Picture a Beach (3)

Driftwood Lean-to

Long Beach, Tofino.  March 2019


What Not to Do

After my last post, I feel obliged to publish a disclaimer.

If you see a bear – DO NOT RUN and DO NOT THROW things at it. Those are big no-no’s according to the people at Parks & Rec. and they know what they’re talking about.

But you knew that, right?

You know unreliable advice when you see it.


Wolf & Bear Country. Ucluelet. March 2019


Reasons to Look Up

Wild Pacific Trail to Amphitrite

There are lots of reasons to look up when walking on the Wild Pacific Trail.

The magnificent coastal views.

Clear skies to Broken Islands

The splendor of rain forest trees and strange obsession of people with locks.

Locks on the trail

The danger of looking down is that it might lead to finding this.

Grisly find by someone taking a walk. Image from Ucluelet Community Facebook page.

There have been multiple reports of wolves out and about.  Sightings and howlings at twilight and dusk. 

We don’t have a dog, so we’re not normally out then.  It’s only the garbage that needs to be taken out at night.  The threat there is for bears. They like to hang out near dumpsters for late night snacks. Of garbage, not people.

But the bears haven’t woken up yet.  And it’s hubby who takes out the garbage. He can toss bags better and further than me. He runs faster too.

Ucluelet. March 2019

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

I woke up this morning is this what I saw.

I had a dilemma.

A sunny day outside – the first in a string of cloudy days.

A perky sourdough starter – bread-ready after a week of feeding and nurturing.

I had planned to bake bread today.

Queue chords from The Clash …

Should I STAY or Should I GO?

Uhm-twaang twang twang nwuh twang … 

If I go there would be trouble.

If I stayed it would be double. 

Dumm thum da dumm … 

The lyrics didn’t help with the decision.

So I did both.

Ucluelet, B.C. March 2019


Setting up Home Again

Essentials of home

It’s official. We’re back, unpacked and set up.

The coffee’s been ground.
The sourdough starter’s been started.
And my pickled Ham Choy¹ is underway.

Everything’s in place … all the essentials of being home again.

Ucluelet. March 2019

1. A note about Ham Choy. This is less than scrupulous SEO plug. I have this other blog TheSandyFoodChronicles, for which I have a constant, steady and bewildering flow of traffic. It’s not that I post there regularly. In fact, I post there even more infrequently than here. No, the stream of hits is due to set of old posts on Ham Choy.

What’s Ham Choy? It’s a type of sour pickle used in a particular style of Chinese cooking. Apparently, not a lot is written about Ham Choy but a lot people search for it.

I make my own Ham Choy. It’s a mainstay of my pantry and an essential ingredient for making home-style comfort meals. It’s as necessary as … milk in mac n cheese, eggs in omelettes and ketchup on fries. In any case, my kitchen is not complete until I have a jar of Ham Choy on hand.

Iditarod – Some lessons take time to learn


Years ago when I was a new manager, I was subject to a corporate training event. For an interminably long six hours I had to listen to motivational talks on teamwork and people management.

Full of spunk and youthful impatience I bristled at the truisms taught by our instructor. I thought it a huge waste of time. Adding insult to injury, he made us watch a documentary on the Iditarod race.

What did dog sledding have to do with people management?

A lot, as seen in this 2019 report “The Iditarod leader’s dogs went on strike after he yelled at them” by Corinne Purtill .

Then Joey—one of 14 huskies pulling Petit’s sled—started fighting with another dog on the team. A frustrated Petit yelled at the dog. And then none of the dogs would race any further.

“I yelled at Joey, and everybody heard the yelling, and that doesn’t happen,” Petit told the Iditarod Insider website, according to the Associated Press. “And then they wouldn’t go anymore. Anywhere. So we camped here.”

It only goes to show that some lessons take longer to learn.

Ucluelet. March 2019

Back in Ucluelet

First look on the Wild Pacific Trail

We are back in Ucluelet.

They tell us it’s been a hard winter. It snowed. It hasn’t snowed for ten years. The two centimeters of accumulation created havoc. Especially when it didn’t melt off by 11am.

Well, it’s 1pm now and the view from the Wild Pacific Trail is great.

Ucluelet. Vancouver Island, B.C. March 2019