Thursday, October 18, 2018


    Yesterday pot became legal in Canada for recreational use. This process has taken years and many twists and turns.

    The basic argument was that legalization would take the out of the criminal system, keep pot away from young people, control the quality of the substance and the government would make some money from taxation.

     Of course nothing ever runs as smoothly as it should. Laws and regulations proved to be a challenge. We have ten provinces and two territories. They are responsible for the sale and control of cannabis. So each jurisdiction makes up their own rules and guess what they're all different. So as you go from one province to the next , you'd better be sure of the rules. Things get more complicated if you travel out of the country.

    Institutions and businesses have a challenge controlling use by their employees. The army says eight hours after use and you're good to go out and use guns. Some police forces have outright ban the use of cannabis. There's a big debate about when you are impaired and when you are not impaired.

    The challenge is that there are different levels of  potency of pot and each person reacts differently.

    Now the closer we got to legalization day the more frantic were the efforts to get ready.

   Driving while high seemed to be one of the main topics. As of yet, there doesn't seem to be a reliable test for driving high. Telling people where they can and cannot smoke pot was pretty easy.

    So today pot was the number one topic in the media.

   I'm sitting back and thinking that pot smoking has been going on and we only had a law making it illegal. No other regulations were needed.

  Now don't get me wrong. I believe that legalization is the way to go. Regulations are necessary.

   It seems that too  big a fuss is being made  over the issue.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


     Many readers commented about squirrels being agile cute and fast. Many people enjoy watching them as when they run trough the tree branches  as if it was magic. Red squirrels are agile and seem to make those impossible moves look easy.

     Well, I hate to rain on your party. Squirrels may be lightening quick and agile but they do have accidents.

     Scientists studying squirrels find squirrel  bodies that have broken bones. So apparently squirrels fall from heights that cause broken bones. Now I know you've never seen a squirrel fall but I have. I've seen a couple of spectacular crashes.

Image may contain: bird and outdoor

   These crashes were so great that I told my classes the squirrel story for many years.

    Now I called my story The Retarded Squirrel. Yes I know retarded is not an acceptable term.

   So it goes like this. I have a long fence that has a 2 x 4 for a top. In other words the top of this fence is 4 inches wide. There was a squirrel in the area that would fall off the top of the fence. If it had happened once I wouldn't have made an issue out of it. But I did notice this squirrel fall off the top of the fence quite a few times.

   Now the second incident with my retarded squirrel was more interesting to watch. There were trees on each side of an alley that stuck out over the alley. The squirrel wanted to cross the alley by leaping from one tree to the other. This squirrel took a lot of time to consider the jump. It ran up and down and around the tree to find the best place to leap from one tree to the other tree on the other side. Finally, a choice was made and you could see the squirrel saying one,  two, three jump! Well the squirrel did not make it to the other tree across the alley. The squirrel fell about 3 meters into some soft snow. The squirrel shook itself and looked around as if to say, "What am I doing here?"  Then it picked itself up and waded through the snow to a tree.

     This was a story the kids loved and many years later  I was asked if I still had my squirrel.

   A sad note on my last post. This afternoon I found a squirrel that had been run over on the road. So one less competitor in this world.

Saturday, October 13, 2018


      I have had a red squirrel in my neighbor's big spruce tree for 20 years or more. The cones in this old tree are mature so there's lots of good food. Then there's a silly guy who has a bird feeder right beside the big spruce so it's free food. A squirrel has been busy  storing food since mid August. Today it's still gathering cones.

     Now this week I kept noticing a squirrel in the middle of the street. It's been looking my way and comes up to the side walk and then runs back and hides under a car. I was wondering what my squirrel was doing in the middle of the street. I kept saying get off the street or some car will run over you.

    Then one morning I noticed a squirrel in my yard giving the squirrel in the street a dirty look. Squirrels are territorial and very protective of their area. Some poor little squirrel had obviously been forced out of it's home territory and was looking for another home. Usually all the fighting is done by the beginning of July so I was surprised to see this lost squirrel. 

    Now some of the squirrels in my tree were female and had litters. What happens is that the mother squirrel moves after her litter becomes independent. She leaves her territory to a daughter and finds another area for her next year and litter. It's thought that this occurs to let the daughter stay in the  familiar home territory as she would have a higher possibility of surviving and having her own litter. 

   So the little guy I saw was probably the runt of some litter and was having trouble to find it's own territory. Many of these animals perish and do not survive their first year. They have accidents like getting run over on the street. They get diseases. There's also predation. In the wild pine martins catch squirrels almost exclusively. 

    Now I haven't seen the squirrel that was looking for a home for a few days. It's probably moved to try to find another territory.

    There's the 2017 version of the red squirrel. It's enjoying the food from the silly guy's bird feeder.

I am being very carefully watched.

These two photos were taken through my kitchen window.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


    Yes, I'm a sniffler. I told you that before.  There are certain things that bring a little sniffle and tear that does not drop. I'm proud of my kids even thought they are 47 and 49.  When they achieve something and I'm proud of them I sniffle. I sniffle when they get married. 

     Now yesterday I was listening to the noon radio show. It's a talk show and the topic was the North. The hostess had asked  if we'd been in the north and what our experience was. She had 2 northern guests to add to the conversation.

   She had many phone calls, emails and twitter comments. 

    All people emphasized how impressed with the North they were. They mentioned vast open spaces. A feeling of peace and quiet. Discovery. Personal growth. Most people said it had caused a major change in their life that stayed with them.

    Most callers were strongly urging that every southerner should have a trip to the North. One caller suggested that all northern travelers be paid for their trip North.

     When I heard the comments and descriptions , I was brought back to my time in the north. I was influenced by aboriginal culture. Then I was influenced by colleagues who were from many other parts of the country. We had to mix or at least I did. I couldn't help but come away with a different point of view.  Various comments reminded me of different experiences. Flying on bush planes and landing on floats. All night parties when it didn't get dark! The characters who had lived in the north...trappers. 

    I met them all.

    My wife and I talk about the North everyday. We relive experiences . We wonder what would have happened if we'd stayed there.

    So listening to this hour long show brought back many good memories and a sniffle.

Soapstone carvings
 My favorite guy
My 34 pound lake trout from Great bear Lake

    My winter coat ans sealskin

Sunday, October 7, 2018


      I have recommended several blogs over the years. I have a special blog that I'm  going to recommend now.

     My daughter has started a blog and I'm very proud of her and I'm sure she will have a first class blog.

    Let's use the way back machine.

    In 2008 my daughter set up the bare bones on Hiawatha House. She was leaving right away so left me to sort out the details which I did over a few years. From time to time I've asked her for advice. I've had her edit a few posts. She's very critical.

    She's a very good writer and communicator She's been that way since before she started school. So what degree does she take? A BA in communication. Her writing is clear and logical. She also has a sharp wit. She is opinionated but forms her opinions on information. 

    But her new blog is going to be on stuff. Lots of stuff. You'll be surprised.

    She surprised me when she said she was starting a blog and she surprised me when a saw the first posts. 

    So am I proud? You bet I am!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018


    We were forecast to get about 10 cm of snow today. It didn't happen . We got about 5 cm (2 in ) of snow.

     From comments yesterday. We can get snow in September but it's not common. We usually get very pleasant fall weather in September.  This is our third dump of snow and we have no warm weather in the forecast.

     The eternal optimist here says we will get lots more nice weather.

Monday, October 1, 2018


     Just for information:

          ... it didn't rain here today.

               ...but it did snow!

     Just for more information:

          ... it's going to snow  tomorrow.

                 ... about 10 cm (4 in).