Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Salute to April 2015

~ A mosaic of musings and ramblings ~

Let us be thankful for the fools;
but for them, the rest of us could not succeed!
(Mark Twain)

A gush of bird-song, a pattern of dew,
                                                     A cloud and a rainbow warning,
Suddenly sunshine and perfect blue ~
                                                     An April day in the morning.
(Harriet Prescott Spofford)

Best Sermons are Lived:  “Today, a boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me.  He helped me all the way across campus to my class and as he was leaving, he said, “I hope you feel better soon.”
(Courtesy of a collection from Carolyn)

Bizarre, Amazing Fact:  In 2005, a 12-year-old-girl was abducted in Ethiopia, trying to force her into a marriage.  She was saved from her attackers and defended for about half a day by three lions. (True story)

Community Recognition:  It's the first time that an organization has been a recipient since the awards started in 1938.  The Argyll Sutherland Highlanders of Canada  are recipients of the annual honour from the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.  They were chosen 2014 winners because of honour, distinction and recognition...and world-wide admiration the regiment gave to Hamilton after the shooting death of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.  He was shot to death on October 22 while on sentry duty at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.  His Hamilton funeral October 28 was the biggest in the history of the city.  The Argylls are absolutely...“Citizens of the Year!”

Farm Milking:  With leading technology, what was once done by hand, can now be performed using robotic milking machines.  They let the cow decide when she wants to be milked...without any prompting from the farmer.  There are 250 Ontario dairy farms that use robotic milking machines...and more are being installed every day.

Good Samaritans:  With the help of friends and family, Justin Shower handed out cold-weather essentials (including clothes and hot chocolate) in Gore Park to needy citizens during bitter cold days in January and February.  Nancy Pegg wrote to Letters at the Spec:  Sitting in my living room, snug and cosy as I gaze outside at the snow that fell last night...a truck pulls up in front of our neighbour's house and a man gets out, proceeding to shovel the sidewalk and driveway of our neighbour's house, then climbs back in his  truck and leaves.  Our neighbour has a medical condition and cannot do it himself.  Then, more incredibly, I look across the road to where my 92-year-old neighbour resides to find another man, shovelling her sidewalk and driveway.  The man with the shovel is in his late 70's.  What a Wonderful World!

Hamilton Harbour is becoming the gateway to North America for international shippers.  Cargo Tonnage figures from the Hamilton Port Authority show the volume of foreign cargo flowing through the harbour rose 39% last year over 2013...its highest annual overseas tonnage in a decade.  Over the season 619 vessels passed under the Burlington Canal Lift Bridge...157 from foreign lands...while the rest were 'lakers'.

Health is Wealth:  Did  you know that on the reverse side of A&W's paper mat placed on every tray is a Food Facts detailed chart re all their featured foods and beverages?  Nutritional Composition is charted in 15 columns from calories to cholesterol to vitamins, etc. All their foods are without 'Animal By-products' and hens are fed a vegetarian diet.  Their burgers, onion rings, and root beer are delicious!

Home Safety:  Although Spring, we're still dependent on furnaces and fireplaces to keep us warm.
For your windows and ceramic surfaces  stay hot long after the fireplace  is turned off.  Teach your children that touching natural gas appliances is dangerous.  Ensure your fireplace is cool before cleaning the glass...wiping hot glass with a damp cloth can crack it. Never use a fireplace  with cracked glass until it's been inspected or replaced by an HVAC ( licenced Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Contractor). For your Furnace...check the filter regularly (every 3 mos.) and clean/replace it when it is dirty.  Have your natural gas furnace inspected annually by your HVAC contractor.  Keep flammable materials away from both these fixtures.  Make sure there is adequate air supply in your furnace room ~ without fresh air, fuel doesn't burn as cleanly...which could cause it to release toxic carbon dioxide.

MBK's NewsBits: Stable Canada Keeps AAA Rating...thanks to a steady economic outlook, Canada is maintaining this credit rating.  The U.S. Credit Rating Agency reported this is due to its sound banking system...relatively low government debt...a projection to balance books following a series of deficits.

Notable Dates:                       
April 1 (Monday) April Fool's Day;                                                                                                              April 3 (Friday) Good Friday; Passover begins;  
April 5 (Sunday) Easter Sunday;  
April 6 (Monday) Easter Monday;
April 7 (Tuesday) World Health Day;
April 9 (Thursday) Battle of Vimy Ridge 1917.
April 10 (Friday) Birth of Jack Miner, one of the founders of the Canadian Conservation;           
April 12 (Sunday) Orthodox Easter;
April 20 (Monday) St. George's Day...Newfoundland;
April 21 (Tuesday) Queen Elizabeth II 's birthday (1926);
April 22 (Wednesday)  Earth Day;
April 30 (Monday) ~ Personal Income Tax Filing Deadline.
April 12 to18 is National Wildlife Week.

Vehicle Advice While Driving:  Clear your snow and ice...or else you might get fined! Halton Regional Police reminds motorists, “It is the driver's legal responsibility to ensure all of their vehicle's windows  afford a clear view to the front, sides and rear.  The lights, both front and back, hood and roof  should be free of snow for visibility and blowing  of the white stuff onto other vehicles.”

Stay focused:  Put the brakes on distracted driving!!!  If you send even a short message at highway speeds, from the time you look at your screen to the time you look back at the road, you will have travelled about the length of a football field. DISCTRACTED DRIVING  is a major factor in FATAL ACCIDENTS (exceeding today, those of IMPAIRED DRIVING).

Wildlife:  White-tailed deer reside in forested or bush areas during the summer, due to abundance of food.  During winter months, they concentrate in 'deer yards' (open areas that provide food and shelter from winter storms). 
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are remarkable flyers.  They maneuver at incredible speeds  of 55 to 75 wingbeats per second.  Unlike other birds, they can hover in place and rapidly change direction mid-air.

Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...March 22, 2015
Comments to:


  1. FROM ALAN AND SHERRIE: "Happy April 1st.
    It's an amazing month...full of newness and promise.
    Great Blog, as usual, Merle."

  2. We're on the cusp of spring weather...looking for the daffodils and tulips; and soon the woodlands will be alive with trilliums...our 'provincial flower'. A pale green haze will soon envelop trees sprouting their buds.

  3. FROM MEG: "Thanks for all the good info this time around.
    Good read."

  4. It is my hope that reading 'tid bits of news' is of interest and, as you indicated, carries one quickly from one item to another.
    Thanks greatly, Meg.