Friday, December 28, 2018


    Yesterday I saw a twitter quote that advocated liars be given special penalties and if you were a politician the penalty  should be more.  This caught my eye and I said , "Yes."

    At this time our politicians have no qualms about saying anything even if it's untrue. The can embellish the lie. They can twist the lie. They can repeat the lie. 
Why should politicians be able to lie to us with impunity?

    I was a teacher. Would I be allowed to tell lies. How about your doctor or dentist telling lies. What about a nurse telling lies. For these people it's a matter of your life and death. Used car salesmen who tell lies can get into serious trouble. 

    Why do we let politicians of all stripes lie to us?

    Recently my Face Book page has been filled with revolting untruths and threats of harm to other politicians. In this age of easy graphics there are all kinds of disgusting pictures.

    It seems that we have nothing we can use  to put a stop to the liars. 

    One thing that would help is if we did not vote for liars. First of all, we would need a very reliable party that didn't deal in lies. 

    The Internet and Face book have made it easy to lie and be invisible. There are too many false identities which politicians can use to spread their lies.

    I think that we are at a time where serious penalties have to be applied to lying politicians. 

    What kinds of penalties do you think would work and what should those penalties be?

Wednesday, December 26, 2018


    Well, okay, I admit that I remember nothing of my first Christmas and for that matter not my second , third or fourth Christmas. However, I think I can piece a few things together that would give the conditions of my first Christmas.

    How did I get on this topic. When I got up on Christmas morning I said , "This is my 79th Christmas." Then I suddenly thought, "What was my first Christmas like?" The more I thought about the idea, the more I wanted to talk about it.

    I was born in late October so I was only 2 months old at Christmas. I was the first child in the family. I've written before about the house being small, uninsulated and cold. The first thing my parents did when they got up in the morning was to light the fires and put a kettle on. They didn't go back to bed. They just got dressed and started the daily routine.

    Having a new baby meant some changes in habit. We didn't have a Christmas tree. My paternal Grandma and aunt would have given me presents but that's it. The presents would have been baby clothes.

    That noon my parents would have taken their horses and sleigh and gone to a neighbors for a big Christmas dinner which was at noon. They stayed all afternoon until an evening meal which was left overs from the big noon meal. They stayed all evening until around midnight when they had a cold lunch coffee or tea. They spent time visiting and playing games. .

   The trip home was about one mile but it would have been cold. The fires in the house had gone out long ago so the place was cold. Fires were lit. It must have been pretty cold when that new baby had diapers changed.

    Things were simple but rough. People survived well and were happy.

   Here I am sometime before my first Christmas.

Saturday, December 22, 2018


     I have a few more nativity scenes for you.

This one is very small 

This was a very traditional ceramic piece.
   This one is kind of goofy but they tried.

I like the simplicity in this one.

Another very traditional piece.
Another traditional piece
This was the Micro Manager's favorite piece.

    Now as always there's a piece I would steal. That means I like it very much. There was an Eskimo print on the wall. It was so awesome I didn't want to take a photo as I couldn't do it any justice. In looking over my photos I saw the print in the back ground so here it is.

    The print is on the left.

Thursday, December 20, 2018


     One of our local LDS (Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) (Mormon) churches puts on an awesome display of creches each Christmas. Families take their creches to the church for three days and let people, like me, view them. About 300 families contribute a creche. 

    What an amazing variety. I divide them into two categories...commercial and handcraft. After that you can keep on dividing them. Some of these are junk and some are terribly tacky. Most are ceramics . Many have whimsical figures such as penguins , moose ...There are creches from many different countries. 

    Last year I took my camera and the batteries died after two photos. This year I got as many photos as I wanted.

    These nicely carved figures were from Bangladesh but the light in the place was very poor.
    Tough for me to make a photograph with this much light.
    Interesting how the carving was done on the top of wood columns.
    Hand knitted...well done.
    the standard scene with sheep, shepherds etc.
   Another standard scene.
   I like wood cut outs. 
    From Peru a kind of weave for the clothing...beautiful.
    More wooden figures that have been beautifully painted.

    A well carved traditional creche.

Sunday, December 16, 2018


    The reason for my title should become clear as I set this post up.

     I live in Alberta,Canada. I've lived here since 1969. It's been a great place to live, work and raise a family.

    We are a major oil producing region but we have difficulty selling our oil to world markets as we do not have pipeline capacity to ocean ports. Naturally some people are upset about this situation. Some people want to blame someone and of course who better than to blame but politicians.

    Now blame and truth take off from here to fictional regions.

    We have a couple of small right wing Nazi groups who are very active. They manage to look like they are supported by the opposition party. In fact , there are only hundreds of these characters and as for support, who knows.

    These small groups urge that Alberta separate from Canada. As one commentator put it these groups are "ill informed, incoherent, random protesters jumping on a band wagon."

    This weekend they organized yellow jacket demonstrations. This comes from the demonstrations in France. However, the groups in France are left leaning. The protesters here are very, very right wing. As you can see the Alberta demonstrators will use something that isn't  related to them  trying to link to a group that has had some success.

    It's surprising to see so called sane people advocating for separation. They have been persuaded to believe some very twisted logic.

   Here's the old divide up the people.

   So here I am again on one of my favorite topics. Why can't politicians and organizations deal with the truth? Why can't people look at information and do some basic analysis and make a judgment about it.

   Alberta would have nothing to gain if it separated from Canada. In fact, there would be major losses. Would we need our own army? Customs offices don't come cheap. We are landlocked. We would be the perfect victim for blackmail.

   Now  we've had separatist movements before. I'm sure this movement will end up like the others.

   Meanwhile , I'm a proud Canadian and a proud Albertan.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Har-OOMPH -slosh,Har-OOMPH-slosh...

     Anybody recognize this noise? Not likely. I'm not that good at making sounds.

     So if anybody recognizes this as the live beating of your heart your a winner.

     I had reason to hear my heart the other day when I was given an ultra sound on my heart. They slap on three electrodes . Then most of the time they have a heavy metal pestle which they keep pressed to the ribs as they move it around. This gizmo shows the parts of your heart as the heart is working.

    So most of the time the procedure is  quiet with only the technician telling you to hold your breath. Once in a while you hear this crazy noise and it's the sound of your heart beating . It's not just the thump- thump we hear on the outside. It's the right inside your body sound of the heart contracting and sending the blood pounding down your arteries. Then there's a lot of gurgling as blood fills the heart chamber again.

    Why was I given an ultra sound of my heart? On the recent ECG I had, they detected something abnormal about the rhythm of the heart. My Doc told me about it and said I could be referred to a cardiologist, or given a stress test or given an ultra sound. He set it up so that the ultra sound was the best choice and then I was given the opportunity of saying I'll take the ultra sound.

   So an hour later I was out of the lab and on my way home. Friday my doc gets the result and knowing him , he will call me in for a chat.

    It's amazing that they can take a detailed look at the heart functioning to see if there are any problems. For my grand parents in the 1950's this technology was not available. None of them had heart problems so this part of medical technology was not needed.

Illustration of the human heart

Ecg Normal | - Images Galleries With A Bite!

Saturday, December 8, 2018


     Recently the Canadian government gave fifty million dollars to a charity that promotes education for African girls. Government budgets are made up with a line for international aid. Throughout the year this aid is distributed. In July the government allotted the money 

    Recently the Prime minister announced a donation to the charity at one of their major fund raisers. This was meant  as promotion of the charity fundraiser.

    The opposition in this country twisted the story to make it sound as if the prime minister on his own whim decided to donate the fifty million as if it was his own money.

   Talk about a cockeyed story. 

    So the other day at skating while I was sitting on the bench ( I sit on the bench a lot these days) I heard my 3 buddies discussing this issue. They were in full throated roar. The prime minister was an indescribable monster. They had some lovely descriptions for the man.

    These three guys should know much better. They all have education beyond high school They had to use their education everyday in their work. In other words they took information and made judgments on the evidence.

    One was a teacher, another and administrator and a policeman. I would hope that the teacher taught his students about making judgments.

    I can see that someone may think that spending money on external aid is not a policy they would agree with and that they would be able to support their point. Why would anybody not want to help with the education of African girls? 

   Evidence and fact had blown away like desert sand. 

   Why can't we look at issues or news reports and make judgments as to the validity of the information? Have we lost some marbles? 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018


     As you know, I lead a birding group for two hours on Saturdays. This fall we were out 13 times. Once it gets to December it's too cold for cameras and field glasses.  From December to April we will get the same 8 - 10 suspects . They're the only ones here.

     So it was that we had our wind up for the end of the fall season. This fall we saw 59 species and had 36 people participate. Usually we had 10 to 12 people each session.

     Our windup is a coffee and cake session

     This year I was most surprised when some one pulled out a bag and pushed it my way. Okay , what's going on? 
      The first bag contained a mug. When I looked at it I nearly fell off my chair. There was a very candid shot of me attached to the mug. I was touched.  Lynette takes awesome bird photos. ( I've used some on this blog.) and some cool candid shots of birders. She had a mug done up with me and some good bird shots of the fall of 2018.

     Now I think I have another nick name ...Duck! Just as she took the photo I pointed and hollered "duck" as some ducks flew over. That's why "duck" is on the photo.

    The second gift was also hand done. A craft that is new to me uses pebbles to make a combination of sculpture and painting. Again there's  humor and a great caption. Estelle caught the idea of bird watching.

     So the thank you for the card and gifts. They were most appreciated.

Monday, December 3, 2018


     This weekend we had some major snow fall...about 24 cm ( 8 in) . For us that's a lot of snow. There was no wind and it was about minus 5 C.

    I had the great honor and pleasure of shoveling my driveway and walk three times. It was dry light powdery snow so was very easy to shovel. 

    I couldn't wait to go out cross country skiing. Skiing was a challenge. I had to make a trail My skies were under the snow. My intention was to make a few rounds and set the track. Somehow with the deep snow I became fatigued very quickly. It was very dull. (You know I'm leading up to an excuse , don't you.) On top of that my glasses got fogged up and I didn't notice it. When you make your own trail everything is uneven so balance is key.

    Well that's right . I fell. But I did get up by myself. I continued but had decided I'd skied enough. I stopped. I lost my balance and fell. Yes, I got up again and then immediately fell. The third time I had to take my skies off.

    The beauty of the falls was that we had the deep soft snow.

    These photos were taken about 11:30 AM and you can see by the shadows how low the sun is in the sky.

    I like the way snow piles up on stuff.

Saturday, December 1, 2018


    Last week I got new lenses for my glasses. What a difference!

    In the early spring I began having difficulties with eye sight. Using glasses with binoculars was a problem. Light was always dull. Colors were very washed out. Driving was frustrating as it was difficult to read signs. I knew something was wrong but didn't know what.

    When I put the glasses on it was if I was looking through a light film . It made things darker. Walking in the dark was a double problem.

    I remembered the same thing happened before and it turned out to be the lens coating. I went to an optician and he declared my lens coating fine.

   What to do? Things became worse. I did not use glasses for driving. I found an old pair of half eyes to use for the computer. Try washing dishes without glasses?

     I dropped to the opticians again and a different person said the coating is definitely a problem.

    So then lens shopping began. I wear trifocals and at first they told me they couldn't get them . Some people said trifocals are going out. Finally they found some trifocals. I've never used progressive lenses.  The lenses came in last week. What a difference! Things are bright again. Driving is easy again. I think the dishes are cleaner.

    So life is good again. I'm not half as crabby as I was!