Monday, 29 June 2015


Contrary to what you might be thinking, Bear has not died and gone to . . . well, wherever. Bear has just been a bit overwhelmed.

You may recall from an earlier post that we had snow at the end of April. It came, and it went, fortunately. Or unfortunately.

Now it's so dry, one farmer told me he actually saw two trees fighting over a dog. Your Bear is a bit suspicious about that, but I wasn't there when it happened, and it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility. 

Yesterday, the temperature was 45°C on one of our thermometers. If you keep track of the world in degrees F, that's about 112. Yup; 112°F. (No, I didn't try cooking an egg on the sidewalk; the sidewalk is dirty enough it would have been a waste of an egg.) And, of course, I'm wearing my fur coat, which is permanently attached to me. Any of you wear fur coats in the summer? You're probably too smart for that. 

This is far less than ideal farming weather. Basically, super hot + dry, dry = no crop. And since we live in the breadbasket of Canada, that is a bit of a food challenge. Now, reduced production here or there is survivable. But when broad swaths of the land are in the same condition, this does become something of a challenge. 

The good news is that "It ain't over til it's over" — as Yogi famously said. But this is the time when the grain heads should be filling out, so. . . .

In other news, the family survived its trip to the west, but not so wet, coast. Wally and I survived keeping each other company. Our professional football team lost its opening game yesterday, and our star quarterback — who may be out for the rest of the season! (To which Bear said "GGGGRRRRRRrrr.")

Other thing get a GGGRRRr?

1. I keep watching the run-up to next year's Presidential election in the US. Being a Canadian, I don't get to vote in the American election. But it is interesting to watch what the Republicans are doing. The head of our government (the Prime Minister) is an American-thinking Canadian. (Some people are using the word "fascist" to describe him!) His rise to power, we now know, happened with the help of the CIA and an Republican party offshoot. (We have the documents demonstrating this.) And the Canadian take on the US Republican Presidential hopefuls (about 15 at last count), is, well, not enthusiastic. (That is an understatement.)  Bernie Sanders is the only person I consider to be a reasonable candidate in either party.

 Elizabeth Warren would be great, too, but she wants to keep on being a Senator. Which is also good. She asks excellent questions.

2. With all the hot and dry weather, forest fires are becoming a huge problem. In River City, we're several hundred miles (or kilometres) south of the fires, but we're getting the smoke. Of course, it's a bit smokier up north. This fire is perhaps a hundred miles north of River City.

Simon Bird photo

3. Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its report on (white) Canadian relations with our indigenous peoples — First Nations, Metis, and Inuit. Predictably it revealed a major mess — with the word "genocide" being used. 

The Commission offered almost a hundred recommendations for improving indigenous-settler relations.

The federal government received the report with a yawn. It has no plans to change its destructive plans for indigenous people. Assimilation is the government goal. As in "getting the indian out of the Indian." As you might imagine, this government plan is not going over very well with a lot of people, indigenous and others. 

And that's some of what's happening these days. I'm trying really hard not to turn into an extremely grumpy Bear, but sometimes it is tough. Very tough.

Blessings and Bear hugs, folks!

Today's Weather Report
Mainly sunny today with a high of 30°C (86F). (I have a graveside service [mini-funeral] to do at a cemetery out on the prairie — that will be "interesting.") Down to about 17C tonight (about 65F) — which won't cool things much. There's a 30 per cent chance of a five-minute rain shower. All in all, drier than your Bear's sense of humour.