Tag Archives: London

Movie Review: Skyfall is simply the best Bond film ever.

Ok, I am admittedly a huge Bond fan going back to as far as I can remember.  I loved the camp of the Roger Moore years before I knew any better and then I learned to appreciate the fierce ruggedness of Connery as I grew to learn the earlier films.  Hell I even appreciated Lazenby in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

I loved the back to basics Bond that Dalton created on screen, even if the stories were a tad weak given the political climate at the time.  I did struggle with the Brosnan editions finding them a bit too close to Moore as I matured.  Yet I was in the theater every opening weekend.

I know I made a bold, almost outrageous statement saying that Skyfall is the single best James Bond movie of all time; but it’s one I am going to stand behind for several reasons.

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Redemption!

As many of you who follow my little musings will know I am a staunch Canadian.  A promoter if you will of our way of life and our culture.

One thing that is deep in our marrow is the fact that we will not quit.  From being shock troopers in the first and second world wars.  To besting the world with sometimes antiquated equipment (the schooner Bluenose) to winning bronze at in Olympic soccer today at the London 2012 games.

After a hard fought match filled with controversy and lactic acid our fine ladies Canadian national team brought home our first medal in soccer EVER!  Yes it was a bronze, but just think about this for a second.  Hmmmmmm.  When you think of Canada what do you think of.  For me personally soccer doesn’t exactly leap off the page.  I think hockey, snow, beer, incredibly sexy ladies and a warm and relaxed people.

Diana Matheson battles France’s Gaetane Thiney for the ball in the 2012 bronze medal soccer match. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

These talented and incredibly resilient women brought home not just the bronze medal but also a huge amount of pride to our humble nation.  The talk everywhere at work today was, have they started yet, what’s the score, who are we playing, did we win?

Diana Matheson puts the ball in seconds away from overtime! (AP Photo/Jon Super)

No one had to ask what the conversation was about we were all on the same mental wavelength.

This game was all about the defenders, France by all accounts out shot us by a huge margin but failed to find the back of the net.  Goal keeper Erin McLeod and Winnipeg’s own Desiree Scott had brilliant games keeping the score nil to nil until the dying minutes of regular time.

This picture says it all! Canada wins! (Jean Levac/Postmedia Olympic Team)

Diana Matheson potted home the lone goal of the game with ten seconds remaining before a grueling overtime would be required.

It’s not gold and it’s not silver but yet these fine ladies managed to do what so many other teams could not.  They found the podium and they found it with pride.

Good on you girls, you did yourselves and your nation proud.
You may have only won bronze but you’re as good as gold to all of us back home!

Playing for bronze.

 

I just finished watching the women’s soccer match today pitting an underdog Canadian squad vs the American number one ranked team.  No one expected much of a match from Canada.  Let’s face it we haven’t beaten team USA in almost a decade on the soccer pitch.

But let me tell you something just the same, today our women in white gave the Red White and Blue a run that they will probably never forget.  We held our ground in the middle and in the ends, we withstood horrible calls and still fought on.

Canada was not expected to show up let alone perform at these games and yet the courageous women on the pitch took one, two and three goals vs the American squad. Something that had not yet happened in these games.

Christine Sinclair flies on the pitch in London!

Corners, elbows and rough play became clear in the match as it became personal.  Words were exchanged, Canada struck first, then again and again. Only to be matched by the United States.

Extra time was called, and penalty shots loomed but still Canada persisted.
Like a pesky mutt chewing at your leg, Canada kept punching above its weight. Striving for a win and a hope for Gold.  We kept fighting and fighting and will yet again.

Alas in the last-minute of extra time America headed a shot into our goal.  But against all odds Canada stood tall and shoved back we did not go easily into the dark of night.  We will fight for bronze and we will give it our all, and if we play our best we will win.

After all for Canada it’s not about winning all the big matches, we are a big nation but a humble people.  It’s about punching the elephant in the nose when it’s about to roll over on the mouse.   It may one day squish us, but it’s sure going to feel sore about doing it.

Way to go, Christine, Melissa, and all the rest of you.  I watched you battle and I lived and cried with you all.
GO Canada GO!

 

Yayy Canada!! Gold!

I know I have been away for a little bit, but I have just come off a vacation week in the camping in the country and now a half week spent on some home renovations and relaxation.

Rosie MacLennan wins Canada’s first gold medal of the 2012 Olympic games in London.

But Yayyyy Canada! First gold medal!!  Rosie MacLennan won a great victory over the Chinese who took Silver and Bronze in ladies trampoline skills. We were all on the edges of our seats this morning as she bounced her way to victory.

Ryan Cochrane wins silver in the grueling mens 1500 Meter freestyle.

Also Silver in the pool with Ryan Cochrane who dug deep with a split second silver win over Oussama Mellouli.
Way to win Canada.  Let’s get some more!!

James Bond, Winston Churchill and Adolph Hitler – The Canadian Connection

What are the first things that spring to mind when someone mentions the word “Spy”?  Well, in my mind images start to appear, men in trench coats, stolen and falsified documents, secret codes and spy gadgets.  Not to be forgotten is the legendary drink of fictional super spy James Bond a perfectly poured vodka martini.

Now imagine just for a second that all of these things have a basis in fact and that the man at the center of it all was a real person who inspired the greatest fictional spy of them all Ian Fleming’s Commander James Bond of the Royal Navy.  You would think that I’d been staring at my computer screen just a tad long, wouldn’t you?

Well friends gather round and I’ll continue the story of William Stephenson.  In my last installment I told you all the story of William’s birth in turn of the century Winnipeg, Manitoba, his exploits as a child and his daring as a World War One fighter ace.

The rest of the story picks up back in Winnipeg with a can opener that William had stolen from the Commandant’s quarters while he was imprisoned in a German POW camp.  The design was revolutionary for the time leaving a clean edge on the can lid where other models of the day simply hacked off the top leaving a sharp jagged edge. Since North American patent law did not recognize German patents, William registered the device in North America and went into business forming the Franco-British Supply Company with friend Charles Wilfrid Russell in 1919. Soon after the young business men incorporated the company as Stevenson-Russell Ltd. raising money through selling shares in the community.

The post war period was hard for business and Stephenson-Russell was failing by 1922. William lost face in the Icelandic community he was raised in by not paying back the debts he had incurred while trying to grow the company.  He fled to England while members of his extended family set up a hardware store with the remains of the failed venture.

William Stephenson sends the first image via radio. July 6, 1924.

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