October 5 2017
Today I went for a hike at the Allan Park Conservation Area located just east of Hanover, Ontario. I have not been here for several years now and I was quite pleased to see that very little has changed.
The objective of my hike, which I feel I achieved today (unlike yesterday which I’ll explain below) was to re-connect with nature. As you may have figured out during the past several months, since about March to be exact, I’ve been experiencing a real separation of myself from my natural surroundings.
Now for the average person this might not seem like such a big deal but those who are neo-pagan or pantheist such as myself will understand. We, as individuals, feel a part of something much bigger than ourselves when we are connected with nature, or the Gaia as some will refer to it as.
The Gaia is, in its simplest forms, Mother Earth, all that surrounds us, that feeds us, clothes us, shelters and entertains us. As a Pantheist I believe that everything is interconnected including those items we define as “man made”.
But from time to time, or months at a time, we find ourselves consumed by the world around us. The world that our consciousness and personal intentions construct. It is a cruel, cold, harsh world. I know some of you will debate that while others will deny it entirely. I don’t really care what you believe or don’t believe so long as it does not affect me.
Many people nowadays, when they take a walk in the forest, find it the best time to catch up on emails or to share photos of something weird with their followers. While I don’t condemn this action, since the sharing of knowledge and experience advances any society, I remind people that this is not the reason you went out there.
There is a sort of philosophical ritual I have learned back around the time I owned a bookstore, and I have shared it with several people in the past. It is called, quite simply, “pet the moss” and it means exactly that.
We are becoming more and more disconnected from nature, from Gaia, from the very thing that makes us who we are – humanity. I have met a few people in my life who have been consumed by the world, drowning in debt, in family dramas, in health issues, and they have forgotten the importance of connecting with the energy that surrounds them.
The ritual is quite simple and can be done almost anywhere. For example, today I went for a walk through several of the trails here at Allan Park, up small hills, through massive stands of trees and past more than a dozen rocks and stumps covered in green moss. The ritual involves stopping whatever you are doing, bending down, extending your fingers and – touching the moss.
Yes, that’s basically it. I know, easy eh. There is more to it, of course, and that is that you must feel the living organism that you are touching. It is one thing to plunk your fingers down on it and say “ok, done, now what”, it is quite another to take the time to experience and live in the moment.
And that is truly what the ritual is about. To stop everything you are doing and just live in the moment. Put the phone down, stop talking, or tweeting or snapping photos and just connect with something that you believe is not a part of who you are. I think you will find, the more you do this, that you are more connected to the world around you.
September 28, 2017
In neo-pagan terms April is half-way through the year with October 31st being new years eve to many of us. April is a month symbolic of new growth, re-birth and fresh starts.
April has two meanings for me personally. April and August seem to be when most of the path altering events occur in my life.
The first, as you will read below, is the significant number of personal, in some cases, life changing events that occurred in April.
The second meaning for the word April was that it is the name of a girl I knew in high school. We met in art class and for the year had one of those ‘love to hate’ relationships. I wouldn’t say that we hated each other, really, we were more like brother and sister or cousins. Shifting from that comparison I did find her attractive and wish we had dated but the challenge, other than our clashing personalities, was that I was attracted to a friend of hers. Ah high school, the birthplace of drama.
April 1989 met my first girlfriend
I can remember that day like it was just last week and yet it was 28 years ago. I rode my bike down to the park, or I’d walked maybe, that part isn’t entirely clear. I remember she was sitting on the footbridge to the man-made island reading one of those romance novels. I remember finally getting up the nerve to say hello to her. I remember playing shadow tag with her at the front of my house when my parents came home.
April 1989 kissed a girl really for the first time
The same girl I met who then became my first real girlfriend. We lasted for 6 months. It had already ended while we were both working at a summer resort but I ended it the week I was going to start college.
April 1990 left college after completing my first year
I graduated my first year but had struggled the entire time with depression and decided I should leave school, a decision I would later regret for several years.
April 1994 lost my virginity
Yes, I was 23, I lost my virginity during a weekend visit with the woman who would later become my first wife.
April 1994 wrote the theory of subconscious thought and time shifting
A graph and theory that, while I have in my possession the original copies, I have been unable to replicate. The theory is a simple chart explaining the time shifts that occur between the subconsciousness and reality. I was quite actively involved in 1994 in writing theories and explanations for how one could fall into the cracks between time. A graph I drew up in the nineties later matched to an equation by Dirac, even though I had never read or heard of the mathematician before.
April 2003 officially divorced from my first wife
After eight and a half years of a most disappointing, deceptive, disloyal, degrading marriage I asked for a divorce on November 8, 2002. I left on March 30 and the divorce was official in April 24. I believe she got re-married, to her fourth husband, two weeks later.
April 2003 reunited with a close friend after nearly a decade
I followed the signs to find and reunite with a friend whom I had fallen in love with a decade before, months before I met my first wife. Unfortunately, our relationship was never meant to follow that path and in April 2013 we went our separate ways when I moved out west.
April 2008 played casino slots for the first time
I was visiting a girlfriend, or a woman who would be my girlfriend (I think we might have lasted about 3 months at most), and stopped in at the racetrack casino in London. I gambled and lost about $50.
April 2009 opened my bookstore
After leaving Canadian Tire in March for a job that lasted about a week and then falling ill for a week that landed me in hospital I decided to open my own bookstore. It seemed like a good idea at the time and would have succeeded had I just moved to Hanover months before I did.
April 2011 closed my bookstore
After fighting a debt for almost a year I lost and went bankrupt at $16,250 in debt. The ending result was the closing of my store, losing my apartment and ending up on welfare (for the first and hopefully only time ever in my life). I still tell people that, after my divorce, going bankrupt was the best thing to ever happen to me in my life. It gave me a fresh start and I haven’t looked back or fallen in debt since. Another unexpected advantage to going bankrupt is that scammers avoid your credit like the plague. I’m quite happy to not have a credit card or loan or mortgage.
April 2013 saw mom alive for the last time
After a two-year battle with breast cancer my mom ended up in hospital for the last time. We all knew that the end was coming soon. I said my goodbyes to her “see you later” I recall saying. She died in early May.
April 2013 left Ontario for my quest for the west
Two days after visiting my mom in hospital for the last time I began my “quest for the west” as I called it. April 15 marked the first day of a 30-day drive that paused for a few months just east of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta at a summer resort. I worked there until September and then continued to the Pacific Rim on Vancouver Island and the completion of my personal goal to reach the Pacific Ocean.
April 2017 left Alberta to return to Ontario
After leaving my job in February, and two months of unemployment I decided to return to Ontario. At first, I went for a visit, with the intent of returning to Alberta or B.C. but after 2 weeks in Ontario I made up my mind to stay. I think the 3.5% unemployment rate verses 9% in Alberta might have played a significant role in that decision.
April 2017 met a friend in Winnipeg
While this doesn’t seem significant I’ll explain why it is. I’ve been playing in the metaverse since 2008 and in that nearly 10 years I’ve met a lot of people, probably hundreds, virtually but never in person. Anna, her avatar name, is the first person I have ever met who was involved in the grids that I have been.
May 27, 2017
I have denied for many years that our dreams can show us the path we are supposed to take in this life to lead us to our destiny. I guess it was because, until about a year ago, I did not believe that our lives were pre-determined. No that is not to say we have no choice we still have our free will, we can still choose paths on our own, going against our intuitions, but all this inevitably does is delay us from reaching our destination.
A couple times over the years I have been curious about dreams and dream interpretation. I have glanced through a few books on it and while the dictionary interpretations sometimes match up with events in my life most of them seemed illusive.
The reason I bring up this subject this year is because I recently read in a book how our dreams can show us what our life vision was meant to be. I do not think they are clear enough to say, “hey go this way” or “hey do not do that or else” but in their own way they give us glimpses of our destiny. I believe now that the interpretations of dreams, while concerning the dream you just had, deal with the entire timeline of your lives. It is possible that what the dream is trying to tell you right now is the answer to a question which you had many lives ago but has since been buried by fear and uncertainty.
I am reminded of a dream that I had which, only a night or maybe two, out of a year, spanned over the period of about eight years. I dreamt of a large, white siding, two storey mansion, it was built on the side of a small hill with the main road running past it just through a yard of dense foliage. I remember when I first got married that the house was well kept, the siding clean, the trim painted and the lawn somewhat maintained.
Each time I dreamt of the house it seemed to age, the siding wasn’t as crisp, the trim had paint flecking off and the weeds and underbrush grew ever more dominant on the yard. As the verbal battles between my, now ex, and I ensued I recall having this dream again over the years. Half way through our marriage I remember how vandalism started to eat away at the structure and it was evident, over time, that the mansion became uninhabited and abandoned and was slowly being consumed by the elements.
In the last year of our marriage I remember having the dream one last time, the house had literally crumbled down into piles of debris of wood and concrete and broken glass. It was as though the house, over the course of our marriage, had felt every conflict, every argument and eventually reflected a state of ruin that was the physical embodiment of our marriage.
I have only had a couple “series dreams” that I can remember in this life and I believe that they all connected somehow to a question or questions that needed answers. If that question occurred in this life, or ten lifetimes ago, remains to be understood.
Fears rooted in past lives
I have two dominant fears in my current life. A fear of open water, fear of being buried alive, and of being shot. The latter, of being shot, is not so much a fear as a familiarity to me which I will explain to you shortly.
First a fear of open water. I have never been a fan of open water. I know, that is strange since I find that living in Kincardine, next to Lake Huron, feels like ‘home’ to me. I believe that feeling stems from the energy in the area and its effects which I will write about another day.
My fear of open water is notable only when I am out on it in a boat or something smaller than a fishing trolley. I have been on a passenger ferry a few times and not been bothered at all standing on the deck in the wind staring down at the icy cold water, put me in a row boat or a canoe and it is a different story. Now, do not get me wrong, I can travel in any watercraft but there is always the fear that it might tip over and deposit me into the water where I will be drowned. I do not think the fear is my own. I believe that I picked up on the fate of a drowned sailor and the residual sensations are still with me even fifteen years later. I think this fear prevents me from going into any water that is not controlled by the landscape and I can not see the bottom of from shore.
The fear of being buried alive I believe comes from one of my past lives. I do not know all the details but I get the sensation that I was locked in a space so confining that it felt like being buried alive. I was trapped in that space and I do not know, yet, to this day if I ever escaped or I died there. This fear rarely comes to the surface. I know that I do not like being confined or restrained in any way. When I was a teenager, for fun, I was rolled up in a carpet. I know, the things teenagers do for fun eh. I remember that I experienced what could be described as a mild anxiety attack until my peers helped me to get out of the carpet. I have been able to overcome most of this fear during the past twenty years by not only not placing myself in that situation but training my mind to understand that most restraints are temporary and, at least, mentally can be removed if not physically. The only time this fear prevented me from doing something in real life was during a class trip back in the 90s. We visited the public works facility, I am not even sure why, and part of the tour was the option to go down a ladder into a shaft that went about fifty feet underground. I opted to remain on the surface, as did others, because of this underlying and unfounded fear of being trapped there.
The last is a sensation or belief that I was shot in a past life and died because of that injury. I recalled the past life vision, back in the mid 00s, after drinking too much one night and finding myself unwillingly susceptible to the memories.
Recalling a past life memory
In my previous, my last lifetime before this one, I believe that I worked as a law enforcement officer in the south-western United States in Arizona or New Mexico. I am not certain what agency I worked for but I think it was something like an FBI or State agency as opposed to a small-town cop. In my vision, I lived in a single floor ranch style home in a nice suburb. From the street, it had a driveway and maybe a garage on the left end of the front. It was not a bright colour, maybe a pale yellow, with white trim. It appeared to be the late fifties perhaps or maybe early sixties based on the vehicles parked on the street. It was a nice sunny day, blue skies, low humidity and bright out but I could see the lawns and houses across the street. As I stepped out of my front door with a briefcase in my hand a man walked up the front lawn toward me. He was dressed in overalls, maybe a blue shirt, clean shaven, groomed hair. I remember I went to ask him what he was doing there when he raised his left arm and hand to reveal a handgun. It was black. I remember something like a flash and everything went dark. I died within minutes. I think the bullet hit my body just below my heart near the last rib. I do not know this for certain but it would explain some things today.
I know that when I had the past life recall a friend of mine was with me and I kept asking “why did he shoot me, why did he do it” over and over. I do not think I knew the man and it literally caught me by surprise. I felt a great sadness, not so much for the loss of my life, but for the lack of understanding as to why he had done it. The vision continues to live in the back of my mind with the other ‘past life memories’ that reside there.
The law enforcement officer life is instrumental in my belief of ‘soul circles’. My soul brother once told me he believed that he was a hippy in his past life. I believe that, at that time, our paths crossed because I had either arrested him or threatened to. Another friend of mine, in my soul circle today as a soul friend was either a dancer, stripper or entertainer in her past life and through whatever means our paths crossed as well, though with her I believe our lives have intertwined many times in the past. In each past life intervention, I believe I have tried to help her break away from her fate and in each attempt, I have ultimately failed.
I have two more past life memories that are not clear to me. The first I was a merchant or trader back in the medieval times. I am not sure if it was in fact the medieval times, but it was that crude rural pastoral time, quite possibly in England or Ireland. It is only because of the familiarity I feel with that particular time period. The other memory, far vaguer than the first one, I was working on a farm. I am not certain though if that was indeed a past memory or I picked up on residual energy as I drove past a farm one day.
So, before I ramble on too much longer that is a brief look into dreams with meaningful life connections and past life memories recalled. Questions?
May 22, 2017
I am usually a very tolerant person of someone’s ignorance, even when it is proven they are wrong and they continue to argue I simply step away, let them burn out and then rejoin them when they are ready to deal with reality. I am tolerant in that I accept and maintain this merry-go-round attitude again and again until finally either our paths drift apart or they realize their mistakes and grow.
It may sound cocky or egotistical but that would only be the case if I attempted to present my own views without their comments to support them. I am talking specifically about situations where people will argue up and down they did not mean the thing they said but when you call them on it they pretend like it never existed to begin with. I find this “ignore it and it will go away” attitude to be both immature and ineffective. How can anything be resolved, be learned from, and move on from if one party involved simply decides that the original issue or something said does not exist – even when it is in black and white.
In recent years, and perhaps influenced by my short life in Alberta, I have grown a filter that does not tolerate these people and accept them for their faults so much as block them out entirely. I have learned that some people just can not be given information that might help them, or even me, to grow and evolve and that is okay with me. I am realizing, just this month that I do not need to tolerate or accept these people into my life or continue to maintain them in my life. They are clearly on a different level of experience and awareness, be it further along or further back than I am, and attempting to keep in pace with them does not help me in any way.
This week I chose to block someone who I have been friends with online for about a year now. It was not an easy decision at first. They are very set in their opinions and when reality does not mesh with them they become insulting and play out the ‘poor me’ drama. Basically the ‘poor me’ person, when they are challenged in a way that attacks their personal stance on something, will immediately play out the victim card. They select something in their lives, usually an economic or health situation, to use as a defense for their negativity and unsubstantiated position. In the past, twice now, I have stepped away from this person only to accept their challenges as an excuse and accept them back into my life again. This will not happen a third time.
This time I chose to block them once and for all. I am not sorry that I had to and while it is nice to have one more friend here or there, than I did before, there are seven billion other potential friends on the planet who might not become so personally offended by their opinions being challenged.
Was I right? Did I prove my point? Who cares! The point is that I do not need to prove when that other individual is at fault, even though I did. I do not need to keep accepting that person back into my world if they refuse to appreciate my role within it. I do not need to waste any more time on them. They clearly are not accepting of what I say and that is fine. I do not feel that I should continue this course with them. Oh well. Life goes on, and so it shall.
May 13, 2017
I am heading down a path now that I believe is a positive one that will, eventually, bring some stability and direction to my life.
It was a rural road intersection somewhere in Saskatchewan that I first felt that heading back to Ontario for a visit was a good thing to do. I have been very homesick for my home province, my friends and family members and the familiarity of south-western Ontario where I’ve spent much of my life. I have been thinking a lot lately about my plans for the immediate future. I was a bit concerned that I might be relying too much on faith to bring me happiness but at that moment I started to feel like I was moving forward.
I have made a few decisions while I have been here on vacation (vacation meaning I am not drawing any Employment Insurance during) and some changes are starting to happen in my life.
I had made every effort I could to make Alberta my home but I just never truly felt ‘at home’ there. I have a couple theories as to why but they do not really matter so I will not bother writing about them here. The point is that I feel I belong, at least for now, back in Ontario.
For now, I am a ‘temporary resident’ until I get everything sorted for an official move back here. Once I establish an address and, hopefully only temporarily, start drawing on employment insurance again I will need to make it all official. The jobless rate is significantly lower here than it now is in Alberta so, like over nineteen thousand people last year, it was time for me to return home to Ontario. It may seem like an easy thing to do, after all Alberta and Ontario are provinces in the same country but sometimes it feels like you are moving to another planet when it comes to paperwork. I am not going to dwell on that in this entry though, I want to tell you about a couple more moments of insightfulness I have had lately.
I have been here since the 2nd of May so the other stories I should tell you may seem to jump around a bit. It does not really matter when they happened suffice to say that they all happened following my arrival in Ontario.
The other day I visited a friend of mine where I will be staying starting next week. Now, I will preface this story with the fact that I have been reading The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield, for the second time, so story could be attributed to several factors that are enhanced by reading that novel.
I was sitting for a few minutes, alone on the front porch, and thinking about my decision to stay at my friends’ place. I asked myself if the shift in my path was the right one for me.
I looked around and everything in the yard, the trees, the grass, and even the material items like a vehicle and a lawn chair, had a sharp almost crystal clear look to them. This was unusual, but not, because my glasses are not the most accurate prescription for me and add a couple years’ scratches and all too often there is a slight blur to things.
I say it is not entirely unusual because of the book I am reading. I have had and have experience in seeing the world as it was meant to be seen. In that moment, I felt and saw a clarity that could not be denied. I knew right then that I was supposed to be there. It was not the first time I had ‘felt’ something like this in my life but I will go into that another time.
In the past two weeks, I have felt several times that I had returned ‘home’ that the roads and streets and avenues I drove down felt comforting to me. And there is the reconnection to friends, no more emailing and messaging from thousands of kilometres away, now, money willing, I can drive just an hour or two to see them again.
In that moment, on the porch, I saw things with the same clarity I had on the day I asked my ex- for a divorce. I recall telling her, then getting in my car and driving to the store. I remember how all the trees and plants and everything was so clear and sharp, like I was seeing the world with new eyes. I understood then, as I do now, that this clarity means I had chosen wisely of some decision presented to me.
I was planning a day out in the park and my father and I were talking about how the trilliums would be in bloom soon. Now, around here about ninety-nine-point five percent of the trilliums are white, it is why the trillium is Ontario’s official flower (at least it was when I went to school, who knows now). It is very rare to see a red trillium. We talked about it briefly and I thought to myself ‘I would like to see a red one, it would make a great photo’.
I went first to Harrison Park, then drove over to Inglis Falls to take some nature photos. I discovered that they had expanded the trail system beyond the bridge and into the forest and while I was short on time I decided to take a short walk down the path. It was maybe twenty metres along that I looked off to the right and there it was – the only trillium open actually – a red trillium. Not only was it the only trillium in sight in bloom but a red one. Coincidence? Perhaps. I will note that, today, a week later, I have seen several stands of trees (over ten) filled with white trillium blooms. This one rare red one was chance that I happened to be there that day and close enough to the path to get a great close-up photo of it.
Yesterday I was at Sauble Falls and decided that, since I paid $5.25 to park in a Provincial Park (I thought park admissions were supposed to be free this year, I guess they soak you on the parking fees instead, it was better than the $15.75 they wanted for an ‘all day’ pass on the other side of the river) that I would use all my two hours I paid for. I got out my copy of the Celestine Prophecy and did some reading. At one moment, I looked up toward the forest in front of my truck. The sunlight was beaming down through the trees to the underbrush and pine needles and everything appeared clear and clean. I felt a connection to the forest that I rarely ever felt in the past few years, I can not recall the last time I took a walk in the forest in Alberta. I missed the connection I always felt in the forest and here it was right in front of me once again.
The other day I was in Harrison Park and I sat for a few minutes to take photos of Canada Geese. I have always had an ability to communicate with animals (deer, dogs, cats), and with birds (ravens, geese, and chickadees though they might just be particularly friendly by nature). Through a brief conversation of reassuring words to them the geese allowed me to sit within only a couple metres of them and their young goslings. I took several photos that I will be posting in my collection on Flickr as soon as I have a decent internet connection. It was the second time I had been to the park in a week and taken the opportunity to chat with and photograph the local geese.
I can not recall any more times right now and it is very late. I want to get some more reading done before bed so I will end this off for now.
Follow your bliss.
Distance Traveled 3,600 kilometres
Fuel Consumed 424 Litres
Fuel purchased $ 495
Average fuel consumed 11.7 L per 100 kms
Food purchased $ 59
Active Driving Hours 40
Most common weather: rain
Total hawks spotted Red Deer to Alberta/Saskatchewan border: 28
I didn’t really do a lot of reflective thinking during my drive to Ontario. I tend to be one of those drivers that when I have somewhere to be I am focused on achieving that goal and very little else. I did mark the point east at which I felt “good” about the trip and my plans for the immediate future – Highway 16/365 Plunkett turnoff in Saskatchewan.
I found that in Alberta going east a lot of drivers were from Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In Saskatchewan, the most speeders were from Saskatchewan and the most common vehicles to pass me were from Manitoba. In eastern Manitoba, many drivers were from Ontario and they were usually speeding.
Manitoba was the most “driver friendly” province with several posted rest areas that were accessible and several included facilities. I drove from Red Deer, Alberta with the intent to reach Headingley, Manitoba, about 1,200 kilometres, but decided to stop at the Anton’s Lake Rest Area for the night. I think that there were three other cars there and you could tell they had people sleeping in them. I totally support Rest Areas that allow short term stays to give drivers a chance to sleep so they aren’t driving while tired.
Saskatchewan was barren of any real features and like the Manitoba drivers I couldn’t wait to get out of that province. It seems that everyone just wants to get home. In Saskatchewan, it appeared to be the worst, but people frequently passed me because I locked cruise control on or just around the speed limit for the entire trip. The most hazards on the road appeared to be from farm vehicles randomly entering and leaving the highways, though this time through I noticed there were less.
In my travel, east of Headingley, Manitoba into Ontario most of the traffic was going west-bound and at times it was many kilometres before I encountered vehicles in my lane behind or in front of me. Ontario seemed to be concerned with tried drivers, posting several signs that read “Fatigue kills Take a Rest”.
The problem is they provided no designated areas for drivers to rest. Until I reached Thunder Bay the only pull over places were “snow-plow turn around area – no parking” even though at night many semis would park in these turnabouts and cars did during the day, like me, to grab something or text or whatever. But these were not official rest areas and in the winter, you’d be fined for parking in them. And, they were not marked ahead of time so you didn’t see them until it was too late. I remember once stretch, where I wanted to pull off and stop, I passed by six turnabouts in the west bound side and only two on the east bound side. I managed to catch the second just as I got up to it and swerved into it. But I must ask the Ontario Ministry of Transportation ‘how does a “tired” driver rest if there’s nowhere to stop’? It can be several hundred kilometres between communities that I would even dare stop in. I’m sorry but when you pass through a hamlet where all of the homes are either run down or abandoned I would rather take my chances out on the open road with only trees and wildlife nearby.
After Thunder Bay, I came across several more road-side parks and lookouts, but they were about two-thirds still closed and filled with snow and ice. I remember around Agawa Lake there were a couple that were open and you could stop, but they were hard enough to see during the day.
The worst speeders were semi-truck drivers, but only when it started to get dark. In Ontario, they had a sign stating that “Large trucks must use speed limiters” as soon as you crossed into the province but they must all be set at 160kmh because semi’s frequently drove between 110 to 140 in a 90 zone. The law does not appear to penalize drivers until they are going 115kmh, 3 points and $95, according to the signs posted frequently along the highways. The law seemed equally concerned with drivers going 50kmh over the speed limit and warned of vehicle seizure and hefty fines. Just like cars they will take dangerous risks at night to pass other drivers.
I noticed that during the day the semi truck drivers are far more responsible, in Ontario at least, this is probably because it was the only time the OPP would stop them. In 3,600 kilometres of travel I saw the police at two traffic stops. The first was in Red Deer, the second was in Northern Ontario where they had pulled over a truck pulling a flat bed trailer with a load on it. I drove through two communities in Northern Ontario where the cops sat at the entry and exit or mid way and edge of the towns.
Two semi drivers were annoying during my trip, well three. But two tail-gated me for a marked ten kilometres as I drove one hundred kilometres an hour. One ended up passing me on a solid line after about seven kilometres while the other tried to pass in the appropriate zone but didn’t have the balls to really floor it. I had to cancel my cruise control and slow down to almost seventy just for him to get by.
Semi and car drivers don’t seem to grasp that when you have cruise control on it will respond to a hill in a very specific way. First it hits the bottom of the hill, say at ninety, and the drag will slow you down to about eighty. As you climb the hill it changes gears and the vehicle accelerates to about five or so over the setting. This is the same as it would be if you pushed your foot on the gas.
The problem is, you get these butthead drivers who just spent the last ten kilometres tailgating you then seem to be offended by the fact you just sped up. I’m not sorry but that is simply how a vehicle on cruise control responds to a hill. I despise drivers who are so eager to pass and then don’t have the balls to do it when the opportunities are there. In this case, it was on a hill, but if you can’t pass when you want to then you shouldn’t try speeding either. The irony is the highway engineers put passing lanes on hills so that cars can pass slower semis, but in Ontario the semis were speeding and would pass slower car drivers up the hills.
The third semi driver was dangerous. I caught him on video and I will be posting it later. I will point out this next incident is a reason you should never text and drive and why your attention should always be focused on the conditions around you. This happened on April 30, 2017 on Highway 17 I think it is at that point. It was between Thunder Bay and Silver Lake Road. It was a gold cab, similar in colour to a Bison one but not a Bison one, with a white trailer with the name Ocean on it in small black letters in the top left corner of the side panel.
I was traveling down a two-lane twinned highway. A wine-red cab semi truck approached me from behind, we were in the outside lane, and he safely changed into the left inside lane. His intention was to proceed about 1km further then turn left off the highway, no problem there.
We got up to the turn off the highway and he slowed to a stop to turn left. I was approaching him from the right outside lane and everything was fine. The wine-red semi paused as a second gold-tone semi approached from the left from another cross-road. The second gold-tone semi crossed the other two west-bound lanes went through the median lane at about 60kmh and was going too fast to get into the left inside lane east so he jerk-swerved into my right outside lane. The same lane I was doing 95kmh in. He then couldn’t build up the speed plus I’m sure the truck was vibrating from his unsafe maneuver and since I had less that a hundred metres warning I braked and swerved into the left inside lane to avoid him. I looked back in my rear-view mirror when I got back into the right outside lane and could see him jerk the wheel once again like he was avoiding something on the road that wasn’t there. Thinking back now it might have been either he thought something was there or the load shifted a bit and he felt it in the cab.
He had not only taken the on-ramp too fast for a semi but he also cut off the left turning semi and then cut me off. I drove ahead for a while, then after about thirty kilometres I pulled over to check my camera and discovered I had caught the incident. He passed by, while I was parked alongside the road, and I got a couple more details off his trailer. I doubt I can identify him but I’ll share it because it shows the importance of having a dash camera in your vehicle.
Now, it is a lot complaining, but I offer two solutions.
The first thing I will say is, the solution to the speeding semis is simple. Slow the hell down! I think it’s complete BS that the rules state the trucks must have limiters when it is clear they don’t or they are set far too high. When the speed limit at most in Ontario is 110 kilometres an hour how is it that a semi can drive 145. And the police clearly do nothing to stop them. I think that the police know, at night, semis are hauling goods across the country and I guess figure if they crash and die it’s not as serious as during the day when there are more cars on the roads.
I’m a little bitter of both semi drivers after my vacation back in 2015. I’ll explain. I recall the first time I drove through Northern Ontario at night. It was insane. The semis were driving between 110 and 140 kilometres an hour and tailgating me. I wasn’t driving the speed limit, let’s just leave it at that. I recall stopping at a gas station and hearing two drivers complaining about a van they had encountered on the highway. I kept my mouth shut but my guess is the van was going the speed limit and they were trying to go much faster. I’ve told everyone, and continue to, don’t drive in Northern Ontario at night unless you want to get run down by semi-drivers. It is a no-holds-barred run on the highways and unless you are a good driver and don’t mind risk breaking the speed limits or having semis tailgating you, you will not enjoy it.
At night, I drove through one community with two police cruisers in it, Ignace, Ontario. The first cop was in the main part of town near the fuel stops and I think was checking for speeding. A nice straight clear visible stretch of road. The second cop was on the edge of town, all his lights off (maybe he was asleep) tucked off the side of the road in the dark. I think that was one of only two speed traps I saw the entire trip. I did have a cop tail me at one point along the highway but my cruise control was set at about eight-seven and he quickly left me alone. So yeah, my solution is that semi-truck drivers, at night, need to slow down.
My other solution, to the lack of rest areas is, that I will endorse is one chain of fueling stations. The most awesome Husky Travel Centres. T hose of you who know me know that I very rarely endorse any product or service. I guess I’m a real stickler for quality and affordability and not often do I find things that meet my higher standards.
They are built for drivers. During my trip, I stopped at Travel Centres in Headingley, Manitoba; Thunder Bay, Ontario; Dryden, Ontario; Nipigon, Ontario; and Sudbury, Ontario. I think every city should have one plus any large community built on a main highway that sees a lot of semi traffic.
If I won the lottery when I was living in west country that is what I would have built in Nordegg. The Travel Centres offer gas, diesel and propane for cars and semis. They have a convenience store, public washrooms, member showers and a restaurant.
The parking lot is, usually, clearly marked where the cars and semis should park and they are well lit at night. It is posted “maximum 8 hours stay” and for “customers only” but really all you need to do to be a customer is buy a coffee or a snack or fuel. I never stay at a hotel when I’m driving to and from Ontario. I can sleep in my SUV and save $75-125 a night and not have to worry about what was taking place in that bed before I got there. I saw people parked, to sleep, in everything from a Honda Civic to a thirty-foot long RV, most appear to have more than enough parking for a few dozen vehicles.
The food at a Husky Travel Centre is what I would call “highway burgers” but when you are traveling long distances it’s decent enough to fill you up. I don’t think it’s in every province yet but in one I remember every fresh product and the restaurant menu stated how many calories were in the item. I ate once at the restaurant, hamburger steak with fries and mixed veggies (corn, peas, carrots) and a coffee it came to about $23 with tip.
You can get a Husky card, and use it on everything to accumulate points and save on gas, food, showers, et cetera. When I first traveled out west I stopped at Husky only and got enough points for a few free showers and a couple discounts on fuel – not bad.
I won’t always praise the cleanliness of a couple of these, in fact one I know of had its showers condemned due to black mould, but I will, overall, endorse their convenience and services. I’m sure they exist but I can’t say I’ve met a bad employee at a Husky Travel Centre. In fact, the one I bought a couple snacks and it came up to $13 something. The employee caught his mistake and stopped me before I paid, adjusting it down to $9 something. He said to me, “at least I caught it before you paid” and I told him “at least you told me you’d made the mistake” as some less honest clerks might not have bothered.
Written in journal in April. When I told dad that I was considering moving back to Ontario he said, “well you’ve done what you went out there to do” or something to that effect. Have I? I saw the Pacific Ocean, check, and while it only lasted three and a half years I did indeed find work. Is that really all I came out here to do? If so then yes, but I’d like to think there is something more. I think that, and it’s only in the last three months of my forty-seven months here, I did learn several other things.
The first, and easiest to describe, is my ability to live with less. Even when I first came out here I was anchored to Ontario, and then to my condo, with the “stuff” that filled all the corners of my world. It was only in February of this year that I learned to value what was truly important to me and to devalue what wasn’t. I now have my entire life down to the size of my truck and I see little need to possess more than that.
Next up I learned, or more accurately became away of some hard lessons about my personality – some good and some bad. I won’t say I’ve learned anything as I’m still trying to sort it but I do believe that the choices I make in life and environment have a lot of influence on me.
The third thing I have learned is that when I make plans and do so against my “gut feelings” that they rarely work out. In fact, I think it is safe to say that they ‘never’ work out. I have dictate so much of my life based on the opinions of others. Now you may disagree but that’s because on the “larger scale” m life makes brave fundamental shifts. Those shifts are when I follow the path that appears before me no matter how different it is from the ‘norm’. It is in those shifts that I am free and in sync with the universe. And then, when things are going well I dig in my heels and try to remain in my “comfort zone” and that’s when the path becomes rugged.
The fourth thing I’ve learned is that one can find their spiritual connection wherever they are. You don’t need an ancient redwood forest to connect with nature. It is true the energy you feel may, will, be very different between a park in the city and a great uninhabited forest but the important thing is to still feel the energy and the connection. Now, I had learned that in the past but I have a point of reference. I have stood in a park in the middle of a city of millions and I have stood on the edge of a great forest with not a soul in sight. It is all about awareness and connection to your immediate surroundings.
The fifth thing I’ve learned is that I can achieve my goals only if I step outside of my comfort zone. If you had come to me when I was 13 years old and told me some day I would drive over 4,600 kilometres just to see the ocean I probably would have pointed out to you the fact that I didn’t have a car much less a driver’s license. And now, thirty-three years later I’m wondering how long it would take to drive to Halifax. The most disheartening limitations placed on your goals are usually put there by yourself.
The sixth thing I’ve learned is that I hate retail. Yes, I need to work in it because I’m experienced and it pays the bills but that doesn’t mean I love it. I’ve been in retail pretty much since I was 16 years old. I had a feeling last year that I was fed up with it and it has only become stronger this year.
April 25, 2017
I thought I would write today about a few of my experiences with the paranormal. I will tell you briefly that in the past thirty years I have had many experiences treading near the line between darkness and light. I think the best references to describe my abilities are to refer you to the book “This Present Darkness” by Frank E. Peretti, the Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield, and the metaphysical experiences documented concerning Saint Francis of Assisi. I’m sure there are other examples I can think of but for now these will help you.
CASE: 2017, The child with the allergic touch.
First, the most recent, took place earlier this year in Nordegg. I was working alone in the store and went back to clean the washrooms. I took a cleaning rag and some Lemonee to clean the rooms. The lemonee was product I had used before so I know it wasn’t the cause and I was careful not to get it on my hands. I cleaned the bathroom as usual. I didn’t feel the presence of any spirit or entity in the rooms but I did have a feeling when I got back up to the front counter that I was being watched.
It was maybe a few minutes later I noticed a red mark on my arm but it didn’t really register as anything and it was kind of blurry. It was a bit itchy but nothing else. About half an hour or so later a co-worker had shown up and by then the mark on my arm had become more distinctive. I continued to ignore it until, I think it was maybe the next day, that the rash had formed into three distinctive marks.
I showed it to a co-worker who immediately came to the same conclusion that I did. The marks resembled three small fingers almost as though a child had grabbed my arm, but a child with an allergic touch. The rash marks remained there for a week and I was concerned at one point that they would scar the tissue. It wasn’t until I left the store, literally, that the rash disappeared almost entirely within a day leaving just a light pink pale mark behind for a few more days.
I know many of you are probably still thinking it was just a reaction to the cleaner, that I had somehow gotten it on my arm, but I’ve included photos in this blog to show you the rash as it appeared after about a week. I asked four people to look at it and three of them immediately identified the marks as looking like fingers before I said anything. Two of them even took their hand and placed their fingers over the marks to see if they matched up. I think initially my skin reacted with a red almost bulbous mark, two or three, then as the redness went down it showed the almost scarring underneath the red flush.
Like I said I didn’t see or feel anything when I was in the bathrooms cleaning, it was almost a delayed reaction to having something grab me on my arm enough to leave an impression. It is my belief that one of the entities that haunt the town and store property was trying to tell me something. I don’t know if it was just trying to say, ‘get out’ or just ‘hello’ and didn’t know it would mark me physically… or maybe it did and it knew I’d take it more seriously.
I have never had this type of physical manifestation happen before or since my move from Nordegg.
CASE: 1994, Leaning into a demon
I’ve told this story a few times before to close friends and I’ve decided it should go into this blog entry because it was really one of my closest contacts ever with evil.
In 1994, I was dating a woman and on our dates, we would frequent a well known park in Bramalea, Ontario. We would sit in the parking lot for hours and just talk, yeah, I know I was a cheap date, but it was still romantic. Anyways, a couple times we would trek up the nearby hill in the dusk to sit and look at the golden lights of the city all around us.
Now, those of you who know me know that I have an ability (which I believe everyone does) to see positive and negative entities or energies. You can call them angels and demons or whatever you like but I tend to just stick with energies.
We got up to the top of the hill and started getting, shall we say amorous. To be exact she leaned into me and we kissed. We were right next to a shed on the top of the hill, a service building for the ski hill, and I decided to lean back against it for leverage.
She was leaning into me, and when my back touched the wall of the shed I felt this intense wave of energy. For a moment, I saw the most dark, evil looking entity I’d ever seen inside that shed. The pulse was so strong that it went through me and through her. She felt it and even said she had felt a strong wave of a bad feeling pass through her. We both quickly headed back down the hill to our car. Along the way, I could see or sense small entities or demons or whatever along our path. It was as though they knew I could see and sense them and when I looked in the direction of them they would recoil from me. I don’t know if it was my ability to see them or the fact I had seen the one up on the hill but it was clear that this was not a good place to be. I have some experiences, shall we say, walking on the line between the dark and light and I think the dark side of things doesn’t like I can see them and resist them. We got in our car and quickly left the park.
I could describe it, but I believe that negative energy or whatever manifests itself in forms that our brains hold references to. So, for example, if you don’t know what a demon looks like you might see just a shadow, or you might see a red monster with horns, or whatever. You will see whatever your brain understands you to see. In my thirty some years of being able to sense or see these things this was probably the most intense incident I have experienced so far.
CASE: A stranger beside me
I believe it was around 1991 and I was visiting a Christian friend of mine in Owen Sound. I note that she was Christian because we’d had, together as a group of about five of us, varying degrees of personal experiences dealing with demons, angels and the dark and light forces in the world.
She was, what we call, a “born again Christian” one of these people who has re-discovered “the word” and has decided it is their mission in life to sign everyone else up. Whatever, anyways, at the time I was identifying myself as Agnostic and while I did believe in angels and demons I didn’t believe in much else.
Anyways, I was at her place one day, and for a Christian she seemed to get a lot of visits from dark entities, many of whom I could see, that would cause various problems for her – think of them as tricksters or party poltergeists and it feels more believable somehow. I had just gotten into some sort of argument with her, she was probably trying to shove her beliefs down my throat again, and I’d gotten up and walked into the other room to take a breather.
I was sitting on the sofa in the livingroom. I was on the left end of the 6-8-foot sofa and the nearest window was on the right end of the sofa a couple feet away. I was feeling in sort of a dark place emotionally and I was just staring forward into the room. Then, out of the corner of my right eye, between me and the window I could see a sort of dark (but light) shadow just as it sat down on the sofa. I could see it reach toward my right shoulder with it’s left hand. Just as it was about to touch me I turned my head, stared straight at the spot where I felt it was and gave a most glaring stare that clearly said “No”. I felt the energy recoil from me and wisp out the window.
I don’t think it was trying to hurt me, in fact I felt it was trying to comfort me but I just wasn’t in the frame of mind to be receptive to it.
CASE: At the foot of my bed
One of my earliest brushes with the paranormal was when I was just a kid. I think perhaps I was maybe I the 8 to 11 age range but honestly, I can’t remember anymore, so that would put it about 1980. I was in my bedroom, it was late, but I believe I had either fallen asleep or was nearly asleep.
I felt something at the foot of my bed. I sat up straight and stared at a white-ish gray light at the foot of my bed. I still remember sitting there, frozen, I didn’t dare speak I just didn’t know what to do. It remained there for about five to ten seconds and then dashed to the left toward the closed door. I saw a flicker of light in the crack under the door and it was gone.
Was it just a dream or my imagination? I don’t know since I was quite young and had no frame of reference to guide me.
April 18, 2017
In the past couple weeks, several you have been asking what my plan is going forward.
In February 2017, I was relieved of my position in Nordegg and I have been staying temporarily in Red Deer looking for work. I have applied to over three dozen jobs and while the jobs may be posted there are literally hundreds of people applying for only a few positions – the unemployment rate is over 8.5% right now (down from over 9% at the end of 2016).
At the beginning of May, I have decided to take at least a week “vacation” from looking for work and to travel to Ontario to reconnect with friends and family. Since I won’t be receiving any benefits for that week from unemployment I need to decide rather quickly whether the trip there will become a permanent one or not.
In the last six months, I have grown “homesick” for Ontario. I miss my family and friends. I miss the culture and the feeling of Ontario. It has been about eighteen months since I went on vacation there back in September 2015 and I feel that a lot has changed, both with me and with Ontario, in my absence.
I know many of us from Ontario who moved to Alberta said they are “never going back”. Well, I think most of the people who are not going back there also have families here in Alberta with them. It is one thing to move across the country with your spouse and kids and build a new life versus trekking out into the unknown and leaving everything behind. It’s not that I’m reneging on my words or that I am a hypocrite. I believe that when you try something new you should commit to it one hundred percent and that’s exactly what I tried to do in my move to Alberta.
So, where am I at?
Well, my only “official plan” right now is to visit Ontario and then decide. I should know around the 15th of May whether I am going to commit to a relocation back to Ontario or not. I have spent the last week weighing the pros and cons of living out west and I will be honest with you and say that so far, I am only at about twenty-five percent in favour of remaining in Alberta.
I wrote about how I like retail only in that it pays the bills and puts food on the table. I would like to pursue some re-training if I move back to Ontario, probably in the field of security or tourism. I would also like to pursue my abilities in freelance online writing and photography and see if I can not turn these hobbies into viable career options.
Could I do these things out here in Alberta? Yes, but I think that, for starters, the tourism industry is developed far better in Ontario than it will ever be in Alberta, and second, I refer to the feeling of being homesick and that won’t go away if I remain here.
So, that is where I am at. For now, I’m going to “visit” Ontario and then we will see what we see.
April 18, 2017
When I told someone that I know that I was considering a move back to Ontario they said “well, you’ve done what you went out there to do” or something to that effect. Have I? I saw the Pacific Ocean, check, and while it only lasted three and a half years I did indeed find work. Is that all that I came out here to do? If so, then yes, but I’d like to think there is something more. I think that, and it’s only in the last three months of my forty-seven months here, I did learn several other things.
The first, and easiest to describe, is my ability to live with less. Even when I first came out here I was anchored to Ontario, and then to my duplex here, with the “stuff” that filled all the corners of my world. It was only in February of this year that I learned to value what was truly important to me and to devalue what wasn’t. I now have my entire life possessions down to the size of my truck and I see little need to possess more than that.
Next up I learned, or more accurately, became aware of some hard lessons about my personality – some good and some bag. I won’t say I have learned anything solid yet as I’m still trying to sort it out but I do believe that the choices I make in life and environment have a lot of influence.
The third thing that I have learned is that when I make plans and do so against my “gut feelings” that they rarely work out. In fact, I think it is safe to say that they ‘never’ work out. I have dictated so much of my life based on the opinions of others. Now you may disagree but that’s because on the “larger scale” my life makes brave fundamental shifts. These shifts are when I follow the path that appears before me no matter how different it is from the “norm”. It is in those shifts that I am freer and in sync with the universe. And then, when things are going well I seem to dig in my heels and try to remain in my “comfort zone” and that’s when the path becomes rugged.
The fourth thing I’ve learned is that one can find their spiritual connection wherever they are. You don’t need an ancient forest to connect with nature. It is true that the energy you feel may, will, vary between a park in the city and a great uninhabited forest but the important thing is the “feel” the energy and the connection. Now, I have understood that in the past but now I have a point of reference. I have stood in a park in the middle of a city of millions and I have stood on the edge of a great forest with not a soul in sight for kilometres. It is all about awareness and connection.
The fifth thing I’ve learned is that I can achieve my goals if I step outside of my comfort zone. If you had come to me when I was thirteen years old and told me some day I would drive over four-thousand six hundred kilometres just to see the ocean I probably would have pointed out the fact that I didn’t own a car much less a driver’s license. And now, thirty-three years later I am wonde3ring how long it would take to drive to Halifax. The most disheartening limitations placed on your goals are usually put there by yourself.
And, while this certainly doesn’t help my efforts at finding a job, the sixth thing I have learned is that I do not love retail. I’ve been in retail pretty much since I was sixteen years old. I had a feeling last year that I was starting to get fed up with it and it has only become stronger in recent months. It is challenging because, for the most part, it is all that I have really immersed myself in during my life. I have other skills, ones that I would like to experiment with more and see what I can do with them. I am a freelance writer, I’m good at taking either point form or basic sentences and turning them into paragraphs that are readable. I am an amateur photographer and I have uploaded over four thousand photos onto Flickr since 2011. I would like to get into more domestic photography, things like location photos for websites and helping people sell their services or products online. I currently have several websites, including this one, on the go and don’t charge for the service of updating and maintaining them. I could develop that more and evolve it beyond the hobby stage into something that makes money. If I really wanted to. I like retail because it pays the bills and keeps a roof over my head but it certainly is not my passion.
The seventh thing I have learned is that you will not “find yourself” by going somewhere different. While traveling across the country is an adventure that I recommend everyone do it will not help you to discover who you really are inside. This refers to my point concerning spirituality. You can travel to the most exotic locations in the world but it doesn’t mean that what is inside of you will change – that is up to you. I have seen the other side of the country, well two sides now actually, and I think it might be time to go back “home” and re-ground myself before my next adventure – wherever that is.
Freelance Online Writer, Amateur Photographer, Founding Member PPC Huron-Bruce EDA Initiative.