I hope you enjoy my blog, a collection of articles and thoughts regarding my interests. I'm a married father of two that loves to write about gliding, hunting, fishing, camping and any outdoor passion. Oh yah, I'm a quadriplegic. I hope this is informative to some, entertaining to others, and interesting to all. Let me know what you think. If you'd like an article for your publication, I've got words I haven't even used yet!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

The Power of Intention

One thing about living life strapped to 4 wheels in a Northern climate (well relatively Northern, although there are lots of people living farther North),  there is time to plan and ponder. This may or may not be a good thing, depending on the thoughts bouncing around in your coconut. What works for some, doesn't work for others, and maybe our life's missions all differ.

By the time we have reached this age, say 40s or 50s, we have all experienced good and bad. I don't know if we can control this, but from my experience we certainly can influence it.

What do you desire? What rattles your chain? What makes you smile, or laugh? What gives you warm fuzzies inside? Think about it, identify it, think about it ... lots. What seems to happen after a while is ... stuff starts lining up to make your desires happen. Focus on what makes you happy, not what is in the way of your happiness, life seems to give us what we focus on.

I don't know how many times I've thought about a great memory with a close friend, and the phone suddenly rings with him on the other end, far more times than coincidence will allow. I've thought about soaring in the winter (a near-impossibility) and suddenly received an email inviting me to an online glider flight. I've thought about a fine salmon supper with my wife and she'll show up with ... you guessed it ... a fine piece of salmon to be whipped into one of her gourmet meals. It has gotten to where we joke about not wanting any secret thoughts, as the other one will know them!

Captain Tony's
I recall spending nearly a year in hospital, with lots of time listening to a Sony Walkman (1986) and Jimmy Buffett tapes generously donated by great friends. I would escape my reality in my hospital bed, and stroll Key West, visiting Captain Tony's Saloon, Sloppy Joe's, Caroline Street and all the other landmarks that were in those tunes. I never realized that by visualizing it so much, I was making it happen. We talked about going there 20yrs later, it felt right, we hooked onto our holiday trailer in -20C temps on January 1 and off we went. You know what? It was exactly as imagined! It felt like we were coming home! It still feels like home there.

What rattles my chain? Family love. Great friends. Things that fly. Outdoor fun like camping under palm trees, mountain trails, fishing, hunting, exploring, geocaching etc. I constantly try to remember to put my intentions out there to the world/universe/god, whatever you believe (I don't think it matters what you call it), and it seems to work.

I have no idea what the future holds, but I do know that in my world I have been blessed with an abundance of all that I treasure. I probably get to enjoy as much life and fun as most able-bodied people, I believe it is because I want to.

Religious folks might say it's the "ask and you will receive", new age people might say that the universe provides, some would subscribe to the power of positive thinking or like-attracts-like. They all seem to be right.

The world is our playground, let's all have fun!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014


At Home in the Keys

     Is it a little early for spring fever? Us cold-blooded gimps don't take to the cold as gracefully as you "up-rights", and hence get a little bit whiney about this time of year.

     I'm not sure about how some of the other people combat the cold, but I like to do it by writing.

The Wilderness Chef in our Condo
     Writing a story about something interesting that you did is a great way to escape the winter and roam around in your own head for a few hours, and some of us have more room than others to roam around. When I'm writing, I'm battling a large fish on a Florida beach, the aqua-blue water lapping on the shore with seagulls soaring by and my reel screaming. I could be with Super-Dave in our
Wilderness Condo, enjoying a glass of red and a medium-rare steak, guns safely tucked away, pretending to be hunting while a blizzard rages outside. I may be soaring high over the prairies with a high-performance glider on a perfect blue-sky-summer-day, the atmosphere dotted by lift-giving thermals identifiable by their fluffy-cotton-ball-cap. I roll the glider into a right turn under a cotton-ball-cloud, and am rewarded by that familiar kick-in-the-pants as we're rocketed skyward in our atmospheric-elevator-shaft. See how easy it is to escape?

     I've been fortunate enough to be writing a regular column called Outdoor Tracks for New Mobility Magazine. This last week I found out that they have extended my column for at least another year, what a great thing for me to do in the winter… Write stories!

     Another great thing about writing a column on outdoor adventures, is you have to think of more outdoor adventures to go do! The last few have been on soaring, fishing, camping and kite flying. I love this hobby, escapism is amazing!

     Have a great rest of the winter, time is short so I had better get typing again, got words I haven't used yet!

Here's a link to my column:  Outdoor Tracks

Monday, 20 January 2014

My 2 Cents on $25 Worth of Birdseed

Well, Jan 20 and we're still surviving this winter stuff. It appears that the unusually deep snow has our deer friends scrounging for whatever they can find. I think maybe they're in cahoots with those darn chickadees. Now I enjoy the birds around about as much as any other old fart in a lazyboy, but the wastage ... man ... a teenager with her parents' gas card is frugal compared to this! They seem to have to move approx. 587 seeds to find that one desirable one, only to find that the point is on the wrong end, and therefore it must be deemed sub-par and discarded also. The amount of wastage by these little half-submerged-mixer-beaters is in direct proportion to the price you pay for the seed. We purchased the finest pedigreed bird-seed that you must swear on affidavit to never plant and grow yourself, and now 2 of these 1.5 ounce chickadees spill enough of it to feed 3 full-grown 200lb+ mule deer bucks and one porcupine! I mean how can they sleep at night? The picture above is one of the deer that seems fascinated with me at my computer ... standing on the deck in mid-day! I hope to claim enough of the deck from the critters this spring to park my butt outside! It's hard to work with an audience ... but it is  nice to see the wild creatures so close!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Deer Jerky in Bradley Countertop Smoker

Having some extra time over the holidays due to our wonderful weather (not), we decided to make some deer jerky in our Bradley Countertop Smoker. We didn't have a specific recipe, but years ago we made jerky in our home-made aesthetically-challenged marriage-testing fridge smoker, which after careful examination or records, produces about 25% good product and 75% wastage. The Bradley seems to consistently produce great smoked foods, and in small quantities which is perfect for us. A Google search brought up many recipes, so we took the popular base (soy sauce), and added what was handy.

- 2.5 pounds of deer (or so, never measured), sliced (it was random thicknesses, 1/4 in average, even thicker chunks turned out great!)
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup water (enough to cover meat)
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. onion powder
- 1 tbsp. course pepper
- splash of teriyaki sauce
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire

Mix all ingredients in a container (we used a Tupperware container) and leave overnight, we refrigerated.

Preheat smoker. It was 10f outside so we started smoking on pl03 for a couple of hours and reduced it to pl01, the temp stayed between 165 - 185.

Cooking time 6hrs.
Smoking time 4hrs.

Our thoughts - We could've sprinkled the meat with course pepper just before smoking. 5 hours would leave it moister, but it was still great after 6hrs. You could add any spices you like, we were just winging it based on what we saw upon opening the cupboard!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas all! I hope everybody has a great holiday season! It is relatively quiet here great time to reflect on what's important!

As I age (gracefully I might ad), the list of important things in life is shortening up quite nicely. We seem to take on more and more problems, material things etc, until our time is all taken up (shitter's full). Right now my list seems to boil down to:

- Family and friends
- Health
- Basic necessities
- Have Fun! Life should be fun!

Well that's it, simple hey? (bear in mind I'm a little simple-minded) So pump out yer shitter and let's have a fantastic 2014! 


Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Chalkboard: Reflections On Becoming A Quadriplegic

A little story I wrote years ago, illustrating what it felt like in those times shortly after becoming a quadriplegic.

The Chalkboard

Imagine that every new skill that we acquire is recorded on our own personal chalkboard.

My chalkboard is nearly covered in writing as I study the top line.

“Rode a bike!”

As I glance at the words the image of a warm summer’s day floods my mind. A gentle breeze is blowing; the smell of freshly cut lawn permeates the air. I’m sitting precariously on a shiny new bicycle, pointed down the paved driveway that slopes gently towards the road in front of our house. There are already a few fresh scrapes on my knees, torn jeans, and a sense of excitement as I anticipate the next run down the lane. A quick push from my mother and away I go, wobbling and swerving as I concentrate on learning the correct moves to tame the beast. Success! A complete run down the driveway is made.

Fishing with my brother, loved it since an early age.
The "New" Holiday Rambler and Travelall,
 many adventures took place in here!
I scan the board farther down and noticed in an adolescent’s writing: “ Fishing”.  As my gaze stops on the words, I feel the world around me fade away and suddenly I’m standing in the front yard of our family’s house in a large city. It’s early June, I’m ten years old, and the weather is warm and sunny. Behind me sits our summer home on wheels, a 1969 Holiday Rambler proudly affixed to the rear of an old but eager army-green 1962 International Travelall. The unit patiently awaits our next escape from the city, complete with bikes on the front, and canoe on the roof. Gripped tightly in my right hand is a fly rod, released from its winter prison inside the camper trailer. Under my right elbow is a book held tightly against my body to teach me to cast using forearm movement only. “10 o’clock … 2 o’clock”, I repeat as I practice false casts over and over, until no more cracking of the whip is heard. I learn to drop the fly (a split shot weight) into any one of the number of ice-cream-pails placed around the yard. All the while I daydream of pristine mountain lakes teeming with trout to be conquered in two weeks time.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Smoked Trout and the Bradley 2-Rack Smoker

Smoked Trout - First Try!

One thing that I did not inherit from my father was a sense of moderation. I suppose in that respect, and maybe a couple of others (if you ask my wife), I am a work in progress. I remember raising a few trout in our ponds years ago, and within a couple of years we figured that if a few were good, that 10,000 would be better! It did get to be a wee bit too much, so we are back to just a few to play with and a lesson learned. It was the same way with smoking trout. Someone gave me a taste of smoked trout once and I decided that it would be a good thing to recruit my friends to do (remember I'm a quadriplegic, the power of persuasion is a survival skill). Soon there was more than one of us that thought it was a good idea, and instead of using the small $40 smoker that we already had we decided to employ the old "go big or go home" strategy that seemed prevalent around us. Pretty soon we had a large, stylish (not), old-fashioned-fridge-converted-to-smoker on mom's lawn. Mom being patient, not much was said for the first 10 years or so, then it was suddenly brought to our attention that the curb appeal of our smoker had waned a little.

Back to the smoking. Remember this all started with somebody giving us a taste of smoked fish. Now we figured that our new smoker was large enough to hold 100 fish or so, and there is no use wasting all that extra space by smoking only a few. We proceeded to catch fish, and soon enough we had enough to fill that smoker. We mixed up the brine, left the fish overnight in it and in the morning fired up our lovely new toy. I remember we were up all day, until long after dark, shuffling the racks, moving the fish, and tweaking and adjusting as is necessary when a man is involved in any project. In the end we ended up with 20 fish that could be categorized as "burnt to rat-shit", 15 that were "a little overdone", 30 that looked real good, and 35 that were "a wee bit rare but that's okay".