Re-rockin’ the 902: Return To Chimney Corner

IMG_0916Yeah, I know it sounds like the title of a cheesy Disney movie. But on Sunday I revisited my favorite place (so far) on Cape Breton Island: Chimney Corner. Did a little more climbing this time. Read the rest of this entry »

Exactly one month from today: Re-rockin’ the 902.

Yeah, I can’t wait.

My sister Colleen and I have often discussed how we both seem to get through the days easier when we have something we’re heading toward, something to look forward to. A mission, if you will. I’ve quoted Tyler Tervooren previously when he said, “I’ve never come home from a trip feeling anything less than a better, stronger person.”

It certainly makes day-to-day bullshit more tolerable to know there’s something worthwhile waiting on the other end of the heap. Eyes on the prize, as it were. To paraphrase the brilliant blogger laidnyc: picture a man spending all day striving and sweating to get to a mission, going home at night with his mission still on his mind. Someone gives him some drama. Does he even care? Not just no; hell, no. He derives his self-esteem from how well he is pursuing his mission, not from the actions of anybody else. Got important owl shit to do, after all.

As regular readers know: this trip is another step closer to a bigger plan. Again from laidnyc: the root cause of neediness, social anxiety, unworthiness, and lack of confidence is not having a mission. I’m at my unhappiest when I don’t have a mission, like a ship without a rudder. My sister Kathy told me once that in our family, we’re not happy unless we’re working on something. Or toward something, I guess.

One month away. Please stand by.

“Admiral… there be whales here!”

Image from

Image from

Both times I’ve gone to Cape Breton I’ve hoped to go on a whale-watching tour. But both times I (quite literally) missed the boat. It’s been a combination of newbie status, ineffective planning, and being in general vacay mindset.

But not this time. On Wednesday morning, October 16th, with the help of the fine folks at Oshan Whale Watch, I’ll be watching whales.

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I am psyched up about this. Not a lot of whales in the 10,000 Lakes of Minnesota.

Bay St. Lawrence is almost the northernmost point of Cape Breton. I’ve driven the entire Cabot Trail a few times (on the adjoining map), but never strayed off the beaten path. The farthest north I got was the town of Cape North. Now I’ll get to go further.

Whale-watching. w00t!

Early summer pics from Cape Breton

Pic from me

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My friends Christine and Doug Coolen own and operate St. Ann’s Motel, “A View With A Room,” which I’ve spoken highly about here. In my not-so-humble opinion there is no better place to stay, and no other place to stay, when you visit Cape Breton. (Trip Advisor agrees with me, by the way.)

St. Ann’s Harbour is located on the east side of Cape Breton. It is an almost enclosed body of water, fed on the north end by the North River, and it empties through a narrow channel into St. Ann’s Bay.

The South Gut area of St. Ann’s Harbour is home to St. Ann’s Motel and the Gaelic College.

Enough of the geography lesson. Christine was kind enough to send pics taken this late spring/early summer from the motel on the shore of St. Ann’s Bay. I’ve been there in the late summer/early fall, and have seen Christine’s pics of the winter landscape, but these are amazing.

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(All pics not otherwise labeled are courtesy of Christine Coolen. All rights reserved. Got it? Good.)

A shoutout and a recommendation

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for one of the best in the blogosphere: Girl On The Contrary. I’ve cited her here and here and here. Whenever I get an email announcing that she’s posted a new entry, it automatically cheers me up and makes my morning.

A while back I admitted to being one of her (many) fawning fanboys. I wrote:

If this were a just world GOTC and I would sit together at the table each morning and she would read her blog to me over a breakfast of Grand Marnier French toast, Scottish smoked salmon, figs and cream with hazelnut syrup, freshly pressed Kopi Luwak coffee… and a bowl of Cap’n Crunch. Part of this complete breakfast. I’d smile beatifically at her and chuckle ardently over the parts I’d hear above the Crunch of the Cap’n. Such would be my devotion. But this isn’t a just world. Yet.

jazz hands thursday

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GOTC never fails to brighten my day. And I’ve had the pleasure of corresponding with her via email regarding blogging issues. She is as gracious and helpful as she is funny and thoughtful. And she loves Shel Silverstein and Kurt Vonnegut. Doesn’t get any better than that.

I make a lot of recommendations on this blog, Desert Island Discs and food items and whatnot. Some silly, some not. If you ever follow up on one of my recommendations, if you’re looking for a great blog to follow, this is the one. I hope GOTC doesn’t get embarrassed by how effusive I’m being about her blog. Well, a little embarrassed would be okay.

And don’t forget: tomorrow is Jazz Hands Thursday.

I ♥ Cape Breton.

How cool are these?


From my friend Leah, leading light of the blog Dream Big Cape Breton. I’m in awe of people who can design and print cool stuff like this.


Suitable for framing.

Happy Canada Day to my favorite people.

Song of the day: “I Should Have Known Better” by The Beatles (1964)

This song never fails to make me stupidly happy.

He’s wearing his lucky rings.

Doing the needful, part II

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Turns out Wikipedia has its own list of Hinglish words and phrases. Please note that I mean not even the slightest disrespect or mockery with these posts. I sincerely appreciate this particular sub-strain of English. From Wikipedia:

Acting pricey = playing “hard to get,” being snobbish.

Alphabets = letters: “There are six alphabets in my name.”

Boss = used to refer to a (generally) male stranger such as a shopkeeper. It is mildly respectful and friendly, and not considered condescending, e.g., “Boss, what is the cost of that pen?” Perhaps right after he asks, “What is your good name?”

Co-brother = indicates relationship between two men who are married to sisters, as in “He is my co-brother.” Similarly: Co-sister.

Co-inlaws = indicates relationship between two sets of parents whose son and daughter are married.

Cousin-brother = male first cousin, cousin-sister = female first cousin.

Damn = used as an intensifier, especially a negative one, far more frequently and with far more emphatic effect than in other dialects of English (e.g., “that was a damn good meal.”) As the verb “to damn” is rarely used, most Indians are unaware of the word’s original meaning and that it is considered a profanity in other dialects of English. (As I mentioned in the last post: my dad would have become the King of India.)

Dearness allowance = payment given to employees to compensate for the effects of inflation; a cost-of-living increase.

Double and triple = for digits occurring twice or three times in succession is common, especially for a phone number. E.g., the phone number 223-3344 would be pronounced as “double-two, triple-three, double-four.” “Thrice,” meaning “three times,” is also common.

Doubt = question or query; e.g., one would say “I have a doubt” when one wishes to ask a question.

Dress = used to refer to clothing for men, women, and children alike. Young girls in India invariably wear what we call a “dress,” commonly referred to as a “frock” in Indian English.

Eggitarian = a person who eats vegetarian food, milk, and eggs but not meat; an ovo-lacto-vegetarian.

Elder = used as a comparative adjective in the sense of older (e.g., “I am elder to you.”)

Equipments = plural for equipment, e.g., “Go to the place to define equipments.”

Eve teasing = verbal sexual harassment of women.

Long-cut = the opposite of a short-cut; taking the longer route.

Non-veg = short for non-vegetarian, food which contains flesh of any mammal, fish, bird, shellfish, or eggs. Fish, seafood, and eggs are not treated as categories separate from “meat,” especially when the question of vegetarianism is at issue (milk and its products are always considered vegetarian). E.g., “We are having non-veg today for dinner.” Figuratively, a “non-veg joke” is a joke with mature content.

Only = used to emphasize a part of speech preceding it. For example “He is coming only” instead of “He is coming,” “He was at the meeting only” to emphasize that he was nowhere else but the meeting, and “She only is not coming” to mean that everyone is coming except her.

Paining = hurting. “My head is paining.”

Pin drop silence = extreme silence, quiet enough to hear a pin drop.

Redressal = reparation, redress, remedy.

See = used instead of watch, e.g., “He is seeing TV right now.”  Similarly, to see may be used as an imperative to mean to watch, e.g.,” See that very carefully.”

Solid = great or exceptional. “What a solid idea!” means “What a great idea!” (This may actually be an Americanism.)

The same = the aforementioned, e.g.,” I heard that you have written a document. Could you send me the same?”

Uncle and Aunty = Used as suffixes when addressing people such as distant relatives, neighbors, acquaintances, and even total strangers (like shopkeepers) who are significantly older than oneself. Children addressing their friends’ parents as “Mr.” or “Mrs.” is rare, and may even be considered unacceptable or offensive. A substitution of “Sir” or “Ma’am” is common for addressing teachers, professors, or any person in an official position, but too formal to address other elder persons. Using these terms can also connote a derogatory reference to the advanced age of an individual. (Don’t ask me how I learned this, but on the Internet, “aunty” is often used as the Hinglish equivalent of “milf.”) (I said, don’t ask me how I learned this.)

Where are you put up? = Where are you currently staying?

Where do you stay? = Where do you live? Or, where’s your house?

Would-be = one’s betrothed, e.g., one’s “would-be” wife or husband.

And finally, since you already know I’m a font geek.


Baseball needs more of this.

Brian Evans, ladies and gentlemen.