Apr 17

The Plan

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First off, I want to wish my dear mother a happy 40th birthday. She’s been younger than me for three years now, and in better physical shape for about seven. I love you, Mom. Thanks for always taking care of me.

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I guess I should update anybody that gives a shit about us moving out west. I have already moved and did the address change and everything, but Mrs.B and the girls are coming out in July, after school is done. We will be moving to Hudson’s Hope, BC which is about an hour from Fort St. John and around half an hour from Chetwynd.

We are also starting to plan an off-grid life for after we get out there. For simplicity, and because we are fed up with our consumerist society. Well, me more than Mrs. B, but she’s not far behind. I’ve been wanting this for a lot longer than she has. I guess this is our way of starting up the steps to freedom.

Not everybody’s freedom, mind you. A lot of you will find freedom in a big home, with a brand new truck and a bunch of toys in the garage. That’s perfectly fine for you and I hope you get it. It just doesn’t work for me. I’m ready to find my Walden Pond.

When we first get to HH, we will live in town in an affordable home and start looking for an acreage with a water source and a nice view of some sort of mountain. I’m thinking that it will take 3-5 years to get the land, clear a lot, and set up some sort of agricultural area (pasture, shelter, garden, etc…) near where the house will be built.

That might be totally off, but it seems doable to me. By the time we get to the point of building the house, the kids will be old enough to fend for themselves if they don’t feel like partaking in a much simpler life. They will be welcome to join us in our effort to be self sustaining, but I imagine that they will want to pursue the dream of acquiring all of the shit that every kid wants.

Have at it, kids. When I was young, I wanted to own an island. I still do. Believe me, if I win the lottery, or get my show on the air1)Do any of you know how to pitch things to networks? , I will be buying a largish island and building a self sustaining community on that sumbitch.

Anyhow, I need to go have a beauty nap. We’re going to see The Spirits at The Station in Port Hope tonight. They are so good. That’s one thing I’m going to miss about this area; the amazing live music scene. If you can’t get out to see them tonight, you can catch them tomorrow in Cobourg. Check out their page for info.

Birdman

P.S. Did you see the awesome footnote plugin I installed? When you see a number like this2)You can hover over it, or see them at the bottom of the post. So awesomely awesome

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Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. Do any of you know how to pitch things to networks?
2. You can hover over it, or see them at the bottom of the post. So awesomely awesome
Apr 16

I Forgot How Much I Liked Writing

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Some wonderful friends took us out for Mrs. B’s birthday on the weekend to Muddy’s Pit BBQ in Keene, Ontario. It was the best BBQ that I’ve ever had, except for the brisket. It was the second best.

One side of the table knows how to duck lip.

One side of the table knows how to duck lip.

On the way home we were talking and my buddy had said that he liked reading the blog when I just wrote about whatever was on my mind. That gave me a sense of pride in my loins, because he is a guy that I like and have a lot of respect for, plus he’s quite sexy. I told him that I wanted to write again, but just didn’t have the energy or drive to do it.

Then I got some drive.

After my little meltdown the other day, I started thinking about what was eating away at my gumption. It came down to how little most people care about what happens to our country and our planet.

I mean the people who think that everything is just fine the way it is. You know, the “climate change isn’t real, so it doesn’t really matter if a tailings pond leaks a bit into a river.” people.

Maybe climate change isn’t real. I don’t really care one way or t’other. What I care about is clean, not owned by Nestlé, water and a healthy planet that will keep on sustaining our increasingly extravagant lifestyles.

I also care about honesty and accountability in government, and putting an end to the lobbying practices that are tearing our country apart from the severely corrupt inside.

Keeping our jobs at home is high on my list as well. We know how to make shit, and we have the natural resources, so why are we whoring those resources out to foreign businessmen that always beat the shit out of them and send them back to us horribly disfigured?

Why are we allowing foreign countries to buy the companies that will rape our land, when we are doing such a great job of destroying it ourselves? It doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. I have to go out to the oil fields to get a decent job, because 95% of our decent jobs are gone.

Anyhow, I have offered to volunteer for the Green Party, because I’m sick of doing nothing. It maybe isn’t going to amount to anything in our community, but it’s a start, and it’s better than doing nothing. Why don’t you go out and do something as well? Even if it’s just researching a political party and thinking about whether or not you would vote for them, at least it’s some action.

Birdman

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Apr 15

Well, I Guess I Need Therapy

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Yeah, I know it’s been a while.

More than a year, I think.

I have been very busy with work, and when I did get some time off the last thing I was going to do was write. I had all of the best intentions, but you know how it is. I would rather power watch movies and stuff myself with junk food than actually do something productive.

I digress.

Last night I came to the conclusion that I’m going to need help to deal with my mental issues.

The first of my help was to delete Facebook, yet again, then after I get back out west, I am going to go to the mental health place and see about some form of counselling for depression/rage issues. There is really no need for me to get so angry with people that post shit on Facebook, whether I find it mildly annoying or completely abhorrent.

Last night someone on my Facebook feed posted a political post that I agreed with in principal, but when I started reading the comments, I was filled with this seething anger that is completely inexplicable. I mean, yeah, I know why it makes me angry, but not to that extent. When they responded to my childish, and condescending comment, I quite literally felt like inflicting physical and emotional pain on them.

What the fuck?

It’s not like me to not be able to debate in a cordial manner, but there I was with so many things to say, and only enough control to lash out, because I just realised that some people will never see my point.

Like I said, I can’t explain it, but it was there. I immediately unfriended them and started looking through my phone to figure out how to deactivate Facebook from it. I decided to go upstairs and use the computer to do it, when I saw a message asking about the defriending. I was trying to explain that I was going through some mental troubles and saying that it was a problem that I was going to get help for, but the political debate started again, and I just deactivated. It was seriously the only way that I could keep from exploding.

I tried to calm down and rationalize what was going through my head, but it was just so strong that I couldn’t focus on anything but the negative. That started to get me very frightened. I went to bed and Mrs. Birdman woke up and talked me through it, but it took a while. I could barely get words out of my mouth as fast as my mind was thinking them up, so it must have sounded like I had a speech impediment.

Luckily I have the best possible choice for my wife, and she was able to love me to a place where I could sort out my thoughts and get back to logically assessing the situation. I really am so fortunate to have her, and the rest of my family for support. They make it so easy to keep putting one foot ahead of the other.

So that’s where I am now. If you were going to get a hold of me on Facebook for anything, don’t bother. I’m not there, and if you ever see me back there for anything other than trying to swindle some Movember dollars from you, please kick my ass.

Birdman

P.S. I shut down the Reboot site, so I’m back to swearing on here.

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May 12

Hypocrites In Action – The Prostitution Of Jasper National Park

(editor’s note: This is the first of hopefully many articles from my Uncle Kevin. While he doesn’t share my passion for swearing and blasphemy, he does care a great deal about our planet and Jasper National Park in particular. He loves it so much that he has spent most of his life there, thoroughly enjoying all that it has to offer.

He is an accomplished photographer, guide, and steward of the land, and even though a lot of it falls on deaf ears, what he has to say is of great importance to the future of our national parks, and our country as a whole.

If you would like to contact him about possibly purchasing some of his superb photos, you can email him at kahass at live dot ca. I probably should have asked him if he is even selling them, but why wouldn’t he? ~Chris)

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It’s fascinating watching hypocrites in action. You just have to wonder if they realize their own hypocrisy, or if they are totally oblivious to it. I watched the Superintendent of Jasper National Park of Canada dance with First Nations peoples at an event held here in Jasper National Park. He wore a green Parks Canada baseball cap, but I think a cap that stated, “I’m a Brewster Toadie!” would have been more appropriate. A good hypocrite at least knows that they are one; a perfect hypocrite is oblivious.

Moon over Mount Wooley

Moon over Mount Wooley

Being from Jasper himself, I now consider him a traitor to his home town and his home National Park, but hey, he’s just trying to keep his job and from being relocated to the arctic.

This was one of the most flagrant examples of arm-twisting, purposeful obfuscation, and lying that I have ever seen Parks Canada commit, and I don’t think it will be the last. It may be trumped soon! Now, Maligne Lake Tours wants to build an hotel on beautiful Maligne Lake, in Jasper National Park, and Parks Canada is seriously considering it! More to come on that later.

The Brewster’s Environmental Assessment report is a piece of self serving garbage and junk-science, all wrapped up in a pretty package with meaningless charts and tables. I take back that word, science, and will never use it again where the Brewsters Glacier Discovery Walk is concerned. Sorry, they’ve changed the name already, and it’s not even open. What is it now? Glacier Skywalk?

Woohoo. The nearest glacier is 6km away. What do you see when you walk out and look down through the transparent floor? A pile of rubble. That’s it. Would you pay money for that experience?

Mount Athabasca

Mount Athabasca

Now we have a new permanent scar on the stunning landscape of Jasper National Park of Canada. Why? For money, for greed, for lack of foresight, for not caring about the future of this Park and the ideals that Canadians and others, hold for the National Parks of this world.

How much money is Parks Canada getting, initially and long-term, from Brewster’s for allowing them to build the Glacier Skywalk? They won’t tell us.

I refuse to accept Parks Canada initial statement published in the Fitzhugh, Jasper’s local paper, that this amount won’t be disclosed as it was part of the “private” negotiations with Brewster’s. We all know that means “secret” and that is not acceptable at all.

Concerning the market survey done for Brewster’s by Salt Marketing, I quote;
“88% of Alberta residents say they would visit the site on a day trip”

Thank you so much to Brewster’s for actually including this so-called market survey at the back of your silly assessment. Here’s their summary, and again I quote;
“Distribution:
Survey was sent to 7,859 email addresses (combination of subscribers to Explore Rockies
and Brewster Vacations Canada) 1) Note: Both are Brewster’s promotional websites!

Response:
474 completed surveys
6% response rate”
They sent out 7,859 e-mails to their target market and only received 474 replies! A whopping 6% response rate (from those already on their own mailing list!) and they extrapolate this to include ALL ALBERTANS!

Hoodwink alert!

These are junk statistics at their worst and Mr. Greg Fenton, Park Superintendent of Jasper National Park of Canada, didn’t so much as raise a whimper. This had his complete approval and the approval of the Parks Canada Agency and the federal government. They must assume Canadians are stupid and that we can’t reason for ourselves.

Mount Kitchener

Mount Kitchener

There is absolutely no way on earth that you can extrapolate these pitiful numbers to confidently state that they represent the views of “Alberta residents”. Shame on all those involved.

At the end of this silly survey it also states,
“Two open ended questions were asked related to what the respondents liked
most and least about the GDW concept. These results have been attached and
may provide insights for the development of the GDW marketing strategy.”
They actually were NOT attached and I now ask Brewsters and Salt Marketing to please publish them. What are you hiding now?

Last thought for the day: Brewters is no longer owned by the Brewster family, nor Canadians. It is owned by Viad Corporation, USA. Thanks for ruining my National Park.

Uncle Kev

(another editor’s note: Uncle Kevin sent me this explanation with his article. It works better than anything I could write, so here it is. ~Chris

“I have been able to stop at this viewpoint, where I took these three photos, and so have all guests of Jasper National Park, ever since the Icefield Parkway was opened in 1940. This is the spectacular roadway that connects Jasper and Lake Louise, alongside some of the highest mountains of the Canadian Rockies.

But no longer.

Since Parks Canada has allowed Brewster Canada to build a glass-bottomed walkway here, they have also allowed Brewster Canada (VIAD Corporation USA, remember), to monopolize the entire length of the once public viewpoint; for no reason necessary to the actual construction project. It was only to allow Brewster a monopoly of the entire site, so that we all will have to pay Brewster for the damned privilege!”

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Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. Note: Both are Brewster’s promotional websites!
May 05

I’m Going Back To The Land

mindofbirdman

But not in a good way.

Yet.

I’m heading back out west in the morning, and I’m not looking forward to it. I know that I never am, but this time it seems harder. Like having to cut off your own leg kind of harder.

I guess everything is harder when I think about it. Life just seems to get tougher as you get older. Better, but tougher nonetheless. Take the internet for example. It’s here to make our lives better, and in some ways it does. I couldn’t imagine not being able to look up anything that I wondered about at the drop of a hat. The knowledge that I gain from having that privilege is immense.

Then there is the part of the internet that isn’t quite as helpful, but helps to pass the time. You know, for when you are bored, sitting on the toilet, or maybe don’t feel like going out on a Friday night.

Social Media.

Sure it lets you keep up to date with who and what your friends are doing, what coffee and supper looks like, and how cute cats are, but it doesn’t take much to get addicted to it. I know. It happened to me.

As most of you probably know, I quit Facebook recently. Strangely enough, I don’t miss it. I miss a lot of the people, but some of the important ones have joined G+, and the ones who didn’t probably don’t need to get a hold of me anyhow.

No_twitter

I watched this yesterday. Two days after telling Mrs. Birdman that Twitter was getting the axe next. They have been ticking me off lately, what with them sending me notifications about who all of my followers are following. Like I care that they’ve all decided to follow Visa back, or whatever the case may be. Oh, and I have just figured out that there is no value in it for me. Anyhow, this really hit home.

It got me thinking about a lot of things, and one was that I need to stop wasting time online. There’s life out there, and procrastinating with my face tanned from the glow of my phone screen isn’t helping anything. I like information, and I need to start using the internet for what it was made for, which I’m certain isn’t trading cat photos and masturbation.

I need to start using the few years that I have left to do things.

Big things.

Important things.

Things like growing food, creating, and enjoying my time with friends and loved ones, which I suppose are one in the same. I love my family, and shouldn’t be spending my time socking away as many hours as I can work, so that I can come home and be depressed about either having no money, or having to leave the love of my life to go back to work in an industry that I only partially agree with.

For twenty some odd years, I have been thinking, wishing, and dreaming about buying a piece of property for cash and building an earthship home on it. Granted, that would take a lot more money than we have, so I guess we’ll have to just keep on working and dreaming. Dreaming of the day where I can get up in the morning, collect the eggs, move the chicken house over to some fresh grass, and empty the compost toilet.

A lot of people don’t understand the appeal of it, but I know that there are a lot that do, so I know I’m not alone. As I was researching I came across this guy.

His videos were interesting, especially this one. I can relate to his feelings, but not to his past. I find it interesting that so many people from such different walks of life are interested in the shift to more simple living. There are doctors, lawyers, truckers, and probably any other occupation that you can think of that just want to get the hell out of the rat race and slow down to a snail’s pace. I think it’s got to be that people are stopping to think about what they’re doing and realizing that everything that they have been taught all of their life is a big load of BS.

If you get a chance, check out The Story of Stuff Project

If you get a chance, check out The Story of Stuff Project

Whatever the individual reasons are, I am very happy to see people figuring things out, even if it is such a tiny percentage. People can see that things need to change and they are effecting the change themselves. That makes my heart smile.

Anyhow, I should go crawl into bed with the most beautiful soul that a person could know, and see if I can get my feet warmed up. I’ve got a long day of travelling and feeding the corporate machines.

For now.

Birdman

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