Note to self: Do not get sucked into another episode of As the Habs Turn. The Montreal Canadiens’ ongoing saga is one big soap opera, a la Coronation Street. The Montreal media are all part of the supporting cast, as are the many fans who take to the streets after decisive playoff wins and trash police cars, loot shops and get up to all kinds of drunken mischief.

No, I’m not mischaracterizing those particular fans. The only reason we haven’t seen more hooliganism by Habs fans over the years is because the team hasn’t been doing well. But they did well in the playoffs this season, and we saw more hooliganism in the name of a Habs victory. Thank God they didn’t win the Stanley Cup because the city might still be smouldering if they had.

As for the chain of chicken joints that virtue-signalled this week by threatening to pull their ads from the boards at the Bell Centre over the drafting of a particular player, they backpedalled two days later, after the owner of the team apologized to fans — but held firm on the draft choice.

So, the chicken chain got a ton of free publicity from the media when it announced it MIGHT pull its ads, then a ton more when it announced that it would stick with the Canadiens after all.

Was I surprised?


It was a lesson in Free Marketing 101.

Go back and read my first post on the fiasco. I said: “I don’t think for a moment that they will follow through on pulling their ads from the Bell Centre.”

And I didn’t even have to polish my crystal ball.


Second note to self: Stay away from the cesspools on Twitter as much as possible. I tell myself this at least twice a year, but I still get sucked in. It comes with the turf when you are a journalist, I suppose. One has to keep an eye on what’s trending. And often, the first hint of breaking news shows up on Twitter.

But it is soooo easy to get sucked into nasty whirlpools there.


Third note to self: I figured out (through some research) why there aren’t many mosquitoes in my part of the forest this summer: wildfire smoke from northern Ontario. Usually at this time of year, the mosquitoes are ferocious. This summer, I’ve seen exactly two.

The wildfire smoke has been quite dense at times in these parts, as it has been in much of Canada and the United States. There are all kinds of media reports about the smog and how it is affecting people. Well, it turns out it affects mosquitoes, too. They don’t like smoke.

I’m guessing the bat population is suffering as a result, given that mosquitoes are a primary source of food for them. I haven’t seen a single bat this summer.

The smoke might also explain why the leaves seem to be changing colour earlier than usual around here. Indeed, I started to notice them changing a couple of weeks ago.

We’re seeing more and more articles about climate change. And, as I had mentioned in the preceding post, the fingerpointing is beginning. One article I saw yesterday pointed at oil and gas companies as being primarily responsible, and questioned whether they should be compensating communities that have been hard hit, like Lytton, B.C., which was wiped off the map by wildfires with at least two people dead.

B.C. has seen at least 500 die from the smoke and heat this summer, and another article yesterday predicted thousands of people will die in Western Canada alone — and billions of dollars will be lost — if the province doesn’t take steps to mitigate future wildfires.

So, essentially, thousands will die, because we can’t stop climate change dead in its tracks. And because industry and people in general will carry on as usual until the last gasp.

I get the sense of futility. I found myself questioning my own climate advocacy the other day. Why bother? Why not just eat, drink and be merry . . . until climate change kills me, too?

Because it is not in my nature, I guess.

Anyone who has been following me here or elsewhere over the years knows that. Perhaps that’s why you read me.


Finally today, I am starting two weeks of vacation. I plan to touch base with some friends and acquaintances, spend some R&R time with Maggie, maybe even play my new instrument (more on that another time).

I am a little worried about actually hanging out with people after a year and a half of social distancing and all that. I’m fully vaccinated, and any friends will have to be, too, if we are to hang out. Still, I imagine I will keep my distance from them, anyway.

It’s going to take some time to readjust.

And, of course, I’ll be blogging here and for The Naturism Community newsletter.