Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Heal Mind and Body With Vibroacoustic Therapy

Vibroacoustic therapy is the use of low frequency vibrations to stimulate body cells into therapeutic states of relaxation and healing. Low frequencies of about 40hertz work best. This can be heard and felt like the open string of a bass guitar. You can buy some pricey tech to sleep on or just get a cat that purrs loudly. Note that white noise machines are not for this purpose.

Unfortunately, the "Sound Oasis Vibroacoustic Therapy System" is no longer available. Fortunately, cats are plentiful.

Tibetan singing bowls have been used for centuries to provide pleasing effects. You can simulate the affect using a wine glass. First, fill the glass and drink all but a few teaspoons. Dip a finger in the remains and run it gently around the rim of glass so that it starts to resonate. A large glass is better for low frequencies.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Meet Mr Black

My client, Mr Black, spent two years in the slammer for the crime of Green-Bin-Cracking. The judge released him today when I proved it was the raccoons that did the dirty deed -- my client just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now he is living the good life in a safe house with a new identity.

All kidding aside, Mr Black is a six year old male Domestic Short Hair/Mix adopted from AVA -- Action Volunteers For Animals. AVA does not have a fixed place, it puts cats in foster homes where they are prepared for adoption in fur-ever homes. They also have a deal with PetSmart which provides a cat coop where hopeful cats are displayed. Volunteers care for the cats. Mr Black was returned to AVA with four cats from a seven-cat home. The owner was "downsizing". He named all his cats with the letter 'B'. So Mr Black was "B.C." which could mean anything. Best Cat, Bad Cat, Big Chicken .. who can say. Unfortunately, his microchip record name is "BC" which I can't change arbitrarily. So I call him "Bix the Cat" which explains BC.

Bix cried on the way home in the pet carrier but shutup when he realized this was not a trip to the Vet. He was skittish for a few days but is comfortable now. He has an ideal weight of 10 pounds and a glossy coat which does not shed like the layered undercoat that Tabbies have. He circles my chair or jumps on my desk to get attention. Most photos of him look like a shadow with eyes. I got one almost good with no flash and the window behind me.

Buffy, Brownie, and Bix

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Collision Course: Pedestrian Killers

The Guardian has an interesting read about the North American increase in pedestrian deaths caused by cars, trucks, and SUVs.

Twitter Long Read
Article by Peter C Baker

Friday, September 20, 2019

R. I. P. -- Brownie The Cat -- 2001-2019

Brownie warmed my home for 18 years like a good cat. But her kidney disease was discovered last year and her appetite was diminishing in recent weeks. Instead of eating her food she was just licking it. She never complained but I brought her to the vet for the last time today. I sat with her in the comfort room while the vet inserted the heart-stopping needle via catheter. She went to sleep immediately without pain or fear.

Buffy, Brownie, and Bix

Monday, September 16, 2019

Kitchen Upgrade With Corian Countertops

My laminated kitchen countertops lasted twenty years. I never gave them a thought until recently when I noticed spots of the yellow underlayer showing. So I decided to upgrade with durable Corian for a hygienic, modern look with more space. I describe the process and include photos on this page.. Corian Kitchen

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Elegant Calgary Library

Gillian Steward praised the elegant new Calgary Central Library in the Toronto Star today. It has received international acclaim for it's architecture and for it's welcoming vibe. And it was completed on time within budget.

Such a project would never be done in Toronto because the federal and provincial governments, and the city council would debate forever about who designs, who pays, and when it will be done.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Instant Potpourri

I like the Instant Pot which cooks all the food for a meal at the same time in a removable, stainless steel inner pot.  I have the Duo Mini (3 quart) so the pot easily fits in the dish washer.  It has seven modes of operation.  Some pots have more modes.  There is an expensive Immersion Circulator add-on device for Sous Vide. But I only need Saute and Pressure cook modes.

There are tons of recipes on the WWW.  I just make spaghetti or stew with beef or chicken. Saute is optional for meat because the blending of flavors during pressure cook makes it seem unnecessary.  Pasta recipes with tomato sauce need to have the sauce added last to prevent scorching.

The Full Release valve emits a startling blast of steam.  Steam is bad for kitchen cabinets so I place the pot on the glass-top range and turn on the ventilation fan before releasing.  Also I tap the valve several times to lessen the initial blast.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Can You Be Manipulated?

Can you be manipulated?  That is the question posed by the Netflix documentary "The Great Hack".  It considers the Donald Trump 2016 election and the surprise Brexit vote in Britain.  Cambridge Analytica was hired to provide voter data which it acquired from social media.  They collected data points on millions of voters.  They wanted to know likes, dislikes, Google searches, et cetera to profile undecided voters which they bombarded with biased political ads.

Take care when you connect to the Internet World Wide Web (a.k.a  World Wide Waste of Time).

Sunday, June 09, 2019

James Naismith, Father of Basketball

Naismith was a Physical Educator who invented Basketball.  His students who thrived on rigorous outdoor sports were too rowdy when confined indoors during the winter.  So he designed Basketball to minimize body contact.  The goal was placed high over the players heads to make it unguardable.  There is an interesting description of the games inception here  The origin of Basketball

I watched the recent Raptors-Warriors game 3 battle.  It was a feisty, exciting game with plenty of body contact. The local pub had a noisy crowd standing room only.  Eager fans are already gathering at Jurassic Park for tomorrow night's battle.

Naismith earned many awards in Sports Halls of Fame. He was born and raised in Almonte,  Ontario. So another Canadian game, eh.

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Great Undoing

Liberal governments implement policies that help financially-challenged people. But they make mistakes and are perceived as wasteful with the public dollar.  Conservatives believe that saving money and paying off the deficit is more important than public service.  They tend to be petty and mean-spirited, in my view.

Now the great province of Ontario has a Progressive Conservative government who do nothing for progress.  Doug Ford is the leader who has bumper-sticker talking points in lieu of well-considered policies. He was bested by John Tory in the election for mayor of Toronto. Now Ford is Premier so he can take revenge on Toronto.

Ford was loudly booed at a recent Special Olympics event.  He is changing Ontario License Plates from "yours to discover" to "a place to grow".  However, funding is being cut in many places.. education, autism support, day care, libraries, health care, tree planting, and so on.  These are some of the many services needed for families to thrive.  Doug Fords Ontario is only for the rich to grow.

Well, grumpy cat has died.  There was too much to be grumpy about.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Fire HD 8 -- Economy Tablet Upgraded For Google

Well, my old Nexus 7, which was made by Asus for Google, finally died after six years. I used it everyday to read the Google News app.

Alternative Android tablets cost hundreds of dollars but the Amazon Fire HD is only $100CDN so I got that.  It has a great display for reading the news and the performance to handle the stream of included images. However, Amazon has modified Android and called it Fire OS.  It has the Silk browser instead of Chrome.

Fortunately, there is a procedure to upgrade Fire OS so that it can run or play all the Google apps. Upgrade Fire HD Tablet

The procedure installs four APK files.  The files have long names and it is important to install them in the same order as the download.

Finally, you will have a good tablet without paying hundreds of dollars.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Struck By Car -- But I Am Ok

It is normal practice at an intersection for a car with a green light for turning left to wait for pedestrians who have a walk light at the same time.  But yesterday I was struck by a car on a Yonge street crosswalk I had crossed ten thousand times before.  The car was turning left and I was astonished to see it was not going to stop. There was no time to avoid it so I must have jumped at the last instant to avoid broken legs. So my shoulder and hips absorbed most of the impact with me atop the car instead of under it.  When the car stopped, I rolled off the car, fell to the pavement and scraped my left knee.  Fortunately, this was a compact car with relatively low front end.  A big SUV or truck would have flattened me instead.

I was fuming and ready to attack something but the driver looked like he was going to have a breakdown.   He jumped out of the car "are your ok ... are you ok".  So I got his phone number, made sure it worked, and walked away.  Meanwhile, there were many witnesses and someone called 911.  The police were looking for me but I was bundled for a cold winter's day and wearing sunglasses.

I called the police from home and a policeman came to interview me.  He asked me to fill out a report by email.  I was struck from the left side, my left leg is undamaged but my right leg has some swelling below the knee. It does not bother me when walking but I will get the doctor to check for lingering issues.

Advise For Pedestrians -- Put away your phones. Practice defensive walking.  Assume every driver is an idiot.  This seems harsh but there are some idiots hiding in the herd of drivers on busy city streets.

Advise For Drivers --  Put away your devices. Assume every pedestrian is an idiot. This seems harsh but you must have seen some zombies ambling across the street with hoods over their faces, eyes down, and hands clasped as if praying.  Drive where you are looking if the right of way is clear. So don't turn right at an intersection while looking left.  Never stop on a crosswalk.

January 27

The right leg which the doctor noted had superficial abrasion eventually developed a skin infection.  Now I am on Cephalexin 4 X 500mg per day.  The infection is diminishing.

February 06

A pedestrian hit by a car usually ends up in the hospital and/or dead.  But a Utube stuntwoman suggests how to avoid this fate. Unrealistic Staged Hit By Car

Yes, one can minimize the damage by rolling with the hit to distribute the force. The stunt people in the movies do that with careful planing and setup to choreograph exactly how the event will unfold.  Then the film editors merge it into the movie so that it looks normal in realtime.

However, the street has all sizes of vehicles moving at speed. Some of them controlled by careless drivers.  There is no time to train, practice, and prepare like the movie stunt people.  The best advice in the Utube clip is to get evaluated by a medical expert.

Finally, notice the old Honda Civic used in the demo. It has a low front end like the one that hit me.  However, most of the vehicles on the street are trucks and SUVs (light trucks) which ride high on big wheels. Pray you don't get hit by one of them.

See Yonge-Scot-Bantry pedestrian safety report (this added 2021-dec-9)