Friday, March 31, 2023


             The behavior of many of our politicians could be described by many different words. All of them bad. 

           Before I go on I must say that there are many honorable politicians. The idiots get the publicity. Hard working politicians do not get the credit and notice they deserve. 

         If I was a politician, I'd find it very hard to lose an election. It would crush my fragile self image. As a result I have not run for any kind of position which requires an election. 

       Many politicians seem to be interested in only one thing and that is to get elected. As a result they spend all their time and money for the purpose of getting elected. No stunt is too wild to gain attention. Twist their words and other politicians words. Truth goes out the window. Defend all the looney ideas (oops, they don't have any ideas)  antics they come up with. The wacky behavior is to try and get elected. 

     Our premier has recently been caught contacting the justice system regarding certain people who are facing criminal charges. The justice system is not to be influenced by politicians. There's a separation between the two for good reason. Politicians would make very poor judges. 

      So I think that many of these people are terrified to lose an election. Their egos are fragile. That's all they have to offer. They don't have ideas. They've never heard of the government setting up systems to help people. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2023


       Most of the houses here still have snow on the roof. 

           A snowy roof from a few days ago.

      To me snow on the roof of houses indicates that very little spring thawing has occurred. Yes, the snow is gone from some of the roofs that may face south  or the house may not have much insulation. 

      I don't know if this is scientific or just the deductions of an elderly man. First, the snow melts off the roof and then snow starts to melt a little faster on the land. Snow can be found in the bush for quite a while after snow in the open has melted. 

     The low temperature last night was minus 18 C. That means that it doesn't warm up much in the daytime so very little snow melting takes place. Today our high was minus 2 C with some wind so it wasn't  very pleasant day. 

     To make me feel bluer, there is not much spring warmth in the seven day forecast. We get a couple of days with highs of plus 5 C and then the highs are below 0 C.

     When spring does come here it will be fast. This morning the sun rose at 7:19 and sets tonight at 8:02 for 12 hours and 43  minutes of sun. This means that when it does decide to warm up it will happen rapidly. 

      So I may be a bit blue with this cold spring, but I know that spring will be here sooner than later. 

Sunday, March 26, 2023


        I feel like crap today and I'll tell you why I think I feel like crap. 

        I had my sixth covid shot yesterday. It was pfizer with the two parts. So I think I'm under the weather from the results of my covid shot. None of the previous shots bothered me in the least. The Micro Manager had no problems before. But this shot has both of us feeling pretty miserable.  We are fatigued and very irritable. However, I guess it doesn't last long and it's much better than getting covid. We still have about 2000 new cases a week and around 25 deaths a week. 

      Today I had two grocery stores to visit. I needed seven items at one grocery. I got the wrong brand of one item and then bought an item that was past it's best before date. I was just not sharp at all. The next store  I needed three items and missed two of them altogether. I  seemed to be fighting to stay focused and follow the regular shopping routine.

    How many people have had a sixth covid shot? Is the  sixth shot the one that makes us miserable. 

Thursday, March 23, 2023


       We eat out several times a week. Most of the time we go to the same restaurant. They cater to seniors. They have a $4.99 breakfast. Construction workers order ahead and have two breakfasts.

      We have their breakfast schedule at least once a week. As in many restaurants many things, such as salt and pepper, are on the table most of the time.

     For breakfast there is usually jam in a basket.

     Yesterday someone came to our table. The micro Manager heard it as "Where is Jim?" I just heard Jim. The Micro manager replied that she didn't know any Jim in the restaurant. The lady went away to another table. The people at the second table were a little brighter. They gave the lady the basket of jam.

     So the lady had an accent and was actually asking us for jam. 

     I'm sure that when she went away she thought that those two old people were very miserable not to give her any "Jim." 

Monday, March 20, 2023


      Well, the first day of spring is usually Mar. 21. I thought I'd show you what Mar. 21 looks like here today. I went out about 10:30 AM and got some photos in very bright sunshine. It was made brighter by all the snow. 

      Just to clear a few things up, some Mar. 21's we may not have any snow.  And some Mar.21's may have more snow. Today's high was plus 2 C or about 35 F. 
      Don't worry. Spring is coming here. 

Sunday, March 19, 2023


     So what did my first post look like? Well, here it is. I was anxious to get something posted. It was kind of an introduction. I had no readers and comments. I just wasn't out there so that I could e recognized. Back to blogging for dummies. I finally found out how to post my blog where it might be seen. For many posts I had no readers and of course no comments. 

     It was a challenge and I was determined to win. After I had things set up my intention was to quit. So here I am 15 years later. This post was made on Aug. 27, 2008.

     The next post was on Sept. 23 , 2008. I think I only made 2 posts in 2008. 

     So many people have given me pleasure during my blog journey . I've learned so much from the people who follow and comment. 


     So my 2008 blog post starts here. 

     What does one say when one starts a blog ? Obviously something must be on my mind . I'm interested in the environment , music, reading, Xcountry skiing , cycling , issues of health and education ... So from time to time I will leave comments on these topics and other related issues . I hope that you find something of value ...informative, interesting or something which you wish to comment on.

     I look forward to coming up with topics and putting them together for others to think about .

Friday, March 17, 2023


      Very quietly and all alone my blog counter passed the one million mark today.  I told my son in law last weekend that this milestone was about to happen and he said go ahead and tell the blogging world about my number. 

      I started blogging in 2008. I had no idea what I was doing so for the first six months I was reading blogging for dummies. I didn't post very many times. I had no idea what comments were about. The first person who commented on my blog was Connie from  Far Side of Fifty. Maybe she was the millionth customer this afternoon as she still follows my blog. That's quite a record for Connie. 

      I'm not a prolific poster but do from 110 to 150 posts a year. 

      What's so fantastic about blogging? The people you meet and make friends with in blog land. 

    Thanks , my friends , for visiting me and making blogging fun. 

Thursday, March 16, 2023


      Our income tax dead line in Canada is April 30. So income tax is on my mind. I wonder how many countries in the world have an income tax system.  I wonder what are the tax  filing deadlines in other countries?

     I did my own income tax until 2018 when I decided that for my skills it took too much time. I knew what was going on but it was hard work. I now have someone do my tax. However, now I don't really know what is going on. You can't have it both ways.

      I filed  my first tax return in 1958. It was one page both sides. I put in my income . Everybody was given a thousand dollar deduction. So fill it out and pay the tax man. Simple. I wish the tax system could have remained simple. So various governments tinkered with the system trying to raise more tax income and then make things more palatable by giving some benefits. So they take with one hand and give with the other. They also think we don't know what they're doing.

     I taught for two years in a small isolated Inuit settlement. Usually 6 to 10 of the men got work at a nearby mine for a few months. These people did not read or write. However, the mining company had to send these men T-4 slips. When the men got these slips they would come to me and ask for money. I had to explain to them that we had to fill out a form and send it to the government and then they would get money. They had no other income except from the mine. So I ended up filling out a few tax returns. The were happy to get the income tax return. 

     So my return is done and filed. How about you? Have you found out how much money the tax man wants? 

Monday, March 13, 2023


      A couple of posts ago I admitted my passion for the history of western Canada. This includes the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. It's a huge area made up of plains and forest. The southern parts are grasslands and the northern parts are dense forests. 

     In the 1800's this area was almost vacant. The Canadian government wanted people to live in this huge area. If that was going to happen the land had to be surveyed so people could identify the land they wanted.

     Did I tell you that free land was available? Yes, for $10.00 and meeting some obligations you could get 160 acres. 

    Now here's where my son in law comes in as he asked me about how the land was divided. 

     The land was to be surveyed in blocks so that identification was made for each parcel of land and it could not be mistaken for another property.

    An artificial line was established so that all measurement could start from the same place. There were township lines running north and south and range lines running east and west. These lines were 6 miles apart giving  piece of land 36 sections. One section was 640 acres. These lines were all numbered. The final description was east or west of the first meridian. They established more meridians as the moved west. 

      The surveys happened around 1880 and took quite a few years before it was complete. The technology of the time was simple. Survey crews spent from early spring to late fall. The crewmen were paid $1.00 per day. 

    So a piece of land would be described as SW-20-rge 21-twp 32 -  west of the second. No other piece of land has this designation. 

    This survey was not really used for another 20 years before people started coming to the area. Stakes were used to show the corners and the wooden stakes were marked , but a little problem happened. Wooden stakes rotted and the first nations people found that the stakes made a good wood supply. Some areas had to be resurveyed.

    Now there was another little problem. The roads were supposed to be one mile apart. Because of the curvature of the earth, the roads would get closer together as  they went north. To make amends for this they invented correction lines. Every 24 or 30 miles the roads would take a sharp jog of about 100 ft so that they would continue to be one mile apart. 

    Millions of people came to the area looking for free land and using this system of survey to identify the land they wanted. My grandparents came in 1905 and located land and farmed for close to 50 years. . 

Thursday, March 9, 2023


       I have a fantastic Christmas cactus. It is blooming for the fourth time this year. 

        It bloomed in November. It bloomed for Christmas . It bloomed in January and now it's full of buds and ready to bloom in March. 

      What's been happening is when the last couple of blooms are ready to fall off, new buds are being set. 

     It was a slow bloomer because it took about six years before it bloomed. But that could be because of the poor care I took of it. 

     I wrote about my Christmas cactus on Jan. 28.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023


          Somehow or other the Micro Manager and I got onto the subject of high school at dinner tonight. To be specific we were talking about what subjects we took in high school.

        One thing I remember is that I took eight courses in my grade twelve. (final year)

       The Micro Manager claims she took 6 classes. We were in different provinces so under different systems. 

      Now I tried to remember what courses I took. I couldn't name everything  I took. She asked me if I took biology and I had to really think if I took biology. 

     Now I took eight courses but I have credit for nine courses. We had a system of applying to write exams. My Principal told me to order an exam for a course I hadn't taken. He said take a look at the exam and if you think you can write it go ahead. If you think it's too difficult just give it back to him. So I wrote it and I think I got 68%. The course was agricultural economics and for a farm boy who was in 4 H, it was an area that I knew quite well. 

     I will have to look at my old report card to find out what else I took. 

    I finished high school in June of 1957 which is 66 years ago. I wonder what else I've forgotten in the last 66 years??

                                The kid (me) in gr 10.

Also, you know that I'm in the process of downsizing. So I have all the report cards and marks I ever had. Do I dispose of them? I don't think so. 

Monday, March 6, 2023


          A trading post was established in about 1795 where Edmonton , Alberta is today. It was an excellent fur trading area as it was rich in what they wanted -fur. 

         However, since the furs were wanted in Europe there had to be a transportation system to take the fur to a port which was Ft. Churchill , Manitoba which is in the west side of Hudson Bay. 

       So, in 1795 , how do you get from Edmonton , Alberta to Ft. Churchill? Why canoes! Canoes will take all your furs to the nearest port. 

      For part of the years from 1795 to 1910 a yearly system was followed. 

     Some aboriginal bands wintered around the Rocky Mountain House area of Alberta. The men would travel to Edmonton in March or April. Here they would spend time building canoes. When the river became ice free they would start the trip to Ft Churchill. They would follow the North Saskatchewan river to Lake Winnipeg and then on to Churchill. This trip was all down stream.

     Then they would load up with trade goods at Ft Churchill and begin the trip back to Edmonton against the current. 

     In mid to late August they had got as far as Battleford Saskatchewan. Just past Battleford they left the river. The women and children had walked across Alberta and were waiting for them at an arranged place. Then the whole group slowly walked across Alberta to Rocky Mountain House where they would spend the winter. Some bison usually overwintered in that area so hunting was good. 

       So this was a trek that took most of the year. 

      Again one has to admire the stamina that this group had to make the round trip.

      Again, I'm sorry that I can't find a map for this trip. 

Saturday, March 4, 2023


     Yesterday I told you of my interest in family  and local history. However, my real passion is for Western Canadian history. I read every book I can find on Western Canadian history. 

     I wrote about the family farm I grew up on. Running across some of that land was the Carlton Trail. This trail and a number of others that connected to it ran from Winnipeg , Manitoba to Edmonton Alberta a distance of about 900 mi or 1450 km. When I was a kid in the 40's and 50's you could still see the ruts from this trail. I still know where to find some evidence of the trail. 

     The transportation system using the trail started in the 1870's . There were no railroads so supplies and trading goods were hauled from Winnipeg to Edmonton by ox cart. Each cart carried about 1000 lb and was pulled by one ox. The cart was made completely of wood and hide. 

      Western Canada was basically empty at the time. There were a few bands of first nations who roamed the area looking for buffalo. There were a few  traders. There was the odd farm.  There were no railroads and very little farming had been developed. Farm products were consumed locally as there was not transportation to send it to a place to sell it. . Local flour mills milled flour. 

      The oxcarts started at Winnipeg in the spring heading to Edmonton. Usually one man had several oxcarts. Oxen were used as they didn't need grain whereas horses needed grain. Too much grain would have to be hauled in place of freight. The men made and ate bannock and salt pork. Some game was taken and some wild berries were also available. Pemmican was also used for food. 

     So finally all the oxcarts got to Edmonton. So did they turn their oxcarts around and go back to Winnipeg? No way. The oxen were left at Edmonton to be used for beef. The ox cart drivers walked back to Winnipeg. 

     All this seems hard to believe. The men were tough...very very tough.

     So I like learning about the developments in Western Canada which wasn't that long ago. 

    My ancestors came here in 1905. There were railroads but none where they settled. 

Friday, March 3, 2023


            I had a pleasant visit with one of my brothers today. It doesn't take long before the topic of conversation changes to family history or local history. 

           My three brothers still live and farm where we were born so they've lived in one location for  long time. 

           Many , many changes have taken place. The local district was about 4 by four miles. When the original homesteaders arrived early in the last century there were approximately 23 families. So there were 23 farmsteads and families. 

         Today there are 2 farmsteads in that area where at one time there were 23 farmsteads so we have much to talk about. My nephews live on the 2 farmsteads that are occupied. We're all interested in who lived there. 

        Local histories have been written but that does not cover all the people who lived in the area. So off we go trying to make some connections and sense of what we know. 

      One wonders about the people who lived there. Where did they come from? Most people in the area came from Ontario. Hw long did they stay in the area? What made them leave? A walk through the cemetery brings up more questions. Some families lost one member and then moved on . The grave has been left and the memories are gone. 

     Now we may not discover much new information. We did think about going over some of the old farmyards with a metal detector!

   It made for a pleasant visit.