Monday, April 16, 2018


     You'll never guess but we have another spring snowstorm today. Snow started in mid morning and continued into the afternoon. So it gave me an opportunity to take photos of one of my regular topics.

     If you enlarge some of these you will see the snow flakes.

        One lonely crow is among all the bohemian waxwings.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


       Coming home for lunch yesterday I listened to a tune I hadn't heard for a long time.  I said , "Wait a minute . I've got to check this tune out."

      Well checking out the tune had to wait as I had to get lunch and eat. The ear worm worked well and kept the tune in my head. Dinner time came and I'd completely lost the tune.

     Well I was determined to find this song so I went to the CKUA play list. I'd never checked a play list before. I couldn't tell by the  play list as to which tune I wanted. I knew pretty closely the time the tune was played so checked that one out. Sure enough it was  I've got a never ending love.

    I had heard this song many years ago and did not know who sang it.

    To my great surprise , I found many bands sang this song.

    So what does a boy do? You listen to about 10 versions of the song. This is another thing I had never done before.

    The different versions were most interesting. There were some very good versions and some terrible versions. I liked the New Seekers the best.  They had energy, great instrumentation and vocals. The were fun to watch. Delaney and Bonnie were good but not as good as the New Seekers. They didn't have much of a band with them. I liked the Statler brothers. They had a surprising amount of instrumentation. John Fogerty did a good version as a soloist. Crystal Gale's version was really dead. It's a lively and energetic song and it wasn't for her.

     So this tune was written in 1971 and was popular during the 70's . I hadn't heard it for many years. It was interesting to hear it again and then to look things up on you tube. I'd never done that before.

    So I learned something and enjoyed hearing the tune again.

Thursday, April 12, 2018


    As many of you know I often start a post with, I was a middle school teacher for 37 years. Then you know you are going to get a school story.

     My favorite classes to teach were what we called a modified class. This would be a group of students who were not having success in a regular program so I would modify the program so that some of these kids could have some success. 

    So I would get somewhere between 10 and 15 kids for math and language arts.  In language arts I would emphasize reading rather than literature. In math I would go back to a level that they had achieved and work from there.

    In one of the gr 9 classes I had Kim. I knew Kim before he came to middle school. He was a little tough kid and had not done well in school.

    In math I found out Kim did not know his time tables beyond 5 times. We worked on basic time tables. Kim was the kind of kid that when he understood something there was a big smile and the eyes lit up. The eyes lit up with times tables. Kim could not divide with 2 place divisors.  I always taught quadratic equations to my regular gr. nines. I decided, "Why not show these guys quadratic equations. Surprise, surprise  They were interested in equations. Some of them got quadratic equations and asked more about them. Kim was curious about equations and yes the light was on showing that he understood them.

    Now another side of Kim is that he had bombs on the brain. His imagination quite often lead to how something could be used for bombs.  He wondered if quadratic equations could lead to bombs.

     What I saw is that Kim had lots of creativity and was  willing to learn but he had just got too far behind to ever get in a regular program again.

    So Kim went on to high school and was in a program that allowed him to finish high school. 

    My predictions for success? Not much.

    So awhile after high school I heard about a project to monitor gas wells by remote. Well, guess whose idea this was and who developed it? Why of course, it was Kim. 

    Kim went on to start a gas well servicing company. He was looking for $800000.00 dollars to start his company. The company did get off the ground and was successful and branched off into other areas.

    Now I hope Kim found a good accountant as I'm not too sure how well he could deal with these numbers.

    And yes, a while later somebody was applying for a license to store dynamite. Guess who? Kim of course!

   So it's been cool to watch this little guy become successful by using his creativity.

Monday, April 9, 2018


      I lead a bird watching group in the spring and fall. Every Saturday morning at 10:00 AM will find us at some site where we will watch  birds for two hours.

     Saturday was the first scheduled walk of the spring season. Most springs by April 7 we will have mild spring weather. Not this year. In fact, it could be well compared to one of the colder winter days. It was minus 16 C ( 1 F) . There was a wind of about 30 km per hour . It was brutally cold. I had my wind pants on and a good coat with a few layers. Oh yes, I also wore winter boots. The other birders were well clad in winter gear.

    However, we did get bare hands out to use cameras and binoculars.

    Now none of us expected to see much. Birds usually stay close to cover when it's windy and cold.

    Well, on my way down to the location I saw a golden eagle.  It was flying across the school yard a block from my house. That was a big sighting  for  me.

    As we were waiting in the parking lot we saw lots of American crows and Bohemian waxwings.

    After that it was a bit of a challenge. We could hear chickadees and nuthatches but didn't see them. I asked the group if they wanted to go off the trail and find the chickadees. Yes, of course.  About 50 m in someone saw bird in a dark part of the woods. It looked like some kind of hawk. It was very hard to see but someone said, "It's eating something!" Yes, it definitely was eating something. It was hard to get a look at the bird as the light conditions were very poor. Finally somebody got a good photo. Yes, it was a Sharp-shinned hawk eating a bohemian waxwing.

      Thanks to Lynette for her fine photo. You can see how close the camera had to be focused to get this one.

Image may contain: bird, tree and outdoor

    We spent about 10 minutes having a look at this little hawk and finally left .

    500 m further on we saw a pileated woodpecker sending large chips flying as he was looking for grub. The pileated paid not attention to us and we finally left.

    So what we thought would be a poor day wasn't that bad after all.

Thursday, April 5, 2018


    We recently opened a new arena. It's a very bright modern state of the art arena. It's small but has many amenities worked into it. There's a walking track, meeting rooms and large dressing rooms. 

     There's lots of art work included. There are large murals so I have another post on this one.

     Of course , I'm interested in the ice. It has an excellent ice surface and is comfortably warm. 

    So I had a good skate today.

   Now there are no photos of me but the two ladies in white and pink are both in their mid 80's

Tuesday, April 3, 2018


     Now before everybody starts laughing, I do help the Micro Manager to do spring house cleaning.  Spring house cleaning can be a big job and the micro Manager has trouble meeting that challenge. 

    Now some people may not be familiar with the term spring house cleaning. There is a pattern here where people give their house a thorough cleaning in the spring. Major dusting is done. The walls may be washed. Clothes closets are cleaned out. You get the idea.

     Last spring was the first time I participated fully in house cleaning. I admit I wasn't happy about it, but it has to be done. 

    So there's some bickering during the house cleaning season.

    Now we've been trying to downsize for maybe 10 or 15 years. Yes, we've got rid of things but there's still an enormous amount of stuff left.

    That's where the bickering comes on the cleaning. The Micro Manager complains that it's a big job. I threaten to go on strike . Why? Well there are many things in the house that are unnecessary in my humble opinion. 

    We have too many nick knacks and stuff hanging on the walls.

    So what did I do yesterday? I went around and counted all things attached to the wall or ceiling and all things set on a table, desk or floor. I didn't count necessary things like radios, knife sets, bread boxes, micro waves, toaster ovens etc. I counted 238 of these objects.  Now I know that two of the bloggers I follow will have many times more of these objects. They probably have more than 238 Christmas ornaments. Ornaments are their hobby.

    It's just that the house cleaning job would be much easier without all the clutter.

   Who does spring cleaning? 

   Who has more than 238 objects? Maybe I'm just a whiner to complain about the situation?

    See any nick knacks her besides me?

Sunday, April 1, 2018


      I have always liked listening to music. I'm not  musician or a singer. I just enjoy music.

     So there are many days when a tune, a phrase or piece of music rolls around in my head. Usually this bothers me as it comes back again all day.  I can't stop it. It's known as an ear worm.

     Now today was different. Bim Bom Bay popped into my head.  I couldn't quite place the song. A few hours later Jimmy Rodgers popped into my head and then I remembered the song.  Jimmy Rodgers was at the peak of his career in the late 50's. He was a singer and a song writer.

     Now this is not the Jimmie Rodgers of country music fame who was from the Carter Family era.  The Jimmie Rodgers known as the singing brakeman.

    So I googled Jimmie Rodgers and found the song and listened to it. It's been 60 years since I heard Bim Bom Bay. It brought back a lot of music before rock and roll took over. 

     There was much good folk music in the late 40's and early 50's. ...the Lime Lighters, Burl Ives,  There were some fantastic quartets like the Four Lads. the Four Aces.

     Some of his will start rolling around my head in the next few days and I will remember the groups.

     I'm sure other people have the same experience I do and music pops into your head.

    So I looked up Jimmie Rodgers and found much more than Jimmie Rodgers. 

     Oh , Bim Bom Bay comes from a place in Portugal which has a similar sound but different spelling.

    What music rolls around in your head?