Friday, December 25, 2020

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Forest fires are reducing our air quality

 In the past few days, we are getting smoke from fires

further south, in the USA. It is getting bad.




Monday, August 24, 2020

Having 'second thoughts' .....

After thinking about it, I may have been hasty in deciding against the new blogger.

I'm old now, and changes are not as welcome as they once were. But they are inevitable, and we have to deal with that. I'll try to do that.

So please try to stay tuned....

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Previous posting continued....

In the previous posting, I said Google has cloned Twitter with its changes to Blogger.
Why would I say that? Because they've been cropping my recent posts during the process
of publishing them. Obviously Blogger as I know it is dead. It's no longer worth my time.

"Some things are not the same as the others..."

Some things are not the same as the others... one thing is not like the others...

With apologies to the famous children's show, Sesame Street, I'm referring here to multitasking megamonster Google's venerable old Blogger project that launched millions of us into the realm of cyberspace, lo those many years ago, and its latest modernization by Google into something they shyly tell us is meant to make it more accessible to phones.  They've cloned Twitter but they don't have the balls to say so, so let me say it for them. How do I like it? Just don't ask. You won't like my answer.

Today's paper:- "What is 'spin doctoring'? An example...

Here's something I'd call a good example of 'spin doctoring'....

This implies that Justin can save the day by giving us yet more bafflegab to explain away this, his third violation of the Ethics Commissioner's code of ethics for politicians with proclivities for jumping into bed with lobbyists, supporters,  or 'friends' seen as being useful to the furtherance of one's career and beneficial for one's chances of re-election.
This is his third serious violation of the ethics code governing precocious politicos bent on furthering their careers by any handy means without regard to established rules.
 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Today in the Globe and Mail...


My previous post questions whether 'I love a piano' is a song title...

So here's Irving Berlin's 'I love a piano' done with a modern touch...


I love a piano...

That almost seems like a song title.... but let's have examples,  may we?
Let's begin with a little Fats Waller tune,  Ain't Misbehavin',  played by Stephanie Trick...
 
I never learned to play piano, but I love listening to one, and Stephanie does a great job.
Let's have another from her.  Here's Anitra's Dance ... 

She also has fun with her partner...

We started on a Fats Waller favorite, so let's hear old Fats himself....

Fats did that in the 1943 movie 'Stormy Weather'  in which Lena Horne sang the title tune and never looked back. Here she is, doing one of my favorite Cole Porter songs....

Monday, July 27, 2020

Updating Linux Mint 19.3 -




On this desktop, there are two drives: an optical solid-state drive, and a regular hard-drive. I have Linux Mint 20 on the optical drive, and its predecessor 19.3 on the larger hard-drive. Both are actively supported systems. LM-20 is fully supported until 2025, and LM-19.3 is fully supported until 2023. Lately, I've been familiarizing myself with LM-20, but today, I've updated LM-19.3 with its latest batch of updates.

Why two versions of the same operating system? For comparison, and to find out which I like best, and why. So far, I can't decide on one over the other. Both are very good, and I like them both. The older one is more familiar, and the newer is fun to explore, and both, as they say, 'just work'. Unlike Mighty Microsoft's Windows, these don't require a lot of frantic searching for repairs to their parts. They work the first time, and they work properly. And they update or upgrade a hell of a lot faster than Windows ever has. That's one of the main reasons I like them so much. These guys who make Linux Mint know how, and it shows where it really counts. You should try it...

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Today's pictures






I've wasted a beautiful summer day....


I've spent most of the day, searching the web, and trying various procedures between Linux and Windows, in a fruitless attempt to install into this notebook an old photo-editing program.

I have it on disk here, but there's no DVD drive in the notebook. Linux Mint claims it can read the NTFS format used by Windows. That's only partly true. It successfully read maybe 45% of the program files I wanted to move, but it missed so much that by the time I got the USB stick over to the Windows notebook, those files couldn't be read. Windows shows them as "corrupted and missing files. Unable to read."

And being the way I am, I just had to try it a few more times, in case I'd missed something in the directions. I hadn't. Linux just wasn't copying everything in the Windows program folder.

The program is still available on the web, but only from third-party and non-original sources, which now want money for a program that was a 'freebie' in 2003, when I 
got mine.

Why do I want to keep using it? Because it also has a feature that controls a scanner, as well as having nice photo-editing features. It's a very good program.
But I can't re-install it until I get a DVD Player which plugs into a USB port. Or until I learn to love my Windows and its own built-in App for this. I've tried it, but I'm so familiar with that old program, I just can't get comfortable with it. But it does have one feature I really like. It can level the horizon in a photo by just using a slider. That's a feature I loved in the now-defunct 'Picasa' from Google. It's a feature that not every photo-editing program offers, and it's very useful. Maybe I should try harder to "love my Windows". It would make Satya Nadella very happy, in case the $42.9 million he got last year doesn't give him the giggles. The last time I recall watching him pep-talk the troops, he said, "I want everyone to love their Windows!"

Memo to Microsoft's beloved CEO...

Dear Mr. Nadella:

I've been one of the voluntary testers of Windows operating systems since the first beta of Windows 7 came out. I've had a good time, and learned a lot, except how to keep my opinions to myself.

May I share a couple of those opinions with you?

First, Windows 7 was Microsoft's greatest achievement so far. It was rock solid from day one, and I dumped 'Vasta Vista' from a new PC to install and begin testing it. I was never sorry. Vista was far too security conscious for me. I don't want to play "20 Questions" every time I open a new window.

I've liked Windows 10 until recently, when us 'Windows Insiders' seem to have been dropped from the loop during recent changes. I liked being asked "What happened?" when something shut me down, or I had to kill everything to clear a freeze. I haven't had that lately, and I gave up the testing a couple of weeks ago because I'm obviously not needed now.

We both know Windows 10 is really Windows 9, and it is built on the same reliable chassis or foundations as Windows 7. But in my humble opinion, it has now collected too much 'fluff'. A lot of its more recent goodies seem more like 'make-work' projects than essential system improvements. And I'm not the only one who thinks that way. Others are noticing too. 

Lastly, if I had one wish, it would be that you make Win-10 able to read EXT3 and EXT4 formats of Linux, which already reads some of Windows files. A year or two ago, in one of my 'feedback' messages with 'Windows Insiders' I suggested that Microsoft should try to make a deal with the Linux guys, and share the best of both worlds. I still think that's a good idea. Linux has features Microsoft could use, and vice versa. And together, you could probably make Applesauce. You should try it.... 

With best regards,

Old Ray

Friday, July 24, 2020

A little Gershwin and Porter.....

Some favorites....








About Mary L. Trump... (Today's recommended reading)


If you'd like a more straightforward read on this tell-all book author, and how she got the goods on Delightful Donald, everyone's pain-in-the-butt pinhead president, please see this article in Wikipedia >  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_L._Trump


You'll probably be glad you did. I am. In my humble opinion, if Donald J. (for Jackass) Trump isn't sufficiently nuts enough to qualify for admission to the good old Funny Farm, then none of us ever will be. And I offer this opinion with some personal experience, having been away for some "R and R" or "Rehab" three times myself, during which, my fellow inmates made a hell of a lot more sense most days than Donald J. Trump ever has!

And let's remember, he was put there with the blessings and backing of those famous Koch brothers, of Koch Industries fame, with their Libertarian philosophy of not needing any government except their own desires, and financed from the $960-millions they and their ultra-rich pals put together prior to the 2016 election for the purpose of buying strategically placed senators and congressmen of Republican persuasion to help achieve that aim of 'No government needed'. Trump, being the right kind of 'delusions of grandeur' dingaling to act as a suitable carnival barker outside the 'main tent' got the nod to be their transitional president. We've all laughed or shaken our heads in dismay at The Donald's lack of 'savoir faire' and 'smarts', but we may be overlooking the fact that he wasn't really chosen for his smarts, but for his lack of them. Charles Koch doesn't want a smart president. He wants one that answers the phone when called, and takes orders no matter how bizarre those may seem to be. Because the ultimate object is no government at all, and to achieve that, he must first thoroughly embarrass and discredit the one that's there now. And the plan seems to be succeeding surprisingly well. Take 'Moscow Mitch' McConnell for example - Please!
How do you make $24-million in six years on a government salary of about $212,000 annually? New math or old, this doesn't calculate for me. How about you?

Down Memory Lane: Let's go backward when forward fails...






And now, the sequel to this last one....


Yesterday, the weatherman said partly sunny today...


Thursday, July 23, 2020

Let's have a music break, may we?







Going to the ER yesterday was the smartest thing I've done lately, because....

"Because why, Ray?"

Because, while there, I confessed to the ER doctor that I'd stupidly smart-mouthed the neurologist when he first called me about follow-up, and I said,

"I'm afraid I've totally burnt my bridges with him, and I was immediately sorry, but that was after I walked away from the smoke and flames..." The ER doctor said, "I like someone with spirit - and I can fix that for you!" And he did!

This morning, I got a call from the neurologist. He asked me how I'm feeling today. I said, "Much better, thanks, and how may I help you?" He said, "I have a few questions about your left hand..." and then he went on to ask those. I answered everything (politely, this time) and we had a nice friendly chat. He said his wife works here in our management office. (It's a small world, Kiddies) And so I had to tell him about the place, and how this was the place everyone wanted to live when it was first completed in the 1970s, and I first arrived here in 1981, while it was still the jewel of North Vancouver...

He said, "Getting back to your hand, based on the two scans being the same, I'm not even sure that what you had the first time on June 9th was even a real stroke. There's a percentage of restriction in that carotid artery, but I'm not sure we should do something about it. I'd like you to come in for a nerve test which 
will tell us a lot more about how it is now and even how it was then, and after that, we can make a better decision." I mentioned that my specialist had spoken to me about possibly putting a stent into that right carotid artery to keep it open, and that you and I should talk about it. He said, "I'm not sure a stent is the way we ought to go just yet. Let's do that nerve test first, and it's quite possible you won't need surgery for a stent. I'll try to squeeze you into the schedule in a few weeks, and someone will call you with the details." I thanked him for calling, and we wished each other a nice day.

So, the outlook seems to have improved amazingly overnight, and it really is possible to "unburn a bridge" if you're lucky, and do it the right way, and have a little help from your friends.  Or, as I'd put it, "There's always more than one way to skin a cat."