Archives for: August 2007, 31

08/31/07

Permalink 05:09:04 pm, by Email , 1019 words   English (CA)
Categories: Half-Butt Postings

What's in a name?

Betcha didn't know this, okay, some of you did, but I wasn't named after the biblical saint... this despite me truly deserving sainthood... (HAHAHAHAHAHA!)

First Edition Cover

No, nor was I named after a relative... or family friend...

Nope...

My name is really from "pop culture"... save that being Canadian pop-culture and dating back to 1908.

I can blame my name on, of all people, Lucy Maud Montgomery and a book she wrote about a red-headed girl who ends up on a farm in Avonlea on Prince Edward Island.

Yup, "Matthew" was from my mother's favourite character in the book, Anne of Green Gables... Matthew Cuthbert or "Uncle Matthew".

So I was born in 1967, Canada's Centennial year (Canada turned 100 years old when I was born... same with Sue - BUT SHE'S OLDER!!! - by five months...) the last year the Toronto Maple Leafs won a Stanley Cup, and named after probably the best known Canadian novel ever published. How Canadian is that!?!

Of note also is my birth listing in the paper... As opposed to an "announcement" of my arrival, my parents thoughtfully, with tongue in cheek, said that they had completed their centennial project. Nothing like starting life sounding a little like a pavilion building at Expo 67.

Anyway, my point is this...

My youngest stepling was complaining about her name... she doesn't like it... for much the same reason I wasn't a fan of my name growing up...

When I was younger, I knew perhaps a handful of Matthews... not many at all. I grew up in a big city, but "back then", the name Matthew was not terribly popular.

I knew dozens of guys named Chris, John, Rob, and more Mikes than you could shake a stick at... but Matthews were in very short supply.

Granted, once I got past the age of thirteen, I appreciated being in an age bracket where the name wasn't overly popular... and took great satisfaction in its origin...

...but it got me to thinking...

Have I ever known anyone who liked their given name as a kid?

I think it might be a right of passage... something you must be born into, live through, and appreciate over time... even then, I've met more than my fair share of adults who use a "nickname" or their middle-names as opposed to their given first name.

When I was last in Bath, England, I couldn't help noticing the unfortunate name of the tour guide at the Roman baths... Her last name, according to her name badge was "Candy"... her parents thoughtfully had given her the first name of "Penny". Yup, I was shown ancient Roman ruins by Penny Candy... then I thought more closely... This was an older woman... perhaps married... For all I know, she was Penny Heidenschmit... but married Douglas Candy and VOILA!

Either way, I can't help but wonder, especially in being in such a public role, if she grimaced about her given name on several occasions.

Hey, there's a question to my female friends in the blog... would you avoid marrying a man if his name "complimented" yours thusly regardless of your feelings for him?

I remember hearing a great joke about names on the CBC the other day... a woman was taking to task the idea of woman's liberation... she was pointing out that she had shaken off the old paternal systems... yup...

I am married and today, and didn't have to accept my husbands name! Nope, I got to keep my fathers.

Names are funny things... and can position one for life in some ways.

It's often asked if Abraham Lincoln would have achieved his lot in life with the name "Lester Sugarbaby". Would Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery been as successful as Field Marshal Heime Abromovitz?

Using militaria, how about Hiram Ulysses Grant... he was terrified when he was en route to military school in West Point that his initials, "HUG", would make him a bit of a target. He was thrilled that the registrar had made a mistake and named him (in the rolls) as Ulysses S. Grant... or "U.S. Grant"... and he did okay as U.S.

...by the way, his friends called him "Sam".

Heck, even royalty has issues with names... take George VI... he was actually Albert... but he didn't want to be "King Albert" (probably because it was too close to his Victoria's Prince Albert and he was and is still "very large" in memorial,) so he thoughtfully changed his name to George. Hey, his Brother, Edward, the Nazi sympathizer who married Mrs. Simpson, was known in the family as "David"! The current Prince Charles is threatening to be King George when the time comes too... citing the bad flavour left in the mouth by the two previous King Charles types.

Anyway, what's in a name... I know, as of now, I'd only ever be "Matthew"... and I'm glad, as a kid, I didn't adopt my middle name or even change my name...

I appreciate being named after kind, old Uncle Matthew.

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The standard last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

This blog is here to help promote a dream that an entire family shares... that dream is to rescue an old London Double-Decker bus.

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Please, if you have a few minutes, take some time to find out more about this bus and the kooky dream by clicking here.

This bus is VERY special to myself and the whole family, and any help any person can lend us would be most gratefully accepted.

If you or someone you know might be interested, there's our tiny banner site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and a PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, a Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff!
(...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

We thank you for your support!

Please Note: We are also hoping for help from a public relations/marketing standpoint... If you might be able to assist OR know someone who might be willing to, please click here and read this entry...

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Permalink 05:00:37 pm, by Email , 251 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff, Sponsored Posting - Helping to Get The Bus

Online Homework Help

It used to be that I could give homework help to the kids, and actually understand the topics I was helping out with. :p These days especially when it comes to the higher grades, and particularly Math subjects like Algebra (does anyone actually use these things in the real world anyway?) forget it. I've either forgotten exactly what it was I learned more than twenty years ago in high school, or the subject has advanced well beyond what I had learned at the time.

Since teachers are usually pressed for time these days, it can be a real advantage for a child to receive tutoring in a subject they are struggling with, particularly when a parent is unable to help out, much as I mentioned my own stumbling blocks to homework help above.

We did have a tutor help out with Math subjects that our middle one was having difficulty with last year, and it worked out great! She now has a good understanding of different Math applications, and is no longer having a hard time with it.

If you might benefit from online tutoring either for yourself or for your child then have a look at the site I've linked to in this blog entry. TutorVista is recognized world over, and provides online help in all subjects. Just surf on over, and have a look. With back-to-school literally right around the corner, they could be the resource to help insure a successful year ahead! B)

Our thanks to our sponsor!

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Et In Arcadia Ego

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One Old Green Bus

This blog was started in April of 2006... its original itent was really twofold. One was to be a "sounding board" for it's author... and the other... well...

At the time we started this, your humble author was unemployed and going through the usual crisis situations that arise from being jobless.

We (my wife, stepdaughter, and I,) used to "amuse" ourselves (read: Take our minds off our troubles) by more-or-less fantasizing as a family about what we'd do when things "turned around". Along this route, we discussed going to England on a vacation... and in that, alighted on "double-decker buses".

We kind of adopted one bus... Regent Low Height 3... as Our Bus... and we used to talk about what we'd do with "our bus" if we got it... from fixing it up to the trips we'd take on it.

Along the way, we became students of the history of this bus which HONESTLY seemd it was truly for us... trouble was, we couldn't afford the bus and weren't in a position to work towards the bus... so we had a couple of options...

Since the bus' position was sketchy (there's a chance she might be sold for scrap or "carved up" in other ways,) we could forget about her and pretend she didn't exist...

...or we could TRY... ask for help... put our dream of owning and saving "One Old Green Bus" into the universe and see what happens...

As of February, 2008, we knew that there was a perspective buyer for the bus (not us, obviously,) and made some difficult decisions... The first was that we wouldn't "beg" for help anymore and give the little money we received to a few different charities both online and off... and the second was simply hope that either we find a corporate sponsor (for an "ad" idea we have, click here to about read that,) or even a patron who see's the value in a silly family's dream...

But, if the bus is about to be purchased by someone who's planning on restoring it and they "get there first", we wish them well and are glad that at least Our One Old Green Bus is in a safe place being looked after.

For now, though, we are still hoping WE might be the ones to get our One Old Green Bus and see a family dream come true...

Regardless, this blog WILL continue... and we will still "go for" a bus of our own... but this blog will ALWAYS be dedicated to our own One Old Green Bus.

Want to know more about Regent Low Height buses? Click here!

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