Tuesday, April 28, 2020


    The covid -19 virus has us pinned down because we don't know much about it. Covid - 19 isn't telling us much about itself. We know it can be deadly as the death rate tells us. We know that it spreads rapidly.

    There are many things that are not known. Why do cases go from  death, severe and then people who do not realize they had the virus?

   There is much debate over the use of masks. There has been change over whether masks should be used or not. 

   Does having covid - 19 give you immunity from being sick again?

    How long is the virus active when it's out of the body.? Is the virus killed by frost, heat or sunlight?

    Then there are those who have wild theories about treatment and cure. One famous suggestion is a few shots of antiseptic.!!!  Others think let the kids get the virus . It won't hurt them. Others say let the old people get the virus. They're a drain on the system anyway! Some strange concoctions have been suggested for treatment and cure. 

    I read yesterday that they are adding 6 more symptoms for covid 19.

   One thing the experts say is that we could have this monster for two years until a vaccine is developed. 

    One thing for sure, is that in the 5 months since the virus has been named not much has been learned about it. 

   In the meantime we do have things we can do to protect ourselves. I applaud those people who sew their own masks. We can stay in and wash often with soap. We can stay away from others. I have to admit that I sinned mightily this week when a person I hadn't seen for 10 years stopped by while I was in the yard. We were so happy to see each other that we shook hands! 

    Keep healthy. We'll make it through this.

Saturday, April 25, 2020


    My last post was to set the situation for this post or was this story setting the last post? Well, I don't know but they are related.

    My last post told about a very cruel story where Inuit were moved to a very inhospitable area against their will.

    One of the children in that move in 1953 died a few weeks ago at age 78.

   Markoosie Patsauq was  12 years old when his family was taken to Resolute Bay by the C.D. Howe icebreaker.

     The next year when the icebreaker came back and did a health check they found that Markoosie had tuberculosis. Markoosie was taken to Manitoba Canada which was 2766 km from Resolute Bay. So a year after one drastic change Markoosie experienced another change. Markoosie went to school and learned English while being treated for TB.

    Now they didn't send Markoosie back to Resolute but instead sent him to highschool in Yellowknife NWT which was 2794 km from Manitoba. After highschool Markoosie was the first Inuk to get a pilot's licence and did bush flying up and down the eastern coast of Hudson Bay.

    What did Markoosie do after flying? He was the first Inuk to write  novel! Harpoon of the Hunter was first written in syllabics . It was translated into English and several other languages. It's never been out of print.

     That's a major accomplishment by someone who had many challenges to face in life.

    I'm looking forward to finding Markoosie's story.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020


      "Crazy white man" was a term that was tossed around freely in the Mackenzie Delta when I was there in the mid 60's. It was thrown back and forth . White people used the phrase as well as aboriginal and when both groups were together. I'm sure that crazy white man was used in other circles in  hatred.

     I have no idea of the origin of the term but there were many situations that could have brought up it's origin. There would be a long history . European explorers came first, then whalers, missionaries, traders and government. All of them showed examples of not knowing how to cope and taking advantage of the original people.

   One example of crazy will stay in my memory forever. I was not involved in this incident but have read and heard much about it. The Canadian government decided in the early fifties that Inuit in northern Quebec would be better off if they relocated some of them. The government decided that game was becoming scarce in the area and that relocation of some families from Port Harrison ,Quebec, would ease the situation on game. 

     So they choose 10- 12 families and moved them to Resolute Bay. These people were moved against their will. They were dropped off in Resolute Bay by  ice breaker at the end of September with tents and a supply of food to get them started. Resolute Bay is one of the coldest locations in the Arctic. There is little game there. The modern Inuit had never been that far north.

     These people suffered great hardship.

     The real reason these people were moved was to be land inhabitants to claim sovereignty to the Arctic Islands. The early fifties was at the time of the cold war and Canada didn't want to find Russians inhabiting arctic islands. The Inuit called themselves human flagpoles.

   I'm sure you would agree that this was a completely loony and heartless move by the Canadian government and it would deserve the term crazy whiteman.

   Now there are countless more examples of what white people did to earn the label "crazy whiteman".


Saturday, April 18, 2020


    Some things that happen to you, you never forget.

    Here goes.

    Many of you know that I spent five years in the Arctic and enjoyed it. I was very adventurous, young and full of mischief. I had many experiences that I would never have had if I didn't have those characteristics. Now since I'm 80 most of the adventurous side of me is gone.

    I had a friend who always wanted to go goose shooting. We rented a small airplane and were dropped off somewhere in the Mackenzie delta. Other friends came with us. We had a lot of supplies. Rum was one of the main supplies. Needless to say we didn't shoot any geese or even scare a goose.

    One of the hunting trips was to Richard's Island in late September of 1965. Richard's Island is a very large island on the Mackenzie delta. In the mid fifties a very large dew line site was built there. By the time I got there the site had been closed and most of it destroyed.

    We found a good place to camp in some willows on the beach. We had one small tent for three. Four of us were on the trip. We took an aboriginal with us so this would be a serious and successful goose hunt. George, the aboriginal, said he would sleep outside the tent. So I thought if he can sleep outside the tent so can I. Well you guessed it . I was so cold I got very little sleep.

    But another thing was a cause for lack of sleep.

    One of us brought a transistor radio. We couldn't even get the local station let alone any other station. But with radio reception in the north strange things can happen. Whoever had the radio didn't realize it was still on. All night a California station would come in and out. Sometime the station would be on for half an hour. Now the content of that station is what's stayed with me for a lifetime. Most of the station's broadcast was taken up by a right wing commentator. I listened to this guy go on and on. I believe it may have been John Birch or had something to do with John Birch. I was not familiar at all with right wing ideology

    So being very , very cold and listening to a transistor radio I spent one of the more uncomfortable nights in my life.

   Did we get any geese? Of course not.

Thursday, April 16, 2020


        During this monster we are told to stay home, stay away from others and wash our hands often.

       So for hand washing how diligent are we? So how many wash for 20 seconds? How many use soap and go beyond the wrists. How often is often? I have to believe that handwashing is crucial in the fight against the pandemic. apparently this monster can live a long time as far as a virus goes. Soap does a good job of killing the virus. We are told to keep our hands away from our face. So just in case our had goes to our face it's better if it's a clean hand.

     Now , I'm not a good example of a hand washer. My lifetime record is not good. Where I was brought up water, soap and supervision were in short supply. My mother didn't have time to supervise those little hand washers so that it became a habit. On the farm , many times dirty hands were far away from soap and water.

    However, I have made a good effort to use lots of soap and water and wash often. I don't think I've got the timing down yet.

    I think we have to become vigilant with these simple procedures not to just prevent from getting the virus ourselves but from getting the virus and spreading it to others. Staying home is not fun but I can do it. Keeping a safe distance is not hard to do for me. I don't do the shopping. My wife reasons that it's better to have one person to sanitize than two . I can do lots of walking but it's easy to keep the proper distance when I'm outdoors.

    As this virus has gone on the wearing of masks has been recommended. You see more and more people wearing masks. There are many home made masks.

    We have to take all these precautions so that we only have to fight this monster once. I'm afraid that we will open things up too soon and have many more ill and double or triple the time that our economy is shut down. 

Monday, April 13, 2020


   I'm sure that many people have been surprised to find that quarantine has bothered them. For me I didn't think I would be bothered and to be fair it's not really a big deal.

    However, we should be mindful and do things that keep up our morale.

   Some people are getting out and doing some great walks. Many of the trails are almost deserted. Mr Pudding from Yorkshire Pudding is going on great walks.

    Other people double down on crafts. Some people are going at house cleaning like there's no tomorrow. 

    I have recommended that you look for some music to listen to. I have two groups that I email once a week. 

     I'm sure that there are many different things people are doing while we are kept separate.

    I was fortunate yesterday to find a gold mine on FaceBook. One of my students from 82-83 put on photos from his yearbook. He put on all the home room photos. We had about 20 home rooms in the school. He got much reaction from the photos . Some of the people had lost contact with each other so were excited to meet some of their old friends. Much news was exchanged . A lot of laughing was involved. Willie just kept putting photos on all day. I was going to tell him to quit because it was my bedtime. However , I caught up with things today. Thanks Will for a  few pleasant  hours on Facebook.

    I can also take a few silly photos. Our neighbors gave us a plant for Easter so in the photo you not only get the plant but me as well. 

     The original wasn't much better than the one I played with.

    How are you doing in the "lock up"? What have you found to do that helps to make the time go by in a pleasant manner?

Friday, April 10, 2020

Siblings Day

     Today is national siblings day so it's time to brag about my siblings. 

     I have three brothers. I'm the oldest in the family. My first brother was born 11 months after I was born so we are Irish twins. My second brother was born 5 years after me. My third brother was born 15 years after I was born.

     We were all very different. The tallest is about 6'4".  The shortest about 5' 8" 

    I'm the only one who moved away. 

     Our step mother called us Emil's boys . 

     We have one sibling who we have lived without for 67 years. Doreen sadly left us in 1953.

      Emil and his boys at his 90th birthday.

    Doreen age 11.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020


     I've been staying in for 3 - 4 weeks now.  I must admit that I'm starting to get a little crabby. In fact, if you asked the Micro Manager , I'm at the top end of the crabby scale.

     Routines have been broken and cannot be followed. At least once a week we did a grocery run. at least twice a week we ate out. At least twice a week we had business or other shopping that had to be done. I also like to go to various park areas for a good walk. I didn't realize we were out so much until I wrote this down. Then I have at least a couple of meetings a month and I can always find a speaker some place in town who is worth listening to. 

    So I'm starting to see why I'm a little cranky. 

    What's really got my attention is , "How much longer will I have to stay in?"

    Now I have to take this dreaded virus very seriously.  First, I don't want to get the virus. I'm in the over 80 category. Other than that I'm in fine shape. 

    I think it's our responsibility to not get the virus. When we get the virus we spread it around to folks who may suffer or even die from it. We also may need some serious looking after.

    So how long are we going to have to stay in? It looks like quite a while. It's certainly going to be more than 4 weeks. The way it's going it could be several months. At least when spring gets here I can spend more time outdoors

    So to stay healthy and protect all the friends and neighbors, I'm staying in. I don't like it, but things just happen that way.

Saturday, April 4, 2020


        Okay here is the rice pudding recipe. as you can see someone very carefully hand printed the recipe onto a "recipe card" many years ago. this was in the day when cooks exchanged recipes and long before computers .

        So this comes from a time when the Micro Manager was a very young woman. Notice the neat and definite printing.

       So since some of you asked for the rice pudding recipe , here it is.

   I had a lot of fun with this post and in particular your comments. I was surprised so many of you liked rice pudding and that much cooking was being done since we have been locked down.

Friday, April 3, 2020


     With being tied down in "jail" things are getting boring. I still haven't got disciplined to do some activities that can be done. Yes, it's spring and cleaning should be done. Yes, I could work on the family tree. None of these things are happening.

    We spend most of our time talking about the elephant in the room. There is much to talk about . There's the news. There's the virus and what it is like. There are so many unknowns. 

    So what does Red do? He makes some of his favorite food. I like rice pudding. I like most puddings but rice pudding is probably my favorite. I found a simple recipe ...one that I can follow and end up with rice pudding.

    So here I am hard at work.

     Now the best rice pudding was made by my Mom. She made her rice pudding in the oven. This pudding ended up with a skin on top. When we were little guys we used to fight to get the very delicious skin.

    So have a great day. What foods are you making while you're cooped up trying to not get the virus?


Wednesday, April 1, 2020


      Okay, most of my followers have very nice spring weather. That's the way it should be for April 1.

      Meanwhile I'm left looking forward to spring from winter. Today we had a high of minus 12 C (10 F). There was a blustery  wind. It was far from a spring day. It would even be classified as a nasty winter day.

     Needless to say, very little winter snow has melted. The first snow melts off the roof. From my photo you can see that snow is still on the roof of all houses.

    So at 7:30 Pm I was sadly looking out the window when I thought this is a good day to mark a very late spring.

       So lots of snow on the roof.

     I noticed the evening sun on a wall. When I looked at the photo I thought this would be good for one of those fence photos. You  can see three separate fences and a shadow of a fence.