Stop Calling them Uniforms

mountiecostumeWhen a uniform becomes customized for various cultures it stops being a uniform. A uniform is… uniform. When it isn’t uniform, all the same, then it becomes similar, not uniform. If the Mounties, police, fire fighters, etc. want to adapt their uniform doesn’t it become a costume? I think allowing various cultures (I am purposely not being specific because the specific culture is not the issue) to have different uniforms makes the uniform mean less.

The original point of a uniform was identification, everyone looking the same, being recognizable and having respect. You see the Mounties and know who they are by the uniform. If you see someone wearing a Mountie costume, you think they are on the way to a party and you don’t consider them someone you need to pay much attention to. Badges don’t mean much from a distance, behind a door or to anyone who couldn’t tell a real badge from a fake one.

People in authority like Mounties, military and government employees need to be recognizable in order to have that authority and be trusted. Since we were children we have seen Mounties in their dress uniforms and we expect a Mountie to be in that uniform.

But, more than the public, what about the Mounties themselves? Why change the uniform which has severed generations of Mounties of all cultures up until now? I’m assuming all Mounties have two arms, two legs, one head so they should all be able to wear the standard uniform. What is the real need for change in this very old tradition worn with pride by generations of people.

I don’t know. But, I do think they should stop calling them uniforms, because they aren’t uniforms any more. That tradition has been lost. mountie

Make Your Own Hinterland Who’s Who Spot

If you are Canadian (not too young) you will remember Hinterland Who’s Who on TV. I think this is a great idea for anyone wanting to make their own programs/ videos.

  • Pick a topic (animals if you want to submit it to Hinterland).
  • Do some research.
  • Make your film/ video.

Now you’ve got your own documentary on video.

The same idea can work for urban, rural or any exploring you do. No need to start with something exotic, look into the history of your own home, an interesting place on your own street, or the local park. Start documenting!

Make Your Own HWW Spot

Materials

  • camcorder or digital camera with video and sound recording (optional)
  • video editing software, such as:
    • MAC: iMovie, Final Cut Pro
    • PC: Windows Movie Maker, Adobe Premiere Elements, Adobe Premiere Pro
  • voice recorder

Background

Most Canadians who had television in the 1960s or 1970s will remember it — the haunting strains of a lone flute, the trademark theme of Hinterland Who’s Who. The series of 60-second vignettes was created to educate the public about this country’s native wildlife through excellent film footage, natural sounds, and relaxed narration.

Now, more than 40 years after the series’ introduction, Environment Canada (EC) and the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) have relaunched Hinterland Who’s Who in an effort to connect another generation of Canadians with their natural heritage. The new public-service announcements carry on the classic theme of the original vignettes but also address the need to conserve and protect native species and their habitat.

Procedure

Here are some simple steps to make your Hinterland Who’s Who production a success:

  1. Decide on a Canadian wildlife species on which to make a video.
  2. Research basic elements about that species, including information such as:
    • appearance
    • where it lives in Canada
    • how to conserve the species

    Information on many Canadian species can be found at hww.ca

  3. If possible, take your own footage of your chosen species using a camcorder or digital recording device, or find available footage online.
  4. If possible take pictures of your chosen species, or find available photos online. Make sure you get permission from the photographer first!
  5. Combining all the above information, write a short (60 second) video script that ties the species information and imagery together.
  6. Record all audio and combine all elements together, including HWW music and logo, in video editing software.
  7. Submit your video to hww.ca, and where appropriate, videos will be posted online.

Source: Hinterland Who’s Who – Make Your Own HWW Spot

Highway History Exploring

Ontario Road Map  – Road map collector. Site by Neal.

The King’s Highway – The history of Ontario’s King’s highways. Site by Cameron Bevers.

Ontario Highways – Site by Christopher J. Bessert, Cartographer, GIS Specialist, Highway Historian.

The Ontario Highwayman – Site by Chris Beach.

The King’s Highway Ends Site – Old site by Earl Andrew Washburn.

Ontario Road and Highways – Yahoo group (active).

Asphalt Planet – Ontario, Quebec and US road history and photographs. Site by Scott Steeves.

Historic Roads – Dedicated to the identification, preservation and management of historic roads. Site by Paul Daniel Marriott & Associates. Washington, DC.

Historic Bridges – North American bridges.  (Ontario link). Site by Nathan Holth.

misc.transport.roads – Google Groups.

Have you found a lost road and photographed it?

They aren’t that tough to come across. Read local history to find where routes were changed. Not every road grew into a bigger road, some were bypassed and forgotten. Those are the old roads to look for, or to start with. As you find old roads you will soon find other old and forgotten roads. Bridges too.

What about dead ends, do they count as a lost road or not?

Meanwhile, the links above will get you started with your own research and exploring.

oldontarioroad

Information for Highway Explorers

I found some US highway history.  Likely the information will be similar for Ontario and Canadian highways and roads but… that will be another post. So far I found a lot of Canadian (and Ontario specific) resources but I haven’t done the research yet.

Prior to the Federal Interstate Highway system, the United States was criss-crossed by roads built by for profit groups. During the 1920s many of these roads could barely be called roads as they were more mud, dirt and ditches than road. But, as Henry Ford continued to churn out automobiles, more and more of these state highways popped up across the landscape. Most of these roads followed old trails or Transcontinental Trails like the Oregon and Santa Fe. One of the first transcontinental highways was the Lincoln Highway from New York to San Francisco. It was a rock road and privately financed; Henry Ford wanted nothing to do with it because he thought roads and highways should be funded by the government. As the 1920s progress other groups formed to build and promote their own highways. By 1925, there were over 250 named highways, each with their own colored signs, names, and random sign placement. Without government oversight, many of these roads were re-routed into cities so that the clubs and groups that built them could profit from them.

In the midst of this chaos, the Federal government got involved in 1924 and started numbering all of these roads. Odd numbers ran North to South with the numbers increasing from East to West, and Even numbers run East to West with the numbers increasing from North to South. So, U.S. Route 1 runs along the Eastern Seaboard while U.S. Route 10 runs along the Canadian border.

When the Interstate Highways came along, the government decided to use the mirror image of the numbering system to avoid any confusion. Interstate 10 runs through the southern states while I-5 is in California. Thankfully, the government was wise enough to help avoid the classic “How could you get us lost?” fight between drivers and map readers. Where the two systems, the routes and the Interstates, meet in the middle of the country it was decided that there would be no Interstate 50 to avoid confusion with U.S. Route 50 which runs from Sacramento, CA to Ocean City, MD. This is the same for Interstate 60.

via –  9 Things You May Not Know About the U.S. Interstate Highways | From The Kitchen Cabinet

When the Interstate Highway Act was passed, most Americans thought it was a good idea. But when construction started and people, especially in urban areas, were displaced and communities cut in half, some started to revolt. In the 1960s, activists stopped construction on highways in New York, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and New Orleans, which resulted in several urban interstates becoming roads to nowhere.

The red, white, and blue shields used to designate interstate numbers are trademarked by the American Association of State Highway Officials. The original design for the shield was drawn by senior traffic engineer Richard Oliver of Texas and selected out of 100 entries in a national design competition in 1957.

A major concern during Eisenhower’s presidency was what the country would do in the event of a nuclear attack. One of the justifications for the building of the interstate system was its ability to evacuate citizens of major cities if necessary.

via – 10 Things You Might Not Know About the U.S. Interstate System | Mental Floss

Indians in a Snow Storm

I will have to look up more about John Innes and see what else he painted. I like this one. Just happened to notice it for sale on Etsy.

My Grandfather told my Mother about meeting Canadian native people on the Saskatchewan prairies when he was a young man and the family were just off the boat from Austria. It’s too bad she doesn’t remember more about it. He (my Grandfather) thought very well of the native people and dealt with them often.

The art is called Indians in a Snow Storm. I’m not changing it to reflect modern political correctness. It is, as it was. johninnespostcard

This art postcard features the work of Canadian artist John Innes and was published by W G Macfarlane for Linton Brothers of Calgary. It is part of the Troilene Indians series and shows several Indian riders bundled up and making their way through blowing snow. “The blizzard is not a snow storm. The snow frozen by the intense cold to the consistency of sand is picked up by the fierce Northwest hurricanes and travels at terrific speed. Many lives are lost during these blizzards yearly”.
The card has an undivided back although the sender thoughtfully created one. The card is postally used and cancelled in 1906. Good overall condition makes this a wonderful addition to a collection.

via – Canadian Artist John Innes Indians in a Snow by TheOldBarnDoor

The Association of Graveyard Rabbits

The main site for The Association of Graveyard Rabbits hasn’t been kept updated but I found Canadian members.  Not all active but at least the lights are still on (or the sites are still loading). I’d be glad to list more Canadian members if one comes along.graveyardrabbits

The Graveyard Rabbit of British Columbia, Canada – M. Diane Rogers

Rock of Ages: Grave Concerns (The Graveyard Rabbit of Alberta)

My Grave Addiction (Ontario)

Graveyard Rabbit of Grey County, Ontario – Janet Iles

Old Canadian Cemeteries Book


Source: OLD Canadian Cemeteries Places OF Memory 1554071461 | eBay

I ordered this book and it has arrived. All packaged up very nicely. I was expecting more photographs, but we are becoming too dependent on the visual and instant gratification these days. I am very happy about the content and the poetry (atmosphere of the book). I started reading as soon as I had it out of the packaging.

An Urban Exploration Directory is Too Much Work

I had wanted (and tried!) to build an urban exploration directory of sites. I have experience building and maintaining a web directory, for years. But, I’m finding the project is too big and too vast to take on and build to my own standards of over-perfection. So, I am just working on a directory for Canadian urban exploration groups, photographers and resources.

canurbex

I am still adding other links but I’m not going to focus on them. I may turn some of the links into pages sorted by location. But, that is down the road somewhere.

Old Photos and Old Blog Posts

I haven’t updated my own photos to my Flickr account (or the groups I started there) since 2013. I feel guilty, sort of. Mostly I think I just ran out of steam. I have still been taking photos. Getting them up online was a routine for awhile and then I got behind and more behind and then drastically behind.

I still moderate at Flickr. I don’t login as often as I used to but I’m keeping the groups going. I like to see the new photos come in and (for the groups which I moderate for someone else) new photos can’t get posted without moderator approval. On my own groups I didn’t set them up that way. But, this means I have to have faith in people to post relevant photos. I’ve been really lucky or fortunate. I seldom need to moderate my groups for Ontario or Canadian explorers. Now and then someone posts a road trip photo, not understanding the idea of urban and rural exploration versus a road trip.

Anyway, I am merging older posts from my personal blog into this one so my older exploring and photos will be here, soon. I’ve started adding some but the old blog is a disorganized mess. It has been around since before the days of categories and tags. I’ve found posts which don’t have anything, not a title even. So, it is taking time to sort out the madness.

The nice thing about doing this is finding places I had forgotten about. I only hope all the photos will come along nice and easy as I move the posts over. At least it is another WordPress blog so it shouldn’t have a conflict that way.

Wish me luck!