Saturday, August 08, 2009


PHOTO ABOVE shows the Nikon D40 camera & Stellarvue Nighthawk telescope combination I'm learning to use for the bird photos. My left hand is on the tightening knob for tilting the 720mm scope lens up & down. Directly below that is the knob for swinging the lens left & right. Below that, visible on the tripod is a crank for raising or lowering the camera & lens on the tripod. The round gray knob directly above my watch is one of two focusing knobs on the lens. My right hand's forefinger is back on the trigger of the camera & it also runs the exposure compensation button while my thumb adjusts the exposure by turning a dial on the back of the camera. By the time I've made all the adjustments the bird I'm trying to take the picture of has probably already left the country. Beside me on an unseen table sits a second Nikon camera with a 200mm zoom lens, my bird ID books, a pair of 7x35 mm binoculars, & a cup of cold coffee:))

With the current problems regarding the American health care system going on in the States right now we have received a few email inquiries from RV friends. There is soooooo much mis-leading information south of the border. My Aunt Jean in Florida also emailed us yesterday with a few questions about what kind of health care we have here in Canada. She writes.......
"Are your doctor visits paid for, or do you have a co-payment? What about hospital stays & surgery? Does the plan pay for any medications? I'm sure you need a referral from your primary doctor to see a specialist of any kind, & approx. how long is the wait to get an appointment. There is such a debate going on down here about Healthcare, one doesn't know what to believe. I presume the rules & payment plans have changed from when the program was first introduced back in the 60's." I've meant to ask you about your OHIP,(Ontario Health Insurance Plan) & how that works BEFORE the age of 65.


Kelly wrote the following response to my Aunt Jean......
"There is not much difference after age 65. Except you get your prescriptions for $4.00 per script. Also after 65 you get a free eye exam every year. ( pay for your own glasses though. But you get most of that back on your income tax refund. All Dr. visits are free, you are allowed 1 complete physical per year. ( no co-pays ever) you can go to your doctors as often as you want, he can request any blood test he deems necessary. Hospital and surgery free. Ambulance has a co-pay, but not much. You do need a referral for any specialist. I had to see a cardiologist for a stress test and waited one week. Then was referred to Kitchener for a myocardial nuclear infusion , that wait was one day ! I was really impressed. One thing to remember though, neither Al or I have had to deal with a long term major illness.
I know there are pros and cons, but for us, we are thankful to have the care we do without payments of any kind. We can walk into any hospital in Canada and receive free care. I realize that is why our gas it more, a bottle of wine is more etc, etc... I'd rather pay a little more for things and not worry about how to pay for a health care plan...
Anyway... that is my opinion Jean for what it's worth .... Kelly (P.S. I wish Dental was included, have never understood why it isn't)" FEMALE GOLDFINCH ON LEFT....MALE ON RIGHT NEVER KNEW A MORNING DOVE HAD SO MANY SUBTLE COLORS

You can see Kelly is much more knowledgeable on this medical stuff than I am. Only thing I know is if I cut my finger she told me to just put a band-aid on it, shut up, & don't whine!! THIS RED BELLIED WOODPECKER WAS MOVING UP THE PINE TREE SO FAST I ONLY GOT ONE POORLY FOCUSED SHOT OF HIM

Noticed a fair number of RV folks are golfers. I've tried about half a dozen times over the years to get interested in the game but it just never grabbed me. Even bought a used set of clubs back in the early 80's hoping that might spur me on, but it didn't. I'm not one for competitive sports at all & maybe that has something to do with it. There is one thing though that I really liked about golf.....the golf course!! To me, golf course are so beautifully landscaped & go hand in hand with Mother Nature. I love all the shades of green blending to-gether. Golf courses are so scenic with their flowers, trees, ponds, sculptured sand bunkers, & winding pathways for the golf carts & people traffic. Long sweeping fairways bordered with towering trees against deep blue skies dotted with white fluffy clouds makes for picture postcard landscapes. The few times I played, it wasn't the game that caught my attention, it was the scenery. Always thought how nice it would be to just leisurely enjoy the peace & tranquility of the golf course without having to undergo the stress of smashing a little white ball all over the place with a metal club......And then this morning I had a "light bulb" moment regarding golf courses:)) MALE RED WING BLACKBIRD

Seems kind of unfair to me that only small select groups of people are permitted to exclusively use golf courses. If I owned a golf course I would set aside a special day (maybe 3 or 4) every week for Seniors & special interest groups like walking & hiking clubs, photography clubs, bird watchers, nature clubs, artists, horticultural organizations, environmentalists, etc. Bus the Seniors from the care facilities, nursing homes, & Seniors clubs to the golf course then arrange for volunteer golfing people to transport the Seniors around the fairways on the golf carts. I'm sure somebody could come up with a way to safely carry wheelchair folks on some kind of tram pulled by a small vehicle of some kind as well. Think of the endless enjoyment older folks would get from being able to move about in such a beautiful setting. Set up a nice afternoon lunch in the clubhouse & just make it a great outing for the folks. The peacefulness of a golf courses lends itself perfectly to bird watchers, nature photographers, & artist types. Smooth golf cart pathways make for healthy walking. Horticulturists would love the landscaped gardens & all the environmentalists would be a happy bunch indeed. Awwwww, if only:(( But, it's not likely ever going to happen because it's not likely I am going to own a golf course anytime soon.........................But, if I do.....:)) GREAT NORTH AMERICAN PORCELIN BIRD:))

GROANER'S CORNER: Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.

The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.


  1. As a fellow Canadian, I too am hearing from folks south of the border with all kinds of outrageously false stories about Canada's health care system. Almost all of the stories are completely false and most are just plain ridiculous. If they just put their ears to the border, they would hear it's pretty quiet up here re health care - unlike the raging battles going on in the U.S. Surely, that should indicate where the real problem lies, right? Thanks, Al and Kelly, for tackling this issue and straitening things out a bit.

  2. Great golf course idea, Al! That would be splendid, if only one day a week, or the second and fourth Tuesdays each month. Even some of our Arizona desert golf courses could do that.

    Of course, the avid golfers would go batty on those days, but since I'm not a golfer at all, I think avid golfers are probably batty anyway!

    Loved your porcelin bird! No problem focusing on that baby!