All posts tagged: Canada

The Race is On – Fall Harvest

Alberta has 21 million hectares (52 million acres) of agriculture land that is used for farming and ranching. Wheat, barley, canola, oats, rye, dry peas, lentils, flax, dry beans and potatoes are the primary crops. An Alberta Harvest – past and present. Irricana’s Pioneer Acres hosts an annual Farm Days which features working demonstrations of  the farm equipment that would have been used by our grandfathers and great grandfathers. This photo shows a wagon, a stationary thresher machine (which separates the grain from the straw and chaff) and a grain truck. The thresher is powered by a tractor (not shown). Today, harvesting is done by self propelled Combines that cut the crop and threshes it. The combine doesn’t even have to stop moving to transfer the grain to trucks. This is one of three combines that harvested the quarter section behind our place yesterday afternoon. It was a dusty day for everyone within a mile of the action (but probably not for the driver!) Farming has always been a risky business and that is no …

Mildly Amusing Missives #3 – And More Owls

The Owlets Take Flight Part Two of the Great Horned Owl Story is over here: The Owlets Take Flight A Little Bit About Ants I bought an ant farm. I don’t know where I am going to get a tractor that small! – Steven Wright – Ever so Virtuous Virtue signalling: when you express an opinion in public to show your moral superiority and gain approval – without actually taking a significant action. (Isaac) Newton wouldn’t last long as a ‘public intellectual’ in modern American culture. Sooner or later, he would say ‘offensive’ things that get reported to Harvard and that get picked up by mainstream media as moral-outrage clickbait. His eccentric, ornery awkwardness would lead to swift expulsion from academia, social media, and publishing. Result? On the upside, he’d drive some traffic through Huffpost, Buzzfeed, and Jezebel, and people would have a fresh controversy to virtue-signal about on Facebook. On the downside, we wouldn’t have Newton’s Laws of Motion. ― Geoffrey Miller – Gender Neutrality in Canada Gender neutrality is a hot issue is …

This is my Crone Voice

On one of my recent ‘wanderings’ I came across the word ‘Crone’ or more specifically, the Crone Archetype. Initially, I had a not so pleasant vision of a ‘Crone’, but further reading made me realize that some might say I AM a Crone! Perhaps you are too. (If you are a man, then your corresponding Archetype would be Sage.) If you are a woman of a certain mature age, have abandoned the need for ‘properness’, are up front, and don’t mince your words – you might be a Crone. If you are seen as a being a straight talking mentor, occasionally a trifle crabby  and perhaps even  a bit flirtatious and sassy – you might be a Crone. If you have found an inner peace and accept who you are; if you are realistic and have practical expectations – you might be a crone. I ticked off a lot of the ‘You might be a Crone’ boxes. When I reviewed the content of my blog, my ‘Crone Voice’ was evident in so many of the …

Right Place, Right Time

Every now and then (but not if I’m in a line-up at the store) I’m in the Right Place at the Right Time! Here are three photos to illustrate what I mean. In 2011, I wrote a post titled Lady’s Slipper Orchids – Surprise in the Ditch. At that time, the orchids were growing in a ditch – about a 5 minute walk from us. Not a great distance, but they were easy to overlook in the tall weeds and their blooming season was short. I only saw them once again after that. A few days ago, I was very surprised to find the pretty yellow orchids again growing in the ditch –  but this time right at the end of our driveway! It would have been easy to miss their yellow flowers, surrounded as they were by clumps of yellow dandelions. But, they must have whispered to me… “It’s your lucky day – we’re your  neighbours now!” I’m a Canadian ‘Snowbird’ who spends part of the winter in the USA. Last winter I went …

Mildly Amusing Missives #2

Robert Fulghum – Questions and Answers Question: If you could live your life over, what changes would you make? Answer: None. Well, maybe I wouldn’t have eaten some bad oysters, and would forgo the times I had too much wine and was miserably hung over. But otherwise, I’d live it all over again – knowing that the hard and troublesome events almost always led to something good in the long run. Every difficulty contained possibilities for something that proved better. While Canadians wrestle with Environmentalists meddling in Canadian politics and policy… Democrats dig for Russian connection and uncover environmentalists. – Headline in ‘The Hill’, Merrill Matthews – The ‘out of touch bubble’ called Hollywood David O. Selznik, producer of Gone With The Wind, once observed that “It’s somehow symbolic of Hollywood that Tara was just a façade, with no rooms inside.” A Comment About Bitcoin I must say its entertaining watching greens who believe in the imaginary climate crisis condemn the enthusiasm of people who believe in an imaginary currency. – Eric Worrall- Confirmation bias …

Mildly Amusing Missives #1

When Grammar and Punctuation Walk into a Bar I’ve posted a new series of quotations on my blog, The Quippery. They are  jokes about Walking into a Bar, but the subjects who do the walking are unusual. The Trials of Being Senior The other day, my mom asked Siri to find information on senior self-defense. Siri: “Looking for information on seniors in Depends.” After a couple of such unsuccessful attempts, my mom gave up. – Dawnette Moore Thompson, comment on Mike Rowe’s Facebook Page – A Belated In Memoriam Women loved (Alan) Rickman: He wasn’t movie-star handsome – not Kevin Costner male-lead handsome – but he oozed both a predatory sensuality and a kind of indifferent hauteur and the combination was irresistible. His mesmeric baritone could sound knee-tremblingly sexy when he was asking if you’d like fries with that. – Mark Steyn – To Be, or Not to Be The way to do is to be. — Leo-tzu, Chinese philosopher The way to be is to do. — Dale Carnegie Do be, do be, do. …

Looking at Bridges

Bamberg is an beautiful example of an early medieval town in central Europe. It has a large number of surviving ecclesiastical and secular buildings. It is crisscrossed by many rivers, winding canals, and bridges. Some of the bridges are old and famous and some, like this one, are more modern, but don’t detract from the architecture of the surrounding buildings. Deception Pass Bridge is the common name for two, two-lane bridges that connect Whidbey Island to Fidalgo Island in the U.S. state of Washington. Pass Island lies between the two bridges.   Navajo Bridge – The original Navajo Bridge was completed and opened to traffic in January 1929. Prior to the building of the bridge, the only way to cross the Colorado River and its formidable gorge was at Lee’s Ferry a short distance upstream. Construction on a new, wider bridge began in May of 1993. The old bridge became a walking bridge.

RCMP – Law, Order and the Musical Ride

In 1867, Canada became a nation. This year (2017) is Canada’s 150th Birthday! Six years after the Dominion of Canada was formed, the Parliament of Canada established a central police force and gave it the task of maintaining Law and Order in the newly acquired western territories of Canada. The force acquired the name “North-West Mounted Police” (NWMP). By 1886, the NWMP’s first riding school was established in Regina and in 1887, the horses and riders performed mounted precision cavalry drills on several occasions. It wasn’t until 1901,  though, that the drills, choreographed to music, began to be performed for the public. In 1920, the name of the force was changed to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Today, the Musical Ride consists of 32 riders (plus one leader) in scarlet jackets on beautiful black horses. The RCMP has bred and raised its own horses since 1939. The Ride tours throughout Canada and internationally between May and October. More Canadiana – Best Canadian Puns, Jokes and Observations. This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is Order. Post 577

Christmas 2016 – Santa and the North Pole

Christmas is very nearly here, and I’d like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, and All the Best in the New Year. As you can see from this photo of my Christmas tree, I’m all ready for Santa to visit.  I anticipate one very nicely wrapped medium sized gift of the hair drying appliance variety! For better or for worse, Christmas is a time for gifts and giving. Who knows that better than Santa – and Wal-Mart, Costco and Tesco, to name just a few of the larger retailers! While it is easy to walk into the familiar brick and mortar stores in communities around the world, it is quite impossible to visit Santa’s establishment. There are several reasons for this. First, of course, is the fact that Santa is not a retailer. He is the owner of a factory and distribution outlet. His business model simply does not include on-site sales. Then there is the issue of the location of his  facility. It is, according to lore, at the North Pole …

Anticipating a Better Picture – Over the Air Television

One of the things on our Christmas wish list this year was a gift for our TV set. Television – in my lifetime, I’ve ‘seen’ it all! Our first TV had rabbit ears which were enhanced with wire and tinfoil. In later years we had roof top antennas, then big satellite dishes, little satellite dishes, and cables. Our first TV gave us one station. In later years we had dozens of stations, then hundreds of stations. Our TV screens were sometimes as small as a laptop computer, sometimes big boxes that took two men to lift, and finally flat screen lightweights that hung on the wall. We wanted to see if we could ‘cut the cord’ on our Satellite TV service. To do that, we needed a digital antenna that would pick up free Over the Air (OTA) television. The Car Guy chose a TERK omni-digital antenna for 1080 HDTV broadcasts. Like children who peek at their presents before Christmas morning,  we opened this  gift a few weeks ago. The installation was very easy once …

We are Canada – We Are Winter

Many places in Canada have more than 80 days a year when the temperature never rises above freezing – day after day after day. Here at the Red House in Alberta, the coldest month of 2013 was December. We had an average daily low temperature of -17°C (1.4°F). It is no wonder, then, that Canada kicked off their 2014 Olympics campaign with this video called ‘We are Winter’! It has been a very successful Olympics for Canada. When the ‘snow’ cleared, we were third in gold medals and fourth in total medals. The most hyped  event was Hockey, and Canada won both the Women’s and Men’s events. Then there is Curling. For many Canadians (like me) the Olympics didn’t really start until we were parked in front of the TV with our red Maple Leaf mitts on, watching the first stones thrown down the curling rink. To our utter delight, the Canadian rinks of Jennifer Jones and Brad Jacobs took both the Women’s and Men’s Gold in this quirky sport. The best story of the …

The WestJet Christmas Miracle

Part of a WestJet flight attendant’s arrival announcement: “We’d like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you’ll think of WestJet Airways.” Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus – but he wears a blue suit, not a red one! Watch how Santa and his WestJet Elves put the magic back into Christmas: WestJet Airlines was founded in 1996 by a team of Calgary entrepreneurs as a western Canadian regional carrier with three aircraft flying to five cities. Today, WestJet is Canada’s leading high-value, low-fare airline offering scheduled service to more than 80 destinations in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. They lead in the ‘fun factor’ category too! Post 455

Molson Canadian Beer Fridge – The Beery Best of Canada

Happy Canada Day to Canadians everywhere! The website ‘Beer Canada’ mentions these statistics about beer: Canada has many competitive advantages in making world class beers: proximity to malt barley, large fresh water supply, educated workforce and more than 10 million local beer drinkers.   Per capita consumption of Canadian and imported beer was 63.34 litres per person based on total population. At the provincial level, consumption is highest in Newfoundland at 77.32 litres per person. Beer is Canada’s most popular adult beverage and the Canadian beer industry continues to hold an impressive environmental record. On average 99% of beer bottles were returned in 2015. Post 431

WWI Memorial – A Brooding Soldier

Canada entered World War I as a colony and came out a nation… – Bruce Hutchison, Canadian Journalist – We’ve been to Europe a number of times. (I know that sounds like a big deal, but we were living in England at the time.) On one of our trips we visited a number of  WWI cemeteries and monuments in Belgium and France. I was looking for a cemetery that contained soldiers who had died on the same day that my Grandpa’s brother, Henry, had been reported missing in battle. (Read In Flanders Fields for the story of my family in WWI.) Near St. Julien we found the Canadian Memorial of The Brooding Soldier.  The bowed head and shoulders of a Canadian soldier with folded hands resting on arms reversed was carved from an 11 metre high piece of granite. It appears to be meditating about the battle in which his comrades displayed such great valour – a battle where the Canadian, British and French Armies met an enemy that launched the first ever large-scale gas …

Canada’s Birthday – 145 Years Old

Happy Birthday, Canada! The Canada I know best has big mountains, and on a clear day I can see them from my back yard. (But not this big. I have to drive for about an hour to see them up close and personal.) My part of Canada has clear, fresh running water in uncountable lakes, streams and rivers.  (Except right now, which  is flood season here in Alberta. The water is pretty muddy, and we’re hoping the cabin doesn’t get flooded.) My Canada has  four distinct seasons.  This is my yard in the winter when everything is coated in a blanket of snow. Until I came to Canada I never knew ‘snow’ was a four letter word. -Alberto Manguel- I could go on and on, but instead, go to these two posts to find out more about Canada and Canadians: – 144 Years Old and Going Strong!  –  a glimpse into how our family celebrates Canada’s birthday. If you don’t know any Canadians, but would like to,  be sure to read my 52 Friends Plan. …

Is it Grey or Gray?

There are two acceptable spellings for the word that describes the neutral colour between black and white, and the feeling of gloom and dullness. This word is spelled Gray in the United States and other areas that use USA English. Grey is used in Great Britain and areas that use UK English. Canadians generally use the British spelling, not the American spelling, though there are a number of instances where Canadians have chosen to use American words and spellings. Here are some of my greyish photos from previous posts:

Canada – a Little Fish in a Great Big Blogging Sea

Sysomos, a Canadian analytics company, surveyed 100 million blog posts (the Great Big Blogging Sea) to determine, among other things, where bloggers are located. They found the following statistics about writers from predominantly English speaking countries: (see the Sysomos website for the complete stats, which includes the non-English speaking countries) 29.22% came from the United States 6.75% came from the UK 3.93%  came from Canada 2.22% came from Australia I wondered how these statistics looked in comparison to the WordPress.com Blogging Sea, which has published such information on their Stats Page.  According to their figures, there are 70.5 million WordPress sites in the world, half of which WordPress hosts. 66% of the blogs hosted on WordPress are written in English. Unfortunately WordPress doesn’t indicate which countries these English writers come from, so I thought I would do a quick survey of the last 50 blogs that were chosen by the editor of WordPress’s Freshly Pressed to see what countries are represented.  The results were: 38 from the United States (76%) 2 Americans currently living in …