Friday, March 30, 2007

True Love

For those of you who have had a heart attack, you will understand my concern in this story. For those of you who haven't , just enjoy.

My wife works at a school where every year , they take a class out to the mountains and climb at Miette Hot Springs. Miette is about 3000-4000 ft above sea level. When the school goes in the spring, the weather is not always the best and some of the kids need help getting to the top. Even some of the teachers have needed help.he first year my wife went there was snow knee-deep in some spots . The Summit is 2100 feet above the hot springs.

About a year after my heart attack, my wife suggested we go and climb this mountain. YEAH RIGHT! The doctors want you to exercise after an attack but I thought this was a bit much. " Don't worry", my wife said."We'll go slow and easy and you'll be fine. By the way, is your insurance paid up?" I asked what she would do if we needed help. Our son,C would go with us just in case.

So, one summer day, off we went. Arriving at Miette we got out our ski poles(makes climbing easier) and set off for the trail head. Not bad. The trail is paved. Off we went. After about 100 yards, the pavement ends and the trail becomes 1-2 people wide. It also goes up at about a 30 degree angle. OH!OH! Slow and steady. Not too bad. About 5 minutes later, my heart was pounding and I had to stop. "Am I nuts or what?" ,I was thinking. My wife said it would be fine and we would just take our time. Okay, away we went.
I must admit my body adjusted and the going was not too bad

About a third of the way up the trail splits into two. The nice smooth flat trail goes off to a lake and the narrow steep trail goes to the summit. We were going to the summit. Approximately one hundred yards after the split the trail gets even steeper and the switch-backs begin. I commented about how much steeper this was and my wife said we would soon come to a meadow. From there. it would get evener steeper. " She's trying to kill me ", I thought. To test this theory, I asked her what she would do if I had a heart attack and died right there on the trail. "No problem. C and I will just put you off to one side out of the way and finish the climb. On the way back , we'll just ROLL you down the hill to the hot springs."


We have since climbed in the mountains many times and just love it. Thank you my dear!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Aliens Among Us

The people who really enjoy reading or writing Science Fiction have always had this fascination that there were or are Aliens living among us. I have the ultimate and definitive proof that they are.

As some of you are aware, I have worked at renovation stores for the past 10 years or so and this is where the aliens come to shop. I'll give you some examples and you can decide for yourself or pooh pooh as most in the scientific community do.

At one of these stores, I worked in the decor department(no jokes please).In this department we would sell wall paper, pre-sized blinds ( 6 different colors) and special order blinds(size, color, length, width, cloth or plastic). You get the idea.
One particular day, a customer came in and said she would like to order some special order blinds. We proceeded to chose the fabric, color and the way they would open. At this point I asked her what the measurements of the window were.She proceeded to reach into her pocket and pull paper after paper out as well as a piece of thread. With great fanfare she undid the knotted thread and unrolled this great long piece . "This long ", she announced. At this point I knew she might be alien but I measured the string just to humour her. It was approximately 80 inches long. At this point she confirmed my suspicion. How, you asked? " The window is about 10 inches shorter than this", she said. And I knew.

Another time, I had a contractor (a contractor no less) come into the store and say he needed a cheap screen door. I proceeded over to the screen door aisle with him where the cheapest screen door we had was about $145.00. "Whoa, to much money. This is for a friend of mine." said he. "This is the cheapest we have ", says I. At which point he walked along all the doors until he came to one with a screen. He pulled it out of the rack and said"this will be perfect". I just looked at him "I could just add 2 small hinges and it would be a screen door" I knew then that he was one of them. How? He had chosen a replacement screen for a sliding patio door.

At one of the stores I worked at, we had an journeyman electrician on staff. He was there to answer questions and advise people how to do there own electrical installations. Simple stuff, nothing complicated. One time he had a gentleman come in needing advise on how to install a wall socket. The electrician went through the process step by step and even drew him a diagram.Away he customer went, confident in his ability to do the job. About an hour later he was back and not a happy camper.He went to the electrician and tore a strip off him using words that must be from another planet. What was the problem the electrician wanted to know. The gentleman had almost been blown across the room while he was attaching the wires. The electrician asked him if he had turned off the electricity. " What, you never told me to do that"
They are among us.

I'm sure we all know people like this and now we know they are here to invade. I meet more and more of them every day.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Good morning all. Today is Sunday. As I told you yesterday, I will tell you the story of how Kaito came into our lives.
My daughter E. was working at a security firm on Sundays to earn a little extra money. There she met a fellow who was Kaito's handler. Kaito is a pure bred , all black male German Shepherd descended from German heritage. He does not have that noticeable slink to his back end that a North American German Shepherd has. He is more upright and balanced. Being pure black he is a rare and valuable dog.
Since his handler lived in an apartment , he could not take Kaito home at night so Kaito spent the first 3 years of his life in an 8x8 kennel getting out to work and sometimes exercise in a dog run.
A situation came up where my daughter asked if she could buy Kaito from the security company. They agreed as long as the dog was for me since E. could not have a dog in her condo complex.She asked my wife "no more dogs" if she leave the dog at our house on a temporary basis.And so Kaito came to live with us.
Because he had spent his life in a kennel , having a yard to run in was a special treat for him and he took full advantage of it. Also, having another dog to play with was another new experience, as he was not allowed to do this this at the security company. We soon found out there were lots of things for him to learn. He had never had a dog treat so when we gave him his first one, he had absolutely no idea what to do with it.Now when you say the word treat, he is right there at the door to the pantry waiting for it. He also had no concept of a rawhide bone and had to learn from Coco that this too was a different kind of treat.
The biggest worry for us was whether or not he was house trained. He was since this is part of the security dog training. You may be asking yourself at this point why would the security company sell such a dog. Because he failed his assertiveness training. When they would take him for bite training , he would bark at the "bad guy" and then go lick his hand. Some security dog. we have since realized or suspect that all he needed was something to be assertive for or protective of, for him to be the dog he should be. He is very friendly and affectionate to everybody as long a they aren't aggressive towards our family. He simply adores our new grandson although he is not quite sure what to make of this little bundle that really doesn't do a lot.
Between this two dogs, that we were never going to have, our beautiful yard has been destroyed. When we just had Canuck our back yard was almost like a park, with a pond,trees and nice green grass.Now it is half in landscape rock, a pond, trees and mud where grass used to be. The dogs are quite happy with this arrangement. As long as they have a place to run and play.
Since I am the Alpha male in the house, Kaito has adopted me as his personal project. When I move he is right there to be at my feet, knocking my slippers or shoes off. If he wants a treat, he has learned to herd me to the pantry. If I go down the basement ,I have to let him go first or watch out, he"ll knock me over as he goes shooting by.
He hates to see me sleep past 6:30 in the morning or sleep at any time he is around. ALWAYS! If I go in the car, he loves to go. He has adopted me for his own.
As my wife says" He is your dog". Funny , I don't recall saying he could come live with us, But I am glad he did.
Between the two of them, Coco and Kaito bring much joy and dirt to our lives. Dirt especially. But most importantly,as anyone who has a dog knows, lots of love.
Until next time, this is Alphonse signing off.
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Saturday, March 24, 2007


Good morning all. Today is Saturday morning and I should still be asleep but the two biggest babies in my life woke me early this morning.Yes , man's best friend--the dogs.
How did I end up with two such lovable suck-ups?I cannot move without one or both of these creatures right at my feet asking" Where are we going?Is it time to eat? Can I go outside for the 80th time today" These members of my family truly are "Man's best friend"
I say mans best friend because my terrific , soft-hearted better half always says to me " They are your dogs".
Lets examine this statement.
Coco has been with us for about a year and a half. She is a cross between a Chocolate Lab and some kind of Bull Terrier(Staffordshire) we think. She came to us from Ottawa via Saskatoon.
When my oldest daughter E. worked in Ottawa for 2 years she had a friend who wanted a dog.So down to the Humane Society they went to rescue a dog. There they found Coco. She is so sweet and mild mannered. She was a companion dog to an old lady who could no longer take care of her properly. The lady gave her to the Humane Society so they could find someone to take care of her. The fellow who bought loved Coco immediately and took her home and eventually back to Saskatoon when his job was finished in Ottawa.
When my daughter decided to come home, my wife and I went east for a summer holiday and I continued on to Ottawa to help E. pack her rental truck to come back to Alberta.
To make a long story short,we stopped to see her friend in Saskatoon and got to meet Coco for the first time. She sat in his truck and completely ignored us.
About two years later E. got a fax from her friend. He was teaching oversea and needed to find a new home for Coco. The person she had been left with in Saskatoon could no longer keep her as she was away at work for about 15 hours a day. Did E. know anyone or could she find someone. Phone call to my wife, did she know anyone who might take a 6 year old dog.
My wife did find a friend who would take her and E. and J. drove to Saskatoon to pick up the dog. Poor Coco. Loaded into a small car with 2 people she barely knew for a long trip back to Alberta. She stood in the backseat the whole way.
When I got home from work I was told that we were going to keep Coco overnight before she went to her new home. We already had a dog(Canuck) who was deaf, partly blind and going senile. My wife said"When Canuck goes-no more dogs. I want my house to be clean. I DO NOT want another dog."
Upon waking the next morning I asked the silliest damn question of my life. "when are we taking Coco to your friends place?"
"We're not." I was informed."We are keeping her. The poor dog has been through so much moving, it is not fair to her", said my no more dogs wife.
Coco's bed was put down under a side table in our kitchen and this is where she was to sleep. We never let the dog sleep in our bedroom. The first night, there she was. Sleeping right beside us on the floor. Poor dog! The floor was hard so my wife dug out an old hooked rug for the dog to sleep on. She has been there every night since. Of course the rug was put on my side of the bed so Coco became "Your dog"
"Hello, I'm not the one who said she could stay" "Doesn't matter", she is your dog.
About a week after we had to have Canuck put down so thank you my dear for getting me "My dog"
You really are a softie! and I love you for it

Next Post will be: Kaito and how he came to us.

To check out an old friends post click on the link: If The River Don't Rise at the side of this post

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Family Reaction toRamblings

Welcome to the first edition of Alphonsedamoose-ramblings of a moose.Now for those who know me , you know that I am not a great or prolific writer. I prefer to send jokes on to the people on my list rather than send information on what I am doing or my family life. That all changed in the last week or so when I was reunited with an old friend and her blog about starting to homestead in New Mexico. Lin was the original artist on my Alphonsedamoose motorcycle helmet. You will soon see this terrific work of art.
So last night,I informed my wife That I was thinking of starting my own blog. after gales of laughter and me getting her up her off the floor to so she could breathe easier( thought I was going to have to get oxygen for her), She asked me a very simple questions. "Do you know how?" was the first. What kind of a question is that. Of course I know how. I skimmed through the part about creating a blog and and how to set it up. Nothing to it. I hope. Her next question was " di you tell your Daughter?'. Of course not, I want to work on this first to see what happens first.
The next thing I knew , she was on the phone. "Guess what, your dad is setting up his own blog"
After about 10 seconds my daughter, still laughing sais"who'd da thunk him". I now know how Rodney Dangerfield felt.
I mean ,just because our kids dragged us kicking and screaming into the 20th century from the 18th about five years ago doesn't mean I should get a "who'da thunk it" It should have been a more respectful " well of course, He is extremely smart".
My dear better half came into the living room to tell my what my wonderful daughter had said. Immediately I was on the phone to find out why she was laughing.
"Dad, do you even know what ablog is?''she queried(ggod word that).
"Of course" I responded, the whole time hoping she didn't ask for a definition.
"No swearing, no politics,no religion and no contentious issues"I was told.
Whats left? Everyone says , "Write about what you know best" but there are already so many self-help books out there, Whats left?
I know........... my family and the goings on of Mrs.Moose and all the little Meese.
So that is what you are going to get. The adventures of Alphonsedamoose and his family.
What a treat. I hope you enjoy it .
Now if I can just figure out which button to push from here, I'm set.
Talk to you in 3-4 days....... I think