December 8, 2013
Long Gun Registry poster girl Candice Bergen spoke to supporters in Cornwall recently. The willful stupidity of her comments got my goat.
Conservative MP Candice Bergen:
“Would you want him (Justin Trudeau) to be the principal of your children or grandchildren’s school, much less leading this country?” (She belittles the teaching profession. It’s one of the highest rated in public esteem, but she pushes the job of school administrator down lower on the scale than that of a politician, one of the lowest rated occupations.)
“I’m deeply concerned with this movement that somehow marijuana isn’t harmful and it doesn’t hurt our kids,” said Bergen.
This juxtaposition of images is deceitful in that it drags the reader into accepting that JT wants to give marijuana to school children — a favourite Tory meme. Bergen willfully ignores Trudeau’s frequent references to the research on marijuana’s psychotic effect upon growing brains.
JT firmly believes that marijuana is bad for kids, particularly for adolescent boys with ADD and ADDHD, because that’s what the research says. Trudeau wants to take the underworld out of the cannabis market so that there can be reasonable controls on access to the product. He wants to get the drugs out of the schools as much as any grandparent.
Bergen and the Conservatives know this, but they willfully dumb their arguments down to black and white because they believe their supporters are too stupid to understand Trudeau’s reasoned argument and they can benefit from that stupidity.
What’s more, Bergen may be right:
November 28, 2013
If you look to the right you’ll find a page entitled “A New Ice Report…” I’ll try to keep it updated throughout the season.
November 27, 2013
About 8″ of soft, slippery stuff. My 2WD tractor was at a loss without tire chains attached, and I had little inclination to muck around in the slush to put them on.
So I hitched the 5′ snowblower to the small Kubota I bought to mow lawns and fields of tree seedlings. Its 4WD HST and short wheelbase made short work of the snow.
Mind you, I did get very wet. The TAFE has a good loader and a cab with lights on it. On cold winter nights it may well still appeal, though for a moment this morning when the Kubota B7510 was chewing its way uphill on the slush while pushing a snowblower, I allowed myself to think about how the farm might run without any tractors larger than the 21 hp ‘Bota.
November 18, 2013
The morning chuckle today: accused mastermind of the Robocalls Scandal Michael Sona was apparently vacationing in Aruba at the time his co-workers accuse him of confessing his plot to them.
It’s hard to argue with travel records, but who cares if he wasn’t there at the time the offense was committed? This is Toryland, where if the facts don’t fit, change them until they do.
If Justin Trudeau’s speaking to students about marijuana legalization last week wasn’t nefarious enough, change them to elementary school kids. Right, Peter MacKay, Minister of Truth?
November 14, 2013
In 1980 I spent an entertaining evening at a bed and breakfast in Stratford listening to my host describe pumps. He was an engineer for a company which manufactures pipeline equipment and the things he told me stuck in my mind.
The most interesting one had to be their use of regular jet engines to drive natural gas pipelines: as an experiment they put one into a shed beside the pipeline, burned natural gas from the stream in it, vented the exhaust through grates to the air above, and sat back to see how long the thing would last. The trick with a jet is that the flow of air through the turbine actually cools it, so a jet runs very well in a shed without a fancy cooling system. When the prototype didn’t wear out they put more and more turbine engines in place. They found over time that the service life for a gas turbine in a pumping station is much, much longer than for the same engine in a 737. My host told me that they hadn’t had one fail yet.
So this made sense: it’s easy to pump a gas/fluid which readily provides fuel to the engines which drive it. The gas logically would move easily through the pipe without high pressures or frequent pumping stations. So that’s the design for the west-to-east natural gas pipeline.
A pipeline is a magical metaphor for politicians: things go in one end and come out the other and nobody needs to understand how or why. But the image I see is a jet engine choking on tar and the 1/4″ pipe wall gradually sanded away to nothing by the flowing bitumen.
Bitumen starts out as a substance hard enough that it takes huge shovels to chisel it out of the ground. It’s abrasive. It certainly is going to be harder to pump than natural gas.
So, you say, they dilute the bitumen with natural gas in liquified form? So they mix the bitumen and the LNG together and pump like crazy and when it gets to the other end they refine the whole mess into petroleum products.
Trouble is, everything I could read on Wikipedia about liquifying natural gas products emphasizes how critical temperature and pressure are. What happens if something upsets this delicate suspension? Do we get the pipeline plugged with tar from Windsor to Cornwall?
I don’t have a dog in this particular fight, but I’d be very interested to know how Enbridge proposes to pull off this feat with a 1/4″ thick pipe stretched across the country.
I’d really like to know some answers here.
November 11, 2013
SUN news is all abuzz about Justin Trudeau’s evening speech to a group of highbrow women in Toronto last week where he uttered a heretical statement about admiring China.
I first ran into the “admire China” meme in 1979 in grad school. The dean of the Queen’s Faculty of Education had spent a month in China and showed us his photographs in one class. As an educator he was deeply impressed by the rows and rows of young men and women out for morning calisthenics. He told us that the average height of a male recruit into the army was then 6′, evidence of the vast improvement in nutrition China had achieved in a single generation.
We were somewhat taken aback by Dean Ready’s attitude, but eventually we came to realize that the Chinese have worked very, very hard, first to feed their people, and then to grow their economy.
This is what a visitor sees on a trip to China.
Justin’s comment suited his sophisticated audience (likely former grad students all) but it played a bit too well to the Sun News camera. David Akin extracted a measure of revenge for JT’s drubbing of their Great Conservative Hope last spring in the celebrity boxing match — the media event which came as close to humiliating Ezra Levant as anything ever has, and launched Trudeau’s run to 22 Sussex.
This week some cartoonist will likely cast Trudeau as the Road Runner with Akin or Levant as Wiley E. Coyote in a scenario where it looks as if the anvil is at last about to fall on JT’s head…
November 3, 2013
Today has provided a series of lessons:
1. When you’ve bolted everything back together and you’re all ready to do the triumphant drive around the yard in your recently-repaired tractor, the battery will be dead.
2. If the hydraulic pump makes a horrible noise when the engine starts up, don’t panic. It’s air in the system. If it continues to make an unpleasant noise while running, check the auxiliary levers in case one is stuck.
3. Splined shafts are connected to universal joints with spring pins driven through carefully-alligned holes in both. They require a wire run through the hollow pins with the ends brought back and twisted together outside the shaft. If you do not have any wire, stop the project at this point until you have some.
4. In the drive tunnel of a Bolens compact tractor there isn’t enough space for a pair of pliers to twist two strands of wire together if the front drive shaft is in the way. It must be removed again to complete the job. See rule #3.
5. Count the items left over in the parts tray. If there is a remaining spring pin, it came from somewhere. Find the universal joint with the missing pin before driving the tractor a mile into the woods on a test run.
6. A loud clunking noise doesn’t necessarily mean disaster. If the front drive shaft universal has a missing pin, it will eventually come loose when the tractor is running in 4WD. The same rig seemed willing enough to idle along in 2WD on the limp back to the garage, though.
7. Rod’s rule of 30: if you think you have made all of the mistakes possible in the installation of spring pins, you’ll discover one more. In this case I carefully pinned the errant universal joint just past the end of the drive shaft, allowing the shaft to fall out as soon as I had finished wiring the pin into place. Hey, it was dark in there. From now on I’ll look at the inside of the universal joint for the end of the drive shaft before pinning it.
8. Replacing a spline boss on a Bolens G174 is a lot like setting your hair on fire and putting it out with a hammer. If feels so good when you’ve finished.
UPDATE: 4 November, 2013
I used the Bolens all afternoon to move firewood into the shop. It’s good to have it back in service.