Sunday, December 31, 2023


      I consider myself to be a fairly balanced feet on the ground kind of person.

      However, when it comes to the winter solstice and the time immediately before and after, I become overly interested in time. 

     When I was little we did not get daily papers with sun rise and sunset times. I just sensed that the days got shorter and then longer. I did not know how much difference there was. 

     When I got a daily paper sunrise and sunset times were given. 

      Now there are detailed charts on line that give you the times down to the second.

     Dec. 21:   sun rise  8:42 Am : sun set at 4:24 PM. Daylight: 7 hours  41 minutes and 45 seconds  The day got shorter by .05 seconds

      Dec. 31  sunrise at 8:44 and sunset at 4:31. 7 hours 45 minutes and 59 seconds of daylight.   The daytime increased by one minute and one second!

     I watch for these changes as I want to see the light come back again. It's intriguing now that these figure are precise enough that the are calculated in seconds. 

     You can go to a site called timeanddate to see a chart with this info and much more. 

Friday, December 29, 2023


      Before I get carried away and forget I will wish everyone a Happy New Year and a great 2024. 

       However, at the end of the year I start thinking about time and say, "Where ever did the year go?" or "That year sure went by in a hurry." or "That was a short year. " or "The years are getting shorter."

        The older we get , the more we feel that time is going by much faster.

       Well, there's a reason why we think that time is going by much faster.

       On our first year, that is 100% of our life. On our tenth birthday the tenth year is 10% of our whole life at that time. 

        On our 50th year one year is 2% of our whole life. So because each year is less of our life in percentage we feel as if time is going faster. One year is still 365 1/4 days like it's always been. Our sense of time is a little bit deluded.

         For me, the year 2023 was 1.29% of my whole life. 

        I also think back to one of the more important New Years. It was 2000, the coming of a new millennium.

        Remember how stressed we were as to what might happen. Would there be a total break down? The new millennium came and went without total melt down. Now we look back and say, "What was that all about?"

       New Year's Eve in 1964 I met a special little lady who attracted my attention. Here we are 60 years later and still attracting each other's attention. 


Wednesday, December 27, 2023


      I was listening to a radio interview of a guy who's made a movie of Ernie Combs and his show MR Dress Up. Although the interview was to feature Ernie Combs, Mr Rogers had to sneak in. These two had awesome TV Shows for kids. Mr Dress Up featured puppets and humans interacting. Mr Rogers featured a neighborhood. 

      Both emphasized aiming all content and ideas at a child's level. 

     One of the features on the interview was the woman who had the puppets Casey and Finnigan . They did not have a script but talked back and forth with Mr Dressup.

      So today's interview was a reminder of these excellent shows. I immediately recognized the theme song that introduced Mr Dress Up. I would like to have heard Mr Rogers and My Neighborhood. 

       Now I didn't watch much of these shows but they had an impact on me and my kids. 

      I was also reminded that I had a Halloween costume of Mr Rogers. I quite often wore a green cardigan to school. It was exactly like the one Fred Rogers wore.

     The middle school kids had a Halloween dance and I was overseeing the door. I had gone home for supper and went back with the same clothes. Some kid got the idea that since was wearing the cardigan that they would make me Mr. Rogers. To make sure that everybody knew what was going on they Labelled me as Mr. Rogers. Too bad the scan was so poor and that you can't read what the label says.

     So today I enjoyed the interview about Ernie Combs and the reminder of my goofy Halloween costume. 

     Although these two shows were widely distributed some people in other countries may not be aware of them. 

Friday, December 22, 2023


        So yesterday was all about data. Dates and times described the solstice.

        However, today was a very nice day here. It was partly cloudy and plus 7 C most of the day.

       It was  chinooking. So we are getting a wind from the west and warm air. 

      As I've described before there is a chinook arch. The arch stretches across most of the western horizon. So I have a photo from just before 9:00 AM and one around 4 PM. Don't look at my times. I have to reset the camera. 


Thursday, December 21, 2023


      Today is the day we get the shortest day and longest night. This has interested me since I was a little kid. On the farm we played outdoors and were out at night. We didn't have electricity so the night sky was bright. We also new that when we played outside after supper it got darker every day. 

      When I got someplace with a daily paper and the records of sun up and sunset, the solstice was more interesting. 

      So today our sunrise was at 8:42 and sunset at 4:24 for a total of seven hours and 42 minutes of sun. 

      What I find interesting is that sunset on Dec.8 was 4:22 and on Dec. 21 4:24. So the afternoons have started to get longer. Sunrise on Dec 8 was at 8:31 and on Dec. 21 was 8:42. The sun is still coming up later. 

      Our average high temperature in Dec is -4 C and average low -16 C.

     So I always think of the winter solstice as going up a hill and you reach the top. Now it's down hill and much easier. 

Monday, December 18, 2023


      Now tell me, can you name your two best Christmas presents? Well that may be a bit of a hard question. I've set the rules. So twist this question around if you like. 

     My two best Christmas presents were my children. Yes , they both arrived for Christmas.

     My children are adopted. When we decided to adopt we had to fill in a detailed application form and have a house inspection and a long interview. We were at the mercy of the bureaucrats. They told us we could be waiting for as much as two years if we were accepted as parents. With this happy news we carried on our lives and careers and put adoption in the back of our minds. The application was made in Sept.

    So on Dec. 21 one of the bureaucrats phoned and told the MM that they had a baby for us! Wow! We were not prepared at all. The MM was just getting ready to go on shift. She thought fast and asked for an extra day from the bureaucrat. The first phone call she made was to resign . She spent the next  day shopping as she had to buy everything needed for an infant. And she did get everything and the big day and trip came. 

    We were delighted to receive a baby boy who was about 8 weeks old. This little guy knew that something was going on and he knew that he was with different people. After a day or two he calmed down.

    So his sister? Almost the same thing. They phoned on the last day of school and would we come to Edmonton the next day. She was about 8 weeks old. 

    Okay we were ready we thought. The usual interview happened and then we were left alone with the baby to make a decision. Who is going to turn down an infant. She looked as she may have a deformity and we had been told she was a healthy infant . Things were reviewed and checked and found to be normal . 

    Off to home we went with a new daughter. Her shoulder straightened out in a day or two. Sad to say that she may have been left in a chilly area and was cold. 

    So there you have two best Christmas presents. 

Saturday, December 16, 2023


        The bunny was back at it's scrape this morning and stayed all day. They rest and groom during the day.

        The first photo is from 9:00 AM this morning. We had 4 to 6 Cm of snow Thur. evening so one of the raspberry leaves was hanging down over the rabbit's face because of the weight of the snow on the leaf. Later in the day the snow fell off the leaf and you could see the rabbit's face. 

       He/She/it will be the same animal coming back to it's spot. The animal probably has several more scrapes where it spends the day. They rotate from scrape to scrape for security. 

Thursday, December 14, 2023


       Recently, one of the jobs being delegated to me has been making the bed. As the Micro Manager finds things more challenging , I've taken on some of her jobs.

      What I found is that making a bed is hard. Particularly if you have the Micro Manager supervising. 

      Now my history of bed making is quite small. I don't remember making a bed when I lived at home. When I left home I boarded, and the landlady made the bed. When I went to the Arctic we had a day nighter. This was a combination chesterfield and bed. The chesterfield would roll out into a bed that you made up. If you were careful in the morning you could roll the bed back in with the bed made. so no making the bed there.

     Add wonder of wonders, when I got married the MM made the bed with no assistance from me. 

     However, when I was being brought up my Mom was extremely busy. She rarely had time to make our beds. We were told to go to bed. My bother and I slept in the same bed. We would go to the bedroom and it doesn't take much imagination what two little boys would do. Jump on the bed? You bet . That was fun. Pillow fights ? Oh yes. 

    After a while a loud voice would say , "You boys go to bed." This just meant we could carry on but we had to be quieter. And then finally ,"You boys go to bed or you'll get a spanking." This usually got the message across that we had to take things seriously.

     So there we were. Two little boys sound a sleep in a mess of sheets, blankets and pillow cases. 

     Here are the two little angels who couldn't make their own bed. 

Now some of this may be exaggerated but most of this is what happened and so I didn't learn to make a bed at home either. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2023


        I walked by a house a few days ago and every inch of the yard and house some decoration on it or in it. 

        There's no exaggeration when  I say all surfaces were covered by some kind of decoration. 

       There is much to choose from when it comes to dressing things up for the season. This guy/gal bought everything they saw and placed it wherever it would fit. There was no plan to fit things together as to color or size or lights. Big stuff , little stuff it was all there in the yard. They had many of the big inflatable figures which seem to be quite popular. 

       Some people will go by this place and think it was great. I would like to see a lot less glitter

       I went back at night and tried to get a photo but it would have been much better in the daytime. In the day I had a little more elevation so could look down a bit on the area. 

      So I nominate these people for the King and Queen of tack. (tackiness)

Sunday, December 10, 2023


     We have the pleasure of having a large jack rabbit population in the city. I've seen them in front of the downtown library so they are right downtown.

     The jack rabbit is fairly large. Length varies from 22 to 26 in and weight from 5.5 lb. to 9.5 lb. 

     They are mostly active at night but usually remain resting in the day. In my subdivision there may be 5 to 12 animals and they visit my yard very often. 

     These rabbits turn white for the winter. That's what this post is going to be about. Most years all animals have their white coat long before this time. This year there are a number of animals that have a winter coat but they are mostly brown. That's what I'm wondering about. Why are these animals still brown rather than white?

     I took the first photo on Nov. 25. The ears stay brown and the ear tips are black. The second photo was taken Dec. 7. I believe this to be the same animal. It has two forms under my raspberries. A form is a place that is smoothed out and they stay there all day.

     This animal will probably keep spending time in my yard every 4 or 5 days until something scares it off. I'll keep watching. 


Thursday, December 7, 2023


          The other night when I visited City Hall Park, I got quite a few photos. I just had to turn around and I had more photos. Some will look the same as there are similar light displays. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2023


       Our city spends time, effort and money to decorate the downtown for Christmas. It centers around city hall and city hall park.

      If you don't go out and see it you're missing something. I went out last night to have a look when it was still fairly mild. 

      So here's my look. 

Saturday, December 2, 2023


     Winter is not a season; it's a celebration.  Anamika Mishra

      It is certainly reasonable for you to take issue with this quote. Where I live at Red Deer , Alberta, Canada, many people certainly dislike winter. 

      There are many other types of winter in the world. We don't know much about each other's winter. I've been to Hawaii and Phoenix in the winter. They are very different to this winter. 

    People in the last post commented that they would not like to experience my winter. There is a condition called SAD (Seasonal Affective disorder) which is a situation many people find themselves in at the beginning of winter. It's real. They suffer a number of conditions as they don't look forward to winter. 

    I on the other hand rather like winter. I don't like it as much as when I was younger. I would like to be able to get out and cross country ski, skate or hike. One has to sort of attack winter . Get out there and enjoy the time. 

    I was in the Arctic where we did not have a sunrise for 6 weeks. I enjoyed it but I was young and single. I got out all the time. Some people remained in their house and only went out to go to work. That was terrible. Some people suffered a great deal in those winters. 

                                Senior skating

           Cross country skiing. I wish I was still out there.
    Set tracks make skiing more enjoyable and you can go faster. 


Wednesday, November 29, 2023


      We usually think as November being dull and cloudy. The days are short. Today the sun rose at 8:19 and set at 4:27. That meant 8 hours and 8 minutes of sun. 

     However , there is one bright spot on the horizon. 

    When driving at these times the sun is so low all day that it just nicely shines in your car windows no matter what time of day it is. So in the morning if you are going east you look almost directly into the sun. At noon the sun is brighter but is still shines directly in the car windows, Same thing going west in the afternoon. 

    So November days may be dull with weak sun as it's on an angle that  is going through much of the atmosphere. But since the rays are low they hit you in the eye.

     Well, it could be  worse. Sunrise in Inuvik today is 12:34 and sunset 2:48 for 2 hours and 14 minutes of sun. 

     Here's two shots of the same thing from Nov. 19

Sunday, November 26, 2023


    I'm not a photographer. Don't argue with me on that one. I take photos. That is all. 

    However, the other day I came across something that was interesting and took a photo. 

    So here's the photo and then I'll tell you what my problem is. 

    I was standing on a little footbridge and looked into a little pond on the creek and I saw  crystal clear reflection , You can see ice on the edge of the pond. 

    Then I looked around for some perspective. Normally you would open things up and show the trees on the bank and the reflections together. 

   Well that wouldn't work. I was on a foot bridge . The image was quite far down . the tree was on a high bank. Even if I did take the bridge railing off I couldn't get the whole image. 

   So I'll have to be content with a pretty image and complete lack of perspective. 

   I went to the other side of the bridge and there was the typical reflection photo. So you see the trees and reflection in the same photo.

    This came out of my walk on Nov. 19. 

Friday, November 24, 2023


       This is not meant to be a post with pretty photos. 

       I quite often walk the path along this creek about 1 km from my house. The banks are steep and the land has never been developed. 

      Native species are  there but there are many invasives.

     Put that together with all the different soil types and you have a variety of scrubby  vegetation. So in these photos it shows areas with vegetation which struggles with poor conditions. 

       The second photo is just a poor photo. I swear that the other photos were in better focus in the camera . However it was a very gray day. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023


      The grammar police visited my post A Memory. 

      Have you ever had grammar police visit your blog? 

     This visit was more of a raid as they went a little further than just grammar. 

     I had tried to say that Mr Pudding from Yorkshire Pudding had been to his favorite pub for quiz night. Question # 12 gave me a good memory for my post. I was chastised because  I hadn't explained "Mr Pudding" or "Yorkshire Pudding" In fact, they thought that so much was missing that I may have had a TIA. Well part of this is their problem but I admit that it was a  sloppy paragraph. 

   There were further omissions and out right mistakes. I confess to some very poor editing. I was in a hurry. 

   So this would bring up a question for bloggers. How much should we concern ourselves with grammar? Are bloggers supposed to work to rule? Is it necessary to have completely correct grammar? I'm sure everybody has their own opinions. What makes up a good blog? Does it take correct grammar to have a good blog? 

    When you read my blog I think you see that I am somewhat informal. That's me. I'm that kind of person.

    When I read your blogs, which are all good, I see different styles. People can write the way they talk and it makes for an interesting blog. 

     With so much variety blogging is very interesting. 

      So since I have confessed to some errors, will the grammar police wonder what I'm talking about or will bloggers wonder what grammar police are? There seems to be something wrong with my last sentence but I don't know what it is. 


Sunday, November 19, 2023


     On Oct. 23 we had a heavy snowfall. I predicted  that it would be our winter snow and not melt until the spring.

    Well, 99% of it is gone. We've had beautiful weather and the snow has melted. Temperatures have been well above average. 

   This would be what my Dad would call an open fall. 

                                      This was Oct 23

       Today NOV 19.This is the most snow I could find.

                 Today Nov 19. Sea any snow here?

Wednesday, November 15, 2023


      Mr. Pudding from Yorkshire pudding was at a quiz night when # 12 was. What does the term weenie mean in North America.

     He didn't get it but it reminded me of a story revolving around a weenie roast. In my day the weenie roast was common and happened many times quite by accident.

    So in my days in Inuvik the Mackenzie river was he center of many things. It was spring...the beginning of June. The ice hadn't gone out on the Mackenzie river. But there was a rumor that is was going out this night. We had never seen the ice go out so about ten of us decided we would go down and wait for the ice to go out. And why not take a package of wieners and some buns and have a weenie roast while we waited. It was a mixed group of friends. The midnight sun was bright . We found some firewood...there was lots of it and built a fire and waited. 

    About 2:00 AM we decided the ice wasn't going out and  slowly went home. We all had to be at work in the morning. 

   Now the Mackenzie River divides into many channels but there is a main channel. Being white men who knew everything we had been taken in by some aboriginals who assured us the river would break up. The break up on the channel we were at would be great but not spectacular. 

    The main channel of the river is where the excitement takes place. There are enormous blocks of ice flying around and and enormous flow of water. 

    Any river that flows from south to north has a gigantic spring break up. It's warmer in the south and there's much melting. In the north the ice is still solid but the huge flow of water breaks up on the river. The ice is about 4 or 5 feet think. 

    So this is a weenie roast I'll remember and I never got to see the river break break up. 

Monday, November 13, 2023


     Today my clothes dryer did some funny things which made it so that it didn't work. The timer would go from 29 to one and quit. One time it went from 41 to 34. Skipped 34 to 9. skipped 3 and 4 and went to 0. Needless to say we didn't get many clothes dried. 

     We got this dryer in March of 23 so I hope there's still some warranty on it. With all the computer boards on everything these days you really don't know what the problem is. 

     Now on the farm my mother had the same clothes dryer for 35 years. It did not have a warranty. It broke a few times but was working again in a few minutes. All you had to do was tie the wire together again. Mother's clothes dryer was outside made of wires set around a pulley at each end. Mother took her clothes basket out side and pinned the clothes to the wire. As she needed more space to hang clothes she used the pulley to move the clothes already on the line. 

    It didn't take long and the clothes were dry and fresh smelling.

    Winter weather made this clothes drier very painful to use. Working with wet hands in freezing weather was painful. The clothes would dry a bit and then she'd bring them in as they were frozen stiff. She's hang them in the house until they were dry. 

    So I'm wondering if I should put a couple of posts in the yard, buy a couple of pulleys and some wire and dry my clothes outside? 

Saturday, November 11, 2023


     Today was just a super day for mid November. 

     We had heavy snowfall on Oct. 23. I thought ,"This is it. We have snow all winter."

      Surprise, Surprise. We've had mild weather since about Oct. 25. Today most of our snow is gone. 

     We've had a super day with a high of plus 10 C (50 F). 

     The average high for the month of November is 0 C (32 F) so at 10 C we're well above the average high.

    It was chinooking today so it was windy and warm. I did not get a photo of the chinook arch.

    The forecast for the next seven days is great with highs above freezing all the time.

    In spite of such pleasant weather , I put up my Christmas lights today. So to make my kids happy, I did not climb the ladder (very high) as I put the lights low down on the house.

    And I walked at 8 PM and it was most pleasant. 

Thursday, November 9, 2023


      I have been struggling to post this last week. 

      I have some excuses though!

      The Micro Manager has a torn rotator cuff that she's left far too long to get some treatment. Those lucky people who have experienced torn rotator cuff know that it is painful and just plane miserable. The Micro Manager is experiencing a lot of pain so I've had to do more of the work.

     I'm also trying to launch two other projects to keep me busy during the winter but if I don't get at them winter will be over. I've started a family history. I want other members of the family to contribute. That's going to be a challenge. 

    I also want to pull posts out of Hiawatha house and put them into a separate blog which will work into a biography. So If anybody knows a fast, dirty and simple way to pull posts out of a blog and place them in another blog let me know. 

    So I've set out some challenges and work for me.

    If you're going to blog , you have to be able to think about subjects to write about. I haven't been doing that . 

Saturday, November 4, 2023


       Thursday evening I went to a rodeo.

       How did I get to a rodeo? A company that I am a customer of, always treats their clients to a roast beef dinner. So there we are once a year at a fine dinner and with tokens in our pockets for drinks. They also gave us rodeo tickets so that's how I got to the rodeo.

        We have the Canadian Finals Rodeo here so it shows off the best talent on the rodeo circuit. Only the top ten in each category get to enter and compete in this rodeo. These performers have competed for the last year at rodeos and these were the best. 

      At this time of year rodeos are in arenas. 

     Now I don't go to rodeos anymore. I used to go once in a while but they were to summer events. I prefer the summer outdoor rodeo. I also like the chuck wagon races and you can't have those in an arena.

     Now I got to the rodeo a little late. The lights in the stands were dim. I couldn't find my seat. You just couldn't see the signage. Oh yes, you needed an magnifying glass to read the info on the ticket stub. Finally I ran into an usher.  I had seats in the wheelchair section and she had to get us chairs. 

     Okay, my second gripe is that they have the sound system turned up to about a 1000 decibels. With hearing aids, I hear very little. Just noise!

     After all that I had fun although I didn't stay for the whole show . 

Wednesday, November 1, 2023


       I'm so old that they didn't lock things when I was a kid. 

     A couple of things I mentioned in my last post reminded me of what it was like when I was a kid in the 40's and 50's. When I mentioned pushing cars around at Halloween I suddenly remembered some things about cars and houses.

      When I was a kid in the 40's to 60's , we did not lock anything. In fact we left the keys in the car ignition. That's the kind of world we lived in. The really old cars did not have keys. They had a toggle switch with off and on. Some people modified things so that they didn't need a key to start the car. They were more worried about losing keys than cars to theft. 

    So we could have driven the cars around instead of pushing them. All we did was put the car gears in neutral and three or four kids could move the car. One kid had to steer. 

    Houses were not locked on farms or in the villages and small towns. When Mom and Dad went away one time, they decided to lock the house. The problem was they couldn't find the key so the house was left unlocked. 

    When I first came to this city in 1969, I did not lock my house door or my car. Shortly after that I started locking both but was not that rigorous about it. I learned that I was in the city and it was different. Somehow time had moved on so that most cars and houses were locked. 

Monday, October 30, 2023


      Origins  of Halloween are interesting. But I'm going to bore you with my childhood Halloween experience.

       For the most part there was nothing.

       My childhood was in the 40's and 50's. We lived in a rural area where everything was limited. Halloween treats were just not heard of. Even in the village kids did not go from house to house for treats. Most people didn't have the spare cash to buy candy. Going house to house for treats was not heard of. Farms were too far apart to go from house to house and transportation was limited. 

      In school we had a Halloween party in the afternoon. Some kids had costumes. The teacher used it for an art class. We bobbed for apples. That was it. 

     The main idea at that time was tricks and some of the tricks were not funny and damage was done. The idea was to scare people so various mysterious noises were made. The first kids who came to our house sneaked on to the yard. They had a small home made device that made a loud noise on the window. We were alarmed as we didn't expect anything. 

     In the village a common trick was to tip over the out houses and move things around from place to place. Since cars were not locked they were easily pushed from place to place. Someone could find their car at somebody else's house. In my first year of high school the police man came and got the boys to go around and tip  the outhouses back up. I was a little upset as I hadn't been with the gang to upset out houses. 

    So Halloween when I was a kid was much different than it is today. My first trick or treating was when I took my own kids out trick or treating. I remember one night that  was bitterly cold. They were young enough that I had to go with them. I was cold and wanted to go home. Not my two little pumpkins. They wanted to keep going and they did.

    Much has changed about Halloween in my life time.

Friday, October 27, 2023


         Now I don't gamble! 

         But I do eat at a casino where the food is excellent and cheap. 

        However, some time ago the casino persuaded me to get a loyalty card. It saved me 2 bucks on the buffet. I thought nothing more about it. 

       So a year after I get a promo saying they hadn't seen any action in my account and here's 20 bucks in points to play with. A couple of weeks ago they gave me another 20000 points. You can only gamble with your points and any money comes from what you win. 

     So I got one of the staff to help me spend my points. It's complicated . You have an to me. You put your pin number in and it tells you how much you have to play with. I'm not sure of all the steps and I couldn't do it myself. However, you choose how big your bets should be and then start hitting play until  3 figures come up in a row. Then they decide how much money you get? How they figure that out I don't know.

     However, one hit came up and I won $43.00. I immediately cashed it out and kept playing. They couldn't take my $43.00 away as I wouldn't play with it. I continued playing until all my points were used up. The machine shows you how much you have to play with and when it's all used up. 

    The Micro Manager played and she won $12.50. We cashed in and went home. 

    Does this make a gamble of me? Never! Am I tempted? Never. You feel silly and angry that you put money in the machines. 

    So the bumbling gambler, with a lot of help from the staff,  played his points and went home still not knowing how to run the machines. 

Monday, October 23, 2023


       Well, no surprise. We're getting a major dump of snow. We had 2 - 3 inches by about 4.30 PM. It's been coming down steadily since then. I will shovel again this evening. 

      The first phots were taken in the day time . The others were taken this evening.