E-letter: Motion detection


I got a new trail camera for Christmas. This should be a fairly innocuous fact, but it turns out it’s complicated.

As I have mentioned before, we are blessed to live alongside a beautiful trout and salmon river in southern Ontario. I could do without the Ontario part, but you take what you can get.

Kerry Knudsen

We have a stone patio out by the river’s edge, and we spend many hours out there whenever the weather warrants it. We have seen deer, coyotes, mink, muskrats, beavers, turkeys, green and blue herons … The list is quite lengthy… Raccoons, opossums, skunks… And people. When the weather is fine, folks come floating from there to here at summer speed in tubes and rafts, drinking beer and watching the world slip away. Nobody seems to know the actual population of our village, but a common guess is about 480 people.

We tend to sit with me on the riverside edge of the patio, facing downstream, with Lee Ann on my right and facing quartering toward me. That way we can talk easily, yet keep a fairly broad field of view. There are large maple trees on both the upstream and downstream edges of the patio, so it is shaded virtually all day, along with hosta and native-flower gardens both upstream and down.

Not last summer, but the summer before, and the summer before that, Lee Ann hit me on the shoulder and whispered under her breath, “LOOK at that!” Lee Ann never hits me unless it is warranted, so I turned and looked over my left (upstream) shoulder. There, bobbing and floating, was a female on a tube with no top. To be clear, the tube may or may not have had a top. The female did not. I swear, because I verified it. No top. Bobbing. Those are facts.


This brings me to the game camera. It is a good one, capable of taking HD video. I wanted one because there have been bears reported both upstream and downstream from our place.

I can see you are laughing. But seriously, I wanted the camera so I wouldn’t miss the bears, not the bares.

Bears tend to follow water, so it stands to reason that any bear that ended up downstream from our place would have gone right through our back yard, and it would be cool to have a video of a bear in Cheltenham. I could post it on social media. In all its glory.

Just think of it! I could also post videos of the skunks, raccoons, deer, mink and beavers.

But it does raise the specter of what might happen should one of the videos of the topless females made it to social media, so let’s take a second look.

First of all, it is entirely legal for females to go topless in Ontario. Perfectly legal, as established by the courts, not the inferior and secondary Legislature. If the courts say it’s legal, who needs the Legislature?

Second, I want it perfectly clear that I, personally, support females that want to go topless in public. I even encourage people from the States to go topless when they get to Ontario. It is important that people feel free to exercise their rights.

The thing is, not EVERYBODY supports the idea of females going topless in Ontario. Notably, a lot of Ontario females don’t support it, as is in evidence that it is rare to actually see a female going topless in Ontario. In addition, every female I have surveyed on this topic seems to be opposed to females going topless in Ontario. The men seem more split.

But the real question is about the reaction of any publicly topless female seeing herself on social media on a video that accidentally went viral.

Logically, such a female should think no more about seeing herself topless on social media than if she saw herself in a string bikini or spandex, but something tells me there is a larger issue. If there weren’t a larger issue, you would see women all over the place going topless, and they are not. I know, because I have looked at pictures in National Geographic and dozens of other magazines, and they only place you see such an issue made of women’s torsos is in men’s magazines and women’s magazines. In any magazine for mixed company, such as in Wood Industry, topless women are taboo.

That said, we might consider it for Wood Industry, except Lee Ann might hit me and most of our circulation is outside Ontario. We have no idea what topless bobbers might mean to Manitobans, but we are anxious to hear. You can post your opinions at www.woodindustry.ca.

Personally, I know exactly what I think of it. My grandkids have been fairly well protected from this social narcissism — this idea that nothing exists but some fool’s “right” to “shock” society, and my grandkids like to come over in the summer and float the river. It’s an hour from here to the general store and post office.

As the law would have it, I have title halfway across the river. Bizarre, eh? I have title and pay taxes, but any half-nude selfie meister can come onto my property unquestioned and scare my grandkids because it’s a “navigable stream,” and the property also is under the authority of the Niagara Escarpment Commission (a world heritage site) and the Credit River Conservation Authority, which makes lawn care and hostas a legal risk. We also are subject to training and sanction by our garbage collectors.


So that’s the trail-camera’s view on 2019 as it is evolving. We will try to post some footage on the website in case any bears come bobbing by.

  • Mr. KnudsenWe are a wood windows and doors distributor for many years. I must say your writing skills are excellent and as in this post somewhat entertaining. It is as you indicate that most all things are lawful but not? I myself have 11 grand children and counting so I must say I agree. If only for the wildlife photos would be worth while to have that camera. We are in Manitoba so I have to travel to see what you enjoy. I was most amused to hear your wife hit you to draw attention to what was up river . However I believe my wife may have punched me and then flashed me instead to keep me occupied till that item of interest was down river!I quite enjoy your posts as well as the information you provide. I love wood in most any form so it is natural. I received the calendar and thank you for it. i have been on you Tube learning about CNC machines and would love to own one so I could just lock a shop door for the day and play without interruption. However they come at a cost so play would not be enough.  Thank you for your posts and magazines. They are read cover to cover and hope they will keep coming but if only on your website then that will do as well. Now about Southern Manitoba where I originate —That can be left for another day.Kind Regards and have a happy New 2019 

    • Thanks, Ray.

      I think my wife was safe in calling my attention to the floater. Not much I can say about the floater without risking trouble. Let’s say I appreciate Lee Ann more every day.

      Deciding on a CNC is, clearly, a huge decision. I think the first question one asks is what is the desired result? 

      Usually, the desired result is to increase production on that work station, but that also begs further questions. 

      Will increased production on that work station cause a bottleneck downstream? If so, how do you resolve it, and what’s the cost?

      One thing CNCs can accomplish is to reduce personnel. On paper, that can save a lot. But we need to be aware what other value a replaced employee provides beyond that one work station, and how will that be resolved and at what cost? Be sure to include start-up costs, including software, personnel and training. It is very common for producers to be disappointed at the learning curve, often claiming training costs of three times the cost of the original software.

      Another issue is your market. The market for mass production is crowded. Most of our readers are small- to medium-sized producers, and entry into the mass-production game can be tough. If a CNC means more salesmen, more inventory, more material handling and more capital investment, then it’s a long question. 

      On the other hand, I think the U.S. position on trade with China will have long-term effects on our markets, and demand for local and regional products will go up. I think the record numbers of building permits, new construction and housing starts indicates a need downstream for cabinets, desks, stairs, windows and millwork. In fact, I am very optimistic about the intermediate term, so growth is certainly a valid objective.

      I saw a five-axis CNC router carving live-sized, solid-wood figures maybe 10 years ago, and am still amazed at what these machines can accomplish under proper management.

      Good luck in your deliberations, and thanks for your support for Wood Industry.