Friday, April 11, 2008

Artistic Elephants and Major Storms

If you haven't seen this video Elephants Painting you really should watch it. Matt saw it on TV a day or two ago and then I got to see the YouTube version. If you look carefully there is a handler parading another picture in the background showing flowers. I understand not all elephants respond to this training, but some of them seem to enjoy it. Someone on a list asked if the elephants are just trained to paint the one picture or what? I have no idea, but getting them to do what they do is pretty fantastic in my book.

There have been more tornadoes in the States, I feel so sorry for the people who are subject to such things, in fact there is a corridor up the centre of the States where more tornadoes occur than anywhere else. However, statistically, there have been lots more tornadoes this year than normal. Another sign of global warming I gather. I must say I much prefer hurricanes, if I have to have either that is, you get days of warning about them and can generally move out of their way, a twister just arrives. Admittedly you know the weather at the time is likely to spawn a tornado, but you don't know when, where or if. As for these people who chase the storms, they are, in my opinion, certifiably nuts. At Disney World they have a show called Twister and it is supposed to be just like being in one except basically you are to one side watching even though you get water in your face, that was plenty for me. I DO NOT want to experience the real thing. They do happen in Canada occasionally, but not with such regularity I am pleased to say. Some years ago there was a big one hit Barrie which is quite a bit north of us and Matt had occasion to go up there afterwards. The devastation was pretty terrible although Matt was fascinated by the fact that the twister (aptly named) had knocked down houses standing in between totally undamaged buildings.

Living in the Carolinas, we often got hurricanes visiting us, and we usually took shelter somewhere more solid than where we lived. We lost 26 trees over the years, but luckily we never had one come down on our home, fences, decks, etc. but not the home itself. One time we came back to find a tree down in the back yard and another in the front yard, both of which had fallen away from the house. If they had fallen the other way, poof!!! I had a little programme for the computer called Storm Tracker. It was very useful and gave me a pretty accurate idea of where the storm was going. I would plot it from the co-ordinates given by the TV. Once when they told us to evacuate, I could tell the storm was turning away, so we didn't move and it was right, it skimmed past us.

Several times we went to a friend's house and we often had hurricane parties where we all took some kind of food. I remember our first time when we were only visiting the area. Matt went to a local store who was tipping out all the ice from his machines (when the power goes off it melts of course) and bought a whole load of steaks which were on sale. When we got to the friend's house, someone had brought a pile of shrimp which I helped to peel and we ended up with a fantastic meal of those items plus salads and a few bottles of hooch. Some people stayed up all night watching the storm progress, I went to bed and forgot all about it. One of the worst hurricanes we remember was when Floyd sat over the Carolinas for days and it rained and rained and rained; there was really serious flooding, one saw pictures of houses just showing their roofs, people being rescued by boats and so on. Since that time Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the coastal towns and caused even worse damage. I haven't forgotten that dreadful tsunami either, which we never hear about any more, I have no doubt the people of that area are still struggling to recover.

Well, this morning we are expecting our new chair to arrive so I have to go check the website to see what time to expect it.

Last night we had some arctic char just broiled with a little seasoning, which was absolutely delicious. If you have the opportunity to taste arctic char, I really recommend it. Its flesh is similar looking to salmon but, in my opinion, much more tasty. I know I mentioned a restaurateur friend who smoked his own salmon and arctic char and served it in the restaurant. I preferred the char, and I am a smoked salmon devotee from way back.

Have a great day.


  1. The "painting elephants" are the most fascinating things I've seen in ages.
    Thanks for sharing this, Jo.


  2. I thought it was wonderful too, I would love to see more of it.