Monday, March 31, 2014

Hybrid human?

Curtis is a friend of mine who I don't get to see very often.  A short time with him, walking through his lot near the Gibson River, he told me about a noise he heard some time ago. Not just any noise, but a "snap", then a "crack". This did not last a day, it went on for weeks. Or so he remembers.

Curiosity got the better of him, having heard this for long enough, he decided to venture into the bush to find out what it was making the noise.

We stopped, shortly after he told me about his mid day stroll into the woods. He looked up, covered his brow with his hand and peered into the distance.

"There" he said. I gazed and saw a cedar tree, uprooted, lying against another tree.

"I reckon it was the winter. Ice in the roots. Lot of trees coming down."

I didn't completely buy that excuse, there were still several trees upright looking healthy.
"Maybe just wind", I said, followed with "Yeah, it's been a hard winter"

"Did you hear it come down?" I asked.
Curtis paused, turned and looked at me.
He chuckled.

"If a tree falls in the woods......."
I stopped him before he could finish.

"Ok, I get it. So how do you know this is what it was?"

"I saw it. Right in front of me. Like it was waiting for me to see it."
"That would be rare", I said.
"It was", he replied.

Like I said, it was a short time with him. I had an appointment to deal with, knowing that I was tight on time, left his lot with a promise to return.

Got a phone call later that night. It was Curtis. We chatted for a bit, a computer program I told him about was giving him some trouble. We fixed the issue pretty quickly and I chatted with him for a while afterwards
"What do you think about me putting a camera on your property, you have a good amount of wildlife up there"
His answer was not what I expected.

"You can put out whatever you like but if your still looking for the monster monkey your not going to find it in these woods".

"But you told me you believe it exists? Didn't you? I could swear you said that you share the woods with something"

"I do", he said. "But its far greater than a monkey or ape. Its a wise man of sorts. This thing is on a different level of intelligence. A different plane altogether. We are none the wiser."

Now, Curtis realizes that I post stuff every so often about experiences, asking if I could quote him, knowing that he would let me use the recorder on the phone to make sure I got exactly what he was saying. I think he was a bit humbled by this. "You can't tell me that its just man and beast. There has to be something else. Too much difference between us".
I knew what he was saying, in fact, mildly concurred.

"You mean something in evolution or another form of human?"
"Humans are not meant to be outside. Whether its evolution that caused this, having a roof over your head and trying to avoid getting wet, I doubt it. We are born in water. Why can't we survive outside?"
"Something between us and some sort of ape. Hybrid. That seems to be a good term. I'm kidding about your monster monkey. Bigfoot isn't right though. It more human. Smart human."

A refreshing perspective.

I told Curtis I would post this after his approval. He consented, but reiterated, its a hybrid smart human, if  anything.

I asked, would it matter if it looked more like a ape? Would you call it a human?

He said "when I say the word cat, do you immediately think of a housecat?"
"Yes", I said, "I do".

"So what happens when you see a 200 pound Puma in your backyard?"

Yeah, I got his point. It is perspective.

Thanks for the chat Curtis. And thanks for letting me post.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Every so often....

"Narcissistic Personality Disorder".  (Click to view link)

Isn't that a way to open up a blog post? I felt it fitting to post this because of two very contrasting emails received over the past few days.

An acquaintance of mine, Len, messaged me while he was stationed in the Dunchurch area. 4th year of owning a small chunk of land where he is slowly building a cabin to retire to, staying in a small RV while onsite. He quipped about the cold weather, citing that if it keeps up, the timber will be rotted before he even gets a chance to drive nails through it.

I concurred, telling him that it was pretty cold down my way, the hydro and heating bills will not be appreciated. Realizing how quickly I responded to his message, he caught me online and we chatted back and forth in Messenger, of note, he mentioned that he had been going through propane very quickly and he might consider a small heat box (as he put it), if he could figure out how to vent it properly. Basically a small wood burning stove, very small, in fact. Similar to that below.

With wood being plentiful on his lot, this seemed like a very good idea. He would still need propane but would certainly reduce his consumption while remaining warm.

During our chat about the stove, he mentioned something that I could picture, very vividly, almost made me feel right at home. To quote "leaving the window cracked just slightly to circulate the air as the stew simmered on the stove." Citing a childhood recollection, he was mentioning how his mother would do so and as he came home from school he could smell the stew before he even entered the property.

I could smell that stew. I knew that stove would make an excellent addition to his RV, but also a great slow cooker. On that note, we ended our chat and made an effort meet up, possibly in spring, for some R&R.

Skimming through more of my emails, I came across another one that made me chuckle. The opposite of what I had just experienced, hence the post title "Every so often". 

Yes, Narcissistic Personality Disorder. 

Several years of being humored by early morning or late night rants finally tired me out. Before I even finished reading the message, it was sitting in my trash folder. I chuckled, thought to myself that I wasted a few moments of my life again with this diatribe garbage, then looked back at the meaningful message and ensuing chat that I just had a few moments ago. What a difference. 
Email is like a newspaper, if you don't like what you read you turn the page.
So I did. And while doing so, I went through other messages, finally cleaning up my inbox, realizing how much time was wasted on frivolous communications. Block users, unsubscribe to mailers. Spring cleanup had come early. 

Len called me back on messenger about an hour later. I told him about the "spring cleaning", funny, he said he was tired of junk as well, but deals with it, Google Gmail is pretty good filtering out crap but some stuff comes through. He's subscribed to Sanebox, I tried it, I like it. Working on the trial right now. But that wasn't the reason for the call. 

He asked "Do you have a fireplace?". 
I hesitated...."No, why do you ask?"
"If you ever need wood, if you get one, help yourself. I should have mentioned that earlier. Guess it's not a big deal though if you can't use it."

"No", I said, I can't, at least not right now, but we have a firepit in the backyard. I'll take you up on that in spring."

"Not a problem", he said. "Have a good one".

Hurry up spring! Enough of this winter!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Coming soon....

I've been working on a composition that relates to all of my experiences in the bush, searching for answers. In addition, there are some theories and conversations with those who have been a part of the discovery and learning process when it comes to the search for the elusive species we refer to as Sasquatch or Bigfoot. Yes, I do know there are many other names, but for brevity, I think we can leave it at that for now. 

As one of my friends pointed out to me (with permission to quote);
"It is refreshing to see how effectively you can paint a scene in your mind, as you move forward, you come to realize that the story has pleasantly grown the way you expected it to."

He was commenting on a section that I sent to him to review for accuracy, should I have left out any parts or misrepresented anything.

I should have a firm date soon, publishing efforts are already in progress for print and electronic distribution. Just awaiting the ISBN clarification and distribution channel once it is obtained.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Reviving a weathered camera.

Took a lesson from my own books and decided to be patient - really patient with a trail camera. So much so that when I went to retrieve it I really felt that it was going to be a wasted trip. Inside the cam there were obvious signs of moisture. A mess. The external battery was still intact, buried in the battery box under a mountain of leaves. The solar panel was still attached to the tree, mind you, it looked like something was playing with it. It was angled in a funny way. Maybe a raccoon or squirrel.
The memory card had green fuzz on some of the contacts. I have not tried to read it yet. It's currently in a sealed container with rice and silica gel packs.

This camera has been out for almost 2 year. Yes, 2 years. Why did I wait so long? What was the point?

Having used this camera before (I have a 2-pack of them) I knew that with the right setup these things can go pretty much forever, using renewable energy and a good external battery.

The display was still on, mind you some of the elements in the LCD were flickering and some were not even showing up at all. I thought it might have been because of a low voltage situation but the low battery LED was not on. Maybe it was beyond that or burnt out.

Not being able to read the display very well, I can only guess that the picture count said 1248. Now if that is the case, then the memory card is still able to be "read" by the camera, meaning we might have a good chance of downloading the photos. It will stay in the dehydration setup for a while, then I will try and communicate with the card.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

No to techno.

A chat with a friend, adamant to remain disconnected from technology so he gets his 24 hours of "life" per day, only recently started carry a cell phone because of health issues.
Never touched a computer except for when he worked for a few months at a gas bar, quipped that the Lottery machine was about as close he came to operating one.

Having worked with him several years ago, I took an interest in his carpentry skills and always tried to keep in touch, albeit few and far between when we would actually be able to hookup and chit-chat.

It was not until recently that we chatted, I asked him why technology does not work to his advantage. Banking online, staying in touch, being able to say "I'm ok" or "Happy Birthday". No, he still goes to the bank, never been online. Fumbles to text message when his kids bug him to do so. Snail mail is the preferred choice of communication. I'm left scratching my head - how can this be efficient and give you your 24 hour day?

He merely replied "I don't need to count the hours in a day. If I do, I'm on a schedule. I'm retired, I do not have a schedule. People are dying far too early because they need to pack that extra hour into their day."
"If a cell phone or computer buys me an hour of time, what did I push aside to gain that?"

I told him he should be a philosopher. So true.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Camp - Just a nice camp. Refreshing....Relaxing!!!

Take a peek at the pic below:

Looks pretty good, right? Yeah, it was fantastic. Great week out at camp. 

We bought a new barbecue with a propane feed hose to the tank you see in the pic (below). It worked great the first night. Thereafter, nothing. I feared the tank was empty but the weight did not seem to be at that point. I know what a 20lb empty propane tank weighs. Hooking up our stove confirmed that the tank still had gas. Believe it or not, it was a defective hose. That is disturbing but mind you, could be as simple as a grain of sand plugging the valve.

We had two tents setup, one for storage (the one on the left) - and on the picnic table is the BBQ and hose

Bikes were brought up on a "Allen" bike rack and it really is fantastic. $~50 on and this thing carried two mountain bikes for the whole 400+ km trip. No problem and highly recommended.

Site was fantastic. Private. Quiet. Could you ask for anything more?

And why pay for a hydro site? Don't want to have to keep starting the car to charge the battery because you are using the cig. lighter. Don't want to have to start the car at all.
So.....this is all we used and it worked perfect. iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, lanterns, etc. All were powered by a battery and solar cell.

5 watt panel into a utility battery.

Coleman 7w foldable solar panel. 12 v and USB output

Now, can I ask about lighting? We have two LED lanterns, crank or USB chargeable. They offer both features. They work well, provide ample light,  but last for a far shorter period of time than expected. Mind you, given the fact it was a rechargeable resource, I know that capacity becomes lower the more that you charge the battery pack. I have used these lanterns for several years and maybe that is the reason.

I would love to see a solar area lamp with a replaceable battery pack, sure, proprietary battery pack, which seems to be the norm now, but preferably, just AA or AAA batteries. Enough to light up a picnic table to the point where you could read a book but not be overwhelming.

This post will be updated a few times as I have video and other pics to send but I tell you, it was refreshing. Very refreshing.

Those who have read through and said "Ok, where the heck did you stay??????"

Six Mile Lake Provincial Park. Great place. Great Time. Great People and a great setup. 
Are we going back again? Indeed. 


Friday, July 26, 2013


I have not used an alarm clock for several years now. I get up at the same time, give or take 10 minutes, every day. It's the same routine. Pack my lunch, catch up on email and news, have breakfast, etc....then out the door.

Habitual behavior gets to the point where you don't even have to think about a lot of things that you do. It is like your body is driving you on autopilot. You are aware of your activities but accept it as a daily routine of what you are supposed to do.

Now you throw in variables. Let's take something that you do not do everyday but it needs to be done. Like taking garbage and recycling to the curb every Thursday. Does the time gap catch you off guard? It's been a week since the last time you did it, is your mind trained well enough to make that trip to the curb part of your routine?

In some cases yes, but we are in the age of information overload. More often, it takes trigger points to make pull us back into our element and get us on track. Simple things, like looking at a calendar, "oh it's Thursday", or a simple conversation "Can you bring the kitchen garbage out?" - things start to kick in and you are again reminded of what you are supposed to do.

It is said that everything you experience is stored in your memory. It's just a matter of being able to recall it.
Which brings me to the point of why I am posting this.
If you do something with repetition, a daily task, a daily routine, you are probably not as prone to remember exactly what you did.
For example, Do your daily routine. For me, I end up being at work for the day after my routine is done at home. At lunchtime, think back about what you did in the morning - you can easily recall. Now put some detail into it. Try it - were there dishes in the sink? Where was the cat? What did you pack for lunch? How much toothpaste is left?

Some can answer. Some cannot. Yet it is a daily task. Your body is on autopilot, just doing it's thing.

Now take a situation that is out of this world. You see a horrific accident as you drive to work. You vividly remember it, for days, months or years to come. On that day, think back about your regiment. How much toothpaste do you have left? Did you empty the dishwasher? At that point it might be a blur. Your "routine" was thrown off.

Or was it?

You still did what you had to do in the morning. You still made it to work. You are doing what you always did yet something remains that is the focus of your attention - the accident.

Things sometimes happen fast. I see a lot of accidents and unusual things on the way to work. I have been trying this theory that you can build your memory by viewing something that you do not see every day, then recalling something that you do every day. Some detail about it. Then refer back to it later. Even if it's something as simple as a license plate number from a hot looking sports car, then referring back to what is on the topshelf of your fridge, what you had for dinner the night before. When was the last time you vacuumed.

In time, I think it has helped me remember details. Why is this important? Well the benefits are obvious but just think about those reports we have seen from people who cannot remember much about their experience(s).
Have you ever seen a newscast - "suspect was driving a silver sedan heading northbound on Main St."
Great. That accounts for about 1600 residents who live on Main St. It's the details that count.

Happy Friday!