Strong Opinions

Time and broken arrows wait for no man. The arrow is Navaho from the Painted Desert in Arizona

While out walking my dogs and doing some introspections I had to admit to myself that, yep, I’m an angry old guy. It is never correct or healthy to carry anger inside one’s self but it happens and the first step in dealing with a problem is admitting it. To direct rage at someone else is always wrong. I realize that I am volatile and that frustrates me even more. I’m aware of, and working on my personal issues, there is no reason to make anyone else wear my angst.

The photographer’s long shadow.

I recently attended a meeting in regard to the attempted ousting of the Ladysmith Maritime Society. I’ve written about this at length in various publications and whole-heatedly (Intentional pun) oppose this travesty against basic protocol, dignity and political acumen. There is clearly no sense of political correctness on behalf of the local municipal government, the provincial government nor the local First Nations. They appear determined to crush a very valuable achievement of and asset to the community of Ladysmith. There is an odour of some secret political agenda which exceeds any of their stated intentions. A large group of members in the LMS have put a huge piece of themselves over the years into building up a fabulous facility which self-entitled factions now have decided to acquire for themselves. The word ‘piracy’ comes to mind.

Sail Ho! I recognized ‘China Cloud’ instantly, although I have not seen her for years. She is a dear friend who inspires many fond memories.
‘China Cloud’ is a junk designed and built by Allen and Sherry Farrell. They were the only real hippies I’ve ever know. Allen refused to wear shoes or use power tools. They did not talk about things, they DID it!
I’ve spent many happy hours aboard this boat. Being blessed to befriend these folks was pivotal for me. I shed a tear as I grabbed these photos. They have both passed over the horizon.

These regular meetings are intended to update LMS membership about the progress of our defense against an impending takeover. The meetings are informally chaired by the LMS executive director. He’s a fine fellow and possesses qualities I never will. He is charming, silver-tongued, apparently meticulous and presents himself with a smooth charisma. At this recent meeting I heard once again the same delicious looped rhetoric as I’ve listened to ever since the issue arose. There has been no true progress in favour of the LMS situation. Every member lives with fear and doubt about the eventual outcome of this debacle. I’m sure our man is doing his job very well, and there is still our daily business to run, but smooth talking is producing no results in regard to fighting the takeover looming over us.

When I passionately interjected that our man was our employee and had no personal investment in the story, such as having his own boat to moor, I was asked angrily to leave. Fair enough. I did, amid accusations of having “Strong opinions”. Well folks when you’re fighting for something important, strong opinions are absolutely necessary. Placations may leave warm and fuzzy feelings but they get nothing done. In fact the Stz’uminus Band is now trying to coerce LMS members to renew their annual moorage agreements with them in October, instead of with LMS at year’s end. WOT? I, For one, will NOT start singing “Roll me over in the clover.” It is said of bacon and eggs that the chicken is involved and the pig is committed. I hear nothing but clucking; from everyone.

It is time that everyone affected by this matter get ferociously pissed off. Canadians have developed a digressive approach to most social issues. If we weren’t so damned polite perhaps we’d hold a much firmer position within the global community. Our Prime Minister eternally tries to be politically correct with everyone and has earned all the respect nationally and internationally of a jelly fish. If we found ourselves being invaded like the Ukraine we would be lining the streets to ask the marching troops not to step on our flowers please. Journalists frequently refer to “Illegal Wars.” What’s a legal war? We’re at war, OK? Bang!

Downtown Dogpatch. The free-living liveaboard community next to the Ladysmith Maritime Society. This bunch deeply offend many sensibilities, sometimes rightly so. I’ve always fantatisized proper modern docks around those old concrete pylons and a huge marine pub/restaurant on top of them.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the nuts ripen.
A real dog. Like so many folks, I love Irish Wolfhounds.
Play ball?
The dog whisperer.
Old design, new design. The schooner is my mug of rum.
There are lobster boat lines in this beauty.
Remember this teddy? Libby’s loving continues. Its demise is imminent.
Someone lovingly built this beautiful pilot house on a Willard 30 sailing hull.

I have constantly ruminated about this blog for the past week. Should I post it or not? Whom will I offend? No-one I have not already. If you truly believe within yourself that your stand is correct then it is right to speak up. It would be dishonest not to.

I don’t own a boat at the moment and have no tangible reason to involve myself in the ongoing muddle at LMS. No one seems to want to actually raise a fist and lead. I’ll remove my volatile self and strong opinions from the mix and watch from afar. The fool on the hill.

All things pass. This massive anchor chain slowly returns to the earth and sea from which it came.

The object of war is not to die for your country but rather to make the other bastard die for his.” George Patton.

Beer Moths and Behemoths

First the commercial:

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There are over 700 hundred of my photo images for sale there. If you don’t want to buy anything, that’s cool but, with all the subjects covered, times the number of different presentations from mugs to shower curtains, there are thousands of gift possibilities. END COMMERCIAL MESSAGE

Grapes among the blackberries. It’s that season.
Also up among the blackberries. How incongruous!

September 3rd. I’m still digesting the fact of life that we go on without Jimmy Buffet. It is not so much the man, but the idea of him and what he represented that puts us at the end of an era. We need positive people and the joy they spread.This year began with me still missing John Prine. I always will. Since then we have lost Tony Bennett, Sinead O’connor, Robbie Robinson, Gordon Lightfoot and now Jimmy B. I’ve probably forgotten someone.It’s a parade! All things pass, so shall we.

“HI mom, I’m home.” Indigenous people must have used this cave for shelter. Open and drafty, there’s room to build a fire and keep out of a winter rain. It would make for a long night though.
A room with a view…sort of. In fact it is a house=sized boulder sitting on top of others. There are plenty of tiny caves in the surrounding cliffs.
On the cave trail. Through the meadow, over the hill, down into the forest and around the mountain till you come to caves, all over the place. What’s that sound?
I’ve got you under my skin.
It’s a rough neighbourhood.
If you upset the neighbours they’ll drop things on you.

Cave hike 12       Click here for video    Your guess is as good as mine!

Six doors down on our street a pub opened its doors last year. It was an instant success. I’ve never been able to sample their fare, they are too busy to get inside the place. Good for them. Yesterday they chose to host a wedding feast. The band struck up in mid-afternoon and the cacophany continued late into the evening. The streets were clogged with parked vehicles as the din of yodeling, screeching, thumping and twanging wore on. It did not sound very joyful. The dogs in the neighbourhood were as pissed off as their owners. Over the racket, our back alley nemesis could be heard bleating at her dog, “JOEY, ferfucksake shaddup!” Apparently this is how we celebrate marital bliss and hope. Are there any divorce shindigs?

When I was little folks would tie cans to their heavily decorated vehicles and drive around town in a procession while honking their horns. People would rush out to witness the spectacle. What a different world now! While the noisy festival ground on I tried watching a nature prgram about the Hebrides. It was narrated by the honey whisky voice of Ewan McGregor. In one segment he described the nesting of migratory swallows inside a whiskey distillery warehouse. The birds watched as men took annual samples from the barrels. It was explained that these barrels had been stored for ten generations of swallows. I thought the overlooked but obvious pun was hilarious.

The Jimmy Buffet corner of the church. Let there be light, let there be joy at
Saint Margarita’s

Tuesday after the long weekend. The world seems dreamy, languid. I remembered to slow to 30 kmph in the school  zones. I didn’t see one child but there had to be a cop in the bushes somewhere. We’ve skidded all the way through summer and now we’re savouring the last sips from the bottom of the bottle. We may have a nice run right to the end of October but we know better than to take anything for granted. 

I am certainly not. I am forcing myself to finish out this blog on my tablet. I terrifies me. I sit poking away and suddenly what I wrote skids off somewhere else. I poke away with my banana fingers trying to put things back in order, mystified at what I’ve done wrong. I am a true bog trotter and I have a hell of a time assimilating new technology. Artifical intellilligence perhaps but stupidity will always be real.. I’m not stupid, crazy perhaps, I’m just not prepareded to perform remote virtual brain surgery…through the rectum!

Snot funny! There’s a face in this tree and its nose is running. What a pitch!

One of the things that computers allow me to do is to travel the world without leaving my fat bastard’s chair. Vicarious travel is certainly no substitute for the real thing and I’m eternally eager to explore any road I’ve never been down before. Even if it’s an ugly road, there is something to be gained in the experience. Meanwhile I can simply enjoy meandering along the local back roads in reaql time, there are more than enough for a geezer on a motorcycle. A beer moth. I heard, or misheard that, while a fellow described a large motorbike, a behemouth. I’ll take it. I’m going beer mothing.

I’d see a doctor about that.

We talk a lot about the five senses: vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. I would add one more…imagination.”
―  Wes Adamson

I Should Have Known

The Margaritaville Moon.
This is the moon which rose hours before Jimmy Buffet died. I hope he was able to see it.

I’m on a list for a knee replacement. The old knee, after a lifetime of abuse is mush. I know that. With old age comes memory loss and I keep forgetting that I am not nineteen any more.

Navi For Sale.
Only driven by a geezer.
Geezer alien.

I’ve been blipping around on a tiny motor-scooter, often feeling like a pig on a roller skate and it is time to find a bigger ride. My bowed legs are stubby little numbers and finding a proper motorcycle with a low enough seat which I can still load into my own into a trailer, and afford, it’s an exhaustive search. There’s a voice on my shoulder telling me I’m too old to be messing around on motor bikes. It can go to hell.

So, I’m visiting a local motorcycle dealer and finding myself interested in a Royal Enfield Himalayan. I want simple, reliable and affordable. This particular bike is more than one hundred pounds over my weight stipulation but it is well-balanced and smooth-riding. It also reminds me of the British bikes of my youth. Royal Enfield is built in India and as I joked to the dealer “Who else has been to the moon lately?” The dealer tossed me some keys and said, “that’s the one, take it for a ride!” And so I did. It was short. The seat height is perfect, but there were cargo racks in the way and swinging my stiff wee legs over was a challenge. I retracted the kick stand, put it in gear, let out the clutch, stalled the engine, and promptly dropped the bike on top of myself. My old knee had folded up. End of ride. Fortunately, no-one was watching but my ego was crushed. I knew to not be so stupid as to try to ride away. Home I came on my little red scooter. I’m humiliated and angry, to say the least. There are plenty of old farts motorcycling around, I just need to buy a can of good attitude.

Early one morning, still in bed, I awakened to the sound of sirens, going, I thought, along the highway. The sirens stopped. Awake then, I discovered the WOO WOO in front of my window. A neighbour’s clothes dryer was billowing smoke. All’s well that ends.

Libby, the wee dog who sleeps beside me, woke up with a tiny growl to a wonderful music. Rain was hammering on the bedroom skylight. In my dreamy state, it sounded like thick bunches of sweet grapes. It was a brief reprieve and certainly heartening. We have a few days of sprinkles, which seem to always come when the days of summer become cooler and then more autumnal. Now we’re used to the heat, it’s fading away, a short Mexico primer.

Down on the back 40
Ubiquitous mystery. How do bricks end up on so many beaches? They don’t float.
The graveyard vulture.
The Din Sisters.
They can bark in harmony.
The house on the hill. A Cowichan landmark.
A new joy at the old altar.
I love irreverence. Especially when an overbearing institution imposes itself on an entire culture and after many decades of tyranny,  is exposed and loses. Bastards!
The building is wonderfully built. It needs a new roof and window. I’d love to see the white man graffiti painted over with traditional first nations rich art.
Find the trout.
High Noon. Wildfire smoke from the province’s interior continues to keep we island folk on edge.
Loved to death. Libby’s favourite toy which she nuzzles for hours on end.
Remember this?
A poster from the early 70’s promotes “Women’s Lib.” I’ve lifted this image right off my computer screen, I don’t know who holds the copywrite but after fifty years it may be pretty thin. I wonder what the non-binary x-y chromosome gang think of this.

September 2nd… The day the world learned that Jimmy Buffet has died. His music and spirit will never pass. We just have to live on in a world without him. I was never a “Parrot Head” but truly admired his songwriting acumen and ability to impress other folks with his joy for life. Well played.

Last night a dragonfly trapped itself in the living room skylight. It made a helluva racket, clattering its wings up in that soundbox. I taped a broom handle onto a mop and stood on a ladder to reach the big beauty. It climbed aboard. I gently transported that big insect outside and shook it free. Once I was a small farm boy who would take his .22 rifle out looking for things to kill, anything at all. Little song birds, furry harmless little animal, every creature that has more right to life on this planet than I did. Now I take extra effort to help things live. There are different ways of growing up. I’m glad I’ve discovered that. Then this morning I learned Jimmy was gone. End of blog. Jimmy’s passing reminds us that we are all moving closer to the head of the line. Let’s make the most of it while we can can.

To the musicians, poets, pilots, sailors and dreamers. In this world or the next, sail on, sail on.

Some people will never like you because your spirit irritates their demons.”

Denzel Washington

(Of course, maybe it is your demons that are irritating their spirit.)