Saturday, November 15, 2008

Racist Bastard!

So I think I am a racist bastard because Ive come to a relevation.

See ive been watching a movie called, the perfect holiday. I realised that every member of the active cast is black. Even santa and his elves.

In todays society of "equality" Im really starting to relaise that we are not equal, but in fact now reversed to what we wanted.

See. If I made a movie with nothing but asian actors, or east indian, or caucasian actors only, I would be called racist for not taking the black community into effect.

Or if I had a white history month. You bet id be called a nazi or KKK.

Im not. I want true equality. Where it doesnt matter at all. Race, sex, creed, religion, thats what I want. Everyone viewed equally.

But hey. Im racist.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

CAV And PGR explained.

Todays post is about something I support fully. 2 Ex military units, one in Canada, and one in the USA.

The first one, whos image tops the side bar on the right is the CAV, which stands for the Canadian Army Veterans. A charitable organization who rides in support of our troops at home and abroad. To raise awareness, and offer its service to those who need it.

The second, is the PGR, or Patriot Guard Riders, who have started a new chapter in Canada, which I also fully support, provides protection to families of the fallen when they need it the most.

The Westboro Baptist Church in the united states, have brough thier anti-homosexual protests to Canada, on thier campaign which seems to indicate that god will punish gays, and all those who support gays, and proof of this is the troops dying overseas. Thier deaths are gods supposed "wrath".

August 9th, 2008. WBC crossed the Canadian Border, and protested the funeral of Tim McLean. An unfortunate soul, who met a tragic end on a Greyhound bus. Now they have entered my county.

I was overseas for 6 months in the armpit of the eart, defending this country from idiots like this, who have the nerve of daring to show thier faces at the funeral to bask in the media spotlight around it like a reverse cockroach. Im still serving, dealing with my demons, and supporting my brothers while they are over there.

Needless to say, I watch the PGR and am a member, and intend to join the CAV, as I wont stand by idle. I hope the WBC and others like it get thier skin scraped off and rolled in a field of salt.

I wouldnt even waste spit on them, and I felt 97 people roll over in the grave, when the WBC crossed the border.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Election

Ahh.. The most wonderful time of the 4 year term. all of our tv shows booted for debates between the potential ruler of our great nation for the next 4 years.

The next guy we get to call an asshole, or saviour for 4 years..

Each term, I make it a habit to vote. As a gonvernment worker, I feel its only right to so.

See in my line of work, the military, we are a direct result of government. The big man at the top is the prime minister, and depending on how his party is, is important to how much funding and support my line of work gets.

The current big boss, seems to support the military, whereas previous generations sluff off the military deciding it's unnessisary. I dont blame either, they are only doing what they believe the Canadian people want to see happen.

Which makes it hard to vote sometimes. On one hand, I could completely agree with a candidates platform, but they may have a bleak view of the military, which could affect my job. On the other hand, the candidate may embrace the army, but thier views might be poor in my eye.

See I wasnt around when the chokehold came over the military moons ago. Funding was greatly slashed, very nice retirement packages were offered to members to entice them to retire. I arrived into the military as part of a drive to breathe new blood into the army I joined to peacekeep, instead, we went to warfighting. It happens in an army.

The military is in a political spotlight right now. Its a 50/50 thing separating the country, and god help them if 3 more soldiers pass away with honour while the elections are going on as it may affect peoples thoughts.

Im not going to mention who I voted for. Im not here to bash political views. I just ask when you vote to keep in mind what you would like to see your military do. Whatever you believe. An army only does what it is told, and its ultimatly told by its countries people.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The final frontier.

Ive been asked my thoughts on religion. Which is not normally something I would speculate on because its a very personal issue to some people, and something people hold dear to them. However it has been asked for my specfic beliefs, so Ill humour it with a go.

I am of catholic baptisim, raised by my father who is catholic, and of my mother whom I believe is christian of some election. Religion was not pressed upon me in the home, and to this day I thank my parents for allowing me to choose my own path without influence.

Prior to my deployment to Afghanistan, I was a christian. I believed in god and Jesus, and the holy spirit. As I worked with the Afghan people and persons from other countries from around the globe, I was fascinated by each society's beliefs and was marveled how much, or how little they changed between faiths. Everyone's faith, made sense in a method, when I put myself into their shoes.

I remember when I was sitting on the back of my armoured vehicle, in the Afghan town of sarobi, on a crisp March evening looking up at the stars and having a conversation with our interpreter as I wanted to know more about his faith. His words changed me forever.

"We cannot prove that we are right, and we cannot prove that we are wrong. I have a feeling that we are not alone in the universe, and we simply haven't reached the point in the path where we confirm this, and carry on the search for the truth to our beliefs."

2 years have passed since my deployment, and after my marridge, I found myself spending more time to think of the subject. Can we indeed be alone in the universe?

Thinking of it, less then 100 years ago, my ancestors had landed on the new frontier known as north america, to settle. 50 years after that, society had left the earths surface, and launched ourselves into space. Shortly after, mankind made it to the moon.

SETI radio systems had been created specifically for the hunt to see if we were indeed, alone. The space telescope had began to bring images of far away galaxies to indicate to us, that we are not the only solar system out there. Far from it. In our galaxy alone, there are millions of suns, which we know as stars, and most likely, other planets, and the possibility of them holding some kind of life form quickly becomes infinte.

I believe the question will be answered within my lifetime. In the past century, we have almost mastered our own planet, and have taken baby steps in leaving this planet behind.

I believe that we may have been discovered already by another race of peoples who are more advanced then our own. They may be studying us from above, but have technologies that allow us to not know that they do so. They may have decided we are not ready for such an advancement yet.

To think that the human race may be only 1 species in a galaxy that could hold millions of different races, puts back into perspective that we are small in comparison to what has been made.

I believe there is a supreme being, that caused all of this, but I believe it to be in a scale which we have not yet been able to accept. We as a race cannot seem to accept our own beliefs that we have based on earth, leave alone, the rest of the galaxy.

Someday the signal shall come. That we are not alone in the universe, and this is what I believe.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Who Supports The Troops?

Who really supports the troops. Everyone has the little magnet on the back of their car. But who stands by it?

I happened to be in uniform yesterday at Pearson International Airport in Toronto for 3 or 4 hours. And in that time, my had was shaken once, I was called a baby killer twice, and a murderer once.

We were there to pick up a person coming home from Afghanistan so we parked out front of the doors. The commissionaires there working the airport demanded that we move the van so that another taxi may park there. We refused. The commisionaires got irate, and downright rude until we shut them up, by smiling as the nice Metro Toronto Police officer slipped parking tickets under the comminsionaires wipers, then proceded to tell them to have a little respect. I tip my hat to that officer.

Who else supports the troops? The wives? Most of them will send a monthly care package from home to boost the boys spirits. Most of the parents do too. Some of the guys get one from their wife the whole tour. Some dont get any. Its very depressing to walk away empty handed from a mail call when your overseas, let me tell ya. Heartbreaking really. Got lots from my parents tho.

Living on the base, I see the bar every time we go down the street. When the tours start, some of the less dedicated wives are there, religiously dragging home the first peice of meat they can find. Sad really.

Even away from the bar, in my old row house, the neighbour was having her way with the fellas 'best' freind before he even was gone for 2 weeks! 3 doors down, she was having house parties with 17 year olds.

Support the troops.. I support the troops. I'm combat service support. I wear red for them on fridays when I'm not in uniform.. Supporting the troops goes beyond a little magnet people.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Dreams

Ive been looking around the blogs and Ive found a lot of different opinions of what a dream is.

Now were not talking about the nighttime dream you have while you sleep. Im talking about the day ones. The ones that usually start with "I wish...." Or "That would be really nice..."

Well I think a dream is good. Without a dream, there would be little inspiration. No motivation to perform.

So I think a dream can be a "want" or a "goal". Some things are material in nature, and some are spritual.

So here are some of my wants.

On this blog, you will often see me blog about one of my dreams, riding a bike. I want another one. I find it hard to open the garage each day, and look at two of them and watch them leave under some one else' power. This is a want.

Someday I will get another bike, perhaps as a goal for quitting smoking for a certain period of time. This is setting a goal.

I'd like to visit Mexico with my parents once my kids are moved out. This is a goal as I have already recognised what prevents it from happening right now, and have an Idea of when it most likely will happen.

I'd really like to retire from my current job and retrain for another job that will let me put less strain on my damaged spine. But I have to get the ball rolling with my doctors and Veterans affairs. Nobody else will do it for me. This is a goal, as I have control over it.

I wish my job paid more. This is a dream, as I have no control over it. I want more money, but don't have any chance of getting more. The goal perhaps is to get a higher paying job then!

I wish I had a Ferrari Enzo. A dream. Just about any man's dream too. But the chances of it happening are nil for me, and probably slim for a handful of people.

One set of people Ive seen put many of their goals on hold, or on the back burner is my parents. On many occasions, they have had to send money, or organize things for me so that I may maintain the high quality of life I have had. I appriciate it every time they do it. I also feel kind of lousy about it. Embarrased even, because I know the money they send was probably going towards something they wanted.

In fact it happens so often, it has to be at least $90,000 by now that they have sent, as its been going on for a long time. They have been paying a lot of my poor choices out for me. And even now, they are paying for my sons daycare, which is quite expensive, and my daughters dance lessons, which aren't as expensive, but a nicety.

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So I guess with the back pay coming in. Im going to pay off my credit cards, the bunk bed set for the kids, the little annoying debts off.

Income tax will arrive, and Ill pay off my wife's debit to Child Tax Benefit, and see if we can get that baby bonus back, (which will probably be wiped out anyway from the pay increase... lol)

Now its time to gather the evidence and go visit veterans affairs to get paid for my work-related injuries. The monthly payments, if any will be going into the bank account for spending, the lump sums into another account. Perhaps for investing, or maybe even on a house.

Then with VAC, Ill see what my options are for retraining to another career. Perhaps something with a bit more pay, and something that I'll like better then what I do now. Im thinking the computer or radio telecommunications industry. Its always what I have been good at, and I enjoy it.

Ball is in my court. What do I do with it?

Monday, August 11, 2008

90 soldiers resting in peace.

With 2 more of our boys taking the final herc ride home, may they rest in peace and my deepest sympathy for the sacrifices the family will have to endure in the time to come.

Canada, we really have to start thinking deeply about the mission in Afganistan, as I predict this is only 1 more death in the beginning in another spike in activity.

I don't think that we or any other nation will win the war for Afghanistan. Even the strongest aliances we have made and our brother nations out there, wont push back the taliban forces simply because we are fighting a largely unknown enemy.

The taliban dont wear uniforms, they don't use military tact, or disciplines. Meaning the military of today is a large and obvious target, going against an everlasting near invisible enemy, with profound home court advantage.

I support the troops to the bitter end because a soldiers job is to carry out his countries wishes with efficiency, and discipline. A soldier does not get to choose his mission. Politicians do that. A soldier only gets his orders and simply does the job. Right from the chief to the private.

I support the troops, allthough I dont agree with the mission.
We need to focus on peacekeeping and winning the hearts and minds of the people because it will be impossible to win the fight without them.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Smoking. The goal for a project.

Would you believe.. I deleted the copied text by mistake.. Sighh... another victim of the Ctrl+v bug.. ahhweell..

Meanwhile. Why not check out the blog of the alpha wolf in the family, my dear dad.

http://2xsgt.blogspot.com/

Keep monitoring and welcome to the bloggin community..

Above is a rider of the CBR125R Watch and try to abosorb a little spot of my haven!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Help Find David's Son.

Im a watcher of the Youtube channel David's farm. Part in because im just like him. I love fixing things and experimenting. Rednecking even..

I was shocked and appauled to find out about his unfortunate situation.. Im going to link up someone elses videos.

Watch the videos. Absorb the knowledge. Help him find his son.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Davidsfarm

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Time is marching on.

Well things have been going well here but its been hyper busy at work as were down people with summer holidays here. The tasks keep rolling on in but, there are fewer bodies to do the work.

On a good note, Im being tasked out this friday to go work at a call center for deployed families. I volunteered for this last year and I guess that my number finally came up.

I enjoy working with people, so this will be a good oppertunity. With the base at home right now, and the deployment not leaving until sometime later in the year, I think that all will be quiet until such a time as when the pers deploy, then with every injury or fatality over there, its going to be busy as heck.

But it couldnt come at a better time. My wife is going to be persuing custody of our neice and nephew soon, and thats going to have its slew of appointments, along with my son entering kiddie colledge as were tired of waiting for the daycare to get back to us.

Other then that, not too much is planned for the long weekend so far. We might go to the all night drive in if money is there. We might do some fishing. Life is good right now. Not much drama at all. For once.

I hope I didnt just jinx myself.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

HHO Revisited

No I havent given up on hydrogen research, but I have been reading more and understanding more about it and will be re-attempting a build shortly.

Running an engine soley on HHO gas.

Really not very possible, nor practible. It has indeed been done before, however it may not be something every person can do. The problem is in production.

In order to run a 4 stroke internal combustion engine, you require a fuel. And a good portion of it too. A gasoline engine runs at the ideal ratio of 14.1:1. 14.1 parts air, to one part fuel.

There is still a proportionate amount of fuel required for ignition. Just like any petrochemical, they all require a certain amount of vapour to air for complete an efficent combustion, the problem with hydrogen is getting a sufficient amount generated to keep a vehicle running.

The displacement of an engine will tell us alot about how much of what is needed. A 3.3L v6 engine has 3.3L of diplacement. Divided by 6 gives us .55L, or 550ml per cylender.

Assuming that only one cylender is filling at a time, each cycle that cylender fills with 550 ml of mixture. dividing 550ml by 14 tells us that that cylender has 39ml of atomized fuel. Not liquid fuel. It may equate to a mere 1ml per rotation

Each piston firing would expend 39ml of HHO, in theory, if it had the same btu as gasoline and same tendancies.

So. To run this engine at 1000rpm. 39ml times 1000, equals 39000ml of hydrogen. Or, 39L.

So realistically to run an engine soley on HHO gas is something that may not be feasable. To produce a unit that could generate 39L of hho is possible, however not practical. You might be able to tow the unit behind the vehicle with a trailer or something...

Now stan myers' system is much more advanced. It uses a spark plug to double duty. The plug creates the HHO directly within the cylender and the normal spark ignites it.

HHO is not a waste. I intend to make a device, or steal I should say that doesn't replace gasoline, but rather works in conjunction with gasoline. A booster persay.

Now you can commercially purchase these units easily. But the inards of my device will differ. High voltage will be brought in with a vehicle coil (transformer) and then the high voltage will be used to separate the water.

A lot of people have been experimenting with pulse generators around 9mhz as a pulse creates a larger burst of hydrogen. I intend to use RF (radio frequency) withing the amature radio bands around 144mhz to create more pulse into the system. This experiment will be later, once the coil system works.

Even if a 20% gain in efficiency could be had by using a booster, it would help.

73,

Va3Ira

(HyperFox)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Memorable quotes from parents.

Well ladies and gentlemen.

As you may see, the Vlog I posted earlier has been removed.

I did it for a few reasons, one being I revealed waaay to much info about myself as my old email adress got bombed again with a few hundred spam emails, and another being that there is too much profanity (apparently).

No big deal.

I remember last summer I posted a post about how I missed riding a bike. Oh how I miss it. I really really do.

Well my buddy just bought himself a brand new one and I caught the itch again. Seeing that brand new bike stored in my garage, calling me to ride it, the day I drove him there to pick it up, I was drooling. Wall to wall bikes, all kinds and colors, and most were greatly discounted, or on sale. I could afford it. The budget allows for it.

But alas, Im still bikeless. And why? Well let me tell you. I forget which one told me this, when I got rid of my first bike, but either my mom or dad told me to "Wait until your kids are moved out, then you can afford it."

Its true. Allthough it does fit the budget, it doesnt leave much breathing room. I mean come on, I couldnt pay for parking this past week when my wife was admitted into the hospital. Mom and dad bailed me out of the jam. That alone tells me I cant afford one.

Truth is, Im jealous of them. They just bought a beautiful home with all the trimmings. A 27' trailer (rv or whatever) and a brand new SUV. And they still have the financial ability to bail me out time and time and time again and again..

I only wish I could have that. I dont have much for debts, really. I have a credit card, and a vehicle payment. Thats it. The whole enchilada. And I make ends meet but if a disaster breaks out I'm screwed. I don't get it. Where did I frig up so badly.

I mean they walked into a dealership one day, and the next day they walked out with a brand new SUV. And were not talking about a cheap one. A beautiful one. Nice Hyundai Santa Fe V6 (GLS I think). I almost wanted to cry because If that was me, I'd have to fight tooth and nail to get it and wait for a week for a creditor to agree.

This week they went out west for a nice vacation in the mountains. Hell I wish I could do that, but the price of flights and the price of gas, no way in hell I could do that.

Even when we visited last week, mom and dad paid for gas in my vehicle to get us down there and back, and meals on top. Heck. I don't run my air conditioner in the vehicle to stretch my gas to make it to the next payday.

It must be my credit card. Its at the limit, but Ive been slowly getting caught up on it. I just dont have the finances to lump it and pay it off. But this winter it will be all paid off and I dont have to worry about it anymore. Hopefully that will help my credit score a bit. Then that credit card will have a final meeting with Mr. Scissors. HA!

I'n also jealous of my friends at work. They all ride bikes except for me and another guy. I see them all leave work riding into the sunset, and I wonder what did I do wrong.

You know what else is kinda sad. I forgot my mothers birthday. Sure my wife just came out of hospital from surgery. But I forgot. What a doorknob I am. But I remember dad having a poster in his office, one of those sayings on it were "lead by example". Sorry about forgetting your birthday. I just got so wrapped up here with the kids and stuff, that it slipped my mind what day it was. I apolgize. Someday when I have good money, I'll take you out somewhere nice to make up for it. I just cant do that right now. But maybe when my kids are moved out. :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Another page in the life...

Well. It most certainly has been a long few weeks.

I havent posted much as I have been away visitng family down south. We had a good time dispite illness (both my parents had really bad colds) and ruined plans due to circumstances beyond anyones control. (The GM strike greatly delayed a truck my dad was planning on purchasing, hence changing plans.)

Shit happens.

As I am sure they dont need thier info spread around the internet, ill focus on everything after the trip.

Well. We got home a few days ago. That night we unloaded and began to unpack. For me, a lot of this was in the garage. I moved our new portable A/C unit into the garage as I left a part behind. I would have to find a replacement part, or fashion something up redneck style.

Bring on the next day. We went grocery shopping as we were away on a normal payday. I aquired some materials that I would need to fabricate a part I couldn't find anywhere in town. I started to bend the metal I needed. I grabbed my metal shears which were on top of a cough drop box. Which wasn't mine.

I had a sore throat any way. Probably from all the smoking the night before I figure. I open the box to find 1/8th of a gram of pot in the box. Yup. Good old weed. Im sure It would have gotten rid of my sore throat, but its not the medicine I want.

Obviously someone else was in my garage. And this someone isn't someone I know. We figured out whom it belonged to, apparently a freind of a freind. We turned it into the police for disposal. We also passed it on to the parents of that person.

On a better note. We went out on the boat that day, and I caught 2 pickerel and 1 bass at a spot reffered to me from a freind. Very cool.

We went out again today on the boat and it proved to be its last journey on this engine. It was dying anyhow and this was the last hurrah. It ran good all day until just after lunch before the lower unit gave up and left us stranded. But not until I got two good sized pike, and Garrett got some nice bass on.

Its just an engine anyhow. I intend to replace it with a 9.9 horsepower engine anyhow, and convert it to a rear steer (tiller), as a lot of conservatory's and lakes are going 9.9 horsepower or less only. Some arent allowing any powered boats on the water at all. Its just a 14' aluminum boat anyhow. Ya dont need any bigger then that.

No battery to screw with, no mixing oil.. Oh its going to be so nice. Just pull and go.. Oh thats going to kick ass. The fish will be so screwed now!! MUAHAHA!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Linux VS Windows

For the 40th installment of the blog, I am going to be doing my own opinions on windows VS linux. This is bound to make the windows fan boys twitch, and the linux gods cringe.

Background.

My lovely MDG machine finally blew its hard drive after a brown out. A total loss of the MBR, followed by the thunk-thunk-thunk noise of the reader arm tapping the flatline against the spindle. Its been a beautiful machine to me. Unfortunatly, money is a little tight right now, and I havent been able to replace it. Windows XP is my primary OS, however It requires a HDD to run. Some people have dabbled in creating a portable version of it, however there is no true following to run with. Bring on linux, which Ive used for a few weeks now, and is what Im using right now.

The first step in looking into the OS's is not to compare them. They are two different animals, with two different history's following them. The key to learning them is to separate them mentally into two different os.

So I am going to look at this as more of a linux review then anything else.

Linux has been long heralded as the redheaded stepchild to windows. Its never been as publicly known about, and isn't a run of the mill OS like windows is. Chances are if you visit a buddy, his machine will likely have some incarnation of windows on it.

Windows uses DOS for its kernel, as Mandriva uses Linux. Linux boots slightly slower then Windows xp, however once loaded, its basically ready for use. There is little driver hunting, or seeking. Configuration is minimal. This is what makes linux distros so popular in thier followings. Its easy to install, and configure over a wide range of systems. Linux is so versatile it is used in everything from micro laptops, through to cell phones, servers, and just about anything. Right now mine is running on a machine with no hard drive. Its on my USB jump drive.

But its not all roses. Linux's GNU liscense is its acheles heel. Unlike windows where your drivers are typically professionally made to work, linux's programmers are largely volunteers. If you happen to have that limited production device, chances are your gonna wait for its driver for a long time.

As well with linux its small following makes it limited for mainstream applications, such as games. Games are designed for the mainstream as most people use windows based machines.

Not being number one is a strong point. Linux is an oddball. Just like Mac. Because it isnt the #1, it tends to fall out of the cross hairs of spyware and viruses. Its a different language that most don't speak.

Performance wise, I would say Linux is a hands down winner. Linux screams through multi-tasking like its nobody's business. Linux seems to figure out whats going to work best and set itself up for that. Ever use a windows machine, and see that wireless networking services are running although you don't have a wireless card? Linux seems to figure that out on the boot.

As well, not having to run a firewall, antivirus, anti rootkit anti malware, etc.. program seems to help.

Visual effects in some distros with Beryl are excellent with tons of configurations. They dont seem to bog the machine down as well.

Will I be keeping linux once the new HDD arrives and the Laptop comes? No. And heres why:

Linux isn't compatible with the unique software I use for my radios. This isn't a fault of Linux, its part of how it works. And most likely, I am not going to find a program for it.

Linux isn't beginner friendly. My wife can't stand Linux. Not because it sucks, its because it's different. Its not what she was taught on, and she doesn't want to learn. She knows windows and thats what she wants to see when she turns her computer on. Plain and simple. Push power and off you go. The schools are teaching windows because anywhere ya go, thats what your going to find!

Same with the kids. What my daughter is learning is windows in school. Not linux. Shes used to clicking the little firefox on her destop and going about her buisness. She isnt used to looking for it anywhere else.

For myself, my work uses Windows. And MS office. And thats what I need to use for pure compatablility when I work across computers.

As well, when Im on the road, Ill be putting XP onto the computer, just because most free internet sites in out camps and in truckstops are geared for windows, and I dont wanna spend my time dinking around with Linux when all I want to do Is get on MSN and go.

All In all, linux is great for certain people, as for me. When I get my laptop, it will be XP, and so will the MDG when It gets handed to her.

Now that vista thing *shudder* what was MS thinking?!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thoughts. Or a lack of them.

Its been a long quarter.

Its been almost 3 years since I returned home from Kabul, Afghanistan.

Its been an upward battle, but I can now say I've come to terms with my demons.

The nightmares have all but ceased. There are only a few things that activate the terrible memories I have to carry for the rest of my days. When they do come to front. I have the ability to control these emotions. All except for the sad ones. The anger, rage, and indifference is nearly gone, my compassion and understandind is beginning to come back.

Kabul was a cakewalk for some people. Perhaps because no one died on my tour. The rocket attacks on Julien were far and few between. Most people didn't work for an EVAC company.

As a bison ambulance driver, I didn't happen to be with most of my regular transport crew. We were constantly exploring the area with the Engineers, the Royals, and on occasion, the Dragoons. We had one important fault that no body else experienced.

We didn't have weapons.

Aside from the armour, the ambulance was a sitting duck. There was no heavy weapons, no smoke grenades, nothing. The only thing protecting us was the red crosses on the ambulance. It didn't count for much. If anything. It made us a target.

Roaming the vast mountainsides of Kabul, we could see them. On the mountains. Waiting. Aiming. Toying with our minds. At any given time, they could go out and nail us. It's no secret. They are a smart enemy. 2 well placed IED's and we would make interesting hostages.

I kept my 9mm browning on the top of my thigh, and 1 spare 9mm bullet in my pocket for this reason.

That bullet was for me.

I wasn't alone in this thought. We would drive around for days, aimlessly wandering around the afghan scenery, navigating minefields, countering IED's. Sleeping under the armor. Wondering if our number would be tomorrow. Each morning we'd deal with the injured. We'd wake up to the masses looking in past the hasty constentina wire fence, wondering which one has the bomb strapped to him.

Alas, all they did was watch. That knowledge was enough to make a sane man mad. Waiting for the first shot, just so you could get it over with.

The nights were never a good sleep. The dreams of getting nailed by the next day's IED and getting flown home in the freezer would terrorize anyone. Each day we drove through the mine patches, it got a little easier on the head to handle. It was laughable by the time I got back, I wasn't flirting with death. I was tap dancing through a minefield with a 13-ton vehicle and 2 other lives, hundreds of kilometers away.

Each time we'd drive past a body, or a kid in the mine field the immoral thought of not saving them drove me mad. 3 year old children playing in the red part of the rocks, reminded me that I had a daughter at home, a wife and son. The same thought kept me from rushing in to save them, when the boom was heard later.

I still wake up. Late at night. Dreaming of the nights where Id sit in the ambulance, running as the missile strike alarm would go off. People scrambling to the bunkers. I was sitting in the ambulance wondering how many body parts I would pick up if one of them actually landed in the right spot, or if someone would pick up mine if the missile went astray.

The nightmares of me clenching my teeth as the front tire rolls over an anti-tank mine I didn't see until it was too late.

My brain has shown me in my dreams what my own blood looks like, and my innards. Perhaps its an overactive imagination.

Thankfully it has stopped. For the most part. I wake up in the middle of the night sometimes. But I don't remember the dream. Guess my brains block it out.

Some things still upset me. Air raid sirens will initiate a flashback, stirring the memory. Smells of burning meat bring me back to the Green route markets. The white toyota corollas here make me laugh. Until it swerves. Then it causes and instant anger moment. Same with some arab descent people who welcome me to my own country at customs.

Certain songs make my cry. Taps. Ive lost too many brothers with that song. Remembrance day Is hard.
Amazing grace will to. Even in the best times, it does.

In the end. I say I'm cured. But I will never go back over, because If I do. I may never mentally come back home. If I come back at all.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The fox welcomes thee.

Good day all.

In case you haven't noticed, the counter has officially cleared 1,000 hits.

I'd like to take the time to thank the readers of the blog. Watching the counter go up just shows me that you all really do care, or enjoy my sadistic, sarcastic sense of humor.

So what has been going on? Well not much. I keep hunting for jobs, seeing if something interesting comes my way. Its good to keep options open when you have qualifications like I do. You never know what might come out of the blue.

Challenger Motor Freight did send me an Info package. But the wage isn't as much as I make in the CF, so I know my path right now.

And I guess things could be worse. I mean I know I'm going to Wainwright in the fall. I've missed too many as is, and I got a feeling I am next in the breech.

But on a good note, a buddy of mine tells me I am moving over to Heavy Lift section. Which is all tractor trailers. Which could be good. Tractor trailers get a lot more runs then the trucks I drive now. And at $500 to $1000 per run, I could save up some coin for Christmas. If thats the case, dad better hurry up with that inverter and laptop!

Besides, this is my last working week then I begin leave. So I just gotta hang in there. Really. All thats left is tomorrow I do a run, which will suck. Wednesday, I don't think much is planned. Thursday I go to a mess dinner at night which should be.. Interesting. And Friday is a sports day.. Then leave!

Too bad Jamie couldn't go to the dinner.

Think I will try to get some fishing in this weekend.

To the readers, thanks again, and I'm sure Ill find something to piss me off! Hang in there!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bike season.

Since its been gone, its been a pinhole in my heart. Like a drug addiction, and I haven't had any for a long time.

The feel of the road underneath you. The vibration coming from the steel and rubber. The wind blasting over your body and around you. Caressing you.

Nothing matters at this point. Just you. The drone of the power below you. It commands you, and you command it. You ask. It obeys without hesitation.

You cant hear a cell phone here. No office to chase you down. Even if that phone rang. You couldn't answer. You don't want to either.

The smells in the air. The sweet smell of lilac as you rip past it, and even passing the cattle yards, it seems to smell sweeter.

The comrodery you have out there, even in passing. You do not know the person, and you probably never will, yet you both wave like your members of a secret boyhood club. It doesn't matter if what you ride matches theirs or not. You knew if you needed it, they would help you. And you would do the same. If you stop in the same place. You aren't shy to ask about what he's riding.

You remember your first ever ride on one. I do. Clear as day. I was a young lad and I hopped on one of my dads friends bike. A Newfoundlander named "Fred". He had a 1984 Honda Silverwing with all the timmings and luggage bars. Even a functional CB. It was a hot summer day with clear skies. I remember wearing lime green shorts too. I remember how it made my heart pound. The same way it does today.

Even when you ride with your spouse. You can feel her behind you. Moving, wrapped around you, although she doesn't really have to. She just does, as she enjoys the ride. You can feel her breathing. Leaning and turning with you its like dancing, but in sync and no toes to step on.

When I returned my bike, I lost this ability. Once you've ridden once, you don't forget it. And Im not talking about the guy trying it out for the weekend. What I'm talking about is.. The bug.

The bug is what drives someone to go out to the garage when its -35'c just to "check". Just to sit on it, and leaves you standing at the window at winters end praying for it to end soon. When you ride your bike and there is still snow on the ground but just enough road to safely make it. When you drive in the same snow at the end of the season trying to "squeeze one more ride" in before winter puts a temporary end to the fun.

In my garage sits my friends bike while he is away. I washed it today, although it is not mine. Started it to make sure the battery is topped up for his return. Its not my problem. But its what I would like if I were him. Nobody likes to go for a ride to find a dead battery.

I rewrote my M1 motorcycle license today. And passed. Another qualification. I'm now legally allowed to ride. I have no bike. And no gear. But I have dreams. Not to mention the 90+mpg would be great as gas is now over $1.30/l!

If I already had a bike that was paid for. Even if it was a $1000 beater, I would be content. And its the only way it would be practical really.

I accept cash, visa, mastercard if anyone would like to donate. lol

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I have returneth.

Yup. So I'm back. I had to travel across 3 provinces to pick up a truck and load in Wainwright, Alberta. My first long-haul.

On the way out, I rode shotgun with Mike, in a rental tractor trailer. And let me tell you. Boring. Northern Ontario was nice, but once you hit Manitoba. Flat as a pancake. You could actually do navigation by using the hills.

We stopped the night in Hurst, Ontario. A small French/first nations town with a nice restaurant. Other then that, its pretty much a one-road town with the largest sawmill I have ever seen. So large, an overhead crane is used to lift logs.

The next night brought us to Headingly. A suburb of Winnipeg, Manitoba. We didn't get to tour the town, as we ate at the Husky and packed it in for the night.

The third night was spent in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Again at a husky, and we went to bed quickly as the next location was Wainwright, and we had an 8:00am timing to meet.

Got into wainwright and had to Wait for 2 days for our loads, and also due to a very large fire on the ranges.

On the way back, We stopped the night in Regina. Nice city. We had supper across the street. I spent the night text messaging the lovely wife of mine. And prowling the streets with Garret, trying to find a power inverter.

The next day, disaster broke out. Or broke down should I say. My truck broke down in Moosamin and was unrepairable. We had to abandon it and carry on. So I rode the rest of the way home in Garret's truck. He was gracious enough to put me up in a hotel room for the night, as 50kms from where I broke down, a tractor of ours broke down as well. That driver hopped in with Mike. (Mikes truck was a double bunk). We pressed on to Hurst, Ontario that night.

That night I spent in another hotel as amazingly, one of out mechanics hotel rooms were equipped with a Hide-a-bed couch.

The next day we pressed on home. And of course the radio broke down, making for an excruciatingly boring trip. Painfully boring if your not the one driving. And I didnt get to drive. God. I was about ready to pull my hair out.

So what Have I learned? Well. Maintenance on the truck would have helped to prevent the breakdown to an extent. In this case, the truck was going to break and no one really knew it. No harm, no foul. Classic "Stuff Happens" day.

Claims. Clerks are evil, so next time I will be taking a full advance instead of the $300 I took the last time. $300 just simply was not enough money. Especially with the break down and me having to go to hotels.

Most truck stops have WI-FI access, so I really should get on someone to send me the old one for the next trip out. And a power inverter. I live on the internet and having it would have been a great source of entertainment. Not to mention having my mapping software would be nice.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Day 3.

Today was the 3rd day. After creating a safe zone for myself in the garage I have started to test the HHO System again. The tests this evening started with me electrifying the steel grating with 2 cells.

A marginal success. The bubbles were trapped in a brownish green sludge that would rise to the top and create a film, nearly 1cm thick. This was ineffective. I have to find the source of the film. I cleaned the tank and noticed the electrodes were severely corroded after 6 tests. This explained the rusty brown film.

I reconstructed the cell again using an aluminum license plate cut into 3 uniform sections. The center plate was positive with the outer plates being negative. Using table salt as an electrolyte, I again tested. The brown was gone, but the green still existed. I cleaned the system again and tried straight tap water.

No film occurred at all in this test, which leads me to believe the rust from the previous test and salt were both less then ideal. I put baking soda in for the last test.

The backing soda worked, however it would clump into particles. Hydrogen production increased, but again, the bubbles would rise and dissipate away. When the larger bubbles were lit, they popped with a more solid pop noise and an orange flame was observed. This is a success.

The problem I am faced with now is that I have no viable method to capture the escaping gases to measure how much is being produced. The container I am using is a 2L Pepsi bottle with the top section removed. I must construct a vessel that can withstand the gas and channel it through a tube so that I may measure how much is being made, and then determine if I need to add more plates. Popping bubbles is hardly an accurate way to measure an odorless tasteless gas.

Also online videos show that the reaction happens and only the bubbles are white, whereas my entire vessel turns white with floating particles. This leads me to believe my electrolyte is incorrect for the job its doing. I must research this more.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The prototype has been constructed and tested!

Inital construction was from a 2L pepsi bottle as a container, a 12v lead-acid battery, 10g outdoor wire, medical airline tubing and steel grating.

Upon construction the plates were initially spaced at opposing sides of the bottle. When energized, there was some effect, but the result was minimal. No ignitable Hydrogen was produced, however it was visibly being produced within the positive anode. The anodes were bent with the curvature of the bottle.

I then flipped the anodes around so that it made an X shape in the bottle, the production improved however only in the areas where the anodes were closest to another. I am led to believe the proximity is involved.

I straightened the anodes out making them flat against themselves with 3-4mm of clearance. Sufficient hydrogen was produced to cause small ignitions of hydrogen. Small pop noises if you will.

I elected to make this design more efficient by adding in baking soda, trying to adapt the water into an electrolyte. This had a marginal effect, however raw table salt caused a huge difference. I would say 3 fold the amount of production. The pop was heard well through the house.

I decided to attempt the same experiment with hot water. And I found that the electrodes do indeed have to be in relatively close proximity to one another. However I found out as well that hot water has the same effect as adding an electrolyte.

So this 2 anode system was capable of producing ignitable hydrogen gas. And it performed best with the plates in close proximity, and better with hot water being used.

A side effect of the experiment that was present in all cases was a greenish red scum on the waters surface, and the water was tainted a yellow hue. I can believe this may have been crap stuck in the wiring, or the electrode was dirty. I will have to get some stainless steel or aluminum for a comparison test.

All and all, today was very productive. I learned that hydrogen production through electrolysis is possible. My design worked but it needs much more improve ments before we continue.

the mad scientist is going to bed. Tommorrow is another day, and perhaps a 5 anode cell.

Cheers.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

HHO Gas. Research complete, Phase 2.

Well for those who might not know Ive been doing some research into Hydrogen production.

No im not making a bomb, im simply looking at converting a vehicle to a hydrogen-gas hybrid with the eventual hope of doing a full hydrogen conversion.

Hydrogen is extremely flammable gas. Anyone who has seen the Hindenburg blimp combust knows this readily and is likely why people are reluctant to install it or push the envelope for using it in engines.

But im not here to commit to conspiracy theory. I am conducting an experiment.

We've seen the hydrogen boosters on tv. And Mythbusters has proven that they will work, however when myth busters performed the test, they attempted to run the car soley on hydrogen which resulted in it working for a short period of time until a backfire occurred.

The mythbusters simply held the device over the carburetors mouth. Which, as with any fuel source. If unregulated, and the fuel allowed to pass back to the source, it will backfire.

However, the Mythbusters proved an interesting point. Hydrogen will indeed run a vehicle. This means the device only requires refinement.

(By the way Adam and Jamie, should you need a Canadian to come down and work for you, Ill glady do it. You think Adams good at hurting himself, you aint seen nothing yet!)

Anyhow. Back on topic. Ive been reviewing modern vehicle control systems and been pouring over videos and patents from Stan Myers and the like on how to do it.

In theory it will work. The vehicle will identify through its oxygen sensor that it is running far too rich and reduce the pulse of the fuel injector to compensate until it falls as close to stoichiometric ratios as it can.

In English. Hydrogen is a fuel. If you chuck fuel into a cylinder that the car can control, and then put hydrogen in, the van will of course attempt to reach that magic number by thinning out the
gasoline. Hence you save gas.

So where do you get hydrogen? Well any local gas shop. (Like a welding store) will stock hydrogen, however the huge amount stored in a tank is extremely dangerous. So you would have to produce it locally. Specifically, on the vehicle itself. So again where do you get hydrogen?

Probably the most common source is a chemical that could be dihydogen oxide. H2O.

We commonly call this water. If you pour raw water into an engine it will suffer from hydrolock. The engine tries to compress water. Water is of course thicker then air and mechanical failure happens. The trick is, how do you separate the hydrogen and the oxygen?

The weird part about passing electrical current through water is that is splits hydrogen and oxygen. 12v at 8-9 amps passed through electrical plates submerged in water with no electrical connection will cause heat and cause water to breakdown between the two plates. Hydrogen being heavier then water and air goes to the top where it can be collected, and pumped into the intake system of a vehicle to be used as a fuel source.

If it was this simple why hasn't everyone done this. It takes electronics and mechanical knowledge to get it to work.

You could put two nails in a bucket of water, hook it into a battery and get hydrogen. This is no secret at all. However the production rate of hydrogen would be so minimal, that it wouldnt be significant at all. You need more surface area to make more gas.

So you could use quality material, such as a perforated stainless steel to increase the size. However if you increase the size you will also generate more heat and require more amperage to run the system.

With more heat, the water will begin to condense, or make steam if you will, so you will require a method of separating the water from the gas. Not difficult, however this is another glitch that will have to be sorted out of course.

This still may not increase the hydrogen production enough to satisfy the requirement. As you know if you turn the system on and off, there is a boost in the production as you shock the water, it forces more production. So by adding a device that will provide the high current voltage at a higher frequency then what a battery can produce natively you will enhance your results drastically.

Now if you produce more hydrogen then you know what do do with, you need a method of regulating how much fuel goes into the engine. Even if it is just enough to keep the car at idle. For this you will need a regulator that you can adjust for how much you need to use. This must also work in tandem with the frequency to be able to adjust for the demand.

There is also safety. Were talking about a device that produces high voltage, hydrogen gas. You need emergency venting of the water tank, one way check valves to prevent a backfire from reaching that tank, and an electrical system capable of shutting things down in a hurry.

So Ive elected that I shall build such a device and install it onto a small engine to begin with and then move up. To see for myself if it does indeed work. If it does, bonus. If its a flop. Well, no big deal.

Im not trying to save the earth. Just a few bucks.

Results and updates will be thrown on the blog for your own deductions as I come up with them.

Cheers!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Bikes!

Ahh.. Spring.. Birds chirping. Pavement dries out. Warmth finally settles in.

And with spring comes bike season. Unfortunately I'm bike less right now. So Ill just have to pout in the corner and watch. I really miss it. In all honesty. I miss riding.

I figured I would post this up to remind us all about bikers as we all head to the streets this spring.

Found this on a car forum I'm a member of...

-Ride free. HyperFox


---------------------------------------------
JUST A BIKER

I saw you, hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line. But you didn't see me put an extra $10.00 in the collection plate last Sunday.

I saw you pull your child closer when we passed each other on the sidewalk. But you didn't see me playing Santa at the local Mall.

I saw you change your mind about going into the restaurant when you saw my bike parked out front. But you didn't see me attending a meeting to raise more money for the hurricane relief.

I saw you roll up your window and shake your head when I rode by. But you didn't see me riding behind you when you flicked your cigarette butt out the car window.

I saw you frown at me when I smiled at your children. But you didn't see me, when I took time off from work to run toys to the homeless.

I saw you stare at my long hair. But you didn't see me and my friends cut ten inches off for Locks of Love.

I saw you roll your eyes at our leather jackets and gloves. But you didn't see me and my brothers donate our old ones to those that had none.

I saw you look in fright at my tattoos. But you didn't see me cry as my children where born or have their name written over and in my heart.

I saw you change lanes while rushing off to go somewhere. But you didn't see me going home to be with my family.

I saw you, complain about how loud and noisy our bikes can be. But you didn't see me when you were changing the CD and drifted into my lane.

I saw you yelling at your kids in the car. But you didn't see me pat my child's hands knowing she was safe behind me.

I saw you reading the newspaper or map as you drove down the road. But you didn't see me squeeze my wife's leg when she told me to take the next turn.

I saw you race down the road in the rain. But you didn't see me get soaked to the skin so my son could have the car to go on his date.

I saw you run the yellow light just to save a few minutes of time. But you didn't see me trying to turn right.

I saw you cut me off because you needed to be in the lane I was in. But you didn't see me leave the road.

I saw you, waiting impatiently for my friends to pass. But you didn't see me. I wasn't there.

I saw you go home to your family. But you didn't see me. Because I died that day you cut me off.

I was just a biker. A person with friends and a family. But you didn't see me.

Repost this around in hopes that people will understand the biker community.

If you don't repost this, it sucks to be you. I hope you never lose someone that rides.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Stupid tax revisited

Well. Its been a while since the inception of the stupid tax. And Ive listed some more potential candidates for to leech money out of.

DRIVING

-People who refuse to, or cant be bothered to clear the snow off their vehicles, or scrape the ice. Rolling snowbanks aren't a good idea. Commonly seen on HUGE suv's with short drivers.

-People who come up with cunning bumper stickers such as "Unless your a hemorrhoid, stay off my ass". I'm sure the cop will think its hilarious when hes writing your ticket.

-Multitasking drivers. Typical function of business people and the infamous soccer mom. The ones who can read a paper, drink coffee, smoke, talk on the cell phone, tune the radio, and yell at the kids at the same time.

The tax for the above offenses will be a boot to the head.

VIDEO GAMES

-People who play guitar hero or rock band and think they are experts at real guitars. Ok ya boneheads. A real guitar has 6 strings, and 24 frets. (Positions) Not to mention, some chords use most or a combination of all fingers and different strings at one time. I own two. Just because you can mash buttons on a video game, does not mean you are the guitar hero. Get a life.

-Kids and online video games. I was playing a racing game, "Burnout Paradise" Today, where the object of the game is to smash the opponents. A neat feature of this is you can compete over the internet, which I think is great! You can also use a headset to taunt a victim or help complete a goal. Which brings me to to all the little boys out there with the headsets. Dont make an ass of yourself by calling everyone else noobs (new players) then throwing a fit when someone beats you, using more profanity then a sailor home on leave.

Violations of the above will be a real guitar to the side of the head, or a headset up the nostril depending on the game offended.

DRIVE THRU

-It is not acceptable to order 32 coffees and 17 bagels through a drive through. Get off your ass and go inside to order instead of holding everyone else up who only wants his stinking coffee, you fat bastards!

Punishment will be forcing the individual to eat the order.

EMOTIONALLY SENSITIVE PEOPLE


-These people can be typically found sitting by themselves with an iPOD stuck in their ears, long hair over one side of the face, huge amounts of make up, or make up on males, tight fitting dark colored clothing, with sad expressions on the face. Note there is a difference in between goth and EMO. Advanced persons of the emo cult have cuts on wrist. All an effort to attract attention to themselves.

Punishment will be sending these individuals to Afghanistan to learn how bad it could be. Then direct entrance to the military, where they will be put up against the toughest crusty seargent known. If they don't off them self and alleviate our suffering from having to deal with them, then we will wrap them from head to toe in gun tape and mail them directly to the care bears.

More to follow... Soon the country will have no debt.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Roll up the rim to loose.

Please Try Again.

Its all i have seen out of Tim Horton's roll up the rim campaign this year.

Loose loose loose.. Gawd. Its been an awful loss this year. I think I have won 3 times this year out of perhaps 30 coffees. I remember not to many years ago winning a lot more often. And strangly every year they claim to have more and more prizes. Guess a lot of people suddenly immigrated to Canada.

Bastards!

Winter blues.

Oh I am so tired of winter.

I'm tired of getting up every morning, and starting my frozen minivan, freezing half to death while I clear the snow and wait for half my drive for it to warm up inside.

I'm tired of working outside and dressing up in full winter gear fighting each morning with diesel trucks, praying that one will start each morning.

I'm tired of shoveling to the point my arms get sore and strained. As well as the back.

I'm really tired of picking up a coffee in the morning and having to microwave it when I get home as its gone stone cold from seconds of being outside.

On the bright side, its roll up the rim time again. And Ive noticed something. They claim there are more prizes each year, but I have found each year I seem to win less and less. Am I the only one that notices this?

Time to freeze again. Hope the minivan starts.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The late nights, and early mornings.

Here I sit in front of the blog, watching the cursor blink patiently.

The cursor doesnt care how long I take to come up with an idea, the problem is that the ideas have run dry. Really I dont have anything to say.

It could be a consistent lack of activity at my workplace, in otherwords, nothing has really pissed me off to the point I feel motivated to rant and rave about.

Is it neutrality? Lack of intrest? Or just lack of activity. I feel by brain reducing itself to sluge as I cruise YouTube in search of something of intrest. Like homemade bombs.

Honestly, I have dabbled with the art of fire, as Im sure every young boy does. And some never grow out of it, or it just simply takes longer then expected.

I will admit to having a hard copy of the Anarchist's Cookbook, originally brought up from the rogue BBS systems of the 80's and 90's. I have tried most of the home made things in this book including the blue box, and a few home made experiments which resulted in a loss of eyebrow or two along the lines.

I watch youtube and the like and im kinda shocked to see the availiblity of people who have knowledge of this and give video explanations of how to make these IED's (Improvised Explosive Device), and I actually support this.

Why? Well I can bet that we will indeed kick a few of the people out of the shallow end of the gene pool. Darwinisim at its finest. These videos are a great setup for some doorknob to blow themselves to oblivion and hopefully not reproduce.

I wonder how these concoctions are ever come up with in the first place, are these legitimate science experiments gone wrong, or just some bloke who decided to mix up a bunch of things in thier garage and light it.

Common sense would say that 1 firework is fun. 8000 of em gun taped together might not be so fun.

Hitting a can of Wd-40 that is consumed in fire may be hazardous to your health. Duh.

The warning labels on most products should serve as a good warning to all about the product itself. On a pack of batteries here on my desk, in bold letters is the phrase, DO NOT EAT.

Well duh. The metal and acid probably arent good for your system. Do they write the label in advance of stupidity, or in hindsight?

Ponder this, perhaps the meaning of your existance is truly to serve as a warning to others.

The fox is going back to the den, and shake his head over the irony of it all.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

GPS wonders.

So Yesterday, I drove my wife down to Toronto to her brother's place. I borrowed a freinds Garmin Streetpilot GPS because I really didnt have a clue as to where I was going and its a neato peice of kit.

So anyway, we get driving, and we get about halfway there, when the nice lady says. *ding* Turn Left.

Ive been down this route many many of times, and I know this isnt a good selection this time of winter, and I turn right.

*Ding* Recalculating. Turn Left, then Turn left.

Forget it! I think to myself.

*ding* recalculating.

It then picks out the correct route. It did as it was told. It picked the shortest route to the destination.

Enter the 401. Every freaking off ramp.
*Ding* Keep left.

So by the 30th off ramp. The gps is driving me nuts. I make my turn and finally get to the location I originally wanted, after a 12km detour down the 427.. Argh!

So off we go. Down the Don valley parkway.

*ding* turn left. It says, right as the offramp passes my window. Dang. Missed that one. So I keep going straight.

*ding* Recalculating.
*ding* Signal Lost.

So now Im in downtown Toronto. Lost, and the GPS is now on a coffee break. I break out the trusty paper map and get back on the highway after an hour or so.

Are we really relying on too much technology these days?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fart cans and straight pipes.

Ill admit it. Im a mini-van driving dad. Its no ferrari. You wont see a huge fart can on it.

I dont mind people who modify thier cars. I have no issues with it. In fact, I encourage the creativity. What I DONT like is the fart cans.

Dont rip up and down through the housing areas at 2:30am at 6000rpm with the fart can.. Use a silencer insert please..

Or at the least, take it easy.. I am not a morning person to start with and I like it even less when I hear:

BWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHNNYYYYAAAAAAAAA-NEEENEENEEE-BWAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEE-BURPLE-BWAAAAAHHHHHHH....

Which is followed by my kids waking up.

Not just the import guys either. I love nothing the hearing a SBC, or Hemi, or even a nice Cleveland running with a bit of volume.. but..

To the guy with the Black chevy half ton. My god.. Put some kind of exhaust on your truck. I dont know what you hear in your truck, but all we hear is:

POWPOWPOPWOPOWPOWPOWPOWPWOPWOPWOPWOPWOWPOWPOWPOWPOWPAPAPAPAPAPAAPAPPAAAPPAPAPAAHHH!

Honestly man, Living in the butts of a rifle range is easier on the ears. It sounds like a machine gun on crack. People are not looking at you because your truck sounds nice, they are looking for your plate number so they can sue for hearing damage.

Customise your car fellas. Thats your perogative. Just be curtious about it. And to some of the others I've seen, Your sport compact is not a ferrari. Keep your racing and interesting manouvers for the track, and off the streets. I dont want to see your nice car that youve spent so much money and time into, parked around a lamp pole, or worse, in the side of a minivan full of kids.

Canadian Forces Housing Agency.

I normally dont C&P posts, but this is one I made on a different forum..

Well.. Ive said my peace wrt CFHA. Many times before.

Nothing seems to change it all, and things are getting worse. For some strange reason my domestic 9'er has now opened my eyes to the fact that we are the only family with children living in our area of 7 families. The rest are single guys shacked up in a pmq, or 2 a couple living in a 4 bedroom PMQ.

Looks like my daughter's options for finding local freinds have narrowed this posting season. I know of 5 houses in my local court that are 3 bedrooms or larger and only having 2 people living in them.

Heck. Ill admit, Ive applied for a 3 bedroom PMQ on the northside to assist in some of my families medical issues to make me more deployable, and to make it easier for my family to obtain the services they need.

However, Ive been told by the allocations manager that this might happen in April. But housing only has so much resources they can use. Now for my opinion: April just so happens to be at the begining of posting season.

So realistically. I doubt it will happen until next year, right in time for the influx of the rumored troops. Apparently there is 5 availible homes on the north side, and 50 applicants. I can't verifiy this. But there does indeed seem to be more then that up there. Again. I dont know the full picture, maybe they are waiting repairs.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to clean up the ice chunks that fell off the eavesdroughing this morning, inches from my front step. Ive only been complaining for 3 months to have the condition fixed. Guess I need to have one fall on my head first.

Right after I add more grip tape to the stairs, as I fell down them yesterday.. But the cool part is, that housing provides me with the tape to do this.

And Ill be out there this spring, fighting the hopeless battle of trying to get my grass to grow, as they leak into the backyard, flooding it each time it rains or melts. At least they pay for the grass seed too.

I think In all. The treasury board needs to come down here and give CFHA Petawawa a large influx of money to bring the houses up to par. I think this would help all around, and aliviate a lot of the issues.

Now.. Does anyone know how to to insulate a PMQ? Last two bills have been over $200.. Its really killing us.

Friday, February 8, 2008

15 Passenger Vans and you!

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2008/02/07/bc-chilliwack-crash-report.html

After reading the above, and remembering the 15 passenger van crashes in quebec a few years ago, and the more recent tragic accident involving the basketball team not long ago, I have a few things to add to the reccomendations, and should be implemented Canada wide.

The 15 passenger vans, be it from ford, chevy, dodge, mercedes, are all well known for thier instability. Due to the construction methods required to make such a long vehicle, the body of the vehicle sits atop of its truck like frame. The higher center of gravity can make the van more ubstable, and more prone to rolling over, or loosing control while fully loaded.

I drive one of these machines, a Ford E series, or a Chevrolet Express, on a regular basis in my line of work with the Canadian armed forces.

The manufacturer cant be blamed in this case, as the ones ive driven all have bright yellow warning labels, informing the operator of the increased risk. Ford has even used its RSC stability program to help the issue, but what I think it boils down to is qualification, and driver training.

I believe that 15 passenger vans should be encorporated into the bus liscencing system Canada wide, preventing non-qualified operators from using the vans until they are proven safe to operate the vehicle. The military does this and from my view, it has proven effective. All professional operators must pass a course to receive priveledge to drive these vehicles.

As well, yearly inspections must be completed on these vehicles to verify that they are in good working order. This should be mandatory before the vehicle is given a new sticker each year. Ths military does this as well, and likewise, you'd be hard pressed to find an unsafe DND plated 15 passenger van.

The same standards should be maintained with the cargo variants of these vans as they exibit similar charactoristics when fully loaded with cargo.

I dont believe that the vehicles are at fault here. I blame a lack of driver training and maintenance..

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The nation.

Long live Canada.

If anyone can find it anymore. My beef today is immigration.

When i renewed mt lliscense this year, I attemped to do so online. At the last step. I was stopped because I didnt have an immigration number.

Hello. Im not an immigrant, Get a grip. There might actually be people born in this country!

Another thing I rembember was A christmas tree was taken down in a provincial court because it offended somone else's religion. To that someone else, if you dont like it, go the hell home! Welcome to my country. Adapt to the standard that is there, or leave. No one asked you to come in the first place.

All too often we see the government twisted and bent trying to adapt to religous beliefs an values of immigrants. Each twist it does to compensate these people, it looses a bit of itself. Canada is quicky becoming less and less of a nation, and more of an imigrant holding facility.

Another thing. I understand sometimes things may not be going so well in your home country. If thats the case, go ahead. Immigrate. Go through the process. When you come here,bring your family. Your spouse.. your kids. Maybe your family. But. Becoming a sponsor for every sister, cousin, 2nd cousin and bringing them to Canada so they can go on social assitance, I dont think so. (Yes, the group that does this knows who they are.) For a family to come to Canada, I dont mind. When one person lands, and sponsors 30+ members. Its a bit much. Let them go through thier own process.

When you land in Canada. Respect people's values and yours will be respected. Remember, you came here for a reason. Because you likely thought it was better then your home nation. Lets keep it that way. If you dont like something you see here, too bad go home, and express your own values, and let others express thiers freely.

I miss the days where the National Anthem was played freely in schools, and people stood at attention when the flag was raised. Or lowered. I miss the days when we played "God save the queen." Sure. Shes a figurehead now. But It should still be respected. This is our heritage as a nation.

I got inspiration for this from another friend of mine's blog. Ma'iingan. View her rant here: (http://maiingans.blogspot.com/) The official lyrics for our great nation is:

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

(From Heritage Canada's website : http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/cpsc-ccsp/sc-cs/anthem_e.cfm)

(The french one is also availible here: http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/cpsc-ccsp/sc-cs/anthem_f.cfm)

They should not be mixed, moulded together. If anything, A french version should be held afterwords, depending where you are. But this is just my opinion. The bilinugal version is approved however, and seeing as how the meaning is the same, I dont have a beef with it.

Canada needs to spend more time "standing on guard for thee", when it comes to Canadian Values...

Ill still be here, Standing on guard..

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

VA3IRA now online.

Hey folks. Its been a long while since Ive posted. Mainly because I've been studying to become an amateur radio operator. Traditionally known as "ham" and is more in-depth on other posts.

So, Ive passed with honors. 82% on my Basic test. For some this doesnt mean much of anything. For hams out there, this is pretty decent for a first go, I hear.

Id like to take the oppertunity to thank my examiner. Maj. Justin Schmidt-Clever (VE3QYR) of Ottawa for taking the time to administer the test.

And I never would have thought I'd say it of any form of government, but Spectrum Management has truly impressed me. Less then 24 hours later, and my callsign is up and running. Well done.

So my first contacts have been made today, and I'm starting to learn the ropes of 2M mobile.

I made a few contacts bit the first one Ive actually put to the log is VE3ODJ, Mike in Petawawa. He has shown me that my singal will come in better in simplex modes, depending on the situation.

Next one up is VE3KKO, Lewis in Cobden. The first person I contacted via landline in my attempt to find myself an examiner. He called out to me after hearing me talking to Mike.

The last contact was through IRLP over the radio and the internet. Someone in Calgary. I didnt get the sign.. Got lost in the moment.

So in reflection I have begun a log book of new callsigns.

2m first.. Base and mobile are coming soon..

73, VA3IRA clear.

(That means best wishes, and Im outta here)

The Fox...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Amateur Radio.

Whatever happened to them all. Remember a time where everyone and their dogs had a CB radio?

Free service everywhere, no monthly fees, no worries. You need driving advice, switch it onto 19, then cut someone off. Someone will tell ya.

It still a mainstay of communication, and information for us truckers these days, but you see less and less of the antennas on cars these days. Other then the cell phone antenna that is.

Then you have a new art I'm studying. Amateur radio. Or some know it as HAM radio. You can use these radios to talk to people literally around the world. All you need to do is buy a radio, get liscensed, and your off.

These people can contact others from around the world without much difficulty. Or in the area I am looking into. Locally. Call someone any time of the day. No fees. No waiting for 6pm. Oh wait. 8pm now..

Some radios arent the big clunkers they used to be, "boat anchors" is what they call them. The unit I'm receiving will be about the size of my hand, and can have up to a 50km range. If you have a local HAM club in the area and a repeater site set up. The distance is literally endless. By bouncing from repeater to repeater, you can easily get 200kms or more.

There are even competitions held to see who can make the most worldwide contacts in a set period of time.

Ham operators also provide emergency services with a back up. If the power goes out, what do you do? Grab your phone. Just say the disaster has caused so much phone disturbance, the lines are all plugged up. (Remember 9/11, or the Ice storm in 1998?) Amateur radio still works. And yes. People do wait on the line for the call in a disaster, helping emergency services keep going.

Personally. I think if CB and amateur radio had kept on going, we may not even have cell phones. But this is life.

Id like to thank my dad, for helping me along while learning about radios, frequencies and electronics all my life. As well. Id like to thank him for his 26+ years of service to his country. Now he just has to get back to Ontario so we can go fishing.

Id also like to thank Brodie, for introducing me to the hobby, and helping me along the way. And Id also like to thank him, and his colleagues at the Petawawa Fire Department #1 and #2 for their volunteer service in our community and keeping us safe in the community. Seldom are volunteers thanked for their deeds.

I figured after so many posts with negative attributes, it would be good to have a nice post once in a while.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Afganistan thoughts.

Just finished reading an article from thestar.com. http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/270979

Quite an interesting perspective really. Here is the thoughts that it has left me with. Having been there, I think I have an interesting view.

Are we winning?

Well no. Honestly, every taliban you elimnate, 3 more appear, and I think that this conflict will never end. When we went to Bosnia, we had 2 sides fighting one another, and we were stuck in the middle trying to sort the mess out. The difference here, is now we are one side, the taliban are the other and the Afgan people are the ones stuck in the middle.

The reality is, this isnt a typcal war. There is no big prize at the end, like taking over germany and liberating the lands. There is no end goal except for ridding Afganistan of the terrorist force.

The war we trained for for so many year prior was always us vs. the soviets. We were desinged to defend ourselves from "Ivan the Red". That was what we were designed to do.

Then we evolved as a military as a peacekeeping/humanitarian force. In Kabul, we were employed as a sercurity/training/rebulding force, and Today, in Khandahar, we are less about rebuilding and training, and more about simple elimination of the Taliban. Something we can not win. The taliban doesnt wear a uniform. You cant tell them apart from the afgan population. They dont attack over the hills like an army. They send one guy in with a huge bomb and he tries to take out as many people as possible.

Were not designed for this function. I think the troops are doing an excellent job over there, but there is another hitch thats quickly beginning to show after 6 years of fighting in Afganistan.

The Canadian Forces arent exactly what you would call a huge army. There are more people living in some small Canadian cities, then there are in the Army, Navy, Airforce and reserve units combined. In comparison, when I was in Afganistan, we had 2100 troops. That was a lot of troops at the time. The americans has almost 21000. And this was while the war in Iraq was at its peak.

So whats happening here is were trying to fight a battle like we had 100000 troops. We dont. So we have to rotate the troops. Some on this base have 3-4 six month tours to Afganistan and the army is quickly beginning to loose its most important resource. Troops.

The troops are getting burnt out. Tired of the battle, and knowing full well that we arent going anywhere. Tired of being away from thier families at home. On my tour in 2005, we were all exicted to go. Finding people who would volunteer to go wasnt a problem. This day and age, its a problem.

Something else people dont really take into account it is the work going on back home. In my unit, we pride ourselves with training specialised medical troops to go overseas. This is no small endeavor. Each year, we go to Alberta with a mobile hospital. Twice a year to train these people. We used to do it in our own compound, and fly the prospective troops in. On the average, it can take 26 or more tractor-trailer loads to move the hospital. We have 6 drivers. A month ahead of the excerize, we begin moving. Stay for the exersize ( a month roughly) and spend the last moth moving it back. A month to clean and repac, and then we do it again in the fall.

6 months gone in a flash. Not to mention in between, take off 2 months for summer and xmas leave.. Add in 2 months of preparation for the Alberta runs, a divers ed class or two, and other tasks, and you can see how the truckers are getting burnt out.

Add in the fact that only certain drivers are qualified to do certain jobs. All of us can do it, with training, but were so busy training everyone else, we dont have time to train ourselves. So the same guys get stuck with 6 months or so away from home. Every year. As drivers in other units begin to refuse tours, other units loose thier drivers to go to Afganistan, causing shortages, and massive burnouts. Old troops have to go because they have the qualifications, new troops cant get qualifications because the old ones are overseas, or busy drriving.

Eventually what will happen is, the enevitable. The older guys will retire, taking thier qualifications with them. Then the newer guys will not be able to get what they need. The trade is basically slowly self-destructing.

Why? Well went Canada signed into Afganistan, I dont think they fully saw how involved we would be. Spending is already $7.2 billion dollars plus. Canada has lost over 70 men and women to the cause, and even more are injured. Some even have PTSD and this can cause massive problems to thier home life and beyond.

In the end, Canada bit off more then it could chew from the get-go. The forces are spent, and worn out. I think its time to cut our losses, accept that we did make a difference, and call it a day.

Pull the plug Canada. Make the army bigger then what it is, then try again.

There is no shame. And we need a bigger paycheck too.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Oops.

I'm not perfect...

Well I shall tell you the story of one of the times I have made a moron of myself.

We used to sit out on our patio set in the summer months, me my wife, and our friends, just having good times chatting. Telling stories and stuff.

Every time we would see a nice toy which was usually a fella in a nice car, myself and Josh would say "MINE!" (like the seagulls in finding nemo) and stake our imaginary claim. First one to spot it would win.

One day I saw a ford explorer towing along a nice 249 Bayliner bowrider.. I said "MINE!!" Josh said.. "No it aint!!"

On the side and rear of the boat it's name was, "Still Mine."

Guess he trumped me and won the divorce..