book and independent publisher news

Last Saturday I was invited by writer Fred van Zuiden to the monthly breakfast meeting in Calgary of IPAC, Independent Publishers Association of Canada. Fred has written the WWII memoir, Call Me Mom, the gripping and entirely true saga of his life in hiding during WWII in Holland. At 80 Fred is the very picture of resilience and enthusiasm for life. Somehow, hiding in 26 different places including a chicken coop (jokingly referred to as the Chicken Palace) for four months didn’t kill his optimistic nature. We should all come through our trials as well. When we introduced ourselves in turn he said he had preferred to live a life in hiding for four years rather than take the room reserved for him at Auschwitz.

At age fourteen he ignored the danger and watched almost the entire battle of Arnhem from the roof of a nearby building. At one point an Allied glider sailed right by him and a paratrooper standing on the wing waved to him as they went by! Does it get any better for a fourteen year old boy? I got goose-bumps reading that part. Fred’s website is Being around amazing people like Fred is a tonic and yet another reason to count our blessings in this country.

As for my new book, I’m excited to tell everyone that I now have a Pay Pal button on my website, and I have the book in my first store! Classy, Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond, Alberta. Their website is:

communing with our wild relations

I’ve just been sorting a pile of photographs and came across these two pictures; an old one of me from the mid eighties sometime and one from my best friend Bev, taken in the last year. What they have in common is that we both had the privilege of spontaneously interacting with wild creatures in the outdoors. These kinds of relaxed encounters always leave a person with an amazing sense of well-being.

I was on the trail to Boom Lake I think and a cheeky whisky jack was happy to share my sandwich. This was cross-country skiing but I remember a camping trip where we had steaks. I was stoking the fire and turned around in time to see a whisky jack (a type of jay) hauling the bag with steaks across the table. I had to laugh. It probably weighed three times as much as he did but he was determined to make off with it.

As for Bev, she noticed a moose outside scoping out a salt block that was on the grass in front of her friend’s cabin down near Waterton Lakes. Once Ms. Moose determined all was safe, she made an afternoon of it! You have to admit, she’s gorgeous.

still learning

Dear Readers,
I apologize if you’ve gotten this ‘nuclear blog’ more than once. I’m at my wit’s end trying to get it onto the Wrant page without success. I keep getting into onto the Home page. I’ll figure it out yet. In the meantime sorry to subject you to repeats!

nuclear power plants on top of the ring of fire

Here I was thinking that surely the Japanese, being the fastidious people that they are, had gone to extraordinary lengths to make these nuclear plants as safe as possible, given their dodgy locations. This is not the case!

It seems that this current disaster follows after decades of accidents, fake or fudged safety reports, fatal accidents and flat-out ignoring the ever-present risk of earthquakes. In a 1990 report by the American Nuclear Regulatory Commission they suggested that earthquake-induced diesel generator failure and loss of power leading to a failure of the cooling systems was one of the “most likely causes” of a nuclear accident from an external event.

In Fukushima the back-up generators that might have been able to keep the plants cool were kept in basements, swamped with sea water once the Tsunami rolled in and rendered useless.

The obvious question again – still is; Is nuclear power worth the risk? Fukushima is the second worst nuclear accident on record. Ask the people who hold the record for the worst in history and who are still horribly affected 30 years on: Chernobyl.