This is a bit of an experiment for me. I have absolutely no path outlined for this blog because I think I’ve hit a mental clutter-point. There are so many things on my mind right now that bringing just one into focus is trying at best.


I’ve hit a wall with my book…not a tall wall but stumble-height. That’s why the above jigsaw puzzle came into the picture. It was meant to be a distraction, a bit of an escape from everything else for a while. I had to buy it for the subject matter. I am a wolf supporter. The first wild animal I encountered when my family moved from England to a farm in Ontario, Canada in 1955 was a wolf, or rather a small pack of wolves. Other than the incredible shriek of a steam whistle in the Montreal railway station as we boarded that train for the last leg to our new life, the howl of a wolf is the sound I remember most from those days.

It scared me. I was brought up on fairy tales where wolves were always the bad guys.

I heard those howls many times and on three occasions I saw those wolves from my bedroom window. They would casually make their way across the field a few hundred yards away unaware that they were dispelling all the stories I had heard. They jumped, yipped, and played…and were not frightening at all.

The neighboring farm belonged to Mr. South. I never knew his first name but I wish I did. He was also the school bus driver and every morning he’d pick me up at the end of the road in his dusty green panel wagon and chauffer me to a little one-room school near Roblin. I told him I had seen the wolves and he laughed as though it wasn’t that big a deal. He told me how the wolves would come and go and that they were always crossing behind his house too. In typical paranoid kid fashion I asked why he didn’t shoot them. He told me that they were God’s creatures and as long as they weren’t bothering him or his cattle, he wouldn’t bother them. Then he explained the last thing you want to do is break up the pack…that causes no end of trouble. It was years later that I learned how wise this old boy was. Not book-wise…life wise.

Back to the puzzle. It’s 3D, which doesn’t really come across in the photo. Depending on the light or viewing angle it changes colors and sometimes pieces that don’t appear to belong actually do belong. I spent about a week putting it together only to discover that there was one piece missing. Instantly my thoughts, evil and threatening, went to the factory and the shoddy quality control but moments later I discovered the piece still entangled in the plastic bag inside the box. Then I realized that I had too quickly assumed that someone else was at fault for this grievous error. I hereby publicly apologize to the worker in the Chinese factory that packaged my puzzle. I messed up…sorry.

At the same time as I completed the puzzle a message came on my facebook page. Animal Planet was running a program on Monster Week falsely depicting wolves as over-populated, man-eating murderous killers “who threaten us as never before”. I went to the site and yes, amid giant squids, eels, and a sundry of other murderous animals, wolves are monsters and are going to eventually wipe out all human kind. Okay I added the last part but that’s the impression it gives. After studying these animals for five years I can say that everything in Animal Planet’s promo line flies in the face of science but then it’s all about money and sponsors isn’t it? This channel has become the National Enquirer of television (its top rated program is a “documentary” on mermaids) but that’s the way most of these ‘reality’ channels have gone. It’s all about sensationalism and bucks…truth be damned. Scripted family reality shows have become the norm and some folks are getting mighty rich pretending to be real. It’s all about the audience and these folks are laughing at their audience all the way to the bank. It’s not just these programs but mainstream news is running Kanye and Kim as a top story. Who cares? Obviously a lot of people with too much time on their hands and too many choices. Back in the day when there were a half dozen networks you turned on the news and got…well, real news. Nowadays you have hundreds of networks filling time with programs that would never have made it back when quality was a determining factor and you certainly wouldn’t have had a news channel running repetitive speculation and theory on a plane disappearance for twenty-four hours a day.

In the eighties it was widely stated that television had become a wasteland and to my way of thinking it’s gone downhill since then…but I see by the clock on the wall that I’ve run out of time and accomplished nothing but a bit of a rant.

I still have clutter but perhaps not as much. Maybe another couple of blogs will free up some more mind space but there always seems to be something waiting in the wings ready to leap into my head and fill the void left by the deletion of solved issues.

As for those wolves in the 50s…I only saw them the three times over the space of a month or so then they moved on. I’ve come to realize that’s what wolves do. When the time comes to move on they leave and whatever they leave behind is left behind, never to be thought of again. Perhaps we can all learn a little something from that.

***May 28/14…an update. As well as NOT running the program (see my comment below) this was on their website today. It appears Animal Planet is trying to soothe the wounds.  http://blogs.discovery.com/bites-animal-planet/2014/05/10-reasons-to-love-wolves.html?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=AnimalPlanet

I offer thanks to all those who signed the petitions or joined me in emailing Animal Planet to inform them of their error. I think it had some impact.



5 comments on “WHERE DO I GO?

  1. JP McLean says:

    I head to the garden when I hit those stumble-walls. Maybe I should try puzzles next time?

    • Mike Grant says:

      I do a fair bit of weed-pullin’ too but the puzzle did work especially as we’ve had so much rain lately. I’m just preparing myself to dig into the re-write for the rest of the week though….

  2. sknicholls says:

    That mermaid show is ridiculous. They even give a disclaimer stating that it is all fiction, and yet people find it believable. They haven’t paused it and read the disclaimer.

    When I hit a wall I do one of two things. Obsess over it until I find a way over, though, or around it, or stop writing and start writing something else.

    • Mike Grant says:

      Funny thing about disclaimers…nobody reads them. I’ve actually roughed-out a short story over the last week but I really have to finish off the main task. It’s so close to being complete and maybe that’s the problem.

  3. Mike Grant says:

    Animal Planet Cancels Man-Eating Super Wolves Show;Program Nominated for Scat Award by International Wolf Center Following sharp public criticism, Animal Planet removed its Man-Eating Super Wolves show from previously scheduled air times on Tuesday evening, May 27, and Wednesday, May 28. The program was a part of the special series Monster Week, which routinely demonizes real and imagined predators. “The show was irresponsible,” said the Center’s Executive Director Rob Schultz. “Producers blended distorted facts, fabricated details and unreliable resources to confuse the public and incite fear and hatred of wolves.” It is because of these damaging distortions that Man-Eating Super Wolves has been nominated for the Center’s 2014 Scat Award, given for the worst portrayal of wolves in the media, literature or cinema. “Left unchecked, these distortions can cause people to make poor and misinformed decisions that affect the future of wolves living in the wild,” Schultz explained. Renowned Senior Research Scientist and wolf expert L. David Mech, of the U.S. Geological Survey, denounced the program as “Total nonsense and a real disservice to the wolf, to science, and to the public. Mech, who has spent his 55-year career studying wolves in many areas of the world, says that the program is one of the most sensationalistic, exaggerations of the real wolf that he has ever seen. “If wolves were so dangerous to humans,” Mech asked, “how have Minnesotans canoeing and hiking survived throughout the Superior National Forest and other parts of northern Minnesota, where some 2,500 or 3,000 wolves roam? Or throughout most of Canada, where an estimated 60,000 wolves live?” He carries no gun and never felt he needed to do so. “Wolf attacks on humans are uncommon and extremely rare,” says Schultz. “To suggest that wolves have consumed all of their natural prey and are beginning to feed on humans is ridiculous and demonstrates a lack of understanding of our natural world.” The Scat Award was last given to the movie The Grey in 2013.

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