My Takes

Just my humble opinion…

Facing Our Mortality

When faced with our frailty and even mortality, it’s funny but not ‘ha ha’ funny, how we suddenly reassess our priorities.  Our all-important project now seem insignificant.  Paling in comparison to the boulder of uncertainty that now impedes us.  Just last week you told your wife that there’s no way you could get the day off work so both of you could celebrate your wedding anniversary.  Too much on your desk that needed your attention. Now today as you watch her gasp for breath in a hospital bed, there you are, away from work.  Vowing not to leave without her. Work could wait.

I know, it’s funny the way we could juggle our lives and put things in perspective once we come face to face with a life-changing moment, not only in our own lives but the lives of our loved ones.  I took my soul-mate to the hospital at 3am Monday morning as she was having asthma-like complications.  As I looked at her,   huffing and puffing her way to the car, my life, past, present and future flashed before my eyes. The ‘what ifs’ were overwhelming.  I knew she was going to be ok, but still, what if?

One of my many blessings I bragged about was that I had both of my grandmothers alive and over 100 years old. In fact, I had never had a death of anyone that was close to me since I was a little boy, and that was my 103 year-old great-grandmother, who I didn’t even live with.  Last month, the younger of my grandmother passed.  Today, her son, who is my dad, lies fighting for his life in a London hospital.  His prognosis looks bleak.

What does this all mean? Perhaps nothing. Just another page in the book of life to some.  To others, it’s an eye-opener. A time to look at what’s important and how much value to assign to them.  Unfortunately, many of us are too busy to notice until we are facing our own mortality.

Black History Month: Martin Died For This?

It’s Black History Month in North America.  A month when we blacks take a look back at where we were and where we are.  We salute those who paved the way for us, the pioneers, the fighters, the icons.  I am not particularly an active partaker of this celebration for various reasons.  It’s not that I’m not proud to be black or proud of the achievements of people like Martin Luther King.  It’s just that I feel that in order to live as one, we need to celebrate as one. Not as a color.  I celebrate culture, not color.  But that’s not the intent of this post.

Today, I look at the where my race is in terms of carrying on the legacy left by King and others. Rappers making spectacles of themselves, singing proudly about guns, drugs and crime. Spitting cringe-worthy lyrics and telling the world how the ‘game’ has made them millionaires.  I watch them take the stage at prestigious awards, wearing outrageous outfits but still proud of where they are and what they are doing and how they look.  I read about their parties where drugs of different varieties are proudly consumed and blacks fight blacks for street cred.  Embarrassing that grown men with families are caught up in this ‘game’. Is this what King died for?  Was this his dream?  To see blacks over-populate the prisons? To see blacks calling each other ‘N***ers’?  A name drenched in pain.

Obama is President of the greatest country in the world. A black man, yes but for every Obama, there are thousands more Bobby Shmurdas and Kanye Wests.  Yes, there are legitimate rappers/hiphop artistes out there who are role models but again, for everyone of these, there are…yes, you got it, thousands more Nickys and Rihannas.

Don’t mean to rain on the BHM parade but seriously? Maybe instead of having a month where we celebrate black accomplishments, we could use that month to draw attention to what is ailing the black man and how it could be fixed.  A month spent looking back is a month wasted.

To those who paved the way so that blacks could be free, I am proud of you. Would you be proud of us now?

Just My Take



Find HIM Not IT

It suddenly occurred to me that one of the main reasons why there are so many religious fanatics and religion-based wars is because people have been finding religion rather than finding GOD.  But again, that’s just

My Take…

50 Shades Of Wrongness

What a twisted world we live in.  How could our kids understand it when their parents are just as confused? A few months ago, a popular radio personality, Jian Ghomeshi, was accused of having BDSM sex with his unwilling partners.  Women across the country called for his head as more came forward with accusations that they too were victims. Fast forward to present day, again women across the country and the world alike are again coming forward in regards to BDSM sex.  The exception? This time they are lining up to watch the movie based on the popular book, Fifty Shades Of Grey.  Is it me or is this some kinda distorted and warped sense of right and wrong?

Now I am not judging anyone on their sexual preference.  Bondage sex is not my cup of tea but if one choose to engage within the confines and privacy of their bedrooms, then it’s their prerogative.  Making it mainstream and allowing it to play in theaters? I am not so sure about that.  Some say it’s a love story, I say it’s porn but it’s just…


Red Red Wine, Stay Close To Me

Red Red Wine

Red Red Wine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I usually take researchers’ findings with a grain of salt.  Well I used to until a study showed that salt was bad for me, even a little bit. Every day there’s a new study paid for by our hard-earned money in the form of Government grants that aim to confuse us by their contradictory results. Chocolates are good/bad, jogging is good/bad/good, nothing is safe from these pesky researchers. You like it? They will research it.

I took comfort in the fact that I could indulge in a glass of red wine when I needed to relax, as studies showed that it was not as bad as once thought.  In fact, it was great for the heart and whatever else! I don’t indulge but knowing I could was hearteningLike having a bodyguard around just in case.

So imagine my dismay when I recently read that red wine was not good for me at all!  Apparently previous studies were skewed, giving a false result and lulling people like me into a false security.

But don’t toss out that bottle of Merlot just yet, there’s another study that is still ongoing. Stay tuned for the results. In the meantime, let’s drink to your health…Oh never mind!


Pass Me The Avocado With Coconut Oil and Don’t Forget The Oolong Tea

A few weeks ago while shopping at my local Costco, I overheard a woman asking a clerk for help in finding coconut oil. Nothing wrong with that but it made me think.  Not that long ago, when I first came to Canada from the Caribbean, the very word ‘coconut’ was an island thing, something the tourists sampled to take selfies showing they were indeed on vacation. No one outside of the islands knew much about it.  No one knew that growing up, coconut was a regular staple in every household.  The branches made excellent cricket bats, the dried husks were great for starting fires, the coconut water was the perfect mix for alcohol, especially brandy.  Coconut jelly, which was the meat of a young coconut was eaten with a spoon made from the shell of the coconut, when dried, the meat was used to make coconut oil.

Coconut oil is a versatile product, but by now you know this.  it can be used for various recipes, healthy skin and even cure for ailments.  Heated, it was applied to my chest and back as a kid when I had a cold. That was many years ago. Now the benefits of coconut is filtering through to North America, just like the avocado, another island staple.

Next time you are looking for coconut, remember, I saw it first.



Frank Friday: We Are Not Racists, We Just Don’t Care Too Much

On Thursday, Winnipeggers were in a frantic panic when the City declared a boil water advisory following a water test that showed positive for E.coli bacteria.  It wasn’t a city-wide result but a blanket advisory was advised just to be safe.  Bottled water flew off store shelves like bread on the eve of a hurricane.  It was all everyone talked about.  Alas! Woe is us! A few more days and we would have had a city-wide emergency worthy of an intervention by the army.

While we were thus inconvenienced by our 2-day water boiling, our First Nations people living on Canadian reservations have been enduring the same minor setback for years.  Shoal Lake, just north of Ontario, has been under a boil water advisory for 17 years!  (Coincidentally, that’s where Winnipeg sources its water!). I admit, I never knew this until yesterday when I read a piece in the Winnipeg Free Press entitled, ‘Our inconvenience, their way of life.’  Here. It made me stop and think.  In fact, it made me feel selfish.

Interestingly, the readers’ comments on the writer’s piece were not sympathetic.  Many blamed the First Nations people for their plight, mentioning that Winnipeggers pay more taxes and so are deserving of the VIP treatment and suggested that the First Nations people should move, seek greener pastures elsewhere, simple enough.  Someone should tell that to my family back in St. Vincent.

Maybe they have a point, maybe the First Nations people do not pay taxes or their leaders misappropriate funds or whatever, the fact remains that while we show ads of thirsty Africans, there are thirsty Canadians in our midst.  Canadians who travel for long distances to get water just like we see on the television ads.  We could spend hours debating how they got in this position.  We could even play the blame-game.  Or we could just care.

Maclean’s magazine says we are the most racist province, maybe we aren’t…maybe we just don’t care.  About THOSE people.

My Take.


Let’s Talk About Jesus But Quietly Please Or They Might Hear Us


CHVN-FM (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you whisper God’s name out loud? It’s an oxymoron, I know.  But yes, we do! I do and maybe you do too.  At my last job, a Christian woman working adjacent to me listened to the local Christian radio station on her radio but it was turned down so low I was certain she could barely hear it herself.  Sometimes we would have a discussion that had to do with church.  Our conversation would be conspiratorially as though we were planning a heavenly take over.  Not so if we were discussing a secular activity.

Last week at work, another Christian co-worker was at my desk talking about a church-related matter. While talking, she actually glanced around and lowered her voice, again as if we were planning a surprise take over of the company.  And that’s when it struck me! Why are we ashamed to discuss God?  Why do I turn down my Christian radio in my car when I give someone a ride? Or change it to the hip hop station?  Why do we yell out on Facebook how we partied and got drunk the night before but not about how blessed we felt after attending church? Again, why are we ashamed to discuss God?

In Mark 8:38 Jesus says these words:  “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”  Admittedly, in this ‘cool age’ it’s easier to run with the in-crowd than go against the grain.  Wanna be hip?  How many beers you could down trumps how many bible verses you could quote.  Do you have a ‘Christian music workout mix?’  Didn’t think so.  I don’t either.  So why the quiet noise about God? Why the hesitancy to reveal ourselves as believers?

Could it be that we are ashamed because we are not yet fully clothed in God’s garments?  Is it that even though we think we are strong in our faith in God, we really are weak?  Maybe we are like Peter who thought he would not waver and stand with Jesus until the end only to deny him when challenged?  Is that why we do not have enough confidence to go against the grain?  To blast our christian music and to post Facebook messages that uplift HIM, to BE DIFFERENT?  Being different takes guts. Courage. Strong faith.

Today we whisper but as we grow and become fully immersed in HIM, I trust that one day we will SHOUT! And let them hear us.

Magazine Ranks My City As Most Racist In Canada And I’m Not Surprised

Official logo of Winnipeg

Official logo of Winnipeg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week Winnipeggers were shocked, dismayed and maybe a little embarrassed, to learn that Maclean’s magazine had singled them for an unenviable distinction.  That of being the most racist city in Canada.  No surprise for some, including me.  In fact, last October I blogged about the way we treat our Native people. Please read here.

Maybe we are, maybe we aren’t, it doesn’t matter.  The fact that we are mentioned in that light is bad enough to make us want to stop and take notice.  I hope that this ‘out’ will serve as an eye-opener to the people of Winnipeg.  The Aboriginal people face injustices daily, not only from us but even from those who are paid to protect them.  They have no one to turn to, (No wonder some turn to alcohol and drugs).  It’s sickening that it has morphed into an acceptable norm.  Indians will be raped, it’s normal.  They will get drunk, their murders would not be thoroughly investigated as they are ‘only Indians’.  They will kill each other and if they don’t, it’s ok for us to murder them…They are our dispensable race as I blogged here.

Our license plates tell visitors that we are ‘Friendly Manitoba’ and maybe we are, but to who?  Remember, racism is not always black and white.  My Take

What About The Children?

Let me start by asking, who defends these sick perverts? Who in their right minds would even think of asking for any form of leniency for someone who sexually abused their 5 kids and post photos online?  Defense lawyers.

A Winnipeg man was in court last week to hear his fate.  He has five kids, one girl and four boys all of whom he sexually assaulted.  He took nude photos of his daughter at 9 years old and posted them online, sometimes offering them as trade for other child porn photos. But as sick as it sounds, someone was willing to earn a salary to defend this man.  Defense lawyers.

The Crown wanted a long jail time and I do too but the defense said a long sentence would hinder his chance at rehabilitation. And the children? Who cares? I take it these defense lawyers have no children or family. Maybe it’s a criteria for the position.  Must have no kids.  Or family.

The seriousness of this crime and the victims’ ages are deserving of a long long time in a lonely prison cell. A long time to think and perhaps rehabilitate.  Letting him out to share space with kids might not be a good rehab gesture now would it?

And the kids? Yeah, what about them? They are sentenced to a lifetime of hurt, scarred for life. Some can overcome this, many can’t. So while the court discusses how to fix this sick perv, I asked no one in particular, “What about the children?”

If this guy gets out in under 10 years, I am going to lie to the cops and say he kicked my dog.  That’s usually good for about 10 years isn’t it?


Just My Take



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