Monday, August 27, 2007

Central Flying School

6th Course - May-August, 1914 (Click on the picture to enlarge)

Herry taught me how to set my digital camera to 'Macro' to rephotograph old pictures, probably producing a better copy than a scanner would. The picture above is an interesting one, showing a group of First World War (British) airmen. My father-in-law is the tall navy fellow in the back row. I've carefully..painstakingly...copied all the names. I had to use a magnifying glass because the ancient typewriter used to caption the original produced a faded, uneven and difficult-to-read list. My list is accurate though - I'm fairly proud of that.

Back Row (left to right): Capt. T.H.C. Frankland, Lt. D.S. Crosbie, Lt. C.G.G. Bayly, Sub.Lt. F.M. Barr, Lt. Lord G. Wellesley, 2Lt. F.P. Adams, Lt. E.C. Emmett, 2Lt. L.A. Strange.

Row 2 (numbered from top, left to right): Capt. A.B. Burdett, Capt. C.F. de S. Murphy, 2Lt. A.L. Russell, 2Lt. R.A. Payze, Lt. K.R. Van der Spuy, Lt. P.A. Broder, Sub-Lt. J.M.R. Cripps, 2Lt. S.P. Cockerell, Sub-Lt. H.G. Wanklyn, Capt. D. Le G. Pitcher.

Row 3: Lt. G.S. Creed, 2Lt. A.A.B. Thomson, Lt. C.A.G.L.H. Farie, Lt. G.L. Cruikshank, Lt. G.W.W. Hooper, 2Lt. C.E.C. Rabagliati, Sub-Lt. L. Tomkinson, Lt. B.H. Turner, Lt. T.L.S. Holbrow, 2Lt. G.J. Malcolm, Lt. A.S. Barratt.

Row 4: Capt. T.I. Webb-Bowen, Lt. R.H. Verney, Lt. V.S.E. Lindop, Capt. G.H. Cox, Lt. F.B. Binney, Capt. A. Ross-Hume, Lt. I.M. Bonham-Carter, Capt. G.P. Wallace, Mr. G. Dobson, B.A., Lt. E.F. Chinnery, Asst. Paymr. J.H. Lidderdale, Major Sir B. Leighton, Bt., Lt. G.R. Bromet.

Front Row: Capt. E.G.R. Lithgow, Fl-Lt. B.E.C. Peirse, Capt. A.C.H. MacLean, Fl-Lt. A.B. Gaskell, Major H.J. de Lotbiniere, Capt. G.M. Paine, C.B., M.V.O., Major H.M. Trenchard, C.B., D.S.O., Squ-Comdr. P.A. Shepherd, Capt. A.G. Board, Fl-Lt. C.D. Breese, Lt. E.L. Conran.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Waiting for the Pendulum to Swing

Yet another panhandling murder in Canada. What is the solution?

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Years ago I lived in a very tall building in downtown Vancouver. It was a hotel for the first twenty floors or so and apartments for the remaining floors, up to floor thirty-five. I think I lived on the twenty-ninth floor...

Riding up and down in elevators on a regular basis one comes to expect a certain level of civility and I found myself increasingly irritated by other riders. The occasional buffoon would enter the elevator and place himself directly in front of me, allowing a space of perhaps two inches between his back and my face. Now, understand, I spent a lot of time in elevators... I was also relatively tall at the time, starting with a God-given five foot, six inches and then adding about four inches of heel. I often rode the elevator staring at someone's frail, vulnerable neck. One day it occurred to me what a wonderful surprise it would be if I suddenly sank my teeth into the neck that was so close, so meaty. After that I could never ride the elevator again without a big smile on my face and evil in my heart.

I haven't done it yet, but there's no telling when I may snap.

Monday, August 06, 2007

B.C. Day

My grandfather, George Hobson, moved west to British Columbia in 1888, just seventeen years after B.C. joined Confederation. Clever fellow, he raised his family in the best province in Canada!

Today is B.C. Day and I can't think of another place I would rather live. British Columbia has the most moderate climate in Canada, making it appealing to every Canadian retiree. Our population therefore is probably quite a bit older, on average, than those of the eastern provinces. The influence here has always been strongly British but in the last twenty-five years or so there's been an influx from Asia (primarily Chinese and Indian I think.) The community doesn't seem to be any the worse for it; we all get along very well. That's one of the wonderful features of this country - we don't describe it as a 'melting pot'. We are, instead, 'multicultural'. An example - A television channel I frequently watch has daily broadcasts of news in Mandarin and Cantonese.

There are some problems that concern me. B.C. is also a magnet for indigents, given our good climate and excellent social services. Here's an item from yesterday's news that highlights the danger of professional panhandlers . Unfortunately there have been quite a number of similar incidents. I don't know if there's any reasonable solution... I'm not planning to move though.

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Peter and I went for a walk yesterday and came home with a lovely little dog. Rupert was wandering alone near the waterfront and happily joined us. We had to make a couple of telephone calls to track down his owner, volunteering to return the dog to its home. The lady came to pick him up, saying that the elderly Rupert was disturbed by extensive renovations going on at home so he chose to leave. She had no idea how he was getting out. When our doorbell rang, Rupert galloped over to the door with us, saw his owner and promptly indicated that he'd prefer to stay here a while. I don't think Rupert thought he was 'lost' - he was merely 'visiting'. Peter assured me that this is definitely not an abused pup...