Loving Canada

Today is Canada Day! I am proud to be Canadian. So much so that I work for Canadian National Railway. Just kidding, I work for the railroad because I love trains. Man, I cannot say that with a straight face. I work for CN because I enjoy making money to live.

Moving on…

Growing up, I remember my father always drinking Molson Canadian Beer. When I turned legal drinking age, Molson was my go-to beer for many years. Mostly because I’d buy a $20 t-shirt and get a free case of beer. (At least that’s what I told myself, but clearly it was the opposite).

There was a commercial years ago put out by Molson that I enjoyed. I Am Canadian aka Joe Rant. It felt like the commercial was made for me specifically. I rewatch it every year. I also share it every year. I am a proud Canadian and love this country with all of its amazing landscapes and diverse culture.

My name is Joe.


Happy Canada Day!

Get Out There & Vote!

What are you doing reading my blog right now? Don’t you know there’s this election thing happening in Canada today? Go and vote! Then come and read my blog- I’ll wait.

Done voting? Excellent. I had thought about doing the advanced voting last weekend, but since I had a turkey to make- no go. This morning however- I was first in line at my local polling station waiting for the doors to open. That’s mostly because I finished a night shift and the polling station was a couple blocks away from our home. The timing was impeccable.

It’s going to be a rainy and miserable day in the Vancouver area. Not only will it be miserable because of the weather… but also because we are the last province to be counted. Many of the other provinces will have their numbers in and whatever the west does isn’t likely to skew the vote in either direction. But I have the opportunity to place an ❌ inside of a circle next to a name of some candidate I think will be best for my needs. So I chose someone.

And making the choice this year was difficult. I finally narrowed it down to two candidates and made my choice as I stared at the paper of names behind the cardboard cutout. Maybe you were better informed than I was. Maybe you just vote the same way every time. But a vote is still a vote.

Tell your family to vote.

Tell your friends to vote.

Tell your coworkers to vote.

Tell your neighbor to vote.

Tell the barista to vote.

Tell the traffic safety person to vote.

Tell a complete stranger to vote.

You get the idea. Make everyone have their voice heard today.

If you read all the way to the end before hitting the polling station- all I want to say is “Go Vote!

Canada Day

I am Proud that we have Canada Day. To me, being Canadian means being kind and polite. I’m glad that’s also how the world sees our country.

So today I implore you to go out to enjoy our glorious country. Meet people and smile. Smile so that the love you have in our glowing hearts spreads far and wide.

May your celebrations be lighthearted and full of friendships!

Happy Canada Day!

Weed Wednesday

Marijuana is legal in Canada as of today. I don’t think anything drastically good or bad will come of this. People who smoke it won’t change. And those who don’t smoke- probably won’t.

So what’s the big deal?

Nothing. Because weed was already ignored for the most part in Canada. Some say it’s a gateway drug, but I don’t believe it. I know quite a few people who smoke pot and they don’t seem like addicts. They are more like calm individuals who just happen to partake in a toke or two.

That being said, I also don’t think people should drive or go to work high. It’s the same as alcohol. You’re not quite yourself and your actions could affect those around you.

So be smart about using those marijuana cigarettes. And for those enjoying a “Wake’n’Bake” today-

Far-out man.

Proudly Canadian

Happy Canada Day!

I’m fortunate to call Canada my home. My family is also quite happy about it. As great as it is to travel to other countries, coming back to the “land of the free” is always reassuring. This is a great country with wonderful people residing here.

I always try and do something “Canadian” on Canada Day. Sometimes I go to a parade, eat poutine or drink Molson Canadian. Other times it’s hanging out with friends at a BBQ drinking Molson Canadian. Today I am doing the most Canadian thing I can think of- instead of drinking beer and watching hockey. I am going to work at CN Rail aka Canadian National.

How ever you are celebrating today- have fun and behave. Our polite reputation relies on it.

Happy Canada Day!

150 Years/150 Reasons

Happy Canada Day!

Canada is celebrating 150 years of being a country today.  So I’m going to share 150 reasons I love Canada (in no particular order).

  1. The natural beauty of this country.
  2. Free health care.
  3. Our flag.
  4. Our national anthem.
  5. Our Prime Minister.
  6. Our diverse culture.
  7. Bilingual schooling.
  8. Immigration laws.
  9. British Columbia.
  10. Alberta.
  11. Saskatchewan.
  12. Manitoba.
  13. Ontario.
  14. Quebec.
  15. Newfoundland.
  16. New Brunswick.
  17. Nova Scotia.
  18. Prince Edward Island.
  19. Yukon.
  20. Nunavut.
  21. North West Territories.
  22. The Northern Lights.
  23. The Rocky Mountains.
  24. Trans Canada Highway.
  25. The prairies.
  26. Lakes.  Lots of lakes.
  27. The nicer side of Niagra Falls.
  28. Hells Gate.
  29. Okanagan Wineries.
  30. Whistler.
  31. Snow blowers.
  32. Snow.
  33. Ice.
  34. I can go swimming in the ocean and skiing on the mountain within a couple of hours.
  35. Newfies.
  36. Québécois.
  37. CN Rail.
  38. Our gun laws.
  39. Peace.
  40. Freedom.
  41. The RCMP.
  42. Walkie-talkies.
  43. Peanut butter invented in Canada.
  44. Poutine.
  45. Ketchup Potato Chips.
  46. Our colourful money.
  47. Canadian Tire Money.
  48. No pennies.
  49. Loonies.
  50. Toonies.
  51. Touque.
  52. Toboggan.
  53. Igloos.
  54. Winter Olympics.
  55. Hockey. 
  56. Basketball.
  57. Zippers.
  58. Beavers.
  59. Moose.
  60. BC Salmon.
  61. Otters.
  62. Killer Whales.
  63. Canada Goose.
  64. Polar Bears.
  65. Log Rider’s Waltz.
  66. Winnie the Pooh.
  67. Superman.
  68. Politeness.
  69. I’m sorry.
  70. Eh?
  71. Timbits.
  72. Lumber.
  73. Natural gas.
  74. Hollywood North.
  75. CBC.
  76. The Friendly Giant.
  77. Mr. Dressup.
  78. The Raccoons.
  79. Fred Penner.
  80. Raffi.
  81. Just For Laughs.
  82. Kids in the Hall.
  83. SCTV.
  84. Bob and Doug 
  85. Some of the greatest comedians.
  86. Some of the greatest actors.
  87. Some of the greatest singers.
  88. Some of the strangest news articles.
  89. IMAX
  90. Molson Canadian.
  91. Real Beer (that’s not water).
  92. Glacier water.
  93. Pop.
  94. The metric system.
  95. The Pacific Ocean.
  96. The Atlantic Ocean.
  97. Santa lives in Canada.
  98. Lax marijuana laws.
  99. The Maple Leaf.
  100. Maple syrup.
  101. Nanaimo Bars.
  102. Split Pea Soup.
  103. Beaver Tails.
  104. Alberta Beef.
  105. Kraft Dinner.
  106. Montreal Steak Spice.
  107. Montreal Smoked Meat.
  108. Smoked salmon.
  109. Red Rose Tea.
  110. Coffee Crisp.
  111. Crispy Crunch.
  112. Girl Guide Mint Cookies.
  113. Kinder Surprise Eggs aren’t illegal…
  114. PEI Potatoes.
  115. Yukon Gold Potatoes.
  116. Hudson’s Bay.
  117. Air Canada.
  118. The Rocky Mountaineer.
  119. Postal Codes.
  120. Vulcan, Alberta.
  121. Drumheller, Alberta.
  122. Calgary Expo.
  123. Vancouver.
  124. Victoria.
  125. Calgary.
  126. Halifax.
  127. Montreal.
  128. Toronto.
  129. Friendly border guards.
  130. We are proud to display our flag as we travel.
  131. Bathtub races.
  132. Expo Ernie.
  133. Giant rubber duck.
  134. Inflatable beavers.
  135. Canadarm.
  136. Chris Hadfield- making space travel cool again.
  137. Best sushi around.
  138. Real Canadian Superstore.
  139. President’s Choice brand.
  140. 75% of the world’s mustard.
  141. Trivial Pursuit.
  142. 2-4.
  143. 26er.
  144. Insulin is a Canadian invention.
  145. Neighbours.
  146. Colour.
  147. Favourite.
  148. Zed.
  149. My friends.
  150. My family.

All of this and more helps to define what I feel makes Canada a great place to live. Happy 150th Canada!

The Tragically Hip

Last night I watched a truly Canadian event.  The Canadian band, The Tragically Hip, performed their last ever live concert in their hometown at Kingston’s Rogers K-Rock Centre.   As most Canadians and fans of “The Hip” know the lead singer, Gord Downie, was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer.  The demand for concert tickets for the final tour was high and sold out within minutes.  Public outcry was met with relief from another Canadian Icon- CBC. 

CBC: As Canadian as ever.

CBC broadcast it to all of Canada commercial-free: on television, radio and their digital mediums.  The show ran for nearly three hours.  This is a first to my knowledge in Canadian history.  The show was viewed in bars, restaurants and homes throughout our great country.  

Our Country’s Leader.

Most Canadians took a break from the Olympics and their busy lives to watch the show.  Even our Prime Minister was in attendance at the show.  It doesn’t get much more patriotic than that.
It surpassed viewership to another favorite Canadian Event: Stanley Cup Playoffs.

I was never the biggest fan of “The Hip” but like many Canadians, a couple of albums were among my collection.  In 1992, I had on repeat “At the Hundredth Meridian” from the album Fully Completely until I learned all of the lyrics.  I remember owning it on CD, and my sister owning it on cassette because I never shared my music with her.  It is my favorite “Hip” song.  


I found out watching this show that I knew more “Hip” songs than I realized.  By the end of the concert, I was singing along.

Watching them perform their final gig was heartfelt and tearful knowing it would never happen again.

Just amazing.

Much respect to the courage it took the band and the lead singer to do one final tour.  The Tragically Hip gave Canada some amazing music and beautiful lyrics.

“No dress rehearsal, this is our life.”

Happy Canada Day!

As much as I like most of my American neighbors: I am a proud Canadian.  Canada is celebrating 149 years of being a country this year.

A few years ago Molson Canadian would made some fantastic commercials celebrating the greatness of being Canadian.

I know this place is where I am,

No other place is better than.

No matter where I go I am,

Proud to be Canadian!
I am, you know I am, I am Canadian!

I am, you know I am, I am Canadian!

Come on!

I love this country where I am,

This land is where I make my stand.

No other heart is truer then,

The one we call Canadian!

Here are my favorite videos from back then:  CLICK ON THE LINKS TO VIEW THEM

Proud to Be Canadian
My name is Joe & I am Canadian

And of course, William Shatner is Canadian and proud of it: William Shatner is Canadian

I’m going to celebrate with my family locally by visiting Fort Langley, BC.  Be good to each other and have a great Canada Day!


Fort Langley

Crossing Over

Being a Canadian we are blessed with pretty decent “free” health care, decent wages, beautiful scenery, and a reputation worldwide of being nice.  There are plenty of other benefits of being Canadian, but our southern counterparts have many luxuries that we don’t.  Don’t even get me started on Netflix differences…


Peace Arch Border Crossing

We live a fifteen minute drive from our home to the nearest border crossing.  It may seem odd, but I notice a difference as soon as we leave our country and enter the USA.  The roads are wider, the trees are fewer, there’s more concrete, more billboards, better prices.  The Canadian dollar took a bit of a dive recently, so the exchange rate isn’t worth the travel to find great deals Stateside.  I’m frugal, so finding good deals is always the plan.  The United States has a lot going for it, just like Canada, and often it feels that there are so many similarities that why aren’t we just one big country?  Unfortunately, there’s too much to give up on either side to become one solid entity.  I can still complain about what I don’t have, I can still have an idea of what “The American Dream” is, I can still admire from afar the luxuries that Americans have.  Here is a short list of 15 Ways Americans Are Different Than Canadians that is a fairly accurate read.

The US is rich in history, both good and bad.  Often times I know more about American politics than Canadian politics, but that’s okay.  The way information is shared these days, I wouldn’t really call most news “news”.  It’s more a ratings grab or shock value created  by the media networks in order to get advertising revenue.  Watching American TV up in Canada, I have learned that cellular plans are far superior in the USA. More coverage, better data, and cheaper.  That’s not all- the cost of food, gas, and most merchandise can be less than half the cost we pay in Canada.  Insurance rates, buying homes or cars, even eating out at a McDonald’s is far cheaper.

Josef's iPhoneNov2014 282

Obligatory beach shot. 

When we travel, I try and find any place with free WiFi.   From the hotels we stay at to the coffee shops we stop at.  WiFi is the lifeblood that keeps me sane.  Sure, I’m enjoying my roadtrips with the family, but a quick downtime for my brain is also needed.  These vacations make me appreciate what I do have back home.  It’s always fun to daydream about never going back, especially when laying on a sandy beach in the winter months, but there is the reality that hits.  It’s not likely to happen, so just enjoy the moment.
I love my country, but as they say, the grass is always greener…