Thursday, October 22, 2009


Bill C311, the Climate Change Accountability Act, has been stalled again.

NetNewsledger via Nature Canada

As a result of of an email I sent, I recently received an email from Justin Trudeau (a canned response) that made it sound like the Liberals, unlike the Conservative, are 100% behind this bill. They must have a different definition of "support" since the Liberals joined forces with the Conservatives to stall the bill.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Photo of the Day

I was going through my Australia photos getting ready for a slideshow (2pm Fri. Oct. 23 at the downtown library) and came across this one from the Sidney Taronga Zoo. Quite the display!

I've uploaded a big enough image to use for a desktop background if you're interested. (Click on this image to see the bigger version. Right click on the big version and save it if you want to use it for a background.)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Beautiful Fall Day on the Prairies

After snow and -10c it was great to have a beautiful sunny +16c day.  Too nice to stay inside.

2009-10-17 Prairies
It was very calm, hardly a breath of wind. Not much stirring. Even most of the bugs were gone after the frost and snow. As I was walking back to the car I could hear some birds calling. It turned out to be a huge flock of Sandhill Cranes (scroll down and listen to their distinctive call)

Some friends were lucky enough to see some rare Whooping Cranes today.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Fees and More Damned Fees

The Forest, The Trees and the Bag Fees - The Brancatelli File at

I love it - the airlines that tacked on the most fees lost the most money. There's payback!

I suspect you could make the same case against banks and their never ending attempts to gouge more fees out of you.

So are we going to be bailing out the airlines next?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Vancouver Island Sea Life

More photos from our trip to Vancouver Island at the end of August.

2009-08 Vancouver Island sea life

We went scuba diving with Ocean Planet Adventures. They're a small outfit but they seem like a good bunch of people. The water was cold for wet suits, around 13c. Remember to bring your thermos of hot water to pour in your wet suit between dives! You can see why everyone switches to dry suits if they're going to be diving much. Despite the cold, it was definitely worth it. I love poking around in tide pools as well, but underwater is a whole other world.

The sea life is very different from tropical coral reefs, but it's just as rich in its own way. It was pretty murky and dark so all the underwater shots are with the flash. It's amazing how much more color stuff has when lit up by the flash. It looks much more drab in the low light.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Fine Feathered Friends

We have a bird feeder in the tree outside the dining room window and I love to see the birds that visit it.

Red-breasted Nuthatches like the one on the right are pretty cute. We had a Downy Woodpecker last evening. I thought it was a Black-capped Chickadee at first because of the black and white head. They're another favorite.


Of course, I picked a dark, cloudy day so it's not the greatest photo. I'll have to try to remember to take some pictures on a sunny day!

Driving Mentality

I was walking home yesterday after work, through residential streets. I approached an intersection. There was a car coming from the side street, but it was a ways back and not going too fast so I continued walking across the intersection.

The car slowed down for me (it didn't even need to stop) but at the same time it blasted its horn repeatedly at me. I assume for having the nerve to impede its progress. The driver raised her hands at me as if to say "what do you think you're doing". Uhhh ... I'm crossing the road, legally and properly, at an intersection. I didn't step out into traffic or anything silly. It was broad daylight.

What happened to pedestrians having right of way? It's obviously a thing of the past. Interestingly, a woman with two small children was waiting on the other side of the intersection to cross. She obviously knew that pedestrians no longer had rights and didn't even attempt to cross when there was a car anywhere in the vicinity.

I realize this is not the normal case. That's when you stand by the side of the road and watch the cars zoom by without them even considering slowing or stopping to let you cross. After all, we're walking, and therefore second class citizens, and must have all the time in the world to wait. Whereas they are driving, and all drivers are on urgent missions and have to get wherever they're going as fast as possible. Heaven forbid you should get in their way.

Saturday, October 03, 2009