Tuesday, February 27, 2018

I wish Mom could see this

I'm sure I'm not the only blogger writing about this month's Olympic Games, but I really must say I'm very proud of Canada's place in the Games, and proud of all the Canadian athletes, some of whom I have watched over the years, as they started and then excelled in their chosen sports.

I'm also sure all of my fellow bloggers are feeling the same pride in their home countries after the success of Olympic games in Pyeong Chang.

Plus, I'm sure all of my fellow Canadians are thrilled that Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir returned to the Games for their farewell skate...

Virtue and Moir — the pride of Canada for a long time!

Two amazing Jamaican athletes — breakthrough Bobsledders.

Nigerian Women's Bobsled Team
I know my mother would have loved the Nigerian Women's Bobsled Team, as well as the Brazilian Men'sBrazil’s underdog men's bobsled team, the Frozen Bananas,  because she loved the movie Cool Runnings which "and The Frozen Bananas were just like a Brazilian version of the 1993 movie" ‘Cool Runnings’ about Jamaican bobsledders in the 1988 Olympics.

After the Jamaican Men's Bobsled Team raced in chilly, snowy Calgary in 1988, Mom was smitten with the sport. 

Nigeria women's bobsleigh team make breakthrough for Africa on iceIn the 1990s, my parents travelled throughout our home province of British Columbia gathering photos for Dad's two Living Rivers of British Columbia books.**

In the 1990s, my parents usually arranged their travels to include a visit with me after health problems sent me from 'The Wet Coast' up to Ashcroft, BC.
Every time my parents showed up at my door, Mom would say, "Let's go rent that movie!" And, every time, the movie she meant was Cool Runnings, about the Jamaican bobsled team's troubles in western Canada. It had become her all-time favourite.

Cool Runnings

The movie starred the late Canadian actor John Candy — As the coach of a motley crew of Jamaicans, Candy was determined to enter the Olympic Games, but there was one problem: Jamaica had no snow!  

I believe Mom loved Cool Runnings even more than the movies from the 1940s when she and Dad were high school sweethearts, then engaged, then separated by WWII and, finally, married after Dad got home to British Columbia after WWII.

I also know Mom would have loved to see the participation of African nations in the Olympics this year. She always loved cheering for the underdog, whatever the occasion, whatever the sport. I know she would have loved the Nigerian women's bobsled team this year for sure, along with her other favourites.

Linking with Fiona's wonderful meme

Our World Tuesday

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A difference of opinion with Google

I have been having some trouble with Google again, or it may be that Google is having trouble with me again. I don't know which, and therefore, just to be safe, I am offering up a sacrificial-lamb kind of photo in hopes of appeasing the Google gods or goddesses, whichever or whoever they may be.

Our little dog Bonnie-Belinda looks so vulnerable in this photo but, believe me, she is actually gloating. She love-love-loves to steal one of the coveted end seats on the couch, rather than settle down between us. My end is especially cozy for her because it's often littered with cushions, pillows, blankets and even, as you can see here, a dish towel.
I'm bad...I will wander into the living room with something in my hand, sit down 'for a minute' and then forget to take the item away. Therefore, that same 'something' becomes part of my couch-decor. Not exactly pretty, but Bonnie thinks this cozy arrangement is meant for her and she loves it.

Recently, I wrote a veritable rant about the oil industry, intending to post it here on Our World Tuesday. As a born and bred British Columbian, I am passionate about the subject of oil spills and the like (I now live in Canada's next province (forgive me, Alberta) I am reluctant to publish my rant in its present form. I must tone down the language somewhat (or that might be 'tone down the tone') but I can't decide where to start editing.

Instead I offer, above, a photo of my favourite model: our little dog Bonnie-Belinda and, below, my artist brother's sketch of my late, great cats (one not so great, except in size, as Rob's cartoon drawing shows.

The other day, I moved things around while helping Bonnie search for her favourite toy, and uncovered a photo album I hadn't opened in years.
I was thrilled. It's a family album I started in the1980s when my cat Herman got "his" kitten. Her name was Ava, and she was a beautiful little handful of white cat hair with, we soon found out, a nasty disposition. My sister bought her for me on a Sunday, and I had to go to work the next day. Because it was summer, my sister sent my pre-teen nieces to my house in the morning to babysit, to be sure Hermie didn't hurt the kitten. However, after a few days, the girls informed me they didn't have to babysit the kitten any more because my big boy, my mucho-macho Herman, had decided he was a mother.

A short few weeks later, my teenage brother Rob took her outside and put her up in a tree. She didn't know how to get down—she had never met a tree before! Her poor "mommy," Herman, sat at the bottom of the tree, looking at her. We could almost see the wheels turning in his head as he tried to figure out how he could climb up the tree and come down with a mouthful of kitten.

Then she fell out of the tree.

Hermie, her self-styled mother, immediately picked her up by the scruff of her neck and carried her into the house. Then, I swear, he gave my brother a real cat-frown, pretty much a glare that said "Now look what you've done."
It was a long time before Herman let anyone take Ava outside again.

The two cats became a team, with Hermie even managing to turn some of his chores over to Ava. For instance, he always sat on the edge of my bathtub, to guard me when I bathed.
Eventually, Herman showed Ava how to guard me, too. For a while, I had a large cat and a kitten sitting on the edge of my tub, guarding me.
However, when Herman decided Ava had learned how to handle this chore on her own, he left her to it. Fortunately, she never fell into the bathtub. That could have been a disaster!
Eventually, because Herm was a busy cat and Ava was sedentary by choice, she far exceeded him in growth and girth, but he still insisted on holding her down in order to wash her face once or twice or more per day, partly because she was a very messy eater, but mostly because he considered her to be his responsibility.
Pets are full of surprises. Herman always thought he was Ava's mom. Now, many years later, our little Bonnie-dog thinks she is my mother. (More on that soon.)

Portrait of Ava, guarded by the Hermanator, by Rob Davies
Posting here for Lady Fi's beautiful, memorable meme

Monday, February 12, 2018

My Olympic opinion on evolution

As a matter of fact, despite the grand title of this blog post, I don't really have an Olympic opinion, but it does sound like a wonderful thing to have, doesn't it?
"Here I am, the Great Goddess Kay, high on Mount Olympus, dispensing wisdom to lesser beings on the slopes..."

Okay, I admit that couldn't be me. I haven't an athletic bone in my body.

However...watching CBC TV coverage of the Olympic Games in Peyongchang this month has me remembering something and you'll never guess what it is. It's nothing anyone would ever associate with me: hot-dog skiing.

Once upon a time, in an earlier life (in the 1970s) I did a short stint as editor of a ski magazine because the publisher was a friend of mine.

I remember that a new twist had just been added to the sport, although not yet formally. It was called hotdogging.
Skiing purists were loudly vocal in their opposition as the new sport grew, evolving thanks to a young generation of adventurers from the post-WWII baby boom.

As I recall, downhill skiers who first insisted upon hotdogging in the 1960s were soundly criticized.
"This isn't skiing, it's acrobatics."
"It will never last," many purists were forecasting.

Despite much opposition, or perhaps because of it, the revolution and evolution had begun. says this about the hot dog revolution:
"A whole new style of baroque skiing has developed. It is known as 'free style,' 'exhibition' or 'hot-dog skiing.
"Free-style skiing features somersaults, midair turns, ballet-like figures, and other feats rather than speed."Copyright (C) HarperCollins Publishers

And free-style skiing did last, eventually reaching the world at large as a demonstration event during the Calgary Olympics in 1988.

Without completely destroying the accepted style of downhill skiing (there will always be old fogeys, right?) hot-dogging had become accepted, and evolved into freestyle, which continued to evolve into the Olympic sport we are seeing this month.

Wikipedia has this to say about the evolution revolution: "Freestyle skiing was a demonstration event in 1988 in Calgary. Mogul skiing was added as an official medal event at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, and the aerials event was added for the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer."

Now, in a spectacle surrounded by politics this year, we are watching the 2018 Winter Olympics: holding our breath, cheering, crying...every emotion as athletes like Mikael Kingsbury, shown here, compete on behalf of Canada, with moves that would have horrified the fogeys of the 1970s.
Be sure to check out this link on the subject from the Olympics themselves.

This move would have terrified the fogeys of the '70s.

Posting for my favourite meme:
Lady Fi's always-wonderful

Our World Tuesday

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

All looking and no leaping

February might bring Leap Year every now and then (not this year) but the idea of an extra day of winter certainly doesn't make me want to leap, nor even jump, for joy.
Here in southeastern Alberta, Canada, it is cold. Sometimes it's colder than cold. I feel guilty letting our short-haired dog go outside, but she often insists it's absolutely necessary, and I believe her.
However, she usually insists I go with her.
Even though I throw a parka over whatever I happen to be wearing, it is usually insufficient.

Can you see our little white dog in the photo above? Or in the one below?

An online dictionary says the word shiver means "shake slightly and uncontrollably as a result of being cold, frightened or excited."
I'm shivering-cold, yes, and afraid that I (or the dog) will turn into a frozen statue...yes, that as well.
But excited about winter? Not even a little bit!
Albertans try to reassure me, "Yes, it's cold, but it's a dry cold."
Right. Like packing my house and yard in dry ice? Thanks, but no thanks.

February at home isn't the worst of it, either.
To welcome the new year, we visited my husband's daughters and our grandsons in Red Deer, Alberta: not all that much north of here, but with even lower temperatures.
You may not believe this, but it's absolutely true: Dick's daughter filled a cup with boiling water, and went out to her back porch where she threw the water out of the cup into the air in front of her. The water froze in mid-air. It did. We all saw it.
Therefore, as an old saying has it: "look before you leap" and next winter we plan to look for a warm alternative to Alberta's icy climes.

Photo, right:
We had to buy Bonnie-Belinda a coat while we were in Red Deer.

First, however, we have a friendly difference of opinion, perhaps one might even call it a mild dispute, which must be settled before we look anywhere...we must decide where to go.

The Big Guy Here is talking about Panama, while I want to go to Costa Rica, which we've already visited and enjoyed, so I now want to return in the hope of seeing more sloths. I love sloths. (nb: sloths can also be found in Panama, but don't tell him)
I just do not love my memories of the country of Panama. Yes, the canal was wonderful, but I was in Panama on a cruise with Old Whatsisname, my first husband, 'way back in 1969, when the country had just been taken over by a military coup, which left me no desire to return.
M1 rifle
Tommy Gun

There were armed soldiers on every street corner in Panama City in 1969. Every street corner.
I've always said "soldiers armed with M1 rifles and Tommy guns" but I could be wrong. I probably am wrong... I wouldn't know an assault weapon from a salt weapon, but those guns definitely looked deadly, and I certainly knew enough to not to try to talk to those soldiers.
However, fast-forward half a century, and the country of Panama has now become the go-to spot for retirees from cold cold climes, and some airlines offer wonderful airfare bargains to coax us down there for a look.
A story in the  International Living magazine recommends bus tours which take visitors to see the various parts of the country where they might consider living, and there are no salespersons involved: just a tour guide with connections. Dick thinks it should be interesting.

But yes, we're just looking, we're not leaping. Our darlin' little dog would definitely not enjoy traveling in a plane's baggage compartment and even though she's small, she's not tiny, and wouldn't fit under the seat in front of me. Driving all the way into another continent might be fun for me but would be exhausting for my driver, plus taking a car into Panama is extremely a whole 'nother can of worms.
Sigh. It's still February here in Alberta until further notice. I'd weep, but my tears would freeze, like the boiling water in that cup.

Sharing with Lady Fi's marvellous meme
because she has really learned how to handle winter!