And lately, the folks up here have decided, and have spread the word around, that I’m a trail guide. Even though I’m not as familiar with this area as I could be. And I’ve met some interesting people on the rugged Cape Breton trails.
Also, I’ve never stopped being amazed at how helpful and friendly the folks up here are. They accept us for who we are and last Sunday we even received an email from a fella who said that Cape Breton was a better place because Sue and I had made it our home. Well, that nearly knocked my socks off. Both of them.
As many of you know, Sue struggles with some chronic diseases, one of which can impede her ability to walk far. But, she gave it the old college try and actually joined our group on a hike to the Uisgeban Falls. It’s a magical place and she didn’t think she would be able to make it all the way. But she did and that’s a feather in her emotional cap. The big surprise was that her post-hike pain was no different than it was before she hiked the trail. I’m sure many of you are happy to hear that.
Which brings me to the mentioning of a new book that was recently published: the second edition of “Guide to Cape Breton Highlands National Park”. The author is Clarence Barrett, a retired Highland Park warden. His first edition was very popular. To write this updated edition, he once again hiked all 26 official park trails and then rewrote his descriptions.
If you’re travelling to Cape Breton this is certainly a book to add to your library. Here’s a link to Parks Canada’s information about the book: http://www.capebretonpost.com/News/Local/2014-08-24/article-3845394/New-park-guide-edition-being-launched-this-week/1
However, I do try to get a blog out every two weeks or so. I know folks who have a blog out almost every day. Which I’ve heard is an excellent way to keep your readership up. It might also be an excellent way to empty your idea coffers, or at least mine.
One thing I try to do is respond to comments made on my blog. If you don’t get one from me then it’s because my comments didn’t get through or my website machine wouldn’t let me. You see, I’m relatively new to the blog world and sometimes I try to respond but I can’t get it to work. I think it’s because I don’t have all the blog ins and outs down pat. So, I apologize now for any comments I haven’t been able to respond to. I tried. Really.
Oh, and if you write a response please make sure you add your email address if you think I don’t have it. It’s supposed to come to me through the website, but doesn’t always seem to make it.
Anyway, back to the new computer. Cripes, I got so used to my old Mac. It’s twenty years plus old. It’s been everywhere, man. Had lots of sticky fingers tapping and thunking on its keyboard. Had plenty of little kids playing computer games on it and it has been dropped once or twice.
I am, if you haven’t already suspected, a person who uses more of the creative side of my brain than my not creative side. Surprise, surprise.
Now as you might have read in an earlier blog, I bought myself a new camera. Only a little over a month ago, I think. It’s digital with all the funny-pictures-on the-screen stuff and with knobs, buttons or cranks spotted all over its smooth, black body.
And I have, as mentioned earlier, become known as a trail guide. So this means that I get to guide hikers into the forest. And, during the hike, I take pictures so that the fella who runs the recreational activities in Victoria County, (that’s the county I live in), gets to see pictures of the hikers and the beautiful places we walk in. He often posts them or pins them to his ‘wall of shame’.
So, I go home after a hike and hook my camera up to my new computer. Sue used to do this but now this technologic fledgling, who is me, has jumped off the tree and has ever since been wildly flapping his wings, bouncing off pixels and leafy start buttons and repeatedly crash-landing into digital bushes. Over and over again.
(*&^@%#$%&!!!! I mean, Sue used to be able to take my articles from my twenty-something-year-old computer and put them into her computer and her computer would translate the ones and zeros into an understandable language and then send it out over the internet or print it out for me. Now her computer looks at my new computer’s efforts, shrugs its shoulders and spits out these nasty, impossible to understand, bits and pieces of bits.
Yesterday Sue, whose computer acumen and expertise I trust, looked at one of my attempts and its pathetic appearance on her computer screen and said, “This is scary.”
Does one have to be a mind reader to understand some of the computer jargon?
I’ll give you a specific example.
To get the pics to my computer I have to hook my new K50 camera up to Mac. I use a thin black cord called a USB cable. The next thing I do is turn on my camera. Why do I turn on my camera now instead of before? I don’t know. Because it’s says in the Bible somewhere?
Then there’s a little box that pops up on my computer which I have to click on to IMPORT my photos. I was told this was the button I had to click on using my mouse. And that’s another story. The mouse, that is.
The pix are then supposed to slide along the inside of the cord and pour into some empty picture station where a tiny zit gets them to line up and stand at attention in order of entry .
This IMPORT box did not make sense to me. So I asked Sue where the EXPORT box was.
You must use your imagination to see a vision of the expression on Sue’s face when I asked this question. But come on. I took economics in high school. I was taught that if you live in Canada and you ship products to other countries you are exporting them. If you are receiving products from other countries then you are importing them. Do you understand?
You see, my photographs are coming from my camera. My camera was here first. I figured that I was therefore from the Camera Country. Oh Camerada, we stand on guard for thee, and I was sending out pictures to the strange place called MacBook Pro. So therefore, am I not exporting pictures?
So, how the hell am I supposed to know which place is my country and which place is not my country? How can I sort out import and export if I don’t know this? For poop sake, I’m dyslexic and this doesn’t even begin to make sense to me.
Oh god, I have so much to learn about the camera, let alone the computer. Have you noticed a change in mood in this blog? A little more hesitation in the sentence structure? Words that don’t sound so appropriate?
Where the hell is the thesaurus in this new computer? Maybe it dropped out when I took Mac out of the box. I mean when I buy a hammer, I don’t want to have to spend a long time learning how to use it before I can bang nails into wood. I just want to bang nails into wood.
Then there is my stacked-to-the-throat-with-new-gizmos camera. I’ll tell you how much I have to learn about this wonderful toy.
A friend from Australia was visiting. She has a good quality tiny camera. A quick shot thing which you can carry in your pocket like a pet Chihuahua. Anyway, we were talking about our individual cameras. I think we got to talking about the flash. This is where I pulled out the manual for my camera. It’s thick.
She asked me, “How many different languages is your manual written in?”
I said, “One *&^% LANGUAGE. English.”
It’s a friggen Stephen King novel full of Cujo mumbo jumbo. Like import, export, four way controller, JPEG, RAW, Button Customization.
I have been told that I should take up writing manuals for people like me. Ha.
That things like these are truly real,
Yes, think how very rich are we
When all the best of things are free.
John Martin, “These Things Are Free”
Sometimes I’ve seen young couples at tables under romantic lighting, texting. And I’m sure they’re sometimes texting to each other. Whatever happened to the touching of hands? Leaning over for a little kiss? Rubbing your footsie up your lover’s leg? Now it’s being done with pixels.
“Oh honey, ooxx.”
“Yes, baby, XXXXXOO.”
And while this human interaction in all its forms are going on, I’ve watched the crows, sitting on the power lines above the street, or on the post office roof or the steeple on the church, cawing their asses off. I can tell there’s some form of drama going on up nearer the sky.
They’re making different sounds or are buzzing each other and generally making a racket. I then take a look around at the flocks of pristine viewers and non-pristine viewers and nary a one is paying any attention. Not one. All caught up in their people or virtual world. Maybe some are even looking at the crows through their virtuals or are gazing at pixel crows on Google.
Which makes me think. Gets me wondering what would happen if this natural world, to which we don’t pay much attention, just vanished? How lonely this world would be if everyone was totally focused on the virtual world and on the human world and paid no mind to the real time world of wild others.
And what would happen if it got to the point where everybody was almost exclusively hooked up? Got to the point where we would all, for example, be checking the weather on our machines or on something imbedded inside our eye balls. Swirling our fingers down the little doo-dad screens, or poking ourselves in the eyeballs to find out whether we are going to get snow today, while outside our window there is a hell of a snow storm dumping all over our yards.