Thursday, June 30, 2016

Variable Star...


You're asking yourself "What in the world is this one all about?" This one is a rather neat accomplishment, actually. It's a 42X superzoom capturing a variable star that appears over our north shore mountains. It's too bad I can't include the color changes it displays. Those are quite spectacular. And no, it isn't a UFO. It rises in the same spot each night, and then tracks around the sky, and I don't think there's any Extraterrestrials involved.

This morning at 4:00 a.m.


This at 4:00 a.m. shows a sky that's almost entirely clear, and it's the best it's going to be all weekend, from the look of our latest weather forecasts. So much for the July 1st holiday weekend, it seems. It's now 7:00 a.m., and the sky is almost completely overcast, with low clouds moving in over the north shore mountains. If it stays like this, there won't be much of a fireworks display tomorrow evening. And that wouldn't exactly break my heart. We tend to howl about pollution regularly, or some of us do, and yet nobody seems to be at all concerned over all the smoke and fallout from all our regular fireworks displays. They're just patriotic or Halloweenie or something. Sure. But they're also really smokey, let's face it. And it's not a 'good' smoke, it's a sharp, irritating one. Like someone lit a fart that set the curtains on fire....

Another Windows 10 Background...


Monday, June 27, 2016

A little more "This and That" ....


This is a screenshot of a page from Facebook today, showing some of the things that can grab our attention, and get us involved. And it's very easy to get sucked in.... which isn't always a bad thing, unless you have other more urgent matters to attend to, like the rest of your daily life, for example.

Like most, possibly, I can easily spend too much time on Facebook, and not enough time doing the chores, or whatever. Then I suddenly realize the whole day's shot, and I haven't got anything done here. Sound familiar?

I'm following in the media all those often-overhyped stories of the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union ( a really dumb-assed idea! ) and also that ongoing circus which is the American Presidential Election Campaign. That whole scene is such a hotbed of intrigue I hardly know where to start in describing it. So many different special interests with so many different irons in the fire, so to speak, it's a wonder we haven't already seen the sequel to The American Revolution. 

Or maybe, that's what this is, in an evolved form, complicated by modern technology, oligarchs, double-dealing politicians, (otherwise known as two-faced lying bastards) and con-men frantically misinterpreting The Second Amendment, so they can get richer selling guns to people that don't need them, haven't got the maturity to use them responsibly, and haven't bothered to do their own homework about it.

I was recently told, on Facebook, by one of our American neighbors, that I should mind my own damned business and let them do their own thing. My position on that is that this is my business, because my country does most of its trading with our next door neighbors in the USA, and some of them own many of our major businesses here in Canada. And I don't want some crackpot like Trump screwing up a long and mostly friendly relationship, which could easily impact our jobs and economy. So I'm a 'shit-disturber' trying to influence the outcome of something that looks like a potentially gigantic 'fuck-up'. 

And it looks that way, to a large extent, because we've all become so dependent on our so-called "smart technology" we've forgotten how to think for ourselves, and quit playing those silly games on our phones or computers long enough to realize what's really coming down all around us, from the 'movers and shakers' out there. People in the U.K. last week are a classic example. They were paying such little attention to their own current affairs that they became involved in a voting process for something they had no idea might have such serious and long-lasting consequences. And when they woke up to realize they'd opened Pandora's Box and let out the evils of the world, except for Anticipation, they've suddenly begun howling for a 'do-over'. And it would seem a 'do-over' is most appropriate. I hope they get one. And soon!

And I hope our American neighbors are paying more attention to what's going on there. I hope they are diligently sorting out the facts from the manipulative BS, and I hope they remain mindful that it really is a "global village" these days, and we are all watching. And trying not to get all that bullshit stuck in our ears. Or anywhere else...

Pandora by John William Waterhouse

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Tonight's sunset..... and other stuff.

First, tonight's sunset - which wasn't happening in the west, but instead, in the north. It was most evident in the valley toward the north, which forms a gap in our north shore mountains here. The western horizon was mainly clear and uneventful.


Lately, I've been addicted to Facebook, and it's hard not to be, because there's so many different topics on there to tempt one to comment on. And for an old "know-it-all" like me, that's a particular challenge. I sometimes even comment on things related to quantum mechanics, and I really don't know quantum mechanics at all. I'm just a high school dropout with an overactive curiosity, and Google Search. It's amazing what you can learn from asking the right questions in Google Search. For example, let's Google for "Professor Susskind's lectures at Stanford on Physics" and see what we get....


And from that list, let's try this one......


And then, let's scroll down to the actual list, and select one.... The beginning is usually a good place.... And I love this guy. I wish I knew more math. But even so, he's very interesting to listen to, and it's not all math by any means....



This is a fairly long lecture, and you may not wish to sit through it all, but if you watch some of it, you'll get an idea what it's all about. Fascinating stuff...

It's a lovely cloudless morning in Lotusland...


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A nice background....


This is a flowerbed over in the next block, as seen with my superzoom Nikon.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Color me more intense....


This began life as a mild-mannered lightly-pastel background with unrealized possibilities. Now, it's got charisma.

I was fooling around with this while cooking one of those dinner-in-a-plastic-bag meals from the frozen section of the supermarket. The kind that says, "Open the bag and remove the pouch of sauce. Open that sauce pouch and discard its bag before cooking. Cook for the time shown for your microwave wattage, stirring halfway through." 

You get much better results if you: (1.) Boil the kettle; (2.) Place the contents of that sauce pouch in the center of a large Pyrex bowl, and (3.) cover with the evenly distributed frozen contents of that main bag. (4.) Add boiling water to just cover the frozen food in the bowl. (5.) Cook on high in your microwave for twice as long as the directions suggested, because God only knows how long that stuff has been freezer-dried on the shelf before you got to it. So it needs that extra water and additional cooking time to fluff it up and restore some semblance of edibility. (6.) Serve it up and enjoy! And it is a lot more enjoyable done my way.
(7.) = Optional:- Instead of covering the frozen food completely with boiling water, try substituting Tropicana Orange Juice for an entirely different flavor and aroma. It's really good!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Top Ten today...


Sometimes, I have as many as 800 readers in Russia. Today is not one of those times. It is possible they are waiting for me to switch this computer back over onto Linux Mint and talk about that instead of going on about Windows. If so, not to worry, Tovarishch - all things come to those who wait.

And now.....A little meditation music....


Previous Posting (Continued) = LibreOffice in Windows


If you begin installing LibreOffice in Windows, and you suddenly get a pop-up from the Windows Operating System telling you that "Installation of this program has been blocked on this system", there's a work-around for that.



Go into your Command Prompt or (as above) Powershell, and open it as Administrator, and then enter the command shown in this illustration. Then, go to this website and follow his instructions for hacking your Registry to enable forcing Windows Installer .msi files to install on the system regardless of other restrictions. Because, after all, this is YOUR computer, not someone else's.....


And after you carefully follow the "How-To Geek's" directions, and go back into your Downloads folder for that download of LibreOffice, you can now right-click on it and then select "Open as Administrator" and it will now open and install and you will then see the following....




And you now have a complete fully-functional Office Suite installed on your computer.

Follow-up on the recent snowstorm...

Here's what it looks like this morning up there in the hills....



These hilltops were virtually bare a couple of days ago - with just very slight traces of last winter's unmelted patches of ice. Now, there's more new stuff there.


And this is our present conditions, with a chilly 55 F. It's this warm in February here quite often.

Last evening, after I finally pried myself away from this infernal contraption and decided to get groceries, I did something I haven't done in over 18 months. I put on my long thermal snuggies, and before stepping out the door in my hoodie, I pulled on my favorite toque.

It's the first time in months and months that I've been really comfortable in our big air conditioned supermarket. So much so, that when I got to line-up at the check-out, I was relaxed enough to treat the kids to another lesson in Windows 10. One cute gal in the line behind me said, "I have Windows 10, but I need Microsoft Word." I replied, "No, Darling, you don't! You need LibreOffice. It does everything you can do with Microsoft's Office, it has just as many separate parts, and it works with Microsoft files, and here's the part you're going to love - it's absolutely free. All you have to do is download it and install it, and start to work."  She said, "Wow! I never heard of it!" And I said, "You have now, Darling, so try to remember to Google for it when you get home. It's one of the programs that are included in Linux Mint, but it also works in Windows, and you should try it." She said, "I certainly will, and Thank You!" The others in the line, as well as our cashier, were listening intently to this exchange, and wished me a very pleasant evening as I left.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Winter's back !


And there's been a thunderstorm with snow and hail hanging around here ever since Tuesday morning before noon, and it's still sounding occasional rumblings in the hills at almost two o'clock in the morning of a chilly Wednesday. Instead of bikinis, we're going to be looking for our long thermal snuggies. Throw the saddle on the stove, Maw, we're ridin' the range tonight! Yeehaw!

A Background you'll never confuse with an open Window


Want one?



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Monsieur Beep sends these....

These are pictures of a girl on the beach at or near Bahia Feliz, on the island of Gran Canaria, Spain, in the Canary Islands just off the coast of West Africa, taken by my friend, Monsieur Beep a couple of years ago, and I thank you, Paco, for sharing these with us....



And here's where that beach is....


Here's what Climate Change looks like......

And let's remember this is June 14th, and this is Vancouver, B.C., in the very heart of Canada's mildest region on the West Coast, where we can easily grow Fan Palms on our lawns, and are doing so as I write this. So I hope all you climate change deniers have a good look at these pictures. Our temperature here today has been about the same as it is during the month of February, when we usually have several meters of snow on these hills.