Category Archives: Hiking

Completed Standard First Aid for Industry

I completed a St. John Ambulance (Burnaby branch) Standard First Aid for Industry with CPR/AED course and certification over the weekend.

Thanks to Danni, a superb instructor, who was very knowledgeable, down to earth, and fun.

I’m zonked now — it was an intense two days, but also happy to have refreshed my first-aid knowledge. I hadn’t taken a formal first-aid course since my youth, in Red Cross swimming classes and Boy Scouts, several decades ago.

Barred Owl Chows Down on Mole in SE Burnaby

We heard a Barred Owl call during our afternoon walk in Byrne Creek Ravine Park in SE Burnaby. We looked for it, and eventually spotted it high in a tree. It sat there staring at us, while we stood there enjoying its beauty for several minutes.

We then realized it had caught a mole, and it began to nonchalantly shred and eat it as we watched. We didn’t hang around as we didn’t want to potentially disturb the owl’s meal.

A nature show right in “our backyard!”

barred owl eat mole
Unfortunately I got only a few usable shots out of about a hundred taken with my pocket Canon 720HS. I was hand-holding at max 40X optical zoom, and had the ISO boosted to 1600, both factors limiting image quality.

Here’s a wide shot to show how high up it was.

Barred Owl Byrne Creek

Welcoming New Hiking Boots

I’m a rambling man. . . 

An early birthday present. Vibram soles, breathable uppers.

Thank you my darling wife!

Dunno how many pairs of hiking boots I’ve worn out over the decades, ranging from traditional full leather to modern weird stuff.

These seem to be a nice balance of tried-and-true soles and moderately high-tech uppers.

Merrell Vibram hiking boots

Canada Day Weekend Depletes Canadian Stock of Kindness, Politeness

It’s back to work, grumpy people!

I wanted to buy some hiking socks. At the first sporting goods store I went to I was quietly regarding the racks, when a staff member came by, snorted, and said:

“Why would you want to buy those socks? These are the ones you should be looking at,” pointing to ones costing three times more per pair.

I said I’d been happy with a certain combo of layered liner and thick socks for over 40 years of hiking. That didn’t deter his disdain, or his prattle, so I walked out.

The next store I went to, it was clear sailing until the end. Nobody approached me, I had quiet time to myself to peruse the labels, checking the proportions of poly to wool to whatever. . . Bliss.

Then — accosted at the checkout. “Sir, if you sign up for Partner Credit Card today, I can give you 20% off your entire purchase.”

“I don’t want any more credit cards, and anyway, I have this 10% discount coupon which will do me just fine.”

“But sir, I can issue a paper credit card right now, which you can use to get 20% off. . .”

“What’s a paper credit card? How do I pay it off?”

“We’ll send you a bill in the mail, or you can go straight over to Partner Store, and pay it today.”

Right, sucked further into Database Nation. No thanks.

“But sir!”

“I said, no thanks.” Poor kid slumps away, and checkout clerk glares at me.

After these wee contretemps, I’m feeling hungry, and notice a Subway nearby. I walk in, and say “I’d like a footlong turkey on Italian.”

“What kind of bread?” Italian. “How large?” Footlong. “Was that turkey?” Yes. [Silently to myself — Earth to counter person??]

Another fellow walks in.

“Hi!” says the cashier cheerfully.

He says, “I’d like a. . .”

“Sorry, sir, you have to start your order from the other end of the counter.”

“So why did you say hi to me at this end?”

Oy. . .