Thursday, 21 August 2014

Slacktivism is a horrible disease - why the Ice Bucket Challenge is wrong

Does this ever make me mad. ALS Canada has taken down its information site to provide quick links to the Ice Bucket Challenge. I have a client with ALS, whose symptoms are worsening. I want to learn more about this disease to prove better respite care. What are they thinking? This hijacking is awful. It's slacktivism at its worst.

I have no money left to donate. I donate to several causes. I donate my time most of all.
Good causes need sustainability. They need to provide support to families, much more than just doing research.

Riverside Dr., near Perth, the site of a terrible incident

Riverside Dr., Perth
It is tragic. This road is a terrible one. Hubby travelled it many times, as have I, to go to physiotherapy, or to walk around the track at the gym. It is an awful road, with many spots quite near the Tay River separated only by a few bushes.

At the end, It stops suddenly, and you must take an extreme left turn to follow the road.

In winter it can be slick. The gravel and sand get awash in precipitation and spring melt. Some days it is like driving through fudge. With recent rains, 72 mm over two days last week, it's a horrible road.

You really have to take it slowly, although many do not. Lots of cars and trucks travel this road, many going to the popular gym and spa at a good clip. I always like to test a road like this, tapping the break to determine road conditions. The older I get, the more fearful!

May 2012 road over looks the Tay River
They have not released the name of the young lady who was found in the car, she was found with vital signs absent. Church groups and prayer circles have been circulating messages and the folks at the spa are in shock. Facebook messages of hope have been sprinkled with shock, best wishes, and a call for barriers.

Concerns have been raised at Perth's Town Council, barriers, or perhaps closing the road, rerouting it.

Either way, something needs to be done.

News – Emergency workers have rescued a female teenage driver who was trapped in her car, which was completely submerged in the Tay Canal.

Thank goodness for some heroes who managed to get her out of the car. She's been transported to Kingston. She wasn't breathing when she was taken out of the vehicle by an off-duty paramedic and firefighter. She was submerged for some time, they said.
She was airlifted to Kingston, after being taken to the Perth ER.
Hold your children close.

  1. They said a Drummond/North Elmsley Tay Valley firefighter, an off-duty paramedic from Renfrew and two bystanders helped get her out of the submerged vehicle. That off-duty paramedic, Robert Dodge, told CBC News that he was in Perth picking up some radio equipment when he came across the crash. Aug. 15

Tay River from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
The Tay River is a lovely spot, with a campground, and Riverside Dr. running along side. A terrible road, with a slippery surface, drivers have to be careful. The young lady who ended up in the river in her car is still in hospital.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Balacade, Bala, Ontario

What a great story!
My late father would save up his quarters and send the kids into town to play when we were visiting.
It was so much fun, and it was safe in those days. They are now 29, 31 and 35 years old!

Paul and Patricia Arney have decided to sell the Balacade, the arcade they have run in Bala, Ontario for more than 50 years.

This was 2007!
Caitlin and JL visited it!
How much fun. I didn't realize that the Arneys had been running it this long!

What do phone scammers sound like?

Have you had this phone call? I have! I didn't think to record it, but I did play him a bit. Our computers are all Macs, no Microsoft here. He told me I had computer problems, and I was quite sarcastic.
"I do?"
Next time, I'll ask him if his mother knows what he does.

This is the audio recording of the conversation, as uploaded to SoundCloud by Mantel

Globe & Mail
On Thursday Joel Mantel, 23, was eating dinner with his family when he received a phone call from someone claiming to be a customer service agent with Microsoft. The person on the phone told Mantel that there were problems with his computer and 'Microsoft' needed him to hand over control to them remotely.
Mantel has since handed the audio file over to the RCMP Anti-Fraud Centre. The Microsoft phone scam and show them this recording, so they can see how one of these calls actually sounds.
RCMP says complaints can be registered with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or on

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Morning meditation walk; squirrel, snake, waxwings, cocoon

The cats were exhausted. I took a walkabout after putting out the recycling. The cats were exhausted, and I took my walk alone. Hubby was in town, doing his thrice-weekly laps at the pool.
First was a red squirrel eating one of our numerous mushrooms or fungus.

Down in the lower meadow, it looks like a young Sweatheart underwing, soaking wet in the dew, it was flapping its wings to get them dry.

While working hard on my upgraded garden, I could hear twittering in the trees. I took some time to watch them Monday, and realized they are Cedar waxwings. They would harvest some sumac berries, then fly to the tops of the trees for a bit of a chat with one another.

Eastern Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus septentrionalis)

Dorah brought me a prize. She promptly came in the house for some cat crunchies. You can tell it is a ribbonsnake from the white mark in front of its eye. It was a healthy 61cm long. I don't know what she was thinking, this cat. "Look, Mummy!" I guided it over to the hops bine, where it silently slid down the vines to the ground.

mystery caterpillar
This mystery cocoon, from a mystery caterpillar, is in the aquarium waiting for a definitive species. It is fascinating in its cocoon, with the shiny gold peering through from the cocoon.

The goldfish pond is doing well. The leopard frogs are numerous. Geraldine is quite happy resting in the water. I have yet to measure her this year. She is quite hefty!

From the dead bark on the Elm trees, ravaged by Dutch Elm disease, many critters shelter in its bark. Sow bug, millipede, garter snake and another mystery bug.

Out in the backyard, the Monarch caterpillar is growing nicely. Here is a before and an after photo, with my baby finger showing its original size. Its doubled in size, at least!
Aug. 6th

Aug. 18th
Down in the shed, I was about to get some bird seed, filling the feeders is such a pleasure. Somebody was helping itself.
I could hear some rustling


Monday, 18 August 2014

Garden tails, sewing projects, sleepy cats

I haven't made a dress in ages!
Mostly, I've been sewing outfits for Frosty...
Dorah is so tired! Such a hard worker.
We spent the morning sewing. I decided to sew a dress for each granddaughter. I need some notions to finish them, that is a task for another day. Sadie 'helped' by sitting on the fabric as I was preparing to cut out the pieces. I shooed her away. I have shimmery butterfly fabric for Jos and flying coccinelle, and other bugs, for Isabelle.

It's been chilly, but good gardening weather in the afternoons.
Sleepy cats, too.
Lots of cocoons about. I love how they shimmer, like gold, as they hang and morph. I'm not sure the second one, but the first photo is the Eastern Comma. I'll keep watching our mystery caterpillar, kept in my aquarium.

Every morning, here in the swamp, the dew is amazing.
Yesterday, I took a break, sat out on the bench. Buster came over, then Daisy, then Dorah. We all sat and watched the chickadees, Cedar waxwings, Goldfinch, Phoebe, as they flew hither and yon.
Dorah is a faithful supervisor.
She sits in the hole I dug for a plant.
This is the time of year for
creating new gardens.
The plants are 75% off!
We put Toad lily in this hole!
We're not sure what it is!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Almonte hydro dam protests have made the news!

We lived through these protests in Bala. The whole thing has started up in Almonte. They already have a working hydro dam. This is another, as the water is strong, powerful, and should be harnessed. We are running out of non-renewable resources. The Bala signage turned off tourists and potential summer residents. Here we are, all over again.

I've noticed a couple of proposed developments around here. The latest in the S.E. Ontario region, are those who protest the Enerdu Power Plant at the Old Flour Mill Site in Almonte.

"Save" the Bala falls.
The protests and signage
has scared tourists
Many of these mills were built to harness power back in the early 1800s, when these towns were being built up. I won't say 'settled' as aboriginal communities used these rivers for transportation, using sustainable hunting and fishing strategies, long before we white folks were a gleam in our pioneer landowner father's eyes!

There is a romantic image of many towns, whereby they must stay the same, eschewing change, while still demanding hydro, the right to pollute land, sea and air, yet something has to give.

We have exploited the land for far too long, using it for money-making ventures. I think it high time we use this river to harness the power that will make energy sustainable for our grandchildren.

"Hundreds united their voices in Almonte Saturday on behalf of a voiceless part of their community. The river at the heart of the town is up for grabs by Cavanagh Construction Ltd."

They close the streets
for many of these festivals.
The river was a site of terrible flooding in the spring. A quick melt of a lot of snow. Almonte is a pretty town, but it is not the river which draws tourism dollars, it is the stores, the events and the people. Those who live and work in this town surely must begin to understand this. Roads are closed all the time for events.

The highlights of Almonte are its festivals and fairs

Puppets Up!

The Mississippi Riverwatchers

The Mississippi Riverwatchers
Take back the lake, the falls; NIMBYs abound