Monday, June 30, 2008

Itchy and Scratchy

Well I’ve gone and done it again. Yup, poison ivy wins the round again this year. Last time I know exactly when I got it and that was because I was cleaning out old vegetation from the bush near the house. This time I have no idea. It had to have been when I mowed the lawn down near the beach but I sure don’t remember seeing any of the stuff down there.

At any rate, there is no cure for the rash and itch other than time but I’ve found that the Watkins Red Clover salve or Burn Cream seem to work the best at keeping the stuff from driving you crazy. It’s funny though because up until last year poison ivy never bothered me but I understand from doing a little research that it only takes one exposure too many to put you “over the top” and start the reactions. I was also reading up where after you get it once it comes back more and more easily all the time because if it gets into your system it’s there forever just waiting to rear up again at the least little provocation. Guess I’ll just have to spend the summers sitting on the deck instead of doing yard work. Hey… maybe there IS a good side to having poison ivy around the house. Heh, heh, heh…

(Photo courtesy of a “Creative Commons” license from the melissambwilkins' photostream on Flickr.)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

June 20 - Departure from Old Crow

Normally when I leave a community I have some sense of either letdown or relief.

Today, as we head out towards Inuvik from Old Crow I’m not sure what I feel. Is it perhaps a twinge of disappointment at once again running out of time to get everything done that I’d wanted to? It’s always “I need one more day” and that’s the story of my life lately, I guess. The goal is always to leave a store in better shape than when I found it so it’s “Mission Accomplished” once again… but there was so much more that could and should be done at this location.

So, I’m not sure what I’m feeling upon this departure. Maybe the closest I can come actually is relief. Relief that I’ve survived another one and relief that if all goes well then this sojourn completes my 35 year career with first The Hudson’s Bay Company and now The North West Company. Since heading out in August 1973 to my first posting in Mistassini I’ve worked in (or at least visited) 76 stores and travelled from coast to coast to coast many times. The scenery on this trip has been some of the most spectacular from the Niagara Escarpment to the Prairies to the Rockies to the Mackenzie Delta and the Arctic Ocean.

How lucky can a guy get to see all that and have someone else pay the tab? Lots of openings with TNWC these days in all areas of the country and stores so if you are interested in a great life with lots of perks just let me know and I’ll help get you started with talking to the right people. See 'ya later!

June 21 - Cheers to you my friends...

I had said that I would have a beer for you two in Vancouver Friday night but I’m afraid that just wasn't possible. By the time the flight from Whitehorse got into town and the shuttle bus deposited me at the hotel it was just too late.

They put me up at the Comfort Inn and of course this particular location had no lounge. There was a beer and wine store just down the street but they were closing up while I was completing my check in, sigh….

So I’m afraid that this toast to Fred and Debra is a day late and couple thousand miles away from the intended location. The glass of cool Rickard’s Red I have in my hand is being raised at the Hog Town Bar & Grill at Pearson Airport in Toronto… but the meaning and intentions are still the same. Here’s to the next time we meet!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

June 22 - 3:00am

Well it’s 3:00 am… I’m back on Manitoulin… a glass of brandy in my hand… the world is fine… and I’m content.

Over the next few days I’ll be posting various ramblings that I’ve sketched out notes on during my travel of the past couple days. I left the store in Old Crow Friday morning about 9:00 am and arrived home about an hour ago. Routing back was almost the same as outbound over a month ago and went Old Crow, Inuvik, Dawson City, Whitehorse, Vancouver (overnight), Winnipeg, Toronto, Sudbury. Gloria picked me up at the airport and after avoiding several deer and one fox (but falling prey to a large double-double from Tim’s) we arrived home without incident.

Time to sip the last of this brandy and head off to bed. It’s been a long trip. Talk at you all later. ZZZZzzzz....

Monday, June 02, 2008


So when I was looking around for the photo of Glenn Gould on the park bench for the post this morning I ran across this site...

There's lots more at Wierdomatic so check it out.

Now, what can we put like this right smack dab in the middle of Manitoulin Island that will bring in the tourists? Ideas anyone?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Music at dawn...

The sound of the Goldberg Variations as interpreted by Glenn Gould always seems to be the perfect morning music for me. It never, ever fails to take my awareness (I guess) to new levels as his playing evolves in ways that only Glenn Gould could accomplish.

It’s a 1981 recording that I have loaded into my laptop and I wonder if this is the session that a buddy of mine was allowed to sit in on. Mr. Gould was an eccentric to say the least and was VERY particular about EVERYTHING in his life and often demanded to have several pianos to choose from whenever he played. (This one is too soft, this one is too loud, this one has sticking keys… you get the idea.) He even carried his own chair with him folded up and tucked under his arm which gave him what he considered to be the ideal height for playing piano.

He dressed for winter in the middle of summer but perhaps the idiosyncrasy that amuses me the most was that he sang to himself all through his playing. This drove the technicians crazy because they were unable to cover up his humming and whatnot on the recordings and they finally gave up trying to make him stop and just left it in as part of the character of the piece. He also refused to allow anyone in the same room with him while making these recordings which is why it is remarkable that my friend was allowed to sit in (out of sight) during one session. I guess they hit it off somehow so the master allowed the aficionado to remain.

Anyway, you youngsters out there have absolutely no idea who Glenn Gould was because he died far too young back in 1982. It was a stroke that got him at age 50 and it gives me pause when I realize that he was younger than me and accomplished so much in that time. (How does it appear to be so easy for some people?) It’s difficult to imagine that his playing could have gotten any better, but I just wonder what works he would be producing today if he were still around. Our loss for sure… but hey, you can still talk to him whenever you want as he is sitting on a bench outside CBC in Toronto just waiting for all of us to stop by. (This is a little bit strange in itself by the way because in his later years he became a recluse and avoided people as much as he could, talking only by telephone whenever possible.)

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