For all my friends from the party..

For all the people I met at Ken’s party; the pictures are at my other blog, www.ordisante.com.

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Quebec Questはじめます!

バンクーバーから戻ってから、旅行する時間は本当になかったんです。  仕事は忙しくなちゃったし、時間は本当になかった。  でも、今少し時間があるから、ケベック州の話を始めます。

私がすんでるモントリオールはケベック州の南の市です。   モントリオールはいつもケベック州の経済成長の原因でした。 それから、モントリオールの周りに、たくさんの小さい市町村があります。  でも、その全部は安くて、早く作られたからほとんどはあまり美しくないです。 本当の綺麗な場所が見たいなら、もっと北の部に行かなければなりません。

今日からだんだんにケベック州の全部の場所の話ここに書きます。 それが、ケベック・クエスト(Quebec Quest)です。

モントリオール もんとりおーる 地図 観光
初めてにモントリオールの近い場所の話やります。  もちろん、モントリオールの中に観光の場所いっぱいある。 でも、他の場所にその情報簡単に見つけられるから、僕は外国人はあまり知らない場所の話だけやります。 だから、今週は、Parc des Îles-de-Boucherville (ブシャルビルの国立公園)とカナワキ(Native Americanのテリトリー)とオカビーチに行って報告しております。
よろしくおねがいします!
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An Open Letter to Steven Harper

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

I am writing to you in the hopes of dispelling certain preconceptions being raised by one of your subordinates. I can say, without fear of being contradicted, that both you and I are patriots. We both believe in Canadian values and Canadian ideals. Although we part company when it comes to the current war between Lebanon and Israel, I concede to you that friends may have differences of opinion in times of great turmoil. I had always intended to judge your worthiness of my vote on the basis of your domestic policies. Unfortunately, the actions of Mr. Garth Turner have given me cause to re-consider.

Mr. Turner, who I am sure you know very well, has his own Internet website. On this site, visitors are invited to contribute their comments on various comments he makes. Mr. Turner moderates these discussions, as is his right. However, judging from the comments he retains as “good discussion” and those he discards as “hateful”, I have sensed a grim pattern. Mr. Turner’s board is filled with hateful comments that refer to Arab-Canadians as (for example) being from a “culture of death”, while most contrary comments are quickly deleted. I conclude now that this is probably the private opinion of this member of your party, a member in good standing, serving all Canadians in the House of Commons.

Mr. Harper, am I being hasty in assuming that Mr. Turner’s opinions are shared with his fellows within the Conservative Party? I myself am not of Arab origin, but I have many friends who are. I have also met many Arab immigrants and consider many of them as dear to me as my brother. I can only assure you that death is not their prime focus in life. As a Muslim-Canadian myself, my focus has always been the moral and spiritual betterment of myself, and assisting Canadian society in any way I could. I do not believe that death resolves problems, nor do I believe in the strange conspiracy-like ramblings which Mr. Turner has seen fit to leave unchallenged on his website. I believe that the multicultural fabric of this country will make us stronger than the monoculture that exists across much of the rest of the world. By definition, that means I embrace the variety of peaceful religious practitioners who live within Canada. However, this also means that all Canadians must embrace each other, and leave our old hatreds behind us.

I appreciate that members of your party may not have had many interactions with Arab-Canadians. To this end, may I, Sir, be permitted to invite you or a member of your party for a home-cooked dinner? I would be happy to invite some Arab friends of mine as well, and we could discuss the issues in a frank and honest way – a way to bring Canadians closer together, rather than alienate them as Mr. Turner seems to be doing.

Yours in the spirit of Canadian brotherhood,

Jawaad Bin Mahmood

http://www.findmycountry.ca

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Picture of the Day: July 7th, 2006

Who is to say what future this young man will make with his own hands? (click for full sized version)

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Picture of the Day: July 2nd, 2006

I have always had a head for numbers, and my best subject in CEGEP was Statistics. Coupled with my studies in Biology, it had a profound effect on my life and my world-view. I still remember one class in which our professor was talking about lotteries and games of chance. In the end, he concluded that, in all but rare cases, lotteries and games of chance were a “tax on stupidity”. I won’t argue with that – the Montreal Casino is a case in point. (Click the picture for a larger version)
Montreal Casino

Let the stupid gamble their savings away. If it means I get nicer roads, it shouldn’t matter if they go into debt or even kill themselves – after all, I don’t want the hubcaps to fly off my poor Ford Mustang.

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Happy Canada Day

Happy Canada Day!

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Findmycountry.ca Galleries Are Now Open!

Well I finally found a plugin that did what I wanted. Our galleries are finally open :-)

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Gambling on Keno City

Mining resources is the backbone of Canada’s booming economy. Whether it is the Oil Sands of Alberta or Gold in the Northwest Territories, mineral wealth is the most stable form of wealth that exists today. With the growing industrial markets in China and India, prices can only increase. The danger exists in market “bubbles”, or undeserved increases in prices which are unsustainable in the long-run. These are inevitably followed by short-term crashes that can render entire operations unprofitable, and thus destroy entire cities. Thus, starting a mining operation is a gamble; little wonder that Keno City was named after a game of chance.

Keno City is the site of one of Canada’s largest silver mines. The original 1919 claim was (ironically) named the “Roulette” stake, and it was purchased by the Yukon Gold company in 1920. Until 1930, the city was a major source of fine silver, when falling prices of silver caused the town to be slowly abandoned. Today a population of 10-25 people inhabit this “city”.

Keno mining museum

The population isn’t particularly open to out-of-towners, although the town itself seems to be aimed at tourists. The unofficial mayor of the city was sadly away in Dawson City. I had planned on meeting him, but time limits meant I had to rush off before I could visit him. Maybe someday he can tell me the stories about the time he was stuck in a prison cell with a cannibal (!).

Road to Keno city

The path is incredibly treacherous and I do not recommend a novice driver taking it in the winter. Even with relatively decent conditions, I nearly met my doom at several points along the trail. I don’t regret it, but I would advise budgetting 3 hours to travel the 60 miles between Keno and Mayo. There are parts of the route which are frankly not traversable at anything more than 10 km/h.

Clifford

Clifford here explained a bit about the area to me. He is a Native American who lives in Mayo, and he comes in to move the snow and keep the roads open. (“Roads” being a relative term – most surfaces here are packed mud). He told me a bit about the wild life and the kind of people who lived in the town.

elsa abandoned school

elsa forbidden entry

By 1989 all the major companies had left the city of Elsa, which is just before the most treacherous part of the trail between Mayo and Keno City. Today, with the price of Silver breaking $10/ounce, the city has been purchased by a mining company. A similar fate may yet await Keno city.

The Keno Cafe once made almost $500 at a peak hour off of miners in Keno and Elsa. Now it is lucky if it makes that kind of money in a month. However, if the people I met in Mayo are any indication, things might be changing. Geologists and other surveyors are being brought into the area to find new sources of silver. If a profitable mine is set up, who is to say that the 500$ hour is so far away? Maybe, in the finest traditions of the Yukon Territory, it is time to take a gamble on the future.

Silver trail view

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Picture of the Day: June 26th, 2006

Montreal’s summers are legendary. Between the Jazz festival, Comedy festival, and the F-1, it is hard not to have a good time. Another part of the story is Montreal’s international fireworks festival. Visible from the southeastern part of the island (including the Old Port, Jean Drapeau Island, and Riverside Drive in Saint Lambert). This event was previously sponsored by De Maurier cigarettes. Thankfully, we had a moral outrage over cigarettes and replaced the evil tobacco company with a bastion of public decency – our state-sponsored lottery commission, Loto-Quebec.
Night of Fire
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Picture of the Day: June 25th, 2006

Everyone is mad at me about “Beauty and the Beast”, so I thought it was the perfect time to show part 2.  If Nascar brings out the trailor park crowd, Soccer truly brings out the beautiful people.  (Click for the full version)

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