Friday, February 28, 2020


   Ideas for the Internet were around in the 1950's . As with most things they start in a primitive form. Researchers kept pounding away on developing an internet where all people  could communicate with each other.

    I remember my first experience with the internet.  In 1995 one of our teachers ,who was the main computer expert in the school,  set up a noon hour where she would connect to the internet. She spent the whole noon hour hooking things up and getting a telephone line. What she showed us was an article in MacLean's magazine. The magical moment I was expecting turned out to be one of the bigger disappointments in my life.

    Well, all things on the technical side of the internet continued to develop. It became much easier to get on the internet and use the internet for data storage , research and communication.

    So before my first internet encounter in 1995 it was thought that the internet would draw us together as all people could communicate with each other. That sounded  like it would bring about much improvement to our world. Nothing but positive things were predicted about the internet.

   Then the internet got so good that a few sharp business operators thought of ways to make money on the internet. The hucksters decided that ads could be used to sell things. A guy invented Face Book so that we could say things to each other and he could make money ...lots of money. 

    The problem is that people felt free to say things...anything whether it was nasty, true or false. So we began fighting and in the process being divided and fighting with each other.

    So it is a disappointment that something that was designed to bring us together ended up being used to bring all kinds of harm to society.

   Now almost everything we do on the internet is traced and the sharp operator collects all our information and uses it to control our information. 

  At the present time I'm considering buying a recumbent trike. Guess what? I see many recumbent trike ads directed at me. 

    It looks like the genie has got out of the bottle. Will that genie ever be under control again?

Tuesday, February 25, 2020


     I think that in many cases we have our own routines  with
 time. Some of us are early. Some of us are late. Some of us hurry and some of us dawdle along.

    I am one of those annoying people who has to get to an event early. If church starts at 10:30 , I've got to be sitting down before 10:15.  I get pretty antsy and a little testy if I'm not ahead of the game.

     I'm also one of those people who doesn't set an alarm clock. Since about 1980 , I always get up at 7:00 AM. Even after I retired I still get up at 7:00 AM. I also haven't worn a watch since the day I retired. 

    Now there's someone else in this house who has a completely different pattern of rising from sleep. No, she doesn't sleep in. It's worse than that.

    For about 4 to 6 months , the micro Manager will get up late...8:00 Am. Then for another 4 to 6 months the MM will get up early...6:00 AM. Now I don't care how early you get up. I don't care how late you get up. Just choose one or the other and stick with it. I can adapt my routine either way.

     I often wonder how I can get up at the same time without an alarm clock. I'm starting to wonder if it's about coffee time. My body tells me that at 7:00 AM I need coffee so I get up! Or have I just developed a habit of rising at 7:00 Am over the years.

     I also spent all of my working years watching the clock. When the bell went I had to be finished my lesson and send the kids on. 

    So how many of you have specific habits of keeping time? Do you have to keep a set time routine to be happy?

    So I got thinking about these things after my last post about how time goes by so rapidly.

Sunday, February 23, 2020


    On Friday I met a young guy who I hadn't seen for a long time. Well, I should go back and edit my last sentence. He really wasn't a young guy anymore. He floored me by telling me that he would retire from teaching in two years!

    In my teacher years, did I tell you I've been retired for 22 years? , I was a department head for the last 10 years. I was a department head in three different areas. I enjoyed being department head as we were able to work as a group and set  up a standard program in an area. It's much more efficient to work as a group.

    One of the things I got to do from time to time is be part of a committee that interviewed teachers applying for a position. Somebody would go through all the applications for a job and pick out three that we would interview. 

    So here's where I first met "young man." He was one of the three picked for an interview. One applicant was in his 40's and had taught in a rural area. One standard question was how would you teach this lesson? The guy missed it completely. The second applicant was a woman in her 30's who was working on a master's program. We thought she was just looking for a short term position. The kid was 21 and applying for his first job. He nailed the lesson. After the interviews and we were going over things we decided to take the kid. Give him a chance. If he didn't turn out we could let him go as it was a contract but we wanted to take a good look at someone for a permanent contract and this was a chance for us and him. 

    Well, that was 1992. Obviously we kept him. Obviously he could teach. I liked watching him teach as he would involve the kids in the procedure. No just sitting there in a day dream for those kids. They had to participate.

    So the other day when I met "him" I was surprised that for him  retirement was right around the corner.

   Time had really gone by me on this one.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020


      In Canada there are several very serious aboriginal protests going on at this time..

      Historically there are a multitude of reasons for aboriginal grievances. Europeans came and stole aboriginal land. Treaties were made with the aboriginals. The treaties were poorly written and have caused problems ever since. The government didn't hire the best lawyers when treaties were written. 

     Reserves of land were given to aboriginals. Many times parts of reserves or all of a reserve were taken back without aboriginal consent.. Promises were made and never kept. Education is a major issue. The governments idea was to take   away aboriginal language and customs by education. That education destroyed a whole generation of aboriginals.

     Anyway, I think I've made my point that there are solid reasons for grievances. What's going on today is not productive. There are a series of protests which have shut down railroads. What sparked the issue were some hereditary Chiefs in British Columbia who were protesting a gas pipeline that was to go across their territory. The RCMP began removing the protesters. Other aboriginals from far away decided to support the gas line protesters. Things boiled over.

    Now the aboriginals and government have dug their heals in and neither side is willing to back down. Some politicians are also trying to use the situation for their advantage.

    So I am sad about this situation that has become an impasse. Most of the aboriginals do not support the blockades and protests. Most aboriginals are hard working people trying to make a living. Aboriginal governing is a mess. There are elected band councils and then there are hereditary chiefs. Many times these two groups do not agree. The government set up the elected band councils The hereditary chiefs follow traditional ways. 

   The situation has become more complicated than it needs to be.

   Now many readers will not know what I'm talking about or not care but I guess I had to write this for myself.

Thursday, February 13, 2020


      I like listening to music. There's very little music I don't like. After that all bets are off. Some music I like a lot and some not so much. I don't listen to Rap or modern country. So when I go through You Tube I will take a listen to things I've never heard before.

      I spend time on You Tube looking for good things to listen to. This week I spent a lot of time searching on You Tube for videos to  go along with my posts.

     Well, I did have time to look for music. I wanted to find some bands like Billy  Vaughn, Ray Conif, Bert Kaempfert  James Last and anything else that would crop up.  I liked listening to these  bands when they were popular.

    Well wouldn't you know it. I bumbled into a very entertaining band that  I'd never heard  before. It plays typical band music in a very entertaining fashion. It's energetic and very entertaining to watch. Go and have a listen to it. I'm sure you'll like it.

     Then there were rock groups that were only vocals. I can't even remember one name. So I have something else to look for when I've got some time.

Monday, February 10, 2020


    Yes, I'm going back to one of my favorite places again...Wakeham Bay. Yes, I did go under the sea ice to pick mussels.

    Here's how it happens.

    We lived in a beautiful bay that was 24 miles deep and at places 6 or 7 miles wide. There was a very high tide ...40 feet. The bay froze over around the first of December because of the constant wind and high tides. Going in and out of the bay were strong currents...about 12 miles per hour. You wanted to come home when the tide would sweep you in to home. The beach was stony, rocky and covered with huge boulders Some boulders were 10 to 12 feet high. Now you have to remember all these details to get under the ice.

     Later in the winter when the ice has become very thick and at high tides is the time to go under the ice. Yes, I know the tide comes in daily . But along with that there are higher tides when lined up with the moon.

     When the tide goes out the ice settles on the beach but remember those huge rocks. Well,  the ice parks on top of them . The ice sort of drapes over the rocks. What this does is to leave space under the ice around the rock. When there are a number of large rocks in a row it leaves a passageway under the ice.

     So very carefully the Inuit choose where to make a hole in the ice. They choose a time when the tide is going out. A hole is made in the ice big enough for a person to go through. Sometimes a ladder is put in the hole for you to get down to the bottom. Then anybody who wants to go down is able to. Sometimes 15 - 20 people are under the ice.

     A lantern is used to provide some light. You have a pail and start picking up mussels. Some water drips from overhead. You sometimes go 100 meters under the ice all the time walking on the ground. There is some cracking of the ice.

     I will post a video of Lukasi , who you met before talking about the petroglyphs, now taking you under the ice. Lukasi's father , Napaaluk, was the person who took us down in 1967.

    Now these were small black mussels and very tough. I didn't like them but, being a prairie boy that's not surprising.  The kids would bring up a half pail of mussels to my house and I would give them some money. I didn't eat the mussels.

    When I look at this video now I say I would never go under the ice now. In 1967  it was an experience of a lifetime to go under the ice.

Saturday, February 8, 2020


    The two previous posts brought lots of questions and comments. The experiences I had were very different and it was from a different age 1967-69.

    When I look back it's hard to imagine the conditions we lived under. We've always said it changed our lives forever and we look back at it as one of the best times of our lives.

     Mr Pudding from Yorkshire Pudding asked to see the petroglyphs so that gave me a large amount of homework. I had not taken any photos of the petroglyphs because I did not get out there. It was about 50 km away and we had to go around a point on the open sea. There are several excellent sites on this topic. I just had to find the best . ...and I still can't put links on my blog that take you to a site. AC kindly told me one way to copy a link for a video but that was not available for this video. Some day if I live long enough.....?

     However Fred Breummer had told my how he photographed them and I have seen his articles.   He took charcoal and darkened the outlines to get a better photo. These petroglyphs were put in soapstone which is a much softer rock. The soapstone in the Wakeham Bay area is dark gray and much harder than other areas. Some soapstone is soft and waxy and you can scratch it with your finger nail. The harder rock means the petroglyphs last much longer. I have one article in the house from a magazine called the Beaver summer of 1973. I don't think the Beaver is on line.

    However, I did find other sites with photos. Check out the site Images on Stone Qajartalik. This is a large site but  just look the part on Qajartalik.


Tuesday, February 4, 2020


   John from John's Island asked me where I was taking you next. I told him , "Back to the same place."

     For my newer readers a brief explanation on the background of these posts. I was a teacher and spent 1967-69 in the small Arctic community of Wakeham Bay, Quebec. There were 188 Inuit and 10 white guys.  I was a teacher , principal and local administrator.  They were all very interesting positions but very challenging and a lot of work and time. . The community was 1200 miles north of Montreal , Quebec. There were no roads to this community and no regular air schedules. We went 6 or 7 weeks at a time without mail.

     I had a 14 year old boy as a regular paid interpreter. the Micro Manager was eager to do nursing there but there was no position. She got $50.00 per month to do health care and there really was full time work. She didn't have an interpreter but between her limited inuktitut and their limited English they got along. When there was a serious case she got Lukasi to be her interpreter.

     This post is really about Lukasi. There was nobody finer that Lukasi. He was 18 years old at the time. I don't know where he picked up his English. In this video he is talking about petroglyphs which were found a few miles away. It's the only place in the north with petroglyphs.

    While we were there a well known photographer came to photograph the petroglyphs.  Fred Breummer came and stayed in my house for 8 days. Those 8 days should have counted for at least 5 university credits. We talked late into the night about his experiences. Fred had had a tremendous amount of northern experience. I think Fred wrote about 25 books. Most of them featuring his photography. Fred did a major article on the petrogyphs.

      I found this video of Lukasi discussing the petroglyphs.   Sorry I can not the video link on the blog.

Saturday, February 1, 2020


      Sometimes I find something like you tube and later on I get playing on it to see what's there. It looks like there's no limit at to what you can find. I like to look up the different places where I have lived.

       So last night I just put in Wakeham Bay and a number of videos came up. I checked to see if there was anything interesting in the list.

      Well one of the little videos featured a woman who was ten years old when I was there in 1966-1969. There was Jessica explaining how to dig clams and eat them . She speaks Inuktituk and there are English captions. She digs the clams , cleans them and tells about eating them. She likes them raw with a bit of old whale or seal oil.

     So what a big surprise! So check out this link. Jessica Arngak, Wakeham Bay