Saturday, December 30, 2017


     My son-in-law' mother died this fall. Her illness and deteriorating health was a nightmare. Along with this was an added disaster of finding that business affairs were not looked after or up to date.

    The critical things have been looked after and now the hard work begins to clean out and dispose of a life time of memories contained in a house.

    My son-in-law is an only child so all responsibility is on his shoulders. Going through a house sorting out things can make your head hurt. He had asked his mother to write on photos. Very little was done and you can't look over your Mother's shoulder to see that she does what you ask.

    So I received an email this morning suggesting that I write on my photos and anything else of family significance. My photos have all been written on.

    Now what my son-in-law was actually talking about is family history and how it is passed on or not passed on. He was reacting to his own loss of family history. I could have written the same thing when my father passed away. I wasn't prepared to ask him much as I hadn't been thinking about it. By the time I started asking questions it was too late. He couldn't recall what I wanted to know.

    Now that I'm elderly, what am I doing about passing on family history? Not much! First, I assume that my kids know much more than they do. Second: I think that there are many things that are of no interest to them. Third: I'm busy and so are my kids. Fourth: I'm not encouraging my kids to ask about family history. Fifth: I think I have many more things that I'm interested in.

    So our family history is very poorly passed on to  the next generations. We've had some degree of literacy for hundreds of years. Now we have wall to wall literacy with the Internet and yet we are doing a poor job of passing on family history. But we have also become spread across the globe. My ancestors came from England and the Ukraine at the beginning of the last century. Today we are global and not only spread across the globe but more mobile than ever.

    There are cultures with only oral history and they seem to have stories from hundreds or thousands of year ago. They live together in large extended families and tell the stories. They know what to tell and repeat it many times. 

    So to my son-in-law, I will go to work and label things and try and leave some information about the things I have.

    I have written many things on this blog about my family history. Is anybody going to go through it to get some understanding and picture of the life I've lived? 
   So to my son-in-law, I will go to work and label things and try and leave some information about the things I have.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


    At the risk of being called a grumpy old man, I'm going to comment on phone issues again. 

     I'll start a bit back on my post. In my seniors pension and benefit magazine, there was an article informing us that we had to set up a Members Health Care Account. In the future no mailed statements would be sent out. Well, that does sound a bit Darconian as I'm sure many of the elderly are not on computers or the Internet. I did not have an Internet account with them but I did go immediately to set up and account. I did all the right things. In fact, I did all the right things a couple of times. I kept getting the same response that they were unable to recognize my info. 

     They very kindly gave a phone number if we needed help. So I phoned. I got someone who I could not hear very well and they had an accent that only complicated the situation. At times I didn't know if the person was speaking English. I asked the person if they were on a head set. I asked them to speak much louder, I asked them to speak slower. None of this made any difference. I could understand less than 50% of what was said.

    Finally , I got that she would email a password reset. 

     Fine . I can handle that.. 

    Now for most password resets, by the time you open your email, the message is there. So I did not find a message in my email. I waited. No message. I waited an hour and there was no email. So I looked around and found my email in the "other" section of my email account.

    So for something that should be simple task  I got into an unnecessary runaround. 

   Now I know that my hearing is not the best. When I speak directly to people I can easily get what they say. When I skate, we have music and I can still carry on a conversation. What's with the people on the phones?

   Sometimes I think that some of our phone people have no Idea how they project over the phone. I also think that some of them don't care if they accommodate phone callers.

Sunday, December 24, 2017


      The time leading up to Christmas is always very busy, hectic, and chaotic as we prepare to celebrate Christmas. 

       As a child , at school we were busy preparing for the school Christmas concert. Mother was baking endlessly and we were quality testing what she baked. Huge mail order parcels arrived and we were not allowed to see them opened. Christmas excitement for kids is over the top.

      As a young adult there was always a rush to make it home for Christmas. Remember the Christmas exams in university?

     Marriage and small children brought busy changes to my Christmas celebration again. Being a teacher, finishing school before Christmas was wild. Kids were pumped for Christmas.

    As a family we had shopping, greeting cards, kid's concerts  and sometimes travel to prepare for.

    So when Christmas Eve arrived all the frenetic activity ended.


     No matter what part in my life it was , Christmas eve always turned quiet and peaceful. I always went outdoors Christmas Eve to experience the stillness and quietness. I just breathed some of it in.

     Peace! What a wonderful feeling!

    At this time on earth we need peace more than ever. 

    To all my followers and readers I wish you peace at this time and for 2018.

Thursday, December 21, 2017


       I am always aware of the approach of the winter solstice. Some years I get very anxious and check sunrise and sunset times every day. Other years I know the shortest day is coming and that is all. 

      So today is the shortest day. Things will start to become lighter. Today we had one of those very dull days. We had the lights on for most of the day. There was heavy cloud and snow flurries. We got about 2 cm ( 3/4 inch)of snow. We had a high of minus 6 C ( 24 F). It was a most dismal day. 

     The sun rose at 8:42 AM and set at 4:24 PM which gave us 7 hours and 42 minutes of sunlight except that it was very cloudy.

      A recent morning with pale moon and jet vapor trail.

     What intrigues me is how people throughout history have observed winter solstice. They didn't have accurate measurements to tell when the sun rose and set. Yet winter solstice was very important to them. They didn't always get the exact day of the solstice. 

     The ancients realized that the solstice was an important day and in many cultures a celebration was held. Rural people knew that the days would get longer but knew that there was much more winter to be experienced. They knew that they had to have adequate food supplies for themselves and their animals. 

     Then things get a little complicated when we use different calendars. The day still happens. Only the number changes.

    So do you look forward to winter solstice ? What does winter solstice  mean for you?

Monday, December 18, 2017


    Usually I like most things winter which is snow, ice and low temperatures to minus 30 C ( Minus 22 F) or more.

    However, there is one thing about my winter that I dislike intently and that is rain. Our ground is frozen so when rain hits the ground here in winter it freezes and leaves a treacherous layer of ice. 

   We had such a rain three days ago. We are prepared and equipped to drive on ice. Walking is another issue. We don't have much to take ice off sidewalks so ice stays until snow covers it. If we get enough snow it will pack on the ice and cover the ice.

   I've counted birds in one area here for over 40 years. I could not count on Sunday as the ice made footing too risky and I wasn't going to go out and fall on the ice. 

   The rain we had made the layer of snow we have quite solid in most places. This places stress on many of our native critters that depend on soft snow to survive. For example, mice stay under the snow all winter and make miles of tunnels to get food. Coyotes and foxes dive into the soft snow to catch mice. Deer paw the snow away to reach some plants otherwise they browse on trees and shrubs. 

    So we are prepared for snow , cold and wind but rain makes our winter more challenging and dangerous.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


      I think I've been ignoring some of the nitty gritty of Christmas for too long or maybe I've just gone through the motions and not much stuck with me.

     The local paper had a draw for some merchandise. Now you could put your name in a draw but, you had to answer 16 trivia questions about Christmas. Now the Micro manager started on the answers and by the third question , I heard my name called. Did I know the answer to question 3? Well I didn't know the answer but I offered to look it up on the Internet.

     So much for question 3. I was called for question 5 and about nine others.

     What were the  questions? In "All I want for Christmas" what did Jen and Jo want? What brought Frosty to Life? You get the drift...trivia questions.

     Now I've listened to and sung most these tunes for  70 - 75 years. You'd think I'd know the answers by now.

     I stood and sang some of these songs at the college the night before when the local college had a sounds of the season event with their symphonic winds band and choral group.

    I enjoy attending other Christmas events. We're going to the LDS church to see 300 different Creche sets. Most families bring their creche from home and put it on display in the hall. It's interesting to see such a wide variety. Some are wood or stone or ceramic or cloth or straw...or many other materials.

    So I began to wonder the depth of my experience is with Christmas. How much ownership do I have in the Christmas festivities?
    I think I'm going to up my Christmas game so that the next test that comes around, I will pass.
Nicholas, Santa Claus, Christmas

Sunday, December 10, 2017


    The last few days the dullness and short days of December have become very noticeable.  It can be clear but it's dull with long shadows. The sun is low in the sky so looking south the sun shines directly in your eyes.

    We are fortunate that we are in the middle of a long mild spell ( Highs 6 C ( 44 F)( Lows minus 5 C( 22 F) )or this could be a very cold time with little sunlight. The sun rose this morning at 8:35 and set this afternoon at 4:22 so we get about seven hours and 47 minutes of sunlight.

     This was taken about 9:30 AM so the sun is still low on the horizon.

      Sometimes when you look at a photo you see something different than when you were shooting. So I noticed the grayness and brown vegetation and dark trees.  I caught the old abandoned water tower peaking through the trees. It is about 2 km from me.

Thursday, December 7, 2017


     One of our major malls puts on a free lunch for seniors each year. Now this is one of the Micro Manager favorite events. Not so much for me.

     The micro manager likes to get to the mall shortly after 9:30 AM for lunch! Why? At that time the Micro Manager can line up for a free bag full of trash. (I'm not very nice am I?) The gift bag for the Micro manager is a big deal. You get the bag and lots of stuff inside. Well, let see. There's a coupon to get your picture taken with Santa. She can't wait to run over and get the picture taken. What else afghan, calendar, box of Kleenex, some other coupons and  candy and chocolates.

    Then there's the lunch. You line up with 300 seniors and slowly move through the line to get your soup, sandwiches, juice, coffee  and cookies. The lunch is a good deal. To be honest, I didn't line up. The Micro Manager went through with two plates. I held the table down as I had to make sure somebody didn't take off with the goody bag. 

    What did I do when the Micro manager was having so much fun? I read the paper, did the puzzles and played games on the ipad!

   I don't like malls much. Or crowds much when I don't know anybody. I like crowds if I know the people.

    Oh yes, the Micro manager had a little shopping to do. 

   So this was my stressful day.

   I know I'll get a lot of sympathy for this whine!

Sunday, December 3, 2017


      From my previous posts you may get the idea that squirrels aren't too popular with me.

     So the squirrel that is my topic is the American red squirrel. It's smallish but about twice as big as a chipmunk. They're very territorial so if they set up in your yard there's lots of action by he squirrel to keep other red squirrels out of it's territory. sometimes they chatter at me and I think they're trying to tell me to get lost. They are supposed to eat seeds but they eat a very wide variety of materials...mushrooms, berries, mice, eggs and much more. They are very active and extremely quick in there motions.

    They are favorites of many people as they are incredibly cute. However , they can be nasty so keep your distance. They can be destructive and  chew holes in your house.

     Now red squirrels have a liking for sunflower seeds. Red squirrels have hit the jack pot when they find a bird feeder with sunflower seeds. They take over. The feeder is theirs. They are crafty and pesky. They also consume many seeds.

     Now for me there's something wrong with squirrels eating my bird seed. I'm stubborn enough to try and chase the squirrels away.

     So I had a plan. I would get a small hinge and attach it near the feeder. I attached a fish line to the hinge so that the hinge could be pulled up and down and make a noise. Now I know some of you are saying, "I tried that."

    Well the squirrel soon came along and I pulled he line. The squirrel left at twice the speed of lightning. I didn't see it for a few weeks. However, all good things come to an end and the squirrel came back and when I pulled the hinge it took off. Gradually the squirrel visits became more frequent and then the cheeky beggar would come back after a few minutes. So my creation worked for a while and then gradually lost it's effect.

    Now the squirrel really knew how to rub things in. It would stand on the fence at the back door and look in that door. The squirrel had found out that the door opens and then the hinge moves. The cheeky little beggar was watching for me. Talk about smart.

   I'm going to have to up my game if I want to beat this squirrel.

Friday, December 1, 2017


     Now every time we go to the physician, sooner or later he/she pulls out the requisition pad and orders a half dozen or more tests. There are many handy dandy tests that can show that we are all right and have nothing wrong with us. For my annual check up . I get at least a dozen tests. Then the doc cheerfully says, "If there's anything wrong I'll phone you." Then you never get a phone call and are left wondering if everything was okay or if he just forgot to phone. Except not with my doctor. My doctor phones at least half the time and sometimes it's to confirm that something is okay so I know if he says I'll phone if there's a problem, I know he'll phone.

      Now the other day I visited my Doc to get my end of life form formalized. After we finished the form, he looked at me and said, "You know we should change medication Y when you're taking medicine X. That really amazed me.

     It also got me thinking about the medications we take. I take 4 medications. Three of them may give me better life quality in the future. One I need to take to function at the present time. I know that many seniors take many more medications than 4. I know that some physicians play fast and loose with interactions which may occur . Some drug interactions can possibly be very harmful or even fatal.

    So here's my suggestion for a test. We should have a test for the drug interactions that occur between the various drugs that have been prescribed. The test would detect all the new sludge left in our body from the various interactions. I'm sure that the drug interactions produce some very interesting new substances. Maybe some of the new substances may be useful? I doubt it. Maybe some of the harm done to our bodies could be detected and prescriptions stopped.

    I'm sure that a small part of the requisition pad could be used for a spot to tick off a test to detect crap produced by the interaction of medications!

     Just think how much better off we would be!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


     This is unbelievable. I'm going to write about taxes again! I know I said in my last post that it was the end of posts on tax. The tax  topic just keeps giving and giving. This also fits in with a few other posts I've done, like telemarketers.

    Yesterday morning a call came and since I have call identification , I decided not to answer. Most telemarketers and scams don't leave a message. This one left a message and it was chilling.

    The message went something like this. You are named in a criminal proceeding for paying insufficient income tax and for tax fraud. Call back immediately and we can help you. Well it's a rather upsetting message. Fear and worry set in immediately. And then the voice of reason cuts in and you realize that this is a scam. However , you are shook up by such a call.

     Even though I had heard about this scam before, I was stressed. What cold evil hearted person would conduct such a scam. I wouldn't be taken in but how many other people may fall for it. What about seniors.? What about the many people we have who have limited English?

     So yes, my post is about tax but more on creepy criminal phone calls.

    We called the police to report the call thinking that they may be interested in case there was an ongoing investigation. Well they knew about it, but there was no investigation because unless there's money that actually changes hands there's no offense being committed. They are just a nuisance.

    So hopefully this will be the last tax post and that the goons don't phone you.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


    Recently I have done two posts on income tax. One post was a on a tactic used by people to evade tax by putting money in another country. The last post was on the pathetic performance of the call center used by the tax department.
    So after my challenge  of  dealing with capital gains I've been thinking about what causes tax systems to become so complicated.
    Too many times whiners get to the politicians and request changes to the tax system that would benefit them. Politicians see this a  way of getting votes when they need them. Politicians also think that if they meddle with the tax system, they can "improve" the economy.
    Then the government always has ideas to give us a good deal. In Canada they set up something called the Registered Retirement Savings Plan. The idea was to let people start a savings deposit and not have to pay income tax on it until they take the funds out. You would not be able to take any funds  out until you reach retirement unless you wanted to pay tax on it. The idea was that when you retire your tax rate would be lower and in this way save money. So try keeping track of this account. There was a maximum you could deposit. There's a minimum you could take out at the end.
   The government has all kinds of economists and accountants who design tax systems that at the same time benefit people and bring in needed revenue for the country.
    I could bore you with other examples.
   So why not tax everybody on a standard rate. There would be different rates for income level but that's all.  No exemptions. No write offs. No sneaking money off to a foreign country.
   I'm willing to bet a nickel that if everybody was taxed the same and did not have loop holes that the tax rate would be lower. Wouldn't that make everybody happy! Or is this just too simple to fly?

    Well it was a good dream anyway.


Friday, November 24, 2017


       I've always disliked call centers

       When you call it takes forever to get an answer. It seems the usual time is 30 to 45 minutes. Listening to the mournful repetitive tiny bit if music drives me crazy. Listening to , "Your call is important to us" 200 times is insulting.

     So finally someone answers. What have I got? Someone whose English is very limited. They have an accent and only understand about half of what I say. Since my hearing is poor , I have difficulties hearing speech which is heavily accented.  If we did understand each other they have a very limited knowledge of the topic I'm seeking information about. So after a frustrating time I usually end up not getting the information I was seeking.

    Now the call center business is large. It's set up to operate efficiently and is very lucrative.

    Now I knew a young guy who had brief experiences with working in call centers or should I say training. He was well paid and he would train until some other opportunity came along. Many opportunities he chose were also short term. Sergio spent time at my house and I tried to help him with support and employment. He worked in a slaughter house for a few weeks. He worked for a cement company for a few days. However, Sergio always seemed to mess things up. He didn't seem to care if he got anything right. So if he was working in a call center he could make anything up!

     Now yesterday with my tax issue I happened to be dealing with a call center. The person knew absolutely nothing about what I was asking.

     A few years ago taxation employees answered the phones. You got information.

     Now I'm sure that if call centers continue they will be responsible for destroying our society.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


    A three ring circus took place at my house today. I'm not sure if there are real three ring circuses anymore but there was one today.

    I was one ring. The Micro Manager  was a second ring and the poor little income tax information officer was the third ring.

    How did this turn into a circus? Well we had a tax issue. The micro manager and I could not understand how the issue could be dealt with. We had gone over the information many times and could not agree. We both stick to our ideas very rigidly so a solution is hard to get to.  So we phoned the income tax number.

   To start with, our understanding of the issue was hazy at best. So the tax person wasn't really sure what we wanted. The said tax person referred us to parts of the guide that would help us. Well, that only muddled us up more. The Micro Manage thought one thing and I thought another. We tried again and ended up in more confusion. So the micro manager and I were talking to each other and debating things back and forth. I guess the tax person leaned back and said, "Let'em go at it."
   For one minute we would think that we understood things and then suddenly it wouldn't fit.

    I must say that the advisor we had was weak at best. Everything we asked she would put us on hold and look for info. When I phone these people I expect a clear explanation.

    After about 40 minutes , I wrote the micro manager a note and said let's get off of here because this bird doesn't know anything. Twenty minutes later the Micro Manager thanked the tax person and said we'd work on it. 

    So after 90 minutes we got nothing.

    So the three ring circus just went round and round.

    I imagine it would have been quite entertaining if someone had been watching.

    So now we still have to find out how to calculate the problem correctly.

   I think there will be another showing of the three ring circus.

Image result for clip art

Sunday, November 19, 2017


      I spend a lot of time outdoors wandering through parks and natural areas. It gets me outdoors. It gives me some exercise and it certainly does wonders to overall good well being. I lead a bird watching group once a week and sometimes you have to work pretty hard to pursue the little birdie to make an identification.
    Now most days you are going to meet someone to visit with. You meet all kinds of different people. Since I carry binoculars , most people can guess what I'm doing.

    From time to time you find things. These days the woods are filled with junk from homeless people. Sometimes I report the junk and the city picks it up and if it's small I clean it up myself.

    Sometimes you find other things...wallets. Usually there's nothing left. Twice I found wallets and the only thing missing was cash. Then I turn them in to the police.

    Yesterday I found something different. I saw a bit of black cord sticking out of the snow. I thought it might be keys so I kicked the snow away. Surprisingly it turned out to be a flashlight. I wanted to see if it worked and if not it would go in the garbage. One of the birders told me how to turn it on and yes it worked.

    Now the flash light likely belonged to a homeless person as they use the flashlights to navigate through the bush and also as a bicycle light. They also use them for lights in their tent.

     Now when I got home I googled to see what I had. I found out that it was a $50.00 flashlight. I've never found anything of value that I could keep. The light is LED and the beam shines up to 751 feet!

    Sometimes you get lucky!

Thursday, November 16, 2017


     In the past year the topic of sexual assault has been common, regular and often.

     There's much to say about sexual assault but not much seems to do any good.  Sexual assault has probably been committed since we showed up on the planet.

     There are the usual blah blah blahs. Simple ideas are  given as to why sexual assault continues to occur. The common excuses and blame go on forever and are repeated. In Alberta, we've had a judge lose his position as he asked a complainant why she didn't keep her legs together to prevent an assault.

    The law does not seem to come up with a practical process of dealing with sexual assault in the courts. The complainant is forced to defend herself from various lame accusations. Women are reluctant to report assault as the court process is demeaning and not highly reliable or successful.

    So sexual assault goes on and there at very few convictions so males fell that the odds are very good that they can get away with things.

     Over and over we hear about education and talking. Men and women talking?

     Boys, it's time men talked to men. Yes, men talk now . They brag about assaults and egg each other on. Donald Trump is one who openly brags and laughs about his assaults. He gets away with his actions and those assaulted carry the pain of the assaults. Talk is dismissed as locker room talk so it's harmless. Too many clowns go out and walk the talk and assault. This same locker room talk gives many males the idea that assault is funny.

     Men commit the assaults. It's up to men to talk to one another about sexual assault and get it through their heads that it's disgustingly wrong. . It's up to men to control the flippant joking about sexual assault. It's up to men to call each other on yakking about sexual assault and how funny it would be. It's up to men to talk to each other and realize how harmful the assaults are. Men have to step up and take a stand. It won't be easy. The bullies will make it difficult.

    Men have got to get serious and take responsibility for sexual assault. No one is out there asking to be assaulted.

    Maybe, just maybe, the many people making accusations now will have some effect on the rate of sexual assault.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


    Some of you noticed that there were some major glitches in my last post as far as photos were concerned. My apologies for causing anxiety and frustration. All of you who mentioned a problem with photos were extremely tactful. Thank you. If you hadn't mentioned that something was amiss , I'd have never known that there was a problem.

     I was trying to move photos on the blog post directly from email. I found out I couldn't do it. Moving photos from an email to a  post can probably be done but I have no idea how it's done. I still don't understand why I can't use the clipboard and use cut and paste?

    Now since I have a new computer, I've been moving photos to the new computer. Most of it has been easy peasy. However , there were some photos that just weren't showing up. I did two downloads or uploads. I'm not sure which is which. I searched for the photos. I looked all over the place . I went around and around. I really became frustrated. I had moved photos from my new camera and it was very easy. I did the same with the old camera, but some seemed to be missing.

    I was about exhausted and had almost decided to ask my in house advisor for advice. Last night while spending a sleepless couple of hours I got it!!! I remembered that I had another SD card from the old camera Yes, that' where my missing photos were. So today the remaining photos were loaded onto the computer.

    Now I did notice that for many of my photos there were three of each photo? Yes, that's what you get for downloading three times when you think something isn't working. It works alright.

    So it's not the dang computer. It's the operator.

   As I mentioned before the learning curve has been steep! It's just what's needed to keep a 78 year old brain from turning into mush!

Friday, November 10, 2017


      I spend a lot of time outdoors wandering through parks and natural areas. It gets me outdoors. It gives me some exercise and it certainly does wonders to overall good well being. I lead a bird watching group once a week and sometimes you have to work pretty hard to pursue the little birdie to make an identification.

    Now most days you are going to meet someone to visit with. You meet all kinds of different people. Since I carry binoculars , most people can guess what I'm doing.

    From time to time you find things. These days the woods are filled with junk from homeless people. Sometimes I report the junk and the city picks it up and if it's small I clean it up myself.

    Sometimes you find other things...wallets. Usually there's nothing left. Twice I found wallets and the only thing missing was cash. Then I turn them in to the police.

    Yesterday I found something different. I saw a bit of black cord sticking out of the snow. I thought it might be keys so I kicked the snow away. Surprisingly it turned out to be a flashlight. I wanted to see if it worked and if not it would go in the garbage. One of the birders told me how to turn it on and yes it worked.

    Now the flash light likely belonged to a homeless person as they use the flashlights to navigate through the bush and also as a bicycle light. They also use them for lights in their tent.

     Now when I got home I googled to see what I had. I found out that it was a $50.00 flashlight. I've never found anything of value that I could keep. The light is LED and the beam shines up to 751 feet!

    Sometimes you get lucky!

Monday, November 6, 2017


       On Sept . 29 the bird watching group went to a 270 acre natural area called Nova Nature Trails. Yes, the Nova, that is a world petrochemical company.

       The natural area has a wide variety of habitat so we can see a variety of bird species. There at wetlands, grasslands, brush and a few trees

      So I took the opportunity to get  few fall photos and give you a general idea of what the area is like.


         This is one small part of the plant.

         So six km of trails kept us busy for the morning.

Friday, November 3, 2017


     I used my  ipad for 6 or 7 posts. I did not find out how to post photos on posts I did with the ipad. When I tried photos the ipad seized up.

    So now I can post some fall photos. However, tonight is not fall . It's winter. We've had snow for three days and have about 10 cm ( 4 in).  I have shovelled the driveway and sidewalks three times.


    So posting fall photos takes me back to better times.

    Last Saturday Oct. 28 was a beautiful day. Jackets and coats came off as it was about 17 C (65 F). In my last post I shared one photo that I liked so I found out that there was very good light that day for the colors that were involved. So here are more photos from Heritage Ranch.


      This is my Saturday afternoon birding group. They know how to have fun!



Wednesday, November 1, 2017


       On the weekend we were out bird watching in a 300 acre area of old growth forest, recovering quarries and open fields. It was a warm fall afternoon. It turned nasty the next day.

      It was an afternoon where I took quite a few photos. I was surprised when I looked at one photo and immediately liked it. I'm not a horse person so it's not because of the horses. It's one of those photos where you take a quick look and click. So I didn't think about anything.

      So I'm still asking myself what it is about my photo that makes me really like it.

      Do you have any ideas?


Sunday, October 29, 2017


     Alright , it's another computer story!

     It seems to me to be outrageous that when you buy a computer, they are ready to set it up for you for a big price. In my case they offered to set things up for $200.00.Now my computer only cost $600.00. We hear all kinds of stories about setting up new computers. Some of them are scary and some say, "No problem . Computers are easy to set up." To my thinking , it should be easy to set up a computer.

     Well, here goes. I waited a few days to build up my courage. I read the rather small manual...76 pages. My camera manual is 234 pages.

    I started . Things went well and smoothly.

    I got to the part where I installed apps. The apps showed up on the screen. I thought there was more so I looked for something to click on to move forward. Nothing! Well then back up! Nothing.

    I was stuck with a blue screen with 4 window like squares with light streaming through.

    Finally, I shut down the computer. Next morning? It's still there. Well a quick call to Asus should fix this. Two calls to Asus talking to Asus dummies and then the third call he offered to set things up to reset the computer.

    Okay , I go through the same thing. Well, I slept on this overnight. It finally hit me that the funny blue screen was my home page. I was finished setting up my computer! The actual time to do this was about 20 minutes. I'm sure a guy from the store would take about two minutes. They would also teach me a few things which I would have to learn on my own.

     So that was a rather embarrassing error but I admit it.

      Next , I had some challenges with my pass words. All my pass words have  a similar key stroke. In Canada our keyboards must have French. Somehow or other that stroke would type the French. I discovered that by looking at my password when I typed it in.

     So I had a few errors but I got my computer set up and didn't have to pay the rats $200.00

     You know that from previous posts I try to do things myself and it's a challenge but gives satisfaction when it's done.

Friday, October 27, 2017


    That tune has been in my head for days. Who wrote or sang the tune?

     Well I really did find a new friend. Several weeks ago I told you that I had to get a new computer and that I would be making posts on my ipad. It was frustrating using the ipad as I'm not familiar with Apple. With a whole lot of crashing and bashing I posted a few poorly edited posts. I never did find out how to put photos on a post. I did read all posts and made comments. Along the way I learned more about apple. I still would not choose Apple to work with.

     Finally I made a decision about a computer. I bought an Asus. It has a windows 10 operating system. I was worried about Windows 10 as some people, including my son, said it was not easy to work with.. So I've been pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to work with. Yes, I've had to learn some things and have lots more to learn. It seems to be easy to navigate.

    It was easy to get my emails and contacts. It was easy to find my blogs. Surprise , surprise! I got most of my photos. I still have some other things I would like to get off the old computer, but not much.

    So I did find somebody new that I like very much.

   By the way , I haven't got a name for somebody new yet?

Friday, October 20, 2017

Last Day of Being Seventy Seven

   Yes, that's right folks. Today is the last timeI I'll ever ever 77 years old.

    What did I do on this or less day in my life? I made up my persona directive.

   Recently my daughter's mother in law went in for surgery and it didn't turn out well. Her husband is an only child and when his mother became incapacitated, they began looking, 
 for those important papers.

   That's when my daughter made the frantic request as to whether I had personal direction forms and if so where are they.

   Now my record on personal directive forms is rather pathetic.  About 15 years ago I'd heard of personal directives but didn't have the foggiest idea of their importance and of course like a typical male I did nothing about them.. About 10 years ago I got a little more serious about the issue. About 5 years ago I actually filled out forms but didn't get  them witnessed.

   So with my daughter's frantic plea , it was time to d something about it.aed out our province has a program in place to standardize personal directives.also learned ed that the all important form was only to appoint someone to be my agent if I became  . I was giving someone the legal status to make health and care decisions for me. I also learned the I would fill out another form with my doctor detailing my wishes for care when my quality of life deteriorates.

   The province also will set up an advisor to help you fill out the forms. The advisor sees thaat the forms are filled out correctly. She/he witnesses your signature and makes the necessary copies for you. That' s what we did today.

      So all in all, my last day of being 77was a rather important one.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Am I Biased?

     I start many posts with, "I was a teacher for 37 years." So every once in a while I get on a teacher topic.

     Over the years I had many different administrators. Most of them were middle of the roaders. One was outstanding and one just terrible.

     So I got thinking about hiring a good administrator.

      I would suggest that a good place to look for administrators would be in the fine arts section.

        Fine arts teachers have to set their classes up so that students work on individual projects or in groups. They also have to organize their program so that the curriculum police are satisfied. So fine arts teachers have many challenges with logistics. And they creative people.

       So if I was hiring an administrator I would look in the fine aarts section for candidates for an administrative position. 

       I would like an administrator to be creative and have a vision as to what he wants for his school. I want somebody who is well organized and can move  pieces of the jigsaw puzzle around and make the best use of space, time and talent.

      After that look for leadership ability and personal appeal.

        So here are the results of my afternoon of daydreaming.

       Am I a little biased towards fine arts?