The Fountain Pen, Guelph's On-Line News

June Daze Political Daze and Some News

Web posted on June 05, 2017

A Curmudgeon's View

By Les Enekes

Here are just a few of the interesting events and celebrations for the month of June. As you know by now I always try to pick a blend of the actual events and those non official events that are just begging for comment.

We begin with the First being Wear a Dress Day. I can think of one former presidential candidate down south who will not be observing this. I wonder if there is a Wear a Pant Suit Day.

On the Fourth we have Hug Your Cat Day. This one can have mixed results; some cats may enjoy or at least tolerate the hug, while others will attempt to shred you. Then there are the few that will spend months planning your horrible demise that will look like an accident. Never mess with a cat, you are there to serve and obey.

The Seventh is VCR Day. On this date in 1975 Sony released the first Betamax VCRs. There might be some dispute about the date as I found another source saying the release date was May 10, 1975. Beta was a better format than VHS, but Sony made several mistakes. Initially they only made one hour tapes, and they did not licence the technology to other manufacturers. JVC on the other hand made two hour tapes and licensed to anyone interested. Even though Beta had higher recording quality, consumers wanted to be able to record a two hour movie off TV. I am sure that there are still a few of us with a VHS or two still connected to a TV. There might even be some people with Beta units out there. Then there are those not so classic movies that I will only watch when they are released on Beta.

This month's full moon is on the ninth and is called the Strawberry Moon. It is also known as the Rose Moon.

Iced Tea Day is celebrated on the 10th. On the 11th our friends in Hawaii will be celebrating King Kamekameha Day. If you are a politician you will like the 17th because it is Flip Flop Day. Oops this is about foot ware sorry.

Father's Day is on the 18th. The 19th is Garfield the cat's birthday, well sort of. On this day in 1978 the first Garfield comic strip was published. Feel free to celebrate by squishing a spider and having some lasagne.

The Summer Solstice is on the 21st and it is also National Aboriginal Day which is a holiday in the Northwest Territories.

For all you fans of lawn ornaments, the 23rd is Lawn Flamingo Day, so get your pink plastic birds all cleaned up and out on the front lawn. The first lawn flamingos were unleashed upon the world on this date in 1957. Countless millions of these plastic birds have been produced. These days you can spend a lot more money and get all sorts of flamingo like lawn ornaments. They are very expensive imitations of the real thing. Please make sure that you use the real thing. If you want to be creative and confuse your neighbours, you might want to consider painting them to look like any bird of your choice. I might have to copyright that idea just in case. They are also the official bird of the city of Madison, Wisconsin.

In Newfoundland and Labrador the 24th is known as Discovery Day (I told you they have more holidays than we do) marking the arrival of John Cabot (I believe that the correct pronunciation is Giovanni Caboto) on this day in 1497. In Quebec it is known as Fete nationale du Quebec, or as it is pronounced in English: St. Jean Baptiste Day. Both are celebrated on Monday the 26th.

The 26th is also Eid-al-Fitr marking the end of Ramadan.

And the new leader of the Conservative Party is (pause for a two hour drum roll) Andrew Scheer. It was a come from behind victory that very few people predicted. In an effort to put some excitement into the announcement and keep the party members, political junkies and the TV audience glued to their sets, they dragged it out over two hours. It also kept a whole bunch of political commentators employed for a couple of more hours trying to say something interesting and meaningful. It was painful to watch. They must come up with something better when the next leader is selected.

This was a wise and relatively safe choice when compared to some of the other candidates. Andrew Scheer has had experience at adult supervision (Speaker of the House of Commons), is younger than our PM and seems to be a lot more down to earth. He is relatively unknown which could work either way for him. If he can unite the Conservatives, and put together a sound platform for the next election, and if he can keep the campaign at an adult level, he can easily defeat Young Trudeau in 2019. There are just too many "ifs" in the mix at the moment.

The cast of characters for the next election will not be complete until the NDP select their new leader in a few months time. This could be a wild card depending on who they pick to lead them into the next election.

Another wild card might be where each party decides to position themselves on the political spectrum. The 2015 election saw the Liberals and NDP try to "out left" each other. Will this continue or will they go back to where they belong?

A lot also depends on the actions of Young Trudeau. There is a long list of broken promises, plus ethics issues to be dealt with. Then there is the upcoming defence review, and the ever growing debt. Let's not forget the ongoing money grab in all its subtle and not so subtle forms. The days are not so sunny anymore. He has two years to get his act together. He will have to spend a lot more time visiting Canada and Ottawa. The selfies and photo bombs will have to stop.

I think that we are all a little tired of the ongoing political shenanigans and could use a bit of a break. This will be last political mention until September unless something truly outrageous happens such as a snap provincial election. I am sure that there will be some interesting political stories over the summer, and I will probably use up all of my September columns trying to get caught up. Just like the TV networks, I have decided to bring in some summer replacement columns. There are many non political issues that are long overdue for some attention.

Condolences to the victims of the terrorist bombing in Manchester. It will be a while until all the details are released. As you know by now I refuse to use any of the other names for them used by the media. Until they are completely destroyed, the Terrorist State and their followers will continue to hit targets that cannot be easily secured. In a free society there will always be soft targets of opportunity.

After 146 years the Barnum and Bailey Ringling Brothers Circus had its last performance recently. I remember seeing their circus trains going though London as a kid. As I recall it was a big deal in those days. I was interested in seeing the train, not the circus. It is possible that in the future some group will start complaining about the poor treatment of human circus performers and all the rest of the circuses will be shut down.

Just when I thought the Ontario commercials couldn't get any worse, they came up with the "where am I?" campaign. Truly pathetic does not begin to describe this waste of valuable air time. I don't understand why they are trying to turn people away from Ontario.

Late breaking news. John Travolta has donated his Boeing 707 to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society located in Albion Park, Australia (140km south of Sydney. They have a Super Constellation and 747 of QANTAS on display as well as numerous other aircraft. It is one of the finest aviation museums around. According to reports the old bird is showing her age and needs a fair amount of tender loving care to make the Trans Pacific flight. So much for one of the aircraft on my aviation bucket list. Oh well, I did see it in Hamilton when he was in Toronto filming "Hairspray." At that point nobody knew that information, and everyone was guessing why he was in the area. Most mornings I check the local airports on flight tracking web sites to see if there are any interesting aircraft around. That morning I saw that N707JT was on the ground YHM. I sent a couple of emails to other aviation enthusiasts and headed down. It was also one of my rare media appearances, as CHCH TV was at the airport doing a story about the unexpected arrival of John Travolta's aircraft. I was one of the first enthusiasts to arrive (I did not break any speed limits getting there), and got interviewed. It was the lead story that night. Slow news day.

Les Enekes can be reached directly by owl. For those not owl equipped, he can be reached at

The views of columnists in The Fountain Pen do not necessarily represent the views of the principals of the publication.

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