Saturday, December 31, 2005

Extract from the diary of William E. Cormack who walked across the island of Newfoundland in 1822. Here's an entry when he visited Cape Ray.

November 29th. -- Cape Ray. -- Having slept the previous night in the winter house of one of the families at Little Cod Roy river, we to-day walked round Cape Ray, here leaving the French Shore and entering upon American Newfoundland, or that division of the coast on which the Americans have a right of fishing and of drying their fish. On the shore north of Cape Ray lay several wrecks of ships and their cargoes of timber. Cape Ray is a low point formed of dusky coloured trap rock, intersected in some places with vertical strata of green trap, running in an east and west direction. The coal formation of St. George's Bay adjoins. On the very Cape there resides during summer a person of the name of Wm. Windsor, with his family. We found him in his winter hut in a spruce wood two or three miles to the eastward of the Cape. The most perfect contentment, cheerfulness, poverty, and hospitality were the characteristics of the monarch of Cape Ray. His resources, through the means of fishing, enabled him to procure a sufficiency of coarse biscuit, molasses, and tea, by which, together with fowling, he supported his family. He wore no covering on his head, even when exposed to the inclement weather -- Nature, aided doubtless by habit, providing him with an extraordinary mat of hair, as she does the inferior animals here with fur. The high lands of Cape Ray lie several miles inland, north-east of the Cape, and consist of a group of granite mountains seemingly nearly two thousand feet in height. The scenery among them is sublime; the steep sides of the wedge-shaped valleys appear smooth and striped at a distance, owing to the crumbled rocks and blocks detached by frost being hurled from the very summits to the bottom, where they lie in heaps of ruins. I had reluctantly to behold only the treasures laid open to the mineralogist. Snow and ice lie in beds on these mountains all the summer. The vicinity of Cape Ray is remarkable for great numbers of foxes, induced here by the abundance of their chief food, viz, the berries of the vaccinium or partridge berry and that of the vaccinium or hurtle berry. We were several days storm-stayed by winds and snow, and the inefficiency of the ice to bear us across the rivulets, at a boat harbour called the Barasway, six or seven miles east of the Cape. The person in whose winter house we here stopped, his summer residence being at Port au Basque at the eastward, had now entrapped and shot about eighty foxes, black, silver gray, patch, and red, in less than two months; all those colours are produced at one litter. The foxes are mostly caught in iron spring-traps, artfully concealed (not baited) in the path-ways along the seashore. It may be noticed that on the west coast of Newfoundland, there is neither Scotchman, Irishman, nor rat to be met with; nor, it is said, has any member of these European families taken up an abode west of Fortune Bay.
My father,grandfather,great grandfather was born in the area where Cormack described the settler William Windsor.A point there bears the name Windsor point and if not for Cormacks diary i doubt if many would know of him.The scenery Cormack describes never changed,the partridge berries are still abundant and some of the locals still trap foxes.About 80 years or so ago the last local gave up having both a winter and summer home at or near Cape Ray.I stll think sometimes it takes a tough breed of people to live here,but not as tough as Windsor who almost 200 years ago became the first.A millenium Before Windsors time the dorset eskimo made it their home and disappeared leaving us to wonder why?I myself keep a journal of daily life and shoot many photographs of the community.I hope in many decades to come all my efforts can help someone(hopefully living in Cape Ray)to decipher much easier what life was all about here. Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Got an email this morning from the Downhome Magazine saying my site was nominated for a Downhome Web Award in the community category!So i want all who visit my site today to click on the link and go vote for me. It's in the community category there called "Tablemountains blogspot." and,come tell me you voted!hell,vote twice and come tell me you voted twice!

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Monday, December 26, 2005

How was your Christmas Day? How was mine you ask? Will it went pretty well, no complaints here. A very quiet day and my two granddaughters dropped by for the evening and that was good enough to make my day. Got plenty of Turkey left over and if you want some drop by and i'll be more then glad to give it to ya. I didn't get to have more then a few drinks last night with friends,but tonight were having our annual Boxing Night dance here in the community and like every other dance here,you can say it's going to be a good one. For some reason this party at our local firehall always turns out to be the best community party of the year here. Best thing about it is that it's only a five minute walk from my home.twenty minutes coming back because the wife has to drag me.(annual thing also)

Friday, December 23, 2005

If a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear it? If two gay guys fall for each other in the forest,does anybody hear it? Apparently so! Hollywood has produced its first gay western and it seems to be leading in the best picture category in the upcoming Academy Awards in the new year. Brokeback Mountain has already won top awards in New York and Los Angeles and several nominations for Golden Globes. It's not Shane i know but i wonder is this the start of things to come in Hollywood?I consider myself a pretty liberal guy and not homophobic(after this blogging,i might be considered one) but i guess im from the old school and still hold a few things sacred. They're screaming its a masterpiece,the writing, acting and cinematography is out of this world!Will i say that's great, but im sure most who go to view won't notice anything other then the theme. The last time i attended a movie i didn't like it was called"Titanic"and my wife weeped,wiped her eyes and nose so much i wouldn't let her put her fingers in my popcorn i had. I wouldn't let anyone put their fingers in my popcorn this time around for sure if i decided to go.We had films such as "Philadelphia," about gay men before and that one drove home a message about aids.This one im not quite sure what the message will be but im sure someone will tell me.

Looks like Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal will be pretty popular after this one in quite a few circles. Read today it's already called the gay "Gone with the Wind." I bet they'll be invited to join in a few parades.yes,yes,i know what your thinking but after reading this press release {"This is our gay 'Gone With the Wind,' " says Neil G. Giuliano, the former Republican mayor of Tempe, Ariz., and current president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, a national organization that tracks the representation of gay men and lesbians in the media. Early Sunday night, GLAAD sent out a press release touting the film's three-day box office take of $544,549 in five theaters -- "the highest per-screen average ever for an adult drama, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc." Adds Giuliano: "This is a monumental gay film."} all i can say is "frankly my queer,i don't give a damn!"

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Wayne's New Year Resolutions......
Yep, it's time for that part of the New Year, where out of some sense of unconscious masochism we set ourselves goals designed to make ourselves feel bad when we don't live up to them. I actually know one or two people who sit down and write up a list of things and by the second week of the new year give it all up.I never ever sat myself up for failure by making my own, but this year i'll take the chance.I have always been part of some volunteer group as far back as i can remember.Sometime in 2006 im going to give it up and see if i miss it.This year im going back to see my doctor and tell him i forgot to come back in three months like he told me 7 years ago.I'll take that surgery and have my darn eye removed.I'll also resolve to keep my blog going all year.Found this little joke and i think it sums the resolution thing all up fairly well.

1999: I will read at least 20 good books a year.
2000: I will read at least 10 books a year.
2001: I will read 5 books a year.
2002: I will finish The Pelican Brief
2003: I will read some articles in the newspaper this year.
2004: I will read at least one article this year.
2005: I will try and finish the comics section this year.


1999: I will get my weight down below 180.
2000: I will watch my calories until I get below 190.
2001: I will follow my new diet religiously until I get below 200.
2002: I will try to develop a realistic attitude about my weight.
2003: I will work out 5 days a week.
2004: I will work out 3 days a week.
2005: I will try to drive past a gym at least once a week.


1999: I will not spend my money frivolously.
2000: I will pay off my bank loan promptly.
2001: I will pay off my bank loans promptly.
2002: I will begin making a strong effort to be out of debt by 1999.
2003: I will be totally out of debt by 2000.
2004: I will try to pay off the debt interest by 2001.
2005: I will try to be out of the country by 2006.


2002: I will try to be a better husband to Marge.
2003: I will not leave Marge.
2004: I will try for a reconciliation with Marge.
2005: I will try to be a better husband to Wanda.


2002: I will stop looking at other women.
2003: I will not get involved with Wanda.
2004: I will not let Wanda pressure me into another marriage.
2005: I will stop looking at other women.


2002: I will not let my boss push me around.
2003: I will not let my sadistic boss drive me to the point of suicide.
2004: I will stick up for my rights when my boss bullies me.
2005: I will tell Dr. Hodger and the group about my boss.


2002: I will not get upset when Charlie makes jokes about my baldness.
2003: I will not get annoyed when Charlie kids me about my toupee.
2004: I will not get angry when Charle tells the guys I wear a girdle.
2005: I will not speak to Charlie.


2002: I will not take a drink before 5:00 p.m.
2003: I will not touch the bottle before noon.
2004: I will not become a "problem drinker".
2005: I will not miss any AA meetings.


2002: I will see my dentist this year.
2003: I will have my cavities filled this year.
2004: I will have my root canal work done this year.
2005: I will get rid of my denture breath this year.


2002: I will go to church every Sunday.
2003: I will go to church as often as possible.
2004: I will set aside time each day for prayer and meditation.
2005: I will try to catch the late night sermonette on TV.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

A lot of the local people in my community have been asking about my Blogspot here.Some try and compare it to my website and can't figure out how the whole process works.So here's a brief description of a blog.It's sort of like an everyday personal journal but with this i can make it my little political soapbox or just ramble/rant on with anything i want.The newest writings show up on top and anyone can comment.If you check out the comments on some of my entries you can also view other blog contributors.You can view other Newfoundland blogs or surf off to Tacoma,Washington to view the Dixie Drifters blog.One of the people who posts comments here is serving a bit of time for a DUI charge and writes of his days in the slammer often using humor to help him cope with it.NL-ExPatriate,living in New Brunswick writes commentary on the province.Justin in Montanna has similiar interests as myself and blogs about his part of the world and Tracy in Idaho really likes to vent.So that's about all i can tell you about blogs!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I remember as a kid in the 60's receiving a camera for a Christmas gift.I think it was called a 110 camera and by late afternoon of Christmas day i had 24 black & white pictures ready to go to the local drugstore to be developed. Several weeks later i got the call saying "your photos are ready."It was bout 3 miles to that place (up hill,both ways!) and i ran that distance in record time.The 24 photos soon became 9 photos and several of them were kind of fuzzy. However it did not discourage me and i saved money to buy color film for my next big photo shoot. The results did not change much and seldom did i ever get more then half the photos on a roll of film the way i wanted to. In my teens another great modern invention came on the scene,the polaroid camera,capable of taking colored images and you could have the results in a minute. Still some photos showed a bit fuzzy and the price of self developing film was not exactly cheap. Over the years i purchased several more cameras , a few 35 mm ones.If i went hunting or to work in the morning i would try and have one in the glove box of my vehicle. In 1999 i purchased my first digital camera a 2 MP Kodak DC 280 and shot over 13,000 photos with it. The price at that time was about $1,400.oo and i considered it a bargain.This spring i purchased a 5 MP Kodak for half that price! Todays shots can be viewed or deleted in a second!The photographer has many options and can print them now even without the use of a PC. I prefer to carry mine to Wallmart and have them printed(much cheaper then i can do myself) i sometimes wonder where it will all lead? Technology changes so fast! I remember the discussions in high school of the future,talking about telephones that you might actually see the other caller on. I think we went quite a ways past that tech thing and im sure in a decade we'll see other surprises that i can't even dream of at the minute in typing this.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

At midnight on December 31, the world will enter the year 2006.In quite a few places on the Globe we'll no doubt hear the sound of gunfire.That gunfire will be directed towards an enemy,not to celebrate the new year but to celebrate his/her death.In my community of Cape Ray,Newfoundland we'll also hear the sound of gunfire but in this case to celebrate the arrival of a new year.It's been a tradition here long before my birth that on the stroke of midnight,New Years Eve residents fire shots in the midnight sky.Rifles & 12 gauges sound through out the whole community announcing the arrival of another year.Im sure Newfoundlanders have more guns per capita then any other Canadian province but a lower crime rate with guns.I daresay this annual event of gunfire is illegal but yet goes unnoticed by the RCMP?Hopefully like many other traditions in Newfoundland it'll continue for years to come.

Friday, December 09, 2005

A knock on a door anywhere during a night of Christmas might make the home home owner wonder who it could be. If the home owners peered through the window and saw a group of people dressed in strange clothes and their idenity concealed then most would never open the door. Not so in Newfoundland!The home owner would swing open the door and listen to the cry...."Any mummers allowed in?" Indeed they are allowed in!
The tradition is called mummering or janneying on the island of Newfoundland. It's a time when people will disguise themselves in old clothing, stuff themselves with pillows, men will dress as women and women will dress as men, and cover their faces with pieces of cloth or pillowcases. Usually one or more in the group will have a musical instrument such as an accordian,guitar or harmonica. The mummers bring laughter, merriment, and Christmas cheer to each home, where residents will tirelessly try to guess who is behind each clever disguise. After a few jigs, dances and drink the group continues on to the next home in the community by foot. We have written songs about it and many paintings by Newfoundland artist have help promote this great tradition. It's a tradition that i hope continues!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Charlie Brown animated Christmas cartoon first appeared in 1965 and like wine seems to improve with age.Charles Schulz the creator wanted A Charlie Brown Christmas to have the religious meaning that was central to his own experience of Christmas. And though the special was made in California, Schulz wanted it to include snowy scenes that recalled his native Midwest.
It was criticized as being too religious—Linus quotes straight from the bible (Luke 2:8-14). It was criticized for featuring contemporary jazz, an offbeat choice for a cartoon. It was criticized for not having a laugh track. It was criticized for using the voices of real children (except for Snoopy, who was voiced by animator Melendez).I wonder if it would of even been created in todays world? If so my guess it would of been called Charlie Browns Holiday Special,bible references would probably be non existent.OK, so back to topic i intended.......Charlie Brown spends most of his time in the cartoon bemoaning the loss of the true Christmas spirit to commercialism and greed, and no matter what his friends do to try and cheer him up, he walks through the holiday season depressed. That was in 1965! Will Charlie your a cartoon character and you never grew old like the rest of us.(excuse me for talking to fictional characters) Today it's not the commercialism you would have to worry about but the the so called politically correct who would want to change so many things in that cartoon.In todays world Charlie,you would be offending so many that i doubt if all you cartoon characters in your special would get to appear.(Once again,please excuse me for talking to cartoon characters,this is my blog so i can talk to whoever i like!) Will Charlie ol boy it looks like your on TV again this week and my two granddaughters will get to see you like i did 40 years ago. Hell Charlie, i heard they even digitally remastered you,that's pretty good for a blockhead!

Friday, December 02, 2005


The polls have started already!News from VOCM aNewfoundland & Labrador radio station just announced the following,

Poll Shows Sweep Possible December 2, 2005
There's a new poll indicating the Liberals are in a position to sweep all seven ridings in Newfoundland and Labrador. Done by Corporate Research Associates, the survey shows close to 50 per cent support for the Liberals, 29 per cent for the Conservative Party and 13 per cent for the NDP. Pollster Don Mills says the two St.John's ridings will be tight but could go Liberal this time. Seems like many people in the province have their minds made up already! Most ridings have not even announced the list of candidates who will be running in January.
VOCM also announced today that Martin is coming to St. John's next week. Martin will be the guest speaker at a special luncheon hosted by the St. John's Board of Trade on Monday. I wonder what bag of goodies he will be bringing with him on the trip? If i could give Martin one bit of advice it would be,don't be seen galavanting aound with John Efford while dining with the townies.