It's funny to admit that I don't even know which photos I have stored.
I remember, when I saved them that the thought was to use them eventually, But I don't know when eventually is! So this photo has served as a reminder to deal with these hundreds or thousands of images.
Advice To Self: good luck!
Saturday, October 22, 2011
It's funny to admit that I don't even know which photos I have stored.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
The rest of my stuff finally made the journey from southern Ontario. Nearly all of it is destined for thrift shops and recycling. The previous de-cluttering was good practice for this last bunch of ... well, junk.
This is a photo from June 2009, taken with the Nikon D200. The D200 expired in the summer of 2010, when I fell out of the canoe! Since then I have learned how to get in and out of the canoe without capsizing.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Here is your humble, slightly unclothed scribe, enjoying the fruits of his, and hers, relaxation.
This afternoon going out in the canoe, with Jacqui, and doing some fishing, is actually a reward to myself.
What did I do that I feel it necessary to reward myself? Well I don't mean to brag, and I'm not ... but; because I did a somewhat significant de-clutterisation recently, my life has become a lot more enjoyable.
How has it become more enjoyable?
Firstly, my/our small cabin on the lake looks nicer.
Secondly, not only is cleaning easier-it is actually possible.
Thirdly, and this is the big one-this is the big payoff ...I now have more time for other things.
Canoeing and fishing for example. Now there is time for posting to this blog also.
Another plus was the fish we caught: a nice chubby bass, and three good bluegills. They were a delicious addition to our meal of steak, and squash with apple and cinnamon.
It is nice that the proof was on the dinner plate, so to speak.
This life of Mike's is becoming very convenient to maintain.
My place is small, but it has a lot more space available for living and enjoyment, now that all that stuff is gone. Stuff that I wasn't using. If I really "needed" those things, I would have used them sometime in the last few years. What is really unbelievable though, is that I hauled this crap over 350 miles, over 550 kms, when I moved here.
Jacqui and I also had time to work on both canoes, sanding and painting. We spent the last few evenings duelling it out by playing backgammon and crib. We both won ... we both lost.
We take photographs, as well, so we spend some of our time with those images. It was a bit rainy, on and off , for the last few days, so we chose to delay our camping trip until the week after next.
Now that I have time to do the things I like, I am thinking about what should or shouldn't be on the passions/bucket list.
Back to the fish story. We soaked the fish in brine for over an hour and a half , and we were pleased to discover that there weren't any worms.
Only 51 months to to go until my earliest retirement date of December 31, 2015.
Feel free to comment, discuss, or ask. Thank you for your interest.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
The process slowly continues, one day at a time. This photo of the shirt, underwear and socks, represents today's progress.
Today I got rid of:
2 pairs of track pants
21 pairs of socks
9 pairs of underwear
All freshly laundered in AAA condition.
Out the door and off to the Sally Ann they went. At the very least, these items will be torn up, or sold to jobbers to tear up and sell off as rags. Or they will be recycled for manufacturing. Nearly all of the items are made of cotton.
Imagine how many natural resources will be saved, because maufacturer's are able to use the cheaper recycled cotton. Plus all the water and chemicals, and other natural resources, energy for example, that are used in the production of raw cotton will not have to be disposed of, which causes further environmental damage.
I never used to think of things like that, but I do now.
I am an 'accidental' minimalist. I got started out of necessity ... living in a smaller place compared to my previous, palatial home. So I clued in a little and realised most of the 'stuff'' I was maintaining, was costing me time, money & space.
At one time, I had over 40 pairs of underwear! They have weird reality shows about people who collect things in that manner. Even weirder, apparantly, even weirder people watch those TV shows!
I don't watch television. The best things I ever did was stop gambling, smoking and watching television. I believe those things will kill you.
Anyway, the fall clean up continues and I am really looking forward to a winter full of camping, dancing, game playing and cooking with, my best friend, Jacqui.
There will be some other stuff too; going for walks, reading, taking photos, and just sitting and staring into space and wondering 'what if'', and then finding the answers to that question.
Jacqui and I always find an answer, but even if we don't, that would be okay too. We solve most of the worlds problems, snuggled up on the couch, looking into each other's eyes and sipping hot chocolate or wine.
And if that isn't proof of a good happy life ... then consider this:
Today is the 40th anniversary of Greenpeace. I think that is great news!
I wonder: How many people has Greenpeace saved in the last 40 years?
Does anybody know?
Is it 1,000?
Is it 10,000?
Or 100,000 or a million?
I think the 2 best stories in the news this past week, were about Greenpeace and that 3 year old boy that was returned home, in Sparwood, B.C.
But enough about what I think.
When you put your head on the pillow at night ... what do you think about?
Is it something that is helpful and happy?
We's likes happy stuff ... doesn't we, Jacqui-Mae?
As a friend said recently,
"Be the change".
PS: The above photo also can be seen at flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mike_55/6150523289/
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
This is an excellent guide to making life better. It talks about simplifying or minimising your very hectic, busy life.
The author suggests that we focus on our passions. She writes about learning how to focus, how to learn to cut out the distractions and time-killers that prevent us from reaching our potential.
This book is an excellent introduction to minimalist concepts and philosophies.
Her writing has already helped me change my habits to get more value out of my life.
Click on the image to go to flickr.
Enough is Enough!
My exasperation with the cellphone provider I have been using, has finally made me ask: why do I give these corporate thugs my money?
These scurrilous, corporate hooligans will soon get very little, or preferably, none of my money.
I get the internet for free and I have CAA. At the very most, all I need to have is a cellphone and a pay as you go phone card.
I feel better already knowing that I must, that I will, finally get a very firm hand on the ludicrous rates that these 21st century robber barons charge.
Only in Canader you say? Pity, in't it?
Chuck you farley, aiss my kss!
Anyway, now that I'm back to my normally civil, relaxed self, what other alternatives can I think of.
Having a cellphone gives me a certain sense of security.
So that begs the question: what will happen to me if I don't have a cellphone? Will I suddenly die? Will my car all of a sudden break down? Will I get a flat tire and be preyed upon by thugs, beaten and robbed, and left at the side of the road to die a lonely, painful and humiliating death?
I wonder exactly how cruel my life will become for me without a cellphone?
I am resolved. I will throw cellphone security to the wind and risk life without a cellphone.
I will revert back to the old fashioned house phone/landline.
Besides, cellphones pollute the planet. They have to be replaced every few weeks, months or years because they are built so flimsy. Why aren't they waterproof and shockproof?
What we need is an indesructible, cheap cellphone that lasts forever, that can have apps uploaded for FREE, by our somewhat less than generous cellphone service providers, to improve them as required.
Speaking of generous ... exactly how much do these corporate kingpins earn in a year?
I'll bet they are ridiculously generous when it comes to their salaries.
So why can't they throw their customers a crumb, and reduce the rates by a substantial amount?
Instead of saving money by importing these things from some sweatshop, why don't they start right here, right now by cutting the fat at the top?
I wonder. One can hope, can't one?
No matter, one way or another, there is going to be a change in my cellphone habits.
Feel free to make a comment or suggestion or a criticism.
What do you think?
Thursday, September 08, 2011
Well it wasn't all heaven on earth. The walk that myself, and my best friend took today was a little short. It was invigorating and relaxing too. Off to work tomorrow again. The week off was really refreshing. The Gatineau Balloon Festival was a joy. Our new tent was a joy.
I really enjoy getting rid of this stuff. Why would anyone need more than three pairs of jeans anyway? If I used them for work, then nine of them would be reasonable. They were just junk taking up space. If they are needed that would be reasonable, but they aren't needed. Maybe somebody else will have a need for them.
Good night, sleep tight.
Saturday, September 03, 2011
Thursday, September 01, 2011
Our weekend won't be starting until Saturday, due to work/time commitments. It is somewhat unfortunate that we will miss David Usher, followed by Roger Hodgson, but as they say in Quebec-c'est la vie! We will still get to see Roch Voisine and some other very good musicians, in addtion to all the other events that we may enjoy.
Today is a full day. I need to purchase wood for the shelf building project, and the paint has arrived for both canoes. Also on the list is a minimal grocery shopping trip.
Okay back to the tent. Last night would have been my second night camped out on the 1.1 acre lakeside backyard. However, a slightly boisterous pair of marauding racoons, turned the neighbours dog into a noisy doggy. Of course then the neighbour came out to speak sharply to 'Scamp', before taking him inside. So after being roused from my short sleep, I was somewhat awake. After lying quietly for nearly an hour, I retreated to the cabin to get some sleep.
It's a beautiful morning here in Rideau Ferry. There are 120 entries into the last big fishing derby of this summer, so the hamlet is buzzing. The area motels are full, some will have to stay in Kingston or Ottawa, or further afield.
We are off to Gatineau, Quebec for camping, music, fireworks and hot air balloons.
Have a great weekend!
With kindness and respect,
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
This is the lighthouse at Covehead Point, Prince Edward Island National Park. This was a wonderful trip. I'm sure we will be back very soon.
Here is the set @ flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mike_55/sets/72157627215938659/
You can also click on the image to see more.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Friday, May 06, 2011
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Saturday, April 09, 2011
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
Bedford Mills is a very quaint, pretty place. It's just off the beaten track, not too far from Newboro or Westport.
More importantly, Frontenac Provincial Park owns a strip of land, a portage, that allows access from the Rideau system to Devil Lake. This allows a canoe trip to the northern border of Frontenac Provincial Park.
This was the missing link. My gratitude to those who had the foresight to obtain this very, strategic portage.
Jacqui & I started our 2011 camping season, back on the Feb, 5, 2011 at Mew Lake Campground, in Algonquin Park. It was the first time in decades that either of us had camped, albeit in the Santa Fe, winter notwithstanding.
Recently we purchased a tent From Mountain Equipment Co-op in Ottawa. So next week we will hike into Frontenac and do an overnighter in the tent ... sleeping bags, etc. I better get a compass and a map.I'll call the park and get some advice about that.
I need to get in shape, exercise a little more.
Stay tuned, Jacqui will be here soon.
Monday, March 07, 2011
We were en route to Algonquin Park. Jacqui and I celebrated our year long friendship, by camping at Mew Lake. The weather was excellent. The wind was calm, it was a crisp -23C.
We slept in the Hyundai Santa Fe. I am 6 feet tall, and when the back seat is folded down, there is enough room for us to sleep comfortably.
We put a tarp down, then lay the closed cell foam insulation on the tarp. Then the opened up summer sleeping bag was put down. Then I put down my opened up parka, (it has a hood), then we climbed onto our 'bed'.
Then we covered ourselves with Jacqui's down sleeping bag. We opened two windows just a crack to allow air in, and to let the moisture vent out.
Surprisingly, we both slept soundly. I woke up once to relieve my bladder. When I returned to the car, I started it and let in run for 20 minutes, to get the coolness out of the air and to let the heat dry off the residual moisture.
We were up by 0715 on Feb. 6.
Neither Jacqui or myself had winter camped since our 20's. This experience has whetted our appetite for more winter, and now ... spring camping! When Jacqui get's back from work in 11 days, we're off to Frontenac Provincial Park for another learning experience.
Frontenac is a back country, natural environment park. You cannot drive to your campsite. There is no car camping. You have to hike in or canoe in. The geography and geology is the same Canadian Shield that Algonquin Park enjoys. Frontenac is 98 kms from here by car, but I am speculating that it is about 40 kms by canoe from here. There is one short, uphill portage near Bedford Mills.
So it's getting to be a pretty interesting. We're learning how to live with the possibility of coming face to face with a black bear. They want to be near us as much as we want to be near them. Our bear education is from the knowledgeable staff at the 3 provincial parks we've visited recently, Kevin at the East Gate at Algonquin, Toby at Murphy's Point, and Bert at Frontenac.
The other issue we are learning about is a nasty thing called giardia, or "Beaver Fever". It is contracted from ingesting human or animal feces, usually from water. So we need to have a small burner of some sort, to boil water, and also some type of water purification system.
We checked out stoves at Mountain Equipment Co-Op, while there last week. You can get a good one for about $71.00 to $170.00. We did buy an MEC Camper 2 tent, low profile air matresses and insulating foam, and a couple of small, light stools. The stuff is very compact, quite light.
Less than 100 kms from here are another 3 provincial parks, Silver Lake, Sharbot Lake, and Charleston Lake. Another 2 parks, closer to Ottawa, Rideau River and Fitzroy, north of Ottawa.
All brought about by a sweet anniversary ... what a fun, little project!
Stay tuned, the camping starts when Jacqui gets back!
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
We saw a couple of groups snowshoeing. I should have got a shot of the yurts, they seem pretty popular at this time of the year because they are heated.
We didn't take many photos, but the ones we got we liked.
Click on the image to see more at Flickr.
Monday, February 07, 2011
We came around a curve and crested a hill and this dude was perched in a tree.
Fortunately the camera settings were correct. This was the first and only good frame.
The camping was good. Jacqui brought her arctic sleeping bag, that had seen very little service since her time in Yellowknife and Rankin Inlet.
We had a big campfire, there was very lttle wind. Despite the -16 degree temps, we were comfortable, whether awake or asleep.
Algonquin Park is beautiful any time of the year.
To see more images from our recent outdoor adventures, check out Jacqui's flickr account, lifecatcher2010.
Click on the image to go to flickr.