70 Orbits! – July 3, 2023

It was science that got me here but it was a total mystery how it happened so fast. On July 3, 2023, I celebrated 70 orbits around the Sun. 70!! How did that even happen? Today I’m on my way to 71, so I thought it would be a good time to tell all about my special day last Monday.

Eileen picked up the cake at 10 am… wait a minute… cake?! I had a birthday cake for the very first time since I was sixteen! And there was a party to go along with that most beautiful chocolate cake. It was a coffee and cake party at 3 pm. A party? How does this magic even happen?

A couple of weeks ago we decided to go for it, to have a party to celebrate 70 orbits and, imho, just to have a party. Eileen said go and there were several things to get done, not only on the day of the party but also before the big day. We booked the Belmont Club, a common space shared among the condo owners on the street. I made an invitation and mailed it out to those on our shortlist, in other words, our new neighbours and my computer buddies. I had a well-laid plan to post the invitation to friends on Facebook (where most of my friends live) but we struggled over the soundness of that idea, well Eileen struggled and I waited until the last minute when there was no time to do anything let alone posting on FB.

Babka House supplied two cakes. One upon which to blow out the candles and one for my guests to eat. They were delicious. We decorated the club with fresh flowers and Dollar Store balloons. We had loads of coffee from Tim Hortons and seven different types of tea from our private stash. Also on the big table were a fruit tray and a veggie platter, candies and Janet’s most perfect ginger snap cookies. Chapmans Tahitian Vanilla ice cream came out of the freezer. Yum. Wasn’t that a party!

And a week before the party Eileen suggested it might be a good idea to develop a slide show with some of my ancient pictures. Challenge accepted. After a week of doing nothing else, I think I came up with something rather good. Very likely this project was as much for me as it was for my partygoers, but I think they enjoyed it too. If you feel like having a look here it is. Just a thought… get a cup of coffee because the video is 15 minutes long. https://codyg.ca/images/video/70orbits.mp4

The music playlist looked like this:

Time – The Alan Parsons Project

Lovers in A Dangerous Time – Barenaked Ladies

The Long and Winding Road – The Beatles

The Fool On the Hill – The Beatles

Don’t Let It Show – The Alan Parsons Project

In My Life – The Beatles

Trains and Boats and Planes – Billy J Kramer

Nowhere to Run – Martha Reeves

Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying – Gerry & the Pacemakers

She’s Leaving Home – The Beatles

Nightshift – The Commodores

Cats in the Cradle – Harry Chapin

Carry On – Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Nowhere Man – The Beatles

Hotel California – Eagles

Piece of My Heart – Janis Joplin

My Back Pages – The Byrds

Do You Wanna Dance – The Mamas and Papas

Runnin’ Blue – The Doors

Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton

Bitter Green – Gordon Lightfoot

Runaway – Del Shannon

Cherish – Kool and the Gang

Pussywillows, Cat-Tails – Gordon Lightfoot

You Make Me – Leo Sayer

The Logical Song – Supertramp

New Kid in Town – Eagles

Carefree Highway – Gordon Lightfoot

A Hazy Shade of Winter – Simon and Garfunkel

Mambo Italiano – Bette Midler

From a Window- Billy J Kramer

You Don’t Own Me – Lesley Gore

The Lady in Red – Chris de Burgh

Wooden Ships – Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Penny Lane – Beatles

Private Dancer – Tina Turner

Heart of Glass – Blondie

Tangled Up In Blue – Bob Dylan

Thank You – ABBA

Phantasmagoria – Curved Air

All Through the Night – Cyndi Lauper

Let’s Dance – David Bowie

Didn’t I – The Delfonics

Fantasy – Earth, Wind and Fire

Rocket Man – Elton John

Dreams – Fleetwood Mac

Songbird – Fleetwood Mac

Bitter Green – Gordon Lightfoot

Summertime – Janis Joplin

Watching the Wheels – John Lennon

Dust in the Wind – Kansas

Eli’s Comin- Laura Nyro

Stoney End – Laura Nyro

So Long, Marianne – Leonard Cohen

Dance Me Til the End of Time – Leonard Cohen

You’ll Never Know – Lou Rawls

Nowhere to Hide – Martha Reeves

The Sound of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel

Homeward – Simon & Garfunkel

Land Ho – Supertramp

I Saw the Light – Todd Rundgren

Moondance – Van Morrison

Nightshift – The Commodores

Tears of a Clown – The Miracles

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing – Leo Sayer

Year End …

We are finishing up the Christmas tree tonight and installing more lights everywhere. It’s the best part of the season. This human is very wary of the dark.

Catch Up … and Vancouver Bound

We are quite settled in Langford, in Belmont Market. This place has a walkability score of 200%. Honestly, you name it and it’s within a 10-minute walk. The exceptions are a good computer store and an art supply store. We love our new condo, it’s just the right size with tons of storage and a view of trees and the Galloping Goose Trail.

So far, we have survived the Covid-Thing. But we are still masking.

E has retired! Yea! It’s fabulous to have our relationship on a full-time basis.

I’m off to Vancouver tomorrow. I seem to have some kind of functional neurological disorder … at least that is what may be the issue. In order to come to a positive diagnosis, many, many tests must be done. So, I’m off to the hospital at UBC for two weeks as an inpatient. If someone else is cooking the meals and doing the dishes, I’m just going to sit back, enjoy the personal attention and be hopeful that sooner or later what is wrong with me can be fixed. Or at least have a name.

Stay tuned.

2020 … Wasn’t that a year!

Dear Eddie…

As for here… 2020 was supposed to be a fabulous year. I had been studying Italian for years and had a solo two-month trip planned to Italy, including a gorgeous studio apartment in Florence for a month. I was taking a couple of European history classes at UVIC last fall and winter. The plan was I was going to fly to Rome on April 6. Everything was arranged and paid for, including Easter Monday breakfast with the Pope (lol) and my annual pass to the Uffici in Florence. My bag was packed. I was still hoping and wishing all would be well at the end of March. Then KLM canceled my flight and AirB&B canceled my studio. I’m still grieving that loss. Unfortunately, the year from hell didn’t end there.

Long story … probably not short. Days after viewing the solar eclipse in totality, in Lincoln City, Oregon, in August 2017, I started experiencing a sound and vibration thing, occasionally. I thought it was the laundry room beneath us in the hotel, then it was the neighbour’s hot tub, then it was the new heat pump system installed in the church on the hill behind our house. Then maybe it was the city’s water main, or maybe BCHydro had something to do with it. I experienced it in our house and in our yard and on the driveway. It was weird but it was still sporadic until September of 2019. It had been off for a couple of days, in fact, I had told Eileen that it had sounded sick before it went off. Then, on September 9th, it came back on with a vengeance. So much so that I had run out of my house because I thought the house was going to fall down. Weird, eh? The real problem was when this thing ramped up I would get nauseous, dizzy, and walk into walls.

By this time I was heavily into my trip planning and studying at UVIC. So, I spent most of my time in the library and finding excuses to stay at friend’s houses. My GP had never heard of such a thing, but she was going to get me some psychiatric help. I had a cat scan on January 3rd. My brain is totally fine, even quite exceptional, said the neurologist. Anyways, I was ready to try anything and if it was in my head then “let’s get it out of there.” I started an anti-psychotic and started seeing a very nice doctor. Of course, nothing changed. By now we had decided to sell our house and I had moved into an apartment in Langford, still part of Greater Victoria, but what we call the Westshore. So, I’m prepping for Italy, prepping to sell the house, going to school every day of the week, and living on my own. Eileen wasn’t going to move to the apartment until the house was on the market sometime mid February. Then I was told I had breast cancer. Sheesh.

So instead of going to Italy on the 6th of April, on the 8th, I was in a deserted hospital (because now it was a total lockdown and only “emergency” surgeries were happening) having surgery. The surgery wasn’t so bad, they only took a part of my right breast. But a few days later I got the news that the margins were not clear and I would need more treatment. Normally, it would be radiation, but I have something called Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome and the radiation would not only fry my skin but likely fry my lungs. So that treatment was ruled out. I was told that if I did nothing I would have a 30% chance of recurrence in the next 10 years. Honestly, I was good with those odds, but no one else was. They wanted to take the whole breast. They could do reconstruction they said! I had less than 6 months to figure it out. Well, Eddie, the fakest thing I’ve ever done is wear some lipstick and mascara, I just didn’t see myself with foobs (fake boobs) and even worse I didn’t see myself with just one boob. If they wanted one they needed to take both. That was a struggle against the patriarchy, which I eventually won.

By the time May had ended, we had sold our house (and downsized all our stuff) and now we were living in a small apartment. By the time June came around, we had purchased a much more spacious and brand new condo. So, basically, we moved twice last spring.

My surgery was on September 8. Eileen, a senior school science teacher, had been working from home since the original lockdown in March, now schools were open but she took six weeks off to look after me. The “disturbance” was far more subtle here. I was talking with a very nice psychiatrist from the cancer society. I came off the anti-psychotics as they were doing nothing and he suggested an anti-depressant. There was CBD work, more counseling, lots of talking, but the sound and the vibration remain.

I didn’t feel so great for a few weeks after the surgery. I barely got out of bed as there wasn’t any place to go. I quickly became addicted to the news, to CNN and MSNBC, to the entire election story…. except for when Trump was saying anything, then I had to switch channels or close my eyes. Egads, what a mess. So… besides keeping an eye on our neighbours to the south, who mostly seemed to want to give up their democracy and install Trump as King/Dictator, I was healing and not doing too much.

But it isn’t over yet. On the night of November 3rd I was all ready to watch the election results when I had some horrendous pain when I tried to breathe. I seriously couldn’t breathe. Eileen called 911 and within minutes the fire department and two teams of paramedics were standing in our condo … all dressed like covid-19 aliens. They started giving me oxygen and I started to feel better. Then they gave me fentanyl and packed me up for a trip to the hospital. I spent 24 hours in emerg, then three days in a ward. Cause: I had a shower of blood clots in both lungs. IOW, had it not been for 911 and the speed for which I was given oxygen, I likely would not have been here to write this story.

I’m still recovering, and on blood thinners for another 3 months, but it gets better every day. They said the pulmonary embolism was provoked by the surgery in September, so chances are good I’ll be fine. But there will be more tests, yada yada.

Oh ya, the pandemic. All I really want to do I go hang out in Starbucks, or go back to the library at UVIC.

So that was my 2020. As I said, the plan was to have a fabulous 2020. Best laid plans…. Now I just look for a little fabulous in each day, twinkly lights, yummy food, a walk, an exercise class, sunshine, hummingbirds. We had 30cm of snow here on the weekend. It was so pretty and so rare. Now it’s just about all melted and soon the spring flowers will start to pop.

I’m still involved in web stuff. https://cozyhost.ca My social life revolves around a group of awesome engineers and others who like to fiddle with raspberry pi and different controllers, networking and coding. We used to meet in person at least four times a month, now we meet using jitsi or zoom and have a social thing via jitsi on Friday nights. https://vicpimakers.ca

Eileen retires this year. She was going to retire last year, but when the pandemic and cancer and moving happened, we decided maybe one more year working wouldn’t be the worst thing. Last spring everything seemed so strange that sticking with the status quo looked good. Anyways, June will be the end of it, at least at SMUS, and we will be free to travel… when we can travel. The plan is a trip to Yellowknife then Kugluktuk, Nunavut. We also want to take the ferry from Prince Rupert to Skagway then rent a car and drive to Whitehorse. That will complete our Canadian geocaching challenge. Then a trip through the southern states. We geocached 30 states in 2014, but Mingo Kansas was the furthest south we got. Finally, a trip to Hawaii will complete the USA challenge. I had some European geocaching in mind…. oh well.

Do take care of yourself and those loved ones, Eddie. Stay tuned.

Throwback Thursday

I found this image today in a box I hadn’t looked into since before the move before last. Almost 12 years ago I packed up this box full of art supplies I rarely used. Today, while trying to decrease the amount of stuff in my life I found this image. Mom and I in March 2004. Miss her.

Mom and Cody

4th time lucky?

This week was the third time I have had to cancel a trip to Italy! Covid-19, ugh. My heart and thoughts to everyone who is struggling. Let’s all sing from the windows and clap from the doors! Stay safe.  Stai al sicuro.

Eclipse 2017

If you just got here … it’s almost time… and what is time anyway?

Stay tuned.

from post.google.com Aug 18 2017


Women in Ads 1

secret ad
What bothers me about this ad?

What bothers me about this ad?  Certainly, the words precarious and dangerous come to mind,  but why would a woman be depicted in this fashion, in this place? As in what’s up with her fashion? Or why is she wearing that,  and why should I care?

Life and oppression can be serious … so, imho, dressed in the clothes of the last 50’s and made up like drag queens, (maybe not this one, but there are many) … how does this fashion imply serious? Where is the struggle? Personally, I wouldn’t be seen hanging off a cliff in this outfit.  

I was watching the Women in the World Summit a while back … all those women on stage … the ones in dresses/skirts, most of them, were constantly pulling at their hems. Seriously, every second or two there was another woman in the panel pulling at the hem of her skirt. Is that is a kind of feminist power dressing in the 21st century?  If so, I’m going back to go playing my ukulele.   😉

Maya Plisetskaya Dances Ballet Documentary 1964

In 1964, two years after I danced with the Bolshoi and danced on stage with Maya Plisetskaya, this 1 hr 12 min documentary was made. Though today the ballet style looks almost ancient, in the day she was groundbreakingly awesome. I had a thing about her broken wrist lines, but what do I know? 😉

Maya was born on November 20, 1925. She died at age 89 on May 2, 2015. 

The Day I Was Almost Eaten by a Shark, and The Day the Dinosaurs Died

ECORD Expedition 364 - 2016
IODP, International Ocean Discovery Program, ECORD Expedition 364, Apr-May 2016

If the rock that hit the Earth 66 million years ago had been just a little later, or a little earlier, we might not be here talking about it.  

“They illustrate what happened in the seconds and hours after the impact, revealing that had the huge asteroid struck the Earth a moment earlier, or later, the destruction might not have been total for the dinosaurs. And if they still roamed the world, we humans may never have come to rule the planet.” — BBC Two — The Day the Dinosaurs Died


I was once almost eaten by a shark in the warm waters off Chicxulub. It was 1972 and I was on holiday in Mexico. We were spending a week in the Yucatan.  After leaving Merida our concierge, driver, cook, and friend took us to his mother-in-law’s summer home on the beaches of Chicxulub.  My spanish is not good and I thought we had rented the little cabin/hut in the back of the beach front property. “No, no esa cosa pequeña … esa casa grande!”

 It was awesome. The sand, the art, the cool tiles, the warm sea … and it seemed that we had it all to ourselves.   After a few days of our fabulous holiday, my partner had to go into town about the car rental, but despite the warnings I’d heard about swimming with a partner, I couldn’t stay out of the ocean and I went into those waves anyways. I’m splashing around about 100 feet off shore when I noticed a small boy on the beach, jumping up and down, waving, and yelling at me …  “hola!”  “What’s that you’re saying?”  I swam back to shore but he ran away, up the beach, toward the nearby small town of Chicxulub.  

My partner and I regularly walked into Chicxulub in the evening, where we ate street food and soaked up the ambiance.   That night, as we walked along the beach, we could see there was quite a happening on the town dock,  boats and trucks, lots of people, lights and action.  It wasn’t long before we were at the scene and had it figured out.  They were hauling a huge dead shark onto the dock.   This was no baby shark. It was gianormous.  Indeed I’m convinced it was the inspiration for the movie “Jaws” which was released only a few years later.   When people talked about the movie I thought, that was nothing! You should have seen the monster we saw in Chicxulub!  

Anyways, we left the dock and walked the short distance to a large restaurant we had planned to eat at on our last day in the Yucatan.  We enter, and who is the first person I see?  The boy who was on the beach that morning!   He seemed really happy to see me and soon his Dad was ushering us to a table where he handed us a couple of menus.  And there, on the menu, was the word the boy had been yelling at me that afternoon.  Hola! tiburón! tiburón! tiburón! “


Then, in 1980, the father-and-son team of scientists Luis and Walter Alvarez, suggested the hypothesis that the mass extinction of the dinosaurs was caused by the impact of a large asteroid hitting Earth.  And last year, ECORD, the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling, launched an expedition to drill core from the crater peak of that event.   Here is the web page.


Here is the flyer. 

Expedition 364 flyer
Expedition 364 flyer

Happy birthday Stella! 9 Years… WoW

Stella la bella
Stella la bella

Wow … where does the time go? These days Stella is starting to take things a little easier. Actually, she has been a real laze about for a couple of years. I’ve read that dogs like to sleep 20 hours a day and Stella likes to follow that rule. In the morning she may or may not get up to say good morning and pass around a stuffy and voice her wwooooowwwooos, check out her food bowl, have a pee… but, the excitement doesn’t last, and soon she will have built a nest on the bed and she is good there until noon. Here’s to another orbit lovely Stella! Find more images in Stella’s Gallery here.

Duolingo – 1200 Streak Days

Might you think I'm obsessed?  What's really going on is the number 1234. 😉  

What started me on Duolingo was an attempt to learn more about music theory, which of course led to a geocache.  Then Samantha Cristoforetti flew to space.  Then a dream of a trip to Italy, on hold for now,  and a love of learning something new,  keeps growing those days, months and years of some  10 - 300 xps per day.   Here's to 1200!!

1200 day duolingo streak
1200 day duolingo streak




 Sorry if I missed your credit,  Let me know.


White Light Corona / NASA

HI4PI: The Hydrogen Sky
Image Credit: Benjamin Winkel & the HI4PI Collaboration / APOD 2016 October 24

Galleries by Supsystic



Mom: Aline MacGregor Gregory Wainwright

PCBoard: Carol Whitney

Love: Eileen Amirault

Hello world! (again)

On April 11, 2017, I began the processes of switching out my old RavenNuke CMS ver 2.5.1 (circa 2007-2017) on codyg.ca, for a brand new WordPress 4.7.3, with a 2017 theme. The surprising thing was that the old CMS had lasted this long, but I wasn’t using it much, as I had gone over to FB by 2009.  I loved the procedural php that was from those days of old!  So there it was.  However, this year has become a WP banner year for me and I have instantiated more than a half dozen new sites since Christmas.  I’m on a roll.

Over the next few weeks, I will massage the old tables into new tables. I will add old and new content, fix styles, and create some new galleries.  I will finesse.  For your part, when revisiting a page, depending on your browser settings, do make full use of your refresh button. After the rebuild is complete the plan is to test a few homegrown plugins and integrate my posts on both FB and my own blog.  Stay tuned.

And, as always, I give candy for bug identifications.

Hugs all round,

Catherin (Cody) Gregory

A few posters…

Over the years I created posters, buttons, and magnets ... here is a gallery of many.

Gallery – Ucluelet-Tofino 2012

In the spring of 2012 we took a trip to the westcoast for a bit of storm watching and Wild Pacific Trail hiking.  Thanks Lisa!

See all 219 images in the flicker album here


Getting There

Another journey…

I’m trying to get healthier and even succeeding, thanks to Eileen and Sparkpeople.com, and now my new “Fitbit”. For me, for today, healthy means dropping weight and feeling stronger.  At my age it’s not so easy anymore, but it is possible. For the past six months, I’m eating less and healthier, and getting more regular activity, like cardio and strength training and I’m sticking to it. I’m not going to give up.
Continue reading “Getting There”


It was 1986 when I got *my* first computer. Before that I was playing around with other’s Commodores and Tandys. My first lovely was a 8086 XT, with a 30MB hard drive and an amber monitor. I purchased it at Columbia Typerwriter, and office machines company in Victoria, BC. Half of the more than $3,000 price tag was a big birthday present from Mom. I used software called First Choice and studied computer science at North Island College. Once I moved to Victoria, in 1991, I setup my first DOS based BBS with Spitfire software, from Buffalo Creek Software. This software is still available!! However, the modem world would soon change my life and I was hooked. In 1993 I bought both a 386 and a 486 computer systems. The 386 was configured with PC Board Software and Robocomm, and four 14,000 dial-up modems with four phone lines running into my bedroom. The 486 was for my own use. 😉 A few years later I sold the XT for $75.00.

Emergency List / with Pets

emergency preparedness for pets
for pets

Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe. The best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared. On the west coast, we think about earthquakes.  When preparing for the big one, don't forget the needs of your pet!  With our Stella on the way, we have re-evaluated our emergency supply list.  Read more to see the entire list.


On Vancouver Island, we are mainly concerned with earthquakes.Always fill your gas tank when it is half empty. After an earthquake, gas station swill either be closed or the gas will be for emergency vehicles. Keep a bag of supplies near your bed. If you are awakened in the middle of the night and told to evacuate, you can grab your bag and your animals and go.Suggestions:
• Heavy gloves and shoes (for broken glass)
• A flashlight and batteries (always store batteries in a sealed plastic bag)
• 5 gallon containers and add four drops of chlorinated bleach for every gallon of water, then change the water every six months).Water - fill an empty 2 litre bottle from the tap (Keep lots more stored outside in
• Food - both for people and pets • Waterproof matches and candles
• great to keep warm & dry (enough for people and animals)Orange garbage bags & silver emergency blankets — these are highly visible &
• One week’s worth of your medication & any your animals require
• Leashes — your pets should always be wearing collars with tags
• vaccination records, driver’s license, birth certificate etc.Laminated copies of important papers such as your pet’s registration papers,
• Quarters for pay phones and small bills for miscellaneous expenses
• Extra keys to your vehicle(s) and your home
• A first aid kit & instructions with supplies for you and your animals
• a place to stay for you and your pets. A list of phone numbers of out-of-town friends and relatives that could provide
• Extra supplies to be kept in a safe location outside (wheeled garbage cans are ideal)Photos of your animals in case they get lost, pen & paper for signs
• Radio and batteries
• Tarps and rope
• A crowbar, hammer, nails, axe, folding shovel
• More food for the animals (canned is best as it lasts longest) & a can opener
• Blankets, towels and extra clothing for people and animals
• Contact a neighbour or friend who could evacuate your animals for you if you aren’t home. For more information on emergency preparedness contact your local municipal hall.
• Crates for each dog

Bob MacGregor – Favourite Uncle Dies

It’s been annus horribulus.  My favourite uncle, Bob MacGregor, died and I’m heartbroken.  I will always remember him as the most generous, most fun and most caring person.  His death shocked our family and we will miss him terribly.

This picture was taken during our visit to Toronto in July 2007.  We spent three days with Uncle Bob.  He was amazing.

Read more – CBC Obit

Continue reading “Bob MacGregor – Favourite Uncle Dies”

Aline Gregory Wainwright – My Mother – Obituary

Aline Margaret Gregory Wainwright (nee MacGregor)WAINWRIGHT, Aline Gregory (nee MacGregor)
Born September 3, 1930 – Died April 9, 2008
Aline left us peacefully, at Hospice Niagara after a lengthy struggle with cancer.

Well remembered for her dedicated work as an active feminist, she was  a co-founder of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women  in Canada.  She was a member of Women for Political Action and in the  1972 federal election was a candidate in Rosedale Riding in Toronto.   In 1975 she played a prominent role in organizing the first World’s  International Women’s Year Conference held in Mexico City, and in 1977, was awarded the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal.

Born in Toronto in 1930, Aline is predeceased by parents Alexander and Catherine MacGregor, by sister Catherine (Kitty) Mann, and by brothers  John and Howard MacGregor.  She is survived by husband John  Wainwright, by brother Robert (Bob) MacGregor of Toronto, by daughters Catherin (Cody) Gregory of Victoria, B.C. and Deanne (Dedee) Gregory of  Burnaby, B.C., by step-children John Wainwright of Edmonton, Deborah   Jarvis of Grimsby and Jane Wainwright of Grimsby, and by grandson  Garnet Clare of Whistler, B.C. 

She will be deeply missed by family  and friends.

An announcement will be forthcoming about an open house to celebrate Aline’s life at the St. Catharines Golf and Country Club,  70 Westchester Avenue, St. Catharines, Ontario.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Canadian Cancer Society or Hospice Niagara would be gratefully appreciated.

See her story here. 

Aqsa Parvez Killed

We are all responsible!

Aqsa Parvez
Aqsa Parvez

This time, not in Afghanistan or Iran or Pakistan but in the Canadian city of Toronto, a sixteen-year-old girl has become a victim of religious prejudice, veil, political Islam, and the compromise with it of the Western governments. This time, the killer is a father who kept pressurizing the neck of his daughter Aghsa (Aqsa Parvez) until the very last minute of her life.

We are all responsible for it.

How long are we going to witness thousands of women and children become victims of stoning to death, mutilation, burning, self-burning, and getting thrown off the balconies? For how long are we going to remain accustomed to this violence that has taken over us and our societies?

US Election Year

It’s a good thing to find one’s inner bigot…then one can enlighten it.

Perhaps humans are hard-wired for fear? It would explain the vicarious hero/god thing.  It’s all so anti-humanistic.

“The anti-immigration issue that’s now sweeping the country in my view is no different than the movements that swept the country in the past. You look back at the Chinese Exclusionary Act, or the Know-Nothing movement — these were movements that encouraged Americans to fear foreigners, to fear something that is different, and to stop immigration.”

Rudy Giuliani in 1996


In Memory – Kurt Vonnegut: 1922-2007

Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut is one writer who moved much of my generation and who is responsible for much of how we think today.  Today he died, another great human mind, passing into history. A person full of love, insight, and story telling.  Thanks Kurt, you rocked my universe.


Our president is a Christian? So was Adolf Hitler. What can be said to our young people, now that psychopathic personalities, which is to say persons without consciences, without senses of pity or shame, have taken all the money in the treasuries of our government and corporations, and made it all their own?

 © 2005 Kurt Vonnegut Extracted from A Man Without a Country:  A Memoir of Life in George W Bush’s America

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.

I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.

I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.

Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.

A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.

Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.

Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything.

Requiem (ending) 

When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
from the floor
of the Grand Canyon,
“It is done.”
People did not like it here.[60]
–Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country, 2005

“Our president is a Christian? So was Adolf Hitler. What can be said to our young people, now that psychopathic personalities, which is to say persons without consciences, without senses of pity or shame, have taken all the money in the treasuries of our government and corporations, and made it all their own?”

 © 2005 Kurt Vonnegut Extracted from A Man Without a Country:  A Memoir of Life in George W Bush’s America


New Mexico – Creationists get sneaker, but they loose anyways. If enacted, HB 506 (and its counterpart Senate Bill 371) would have required the state department of education to adopt rules allowing teachers strengths and weaknesses” of any “theory of biological origins” taught, and allowing students to “reach their own conclusions about biological origins.”  If enacted, HJM 14 (and its counterpart Senate Joint Memorial 9) would have in effect asked the state department of education to comply with the requirements of HB 506 and SB 371, claiming (among other things) that “many credentialed scientists challenge certain aspects of evolutionary theory.”
[ed note: they never provide the lists of non-creationist scientists, because there aren’t any.]

Before the bills died, Dave Thomas’s op-ed “Intelligent design supporters find new, creative ways to get their message out” appeared in the March 13, 2007, issue of the Albuquerque Tribune.  Thomas commented, “The measures would have also have given students the ‘right and freedom to reach their own conclusions about biological origins.’  We don’t encourage students to “reach their own conclusions” on how to add fractions.  Why should we suddenly do so with the biosciences?  Make no mistake, the only academic freedom involved in these measures is the freedom to teach creationism in science class,” adding, “Creationists aren’t going away.  They’re just getting sneakier.”

Upgrading the RavenNuke – ver 2.1 is released!

I’ve upgraded 4 sites in the past couple of weeks … tons of work, but it is so worth it.  Finally, after years of treading water in the nuke darkness, here is a cms with logic, clarity, security and a heart.
RavenNuke 2.1 Rocks!  KISS works.

I’ve also had the opportunity to give Joomla another go around on the server.   Joomla is hugely popular. Joomla is slick, but it would be a huge learning curve for me.  And for what? for popularity?  Certainly not for security and clarity. 

Rock On Raven!


We passed! And now the really interesting stuff begins.

My call sign:  Victor Alpha Seven Echo Echo Foxtrot

You know we’ve been missing lately,  the reason is: our radio learning curve, the exam was yesterday. 
We passed! And aced it! We got our Canadian Amateur Basic with Honors.  So, we can play in the High Frequency. As we are already too busy, you might wonder why amateur radio? Because communications are an important component of our Emergency Preparedness interest.  Eventually, we would like to join City of Victoria, Amateur Communication Service.  (And, the possible connection with Space Station on a sighted pass is cool too.)  From learning a little, we have a large new interest.   We await Industry Canada to do the paperwork and we dream of the perfect mobile station.

All of us like to be proven RIGHT

My 2$
Er, not exactly.  Many warm, dry, well fed and well loved humans enjoy the exploration of ideas. If one answer inevitably leads to another question, and therefore more exploration, then all is good. Daily exploration practice builds the process of relationships without bringing negativity into the circle.

Evidence of pain … it’s very subjective, sometimes all the positive energy on the planet isn’t enough to stop the tears.  My subjective observation of our community sees a tad lack of positive energy on several levels.  Healing in this environment isn’t going to be easy.

OMG! It’s a negative thought and then our ego takes it personally, and *then* … we want to be right and some begin to gather the troops….

Generally, men seem to not take exploration of “it’s only an idea” so personally. imho, (in my humble observation) our community tends to practice some kind of strange communication about ideas, about exploration. It may be some way of isolating any diversity?  We don’t tolerate it well?  What’s up with that?

Could needing to be right, a psuedo-comfort, be an analogy to sticking your head in the mud?

Blog On!

Ham Radio License Notes

Amateur Radio Service is Governed by 3 pieces of legislation:

Notes from va7eef

* Industry Canada RIC – 2 and RIC 3

Radio Communications Act contains:
1. Requirements to obtain license    2. Penalites for failure to do so


The Act states that you cannot:
install, operate or possess a device capable of transmitting electromagnetic waves lower than 3000GHz  without being licenced in accordance with the Act.  Also, the equipment must be located in a place with a station license.

The Regulations encompasses:
the rules for the hobby including 3rd party traffic, bandwidth, permitted frequencies, communications content, power limits, etc.

  • post yellow/white station license
  • 3rd party traffic means a message sent to a non-amateur via an amateur station.
  •  there are some countries which it is forbidden to communicate with   (N. Korea, Iran)
  • Obscene Language
  • Confidentiality
  • You must state your CALLSIGN at the beginning and end of an exchange. You must identify again at 30mins. Identification must be in English or French.
  • You may only communicate with other amateur stations
  • You cannot develop a secret code
  • You cannot play music or commercially recorded material
  • You cannot demand nor accept remuneration for any communication

Sanctions under the Act

  • maximum fine of $5000.00
  • imprisonment for up to 1 year
  • or both

Regulations Continued …


is the portion of the band that your transmitted signal occupies:

Signals below 25MHz shall not exceed 6 kHz bandwidth (except 10.1 10.15 MHz –> 1 kHz )
28.0 – 29.7 MHz shall not exceed 20 kHz bandwidth
50 MHz – 144 MHz shall not exceed 30 kHz bandwidth
200 MHz shall not exceed 100 kHz bandwidth
430 MHz 12 MHz (Amateur Television)

 Transmitter Power:

  1. direct current input power: Basic License – max 250 watts  Advanced License – max 1 kW  :  to the anode or collector or circuit of the transmitter stage
  2. radio frequency output power measured across an impedance matched load: Basic License – max 560 watts peak envelope power. Advanced License – max 2250 watts (for transmitters producing SSB emission)  or  Basic License – max 190 watts carrier  power. Advanced License – max 750 watts (for other types of emission)

Harmful Interference:

  • interference must neither endanger or degrade the use or functioning of safety-related transmitters and receivers (ie police, ambulance, coast guard)
  • or, significantly degrade, obstruct or repeatedly interrupt the use or functioning of radio apparatus or radio sensitive equipment.


  1. Device capable of measuring the transmitted frequency (with the same accuracy as a crystal calibrator), AND
  2. Device capable of preventing and indicating overmodulation, AND
  3. Frequency stability of the transmitter of frequencies below 148 MHz must be equivalent to a crystal-controlled radio.

** All modern transceivers meet these 3 requirements.

Number of Amateur Radio Stations

You may have:

2  Type 1 site-specific stations

1 module station

** Only 2 stations can operate simultaneously (one of which must be the mobile station)

** Station does not mean transmitter, so, station may have many transmitters operating simultaneously


Emergency Communications

Amateur stations have the authority to communicate any message that relates to an emergency (earthquake, flood, tornado) on behalf of any person, government, or relief organization.

Distress: – grave and imminent danger, need immediate assistance: “MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY, CALLSIGN”  Repeat until you get a response. Priority over all other communication.

Urgency:- urgent message concerning safety of person, place, vehicle, plane or vessel. “PAN PAN, PAN PAN, PAN PAN, CALLSIGN”. Priority over all other communication except distress.

Safety: – safety navigation or weather advisories. “SECURITY, SECURITY, SECURITY CALLSIGN”


Safety Code 6

Health Canada’s document “Limits of Exposure to Radiofrequency Fields at Frequencies from 10kHz to 300 GHz”





Basic Certificate (70%)

  • restricted to frequencies above 30MHz
  • lower power below 250W
  • not be the license holder of a repeater
  • not be holder of a club station
  • must use commercially manufactured equipment

Advance Certification (80%+)

  • operate on HF bands
  • below 30 MHz
  • operate less than 1000W

The frequency allocations for Canada in ITU Region 2 are:



Frequency (MHz)

Lower edge

Frequency (MHz)

Upper edge

Maximum Bandwidth




6 kHz

B and 5



6 kHz

B and 5



6 kHz

B and 5



1 kHz

B and 5



6 kHz

B and 5



6 kHz

B and 5



6 kHz

B and 5



6 kHz

B and 5



20 kHz

B and 5



30 kHz




30 kHz




100 kHz




12 MHz

B **



12 MHz

B **



Not Specified

B **



Not Specified

B **



Not Specified

B **



Not Specified

B **



Not Specified

B **



Not Specified




Not Specified

B **



Not Specified




Not Specified




Not Specified

B **



Not Specified




Not Specified

B **



Not Specified

B **



Not Specified





“B” means an Amateur Operators Certificate with Basic Qualification
“5” means an Amateur Operators Certificate with Morse Code (5 w.p.m.) Qualification
Radio Amateurs are secondary users in the bands marked with asterisks **, and may not cause interference to primary users.



VE0 International Waters
VO2 Labrador
VY1 Yukon
VY0 Nunavut

Phonetic Alphabet

alpha beta charlie delta echo
foxtrot golf hotel india julliet
kilo lima mike november oscar
papa quebec romeo sierra tango
uniform victor whiskey xray yankee


Q Code


See More: http://www.kloth.net/radio/qcodes.php

Q Code Ques Ans Remember
QRZ Who is calling me? You are being called by … Snooze
QSO Can you communicate with… direct .. or relay? I can communicate with… direct .. or relay So and So
QRM Are you being interfered with? I am being interfered with … 1,2,3,4,5 Radio Man
QRN Are you troubled by static? I am troubled by static … 1,2,3,4,5 Radio Natural
QRS Shall I send more slowly? Send more slowly (wpm) Radio Slower
QTH What is your position? My position is lat long The Home
QSL Can you acknowledge receipt? I can acknowledge receipt. QSL Card
QRG Can your tell me my exact frequency? Your exact frequency is KHz or MHz RiG frequency
QRT Shall I stop sending? Stop Sending. Radio Terminate
QTR What is the exact time? Exact Time is … 2000 Z Time Right Now
QRO Shall I increase my transmitter power? Increase your transmitter power. Ridiculously Overload
QRP Shall I decrease my transmitter power? Decrease transmitter power. Reduce Power
QSY Shall I change frequency? Change frequency to … See You Change
QRH Does my frequency vary? Change frequency to … Radio Hold Frequency
QRI How is the tone of my frequency? The tone of your transmission is 1=good, 2= variable, 3=bad Radio Intonate
QRK What is the intelligibility of my signal (or those of …)?  The intelligibility of your signal is 1=bad, 2=poor, 3=fair, 4=good, 5=excellent Radio Klearly

1 nil

2 slightly

3 moderately

4 severely

5 extremely

Station Diagram

station setup

The DC input power of a transmitter operating at 12 volts and drawing 500 milliamps would be: 6 watts   
P = E × I   =   12 × .5   =   6 watts


Current and Voltage


Current (I) is the flow of electrons through a conductor, and is measured in amperes (A).

Voltage (E) is the electrical pressure, or electromotive force, that causes the electrons to flow, and is measured in volts (V).

Analogy: If you compare electric current to water flowing through a pipe, then voltage is like the water pressure.
The ampere is named for André Marie Ampère, a mathematician and physicist who made major contributions to the theory of electromagnetism.
The volt is named for Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta, a pioneer in the study of electricity and inventor of the electric battery.






Resistance (R) is the opposition to current, and is measured in ohms (Ω).

A resistor is a circuit component that provides resistance.  Resistors are made from materials with moderate resistance, like carbon.

Bad Beer Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Well.

The Standard EIA Color Code Table per EIA-RS-279 is as follows:

Color 1st band 2nd band 3rd band (multiplier) 4th band (tolerance) Temp. Coefficient
Black 0 0 ×100    
Brown 1 1 ×101 ±1% (F) 100 ppm
Red 2 2 ×102 ±2% (G) 50 ppm
Orange 3 3 ×103   15 ppm
Yellow 4 4 ×104   25 ppm
Green 5 5 ×105 ±0.5% (D)  
Blue 6 6 ×106 ±0.25% (C)  
Violet 7 7 ×107 ±0.1% (B)  
Gray 8 8 ×108 ±0.05% (A)  
White 9 9 ×109    
Gold     ×0.1 ±5% (J)  
Silver     ×0.01 ±10% (K)  
None       ±20% (M)  

Note: red to violet are the colors of the rainbow where red is low energy and violet is higher energy.

Component Symbol Photo Description
Resistor Opposes the flow of electricity and converts electric energy to heat.  Commonly used to limit current flow in a circuit.
Variable Resistor A resistor with a wiper arm that has a terminal connected to it, allowing you to vary the resistance.  When hooking them up, the middle terminal is always the wiper arm.  Also called a potentiometer.


Series versus Parallel Circuits

Resistors in seriesResistors in parallel

A series circuit is wired so that current passes through a series of components, one after the other.

In a parallel circuit, current branches out through multiple paths.  Kirchhoff’s Current Law says that the sum of the currents flowing into any branching point is equal to the sum of the currents flowing out.  In other words:

IA  =  IB + IC


Note: What matters here is the wiring, not the physical arrangement of the components.


German physicist Gustav Robert Kirchhoff (1824-1887) made major contributions to our understanding of electricity, spectroscopy, and other fields.




Ohm’s Law


Ohm’s Law shows the relationship between:

  • electromotive force or voltage (E) in volts (V)
  • current (I) in amperes (A)
  • and resistance (R) in ohms (Ω)

This law is expressed by three equivalent formulas:

E = I × R — to determine voltage

I = E / R — to determine current

R = E / I — to determine resistance

A rule of “thumb”
for remembering
Ohm’s Law

Move the mouse
over a letter
to see its formula


An ohm is defined as the resistance of a circuit in which a 1 ampere current flows when 1 volt is applied.

German physicist, Georg Simon Ohm (1787-1854), who formulated Ohm’s Law.






Amateur Certification – Fact Sheet – Industry Canada

RIC-2 – Standards for the Operation of Radio Stations in the Amateur Radio Service


PHP Rocks

I had a great time at the Vancouver PHP conference last week.  Eventually I settled down and tried not to get overwhelmed by the learning experience.

Would be nice to have …

Vancouver PHP 2008
5 minute Flash sessions in the theater
Show me my faults sessions … mentor/newbie gatherings
More hot water.
Women on the expert panel.
Brunch at the beach.

Kudos to all the organizers.  I know it ain’t easy. You rocked.

Celia Franca Dies

Celia Franca
Celia Franca

Celia Franca was the founder of The National Ballet of Canada in 1951 and its Artistic Director for 24 years. I first met Celia Franca in the early 60’s. I had been chosen among my classmates at the National Ballet School to perform in the new production of the Nutcracker Suite.  She was an amazing woman, totally in control of everything.  Yes, I feared her.  I’ll never forget the Saturday morning I walked into rehearsal after spending a night in the hospital due to having burned my hand on an old school stove the day before. We had been making Christmas candles.  So there I was, at rehearsal, with a bandage on my hand that looked more like a boxing glove than anything else.  Ms Franca was horrified, but rather than call in an understudy, and leave me in the wings, she called in the costume mistress who materialized gloves, to be worn by all the girl children for the schedule of performances.  She was feared, but she was so compassionate too.

” In 1967 Miss Franca was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 1985 was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. In 1987 she received the St. George’s Society of Toronto Award and that same year was among the first to be honoured with the Order of Ontario. She served as a member of the board of governors of York University, the board of directors of the Canada Council and the Board of Directors of the Canada Dance Festival Society.”

Green Philosophy

Climate change unites science and religion     
* 17:29 17 January 2007    
* NewScientist.com news service

Laying down their swords over how we came to exist, leaders from scientific and evangelical communities in the US joined forces today in an unprecedented effort to protect what we have.
Speaking at a press conference in Washington DC, members of the newly formed group expressed concerns about planetary threats caused by humans including climate change, habitat destruction, pollution, and species extinction.


Security is a process, not a result. It is a process which is difficult to adopt under normal conditions; the problem is compounded when it spans several job descriptions. All the system level security in the world is rendered useless by insecure web-applications. The converse is also true; programming best practices, such as always verifying user input, are useless when the code is running on a server which hasn’t been properly hardened. Securing forward facing GNU/Linux web servers can seem like a daunting task, but it can be made much easier by breaking the process into manageable portions.” Hardening Linux Servers

My Secular History

Originally drafted in June 2001.

Some history …


The first person to tell me there were no gods was my maternal grandmother, my Nana.  She was a towering Scot, full of love and stories, yet she would not be fooled by anyone.  She convinced me that logic and evidence was a far superior way of knowing about the world than was doctrine or revelation. Sadly, she was gone before I understood why she insisted upon a scientific method of viewing the world. And she warned me, “You will be old dust long before religion ever lessens its grip on human culture.” Years later Desmond Tutu said the same thing.

In stunning contrast was my paternal grandmother, Gertrude.  Obedient to her Husband, her Pope and her God, she attended mass every day of her life and her stories were full of angels and devils and God’s will. Hell breathed into her warm kitchen every day, and heaven beckoned every night.

Nana would have none of that. The families ripped apart and the old Scot instilled in me a deep skepticism for any claim not based on observation, reason, and peer agreement.

Long before Darwinian theory, humans must have reasoned that humans were so special that divine creation was the only explanation that fit the observation.  After Darwin, some communities gave up hoping and wishing for divine intervention, but most didn’t. I observed that in my community, believing was likely to get you further ahead than not believing.

I started to look for some scrap of evidence upon which to base what seemed to be the required faith. Without it I continued to have sweaty palms each time I attended any church, trying to fit in, my nervousness manifested by the silliness of worshipping the unknowable, the myth.

Is the civilization in which I live becoming ever more secular? I’d like to think so, but looking for Gods, with no bounds to the fuzzy thinking humans can manifest, seems all the rage today, daily public appeals to any one of any number of Godlikethingies; hoping and wishing something good would happen. Like some opaque overlay, faith in God is a background color in the community. Faith in a shared God is obviously required at the top levels of society. I remained to grub around at the bottom, separate, not quite equal, but always looking for some evidence.

I grew older, gave up on the wishing and hoping, and became ever more fascinated with the real nature of the cosmos in which we lived. I found others who didn’t buy into the God fantasy either.  An unbeliever finding another unbeliever is a slippery slope of social faux pas in most places, including some of the internet. In her day, I can only hope my Nana was not totally alone with her unbelief. Perhaps she read much, maybe she was learning from science then, like I am now, despite her poverty and lack of an internet.

So, when one day in 1994 I found myself anthropomorphizing some purpose in evolution; “Look Ma, we walked on the Moon; we watched SL-9! ” Well, indeed humans were special, so special cause they could affect their environment on a cosmic scale, and nothing I knew about evolution could explain *that* observation. It was either back to church or back to the books.

After sweating palms on Sundays for a month or two, I unboxed the geology books and began my internet search for some hypothesis of my observation. Did we know that humans are hard-wired for space exploration? Was there a spacegene? (What was that 2 percent difference between cousin primate and Homosapien anyway?)

Being the one who doesn’t want to ask the stupid question, but at times open mouth and echo internationally, I sent a message off to an “ask a scientist site” at NASA. His reply doubted 300,000 years of evolution had anything to do with more than 4.5 billion years of cosmic debris fields in Earth neighborhood. He then speculated that I likely had a creative streak and a good science teacher. LOL

Then I learned about genetic algorithms. A machine analogy to how systems can become more complex. After reading more Sagan, Gould again, and some other resources it seemed clear enough to state that my very own genes carry our ancestor’s knowledge of icy plateaus and sabretooth tigers and rocks that fall from the sky.

Then it was September 11, 2001.

Some events will bring us back to the mud at our feet.  For many, 911 was one of those events.   Unfortunately, in 2007, the struggle to find more peace and happiness is mired in death in the name of the invisible, done by hawkish fundamentalists of many colors.  The woo is ubiquitous, the minority of reason is drowned in the noise of control.

Personally, I began to get comfy with myself for the first time in my life, there wasn’t the time for ignoring the part of me who lived in a closet…. one where darkness equaled loneliness. It was a world in which the thought of the word lesbian was taboo in my own head. My new world order would hear the word lesbian come out of my mouth and flow from my pen.

Then I learned php/mysql … another language, another journey.  A path Nana would approve.

And here we are today.  Stay tuned… it’s bound to get even more interesting.

— tbc —