Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What the heck is a "serviette"?

We are not in Tennessee anymore... napkin vs serviette
Shortly after I had arrived here in British Columbia, I heard another word that I was not familiar with: serviette.  It was in the context of "I asked for a serviette and the waitress looked at me like I was crazy."  Followed by, "Those crazy Americans, don't they know a napkin belongs on a baby's bum?"

I did a bit of research on the web on the difference between "serviette" and "napkin" and learned a few things.

The origin of both words is French.  "Nap" means "a table covering" and "kin" means "small".

"Serviette" is used exclusively in Canada and the U.K. and "napkin" is used in all English speaking countries (including Canada and the U.K.).

Someone from the U.K. said that a person's "class" could be determined by which word they used. If a person used the word "serviette", then he was likely "working class".

Someone from Canada said that she thought the a "serviette" was paper, and the cloth version was a "napkin" (which may explain the previous).

You have got to love our differences!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sounds like Timothy McVeigh to me...

Today on the news was a story about the RCMP investigating an 11th floor apartment in Vancouver area. They found drugs, money, weapons, and dynamite and had to evacuate the building. The dynamite was in a crystallized state, rendering the explosives "unstable".

Maybe we should have stricter "gun control" laws up here. Oh wait...

This is not something that you are likely to see in Tennessee.

Reference: Burnaby RCMP evacuate apartment building after dynamite, bombs found; drugs and weapons also seized 

Update #1

On this evening's news, there was a story about the RCMP arresting a young man with a cache of weapons.
In total, 13 rifles and handguns were seized along with more than 2000 rounds of ammunition. 
Police say 20 bullet clips had been illegally modified to hold up to 30 rounds. 
"Anyone who has a supply of firearms of this nature, it's certainly very serious when these circumstances come to light," says RCMP Constable Kris Clark. 
David Michael Toneff, 33, is charged with 25 gun offenses.
Reference: Disturbing firearms seizures in Kelowna

Update #2

There was also a report of a homicide that was originally thought to be a car accident.  A couple had presumably driven their car into a condo, but upon investigation, it is thought that the couple were dead at the time of impact. A male was seen living the scene of the accident.

Reference: West Kelowna double murder

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Doctor, doctor, give me the news...

There is a definite difference in the mindset of Canadians versus Americans concerning health insurance and health care. It can be illustrated by the following:

Before we moved to Canada, we heard of a couple that lived in my in-laws' complex that was visiting Hawaii. The husband had a heart attack and required triple-bypass surgery. The doctors told them that it would cost $40,000 to cover the surgery and the hospital stay. Rather than pay for it out-of-pocket, the couple decided to return to Canada, where they had health insurance, and get the surgery there. They returned, and after waiting the normal six months, had the surgery and recovered nicely.

Please note that this decision was not based on what they could afford. The husband passed away about one year ago, and the wife has made several trips back to Hawaii to visit family since that time. The decision was made because that is what they do here: government health insurance is supposed to take care of this.

Since we have moved, there are three stories that I think are of value concerning health care. To begin, one of the hospitals in Victoria has been having problems having enough rooms for patients. At one point, they were housing patients in the Tim Hortons coffee shop.

The second story involves an elderly lady. She was recently in the hospital in Kelowna for approximately one month.  Within that time frame, she was in four different wards and one of those wards was the maternity ward. (It should be noted that males and females are housed on the same ward.  Private rooms are limited, but are available at extra cost.)

The third story involves expectant mothers who live outside of well populated areas. The hospital in Tofino no longer delivers babies and expectant mothers are expected to drive to Nanaimo, 1 1/2 hours away, to have their babies delivered. This is because of doctor shortage. (To be fair, this is probably the case in a lot of rural areas in the U.S. However, Tofino is  tourist attraction.)

In the eastern part of Tennessee, the hospital situation was completely different.  In Johnson City alone, there are two major hospitals and a new teaching hospital at ETSU. This doesn't even include the medical centers in the Johnson City area. And this does not include the hospitals in Kingsport and Bristol.  Here in Kelowna, we only have one hospital.

We certainly aren't in Tennessee anymore...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Update On "Janie's Got a Gun..."

On this mornings post, Janie's Got a Gun..., I told of the RCMP looking for someone in the neighborhood. It turns out that the RCMP was looking for two armed suspects who robbed a convenient store at gun-point, one block away. Further details explained that the suspects had handguns (wait, I thought that they were illegal up here) and that they were not caught.

Maybe they need more "gun control" laws up here.

Janie's Got a Gun...

Last night, the family heard a police (that is, the RCMP) siren yelping every 5 minutes or so. Upon inspection, we decided that they suspected someone had broken through the fence to the complex across the road. While we didn't really think that it posed any danger, we did lock the doors and secured the windows.

Later, as we prepared for bed, the subject was again brought up. Here we were, three fairly defenseless people, trying to figure out just how to defend ourselves just in case someone did break in.

"I have a baseball bat in the bedroom that [my father-in-law got]!"

"You guys both have canes! Don has spikes on the bottom of his [used for gripping the ice]!"

Granted that we were joking, but can you imagine being alone, elderly, and the only thing that you had to defend yourself against an armed intruder was a baseball bat?

One thing that can be said is that if we were in Tennessee, we wouldn't have to worry about defending ourselves.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Don't Tread On Me...

My wife and I were talking the other day about one major difference in the United States and Canada: Everyone in the U.S. knows someone who has served in the military (and possibly died) in Iraq, Afghanistan or Vietnam.  In Canada, few even know someone in the military, much less know someone who has died in war.

I reviewed the people that I knew.

Vietnam: I remember a childhood friend, Scott Gentry, who lost his older brother in Vietnam. (This is probably the first that I heard of Vietnam). In addition, I have 3 uncles on my mother's side that served in Vietnam: two in the USAF and one in the US Army (with two Purple Hearts).

Iraq: I friend's son from church served in Iraq. I remember the prayers that went up for his safety.

When I graduated from high school in 1975, some went to college, some went to work, but quite a few went to the military.

May God bless the military from the US and Canada for their service.