Wednesday, February 27, 2019


     I recently wrote a post telling of my early Father's Day gift. My son in law got excited about a project and no little issue like it's not Father's Day would stop him. 

    Well, the stopping issues started with me. My computer skills are not great. So here it comes. Ancestry sends an email. The email asks you for your information to sign into the program. My first problem was that it would not accept my postal code. It insisted on a zip code. We are used to those problems. So phone for help. It turned out that the helper and help requester were both at about the same level of expertise. She asked me to do all kinds of things that even I knew had nothing to do with the problem. 

    The problem was that I was looking at an email that she knew nothing about. She would ask if I could see something? Well, no I wasn't on that page. She apparently was not aware that ancestry sends out an email first.  

    Finally she was able to look at my account and tell me that I was in business as she could see everything in my account. But I say how do I get into the program? With that she left me as she had been with me for an hour. So I thought things over and said ah ha I know what to do. I did know what to do but my pass word had been mangled. There was no way I could reset my pass word from their system. One more call. I got the nicest guy in the whole telemarketing world. I did complement him highly.

    So off I went to look at ancestry. 

    My maternal grandfather was a rather dour little Englishman. I never heard him talk about relatives . So very quickly I found him with his three sisters and his parents. So the first thing I found in minutes was my great grandfather on my mother's side.

     My Grandpa is on the left. It's the only photo I can find of him.

    My biggest disappointment? I couldn't find myself! Isn't that vain?

   Maybe the next program I get, I will be able to register without a problem.

Sunday, February 24, 2019


    Again , this is a location we looked at many times as we drove down the David Thompson high way. This area is called Windy Point. So one Saturday, out we went to see if this would be a good place to take students.

    You start this climb as soon as you cross the highway ditch. Did I say it was steep? It's steep so there is some scrambling like use of hands . Again we were looking at a point or a peak that we wanted to get to. We had to take a trail at the bottom of the cliff to the back of it and then more. 

    This is the last time I tried going up a chimney. 

    We got to the top of the cliff at the back and then had to walk to the cliff face. It was a great view and a good place for some stunt photos. 

   It was not a good place to take kids. One time we took kids on this for about 45 minutes before you get to the dangerous stuff.

     About half way up I'm crossing a saddle.

    I can be seen in this photo on the bottom right.

   You can see the highway down below on the right.

Mugging it up for the camera.

     Scrambling about half way up.

Looking toward the dam.

 Mike posing for a dramatic shot. One step back and he was in space and free fall.

Friday, February 22, 2019


    Yesterday I received my Father's day gift from my son in law (sil). That's right!

    It works like this. My sil's mother died about a year ago. Apparently both his parents were not interested in family or relatives. I believe the family was quite small. Very few relatives attended her memorial. When the  sil's mother died about a year ago he started to look up the family.

    The sil has become very interested in researching family. As my daughter says he's gone down a rabbit hole. Every time I talk to him he's excited about what he has found.

    The sil knows that I'm interested in family history so he gave me a subscription to a family ancestry site that he uses.

    So now I'm off to find out all kinds of new things. Before 1990 my father's family did a family tree and they located over 900 of the family.

   My father's side of the family were German Lutherans who came to Canada from Volhynia in the Ukraine. Great Grandpa brought all his married children to Canada over a period of 15 years. Great  Grandpa had four sons and four daughters.

      Grandma and Grandpa about 1946

    First a couple of family members were sent out to scout the area. They sent back good reports and their wives and children were sent out. As money was gathered for fares others  made the trip. The  Mennonites in southern Manitoba were a great help to the family.

    After a number of years all of them relocated to the Esk area in Saskatchewan. Two of the families moved on from Esk but two sons and three daughters spent the remainder of their lives at Esk.

    Now my three brothers and some of their children are the only family members left in that area.

   Anyhow I expect to find a few things I didn't know. Maybe some of my followers come from German Lutheran families from the Ukraine!

  Anyway, thanks to my sil for an early Father's day gift.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019


     I love my province of Alberta, Canada. It has many great assets for fine living. We have beautiful mountain scenery. We have vast tracts of rich farmland. We are blessed with much oil and gas.

     However, with oil and gas as the main resources the economy can go from boom to bust and it has. This industry also has a bad name when it comes to environmental issues.

    We have a number of issues right now. Resource prices are down. We are very short of pipe lines to send our oil to the coast. We are in tough times.

    Now when troubled times hit us some people go off the deep end. We have people going off the deep end now. They are determined to blame someone for the situation and they think that blaming someone will automatically bring about a solution.

    So a small group decided to become yellow jackets under the guise of supporting pipelines even though they are radical right wingers. They are actually racists. Another small group here wants to separate Alberta from Canada. A third group wants pipe lines right now no matter what. Just wave the wand and build pipe lines.

    Somehow these groups got together and said lets have a truck convoy to Ottawa. So everybody jumps in their big trucks to drive to Ottawa tooting their horns all the way.

   Along the way they've been able to create some exaggerated stories about their size. There were only 120 trucks. Some dropped out and others joined. They reported many people waving in support along the highway....Imagination. They used the same photos to show these people.

    So they get to Ottawa and there's a mixed and confused message. It seems like the racists made the biggest noise.

   Since I preach about lying being so terrible , here's another example where they manufacture a cause and keep it going with all kinds of games. Throw in a little fiction and make yourself look good.

   Now some of them are in Ottawa they suddenly find themselves short of money to get back home!

   Maybe we should leave them in Ottawa. On the other hand they probably aren't wanted there so somebody will help them get back home.

   We have issues but this group is loony and going about things in the wrong way.

Saturday, February 16, 2019


    This morning I noticed that I was counting as I walked from one part of the house to another. I also noticed when I started to pee I was counting. I caught myself counting a couple more times throughout the morning. What's going on?

    It kind of bothered me as it was such a weird behavior. Something twigged in the back of my brain about compulsive counters. I looked it up. Yes, some people count all the time. They count no matter what they are doing.

   So what's going on? To me there should be a reason for things happening.

   I started to think about what was happening in my life. I have a nasty bit of rotator cuff problem. I'm doing all kinds of stretching and strength building exercises. Of course, with all of these routines you count and then you do another routine and count. I've been working hard on the stretches and strength building. I want to end my rotator cuff suffering.

    So I think because I've been counting so much for my exercises I started to count at other times.

   Now rotator cuff is nasty. Little tears occur under a tendon that goes over the shoulder joint. Muscles stiffen and then weaken. To complicate mine, I have arthritis. I noticed something uncomfortable with my shoulder in September but thought it would go away. It didn't go away so I asked my doc about it when I had my check up in Nov. He told me to look on the Internet and find stretches which I did. Things just kept getting worse so that in January I booked my self into physio therapy. Now I'm at a stage where I have the odd good day or good night. I hope I get on top of this thing before spring. I know one thing for sure. Counting isn't going to help me.

Image result for rotator cuff diagram

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


    Kay at Musings gave a detailed description of the nasty preparation that has to be done in preparation for a colonoscopy. She didn't miss anything and it felt just like I was doing the prep.

    For those who have been lucky enough not to have had a colonoscopy, it's a little procedure where they go in with a flexible tube (Good thing it's very flexible)  that has a small camera on the end. The camera takes photos of the interior of the colon. Since colon cancer is somewhat common and easy to detect with the device , these tests are quite common. They look at the general health of the colon and if there are any indications of cancer.

     To do this test your colon must be completely empty. Kay told about this part. It's not pleasant.

     My purpose isn't to discuss the colonoscopy but to tell about two colonoscopies I had.

   I had the first colonoscopy many years ago. A student was going to do the test.  Now I didn't tell you where they shove the rod and camera- yes right in  the anus, the handy hole in the behind. Well the student was all ready and he shoved the device. He missed the hole! What a jolt that was. He said, "Oops, sorry about that!" It's an experience I will never forget. In those days they didn't use any anesthetic.

    The last test I had was for a 12:30 PM appointment. I like to get a first thing in the morning appointment because then I can go home and eat.

     Well. 12:30 or nothing.  I was rolled into the room and prepared. Then they told me that the doctor had gone home to let his dog out and I would have to wait! Wow! What do you do? All dressed up with no where to go.

    Now as miserable as the test is I would always recommend that it be done. It's a very accurate test and if cancer is picked up early it can be successfully treated.

Monday, February 11, 2019


   Sometimes I am guilty of leaving out information. Sometimes questions are asked and it's better to answer them on a post rather than with a comment.

    So here goes. In the fall I told you I was having an ultra sound of

my heart. I wasn't worried about results. Now I can't even remember why the ultra sound was done. Some of you wanted to know what the results would be and I promised I would tell you. I've been feeling guilty for a long time about not telling you. Now you're saying come on get with it. Tell us! Well, nothing was found. I still haven't talked to my doc about it but I will the next time I go in to see him.

    Now in my second hiking post I forgot to put in the name of the location. We called it Whirl Pool Point Ridge. This is not a name you would find on a map. It's a name we made up.  Where we stop on the highway the river at that point is called Whirl Pool Point. It's a mess of rumbling rapids.

    The highway is number 11 or otherwise called the David Thompson. There is parking at that point in the highway and very often a little herd of Big horn sheep can be found. They come off the ridge to get water from the river.

    I also found that a stray photo got into one post. I know how that happened. I also found some typos. 

    So I feel better that I've addressed some of my hits and misses.

     Some of the mountains at Field B.C. in late June.

Friday, February 8, 2019


    We are in the tenth day of a winter cold spell. Our days have had highs of minus 25-25 C (minus 12-15 F) and nights of minus 30 - 35 C ( minus 25 -30 F). So I've been kind of a sissy and stayed inside most of the time.

    I got thinking about when we were little kids. We played outside most of the time in the winter. I was born in the late 30's and my young childhood was in the early forties. We didn't have much for toys. I remember a set of wooden blocks. So most of the time we played outside. The snow was our toys. There were large snow drifts . We could make tunnels, snow houses, slide down the slopes, jump off high banks or just throw snow at each other. I'm sure Mom was happy to have two little guys play outside instead of being under her feet in a very small house.

    We played for hours before we went in the house. Now I remember the clothes we wore. Fleece lined underwear. This was a suit like coveralls and it was very warm. There was a convenient opening at the back for elimination! We wore two sets of pants. We had felt boots with what was called an overshoe. ...very warm. Felt boots were boots that were made completely of felt. Mom bought the underwear and felt boots. The other clothing came in what we called parcels. People sent us clothing.
    Here we were probably 2 and 3.

    My point is that we played outside for hours most days.

    Now I was in the Arctic for my mid twenties. We didn't have cars so walked wherever we wanted to go. I  was outdoors when I was free. Again, I had proper clothing. I had a parka made by a local Eskimo woman. It was warm with three layers. There was an outside shell for wind. A middle layer for insulation and an inside layer for lining. And don't forget the trusty fleece lined underwear. I had kamiks with duffel liners. I don't remember being cold. We snow shoed many miles and hours.

    A nice sweater my Mom made.

    This is the parka I wore in the Arctic.
     Skiing out my back door.

   Up until 15 years ago I did lots of cross country skiing. Clothing had become somewhat high tech. We skied hard enough to keep warm. Ruby always had a thermometer on her back back. I remember one morning it was minus 27 F. 

    Well , this week I couldn't find my fleece lined underwear. Couldn't find my felt boots. My kamiks had been sold in the summer. I think I'm going to have to suck it up, get out there and enjoy myself and forget that I'm an old man!

Saturday, February 2, 2019


   75 % of my hiking involved taking students out on their outdoor field trips. The program had been set up and running before I was assigned a couple of outdoor ed classes.  People had to go out and check out locations and see if they would be suitable for students. Much of this had been done.

     This continued after I joined the program. Start checking your maps now. Every one of our trips involved driving out on the David Thompson highway. We would watch the land as we drove out to a hiking site. So the odd Saturday we would go out and check a location to see if it was suitable to take kids out. We'd look to see if there were trails. Was it too steep for kids? Were there dangers? So this was done on our weekends. Many times we got up early on a Saturday morning so that we could have time to go up and down and get back home in the evening. Some of these hikes were fast and some involved scrambling which is climbing over and among rocks.

    This shows me "scrambling" The last 200 meters to gain this peak were by scrambling. It was also steep. The water body is Abraham Lake .
 When we reached the peak or what we thought was the peak we found a cairn. I wrote about this before and how my friend had a near miss with a golden eagle. This turned out to be the end if a ridge and not a peak . If you continued along the narrow ridge you came to the actual peak. Of course we had to try for the peak. We didn't make it . The wind got up and since the ridge was very narrow we were afraid of being swept off the ridge.

     This was a very strenuous hike. We took kids or tried to take kids on this several times . Weather was always an issue. It could be very windy and sometimes very cold. I never did make it back to the cairn. Very few kids ever made it to the cairn.

   This was many of the Saturday adventures .

    Dates on the photos were when they were digitalized. The actual photos were from the late 80's or early 90's