Old Tyme Camping

Project Gutenberg has some interesting books on-line including this one:

How to Camp Out, by John M. Gould. This baby was published in 1877 and contains such sage advice as:

Do not be in a hurry to spend money on new inventions. Every year there is put upon the market some patent knapsack, folding stove, cooking-utensil, or camp trunk and cot combined; and there are always for sale patent knives, forks, and spoons all in one, drinking-cups, folding portfolios, and marvels of tools. Let them all alone: carry your pocket-knife, and if you can take more let it be a sheath or butcher knife and a common case-knife.

Almost applies today - but I wouldn't bring a butcher knife with me. But wait there is more:

Keep in mind, when you are making plans, that it is easier for one or two to get accommodation at the farmhouses than for a larger party.

I heard once of two fellows, who, to avoid buying and carrying a tent, slept on hay-mows, usually without permission. It looks to me as if those young men were candidates for the penitentiary. If you cannot travel honorably, and without begging, I should advise you to stay at home.

Not quite the style of camping we have today. If you want a glimpse of just how different things are nowadays read this bit on women and camping:

I have once or twice alluded to ladies walking and camping. It is thoroughly practicable for them to do so. They must have a wagon, and do none of the heavy work; their gowns must not reach quite to the ground, and all of their clothing must be loose and easy. Of course there must be gentlemen in the party; and it may save annoyance to have at least one of the ladies well-nigh "middle-aged."

Ladies must be cared for more tenderly than men. If they are not well, the wagon should go back for them at the end of the day's march; shelter-tents are not to be recommended for them, nor are two blankets sufficient bedclothing. They ought not to be compelled to go any definite distance, but after having made their day's walk let the tents be pitched. Rainy weather is particularly unpleasant to ladies in tents; deserted houses, chaturbate rooms, schoolhouses, saw-mills, or barns should be sought for them when a storm is brewing.


I don't cook much mutton.

I have been known to throw a leg of lamb on the smoker or grill and slow roast it to perfection. But mutton was never considered a prime cut in our house. I liked it a lot. My mother didn't. And she did the cooking. So we rarely had it. Although on time when it did appear on our table I was the one who was looked upon to clean up the leftovers.

Ahh memories.

Now apparently mutton is the new food for elite food snobs. You know, the kind who read the New York times food section? Why there is a long article on mutton in that very paper today. Although if you read it your left wondering if it is a celebration of the meat itself or a long exercise in condescension. Consider that the author mentions several times how Americans are one of the few countries that don't eat mutton. Unlike those in the Middle East or Australia and New Zealand.

Of course the fact that America and Canada are much better suited to cattle raising - hence our love affair with beef, doesn't seem to enter into the equation. No we must be a nation of unsophisticated boors.

It isn't till the very end of the piece that he bothers to mention how Owensboro Kentucky is the capital of barbecued mutton and how thousands of pounds are consumed there weekly. But that might be because the author never managed to make a trip there because a friend told him in 1977 that the bbq was only "ok".

If he had done some research he might have found out that the BBQ sauce used on mutton is not tomato based but a dark vinegar/Worcestershire based concoction, perfect for the bold flavour of mutton.

But that's ok. Let the snobs have their fun and think they have discovered something new.

Next week they will be agog over squirrel.

The Meatriarchy is Back

So I just spent a weekend in Newfoundland and guess what every one was talking about? Paul McCartney or more specifically his loudmouthed wife; the return of the Gold Medal Winning curling team and how much money so-and-so's cousin/brother/uncle is making in Fort McMurray.

Oh and the snow.

The night I arrived they had 10 cm of snow fall. Which in Newfoundland is like nothing . The previous day they had 18cm, the previous week - 70 cm! My brother in law picks me up at the airport and proceeds to drive into what looked like an empty field to me. Turns out it was the highway on-ramp which hadn't been plowed. Undeterred he proceeded to drive through the snow covered lane as if it was mid-June.

How do you know that you've arrived in the Maritimes? The menus have a lot of fish on them. In fact the airport restaurant in Halifax served me a pretty decent bowl of seafood chowder and out of 7 entrees 5 were fish.

Why I even had fish for breakfast! But not just any fish my Mom's cod fish stew. Or to be more specific her mother's fish stew - because she uses the old family recipe.

I am going to have to make a batch and post some http://www.livesexchat.net pictures.

Anyway here I am back in the colder but relatively snowfree climes of SW Ontario and wondering what I have to do to cash in on all that money in Fort McMurray. I wonder….

Hey I just saw a preview for the DaVinci code and the voice over says something like "it is the most important movie of our time" which is sure fire way to make sure I DON'T go and see it.

So did you miss me?

The Future of Blogging

I have become quite addicted to Michelle Malkin's Daily Vent over at Hot Air.

For those who haven't seen it Vent is a quick videocast featuring Malkin holding forth on the latest outrage of the day (typically Democrats). The piece looks slick, has great graphics and could compete with a lot of stuff you see on the TV news.

And Malkin makes it all work. She is spunky, vivacious and relentless. And pretty hot (in my opinion).

So now we come to the future of blogging. In the age of youtube the video blog entry may very well be the next big thing.

Think about it. First there was ordinary blog text and then people started adding pictures. I have always found a blog post that has an appropriate Jasmin live picture to be much more inviting than a large blob of grey text.

Add video and the experience becomes even more compelling.

Add an attractive and lively host like Malkin and the result is not only good blogging but good entertainment.

The downside is that whereas anyone could blog (assuming you had decent writing skills) not everyone has a face or a mannerism that translates into good TV (or video).

So as video blogging becomes more popular the successful video bloggers will invariably be the most telegenic. Lets hope their content is as interesting as Malkin's. If not we will just have a new generation of talking heads, and bloggers will have proven themselves to be not so much citizen journalists but wannabe TV stars.

The Latest Fake Global Warming Scare

Word today that the past year was the warmest since before Moses (or someone) walked the earth makes for great news headlines and the like but some news outlets are pointing to the fact that not everyone in the scientific community agrees on many facets of global warming.

Like Roger Pielke Sr., climate professor emeritus, at Colorado State University:

Pielke, 59, says his doubts about the climate record began during his stint as Colorado's climatologist when he realized how inaccurate the state's thermometer network was.

Placing a thermometer close to a building or near an air- condition vent can compromise readings, Pielke said.

When the winds blow from Denver, a Front Range thermometer is influenced by urban effects, Pielke said, and by agricultural activities when it blows from the north.

Multiply that by tens of thousands of thermometers around the world and the temperature record is suspect, he contends.

Another major problem is computer modeling. I have long contended that basing climate predictions and even worse public policy on models is somewhat dicey. Computer models for example predicted continually that rogue waves didn't exist despite sailors and fishermen insisting otherwise - guess which one was proved right?

And in almost any discussion of global warming the talk eventually will turn to computer models and how they are all predicting great catastrophes should the temperature climb even a half a degree. Yet the computer models are proving somewhat troublesome for global warming advocates:

When the NCAR model tries to show Denver's weather patterns, for example, summer thunderstorms keep coming about noon.

"We all know they come in the late afternoon, so that's a problem in the model," said Trenberth, who was born in New Zealand and trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.

Get that? "A problem with the model" wouldn't any scientist worth his or her salt be somewhat skeptical about reliance on models?? Unless they are driven by an agenda beyond science?