Monday, September 25, 2017

GOOD GOIN' MAN

    I have written many posts on my career as a cyclist. I have bragged many times and lap up all your comments on what a wonderful person I am.

   When I meet other people on the trail I usually greet them or nod to show some recognition that they are there.

    Today while I was out somebody said, "Good goin' man!"  Now that comment really caught my attention. I was not expecting it. The young man was sincere and forceful in making the comment.  Now that's the first comment such as that that I've ever received while cycling. What did it do to me? Well, I just pedaled a little harder and put more effort into my ride. I was surprised how the comment affected me. It really did make me put more effort into riding.

    So I got thinking about positive , encouraging comments. How much good can be done by making positive comments to others? Does making the comment influence you?

    It also got me reflecting on my teaching days which were a long time ago. I thought that it was most important to acknowledge what kids did and support them with a positive comment. Sometimes I had to work hard to find a comment, but I think it was well worthwhile. For some kids it was the only time they would hear something positive about themselves.

    Now if we could see some positive activity in some other areas? What good could it do? What would happen if our politicians made positive comments? How much more could governments do if they used positive language?

   I'm so energized that I'm going out for a walk at 8:00 PM!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

I DODGED A SPEEDING BULLET

     Well, maybe the bullet wasn't speeding!

     Well, maybe it wasn't a bullet!

     Well, maybe I didn't dodge!

     For a male, I'm fairly careful about watching my health. I'm very fortunate to have good health. But I do watch how I look after myself.

     Two weeks ago I had my annual checkup. I have a very thorough family doc when it comes to check ups. After listening to an area on my chest, he told me that my aorta was not making the normal sound. He wasn't concerned but he wanted me to get an Ultra Sound of my aorta. Now I didn't realize that the aorta went down both sides of the abdomen. So when I was getting the ultrasound I wondered why they were working hard on my abdomen. 

     My Doc said he'd phone if there was a problem. Well the clinic phoned and asked me to come and see my doc in  about 3 days. This was enough time to get me worrying as to what was wrong. The Micro Manager got very stressed by this situation so she didn't do anything to allay any worries I had.. 

     Since they'd gone over my abdomen I wondered if they found something that looked like cancer. Did they find an aneurysm? So I had myself in overdrive with worry when I got to the doc's office.

    Well he told me that what the ultrasound indicated was some stuff on the walls of my aorta. How much stuff I asked. They don't know was the reply. Keep on doing what you're doing.

   Reality told me there shouldn't be a problem. My blood pressure was 121 /63 during my examination. But I still worried. You look up on the Internet about aneurysm surgery and it's serious stuff.

    So I felt like I'd dodged a bullet when it was found to be nothing serious.

    Relief!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

RACISM

      From time to time I do a post on some kind of prejudice. From an early age I could not understand why any group should be exclusive. I liked to see all people come together. Now as a kid I didn't understand where I was heading , what this meant or why there were prejudices at all. 

     I probably would never have come to terms with things if I hadn't had the opportunity to teach in aboriginal schools.

    Now since there have been some very ugly incidents recently it's time to comment. Incidents that were highly publicized occurred in the U.S. Incidents of racism happen in many other places but don't get the PR. My home province is well known for incidents of racism. So racism is found in many corners.

    So racism originates from ignorance of other groups. Untruths are spread about racial groups and to really shake things up people have to get in shouting , shoving matches and more. Hatred of others is stoked to a high degree. No acceptance of any differences here. The white guys have it all!!!

   My teaching experience found me in the minority for five years. I was dependent on aboriginals and had to trust them in many situations. I was participating in activities in which I had little experience. I was watched and supported. I could be a few bones scattered on the tundra if I hadn't been cared for. When I was out with my students on the land they would sometimes say, "You shouldn't go there."

   The first time I was referred to as the white man cut through me like a knife. However, it was not used in a derogatory way. After that I got used to it. Whenever I knocked on a door I would hear them say inside "kabloona" which means white man. How did they know it was a white man knocking on the door? The aboriginals didn't knock at doors.

    I found out that I had to accept some differences.

    So I hear people criticizing aboriginals. They seem to find many complaints. Yes , there are some obvious behaviours that are disgusting. But, people are not aware of all the other people who live productive and honorable lives. A few rotten apples spoil it for many. For example, many people other than aboriginals conduct themselves improperly but we don't stop and hate the whole group.

    So now that I'm elderly , I still can't understand why some people will hate others with such vehemence that they are willing to fight and do harm to others.

    All my life I've been hoping that we could accept the simple idea of inclusiveness and live in harmony. 

    Will we ever find that knowledge that we can accept?

    

Sunday, September 17, 2017

I PART WITH MY BACKPACK

       I had a very classy backpack for hiking. I didn't just go for an afternoon but for up to five days.

      I live close the the Canadian Rockies so there were excellent opportunities for backpacking. I once went into Mt Assiniboine (11780 ft.)which was a five day trip into the wilderness. We didn't climb the mountain as it's a very technical climb and I have no experience with that.

     In backpacking you must pack: food, cooking utensils, water treatment kit, clothing, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, tent and a few other goodies. Don't forget the rain jacket or the wind shell!

     So your backpack could weigh up to 50 lbs. For this weight you need a good pack that would make it comfortable to carry.

     I bought such a backpack that would hold 90 liters. My foresight wasn't that good as my backpacking days were ending. As a result I only used the backpack a half dozen times.

     I've kept the pack just in case I would go out one more time. But I realized that when downsizing the backpack could be sold.

    I advertised on Kijiji and never heard anything until a lady called two days ago. She came immediately and bought the pack as her son was going to Australia.

   Now she told me that when they were looking at my ad the son said isn't that funny how he got is Grandpa to model the backpack! When the lady gets home she will tell her son it was Grandpa's pack and he actually used it.



Friday, September 15, 2017

PRIVATE GOLF COURSE

     This is the third post on the property that we went birding on last Saturday.

     What's really cool about this property is that they have their own nine hole golf course! It's not a long course but has all the bells and whistles of a regular course. It's a whimsical course with hole markers , decorations and benches. The family has their own tournament and they can golf a round anytime they feel like it. No worries about tee times. Just drive to the farm with your clubs. When their Aunty still lived in the house , they had a club house. Aunty always served up something special. I remember enjoying one of her brunches.

    Since this is a farming family they use farming as a theme for things on the course.

    I'll bet no course has a cultivator shovel for a yardage marker.

  
     The moose is the tee off place.

    And if you get tired there's always a comfortable bench.
     I don't think this cart was meant as a golf cart.
     Old machinery decorates most holes.


   
    A fairway starts beside the field.

     There are a few guys like this are watching you.





Wednesday, September 13, 2017

WINDING TRAILS

    I like winding trails that take me the long way to the destination. On those winding trails there's much to see. You can also find things to do.

   In my last post I wrote about birding on a private property where native habitat had be kept. since farming was carried out on some of the property, there were trails that allowed access for farming.

   These trails caught my attention the other day.






Saturday, September 9, 2017

SATURDAY MORNING BIRD WALK

    Many of you know that I lead a bird watching group every Saturday morning. I do the recording. Sometimes I carry my binoculars and other days it's the camera. I can't handle all three of them at the same time.

    This morning we visited a rural property that is private. The former owner was an avid bird watcher and certainly knew the native plants. She built a huge house overlooking a very shallow lake that is home to many water and shore birds. She hosted many bird watching groups and always had food ready. But that's another story. 

    Today we spent two hours walking through the property. It's an undeveloped piece of farmland. One of the relatives has carved out a private nine hole golf course. All of this makes very good bird habitat.






      The lake was covered with birds but most were too fr out for identification. We were able to pick out coots, Blue-winged teal, Common golden eye and Canada geese. a spotting scope would have been handy at this location.