Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Mr. Obama has succeeded in being elected in the US, his single greatest rallying cry was "change".

The change you so ferverently hope for will have nothing to do with removing politicians from the trough or bringing about honesty in government and wishing won't make it so. The "change" will involve a depression economy, depression "attitudes", the equivalent of the "new deal", infill of urban areas, kids with families living with their parents, the loss of mobility (due to lack of fuel and the slapping of toll booths on previously "free" highways), the corrosion of housing prices, stock options and the US dollar. The costs of attending university will be out of reach to even more people, and the loss of jobs will produce a {hopefully temporary} welfare state. Y'all will be darned lucky to avoid a police state.

In my wildest dreams I don't forsee a golden age. Gosh knows I would love to be optomistic, but I don't see any new railways being laid down, or the electrification of existing railways. I don't see any widespread regulations being made to require new housing to be superinsulated, or even to be situated on the lot to take advantage of the sun! (Not that there is any new housing going on anyway.) I see big talk about improving the "infrastructure" as if anybody will be able to drive on it, but nothing about improving public transit.

Oh well....we got our own problems in Canada...in fact Canadian politics is getting quite fascinating. Nobody seems concerned that three quarters of the business in Canada are owned by US businesses which are facing receivership. Not the least of which is the foreign owned GM which is asking the Canadian Government for a BIG handout, and not to be outdone, the totally foreign owned forestry industry is demanding the same.

Yet, I am not gloomy, really. There are unprecedented opportunities coming down the road if we only reach out to take advantage of them. The internet is not just about porn nowadays, its about learning and education. Increasingly, the doctorates you get from colleges are becoming irrelevant. The auto companies may be forced to create autos that people can actually buy, and maybe they can re-tool some of their assembly lines to create electric tramways. They don't have to be "steam punk" trams, but that would be nice....grin!

Well, you wanted change. I DO hope you like it. You will never go back to the days of happy motoring and hour long single occupant commutes, jobs that will pay enough to send your kids to university AND pay off the house. It'll be change to a lifestyle our parents would recognize from the dirty thirties when they built houses from rammed earth, churches all had huge soup kitchens attached to them, and families wouldn't see dad for months at a time because he was working at a job in another city.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A message from the Queen

> Subject: Message from your Queen

>>>>> To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign
> Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
>> In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent
> candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, or
> most recently to regulate your financial markets, we hereby give
> notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

>> (You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

>> Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical
> duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas,
> which she does not fancy).

>> Your new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a Governor for
> America without the need for further elections.

>> Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be> circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

>> To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following
> rules are introduced with immediate effect:

>>>> ----------------------->> 1. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour,'
> 'favour,' 'labour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell
> 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize'
> will be replaced by the suffix '-ise.' Generally, you will be
> expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up> 'vocabulary').

>> ------------------------>> 2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises
> such as ''like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form
> of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let
> Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be> adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter 'u'' and the
> elimination of '-ize.'

>> ------------------->> 3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

>> ----------------->> 4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns,
> lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and
> therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns> should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out
> without suing someone or speaking to a therapist,then you're not ready
> to shoot grouse..

>> ---------------------->> 5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything
> more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be
> required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

>> ---------------------->> 6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will
> start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same
> time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit
> of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you
> understand the British sense of humour.

>> -------------------->> 7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been
> calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.

>> ------------------->> 8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French
> fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling
> potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut,
> fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

>> ------------------->> 9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not
> actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be
> referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted
> provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also
> acceptable, as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation
> on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of
> the British Commonwealth - see what it did for them. American brands
> will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be
> sold without risk of further confusion.

>> --------------------->> 10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as
> good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to
> play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English
> dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to
> having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.

>> --------------------->> 11. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind
> of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough
> will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities
> to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every
> twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of
> nancies).

>> --------------------->> 12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to
> host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played
> outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world
> beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn
> cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the
> sting out of their deliveries.

>> -------------------->> 13. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

>> ----------------->> 14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's
> Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all
> monies due (backdated to 1776).

>> --------------->> 15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with
> saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and
> cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

>> ------------------>>>> God Save the Queen!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Jackass parking

Last Sunday, I went to go to work and discovered that some bozo had parked right in front of my driveway. I had to drive onto the church lawn to get out! Well, okay, it was the Manse for the church. But still...should not happen!
Above you can clearly see the sign which says no parking. Universally ignored by the churchgoers.

And to make matters worse, the son of a gun only needed to move his car ten feet forward to unblock my driveway!

Maybe I should soap his windshield.

The alternative I suppose would have been to interrupt mass to get him to move. A last choice indeed!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Vandals hammer Stonehenge.

Suspected souvenir hunters broke into Stonehenge and vandalised the ancient monument, English Heritage has said.
A hammer and screwdriver were used to take a small chip the size of a 10p piece from the side of the Heel Stone.
English Heritage said further damage was prevented by security guards who spotted the two men at the 5,000-year-old site in Wiltshire.
Police believe the vandals could be the same two people caught on CCTV acting suspiciously a few days earlier.

More information here...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


An Australian Definition of a Canadian - Written by an Australian Dentist
(This was sent to me by my cousin, and whether it is written by a Aussie, or anybody else, the sentiment is still the same.)

You probably missed it in the local news, but there was a report that someone in Pakistan had advertised in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed a Canadian - any Canadian. An Australian dentist wrote the following editorial to help define what a Canadian is, so they would know one when they found one. A Canadian can be English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. A Canadian can be Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, Arab, Pakistani or Afghan. A Canadian may also be a Cree, Metis, Mohawk, Blackfoot, Sioux, or one of the many other tribes known as native Canadians. A Canadian's religious beliefs range from Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or none. In fact, there are more Muslims in Canada than in Afghanistan. The key difference is that in Canada they are free to worship as each of them chooses. Whether they have a religion or no religion, each Canadian ultimately answers only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God. A Canadian lives in one of the most prosperous lands in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which recognize the right of each person to the pursuit of happiness. A Canadian is generous and Canadians have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return. Canadians welcome the best of everything, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services and the best minds. But they also welcome the least - the oppressed, the outcast and the rejected. These are the people who built Canada. You can try to kill a Canadian if you must as other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world have tried but in doing so you could just be killing a relative or a neighbor. This is because Canadians are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, can be a Canadian. Please keep this going! Pass this around the World. Then pass it around again. It says it all, for all of us

'Keep your stick on the ice'

Monday, February 25, 2008

Museum Pieces

Here are a couple of spaulders which are way too pretty for words. Relevant details...the roped edges, the extant picadills, the mirror polish, (thats pretty rare!) and the high integral fence.

This was a Belgian armour as well...but this one was much more industrial, more "General Issue". It has a very complex rope at the neck line though! Don't think I have ever seen a roped edge that was so complicated, yet it does not match the shoulder armour. I really like the gorget...it gimbals like a gyroscope, and is made from interlocking cones. The one in back is he same. The rest of the armour is so plain that possibly it belongs to a different suit, or (more likely) it would be covered by a cape, so it didn't matter that it was really plain.

Above is the gorget which we saw in profile in the next pic up. With its mitten gauntlet. The makers marks were right out there for the world to see! Well, until he puts on his breastplate, at which time, it will be covered.

This is what it looks like when it is all put together. The large single piece breastplate, the fancy faulds, the elbows that protect the inside of the elbow, and the fancy rolled top to the breastplate which sits on top of the gorget.
Its funny, most people will be looking at this juice can of a cod piece, but the armourer here is in love with the gauntlets!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ezra Levant

Have you had a chance to follow Ezra Levant's arguments in front of the Human Rights Commission? For some reason, they allowed him to record the whole procedure, and this has supplied Mr. Levant with fodder for a pro-free speech rant which lasts, (get this! ) 90 minutes. He has posted about 20 minutes of his speech on his blog.....http://ezralevant.com/

I doubt that in the future the HRC will allow anyone to record their "interrogations". When that happens, we will have a star chamber in truth!

I don't like Ezra Levant....I think he is a conniving, manipulative man who just happens to publish a newspaper, and like all reporters who fancy themselves a member of a "profession", he is quick to use methods which some would regard as foul. On the other hand,I don't have to LIKE him to SUPPORT him! I think much of what he does is simply done to sell newspapers...something he has in common with a lot of other newspapers!

I deplore what you say, but I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it.

I humbly request any who read this blog to visit http://ezralevant.com/ and give him your suport. Or lambast him...grin!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Conservatives, get a grip!

Here is a list of some of the things I would like to see the Tories them get done. Let me know if there are any problems with it, and if there is anything I left off! I know there are several things I didn't even cover, but this is a start!

This post was originally a comment on the self styled "Conservative Blog of Canada". Its not worth the read, normally, but it had a list of things the guy would like to see. Like "a job for everybody" and "Jean Cretien should be in jail". Yeah, pretty lame. I think I can do better.
Actually, this is a repeat of a blog entry I made about a year ago. And you know, I don't think there has been much change, or progress on these issues.

1) Give farmers an even playing field.

2) Increase the number and training of food testing inspectors, and create a Canadian FDA.

3) Demand that contractors have a federal license and that they post a bond to ensure responsibility.

4) Create a regulatory board which works WITH the unions to ensure that homeowners don't have to call in Mike Holms to fix their deck. (They do that now with electrical and gas...) It should be the same for anything which requires a permit to build. Which is of course, anything.

5) Change the building code to require better insulation, site orientation, ventilation and fire resistance. (U of Manitoba standards, the R2000 house at a minimum!)

6) Build a better and more complete Codis, Afis, and firearms data base with serious safeguards against unauthorized hacking. If you can't use the firearms registry to prevent crimes, than scrap it. (Well, they DID that...the discovery that the firearms registry cost more than the police budget of Montreal, Toronto and Vancover combined seems to have sunk home. This is a very contentious issue, read the above statement again carefully...IF you CAN'T use it to PREVENT crimes, then scrap it. If you just want it for SOLVING crimes, then put the money into Codis and Afis data bases and a decent reward for information system....basically more police officers, and less computer crap. I have an awesome story around here somewhere about an abducted child found after fifteen years due to a random fingerprint check...how many more good news stories would there be if we had a better AFIS system. Then there is the chronically underfunded Criminal Profile Data Base....
Then we would need to deal with some human rights issues regarding all those fingerprints....it can be resolved, again, without spending a billion dollars on a failed data base.

(Personally I would like to see the banning and destruction of all short arms, yes including including patrol police. Then arm the patrolmen with seriously good shotguns, not cheap modified hunting guns. Then anybody with a pistol is "automatically" charged with carrying a prohibited weapon. Contentious idea, I know but stats don't lie, other countries have done this surprising thing with excellent results. Again, I didn't say disarm our police, rather I am saying, arm them with better stuff than pistols. And even WITH the uproar about tasers, tasers are STILL better than shooting a raving crackhead dead in the street! But I don't expect this idea to fly very far! Grin! In my previous blog entry, a reader asked me if I was on crack to think of such an idea...in reality, it would solve a lot of problems (10% of police injured with firearms are injured with their own guns, 30% of school shootings are done with daddys guns...you don't think that is significant? And I have the studies to back up a really whacko idea like this!)

7) Bring in federal initiatives to get cookie cutter (read economy of scale cheaper) environmentally sound small scale ethanol plants spaced all around the country. Owned and operated by municipalities who will get the profits that they can use for local initiatives. Use the same model as water purification plants.
I think it is too draconian to pass laws demanding oil companies MUST install 70% ethanol pumps, the way Brazil did, however if they drop the federal tax on such fuel, market demand will do the rest.

8) Re-vitalize the railroads. Increase ridership. Use a fraction of the money we spend on building roads to create more light rail. Better advertising, better marketing. Less corporate welfare, smarter rides (say, smaller trains similar to subway trains running more often between cities? Just an idea. How about high speed trains across the prairies? I know...we would all like to see moving sidewalks between Toronto and Montreal, but I am trying to keep these suggestions in the real world. (If you can call the Concervative caucus the "real world"....ha ha!) But there is no reason why you could not have a roll on-roll off train which would ferry you in your car from Toronto to Vancover departing every hour on the hour. Or your company's tractor trailer! Oh heck, how about roll on roll off from Orleans to centre of Ottawa? The subsidy to provide such a service would be a lot less than creating an extra lane on the queensway! Note the savings potential on greenhouse gas, improved traffic on existing roads, gasoline savings, and wear and tear on automobiles. And if that doesn't work, then make all other downtown roads into toll roads. Hey, they did it in Trondheim and London!

9) Reduce the tax burden on small business, and make grants and subsidies available for small business to start up, and more importantly, suceed against the drag of paperwork, taxes, and municipal bureaucracy.

10) Demand to all provinces that they issue driver's licences that have a box to be checked if the owner does NOT want his organs to be used in a transplant in the event of a death. In this day and age of the internet, I would love to see a web site where a doctor could key in your driver's license number, and read the living will you left on file back when you got your licence. This would probably be a provincial thing but it could be driven by federal funding. I mean, really, a searchable web page? How expensive is that?

11) Increased border patroling, particularly on the East Coast to stop drug smuggling. There is so much of it going on, and so much getting through, that it is a national disgrace. The North has the "Canadian Rangers". A good initiative, but hardly professionals. There are barely enough of them to be listening posts. We need bases up there. Now! There are 6 bases in Ottawa (why? anybody going to attack Ottawa?) , and none on Baffin Island. Well, its cold up there, so why put a base up there? Well, as global warming takes its course, the North will become a more viable route for people, drugs, and foreign nationals looking to stake claims in the arctic. Right now, we have a dispute with Denmark over territory they claim which belongs to us. France is claiming the bulk of the offshore oil fields on the strength of two little islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The US is claiming that they can hammer through our sea ice with great "Manhattan" ice breakers carrying oil.
Its time we started caring about our territory, or we will simply lose it. Is there any way to prevent China from buying up ALL of our iron, lumber, sulphur, nickel and hardwood?

12) Speaking of national disgrace....is there some way to get rid of that seal hunt? It takes in, what, the same as a medium sized MacDonalds'restaurant every year? Can we not find some gainful employment for seal hunters besides risking their lives on the ice for f-all? I know...none of anybody's business but our own, but still, it makes us look bad We sped hundreds of times moree than what the seal fishery is worth to "improve our image abroad". How about doing it for real instead of doing it with hype?

13) A national federally funded mental health facility to
a) take the pressure off the provinces, and
b) to come up with ways to treat mental illnesses effectively. A centralized data base where medical records can be kept (again, with serious controls against unauthorized access or tampering) to deal with footloose street people. Associated with that would be doubling the number of mental health case workers on the "front lines". Don't think we need it? Drop into your local court house Monday morning around 7AM, and tell me again we don't need more case workers. We really need laws to demand that people who are precribed psychoactive drugs MUST take them under supervision, and we need to provide the supervision, no matter what the cost. In other words, you go off your meds, you go back to jail. (We could call it the Brian Smith law, or maybe the female astronaut law!) There MUST be some way to ensure a pschychotic will take his meds, even if he decides to move to Calgary or Vancover. An RFID comes to mind, but I know that conjures up images of 1984,.

14) Federal laws against phishing and identity theft. You know, there are none right now! And it is getting to be a problem. There is a good reason why Montreal is the world centre for telemarketing fraud.

15) Federal monitoring and licencing of pharmaceudical products and drug marketing agencies to ensure that inferior product is not shipped to other countries. Not that there is any, but THEY say there is. ("They" being protectionist regimes who are scared of the low prices of our quality meds!).

16)Increase the number of inspectors at container ports to watch for contraband. If Canada customs has to go through my socks when I come back from Columbia, then they should go through a container I have delivered to my house! Yet the VAST majority never get xrayed, or inspected. But Mr. Jones comes across with an extra bottle of whisky...OMG!

17) Require all auto manufacturers to add armour plates to the inside of doors of cars to prevent theft. Also, required anti theft devices to be built into all vehicles. There are too many to list here, but I rather like LoJack. Too many vehicles are stolen, broken up, or shipped off shore to ignore, yet as long as the insurance agencies are allowed to increase their premiums to cover their losses, then why should they care. And how about that five mile an hour bumber which used to be on every car during the 90's? Did they HAVE to cave into the auto body repair lobby? Have you seen what a 5mph bump into the back of a minivan costs to repair, and how much your insurance will rise as a result? Its disgusting!

18) Insurance reform....see above....but apply it to everything from auto body repair to roofers. Doctors have to get malpractice insurance, and contractors are merely "encouraged" to take out insurance against shoddy workmanship.

There. This is a start. Conservatives are in power right now. Want to bet how many of these initiatives will be even started a year from now?