After a long absence:

It’s been considerable time since I wrote. Life happens and did to me. However, writing happens as well. In the past year, I’ve been writing the next book in my Dangerous Journeys series, The Ice Storm Murders. It’s in revision now, and I hope to have it in print by the end of June. During this time, I also published the audiobook of Painting of Sorrow, narrated by Virginia Ferguson. It is available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.

I found Virginia Ferguson through ACX, a division of Audible and together we worked on the recording, she narrating and me correcting(few indeed were the errors). When the recording was satisfactory from our point of view, it went to the engineers at ACX who passed it without revision, thanks to Virginia.

Listening to one’s own words, as to a radio play, makes the book live in an entirely new way, exciting and at times humbling. It was also an opportunity to identify some minor errors and typos that had been missed in the long revision process. Thanks to the magic of ebooks, those errors have been corrected in the Kindle version and I’m working on the print version.

In the meantime, due to a medical problem, my hip replacement, which should have happened in March is now on hold until July(I hope). I’m half-way through the treatment for my problem and so far all has gone well.

The state of the world is too awful for words, and the situation here in Ontario, with a government doing so much damage to the environment, education, science, health care, culture that it will take a generation to repair, is fraught indeed.

I mourned with the world the loss of so much of Notre Dame and rejoiced that it would be rebuilt. Below is a favourite picture from a vacation we took to Paris in 2015.

Version 2

Closing ELA: An international disgrace.

Scientists, both national and international, politicians inside and outside the House of Commons, patriotic organizations and ordinary concerned citizens like me line up to defend the importance of the Experimental Lakes Area. Who works there? The people who told us about acid rain and the dangers of detergents in our waterways, among other facts.

Who doesn’t want them to work there? The Harper government in the shape of the Fisheries minister Keith Ashfield. Read about it i todays Globe and Mail:

We are saving money, the Harper government cries. It costs 2 million dollars a year, folks. The new Office of Religious Freedom(Whose?) costs 5 million. How much did they squander on those jets. How much are they spending to promote the history of a war no one cares about? And what about those ads about the Action Plan that isn’t there any more.

They aren’t saving money, but I wonder who’s going to make some. Who has those logging contracts?

Replace the ELA with cleacut! What a disgrace.

Gutting the endangered species act

May 11, 2012 Scott Prevails with Private Member’s Bill | Laurie Scott MPP.

Yet again, the Tories show their true stripes. The Bill to amend the endangered species act draws on the same old arguments, although this time its the “bobolink in a farmer’s hay-field”, not a spotted owl in a stand of forest, but the premise is still the same: economy trumps environment.

“We are moving forward with important legislation that will bring a more balanced approach to species protection, without penalizing farmers, forestry companies, recreational outdoor enthusiasts and countless other individuals and organizations who have been negatively impacted by the disastrous implementation of the current legislation by MNR,” said Scott, who is the PC Critic for Natural Resource.

Buried in there, with the farmers and the outdoor enthusiasts is the term “forestry companies” ie: large corporations which want to exploit the land without due consideration for its ecology.

Every day, it seems, we are told that a piece of legislation, whether to ease the rules around land use, or decrease the environmental studies needed, or decrease the protection of endangered species  is needed to counteract  job losses, losses created by the decline of manufacturing and failure to expand the knowledge economy outside of the major cities, and the egregious actions of banking around the world, not the poor bobolink.

I note that Ms. Scott represents my riding, her power base is in the more agricultural areas of the riding, and her background is nursing, not one of the environmental sciences. I wonder whose science she is depending on to assist her  in her role as opposition critic for Natural Resources.

The Harper government is gutting the social fabric of this country. A Tory government in Ontario would be disastrous, if this bill is evidence of its intent.

Iceland Volcano Update

Met Office: Iceland Volcano Update.

The volcano in Iceland continues to sputter and spew, sending plumes of ash skyward. The random winds distribute over Europe, and aircraft fly or they don’t. The meteorologists suggest it will go on for months – including, I suppose, the weeks we will be in Spain. Prudence suggests money in the bank account, space on the credit cards and a sense of adventure. There could be worse places to be stranded than Andalucia.

The link above is to a youtube video of the volcano in April.

NASA has a new satellite picture of the cloud available at:

The effects of continuing volcanic eruption at the current level remains uncertain. The European Geosciences Union currently is meeting to discuss the volcanic eruptions, among other topics. One speaker, whose remarks are reported at the link below, spoke of the need for improved remote sensing in order to better define the risk to aircraft, and the environment.

Volcanic eruptions, sinkholes, earthquakes – Mother Nature is restless this spring.