Showing posts from 2008

Doctors Without Borders

It's the time of year where the excess that we live with hits me the hardest. I can't imagine what it would be like to miss a few meals, as I prepare to head out the door to help out with more turkey leftovers. it's all a bit much...

Or to be so sick and not have access to medicines. Can you imagine a young single mother watching her baby die in her arms, when some inexpensive medicine could be provided?

Do what you can to help others around you or around the world. That's the true spirit of giving.

peace and love to all

Snow and what else?

These shots are from Christmas Day in the neighbourhood. This bush walk is about 50 metres from my house. A great place to go wandering. You can see a little stab at a blue sky. Lucky the camera batteries were still working at that point, because soon after all that blue was gone. And today is uglier, with snow now turning to rain and freezing rain for the next day or more. Yuck. ( not funny whoever arranged for this). Didn't even go snowmobiling today. For my dear friend in the very tippy toe of Italy, the little berries are mountain ash. It's a lovely tree that grows wild here but is also domesticated for gardens. Good thing some berries are surviving the intense cold we've had, because I heard a lot of birds in the bush yesterday. They will eat these berries. So there's about a metre of snow everywhere and no end in sight. Shovelling happens oh maybe twice per day. Cursing about the shovelling goes on and on. Expecially when the snow thrower acts up and doesn't…

Retirement Date Chosen

First of all, Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah to all my great friends. I am trying to call everyone, but this is a slow process! have a great time with family and friends.

My big news today is that I have chosen my last day amongst the ranks of the employed. May Day. May One. First of May. I may go sooner if I get peeved off enough, but that's where I draw the ultimate line in the sand. May 1st. I managed to figure out a schedule for the last three months wherein I will work two weeks and vacation for two, alternating like that to the end. I can handle that. And I'll still be 49, so will be able to always say I was in my forties when I retired!

May Day, ironically the one day that much of the working world has as a day off, recognition for their sacrifices and hard labours, and I will work that day. I'm going to start practicing my cartwheels. I tell ya'....

I hope to escape to a hot or warm place for each of those breaks. Just warning you friends (in case you notice c…

Snow season

Nope, not at camp yet. But I am stuck in at home with a blizzard still going on and all the highways closed. I coomute to work half an hour down the highway, so - YIPPEE - a day at home. But before we jump up and down too much, a lot of it will be spent clearing snow. These two photos are from last spring at camp. I'll try to get some new shots of the snow around here today. There has to be a metre or so. I can't see through the picture window due to a dappling of freezing rain. The side door only opened enough for two Elkhounds to wiggle through. Haven't tried the front door yet. I could be well and truly stuck in. Alright.

Where have I been?

I wish I could say I've been at my camp. The truth is there are three jobs on the go and no time for me. I haven't been to camp since Thanksgiving in early October and miss it a lot. I will have to go for Christmas or New Year's , depending on when the most reasonable weather comes along. The work on my Nunavut rocks and minerals book has been kicked into high gear, as we approach the end of editing and other team members scramble to contribute their parts. (illustrations, photos, layout desing, etc.). It's fun work and I would love to be able to do this full time. The work in my basement started again in November after a lengthy break. So I have been spending many an end to an evening moving boxes of rocks from one end of the basement to another. There are no light rocks. All rocks are heavy. Once the rooms are all set up and furnoshed, many of the better rocks and minerals will come out to play and be on display. Also as the general contractor for that job, I am ord…

Keep On

(Mink Creek Falls, near Marathon, Ontario)

A friend of mine keeps telling me this. Keep on, he signs off. Makes me smile. I think he is mostly referring to the start I've made in getting set for retirement. Already retired, he's bugging me with all the freedom and fun things he has time to do. Bum. So this phrase is also an inspiration for me and the process has surely begun. I've informed the workplace and the transition of rock-licking power has begun. I haven't set a date yet, but will try to soon, mostly for their peace of mind. Phew! They will exclaim. And they can start searching for that geezly ball cap I'll get on my last day. I am starting to clear things out of my office, little by little. I want to be able to waltz out on the last day, and maybe even do some cartwheels. Yeah right. At least in my mind. At home I am getting my communications systems ready for mobility and a more spartan lifestyle. Of course at camp I have no power or internet, so there co…

A truly Golden Man

A truly Golden Man passed away the other day. My friend MH really knew how to enjoy life and go for it. He will leave a large gap behind. But we have his great example and inspiration to follow. He did it. We can do it. Don't let anything hold you back.

Brodeur Peninsula

Summer in the Arctic. Yes I miss it. Here are some shots by the late great J. Most are of terrain on the Brodeur Peninsula (northwestern extremity of Baffin Island). The community is Arctic Bay, in such a lovely setting. The tent camps are typical modern mineral exploration camps, where geologists will hang out for weeks and months at a time. Quite rugged. and yes, that is snow in the gullies and the north sides of ridges. But it's a dry cold.

Fur Hat People

Tonight was the Santa Claus Parade and I decided to don the silver fox hat to keep the chill away. Same hat as in this photo. The rest of the outfit was different. It's not cold enough outside for a sealskin coat. (must be -20 C or colder for this full length parka).I raced down to the main drag and looked around for some friends. Not finding them I sat down on the edge of a wooden planter box, in the most perfect parade viewing location. A buddy from work and is daughter ambled over and he greeted me with "We noticed the fur hat and had to come and join you". He was wearing a fabulous white wolf hat.I told his daughter that I had requested of several float organizers that a lot of candy be tossed out to the crowds. Buddy and I demonstrated how we would score all the candy with the fur hats as catchers' mitts. His daughter quickly snatched his out of his hands and ran off to try.I didn't see any other fur hatted folk in our vicinity. People had cleverly parked…

Dissolving Arts and Crafts

This project is inspired by Chrissy, an artist hanging on in Geraldine, New Zealand. She gave me the Solve bags and the general instructions. She explained that this soft pliable plastic-like material is made from corn starch. Oce immersed in warm water, the material dissolves away.
With the first dumping of snow coming down around me today, I pulled out the equipment I'd need. I had several types of yarn from New Zealand I wanted to use in this first attempt of a shawl that dissolves away. The 3D glasses are optional.

First, banish the dog to the hallway and cut open one bag. Lay flat.

Start with the black possum and sheep wool product. I just pulled from the centre of the ball and enjoyed the angular "scribblings". A random pattern works best. I laid down some white wool boucle after that.

I looked across the room and my eye caught a silk and yak wool hank I had on the shelf. It begged to be included, and so I had to divert and wind the hank into a ball. I had no clea…

How Gone is Gone?

Undergoing a large renovation is not for the shy. My whirpool was installed in the basement when there weren't any walls roughed in. IT passed inspection a day or two later. It sat there taunting me. Coaxing me. The builder has a key to my house; soundlessly letting himself in and out as his moonlighting schedule allows. The electrician pops in an out along the same lines. I just leave the door open for him when I suspect he's coming. So there goes your privacy. There goes your evening enjoyment of the whirlpool tub. Particularly when there were no walls or doors. Thankfully the plumber came in, did his job quickly and was away.
Are they gone? Are they gone for good? Maybe he just went back to his shop to get some tools???? Maybe a run out to A&W for a burger?? So you twiddle your thumbs and dare not plunge into the pool.
A neat new tracking tool has come to my attention recently. It combines the analytical skills of a GPS with the communication skills of a sat phone that l…

get your rocks off

Okay, I know many of you are doubting that I am a geologist. I never write about it here. So here's a few fly by shootings. Once the house is renovated and organized, I'll try to set up my new close up studio. In the meantime, yeah, I have a few rocks and things lying around.
The man in the core is extremely special to me. I found him one day (or he found me) logging core in Northern Manitoba. The rock is an Archean gneiss. It forms the country rock to the deposit we were investigating, and as such, we logged through this stuff with ultimate speed and brevity. But this day I felt that I was no longer alone in the core shack. I looked all around me. Spooked, I checked all the doorways. I came back to the core and for some reason flipped over this piece of core. And there he was. He has travelled with me everywhere since our chance meeting. My little micaceous Mexican.

And I'll make an effort to write some posts about geology. I promise.

Rather than list all the mineral and r…