Ridge Walk

Plenty of snow still to melt on the ridge and fill the creeks.

A touch of rain this evening and it sure felt good. The ground in the valley bottom is getting parched. Each day brings at least some wind that dries the earth further. I reminisce to earlier days and I can’t remember it being this dry in spring. It is true the area is much more built up and water is scarce due to usage, which makes watering the yard prohibitive for all but the wealthy, District of Invermere, and School District N0.6 (Rocky Mountain) who use more than needed. For them it is easier to over water than manage the resource.

***

Fuel is above $2 a litre and going higher. Tourism hasn’t slowed one bit. More motor boats are planned fro Lake Windermere. A new RV park is being built on the outskirts. Our public officials say we are lucky to host our wealthy tourist clientele that come in droves from Alberta.

Meanwhile I hope I will continue to be able to afford to drive the 17Km to work and back each day for the opportunity to earn shit wages. I shouldn’t complain, Lisa and I have it better than many. The Valley hasn’t always been the tourist trap it has become. When the kids were young we did better. Many young couples will never have the opportunity Lisa and I had to buy a house and raise a family.

***

The world seems to be going apeshit crazy, environmental disaster, war, shootings and people mistreating each other with impunity.

I listen to many of my young co-workers, their view of the future is very dim, and why shouldn’t it be with all that is going on. What does inspire me is how well they treat each other.

Maybe that’s the best we can do in such a world – be as kind as we can to people we encounter.

It is a work in progress for me. The older I get the less time I have for right wing bigots and racists, people that tear up the environment, swindlers including many politicians and business folks, lining their pockets at the expense of people they proclaim to serve; neighbours and future generations.

These types have always existed, they have been successful, even revered by history, it just seems the stakes are higher now and it should be clear that punching down on your fellow man and the earth that sustains us for profit has become a terrible outdated practice. Perhaps someday it will finally fall out of favour for good.

***

Even this little bit of rain helps and refreshes. The garden shows thin green rows of carrots, peas, kale and turnips just planted last week.

Ospreys defending

It is good to see the Ospreys back. They are whistling overhead finding dry sticks for their nests. I watched two put the run on a much bigger Bald Eagle. Not uncommon, especially when Ospreys defend their nest. This is early for confrontation.

***

There is a a passage in the Daniel Woddrell Book, Winter’s Bone, where a young girl of 16, Ree, left looking after her two younger siblings, watch a neighbour and relative skinning deer.

The young women and her young brother and sister are hungry. One of the siblings asks his older sister that they should ask for some of the meat.

The young women scolds her brother and says, you never ask for what should be offered.

It is a poignant moment.

It must be something about being poor or not ‘well off’. Perhaps you become your own worst enemy.

Still to ask for something, even deserved, is not in their DNA. It is either offered or not. They are at the mercy of the fairness of others. And others often have another agenda that doesn’t concern itself with charity, fairness or merit. Instead they are always concerned with their own advancement.

***

As I get older these people are easier to detect. They are a dime a dozen and make up the majority. Instead of out right asking for something, I point out how it would be in their best interest to grant the request. In other words, make it their idea.

***

Recently, I was overlooked. Many people have been annoyed at me for not fighting, not being mad. Still you have to stand by Ree Dolly, never asking for what should be offered. I am fine with that and tired of being angry.

to the end

I took down the small Canadian flag I have been flying over the garden. Unfortunately the right wing has taken over the flag making it their own. I don’t want to be confused with them. Canada hasn’t seen this level of mock patriotism. It’s new, American even.

***

Odd week so far. People quitting, layoffs and firings. A dip in temperature, then back above freezing. They call it business.

Venus is bright in the morning. The moon a crescent. Always something special at dawn.

I’m not supposed to know what is going on, but I know something’s up. Put the binoculars on Venus and it’s a crescent also.

This and That

No frost yet. The garden’s on hold waiting for cold to harden the carrots and sweeten the turnips. Still not many ripe tomatoes. The ripe ones don’t stand a chance while Scarlett is on patrol, she grabs and eats them before they can be counted.

***

September 11th is our parents anniversary. It is also Kelsie and Tom’s. A beautiful time of year to have a wedding. The trees turning and usually bright blue skies. The time of year you wake up to a chill, but are warmed throughout the day until a fire can be put on. The last of the long nights and early mornings.

***

9/11 is also a time in history the United States was attacked and commenced a 20 year war against terrorism, invading two countries killing hundreds of thousands. Doing so, George W. Bush, and the American political structure entered into a situation that further alienated the US from the rest of the world while trying to achieve some level of retribution that can’t possibly exist in world affairs where our best strategy is to try and live with each other’s differences that are not that great when thought about.

US President Trump and Biden decided to end the war in Afghanistan. Both would have ended it differently. The job however, fell on the Biden administration who choose to end it with the United States, the most powerful nation in the world, tucking its tail.

It was done by design and it’s a good thing. The US can now withdraw from its disastrous foreign policy and focus on its many internal challenges.

***

Canada is in the midst of a federal election. Trudeau no longer looks like the fair haired boy of his youth. Leading a nation through a pandemic is sure to do that.

Still what are the choices. Our riding goes either Conservative or NDP without the Liberals making a blip on the screen.

So here are the choices:

NDP: the local candidate is a long time politician and government employee who served a term as MLA. He was reported on CBC as an MLA who was collecting a large defined government pension while collecting his 6 figure salary. In other words, a greedy bugger, who doesn’t know how most of his constituents live hand to mouth.

Conservative: The conservative incumbent for Kootenay-Columbia is an ex-cop from Vancouver parachuted into the riding to capture the last election, and it WORKED! Nobody hears much from him. Conservatives say they like him however. Just a reminder the dumbest guys in high school became cops.

One of the two of these jokers are going to be MLA. It’s a choice between a shit sandwich and a kick in the teeth. Many will hold their nose and pick the least of the worse.

But what if we we voted for candidates different from the same old same old? Canada and the entire world needs to change if we are going to survive, we have to get our greatest engineers and thinkers away from Apple, Google and Facebook and working at saving this planet and maybe humanity. That isn’t going to be done be voting NDP, Liberal or Conservative. It’s going to take something more. This election we may not have a choice, with luck we will in the future.

Things are changing.

the row you hoe

Planting a row.

After rain, sleet and snow the day turned sunny. Since I’ve had time on my hands I’ve dug the garden. It is much better done by hand than rototiller.

This afternoon I put in two rows of peas, and one row each of lettuce/spinach/greens and beets. We have some cold weather ahead of us, but they should be able to handle it. I hope to get the carrots, onions and spuds in within the next week. This will be the earliest I have planted.

I mentioned having time on my hands. I have been in quarantine for the past thirteen days due to having close contact with someone who tested positive with Covid. Tomorrow I am out of quarantine.

It has been trying but not as much so as it has been for the people who have tested positive. I know about ten personally. I know at least twenty in quarantine.

Willow plants a rock.

The people in the valley have been lucky while we have flirted with disaster. The area has been busy with people vacationing.

The District of Invermere’s Mayor, Al Miller and Provincial, Liberal, MLA Doug Clovchok have acted less like elected officials concerned about peoples health, and more like members of the Chamber of Commerce or Welcome Wagon, encouraging tourists to visit instead of heeding the warnings, against non-essential travel from Canada’s top doctors.

The Windermere Region is hard hit.

Hopefully no one dies on their watch. Like I said, we have been lucky despite everything.

Willow couldn’t be happier to have us home each day. I’m back to work on Saturday and looking forward to it.

another go round

Mile long trains hauling coal to the West Coast to be loaded on ships destined for Asia. British Columbia prides itself in sound environmental practices. We may not burn coal for power, however we don’t mind selling it to countries that utilize the dirtiest fuel on the planet.

A quiet thanksgiving. Was up early poking around, snapping a few pics around town. I prefer the town without it’s gentrified veneer.

Silly season came early this time around. BC NDP Premier John Horgan, in an attempt to remove the Greens from around his neck, called an early election, taking advantage of the pandemic and his position in the polls to secure a majority. There is very little enthusiasm for this election from the public and seemingly even less from the candidates. John Horgan will get his majority, our Liberal MLA Doug Clovechok will sail into the prestigious position of two term MLA and claim another very lucrative defined government pension. I am always amazed at how well the dullest knives in the block take to becoming small time politicians and implement their first rule, feathering their own nest. Business as usual.

fireweed

These days everyone wants to know what side you are on. It ain’t as simple as when Pete Seeger gave voice to the union men. Now unions are refuge for apathy and laziness.

The right-wingers are just as bad spouting racist, sexist garbage and wondering aloud why it ain’t being bought.

That’s the political landscape these days. Meanwhile most people don’t fit into either camp, but it’s presented to all they must choose.

***

The rain hit. Temperature is still up in the teens. Even the mountains will be void of snow during this warm October.

***

It will take one good frost to shake the rest of the leaves, stripping the colour and freezing the ground cock hard. That’s how fast it will happen.

***

Months go by quick, even during this time that is supposed to be trying.

summer’s end

We’ve been told due to the economy coming to a halt due to Covid and a good portion of the work force on CERB that the economic outlook for Canada is dire. So why is it, everywhere I look, money is being spent hand over fist.

Roadwork at every turn, money and tourists flowing like never before from Alberta, government rumbling about spending on everything from increasing our social safety net (for somebody but not us, Lisa and I will be lucky to claim a pension) to plenty of make-work projects and salary increases across the board for public employees?

***

Covid and the impending environmental crisis have made the public think they can’t do anything to help their own communities. Why care about issues such as local governance while a pandemic will wipe humanity off the earth and if that doesn’t finish us global warming will? I, of course, am inflating the risk, but not the point people feel defeated when it comes to fighting the little daily battles that make a huge difference in our lives. Meanwhile this has been a godsend for small town politicians and businessmen who make their living feathering their nests.

Our Mayor, for instance, pushed through buying a piece of land that will be made into boat launches and tourist shops. Who will be the ultimate benefactor; our Mayor who owns the local building supplies and hardware. Of course the real estate agents on town council will do well for themselves as well. Meanwhile, no one even flinches at the conflict of interest, because how can we worry about such petty issues when the whole world could stop turning at a moments notice? Maybe Musk has an open seat on his spaceship to Mars.

***

I’ve noticed the School District have used pesticides on the school grounds again, disregarding a District bylaw forbidding its use. Who cares what a little poison spread around children in light of all the environmental problems we face. Besides the students are wearing masks anyway.

***

It is futile to try and make a difference in times like these. Your best bet is take cover and avoid the jack asses tearing it up to make a buck.

***

The bush at night is a sanctuary. The September smells and light are a reprise from the dreaded summer. To smell the the leaves changing, feel the coolness, hear the hidden small chirp of birds knowing more than we can imagine, the snow moving down the mountains will soon turn the trail silent. I welcome it back.

***

There is a tree I’ve watched since I was a child. It’s always been dying. An old fir, it hasn’t changed, part spike, part crag. The wind has turned it to driftwood at the top. Curled boughs hold green, hanging on, the base shows scars of lightening strikes. Regardless, it stands above the surrounding forest. Somehow it’s still there, standing vigil through long nights and 40 below winters, the summer sun thickening it’s bark. It leans away from the slope, making it seem even more in danger, precarious, like a slight wind might send it toppling to the creek bottom. Still it stands, it will continue to stand long after I am gone, oblivious to the triviality of any man’s problems. I take comfort in that.

Damn

I smoke marijuana every chance I get. – Allen Ginsberg

Part of being Canadian is listening to American politics. It dominates most of TV channels and internet news. It also headlines much of Canadian news sources. CBC News, for instance, often opens with what Donald Trump has been up to.  It has been said, Canadians know more about American politics than our own Canadian government and it’s goings on.

Our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has done his fair share of stupid things in recent years including being caught red handed in scandal; sexual, legal and political. He even dressed in blackface with a banana down his pants. However, he has skated through it all unscathed. Of course, it helps when the leader of the free world, Donald Trump, is stealing all the headlines with his own shenanigans. It’s like having a bad brother. Just when you think you are in trouble with Mom he has done something worse and let you off the hook.

If you follow American news you know Trump’s nemesis Nancy Pelosi was caught on security footage getting her hair done in a closed salon and. . . wait for it. . . the 80 year old Speaker of the House of Representatives, didn’t have a mask. Furthermore the owner of the Salon, not the person doing her hair, was outraged that she is closed while a politician, seemingly skipped protocol to have her hair styled.

Okay, I know what you are thinking, how can this be news!

***

But it gets better.

Pelosi released a statement saying, she was set up. Caught red-handed getting her hair done, using her influence to have her hair washed, cut and styled without a mask. I know, I know these are serious allegations.

A set up that must have had America’s greatest evil Republican Party minds working overtime, night and day to pull off.

Now here is the punch line ( if you didn’t think it could get any funnier).

Donald Trump, as he is known to do, tweeted:

“Nancy Pelosi says she got ‘set up’ by a beauty Parlour owner. Maybe the Beauty Parlour owner should be running the House of Representatives instead of Crazy Nancy?”

Okay, all I can say is Holy Fuckin’ Shit! The whole thing is beyond funny. All the writers from Saturday Night Live, Late Night With David Letterman and Conan O’Brien couldn’t come up with anything funnier!

And it’s all coming from old people, Trump, Pelosi, Biden, Schiff, Sanders. Cripes, it’s like the Golden Girls meet the Muppets. And not the good muppets like Kermit and Grover, but those old grumpy men in the balcony.

People should consider Trump isn’t serious about his position, he enjoys driving people crazy. When he ran he probably didn’t even want to get in. Now President he is making a joke of it, getting back at all the people that laughed at him over the years. After all he has been a joke his entire life.

If he was a Canadian politician, Trump would have ran as a Rhinoceros Party candidate, promising to tear down the Rocky Mountains so Albertans could enjoy the West Coast sunsets.

I can’t imagine Trump getting back in for a second term, even going up against ‘Sleepy Slow Biden’, (Trump’s nickname for Mr. Biden not mine).

Once Trump is out I hope he writes a book saying he was never serious, it was all a joke and America had to be reminded to laugh at themselves.

This may seem flippant, but I don’t mean it that way. America under Trump has killed fewer poor people overseas in the name of justice, oil or weapons of mass destruction (opps sorry about that. . . bad intel.) than his predecessors. 

In a perfect world, perhaps, history will look back on Trump as a comic satirist in the same vein as Sacha Baron Cohen or Mark Twain.

All I know is I can’t take it all too seriously, and when it shows up on CBC it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s news.

Like Allen Ginsberg asked a long time ago:

America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.   
America is this correct? 

putting the man in manifestation

RCE_6351-Pano

A little rain to keep us sane after a stretch of high 30°’s.

Lisa and I were in the bush a few days ago. We picked 8 freezer bags of Huckleberries. It’s nice to find them plump and plentiful. Scarlett and Cooper are coming to visit and they love them.

The garden is booming, we have too much broccoli. It is being given away and frozen, but still threatens to bolt. I made broccoli and cheddar soup the other day and it was a big hit.

The peas are just about finished. The second planting of lettuce is coming along nicely. It will bolt quickly in this heat. I am considering another planting to come due in fall, perhaps some radishes and beet greens as well.

Yesterday I wrote an email to the managers where I work asking for a raise. In the email I justified the reasons I felt deserving. I didn’t send the email, I figured I would have Lisa read it over tonight before sending.

This morning I was called into my managers office. He closed the door and gave me a raise, the exact and generous amount I asked for in the email that was never sent.

I fucking near fell on the floor, for the raise but also that I had written the email the night before.

Lisa called it manifesting or co creating your world through the energy you put out. I said it sounded like a bunch of bullshit to me. More of a coincidence I figure.

Regardless, I’m thankful, very fine day.