Thursday, February 07, 2008

Early Morning Puzzle...

It's 7:00 am and I’m just finishing up breakfast here at the Quality Inn on Carlingview in Toronto. Looking around the restaurant over my second coffee I note that there are around 100 of us here, all men. Where are the business women? Fully believing in the best person getting the job no matter whom or what they are I started wondering and came up with some theories. Maybe you can help me iron them out a bit and I welcome all comments from all sides of the fence.

One: All the business women are too smart to book meetings and travel for the early morning. They probably even got to wherever they had to get to yesterday so they could get a decent night’s sleep and rise the next morning at a reasonable hour, not 5:00 am as I did.

Two: The men are all so paranoid about the possibility of a woman taking over their jobs that they can’t sleep. This forces them to congregate in small huddled groups either before or just after dawn, pretending to enjoy the camaraderie of their equally paranoid competitors.

Three: Perhaps, as in my case the timing just wasn’t right. I would have preferred to take the train from Sudbury but on this occasion “time was of the essence” and a quick fly down and back was called for. Or…

Four: Maybe they are like me and just enjoy watching the world come alive with the sun over that first coffee of the day. Of course, here in Toronto I can’t say that the world ever comes alive. In the self-proclaimed “Centre of the Universe” all I see is dirt, slush, smog and traffic. Who in their right mind would ever consider this life? A life sentence maybe, but certainly not life. Give me the open skies and clean air of Manitoulin Life any day!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Someone asked me this week if I was going to write a book when I retire. It’s certainly something I’ve thought about but the answer has to be no. The main problem with me writing a book about my 35 years with The Hudson’s Bay Company and The North West Company is that too many people are still alive. I can think of more than a few happenings that would make at least a TV movie but there is no way I could afford the certain lawsuits!

Actually I’m just joking as there are lots of little things that could be told. Things like me being lectured by a fellow in Mistassini because I cut down a living tree and learning that “you never kill anything you’re not going to eat” for example. How about the time we chased the bears up the river bank with only .22 caliber rifles and me finding out later that the bullet in the chamber was a dud and didn’t fire?

How about lighting up the muskeg with ski-doo headlights in the middle of a winter night so the DC-3 bringing the students back home from school for Christmas would be able to land? Along the same theme how about stuffing black garbage bags with snow and laying them out on the drifts so the Twin Otters with our grocery supplies could have some sense of depth perception while trying to land in the mountains of Salluit?

Having to go to work by helicopter when it was freeze-up or break-up time in Moosonee and Moose Factory… Seeing half the sky blacked out when the geese all took wing at the same time at the mouth of the Severn River… Watching 500+ white beluga whales feeding in the Churchill River one evening… Glaciers on Baffin Island… White-out on the Barren Lands… Fish ‘n Brewis with Scrunchions and Cod Tongues in Labrador…

Hmmm… maybe I should give that book some thought.