Photo by 66 north on Unsplash

July 18

Potiphar, a pivotal character in Andrew Lloyd Webers “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” appears on stage for less than five minutes. Despite that very brief time on stage, the actor portraying him spends countless hours rehearsing his role. You see the tip of the iceberg when Potiphar changes the life of the titular character in the play, but there’s a whole lot more the audience never sees.
In fact, there’s even more to that iceberg, because Potiphar is surrounded by other actors, who have also spent a great deal of time getting ready for the show. Add to that…


Photo by Emma Gossett on Unsplash

July 11

This year has been shaped by the COVID 19 Pandemic and what I can only call the “Great Gypsy Moth Caterpillar Invasion”. Let’s call it the GGMCI for short.
The GGMCI saw countless caterpillars crawling on any surface available, making an outdoor walk or sit an uncomfortable experience. Worse than that, they completely defoliated any number of trees, leaving behind nothing but bare grey trunks and branches. In one area, the Torrance Barrens, where the land is little more than small trees and exposed, moss covered rocks, the effect was particularly notable. The combination of bare rock and stripped trees…


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July 4

I have long been believed that a craft being pushed directly by the wind can only go as fast as the wind is blowing. Recently a couple of clever people disproved that myth. Rick Cavallaro and John Borton built “Blackbird”, a wind-powered land yacht that was able to go more than double the speed of the wind propelling it.
This seemingly impossible feat was hotly debated before Blackbird’s successful run, and it continues to be questioned and argued. Many folks believe that Rick Cavallaro and John Borton’s efforts were a hoax, or that there is some kind of trickery involved.
Their…


Photo by Kind and Curious on Unsplash

June 27
I was waiting for a table at a restaurant, sitting on a bench near the front door. While I chatted with my son on the phone, I watched people coming and going from the patio to the parking lot. People watching is an interesting pastime, providing great insight into human behaviour. I was not disappointed during my wait to be called in to dine.
The patio door leads directly to a short sidewalk leading to the main access point from the parking lot and another seating area. This sidewalk is separated from the other destinations by a narrow rock garden…


The simple memorial set up at the Coldwater Mill, Coldwater, Ontario

On May 23, 215 unmarked graves were discovered on the grounds of the Kamloops Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia. Today 751 bodies have been discovered at the site of Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan about 2 hours east of Regina. This poem is part of my way of dealing with the injustice of the residential school system and how we settlers have destroyed the lives of the people who first lived on the land we call home.

“Numbers”

215
751

Just numbers
Until you add them to “unmarked”
plus “graves”
plus “children”
plus “many more”
and they equal “horror”
plus “murder”
plus “racist”
plus “crime”…


Photo by Valentina Giarre on Unsplash

June 20

Lois and I live in a house that is seventy or eighty years old. It is built of logs that haven’t been finished; they’re roughly straight, and roughly the same size, but no two are alike which means that the walls are only roughly straight.
Thanks to scheduling issues, we’ve had two contractors renovating the top floor and the basement. Both have had to deal with the roughly straight walls and the less than level floors. Both have done so with great care and attention to detail, compensating for the roughly straight house by carefully trimming and adjusting the very…


sibilityPhoto by Shalone Cason on Unsplash

June 13

When I was a boy I was a member of the local Roman Catholic church and did all of the things that were required of me. In the Roman church, Communion is only offered to people after a long “Catechism”, which is basically indoctrination into the ways of the denomination and learning about the important Bible stories.
Catechism is a one time deal. Once you’ve learned what needs to be learned, you can take Communion freely. Taking Communion, however, isn’t just a matter of showing up for worship. Before doing that, you have to confess whatever sins you committed since…


ChristianPhoto by Heather Ford on Unsplash

June 6

Spelling words in Italian is easy; there are very few rules, the rules always apply and letters are only pronounced one way. Well, mostly one way; some letters are a little more flexible, but the rules are consistent and unwavering as to how that flexibility works.
The letters in question are “c” and “g”. Normally they are “hard”, as it car or garage. In other circumstances they are soft, as in “church” or “gentle”. What changes their pronunciation is the vowel that follows right after them. If it’s an “a” “o” or “u”, they stay hard, as they do if…


or Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

May 30
“Auditions”
Some of you might have noticed I have a fairly pleasant voice. A few folks have even compared me favrourably to the late, great, Canadian legend, Peter Gzowski, whose pleasant, mellifluous voice and style graced the Canadian Broadcasting Corporations for many years.
Those favourable comments about the way I speak led me to try my hand at voice-acting work. I deal with a London, Ontario based company that allows would-be voice-actors like myself to audition for jobs from the comfort of my own home studio. Well, it’s not much of a studio; it’s just a quiet space in the house…


sPhoto by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

May 23

I was watching an Arborist (tree surgeon, (or tree-lopper if you’re Australian) working on a tree the other day. With care and precision he removed large limbs and tiny branches from his subject. I was impressed at how he directed their falling so that he was always safe. I was also impressed at the way he would occasionally stand back from his limited view beneath the tree, away from its limbs and foliage so he could gauge his progress and determine when it was time to stop.
I love watching pros like him at work.
I love, as well…

John A. Giurin

100% Italian, Born and raised in Canada, Presbyterian Pastor, Maker, Singer, Writer, Musician, Theatre, Married, Father, Learner, choosing Love, he/him

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