cycling, ethics, food, McCharles family, travel

Murdering Salmon & Halibut

I really like Salmon. Try to avoid thinking about how they are killed for my pleasure. 😐

But my Dad and brother have always been keen fishermen. I’ve joined them on charters a few times in Canada and Mexico.

Many times found reasons to avoid those trips in the past. I really fear sea sickness. 🤮

Since my Dad sold his boat, they’ve done two charters a year, most recently out of Port Renfrew, Vancouver Island.

As Pacific salmon numbers decline, it’s gotten increasingly more difficult.

June 2021 they decided to try a new guide in a new area. An interesting and entertaining character.

Captain PETE with my Uncle

We stayed in Port McNeill for 2 nights as Pete lives there. He made the final decision whether to fish out of Port Hardy or Port Alice.

Fishing had been better out of Hardy, so that was the final decision.

It was about a 3.5 hour drive from Parksville to McNeill. Another half hour to Hardy.

We headed north at 6am on the hottest day in thousands of years (at least).

I’ve been to the north of Vancouver Island a few times — but feel I don’t really know the remote, unique area. I’m planning for a couple of weeks bicycle touring. Some day.

It was an hour at full throttle to get to the open fishing area. Seas at the north tip of the island are dangerous. Weather often horrific.

Our day was dead calm, compared to normal.

My family likes to fish for salmon first. Switch to halibut next. We had our limit of 8 Chinook (Spring) salmon (2 / licence) by about 12:30pm.

I even caught fish. It was fun.

4 year old salmon

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube.

Pete took us further out about 5 miles to a spot he calls his butthole. It’s a shallow, sandy bottom area.

We ended up catching 4 halibut. They were bigger and much more of a challenge to murder than salmon. The largest halibut required Pete to use his harpoon.

Cost for 4 was about $1600 including 2 nights hotel, charter, fuel.

We brought home well over $1600 worth of fish.

I’d go again. Did not get sea sick.

On return to town we found all restaurants closed. Power failure.

Happily our motel had a huge, noisy generator.

related – Canada has budgeted $647M over 5 years to try to save declining Pacific salmon.


The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

I was intrigued by the setting. A scary mountain hotel during a blizzard.


Half-hidden by forest and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. Long plagued by troubling rumors, the former abandoned sanatorium has since been renovated into a five-star minimalist hotel.

An imposing, isolated getaway spot high up in the Swiss Alps is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But Elin’s taken time off from her job as a detective, so when her estranged brother, Isaac, and his fiancée, Laure, invite her to celebrate their engagement at the hotel, Elin really has no reason not to accept.

Then the murders began.

Super hyped, I thought this would be another intriguing psychological thriller whodunit. Surprise after surprise.

But it’s actually not well written. Heavy handed. Zero subtlety.

Also, Elin Warner must be the very worst detective on earth.

Almost everyone likes The Sanatorium, but I’d concur it’s a lousy book with a bad ending.

ethics, government, health & fitness

Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack?

Until about age-30, I assumed I’d die from nuclear radiation.

Now age-63, I’m still surprised each morning to be enjoying life.

A nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NEMP) weapon is designed to be detonated far above the Earth’s surface.

The explosion releases a blast of gamma rays into the mid-stratosphere, which ionizes as a secondary effect and the resultant energetic free electrons interact with the Earth’s magnetic field to produce a much stronger EMP than is normally produced in the denser air at lower altitudes.

Just one such weapon could kill everything electronic for months or years.


Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

I really liked the first Backman book I read, so started to reserve more from my library.

He’s popular. So it takes weeks to get any of his novels.

Us Against You was published 2018.

It’s set in a small Swedish town — Beartown — that is hockey crazed.

In some ways, that reminded me of small towns in the USA that care far too much about High School football.

One of the star players is convicted of rape. Other players move to a rival town team in protest.

Beartown’s team could be disbanded.

Overall I’d say Us Against You is good. Not great.

But I will continue with Backman.

books, philosophy

The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell

The final book in the Kurt Wallander series was published 2009.

The author dying of cancer while he wrote it, I believe.

For me the story was mostly a look at aging and dying. The meaning of life.

The plot was inspired by the submarine incursions into Swedish territorial waters between 1982 and 1983, which Mankell considered the worst scandal in Swedish political history.

Though slower and even more philosophical than the rest, I still enjoyed the book — sad that it was the end for Wallander and the end for Mankell.

Henning Mankell

The only story I haven’t heard yet is a novella — An Event in Autumn — not available in audio on my services.

cycling, hiking, travel, video

My video/photo editing workflow

Updated June 2021.

A #CovidGoal was to improve my video editing.

A secondary goal, to improve photos and start sharing them more. I started an Instagram account for my hiking pics – BestHikeVisuals.

Mostly I’ve been disappointed with the many limitations of Instagram. Not yet a fan.

After posting my French Creek tribute, I declared I was GOOD ENOUGH at video editing for my purposes. Approaching “Concious Competent”. I could sit down at a table with a professional video editor and understand 75% of what they were talking about. 😀


Story. Story. Story.

Every edit should contribute to the STORY.

I threw this one together quickly as a teaser for upcoming West Coast Trail videos. But in some weird way, it’s evocative of that wild and challenging hike.

I’m particularly happy with the audio.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Mostly my videos are for outdoor recreation, but I also hope to get back indoor soon shooting Gymnastics.

Here are the BASICS for upcoming shoots:

  1. I’m usually shooting solo
  2. 3 cameras (Sony ZV-1, GoPro 7 and iPhone X with DJI OM 4 gimbal)
  3. ZV-1 is primary A roll footage.   It has by far the best audio. 
  4. ZV-1 mode #2 = 1080p / 60fps (60 is better math when slowing for 30fps output)
  5. ZV-1 mode #1 = 4K / 30fps for zoom and cropping  (I’ve switched from 24fps to 30fps for EXPORT as it’s a little clearer, though less cinematic.)
  6. ZV-1 mode #2 = PHOTOS 4:3 RAW and JPEG both
    1. Apple’s free Photos app is not great, but I’m still using it for organization.  I’ve switched to Pixelmator Pro for editing the best of the best photos for Instagram.  
  7. I quit trying Sony S-Log2, S-Log3, and other HLG profiles used by the cool kids as it was way too much hassle for dubious gains in quality.  I often shoot photos in RAW and JPG both as colour correcting RAW pictures is much easier.  
  8. iPhone on the gimbal for B roll: slow-mo, time lapse, special effects, etc. (mostly 4K 60fps)
  9. I’ve started experimenting with the Moment – Pro Camera App on the phone.  
  10. GoPro is for B roll: action, water, mimic drone, etc. (mostly 2.7K 60fps as 2.7 is the highest it can go with Superview (16:9 aspect ratio) enabled.  I’d only switch to 4K if on a tripod.)
    1. 16:9 ratio
    2. low light set on auto
    3. ISO min 100, max 400 (400 might be low)
    4. Protune off
  11. Editing with Final Cup Pro X on a MacBook Pro 2020 with the new silicon chip. 
  12. Export in 1080p
    1. master file using ProRes 422
    2. export ‘Computer’
    3. export H.264 Faster Encode
  13. Shoot 120 fps only for smoke, fire
  14. Shoot 240 fps or higher for fast moving sports, etc. 
  15. As little hand held video as possible.  Use tripods
  16. Shorter the better for my videos. 
  17. No ads

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour

In post-Reconstruction United StatesBlack Buck or “Black Bull” was sometimes used as a racial slur.

Black Buck is also a critically acclaimed debut novel by Mateo Askaripour. (2020)

Askaripour was a successful tech-sales guy. By age-24, he was managing a team of 30 people and earning a six-figure salary.

Had problems turning into a full-time author. No agent. No book deal.

He tried and failed for several years.

Finally he wrote this book about a successful BLACK tech-sales guy.

Darren is content working at Starbucks in the lobby of a Midtown office building, hanging out with his girlfriend, Soraya, and eating his mother’s home-cooked meals.

All that changes when a chance encounter with Rhett Daniels, the silver-tongued CEO of Sumwun, NYC’s hottest tech startup, results in an exclusive invitation for Darren to join an elite sales team on the thirty-sixth floor. …


Today he’s a literary star, already writing the TV screenplay.

I quite enjoyed the first half of the novel, but QUIT at 50%. Got fed up with the story when things started to go wrong.

Click PLAY or watch an interview with the author on YouTube.


Spider-Man: Far From Home

Though I generally boycott superhero movies, I’d always heard that this one was worth watching for the humour and visual effects.

And it was.

Very entertaining. Also stupid. But entertaining.

This is the one with Jake Gyllenhaal.

I went back and watched Homecoming, the previous in this series. Good — but not nearly as good.

But I’ll watch more if they are this funny.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


Recursion by Blake Crouch

I enjoyed the first book by Black Crouch I’d read – Dark Matter. (2016)

Recursion is my second. Another weird and wild science fiction novel.

This time it’s a world where an increasing number of people are suffering False Memory Syndrome.

Some vividly recall their lives differently. Different spouse. Different kids.

It drives some to madness and suicide.

Turns out a scientist named Helena Smith has discovered a way to go back in time to correct mistakes they made in the past.

However — as in the Butterfly Effect — the timeline of humanity changes. Sometimes drastically.

But people can still recall their former live(s).

As a plot device it’s interesting. But makes no real sense.

I enjoyed it and plan to read more Crouch.