Black and White Badlands

Over the years I’ve learned about photography from my husband. If nothing else, his instruction on subtleties of light, perspective and patient correction of distance and angle make me think before clicking. Our recent road trip to Battleford, Saskatchewan proved no amount of instruction will make me a photographer. Photography is an art form, a canvas reserved for those able to see beyond the ordinary. I won’t stop taking photos, but remain in awe of my husband’s ability to tell stories by snagging the essence of time and place.

A chorus line

Pondering Patriot Bat Shit

Next News Network wasn’t on my radar, never heard of founder Gary Franchi or crossed paths with his vision of “patriot” news until idle cosmic research landed on this video. 15 seconds in “could be home to aliens”, turned confirmation of habitable zone planet Proxima, four light years away in the Proxima Centauri system into a global conspiracy. A minute or so into the segment “discovery deliberately kept secret”, coupled with liberal sprinklings of “alien” reference raised WTF red flags.

Rather than scream “moron”, I delved into the world of Next News Network. Dubbed N3 by painfully obvious media strategists, entering the realm of “your most trusted liberty news network” began with a mission statement –

Connect people from around the world with an online, interactive hub for news and entertainment to share facts, issues, tips, and ideas – free from corporate influence – in order to broadcast pertinent truths the world should know.

Wow –  “broadcast pertinent truths the world should know” is the definition of “liberty news”. American liberty depends on stoic patriots willing to speak the truth of alien conspiracy instead of scientific actuality?

“empower our viewers with actionable information, enabling each to pursue their own life, powered by liberty and happiness, just as our founders intended.”

Growing determination to comprehend patriots, liberty and Next News Network landed on one name – Gary Franchi, driving force behind N3 and patriot committed to liberty for all Americans.  “Who is Gary Franchi” on the N3 website began with –

“If a person’s character can be measured by the enemies he makes, Gary Franchi received a significant endorsement when the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) listed him as number nine in its roster of patriot movement leaders in 2010.”

Stop! To be a patriot dedicated to American liberty as intended by the founding fathers, you have to piss off the SPLC – a non profit organization dedicated to matters of hate, racial injustice and civil rights? Franchi, a patriot so tickled, his bio opens with puffed chest delight over the accomplishment. Wow.

Never mind N3 reports of alien conspiracy, lets look at “pertinent truths the world should know” in regard to Hillary Clinton. In the interest of liberty, patriots at N3 reported proof Hillary has Parkinsons disease.

According to N3, Hillary always wears pant suits to hide a catheter. A catheter that’s “pissing on her election chances” . N3’s source, “a nurse”. Seriously, words escape me – watch the video.

The dictionary defines patriot as –

– a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.
– a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.
Watch this clip –

 Patriot bat shit flourishes in America, propaganda has never been easier. Reel in a target audience, profess patriotic liberty, call it news, sit back and watch it gel. I doubt the founding fathers imagined an outcome this diabolic or damaging to their vision of America.


Grace VanderWaal

Grace VanderWaal explains my weakness for televised talent competitions. Nauseating panels of celebrity judges, scripted punctuation of crack filling banter, inane segments of soul sucking spackle explain why I record and view with a finger on fast forward. Every so often though, cut to the chase reality television sends a Grace VanderWaal my way.

Grace VanderWaal makes up for hours of ho-hum television. One moment drifting off to sleep, the next mesmerized by her presence. Watch this clip of her audition on America’s Got Talent –

Who saw Grace coming – an awkward 12 year old girl unaware of her talent. Tentative beginnings give way to unabashed determination, her voice curling melodically as confounded viewers recognize the enormity of Grace’s debut.

Most days I’m too busy for television, when I do watch, chances of eluding sleep long enough to watch an entire show are slim to none. Grace woke me up, delivering an unexpected package that sent me back to bed grinning from ear to ear.


Hoo Doo Notes

This photo cracks me up. Snapped last week at the Hoo Doos in Drumheller, Alberta – absurdly stiff Notes locked in shapeless dress disregard for the passing parade. Surrounded by movement, shape and contrast – a photo bombing interloper caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Vanity begs common sense to delete without hesitation, yet I can’t bring myself to eradicate a great photo.

A chorus line

Tragically Hip

This past Saturday one third of all Canadians witnessed the final performance by Tragically Hip from their hometown of Kingston, Ontario. 11.7 million people gathered in bars, hockey arenas, town squares, restaurants, back yards and living rooms, tipping hats to front man Gord Downie and the Hip.Saturday morning Toronto police tweeted “Dear world, please be advised that Canada will be closed tonight at 8:30 pm. Have a #Tragically Hip Day”. From the Yukon to Newfoundland, Saturday August 20, 2016 will go down in Canadian history as Tragically Hip day.

Who the Hip are is easy, what they are is harder to define. Constant from bar stools to sold out arenas, Gord Downie’s iconic voice navigated the Hip to a place of knowing familiarity – when a Hip song played it felt like slipping into bedroom slippers, troubles waned, we were home. Canadian to the core, Tragically Hip never sought headlines or spotlight. Musicians, poets, balladeers captained by “Canadian poet laureate” Downie. Three decades of unabashed Canadian expression delivered with respectful unapologetic grace.  In May of this year a news conference reported Gord Downie had terminal brain cancer, followed by dates of a farewell tour before Downie succumbed to aggressive terminal illness. Listen to Ahead By A Century then Bobcaygeon. Youtube Nautical Disaster, Google Rolling Stone Top 10 Tragically Hip Songs, explore the interactive link below from CBC, read this article by Rachel Sklar at Vox –

I find myself pondering how many Canadians have “I saw the constellations reveal themselves one star at a time” tattooed on their arm. (Line from Bobcaygeon below)

Gord Downie August 20, 2016

Those outside Canada, people unfamiliar with the Hip might not fathom why a third of our nation gathered to hear Gord Downie’s final live performance. Why Justin Trudeau took in the concert wearing a Hip T-shirt,Tweeting –

Gord Downie is a true original who has been writing Canada’s soundtrack for more than 30 years.

crowds pack out a square in Kingston, Ontario, on 20 August 2016

 Kingston, Ontario – live broadcast for those without show tickets.

Tragically Hip permeate our lives, Gord Downie casts a spell of fortifying unity. This will be remembered as summer of the Hip. Following a three hour, three encore performance in Kingston Gord Downie said “thank you for that” before walking off the stage. Make no mistake, Canada thanks you Mr. Downie.

Allow Me To Blow Your Mind

Sit back comfortably, I’m about to blow your mind.

A diploid genome inhabits every cell in the human body. This genome consists of roughly 6 billion DNA base pairs. Liken DNA pairs to balls of string wrapped around proteins in the cell. Unravel the string it stretches out to a couple meters. A human body has 37 trillion cells (that’s 37,000,000,000,000 give or take a few). Lining up all DNA in a human body would stretch 74 trillion meters, or 74 billion kilometers – roughly 6 round trips to once a planet Pluto. That’s a mighty long strand of humanity.

Pondering The Newsroom

The Newsroom was an HBO political drama series that aired from June 2012 – December 2014. Starring Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy, news anchor at fictional Atlantis Cable News. Twenty five episodes over three brief “seasons” cemented The Newsroom atop my list of remarkable TV productions. Posted below are a handful of clips chosen to illustrate America’s indifference towards common sense truth – scripted Will McAvoy snippets ringing truer than anything blithered on non-fictional U.S. media today. The content may be dated, the message is anything but.


Road Trip Skies

Bogging myself down with ambitious post holiday elaborations came to an abrupt halt moments ago. Deeply philosophical ramifications of unabashed road trip freedom can wait a few days – road trip skies make it impossible to think clearly.

Road trip skies frame the ordinary, punctuate extraordinary, elicit emotion. Road skies enable a sixth sense, that of focusing impressions and appreciating what otherwise might go unnoticed. The first picture and last three black and white photos were taken by my husband, all the rest were snapped on my phone.

2016-08-12 13.45.22

2016-08-10 20.31.28

2016-08-16 15.54.28

2016-08-15 13.11.06

2016-08-14 19.22.15

2016-08-12 12.14.14

A chorus line

A Changed Notes

Home tonight after nine days on the road with my husband. Over 5,000 Km.,(1,300 of them today) three provinces, gravel road meanderings, secondary highway diners, family, strangers, thunderstorms, road-side attractions, heritage sites, gob smacking geology and demon mosquitoes. Stay tuned – snippets of ponderous elasticity quiver but I’m too tired to catch them. Until tomorrow….