James Hillis

Archive for September, 2014|Monthly archive page

A Debate Idea We All Can Get Involved In

In Uncategorized on September 25, 2014 at 7:35 am

Between now and October 22 there will be a number of municipal debates for every Ward position, Regional Council, School Boards and of course for Mayor and most people will pay little if no attention to them at all, but I have come up with a debate that all candidates should have an opinion on and will go a long way to deciding whom we will vote for.     CAKE OR PIE, simple isn’t it, do they think a cake is better or would they go the pie route?  It may sound simple to you but let’s be honest we all have a favorite in this debate, and it could most likely get as heated as any.

Let us start with the Cake, Cakes are the upscale 3 level type of item that takes time to prepare and has to be made to look pretty and is demolished in no short order while the pie is a good old fashioned down to earth treat.  Now my vote goes to pie, and I will tell you why.

Pie is simple, like me, it comes in many varieties and is not just a sugar-laden treat, it is a durable food item that has a wide spectrum of uses. Yes, we have fruit pies, but we also have Sweet Potato Pie, Shepherds Pie, Chicken Pot Pie, Meat Pies like the french Tortiere and of course the always reliable and incredibly delicious Pizza Pie.   Then there is the smell of a fresh Raspberry( insert your own fav) Pie that your Grandma or Mother used to make, it brings back memories that no cake can do,  a cake comes out of the oven and just sits there, no real personality to it.  And to enjoy a cake you have to load it down with icing that if not done right looks like you don’t care but the pie, the juices boiling over the crust is like heaven from the oven.  A cake is fancy, requires attention while a pie is out of the oven and ready to go, I mean, really, if you have to decorate something up just to eat it, is it really that good, to begin with? When was the last time you had a plain doughnut? And that is cake as well, needs decoration to enjoy, but just slap a scoop of ice cream or a piece of good Canadian Cheddar on a pie and it is ready to rock your world.  So when you are at the debates or if you run into a candidate ask them…Pie or Cake, it will go a long way to help you decide whom to vote for, after all, if they give you a long convoluted answer then they obviously can not make their mind up about things.  but If they are decisive about their answer then perhaps they will make a good Mayor or Counsellor unless of course, they mention Asparagus Pie, that is just not right!



Annie and Stevie

In Uncategorized on September 21, 2014 at 3:07 am

The title of this story refers to two of my favorite woman in the world of popular music. One is very well-known while the other may be known to some but not to most music fans except for the truly hard-core fans. Stevie is of Course Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac fame while the Annie is Annie Haslam a British singer songwriter of immense talent. They both have a lot in common, they came to fame as members of a popular act, Nicks with Fleetwod mac and Haslam with Renaissance a progressive rock band of the early 70’s, Annie was born in June of 1947 while Stevie was born less than a year later in May 1948. They have both been involved with fellow musicians that influenced their respective careers, Nicks was dating Lindsay Buckingham when they both joined Fleetwood Mac while Haslam was engaged for 4 years to Roy Wood an English Musician and the man who Produced her first solo album in 1977,  Stevie Nicks has released 7 solo albums and Annie Haslam has released 8. The two also have a few small things in common including the way they moved and the attire that they wore during their 70’s period, Stevie Nicks is known for her mystical image, her billowing chiffon skirts, shawls, layers of lace and long blonde hair, Annie Haslam had almost the same look during her day’s with Renaissance, and Both Woman battled health problems during their careers, Haslam with breast Cancer and Nicks with Drug addiction. While Stevie has enjoyed a more high-profile music career, Annie has nothing to be ashamed of as to her fans it is just as important. but you can be the judge of that.

Stevie Nicks 1974

Annie 1976

A Platform I want the Candidates to Consider.

In Uncategorized on September 19, 2014 at 12:09 am

Well here we go again October 27 will bring us another election this time municipally, and the candidates will be promising the moon to us, they can talk all they want about the hospital,healthcare,taxes, deathrays, whatever but to get my attention and the attention of thousands here in Cambridge I have come up with a platform that would be a headline grabber. None of this starchy high carb elections promises, we want a Candidate that connects with the average citizen. We want a leaner government,a frothy collection of people who know how to talk to us and not above us, we don’t want to be spoon fed recycled ideas and empty promises, so what is the platform I am pushing…A really Good tasting low-calorie Beer!
You read that right, The citizens of Cambridge like their beer, and many of us want to watch our figures and the best place to start is with an official Cambridge Lite Beer, not the Canadian 65 or Cracked Canoe crap that the big boy’s are pushing, I have tried them all and they taste like fish water, and we don’t want an alcohol free beer, I mean what is the purpose of that? Now we have the facility right here in Cambridge, called Grand River brewing and a candidate that promises to institute this platform upon being elected would more than likely pick up a few thousand votes overnight, and as word would spread that you have promised a great tasting light beer with substance you would become a hero, your likability rating would go through the roof.  So think about it, and get back to me about this platform, it is a guaranteed success! Heck, I will even test the products for you.

Another Letter from The War

In Uncategorized on September 15, 2014 at 12:09 am

My brother gave me a copy of a letter he had in his possession from another of our Uncles from Hespeler who served in the 2nd World War. Following is the letters contents.

August 17 1941

The Editor:

I received a copy of D.W. and W bugle last night when I came on duty and was really pleased to read all the local news. I’m writing this on duty so if it seems rather disjointed it is because i had to get up to quiet a wild bunch of Irishman we have here one with a fractured skull and when i say wild Irishman I mean exactly that.
The first thing that caught my eye were the pictures. They really looked interesting, but you know I worked at all those jobs and somehow or other they never looked the same to me. Still I would not mind taking a whirl at it again. Maybe I will after this issue is over.
How is Red Wilfong, is he still in the dye house and Bill Clark,Shorty Reid and all the old gang. Is Jimmy Tordoff still on the tubs or has he decided to quit washing Khaki and start wearing it. By the look of the paper the mill must be getting a pretty good going over. Is Red Watson and his trusty .38 still guarding the back of the dye house. Oh yes one more thing i probably should know myself. Who is the patriotic society I have received two parcels from them and did not know whom I should send a letter of thanks. whoever they are must be getting the idea that i’m not grateful.
Next time you go through the dye house will you remind Jim Cutting that he still owes me that letter he promised a year ago. Since coming over here I have run across most of the boys in the 1st division. Just out of curiosity who is June Whorly, I have never heard of her myself but she seems to be creating a sensation among the boys of this unit.
I’ve been here eight months now and I think we have had rain 5 or 6 days a week every week. It never rains in Scotland I’ve been there twice and it rained both times. Next time I’m going to Ireland.Most letters that I have read that fellows have written to the reporter have been very elaborate in describing the beauty of the country,the hospitality of the people. I will admit that the people as a whole are hospitable.Only it is pretty hard to convince some of them that the people of Canada don’t ride down main trails waving tomahawks.
Due to the scarcity of films and the fact that the sun never shines people over here don’t take many pictures. but this one was taken in the surgical ward. Never mind i cant find it,here is another one instead. tell John From if he is still in the dye house that he might as well stay where he is, they have no schnapps here and the beer is terrible.
Well i guess that’s just about winds up the news, although it seems that i all i have done is ask questions, so I’ll say, as they say in Scotland

Ken Mclaughlin
Canadian Army Overseas.

City Council is to blame.

In Uncategorized on September 9, 2014 at 1:10 am

I know that Governments make a lot of mistakes and get blamed for some that they don’t make, and so I have come up with a few things that i am blaming on the Mayor and his Council.

Canadian Idol- Someone has to take the fall for that irritating talent less laden piece of drivel. Why not out Mayor?

Conservatives( or liberals if you swing that way).–blaming politicians for politicians just seems an easier answer than anything else I can come up with.

Global Warming–This one pretty well answers itself, toxins being spewed into the air from City hall. Seems obvious to me.

Spam–Both the meat product and the internet kind. Of course, this one may be more of a Gary Goodyear thing.

Justin Beiber’s Success–I can’t seem to find any other reason, so let’s blame it on the council.

That Annoying Deja Vu thing–Of course this could be an oxymoron, I mean ANNOYING..and Making the same mistakes over and over…sounds like government.

That Annoying…wow, I feel like I wrote this one already

Windows Vista–Was there anything as F@#$#k up as that, sounds like something we can realistically blame on the city council.

Ugly Naked People–I mean there is one looking back at me right now..wait, that is just a mirror. Sorry about that.

The Snuggie–One of the most stupid inventions I have ever seen. Surely something that dumb has to have been invented by the same people who brought us the Drayton theater. I definitely blame this one on the mayor himself.

The dishes not being done. I blame Ward two councilor Rick Cowsill for this one, now if I can just convince my wife of that I would be happy. How about it Rick, want to take the blame for that one?

So there a few things that I feel can be blamed on the city council, and I now return you to your regularly scheduled Apocalypse.

A Slight Adjustment

In Uncategorized on September 3, 2014 at 10:14 pm

For the last 5 years or so I have written about growing up in Hespeler and while I will continue that theme here, I also intend to take the Relic in different directions. I will be posting more photos as well as more music and entertainment related story’s about the artists that I grew up with, the music I listened to and the movies and TV shows that were part of my youth.  It will be a site that will bounce all over the place but hopefully keep the memory’s of a childhood in Hespeler alive.  So thank you to the over 30,000 visitors to this site, it is much appreciated.

Some Music for a Late Summer Day

In Uncategorized on September 3, 2014 at 12:57 am

As we head into September the nights tend to get a little cooler and we spend less time outside, and with that in mind I have a list of albums that suit this time of year, they are challenging, yet very well worth the search. They range from folk rock to Cosmic Country Music and so I thought I would give you good people a little taste of what I call Late Summer mind expanding music.
1.Love-Forever Changes[1967] Still the best album from the early psychedelic period.

2.Eric Andersen-Ghosts upon the Road[1988] A album of lost lives and loves from one of the best Singer/Songwriters of my Generation.

3.Loretta Lynn-Van Lear Rose[2004] What a comeback! The perfect blend of country,folk and Rock ably assisted by Jack White

4.Nick Drake-Five Leaves Left[1969] Haunting vocals and sparse instrumentation make this a classic.

5.Richard and Linda Thompson-Shoot Out the Lights[1982] Listen to a marriage fall apart, both artistically and personally.

6.Lenny Gallant-The open Window[1994] East coast singer’songwriter at his Canadian best.
7.Todd Snider-Songs for the Daily Planet[1994] The Who’s My Generation has never sounded so good as on this album.

8.David Ackles-American Gothic[1972] Fighting for the American Dream[and not finding it] “The Montana Song” is a classic.

9.John Stewart-California Bloodlines[1969] The former member of The Kingston Trio makes the perfect country album for the new decade.

10.Laura Nyro-Eli and the 13 Confession[1968] Others may have had bigger hit’s with her songs, but the original is often better.

11.John Gorka-Out of the Valley[1994] Alternative Country’s leader, “Good Noise” is the best anti Politician song I have heard.

12.Gram Parsons-Return of the Grievous Angel[1974] The grandfather of Country Rock’s Finest Moment. Ass kicking country and tender love songs. True American Cosmic Music.

So if you have time look up some of these albums and sample the music and see what you think.


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