backroads

_LME6476Five Finger Road.

Some nights don’t feel quite right. Was hotter than a three dollar pistol today. Not a cloud.  Willow and I went out looking for comets and stars. The moon was waxing, close to going down. I remember these hot summer nights, but not fondly. The best was being in Lake Windermere, diving at night, not being able to see the bottom or sky.

The smell of water in the air as the earth cooled is unmistakably summer. Willow was startled by a toad. She barked. I got her away from it before she got over her fear and ate it. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have agreed with her and damn sure it wouldn’t have agreed with the toad. Sometimes you have to run interference.

The Milky Way is turning, sticking straight up and down. The backroads are calling, with their sides of long grass and dark trees. Hoots, loons, birds calling their final chirps, coyotes yip yiping, and stars moving like anything else matters.

My granddaughter, covered in raspberry scratches and mosquito bites, wondered the pea patch and brought her bounty to me to open for her. She could get into them if she had to, but she is kind.

Father’s Day

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Came across a mother Black Bear with two cubs. A couple barks and the cubs were up a tree followed by their mother in a flash. Amazing how fast they can climb. We left them alone as not to stress them. 

Lisa treated me to Father’s Day in the bush. We made a day of it heading a valley over to the Palliser. Going the extra mile was worth it. We never saw another vehicle after turning off the highway onto Settler’s Road.

We explored in the country we love. The creeks and rivers were raging. We picked up a few stones for Lisa’s rock garden, some firewood, hiked a cut block, let the hounds run and took a few pictures.

We even got around to stripping Willow of her winter coat. This can be quite a chore but wasn’t that bad as we did it after the hike and Willow was tired and did put up much of a fuss.

When we returned to cell reception my phone started buzzing with Father’s Day wishes from my children. When we arrived home I returned the calls to my kids and grandkids.

Very fine day.

(The photos were taken by Lisa)

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Cutting up a stick of firewood while Maynard looks on.

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The rain has the mushrooms popping. Not sure what this species is so it stayed on the forest floor instead of added to the soup pot.

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Heart Leaved Arnica. An edible plant, widely used by indigenous people before colonization.

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An odd puffball?

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Lunch on the side of the road.

Late December

_LME4387Cooper enjoys riding solo.

There has been plenty of work this holiday season and more to come, but it has been the family times that have made it worthwhile.

_LME4396 Scarlett winks as she rides by.

Plenty of fresh air and good food. More importantly most of our children have come to visit. We take what we can get when we can get it. We miss our children but are happy they are doing well. These times are a highlight.

_LME4503Loud and proud. Two peas in a pod.

_LME4375Teaching the youngsters how to tackle a corner.

 

 

get your tongue out of my ear

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The election is over. I didn’t talk to anyone who was happy today. Most couldn’t give a shit. I talked to a few with Alberta plates who were devastated.

There is plenty of people left out of these decisions. Sure they cast a vote, out of duty or, maybe even, hope. They roll with it when house prices become unaffordable, and keep working until they die. Some even believe they are in a predicament, because of some shortcoming.

That’s the big lie. The same lie that makes people who are well off think it was their hard work who got them where they are. Both sides never considering the situation they were born into.

Before you think it; fuck you, if you say ‘look at me, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps’. If you think it and say it you are an asshole.

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The world is going through a change. Most of the change won’t be bad. Do you remember we changed from vinyl, to 8 track, to cassette, to CD. At every change we were told how much better the next format was.

That’s what’s happening now. Unfortunately, it’s designed to leave a lot of poor people from every corner of the world in it’s wake.

It was interesting to see several teachers working at the polling booths. When I worked at the School District, during an election, some would take a sick or vacation day and work the polls. Double the money.

Our incumbent NDP, MP, Wayne Stetski was voted out. He will get close to $90 thousand severance for the effort he put in for the past 4 years, on top of his $180 thousand a year he made sitting way, way, back behind leader Mulcair, stuttering out how he liked local food and biking to work.

Lucky bastard.

Our next MP, Rob Morrison of the Conservatives will do the same. He will be as ineffectual. Sure he will help his friends, and spew the ‘right’ rhetoric. But in the end, he will collect his money.

Thats why I don’t give a shit about political parties, The right and left are in cohoots. They take long vacations with each other, spend and bullshit. It’s us who are left behind.

My good friend said it’s criminal, and it would be, if it wasn’t them making the laws.  

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tick toc

RCE_2868The morning sun shines a spotlight on a Tiger Lily.

There is an old joke I love. It goes like this: Did you here that Johnson and Johnson have developed a new product for the millennium? It’s call KY Y2K. It lets you put in 4 digits instead of two!

The joke is a play on the hysteria that accompanied the calendar switching from 1999 to the year 2000. The thought was that many computers would think it was the year 1900, as computers only recognized two digits in the calendar instead of four, thus confusing banking, shipping, airfare and anything and everything ran by a computer. 

It was reported on every news station and everyone held their breath at midnight 1999. Lisa and I even took out some cash from the bank to see us through until they sorted the mess out. Some people did a lot more. Of course it all turned out to be hype. The calendar switched and everything ran like the day before. 

A lot of tech companies made a ton of money from the impending doom. 

Fake news it would be called today.

***

Todays political and environmental landscape is much different. We are on the edge of environmental ruin as our world heats up due to CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels.

Canada contributes between 1 and 2% to the worlds CO2 emissions. Even if we were to shut down every form of industry that produces green house gasses we would still be doomed.

Still, it’s worth a try. I travel in a vehicle but most of my trips are longer than 2 miles but shorter than 10 miles. I don’t have boats, ATV’s, a second house nor do I plan on getting any, I grow most of our food but eat a steak every chance I get (I’m working on it). I realize I am lucky to do so. 

In this area the most fervent environmentalists are wealthy people. They spend their winters in warmer climes, or on trips where they ‘help out’, they wear layers of Northface, shop at Mountain Equipment Coop,  have several pairs of boots for every occasion, carry mirrorless cameras, get on jets every holiday, stay in second and third homes, and preach. . . they preach science. How we are doomed.

Science has become the new religion. I used to feel guilty about masterbating, now I feel guilty about eating steak and contributing to more cow farts in the atmosphere. Then again, it could be that masterbating doesn’t hold the same appeal as it once did.

***

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Still that doesn’t mean something isn’t going on. CO2 occurs naturally and in abundance to what humans have produced. It’s a balance we may well have fucked up.

The future could be as bleak as is reported, while we live in the most generous of times. Where more people than ever on earth have access to healthcare and food and water. Where we should be counting our lucky stars. Mostly because of science

 ***

Perhaps only science can save us. Is there a way to gobble up this, seemingly minute, compared to natures production, but devastating CO2, that has perched us on this precipice?

***

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I love my children and grandchildren. I try to show them the happiness in having less, or having more in less.

The stories of kindness and living simply are not meant to make them weak but strong in the future.

The bird calls, the first spuds from a well tended garden, the cones on top of trees framed in a blue sky. The river high and low and the difference between seasons.

***

Perhaps I am a fool, shy of two digits while the world’s clock ticks towards midnight.

selfie shtick

IMG_1483Selfie on a post-it note of me sucking on a sore tooth.

The kids are sticking to their routine. They awake and are in bed on time.

***

The city keeps chugging along. I don’t believe I could ever get used to it.

***

I saw a semi hauling a large piece of equipment stuck on a corner. Traffic backed up a mile. It had several pilot vehicles as it weaved the city streets. The equipment probably being transferred to the ring road construction. It looked to me like he was screwed. However, when I returned the same way about a half hour later it was free and on the side of the road. All the men were out of their vehicles looking at the scraped light standard on one side of the road and the demolished tree on the other. What to do?

***

My daughter bought us a Starbucks gift card so we could get coffee. I enjoy the Americano. Today we had one at the bookstore. I bought a New York Times and a copy of Ron Rash’s novel The Risen. It was a hardcover edition regular $33 for $5 on the discount table. It is a good story and quick read as I am almost finished it.

I can certainly see why there is a constant stream of Calgarians into our neck of the woods each weekend. I have noticed at the bookstore and malls that people are not so much there to shop as to hang out.

***

We ran into another set of grandparents at the park the other day. Their grandson was a little older than Cooper, but seemed hesitant. Before long he was tagging after Copper to the highest parts of the play structure.

The grandfather stood in front of me often blocking my valuable sight of my grandkids playing. He wanted to know where I was from. I told him BC. Where he asked. Invermere I said. He laughed, that’s not BC he said that’s just a small part of Alberta. I’d heard this all before.

He went on to tell me ‘we’ fuel your economy. Then he said, Alberta funds the entire Canadian economy and what do they get in return, if it wasn’t for us, yada fucking yada, repeat.

He also went on about kids today. Millennials living in their parents basement, which his son was one. I hoped his grandson didn’t hear his grandfather’s estimation of his father.

He told me about their big house, their vacation house and ‘toys’; 4×4’s, sleds. motorhome etc. Albertans work hard and play hard, he summed up.

I have ran into this type over and over. You can’t avoid them where we live. To have come across this one in his home environment was just bad luck. It always amazes me how such boring, deficient, dimwits have accumulated so much wealth.

***

The forecast calls for snow that will surely green thing up once it melts.

Birthday

Albert RiverBob and Ron at Cedar creek.

Took your great grandchildren Cooper and Scarlett ice fishing last weekend, down below the old house where we used to skate and set lines. You should see those two, they are so wonderful. Lisa and I checked over our shoulders more than a few times to see if you were at the window waving.

Still run into plenty of things you’d find interesting. The Siskins were alive in the bush this morning. Zzweet zzweet in every direction through the trees. A few even allowed me to see them. Mighty kind of them.

CRW_0026Female Pine Siskin

A Water Ouzle arrived along the creek, bobbing up and down, driving Willow nuts. It was along the trail we walked often. Where you would point out cougar tracks and small orchids. Where an owl flew over us when I was small. There was something about that owl. It had power. The way it stopped moving it’s wings and sailed into the thick, silent, disappearing behind spruce and moose moss.

CRW_0022Water Ouzle (American Dipper)

A lot of things have changed in the valley since you left. Some for the better some naught. Still it’s easy to find those old trails. Not sure I ever told you this, I know you know, still, I appreciate you showing me all those places and animals so long ago. It’s always kept my boat pointed in the right direction.

Say hello to Old Joe Noseitall!