Saturday 31 December 2016

Before and After

In 1975 my friend Helmut said if I ran 3km/day I could do 1000km/year - that seemed like a plan! In 1979, Dec 31 I was in Toronto and I was 30km short sooo  I ran from the Bathurst-Lawrence area to north-east of Wilson-Don Mills - don't remember exactly the route except that it was clear cold - maybe -20C and very windy and I was cold, very cold. I recall in a weaker moment thinking(?) I should call it, when a police car drove by but I could not attractany attention. Of course, I carried no money or ID. I survived, none the wiser for the experience, and since then have usually run something on this day - Silvester in DE-land, New Year's Eve here in CA-land.

And today was no different - I try to run here at approx the same time that friends are running in Europe - so 9am here is 15:00 Central European Time (MEZ). I had support here from Marc and Marie, and from Jörg in the Netherlands - I hope to be able to post his run in this blog a little later so be sure to come back again in 10-20 hours if he says yes - or Ja.

Marc and I met in the fitness room to warm up at 9am:
Marc before the run:

A long drink of water!

And Me before:

I am wearing the jacket from the Monschau Marathon relay team, the fleece from Odendorf, and the green balaclava from Jörg and the Rennsteig
    -   it is difficult to see under my nose. The green hat is from my sister-in-law. And I am in a warp drive that will feature in Dec 2017 if I am still here - I expect to be a "round"!

Out the back door: snow

 No fool - I mean foot print to be seen - yet.
And 2 views to the lake:

Did I mention that it was snowing heavily?  And that it was windy?

Evidence of running?

Actually, the temperature was not a factor as long as we were sheltered from the wind.
Marc and I paid a tribute to Gordon Lightfoot and the horizontal snow

I did mention it was snowing - and windy?

Marc and I then met up with a Marie running. So after the run an appropriate shower? Maybe!

And then the "after the run" shot:

And we wishe each and every one of you a safe healthy and happy 2017.

M & M, W O B

Thursday 29 December 2016

Real-Life Red-Nosed Reindeer Faces Climate Change Threats

Maybe environmentalists should enlist children to lobby for a better environment. After all, who want to receive clothes for Christmas? Believers in Santa, the young, and  the young-at-heart will not be thrilled by the news that Santa may have difficulty recruiting enough reindeer for his mission on Dec 24/25. I already mentioned that I am looking into alternatives.

But here is the report:

With too much ice in some places and not enough in others, Canada’s Peary caribou is struggling. But new findings could aid recovery efforts

- from Scientific American and NATURE today.

Plus 3C is not enough to stop the snow when I like it so much

Vicki still has a pain in the neck - it does not go away when I do the shopping!

This morning:

It is interesting to me that there is a similar picture in Corinth, Greece, this morning. 10s of cm of wet snow at 3C. Peter and I are happy for the water table.

 Can you tell the "before" on Dec 27 from the "after" today?  Thank you Peter for permission to make our worlds closer together.


Tuesday 27 December 2016

Have you recovered?

The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
 But the queerest they ever did see

 was the military surveilance of Santa 

I hope he recovers too.

I always thought of a couple of cookies and maybe a glass of milk as "refueling". What will they/I think of next?


 PS And if it doesn't snow on Christmas?   ....

Saturday 24 December 2016

Very serious climate change

It may be a joke to some about Santa living at or under the North Pole, although it has not stopped a great many movies from being made "exploiting" this myth or fallacy.

Two days ago the weather report for the North Pole
was a disaster.

It is raing hald way to the equator: (Cold in my computer: raining and Half wayto north pole)

Not a pretty picture, is it?  Not even "white water canoeing" is funny any more. There is hope ever among us oldsters. Do you recall Band Aid's 1984 song? "Do they know it's Christmas?"


And it came to pass

There is a story here - maybe about 2 wood carvers - who have been touched by 2 other significant people.

2 friends, a Catholic and a Muslim, had tea together in one of their homes. Afterwards as they were saying their good-byes (From earlier Godby, Godby'e, Godbwye, God b'w'y, God bwy yee, God buy you, God be wi' you: each a progressively shorter contraction of God be with you, with the change of God to good by confusion with good morning, good day, etc.) they mentioned to each other how their knees hurt.

After they had gone their separate ways, each thought about the other friend's problem and ordered - knee pads so that praying on their knees would not hurt so much.

We are more similar than we are different. Thank you, Norrie


Thursday 22 December 2016

Manatory drivers' test - also for Santa?

It has been brought to my attention by the gal named Val, of shortbread and good behavior fame, that I might have troubles driving around these parts:

Note that one can be concerned for a driver in winter without interferring with other people's lives!

However, as a little (?)  old (yes, definitely) driver,  so lively (?) and quick(?)  it does not appear likely that wind turbines will disturb Rudolf and my crew. There is, however, something sinister about this image. Note the lack of snow, and this was obviously rigged during the daytime. I personally suspect other energy sources playing on people's fears of the new and unknown. Billions of birds are killed by domestic cats. 100s of thousands more are killed by light pollution. Bats may be able to navigate the turbines but are sometimes victims of down-stream turbulence and that needs to be dealt with - and turbulence is a loss of energy and so a $$$ solution will be found and wild life will then benefit. Sad that it has to be that way - people! (Men!)

There is a considerable number of turbines in Germany. I took thes photos in Nov 2014.

For scale the sails are approx 27m long, When properly built and installed they are quieter than a rural road with a breeze in trees. Noise is loss of power. All the turbines I saw in NRW, Germany were computer controlled and could shut down to avoid a strobiscopic effect at sunrise or sunset on people and their homes.
I have seen it done while I was out running with a group of 10 turbines brought on the grid individually at approx 5min - 1km for me running - intervals. (We could see several turbines from our bedroom window. I personally don't mind them but friends who live closer to them  in the Eifel find them an eye-sore when they are out running - no problem with the noise.

However, why do this to people when there are alternatives? My good friend down in Niagara has been subject to what I might call harassement - just like my runner friend - not necessary: The following were taken on a German Autobahn:

I was not driving!!! Pentax and 18-200mm zoom cropped.Paint Shop Pro.

I think Europe is more environmentally friendly than Canadians have become:

 This is Amsterdam.

And now I must dash away, dash away ---------------


Wednesday 21 December 2016

making a list, checking it twice

This landed on my North Pole this morning:

What do you think of that?

And if I were to say that it was accompanied by a piece of delicious short bread - what would you then think?


But you would be 100% wrong! Can you accept for a moment that I am 100% correct and that you have jumped to a falacious conclusion reflecting more about yourself than this sweet innocent person?

Here is my answer - I shall call the person "Val" for lack of a better alternative:

My Dear Val,
You expressed concern today that you have only been good for the last week or so
and would I focus on that?
Actually, your record is very much better than that and extends for much longer than just a week.
I have enjoyed your generosity - and great coffee - for a considerable length of time and wish
you the best of health and grace for many Christmases to come - and I am easily bribed by  your
delicious shortbread - but you are already in the good books so don't feel you have to.
Now, Val, I shall let you into a little secret; I feel you are mature enough to understand and won't
tell the world about it: There are just under 33 million seconds in a year - believe me, I have had to
count them often enough, and 86400sec in a day of travelling from chimney to A/C unit! Rough life
on the fringe. Where was I? Oh yes, and there are 7,500.000,000 people on earth:
That means I have to check off some 200 people per second just once. Bureaucracy! And they want me
to do it a second time? They must be kidding me. Who wrote my job description anyway? These threats
to intimidate children are adult/parent ploys which take away the meaning of love from Christmas. But
money "Trumps" over everything and Santa and charity are short changed. Pity.
Please be assured that you are my good books and I would not change that entry.
Relax, enjoy, love,
Santa - aka W O B
PS I sometimes use the name of that terrible person down the hall - I have to check up on him constantly.


Ever wonder what owls eat?

The bird on the right has a  wireless local area network connection - don't know what it eats.

And this barred owl:


That is obvious from the recent hike in electricity bills . the owl is eating the current - black currents if I see the colour correctly.

Whoo,       Whooo  Whoooo !

W O B 

Monday 19 December 2016

Monday McGee and Shrike Road

We didn't think it was likely that McGee Creek would be open for water testing and it wasn't where we could go - but down stream, through private property the stream was open and flowing nicely. So after we had had photographed the animal tracks on snow up stream/East of the bridge we set off to find a place where I could turn the car around. We noticed some movement on either side of the road and we approached carefully:

Turkeys on parade feeding where the snow plough had scraped the ground.

And there were more in a driveway - "hand of man" was everywhere.

And then I looked in the trees:

How many do you see?

Altogether I estimated 120 turkeys. I took more than 60 photos or spared us 60000 words!


Sunday 18 December 2016

4th Advent

Yesterday was the annual Christmas Bird Count - and we counted lots, including another "murmur" of starlings - my first was entered here in early November. And eagles. But the educatuion was in the gulls. I'll never look at a gull in the same way again.

However, today is Sunday, 4th Advent, and I thought I would include some observations I made yesterday while thinking of a certain wood carving I will post next Sunday, I hope.

It is difficult to get a "tree" to stand straight!

As you might gather, these decorations are all out doors, some on artificial trees, some on natural:

Be kind to each other. Take care.