A Canada Day Quiz (funny)

Two blog posts in one day?! Well, it’s a special day.

Just in case you thought I had forgotten about (aboot?) Canada Day… here’s a little something for my fellow Canucks.

Canada Day

The following quiz was written by Jack Knox (who is known for his terrific sense of humour) of the Victoria Times Colonist. It’s possibly the easiest and funniest quiz I have ever taken. Images added by yours truly.

• The name Canada Day was adopted in 1982. Prior to that the July 1 holiday was celebrated as:

A) Dominion Day

B) St. Jean Baptiste Day

C) McHappy Day

D) Christmas in July for the Bellingham outlet stores

• B.C. joined Confederation in:

A) 1867

B) 1871

C) 1492 (1671 after HST)

D) a fit of madness

• Which is highest?

A) Mount Robson

B) Mount Logan

C) The CN Tower

D) Rob Ford


• A Montreal-area mayor pictured with his hand on a Bible is:

A) taking the oath of office

B) taking the Bible

C) risking eternal damnation

D) pleading not guilty

• Canada’s best-known scientist was:

A) Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone

B) Frederick Banting, co-discoverer of insulin

C) William Osler, the father of modern medicine

D) burned at the stake as a witch by Stephen Harper

• Match the quote with the prime minister: Jean Chrétien, Pierre Trudeau, Lester Pearson, William Lyon Mackenzie King

A) “We hate the GST and we will kill it.”

B) “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.”

C) “The grim fact is that we prepare for war like precocious giants, and for peace like retarded pygmies.”

D) “Hakuna matata.” Oops, my mistake. That’s William Mackenzie Lion King.

• B.C. was discovered by:

A) Capt. James Cook aboard the Endeavour

B) Capt. James Kirk aboard the Enterprise

C) Wanda Fuca, the first woman to command a Spanish galleon

D) The people who met the Europeans when they got here


• Winnipeg, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton are:

A) CFL teams

B) warships based at CFB Esquimalt

C) cities in Eastern Canada (everything beyond Saltspring is Eastern Canada)

D) jealous of Victoria

• Canada’s motto “A Mari usque ad Mare” means:

A) From sea to sea

B) A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse

C) Roll up the rim to win

D) GST not included


• Canada’s most valuable export is:

A) Alberta bitumen

B) B.C. Bud

C) Céline Dion

D) Justin Bieber

• We wish to apologize for:

A) Alberta bitumen

B) B.C. Bud

C) Céline Dion

D) Justin Bieber


• Explorer Alexander Mackenzie famously completed his transcontinental journey to the West Coast by what message on a rock at Bella Coola:

A) “Alexander Mackenzie/ from Canada/ by land/ 22d July 1793”

B) “Must have taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque.”

C) “What do you mean there’s a two-sailing wait?”

D) “We’ll put the pipeline right here.”


• Here’s what others say about us. Discuss.

A) Jane Fonda: “When I’m in Canada, I feel this is what the world should be like.”

B) Explorer Jacques Cartier: “I am rather inclined to believe this is the land God gave to Cain.”

C) Russian gangster recorded while phoning home from prison: “You must come to Canada. This is a wonderful place. I’m in jail and eat meat three times a day.”

D) TV’s Jon Stewart: “I’ve been to Canada, and I’ve always gotten the impression that I could take the country over in about two days.”

• Here’s what we say about ourselves:

A) Comedian John Wing: “A Canadian is merely an unarmed American with health care.”

B) Author Douglas Coupland: “There are few, if any, Canadian men who have never spelled their name in a snow bank.”

C) Former Victoria Times publisher Stuart Keate: “In any world menu, Canada must be considered the vichyssoise of nations; it’s cold, half-French and difficult to stir.”

D) Retiring astronaut Chris Hadfield, on Twitter last week: “After 26 years serving in other places around the world, tonight I am back on Canadian soil, to stay. It feels so very good to be home.”


All the world’s a used car lot


Shakespeare never did say why we are all merely players on this stage. Perhaps in his day the reason was less prevalent than it is today. We act because we are all selling something… a product, a service, a talent, an idea, a belief system, or even ourselves, no matter the product, we all must be at least one part used car salesman. This little epiphany came to me the other day (you should know that when I say the other day it could mean any time period from yesterday to up to two months ago) when I was thinking about how I am now working in sales for the first time. Or, at least I thought it was the first time. As I thought further, I realized that I had always been in sales… even in my off time. We sell our personalities to each other without even  thinking about it. There’s the date personality, the job interview personality and even the friend personality and they are all a little different from each other. What they all have in common, however, is that they are all a better version of who we really are. For a society that supposedly values honesty, we really are a pack of liars. We are also willing dupes ripe for the picking by an experienced salesman.

A while back, as I was taking out my trash I saw a young couple by the dumpster. The woman was pregnant and telling her partner what she wanted from the bin. Her partner, who was actually in the bin, was happily retrieving said items for his beloved. They were healthy, nicely dressed… not what you picture at all when you think of homeless people. I asked the woman if she needed the name of a good shelter and she laughed and told me that they weren’t homeless, they were freegans. I pretended I understood what she meant and promptly went to my computer to look up the term and, among the multitude of websites, twitter feeds and Facebook pages on the subject, this is what I found:

“Freeganism is an anti-consumerist movement. It takes issue with society’s focus on buying new and throwing away old (but still useful) items. In the simplest terms, freeganism is a reaction against the waste of resources.  Participants, known as “freegans,” have two main goals: to buy as little as possible and to use only what they need.

While freegans are a diverse group, with a wide-range of life experiences and interests, members do tend to share certain characteristics. The typical freegan is: 

  • Committed to living off the wastes of capitalism
  • An environmental, political, or animal-rights activist (or some combination of the three)
  • A vegan or meegan (only eating meat that would have gone to waste)
  • A strong supporter of his/her community
  • Interested in being (or already) free from the restraints of a paying job”

 -from frugalliving.com


At first I thought that this was clever and frugal. As I thought further, I realized that this lifestyle was making me angry. It felt a little like this couple, who did not need to be in my dumpster, were taking things away from people who actually did need to be there because it was the new cool thing to do. Then I moved past anger and came to another thought. Perhaps the capitalist society we have all created has become so bloated that we have evolved a new class of people. A parasitic class who lives off the ample waste of the rest of us. It makes perfect sense. Human beings are, by definition, parasites with the planet as our host. The statistics on what we, as a society throw away every day are staggering. I guess what still bothers me about this is that it seems the movement is comprised of mostly young, employed people who can afford to have an online presence, a computer, or at least a smart phone so they can blog or tweet about their new lifestyle before they go to Sunday dinner at their folk’s house. This new lifestyle is being sold to us as an alternative choice to being part of the machine, the new hippies, if you will. Hippies had communes, grew their own food, were actually self sufficient and were rarely found in dumpsters providing for their pregnant mates. While freegans still depend on the machine in order to survive (or at least the waste it provides). My new sales oriented brain now wonders if this lifestyle was created by rebels, or was it waste management companies who are quickly running out of options for our waste problems who sold it as the new hipster fad to ease some of their own burden? I can see the ad copy now, “Try Freeganism because expiration dates and human dignity are over-rated.” or perhaps, “Go Freegan- we have to dump this crap somewhere, why not in your stomach?” Okay, so I’m not Bill Maher, but I can’t afford his writing staff’s trash bin.


While I do agree that our consumer culture has gotten out of hand, I don’t think this is the answer, but then I’m from the old school where the only time you’d get into a dumpster is if a bully threw you in. I guess the point I am making here is, even as these people think they are living off the grid, they are actively selling a belief system and a lifestyle. What they don’t realize is that the more successful they are at getting others to join them, the more they will need the machine to provide them with waste and this only serves to perpetuate the current cycle of sell, sell, sell.

Aging Gracefully?


Cher at age 67

Ah youth. That time of life before gravity makes you it’s bitch and your skin still fits. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the term ‘aging gracefully’. In the past month I have been happily losing those ‘I quit smoking pounds’ thanks to a full-time job and a lot more walking. The down side of weight loss in your late 40’s, however, is that your chin starts to hang like mud flaps on either side of your jaw and your neck begins to pool just above your collar bones. It’s not a pretty picture. As Bette Davis once said, “old age is no place for sissies”. Middle age is no picnic either.

For the sake of full disclosure, I must admit that I have been getting yearly Botox injections for the past 12 years. It started as a preventative measure, foolishly trying to ward off the ravages of time before they became indelibly engrained in my face. I spent about $800 per year on Botox, which may sound like a lot, but it works out to just under $70 per month and, unlike anti-aging creams, lotions and serums that many women pay as much or more for, it actually works. This past year is the first time I have foregone my Botox injections (mostly due to financial reasons) and I find myself in an odd conundrum of sorts. Part of me is horrified when looking in the mirror and seeing the crows feet, the forehead lines and the sagging skin, while a new part of me is beginning to emerge… a braver part. This new voice is asking if maybe, just maybe its time to let go of some vanity and let nature take it’s course all over my face. I have been asking myself questions like, ‘if you are so strong, then why are you so cowardly when it comes to wrinkles?’. The reality is they’re just wrinkles and everybody gets them if you are lucky enough to live past the age of 40. Just because I feel 16 on the inside, doesn’t mean I should try to look 16 on the outside. I have done a lot of living and should be proud of the lines I have earned. But, then vanity rears its ugly head and I start craving that needle. It’s an odd seesaw to be stuck upon.

I find myself wishing for a happy medium between this,


Joan Rivers at age 79

and this,


Bette Davis as Baby Jane Hudson at the age of 54 (just 6 years older than I am now… eek!)

Perhaps, I am desperately seeking role models in this era of surgical enhancements that look great without all the nips and tucks. Maybe I should summon my inner strength and try to be my own role model. These are obviously quality problems that can only be found in a youth, celebrity and beauty obsessed culture. As I type this, I am realizing that there are women all over the world who are currently struggling with issues like freedom and basic human rights and it makes me feel small and petty to be worried about aging, which for those women is a luxury. I am thinking that I have fallen prey to the North American way of keeping a woman from attaining too much power… keep her insecure about her looks and distract her with the possibility of eternal youth in a jar (or needle).

Maybe the answer is to get more involved with causes that are close to my heart and move away from the mirror. So, from now forward, I will hold my head up high (with pride, and because it stretches the skin on my neck) and say goodbye to Botox and hello to more worthwhile endeavors. Maybe that’s what aging gracefully is really all about.

On the subject of dates.

For the past five years or so this is what I thought of when I heard the word date.

cluster of dates with leaves on a white background

Or, more correctly, this.


But last week something interesting happened. I was asked out on a date… you know, the social interaction kind. I had forgotten they even exist. The even more surprising thing is that I found myself actually considering it. You see, whenever anyone asks me why I’m single, I usually laugh and say, ‘because it’s safer for everyone that way.’ (which is funny because it’s a little bit true).

But here I was, considering making dinner plans with a perfect stranger. As a matter of fact I was seconds away from sending him an email with my available dates (the kind found on the calendar) when I thought, maybe I should Google him first. (I use Google in general terms here, as the search engine I actually used was Yahoo, but I digress.) The second link down the line was very telling. It was a site where people air grievances about dates (or, more correctly the people they had dated). It looked to be run by a small group of young women and it read like a high school slam book written by the mean girls. There he was, with photos and everything, the guy who had asked me out. He was accused of all sorts of unacceptable behavior. Now I usually like to get to know a person before I begin to believe gossip and rumours about them, so I didn’t judge the man on the alleged misdeeds.

I deleted the email I was about to send him because he comes with a lot of young girl drama and I am too old to be dragged into that quagmire, thank you very much. I was likely saved from having to wade through a lot of crap because of these girls, so I suppose I am thankful that they chose to air their personal laundry in public. I also suppose that they are achieving their goal in some small way in that I chose not to pursue even a first date (the social interaction) with this guy because of something they had published.

Some small part of me is relieved that it didn’t go any further, but I have a feeling that I may be ready to unleash the havoc that is me onto the dating world (even those who eat dates while on a date on any date the calendar deems appropriate) sooner than later. I may have to question the sanity of this… just when everything in my life is settling down and going well, I’m ready to muck it up with the whole dating conundrum?! It might not be smart, but like Amy Farrah Fowler before me, I must follow my endocrine system… but this time my brain comes along for the ride.


Working Girl


In my opinion Melanie Griffith is one of the most over rated actresses in the history of Hollywood. From her ditzy voice, to the scary plastic surgery she’s had done, there’s not one thing I like about her. Yet… I owe her a debt of gratitude. As regular readers know, I recently moved across country and have been looking for work for the past two months. The good news is I just got a great job that I really enjoy, in a gorgeous hotel setting. The bad news is the job requires me to stand all day and even in comfy flat shoes my dogs are not only barking, but howling by the end of a 9 hour day.  It doesn’t help that I am still carrying 30 extra ‘I quit smoking pounds’either. My co-workers tell me I will get used to it soon. I find myself wondering when the heck soon might be. I walk the 20 minutes to and from the hotel. I never in my life thought I would be one of those women made famous by Melanie Griffith in the movie Working Girl, who wears a skirt and sneakers to go to work (I mean, I own 3 pairs of Louboutins for crying out loud), but they are the only shoes in which I can make the trek home without wanting to cut my feet off after walking a measly block.

If anyone out there is looking for a great pair of walking shoes, get thee to a Payless Shoes and pick up a pair of Champion walkers (priced under $40). They have air pockets in the soles and they are like walking on two little clouds. I may just be investing in several more pairs in the not so distant future.


The shoes that are saving my life!!

I’d love to write more, but if I don’t put my feet up soon, I’ll never make it through the day tomorrow. So I will leave with a doff of the hat to Ms. Griffith for making it socially acceptable to wear sneakers to work.