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Mr Fred  Skip's human Keeper of shop Grower of things Works with wood At home in the wild Living on Island time Wordy when inspired But peaceful by nature

These are Bhut Jolokai Chocolate. Ghost peppers that will turn brown when ripe. Given to me by the lady at the nursery after I came to the counter with a flat of various other peppers. These little devils are rated with a range of 800 000 and 1 000 000 Scoville Heat Units. Between 125 and 400 times hotter than your average jalapeno. Basically, I have small nuclear bombs growing in my backyard. Apparently, they are only to be handled while wearing gloves and googles. We now affectionately refer to these two as Satan's Testes.
#bhutjolokai #peppers #ghostpepper

I have been to a handful of protests south of the border since November. This one was the annual #maydaymarch in Downtown LA. Usually it's primarily for the labour movement. Due to the situation this year, it was also attended by members of the LGBTQ+ community, Black Lives Matter and pro-immigration groups. On the right in this photo, coincidentally also politically, waving flags and chanting are about 50 Trump supporters. One guy, oblivious to the concept of irony, was dressed like a Roman gladiator with an 'All Lives Matter' sticker on his helmet. Behind me, out of view, are thousands of marchers making their way to a park where the LA mayor, Eric Garcetti, spoke alongside many leaders from the various communities. Large signs hung from either side of the stage set up on the steps of City Hall that read 'Resist'. Things got a little heated between some marchers and the Trumpeters just before this photo was taken. However, nothing more than a few water bottles and some charged language were hurled back and forth.
My awkward smile reflects my feelings about being at these protests. Aware that I am a visitor, an outsider to either side, but confident in my convictions to support the people with whom I believe are justified to be there. Everybody has a right to protest. It just seems some people are actually protesting for their rights while others are protesting simply because it is their right. It's all alright by me.
What's not alright is what happened yesterday in Charlottesville, Virginia. A woman woke up yesterday morning wanting to exercise her rights and stand up for what she believed in. She did not get to come home last night. Emotions at protests get elevated but from what I have seen this was a cold, calculated act of terrorism. It does nothing more than make me want to go to another protest. To prove that violence never wins and to honour the life that was lost today.

I watched him swim 700 metres across the ocean today. This was after he had already spent 90 minutes in and out of the water. Mostly in. I gave him plenty of opportunities to get on the rented paddle board upon which I accompanied him. He wasn't having any of it. When we got back to the beach, he even swam around the closest point on the boat launch to the sandy part on the side. Finally, standing on the beach, he wasn't even panting. When I tell you that he inspires me, it's because of things like this.
Needless to say, he has been sleeping ever since we got home. Also, another key point of the adoration I hold for him.

Have you ever pondered that on the opposite side of the planet, 12742 km straight through the crust, someone could be standing upside down to you right now? But if you were just 100 kilometres off the Earth's surface, in space, there would be no upside to be down or downside to be up?

Baby Butternut.

There isn't really a greater magic to me than that which happens in the garden. Yes, I know, it is just a microcosm of the greater miracles that nature performs all around us in her cycle every year. My significance seems greater in the garden though. I plant it and water it and feed it. My hands get dirty. The wizardry is that I really don't know what the hell I am doing but somehow a seed turns into a plant. Then, something not just edible, but delicious and nutritious comes to fruition. I mean, I get the biological process with photosynthesis and all that. It just still blows my mind that I plant some shit, then bibbity-bobbity-3 months later and I'm making soup from something in my front yard.
It's just neat. Really fucking neat. Really fucking magically neat.
#garden #butternutsquash #magic #mothernature

Thinking back to a time not so long ago when I woke up here and climbed halfway up that monolith before breakfast. When the wind coursed me through places called the Valley of the Gods and the Moki Dugway. When I turned spots on a map into images plotted in my memory for eternity. When burning dried up cow patties under the endless lonesome desert sky was the most fun I could have in an evening and there was nowhere else I would rather be.
Those times never seem to last long enough, and seem too far in between, but as long as they keep happening, that's alright by me.
#valleyofthegods #utah #roadtrip #roosterbutte #sunrise #desertsky #cowboycamping

Last winter, I had to make a quick trip up island for some seemingly important reason or another. Coming home, despite having other pressing issues I should have been attending to, I decided to go for a short snowshoe on Forbidden Plateau. My February legs were overdue for some much needed movement as much as Skip was restless for a jaunt. Both reasonable enough excuses.
Trudging through the snow, I met another snowshoeing chap and his dog. His visit was more purposeful than mine. He came equipped with wrenches and a hammer. The snow was so deep last year and someone had cut one of the cables on the old chair lift. He was there to pluck the low hanging fruit from the vine. I helped him drag his harvest down when he asked if I would like one, too. I had already squandered enough time besides what would I do with such a thing?! Alas, I reminsced of learning to ski using the same lift and my sentimental side kicked in. I excepted his offer and we hiked up to salvage another piece of nostalgia.
With a list mile long of far more importantly imminent tasks, I spent the better part of today hanging my ski lift chair on the back of my shed. Take a long hard look at this. You may even recognize it yourself. This is what procrastination looks like.
I think I'll make some planter boxes to set in the seats. Plant some flowers. Can't really think of a better thing to do with my time.

Saturday, July 8th is voting day to fill one vacant seat on Nanaimo City Council. Over the past year, I have been tossing around the thought of throwing my hat in the ring to run for Nanaimo City Council. When the news of the by election came up, I had one look at the current council and immediately disqualified myself. The last thing City Hall needs is another white guy who could stand to have a bottle of Rogaine or Just For Men in their medicine cabinet. (In my case, I could stand to have both...I don't, but I could.) Then I found out Sacia Burton was running and realized I was way outclassed. This time around anyway.
Sacia is strong yet calm. Young yet experienced. Confidently aware yet fiercely engaged. A visionary with a willlingness to listen to, and desire to learn from, those she is asking to represent, the people of Nanaimo. She just gets it.
Her work in student governance and being a student of governance (BA in Politics and Philosophy) gives her qualification and wisdom well beyond her years and many of the other candidates. She understands that our city is a diverse community with a dynamic set of concerns wished to be addressed by its citizenry. I am especially intrigued by her identification of the importance of local food security. An often overlooked topic in the discussion of economy while we ship our dollars out of the community to meet this basic human need.

Some candidates, one in particular, seem to think that political signs are enough to trick people into thinking they will be 'getting down to business' for the city. It takes a lot more than a sign (or a hundred of them plastered over every public space in town) to prove you have Nanaimoites best interest at heart. That being said, for the first time in my life, I put a political sign in my front yard. It reads Sacia Burton for Council. I have no doubt that Sacia will be a valuable voice on our council and offer some much needed balance. I am proud to be voting for Sacia Burton @sacia4nanaimo on July 8th.

Be the bee.
Find your flower.
Douse yourself in its pollen.
#tbt #joshuatree #hiddenvalley #bee #pollen

We all have questions but sometimes to marvel at the beauty in mystery is the best course of action.
Which is to say, I don't have any answers for ya.
@eastjesusart @slabcitycommunitygroup
#hailsatan #eastjesus #westsatan #slabcity

As the human experience scurries further from the natural world, collecting a few moments with fauna is a required reminder of the greater order of things.
Happy solstice, squirrels.
#solstice #squirrel #mansonslanding #cortesisland

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