Monday, May 30, 2011

Another Thing...

One other thing for Bloggers to check is their "Spam" comments file. These are comments that Blogger has tagged as spam and has not published. I checked mine for the first time in ages yesterday and found it held six comments, four of which were not spam. They are now published but long after the readers posted them. Sorry...

I do not edit comments, even from people who do not particularily like me, unless they are spam.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Just a quick note to Tim in Seattle who asked a question but did not leave an email address: Setting up a Blog is actually quite easy and totally FREE! Go to Blogger or Wordpress on the Internet and they will guide you through the process step by step. You can be blogging within minutes and the Blog layout you initially set up when you start can be changed later.

I started with Blogger because that was what most or all of the Mexican Bloggers were using. If I was starting over I think I would use Wordpress which might be a little harder to learn but is more stable with fewer outages and little glitches like Blogger is going through right now!

Blogger is having conflicts with Firefox browser when used in some versions of Windows. I can use it normally with my Windows 7 laptop but my desktop Windows XP computer cannot communicate with my Blog or allow me to leave comments on other's Blogs unless I use Internet Explorer or Chrome. I refuse to use either of those but my friend Donna found a workaround by loading the IE Tab add-on and loading Blogs in a fake IE environment. She also had more instructions if this first solution did not work. Luckily for me, it did work. Hopefully they will fix the problem soon as all my Blogging friends are trying to talk me into switching to Wordpress and the learning process would have to start all over again!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gil Scott-Heron, RIP

American poet - songwriter, R&B artist, 60's activist Gil Scott-Heron "The Godfather of Rap"  has died. Here is "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised", the song he was best known for. When this is over click on the 1:17 clip at the bottom left of the video window. It is a recent interview with Gil. Interesting.

Temporary Blogger "Fix"

My Blogger friend Donna has found a fix for this problem. It involves installing an add-on to Firefox and opening the Blog in a phony Internet Explorer environment. It seems to work. Details can be found on Donna's Blog here.

&$%#@ Blogger!

I seem to be unable to access my Blog from Firefox! There is no Dashboard or “New Post” button at the top!
I am posting this from Windows Live Writer to see if this works.

EDIT: OK, Windows Live Writer works. A couple of other folks are having the same problem and it seems to be a conflict between Blogger and the latest version of Firefox.

At least I have found a workaround until they fix the problem!

I can get at the Blog with my Windows 7 machine. It is only Windows XP that is having trouble.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The "Other" Series

I am cheering TB Lightening tonight to tie the series then cheering Boston in game 7 because I would rather see them play the Canucks (I think). Either way I want Tampa Bay and Boston to beat each other up before their series is over!
Scalpers are already selling Stanley Cup tickets for $3000 each. One Vancouver hotel is waiting for the dates of the games to be announced and will be offering a suite with two tickets. They have not determined the price yet but better check the limit on your credit card.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

PJ & Claudia in Yellowstone!

Our Dutch friends are in Yellowstone taking some great photos! We met this adventurous couple in Mexico a couple of years ago and visited with them again in Yuma last winter. They retired very young and have been traveling the world taking photos ever since. You can check out their Dutch Duo Wildlife Photography website by clicking on the link. Their photography is wonderful! They are currently in Yellowstone photographing wildlife in the snow.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Game Four! Wow!

Well, the Canucks had their rest and they were back to playing hockey today! They tried to stay out of the penalty box but in the first period they were assessed four of them, only one that could be called a deserved. they managed to keep the Sharks out of their net through all four of them! Great penalty killing!

Then it was time for the Sharks to suffer at the hands of the referees but their penalty killing was just not up to Canuck standards! The Canucks scored on the first three penalties, all of which the Sharks were two men short. The game ended 4 - 2. Now they come back to Vancouver leading the series 3 - 1! One more win and we are in the Stanley Cup Finals!

Go Canucks!!!!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Game Three - You Can't Win Them All!

My Canucks were still full of Shark meat from Wednesday night so they took a night off to digest it. 4 - 3 was not a bad showing and will set things up nicely for Sunday noon. It will be nicer to win the series at home anyway!

It really would have sucked if the world did end. The Canucks get this close to the Stanley Cup and the world ends..... How fitting!

Friday, May 20, 2011

So Much For That!

It is after 6:00PM, May 21 in parts of Australia and no earthquakes, no rapture. Same old, same old! Who could have guessed?   ...... Back to the calculator Harold Camping. Maybe someone will give you a few more million $.

I’m Sure You All Want To Know

What is going to happen on Judgment Day (which in case you didn’t know, is tomorrow, May 21st). Otherwise known as “Rapture Day”. This is the day that 200,000 true believers will be swept up to heaven, while everybody else -- Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, anyone who supports gay marriage or accepts evolution will be left here on earth with me to share the spoils. All the mansions, limos, gold bars and altar boys left behind by all those pious, holier than thou “dial 1-800-pray2me” christians will be up for grabs.

At precisely 6:00PM (your time zone) on May 21 there will be a huge earthquake and all “saved” christianists will be sucked up to heaven. Driverless cars and pilotless aircraft will be careening around as their drivers and pilots are sucked through their windshields to meet god.

Sounds crazy? Many people not only believe it but have spent their life savings on vans, buses and signs telling the rest of us all about it, whether we want to hear it or not. This date was “calculated” by Harold Camping, a 89 year old radio preacher who added up all the days since the birth or death of jesus, added the number of letters in his own name, subtracted the square root of the number of full moons since the earth was created a thousand years ago or whenever, decided that when the bible mentions a day, it actually means a thousand years and added one day just for the heck of it. This gave him May 21, 2011. Some people are cashing in on this idiocy. One enterprising group of atheists have started a company that for $400 (payable right now of course) will go into your house after you have been raptured and rescue your pets, flushing your goldfish down the toilet or whatever at $400 each.

Of course you can’t be “saved” until you are old enough to have sinned and can understand the concept so parents are making plans for what will happen to their heathen children after mom and dad are yanked up from the dinner table between “grace” and the spinach salad.

Fasten your seatbelts, only one more day of life as we know it left.

Or Just Maybe

May 21, 2011 will pass like every other day, including all the days previously predicted to be the end of the world. These dates include 1874, 1878, 1881, 1910, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1975, 1984 and 1994…. We all know what happened then…. NOTHING!

This sort of thing could really pi$$ me off! I am glad I am an Atheist.

BTW, if this Blog goes silent on May 21 it is because I have been raptured by mistake. Or I was in an airplane and my pilot was raptured.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Game Two - Same As Game One!

Our orcas are developing a taste for Shark meat!

It was a lopsided win for Vancouver after a very close first two periods. Our friend Les was up from Nanaimo to watch the game with me. He was trying to cheer for San Jose but did not get many chances. Too bad, Les!

He brought his motorhome up for me to help him with a couple of very minor repairs and the installation of a gismo that uses the solar panel to keep the engine battery from going dead when it is parked for extended periods. I had installed one in my rig a couple of years ago and still remembered how to do it. It was pretty easy but it involved crawling under the motorhome to run some wires from the engine compartment to the battery compartment. As I tried to slide under the truck I came up a little short because my stomach would not quite make it. We had to run the motorhome up on some blocks to make room for me and Les, to his credit, managed to keep his laughter under control!

We finished in time for Les to take us down to the dock for fish and chips before the game started. It was a nice day and we were able to sit outside to eat. This is probably the first day this year that we could have done this!

It is always more fun to watch the game with a friend. Specially when the Canucks win! The series now travels to San Jose where Vancouver has to win at least one of the two games. No problem! Life is good!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Washing Day and More Solar

I washed the motorhome today. There was an opening between rain showers so I went at it, taking advantage of the rain softened dirt and bug juice. It did not take that long and after it was clean we parked it in the RV spot beside the workshop and garden shed. The insurance expires in a couple of days so we put storage insurance on it as we do not anticipate using it this summer. If we do we can put temporary insurance on it for about $30 per day or just cancel the storage insurance and buy the regular kind. Except for a couple of coats of wax, I have no maintenance plans for it this summer.

We (I) came to the conclusion that I would like an additional solar panel on the roof but I would have to find a very good sale up here in Canada to equal the price I can get one for in the USA. I am no good at power management. It is on my wish list. Maybe if the Market picks up...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Game One - Canucks!

The Vancouver Canucks raised their game one level and won a heck of a contest! One down, three to go! Go Canucks!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Motorhome Repairs

The motorhome has an outside entertainment center consisting of a car radio/CD player, speakers, AC/DC power outlet and TV hookup. While we were in the USA the CD player quit functioning. I should have replaced the radio while we were in the States as they are much cheaper down there. I hesitated because I had never played with car radios before and was not sure what was involved or what tools I might need.

A couple of days ago I picked up a cheap Alpine brand radio at The Future Shop in Courtenay and talked to my friend Brian who knows pretty much everything to do with vehicles. I did not want to invest too much as this compartment has gotten wet a couple of times in driving rain to that side of the motorhome. That may be what killed the original unit.

With my renewed confidence I pulled the old radio out and cut the wiring harness connecting it to the RV. I spliced all the wires which was easy because there is evidently a standard for wire colours. Every radio made uses the same colours for speaker leads, etc. The new radio works perfectly as well as having a more powerful amplifier. It sounds great and we can once again have background music for our Mexican “Happy Hours”. I am now an expert in one more thing!

The hardest part of the job was working around the constant rain showers that have plagued us since we got home!

Conspiracies, Conspiracies!

I am currently mulling over the two latest conspiracy theories. As you know, I am not one who is ready to dismiss these theories, holding onto the “Who Killed JFK” and the “Who Killed Martin Luther King” conspiracies like Charlton Heston held onto his gun.

The first is “The Stanley Cup Conspiracy”. This theory states that the NHL, in collaboration with the USA Media, wants a Stanley Cup final between two USA teams. The majority of the entertainment money comes from American fans and they will not want to buy pizza and beer to watch a Canadian team play (and watch all the commercials). An even worse scenario for the US media profiteers would be two Canadian teams playing in the finals! To this end, they have to eliminate the Vancouver Canucks as early as possible. Proponents of this conspiracy see these efforts come to fruition in unbalanced officiating in the last series against Nashville. The Canucks prevailed in that series and now the pressure is really on the officials for the next, and final, elimination series. Hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising revenue is at stake. This is a pity seeing hockey is a Canadian sport.

The second current Conspiracy is the “American Idol Conspiracy”. In this theory, the organizers are under immense pressure to make sure a woman wins this season. After Haley Reinhart’s spellbinding performance of “I Who Have Nothing” last night, I think she has a very good chance of winning on her own merits but I also think that James Durbin had the best voice and stage persona of all of them. He was eliminated tonight. This leaves Scotty McCreery as the last “man” standing. He is a great kid with a great voice but unfortunately is a One Trick Pony in that he is Country and does not do all that well in other genres. This leaves the women in the best position to pull off a win.

Just my humble opinions. Go Canucks!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Musical TV's

We bought two new TV's on our way home this year and that created a bit of a traffic jam once we got home. One of the new ones, a 26", was destined for the front of the motorhome replacing the 20" Sharp that we have found to be a little too small. However, when I tried to install the new one, it did not fit. I would have had to move the swivel mount over so far that it would have interfered with Norma's route to and from her seat in the front and she would have soon smacked her head on it, possibly damaging the TV. ;) The smaller of the new pair was still an inch larger than the one that was in the front of the RV so I made that swap. The new 26' went into the kitchen and the older 20" flat screen that was there went into the spare bedroom replacing an old fashioned monster 26" that took up the entire top of the dresser. The 20" Sharp I removed from the motorhome went into the office replacing a 14" old style that had been Norma's dad's in the nursing home. We now had two "spare" old style TV's, one of which weighs about 100 pounds and takes up a lot of room.

I placed an ad on Craig's List for a "free" 26" TV and got two inquiries within ten minutes! People must monitor these ads! I contacted the first response and they had a grandson who had a new game machine but no TV in his room to hook it to and whose mom could not afford one. He came by and between the two of us, we got it into the back seat of his van with no room to spare.

We have gotten rid of a lot of "stuff" by way of the "free" section of Craig's list, including an old black and white enlarger setup I used in the 60's and the old bathroom sink and cabinet when we did the en suite remodel last year. It is far better than throwing this unwanted stuff away and it all seems to go to good homes. We still have the spare 14" and I may try to make room for that one in the motorhome so I can watch TV outside the odd time. Some of the larger RV's come with a TV built into one of the storage bays and they seem to get a lot of use. Mine will be stored away and brought when we want (like for major sports days).

That lead to re-evaluating our Starchoice receiver situation. We are allowed six receivers on our account and we have seven TV's. Two TV's are in the motorhome, one in the TV room, one in the kitchen, one in the master bedroom, one in the spare bedroom and one in the office! The office and spare bedroom share one receiver that sits in the office but can be moved back and forth if and when needed. Only two of the receivers are HD and only one of those has a recorder built in. All seven TV's are HD so are seriously technologically deprived! Norma wants a recorder/receiver in the bedroom so that means getting rid of one of the non HD receivers. I priced out the new receivers and they are almost $500 after taxes so that change will have to wait a bit. The displaced non HD receiver will get sold on Craig's List where they are going for $50 or so.

Musical chairs, anyone!


is Blogger working?

Seems to be working now. They lost my last post....

Ah ha, it is back!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Upgraded Firefox!

I finally upgraded Firefox Browser on our four computers last night. I tried it once shortly after it came out but the interface was so different I panicked and went back to 3.6. I could not find anything I was used to including Bookmarks which I would be lost without.

Recently Firefox started prompting me to upgrade every time I opened it. Fearing they were soon going to stop supporting the old product I thought it was time to revisit the situation. I looked on the Internet and found instructions on how to make 4.0 look like 3.6. Perfect! I did a Ghost image of the laptop so I could go back and did the upgrade. Surprise! The desktop looked almost exactly like my old 3.6. I actually had to check the version number to convince myself I was looking at the new product. There were a couple of small changes I had to make like moving the tabs to the bottom of the menu bars and putting the "reload" button back where I was used to it but other than that the transition was seamless!

Now all I have to do is watch Detroit and San Jose beat each other up in Game Seven so the non-loser can face the Canucks on Sunday night! Life is good! Canucks in six, Les?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s out there! Here is an old shot of my mom and I in our front yard in Edmonton. It would probably be in 1947, maybe near my birthday in April.


Friday, May 6, 2011

May Day

May 1 is the day most of the world celebrates International Labour Day. When I worked, I always took May 1 off af my own little protest against the establishment.

Here are some photos of the celebration in Havana, Cuba. I wish I was there, mi amigos!
DSC0335DSC0263DSC0237Desfile por el Primero de Mayo en la plaza de la revolución La Habana, Cuba
FOTO: Roberto SuárezDesfile por el Primero de Mayo en la plaza de la revolución La Habana, Cuba
FOTO: Roberto SuárezDesfile por el Primero de Mayo en la plaza de la revolución La Habana, Cuba
FOTO: Roberto SuárezDesfile por el Primero de Mayo en la plaza de la revolución La Habana, Cuba
FOTO: Roberto SuárezDesfile por el Primero de Mayo en la plaza de la revolución La Habana, Cuba
FOTO: Roberto SuárezDesfile por el Primero de Mayo en la plaza de la revolución La Habana, Cuba
FOTO: Roberto SuárezDSC0155Desfile por el Primero de Mayo en la plaza de la revolución La Habana, Cuba
FOTO: Roberto SuárezDSC0126

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lazy Days!

We were very ambitious in our "back Home" plans but in reality, we have done very little! We unloaded all the food and liquor from the motorhome and stored it in the house and now Norma has to start working on her clothes! Her problem, although she would never admit it, is that she simply has too many clothes. "My" portion of the bedroom closet has slowly been reduced to about 10% of it's capacity and she has also filled up one of the spare bedroom closets. Both closets in the motorhome are crammed full as is the entire space under the bed and about 1/2 of "my" cupboard over the bed. She has a crisis!

The Canucks have made it into the second round of the Stanley Cup finals so that is keeping me busy every second night. Updating the two desktop computers and backing up photos from the trip is giving me something to do during the days. Time is going by but my body's "batteries" are being recharged at the same time so it is not time lost.

I have booked a cheap flight to visit my sister in Kitchener, Ontario in June so I am looking forward to that. We have not seen each other in two years which is too long a time. Hopefully her kids will be able to make a visit at the same time so I can see everyone. I have been watching for a seat sale to save some money and last night I was checking and found a seat out for $50 and a return nine days later for $100. Of course they add "taxes" of over $150 each way but it was still a good deal for $433 total. It is with Sunwing Charters so I know I will have only about 12" legroom for my 6' 4" body but I can put up with that. The flight out is an all-nighter but I should be able to get at least some sleep on the plane. Seeing my favorite sister will make up for any inconveniences!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Election Results

Well, it is over! We have yet another Conservative Majority Government to put up with for another term. The "Liberal" Party totally collapsed as well as Quebec's party, the Bloc Quebecois. The NDP has become the Official Opposition. This is a good thing as we have always supported and worked for the NDP both Federally and Provincially. Norma has been Campaign Manager all across Canada in many elections and I have worked full time on several campaigns as Official Agent. Norma has also worked for several elected members in Terrace, Victoria and Ottawa. In other words, we have put in our time.

It is great to see Jack Layton as leader of the Opposition. We have waited a long time for this. Quebec voters decided to put their separatist wishes aside for now and gave their votes to the only other socialist party, the NDP. It will be an interesting time in Ottawa.

I would rather have seen the NDP form Government (even a Minority Government) of course but the results are not all bad. At least with the Conservatives you know what you are facing. They tell you what they are going to do and then they do it, unlike the "Liberals" who said one thing and did another. You never knew where you stood with them as they tried to straddle the line between the right and the far right.

The green emblem at the bottom of the chart is the Green Party who elected Elizabeth May from British Columbia, their first member ever!

The lines are drawn, the enemy is in sight and the game begins!







Monday, May 2, 2011

Election Night in Canada

Today we voted! We voted NDP, as usual. The big difference is, this time the NDP has a shot! They will come either first or second (probably second) and then the third place "Liberals" will have to choose to prop up either the "Conservitives" whom they profess to hate or the NDP, whom they claim to be on the "left" with. I think when the chips are down, the Liberals will support the Conservatives. They will not accept playing second fiddle to Jack Layton's NDP and Jack (thankfully) will not hand the Prime Minister's seat to the "I'm Proud To Be An American" Ignatieff.

The Liberals are not that different from the conservatives anyway. They have always campaigned from the left and governed from the right. They will make good bedfellows for the Tories.

I have been trying to get some of the eastern results on Twitter but Canada's censorship laws seem to have reached even into Twitter's world. It is OK to Tweet from a war zone or from a revolution but to share election results in a so called free country? Never!

It will be an interesting night! Almost as much fun as hockey.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

“Dark Complected Man” Dies

Orlando Bosch; Cuban exile, CIA contractor, terrorist, assassin, and long suspected of being the “dark complected man” (DCM) acting bizarrely at the scene of the JFK assassination, died in Miami on April 27th at the age of 85. The DCM was in the company of the “Umbrella Man” (UM) on the curb right next to Kennedy’s limousine when the fatal shots were fired on November 22, 1963 in Dallas.

As the limousine carrying Kennedy approached the pair the UM strangely raised an umbrella and “pumped” it. Seconds later and immediately following the shot striking Kennedy in the throat about ten feet in front of the pair, the DCM raised his arm in an apparent signal. As the limousine sped away and bystanders were still sprawled on the ground or running away, the pair calmly sat on the curb and chatted.

Photo 1) The “Dark Complected Man” and the “Umbrella Man” calmly sitting on the curb near the “Grassy Knoll” chatting moments after the fatal shots.
DCM and UM take it easy, while assassination witness Bill Newman
and his family still lie on the ground; half-lying on the ground also
is Cheryl McKinnon (center), who heard shots from the knoll and
saw "puffs of white smoke." (Photo by Art Rickerby)
Photo 2) A different shot of the pair. Photo analysts determined (although not conclusively) that the man on the left in the white jacket is Orlando Bosch.
Photo 3) From the Zapruder film, as JFK has been shot in the throat. The umbrella is open, and the Dark-Complected Man's arm is raised.
The “Umbrella Man”, Louie Steven Witt, a Dallas warehouse manager, testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations after being identified and turned in by a co-worker. He told them he raised the umbrella because he “knew it would annoy Kennedy”. This statement was typically never pursued by the HSCA or anyone else. The DCM’s raised arm is suspected to be a signal to the shooters that the first (second?) shot had hit and/or that another shot was required to finish the President off.

One theory is that the assassins wanted Kennedy to know (in his final seconds) exactly why he was being killed. The umbrella symbolized Kennedy's recent refusal to provide a covering “umbrella” of air support during the CIA’s failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. The term had been widely used and the significance of the raised umbrella would have instantly been understood by Kennedy.

Did the Cuban Exile community work with the CIA, FBI, DPD and unknown other lettered groups in the assassination? Lee Harvey Oswald, the fall guy, certainly had connections to that community as well as to the CIA.

Orlando Bosch was educated in Cuba as a medical doctor and was a university acquaintance of Fidel Castro. He left Cuba for the USA shortly before Castro’s revolution only to soon return to attempt to organize a counter-revolution. He failed in this attempt and fled back to the USA.

Former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh called Bosch an "unrepentant terrorist." He was accused of taking part in Operation Condor and several other terrorist attacks, including the 6 October 1976 bombing of a Cuban civilian airliner in which all 73 people on board were killed, including many young members of a Cuban fencing team and five North Koreans. The bombing is alleged to have been plotted at a 1976 meeting in Washington, D.C. attended by Bosch (who later bragged of his involvement), Luis Posada Carriles, and DINA agent Michael Townley. At the same meeting, the assassination of Chilean former minister Orlando Letelier is alleged to have been plotted. Orlando Bosch was pardoned by George H. W. Bush over the objections of his Attorney General.

A June 2009 edition of the Cuban state newspaper Granma expressed anger at the lack of criminal charges, stating, "months after the administration change in Washington, nothing seems to have changed in the banana republic where the monstrous Orlando Bosch, the pediatrician killer, sleeps peacefully in his bed."

A report of my visit to Dealey Plaza in Dallas can be read here and here.