Winter Returns …

Home from the Forest / Gordon Lightfoot / 1967

Once we get through February …

Afternoon at Carburn Park …

Winterlude / Bob Dylan / from album New Morning / 1970


Rose and I have visited most every Park in the Calgary area
over the last few years.
Some of the parks are large and uncrowded with lots of Wildlife.
Others are pretty crowded.
Carburn Park gets plenty of people.

The pond was active.

How times have changed.
When I was a kid most boys used to lean on a hockey stick
to learn how to skate.

See what I mean?
But while everybody else in North America was being
assaulted by bad Weather we were having a party.

In Calgary we get those warm winds we call Chinooks.
These make a winter palatable.

The Deer have become pretty tame around here.

Even a Beaver showed up.

Rose brought some birdseed with us this time.

It’s good to get out.

Four swans do a ‘fly by’ …

Next:
Golden Eagles at Beaver Dam Flats.

 

Covid and my Sunstroke Story

House of the Rising Sun / Waylon Jennings / 1964


Covid / Again

I’ve been sick for nearly 3 weeks.
That must almost be a record for me.
I’ve finally gotten over whatever was lodged in my sinus.
My headache and fever are also gone now too.
My last symptom?: tiredness. I’m tired all the time.
Initially, I thought this thing was Flu.
Now I’m sure it was Covid. Again.
But the Home Test Kit was inconclusive.

I paid the price for not getting another Covid shot.

Sunstroke / Avoid it

How long can you go without sleep?

This all reminded me I of the time I had sunstroke back in 1970.
I had just landed a road construction job for the City of Calgary –
a paving crew – shoveling asphalt.
Unfortunately, back then they had a policy against long hair –
so I had to get my hair cut off.
This proved disastrous.
The first 2 days I worked it was at least 85 degrees F. Absolutely scorching.
I got severe sunburn on my arms, face and most notably
– the back of my neck.
Nobody used Sunscreen in those days.
This resulted in Sunstroke – though I didn’t know I had Sunstroke because
I didn’t even know such a thing existed. I’d never heard of it.
It’s deadly though, I can assure you.
The Sunstroke totally destroyed my Central Nervous System.
The Sunburn itself was so bad that I would lie in the bathtub
with the water up to my neck.
This stopped the tremendous burning on my arms and neck.
But I figured everything would be fine after the burn went away
– which took a few days.
Boy, was I wrong.
The Sunstroke endured.
My newly destroyed Nervous System started to
profoundly affect my sleep –
whereby It often took me 4 hours just to get to sleep.
Even after I got to sleep though, I did not get any rest.
You can imagine that pretty soon this started to break me down
– physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
It became a true Dark Night of Soul.
Unbelievably, however – get this – I kept right on working!
– shoveling that bloody asphalt – like being on a treadmill in Hell.
I didn’t miss a day.
I’m certain they were all betting I’d quit.
But I didn’t.
What did happen however, was that I was becoming
progressively suicidal.
It wouldn’t stop and I didn’t know what was wrong with me?
Finally I went to a clinic to see if they could figure out what was going on?
They gave me a bunch of tests.
Then the doc came to me and said, “Your nerves are completely shot.”
Not much of a Diagnosis Doc.
But they knew nothing about the horrific Sunstroke or Sunburn I’d suffered
– and the Sunstroke I was still experiencing.
Neither did I. I only figured it all out much later.
So … their conclusion?: Drug Abuse.
It wasn’t of course. So much for medical science.
Their solution?: a prescription for Valium 5.
You can definitely say I thought this was totally asinine.
But what could I do?
I went to the drug store and bought the Valium.
I took it … and incredibly, almost immediately, it fixed me.
My screwed up nerves finally settled down
– and for the first time in months I was able to get some sleep.
Blessed Rest.
GOD … what an ordeal that was.
I paved roads for 7 years.
That’s a lot of Bad Karma.
And now … I’m always ultra cautious of the Sun.

Andor!? Who knew?

“It’s the writing. It’s always the writing.”
MFW


If you haven’t watched Andor yet,
you’ve missed the best Mini Series that was on TV this year.

But it’s not too late.
It’s on Disney. (believe it or not)

Andor: New Rogue One Prequel Spinoff Series Images, Key Art ...

Also hard to believe that this guy has the Star Power to carry this thing.

Do you even know who he is?

Star of Andor / Diego Luna

Reviews:

IMDB Review: “84%”

I had a good feeling about the series before it started
– tempered by previous … things.

But as I watched I could not believe that THIS was really Star Wars??
No Ewoks, Light Sabres, or Yoda babies?
Dialogue and Characters that weren’t cartoons?
WoW!

Andor - Serie 2022 - SensaCine.com
MFW Review / 90%

Thanks for restoring my faith …

Insane Action at World Juniors !

                                                                             Guenther finishes …

IIHF World Junior Championship heads to Atlantic Canada
                                                           But it really means nothing to us at all.

A Star is born …

Andy Devlin/Getty Images
                                                       Connor Bedard

Connor Bedard
MVP World Juniors 2023


IIHF Records set by Connor Bedard:

– Canadian record for points in a single tournament:
23 points (9 goals, 14 assists) in seven games.

– Single tournament Canadian record for Assists: 14 assists

– At just 17 years old, 23 points at a tournament
by a player aged 18 or younger.

– Canada’s record: 36 points over 16 tournament games.
Bedard broke the record in just 14 games.

– New record for Goals (16) at the World Juniors.

Connor bedard HD wallpapers | Pxfuel

Pressure? 
Bring it on.

John Wayne / where there’s smoke …

Somebody was asking me about this Post recently … so I’m reposting it.
It’s about John Wayne’s incredible smoking habit
and his death from cancer.

sunday morning coming down / kristofferson

“Where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire”, the old saying goes.
And sometimes death.

smoking-roulette-1
                            Smoking Roulette / composite image I created. 

colt-45-bullet-bar-1

Smoking is a lot like Russian Roulette.
You know there’s a bullet in there.
But you’re gambling that it doesn’t have your name on it.

It’s a hell of a gamble.
A gamble that John Wayne lost.

john-wayne-cigarette-bar
                                                                  20 cigs a pack

       John Wayne’s smoking exploits are as Legendary as he is. I’ve seen several different claims as to how much he smoked: 4, 5, 6 and 7 pack of cigarettes a day! Most claim 6 packs a day. I refuse to believe 7 because 7 packs of cigarettes a day is 7 x 20 cigarettes = 140 cigarettes in a 16 hour day (8 hours for sleep) – or 8.75 cigarettes an hour – which would be smoking
1 cigarette about every 7 minutes. That seems impossible.
Even for John Wayne.

I was a heavy smoker myself for quite a while – 2 packs of Canadian cigarettes a day – 25 cigs per pack. So I have some experience with this thing. When I finally quit, I coughed up tar for 6 months. Smoking is an extremely insidious addiction. Before I started smoking I very rarely caught flu or even a cold. After I started, I caught everything. Smoking seriously damages and devitalizes your whole immune system.
Don’t do it.

smoking-gun

So lets’ see …
John smoked 6 packs a day x 20 cigarettes per pack = 120 cigarettes a day.

Could you smoke this many cigarettes a day?

john-wayne-cigarette-barjohn-wayne-cigarette-barjohn-wayne-cigarette-barjohn-wayne-cigarette-barjohn-wayne-cigarette-barjohn-wayne-cigarette-bar
Assuming John Wayne couldn’t smoke while he was asleep (?) and assuming he slept about 8 hours a day, that’s 120 cigarettes divided by 16 hours = he smoked about 7.5 cigs an hour. That’s a lot. But possible.

These are all Guesstimates, of course, but you get the picture:
John was an outright addict.

And even though John grew up in an era where smoking was portrayed as being debonair, sophisticated, suave and ‘cool’, it must have been very difficult to be around him due to this excessive smoking
– even if you were a smoker yourself.
And I’d guess it would pretty well be impossible for a non-smoker.

john-wayne-smoking-2

Strangely however, in most of his Westerns, John seems to smoke very little. ? Guns and Booze are plainly evident. But not cigs. ??? Though it surely wasn’t hard to catch him smoking ‘off camera’,  he rarely brought it to film. And even then, it didn’t seem overdone.

john-wayne-smoking-3 john-wayne-smoking-4 john-wayne-smoking-5 john-wayne-smoking-6

In advertising, John, of course, wasn’t the only celebrity who endorsed smoking. Dozens of Actors, Actresses – and even Athletes and Doctors endorsed smoking in that era. Magazine ads, TV commercials, radio ads, billboards … you name it.

john-wayne-camel-ad

john-wayne-camel-ad-2

john-wayne-camel
I’m feeling a little Turkish today …

john-wayne-smoke-a-camel

There’s controversy over how John came down with Cancer –
due to an urban legend about the 1956 film The Conqueror
that had been shot near an Atomic Bomb testing site.

But John wasn’t falling for that and openly confessed his cancer
was due to his excessive smoking habit.

Just say NO.

Christmas Cards …

Recently, I was saying to Rose that people
don’t send Christmas cards anymore.
So naturally we got a quite a few.
Not as many as we used to, but …
Of course, getting cards requires
that you send them as well.

I attended 3 Christmas feasts / dinners.
I know I put on a couple of pounds for sure.
Lucky me, lucky days.

Christmas.
It sweeps in so swiftly …
then like a snowflake …
It’s gone.

I try to cherish each moment
and count my Blessings.
There are many.

Into the New Year my friends …
I wish you well.

 

Star of Wonder …

Oh Holy Night / unknown

Oh Holy Night / Manheim Steamroller

Angels.
It’s not just fantasy.

It came upon a Midnight Clear / Piano Winterlude

“It came upon a midnight clear
That glorious song of old
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold”

We Three Kings / Manheim Steamroller

“O star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy perfect light”

Christmas Meltdown …

Must be Santa / Raffi

Had my annual computer meltdown.
An annual event. Just like Christmas.
So I was ‘out of commission’ … for a bit.
And I was considering staying that way …

But it’s
CHRISTMAS!

And the only known benefit of getting old …
You get to be SANTA !

And I got all the gals to sit on my lap.

Love ya all.
Thanks for sticking around.

Christmas …
What we make it.

Thank You Ian Tyson …

Summer Wages”, by Canadian country artist Ian Tyson appears on his album “Cowboyography” The Western Writers of America voted it one of the Top 100 Western Songs of all time.

Love this version Ian.

Ian Tyson keeps on singing - Nanaimo News Bulletin


Ian Dawson Tyson CM AOE (born September 25, 1933) is a Canadian singer-songwriter who wrote a significant number of modern folk songs, including “Four Strong Winds” and “Someday Soon“, performed with partner Sylvia Tyson as the duo Ian & Sylvia.

Tyson was born to British immigrants in Victoria, and grew up in Duncan B.C.[1] A rodeo rider in his late teens and early twenties, he took up the guitar while recovering from an injury he sustained in a fall. He has named fellow Canadian country artist Wilf Carter as a musical influence.[2] He made his singing debut at the Heidelberg Café in Vancouver in 1956 and played with a rock and roll band, The Sensational Stripes. He graduated from the Vancouver School of Art in 1958.

Ian Tyson Discography:

973 Ol’ Eon 81
1978 One Jump Ahead of the Devil
1983 Old Corrals and Sagebrush
1984 Ian Tyson
1987 Cowboyography Platinum
1989 I Outgrew the Wagon 12 74 Gold
1991 And Stood There Amazed 16
1994 Eighteen Inches of Rain 9
1996 All the Good ‘Uns 21 Gold
1999 Lost Herd
2002 Live at Longview
2005 Songs from the Gravel Road
2008 Yellowhead to Yellowstone and Other Love Stories
2011 Songs from the Stone House
2012 Raven Singer
2013 All the Good ‘Uns Vol. 2
2015 Carnero Vaquero

Wikipedia Says: 

Tyson became a Member of the Order of Canada in October 1994 and was inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2006. In 2003, Tyson received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award.

He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, with Sylvia, in 1992.

Ian Tyson was inducted into the Mariposa Hall of Fame, with Sylvia, in 2006

He was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1989. (Sylvia Tyson was inducted in 2003.)

The song Four Strong Winds, written by Ian Tyson, was named as the greatest Canadian song of all time by the CBC-Radio program 50 Tracks: The Canadian Version in 2005.

An announcement in July 2019 stated that Ian Tyson and Sylvia Tyson would be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, individually, not as a duo. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation article stated that “the duo’s 1964’s hit, Four Strong Winds, has been deemed one of the most influential songs in Canadian history”. The report also referenced the song You Were on My Mind, written by Sylvia Tyson, as well as her four albums (1975–1980).

A lot of good times and a lot of good music Ian.
Thanks.


If Bromberg does your song that’s a real tip of the hat.

Christmas 2022

The Illustrated London News’s illustration of the Christmas Truce: “British and German Soldiers Arm-in-Arm Exchanging Headgear: A Christmas Truce between Opposing Trenches” The subcaption reads:
“Saxons and Anglo-Saxons fraternizing on the field of battle at the season of peace and goodwill: Officers and men from the German and British trenches meet and greet one another —
A German officer photographing a group of foes and friends.”

 

Out and About on a Winter Day …

Christmas shopping …

Doesn’t say anything about my Bowie knife …

All I want for Christmas is a Mini-Tank.

Impressive … but I’m just looking for a coffee.



We hoped he was doing that on purpose.


At the Park

Welcome … sorta.

A toasty fire … but fortunately
she has her gadget to play with.

???
Guess he didn’t see the signs?


Not a bad day at all.

The Old Way … Nicholas Cage / January 2023

The Old Way

“Revenge don’t care much for the law.”

Nick …that’s about the worst mustache I’ve ever seen.

Good. I’m tired of politics.


No reviews yet.

I do like a good Western yarn.
Unfortunately, even with Nick Cage,
I don’t get the feeling that The Old Way is Old Henry.

I’ll give it a watch, but …

 

 

 

 

 

Nicolas Cage … Cowboy ??

I like Nicolas Cage.
I’ve enjoyed a lot of his Movies.
Not all. But lots.
Even Ghost Rider.
And he’s made a lot of Movies over the years.
Never stops.
And just when you figure his career is
winding down (or over) …
he makes 10 more.
And you never really know what going to come out???
Crazy? or Good? Both?
Despite all (I’ll spare the gory celebrity details)
he’d still has enough Star Power
to Headline most projects.

And a couple of those recent projects have been Westerns:
Yahoo!

Let’s have a look.

Butcher’s Crossing 

Butcher’s Crossing is a 2022 Western shot in Montana.
Internet Movie Database (IMDB) says this:
“A frontier epic about an Ivy League drop-out as he travels to the Colorado wilderness, where he joins a team of buffalo hunters on a journey
that puts his life and sanity at risk.
Based on the highly acclaimed novel by John Williams.”

Internet Movie Database (IMDB) says “7 out of 10”
Rotten Tomatoes says 73%

TRAILER?:
Nope.
Only Nick Cage could put out a Movie that
has been already Premiered
at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
and been favorably reviewed on
Internet Movie Data Base IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes …
BUT has NO Trailer!
I searched high and low and all I could discover was
that they working on it. So I can’t really give
you much of an idea what the Movie looks like.
Yet.
My gut feeling is that this will be a
pretty good and watchable Western.

Based on the Book:

WIKIPEDIA says:
Butcher’s Crossing
by John Williams

“Butcher’s Crossing
is a western novel by John Williams, originally published in 1960. The story follows William Andrews, a young Harvard student who leaves his life behind to explore the American West. The book begins and ends in the fictional frontier town of Butcher’s Crossing, Kansas, in the early 1870s, where Andrews joins a buffalo-hunting expedition. He and the people he meets along the way must confront and survive the brutal realities of nature in their attempts to get buffalo hides to sell. Along the way, Andrews contemplates his purpose in life with respect to nature, specifically through the influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson.”

So where to watch it?:
– Vudu.
– Netflix streaming.
– Amazon and amazon prime.
– Most popular streaming movies.
– Certified fresh movies.

Coming up … Nick’s other new Western

Christmas in the boarding house …

Christmas … ?

Scrooge: My favourite Charles Dickens character

I’ve had my Ups and Downs over years.
So have you.

Food banks hope to give Britain's 'hidden poor' a festive Christmas | Magazine, moving | News | UNISON NationalHundreds of true stories we could tell about the Downs.
The Ups are usually not so interesting.
Brother Bruce and I used to call this “Fasting or Feasting”.
And in our early years they could equal in parts.
I recall one time we when were flat broke.
We had our rent paid, but they had cut off our electricity.
Fortunately, we had a gas stove.
Unfortunately, all we had to cook was pancake batter.
You can’t imagine how many ways you can
creatively cook pancake batter.
Pancake soufflé anyone?

So … Christmas?
I recall one Christmas I was living in a boarding house
in the town of  Parksville on Vancouver Island.
There was about 5 of us living in that place.
We were all one notch from being on the street …
… though I had a car I could sleep in at least.
I remember I owed one of the guys for some money.
He asked to be paid in beer. No problem.
When Christmas came around most of us were alone.
I decided that wasn’t a good thing.
I went and spent whatever I had on a big Turkey
with all the fixins’.
And cooked it up in our communal kitchen.
Turkey and stuffing (English style)
with mashed potatoes and gravy, Cranberry Jelly,
a big baked yam, peas, and corn … ?
Booze? Can’t recall.
I set everything up on the kitchen table.
Then went around and knocked on everybody’s door …
Invited them to a Christmas dinner.
So there was about 6 of us there.
It wasn’t fancy, but I think they liked it.
This is one of my fondest Christmas memories.

Yet most of the time I don’t realize how good I’ve got it.

 

Blue Christmas

Dedicated to Blog Buddy, Don Ostertag and Family :
Don Ostertag Off Stage
https://donostertag.wordpress.com/

Blue Christmas / Doye O’Dell / 1948

Blue Christmas?

Most people think that this is an Elvis Presley song.
It’s not.
This song was first recorded by Doye O’Dell in 1948.
(Elvis was 13 at that time)
Elvis‘ was 22 when his version came out in 1957.
There were 8 recordings (Hits?) of Blue Christmas before his.

But now there are over 1000 recorded versions of Blue Christmas.
This not only makes it one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time,
but one the most popular modern SONGS of all time. Period.

WIKIPEDIA says:
Blue Christmas” is a Christmas song written by Billy Hayes and
Jay W. Johnson and most famously performed by Elvis Presley; it was first recorded by Doye O’Dell in 1948. It is a tale of unrequited love during the holidays and is a longstanding staple of Christmas music,
especially in the country genre.

“Country”? I’d say this is one of those
songs that ‘Crosses Over’.
Everything.

There are many nice versions of Blue Christmas, but most don’t really do
anything special with the song and very few match up to Elvis.
Here’s a couple that I like though.

OK folks … hope this isn’t too early for ya.

Doye O’Dell was the first artist to record this Christmas standard. Doye had a long recording history from the 1930s to the 1980s and was still performing into his 80s. Doye replaced Tim Spencer in some later Sons of the Pioneer recordings and movie and personal appearances. Doye also had parts in many other TV shows and movies. He had his own TV variety shows that ran for many years on KTLA in Los Angeles and was a household name in California. Doye’s records are sought-after collector’s items today.

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