Friday, December 14, 2012


Blessings and Bear hugs from Canadian friends (human and ursine) in the wake of the horrid tragedy in Newtown. That's about all we can do, but it is the one thing we can do.

~ Bear

Monday, December 3, 2012


To Begin at the Beginning

The story is told (by A. A. Milne) of how a Strange Creature arrived one day at the Hundred Acre Wood. The "Forest" was the home of Pooh Bear, Piglet, Eeyore, and many others. The Strange Creature turned out to be Tigger, a Tiger, who was a friend of Christopher Robin. 

Having a Tigger was not such a problem, except for one thing. Tigger was very Bouncy. And that disturbed the other characters in the Forest, particularly Rabbit. (In fact, Rabbit, Pooh, and Piglet developed a plan to Unbounce Tigger — it didn't work.)

All this is preface to my experience of being Bounced, as surely as if Tigger had landed on my bed first thing in the morning. 

There was a meeting of the Animal Research Ethics Board last Wednesday at the University. The Board needs a couple of Community Representatives when it is going about its work. It's a matter of Transparency and Accountability — which are both Very Important Things. And, well, yes . . .  I needed to be there. This, just after I had finally settled into Hibernation mode. And, well, yes . . . I got a reminder. The "ping" on my e-mail program woke me with a start; that's always unsettling! And, well, yes . . . I did go to the meeting (though I warned them at the outset that I was a tired and grouchy Bear). 

Anyhow, we accomplished what we needed to, and that was good. I came home. I though I would fall back into Hibernation mode. I did not. I could not. I . . . um . . . ah . . . had been well and truly Bounced. 

Now it is almost a week later, and my heart rate and breathing rate are nowhere close to Hibernation levels. Woe is me! I toss and turn, and am not comfortable. 

Meanwhile, . . .

The situation has not been a total loss. Someone came along and painted the whole scene outside with hoar frost. Rather like a faerie wonderland.

All quite nice, actually. 

Then yesterday, and overnight, it snowed. And snowed. And snowed. And the river, already full of ice, almost froze over. 

Yes, the scenery is delightfully wintry. 

But I'm stil not back to Hibernating!


Blessings and Bear Hugs, friends. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


As you understand, gentle readers, we Bears do this hibernation thing every winter. It is in our nature. It is also much better than staying awake all winter. (Sorry about that, Human friends.)

Even the weather seems hibernation-style.

This year, again, I will not have Her Ladyship, Miss Sadie, to look after things for me. I did meet her after worship at Knox Church one Sunday a while back. She is entirely healthy, and asked me to send her best regards to all of you. But she has absolutely no intention of leaving her country estate to live in the city. Ever. She was quite clear about that. Very emphatic. She much prefers to be served in luxury, frolic as she pleases, and howl with the coyotes (once she is safely inside).

She did, of course, retain all her Royal titles. She is still Duchess of St. Swthyn's-Punt-on-Thames (though I hear the punt was scuttled this year to make way for Queen Elizabeth's grand anniversary flotilla on the Thames). Likewise, Duchess of Cardigan and Wooly Boots (or is it Muddy Boots; no matter, either would likely be correct, I believe). And also Warden of Offa's Dyke, by Royal Appointment. 

For those not familiar with Offa's Dyke, also called Clawdd Offa, it is an astonishing piece of military architecture, running roughly (very roughly) along the Welsh-English border. It was designed to keep Welsh barbarians from marauding in England, and/or English barbarians from marauding in Wales. As to the true nature of who the marauders are, you need to check with the descendants of the Marcher Lords or the descendants of Owain Glyndwr (the last Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales). Just do not expect to get  "harmonious" reports from those sources.

At any rate, Miss Sadie will not be here, so my blog will be silent, more or less. If there are some nice days, I might stick my snout out to see what is happening. I do not expect to be out at the beginning of February, or thereabouts. That is a festival reserved for the marmot called a "Ground Hog" and I shan't attempt to rival him on that occasion. (Besides, he usually doesn't have a clue about what's going on with the weather.)

So: Merry/Happy Yule and Christmas, Blessed Easter, Happy New Year (and I hope you have a delightful time with all the festivals I have missed naming).

As always, blessings and Bear hugs.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

SNOW JOB! (with morning update)

We're having a regular winter blizzard in the land of the Bear. I would send you a picture, but the snow is so heavy, I cannot see anything outside because of the snow.

We had been warned, however, so J and I wrapped up our afternoon shopping trip about 10  minutes before things started getting really bad.  

UPDATE:   With the morning sun, we can see some of the new beauty, particular the ice pans forming on the river.

You can also see how much the ice has filled in the south shore of the river (the area from the trees, on the shore, to the open water).

It is snowing again; I can barely see across the river, and the snow is blowing sideways, instead of falling down. Total snowfall could reach 30 cms. (12 inches), but not likely around here.

We could get 25 centimetres (10 inches) of snow overnight, and winds up to 60 k/h (40 miles and hour). Enough to make things really "interesting" in the morning. 

If you miss me for a few days, please don't panic. It just means the power has been knocked out by heavy snowfall. In case such an event occurs, we have lots of supplies to get us by. (It's not the first time we've lived through a big storm.) We've got:
• blankets
• sweaters
• parkas
• food
• candles and flashlights
• battery powered radio
• cell phone and land line

The people in Colorado, Minnesota, and Montana will understand this very clearly. Others, perhaps, not so much.

Best way to get through this is to cuddle up in some blankets, especially with some body (as if we needed an excuse!). Can't afford to waste energy on a cold day! Besides, it's all part of the "be cool but stay warm" philosophy, which works so well up here. 

So, we'll just relax, and we'll be fine. 

ON ANOTHER NOTE, something for Remembrnce Day (which I think you Americans call "Veterans' Day"). I don't know what it is called in other places. J found this for me; it's called "A Pittance of Time," by Terry Kelly, a Canadian. Have a listen!

ALSO, I've been working on something for my Bears Noting (editorial) blog — a Canadian perspective on the US election, and what it might mean for us to the north. I thought it would be ready by now. But it's not. In fact, the more I edit it, the more it is turning into utter drivel. And if it does not improve radically, it will not see the light of day. I refuse to publish drivel. 

Blessings and Bear hugs!

Friday, November 2, 2012


It happens about this time every year. (Around All Saints' Day.)

Last night, we got rain. Which froze to the streets, and sidewalks, and whatever else it could. Then we got snow, about 15 centimetres (or 6 inches, if you still count things that way).

The process left the city with a nice blanket of white. Treacherous, but cute. 

But the city has slowed down, almost to a crawl. One pedestrian, no vehicles on the Broadway Bridge in the afternoon. Whoa; where did all the cars go?

It's a great day for an afternoon nap, or taking photos (from inside), or reading, or cleaning off one's desk, or writing poetry. (I put a little ditty about this on my poetry blog.)

It is not a great day for walking or driving a car. Unless, of course, you want to invite some sort of misadventure. 

Blessings and Bear hugs.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Snow, outside our window
NO, it is not going away.

High school, across the street
We could have as much as 15 centimeters (6 inches) come down on us tonight and tomorrow.

Snow gathering on our balcony

So, Merry Christmas, everyone!

Er, um, wait; it's October 22, not December 22. I haven't even started hibernation!

Silly old Bear. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012


The destruction of Saskatoon's historic Traffic Bridge hit full stride this morning. And though the bridge may be going, the politics about it continue. 

The bridge, opened in 1907, was Saskatoon's first bridge for horses, wagons, pedestrians, and automobiles. It was closed in 2010, after suffering from neglect for decades. 

The demolition began earlier this month, though preliminary work turned last week to stripping the wood and asphalt deck off the south end. 

Deck half cleared, exposing structural supports and trolly traces.
Also visible are temporary supports placed below the main structure.

Once the deck had been completely removed, the temporary supports below the bridge were removed, and the foundation at the south end of the bridge was pulled out, allowing that end of the section to collapse.

Going, going, . . .


After that, an excavator's giant "lobster claw" chewed the heavy steel on the bridge apart, like it was cutting through tin. 

But this is neither the end of the bridge, nor the politics surrounding it. 

The Traffic Bridge was central to the formation of the City, uniting Nutana and Riversdale with Saskatoon. One of the conditions on which Nutana insisted was that a bridge be built connecting the two sides of the river. This would replace the unreliable ferry which was being used at the time.

The portion of the bridge which is being demolished now is only one of five spans. The cost of demolishing this part is $500,000. But the other four spans are over water, meaning the challenge will be much greater. You cannot just let the steel fall into the river. Especially with all its lead-based paint.

And the kind of replacement may still be debatable. When City Council asked citizens for their input, the top priority was for a pedestrian and cycling link. Council, led by Mayor Don Atcheson, simply ignored that recommendation, and went on to other things. By a vote of 8 - 3, Council decided on a multi-use structure, including cars, bicycles, and pedestrians. Atcheson still thinks that was the right decision, even though Council has yet to find the $30 million required.

Mayoral challenger Tom Wolfe has other ideas. He says Council's action is a sign of its mistrust of public opinion. He says because Council ignored the outcome of the citizen consultation, he thinks the mater is open for review. After all, if Council didn't want a bycicle-pedestrian bridge, why did it not say so at the beginning of the consultation? Moreover, Wolfe says, when the new south bridge opens, likely this fall, that structure will relieve congestion on the existing bridges.

The demolition of the Traffic Bridge will continue, with no replacement in sight. And the nature of the replacement may get a lot more discussion. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012


. . . River City, Canada.

The Temperature went down to - 5°C (or 23F) overnight. Yup; it's getting cool. And we are seeing more grey sky.

The trees which had golden leaves are now sporting brown, and the few trees which still have green seem to be going to brown without hitting gold first. 

All the leaves are brown
and the sky is grey
[River City] dreaming
on such an [autumn] day.

(With apologies to the Mommas and the Papas.)

The sign of things to come. What a perfectly dismal time of year for an election. 

Blessings and Bear hugs. 

Friday, September 28, 2012


Nature sheds her garment in the breeze.

                                     Blessings and Bear hugs!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


That would be Rosaria at sixtyfivewhatnow.

Before I go any further, I need to set this in a bit of context. There is a magnet on our daughter's fridge door, which says:

I didn't say it was your fault,
I said I was going to blame you.

So, keep in mind that I'm imitating today's politicians, by not taking responsibility for my own behaviour. Hence, blame Rosaria. (Why politicians cannot take responsibility for their actions is totally beyond it. If they weren't proud of what they were doing, why did they do it?)

Anyhow, Rosaria recently raised an interesting issue. Is blogging a real "regimen." (Regimen being defined as a "way of life," among other things.) Do we live to blog, or blog to live, or a bit of both. To what extent are our lives directed by our blogging? Interesting questions, those. 

The final of five questions was the most interesting. What would I be doing if I were not blogging? The only thing I could think of was writing, somewhere or other. 

Having written to earn my living for a lot of years (30+), writing is natural for this Bear. That doesn't mean I'm a particularly good writer; it just means I do a lot of it. And I did, indeed, get paid for it. 

Which is why I'm involved in tying to start an independent news co-operative here in River City. 

Do you notice that television networks pretty much have the same news? That you get the about same stories on CBS, ABC, and CBS? That the same stories appear on local radio or television stations? Well, it happens. I know, because I was in that game for years. 

What would happen if you had an outlet which carried very different news, or news from a very different perspective? What if it reported on stories with which the "big stations" would not bother? You're starting to get the idea.

The Media Co-op is a national news cooperative in Canada, which publishes different kinds of stories all the time.  There are active locals in four Canadian cities, and "Working Groups" that are trying to establish locals in a number of other places. All in an effort to give people news they would not get otherwise. 

This is another project to keep Bear from being bored. A bored Bear in an unhappy Bear. An unhappy Bear is a dangerous Bear. 

But it is more than that. It is an attempt to see if we can sustain a solid, independent news outlet in River City (and thereabouts). It's a plan to see if "alternate" news is what people want.

Blessings and Bear hugs. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Summer, in this case, was July and August. Not the total of summer, but close enough, at least the way most Humans figure it. Now it is September. High temperatures are around 15°C (59F); lows around 5C (41F). 

So, what happened this summer?

Actually, a fair number of things.
• helped to host half a dozen (or more) sleepovers for our grandchildren at our place
• read lots to the grandchildren when they came, and when we went to their place
• visited my local library numerous times
• read quite a bit
• ate a lot
• took lots of pictures (you've seen the best)
• drank coffee semi-regularly for a while (though I cannot say I really enjoy it — so I went back to drinking tea)
• drove out to the country three times
• watched birds come and go
• celebrated J's birthday
• celebrated our 43 wedding anniversary
• spent time with good friends, but not often enough
• swam in our apartment's swimming pool a couple of times
• started walking daily (about a kilometre, sometimes more), most days
• worked on creating an independent news co-operative
• helped to get Occupy Saskatoon going again
• worked on research ethics approvals

• drank no wine or spirits, but tea (and coffee, as mentioned above)

I'm sure I've forgotten some events/activities, but that's what I can remember, for now.

Yeah, no major shortage of things to do. But still prone to depression. Building up a schedule of activities for the fall. Yes, you will hear about them. Of course. 

Blessings and Bear hugs!

Friday, August 31, 2012


Number One Son

We got a call at 2:00 this morning. Not the usual time for phone calls. (OK, make that yesterday morning — I see it's already Saturday.) Normally, I am not awake at that time of the morning; it was a "lucky call," insofar as I was awake.

Our daughter-in-law phoned saying T was sick and needed to go to hospital. So I pulled on some clothes and headed over. 

When I got there, the ambulance and fire engine had already arrived. (Standard plan is to send a fire crew to a health-related call, as support for the ambulance team.)

So, it was off to local hospital for T and A (our dil). She took my car; they don't have one.  I stayed with the grandkids, who slept through the whole mis-adventure. 

Three hours later, they were back. T had been checked out, and nothing particularly wrong. Most likely problem was a reaction to some medication he had taken. (Whole family there has been fighting off cold-like symptoms for since mid-July.)

So, it was fortunate that there was no serious problem. Grandkids spent the day at our place. They are sleeping here tonight, too. All the adults are tired.

Bear's Medical Challenges

Thursday, Bear saw his doctor.

We had a "productive" chat.

Bear will be taking more medication. More anti-depressive medication. (That's a depressing thought in itself.)

Bear will also be trying to find more creative things to do with life in retirement. As in, the creative things Bear is doing are good, just that he needs to be doing more of them. 

Bear supposes this means becoming more creative and intentional about blogging. And poetry writing (on Bear's other blog).  

We will find out soon enough.

~     ~     ~

Thank you for Bearing with me while "indisposed." Bear's disposition will improve in due course. Hopefully, at least. Lest he be disposed of. (Particularly for ending that last sentence with a preposition.)

Blessings and Bear hugs! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Bear  had hoped by now to have published three items on which he has been working.

However, Bear finds depression and creative writing do not go hand in hand. (It has been an "interesting" summer in that regard.) So the posts will be delayed. Next week, perhaps.


Thursday, August 16, 2012


One day the high temperature is 25°C (or 77F). The next day, the high is 17°C (63F).

Good grief, Charlie Brown. Is the ghost of Allen Funt back to haunt us?

A careful look at the trees shows another tell-tale sign. There is just the slightest tinge of yellow showing up in a few places, amongst the green leaves of the trees.

And the wind is blowing everything all over the place.

Say it isn't so, Irving Berlin!

But the truth is there for everyone to see. So I got out my trusty candid camera. Behold.

(Sorry that the trees are a bit blurred; I did say the wind is blowing. 
Currently 24 k/h, meaning 15 m/h.)

As well, the clouds are hanging low over River City.

There is still a bit of blue sky behind the clouds, so things aren't all that bad. But we're starting the change of seasons. Time to get out the snow shovel.

Livestock Report

When I was out for my daily walk, I heard a Red-breasted Nuthatch. I haven't seen one of those for a while. I usually think of them as being winter birds, and they are. Although some made a nest in our apple tree a couple of years before we sold our house. Watching that process was fun.

Bear's Wit and Wisdom

If you think about the world, life becomes very depressing. 
If you don't think about the world, nothing gets better. ~ Bear

To which my sagacious and loquacious friend, Da Blog Fodder, replied: "Yup! The Catch 22 of living with your brain turned on instead of off."

Everybody should have a friend like Da Blog Fodder.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


and gets nowhere in the process.

Picture This

Yup. It was one of "those days." You know, don't you.

To review. Bear could not get good pictures of the parade while standing the "Corporate Box." (There were pictures, but not good ones.) Bear was embarrassed to show them to friends (showed only two, so friends would understand the specifics of the difficulty). 

The solution, of course, is not to buy a new camera, but to get a new lens for the camera.

Easier said than done.

Bear went to local camera store. Found the lens he wanted. A mere $1,500.00 (give or take a bit).

Which is about Bear's total "discretionary spending" for a year. Or two.

Very depressing.

Decision time. 

Defer decision-making; Bear is depressed. 

Ask for help. 

The question is:" Should Bear get a new lens for his camera?"

OK, folks. Have at it. Please let the Bear know what you think. Thank you. 

Elsewhere in Bear's World

I know that some of you go through times when Life gets in the way of Blogging. That often happens during the summer. When folks go on holidays. Or at other holiday times. Or family emergencies.

In Bear's case, that happens when life gets busy.

September 17, 2012 marks the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street (and the similar occupations in over a thousand cities and towns around the globe). That was an event which changed some of the public dialogue in the world. The 99%, you say? Indeed. Etc. 

Well, that was too good an event to forget. So this year. . . .

More on that, another time.

And while I'm not planning on leading our congregation again, any time soon, I have been asked to take on responsibility in a couple of ministry projects with the congregation. (Am I too easy, or what?)

So, if my presence seems a bit limited, I haven't gone away mad, or anything like that. I'm just "otherwise occupied." 

Blessings and Bear hugs, friends.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Good afternoon (morning, evening; whenever you read this).

One of my favorite bloggers is packing it in, at least for the time being. That would be The Blog Fodder, himself, of  The Blog Fodder. This, after 1129 posts (his count).

He's apparently changing some medication, and life is getting a bit challenging. Tiresome, perhaps. It's the medication that he claims keeps us from being crazy. As he explains:

I find when I take [my medications] that other people don't act like complete flaming assholes all the time just to piss me off.  If THEY would take Prozac, I wouldn't have to.

Well, um, yes. Best wishes in getting through whatever, Blog Fodder.

Bear and J were out of town in the afternoon. Back to our prior home, about half hour's drive south of River City.  Friends of ours for the last 30 year, R and N, were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Well done, friends. Congratulations!

On our way to the party we stopped to check on which Birds were around:

Crow, Magpie, Coot, Black Duck, Mallard, Blue-Winged Teal, Canada Goose, Yellowlegs, Black Tern, Western Phalerope, Mew Gull, Avocet, Cedar Waxwing, and Harrier (as in Marsh Hawk, not as in British fighter jet). I also saw what might have been a Shrike, but I couldn't be absolutely sure.

Wonderful field trip.

The cubs (i.e., grandchildren) are with us on a sleepover, while their parents celebrate their own anniversary. Hard to believe 17 years. But when son and dil are 40, that can be expected. (If you think turning 40 is "interesting," wait until your children turn 40.)

We're going to watch a movie, about Hairy Potter, the Bear who worked in the greenhouse.

What's that?

Oh. Excuse me. It's about Harry Potter, the child wizard at Hogwart's School. Something about a firey goblet. Bears of a certain age need to be continually updated on modern literature and all.

I'm making a small change to my blog. NO; I'm installing word verification. (It is getting more readable, but No; I'm not doing that.) 

But I have decided to live dangerously. I'm giving up comment moderation (at least in part), and will see what happens. That change will let you see that your comments have been posted right after you click "send."

I don't have any people with Open ID, so that will be fine. But I won't be allowing Anonymous bloggers to leave commercial comments (or non-meat spam). I actually met a nony Moose a few years ago; boy, was he surly, eh. So he does't get to make comments. I know him and his kind. Not here, thanks.

I have no idea of how this will work; if Bear starts to have problems with pesky blogger, I already have a fall-back position.

Turning to the weather, sunny with a high of 23°C in the afternoon. In the evening, clear with a low of 7°C. Tomorrow, 23 and sunny.

And that's the news; I'm Rob-bear.

Blessings and Bear hugs. Eh?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


but only when I can see it. 

Sadly, neither Bear not Bear's camera got a very good view.

It's the beginning of our Exhibition week (OK, most of a week). How can you begin an annual Exhibition without a parade?


But, from our "Corporate Box" (attached to our apartment), the view wasn't so great.

What to do? What to do? Think; think; think.


Maybe if I play with the photo a bit.

A real steam-driven Calliope

Not so good. Very fuzzy. Very out of focus. Not acceptable! (Sorry about that.)

You know, of course, what this means, don't you?

(If you don't, then stick around for a few days.)

Monday, July 30, 2012


and tries to figure out what to do with it. (This happened back in March; I've finally figured out what to do with it.)

In this case, this is the Versatile Blogger Award which comes to Bear from Rubye Jack. She is a fascinating individual living in "Indian Territory," USA. (For those not familiar with the designation, the state is now called Oklahoma.) Please drop by and check her out. She has quite a story to tell. Right now, she's using a community computer. That may change.

Next step. Name 15 other bloggers who deserve the Versatile Blogger Award. Not so easy. There are so many good blogs out there. Bear will have to think about that.

So far, 3 of the key tasks accomplished.
1. I've named the award.
2. I've told you who gave it to me.
3. I've told you that I have to pass this on to 15 folks, naming them, and letting them know they have been thus awarded.

Now, the hard part. The 15 blogs.

1. The big guy himself, The Blog Fodder
2. The half Welsh woman, Tattie Weasle
3. Maggie, Life in the Preseli Hills
4. M Lydia M, Writerquake
5. Domestic Laura, Cleaning House and Baking Cookies
6. Shannon's Faith~Hope~&~Love
7. West-coast Carol, Better Is Possible
8. Shauna, Two Chicks and Their Peeps
9. Long-suffering Dana, Life Is Good (aka Don't Let the Bastards Get You Down)
10. Rachel, the poet, The Waxing Moon
11. A chemist turned writer, Cheshire Wife
12. The Gentleman's Lady, A Funny Old Life
13. Amanda, the Archiologist, Travels with Persephone
14. Paul, Costo
15. The Crow, phantsy that

Peace and joy, friends.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


There are times in Bear's life when things get downright peculiar.

There was a comment on my last post before the tornado nonsense in mid-June. My blog had been nominated for the "Inspiring Blog Award." This, from a total stranger.

So I did what I usually do. My "nose for news" got going, and moseyed on over to check out the details.

Jemima Pett works with animals. Guinea Pigs, in fact. (I want you to know that I behaved myself; I didn't eat either of them for a snack.) She turns them into the Princelings of the East in her fiction books. 

But really, anyone who works with animals like that has got to be a good person! (You go check her blog.)

As a recipient of this award, I am required to bore you with tell you seven exciting unique things about the Bear. The problem is, you already know so much about me (way too much, in fact) that it will be hard to say anything new. (Though, to catch a unique Bear, you neek up on him, very quietly.)


1. I lived on Melrose Avenue in North York (right beside the City of Toronto) when I was growing up.
The original Melrose was in the Scottish border area, and had a wonderful abbey, which (I suspect) was demolished during the Suppression or Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII of England. The religious communities were basically sacked by Henry's troops between 1536 and 1541, and their money added to the Royal Treasury. I think he was worried about them being hotbeds of Roman Catholicism, ready to dispute his plans to try Britain's congregations in the Anglican Church.

2. My second favourite colour is green. And the older I get, the more I like green. Green as in trees, and grass, and plants. Particularly Hunter Green for painting.

3. I have a huge amount of trouble keeping my study clean and tidy. There is so much that I am doing that paper and books seems to accumulate here, there, and everywhere. But usually, I know where things are if I want them. Usually. (OK, sometimes.)

4. I have a mixed relationship with baking. I like making scones. But if I make them I'll want to eat them. Never tried donuts. Not much at cakes. Or cookies.
Maybe I just need more practice. Which would mean people to whom I can send my "treats." I wouldn't want to waste good food. Though some may go to waist.

5. I would love to have a motorcycle.
It's a death wish, I think.
Can you imagine a Bear on a motorcycle, outside a circus?
My point exactly. Sigh!

6. I used to be a day person. Now, I've become a night person. I'm not sure how this transition happened. I think it had to do with the amount of pain I have experienced, which sometimes (or more often) keeps me awake at night. 
How many of you are day people? How many night people?

7. I enjoy doing Tai Chi. I understand there are several groups going that in our city. I've tried contacting them, with no response. Have you ever tried that?

Last task. I need to nominate 15 people/blogs for the "Inspiring Blog Award." Herein lies the problem. I don't follow blogs which are un-inspiring. 

So Bear will be creative. And ask you inspiring readers for help with this. You tell me; which blogs do you consider inspiring, and worthy of this aware? Maybe one that I follow already; maybe something I have not seen before. Please let me know.

Blessings and Bear hugs to all.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Consider Joni Mitchell's take on things.

Bows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feathered canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way.

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way.

I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all.

I will be back!
I'm not sure when.
Take you pick.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Good morning (or afternoon, or evening, depending on when you read this).

Sandie, the Chatty Crone, had an interesting bit on her blog about uses for a coffee filter.

My first question, of course, was to know how I could use a filter made out of coffee in my tea pot.

That was also my first mistake of the day.

I've been working on an article for my blog about virtual friends. The people who sign on as "followers" of our blogs.

These are interesting people, rather like "the bright good-morning voice who's heard by never seen," as described by the late Harry Chapin.

Star got me thinking about that, again, today.

You'll have to wait until I'm done in order to read the article.

Congratualations to Laura and Seb on their 20th wedding anniversary. Laura thinks 20 years is a long time. Four children may have added to that feeling. 

She has "Laura's Best Ever" recipes. These are worth noting. Sadly, I cannot find her blog archive, so you'll have to hunt a bit for those treats.

While people in the United States have been struggling because of forest fires, we've been having trouble in Canada too. The situation is so bad that we're getting quite a bit of smoke in our city, which is way south of the fires.

Smoky Sunset
In fact, the smoke was so bad when I was taking pictures last night, that the smoke was catching in my throat. Not fun! 

A lingering question: Why did the quick brown fox jump over the lazy dog? A lot of people write about that, but I'm no closer to an explanation.

I was thinking of going to the Farmers' Market, about 8:00 o'clock this morning. But then I ran into a lazy streak. Could not get through it, under it, or over it. I went back to bed.

And, that's the news. I'm Rob-bear.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Well. We've been having temperatures around 100°F in the Bear's part of the world. No fires, so far. Thankfully.

But it is so hot that even the air conditioner cannot keep our "cave above the trees" cool. Sigh. Meaning we have trouble sleeping at night.

So this morning, J and I were both awake about 5:00 a.m. (I know some of you regularly get up at that time; my heart goes out to you.) And having nothing better to do at that hour of the day, we hopped in our Volvo and went bird watching for a couple of hours. It was a summer mini-vacation.

J had not seen or heard a Meadowlark this year, and very much wanted to find one. So off we went, along the road which took us to our old home, out at the lake. 

In the end we saw three (count them, three) Western Meadowlarks.
They sing very beautifully. We were both thrilled.

Other critters on the list today included:
Song Sparrow
Northern Flicker
Rudy Duck
Black Tern
Bonaparte's Gull
Black-billed Magpie
Red-tailed Hawk
Common Snipe
Old Squaw Duck, with babies
Canada Goose
(That's all I can remember; usually I write our list, but I didn't this time. If I had, there would be twice as many birds listed.)

We also saw some American Bison. A number of farmers have switched from raising beef cattle to raising bison. The meat is not as fat, and is quite tasty. Recommended for two-legged carnivores and omnivores.

After two hours, we came home. And went back to bed.

BTW, if you have not read my previous post about What Really Matters, place check it out.

Monday, July 9, 2012


(The following was purloined borrowed from ExmoorJane Alexander. I asked if I could use it, and she didn't say I couldn't. Thanks, Jane.)

• Really tough, hard exercise can sort out all manner of nonsense and garbage. 

• Listen to your body.  It really does tell the truth.  Unfortunately most of us are not accustomed to listening. And we suffer from that self-inflicted deafness. 
• Breathing is very hard. 
• Your mind will lead you astray. It may also help you back. 
• Meditation should be obligatory – for the mental health of the world. 
• Never tell anyone what to do.  It is not your business. Unless someone asks for help.
• Contradictions abound. Everywhere. 

• Love your enemies – they have the most to teach you.  Seriously. 
• Unfortunately banks don’t run on quantum principles. 
• When in doubt, play loud rock music. Or some classics.
• Fasting for long periods and driving is not a good combination. 

• Drinking alcohol and driving is not a good combination. 
• Think before you spout out nonsense. 
• Don’t think too much. 
• A sense of humour is the probably the most important character trait you can have. It will get you through all manner of things. 
• If you can’t change your life, change the way you think about it. 
• We are all alone. 
• We get by with a bit of help from our friends. Sometimes a lot of help. 
• You can’t please everyone – don’t even try. 
• Nobody can save you. Unless you ask for help. And even then, it’s questionable. 
• If you love someone, tell them (yes, even if they’re psychic). 
• Try not to judge. 
• Dogs are small gods, that bite. 
• Sugar is sweet evil. 
• Never judge a book by its cover (literally and metaphorically). 
• When something about someone really bugs you, ten to one you have that self-same trait yourself. Which is hugely annoying.  
• Massage restores the whole body and mind — it really does. 
• The truth hurts, sometimes. 
• Use all your senses – all the time. 
• Religion is mystery, metaphor and imagery — treat it with the respect it deserves. And if you choose it, live it. All the time.
• Love really is the bottom line. 
• Open your heart wide. 
• Be kind. Or at least try. 
• All people carry burdens. Some of these will not be visible.
• People are weird. 
• Never make assumptions. 
• Avoid people who drag you down.  
• Sometimes things which seem incredibly meaningful may be incredibly random, but that doesn’t keep them them from being incredibly wonderful. 
• Have no regrets. 
• Give it your best shot. 
• Don’t take yourself too seriously. 
• It’s not always about you. 
• It’s always about you. 
• Oracles are open to misinterpretation. Including this one.
• When dealing with people who seem ridiculous, just smile sweetly and nod. 
• It’s not worth trying to force the universe. The universe will snicker at you from behind its hand. 
• Trying to push a river is similarly pointless. 
• Never give up. 
• Know when you’re in a losing situation and quietly walk out backwards, making small “I’m not really here” hand motions. 
• Never turn down a rain poncho or an umbrella.

That's it. Now, do your own list, or steal borrow this and carry on.