Friday, September 30, 2005

toxic man

I played Pool guy again today. I mixed all the concrete today. The water was a 50 meters from the mixer. I hauled it in pails. The sand was 25 meters from the mixer and was moved with a wheel barrow. The 40kg bags of cement were 10 meters from the mixer and were moved with the grunt factor fully enabled.

What is that stuff anyway. Concrete I think is calcium hydroxide or some such caustic peach of a material. I did not talk when I got home after dark tonight. Just walked straight into the shower. I had trouble washing my hair as my arms were cramping so badly I couldn't keep them bent and lifted at the same time.

Tomorrow we lay the liner in.

Got parts today for a clock I've been trying to finish for a month. For the fourth time in a row, they sent the wrong parts. Let me at them!

Thursday, September 29, 2005


All the new Adriana photos will be posted to my photos at yahoo in her directory.

All my new photos are posted in the main archive.  


She's such a sweetie.  :D


I posted this to my favourite ADD board and thought I'd best include some of these long winded things here or bed would become just another distant memory.

Running is good.  I think my healthcare costs should be tied to my
aerobic fitness.  I don't care whether you look at my mood,
"issues" or my physical woes, running has elevated me above so many of
the health issues.  It should be manditory for ADHD kids to rip up
the playground and gyms much more than they are allowed to in most
school environments.


I have come to love the changes in the environment.  One day it will be
glorious and the next wet and cold.  I ran on day this summer when the
humidex was a 44C.  I knew beyond any reasonable doubt that I was fit
enough, but the warnings on the radio and the reports from hospitals
suggesting people take cover was something to think about anyway.  I
ran four miles that day and I was pretty darn slow.  Drank everything I
brought and more that I stashed for the return miles.  I ran in snow
storms last winter.  If I'm outside in the variable weather I get to
feeling that most days aren't nearly as miserable as the weather
channel might lead you to believe.  Most days there is something
spectacular about being outside.  Either a smell or a sight or just a
feeling that I'm part of the universe, it's good for me to be reminded
of the elements.  I could never do the tread mill thang.

I've certainly learnt a lot more about how to dress to be outside in lousy weather and be comfortable. 

I was so cautious starting out because I had been hurt running before.  It's not fun and it's surprisingly easy to do.

The heart and lungs are quickest to adapt.  The muscles take about six
weeks to change to anything new.  The ligaments and tendons take months
longer and bones take the longest, sometimes years.

My mind adapts within minutes!  eheh  I think I can do much more than is wise. 

When I started, I saw a podiatrist that specialises in runners and
their feet before I bought shoes.  I spent a pile of money on shoes
trying to prevent trouble.  It's now time to buy new shoes.  I've got 500 miles on my shoes!  Can you believe that?  I can't if I don't pinch myself first.  :D 

I took on a great deal of research to learn what muscles needed to be
strengthened and how to stretch properly before I finished my first leg
of the reintroduction to running.  I also took 14 weeks to go from
walking a half hour to running a half hour.  I am not a spring chicken
anymore and I really really didn't want to be hurt. 

I knew my weight was a little high but only by maybe thirty pounds or
so.  Yikes.  I've still got the last ten or 15 to go, but I'm in no

You would likely be wise to learn a lot more about what you are doing,
if you don't already know all you need to know.  Not that I don't want
to help, but the variables are too many for me to help with so little
information.  Maybe you can help.

What part of your leg is giving you trouble.  As I understand it, if you feel the pain while you are running and not after or before, it's a warning that you are likely doing some damage by continuing. 

Some aches and pains are to be expected and after a while you'll get to
know the differences between the ones that will go away and the ones
you need to listen to.  Patience is key.  Listening to my body has been
a long time in coming and I still have to listen very carefully to hear
even the louder messages.  It takes time.

How did you introduce yourself to running?  How long did you walk
first?  How many times a week and for how long were you out each time? 
How much extra weight are you carrying?

What type of shoes are you wearing?  What type of surface are you
running on?  Have you had someone that knows what they are doing look
at the mechanics of how you walk and run? 

There are seemingly endless questions and many variables to consider
when looking at why you might be having some leg pain.   I'll gladly
offer what I have to say.  I also belong to a running message board (contact me if you'd like a link)
that is where I've learnt almost everything I know and have spoken of
here, but regardless of where you post, more detail will be necessary
for anyone to assist.

I've had a couple of things I've had to change in order to stay
healthy.  At first  my knees felt spongy.  Especially my left one.  I
read every post I could find on the topic and many articles.  In doing
so of course I picked up a lot of good ideas that were not related
directly to my knee problems, but were really handy to know.  Reading
is a good thing.  :D

I found that my stride was too long and the rate at which my feet hit
the ground should be much faster.  I need not move any faster forward,
but the foot fall needed to be much quicker.  I think the rule of thumb
is 80 strikes a minute.  I was surprised that it didn't seem to matter
how fast I was running, the 80 strikes a minute was the desired
frequency.  This made my strides much shorter and that was what made my
legs feel great again. 

I wear a heart rate monitor for most runs.  This way I can target the zone I want to train in.  This helps keep the demands on my body down and my return on investment up.  Heart rate training is a wonderfully low intensity way to go.

I have that same spongy thing going on in my left knee now, but I'm
pretty sure it's the shoes being pounded out after 500 miles and the
cushion is just not there like it was when they were new.  The 500
miles threshold for shoes is a common reference for shoe replacement. 
It took me nearly a year to put on those miles.  I've got pretty nice
looking legs just now, if I do say so myself. :D

I stretch after most runs.  I learnt to stretch from Bob Anderson's
popular book on stretching when I was taking Karate five nights a week
in college.  I've still got the book and it's still working well for
me.  I focus on my calves, Achilles tendons, quads, and glutes then hit
the shower.  Stretching before working out weakens the muscles. 
Stretching after running when the muscles are warm is rewarding.  I
start by being really slow about applying the stretch.  I keep applying
the pressure very slowly.  If I introduce any pain or over do it in any
way, my body just protects itself and I don't gain any benefit.  My
body has to cooperate and relax into the stretch.  If I can't feel it
stretching it probably isn't and I've probably gone too far too fast.

I repeat each stretch at least twice and some of them three or four
times being careful to work both legs or sides of my body the same.

The strength exercises I do are done in repeats of three sets of 12-15
and no more than twenty.  I do lunges, side leg lifts, calf raises with
my heels down below my toes over a ledge or something similar.  I do
various planks taken from the "core strength" ideas.  They cover my
front, sides and back of my torso.  I do push ups for my arms and

It's important to do any strength exercise after a run and not before. 
Apparently, if you do it before the run eats up any gains you might
have asked for.  I didn't figure this out until way late in the game. 

RICE is the acronym for rest, ice, compression and elevation
Those are the standard things people do to help minimise the damage
from a painful run.  Many people have prepared ice baths waiting for
them as soon as they finish a marathon so the inflammation from the
inevitable damage is kept to a minimum.  Not having run that distance,
I'm not convinced the ice bath cure would be any better than the pain
from inflammation.  :D

I seem to be writing long posts again.  I'm donning my flame retardant
asbestos suit so you all can take cheap flame war shots at me for being
so long winded.  ehhe

Cheers! and I hope some of this leads you to a better place Casper. 
Take your time, ask all the questions you like.  Keep your ears and
eyes open to your body when it speaks.  Watch, and most of all, and it
sounds ridiculous, but think about what you are doing when you are
doing it. 

Keep us posted please.  The first bit of difficulty was the hardest to
accept for me.  I thought very quickly that I just wouldn't be able to
run any more and I didn't for twenty three years.  This time seems to
be different, but I'm also sure that hurdles remain to be jumped. 
Mistakes are inevitable.  If I wasn't making them I wouldn't be trying
very hard!


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Reading late into the night on stimulating topics of "tapering"
for races is just the type of obsessive actions that lead to the last
big crash.  Is there any doubt I continue to struggle in learning
from my mistakes?  No.

run rabbit run

Running is creeping back into my life.  I logged nearly 90 miles in
July, but August and September were thin with less than 40 each month.

I ran again today, putting in four miles at a slow pace of a 12 minute
mile.  My average heart rate was quite reasonable at 140/bpm.  That
still has me working a little hard at 80% of my maximum, but I can't
bear to go any slower.  If I was really smart, I'd be working at about
75%.  I'm not far off the necessary 132/bpm if I'm trying to fool

It was a glorious fall day here.  Colours of the trees were lit right
up in celebration of a long hot dry run of summer.  August and
September have been remarkably dry.  A wonderful break that is from the
drenching we've been having for the last few years.

I've put almost 500 miles on my shoes, so it's time to buy another pair
of runners.  I can feel that these ones are pretty much pounded out. 
I'm also convinced they have been key to me staying injury free through
this first year of running.  I began in the middle of October last year
by walking regularly and then gradually worked into a walk run and then
a run walk and finally a thirty minute straight run.  It took me 14
weeks to go from walking a half hour to running a half hour and I'm so
glad I was so conservative in my approach. 

I didn't manage to over do the training until July when I got
four or five weeks into an eight week schedule to train for a 10km
race.  I ran a series of repeats that knocked me on my butt, when they
were combined with a 25 mile week of base mileage.  There were 8
repeats of 400 meters. 

The idea was to run 2400 meters to slowly warm up then time the first
400 repeat and go out hot, but not so hot you couldn't do it again. 
Then take a two minute breather and do another, but not slower than the
first one.  It was a really interesting game.  Up to that point all I
had done for nine months is what's referred to as heart rate training. 
In a nutshell you work only at strictly aerobic paces of 70%-75% of
your maximum heart rate to cultivate a preference in your muscles for
slow burning fuel.  Fat is the fuel of preference for endurance. 
Carbohydrates burn too quickly.  You last a lot longer if your muscles
are all dialed in to burn slow burning fuel.

So I had done nine months of this and although I was euphoric with the
fitness, I was ready to bite into more of a challenge.  It was a heady
time.  All the preparation aerobically had prepared me exactly like the
guru's said it would, to adapt really well and quickly to any more
intense work I introduced into my training.  The rush of increased
strength was


So I ran my first repeat and finished, thinking that I'd made a
horrible mistake and that I'd gone out far too fast for a first lap
around the track.  Two minutes passed and my heart rate had recovered
almost all of it's ground, I shrugged and went out for a second lap. 

In the last 25 meters of the sixth lap I came into a zone I hadn't
experienced before.  My lungs and heart were doing what they could for
me, but they had nothing left to offer.  I was a little tickled to note
this happening while my legs continued to feel really strong.  I had
taken a lot of council on what to expect, so I knew that I had done the
exercise correctly and was now into the meat of why a runner does this
type of silly thing in the first place.

By lap #8 I was in that same deficit with my cardiovascular system at
the 200 meter mark.  I had only my tempo to gauge my time.  I ran a
negative split on each lap, which means each lap was faster than the
one that preceded it.  I think there was only about 15 seconds that
separated the time on lap #1 from lap #8, but the work load between
increased tremendously.  Two minutes just isn't enough to completely
recover now is it?  eheh  What great entertainment!

I was pumped up and proud to be alive.  I was also curious to learn
that my body knew nothing about going fast!  Weird it was to learn that
after nine months of slow luxurious euphoric pacing, one has to relearn
how to get the legs moving faster.  I was awash in distracted research
on speed and very focused on beating a 50min 10km time.

I awoke the next day miserable.  A sure sign that over training is
looming large that grumpy man is in the house.  Did I listen?  Naw... 
I put in my four miles that day and woke up the following morning much
more miserable than the last. 

Then Mr. Murphy stepped in and created some other stresses.  It took me
nearly a month to dig out of that hole.  I slashed my mileage and went
to work on other things, long neglected.  I am the master of distracted
progress.  Maybe "progress" is the wrong term, but I'm leaving it just
to be optimistic.  No longer grumpy, if you will.  :P

Today when I ran, I was once again euphoric from the rush of life that
surges in me when I run.  It was good to be back.  Libido is
once again
a problem.  Life is good.   Maybe a long run on Sunday? 
Or maybe a tempo run on Tuesday?  Oh the fun we will

Sunday, September 25, 2005

horological fun and games

As I went into this clock again tonight, I took some images
for your pleasure.

I work hard to take the time I
need in order that I am able to avoid rushing into some of the mistakes others have obviously
found while working on this type of delicate and finely made machinery.

You can see that the case, dial and case back are pretty much
impervious to casual care for the most part.  The mechanical parts
show some interesting stories from days past.  The fourth in the
series, named "pinion_750.jpg"
is an example of how hard the material that the pinions are made of
is.  In a standard quality clock, these pinion leaves would not
have broken, but instead would have just bent to accommodate the
abusive treatment.  The "pinion.jpg" file is a little larger file that shows some better detail of the break.

The pinion leaves are hardened to this high degree to ensure as long a life
of wear as possible.  The down side is that the unsuspecting repairman, may
run into trouble if more accustomed to working on less
sophisticated and thus more forgiving mechanisms.  Unfortunately I come across this type
of damage often.  I've documented much of it and am working
toward building a web site that includes some of the less attractive
treatment of clocks and watches at the hands of repairmen.

The "wheel" series is also an example of an attempt to cover up what
must have been a mistake or a drastically sudden let down of the
power.  The teeth have been ripped clean away from this wheel in
two places.  The repairman had the good fortune to have owned a
wheel that was a close match to this one.  He's filed thin, two
pieces of the wheel and soft soldered them to the side of the wheel to
take the place of the missing teeth. 

Both these potentially disastrous bits of damage have been salvaged to
such a degree that the operation of the works are not greatly affected.

As is the case here, I'm in conservation mode with this piece and won't
change this elder statesman to ensure that it's colourful history be
clear for the next generation to follow and respect.  If the
damage had interfered with the operation, I'd be forced to reverse that
situation.  It is
shameful to have such harsh treatment in evidence, but it is not
shameful to have a clock that remains a solid contributor, irrespective
of such damage.  I think it speaks volumes to the good will of the
original makers, that the only significant wear after all these years
of service, has been from service men and not it's day to day load of
running to keep the time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Pool Guy

Whoa, I'm on rails and I'm not sure there are brakes on this train.  A crash is no doubt imminent.  Her first days
are a wake up call for everyone I think.  She's used to a maid to clean
up and I guess her Mum does every last bit of the cooking.  Maybe it's
not her Mum, but someone else is in the kitchen not Adriana, that's for
sure.  :D  She tried to cut cheese for a sandwich yesterday at lunch
and it was obvious there will be a lot to learn for her living here. 

Today and tomorrow I get to help a friend dig some serious shovels full of sand to prepare a weeping tile drain in the base of his pool.  I'm tired just looking at the amount of dirt that needs moving.  More fun with Dick. 

Fedora Core 4 is up and running.  I have print services!  I have almost
everything, except the Debian system I really want.   Time is an evil


Monday, September 19, 2005

Haunts of the Black Massuer et al

So much to write and so close to snoozin'.

I've spent a better part of the day installing three separate versions of Linux.  Ubuntu, Knoppix and Fedora Core 4 were the first round.  I had just nicely got an old install of XP that hadn't worked since I moved the drive, booting again and now neither XP nor win98 will boot.  Although it's not the new OS's that was causing the fuss.  It was that dang brand spanky DVD burner I bought on Thursday.

Oh how sweet it is! 

I've got to return a couple of cool films to a friend on Tuesday when
we get together to ride the big bike for MS Manitoba, so it was nice to
have those images myself.  Crap Shoot and Haunts of the Black Massuer were the films in question.  Both are by local filmmaker Jeff McKay. 

I got distracted from my computer work tonight with  My G_d,
if I ever even so much as glance at that site I'm gone for hours.  It's
an evil thing to be so moved by the written word.  Tonight the bait was
a column called "Ask Camille" reportedly by Camille Paglia.  "Camille Paglia's online advice for the culturally disgruntled" is the header so I easy pickings with that kind of tone. 

That lead to a column on the OscarsThen another, before I realised I had to sleep, like that every matters!

I feel like I've traveled through time quite a ways since I last posted here.  I've spent a fair bit of energy at the
site.  I have withdrawn from there since quiting as an admin.  It felt
good to be more supportive there.  I enjoy the exercise thread where I
tout the merit of regular aerobic exercise to help my ADHD.  I'm a combined type and medicated with dextroamphetamine.  Go ahead, tell me it's bull shit.  I'm not much of a fan of Ritalin, but dex has been wonderful.

I also had a friend send me this cool clock
I still haven't quite figured out what the difference in time between
the National Research Council's time signal and the ones for my time
server sync on this box and this clock are.  The Internet seems to be
about 6 or 7 seconds fast.  Things that make a horologist go hmmmmm.

Then there was the whole bit about exploring religions and all things
"New Age"
.   I was periodically distracted of course and ended up with
some alternate news sources like

Or, "Pot makes you stupid."

Or, "Home Churched
I liked this one.  I live in a bible belt that scares the shit out of
me most of the time.  People resigning their ability to reason to
another.  It just gives me the creeps.  I'm beginning to think we are
entering a dark age.  The Onion is a fantastic site for those not quite brain dead yet.

Then I got a little more militant
I really am becoming filled with the need to be more active in my
activism.  I don't think I'm headed to the night to tag myself into
history just yet though.  I have other more subversive ideas brewing.

Pantheism was what
got me started on a long and bleary eyed read that lead me time and
again back to my love affair with the social and political aspects of
open source and free software.

The Urban Pantheist

The Clue Train Manifesto kids were what perked up my ears when I read this story about some IT guys in New Orleans
recently.  There is a download file available to listen to an
interesting interview.  The link here leads to that page and an article
I enjoyed for it's connection to all that's good in people.  "doc" is an interesting dude, but it seems all the guys who wrote the CTM have continued to be vital.

I read another bit about this crew of IT guys in New Orleans and it was linked to "doc" and to a great archive of images of the scene in New Orleans after the blast of Katina.

Book of the Gear
is where I bailed.  I've been through a lot of this woman's work at  Reading on this screen is demanding a better monitor. 

And sex can not be too far from my line of sight.  I thought that everyone should start out knowing the down and dirty details of sex.  This is a bit lengthy, but I'm hoping the bible belt squeamish will know enough to avoid this link.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Lacking optimism

Relationship rules:

1. The female makes the rules.

2. The rules are subject to change by the female at any time without
prior notification.

3. No male can possibly know all the rules. Attempts to document the
rules are not permitted.

4. If the female suspects that the male may know some or all of the
rules, she must immediately change some or all of the rules.

5. The female is never wrong.

6. If the female is wrong, it is because of an egregarious
misunderstanding which was the direct result of something the male did,
said, did not do, or did not say.

7. If rule 6 is invoked, the male must apologize immediately for having
been the cause of the misunderstanding without any clues from the
female as to what he did to have caused the misunderstanding. See rule

8. The female may change her mind at any time for any reason or no
reason at all.

9. The male is never permitted to change his mind or under
circumstances without the express written consent of the female which
is given only in cases where the female wanted him to change his mind
but gave no indication of that wish. See rules 6, 7, 12, and 13.

10. The female has the right to be angry or upset for any reason, real
or imagined, at any time and under any circumstance which in her sole
judgement she deems appropriate. The male is not to be given any sign
of the root cause of the female's being angry or upset. The female may,
however, give false or misleading reasons to see if the male is paying
attention. See rule 13.

11. The male must remain calm at all times, unless the female wants him
to be angry or upset.

12. Under no circumstances may the female give the male any clue or
indication whether or why she wants him to be angry or upset.

13. The male is expected to read the mind of the female at all times.
Failure to do so will result in punishments and penalties imposed at
the sole discretion of the female.

14. The female may, at any time and for any reason, resurrect any past
incident without regard to temporal or spacial distance, and modify,
enlarge, embellish, of wholly reconstruct it in order to demonstrate to
the male that he is now or has in the past been wrong, insensitive,
pig-headed, dense, deceitful, and/or oafish.

15. The female may use her interpretation of any past occurrence to
illustrate the ways in which the male has failed to accord her the
consideration, respect, devotion, or material possessions, he has
bestowed on other females, domestic pets or barnyard animals, sports
teams, automobiles, motorcycles, boats, aircraft, or co-workers. Such
illustrations are non-rebuttable.

16. If the female is experiencing PMS, Post-PMS, or Pre-PMS, the female
is permitted to exhibit any manner of behaviours she wishes without
regard to logical consistency or accepted norms of human behaviour.

17. Any act, deed, word, expression, statement, utterance, thought,
opinion, or belief by the male is subject to the sole, subjective
interpretation of the female, other external factors not-withstanding.
Alibis, excuses, explanations, defences, reasons, extenuations, or
rationalizations will not be entertained. Abject pleas for mercy and
forgiveness are acceptable under some circumstances, especially when
accompanied by tangible evidence of contrition.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

In case anyone is chomping at the bit to know what's up with all the aurora lately, there is a massive X17 flare that's helping to set the night sky on fire.

Space Weather Support is a good place to check if that massive sun spot you can see through the haze at sunrise is what you think it is. It's also a good resource to keep up to date on the solar storms that create the northern lights.

The moon is now setting too late for me to get out early for a peek at anything. I welcome the fall and the dark setting in early.

This clock of sorts give me all the data I need to forcast the conditions of the sky. Check and see if there may be one for your area.

The information below was sent to the RASC-Winnipeg email list.


A s t r o A l e r t

14 September 2005

Solar Terrestrial Dispatch


Active sunspot region 10808 produced two new X-class solar x-ray
Flares during the last 24 hours. The most energetic of these produced an
Earthward-directed coronal mass ejection that is expected to impact the
Earth late this afternoon or evening. The impact is expected to reignite
Auroral storm conditions. If it arrives as-expected, the resulting
intensification of auroral activity may place North America in a good
position for observing the activity TONIGHT. The mid-latitude auroral
activity warning has been extended through to 16 September. The next 3 to 4
days will be critical, as this is the time that Region 808 is "pointed" most
directly toward the Earth.

Coronal mass ejections follow essentially straight trajectories to the
Earth, unlike the energetic protons that stream from strong solar events.

For spacecraft and their sensitivity to energetic protons (the Radiation
environment), the most vulnerable period will be later this week when
Region 808 begins to approach the western solar limb. At that time, the
Earth should be best "connected" to the magnetic field lines that emanate
from Region 808 and gradually spiral outward toward the Earth in an
archimedes-type spiral pattern. Energetic protons from major solar flares
often reach the Earth fastest (and are associated with the highest energies
and densities) when the Earth is magnetically connected to the flaring
region. This is because energetic protons are charged particles, and as such
they prefer to follow the magnetic lines of force outward from the Sun.

The updated warning statement is appended below.

Updated: 11:45 UTC on 14 September 2005
Solar Terrestrial Dispatch















Active region 10808 continues to produce energetic solar flare
activity. The latest X-class flare was associated with an Earthward-directed
(full-halo) coronal mass ejection that is expected to arrive at the Earth
near the end of the UTC day of 14 September (for North American observers,
this translates to the late afternoon and/or evening hours of Wednesday, 14
September). This disturbance will have the potential to produce periods
of moderate to strong auroral storm conditions. Observations should be
possible over wide-spread mid-latitude locations. We are expecting to see
the passage of a magnetic cloud with this disturbance, which could further
enhance the potential for storm conditions (preceded or succeeded by
quieter conditions as the IMF rotates away from a favorable orientation).

This warning will remain valid through 23:00 UTC (5 pm EDT) on
16 September, with a good chance that it will be extended beyond the
14th. It will be updated or allowed to expire at that time. For updated
information, visit: For real-time
plots of current activity, visit:


charges laid

I guess I'm just a bit dark this morning.  I'll try and get more rest tonight.  heh  Here's another little prize out of New Orleans to depress the hell out of me.

CBC lockout rantage

I'm pretty sick of right wing conservative bone headdedness.  From another bundle of victims in Baghdad
to our school just learning that oppositionally defiant kids don't come
from bad parenting, it's just all too close to looking like fruit flies
to me.  We are bound by evolution to follow the hard wiring within our
genetic code into extinction unfortunately. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm having a lot of fun, I just don't see the light
at the end of the tunnel for humanity.  Change is not something I come
by easily either, but I have managed a few significant shifts.  Not the
least of which is that I'm no longer killing myself more quickly with
booze and tobacco.  It's been 16 years I've been free of self
destruction with the drink.  I don't know how long without smoking, but
it's been more than a half dozen years.

The CBC is the mainstay of free speech in Canada.  It's where I learnt
what my Mum thought about.  My Dad thought about much less involved
things.  Mum's interests revolved around the ability to make choices
based on reflection and choice.  Personal freedom to create, and
explore were foremost in her mind. 

The CBC employees have been locked out since August 15th and I'm sorely
missing my fall routine when the kids go back to school and the radio
takes over again.  It's just not the same without the regulars.

Here are a collection of links I found that help keep up with the fight. 

I'm a red pinko bastard from a way back.  Of course I support the workers. 

Tod Maffin has a lot of stuff on the web.  This is his cbcunplugged blog.  Scroll down for a podcast of how to deal with a pint of Guinness properly. :D

This is a collection of relevant posts that are linked to cbcunplugged.

A collection of images of the lockout at Flickr.

Darryl MacLeod's site

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting

cbclockout tags


Monday, September 12, 2005


I've run into a time crunch over updating this box. I'll be back when the dealing's done. :P

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Way over due

I'm betting that getting spam from myself is not a good sign.  I'm long
over due to retire this old install of Fedora Core 2 and move on to a
system I can respect. 

I brought Slackware 10 home from BC this spring, but it's rpm based too
and I've pretty much had it with rpm based systems.  They get stale and
need a fresh install. 

Having to reinstall all the time when I ran winduhs drove me batty.  I
hate installing!  I can do it just fine, but the commitment of time and
energy to backing everything up and wiping the slate clean with a
formatting, partitioning drives and then tweaking all the settings for
network and the myriad options is a royal PIA.

Debian migrates.  While you do your updates, your system can migrate
along with whatever level of development you wish.  How smart is that? 
Damn smart!  Now if I could only learn to live in Debian.  The
installer for Debian has been the brunt of enough jokes to choke


Woody (current stable)

Sarge (current testing)

Sid (unstable)

Debian is very conservative in my
opinion.  Sarge is pretty damn stable whenever I've been able to test
it.  I put it on a small SCSI drive on the girls box and basically
walked away.  It has been the strongest operating system I've used.  I
get bogged down when the update tool "apt-get" complains and won't
update something or other.  One also should be proficient at building
kernels, which I'm not. 

I have the Fedora Core 4 install discs which will no doubt find a home
here somewhere among the 30 odd partitions on this box.  ADHD to the
core.  I think there are five different systems installed in this one
box.  All five are broken to some degree and now this one is failing
quickly.  So is a leak on my toilet, but that will have to wait until
Monday.  :D  Oh no... maybe the folks coming from the city can grab me
a hose. 

Whatever... I bought a cheapo DVD burner today and I've already baled
out on it.  I didn't even take it out of the bag.  I'm going to spin it
into a much better one on Monday hopefully.

So, instead of chatting up a storm tonight, I'm going to go document
what and where of those partitions and see if I can get something
newish installed!  I took the box apart tonight and blew the dust out
of it.  My new lube for the fans seems to really last.  It's a natural
oil for clocks by Moebius.  I can't remember the number off hand, but
I'll try and post it later.

Friday, September 9, 2005

allergy victories, running and love in a bass

Choked up all kinds of crap yesterday during and after running a pushed
4 miles.  I have been out of the groove for a month while I applied
myself to the building project.  Now that the guest house is almost
done, I'm reclaiming some other things that I like to do and one of
those is running.

Allergies bugging me was how I first got the idea to run.  It's a long story, but wtf, the audience is small.  :P

Every year I used to get an allergic response to the pollen in the last
week of April.  As the humidity went up and the airborne particulates
increased, so did my watery eyes and congestion.  After a few weeks of
this I would become overwhelmed with fatigue and shortly after that I'd
be showing colour in my mucus and then I'd get sick with a sinus
infection and in a nutshell I was a basket case for the summer.  I
hated it most because I was so low on energy.  I could sustain no
physical activity of any intensity and if I cut the grass I was down
for three days, sleeping and trying to recoup enough strength to carry

I have a great physician.  She's a marathoner from South Africa.  She's
wide open, empathetic and strong.  She has impeccable taste in
clothes... but that's another matter.  :P

When I saw her a few years ago for some antibiotics she winced and said
she hated treating sinus infections because the blood flow was so
limited in that area that it was extremely difficult to make the meds
do the deed of wiping out the bacterial infection.

I submitted that it might help the process if I was to get my head hot
enough to drain my sinus through gentle aerobic exercise.  She lit up
like a light bulb and thought that made great sense.  So since then
I've been quite successful in avoiding much of the grief I've come to
know is associated with my allergy to spring and summer. 

In my three or four weeks since over training and then the construction
work where there really wasn't enough left of me to add any additional
activity physically, I've been slowly watching my sinuses follow the
same path as years ago.  I slowly became more and more lethargic and
the sneezing, watery eyes and runny nose were raging back into play. 

Running was the last thing I felt like doing on Tuesday.  Thursday
wasn't much better, but yesterday I knew I had broken the allergies
grip on me.  I choked up so much thick phlegm during and after that I
could hardly believe I hadn't been aware of it being there.  As I was
struggling to cough this crap up, I was thinking how I would be willing
to bet that I'd have no significant allergy symptoms today.  Voila, no
sneezing and my eyes are clear. 

I'm not taking any chances though.  I need to have my energy and the systemic antihistamines help with that.  I also picked up a refill on a prescription for some nasal spray
that seems to work well without drying me out so badly that I bleed. 
Some have done that and I've trouble enough with a honker this size
without that bother.

It is great to be running again.  My legs are tired tonight, but I'll
have all day tomorrow to stretch out and do strength stuff while I
watch endless soccer games at M2's tourny in the city.  6:25am is going
to come too quickly.

A friend just bought an accoustic bass.  I wanna try!

New Orleans

This looks like a pretty clear picture of what it must have been like on the ground in New Orleans.

Here is a good online tracker for the beasts like Katrina.

802.11b - Damn having to work!

I'm on the fringe of any wireless network access here that might wean
me from the other evil empire.  MTS communications here in
Manitoba.  I hate.  I need more time on the zafu of zazen to
get past that one.  It looks like I have my work cut out for me.  Reading, reading, reading!

I'll be playing construction dude on another man's project today. 
I'll run to Steinbech now to make a pick up and delivery then home to
make forum to remake a pool floor and walls.

I'm hopeless... how can this stuff still look attractive to me. 
Spend a dollar to save a penny.  :P  What's bred in the bone?

A Yagi for 802.11b

Damn this working thing.... :D

Cringly on PBS has an article on piggy backing access via 802.11b.  If you come across it, I'd be happy to have
it.  My searches ran out of time this morning.


Tobacco - Your Body Will Forgive You

My daughter brought this home from school. They got it as a hand out
from the Manitoba Lung Association and I thought it was pretty dang
good. Hope you do too.

Now I wish I'd paid more attention to when I quit! I'm guessing it must
have been about eight years now. Only seven more to survive!


Tobacco - Your Body Will Forgive You

One of the exciting aspects of quitting smoking is that, in time, we
can actually reduce our risk of acquiring smoking-related diseases to
that of a non-smoker.

Don't ever think that it's too late to quit smoking. Remember your body will forgive you; no matter how long you've been at it.

Thirty minutes after you quit: blood pressure, heart rate and temperature of hands and feet become normal.

Eight hours after you quit: carbon monoxide and oxygen levels in the blood return to normal.

Twenty-four hours after you quit: risks for heart attack and stroke decrease significantly.

Forty-eight hours after you quit: nerve endings in our mouth and nose regrow.

Seventy-two hours after you quit: bronchial tubes relax and breathing is easier.

One week after you quit: nicotine is flushed from our bodies.

Two weeks after you quit: circulation, breathing and lung function improves.

One month after you quit: coughing, sinus congestion and shortness of breath decrease.

Two years after you quit: risks of heart attack drops to that of a person who has never smoked.

Five years after you quit: risk of stroke drops to normal, risk of lung cancer decreases by half.

Ten years after you quit: risk of most types of cancer drop to normal.

Fifteen years after you quit: your risk of dying is similar to a person who has never smoked.

Thursday, September 8, 2005


This old timer
isn't really that old.  It was engraved for presentation in 1967, but
it appears like a watch much older.  I had a heck of a time identifying
the movement and 1723 is not an Omega number.  It needed some parts
made and the dimensions are tough to measure so it's easier with a
factory specification.

It's on to clocks this afternoon I think.  I was going to do a delivery to my Steinbach account,
but the school just called and could meet today at 15:40 for M2's
behaviour plan and ODD training for staff.  After years of the staff
and administration nodding and smiling I'm at the helm this year and
I'll be damned if I'll drop the ball.  I can't wait for the training as
I've been invited to attend. 

The behaviour specialist for the division is the right guy in the right
job.  The juvenile in me loves it when he feels the need to swear in
meetings.  He's a practitioner of Reiki,
which on it's own would not impress me, but his presence and wisdom
certainly does.  The school physiologist is a peach too.  I am
expecting great changes this year.  I hope I'm not being naive.

I phoned on the first day of school to make sure they hadn't forgotten
to remember or whatever that is that only sees grease to the squeaky
wheel.  I so want to believe we aren't fruit flies, but there really
isn't much evidence to the contrary.

OK!  Time for a run.

dogs life

This is Meagan
She's three, and about the fastest thing on four legs.  She's half
pointer and was Dave Hochman's top prospect for sprint sled dog racing
on his first string.  We had so much rain last year that she just gave
up an began to hate the mud and wet they were forced to do the land
training in. 

I'm a looser when it comes to that big soft spot in my heart for
animals.  I've been with Meagan now for several months and she's still
as wily as all get all.  She's not even house trained yet.  She can't
trust me enough to take food from me.  I've taken to feeding her out
side so she gets enough to eat. 

She's a dry dog at the best of times, but a few days of missed meals and she's scary thin.

I love the look of her and she's a really smart dog, but sorely missing
that puppy training from 8-16 weeks where exposure to a wide range of
experiences is so helpful later when they need to live in the company
of humans.

She's still not able to be off leash and I'm not sure that she ever
will be, but maybe if I don't keep the colt this winter, I'll spend
some time training Meagan in basic obedience.

Adam's Task by Vicki Hearne, anything by William Koehler and The Monk's of New Skete's - The Art of Raising a Puppy are all bibles to me.

whang dang doodle

I did nothing today for exercise, but felt very little stress from
yesterday's hard run.  I'll go out tomorrow for some slow dancing.  :D 
I might try and put on some more miles.  I had a great day at work
today.  Made headway on some paperwork that's long over due and had
some tough jobs sewn up and finished.

Boo left this drawing
on the table for Mangurl to see when she got home from soccer.  I
forgot to adjust the camera for that light again and ended up messing
around a bit.  I thought it was cute, but parents are like that. 

I'm feeling much stronger although I'm still fatigued. 


Tuesday, September 6, 2005

polyamory to English dictionary


Ran my ass off today.  Put in four miles and inserted a speed mile
between 2.5 and 3.5 miles.  I'd think in kilometers but every road
intersection in this wild part of nowhere is divided by a mile
grid.  We'll see if I have anything tomorrow to fire a strength
work out.

Not vanity bulk don't you know... just strength.  I'm such a conservative when it comes right down to it.  The shame!

 Our word for the evening is


Monday, September 5, 2005

death by construction...

Up and at it early on the holiday Monday to get the roof venting straight. It's been a brutal binge of late, but there is light at the end of the tunnel now for sure.


South and west
walls are done!  Today, the roof sheets I put up last year will be slid
down to make room for ridge venting.  If we can get the roof done
today, we'll have another day or so to finish the exterior.  Oh baby! 
Let me be there!

Sunday, September 4, 2005

The Bazaar

a new dual boot Linux system today! 

Yeah for her!  She now
has the option of booting either winduhs XP or Ubuntu Linux.

"Ubuntu" is an ancient African word, meaning "humanity to others".
Ubuntu also means "I am what I am because of who we all are". The
Ubuntu Linux distribution brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the software

The Ubuntu people are associated with an umbrella organisation that supports "OpenCD"
which is dedicated to introducing open source software to Micro$oft
users.  It's worth looking into if you are tired of stealing software
as the only way to survive in an NTFS or FAT32 world.  If you have not
been able or willing to steal photoshop and still want all that power
try "The Gimp" which is now available for winduhs.  Linux has a way with names.  :P

Ubuntu is based on the "Debian"
distribution of Linux which is to my mind the best overall.  It's
conservative but that has some benefits.  One of the best things about
a Debian based system is how the software packages are bundled. 

Most operating systems get outdated eventually and you are forced to
reinstall once the support in updates trickles down to nothing.  I ran
windoz for long enough to grow to hate reinstalling.  I got good at it,
but I never the less hated to be forced into a reinstalling.  There was
rarely a good time to reinstall.

Debian packaging
migrates the system via the updates into the next generation, if you so
choose.  It makes reinstalling a much longer cycle, and our Maggie has
bit the bullet and is now the proud owner of her own Linux lap top. 

I must say that the install was a breeze.  I think Maggie had the folks
that sold her the machine, partition half the drive for winduhs and
left the other half free for something else, so I didn't have to dance
with XP at all which is always a gift from the gods.  I knew enough
about partitions on XP to leave those small swap files alone and then
just dumped Ubuntu all into one single partition of nearly 18 gigs.  I
can't remember how big the footprint was when we were done, but it
couldn't have been big.  There was only a single install disc. 

The days of difficult installations appears to be over for the most
part in the Linux world.  Or at least it can be using a live cd like
Ubuntu.  Knoppix is much the same. 

She was so cute once it was done.  She'd played with Linux before at U
of Waterloo where she was part of a young women in IT type workshop
where they did some programming in TCL on Debian boxes.  

She'll no doubt love not having to fuss with anti virus crap and such,
but the learning curve is likely to keep her occupied for a while
anyway.  :D 

Another day with no running, but a little more of the building exterior
is finished.  I've got to buy more steel to finish the north peak, base
flashing and soffit j.  The guy I'm doing this with is driving me to
insanity.  I can't seem to remain grateful.  Me bad.

Now everyone go read  Eric Raymond's "The Cathedral and the Bazaar."

Scroll down...

Friday, September 2, 2005

crap, crap

Saw a couple of great films last night.  Actually I watched the second

one this morning. I was still outside when the women watched the first


Laura is a friend I often head into the city with to catch

a film at
It's a small independent film house in

Winnipeg.  Laura is a botanist and works for a tall grass prairie

preserve not far from where we live.  She met a videographer there not

long ago and got to talking.  It turns out this guy did a couple of

films we had intended to see together but for one reason and another

had missed.  Jeff sent Laura the films on DVD which was pretty cool.

They were directors cuts with technoesque test patterns prior to

rolling the introductions.  I thought that was pretty cool.  Love

those details!

These were both classic Canadian documentary style pieces.  Something

all Canadians should be proud of but few even recognise as something we

dominate globally.  Arguably we set the standards in this genre.

was all about sewage.  Sweden has learnt some

things we haven't from this method of ignoring our waste.  A tight bit

of film.  I loved it.

"52 min. documentary how sewers have led to sewage pollution the world over."

The other one we watched was
"Haunts of the
Black Masseur"
and was all about swimming.  A visually
stunning bit of stock.  A great insight into our history with swimming
through the ages.  Very watchable.

"3 minute documentary film on obsessive open water swimmers based on the book by Charles Sprawson."

Paul Firman

I met Paul on the addforums message board
We've acted as each others coach on occasion, talking on the phone at
specific times of day to try and lever ourselves into a better space. 

Paul sent some new images and a site for his new business venture, Bay Natives.  I'm looking forward to more contact with Paul as we share many of the same struggles with

Thursday, September 1, 2005

The Hip

I love the band.  The Tragically Hip
are without a doubt my favourite Canadian band, and they have been for
a number of years.  Uncompromising, driven and classically Canadian in
their fierce embrace of independent thought. 

I was looking for an image this morning to compliment this comment and found they are involved in the water keepers which I didn't know.  An interesting bunch if you don't need pablum.

It looks like their web master has been asleep since the first early August... hmmm

Here is The Hip's home on Flickr

If Gord isn't the goofiest guy in live performance I don't know who could top him. 
I'm thinking bread again.  Sour Rye is what I crave.  I have some buckwheat flour on hand, but no good whole rye.  Hmmmm.

I've a vegetarian meal to prep tomorrow.  Haven't a clue what I'm
building yet.  Hope to have wall sheets started tomorrow on the north
side.  Put up a lot of "J" channel and strapping.  Life in the fast

Sleep.... zzzzzzzzz