Archive for June, 2008

Mean Mother

Friday, June 27th, 2008

I came across this report (736 KB PDF) about white-tailed deer winter mortality in Saskatchewan’s forested wildlife management zones, and the resulting reduction in hunting opportunities to expect this coming hunting season.

It reminded me of the walk we took through our land this spring. We saw three deer carcasses, at least the parts left by the coyotes, within 50 metres of each other. The deer population has been higher than the long-term average for many years, but this winter saw above-average snow levels combined with a late spring thaw.

Starvation isn’t a pretty thing. Sometimes Mother Nature is downright mean and nasty.

Green shift website

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Canada’s official opposition’s proposed carbon tax can be found at

Whoa, wait a minute, make that

Whoa again.

Oh well, just Google it.

Metal detector to borrow or buy

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

On my next visit to our “bush quarter” at Shell Lake, I plan to look for the legal property corner markers. I believe that when the land was surveyed, many decades ago, the surveyors would have marked the property corners using metal stakes. However I understand that many homesteaders found practical uses for the iron, so they may be long gone.

Even if the markers are still in place today, I don’t know if they would be at ground level, driven below ground level, or extend above the ground. Assuming that the corner posts are still in place, a metal detector would come in handy. If someone in the P.A. area has one of those gizmos cluttering his/her basement or garage, and would be willing to loan it out or sell it at a reasonable price (i.e. cheap), please fire me a note.

My kid got the math award?

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Ecole Vickers School held its annual awards night for kids in Grades 7 & 8 last week. We knew that Jennifer was on the honour roll and would be getting an “A pin”, and considering the solid marks she earns, we wondered if she might receive another award. However I must admit that I was a bit surprised that the award she received was for math. With our houseful of artists, I didn’t think that any of my kids had inherited my left-brain analytical gene.

Jennifer math award

~ Credit: Photo by Charlotte

(click on above photo for more)

Two birthdays

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

In the last couple of days there have been two birthdays at our place.

Yesterday Janet realized that Gerard had turned 25 the previous day, so on the spur of the moment she threw a birthday party for him. Despite the late notice, it only took a few phone calls to a few of Gerard’s friends and our back yard was full. I’ve uploaded a few pictures to a gallery – click on the picture below to view them.

Gerard cutting his birthday cake

The second birthday passed with less notice. Today marks one year since the birth of my weblog. I don’t have any party pictures.

Prairie moose

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Yesterday I departed Prince Albert at 4:00 a.m. to attend a half-day workshop in Regina. The four-hour morning drive was made more interesting by the fact that I spotted a mule deer doe with a days-old fawn, and needed to brake for a mallard hen with a line of ducklings that decided to cross the highway in front of me.

However what really made my day was the sight of two cow moose browsing at the edge of an aspen bluff.

When I think of moose, I associate them with boreal forest habitats, usually in proximity to wetlands. However in recent years the population of moose in Saskatchewan’s farmland has been increasing. The moose I spotted yesterday were close to the intersection of Highways #6 and 16, east of Saskatoon. It’s not really a true prairie ecosystem, being located in the Aspen Parkland ecoregion, but it seemed “prairie-like” enough that the moose seemed out of place to my eyes.

I just hope that they’ll be smart enough to stay off the highway.

I Got You Babe

Monday, June 16th, 2008

For the best version of “I Got You Babe”, hands down, click here.

(it rates right up there with Tiptoe Through the Tulips)

WARNING – Clicking on the above links will expose the viewer to Tiny Tim, which may result in severe trauma.

My Johnson-red

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

The classified ad caught my attention:

MOVING SALE: Shop vac, Johnson-red chainsaw, leather couch, leather reclining chairs, oak dining set 36″ HDTV P.A. sound system, queen bed with frame 2 mad river canoes, scroll saw Call xxx-xxxx.

As much as I would like to have a Mad River canoe, it would be a hard purchase to justify considering the current state of our family finances. And leather furniture would be nice, but when Janet heard that the colour was teal, that idea was put to rest.

However ever since buying our woodlot last fall, I’ve been keeping my eye out for a good quality used chainsaw, so I phoned about the Johnson-red.

Here are a couple of pics of my most recent purchase.

My Johnson-red ... Jonsered 630 Super

Close-up of my Johnson-red

I’ve cut some firewood in my backyard with my new/old Johnson-red this week, and it runs nicely. This Saturday, if the weather holds, I’m planning to spend a day at Shell Lake cutting trails on our woodlot, to really put it to the test.

Reasonable accommodation of Scandinavians

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Anyone who reads the newspapers in Canada is aware of some of the debates on “reasonable accommodation” of immigrant groups, such as whether Muslim women should be required to unveil their faces when voting, whether Sikh men should be allowed to carry kirpans in public, etc. However for some reason a debate that gets very little coverage is the lutefisk question.

My personal viewpoint is that lutefisk consumption should not be banned outright, in keeping with Canada’s tolerant tradition, but strict rules should be imposed to protect innocent victims within smelling distance.

“Every Advent we entered the purgatory of lutefisk, a repulsive gelatinous fishlike dish that tasted of soap and gave off an odor that would gag a goat. We did this in honor of Norwegian ancestors, much as if survivors of a famine might celebrate their deliverance by feasting on elm bark. I always felt the cold creeps as Advent approached, knowing that this dread delicacy would be put before me and I’d be told, “Just have a little.” Eating a little was like vomiting a little, just as bad as a lot.”

(Garrison Keillor – Lake Wobegon Days)

Update on Walk for ALS

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

A few days ago I posted about the upcoming Walk for ALS. Picking up the pledge form just a few days before the event, I set myself a goal of raising $100.

In addition to my blog post, I emailed some family and friends who knew my brother Glen, and sent an email to my co-workers.Walk for ALS in Prince Albert 2008

The response was overwhelming. I collected $171 and received pledges from out-of-towners totalling another $330, for a total of $501. (not counting another $40 pledge that I found out about after returning from the walk).

Here is what one shirt-tail relative stated in his email response:

I still think about Glen often. Until Glen was diagnosed with ALS I had no idea of the devastation it causes. I still can’t understand why someone as awesome as Glen would be inflicted with such an evil disease! It was torture to watch Glen go through all that suffering, I can’t imagine what he went through! I still miss him very much. So this is something I will always support!

The threatening rain never materialized, and it turned out to be a great day for a walk. Thanks all for making my fund-raising easy.

Glen with Carmen, 1980 family camp-out