Archive for October, 2016

I Missed a Hike

It has been cool and rainy in the last week in Paradise.  Pat and I both have colds.  Not critical but lots of flem and coughing.

Earlier this week I had agreed to go on this week’s hike with our group.  I knew that it would be wet.

But this morning I woke up hacking away so phoned our hike leader saying we would not join the group.

The day was drizzily  and cool so Pat and I spent the time in a warm, dry home doing crosswords and suduko.  Boring but comfortable.

Our hiking club sent us pictures of the day.  This is one of my favourite hikes up the Qualicum river.  With all the rain the river was high, but what we did not realize that there was a late run of salmon up the rivers and streams.  The group that did the hike could just stop and watch thousands of salmon fighting their way up the river.  In all my hikes I have only seen this once.

As I sit here tonight, with no real cold symptons, I regret wimping out this morning.  I suspect that is why they have sent me these pictures.  By the way the picture on the left is a friend of ours that is even older than we are and still made the hike.


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Bachelor Days

Pat flew off to Edmunchuk to visit her mother for her 95th birthday.  I chose to stay home because I had 2 courses from the elder college.

My brother said he would come over and spend a few days with me.  We could spend the time as bachelors.   Hiking and golf during the days and heading out to strip clubs in the evening.

Well first of all there is no evening entertainment in the Valley and secondly by 8 PM we were mostly looking for sitting on the couch to watch movies.

Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate so we only got one hike in on Sunday.  Nice hike up the Puntledge river where on the return trail you come across ruins from the 120 year old coal mines.  You are walking along on in a rain forest trail and you can (if you are attentive)  spot overgrown collapsed structures in the woods to the left.  Sort of like finding ruins of the Incas.

Anyway that was on the Sunday and the rest of the week turned out to be too wet to golf or hike.  The great blob of warm seas in the north pacific that had transferred the fall storms up to Alaska over the last few years had gone away and we now have the normal fall rain.

Fortunately we had a project to do in the workshop (that required 3 visits to Home Depot) and in the evenings Netflix so Blaine and I could watch some good movies.

Not quite a Vegas weekend but a nice time.


The Valley Rocks

I am really enjoying my course on the Valley Rocks at Elder College.  Now you may think this about the rock n roll bands from the 70s but it is about rocks that you find walking on beaches and along hillsides on the island.

In the future I am looking forward to hiking with family members and be able to point out the difference between typical Granite rocks and Basalt.  Sandstone rocks that were laid down at the bottom of an ocean and those laid down in a stream.  Maybe we will be lucky and find folded gneiss (you can only hope)

It will be exciting to point out the difference between volcanic rocks pushed up through the crust into the air and those pushed up into the ocean (called pillow volcanic rocks)  You find all of these within 20 km of our place.  300 million years of tossing and turning.

I suspect my family cannot wait to join me for walks on the beach.



The End of The Turkey

Last Sunday we hosted our neighbours for a Thanksgiving turkey meal.  Great success, but lots of leftover Turkey.

After the meal I stripped the carcass and took all the bones and scraps and simmered to make a turkey stock.  Pat had gone to bed by the time I took the stock pot out to the BBQ to cool overnight.

The next morning, drained the stock and put some aside for soup, and froze the rest in 2 cup increments.  I had a turkey sandwich for lunch.  Monday evening we had a repeat of the Sunday meal with the potatoes and turkey and stuffing etc.

Tuesday, Pat made a Turkey casserole.   Instead of pasta she used the leftover sweet potatoes and the dressing.  Tasted great but unfortunately it had the consistency of custard, so we declared it as Turkey Glop.  I had the leftovers for lunch the next 2 days.

Wednesday we went out for Indian food with our friends.  Apparently India does not offer a Turkey option.

Thursday night I used the stock to make a big turkey soup.  Nice crusty bread.  Pat was busy in the office doing her many duties so I just invited her to join in the meal.

Friday night I used the last of the turkey and veggies to make a Turkey Pot Pie.  The recipe I have uses HP sauce so it tastes great but again I am incapable of making a meal for two so we had half of it leftover.  During the preparation, Pat continued to be busy in the office working on something for one of her many duties.  She joined me to handle the salad, and thanked me for my wonderful meal.

Saturday Pat is again off all day, this time for her bazaar at church.  When she came home I had the leftover Pot Pie and salad ready for her.

All I needed was the frilly little apron to make my role complete.  Just like last nigh,t the pie was a big success and  again she thanked me.  I suspect back in the 60s the husbands did not thank their wives as much as Pat does.

She was bragging to her group of ladies about her man preparing all the meals and they were amazed (but I suspect they were thinking, are you sure he is not gay?)

Sunday we will have something other than Turkey.

A Hike in Paradise

img_0305We have had a series of storms come in from the Pacific ocean over the last week.  Left over systems from a Typhoon in Asia.

Three storms in 5 days.  Each storm lasts about 12 hours with lots of wind and rain and then there is a break with sunshine, no wind and clear skies.

So on Wednesday our hiking leader picked a great day for a fall hike.  Granted it was a cool 4°C when we started but you just dress for it.  A sunny hike before the next clouds came in.  He chose a hike up the Puntledge river towards the Comox lake.  The river was calm just like a lake.

Fall here in Paradise does not have the spectacular colours of Ontario forests, but it is still wonderful.  There are many deciduous trees along the river banks to give orange and yellow colours but backed with the green and the mountain views, very nice.

Fortunately the rain forest adds its own red colour in the large mushrooms that grow along the trails.  They look good enough to eat… but they are poisonous.

bevan-hike red-mushroom



movie excalibur music

Pat and I enjoyed listening to the entire Carmina Burana suite during dinner last night.  Takes me back

Many years ago when I was in Marketing of Lubricants I was invited by our advertising company to a photo shoot to create images that would go on the cover of a series of our food grade lubricant line brochures and ads.  At the time James was into excalibur kind of movies and found this great cut from Carmina Burana used in a scene where knights on horseback are charging around killing everyone.  Somehow he acquired a cassette tape of the entire cantata and urged me to listen.  I put it in the car stereo as I was driving to the meeting and loved it.

If you have never been to an advertising photo shoot there is a whole lot of standing around time as they set up and redo shot after shot.  While they have this going on the client (me) is urged to eat lots of appetizers (of course billed to us) and listen to music. After a couple of hours of listening to elevator music I went out to the car and brought in Carmina Burana.  Up to then I thought the photographer and his assistants were charging us by the hour, but the music inspired them to step up their pace.

Shortly after Pat and I went to see a live production of Carmina Burana at Roy Thompson hall and it was overpowering.

For some reason we have not listened to the entire suite since until last night.  Awesome

Our College Courses

I attended my first class this week, The Valley Rocks.  (this does not include the lecture series)

We started with a field trip where we drove up to Mount Washington stopping a various spots to examine layers of sedimentary rocks (sandstone) and igneous rocks (granite) and ancient volcanic upthrust rock (basalt).  The instructor is an enthusiast and what was supposed to be a 2 hour class easily stretched into 3 hours.  I am going to like this course as we look at the history of the formation of our island and how to identify rocks and stones from the various stages.

Pat today took her course on The Story of Numbers.  The magic of mathematics where they looked at the combination of various number systems over time.  Apparently multiplication did not develop until the 12th century (oh joy)  As the course goes on they will look at the development of math from adding and subtracting to calculus and integration.  Pat apparently loved it.

I think I chose the right courses to take this semester.


A Future Without Meat

National Post had a feature article this week about the future where beef will be obsolete.

In 1970 when I was taking Engineering a company called Worthington came to our campus to present the meatless future.  This is a company owned by Seventh Day Adventist that were promoting a vegetarian diet.  They had invented bacon bits which had made them rich.  Crumbles that tasted like chopped cooked bacon made from soy.  They had bacon strips and veggie burgers for us to taste and told us that the future was vegetarian.  Their samples tasted great, but lets face it, if you put food in front of a bunch of 20 year old Engineering guys, they will consume it.

At the time Pat and I were a poor couple living on pasta and chicken and ground beef.  Not really ready to take on the higher cost of a Worthington alternative protein diet.

The article this week was about the latest technology in meat alternatives.  They can make hamburgers that look  like a grilled meat patties.  A combination of wheat and coconut, potatoes and a special protein molecule HEME that makes this combination taste like meat.  (I assume this is a resurrection of MSG)

The article was about how faux-meat will be the future because cows are a very inefficient way to produce protein. Cow milk will also be gone as soy and microalgae will replace it.

Yesterday I was at our local Thrifty’s and they had Porterhouse steaks on special. I mean the size of steaks that we served at Janine and Vedran’s pre wedding party.

In the past I would have eaten one by myself but Pat and I now share a single steak.  BBQd at high heat for 3 1/2 minutes a side.  Grilled on the outside and rare inside.

I realize my brother-in-law Michael would not approve, but it was fabulous.

If the article is true, our grandchildren will only remember great steaks from their youth and our great grandchildren will wonder what I am talking about in my reminiscences.

I am pretty sure a combination of flour, coconut and potatoes with the magic heme will not taste the same but who knows?

When I am a really, really old guy my  great great granddaughter will tell me , gee-gee-dad you actually ate dead cows.  How gross, but here have a suck on your steak shlurpy.

By the way, next week when I visit you I will bring this great new treat Soylent Green wafers




Diana Skylight

If you watched the movie Master and Commander you may remember the scene when a sailor is repairing a pane of glass in the skylight over the Captain’s cabin.

Well I have spent 2 days making this skylight.  Turned out pretty good.  I will look even better on the model.




First Class

In my last email I explained that I had signed up for courses this fall at North Island College. (well not really courses because there are not tests or marks)

One of the most popular is a series of lectures/presentations that take place on Saturday mornings from now until Christmas.  This morning Pat and I attended a presentation by Bob MacDonald the host of CBC Quirks and Quarks.  He is a science geek with just a wonderful presentation style.

His presentation today was about the Canadians that have walked in space but he included details on the latest Rosetta landing on a comet.  Beautiful pictures from space but also pictures from his access to the astronaut training facility.  What a great time.

Standing ovation at the end of his talk.  I would have paid $40 just for this presentation alone and I have 7 more to go.