The Missing Placesetting

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends, family and other readers. My father-in-law, his wife, and my mother-in-law’s husband all arrived safely yesterday in the middle of a heavy snowstorm. They brought a turkey. We will be having a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with stuffing, mashed potatoes and all the fixings on Friday. This Canadian is so jealous that I have to go to work on these days. Again, I think this country should establish a holiday on the fourth Thursday of every November. Give us the day off and make it a firewall to Christmas.

And call it Columbus Day. Just to be facetious.

There’s a missing placesetting at this meal, I’m afraid. This holiday season is going to be a tough one for Erin and my in-laws as we go through the bevy of firsts since my sister-in-law Wendy’s death. First Thanksgiving. First birthday (Wendy was born December 17) and first Christmas. Perhaps by Easter, the sting will have been dulled, though that hardly seems possible since even autumn leaves remind us of Wendy. These days will all serve to remind her family of the hole in their hearts, and it just doesn’t seem fair.

It seems to be an odd thing to pray for strength for the holidays, but we could probably use some.

And if you have any interest in helping us set up a memorial scholarship for Wendy at Iowa State University, please consult this page.

My National Debut (sort of)

My article on Heritage Wood Specialities has appeared in today’s edition of Business Edge magazine. And, as an added bonus, the editors thought that my piece was worth printing in the Albertan and Manitoba/Saskatchewanian editions of the magazine, which means a pay bump, as well as opening me up to that much of a larger audience.

Not much of a surprise, I guess. A story about a hockey stick manufacturer, particularly one whose sticks have been used in the NHL, is bound to receive interest beyond my little berg. But it was still a pleasant surprise to break out of Ontario with this piece.

And I’ll say again: Paul Bossenberry was a delight to interview. He is so passionate about his craft and that comes across so well in the quotes he gave me. I especially like his candour when it comes to the challenges posed by composite sticks (his sticks are all wood):

“As a result of good marketing, there is a perceived performance enhancement with these lighter weight sticks. I say ‘perceived’ because McGill (University) recently completed an extensive study that concluded there is no improvement in the speed of the shot between composite sticks and wood.”

This quote was actually cut down from the quote he gave me, which is a shame. He really lit into these sticks. Passion makes for good stories.

Voting Now On for 2005 Canadian Blogging Awards

Robert McLelland’s 2005 edition of the Canadian Blog Awards is now open for first round voting. The instructions are pretty simple:

You may vote once per day. To vote, click on a category header to open it and then make your selection. Repeat with each category until you’ve made all your selections and then submit your vote.

Note: It’s not required that you vote in each category, but you must make all your selections before you submit your vote.

I’m up for Best Blog, Best Culture Blog, Best Post and Best Post Series. If you think I deserve to make it into the second round of voting, I hope you will take the time to vote for me. Alternately, feel free to vote for any of the fine blogs that are up for nomination. In the next couple of days I hope to run a post selecting my picks for the best of each category — disqualifying myself from this post, of course.

So, vote early and vote often — well, once a day, please — but do go out and vote!

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