Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Gratitude and Perspective

Thank you God for Creation. Thank you for this life. Thank you for this body, these eyes, this nose, these ears, this mouth, this urethra and anus, all the pores of the skin and the different membranes that don’t provide walls or boundaries so much as protein pumps and fluid and gaseous interfaces with nucleotides and electrons and synapses and all that really neat and cool stuff. Thank you for electron microscopes , rainbows and prisms. Thank you for internal combustion and isotopes and light frequency and experiments. Thank you for Newton. Thank you for Einstein. Thank you for Bacon. Thank you for Hobbes. Thank you for Seligman. Thank you for Yogananda. Thank you for Buddha. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for Elvis. Thank you for Dylan. Thank you for the Moody Blues. Thank you for automobiles and tooth brushes. Especially thank you for Gilbert and George. Thank you for Sex and orgasms and chocolates and breasts and penises and poetry and music and fragrances and incense and walks in the park. Thank you for explosions and fireworks and the Chinese and zero and the Persians and arabs and camels and elephants and dogs and cats. Especially thank you for dogs and cats and birds.  Thank you for the crazy people that shout the world is ending and quote the book and now their fellow nut bars who shot the world is ending and quote the UNbook.  Thank you for the fish that survived Silent Spring. Thank you for the birds that survived the suddenly healing ozone hole and thank you for aluminum foil hats.  Thank you for the visiting aliens. Thank you for the goblins. Thank you for all souls. Thank you for my family here and passed over. Thank you for Samhain. Thank you for bagpipes. Thank you for ‘fayness’ and ‘second sight’ and Astro projection and telepathy and time warping and visions and the mystical connection with all. Thank you for the sources. Thank you for IS RA El?  Thank you for YAHWEH. Thank you for Egypt. Thank you for Canada despite the Prime Minister denying it’s existence while smoking enough pot to believe Castro is his father.  Thank you for Putin and Obama and Oprah and Bush and Zeus and Trump and Merkel and all those others murky entertaining characters in the galaxy of Hollywood and CNN And the best comic strip CBC.  Thank you for the once great Winnipeg Free Press and the once true New Yorker and the once sane BBC. Thank you for yesterday. Thank you for asylums and uniforms and weapons of mass destruction and antidotes and cures and green rooms and the BARDOT and John and Peter and James and thank you for Zuckerberg and Simon and Paul McCartney and Naomi and Esther and Samson and Velcro. Thank you for needles and thread . Thank you for knives and scissors .Thank you for this modern world .Thank you for evolution and the dream. Thank you for the present. Thank you for this city. Thank you for the oceans and streams and lakes.  Thank you for air craft and space craft. Thank you for NASA and Virgin. Thank you for the Sputnik. Thank you for China’s building islands albeit in someone else’s ocean but thank you for Amsterdam and their flowers and their reclaiming land. Thank you for the sprinkler systems in the dessert. Thank you for desalination. Thank you for solar panels and wind generators. Thank you for RNA and DNA and 3 d printing and mathematics.  Thank you for laughter. Thank you for Madame Curi. Thank you for the sun. Thank you for global heating daily and global cooling nightly. Thank you for the rain and snow. Thank you for the seasons of the year and the cycles of the sun. Thank you for radiation and lead. Thank you for MRI’s and Functional MRI”s and PET and infusions.  Thank you for Tai Chi and Yoga and Gymnastics. Thank you for lingerie and blue jeans and sports jackets and sweaters and dog hoodies and cat harnesses and snowshoes and skis. Thank you for Tinian.  Thank life after death and transformation and recovery and survival and near death and birth and children and babies and mothers. Thank you for breasts.  Thank you for miracles. Thank you for the sacred. Thank you for flowers. Thank you for milk. Thank you for coffee and tea. Thank you for indoor plumbing and running water and furnaces and air conditions. Thank you for my Mini and my Truck. Thank you for my stainless steel rifle and my chain saw. Thank you for my freezer. Thank you for ballons. Thank you for latex especially in pant waists. Thank you for couches and TVs and satellites and internet and APPLE and SAMSung and Microsoft and Sony. Thank you for Harley Davidson and Ford and KTM. Thank you for continents and oceans. Thank you for the earth and trees and plants and vegetables. Thank you for Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide. Thank you for education and knowledge. Thank you remedial education systems and English as a Second Language teaching and language teaching and pianos and Early Music Society and the Symphony and the Canucks Hockey Team and football and croquet and lacrosse and especially chess. Thank you for checkers and leggo and shoes. Especially thank you for slippers Lord and belts. Thanks for the belts and hands. I like hands and fingers Lord .Thank you for my hands. Thank you Lord for everything and more and I love you to ends of the earth and back and all around the universe and galaxy and more and more as you play hide and seek and I glimpse your jet trails in the blue sky and the clouds and the synchronicity and the the footprints and sweet scent you leave in reminiscence and passing only to stay as I come and go and run away and return. Thank you for the Prodigal Son and the sunbeams.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Shilo-Fifth Avenue United Church, New Westminister

It was wonderful to attend Shilo-Fifth Avenue United Church.  Rev. Shannon Tennant greeted Gilbert and I at the door and welcomed Laura. “Everyone’s so friendly,” Laura said.  “The United Church always reminded me of a folksy bible study group. I used to always enjoy going to the United Church with my mother in law when my kids were young."
I’ve always loved the United Church of Canada and attended and taught Sunday School at Fort Garry United Church in Manitoba.  My mentor, Dr. Carl Ridd, was an English Professor and United Church minister when he taught me Bible at the University of Winnipeg. I’d read the Bible and heard countless sermons from the Bible as a child and teen but it was Dr. Ridd’s scholarship that began my interest the in-depth study of the Bible.  The United Church of Canada was founded in 1925 as a merger of protestant denominations: Methodist Church,the Congregational Union of Ontario and Quebec,  the majority of the Presbyterian Church of Canada, and protestant churches of the prairies, with later, evangelical mennonite churches joining. In Canadian church humour it’s been called the ‘prayer of the NDP’, (not today’s NDP but referring more to the NDP of Tommy Douglas)  It’s  middle of the road left leaning political orientation.  
Laura as a Catholic loved the relaxed nature of the community.  The songs were a pleasure to join in. The readings were about Ezekiel.   Thereafter I couldn’t get the song, “Ezekial saw a wheel way up in the middle of the air….” out of my mind.  The sermon on grace was uplifting.  The prayer was quite moving.    I liked the collective readings. Before we knew it, the service was  over. They were having coffee and potluck in the hall but Laura and I had to get home with Gilbert.
It’s was a lovely service in the St. Barnabus Anglican Church building on 5th avenue. We look forward to returning. A place of warmth out of the cold of the coming winter.

Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine Annual Conference, Vancouver, 2018

The Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine Annual Conference 2018 at the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver was a great success. Over 650 attendees.  A wide range of topics from Tobacco Addiction, Alcohol Addiction, timely discussion of marijuana, the opiate fentanyl crisis and the overdose epidemic.  All were discussed by the leading authorities in Canada. Aboriginal communities and peoples, women and addiction,  the role of peer support workers and the advancing importance of nurse practitioners and others in the field all were addressed.
Dr. Paul Sobey, President of CSAM and Dr. Jennifer Brasch, Ontario CSAM Board  were the conference organizers and did a spectacular job of inclusivity and relevance.  One presentation gave an astonishing history of the organization listing all the past presidents many of whom I’d had the privlege of knowing.  So much had been accomplished by the pioneers and those who followed behind.
It was an especially moving moment when Dr. Nady el Guebaly was presented the lifetime achievement award, his contributions to  CSAM early years being legendary as was his part in founding ISAM, the International Society of Addiction Medicine.  I had first met Dr. el Guebaly as a psychiatry resident in the 80’s  when he was a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manitoba before he moved on to be the Head of Psychiatry at University of Alberta. I was moonlighting at the time covering nights and call at the Winnipeg Detox. What most impressed me early years was his dedication to scientific research. His work in Gambling Addiction  is unsurpassed.  He is also author of International Addiction Medicine ; A Certification Exam and New Textbook as well as serving as editor for the Journal of Addiction. It was a joy to see him receiving this award and also learning that he’d received the Order of Canada for his work in Addictions.
Having joined  CSAM in 2002, some 16 years ago, the best part of the conference is seeing old faces still looking new and meeting some of the weary new faces. With experienced clinicians the most important aspect of conferences simply doesn’t go on educationally from the perspective of the content and show and tell in the lecture theatres. It’s in the personal discussions in the hallways and the private consultations.  Dr. Raju Hajela is one of the most learned and respected addiction medicine clinicians so it was truly a boon to discuss a difficult clinical situation  that was also personally troubling, with him,  and gaining his insight and  wisdom.
I was delighted to be uplifted by Annie McCullough who was there representing Together We Can Treatment Centre. I see so many of the clients of that program at DocSide Medical where I work with Dr. Gary Hovarth and have been thoroughly impressed with the TWC success stories. The very best inpatient treatment centres, including Homewood, Last Door, Orchard, Cedars, Edgewood, Together We Can, and more were represented in meet and greet area. I especially enjoyed talking to the folk from Narcotics Anonymous.  After all the great science in the lecture halls  I especially loved a spiritually uplifting chat with Geoffrey a young Saskatchewan academic researcher who spoke heartfully of the loss of life in addiction.
I was then  blessed to meet Dr. Elliot Gardner. I have listened in awe to several of his presentations on the field of addiction medicine starting from my first attendance at CSAM. His insights and experience are profound. Yet there I was shaking his hand and chatting amiably with a personal great. The same with Dr. Marsh.
Personally my favourite presentation was by Launette Rieb in the all around incredible workshop Treating Pain in People with Addiction and Mental Health Challenges.  The room was packed and the hallways full for the presentations by Launetter Rieb, Annabel Mead and Robert Tanguay, all three the real bright lights in this growing field. Addiction Medicine, Psychiatry, Internal Medicine,  Family Medicine and Public Health are all overlapping. Representatives from all these specialities were well selected with superb presentations.  My other favourite presentation was the session on Communicable diseases and Substance Use Disorders with Chris Cavacuiti, Astou Thiam and Laura Bell. When it comes to scientific sleuthing I was thoroughly impressed with Laura Bell and her team at Western Ontario in addressing HIV in the using paraphernalia.  An amazing story worthy of NCIS.
The tours of the Injection sites, the down town EAST SIDE hotels, Dr. Peter Centre, were all the rave. Having been to all these, living and working here in Vancouver, I rather enjoyed using the spare time to have a marvellous chat with Rand, Reg and Monte.  Later I cross the street and did some neglected shopping at the Pacific Centre Apple Store.
Next year’s conference is in Halifax and I really do hope to go.





































Thursday, October 25, 2018

Anxiety

I am here in the homes of others. I sit at their table. I am surrounded by their awards and honors. Their friends are all here. I sit in the corner of the room. I once sat at a table. My own table today is small and hidden. I was wounded before. I fear those who know me. Yet all those I meet are kind and caring. I think in  old  hierarchies. I am scanning for enemies. I am carrying hurt and shame. I have always felt an outsider even when I was not. I belong here and no one cares for me or cares not for me. People are thinking of themselves.
I am disturbed by my defensive negativity, the cynicism I wear on my shoulder. 
I am angry at my own criticism. I carry my criticism as a weapon and a shield. I am so prickly I would hurt myself if I hugged myself.
This is a nice house. It’s a pleasant room. I’m out of the weather. The people are well heeled and smell  nice. Some are coming in and others going out. I’m more yesterday than tomorrow but wouldn’t need to be. It has been my choice. I’ve devoted more time to my own little home.
Those who hurt me are still shouting loudly while I always walk on egg shells. I avoid so many and so much and feel safest in wilds and danger. I was stabbed in the back which is betrayal. The saddest aspect of this experience is betrayal is always by family and friends and even more frightening by ones self. 
I have the choice now between fear or love and gratitude. The critic always sees and seeks the negative. The grateful seek the positive. Expectations have been called pre formed resentments.
The reformer is the enemy of anyone who benefits from the status quo.
I feel perplexed and bemused here. I am going through the motions. I’m being of service supporting this good house but ask if I am best serving the needs of my little home 
I would like to be where I am my best. The best me, is it best served in others homes, or must I get my own home in order.
What really do I want? Who have I chosen as my audience? Who do I have looking on,sitting on my shoulder. Are they as useful today as they once were? Who would I impress tomorrow? Must I impress? 
The adolescent questions once answered satisfactorily to create a life must now be asked again to create a death.Friends are dying. War and rumors of war. Time is present. Am I ready? Is there oil stil in the lamp. Is the lamp lit. Am I light? Am I walking towards the light. Is the light chasing me?
To be light hearted and humorous among the hostile and afraid. Egg shells. Walking on egg shells. Serious, amidst giants. Feeling little and complete, Tiny houses. Tiny homes No mansions.. Reduced and minimalist. Moving. Releasing attachments. What can we take with us? But love.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Act of Vengeance, the movie

Act of Vengeance, the Turkish movie made in 2010, not to be confused with the 2017 Acts of Vengeance movie,  is on Netflix. It appears to have been named Five Minarets in New York when first released and renamed Act of Vengeance sometime later.  
I used to so enjoy ‘foreign’ movies at the university and again with Netflix am gratefully enjoying  them. When I was in Instanbul I was shocked at the wealth and substance of the movie industry with so many best seller features produced. A Roumanian friend told me that Turkish films were the favourite of the whole of the Middle East as Istanbul to film was what we in the west think Hollywood is.  I felt my western perspective on film at that moment was exposed as shallow.
Act of Vengeance is all the spit and polish of Hollywood, a remarkable fast paced exciting thriller set in Turkey and New York with sub titles, Turkish and English.  The gun fight scenes are the best of French Connection. Bruce Willis and Jason Stratham could just as well be in these slick shoot em up scenes with missile fire and door to door terrorist police gun fights.
The story though is not at all American.  Something foreign and alien.  Blood feud of the Campbell MacDonald, McCoys and Hatfield level but happening still today. On top of this all jihad and terrorism were layered. 
The backdrop, ancient streets, stone architecture, the mosques of Instanbul, the calls to prayer , the unique musical score, all so engrossing. I loved seeing the Hagia Sophia again and the Sufi dance. The movie captured so many touching scenes of the rare beauty of the old city and contrasted it with the neon light and skyscraper wonder of New York.  A deeply developed movie with so many signs and symbols, not somehing we see so much from Hollywood these days, an almost European literary depth that didn’t detract from the exciting pace of the movie.
The characters were old and rare. The inner wrinkles of life experience had no spiritual Botox to homogenize them. I loved Danny Glover and Robert Patrick’s portrayal. .  Haluk Bilginer, as Hadji, was epic. Gina Gershwin really did move me as she has such a Sophia Loren flare.  Mahsun Kirmizigul was definitely aTurkish Sylvester Stallone. Two Turkish anti terrorism agents go to New York to capture a terrorist but the plot then thickens and twists as intrigue and mystery move with almost Shakespearean development.  
Mahsun Kirmizigul is an outstanding director with immense capacity for the fast and the slow pace and for bringing out the best out in cast. I was completely absorbed throughout.
Certainly I’d recommend this movie to anyone. Having been to New York and Turkey I especially enjoyed this. The insights into Islam and the importance of family and feuds was intriguing.  

Monday, October 22, 2018

Operation Finale, Movie

OpĂ©ration Finale, the Netflix Movie, is a moving tour de force of a historical drama of the capture of Adolf Eichman, the architect of the finale solution.  I remember the trial shown on television in 1961.  I would later read of Arendt’s description of the earlier Nuremberg trials as the ‘banality of evil’. Eichman was a beurocrat and the Nazi regime was the greatest beurocratic regime, all it’s participants denying responsibility, claiming they were innocent, just a cog in the modern machine.  6 million Jews mercilessly murdered by gunshot and gas.  10 million Europeans killed as ‘numbers’.  

Ben Kingsley plays Eichman in unforgettable and almost unforgivable detail.  Oscar Isaac plays Peter Malkin, a remarkable role. Remembering well the family slaughtered in the holocaust, he grows closet to Eichman but must resist the temptation to become like him. 

There’s an especially moving scene as the Israeli agents ask each other who they lost and who had survived. ‘Parents, grandparents, aunts and an uncle’, says one then another, ‘I’m the only one that survived.’  I have always been touched when Jews have told me of their losses. 

 The numbers tattooed on arms play an important role in the film and the filmatography.  I remember one man I knew showing me his number and saying, ‘I must always remember I’m more than this.’  

I have  often recommended ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’, the relatively short autobiographical tale of Dr. Victor Franckl, the psychiatrist who survived Auschwitz concentration camp and wrote of his experiences.  This movie reminded me of the humanity of people despite the banality and evil of beurocratic anonymity.  It did so much to put a face and name  to the real Hitler.  By contrast I couldn’t help but think of Anne Frank seeing the  young Jewish girl, Sylvia Herman played so sensitivily by Haley Lu Richardson.  All the actors and characters were memorable but these for me stood tallest.
I especially loved Melanie Laurent who played Hanna protecting Eichman despite her own fear and loathing. 

 Director ChrisWeitz is truly amazing fleshing out this monstrous tale of character and intrigue.  He has brought such depth to what could just as well be a  Mossad snatch and grab. The suspense is great but it’s in the characters the story lives. 

I would recommend this movie to everyone, especially the young. Truly a masterpiece. 

Free Floating Anxiety

Free floating anxiety is a psychiatric term for a type of particularly disabling and pernicious anxiety.  It seems to be autochthonous which means it’s not apparently externally trigger but rises de novo from within. .  A person can switch from feeling secure to having a deep seated sense of insecurity.

Anxiety already is an internal experience of fear.  Fear is a normal and  healthy  survivor mechanisms. I’m afraid of grizzly bears , snakes  and certainly politicians with good reason. I’m not afraid of life but I can be anxious about it.   

Existential angst is the experience of anxiety about existence , about the meaning of life, about one’s purpose.  It arises when we ask the question ‘why’.

Buddha said Desire is the root of all Suffering.  Anxiety relates to the lack of acceptance of a potential. 

When one learns mindfulness meditation one lives in the Present described by the great mystic Brother Lawrence.  Here and now as described by Ram Dass is not normally a place of anxiety.

Anxiety has been described as a measure of one’s distance from God or what is Good and True to one’s self.  It’s equally a measure of one’s humanity.  Anxiety is essential to consciousness,  but like all emotions there is a sweet place, place of balance or equilibrium or centre.   One wishes enough anxiety to avoid being naive about existence and able to act but not so much as to be paralyzed.

Free floating anxiety seems like a hunter seeking prey. It is a self justifying anxiety.  Looking about for an ‘explanation’ for anxiety it can literally latch onto anything. The friend’s tone of voice suggest dissatisfaction with me. The banker looks askance at my bank balance.  A Soldier says that there is war and rumor of war in the Middle East and Crimea.  A person tells a story of a lawyer and accountant ganging up to steal money from them through fraud. An announcement comes that the government has spent the pension funds.  Inflation is halving the fixed incomes. There is a pain in the side, minor for sure, but it might be cancer. Free floating anxiety is like a bird that wants to land on something to justify itself.  

The population is anxious. The book, Alcoholic Republic describes the vast extent of alcohol production and sale in America during it’s short history.  Marijuana is increasingly being legalized to help people ‘cope’ with ‘anxiety.   Anxiety and depression are principal factors in the epidemic of mental illness. Some might argue that some depression is but prolonged anxiety, chronic anxiety. The use and distribution of opium and hashish and marijuana give a long history of search and use of anxiety reducing and avoiding chemicals, botanical or otherwise.  The sales of benzodiazepine or atypical major tranquillisers or antidepressant anti anxiety medications involve billions of dollars.   

I was reviewing Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and reflecting that never before have more people avoided the horseman of Malthus, War, Famine and Disease as today.  Billions of people on the planet living longer and healthier  lives than ever before.  Our physiological and security needs met but so many lacking a sense of belonging or missing love or looking for love in all the wrong places.  Eric Erickson talked of Identity and identity confusion and isolation and alienation.. The addiction crisis is a product of the wealth and luxury predominantly in the west where people not only have time to kill themselves but the money to afford the means and little responsibility for their fellow man or woman. 

Strange times.

Free floating anxiety.  Distinct from panic attacks, generalized anxiety or the phobias.  But there it is.  Where will the hunter prey. Where will the bird settle. 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Autumn Hunting with Gilbert

Autumn is the most colourful time of the year. The evergreens as their name implies stay green all year. The deciduous change colour, their leaves green,  gold, orange red and brown.  The leaves fall and trails become carpeted with the crinkling cracking old leaves.  It’s a cycle, a message of nature.
I left Vancouver after the Friday morning clinic.  I had to first drop my Harley Davidson Motorcycle at Trev Deely for winter storage.  They feed him oil toddies through the winter, play Doobie brothers, Third Day, Steppenwolf and Led Zeppelin in the night, have girls dressed in leather bikinis wash and shine him, then give him back to me in spring ready to ride. After that I loaded the white Ford F350 pick up truck.  I thought about brining the KLM 690 enduro but white the weather was supposed to be sunny I feared frost and snow.  Also as the hunting season progresses I tend to strip down to basics.
I only had my Ruger 30:06, Ruger 223 semi auto and over under 20 gauge.  The 223 was as much for target practice as a back up rifle. I always have a back up rifle since the gunsmith I only used once gave me my Browning 30:06 back firing when I put it on safety.  Thankfully I had tested it out in the woods before the morning hunt so didn’t shoot any of the fellows I was with. I had another rifle and that served. I did give the gunsmith a piece of my mind and didn’t go back to him again.  That was on the Island.  Reliable Guns here in Vancouver have only done praiseworthy and Reliable work.
I enjoyed the drive up with Gilbert, beating the regular traffic jam at Langley.  I had a William Johnstone Western Audio book and enjoyed the tale of good guys and bad guys, good women and fallen women. I stopped at the Villager having phoned ahead for a room. That’s the motel I had in my mind when I booked it but they had no reservation and I didn’t remember which other motel it could be. I checked out the Villager in the summer, finding it pet friendly and really well run. Fortunately they had a room.   7 pm and I  was already unloading.  The pub next door had a great burger and an extra paddy of meat for Gilbert. We watched tv in the room and enjoyed dinner before an early night.
I was up at 530 and at the A&W which opened at 6 to get my thermos of coffee, an egger and sausage sandwich and hash browns.  I’d forgotten Gilbert’s sweater, having had him groomed at Dogtopia that week. It was frosty and cold with a light wind.   I wrapped him in a blanket and carried the blind old guy with me to the side of a cut, upwind.  Sitting in ambush in the woods I watched the sun came up.  Not a sign of game.  After an hour with Gilbert shivering I decided to walk up the trail.  It really was serene and beautiful. I had Gilbert’s leash tied to my belt. He followed right along behind trusting, with that endearing high wide stepping walk he’s developed.
I read a fellow saying he didn’t like the term ‘hiking’ for his time in the woods preferring  ‘saunter’ as it was more sacred word. I wasn’t ‘stalking’ .  That required more effort, a kind of tai chi stopping and starting slow motion movement in the woods.   I wasn’t hiking either.    Slowly sauntering, seemed to describe it. I was stopping for Gilbert to maneuver any obstacles as we moved through the forest. It was a lovely time. The colours so divine, the scents of earth and forest so rich.  I was warming up too so I  stripped off an over coat leaving it hanging on a tree for  pick up on the way back.  I’d seen a grouse but didn’t shoot it for fear of frightening other bigger game.
Later in the day I saw another grouse. I stopped the truck then, reached for the 20 gauge shot gun,  stepping out of the truck  and loaded the gun as I went.  Just as I was raising it to my shoulder the bird flew off leaving me only a tail on shot, least likely to succeed, especially at that distance. I then let Gilbert out. He was so excited.  Despite his blindness he ranged out through the underbrush and woods sniffing up a storm and trying to find another bird to raise.  That’s been our pattern. Usually I shoot the one I see then he raises several more.  Today there was only that one but I was so moved by the intrepid little fellow plowing blindly through the bush in search of game..
No more birds and no big game. I shot some targets.  It was so warm in the afternoon I was able to go shirtless.  I’d taken Gilbert for a walk using the clicker that my nephew Graeme gave me for the blind dog. Gilbert responded well to the clicker and following behind me and whenever he got off track, listening for the clicks and correcting his course.  It was a long grassy trail through a pasture.
 Eventually we headed back into town.   I was able to find Gilbert a black and red sweater coat hoodie at Everything Pets. I had a delicious meat pie at Thomasinas where the delightful owner is running for Council.   I stopped by at the hunting store for more targets and couldn’t resist buying a little knife made locally.  I hardly had time for a half hour nap  before it was time to head back out for the night hunt.
It was 5 pm.  Aunset is about 630 pm. Hunting is over about a half hour after official sunset because of darkness.  All the hunting spots around Princeton are about 20 minutes drive.  I was loving my Cabelas lined moccasins but made the effort to put my Romanian hiking books back on. Night hunts are more serious affairs.  Still bending and lacing boots gets harder every year.
I drove around the woods passing a regular convention of other hunters doing just the same thing. We’d wave at each other, sometimes stop and chat. No one was seeing any bucks. Lots of doe but no bucks.  With the bright moon and the sunny hot days the bucks tend to stay up high and not come out till after dark. The views were wonderful though. I loved the dusk with the moon coming up and the sun setting.  I saw a couple of really fast rabbits at end of light disappearing a second after their shy appearance.
Back at the motel my neighbour had a buck in the back of his truck. A handsome young man with beautiful blond wife and what looked like a younger brother. All us old guys had been talking about there being no bucks. Here was evidence to the contrary.  A dedicated hunter who was going to feed his family in style that winter.  There were a half dozen does on the lawns in the town too, spies, taking note of the hunters and their trucks to pass on the information to their male colleagues. So much for old guys saying they’re not catching fish or shooting game because of Climate Change:)
Next morning I planned to head back to the city on the  back woods logging roads as opposed to the highway.  I packed everything in the truck and checked the room one last time before driving to A&W to fill my Thermos and get another egger and sausage and hash browns to go. I finished the Johnstone audio book and now had begun a Bill Brooks Audio Western.   I iistened as  I drove on the highway to the logging road.  That’s when the hunt began and I had to turn off the gunfighting and give my undivided attention to looking for game and avoiding driving over a cliff.  The sun was beautiful coming over the mountains.   At the top I was surprised by two does crossing the road. I was out of the truck loading the rifle in case a buck was falling. No such luck.
Then a bear crossed the road running full out down hill.  Another black bear going the same speed crossed the road going up hill. Neither left the woods and bush except to cross the road and by their speed I guessed that someone had already shot at them this season.  I expect they were ‘prejudiced’  against us and objected to sound of the truck.  They would need to have some sensitivity training before either would embrace ‘diversity’ after this season’s experience with the strangers in their midst.
Another lovely autumn morning.  When I finally come out on the freeway I enjoyed the ride home with the audio book and a thermos of coffee .  I was back before noon.  As yet no big game for the butcher or freezer.  But definitely Gilbert and I had a good hunting weekend in the autumn woods.















Gilbert, Spa Dog

Because Gilbert is flying to Toronto at Christmas he has to be groomed for the flight and the festivities. With all his hair he looks like too big a therapy dog to fly in cabin with me.
 Dogtopia does a magnificent job of grooming him. Being blind they leave him with the Beatles cut at the front that covers missing eyes and gives him some face protection.He’s always excited before arrival and then without his heavy coat is a totally different dog when he returns.  He’s all full of vim and vinegar, my mother would say.



I had him hunting with me but at the top of the mountain in the dawn frost I had to wrap him in a blanket. At noon I was able to go into Princeton to Everything Pets and get him a perfect red and black winter jacket hoodie.  That evening and the next morning he was toasty warm with me.  The fact is, he has several sweaters and coats, including a Canucks sweater.  The problem is I forgot them. He now has another. His own doggie winter wardrobe.