Thursday, April 21, 2011


I'm writing to you from our new locale.

And it's a zoo! (As in crazy busy with bringing the last bits over from the house, unpacking here, and figuring our what goes where.)

But it's a zoo with a view!

I don't have the time to give you a full explanation of these pictures, except to say that the first two pictures are of the downtown riverbank area of our city, and the last picture is looking up the river valley (which runs north-east from downtown). BTW, what you can't see, to the right of the third picture, is our sprawling University Campus; another time.

By time we get fully settled in, I'm sure our sixth-floor suite will seem much less zoo-like.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


You probably will not see me for the next three weeks. There is soooooooo much to do, and little time within which to do it.

When next we visit, Bear will be living in a new place (which I fervently hope will not be a zoo).

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Our house.

Now we can move on with the rest our life.

Friday, April 8, 2011

GIFFORDS (A-Z Challenge)

As someone who has worked for 30 years in radio and print news, I understand the "life span" of a story.

Basically something can be very big, and then virtually disappear overnight when the next big thing comes along. If you stop and reflect, you'll recognize that's true.

But some of us are not prepared to let sleeping dogs lie, because the story is a good one. 

Consider. . . .

Doctors: Giffords' Recovery Going 'Spectacularly Well'
Nancy A. Melville

In the first public update since US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords started intensive rehabilitation after a gunshot wound to the head in a mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona, on January 8, doctors at Houston's TIRR Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center said today that the congresswoman was making "leaps and bounds" in her neurologic recovery.

Giffords recently had her tracheostomy tube removed, has been able to walk with assistance, and put words together into sentences, such as "I'm tired and I want to go to bed," her doctors reported.

"On a cognitive level, her memory is good and she is doing spectacularly well," said Dong Kim, MD, director of Mischer Neuroscience Institute at Memorial Hermann and professor and chair, Department of Neurosurgery, UT Health Medical School.

"Her speech is very good, she is beginning to walk with assistance, and if you remember where we were just 6 weeks ago, this is tremendous progress," he said at the press briefing.

"Given that she's already standing and walking shows how much strength she has regained. We can't initiate walking therapy if the legs aren't strong enough, and given that she's already walking after just a few months is a very favorable sign that she'll be even stronger over the next few months."

To quote Edith Ann (Lilly Tomlin), "And that's the truth."

Thursday, April 7, 2011

FRIEND (A - Z Challenge)

"A friend is someone who leaves you with all your freedom intact, but who obliges you to become fully who you are."  
~ John L'Hereux
(I finally found the man's name!)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

EXIT (A - Z Challenge)

We're in the process of making an exit from our house.

I am, however, reminded of another person who made a more permanent departure, and who may have been the victim of a misplaced comment. On her tombstone read the words:

Here lies Elizabeth Jay,
She died the 23rd of May;
She could not stay, she had to go.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Sadly, I cannot remember in which of Canada's maritime provinces her grave is allegedly located.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

DOG (A-Z Challenge)

This is Sadie. A Standard Poodle. Fifty pounds (bigger than usual).

Born in June of 2009, She came to live with us in August that year.

She was my walking buddy, who helped me to learn to play again.

Kind, and gentle, trusting, and very relaxed.

She lived with us until March of this year. She moved to a new home because I was too ill to look after her. She deserved better than what I could give her, do with her, do for her. In her new home, she has a sister, another Standard Poodle, about her size but several years older. The two of them have great fun together, I'm told.

Which is how it should be.

But I still miss her.

Monday, April 4, 2011


A blogging friend, and friend of cats, tells a story of trying to befriend one such creatures. (Cats don't have friends, they only have servants; that's another story.)

This stray wandered into the family house, and my friend, taking pity on the cat, took it out to the back porch, and tied to brush it clean.

The cat took umbrage, scratched the girl (as she was at the time), and got away — never to be seen again. That's the way she tells it.

For the cat, it was liberation.

For the writer, it was a cat-astrophe.

(You saw that coming, didn't you!)

P.S.: If I could remember which friend it was, I'd give her credit and a link.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Some things are just too good to not mention.

Including this:

From Dana, at LIFE IS GOOD. (She has had way too many days like this; check her blog and see for yourself.)

The next song after this might be Johnny Paycheck's, "Take this Job and Shove It" (which was written by David Allan Coe).

Well, who knows, eh.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

BECAUSE (A-Z Challenge)

Being a Bear who is not too bright, I got myself into something. And now I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing.

This is not an unusual circumstance.

What I'm involved in is something called the "A to Z Blogging Challenge."

It is described thusly:

It’s blogging a letter of the alphabet every day the month of April (with Sundays off for good behavior.) It begins April First with the letter A and ends April 30 with the letter Z.

I am doing this because I wandered into it.

I'm sure it will serve some good purpose. I just haven't discovered what that might be.

If the rule is "Sundays off for good behaviour," I'll not have a day off. But you already knew that (if you come here regularly).

~   ~   ~

There my be some things here that do not fall into the category of the "A to Z Challenge." In which case you'll get some additional reading, if you drop by.

Friday, April 1, 2011

ANOMALLY (A-Z Challenge)

An anomaly is something out of the ordinary. Something that isn't the norm, or standard, or what's expected.

Thus, "a Bear writing a blog is an anomaly." As is the A-Z Challenge.

You're totally confused? So am I!

Maybe I'll figure that out by tomorrow.


IN an attempt to keep up with customer demand, The Editorial Committee for this blog has instituted a new feature. (This has been done after consultation with Bear, whose blog this is.)

Henceforth, the new feature, "Answers Department," will respond to the pressing concerns of you, our gentle readers. It is one more free service which we provide. (And it may be worth exactly what you have paid for it.)

Lydia, of Clutterquake, in response to Bear's blog item "Focused," asks: "Oh, Rob-bear, do tell the secrets to this editing of one's life."

Bear replies.

Thank you for your question, Lydia.

One has to be fairly intentional about this process. Not to the point of being brutal, but to the point of being thoughtful.

It's all a matter of knowing yourself. What motivates you? What brings joy, and animation, and pleasure to your life? Which relationships help you to grow; which relationships burden or shrivel you?

When we are younger, we tend to have more energy to life. As we age, we have less energy, but we become more focused. It is important to remember that.

So pick the items in your life which are most important. I suggest somewhere between half a dozen and a dozen. For me, it's things like my relationships with my family and friends, followed by health care ethics, animal ethics, poverty, homelessness, health, politics, and Celtic Christian spirituality. Choosing those key topics or areas is the crucial part.

Then see how much space you really have for these items. Or how much time you have for keeping up with people.

I'll start with the paper-related, or material items.

After choosing the specific topics or themes, anything that doesn't fit in one of those topics become trash or recyclable. Paper is recycled (re-used first, don't waste one side of a page). Other physical items can be recycled through the Salvation Army, or a local Thrift or Goodwill stores.

Once you've got all that done, file the materials in the pre-determined space. If it doesn't fit, repeat this step until the material does fit the pre-allocated space.

Then, in another six months, go back to the material, noting what's there and what you've added. What is still important in these areas — meaning what is worth keeping? Re-edit the files. (No, it won't take nearly as long as the first time.)

This applies not only to paper and other materials. It applies to work, hobbies, relationships, and the like. It may be easiest to start the process with the reflection and action related to paper and other materials. But different course of action, following the same principles, may work better for other people.

Hope this helps. If it does, you might want to share it with your readers.

Blessings and Bear hugs.