Just after 4 p.m. on December 6, 1989, Marc Lépine arrived at the building housing the École Polytechnique, an engineering school affiliated with the Université de Montréal, armed with a semi-automatic rifle and a hunting knife.
He entered an engineering class and ordered the nine female students across the room and directed the men to leave. No one moved at first, believing it to be a joke until he fired a shot into the ceiling. Lépine then opened fire on the women, killing six and wounding the three others.
For 20 minutes, Lépine moved throughout the school, shooting and reloading. When one wounded student asked for help, he unsheathed his hunting knife and fatally stabbed her three times. Lépine then committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
Fourteen women were killed. Continue reading
My apologies, this was meant to be published yesterday but I was sidelined by a migraine.
An annual remembrance ceremony is held at the Halifax Explosion Memorial Bell Tower on December 6, with a short silence just before 9:05 a.m., the time of the explosion.
The 6th of December has been a day of remembrance here in Halifax since 1917. That was the day the French cargo ship, the SS Mont-Blanc, collided with the Norwegian SS Imo in the Narrows of the Halifax Harbour. The Mont-Blanc was fully loaded with wartime explosives and the collision caused a fire on board ignited her cargo and caused a cataclysmic explosion that devastated the city.
The Halifax Explosion was the largest man-made explosion prior to the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima, with an equivalent force of roughly 2.9 kilotons of TNT.
How this disaster happened is quite the story of circumstance and bad luck, and is definitely worth a Google. It basically boils down to the dangerous cargo laden Mont Blanc being allowed in the harbour due to the threat of nearby German U-boats, and the stubborn Captain of the Imo refusing to give the proper right of way. Continue reading
I’m getting a little ahead of myself, perhaps this should be more of an Easter post. I mean, it’s still before Christmas, Jesus hasn’t even been born. However, the sign down the street keeps telling me “Jesus is the reason for the season!” so I’m going to take liberties and skip ahead to grown-up Jesus. (Not my best logic.) Continue reading
(Apologies for my extended absence. I was waylaid by the flu last week and have just gotten back up to speed.)
On Friday morning I overheard the 6-year-old start this conversation with his brother,
ET – “On a date, do you think it is better to go to a movie or go to dinner and drink wine?”
CJ – “A movie.”
ET – “No, I mean if you are adults and in love.”
CJ – “Oh, then definitely dinner with wine.”
ET – “Yeah, I think so too.”
I’m not sure who my boys are planning on wooing… but at least they’ve got class!
Previous: Funny things my kids say #13
Not my children…
With a good quantity of parenting years under my belt, I have realized there are certain things you cannot teach your children. No matter how hard you try, they just have to figure it out for themselves. Continue reading
If you are ever being chased by zombies, ET is the person to have running beside you. This kid cannot run for any significant distance without tripping. In fact, it is so predictable, The Husband can often do a precise countdown from the beginning of his run to the anticipated tripping point.
The good thing about all this tripping, is that he is now incredibly resilient and bounces right back up with a hearty, “I’m okay!”
On Saturday, we attended a pre-parade party. It was a beautifully mild evening and the horde of children were outside chasing each other around the house while us adults had drinks inside. As we were leaving to walk to the parade, I noted ET’s muddied knees as evidence of his usual stumbles.
Walking down the front walk to the sidewalk, the 6-year-old was jubilant, exclaiming how much fun the party had been. He then became very serious, pointed to a low-lying shrub in the yard and said,
“Mommy, see that bush… it’s my arch-enemy.”
Apparently, as he ran laps around the house, the same bush had tripped him every time.
Previous: Funny things my kids say #12
When I was young, my first pet was a hamster. I named him Super Ben and even made him a little cape to wear. Sadly, he died in the first month of owning him (nothing I did, I swear). Turns out that replacing a dead pet on the very same day that it died is a great way to alleviate a child’s grief! Thanks to Mom, I quickly recovered from the loss and named the new hamster Super Ben 2. He lived a long and full life. Continue reading
There is a site that I sometimes visit when I need a little pick me up. It is full of love, family togetherness, and awkwardness caught on film. It is Awkward Family Photos. Sometimes I like to tell myself a little story as I flip through the pages. After all, they say a picture is worth a thousand words.
Jerry was a lonely man with a cat. He truly loved that cat, but he yearned for more.
He earned a pittance as a freelance writer but, by cutting the cost of clothes out of his budget, he was able to scrimp and save until he could finally afford his dream vacation. A dream vacation where he landed Barbara, the perfect woman.
It was a whirlwind engagement and everyone could see that Jerry was head over heals in love… Continue reading
I recently cleaned out some old office space and came across this drawing. This is its story…
A couple of years ago, I received a call from daycare that ET had a fever. I quickly left to pick him up but had to come back to the office to gather some work to bring home. I set ET up with some scrap paper and a pencil to keep him busy.
My office mate, Sue, was going to the gym to work out. She said goodbye to ET and went to the bathroom to change.
When we were ready to leave, I stopped to admire ET’s drawing. The 4-year-old’s deadpan explanation was,
“It’s a picture of Sue… naked.”
This scrap was immediately taped to our office wall in a place of honour. It’s a keeper… but I’ve always really hoped that the centre design was his attempt at a belly button!
Previous: Funny things my kids say #11