Baked Café: Purveyors of Fine Coffees, Good Foods, and Perfect Days

A perfect day, and I’ve had them before, almost always contains a visit to Baked Café.  Some days I just come to sit on the black couches and look out the windows at Whitehorse going by.  Sometimes I bring a book to read.  Sometimes I plan official meetings there.  Other times I arrange to meet my friends.  Often, I run into them there unexpectedly.  Baked Café is a community hub, so naturally it’s a great venue for meeting.  There’s a lot of ambience in the wide room, and a lot of ambient noise so that you can speak frankly without being overheard.  Music on the radio.  People standing around talking.  It’s comfortable, and often crowded, but not in a jam-packed way, but more like having your best friends all over at your place, happy.  It’s probably the largest coffeeshop that Whitehorse has.

At the corner of First and Main, Baked Café serves a large range of specialty coffees and teas, cold drinks, as well as a wide repetoire of scones and pastries.  You cannot pass up a scone that is bigger than your hand.  It is a meal.  Cranberry Coconut, Cranberry Chocolate Chip, Blueberry Almond or Raspberry Walnut–they each come in three kinds: white, wheat and spelt.  Awesome soups–my favorites are any of their hearty chowders and their Tomato Basil with or without chicken.  They also serve sandwiches, beef pies, quiches, wraps, salads, cookies, and in the summer, several flavors of gelato. There is something for everyone.  It is a hot tourist spot in the summer, and just a hop away from the Whitehorse Trolley across the street.  Kids love it.  And it’s close to everything on Main Street–a place to begin your perfect day of shopping and touring around.  It’s a block away from the Museum, down the street from the Westmark, next to the river and the Whitepass Yukon Railway building.

Continue reading

Eisenhower and Churchill: UFO cover up?

Released in a wave of declassified UFO documents in England comes this gem: that Eisenhower and Churchill purposely covered up UFOs.  There was a short time in US history where talking about UFOs wasn’t censored–especially the military.  People in the military left and right were commenting on “saucers” and technology from “Mars”–and then, it’s said that Eisenhower decided to hush the whole thing down.

This New York Daily News article talks about a letter declassified in England:

A letter sent in 1999 by an unnamed person from Leicester, England, relays a story he was told by his mother, which came from his grandfather, who claimed to have witnessed the alleged cover-up.

“It is claimed that my grandfather, [REDACTED] was present during a debate between Winston Churchill and Mr. Eisenhower during World War II involving making a decision about an unexpected incident,” the letter states, dated Sept. 20, 1999.

The incident in question took place off the English coast and involved a Royal Air Force bomber crew, which was returning from a “photographic mission” in either Germany or France.

“The aircraft was intercepted by an object of unknown origin,” the letter explains, “which matched course and speed with the aircraft for a time and then underwent an extremely rapid acceleration away.”

Photos and/or film were supposedly captured of the object, which “hovered noiselessly” and seemed metallic.

The incident sparked a discussion between Churchill and General Eisenhower, presumably via telephone, who commanded the Allied forces during the later period of the war.

According to the letter, the grandfather who witnessed the conversation heard Churchill state: “This event should be immediately classified since it would create mass panic amongst the general population and destroy one’s belief in the Church.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2010/08/05/2010-08-05_winston_churchill_dwight_d_eisenhower_covered_up_ufo_sighting_in_england_letter_.html#ixzz18FjARGfF

 

The story is backed up in several other newspapers–the document is real.  Now if the story is real, that’s another matter.  But if it is, then it will go well with this 1952 UFO buzz of the White House.

 

 

You want the truth?  We’ll get as close as we can.  Come to Longest Night, Dec 20, 21, 8pm, Yukon Arts Centre.

We’ll be talking about visitation…. aliens, UFOs, and the sightings that started them all.

 

 

 

 

Howls and Hell Yeahs: The Celebration of the Life of Reid A. Parent

I just returned from a beautiful service honouring the life of Reid A. Parent, a 25 year old man who touched the lives of tons of people before his untimely death in a car accident.

Reid was the main speaker at the event.  His words were all over the program–several of his journal entries revealed a creative, philosophical man who loved others and adored life.  His Sweater Video gave a discussion of how most people will lie and tell you that your sweater is beautiful, even if it’s the ugliest thing on earth, but that his own mother sincerely believes any sweater on him becomes beautiful.  I love the shock on his face when he realizes his mother honestly believes in the beauty.  Other videos of him rapping and singing were played.  Pictures of him showed a life of daring himself to be himself in all situations, and a life of making sure that he found “the goodness in other people,” as his stepdad, Darrell Hookey remarked.  His family and friends had the funniest stories about him–stories where he turned life into a beautiful game, and made every moment count.  Reid was there–all over the place–and he said his peace, and keeps saying his peace, through those who loved and knew him.

I am so glad there are celebrations of life–like participatory memoirs, we get a full picture of the life of a person, and get to celebrate what he gave that life.  It was horribly short, but it was grandly full.  And the proof was in the hundreds of people who showed up in Whitehorse, not to mention the hundreds that showed up in BC for the first memorial service.

His sister, Leah, another beautiful soul, said all she could do was howl–and so she invited us all to howl.  And we did.  All of us.  Howled like a pack of wolves who had lost their leader.  It seemed to me that Reid led a lot of people away from the brooding part of life into the happiness part.  Darrell Hookey challenged the crowd to live lives that took in every moment.  He didn’t accept our little silent nods.  He said we should answer that challenge the way Reid always did, with a “Hell yeah!”  And so he posed the question again, and pointed to us, and just like our earlier howl, we responded with a hearty “HELL YEAH” as we promised Reid, and ourselves, that time would not get away from us, that we would live full lives, and that we would love others as part of living full lives.

So many funerals can be much more final, more, shall I say, depressing, but this one was full of pain, yes, but was also full of celebration and promise–as Reid now inhabits all of us through his stories, his videos, his music, his writings, his friends, his family.  Reid goes on in particle form, or as the emcee said, he goes on in “seed” form…planting a renewed, and vigorous, life-living plant inside of us.

Go out there and howl, and let your yesses be Hell Yeahs. And give people enough of yourself that when you leave this Earth, you leave behind a garden of goodness and good stories.

God bless you, Reid Parent.  God bless you Darrell and Daisy, Leah, and all the relatives and all the friends who carry Reid’s seeds of joy.

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Another moving tribute from the Yukon News.

For the Love of Whitehorse: Why I Live in the Wilderness City

Occasionally, people will ask me why I’m here.  They don’t mean I should leave– only what it is that keeps me here.  It’s good to think about why you live in the place you do.  You can always say that work brought you here, or love, or you were raised here, or it’s all you know… but I can’t say any of these…  so I start thinking about why Whitehorse is the perfect city.  

Whitehorse has some very unique qualities.  In a nutshell:  It functions as both the capital and largest city of our territory, while maintaining many characteristics of a small town.  It has the cultural capital of a city 10 to 20 times its size, compressed in a small area, as it is home to a surprisingly large number of artsy folk–musicians, artists, writers and our ilk.  Whitehorse is drenched in pivotal and interesting history.  Finally it is surrounded by extensive wilderness that affords outdoor enthusiasts a vast playground, and keeps folks green-minded.    Continue reading

UFOlogy in the Yukon: What’s Going On Up There?

My article on Ufology in the Yukon appears now in Yukon, North of Ordinary.  The magazine is the inflight mag of Air North, one of the finest airlines.  I love Air North for its service, the fact that I know all the flight attendants, and for the Midnight Sun coffee and the cheesecake.  I’m proud that Air North ran the article.  They were both skeptical and worried that an article about UFOs in a magazine you read on an airplane might get people to thinking they were pushing the idea that UFOs exist.  But they ran the article, and I’m very happy to see it there.  The article focusses on the people who see UFOs, that they are normal everyday people.  Ronald Reagan saw a UFO, and the Pope just okayed the existence of extraterrestrials, so things are changing for aliens—we’re getting okay with them.  This article just lets you know that folks do see them, that they are normal people, and that in any other condition 32 eyewitness accounts that matched would be enough to prove something of this magnitude.  But, as of yet, no spaceship has dropped enough hard evidence to make us all believe.  That doesn’t stop these brave men and women who sometimes speak out, sometimes against ridicule.  Many keep it to themselves.  It’s good to listen to their stories and make up your mind later….  

The article doesn’t itself endorse UFOs, but, like every issue, it does seek to promote the good folks of the Yukon, those who have seen UFOs and those who want to believe.  God bless Yukon, North of Ordinary.

For the article follow this link to What’s Going On Up There? (there is a place there to download the whole issue as a PDF)

If you have seen something unidentified in the day or night sky and want to report it, there is a website for that as well.  Martin Jasek and friends keep the UFO*BC website open for sharing experiences and for reporting sightings.  If you’ve seen something, fill out this online form.

The Laramie Project Shows Stunning Ensemble Work

This is my review from What’s Up Yukon.  

5 out of 5 Stars

I gave Justine Davidson, the theatre reviewer for the Whitehorse Star, a long hug at the end of The Laramie Project, the Guild Society/GALA play.

Both of us were near tears.

She said over my shoulder, “Does this mean it’s good when the journalists are crying?”

We weren’t the only ones moved.

But don’t let this make you think the play is a downer. It isn’t.

It’s mostly a fascinating study of 80 people learning to cope with sudden and abrupt change. The tragedy of Matthew Shepard’s murder happens before the play begins — so this is, in effect, the aftermath.

This is a community coming to terms with what they think about it — and finding themselves at the centre of a media tornado. You find yourself rooting for them as they try to make it through. …

(For the rest of the review, click here to go to What’s Up Yukon)

Rocketfuel Ignites Imaginations, the Yukon News story on my class

 

Photo by Ian Stewart for the Yukon News

My most excellent class of writers is the subject of a Yukon News article below.  These writers are an awesome group of imaginateurs.  I’m impressed, especially, with how they conducted themselves in an interview–thoughtful, insightful, well-read, interesting and interested in each other.  Love to start a book club with them!  

Article is by James Munson for the Yukon News.

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Zeb Berryman has some demons he’d like to share.

The 18-year-old scribe is an aficionado of the “dark side” in his literary circle, a dozen Whitehorse high school students known as Rocket Fuel.

“The darkness and violence is what makes it beautiful,” says Zeb, referring to one of his current anime reads.

Zeb’s comment elicits a few nods from his fellow science fiction enthusiasts sitting around the table in the FH Collins library.

These young adults have an encyclopedic knowledge of the fantasy genre, and can discuss the intricacies of alchemists, monsters, gods and goblins at length.

“It’s like literature discussion about a whole bunch of books you never get to hear literature discussions about,” says Jerome Stueart, a science fiction writer who started Rocket Fuel two years ago.

But more impressively, it’s their own literary creations they’re the most familiar with.

Ask any one of these students about their works, and it won’t be long before another interjects.

Franz Krabel, 12, tends to kill off his characters a lot, says Santana Berryman, Zeb’s 14-year-old sister.

Santana, for her part, has an obsession with the afterlife, says Stueart.

These writers know each other inside out.

Read the rest of the article

Treats, Beverages, and a bit of Fantasy, Shipyards Park, Fri. Dec 4

Students who are a part of Rocketfuel, the science fiction and fantasy writing group afterschool program–sponsored by the City of Whitehorse–will have a reading Friday night–TOMORROW–at Shipyards Park.  They’ll be reading from some of their current work.  There might actually be a story of Santa Claus meeting the Reaper…you never know.  

THE DETAILS:

Shipyards Park

Friday Dec 4, 7-9 pm.  

Treats, goodies, beverages like tea and coffee, and a bit of Fantasy to go home with and share with your season….

If you’re free tomorrow night, come by.  We’d love to have you.

Yukon Writers Festival: Reading, 7pm, Beringia Centre

Everyone, come hear the six Yukon Writers Festival writers read on Wednesday night at 7pm at the Beringia Centre for FREE. Part of Live Words: Yukon Writers Festival and the Young Authors Conference, these six writers will be teaching young adults to write at FH Collins–and this presentation is free and open to the public.

I’ve been asked to be the MC for the evening. As I have nothing funny to say, and you can’t be a good MC without funny material–I need six words from readers of my blog–one per person please–the first six– that I have to fit into my opening short speech. And if I get all six, I should win some sort of prize. Nothing that I couldn’t say in public please–so I won’t accept vulgar expressions.

It’s fun. And if you come, you get to see if I can fit them all in.

The Enchanted North: the Art of Nathalie Parenteau

Sea Otter and Volcano, Nathalie Parenteau

When I see Nathalie Parenteau’s art, it makes me feel as if I’m seeing what I would be seeing if I had enchanted glasses. I like her animals–how they run wild through the colors, and even when they stand still, their reflections run rivulets of Fantasy to the bottom of the image. I love the tenderness of Klimt between lovers in this wild kingdom; and the women who pick cranberries–I like how their hair rises; and how the moon witnesses moose, caribou, northern life; and how the red cloaks reveal so much, ravens living inside; and how the legs dribble like the edges of a dream; and the mandelas, especially the feathers of the snowy owl, how you can feel them.

If I bought as much of her art as I want, my house would unfold like a storybook.

Caribou Shimmers, by Nathalie Parenteau

I’d like to get me a pair of those glasses–look outside my windows and see what Nathalie sees. I’ve linked above to a page that sells her work. Enjoy.