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2014 Journal: just a few notes

2014 Journal: just a few notes . . .
How the years fly by! Seems only yesterday we were shepherding teenagers, and welcoming new babies. Libby and I are a year older, and things have been relatively quiet for us. Libby had a scare with a pulmonary embolism that hospitalized her for nearly a week but there was no way it was going to keep her down. She went through endless tests, then was discharged to my tender care with an oxygen generator and a new easy chair. She’s doing well and as feisty as ever—still working hard as Dominion Genealogist for the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada.
I got over my bout with bladder cancer, thanks to a doctor’s careful care and several hospital examinations. I amuse myself by writing, shopping, cooking for the two of us and working on a new project—a website—which my son Seaghan helped me set up. It’s still in the formative stage, but if any of you care to look you’ll find it at I have just a couple of entries in it at the moment, but I will be adding more in the new year, including my Alaska Travel Diary (which was one of the high points of my industrial life), and my poetry “Closer to the Flame”.
I enjoy hearing from all of you, especially on Facebook. I hear regularly from my granddaughters Coral (Casey’s daughter) and Cristiona (Seaghan’s daughter) Another favorite correspondent is Peter Loy-Hancocks, whose foreign adventures and garden ventures I greatly enjoy. He is also a great photographer and has given me some fine shots of the many places he visits. My friend Harold Morrison (we went to school together in Hamilton, Ontario now 80 years ago), has a website called “Harold Says”. Seaghan is helping him, too, and Harold is a faithful Facebook user.
I have two other people I enjoy hearing from, and never thought I would ever make contact with. One is Ila Lawton, who was the daughter of our next-door neighbors in Scarborough. She is now living in Kingston, and active in the theatre, and promoting women’s issues. The second is Gary Freeman (who once dated my daughter) and is now not only a garrulous Facebook user, but a senior executive for Corus Entertainment in Calgary. Our contact began by accident one day when he answered a comment I had made on a Facebook page. And that’s what keeps life so interesting—hearing from people you thought you had lost track of forever.
Sorry to seem to be loading up this not with what might seem like trivia—but the older you get, the more confined your circumstances, the more you appreciate how valuable social media have become. I not only use them to communicate with my friends, but the world at large, and I actively participate in many political causes through them. I think the social media, taking them seriously, are one of the most important aspects of our new democratic society. Used properly they can prevent our politicians from making asses of themselves (and us), and keep us in regular contact, especially in those things that matter most to us.
As for the rest of my family—briefly—Casey is still with Shoppers, as is his wife Kim, and both are doing well. Coral, their daughter, is still helping people plan winter vacations at Ski Canada.
Seaghan’s wife Sandi has survived a very bad year with throat cancer. She went through some very difficult days with chemotherapy and radiation, but thankfully now seems to be on the mend and is back at work, part time. Seaghan is building websites for customers, and is about to be involved in a co-production on the life of Sir John Franklin. I don’t see much of his children Cristiona, Mike, and Stefan, but all are on Facebook and we touch one-another from time to time.
Shannon, Arastou, Roya and Emma have moved from living with Arastou’s uncle, and are now just as stone’s through away from Libby and I—across the golf course that separates our house from the apartment building where they live. Both the girls are now in high school and right into the thick of things. We see them regularly, and both girls are becoming attractive and intelligent young women. No one is ever going to put them down!
And so, dear friends and relatives, another year draws to its close. Let us pray that 2015 will be a year of peace and prosperity, and that the year will see the cessation of hostilities wherever they occur. Libby and I send you our warmest wishes for success in all your ventures.

George and Libby

So why is stronger better?

Have you eve noticed that once a substance comes into use, humans somehow feel that the stronger the substance, the better?

Take sugar, for instance. When it was first discovered it was regarded as a natural sweetener. Then came rock sugar, a handier form to use because it came in a lump and you could chip off a piece for sweetness instead of pressing sugar cane to extract the sweet liquid.

But humans wanted even more sweetness, so they came up with cane syrup and molasses. Sweet, sweet sweet,, but storable in glass jars and ladled out carefully spoon by spoon. Then we sought even more convenience so we came up with brown sugar, one step down from molasses, and refined sugar–dry, sweet, easily storable, and available in a variety of forms from coarse to fine grains, to powder.

And that still wasn’t sweet enough so we came up with glucose and fructose, the ultimate sweeteners with which we have given ourselves and epidemic of diabetes. At each step of the way, stronger became, in our minds, better.

Or take coffee. When first discovered it came as a coarsely ground bean. Then we discovered that grinding the beans  finer gave us a stronger tasting brew. Finally we ground it so fine that it became espresso that was so strong we could only drink it a demi-tasse at a time. And just for laughs we decided to take the caffeine out it it and called it decaffeinated coffee, as if that made it stronger but safer.

The same thing is true of tomatoes. First the fruit, then the slices, then the dices, then the slurry, and finally the tomato paste. Each step made the final product stronger and stronger for the limited space it took.

I never felt that stronger was better. Stronger was stronger as far as I was concerned. And stronger did not  necessarily lead to safer or better. It often led to more harmful and dangerous. We seem to never be able to let well enough alone, but always seek to improve and strengthen the characteristics of the substances we use or consume.

Apply that same thinking to atomic bombs. First we learned to release the enormous energy of the atom. Then we wanted it stronger so we went to the hydrogen atom. Then we wanted really strong but “safer” so we invented the neutron bomb with the delightful characteristic that it kills any and every life form it touches, including insects, but  leaves everything else intact. Imagine an earth full of empty buildings. What a charming thought, but that’s where we’re headed.

Our constant pursuit of the stronger, which we ironically call the “purer” is going to destroy us in the end. Stronger is not better. For lack of a better word, is is worser. I just hope we realize it in time.

Sunday morning in Toronto

I had a Tim Horton’s morning today. For all those of you who do not know what Tim Horton’s is, it’s the biggest coffee house chain in Canada, originally started by a famous hockey player who alas, never lived to see the results of his investment. He died in a car crash at a very young age. But the chain prospered, and was eventually sold to a big American company with other chains to its credit. In Canada, however, it has remained true to its identity, and is the quintessential place for meeting Canadians from all walks of life. Coffee and a donut is a Canadian ritual.

My morning began slowly. Daylight Saving Time. I forgot to turn the clock back, so I enjoyed an extra hour of dawdling while I reset my bedside clock and checked my Facebook messages. A lot of them this a.m.

Then I decided to get breakfast. I often go to Tim’s in the morning, especially if I don’t feel like cooking, and this morning it was raining hard, so I decided to forego my own cooking and visit the coffee house instead. When I got there, I bought a paper, the Sunday edition of the Toronto Star. I always carry my iPhone, but Tim’s has this annoying habit of logging you in to their wifi network complete with ads and other extraneous commercial info, so I usually forget it while I’m there.

Much to my surprise, the paper contained not only an edited version of the New York Times news section, but the Times Book Review section, which used to be my bible. I haven’t read it in years, but I immediately looked to see if it contained any mention of Elin Peer, Wendy Douglas, or Francesca Vance. No such luck. But I’ll keep looking.

My breakfast order was typical, but involved Tim’s unique ordering experience. I get a large dark-roast coffee, double cream and triple sweetener, a back-bacon breakfast sandwich, and an apple pie fritter. The attendant who takes my order I’ve had before. She doesn’t speak English very well, so ordering becomes a comedy of errors.

She (and even the attendants who do speak English) don’t understand the word “triple” very well, so I hold up three fingers and say loudly “three sweeteners.” I don’t know why I say it loudly–probably because I think if I say it loudly someone who doesn’t speak English very well will understand me better. As in, “Do I make myself clear?”

I always feel like a fool when I do this. I have tried to stop myself from doing it. But if I speak normally I just get blank looks, and Tim’s is always noisy in the morning. Strangely, I never have trouble with the breakfast sandwich or the apple fritter, although I sometimes have to repeat “biscuit” loudly several times because she’s so used to people saying “muffin” that it takes a while to register.

Finally my order comes, so I put it on my tray, and find the only open table in a crowded restaurant on a Sunday morning. And then I people watch surreptiously from behind my paper.

First thing I notice is that I’m the only one reading an actual paper. Everyone else is busy on their phones, tablets, or computers. Yes laptops. I swear some of the Chinese men use Tim’s as their office. The students use it as a homework haven, and the rest are either surfing or talking to relatives or bsuiness associates–yes, even on the weekend. But not everyone is iphoning.

Across from me is a table with eight Greek men I have seen here before. They talk intensely among themselves, laugh frequently, and I am sure are busy solving the problems of Greek society in Canada. There many Greeks here, probably as many as live in Athens. I don’t understand a word of their discourse, but I don’t care. They’re just Canadians of Greek origin having a fine time at Tim’s.

Next to me is a table with two women. They are an interesting pair. First, I can tell because I caught a few words from them in English before they switched to another tongue. They are Muslim.

The contrast between them is startling. One is hooded,  dressed almost entirely in black, although I could see a pair of blue jeans sticking out from the bottom of her costume. The other is as modern as The Gap. She is clothed in a red athletic outfit with grey piping and gray sneakers. The outift is the height of fashion for such clothing. She is strikingly beautiful with a neatly coifed sort of pony-style bun. Her hair is dark, but beautifully shiny.

They  appear to be close friends, but since many Muslims in Canada stick with old world costumes, the difference is remarkable. They sit as long as I read my paper, and I can’t help wondering if they represent the old and the new in Muslim culture in Canada. I sort of hope so.

I remember when the Italians first started immigrating to Canada in the 1950s. The women all wore the shapeless black garments that were the rule for women in their homeland. Then the second generation came along, and the third and now we’re into the fourth. No more black. Italian women are as chic as the runways of Paris, New York, and Milan. And many of them are very beautiful.

The same thing will happen with Muslim women, and the nonsense about banning burkhas and head scarves in Quebec will vanish. There may be a few who will still cling to religious mores, but gradually, as the generations change, so will their clothing.

My son-in-law is Iranian born. Men in Iran frequently wear large beards. In Canada in the 21st century it’s the exception to see one with as beard. Customs change with the environment and culture. When in Rome . . .  So my lesson for this Sunday morning is clear. Quit worrying about language, and clothing. It’s not worth the effort. Change is coming, and it will come as fast as the next generation. Just watch what’s happening in Tim’s. It’s the melting pot of the nation.

I remember a scene from Elin Peer’s book The Protector. In search of his wife, Magnus goes to the Motherland to find her. Does he retain his giant beard and leather clothing? No, he dresses like a Motlander. He hates it, but he knows that he must fit in if he’s to  succeed. I talked about Hadiya in a former rant. She dressed like a lawyer to fit in. When she left the law she dressed more informally and comfortably. She may not realize it, but she still fits in. Those who must dress for the law are in a cultural straight jacket. I’m glad Hadiya got out of it.

Bitches about 21st century picky things

If it’s the little things that matter, it’s also the little things that sometimes drive me nuts. I’m speaking about things that don’t really matter but somehow put a kink in my customary rituals. One of those things for me is labels on clothing.

I don’t know much about women’s underthings, but ever since I’ve been a boy I have been buying the same kind of men’s underwear, specifically jockey shorts. Now I know you don’t want to hear about my jockeys, but forever and a day they have always had labels sewn into them to tell you what size they are.

Didn’t matter whether they were Jockeys, Fruit of the Loom, Denver Hayes, or whatever, they always had cloth labels that said what size they were. I’ve worn some shorts for years and washing after washing, I know the labels still say the same thing.

Then, all of a sudden, they didn’t have cloth labels any more, but printed labels. Cost saving, right? Sure, but after about three washings the size information disappears. Why is that important? Because, like a true male, I cannot remember from purchase to purchase what size I wear. If I can’t remember what size I wear I inevitably buy a size or maybe two sizes too small, which after I’ve opened the package I can’t return because in most Canadian stores there is no return on undies

You would think the size would somehow be engraved on my memory, but oh no. It’s one of those trivial things I can’t be bothered to store in a grey cell somewhere, with the result that I am constantly mis-sizing. Before I could just look at a label before I went to buy, and get it right every time. Grrrr!

Another thing that bugs me are the “best before” dates on food. I religiously look for these labels (the result of years of domestic training) but I know in my heart that no matter what they say they will NOT be best before the dates shown. I have bought best before cream with a date that shows it to have a month to go, only to open it and find it curdled. I can return it, of course, and I often do. But what use are the dates when you have no idea how long the product has been on the shelf.

Next on the list of picayune things that rustle my psyche are the tiny little labels on fruit. I know they’re bar codes to help the dumb cash registers tell what the cost of the fruit is, but my intestines must now surely be cluttered with self stick labels saying “McIntosh Apple 9052” or “Pear Bartlett, 3214”. And if I remember to peel them off, it takes ages to get my fingernail far enough beneath the label to get rid of it.

I know I’m whining, but isn’t it possible just to buy fruit by the gram or kilogram  or ounce and pound, rather than by the individual label? There’s a scale at every cashier’s wicket. And just think of the extra labor affixing all those tiny labels to every apple, pear, pomegranate, or avocado that’s grown. Farmeers can’t find enough labour to pick the ferschlaggen crop, without having to label everything.

The more I write the more I can come up with the little things that irritate me. We have some great technology in the 21st century–just not in labelling. Sorry for the rant. I think I’d better quit while I’m ahead. Peace!

Unusual friends, unusual circumstances

I went to my lawyer today for some help with some routine legal matters. He told me he thought I was looking exceptionally well, and that started a conversation which turned into a real revelation, both about him and me.

His comment for some reason started me talking about Peer’s Peeps, about the exchanges I have had with Elin and some of you. Then we got onto the subject of Hadiya Rodriguez, the lawyer about whom I wrote s few days ago.

Frankly, I didn’t know whether or not I was on dangerous ground. My lawyer is black, a very large middle-aged white-haired person of Caribbean origin to whom I had gone to settle my wife’s estate. His name is Caleb Emmanuel Irish, and he has the most mellow, soft-spoken voice of anyone I know. It is so memorable that even my daughter speaks of him fondly because she remembers his treatment of her during our previous legal encounters.

I shouldn’t have worried. Turns out he is a remarkable man. But then, I always knew that without knowing the details.

In the course of our conversation he told me he had come to Canada at the age of 16 or so, with the express purpose of going into law. He landed in Montreal in October ( a cold month there) with the express purpose of signing up to the McGill Law School, a prestigious Canadian institution with the same kind of reputation as Harvard. What an impossible dream!

But the thing he told me was that he was focused and determined to geet a law education. In the course of seeking employment he was offered a job in the Canadian Arctic, at a small Cree village by the name of Poste de Baleine, which just means Whaling Post. The government functionary reluctantly offered him the job because as he said, “You’re from the tropics. This is October. You won’t want to be in the north from the tropics.” Emmanuel asked what the pay was. It was six or seven times what normal pay was at that time, but his immediate reply was, “I’ll take it.”

So he went north, and spent a year and a half among the Cree, living alone and saving his money (there was nothing to spend it on) for his law-school tuition. He emphasize to me that he was focused, and that though he had the opportunity to extend his northern stay and make even more money, he was determined to get his law education.

So he went back to Montreal and enrolled. Three years at McGill Law School, then then the inevitable struggle to article with a law firm for at least a year, without which he could not be called to the bar. We glanced somewhat over the difficulties he must have faced finding an articling position, but the gist of it was that it was every bit as difficult as it had been for Hadiya, with the added difficulty that he was one of the first black people to attempt this in Montreal.

The long and the short of it is that he succeeded, and now has his own law firm in Toronto. I don’t know much else about his background, but it turns out that he is going to have a book of poetry published in December,, and has promised me a copy. I will share with you when that happens.

I told him about my attempts to stamp out racism, and my own efforts to purge my language of the subtle racist undertones I did not even realized I had. The really good thing about our conversation is that it was just that–a conversation between two mutually understanding adults with no hint or racism in the exchange. I came away feeling not only good about the exchange, but promising him one of Elin’s books. I feel I need more such exchanges before I can even feel confident that I am making inroads on the racist substrate of our Canadian society.

The watched pot never boils. Oh yeah?!

When I occasionally put on a large pot of eggs to hard-boil, I love to watch the water come to a boil. That might seem silly–an octogenarian watching a pot of water come to a boil. But to me it seems so fundamental. It’s one of the miracles of nature that is so common we never think about it at all.

But I think about it. I think of how humans must have first discovered that boil. I use wonderful stainless steel pots. I wonder what kind of containers my ancient ancestors used. I wonder what kind of eggs they cooked, where they came from, how they preserved tem. The whole process is so basic, and it must have taken millennia to perfect–and yet here it is–perfect and simple, on the top of my gas stove, over in minutes.

When the  boil first begins, nothing seems to happen. It’s sort of like waiting for your computer to boot up. Then there might come a slight disturbance to the surface of the water. It seems to go smooth, get glassy, and brace itself for something to come. Then minute streams of tiny bubbles begin to rise up from around the side of the eggs. They gradually get larger and larger until bigger bubbles burst to the surface. I know that’s the beginning of the boil. If I keep watching, those large bubbles combine again until they almost disappear and the water begins to roil.

The eggs don’t move around much, although from the turbulence of the water you would expect them to. When they reach that state, I follow Martha Stewart’s advice and turn off the heat, put the cover on the pot, and let it rest for exactly 13 minutes. She and Julia Childs both agree this is the best way to hard-boil eggs. It leaves them without that green ring that surrounds the yolks if you boil them too long. The eggs come out looking perfect, and will keep for quite a while in the fridge before they’re gone.

I think watching water boil is like seeing the story of mankind through aeons of time. Two simple atoms, hydrogen and oxygen combine to make water. I think of how our bodies are mostly water. I wonder how my ancestors discovered the boil, and how they used it. Watching water boil is not simple or silly for me. It is the story of humanity in a pot.

Before I quit, I’d like to leave you with a method of peeling eggs I discovered on the Internet. It is so simple to do it rivals the simplicity of boiling. I have watched Martha Stewart on TV trying to peel a hard-boiled egg. Shs is pretty good at it, but even she can’t pull it off flawlessly every time. My method will take all the stress out of peeling eggs. Are you ready?

Take a mason jar, the half-quart size will do fine, but any reasonably-sized jar will work. Drop the egg into the jar. Half-fill it with water. Put your hand over the top and shake vigorously. Empty out the water, take the egg out and peel it. ,The shell is so perfectly broken that once you start to peel the egg the shell will virtually come off in one piece attached to the membrane that originally surrounded the egg.

The reason it works is that the water is able to penetrate the shell and separate it from the egg itself. It only takes a second, and it’s just another reason why water is so important to life. Try my method. You’ll be amazed at how well it works. Have a good eggy day!


Thoughts on Remembrance Day

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. How appropriate for remembering.

I received a Remembrance Day note from my local civic councillor this morning which reminded me of how close we still are to the sacrifices made for us by those who serve in our armed forces. Jim Karygiannis, the councillor for my voting ward in Agincourt, lost five cousins and relatives to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, that benighted country that is still in the Stone Age. Except that these Stone Age people have access to guns and explosives. It’s like a bad science fiction novel, except that it’s real, and now.

At almost the same time  I read a fatuous piece in the local paper about how we should wear the remembrance poppy. Apparently we are dissing our veterans if we don’t wear it on the left side, above our hearts. Only appropriate to wear it for the first eleven days of November. Allowable to wear it for other remembrance ceremonies like Air Force and Navy Day, or days of mourning for police, fire, and civic functionaries.

A more facetious piece of  twaddle I have rarely encountered. I wear the poppy year round on my cap; stuck on the sun visor of my car; above my  desk; any place I can so I really NEVER forget the sacrifices made for our democracy. Remembrance and cenotaph ceremonies are all very well, but we tend to watch or participate in those rituals–then forget them for the rest of the year.

I, too, lost friends and relatives: in the First World War at Gallipoli and in France; in the Second World War in the Battle of Britain; and in Burma. They were all young because war devours the children of our race, scarcely ever the elderly as collateral damage. It takes the best, the brightest, the most fundamental young people of our society, and it never gives them back.

When I’m driving down the street I give thanks that in this country, at least, there aren’t explosives waiting by the side of the road to blow me to kingdom come. I think of the vets who have returned home with terrible memories of the sorties they’ve been on, and with PTSD (what an oxymoron that is–Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome). Inability to sleep, stress on young families, sometimes even suicide because they can’t escape the events of the battlefield. It almost seems sacrilegious to give thanks for persons who endure such torment.

Then to read a fatuous piece of journalistic prose exhorting me to wear the poppy only at approved times and in approved places. It is to weep.

So I ignore such strictures. I know they come from those of small minds and less knowledge. I’m too polite to call them ignorant, but I’m tempted. I’ll just go on remembering in my own way, and never forgetting that war never solves anything except the whittling down of a society by unnatural means. I will remember. I will never forget.

The gales of November

The first gale of November tore through Toronto last night, ripping the last leaves from the trees and depositing a thin crust of snow on everything as it passed. As I lay snug in my bed under my warm Swedish duvet from Ikea I listened to the wind roaring through the pine trees that line the golf course next to my home, and thought of the sailors on the Great Lakes still sailing between our inland ports with cargoes of grain and ore.

November is the month when many of Canada’s worst Great Lakes maritime disasters occur. I still think of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, one of our mightiest lake carriers, overtaken by a monster wave in Lake Superior and sent instantly to the bottom with 49 lives snuffed out as a result. Gordon Lightfoot, one of our best known folk singers wrote a haunting song called The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald that somehow finds its way to the air waves each November to remind us that our treasured inland lake paradises can also be a graveyard for unsuspecting souls.

November also brings the Hunter’s Moon. My beloved son-in-law Arastou is a hunter. I’m not particularly fond of that activity myself, preferring my wildlife wild and free. But I have come to realize that sincere hunters often contribute as much as they take, and that the good ones hunt not just for meat for the table, but also to conserve our wildlife. They do not kill indiscriminately.

What they contribute is seen at our cottage. Arastou and his hunting pal Dave between them have set out nearly a dozen wildlife cameras, and what they have revealed has astonished even me. Our cottage is only a few hundred miles north of Toronto, on the shores of Geaorgian Bay, overlookinmg Christian Island at the southwest end of the bay, not far from Wasaga Beach. It sits on a bluff overlooking the bay that in itself tells a story.

In prehistoric times that bluff was once the shore of Georgian Bay itself. It’s 400 feet high, and that tells you just how much water it must have held back then. The area is also historic in nature. In recent time it was first visited by Champlain when he was exploring what he called “The Great Sweetwater Sea.” He held a mass at Caraghoa, not far from our cottage, in 1615.

The cottage lies in the Township of Tiny, so named by Governor Simcoe’s wife, an intrepid female adventurer who, with her husband, the first governor of Upper Canada, named three of the townships in Simcoe County Tiny, Tay, and Floss, after her three pet dogs.

The area was also home to the Huron Indians. The Jesuits had established a mission to the Hurons in the 1600s called Ste. Marie Among the Hurons. They tried to christianize the natives, but were repelled by the Iroquois who had been enemies of the Hurons for many years.

Why? It was all about trade. The Hurons separated the Iroquois from a tribe of Indians known as the Tobacco Indians. Tobacco was like cocoa orl gold today. The Hurons controlled the trade.

As a result, two of the Jesuits–Brothers Breboeuf and Lalement were killed by the Iroquois, who drove the Hurons from their land to their last stand on Christian Island. There they established Fort Ste. Marie II, but it was not to last.
The last Hurons left the area headed for Montreal to the site where their descendants still live today. I have no proof, but I suspect a lot of this happened in November.

A footnote to this is that Ste. Marie Among the Hurons is the setting for what today is known as The Huron Chistmas Carol. It begins: “‘Twas in the moon of wintertime, when all the birds had fled/ That mighty Gitchee Manitou sent angel choirs instead”, and is a haunting carol about the birth of Christ told for natives who knew nothing at all about christianity. No matter how youi feel about converting natives, the carol evokes the sacred nature of the birth of Jesus, whose country was so far from Huronia it beggars the mind.

When you think of the distances the Hurons travelled to escape their enemies, ed, it must have been a terrifying migration. But those Indians were used to using the Georgian Bay waterways as their highway, so what to us might seem like a stupendous journey to them must have seemed ordinary.

But back to the hunting. Arastou often hunts with a crossbow. He is very good at it, and very, very careful about how he hunts. He has built himself a blind up a tree in the forest near where he has, in the summer, set out a salt lick. That may seem like a dirty trick, but animals need salt, and it preserves many more than are killed.

And actually there are not that many killed. Occasionally Arastou bags a wild turkey. Once he bagged a stag. But I suspect he just likes sitting up in his blind, whether in rain or snow, appreciating the silence and the freshness of the atmosphere. He often needs a break from the pressure of his job, which is to keep the entire bus fleet of North York on the road so peoole can get too work on time.

He and his friend Dave’s cameras have revealed an astonishing plethora of wildlife in what is actually a semi-settled area. His cameras have revealed a family of black bears, a female, a half grown cub, and a big male who all come to take their share of the salt lick. There are foxes, coyotes, and hordes of wild turkeys, which have only been introduced into the area recently. There was even a ful-grown moose captured byu his lenses, something very unusual this far south.

There are many white-tailed deer, and Arastou spotted a ten-point buck on his recent November expedition. One of the most amusing episodes he filmed was of the male bear stamping his foot and trying to drive off a porcupine attempting to monopolize the salt lick. He has evben filmed a wolf with his cameras, as well as pheasants and owls.

I have vacationed on Georgian Bay since I have been 20, and never seen the amount of wildlife that I know are around the cottage. I realize now that animals are not stupid. They watch us more closely that we watch them. They are instinctively clever, and do not blindly walk into the sights of a hunter’s bow or gun. I used to be dead set against any hunting of any kind, but Arastou has shown me a different kind of hunter, and frankly, I applaud his avocation. He is doing more for wild animals by simply showing us how they exist than any hunter is doing by taking meat. As long as that continues to be the case, I will support his pursuit.