Archive for April, 2008

On the road

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Early tomorrow I’ll drive to Edmonton for a couple of work-related meetings. Thankfully the Alberta snow storm seems to have ended so the roads shouldn’t be dangerous. If things are on schedule I should be back in P.A. around 11:00 Thursday night.

Then Friday early I’ll be off to Minnedosa, Manitoba, for the annual meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada, as one of Gateway Covenant Church’s delegates. Unfortunately I can’t car-pool with the other delegates, since they’ll be leaving Thursday. However I can still feel environmentally virtuous because I’ll be driving the little second car we bought last week – a four-year-old Hyundai Accent.

Back in P.A. late Sunday.

Lots of driving for a home-body. At least my cold is easing up.

Sister-in-law wedding

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

Yesterday I made it into Saskatoon for the wedding of Wanda Berge Loseth and Ernie Friesen.

It’s been four years since my brother Glen died, and the time was right for Wanda to move on with a new love.

Wand and Ernie and wedding party

Ernie, whose wife died several years ago, seems like a fine man, and they seem happy together.

Wanda and Ernie cut the cake

Ryan and Travis gave away their mother. Carmen was her mother’s maid of honour. Granddaughter Dylann was flower girl and grandson Kade was ring bearer. Ernie’s two daughters sang at the ceremony. Wanda’s son-in-law Jared and one of Ernie’s daughters shared M.C. duties, and the program had a great mix of humour and sentiment. And the roast beef was great.

It was a good day – a good start to their life together.

Canadian fuel prices

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Gas Price in Prince Albert

For those who are interested in such things, all the information you could imagine about fuel prices across Canada can be found at Fuel Focus, a webpage by Natural Resources Canada.

Besides the ability to generate customized graphs of prices by city, they also have fuel type comparisons. The price of diesel compared to gasoline came up in a discussion of Volkswagen cars recently – we weren’t sure about how long diesel has been more expensive than gasoline in Canada – the following graph helps answer that question.

Fuel types - cost comparison

For lots more information about fuel across Canada, check it out.

The curse of the second hand

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

I’m into my 50s, each year seems to go by faster, and there just isn’t enough time to get all the things done that I want to get done – including developing meaningful relationships. For those reasons, as well as the fact that I continue to believe that Mark Heard was one of the greatest English-speaking songwriters of the 20th Century, the song “Nod Over Coffee” is as fresh as ever to me, 16 years after Heard’s death.

This YouTube clip starts out with a few seconds of a grainy video of Mark Heard and Pierce Pettis on stage at Cornerstone Music Festival 1992 (apparently minutes before his fatal heart attack).

The clip continues with Pierce Pettis performing the song at a tribute concert.

Being me

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Popeye I’m the kind of guy who blends into crowds – not only am I “average” in appearance, but I tend to be fairly reserved about expressing a viewpoint in public.

So what is it that compells me to blog – and not only to stick to safe topics but jump into controversial subjects like the seal hunt and animal rights activism?

After giving that question some thought, I haven’t come up with anything more profound than the immortal words of a certain sailor man, “I YAM WHAT I YAM.

Money-sucking manipulators

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

They are “a bunch of money-sucking manipulators,” said Hearn, “and their sole aim is to try to suck as much money out of the pockets of people who really don’t know what’s going on.

- Federal Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn, defending the armed seizure of the anti-sealing ship Farley Mowat.

Kudos to this plain-talking politician.

Story here.

I for one really wish the media would stop giving so much attention to the money-sucking manipulators like Paul Watson, and pay more attention to issues of sustainable resource management.

Steet hockey Janet

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

Today the teachers from several schools in our school division, including PACI where Janet works, held a street hockey tournament. Jennifer, Fiona and I took advantage of the beautiful weather to walk down to where the action was. We timed it right, getting there for the game that PACI won – an exciting sudden-death overtime win. Janet got an assist on the winning goal (a hard shot hit her butt and one of her team-mates drilled the rebounded ball past a distracted goalie).

Anything that Janet does, she does full-bore. She didn’t let the fact that hockey wasn’t part of her English past stop her. She’s going to be feeling the effects for a couple of days at least.

I managed to get a couple of pictures, and Jennifer snapped a few more. Unfortunately we had to shoot into the sun so the lighting is lousy.

Janet digging for the ball

Janet the hockey player

Biocentrism vs. Anthropocentrism vs. another Centre

Friday, April 11th, 2008

I thought that Barbara Kay’s opinion piece in the National Post a couple of days ago made some good points about the biocentric view – placing nature at the centre – held by people like Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Watson apparently thinks that the earth’s population should be capped at 1 billion people (a reduction of more than 5 billion).

Some of the reader comments following the article at the above link argue for an athropocentric view – where humans are at the centre.

Meanwhile Psalm 24:1 talks about another Centre.

Reduce the highway carnage – hunt deer

Monday, April 7th, 2008

A few days ago the StarPhoenix had an opinion piece complaining about the deer carcasses littering the ditches along the highway south of Saskatoon …

… the carcasses likely are deer struck by vehicles this winter and then covered by snow. It’s the job of Highways crews to clear them away as soon as possible, he says, but along with the spring thaw that exposes the high-speed carnage comes higher priorities such as clearing culverts for the runoff and filling potholes to keep the roadways safe.

Although I certainly understand the department’s priorities, it’s the case in Saskatchewan that thousands of deer are struck and killed by vehicles every year, especially during the peak rut around snowy late November. That means there are thousands of rotting carcasses now coming to light across this province, with no one to remove them.

And with the government promising money to keep those Highways crews at their busiest ever, I wonder if the well-fed crows and piles of bones will become a permanent fixture in our newly “have” province. The “Old West” look of it holds no appeal to me. It’s a lousy visual and not much of a tourism draw. Surely we can afford to contract some people to remove these dead animals regularly instead of leaving it to pothole fillers and culvert cleaners to do when they have some down time.

What strikes me as odd is that there is no mention of the root of the problem, namely the fact that the number of hunters in Saskatchewan is at an all-time low, coinciding with an extremely high deer population after several mild winters.

If more people hunted, there wouldn’t be as many unsightly carcasses littering the ditches, there would be less damage to people’s cars, and people would be eating more lean venison and less fatty beef.

Of course suggesting that more tax dollars be spent contracting people to pick up the carcasses is a much easier sell.

Images of Saskatchewan

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

For those whose view of Saskatchewan has been formed from driving through on the Trans-Canada Highway, an idea of our province’s diversity can be obtained at Virtual Saskatchewan’s Images of Saskatchewan page.

Gem Lakes

Hike to Grey Owl's cabin