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Oct 21, 2007

I've been cutting grass for over 7 months

I started cutting grass on April 15th of this year. It's now October 20th and I'm still cutting grass. I did it at 11 a.m. this morning in a t-shirt and shorts. It's now 2 p.m., sunny, 26 degrees Celsius (in the shade) and we still have roses, sweet peas and hibiscus blooming (see pix below). The hummingbirds just barely got away before the juncos showed up a week ago. If this is global warming, I say bring it on. Linda keeps reminding though, that we will pay for this. Linda and I started Taoist Tai Chi three weeks ago. We have failed miserably at it and have given it up. Who knew you needed a good memory to remember all the moves. Hell, we even forgot to attend the first week, so I guess we didn't help our own cause. Let's see now...there's classes at the R.O.M. in medieval broad-swordsmanship...or maybe yoga at the Y.

Oct 12, 2007


IN SEARCH OF A BETTER LIFE is the title of a family history book I have been writing for the past two years. I have promised a copy to each of my daughters as Christmas gifts this year, so I have to bear down and finish the job. I have one chapter to finish: the last chapter - Chapter 35, plus I have one or two more pictures to insert. It will end up around 300 pages in the current 8 1/2" x 11" format. If it ever made it into a hard cover format (which isn't about to happen anytime soon), it would be close to 490 pages. It's taken a lot of time and effort to research and write but I feel it has been worth it and I've enjoyed doing it very much. While I have dedicated it to my deceased mother-in-law, I have written it for my daughters and my grandchildren. The title page is pictured above, along with two photos, below, which I took this week of the 162-year-old Laskay Emporium (now in Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto) and the 148-year-old Laskay Hall (still on its original site in Laskay, on Weston Road in King Township). Both buildings figured prominently in the lives of several generations of my wife's family. The two pictures have already made their way into the chapter on the hamlet of Laskay.

Oct 5, 2007

Was Ray Charles really blind?!?!

I got some promotional material this week from the folks at KingFest. They included a piece written by a Don Bird. It seems Don has been a well-known figure in the Canadian music business for many years and he attended last June's KingFest Music Festival at Seneca College, writing a review on it and highly praising the festival. There was a pointer to Don's website in the piece and I looked him up. I went to his Blog site also and read his latest entry, which was a personal tribute to Doug 'Dr. Music' Riley, who recently passed away in Toronto. Don and Doug worked together for several years, ostensibly writing commercial jingles. Don told how Doug Riley had worked on an album with Ray Charles, writing, arranging, playing and living at Ray Charles home in the southern U.S., for a while. Don says Doug recalled Ray Charles' chauffeur taking them home one evening, when he suddenly pulled over, stopped the car, and Ray Charles got behind the wheel and drove the rest of the way home. Doug Riley was freaked out. He found out the Charles also flew his own planes and mixed his sessions in the studio. Go to to read about this in detail. Don Bird calls his blog posts 'Bird Droppings' and there are some interesting entries.
Have a great Thanksgiving. BtheB

Oct 2, 2007

Cold Creek Bird List now at 113 species

The Cold Creek Forest & Wildlife Area Bird List now stands at 113 species. The two most recent species added during the second and third week of September were a Philadelphia Vireo and a Black-backed Woodpecker. Not only did I get to add them to the Cold Creek Bird List but they were also 'life birds' for me. I think I'm closing in on 400 species on my life list. I must check it out and see how close I am. An upcoming trip to Arizona may push me over the 400 mark. The internet picture of the Philadelphia Warbler, on the left, was taken by Bryan McClure and the Black-backed Woodpecker, on the right, is an internet photograph by Rob Pavey. I was looking for warblers when I saw the vireo, and I was eating my lunch outside the visitors centre when the woodpecker settled on a tree a few feet from me. Ahhh, the joy of birdwatching. Just when you least expect it: two lifers!