the Barrowtown pumping station is about to fail

it’s apparently the second biggest pumping station in North America

and if it fails

surrounded as it is with 150 volunteers packing sandbags as fast as they can

Sumas Lake will reappear after 97 years

50% of the eggs and dairy for BC will be gone, possibly never to return

and collectively we will have lost one of the most critical pieces of farmland in BC history


you need a million calories a year and 5000 litres of water


anyway the mayor and chief of police in Abby have reported that the pumping station is holding but it was a near thing


Delightful visit and some news about that chat

All my relations, I acknowledge my unpayable debt to the peoples, lands and waters of MST country.

For Paul’s bday his double cousin Jim and spouse Jan cooked dinner; a pink salmon (they are hard to cook right and you need a meat thermometer), corn on the cob and a delicious greek salad with veggies from their garden.

Katie turned up later after dropping off Alex and Keith was supposed to go gaming but didn’t and was too upset in the tummy to eat with us. It’s all good, it was the perfect amount of food, no leftovers.

While we were talking, as we do, Jan was curious about my encounter with a yellow breasted chat.  I had read that they live in BC so hadn’t worried too much about where it appeared, but it turns out that they are rare in the lower mainland, possibly not regulars at all. She found something on line about the chat – how it was the subject of habitat rehabilitation in the Okanagan. It needs a bunch of stuff to breed. A wild rose bush in a clearing of a forest with willow and cottonwood is their idea of a home in Heaven. If you clear the wild rose bushes for development bye bye chats. Also, they just got themselves into a new bird family because they’re chonky, among other things. The one I saw was monosyllabic, but in the spring the wee bastards never shut up and have as many as 40 separate calls. Also the boys dangle their feet and shake their booties to attract girls, who watch from underneath, and they have big goddamn marks on their plumage only visible in UV. All in all a wonderful evening of natural history, family love and damned good food.


batman go slap


I literally slept all day yesterday, and then slept the usual amount at night. I’ve either got trypanosomiasis or I’m sickening with something or I’m depressed, and how would I know. I do know that I sleep to get away from my allergies, and the pollen count right now is higher than Cheech and Chong.


One of my fave Gorillaz song with a marble machine mashup.



google earth image of Mongolian rivers

Reporting from the front РMarilyn Med̩n

Hi, friends, and some relatives.  This is what I did today. (Thursday November 29th)

Up Burnaby Mountain to The Protest


Just go! I thought as I tried to find information about where to go, how much walking, what to expect.  Just show support by arriving … somewhere.  But Burnaby Mountain covers a large area, and if I went up it the way I knew, up to SFU, the only satisfaction I might have would be that I tried.  Not much support for the protest against Kinder Morgan.

After much trial and error I found a map.  Park near Curtis and Ayrshire, and just head UP, and UP, on a paved walkway, across Burnaby Mountain Parkway, and UP a little further to an information tent where you are told where the action is.

I saw Karl Perrin [of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver] at the tent.  I had heard he was arrested the day before.  Was he out already?

The drilling had moved, and the gathering was now down a very steep deeply muddy path, slippery, winding, intersected by thick roots and unexpected holes.  People said it took 10 to 15 minutes to get to the gathering.  It took me at least 30 minutes of hanging on to branches, tree trunks, people. The demographic was young.  A guy tore a dead tree limb from the ground and handed it to me for a walking stick. Everyone wanted to help.

I could hear drumming: the First Nation presence.  Speakers. Singing of an adaptation of We Shall Overcome. 

Sliding, slipping, holding on, I reached a place where I could see the yellow ribbon.  To go past that meant arrest.  Gentle arrest it seemed.  The police were friendly.

Someone was speaking.  She was telling of her arrest the day before.  The police carried her to a van.  Solidarity Notes had been singing, and some of them were arrested at the same time.  There was singing in the van.  Singing again in the room they were taken to, and yet again in individual cells.  Kraft dinner was provided.  She signed a statement. I gather that at that point they were released, with trial was set for January 12th.  That was it.  I could have done that!  But what would the arrest mean?  Would one then be a “person of interest”?  Well, if I could interpret it as interest in not having oil pipelines, in avoiding oil, that would be all right with me.

I headed back up the trail.  Home to wash my mud soaked shoes and pants.  Home to warm up.







this spot used to hold a link to pics of bobcats in Calgary HAHA WHO KNEW THAT LESS THAN A DECADE LATER I’D SEE A BOBCAT HIKING DISTANCE FROM MY RENTAL okay back to 2012

Yesterday I saw Katie briefly.  Night before Paul and I went to Jericho after feasting here on pork chomps and green beans and corn and salad.

I was super tired yesterday and napped for a good chunk of the afternoon, with Margot fizzling and burbling and napping with me.  This morning she tried to join me long before sunrise but I thrash around too much so she left and is now guarding my door.

This sentence deleted in 2020 because it makes zero sense.

One thing and another

There are kestrels nesting across the alley, and DARWIN’S BEARD do they make a lot of noise when they are peeved.

Jeff is an evil, evil, man; without much effort he got me addicted to ER, and there’s ONLY 15 seasons of that. (Keith, sitting in for a while, “Clooners gotta Cloon” with respect to the unholy young looking George Clooney, who takes three facial expressions and plays them hard.) So far my fave character is Haleh, with Drs Greene and Carter in rapid close order.

Jeff, Keith and I are catching up in Breaking Bad and should be caught up to the new seasons (they are calling it seasons 5 and 6 even though it’s two lots of 8 episodes each, coming out at different times). What an intense show; but when it’s funny it’s truly gutbusting.

Hosting a housefilk on Saturday. SO looking forward to it!

Everytime I think there can’t possibly be another sign of the apocalypse, Eris run amok in my metaphors & slimes the goalposts.

New Baddies in the Midnite Moving Co. universe. The Nosoi! The demonic embodiments of human illness.

“Like a human plague!?”

“Cue comment about all your ex-boyfriends.”

I’m thinking of offering Atheist Tarot Readings. Would anybody buy that? How about Steampunk Tarot readings? Well, sheesh, forget I mentioned it.

Gotta go outside and turn the keys over and spray the other side of them now. Got a lovely assortment of steampunkin keys.

I hope you all have a lovely day, it looks like it’s going to be a good one.

Up at 2:45 this morning

This early rising business MUST stop.  So I guess it’s time for a roundup.

Adult onset diabetes foreshadowing in rising level of 5 proteins.  Link here.

Lots of lawsuits won’t necessarily help your case.  Righthaven screwed up, but fair use rights have been protected.

A very commonly used contemporary chart about radiation exposure, which I only link to on the off chance one of my readers hasn’t seen it yet.  Here.

The “serpent storm” on Saturn.  via Nasa/Cassini.

The assault of the Repulsigans on women’s rights continues.  Honestly, though, the “Harper Government” would do the same thing if they thought they could get away with it; fortunately the Bloc Québecois would have a collective seizure if they tried to pass something like this.

The assault of the Repulsigans against anybody who dislikes factory farming continues.  In what universe is it illegal to take a picture of a farm? (link removed for security reasons).

From chipper, an ad for what she termed a ‘proofreader’s delight’.

Also from chipper, some lovely ‘supermoon’ pix from England.

I have no idea how church went yesterday, I was in the kitchen helping Peggy with coffee. Gave Carol a ride home and picked up some frozen fruit so I can make fruit toppings for pancakes a bit at a time.


Weird weather in Vancouver

Last night at about 8:30, Keith and I were watching Cool Hand Luke (Keith’s first time, my fifth at least) when someone outside the house fired the biggest flashbulb ever.  At least, that’s what it looked like.  Both windows in my field of vision lit up like daylight for a fraction of a second.  I had time to look quizzically at Keith, then turn back and shrug, before the thunder arrived.  We estimated that it was about four seconds after the flash; long enough for both of us to dismiss the flash as something other than lightning.  We were wrong.  The thunder was like an earthquake; the house shook violently and I felt the shaking throughout my body.  I couldn’t figure out how the thunder could be that loud if the lightning strike was so far away; Keith suggested that it had indeed been far away, but right above us.  That would explain what we observed.  Of course, what made this particularly interesting for us was that it occurred at the point in the film where – you guessed it – there was a thunderstorm.  Anyway, soon after this event, it started to snow.  And this morning, snow covers the ground.  This is going to be a weird year for weather.