And the last day of my 5 day long stretch, Monday August first, the August Long, the day of stupid money. My first table tips $25 on a $50.00 bill. 

And the day continues in that vein. Dag, $20, the Golfers, $50 in the hand, another couple, 20% on the bill, another $20 in the hand, another single man, $20 in the hand...

This was not all. 

I'm a currency press. 

The whole of the 5 days, the August long weekend, they've been the Mt. Everest for the restaurant, our busiest days of the year, and Monday, this is the Summit.

I make stupid money, which I argue against, but - come Tuesday I discover that stupid money only lightly pushes against the tide of unstoppable bills. 

These are interesting, prehistoric gastroliths, found in the stomach cavities of dinosaurs, usually eaten by herbivores to help with the crushing and digesting of their foods.

Now, a little annoyed I didn't know about these when I did my abundant dinosaur hunting in the Drumheller regions, but - unless they were found in-situ, as in the space above, how would you recognize them? Especially given the abundant glacial/river gravels.

Another photo:

Link: Wiki on Gastroliths

And, on a completely unrelated note, did you know that Prospectors in Africa once hunted Ostriches for the diamonds in their Gizzard? 


For the ostriches that inhabited the plains of southwest Africa, choice of stone almost became their undoing. About a century ago a hunter shot a wild ostrich. In preparing it for the evening meal he cut open the gizzard and found several pure gem—quality diamonds among the stony contents. He set out early the next morning to hunt diamond—bearing ostriches. To keep such a find quiet is just about impossible, and word spread quickly. Within a week there was a grand rush onto the plains, and the slaughter began. Prospectors killed the defenseless birds by the thousands. Not all the victims contained diamonds, but some were fantastically rich; in one bird's gizzard 63 diamonds were found.

The ostriches were hunted almost into extinction in this part of Africa. The killing stopped only when too few survivors were left to bother with. The ostrich population has grown since the massacre, but an occasional potential diamond "mine" is still illegally brought down by the ever—present poachers.

Days off, spent prospecting - East Shore, looking and not finding. Have to return to the Smoky Quartz place, there's a bonanza there - but where precisely?

Up the Forestry Service Roads, nothing of interest.

Digging in the East Shore Lake gravels - Brad had mentioned some big garnets, but not here, not where I'm digging, and prying him to be a little more precise only to find that he's not so familiar with the East Shore, vague instructions like "by the old store" or "it's near a village..." don't narrow it down for me, but when I get the jeep back I have some Ideas...

One trip to Revelstoke, a few sideroads near there, but the jeep is overheating again, plumes of antifreeze gusting from the radiator, and I'm forced to take it easy or I'll be rolling baby back home again. That said, the discovery of some what I suspect to be "Tantalite" crystals in feldspar, rare enough, and curious enough that it might be worth finally staking a claim.

Saturday Mornings, Garage Sales, few enough, this year most people have decided merely to update their free piles. Thrifting, a fine pair of antique candlesticks, a new shape to my collection, if you saw them, unremarkable, but - see a few hundred and you start to recognize those that are distinct. A Patek Philippe - fine knock off, self winding, cobbled together features of different watches - dials, skeleton backs, logos, all under the "Patek Philippe" logo - clearly a knock off and I have to buy it, it reminds me of a Patek Philippe/Seiko I spotted trekking in Nepal, somebody was unsure which watch was the more expensive and so decided upon some ghastly hybrid that sported both logos. This year, so far, has been fine for watches.

Cottonwood Markey buying local, - dandy-lion jams, pickled spruce-tips, lilac jelly's, $25 Hot Sauce - WTF? I can't conceal my shock - goddamn, do you snort it or eat it my man? I should have asked the price first...!!!

Days off in the happiest place on earth.


Work, unpredictable. Indoor dining has resumed. The weather, sunny, nice, the patio full, tables scattered on the beach. The owner's son helps out, then takes a break to go upstairs and "work on the new menu". 

"If your busy just call upstairs" he says.

What he means is: 

"If your busy AND you see a meteor AND a giant dragon-lizard rises out of the lake AND a giant gorilla rises out of the other end of the lake AND they start to fight AND you see the ferry capsize THEN call me upstairs....".

He really doesn't want to be there. Nothing worse than having a family business that nobody in the family wants to run or work in.

The customers are good. Generous. Maybe because so far it hasn't been so crazy that I haven't been able to give good service. Maybe because finally having a place to live in Nelson means they're not noticing the pungent aroma of sleeping in a hammock. Maybe just because it's finally nice to see a familiar face. Or, what with the masks and all, it's easier to enjoy their meal without seeing my face.

The Jeep, needing yet another radiator, thermometer, clutch fan, in the shop for a week. A week overlapping 2 weekends, meaning more time at home, less on the road. Work, leave early because the buses are intermittent. Sunday's nonexistent, stick out a thumb, 2 consecutive rides get me there 10 minutes quicker than the bus.

This jeep, I've found my Kootenay Gold-Mine, only you need to be a mechanic to see the profits.



When it's slow Chris and me ride Ken. "Zoophilia" I ask Ken, by way of explaining his horse-play, "Ponyamorous" counters Chris. Brilliant. 

This devolves to Ken being a "Neigh-sayer" and not-very-"Neigh-borly" and "Neigh-gative"....

Ken wants us to move on, but I'm thinking we haven't even begun to scratch the surface. And his birthday is coming...


Monday, day one of an unexpected 3 day "weekend" - Unbox Stormy Scrolls. There's a shit load of scrolls and assorted other rubbish, including (but not limited to):

  • - A guardian "Travel" angel statue
  • - 2 withered beyond repair Xmas oranges
  • - Small bag of cashews
  • - 2 lollipops. 
  • - Some previously enjoyed chewing gum
  • - 1 Sweet Potatoe

An unbelievable amount of unreadable books, a travel bag filled/coated with jam, (presumably for ease of dining, sadly no crackers provided), and - of course - the obligatory scrolls.

This is all rubbish. Not scrolls.

Partially done. Rubbish and scrolls.

Just the scrolls, please. Rerolled. 

In the end, very little worthwhile - 100+ scrolls of cartoon women with big bazooms looking like they'd been steamrolled, like what happened to Coyote with Roadrunner, bazooms aiming east and west, quick sketches, no real effort, he just has to get it out. These I will sell in the "Stormy Gift Shop" for the very reasonable price of $10-$20.00 Apiece. While it doesn't look like much it takes hours to look at each one and reroll it - and separate it from the rubbish - the garbage to be returned (and he will tell me "but it was Marilyn's favorite...." or "It was for Noah/Eve/Ms...".) Bollocks - I drop it off at his place, he can take it back to the free pile from whence it came, only - and I'm getting a phobia of calling round - there's more rubbish. 

I'm getting smarter, I pick out the scrolls, leave the rest. Bloody hell. That's almost an entire free day gone going through his "art". 

Finish the day with a quick trip to the thrift shop - discover an antique mantel clock - Belgian - $5.00 - "It doesn't keep time" they tell me, why it's so cheap.

I hate the dial, but love the case. From the innards and case I can do something interesting, but first to wind it and make sure it's not working. I'd hate to destroy a perfectly good clock on somebody's say-so, or for one of my many ho-hum art projects.

Wind it to discover that the clock is working fine, chimes "Oranges and Lemons" or some such very recognizable melody on the hour, out perhaps 10 minutes per day - a minor adjustment, and now I'm stuck with it. When it winds down I'll pull the face, paint over it, give the clock some life and color, and then live with it.

And that's Monday. 2 days off left...