Thursday, 10 January 2013

Eating Crawlers For Dinner

The left over roast beef I was going to feed people for dinner tonight got eaten in sandwiches at noon leaving me in a bit of a quandary as to what I was going to dish up tonight. About mid afternoon my sister gave my parents a package of frozen lobster meat she had picked up in the market. I gave that one look and went back and bought another. Tonight's dinner was lobster stew. It just doesn't get any better than that. If you are from Maine you understand. If you are not you never will.

Many of my earliest memories are of family lobster dinners at my grandparents house. We ate them steamed. We ate them in stew. We fried them. We ate them in lobster rolls.

My Grandparents house at 1 Campbell Street, Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

As much as I love sitting down to a steamed lobster and  a bowl of butter with a splash of vinegar in it perhaps my favorite meal is lobster stew. If we had a lobster feast one day we would have a stew the next made from any leftover lobster and from picking out the bodies, Grandmother would make it in the early afternoon and then let it stand until dinner to 'flavor up.'

Lobsters at my grandparents house. L to R: Me, Uncle Wink, Uncle Duane, my grandfather, Dad, my grandmother. Doesn't everyone hold up the dinner they are about to eat for the picture?

I am quite sure there are nor many people in northern Canada eating lobster tonight although a few of the Newfies working the tar sands over at the Fort might be picking their way through some.

Lobster stew. L to R. Uncle Wink, sister Margaret, Dad, Me, grandfather, Aunt Barbara.

Tonight will be the coldest night of the year. Lobster stew is warming. It warms the body and the memories warm the soul although these old photos also bring a touch of sadness.

All of my Dad's family, his parents and his brothers, are all dead now. These pictures mean something to me, to my parents, to my cousin Elizabeth but the world moves on and for the most part these people are forgotten. They live on only in a few hearts.

Tonight is not a "Break" but it will be close. Tess is on shift change so I will stay here at my folks tonight. It may be only 6:00 p.m. but I am about to don my P.J.'s and settle in for the evening and relax barring knowing that barring some emergency I don't have to go out later. I do have to get up just as early as usualy in the morning. I have to pick son-in-law Acea up and bring him to town. He gets a pain treatment tomorrow.

Getting Older Isn't What It Is Cracked Up To Be

The golden years my ass.

I had two or three blogs I wanted to write tonight but I'm just too tired and I don't want to sit at the computer. I barely have the energy lie here in bed and talk this into the iPad.

I have started to walk again, this is the fourth day, and I did 12 km. That was probably too much this early on in an exercise routine. Walking in the snow and ice makes it harder work. Weight loss, walking and exercise was to be the theme of one of the blogs. It will have to wait until tomorrow now. It is funny now that I'm getting older. My get up and go gets up and leaves much earlier in the evening.

An Apple Keeps Microsoft Away

My first computer was a Commodore VIC 20. The next, a Commodore 64. Then came the Tandy.

The parent company to the company I work for was given one of the very first portable PC's. They didn't know what to do with it and sent it to us. My company gave it to me to find a use for. "Portable" would be considered a joke these days. It weighed about 40 pounds and looked like a suitcase. All that gave you a 6 inch Amber monitor that was built into the suitcase, 2 x 5-1/4" floppy drives, and 256K of memory.

I soon became a PC expert, the company bought dozens of PC's at my recommendation, purchased some software that I had fallen in love with, and the entire organization was completely changed forever.

My first PC computer purchased for my own use was an IBM clone with twin 5-1/4 floppies, a Hercules Card, an amber CRT, a 20 MB hard disk, and 640 KB of memory running DOS 2.11. I also had a state of the art 1200 baud modem. This unit set me back $2600 in 1985. It was a lot of money.

I became involved with FidoNet and worked my way up through the ranks making friendships with the early movers and shakers of the PC and Software industry. I had solid personal friendships with the heads of the computer departments at Boeing, Texas Instruments, and Taylor Instruments. These were heady days.
A expert at the internal workings of a PC and a wizard with DOS I spurned everything Apple had to offer. In my opinion, they simply could not match IBM or it's clones.

I have never been a gadget man. I buy things that work. Pentax and Nikon cameras. IBM computers. Nokia cell phones. I have never been attracted to the newest or flashiest. Laugh if you must but the email client on my home computer is Eudora v1.5.4. That is probably 20 years old or more. Send me an email that contains HTML or Rich Text and I have to jump through hoops to read it because Eudora can't. I still use it because if someone sends me an email in anything but flat text I am not interested anyway. And with Eudora it is impossible for anyone to email me a virus.

Last year I bought a Blackberry Playbook against my better judgement at the recommendation of my son-in-law who assured me an OS update was coming and with it hundreds and thousands of new apps. The OS update came, the apps didn't, and RIM is tanking. The Blackberry is next to useless.
My cell phone was as basic as they came. It made calls and it could send text messages and that was it. Period.

Gradually, almost against my will, I became drawn to an iPhone and eventually took the plunge. The cost of the phone and the cost of the voice/data plan are absurd and I regretted it as soon as I signed the contract. Then, gradually, the power of the iPhone grabbed me. There was so very much I could do with it besides making calls. I could geocache, use it as a GPS, check my email, blog at Multiply, surf the web, and about anything else I wanted. The apps were endless and they worked. Always. Without fail. I was impressed.
Today I splurged and took another plunge. I bought the iPad 4. It is an impressive piece of work and I love it. There is no doubt that it was expensive but it is nice.

How nice? How about so nice that I have not had to type this blog posting. I speak and Siri types it for me. No shit! I have had to go back and make a few corrections but very few. That is simply stunning.
My next purchase is going to be a Macbook.

I have been convinced. Apple is superior to PC and Microsoft. I am an Apple fan now.

And, now that since blogging is as simple as talking, look out. I may blog ten times a day.

Go Apple.


Historic Cottonwood House a few miles east of here.

Does Anyone Care What Happens To Hobby Lobby?

From Denny Burk:

Does anyone care what happens to Hobby Lobby?

I am astonished that more Americans aren’t in an uproar about what is 

happening to Hobby Lobby right now. As many of you know, Hobby Lobby filed a lawsuit earlier this year to try and get relief from Obamacare’s abortion mandate. The case is still pending appeal, but the Supreme Court just rejected their request for an emergency injunction. In response, the Christian owners of Hobby Lobby have said they have no intention to pay for the abortion-inducing drugs required by Obamacare. That means that beginning on January 1, the United States government will fine Hobby Lobby $1.3 million dollars per day until Hobby Lobby complies.

This is the most egregious violation of religious liberty that I have ever seen. The United States Government is forcing these Christian business owners to pay for abortion inducing drugs in their employees’ insurance plans. It doesn’t matter that the law violates their religious liberty to conduct business in a way that is consistent with their conscience. Obamacare mandates that these Christians comply or face fines that will put them out of business.

When the controversy over the abortion mandate erupted earlier this year, the American public by and large got the impression that this was about conservatives who wanted to ban contraception. Nothing could be further from the truth. No one wants to outlaw contraception. This controversy is about the fact that the government is forcing pro-life business owners to pay for chemical abortions. If the federal government can force citizens to purchase items that they believe to be immoral, where will this end?

If this story is a bore to you right now, try to imagine for a moment what it would be like to be in Hobby Lobby’s position. You don’t have to agree with Hobby Lobby’s opposition to abortion to do this. Would you have a problem if the federal government required you to purchase goods or services that you believe to be immoral and against your most deeply held beliefs? That is precisely what is happening to Hobby Lobby right now. If this stands, what will keep this from happening to you?

The first line of the Bill of Rights says this: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Obamacare prohibits the free exercise of the owners of Hobby Lobby. Who’s next?

Annette? Kiss My Ass.

I just had a piece of cherry pie.

No, I didn't bake it. It came from the supermarket and was made by someone named Annette. Well, maybe not. It said it was Annette's Cherry Pie. My guess is that no one named Annette came within a 100 miles of that pie unless she swept the floor in the factory.

On the side of the box they listed the ingredients. You know how they list those in descending order of the quantities in the product? Well, cherries were somewhere near the end of the second row. My guess is that a whole cherry didn't come within a 100 miles of that pie either.

I won't do that again. Pie crust isn't that hard to make and I get canned pie filling that actually has real cherries in it.

Annette? Kiss my ass.

Walking At 14 Below

I just got back from my morning constitutional, an 8 km hike hither and yon around the city. It was minus 14 this morning but there was a good breeze in the river valley making it feel more like minus 20. It was a tad brisk.

Those who have kept up with my posting over the years have often seen me write of the River Front Trail.

This trail system runs along the Fraser River to the mouth of the Quesnel River and then along the Quesnel River to the northern part of the city where it crosses through the city and then back along the Fraser again.

One can cross the Fraser via the old footbridge and pick up the second part of the trail where it runs up along the Fraser, crosses through the woods until it gets to a ball park, through a residential area, and then along Baker Creek back to the Fraser again.

Each side of this trail system is about 5 kilometers in length.

We are surrounded by rivers and streams in this part of British Columbia. This arial photo gives you an idea of the eastern trail around the city. The Fraser River is to the left and the Quesnel to the right.

Take A Lesson From Canada: Gun Registries Are Later Used To Confiscate Guns

From Wintery Knight

Take a lesson from Canada: gun registries are later used to confiscate guns

Canada Political Map
Canada Political Map

My absolute favorite Canadian journalist, by far, is Brian Lilley. There is no one like him in the Canadian media. I think that he is more informative than even Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant.

Take a look at this Daily Beast column warning Americans about bills that set up gun registries.

Last year Canada ended its national long gun registry, a national database of every rifle and shotgun in the country that was supposed to help police track the movement of and sale of weapons. When it was introduced twenty years ago critics said the registration of firearms would eventually lead to confiscation, a criticism dismissed as ridiculous, yet that’s what happened and more right up until its dismantling.

As recently as last winter law abiding gun owners who had complied with the registry were having their rifles confiscated. In late 2011 hundreds if not thousands of people who had legally purchased the Armi Jager AP80, a .22 calibre variant of the AK47, were informed that their rifles had been deemed illegal and must be surrendered .
“You are required by law to return your firearm registration certificates, without delay, either by mail to the address shown in the top left corner of this page or in person to a peace officer or firearms officers. You have 30 days to deliver your firearms to a peace officer, firearms officer of Chief Firearms Officer or to otherwise lawfully dispose of them,” read the letter sent by the Canadian Firearms Centre.

The reason for the need to surrender what had been legal firearms was simply cosmetic, the AP 80 looked too similar to the AK47. There were no interchangeable parts between the two rifles, the rifles used vastly different ammunition, had vastly different uses but they looked the same.

What was more worrisome was that the decision to reclassify what for years had been a legal rifle was made by a bureaucrat not by elected officials. There was no debate, no vote just a decision by a bureaucrat who felt the AP80, legally owned for decades, was too dangerous to be privately owned by Canadians.
It is important for us to look at what is being tried in other countries, especially ones that have similar cultures, so that we can see the consequences. Gun registries should be opposed with the same vigor as gun confiscations, because they are the same thing, eventually. Individuals have a right to defend themselves from crime, and that is not a right that is meant to be enjoyed only by our smooth-talking politicians in Washington. I can guarantee you that those same politicians that want to confiscate your weapons will be themselves guarded by armed men. Hypocrites!