Aug 30

Hey, Thanks A Bunch

(This is an almost exact replica of the post I put on Granola Light, but because some of the action comes from here, I thought it only fair to post one on Change The Topic too.)

I got a wonderful email today from Amazon.ca telling me that they had deposited a payment into our account. Wahoo!

As we’ve mentioned before, if you go through any Amazon link on this site and buy anything from Amazon within 24 hours of clicking through, we get a referral fee from Amazon.

You can learn more HERE.

Well, some of you have done this, and we just wanted to thank you for that.

It’s not going to make us rich or anything(unless we can get some of the sheep shagging crowd) , but if the monthly amounts keep going the way they have been, the money earned will be enough to pay the web hosting fees for the year.

That’s a nice savings, and it is appreciated. The way we look at it is that every little bit helps, and we don’t want to take anything for granted. I just wanted you to know that it means a lot to us, and the money is actually going somewhere that is really helping out.

So thank you. Thanks for clicking and putting a bit of dough back in our wallets, but most of all thanks for stopping by. We really love hearing from you, and because we are horrible at keeping in contact with our friends, this is generally the only way we do it.

Hopefully that doesn’t make us bad people, we just get caught up in life, and time gets away from us. It’s not that we don’t want to talk to anyone.

You understand, right Mom?

Anyhow, the soap, mealworms and the composting worms are doing fantastic, and the chickens are good too, but Red keeps laying eggs while roosting. I went out at about 5 AM and put her in a nesting box, and when I opened the coop at 7, she had a beautiful little egg that wasn’t smashed on the floor, so I will keep doing that until she learns, I guess.

We are also looking into black soldier fly larva, sprouting grains, and aquaponics for the future, so that’s pretty exciting. For me. I’m a real nerd when it comes to this stuff.

Birdman

Jun 19

Where Does It Go?

Birdman

No, I’m not talking about that, although I could have used some hints when I was younger.

I’m talking about time.

I was pretty sick all this week, but what about last week, and probably next week?

It can’t always be so rushed, can it?

It’s been really good to be working again, even though it’s only forty hours a week. I don’t know how I ever did it when I was doing eighty plus. I hope I never have to find out again.

I am quite liking this new job. I’ve never had an actual union job before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but so far it’s pretty sweet. I like the scheduled shifts, because knowing when I work all week is a pretty foreign concept to me. The fact that I get a long weekend every weekend in the summer is the icing on the cake though. I am able to get things done on Fridays that would normally take up part of our weekend.

Normally that would leave more time for soaping, but we haven’t really done much of that lately. I guess it’s because we have been busy doing other things like gardening, building the chicken coop, and sleeping. We also helped at the 17th Annual Fishing Derby at Dinosaur Lake today, but that was just a day, so we can’t really blame it for using up all of our precious time.

It was a pretty cool fishing derby though. I think. It’s actually the first one I’ve been to in any capacity, so it seemed good to me, even though there were only four fish caught out of probably a hundred people.

dinosaur lake

Dinosaur Lake

Apparently fish don’t bite when the water is so muddy, but this derby doesn’t care if you catch fish, so the juniors were just drawn from all of the kids who entered. I also like that everyone gets a prize, so even if you don’t fish, you are still going to get something. I got a good length of rope and a credit card knife, along with a bunch of freebies that the conservation officers dropped off for everyone. Lanyard and floaty keychains, travel mugs, stickers, spinner lures, and some cool tape measures were given out to everyone that wanted them.

It was a really fun day, with all kinds of community spirit and a lot of smiling faces. I can’t wait for next year. 🙂

Birdman

P.S. I only wrote one thing this week over at Granola Light. It isn’t really exciting for anyone who doesn’t share my passion for the care and breeding of composting worms and the evil forces that attack them.

Apr 18

Blue Fucked Off, Again

birdmandesk

Blue.

This is one of the mornings since he has been sleeping in his crate. He takes every chance to sneak onto a pillow.

This is one of the mornings since he has been sleeping in his crate. He takes every chance to sneak onto a pillow in his old bed.

You might remember him from such posts as Today’s The Day, I Love That Boy, or Blue And The Wolf.

Now he’s going to be known for this one. Hopefully it won’t be his last appearance.

Yesterday, we decided to do a bit of van camping, kind of like when we went to the hot springs. The girls were at their dad’s, so we were going to make some soap, pack up the van, and head up to the ski hill and then to Bullhead Mountain.

Then I got pretty sick and we decided to just go up to Bullhead, let the dogs go for a good run, and cook some burgers on an open fire. After that we were going to come home because my guts were hurting and I wanted to be in my own bed. I’m getting quite old.

We let them out at around the one km mark and they chased the van. By two km they had passed it. We got ahead of them while they pissed on a tree and they were starting to lag a bit by three, so we let them in the van and drove another little bit to the gravel pit that we decided would be a good stopping point. They were pretty beat, so we figured they wouldn’t stray too far from camp.

Then Blue fucked off.

This was on the hot springs trip. Dover was Yang or 9 depending on how your mind works.

This was on the hot springs trip. Dover was Yang or 9 depending on how your mind works.

They both were meandering along the side of the mountain, and Dover was sticking close to the camp on account of food.

Blue, not so much.

As we were getting the fire going, we heard the baying start.

“Oh shit, Blue’s after something.” I said. I was hoping it was a squirrel up a tree or something simple like that.

We just kind of shrugged our shoulders and finished splitting the kindling and the old punky shit that was lying around the pit. He wasn’t too far away.

Then his baying got fainter. A bit further up the mountain. Oh well, he has already had a good run, so he should be back before too long. We were going to be a few more hours anyhow.

And then the wind started to pick up. A lot. The baying was moving back closer to us. We walked to the edge and watched for him, yelling his name. I caught a quick glimpse of him, nose to the ground, moving through the edge of the trees, far below. He wasn’t really interested in what we were saying.

After a while it sounded like he had crossed the road. And then about an hour later, he crossed back again. I think. The wind was just howling through the valley by now. We could hear him every so often, but couldn’t tell where he was. You couldn’t even hear the echoes anymore. We weighed his cushion down with rocks on the edges and left him some food and water, then we went home. I was going to leave my jacket, but Gerri figured he would like his outside bed better. She’s usually right.

Blue

The arrows are where we know he went. The circle is where he might be now, if someone didn’t pick him up.

We then put Dover, some food, and the bed in the van and headed back out there for the night. We wouldn’t be able to sleep thinking he was waiting out there for us. When we got there, he was nowhere to be seen. The food and water was untouched, so we parked and honked for a bit. Then we dozed on and off until morning, got up, had a pee in nature (Dover’s was on Blue’s bed.), and headed back to get the quad to see if we could find him on some of the old logging trails.

We looked up and down every trail that we could find, calling and whistling, but there was nothing. I’m just going to assume that he made it to one of the roads and someone picked him up. He’ll climb into anyone’s vehicle, so there would be no problem there. We will just wait until tomorrow morning and put out a PSA and hope that someone calls the district with his tag number. He’s been gone for 24 hours, so if a cougar didn’t get him, or he didn’t run off a cliff, I’m guessing someone has him.

This is when he was a bus driver on our journey west.

This is when he was a bus driver on our journey west.

I have had some pretty crazy scenarios running through my head since we lost him. I have envisioned him bringing down a deer and then having to fight of a couple of coyotes for his kill. He was pretty beat up, but was able to drag himself back to his pad and wait for us to come and get him. In another, he was chasing an elk, but so was a cougar. As he was gaining on the old cow, the cougar got him from behind. He was so excited about the hunt that he didn’t feel the two inch canines1)Shouldn’t they be felines? sink into the back of his neck.

He didn’t make it home from that one.

Another was where he ran back down the road and saw the guy loading his quad onto his trailer and just jumped in with him. That’s the one I am hoping for.

It doesn’t matter which one I think of, I get really sad and happy. Happy to have known him, and sad to think of never seeing him again. Next to my wife, he is my best friend out here. His emotional neediness is endearing, and his love is unconditional.

Unless there’s hunting. If there’s hunting, you’re shit out of luck in the friend department.

Birdman


*Note: We got a call last night from Blue’s rescuer. We went and picked him up and other than being gimbled up, he seems okay. Thirsty, tired, and hungry, but his tail still wags and he doesn’t have any puncture wounds in his neck, so that’s awesome. I guess he was found on the cushion that we left. 🙂

Thank you so much, James. You saved us another restless night.

BTW, I already had the post mostly written, so I decided to finish it. Call me cheap if you want, but it’s hard to get the motivation to write, so I wasn’t wasting it.

Awesome footnotes   [ + ]

1. Shouldn’t they be felines?
Apr 03

Wasn’t That A Party

Originally posted in June of 2012, I was going through and adding Amazon links to posts as people read them and this one came up today. By far my favourite night, and revisiting it has made me feel all happy and shit.

Well, we showed you the first batch of blissful photos from the wedding. Now you will get to see a bunch from the not so glamourous, but much more fun wedding dance. If you see yourself here, but don’t want your photo posted, please go to the Harass Us page and let us know. We can put a black circle over anyone’s head like it’s nobody’s business. I can’t imagine that anyone would have a problem, because like Gadget says: “If you go drinking with a photographer, and a guy with a blog, you have to expect to see yourself online.”

Totally accurate, and quite logical for a guy who wrote the C word on my arm at new years.

So now, without further ado, I give you some of the party pics.

I believe that Beaner is pretending to be a pterodactyl and Mrs. B is whatever the hell they eat.

Continue reading

Mar 11

Hello, I’m Steve Podborski

wpid-mindofbirdman.jpg

That’s what I said to my beautiful wife when I I got to the bottom of the hill on Saturday.

This hill.

20160308_141120

Trixie, don’t mess up Aaron’s nice grooming job, and don’t try to eat his lunch.

Without falling.

That’s Williston Lake, and off to the left is the W.A.C. Bennett Dam. They are both pretty huge. The shack at the bottom is the power shed for the tow.

This is our ski hill.

This is from the other side.

This is from the other side of The Dam Run. Pretty clever, huh.

When we moved here, we heard about the volunteer-run ski hill. There is all kinds of stuff to keep yourself occupied in the summer around here, but the winter can get pretty dreary, so we decided to go to the AGM for the ski hill and see if we could help out.

Turns out we could.

Hello, my name is Chris, and I'll be your handle on the bum specialist today.

Hello, my name is Chris, and I’ll be your handle on the bum specialist today.

I know I have mentioned before how much I love this town that we live in, but I feel like I have to sing it’s praises a bit more. I have never lived anywhere with such community spirit and involvement. It’s a place that you just want to help out in. I look around all the time at people putting their heart into projects that benefit the whole community, and it makes me proud and happy to be here.

It’s a lot of responsibility to ensure that your community has a safe, fun place to spend their wintry weekends, so we were glad to be able to help out the amazing group of people that were running this club so smoothly.

Then we didn’t get any snow, and we lost hope. Oh, and Jenny is leaving, so that makes us sad too.

This is the last part of the beginner hill.

This is the last part of the hill that we named Darryl’s Elbow. Get it? I guess I should mention that without Darryl, this would not be here. Any of it.

Then, last week it snowed, and there was much celebration. Darryl, Aaron, and I went up to see a few inches of new powder on the hill, so we tuned up the lift and got it ready to open for the weekend. I was finally going to get to do some work at the hill when it was running. It was pretty spectacular.

This made everything worth it.

This made everything worth it.

At one point, we had seven kids going up the lift at one time, and I nearly wept with happiness. I’m almost crying now as I think about it. It’s hard for me to explain, but I think that being around people that give so much of themselves to a remote community really wears off on me. It’s a pretty amazing feeling when you are around them, and it’s not just the ski club. The town is full of groups that are trying to make a better place for themselves, and for the kids. Hockey, rec badminton, Rod and Gun Club, Book clubs, The Friends of Hudson’s Hope, Curling, and figure skating are a few that come to mind, but there are many more.

That’s pretty phenomenal for a town of around 1000 people that’s an hour from anywhere. I think these folks all deserve a pat on the back and a round of applause for their efforts, because in the end they are what brought us here, and also who make it easy to stay.

Here are a few of them. Notice they don't pose for photos properly. That's because they make the rules, not follow them.

Here are a few of them. Notice they don’t pose for photos properly. That’s because they make the rules, not follow them.

Now back to the title of this post.

At the end of Saturday, I strapped on the first set of skis to touch my feet in twenty years. I took three trips down the hill, and I didn’t fall once. Gerri was waiting for me at the bottom of the hill and told me that I looked like a natural, Steve Podborski was who came to mind. I guess because he was quite relevant the last time I was skiing.

When I first learned to ski, at Camborne Ski Club in the early 80s, I absolutely loved it. It was a little bigger than this is now, but it had the same, small town feel to it. The quiet, electric tow at our hill is much smoother than Kent Harper running the old rope tow in Camborne, but there was a charm to an old vehicle chassis with a makeshift wheel running a huge rope loop up a hill, that you don’t get nowadays. What with all the safety BS that’s around. I remember that if you didn’t grab fast enough, you could easily wear a pair of ski gloves out in a weekend. If you don’t believe me, or even if you do, check out This blog post that I found while researching.

Anyhow, over the next few years, we got a family membership to the Oshawa Ski Club, but I lost my love after Camborne shut down. By the time I hit high school, smoking and drinking took the place of everything else I loved as a kid. Sometimes I blame my dad for making us go all of the time, but in the end I’m sure I would have fell out of love with skiing on my own. Just like I did with hockey.

I'm afraid to go down The Energizer, even though the hydro poles have pads. Maybe next time.

I’m afraid to go down The Energizer, even though the hydro poles have pads. Maybe next time.

I’m falling back in love with it. Thank you, Hudson’s Hope.

Maybe hockey is next year. If I can find some old skates at the thrift store.

Birdman

P.S. Jenny is still leaving, so we are still sad. Our hopes are that she will miss us so much that her heart forces her to come back. At gunpoint, if need be.