Monday, November 30, 2015

Correction: About Alice's Calendar...

It looks as if my principal form of exercise is "jumping to conclusions".
I am told by my dear friend, Alice's mother, that this calendar was
printed in only a small number, and is just meant for family and friends.
At this time, it is not for sale. And I must apologize for my mistake.

Update on this:-

I put a similar article to this one below about Alice's Calendar on my Facebook page (Ray Sutton) and my friend in Lebanon, Pascal, made the comment that the mistake was not printing more of that beautiful calendar. I replied that Alice will be very pleased to have that comment. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Something you should see....

Alice lives across the street. She loves birds and photography. She takes very nice pictures of birds. She made a calendar using some of her bird pictures. She also likes the Moon, and the calendar tells us about the Moon. I have one of her calendars and it is lovely. There is a wall calendar, and a desk calendar. You should email Alice for prices and availability because I am only her wrinkled old neighbor across the street and I know only one thing: Alice does wonderful work, and you should have some.



This is the front cover, showing one of our local hummingbirds.


This is January, 2016, and each day tells about the Moon, so it is also a Moon Calendar, and if you are Chinese you will enjoy this. Even if you are not Chinese you will still have a very nice calendar with wonderful pictures of our birds.


This is the back cover, showing the twelve monthly pictures, and information on how you may contact Alice about her calendar. Some of these pictures are telling a story and they are delightful.

I'm getting Ski Fever again, and I'm too old for it...



It's a beautiful sunny day here, and colder than a mother-in-law's heart! Just perfect for flying down my favorite run on Black Mountain at Cypress.....


And with today's snow-making equipment, as long as it's cold enough, we don't really need a whole lot of clouds and snow.  I can close my eyes and relive every foot of that run. The breathless rush of air coming out of that first steep turn, the sometimes-bare spot halfway down where the run crosses under the chairlift, and the long sideways skid at the bottom to slow down enough so that I wouldn't wipe out part of the lift lineup at the finish. Being an old showoff, I just loved showing the kids how it's done on that one. Done right, the kids tending the loading at the bottom would ask "Are you back already?" ("Yes! I just love riding this chair!")

I need to read the directions more often...


I just noticed that we're now protected on here by HTTPS, and we have been for about a month or so. Maybe I should read Google's notes to users more often!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A little back home music...


I was thinking of some old fiddle tunes my dad played at square dances when I was a very little kid, and they'd have these country dances in a one-room country schoolhouse somewhere in the farming country outside town, and I'd be put to sleep on the benches of the schoolroom furniture, pushed back against the walls, so the main part of the floor was clear for dancing. This was in the nineteen thirties, when I would be maybe three, and the car we had was 1933 Frontenac 3-window coupe with a rumble seat out back that I dearly loved. I'd sometimes be allowed to ride in that rumble seat on our way to a dance, sharing it with a guitar case and violin case, but on the way home, I'd be too sleepy, and would be up front, on mom's lap. It wasn't unusual for it to be getting quite light in the east as we drove home in the wee small hours of the morning, with dad driving very carefully, because he'd had a few with the boys around the old outdoor water pump in the schoolyard before we started for home, while the womenfolk cleared away the refreshments table and the dishes and all that.
And a lot of those old dance tunes were either Irish jigs and reels, or based upon those, I suspect.

 

It's starting today c-c-c-cold !


So here's what we should do:-

 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Debussy, Pour le Piano, Cecile Ousset

The Boston Pops - The syncopated Clock

The Boston Pops - Jazz Pizzicato-Jazz Legato

The Boston Pops - Sleigh Ride (The Sleighbell Tingle) (Petersburger Schl...

George Winston: December - Full Album

Microsoft asks "Have you tried color in your Title Bars yet?"

Dear Mighty Microsoft:

Please see below for an example of a colorful title bar, and yes, I like it! Thank you for asking. And for my other readers, yes, it works, and you can have it too.

  
And now that MBAM has completed its scan, and assures me I'm clean, I can show you what's underneath that - the regular desktop. And you will notice that the dominant color from the desktop background is the one that is picked up by the system to use as the color for the Taskbar and Title Bars of your Windows.

I thought I should explain, because this is a good example of the successful operation of our Feedback system among our many Windows Insiders and Microsoft's Windows 10 home base. Microsoft can ask us questions, and we can reply and send back suggestions and screenshots to them, and this system works like a charm. I love it. And to get back to the point, this above was one of the  requests from a Windows Insider which Microsoft approved and in the words of Captain Picard of the Enterprise, decided to "Make It So!".  And it is.



Notes about the Celtic Woman concert video below...

Google for some reason frustrates one's attempts to add an edit under videos posted to the blog directly from YouTube, so rather than  spend time removing and replacing the original with an entry containing text, I'm adding text here.

It must be the recent full moon, coupled perhaps with the recent arrival of my 2016 Lunar Calendar, "Dedicated to the goddess in her many guises", along with the frost on rooftops recently, which put me into Christmas mode, and got me thinking especially about 'family'. I had a long, overdue, and very welcome chat yesterday with my gay Number One Son, whom I love dearly, and as we do, we got talking about various family members we've known and sometimes loved, or sometimes not, and I'm reminded that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

My roots are from English and Irish, and his are from those as well as German on his mother's side, and there's probably a heavy Celtic influence in all of it. We seem to have a grasp of spirituality and the occult not limited to usually accepted traditions, but reaching beyond time and place to other realms only nebulously engaged, but fascinating in their mysterious temptations.

But I'm digressing again. Please don't turn off that Celtic Woman video at the end of the concert portion, because following that, there's a nicely intimate session with just the four girls and their pianist/conductor around the big Steinway Concert Grand, where each contributes one more delightful offering.

Celtic Woman - Home For Christmas (Live From Dublin 2013)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Autumn - George Winston

A Winter's Solstice - Full Album

Mannheim Steamroller - A Fresh Aire Christmas - Full Album

Carmen Mcrae - The Christmas Song (1961)


My other PC's Windows 10. One's simply not enough for me. Unfacetiously speaking, two really are better than one. If I mess something up on one, then I can use the other to find out how to fix it. (Works for me!) You'd be surprised how that reduces the tension when messing around with these things.

The Well-Tempered Linux Mint


This is a nice picture! Whoever took it would probably have gotten an even better effect, with much better definition of the sky, if only he had been a little further away from those city lights just over the horizon. But it's still a very dramatic picture, and well done.

Linux Mint has some nice wallpapers, but some of the most imaginative abstracts are found among those for PC-BSD. And that might give us an opening for another rant. The rant being on the subject of why, oh why do we have so many different incarnations of Linux, Ubuntu, PC-BSD, etc., etc., etc. - and my question from all that being "Why can't all you guys get together, and create one really super-duper, ass-kicking, one-size-fits-all, you-can't-get-better-anywhere system that would include all the very best of the best of them all?"

I really like Linux, and Free BSD, and all like that, but it's like religion; around every turn there's a whole other one going on, promising that it's really "The One" when in actual fact, none of them are! They each have their flashes of brilliance, and they each do a fair-to-middling job of doing what they do. But each seems to lack something the others do better. If that circus could be assembled under one big tent, we might get a much more interesting and user-friendly outcome, and in the process, grab more market share. These are good stuff, but not well enough known and used, partly, I suspect, because we're confused about which we ought to use among the several same-but-different varieties. Consistency! Homogenize all that. But keep the Unix roots. It was a good old tree.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Well-Tempered Windows


This morning's setting Moon


Taken on the Fuji SL-1000 at a full 50X zoom, and then gamma adjusted using Irfanview to bring out the surface details a little more. I'm pleased with this, because it's a freehand shot, with the camera braced against the sliding door of the balcony. Sometimes, I get lucky!


Same Moon, different camera. The Nikon P510, at 42X zoom, also freehand to quickly grab something I almost missed.


That Win-10 debacle the other day with the .iso download


This is how it looks now, and Peace has returned to the valley. 


Here's a nice Android wallpaper I grabbed off one of their sites. Take one, please. (Just remember to click-to-enlarge first!)


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Cute little milk bottle...


Our local Avalon Dairy still packages its milk products in real glass bottles, on which we happily pay a one-dollar deposit, just because some things ought to be preserved and encouraged, and supported. The milk keeps better in glass bottles, and the container doesn't collapse if you squeeze it, like those waxed paper ones so popular with the big city dairy companies. And our home-grown dairy is going to be celebrating its 110th anniversary in 2016. They recently moved into a new and bigger and ultra-modern facility out in the 'burbs here, from their old original downtown site that had become surrounded by the city. The products thankfully remain the same, and we love it!

That coffee mug beside the bottle was given to me by 'Dear Editor' as a token of appreciation for helping her find the right words to inspire her readers to join in throwing out a corrupt provincial premier here a few years ago. I sent her a very tightly edited two or three or four-paragraph one-page fax each morning for months, with thoughts and ideas for her to use in exposing "the bad guys" to readers, and it worked. We got rid of the bastards! Or, as we said at the time, "The pen really is mightier than the sword." Except that it wasn't a pen, it was a great little Canon Starwriter 30 and a Sanyo fax machine that did it. And the mug is my reminder that "spin-doctors" can be unspun if we really try. Patricia, the Editor, put it this way: "We're going to hold their feet to the fire until they just can't stand it any longer and leave." And that's how it was.

Carousel - 1956 - If I loved you duet.

Today's Top Ten


Dressing Win-10 to make it actually useful....

Here's a screenshot of the Desktop with its many icons (some of my own making using IcoFX) before I drag and drop many of these into the one shown as "Shortcuts" (the Atom icon, upper left) which stores all these in their own folder within "My Stuff"....



And I'm showing you all this just in case you'd like to use some of these programs yourself, when you get around to outfitting Win-10 for actual use in a "real world" environment, as opposed to the "never never land" it came from.

And here's the desktop with everything neatly stashed away in its folders....


And now, it's ready to actually do something. And all that only takes you about half a day, give or take. Or half a night....

And speaking of "night" here's a look at some night sky, with Mars being viewed from its nearest satellite, Phobos, this morning.


Being your own astronaut can be fun, and you really should try it. Stellarium is a really nice program, and it's the same thing as those being used in a lot of Planetariums. You get a "real time" view of the universe, wherever you go in it. That's why I joke around about being my own astronaut. It's almost that real. Meteors shower, Earth's satellites move across the sky, and the program can name them for you. It's not only fun, it's (ugh!) educational. What are you waiting for? Download it from that hot link I left you above. And Enjoy!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Chakras


The Top Ten...


Installing Windows 10 from its optional ISO file.... Woof!


From such inauspicious beginnings as this, Windows is still a humbling, fumbling excuse for a viable communications system decipherable by those of exceedingly modest mentality. Like your arthritic old Granny, or cousin Wilhelm in Sveeden, or that secondary school dropout next door who fancies himself a really "with it" computerizer. And how, pray tell, do I know any of this?

I've just tried installing Windows 10, Build 10586, using its optional .iso file download, suitably burned to disc using ImgBurn, and verified by it to be totally correct in each and every respect - and 'respect' shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath as this subject, trust me! What an abortionary, disgusting and frustrating experience this was! From a semi-respected, quasi-scientific, almost-universally-available entity like Mighty Microsoft. Forty years on the Information Highway, and we still can't do a series of restarts successfully while installing from a disc that presumably has everything it needs on it to complete its tasks. At the very first reboot, the goddamned thing starts over from its beginning, not just once, but several tries in a row, and only completes by using the normally not required "Repair my computer" function!!! I am not quite at a loss for words here, but those springing to mind are all of the 'F-bomb' variety! WOOF!


And on a day like this, I'd happily trade all this PC shit for my faithful old I.B.M. Selectric with its drawer full of font element balls. Anyone remember the Old English one? Now there was a classic! And then along came a couple of boobs who thought we could be happier making them richer. We might have been too, except we're still impatiently waiting for them to get it right!!!
 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

CAROL CHANNING JAZZ BABY THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, STUDIO RECORDING

Julie Andrews - "Thoroughly Modern Millie"

Baby Face Julie Andrews

Want to have a dual-boot of two Windows O/Ss go nuts?

Just try having three entries in the Boot Manager instead of the two... that will do it every time! Windows will start, report something wrong with the system, and immediately go into a scanning mode, in which it finds nothing wrong with the files....because the problem isn't in the filing system, it's in the Boot Configuration Data.

Quick Fix:- Open EasyBcd, find that extra entry for some legacy O/S you don't presently have installed, remove that, reboot, and Abracadabra! All Better!

Windows is fun! Imagine the stuff I'd never know if I wasn't playing in the traffic in WWW Land with WWWindows! And just think of all the colorful cusswords my neighbors would never have heard in their native lands across the seas, where it's damned difficult to tell a he from a she dressed in all those sheets and hijabs and whatnot.... Ever wonder if the Ayatollah may have a huge problem with the gays and lezzies but just can't tell who is doing what with whom, and thinks it is all 'way up there, on the highest moral grounds, when if fact it may be anything butt.... (and that wasn't my poor spelling - it was intentional).

See how a simple little story can suddenly take an unexpectedly devious turn? Maybe it's the breakfast eggnog I made, with two extra large brown free range organic eggs, nutmeg, lots of sugar, and fresh Avalon Dairy Homo (it says so right on the cap!) milk, in those original glass bottles. There's something about fresh milk in real glass bottles that makes me go a little goofy in the mornings. Like it's 1949 again, and I'm playing hookey from French and Latin classes to go hiking in the woods or do a little fishing. I might have been a scholar, but I was too easily bored by book work. Especially the kind in foreign or dead languages. I never planned on being either a diplomat or a pharmacist. I was going to be a red hot jet jockey, popping the rivets in my F86, while doing impossible tricks of aerobatics, preferably without digging any holes 30 feet deep in Farmer Brown's back forty during high speed pull-outs, like a couple of my buddies one day did.

After that, piloting my hydro-electric power station instead of something with wings and a kick-ass powerplant under my ass didn't seem quite so mundane.

Note to Windows 10 coders about what it runs...



You are still showing a nice little pop-up to inform those of us installing the latest new and improved Windows 10 that its gadgets have been removed because those are no longer compatible with Windows 10. So please have a nice close look at these two images above. Note the Build Number, lower right, please. I rest my case.

"But.... but we thought.... that is, we were told...." you say. OK, but you're overlooking the popularity of these gadgets, and the fact that the good guys at 8gadgetpack.net have been working like little beavers to get Version 16 ready for guys like me to be able to say "Toldja!" And I couldn't resist. Shame on me! And do enjoy your day!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Linux Mint, you did me wrong! and then ....

And then, it took me over nine hours to fix the f-f-f-f-f-mess! Shame on you, you Mesopotamian Munchkin, you! And what the hell's the idea of having something in your program that says "Unknown system - Grub Rescue" and then it just leaves me there to die! Not even the simplest Linux code that works everywhere else in Linux would work on that, even though your own experts said that it would.  Your own experts obviously aren't! And the only useful cure that wouldn't take a month of Sundays to apply consisted of a complete re-install of the operating systems on the drive - and none of those are now anything to do with Linux Mint !!!

The problem is deceptively simple. When a dual-booting situation is established using a Linux Mint flavor along with a Windows system, the only practical method of installing those seems to be to first of all install the Linux, which then naturally uses its own boot loader called Grub 2. Grub 2 is a very sophisticated booting device that can do wonders for your Linux systems, but it has a natural aversion to Windows and its NTFS formatting. It is only with the greatest reluctance that Grub lets a Windows installation use a portion of the Grub boot loader for its own Windows booting processes. And Grub maintains a total and complete control over those booting functions.

So, you install Linux and its Grub booting sector, and then you install Windows and its own Master Boot Record, which becomes a distant cousin in the Grub hierarchy and you finally have your dual-booting between Linux and Windows. And then you decide you want to get rid of Linux to make room for another Windows setup. You can remove the Linux, but you can't boot your Windows without that Linux Grub 2 boot loader which now tells you that it can't recognize a Windows installation which it immediately identified when you installed it alongside Linux a few weeks back. And you're left wondering "Who wrote this goddamned abortion anyway?" But cussing at it doesn't help. The only help consists of hours of re-formatting partitions, merging them into unused space, then re-formatting all that and converting it to a Primary Partition that can now accept your latest choice of Windows. And once back into Windows, immediately repairing its Master Boot Record and Boot Configuration Data Store to banish all traces of Grub 2 from the system, so that never again will you see this problem.

And when you're done all that, you're several hours older, and not nearly so enthused about Linux Mint 17.2, and you can bet your sweet bippie on that.  

Reflected Sun


Stephanie Trick plays Handful Of Keys by Fats Waller stride piano

"St. Louis Blues" Stephanie Trick Performing

Stephanie Trick plays Liza by George Gershwin stride piano

Live in San Francisco Stephane Grapelli

"Death and the Maiden" - String Quartet No. 14 in D minor by Franz Schub...

Moonset this morning...


If you would like a copy, here's the original before it became a desktop background here....



Friday, November 20, 2015

To Live In The 1920's

1932 Ray Noble (12-inch) - The Cat And The Fiddle Selection (Parts 1 & 2...

She Didn't Say Yes (She Didn't Say No) - Robert Shaw Chorale.avi

How NOT to scrape your windows before commuting...


Fender-bender, anyone?

Population Explosion Explained......

It's all about Milk Trucks...............................


I woke up this morning feeling 'young & horny & desperate' and after making my essential first cuppa, with Breakfast Coffee and Avalon Dairy Cereal Cream and lots of sugar, I started surfing for my favorite Czech pornstar, and stumbled onto a site called 'myfavoritenudes.com' on which is a section called 'over 30'.

So there's this overweight momma lying back on a chaise, arms above head, smiling like a basket of bananas, and displaying the figure of a Milk Truck !!!

That's what's wrong! When we get all shook up, we can't tell the difference between a shapely young thing and a goddamned milk truck! So there's over seven billions of us, stumbling around, wondering "where did we go wrong?"
And that's where! Would I lie to you? 

And that sweet and lovely Czech pornstar? Never did find her. I think she's retired now, and spending her fortune on tropical vacations, lucky thing! She knew what others ought to;  girls would rather have beauty than brains, because guys can see better than they can think.
 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Only in Vancouver, you say?


Today is November 19th, 2015.

Today's Weather - as a Desktop Background


Several weeks back, the C.E.O. of Microsoft.......


Said: "I want everyone to love their Windows!"

Dear Mr. Nadella: 

I do. I really do! I'd be lost without something like this to play with, and change and discover and explain to those less familiar with it. I've been one of your more mouthy Windows Insiders ever since November 15th, 2014, and I often blog here about it - the good, the bad, and the ugly - not because I'm trying to denigrate anyone's wonderful accomplishments, but because I want us all to be better informed about our Windows, appreciate it for what it does for us, and hopefully, add our own efforts to those of many others making Windows even better. 

For years, as in back in those not-so-nice Windows Vista days, I've periodically sent pleading emails to you folks at Microsoft, urging you to let those of us out here among the faceless masses provide you with our impressions of Windows, and include suggestions for improvements. It took a while, because Microsoft was too well aware of its critical fan base, but finally, my prayers were answered and Microsoft had a change of heart. The gods in Redmond decided to accept the mumblings of the masses, and the tide turned. And we've never looked back! Nor will we, I fervently hope.

As I've said too many times already, the vast majority of users of Windows don't know computer code from String Theory, but here's our sole but useful contribution: we know what we like. Give us what we like, and we will make you richer than Midas, more popular than Julius Caesar, and more famous than Dolly Parton in a wet T-shirt. And you are doing your best to do that for us.

So Yes, Mr. Nadella, I do love my Windows, and may I please say 'Thank You'? Thank You to everyone at Mighty Microsoft for turning our world into a much more accessible neighborhood, where we can all learn and share and benefit from one another's experiences, and hopefully realize as we do this that all of us are much more alike than we are different. Thank You! And enjoy your day, please.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Old electrician's habits die hard...


Until Tuesday night, there was an old General Electric under-the-shelf Radio with its own appliance light built into the back edge of it, illuminating the sink area. But after decades of faithful use, the switch for its convenience light finally died. And I used that light more than the radio, actually. But the radio has always worked perfectly. It's a very well-made unit.


But without the light, not so absolutely essential. So it was removed, and then another light-source required. Being 'Old Electrician', I whomped up a typical Old Electrician's quick-fix solution, using easily-available parts from my junk collection, and voila! - more light over the sink than ever before. Looks like hell, but it's the results that count. It says so right here.

Lena Horne sets Rodgers and Hart on FIRE - 1955

LENA HORNE sings STORMY WEATHER one last time 60 years later

Norah Jones - Sunrise

Norah Jones Don't Know Why HD FLAC QUALITY

"Stormy Weather" the real, not the song.

I went to the Doctor at 1:15 yesterday, as the weather was getting more interesting, so that I could show him how to cough. While waiting in his examining room, I got watching a Windows Insiders video on his computer terminal, and when he walked in, we had a question-and-answer session about Windows 10, and how I like it. He has Windows 7 Pro on his stuff.

Then, I showed him my cough, and he showed me a requisition for a chest X-ray to get on my way home. I mentioned that my new Oxygen Level Meter reads "97" on my toe, but only "93" on my finger. He said, "That's fairly normal, so you shouldn't worry about it." After a stop at the X-ray clinic a few blocks back along my way home, for that chest X-ray, front and left side, I got home in time for the little girl on the gate security to mouth the words "No Power" as we waved to one another at her security booth, and the rain by then was coming mostly sideways. That was around three-thirty. We got the power back almost exactly on the stroke of 5:00 p.m., as I was listening to the news on my little crank-to-recharge portable radio.


Washed out seawall section on the Stanley Park Seawall between Third Beach and Prospect Point, near Lions Gate Bridge (out of sight, right.)



This morning's latest outages report and repair forecasts from B.C. Hydro, my old Alma Mater. They really are getting better at this, and I never thought I'd ever say that. In my next life, I'm not even going to learn how to spell the word "electricity" unless forced to do it by someone bigger and meaner than I am.



Bremerton, WA is just west of Seattle, as the ferry sails. This storm stretched all along the coasts of Washington and southern British Columbia. Seattle is about 150 miles south of Vancouver, B.C., so this was a big storm, rather typical of November on 'The Wet Coast'. 



And this is what happens when you turn on the camera and extend the zoom without first removing the lens cap. It doesn't focus correctly after, unless you again switch it off and then on again, to reset the zooming apparatus, and quite obviously, I didn't do that, in my haste to get this reflection of the sun in the several windows up on "snob hill" this morning. Out-of-focus or not, it still shows the effect I was trying to capture, so score one for Old Fumblefingers. And do try to enjoy your day. Ours looks a hell of a lot better than yesterday! (But I'm now stocked up on candles and batteries, and like that...)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Norah Jones - Summertime

George Gershwin - Fascinating Rhythm

Bing and Rosemary duet


I WANT TO BE BAD (from FOLLOW THRU - 1930)

Gershwin 'Girl Crazy' Suite - Boston Pops - Harry Ellis Dickson conducts

Oh, Kay ! Musical (The Gershwin's

"Good News" - Lucky In Love - 1920s

First, let's listen to it on the technology of the day.....


And then, on something with better sound quality.........


 

This one's for Tommy over in New York.....


My Daily Whine....

Why can't the Weatherman look out the window? ET, phone home! Our national weather service says Vancouver is 9 degrees C, and raining. It's only a Fahrenheit couple of degrees above freezing, the streets are dry, and directly overhead as I peeked out the window, I saw at least one star. Why am I consulting some boob in Toronto, roughly 2,000 miles away (2091 miles) for my weather when I've got a window I can open to discover it for myself? And why don't they make use of modern communications? What are they using? A bonfire and a blanket, borrowed from our Buckskin Brothers? Is many hilltops and many bonfires between Great Wet Coast and Old Fort York on small inland sea, where many palefaces live in wigwams of man-made stone, and can't tell weather from roof of wigwam....


Lunatics are not terrorists just because they say so...

Sometimes, a lunatic is just simply a lunatic, using a convenient excuse to claim his fifteen minutes of fame, while claiming association with an evil gang of outlaws. 


So we have "vigil coordinators" and a media frenzy, and citizens expressing their solidarity by going out into the streets again, just like usual. And those lunatics have already achieved their goals, because we played their game, and let them win. We not only let them win, we made them martyrs of insanity.

Any "loose cannon" can inspire panic in the faceless masses of the great unwashed simply by going crazy while blaming it on "ISIS" or some other acronymously named nefarious group of bandits. Candle and floral tribute sales go through the roof, hand-wringing is raised to an art form, and along come the inevitable hijab-clad "vigil coordinators". Spare me, please! And lest you wonder, vigil co-ordination is a very old and respectable occupation, dating back to the 'good old days' in ancient Egypt, where professional troupes of mourners hired themselves out to needy but financially secure bereaved of the community. With well-rehearsed ululations, songs and dances yet. And healthy appetites for the left-overs of the requisite funerary feasts.

So don't be deceived. There's nothing new under the sun, and everything old is new again.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Today's "Question Everything" is.........




Why is the Oxygen reading higher on my toe than on my finger?

If anyone has an answer for that, please leave a comment below this entry.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Last evening, and this morning....

Last evening, about the time I went to the nearby mall and back, it was raining very heavily. "How heavily?" you ask. "Like a tall cow peeing on a flat rock - it was bouncing back up about a foot, and the windshield wipers on extra-fast were unable to keep up to it."


Traffic on the four-lane Trans Canada Highway (Highway One, here) came to a screeching halt on the sharp bend just at the west end of the bridge over our Capilano River here, just after I got home safely and unbent. These are the lights of emergency vehicles on that corner. I'm glad I got around that bend before the fenders hit the barricades. I can drift that corner on a nice day at about 60 mph, even though it's signed for much slower, but it's right in the neighborhood, and I get lots of practice. I did it one nice dry day on the old Kawasaki ZX-10 at almost 80 mph, but I used most of both lanes doing it, and luckily, I was alone on that corner at the time. I've always been a "show-off"... and that's why half the meat on the left cheek of my bum has been spread on a couple of the most interesting corners in Beautiful British Columbia. Luckily, it grew back, mostly. And I'd do all that again, too, I betcha, if I had the chance. We learn by doing....and doing.....and doing, until we get it right! And six bikes later, I think I got it right. So I hung up the helmet. They make a neat bird feeder, by the way...

Moving right along, what else is new? Well, this morning, surfing for something else, I stumbled over news about my old Seventies-something Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck. It said that the old originals are now worth some serious coin, and I even found a copy of a PDF explaining the meanings of all the cards....



This is what the backs of the deck look like..... heavy with ancient Egyptian symbolism....

And this is the last card in "Trumps" or the Major Arcana. There are actually twenty-two, because "The Fool" is numbered as zero. And getting back to that PDF of several many pages, ostensibly explaining the meanings of the cards, if you're into that sort of thing, then you already know that the only pertinent meaning of them is the one that you become aware of yourself as you study the images. The cards have to speak to you with their own meanings or you just aren't ready for this.

Lately, I prefer prayer and meditation, because I need all the forgiveness I can get. It's getting late outside, and the clock is ticking. And even though I'm a scared little kid inside this wrinkled old exterior, I still love to look at the moon and the stars on a clear night, and try to imagine where I came from and where I may be going. The ancients in old Egypt believed the star Sirius (Sothis, to them) represented both the soul of the goddess Isis, and the gateway to the Afterlife.