Tuesday, January 29, 2019


      At one time I did quite a bit of backpacking and hiking with my buddies and with school outdoor ed field trips. After I retired I went on very few   outdoor ed trips. My buddies wanted to go on much more challenges mountain climbing and I wasn't going to do that with my skills and age.

      Now I follow two blogs that bring pleasant memories of my outdoor activities. DJan goes on a rigorous hike once a week in the coast mountains around Bellingham Washington.  Linda from, Linda's Lens, goes on many challenging hikes and backpacks to get great photos of plants and mountain vistas. Now these are excellent blogs that bring back the pleasant times I had in the Rockies of Alberta, Canada.

    The first extended back pack trip I took was  what we called Jonas Pass. We took the trail stating at highway 93. this trail took us over Nigel Pass. We had to cross a swift cold stream . We then met up with the Jonas Pass trail at Four O'clock Creek. Jonas pass was the big one. It was a long steady climb tot he Jonas shoulder. We then took the Pobotkan trail back to highway 93. One of us hiked back to get the car from where we started.

    We camped the first night at Four O'clock Creek. The second night we camped at Pobotkon creek.

    Most of the area is above the treeline so you are in mountain meadows. Mountain meadows mean lots of flowers and birds.

    I like the photos found on different websites but Ill show you mine.

This stream crashed down out of the rocks. Of course we had to take off the shoes and cross it.

     This is July 7 and this huge snow bank blew well into the valley. At places the snow bank was 20 ft deep.
 We are crouched behind rocks watching a small heard of caribou. You can see them in the middle right.
 Rock scrambling. All we could do is hop from rock to rock.
 A strange rock formation and cloud.
 We had to walk over several miles of snow. We are climbing up Jonas Shoulder.
 Nice bridges! You wouldn't catch Red on this one today.
The going was tough through these rocks.

     I would do this strenuous hike over in a heart beat if I was physically able.

Saturday, January 26, 2019


     I've been off the blog for a few days. I didn't want to be away but I got caught up in something else. Something I just couldn't let go.

     From time to time I like to surf the net. If I start finding things then I'm really hooked and end up end up spending a lot of time...obsessed!

     For some reason I googled my home village of Esk , Sask. Now Esk is a ghost town. At it's peak there were about 20 houses. Right now there's only one house that is inhabited. Most other houses were abandoned and the municipality took them over and the houses were destroyed. Would you believe that if you google Esk , Sask you will find 10 pages of topics. So I was rewarded by going through the pages and finding interesting items.

    Now I've had it in my head to do another  post on the first school I ever taught in. I knew there were some photos of the school. I found the photos and they were of two art web sites. Were they going to give me a few photos? Nothing doing. They ask for $525.00 for their photos. I asked anyway and as you see I don't have photos.

    You will have to be satisfied with a photo I had on an earlier post about the school.

    Somehow while looking for some school photos I found a former student and her sisters. All this is by accident while following my obsession. I accidentally found their mother's obituary. She had lived to be 98 years old. This is how I found the three girls. this family was very good to this kid who was their teacher. I was 18 years old and pretty insecure and lonely. They had me at there place many times. I took the Dad fishing and fishing became one of his passions.

     So I have some information to contact one of the girls. You bet I will contact her. It was sixty years ago that I had her in gr.7. She is only 8 or 9 years younger than I am.

    So these two topics yielded some very interesting info.

Sunday, January 20, 2019


    Yesterday I briefly met a former student and colleague who reads my blog and he jokingly said, "Are you going to  change your blog into a book? "

    Well the answer to that is amazingly simple. "No!"

    After I got home I started to think about something.

    I had spent a good part of my summer redoing my will. I had done my power of attorney and made my living will. That's right. Everything has been arranged.

    So yesterday  that question suddenly entered my head, "What will happen to my blog?"

   You don't have to spend very much time and you can find dozens of abandoned blogs. Somebody wrote half a dozen posts and then gave up. These blogs are just sitting there.

    My blog has over 1300 posts and there should be more to come. What do I do with it? Well not make it into a book. If I suddenly stop blogging, do I just abandon the project? If it's left are there risks? Can some hacker just take over my blog? Could a hacker find something valuable with my blog? Is there a risk in just abandoning the blog? Do I actually own the blog and material?

     I know that a blog can be deleted.     But will I be fast enough to carry out this procedure?  I might wonder about  spending all this time saying things, if it's not worthwhile to keep it?

     So  am I over reacting? What do you plan to do? What have you heard about end of blog life?

Friday, January 18, 2019


     Yesterday was a very raw winter day here. It was minus 16 F ( 2 above F) in the afternoon with some wind ...25 kph. 

     So that's nothing to keep a couple of seniors at home. The Micro Manager wanted to check on some meat in a grocery store, do some banking and meet my skating buddies for coffee at 3:30 PM. I was going to the library to get some help with my ipad.

    Now we discussed the logistics a few times. We would park at the store and walk to the library and bank. Finally after a few editions we agreed that the Micro Manager would check in the library to tell me she was going back to the car. About 3:30 I wound up the ipad session as we were supposed to be at coffee by that time. The Micro Manager had not checked in at the library. By 4:40 I wondered if she'd gone back to the car or if I had mixed up the logistics. I left the library at 4:40 and returned to the car and checked the store. She wasn't there. Obviously I had missed her so I started back to the library. Half way back to the library I detected some steam a couple of blocks away and there was a little black dot in the steam. She was wearing a black winter jacket, black pants, black boots and a black head scarf. I knew at once it was the Micro Manager and that she was in a wicked mood. 

   We met. 

   Her first question was , "Where were you?"  Things went down hill from there.  Apparently she was in the library looking for me while I was waiting at the front. Some pleasantries were exchanged and by the time we got back to the car cooler heads had prevailed. 

   So it's a case where plans made don't work. It's not funny at the time but after a while you look back and can laugh about it. I think we all have them once in a while . 

    Maybe it's time we got cell phones and kept track of each other.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


     This week I noticed that Pat Boone's wife died. I hadn't heard anything about Pat Boone for years. That sent me running to the LPs to find my Pat Boone album. I couldn't find it so I guess the LP disappeared some where along my travels.  That sent me to You Tube to find some of his songs and listen to them again. I found out that I like them just as much now as I did then.

     Pat Boone was one of my favorites. His music was light, bouncy and upbeat. Pat came after Elvis and many other Rockers. It took me a long time to warm up to Elvis. It took me a long time to warm up to the Beatles. I listened to all the old time rockers . I liked Buddy Holly much more than Elvis. I listened to all the teen age rocker sensations. I would still listen to Pat Boone.

     Pat Boone borrowed many songs and made hits out of them. Some of the more well known songs were "Ain't that a shame", "Long Tall Sally" and "Tutti Frutti". 

    After all these performers, I still liked Pat Boone. When I went over his biography, I realized he had many more hits than I remember.

    Although I like Boone's music, I do not like his politics. Boone was much too far to right wing causes .

    So the event of the death of Pat Boone's wife brought me back to many old memories.

   Now I wonder how many of my readers will say, "Pat Boone?" Who was he? I'm not sure how well known Pat Was in Europe but I'm about to find out.

Sunday, January 13, 2019


     Now you could spend all day filling in the blank on this one. There are endless expressions that can classify us as old.

    Well the Micro Manager and I did the classic boo boo yesterday. I hope no one on the street was watching.

    We had a celebration of life we wanted to attend. Don died before Christmas and this week the announcement was in the paper that the event would take place on Saturday.

    The church is only three blocks from my house so I told the Micro Manager to get started as she walks very slow. When I turned the corner I could see that the church parking lot was empty. I knew something was wrong. I met the Micro Manager returning from the church. What's gone on? Have we missed the celebration of Don's life. 

     The first thing we did when we got in the house was to check the paper. Sure enough the celebration was to take place Sat, Jan 19 . We were on Sat. Jan. 12!

     Now how could both of us get together and make this mistake? I guess we're getting old!

    I followed Don from 1963 but never met him until the 1980's. Don left Inuvik in June of 1963. I arrived in Inuvik in Sept of 1963. I often heard about Don as he was well respected and liked. I arrived in Red Deer, Alberta in 1969 and was surprised to find my northern friend Michael and I teaching at the same school. Michael and Don were the very best of friends so I heard that Don was in the area. I did not actually meet Don until the 1980's. From that time on we participated in many of the same organizations. He was a quiet gentle man who gave us many great examples of how we should live our live.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019


   On many blogs I follow people have a post on New Year's resolutions. Today Beatrice at the Frog and Penquinn had a thoughtful piece on New Year's resolutions. And then she made 4 resolutions. Beatrice.

    I had been thinking about New Years Resolutions. Since it's now Jan. 8 I wasn't thinking very fast. Now I have been guilty of making resolutions in the past. None of them ever worked. But that brings me to a larger issue.

   What kind of person am I ? I have a good handle on this issue. I know that I'm disorganized. I know that I'm a random chaotic type. This has bothered me from time to time in my life. Every year when I met with my principal I would set a goal to become better organized. I would walk out of his office thinking he would help me. He thought I would do something on my own. So nothing ever got done.

    The disorganization is in my genes. My Mother was a world class clutterer.

   Now yesterday I listened to a program on organization. It really interested me. Marie Condo is world famous for organization and has written a book on it. Many people take Marie Condo's ideas and help people get their lives and houses organized. Discussion went around the value of being organized. This method relies on getting rid of stuff ...lots of stuff so that you are left with something more manageable.

    And then , what about those who are hopelessly disorganized. They actually found some value for the poor fellow like me who never has his desk cleaned off or the email inbox cleaned up. Did I feel good! They claim we know where to find stuff...not true.  What really happens is that we don't want to let things go. We are compelled to keep things and not put things away. we are afraid we'll lose them. The Micro Manager is supper organized. I hope I die before her as I'd never find anything in all her super organization.

    So whether you're a New Year's resolution maker or not , I hope you have a great 2019.


Sunday, January 6, 2019


    For being the land of ice and snow, we have very few ice sculptures. As far as I know we have a garden center that has ice sculptures each Christmas. The come up with  theme and then find businesses that are willing to do a sculpture related to the theme.

    This year for us the theme was very simple...Canada winter games. I'm disappointed that only half the display was actual sculpturing. 

    Now I got out too late to see these sculptures as we've had some days above freezing so some of the finishing and details are not clear anymore. 

    But for what they are worth, here they are.


     Now the last two photos are for Linda at Linda's Letters. She often shows magnificent plant nurseries. Here's one of our local nurseries. It gets sad in the winter.

Friday, January 4, 2019


    I have a small face book account of a little over 100 friends.  When I opened my face book account I thought it was an excellent place to keep up with relatives.

    When you're on face book other people find you. So now I not only have family but former students, colleagues and other people I know.

    I found that the family contact more or less dried up. Many other people are lurkers. I don't know if they follow me at all.

   I do use face book to publicize my blog. I do click on things I like. For example a former student was our city archivist and he posts all kinds of photos. I have another friend who is a photographer. David takes many good photos and I tell him I like them.  I wish people happy birthday, but I rarely post anything.

    All of this is very harmless.

    However, there are a couple of friends who find themselves deep into right wing politics so there are times I get many despicable messages. They get these messages from some site and then pass them on over their face book page. They haven't checked these messages for any validity at all. I don't like getting racist messages. I don't like messages that criticize politicians in a personal way. Debate the issues but leave the mudslinging out of it. It's difficult enough for a politician to serve as well as get abuse. I get messages on the economy that have no basis whatsoever. Whoever wrote the message did not do any research whatsoever. They listened to somebody spout off. They will not look at government statistics as they have the mistaken idea that these statistics come directly from the political party. These statistics are generated by the people who do the actual work of running the country.

   For two of my friends , I think I'm going to have to find out how to unfriend somebody.

    What do you do when you get unwanted face book messages?