Saturday, October 12, 2019
I had planned to go out Princeton Osoyoos way. The weather reports of snow in the interior had me thinking I wanted to stay south. I still am getting used to the truck and camper, not wanting to go somewhere I don’t know. It was a steep learning curve getting used to the height and width and turning with the extra length.
I’ve hunted the Thanksgiving Long Weekend for decades. Bill Mewhort and I used to hunt North Vancouver Island together. Each year we’d plan a big Mule Deer Hunt or moose hunt on the mainland. He knows folk in the Clinton area so hunts private land in the wilderness. We had some good times then and shot some fine game. I shot my first moose with Bill too.
The last year I’ve been bringing Laura up here. First it was tents and wild horses rode by her. Then it was the smaller RV’s. I had a variety of electric bikes, scooters and quads. I’d leave her while Gilbert and I went off each day, often getting deer but mostly getting grouse. Last year we had the old camper and it as near about here I drove off with the jacks down almost tearing that camper in two. Insurance claimed at the end of the year that the damage was old damage. I couldn’t see how that could be considering the trouble I caused. I backed into an overhanging tree as well.
This camper is a bit smaller, newer and better built. It was used as rental for a year before I got it. I love it.
Yesterday I thought I had all the time in the world. I drove up listening to a William Johnston’s Pearly Gates western on the truck stereo. Time flies with that kind of exciting entertainment and Sage and fall colours in the back ground. Cowboy country.
I didn’t get here until after dark, Dark did come quickly but there was a full moon.
The difficulty setting up was rain, fresh cow paddies and puddles. I got situated okay but one jack has gone down 2 inches in the soggy ground. Gilbert tried to roll in cow paddy but I caught him just in time. He loves it here. I was reading another western too.
I had a herb liver pate on fresh Cobs bread with ginger ale and a chocolate bar before bed. Gilbert was pooped with steeping and the drive and all the little stops. He didn’t even bother me to bring him up on the bed but went to sleep in his little bed.
I was up at 6 am. Dreamed I was with Sean Connery and Liam Nielsen and we were shape shifting as wolves and bear as disguises. Good omen.
I had coffee and blueberry scones from Cobs. I was slow gearing up. I could have got going before light but felt leisurely. I was hiking out of the camp before 8 am. I definitely went old school. Stalking through the bush on deer trails and cow trails in the rain, I even sat on a green garbage bag and drank coffee in ambush. 12 km of stalking and walking. I got turned around and actually had to use Google Earth to find my way back. Coming back to the road I turned the wrong way and added 6 km to my hike. I saw cows. I saw squirrels. That was all. Then it was all I could do to drag myself home.
Two trucks kindly stopped to see if I was okay or wanted a lift. A handsome young man in cammo and a beautiful woman looking Town and Country with a great black lab. The next was three guys hunting. All good neighbours.
Gilbert was glad to see me. I‘d let him out this morning. Now he had to go around and sniff all the same places. HE just had to roll on his back in the grsss.I think it’s the dried cow paddy he’s after. A scent he can’t resist. His other favourite is old dried fish.
I got my clothes off. Everything was wet and heavy. I loved the wood pants. It was the perfect combination of gear for the day. I wasn’t chilly and I was n’t over heated. Just right.
Now I’m in sweats and tshirt and slippers. I’ve had a bologna sandwich and yoghurt and coffee. I’ve fed Gilbert another Litle Caesar and some small milk bone treats. We’ve played ball.
I’m considering a nap. Reading and looking out the window is great. I love the camper. I’m meaning on taking the motor bike off the truck and making the rounds but after 12 km this desk jockey body is voting for nap.
Lots of other hunters. So busy. The area has really built up since I first canme here. Lots of new houses and ranches. I think I like it too because it reminds me a bit of Northern Manitoba here. My grandfather and father would like it here.
Wednesday, October 9, 2019
I had a great lunch at Hanoi Pho, 406 E Hastings St. 2 blocks from Main Street. The interior was clean and pleasant, uplifting. The service was superb. The food was the best. We had springs rolls to begin. My friend had Wonton which he loved. I had the Beef Stew and rice. It was perfect. I loved the meal and restaurant.
Part of it was it’s location. It’s like the Heatley a couple of blocks further up. Bits of light on the fringe of the darkness of the DTES. Forest trying to grow in the desert of humanity. Businesses showing that there’s still people who care.
Just blocks away slum landlords, street people, drug dealers, filth, tragedy and sadness. Yet here I felt like I’d found an oasis.
Good food, good vibes. A truly lovely restaurant. A really great lunch.
It’s so easy to look at the ugly and miss the goodness, humanity and real quality.
Monday, October 7, 2019
Gilbert and I make regular walks along the Brunette River. Sometimes we even have the pleasure of Laura’s company. I take a camera or my cell phone because there’s always lovely pictures of the trail, the river, flowers and birds that live in this area. There’s joggers, cyclists and others walking dogs. It’s rather a busy place, not crowded by any means, but with regular traffic. I like that. It feels safe. I just wanted to add here some of the pictures I most enjoyed this autumn.
Sunday, October 6, 2019
We’ve been doing this for years. Gilbert, the biker cockapoo! Coquitlam Centre Rallying point 930 am. Lots of bikes. Good vibes. I had Doobie Brother’s ‘Without Love, Where would we be now! ‘ playing on my HD Electroglide Stereo.
We rode out in staggered formation. Lots of different bikes, even some scooters. Kids waving with parents as we drove down the road two by two. Gilbert unable to see but sniffing the winds, hearing the pipes.
I love Barnett Highway for motorcycling then down Hastings and onto PNE. Sunny day with clouds. No rain. No snow. A bit nippy. Perfect for motorcycling. I’d forgotten a children’s gift so gave a money gift instead. Got my participation medal. My original vest got so heavy with metal I got a new one and don’t add weight to it. This is a nice one. I’ll put it up somewhere. I wish they’d give out fridge magnets for participation. 41st Annual Vancouver Motorcycle Toy Run 2019.
I bought a t shirt. I have to get a T-shirt. I could clothe a village in T shirts from rides, places I’ve been and conferences.
I carried Gilbert inside the PNE. Too many big bikers. Back in the parking lot I could tell he felt safer in his carrying box.
Leaving I thought we’d drop in at Trev Deely. Everyone else thought the same. The Bikers Against Child Abuse were holding a fry. I got a barbecued burger and sat in the sun with Gilbert. Life is good.
Now we’re home. Great morning. I’m exhausted. Nap time. Getting near the end of Harley Davidson motorcycle season for me.
What a great year for motorcycling. Thank you Lord for keeping me safe and for all the excitement and adventure of riding this glorious big bike. Thanks for Gilbert too. He’s a great biker dog and companion.
Friday, October 4, 2019
Thank you Lord for this day. Thank you for the rest last night. Thank you for my companion Gilbert the blind cockapoo. Thank you for the sunshine and light. Thank you for the rain last night. Thank you for the green of the trees and shrubs of the city. Thank you for the internet and wi fi. Thank you for th weird and wonderful friends. Thank you for family. Thank you space ships and the hope of escaping from the politics of Canada. Help me survive the stupidity and errors and anger that are too frequent. Thank you for helping me accept and tolerate the drama and urgency and catastrophising of the ‘look at me’ set. Thank you for the steady eddies and the salt of the earth and the entertainers not the emotional extortionists. Thank you for the comedians. Thank you for the humor. Thank you for the love. Thank you for the laughter. Thank you for the silly and ridiculous.Thank you for the spaceships that give me hope of finding an alien race that will come here and tells us how they achieved peace without coercition. Help us to grow and develop as humans. Help us appreciate business and trade and bankers and people who don’t feel fuzzy and soft. Thank you for the soldiers and engineers, the physicists and chemists .Thank you for the computer techies. Thank you for the doctors and nurses. Help the administrators learn humility. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for spirituality and religion. Thank you for hot showers and refridgerator. Especially thank you for coffee machines and roasters and tankers and trains and trucks and planes .Thank you for Ethiopian Coffee. Thank you for llamas and donkeys. Thank you for kittens. Thank you for water. Thank you for bacteria and insects and spiders and bats. Thank you for eagles and pigeons. Thank you for colours. Thank you for October. Thank you for Friday. Thank you for weekends. Thank you
Thank you for incense and candlelight and perfume and cologne. Thank you for piercings and tattoos and rock and roll. Thank you for masturbation and sex and love and scent. Thank you for taste and recovery and revival and nirvana and samedi and and ecstasy as a state of mind not a bring me down drug. Thank you for the natural expansion of consciousness and caring friends. Thank you for the Holy Bible. Thank you for all the books of wisdom and enlightenment. Thank you for Angels and spiritual guides. Thank you for synchronicity. Thank you for symphonies and rock and roll. Thank you for folk music and square dance and blue grass and reggae. Thank you for sitar and flute and electric violin. Thank you for harmoniums and accordions.
Thank you for the hope of spaceships that could take us to another place where there’s summer vacations and people don’t always have to work and the dance is in circles and pairs and the feet are attached to the head and people are in harmony. Thank you for the contrasta and other countries. Thank you for Peace. Thank you for the silences and the bird song. Thank you for the flowers. Thank you for the music. Thank you for this body with it’s senses and experiences. Thank you for ibuprofen and aspirin and vitamins and apple cider vinegar. Thank you for science and belief and logic and discovery. Thank you for the architects and sculptures and the accountants and the bus drivers. Thank you for the teachers and the professors and the librarians.
Thank you for books and reading and the tv and Netflix. Thank you for this day. Thank you for this moment. Thank you for meditation and prayer. Thank you for nano seconds and neurotransmission. Thanks for pituitary and adrenal glands. Thank you for the Krebbs cycle. Thank you for the DNA. Thank you for helix and phalanx. Thank you for the word and the words. Thank you for fridge magnets and windows. Thank you for all the inventions and the ideas and the epiphanies. Thank you for kettle and the pot and the metallurgy. Thank you red meat. Thank you for vegetables . Thank you for shoes and boots and pants and shirts and jackets. Thank you for hats. Thank you for umbrellas and sweaters. Thank you for underwear. Thank you for soap and shampoo.
Thank you for change. Thank you for steady states and equilibriums. Thank you for welding and tools and wrenches and screw drivers and nails and hammers. Thank you for knitting and needles and thread. Thank you for fashion. Thank you for naked women and handsome strong men. Thank you for survivalists and self sufficient people who also know how to organise and share. Thank you for leaders and facilitators and followers. Thank you for organizations and networks . Thank you for all the moving parts and the grand whole. Thank you for the dance of life. Thank you for the matrix. Thank you for energy and atoms, neutrons, mitochondrion, RNA and electrons and protons and galaxies and pond water under little microscopes. Thank you for wonder and joy. Thank you for hope and for all the promises. Thank you for the moments. Thank you for the memories.
Thank you Lord of Creation. God of God. One and all. Love. And Lover. Thank you Agape, Eros, Filios. Thank you at the centre of the center of the centre. Thank you within and without. Christ before me, Christ behind me. Christ beside me. Christ below me. Christ above me. Christ within me Christ without. Christ in every deed I do and every word I speak and every sight I seen and every act I witness and every word I hear. Christ meaning God Within be with me and let me be in the depth and surface of all things. Help me know Thee as you know me Help me peer through the Cloud of Unknowing. Help me do thy will. Help me serve you and all my fellow man and women this day. Help me follow in the path of mentors and greats and the genius’s before me. Help me make my teachers pleased. Help me to remember and follow the wisdom of my parents and past relatives. Help me have fun. Help me know thee.
Thank you for all the games, the jokes, the dance, the wonder and the mystery. Thank you for this journey. Thank you for the hide and seek and Peek a Boo!. Thank you.
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
I woke up cold. The last Facebook page I saw showed foot high snow in Lethbridge. I definitely was triggered. Remembering all the cold times of Canadian childhood . Parents bundling us in parkas and long johns and wool mittens and togue just to get to the car. There were no in car heaters early days. Just shivering in the back seat with my brother watching our breath form clouds. Dad would start the car and then he’d get out the window scraper. We’d never warm up on short trips. On long trips we’d overheat.
Today my water heater is on the fritz. I’m waiting for Eric. Years on my boat I’d fix my own heaters and replace solenoids. I’ve lived with propane, solar panels, wind generators and Diesel engines for decades. First the sailboat then the fifth wheel. I’ve done it in Canada. All the time with three jobs. The harsh winds from the north are not to be sneezed at. Yet every year I have caught the flu, either the fall one or the spring one or both. Right now I’m feeling the draft.. I ran out of propane. I like warm. The colours of autumn still are beautiful, out of the wind.
I checked the stove and had fire so figured the problem was the thermostat. It was wonky last year. I found my electric blanket. I lost electricity last year and used the back up generator a couple of times. There was the power outage and I was thankful that the gas that was sitting in the generator still took spark. Gilbert, the cockapoo joined me when the electric blanket got warm. I couldn’t get back to sleep.
My mind was fluctuating between I wonder why the heater isn’t working. It’s not connected to the water heater not working. What could it be. And a gratitude list. How have I attracted this discomfort?
Thank you God for the nanoseconds we take for granted. Thank you for the molecules and atoms, the electrons, protons and neutrons and the space between. Thank you for the deep depth of blue on a starry night. Thank you for hairy men and smooth women. Thank you for opposites and contrasts, the colours and the shapes. Thank you for beauty in all it’s forms. Thank you for human endeavour. Thank you for saints of all religions. Thank you for science and rocket ships.
Please get the heating glyches worked out before I move to the moon. I’m triggered by cold and need a safe place. The southerners all are entitled ungrateful equatorial folk who won’t go north or south out of their soft safe zone but daily they complain about climate change. Our ancestors suffered the ice age. We didn’t end up at the outer fringes of the comfort zone in years past because we wanted the cold. We Celts were displaced and couldn’t get warm climate land from the brown and black squatters who monopolized the good times for tens of thousands of years and now complain day in and day out because their air conditioning bill is up a few cents.
We’re still out here on the fringes of civilization in Canada battling the coming cold, thinking of our brethren in Argentina and Peru and those of our kind, cold dwellers, living in mountain spaces like Tibet. All of us afraid of the bullies, haters and takers who live in warm temperate regions where they can put all their energy into diabolical schemes about making us pay for their soft entitled lives.
I tried the stove again. No flame. The propane’s out. I didn’t get the notice in last week to include me in the propane run. I had the bottles out but I forgot to get on the list. I’ve got to add that to the To Do. Get the order in early. Now fortunately I have the barbecue propane tank. That’s the last back up. I go through two of the big propane tanks a week. I can close the back door to the garage this year since the poor cat is gone. The cat door saved heat. I may get a more robust electric heater. I don’t think this one does more than a 100 cu feet. There’s one that does 500 cubic feet. I wonder if my electrical system will handle the extra draw.
I’ve been managing limited electricity, 15 am, 30 amp and 50 amp inputs for decades. If I’m not, I’m on my generator. I’ve got shore power or land hook up which connects to the city grids. There’s limits though. The refridgerator draws. The electric heater draws. The electric blanket is a god send with little electric demand. I’m managing these things, juggling draw, batteries storing electricity and I’ve even got the back up generator and a reserve tank. The solar panels keep the battery charged. I don’t have a wind generator or water generator on the fifth wheel. I get by. I don’t need an entitled angry rich teen ager to tell me about climate change. I don’t need fat cat UN dictators and elite soft boys and their elegant women to tell me about weather and managing. I doubt any of them have ever lived off the grid. Maybe for a weekend camping trip with guides and body guards. But not day in and day out. I know a whole lot of survivalists who get by. There was a time I hand cranked electricity. Now the silly people in the south, those wasteful folk, pretend to speak with authority and tell us about energy. Really?
I enjoyed my stove that burning wood created enough energy to charge my iPhone. It was like so many of these ‘cute’ things fine if I had all the time to manage the fire. Not efficient. I like my gas generator. The place has warmed up with the propane. I’ve got to deal with the drafts. Maybe I need weather stripping. I’m such a suck for warm.
I’ve never been keen on being nude except in water. I love the backwoods nude hotsprings and being nude with lovers especially in the woods. Mosquitos are never featured in Hollywood. Bugs and snakes make tents much more desirable. Inside I’m not into nude. I think balls limit the enjoyment of walking about without pants of some kind. I sometimes envy women the inner plumbing. Nothing like a zipper malfunction to make one appreciate the limits to external works.
In my life time I’ve concluded the best clothing options are sailing shorts, khaki short shorts with rips and paint stains. No need for underwear. Just wash the shorts in salt or fresh water. I went naked while they dried in the tropic trade winds. That was heavenly. Life on the lamb. When I was young I lived with one pair of jeans, no underwear camping and white water canoeing. I just washed the jeans and hung them on a tree. Older I’ve come to like underwear. It sneaks up on you.
The other best clothing option was the sarong. It tended to slip off so required adjusting but was socially acceptable. I suspect I’d have liked the short Roman skirt. The kilt is fine too. Minimalism. In Canada I favour light underwear and a t shirt. No big bulky Stanfields. The best are the Calvin Klein briefs. Harley Davidson T-shirts’ are my favourite. I’ve got some of those shorts that have built in underwear and pass for bathing suits but they’re not the same. Plain shorts and t shirts are the best. I like bare legs all year round. I go with sandals as long as I can then move to clogs. I don’t like socks except in hiking boots. I will use sweats but I’d rather be on the couch with shorts and a blanket rather than have sweats. Aging is all about finding one own’s sweet spot. There’s a security and comfort in my corner of the couch built up with pillows. Today I’m going to have to go to work without a shower because the hot water isn’t working. I was in the hot tub last night and even swam laps. I showered then. I don’t like changes in the rituals.
In the prairies I had weather stripping on windows and doors to decrease draft but still wore leather slippers because in the winter the floor would be cold. It was cold in Winnipeg. 40 below was normal. This fifth wheel is winterized but wouldn’t survive that. Mobile homes with skirts were crafty and cold. I lived and worked in them for years in the north. At home in Winnipeg, I had the furnace but we kept it low and wore clothing, flannels and house coats. I had electric space heaters. I’d turn the furnace down at night and we’d sleep in the cool, healthy sleeping, then the heater on a timer would come on in the morning and I’d awake in relative warmth. The electric heater warmed the bedroom and I’d turn up the heater so that by the time I was having breakfast there was warmth in the house. Leaving I’d turn the furnace down low. I still do that here. Saving precious money heating.
In England I had a radiator I paid with a meter and because we were poor we saved our shillings and wore layers of clothing. In the prairies I had a block heater for the car to keep it from freezing over night but eventually got an actual heater that I could start from a remote I kept in the kitchen. Such luxuries.
I loved living in Saipan. The warm tropical night with the breeze from the sea. Inside without air conditioning could be stifling but patio living was heavenly. Bikinis improve any view too. Beautiful women, friendly men. Mostly I miss the sailing. In Mexico at anchor it could get hot then our air condition was the sails. We’d raise them and put on the autopilot wandering up the coast in the sea of Mexico watching manta rays jumping. I like the warm.
Now I’ve heat here. The thermostat had read 56 when I got up but now it’s up to 70.
Telling a Canadian in winter, they’ll going to burn in hell, isn’t that much of a deterrent.
Autumn still is beautiful. The colour of the changing leaves is spectacular. The trees are drawing inward. The chill is here. The snows are just around the corner. I may have to put some pants on.