Tag Archives: Laughing Frequently

Happy Birthday to Me

Today I turn, am, have, or complete 65, depending on your language (and those are just the few that I know). But whatever the verb, it’s an odd moment: long expected and yet totally surprising.  I cannot yet comment on the state itself but as I sit here, between the idea and the reality, I have a few random thoughts, as the aged often do.  Continue reading

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Filed under Mortality, New Perspectives

National Treasure #134: Graham Greene

He’s the Canadian Oneida actor, not the English novelist.

He’s played Aboriginal roles – like his Oscar-nominated role in Dances with Wolves, and truly scary gangster Malachi Strand on Longmire.

He’s played non-Aboriginal roles, like Shakespeare’s Shylock at Stratford, and hearing-challenged explosives expert Edgar K. B. (Kaboom?) Montrose on The Red Green Show.   Continue reading

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Filed under Through Canada

National Treasure #132: Mount Robson

Mount Robson was (likely) named after someone whose name wasn’t Robson: Colin Robertson.  That weirdness alone entitles it to a spot on this list.

It also features in several mountain lists of which I knew nothing before I started looking at Mount Robson online:

  • World’s most prominent peaks (119th)
  • North America isolated peaks (39th)
  • North American prominent peaks (21st)
  • Canada highest major peaks (21st)
  • Canada most isolated peaks (14th)
  • Canada most prominent peaks (7th)

There are two ways to think about a mountain’s height: how high it is from sea level, and how high it is above you when you’re standing where you can see it.  Mount Robson does pretty well on both counts.

Mount Robson is the most prominent mountain in North America’s Rocky Mountain range; it is also the highest point in the Canadian Rockies. . . . Mount Robson boasts great vertical relief over the local terrain. From Kinney Lake, the south-west side of the mountain rises 2,975 m (9,760 ft) to the summit. – Wikipedia

As for isolation, its south face is visible from right along the Yellowhead Highway, but its famous north face is visible after hiking a ways. How far?  Well, that depends who you ask.  One spot says it’s a 12-mile hike, but another says that Berg Lake is 12 miles from the parking lot, and it seems to me I might want to come back, too.

I suspect that people like Mount Robson more for its beauty than for its height and isolation.  I don’t have photos of my own to share with you, but these Google Images are a fair substitute.

Thanks to Jim Taylor for suggesting Mount Robson for this list.

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Filed under Through Canada

American Coot, Chandler AZ

Pity the American Coot: It’s light on beauty in almost every category.

Its name is commonly used to derogate geezers, as in, “You old coot.”

It squawks rather than sings.

Its head is, well, a little less ugly than its feet, which are, frankly, kinda creepy.

American Coot with foot held up out of the water.

Even the Cornell Ornithology Lab, which has a thing about birds, has trouble finding something nice to say.

The waterborne American Coot is one good reminder that not everything that floats is a duck. A close look at a coot—that small head, those scrawny legs—reveals a different kind of bird entirely.

But seen close-up and in the right light, its iridescent feathers are fabulous.

Standing on right foot; wings spread, from side.

Hokey-pokey move


Standing on left foot; wings spread, from side.

Yoga pose


Wings spread, from back.

A big caboose


Wings spread to form a bustle.

Built-in bustle


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Filed under Photos of Fauna

National Treasure #130: Russell Peters

I’ve written about Russell Peters before: the Canadian of Indian (East Indian, that is) parentage, who grew up in Brampton ON.

His stand-up comedy targets every ethnic group, around a core of jokes about Indians:

Continue reading

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Filed under Through Canada