The Carnivorous Planter

 

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There is a devil lurking in the shadows seeking to devour whosoever comes its way. It is an elongated beast, some 5 metres in length and 1 metre broad across its back. It perches menacingly, its hollowed out back standing at least 60 centimetres above the ground. It’s dark brown flesh is scarred from many a battle. It reeks of peat and earthly moss. Deep within its back lay the flowing orange fire that lures its victims to a sudden and untimely disaster.

That insidious monster is my neighbour’s flower planter situated obnoxiously between my double driveway and theirs. It is an accident waiting to happen, violating at least one city bylaw. This devil disguised as an innocuous marigold flower planter has destroyed more of our vehicles than I care to elaborate. Front bumpers, rear bumpers, lower body panels, tires, wheels, and doors – the dastardly creature has attacked and devoured them all.

I have pleaded with my neighbour for well over a decade to remove the barrier or at least cut it back to be in compliance with city bylaw. It is nearly impossible for a car to turn left from the street on to our driveway without the danger of being accosted by that mud brown devil incarnate of a beast called a flower planter. We have spent literally thousands of dollars repairing various automobiles of ours (not to mention friends) after a confrontation with the beast.

Last night was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. We just purchased a brand new car that cost us literally half the price of our home in 1995. The new Honda hot hatch was parked on the far left side of the driveway, far away from the smelly monster. My wife and daughter were taking our “old” car out for a spin. Our youngest was familiarizing herself with her “new” hand-me-down. After picking up some ice-cream at the local supermarket, she tried to maneuver the Honda coupe into the far right side of the driveway, being ever so careful not to hit our shiny new car.

Lo and behold, the monster was awakened, lunged out, and took a big bite out of the front bumper. It’s talons tearing and scratching at the lower front of the car.

My devastated daughter just sat in the car and cried. Her “new” car was no longer immaculate, but wounded and mangled. By the time I was called outside to inspect the damage, I was livid with anger – not at my daughter, but at that damn planter and at myself for allowing this to go on for so long.

Sometimes, being a good neighbour is a one way street with little or no cooperation from the other party. That’s it – the war is on. That planter is going to be removed come hell or high water.

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The War Memorial: Lest We Forget

Recently, during some of my road rides, I have felt drawn to stop at some of the war memorials around Regina, and the smaller communities nearby. These memorials have caused me to think acutely about all those soldiers who gave their lives over two world wars (and others) to keep Canada strong and free.

It is so easy to take for granted all the blessings we have as a nation. I thank God for those brave men and women who gave up their lives in service of their country. They, and their families, suffered unspeakable horror, devastation, and loss in order that we might live in peace.

This particular memorial is located in the small community of Grand Coulee, Saskatchewan.

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Grand Coulee, Saskatchewan, Canada.

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Crazy Corners a.k.a. Killer Corners

One of the great things about the Regina multiuser pathway (bike path) is that it can be quite challenging at speed. There are several places where the corners are banked and are decent places for one to improve bike handling skills at speed. Just keep your eyes open and ears attentive for other early morning users on the path and for “road furniture” scattered everywhere alongside the path. An untimely tire blowout or even a tubular tire rolling off the rim could lead to a nasty crash. Common sense applies here 😉

Crazy Corners (Killer Corners) is an infamous Strava segment also.

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Share the Road: The 1-Metre to Pass Rule

This close call occurred yesterday while riding with a friend in a residential neighborhood. Please share the road. Cyclists are considered vulnerable road users, and could be seriously injured or killed due to automobile driver negligence. Pass when it is safe to do so and give the cyclist(s) at least 1 metre of space when you pass. Thank you.

 

Another Challenging Ride in the Wild, Wild West: Part 2

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The eternal prairie winds are my friend…they make me stronger.

A short clip of a solo road ride on the flatlands of the Saskatchewan prairie. An extraordinarily windy day described in Part 1 of Another Challenging Ride in the Wild, Wild, West.

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Butterflies are free to fly…

 

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Children understand the delicateness of freedom. Photographed in the river valley near Hamilton, Montana. © 2017 All rights reserved.

Sweet freedom whispered in my ear
You’re a butterfly
And butterflies are free to fly
Fly away, high away, bye bye

Written by Bernie Taupin & Elton John

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