A Potpourri of Issues and News

Where to start? Trump? Trudeau? Covid? I don’t think so….this is a local colour kind of blog today. This is back to OTG.

As you know, this area is home to the best bookclub in Canada (maybe the Galaxy?). And they prove it every month on the 3rd Sunday. Rain or shine. But Covid threw a wrench into the longest running bookclub ever (35+ years) a few months back and they had to do two meetings by way of Zoom. They didn’t like it. So, in typical OTG fashion, they opted to have the meetings in an open space. And that was first practiced at the site of the school playground. It was good. But not good enough….so…this last gathering was held ‘at the beach’.

Our island has a few nice beaches but there is one special one. It is a classically beautiful three-boat anchorage with a gradual slope from the sea that merges from beach to forest in a natural and sublime way. It’s a great spot. In fact, it is so great the local guys have, over the years, erected a rustic stage and bar and outdoor kitchen complete with outhouse and random seating areas. Log-and-beach wood style. The site looks like a fantasy setting for Hobbits or something…gorgeous.

It gets better.…this weekend 20 or so women came together at the beach and this time a good portion were younger women. Usually the younger women do NOT bring their kids because the kids are disruptive, especially in a house. But this was the beach and kids and beaches go well together. About 8 or so kids, the oldest maybe 12 and the youngest about 5. And they all played in the water for hours while book club was held with the oldest kid caring and watching out for the youngest. There was the classic log and old-rope raft, the usual beach toys, some beach-made toys, several dogs, old vehicles, lunch and, of course, perfect weather and calm waters. Norman Rockwell would have painted it a dozen times.

I know that beach-fun is no big deal but in the days of Covid and so many screen focused activities and habits of the kids (and parents) these days, it was ‘the good ol’ days’ all over again. Very nostalgic. Organic. Casual. Real. Family stuff…..

Covid prompted a lot of things this year. We have a help-get-the-wood-in program whereby some of the younger guys assist older homeowners to get in their winter wood. The local logger gave up some non-merchantable timber, some folks have trees on their property needing processing and some work is just firewood related like stacking and hauling. They’ve been at it for a couple of weeks so far and their efforts are being much appreciated. It is good.



The food delivery system has settled in somewhat. They get about $2000 worth of food delivered by water taxi and distributed by a few volunteers every Friday around noon. That works out very well and is also a very good thing to do.

We got funded for a one-day-a-week home care worker who has approximately 20 older clients currently getting some kind of personal assistance. The funding is minimal ($15K) but that is enough to hire two workers in the winter and keep our current worker going throughout the summer. And that is good, too.

Sal and another neighbour got inspired and applied for a small grant to ‘collect stories’. It seems that many of our neighbours have great local history to share and we want to record it, print it, podcast it and the like. The volunteers got enough of a grant ($7500) to hire some interviewers (including some of the school kids) a technician and coordinator. We anticipate at least thirty (or more) short-stories of derring-do and adventure from the 70’s and up until the present day. Do we make it into a book? I dunno….prob’ly the bookclub will take that on.

While all that has been going on in the neighbourhood, Sal and another two women reprinted a very old book about homesteaders out here during the last depression. The author lived here for 10 years. That was no small feat back then (piece of cake today, tho). It was interesting to read because it is similar-but-different to our history out here so far. And, it was good to ‘save’ the long out-of-print book for historical reasons.

We’ve had a few guests. Some friends have dropped off some fish. A few happy-hours. We have 90% of a solar oven (awaiting Fresnel lens) and 90% of the new water system is sitting up the hill awaiting installation.

Sal has also made a few quilts so far and I have done the very least I can do to not appear too much of a lump – which is impossible. It is hard to keep up with woman like Sal who now has a new knee and is cranking up the odometer with it. Sheeesh…………..



21 thoughts on “A Potpourri of Issues and News

  1. to be honest, I like your OTG stories more then the stories on Trump. These stories make me smile and remind me constantly how society should work and how we should take care of each other. Unfortunately, the real world is gray, grim, full of selfish people, and worst of all…politicians who only care about filling their pockets and NOT solving what may be the biggest crisis so far. I like the solution the book club found, but….you ARE living in 1 of the nicest places on earth in my opinion! and don’t minimise your efforts…building 90% of a solar oven is a big job!


    • Most people prefer squirrels and whales to Trump and Trudeau. I get it. I am reaching that point where I can hardly stand to read about them too. Having said that, this blog is really about my ‘truth’ and what is ‘on my mind’. Much of what is on my mind is OTG stuff but man, oh man, those political bastards can mess with my mind rather easily. And they do!
      I am not diminishing my work on the oven. I am pleased. But it has to be put ‘on the shelf’ until the Fresnel lens comes. It needs a bit of an energy boost and the lens will provide it, I am sure.


  2. The beach location looked great.
    What a perfect place for kids to be kids.

    Your OTG stories are just as interesting ( if not more so) than the endless, self serving, politicians and their politically correct pablum.
    I always enjoy them as opposed to the lunacy infesting every level of govt these days.
    Trudeau seems about to unleash a fiscal nightmare of epic proportions( hence the Bill Morneau resignation and the bobblehead doll appointment of former “journalist and author” Freeland who will bathe in the glory of being the first woman to be appointed Finance Minister whether she is qualified or not…..he place in history is assured…….hurrah!).
    Apparently Trudeau wants a Universal basic Income to be unleashed on Canada.
    “The time is right!” ( Covid has crushed thousands of jobs and the average Canadian has the financial sustainability of a drunken fruit fly over a bottle of beer).
    So, we wait for Trudeau’s $ocialist upheava announcement with taxation dread…….l.
    I dare say if he is re-elected…..
    Industry will shut down for 4 years until another election,
    Doctors (entrepreneurs) will leave.
    The dollar will be worth $0.50
    OTG will look even more appealing.


    • I can’t help but think that Trudeau is not really in charge. If he was, we’d be in a worse mess. Plus we are clearly a flea on the tail of the American dog. Just as we crowned Freeland for her work on NAFTA2, Trump trumps it and assigns tariffs on aluminum. The agreements mean nothing. Canada gets ripped off by the US all the live long day, doo dah, doo dah. My only real concern now, tho, is did Sal and I go far enough? Maybe Tasmania would be better?


      • I always find it strange that Canada lets itself being bullied by US. You are a bigger country (in size, not population), but you have the natural resources to be self-sufficient AND rich!. Look at what Norway did (does) with its natural resources. They keep the earnings in the country (do not give it away to some bully big neighbour), and the whole country benefits from the oil money. This makes Norway 1 of the richest counties in Europe. Canada could do the same in my opinion and rid itslef of the bullying US and Trump. Maybe it would make all your lives so much better. We (Belgium) are tiny, we have no natural resources whatsoever, so we have to rely on Europe and the rest of the world for too many things, making us hugely dependent


  3. Trudeau answering a question with his compliant bobblehead Ministers behind him…..pa…thetic.

    I’m sure Prorogueing govt had nothing to do with shutting down the WE investigation……..


  4. It’s difficult, I think most of us agree that the current political leaders all around the world are doing a lousy job, on the other hand, who else is there? If I look at the situation over here, we still don’t have a government 14 months after the election, because they are fighting over some political issues, like should we divide our small country even further and make it even less governable? So we might face re-elections soon, but it’s simply the same people up there for re-election, so what will change?
    It seems there is no one “politically brave” enough to take up the gauntlet and do the right thing…he/she would probably be kicked right out office by the powers that be.
    But it makes you wonder where we are going….the world needs a drastic change, on a lot of issues(healthcare, social security, environment, sustainable industry,….)
    Maybe we should forget politics and politicians and “elect” some “councel of wise people” with absolutely NO political agenda
    I agree….OTG becomes more appealing every day


    • Unfortunately , I feel a “drastic change” may be …… war with China…and if they succeed in defeating us and our western “democracies”……perhaps that’s the slap in the face our self absorbed voters need to get back to basics with the pathetic excuses we have as “Leaders”.

      Nothing like a major reset every 100 years or so to rid ourselves of the populist pandering tripe that seem to infest every level of govt..


      • I am coming to the conclusion that C-19 is the first drastic change to hit and it is pretty devastating. The second will be the economic crash that follows and that, too, is already underway. The third will be the ‘energy’ sector. Where does it go? Oil is on the way out but……..the fourth will be social disorder and Occupy, BLM, protests everywhere and the rise of ugly racism is also underway – as is the rise of the Police State. But there is no question, most of those disruptive forces will pale against the impact of climate change and migration. I think the recipe for a dark age is being assembled and the universe will then cook it up hot and thick with climate and disease. “Geez, Dave! Doom and gloom!” Well, yeah…kinda….but, in a way, all revolutions are painful. And we are rejecting our institutions, our leaders, our sciences. We are choosing chaos and disorder. It just may be the way it is.


    • I have had the privilege of being invited to three meetings over the last 15 years. As an author, I am allowed to attend (briefly) but all males are otherwise forbidden. You know how it is? Of course, I got several words in and none of them were turned on edge. They were all respectful despite my gender – even the women who are express misandrists normally. And they were all engaged for the five to seven minutes I stood in front of them answering questions about the books. But I have a secret tactic when dealing with more than a handful of women: I spend most of my time praising Sal. The more nice things I say about Sal, the longer the clutch of women will tolerate my presence. Without that, I am encouraged to leave before they call the police.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your island community is wonderful. Wish we had more long-term residents up the lake to put something like that together. Summer is really the only time that many cabins are occupied. – Margy


  6. I finished a book a few months back by an American author who was living and working in China with his wife.
    The book is called
    “Drunk in China” Baiju and the world’s oldest drinking culture.
    By Derek Sandhaus
    It’s absolutely hilarious.
    Before he went on his quest across the length and breadth of China seeking the “perfect” Baiju he had his blood and liver tested……half way through his quest he was tested again and the Chinese doctors were horrified…….
    Needless to say…..he didnt stop when he was so close………..


  7. I am pleased with it but, of course, we are just ordinary folks with some who are a pain in the neck and others who are now good friends. It’s a human stew with detectable flavours of independence and character, eccentricity and remarkable capabilities. AND it changes. Every year a few come, a couple go……
    The ‘hard cheese’ is that you only get out of it what you put into it. Sal is very active and, tho I don’t toot my own horn, I am, too. NOT as much as her but still ‘better than average’ and that extra contribution comes back in friendships and assistance. Plus it is more fun.
    Ya want I should find you a place?


  8. David, please stop inviting others! I’m here now is that not enough? If you keep this up we will be down to under a square mile each, hardly enough room to turn around. 😉


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