Thursday, July 22, 2021

AND MOVING RIGHT ALONG...

      Your comments on Johnny May's post are very interesting and reminded me of other things to say. 

       Quite a few of the comments related to fear of flying. I can understand that. However, and I think you've been told this before, safety is taken to a very high level. Airplanes are very carefully built. Much engineering goes into the design. A routine set of inspections are done before every flight. The amount of time an aircraft has flown is strictly monitored and at certain hours  much of the aircraft is taken apart and rebuilt. Each year servicing and inspection must take place. It's not like Orville and Wilbur Wright where they flew by the seat of their pants.

     Next , pilots are highly trained. It takes 20 hours of flying as well as ground instruction to get a private pilot license. Training goes on from there. A pilot must be checked out on each new aircraft he/she flies. So there is a tremendous amount of skill and knowledge needed to fly. Safety rules are very strict. 

    Now I'm sure you've all had that boring info before. 

    So if we compare planes to automobiles we would have far fewer accidents if drivers had to have 20 hours driving time to get a license. If cars were built and inspected like airplanes there would be far fewer accidents.

     I have had a few nervous moments when flying. A flight from Phoenix to Minneapolis was the worst. We ran into a winter storm just after leaving Arizona. The storm got much worse. The pilot told us we couldn't land in Minneapolis and that we would "shoot " over to Chicago to land. Then they changed and found that they could land in Minneapolis. The whole flight was rough. We saw the ground just before the wheels touched down. Everybody clapped when we hit the ground. For me , this was a nail biter. 

     Then our connecting flight could not be made as the airplane used for the connector couldn't get into Minneapolis. We spent a lot of time staring out the windows watching snow swirl around. 

Monday, July 19, 2021

JULY 20, 1969

     For those of you who were running around in 1969, what does the date July 20 mean? What happened on July 20, 1969? Yes , you know. A human landed on the moon for the first time. 

    For many this is an unforgettable day. You remember exactly what you were doing on this day. It's like when President Kennedy was shot. We remember exactly where we were and what happened to us. 

    I didn't plan July 20, 1969  very well as I was travelling. I was driving west north of lake Superior. I did not realize what a huge distance it was across Ontario, Canada and in particular how large lake Superior is. 

   So I was left listening to the moon landing on my car radio as I drove through the boonies. The moon landing was exciting. The closer they got to the surface the more excited I got. Just when they were a few feet off the moon surface the radio reception faded out and didn't come back on until they had landed. I remember doing some frantic dial twisting to get reception back but it didn't happen. So for me one of the issues was to lose radio reception just as they were landing.

    There have been many space trips and accomplishments since but I will always remember the moon landing. It's hard to believe that this took place 52 years ago. 

     What was your experience?

Thursday, July 15, 2021

MY FIRST RIDE WITH JOHNNY MAY

        Now I've got a lot of rides on airplanes under my belt. In the Arctic I flew on skis many times. I flew on floats and landed in lakes and rivers. I flew on wheels and landed on dirt and grass strips . I had to good fortune to fly on all kinds of small planes with floats or skis or wheels. 

       However my first ride with Johnny May was not because of Johnny May. It was the landing.

      So I'd had a wealth of experience but I had never landed on the sea! I had no idea what to expect. We were flying in an old Beech 18 which was 1930's technology. This was a twin engine with Johnny May as pilot. 

      We made the approach to Wakeham Bay and lined up. There was a swell of about 5 feet. Being a prairie boy I knew nothing about the sea or tides or swells. When these pilots had to land with swells they would very slightly touch the top of the first swell and then skip from the top of each swell until they lost air speed. The plane was then tossed around in the swell. The tricky part was to turn across the swell and get to the dock.

     I was not prepared for any of this .  I really wondered if we were going to make it. These landings had been done many times and pilots like Johnny May were very skillful at it. 

     So here's the old Beech 18 after making another successful landing


      I believe the guy in the red cap might be Johnny May







Monday, July 12, 2021

A LINK TO OUR NEW GG

       Recently we had a new Governor General (GG) appointed in Canada. A Governor General in Canada is a distant representative of the Queen of England. The position is largely ceremonial . The GG signs bills that have been passed in parliament into law. There are many other duties but they do not have power. 

       Mary Simon was appointed to be out next Governor General  last week. She was born in George River Quebec , which is a small isolated Inuit community on the bottom of Ungava Bay. 

       I was pleased with this appointment as she is an Inuk. She has been very active in many areas in her 74 years. Among many other things she was our ambassador to Denmark. 

      Now it just so happens that her older brother Johnny May was a bush pilot. Johnny flew me in and out of Wakeham Bay several times while I was at Wakeham Bay from 1967-69. 

      Johnny was in his early 20's at that time. He was a very competent and capable pilot. People who flew with him had full confidence in his ability as a bush pilot. Johnny was extremely well liked by all people on the coast of Ungava Bay. The Inuit kids looked up to Johnny May. When they knew Johnny May was coming in the kids  made sure they were on the beach to meet the plane.

      Johnny May is referred to as legendary. There are many stories about his flying ability. Two documentaries have been made about Johnny , one of them being 1 hr and 23 minutes. 

     Johnny was asked what he thought about his sister becoming the GG. He said she would make a fine Governor General. 

      So my link to the new Governor General is by way of her bush pilot brother. 

      I admit that my link is rather long and tenuous. 

Friday, July 9, 2021

YOU JUST WON'T BELIEVE THIS!

       I think I've written about snow more than anything else. Now falls must be getting close to snow!

       So you'll never believe this. I took two falls this week!

        First, I was looking after my neighbor's yard and had to water some plants. I threw my garden hose over the fence and watered the plants. I threw the hose nozzle back over the fence but not the hose. Somehow, the hose caught on my foot when I was leaving  and I didn't notice it until I was on my face on the ground. The hose felt like my foot was hooked on a rubber band.  I was very lucky that I landed on new soft sod.  Next time it could be on cement. Yes , I remember that when old people fall their head hits the ground before they know they are falling. 

     Then I was applying flashing to a small garden shed. I had to put my ladder in behind the bleeding heart . So one of the many times I came down the ladder , I fell. I don't know if I missed the last step or got off the ladder with one step left to go or if the ladder fell off the board to cover the soil under the bleeding heart or if I just tipped the ladder over. I landed in a peony and before I got up the ants had found me and they didn't like me. 

    Okay, I'm not looking for sympathy. I know what I'm going to get here and I won't like it. 

    However, I know that I must learn to be much more careful around my feet. I find it difficult to "slow down" and "be more careful". It's a hard thing to do after living a very active life. 

     You'll also not believe that I had to look up how to spell nozzle...well maybe you will. 


Sunday, July 4, 2021

ARE THERE GHOSTS ?

      Now I've been around long enough to hear many good ghost stories .

      Some ghost stories are on the humorous side. People play pranks on others using a ghost theme. 

      Other ghost stories are those that relate an incident which can be used to explain an incident that is odd. 

     Some ghost stories come from those who firmly think that there are ghosts. 

     If we go back in history there is much about ghosts. They used ghosts to explain many happenings. 

      The Arctic has generated many excellent ghost stories. Many people lived in very isolated areas and some saw very few people in a year. Traders would sometimes go for months without seeing anybody. Some of them were spooked. Many trappers lived alone for long periods of time. 

     Hudson Bay trading post buildings were built in the same style. They were small story and a half buildings. There are many stories about hearing steps moving across the second story floor. There have been stories about boots that seem to move . 

    One night visitors came to a lonely trader. The visitors knew about the trader's story. They carefully set up a situation with string so that they could move boots across the floor. The trader would hear steps and go up and check. Sure enough the boots had moved but there was nothing there. He would come down and continue his meal until the boots moved again. Needless to say, it was a fun evening and the visitors admitted their prank. 

     I was once on a church work party and I went up the stepladder to replace burned out light bulbs. The lights were about 14 ft up. I moved from light to light. Finally I got to the front right hand corner. When I was at the top of the ladder I heard a swishing sound between me and the wall. If I was still the noise swishing sound was less . If I moved the swishing became louder. So was there something up in the corner telling me to go away? It was an experience that I have never forgotten. 

     What do I think? I think that for some reason there was static electricity and when I moved the static electricity was more active. I've heard similar  stories and they are used to prove the absolute existence of ghosts. The stories go on about the many funerals held in the church and that some of the spirits are left and are angry. 

    Well, I find a good ghost story interesting. What about you? What is your thinking about ghosts.? Do you have some good ghost stories? 

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

IT'S TOO HOT

        Usually I'm posting about snow! Well , not in July! I think this is my first post on hot weather.

       We've had record breaking temperatures in this region. In the 50 years I've lived here I don't remember temperatures above 30 C. Now I know temperatures have been above 30 but not often and I don't remember it. 

        So we are on our third day with a high of 35 C. Now I know some will laugh at this temperature as I know temperatures go much higher than 35. However, 35 C is an extreme for me. 

      Plants suffer from the heat but when  we get cooler temperatures and a little rain , the plants will bounce back. 

     As I've said many times our annual average amount of precipitation is 12 in. (That's counting snow. ) 10 in of snow equals one inch of water. 

    So how do we produce huge crops? There's usually about a 1000 ft of clay below us. Very little of our precipitation will run off. Many other  places have little top soil and so water runs off. 

    So there you have it. An explanation, although it's too brief, about soil moisture. 

    Now if it would only cool off! We have two more days of hot weather.