Pictures of Killdeer, Plantain, Burdock, and More...

I took Monty out for a walk in the field behind the house this afternoon.

He needs the exercise, and so do I.

I brought the camera and took photos of Seagulls, Robins, a Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus), common plantain (Plantago major), common burdock (Arctium minus), some green algae in a pool of water, and a dead worm (Deadus wormus a.k.a. Birdus foodus).

If I were hungry and lost in the wilderness I could roast up the roots of the plantain and burdock for the starch. I suppose I would eat the seagulls too. Well, probably not.

The Killdeer is a protected species, so I would avoid eating it.



Uninspired and Unimaginative List Of Posts From Last Year

I am feeling completely uninspired - I can't think of anything original to write about.

First I thought I might predate on my posts from last year.

Then I thought I would simply put links to them all below.

You could poke around if you'd like. I'll get my blog-mojo back soon - honestly.



Broken Glass, Buried Fish, Bird Feeder, Carving and Sketching

On Thursday afternoon I went to the Ministry of Transportation to pick up license plate stickers. I arrived at the storefront office at 5:01 PM and the door was locked. The manager appeared at the door - she was supervising the final line up of customers. I mouthed 'I just need to pickup stickers' and showed my documents through the thick plate glass window. She smiled and unlocked the door and I muttered something about being grateful and that I wouldn't take long.

Fifteen minutes passed and the line grew shorter. People would arrive at the door, and the manager would turn them away, gesturing at the closed sign on the door, and backing up the gesticulation with a single-fingered point to the hours posted on the door. As I was about to get to the next available service representative, a shadow appeared at the glass window. The shadow didn't seem to want to leave. It appeared to want to come in. The manager said no. It lingered and from the corner of my eye I could see the manager trying to suppress a smile and mouthing 'No - CLOSED'. She seemed to be enjoying her role.

Just as the man ahead of me shuffled his papers together and tucked them under his arm, ready to go, the room erupted in a blast. The plate glass door exploded to my left and the manager jumped back. Everyone else just froze and I turned to see a tall young man in a green jacket run away from the door. I thought he had maybe thrown a cinder block through the window, and scanned the floor over the shards of glass. Then I wondered if he had used a shot gun. Someone then said he had turned his back to the window, and hoofed his foot through the glass. I was in a fairly bad part of town so the shotgun would not have been out of the ordinary - when I got home my wife told me their had been reports of gunshots in the area I was in.

Today I buried Number 2. Number 2 was the name that my wife gave to the plecostomus we had bought over 5 years ago. He was not the first fish, the first fish was Sigmund. Sigmund had accompanied me from apartment to apartment since university. He outlived Alfred (Adler) and Carl (Jung). But Number 2 outlived Sigmund (Freud). We said goodbye to Sigmund two years ago.

Number 2 had been floating a little oddly for the past week, shuffling about in the water - clearly in a dreamy state. He gave up the ghost last night. I carved a headstone from a piece of pine and buried him beside the rose bushes. It was a good bit of carving with my Mora, not polished or anything, but it will do.

I carved it outside in the backyard - the weather was amazing, the snow is melting and the grass is showing its little arms and legs and noses and ears. I tidied up the backyard a bit, and put the bird feeder up on a pole. The feeder had been hanging from a low cherry tree the last year, but I've been worried about the neighbour's cats. They like to feed at the bird feeder too. If you know what I mean. Monty lay about in the sun while I was up to all of this. All in all, it was a good afternoon.

I am going to read through a couple of books this evening - one on the illustrations and sketches of Bill Mason and another on the illustrations and sketches of Keith Brockie. I see a pattern evolving. I think I'll start a bit of sketching this spring.



Breakfast, IMAX and Bob


I am looking forward to this week at work. I will wrap up my projects and transition out my responsibilities to others. In one week, I will be moving offices across the parking lot and moving divisions and starting my new position. It will be good.


Yesterday Spring, her dad and I went out and had breakfast at Wexford's, a popular breakfast joint in Wexford (years ago subsumed by Scarborough, and later in 1998 by the new "City of Toronto"). I had sausage and eggs. Spring had pancakes and syrup. Omer had a vegetarian omelette and home fries. We all had freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee. It was good.


After driving downtown to visit a big bank to do some banking, the three of us then made our way to the Ontario Science Center and it was - in my flippant opinion - a wholly lame place. If I were in grade 3, it might be cool. But then again, we didn't really visit many of the exhibits. It is a strangely disconnected experience - all the wandering around trying to figure out where an exhibit might be hiding in the vast and stark concrete hallways cluttered with old chairs and plastic boxes. There are few indicators of where all the exhibits are, and I felt like we were visiting a deserted conference center near the regional airport on the outskirts of Wichita, Kansas slated for implosion in a few days. However, the IMAX short film (45 minutes long) about Deep Sea Life was amazing, and now we want to see every IMAX film ever made - but they've got to be full length features. That was not lame.

In the Human Body exhibit I ran into Bob. Bob and I went to university together. He was a maniac - in a good way - mostly. We lived in residence the first year and partied hard. The residence association set up some sort of hunting game, a bit like 'tag' with toy plastic guns. The idea was to go a whole week without being successfully hunted, and you got clues as to who was your prey in the form of a note. It was nerve-wracking because you didn't know who among the crowd was your hunter. Classes and the university building itself were out of bounds, a safe place. Come to think of it, this would not be a very politically-correct game these days. Bob - who we called Militia Bob due to his being a member of the Canadian Militia and being rather militaristic - decided that the way to triumph was to set up a bush shelter in the valley behind the campus and spend all of the week when he was not in class hiding in a lean-to, wearing camouflage paint and his uniform. I believe he won the game in so far as he was never located and caught.

One fun evening he brought a grenade to a party - I guess he'd brought it back from Militia practice. The music was pounding, beer was flowing and Bob pulled a live grenade out of his jacket and placed it on a kitchen table. The music stopped, the beer bottles clinked as they were set down carefully, and the room slowly emptied of people who kind of kept smiling and stopped blinking. That's a good story. Bob now has a little daughter, and married his teaching assistant from one of our psychology classes. He is a paramedic and is likely a very good one.


Today we are headed out to my parents' house to celebrate Easter over a dinner. It promises to be a very nice day.

Thanks for listening,


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