Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Winter Birch

Winter has moved in to our part of the world where the bush will be mostly black and white for months.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Beach View

Even beach views in Northern Ontario in late November can look like sunny Caribbean beach views.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


The infamous Parkview Hotel, one of my all time fave dives!

Saturday, November 25, 2017


November is a dark drab month, so here's a photo from a warmer time of the year. This is on the voyageur route somewhere between North Bay and Mattawa.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Friday, November 10, 2017


This tamarack tree I rescued years ago from a ditch at the side of the road sure stands out at this time of year.

Thursday, November 09, 2017


All the planters have been emptied. The remaining plants that are alive won't be for long due to the deep freeze that's coming tonight. I didn't want the pots to freeze and crack, so I emptied them while the temperature was above 0C.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017


With the cold weather approaching, I'm thinking it's going to be a bit rough spending the winter in this house in a small village in the Merrickville area southwest of Ottawa.

Sunday, October 29, 2017


There are lots of abandoned items in the bush around old farms. I wonder how long this wagon has been sitting here.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Cabin on a Ledge

This cabin has a great view over Trout Lake and a view of most of the years' sunsets. The triangle rock looks like it was dropped into place from above.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Open Letter to Trump by Freelance journalist and entrepreneur Tucker Benedict

Freelance journalist and entrepreneur Tucker Benedict just wrote an open letter to Trump to remind him what it means to be American. Benedict’s message has officially set the internet on fire! Read it below:
Donald Trump,
My family immigrated to the United States of America on the third boat after the Mayflower. Our heritage precedes any records of Trumps, or Drumpfs, in America. Members of my family have served in every major conflict in US history with the exception of Iraq; your family cannot say the same. Yet, you continue to act as if you’ve sacrificed for the betterment of our country when the reality is: we don’t even know you’ve paid taxes half the time. Instead of acknowledging your past though, and honorably promising to change from a position of great entitlement, you accost service members you don’t care for, threaten democracy with attacks on the media, and worsen divides that threaten to tear America apart. Moreover, there’s a part of me that’s angry from a personal standpoint, my father founded the criminal divison of the EPA, and was the senior environmental prosecutor in the country until 2014, and whose storied career began with work on Watergate. You’ve destroyed his life’s work in under 7 months, but I’m not writing this from a position of anger or even from a personal standpoint, I’m trying to speak for a great many Americans who are understandably frightened for the future; who feel they’re watching the degradation of our way of life. This letter isn’t about me, or my feelings, but it is intended for you, Mr. President.
There’s a storm coming and as our enemies around the world lick their chops watching the division within America, we continue to charge towards a future in which we tear ourselves apart. Many of us, yourself included, seem to have forgotten what it means to be American. If our memory continues to fail and we forget entirely what being American truly means, we’ll not only lose our status as the world’s leader, we won’t deserve it anymore. This is not a world I can imagine nor that I have any desire to. Without America to serve as an eternal source of light within the darkness the world will be cast into chaos. In order to preserve what so many gave so much to obtain, we must first remember what it means to be American. While we seem hopelessly intertwined in a national, and very partisan, identity crisis we can only hope to pull out of it by remembering the lessons our founding father’s taught us all those years ago when they first defined, through their actions, what it means to be American.
Currently, there are a few misconceptions on what makes someone American; there seems to be a great deal of entitlement when considering the term. I was born a white male and a citizen of The United States of America but I don’t think that makes me an American. There seems to be a lot of controversy swirling around this notion but the reality is being born a certain way entitles me to nothing. The circumstances of birth don’t make you American, they never have, but actions do.
We earn our status as American through our actions day to day, month to month, and year to year. In doing the right thing by our loved ones, our countrymen, and ourselves we become American. There’s not flashy gesture or fancy piece of paper that can make you truly American but living the right way can; waking up and doing the right thing everyday, no matter how big or small the action, is what makes us American. It isn’t a static definition either, it’s a dynamic one just like we are as people; always changing, growing, and working towards the betterment of not only ourselves but our society as a whole. When considering how we define being American it’s worth noting those criteria.
When I voted it was in a densely populated, urban sector of Philadelphia. There were four booths for hundreds of people; many of whom were elderly and couldn’t stand for hours. It was a very telling few hours. Some of those elderly individuals struggling the most sported Make America Great Again hats. Instead of being happy at your supporter’s misfortune though I spent my day making trips to a conference room located at the back of the line hundreds of people long in order to ferry chairs to those who couldn’t stand. It wasn’t a big gesture or one that required a tremendous effort, it certainly DID NOT deserve any praise, because I knew it was merely the right thing to do for my fellow American. This attitude seems to be dying though, as we forget more and more what being American means. As I walked back and forth with chairs under each arm I watched many of my young peers barely look up from their phones; some even seemed noticeably annoyed that a fellow millennial would go out of his way to help your supporters. Make no mistake, those watching seemed to have forgotten what being American means just as much as anyone. When nobody joined in to help I was only made more aware of the change I’ve seen in my lifetime; the gradual shift many of us have noticed in our culture. It might seem subtle to some, but many have forgotten to do the right thing for no other reason than it helps another American. If this lack of support for each other continues to proliferate we’ll witness the decay of American values and worth This is something I attribute to the win at all cost/look out for yourself mentality that’s taken over politics and permeated into our culture; winning has become more important than standing up for each other. Americans used to do the right thing automatically, while many still do, others have stopped if there’s no reward or personal incentive. Americans used to help each other no matter who was President and that’s truly what made America great; our uniquely American loyalty. That loyalty, love, and solidarity saved us from the greatest threat the world has ever known, liberated Europe, and won two world wars. There’s been a change though. It’s apparent everywhere. We saw it when 23 of 24 Texas congressmen voted to deny aid when Hurricane Sandy hit, now faced with Harvey, Texans find themselves in an unfortunate position. This is merely one example of a larger problem within our society though and if this cancerous divisionist mentality continues to spread we’ll witness our downfall.
Hope is not lost though because it isn’t too late to start putting America, and each other, first again; all that’s required is remembering what made us Americans in the first place.
In school, when I was young and studying our history, I learned a great lesson; one I think is important enough to share. I learned that being an American isn’t something you obtain from being born here, or even from keeping other people out; being American is something you become through your actions and character. Defining what it meant to be an American was something our founding father’s sacrificed all that they had for.
Today, with all the modern luxuries we have it’s hard to understand being so passionate about something you’d die for it but our founders had that passion for the characteristics which would later define our nation. By fighting so fervently amongst ourselves that we forget the value of other Americans we put into jeopardy all that we have. It’s all of our duty to honor that which our founding father’s felt defined America. Honoring those traditions can mean different things to different people but all of us must find a way to honor them, every day if we are ever to truly Make America Great Again. This isn’t hard to do, it only takes remembering to do the right thing. I’m not perfect, in fact, I would consider myself the last person for anyone to take their cues from, but for me, I honor those traditions by trying to do the right thing every day to the best of my ability, whether it’s big or small, seen or unseen, noted or unnoticed. You see, if you remember to do the right thing, to treat others how you’d like to be treated, and do everything to the best of your ability, I promise everything else, all the nonsense in the media, won’t matter a single bit, because we’ll once again have a country of people who look out for one another. The alternative is unacceptable.
So Mr. President with this in mind I wanted to give you some advice for salvaging your presidency:
  1. Tell the truth. In times of doubt, the truth is always the right answer. If lies are allowed to be believed as fact America will continue to forget that the real enemy isn’t each other, it’s those who seek to end democracy, freedom, and our way of life.
  2. Stop defining what it means to be American from a partisan stance. You have no right. None of us do. Being American is defined by those who came before, and it’s defined by those whose examples will survive the test of time. If someone is willing to come here, work hard, abide by our laws, and protect our way of life, then you, Donald Trump, have no right to tell them they cannot be Americans. Being born to millions in New York, dodging your country’s call in its time of need, and verbally accosting service members does not make you the one to decide what it means to be an American.
  3. Stop attacking the media. You bear a great responsibility; millions of Americans look to you for guidance and comfort during hardship. If you continue to point their anger at the media we may lose an integral pillar of democracy. If you do not you will cement your legacy as the enemy of democracy. History will condemn you.
  4. Stop using radical Islam and immigrants as scapegoats to bring people together. We’ve seen in history scapegoats unite the masses but at great cost. Instead of pandering to the fears of your base you could teach them to accept. You’ve uniquely been able to reach the individuals that make up your base unlike any before you; you have the opportunity to take advantage of their love for you and to teach them that being American really means doing the right thing above all else. In doing this you could not only save your legacy but America as a whole.
    There is a storm coming and it cannot be defeated by a divided nation; a storm that doesn’t care if you’re liberal or conservative, a storm that seeks to upend democracy, freedom, and our way of life. As Americans, we have to do the right thing even when it isn’t easy, even when there’s no reward because that’s truly what makes us Americans and if we forget that, we’ll truly be lost.
Tucker Benedict.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Look At Me

I'm pretty tired of new monster houses on our lake that shout out LOOK AT ME.  This one is located at the end of West Peninsula Road. To build it, the old house that was on the property had to taken down. It was my understanding a new structure had to be on the same footprint as the original house, and its size was limited to a percentage larger than the original house's size. Well this new house is not on the footprint of the original house (it is on the lot though). And you could probably fit 3 of the old house in this one. Another example of money talks, and how money greases the rules. Further, I bet the occupants of this monster are only 2 people.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hay there

Hay bales are popping up all over Chisholm Township.

Monday, September 18, 2017


Chisholm Township horses on Sunday morning.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sagging barn

This old barn is starting to succumb to its age, not unlike a lot of us.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Avon River

Once the Avon River in Stratford winds its way down from the east past the country club, past the Festival Theatre and downtown and then past Avondale Cemetery, it turns into quite a shallow, murky, mundane creek.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Full Moon August 7, 2017

The full moon over Trout Lake last night from our dock.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Cardinal TV Series

The TV series Cardinal Season 2 has been filming at various locations in and around North Bay all summer. Here they have changed the name of the Portage Hotel to the World Tavern and gussied up the outside as well.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Trout Lake Evening

This photo is pretty typical of the evenings we've had this summer on Trout Lake. There haven't been any really hot humid days like last year, much to our chagrin.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sturgeon Lake

We spent the weekend at Sturgeon Lake and went on boat rides to Fenelon Falls and Bobcaygeon. Great times were had by one and all!

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Flying Fortress

A WWII B-17G Flying Fortress is visiting North Bay this week, pretty awesome!

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Upper French River

This past week we spent a few days canoeing and fishing on 5 Mile Bay near Horse Island on the upper French River.  The fishing was great, but the catching was less so.

Monday, June 12, 2017


The Bigwin, in Dorset on the Lake of Bays, looks ready for the summer season.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Open Doors, Toronto, May 27, 2017

Saturday was "Open Doors" in Toronto.  I'm pretty sure this open door in the photo wasn't what they meant.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sunset, Trout Lake

Not a glorious Trout Lake sunset, but pretty nice all the same.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Is that summer around the corner?

Very nice on the lake this evening, warm, slight breeze, next to no bugs ...

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Dock In, Flag Up

I finished putting the dock in yesterday.  After this photo was taken, my pal Gerry and I put out the last section of dock.  Now it's time to ready the Fortuitous for her launch, after the next few days of rain.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Lake Nipissing

This is a Photoshop "stitched" panorama photo of 6 photos I took yesterday afternoon at Lake Nipissing's waterfront,, looking west, on Memorial Drive, North Bay.  The horizon looks accurate, but the shoreline is a bit bowed because of the "stitching."  Due to the East wind, the ice has been blown across the lake, but it should be ice free by now or will be relatively soon.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Ice Melting

Slowly, slowly the ice is melting.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Interesting cloud formations rolling across the lake the other day.

Friday, March 31, 2017


Here's an oldie --> CF-104s of 439 Tiger Reconnaissance Squadron at CFB Lahr, Germany, 1970

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Viceroy Cottage

Most of the buildings on Trout Lake are year round houses.  This cottage on our road, Viceroy Road, is one of the few seasonal cottages around.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


Now this is a badass flask, 128 oz.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Recording Studio

I was at Andy McClelland's recording studio on Wednesday night laying down a vocal track on a Bluegrass version of my song Dark Side of Dusk.  Steve Morin was also there doing the same for his song 1 Shot Joe.  This is a photo of Andy and Steve in the "captain's chair" listening to a playback of 1 Shot Joe - great fun!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Looking west along the CP Rail from North Bay.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Miller Block

The Miller Block apartment building, built in the 1920s, at the corner of Sherbroke and First in North Bay.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Lahr Reunion Team and Hooters 2017

The Lahr Reunion Team and Hooters were in lovely Kemptville this past weekend for the 21st time to participate in the Kemptville Hockey Tournament.  This year we were entered in the Ultra Classic Division which meant we're getting seriously old to play hockey.  As usual, an excellent time was had by all.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Ice Dams

A lot of older homes have ice dam buildups on their roofs at this time of year.  It's a pretty good indication of where there is a lack of insulation.  If one were thinking of buying an older home, it may be a good idea to do a preliminary look at houses at this time of year and note the ones with ice dam problems.

Thursday, February 23, 2017


Here are a few samples of the beer on the shelves from the previous post.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Beer Collectiom

Tony has over 4,000 full unopened bottles of Canadian beer in his collection.  His basement is full.  The oldest bottle is an 80 year old Molson Export.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fake Believe Land

Check this video out of a song I made up and recorded last week - a bit of a jab at the south of the border politics:

Sunday, February 12, 2017


Here are a few of the instruments at the studio I was in earlier this week.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Lake Nipissing Sunset Feb.3, 2017

Here is the sunset over Lake Nipissing yesterday afternoon.  It's really nice to see the sun in the sky longer and to see it set closer to the west (the right) each day.