What the Buddha Never Taught

One of my favourite books: What the Buddha Never Taught by Tim Ward.

There is a place in the jungles of northeastern Thailand where Westerners can live according to the monastic rules laid down over 2,500 years ago by the Buddha. Author and journalist Tim Ward sought enlightenment and spent a season in this unique Buddhist monastery-one of the strictest in Southeast Asia. His affectionate “behind the robes” book about the rigors and foibles of monastic life at Wat Pah Nanchat has become a modern Buddhist classic.


It’s now available on Kindle and paperback. Highly recommended.

author Tim Ward


Norman Grabs Outright Lead After 54 Holes

It ain’t bragging if you’ve got the goods.

July 15, 2008 (Adrian Dennis / Getty Images)

In one of the most unlikely scenarios anyone could have conceived, The Shark is back in contention at the British Open.

After a three year absence, two-time champion Greg Norman is making his return to The Open Championship this week at Royal Birkdale. It will be Norman’s 26th appearance in the event and first since finishing T60 at St. Andrews in 2005.


One of my best golf moments ever was watching Norman win the British Open in 1986. On Rocco’s Sony Watchman. While hiking in the Rockies.


He and Tiger are my two favourite golfers. Ever.

Greg Norman will take a two-stroke lead into Championship Sunday after continuing his improbable run for a third Open title. The Shark showed the heart of a champion Saturday at Royal Birkdale, grinding out a stellar 2-over par 72 in winds gusting 40 miles per hour. The 53-year old World Golf Hall of Famer is the oldest player to lead a major after 54 holes and will be paired with defending champion Padraig Harrington in the final round.


His recent wedding to former tennis champ Chris Evert must agree with him.


BTDT Been there done that
BTW By the way
CTS Consider the source
DD Dear daughter
DH Dear (or darn) husband
DS Dear son
DSD Dear stepdaughter
DSS Dear stepson
DW Dear (or darn) wife
F/U Follow up
F2F Face-to-face
FWIW For what it’s worth
GF Girlfriend
GMTA Great minds think alike
HTH Hope that helps
IMO In my opinion
IMHO In my humble opinion
ITA I totally agree
J/K Just kidding
LOL Laugh out loud
NP No problem
OMG Oh my gosh
OTOH On the other hand
OW/OM Other woman/other man
ROFL Rolling on the floor laughing
TIA Thanks in advance
TMI Too much information
TPTB The powers that be
TTFN Ta ta for now
TTYL Talk to you later
TY Thank you
WTG Way to go
WYSIWYG What you see is what you get
YW You’re welcome

pine beetle infestation

From my hiking blog …

A mountain pine beetle infestation has already killed off billions of trees in British Columbia, Canada.

The mountain pine beetle epidemic in British Columbia is coming to a close, but only because the pests are running out of food, a forestry representative says.

The latest figures from the B.C. government and the Council of Forest Industries estimate the beetles have infested more than half of B.C.’s marketable pine forest. …


mountain-pine-beetle.jpgThe beetles kill the trees by boring through the bark into the phloem layer on which they feed and in which eggs are laid. Pioneer female beetles initiate attacks, and produce pheromones which attract other beetles and results in mass attack.

The trees respond to attack by increasing their resin output in order to discourage or kill the beetles, but the beetles carry blue stain fungi which, if established, will block the tree resin response. Over time (usually within 2 weeks of attack), the trees are overwhelmed as the phloem layer is damaged enough to cut off the flow of water and nutrients.

In the end, the trees starve to death, and the damage can be easily seen even from the air in the form of reddened needles. Entire groves of trees after an outbreak will appear reddish for this reason. Usually older trees die faster. After particularly long and hot summers mountain pine beetle population can get out of hand and that’s when there starts to be a problem. There are too many beetles and they start killing off big areas of trees.


Prince George, British Columbia – dead and dying trees – flickr – D&J Huber

Is there any hope?

I don’t know. I would think some predator would take an advantage of the infestation.

Cold winters can stifle infestations. But we’ve had record warm winters of late where I live. (A cold snap we had in 2008 might help.)

Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado used selective burning to try to stem the beetles.

Alberta is trying some preemptive prescribed burns.

Others are clear cutting though there’s very little demand for the wood.