Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve on Mars.....

It's a long way to the beach from here!

You are there....

I got some new landscapes backgrounds today for Stellarium, the planetarium program, and here's a view of the Moon and Sun as if seen from the International Space Station.

Here's another view, from the mountain top observatory on the island of Las Palmas, in the Canary Islands. 

And here we are on Mars, at the site of Opportunity, looking toward Phobos, its largest and closest moon. See what you can do with this program? 

And lastly, Earth and the Moon from Mars, assuming we had a good telescope there. Gives it a different perspective, doesn't it? I don't think we're near the center of the universe, Folks. Without enlarging this view from Mars, we'd be practically invisible, and it's not all that far away in space terms. They call it 'space' because that's what it mostly is.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Year in Review: Mr. & Mrs. Demi Moore

Boy toys have a limited shelf life,
especially if they don't know how to dress for the red carpet.
Girls would rather have beauty than brains,
because guys can see better than they can think.

If you use this......

And if you don't, you probably should, because it's an excellent freebie, and it gets along fine with other security stuff you may have, and its scanner gets a high rating for finding the bad stuff - well, what I'm getting to is that it has just had a revision to its main program, so you need to check yours to make sure it's the latest version. You can do that by visiting the website here.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The morning sky......

Mercury and Antares are just rising in the southeast, while in the southern sky Saturn and Mars are both visible. This is the program Stellarium, which is your own planetarium on your computer, with everything moving just as it does in a real planetarium. You can zoom in on the various objects, move to one of our other planets for a different view of space, and save the pictures by using CTRL + S. Want one of your own? Come with me to the website.

This is one of the nicest freebies you'll ever find, so enjoy it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What you see is what you get

This is probably going to be my New Year greeting this year, so you may as well get used to it, Folks. It's a little like the Chinese method, but this one's for all of us Old Farts who are bored cross-eyed with traditional traditions and conventional conventions, and want something entirely different and not too serious.

I went to the other mall today - the one that's down the street eastward instead of a few blocks to the west, because that's where Sears and its Watch Repair is. That Watch Repair and Battery Replacement is tucked away under the escalator going up to the second floor (furniture, appliances, electronics and catalogue ordering departments) and it is run by a nice Oriental chap who is very polite. He's definitely not claustrophobic either, because that place is hardly big enough to turn around in. If he weighed another hundred pounds, he would need to be greased and pushed in there, and he wouldn't be able to turn around.

From the parking lot out back to the Sears store at the front side of the mall is a fairly long hike, especially with a sore toe as a result of that accident with the drill and the board on December 9th, so I pampered myself by stopping quite frequently to rest it. Like at the display set up in the middle of the hallway near the halfway mark. The one at which they are desperately hoping to unload all those unsold calendars for 2012. The reason most are unsold is because they are either about subjects and pictures nobody wants, or are filled with pictures your mother wouldn't approve of, like the ones for Playboy and Sports Illustrated. I looked at the cover of that Sports Illustrated one, and the first thought that entered my tired old brain was "God! They ought to have given it the title of 'Implants Illustrated'! There's more silicone there than around my bathtub!"

I didn't buy one, because, as a cute little exotic dancer once said to me, "I don't understand you guys!" Shocked, I asked, "What the hell do you mean by that remark with you in the business you're in - if anybody ought to understand us guys, it ought to be you, Darling!" And she replied, "I don't understand why you guys sit here in Gynecology Row slobbering over something you know damned well you'll never get your hands on!" I asked, "Who said anything about 'hands'? It's your agile mind I'm trying to get into, and I'll bet you I can over a very expensive dinner for two at one of the best restaurants in town if you'd like to get down off your high horse and rub elbows with the unwashed masses for two or three hours some evening." That was the start of a very interesting summer back in the beginning of my Happily Divorced Days.  I still miss Kate sometimes.

Mr. Moffat, you make a miserable excuse for a refrigerator!

And I have proof! This Moffat Automatic Defrost Refigerator was new in December of 2006, and since then has required de-icing manually four times. And I will try not to rant too long about all the popping and gurgling and other annoying noises it makes when it is running. I'm in a studio apartment, meaning this refrigerator is about six feet from my bed, and the damned thing wakes me up at nights with its weird noises. I'm renting this place, so I can't throw it out, but I can't think of anything that would give me more pleasure right now. I've just spent a part of my day here again, opening up this pitiful excuse for a refrigerator, using a hair drier I bought for this job, and melting all that ice out of its cooling unit, and then assembling it again, and getting it back in operation.

Whoever made this thing deserves a good swift kick in the family jewels, and then be forced to live with this instead of a properly functioning refrigerator for the next fifty years. This one won't last nearly that long, but I'm speaking hypothetically here. The old refrigerator this one replaced was also a Moffat, and it lasted from when this apartment block was built in 1972 or 1973 until it finally died the last week of November, 2006. It was a damned good appliance, and I'd love to know how those guys managed to forget how to do this in those 33 years or so since that old one was built. It never woke me up in the night, and it never  surprised me by not working, because it was a manual defrost and I could plainly see when it needed defrosting. This new one has everything hidden behind a stylish plastic cover, and you don't know there's anything wrong until it suddenly quits working and your food starts to spoil. Wonderful. They also forgot what the word 'progress' is supposed to mean. And I don't have to tell you where this goddamned thing was built, do I? 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

One of Uncle Ron's that I revised.....

Uncle Ron took the picture and I added the dialogue.
This is fun :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Another Christmas picture...

Just before sundown Christmas day.
Taken on the Canon G9, which seems to
show colors better than the Pentax X70.
The Pentax has a longer zoom, but the
Canon takes sharper, more natural pictures.

Uncle Ron in South Carolina sends this revision
for my original, and so I'm adding it here with
my thanks to him for it. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Rainbow

It's a little out of focus, and I apologize for that.
I was in a rush to capture it before it changed,
and I didn't wait quite long enough before pushing
the shutter release.
But how often do we see one these on Christmas Day?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Near sundown....

The sun comes out....

Reflecting from windows in British Properties,

Then sets, as clouds return.

A lot of different lighting conditions in just a few minutes.

New element on this page....

There's a new item in the left margin of this page now, titled 'Monitor this site' and if you provide it with your email address (its own website gets that, not me) then it will notify you whenever this page is updated with changes to it. This may or may not be a great feature, because it only checks once a day for changes, and I usually update this daily, but sometimes I do let a day or so slip by before doing anything on here. Anyway, I thought we'd try it out and see if anyone's interested. Add a comment to a recent blog posting if you've tried it, and let me know what you think, please.

Friday, December 23, 2011

I write to my favorite columnist ......

In her recent column in The Globe and Mail, Margaret Wente asks "Is Stephen Harper the Dear Leader in disguise?", to which, I replied as follows:-

Dear Margaret:

Stodgy Stephen is popular because:

(1.) He's a good-looking pirate;
(2.) His mouth isn't crooked like Old Crooked Mouth;
(3.) He speaks honest-to-God English we can understand;
(4.) He hasn't been trying to Quebecify the Rest of Canada!

For those reasons, many of us are willing, if not to kiss his
ass until he barks like a fox, at least to vote for him over
the alternatives.

Enjoy your day!

Ray in North Van.

Remember this?

Remember how I described hunting for it at Whole Foods for the equivalent of $15.13 a pound? Whole Foods has been described by another of its customers as "Whole Foods aka Whole Paycheck". Then finding out that my favorite supermarket did have it after all, in the above packages, for the more reasonable price of $5.79 for a little more than a pound.... and that whole thing because I'd been told that this stuff is safe for Diabetics and those of us who have been told by our doctors to lay off the regular sugar - remember? WELL, I WAS WRONG!

I called my doctor's office yesterday afternoon, and asked if this stuff really was OK for those of us who shouldn't consume ordinary sugar, and the answer was "As far as we know, this tastes differently, and costs more than regular sugar, but otherwise it is still sugar, and not an approved substitute for those who should not have regular sugar."

So it's back to the Splenda or your supermarket's own house brand version of it. But I have to say before I rush off that the Coconut Palm Sugar tastes absolutely delicious on your bowl of Rice Krispies, and it goes wonderfully well in coffee.

The misinformation about it started I think with the Philippine Food and Nutrition Research Institute which published results of testing done on it to compare it with other agricultural sugar products, and it was implied that it is somehow better or safer for you than regular sugars like processed white or regular brown sugars. However, I can't find anything to confirm that on the website of the Mayo Clinic nor the website for Health Canada, which shows no mention of it among approved sugar substitutes. So I have to conclude that my doctor is correct and it is just another exotic kind of sugar. I should have done my homework more thoroughly before I shot off my big mouth about this, but I thought I'd made an interesting discovery and I couldn't wait to spread the word. My apologies, Folks. The moral of this story being "Engage brain before opening mouth!" 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sunset on the first day of Winter 2011/2012

There's no place like this place
anyplace but here!
I love it!

On the first day of Winter.....

Not much snow yet, but that's about normal
for this time of the year.

This just in......

My annual Greetings from Havana.....

And my reply, which says:-
"Warmest greetings for this special season
and best wishes for the year 2012."

"ET Phone Home!"

They don't make Linesmen like they used to!
I've been further out on a 40-foot crossarm
that this guy's been away from home!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Twilight tonight - a panorama

This was taken at about 5:05 P.M. and is made up of three exposures from the Pentax X70, composed using Microsoft Research's 'I.C.E.' (Image Composite Editor) the cutting edge technology for assembling a lot of smaller images into one big one. It's an amazing program, and you can have a free copy by clicking on this link.  You'll be glad you did.


More pictures......

Sunrise this morning....

With frost on the rooftops....
And sunlight reflecting from windows.

Our tree in the lobby here.

It pays to shop early and shop around....

I went to our nearby Save On Foods early this morning, because it's always nice to shop when the store is almost empty (it opens at 6:00 a.m.) and I was telling Alicja there about my adventures yesterday finding the coconut palm sugar, and paying $5.99 for 180 grams at that fancy Whole Foods store in the village next to Park Royal's South Mall. 

Alicja said, "We have that! You should have come here!" And I said, "Darling, I'd love to get it here, but I phoned and your expert said 'we don't have it yet, but we've heard of it - sorry.' Then Alicja said, "I'm sure we have it - I've seen it here. Just wait a minute while I go look...."  She came back a minute or so later with this bag, slightly more than a pound, and said "Guess what this costs?" I replied, "In the States, my old pal tells me it's $3.48 a pound, but I haven't a clue what yours might be - all I know for sure is that at Whole Foods yesterday, I paid the equivalent of $15.00 a pound for it." Alicja smiled and said, "$5.79 for 475 grams - that's just over a pound." I said, "Sold, My Dear! and may I please return this Splenda to the shelf?" She said, "Yes, you may - you don't want Splenda anyway - it's artificial, and this is a natural product and much better for you."

I said, "Alicja, My Dear, it's a real pleasure doing business with you, and I'm going home and make a nice hot coffee with lots of this sugar in it, and thank you for your help finding it. I hope you have a really nice day."

I probably won't go back to that pricey Whole Foods ever again, now that I know where else to find the coconut sugar. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

If your doctor says "Cut out the sugar!" here's a great substitute.

This is a natural product, has more good things in it than white or brown sugar, and is approved as a sugar substitute for diabetics and others who should not use regular sugars, and don't like the artificial sweeteners.

It's a bit on the pricey side compared to the old 'white death', but it tastes nice and it lets you enjoy your coffee with sugar in it in the same amounts as you would use ordinary sugar, and still be following your doctor's orders.

My thanks to my old friend Peter, now wintering in Florida, for this very helpful suggestion. Now, I can still enjoy my coffee like before, and my doctor won't have to nag me about it. I might even get him using it if he isn't already. Us old bikers have to look after each other. Works for me.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A little more 'This & That' from the 'Oldest Living Blogger'

How about those jaywalkers who seem to believe that if they don't look sideways to see if anything is coming at them from right or left, then the Traffic Fairy will make sure nothing hits them as they cross the street? I have terrible news: I can still turn you into a bumper sticker even if you don't see me coming!

We might be able to recover from our economic downturn sooner if the main streets weren't so congested by the gridlock caused by curb lanes blocked by concrete delivery trucks delivering to construction sites. For months lately,almost every main route has been blocked up by either road construction work or by trucks or portable cranes parked in the road at building construction sites. Suggestion: Block the damned streets during the night, when we're home for the day, not while we're trying to get something done across town.

Only 194 days until July 1, 2012......

Saturday, December 17, 2011

About Windows Explorer (explorer.exe) in Windows 7

Some of you are a little confused by Windows 7's treatment of Windows Explorer, so please let me explain about it, and please bear with me if I'm going over something that is "old news" to you.

Windows Explorer in Windows 7 works pretty-much like it did in XP, but it may not be quite as easy to get at, so let me perhaps fix that problem for you right now.

There are two ways to open Windows Explorer in Windows 7 :- (1.) Right-click the Start orb and on the pop-up menu that appears, select the item that says "Open Windows Explorer". Left-clicking those words opens it. (2.) Left-click the Start orb, and go to (click on:) All Programs -> Accessories -> Windows Explorer.

In (2.) above, when you get to the Windows Explorer line in Accessories, instead of left-clicking it to open it, you can right-click on it, and hold down your clicker while you drag it out onto an open space on your desktop. There, when you release the right-click, you will see a little menu which will invite you to:-
*Copy Here
*Move Here
*Create Shortcuts Here
You can left-click on "Create Shortcuts Here" to put a shortcut icon of it on your desktop. Once you have that, you can drag it down onto your Taskbar where you will see another option to pin it to the Taskbar, for quick access to it. With its icon pinned to the Taskbar, you can right-click on that whenever you have several windows open on the desktop, and you can then choose the option to "Close all windows", and if you left-click on that, it closes all open windows.

Now then, if you look at the image of it here, you will see that parts of that left column's "tree" have little white or empty arrow-heads to the left of the various items in the list. Those are items that you haven't yet tried to do anything with. If you left-click on one of those little arrow-heads, it will turn from white to black and change direction from pointing to the right to pointing downward, and below it will open a supplementary branch of it showing whatever folders it contains within it. Left-clicking on any of those titles will open that folder in the main right-hand window.

If you're in that left-hand column, and you want to move folders from one place to another, and have them moved into a new folder in that tree's list, then you can drag and drop them just like you did with XP. The thing to perhaps remember is that in Windows 7, you need to look carefully for those tiny little arrow-heads and do the clicking right on them to make them open or close to show or hide whatever's inside them. But for rearranging folders, you can still use the drag-and-drop method just like before with XP.

So now you know how to get at Windows Explorer, and what to do with it once you have it handy. As you'll maybe notice in that screenshot of mine here, I have Windows Explorer pinned to the Taskbar right beside the Start button, where it is always handy.  You can do that too if you like. It saves a lot of looking for it.

Obscured by Clouds

Not to be confused with the Pink Floyd hit of the same title.
In case we actually remember the Seventies.

Some nice seasonal lights....

There's some nice pictures of the beautiful lighting displays at our Van Dusen Botanical Gardens here, in the Vancouver Sun paper, and for a look at them,
please click on this link. These are said to be the best ones in town this year.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Solved: Another aggravation in the computer....

For quite a while now, whenever I'd check the window which shows me the list of Notification Area Icons, and offers me a choice to show or hide them, I've noticed that there was a lot of stuff on there which got left behind when old programs got turfed out but didn't properly remove all their little scattered bits. Things like this probably shouldn't bug me so much, but they do.

So today, I went Googling for solutions to that one, and found there really is one, and you can find it by clicking here.

When you're all done, and go onto that window for the Notification Area Icons again, you'll find that it's now all correctly displaying only those items which you are still actively using, not a bunch of junk left behind by departed programs.

Just be careful while editing your Registry, because mistakes in there can have some nasty side-effects, and I'm trying to help you avoid those. And before I forget to mention this, be sure you do a reboot right after you've restarted your explorer.exe to make sure that everything is refreshed and up to the minute, and really will show you only the latest list of items.

This is what mine looks like now that it has been cleaned up and shows what's actually there.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Where you are....... SiteMeter's chart of my readers.

It's snowing in the high country

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

A little warmer-upper....

More music of the season


For all of us who like the movies, especially you!

If you'd like the best book of reviews of over 31,000 movies before you go to Pirate Bay to grab a torrent of one, and then maybe waste an hour or so downloading something that VideoHound rates as a 'Woof!', you should get a copy of this book first. And what is a 'Woof!' you ask? That's the Hound's lowest rating, or in his own words, "Watching your neighbor's vacation videos might be less painful. May be redeemed by stretches of unintentional amusement."

Instead of stars, the rating scale is Bones. For example, One Bone means: "Poor use of camera, film, sets, script, actors, and studio vehicles." One Bone and a Half: "Toying with respectability, while still lurching in the gutter. Often lacking in standard cinematic devices, like plot and performances." Two Bones: "May be perfectly delightful for certain tastes. A waste of time for others. Usually uninspired genre flicks." For Two Bones and a Half: "Technically well made but often standard fare; won't make you yell at the screen too much." Three Bones: "Good story, fine acting provide decent entertainment return on video investment. Would recommend to family members, even distant cousins." Three Bones and a Half: "Memorable cinematic fare with flair, verve, polish, sheen, and panache. Easily able to recommend to friends." And lastly, Four Bones: "Masterful cinematic expression. Flawless or nearly so. Will want to recommend to complete strangers on the street."

This book is a paperback, and it's 1,921 pages of scintillating reading, and when next year's updated edition comes out, it will make one hell of a doorstop, in case you need one. Don't leave home without it, especially if you're heading for the video store. Get the picture?

Oh, and before I forget, here's VideoHound's home on the Wild, Wild Web, just in case you have trouble lifting a book that's eight and a half inches by almost eleven inches by two and one-quarter inches thick. (Hernia, anyone?) and costs mucho dinero.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The climate change fiasco

My favorite columnist in my favorite Toronto paper, The Globe and Mail, has another excellent column today that tells us about this climate change fiasco.

You can find it right here, and I hope you do read it. Margaret and I often exchange short emails about what's in  her column or what maybe should be, and this one might have something to do with a rant I did on my blog a few days back, or maybe not, I'm not really sure - but I'm glad she did this one.

As she rightly points out, this climate change thing isn't really about the climate change at all - it's about money and power. And as I mentioned in my own rant, greed trumps common sense every time, so I don't expect anything to get done about saving our nice little planet. All this talk is just so much hot air to let the politicians feel like they're actually doing something, and they are - they're growing older one day at a time, just like you and I. But they aren't saving the planet, because that wouldn't be good for business. So they're buying time until we all end up at each other's throats because the murk of pollution has clogged our air and water, and left us with very few unspoiled resources to fight over or use for fun and profit. It's all over but the shouting, Kiddies, and there's going to be lots of that.

The Bible's Book of Revelations says something about how the heavens and the earth will be rolled up like a scroll at the end. I doubt anyone will be around for that, because civilization will have already fizzled away by then because we couldn't agree to try saving it while we had the opportunity to do it in time.

This was a nice little planet while it lasted. Too bad we couldn't save it. And for the record, one more time, Old Uncle Albert was right when he said that we can't solve a problem using the same level of intelligence which created it.  That's my rant on the subject, now please read Margaret Wente's column on it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Just a reminder...... in case you need one.

And now, for a nice piano version....


See? I told you it was nice....

Another look at our Christmas Tree.....

'The Oldest Living Blogger' returns, sorta.....

Actually, I enjoyed using that 'handle' on my original blog, even though it did get a few negative reactions from those who rightly assumed I wasn't really quite old enough to be justified in using that title. They missed my point, which was that it was meant as an eyeball-grabber, and for that, it worked wonderfully well. It got me and our community blog here mentioned in 'USA Today', and reprinted in the Boston Globe and the Chicago Tribune and a few other big city papers, and you can't get much better than that.

But I'm digressing again - I call it 'stream-of-consciousness writing' by the way - and it just goes with the flow. I was looking just now at one of those newsy type websites where they use a lot of glitzy pictures of celebs and good-looking 'wannabe' types, and on there was a picture of a formerly-famous still-young actress from a well-known series (who shall remain nameless) and she's grimacing for the camera in a semi-sexy dress at some run-of-the-mill semi-compulsory 'grand opening' of yet another mediocre melodramatic Hollywood production where they hope the advanced hype will con you out of your ticket money before they have to rush it onto a DVD to recoup enough to satisfy the howling know the kind.....and I'm looking at this kid, and I'm thinking, "God! She looks like she'd been hit by a truck and then poorly reassembled by some learner plastic surgeon at a Mexican clinic where they make up in volume what they lack in skill and quality..."

All of which brings me to pointing out, in case it's even necessary, that there's a hell of a lot of useless 'fluff' and pure brainless nonsense packed into attractive layouts on webpages to grab our passing eyeballs and waste our time while pretending to actually be 'news'. Hell, where I came from, news was the semi-reliable, almost-trustworthy gossip you heard from your next-door neighbor or the guy at the gas station, and then tried to confirm for yourself by talking to someone else about it until the evening news came on, and you could get the real poop straight from the poopdeck, with Edward R. Murrow or another famous 'talking head' on the Boob Tube. Those talking heads of course were presumed to have verified the story or exposed the fakers prior to news time. We don't have that same kind of faith today in these internet stories, because we already know that the internet is fueled by its porn-hunters and their 'bait' is famous for being surgically enhanced, grandly but not well, and therefore the whole magilla is based on the stuff that makes the grass grow green - good old steaming BS.

These creators of this so-called 'news' are playing to our baser instincts and assuming we've all got the I.Q. of an unwashed turnip, or at most one that doesn't exceed our belt size, and it pains me deeply to report that in most cases they appear to be correct in that assumption. These days, we've not only got too much information, but most of it isn't even real information. Much like some of this stuff I write for this blog, it's mostly just 'filler' with the rare nugget of fact tossed in for seasoning here and there to keep you from nodding off before the end. Which happens to be right about here!

And that's 'stream-of-consciousness' composition, Kiddies.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Moonshots..... no eclipse, just the moon.

The first, with lots of digital zoom,
and then just some optical zoom.
I keep trying for more detail,
but without spending big bucks,
and there's just no way....

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Uncle Ron's favorite paper....

It's 'Good Morning' from Columbia, South Carolina.
There's a short video of J-Lo today, doing her thing
in South America with a bunch of hunks on a beach.

This story has nudity, excitement, pretty nurses, and more....

Maybe I'd better start off by saying it isn't a good idea to begin a wood-working project around the house while nude, because sometimes, accidents do happen.

I live alone in one of these upholstered-closet type studio units, and I don't have a lot of visitors, so I quite often don't bother getting dressed just for loafing around the apartment's basically one-room layout. Nobody sees me so it isn't a problem. But today I was reminded of why that isn't always a great way to go....

I had marked a board that I wanted to drill a hole through, so that I could then use a little coping saw to enlarge that into a larger cutout. I had the board on the floor between my feet, and was holding it with one hand, while using the electric drill with the other. The bit wasn't biting into the wood very well, even though it isn't that old or worn, so without thinking (my favorite mode!) I let go of the board, and put both hands on the drill. The drill bit hit a knot, and the knot caused the board to lock onto the bit and become a spinning propeller on the end of the drill. All that happened very quickly of course, and as the board spun around, it whacked into the big toe of my right foot, and loosened the nail enough for the blood to fly onto the kitchen floor.  So that's the nudity and excitement part, mostly.

When that happened, I grabbed a nearby roll of paper towels, and wrapped one around my damaged toe, and then squeezed it tightly to keep the nail in place and stop the bleeding. But just try to figure a way to get around the house while naked and holding your big toe with one hand to keep from bleeding all over the carpet. You get a whole new perspective from down there on the floor as you crawl around in a crouching position holding the toe together in one hand. But I somehow managed to get the door unlocked, and then phone a neighbor who was on a day off, and could come and help me patch up the toe so I could then get dressed. He cut some string and folded a couple of paper towels while I wrapped it up better and tied everything tightly in place. Then I got dressed, and he drove me to the Emergency at our nearby hospital.

The admitting nurse looked at me wearing one shoe and one sock, and said that she was just guessing, but was this a foot problem? I asked, "What gave it away?" She said, "Your missing shoe." And then the waiting began. I went there around nine in the morning, and by the time their one and only on-duty doctor got around to me, it was nearly two in the afternoon. The rest of the story was an anticlimax - the doc looked at it, and said "Your paper towel and string did an excellent job of stopping the bleeding, and there's now really nothing for me to do except get a nurse to replace the dressing on it for you, and then you can go." I replied, "No, I can't go just yet, because I have an appointment here in Respiratory for a lung capacity test at 2:45 and it's almost that now, but thanks for checking this toe for me. I was sure that nail would fall right off as soon as we cut the string around it, but it didn't." The doc said, "But it will come off eventually as a new one grows under it. Meanwhile, it's OK as it is as long as it doesn't show signs of infection or starts bleeding again. You did the right thing by applying pressure to it right away, because that is really about all we can do."

They gave me a tetanus shot, and bandaged up the toe, and off I went down the hall to the appointment for the lung test, which turned out OK I think, but we won't get the official results of that for about a week. Everything's computerized these days, of course. My former doctor of years ago had a little hollow tube with a moveable plunger that slid along a scale on the side of it, and you took a big breath and puffed mightily into that, to move the plunger, and he took the reading off the side of it, compared that to a chart on the wall, and you had your answer right now. Thanks to the marvels of science, we now have to puff into a gadget linked to a computer which records a graph which gets sent someplace to be analyzed by some backroom nerd who sends your doctor a report next week.

The moral of this little tale of course being that if you are doing woodwork, it's best not to be totally naked at the time, just in case something goes wrong. I told this story to a nice little old lady in the waiting area at the hospital today, and I said it ought to make good material for my blog, and she said, "Don't leave out the part about being naked - that's the best part!" So this is for her, and I hope she reads it. I'm sure she will tell all her friends.

Friday, December 9, 2011

I feel another rant coming on...... are you ready?

Well, ready or not, here it comes! I canceled my subscription today to the print edition of the local rag, The Vancouver Sun.  I love that paper, and I've enjoyed it for many years, but yesterday, I tried going onto their website to switch over my subscription from printed media to on-line digital - although why I'd want to do that is a mystery, because I can access almost any paper in the world with just a few clicks of the mouse and no exchange of negotiable coin. But I'm a nice guy, so I tried it. Wrong Move, Exlax!

For an outfit that brags it was one of the first to recognize the advantages of going into the on-line news game, they've got one of the most ridiculous and confusing setups for getting yourself able to have access to their official digital version of the paper that I've ever seen. And contrary to popular belief, even though I'm an Old Fart of 79, I'm no digitally-illiterate bum with no comprehension of bytes, megabytes, and bullshit-by-wire. I've been bullshitted by experts, and I can smell it coming a mile away. So after they'd razzled and dazzled me through several incomplete forms, I suddenly realized this was never going to get anywhere, because at no time had any mention been made of a password, without which you could fill in the blanks forever and get nothing-nada-nyet-noplace! And since I'd already wasted over half an hour and was feeling by then like a prize idiot, which my I.Q. says I'm not, I said (never mind what I said - it's censored!) and then I said, "Enough's Too Much!" and hit the 'Delete' button on all that.  I wrote them a sharply-worded (and not entirely un-profane) email to which I received no reply, so I got on the phone today and pulled the plug on that whole sordid business, saving $16 a month doing so.

But I'm digressing again - sorry about that, in case it bugs you. In that now canceled paper today, there's an article titled 'Feds to revoke thousands of citizenships in historic sweep' by someone named Tobi Cohen, of Postmedia News. Postmedia News being the successor to Canwest Global of the Aspers' family debts. (How do you make money borrowing 4 billion?) And of course the name Cohen is a good Irish name. When I was a kid back home, there was a family of Cohens owned the local scrap yard, and they made more money off that junk yard than you or I could make honestly. It was almost magic. "Need a fender for a 1937 Nash Lafayette?" - "You got $20.00 cash monya?" Like that!

Anyway, getting back to that article, it starts with a picture of our intrepid minister in charge, and he obviously isn't in charge of shaves, which he needs, or suits, which his looks like it came from the Salvation Army Thrift Shop, complete with wrinkles and lint. But I'm digressing again - I do this a lot, don't I? The point he makes is coming not a minute too soon, because for decades lately, many of us real Canadians - the ones who got into the country with no clothes on at a very young age - have been suspecting that our Canada has been an easy target for crooks, con-men, frauds, sharpies, and schemers of any and all descriptions from anywhere in the world with the money to get here and bullshit their way in past our gullible officials. So it's high time those boobs in Ottawa woke up to the game, and cracked down on it hard. Our tax dollars are supposed to help our fellow Canadians, not just any damned leech able to crawl under the door, and mumble some tear-stained story to a snivel servant who ought to be better trained at spotting fakes. And that's my rant for today - how do you like it so far? I rather enjoyed it myself....

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dino and Satch ham it up.....

Another day draws to a close....

Not a lot of snow yet, but it's early in the season,
and it doesn't really get its best for weeks yet.
It's 'rock skis' time right now - the old
sidehill gougers, all chewed up.
The Stump Jumpers Specials.

One more time down Memory Lane!

They don't make 'em like this any more, Folks.
But we wish....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Let's take a stroll down Memory Lane, shall we?

Finally clearing off....just in time for sunset.

There's an article in the paper today about the murky atmosphere in Beijing, and one of their experts, speaking to staff at a paper aimed at foreigners there, said that it was 'probably due to pollution' - which isn't the line officially used by the government for domestic consumption by any means. For the locals, they say that it's 'just fog'.  And that 'fog' has been responsible in the past ten years for a 60 percent increase in the number of cases of lung cancer even though the smoking rate during that time hasn't risen. And 'denial' isn't a river in Egypt.

With China and India (36% of the world's population) and the U.S. and Canada all refusing to sign on for more Kyoto, it's all turning out pretty much like I figured it would - everybody's going to wring their hands and moan & groan, but nobody's going to 'bite the bullet' and actually do the tough stuff needed to reverse the trend of climate change. The world in dying, and we're the cancer that's killing it, as some keen observer once said. Proving once again what old Uncle Albert also once said: "We can't solve a problem using the same level of intelligence which created it."  So bend over, kiss your ass 'Goodbye' and get ready for all hell to break loose, Kiddies, because it's just a matter of time, and not much of that, comparatively speaking. The end of the world isn't going to come with a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder or as it says in Revelations 'the earth and sky rolled up like a scroll' - nope! It's going to die slowly, painfully, and with a lot of weeping & wailing and gnashing of teeth (for those who have them!) because we didn't know a good thing while we had a chance of making it last. Greed trumps common sense every time!
We have proof - look around you.

Some trees just refuse to......

A week into December, and still leaves on it,
and it's looking good, too.

Mountains in the mist....

This is the kind of day we're having.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Re: 'Monsieur Beep replies' (below)

There are some interesting comments from TC and Tommy in the 'Comments' below that posting, and if you would like to add something yourself, please feel free to do so. Evidently, it's something that has been troubling a lot of us and we may find it helpful to share our thoughts on it.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The back porch - magnificent, isn't it?

This back porch probably cost as much
as some complete homes once did.
It was a project that went on for months,
and that pad it sits on is strong enough
to launch a Saturn 5 rocket.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Monsieur Beep replies.....

Blogger Monsieur Beep! said...
Dear Ray, thanks for visiting with my blog. Yeah I thought I had overcome all things related to my parents decades ago, only to find out that I´ll never be able to escape family, and now, at a late stage in my life (too late though), everything is getting to be ok, I´ve never felt so happy and strong in all my life than at the moments a few weeks ago when I visited with my mother, and had her totally by myself, and we could hug and hold hands, with nothing any more between us, and feel the most basic love of all. "Let´s forget all that shit", she exclaimed to me, and for the first time ever she was able to hold my hand, and smile at me, and look into my eyes. I love my mom.