Saturday, January 15, 2011

Jigging Fish, Jigging Puppies, Caught a Reader

It's that time of the year when a big sheet of ice is THE place to play. Last weekend, some local folks hauled their toys and a pickup with a plow blade down to Monte Lake (just west of us, on route to Kamloops) to see who could scare themselves the silliest.

I absolutely love ice racing and truly wish I was a few years younger and a few notches braver, and I'd be out there.

It's a family affair and great to see everyone out having a good time. The little girls in pink snow suits (seemed to be an awfully lot of them) swarmed the puppies, providing the moms and a few dads a reason to also move in on the action. Bikes, quads, a bonfire to toast chilled finger and toes.

Monte Lake is a popular fishing lake and the ice fishermen are keen, seen off in the distance. Many of them have those new self-erecting shelters that are so neat. None of that fancy stuff when we jigged for jacks and whitefish (not whitebait, you kiwis - whitefish are big freshwater lake fish) up in the Peace country.

Wonder if they drink as much black rum as we did?



Jacks are another name for northern pike, also known as slough sharks. They can get enormous - Claudia can attest to that! They aren't fish to be trawled or tempted by fly fishing, though. You use a lure that looks like an overgrown worm (albeit in alien neon colours) with a longish wiggly tail, and you play the line up and down, making the lure wiggle. Jigging.

I have no idea who this guy is but I borrowed the picture to show you what a jack looks like and the size of one.

This is not a fisherman or a jack fish. This is a man and his dogs.

Hannah and Socket are now 4 months old and as you can see, growing. They've been learning their manners: sit and wait to be let in when they've been outside, asking for treats, 98% house-trained (still the odd accident) and better yet, asking to be let out when they need to go.

Leash training is taking a bit longer because it's primarily my job and I'm not with them as often as Bryan is.

We go for 3-4 kms around town, down to the river and back along various routes. Today was probably the best outting we've had with only a few tugs and admonishments.

Last weekend was a whole nuther thing! I liken it to a cross between jack jigging and training a 4-H calf to halter.

If you were ever a farm kid in a 4-H beef club, you already have the picture in your mind: a 9 year old biped, maybe 100 lbs with attitude vs a 7 month old quadruped, maybe 600 lbs with attitude; both have their heels dug in literally and metaphorically, and there's gonna be some tears and rope burn from the hemp halter before too long.

In this case, the human weighs a little more but the trainee is maybe 8 lbs soaking wet. The quadruped attitude is about the same but the odds are in favor of the biped, hence the jigging analogy.

One or both pups dig in their paws, hauling back for all their worth on their body harnesses. To no avail. I haul up and forward on the lead lines, very much looking like working a jig line from a boat in deep water. It becomes a rhythmic motion by the time we reach the end of the driveway.

One night this week they clued into the fact that if they stayed nicely alongside me, they didn't get dragged forward nor hauled back. It became a pleasant outting. It's still hard to get them to focus when something catches their attention sometimes, but hey, they are Russells.

Wrassling is a common diversion for these two, and they play hard.

Stalking is part of the game, and as the lounge chairs are 'fair', they're a favorite stalking site. Socket eyes up her sister (you can see her tri-colour nicely here) ...

Hannah dares her ....

And they're back at it.


I told you (I think it was here) that a co-worker lent me the Stieg Larsson 'Millennium' trilogy.

My husband isn't a book reader. Hard to believe in this house, but he prefers magazines and newspapers to books. I often share incidents with him from books that I find interesting, and apparently something I related from the first book caught his imagination.

As I cracked into the second book, he asked, "Where's that book you were reading?"

"Which one?" - fair question as I usually have a few on the go at any given time.

"That one with the girl with the tattoo."

I pulled it out of a stack, handed it to him.

And a reader was born.

I've known this man for 30 years and it's the first time I've seen him read a book. Nay, devour it. And these are not little quickie reads - they're upwards of 800 pages.

He finished the third one a few days ago. I haven't pushed the issue but I did say, "You know, there are some other pretty good books in this house besides those ones."

Baiting yet another jigging line.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Calling All Puzzlers

OK, peeps. It's time to pull in the reserves. The Annual Mall Arkey Christmas Contest has me stumped and I refuse to ask him for the answers without a few more of these equations solved.

Friend Liz from work is as obsessive-compulsive about these things as I am and was able to contribute a few solutions, but I need help.


26= L of the A would be 'Letters of the Alphabet'

I've put an asterisk beside the ones Liz and I have answers to and will put those at the bottom of the post, but see what you can do with them as they were published in the Salmon Arm 'Lakeshore News'.

a) 52 = WK on a P*
b) 2 = HA and 1OA for W
c) 16 = R in a CE
d) 3 = K of OA*
e) 144 = G*
f) 20,000 = LU the S*
g) 30 = SL in SZ
h) 3 = YB a ME
i) 19 = A of M in BC
j) 11 = P on ML (CF)*
k) 9 = SCJ in C*
l) 66 = ADL of AC
m) 57 = CPR for a SL
n) 10 = N of R on an AT
o) 200 = D for PG
p) 121 = S to WC
q) 64 = S on a CB*
r) 43, 560 = SF in an A*
s) 5 = N of WO
t) 2005 = Y of SAC*
u) 105 = M of CS
v) 1063 = H of ET*
w) 2 = ABPSSLCPO on a SSB*
x) 12 = BMS
y)24 = CG*

So, we've solved about half of them. If you have suggestions or solutions, bring 'em on. No fabulous prizes, just glory and honor. And for those who just can't help themselves, here are the ones we solved.

a) 52 = white keys on a piano
d) 3 = kings of Orient are
e) 144 = gross
f) 20,000 = leagues under the sea
j) 11 = points on Maple Leaf (Canadian flag)
k) 9 = Supreme Court Justices in Canada
q) 64 = squares on a chess board
r) 43,560 = square feet in an acre (thanks to Bob Hill at Olds College, I've known that for 32 years)
t) 2005 = year of Salmon Arm's centennial
v) 1063 = height of Eiffel Tower (don't know how or why but I knew that, too)
w) 2 = (sing it with me) all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun
y) 24 = carat gold

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Picture Gallery: Trains, Curlers & Christmas

Hi Michelle! Miss you. And Hi Francie! Been a long time, cuz.

Welcome to the much-belated photo section of our program. I won't say 'Highlights from the Past Month' although the first of these shots are almost a month old. They have been patiently waiting in their folder for me to upload.

The middle of December saw the arrival of the CP Christmas Train to the BC Interior.

These aren't the greatest shots but in my defense (a) it was after 7pm in December, (b) at the Kamloops stop, where these were taken, had the best of the cars way the hell and gone on the bridge spanning the Thompson River, and (c) it was cold. Nevertheless, the train is a wonderful sight.

The 'stage' car with a side panel that drops down and forms a platform for the performers.

There were four old, old CP passenger cars at the end of the train to accommodate (I suppose) the crew and performers. The snowflakes were on the railing at the very end.

And now to the highlight of the month for me - the Swiss Chalet Grand Slam National. Yes, people, The Boys were in town!

These are dedicated to you, Prue, for whom curling is a foreign game. This is what I do in the winter, albeit in a much smaller venue and without TV cameras.

In orange: Kevin Martin with Mark Kennedy and John Morris.

The next five photos were taken by co-worker friend Cory Bialecki.

Mark Kennedy and Ben Hebert sweeping Johnny Mo's rock.

Kevin Koe putting some muscle into it.

Beautiful shot of Glenn Howard's delivery. But I don't get the Howard team's white belts ... eew.

Good overview of the sheets in Westbild.

I think this is Jeff Stoughton's team from Manitoba.

Niklas Edin (R) from Sweden. Really enjoyed his games.

Mike McEwan (L) and Glenn Howard. McEwan is becoming a force to be reckoned with.

Edin laying a trouncing on Stoughton.

The very next day we were in Revelstoke for a pre-Christmas day at mom's. Watched one of the semi-finals on TV there.

Grandma and Hannah. It was love at first sight, despite what the photo might say (Hannah was trying to get into Grandma's drink).

Garry with his new Christmas shirt - sure it looks like a golf shirt but trust me on this one.

Auntie trying to get a picture of not one but two constantly moving objects.

And what better way to end a busy, busy week but with a relaxed breakfast at home featuring blueberry pancakes.

The snow this week has been intense - over a metre in 24-48 hours in the Columbias, Kootenays and high country. Was up to Sovereign Lake last Sunday and conditions were fabulous, even though I'm a poor XC skier. Gonna give it a pass this weekend though - need to get some chores done around the house.

We're through the holiday hangover at work I think, but tomorrow is going to bring a whole new set of challenges. Our new publisher has settled in and is flexing his managerial muscle. Change is in the wind and it's going to leave a few bruises. I find headphones and good tunes a fine strategy to adopt in times like these!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year Promises

Happy New Year to all my darling, darling folks. As Paul Childs said to Julia (we watched Julie and Julia last night), "You are the butter on my bread."

I am so profoundly sorry for leaving y'all in the lurch so long. Can't say that it's because I'm too busy. Well, I was a bit, but I also confess to being buried deep in some fabulous books. I practically devoured 'The Painter from Shanghai' and am now on the second of Stieg Larsson's trilogy, 'The Girl Who Played with Fire.' (a co-work lent me all three book at once - what was she thinking?!)

Christmas didn't go exactly as planned. We stayed close to home rather than travel east. I got some sleep, read, ate, read, slept. Christmas afternoon involved in-laws and wine. Work last week was a mix of time crawling slowly, confused deadlines and fervent prayers to dodge the virulent flu that seems to have the entire North Okanagan on its knees begging for mercy.

I have a whole whack of pics to show you - from the CP Christmas Train, the Grand Slam National and other events of the past few weeks. They're all on the other computer so you'll just have to wait. Bryan's got a yummy shrimp dish on the stove almost ready to be attacked; we're polishing off the leftover champagne from last night, a really nice dusty-blowing dry Segura from Spain. I could seriously develop an addition to this stuff.

There's a new fitness place just opened a block away from the office, open 24/7, so I've got started there. The Aquafit classes conflicted with curling so that totally wasn't going to work. However, curling is not enough of a workout to get me into a swimsuit this summer, so early mornings at the gym it is ... again. It's a sad ol' cycle.

Nevertheless, my promises to you and to myself are to get toned up physically and mentally, and to be more diligent in my writing, both here and in other pursuits. Do-able resolutions, methinks.

Best of wishes for your 2011, big hugs and kisses, and poke me if I get tardy here!