Thursday, August 30, 2007

【烈血暴潮/裂血大風暴】: 為弟弟雪冤之『天網恢恢,疏而不漏』 / "Mississippi Burning": Justice for a murdered brother - the sentencing

The criminal trial of the cold case that I had mentioned back on January 26, 2007 finally came to a close. James Seale, once a KKK member who had been accused of murdering two young blacks in Mississippi in 1964, was found guilty and given three life sentences. While his co-accused, now a born-again Christian, actually apologized to the families of the victims, Seale denies his guilt and remains defiant till the end. Given his advanced age and poor health, Seale's supporters think the sentence is too harsh. However, to the older brother of one of the murdered victims, Seale deserves the punishment, having already enjoyed 43 years of freedom after mercilessly taking away the lives of two innocent young men. There is no winner in a situation like this. As to the CBC reporter David Ridgen, he never would have thought that his investigative journalism would end up being key to solving this cold case when he started his journey across the Canada-US border.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Amy Winehouse - Teach me tonight

Amy Winehouse at age around 19, before the tattoo and body piercing, and Rehab.

Amy Winehouse - You Know I'm No Good

Selected Songs of Amy Winehouse

艾美懷豪絲 (二): 心靈的紋身 / Amy Winehouse (2): Tattooed in the heart


這是我最近買了的磁碟(黑色會)所載的歌CD / Here are the selected songs of Amy Winehouse's CD 【Back To Black】:

2.You Know I'm No Good(你知道我不好)
3.Me & Mr Jones(我與瓊斯先生)
4.Back To Black(黑色會)
5.Just Friends(只是朋友)
6.Love Is A Losing Game(愛是失敗遊戲)
7.Tears Dry On Their Own(淚已乾)
8.Wake Up Alone(孤獨醒來)
9.He Can Only Hold Her(只想抓住她)
10.Wake Up Alone(骯髒戰役)

Will Amy Winehouse perish like Janis Joplin?


艾美懷豪絲 (一): 命運開的玩笑? / Amy Winehouse (1): Hook, line and sinker - life's cruel joke?

1. Hook
在北美社会,上了毒癖或酒癮而不能自拔的人實在不少, 他們多是在年青時,禁不住好奇心,想扮cool「有型」,或家庭環境有問題,脫離了正常成長的軌道,或是生命有挫折,開始飲酒、吸大麻、或服食葯物。到了成年之時,有自制能力的還可以自拔,最多是逢場作興,偶一為之 (social drinkers, "recreational" drug users),但那些身和心抵抗力低的人就變了癮君子(addicts),生命完全受「物品」控制 (substance addiction)。

2. Line
就以23歲英國女歌手Amy Winehouse艾美懷豪絲為例,她天賦音樂天才,唱歌很有獨特的風格,前途實在不差,但問題就是她不能自控,毒癖和酒癮已開始毀壞她的聲譽,上月她以「身体欠佳」理由(at least that's her agent's line),取消了歐洲演出行期,跟着八月來北美的計劃又告吹,報載她可能因毒物O.D.(over dosed)問題而入治療院rehab。

3. Sinker
中國古語有云:『天將大任于斯人也,必先苦其心志,勞其筋骨,餓其體膚,行弗亂其所為,然後動心忍性,增益其所不能。』但如果在藝壇有了名氣,在公共場所的攝光燈、水銀燈照射之下,卻因私人理由,再不願擔負這個「大任」,想下台又容不容易呢?近代中、歐、美的明星歌手,在藝海浮沈,而始終逃不出自溺命運的實在不少,例如: 比莉哈樂黛Billie Holiday、瑪麗蓮夢露Marilyn Monroe、珍妮絲賈普林Janis Joplin、林黛、莫愁、陳百強等,他/她們都像墜落的彗星,在臨終前為覌眾發出了最大的光茫,在我們腦海中留下了一個不滅的印象。但他∕她們的短暫的生命,就是不是為了大眾娛樂而犧牲?是可惜,還是可嘆?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

水獺屋 / Beaver Lodge

I want to show you pictures of the beaver lodge (house) that was built right in the middle 0f the lotus pond behind the island where I spent the last long weekend. For those of you who do not know what a beaver is, please consult wikipedia at .

Beavers are found in lakes and rivers all over North America, where there are trees to chew on and fresh water to swim in. They belong to the rodent family, which means their teeth keep on growing and they must gnaw on tree trunks and branches to keep their teeth in shape. You can actually see their tooth marks on trees that are half chewed or completely felled.

Beavers are industrious critters - that's why the expression "as busy as a beaver" (像水獺/河狸一樣忙碌). They would chew up a tree and use the branches along with some mud to build a beaver lodge. The entrance is always dug under water so land-based predators cannot enter their house. Once coming out of the water inside the lodge, the beavers dry themselves in one den and live in another. While beavers spend a lot of time swimming and diving, they cannot breathe under water. In fact, that's how trappers hunt the animal, by setting up an underwater trap, drown the poor thing, and then skin it for their pelt. I was skiing once up north and came upon a frozen skinned beaver. It was one of the most unsightly wilderness scenes I have ever witnessed.

Beavers also use branches and mud to build beaver dams so they can have their private swimming pools upstream. The problem arrives when their habitat is too close to human beings and the latter always use dynamites to blow up their dams so water can flow again. Nevertheless, beavers continue to thrive along side with human. So the next time you walk along the river bank and hear a big k-plunk, it's the sound of a big flat beaver tail hitting the water, which is how beavers warn each other of the arrival of a bi-pied predator called man.

凖時交貨 (二) / Signed, Sealed and Delivered !!!

With the help of my project officer, the team was able to put the finishing touch to the product this afternoon and made good on our promise to meet the August 24 deadline. It has been an intensive 3 months of hard work. In the beginning, it took a while to wrap our heads around the problem and figure out how best to develop and implement the project plan across the country.

Sure, with email, video conferencing and other IM/IT technologies, we could consult with and informed our regional reps what were expected of them. But, without face-to-face meetings, there was always that lingering fear that somewhere along the line, somebody had misunderstood an instruction, or interpreted a message out of context, and then there would be a big blow-up and a major set-back. Luckily, our plan unfolded as it should and our regional colleagues fulfilled their ends of the bargain.

Once again, I am appreciative of all the collaborations and good will of my co-workers and how important it is that we respect each other's authorities, strengths and contributions. No man is an island and no individual can claim credit for the contributions of many.

Friday, August 24, 2007

交貨日 / Deadline for deliverables

As I mentioned previously, August 24th is the deadline for delivering the goods and fulfilling my commitments to my Executive Director. Tomorrow, I will go to a spa to relax (and I kid you not) !!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

【愛蓮說】 / Lotus Prose

【愛蓮說】 (宋)周敦頤

Monday, August 13, 2007

凖時交貨 (一) / Delivering the deliverables


在此節錄最近人事管理政策的想法: If I give you the ball (橄欖球), I expect you to run with it. 看過北美欖球賽的人,都知道,接了隊長quarterback空投過來的球之後,敵隊衝殺過來,人事、環境、陰險、競爭等等問題在眼前出現,真是障礙重重,保護那球是個人責任,隊友只可以替您開路,但球在您手的時候,真是壓力重大,一定不能失球fumble,只可以帶球直到底線touchdown !!!

說到這裏,看看日曆,如無意外,八月廿四凖時交貨,就可以在九月鬆一口氣,放自己一星期假,Yeah !!!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

我愛夏日長 (八月) / Summer Time ... and the Living is Easy (August)

You wouldn't be able to tell from the photos, but, over the long week-end, I was with another adult supervising eleven teenagers camping on an island that was accessible only by boats. During the planning stage, we weren't quite sure how it was going to work out. Sure I knew a lot of these young men and women when they were still kids, but that was quite a few years ago. As it turned out, the outing was a complete success. Everyone enjoyed himself/herself, including the adults.

Upon arrival, as soon as we finished unloading all our gears off the boat, we changed into our bathing suits and jumped into the lake. The crystal clear water felt like cool silk against our skin and provided a much needed respite against the hot summer sun. During our stay, other than a few fishermen trolling or casting from their boats, the lake was always calm, quiet and peaceful. Occasionally, a motor boat towing a water skier would pass in front of the campground, creating small diverging waves that glimmered under the sun and eventually lapped against the rocky shoreline. As soon as the sound of the motor faded away, the local loons would reappear and make their distinct looney-tune calls to each other across the mirror surface of the lake. At night, the northern sky was just filled with thousands of winking stars. The Big Dipper and Cassiopeia were the most recognizable, with the North Star being in the middle. The Milky Way was like a bright starry veil spanning from one side of the sky to the other. On a clear night, with a reasonable pair of binoculars, one could even see the ring of Jupiter and one of its moons.

I must say I always enjoy countryside living, especially on an island far away from the city's traffic jams, man-made pollutions and work-related worries. The eleven young men and women were well-behaved and we all shared our enthusiasm toward water sports such as canoeing, boating, tubing, jumping off the end of the dock, fishing, etc. As the song goes: "Summertime, and the living is easy ..." I sure hope you all enjoy your summer so far, and if you have a chance, do come to Canada in the summer time and enjoy cottage life near a lake or on an island. You will love it !!!.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Summer Vacation

Sorry, I missed you. I was away and will try to log on soon !!!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

內視與外視 / Looking Within and Without

前数年,我曾和一群本地的華裔朋友有聯絡,由於男女各人的背景、文化、敎育不同,所以聚首之時,大家交談用的語言或方言会包括: 台山(上代華僑的後裔)、粵語 (香港來的廣東人)、和國語或普通話(最近從中國來的移民)、和英文(共同語言)。除了風花雪月之外,我們也会談及各人的職業展望和做工心得。大概來說,在這十個左右的朋友中:

1. 上代華僑的後裔,多是在這边土生和長大的,他們很接受自己的種族根源 (otherwise, they wouldn't be hanging out with our group),但這就不代表他們生活和工作的思考、眼光、角度是和新來移民的一樣。他們的英、法会話完全沒有中國口音,個人自立覌念很強,做工和種族对他們來說是兩回事。他們和主流社会認同, 很多都和「外」族通婚,他們的內視和外視都非常調和,沒有衝突。

2. 香港來的廣東人,雖不是土生,但对西方文化並不陌生,英語雖有口音,但在社交工作上沒大問題,日常起居可以完全用英文应答,但他們在情感、做夢、和数字方面卻仍是以粵語作主位。自立適应,对他們來說是移民生存的基本條件之一,是理所当然的事,但大部份仍会覺得,職業前途是和他們的種族、背景、和文化有強烈的掛鈎,種族歧視在這多元文化的加拿大社会,仍是一個不可避免的現實。他們看看自己,看看別人,雖然希望打入主流社会,但心理上總是不能完全和西方認同。在和「外」族通婚一事,亞洲女性多沒有問題 (perhaps Asian women are considered "exotic"?),但唐人娶西婦仍是比較罕見。

3. 最近從中國來的移民,佔了加拿大新增少数民族人口的一個高比率。大部份都是從中國大城巿,例如上海和北京來的知識份子、專業人仕、或有錢財的商家。通常來說,他們的英文不什流利,又帶上濃厚的囗音,故此在找工作和社交方面,常常都遇上困難,什有『龍游淺水遭蝦戲』的感受。他們什少和說「國語」的台灣人打交道,香港來的廣東人又不說普通話,所以中國來的移民有他們自己的社交圈子,可說是內視多於外視。

以上所述,令我想起我們同是加國公民,生活在同一社会,同一環境,但各人有各人不同的方言、背景、和思想。這些因素,影響了我們对自己的覌感 (內視),和对主流社会的認同 (外視)。無怪我們這群華裔朋友,聚首数次之後就愈來愈生疏,因為除了種族根源和英文之外,我們實在找不到共同的興趣 (and that's unfortunate)。
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