Month: September 2013

Driving through Waiparous and Benchlands area near Calgary

Went for a bit of a drive up past Cochrane yesterday.  Not much for gravel roads as I have an older car but went down Richards Rd a little ways.  Nice drive all the way through there.  Often, not always, donkeys will attack coyotes and keep them away from livestock.

Posted by faffyrd007 in alberta, benchlands, calgary, donkeys, gwen van kleef, horses, richards road, waiparous, 0 comments

Do you blame religion?

It kinda ticks me off when people blame ‘religion’ for the ills of the world.  They start to generalize and often become as prejudiced and bigoted as those they are blaming.  The winner of the Miss America pageant this year was of East Indian descent.  Twitter had to delete entire accounts because of some of the hateful comments.  The hate coming entirely as a response to the colour of her skin.  I could generalize as well and say that ‘Americans’ have a very narrow bigoted view of the world.  There are many idiots, true, but not everyone.  I know more Americans that would treat the person next to them decently no matter colour or race than I know who would do the opposite.

Most people are decent.  But corporate run media likes to keep people too upset to make sane decisions and judgments.  And it generally works.  The new Miss America is probably a Hindu not a Muslim but the few idiots that like to hate and stir up trouble don’t bother with facts.  There is a difference between the Muslim faith and Hinduism.  If the winner had been ‘white’ and Muslim the issue would not have even come up.  Not that it should matter what her race or religion is. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution allows for freedom of religion.  Although mainstream media could quash rumours that start like this they would prefer to stir things up – more newsy – more money that way.

It is pretty simple to see here that someone is benefiting from this conflict – in this case minimally the newspaper or whatever media outlet.  If one looks there will invariably be some hidden or at least unknown influence causing the conflict.  Someone stands to gain.  So, in these ‘religious’ conflicts it is likely best to follow the money.  Or at least look for who benefits from the conflict.  If the two parties are trying to sort it out but can’t then there is going to be someone ‘stirring the pot’.

These hateful conflicts would often be easier resolved by showing both parties who is behind the scenes spreading lies.  

Posted by Martin Jones in freedom of religion, hinduism, miss america, muslim, religion, 0 comments

A favourite quote

“Any person that you feel very closely drawn to, concerned about, terribly interested about and that sort of thing falls into either of these two – either you’ve got a close, close wavelength harmonic going, or you’ve known them before.”
—from L Ron Hubbbard lecture 19 May 1964

Posted by Martin Jones, 0 comments

“The Cremation of Sam McGee”

I probably first read this poem in High School.  One of my favorites. I had a couple of books by Robert Service and there were many notes by him about various poems.  Some specific and some general.  One somewhat surprised me.  One of the tools that he said that he always had to hand was a ‘rhyming’ dictionary.  A dictionary of words that rhymed.  Obviously written for poets but nothing of this was ever mentioned in any of the ‘English’ classes that I ever took in school.  I wonder if more people would have created more poetry if proper tools like this were supplied or at least mentioned to exist!  My dad gave me this book about 45 years ago: Robert Service Collected Poems

Anyway, great poem:

The Cremation of Sam McGee

“There are strange things done in the midnight sun
      By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
      That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
      But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
      I cremated Sam McGee.

Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam ’round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
Though he’d often say in his homely way that “he’d sooner live in hell.”

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka’s fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we’d close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn’t see;
It wasn’t much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.

And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o’erhead were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and “Cap,” says he, “I’ll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I’m asking that you won’t refuse my last request.”

Well, he seemed so low that I couldn’t say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
“It’s the cursèd cold, and it’s got right hold till I’m chilled clean through to the bone.
Yet ’tain’t being dead—it’s my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you’ll cremate my last remains.”

A pal’s last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;
And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.

There wasn’t a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
With a corpse half hid that I couldn’t get rid, because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say: “You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it’s up to you to cremate those last remains.”

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows— O God! how I loathed the thing.

And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;
And I’d often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.

Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the “Alice May.”
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then “Here,” said I, with a sudden cry, “is my cre-ma-tor-eum.”

Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
The flames just soared, and the furnace roared—such a blaze you seldom see;
And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.

Then I made a hike, for I didn’t like to hear him sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don’t know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.

I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: “I’ll just take a peep inside.
I guess he’s cooked, and it’s time I looked”; … then the door I opened wide.

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: “Please close that door.
It’s fine in here, but I greatly fear you’ll let in the cold and storm—
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it’s the first time I’ve been warm.”

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
      By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
      That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
      But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
      I cremated Sam McGee.”

Posted by Martin Jones in cremation of sam mcgee, rhyming dictionary, robert service, 0 comments

Heart Mountain Trail Hike – Flooding

Went hiking(really it is just a walk) on Heart Mountain Trail near Exshaw yesterday.  It is a short hike, a kilometer or two in at best.  It is nice at the end – a bench you can sit and listen to the waterfall.  You can’t really see it – hidden by rocks unless you climb a bit.  There is a steep path on the left across the stream that you can climb to the top if you like.  It is steep and parts are a bit of a scramble but nice views at the top if you don’t mind a little exercise.  We were a bit shocked though.  Last time we had done this trail it was mostly through the woods.  A lot of the ‘woods’ are now gone!  The flooding last spring affected more than Calgary and High River.  As you can see below the water and likely the rocks took out huge swathes of trees.  Some open spaces where there once was not.  Some of the pictures below show you how high the water must have been going through there – quite amazing.

Posted by faffyrd007 in alberta, calgary, exshaw, flooding, heart mountain, hiking, kananaskis, 0 comments

The Liver and Diet Soda

Years ago when this whole ‘fat free’ thing started I did my research and found that going on this type of ‘diet’ was more dangerous to one’s health.  Around that time when my children were young I told them not to drink diet soda(we did very little regular soda either) as at the time there was very little research but I told them to go with the ‘known evil’: sugar as opposed to the unknown evil: aspartame.

The years have proven me right.  Diet soda is much more dangerous to one’s health than regular soda(ie.: pop, soft drinks, soda pop, etc.).  If only from the aspect of obesity one should stay very far away from these drinks.

Per Sharon Fowler, M.P.H of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio:

“On average, for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese,”
(She presented the finding June 12 in San Diego at the American Diabetes Association’s 65th Annual Scientific Sessions.)

I sell a very good skin cream online and at trade shows.  As a result I speak to a lot of people about their skin.  I do lots of research on causes of skin problems.  One of the things I ‘discovered’ – not news to many, is that the liver affects the skin.  Generally, if you have a healthy liver your skin will be healthier.  I suggest to people at trade shows when I am selling the skin cream that have a problem with eczema or psoriasis to do some research on liver cleanses as part of their program to improve their skin.  This has worked for many that I have talked to.  And more generally, a healthy liver is vital to a healthy body.  If you read my review in an earlier post on Dr. Eric Berg’s book you will find that the liver can have a lot to do with weight gain/loss as well.

So, what does diet soda have to do with the liver?

One of the chemicals that gets produced in the liver as a result of taking in aspartame, the sweetener in diet sodas, is formaldehyde.  If you can read the scientific mumbo-jumbo here:,
you can see the damage that can be created.  There is evidence that the accumulation of formaldehyde can cause permanent/long term damage.  There other damages that aspartame can cause but this one is plenty enough for me to stay away.

Another ingredient that is in most sodas, not just diet soda is sodium benzoate.  It is added to soft drinks to prevent mold and can cause damage to the mitochondria of the DNA which can eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver.

This from:

Sodium Benzoate
Due to its ability to keep soft drinks fresh and prevent harmful bacteria from growing, sodium benzoate has been used in soft drinks for many years. While the food agencies in the United States and Europe approve sodium benzoate as a safe substance, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. This common preservative has been implicated in being a detriment to our health by possibly forming a toxic chemical and by causing human DNA damage.

“… sodium benzoate has been used in soft drinks for many years…”with the progression of liver disease, the quantity of functioning liver cells diminishes, causing liver fibrosis and – ultimately – cirrhosis….”

So, if you do a very little bit of research you can find dozens of reasons not to drink diet soda.

A couple of things that most people don’t do very well: observing what is in front of them and realizing if something isn’t working, change it.  (Hey, I often miss the obvious, myself.)  When I actually look at people drinking diet sodas, most are overweight.  They have been drinking this type of beverage for years in most cases and tend to gain more than lose weight!  And that leads into the second – if you have been doing ‘Activity A’ to fix something for some time and it is not working, try something else!!!

Posted by Martin Jones in diet soda, liver, soft drinks, 0 comments

Dr Eric Berg and ‘The 7 Principles of Fat Burning’ – Book Review

The 7 Principles of Fat Burning
by Eric Berg

My book review:
This book is, to me, not about ‘Fat Burning’ but about health and being healthy.  I would not have given it a second thought given the title as I am not particularly overweight.  A friend said they had read it and were losing weight.  I was having some allergy problems and was looking for something that would help handle the cause of this as opposed to fixing the symptoms.  I did a little research, read a couple of reviews and thought that it may answer some questions that I had on the subject.

The beauty of this book is that the author is not speaking the lingo of his peers but in a language pretty much anyone can understand.  The information in the book allows one an understanding of the body and how some important parts work together.  There are some pretty cool and simple ways to ‘fix’ those things that are ‘wrong’ but what I liked was, that given the knowledge, I can decide for myself how and to what degree I want to apply the solutions that Dr Berg provides.  And for me, I can simply apply many of the principles without going on a weird diet(not that his solutions are weird at all).

Berg debunks many diet fads by telling exactly what they are doing to the body and why many cause a person to gain weight afterwards.  I’ve always seen a goal of being healthy being more important than losing weight and ‘The 7 Principles of Fat Burning’ gives one the precise information to do just this.

So, if you would like information that allows you to make intelligent decisions about your body and its health I highly recommend reading this book.

Buy the book here: 7 Principles of Fat Burning

You can order his book digitally or otherwise here: Digital copy of ‘7 Principles of Fat Burning’

Posted by Martin Jones in diet, Dr Eric Berg, healthy, The 7 Principles of Fat Burning, 1 comment

Driving back to Calgary through the Fraser Valley

Coming back from Vancouver, BC this year a friend suggested that I might like to drive up through the Fraser Valley.  Slower but prettier.  It did take a good hour more but it was so beautiful.  There are some great spots earlier in the trip but I’ll leave those for the next drive through.  These were taken further north before turning west toward Kamloops.  It is all a beautiful drive but I think desertscapes photograph well.  Here are a few to give you a feel of the area:

Posted by faffyrd007 in british columbia, desert, fraser valley, 0 comments