Tuesday 30 April 2024

Give me a sign

Rerun of past material. Signs that I have run across in my travels. As for the last one, it was a steep hill.

Sunday 28 April 2024

Tales of my father

I wear running shoes, or sneakers if you prefer, practically all year. I think I currently have two pairs of running shoes and one pair of boots. I think that is all the footwear I own. When I was married my wife had about one hundred pairs of various footwear.

My father grew up on a farm. He died March 5, 1997. His preferred footwear was cowboy boots, or as he sometimes called them riding boots. I rarely saw him wear anything else. I owned a few pair through the years, I could never like wearing them.

Years ago I had left home, was single, and trying to figure out my way in life. I had a bit of an adversarial relationship with my parents. Both of them made my life miserable in my late teens. It may have been by design or there may have been other issues unknown to me. At one point I got fed up and left and cut off contact for a number of months.

Things got better after a few years. Things got far better years later. We were never the type of family to talk about things so past issues were never discussed. I never did find out what the problem was. After a time I started coming home to visit on the occasional weekend.

Dad had kind of decided that maybe he should seek out more comfortable footwear. Wearing cowboy boots all those years were getting to be hard on his body. So he bought a pair, a good pair, of running shoes. He wore them twice, tossed them in the closet and went back to wearing boots. Dad was a creature of habit and some habits were hard to break, namely wearing boots. On a visit home when I was getting ready to leave I noticed a like new pair of runners in the closet by the front door. Dad and I were the same shoe size so I put them in my bag and never mentioned it to anyone. I figured he owed me for past transgressions.

My father could occasionally be absent minded. On a subsequent visit home I checked the closet and there was another pair of pristine shoes. He must have thought he forgot where he put the last pair, given up trying to find them, and bought another pair. I filched those as well. He would try runners but kept going back to his boots. His boots were part of his identity, dad never seemed to be dad if he was not wearing a nice pair of cowboy boots.

I carried this off a few more times. Then one day I got a phone call.

“Have you been stealing my shoes?”


I heard “Goddamn it” in a slightly annoyed voice. “I could not figure out where my shoes were disappearing to” and he hung up. 

I left his footwear alone after that. I had enough shoes for years.

Friday 26 April 2024

Random post

In rehab you get interviewed by people. I have been interviewed by nurses, a social worker, doctor, therapists, and a psychologist. The admitting nurse asked me a long list of questions when I first got here. One of them was if I was suicidal. If you were would you admit it? I said no, but even if I was is I am in a bed unable to walk and anything I could possibly use to harm myself is out of reach. I guess I could spread myself to death with a butter knife from mealtime but it would take time. By the way, be careful with humour when dealing with nurses from another country. Humour is very subjective and not always understood.

Anyway, therapists are interested in your home life. Living in a two bedroom, two bathroom, apartment style condo, no stairs wins me major points. I will have less problems getting around. Then they want to know if I am active and if I do anything in my spare time. I am sure when they release you back into the wild they do not want you sitting on a couch watching the television all day.

I must not come across as believable. I tell them that I get out to take photos, have two motorcycles that get used quite a bit, do some hiking into places, and try to get out as much as possible. I get some skeptical looks. Maybe I do not look like the kind of person that gets off their ass and does things. In the past people have told me I do not seem the type which perplexes me. Photos or it did not happen and I have an iPad with me with a fair number of photos on it. I have proof with photos of the motorcycle, photos of wildlife, photos of places I have been. When I show my photos I get a totally different reaction usually asking if I actually took the photos. I end up proving my point that I may not be really fit but I am active.

One thing I have discovered is most of the staff I have dealt with here rarely venture outside the city. They know nothing about wildlife or rural areas. Which is likely why there is a degree of skepticism when I say what I do in my spare time. 

Wednesday 24 April 2024

How to get from your bed to a wheelchair

I do this a few times a day and wheel myself to the dining area for meals and wheel myself to physiotherapy. 

As the calendar moves with glacial speed . . .

Until my follow up appointment on May 15 I cannot put any weight on my legs until they clear me. I also hope I am cleared to put weight on my legs when the results come in. There is always a chance that might not happen and my stay becomes longer. If my stay is extended then I suck it up until I heal up. Until I can put weight on my legs I am kind of limited with what I can do. From my last operation on my legs until May 15 should be seventy-nine days, just over eleven weeks, or close to three months.

While I am here waiting to heal further as the days pass you find yourself with time to kill. I fill some of the time by reviewing my finances.

Since the hospital is feeding me I am saving money on food and the food here is not bad. I had butter chicken last night. My only car was written off so I am saving money on gas and insurance. I am currently getting disability payments from insurance. I long ago set funds aside as an emergency fund in case something happened. I love living in an age where there is online banking and I can pay my bills online. I have overpaid my monthly bills a month ahead. I have no mortgage which helps.

I have been reviewing my investment fund and been making some changes. I liquidated one underperforming account and reinvested it. Otherwise I have been adding to some of the stocks I own. I only buy Canadian dividend stocks, such as Canadian banks, and when enough dividends pile up I buy more stock. Sometime in the future I may have enough dividends rolling in on a monthly basis to help fund a retirement. 

I might as well put some of the time to good use.

Monday 22 April 2024

Side of my left knee

I will have an interesting collection of scars. From the last operation.

Things you do not expect

I have been in the hospital since the evening of February 16. There are a lot of things you are cut off from being in the hospital. A lot of simple things.

One of the things I miss is Coke. I love the stuff. After weeks of being in the hospital I got my hands on a bottle. I took a swig and I was . . . disappointed. It did not taste the same. It did not taste the way I remembered it. That was a few weeks ago. I have had a few more since then, I had one today. It is just not the same.

I find the same thing for coffee. I like my coffee triple cream one sugar. I usually had a cup or two every day. In my entire hospital stay I have had five cups of coffee. It is not the same either, granted hospital coffee is not good coffee. Maybe I will enjoy it once I get out and have better coffee. Maybe it will be cut out of my diet entirely. 

In a recent comment someone asked . . .

Why so much of what I photograph abandoned?

Simple. Abandoned places, churches, old schools, farm houses, ghost towns, and cemeteries are the subjects that most appeal to me. Not just any abandoned place, a lot of them are junk. It has to be interesting. I like visiting places that are off the main routes and take a bit of effort to get to. I like local history as well, a lot of places started and died off without much being known at all.

I like landscape shots and love waterfalls. I am always on the lookout for a good wildlife shot. I would love to get a good shot of a skunk. I admire people that can do great photos of people. Taking shots of people never seems to result in an image that I like. I am never happy with the result. 

Sunday 21 April 2024

Kenny Chesney - I'm Alive (with Dave Matthews)

Time for another summer photo

You win. 

I received enough comments telling me to keep posting and keep you updated. A few were quite direct telling me I was wrong and I can see the error of my ways. Something of some kind will be posted here and there.

Southern Saskatchewan, July 2023.

Saturday 20 April 2024

On hiatus

I do not know when or if I will be back.

I likely will be back. I really have nothing new or nothing to say for the foreseeable future. I have a lot of days ahead of me where very little of any note will be happening.

I need to set the blog aside for a bit.

Accident notes

I managed to get a copy of the police report. I know the name of the other party, I do not know them personally. I have their name and phone number. I have been tempted to contact him to let him know what he did to me but I won’t.

My lawyer emailed me a copy of the report. I literally read every line beginning to end ten times. I read all the witness statements and pored over the photos. Nothing triggered any memories, I still remember nothing. I was in a northbound lane and he was in a southbound lane. It happened on Highway 2A, a secondary two lane paved highway, south of Leduc, Alberta. The other driver was turning from the highway and we made contact.

The whole event makes me livid. This should not have happened. It was rush hour and a lot of people commute to Edmonton and drive home from the city. I was in a line of traffic after work heading home, it was a bright day, the road was bare, there was practically no snow. No apparent harm to him and I end up in the hospital with multiple injuries for over three months.

Friday 19 April 2024

Time for an update

I got some news today. I have a follow up on May 15, 2024. Until then I cannot put any weight on my legs. The follow up will likely involve x-rays to see how well the bones are healing. I have a tentative release day as well, sometime in the last week of May. 

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Monday 15 April 2024

Threshing Machines (and a few Bales)

Spotted this collection of colourful threshing machines near Pakan, Alberta.

And, there were a few fresh bales in the adjoining hayfield to boot.  Can't beat that!

Michael Truman

Sunday 14 April 2024


I have been in the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital since Tuesday. This is a good place. The food is good.

The staff here are very friendly and helpful. Believe me that makes a difference when you are in a new place with new procedures trying to get better. The staff was friendly at the prior hospital, here they are friendly in a different way, they are more centred on you.

So far I have been introduced to dieticians, doctors, nurses, a social worker, and most importantly physiotherapists. They want you to get better. I have had some sessions with physiotherapists. I have told them as soon as I was introduced that I will do whatever they want willingly and I will try my best because I want to get better. Range of motion in my legs is better than I thought it would be. My knees are stiff from the operations and scar tissue. It will get better.

I cannot put any weight on my legs for about ten more days. I have to be cleared by the doctor that operated on me. I may have to have more x-rays to check how well the bones are healing before I am cleared to put weight on my legs.

I have been in a wheelchair a few times and taken it for a spin. I took it to the elevators to the third floor where there is a garden area and a recreation room. I found a pool table and discovered there is no damn way I can shoot pool in a wheelchair. 

No idea when I can get home. Possibly June. The goal here is not to get you home fixed, it is to get you home safe. I have been told that I should make a full recovery and that may take up to a year. Quite a change from weeks ago when one doctor told me I might not walk again. Once home I will be using a walker until I do not need it. I was told not to consider driving for five months. Since my car was totalled I would need to buy a vehicle. On the bright side I am saving money with no car expenses.

I have been in three hospitals for over eight weeks. I have been unable to enjoy simple everyday activities. I am putting in the time and work so I can eventually leave this place and carry on to the next phase. I am grateful to make it this far.

Legal matters

For some reason I cannot respond to comments. It was suggested in a recent comment that I hire a lawyer. I already did this on March 7, 2024. I hired a well known firm in Edmonton on a contingency basis. I contacted them, one of their lawyers came to the hospital to see me in person and went over everything with me. I am definitely suing the other party.

Saturday 13 April 2024

Mary Anne

Mary Anne at magpiesmumblings.blogspot.com has done some wonderful quilting with my some of my photos and her creations are for sale. Here is some of her work. 

Friday 12 April 2024

Netley Grain Elevator


This ex Manitoba Pool grain elevator in Netley, Manitoba is an anachronism, a working wooden grain elevator. These days the elevators are all concrete behemoths, loading 100+ rail cars in a giant loop.

Not so this humble elevator. Owned by Scoular, the Netley grain elevator in Petersfield, Manitoba receives and ships grains. There is rail access but I believe most product is shipped by truck.

The elevator was built by the Pool in 1948 and refurbished in 1986. Agricore sold it in 2000 and it was privately owned for 16 years before Scoular acquired it.

More information is available on the Grain Elevators of Canada web site.

Steve Boyko


Thursday 11 April 2024

Random stuck in the hospital note

Everyday I get my blood pressure taken four times a day. After a while for no particular reason I ask for the numbers. Just had it taken and I am 111 over 68. I was told this is good so I will take their word for it.

February 16, 2024 revisited

My former 2013 KIA Soul after they cut me out of it. You can see my blood in the car, on the bottom of the door frame, and on the ground. This is from the police report.

Various parts that came off in the crash plus what was cut away. I still remember nothing from the crash. The report states the other party was charged.

Wednesday 10 April 2024

Tuesday 9 April 2024

One step closer

Today I was transferred to the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta. I am excited and at the same time a little scared about the next phase of my recovery. I got here via ambulance at eleven this morning and have been going through admitting and meeting physiotherapists that will be working with me.


Monday 8 April 2024

The Roadmaster


I spotted this beauty in Gimli, Manitoba recently. It's a Buick Roadmaster.

The last incarnation of the Roadmaster was built from 1991 to 1996, in both a 4-door sedan version and this 5-door station wagon edition. Under the hood, a 5+ litre V8 provided the power to haul a family around, and it could tow up to 5,000 lbs.

The last Roadmaster was built on December 13, 1996.

source: Wikipedia

Steve Boyko


Sunday 7 April 2024

The reason for the lack of televisions

The used to be televisions in the rooms in this hospital. The ones they had were old and needed to be upgraded. They were removed and were going to be replaced. Then COVID hit and everything went off the rails. Televisions are supposed to eventually be back in the rooms once they revisit that plan. Or so I have been told. 

As for entertainment suggestions I have seen Deadwood. The second Justified series was an abomination. I will check out the older movie suggestions. I just got a few murder mysteries I will be trying out.

The elderly lady who I share a room with that snores and talks in her sleep all night long I suspect has cognitive issues. I am supposedly on my way out of here sometime to the rehab facility so I will tolerate it as best I can. 

Critter post

Daniel Harvard, a friend of mine, captured this on his property recently. 

Saturday 6 April 2024

Holding on to sanity

No televisions in this hospital. A few visitors dropped off magazines. I have some nature, hunting, and photography magazines. 

Thank God for the technology of the day and age. Hospital wifi is not great but it is adequate. I managed to download an app on my iPad so I can watch hockey games. I have downloaded some television series. So far I have watched:



Better Off Ted

Burn Notice

Resident Alien

This has definitely helped pass the time. Especially at night since I have a roommate who talks in her sleep and snores like she is in some competition and is out to win. Some nights I do not drop off until midnight. 

Important note

If by some unfortunate set of circumstances you find yourself in the hospital for an extended period of time here is some advice. Be nice to the nurses. Cooperate with them and do not cause them any problems. Be good to them and they will likely be good to you. It will make your stay a lot easier. 

Friday 5 April 2024

Cast off


Only to be replaced by a lace up splint. 

Thursday 4 April 2024

Ice Fishing on Lake Winnipeg

My wife and I went for an overnight trip to Gimli, Manitoba in mid March 2024. We knew that there was ice fishing on Lake Manitoba but we had no idea how many ice huts there were! There were at least 30 in sight from the shore line.

The ice was clearly still thick enough to bear the weight of vehicles, as we saw a few trucks and vans driving the slippery "road" to and from their huts.

It looked like most if not all huts were on skids and were designed for easy placement and removal.

That evening, I had to have lake pickerel for supper, likely caught not far from the restaurant...
Steve Boyko

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Apple juice

Everyday I get apple juice. Sometimes twice a day. Sometimes I cannot keep up with it and it stacks up until I manage to drink it and clear it out. I got reminded of an Alan King bit I saw on tv decades ago. What follows is a greatly condensed version. For the record I do not mind apple juice.

When I was in the hospital they gave me apple juice every morning, even after I told them I didn't like it. I had to get even. One morning, I poured the apple juice into the specimen tube. The nurse held it up and said, 'It's a little cloudy.' I took the tube from her and said, 'Let me run it through again,' and drank it. The nurse fainted.”

Tuesday 2 April 2024

Kiss any sense of dignity goodbye

I have not yet been transferred to a rehab facility. I have been told there is nothing further they can do for me and the next phase is rehab. I am lying in a hospital bed with my two broken legs encased in braces, my left arm with the broken wrist still in a cast, and injured ribs.

I do not have much mobility. I can move my legs from side to side, wiggle my toes, move my feet, and barely lift my legs a half inch up for a few seconds. I am getting more sensation in my legs and I know I am getting better as the days go by. The upper half is fine. Rib pain has largely went away. Otherwise all I am doing is taking up space until I can be moved elsewhere.

The problem is that I need help with a lot of things. I have gained a little independence but used to need help with everything. I mean everything. I would get a meal dropped off and I used to need help with setting the meal. If I need to get cleaned up I get washed down on the bed while I am lying down and rolled on either side while your areas get washed. 

The worst is when you need to do certain other things. I have become somewhat proficient at sensing when I need a bedpan and using one. This is a skill I will cheerfully discard once this episode in my life is over. 

Being in this position has been demeaning, degrading, embarrassing, and at times humiliating. I learned to quickly roll with it and tossed any sense of dignity out the window long ago. I think every nurse on the ward has seen all of me at one time. Thankfully they have all been great.