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.