Sunday, June 30, 2024


       I look forward to tomorrow when we celebrate our nation's birthday. The country was formed in 1867 and grew very much after that.

      When the country was first formed there were only Four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. In 1870 Manitoba joined the country. In 1871 British Columbia joined. In 1873 Prince Edward Island became a province. Saskatchewan and Alberta became provinces in 1905. Newfoundland joined in 1949. The maps changed greatly over the years. Quebec was made up of the southern portion along the St. Lawrence river. The remainder was included many years later. 

     There are still three territories. The North West Territories were formed in 1876. At that time it consisted of all of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The Yukon was formed in 1898 and Nunuvuut was formed in 1999. 

    So there you have a dull and boring list but you see what we're celebrating. 

    So Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians. 

Thursday, June 27, 2024


        I've been missing for a week. 

        Life has been active in other areas so my mind has been away from the blog. 

        First of all, two elderly people got a little mixed up in the date. We went to a lab appointment a day early. The lab was great and took us because  we were there. This mix up confused me for the rest of the week. I was always thinking a day ahead. Well, that worked itself out after a few days. 

      I had a problem with the sound on my computer. I use a speaker and sometimes ear phones. So I switch back and forth. I found that I couldn't switch back and forth unless I started the program over like messenger. My daughter kindly offered to help with the sound issue. I wanted to work with the issue and see what was wrong before I worked with my daughter. She kept pushing me to set a time. I wasn't ready to set a time. So this was another issue on my mind.

      Then 3 or 4 years ago an author contacted me about someone I taught with. The author  was writing a biography and trying to make a collection of the teacher's art and display it. The writer had lost all contact with the teacher . So last week I received a message from the writer. He had finished the first section of his story. I had totally forgotten about the writer and almost erased his message. 

    Instead I got to read part of his upcoming book and it was absolutely fascinating. It kept my attention for a few days. This time we exchanged lots of personal information. 

   It got me thinking about much more information. I have contacted other teachers who taught with the subject of the book. I even contacted a former student. 

   So my mind got carried away with other things.

   I find with the blog that I have to spend part of my time with my head on the blog. 

     However, we need a little excitement in our lives. 

Friday, June 21, 2024


       Summer solstice is always an interesting time for me. In fact, it's exciting. You imagine the sun and earth moving together so that the sun crosses the equator. 

      Then we have the pleasure of the longest day of the year. Here the sun rose at 5:13 AM  and set at 10:00 PM for total daylight of 16 hours 47 minutes and a few seconds. 

     I wanted to get some sunset photos but we had a strange sunset. I was up at midnight and looking north over the city one could plainly see sunlight. 

    This photo was from a few years ago showing  a house about 9:45 PM. 

  This shows my street about 10:15 PM. 

   So now it's down hill  until December. 

   I know my timer on the camera needs to be reset. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2024


       Just to let you know that two nights ago June 17 it froze here!  Now for many of you this will sound unbelievable. When I woke up at 7:00 AM  there was frost on the house rooves. 

      Frost at this time of year is very rare. Cold temperatures do happen. 

     Plants that  are close to the ground do not freeze as the ground is fairly warm and so it doesn't freeze at ground level. My tomatoes are at the side of the house and air temperature has to be in the minus 2 range before they'll freeze as heat comes from the cement and keeps the plats warm. .

     This spring has been very cool. I think we've had two days with highs above 20 C.  Usually it can be very warm at this time of year. Lows are somewhere around 15 to 20 C.

     So I know it's hard for some of you to get this temperature through you head. It's hard for me too. 

Sunday, June 16, 2024


     Comments many times make me think of other material that could be added to a post. So , with names , I realized the was much more. Most of it is not important but it's there nonetheless. Some of this has been covered in other posts.  My researcher,  statistician John, will tell me where it is. 

     So of course, I received the name Keith, at my birth. I have no idea why I was called Keith. But soon after that I was given the family nickname Grandfather. I was the oldest child and Dad called me grandfather but no one else called me Grandfather. 

    The next time I received a name was when I started high  school. We had a high school of 25-30 kids and a few days after I arrived I was called Pop. I had no idea what was going on and I found the situation stressful. Sometimes it was Pa. When I go back the guys still call me Pop. 

  My initials are K.C. so for three years I was called Casey. 

   Two colleagues gave me a name which only they used. One guy called me "Killa" Another colleague always called me Dad. It was a name that I liked as it showed his respect. 

    So you can see a bit of a thread through these names.

   This may explain the Grandfather name as I looked after my brother who is less than a year younger than I am.

    The only name that doesn't fit this is when my son called me Boy. He was about a year to two years old. I called him Dad's Big Boy and we think that's why he was using Boy. 

    I have four other names that only I use. How's this for names: incline, syncline,  recline and decline. I use these names for setting up names for some files. 

   So there you have it. I probably have forgotten a few names. I know you'll ask what the Micro Manager calls me. She has no special name for me 

Wednesday, June 12, 2024


       Many times your comments remind me of things I forgot or expressed poorly and you didn't get it. 

      I forgot to mention my all time biggest conference. I got to go to a teacher conference in Washington DC. That's pretty good for a little old guy from the prairies. Several of our teachers got to go to major conferences in the US. So this little old guy got on a plane in Calgary and went to Dallas. I changed planes and went to Washington. I took the subway from the airport to my hotel and got in the hotel about midnight. So this was an exciting day

    The conference was across the street in the hotel where Reagan was shot. 

    I got to hear some major speakers. I'd never been in a 3000 seat hall before. There were many smaller sessions.

    The area with displays was the size of a hockey rink. I chose many things to take back and give to colleagues. I had to make a presentation when I got back home.

    The name Red is an accident. When I first set up an email account it wouldn't take my name so I put in Red taken from Red Deer the city I live in. At the time I didn't realize once the name was in the system it spread through the internet world. Why didn't I use my middle initial or stick a number between my name like other people do?

     The Micro manager went with me and toured Washington while I was at the conference. I stayed an extra day for touring. 

     Western Canada, where I live is huge. You must travel or you have the meeting by yourself. Edmonton is 100 miles away as is Calgary. The national parks are about 150 miles away. 

Monday, June 10, 2024


       My daughter and I sometimes talk about family and what  happened when she was growing up. She likes the thought that she was a free range kid. 

       These discussions got me thinking about what kind of Dad I was. 

       I was a teacher. I was surprised that I was away from home so much. 

      I was involved with the teacher's association at the local , district and provincial level . Of course, these were not all at the same time. They all involved meetings...many meetings. The district and provincial activities involved travel. I found this activity interesting and rewarding. 

    I was a member of a professional group and also on the executive for a few years. Again , lots of travel...Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper and Edmonton. 

    I attended the Annual Teachers Representative Assembly (ARTA) for many years. This allowed me to take my family with me until they reached the teenage years when they didn't want to go. This was a five day event. 

   Regular teaching duties took many evenings. Parent teacher interviews took a long time . I also worked a few bingos for the school and supervised dances. I liked supervising dances as the kids had a lot of fun. . 

   I didn't realize I did so many field trips. I taught some outdoor ed. so the kids were taken on field trips for hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and winter camping. We usually went to the national parks like Banff or Jasper and stayed in hostels. These were at least over night .

   I also took kids on a day trip to the Calgary Herald to see how a newspaper was put together. This went along with my news paper unit. We also wanted kids to see professional theatre so each year we took the gr eights to Edmonton or Calgary to see a play.


                                  Did I also tell you that I was a department head?

    Then there were always those interesting workshops that just happened to be out of town. There were speakers you just had to hear. There was money to send me to these activities. More than usual as some teachers didn't bother going to professional development activities. 

    All these activities were time consuming and stressful. I didn't realize I spent so much time away from home participating in educational activities. I enjoyed it and sometimes think I was away form home too much. 

Friday, June 7, 2024


           On May 31 I wrote a post about a special mural in Stringer Hall, Inuvik. 

           Steve Steve from Shadows and Light asked a question that opened a can of worms. Steve wanted to know what happened to the mural. Many things happened before the residence was destroyed. 

          Here's the brief history.

          Around 1950 the government decided that they would build a school system to educate northern kids. Their plan was to build one huge school and bring all the kids to one place. The kids would leave their local settlements and parents and live in a huge residence called Stringer Hall. It didn't take long before the people realized that this was a terrible system. The kids  lived away from family so there was no family life. The kids lost their relationship with their own community and family

            The people also realized that their kids needed and education. . 

                    Grade  three children whose classroom was an annex

                      Boys playing dog team 
                      Boys playing hopscotch in January
                            More hopscotch
            These little guys did not get home for Christmas or Easter . They stayed the whole schoolyear. 

 There were many sad stories from this system. Children were literally taken from their parents to the big school and hostels in Inuvik. Some parents did not know where their children were. 

      A campaign grew to have kids educated in their local community. Sometime in the early 70's the big school which held a thousand kids and student residences were not being used and closed. Stringer Hall which held 300 kids remained closed for a few years and when they couldn't find a use for it, it was torn down. 

     Today no matter how small a community is, there is a school. Kids are able to complete their high school with only two or three kids in the high school. You see grad photos with only two or three kids.

      I'm not sure what happened to the mural but I hope that somehow it was saved. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2024


      I went for a walk Sunday afternoon. I was intending to take photos of the buffalo beans and Saskatoon berry blossoms. I had a few surprises. 

     The cow moose and two calves were a big surprise. 

                          Mallard ducklings

                        Early blue violet
Buffalo beans

                      Western Canada violet
                          Saskatoon berry blossoms. 

Sunday, June 2, 2024


     Sometimes there are issues that family's don't talk about. They are topics that are quietly left alone. Often they are things that were disagreeable and hurtful. 

     For example , when my brother and I were about 13-14 , we asked Dad if we could have a motor cycle. Dad said no. We went behind Dad's back and bought a motor cycle. Dad didn't make us sell the motor cycle but it was never talked about until dad was about 80. Then it was funny. 

    A little less than a km from my house is a heavily forested ravine. There are old growth spruce trees that are about 80 -90 ft. high. 

    Today I was talking to my daughter about a little platform I found high in a spruce tree. She said that's probably one of mine. I said, "What ? You were never out there." She told me that she spent much time climbing trees in the woods. She said, "I was a good tree climber." This was when she was about 10. My kids were free range kids so she easily could have done this. 

    What I remember most is a little kid who played endlessly with toys like blocks and Lego. She also read a lot. She also bounced. She would sit on a chesterfield and bounce back and forth for a few minutes. She would hum along with the bouncing. In the car she bounced hard enough that you could feel it when you were driving. 

    So it was surprising to hear that this quiet little girl climbed trees.