Favourite Books

  • The Green Mile
  • Animal Farm
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Lord of the Rings
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Communication Breakdown

  The world has changed dramatically since I joined the work force. Back in the old days, some folks who worked off in the middle of no where, had radios. This allowed them to communicate with others , like fellow log trucks way off in the boonies. Well, in truth, besides the odd lucky duck with a satellite phone, truck drivers were the ones you would seek out if you had some sort of emergency in the middle of some highway.
  Today, crap... sources of communication are everywhere. I am probably the single person who refuses a cell phone, because, I really have no need to have constant contact with the rest of the world. I, personally enjoy that time that I work, when I am not interrupted by a ringing phone, or dings when someone texts, or a new post goes on my facebook page. I frigging hate that continual noise! I have never gotten over the fear of picking up the phone to hear a bill collector, or someone who is p*ssed to the gills, wanting to chatter away, when I want to do something else. The only phone calls I get now(on my trusty old land line) are from a very few friends, or family, and I like it that way!
  But...many jobs rely on cell phone communication. There is absolutely NO excuse for employees to be left in the dark when they request answers.
   I may not have a cell phone, but I know how they work (sort of). When a text is sent the recipient is notified, by some sort of ding, vibration, chicken squawk , whatever. So....if there is no reply, the sender knows they have been ignored. They have been slated as non-important, because if they do not receive an answer within hours, or...days, the recipient has decided not to answer. A reply does not take a long time, even a reply that they will get back when they are not busy, well, that is decent and proper. Cell phones should come with an etiquette manual, because, they are powerful tools! Cell phones are machines that can make or break relationships, friendships, and, yes, jobs! They are the rudest things in the world, and, the most annoying. They rule lives, suddenly, the world has become a place that a small bundle of metal and wires controls people.
 Yes, around these parts, we have the issue of loss of service, dead zones are all about. However, most folks with these phones know darn well when they are back in service. I doubt anyone would sit still without driving a little farther to get signal back, they would be concerned they might miss something important on their phones.
  So...when a sender takes the time to contact someone with what they feel is a very important matter, one that impacts their world greatly, an impact caused by the "someone", they need an answer. Everyone knows there is a time period that is acceptable, and understandable. Maybe out of service, maybe phone shut off because of job requirements, but, there is a limit to the time period. Once that time has passed, the sender knows they have been deemed unimportant, and that is when the problems of the "new world" come into play.
  Phone call being ignored used to be a simple matter, but, limited. See, phone calls to a land line, especially one like mine without an answering machine, well, hey..if I don't answer it, I might not be home, I have a pretty decent excuse. Ignoring a cell phone call, or text, well, there is no excuse, the evidence of the call is there, on both sides. Cell phone evidence is held up in court..it is powerful, and deadly. Ignoring a cell text or call is telling the sender you do not want to talk or deal with them. I think it is as rude as a slap in the face. The recipient is clearly telling the sender they are not important enough for a minute of their time, a minute to use those fingers to push a couple of buttons to send a reply. Wow...did their mother never teach them manners?
  The amount of time folks spend on their cell phones, there is no excuse for unanswered texts or calls, except the fact they didn't feel the need, they decided it was not worth their minute of time.
  I am so glad I do not have to worry that someone will make me feel so small, as to not answer a message from me, that I feel is very important. I am so glad I work at a job, that , if I feel the need to speak to my employer, I can corner her in her office, and talk face to face.
  The world is changing, it is filled with convenience, the ability to contact others 24-7, with the touch of a few buttons. However, this ability carries a heavy price. To ignore a text or a missed call, speaks volumes, and there is no doubt the message an unreturned text sends. Be very careful with those little bundles of metal, because small as they are, they can blow up in your face!

Monday, 16 February 2015

Crocodile Smiles

Got something boiling right now, but...decided I would start off with a little tidbit on personalities.
     See, I am outspoken..yep I accept that many call me a big mouth, perhaps a little aggressive, but, this is not within my control..this is me!! Most may not understand, more times I swallow back a ton of stuff, things that if they begin to spill from my lips, will not stop, and cause a bit of grief both for myself, and whoever is on the other side. I am outspoken, but, I could be , oh so much worse. See, speaking out uses energy. To argue, to debate, to communicate, at least in my world, will actually give me an adrenaline rush, and afterwards I am like an empty shell. If I were to spew every time I felt the urge, I would probably be much thinner, and also impossible to live with. I try and pick my battles, and I am usually a sobby mess if I find myself in a battle I had no heads up for, but I will fight, with words.
  As one often hears, opposite's attract. My honey is completely different. He seldom speaks loudly, in fact most times I can barely hear him. He is the quiet guy, but, you know what? It is true, you must always worry about the quiet ones. They simmer. Folks like me have a quick boil and then everyting cools down. The quiet ones, they don't show any expression, they are definitely introverts of the highest order, everything stays inside, until there is no room left, and then they explode. I have not see my honey explode, except maybe once in all these years, and that was defused before any damage.
  Expressions speak volumes. I, as a mother, have managed to build an amazing repertoire of expressions, and those who have spent time with me, are privy to most of my expressions, and can instantly gauge my mood. Some folks do not speak with their faces.
  To explain those silent expression people, I am reminded of the father of the boy I babysat for many years. Most of the time, his Mom, my friend, would pick him up at the end of the day. But sometimes during the first year, his Dad would stop by and get him. I didn't know his Dad well, he worked away from home most of the time, and was a very busy man. The knock would come at the door, I would open it, and there would be Herb. He is a man of few words, and like my honey, he did not speak with his face. I thought he did not like me, and deep down inside he wished he didn't have to deal with me. He scared me, because his face was not open. He is a quiet man, but one who carries himself with great bearing. He doesn't need to speak with expressions, like my honey, he does not feel the need to smile, just because, but like Chuck, when he does speak out, it is not a battle, it is a clear ,concise statement of fact. After time, I realized he was not mad, nor did he dislike me, he was calm, and peaceful, and comfortable in his place. My son spent 1/2 his childhood with this man, as we were second families to each others sons, and he saw this man laugh, just like he saw his Dad laugh. Like me, with this man, I have had people tell me that my honey scares them, because he always seems grouchy. Just because a person does not walk around with a constant smile on their face, does not mean they are grouchy or miserable, they just don't feel the need to express their feelings to the rest of the world.
  Now, on the other hand, there are some folks who make a point of seeming to be the nicest, happiest people on the planet. Their goal is life is to ensure the world only sees one side of them, the smiling side. We all know people like this.."oh Joe Blow, he is the nicest guy in the world, everyone likes him". Well, if they are not Mother Theresa, giving all they own to the poor and downtrodden, they are fake!! They are putting on a false front because they fear someone will actually see them for who they really are. These people, I am afraid, are not to be trusted. Like me, swallowing  a ton of what cannot be let out of the cage, these people are holding back the unsavory side of themselves. If this side somehow is glimpsed by another, they may as well forget to try and tell a single soul about that black side, because..."oh not Joe Blow, he is ever so nice". See Joe Blow is the one to watch for, the nicey nice person, not the grouchy, scary quiet person, who is not trying to convince the world how nice they are. They don't need to smile and holler with their faces, they don't pretend, they are what you see. The "nicest" guy in the world,like me, has to work very hard .He uses all his energy to pretend, but sometimes like me, he runs out of energy, and the real Joe Blow rears his ugly head.
  My ugly head is my lack of self control when it comes to things that p*ss me off. I can't be the quiet one with the ability to withstand blow after blow. I speak out, loud and clear and say my piece, I am easy to see through. I do not hide behind a false front, I am naked to the world, and I find it the easiest way to survive. My ugly is there for all to see. I cannot hide it behind a smile, I cannot waste my energy trying to pretend to the world I am nice, when I , like Joe Blow, know I am not. I try my best not to lie. I don't do well with secrets, if they will hurt those I care for. I do not abuse others for personal gain, because, then I would always owe them, and I have no wish to owe anyone, besides of course the government (O.K. I wish I didn't owe them) and bill collectors (wish I didn't owe them too). I am simply a big mouth who smiles, sometimes, cries others, and spews often.
 There are crocodile tears all over the place, but the really scary things, what you have to truly be on the look out for, are crocodile smiles!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Red Riding Hood

 One of the things about blogging from the gut, I pretty much put myself right out there, in full view. I say what I think and feel, and...that is what makes me unique. I have lost the fear of what others think of me, I am not out to impress a single soul, I have simply found a way to vent that suits my fancy. Once the publish button is clicked, I have sent my thoughts and feelings out to the world, and they are welcome to read it, and voice their own opinions...hey...debates are good.
  That said, I tend to get some things stuck in my "craw" as they used to say, and, although I may not know all the facts, I develop my own feelings in matters and, become somewhat pigheaded. Hey, my Mom used to say I was stubborn as a mule, and I am afraid that has not changed, perhaps it has even become stronger. I try (a little) to be understanding of opposing opinions. Cripes, don't ever think I concentrate on one side, without balancing the other, but, most of the time, the scales tip all the way, and it is impossible to even twitch a little to change my feelings.
  So....first off, I have to tell you, I am not opposed to hunting. I am not opposed to farming, or ranching. I have to say this, because as I go further, I am afraid my thoughts might make those friends I do have, that work in these professions think I don't give a crap about their livelihoods. I think they are amazing folks, who chose to spend their lives in a world that requires them to work 24-7, a difficult world that I know damn well I could never manage.
  In regards to hunting, hey, know plenty of folks who enjoy this, I personally do NOT enjoy the hunt, I do however, often enjoy the result of the hunt. I don't want animal heads and stuffed weasels placed about my home, but...then again, I certainly am not opposed to a lovely Lynx coat, or a toasty warm buffalo robe. My honey , well, although he has not had the opportunity in years, does enjoy hunting. I have told him, I don't want to go along, because...see, although I will eat game, I could not swallow it, (nor hamburger) down, if I looked in the animals eyes, and then watched it die, and then had it sitting on my plate. I would accept sitting in the truck, hearing the shot, and then heading into the bush to help pack whatever out, and chomp down a plateful at supper. Hey, didn't see it standing and looking, so...That is who I am. I certainly can't help how I feel, that's just the way things are. That is also why I could never farm. I just do not have it in my makeup to raise an animal, or bird, only to have to kill it, and eat it, or even sell it, and have a truck come to haul it away, knowing full well, it is heading off to be slaughtered. This is me!! I understand I am not the same as everyone else, but..I know full well there are plenty others who feel the same as I do.
  So, I respect those who farm, ranch, and hunt. They are ,perhaps stronger than I am. Hunting has allowed mankind to survive, I am just grateful I did not have to rely on my abilities to survive before butchers and packaged meat!
  However, I have started to focus on something the government of B.C. has set in motion, this is, of course, the Wolf kill. Now, most things that tick me off intensely, are usually things government has their thick arms up to their elbows in. Nothing is as capable of mindblowing f*ckups as government.
  Years ago, this region had some pretty decent Caribou herds. [ Excerpt from "Disturbing The Peace" ]
 The downstream interviewees all described devastating impacts on the once large woodland caribou herd that had covered the hills during their migration. The population had been decimated by the dam and had dwindled into small remnant herds that dispersed from the region. How they and other wildlife died was captured in horrifying accounts. As Napolean describes the scene: “The water was full of floating trees, debris and turbidity. Whole trees would suddenly shoot up from the bottom. With the migration route cut off, the caribou and moose tried to swim across but they couldn’t make it to the bank because the log jams and debris on the shores prevented them. They slipped and drowned because they couldn’t get out. The water was full of bloated corpses.”
  Now the caribou have dwindled off. The WAC Bennet Dam did serious damage to the eco system, Mother Nature was body slammed. Then the government decided they were going to relocate Elk out near Dunlevy in the 1990's, because those animals had declined in numbers. Those who lived in this area know more about the sh*t that occurred with that "fix". Wildlife numbers going awry, and the experts need to find a reason,, although no one seemed to give a rats behind about the caribou numbers when the land was flooded with a lake full of water. In fact...because I spent day after day listening to all the comments during the Joint Review Panel regarding Site C, and mixed in to the hours of recordings were questions regarding a herd of Caribou that would be impacted with this next dam. I have to do some more searching to find the blip, but it is out there, with BC Hydro's experts stating the herd is too small, and not really viable, any remaining ones will likely connect up with another larger herd. So......not much concern from that side of government.
  Suddenly it has been decided that Wolves are the culprits. There are too many of them!! They are killing livestock, they are killing the Caribou, they must be removed.
  I understand, Wolves are the Pit Bulls of the wild. They are the mosquitos of summer, the (pardon the pun) Black sheep of the family. They are feared by farmers and ranchers, and rightly so, but, they are products of Mother Nature. They are the top of the chain out in the bush.(well in a pack, not by themselves like a single Grizzly), but even the sound of their howls can send chills up one's back. They ARE the call of the wild, they are feared and they are the killers. But, in truth, man cannot be the single killer in these parts. Yes, right now, our government has set man out to cull the Elk, allowing draws on pregnant females, to try and cut down the herd, that's O.K. too many Elk..of course not sure why they didn't lay the blame for this on some animal running about, but...back to the Caribou. See. I have learned a tiny bit, wondering why wolves have no taste for Elk and a massive appetite for Caribou..it is because they tend to wander about out in the open (Caribou) unlike Elk who normally, except when they are standing in a huge herd eating hay off a farmer's livestock pile, tend to stay in the bush. Also access to the higher feeding ground for the Caribou now have lovely roads leading the animals right to the meat counter, because "man" is accessing these areas during winter on snowmobiles, packing the deep snow, and enabling the wolves, who don't normally like to hike through deep snow, to follow the yellow brick road.
 So, on one hand, our government is not concerned about one caribou herd, because they feel the loss with Site C will be mitigated (somehow), but, on the other hand, they are going to send snipers up in helicopters to shoot wolves. The video aired on CBC regarding the hunt was disgusting, and the idea that we are to accept the solution to the loss of caribou is to kill off a whopping number of wolves, may indeed allow a slight increase, but...once the mega Dam project gets underway...will wolves really matter? Who is the real problem here? Who has been screwing with the conservation of all wild animals? I personally believe the culprits have 2 legs, and not four, and they are on their way to make a total mess of everything,.But again, we have only the two extremes, the pros and the negative Nelly's. The moment the real wolves in sheep clothing admit to their mistakes. perhaps I may gain a tiny flicker of faith in government, until then, I will remain one of the Greenies, one of the tree hugging, wolf loving, flower power ,bleeding heart twits, hated passionately by Red Riding Hood.
  Caribou, Elk, wolves, what is next on the list of screw-ups? Oh yeah..moving onto Farmers, and Ranchers, who will be fewer in number once the Dam goes in. Guess that is the next, great government kill. I will now stop huffing and puffing, because just like the big bad wolf, nothing I do, is going to change the course of government!

Thursday, 5 February 2015

If We Could Turn Back Time

 Social media has brought some pretty awesome stuff with it, but....it has also opened up some nasty little holes that allows some extremely hurtful stuff to spew about. I admit, I enjoy using the internet to rant, and spew and vomit about stuff that drives me batty, but....it might be hurtful to some, but, never is it aimed at those who are weakest, and hurting. What seems to happen over and over again on the one particular social media source I peruse is, a total lack of consideration for those who are suffering.
  See, this is the second time I have felt compelled to write after tragic events hit other families, and I became appalled by the cold hearted statements made in regards to these events with no thought or compassion to those who either would see these statements, or probably at some point become aware of them.
  Are there so many out there who have never experienced the loss of a loved one? Are people so selfish and cruel that they don't consider the feelings of those affected so deeply with a loss, that they are sensitive, and broken? To have your lives turned upside down by tragedy, you become fragile, words comfort but they also wound, deeply. This is a time in a person's life, that they will never forget, they will remember every moment of the pain, and suffering. They will remember those who wrapped their arms around to provide love and healing, and they will certainly never forget those who decided to ignore humanity and dig the wound deeper with angry bitter words.
   It so happens, yet another terrible accident happened, in which 2 lives were lost. In my world, that is what happened. 2 families were informed they would no longer be the same. 2 people loved by many, had suddenly ceased to exist, never to come in the door to their loved ones, never to laugh, never to take part in all that is still to come for those left behind.
  I don't know many of the facts behind this accident. What I do know is, one of those lost was a 31 yr. old father and husband, and one was an 18 year old possibly with a child as well. So, that means one or two extremely young children will grow up without their father, 2 women will be left without their partners, 2 sets of parents without their sons, 4 sets of grandparents without their grandsons, siblings without their brother, aunts and uncles without their nephews, friends without their friends. So many people in pain, I know that pain, and I feel a tiny piece of what each of those who have lost feel, and will feel forever.
  Does the matter of fault have any bearing on what all these lives are suffering now? Does it make a single bit of difference in how all of this is going to affect the loss? Is one families suffering of less consequence because their deceased loved one made a deadly mistake? Are there actually those who are so ignorant that they feel this mistake was by choice? Is blame going to make one family feel better?
 If only we could turn back time, just for a single moment, then the chances are, the mistake would never have happened. Do we really believe that one of those involved didn't want to go home, instead they wanted to perish, and cause another to lose their life at the same time? Of course not!!
  There are NOT two separate groups , social media has those who place blame, with the belief this makes one family different. Those same people feel justified dismissing the hurt and suffering of another. This is stupidity! No one else was in control, this all happened because of a mistake, one I am certain was not imagined, one that had horrific results. These families all have one thing in common, one I wish on no one, they have a hole in their worlds.
  I pray that they all have arms to wrap about them, to hold and comfort. We cannot go back, this has happened, and all of those hurt will have to find a way to continue, broken and hurt. Those who feel that blame has any place in this mess, will one day, perhaps realize, it doesn't matter to those who lose.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Wya Point and Puppy Dog Tears

  Hey, bear with me, I am going to attempt to meld two things together, and hope they mix well.
First off, I am not a tour operator, travel agent or anything resembling those professions. I am simply a lowly toilet bowl scrubber, who works in a tiny town, in the oldest hotel, dealing with poop and other nasty things, and trying my best to clean up other folk's acts. I do not have high expectations when traveling, because....we do it so seldom. Most of our vacations are simply packing our stuff, and our pets into a travel trailer and heading out into the boonies, and, I love this!! But, because of all the hub bub that occurred this past year, the trailer is sold, and we did not get our usual 2 weeks in the bush.
  Because I AM getting up in years, I have a small bucket list on the go. Some of the dreams are a bit more difficult to bring into reality, like my trip to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands, but...hey, they are on the list. One of the top listings, however, was Storm Watching. My honey and I decided this would be our Christmas gift to each other, and we went about ensuring it was all we wanted. Nope, didn't want the fabulous Wickaninnish where all the high end folks go, and others who wish to take a peek at the good life, dish out a small fortune, to step inside.
 That's just not us, I hate crowds, and I hate sharing space (basically why we generally hit the boonies). I had a ton of wants, I wanted peace, quiet, relaxation, beaches, rocks, waves, and...no people!! Sure I wanted nice, who doesn't. We spent tons of time checking out places, and one day, I saw the perfect place..it just popped up, it was cedar, it was right on the beach, it had trees, and balconies, and it was new and not over run by tourists. It is a First Nations owned and operated Resort, on their own land, and wow..it is beautiful!
  We organized months in advance, one of the most difficult things was, what to do with the dogs? Well, Sir Rupert, our oldest, of course would depart to his BFF's , he is a welcome guest there, and is treated as well, if not better than in his own home. But..we have a second dog, a female, and there was no way we were going to let a girl get between two good friends, so it was decided she would travel out to Fort St John where we would get our flight, and stay with my oldest daughter. Hey, she has two female dogs, they know each others, she has a yard, and kids. We packed up her food and pillow and dropped her off. Like all concerned parents, we stood by and watched to see if she would settle in, and off she went, oblivious to us, all was good.
  The trip to the lodge was a little hairy, 6 hours from Victoria, in the pitch black, with rain pouring down, on a stretch of highway I am sure they placed every slow to 30-50-60 sign the government owns, but..oh so worth every minute.
  I admit, I am NOT an easy person to please. We seldom spend money on ourselves, and I have high expectations when we "dish out" for something. Wya Point was worth every penny! I know, we were there off season, we picked the key up for our lodge from another motel in Ucluelet. Wind was blowing, rain pouring down, I was in heaven! O.K. we were both fed up with the driving in the dark, and still had to follow the map to find the place. We were told to open the gate and close it behind ourselves..hey, this sounds pretty darn good, already. Just doing this small job had me soaked to the bones, but, I was surrounded by old growth forest, the smells were intense, I could see ferns and moss, in the headlights, already I knew we had made the right choice. It was a nice drive amongst the trees to the actual lodges, and we found our own piece of paradise when we arrived at the Salmon Lodge.
 Beyond the well appointed lodge, with windows overlooking the beach just a moments walk down the trail, and the balcony allowing full view of the ocean, we had a wonderful fireplace that was used to dry our clothes after our constant hikes about the rocks, and along the beaches. They even had lovely blankets so we could cuddle up on the couch and just listen to the surf. No TV, no radio, no wiifii, absolute peace and tranquility. We had 3 beaches all to ourselves..Again, this was off season, it is likely not the same when the place is packed, but, it was the perfect time for us.
  The second night, a phonecall. Our younger dog had to be brought home. She apparently woke up in the morning and her eyes were swollen shut. A quick call to the Vet, with the explanation that she was being watched for us, and...it appears this is a sign of stress, sort of a way dogs cry. Helloooo.. Moments after arriving home and having Sir Rupert dropped off to spend the night with her and the kids, her eyes opened up. Yes, she is a sensitive dog, and has never been without us and her big "brother", but goodness, all of this curfuffle, after one night away? I got to thinking about all those folks who give their dogs away after years, this was one night..what would happen if life changed completely for her? I realize at our age, our dogs are probably far more important in our lives than younger folks. Yes, we spoil them, but in return we receive unconditional love, and they understand they get fed, protected, and love from us as well.
 Now, we know, the next trip we take, we will probably have to arrange for them to stay at home, together, it is very unlikely either of them will ever see the inside of a kennel, as this experience was obviously too much for "Shy". We simply cannot pack up and waltz off on another amazing vacation. We are pet parents, and perhaps the next time, and there will be a next time, we go to Wya Point, our beloved dogs will get to scratch Storm watching off their bucket lists? Just don't want any more puppy dog tears.