Tuesday, December 31, 2019


    The years seem to go faster and faster. If I look back things have been great. I look forward to the future and 2020.

    I have one special story for New Year's Eve and I've written about it before. So look for it 1964: A New Year's Eve to Remember:

    Happy New Year. All the best in 2020.

Monday, December 30, 2019


      Now I'd be the first to admit that my computer skills are some what limited. But every once in a while the Micro Manager fancies a pizza. She's a little discriminating about pizza so it has to come from one place...Papa John's!

      Now for Papa John's pizza you have to order on line. We haven't tried to order on line for about three years. We looked at the menu and chose a pizza. I was crying that I couldn't figure out how to order on Papa John's system. 

    So the micro Manager got on the phone and phoned Papa John's. She got a very nice lady who walked us through the complete ordering of our pizza . No problem.

     Now if I had to do it all over again I couldn't. The first problem I get into is that Papa John's is an American company and they ask for zip code and not postal code. Right there I'm finished. This lady had me click on a couple of things and my postal code was accepted. Simple if you know how but there is nothing to point the customer in the direction of postal codes.The on line order is long and convoluted . You have to bounce all over the page. She would say ,"Do you see----? "   It would take me a while to find what she was asking for.  All the things she asked me to find were spread all over the page...sometimes bottom, sometimes left, sometimes top!

     You have to anticipate what you are going to be asked. I couldn't anticipate what they wanted on their order form. There has to be a logical sequence in what you do. There's no logical sequence.

    What I learned that it's pretty slick to order pizza on line if you know how, but I still don't know how.

    Now am I the only one who would go hungry because I can't order on line? 

Saturday, December 28, 2019


      During the time of Christmas and New Years we give and receive many greetings. Sometimes I think that our greetings are very shallow social things. What do we mean by Merry Christmas? Everybody's Christmas is different. We have different families and our backgrounds indicate what Christmas celebrations we may have. So I'm starting to wonder if my greetings have any meaning at all? 

     Well, maybe I'm taking this to an extreme. Maybe I shouldn't be taking some of the pleasantness of the season away.

     What got me thinking about this?

     Well, I went for my regular walk Christmas Eve. As usually no one is out except this time somebody went by.  A mule buck had crossed the street in front of me and entered the woods. A minute later someone had ridden their bike out of the dark unlit woods trail. I was startled when someone behind me said Merry Christmas! It was a homeless man going by on his bike with his cart. I knew this man. He is  Basil and sometimes stays at a house 5 doors away from me. Basil is an aboriginal and most of his life has been a downer. 

    So a cheerful Christmas greeting from a man who has had nothing but trouble in his life really made me stop and think about the world. I was touched more than any other greeting by the wish I received from Basil. I'll remember it.

Saturday, December 21, 2019


    I like winter solstice as I watch the days get shorter and shorter. I eagerly wait until the days start to get longer and we move toward spring. I also like the folklore connected to winter solstice. Ancient peoples had a variety of celebrations for the day. They also were fairly exact in pinpointing the time of the solstice.

    So with all this in mind, I decided to follow the solstice a little closer at my place. I decided to go out and photograph the afternoon every hour to show how the day takes it's course.

      The first two photos were taken at 2:00 PM. The first one looking south and the second looking north.

The next tow photos were taken at 3:00 PM. The cloud thickened slightly.

   The next two photos were taken at 4:00 PM. The sun sets at 4:26 PM.

This photo shows the west were the sun set at 5;00 PM
     The last three photos were taken at 5:00 Pm. It's hard to show darkness with all the street lights.

     So today the sun rose at 8:42 AM and set at 4:24 PM.  It gave us 7 hours, 41 minutes and 47 seconds of the sun being up.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019


      There are certain Christmas events that I like to attend. One of those is a very large display of creches. 

       One of the LDS (Latter Day Saints) churches here puts on a very large display of creches. We visited it last night. They had over three hundred examples of creches on display.

       You remember that I did a post on this last year. This year the had a different lighting system and it was difficult to take photos.

      I may end up using some of last year's photos.

      There are creches made from many , many materials...wood, plastic, china, paper, fabric, metal. Creches come from all over the world. Quality goes from trash to great handicraft and artistic talent.

      My favorite is the second photo which is an Inuit print. I think I singled that one out from last year too. 

Sunday, December 15, 2019


      Sometimes we wear funny clothes here. Yes, we wear winter clothing which is much different than what some of you wear. We do have some very stylish winter clothing. I don't wear the stylish stuff.

      This post is on something else about our clothing.

     I was at my favorite place for lunch (Wendys) the other day and there were quite a few kids  of the 7 -8  year variety. These kids were soccer players. 90% of our soccer is played on outdoors fields. We have some indoor soccer fields suitable for winter play but only the top leagues have enough money to use indoor facilities.

    So most of the little kids wait for  spring to begin their soccer league.

    Now the other day in Wendys  I saw one kid with terrible pink and yellow plastic soccer shoes. Then I noticed something else. He was wearing shorts! It's winter! Then I noticed that other kids were wearing shorts. The shorts just showed below their winter coat. What's more the winter boots came close the the bottom of the shorts. 

     I wish I had a picture of these little guys with their mixture of winter and summer clothing, but I don't have a phone so no photos.

  Now I thought that was a funny mixture of winter and summer clothing! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019


      Now for an 80 year old guy , I'm not too concerned about the image I have. I'm comfortable in my own skin.

      I admit that I'm a little rumply. Sometimes it may be borderline unkempt. (My opinion) But when it comes time to present an acceptable look I can get my act together. If I'm around the yard , anything goes. If I have to go out well be decent.

      So those shorts and belt just don't cut it compared to my neatly attired brother.

      This isn't too bad for being at the barbecue for 200 gr sevens

    ...and I was pretty neat looking after textbooks for my department.

    So what am I worried about now? My new neighbors shovel my walks before I can get out there. I live on a corner so there's lots to shovel. I thank them and say that we are both able to shovel. Well, they say we're out here so we might as well do it. I have another neighbor who will also shovel when I'm not looking.

     What is this? I like it and appreciate it. But am I presenting the image of an old man who needs help shoveling?  Have I fallen down in the snow lately? 

    None of these is the case. I just have very nice neighbors. Oh yes I do get a chance to shovel their walks sometimes!  It's fun.

Friday, December 6, 2019


      November can give us some very nice sunsets. The sun is lower in the sky and there's more time between sunset and dark. These photos were taken just before 5:00 PM.

       The white line across the center of the above photo is the top of some one's fence.

      There's a bit of snow on the mountain ash berries .

     Winter skies can be colorful.

    When I lived in the Arctic and the sun didn't rise above the horizon for six weeks we had many colorful skies. We had light from around 11:00 AM to 2:00 Pm. It was like a three hour sunset. 

Monday, December 2, 2019


       I like music. I don't sing or play an instrument. I like listening to a wide variety of music. It would be easier to say what I don't like than what I do like. I don't like rap or modern country.

      Several bloggers have had some very good pieces on music lately.

     I have (had) two main sources of music that I go to.

     I have a favorite radio station that plays a wide variety of music and provides commentary on everything they play. All of their DJs have a tremendous amount of knowledge about the music they play. I love it. Check out CKUA.com

     Now there used to be a very fine radio program called the Vinyl Cafe hosted by Stuart Mclean. Unfortunately Stuart passed away.

    Stuart had a one hour radio show every Sunday at noon. He had music , stories, interviews and games.

     Stuart had his Dave and Morley stories .Dave was a bumbling idiot and Morley kept things together. A favorite Canadian Christmas story is Dave Cooks a Turkey.

    Stuart always tried to find music from performers who were not well known. So some of the music I like comes from the Vinyl Cafe

    Three singers stand out for me: Sarah Harmer, little Miss Higgins and Connie Caldor.

     Sarah Harmer is a singer songwriter. Many of her songs are about the country. Give a listen to Oleander. She sings a song to this tough little plant. Little Miss Higgins is more comedy. She's forceful and lively. One of her songs is about buying underwear in a thrift shop. Connie Caldor sings heavier stuff about women's rights but has a haunting strong voice.

    Now since I've discovered you tube I can find these performers and listen to them. So if you're interested take a look for these performers and give a listen.