Sunday, October 28, 2012

Clinton, BC - Hunting with Tom and Gilbert

Bill Mewhort from Campbell River first introduced me to hunting in Clinton back in the late 80's. We came up and stayed at the Circle H lodge which I see this week is now up for sale. It was a great place. I fell in love with Clinton. Bill had friends here and special permission to cross private property so we ended up in some pretty special hunting places. That time I shot my first moose.
I've been back to Clinton with Bill and many times since on my own. I don't hunt in Bill's special place even though he and his friends say I can. It's a place Bill's son will always be able to hunt. I've just enjoyed the rest of the area around Clinton which has the widest variety of high range, mountain timber and lowland lake areas. I can't remember how many grouse I've shot here either. None this year, though.
Tom and Gilbert are with me this time. Another time Tom was along I shot a black bear in the high country. My scotty Stuart was with us. He barked ferociously at the dead bear and kept kicking dirt and trying to bury the bear's head while we were trying to gut and clean the body.
Last year I shot a three point mule deer with Gilbert along. He ran ahead of me jumped spread eagle on the deer's head. I thought the poor deer's last shameful thought before entering deer heaven must have been, "Oh my God I've been killed by a cockapoo."
So far we've seen only one buck but the region right now is open for mule and white tail bucks and spike fork moose.
Last year Laura, Gilbert and I stayed in my Rockwood RV at the very fine Gold RV Park. This year Tom and I are staying in the Cariboo Lodge. I stayed here a few years back when I came up with my Honda CRF 230 and new Mossberg 30:30.
Caribou Lodge is a great place. Reasonable rates, terrific rooms, satellite television, wi fi and really friendly helpful people. The main log built lodge has the offices, a bar and resturant. The breakfast eggs pancakes and sausage here the first morning were spectacular. The dinner steak with shrimp cream sauce with baked potato was equally good. Tom loved his meals as well. The kitchen made Gilbert sausages which he wolfed down in the room. There was Halloween dance in the bar with everyone in costume for a very merry time but we had to get up at 5 for hunting so didn't stay.
The first day we drove all the way over the back woods trails to the Ferry Crossing and also all the way over to the Canoe Creek Indian Reserve. This territory is all part of ranching era steeped in history that gave rise to the Chisholm Trail and made the not that far away Gang Ranch famous. The village of Clinton for years hosted the Clinton Rodeo. The Clinton area now is home to several of the finest dude ranches in the province.
We are also certain that the Big Horn Sheep got a memo saying that the hunting season for them ended last week. A whole herd of them were down in the valley by the side of the road sticking their tongues out at us as we drove by.
Since Dad's death I've been a bit raw so I really enjoyed encountering a covey of a dozen quail. Dad and I had a heck of day trying to shoot these birds he called 'little bullets' over on Vancouver Island. I did no better following their scurrying little bodies down the road till they suddenly flushed at rocket speed. Naturally I didn't lead them enough and missed with both barrels despite being at point blank range. I smiled thinking of Dad. We went off to the skeet range for a day after our repeated inability to shoot a single quail despite encountering maybe a hundred or more.
I've new staff starting at work. This time off this weekend will slow things down a bit so we can get up to pace again. I'm tired from grief I guess and glad just to be out here with the dog and guys enjoying doing what Dad and I so much enjoyed together. Dad loved Gilbert but when we hunted together years ago in Manitoba we'd borrow my brother's big Irish Setter, Tartan.
I tried riding the Honda Big Ruckus today but it has summer tires so it made a slippery go of it in the snow and slush covered roads. Tom and I got the truck stuck in the snow trying to turn around when we encountered a fallen log blocking the road. Thankfully I had chains along and we got ourselves out. Given that experience, we didn't try for the high country with the big Ford F350 truck. We saw a buck at dusk but couldn't be sure about horns in the low light until just before it disappeared back into the forest.
I still hiked all over God's creation despite my injured foot. Tom followed in the truck at half hour intervals when I was walking down logging roads with or without Gilbert. When he was waiting with Gilbert he spentthe time throwing Gilbert the tennis ball. Gilbert thinks this is all dog heaven even if we haven't seen any grouse. He did encounter his first pigs though and was duly impressed!
There have been moose tracks but tracks make thin soup. Another morning before heading back so we are hopeful. Early to bed and up at 5:30 am for a 7:15 dawn. The Petro Canada fuel station, with it's great coffee, opened at 6 am this morning.
All the people here have been super friendly. It's always like that in Clinton. I love the countryside. Camping here in the summer and hunting in the fall is so enjoyable if only for the scenery and incredible air. I forgot my SLR high tech cameras this trip so have had to rely on the Iphone camera. The pictures are still pretty good, if I say so myself.

addendum - the next day we shot one grouse.  A covey of grouse flew away. A large winter hare ran like the wind but one ruffed grouse didn't escape. No deer or moose were seen.  Nonetheless a terrific trip.

Gilbert's Miata

I enjoy riding on the Harley and the Ural Side Car was just fine but really this Mazda Miata was just made for me. I really think my human would let me invite another cute cockapoo along for a ride. What do you woof! I'm raising pledges to support medical research too.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dickinson Diesel Stove

The autumn chill got to me. As usual this time of the year I was already using the electric heater. The dock supply limits the power one can draw. Alone the electric heater is no longer enough. As the temperature dropped I'd added a small propane camp stove heater to the galley. Then I added low draw electric blankets but the draft and chill in the evening lying on the couch reading finally got to me. I don't like to be bundled in sweaters and socks at home. I'm not English despite my Scottish heritage. I spent too much time in the tropics to want to live clothed indoors. Now the ace in the hole Dickinson Diesel Stove, Newport design, has come into play. I lit it up this week and have been gloriously toasty. The thing has alone kept me warm in here when there was snow on the deck. I've lost some insullation to repairs below so I'll see if it remains sufficient but for now it's magnificently warm in here. I'm truly blessed in the Sailing Vessel, Giri, with the comforts of heat, water and fuel in tanks, groceries, stove, head and of course the dog, Gilbert. The ecofan that sits on the stove working off the rising heat is a sweet addition, as well.

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Honey Pot

There is transcendence in your womanly flesh,
I am lifted out of myself gazing for a moment
On your bedded naked body,
Twin orbs of glorious pulchritude
Rising above the flatlands of the oasis
Where I taste the sweetest nectar,
And enter the cool heat of the living cave:
I am home within you.

Even as I am
Ranting ragging feminists call all men
Bicycle seats for fishes,
Insist we are all rapists,
Abdicating responsibility themselves,
Claiming promiscuity and virginity,
Honestly deceitful,
Without duality or mutuality,
Angry, hateful, blaming;
Weekend warriors,
Looking for alibis and orgasms;
Bullies claiming to represent womanhood
In the silence of their sisters.

They slime slut walks and cat walks
Carrying scalpels, to get you out of them
After Inviting you in with everything but words
That might be used in a court
Where justice is blind and female.
Children are just weapons of collateral damage
In the war they deny they wage,
Claiming the best defence is offence,
Citing ancient history amidst the carnage of today
Showing evidence from elsewhere
For their hostility here and now.

Castrate men remain alone or go off in pairs and groups
Disgusted to hear their pillow talk in affadavits
Beds defiled like churches are defiled
By the monetary mischief of the courts
And utter perversion of the state
Self destructing abortions of rank power.

We kiss and caress
Whisper sweet nothings
Tongues parting lips
Fingers finding genitals
Ripe bodies coupling
In merciful relief
To spasm with sweet release
In the throes of ecstacy.

Together we pray.

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sorrento Hotel, Seattle

The trip down the I5 to Seattle with Gilbert in the Mazda Miata was a spur of the moment decision. I had no reservations for Seattle. When I arrived in the city a terrible downpour struck. I didn't like driving lost in a dark deluge and city traffick and pedestrians.

I'd stayed at the Silver Cloud on Capitol Hill and liked it very much so headed there on chance. Unfortunatelly,they are not 'pet friendly' but they did recommend the Sorrento Hotel a block a way.

It was spectacular. An old hotel that's been there over a hundred years ,it was thoroughly delightful. The front desk was extremely solicitous and very caring for Gilbert. This is definitely a pet friendly hotel. Given the fuss made over Gilbert by everyone, I was just lucky he decided to bring his human along. I was able to get a special rate and upgrade to a suite too which was very nice. In for a penny, in for a pound, I took the valet parking as well. 24 hours and very professional service.

In the evening I had coffee and cake in the downstairs jazz lounge where a French artist was singing to a full and appreciative house. I took Gilbert for a walk in the area and we met other dogs and owners doing the same. The rain had thankfully stopped.

Later Neighbours was still a hopping avant garde night club. Having left Gilbert in the car. I only poked my head in. I'm sure I would have been the oldest person there if I'd stayed. How did I not notice this when we were there a decade or so ago. Gilbert much preferred pizza and a movie and frankly I've lost the Saturday Night Fever. It's hard to believe I once had breakfast before going to bed.

The Sorrento really was a lovely change from all the roughing it in sail boats and RV's, sailing, hiking, camping and hunting. A touch of luxury is seriously good for the soul. I remember reading of a holiday tour offering 'riding the rails' and 'living with bums' and "eating beans out of a can over a campfire." I expect if I stayed at the Sorrento long enough I'd look at something like that for a 'contrasting change of pace." As it is I much prefer the elegance and old worldliness of the Sorrento Hotel as a home away from home. The staff did so much to make it that way. Gilbert loved his stay.

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Another Hotel Room

It's another hotel room. So many have come and gone before. This time I'm with Gilbert. Other times I've been alone. At first I found them exotic places I first went with family, crowded, then, the 4 of us, sometimes with an aunt and a dog along. Motel rooms travelling with cars across the vast Canadian countryside, east or west. Later I'd follow in my parents footsteps hitchhiking, hiking, bicycling, driving, sailing ,flying around the world and always arriving in a different hotel room, mostly just the same. There have been basic rooms and luxury rooms and rooms with a hole in the floor toilet down the hall. I've had single beds, queen beds and kings beds and bed bugs the size of mice that came on other nights. There have been noises of nearby family, thin walls with lovers head boards banging half the night, or quietude. Later there'd be solitude and loneliness in hotel rooms. I'd hate them for taking me away from love and home when they were so associated with work and study. But now they're a holiday. I love the hotel vacation with Gilbert. A break from boat living with endless hot running shower water, flush toilet, no drafts, heat, wide screen 'still at the movies' service tv, and room service. I watched a great science fiction movie, Prometheus, about search for aliens that visitted earth millenial past with matching dna. I swam in the heated hotel pool. This Bellingham Holiday Inn Express is really quite deluxe. There's a dog walk area for Gilbert with bags for picking up. He woke me at 7 am licking my face to remind about it. I'm up drinking hotel coffee thinking some day soon they'll have expresso in the room. There's a petit dejeurne in the lobby. I'm sure the coffee there is more portant. I could get a croissant. Gilbert would gladly have his morning walk sooner. But if I shower and dress I could load up the car in one trip and walk him then. I've psalms to read, prayers and meditation. There's no rush. No work this Saturday morning. A day of leisure driving down the I5 touristing and another hotel room perhaps this evening. I could even return. I love the lack of agenda. I have a cell phone and satellite phone and am connected to internet so can receive emails and follow up on messages but it's not emergency call. It's consultant call so much less urgent and hair raising as the years of immediate call. Sure someone may want to talk to me about medications or suicidal thoughts but there are first line services nearby and I'm only a secondary consideration or on call to those who are manning the leaking dikes of the health care service deluge. Still I'm never not working these days but it's so much easier than it was before. I slept without nightmares and woke feeling lighter laughing with Gilbert teddy bear tail shaking body squirming all over my head. He just growled at someone passing in the hall. Such a big ferocious sound from such a little dog. Well it's another hotel room. This time I'm really pleased. I'd better get on with my day. There's nowhere I'm really going too. I've got my camera. There be little stores to explore, dog walks and coffee shops where I'll be able to read or write. I love driving the Miata almost as much as the Harley. Even though it's autumn it's still warm enough if it doesn't rain to have the top down. The Washington State scenery on the side roads off the I5 is always something to behold. I love the little towns. So I guess it's time to move along. Another hotel room soon to be left behind.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Saint Patrick's "Breastplate" Prayer

One of the greatest prayers of Christendom is the Prayer of St. Patrick. His story is one of great faith and perseverance. The Catholics and Protestants of the emerald island inheritted the great character and work of St. Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland.

"I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through the confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation."

This is the greatest of protection prayers. In this prayer St. Patricks wards off all evil and wrongness. Apparently through his life there were many attempts to kill him and as any man of integrity and honour and faith he made his fair share of enemies. Only the irrelevant and weak are without controversy. The conquered and coopted are already ensnared. St. Patrick stood his ground and lifted his head above the utter debauchery and bickering of his day.

"I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the Judgement Day.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innoscence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men."

St. Patrick knew that we were part of an unseen spiritual war. He called upon the legions of angels and helpers that would join in our struggles if only called by prayer.. In the present seen world it was the deeds of righteous men that had made this world safe with order and law of more than  bullies, psychopaths, sociopaths and their gangs. In the day of St. Patrick there was chaos in Ireland with every valley ruled by bandits and thievery, rape and pillage were the neighbourly way. People literally dared not go out on the streets for fear of the gang wars and the utter devilish debauchery of the day.  The corruption in the courts of the local Kings and Queens was everywhere.

"I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock."

"I love that Celtic Christianity is rooted in the world of Nature. The laws of nature were indeed seen as akin to the spiritual laws forming the basis between the alliance of science and spirituality today. There would be no Galileo being put to the stake in Christian Ireland because there has always been such a reverence for the truth found in the world around us. The Celtic Catholic and Christian celebrates the right nature and finds inspiration there as well as in scripture and church hall. It was indeed the Irish monks that saved civilization from the devolution of tribal thinking and internecine warfare. It's ironic in fact that some Irish would "own" St. Patrick as their own "tribal" motif reduced to a drunken footballer rally when his message was eternal and universal. Celts are known for their fayness, that capacity for seeing beyond the mere physical. This is indeed lost with the drunkeness that is such a curse in the Irish and the Irish diaspora.

"I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's words to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From the snares of demons,
From the temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.

Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me.
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on y left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of everyman who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
through the belief in the threeness,
Through the confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation."

When I read St. Patrick's Breast Plate and when I hear songs like "Give me that Old Time Religion" and think of the core beliefs of Christianity and reflect on the true believers and those who practice their faith fearlessly, I understand why cannibals feared Christians.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dogs and Christianity

A dog is mentioned in the deuterocanonical book of Tobit, faithfully accompanying Tobias, Tobias son and the angel Raphael on their journeys -wikipedia

The Catholic Church recognises Saint Roch as the patron saint of dogs. Saint Roch also called Saint Rocco who lived in early 14th century in France was said to have caught the plague while doing charitable work and went into the forest to die. A dog licked his sores and brought him food and he recovered.
- wikipedia

A black and white dog is sometimes used as an informal symbol of the Dominican order of friars and nuns.

Gilbert has been blessed by an Anglican Bishop, prayed over by Priests and Ministers and to my mind is a very spiritual little being.

I love that a Chinese Reincarnationist said they wanted to come back as a American dog given the way Canadians and Americans especially care for
their dogs.

Gilbert is definitely a Christian dog but he's not much of a water dog so there's a good chance that baptism hasn't really fully taken with him. My dad called him a 'monkeydog' and I think that best describes his evolutionary development in the spiritual sense.

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Dogs and Chinese Tradition

The dog is one of the 12 animals honored in Chinese Astrology.
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Dogs and Hinduism

I know my Hindu and Sik friends love dogs. What I didn't know was that
"dogs have a major religious significance" Dogs are a part of the 5 days Tihar Festival that falls usually in November. In Hinduism it is believed that dogs guard the doors of Heaven and Hell.

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Dogs and Muslim

"The "Qur'an strongly enjoins Muslims to treat animals with compassion and not to abuse them" - Wikipedia

"The Qur'an applies the word "Muslim" not only to humans but also to animals and the inanimate world".

"In verse 6:38, the Qur'an applies the term ummah, generally used to mean "a human religious community", for genera of animals."

"There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end." Qur'an 6:38

However that said, "The majority of both Sunni and Shi'a Muslim jurists consider dogs to be ritually unclean. It is uncommon for practicing Muslims to have dogs as pets. " Wikipedia

However, "dog is not an unclean animal based on the inclusion of a dog among the seven Sleeprs as recorded in the 18th verse of the 18th chapter of the Qur'an."

Myths (as stated by Dr. Ayoub M. Banderker
"It is not haraam to own a dog, though it is not hygienic to keep a dog in the house."
"It is not harram to touch a dog or any other animal."
However, If the saliva of a dog touches you it is necessary to wash the part of the body touched or the clothing touched by the dog's saliva.

"No Animal has been cursed in any way... In Surah Kahf mention is made of the companions of the Cave and their dog (S18:18:22)
-Dr. AyouB. M. Banderker (Veterinary Surgeon) writing on Animal Abuse and Welfare in Islam

Dogs and Islam: The Devil and the Seeing-Eye Dog
Stanley Coren PHD FRSC
- quoting a University Muslim expert "Muslim beliefs about dogs are sometimes confusing and contradictory. The majority of both Sunni and Shi'a Muslim Jurists consider dogs to be ritually unclean but these beliefs are not unanimous. The jurists of the Sunni Malik Schoo disagree with the idea that dogs are unclean, and those of the Sunni Hanafi School are ambiguous, allowing trade and care of dogs without religions consequences. However all these opinions are based, not on the Koran itself, but on the Hadith, which are commentaires, analyses, and interpretations of the Koran. It is these Hadith that suggest that to be touched by a dog is to be defiled and requires an act of purification.....If we look directly at the Koran it turns out that dogs are mentioned five times and are never described as being unclean. In fact the longest group of passages including a dog is quite positive and it relates to the story of the Seven Sleepers.....According to Moslem tradition, the dog Kitmir was admitted to paradise upon his death."

"Certainly an unclean animal would not be admitted to paradise," the professor commented. "

Mohammed ordered "kill all dogs' however "On reflection, however, he mitigated his decree, for two major reasons...The first was religiousL canines constituted a race of Allah's creatures....the second, more prgamatic was that some categoris of dogs, particularly guard dogs, hunting dogs and shepherd dogs, were useful to humans and hence had earned their right to exist.

"Some legends say the prophet himself actually owned one or more salukis that he used for hunting....In fact one passage in the Koran quite specifically says that any prey that is caught by dogs during a hunt can be eaten. No purification other than the mention of Allah's name is required of it."

Mohammed apparently accepted dogs therefore but not 'black dogs because the believed that the Devil often appears masquerading as a black dog."

Politically there is further the Middle East conflict between ancient Zoroastrianism religion which stood in the way of new islam and the Zoroastrians revered the dog. Historically it is common that 'gods of the old religion are converted into the devils of the new religion."

I was interested in this as none of my Muslim patients has objected to my pet therapist, Gilbert. He's also an amazing hunting dog and a guard dog in addition so I'm sure that Mohammed would not want him dead especially if he saw how he caused an old withdrawn man who was suicidal come out of himself, give up his suicidal ideation and return successfully to community. Even as important if anyone saw Gilbert flush and find partridge they'd see his heavenly destination guaranteed. All we have to do is get him to bring the birds back rather than just leading me to them. But he's a young dog and even then his bark is ferocious when he wakes me from sleep because of some stranger coming innappropriately near whereever his master and he are sleeping.

I'm afraid we're both cave dwellers in a sense so he is an 'indoor dog' and no doubt he'd benefit from more grooming. He doesn't shed and personally I do believe his lack of hygiene is no worse than children. I also believe that the whole 'sterile movement' is cause for the decrease in the immunologically protection of so many. Our forefathers immunologically were a tougher group partly because of their exposure to 'dirt'. Thanks to Gilbert there is some 'dirt' in my life no different from that brought in the soles of shoes. Our butts are affected too by sitting on floors and for me by the activities of prayer, meditation and roughhousing. Gilbert is a happy part of all my activities.

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The Lord Liveth

"The Lord liveth, and blessed be my strong helper, and praised be the God of my salvation; Even the God that seeth that I be avenged, and subdueth the peoples under me. It is thou that delivereth me from my cruel enemies, and settest me up above mine adversaries; thou does rid me from the wicked man. For this cause will I give thanks unto the, O Lord, among the nations, and sing praises unto thy Name." Psalm 18

When I studied spirituality at Regent College we were encouraged to read the psalms. It was given as an exercise to read them through, a psalm a day. Jesus read and quoted from the psalms which is why they are commonly included in the small books of the New Testament that one can obtain for a pittance to carry in one's breast pocket over the heart. It is just such small booklets of holy word that have on occasion stopped bullets and saved the lives of those who had only intended to save their soul, not their bodies as well, with scripture. The psalms are also found in the Anglican Church Book of Common Prayer.

In the duality of light and darkness there is a spiritual war between good and evil with these forces personified as God and Satan. Individually we are given a choice to do 'god's will' or be 'satan's spawn'. Ultimately we end in heaven or hell depending on our choice. Heaven is forward and progressive with peace and joy and righteousness whereas hell is backward, a place of depression, anxiety and gnashing of teeth.
One imagines that I could become rich with cheating my family, friends and neighbours,stealing from them and indeed killing anyone who stands in my way. However while I would perhaps end my life with the most 'toys', I'd not have 'peace of mind'. The ancients emphasized such intangibles. They were well aware that a man could 'rape' a woman but that she would not 'love' him for this so that while he might have her 'body' he'd never know her 'heart' or 'soul'.
In our superficial consumer society there is a glorious lie that if we have the 'toys' we have it all. The psychopaths and sociopaths being primitive immature half formed humans only capable of that which the chameleon lizard does don't themselves know the 'cost' of theft and 'crimes' against humanity" or the ill they do themselves when they intentionally harm others. The 'still small voice' of conscience is a gps for the 'spiritual journey' and the 'wicked man' deafened by his own ego cannot discern his way.

I turn to the psalms to know God's will and feel comforted by the words. I can trust in The Lord and know that The Lord liveth!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Up Lord

Up Lord is an expression used in the Psalms. It speaks to the spark within us and calls upon God to join in the battle. I imagine a commander calling to his troops, "UP". I think of a falcon whose blindfold is removed as the bird is called upon to hunt.

"Up, Lord, confront him, and cast him down; deliver my soul from the ungodly by thy sword;" - psalm 17

The relationship here is one of companion warriors, a commander speaking to another commander, a commander to a sgte, a sgte to his captain, two infantry men about to go over the wall of the trench they have taken shelter in.

I cannot imagine commanding God but I recall commanding my parents as a wee child. The relationship that the psalmist has with God is so diverse and fertile it literally boggles my mind.

I call up on God in trials. I am to pray unceasingly. I sing praise and rejoice, count my blessings and express gratitude when life goes well just as I turn to God when I am fearful, frustrated, tired, or angry at the godless and stupid resistances of this world.

That is the message of the Bible. Turn first to God, be not afraid. Do not wallow in self pity or fear or rage. Avoid most complacency. Smugness is to be abhorred. I seek The Lord daily. I want to know the miraculous and live in a life of the sacred. I would practice the presence of The Lord hourly.

So often I forget and I find I've lost my faith or been made weary by the trials of this world. Then I pray and turn my face to The Lord and sooner than later there is Jesus at my side. I am sheltered by the wings of eagles.

Today I say, "Up, Lord!" Together, let us continue on this journey.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Cattle Round Up - Merritt BC

Tom, Gilbert and I were hunting in the backcountry around Merritt, BC when the Ford F350 Harley Davidson Edition truck got involved in a cattle round up. First we encountered a road clogged with cows moving down it. The cowboy with his trusty dog asked us if we could just follow them slowly as he wanted them to go down the road to where they were being round up. We did as asked them till we came to a large herd blocking the road. I got out and approached the cowboys and cowgirl asking if there was a way around. "Maybe," he said, "But you can just go punched on through them and they'll move out of your way." When we did that the whole herd moved a head of us through the cattle grid with the cowboys smiling widely as the herd began to run ahead and along side us. It was a mile or two before we got free. So we were a part of this year's cattle round. Cowboy Tom, Cowdog Gilbert, the Ford Truck and me!

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Hunting Mule Deer - Merritt

Tom and I were out hunting in the Merritt BC area. A windy autumn day with all the reason for a mule deer to walk before the sights of my rifle. I was sitting in ambush or hiking all over God's half acre stalking through big timber or climbing tumbleweed hills in hope of seeing a buck. Two had passed in front of us in the dark as we drove up into the hills. Tom's hunting license is up for renewal so he was along as driver and packer this trip. Sometimes Gilbert hung out with Tom, other times he came along with me. No deer showed themselves and the two grouse we saw got away much to Gilbert's chagrin and disappointment in me as he was more than ready to find me a wounded bird. As he pointed out to me when the bird I missed shooting because my safety was on, he didn't have wings to fly after the bird which is probably still in flight.

It still was a glorious weekend with the colours splendid and lots of exercise and fun exploring 4x4ing in the back country.

Moonshadow RV was a great place to stay in Merritt. Elizabeth has a new puppy Takota who either barked at Gilbert as a tough puppy or hid behind Elizabeth's legs. I was glad to get the RV down the Coquahala before the weather sets in. Moonshadow RV is open year round but the Coquahala can be icy before the snow gets packed and I've had no experience pulling a trailer in winter road conditions. I'd have loved to leave the Rockwood Mini Lite at Moonshadow RV for the winter and make excursions up there all year. The off season rates are fantastic and it's such a safe and well managed site I'd really enjoy having a winter destination for cross country skiing and ski dooing. Merritt is an all year round outdoor tourist destination with lots of attractions. I'm looking forward to coming up for fishing in the early spring and can't wait for the Rodeo.

The trip down Coquahala despite high winds was uneventful. The first time I drove in the high country in high winds I was terrified but now that I know the RV and truck aren't going to be lifted into the air it's just a bit of trial. I went through the same learning curve driving on the motorcycle in high winds. So here I'd worried for nothing.

Tom and I enjoyed becoming part of a cattle round up in the backwoods, theroad was blocked by cattle and the cowboys said we could 'just punched our way through and they'd move.' It turned out that they wanted us to do this because the truck got the cattle moving and soon we were part of the round up moving the cattle along the road for a mile or two. Gilbert and Cowboy Tom and I thought this was terrific . The cows were not amused.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

God is Spirit

I am a soul. I have this body. (Paraphrase - C.S.Lewis)
I am a spiritual being living in a material world.
The duality I experience is an illusion created by the mind. Physics teaches me that matter is slow energy. E=MC2 The laws of quantum physics don't just apply at the edges but are the essence of creation. Improbability and probability are central. My thoughts attract and create my experience. Others of like mind are involved in this my reality. The murderer and the murdered are part of a dance whereas elsewhere the lover and loved dance too. All is God and God is good. What seems now senseless and terrible is not as it seems because I "see but through a glass darkly". When I judge events of the world I am only having an opinion on what I am told and the selection of information as presented. What I can know is my own journey, my relationship with God, myself and others. From that experience I can have great empathy for the experience of others. In all the events of my life there were possibilities but where fate and free will applied much was fated. Ancients believed this was a product of reincarnation and projected this idea into the future as a way of modulating one's own behaviour. It is a fact that I was born with 10 fingers and 10 toes, my eye sight and hearing and physically fit to a loving family in middle class Canada. It would have been a different matter altogether if I was born without hands or feet in poverty and sickness left for adoption. I have no knowledge of why I was by most standards of this world 'gifted' to be born in Canada rather than Rwanda or Vietnam at the time of their wars.
I was introduced to God by my mother who encouraged my little flannel pyjama'd body to kneel beside my bed and pray. We prayed together like this and in church and Sunday School. I remember this as early as 5 years old but have little recollection of prayer before that though believe it was a part of the family heritage. I was raised Christian. Our church was Baptist.
There was a sacred magical sense in my childhood that lingers in my memory. As a child and later as a teen ager I was very aware of the presence of God. At many times in my life that sense of being in the midst of a loving higher power has been deeply real for me. I related to the Biblical reading of Adam in the Garden of Eden and God coming to walk with him. That sense of a guide and wiser spirit presence, a loving Father, has been with me often.
I have felt too that my prayers were answered. I have been so struck by the phenomena of synchronicity and coincidence and the miraculous that I have seen prayers 'manifest' reality. There has always seemed to me to be an association between my inner world and the outer world. I have studied psychiatry and know this is not the 'ideas of references' or the psychosis that some would insist all experience other than materialistic sex and aggression drives are. I have found Freud tedious as an aetheist. I much preferred the scientists like Einstein, Newton, Carl Jung and Milton Erickson whose faith in God and the ultimate holiness of creation was established. I thought Martin Buber a genius whereas Henry Mortgentaller was a sick and tragic man. I have considered much of my life in relationship to the spiritual and always found that I have worked better with the faith and knowledge of God and consideration of God and prayer than when I have struggled without. In my personal life I have most admired those men who have had a strong spiritual connection like early academic mentors, Dr. Carl Ridd and Dr. John White.
I have always struggled with the notion of sexuality and spirituality. I have seen that the majority of people have shared beliefs and like Dr. Owen Barfield felt this is the 'mainstream' of society's behaviour reflecting on perhaps the spiritual pathways one may follow. I've always enjoyed Dr. Scott Peck's ,"the road less travelled". And I tried to do the 'mainstream thing of heterosexual marriage and monogamy" but like 50% of the men of my generation we were faced with radical feminism and a 50% divorce rate. I have seen men I most admired, ministers, pure and sweet souls, from the finest homes with the best intentions and the greatest love devastated in the relationship wars of the 70's and 80's. I have called this 'social communism' and only now do I see women especially no longer angry and blaming and playing the 'gender card'. We are all in this together and I admire those who have successfully married, had children and raised them. I know that they have better skills and worked harder than I ever did and had greater compatibility. I married predominantly professional women who didn't have children and in retrospect didn't seem to want children and while sexy didn't seem that interested in sex compared to many other aspects of their lives. I believe that in relationship the 'blind man marries the deaf woman' so that we are with our complements and that my lack of children reflects either 'design' 'fate' or 'determinism' or an unconscious desire not to have children causes me to choose specifically women who didn't have children. I believe too that psychiatric truism "ask a woman why she hasn't had children and she will mostly likely tell you why she feels her mother didn't want children". Certainly the feminists, call them radical or whatever, of my era considered children least and saw careers, status and personal life fulfillments as most important. Children were a hindrance and a burden to these radical women who quite frankly appeared to imitate men. Today they strut about in business suits and have fancy cars, aetheism, materialism and flaunt young boys as their sex toys. I remember when they condemned the men who did this very same thing. They were vociferous in their criticism but then Freud did teach us that 'identification with the aggressor' was an immature defence and coping mechanism so we can all consider these 'shallow' 'hollow girls' as T.S. Elliott might call them as failures of humanity like their male brethren. That is, if we believe that 'altruism' and 'care for others' as opposed to 'narcissism" and strict care of one's self and pleasure is the goal of life. Happiness is many things. All over their are orgies and drugs and alcohol are part of the world of leaders of state male or female. Indeed the advance of women in society has brought them all the 'diseases' and 'stresses' that were once thought 'manly' so these 'radical feminist' executive women male like in their overall behaviour share the lack of 'fulfillment' and physical stress medical ills that had an earlier generation of men turning to spirituality as a means of making sense of existence. These women without children are now buying lulu lemon yoga pats and meditating on the meaning of existence. Oprah like Buffet and Gates and the truly great man, Carnegie, before them are devoting themselves to altruistic care of others with benefactorial community responsibility. The media tells us about the failures of the rich and famous men and women and takes greatest interest in the naked breasts of a princess or the naked buttocks of a prince insisting the masses want this and indeed ensuring the masses want this by giving the masses only cakes and ale, yet thankfully the internet gives all the diversity of information that allows some to look more than at the surface of things. Don't get me wrong I'm as voyeurstically attracted to the breasts of princesses and buttocks of princes but there is so much more that occurs each day, like the rescue of a child, or the education of a student, or the space walk that seem to be sidelined for the sake of the drunk and stoned who cannot appreciate more than the basest of experience.
In the midst of all of this I pray to God and ask God. A friend condemns homosexuality and I can't find it in me to do this. A friend condemns all relationship but monogamy and again I can't find it in me to do this. I'm a divorced bisexual man who through fault or choice have not succeeded in striving for the heterosexual monogamous family Rockwell Biblical prototype ideal where children are treated like little Gods and Goddesses, princes and princesses and the world as I know it is set out predominantly for everyone to be involved in just that task. Indeed, I taught thousands of children, delivered a hundred babies and saved thousands of children's live and paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes for children's services that have helped others and their children without direct benefit to me. I don't have children and when it came down to it the women I married told me they didn't want them either. Then one day I was old and frankly figure I was doing enough for others children that I was happy not to come home to my own. Today I'm happy with my dog.
My friends with children have been 'policed' by their children and the institutions that surround their children. I remember female doctor colleagues who were drunken pot heads socially cleaning up their acts overnight after becoming pregnant. I know literally dozens of close friends who were given the ultimatum to clean up their acts or they'd lose their children. I've watched doctors be hauled in before principles about their language. I've stopped going to homes of friends with children because they are indeed living in a Disneyland repeat of some childhood experience that they didn't seem to get enough of. I "did' childhood thank you. I'm happy to watch a movie where people actually 'fuck' and there's blood and guts and 'reality' rather than a 'white washed version' of events 'for the sake of the children'. I am like alot of old farts wanting to not have any children around me and am very fond of 'over 55' housing and activities. I miss the family communities of the country where children and old people and dogs and cats were all present at the weekly dances but I don't want anything to do with soccer moms and hockey dads' and that whole 'little miss sunshine' thing with parents using their children to live through. I have my own life and I'm not expecting my dog to be a basketball star because I wanted to be a basketball star as a kid and wasn't .
My friend who is pure and angelic and has deep long term meaningful relationship with men and for all I know may not have genitals or go to the washroom though there is one in her place, probably for guests, dresses always in white and simply never married though she is truly one of the sexisest creatures I've ever known, finds that she has no 'place' in the church today as I find the 'church' mainstream excludes me. I believe the medieval church loved both of us. We were the single aunts and uncles who were ever present in 'community' but today everyone expects her to marry and have children as they view me as an utter failure for divorce and lack of children. Yet both of us attend church and when people go on and on about their children we both begin to bore them in return with our talk of travel and adventures.
Some Jungian woman with children and a degree calls us both as having "Peter Pan" syndrome. Yet I didn't buy the contraceptives and I did my best to sew my seeds and the scientists said my seeds were adequate to the task. I don't resent not having children in this sense but I do blame the courts for their lack of fairness and justice in the gender wars of the 70's and 80's. It seemed obvious to me that the courts were in the industry of taxing marriages by charging and arm and a leg for divorce while not holding the institutions accountable for divorce in the way we hold a bar tender accountable for serving drinks to a drunk who goes out and crashes his car. Having devoted a quarter century to making a physical family without success I really think I should get my money back from the church and state that instead punished me financially for the experience while the women themselves punished me financially too. Yet I could not claim victimship because adult men and now adult women could not compete with radical feminist women who abused drugs and alcohol and didn't have children but became childlike when they were hurt and demanded to be treated by society as 'child like victims' playing the gender card. Bob Dylan said it well when he wrote she acts like a woman but "breaks just like a little girl". In contrast this war culture with the militaristic attitude to men alone said, "man up" to us boys when we cried.
I wouldn't recommend a man cry today. When I've cried it's shown my enemies my place of hurt so vulnerable I've been injured more there. Crying is a very private thing in this society. When my mother died and I was grieving terribly a female minister failed me utterly, a female assistant used the opportunity to steal from me and attack me and the state used the opportunity to savage me. Thankfully lawyers, both male and female, helped stave off the attacks that my grief occasioned. It's not wise to show weakness despite all the encouragement in the pop psychology flakey granola world. Women who have been hurt in my experience are at equal risk of further pain if they don't stand up.
That said there are places and people where we must be open. It might not be with lovers who later in courts will use the intimacy to make money. It may be with friends or counsellors or doctors or lawyers. There's a place where we need to be open and we join with others mostly through our shared vulnerability.
Jesus was a 'servant king'. He taught of a God that didn't only care for the mighty but was there for the least. He washed the feet of his disciples. We are spiritually loved not just for our successess but equally for our failures. God is with us as my friend Milton, now dead, said, "in the whorehouse and in the jail." Now if the 'whorehouse and jail' were happy fulfilling places then no doubt God would want us there to but as they aren't the best outlet for creative expression in living with greatest possibility for happiness and most likely greatest benefit versus risk, God probably doesn't want that for us, though I don't know that God would 'disapprove'.
There are 'spiritual laws' in a way like physical laws. There are 'easier' ways of living. Clearly everything has a bit of the stockmarket gamble to it. Our society is to a large extent a great Los Vegas with investment houses little better than casinos at times. A friends father said that his 'blue chip' investments paid little and all his conservative financial planning did little compared to his 'wild' decision to invest in a start up company called "IBM". There is no certainty in this life. I would have preferred to live the mainstream with family and children. I have already said I fully admire those who have taken that route and today I don't think I want 'police" children in my life and am a little concerned about a society that justifies all manner of censorship based on the 'children'. Personally I think the 'children' are being used in this case for 'ulterior motives'. Indeed we are often asked these days to go to war 'for the children' when once we went for 'the flag'. I'm more suspicious in my old age and having paid so many hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxes to help others raise their children and served children and families all my life in work I'm kind of looking forward to an adult world away from all that 'child police state' world though I'll forever miss the country community where children dads and grand parents all mixed at the dances. I loved growing up with my grandparents and uncles and aunts about but I don't have children and my life without children is very much not a part of the mainstream that dominates so much of society. I'm also single and divorced and the mainstream society serves mostly the intact families. Indeed when I first divorced, divorced men were excluded from partnerships and I was denied several positions of work because I was 'divorced'. "We don't hire divorced people" I was told by government and clinics. I was further told "My wife doesn't like me to associated with divorced men". "We only have married friends". I think that's good but I've lived that part of my life and today I'd rather be with other divorced and single people that are forming loving friendships than that group of people living in the mainstream. If I was a woman I would have had a child. I believe radical feminism was intrinsically 'anti-children" and indeed I was as much a part of the 'culture of narcissism' that describes well the social decadence of the 60's set now growing into senility. I'm the tail end of the 'baby boomers' and the ravages of drugs and boozer continue to take people I have known long before a life of less self indulgence might otherwise have taken them.
My father died at 94. I find myself reflecting on life again and wondering what is important to me now. Clearly spirituality is. I want to be 'ready' for death. I want to contemplate life and death and God. I want to live in love rather than fear. I want to continue to serve my fellow man and women and community. I want tyo participate fully in society but more so in those aspects that acknowledge the infinite and our relationship to a higher power. I'd like to get more 'right' with the world and God. I 'd like to lessen the 'pain' of existence before my aging puts me more in the 'pain' of existence just because of facts of life like gravity. People with children have their 'immortality' assured in someway in this earthplane but I'm not so focussed on this earthplane as I might well be if I had children. I don't know if that's true. I want to find a place where I am welcome as a single divorced old person who is spiritual and sexual and living as a spiritual being in a material world. I want to celebrate life more, sail, ride my sports car, field the wind in my hair, dance, hunt, fish, work, play and do all that but more with God in all aspects of my life and existence. I can't have the life my father had. Family dominated his world as did his wife of 60 years and he lived with other Christians mostly in a Canada where the majority of people he lived and worked among had been part of the fight against Nazism and Communism. He was as all Canadians were in those days communal libertarians of a sense but today the politics and cities are global and cultures are mixing faster than the legal systems and other institutions can adapt. It's a different sort of chaos I've inheritted and I must give order to this with the help of my faither and God and friends and community.
I never know if I should share these musings. Ramblings and journalling but I do. Messages in bottles from shipwrecked sailors on islands. Kindred souls have touched and communicated with me over the years. Other writers and authors and poets and songsters and scientists and police and judges and politicians and painters have all communicated in kind with me. It's what I like really. There are blogs of all manner of rantings and ravings and we know that people are thinking all manner of things and we can see that all around there is creation. Where there is creation there to the creator is.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Happiness by Douglas Todd

Douglas Todd is a Vancouver Sun journalist who has written a remarkable 4 part series of articles on "Finding Happiness in Difficult Times". I just read the third of the series and was thoroughly impressed with what a remarkable writer Douglas Todd is. The article drew on works of Dalai Lama to Aristotle and referenced the latest research in ornithology. Perhaps we are all striving for happiness. I enjoyed his incorporation of UBC philosophy professor Sylvia Berryman as well as social psychologist Barbara Dunn's clear distinction of ideas of success, consumerism and happiness with those of positive psychologist Martin Seligman. Dr. Seligman is a personal favourite of mine having given us first the research on "learned helplessness' in depression and later become an amazing contributions outlined at his site 'authentic happiness'. Douglas Todd's writing has this extraordinary depth and breadth but ultimately touches the individual. I was uplifted and inspired by his down to earth discussion of happiness. Quite literally Douglas Todd helped me feel happy in difficult times. Well researched, well written, well done, Douglas Todd!

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Westjet Cockapoo

Gilbert is upset when people call him a 'jet setter'. He's a 'jet cockapoo'!
He's made several flights across Canada with Westjet. First he travelled "economy" in a hard kennel in the bowels of the airplane but later
upgraded to a Petsmart soft carry on kennel sharing a cabin with humans. He fit quite nicely under the seat in front of his master. His latest return flight was between Vancouver and Ottawa with stop over in Toronto.
However, he would have liked a little space turf and hydrant in the Toronto terminal so he could have a pee and sniff without going through security again. After that he would have preferred a private club kennel with some frisky poodles. An airport doggie bar with cookies and meat drinks would have done just fine too. In the flight he did enjoy the Westjet beef jerky treat and had bottled Canadian spring water in a Tim Horton soup bowl. His master was especially attentive and he liked that. Westjet provides the best services a 'jet cockapoo' could want.

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Jesus was an angry man

Jesus was an angry man
Throwing money lenders out of the temple
Casting out demons.
As was St. Peter, crucified upside down
By Nero, the arsonist of Rome, who laughing
Blamed and crucified Christians.
Moses was angry, especially on tour,
Indeed he smashed God's writing.
Had he not, we might have had more godly laws.

St. Joan of Arc was a very angry woman
Or so the English thought,
That cad Cauchon burning her at the stake.
Martin Luther was surely an angry man
When he confronted the indulgence salesmen,
As was Kierkegaard speaking of the self satisfied
Dutch Christians of his day.
Abraham Lincoln, John A. Macdonald, Winston Churchill,
General Patton, JFK,Margaret Thatcher, Pope Paul John II,
And George Bush and Hillary Clinton
Were all angry men and women.
Adolf Hitler so preferred Chamberlain
A thoroughly easy going fellow.
The enemies of all these angry men and women
Thought they needed "anger management"
And would prefer them medicated,
Like Dean Martin or Cheech and Chong,
"Give them bread and circuses!" (or Playstations.)

Without anger there is no passion, peace or safety
As the Monks of Ireland learned from the Vikings,
And the Buddhists of Tibet
Learned from the Communists of China.
Of course we are all praying for the success of the Mars Rover,
But in the meantime.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil
Is for good people to do nothing."
Thank you God for angry men and women.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Ontario Autumn

The deciduous forest seems more prevalent in Ontario when I visit from British Columbia. We're a province of ever greens mostly in comparison. "Mom missed the reds of maples in autumn when we moved to Winnipeg," my brother tells me underlining our unique experience of our parents. I didn't know of Mom's love of the maples of her childhood Ontario. I'm living even further west where I love the evergreen of the Douglas fir. Here in Kanata "green space" in autumn I do love the glorious red of the maple leaves. We have the yellows of willow out west but the trees and landscape are so different to me that I feel slightly askew as if I'm on a different planet. The sun is the same though. It's not like there's two great yellow orbs in the sky. But it's flat here too. I'm much more used to the contours and cordoroy of the Western mountains. The landscape is more civilized and less wilderness wild having known the touch of man en mass for so many years longer. I remember England where the parks were so manicured, trees and shrubs shaped and tailored. When my brother and I take Gilbert the dog for a walk in the woods there are actual trails and signposts like I'd see in Vancouver's Stanley Park. Admittedly there are well laid out trails in the west but they don't seem as 'worn' by human passage. I love the difference and celebrate the remarkable diversity I know this land of Canada has. Like Mom now ,I do appreciate the red of the maple. It's definitely Ontario.

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