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Wilderness Adventures - Dec., Week Two/2012

This is about a remote area in west central British Columbia, Canada called the West Chilcotin. Surrounded by numerous glacial mountain ranges, alpine lakes teeming with wild Rainbow Trout, and full of wildlife. Living here goes from no running water or electricity to spacious log homes with all the conveniences and without the smog!
If you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes, exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read some great contributed stories and ongoing blogs, just go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.

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16/12/2012 9:20 AM

The DJ's Prank

Look at that.... Two blogs in a row!
How can you tell that I am betwixt and between jobs right now? No response yet for a translation project I’m working on for our local tourism association, so I’m free for the time being because I definitely do not want to start on a new project. Certainly not just a week before Christmas! We still have a tree to decorate and other good stuff to do. Although I think all the wrapping is done. Mine was done ages ago because of that time space continuum I’ve been experiencing. I’m so far ahead on Christmas this year that I think I’m behind, but the other half in this household hasn’t been doing so well. He’s been down in the basement day after day wrapping presents. Not all day, mind you, but it certainly seems like hours at a time. Andy is normally the perfect wrapper with every present squared, shined, spit and polished. Even his Mother-in-law thinks he’s just the cat’s meow when it comes to wrapping presents and he’s allowed into the inner sanctum of present wrapping all the time. I, on the other hand, am never, ever, ever permitted to wrap presents for her and have not been so permitted since I was very small. She doesn’t approve of all the scotch tape and lopsided paper.
Really, is it that important???
Most people just rip off the paper to get to the innards anyway without ever admiring the wrapping, unlike me. I always admire the wrapping on a gift before carefully opening it because I am more aware than most just how much effort it requires to do a really good job of wrapping. It’s effort and time that not only am I not willing to put in to wrapping a gift, but don’t really seem capable of. I put a tremendous amount of effort into the work I do for clients, way more than I charge for, I assure you. And as my husband says, I will never, ever have to worry about getting rich off the work I do because I’m a perfectionist and just spend too much time trying to get things right. Maybe that’s why I do such a lousy job on wrapping presents….Because something has to give somewhere and my housekeeping abilities and gift wrapping is where I fall down on the perfectionist stuff. We’re not talking stumble here folks. We’re talking falling down the basement stairs right onto your face kind of let down.
Believe me, I have tried and tried to line up paper when wrapping so that the pattern matches, and tried to carefully fold the ends on a gift. I almost always box everything to make it easier but even then, things just don’t look good when I wrap. I’m pretty sure I learned to use large amounts of tape on a gift from my father but I’m not sure where the sloppy wrapping came from. I think that what it comes down to is this. My heart is just not in it because unlike a piece of graphics artwork that will be admired or a website that will be useful, wrapping on a gift is just going to be ripped off and garbaged without a glance. So what’s the point? I akin it to house work. It looks great when it’s clean but you know that as soon as you dust, you are going to have to do it again in 15 minutes time to have it look like you dusted, especially if you live in a house with a wood stove. So what’s the point? Well, yes, I know, when the dust is thick enough to actually change the shape and color of an object one should get around to dusting then but until then? I can think of way better things to do with my time, like go outside and garden or take the dogs for a walk.
Anyway, I was talking about Andy having problems with his wrapping this year, when he normally doesn’t. He keeps saying it’s because they’re really big gifts and so that’s the reason for all the effort and the great ripping sounds of tape peeling off the roll faster than the speed of light. I’m normally not a curious or nosey person, but I must tell you, this year looks like a really intriguing Christmas….
So I have to do a rant here. I can’t help it, I just have to. For those of you that don’t want to listen, just cover your ears…. Or eyes, or something.
My beef is about the death of that woman in England that took the prank call from the two DJ’s working for a radio station in Australia. As a result of the phone call, she apparently went home and committed suicide a few days later. Everyone in the world seems to think that it’s horrific that the DJ’s pulled that prank on the nurse who put the call on through to the hospital room that Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, was in. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about then for heavens sake, don’t read this. It will make you crazy!) At least I think that’s how it went. Frankly I heard so much of it on the news I tuned it out and probably missed some information perceived by some to be pertinent, but I doubt it.
So everyone in the world is blaming the two Australian DJ’s for causing this woman’s death. What the heck??? Has anyone actually listened to this stuff on the news? How in heaven’s name is it the fault of the DJ’s that this woman allegedly committed suicide? There is no question that they pulled a nasty prank. It might be considered innocent fun by many that listen to radios but frankly, I’ve never considered prank calls to be funny and have certainly never liked prank calls pulled by radio jocks. I just don’t think it’s either funny or right and usually turned off a radio station that did it. That being said, it’s something that is done by radio stations all over Canada, apparently in Australia, and presumably all over the world and obviously with the approval of radio station managers. So the DJ’s from Australia certainly did not strike out into a new realm here. They were doing what they and thousands of other radio jocks have done since the first jock put radios and telephones together.
The DJ’s got through to a staff member, acted like they were the Queen calling after Kate and were put through. First of all, it was a really bad accent and didn’t have any of the dignity one expects from English gentry but the nurse was not English and being on the switchboard was not her normal job. She was fooled into thinking she was talking to a member of the royal family, put the call through and then eventually committed suicide. Anyone see a problem here?
I don’t care who you put the call through to, or how you were fooled, how was any of it so important that it warranted taking your own life? Has our world become so petty and so tawdry that one’s life is cheapened to that point? Trade your life, the most precious thing on the face of this earth, for what? For being ashamed? For being made a fool of? For making a small and easily made mistake over a telephone call? I don’t think so, Tim. No one values their life that little.
I think that there was a lot more going on in that woman’s head and that phone call was just the tipping point. That doesn’t make it either of the DJ’s or the radio station’s fault.
I have not heard one person, a priest, a friend, a fellow nurse or co-worker, or even anyone from the media, question the woman’s mental state. Not one person has come out and said, gee, I wonder if she was depressed, on medication, under medical supervision, on drugs, having problems at home, having problems at work, having mental health issues, or anything else? I have not heard anyone ask that question or raise that possibility. Not one person!
You cannot convince me that a woman took her life solely because she was fooled into believing she was talking to someone that she was not. But this is a world so busy looking for someone to blame for anything that happens, that no one actually stops and sees the ridiculousness of this accusation against those radio DJ’s. They didn’t do anything wrong. Nothing. They were following general radio station protocol with the approval of the radio station. What’s wrong is that the woman took her own life and no one is asking why. They’re satisfied with what the media has fed them. That it was all the radio jocks’ fault. Everyone’s looking for someone to blame for this death, and they didn’t bother to look very far to find a punching bag. I have an idea. Why don’t we blame the woman who took her own life for her death? And more importantly, why don’t we look for some reasons behind the scenes (besides at a prank phone call) for her death.
I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend in the last few years. Right from kids to adults, everyone seems to be determined to find someone to blame for whatever plight they might be in, no matter that they may have been the direct cause. It has to be someone else’s fault. Heaven forbid that people should take responsibility for their own actions nowadays. As a result, people automatically cast around for someone or something to blame when things go wrong, even if it has nothing to do with them such as this woman thousands of miles away. It’s gotta be somebody’s fault!
It's a sad world we live in sometimes….

We have just had a very scruddy day, today. I didn't even go for a walk with the dogs, it was so cold, overcast and miserable looking with a nasty little wind blowing. Blech! We did have sun for a short time this morning but cloud promptly came in from over the mountains and from the west and took care of that little bluebird of happiness in a hurry. It was -17C or 1.4F when Andy got up this morning, never got above -5C or 23F and it's supposed to get cooler yet tomorrow and possibly Tuesday. Maybe colder temperatures mean sunshine. That would be nice!

15/12/2012 4:10PM

Walkin' On Sunshine!

I asked my other half a few minutes ago if he would please send me an email because I've been working on a website and not getting feedback from someone I've been sending messages to. Since I hadn't gotten anything since yesterday afternoon from anyone, I figured there was a chance that there was something up with my email. Apparently not as I got an email message just fine from Andy in caps: LOOKING FOR A BLOG!!!!!
Isn't that considered shouting? Anyone?
Since this project that I'm working on right now has pretty much come to a standstill, then I guess I'll just write a blog. Although I just tried to open up the word processing software I normally write a blog in, and it refuses to open up so I'm guessing my computer is going to crash any time now. I'll go ahead and write this inside the website program and see what happens.
In the past seven days we've gotten three or four sunny days now, and that's more than we've had in the past month. Talk about a Hallelujah! I was on the verge of getting out my SAD light the other morning when the sun popped through the clouds and it's been great ever since with overcast days mixed in with sunny.
Our temperatures have been up and down like a rollercoaster, very similar to last year's weirdness. Although I guess if something is strange for long enough, it's not strange anymore.
Last night was a good example. Like most nights, the temperature started dropping as soon as the sun went down and by shortly after supper, it was –10.5C or 13F and I told Andy that the dogs were probably going to have to be brought in for sure. Well, I was wrong. By the time I went to bed after midnight, the temperature was back up to –5.4C or 22F and was exactly the same when Andy got up at around six this morning. By the time I got up, it was back down to –10 until well after the sun came up but it's always at its coldest just before the sun rises.
It did the same thing the night before but then after I went to bed the mercury must have done a nose dive because when Andy got up, it was nearly –20C or –4F so it caught us completely by surprise and the poor dogs were pretty cold. You expect the temps to drop at night in this country and keep dropping until morning in winter. But last year and now so far this year, things are not the norm and darned if I know why. In the past couple of years when we’ve driven to Williams Lake we’ve seen extreme temperature changes with it often being warmer at higher elevations and much colder in valleys and lower elevations. If I’ve got it right from the weather forecasters, that means that a warm layer of air is sliding up over a cold layer and holding it down. We’re seeing that happen a lot more often now in winter than I ever have over my lifetime, especially out in this region. But I have no idea what’s causing temperatures to rise over the course of a night after dropping in the afternoon and evening.
We are finally seeing slightly warmer daytime temps, anyway. Twice now this week, including today, the temperatures have made it up to freezing or a degree above, although not for long, and that’s been on the days we’ve had some sunshine. It definitely hasn’t been warm enough to melt anything, but it has been pleasant outside, especially for walking, although we had a cold breeze today. There were wind warnings up for the Island and central coast today so I’m not surprised.
We must have a crazy assed bunch of otters around right now. You would not believe the number of slide marks on the back bay and crossing our property through the meadow and to the front bay. I assume they’re headed out to the point where there is sometimes open water but who knows. They just seem to like frolicking through the bush. A week ago we saw slide tracks down by the gun range crossing the back trail. Other than meadows with water that will be frozen up now, there is no water anywhere there, but the otters must travel to the lake going through the woods. Crazy bunch, that’s for sure, and there’s no question that the population seems to be booming. On the other hand, we’re seeing next to nothing for beaver so maybe the two don’t coexist that well. In any case, between them, grouse, fox, and who knows what else, the dogs are more than occupied pretending to guard the property.
Andy drilled the ice from our boat launch to the public boat launch today and it looks like there is between nine and ten inches of ice all the way across. He then went across on the ATV without any problems so there’s lots of ice for a light vehicle I think. We could put my truck on it with the snow plow but there’s no point right now. There is only about two inches of snow on the ice and it’s best left for traction. Besides, as soon as you plow and build snow banks, when the wind blows it drifts the snow right between the banks and builds up on the road, whereas if there is nothing to impede the wind, the snow doesn’t build up. Everyone is just going to have to drive across the lake on the snow for now.
Here I am all excited about having a plow on my truck for the ice road, and you just watch, there won’t be any snow to plow this year. That would just be my luck!
I missed getting a photo of Andy fooling around out on the lake with the ATV today but things don't change much from day to day when the sun shines. Look how low the sun is in the sky at the height of it this time of year! I sure wish I could set up a web cam system. I swear, some day I'm going to manage it.
Thanks to Ted for his fox picture taken up at the top of the Bella Coola Hill.
This is the start of a new week so you'll find last month's blog at December Week One

Anahim Lake Highway cam looking West.

The purpose of this web site is to draw attention to a remote area of west central British Columbia. It is a beautiful area that relies heavily on tourism. The search engines don't know much about the West Chilcotin, Anahim Lake, Nimpo Lake or any of the other small communities in the region and I hope to change that! Even as large as this site will eventually be, there just isn't enough room or time in the day to fully describe this incredible country but I am going to try scraping away at the tip of the iceberg, so join me!

Follow the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!
Red fox at the top of the Bella Coola Hill.
ATV rider sitting machine on the lake.
Blue sky over the mountains.
A low sun over mountains and frozen lake.
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