Archive for March 2011

Another Visit to Le Massif

March 23, 2011

About a year ago, I wrote a post where I went skiing at Le Massif, which is about an hour northeast of Quebec City.

I liked it so much I came back this year.

By far, the scenery here is better than any ski hill you’ll find, east of the Rocky Mountains.

On a clear day, you can see over 25 miles up the St. Lawrence River.


But the weather and the tides can change very quickly.

These two photos were taken on the same day, about ~ 5 -6 hours apart.


The hill can get a bit crowded on weekends, especially where the main trails all merge at the bottom.

Then it’s a Fuster-Cluck.

(Argh..this is exactly the type of shit I was trying to get AWAY from!)

But luckily, if you stay away from the main highways, you can find a run all to yourself.

Especially if you go on “La 42”, which is one of the steepest runs there.









One thing I didn’t understand, though, was this sign at the restaurant at the top of the hill:

(Okay…I understand they sell crepes…but WTF are “crafety” crepes?)


I didn’t see any ships this time, except this one.

They’re surprisingly fast.   You have a window of about 5 minutes to get a good photo, and then they’re gone.


You can either park at the top of the ski hill, or at the bottom, near the town of Petite Rivière Ste. François.

…where I found this little varmint wandering around town, nonchalantly.

I wonder if he’s the same critter I took a picture of last year?

The Toller Stare

March 18, 2011

When you babysit a Toller, they’ll often stare at you.

In the kitchen…in the living room,  while you’re taking a bath, or sitting on the john.

No wagging the tail.   No movement.   Just an intense STARE.

When most dogs look at you, they’ll drop their gaze after a few seconds.

But not Tollers.   They’ll never give in.   They’ll just STARE.

And they’ll continue to stare, until they burn holes into the back of your head with their laser-focussed gaze.

But it’s not so much about dominance.

It’s about asking “Can you please come out and PLAY with me? ”

And they’ll patiently wait till you’re ready.

And when you are…and you finally give them what they want,  they’ll still stare.

But it will be with a big Toller SMILE.

Be Prepared to Wait When…

March 15, 2011

Grandma Moses blows her months’ pension check on lottery tickets, and needs to check the whole stack for winners.



The only thing you can see in the slow-moving car ahead of you is a big FEDORA.



Chuckles the PowerPoint King insists on reading each and every slide…VERBATIM.


The  vehicle next in line at the drive-thru is a VAN…full of screaming demon-spawn.



Old Man Yåargen appears very perplexed about his prescription, and no doubt needs to talk to someone about it.




The 17-year-old sales clerk can’t answer your question, and, like, needs to consult their 18-year-old manager.


Study of a Northern Lake

March 8, 2011

Here’s a simple Northern Ontario scene,  just the lake, trees and sky.  The kind I’ve done time and time again.

But I like painting these scenes.  I just love the scraggly black spruce trees of the boreal forest.   It reminds me that I’m “up there”, far away from the big cities and shopping malls.  And that the fish will soon be biting.

The painting was not so simple, though.   Decievingly difficult, actually.

The sky wasnt’ too bad.  But the reflection in the water were tricky.   The ripples in the foreground made hard edges, which is difficult to capture on watercolor without making the painting look harsh.

I tried to paint the ripples on, but it was on the verge of looking like crap.   Then my art teacher suggested a trick:

Instead of adding pigment to make the water ripples, take it away.    Lift the paint off with a brush, and leave a few white areas.   But not too many.

It worked.  I’m reasonably happy with how it turned out.

And it helped salvage the painting.



Yet more Viking nursery rhymes revised

March 5, 2011

Still updating my old drawings for my book.

I’m about halfway done.

Friar’s Random Management-Speak Generator

March 5, 2011

Counting my Blessings: Things I’m Grateful For

March 4, 2011

That squirrels are so small.    Because if they were our size, those asshole varmints would no doubt try to kill us all.

(Same goes for Canada Geese).

That Céline Dion is in Vegas….thousands of miles away.

That you can see still see the uncut, uncensored Bugs Bunny cartoons on Youtube.

That I’m presently not on fire.

That I fall into the class of people who don’t give a flying fox-fart about Charlie Sheen, or any other celebrity gossip.

That I’m not a senior manager, nor do I have a desire to ever become one.

That my brain is relatively intact (well, actually that’s pretty much the same as the last statement above).

That I don’t feel the need to live-tweet what I just ate for breakfast.

That there is no Polish Scrabble.  (Too many Z’s and W’s).

That I have opposable thumbs and am not thwarted by doorknobs or can-openers like dogs are.

That I’m not a hockey dad, and don’t have to get up at 4:30 AM on Saturday to drive Junior to the arena.

That every time I finish a day of skiing, I haven’t blown out my anterior cruciate ligament for the 4th time.

That when I’m on vacation, the office doesn’t know where I am, and couldn’t even reach me if they tried.

That when I see a screaming demon-spawn toddler at WalMart,  I remember that I’m single.

That I love animals, but not so much that I don’t feel guilty about eating some of them.

That I hate lima beans.  (If I enjoyed them, the quality of my life would suffer).

40-foot giant inflatable gorillas.   (You can never have enough of them).

Toilet paper (imagine living in a time when there wasn’t any?)

Finally….BACON!!   (Goes without saying).

Negative Watercolor Spaces

March 4, 2011

Snow Ghosts.

Argh.   They’re hard to paint.


Popular Misconceptions Commonly Found at Ski Resorts

March 2, 2011

Pointing your ski poles straight up makes you go faster and look like a racer.


“Trail closed” or “Out-of-bounds” is on open invitation to go for the extreme.


Dressing like an ass-clown makes you superior to everyone else, especially those who don’t board.


The rest of the ski resort is delighted and thrilled to hear your grunge music being blasted in the terrain park.

The rest of the ski reso

If you’re under 14, it’s your God-given right to ski out out of control and terrorize the public.


Double-black diamond runs down East are just as dificult as the ones out West.