Monday, July 28, 2008

P I G hogs ............ and cats

On Saturday morning we went to Salmon Arm with 3 bags of dirty laundry and a shopping list. We stopped on the east side of town at a U-Pick orchard that we go to every year. Marilyn took a big stainless bucket into the cherry orchard and I headed down to the raspberries with two ice cream pails. One hour and $28 later we were on our way with about 2 gallons of cherries and maybe a little less raspberries. Hard as it may be to believe, we have managed to chew our way through most of that fruit already. We've got less than a combined total of a gallon of cherries and raspberries left. They were WONDERFUL. The cherries are big and juicy. The raspberries were just barely ready to pick which actually worked out well because they are keeping, although they won't have to keep much longer.

G-II is getting to be well known around the campground. We now walk the perimeter of the campground (probably 35 acres) at least once a day. He goes and hides if he realizes that I am getting ready to take him for his walk but the silly part is that he really enjoys it, once we get out of sight of the bus. He is almost impossible to drag away from the bus but once we get away from it then he turns into Mr. Sociable. He rubs up against everyone we meet, including all the dogs. He gets lots of attention from all the little girls in the park. He watches squirrels and cowers whenever we meet a "big noise" (car or truck). But most of the time he just puts his tail up in the air and drags me along about as fast as I can walk. Once he gets back close to the bus then he really starts to drag me and when he gets back inside he usually collapses next to his water dish and pants for about 15 minutes.

Yesterday we took a couple and their 3 kids on the water for ski lessons. Two of the kids were pretty little but they got a feel for skiing on the boom. Mom & Dad had a great time - we got him up on skis and she skied first and then wakeboarded for her first time. That's probably what we enjoy the most about being out here - taking kids that have never done anything other than sit on a tube on the water and teaching them to do something athletic that they will then be able to do for the rest of their lives. This couple is here for another week so we will take them out again. We find that it works best if the kids get a day on the water, then sleep on it and then go back again. Somehow our brain gets all the new motor skills sorted out over night and the 2nd time always goes much better. Even when they don't actually get up the first time, they seem to learn from it and the 2nd time goes way better.

Marilyn has stopped calling wakeboarding the sport of fat old broads but she still gets amazed looks from the young punks on the wakeboard boats when we pass them or when we go under the Mara bridge and they are looking down from the top.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Long time - no post

I guess we must have been busy.

Marlan was out here for a week with his friend Mitch and his family. He mixed his time between them, us and all of us. They had their boat out here too but didn't use it much because I think they liked ours better. The boys spent as much time as they could manage about 55 feet behind our boat. They are both really strong wakeboarders so it was fun to watch them doing their thing on the water.

Marilyn has also turned into a wakeboarding fool. She gets out every chance she has and doesn't want to come out of the water once she gets over the initial cold shock. It hasn't been really warm out here until the last week or so which leaves the water temperatures a little below what we are used to out here. The river is also still higher than usual for this time of year but it is starting to drop fast now.

Last week I went back to Saskatchewan for a few days to meet with some FCC clients in SW Sask. I had a quick visit with Mom & Dad at the same time. Marilyn took me to Kelowna and picked me up there. We had supper with Fred and Shawna when I got back. We hadn't seen Shawna for several years but we did see Fred at Anne's 100th birthday last summer.

Jorgito has a new friend. There are a couple of families here now that we know from previous trips out here. They have a collie pup - maybe 2 months old. It is an absolute cutie and I think George even likes it a bit too. Despite the fact that its favorite thing to do when they get together is chew on George's tail. He puts up with that for a while and then smacks it but I'm sure he realizes that it is a puppy because he is pretty gentle when he disciplines it. Last night I was over visiting the pup's owners and their young daughters took George and the pup for a "walk". It was a walk in name only because George really only walks for me and the pup clearly doesn't have a clue about walking on a leash yet. I think most of the time both of them were getting carried except for when George thought they were headed for the bus. On those occasions he led the way.

Our days are full - we try to work a full day on Sask. time and then play well into the evening on BC time. Yesterday I took a couple of hours off in the morning to take the puppy's owners and girls out on the river. We got mom up on skis and the youngest girl (6 maybe) up on skis. Her older sister and cousin got up on the boom but couldn't master the short line so the little girl was pretty proud of herself. I'm always surprised by the difference in what kids master and at what speed. Before we went on the water I would have bet that the little girl wouldn't even get up on the boom. The smallest skis we have are clearly too big for her and little kids usually don't have the coordination to manage floating in the water, controlling their legs and skis and keeping their arms out for long enough to get started. She did that with flying colours while her older siblings just couldn't get it all together. I told them we would take them out again on Thursday so that they can practice what they learned. I find that kids generally do much better the second time out. It seems as though sleeping on the new skills allows their brain to process what they are doing and the second time out it becomes much easier for them. The little one is convinced that she can get up on the long line now and she may just be right. We'll see. Meanwhile mom is hooked on skiing and can't wait to get out again despite getting two big bruises on her thigh and somehow managing to smash her knuckles between the ski and the handle - I'm not sure what was going on there - she was explaining it to me last night but I still don't know how she did it. It certainly hasn't dampened her enthusiasm so I guess it can't have been too bad.

It sounds like we will be changing our travel plans. Mom & dad are going through a bad spell so we will likely end up back in Regina for August. We're are still semi-expecting RJ out here for the August long weekend but after that our plans are fairly flexible.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


This guy Turner (not that Turner, the other one) needs more publicity. It shouldn't come as a surprise to any sentient Canadian that the Libs have an agenda to steal from western Canada and give back to Bay Street but this guy actually enunciates the agenda:

"As for Dion, he will move from Calgary to Edmonton, where he’s to have an open, Town Hall meeting on his climate change plan. You might not agree with everything the man says, but you have to admire this about him. He stood up once to the self-aggrandizing, hostile, me-first, greedy, macho, selfish and balkanizing separatist losers in Quebec. I guess he can do it again in Alberta."

You go Garth! Tell 'em like it is. You keep it coming and we'll help you get the word out.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Organic garbage food

We generally avoid buying anything that has an "organic" label on two accounts. First because all of it is ridiculously overpriced and second because it is generally of lower quality than high yield production. Nowhere is that more obvious than what we just experienced with new potatoes. Of course the left coast is in love with the supposed eco-benefits from low input production. (I refuse to submit to the eco-terror that has perverted the meaning of the word "organic"). When we go to the farmers' markets out here every stall claims to be low input and even the grocery stores are increasingly succombing to the public hysteria.

So we bought a couple of bags of new potatoes because among the other traits I have inherited from my paternal grandfather, love of new potatoes is probably the strongest. The problem with low input potatoes is that they have no natural disease resistance and by definition can't have any artificial protection. So they start out scabbier than I would like but they quickly deteriorate in storage from the growth of mold and fungus. Today I peeled more than 25% of the material off the remaining rapidly decomposing new potatoes and boiled them so that much will at least survive. Marilyn is going to Salmon Arm tomorrow where she will search Safeway and Overwaitea for some healthy new potatoes.

I expect that 100+ years from now people will look back on this time and view it much as we now view the dark ages. We have foresaken the benefits that science and technology has brought us and we are embarked on a path of ruin based on emotion and feelings. The pendulum will inevitably swing back to science but not until we have killed off a substantial number of people for no reason whatsoever other than that society as a whole is too stupid to understand the science that we have spent the last 100 years developing.

We had a great weekend in Medicine Hat / Airdrie. On the way east we stopped up in Rogers Pass to take a picture of our newest son. We have pictures of the other three taken in the same spot so we wanted to make sure we got a picture of Georgie there too. Karla has never been by there so she is our only child that we don't have a picture of taken under those arches. When I had father's slides scanned I'm sure there was a picture of us taken there when we were kids. Someday when I have nothing better to do I should round up all the pictures and make a Rogers Pass collage.

George very much did not like the hotel room we had in Medicine Hat so we only stayed one night there. Thursday when we arrived we more or less went straight over to the hall for the graduation exercises. We got there almost an hour before they were due to start but that wasn't anywhere near soon enough to get good seats.

We hustled back to Airdrie after the supper Friday night and spent the weekend sort of working and helping Camiel and Alison get ready for their big party Monday night. I hope Alison didn't pay a damage deposit on those white linen tablecloths she rented! It gets pretty exciting when you dunk 15 steaks into 35 litres of hot oil in a 40 litre pot. Maybe it was only 30 litres of oil. The crowd was a little nervous when I fired up the torch because it sounds like a jet warming up. It takes a lot of heat to bring 30 litres of canola oil up to 400 degrees. And it takes a lot of heat to hold it there when you keep dipping cold steaks into the oil every 5 minutes or so. I love the moment when the first steaks hit the oil because everybody is nervous already from the noise of the torch and then when the steaks hit the oil and the fire leaps up you can almost hear them say "I knew it!". We didn't lose any tablecloths but Alison probably won't get her damage deposit back on one of them if they check it carefully. Marlan and RJ showed up around 5:00 on Monday so I ended up with some pictures of the evening - thank you Marlan. RJ went to some beef hoity-toity seminar with Alison on Tuesday. Now he'll be able to name drop when he gets back to Saskatoon this fall or maybe even argue with the occasional prof - "that's not what Dr. Hoity Toity from the University of North Carolina thinks about that!!!"