blackmail...).

It had pretty much stopped raining by this point and we decided that our stay was just about done here for today. We made our way back to the bikes and it immediately began raining once more, even as we stood there donning our gear. It's like it knew we were preparing to leave... We mounted our steeds and headed slowly out of town. I knew we'd be coming back later this summer, when the sun would be shining...

The ride back was just as pleasant and uneventful. In fact, as we headed North up Highway 31 out of Morrisburg, the rain actually stopped. A little further, just outside Winchester Springs, the sun actually came out and we were rolling along on dry roads. Perhaps it was Ma Nature's way of rewarding us for sticking it out so long. In any event, it was a welcome experience and a nice way to finish the day. We arrived home and peeled off our wet layers, as a wonderful spaghetti dinner awaited us, courtesy of my better half. I felt badly that Claude had to put his soaking boots back on for the ride home after supper. My daughter stayed overnight with us and I gave her a ride back home the following morning, after a breakfast featuring one of Dad's old school cheese omelets.

It was a great weekend and despite the rain, a very nice father/daughter experience. I for one, enjoyed it immensely.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Another case of over-educated and under-smart...

I have to say that I was tickled by this particular e-mail we received. Again, it serves as a classic reminder that any level or degree of university education, does not provide the guarantee of an intelligent human being.

"Dear Sir/ Madam,

My name is *** ** and I am PhD student from ***. I am writing this letter to explore the possibility that the ticket I got on June 12th can be re-considered based on my situation.

To make long story short, my wife and I took our son to ********* beach on June 12th. Before we went, I got a fishing license for my son, but we did not have licenses for my wife and myself. I thought one license should be OK for the family if we stay together and do not retain more than 4 crabs, which is the limit for one license. A fishery officer came to us and told us we need licenses for each individual one and this is the first charge he gave to both of us.

Then he measured the size of the 4 crabs I caught, which were from around 15.95-16.2 cm and 3-5mm (about 3%) smaller than required (I heard these when he measured the size), and charged us the 2nd item as catching undersize crabs. I measured the size when I caught them, but I am not good at controlling them and they were struggling all the time, I must have not measured them correctly.

The last item he charged us is that I collected some clams. I really did not know that it is illegal to harvest clams now. When I applied the license, I briefly checked the website and only saw that it is illegal to catch clams without license. The officer then showed me the sign on the beach. Finally we are fined 550 CAD all together.

My point here is that I know it is my fault to be unaware of the fishing regulation. I should have known that every single one must have their own license to fish there, I should measured the size more accurately and I should have noticed that sign prohibiting harvesting clams in that area. I am terribly sorry for the mistakes I made there and I have really learned this lesson. By all means, I promise I would never make such mistake anymore.

But my situation here is I really cannot afford that big fine ticket, 550 CAD is the amount we paid for our food for 2-3 months. Besides that, I am graduating this fall and I am looking for my job now. My ideal position will be a civilian member in RCMP because I was a forensic biologist myself when I was in China and I really love that job. This record for sure will be a sensitive issue for that application.

So you may trust me now, I really did those terrible mistakes unintentionally. If by any chance, I knew they are wrong, I would not take any risk for sure. So here I am really asking your big favor to consider my situation here, and cancel the ticket. I would like to do some volunteer work to compensate my mistakes.

If by any chances you believe me, please set a time when you are are convenient then we can talk on phone and I can explain the thing, or I can go to the your office (is that *** - *** ******* Street?).

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.


So basically...: "Please cut me some slack because I am part of the educational elite"?

I don't think so... LOL!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cry me an islamic river...

The anti-Islam vote in the Netherlands electionson 06 23rd, 2010

The enormous success of the right wing anti-Islam party in the recent elections in the Netherlands indicates a widespread schism within the Dutch and wider European societies where the presence of the Muslims as equal participants of society is disputed.

(As well it should be. Muslims have as little in common with European cultures as they do with North American cultures. - Crypt.)

"Stop migration from the Muslim countries! Block the building of mosques or Muslim schools! Stop subsidising the multicultural programs," were prominent slogans of Geert Wilders, head of Freedom Party (PVV) during the election campaign in the Netherlands. His party obtained 1.5 million votes and increased its number of seats from 9 to 24 in the parliament. It is probable that the PVV may enter into a coalition with the mainstream liberal party VVD to form a government. This can lead to an extremely xenophobic and an anti-Muslim government in western Europe.

(It appears to me that someone should go look up the meaning of the term 'xenophobic'... xenophobia is an uncontrollable fear of foreigners. This is more a visceral dislike of a segment of 'humanity' who seeks the corruption and destruction of our way of life. There is a big, big difference between the two. - Crypt.)

The anti-migrant propaganda of Wilders appealed to certain quarters within the Dutch society. The old working-class neighborhoods that traditionally supported the Labor and Socialist parties got disillusioned with the presumed ‘elitist’ attitude of these parties. With increasing unemployment, economic downfall, changing neighborhood demographics – with more migrants, caused a feeling of isolation among these groups ("this is not my street" is a complaint heard often). The migrants are easy targets of such socio-economic isolation. Add to this the fast integration of Europe that increased distance between the people and decision-makers, thus ‘evaporating our national symbols’, as neo-nationalist like Wilders will argue for.

(Maybe it's rather that it's adherents are throwbacks to the stone age and are intent on turning back the evolutionary clock by some 2,000 years... - Crypt.)

The traditional polarisation of the Dutch political scene further added to the election win of the PVV. Wilders chided the traditional political parties for ignoring the worries of ‘common man’ on burning issues of migration, criminality and security. Afraid of loosing their vote bank the other political parties, the traditional parties did not present a clear opposition to Wilders’ accusations. In the process they lost to Wilders’ sentimental political ploy on such issues.

(You say 'sentimental'... I'll say 'common sense'... - Crypt.)

The success of parties like the PVV is a dangerous development with respect to the future of democratic values in Europe.

('Democratic values' meaning freedom for Islam to spread unchecked throughout Europe... - Crypt.)

Wilders’ party does not follow the rules of a traditional political party: it does not have a membership or party hierarchy or hold any party elections. In this sense it is mere a ‘movement’. Wilders successfully avoided any questions about bringing democracy within his own party. For the PVV, Wilders is a party ideologue, he formulated his party’s election program, chose the candidates and acts as the main media person of the party. An acceptance of such one-man demagogy within the Dutch political system shows an approval of certain undemocratic tendencies within a society that projects itself as a tolerant one.

(Muslims, regardless of where they hail from, are the world's most out-of-touch beings when it comes to any discourse on even the most rudimentary form of 'democracy', theirs being nothing short of a totalitarian society which bases their every law and belief on the fairy tale of Mohammad and Allah. - Crypt.)

This is even clearer if we look at Wilders’ ideas and his political program. In the past he advocated to "ban the Quran" and he likes to declare "Islam as a fascist ideology."

(Um-mmmm... Hello??? Because it IS...???!!! - Crypt.)

Such a theme is also reflected in the film ‘
fitna‘ that he produced about the negative aspects of Islam. In his election campaign he asked for banning migration from the Muslim countries, and deporting the ‘criminal’ Muslims to the country of their origin. His anti-Islam program is based on the notion that European civilisation is founded on ‘Jewish-Christian tradition’ thus denying any role of the Muslims in the recent history of the country.

(I think his anti-islam program is based more on a sense of reality... in that it simply does not mesh with the culture of his homeland. Very much like every single Muslim country in the world, derides, minimizes, attacks and insults every other religion but their own. When non-Muslims begin slaughtering Muslims in the street, simply because we feel that you might have slighted our 'religion', then you can talk about prejudice. And at that point, it will simply be the beginning of retribution. An eye for an eye, right? - Crypt.)

Moreover he even asked for ‘ethnic registration’ of non-white population thus importing the kind of practices that the Nazi-German applied to its subjects.

(Poor analogy, you witless moron. It is rather Muslims that seek to emulate the Nazis in their quest to rid the world not only of Judaism, or the Jews specifically...but of everyone who is NOT Muslim - Crypt.)

Even more worrying is that Wilders’ political agenda was received without a broader outrage within the Dutch public space. It indicates a clear indifference, if not an implicit support, within the broader public space about Wilders’ program. The political win of the PVV nonetheless present a dangerous tendency within the Dutch society where the majority of voters elected a group that tries to usurp the democratic rights of a minority.

(Yes, dangerous indeed. Imagine the nerve of the Dutch to want to retain their homeland for the Dutch... Enough of playing the minority, the race card! People will only buy into that politically-correct bullshit for so long and then what these so-called miniorities really want, becomes all too apparent. You want democratic rights? You will have to become a democratic people. You CANNOT do that and cling to these retarded beliefs that themselves usurp any freedom or rights which might be offered by any other form of society. - Crypt.)

The win of Wilders in the Netherlands cannot be seen without taking into account the broader debate about Islam and Muslims in the European countries. Whether it is debate about banning of hijab in public spaces in France and Belgium or the issue of height of minarets in Switzerland, Islam has become a politicised subject in Europe.

(Hm-mmmmm... and who exactly was it again who actually 'politicized' your entire religion, eh? That's right... Other fucking Muslims. While you stood gleefully and silently by... If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. - Crypt.)

These reactions to the Muslim presence however indicate non-acceptance of the emerging realities within the Dutch or European societies.

(Wrong again... what it does represent the unequivocal non-acceptance of a backwards, xenophobic and dangerous culture, which cannot be allowed to flourish amid progressive societies. - Crypt.)

M. Amer Morgahi is an extern researcher at the VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He can be reached at

(Mr. Morgahi may be a researcher of a sort, but he has no experience to match that of the Dutch themselves, who I'm sure remember only too well what it is like to live under the tyranny of a totalitarian 'master race'. It was Canadian troops which were largely responsible for their liberation during the Second World War and we rtemember that particular page of history very well indeed. They saw their freedom and their human rights taken away once before against their will. I dare say you will NOT find many of them willing to repeat this same scenario, trading the Nazis for Islamists. - Crypt.) 

"Is there a phone number...?"

Okay... so what has to be the quote of the week so far, was received by one of our agents this morning.

The female caller was calling from Quebec to get information on how to get a pleasure craft license for her new boat. She seemed a little confused about the whole process. Our agent, whom we'll refer to as M-E, told her what she would need to bring to the Service Canada office as far as documentation went and that she could get the application form directly there, if she wished.

She also advised the caller that if she preferred, she could download and print off the form from their national website.

M-E asked the caller if she would like to copy down the website URL and that's when she pulled out her now famous line:

"Is there a phone number for that website...?"

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Discussion with a suicide bomber...

This entertaining entry is from today's edition of Pakistan's

Goodbye seventh sky
Nadeem F. Paracha on 06 17th, 2010.

Last Monday (June 12) in the National Assembly of Pakistan, a member of a breakaway Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI), Maulvi Asmatullah, suddenly rose from his seat and started to recite the azaan (Muslim call for prayer).

It didn’t matter to him that the muezzin of the assembly mosque had already sounded the call, and the fact that Asmatullah was not facing the qibla (Kabah) while reciting the azaan.
I am sure I would have burst out laughing had I been there, enough to burst the stitches I just got while playing football.

To me, this behaviour of Asmatullah is a classic example of what is called, ‘black comedy’ – a real life situation ripe with irony where something is done in all seriousness but ends up sounding or looking absurd.

I’m sure the self-righteous among my Muslim brethren (especially of the politico-religious kind), just like the JUI man, actually think he did something stunningly pious.

But never mind the odd holy eccentric politico, I’ve always wondered how does one talk to a suicide bomber? No black comedy there, or is it?

With paradise on the suicide bomber’s mind, there is, of course, also that attractive matter of hoors awaiting him there – wide-eyed maidens pending for those who have done good deeds in this world.
How is one to reason with a person who exhibits the ultimate extreme of irrationality by willingly ready to blow himself up in public in the name of religion?

For one thing, one should try to talk to him in his own language and imagery. No need to talk to him about politics, economics and society. Talk to him about paradise.

Yes, but wouldn’t this further encourage him? Because after all it is paradise he thinks his soul is headed to after the body explodes into bits, taking along with its self-inflicted mutilation, all those who are still not ready for the seventh sky. And good (or better than good), is what this soon-to-detonate jihadi believes he is doing. Because you see, according to him, Allah wants him to explode. Preferably in public.

So, what to say to someone so demented and desperate?

Simple. Talk to him about rapture. But with a twist.

Tell him that paradise is running out of hoors. Thanks to so many recent suicide bombings, scores of bombers have already reached heaven and bagged all the blissful fair maidens. Tell him it’ll take a bit of time for the new hoors to grow (on trees, of course) and that it would be wiser for him to delay his dramatic, headless departure by, say, another twenty to thirty years.

Let him know that in the meantime, he can do a lot of good, for instance, by chasing away people celebrating basant, blackening ‘obscene’ billboards, delivering fiery, loud sermons from his favourite mosque every Friday and so on.

This way at least he won’t be murdering innocent people, at least not directly. All this we have lived through (even if with firmly-clinched teeth), but bomb blasts and the sight of severed limbs and quivering burned bodies that follow are something else all together.

You can also try appealing to the suicidal jihadi’s individuality streak by telling him how overdone and passé suicide bombing is and how the hoors are not impressed anymore with all this overkill of similar looking jihadis arriving in paradise, all speaking and looking the same way. Actually not speaking at all because they usually arrive without their heads!

I’m sure if he agrees to delay his martyrdom for those crucial twenty to thirty years, his stance will eventually soften. At most, he will end up becoming an instructor at a madressah.

Who knows, he may also get the opportunity of being interviewed by Hamid Mir or even better, he could end up joining a politico-religious party and drive his very own Prado.

In fact, there is now a chance for our suicidal jihadi for bagging a career in television as well. As we all know there is always a lot of space for loud denouncers and jihadis on talk shows. Also tell him that hoors find TV personalities rather dashing.

As a talk show host on TV, apart from shouting down conspiratorial infidels, he can also add his bit to the conventional political gossip. And since this gossip on the news channels is treated as insightful political discourses, he too can become known as a “constitutional expert” or a “senior tajziya nigar.”

If news channels are not his style, there also are dedicated twenty-four-hour religious channels for him to join. Channels devoted to discussing intricate, serious and vital issues such as the status of the cow in Hinduism or whether a second cousin is na-mehram to a third cousin but only half-mehram to the first and conditionally mehram (or na-mehram or both) to the adopted first and second cousins, so on and so forth.

And if all else fails for our struggling jihadi, there is always a spot or two available on ‘Aalim Online,’ even if only for a fleeting moment of light comic relief.

Remember brothers, the idea is to explain to him in his own language and his logic, why he should delay the violent departure of his paradise-bound soul.

So, I appeal to the peace-loving tableeghi jammat brothers: don’t come to me, go to the jihadis instead and tell them about the impeding shortage of hoors in paradise. I mean, what’s a paradise without hoors, right?

*** Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and

No pardon for Homolka...

Taken from the pages of today's Chronicle Herald in Halifax, NS:

Parties co-operate to head off Homolka pardon bid
By JOAN BRYDEN The Canadian Press
Thu. Jun 17 - 4:54 AM

OTTAWA — Federal political parties have joined forces to ensure notorious sex killer Karla Homolka won’t be pardoned for her gruesome crimes.

The four parties struck an 11th-hour deal late Wednesday to hive off measures in a pardon-reform bill that would effectively ban Homolka from receiving a pardon.

The measures are to be passed at all stages by the end of the day Thursday, when the House of Commons is expected to adjourn for the summer.

The Senate, which will sit several weeks longer, must also pass the bill before it can go into effect.
Other more contentious provisions of the bill will proceed at a more leisurely pace when Parliament resumes in late September.

Homolka, who served a 12-year sentence for her role in the rape-murders of Ontario teens Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French, is eligible to apply for a pardon as of July 4.

"My family is forced to relive the pain and horror every time that woman’s name is in the news. A pardon would be unthinkable," said Talin French-Doyle, one of Kristen French’s relatives, in a press release.

"Forgiveness is the right of a victim, not a requirement of the State."

There is no confirmation that Homolka actually plans to apply for a pardon. But the theoretical prospect led to an ugly round of finger-pointing Wednesday among the four parties over who would be held responsible if the pardon reform bill isn’t passed in time to prevent a possible Homolka pardon.
With no party wanting to take the blame, a deal seemed inevitable despite the overheated rhetoric.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews confirmed late in the day that a deal had been struck.

"On the critical area of our bill so as to prevent notorious criminals from receiving a pardon, we have an agreement," Toews said.

As to Homolka, he added: "That kind of a person would not be able to get a pardon."

Toews would not go into detail but sources said the parties have agreed to essentially split the original bill in two.

Under the provisions that will pass immediately, anyone convicted of a serious personal injury offence — including manslaughter, violent assault and sexual assault — will have to wait 10 years after release from prison before applying for a pardon. Currently, they must wait three to five years.

Moreover, the National Parole Board, which now rubberstamps most pardon applications, will be given the discretion to deny a pardon if it would severely damage the reputation of the justice system.
The latter provision is meant to ban someone like Homolka from receiving a pardon.

Provisions which will wait until the fall to proceed include a proposed ban on pardons for anyone convicted of three indictable offences. Opposition parties are concerned that goes too far, potentially denying a pardon to someone who may have committed relatively minor offences in their youth, such as forging several cheques.

Earlier Wednesday, Toews and his fellow Conservatives used the spectre of a Homolka pardon to try stampede the three opposition parties into speedily passing the entire pardon-reform bill.


Now, maybe it's just me being cynical here, but for as much as I truly believe some criminals should never be eligible for a pardon, due to the nature of their crimes, with regards to Homolka, it's a little late for our justice system to save face.

They're stating that the National Parole Board will be given the discretion of refusing or denying a pardon "if it would severely damage the reputation of the justice system."

Oddly enough, they make no mention of how actually releasing a "notorious sex killer", who has served a paltry 12 years in prison for 2 particularily heinous and sadistic murders, might severely damage not only the reputation, but the very credibility of our vaunted 'justice system'. I find it practically amusing that here are all these political party reps tripping over one another, to ensure that Ms. Homolka cannot apply for a pardon. Where were they when she was nearing her release date?

Go ask any member of the victims families, if they don't find the fact of Homolka walking around free to be offensive in the extreme... to be an absolute travesty of justice, when they know full well how their loved ones died at her hands and how they are never, ever coming back.

Saving the reputation of our justice system...?

It's a little fucking late for that, lads...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Another 'honour killing' for Islam... in Canada!

Her name is Aqsa Parvez and she was murdered in December 2007.

The following was taken from today's CBC national website:

Father, son plead guilty to Aqsa Parvez murder
Mississauga, Ont., teen strangled in 2007 after argument over hijab
Last Updated: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 7:47 PM ET

The father and brother of Aqsa Parvez, 16, have pleaded guilty to killing the Mississauga, Ont., teenager in 2007

Muhammad Parvez and Waqas Parvez pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Tuesday and now face automatic life sentences.

Initially it was believed by police that Muhammad Parvez had killed his daughter, but in court it was revealed that the brother had strangled Aqsa.

"[Muhammad Parvez] decreed she should be murdered, but Waqas Parvez is no less guilty. He had so many opportunities in those days to stop his father," said Crown prosecutor Mara Brasso inside the court in nearby Brampton.

"The plan was in play at least two or three days before it happened. He never warned Aqsa. He never warned police. Even when they got to the home he obviously didn't falter on the threshold, on the doorstep and he carried on and murdered her," said Brasso.

"Home," said Brasso, "was the most dangerous place for her."

Aqsa Parvez wanted to get a part-time job and be allowed to dress and act like other teenage girls in her neighbourhood, but those desires led to a deadly conflict with her family that ended with her being strangled.

The Parvez family had moved from Pakistan to Ontario. Aqsa was 11 years old when she arrived — the youngest of eight children.

The statement of facts released in court about the December 2007 death revealed that when she entered her teen years Aqsa began rebelling against her father's strict rules.

"[S]he was experiencing conflict at home over cultural differences between living in Canada and back [in Pakistan]," the statement said.

Aqsa was in almost constant disagreement with her father and her siblings.

She told her father she did not wish to wear the hijab any longer. She wanted to dress in Western clothes and have the same freedoms as the other girls in her high school.

The statement revealed that Aqsa "did not have a door on her bedroom, her freedom to talk on the phone with friends was restricted, she was required to come straight home from school and expected to spend her evenings and weekends at home as well."

In September 2007, Aqsa told a counsellor at Applewood Heights Secondary School in Mississauga "that she was afraid her father wanted to kill her ..."

The school made arrangements for Aqsa to stay at a shelter — but she stayed only three days.
Soon after, she was permitted to wear non-traditional clothes to school but the conflicts within the family did not end.

Aqsa spent time living with friends, but during that time her father and other members of her family asked her to return home.

Taken from bus stop.

On Dec. 10, 2007, Aqsa was taken from the school bus stop by her brother at approximately 7:20 a.m. It was just 36 minutes later that her father called 911 and told police he had "killed his daughter."

Police arrived and found Aqsa on her bed.

"She was fully clothed and had her jacket on. She had no vital signs. There was blood coming from her nose," according to the statement.

She was pronounced dead later that evening.

Peel Regional Police took Muhammad Parvez into custody and charged him with murder. But it was Waqas Parvez that actually killed Aqsa, according to the statement of facts.

Waqas Parvez, 26, was charged on June 26, 2008. His DNA was found beneath his sister's fingernails.

The agreed upon statement of facts contains an interview with Aqsa's mother, Anwar Jan, who attempts to explain why the murder happened.

In an interview with police, she says her husband told her he killed his youngest child because "this is my insult. My community will say, 'You have not been able to control your daughter.' This is my insult. She is making me naked."

Police asked if things would have been different if the family had stayed in Pakistan.

"He would have killed her there too," she says.


This event is an insult. To me... to you reading this... to every single person living in this country. It is an insult to everything this country stands for. It is an insult to every one of our values. It is an affront to our culture. It is an insult to those who have given their lives in the service of this country and to those who presently serve in our military. In truth, it is an insult to every person who lives on this North American continent.

This event demonstrates with incredible clarity, the backwardness, the total lack of civility and common decency as exhibited by those who would follow Islamic fundamentalism. This culture as practised in Pakistan (or in any other Muslim country), cannot mesh with our Canadian society. It is as simple as that. These beliefs are a most malignant form of social cancer. The same applies in Saudi Arabia, where they still put people to death for the crime of witchcraft.

Crimes committed under the name of any religion, should be considered as hate crimes. Hate crimes against the evolved, if you will. This kind of mental sickness cannot be 'cured'. These are the types of crimes that really make one consider the viability of the death penalty. These individuals must be excoriated from our civilization.

And for any idiot out there who is going to spout that old platitude of how the death penalty does nothing for reforming or deterring violent criminals, I have this to say to you: The death penalty was never intended to reform or deter criminals. It is there as a punishment, pure and simple. And I'll tell you something else... it may not deter anyone, as you say. But it sure as fuck cuts down on repeat offenders!! And that, in the end, is what we're ALL after.

Here is this young 16 year old girl who wants what? To be able to live in freedom, just like any other young Canadian teenage girl can. And for that she is murdered by her own fucking family? Hm-mmmm... let's employ a little Canadian realism here. Any group of people that would kill you for wanting to live free, is first of all NOT Canadian (and they certainly have no place in THIS country...), and secondly they CANNOT be considered a 'family', not by any twisted, cultural stretch of the imagination.

Immigration means that you are wanting and willing to become as those in your host country. There is no second option. You are either immigrating or you are invading. There are two choices, pick one. When you manage to slip by our dormant and inept immigration officials, you had better understand that we do have a Charter of Human Rights that you are compelled to live by. There is one law in this land and we are all held to live by it. (Yes, there is a separate one for the rich, but that is another story, for another time.) One thing I will tell you, you are not going to invade MY goddamn country. Not while there is a breath left in this body.

A message needs to be sent out to these reprehensible individuals that this type of caveman lunacy will not be tolerated in our society. We don't give a fuck how they do things in Lahore or Peshawar. You supposedly left your country of origin in order to provide a better life for your family. You are not there anymore and we will not tolerate that you bring your country HERE. Actually, I have a better idea. If you really want your children to have a better life, just send them here. We'll see that they find a family that will actually raise them as a family should, and not like a group of psychopathic jailers.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A working Sunday...making amends.

So Saturday was spent in the bad books of my better half for my criminal neglect. Sunday? I'm afraid Sunday I fared no better, because of my neglect for that OTHER lady in my life. That's right... 'Baby'.

I had been fairly slack and idle over the winter with regards to her. No oil change, the brakes were 'suspect', nor had I replaced any of the other fluids... Truly (again) reprehensible behaviour on my part. Sunday morning I decided to get to it. I hopped in the SUV and motored down to the local Powersports dealer, to fetch 4 litres of Pro Honda GN4 10W40 SJ oil, an oil filter and a bottle of Bel-Ray DOT4 brake fluid. The 3 sets of EBC sintered brake pads I had already purchased (see previous rants on here...) and they had been hanging in the shop for some time now.

I felt like a proper heel for neglecting her for so long. Considering all the pleasure she gives me... Today was the day to set things right! So from 0900hrs until 1500hrs, I worked on Baby. I started by removing her windshield, her bags, her seat and her tank bib. I then removed her dash and let that hang down in front, between the rad cover and the front forks.

I had started by removing the chrome covers which hid a variety of bolt heads, etc. These are held on by a dab of RTV silicone and a small set screw. Once these chrome covers were cleaned, I was able to access the drain and filler bolts for the rear drive unit, as well as the rear axle nut. I drained the old 80W90 hypoid gear oil and replaced it with 4.2 oz of the fresh stuff. The drain plugs were well cleaned, as well as the area around them, before they were replaced.

I popped her rear wheel to remove, disassemble and clean the rear brake caliper and bracket. I then swapped out the brake pads which were getting mighty thin, should be truth be known. I then reassembled the rear wheel, cleaning and coating the axle with fresh molybdenum grease, before retorquing it to 81 ft./lbs.

I then bled the rear brake, cleaned up the whole area and moved to the opposite side and replaced the chrome covers. Next up were the front brakes. Again the process was repeated, whereby the brake calipers and brackets were disassembled, cleaned and reassembled, with brand new EBC brake pads. I re-installed the front caliper assemblies, torquing the bolts to 25 ft./lbs. Then the front brake system was bled and topped up with fresh DOT 4 fluid.

I then ran the bike up for a couple of minutes, to heat the oil. After shutting her down, I drained the engine oil while I busied my self washing the parts which are normally covered by the seat and tank bib. I then applied a good coat of McGuire's Car Wax (paste, of course) to all the paint and let it set up. I cleaned the oil drain plugs and their crush washers for the front and rear engine drain holes. When the bike had finished draining, I cleaned up the areas around the drain holes and re-installed the plugs, torquing them to 22 ft./lbs. I then removed the oil filter and let the bike drain again.

While it was going through the final draining, I polished the waxed parts until they glowed. Having cleaned the leather parts, I then re-installed the bib, the dash and the saddle. I washed and waxed the side covers seperately, before re-installing them. Finally, I skimmed the new oil filter with fresh oil and installed it. I then added about 3.45 liltres of fresh 10W40 SJ oil and ran the bike up for a few minutes to let it settle. I checked the level, then finished topping her up. She was good to go.

I re-installed the windshield, giving it a cleanup with a good shot of Plexus. This stuff is magic. It waterproofs, prevents fogging, conceals little scratches... It's really good! It was just about 1500hrs by the time I had finished working on the bike. Crawling around on a concrete floor does not agree with my body and as I sit typing this, I really know it. I was sweating from every pore in my body and was dying to get out in the wind. But I wasn't done yet...

We had a showing between 1600hrs and 1700hrs that day. The lawn was looking a little ragged so of course, my better half had asked if I might mow the lawn before the showing. I had now less than an hour. Our mower is of course electric, the back yard is filled with obstacles, you get the picture. But still, it got done and by 1545hrs exactly, was backing Baby out of the driveway, cussing roundly like a sailor with Tourette's syndrome, drenched in sweat, but finally outbound...

I couldn't bear the thought of a jacket of any type, so I opted for a black C.O.B.B. t-shirt, my riding jeans, gloves and lid. As I hit Innes and started making my way to the Rockcliffe Parkway, the cooling feel of the breeze was nothing short of Heaven on earth. I carried on to Colonel By Drive, Carlton University, Hog's Back, then Prince of Wales. I came back via the Bowesville Road and Rideau Road. It was a wonderful, if very short ride and she ran like a champ.

I had made good on my maintenance obligations and felt much better for it. Now... I still have to bleed that hydraulic clutch system out...

A weekend of atonement...

There are times when my sense of timing (or time appreciation, as we referred to it in the military...), finds itself wanting.This weekend was a classic example. I mistakenly believed that I could make a round trip to Montreal from Orleans, on a sunny Saturday, in less than 4 hours. The goal was a worthy one... to make it to Schwartz's on St. Laurent Street for a smoked meat platter, a dill on the side and a Coke. I would be travelling with my buddy Mike, whom I would pick up on the way.

For absolutely anyone who might be questioning the logic or sanity of whittling away 4 hours simply for a smoked meat sandwich, clearly you've never been to Schwartz's Deli in Montréal. As a native Montrealer, it's a pilgrimage I feel the need to make every so often. As a lover of the world's best smoked meat, it's pretty much a no-brainer.

My only snag lay in the fact that the vehicle I was using for this trip was my better half's brand new (well, 12,000 klicks...) SUV. She was at work and would be finishing by 1630hrs. I of course, was therefore tasked with picking her up from work and who knows... possibly taking her out for supper? It was 1200hrs by the time I left Orleans and began making my way towards Alfred, where I was to meet Mikey.

In a perfect world, the roads ahead of me would be clear and I would be able to romp along at a sedate 130kmh, making my destination in plenty of time. Yeah... In a perfect world. Unfortunately, the real world in which I live, is filled with doddering, inept old fucks who can't manage to find the gas peddle, or people with no particular agenda for the day, travelling even slower. Invariably, these lumbering roadblocks persist in travelling in herds, strung out in such a fashion that even in a bona fide passing zone, there is no way that you can actually get clear of them.

As I passed through Rockland and engaged the 17 heading East, I noticed that the fuel gauge was just about at the halfway mark. Hmmmm... Better fix that. Stopping at Rocket Ben's, I had the tank filled to the tune of $30.50. Good deal... The wait was only 15 minutes or so, but already my time was being eaten away. Off I went again...

I was stymied in my attempts to make up time between Rockland and Alfred, by said previously-described slowpokes. By the time I hooked up with Mike, it was after 1300hrs. More like 1330hrs. No matter, we headed on down the road. Once we actually hooked up with the 417, having passed Hawkesbury, we were able to let the SUV stretch out her legs some. We arrived in West Island Montreal and it was now about 1430hrs. Traffic was heavy, of course... as one might expect on a sunny, saturday afternoon. We still had to negotiate the Metropolitain and find our way down to 'La Maine'... (St. Laurent).

Makes no difference how many time I go there, when I approach from the North, my compass is always way off. We exited the Metropolitain and started making our way South along smaller side streets that parallelled St. Laurent, as it's a one-way street heading North. We miraculously found a parking spot on a street which intersected Mont Royal Street, just one block East from St. Laurent. As it turned out, this was also a full 5 blocks North of where we wanted to be. For those of you who have never been, a block in downtown Montreal is friggin' long!! And of course in this section of town, pedestrian traffic is usually heavy. After all, it IS Montreal... :)

I initially started off at a somewhat brisk pace and then it dawned on me... Mikey wasn't exactly keeping up. I then remembered that he had only recently had his hip replaced and had only just returned to work with us. Here I was trying to get him to jog to Schwartz's... D-Uh! I geared down and we trudged along St.Laurent, taking in the sights and smells. It had turned out to be a peach of a day, weather-wise. I was still a little unsure as to whether we were headed in the right direction. Mikey flagged down a passing woman and asked her if we were headed in the right direction. She pointed South and said: "Vous n'avez qu'à cherchez pour la file...". Which translated means: "You only have to look for the lineup outside...".

I have never been to Schwartz's when there wasn't a lineup outside. Ever! It seems to be simply part of the experience. Soon enough, we arrived and took our place in line. There were probably 20 people ahead of us. We chatted and continued our people-watching exercises and probably within 30 minutes, we were seated at the counter in front. The counter turned out to be a great place to be, as it was right there of course that they carve the briskets. Our orders were taken in record time and before long, we were gazing down at smoked meat perfection. Good??? You have no idea!!! Unless of course, you've been...

The meal was delish... I couldn't finish mine and so I had them pack up what was left and brought it along with me when we finally vacated that hallowed and venerable establishment. Mikey? He actually did finish, much to our mutual amazement. He had been hankering to visit this place for a bit and last weekend had been so close, but had not had the opportunity to stop in. He certainly had made this visit count! Mikey had generously picked up the tab, in lieu of gas and that suited me and my tummy just fine, thank you. It was after 1500hrs by the time we started making our way back to the SUV. Most of those blocks were now uphill, to boot. We got a pretty good start at working off our meal.
Getting out of the downtown area to the 40 (the Metropolitain Expressway), was nothing short of arduous. There were detours which led to more traffic, further delays... you know how it goes.
Eventually we were threading our way onto the Met from the service road. Traffic was even heavier than it had been on the way in. It was about 1545hrs by the time we made a pit stop in Hudson for a cold drink. I knew there was no way that we would be back in time. I took my cell phone and made the dreaded call, advising my better half of where I was and that in all likelihood, I would not be there on time to pick her up at 1630hrs.
I suggested that she should go over to one of her favorite restaurants (the Sushi Kan) and have herself a vice supper. I added that I would be there shortly and that I would pick up the tab. The remainder of the trip back was a mirror image of the trip outbound. Fine along the 417, but once we embarked on the 17 again, we were once more delayed by the old, the lame and the inept. It seemed to take forever getting back. I dropped Mikey off in Alfred and we both agreed that the food had been marvellous and that the hike back to the car had been needed.
By the time I arrived at the corner of Innes and Blair, it was just about 1735hrs. She had had her meal and was waiting for her second glass of plum wine to arrive. This is never a good sign. To say that she was put out would be somewhat of an understatement and in all fairness to the lass, I can understand being left high and dry (well, maybe not 'dry'...) without your vehicle, after a long day's work, when all you want to do is go home and make everything stop. So there it is. My bad... "Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa..." .
So... we have reached an accord. The SUV will not be taking any further trips to Schwartz's in Montreal. And that's just fine with me. God knows I'd rather travel by bike any day of the week. That way, there will not be this horrendous deadline looming overhead, obliging one to meet any type of ETA.
And besides... I think I'll take the Ville Marie interchange next time... :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Monumental parental FAIL...

Abby Sunderland Feared Lost at Sea Crew Receives Repeated Distress Signals, Loses Contact With 16-Year-Old Attempting Circumnavigation

June 10, 2010

Abby Sunderland, 16, is feared lost at sea today in her attempt to become the youngest sailor ever to circumnavigate the globe.

Abby Sunderland's age sparks debate over how young is too young.

A support crew lost contact with Abby, who was in heavy seas in the Southern Indian Ocean, early this morning.

Sunderland's brother, Zac Sunderland, said his sister's boat was clearly in trouble.

"The boat is most likely not completely submerged because there's another alarm that sends off a signal if it goes 15 feet underwater," Zac Sunderland said in an interview with Ron Kilgore of KNX radio in Los Angeles.

"So yeah, she's pretty banged up out there right now, and [we're] just trying to get the rescue teams out."

Abby's mother, MaryAnne Sunderland, told ABC News that Abby manually activated two emergency beacons sometime before 6 a.m. Pacific Time today.

A plane from Quantas air, based in Australia, planned to fly over Sunderland's location at first light Friday -- or late Thursday evening Eastern Time. Abby was in 20-25 foot waves at the time of last contact, with 35-knot winds, said MaryAnne Sunderland, who is due to give birth at the end of the month. She was shaken but focused on trying to get a rescue effort together.

The closest land to Abby's boat was Reunion Island, which is east of Madagascar
The nearest ship was 400 miles away. Rescuers were trying to contact the ship.
Zac Sunderland told KNX that the support crew was "still trying to figure out the rescue situation."
"There's two boats headed out to her position. One of them's an estimated 40 hours, the other is 48.

So right now we're just trying to figure out if there's any way faster. She's in the middle of nowhere pretty much, in the Southern Indian Ocean, there's nothing closer.

"We're just hoping everything's all right out there. There's nothing we can really know for sure out there right now."

A note posted to a blog tracking Abby's progress by her support team Thursday detailed her survival gear. "Abby has all of the equipment on board to survive a crisis situation like this," the posting said. "She has a dry suit, survival suit, life raft, and ditch bag with emergency supplies. If she can keep warm and hang on, help will be there as soon as possible."
Jeff Casher, an engineer on Sunderland's support team, told ABC News that he last spoke with the 16-year-old sailor before 6 a.m. PDT, after she had been knocked down twice during the night because of strong winds -- meaning that her sail had touched the water. One of those knock-downs, Casher said, ripped the radar off the boat. She had been speaking with Casher on a satellite telephone earlier because of engine problems and was in the process of fixing those problems when she told Casher she'd call right back.

She has not been heard from since, except for the distress signals.

Abby is approximately 500 miles north of the Antarctic Islands on her bid to become the youngest to circumnavigate the globe in a sailboat, solo.

Abby herself last posted a blog entry from her boat, "Wild Eyes," on Wednesday night.

"It was a nice day today with some lighter winds which gave me a chance to patch everything up," she wrote. "Wild Eyes was great through everything but after a day with over 50 knots at times, I had quite a bit of work to do."

The weather was getting rough again, she noted.

"The wind is beginning to pick up. It is back up to 20 knots and I am expecting that by midnight tonight I could have 35-50 knots with gusts to 60 so I am off to sleep before it really picks up," she wrote.

Abby's goal at the outset of her trip, to become the youngest sailor to pull off a solo nonstop circumnavigation, ended in April, when she was forced to stop in South Africa because her autopilot malfunctioned.

She still was bidding to become the youngest sailor to perform a solo circumnavigation.


So... does this spell the end of this 16-year old fame whore? Not only is this a monumental and a colossal parental FAIL for this young child's parents, but if it turns out that they have simply been pimping her, a willing sacrifice on the alter of 'fame'...?

Well, that just sort of tells you where they're coming from, don't you think? There's no bloody way that a 16 year old child belongs alone at sea, in a 40-foot vessel. In any length vessel... This child's parents should be shot where they stand.

A co-worker of mine sent me the MSNBC link for this story and asked me (as an ex-Navy veteran), what I thought about this. I replied:

"Funny... I was just reading about this on the ABC News website. If she is dead, I would absolutely put her name in as a front-runner for this year's Darwin Awards.

As for her parents...? Clearly they have no business raising children, but then again, they are no more than the norm these days.

The days when our society was capable of producing viable parents has long since gone, my friend. Sad to say...".

And to that, I can't really add anything else.

After all, does anyone really have to?

It was only a year ago...

It was only a year ago that I was just coming back from my extraordinay trip to Virginia's Shenandoah National Park, the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway. I still hold such vivid and endearing recollections of this adventure.

I suppose many of us believe that 'having adventures' is something relegated only to the very young or the very rich. Nothing of course, could be further from the truth. Adventures need not cost us the moon or involve anything overly extravagant. Yet what we receive in return from these 'adventures' of ours, is absolutely priceless.

I have always believed that retaining this sense of adventure, is one of the many ways that we retain our youth. The same applies with learning. Show me someone who has stopped learning and I'll show you someone who is simply waiting to die. I for one, refuse to fall into this category.

There are so many adventures that await me yet, of this I am sure. They will happen simply because I wish them to... :)

My bike...

My bike... is unique.
There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My bike... is patience.
She sits patiently, a brooding hulk of restrained power, waiting... until I come calling on her.

My bike... is a rocket ship. A time machine.
She takes me to new worlds, new civilizations and on bold new adventures.

My bike... is my serenity. My peaceful garden.
It stills my mind, feeds my soul, lifts my spirit and fills my heart.

My bike... is my steed. My travelling companion.
My trusted friend and confidente.

My bike... is constant. It is a rock.
Solid, true and dependable.

My bike... is always in synch with me.
We swoop and flow effortlessly, as water over the fine pebbles of a riverbed.

My bike... is power. A peaceful violence, an ill-contained cataclysmic mass between my thighs. Effortless might which carries me/us as far as we wish to go and then, safely home again.

My bike... is regal. Noble, of pure lines and design.
She draws the admiration of all that meet her.

But from me, she draws far more. Whenever I dismount and begin walking away, I cannot help but stop and turn, to gaze once more at her resting there. Why is it? Is it that I hope to see something? No... I simply want to confirm one last time to myself that she is there. That she is well. That she is safe. That she is mine...

The Rider's Creed. (With apologies to Major General William H. Rupertus - USMC).

This is my bike. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My bike is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My bike, without me, is useless. Without my bike, I am useless. I must ride my bike true. I must ride better than the cager who is trying to kill me. I must pass him before he strikes me. I will...

My bike and myself know that what counts in this life is not the miles we rack up, the noise of our pipes, nor the smoke our tires make. We know that it is the journeys that count. We will travel...

My bike is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a lover. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its engine and its electrical. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage as I will ever guard my legs, my arms, my eyes and my heart against damage. I will keep my bike clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...

Before God, I swear this creed. My bike and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it, until victory is 'the Road's' and there is no enemy, but peace!

Happy 68th, Baby...

So I'm rolling 'Baby' out of the garage this morning. The temperature is fair, the roads are wet as it has only just stopped raining. But rain or not, we are riding in to work. I stop backing her out about midway down the driveway and turn on the ignition. I thumb the starter and she comes to life, settling into an easy "thump-thump-thump-thump".

I glance down at the speedo. It registers exactly 68,000kms. She must have just cliked past that milestone as we were in our final approach to the garage last evening. God love her, she has never run better. Well done, my girl! I rest her on her sidestand, dismount and walk to the garage to close and secure the door.

Walking back towards her, I look at her idling there. She is calm, patient and massive as she shudders slightly under her own restrained power. She is waiting for me...

I straddle her and bring her upright in one smooth, well-practised motion. We are one... I tuck in her jiffy stand with my heel and back her out into the street, locking the left-hand bar against her tank. Once in the street and parallel with the roadway, I straighten her bars, snick her into first and slowly release the clutch. Just a bit of throttle and we are moving towards the S-turn which will lead us to Renaissance Drive.

Lean left, straighten... lean right, straighten... lean left again, straighten... Shoulder check at the intersection, rolling into the right-hand turn at Renaissance, blip the throttle and rocket to the right-hand turn at Dorima. Shoulder check at the intersection, rolling into the right-hand turn which will lead us to Innes Road. Upshift to second gear as we near Innes. Shoulder check approaching Innes shows both directions free of immediately incoming cagers... roll on the throttle, upshift to third as we sweep left ahead of the approaching stream.

Happy 68th, Baby... and many, many more! :)