Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Last day eve of Movember [110/152]

<p>Pretty much last time I biked was last Friday. le sigh </p>
<p>anyways, so tomorrow is the last day of movember. Which it will be good to shave as I have endured some ridicule. </p>
All through it I have kept saying I'm doing it for a cause, and it was good that this year I've ended up raising more than I had in previous years (well previous year).
Not sure I'll miss the mustache... I wish I could grow it better.  Have a real moustache (see the difference? )

not liking how this wasn't rotated... grrr

Thursday, November 24, 2011

+1 MAN points [109/149]

Okay, not just 'cuz of my stylish 'stache' ...

... it is pretty manly.
[btw thanks to Sivan and Michelle for donating to my mobro cause.  Practically strangers and they've donated -- have you?]

So, the +1 Man point?  Aside from being cool-ly linked the whole G+ thing and how they like to +1 'all the things'

Heh... i love me memes.

Anyways, no - it's because I cracked out the bike today.  Woohoo.  Not finished yet.

It was only -4C when I went out, and most of the snow was gone from yesterday's melt... just a little icy here and there.  And it's supposed to get to like +12C today.  So no excuse not to!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Was this the last week? [108/145]

So as the temperature starts to drop I've been asking the question a lot about when I'll be done with the biking thing.

Temperature wasn't so much the deciding factor as I've been starting to bundle up more and more. That wasn't too bad. However, on Tuesday there was a fair bit of almost frozen dew on the ground. That made it a bit slippery... Was a little dangerous.

Then I ended up driving for the next few days. During those days it has snowed and is continuing to snow. It's made me question whether I would be able to bike again next week... Or was this it? That makes me sad.

so, not only is the ground got slippery snow on it, but it's hiding the lanes... double danger
Oh, and btw - got voted in again as pipe major.  By acclaim... but still nice to be nominated I guess...  I can't tell you how jazzed up I am about the upcoming centennial.

What gets me is that I almost want to bike on purpose... not just because, 'cmon, let's keep going.  But, at a meeting the other day and it quickly degenerated into a 'we all hate bike lanes' bitch session.  Such a negative group of people.  Like I said before -- some people just need to be high 5'd... in the face... with a chair.  So out of spite, I'd like to just keep going.


Have I mentioned that the band calendars are now out?  Only $15

A definite must have.  Excellent work Eilidh and Jarron.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The torch be yours... [106/140]

Remembrance Day

Taken in 1914, this picture is of the first group of soldiers from Fort William to be sent off to to fight in the First World War, sitting in front of the City Hall.
The text in the left hand corner reads "Fryer, Fort William" and to the bottom right of the picture is the date: "August 19th, 1914"
City of Thunder Bay Archives Series Number: 128
Accession Number: 1991-1#94
Words cannot express the admiration I have for our veterans.  Even that sentence caused me to pause and re-write, especially the 'our'.  Should we say 'the' veterans?  I say our as if you've ever talked to any one of them, they'll say they did what they did for not themselves, but for their country.

Obviously we can go over stories of people who were in WWII, and there are also those that won't say a word about what happened, but that they did what needed to be done.

There's a recounting of an 86 year old on the internet, who being surprisingly tech-savvy used a 'rage comic' to do so and he talks briefly about his stint in the war and touches on it later on about how it really affected his life.  http://imgur.com/Cpdaq

I have an uncle who served in the Korean war and was wounded twice.  I have a friend who's served 3 tours in Afghanistan.  Equally they put themselves on the line and showed a bravery that, in all honesty, is lost on much of us today.

I don't know whether it's due to the fact that as a piper I've had the privilege to be nearer to these folks and hear these stories or what, but it pains me when others don't realize what this day really is all about.  I remember teaching trying to take one moment to impress on the class about the solemnity of the day and the ceremony we were going to watch and immediately several students groaned and complained that "my mom already tried to yak at me about this".  I had never felt like hitting a kid before.  I just couldn't fathom how the stories of the 'the boys' didn't penetrate into their consciousness for them to realize what it really meant.

As typical around this time, the discussion at band turned to the stories of those who served within our ranks.  I have an excellent video of Graham recounting the tales of "Big Don" and it got real emotional.  He's asked that that video never sees the light of day, but some day I will let it be seen.

Last night's discussion Don talked about how he had gone over in 2005 and in 2010 to Holland with a volunteer pipe band to play there.  In 2010 it was the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Holland.  Several things from his story need to be told.

First he recounted how they were walking past and an older gentleman had stopped them and asked "are you Canadian?"  When they answered they were, the man told his story:

I was 12 during the occupation of the Nazi, and soldiers would go through the town and strafe the houses with bullets [he showed Don still visible holes in some of the houses and cupboards].  The occupying forces would take all the fuel, food and clothing, leaving the townspeople with literally nothing.  Men were taken to the labour camps.  Women were taken to the soldier's camps.  Children were often shot on site, as they 'contributed nothing'.
Whole families were taking to the forest to hide.  They would dig big pits and huddle in them with boughs to cover and slowly freeze or starve to death while hiding from the occupying forces.
One day we saw soldiers running away.  They were leaving their machine guns and running fast.  Being young I decided to see what was going on.  I crept close to the city and saw more Nazi soldiers fleeing as fast as they could.  Eventually, as I got closer to the centre of town I started to hear the most god-awful sound you could imagine.  It was a lone man walking down the middle of the streets, playing an instrument so loud and horrible that it was that that I thought the Germans were running from.  He had a Canadian flag on him and I thought he was the bravest person in the world, scaring the Nazis all on his own.  I then saw the rest of the Canadian troops pushing through the village, going house to house riding us of the occupying forces.

That got me really thinking.  Wow.  We forget that often war stories are not told just by the soldiers, but by real people.  And young people.  We have that luxury of being a country that has never had to deal with that kind of hardships, so we will never know what it is like.  But all the same, when the time came, we knew we had to step up and serve our fellow man and do what was right, regardless of the cost.

Don also told about how in 2005 and in 2010 watching the veterans with their service over there [which they hold in May] and how there were over 15,000 Canadian graves there.  The Canadian cemetery is maintained immaculately, and get this, by the students of the village.  They know the value of who was buried there and to this day are still thankful for it.  He mentioned that it was sad to watch the 2000+ veterans that were there in '05 dwindle to just over 500 in '10.  However, Holland still paid its respect.  Each stone marker had a poppy and a wreath and at a point a helicopter would fly over and drop poppies on the site.

I can't tell you how much this imagery moves me.  We don't nearly honour our veterans as well as we should.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Mobro.co/ryanmmoore [103/135]

Not all that visually stunning... I know.  But it's for a good cause.

That was taken on Tuesday, and today it's not much different, so not sure posting another photo would help my cause or not.

But seriously, donate if you can. 


Here's my space:  http://mobro.co/ryanmmoore

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hallowe'en 2011 [101/132]

The First year Dean goes out and really trick-or-treats by himself.

He got to wear the costume first in the Mall of America [look at Mandy's facebook to see photos and video of the proud boy].

Then we tested him out by going to the Conmee Costume Party [where we got to see my friend Crystal wince in pain during contractions the entire time she was there -- Congrats on the birth of Thomas!].

Then it was a family gathering where he showed off to the Knauff side all his costume glory and raked in a large haul by the generous family.

It still wasn't Hallowe'en yet.

On Hallowe'en he got dressed and we went over to my parents.  He fell asleep on the way there, so needed some coercion to get into the spirit.  Then we went to a couple houses to warm up... still not really into it.  We went home and then I tried taking him to a couple of the nearby houses... still not having any of it.

Mandy tried it with him and they did a few blocks.  Dean came home, emptied his bags and wanted to go back out.  So he and I went and tried a few different blocks.  Or so I thought -- there might be some overlap (sorry Broadmore residents).

He really got into it by the end - though some were still too spooky to go visit.  But he enjoyed getting to say "trick-or-treat" and did a few of the houses all by himself.

Next year's going to be crazy I think.

Hallowe'en 2011