Thursday, February 27, 2014


Hi all,

The ‘Amazing Jam’ is back! Even more amazing music...

The new location will be at The Black Dog, 227 West Front St. in Stirling.

A small group of us stopped by there last Sunday afternoon for “a sound check”. (OK, we also sampled the wine, the beer and the food....) The space works: acoustics are good, drinks and food are too and prices seem reasonable. We played music there for about 3 hours. We were welcomed by both staff and the patrons in the lounge and restaurant. Our music was greatly appreciated; people were asking to know when we would return!

We plan to gather there once a month from March through into June on Sunday afternoons. The dates selected are: March 16th, April 13th, May 18th and June 8th. Time will be from 2 pm until 5.

The format is a ‘song circle’ with the lead changing from person to person among the group. When their turn comes around, everyone has the option to offer a tune or pass the privilege to their neighbour.

In its previous incarnations the Amazing Jam had a thoroughly amazing character. A very large part of this was due to the fabulous core group of musicians (amazing characters, all of us....) who turned out time and again to bring it all together. A number of us have committed to this ‘revival’: people you’ll remember from the Amazing Jam in Madoc and in Marmora. We invite you to come out and join us, making music with old friends; for sure, there’ll be some new faces too.

I’ll be sending a reminder email a few days before our March get-together. And, in the meantime remember....

“Bring your instruments, your voices and your music. It’s all unplugged and it’s all good! Guitar, bass, harmonica, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, fiddle, accordion, flute, celtic harp – the list goes on.

“There may be only 4 or 5 of us or maybe a whole room full of musicians. A place for ‘first-timers’ and experienced players alike. A good bunch of people playing all kinds of music together. People in their teens all the way through proto-geezers. Maybe even an incipient-geriat or two....

“Any acoustic music from punk to polka!”


Tuesday, February 25, 2014


The other week in church I heard two women having a conversation about public education for Christian students versus other forms of education and it really ticked me off. I will not bother to necissarily refer too much to what the women (who were in agreement) actually said, but I will look at their arguments, which, I think you'll see, are really the same ones Christians always use when defending the public school system.

First, the argument about how Christian children can be a good influence on other students. This is perhaps the dumbest argument of all. It goes back to the argument first presented in the Book of Haggai. To put it in modern terms, if you drop a slice of cucumber on the floor, does the clean cucumber make the dirty floor clean or does the dirty floor make the clean cucumber slice dirty?

Likewise, it is also this way when it comes to the public school system. Your Christian children are more than likely going to become contaminated by all the non-Christian children in that school system.

The second argument is similar, namely preparing children for what they will face as far as the sins and temptations of this world are concerned. The so-called logic Christians who are for the public school system use in this argument seems to imply hooking a sewer pipe up to children that will feed them all the world's immoral garbage.

I would really like to say to these parents that it is not the fault of a child who attended a Christian school or a child who was homeschooled if they go off to college or into the working world naeve about what they'll face. Rather, it is the fault of either the school or the parents or both for not adequately preparing him. There are Christian children who haven't attended public school who are well aware of what goes on in the world. There parents have told them about it. It's just they've been told about this stuff from the standpoint of what God teaches us rather than hearing some public school teacher say that anything you want to do is basically all right.

Don't blame the Christian school or the fact the parent homeschooled; blame the school and/or parents' lack of willingness to bring up a subject with their child or approach it in an appropriate manner.

The third stupid argument is the one about socialization. People who are for the public school system argue that if a child is homeschooled or goes to a Christian school, they will not have access to sports, other extraciricular activities or an adequate social environment.

As far as sports and other activities are concerned, there are lots of house leagues and clubs outside of school a child can take part in.

Interestingly, it wasn't until the last few decades that school sports were really pushed anyway. Time was, kids played pickup games or found other activities to do with their friends. Sure, the kids who had their hearts set on being in the NHL got up at 5:00 in the morning to practice with the other members of the school hockey team, but other than kids such as those, children just partook of unorganized activities.

As far as socialization is concerned, the public school system is actually worse for this than homeschooling. When you enter kindergarten, you are placed with a group of other children and expected to make friends with at least some of them. This expectation more or less continues throughout high school and college or university until one day you are spat out into the world where there are a whole bunch of people of different ages from different walks of life.

Children who are homeschooled, however, end up being able to interact with people of all different ages and (I think anyway) would be more likely to make friends based on common interests rather than the shared experience of going to school.

Another stupid argument one of the women made which was mixed in with the stupid argument about sports concerned access to books. I have to laugh myself silly at this argument when I remember the propaganda we had for textbooks back when I was in school. Also, the children from the local Christian school have their weekly library time at the public library as opposed to the smaller (read less books) public school library like most of the other children so this argument really doesn't hold up.

Finally, you say your children are doing well in public school, maintaining a strong faith and witnessing to other students and perhaps even teachers. Great, but what about other people's children?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


I can tell you that it is a blessing to attend an ethnically diverse church. Potlucks are showcases of things like spring rolls, rice and beans, tortillas, and so very much more.

One of my brothers said it best when he spoke of the church. He said it was an education for his young daughters.

I didn't think much of it until I heard about a Bible study going on at a former friend's apartment building. The study was saying that the mixing of the races was wrong, and that it's better to stay within your own kind.

I thought to myself of that comment my brother in Christ made, and came up with this. When we are praising God sees not color, but the common goal to glorify His name.

Ms. Gillie

Sunday, February 9, 2014


One Saturday when I was on my way to church I happened to hear a song on the stereo of the people who give me my weekly ride to church. I asked the driver about the origin of said song, and he told me that it got its start as a spiritual.

I thought about it again yesterday as my friend, born in Nigeria, brought me to church. I thought some more later as I took a walk. I then came to this simple conclusion, that those songs have had impact. Not just in the time period of their creation, but now.

God Bless and keep all of you out there.

Ms. Gillie

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Was picking up WNZZ really well dominating CFMJ the other night.

CHHA Toronto was coming in clear as a bell last night.

I admire Chuck Harder's new project. I also think Alex Bennett's new venture is cool.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


CJBQ has debued "The Jim Wright Show" which will run weekends from 1-5 p.m. The schedule on the station's website, however, does not list the show.

Are they going to get someone to take over the 12:30-2:00 time slot?

I think extending Freddie's show by an hour is a mistake.

CJBQ's website also gives an incorrect start-time for "Into The Blue" which actually starts at 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays, not 6:00.

Who's filling in for Charity Brown while she's on maternity leave?

For her children's sake, I hope Charity can somehow work it out so she doesn't have to return to work.

Does "On Air" with Ryan Seacrest really begin at 6:00 p.m. now or is that wrong just like the time listed for "Into The Blue" was?

Why is Jim Wright not doing mid-days on CJBQ anyway? Did he get fired? (Something I can't really imagine because he was so popular.) Did he take a position in another department at the station? Did he decide to semi-retire?