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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Strong Wind–But No Storm Here

While much of Maine was pounded by a strong hurrican-style storm, Campobello stayed relatively calm. Gusts may have been at 50mph but no trees fell over hitting the power lines. Driving rain, yes, but the brunt went north towards Quebec. However, I was curious to take a look from Liberty Point. It was pretty rough out there, and I had to park in an angle away from the wind or I would get my camera wet.
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With the sidewindow down just a tad, I was able to shoot through the open gap, yet it was hard to avoid getting rain drops on the lens, and the van was rocking.
1-DSC_0819The wind was blowing from the south-east straight over from Grand Manan.
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Sunday, October 29, 2017

We Got A Date!

The name decision for DIXIE is made. And now we even got a date for us to pick her up in Kittery, ME, and it will be on November 12th. Dixie will come fully vaccinated and spayed.

We will have to make arrangements for an overnight stay in southern Maine so we can get going early on Sunday.

Btw. Dixie has 2 siblings “Winnie” and “Wesson” still waiting for adopters. It could be someone wants to adopt a cute puppy here.
 
Winnie                                                                          Wessen

While we are all excited, we will have to ride off a storm coming up tonight and lasting through out tomorrow. Remembering the wind a few days ago we will be smart enough to fill a few containers with water, cause we never know when the next tree will fall hitting the power lines.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

A Phone Call From Little Rock AR Changed Everything

SHOULD WE NAME HER DIXIE?

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YES, we found a dog …or puppy. Her shelter/foster name is ****** but we need to find something more appropriate…like DIXIE?  Here’s what happened:
DIXIE001We had looked at Petfinder.com from the beginning but every time we tried to contact a shelter, they were either not responding or they found any other good reason why they could not give us a dog. That all changed when we found ******. She is still a puppy and is in foster care in Little Rock, AR. But she was born an Oki from Muskogee. Unfortunately for her mom the property owners left without taking their pregnant Pyrenees dog with them. So mom came down with 7 puppies and she was left to fend for herself. Luckily, a true samaritan came along, picked up the whole family and brought them to Little Rock,AR. In about 2 weeks time ****** will be ready to travel the distance to Kittery,ME where we will meet her and take her to her new for-ever-home. Needless to say we were happy when the final phone call came this afternoon that we were approved as new owners. Can anybody be more excited than we are now? And we have the whole winter and spring to work with her.

Now, she is gonna be a big girl, for her breed is a mix of a Pyrenees and Border Collie. But that’s OK. We have lots of space here.

Stay tuned for updates!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Old Battery Radio Was Playing Again

“Watch out for the fallen tree in the Roosevelt Park” said the nice lady at Canada Customs. We were just returning from a trip over to St.Andrews and the weather had been anything but nice. Storm casts and driving rain had lasted all day. So a tree had fallen and hit the power line. Of course, Welshpool was without power again.
And sure enough our house was dark. But we have a propane stove for days like that, and that’s where we made hot water for coffee. Dinner, a soup of a can, was also made there. But then it got really dark. So we lit candles and our oil lamp, had a fire lit in the stove and listened to French chansons from our old battery-run transistor radio. It was magic.
We talked and we realized that life had changed so much. Our laptops were not in use, there was no internet, and the cellphone was in the van to be recharged after the day out.
Bea talked about the people of Puerto Rico where so many have no power, no clean water and very little food and where hopelessness was with every family.

Stuff to think about for sure.
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Our power repair crew had arrived shortly after us and at 8:15pm our lights came back on. Power was restored and we went from magic to normal within seconds. Next year it is 70 years ago that Campobello Island received electricity for the first time. Before that, life on the island had been based on kerosene lamps and candles. Quite amazing, if one remembers that most of the States and Canada had enjoyed electricity decades earlier.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Not Much Progress

I am getting sore in my fingers from filling out  multiple-page-long dog adoption applications. The one for “MAX” we never heard back from and the one for “BOOMER & COOKIE” we received a phone call about yesterday evening, telling us that our application was “wonderful”, but that the two dogs we applied for were “runners” and had been picked up by animal control over and over again and that the 2 would require a fenced yard, which was the stopper for us. The 3rd. application was sent of to an American Lab rescue operation in Portland ME, and they are so forthright to tell you up-front on their webpage that they are “swamped” with applications and that they would not be able to guarantee a timely reply, due to lack of volunteers.

Very “encouraging”, indeed.

Tomorrow we are going to stop by a local shelter in St.Stephen, but we know they have two dogs only, a 10-year old huskie-mix and a 3-year old Rotti-mix. None of which I can think of having as a new dog in our home.

I never in my wildest dreams imagined that it could be difficult to find another dog.

While we are waiting for the miracle to happen, the weather changed, …at least for today. We are going to receive RAIN! After months of drought-like conditions, a low-pressure is reaching up from the south. And it came along with incredibly high temps. This morning the mercury showed 16C (61F) and now it has already reached 18C (65F) We are approaching the end of October, another 2 months and we have Christmas day!!
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I just hope that winter will pass as quickly as the summer did, but most likely we will have to “enjoy” some snow along the way. Oh well, if at least we could find a new dog…..

Monday, October 23, 2017

Slowly Getting Back To Normal

It’s been almost 2 weeks since we lost Molly and we’ve had a rough time. We are looking at adopting a new dog through a shelter or rescue organisation. Right now local shelters have very few dogs and we have started looking at farther-away shelters. Made an application to a rescue organisation in Ontario last night but haven’t heard back yet.
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A dog by the name of MAX has caught our interest. He is Golden Retriever cross-breed and is at a pound in Northern Quebec, from where we would have to pick him up.
MAX is only 1 year old, but we don’t know much of him yet.


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Another shelter in Nova Scotia offers “Boomer and Cookie”, a Border Collie and a Jack Russel which they seek to adopt away together. Some shelters, have strange rules. For example the requirement of having a “fenced yard”.  We have seen dogs kept in fenced yards for 10hrs and more, all alone by themselves. These dogs get bored, feeling lonely, so they start to voice their frustration through constantly barking up the neighborhood. It is hard to understand why many shelter administrations are still hanging on to a requirement like that. Rather than asking for a fenced yard, they should evaluate the new owner’s work situation. Why are people who know they are going to be away from home for the entire length of day, allowed to adopt a dog? Dogs are the human’s best friend but are we the best friend of our furry companions? We should be, but unfortunately modern life often comes in the way, making our dog’s life miserable. Hopefully, the Ontario rescue is understanding this, cause we have no plans of building a fenced yard on a 7ac property.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Some Pleasure, Some Sorrow

The loss of Molly has been hard to deal with, and most likely it’s only pet owners or former pet owners who will be able to fully grasp our sadness.
15 years of living with the same dog is a long time and the attachment will stay on whether the dog is there or not. 1-DSC_0658
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1-DSC_0654                             Above: Sunsweep Sculpture
1-DSC_0666To help getting our minds into a more positive direction we decided today that we would do a hike to Sunsweep Sculpture, which always has been my favorite hike on the island. Clear skies and a dark blue sea mixed with the colours of fall, the quietness of the forest accompanied by the surf of the waves and rolling pebbles made this day perfect for enjoying nature.
1-DSC_0671Even though this trail is usually not crowded, today we were the absolut only ones enjoying the area. The bright sun and the reflection on the water made the area warmer than expected. Before soon I threw of my jacket and I would have walked without my sweater if I wouldn’t have to carry it. Hard to believe that this was October 18 on the east coast.
1-DSC_0676A little group of cormorans were sitting on rocks looking out for food.
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1-20171018_113359The beaches were strewn with driftwood, shore birds here and there and a seal sticking his round head out of the water right off shore.
An incredible paradise of peace indeed.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

I Might Not Have The Right Words For This

All readers who really know us and have followed us for some time also know about Molly, our dog of 15 years. This summer, Molly developed some problems with her hind legs or rather the left hind one. The leg seemed too weak to carry her so she started falling onto her bum or walked in circles. After a visit to the vet we ruled out arthritis as a reason so a different, maybe neurological problem, caused the weakness in her hind legs. Her problems then intensified over the last couple of months and accellerated further over the last 2 weeks.

It is with a very heavy heart that I have to announce her passing on October 11. The vet came into our vehicle where we had all gathered round Molly. I am extremely bad in dealing with matters of death but I heldt out on the frontseat of the van. Bea had Molly’s cute little face in her hands and I saw Molly’s big eyes focussed on Bea. 
1-DSC_0722It only took a few minutes and Molly fell asleep, then her little heart stopped beating. That was when we broke down. The 2 vets graciously retracted from the van, leaving us totally devastated.
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Molly was laid to rest in a casket I had made for her and a cross is marking her grave in the rear of our garden.
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All pet owners will agree that the day they have to let go is one of the worst in their lives. Molly was our 4th dog and we have been going through this painful period of saying goodbye every time, it still is as unbearable as the first time, and the feeling of being left alone, the pity  and yes, even guilt and the feeling of being powerless becomes overwhelming for us.
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We hug each other trying to console and finding reassurance in each other’s tears.
I come home and Molly is not there, I prepare dinner and Molly is not begging for scraps. Her bed corner is empty, her food bowl gone. Even the last dog feed has been given to a neighbour. I am so confused and feeling hollow.
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Of course, Molly was 15 years old and that is a respectable age for any dog. But she wasn’t looking her age - not at all. She still loved her food and was at the table hoping for hand-outs. She never really barked a lot, she never growled at another dog, though she was attacked by another dog when she was still young and  a few years ago by a coyote in Alberta.

Molly was just a 3-months old puppy when we got her. I took her up and lost me heart within 3 seconds in a farm yard in 2003. After we had bought that farm and moved there in April, we also got Boomer, a 5-year old Labrador Retriever. Boomer became Molly’s teacher. Boomer told her how to behave and it worked. Boomer was phenomenal.
We never had to tell Molly anything. When we started traveling during the winters, Molly and Boomer were riding along on the backseat of our crewcab pickup. Both dogs have been in Vancouver,BC, San Francisco and San Diego, Phoenix,AZ and all over Texas. In 2008 we lost Boomer to cancer in Denver, CO and again we could not find sleep. Boomer was such a great guy and friendly with every dog and human. Our 2 dogs were avid travelers and have seen much more than many humans will ever see. Boomer loved the water, while Molly remained a dog for the forest. The only thing she ever was interested in on a beach was eating stinking crab shells and rolling in fish cadavers. Once we were guesting an RV park close to Tucson,AZ. The area was infested with Cholla cactus. Boomer had the habit of doing his main business by hanging his bum into a shrub. He also tried that with a Cholla cactus!  He came out of there pretty darn quick. He also stuck his nose into a porcupine the evening before we were about to start out on our first trip to the south. Molly stayed mostly out of trouble. She was very cautious, but got scared a couple of times when getting her snout too close to a garter snake. And once she almost got bitten by a rattler in Alberta’s badlands.
Molly had no knowledge of the dangers of approaching cars. She would wander the street as if it was a green meadow. But we were always close and got her out of the way.
1-IMG_2594It is said that dogs never die as they live on for ever in the hearts of their owners. And that is exactly the way we feel it as well.
R.I.P Molly

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Benefit Of Being White

The White Privilege of the

“Lone Wolf” Shooter

Shaun King

October 2 2017,

Foto: David Becker/Getty Images

LAST NIGHT, THE United States experienced the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. At least 58 people are dead and over 500 more wounded. No, that’s not a typo: More than 500 people were injured in one single incident.

As tens of thousands enjoyed a music festival on the streets of Las Vegas, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, was perched 32 floors above them in his Mandalay Bay hotel room. Paddock had 19 rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammo — supplies that are plentiful in a nation that has more guns than people. A few minutes after 10 p.m., Paddock opened fire on the unsuspecting crowd. They were sitting ducks.

No expensive wall along the Mexican border would’ve prevented this. No Muslim ban stopping immigrants and refugees from a few randomly selected countries from reaching our shores would’ve slowed this down.

Paddock, like the majority of mass shooters in this country, was a white American. And that simple fact changes absolutely everything about the way this horrible moment gets discussed in the media and the national discourse: Whiteness, somehow, protects men from being labeled terrorists.

The privilege here is that the ultimate conclusion about shootings committed by people from commonly nonwhite groups often leads to determinations about the corrosive or destructive nature of the group itself. When an individual claiming to be Muslim commits a horrible act, many on the right will tell us Islam is the problem. For centuries, when an act of violence has been committed by an African-American, racist tropes follow — and eventually, the criminalization and dehumanization of an entire ethnic group.

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains graphic content.) A person lies on the ground covered with blood at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are reports of an active shooter around the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

A bloodied victim lies on the ground during a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas.

Photo: David Becker/Getty Images

PRIVILEGE ALWAYS STANDS in contrast to how others are treated, and it’s true in this case, too: White men who resort to mass violence are consistently characterized primarily as isolated “lone wolves” — in no way connected to one another — while the most problematic aspects of being white in America are given a pass that nobody else receives.

Stephen Paddock’s whiteness has already afforded him many outrageous protections in the media.

While the blood was still congealing on the streets of Las Vegas, USA Today declared in a headline that Paddock was a “lone wolf.” And yet an investigation into his motivations and background had only just started. Police were only beginning to move to search his home and computers. His travel history had not yet been evaluated. No one had yet thoroughly scrutinized his family, friends, and social networks.

Paddock was declared a “lone wolf” before analysts even started their day, not because an exhaustive investigation produced such a conclusion, but because it is the only available conclusion for a white man in America who commits a mass shooting.

“Lone wolf” is how Americans designate many white suspects in mass shootings. James Holmes was called a “lone wolf” when he shot and killed 12 people at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. And Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who walked into a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and shot and killed the pastor and eight other parishioners, was quickly declared a “lone wolf.”

For people of color, and especially for Muslims, the treatment is often different. Muslims often get labeled as “terrorists” before all the facts have come out.

Just consider President Donald Trump. This morning, Trump tweeted, “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!” That’s fine, but Trump doesn’t even seem angry. It’s peculiar that he didn’t call the shooter a “son of a bitch,” like he did the NFL players who took a knee during the national anthem. He didn’t create an insulting nickname for Paddock or make an immediate push for a policy proposal.

Compare that to how Trump treats incidents where he believes the assailants are Muslims. After a bomb exploded in the London subway, Trump tweeted that the attackers were “loser terrorists” — before British authorities had even named a suspect. He went on to immediately use the attack to push his Muslim ban.

We must ask ourselves: Why do certain acts of violence absolutely incense Trump and his base while others only elicit warm thoughts and prayers? This is the deadliest mass shooting in American history! Where is the outrage? Where are the policy proposals?

What we are witnessing is the blatant fact that white privilege protects even Stephen Paddock, an alleged mass murderer, not just from being called a terrorist, but from the anger, rage, hellfire, and fury that would surely rain down if he were almost anyone other than a white man. His skin protects him. It also prevents our nation from having an honest conversation about why so many white men do what he did, and why this nation seems absolutely determined to do next to nothing about it.

I spoke to two people this morning, one black and the other Muslim. Both of them said that, when they heard about this awful shooting in Las Vegas, they immediately began hoping that the shooter was not black or Muslim. Why? Because they knew that the blowback on all African-Americans or Muslims would be fierce if the shooter hailed from one of those communities.

Something is deeply wrong when people feel a sense of relief that the shooter is white because they know that means they won’t suffer as a result.

It is an exemplar of white privilege: not just being given a headstart in society, but also the freedom from certain consequences of individual and group actions

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Anthem Of Death

Mass shootings in the United States:

2017: Las Vegas

A gunman identified by authorities as Stephen Paddock opened fire on an outdoor music festival on the Las Vegas Strip from the 32nd floor of casino on Oct. 1, 2017, killing at least 58 people and wounding more than 515. He died at the scene after officers went into the hotel room he was using.

Social media videos capture chaos during Vegas mass shooting

2016: Orlando, Fla.

A gunman armed with a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun opened fire on June 12, 2016 at a nightclub popular with gay men, killing 49 people and injuring 53 others. Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard, was later shot and killed by police at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., suffering eight bullet wounds according to an autopsy report. The FBI said the shooter had been frequenting radical Islamic websites but there was no evidence he had been directed by any group.

Nightclub Shooting Florida

Barbara Poma, right, the owner of Pulse nightclub is hugged in front of the club on Dec. 5, 2016, after a news conference in Orlando, Fla. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

2015: San Bernardino, Calif.

A husband born in the U.S. and his wife, who had immigrated from Pakistan, opened fire at a social services centre in San Bernardino, Calif., on Dec. 2, 2015. Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people and wounded more than 20. They fled the scene but died hours later in a shootout with police. The shooters had discussed martyrdom and violent jihad online in the preceding months, officials said.

A former neighbour was later convicted on several charges, including providing the weapons for the shooters, who worried their Middle Eastern appearance would arouse suspicions.

2013: Washington, D.C.

Aaron Alexis, a mentally disturbed civilian contractor, shot 12 people to death at the Washington Navy Yard in D.C. before he was killed by police in a shootout. The victims in the Sept. 16, 2013 attack were Navy contractors or civilian employees. All but one victim died at the scene.

2012: Newtown, Conn.

An armed 20-year-old man with a history of mental illness entered Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012 and used a semi-automatic rifle to kill 26 people, including 20 first graders and six adult school staff members. Adam Lanza had first killed his mother at a local residence. After the campus massacre, Lanza killed himself. 

2012: Aurora, Colo.

A 27-year-old man fatally shot 12 people and injured 70 in an Aurora, Colo., movie theatre during a July 20, 2012 nighttime screening of The Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises. James Holmes was sentenced to life in prison without parole. A jury rejected an insanity defence.

2009: Binghamton, N.Y.

An unemployed 42-year-old man killed 13 people at a community centre in Binghamton, N.Y., on April 3, 2009, including several who were taking a citizenship course. Gunman Jiverly Wong, who fatally shot himself, had mailed a rambling note to a local television station to coincide with the shooting.

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US. Army Sgt. Maj. Leroy Walker Jr. wipes tears during a vigil following the 2009 rampage at Fort Hood, committed by an Army psychiatrist who has subsequently been sentenced to death. (Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

2009: Fort Hood, Killeen, Texas

Maj. Nidal Hasan, a U.S.-born Muslim who was an army psychiatrist, opened fire at the Fort Hood base on Nov. 5, 2009, killing 13. Hasan, 39 at the time of the shooting, was apprehended and has been sentenced to death. Doctors overseeing his medical training repeatedly had flagged others about his zealous Islamic views, according to information received by The Associated Press.

2007: Blacksburg, Va.

A senior at Virginia Tech, armed with two handguns, killed 32 people at various locations on campus on April 16, 2007. Seung-Hui Choi had raised concerns with previous antisocial behaviour and a disturbing creative writing assignment. Choi, born in South Korea but raised in the U.S., sent a rambling manifesto to U.S. news networks. He committed suicide at the scene.

Virginia Tech Shooting Remembrance

People participate in a candlelight vigil on April 16, 2017, in Blacksburg Va., as part of the closing ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the deadly shooting at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, widely known as Virginia Tech. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP)

1999: Littleton, Colo.

A pair of male students, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, opened fire at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., on April 20, 1999, killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves in the school's library. It was the deadliest of a spate of school shootings to afflict the U.S. in 1998 and 1999.

1991: Killeen, Texas

George Hennard, unemployed 35-year-old man from the local area, went on a shooting rampage in Killeen, Texas, at Luby's Cafeteria, killing 23 people before taking his own life. About 20 people were injured in the Oct. 16, 1991 attack. At the time it was the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.

1986: Edmond, Okla.

Pat Sherrill, 44, a postal worker who was about to be fired, shot 14 people at a post office on Aug. 20, 1986. He then killed  himself.

1984: San Ysidro, Calif.

An unemployed security guard killed 21 people in a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, Calif., on on July 18, 1984. A police sharpshooter killed the gunman, James Huberty, who had left cryptic comments with his wife before leaving the house en route to his killing spree.

1966: Austin, Texas

A 25-year-old former Marine killed his mother and father before unleashing a shooting spree at the University of Texas at Austin campus on Aug. 1, 1966. The majority of the campus shootings occurred with Charles Whitman firing down from an observation deck at the university's clock tower. He was shot and killed by police in the tower.

The death toll of 17 innocent victims includes the unborn child of a pregnant woman who survived, and a man who survived and lived into his late 50s; medical officials concluded a lodged bullet contributed to his 2001 death.

MASS SHOOTING IN LAS VEGAS! NOBODY SHOT BACK!

DEADLIEST MASS SHOOTING IN THE US HISTORY!

And here we wake up to another shooting disaster, one of hundreds in the USA, this time in the city of sin, Las Vegas. At least 50 people lost their lives, many more got hurt.  And I am asking where were all those well-armed cowboys, rednecks, and would-be warriors who are so proud Americans always convinced that they can defend themselves and the public, should the need occur. And I would think that the need was right there in Vegas.

But of course, everybody knows that the mantra of “carrying” and “being able to defend” is just that, an illusion. No-where else in the civilized world is the population killing themselves at a comparable rate than in the USA. When a gunman shows up, the moment of shock and surprise is overwhelming, and instead of returning fire, people do what people are supposed to do --- seeking cover. And that is the simple answer to why gun-carrying hard-working tax-paying Americans are not so brave as they think they are.

But the USA will continue indefinitely as the nation which lives on in a delusional bubble of false hopes and security.

Sad…as the orange ape says. 

 

While the American public is again stumbling over eachother in offering “Thoughts and Prayers” it has by now gotten obvious that it doesn’t work. Instead it has grown into a never ending bad circle.

The Thought and Prayer Strategy:

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