March 05, 2006

T.0 - And, What I love about Canada

I love Canada.

There, I've said it. And I have good reason. 1) It's not the U.S.  2) I am working directly and indirectly with more Canadian companies now than I am U.S. companies, and for that honor, I am learning all the words to the Canadian National Anthem, one Jenna started singing six months ago for reasons I still do not understand. She only knows the first two lines, but when she gets excited, for some reason, she belts them out, wrongly. O Canada! The land that is my home!

I love her.

The truth is, I have a long history with Canada--at least the parts that are directly across from the great lakes of Ontario and Erie. Before the age of 15, I'd been to the Ex! (never expo) and been stopped by Canadian customs grateful that I'd buried my tampons in the deep recesses of my suitcase. I've done the wax museums, been up the needle, and George and I honeymooned in Toronto. My step-father has dual citizenship. I've been across the Rainbow Bridge more than a dozen times.

When I was a kid, you can ask my family if you don't believe me, there was one place I wanted to live beyond all others. Every time we went there I would beg--can't we buy a house here? It never occurred to me that there weren't many houses right across the border on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls where the glare from the neon signs of the wax museums and tourist shops NEVER dulled.

Talk about the city that never sleeps, I thought! The parking lots near the falls boasted license plates from around the country. They lit the falls up at night in the summer with blue, purple, yellow--a rainbow of lights. I believed this was the coolest place on earth.

Although I never got my wish of moving across the border, I'm still pretty sure I'd be happy working at the wax museums, staying up late and buying spoon rests and key chains from the tourist shops. Do we need much more than that in life?

Today, I look at Canada in a new way. First of all, I realize that it's Frigging Huge, a lot bigger than I thought when I'd try to glimpse an outline as I searched for a horizon across Lake Ontario.

Second, I realize that Canada boasts LOTS of pockets that are hotbeds for technology innovation -- west side and east side. Heck, they should start calling it Web 2.O Canada! Let Jenna make up the words.

Why? You'll have to ask the Canadians.

Having come from the land of a similar winter climate, I'll just say that one is challenged to come up with lots of new things and means of not going insane when you're stuck inside for 11 months out of the year with temperatures of 20-below. (I never did learn Celsius--sorry.) Makes for lots of computer time too.

For one Canadian's take on what's going on from a tech perspective, check out Albert's take on Toronto vs. the Valley, and what he says T.0, the Valley of the North, needs to do to take it up a notch.

P.S. Is the Frog Pond restaurant still there?

Canada, Niagra Falls, Toronto, Lake Ontario, O Canada, The Valley, T.0, Wax Museums, Frankenstein, License Plates = Powered by Qumana


Jon Husband said...

I'll just say that one is challenged to come up with lots of new things and means of not going insane when you're stuck inside for 11 months out of the year with temperatures of 20-below.

lots of hot sex with our tuques on ;-) That's the closely guarded little secret ... Canadians do it longer and stronger ... in effect, we stand on guard for thee !

There are very few women in the world like la quebecoise .. it's either something in the water, or a long experience with a strong matriarchal culture, but I don't think I have ever run across (as a generalization) a culture in which women are so self-affirming, so feisty. They can really make you want to stand on guard ... ;-)

oh, wait .. this was supposed to be about the need for investment in tech innovation .. oops !

michaelo said...

And they love you too, Jeneane. Really - I've heard them saying it. Pretty much the whole of Canada - A Mari Usque Ad Mare - just plain loves you.

Proven fact. Don Cherry said it, so it must be true.

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