Sunday, 31 July 2016

Sunday snoose day.

This wonderful day started with the sky being hidden behind a veil of grey cloud that matched the mood I was in. So here I am now all ready to rock and role. After looking at a few of the places where I get my stories from I did a little back checking as to their neutrality. This has resulted in a wee bit of a shakeup.  I just finished cleaning out my news links on the personal confuser so hopefully the stuff I post will be a little less biased one way or another.  I found over the last few months my links have been biased towards the right (conservative) side of the spectrum and I haven't been too happy with that. I simply don't like being played by the media or anyone else for that matter and I hate everybody.

Now with that said (written) here are a few links for you.

I'm going to start out and say that I use WhatsApp. I like it because I figured that it was secure, much more so than MS Messenger. While I don't have any top secret stuff to transmit over the electronic highway, I figure if you want to look at the stuff I send you might as well have to work for it. Well now I learn that WhatsApp may just not be as secure as I thought it was. It appears that when something is deleted it may not as deleted as was thought. Just goes to show the adage "if it too sensitive to see in a newspaper then it's too sensitive to text" is true. Opsec people, opsec.

Here's a guy that really needs to get some mouthwash to get that taste of foot out of his mouth after putting his foot in. The Donald trashes Colorado city's fire marshal for not giving more time off to firefighters (protect the city? Meh) so they could visit his rally, then he has to be rescued by the same fire department from a stuck elevator.

Everyone has the right to free speech but like all the other rights, there is an obligation not to misuse it. Here is a person who just doesn't understand the concept

Just when you think that all is lost, on the other side of the coin there are Muslims like these guys. These guys rock.

One would think with all the animosity towards police in the United States coupled with the ever present cell phone and social media, police officers would be a little more careful. Well as I am fond of saying, you can't fix stupid.

Then there is this incident. Corrections officials arrest a woman in here underwear, leave her in that state of undress for three days then parade her in court where the female judge goes into low Earth orbit. What the hell were these guys thinking?

It's trash day and you get the trash to the curb on time and all is good. Then, as you are having your first cup of coffee you look outside as the garbage truck goes by and see a bear on top of it...  Wait, what?

There is an old saying:
Pain is nature's way of saying "don't do that!" and pain killers are mankind's way of saying "Ha, just watch me!"
 Well here is a story about a couple of people who found that out... the hard way.

OK it's time to wrap this up. I'm sure you have a life just as I do, so that's it for me from up here North of Disorder.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

It's the long weekend...

The long weekend is upon Ontario, and not just us. Our Monday holiday in Ontario is Simcoe Day however in other parts of Canada they have B.C. Day, Regatta Day, Saskatchewan Day, Natal Day, New Brunswick Day, Heritage Day, Colonel By Day, Joseph Brant Day. So with the exception of those party poopers in Quebec, it's party weekend.

We started our long weekend as we do every two weeks with cocktails on the deck. I started with a glass of a very nice twelve year old Irish whiskey with just a touch of water. Red Brest is a whiskey that I highly recommend. It tastes great and is less filling. Then I moved on to some wine. Our guest wanted some wine and had only a glass, well with a mostly full bottle and my nature of not wanting to wast good wine... Hey it was a Malbec.  Add to all this, my wonderful wife visited the farmers market yesterday and came home with several vodka donuts. They are like German Berliners but the filling is a creamy substance infused with vodka. So good doesn't begin to describe how these taste. 

I was up this morning early, without a hangover I might add. I was not exactly feeling any pain when I hit the rack last night and so I slept. Now as I sit here writing this entry the two little bastards on my left side are letting me know they are there and are making up for the fact I managed to sleep last night. One more week until the CT scan then hopefully I can be shut of these little monsters. 

Well that's enough of my whining, so here are a few links. 

 Hey have you notice some changes with the weather? Well it may not be global warming after all.

Next time you go for a stroll in the woods think about this and don't let it freak you out too much.  Mind you if you love plants and trees it will not bother you at all.

Here is an article that just makes me shake my head. Only in the United States would a person consider doing this. Why? Because Florida. 

So if you want a free tank of gas just visit this gas station in Russia wearing high heels and a two piece swimsuit. Male or female, it don't matter. 

Have you ever wondered what you would do with a three million lottery win? I guess that some peoples dreams are different than others

And on that note I shall end this entry. That's all from up here North of Disorder.


Friday, 29 July 2016

It's tough being a luddite

After sleeping in this morning I was up and at 'em with a flourish. Today is cleaning day, a day where several wonderful people enter our home and take care of the things my wife and I hate to do. The cost is moderate and the result is a cleaner home and I don't have to deal with toilets. I know, we could clean and we do except for the nasty bits. So as the mop and pail brigade blitz my humble abode, here I sit on the deck trying to think about thing to write about.  

This morning as I sipped my cup of java I decided to get a little more organized than I am. The first step was to start recording appointments followed by creating a "to-do" list. Naturally I went to my Microsoft Mail program because it has a great calendar. When I couldn't find it I remembered that I had deleted it. I didn't like the intrusiveness of the program. So I went online to see what was available. 

I found this wonderful MS calendar app and installed it. Well of course it wanted all sorts of access that I really didn't want to give it. Delete...  Then I took a look at another "simple" calendar app that fit my criteria and installed it only to find the "free" app was one of those trial things. The problem was, after a month, when they had all my data hostage it would be time to pony up  some cash.  Delete... Eventually I did find a workable solution, an app called Productivity Helper. While it's a Micro Soft App it's not a trial version and it doesn't want to link into my other accounts. My antivirus looked at it and said it's OK so for now I'm going to use it. I'm a firm believer in TANSTAAFL, I just wonder what the catch is.

The only issues with this app are the initial set up. I don't want all the flowery backgrounds and the other extraneous paraphernalia. All I want is something to tell me when I have a appointment and when my wife is at wherever and to jot down daily to-do stuff. 

I'm not really a fan of Micro Soft but for me it's the only real game in town. I while ago I tried a little experiment. I'm lucky enough to have a second laptop. It's older and doesn't have a lot of the bells and whistles the one I am writing this has but it works. I installed an operating system on it called Ubuntu which is a Linux based. Being the ham fisted, mongoloid featured, knuckle dragging, gorilla lipped, Luddite I am, well of course I couldn't get it to work. But as they say never say die so my next experiment will be to try an install of Mac OS X Leopard, if I can get my hands on a free copy. But that is in the future, for now I will stick with Micro Soft. 

Well that's about all I have for today from up here North of Disorder. 


Thursday, 28 July 2016

Not happy at all with the service...

This morning I got one of "those calls..." It was from the customer service folks over at LG wanting to spring a survey on me regarding the recent repair of my vacuum. The questions brought all the memories rushing back about how the CSR's at LG didn't know their product, directed me to contact repair shops that were out of business. Then there was the dealing with the guys who did the repairs and the shoddy way I was treated there. I remember how I dealt with customers while working at the zoo. If I had treated them the way I was treated, I would have been terminated. 

OK enough of this, these memories are starting to get me worked up so it's time to move along.  

Our kitty is back to normal. Last night I turned in at the regular time and gave her royal highness some treats and played with her for a bit then the world faded to black and I slept. While I slept I'm sure my mischievous little fuzz ball was plotting a little revenge. Sure enough around an hour later she sprang onto the bed then onto my side where there are already issues. One thing our cat knows very well is the adage revenge is a dish best served cold.  I can't close the door because the result would be a night of caterwauling and to leave the door open (as I do) there are the nighttime visits. Sigh... I love my cat...  I love my cat... I love my cat... I love my cat...

Here are a few links for you.

One of the sites I look at very regularly is The Art of Manliness. It is a site that I recommend because of all the insights that I have gotten there over the years. Take today's post, it is titled 50+ Old Fashioned Insults We Should Bring Back. I guess that I'm old because I still use some of these. 

After reading this about how people are now naming babies after Pokemon characters I am slowly starting to fear for the future of humanity. It's rather ironic that the late author Robert Heinlein described these times in several books, calling it "the crazy years."  

I'm a little disappointed, there was a way of thinning out the Pokemon fools in Japan and now they are changing things to make the game safer. Now I ask you, where's the fun in that?  

It's a long way away until the circus that is the US elections ends in November. As a public service announcement here are a few ways to survive the internet until then

The moral to this story is if you are going to "acquire" photos on the internet and sell them as yours, it would be a good thing not to try and shake down the actual photographer for cash who still owns the copyright to those photos. 
And speaking of copyright enforcement, it looks like the Olympic committee has gone a little overboard.  

Here is one of those stories that makes a person go hummm... Not the "hummm... he stinks" variety but the "hummm... could this be real?" variety. All I have to say is "Time travelers, strictly cash."

Have you ever wondered how many folks believe what they see/read in comics and  movie/TV shows could happen? Given how many are afraid of Superhuman Tech I suspect more than you think.

Last but never least, here is an article that will make sure you never look at kinder eggs the same way again. 

Well enough of this, until the morrow that's all from up here North of Disorder.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Just another day

Yesterday I went out to the vet's in the late afternoon and picked up our cat. After settling up with the vet (ouch!) I brought Puttie Tat home. Of course on the way there were the kitty meowed accusations asking how I could have done this to her. The big difference was the  drugs which were still coursing through her system and hadn't totally worn off. When I got my little cargo home and opened the crate she hesitated a second before stepping out, probably wondering what fresh hell awaited her. 

It took a while before she trusted my wife (the innocent party) or me (the rat bastard who caused all the world's pain and suffering) enough to come over and say hi. In the end she did come around, at least to my wife. Me, she just ignored. I was just the so and so who caused all the issues. 

I had to laugh, when I turned in for the night she came up, sat on the bed and said one little meow. Then she simply sat there, not coming close enough for me to pet just close enough for me to toss her some treats. 

Every night when I turn in  I like to make peace with her majesty for the transgressions I have made towards her during the day. I give her some Danegeld in the form of treats. In the past this would give me a fighting chance at some sleep before she decided it was time for us to play. Not tonight, this was her way of demanding tribute for the indignation I had put her through. Oh well at least on the plus side she didn't roust me at oh-my-God it's early. 

Here are a few links for you since I was negligent in adding them yesterday. 

It was nice to see that the Liqueur Control board of Ontario has come into the twenty first century. Now you can mail order your booze and for a moderate price have your hooch delivered to your door. 

The Solar Impulse finally ended it's year long flight around the world. Yes there were a few setbacks but they made it. While it is really cool that they managed to fly around the world using only the power of the sun, I don't thing the aircraft manufacturers and airlines have that much to worry about given it took a year to circle the globe.

These guys simply will not give up. First they campaign on a body of untruths and manage to get Keystone killed. Not content with that, now they have started a new offensive to get Energy East ended

He's back in action, Matt Damon as Jason Bourne is set to hit the big screen on the twenty ninth of July. I still remember the first time I read the Jason Bourne novels by Robert Ludlum. In each case I was screwed for reading anything else of that genre for months because the other authors were just lacking... While the movies have very little to do with the books in their own way they ain't too bad either.

Here for you is a public service announcement, when a dog owner tells you not to try and pert his dog after you have asked, don't try and pet the dog. The dog may just not like to be petted and take offense

In case you were wondering, this is called an overshoot.

OK enough of this, things to do, places to go etc... That's it from me up here North of Disorder.



Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Cats have staff

This morning I actually managed to be up, washed dressed and out of the house at seven thirty five. Just in case you misunderstood that, here it is again numerically... 07:35. Who knew the sun was out at that ungodly hour? I sure had forgotten what it was like to see the sun at such a low angle and to know somewhere deep inside me it was rising and not setting. 

I know, you are asking your self "Self, what the hell was he doing up so early?" Well let me tell you, it was take your cat to the vet day. That poor cat of mine didn't know what hit her. I was up at seven, showered and dressed by seven thirty when I propositioned the cat carrier with door open and fetched her majesty. Our fuzz ball is very tiny, always has been and probably always will be. So it was easy to flip her onto her back and slide her into the carrier. No fuss, no muss. 

Puddie Tat
On the way to the vet's place, Puddie tat (what else does one call a black and white cat?) was not a very happy camper. It's a good thing I don't speak cat, I have the distinct feeling my little fuzz ball was using some very colorful cat language. Her majesty is strictly an indoor cat. I had the unmitigated gall to bring her outside into the sunny and warm elements, in a cage no less. 

Best explanation of the relationship between cats and people
Now the waiting game is on. Waiting for the updates and when we can go get her to bring her home. On the plus side Puddie Tat isn't like some of the others we have had. She at least gets over her cat mad quickly which means we will only have a couple of days where she is ugly. People who don't have cats really don't understand how true the saying "Dogs have masters, cats have staff" is. 

Well that's about all I have to squawk about from up here North of Disorder.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Another day...

Last night was a good night with the exception of the heat, the cat, the thunderstorms it made for good sleeping. This morning the alarm went off at eight and, with the best of intentions, I found myself fighting to wake up enough so I could  roll over and turn the damn thing off. I figure with the little amount that we create and I get to put on to the curb it could hold off another week. 

It's a nice warm overcast day so this afternoon after I put this puppy to bed I'm going to get some work on the new/old trailer done. Who knows I may actually finish it today. No rush on the project, I'm retired. 

Yesterday my lovely lady and I went to the semi big city for dinner. It was a fun filled evening with great food and good friends. It was the birthday of my brother-in-law so we had the advantage of seeing the nieces of whom we don't see enough of. The other usual suspects were there and together the merriment was at a good level. After dinner we went to the beach so the kids could play and we "adults" could chat over coffee. One of the things I like about being with these guys is the mixture of humour, fun and insightful commentary. Yes in all it was a good day. 

I see that part two of the Ringling Brothers Circus is in town. Like the RNC the DNC has gotten off to a rocky start. I think it will settle down but seeing things like this doesn't help. It's a good thing there are no booths at these things selling rope or there would be, as they used to say, necktie social. 

Ms. Clinton has finally released the name of her running mate. From the outset it looks like he is a good choice with the exception of his initials which have already been put to good use. As I wrote earlier the circus is in town. 
On Facebook the other day I commented on a post from a friend that this was an election with the two front runners being Eva Perón and Benito Mussolini. Here is an example of why I think this, watch this video and think about the "Make America great" speeches of the Donald. 

To make this even more creepy the newsreel is from Fox News Service, the predecessor of Fox News. . 

I'm happy to see the progress that has been made with the Canadian Senate. Over the last few years there has been a push to get rid of these guys. The thoughts being that they don't do anything and are just a rubber stamp. I have argued in the past that when run properly the Senate is another check and balance against a despotic government. Well it now looks like they are actually stepping up and doing their job

Another day and another terrorist act in Germany. This latest event was a bombing by another ISIS supporter in Ansbach, Germany. If the Gods smile upon my wife and I we are supposed to visit friends and family in Germany this fall. I admit these events do have me a bit spooked but then I read something like this and I'm reminded to take a breath and put things into perspective.

After a bit of a false start it looks like the federal government may actually get off it's collective duff and get something done about replacing the CF-18 fighter fleet. There is a lot of argument in the media for and against the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Personally while having a stealth fighter is nice I don't really think it is the be all and end all. The issue is that stealth protects against the fighter being detected by radar. This is wonderful except for the fact that fighters also give off heat and can be detected by Infrared.

Well that's all I got for now. The new/old trailer calls so it's time to get a little work done. That's it for me from North of Disorder.    


Sunday, 24 July 2016

Yes I'm still here...

Last few days have been hotter than Hades. With the heat, I've been a little lethargic. Yesterday I was doing a very good impression of a koala bear except I wasn't stoned on eucalyptus leaves, I was flaked out because of the heat. The exception to laying around all day at home was a visit to a friends place and doing a little swimming. Yes I was...

Swimming with the wimmin...

As I was writing this epic one of the neighbors dropped in. Now I have an excuse for putting this blog out later today than I was going to. L is a very nice person who was a little concerned about my wife's welfare and, to a smaller degree, mine. Well we are still here so "it's all good."  Kidding aside it was a nice thoughtful gesture for L to stop by.  

Enough about my so called life, here are a few links that caught my eye this morning. 

The British Royal Navy is looking for a few good men who are grown up enough to be away from social media like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter etc for three month stretches. This is the biggest hurdle facing recruiters these days who are looking to fill spaces on sub crews. I say bring back the press gangs...

With everything I'm seeing in the news these days about Pok​émon Go and the silliness of the players, I'm starting to think they should add another word to the name - away.  Just the other day some players wandered across the border into the US from Canada while playing with the predictable results. Then there is the story about a journalist who was caught playing Pok​émon Go during a State Department briefing on ISIS.

I was just reading in the BBC how it was an extraordinary first week for Boris Johnson. Meanwhile the French are showing their displeasure with him and his Brexit by making people wait and wait and wait... 

This little gizmo (a jet powered hoverboard) is really cool. After reading the story I got to thinking that if I had the coordination this would be a really cool thing to have. Sadly the American military thinks it would be a cool thing to have too. A military firm bought the company which means the hoverboard will never see the civilian market, damn. 

So ya wanna go to the states eh? Well if you were wanting to know where all the guns are so you can be safe ask no more... 

Well that's about it from me up here North of Disorder.

Friday, 22 July 2016

It's alive!!!

I just got back from the Doctor's office and it's a good news, bad news story. The good news is it looks like I'm going to be around for a while and the bad news (for some) is that it looks like I'm going to be around for a while. On the plus side when I whined about the kidney stones that have yet to be dealt with, the Doc did give me some recommendations for pain management. Ah better living through better chemistry. I can't help but think how I have screwed the pooch on this, when I learned the issue was a pair of kidney stones I should have thanked the Doctor then went to emergency and had them deal with it. Oh well, you live and learn or you don't live long. 

Today is shaping up to be another scorcher with temps up in the eighties and humid index values in the nineties. While it's like this, I don't think that I shall be doing any serious work. I know, any excuse in a storm, sigh. 

So here are a few links for you...

It's summertime and the living is easy with the only real issue for most being mosquitoes. Well good news everyone, scientists have discovered a sure fire way to repel the little bastards. The first step is to buy a live chicken...

From North Korea there are reports that the government up there has started to send out batches of numbers over the radio once again. As I see it this is a attempt to do one of three things; give instructions to sleeper agents, mess with the minds of South Korean officials or Kim Jong-un has taken up bingo. Personally my bet is with the bingo option.

Looks like somebody isn't happy with the way the city of Toronto is these days. All I gotta say is, don't hold back.

This month is a sad one for those who still like VCR's. The end of this month will mark the end of VCR production. My only question about this is who the hell has been buying enough VCR's to warrant production until now?  

Soon the Olympics will be in full swing. With all the issues about mosquito born viruses and such this little story has crept in under the radar. Jousting. Yes there is a move afoot to introduce this sport in to  the games. Personally I'm all for it, one can only watch so much track and field or water polo. So get out there and sign this petition and get a serious full contact equestrian sport in the games. Equestrian Meets Combat, sure doesn't get a lot better than that.

Well that's all for me from up here North of Disorder.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Thursday musings...

The fantasy - This is how I see myself
The reality -  Me ending up doing this, and not on purpose
Why do I punish myself? I've been looking online at bikes. I really, really want a bike of the vroom, vroom variety and I know I can't have one but of course I keep looking, hoping... Sigh... I should know better. There are two big reasons that I don't, and probably never will have a bike. The first reason is that I'm a responsible adult. OK I will pause for a moment to let you stop laughing and catch your breath... There better? Now as I was saying... The second reason was something one of my bike riding friends said to me. He looked me in the eye and told me that there were two kinds of bike riders. The first kind were the ones who have had accidents. Then he looked me closer in the eye and said that the second kind were the ones who haven't had accidents, yet. That one line struck a cord with me. The thought of my old body in a ditch or worse stuck in my mind. But I still look, I still dream.

Today the heat returns with the wave rolling in this afternoon. Tonight I shall once again be a cellar dweller. It's cool and quiet except for the inevitable cat springing up from the floor onto my guts around two or three in the morning. 

This afternoon I'm going to be out and about in the heat, It's time for a visit with the marquis de sade dentist. I shouldn't say that about them they are actually a good group. The last time (I hope) I had a root canal I almost fell asleep under the dentist's care. The other good thing is when we go to the dentist we always stop at a little German deli and stock up. 

Well enough about me here are some links for you.  

Here is a story that gave me pause. It is a story that should remind us all that there are no dangerous weapons just dangerous people as this octogenarian proved with a pound of bacon.  

Here is a little bit of information free of charge and worth every penny. If you ever find yourself in the position of needing the Police, before you call them step one is to put your pipebombs away. Remember the police are not a bomb maker's friend.

So you come home after a long day at the office. You hear some faint strange noises and figure it's probably mice. Then again maybe it's not mice at all, maybe it's...

So you want to go out and get a new ride but don't have the cash. Fair enough but when you do steal acquire your new ride might I suggest that you don't post the event on Snapchat.

Well that  is about all the time I have from up here North of Disorder.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing

I have been watching the Republican convention off and on the last day or so. It's a spectacle that so far could not have been better executed if it were brought to you by Ringling Brothers Circus. The Donald is playing the same role as Benito Mussolini did way back when. Meanwhile on the other side is Democratic party hopeful Hillary Clinton. Where The Donald is a Fascist, she could be filling the role of any number of corrupt, crooked leaders down through the centuries. 

A Fascist or a crooked politician, that's the choice Americans will face in November. You could say it is the same type of choice a lamb would make in deciding which of the two wolves it will surrender to. 

Some choice... 

Unlike many other Libertarians I am a moderate. Over the years I have been in many an online debate about government and the role of voting (yes I wrote the V word). Where a great many Libertarians refuse to vote and would rather throw a monkey wrench into the system, I exercise my franchise. I have always believed in something that Edmond Burk once said:  

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.   

Sadly this is what a lot of freedom loving Libertarians are saying to do, don't vote. This do nothing attitude has resulted in a no win scenario choice for America this November.

Right now, right under their turned (vote? I would rather die first!) up noses, there is a Libertarian candidate in the running whose name is Gary Johnson. Mr Johnson is polling in the low teens these days and is a serious threat to the Fascist Donald Trump and the crooked Hillery Clinton. There is so much discontent with Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton that Mr. Johnson could actually be a contender for the White House. While I'm sure that Mr. Johnson isn't perfect, I think he would be a damn sight better then the other two. Sadly the "I'd rather cut my nose off to spite my face" crowd will do nothing and give evil a free ride. 

One of the great Libertarian authors, Robert A Heinlein once wrote: 
 “If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for ... but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong.” 
Mr. Gary Jonson is that "vote against" alternative. Even though there are a lot more Libertarians out there than one would think it appears they are a do nothing group. It's too bad that my fellow Libertarians would rather talk a good game and let evil win. On the plus side if The Donald wins I'm sure he will make the trains run on time, probably as well as Bill Clinton did.

That's it from up here North of Disorder.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

The circus is in town.

Last night was a long one. A series of thoughts followed by other thoughts which were followed eventually by day break. I finally managed to doze off around six. Now I'm up with four and a half hours of sleep under my belt. I had forgotten what it was like to greet the new day from the other side. Right now I feel very lethargic, it's like the bad old days of shift work and I don't like it. 

You will be happy to know that the RNC circus is in town. Up and running in Cleveland, the Donald is holding court and things are turning out as many expected.

Surprisingly one of the big winners at the RNC convention is Mr. Chris Christie. He has managed to get his face out there, only this time it's on the official Chris Christie Bobblehead. Now if this had happened before he stepped down from his presidential candidacy... No, it wouldn't have helped. 

Enough of the politics, here are some real links. 

Not to much is known about the goings on in this story. It appears that there was a dispute between some city workers trying to lay pavement down and an  elderly woman. In the end the two sides would not budge with predictable results. This is a case of life imitating art, the art being a scene from Douglas Adam's Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - without the destruction of earth of course.

Remember the old days where if you didn't make the cheerleader team you simply sucked up the disappointment and moved on?  Well that was then and this is now.  

One thing I learned about criminal activity back in the day was the golden rule. If you are going to do something stupid, illegal and where there may be interaction with the law keep your big mouth shut about it or, in this case, don't post it on FaceBook

First there was "Don't text and drive. Now there is "Don't Pokemon and drive." Yes folks they drive among us. 

Finally here is a link about a service that I hope and pray will catch on, an adult ice cream truck

That's all from me up here North of Disorder.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Times that try men's souls

Today I think (I hope) will be a good day because so far there hasn't been any serious catastrophes. I've just taken a look at Twitter and it's same old, same old. On the various news feeds it is also business as usual and I hope this lasts. Mind you seeing this story from Baltimore I don't know how long the peace will hold, but one can hope.

For us Canadians one of the most serious things that has happened in the last few days was with the servers that support Pokemon Go. The folks in IT flipped the switch and... the server crashed. Not exactly the best of starts but it could have been worse. There were no riots in the streets, no bloodshed, no beatings or shootings so I will not bitch about it. 

I don't know about you, kind reader, these days the news has been slowly grinding me down. How many stories about attempted political coups, violence in the streets, police shootings etc. can a person take before the news gets turned off. Don't get me wrong I like reading dystopian novels, I just don't like living them, even vicariously through the media. 

I don't think this media calm is going to last much longer, the American GOP convention is about to start. Yes the Donald Trump circus is in town and the tents are being raised. It should be an "interesting time" in Cleveland no matter what precautions are taken.

Just remember one thing when you are watching the news. When the  fecal matter hits the air moving device and you are looking for expert information that expert may not be as expert as you are led to believe

Well that's it from up here North of Disorder.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Links Day

Today I really don't have a lot to blog about. It's another nice sunny day, my side was bugging me last night so sleep was hard to come by. In short, it's just another day for me. The only things I will have a go at, depending upon the temps, are the new/old trailer and chopping an old fire extinguisher in half. The extinguisher is for a friend's son who likes to smelt aluminum.  

I took a look this morning at the goings on around the globe. Some things are good, some are bad and some things are ugly. 

One of the first things to jump out at me this morning was an incident in Baton Rouge. This morning several (7?) police officers were shot with two (three?) being killed. The reports are a little sketchy right now, the news media are floating anything rumor wise as news. Several years ago I picked up a novel that scared the crap out of me. The novel, Unintended Consequences, details how people, when pushed to far, push back. maybe it's just me but these actions that have taken place against police in the past few weeks look a lot like stuff that was detailed in that book.

Meanwhile in New Zealand we have an example of great customer service. This restaurant owner dealt with a robber by ignoring him and serving his customers. 

Some people have cats, like us, as pets. Some people have dogs as pets. There are others who have fish and birds and a few even have snakes as pets which is also fine. Then there is this person... 

Looks like this guy had some explaining to do to the police, fire department, the guys who recover bodies from waterways, etc, etc. All this explaining because he wanted a slice of pizza

Summertime, a time when freezies are at their most valuable and when there's value there's the risk of theft. Just think of this the next time you stop for one of these wonderful summer treats, you may be buying a bootlegged item.

Well it had to happen, there has been the first incident of "shots fired" while playing pokeman go. Why? Because, Florida...

Here's something to ask yourself, have you ever been so drunk that you sneaked into a jail

Enough of this frivolity for now that's a wrap from up here north of disorder.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Bottle of wine, fruit of the vine...

Last night was Friday night and we had a few people over for some laughs, some munchies, some drinks and to relax. Silly me I had forgotten what a cheap drunk I am and polished off the better part of a wine bottle. As the saying goes "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch" so this morning I was up and looking for pain killers at the crack of eight forty. Actually it wasn't so much the head issue as it was the eye issue. My head didn't hurt that much but allergies have reared their ugly head. Right now I feel like gouging my eyes out with a spoon. Not to worry this to shall pass due to the antihistamines I just took. Ah, better living through better chemistry. 

I see that the folks in Turkey had an eventful evening. Last night, before the gang came over, word came out that there was a coup under way. Last night I posted "I would say Turkish government is going to evolve significantly in the next few hours if it survives the night." Well the Turkish government managed to hold on and the call has gone out to round up the usual suspects. The final tally for the butcher's bill was 161 killed and 2,839 plotters arrested.

 Remember the other day when a driver took a large truck into a crowd and killed eighty four people in France? As it turns out this could have been a lot worse. Word has surfaced about a guy who got the chance and jumped into the truck as it drove past him. Then he managed to get the driver's attention by wrestling with him which resulted in the truck stopping and the police moving in. He wasn't the only one to try this, another guy on a motorcycle tried as well. Unfortunately for the bike guy, during the attempt he dumped the bike and went under the rear wheels of the truck. I am not going to make fun of these two they did what I would like to think I would try to do. It takes a special kind of person to put themselves in harms way and these two are heroes. 

Last night we got to talking about where we would like to visit on vacation. Personally, while I do have a bit of a bucket list, I live in cottage country so life is good for me. A few of the gang, my lovely wife included, said the would like to visit Australia. I agreed except for the fact the whole country is covered with many things that are out to kill you. In reading the story I was reminded of a novel written by Harry Harrison called Death World. I know, it can't be that bad, but...

Almost forgot... Being the gun nut that I am (hey, I get a bang out of it so sue me) when I saw this story I figured that I would share it. All I will say is this guy needs to pick up some lottery tickets. 

Ah the life of a union guy. Go to work, punch in at the time clock, put in your eight hour shift and go home. Meanwhile the town bosses are wondering why things are not getting done. Well when half the town workers are playing hooky getting things done can be a problem. 

She is ninety one, a lover of crossword puzzles and at a museum where there is a huge piece of art on display based on a crossword puzzle so what could go wrong?

Finally here is a link that shows conclusively how technology has rotted our your brains.

Well I see that I have managed to loose half the morning and there are things that need to get done. That's it from me up here North of Disorder.

Friday, 15 July 2016


Last night the unthinkable happened in Nice France, a mass murder took place. As of this morning the ferry man has taken eighty four souls across the river styx. That total also includes up to  a dozen and a half children. Tweeting or posting condolences on Facebook or other social media seems so useless that I'm not even going to bother. The emotions that filled me last night are still there. Last night I felt a combination of rage and sadness. Rage that somebody could wantonly murder people and sadness that comes of thinking about the dead children. 

Last night's action in Nice was an act of war, nothing more, nothing less. The French government's response was predictable, an order has gone out to step up the ISIS bombing and the state of emergency has been extended. Like the game of wack-a-mole the French are using the hammer and smacking the mole that has surfaced once again. The French will keep on hitting the mole and the mole will keep popping up in other places to hit back.  

The fact is we live in a free society and with that freedom comes a price. The more freedom a society has the grater risk and less safety people who live there will have. The safer the people are the less freedom they will have.

Last night I listened to a university prof explaining how the authorities failed to protect the people who were murdered. Yes there were precautions the French authorities could have taken but didn't. They could have banned all truck movement, placed anti truck barriers at all the access points... yes they had options. So why didn't the do something? Simply put this incident was falls into the category of being catastrophic but also being in the low probability range. Yes the authorities could have done things but  to what end? What ever moves the authorities make there is always counter moves. Unless the object is to totally remove all freedom there will always be risk. 

One thing to think about when you read/see/hear the "they should have" or "they could have done" stories. Ask yourself this, how much freedom are you willing to give up to be safe. Are you willing to give up any semblance of privacy?  Turns out the 31-year-old Franco-Tunisian terrorist was not on any watch list so how would he have been discovered? Are you willing to be subject to random roadblocks and searches? Maybe this would have led to the bad guy being caught but your travel time will be increased substantially. Or you can take into account this world is a dangerous place and take precautions to mitigate the risks. 

That's enough from me for now up here North of Disorder.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Out of the nowhere... into the here

Last night something happened to me that was almost akin to a miracle, I slept. I am cursed by being a light sleeper, always have been and probably will be until I shrug off this mortal coil. 

Every night the same routine happens, I trundle off to bed around eleven or so next a few hours later my lovely wife will join me. This usually results in my being woke up. This is not here fault, I am simply a light sleeper. Time will pass, usually a half hour to an hour and I will fall back into the land of slumber. Once I am safely in the arms of Morpheus my cat will usually decide to join me. Mostly our cat will leave my wife alone and I will be the target, especially if I am not on the correct side facing the way our cat thinks I should be. The result of all this action is my night is usually toast. I mostly will doze off again but it simply isn't the same with the result that I roll out after ten, sometimes as late at eleven. Oh well as I was told years ago sympathy can be found in the dictionary between sh*t and syphilis.

Today, now that I am actually awake, I'm going to do something I should have done a while ago, pick up some materials for the old/new trailer. On the list are wiring, connectors and depending upon the price lights. Saturday is supposed to be a perfect day so the game plan is to get the project done, finished, complete, finito...  

Earlier, being a news junkie I am, I was getting my daily news fix. Now I shall share with you some of the gems that I have gathered from the vast sum of human knowledge called the Internet. 

First up is a modern tale of Shakespearean origin. In Henry V act IV good King Harry takes a disguise and walks among the troops in the English camp at Agincourt. As it turns out the practice of walking among the peasants is still going on. The other night the Queen after a day at the races dropped into a pub for some dinner and a pint. Oh to have been in that pub when good Queen Liz showed up. 

I wonder if it's just me or what. Given my knowledge of the media industry, I was under the impression (I don't normally do impressions, my training was in security.) that reporters report the news not do things to get reported as news

About the Tenors and the Canadian national anthem, Ms.Christie Blatchford in her column writes about it in a way that is much better than I ever could

They did it, the international court in the Hague has ruled against the Chinese and their claim to a portion of the South China Sea. The good patriotic Chinese have gone a little nuts with their protests by smashing their iPhones and boycotting Filipino mangoes. When I see thing like this I am reminded of a scene in the first star wars movie where C3PO says to R2D2... "Let the wookie win." With the size of China's military this stratagem might not me such a bad thing. 

Here at home looks like the Feds have started the long process of beating ploughshares into swords. I wonder if this is the end of Mr. Trudeau's innocence. 

This is a fish that would have been cool to keep but they had to toss it back. Well at least they have a great fishing tail to spin when they get home and hit the pub.  

Well that's it for me from up here North of Disorder.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Hot enough for ya?

Every summer there are around a half dozen nights where the heat makes sleep elusive. When a cat is tossed into the mix for me sleep simply isn't in the cards. Last night was one of “those nights.” This morning I managed to crawl out at a respectable hour but the night has left me feeling like I have done a couple of rounds in a ring with Joe Louis. I've been up a while and that lethargic feeling just will not leave even after taking a cup of that magic elixir of life known as coffee.

Last night my lovely, charming and smarter than me wife suggested that I sleep in the cool basement. Being the guy that I am of course I told here that everything's OK and I would sleep in my own bed. This action on my part was like getting into a fist fight and leading with my face. Well as I learned growing up one lives and learns or one doesn't live long. Tonight I shall be a cellar dweller.

The agenda for today has only three letters on it because of the heat. Those letters are SFA. The first letter stands for sweet the third letter stands for all and as for the middle letter F, I will let you try to figure that out for yourself. Being the nice guy I am, here's a hint: the word rhymes with truck.

So here for you are a few links. Not as many as I would like to bring you but it's hot out and I'm not really in the mood to scour the web as I usually do. 

Hospital opens and the first birth is recorded this was a wonder momentous occasion. Now twenty seven years later that child returns

Silly me I always thought the object of running away from police was to get away from the police. Well it looks like I was wrong

have you ever had difficulty in getting out of a car? This bear sure has had his issues with car interiors and car doors. 

It's one thing to have a data breach exposed to the public. It's a totally different matter to tell the person warning you about the breach before they go to press that they don't know what they are talking about

Well it's after Brexit and your coffee is now a little more expensive.

Tesla auto pilot issues... 'Nuff said

That's it, I've had enough so I'm off the the cool basement.  Signing off from up here North of Disorder.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Bringing new life to old things

This is my new/old trailer. Note the lid on the side
Looking back over my shoulder at yesterday, I can say that it was a good day. I worked on the new/old trailer for a while until the heat got to me. I've reached the point with the new/old trailer where I actually have a workable plan of action. In addition I actually managed to make some headway with that project. While I didn't get as much done as I wanted, I did get some work done. The lid is off and disassembled which was such a joy to do. The lid was made from a single sheet of one inch thick heavy plywood. Not content with this the builder added additional one inch thick wood supports making it real heavy. If the trailer had a gun mount on it the damn thing would be a tank. The builder used whatever bolts and screws he had on hand. Nothing was standard not even the nut/bolt sizes or types. 

Painted spare tire mount
I found time and again that I had to go back into the workshop to get a different sized wrench/socket/screwdriver because wherever something was bolted on with three or four bolts they wouldn't be the same sizes or some nuts were metric some imperial. Add to all this everything, and I do mean everything, was covered with a very thick heavy coat of paint. The builder even went to the trouble of painting the wires.  I took off the spare tire mount because the amount of paint on it made the damn thing useless. No matter how hard I tried with the trailer mount in a vice the nut simply would not turn so I gave up. I guess I could use paint stripper but I don't want the headache of dealing with the chemicals on the grass.

The new/old trailer wires are in very poor shape
My next quest will be sorting the wires out. It should be a simple task however since the builder painted all the wires red this is a challenge. What I'm actually going to do is pickup new stuff and rewire the trailer. I may add LED tail lights depending upon the price tag. All this is going to have to hold off until the outside heat subsides. 

It's a little after twelve and the difference between the outside and inside temps is noticeable. The weathertainers are calling for triple H (hot humid and hazy) conditions today right through the end of Thursday. Since I don't own a space suit and the outside temps are supposed to mimic the surface of mercury at noon, I'm not planning on doing much for the next few days.

That's a wrap for now from up here, North of disorder.

New shiny

I was going to get my blood work done this morning, so I was up at the crack of nine thirty(ish). After doing the shower thing and making...