The Canadian Flag: Red Ensign

In 1965, the national flag of Canada was changed from the Canadian Red Ensign to the current Maple Leaf flag without so much as a referendum to give people a voice to see if they wanted to change the current flag or not.

In 2014, while it might be too late to make the Canadian Red Ensign the national flag of Canada, it is never too late to right this historical wrong by making the Canadian Red Ensign an official flag of Canada similar in status to the current national flag and the Royal Union Flag.

The Canadian Red Ensign should be flown at all appropriate war memorials and cemeteries, Canada Day, and other places and events where Canada’s past should be honoured. The flag should be also be accorded the same reverence and respect as the national flag.

via – Bring Back the Red Ensign. (Facebook group)

I am an ASCII Artist

I am an ASCII Artist.

Maybe you have seen ASCII art and didn’t know what it was.

I make pictures using my computer keyboard – the characters of the keyboard, the text letters, punctuation marks and the numbers too. I enjoy ASCII art. Working with text to make a picture instead of words is like a puzzle, trying to fit the pieces into the right places and finding which text characters work best in which spaces.

Canadian Content Contributor on Squidoo

I put my name in to be the Canadian Contributor on Squidoo.

This is what I wrote:

I am a proud Canadian and I do like to write about, research, and teach the world about Canada and Canadians. I already publish a content feed on Scoop.it about Canadiana. Mainly bits of things I find online or happen to think of myself. Scoop.it gives me a place to stash links, share ideas and knowledge. I have over 3,000 views and 41 subscribers, not a lot but it does give me a nice start for promoting any Canadian posts I make as the Squidoo Contributor. Anyway, that’s just numbers. The fact is I was born in Toronto and have grown up all over Ontario. As a younger woman I travelled alone across Canada on the Greyhound bus, staying in youth hostels, meeting other young travelers/ backpackers. I do love it here and travelling (on a shoestring) was a great way to see more than the cleaned up tourist places. These days I photograph abandoned, derelict farm houses. Travelling around Ontario (day trips and some over nights) I see a lot of backroads, get coffee in local restaurants and I keep in touch with other explorers across Canada through the groups I founded and moderate on Flickr. I especially like Canadian music, literature and movies/ TV shows. Here we get so much media from the US it can be overwhelming. I make a point to support our own Canadian media by watching and listening to CBC, the oldest Canadian broadcaster and the most Canadian focused of them all. If you want to know about Canadian music, writers and others you can count on the CBC to have current news and old facts in their archives too. I studied Canadian Literature as a course in high school and college. I do read a lot of everything, not just Canadian, but I am aware of Canadian writers and did belong to an online group (until it folded). I had thought to start up another group but that does take a huge amount of time and energy so it on a project on the backburner. Meanwhile I continue to write my site for writers and it does have some focus on Canadian resources (just because that is what I find most useful for myself, as a Canadian freelance writer). I have probably written too much but I would very much enjoy covering the topic of Canada for Squidoo. Partly because as a Contributor I hope to be given some extra promotion on the site and then be read and heard. (So important to feel someone is actually reading and listening). Also, I would be happy to bring some niches of Canadian culture, history and art to light.

I’m sure I had paragraphs but they didn’t work with the form used. So it is a solid block of text, mainly here for my own amusement.

Cigarette Pollution is a Problem

cigarette pollution
This was in the parking lot area of a small town restaurant. I thought it was smart. I’m a non-smoker (partly due to allergies and asthma). So the smell of cigarettes is not pleasing to me but I especially dislike the smell of old cigarettes and the sight of piles of cigarette butts at the entrances of places like restaurants.

This year we have been finding cigarette butts flicked into the garden in front of our house too. It is pretty thoughtless to flick cigarette pollution in someone’s manicured lawn, carefully maintained and treasured garden space.

How to Locate a Ghost Hunting Tour Group

Ghost walks (or ghost tours) are guided tours where guests are shown the haunted history of an area or a location. Ghost tours cater to tourists and are not meant to be as frightening or taken as seriously as an actual ghost hunting would be.

If you want the reality of a ghost hunt you will need to talk to the ghost hunting or paranormal research group and ask to be included next time they go out on something other than a tour. However, you would have to be someone with more knowledge and commitment to investigating the paranormal than at the tourist level.

Finding a Ghost Walking Tour

If you are already online the easiest way to find a local ghost hunting tour group is to try an online search. Open your search site of choice: Yahoo, Google, DuckDuckGo (a new search which I’ve been trying and liking), etc. Type in the search terms – “ghost tour”, “haunted walk”, “haunted tour”, “ghost exploring”, and then your local area which could be the town or city or the county you live in. Don’t restrict your search to a small area, unless you live in a very large city and want to find something right in your neighbourhood.

Don’t forget to check social sites like Flickr, YouTube and Pinterest for people who are giving ghost tours or have been on a ghost tour and given a review of their experience.

Also, search for paranormal seekers and ghost hunters in the larger area around you. Often they will have links to smaller groups in the area on their websites or blogs. This is a great help, of course, for people looking for local ghost tours.

You can also contact the larger groups and ask for information, links or phone numbers to contact any local ghost hunters who would give tours if asked or may already run scheduled tours.

Another way to find your local ghost hunters is to watch where local groups list their upcoming events. I found my local group listed in the local newspaper and a website giving free space to local groups to list their upcoming events. The ghost tours are a tourist service, a small business, so they won’t be trying to be too secretive, they want customers to find them. Ask around town, talk to other local business people and see what they know.

Historical Walking Tours

Here in my area, Barrie, Ontario, Canada, we have Doors Open, which is a tour of historical homes and places. The doors to private homes and businesses open once a year for people to have a look.

Look for tours of historical places in your area and ask the people who give the tour if any of the places are known or suspected to be haunted.

Talk to people in your local historical society too. Anyone with an interest in history of the local area is likely to know other people who share the same interests.

Urban Explorers Like Old Places and History

Try to find a group or individual who explores old places, not for ghost hunting, necessarily. Urban explorers like old places. They don’t focus on finding ghosts or any thing paranormal but they are usually interested and have stories of their own to share.

Local Pagans Will Know Where the Ghost Tours Are

Is there a local group of Pagans, Wiccans or Witches? These are another group of people who tend to be involved in the local paranormal community. Chances are great someone in the Pagan community will also know about the paranormal researchers in your area. (Actually, they are very likely to be part of both groups).

If your town or local area has a Pagan supplies store, ask there about ghost tours. They will likely have a business card, brochure or something they can hand out to tourists looking for a local ghost walk.

Find Out What the Ghost Tour Includes

Don’t forget a ghost tour is a business, like any other kind of tourism service. Don’t pay for the tour without checking to make sure you are getting what you want. Just what does the tour include? Will you need your own transportation between locations, if there are more than one included in the tour? Does the tour guide have a plan for handling things if someone gets too spooked out and needs a break? Will you get to see data taken from the tour and discuss it afterwards, like a paranormal investigator rather than being just a tourist sent on your way right afterwards?

Also, find out what you need to bring. Should you dress warmly, bring your own water or coffee? Find out what you are allowed to bring as well. Can you bring your own ghost hunting gear, if you have any?

Need More Ghosts?

Barrie Paranormal Links: My Own Local Ghost Hunters

Weird, Unexplained and Paranormal Ontario

Paranormal OntarioI began following accounts of the paranormal as a kid, living in small town Ontario. I have never forgotten some of the unexplained mysteries I read then. One, in particular, about a girl in the school yard who is suddenly scooped up into the air and then thrown down. No one could find a reason or a method for this to happen. But, it did happen.

There are many paranormal explorers and researchers in Ontario. Many focus on the ghosts and haunted places. But, there is so much more out there, ghosts seem small in comparison.

One of my favourite paranormal studies are the creatures, like the lake monsters. It doesn’t seem so unreasonable to me that they could be real animals, seldom seen and not at all understood.

Paranormal also includes UFOs and space aliens.

I’d like to find more paranormal groups which don’t have the heavy focus on ghosts, hauntings and that area. I think it’s something that will never be 100% proved because there are so many brilliant fakes and so many ways to mislead yourself or find a perfectly sensible sounding explanation.

Ontario Paranormal Groups, Investigators and Societies