Back Roads

Willow and I were up early a few nights ago. We decided to circle the lake on the old back roads, like a couple of drunks trying to make it home from the old roadhouses, The Royal Antler, Hunt’s, Hammond’s and the Crook and Elbow. Of course those old watering holes are long gone. Instead we imagined them. Outside of the truck we admired The Milky Way coming up parallel to the mountains and rivers. That’s a joyful coincidence I suppose. Still worth waiting for March’s weather to clear, to see it. Willow barked at owls, hooting, I tell her to not worry, but she doesn’t like them. Probably because they are better hunters and she is secretly jealous. Auroras shined on our trip. Once heading back, north, too home, they showed their colours. It was an hour from dawn, it made me wonder how spectacular they must have been when we were fast asleep. Good morning, arriving at work on time.


We live in a strange world. The news is reported to our open ears. We want to trust it. Some news gets played over more important news. It’s what’s stylish, current or in the newsaphere at that time.

It is the twentieth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq:

A pretty significant event in history.

The United States, George Bush, Dick Chaney and company got it wrong. Regardless of intentions or who got rich. 4000 US service men died along with 300,000 Iraqis died. Those are low estimates.

Meanwhile, on this anniversary, the news is all about Trump paying off a pornstar.

Trump is and always will be a buffoon. He gets votes because the choices aren’t any better.

Why is Bush painting shitty painting in Texas and rubbing elbows with Michelle Obama and Ellen DeGeneres, instead of in jail for war crimes?

America is this correct? America, Allen Ginsberg [1926-1997]

Belly ache

The body has been aching. I have the job of taking out 80 old mattresses and replacing with new. Some are up three flights of stairs. Most are king size. My main job, I keep reminding myself, is not getting hurt.

I am about half way there. I counted 40 in the underground.

About the only thing I have to offer an employer is my strength. Of course getting old is going to limit my worth. I don’t blame them. No big defined government pension awaits to soften the blow. That’s my own fault too!

I’ll hang in there as long as I can.

In the meantime the first beer tasted good. Give me another.


I grew up with the sound of dogs barking and trains going by. It has been replaced with the rev of motor boats and car alarms. That does something to you.


People walk by with dogs on leashes. They never bark. Not the dogs, not the people. Willow hates the leash and barks plenty. I let her. I think all the silent dogs scare her.

End of the Week


A good week, plenty of work completed, including starting on some upcoming projects and I was able to get out a few morning to take pictures. The new camera is still proving a challenge and will take more practice to get used to it. 


The picture above is of a man who sets up off the highway on the Radium Hill. You have to admire his commitment as he has been there for about two months. He sets up each morning and takes down at night.

I’m not sure of his cause. Probably Covid and the vaccines, presenting his own demonstration, having missed the trucker debacle in Ottawa.

He has six large Canadian flags on both sides of the highway, all flying upside down, signifying distress.

I like to think someone does a wellness check on him once and awhile to make sure he isn’t getting the urge to hang grandpa’s 30-06 out the window.

The Fuck Trudeau flags are nothing new. We live beside Alberta, so we get our share of that hyperbole shoved in our faces from the most well-off, privileged, people in Canada.

My friend has a daughter entrenched in conspiracy theories. She believes them all. Especially about the government, forcing deadly vaccines on us for a made up pandemic, among many other theories, deep state, lizard people, you name it. It is a great sadness for my friend, because his daughter isolates herself and her kids, hiding behind walls, not visiting, as long as it has an internet connection.

But this is what I don’t understand; his daughter is on every kind of government assistance that is offered. If you hated the government wouldn’t you refuse the money? Don’t get me wrong, it is good they have help, but it must go against her strong convictions. Would it not be a red flag to question those convictions?

Which gets me back to the guy on the Radium Hill. He has been there for months now. He is either independently wealthy, or like my friends daughter, taking money from the very government he is protesting. 

He is not hurting anybody flying his flags, but I can’t help but feel sorry for him.


On a lighter note. I bought Willow a new toy. It looked indestructible.

Eight minute later.


Every season has its colours. The sky in spring is always interesting, where it can be minus twelve in the morning and plus twelve in the afternoon. That does things to the sky.

A brilliant full moon cutting through the clouds here and there. Big puffy orange clouds in the longer evenings.

This morning the moon went down later, a little more light, so I didn’t have to take the picture in the dark. The purple colour on the horizon drives me crazy with joy. Only in Spring.

Early March

Worm moon above the ridge.

Cold mornings. They can’t last into the afternoon, the sun is gaining power.


The District of Invermere bi-election is in the books. The results:

Took a couple good walks behind Swansea. Plenty of birds calling. Still they kept themselves hidden. They are wild after all. My camera could be a bazooka. The older I get the smarter I figure the animals are and the dumber the humans, mostly me, are.

A bit of sickness about. Scarlett, Cooper and Lisa are under the weather.

Lola joined Willow and I on our walks. She is a big puppy and minds Willow when she gets too close and gets the snarl.

Checked on the good neighbour. He is still hurting from the Polar Plunge. Drank too much, then cold and hot. It’s been two weeks. The older you get the longer it takes to recover. He perked up when he said, his body is probably protesting the lack of beer.

Got about four books on the go. Larry from

suggested Cicero’s, How to Grow Old. Dave picked it up for me, recently, in the City.

It is a good book. Not as long as it looks, because the left hand pages are in latin.

It suggests to accept diminished strength with grace and help youth whenever you can. I am only 70 pages in. Perhaps there will be a twist at the end.

To be on this earth comes down to luck. To live, watch birds, make love and scrub a dogs head is a gift.

Black-Capped Chickadee

The birds have been chattering. Going this way and that. It is nice to see.

Put in a good days work. Hoping for clear skies to see the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus on Wednesday.

Home Tourny

Scarlett getting ready to hit the ice.

A wonderful weekend. Cooper stayed over night at our place and Scarlett had her Home Tournament.

It is Scarlett’s first year playing hockey. She skates on one foot just like her brother did. She holds her stick with only one hand also. That makes being strong with the puck difficult. When on the ice during the game she tries to make friends with the other team, especially the girls. She also enjoys waving to her friends behind the glass in the stands. She follows the puck instead of going where the puck will go.

Scarlett proudly displaying her medals and sweaty hair.

Scarlett had fun and was a favourite player of the fans. Lisa and I were very proud. To top it off she was awarded The Most Sportsmanlike Player on her team.

She was very happy.

DOI By-Election

Tonight’s, District of Invermere All Candidates By-Election Forum was well attended. The forum was hosted by the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce and held at the Lion’s Hall. Most of the chairs were full with citizens over the age of fifty, in other words voters.

The candidates are vying for one councillor position. The general election was held in October, the Mayor and Councillors were acclaimed, so we had no forums and didn’t have to cast a ballot. After the election one of the newly acclaimed councillors stepped down before being sworn in, setting up this by-election.

Now four months later five candidates have thrown their hats in the ring. The first question at the forum was why didn’t they run in the general election. 

This is not a post about where each candidate stands, or to dissect the question or answers posed and answered, but to give a feeling of the room and how each candidate faired.

I know three of the five candidates. I was happy to get a chance the forum allowed, to get to know the two other candidates.

Grant Kelly is a semi-retired businessman. I have had dealings with him over the years. All of our relations have been good. He has also volunteered for many boards and positions. I once saw him take bids at a fundraiser to shave his hair to raise money for a disabled citizen.

His answers were unconventional, asserting decisions are often made by consensus instead of how we may feel personally about a subject. When asked about the DOI supporting the Historical Museum, there was almost an audible gasp by the grey headed audience when he suggested the Museum should expand their hours and spruce things up to attract more visitors. Kelly is a realist who spoke truthfully during his answers. 

Grey Bradatsch is a co-owner of a downtown art gallery. I dealt with him when I owned our print and newspaper businesses.

Bradatsch came across as decisive. He prefaced his answer to each question, ‘I am going to talk fast because I have a lot to say,’ and closed with, ‘if you like what you hear, tell your friends’. In between those two sayings wasn’t much other than him blowing his own horn. However, as previous elections have shown, there are many who like this style of politician.

Stephanie Stevens has lived her life in the valley. She has had many jobs. I know her best as a journalist for the now defunct newspaper, The Valley Echo, where she wrote passionately about many subjects, always taking the side of the underdog. A very fine writer.

If there was a winner, it was her, however that doesn’t mean much at these forums. Stevens spoke passionately throughout the forum, especially in her last two minutes, about having grown up, bringing her kids up and now grandkids in Invermere. She spoke about change she has seen. Unfortunately, if anything, being a long time local will not resonate and may even prove a detriment with the majority of residents who have come here within the past 10 years.

David Goldsmith, I did not know previous to this forum. He was measured in his response to the questions, citing fiscal responsibility and his history of doing so. He seemed nervous at first but gained steam throughout the forum. 

He talked about his connection to the area, but at the end I wondered if he actually lived in Invermere. He did sound like a decent and qualified man for Councillor and one that may bring experience to Council. He was well liked by the over 50 crowd.

Juanita Violini I did not know, and still don’t. All of her answers were rehearsed, written and scripted. When stumbling she would go back to her main talking points. She introduced herself as a writer. That’s difficult, because writing and conversing are two totally different things, you can be bad at one or the other and still communicate. She wasn’t in her comfort zone and relied on writing that was good, but seemed out of place at times.

Dee Conklin, past Mayor of Radium Hot Springs and Chamber President did a great job of moderating the forum, giving the candidates extra time to think while injecting humour into the event.

The Chamber and Candidates should be commended for making themselves available and putting on an informative event.