My Takes

It's Just My Take

Archive for the tag “Manitoba”

Cutting Off The Nose To Spite The Face?

Nick Troller has two Star Trek themed licence plates. This one that reads 'ASIMIL8' is being recalled by Manitoba Public Insurance. His other plate reads 'Voyager.'Yesterday I watched the news about a city man who had his personalized Star Trek-themed licence plate recalled because ‘Manitoba Public Insurance received a complaint.’  Yes, all it takes is one solitary complaint.  Even over a 2-year old licence plate that is obviously, in a blatant way, not intended to be offensive in the least.

Now as a black man, I do understand and know offensive, (Trust me, I have seen and heard my share of thinly-veiled offense). and I’m happy to know that you Caucasians are looking out for us minorities, but sometimes you over-do it and I’m left embarrassed.  I feel as though you are helicopter parenting me.  My co-workers sometimes say they are ‘working like a slave’.  Should I file a complaint?  What if another caucasian hears it and feel offended? Well that’s just wrong.  Why should YOU feel offended if I am not offended?  I do understand the plight of the Aboriginals who were forced to assimilate and give up their culture but do you think they cringe every time they come across the word while reading a book? Should it be banned then?  Should Star Trek also be banned?  See?  There’s no end to it if we go down this road.  We are cutting off the nose to spite the face.

In this situation, I would recommend a meeting with an aboriginal group and the licence plate owner.  Hear how each party feels about the situation and take it from there.

My two older boys claim the don’t love each other.  In fact, the word hate is used. Whenever I catch them hugging or playing together I would say ‘Look at you! You do love each other!  They would promptly back away and give each other space. So what I learn here is, if you leave some things alone, they would be forgotten but if you keep digging things up and looking under rocks for allusions, you re-open wounds.  Words have multiple meanings and memories for many of us.  Some good and some bad.  Don’t cut the nose to spite the face.

Just My Take



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

Don’t Boo The Biebs!

thCAQC7FIKI don’t like the Junos.  I never watch it.  I know, I know, I am unpatriotic and not a true Canadian blah blah.  Well don’t be pointing fingers at me, sister,  why do you think they cancelled Canadian Idol eh?  See? I’m not the only one who supports American tv over Canadian.  Still mad at me?  Go knock on your neighbor’s door, no not that one, the one with the illegal dish on his house.  Ask him why he got it.  He would say “Duh, to get the American channels.  You kinda dumb eh?” 

Now that we’ve cleared that up, I must admit that the Junos aren’t all that bad and does a fine job of keeping up to its American counterpart.  It’s still not the Grammy’s but we will take it.  It would help if the big Canadian stars like Drake, Robin Thicke and even Bieber himself would show up.  Nothing against Serena Ryder, Tegan and Sara and BTO.  I heard my girl Sarah Mclachlan was in the house.  I missed that?? 

Everything was going great and Winnipeggers were repping their city quite well until Canadian heart-throb and bad boy Justin Bieber was announced as the Fan Choice Award winner, to which he was soundly booed.  Come on Peg City, stay classyWe are still broadcasting live to the world.  We don’t have to be like them.  Good thing the Biebs wasn’t in attendance, who knows, he might have had a few of his eggs thrown at him. (ok sorry, bad punny joke).

Serena Ryder came to the aid of her fellow Canadian superstar and told the dubious crowd that Justin Bieber works his a** off and she wasn’t say this to kiss a** either.  No one belieb her.  How did I know so much even though I said I never watch the Junos?  Well thank goodness for a house with an open concept.  I was doing dishes in the kitchen and the tv in the living room was directly in front of me. My mom who was over, was watching the Junos.

Booing is immature.  Plain and simple.  I don’t care what the kid did.  I won’t boo him.  He does have talent, not sure about the ‘working his butt off’.  So much for Friendly Manitoba.  Been to a Jets’ game recently?  They boo the refs, players, coach, puck, whatever.  I cringe in my seat when the boo birds come out…anyways, back to the Grammys Juno, I should watch it next year.  If not, the year after for sure…

And you, you should too!  It’s Canadian Eh.  And so is Bieber.


The Walcott’s Weekend In Kinosota, Manitoba

Look at me, look at your xbox, back at me, I’m on a horse!

Last weekend, we took the boys to Kinosota, Manitoba.  A small and remote little town where her mom was born.  She still has a lot of relatives living there.  Not too many people have ever heard of the place.

We stayed at her Uncle Jimmy’s place.  He owned horses and cows, to delight the kids.  They were even allowed to feed carrots to the horses.  One of them was actually a race horse!

But it may have been Uncle Stanley who made the biggest impression on the boys.  He made my cool-daddy-neighbor  looked normal.  Uncle Stanley had a quad and a pony among his many toys.  He let me walk the pony while the boys ride.  Then came the highlight of the evening/day/trip, he handed me the keys to the quad and told me to take the boys for a spin!  To you this might not be a big deal but I’m also a kid at heart and I had never been on one of them things before.  So it was a big deal.  I was almost as giddy as the boys were.

I loaded up the boys and took a few tentative spins around the huge country yard.  The boys kept yelling ‘Faster Daddy!’  I was trying to get the feel of the darn thing so speed was not in my plans.  When I was done, Amie took her turn at the controls and she seemed quite excited as well.  Then Uncle Stanley took it up a notch.  He volunteered to give the boys what they wanted, speed.  Enough of riding around the yard in circles.


As they tore out of the yard, Amie went white.  “Oh my God! Somebody tell him to stop or slow down! I can’t watch this!”  She kept holding her chest.  I didn’t feel better and had images in my head of the boys and uncle Stanley getting tossed off on the road, bruises everywhere.

Vrooom! They ripped down the road going the opposite way,  so fast we barely recognized them.  I prayed for it to come to an end.  A incident-free end.  Thankfully it did!  The boys jumped down with faces glowing from the excitement.  “Daddy! We were going so fast! We went Zoom!’ Mikhail said with excitement in his voice.

It all came to an end all too soon.  We had to go back to boring Winnipeg and compete with the cool neighbor.  On the way out, we stopped at Auntie Isabel.  They also had a quad and dirt bikes.  Her son invited the boys back in the winter, letting them know that he has six ski-doos.  Six!  Man, we should live out there!

Now this is what I’m talking bout!

I am not sure if I could or should take credit for that weekend experience but I am going to.  If it gives me brownie points then heck yeah!  Anything to get back my coolest daddy belt.

Of course I had to get in there.

Related read:

The Coolest Dad On The Block

Family Day at St. Malo Beach

Hi WordPress readers!

Yesterday, we woke up earlier than we should on a Saturday morning, got the boys (all five of them), ready and headed to the beach.  After all it was going to be another hot day in Winnipeg.  It was also Manuel’s, our Mexican International student, last hurrah as he is leaving for Mexico tomorrow.

The day did not disappoint.  A hot one it was indeed!  Our water supply was depleted within an hour and we thirsted for more.

We had a great time playing in the dirty-man-made-excuse-for-a-beach lake.  Don’t get me wrong, for what it’s worth, St. Malo is one of the best family beaches in ManitobaGrand Beach is the Province’s best summer hot spot but what it really is is a stage for posers.  The guy who thinks he has the best pecs on the beach, the chick whose bikini is so small that it looks as though she is not wearing anything, the other guy in the speedo who thinks he’s the hottest man on the beach.  My family and I can’t compete with that.

We played a game of bocce ball and Mikhail and Kenyan showed us up even though it was their first time playing.  Kids these days…

Here are some pics of today’s beach day.

A nice sunny beach day

The Walcotts and our Mexican student.

Mikhail and Kenyan schooling the big boys in Bocce

Kenyan the Merman

Proud fort builders

Kenyan trying to shoot fish with water

Mik armed and dangerous

Beheading monster to be given greater freedom

Rethink Mental Illness

Four years ago,  a sick man, Vince Li, took the life of an innocent fellow passenger on a greyhound bus.   It was one of the most gruesome cases to ever take place in Manitoba as the victim, 22-year-old Tim McLean, was stabbed, beheaded and cannibalized.  Read here.

The sheer shock value of the crime was enough to warrant the public and even myself, to call for revenge of kind.  Li was found not criminally responsible for the murder due to insanity and was placed in a psychiatric institution, much to the chagrin of many.

To add insult to injury,  Li, who according to his doctors, has been responding very well to his medications, is being recommended for greater freedom.  This basically means that he would allowed to go on escorted walks. (A police would be present). Click here for full story.

The public say nay but I say yay.  Why not? Li has done something bad, very bad.  Something most of us would never wish to have done to anyone we remotely know.  The evilness of it makes us crave revenge and revenge only, but Li did it because he was sick and needed help.  He had no hate for his victim. He was driven to do what he did because of a wiring problem in his brain.  Should he be made to pay for the rest of his life? No matter how much he suffers, the fate of Tim McLean would be the same.

Mental illness is serious and it is real.  There are potential Vince Li’s walking among us.  It could be me and it could be you.  I would hate to lose my life as I know it for a crime I have no recollection of committing.  Wouldn’t you?  As bad as this may sound, if the killing of Tim helped Li to get the treatment he needed and maybe thus saving him from killing more people, then he did not die in vain.

Maybe I am a little sick to see it that way but it’s my take, popular or not.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.


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Shopping or family time?

Remember when we were not allowed to shop to shop on Sundays?  Well it’s not that we were not allowed, we couldn’t even if we wanted to.  Why? Because the storekeepers were also not allowed to open up their stores.  It wasn’t a problem as there are seven days in a week and if I needed an extra one to shop then I needed something more than just the ability to shop on Sundays.  I would need an intervention of sorts.

Remember how the law makers tweaked the rule and allowed stores to open but not before 12pm and no later than 6pm?  Some people were excited about this, others weren’t.  The ‘others’ were those who had to work on a Sunday thus sacrificing their family.

Fast forward to present. Present as in today.  Today the newspapers scream,   ‘MORE TIME TO SHOP ON SUNDAYS – Province plans to ease limits on Sunday shopping‘  Ease limits on Sunday shopping? Wasn’t that what they did when they allowed stores to break with tradition and open at noon?

The fabric that holds families together is getting  stretched and worn out by man’s greed.   Corporations dictate when and how much time we could spend with our families.   How about the employees who saw their Sundays off turned into half day offs and now full day Sundays?  Is the sacrifice worth it?  I don’t think so. 

If you an avid shopper who would prefer using your extra time to interact with a Sales Person rather than a family member, I am sorry but you need to reconsider your priorities.  But that’s just my take.


Is it cold or am I just a wimp?

I am from the Islands. There, that should give you an idea of where I stand on cold temperatures. I don’t do cold.  Period.  Maybe I should have been acclimatized by living here for over twenty years but NO!  Each winter feels like a first experience.  Heck, even those who consider themselves 100% Canadian, complain to me. TO ME! (Wouldn’t that be like me going to Ethiopia and complaining to the locals that I am starving?) So if said Canadians cannot handle their own winters, what makes me so special that I could and should?

To rub insult to injury, I step outside embarrassingly bundled up like the Michelin tire guy only to see every other kid walking around wearing just a hoodie or a light sweater.  Maybe it’s a good thing that my face is covered by a scarf so they have no clue who the wrapped up mummy is.  Kids these days, I tell ya…

My mom is even worse.  I pick her up to go shopping and I don’t recognized the walking bundle of fabric walking towards my car.  She  gets into my heated car with just her eyes showing, wearing long johns, winter boots, touque and a few layers of clothing. I reminded her that she’ll be going from the car to the store and back. Her replies are always ‘You never know’.  She’s right, I never know what that meant.

Maybe I can attribute my trait to her? Well it’s either that or being from warmer climes or both.   For those of you who don’t know, I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada.  It’s one of the coldest provinces in the world and temperatures in the winter sometimes dips to lows of around -50 degrees celsius.  (I have seen lower).

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