Never Cry Wolf May 15, 2013Posted by Teresa in Adventures, Inspired by a book, Ponder This.
Tags: activism, caribou, culture, environment, extinction, farley mowat, First Nations, hunting, judging others, killing, NWT, populations, trigger happy, wastage, waste, wolves, Wrigley
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I recently finished reading Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat. I bought it at a used book store, and the copyright in my book says 1963, 1973 and 1993, but it must be out of print now. I’m pretty sure my parents hid this book from me when I was growing up. They must have known the effect it would have on me, and they probably didn’t wish to lose their daughter to the wilds of northern Canada for years at a time. Well, they weren’t able to avoid that altogether, but at least I have the technology to keep in touch with them.
Since living in Wrigley, my curiosity about wolves has been piqued. They are often talked about, because they are never very far away. At the airport, which is about 2 km from Wrigley, the wolves were coming onto the runway on the weekends and chewing on the wires going to some of the runway edge lights. When it’s particularly cold in winter, they come closer to town and sometimes attack and eat the local dogs. In December, wolves killed the alpha dog in town — dogs there run in packs and are not very far removed from wild, wolfish behaviour. In fact, some of what Farley Mowat talks about has helped me relate to dogs better, such as reading their facial expressions and understanding that they live by their own, non-human code. They have their own reasons for doing things, because of their canine culture.
I can see why this book is considered a classic! It is an excellent read. Farley is a phenomenal storyteller, and his story is a fantastic one. He is dropped off by a kamikaze bush pilot at an unknown frozen lake somewhere off the map in Northern Manitoba. His mission is to study wolves, their feeding habits and appetite for caribou. He plans to live among the wolves. Does that mean he crawls in their dens? Only once, and his reaction to what he finds within shakes him to the core. He adapts himself to the wolves’ ways — he learns to take wolf-naps so that he can observe them for long periods of time continuously without getting tired. And when the caribou return from their wintering grounds, he discovers, contrary to what the government has been told, that wolves are not responsible for the decline in caribou population.
Fast forward 50+ years, to this year, 2013. What is on the cover of the news/north newspaper this week?
Fifty years have gone by and the problem remains! Farley Mowat correctly identified the cause of the caribou slaughter when he found a field of caribou bones near a trapper’s shack — the trapper was killing hundreds of caribou a year to feed his sled dogs. Back then, they used nearly the whole animal, but now, killing for the sake of killing makes me ill. Trigger happy people should go to a gun range and shoot paper targets, not beautiful, majestic creatures. And there are a lot of trigger happy people in the North, and they think they can get away with it, and they think they have a right to kill what they want, and they do it because their twisted sense of humanity thinks it is fun. That newspaper article speaks of 50+ animals killed with only very small portions being taken for food, a practice very much against what the elders teach. (Wolves, by contrast, kill very few caribou, and only the weak and elderly ones, and, of course, eat it all.)
Part of me desperately hopes they find out who did it all (the carcasses were found in 12 different sites, so it was probably lots of different people), and part of me knows it won’t help. Not unless the local people — the people from that community — decide it is definitely wrong and their internal culture changes. Part of me thinks that if no witnesses will come forward — and who would want to rat on their friends and family? — then the whole community should lose its caribou hunting rights. They have a grocery store; let them buy their meat there. But, that’s our ugly friend colonialism back for a visit, telling native populations what to do and disciplining them like they are children. No, the government needs to stop interfering and the people who live there need to start acting like responsible, life-respecting adults. Own up to what you have done. Admit you feel bad about it (if you do, don’t lie if you don’t). Stop killing just because you can.
I would love to ask one of these trigger happy people “what will you do when all the caribou are gone? Elsewhere in Canada, when the native animals were killed off, domestic animals were brought in. Beef replaced buffalo, pigs in place of antelope. Are you going to become farmers? That will be challenging with the wolves and bears and so much wilderness. Will you cut down all the trees to make fields? Will you grow crops to feed your cows?”
It would be infinitely better if those who live among the caribou could learn to appreciate what they have in them — an amazing, healthy food source — and protect the caribou population, to prevent their extinction. I am a stranger in a strange land; I am not from here. I wasn’t raised among the caribou, among the wolves. I was raised on a farm (which you may have already guessed), so if I want to be an activist, I should do so in the realm where my heritage is — agriculture in Canada. To be an activist here makes me judgmental, as so many environmental activists who go far from home to make a stand are. And I do have some thoughts about agriculture in Canada… but they will have to wait for another day.
Info for Southern Pilots Flying in the North March 15, 2013Posted by Teresa in Inspired by a book.
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To my regular blog readers, sorry for the “oddly specific” nature of this blog post. To those from the AvCanada forum, hope this helps clear up some confusion!
As an Observer/Communicator in Fort Simpson, I sometimes get flight logistics people calling me from charter companies in Edmonton or Calgary, asking about services or runway surface conditions for an upcoming flight to CYFS. Sometimes, I even get pilots calling me on the radio who seem a little confused about what services they can expect. They click 5 times for ARCAL that isn’t on — I have control of the lights. They call up with a traffic broadcast, not realizing I’m here to provide services. So, I decided to write this little discourse to help you southerners know what type of airport you are flying to when you’re headed North.
The Canada Flight Supplement is a monster source of data, isn’t it? Suppose you have a charter to Awesome Place (CYAP), a fictional but clearly awesome place north of 60. I’m not being sarcastic here (I’m being cheeky) — it is probably awesome, and how would you know? You’ve never been there. Keep an open mind! You might wonder if the CYAP runway will be cleared, or if it’s paved. Find it in the CFS. You wonder if you will be landing on a strip with nothing but snow and trees around? Look under PF for “public facilities.” Next, take a look at the “FLT PLN” section. Skip down to where it says “CARS.”
1. If there is just a phone number listed, then it is a 24-hour station. You will also notice “METAR H24″ immediately below, next to “WX.” Someone will always be there, so you can say “Awesome Place Airport Radio” when you call up — no need to broadcast. You can expect to get current weather, RSC’s, assistance with fuel callouts, whatever you need from the helpful Observer/Communicators who work the radios. You don’t need to activate the ARCAL, because we have control of the lights. We don’t normally close IFR flight plans (although we do for VFR) and won’t be able to give you clearances — contact centre directly.
2. If it says “ltd hrs (see COMM)” beside the phone number, then you are flying into a part-time CARS airport. These stations run somewhat less than 24/7, some just Monday to Friday, daytime (details are listed under COMM). You will also notice below that, in the WX area, it says “METAR dur CARS hrs of ops.” In this case, if you’re arriving during the hours of operations, you can say “Cool Place Airport Radio” and expect to get a current altimeter, weather, and have runway lights operated for you (all the same services as a full-time station). If you are going to be arriving outside operating hours, you can certainly call ahead and arrange for the Observer/Communicator to be there for a charter.
In either case, if there is no answer — because the full-time station is temporarily unattended or the part-time station is closed — then feel free to go on with “Cool Place TRAFFIC, Lear Jet…. (location, estimate, intentions, you know what to do)…” In the part-time stations, if it’s after hours or on a weekend, go ahead and activate the ARCAL and watch for traffic — you’re on your own. You may even want to overfly the field to make sure there’s no snowplow out there and to have a look at the runway condition.
3. If the CFS has nothing to say for CARS or WX under the FLT PLN section, then you know you are headed somewhere really small (Nahanni Butte, for example). There won’t be anyone on site, except perhaps a snowplow operator, so feel free to get right to your traffic broadcast and don’t expect an answer back. Use the ARCAL, if there is one (look under “LIGHTING”). If you are wondering about runway surface conditions, and there aren’t any in the NOTAM files, try calling the regional APM or local operators (for Nahanni Butte, try ones in Fort Simpson) to see what they know. These small places are supposed to do daily RSC’s, but aren’t always diligent.
There are only a few exceptions to this — places like Norman Wells and Inuvik have Flight Service Stations, so it doesn’t say “CARS” but it does say “METAR H24,” so you know there are good services there. You should know what to expect from an FSS — this post is meant to clarify a few things about CARS.
Hope that helps you in your research when you are flying into somewhere new.
Security is a Myth October 31, 2012Posted by Teresa in Inspired by a book, Ponder This.
Tags: adventures, feeling secure, nun-chucks, security, threats
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“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” – Helen Keller
I first heard the phrase “security is a myth” from Steve Pavlina, a personal development guru-of-sorts. He’s a bit unconventional, but a very interesting guy and author of Personal Development for Smart People. I went to one of his Conscious Growth Workshops where I met some amazing people, many of whom are still great friends of mine. So, I’d like to talk about the idea that “security is a myth” to share my insights.
My husband listens to a podcast called “Security Now,” where a couple of very smart computer guys discuss the latest issues in computer security. It seems there is always something new in this arena, and as soon as one hole in security is plugged, another is found (or made). It seems to be an unending cycle of trying to beat the hackers and keep a system secure.
What about personal security? There are dozens of different home security systems, car anti-theft systems and personal defence items like pepper spray or nun-chucks.* All this, because we want to feel secure. We feel, because we’ve been told, that our security is at risk. Consider the United States’ national security alerts — with all the colours of the hot part of the rainbow, it can tend to make people nervous.
Yet Steve Pavlina says security is a myth. Is there no way to be secure? Is there no way to be sure that you’re going to be okay? Sounds like a formula for worry! Well, if so, remember that the cure for worrying is to trust. We simply have to trust that we are going to be okay. We can learn to trust that our true self cannot be harmed. Our physical bodies are just weak impressions of our true, multi-dimensional selves.
All this emphasis on security is a sort of distraction. By trying so hard for something that is unattainable, we expend a lot of energy that we could be using for something else — personal growth that is helpful, expansive and life-changing. In many ways, struggling for security just puts walls around us, walls that prevent meaningful friendships and fun adventures. The biggest change is felt by releasing ourselves from the quest for security, so we allow ourselves more freedom — freedom to go have fun and make mistakes, to be unafraid of our neighbour and stop looking for the threat in everything.
What if you told yourself “there is just no way to be secure.” Would fear overwhelm you? For a few minutes, perhaps. What if you followed it up with “security is a myth. It isn’t real, so maybe the things I have been afraid of aren’t real either.” At the very least, they are probably inflated, made to be bigger than they really are. If you think about that, and keep breathing, you will soon be able to come to peace with the idea that security is a myth. You will feel a release, a lightness, and as this truth settles into your core, you’ll feel like your spirit is a cork, bobbing on the ocean of the universe, unsinkable and free.
Another way to think of it is “do I get my security from external things or internal things?” Obviously, feeling secure from the inside is the way to go… and then we can get on with having our “daring adventures!”
*No nuns were harmed in the writing of this blog post.
Zig Ziglar March 30, 2011Posted by Teresa in Inspired by a book, Ponder This.
Tags: dream, motivation, quotes
I don’t know who this Zig Ziglar is, but I love his quotes!
If you can dream it, then you can achieve it. You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.
You cannot perform in a manner inconsistent with the way you see yourself.
It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you use that makes a difference.
A lot of people quit looking for work as soon as they find a job.
Every choice you make has an end result.
The way you see people is the way you treat them.
If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.
If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.
If you want to reach a goal, you must “see the reaching” in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.
Little men with little minds and little imaginations go through life in little ruts, smugly resisting all changes which would jar their little worlds.
Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side.
Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the “gotta have it” scale.
Money won’t make you happy… but everybody wants to find out for themselves.
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.
Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.
(These came from Brainy Quote.)
So, apparently, Zig Ziglar is an author and motivational speaker. I haven’t read any of his books, but I just thought I’d share these quotes I found.
Lies We Believe July 31, 2010Posted by Teresa in Inspired by a book, Ponder This.
Tags: attitude, attraction, beauty, identity, self, thoughts
Recently, I’ve realized and read some really big truths. Or rather, I’ve realized some really big lies that many of us believe without even realizing it.
1 - The lie: Outside things control us. The full quotation from The Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes says
We have thought that outside things controlled us, when all the time we have had that within which could have changed everything and given us freedom from bondage. – Holmes
Although we may think that our external environment controls what we do or how we live, it simply isn’t true. You never give up your control over your actions and thoughts. In tough times, you can choose to think positively. When someone is rude to you, you can choose to be polite. We have complete, utter sovereignty over our thoughts and therefore our lives.
2 – The lie: Things create more things. You might think, “no, people create things.” That’s not exactly true either. When it comes to creating anything in our lives, attitudes create things. And when I say “things,” I mean physical objects, circumstances, etc. You have probably experienced the frustration of trying to do something and just none of it will go right — your attitude, or thoughts, have made that thing hard to do, or they’ve made you want to do them when it isn’t the right time yet. If you get into an A-type personality mode, you can often push hard to do something that just isn’t needed/ready/the best thing to do. So your attitude creates a difficult time.
But getting back to the idea that attitudes create things, just realize that anything, good or bad, is in your life because you brought it there through a conscious or subconscious attitude and only you can remove it or change it. That is the foundation, but I don’t want to make it sound like it’s just “snap your fingers and voilà, it’s done.” It’s quite a bit of work to start being aware of what you’re thinking and how that’s affecting your life, and then learning to change it!
3 – The lie: Women need make-up. Why? To be attractive, of course. But make no mistake — you don’t attract people by how you look. Society feeds us the lie that women need make-up (and hair products, and skin lotions…) and popular media tries to tell us that our worth is tied to our looks, but that is so wrong! We attract people by who we are. We each have our own way of being, which includes our body language (like how we talk, move, look people in the eye, etc) and personality, but it also includes that “je ne sais quoi” — that special something, a person’s spirit. Sometimes, when you meet someone new, you can just tell you’re going to be friends with them. Or you might get a funny vibe not to trust them. In either case, it doesn’t have much to do with how they look, and we must stop believing the lie that we need to BUY THINGS to change the way we look to be more attractive. It’s just NOT TRUE! Authenticity should guide us instead. [Dove Evolution video]
4 – The lie: Men attract women by what they do. For the most part, men are told they have to do something cool, interesting, money-making, etc, to be successful and attract women. Or that they have to be clever/witty or romantic to say the right thing to get the girl.
Not true. You are not what you do. You attract by who you are. You don’t need a sexy job like race car driver to get the girls! Your attitude/spirit will attract them. Be the kind of person you want to attract — if you want a fun-loving, honest girl, be that. If you want a positive, easy-going partner, be that. Trust me, girls aren’t saying “I want a paramedic boyfriend” or “I want a guy who works at the Ford dealership!” It doesn’t matter what you do, it matters who you are. Think about who you would attract by who you are.
I think that the standard stereotypes are starting to be reversed, too. Men are now much more concerned about how they look, and products are now being pushed on them too (such as shave-gel, cologne, hair products). I’m guessing the products and marketing came first and then men started developing concern for their appearance. And women are now becoming more concerned with what they do, too.
I leave you with this last thought: You are not who you think you are… no one is. With no distractions, when you are truly alone with yourself, who are you? If you have no idea, but wish you did, go away by yourself with no distractions (TV, books, hobbies) and no mirror for 4+ days and I think you’ll find out! I certainly did when I went on my long kayak trip. It was wonderful!
Truth and Freedom May 21, 2010Posted by Teresa in Inspired by a book, Ponder This.
Tags: beliefs, freedom, truth
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I was happily reading along, learning about healing and thinking and other great stuff I won’t go into here, when a Bible verse I read struck me differently today. I’ve heard it before, and you probably have too… but today, it had more meaning.
You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. – Jesus of Nazareth
Truth. What is truth? This is a tough question. We tend to know what is untrue, but it’s hard to peg down exactly what capital-T Truth is.
Well, according to Jesus — who, I hope you can agree, even if you don’t believe he came to save you or any of that, was an amazing wise man and teacher — truth is what makes you free. Truth = Freedom. So… if you don’t feel free, then something isn’t true. Something you are thinking or something you believe is not contributing to a feeling of personal freedom. It’s probably at the heart of the unhappiness or feeling of restriction. And so, logic would say, that something you are believing or thinking is not true. You can keep believing it if you want, but you won’t experience maximum freedom until you find your own personal truth.
That’s all I can say. It doesn’t seem to be anything more complicated than that.
It’s late, I need to get to bed. Sorry I haven’t blogged more, but I’ve been really busy. That’s it!
Why God Doesn’t Answer Prayer April 1, 2010Posted by Teresa in Inspired by a book, Ponder This.
Tags: God, personification, prayer, Spirit
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The title of this blog is a little deceiving, I’ll admit. The question of why God doesn’t answer prayer is a flawed question; in fact, all prayer is answered. You may have heard the answer’s either “yes, no, or wait.” I think that’s a little over-simplified! Ernest Holmes says
IF GOD EVER ANSWERED PRAYER, HE ALWAYS ANSWERS PRAYER, since He is “the same yesterday, today and forever.” If there seems to be any failure, it is in man’s ignorance and misunderstanding of the Will and Nature of God.
I’d like to share some things I have read recently that may shed a little more light on prayer. I believe we don’t get the answers we want for a few reasons. This isn’t a complete list or the ultimate treatise on prayer, just a few thoughts of today!
We think God is moody. Some of us have picked up some pretty strange beliefs from our upbringing. One of these is that God is a big, grumpy man up there somewhere, and some days he’s happy to oblige our requests, and some days he’s impossible to please. This is very unfortunate, and this personified view of God makes us think of him more like Grandpa that God. So we start to relate to God in this way, and treat him like an ordinary person. But God is a Force… Spirit… Love. Not a “being” to be pandered to. We work with God to create our reality; if our reality is something we are really unhappy with, we should think about why we made such a situation. We can’t just blame God and call him grumpy.
It would be difficult to believe in a God who cares more for one person than another. There can be no God who is kindly disposed one day and cruel the next; there can be no God who creates us with tendencies and impulses we can scarcely comprehend, and then eternally pushes us when we make mistakes. God is a Universal Presence, an impersonal Observer, a Divine and impartial Giver, forever pouring Himself into His Creation.
- Ernest Holmes, from The Science of Mind
We manipulate God. This activity one comes from point #1 — the belief that God is inconsistent makes us want to manipulate God like a Mighty Parent to get our way. This doesn’t work for so many reasons! I’ve been manipulated a little lately, and I’ve had the opportunity to see it very clearly for what it is — the person manipulating is doing it because he/she thinks they don’t have enough. It comes from a belief in lack, or sometimes injustice. Which leads me to think that we tend to manipulate God when we believe in lack in some aspect of ourselves or our lives. And as long as we believe in lack, or injustice, that’s what we’ll get.
We think God is far away. We plead and plead, pray the same thing over and over, sometimes getting physically louder and louder, when we believe that God is far away. He might not hear us! Nothing could be farther from the truth (forgive the pun)! There is absolutely no distance between you and God; Spirit is Omnipresent. God truly is everywhere, in everything and everyone. Perhaps if you’re repeating yourself and feeling like you aren’t being heard, it’ll help you to think more about God’s omnipresence, or perhaps you are repeating a prayer because you are trying to convince someone other than God — yourself. (That’s a topic for another day!)
So ultimately, if we feel God isn’t answering our prayer, the solution isn’t praying more or louder. It’s not as simple as needing more faith; take a look at your thoughts and attitudes that hinge on your faith. It could be you’re praying for something you already have (or already have the power to have, if only you will recognize it), like praying for happiness. If you get quiet and meditate, the answer will come to you. Rev. Patrick Cameron often says “I don’t know, but something within me does know” and I like that thought!