New Year’s Eve 2015 —> 2016 :

Thursday, December 31st, 2015 -( +1˚C / +34˚F Grey, damp – and might even be misty/raining outside at 11:11 am in Atlantic Canada )-

Light behind snowy trees on Wellington Court.
I’m pretending this is the promise of a brilliant sunrise coming for our ‘Civilization’ here on Earth in the year 2016.

— A couple good things happened in 2015 – but overall, I will not miss this last year at all. On the positive side: Canadian humiliated their Fascist Conservative Prime Minister and his divisive political agenda. They elected Justin Trudeau, leader of the Canadian Liberal Party, who won a resounding victory and so far appears to be off to a good start. His ‘Sunny Days’ motto kind of catches in my throat – gag, choke – but at least that IS a positive message and the “Canada is back!” message that everything I believed was the real Canada does seem to be on the front burner these days. I’ll give that a two thumbs up.

— Now lets see how long we can hold JT’s feet to the fire and keep positive, progressive momentum going.

Cathi gazing at a fountain.
And let’s pretend this is Cathi at a magic wishing well that is guaranteed to grant any reasonable wish she might make. – It really is Cathi. and the fountain is on Queen Street in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

— In the spirit of Optimistic New Beginnings – I spent about an hour on each of two days earlier this week sitting in a waiting room at a vehicle inspection garage here. I was inspired by my wish that all levels of government and all businesses had everybody’s best interest at heart and were completely ethical and honest. —> I sat there thinking I should begin a nice, short, high impact novel with a conversation I had with a mechanic in Arnprior a couple years ago. The weathered-looking man had been tortured for years over the message he got from a vice president of General Motors at a meeting he got a free ticket to. This was at a big deal convention that he was privileged to attend as a reward for his excellence in the service department of a GM car dealership. After the VP gave the assembled mechanics a pep talk, he invited them to come look at what was new in the wonderful new vehicles that the company would be introducing in the near future. My friend the mechanic gawked at a plastic part that the engine depended on to keep working safely and efficiently, pointed to it and turned to the V.P. and said, “But this is plastic – That part has always been metal- This part will wear out too quickly.” And the V.P. scowled darkly and sneered, “Do you like your job? I’m paying somebody two million dollars a year to come up with stuff like this so you have a job!”  *** This year I was very happy to see a tweet explaining that the French Parliament had passed a law making it illegal to build anything with deliberately planned obsolescence included in any of its parts. I just hope they can enforce that. Hey! If they can I will jump on any “Buy Stuff Made In France!” bandwagon. 🙂

— Optimistic in Canada –,

~~~~~ Jim

Tuesday In The Snow –

Tuesday, December 29, 2015  -( -12˚C / +10˚F & Snowing here in Atlantic Canada @ 2:15 pm )-

Snowy Road in Fredericton, NB on Tuesday, 29 December, 2015.
This was taken at about 12:45 pm while we were taking the safest route down from the top of the hill at Prospect Street on the South Side of Fredericton. I think this is Knowledge Park Drive before we reached Kimble Drive. The driving wasn’t too bad, but for Cathi it was nerve-wracking. There was just enough black ice so she couldn’t relax until we got home. Latest ‘Guess-timates’ indicate we should expect about 15 cm / 6 inches of snow before it tapers off this evening. Farther south, St John is expected to get more like 25 cm / 10 inches?

We needed new brake pads and rotors to pass inspection this year and today was Cathi’s best chance to get the work done and the inspection taken care of. Luckily, the rotors cost about 1/10th of what Monroe Muffler’s extortionists wanted to charge for Bronco II rotors in Ithaca, New York in 1990. —> Beware of mechanics who depend on the money they get from ‘commission’ on sales of parts you don’t need in order to feed their families. Even worse, beware of ice-holes who scheme and plot the planned obsolescence that insures you need to replace parts before they would ordinarily wear out. Monroe Muffler’s slogan “We don’t fix what ain’t broken” is misleading. They replace what ain’t broken. Cathi doesn’t think they could get away with that kind of unethical practice up here, but mechanics at the Canadian Tire store in Arnprior, Ontario pull that kind of ‘bull-chips’ all the time. — You don’t want to be anywhere near anybody who makes a living by cheating honest people when those chips hit the fan. I’m hoping we found the most honest mechanics in the area. The most honest mechanic I know in the Ithaca, New York area was told to tell the proud owner of a brand new Volkswagen Rabbit that she needed $300.++ (plus) of engine work when her problem was a loose vacuum hose. When he told his boss he couldn’t lie like that the boss told him, “If you want a job here, you will do exactly as I told you to do-” So he connected the vacuum hose, drove the Rabbit out of the bay, handed the woman her keys and told her to go home and look for an honest mechanic, – grabbed his tools and went home. Instead of making $34.00 an hour as a mechanic he was making $125.00 a week before taxes and expenses delivering newspapers for a dishonest newspaper publisher.

I’ve got more horror stories, but I’ll save those for later.

Today did not give us another horror story like that.

This world's sexiest, most interesting and wonderful person sitting in a waiting room, waiting for or van to pass inspection.
Cathi, sitting in the waiting room at our honest mechanics’ place on Hanwell Road in Hanwell, NB, The owner told us we could turn on the heater, but we were so warmly layered that we might have melted if we did that. No, she really didn’t just swallow a canary – She’s probably wondering what kind of craziness her spouse will be up to next-
Fifteen minutes into today's snow storm.
At about 10:15 am, after a little more than fifteen minutes of snow falling this morning here, I shot this photo of our van waiting outside the inspection station / garage. A couple minutes later one of the mechanics walked by and commented, “Hey- it’s really coming down out there-” It took about an hour for the storm to completely cover any traces of asphalt on the ground in the parking lot.
Westmorland Bridge, Fredericton, NB. in a snow storm, Tuesday, 29 December, 2015.
Just before 5 minutes to 1:00 pm, I got lucky taking this shot out the passenger’s side window as we zoomed up the entrance ramp to the Westmorland Bridge. The river isn’t quite frozen yet- and you can’t see the lines of cars driving more slowly than usual here.
St John River in a snow storm, Tuesday, December 29th, 2015.
Just about five minutes to one pm. We had crossed the Westmorland Bridge in Fredericton and taken the first exit northbound on the north side. This is what the stormy St John River looked like from there.
Canada Street about even with the Circle K convenience store/Irving Gas Station, heading north.
Canada Street, just north of the Bridge Street / Crockett Street intersection, with the Irving Station / Circle K convenience store just out of the picture to the left. The slight hill here can be a bit treacherous in a heavy snow storm or especially during freezing rain, but we did okay today with front wheel drive.
Wellington Court, Fredericton, NB on Tuesday, 29 December, 2015 after about 3 hours of snow falling today.
Wellington Court – We got home at a little after 1:05 pm – The time we would have been pulling into the garage for our inspection appointment if we hadn’t called in to check how the scheduling was going at a little after 9 am this morning. This is just before Cathi backed into our driveway.

— We did good – and I got a Christmas Card from my favourite Colorado relatives when I checked the mail box a couple minutes after taking the last photo above. 🙂

~~~~~ Jim

Warm Yuletide Full Moon & The Force Awakens

Thursday, December 24th, 2015 -( +8˚C / +46˚F dark & damp with a full moon shining on Atlantic Canada @ 10:45 pm )-

Full moon through the trees on Christmas Eve, 2015
Full Moon through the fog and birch trees, over Atlantic Canada at 9:45 pm on December 24th, 2015 – photo adjusted with exposure all the way up via Mac Preview app. Earlier there was a jet trail or straight line cloud underlining the moon through a slightly clearer sky. But the pets needed food.
Full Moon obscurred by zillions of orbs.
Unretouched photo of what happened when I thought I turned the flash off and shot at the full moon. Gotta be the mist in the very damp air.
Messed with Obs photo.
This is the same Full Moon with unexpected Flash effects and the contrast slider turned all the way up via Mac Preview. — Looks like Pink Floyd’s “Obscured by Clouds” album cover.

Cathi and I went to the cinema tonight and saw the new Star Wars Movie. I enjoyed it, even knowing it had been strained through a highly formulaic structure, it was still pretty good. I could guess several of the twists and turns, but the light side shines pretty brightly inside me and sometimes my silly ‘human mind’ can allow fairly clear messages to bubble up all the way through my soul and around my ego- or that’s the way it feels. I like surprises. I like positive surprises even more.

This is the time of year when this planet is closest to the positive spiritual center of the material universe. Every year more and more of us can feel the most beautiful atmospheric vibrations of the year and come away with new and improved insights. Try it – you’ll like it.

Happy Yule, Merry Christmas, I already wished Happy Hanukkah to several friends and now it’s time to wish a Happy Kwanza to other friends. Happy Holidays to anybody I missed. And to anybody who absolutely hates, dreads or fears this time of year – you have my spiritual love, empathy and compassionate wishes that it’s not as bad for you this time as it might have been.

— Om, Shanti, Namesta –,

~~~~~ Jim

Return of the Committee :) —

Monday. December 14, 2015 -( 0˚C / 32˚F — Grey and Damp and Threatening Rain, Snow, Ice Pellets and Freezing rain @ 9:00 am in Atlantic Canada )-

Committee Breakfast, December 14th, 2015.
They’re back! This morning at about 8:30 am, half a dozen deer showed up – quite skittish – but hungry enough to stick around within sight as I tossed several scoops of oats out on the top of the hill where they’ve come to expect yummy stuff, and let me know they appreciate our efforts.

We’ve been worried about the deer who have been making it through our last couple very tough winters by taking the chance that a couple houses full of humans would be sharing good food and not shooting and eating them [ which is illegal within city limits here ] The declining number of deer in this province has been making the news lately.

Cropped Closeup of Christmas Cactus - December 12, 2015
Saturday morning/ early afternoon – brilliant sunlight played on the ‘Christmas Cactus’ plant on our entry porch in Cathi’s ‘Zen Corner’. I took a couple photos with the macro setting active and got better results than I thought I did.
One view of the woodshed.
Sunday – After our quick trip to the Northside Market we quickly finished up the framing and covered our Wood Shed- hopefully strengthened enough to survive this winter better than last year’s efforts held up under a whole lot of snow- which split the two by two uprights we used as part of the kit that came with plastic ‘hardware’ and instructions. Our neighbour gave us the strong white tarp that did survive last winter. We have more to do here, but I think we’re off to a decent start with last night’s efforts.

Yesterday, Sunday – Cathi and I had a busy day, zooming off to the North Side Market, where we picked up a four pound chicken for dinner and discovered a ‘gourmet grilled cheese’ kiosk in the food court. Yum- When we got home we had to hurry to finish reinforcing the frame to our woodshed, which is growing around the steel shed we put up in the autumn of 2013. Today, Monday the 14th – we expect a messy mixture of Snow ( 5 cm) rain (possibly 39 mm) Freezing Rain and ‘ice pellets’/sleet (which might amount to a millimeter or so of dangerous slippery stuff -)

Cathi with the leaf rake.
“21st Century Canadian Gothic” – After we finished the Woodshed’s frame enough to be reasonably sure it would support the coming snow & mixed precipitation – and then got several pallets (some to burn, others to hammer into the frame to reinforce the woodshed) under cover – Cathi tried not to freeze her fingers while she raked a protective layer of fallen oak leaves over onto her vegetable garden. I moved our hand tools back inside the porch and grabbed the camera, took these last two photographs here, happily caught Cathi grinning with the sense that we actually did get much more accomplished than we thought was possible as darkness quickly descended on Atlantic Canada.

And so, even though the dog got out and wanted very badly to play with us while we were knocking ourselves out, and, after I caught him by the collar, made a very squirrel like move and pulled me down hard to the ground, which felt for an hour or so like I’d be in pain for a month or so, but did get better when I heated one of our bean bag hot and cold thingamajigs and sat against the heat while watching “The Librarians” on the Space Channel — I’m really happy the deer are still around, we hadn’t seen any more than two fairly young ones who’d come around on a couple early mornings almost a month ago. And now it looks like there is more of a “Committee” presence than we thought might have survived the summer and late autumn when we heard people out in the woods cutting what may have been trees that fell during storms and burning twigs in a bonfire- And Cathi had the awful feeling that she’d heard gunfire back there, which, as I ‘hinted’ above is extremely illegal within city limits here.

— Yay! –,

~~~~~ Jim

That “Something’s Missing Here-” Feeling :

Monday, December 07, 2015  -( +1˚C / + 34˚F & maybe a little too bright and shiny out there in Atlantic Canada @ 8:28 am )-

Pretty blue and purple hues through a security camera.
“Deer Cam 01” Looks like a painting, Captured on Saturday, 05 December, 2015

— Ever since Barak Obama’s speech the other day – in which he decried that People on the ‘No-Fly list’ should not be able to buy guns – something about that speech had bothered me. I think that maybe this morning I figured out what that was.

— Um, when they’re sworn in, Presidents of the United States of America are supposed to pledge themselves to ‘protect and defend’ the Constitution of the United States.

— The Constitution of the United States includes a few provisions that sound suspiciously like ‘Thou shalt respect the rule of Law’. A big deal in the U.S. of A. is a section in the Law of the Land that says everyone is “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” – another provision is  without “Everyone is entitled to a trial by a jury of their peers.” This is called “Due Process” – no one should be stripped of their human rights without due process of the law.

— Remember a couple years ago Yusuf Islam – neé Steven Demetre Georgiou, 21 July 1948 – & possibly better known as ‘Cat Stevens’ – Discovered that his name was on a ‘No Fly List’ in the USA. [ not that this particular Yusuf Islam would ever want to buy a gun, but – ] & While I don’t remember hearing that anybody ever apologized to the singer, songwriter, peace activist, purveyor of Love, Understanding, Wisdom, Intelligence and Tolerance – I do remember somebody explaining that ‘Yusuf Islam’ is a common name among followers of Islam and the reason that the entertainer formerly known as Cat Stevens had been denied permission to fly into the US of A most likely had something to do with someone else with that Islamic name having been declared a terrorist somewhere on this planet.

— Something that might be similar to the name comfusion cited in the above paragraph and important enought to mention here is what happened in the first of two US Federal elections in which George W Bush was not elected President of the United States, but ended up sitting in the White House for four years after each ‘election’. As was painstakingly documented by BBC journalists, Jeb Bush – G.W.’s brother – and then governor of Florida, the ‘hanging chad state’,  paid millions of dollars to a Texas-based Conservative Republican research group that supplied him with a list of felons in the state of Texas. Jeb Bush then passed this information on to ‘Law “Enforcement”-‘ “Officials” in the state of Florida, and had them make sure that no one with a Name and Date of Birth that was a close match to anyone on that list and whose race was “other than White” was allowed to vote in the Y2K US Federal Election in the state of Florida. In case you’ve forgotten – Al Gore was projected the winner of Florida’s electoral votes and thereby the Presidency of the USA in that election before a major [ Mercury Retrograde ] ‘Wait a minute’! SNAFU called a halt to the legal election processes and threw the state of Florida into a recount mode that ended in a catastrophe of near Biblical Proportions, in which enough of the 9 hand picked Judges sitting on the Supreme Court of the USA ignored their constitutional imperative and handed the white house to G.W. Bush, Making G.W.B. the first ‘Resident’ of the white house who had no business being there. The second Federal Election involving G.W. Bush was sabotaged by the CEO of Diebold Corporation who had bragged that he could, and did – hand the election to G.W. Bush [ -AKA ‘Shrub’, AKA George the second of the Bush Dynasty, AKA a lot of things that cannot be printed in a ‘G’ rated blog. ] George W. Bush is the only ‘Resident’ we can be reasonably sure NEVER won a Presidential Election.

— What does the above paragraph have to do with guns and ‘no fly’ lists? Well, (1) The US Justice system has been subverted and perverted. It has become so corrupt that calling it ‘corrupt’ is way beyond redundant. (2) Since September 11, 2001, and the ensuing ‘Homeland Security Act’ – names get listed on the ‘No Fly List’ without due process of the law. (3) Denying anyone of their constitutional rights in the USA is a Federal crime.

— So, Barry, who is pulling your strings? Who pointed a gun to your head and told you that if you want your daughters to live to see 2016, you better stand up and advocate ignoring the US Constitution and instituting illegal denial of Constitutionally guaranteed Human Rights to satisfy some shadowy gang of perverted Ice-Holes’ agenda? Whatever happened to Due Process? Whatever happened to ‘Innocent until proven guilty’? Do you really want to go down in History as the idiot who ignored the oath you took and burned the bill of rights?

— & to everyone else who read this far: Don’t worry. The evil ice-holes behind the latest activations of mass murdering helplessly brainwashed puppets with fall under the rule of Karma that catches up with all evil ice-holes. They are so power hungry and so immoral and unethical that they will kill each other off to the point where the few that remain alive will be totally impotent in their rabid attempts to turn this planet into the kind of Hell they have been trying to create here.

— Schnarr –,

~~~~~ Jim

First Significant Snow Of The Season

Friday, December 4th, 2015 -( -6˚C / 21˚F — Clear & damp & “Brrrr” in Atlantic Canada @ 9:16 am )-

Sunlight hitting trees burdened with snow behind trees in shadow.
The sky was an amazing pinkish tobacco colour about ten minutes before I took this photo. At full size this almost captures the magic-
Snow laden tree photographed with flash before dawn.
This was shot from almost the same spot as the photo above it, at about 5:55 am – The photo above was shot at about 7:47 am.
Snow laden branches
Canada Street is hiding behind snow laden trees in this shot. This scene, backlit by streetlights before dawn was spectacular, but I couldn’t mess with the exposure well enough to capture that. I did fuss with brightness, contrast and saturation just a bit to get this effect several minutes after a magical sunrise in the upper right has lost its dazzle.
Trees bowing with heavy wet snow.
This is up the hill to the south and west from Cathi’s ‘Zen Corner’ of our yard. The trees are not bowing to us in worship, That is heavy wet snow and the trees are dancing their swan song in beautiful but heavy dresses.

—Last night’s snow was a sonofagun to clear away from the end of our driveway after the snowplow tried again to kill me by dumping hard to shovel heavy wet snow compacted not quite to the point where large climbs became ice boulders – And then clearing the icy wet heavy stuck snow from the roof of the van so Cathi could drive legally to work almost convinced my back that it was broken. Should I describe shooting, burning pains in back and shoulders? Nahhhh- This ‘first significant snow of the season’ was beautiful and inspiring, even if the damp cold did sting. Neighbours that often frown smiled and waved at me when they saw that I was taking photographs of the sunlight touching the trees up the top of the hill & giving us unexpected bits of morning colour in this newly whitened world.

~~~~~ Jim