On Friday evening we headed to the cabin for what we expected was going to be a wet and miserable weekend. It was but we had a good time.
Oliver was quite sick on Friday morning which meant that Wendy took the day off. His daycare has a thing about vomitting kids… They picked me up at work and we were off to the lake and got in there in decent time.
I am nursing an incredibly sore hip so I hobbled in and went to bed. The boys took Maggi for a long walk and swim in the lake and I was awoken by a wet dog looking to warm up with someone. Saturday I picked up Oliver’s flu and felt horrible. Wendy delegated the job of packing Oliver’s stuff to Mark and he didn’t pack any socks and underwear for Oliver so off to Regina we went. 18km of really soft and sloppy roads were not a lot of fun to drive but we made it to the highway.
The rain kept falling the entire time we were in Regina and the road was a slippery and muddy mess by the time we got back to Cymric. It was a long slow drive back to the cabin where I managed to lose control once. Not only that but we realized it was going to rain all night and into Sunday.
I woke up on Sunday morning to a gift of a photography book by Tom Ang, A Walkable City by Jeff Speck, a Black Rapid camera strap, and an podcast attachment for my iPhone.
Here is Speck speaking to TED.
So yeah the drive home was brutal. The car was covered in mud and it was hard to keep it on the road. For those who feel that Saskatchewan should be converting more highways into gravel, I respectfully disagree. The sand base of that road makes more slippery then ice when wet. So yeah, let’s pave the entire province.
While the rest of the world celebrates Queen Victoria’s birthday this weekend, we are celebrating Mark turning 14 at the cabin.
He has been saving up for a DLSR camera for months. When I upgraded my Pentax K-x, he thought I traded it in for a new camera. Instead I took it upstairs and have been saving it to give him for his birthday.
After having the camera’s sensor cleaned, I bought him a new 16 GB memory card and cleaned all of the lens up perfectly (if you don’t have a Lens Pen, you are doing it all wrong).
Wendy and I had bought him a a new Roots sling camera bag and placed the camera in along with some of my older lenses. Along with the camera, I gave him this 18-55mm lens that came with the camera, a really sharp manual 50mm lens, a Pentax 100-300 lens, and a Takumar-F 28-80mm manual lens (that to be honest, really sucks) but it will give him a macro to play with. I have an older Sigma 70-210 lens that I may give him as well but I am awaiting a replacement for it. Until then he can borrow it.
We also tossed in one of those Eneloop battery chargers and some amazing Eneloop XX batteries (best recyclable batteries on the planet) and a National Geographic magazine
To celebrate his birthday we are heading north from the cabin for a long nature walk along the shores of Last Mountain Lake where we will hopefully get some shots of some birds and someone can test out his new camera. I expect you will see some photos of the day as soon as we get back into the city.
Mark blogs about his birthday here.
This was my most popular photo on Flickr in 2013. It is the marina at Arlington Beach and I snapped it while out of a walk with Wendy, Mark, and Oliver on Thanksgiving weekend. Click here to see an enlarged version.
Make you watch Mark skimboard in HD and then in super slow motion (you have to click through to the YouTube page to do that)
Despite Wendy and I being right there the entire time, Oliver still got wet and no one knows what happened (the dog isn’t talking).
Mark, Oliver, and I went to the cabin today. Wendy was working so we got up and drove on out there. We brought out the electric oil heater, some clean sheets, the first load of non-perishable foods, and our deck box packed in the back seat.
We unloaded the car and observed the carnage that is my bird houses. Every spring when I go to the cabin, I have bird houses all over the lawn. In the past it looked like the deer had eaten the twine that I had used and that is why they hit the ground. This year I used some wire to hang the birdhouses and it was still on the ground. As Mark and I were picking them up, I realized that the deer had eaten the branches they were hanging on. Well played deer, well played.
Other than that, it looked good. Last spring it looked like teeth marks on the cabin but this year it doesn’t look like any deer chewed on the cabin on at all. I’ll call that a win.
Of course taking Oliver to the cabin for only ten minutes was not my best move. The entire time home I heard him grumbling about not going swimming, not being able to get to the horses, no beach, no ice cream, no badminton, and not seeing any snakes. Apparently I am a horrible father. It was looking better once we got to Pip’s Esso in Watrous and we got a Freezee but his displeasure in my parenting was made really clear.
We should be back for Mother’s Day. I doubt the ice will be off the lake but we should be able to play some badminton. Hopefully he’ll be happier that trip.
Like a lot of you out there, I grew up watching Mike Duffy on television. I thought he was a fair interviewer that held both sides accountable. When he became a senator, he became increasingly partisan which I thought was an odd direction for him to go with but if that is what he thought, that is what he thought.
When the scandal hit over his residency, I was a little shocked by it because I see what he is doing and what Patrick Brazeau being two different things. Let’s look at what Duffy did.
He was named to the Senate from P.E.I. despite living in Ottawa for most of his life. He went out and bought and renovated a small P.E.I. cabin in Cavendish, P.E.I. to establish his residency in. Critics say that he spends most of his time in Ottawa and he shouldn’t get a housing allowance and yet he is expected to keep a second residence in PEI. This is different from other senators in which way? The truth is that he spends most of this time in Ottawa as a senator. They meet for about 88 working days a year. When you include in holidays and weekends is about 6 months of the year which means that he does need two residences. Duffy’s mistake is that he used his housing allowance to pay for his PEI home and not his Ottawa residence. So if he had sold his home and bought a condo in Ottawa, everything would have been okay? Let’s use some common sense on this.
As for why his neighbours haven’t seen a lot of him lately, the senate is in session and therefore he would be living in Ottawa. They had some neighbours complaining that they never see the Duffy’s. First of all there are people who own cabins at Arlington Beach that I have never seen and Cavendish is a lot bigger than Arlington. It also could be that the Duffy’s enjoy their privacy. Even more scandalous is that they even spend some of their social time in both Ottawa and Cavendish.
As for the health card, I love my cabin at Arlington Beach but if I was sick, I want to be at home. For me that is Saskatoon and for Duffy, that appears to be Ottawa. While it looked back when he wanted an expedited card, I don’t have a problem with him having an Ontario health card. If he is going to spending most of his time in Ottawa, it makes sense to me.
There are no Senate rules for residency in your home province and until there are, we should back off Senator’s like Mike Duffy. He’s a part of a weird undefined system. I don’t see fraud or even a scam. If anything it seems that Duffy never realized that once he turned partisan, the attacks would follow. As we have seen now, they have. The difference for Duffy is that he is on the receiving end of them.