In all the excitement of the World Cup, I neglected to show you what it was like to be flying high over Washington State, the Cascade Mountains, and various other interesting spots on our way home from British Columbia two weeks ago.
Here we are looking westward at one of Washington's amazing mountains.These are the Cascade Mountains and Columbia River bed.
The snow-capped mountains were breath-taking-- especially for a waterbird such as myself!!!I had to ask the engineer what these interesting patterns were. For irrigation, he said. There are lots of different patterns in other places, but these were the only ones I got to see
It's not very often that a Heron such as myself gets to fly at 37,000 feet and I enjoyed every exciting minute of it. Thank you Boyz!!
As reported in Fanhouse e-zine and heard by our own ears on local news this evening:
"That didn't take long. We're a week and a half into the World Cup and vuvuzelas have made the 10,000-mile trek from South Africa to the United States. Over the weekend, the Florida Marlins -- [our local baseball team] -- passed out 15,000 of these plastic horns to fans."
According to other reports, "Someone in the Marlins marketing department had the bright idea of giving away 15,000 vuvuzela-like horns to fans in attendance for Saturday’s game against the Rays. The horns the Marlins gave away were about a foot in size and much smaller than the vuvuzelas, but they provided no less of a distraction."
With all due respect to our pals in South Africa, this is what some of the players had to say:
"Outfielder Cody Ross called the horns “awful,” second baseman Dan Uggla said it was the worst giveaway ever, and Rays manager Joe Maddon said he thought they should be banned from baseball. As if that’s not bad enough, the Marlins believe a miscommunication between the managers and umpire Lance Barksdale may have been attributed to the distraction from the vuvuzelas. " Ah, but what do they know, right???
We tried to include a Youtuibe video but had to content ourselves with this link:
The last evening of our stay in Vancouver, we went to a Sukiyaki restaurant with Miss Sunshade and Jaffaman's mom and beau. There are about 137 Japanese restaurants in the Greater Vancouver area -- and this one is quite unique. http://www.303-posh.com/
The restaurant specializes in what is known as a Japanese Hot Pot. You order all kinds of thinly sliced meat, vegetables, noodles, and rice -- all of which go into a delicious broth little by little -- and you wind up eating more than you'd ever think possible.
Some of the items we had were familiar: beef and pork, yams and zucchini, bok choy, and white, black, and enoki mushrooms. But then there were a few new things to try, including something called black fungus. It tastes kind of like the seaweed in various Japanese dishes and, despite the name, was quite good. We'd go back for more, if only it wasn't so far away!!!
When our mom thinks about South Africa, she remembers a sad but beautiful book by Alan Payton called "Cry the Beloved Country" which was later made into a musical "Lost in the Stars."
She thinks about amazing musical artists: Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, the Ladysmith Black Mombazo, the Soweto Gospel Choir.
And she thinks about one of her all-time favorite American artists-- Paul Simon -- and his awesome 1987 Graceland concert that, upon reflection, was what Unity in Diversity is all about. This is him singing Under African Skies with Miriam Makeba.
And then she thinks about the first time she heard South Africa's moving national anthem. She has since learned that the anthem's lyrics include five of the country's eleven official languages - isiXhosa (first stanza, first two lines), isiZulu (first stanza, last two lines), seSotho (second stanza), Afrikaans (third stanza) and English (final stanza). Truly Unity in Diversity!
Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika. Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo,Yizwa imithandazo yethu,Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo. (Xhosa and Zulu) Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho,O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso,Setjhaba sa South Afrika - South Afrika. (Sesotho) Uit die blou van onse hemel,Uit die diepte van ons see,Oor ons ewige gebergtes,Waar die kranse antwoord gee, (Afrikaans) Sounds the call to come together,And united we shall stand,Let us live and strive for freedom,In South Africa our land. (English)
English translation of Xhosa and Zulu version Lord bless Africa May her glory be lifted high Hear our petitions Lord bless us, your children
English translation of Sesotho version Lord we ask You to protect our nation Intervene and end all conflicts Protect us, protect our nation Protect South Africa, South Africa English translation of Afrikaans version Out of the blue of our heavens Out of the depths of our seas Over our everlasting mountains Where the echoing crags resound
This World Cup in South Africa is an inspiring stop on the road to Grace Land!!!
Earlier in the week, I, HC Bird, had escorted the visitors to one of Vancouver's historic places: Gastown. One of the oldest parts of the city, it has a special character that makes it very attractive to locals and tourists.This what Gastown.org has to say about it:
"Established the same year that Canada became a nation, Gastown grew into Canada’s third largest city and one of its most cosmopolitan. But the Gastown district today retains its historic charm, independent spirit and distinctiveness. There’s no mistaking Gastown for any other area of Vancouver, or of Canada for that matter. 1867: The south shore of Burrard Inlet was a wilderness. Its only non-native settlement was a lumber mill where the owner didn’t allow alcohol on the premises. One September day, “Gassy Jack” Deighton arrived (he received his nickname because of his penchant for spinning tall tales and talking without end). He stepped ashore with a barrel of whiskey, telling the millworkers that if they’d build him a saloon, he’d serve them drinks. The saloon was up and running within a day…just across the property line of the mill. Gastown was born. 1870: On March 1st, in order to give it a more distinguished name, Gastown was officially proclaimed to be “Granville”, after the British colonial secretary. But everybody in the rough and tumble settlement continued to call it Gastown. 1886: Gastown was incorporated as the City of Vancouver, after British explorer, George Vancouver. That was April 6th. On June 13th, a brush-clearing fire got out of control and turned all but two of Vancouver’s 400 buildings to ashes. Into the 1920s: Gastown grew and prospered, as did the rest of the City of Vancouver. But good times couldn’t last forever. Depression Years: Gastown fell on hard times and deteriorated into a stereotypical skid road area until the 1960s. 1960s: With talk of demolishing the area becoming more widespread, a group of dedicated citizens took it upon themselves to save Gastown’s distinctive architecture and character. The city rallied around them. Gastown was not just saved, it was reborn. 1971: The provincial government declared Gastown an historic area, protecting its heritage buildings. Today: Gastown is a refreshing mix of old and new, downhome and upscale, a place for tourists, Vancouver residents and office workers alike. Various shops have the streets buzzing during the day. A host of restaurants and nightspots keeps the area humming into the wee hours. And, more and more, Gastown is becoming home to permanent residents…just like in the old days." One of the most famous attractions in Gastown is known as the Steam Clock. Every fifteen minutes, steam comes out of the top of the clock; on the half hours, visitors are treated to a few seconds of music. (What you are treated to in the video clip below is a Dogdad Jack version!)
While walking around the city, I pointed out a shop that might be of interest to Martha and Bailey -- and perhaps to Bertie when he gets a bit bigger -- and maybe even to the expat Wilf.Earlier Flat Jake and Flat Just Harry provided a glimpse of another special place in Vancouver: Stanley Park. Here is the rest of their story.
Well, after meeting Christopher Robin, we walked to our destination, a horse-drawn carriage to take us through the Park. We met our escorts: Ace on the right and Clipper on the left.This is Ace. Apparently Ace and Clipper don't like each other very much and often try to bite each other if one gets in the other's way. (Mom suggested that this behavior was something we might know a bit about....) The ride was very interesting (once we turned around so we could see where we were going).
We stopped to look at some of the totem poles that have been erected as a tribute to the various First Peoples, many of whom once lived on what is now park lands.This one is a mortuary pole designed by Bill Reid. Mortuary poles were built with a box at the top to inter deceased tribal members. Along the way, we saw this somewhat bare lady who spends her life sitting on a rock. When the tide comes up, the water laps at her feet. Apparently, pranksters like to dress her in bizarre outfits to surprise visitors.Although it's hard to see his face, we thought it important to include this statue of Robert Burns for our pals from Scotland.
In addition to the beautiful forest lands in this 1,100-acre Park, a rose garden also caught our eye.As quoted in Wikipedia, "On September 27, 1888 the park was officially opened, where it was named after Lord Stanley, Governor General of Canada at the time. The following year, Stanley became the first Governor General to visit British Columbia when he officially dedicated the park. An observer at the event wrote:
“Lord Stanley threw his arms to the heavens, as though embracing within them the whole of one thousand acres of primeval forest, and dedicated it 'to the use and enjoyment of peoples of all colours, creeds, and customs, for all time. I name thee, Stanley Park.'
Stanley Park has something for everyone. Bikers, walkers, lazy folks in horse-drawn carriages, sports fields, wedding pavilions -- and dog walking!!!
Speaking of which -- our last evening in Vancouver, our humans had dinner with Miss Sunshade and Jaffa's human and her beau -- and then they stopped over at their home to for a surprise good bye. Jaffa showed his prowess in catching tennis balls.
And Miss Sunshade the SUPERDALE wished them well on their aire voyage! (In the background at the end of the clip is none other than Jaffa having a drink.)
We're so happy we got to meet Sunshade and Jaffa and their mom. And now, apparently, we need to lay flat in a suitcase for our trip home because of all the "stuff" our folks have to carry. H.C. Bird is making his own arrangements.
H.C. Bird and the Flat Boyz have the day off. This is their mom telling anyone who enjoys this unusual art about one of the highlights of the trip!
The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia has an amazing collection of works by the various First Peoples who have inhabited Northwest Canada for 10,000 years or more. In addition, the Museum has collected aboriginal artifacts from all over the world. It has a digitized system whereby you click on a screen, then on a map, to tell it which country you want to visit -- and the screen displays many of the items in the collection from that area. It is an astonishing contrast: new technology and old, old pieces, including masks, totems, statues, blankets, jewelry, paddles, weapons.
This gentleman below is from the tribe that inhabits the land on which the museum is built and he graciously welcomes you to his home. He's holding a fish and the tree branch is providing some modesty.
The salmon is one of the creatures that unites all the tribes --so it feels right that this piece of art also greets Museum visitors. Yep, it was raining. Many of what we think of as totem poles are actually door posts to the various tribesmen's homes. Most are very very old, and have lost some of the bright paint that once adorned them. Another example of new technology and old pieces: infrared photography has allowed anthropologists to see inside the wood and discover the original paint colors.The door posts are carved with the personal crests, some human faces, and other elements that may be important to the inhabitants. It takes someone really into the art to decipher all of it -- but even without knowing exactly what you are looking at, it is very moving. The Museum has a Great Hall with huge old pieces and it's quite awesome.
This bear is very special. He was carved by Bill Reid, whom I mentioned in an earlier post, as an example of art from the Haida tribes, which he did a lot to revive in the 80s and 90s. Several years ago, before a seaport convention here in Vancouver, I won a plush version of this bear. He looks a bit less fierce as a stuffie, sitting on the bed in our guestroom.
Bill Reid also did something extraordinary: in the 90s before his death, he helped carve a canoe similar to those that once plied these waters and had Haida descendants and others paddle it some 650 miles from Vancouver to the Queen Charlottle Islands, the home of the Haida nation (Haida Gwaii). When he died, his ashes were taken back to Haida Gwaii by canoe for burial.Below is one of Reid's most famous carvings. It builds on a legend that the Raven, one of the two tribal clans (Eagle is the other), while walking on a beach, spotted a clamshell with people in it and coaxed them out -- one version of the creation story.
These are feast bowls, for when tribal families get together. And below are examples of the stylized forms and colors used to depict various animals: bears, birds, fish.
There's more, so much more. This is just a taste of one of the things that makes Vancouver so special.
We were going to continue our trip narrative with scenes from Stanley Park and Gastown -- but something much more exciting happened! We Flat Boyz were honored to spend the afternoon with two of the most prestigious residents of this beautiful city: none other than the much loved Miss Sunshade the Superdale and her nephew, Jaffa. ( http://sunshadethesuperdale.blogspot.com )
And, of course, their lovely mom, Elaine.
Get this: Miss Sunshade and Jaffa have their own taxi service!!! (You may have seen their new personal vehicle in a recent blog when they took it to the breeder for grooming.)
We drove to one of Vancouver's many interesting places -- Granville Island -- a formerly industrial area that is now home to lots of shops, boating facilities, and a huge public market with fresh local vegetables, meats, cheeses -- you name it -- all displayed in artistic fashion.
Since this was first time we had ever met representatives of the breed known as the King (and of course in this instance, the Queen) of the Terriers, we were a little shy. Miss SUPERDALE herself was not convinced that she wanted to have anything to do with our flat selves -- but Jaffa was intrigued.
WTF was his first reaction; but then, being a quick study, he realized no, not WTF. WFT!!!After a while, Sunshade did finally consent to letting us approach...She allowed us time for a quick glance over her shoulder...
And a quick sniff... But then it was treat time.Our Mom seems to have hidden her face while talking to our new pals. Is it so that Jake and Just Harry don't get concerned that she might be trading up the terrier line???
But you can see why she might have fallen in love with these two dear Vancouverites and their mom!! Miss Sunshade the SUPERDALE: Jaffaman:
And their kind, fun, artistic, delightful Mom, Elaine:At lunch, Mom and Elaine spent hours chatting about everything under the sun -- and confirmed what we all know: there are no strangers among our Dogs with Blogs humans!!!
Jake: Born in Joplin, Missouri (a puppy mill for sure), shipped to South Florida to a pet store, found by Mom and Dad in March 2002 -- a lucky, lucky dog. I had to leave for the Rainbow Bridge on September 18, 2013, but my brother, JH, is trying his best to keep our musings musing!
JH: Mysterious puppyhood, turned into a kill shelter after Florida's Katrina, rescued by Lyn Townsend of Orlando, and adopted by Mom and Dad in September 2005 - a lucky, lucky, lucky dog too, except I miss the Jakester.