DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" ""> Tossing Pebbles in the Stream: 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008 .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Chicks and More Chicks

I picked up my order of chicks about a week ago. Forty in all. (A couple of more than that as they always give you extra in case one dies in shipping.)

I put the little prisoners in a rabbit cage, temporarily , in the spare bedroom. It is nice to wake up to the churping of chicks. I knew this arrangement wouldn't last long. They grow like topsy.

I once raised 100 chicks using an empty bedroom. You can do this lind of thing when you have no wife to complain. By the time, the got feathers and I finished building the hen house, the noise was quite loud and they were getting the house very dusty. This was the beginning of my son's egg business, "Parker's Poultry.".

I built them a 10 foot long cage with one end enclosed with the heat lanp. they are now in the basement. This housing will allow them to grow until the get feathers and I can put them outside in yet another housing arrangement. I am going to built I mobile kind of housing that can be moved around on the pasture so they may free range some food.

Aren't they cute! Don't get too attached, they are food. They are all cockerels of a meat variety,
I am raising them for my friend Denis. I just hope he is home from his job drilling for mineral riches in the North to slaughter them. (I am not very good at this. it is hard to get the tender hearted suburban boy out of your system.)

In the mean time, I get to enjoy the birds and watch them grow.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dave's Garden

Last year I offered to make Dave a raised garden he could tend while standing or from sitting in his walker.

Well, I finished it this weekend. It is not a sight of beauty but it suits his needs and is very functional. Besides, it cost me no money. I put together some weathered logs and filled it with soil from my property. There are several levels, rough gravel subsoil on the bottom, covered with clay loam, then a layer for fresh manure and finally a good six inches of old manure which had composted into soil.

The garden has the added advantage that a wayward pig cannot ravage it when your back is turned.

Dave began planting. Along the front edge he has planted a row of Kennebec potatoes. At the far end , if you look carefully, he has planted two red tomato plants and two yellow ones. Also he has put in four cabbage plants and four broccoli. He has just begun on the onions both Dutch and Spanish. You can never have enough onions. It is a beginning. He will continue to plant other things until it is all planted. Come the Fall it will be overflowing with produce.

Here is Dave resting and admiring his handy work. Dave is not very expressive but I think he is enjoying his garden and will do so over the summer.
What doesn't show in the photo is the cloud of blackflies. Dave spent most of the day outside and came in with his face well bitten by the little black devils. There are days when you have to be tough to live here. Dave is an old timer and knows about and enjoys the difficulties with the delights.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Death of the Pumpkin King

This past week Howard Dill died. He was one of Canada's interesting characters. He became know a the Pumpkin King for growing and developing the Atlantic Giant Pumpkins on his farm in Windsor, Nova Scotia. For four years in a row he grew the largest pumpkin. Others have now taken the records even higher, often with seed purchased from Howard Dill.

To see the 2007 World Record pumpkin visit

At 1685 pounds it is an amazing 187 pounds heavier than the previous record.

Dill is famous for another reason. On his farm is Long Pond, one of the sacred places (to Canadians) where the game of hockey was first played. How more important to Canadian history can that be.

How dull life would be without individuals who have their obsessions and follow through on them.
Growing giant pumpkins is now widely attempted and many a Farm Fair features them. Some communities, like Windsor, Nova Scotia have taken on the giant pumpkin as the reason for a summer festival. As a paddler I enjoy the paddling of a pumpkin, beat's bathtub racing!

A giant pumpkin from a Kentucky State Fair. I am impressed with its perfect shape. What a wonderful Jack-O-Lantern it would make.

Another giant. most seem to be heavily ridges and many are very flat and misshapened from lying on the ground.

Could you imagine bovine embryo transplant into a pumpkin.? Where will the tinkering with mother Nature end?? (Smile the article that goes with this photo was dated, April 1.)

Happy gardening!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Some blogging friends have been asking me about the Runt. Well, here are a few pictures so you can see how he has grown.

Each morning and evening he comes up on the verandah to feed himself out of the bag of feed I keep there. This morning I got going early and fed the pigs before the Runt came to the porch. I also used the last of the feed. When he did show up there was no special feed for him.

(click on photos to enlarge)

As you can see he was driven to drink. He acquired a taste for beer while my friend Denis (who likes a beer now and again. . .and again. . .and again),was here. Denis has gone back to the Wilderness job near Webequie, a remote First Nation Community well north of the last road # 599. Some beer remains and the Runt seems to have needed a little nip. I guess he heard,
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Benjamin Franklin

Getting up on his feet was difficult.

So he lay down.

The sun is warming everything up so a nap would be just the right thing.

Gage is contemptuous of this sleeping pig as he chews on a bone nearby. Could the bone be from a relative of the Runt????

Perish the thought.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Righteous among the Nations

If you ever despair of the possibilities for humanity set some time aside to read some of the accounts of the Righteous among the Nations, the Righteous Gentiles. These are those people know (.and unknown) who are recognized by Israel and the Jewish community for their efforts to aid Jews during the Holocaust.

When I was very young and my mother told me of the Holocaust I never could find an answer to the question, "Why didn't people do something to help the Jews?" Well some did, I learned later in life, but too few, . . . .far, far too few. This is part of our collective shame. We must always be asking ourselves, if we could have . . . .would we have? It is inspiring to read of those who could and did.

We have come to know of a few of them in popular culture. Schindler, Wallenberg, Bonhoeffer, the family who hid Anne Frank's family. In all, about 11,000 are know and recognized. They come from many Nations, many religious and many classes. 6000 are Poles, 3 are Americans and Canada is not represented. This, of course, reflects the opportunities at hand. I find the Netherlands numbers disproportionate for the size of the country.

My fascination with Righeous Gentiles came to mind the other day when I heard a tribute on Polish International Radio to Irena Sendler who recently died. She was a Polish welfare worker who had access to the Warsaw Ghetto in her work, She was responsible for saving about 2,500 Jewish children, as with most Righteous of the Nation, she was at risk of losing her life at the hands of the Nazis. After the war she dug up the names she hid in jars in the ground and worked to reunite the children with their relatives, most of whom died in the concentration camps. Read her story, it is inspiring.

There are so many such stories that can renew your faith in humanity. Here are a few that moved me.

Jan Karski. He was Pole who after escaping from the Russian took it upon himself to sneek into a Nazi Concentration Camp in 1942 and witness the beginning of mass exterminations of Jews. He came to be known as the man who tried to stop the Holocaust. He travelled to Britain and American and told offcials what was going on. He even spoke with Franklin Roosevelt. Unfortunately, his information did not inspire any heroic efforts to stop the Holocaust. He story put the lie to the popular myth that the Allies did not know about the Holocaust until the end of the war. Karski came to live in the US and taught for years at Georgetown University. He was truly a remarkable man.

Le Chambon. This is the story of a whole French Huguenot town (I didn't even know theire were such protestant towns in France) in southern France who saved many Jews. Their Pastor told them it was their Christian duty to help their neighbours. They did as a community. Such an amazing witness of Faith is remarkable. You must remember most of the religious community in Europe did not resist the Nazis, some including the powerful official Catholic church actually cooperated. In Germany, only the Confessing Church resisted. Religious institutions too often fall in line with the State in the face of evil, as they do to this day. The lessons of history are never learned. This makes the story of Le Champon-sur-Lignon quite remarkable and unique.

Martha and Waistill Sharpe. I was surprised to find the Sharpes listed as two of only three Americans recognized as Righteous Gentiles. I knew Waitstill Sharpe and yet I didn't know of his wartime heroics. Waitstill was a colleague when I lived in the Connecticut Valley District. He was a Unitarian minister. When I knew him he was a older minister serving, in retirement, a small parish. I knew he had worked with the Unitarian Service Committee aiding refugees but I always thought it was after the war. When I was a fresh minted minister, I judged him to be a kind of old fuddy-duddy of a minister. What a shame for me. Now I wish I had gotten to know him better and held him in higher esteem.

He and his wife began by going to Prague, Czechoslovakia to help Jews escape thr Nazis. When this became too risky they went to Spain and helped leading Jewish intellectuals escape from occupied France. This was done at great personal risk and heroism. It is only relatively recently that the Sharpes' wartime efforts on behalf of Jews were recognized. Their's is a remarkable tale.

There are so many wonderful stories of humanity at it's best among the Righteous. Theres stories should be taught in church and public school so they may be know. On occasion they have been to the enrichment of another generation of students.

I encourage everyone to take some time to read of the lives of these remarkable people, most have passed into history but their standard for humanity remains for us to learn, admire and emulate when called to do the Good.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Well Done Walk

MY brother and his wife Carole just completed hiking the Chesapeake and Ohio trail along the old C and O barge canal, all 184.5 miles of it. Well done guys.

Richard and Carole are in their '60's and were marathon runners in their earlier days. Carole has always been fit. Richard in the last year lost 50 pounds and had knee replacements. I admire their effort as hiking has never been a big interest of mine, (I prefer canoeing). These days my arthritic knees would make such hiking painful. I certainly don't envy them their blistered and bruised feet.

They traversed this historic and scenic trail in ten days camping some nights and staying in B and B's when the weather was rainy, and there was some rain. I enjoyed their daily brief descriptions of their trek which began in Georgetown by Washington and ended in Cumberland Maryland. I wish they had written more about the historical points they passed. They went by Harper's Ferry without a mention. Perhaps, once home, in Charlotte, NC., they will write a more extensive account.

For a map of the trail visit To read more information

Below is a brief video I located to give you a sense of this trail's natural setting. They did not make this video.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Black Fly Season

Just when you can count on the weather to be pleasantly warm and you can get your hands in the soil to plant the garden, they arrive THE BLACK FLIES, THE LITTLE BLACK FLIES!!!!!

They showed up yesterday!

You either learn to love these little biting flies, so numerous here or you are very unhappy only being willing to venture out of doors with your body totally covered and a head net on.

The first year I lived here I ignored the flies and came in after a day of plowing with the back of my neck so badly bitten it was swollen and bleeding. My son, one of those head net cowards, came to enjoy Winter when there were no biting insects. I came to "love" the little suckers and at least develop some immunity and a instinctive habit of waving my hands in front of my face to shoo them away as I talk and work. The worst of the season only last a month when the mosquitos take over, then the deer flies, horse flies and no-see-ums. Remember without them we would be a grave ecological danger.

I hope you enjoy Wade Hemsworth song in tribute to this insect so symbolic of the North.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all. If you still have a mother living to appreciate you are so lucky. My mother has been dead many years. She died at age 61, far too young in our day and age.

I have a friend in his late 70's who said casually one day. "I have to go to Mississauga on the weekend to see my mother" "YOUR MOTHER!" was my reaction. How lucky you are to still have your mother."

While my mother is no longer a physical presence in my life her influence lingers on. On looking back she certainly was the one person who has had the most influence on my life. When I became a "college graduate" I used to tease her calling her an IBCM, (no not the Inter-Continental Ballistic Missle we worried about back then) an Intimate Close Binding Mother. I had read that such mother's produced sons who were either homosexuals or clergyman. To my and her surprise she got the latter. I don't know if she really deserved to be labelled an ICBM but she was very affectionate, devoted to being a mother to the three of us. Later she felt she had to wait far too long to be the grandmother. I am glad she did get to enjoy this role for a few years before she died. When I see my grandchildren I think how much she would have enjoyed them and they, her.

Here are some lingering lessons my mother taught me for good or ill.

Education is the road to salvation. You should get as much education as you can and then do what you want. For her education was a step up the social ladder from working class to upper middle class. My generation all went to college and most of us got advanced degrees. We did good Mom!

Reading is a great source of pleasure. My mother was a voracious reader. She read books in bunches. They were often 800 or 900 pages long. She was a big user of the library and always brought home 6 to 8 books at a time and then read them. When finished, in a flurry she cleaned the house and then off to the library again.

Many evenings she would read to me wanting to share parts of books she had read often going back to read me long passages she had past. She read to me several books in total. I remember her reading all of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn at least twice. This was my earliest introduction to American culture.

My mother was always an excellent reader. As a child all the other children used to like sitting near here at the movies for she could read outloud the subtexts on the silent movies.

I was not a very fluent reader suffering from eye control along the lines of print but my mother's example kept me knowing it was important. When I went to seminary I taught myself to read aloud and read from a script, by hours of practice until I mastered reading with expression and comprehension in public.

You must always respect a woman. This was always in the form of a confusing dictum, "You must always treat a girl the way you would treat your sister." Lucky I was fond of my sister with qualities to admire although a little too "first born" in her behaviour for me.

You must never ever, under any circumstance, hit a woman. I am not sure why my mother felt so strongly about this because my father never hit her and she never said she had ever been hit as a child. It was an often repeated dictum. Well, I never have hit a woman, Mom. In fact, I have never felt it necessary to spank a child. The last chum I hit was when I was 13 and I dropped him with one punch for making a social call on my girlfriend behind my back. I learned such violence makes you look and feel like a fool.

I often wonder why men who hit women did not have a mother like mine. I will never understand men who hit. How inadequate they must feel. I also find it hard to be sympathetic to women who let men hit them. (Even after hearing all the reasons they stay) I just knew any woman I was involved with wouldn't even let a man get away with a free punch (like a dog gets one free bite). i woudn't have any respect for her if she did.

One should always speak the best English possible. Swearing was never a part of our life. Damn! was the worst we could say and that might generate a frown of disapproval. Our English was corrected in spelling and grammer and we always were encourage to speak respectfully with "Please" and "Thank You." The Queen's English and the Oxford Dictionary were the standard.

I still don't swear much. I still say Damn. I once heard an elderly nighbour admonishing a new neighbour, "I don't know why you don't like Mr. Robinson. . . .He doesn't even swear!"

One should always be respectful of others. I remember when I was 12 calling a new kid in the neighbourhood a "Homo". "Do you know what that means?" mother questioned me. The fact was Ididn't I just new it was a word of disrespect. I was admonished to never say that.

While I grew up in a WASP ghetto where the only integration was my mother having a close Catholic friend, I always was never ready to accept prejudicial judgement of others even though I had no direct experience to inform my view. As an adult I learned my instincts were correct. My mother was open and accepting of everyone so I guess I subtlely learned this from her.

Oh, my best friend was an American from Montana, How exotic is that.! He still is my oldest friend, although we are very different. In spite of living here all his life he and his family are still very American and I am very Canadian.

Emotions are OK. My mother was a very emotional woman. Not in the hysterical sense but in the touchy feelly way. She loved to be hugged and kissed. She seemed to need to be reassured she was loved. Perhaps, my father who was a bit of an emotional cripple due to a poor childhood, was not capable of giving her enough of this. It turned out I was. To kiss my mother unexpecxtedly on the back of the neck always got a gushing response. "Oh, Philip, you have made my day.!" I learned early to manipulate her and get what I want this way. When I wanted something from my father, whose first instinctive response was "NO". I learned I could get him to relent through my mother.

One should be thrifty. My mother and father were products of the Great Depression. They new life was about working hard and being thrifty with what you have. One should live within one's means and find satisfaction in the life you have. They never talked about money in ways that would make us feel poor. Things must have been tight at times for I remember my father filling my "underground fort" with sewage from the septic tank he cleaned out with a pail in the dark of night.

We lived a modest life in a modest house. We never felt like we did without important things. My mother always saw that we got a good assortment of things at Christmas even if money was tight. We never lead the neighbourhood in acquiring things. We did not have a car until 1952 in spite of living in the country. I think we were the last to get a refrigerator, a TV, a stereo and an oil furnace, not to mention all those kitchen electrical appliances. To my shame, I remember being embarassed as a child that our house was not as grand as most of my friend's homes.

Be kind to animals. We always had a cat we cared about. We had two identical cats in a row, named Tiny, so it seem like was always had the same cat. We also occasionally had a dog. Owning guns or hunting was never part of our life. I got to shoot and kill things at my American friend's house, (mentioned above). I never told my mother but I am ashamed of doing this to this day.

Honesty is of paramount importance. One must always tell the truth. I was always believed. I learned to save my veracity for the big lie! After my wife left my mother asked me. "Where you a good boy, Philip." (It is OK to laugh, I laughed) "Oh, Mother. of course I was."

I will make this the end. If I think of more I will edit them in.

As Mothers go, I had a good one whose continuing presence in my life is a gift. an onging act of Grace.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Sex Scandal Canadian Style

Occasionally, Canadian Parliamental politics is interesting. These days the Opposition, particularly the Liberals, are trying to work up a storm over one of the Consevative goverment's cabinet minister's, femme fatale. Woman who dated Bernier had links to biker gang

Maxime Bernier, Foreign Affairs Minister in the Conservative government is a relatively young single man who is know to have an active social life. For some time, he had been escorting a rather striking statuesque woman about town and to political events.. . . his girl friend, if you will, although he put her down as a spouse when applying for permission to have the government pay for her travel when he took her on government business) Apparently, she turned head with her looks and style of dress, (too much decolletage). No doubt she warmed the cockles of many an aging politico.

So what is the problem. . . .lucky guy! It turns out she once was a motorcycle moll. Don't you just love a girl with a history.

Julie Couillard, during the early '90's Biker War in Quebec was a girl friend to a couple of bikers.
She dated Gilles Giguere, an aspiring Hell's Angel, who was murdered before a court case he was involved in. Later she married Stephane Sirois, a member of the Rocker Motorcycle Club, which was associated with the Hells Angels' Motorcycle Club. She apparently had a contract put out on her life by Maurice (Mom) Boucher, the head of the Hell's Angels as he suspected her having some involvement in Giguere's giving information to the police. In 1999, she divorced Sirois.

In fairness, Mme, Couillard has no criminal record and is currently a Real Estate agent in Montreal.

All of this has been known for some time and for reasons of their own the Opposition decided to make a public issue of it by asking the government if all the proper security checks were made by the RCMP to include Mme. Couillard. They have tried to question minister Bernier's judgement as he is a minister overseeing Candian forces in Afghanistan ("where 90% of the world's poppies for heroin is gown." ) Aha, Aha! Bikers, Drugs, Bernier, Afghanistan, Julie Couillard It would make an intesting novel.

It is all so over blown . To his credit Bernier told the House his relationship was a private matter and it is no one else's business. So far Prime Minister Harper has backed him up.

To those who know little about Canadian politics, the personal lives and behaviour of politicians are not acceptable subjects for journalistic inquiry. Recently two Bloc Quebecois married house members each divorced so they could marry. It didn't even make the press.

Canada has had one political sex scandal in the past, The Gerta Munsinger Affair during the Deifenbaker Conservative government (why is it that conservatives have so many sexual missteps?) Miss Munsinger was a prostitute who plied her trade with several politician. It became an issue when she had a triste with Pierre Sevigne, Associate minister of Defense. (Damn! the French Canadians seem to have more interesting sex lives than we Anglos.) She was also a spy. Mme Couillard is no Gerta Munsinger.

It also is not another Profumo Affair Scandal, during the cold war, where John Profumo, the British Minister of War was sharing an lover, Christine Keeler, with a Russian attache Eugene Ivanov. It was felt national security was compromised. Profuno, a married Conservative (another conservative) aristocrat resigned in shame. To his credit he spent the rest of his life doing charity work remaining married to his wife and restored his good name. Mme Couillard, is no Christine Keeler. (One of my favourite hunourous records is called "Fool Britannia"; skits about all the interesting characters in the circle of people which resulted in the Profumo scandal.)

This political dust up will amuse us for a while and the politicians and reporters will move on.

With regard to my ongoing interest in the differences between Canada and the US I can only imagine how such a Canadian (lite) scandal would be trasformed into a major sex political drama, among the press in the US.

Note: I am sorry I did not use the accents on the French words. I do know they are important but Blogger will not publish the ASCHII Characters using the numbers on the keyboard, which is how I produce the accented letters.,

Thursday, May 08, 2008

VE Day : May 8, 1945

On this day in 1945 I was just over two years old, my sister Penny was 4 and my brother was amonth and a half away from being born. My mother was alone with two toddlers and a bun in the oven while my father was in the Air Force repairing aircraft in Base Trenton , east of Toronto on Lake Ontario. At 27, he was too old to go over seas as cannon fodder. In war we kill our young, so very young!

I do not remember the day but my mother who was a bit of a Royalist and an admirer of Britain and Winston Churchill did "This is London Calling" is how it began over the BBC radio .In the coming years she would tell us of the days of the war as she experienced it. It was hard being a young mother alone without a car, little money, rationing and a coal fire furnace to maintain. (She wasn't expected to hold down a job as well in those days.)

I just learned recently that I was not born a Canadian but a British subject, as all Canadians were until the Citizen Act was passed after the war in 1947.

For those who don't understand Canadian history, Canada became a sovereign country one step at a time, perhaps beginning with the British North American Act and ending with Prime Minister Trudeau bring in the Constitution Act and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Some may still think it won't be complete until Canada gets rid of our Queen. I hope not.

Canada won it's sovereignty in the 20th Century in part due to the quality of our military in the two World Wars. Canada, in those days a country of 12 million people, put in the field an military of 0ne million soldiers, a remarkable response to the call of God, Queen and Country. for what was perhaps the last "just war".

This is a good day to remember my mother and all her war, Royal and Churchill remarks and stories.

Feel free to stand and sing along

Land of Hope and Glory

Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of the Free,
How shall we extol thee, who are born of thee?
Wider still, and wider, shall thy bounds be set;
God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet!

Truth and Right and Freedom, each a holy gem,
Stars of solemn brightness, weave thy diadem.

Tho' thy way be darkened, still in splendour drest,
As the star that trembles o'er the liquid West.

Throned amid the billows, throned inviolate,
Thou hast reigned victorious, thou has smiled at fate.

Land of Hope and Glory, fortress of the Free,
How may we extol thee, praise thee, honour thee?

Hark, a mighty nation maketh glad reply;
Lo, our lips are thankful, lo, our hearts are high!

Hearts in hope uplifted, loyal lips that sing;
Strong in faith and freedom, we have crowned our King!

I shall spent part of the evening watching a TV program about the end of the War and try to capture to sorrow and joy that informed much of my parents adult life. I wish I had some young people around to see how monumental the War was moving personal lives lived. And, far too many died!

Mineral Explanation on the Hudson Bay Lowlands

My friend Denis, as I have mentioned before works as a driller in mineral exploation sites. He get to travel to and live in the real wilderness areas of Canada. Last year he was in Labrador but currently he is in northern Ontario on the Hudson Bay Lowland. This vast region of wilderness sparsely populated, a vast glaciated landscape on the fringe of the forested land. It is more water than land with virtually too many lakes to count and many very large rivers which most Canadians never see as they flow north into Hudson and James Bay. In the Winter it is frozen over with many days of -40C or colder days; short days and long nights in this northern Region. In the summer it is water and muskeg with enough biting bugs to drive you to distraction if not madness. They even torment the vast herds of caribou and other critters.

Into to this land exploration companies search for the mother load of minerals: gold, nickel, platinum, paladium, silver, to name a few. There are no roads so everything is flown in or Winter roads are built over the ice and snow.

There are some small First Nation's communities scattered across the land, settled on reserves within their trtaditional territory, in which they were once nomads, following the herds and fishing opportunities.

There is curently much excitement about exploration is a swath of territory of promising exploration affectionately called "Ring of Fire". Noront Exploration caused the excitement by locating some potential mine sites .

Denis's drilling site is near the First Nations's Community of Webequie. It is a community of 650. They are Ojibway of the Nishnawbe-Aski People. and speak Oji-cree as well as English. Visit their website and read about their life and culture.

Below are a few pictures.

This is Denis, aka Bin Laden, and his helper. They both have sun burns from the sun and snow. They both are as rough looking as the tough region they are working in. Denis always works the night shift where their are fewer distractions.

This is the exploration camp. They live in these insulted tents quite comfortably with all the comforts of home. (Not many years ago su h a camp would be very primativeand uncomfortable) Their camp has housing tents, a utility tent (with new washer and dryer and a shower),a dining tent, with TV, computer Internet, a cook. and there is a tent to examine the core brought up by the drills. This camp of rough necked men has one young attractive woman. She is the geolgist. I am sure she is very hearty too to work and travel in this environment.

Such a camp costs $50,000 a month to operate and there is in barrel $400,000 worth of fuel for the helicopter, drills, stoves, float planes etc. Lots of money is spent in the quest for minerals. At times it seems "money is no object." to chase the dreams for riches. My friend Denis makes several times as much money as I ever made in a year.

I am sure some would say "You couldn't pay me enough to live and work in this rough wilderness." If I were younger I would love to see this part of our wild country while it is still a little bit wild.

This is the lunch room lounge tent.

This is the shack that protects the driller and drill against the elements. All structures, tents, drilling shack helicopter pad and fuel drums are built on logs . When the land thaws it becomes

swanp, more accurate fen. One can step in the wrong place and find oneself in water over one's head in a instant.

I am not sure what they are exploring for. Maybe gold as Pickle Lake, the furthest north community you can drive to 250 km to the south of is a gold mining area. Or they are looking for diamond pipes of Kimberlite. DeBeer's is putting in a diamond mine not far from here, by northern distances. More likely they are looking for nickel and will be joyful over any number of minerals that are found with nickel.

Posted by Picasa

Another Rest From Blogging

I have not posted for a while. I guess I have taken a rest from blogging, again. In fact, I stalled over polishing a longer blog entry on Obama and the "issue " of his minister. I have a rough draft and just can't seem to motivate myself to polish it a little. I may yet.

I also have been busy reading the novel by Lee Smith, On Agate Hill. It was sent to my by my dear blogging friend, Julie. She knows I have an interest in Appalachan literature and I guess I am a fan of Lee Smith's writings. I seldom read novels but I have read several Appalachan novels. (I am a non fiction and poetry like of guy) This is my fourth one by Lee Smith. I previously read, Fair and Tender Ladies, Saving Grace and Oral History. I find her female characters interesting. They are strong, intelligent and vital (deeply involved in Life). I am a great admirer of women particularly the strong, intelligent, independent kind. (Which goes a long way to explaining why I don't have one in my life. They don't need to be connected to the likes of me.) As a single father, beginning when my son was 2, I came to see myself more mother than father. I didn't confuse him though for I am still waiting for my first Mother's Day card.) He had a lovely mother, who chose long ago to live single and far away from us.)

So this is my excuse for " bogging down with blogging". Maybe I don't need an excuse. I do know how disappointed I am a blog I enjoy doesn't have a new posting. The excuse is for those who might have been disappointed with me.

Here are one of the few full frontal pictures of me. I think my friend Denis captured this one. I am rather shy about having my picture taken. This is my "grizzly Adam's Look". I have a wedding to officiate at soon and that requires a beard trim and hair cut to go with the suit, a more dapper downtown look.

This is a picture of the Runt the way he likes to sit with me to watch TV. He still occasionally comes in the kitchen . He seems to like to share a beer with Denis, then fall asleep.

Ben, my constant companion , is like me. He is ready to nap whenever given a chance.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 01, 2008

"Let America Be America Again"

The struggle of Barack Obama to become the Democratic candidate for President of the United States, reminded me of the poem "Let America be America Again" by Langston Hughes. I think Obama has tried to bring to the struggle the hope that the United States could once again recover its national mythic historical narrative expressed by Hughes in this poem.

To read the text of this wonderful poem visit

If you want to compare it with Barack Obama message of "Yes, We Can" click on the video below.