Easter parade in St. Augustine

I know my friends from the northern climes are going to hop all over me when I say this, but spring-like temps have finally come to St. Augustine in time for the Easter parade.

One of the things I really like about the South is their demonstrativeness–i.e. their show of affection for friends and loved ones that also extends to whatever community effort is going down. In this case it was the Easter parade, so here are few pics to celebrate the occasion.

Reading from top down, these first two shots are preliminary.  Everyone, including the dog is settling in for the show…

easter parade 2013_5

easter parade 2013_6

A sense of history follows. St. Augustine is all about history, both fairly recent and past.  Canada’s discovery actually pre-dates St. Augustine’s by a close to sixty years (i.e. Champlain’s voyage of 1492, and a bit less by Jacques Cartier’s voyage of 1534) but Canada has none of St. Augustine’s reverence for history or tradition–mores the pity.

easter parade 2013_9

A bit more recent,  this next short celebrates the planters in this area.

easter parade 2013_11

And, of course, you can’t forget the pirates

easter parade 2013_27

Of course there was a bit of other scenery, too.

easter parade 2013_34

All in all, it was a great parade!

I’ve been censored…

I’ve been censored by Huffington Post! The article dealt with “Female Board Directors Better At Decision Making: Study…” [see:http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/25/female-board-directors-decision-making-study_n_2951084.html“]

My comment was “I am so damned weary of the press perpetuating this myth of male/female differentiation. The right person will always make the best decision regardless of gender. To appoint either on the basis of gender is not only contrary to common sense, it is also utterly stupid.

I realize this crap sells papers to the non-thinking, but it is also an unmitigated bore to anyone who has moved past this manufactured debate. Please do move on!”

This is what Huffington post had to say: “This comment has been removed. Most comments are removed because of an attack or insult on another user or public figure. Please see the guidelines here if you’re not sure why this comment was removed.”

I guess I shouldn’t have criticized the press!

Some photos from around St. Augustine…

It’s Bike Week here in St. Augustine, which means the city is packed with bikers and wannabes. Now when you think of bikers you generally think of ‘Leader of the Packs’ with lots of muscles, leather and hair. Well, there are lots of the latter two characteristics around, but their mostly attached to 50-something guys (and women) with post-middle-age spreads.

There is lots of noise, too, but it’s mostly from the bikes. However, there are exceptions. Six women came into Sluggers last evening, and for a while I thought that I had stumbled in a scene from Macbeth. These broads–each with a voice that could etch glass–were 3/4’s corked when they arrived, and proceeded to get even worse (and louder) as time went on. Finally, I simply got up and left.

I got a chance to go on a tour of the city to day, and of course I took my camera along. Because the city was so crowded we didn’t stop, but I managed to take a few snapshots anyway.


As you can see (above), this the plaque outside the oldest existing house in in St. Augustine.


And this is it. Built around 1702, the second storey is a later addition. However is remarkably substantial for such an early period.


The is a typical streetscape on the same street as the oldest house.


This is the Flagler Memorial Church. Henry Flagler was one of the founders of General Motors and a major developer of St. Augustine. This church was build as a memorial to his daughter who died quite young. Amazingly, this entire structure was built in two years. Flagler and his wife are also entombed here.


This gives you a better idea of the massive structure it is.

Until next time


Canadian history made boring….

(I posted this blog previously, but it’s worth noting again.)

I had reason to go looking for a Canadian web site similar to Legends Of America, an excellent history resource with some real ‘meat’ to it—meaning, it is history made interesting. It also features some Canadian characters who have played a role in American history, i.e. Pearl HartBat Masterson, etc., for which there is hardly a mention in Canadian-based histories.

A veritable wasteland

What I found was a depressing collection of thumbnail sketches, afterthoughts  to American history, a roll call of stodgy politicians, and a lesson plan so dry you could strike a match on it.


“The earliest settlers who made their homes in the wilderness were known as pioneers.

“Many pioneers of Upper Canada came from France, England, Scotland, Italy, Germany and other countries in Europe.  Some settlers went to other parts of North America and later moved into Upper Canada.

“They came to Upper Canada for many reasons.  Some came so they could freely practice their religion.  Some did not like the way their home countries were being run.  Some just hoped they could have a better life in a new country.

“Interesting Facts about the Early Settlers

in 1800, only 10% of the population lived in towns or cities – most lived on farms
in 1800, the population of Upper Canada was 35 000
before 1800, most immigrants came from America
after 1815, large numbers of  immigrants started to come from the British Isles (England, Ireland, Scotland)
between 1825 and the 1830′s more people came from the British Isles than from America

(see the full lesson plan at: Pioneer Life in Upper Canada

Is it any wonder, therefore, kids find history “boring” and “irrelevant?”

There are more interesting history sources available

Admittedly, it wouldn’t be hard to find a more interesting perspective, but even here there is very little effort to promote it. With very few exceptions the major Canadian media are more interested in politics and scandal—oh, and Kate’s pregnancy—than promoting  Canadian heritage. Mind you, if they got their history from the above lesson, it is perhaps understandable.There are interesting examples of Canadian historyOn my own blog, Gerry B’s Book Reviews, I have reviewed several excellent histories that are in-depth as well as interesting. Some of these include:

If you have a history source you would like to see added to the list, email it to me at:gerrybbooks02@gmail.com.

An update

It’s a warmer day in St. Augustine, but still a trifle cool.

Just returned from the Katura restaurant (next door to the hotel) where I had my favourite Thai Curry. Speaking of which, I really am enjoying my dentures—now that I have finally gotten used to them. I mean, it only took me three years of avoidance, but I suppose all things in their proper time.

In a way I’ve always operated that way. If it didn’t work the first time it was probably because the time wasn’t right.

???????????????????????????????The Azaleas are beginning to bloom, which is a good sign. Not only are they beautiful in their own right, but it also means that warmer temps are on the way. Okay, I mean warmer for here for all those who are about to jumps me on account of ‘Cold Country’ temps, but even there the temperatures are starting to moderate.

I have a new background musician. Since CBC mysteriously dropped my young musical prodigy, Lucas Porter—probably wasn’t multi-cultural enough coming from Nova Scotia—I’ve adopted a very talented violist (Keith Hamm) from Rosebud, Alberta. I mean, who couldn’t love someone from a place called “Rosebud?”

All kidding aside, though, he is a very talented young man—recently appointed principal violist for the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra. Have a listen: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/applebees-waitress-stolen-id-drivers-license-154712609.html.

The re-writes are coming along splendidly. Now at page 57/226. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s 4 or 5 finished pages more than yesterday—unless Microcrap has screwed them up.

Hope all is well.

Until next time,


Tuesday, March 5th

Warming up at last. The night before last it got down to 26F.

Made real good progress on my rewrites yesterday–now in the middle of page 50/234. Also published my review of  Cover Up (Toronto Tales #2) by K.C. Burn. It was a good story, but I would have liked to see a bit more about Toronto referenced–place names and street names, etc.

Oh, and I forgot to mention some good news. Both “Two Irish Lads” and “Nor All Thy Tears” are on Old Line Publishing’s top ten list for 2012 (e-books).

Top Ten eBooks for 2012

1) The Youngest Mountain Man, by Gary Kelley
2) Something Unseen, by Stephen Hill
3) Diary of a Part-Time Monk, by J. Wilson
4) Revolutionary Rose: Boston Tea to Boston Free, by Evelyn W. Kruger
5) Two Irish Lads, by Gerry Burnie (Maple Creek Media)
6) The Trust, by Sean Keefer
7) Nor All Thy Tears: Journey to Big Sky, by Gerry Burnie (Maple Creek Media)
8) The Broken Road, by Michelle Smith (Maple Creek Media)
9) Path of Shadows, by Michelle Smith (Maple Creek Media)
10) His Salvation, by Michelle Bellon

Considering the “Two Lads” was published in 2008, they certainly do have the luck of the Irish with them!

That’s about all the news for today. Check back later.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Brrr! It’s cool in Florida. The temperature is in the 50’s, but with the wind it feels more like the 40s. This has been a miserable winter at home, cold in the -20, -30F range, and it is has been cool here as well.

The hotel is full, but fortunately there have been no rowdies. I work right in front of the window of my room, and invariably people wonder what I’m up to. As in, “Who is that guy who is always at his computer?” or “Is that guy still playing computer games?” Little do they know I’m actually a mad writer who is killing people off as they walk by!!

I am approaching 50 pages of re-writes, which is about 1/3 of the novel finished. Can’t say exactly when I’ll be finished, but perhaps two months.

Well, better get at it.

Until next time



Friday, March 1, 2013

Cooling down in Florida, and the forecast is for overnight temps in the 30s. However, the bottom line is NO SNOW.

No new news. Just working hard to make progress on the re-writes. Some days I gain 4-5 pages, and others only 2-3. However, the important thing is I’m making progress.

I was reading that the City of Sudbury has set up a snitch line (at taxpayer’s expense) to report senior drivers. Give me a break! I mean, what is the purpose beyond discriminating on the basis of age? Let’s set up a snitch line for idiot politicians–if there’s a system large enough to handle it.

Until next time,