Archive for July, 2008

I’m a YouTube star!

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Well, not exactly a star. The Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF) has produced some short videos about forestry. I’m briefly visible about 20 seconds into this 1-minute clip, and around 27 seconds into this one.

Turning under an old leaf

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

The compost bin that I built in the early 90s had given me a lot of service, but it has been disintegrating more each year, and I was starting to worry what the neighbours were thinking about the eyesore.

Old compost bin

There are a lot of different ways to design compost bins. I built this one slightly tapered from bottom to top so with a bit of grunting it can be heaved off the contents, which are then forked back in. A regular turning will speed up the process, but even with only one or two turnings each year, our vegetable table scraps (no meat or milk products), grass clippings and leaves are transformed into a rich soil improver.

Our new compost bin uses basically the same design. The lumber came from Habitat For Humanity’s RE-Store. A coat of old fence stain to pretty it up, and it’s at work transforming our garden waste by the magical process we call rot.

New compost bin

Hudson’s Bay Company sold again

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

The venerable Hudson’s Bay Company has another American owner. Apparently they plan to bring the upscale Lord and Taylor line of shops into Canada.

I didn’t notice any mention in the news story about whether HBC will return to buying furs and seneca root.

Rat Portage Hudson's Bay Company trading post

Fort a la Corne here we come

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

As I posted a few days ago, we applied for elk licenses in the Big Game Draw, specifying Fort a la Corne as our 1st choice (Greenwater, where we have hunted a couple of times in the past, was our 2nd choice).

Although my tag hasn’t yet arrived in the mail, according to the Big Game Draw website, we have been drawn. So as of early September, our intrepid crew of four hunters will be trying out a new elk hunting area. A scouting trip sometime between now and the end of August would probably be a good idea. I’ve already spoken with a couple of hunters who are familiar with Fort a la Corne, but if anyone has any hot tips on where to locate elk in that wildlife management zone, please contact me.

Vote for Earl

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

While at my brother’s place yesterday, a TV show was playing in the background. It was a show called “Canadian Idol”. I’m told that the idea is for the audience to phone in and vote for their favourite singer. Well, one of the contestants is named Earl. It’s a very noble name, so if you happen to watch next week, vote for him. OK?

Another day of trail clearing and fishing

Monday, July 14th, 2008

I took the day off work to spend it at Shell Lake. Glenn and Gloria and kids, the folks who co-own “The Quarter” with us, were spending a couple of days visiting with my brother and family. They were very gracious about having me, accompanied by Jennifer, Fiona and Gerard, crash their party.

We spent about three hours clearing trail, then knocked off for a couple of hours fishing on Little Shell Lake. I came back with six small pike, which we’ll fry up tomorrow. An excellent supper and a bit of visiting, then the 1-hour drive back to P.A.

Some people love city life, but I would gladly leave the city to move out to our land. Going to Shell Lake still seems like going home to me, even though I only spent the first 13 years of my life on that bush farm. If it weren’t for the hour-long drive to work each day, and the fact our kids wouldn’t have the French Immersion option available, I would seriously consider the move.

Summer of Sacketts

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Many decades ago, when I was in my teens and 20s, I read a fair number of western novels, including several by Louis L’Amour. However it had been many years since I read my last western. Until yesterday while browsing through the used book sale at the public library where I came across Sackett’s Land, the first book in L’Amour’s Sackett series.

I really intended to only read the 1st chapter last night, but kept on till the last page, some time after midnight.

I’ve decided that this summer I’m going to read as many of the Sackett novels as I can. Dostoevsky can wait till fall.

Super A for elk

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Our hunting party of four guys is at Super A priority for elk this year.

For those who don’t know what in the world I mean by that sentence, a good article explaining the Saskatchewan Big Game Draw system can be found here.

One of the biggest thrills of my life was calling in a bull elk during our 2004 elk hunt. I’ll be thrilled if we are drawn this year, and very disappointed if we’re unsuccessful. I think the draw results should be posted on the Ministry of Environment – Wildlife Branch website sometime this week or next, but I’m impatient so I’ve been checking almost daily. We applied in a wildlife management zone we’ve never hunted before (Fort a la Corne, an “island forest” surrounded by agricultural land between Prince Albert and Nipawin), so if we do get drawn, a scouting trip or two would be a good idea.
Fort a la Corne (Google Maps)

Opposition to Morgentaler OoC – the usual suspects?

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

At a press conference following his naming to the Order of Canada. Dr. Henry Morgentaler acknowledged there were those who questioned his suitability for the honour, but quickly dismissed them in a line:
“The negative opinions all come from the usual suspects: the Catholic Church, fundamentalists, women opposed to women’s rights.”

I’ve been thinking about that statement for some time, trying to figure out what it is about it that’s so disquieting.
Maybe it’s because I’m none of those things. I’m just a middleclass Canadian who thinks it’s wrong to take life away from innocents who are incapable of speaking or acting for themselves.

But that’s not what this is about. It’s about that staement Morgentaler made. It says so much about him, in such few words.
For one thing it’s not even remotely true. The opposition to Morgentaler’s being named to Canada’s highest award is wide and deep and intense. It’s pretty safe to say there are people who oppose abortion in every corner of Canadian society, whatever their religion, whatever their sex, no matter how fervent their values. It’s boggling that Morgentaler could blithely claim anyone who disagrees must be limited to so small and distinct a set of enemies. If he believes it, he’s a fool.

Opinion piece by Kelly McParland, National Post.

Removed post

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Yesterday I posted about Rev. Lucien Larré returning his Order of Canada to protest the choice of Dr. Henry Morgentaler as an Order of Canada recipient.

Although I remain as opposed to the idea of awarding Morgentaler with the Order of Canada as I was when posting last night, I regret that I didn’t check further into Father Larré’s story. It appears that he may not be a deserving recipient himself.

I have removed that post, and hereby offer my apologies to anyone offended by my “kudos”.