Thursday, May 31, 2018


       I once wrote about a friend who accidentally put a $1000.00 bill in a trash barrel while she was cleaning up her Dad's house.   I thought of that today when I threw something out that cost me $1000.00 and it was never used.

      In the late 70's I bought a piece of recreational property. The plan was to build a summer residence and we could spend our summers at the lake.

     Things had moved along by the early 80's and we were ready to build a chalet type cabin. Now during the previous 5 years the whole project grew. We were avid do it yourselfers. We had put in a water and sewer system. The lot was completely forested and we had cleared what we wanted . Other improvements had been made. A small garage was built to store a holiday trailer and then pull the trailer out in the summer and use the garage for a kitchen living room. This plan worked well and we had lots of fun. During this time my kids were 6 - 13 years old.

     I was ready to put up the building. I had plan made up. This cost me $990.00. At about the same time the realization came upon us that this project was becoming too big for us and the Micro Manager wanted a time out.

    Well, the time out lasted a long while . We never did build. We did have a lot of fun spending time at the lake.The kids had experiences they'd never have  had if they'd just stayed in town. Time went on. Time went on for a long time and the cabin never got built.

    So today was the day that we looked at the plans we had made up and decided that they would have to go in recycle. We sold the property in 2014. 

    So the complete plan package was torn up and put in recycle.

   It's one of those goals that was never completed but I'm not unhappy about how things turned out.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


   In the days of railroads everything came and went on the railroad so the railway went through the center of town. It was handy for passengers to catch a train or get off. Freight was loaded and unloaded. Towns grew up around the railroad.

    Slowly the moving of freight changed. Roads were improved and so trucks began hauling freight. Trucking was more flexible as the truck could pick up and unload closer to the source of the freight.

   So there came a time when rail roads were taken out of the downtown or in our case the railroad was taken right out of town. I wonder if any freight is received or sent out of our town. The grain terminals are about 20 km away.

   So since the movement of freight changed the railroads had to change. Railroads became a nuisance in town because of all the crossings. The large amount of land railways had became a valuable asset for other development. 

   Railroads were torn up and the land set up for redevelopment. This process was costly even though the land was valuable. 

    This is where my bridge comes into the story. If the railway didn't have to take a bridge out it saved them money. So find a use for the bridge in the community and sell it for a dollar  and the railway is free of a costly asset.

   Now people have a bridge . This bridge was refurbished for lots of money and incorporated into the large trail system we have. 

   This bridge give an excellent connection to both sides of the city. The morning I took this photo many people were riding or walking to work.

   When I took the photos I could imagine that huge steamer slowly crossing the bridge. How many trains have crossed that bridge? How many times have I crossed the bridge?


Saturday, May 26, 2018


     The Red Deer River has it's source in the Rocky Mountains not far from the city. There is a major dam about 30 km upstream from the city. This dam controls the river's flow very effectively so that flooding and problems with low winter flow can be avoided.

     Now I like the river and have photographed in other areas.

     The other morning I had some time and took photos of an area that at I rarely visit. The area is where the river flows through the downtown. This area has been altered by development of the city core. Bridges have been built and abandoned. A large water intake and treatment plant are on the bank.

    However , it's still an attractive part of the river.

    Let's take a look.

Thursday, May 24, 2018


     I've been driving by this mural for a few you. Of course , I say to myself ,"I want to stop here someday."

    Well, early Tuesday morning was the day. The Micro Manager had a lab appointment nearby so I took the camera and went for a walk.

    The mural is large. You can see how far back I had to be to get the whole mural. However, when I zoomed in on some of the faces they were spectacular.

    I don't know what the mural was about so I've just given myself some homework.

Monday, May 21, 2018


       Many of you mentioned that you liked the pomp and ceremony of the Royal Wedding. You enjoyed the color  and performance that went along with the occasion of the Prince's wedding.

      That makes perfect sense to me. It's a show and it brings out all kinds of emotion.

     However the pomp and ceremony got me thinking about what pomp and  ceremony is and what is it good for.

     Mr Google isn't much help. If you google pomp and ceremony you get items on high school graduation and that the march played at most grads is called Pomp and Ceremony.

    Then I tried to find a definition for the term and that was inconclusive. Some want to change it to Pomp and Circumstance.

    Then I was thinking that there must be some practical value for pomp and ceremony. So Google that and I don't find anything.

     So I'm left with coming up with my own ideas about the value of Pomp And Circumstance. My own ideas could be pretty wacky.

     One of the results of Pomp and Circumstance is to remind us about  historical origins of our system. Much of the pomp has a long historical relationship. Uniforms have many parts which represent something as in officer stripes that show the rank. 

     It's obvious that the leader is designated by various uniforms. My son was in our Reserved  Armed Forces and was an officer and at one time OIC. He led and directed his men.

    The pomp is to act as example of correctness and leadership. 

     Ceremonies are self congratulatory. We celebrate what we've done and give ourselves confidence for the next challenge.

    Now this is my speculation because my limited research didn't turn up anything.

   What do you think about pomp and circumstance? Is it just beauty and celebration? Does it have a practical function in our society?

Friday, May 18, 2018


      The world has been told continuously for the last few months that Prince Harry is marrying Meaghan. Now I'm not excited about this event. I fully understand why some people would be keenly interested and I'm not trying to offend those who are going to follow the event.

     When I was bought up the King and Queen were highly thought of by my Mom . My mother was a royal follower. I remember listening on the radio to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip's marriage in 1948. Our radio wasn't working so we get dressed up as if we were going to church and went to the neighbors to listen to the ceremony.

     King George VI toured close to our town in 1939. I know I was there. My Mom was pregnant with me at that time.

    My Mom also made sure I saw Queen Elizabeth when  she visited Saskatoon , Sask in 1958. The Queen drove by and was gone in about 5 seconds.

    So I've been exposed to royalty in a positive way  but I'm not interested in them. Yes , I do sing God save the Queen when it needs to be sung.

    Now I know that the Queen is a formal and constitutional part of our government and parliamentary system. Queen Elizabeth is the Queen of Canada. 

    Now she is  to sign every bill passed in parliament before the bill becomes law.  Since she doesn't live her she has official representatives who do her duties. We have a Governor General who acts for the national government. Governor General , Julie Payette visited Alberta last week.

 Each province has a Lieutenant governor General who signs provincial government bills into law. I couldn't tell you the name the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta .

    So I may not be interested in the pomp and ceremony but I somewhat understand the constitutional place of the Monarchy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


      The Micro Manager decided to go to a Chinese Buffet for Mother's Day.

      Well , this suited me because I like Chinese food.  

     This city has three Chinese Buffets. The oldest one has seen better days but to our experience was the best of the three. One of the buffets is smaller with less variety. We tried the newest buffet about five years ago and it was awful. Recently Joe  and Nancy said the new one was very good.

    So we went to the old stand by. We looked at the price for seniors. The regular price was covered up with a piece of card board and Mother's Day prices shown.  As far as we could tell they raised the price $5.00 for Mother's Day. We thought that maybe since were at the restaurant that we should eat . A minute later I said, "I'm not eating here when they raise the price that much for Mother's Day."

    So off we went and decided to go across the street to the latest buffet that had been terrible. Here , they raised the price  dollar but were open about it. The place was busy and noisy. Good sign. People were having fun. 

    We were completely surprised to find that the restaurant that we had terrible experience with was absolutely fantastic. Great food! They had extra items like large shrimp, roast turkey, roast beef and a few other extras.

   So since the other restaurant was so devious, they've lost a couple of customers.

    Now most of the time I would not have walked out of a restaurant, but this time it was a matter of principle. Don't try to rip the customers off on Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 13, 2018


      Mother's day brings lots of greetings to Mom's and an expression of appreciation of all that Moms do. It's a day to stop and consider how much Moms do for us. Some people just give a greeting and some have a lavish celebration. Sadly some don't mark the occasion at all.

     Well, some of us elderly people have our memories jogged and we think of our mothers of long ago. We can  not wish them a happy Mother's Day but we can think back to all that our Mothers did for us.

    I like to remember back to the time before I was born. Well, I can't really do that but I can certainly put many things together and then realize how much my Mom did for me.

    First, there was lots of excellent food but no money. Mom had gone through the depression as a young person and the issue was to survive. Mom's house was very poor. In the winter the house froze out over night. I was kept snug and warm, but I can easily realize how hard it was to raise a small child under those conditions. 

    These memories or the research make me appreciate all that was done for me under extenuating circumstances.

    Mom died in 1973 before she turned 60. 

     Mom with my son when he was about 2 months old.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018


     An infamous murderer, originally from my little city, has been sitting in a Montana prison for 35 years. Ronald Smith marched two young aboriginals into the trees at the side of a road and shot them for their vehicle and his pleasure of watching them die.

     Smith and his partner were caught immediately and charged with murder. They were both convicted and Smith requested the death penalty. A few days later he changed his mind and has been fighting for his life for the last 35 years.

    Bits and pieces have emerged about his life in my city. His mother and a sister have been identified and interviewed by the press.  The middle school Smith attended has given information about his time in school. Very little other information has been given. 

    About age 15 Smith's life went off the rails and he became addicted to various drugs one of them being LSD. He also became a petty criminal to support his drug habit.

    Now  few days ago Smith's father spoke to the press just before his death. This is the first we had ever heard of Smith's father. Smith's father has longed to see his son's legal problems settled. Smith's father admitted that he spent very little time with his family as he worked in the oil industry and spent time in many places around the world.

     Now here's the strange connection. Smith's father worked with me for a few years. He was a caretaker at my school. He was a hard worker and very meticulous in his work. It was a treat to have somebody clean your classroom as well as he did. We had our daily visit which was most pleasant. Not once did this man give any indication that his son was Ronald Smith.

    One wonders what pain went on in this man's life. He chose to remain anonymous. In the end he had to disclose his connection and make piece with himself.

Sunday, May 6, 2018


    We've been telling ourselves that we want to downsize and get rid of extra inventory like all the things we haven't used for many years. We talk about it but are not very successful when it comes to action . 

    So Saturday we had a garage sale. Photos are from 2010 so you know how long we've been working at this.

    First of all there is one of us who doesn't believe in throwing things in the trash. Throwing things in the trash is a fast and dirty way to get rid of stuff. If you can believe it I found book makers on the sale Saturday!

    After that there should be a free bin. Anything in the bin is free. 

    Then prices should be reasonable as garage sale customers want things for cheap. We have tried not putting prices on articles and asking for offers. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. 

    Then stuff on  garage sale should have some quality. 

    Well, we were disappointed Saturday. After you spend all winter putting things in a garage sale pile and then haul it upstairs and outside and sit all day ...well . it's a lot of work. 

    On Saturday we sold very little. There wasn't a lot of traffic. 

   The only bright spot was that we sold more stuff from in the house that was not on the garage sale than actual stuff on the garage sale.! 

    We had some table clothes and sheets for sale. One lady wanted them all. Then the Micro Manger in her lightning quick logic said that there was more in the house. So the MM brought out more table cloths and sheets and the lady bought them. Can you believe that the MM still had our wedding table cloths. They were sold. Yes, the wedding table cloths have been kept for 52 years and never used.

    So we looked at each other and said, " This is not worth it." We'd planned two garage sales so we'll go through with the plan. What plan B will be you never can tell.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018


    Just so you know that I'm still not sitting in a snow bank or sleeping in my snow house, here are the first blooms I've found.

    Our plants develop rapidly because we now have many hours of sunlight. The sun rose at 6:03 this morning ans sets at 9:00 PM for a total of 14 hours and 57 minutes of sunlight. The 20 C (69 F) temperature helps too.