Thursday, June 28, 2012


   I've often wondered why we have the moose as one symbol associated with our country, Canada. It is a huge animal, the largest in the deer family. It's antlers distinguish it because the antlers have a broad plate that no other deer have. While it's found all over Canada it does not reach up to the very far north like the caribou. That's because the moose is an herbivore and must stay close to lots of vegetation, unlike the caribou, an omnivore, that moves around in the fat north.
   While I am fascinated by all the facts I cannot come up with an answer to how it became a symbol  for our huge nation. It just is,eh?
In the city of Toronto in the year 2000 one mayor made the moose a promotional item, Moose in the City as part of a dream campaign for the bid of the 2008 olympics. Statues of over 326 moose began to appear all over the city. They were uniquely decorated pieces of art that were scattered in odd locations. They were up for sale on line too. With so many one could play games like 'how many moose did you spot today', but over the years they have thinned out. I guess maintaining them was costing too much? Some are now at dumpsites.
But these moose cause no road kill to humans.
   Oh Canada and oh Newfoundland, where the moose is too plentiful. The moose..Ah...just be careful if you drive in that province. There are frequent accidents and even deaths by moose on the highways. The animal just comes out of nowhere and then there's no time to brake. It crushes a car by its sheer weight since the bulls weigh over 600kg. With  an average of 600-800 accidents yearly and at at least two deaths it's a bad situation for a place where the human population of about 525,000 is only 3.5 times that of the moose estimated to be 150,000. Not only is the animal huge so is its number!
   The reason for so many moose on the island is it that there are no natural predators. The animals were bought from the mainland, two in 1880's and four in 1902. The original six have managed to grow very quickly. To date the people are looking for ways to curb them. What options do they have? I have no answer. But I do have a tidbit of interest for some of you.
   Check out a for a story of May 5,2012. It reports that a woman ran into a moose and drove 40km without realizing it even though her windshield was gone and her roof torn up. Seems the impact caused her to loose the memory of that actual event on contact but not of anything else. It's reported she was on her way to work. When she drove into the company driveway her coworkers came running out to her to see if she was okay. She had no idea why they were so concerned. Take a look at her car. Lucky survivor.
   So why the moose interest just now? Last year, for Canada Day, I wore a T-shirt that had a moose logo and Toronto on it. Buddy took this picture of me at the time and he was very happy with its outcome (and even more joyous that I chose to post it here). I will wear it again if I can find it by Sunday and then I'll add a new hat for the occasion. However my curiosity about the moose thing is not satisfied. I still have no clue how or why the moose is a Canadian symbol. Any ideas on where I might get that information?

   Have a super weekend everyone and stay safe and away from any moose on the road especially in Newfoundland.

P.S I didn't put a direct link to the CBC article because they didn't include blogger as a share option and there are copyright laws that I still need to understand.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


     Do you know what's in the photo? It's an indoor water meter and it appears to have been newly installed. I say this because there are very shiny parts that show no signs of dust or corrosion both to the left and right of the round faced dial object. The white plumbing tape is noticeably clear of any dust or grime. Notice the brand new wiring too. And then directly below it there is some sort of oil like dripping. Though it looks like water careful examination shows its oil based, perhaps a lubricant to loosen the old pipe work?
So where's the mystery?

    When I discovered it I felt a shiver go down my spine. How did this  arrive without any one letting me know? Who had approved a work permit? Who had given access for the worker? How was he/she allowed into the premises? The burst of fear shook me up! It went through me and made me fell violated all over again!
    Many years ago, in a different home, hubby had hired a worker to create a custom bar for him. I had met the carpenter who seemed quite nice and friendly. But my instincts were wrong.
    One afternoon I came home early from teaching. He was still at work. I chose to greet him and to see what progress he had made, a mistake I shall never forget. A few verbal exchanges and it was clear he had clearly had a couple of beers while chiselling away. Quite unexpectedly he began to make a move, an attempt to get fresh. In a flash I found his hands at my breasts hoping to fondled them! Clearly a mistake on his part! Abruptly I swung out my arm and flung a fist in his direction missing but setting the tone that I would not comply to his nonsense. I felt betrayed. I turned and left. I run to the land line phone. I called hubby who was just a short distance from home and informed him that his worker had made a serious mistake.
     That carpenter retreated quickly. He did seem a bit remorseful but I didn't care. The trust was broken. Later that evening he begged hubby for forgiveness but that the job could only be completed hubby by a different worker. It had been the second time that this sort of violation had occurred in my life as home owner, the third as a woman.
   From that day on I established the rule that any work to be done in our house could only happen if hubby or another family member was around while I was in the home. I refused to let anyone come inside when I was alone. Every family member was taught this rule and procedure. I felt that Buddy and the girls were just as vulnerable.
    Seeing the meter led to questions. I asked them about the new water meter in our basement. Who had authorized it and watched it be installed. From the blank look on their faces and their weird glances at me I got the point. Apparently no one amongst them had authorized anyone to enter our home for any job. And according to them it wasn't possible that anything had changed downstairs! So we all walked downstairs together and examined it. I had to point out to them that I often walked past its location and was quick to notice the puddle. I thought perhaps there was a water leak but upon a closer look I knew it was not water. And their bewilderment led me to document its arrival by taking a photo while we were all looking at it. I wanted to verify this event if I ever needed to prove the point.
    To this day none of us knows how anyone was able to get in, do this and get out without being caught but I have my theory. The utilities people did say that they were installing new smart meters in the area but no one would ever acknowledged who came or how the consent to enter our property was obtained! Less than a year later that house went up in flames. That fire began in the basement. Arson is what has appeared in media reports.

   In 1999 that house was built on a former IBM golf course and was a part of a new 'fully loaded for communication technology wired home' like all the others on the site. That meant that every room in the house had cable and phone outlets and every home was prewired for a security system and a central vacuum too. The thermostats to control heating and cooling were programable. Back then it was a new inception to create homes this way. That there might be the invasion of privacy rights was not even a small concern. Nothing was preplanned or organized ensure the home owner's rights to privacy. That fear had not yet been openly created. Nor did any home owner back then worry about such a possibility. Every one was excited about this new internet. Windows 98 had swept everyone who could afford it. Desktops were equipped with CD writers. All wanted to enter this new wave of communicating faster than ever without fear. The user friendly world of internet had exploded and now even wireless capabilities were appearing. Gamers were especially excited. Infra red remotes were in use for some time so the idea of remote was with us.
    But I believed that experiments with remote access were being abused. More and more I slowly began to feel a sense of being watched. It began with little things like security cameras to prevent theft in shops. Then there were cameras set up for safety in apartment complexes. These were hints. There were magazine articles about what was possible. StumbleUpon was teaching how to make an antennae for a notebook computer using a wire coat hanger. It worked! But at my laptop it led to popups of different neighbour's computer ID's with their name and address appearing on my screen. I never figured out how or why but I guessed it was because of the way the homes were all prewired. Still it felt weird. If I could see them they could see me in ways that we didn't really understand. With stories about Nanny cams and baby monitors it was learned that video and audio was used to listen in just about anywhere where there was a screen and it could be accessed remotely. It was all intended to make us feel more at ease about our family's safety. Ha!
   Okay so now things have taken a huge turn around. These days the public needs to be protected from every crazy individual out there. We have been told it's for our safety. When a home is hooked up to a security system and it's hooked up to cable, telephone, water, gas and hydro systems, these may be remotely accessed by big utility firms. Likely the maker of the digital devices also know where their stock went. Everything is coded. Today's home owners are definitely not going to be able to avoid being watched. I doubt there's an escape clause. And now parking a newer model car in that home's driveway will also tell a listener if you are at home. The car's battery hooked up to it's internal computer and the radio receiver on the motherboard will allow that! Remote listening!
   I have watched it all grow and wondered why we are so laid back about companies taking over every aspect of our lives. Latest news in my city area is that our cell phones can be listened into around the airports. Our democratic government wants to get its way to make it legal. It's to combat organized crime! That's nothing new! That's been around. You've heard of the Murdock scandal, right? Are we too busy to really care? Or too complacent? Or have we been sold that we need this for our safety? Remote everything is now very wide spread. Cell phone towers and phones are in some of the most remote parts of the world where decent power is still a wish.
   Digital technology is a mystery to most people because of our failure to keep up with the education of how it works. And the big companies continue banking on just that. The faster things happen, the less likely most will know! Just pay attention to how we are taught about our economy and it's health. There are daily bombardments. At any given moment we are told it's better than expected and then the next day it's still a slow weak struggle and we must fix it. Doom and gloom followed by yeah! And we accept it repeatedly! We allow it.
    Fear's a good thing for businesses. It allows for irrational behaviour . Rush out for some ice cream to feel better. Go to a weight loss place to improve your health. Buy something online to feel happy. But why? Relax. Perhaps add some pills? Chill! One in five is showing signs of mental illness! WOW!! How did we allow this? All from a need, the idea of feeling secure and happy but unable to get to that place. Really?
    Those big firms were not remiss in directing us down a path of fear. They studied the psychology carefully. And they continue to send messages of woe and wonder in order to make things happen for them!
   Dare to dream? Well the mystery lies in its outcome and how it is orchestrated by seemingly unknown factors. Justin Bieber is no miracle, just very carefully marketed to a very vulnerable audience that shall remain loyal to him for a long time. The sales he generates will make sure of that. But the little lady who can't get near him may suffer anxiety. So?
    Reality TV has many hooked. The revenue is generated is staggering and all other shows are set to lobby for them. What a tool used to generate mass ideas, the media. Are they a mental stressor? Gotta go back and see the outcome. Daily reminders to watch. Missed show available for down load right to your phone. Ha!
    How is it that they are able to create addictive behaviour. Dallas is back after twenty years! Why?
    I assume that digital devices are now in full control like it or not. We have been forced to accept that.
    It's only completely quiet when the power goes completely off assuming you are far from a busy road. And even then someone can listen. Did you know that a mandatory smote detector has the power to listen in? For your safety it should be a dual mode, battery enabled one in case the power goes off? Ha!
   To date thousands of people are employed at centres everywhere to just listen. And that how it's possible to know who is away from a residence, perhaps mine.
   My theory is that's how someone was able to enter and leave while we were not aware of it. Likely they figured very few people ever check their basement water meter. But I did. I passed it any time I went to my writing space created by me for me in that basement. I was working on a collection of ideas to start writing children's books.
    Our security system didn't work. In fact it wasn't active at the time.  We'll never know how anyone entered our premises for sure. A crime lab to prove my point would have been needed and that would cost too much. Though I doubt that a family member forgot about making it happen, human error is very common. Still the wrongful action of the carpenter seems almost trivial when I think of how invasive our latest new technology is becoming.

P.S. A special thanks to Google for providing me with this platform called blog where I am able to create and share ideas with a world of listeners.
P.P.S. I don't like Google customizing my searches believing it knows what I want and then limiting me from what I could be finding! That's where AI has yet to really tune into my brain and listen in! Ha!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Bow and Arrow

While at Hever Castle in UK there were many activites besides touring the historical building itself. Our kids decided to try learning a new skill, archery. Buddy was first up. He impressed us all with his ability to follow the instructions and get his arrows launched into the air. One even managed to make it to the closest target.

After his 10 arrows were used up he told his sister it was her turn. She found the tension needed to make the arrow fly required good muscle control in the upper arm and shoulder. She got hers to the close target too.

Then it was our SIL's turn. And if you look carefully you'll see that our daughter managed to click the camera in time to catch his arrow in flight just above the close target! Her hubby managed to get his arrow to the boar in the distance.
All three have decided this activity was great fun. In the future each may join a group to really learn the skills needed to become a proficient archer.
Just before posting these pictures I did a search and discovered that the use of the bow and arrow dates back as far as 10000 BC with discoveries of some in northern Europe. These tools have been discovered in all continents except Australia where only spears appeared as weapon.
While many of today's weapons are launched by computers, it's relaxing to watch as people as they try to recapture one of the more historical ways of shooting a missile at the castle grounds. That's because there was no threat of pending hunger or a dangerous enemy if the target was not met.
Have you had any bow and arrow experiences?