Saturday, December 22, 2018

TROUBLED TIMES

   The times are changing globally in so many ways I find it disturbing. Perhaps I am somewhat weird in my thoughts but for some time now my gut suggests that the the US president while appearing to attempt to make America great is actually just a misguided puppet secretly hoping to win over approval from wealthy Russian leadership for his own future. At the same time I feel that Putin and his men have fund that they came weaken the US by inserting foolish ideas into the mind of the US leader thus weakening that nation both internally and globally.
It is so had to watch how all is just unravelling.
It bothers me that all regard for allies is being ignored. I wonder what our Prime Minister Trudeau will be able to do now that he has involved himself with the China CEO.
And Trumps' shut down of the department of Justice really has me wondering. Is he trying to mess with law keepers?
As I listen to news from countries around the globe I sense 2019 will be one that may bring us hardships we had hoped to avoid.
   Brexit has caused unrest too.
 Refugees galore are hoping for a new life but the global communities are not really set up to cope with the high volume of them.
  I feel rather uncertain about how it can be shaped back to a positive direction. 
How are you coping these days with the current events? Do you see a better outcome? Please do share your point of view.
My post is not a researched one. All is intuition.

Did you know the concept of a nutcracker is centuries old?
Happy Holidays.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Biometric Ethics

   As technology in the world of IT grows it brings many changes into our lives both for what seems to be good but also the not so good. We know now that crimes in the world of cyber space are very real. Scamming is on the rise too. In fact personalized searches on the internet means that the information selected by your search is now very carefully selected to show stuff nearby to your location unfess you use a VPN.
   I found this annoying while travelling in the EU. As soon as I entered my wifi network provided by hosts my searches were localized both in shops nearby and in currency. I was no longer a Canadian travelling. I was a local. It affected how some of my streaming apps would perform with some refusing altogether. And since EU has added some security not yet part of Canada, I had frequent pop ups about that. I decided not to post blogs but did manage to read some. 
   I left August 5 and did not return till Sept 18 . During that time my home internet was used occaisionally by visiting daughter or our cat sitter. My internet bill is due to be paid on the 20th each month. In August all was as usual but in September my bill was up by more than $40 and I protested. 
   On the due date I called my provider and requested an explanation. Voice of the agent said, 
  “Your promotion is up and also all internet Canadwide went up September 1st,” and I was offered a new better service package that was now using voice commands. I said no thanks to that and asked to just give me a package close to my old price. I was on speaker phone. While the agent was busy getting me a deal, I was busy chatting with my daughter who had dropped by. 
   The agent finally offered me a package that was $10 more and would keep my features status quo so I accepted the change. And when I thanked the agent I was very surprised and not too happy. Here’s wby;
   “While I got you your new deal I also did a biometric scan of your voice and it is now in our system. The next time you call us we will know it is you and you will not be asked to ID yourself. It is our lateset customer recognition technology. Now is there anything else I can assist you with?”
  “No thanks.”
   As I hung up I was a bit in shock. The idea that my voice ID was literally taken from a phone call to a service provider without even asking my permission leaves me wondering how the field of biomtrics will evolve for the good and what about the bad?
   Face reconbition, thunb print, iris and now voice are used as biometric identifiers yet are we safer? And do we even know if and when we are being tracked? Announcements that conversations are taped for quality services are frequent but no one states we are keeping track of your voice for ID purposes. 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Power Wars

   As I worked on my other blog on my iPad I noticed how it is not as responsive to my wishes in the blog template and I started reading up on the changes Google is gradually implementing. I read that one could make a copy of all things Google using Google takeout. I was keen to learn more. 
   After watching multiple videos and reading all sorts of techie articles not one could offer me a clear answer of how to do this if one was not using Office so I am not very happy.
   Instead the searches led me back to the notion that I could post on Apple News and that just makes me more upset. The bigger Google and Apple get the more we are pushed to do as they feel will be best for us.
   I became a blooger years ago to help me recover from life‘s curveballs; cancer and a house fire. I had to struggle to find followers but slowly my tiny group of friends grew. Their comments were inspirational and I still cherish them but I find Google is messing up our little group. Comments no longer go to email inboxes. Posting comments often require several hoops to get there. And Google claims it is all to improve everyone‘s experience and online safety.
   I seem to disagree. The more I Google these days the more I get pushed into my own neighbourhood and the global aspect of searches are disappearing. It seems like IT has narrowed us down to GPS and the force of marketing to us is now a tool to recon with. What kind of freedom is left when we are forced by technology that thinks for us and makes us believe it will be a better life?
   Wait till there are power outage wars. 

P.S. When the power is off the house is very quiet. 
There was a POP noise in the walls when I hit the publish button! WiFi is the cause. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Tough Changes

    This May we had the opportunity to see two operas. Getting downtown with hubby is now a challenge. We took public transit for the first one,The Nightingale, which was magnificently done. It has made world fame as the current COC production added much technology and added a real poo fulll of real water into the orchestra pit. (There are Youtube videos showing how it was done)  Buddy was fascinated by the puppets used by the singers and the dragons fighting in the water. All was spectacular. Hubby who loves opera fell asleep in all of this. It was just too much for him to take in.
   A week later we went to see Anna Bolene, a version of the story of Anne Boleyn, mother of Elizabeth l, wife of Henry Vlll who had her beheaded. To get to the opera hubby insisted on taking the car to the performance hall but he took a wrong exit so I had to help him find an alternate. Luckily he was in the mood to follow my directions. Often  now he refuses. The opera was spectacular  
but a rather traditioal tragic one. Hubby had tears in his eyes when Elizabeth was taken from her mother's arms who was  to be sent to her fate.
    For the Mother's Day weekend I booked two plays at our Stratford Festival with an over night stay in town. We left Friday happy and seemingly on the right path but it eventually became apparent hubby had missed an exit and we ended up at a gas station in Woodstock way off our course. While he went for a washroom visit I quickly set up my iPhone to find the fastest route to Stratford from our current location. Luckily the gas station he choose was at the foot of route 59 leading us to our hotel if we headed north on it. When hubby got into the car he wanted to go back to the exit he missed but it was tricky to get back onto his road. I engaged the voice that prompted him how to go using the phone and he began to follow that. He was led onto route 59 HA!   He stopped wanting his original route.  Soon he saw signs to Stratford and was calm again. We were at the Hotel two hours later than planned  had we taken the right exit I opted to enjoy the scenic rural setting as we drove along.
  Checkin was a breeze and Buddy always loves hotels. He was excited. I made a dinner reservation for a lovely preshow meal and we enjoyed the food but had included dessert packed for after he show to be enjoyed before bedtime.
   The first performance we saw was Music Man the musical. Being seated in row D in the centre had us feeling we were in the action. It was light hearted and fun. Hubby roared with laughter at some points. 
   Back at our hotel the stay had moments of hubby being rude and easily angered but we got to sleep despite the fuss. Dessert was cherry pie and pecan pie , both homemade and scromptious  before retiring.
   The next day we were to checkout by noon. Hubby came and went. He was restless. I got us ready and signed out. As we put our bags into the car hubby said get in. He had decided he wanted to see shops in town but had no clue of what he wanted so I requested he drop Buddy and I off at the theatre where we'd have lunch before the two pm performance of The Tempest. He give in. He parked at the theatre and we each went our way. Buddy and I bought a few gifts and enjoyed the outdoor gardens until show time. We met up with hubby in our seating area.
  This year our directors of the festival have taken a bold new direction  by making changes in the gender of leading roles. Prospero was played by a well known female in this production and I found it quite acceptable. There was also a lot of 3D stuff like moving huge monsters and thunderstorm effects that had me jumping. Clearly the point of change was tp appeal to audiences now used to lots of visual dramatic effects enjoyed in movies and video games. And judging by the younger audience I think for now the approach is working..
   After the show our car trip home was smooth and direct. However, the moodiness of hubby remained unpredictable.
  I share all this just three days before I fly alone to UK for the birth of grabdbaby two. Excited but also rather tense about the upcoming weeks because Buddy and hubby are to live together for two weeks and hubby and Buddy now run into conflicts. And they have to mange getting to their flight on their own. I have prepared their documents and Budd’s travel bags but hubby is not so keen to be ready before I leave.
    All I can do is hope for the best Changes can be worrisome..
 MY eyesight continues to decline but I refuse to stop enjoying each day due to  tension and annoyances both pushing for changes. I must be positive. i must find little joys in all of the coming events.

PS    When I comment I now make typos but once I click send they remain. I try to catch them but hey you know me now. My eyes struggle but I refuse to give up my passion of sharing for now.
PPS   Googgle's upcoming changes may make our blog shares harder. Who knows? Just be sure to back up your blogs soon. Don’t loose them.

Monday, April 30, 2018

A Gift of Tulips



It is the tulip that evokes several special memories in me.
1 buying my Mom’s favorite cut flower each March around her birthday
2 seeing flelds of colours while landing in Amsterdam age 10 April ‘57
3 taking a group of grade 7/8 on a 3 day field trip to,Ottawa May 1071
4 receiving colourful ones often from hubby and sometimes the kids
What a joy to know this Dutch flower is now found globally in gardens.
The bulbs were gifted by the Dutch to nations of their choice as royal gestures.
The one on our table is so warm in colours. All we need now is a warm outdoors and it is to come today.


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Earth Day And Diatoms

   When Earth Day came about almost 50 years ago I was a young ambitious teacher who actively took part in the school and local clean up events. I observed that over the years not many really significant changes came about except maybe the convertors  installed cars in western nations to keep air cleaner along with a tiny push to decrease energy consuption but I feel that has failed as we are now very hooked on electronics everywhere. There are few places where one does not see screens of sorts. 
   Nations cannot agree on climate change causes. So I have my personal thought that no matter what we as individuals do unless the big corporations shift, things will get worse. Consumerism is needed for a robust economy and there lies biggest problem. Our earth is getting sicker by the minute and we are unable to stop the damage. Jobs come first. Profit margins are recorded daily just like rainfall. Profit is tops.
    I am one of many post war babies who grew up watching ads on TV and enjoying what my wages could afford. I was na├»ve in the belief that big companies and governments would care and work out how to make changes to improve our pollution issues. I was a unionized worker active in rights for women teachers in my province and at the time I believed it could happen. Not any more. My PM is pushing for a pipeline to create jobs. Ironically he may have more women on that job with equal pay.
   So today I will tell you about a part of earth that has been around longer than humans. It is known as diatomaceous earth and it seem to be a very useful natural substance used in organic farming , pool cleaning and foods. It is put into your grains at storage places to prevent bugs. 
  Many of you know I have struggled with cancer and eye issues. I have another problem . My body goes into fight mode after taking most of today’s pharma drugs so I have had to spend hours trying to figure out how to deal with BP going up or cholesterol scores bothering my GP and of course Buddy’s skin issues. After much searching I am now using diatomaceous earth food grade to deal naturally with lots of aging stuff. 
  I bought two bags of the diatoms that look like flour frm Amazon and in February I started my journey. I used a half teaspoon in carrot juice in the morning. My body reacted to this with annoying mild heaches but I had read to expect some discomfort. Slowly change came. My arthritic fingers straightened. That visible observation gave me hope to continue. As I increased the amount I had some days where I was extremely tired and just slept. After that I noticed another improvement. My knee joints no longer hurt. And my BP WOW! My BP is amazing at 120/67. And I am still not at the peak of wellness for my skin and my cellulite are still transforming to a much healthier look. I am happy with how this earth is working for me. Buddy loves it too. We will both continue on this for months to come. 
  I gave the second bag to Buddy’s PCW for baths as the worker had complained of knee pain. He too stared slowly and had a drop in BP and now his knees are not hurting. In fact today he was running up our stair case feeling great.
  If you are on pharma meds this earth can interfere so be careful if you wish to try it. I had no choice since my body hates most pharm drugs. I have learned of people who hated the side effects of pharma drugs slowly switched over. Diotoms have been used in Chinese natural ways for over 5000 years. 
  You can learn more on the internet if it is something that interests you. DE is its short form and there is a lot to read out there.
I would love to here from you. Are you in favour of less pharma?

Monday, February 19, 2018

Why Pesticides are Poisons

Buddy and I travelled to a resort in Cayo Coco, one we have visited seven times in the last 5 years. Irma resized the beach to a much lovlier one but it also swept away much of the beautiful larger folliage, the gorgeous coconut palm trees amongst the mix.
  The resort staff at each resort was was made to be the clean up and be repair manpower to get things back into a viable functioning vacation spot and it was impressive to see how much they accomplished to be able to accomodate their ususal fiock of guests. Buddy and I were given a lovely corner suite with the balcony that had both ocean and pool view. All started off with friendly Olas from staff and we felt quite at home. 
  The weather vortex that hit the north made it’s way here too so we had to wear jeans and sweaters and it rained for three days but not continuaously. We carried on with walks and played games. We were happy.
  Finally on the fourth day the sun appeared but the wind was still strong. We stayed on the lovely beach and chatted with guests for about three hours but could not go into the wild sea yet. The nexr day the sea was calm and the sun shone brightly so we stayed at the beach longer and braved the cool ocean water for a bit too. And then we left to prepare ourselves for supper and the evening show. It was Michael Jackson night and Buddy always loved that. Back in our room later that night I found I had to urinate a bit more than usual but no alarm went off.
  The morning was again a windy rainy one so we spent most of our time in our room. In fact we both were quite dazed. It was a chore to get to dinner and after a bit of walking around the resort we headed back to our roon to watch the show from our balcony as it had a view of the stage. And then I began to feel a bit uneasy. I had more urination issues but much worse than before. I took my allergy med and a tablet to calm me down but that did little to change what was wanting to leave my body. We went to bed as usual but I headed to the toilet every thiry minutes and by midnight I was clearly getting dehydrated. I needed medical help so I called for the doctor who came promptly with her assistant. She checked my BP which had shot up. She wanted to give me BP pills but I refused as I do not tollerate pills well and then we concluded I need electrolytes to get me better. She left and came back with the powder that we mixed and I drank as much and as fast as I could. We taught Buddy how to call for help should I get worse and she said she would be back at 9 am. For now that was it. I spent the next few hours holding Buddy’s hand for I had learned years ago physical contact with another can greatly add to a positive healing. By four am I returned to my bed and prayed for the best.
   The doctor and her assistant arrived as promised and brought more powder mix. My BP was lower and my dry mouth was improving. The doctor asked Buddy how he was and he said he now had diahrrea so he was put on the mix too. She insisted we head for breakfast and that We have lots to drink. We followed her advice. She was happy to find us at a table when she and her assisrant came for their meals. And thereafter at each meal she came to our table to see how we were. You see I had no fever nor the runs which is what most guests tend to have. It puzzeled her and me too. But not for long. The cause became clear.
 On our last day we stayed at the beach . It was lovely. It was perfect. Later in the afternoon we had to pack for our night flight home. It was during that time  that I noticed a very strong chemical smell around the sink area. And that is when I knew what triggered my reaction. It was insecticide.
  The Cubans want give guests pest free resorts and rooms. To achieve this they fog the outdoors at dawn and dusk. Since Irma it seems they spray parts of the roons where nasties may appear. Most days rooms are well ventilated so there was not a strong residue but on rainy days It was different with ventilation and we had remained a whole day in our room. The bug killer was affecting me. I was having the same symptoms that the drug has on bugs. They die ment to from dehydration after coming in contact with pesticides. I guess I got too much of it?
  Poisons clearly affect humans although manufacturers claim we are far too large for the stuff to do us harm. Ha! I now know first hand so people will react. Too bad.
   We loved our many trips to the island but it seems my body is now telling me to stop. Buddy and I are sad about all the pestcides and have concluded a break must happen. 
   And I feel that many guests who blame food for their illness may not have that right. The food is perfectly fine. The fogging is really the culprit as is the room spray. It just does not seem to be well understood yet. 
  Poisons are being abused. Surely there are natural ways we can cohabit with insects. 
  

Monday, January 15, 2018

News Can Be Good

  Hubby went for extensive testing this fall and on January 10 we got the results. He is not at this time showing any signs of Alzheimer’s but does have some age related dementia that is not showing further deteioration at the moment.  Hubby was put on a low dose of cialis to be taken on alternate days. It is being studied in EU as a possible aid for improved blood flow to the brain and I must say I have noticed he is more focused and able to navigate his daily life with less confusion about day of the week and so on. There is much I could write but perhaps an other time? I am heading south with Buddy today.
  Hubby will happily head to his office where he loves what he does.