January 23, 2012

The Three Lovely Ladies in my Life

The wife, the turtle, and the cat snuggle up together while watching TV.


What had them all so engrossed? Cesar Millan's dog show on TV : -)

Posted by Paul at 10:00 PM

January 19, 2012

Ah, Kodak, You Changed Society & Influenced Generations

I think this is the oldest Kodak camera I have. A Brownie Target Six-20 "Made in Canada by Canadian Kodak Co. Ltd." I gather it's circa mid-1930s to 1941. I'm not even sure whose it was. My late Dad's? My late Mom's? One of my grandparents on either side?


Kodak was an iconic company.

Photography was/is (think of more recent incarnations such as YouTube, Flickr) a socially revolutionary technology, and Kodak got it into the hands of the masses. Not to mention Kodachrome and other Kodak films being the basis for Life, Time, National Geographic, and on and on...

Later, following up on FB: These were/are memory machines. Families could afford to "freeze" snaps of their collective selves, and their worlds for nearly the first generation in history. Aside from aristocrats of the previous hundreds, perhaps thousands of years of recorded history who could afford artists, sculptors, etc.

Posted by Paul at 10:23 PM

January 18, 2012

Rick Mercer Tackles ‘Radicals’ & Northern Gateway Pipeline Issue

Hilarity, free speech, and democracy, ensue.

Hey, aren't at least the last two supposedly among conservative values?


Posted by Paul at 09:57 PM

January 15, 2012

Snow in South Burnaby, Jan. 15, 2012


Ron McLean Park



Trees are confused this year as these alders are prepared to pollinate,
only to be hit by snow


More budding plants in the snow




Heading down into the ravine


An old stump from logging many decades ago



Byrne Creek looks even more lovely, dusted with snow


Yumi checks out a pool in the creek

Posted by Paul at 09:27 PM

Trusty Taiga Gore-Tex Jacket Gets Deserved Wash

After some three months of patrolling Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby for spawning salmon, I gave my Taiga Gore-Tex jacket a thankful wash today. It was muddy, it was, um, a tish rank, but it's served me well for at least six or seven years now, if not longer.


Posted by Paul at 09:01 PM

January 13, 2012

Buddy Guy on Catnip

So am I a doob, and this has been happening on iTunes for some time? Just downloaded Buddy Guy's "74 Years Young" and when I play the album I get this graphical interface.... Oh, who cares, Buddy is romping on the guitar strings like a cat shredding nip in a blender. Pure joy...

74? There's hope for me yet : -)

Posted by Paul at 10:33 PM

January 12, 2012

Byrne Creek Spawning Salmon Data for 2011

Some good news!

Here are our final spawner numbers for Byrne Creek for 2011:


Female spawned         9
Female unspawned    4

Male spawned         5
Male unspawned    3

Total of 21 coho


Female spawned         2
Female unspawned    1

Male spawned          5
Male unspawned    7

Total of 15 chum

Grand total of 36 spawners

Also noted 14 large, distinct redds (nests of eggs) spread between the artificial
spawning channel and the lower part of the ravine.

For comparison:

2010: 5 chum/8 coho total 13
2009: 6 chum/4 coho total 10
2008: 25 chum/8 coho total 33
2007: 15 chum/7 coho total 22
2006: 27 chum/8 coho total 35
2005: 17 chum/26 coho total 43
2004: 67 chum/24 coho total 91


1) We patrolled the creek 22 times between mid-October to the end of
December (average of ~2.2 times/week).

2) Fish arrived late this year, and the run extended later than usual.
Spotted our first fish (coho jack) on Oct. 24, and last fish, a spawned
coho female, on Dec. 30. Usually we start seeing fish from around
October 15-17, and rarely see anything past mid-December.

3) As you can see, we don't get an even match between spawned females
and "spawned" males. We realize it can be difficult to determine if male
fish have spawned or not, but if sacs are empty, or loose, we call them
spawned. If firm and full, not spawned.

4) I haven't got this all in Excel yet, so hard to do other comparisons,
but we had the sense that fish were smaller this year, both chum and
coho. If I flip through my notes, nearly all fish (eye to base of tail)
were in the 46-54cm range, with only a couple larger with the largest at
58cm. We certainly used to get larger fish of both species.

5) While of course we miss a few fish to predation and heavy flows, our
methodology is consistent from year to year. We patrol the spawning
stretch from Byrne Bridge up to the bottom of the stairs in the ravine
at least twice a week, and "process" every mort we find.

Looking forward to fry-spotting in a few months!

Posted by Paul at 09:51 PM

January 10, 2012

Total Environment Canada ‘Enforcement’ Over 2o Years Less Than Toronto Library Fines in 1 Year

Is this for real?

I ran across this article with some astounding figures regarding [lack of] Environment Canada enforcement of the the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

In a single year, the Toronto Public Library levied more fines for overdue books ($2,685,067 in 2009) than the total amount of fines obtained by Environment Canada in more than two decades (1988-2011) of enforcing the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, ostensibly this country's most important pollution law ($2,466,352).

It's a powerful read.


Posted by Paul at 02:48 PM

January 08, 2012

Cheap CDs Help Fill Out Music Collection

Picked up a bunch of CD compilations for $5 a pop today. An Elvis collection, a Willie Nelson compilation, "Man in Black" by Johnny Cash, Tom Petty's "Full Moon Fever", and a Best of the Blues 3-CD set for $7. I usually stay away from cheap compilations, but these are all authorized studio releases. Now ripping to MP3s.

I'm not a country fan by any means, but Willie and Johnny are classics, eh?

Posted by Paul at 05:07 PM

January 07, 2012

PM Harper Worries About $ From Democratic Ally, Ignores $ from Dictatorship-Controlled Corp.

This Vancouver Sun story focussed on the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) of US NGOs providing some funding for Canadian NGOs to oppose the Northern Gateway pipeline.

The story began thus:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday he is worried foreign cash is being used to stall the hearing process for the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.

and after several hundred words, ended with the following paragraph:

Enbridge has said it has 10 industry supporters for the pipeline project, each of which is putting up $10 million to back it through the regulatory process. Identified supporters include China's second-largest oil producer, Sinopec.

Isn't that what we called "burying the lead" back in journalism school?

Industry, including a company controlled by the anti-democratic Chinese dictatorship, is putting up a total of $100 million to back the proposal. And this raises no concerns for our nation's leader?

Yet he's concerned about donations by citizens of a fellow democracy that is our greatest ally.

Does Harper really fear Canadian citizens, and citizens of the US, more than a totalitarian-controlled corporation committing $10 million to influence Canadian policy?

Posted by Paul at 08:37 PM

January 06, 2012

Good News Story on Salmon Spawning in Byrne Creek in Burnaby Now

The Burnaby Now interviewed me about spawner numbers in Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby, BC. In a nutshell, this is the first salmon spawning season in several years in which streamkeepers have counted in increase in salmon. After terrible combined chum & coho numbers of just 13 in 2010 and 10 in 2009, we found 36 this year. More details in this post.

And here's the Burnaby Now story.

Posted by Paul at 02:37 PM

January 04, 2012

Ah, Now This is Journalism, Eh?



When I first saw this, I thought the Vancouver Sun had tied up with some "online chat" company, if you know what I mean, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more . . .

Yeah, I saw headlines today that Pete had tied the knot, but I could care less, and didn't click through to find the name of his bride.

So is this a "bait-and-switch"?

You be the judge.

I'm a faithful Vancouver Sun subscriber, and it's got several excellent writers and editors.

Don't drift too far, eh?

Posted by Paul at 09:16 PM

Carleton University ‘Alumni Today 2011’ Database Disappoints

Received my Carleton Alumni Today 2011 CD database. Looks like I was one of very few in my program suckered into contributing to it, and, ahem, purchasing it. There are only half a dozen entries for my Bachelor of Journalism cohort back in 1985. Sigh.

Lots of folks thought it was a scam when we started receiving emails to participate, and significant $ to purchase the directory. Some thought Google was good enough to find folks.

But it would have been cool to be able to track down 30 or 40 folks that I spent a very intensive year with in my younger days, and haven't seen in decades since, simply by entering a year and program into a limited database.

I don't know how others process memories in their 50s of times 25 years ago, but it's hard for me to Google people in my BJ program because I don't even recall names until they are presented to me. Part of the problem may be that I left Canada for 14 years right after completing the program, so I fell more out of touch than others.

Posted by Paul at 08:23 PM