O’Canada, A Gender Neutral National Anthem

Written by Harold McNeill on October 2nd, 2013. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts

O’Canada, A Gender Neutral National Anthem

1920: The World is Going to Hell in a Hand Basket
I rather expect these gentlemen thought it was…

I see the “Let’s change the National Anthem”  tag line is back in the news.  Hmm, seems that was news about three years ago when the subject was brought up in Parliament.  Why is this small change such a hard thing to accomplish. I suppose we like to keep our caves looking and sounding the same (and our women in line). Gosh, I liked Rock and Roll in the 1950s, why did they have to start bringing out a bunch of new stuff that I didn’t like as much.  See the original 2010 comments on changes to the anthem at:

O’Canada … In All Thy Son’s Command


What is Canada Worth?

Written by Harold McNeill on October 1st, 2013. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Pax Canadiana

A Canadian debates the issue with representative of Uncle Sam.  Could that guy on the right
be Don Cherry or Rob Ford in disguise?

What are We Worth?

An article in the October 1, 2013, issue of the National Post (A10 Link), reviews a new book by Diane FrancisMerger of the Century. In the book Diane suggests Canada could extract reparation payments in the order of $17-Trillion or about $492,529 per woman, man and child.

A tidy sum indeed, but why sell our soul to the United States when all we need do is wait as that country slowly melts down, then take over.  We have the lions share of every resource (water, oil, natural gas, land, etc) so all we need do is gain access to US Citizens (we would deal with them as migrant workers) to help us develop our resources. Our dreams of world supremacy could be realized within two decades.

In a previous post, “Pax Canadiana” I explored this possibility in depth and after watching events in the US House and Senate over the past few weeks, I think the dream of Pax Canadiana may be closer at hand than I had previously anticipated.  As of midnight last night, the US can’t even pay their own bills let alone raise $17-Trillion to purchase Canada.  Nice try Diane.

Link Here to Pax Canadiana



Dietrich Family Visit

Written by Harold McNeill on September 28th, 2013. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts

Dietrich Family Visit

Dietrich Family with Lynn McNeill
Photo (Mout Tolmie Lookout): Lynn, Paul, Jodi and Griffin

Link Here to Facebook Photos

After a quick stop at Tim Hortons, it was a whirlwind tour of Victoria with the Dietrich family (Paul, Jodi and Griffin) who hail from Belwood, Ontario (not far Debbie and John in Guelph). While the weather was blustery in the early morning, it cleared by 10 am, so we were off and running for the “Six Hour” McNeill Family, Tour Special.

After a city orientation spiel at the top Mount Tolmie, we followed the waterfront to the breakwater, were we scouted out a few starfish and watched as a dozen or so novice scuba divers made their way into the murky depths. This particular dive appeared to include several several boys and girls in their early mid-teens.

Looking across the Strait we could see what Paul and I thought it was a large cargo ship sitting at anchor, but Lynn, with those sharp travel agent eyes, told us it was a cruise ship waiting to dock. Guess who won…(damn women). As the noon whistle sounded, the Holland America MS Westerdam, came into view and was soon nudging its way toward the jetty.

Not one to shirk an opportunity, Griffin rushed over to assist the Coast Guard Pilot and shore crew with docking (photo below). We suppose the pilot did not see Griffins frantic call for a full stop as the ship nearly rammed the jetty. Reading the paper later that day, we learned the Westerdam would be the last cruise ship to visit the city this season so we had timed our little tour rather well.

Our next stop was Fisherman’s Wharf to chow down on a couple of platters of Barb’s Fish and Chips with the required side of deep fried oysters. We even managed to get a few seals to join us for our early afternoon snack.  I think Paul or Griffin posted a video of Griffin offering an outstretched hand to on of those cute the little seals.

We capped off the tour with a visit to China town and then home. It was a short, but great visit with another branch of this amazing  extended family we hold so near and dear. Perhaps we will catch them for another day on their return trip.


Photo:  Griffin Dietrich works at getting the MS Westerdam into position at the Cruise Ship Dock.

Dietrich Family Visit with MS Westerdam


Papal Infallibility

Written by Harold McNeill on September 24th, 2013. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Papal Infallibility: A Cornerstone of the Catholic Church

As a one time practicing Catholic (1), I have always been troubled by the ever changing positions taken by the Church. A large part of this stems from the churches concept of Papal Infallibility (2). It struck me that this concept tended to place the God (the Catholic God at least) in a very negative light as He was constantly changing his (or her) mind on key subjects held near and dear to church teachings.


Doom and Gloom

Written by Harold McNeill on July 14th, 2013. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


“I realize that few phenomena are more tiresome than people of my age, and older, grimly lamenting the decline and fall of almost everything… (Conrad Black, Editorial in “Ideas”, National Post, July 13, 2013)

A decade back, Conrad Black and I were infrequently on the same page. That has changed. In recent years it seems this deeply conservative man has experienced somewhat of an epiphany, perhaps the result of having spent the better part of half the past decade as a guest of the US prison authorities. From reading his frequent comments, it seems he came to realize that many of his fellow prisoners, more than a few of which were lifers, presented far less danger to American society than a good many of the Bay Street and Wall Street Traders who were likely to be his associates in earlier years.


Duffy Dollar rebuffed by the Bank of Canada

Written by Harold McNeill on May 26th, 2013. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts

“For goodness sakes” (mom’s saying), the Times Colonist(as reported by columnist Jack Knox) choose not print a copy of the the Duffy Dollar cartoon after another Canadian newspaper apparently received a written warning from the Bank of Canada advising it was against the law to publish images of fake Canadian bills.

Duffy Dollar
Now, if the Times Colonist is so meek they can be cowed by such a mindless threat, it makes one wonder how they might handle a real exposé involving influential political or business persons suspected of wrong doing if those persons threatened with a law suit.

As far as this fake bill is concerned, it is hard to image that someone might be fooled into believing it is real. If that was the case, I know of an awesome second hand bridge on the Interstate 5 in Washington State, just south of the US-Canada boarder, that is up for sale. $90,000 might do the trick.


Why the BC Election Polls were so wrong!

Written by Harold McNeill on May 18th, 2013. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts

But then again, one man got it right…

Leading up to the recent BC election I was reading a book by Nate Silver, “The Signal and the Noise Why so many predictions fail – but some don’t. The book provides an excellent outline on a variety of prediction issues.  After reading a good portion of the book and then seeing how badly the mainstream pollsters failed, it made wonder if they had obtained their results using outmoded methods. CEOs of the polling companies, when interviewed on TV, dodged and weaved as they tried to explain the inexplicable results. It seems their margin of error was something in the order of (+) or (-) 100%, 20 times out of 20.

Dimitri PantazopoulosFollowing the election I continued the book, then happened upon an article posted on the CBC BC News  web site about one pollster, Dimitri Pantazopoulos, who got it (the BC election) almost bang on. Working behind the scenes for the Liberal Party, he confidently projected a Liberal win of at least 48 seats. An outline of his work was covered in a number of other media reports.

Mr.Pantazopoulos had been hired early on in the election to give the Liberals a realistic assessment of their chances as they were not thrilled (an understatement) with the mainstream polls whose results (predicting an NDP landslide) seemed to fly in the face of what they were hearing on the ground. Pantazopoulos’s information, which provided a much different story, was shared only among party insiders and candidates involved in close contests (where most of the polling took place).

Two weeks out from election day, the party machine kicked into overdrive and drove hard to the finish line. This included several hard hitting ads targeting Dix and the NDP party platform.


March 2012 Tim Hortons Morning Posts

Written by Harold McNeill on June 19th, 2012. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts

To receive regular notifcations of new posts, link to the
McNeill Life Stories Facebook page and click Like.


March 2012 Posts

March 17, 2012   Rogers Communications: Deceptive Business Practice

Rogers is a big company, do they need to stoop to such
shoddy business practices?

Call Centre in Ohio

May 1, 2012 UPDATE: I spoke to a Rogers Outlet representative I know and he confirmed the following marketing practice is commonplace…

March 17, 2012 Comment

A few days back I was nearly caught short during a Rogers Communications Customer Satisfaction Survey being conducted by a Call Centre in Ohio. Although I don’t usually take these calls near dinner, I was in a bubbly mood so decided to let the woman ask away.

After a few questions about my degree of satisfaction with Rogers, she went on to ask if it was OK to check and see if any savings could be found in our account. Why not? She then spent considerable time (20 minutes or so) and I was feeling bad for taking up so much of her time trying to find so little in savings. She stated: “no problem, Rogers is here to provide you with the best service we can” or words to that effect. 



  • Andrew Dunn

    May 14, 2019 |

    Thank you so much for all your help thus far Harold, aka. Tractor guy! I could not have done without you!

  • Harold McNeill

    April 25, 2019 |

    I find it interesting to contemplate how a small community evolves in general isolation from the rest of the world. We have a similar situation in the northern communities in Canada to which access is limited. The inclusion of the world wide web and mass media has changed things, but these communities are still left pretty much to their own devices when it comes to personal interaction.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 19, 2019 |

    Hi Dave. Not that I am aware and I have a fairly comprehensive family tree for the McNeill side of the family. I will pull it up and scan. Cheers, Harold. Great chatting with you and I will give Ben a nudge.

  • Dave Cassels

    March 16, 2019 |

    Were you related to Guy McNeill who owned the Bruin Inn in St. Albert in the late 40’s or early 50’s? Guy was a close friend of my father-in-law who was the first President of the Royal Glenora Club. My phone number is 780 940 1175. Thank you.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 15, 2019 |

    So glad you found the story and enjoyed. Indeed, they were memorable times. I did a fair amount of searching but never managed to contact any of the Murffit kids. However, it was neat to make contact with the Colony and someone I knew from back in the day. I have enjoyed writing these stories from back in the 1940s and 50s and have made contact with a lot of friends from those early years. I will give you a call over the weekend. Cheers, Harold

  • Yvonne (Couture) Richardson

    March 7, 2019 |

    I enjoyed your story. I too, lived in Pibroch in 1951, as my parents owned the hotel there. I was a very close friend of Bonnie Murfitt at the time. I moved to Edmonton in 1952, however, and have not seen her since. I would like to be in touch with you to talk about your story. My email is listed above and my phone number is 780-475-3873.

  • Laureen Kosch/Patry

    March 5, 2019 |

    I grew up in Pibroch and would not trade those years for anything. “ Kids don’t know how to play anymore” Never was a truer statement made. During the summer we were out the door by 8am, home for lunch, and back when it got dark. For the most part our only toys were our bikes and maybe a baseball mitt. I will never forget the times when all the kids got together in “Finks field” for a game of scrub baseball. Everybody was welcome, kids from 8 to 18. I didn’t know it then but I guess I had a childhood most dream of. Drove thru town last summer. It all looked a lot smaller.

  • Harold McNeill

    January 13, 2019 |

    Well, my dear, it’s that time again. How the years fly by and the little ones grow but try as you may you will have a hard time catching up to your Daddy. Lots of love young lady and may your day be special
    Love, Dad

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Guess what? My response went to the Spam folder. Hmm, do you suppose the system is trying to tell me something?

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Thanks, Terrance. Your comment came through but went to the Spam folder. Have pulled it out and approved. Can you send another on this post to see if you name is now removed from Spam? I’m not sure why it does that. Cheers, Harold