Monday, October 28, 2019


     A couple of days ago we had a spectacular sunrise that I happened to see.

Saturday, October 26, 2019


       A while ago , I can't remember how long ago, I blogged about how much I was worth. I had found the doctor's bill for my birth in some old papers of Dad's. The doctor's bill for my birth was exactly $10.00 so I put down my value as $10.00.

      Well, this has been amended and updated. For my 80th birthday someone gave me a check for $80.00 so I'm worth a dollar a year!

      So here I am from one to eighty!

     If the truth be known I care nothing about money. I like to play with a few unrelated figures. 

     I would be happy to be like my Dad and slide on out of here with less than $2000.00 in his bank account after all expenses were accounted for his funeral.  We did not have to go through a will because his assets were so few. If the family agreed to take the money out of the account and close it that would be the end. No fuss! No muss!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019


      On Sept . 12, I wrote that we were having an election on Oct. 21 and that I wasn't going to say anything about elections on this blog. I kept that promise so it's my time to say something.

      Well the election is over. Some how or other most people are unhappy and some people are downright angry. I don't understand why. We live in a very good country. We have a strong economy, lots of employment , some awesome social programs and some people are so angry that they want to separate from Canada. 

     We elect 338 parliament members. We have a first past the post system . So whoever gets the most votes wins. We have a proportional representation. 

   We have three major parties and two small parties. 

   The campaign was disgusting...too many outright lies.  The parties didn't do much to tell us what their policies would be although I didn't follow much.

    The incumbent party (Liberals) won the most seats but not enough for an outright majority so we have a minority parliament. The conservative party of Canada came second. The liberal party will have to walk a fine line and get support from other parties to govern. Sometimes minority parliaments get lots of good things done because they have to cooperate to stay in power and besides people don't want another election right away.

    People are really whiny . They all seem to want their own little goodies and the hell with anyone else.

     So political junkies are having fun talking about what may happen. 

     What should happen is that many parliament members need a good push to come to their senses and do what benefits the whole of Canada.

Monday, October 21, 2019


     ....even if you're old and gray
         riding around in the breeze
         we're going to the end of the line.

       A  few chosen lines out of order from one of my very favorite songs The End of the Line by the Travelling Wilburys.

       Well, since I turned 80 today I had made up my mind that there would be changes made in my life.

        So I decided I had  to quit riding my bike. There is a high risk factor so there's no sense in tempting fate. So I like to think about riding around in the breeze. 

       I have ridden about 45000 km since 1983. I will miss it

      So today was officially my last ride. I was fortunate enough to meet some well known people on the bike path and say good bye.

        There's nothing like an 80th birthday to make one think about the realities of life.  So we're riding to the end of the line even if we're old and gray!

       Now the rear view mirror on the helmet shows up as a black spot.

     So some of my birthday loot!

     But after I got in the house from my last ride I said, "You know what? There are recumbent bikes! "  So maybe I'll get a recumbent and keep on riding.

Friday, October 18, 2019


     A long time ago, on this blog, I wrote about becoming a cashless society. I pointed out that some places in Europe do not accept cash. There are many reasons to go cashless and it is coming.

     Now yesterday I got a big surprise when a parts place said they do not accept cash. I had ordered a part and drove across town to pick it up. Now we only take the credit card when we plan to pay with it. We use the card on all big items. This item was less than $40.00 .  

     The business was very accommodating. They let me take the part home and phone my card number in. They even gave me a receipt before I walked out of the business.

    Now this incident was a big shock for me. I hadn't heard about any businesses going cashless. It's the best plan for this business as they are a wholesaler and deal with large orders. It's much less work for them to deal with credit cards rather than have to account for cash. Computers look after your money for you.

    It got me thinking about a cashless society again. Have I been unaware of certain businesses not accepting cash? I look around in restaurants and rarely see people paying with cash.

    Do you use much cash anymore?

     Have you found businesses that don't accept cash?

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


    In my last post the idea that bird species could be divided into several species caught some attention. So guess what? Another post on birds comes up.

    The example I used was the consideration by the International Ornithological Union (There other ornithological groups.) to  divide Canada geese into six different species. Many people are quite happy to go along with just Canada geese. For some people to divide geese into 6 groups is horrifying . However, scientific study shows that there are big differences within Canada geese. One of them is size. One group of geese is about 1/4 the size of other geese. We think of most Canada geese as having a standard color pattern. Not so.

     There are many other species of geese in the world but this is only happening to Canada geese as far as I know.

    Juncoes have been divided a few times. Sometimes species are put back as one species. There is an American crow and then a northwestern  crow which is very much smaller.

    So I am a birder ... and a bit nerdy, but a book I read a few years ago got me thinking! It's pretty hard to get me thinking.

    The book was called "To See Every Bird on Earth" written by Dan Koeppel. It's a neat book where Koeppel writes a history of his father but manages to write very much about birds. Koeppel's father was one of a few people in the world who try and see every bird in the world. They are obsessed with this mission. The go to all corners of the earth and spend no end of money.

    So Koeppel tells his father's life story and tells about birds and how the International Ornithological Union classifies and reclassifies birds.

    I found this a very interesting story and it opened my eyes to bird watching.

    So for anyone who's interested in birds  or science , this is a good read.

Sunday, October 13, 2019


     Yesterday , Oct 12, we had a nice sunny afternoon. After a discussion ???with the micro manager we decided to have lunch out. I didn't want lunch out. I wanted to walk on the trails all afternoon. Well, she said , "We'll go for lunch and then we'll go for a walk and then we both get what we want."  I'm not really sure of the logic in this one.

     Anyway, we went to one of my favorite places and there were thousands of Canada geese. They are getting ready to fly south but not right away. Canada geese will stay here as long as there is open water and the food isn't covered by snow. At this time the Canada geese are slowly moving south from the far north. There will still be some geese on the Mackenzie Delta.

    However, this is what I found yesterday.

     Oh yes, The bird naming people, the American Ornithologist's Union,  are discussing dividing Canada geese into six different species. Wait for it.

Thursday, October 10, 2019


      I did not intend to write a post on Canadian Thanksgiving. However, John from John's Island emailed me and asked if the Canadian Thanksgiving was similar to the American Thanksgiving. I accidentally deleted John's email so that's why I'm posting on Canadian Thanksgiving.

      There, I got that off my chest!

       Our thanksgiving is quite similar to an American Thanksgiving. We have the traditional turkey dinner and all the trimmings. Potato, sweet potato, gravy, veggies, stuffing, aspic , a couple of salads, cranberries. So see the meal is similar.

    We have a few traditional football match ups to watch.

    Now traditions are changing and changing fast. In my case my kids are away. We've given up the whole turkey business because there's just the two of us but we still have the other part of the meal. So many people are separated and many people don't have the traditional meal. Some people don't cook that much and would never attempt the major feast.

    When I was still on the farm we had a huge meal but it had to fit in with the harvest. If we were still harvesting well no big meal. It was out on the combine. Then when harvesting was done we would have our big meal.

    The most important thing is to think about things and what we should be thankful for. We live in a very special country that tries to follow social justice for all.

Monday, October 7, 2019


      I walk about 2.5 km most evenings. Most evenings I never meet anybody but that's another post.

     On a fairly regular basis I see deer and jack rabbits.  It's close to rutting season for the mule deer. Through most of September I would see four bucks. They vary from a very senior buck to a young buck with spikes. I watch for them but sometimes I hear them before I see them. They are having little tussles and you hear the click of the antlers before you see the animals in the dark.

     I caught this doe in mid November not far from my house.

    At times I see jack rabbits every walk. What I've seen the last week has me asking many questions. I found three little bunnies that are 1/4 to 1/3 of the adult size. Miserable weather can kick in in October and we sometimes have winter weather by the beginning of November. Tonight a cold front has moved in. Our high tomorrow will be minus 2. Will these little guys reach maturity before winter sets in?

A two day old jack rabbit

An adult jack rabbit in my yard. They can weigh up to 10 lb.

Up close

    Now the first night I saw these three little guys in the road gutter beside the sidewalk. I told them that was a silly place to sit but they didn't listen. The doe was about 50 m away. One crossed the road. The next night I saw only two little guys. This time they ran into a housing development which is quite safe compared to a road. The next night they were in a dark and fairly large yard. They were chasing each other! I couldn't believe that they were playing just like puppies or kittens.

    Each night they seem to be more active and venturesome.

    I certainly hope they make it to the winter. Statistics aren't on their side. Only 30% make it to one year of age.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019


    This weekend , Sept 27, 28,  and 29 we had snowfall. We were very fortunate as we missed the very heavy snow. We had maybe one or two cm.  Further south the storm and snowfall were brutal. Waterton Lakes National Park, on the American border, had 95 cm of snow. They had the snowplows out. Calgary had about 30 cm of snow. It slowed a large city down and there was lots of street clearing.

     Black current, raspberry and gooseberry.
    Juniper and wet street
Snow formed on a juniper branch