A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Harpers Speech

Please find below for your enjoyment a few extracts from Harpers speech upon dissolving parliament and launching us into an extend taxpayer subsidized 11 week campaign.

As it is my intention to begin campaign-related activities, as is also the case for the other party leaders, it is important that these campaigns be funded by the parties themselves rather than taxpayers..........
.....and my use of taxpayers dollars to inundate them with advertisements promoting our “Economic Action Plan” and our “Bribe Families with Kids Plan” was not partisan at all. It is just coincidence that our MPs have been out handing out more funding cheques in the last few days than in many years. Also I will not be accepting the 50% taxpayer funded reimbursement of our expenses.

It is an election about who will protect our economy......A national election is not a popularity contest.......
.....which is why we have spent millions trying to reduce the popularity of Justin and ignored the fact that the Economy still has not recovered from the recession.
Our choices have been prudent and our actions have been disciplined........
........the closure of scientific library’s, coast guard stations etc and the defunding of organizations supporting democracy and womens rights etc were not ideologically driven at all.

As a result, our economy and our employment have grown steadily over six years......
.........and those studies and charts that say that the economy is tanking and 1000s of Canadians have given up even trying to find a full time job and similar reports were not dreamed up by us and therefore must be wrong.

Our budget is balanced........
........ and we have a pristine island for sale in an Albertan tar sands effluent pond.

Our social programs have been preserved.,,,,,,,
.......the veterans, womens groups and others that say they are not getting federal support are just a bunch of whining sissy’s.

Jihadi terrorists have declared war on Canada and Canadians by name, and last October violent attacks were carried out on our soil.......
...........I know because I heard the shooting from the single disturbed gunman from inside the closet I was hiding in.

Now is not the time for political correctness, inexperienced governance or an ideological unwillingness to act...........Now is the time to face those who threaten us with moral clarity, strength, and resolve.........
.........those threats include opposition politicians, environmentalists, scientists, charitable organizations and anyone who does not agree with me. My dismantling of our parliamentary democracy and refusal to debate these issues is a measure of my resolve to finish totally destroying Canada as you once knew it.

I will be asking Canadians for their support to continue to deliver sound economic management, and to take the difficult decisions necessary to protect our country’s security...........
...........and if that fails we will lie, cheat, ignore the rules and try and buy you votes in any way possible because we are the only ones who know anything and all others are terrorists trying to kill you.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Old Fergie & Big Blue.

A few weeks ago I waved goodby to my faithful old British built Ferguson tractor, I remain so totally impressed with this, the first of the factory built farm tractors with the ability to hook up to, lift, and provide power to implements that I was sad to see it leave. It did not however go to the tractor graveyard but on to another owner who will, I am firmly convinced, get many years of use out of it yet. That I can say that for a 60 year old piece of equipment says much for the quality and longevity of these tractors conceived by Harry Ferguson just after the end of WW2. They simply do not make stuff like this any more, even the steel seems to be of better quality, removing a bolt from a 5 year old piece of junk is often an almost impossible task, rusted, seized or broken off is the norm whereas working on this tractor near as old as the owner I never has such problems during the 15 years I had it.

The only reason I replaced it is the need for something with 4WD both for safer use in the hilly terain in my bush and for ease of use in blowing snow during the winter. After looking for used Kudoba and similar “compact” tractors in the 30hp range I stumbled upon a New Holland TC30 at a price I could not turn down. Lined up for auction I asked for the price 'pre auction' and got it at the reserve price.

In the last few days, having hooked up the home built hydraulic winch not sold with old Fergie and hauled out the first big hardwood logs with it (not the first logs but the first with this tractor). I must say that everything went well, the biggest advantage was not so much the 4WD but the power steering, it was tough to get Fergie into a tight spot with the armstrong steering but with this one its a piece of cake. So it works good, now to figure out the maintenance on it, with hydrostatic drive, a diesel engine instead of gas and more pipes, hoses and filters than I care to count it is much more complex that the old 50s tractor and probably will need much more TLC, only time will tell!

Old Fergie has now gone on to continue with its long career with a new owner, but what to do with his compatriot full of spare parts sitting behind the barn, is it now parts for someone else , scrap metal by weight or a boat anchor? 

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Hair

Found in my in box.......

The Hair
Countdown to Election..Eh..!!

I spilled some oil, you wiped it up
I lost some leaders, that had enough
I changed commanders, hope this one listens
Liberals/NDP didn't screw up "all said systems."

So I beg of you, for another chance...
I only sing, can't really dance
Yes natives worried..watered oil
Other places also, waters they to boil....!!

I'll give you money, not really mine
Screw voting system, lawyers not to find
Show you books...no cash left there
All I ask, is please don't mess my hair.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New "Pot Garden" finished.

Besides getting the tower up as shown in my last post I have been busy with constructing a new "Pot Garden" to try and eliminate garden weeding but still permit the moving around of plants as they come into bloom or as they are done flowering. The previous beds done this way last year seem to be working well for us and plants left in place over winter all survived except one that got destroyed by the voles!

Step one, two and three, dig the hole, install the center feature (an old well pump from our previous property) and start pouring a concrete retainer......

Then add decoractive bricks around the edge and layout previously cast concrete pot holders.

Finally level around outside and add washed stone and potted flowers.

Looking good .......... but oh my aching back!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Grey Bruce Telecom comes through!

Regular readers here (all two or three of you) will know I have been struggling for years to get a decent internet connection out here in the “boonies”. Even my original dialup crapped out much of the time due to lousy telephone lines and problems every time it rained, took me 5 years of bitching to Bell to get that one fixed. Its an ongoing problem for many rural residents. The only other option at the time was Bell or Roger “hub” (connection via cell service) and so I went with Rogers, it was somewhat faster at around 500k average and at first fairly reliable at first but in recent years less so. Besides being expensive (especially if you go over their 3GB basic monthly limit) their internet service is the bottom of the heap and when the traffic exceeds the networks capacity you are the first to be “throttled”, often to the point of un-usability!

My next attempt was to investigate satellite internet via Explorenet, this turned out to be a non starter due to the size and weight of the dish required and the height of the trees to the SW. Being too big to mount on the house or garage the only option would have been a 6 or8 foot pole cemented in some distance from the house. Upon hearing that I decided if I was going to have to spend time and money with installing “infrastructure” I would do so with the aim of getting a wireless connection to one of the several suppliers who service this area. To do this I would have to get above the 50' to 60' trees that surround the house, fortunately I had, some years ago, taken down a 68' tower with this in mind but had shirked the work needed to plant it. So after checking the availability of signal here (so long as I got above the trees) We proceeded to dig a big hole at the highest point near the house (about 200' away by hand in our rocky clay) and plant the tower base with almost 2 yards of hand mixed cement, it being impossible to get a backhoe or cement truck anywhere near!

To make a long story much shorter I will just say it is up, I am connected and getting unlimited internet at around 2Mbs and can now tell Rogers where to stick their expensive and unreliable service. Now here is the good bit that involves the Internet service provider chosen.

When I first decided to make this move I contacted several local providers (by email) asking about signal availability and tower erection services (I used to put the darn things up for a living but old age and old bones has taken its toll on such activities) only one company seemed to provide tower services and it just happened to be the one that responded in a timely fashion with a minimum of BS and clear information about their services. Grey Bruce Telecom was that company and “Richard” showed great patience in answering my many questions over a period of time whilst I made my decision, for those in the Grey Bruce area that are considering upgrading or changing their internet service I can recommend this company. Whilst I cannot speak personally to the reliability of their hook up having only just got everything working I can speak to the service I have so far received, it has been top notch!

The guys were out within a couple of days of me giving them the go ahead and quickly and efficiently finished erecting the tower and hooking me up, I was particularly impressed that one of the guys doing the work was one of the owners / boss of the company. Perhaps being a long time self employed individual I am biased but those “supervisors” who “get their hands dirty” always have my respect and smaller companys where you can speak to the boss or owner is always my preferred supplier over those where customers are just a number and every time you call you get a different “service representative”, or the technician is a “contract employee” who receives his orders by email and is not even sure who his boss is!

In short after dealing with a number of companys over the years regarding internet services often with less than stellar results I can truly say that it was a pleasure to deal with Grey Bruce Telecom Internet Service and I have full confidence that I will have no major issues with their service in the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Missing Murfey

Around here as we go about our various chores and projects we have always had Murfey drop in and “help” on a fairly regular basis. He never lets us know when he is coming and generally screws up anything he goes near, never the less we have come to expect him to arrive quite regularly quietly sneaking up and whispering in our ear “if it can go wrong it will go wrong”

I recently suddenly realized that I had not seen him for some time, even his companion Bad Luck who often came along with him seems to have gone missing, although Mr Luck's brother Good did drop in a couple of times this week. Now to be quite honest I hate it when Murfey and his regular companion drops in whist I am working, about all one can do is walk away from the job you are trying to do until he goes away. Trying to complete the job with him looking over your shoulder is futile and an exercise in frustration.

So even though he is not really welcome here, after several weeks absence I expect him to return and get his fingers into all kinds of trouble, no doubt chasing off Good Luck with whom he does not seem to get along.

Strangely I miss the old sod, he sure makes life “interesting”!

Friday, May 29, 2015

A Teaching Moment?

Re Ontario Elementary and Secondary Strike Threats

Kids, now would be a good time to 'negotiate' changes to how your teacher teaches. Why not tell them you want more control over how much homework is issued, and what the subject is, and tell them you want to hand it in when you feel like it. If you dont get your way tell them you will refuse to answer questions in class and if that does not work you will walk out.
When they tell you that they are the teacher and you are the student and they set the rules, and since most of you have been getting As for years they see no reason to change their teaching methods, remind them that they are the employees and your parents are the employers so refusing to negotiate is not an option.
Perhaps you should also ask for padded seats, larger desks, more field trips (all expenses paid for) and guaranteed As no matter how good or bad your work is.

Just saying!