B) Failing Ontario Kindergarten because I only spoke French
C) Passing Ontario Kindergarten because I could speak English. But I think the Mayor wanted me out because I was always dunking his daughter's pigtails in the finger paint.
D) Being dropped from Grade six in Ontario to Grade five in the French school system (I couldn't speak French anymore, but understood it.)
E) Graduating in Quebec's Cours Classique (like grade 14)
F) Being dropped to Grade 11, now moved back to Ontario, because I couldn't even spell Shakespeare (see I can now!)
G) Joining the Army as an ROTC candidate, and being rejected because I didn't have Grade 13, Ontario. I joined in Toronto. Had I joined in Quebec, I could have stayed.
H) Graduating from University in Industrial Engineering and a Business Degree, and credits for Purchasing management and Registered Industrial Accounting, at 25, with my dad as a colleague. We owned a junk yard and made enough that dad and I could run it on weekends and get our degrees together. Except that he never qualified for bursaries and I did.
I) Travelling to Los Angeles and visiting the Railway museum. It shocked me to see the changes to Canada's territories! We owned most of the US West coast, as well as the east coast, until some deals were made. I think we got down to nearly San Fransisco at one time.
J) The railroads that CP and CN owned and ran in the US also shocked me!
K) Travelling to Germany for a huge software trade show (I was VP), and learning that the German agents wouldn't stamp my passport, so that I could travel without any stigma in other countries (1994). The American family behind me, all got their's stamped.
L) LaBine is a Canadian invention. My family came here because Napoleon liked my ancestors' seaside farm in Normandy. They were called De Guedry, based on the village where their farm was close to. He put them on a 1686 ship to Canada and took over the farm. Well, the name kept changing and morphing. One side became Getty (yeah the Getty Oil side) and some of them worked on farms and wholesalers. One of them worked hauling bags of beans and was a bit of a clumsy oaf. His pals started teasing him with 'la bine', and it stuck. Once he got to own the company, his sons went back to France and a couple of them came back as Geologists and started mining for Radium and Uranium in Northern Saskatchewan, Gilbert and Charlie LaBine started El Dorado mines, which Dief expropriated, in the National Interest, of course.
M) My wife, Maria getting her Canadian Citizenship and Proud of it, she is.
N) Nothing like seeing the West from the top of a Horse, my grandfather used to say. He was a North West Mountie at the turn of the Century. He was also the Chief Purchasing Agent at Avro Arrow when it was shut down.
O) Leaving Oshawa in an old 1958 Pontiac six-banger and driving to Victoria. What a magnificent country! (I did that after leaving the Forces and before going to University.
P) My campaign manager when I ran for Student President at the University was named Paul. He later went to work for Proctor and Gamble, as a Product Manager. Anyway, he said he had some ideas to give my boring campaign a boost. Just as another Candidate was about to finish her speach in the Cafeteria, he had a truck full of live chickens unloading them right into the hall! The PA system was playing some chicken-***** stuff about the competition and how I was the man to get it done right. I didn't have a clue he'd do that! But we were chasing chickens for hours throughout the next few hours!
Q) One of my pet peeves with English is how easily it can lose its meanings in its words. When I was reading old cowboy comics and superman and Dick Tracy comics, words like Gay, Queer and Odd, had the meanings they had gained from centuries of use. Today, you can't use them without touching on some sensitivities.
R) Recycling my house and my car and some old appliances. I got a 1946 dual oven Moffat stove and fully restored it, even though we've got a brand new Bosch Gas cooktop and a Jenn-Air wall oven. Then another Prairie senior gave me her old 1934 Speed Queen wringer washer, which sits right next to the new Bosch stacked Washer/Dryer pair. I think the old one competes for saving water. Bosch is number one, but this old gal is frugal too. Prairie folks look after their stuff!
S) Solar power is the best in Winnipeg. We even have a Miami, Manitoba. But really, our home is angled, thanks to the railyard to maximize the sun's energy all year long. It helps that we can enjoy it more hours of the day than even Miami, Florida at 15.6 hours at its peak!
T) Train travel. What a treat! I got the bug, when I was in the Forces, but then later when I took it from Seattle to LA, and again in Germany from Frankfurt to Hamburg. Wow! Wow! Wow! You haven't seen Canada until you see by Train, at least once. And flown over the Rockies!
U) UV Rays. I designed some moveable awnings for my house to shake off the snow in the winter and get more light in, and control the sun's strength in the summer.
V) My kid sister Vivianne. One of the smartest women I've ever known. He used to patent 9 new medicines per month, for a large pharmaceutical company, then they made her VP. She and her hubby bought their first house on a new cul-de-sac near Montreal. He was a Plastics Tooling Design Engineer. They bought the whole cul-de-sac, and still own it today. My dad didn't think women should go past highschool, so I paid for her to go, until he learned why she never asked him. It took me a while to find out why he sent me this huge cheque without explaining why. She changed his attitude.
X) I can't believe this trend in our media to make shows and movies like the X-Files, always pointing to some bizarre, foreign/alien threat. No wonder kids escape on drugs. We're the aliens in our skins.
Y) You ever notice how Canada keeps branching into different industries, different cultures, different policies. We always seem to change direction with every new Government election. Winnipeg has a 20 year plan, Canada gets no longterm plan. It just seems to move by osmosis. How did other countries with less space become economic power houses and we didn't.
Z) The wildest ride I ever had was from Hamilton to the Ontario Science Centre in 15 minutes in a Datsun Z-240! My room-mate just picked up the car from the dealership and we had planned to go and see a Dave Brubeck concert at the Ontario Science Centre's open stage. That was scarey. He got back and traded it in the next day for a Datsun B-210!