Solbit Wants More MOA!

Dear Nicalai,

“What’s MOA? I don’t care about MOA. I want more of this guy,” I complained. Apparently, MOA is some kind of big deal here in Vancouver BC, but I think a flying human is a much bigger deal.

Surprised, that's what I was when I saw him fly up instead of plunge down.

Surprised, that’s what I was when I saw him fly up instead of plunge down.

I guess I complain a lot, but, look at this man.  He has no wings. He has nothing in common with a bird.  Yet, he ties himself to a kite of some sort — somebody told me it’s called a “paraglider” — and, get this, he just jumped off the top of a fence and over a cliff by the ocean!  As if he could fly like a bird. Crazy! I thought,”Oh, no, he’s for sure dead.  He’ll fall way down and crash on the rocks by the ocean shore.”

Next thing I knew, the guy who disappeared over a cliff comes flying up in the wind.  His kite is lifting him up, up, and up. We get a lot of wind here by the ocean.  Nona and Papa always have chin-straps on their hats.  Otherwise they would fly away.

Speaking of fly away.  We didn’t see just one crazy human being by the cliffs today.

Now I'm asking myself, "Am I crazy enough to try this paragliding?" Answer: No!

Now I’m asking myself, “Am I crazy enough to try this paragliding?” Answer: No!

These two just stood there in front of us, and, when a big puff of wind came along, Papa said, “Oh, look, Solbit, there they go; they’re aloft!”  Well they were up in the air, but I wanted to ask Papa why he said that.  When we were in New York last year, he said the people we visited lived in a “loft.”  These two guys definitely were not in a loft.

Papa corrected me, “Not in a loft, Solbit.  I said they were ‘aloft.’” Language is still confusing me.  How do you people understand what you’re saying to each other?

Well, even though I complained, Nona made us leave right then for MOA.  On our walk there, she explained that MOA is the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology.

“Papa, do we have to go there?” I appealed to what I hoped would be a higher authority, but, of course, I know he isn’t.  To my surprise, Papa also wanted to do something really boring like going to a museum of anthropology.  I complained some more, but Nona just said, “No whining, Solbit!” and kept walking.

Nona must have really, really wanted to see what was at MOA, because she even paid — I’d say happily paid — for us to get into the museum.  That’s pretty unusual.  One of her most often spoken sentences is, “We’re not paying for that.”  Once I saw the money exchange hands, I knew my fate was sealed.  No way we’re leaving this place for hours.

The next thing I know, Nona is reading to me from little messages that someone has stuck on the walls by different old things, like this mask.

I politely said nothing in front of this guy, but I think he needs some dental work.

I politely said nothing in front of this guy, but I think he needs some dental work.

The sign by this mask talked about how First Nations people made masks and sculptures of animals they respected.  Often these are made out of wood and bone and plant materials.  Already I felt at home, because these people respected animals, and I wondered whether they respected an iguanodon like me.  I started looking for a mask of an iguanodon, but I never did see one.  Maybe we died out before people lived here?

Some things that we saw weren’t so old, but they were still made by First Nations people and, wow, I just loved this one.

When I first saw this, I knew it was supposed to tell a story, but I couldn't "read" it.

When I first saw this, I knew it was supposed to tell a story, but I couldn’t “read” it.

It’s called Creation, and it has its own special room with seats in a circle around it.  I got Papa to take me all around this sculpture. All the way around it, I saw something interesting.

Unfortunately, it was one of the last sculptures that I got to see.  Nona said that we had spent the whole day here, and we had to go home for Papa’s afternoon nap.

“But I want more of MOA, Nona.  Can’t Papa go home by himself, please?”  She said we had to leave because Papa would take his nap and she would work on plans for our trip next year to South America. “I guess I’ll take a nap too,” I pouted.  So that’s what I did today:  complained, had a great time at MOA — which I didn’t expect — and pouted.  I have more than one day like that every week.  Do you?

I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

August 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit Cranes Her Neck on A Ducky Day

Dear Nicalai,

How long is your neck? Did you ever think about that? Me neither. Not until today.  Today I met somebody with a really long neck. Her name is Greta Sandhill, but everyone just calls her “Red.”  Can you tell why?

I love that red on the head of sandhill cranes!

I love that red on the head of sandhill cranes!

She’s a Sandhill Crane. When she moved her head, stretching and bending her neck this way and that, she got me to wondering about my own neck. So, I tried moving my neck the way she did. That’s when Nona asked me, “Solbit, why are you craning your neck like that?”  Is that where the word “craning” comes from, the bird that we call a crane? Who knew?

Isn’t Red a pretty bird?  I think I would go out of my way to see a Sandhill Crane again. Have you ever seen one? Oh, here’s another pretty bird.

The lines and colors of the Wood Duck amaze me. How can feathers do that?

The lines and colors of the Wood Duck amaze me. How can feathers do that?

This is “Woody” the wood duck. Guess what, she isn’t made out of wood–just beautiful feathers, flesh and blood, and webbed feet, too! Woody and Red were in the same lagoon that we walked by today. So many ducks paddled around in the lagoon that Papa said they were having “a ducky day.” I guess we’re were having a ducky day too, seeing wood ducks, shovelers (they’re ducks too), mallards, and my list could go on, but I can’t. I have to finish this and go to bed in Nona’s pocket.

I wonder if ducks sleep on land or on water, or both? Do you know?

I wonder if ducks sleep on land or on water, or both? Do you know?

Don’t these two ducks — Gadwalls — look content, maybe even happy?  That’s how I feel when I’m with Nona and Papa walking in the woods by a lagoon and looking at ducks. Papa reads a lot of science articles, and he says that studies have found that those kind of walks actually help to improve people’s health and “state of mind” whatever that is. I thought states were defined spaces on a map. Aren’t they? Sometimes Papa confuses me with things he says. I’m learning to be patient, and all will be revealed to me, eventually.

A funny thing happened as we were leaving the woods today. Papa and Nona saw a bird in the water. They got excited because they had never seen a duck with coloring like this duck has. They could see a new bird being added to their bird list today!

Some ducks are made to fool us.

Some ducks are made to fool us.

When they looked through their binoculars, their spirits drooped. “Oh, that’s not a duck. That’s a decoy. I guess some hunter left it here last year.”  Well, a duck decoy looks like a duck, but it isn’t a duck. Nona and Papa shouldn’t feel bad about mistaking it for a real duck, because even real ducks get fooled by decoys.

OK, Nona’s going to put me into her purse now. I’ve gotta close. Remember, look out for the decoys, don’t be fooled, but please do have a ducky day. Bye.

I’m your friend.

Love,

signature

 

 

 

Solbit

August 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit, first iguanodon to taste jelly

Dear Nicalai,

Nona and Papa have a biological clock ticking. Oh, not to have kids. They already did that. Three times! No, I mean they’re getting closer to their “expiration dates,” if you know what I mean. So, for them, running around the world and seeing interesting sights is probably a now-or-never kind of thing.  They just don’t stop traveling.

We just came back from seeing jelly at a garden! I thought you went to gardens to see plants.  I bet you have never been to Milner Gardens in Qualicum Beach on the east coast of Vancouver Island.

Don't feel bad though, because you are young. You still have time to get up here.

Don’t feel bad though, because you are young. You still have time to get up here.

They took me along, and I enjoyed going with them to see yet another garden.

We didn't see just plants, bushes and trees. We saw jellies too!

We didn’t see just plants, bushes and trees. We saw jellies too!

We iguanodons never thought to make jelly. My ancestors just chewed away on plants. They had no time for making jelly. Also, I’m pretty sure they didn’t have stoves to cook on way back then. What good would a stove have been without gas or electricity, right?  Hey, I may have just set a world record: first iguanodon ever to taste jelly!  My conclusion: I like jelly.

They serve the jelly on scones and serve tea in fancy cups like this.

They serve the jelly on scones and serve tea in fancy cups like this.

Maybe you can answer my question: why are these cups called China cups? They look like tea cups to me. Nobody I know drinks China. I don’t even know what that is. Do you?

Of course, Milner Garden does have growing things such as plants, bushes, and trees.

Of course, Milner Garden does have growing things such as plants, bushes, and trees.

Hey, you know what evidence is don't you?  We we also saw evidence of plants at this garden: leaves.

Hey, you know what evidence is don’t you?  We we also saw evidence of plants at this garden: leaves.

Speaking of leaves, I regret to say that I have to leave you now. Nona and Papa want to go watch the river otters rolling in dirt down at the inner harbor. They put on quite a show. I guess Nona & Papa will keep running off to see interesting sights until their expiration dates come up. Odd, though, they seem not to know when that is. If I had an expiration date on me, I’d want to know when it was, or maybe it’s better not to know. I wonder about that. Gotta go. We’re off to the inner harbor! Bye.

I’m your friend.

Love,

signature

 

 

 

Solbit

August 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit Stranded in the Forest

Dear Nicalai,

Oh, girl, did Papa make a bad mistake today! That wouldn’t have been so bad, if we had been in the city.  We weren’t.  We had driven a long distance from the city and parked in a remote place deep in a forest.

To get way out to the forest, Papa had to drive our car through tunnels that go under mountains.  As we approached the first tunnel, a big sign said, “TURN ON YOUR HEADLIGHTS.”  Papa did what the sign told him to do. Then when we drove out of the last tunnel, I guess he didn’t see a sign that said, “TURN OFF YOUR HEADLIGHTS.”  Yeah, he left the headlights on after he parked our car. That was his big mistake.

"Sorry kiddo, I don't have any jumper cables," Sherri the Squirrel told me, "but let me know if you feel like a nut. I've got plenty of those."

“Sorry kiddo, I don’t have any jumper cables,” Sherri the Squirrel told me, “but let me know if you feel like a nut. I’ve got plenty of those.”

After a three hour walk in that beautiful forest, we returned to our car.  Got in. Papa put the key in the ignition, turned it, and nothing happened.  Absolutely nothing!  Oh, no, we were stranded in the forest and the sun was going down! So much depends on a black electric battery, and ours was dead!

Since we didn’t see people around, Papa asked me to ask the local animals if they knew where we could get jumper cables — whatever those are — to start the car.  So, I did.

“Jumper cables.  I don’t know from jumper cables,” Robbie the Rabbit told me, “but I know how to jump.  You say ‘jump,’ and I say ‘how far.’”

“Jumper cables.  I don’t know from jumper cables,” Robbie the Rabbit told me, “but I know how to jump.  You say ‘jump,’ and I say ‘how far.’”

As you can see, I was getting nowhere, but Nona got some nice photos of the animals. She says the light just before sunset is good for photography.  She told me, “Always look on the bright side of things. Turn lemons into lemonade.”

But Papa kept saying, “Ask for jumper cables. We need jumper cables.”  Then Nona forgot about looking on the bright side of things.  She said, “What good are jumper cables if there’s no other car with a good battery to connect to?”  She made a good point, but Papa said, “One thing at a time. Let’s not get too far down the road.”  Nona observed that getting too far down the road was not a problem for us right now.

“Jumper cables?  You need jumper cables? Let me tell you, I have landed and sat on a lot of cables. Electric cables, telephone cables, traffic guard cables,” explained Sparky the Sparrow, “but not a one of them jumped. Nope never seen a jumper cable.”

“Jumper cables?  You need jumper cables? Let me tell you, I have landed and sat on a lot of cables. Electric cables, telephone cables, traffic guard cables,” explained Sparky the Sparrow, “but not a one of them jumped. Nope never seen a jumper cable.”

“Solbit? What kind of name is that? No jumper cables down here. Hey, come down here and roll in the dust with us,” the river otters suggested.

“Solbit? What kind of name is that? No jumper cables down here. Hey, come down here and roll in the dust with us,” the river otters suggested.

Just then we got two miracles in a row.  First, I asked a bee for jumper cables.

“Sorry Solbit, I’m busy gathering pollen and making honey.  I just can’t spare a minute to look for … what did you say? … jumper tables? Oh, no, jumper cables,” Belinda Bee spoke so fast that her words just buzzed in one ear and out the other.

“Sorry Solbit, I’m busy gathering pollen and making honey.  I just can’t spare a minute to look for … what did you say? … jumper tables? Oh, no, jumper cables,” Belinda Bee spoke so fast that her words just buzzed in one ear and out the other.

After she said she couldn’t help and my hope was fading, she buzzed back.  “Hey, walk down that road just a little way.  You’ll see a Telus Telephone truck and linemen.  I flew over them today on my way to the flowering tree.  I bet they have what you’re looking for.”  That was our first miracle. Papa checked down the road. The nice men loaned him their jumper cables!

Then our second miracle appeared: a car drove in near us, parked, and a friendly Canadian couple got out. They saw that the hood of our car was up. “Looks like you could use a jump start,” the man said. “Do you have jumper cables?”  Papa said, “The Telus guys just loaned me cables.”  “Well, let’s get this baby started, then,” the man said. The next thing I knew we were cruising down the highway.

“Welcome home, Solbit. You were away a long time today.  What have you been doing?” asked our neighbor Sally Skunk.

“Welcome home, Solbit. You were away a long time today.  What have you been doing?” asked our neighbor Sally Skunk.

Well, as you can tell. We had a long day in the woods.  I’m so thankful for those telephone line guys who loaned us the jumper cables and for the friendly local Canadians who brought their car over to help us, complete strangers that we were to them.  That must be one of the best things about human beings, they will go out of their way to help complete strangers in distress.  I wonder if my iguanodon ancestors would have done that? What do you think?

I’m your friend.

Love,

signature

 

 

 

Solbit

August 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”