The Puppy Horse took me for a walk down along the river-

Posted by Jim - March 7th, 2009

Jassper & Cathi+6˚C/+43˚F @4:37 pm, Saturday, March 7, 2009.

-Jassper, the puppy horse seen walking Cathi at a beach on warmer days last summer, took me for a walk down by the Madawaska River, just north of the area where this morning’s photo was taken.

We met a German Shepard-Husky mix named Kenobe (Like Obi Wan of star wars fame) and we stepped off to the side while a snow mobile pulling a snow trailer full of what looked like logs and other camp site stuff noisily zoomed past us.

Jassper was okay with the snow mobile. I’m hoping the guy didn’t go out onto the ‘lake’/Ottawa River (that’s the Ottawa River/Chats Lake behind Cathi and the dog in the summer photo). It’s getting to be the time of year when at least one snow mobile and rider goes through the ice somewhere within 25 kilometres of here.

Maybe now it’s time for me to rant about the economy.

General Motors.

Last year I was sitting in the Jeep-Dodge-Chrysler dealer’s Service Area waiting room while the mechanics and technicians gave our 2005 Jeep Liberty its periodic check up. An older guy sitting beside me related some of his adventures in auto mechanics. (He’d put a car together from spare parts of several different makes and models and years and the Motor Vehicle people didn’t know what to put on the registration when he went to have it inspected and registered.)

He also told me he’d been a GM Mechanic for several years and had been sent to a big pep talk meeting with corporate big shots showing off a few of their latest innovations.

When they showed him (and his group) a plastic engine part he looked worried and said, “That makes no sense- the damned thing’s going to wear out too fast, they were always made of regular metal before-”

His observation angered the big shot who snarled back, “Do you like your job? Do you want to keep working? We’re paying people two million dollars a year to come up with ideas like this so the parts do wear out so the customers have to come in and get their vehicles serviced-”

The mechanic was stunned, shocked, and apparently never got over that. He shook his head as he told me.

-Seems like basic dishonesty to me, misleading marketing practices, manipulation, betrayal of the public trust.

-So now General Motors is hurting and crying for help.

-I think General Motors should be temporarily nationalized. Fire everybody in management and turn it over to the unions. Give them a deadline, tell them to try to come up with the most reliable, least expensive, most versatile vehicles they know how to build, and see what they come up with. If this fails, try something else.

-But give the people who know what they’re doing, and don’t know how to cheat and manipulate their customers, a chance.

See what they come up with.

—rantingly yours,



Posted by Jim - March 7th, 2009

Snow on the WeirSaturday- March 7, 2009.

+3˚C/+37˚F @ 9:33 a.m. in Arnprior.

The scene to the left was taken after one of the first snows of the season in late autumn/early winter of 2008.

The ‘Weir’ is a rounded dam on the Madawaska River near where it flows into the Ottawa River at a wide section also referred to as “Chats Lake”.

‘Les chats’ means ‘the cats’ in French. Chats Lake may have been named for wild cats seen in the area by early ‘voyageurs’ or explorers. Or it may have referred to sharp rocks just beneath the surface of the ‘lake’ that some compared to cats’ claws.

Or it may have been named ‘Chats Lake’ for some entirely different reason that no one remembers correctly.

At any rate, This is an early winter photo shot from a park like area beside the Madawaska River, looking South over the weir. There is an island to the left, out of the shot, from where the fire department launches its Canada Day (July 1st) fireworks.

Maybe soon, I should post a bit of a map here.