Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Test post! Back on the air?

There has been all kinds of problems with my blog of late.

For some reason, my blog has stopped updating on other blog sites, so no one knows when/if I make a new post.
I've finally been getting some help from the blogger people to identify and correct the problem.
This is just a test post to see if the repairs are working.
If you are a long-term reader, no doubt you have missed most of the last 6 months' posts, few though they were! 

Click on 'Older Posts' at the bottom to see what you missed!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Summer finally arrives?

Since it is now approaching the longest day of the year, I guess it is appropriate that I consider a blog update!  However, since Blogger never updates my postings on the sidebars of other blogs anymore, chances are good that any new posts will go unread.

Adding to this obstacle is the fact that, to my knowledge, Livewriter is still not working properly with Blogger.  This means that all blog editing must be done when online, as well as using the slow, awkward, counter intuitive Blogger editor.  My only internet access when at home is a very limited, very slow satellite connection.  Invariably, when I go online, my computers decide they must start downloading something - anything - to almost instantly gobble up my 250Mb/day limit!  If that happens, I get 'Fapped' and then have zero internet for 24hrs!  Not very conducive to updating blogs!!

I just love/hate Google!  At the top of my blog editing window, Google posts a dire warning, highlighted with a red bar, saying "WARNING: Google prevented a suspicious sign in to yout account using your password. Review activity now"  However, when I click on the link, it tells me that I have already dealt with this situation!!  But still, it does not remove the red banner on the screen! Talk about 'crying wolf'!Warning: Google prevented a suspicious attempt to sign in to your account using your passw
Warning: Google prevented a suspicious
Well, I think we arrived home on April 11 to bare, dry ground, however that was short-lived and a few more good dumps of snow occurred before winter gave up for good. Nevertheless, when the weather is not conducive to being outside or traveling we tend to mostly stay at home waiting for improvement and - warmth!

During this time, Hailey regularly and impatiently has been checking the pot where her catnip plant grew last year, waiting to see it if will sprout again this year!

(The photo shows up sideways(!) and Blogger's editor apparently does not have a function to flip it upright, like all decent editors like LiveWriter do!)

My crop of dandelions has been doing well this year!

On some of the nice days, we've gone out for a Bayfield Bunch-like drive in the country, looking for wildlife, real estate, and wild horses.
 Lots of wild horses out in the foothills just to the west.

Closer to home there is some wildlife as well ...

Ironically, even with almost non-existant cell service and internet at home, the coverage and speed in even some isolated areas out in the bush has dramatically improved in the last year or so.  I've routinely measured download speeds of over 100Mbps on Rogers in many areas now, and even 70+ download speeds way out in the middle of nowhere!
My data plan includes 4 Gb/mo, but after a fight about my phone plan last fall, they are now giving me an extra 3Gb every month for the next two years!  So now I have 7Gb available, but ironically I can't use any of it from home - I have to be on the road somewhere to utilize it.

Not needing much more of an excuse to hit the road, I ditched the 5th wheel and hitch at home, put on the truck camper and hit the road for a bit!

 Hailey keeping an eye on a snake in the grass near East Coulee.
 Pet peeve:  Locals marking public county roads with 'No Trespassing' signs.  We trespassed.
 Big sky country in southern Alberta.
 Some big weather as well at times.
 Hailey waiting for a cow to fall into her cattle-guard trap!
 There's some cows now - in the Cypress Hills on the Sask/Alberta boundary.
I met up with a couple more fellow retired national park wardens for a few days of riding around historic Fort Walsh and an old trading post in the very scenic Cypress Hills.

Following a back road into the Cypress Hills area, I headed down this road bearing signs saying, "Impassable in wet weather", in the rain!  In my defence, I had been down it before in wet conditions, but this time it was a bit on the scary side.  I stopped here on this hill where it was flat to decide on strategy.  The UAV was sent up to survey the road ahead - which did not look any better.  After careful consideration, I managed to turn around and head back the way we had come.  But now it was even more slippery, and in places the mud was starting to ball up on the wheels.  After sliding down a couple hills more or less sideways, we made it back out to solid ground!
 Right on the Saskatchewan/Alberta boundary. 
On the way back towards home, we discovered this little primitive gem of a campground on the Red Deer river north of Jenner.  It appears to be free, perhaps courtesy of a local oil company, and is adjacent to a rodeo grounds.
 There was no one else around - perfect!

Well actually, a group of 9 people in 7 kayaks came by in the evening, but sort of missed the take-out, so they camped on a sandbar across the river about 1/4 mile downstream.  The water rose a lot overnight, so I'm not sure if any of their tents got flooded out, but they were gone by the time I got up in the morning.  Weather was getting hot, and even though the water was pretty brown, it was very refreshing to swim in.  The current was pretty fast, but I watched a good sized snake swim right across the river, which is about 60yds across at that point.  Maybe he knew Hailey was after him?
 Some nice hoodoos just across the river.
 Hailey was never a picky eater, but after the last winter from hell, it is a struggle to get her to eat enough - she lost about 4 pounds over the winter.  Here is a selection of 7 different food types, all ignored.

I don't think she is gaining any weight back yet, but with my secret weapons of milk and cheese, she does eat enough to get by.  There is no way we are going back to the feeding tube!

I've turned down a couple of offers of work so far this summer.  There seems to be a lot of unexpected vacancies in the fire lookouts this year after labour rules now force lookouts to take days off - even in extreme hazard conditions.  I could easily have worked full time in one of them for the summer, but I'm only interested in short-term adventures.  They also wanted a fire camp manager to open a new camp up north, but that sounded like a LOT of work, especially in a new camp, and generally cats and dogs are not welcome.  And if Hailey can't come along, I don't go.  Still keeping my eyes open for something shorter and interesting.  It's been an interesting fire season so far, and busiest in the north.  Some of my friends in lookouts where I've worked in the past were evacuated from their towers for a while.  We'll just have to see what July has in store.

In any event, don't expect another blog update anytime soon - unless things get really exciting!