Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Final Olympic Comment

They are over and it makes one wonder if there will ever be an Olympic Games without controversy. I don't have to list them here, but they (the controversies) are many. We are now left with some question marks regarding many of the Gold medals and if they will be re-awarded. It must now be determined if the Chinese women gymnasts were underage and if the Jamaican track team was doped up. How sad. If there is deceit and cheating, is it worth even having this kind of event? There are world meets in all the venues and I am thinking that this might be good enough. How better can the world allocate the huge dollars that are spent? It is likely that the Olympics are more about money than sport. The billions that are spent are definitely stimulating somebodies economy but it is not that of the poor of the world.
I am leaving all this behind me for a week. No blog posts or email, phone calls or bills to pay, no alarm clocks, no work, no computers or Internet, just some R & R. Not necessarily well deserved, but taken nonetheless. It remains to be seen if I can survive this ordeal. I will let you know on Monday Sept. 1

Saturday, August 23, 2008

At Last

"The bounty of the Harvest" is an expression we are all familiar with but only those who grow food experience it. First it was the strawberries, apples, grapes, then the cucumber, and now the Cherry Tomatoes that I have been showing you, all foods grown on our properties. Unless you only eat out of a bag, can, or box, you can appreciate my excitement.
In my secret laboratory, in the depths of my basement, I have long abandoned my pet project of developing a tree that grows money. My new project is trying to create a hybrid plant that grows Mars Bars. I have started with a small bush that grows cocoa beans, but have run into a problem getting beyond that. This obviously requires more research and between ripe red Cherry Tomatoes, I will be dissecting many a Mars Bar.

Friday, August 22, 2008


We have been waiting for this little guy for a while now and today he was big enough to pick. He will not be getting into a pickle, but rather a salad. Fresh and home grown cannot be beat. Speaking of pickles, I was telling my friend and good customer, Irene, about our pickle woes. We have not been able to find our favourite, Bick's Yum Yums bread and butter pickles. The closest thing has been a product that comes from of all places, India! At the end of the day, what do I find in my truck but two jars of Bick's Yum Yums. As if this was not generous enough, she made pickles the very next day, big juicy dill pickles in brine, and gave me a huge jar. We have been enjoying both tremendously the last two days and I think of how sweet she is every time I take a sour bite.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Strawberries in August

Yes, we have strawberries in August. Our plants are ever bearing, which is not exactly true, but we do get at least two crops per year. The flavour is always better in June, but then strawberries anytime is a treat.
We had a delightful visit with a long lost cousin, and her husband, tonight, as they were passing through on their way to Tofino. What an interesting couple! She is in training for a marathon after having broken both her arms this April and also suffering Achilles Tendon damage. He too is an athlete and both of them are in middle age. What makes them particularly interesting though, is that he is Lt. Governor of Saskatchewan. I had a great time discussing non-partisanship with him. (Can this be possible?) That is a prerequisite of his position and he truly exemplifies it well.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Collection Day For Bees

I now have conclusive proof of my theory outlined in my blog post of a few days ago. Canada's medal count is absolutely determined by my viewing habits. Every day that I have not watched, Canada has been winning, and more than once. Yesterday I watched a few events and of course we won not a single medal. Not only that, but the one event that I did watch with a Canadian participant was the Taekwando. The match was between Sweden and Canada and our girl obviously dominated the match. However, every time she scored a point the judges did not register it on the score board. It was speculated later that the Chinese judge did not want the Canadian to win because she was the better contestant and the winner of the match was to go up against China in the next round. So much for impartial judging.
So with this volume of proof that I am solely responsible for the outcome of the medal count for my country, I have a proposal to make. If someone makes it worth my while, I will change citizenship to ... say USA, and at the next Olympics I will cheer for my country and watch the competitions every day, thereby ensuring that the USA will get no medals. Any takers?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

To Bee

I heard earlier this year that the bee population was in trouble yet I have never seen so many bees on our property as this year. The honey bees, bumble bees and other bees have seemed to run their course for the year but now we have a new kid (bee) on the block. This is a huge (about 15 mm long) black creature with only a yellow bumper on the front and one on the back. The wings are black and they are not very aggressive but very intent on pollination and nectar gathering. When they fly they are silent as opposed to the buzzing of other bees. Does anybody out there know anything about these insects? Click on the photo to enlarge.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Morning Glory

I must say I was in my glory this morning. After the oppressive heat and humidity of yesterday, I was thrilled to wake to an overcast sky and a slight rain falling to cool the warm earth. I was thrilled and knew I would have a good day at work. Feeling human again, I even got out to shoot a few new photos, but this Morning Glory shot is not one of them.
I have not had a chance to catch any Olympic Games viewing for a few days now and because of this, I have come to the conclusion that the Canadian athletes have now found the secret to success. I am the key. Keep me away from the TV and just like magic, the medals start falling around the necks of the Canadians. The Canadian Olympic Committee stated at the beginning of the games that their goal was to place 17th in the medal standings. Two days ago they were 53rd. Today they are 15th. Go Canada. My proof of loyalty is in the fact that I did not watch tonight either. And guess what? I just now heard that Simon Whitfield of Victoria won silver in the triathlon. Do we need more proof of my theory?

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Like grapes, these hot days seem to come in clusters. Unlike grapes, they are not very sweet and refreshing. The average temperature for this time of year is around 24 C. As I was watching the weather forecast on TV, I was wondering why when the temp. goes ten degrees above normal, they call it a gorgeous day, a marvelous day, what we have been waiting for etc. etc. But were the temperature to go below the average by ten degrees, there would weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth and lamentations. Either way it is ten degrees off normal and given a choice, I would take the cooler of the two. Put on a jacket and get over it. As it is now, I have discarded my clothing and there is nothing left to take off. I am still hot. This is marvelous?! I think not. ( I am staying away from the mirrors)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Lynden Fair

Two things that almost prevented me from going to the Lynden Fair yesterday were the heat and the prospect of border lineups. But tickets for the Newsboys concert had been purchased a few days earlier and so the prospect of those seats going unfilled motivated me to go. The wait at the border was an hour and the heat became less of a factor due to good air conditioning in the car and the light overcast that drifted in during the hottest part of the day.
It was the first time for me and I must say that I was favourably impressed. It is a family oriented event and had an overall wholesome feel to it, unlike a lot of sleaze that one encounters at the PNE. Getting stuffed on 'fair food' is a prerequisite and I manged to do that by the time the concert started. Is there anything more delicious and unhealthy than a humongous Elephant Ear? In my younger years I would have consumed a Funnel Cake as a chaser, but at some point in one's life, common sense prevails.
The stadium was packed as the Newsboys came to the stage. They did not disappoint their dedicated fans. I am only a recent fan since their last two or three albums, so was not that familiar with most of their tunes from their earlier days. They have been around since 1980 and have a large repertoire under their belts. I must say I got chills when they were singing "Amazing Love" and the big orange August moon slowly rose over the stage, partially obscured from time to time by the high altitude mottled clouds drifting by. The evening was balmy, the music great, though a little loud for me (did I just say that?) and spending time with good friends made it a perfectly wonderful day.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Last Year

This is a picture of last years apple crop. In a previous post, I showed you the bumper crop of sour cherries we got this year. One! There are no apples at all this year. It was a bigger crop last year than we usually get and I have been told that it is too stressful for a tree to produce a large crop two years in a row. A bit like Canadian athletes, I guess.
Today is a hot day! It has not been this warm here on this day since 1948. I guess Global Warming was more of a problem back then.
I see a big study has come out tracking the loss of Arctic ice to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It correlates! But what also correlates is the downturn in the lumber industry, the increase in immigration, and the cost of gasoline. Why are these things not also implicated?
Global weather patterns are not only complex, but the input of influencing factors are myriad and the combinations infinitesimal. I have read that the 100, 500, 1000 and 5000 year trends are all toward a cooling earth. Within each of those periods of time, there have been spikes, both upward and downward. To look at a short period of time and draw conclusions that appear to be long term is irresponsible. There are so many agendas at work here and I am very skeptical of any information that prods the world into spending money foolishly to try to change something that is not really happening. According to Al Gore, the high tides of the Pacific should have been lapping at my doorstep by now.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Marshmallows and Wolves

We were packing up the tools after a small job on a country farm when an interesting thing happened. The young son of the homeowner came limping home in quite a bit of distress and was quite beside himself with pain and anxiety. He was covered in mud and after his mom calmed him down she got a bit of his story, which she related to me later. She told me that their family had learned, two days ago, that the neighbour who was training wild animals on his farm for the movie industry, had his six Timber Wolves escape their enclosure. Now it seems that the young man in distress was riding his quad through a muddy ravine on the back of their farm when he got stuck. As he was straining to free the small vehicle, a rather large wolf came at him. He told, between sobs, how he had kicked the wolf in the face and it sauntered off, leaving the young man to to run home for all he was worth, with a badly injured foot.
His mom had a rather quizzical look on her face as she was telling me the tale as if she was not sure she could believe him. Does he have a history of fabricating stories? Was this a cover-up for doing serious damage to the quad? Will we ever hear the real story? With all the recent bear attacks in Coquitlam and Port Moody, you would think that this would hit the media too. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Spain's Olympic Basketball Team is seen in an ad running in Spanish newspapers, using their fingers to slant their eyes in an attempt at endearment and identifying with their Chinese hosts at the the games. They saw nothing wrong with it and did not give it a second thought. I do not know where Spain is in the scale of political correctness, but they are getting a rude awakening at this minute as to the insecurities and sensitivities that mark our generation. It seems everyone is demanding an apology and is offended and incensed that anyone would do this. I think everyone should just lighten up and perhaps the Chinese Basketball Team could publish a photo of themselves pushing the corners of their eyes inward to make them appear more round. Don't you think everyone would then be even and they could get on with competing?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


For someone who watches very little television, I have been caught up in watching every evening these days. It is the Olympics, of course. I have been wondering why it is that there are no Canadians on the podium. I have no theories about this but I do have one observation. After watching many interviews of various athletes, I have noticed that many of them are just happy to be there competing in the worlds' greatest sporting event. I have to surmise that once the goal of being in the Olympics was achieved, the focus and determination required to excel is no longer there. Not winning a medal seems to be OK because just getting to Beijing was such an incredible accomplishment on its own.
And then there is the American swimmer, Phelps! His goal was not to just get to the Olympics, but it was to achieve a new world record in the amount of Gold medals by one athlete in one games. And what does this extraordinary goal result in? Not only is he on track to do it, but he is setting Olympic and World records in the process. Is Canada settling for under achievement? It almost seems that way. Let's hope that in 2010 when the Winter Olympics come not only to Canada, but to Vancouver, that we will put in a much better effort. The way the world is watching China today is the way the world will be watching Canada then.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Piano Lessons

Our recent trip to Vancouver Island to visit my sister resulted in some reminiscing. The subject came around to the music lessons we both experienced as children. Her recollections were somewhat different than mine, probably because I would much rather have played hockey. Here is some light summer reading for those of you who have endured piano lessons and for those of you who were fortunate to evade them.

There were only two things in my childhood that brought extreme stress into my life. One I could have done something about, and the other was out of my control. I speak of trips to the dentist and piano lessons.
Had I brushed my teeth faithfully, and stayed away from those bedtime snacks, the times at the dentist could have been less severe. Many nights I would go to sleep with sugary cornflakes tucked firmly in and between my teeth, much to the delight of the bacteria that left little brown craters in their destructive wake. I doubt any kid ever had as many cavities as I did, without losing their teeth completely. You would think that the pain of the drill, often with no freezing, would have been a great incentive to be more diligent in that regard. It could have been sheer laziness, a poor memory, or just a young boy seeing what he could get away with. The fact I have ever only lost one tooth, a wisdom tooth with no fillings, gives testament to the fact that I did change my ways as I matured. However, in the interim, my mouth has been completely redone several times and now has more crowns than the queen.
The piano lessons were a different matter. I remember grudgingly relenting as my mother tried to sweet talk me into expanding my horizons in the musical department. My older sister, Gaye, was taking lessons and "it was so much fun and she was progressing so wonderfully and her teacher was taking on more students, and it would be so nice to hear me play and I would really enjoy it", finally got to me and I thought I would get everyone off my case and take the darn lessons. It couldn't be that bad, could it?
I started in late summer and being very young and not thinking long term thoughts, I did not realize that the only day Miss Schoppe taught lessons was Saturday, which was fine in late summer. The foresight that was missing was that come winter, the Peewee hockey practices were also on Saturday. Had I thought this through to its logical conclusion, I would have dug my heels in and not consented at all. As I endured the years of practice, I always took comfort in the idea that I did actually have a choice at the beginning. Who was I kidding?
The first music lesson Saturday arrived much too quickly and I remember the new clothes I wore, my one set of clothes for the new school year, and the dire warning to keep them clean ‘or else’. I had been ear pulled into Miss Schoppe’s presence a few days earlier and was introduced and handed my ‘Grade One for Piano’ lesson book fresh from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto. I had not even glanced through it prior to my first lesson, proof that my mind was elsewhere.
I dawdled as I wended my way from our back door to the driveway of the hospital directly behind our house. There was a shortcut from there to the Schoppe residence, a very familiar route for two reasons. There was a town well in the alley behind the Schoppe’s and I made hundreds of trips there to get metal cans and pails of fresh drinking water, both summer and winter. Now in summer it was easy and fun if I went with a friend. I would carry two pails on my little red wagon and with one pushing and the other pulling, the trip home usually resulted in one pail of water, net, due to spillage.
And there, just a few yards away from the well, was the magical hideout belonging to Delano Davis. It was actually a rabbit hutch with a very small loft where the rabbit feed was stored and where there was a huge stash of comics, something that was strictly forbidden in our home. I was tempted to climb up there and hide for the next little while, until all this music lesson stuff blew over, but I had made a solemn promise to Delano that I would never go up there without him. He was two years older than me and he had an older brother who had been shot up in the war, so out of respect for the both of them, I dismissed the thought from my mind and continued down the path from the well to the torture chamber. Enough dawdling. Just one more thing. The path had a low lying section, and in the spring when there was water standing in the low spots of town, I would probably have to detour around this section somehow. I pondered on this for a while. When I looked up, only a few feet from the house of horrors, there she was, waiting at her back screen door. And she was just as I had remembered her.
She was a heavy woman, middle aged, living with her aging mother in the little ivy entwined bungalow. She ushered me through the kitchen and into the front room which was her studio. It was a tiny room with hardly enough space for the monstrous shiny black grand piano which every kid in town had sat down to at one time or another. There was the standard piano bench, also shiny black, and beside it, a kitchen chair, just within reach of the keyboard. She motioned me to the bench and as I squeezed past her, the smell of talcum powder mixed with perspiration gave the back of my throat an unpleasant tingle. Her hair was perfect, too perfect, but what did I know about wigs. I really did not know that I had ever seen one. She wore a tight blue (or was it black) dress that squeaked when she moved her arms. It was probably the snugly confined spare tires trying to get back on the road again. Her face was caked with powder, not quite the same colour as her neck, where it had balled up a little in one of the sweaty creases below her chin. Her eyes were as dark as her hair and just below the tiny pushed in nose was a pair of brilliant red lips. She had a no nonsense look to her, but at least on this occasion, she was friendly enough. I was, after all, a source of income for her and she was not about to jeopardize her good fortune.
That first lesson was an introduction to four years of hell. Not the actual lessons, not her, nor was it the music. It was the lying and cheating that I began to indulge in to preserve my good standing with her and my parents. There was a lined notebook where she would write comments during the lesson and give the assignment for the following week. In the back of the notebook, she showed me how to draw a chart where I would keep track of the pieces I had practiced, the scales I had worked on, and the amount of time per day I practiced. The goal, she said, as she stared intently into my eyes, was ½ hour per day, but not on Sundays, unless for some reason another day of the week was missed.
Being a God fearing boy and raised to always tell the truth, I did well for the first few months. I was progressing, learning the key of C and distinguishing between the bass and treble clef. The simple tunes I learned were easy and with ½ hour of practice a day, I was becoming a master. An A student all the way. Then the weather turned cold and there was ice in the town arena. Hockey season had started. There were road hockey games to play, table hockey games to play, arena hockey games to play, and NHL games to listen to on the radio. There simply was no time for piano practicing. But the lessons continued.
And so I devised a method whereby I could indulge in my favourite pastime, and also keep the adults in my life happy. When my mother was home, I would practice a little and tell her I would finish later. When she was out, I would miraculously be at the piano practicing just as she walked in the door and exclaim that I was so relieved that my ½ hour was up. I would pore over the time chart at the back of my piano book on Saturday morning, filling in the blanks, always managing to come up with an average of ½ hour per day. On a good week, it would actually only be ¼ of that. Apart from the guilty conscience, all was going well. I learned quickly and was able to talk my way out of any suspicions on the part of Mrs. Schoppe. Either she was on to me and did not like confrontation, or she thought I was a slow study. If the performance was totally inept at the Saturday morning lesson, I would give an excuse such as practicing the wrong piece that week. That worked a few times until she told me to play the piece I had actually been working on. That was extremely uncomfortable. My parents were thrilled. I was learning to play piano.
I endured the charade for four full years, with only summers off. I vowed I would change my ways, but would lose my resolve as soon as the ice returned in winter. I was incurable. As the lying increased, so did my ineptitude. It all came to a head at the end of my fourth year. I had made a compromising deal with my dad that if I stuck it out for four years, I could quit if I passed the final test. I was on the Royal Conservatory program and what I did not know was that the teacher/examiner would not be the pushover Miss Schoppe, but an examiner who would come out from Toronto and test students in Saskatoon. I panicked. Gaye had taken the test and she told me how difficult it was and how stern the examiner was, and how they made you play a piece you had never seen before. I went into the bathroom and threw up.
What happened next was a temporary abandonment of hockey and a tortuous month of playing the piano, nonstop day and night. I did not bother noting the practice times as Miss Schoppe would never have believed me anyway. She did, however, notice a remarkable improvement in my technique and knowledge. My Mother was beaming. Her son would become a piano player after all. She thought I was doing this because I had a new found love of music. But it was desperation, survival, redemption.
The fateful day in June arrived and we took a trip into the big city. This was rare and very special, and added to the seriousness of the mission we were on. I was as scared and as nervous as I had ever been in my entire life. The large Victorian house is forever etched into my memory. It was a warm sunny day and as the sun streamed through the windows, I thought it was a lovely day, for my last day, for I was dying of sheer terror. I panicked as I heard the tinkling of the piano keys in the adjoining room fall silent for an instant, and then a booming voice reprimanding some poor terrorized hockey player who just wanted to go home and count his hockey cards. The kid finally came out of the room and I saw tears in his eyes. I am so dead. I wonder if my friends will miss me?
The exam was pure torture, the most painful kind. I was asked to play the required scales, and went to automatic pilot as I always did when playing scales. It was the only way I could get them right as I thought they were a nuisance and total waste of time. Much to my surprise, I pulled it off. No major mistakes. Smooth and a nice light touch, were his comments, as he made a note in his book.
Then, he told me to play my memorized piece from the grade four book. It went well, considering the little time I had practiced in the last four years. He scowled at me as he noted that he thought it was the easiest piece in the book. When one crams four years of study into one month of practice, this makes sense. And then the most feared moment of my life to that time. He opened a book and placed it front of me and told me to play it. It was a piece that I was not supposed to have seen or practiced so my sight reading skills could be assessed. My life passed before my eyes. But just a minute. What is this? I had heard my sister play this piece one time and in a moment of weakness, thought I would do some extra curricular piano playing and spent a bit of time trying to play it, and all just a few days ago! This was my ace in the hole if I pulled it off. After managing to conceal my exuberance, I began to play the piece. I did not know it, I was bad, I had to start over several times, but it was not a total failure and I was certain that I would not have the lowest mark in all of Canada.
I came out of the room a basket case and the relief mingled with latent fear gave me a giddy feeling. My mom put her arm around me and we went home.
After waiting for several weeks for the results, the big brown envelope finally arrived in the mail. At this point I did not care. My music lesson days were over. I had given over four of my precious boyhood years to this exercise and I was done. The family was gathered at the table that evening as the envelope was opened. Out came a stiff piece of cardboard to keep the certificate from wrinkling. The certificate! Did they give those out to the failures too. My mom proudly held up the blue and white document and announced that I had passed my Grade Four Royal Conservatory examination. I was very surprised, to say the least, and suddenly became rather proud. Miss Schoppe would be proud of me too. She had told my parents on more that one occasion that their son had a natural ability. Actually, every kid did. It was the ability to keep her in groceries and rent money. What else would she say.
I lay in bed that night reviewing the route I had taken to get the certificate, and all the money my dad had spent on the lessons. But, a deal was a deal. It was a monumental relief to abandon the lying and cheating of the last few years. I never told anyone. Nor did I ever play the piano again.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

When Plants Do Time

For many years I watched Sophie grow up in the shadow of her brother, who was a soccer player destined for great things, and actually did end up going to an American University on a full soccer scholarship. They practiced endlessly in the field at the end of the street or in their back yard right next to my patio. She is a very pretty, bright, and determined girl who also happens to be quite intelligent and personable. So it was quite a thrill to watch her and her team mates on the Canadian Olympic Women's Soccer team tie China in a match I was able to watch yesterday. After two games they are undefeated and did look very strong. Who would have thought, when she was a young girl, that it would be her that was destined for great things.
My only other connection to the Beijing Olympics is that I like Chinese food.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


The Hydrangeas are beautiful this year. It is unusual to see the blossoms blend from lime green, to pink, to mauve, to blue, all in one cluster because these are levels of maturity and indicators of differing soil conditions.

It turns out that I was right about the football game last night. It was great! The Air show is a bust for today because of the rain. And the Olympics? I made a concerted effort last night to watch the coverage from Beijing and came away with a few observations. Off and on, I watched for maybe two hours and saw maybe 15 minutes of actual competition. The commercials were coming thick and fast and repetitively. There was coverage of some background of a few of our Canadian Olympians, some snippets of the opening ceremonies, a painfully long review of the march of the Olympians into the 'Bird's Nest' stadium, some interesting Chinese cultural videos, and so much coverage of the heat, humidity, and bad air that I literally gagged. If last night was any indication of things to come, then sifting through all this peripheral nonsense to find some riveting sports battles featuring Canadian athletes will be an Olympian task.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Rose, Beautiful Rose.

No, this is not the same rose as yesterday. Can one have too many photos of roses? I think not. For those who are tired of the same old, same old, there is the Abbotsford Airshow this weekend. But just a minute. The Abbotsford Airshow is the same old, same old. I am not against it but I must say that I have not been in many years. It seems to me to be one of those things that when you've seen one, you've seen them all. It is too much to endure for a 20 minute thrill at the end to see the 'big boys' in all their glory doing everything but dropping bombs on the Blueberry fields.
So we will try the Olympics. They are fresh and new only because many of the athletes are there for the first time. I find them mildly interesting, however all the hoopla and blown money for the opening and closing ceremonies seems an incredible waste to me.
Last but not least is the BC Lions attempt tonight to redeem themselves against the Edmonton Eskimos. In my opinion, this is the best bet for getting away from the same old, same old this weekend.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Rose

The Beijing Summer Olympics are on the verge of starting and I say it is about time. I forget from one time to the next how much hype surrounds the Olympics, but it seems to me that this time it is very much over the top. After listening to the coverage the last few months, I think we all know more about the torch run, the human rights issues, and the air quality concerns than we do about the athletes. The timing seems to be perfect for China as they are exploding on the world economic scene and now all eyes will be on them for the next few weeks to an even greater degree. This really was an ideal opportunity for the free democratic nations of the world to put pressure on China regarding human rights issues. But, in the end, it will be the Chinese people themselves that will initiate change as they are becoming more confident in their new found wealth and in the fact that the world seems to be watching closely what happens there.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Why Photograph?

I had coffee with an old friend and the conversation turned to photography. He said that as time progressed, he cared less about his photos and did not care if they were lost, stolen or destroyed. It got me thinking. Why do we even do it if it is unimportant, and it is true that in the end, we cannot take the photos with us and they may just end up in a recycle bin somewhere.
I think you would agree that there is a fascination with an old family photo, the older it being, the more intriguing it is. It is our history and as well, we look for family resemblances and are intrigued with the way the genetic pool plays itself out.
On the other hand, that picture we took of the waterfall in Montana in 1974 has absolutely no meaning today, unless it was a picture of superb quality in its composition and lighting. The difference is that then it is not just the recording of what we saw on a family trip, but it is a piece of art worth preserving. One of the reasons I take photos is because it is a creative outlet for me. I see beauty in nature and I want to record it and turn it into something that brings pleasure to all who see it. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as we have all discovered as we have wandered through art museums.
I would be disappointed, but not devastated, if all my photos were to be lost. Some are 'once in a lifetime' shots, but most can be reproduced at some future time. Even if they are never once looked at after I am gone, it will be OK. What they do for me now, as a creative hobby, and as a way to appreciate God's amazing handiwork, is worth it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I saw this butterfly flutter up from the garden into the cedar hedge and ran for my camera. Not until I downloaded the image onto my computer did I see that it was in really rough shape and was dying. A little while later it was lying in the grass, gasping its last breath. I think that is what it was doing but probably butterflies cannot gasp.
I think of the national Liberal Party and how it has been trying to find an issue that resonates with Canadians so they can get enough of us on side to call an election. How sad when a political party thinks they can woo us with a new tax! When I was a kid, my father would give me an incentive to do a task, not punish me in advance so I would do it. But that is what these carbon taxes are. Tax freedom day in Canada is well into July these days and now Dion wants to push it into August. I predict he will not get any support for this idea and there will not be an election called on this issue in the fall. Of course, some other issue could arise, as often happens, but all things being equal, I believe that Canadians will be satisfied with the Conservatives for some time to come. In the interim, be careful how much you gasp as this only increases the amount of Carbon Dioxide you are spewing into the atmosphere and this is causing global warming. Yeah, right.

Monday, August 4, 2008


The technology in the automotive world has advanced tremendously since Henry Ford developed the assembly line for his Model T's. However, the internal combustion engine has been at the root of transportation for too long. Finally, there is an incentive great enough to drive inventors and engineers to create alternatives that will shake the automotive industry. I predict that in the next 5 to 10 years you will see vehicles on the roads that you would not recognize today, not only in style but in the way they are propelled. Fuel cell technology, solar power, rechargeable batteries, hybrids, and compressed air engines will take over. This will ensure that the vast oil reserves (yes, they are still vast) of the globe can be better prioritized and the air will also become healthier. Those if us who grew up in the 'muscle car' era will have a difficult time with this. Oh well, I am beginning to realise that as we age, our list of 'life's little pleasures' get shorter anyway.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Yellow Daisies

There are certain theories in science that have been declared closed, no more discussion. None have had such a devastating effect on humanity as has Darwinism. There is a growing body of scientists who, behind closed doors, are stating their views on Intelligent Design as the origin of the universe and all life here on earth. I predict, however, that evolution is so firmly entrenched that it will not be removed in my life time. The reason I believe this is not because the science is not there to disprove it, but at the root of it is a rebellion against God. This is an obstacle that can only be overcome on an individual basis and those in the world of science who have put their faith in God the Creator will continue to go underground with their beliefs. Their jobs and their love of science are at stake.
As in my photo above, the truth is clear but has been obscured in a framework of false religion, that of evolution.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Garden Bouquet

The number of scientists subscribing to anthropogenic (human caused) global warming is dwindling according to the author of the book "The Deniers". The numbers of those who are questioning or outright rejecting the idea is growing. Although a huge industry has grown around the issue and there is a lot of money at stake for those involved, I predict that good science will prevail and the idea will gradually fade away. It is very firmly entrenched, however, and the intelligentsia of the world do not eat crow very well. The evidence will prove to be so overwhelming that we will look back at these years as the 'Carbon Footprint' years and chuckle, as we did years later when the promised Ice Age did not materialise.
Some very good offshoots of this episode in mankind's history will be cleaner air and several alternative fuels for transportation and other energy needs.
In any event, the flowers will continue to grow and I will continue to photograph them.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bad Hair Daisy

I usually have an opinion about most things and am not afraid to let people know. Someone once said that everyone was entitled to his opinion and it was a free service he offered. Oh, that was me. A bad habit of opinionated people is that they like to make predictions and I am no exception. Never mind that these prediction rarely come true. Because nobody really cares about my predictions, nobody keeps track so I get off the hook really easily. Because, therefore, I am not accountable for my predictions, and because it is my blog, I will make a few in the next several posts. If you perchance challenge me on one of them in the near future, my defence is that it is only my opinion. If I was right, you do not have to congratulate me as I will probably be gloating too much to hear you. That is what us opinionated people do.
My first prediction is regarding security at your local Greyhound bus depot. In light of the latest murder and decapitation on a bus near Brandon Manitoba, security there will soon resemble that of your local airport. A socialistic society bent on creating a utopia will jump at the chance to eliminate all risk at all times. It is happening all around us everyday. The problem is that elimination of risk is always done at the expense of freedom.
Tomorrow, my predictions on the Global Warming issue. Isn't this fun?!