The Cycle of Life

One of the most important characteristics of living things is that they die. It’s a necessary part of life so that new living things have opportunity for growth and progress. I helped celebrate life yesterday, attending the funeral of a paratrooper/farmer/hunter uncle, Lewis Radford. He was like a second father to me when I was young, teaching me a lot about hunting, shooting, reloading, welding and how to maintain an even keel in good times and bad. He died old, 94 years, and he was a picture of health, vigour, and humanity for many decades. He worked hard and grew kilotons of wheat on the dry hilly lands of southwest Saskatchewan.

My family and I drove west along the Trans Canada Highway for the funeral and we left earlier than planned to avoid the brunt of a winter storm. As it turned out we suffered only some gusty winds and light rain at the edge of the storm after we entered Saskatchewan. Some memorable moments of the trip:

  • At the church in Gull Lake, I was surprised to see my uncle’s military memorabilia on display and that the urn was a 50 calibre ammunition box. While I knew well that he had been a paratrooper in WWII, voluntarily jumping out of perfectly good airplanes in the dark to trouble tyrants, to me he was the ultimate civilian, helpful and productive economically and socially, not a celebrated killer.
  • Near the end of the ceremony, as a young granchild’s patience evaporated, she squirmed in her mother’s arms to examine the dour individuals in the pew behind hers. She gave us all the warmest, most sincere smile I’ve ever seen. The cycle of life is thriving as it should.
  • Relatives met at the grave-site at sunset, placed the urn and buried it with reverence but good humour. Chilly wind could not displace the warmth that filled all of us.
  • Afterwards we met at the family farmhouse, renewing acquaintances, sharing memories, laughter, conversation and good food.
  • I came away with three heads of Uncle Lewis’ wheat of which I will thresh and plant my own small crop next year in my garden.
  • On the drive back, my family stopped the car and got out to witness a clear cold dark prairie night sky from horizon to horizon. It was awesome.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
This entry was posted in family, food, hunting, weather and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to The Cycle of Life

  1. Ivan says:

    Really, Bob? Why not just go back to forcibly sterilizing poor non-white women?

  2. “Fortunately, the solution to population growth is within our grasp. It is well established that when poverty is alleviated and particularly when women and girls are educated, and have access to primary health care and family planning, political autonomy and economic power, fertility rates drop.”

    Yep. It’s not something that should need advocating. It’s necessary.

  3. Grece says:

    Speaking of population control Robert. The Greens in Canada are advocating that exact thing for the worlds population.

    https://www.greenparty.ca/en/policy/vision-green/world/population

  4. Ivan wrote, “Hunting does squat for population control.”

    You’re not killing enough deer then.

  5. Ivan says:

    Sorry, Bob, but your argument doesn’t float. We kill more deer annually than there are people living in Winnipeg and we still have die offs.

    Hunting does squat for population control.

  6. Ivan wrote, “the die-off was due to lack of hunting”.

    Of course the die-off was not due to hunting. We had three winters consecutively where the snow was too deep for deer to browse and they starved to death year after year. The smaller deer did not grow up. We’ve been hunting bucks only and have had three good winters in a row now so they should be recovered next year. Hunting is not about killing off deer but just putting limits on the population. The population may overshoot and that can be handled by two and three deer licensing and “any deer” rather than bucks only. In the middle 1990s deer were very plentiful and three-deer were allowed in most places. I only ever took just one because my family don’t particularly like venison. There are only two of us eating the deer we’re taking lately.

  7. Ivan says:

    sigh That’s nice, Bob, but you haven’t shown that the die-off was due to lack of hunting. If anything you’ve only shown that Canadians need to drive more careful… maybe they should buy Solo’s 🤣

  8. Ivan wrote, ” Down here, deer are hunted by various means from October 1 to January 1. Even after a massive die-off from CWD there is an increase in car collisions and massive crop loss.”

    Maybe you need to hunt more deer. In the USA there are millions of deer. In Manitoba just ~100K or so. In USA, a single farm might suffer hundreds of $thousands in losses to deer. One farm harvested 200 deer after the cost of deer was estimated. Hunting is necessary for food production and safety of people.

    See also, Deer crashes in Winnipeg and Manitoba highest in 2016: MPI data

    “The top five vehicle-deer collision areas in Manitoba are:

    Eastman: 1,630 collisions/year
    Westman: 1,455 collisions/year
    Interlake: 1,115 collisions/year
    Pembina Valley: 630 collisions/year
    City of Winnipeg: 625 collisions/year”

    That’s with hunting allowed for bucks only to rebuild the population after two severe winters. The population in rural areas is way down but the collisions with deer in Winnipeg where hunting is not allowed are way up. Hunters may take only about 10000 deer per annum in Manitoba in a bucks-only season. Personally, I’ve seen twice as many deer while out hunting every year for the last three years. Numbers are approaching normal levels so collisions with deer are increasing more each year causing death and destruction. Hunting is a tool for managing the population.

  9. Ivan says:

    If you don’t care about humanity, that’s true, but we see in places where deer are protected from hunting and predation that deer are fruitful and multiply to the point that they starve and eat all possible vegetation.

    That’s nice, Bob, but you haven’t shown that the die-off was due to lack of hunting. Down here, deer are hunted by various means from October 1 to January 1. Even after a massive die-off from CWD there is an increase in car collisions and massive crop loss.

    Maybe you should revisit your statement.

  10. Grece wrote, “What would things be like if nobody hunted? Would everything fall apart? I don’t think it would. Animals and plants would find an equilibrium, as with anything else in nature. Man’s intervention is NOT required.”

    If you don’t care about humanity, that’s true, but we see in places where deer are protected from hunting and predation that deer are fruitful and multiply to the point that they starve and eat all possible vegetation. Then there’s the fact that they are regularly killed in frequent collisions with automobiles. Deer don’t recognize them as dangerous. We are near the northern limit of the range of deer and large numbers can only exist because of agriculture. You just can’t separate human activity from the activity of deer.

    See also, Birds Hill Park: “Birds Hill Provincial Park is home to a white-tailed deer population that fluctuates between 150 and 250 animals. You may have the good fortune to spot one of these secretive, elusive creatures feeding along the edge of a clearing just after sunset or early in the day. If alarmed, the deer will snort and bound away with its white tail raised and waving side to side, warning other deer of your presence.
     
    White-tailed deer are relative newcomers to Manitoba. It wasn’t until about 1900 that they were regularly seen by settlers in the southern part of the province. Before then, mule deer and elk were more common. The control of prairie fires, allowing trees and shrubs to grow on former grassland, and the removal of bush in forested areas produced ideal conditions for white-tailed deer.
     
    The park’s deer population is managed to ensure a healthy, viable and highly viewable herd.”

  11. Grece says:

    Hunting is NOT a tool of government Robert. If anything it is a hobby / sport that people enjoy.

    What would things be like if nobody hunted? Would everything fall apart? I don’t think it would. Animals and plants would find an equilibrium, as with anything else in nature. Man’s intervention is NOT required.

  12. Someone wrote, “To say that your own pampered booty needs to hunt (Tools!, Tools!,) is a brazen lie. It’s a game you’re playing and lives that you are wasting – and for what – nothing, precisely nothing.”

    Such ignorance! Hunting is the major tool of government to regulate the number of deer. Left to themselves the deer would strip forest and farm and starve as well as kill and maim many motorists. Hunters have replaced predators in that role. We’ve been limited to bucks only for a few years to compensate for 3 years of deep snow. Hunting is necessary if you don’t want predators killing pets and children.

  13. Well_well says:

    I really, really hope that “An Out Of Phase Transistor” is a vegan…

  14. An Out Of Phase Transistor says:

    “He/she does know that I don’t live in a city and I live very close to public forested areas quite suitable for hunting and shooting.”

    Ah yes, mistaking an obvious critique of a horrible and unacceptable “hobby” with an accesibility complaint, flawless logic and reasoning, as per usual.

    “Firearms are tools to me for hunting and toys for me for target-shooting.”

    Tools? TOOLS!? A statement made by a first-world citizen who’s only problem is complaining about trivialities he barely understands (this being true regardless of the topic, be it Linux, the economy, or Trump) while the real problems both in-scope and in-gist elude him. To say that your own pampered booty needs to hunt (Tools!, Tools!,) is a brazen lie. It’s a game you’re playing and lives that you are wasting – and for what – nothing, precisely nothing.

    Buy yourself a proper PC, install a proper OS and play a hunting SIM video game (yes, they exist)… and leave the local wildlife alone.

    “The range of Solo will take me to three such areas that I know about as well as a proper rifle-range.”

    And a bike wouldn’t? Your over-priced solution to the non-existent problem, that you shouldn’t be trying to solve in the first place has no generally applicable value – for short travel with no cargo hold you might as well use a bike (or just walk), for elderly citizens who don’t want to drive we have buses, but for most realistic scenarios you need a car (without any scare-quotes attached).

    “When I have my Solo I intend to hunt and shoot much more often because it will be five times cheaper to drive and much lower in maintenance.”

    All I can say is: I certainly hope you never get it, even if it saves a single life.

    You would do well te realise, if somewhat late in life, that hunting is an occupation acceptable only when actually needed for survival, playing games with life and death is beneath contempt and criminal too, watch out, why won’t you.

    (I suppose it might be possible that Canada is so barbaric that this type of behaviour doesn’t fall under criminal law, it would surprise me though, and make all those complaints about Trump seem completely outlandish as opposed to merely naive.)

  15. Well_well says:

    I’ve driven hundreds of thousands of miles and never had a collision of any sort.

    Ah, the good old survival bias.

    Another point is that things like ABS are not only for the protection of the occupants of the vehicle, they are also for the protection of the bystanders. While you undoubtedly are next to infallible as a driver, most people are not. That makes it very easy to make a case for mandating ABS and ESP.

  16. Well_well wrote, “to prevent you from causing unnecessary crashes and/or getting unnecessary injuries that would need expensive treatments on taxpayer’s or insurance payer’s money.”

    I’ve driven hundreds of thousands of miles and never had a collision of any sort. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate a good seat, seat-belts or air-bags. I’d prefer a five-point seat-belt in Solo and I think an air-bag in the steering column would be an excellent idea but I can live without them. It’s not as if I plan to live forever.

  17. Well_well says:

    “I don’t require … airbags or ABS.”

    That’s why others need to require them for you, to prevent you from causing unnecessary crashes and/or getting unnecessary injuries that would need expensive treatments on taxpayer’s or insurance payer’s money.

  18. Deaf Spy says:

    Funny how they still insist that “The LeMaker Cello is now only accept the pre-order, and the scheduled ship time is in Q2 of 2016.”
    Year and a half since then and even the web page is not updated.

    They also show off another “wonder”: http://www.lenovator.com/product/80.html
    Robert, why don’t you give it a try? True, is has only 3GB RAM, but you keep telling us that Linux is light and optimized, that shouldn’t be an issue.
    Ops, sorry, stock is also 0.

  19. Grece says:

    Well Robert, wasn’t it you that wanted that super-duper Lemaker Cello, but whined about it later when it was not made available?

    “pre-order it for $299 dollars and because PCIe x16 slot isn’t working, users will get a free heatsink and fan.”

    Another quality purchase.

  20. Grece wrote, “You are betting your livelihood on the statements of others. You are so naive Robert.”

    Grece knows about language, eh? You know, communication by means of words spoken or written. It does work still. It’s a big part of what makes us human, not naive.

  21. Grece says:

    Jerry could provide those but that would delay delivery.

    RIGHT

    Solo will do what I want better than any other vehicle, transport me from A to B.

    Again, being that it will never arrive, your statement is a farce. You are betting your livelihood on the statements of others. You are so naive Robert.

  22. Someone wrote, “mixing-up a rarely used, grotesque, and hideous hobby toy (a hunting rifle), with a facility used every day, by everyone working in a city (a car).”

    He/she does know that I don’t live in a city and I live very close to public forested areas quite suitable for hunting and shooting. The range of Solo will take me to three such areas that I know about as well as a proper rifle-range. Firearms are tools to me for hunting and toys for me for target-shooting. When I have my Solo I intend to hunt and shoot much more often because it will be five times cheaper to drive and much lower in maintenance.

  23. Grece wrote, ” YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE A SOLO EVER
     
    Jerry cannot provide AC, airbags, ABS, etc… the list goes on.”

    Of course, Jerry could provide those but that would delay delivery. I’m quite happy with the current configuration of Solo. I don’t require AC, airbags or ABS. Solo will do what I want better than any other vehicle, transport me from A to B. I want to do that at the lowest cost in dollars and inconvenience. Solo is a winner.

  24. Grece says:

    And just as a reminder Robert.

    YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE A SOLO EVER

    Jerry cannot provide AC, airbags, ABS, etc… the list goes on.

    Why spend $15K on an inferior product? It reminds me of your pig-head demanding only ARM and purposely avoiding Intel, it is quite frankly, just silly.

  25. An Out Of Phase Transistor says:

    Yes, just as one can buy a .308 but borrow something bigger for the rare grizzly.

    Ah yes, mixing-up a rarely used, grotesque, and hideous hobby toy (a hunting rifle), with a facility used every day, by everyone working in a city (a car).

    The logic is astounding…

    I do have a neighbour who owns a bus but most drive compact cars despite the fact that a bus is occasionally useful.

    Except we weren’t talking about “owning a bus,” were we Robert? No, the point, that you would like to avoid here, is that your proposed solution doesn’t work (a “car” with scare-qoutes, as opposed to a real car, without said quotes).
    You are reduced to using public transport all the damn time with all associated problems, whilst not actually enjoying the key benefit – low price + no-price of car ownership.

    Mini cars make no sense, unless you don’t even need one, at which point they become a rather expensive toy.

  26. ram says:

    My condolences and respects.

  27. Grece says:

    Dougie? I think you have me confused with someone else you senile goat lover.

    Bigotries?….Robert was talking about the “cycle of life” and I thought it would be relevant to mention a terrorist attack by a Muslim immigrant in Canada, that was taken out by the local police force. I am glad none of your family members were held hostage, otherwise I think your response would have been totally different.

    See, I enjoy Canadians, having partied with them, had sex with them and even dated a few. But I know Canadians enough that I say what they cannot, and given the current poll, at least half of them share my negative connotations with Muhammadans.

    https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/gyj97x/nearly-half-of-canadians-have-negative-feelings-towards-islam-poll

  28. Ivan says:

    Your expressed bigotries about Canada in general have nothing to do with the Topic at hand.

    Maybe Canadians should stop being racist shitheels and fix their own damn problems before criticizing their Southern neighbor, eh?

  29. Grece wrote sarcastically, of Toronto, the snobbiest part of Canada, “Seems like a lovely vacation getaway spot.”

    I don’t like Toronto much. It’s too much of an ant-hill. Too many yards have in-ground pools. It’s too hot and humid in summer. Torontonians think they are better than the rest of us. Still, I would prefer to be in Toronto instead of NYC or Chicago any time of the year at any hour of the day. My ancestors left that part of Canada for greater freedom out west and I thank them for their good decision.

  30. The Wiz wrote, “It is one thing to call Robert Pogson on his unthinking and stubborn cheapness.”

    I just spent $hundreds on yet another rifle and ammunition that I don’t really need and folks are calling me “cheap”. Why don’t they call me a spendthrift, about the opposite of cheap?

  31. wizard emiritus says:

    “Speaking of the “cycle of life” Robert.”

    Who cares Dougie.

    Your expressed bigotries about Canada in general have nothing to do with the Topic at hand.

    It is one thing to call Robert Pogson on his unthinking and stubborn cheapness. It is quite another to spew jingoistic bile, that is in the end quite boring.

  32. Grece says:

    Speaking of the “cycle of life” Robert.

    http://torontosun.com/news/local-news/warmington-vaughan-hostage-taker-wore-suicide-vest-demanded-to-speak-with-trump

    One of the comments was spot on, Toronto is very scary, the government enables the addicts, the street addicts look for stuff to steal and people to rob while the crazies have their illness magnified by the drugs. Then we have all the lovely homies engaged in the drug trade shooting people in public spaces during daylight and a politically correct government that keeps the cops from going after the thugs.

    Seems like a lovely vacation getaway spot.

  33. Grece wrote, “Buses are used by minorities and low-income ilk”.

    Nonsense. I’ve travelled from Winnipeg to Vancouver for $199 one way. It works and the ride was quite pleasant. I hate driving at night or in mountains. Buses work for me and I’m not a minority or low in income. TLW prefers flying but I prefer buses. With enhanced security short hauls can be faster than flying. e.g Brandon is 15 minutes flying time but just going to the airport, checking in and going through security can be two hours. It’s two hours by bus. Then, there’s value in being able to converse and enjoying scenery when someone else is driving. Even if flying or busing was necessary several times per year a big car would cost more per passenger-mile, considering capital cost, maintenance and insurance. Suppose one does long trips of 5000 miles per annum. It’s not worth owning a car costing twice as much as Solo to buy and several times as much as Solo to operate. I can travel the well-travelled parts of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Manitoba just by stopping a few times to recharge for $0. Most would find that inconvenient but walking around and eating are good for me.

  34. Grece wrote, “sans any supporting evidence”.

    Uh… Leona has been driving Solo for six months. Obviously the car works and complies with safety-standards. That’s all the evidence I need. Oh, and there’s the bit about a Chinese manufacturer gearing up to crank out Solos…

  35. Grece says:

    Anyway, the dam is about to burst on production.

    If the hydro bursts Robert, how pray tell would you get power?

    CEO has told workers to get lots of rest over Christmas as they will be working hard in January.

    RIGHT

    Safety-inspections were passed and production will be ramped up.

    What safety inspections, by what agency, what certification standard, and when did this transpire precisely?

    Robert, you are only retelling what Jerry is telling you, sans any supporting evidence. Seriously, pull you head out of your derriere and wake-up to the fact that YOU ARE NEVER GETTING A SOLO.

  36. Grece says:

    Buses are used by minorities and low-income ilk Robert, goto any Greyhound bus station to confirm this. Along with that, it is the slowest option for travel. What may take you 1-2 hours, ends up being 4-5 at best.

    Read all the single-star reviews.

    https://www.consumeraffairs.com/travel/greyhound.html

  37. oiaohm says:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bus
    Grece Bus is a interesting one. Some places are deploying more Electric buses.

    So yes buses is less fuel than each person taking there own car. Electric buses in tunnels do have some serous advantages. Basically nothing changed grece still doing wild claims without any research.

  38. Grece wrote, “buses run diesel, an alleged hydro-carbon pollutant!”

    There are a few electrics in existence, but, yes, most are diesel and they carry 45 passengers very efficiently using less hydrocarbons per passenger-mile than private cars. There is also the advantage that someone else does the driving so one can arrive at the destination well rested instead of tired and a professional driver and larger vehicle is safer.

  39. Grece says:

    But Robert, buses run diesel, an alleged hydro-carbon pollutant!

  40. Someone wrote, “Grand, what a choice, to own a car, or to own a “car” and use the bus when needed”

    Yes, just as one can buy a .308 but borrow something bigger for the rare grizzly. I do have a neighbour who owns a bus but most drive compact cars despite the fact that a bus is occasionally useful.

  41. An Out Of Phase Transistor says:

    …or take the bus…

    Grand, what a choice, to own a car, or to own a “car” and use the bus when needed.

    Wait a minute, it isn’t a choice at all, it was just an excuse… one of those “damning with faint praise” type declarations.

    So, SOLO is not really an option then, eh Robert?

  42. Grece wrote, “How many Solo’s were shipped in the past quarter?
     
    ZERO”

    Nope. The meter-maids in Vancouver got one. Anyway, the dam is about to burst on production. CEO has told workers to get lots of rest over Christmas as they will be working hard in January. Safety-inspections were passed and production will be ramped up.

  43. Grece wrote, “4300 miles? I highly doubt that”.

    O, numeracy! Six month’s ownership is about 180 days. Greens and Beans works seven days a week. 20 miles of commuting X 180 days is what, 3600 miles? They deliver… Do the maths if you can’t think.

  44. Grece wrote, “A family would need to purchase 5-6 Solo’s to attend a family outing. Which is impractical to say the least.”

    …or take the bus…

  45. Grece says:

    4300 miles? I highly doubt that Robert.

    It wouldn’t be a good value for you or for anyone else for that matter, as no one can obtain one.

    How many Solo’s were shipped in the past quarter?

    ZERO

    And your story proves exactly my point. A family would need to purchase 5-6 Solo’s to attend a family outing. Which is impractical to say the least.

  46. Grece, going off-topic, wrote, “This is exactly why the Solo will never come to be, it’s worth is junk for transportation.”

    Leona, of Greens and Beans, is celebrating her six month anniversary of driving Solo and reports she still loves Solo after 7000km. I’d say it was a good buy for her. It will be for me also. It will be for anyone who drives short distances often. There is a need for Solo and Solo was designed to meet that need. Solo has great value.

  47. Grece says:

    This is exactly why the Solo will never come to be, it’s worth is junk for transportation.

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