Autumn colours

Another wander along the boardwalk brings colour and a bit of a sprinkle.

Bloodied remembrance

Flag soldiers

I have no room for anger or hatred in my life, but I find myself perplexed, frustrated and saddened by the events of this past week that saw three men, three soldiers killed or wounded. And all of the efforts to understand or explain the reasoning of the two perpetrators, both killed, do nothing to assuage these feelings.

The two soldiers in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, near Montreal in Quebec, were crossing a parking lot in front of a recruitment centre when they were run over by their assailant. One of the men wasn’t even in uniform.

And in a messed up irony that could only accompany a death, the third soldier in Ottawa was standing guard over a war memorial to his fallen predecessors. His only defence from the gun man that took his life? An unloaded gun pointed at the ground out of remembrance and reverence to The Unknown Soldier.

For soldiers to fall in battle or in zones of conflict is painful, but somehow more acceptable as a known risk. For men to die while pursuing peaceful administrative activities or activities of honour is simply unfathomable.

While I am not yet ready to weep for the deaths of the two murderers, I mourn for their families and their communities, who have suffered losses as well. Without more information, I cannot blame anyone other than he who drove the car, he who pulled the trigger.

But even as I grieve, even as I question, I take heart and solace in the arms of my community. The people of Canada have not cornered the market in fortitude and endurance, but we are strong. And in times like this, times that matter most, we speak with one voice, we grieve with one heart and we love with one soul.

Despite the pain of our loss, we only grow stronger when events like this happen. And when faced with the uncertainty and fear of these events, that strength, that resolve will keep us whole, will keep us secure.

The coming Remembrance Day will be a touch sadder this year because the poppies will be more bloodied and the graves they mark will be a little fresher.

Peace.

 

Only the names of the deceased officers have been released: Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24 (left, above), and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, 53.

soldier_andfield_of_poppies

Invading Americans take opening battle

Brought my camera to the hockey game last weekend as the Toronto Marlies hosted the Rochester Americans at the Ricoh Coliseum.

Early in the new American Hockey League season, the hometown boys have not been playing terribly well and that bit them in the butt against the Americans, who pounded the Marlies 4-1.

Game highlights video: Amerks over Marlies 4-1

Farmer’s Market & The Grove – Los Angeles

While visiting Los Angeles, I stayed on the west side of town not too far from Beverly Hills, near The Farmer’s Market and The Grove shopping complexes…right next to each other and yet world’s apart in so many ways.

See also: Graffiti and Signs and Tar Pits

Is a Serial Serial Killer a Series Killer?

bones card

Okay. That’s it. I’m raising the red card on an issue I’ve been grumbling about—at least privately—for several years now.

To mix my sports metaphors, I am calling a double dabbling penalty on the television series Bones, which I am just catching up on via Netflix. (Spoilers coming if you’re not up to Season 9.)

bones team

I love procedural programs, and as a certified science geek, I particularly like forensic series such as Bones and CSI. If you want to piss me off really quickly, however, I recommend you start a story line involving a serial killer.

Now that may sound counter-intuitive, but I find most serial killer story lines to be incredibly lazy and highly repetitive. More often than not, the episode structure and format are completely blown apart and rather than being about solving a crime, the episodes devolve into a personal vendetta, where the lead investigator—cop or forensic scientist—goes off the rails and alienates his or her team for a few episodes (or season).

“Don’t you get it? He’s taunting me, testing me, letting me know he’s always one step ahead of me.”

Yes. We know this. So let’s move on and get back to solving crimes (aka puzzles). You know, the reason I watch your ruddy show.

Watching a procedural series turn into a psychological drama is like watching a pretty actor try to take on a meaningful meaty role. It’s typically painful to watch and not what I purchased. You’re reneged on our unspoken agreement.

[NOTE: Dexter is held outside as that always was a series about a serial killer hunting down serial killers.]

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Up until recently, I’d believed that this was just an annoyance I would have to live through. God, how I struggled with Grissom’s Miniature Killer. But Bones just escalated that annoyance to a new level, which is why I raise the red card and call for an ejection…

(Last chance to avoid spoilers.)

…for Bones has used a serial killer to introduce a second serial killer.

Seriously? A serial serial killer?

It’s not bad enough that I had to watch a season or so of Christopher Pelant torment the Jeffersonian team, only to have him torment Bones herself with news that several unsolved murders are connected and that her negligence has allowed a serial killer (The Ghost Killer) to go unchallenged. And all just 24 hours before Pelant is killed by Booth, leaving everyone but Bones questioning if he was just lying to drive her nuts.

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So now, as a fan of the show, I conceivably get to sit through yet another season of the Jeffersonian team getting torn apart by this second serial killer. Can you tell how excited I am?

Remember when Fonzie jumped the shark? Well, Bones just jumped not one, but two (so far only two) serial killers.

As an open note to television writers and showrunners, when you’ve run out of things to say, stop talking. End the series. Take your bows and move on.

I will keep watching Bones, if only because I’m an idiot and have invested 8.5 years of my life to these people. Also, I know there is a significant death coming in early Season 10, not yet on Netflix Canada.

We’ll have to see who outlasts whom, but I know which of us is on life-support.

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Hollywood Hills – Los Angeles

And then, a friend drove me into the hills around Los Angeles, so I could do a little house-hunting for when I finally make it big.

See also: Graffiti and Signs, Tar Pits, and Farmer’s Market & The Grove