- On the Marge – stories from the Walnut Crescent Bed and Breakfast in Whitehorse, Yukon
- Off the Track – international intrigue meets real life in northern Alberta
- Carrying On – the dramatic life of an officer and a gentleman... for real, not like in the movies
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On the Marge
Chuck, Mara, their six-year-old daughter Alex, and their golden retriever Quark run the Walnut Crescent Bed and Breakfast in Whitehorse. They take turns telling about the quirky situations and people they encounter. Is life in Yukon really that close to the frontier of eccentricity?
1. First Night
Chuck never really planned to be in the bed and breakfast business. He just sort of walked into it.
2. Crazy German
Franz wasn't one of the crazy Germans. Not at first, anyway.
3. The Day the Dam Broke
The power dam keeps Schwatka Lake from flooding Whitehorse. What do you do when it cracks?
In Yukon, people come together in ways we can never predict.
We are all sad in Yukon. But sad (or SAD) means different things to different people.
6. All the World's a Bus
All the world's a bus, and all the men and women merely passengers. But then the comfortable predictability of the bus routine changes.
7. Cache Prize
Seek and you will find... sometimes more than what you were looking for.
8. Climate Change
Whitehorse does not have a fully developed beach culture. Or at least it didn't have one until climate change arrived.
9. French Connection
One should never judge a book by its cover... because covers, by their very nature, cover things up. So what was inside Vincent's cover?
10. War on Walnut
I know all about war from watching TV. But I never expected war to break out on Walnut Crescent.
11. Just Deserted
Some people get their just desserts. Others just get deserted.
12. Man with the Golden Hair
Whitehorse had changed a lot in 35 years. But yes, there was Golden Horn.
13. Laws of Motion
Chuck didn't like Marsha very much. She had strong opinions on every subject and appeared Forrest Gump-like in newspaper photographs of public events.
14. May Haircut
Chuck goes to the barber for... sure, a haircut, but also to be entertained.
15. Cheechako Checklist, part 1
Visitors to the Walnut Crescent B&B always ask the same questions. Here is the FAQ list of things that all newcomers to Yukon should know. Part 1 of 2.
16. Cheechako Checklist, part 2
Visitors to the Walnut Crescent B&B always ask the same questions. Here is the FAQ list of things that all newcomers to Yukon should know. Part 2 of 2.
17. Planting Bridges
Mara said that one could not engineer a garden any more than they could plant a bridge. Chuck initially agreed but now he is not so sure.
18. Only Bidet North of 60
It was in the house when they moved in. But most of the time, it remained unused. Unused, anyway until last month.
19. Prison without Bars
It was almost like a fairy tale. Except for the ending.
Some people say that both God and Santa Claus are just made up, that they're not real. Alex isn't sure about Santa Claus, but she knows all about God.
21. Good Odds
The odds are good but the goods are odd. Yes, an old Yukon joke. But it's true.
22. Spell of the Yukon
And how did you end up in Yukon? Everyone always wants to know.
23. Moving Day
Walnut Crescent will look after them. Like, as if a street could look after people!
But what do People want? Dogs have been puzzling over this for centuries.
25. Cloak and Dagger
How could this happen to us? Why can't my daughter be normal?
26. Not Just Like Before
The music was smooth and flowing. Sometimes things just happen and we don't understand why.
27. Unlimited Power
The thin line between genius and insanity... How do you tell who is on which side of the line, especially in Yukon?
Chuck walks. He reads the paper. He has a woodstove. It all fits together nicely.
Everyone has a different tolerance for disorder. But why he doesn't maintain his house is the subject of some discussion on Walnut Crescent.
30. Yukon Licence
Franz knew that others would go for this sort of thing. And they'd each get a free licence plate!
31. Wild Life
We have come to Canada to live the wild life. But we must be careful about bears.
32. Birds of a Feather
Their operational security was usually much better. A spy must have infiltrated their Facebook page.
33. Has Bean
A drug bust is just not a thing on Walnut Crescent. Or at least, it's not a usual thing on Walnut Crescent.
Hosting a pair of unaccompanied visitors whose average age was 11 was a significant departure from the norm at the Walnut Crescent Bed and Breakfast... especially after rescuing them from the prime minister.
35. Mysterious Ways
Bowing is a very unYukon-like activity. That's how I knew he was from Outside. (If you're working your way through the whole series, listen to this one last, after the episodes from the second series below.)
The following episodes are part of the second series. Chronologically, they fall somewhere before episode 35 above.
36. Break a Leg
Everyone looked for an escape route. But they were all trapped!
37. Beaver Fever
Follow your dreams! Well, OK. But everyone's dream is different and it's often hard to understand someone else's. Especially in Yukon.
38. Big Brother
Was George Orwell thinking of Whitehorse when he wrote "1984?"
39. No Camel for Me
Chuck didn't know for sure that everyone on Walnut Crescent was cultured and literate. But he had his suspicions.
It all started one day when they were standing on the dinosaur's back.
41. Miniature Mammoths
While big mammoths move slowly in herds like elephants, miniature mammoths rush around in packs like badly behaved dogs.
42. Whole Truth
Alex wasn't allowed to swear. But she knew all the words. A boy on Ponderosa had told them all to her.
Was the flashing Rebel Alliance Death Star hanging over the manger scene a bit too much? Someone obviously thought so.
Pamela knew something about everything and knew it better than everyone else. That's how they found out about the firesmarting.
45. Rehabilitation of Pamela MacPherson
Chuck didn't have to rely on social media to study lack of self-awareness. He had Pamela MacPherson right there on Walnut Crescent.
46. Year of the Fox
Am I hallucinating? Or is that a fox sleeping on a car?
47. One Man's Garbage
Nobody else had ever thought about tapping into the combination wildlife/history/garbage tourism market before.
Actually, they HAD thought of the idea. But nobody had said it out loud. Why should kids have all the fun?
49. Available Light
The forgotten flashlight should not really have been a problem. Except for maybe this particular night.
50. Brisbane Bryan, B&B
Brisbane Bryan built a blog. He made enough money off the online advertising to pay for his travels. But we didn't know any of this until after he so mysteriously disappeared.
51. So Close and Yet so Far
What is it about Yukon? People from Outside don't understand. Yukoners understand very well but they have a hard time explaining it.
52. Whatever it's Worth
It was late so Mara didn't try to explain that Air North treated just about everyone like royalty.
What's a garbage audit? Is that even a thing?
54. Lessons from St. Thomas
Alex thought that Thomas had a job in a church, maybe as a working saint performing miracles or standing in an alcove with candles all around. He was actually a chartered accountant.
What is the appropriate social protocol when facing a neighbour doing strange things? Should you ask about the eccentricity? Or should you pretend that everything is quite normal?
56. Write Stuff
In some groups, the ability to laugh at oneself is the mark of an evolved sense of humour. Not all groups, clearly.
57. Together, One Caribou Apart
Mr. MacPherson took some food to the people who were locked up. But he kept the best for himself.
The intro and exit instrumentals in the podcasts in On the Marge are courtesy of Kate Weekes. You can find out more about her music at kateweekes.com.
Podcasts in On the Marge © 2019, 2020, Tim Green
Off the Track
This series starts with main story Off the Track in multiple episodes. Who are the mysterious people in white camouflage? What are they doing in the middle of the woods in northern Alberta, disrupting the operations of the Alberta Northern Railway?
The series then continues with short stories about some of the characters that appear in Off the Track as they face real-life dilemmas: To vaccinate? Was that really an angel? Winning her heart... and the lottery...
Episodes to follow.
Podcasts in Off the Track © 2020, Tim Green
People without military experience imagine that Canadian military life is just like American war movies: screaming drill sergeants (Full Metal Jacket), broken lives and broken hearts (Officer and a Gentleman), or egos and historical legacy (Patton). Sure, there might be a bit of that but real life in the Canadian army is much more entertaining, more like M*A*S*H.
This podcast presents short stories from the life of a Canadian signal officer in Canada and overseas. Not at all like Apocalypse Now!
Episodes to follow.
Podcasts in Carrying On © 2020, Tim Green