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Time and Space – by Al Vitols

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Time behaves in an interesting manner. Years ago I too had my office at home, and the following is a description of a sequence of events that happened, some form of which, more than once.

As I finish getting dressed in Wranglers, the cowboy brand of blue jeans, in the bedroom to go to my office, it is difficult to ignore Schooner, our Golden Retriever, who, in a language that is unmistakable, pleads to have his tennis balls thrown for him to fetch.

On the ball-launch site, the back sundeck, I chuck a ball toward the back fence, close to the P.G.E. (Prince George Eventually) railway tracks, where the bush is the thickest. This involved stepping over a very large fir branch blown down by the previous night’s sou’wester.

While I ponder about how to deal with this problem, Schooner has found the ball in the jungle and has come back for another go. This involves first wresting the ball out of his mouth. Someday I must teach him to drop.

While dragging the large branch to the wood pile to deal with some other day, I notice two apples on our only apple tree have been partially eaten. Raccoons have rediscovered our Kings.

Schooner has brought back a double. Two balls in his mouth. He’s been known to handle three at a time.

Last year I tried anointing the apples with a mixture of oil and cayenne pepper, hoping that the raccoons would have at least as much problem with the heat as I do when I mistakenly order Thai food that is too spicy.
They must have loved the peppery dip better than the apples themselves, as the following morning every apple was licked clean but otherwise untouched.

Schooner had retrieved the ball again, but now is happy to lie down and shred it into little green slimy bits.

While looking for wire mesh to deal with the raccoon problem, I have to digress to find binoculars so that from my hillside perch I can better see a sloop on English Bay. It’s colourful spinnaker seems difficult to control in the gale leftovers and demands attention, even from the shore.

I construct a temporary wire sculpture around the apple tree which, I hope, the raccoons will believe to be some kind of trap and thus keep away .

Finally I get to my desk. My office is about six feet from my bedroom. Elapsed time to get to work at home office: forty-seven minutes.
Travel time to office when it was downtown: twenty-six minutes.


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