2015-05-27

TREE HUGGING (May, 2015)


The last ten years or so, while either walking, running or bicycling along the road near my house,I always somehow managed to see that Maple tree at the entrance to neighbour's driveway (no one lives there; it's just a logging road into the woods) and notice it slowly dying. For many years, the tree has held one end of a chain across the road. This chain was originally attached to a hook in the tree, but much lower. The other end was, and still is, attached to a large cedar post across the driveway.
About four years ago some unfeeling lout decided that the chain was too low, so they wrapped it tightly round the trunk of the maple tree, fastened it, and then drove in a few nails to keep it there. Of course the tree started to choke, and began dying. Somehow I could not help but notice this each time I passed this driveway.
 The last few years the tree had valiantly tried to "absorb" this tourniquet, and a bit of bark did indeed manage to grow around part of the chain on one side. But most of the tree began to die, and a huge section of bark on one side flaked off.
A few weeks ago I had finally had enough of staring at this cruelty every time I ran or walked by it. So, a big screw-hook was procured in the workshop, and I got my cordless drill and a couple of wrenches, and went over there to unwrap the chain, install the hook (where there is no bark, just inner dead wood), and finally attach the chain properly!
Now, each time I run by there, I feel better. And I think the tree does also. Already there is new bark creeping sideways across the dead wood, covering it up. And the top is full of green leaves once again.
Go ahead- call me a tree hugger.

2014-10-31

My three days in New York City - Sept, 2014

Taking the bus from Plattsburgh, NY to the Big Apple! 
And I'll be staying in the exotic SUN BRIGHT hotel in Chinatown again! For 3 nights!
I've stayed there before. Seems clean. And I even had a TV in my room last time.  And free Wifi!
Here's a New York Times review of it-  I found this admittedly after I had already paid my room deposit for 3 nights.
    NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW    Well, it's from 2006.  I'm sure they've cleaned it up by now. And I already stayed in it a couple of years ago.
  Funny.. I don't remember any cockroaches or ten-day-old corpses the last time I stayed there. Maybe this time I'll have one as a room-mate. I just hope it's bunk beds, not a double.
      ===============

ARRIVED! And checked in!
All you have to is google  "SunBright Hotel NY" or something similar to see what a great place this is!
Anyhoo, here is one link....
    http://www.booking.com/hotel/us/sun-bright.en-us.html   Ah! Some positive reviews!
Say- Are you visiting New York from the United Kingdom? The Daily Mail offers you a special discount!  HERE.  

And here is an interesting   New York Post Article!
  Scary?  I've seen worse...
The lobby is on 2nd floor (really the 3rd)...  the dog cages above are on the 4th, and my room is on the 5th, above the homicidal residents.  Sorry, no elevator.  I need the exercise anyhow. But I have a key to my room  as well as a key to the whole 5th floor!  Wouldn't want any of those 4th floor zombies coming upstairs!
I  WOULD have gotten a room on the 3rd probably with a TV, but when I jokingly asked for a room with a window, he complied and gave me a 5th floor room,  And I then discovered it has no TV ... But who cares... 
Oh, the pay phone, as was described in The New York Times article above, is no longer broken. Unless perhaps the resident I saw talking on it had gone off his meds again.
   ===============

2013-02-27

Burial? Cremation? Which is preferable?

From a few posts at "Bigthink.com" earlier this year-  (under the Claude Balloune pseudo-gnome) 

... Save energy. Cremation costs energy. If the body's gonna be dumped into the ocean, then do it simply like they did with Osama. He got the best burial, the old rascal.

Trouble is, if you live 1000 KM from the ocean,like me, there's a bit of a problem with ahem- storage. Perhaps the body could be frozen and put in a large insulated picnic hamper and quickly shipped to the ocean.

Hey, maybe commercial airliners could dump bodies as they cross the Atlantic or Pacific. They could do SOMETHING useful as they transport live bodies between countries!
And think of the funeral ceremony onboard! Then the bereaved would finally press a button, a bomb-bay door opens, and the bodies (with minimal coffin if any) are consigned to Davy Jones' locker!
This could be good business for all those airlines going bankrupt. And the bereaved could later hold a wake in London or Paris!
Or, if the staid commercial airlines don't like the 'yuck' factor, we could hire some old Argentinian or Chilean general, experienced in these procedures (if there are any still alive and not in jail), to fly a bunch of bodies at a time and dump them all at once. But not in their preferred helicopter method. Wastes too much energy.

 How about an ecologically correct balloon that would self destruct when it's a thousand Km out over the ocean? ...

      Hmm...  Maybe I should open this up as a whole discussion! In the meantime, use your vote on the right side of this page. 

2013-02-13

Lyme Disease. In the Chateauguay Valley?

2012. One of a series of diatribes regarding my recent (a few months ago) experience with Lyme Disease.
Be patient- there's older diatribes of mine regarding Lyme that I will integrate here.
   ===============
  Last fall I contracted Lyme disease. 

One of its lesser-known symptoms (it occurs in 5%-10% of "victims") is a condition known as Lyme Carditis, which manifests itself in extreme bradycardia (slowing of pulse rate)
The various doctors that diagnosed me were unfamiliar with this, and soon decided that if I didn't quickly get a pacemaker, I had a good chance of dying. My pulse was down to 28-35 beats per minute.
So they shipped me off by Ambulance to the Jewish General Cardiac ICU in Montreal, where I got the same "You need a pacemaker ASAP!" opinion.   Once I had figured out that this condition was almost certainly due to Lyme Carditis, which most of the Medical establishment here dismissed, it was too late- the pacemaker had been installed.
Oh yeah- during the "installation", my lung was accidentally punctured, resulting in Pneumothorax, and a FURTHER two day stay in the hospital, hooked up to an in-house vacuum cleaner.
BAH!  I am not a Happy Camper.

If I had stayed home another week, and not worried too much about this bradycardia, it would have cleared up on its own accord. It really didn't bother me much-  just a sort of fainting sensation when I ran up stairs, and which I quickly recovered from.

 But then, I never would have known I had Lyme disease - until several months later Rheumatoid Arthritis (another Lyme disease symptom) was setting in, and my doctor would presumably then have said "Gee, Tony- You're getting old! You have to expect these sort of problems at your age!"
Well, no.  I do not!.
BAH again! Guess I'm fucked, either way.

Lyme disease is becoming a serious problem in much of our rural Canadian society here- it is vastly under-reported (again in my humble estimation) due to its being masked by symptoms created by other common diseases.

Think you have Lyme? Consult your local physician. But be aware: In Montreal,  the two-stage blood test takes 6 to 8 weeks for the results to be received!

Ormstown?  I'm STILL waiting for my follow-up test results. It's been more than two months. I'm betting that the 23 day regimen of Doxycycline didn't cure my Lyme, as I had contracted it at least 2 months before my prescription was given.
But then, I'm not the unnamed (as yet) doctor in Montreal that prescribed my Doxycycline.

The local veterinarians in our area routinely test dogs and horses as well as other domestic and farm animals for Lyme.
And?  Quite a few animals have it.
And here's the kicker: Apparently they can provide you with a diagnosis in less than one day. That is, if you're a dog. Or a horse. I asked a local vet if she could test me for Lyme, but she just laughed.  Ha-ha. Funny, huh? 

Ah, but there's a hospital much closer to me than Montreal or even Ormstown, that can provide me with a Lyme disease diagnosis.
This local hospital is, of course,  in the US (in "small-town" Malone, NY) and apparently can provide a diagnosis for Lyme disease (including the "Western Blot" test)  within two days!
Alas, this will apparently have cost me $150- $200.
It's expensive, but I may just go this route. 

And- this damn pacemaker is UNCOMFORTABLE!  If I can get it removed, I just might put it on E-Bay.
Hey, Medtronics? What's the going price for a 2nd-hand pacemaker?

   -----  end of diatribe -----

2013-01-01

Norwegian Festival!

THE 2007 NORWEGIAN HORSE-SPEARING FESTIVAL
 Instead of torturing poor small crabs, Yngve Ekern should climb aboard a Norwegian horse wagon, to enjoy one of Norway's finest traditions!. I have read of this tradition, and it is indeed noble!
Was caught from a toilet seat!
In this ceremony, Yngve would be able to fire a large hook (with an exploding head on it) into a horse-supposedly a large intelligent mammal - and after the poor horse has dragged his wagon several Kilometers through the streets of Oslo, and it is too exhausted to run anymore, the wagoners will descend from the wagon and then CUT UP the still-living horse into pieces (hopefully we assume the horse does not live too much longer - but that's OK; horses don't feel pain).
Hey- This horse killing festival is apparently perfectly LEGAL under Norwegian law. Yngve Ekern need not fear any prosecution from silly misguided animal-rights groups such as NOAH!
Horse meat is apparently a Norwegian delicacy, and part of their 'cultural heritage'.
 Of course, the UN only permits a limited number of horses to be killed in in this manner each year, and only for 'scientific research' (chuckle-chuckle) But it's a Grand Tradition and we should not condemn the Norwegians for their horse-spearing way of life.
But alas! There is some talk of now extending this noble tradition to killing whales! Hmmnn.. now perhaps this is going a bit TOO far. Much better to stick to crabs and horses.
My God! Spearing a large whale with a large exploding hook?  Why, not even the Japanese would be savage enough to do that!

2012-06-01

Evil Nuclear Power

Most of the people that are against nuclear power in so-called "western society" have little or no grounding in science.
Prick one- ask him (more likely, it's a "her") how they did in Science subjects in school -
and see what answers you get.
Don't forget now- we are talking High School  - forget college, there would be an even dimmer set of replies - and see how they fare:
Physics?  "Oh that was TOTALLY borrrring! I slept through Physics class!  Ha ha!"
Math?      "Oh gee..  Barbie told me that math is HARRRRD!"
OK, then-
Chemistry?   "Oh that stuff is really dirty! I took Poetry Appreciation 101 instead."

But now, somehow they have magically acquired an extensive scientific knowledge, and have decided that Nuclear Power is... well, basically EVIL.
Notice the similarity between this concept, and the people of 300 years ago who believed that witches were evil? Ah, many of the people that now believe Nuclear Power is evil probably also believe in - or even practice - "good witchcraft".
viz. Arthur C. Clarke's 3rd Law.
But I digress.

 - Well, gee- It IS kinda horrible that 30,000 people died at 3-Mile-Island, huh?
ummm..You're wrong!
 - Oh, wait- it wasn't 30,000?  OK small correction-  three thousand!
No, silly! 
Oh, well I seem to recall three hundred..
Nope. Wrong again.
 - Three dozen? I know there's a "3" in there somewhere!
No. 
 - Golly! Just THREE PEOPLE ???
No. 
Sorry.  NO ONE died at 3-Mile Island.
 - Then what was all this fuss about?

It's called "journalism", sweetie!  MEDIA! We gotta crank up the fear factor to sell our news!
Now before someone steps in here and says "Yes, but what about all the cancer deaths later caused by all that evil radiation released at 3-mile island", well I will simply throw back at you what about the cancer deaths caused by coal pollution, mining, and for that matter breathing in epoxy resins from Wind-turbine blade construction?
It happens quietly, consequently does not create much of a ripple in the daily news.

It should be interesting to see how Angela Merkel will be regarded forty years from now, as more and more of these wind-turbines flood the landscape of Germany.  I bet the French (85% nuclear) are quietly chuckling as they sell more and more electricity to Germany...

Say- as an afterthought, what ever happened to those hydrogen powered cars we were all supposed to be driving by 2009?

2012-03-15

THE IDES OF MARCH! The CBC Fact-Line®

  WARNING!  NUTRITION ADVISORY.
 Typically on this most ominous of days - the Ides of March - the CBC is reporting that Halal meat, particularly chicken, is now surreptitiously being sold in unmarked packages in Quebec supermarkets such as "Metro" and "IGA"! 

 Rumors are circulating (with the help of CBC Radio Montreal) that this tainted chicken, when eaten by an unsuspecting Christian man, may cause him to grow a beard (i.e stop shaving), and, if a Christian woman consumes too much (read: any!) of this chicken, she will start donning a headscarf, such as those that the pious Catholic ladies in Quebec used to wear a half century or so ago.
Details? See this shocking report.    And beware.

It is as yet uncertain what sort of effect this Halal meat may have upon a person of the "Hebraic persuasion", but one can only shudder at the implications.

Will this revered dining 
establishment be next?
   If you, or any member of your family, are developing peculiar urges to bow down several times a day while facing East, it is advised you stop eating this chicken IMMEDIATELY!
   Any remaining chicken in your refrigerator whether cooked or raw, should be returned to your supermarket for a refund. Store clerks have been instructed to deal with you pleasantly.
    Alternately, you might be able to call in a Catholic priest to have your chicken exorcised. This should reverse the ill effects of any "blessing" or "sacrament" given by a zealous imam.**
Good Christian chickens!
 Catholic priests are on standby now!  Call 1-666-BAD-HALAL (1-666-223-4252) to have this hallowed ancient rite performed on your meat, or for safety's sake, the whole refrigerator. (Note: exorcism for extra-hot BBQed drumsticks and wings done at a slight extra charge) 



More details (breathless) will follow shortly from the CBC Fact Line.   Stay tuned.
And Happy Ides of March.


** Halal is a certification process consisted of having an iman recite a prayer in the chicken rendering plant and does not affect the slaughtering methods at all”  ....  Yeah...Right!