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RVing Here and There

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  • Nanny’s Petit Point Flowers

    Posted on March 22nd, 2021 admin No comments

    A Family Heirloom

    We had found them in a box of Nanny’s effects. Flowered treasures of the past housed in cheap, splintered wooden frames with peeling varnish and covered with ordinary window glass. Each petit-point embroidery showed a still-life: an antique vase with an arrangement of imaginary flowers and leaves in a cascade of colors above and alongside the vase.

    How long ago had my wife’s grandma Wesley (Nanny to five generations) laid down those delicate stitches? How many years to fade those bright colors to pastels? The age of the frames and the faded cloth suggested that it might have been in her youth or the early days of her marriage. According to Nanny’s only surviving daughter, they had been “on the walls forever”. Fifty, sixty, seventy years?

    Roses in a vase - Petit Point | modern-art
    This isn’t Nanny’s, but hers were like this. Photos to follow soon.

    We removed the old frames and had the embroidery dry-cleaned. We had hoped to have them set in oval frames, but the cloth was too stained on one and too short on the other, so had to use the same rectangular framing as the old ones.

    So, with new mats and frames, covered with museum glass to prevent further fading, they flower now on our wall, a memory of a gracious lady and a gift to generations to come.

  • Using Birch Bark as Tinder

    Posted on March 20th, 2021 admin No comments

    One of my favorite sources of natural tinder is the paper-like bark of the white birch, also called silver birch or paper birch (Betula papyrifera).

    • Birch bark contains a combustible oil and will burn fiercely even when wet.
    • Peel the loose bark – do not cut into the tree.

    From years of habit, whether on a shore-break or while hiking through the woods, I tend to collect a pocket full of loose bark, peeling off a bit whenever I pass a birch tree. Even if I’m planning to cook over my ultralight butane stove, there are times when a fire is essential, and, I’ve always got tinder ready to go.

    Prepping the Site

    This method does not apply to ‘primitive’ fire-starters such as flint-and-steel or firebow, but only to the use of match or lighter. Nor is this the only method; it is simply one that I have found gives good success.

    1. Collect a sufficient quantity of tinder, kindling, and fuel. “Sufficient” means a double handful of tinder, a large handful of pencil-thick kindling, a double handful of thumb-thick kindling, and an armload of fuel.
    2. Ensure that the fire is built in a safe area, cleared of combustibles.
    3. If there is a wind, leave the upwind side open. This is where the ignition flame will be applied.
    What is Birch Bark Extract and is it Good for Hair? | Herbal Essences
    A thick piece of bark. Shred for best results.

    Starting the fire

    1. Shred the bark if necessary. It is possible to leave thicker birch bark as a sheet and it will work fine, but shredding and crumpling the bark ensures a faster “catch” and generates more initial flame. If you’ve gathered thinner “paper” this step is not necessary.
    2. Prepare a “birds nest” of tinder and place it in the center of the fire area. This is a loose bundle of shredded bark the size of doubled fists. You can use less, but a double fistful gives greater chance of success. I prefer to have this :”nest” resting between two wrist-sized rocks or sticks placed with an open side upwind.
    3. On top of the tinder, stack a handful of the thinnest kindling. Take care not to compact the tinder.
    4. Have the thicker kindling nearby.
    5. Light the match or lighter and apply it to the base of the tinder on the upwind side (the flame will burn upwards and downwind).
    6. Once the kindling “takes”, begin adding the thicker kindling. Place it onto the fire, don’t drop it.
    7. Add fuel gently.

    Using natural tinder and knowing how to effectively collect and ignite it can be a life-saver for those times when you have a lighter or a match but don’t have a a fire-starter. Because birch bark burns even when wet, this can be a life-saver in an emergency.

    Note: A version of this article appeared on suite101.com when it was a content site; date unknown.

  • Why are TV Commercials so LOUD?

    Posted on March 18th, 2021 admin No comments

    You’re sitting in front of your RV in the evening, reading a book and enjoying the chirp of birds in the trees. Off in the distance you hear the quiet murmur of your neighbor’s TV. Quiet, that is, until the commercial.

    Arrrgh! Hit the mute button! Why is it that on Radio or TV, the ads so often seem to bring an ear-piercing blast of sound?

    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
    Image: https://www.aircomechanical.com/

    TV companies insist that the commercials are really, truly no louder than the show segments that precede and follow them. Studies with decibel meters seem to support them. The ears of the audience are more sensitive to dynamic sound range than most electronic instruments—and those ears disagree with the studies. How can this be?

    What’s the Law?

    The Federal Communications Commission does not specifically regulate the volume of programs or commercials. A broadcast license only restricts the peak power a transmitter can use to send out audio or video signals. That means that the loudest commercial can never exceed the volume of the loudest part of the program. Actually, this is not so much a legal issue as a matter of physics – a 50KW transmitter only has so much power.

    Dynamic Range

    Although noise pollution (often self-inflicted) has robbed our ears of most of their sensitivity, human hearing has a remarkable range. The range of audible volumes is called dynamic range. The dynamic range of a TV show is spread between fairly soft and fairly loud sections. The difference between soft (nature sounds, whispered conversation, or relative silence to build suspense, for example) and loud (fight scene, screaming victim, gunshots, screeching tires in car chase) can be considerable. Likewise, a music score can range from diminuendo to crescendo. A sound engineer varies the range to create emphasis or contrast, to create dramatic tension, to build to a climax.

    Loud Noises - Gaming Sound Effect (HD) - YouTube

    Perceived Loudness: It’s not the Volume, it’s the Contrast

    Human speech at normal conversational levels falls around the dynamic midrange. Most listeners adjust the volume control so that conversation comes at a level that sounds natural and comfortable to their ears. The occasional screech or explosion or musical crescendo is relatively brief, giving the ears have a chance to recover and adapt to the “normal” level. An extended period of relatively loud or relatively soft sounds leads to a grab for the remote.

    Advertisers Like it LOUD

    However, the people who make commercials are often not interested in nuance or dramatic tension. They have thirty seconds to grab your attention, kidnap it, and hold it for ransom. In other words, advertisers like it loud. The sound is going to be keyed to the maximum allowable volume, whether it’s the announcer’s voice, the music, or the sound effects. So even though the maximum level of such an ad may be no higher than the maximum level of the show, the average level will be higher. The average perceived loudness is much greater, and that’s what matters to the human ear.

    What Can be Done About Loud Commercials?

    • Fight back by muting commercials – and tell the TV or radio station that you do so.
    • Complain to the advertisers who use maximum volume and tell them you will boycott their products.
    • Invest in a TV sound regulator [need details] for about $50
    • Wait. Endure. Technology similar to that used in high-end auto audio systems to adjust volume to engine speed is coming soon to TV and will provide automatic sound balancing.

    In the meantime, have the remote close at hand – there’s always the Mute button.

    Note: This article (c) 2009 T. Gray was originally published on Suite101.com, which is now defunct.

  • Air Compressor Cart

    Posted on March 16th, 2021 admin No comments

    A couple of years ago, when the cardboard box my Campbell Hausfeld air compressor came in fell apart, I made this thing, variously called a cart or trolley or caddy. The idea was to combine storage with easy portability around the shop and yard, so I could wheel it out to the truck to inflate a tire or to the RV in the fall to blow out the water lines.

    It came together fairly quickly, based on various plans I found online. I already had the wheels from an old lawnmower, and had some surplus 1/2″ plywood laying around,

    There were few design requirements. Of course, it had to be wide enough and deep enough to hold the air compressor itself. I wanted it to be high enough that I could conveniently grab it without bending down.

    There also needed to be a place for the tools, for brads and staples, and other stuff, with room to maybe add a hose reel in the future.

    I wound up hooking the air guns onto bolts fastened to the side of the storage bin. This might not have been the best choice, as they clunk around whenever I move the trolley. On the other hand, they’re readily accessible and easy to put on and take off. And they’ve never fallen off while I was moving the compressor cart around!

    Because the compressor cord is not wound around anything, just tucked in behind, I can easily plug the compressor in while it’s still on the cart. The compressor isn’t fastened down, so it’s also easy to grab it and move it around by itself if I don’t need the cart.

    The accessory storage bin holds lots of stuff!

    I happened to have a cardboard box that was just the right size to fit in the storage bin.

    You can see that it holds paperwork, oil, a die grinder and burrs, air blower, nails, brads, staples, spare connectors, and a whole bunch of other stuff. If I were to change anything, I might make compartments or little pull-out drawers or something to make these accessories easier to find without having to paw through it all.

    Overall, this has served my needs well around home. However, it’s a nuisance when I want to take the compressor out to the cabin. I have to take off the guns, remove the box of accessories, and stow everything in a box to load in the truck, along with the compressor. Not quite as portable as I’d like.

    Maybe it’s time to re-think this project!

  • More on Tesla Fires

    Posted on March 14th, 2021 admin No comments

    A few days ago I reported on my perception of anti-Tesla bias at driving.ca. Many of the stories there focused on fires in Tesla vehicles, such as this one, where the story notes a NIO going up in flames, but shows only the Tesla video, while the headline singles out Tesla. As I said, clear bias.

    Nobody denies the fact that Tesla vehicles occasionally catch fire. But the biased reportage makes it seem that more Teslas catch fire than any other vehicle. To sidestep the bias and over-reporting of Tesla fires, let’s look at some data about other vehicles.

    https://www.nj.com/resizer/_ffGK7GUMQZxr11SbQiULyHMF_8=/1280x0/smart/advancelocal-adapter-image-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/image.nj.com/home/njo-media/width2048/img/stark_stark/photo/2017/04/03/burning-car-09c5ba56257b92ac.jpg
    Yes, it’s on fire. No, it’s not a Tesla

    Causes of Vehicle Fires

    There are three likely causes of a vehicle fire: collision, arson, and mechanical/electrical malfunction. According to a law firm concerned with the issue, nearly 75 percent of all vehicle fires result from a mechanical or electrical glitch; roughly 17 percent are due to collisions; the remaining 8 percent are arson, and will be ignored as the vehicle cannot be considered “at fault” in such cases.

    First, some facts from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, for fires including arson:

    • Each year, from 2014 to 2016, an estimated 171,500 highway vehicle fires occurred in the United States.
    • A vast majority—more than 142,000—were fires involving passenger vehicles
    • Approximately one in eight fires responded to by fire departments across the nation is a highway vehicle fire. This does not include the tens of thousands of fire department responses to highway vehicle accident sites (my emphasis; these are not fires due to collisions)
    • Mechanical failure was the leading factor contributing to the ignition of highway vehicle fires (45 percent).

    Spontaneous Combustion

    There are also lots of cases of “spontaneous combustion” where a vehicle is sitting at a driveway or curb and bursts into flame.

    Recalls for Risk of Fire

    Likewise, there are many recalls of other vehicles for possible fire danger. Over the years, many brands have faced such recalls.

    And on, and on, and on….

    Why Only Tesla?

    With most major brands bursting into flames from time to time, why is it that only the Tesla fires go viral? While electric vehicles are no more prone to accidents or fires than gasoline-powered carsーand might be less so, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration–EVs, and especially Tesla, seem to get attention far in excess of their share of the vehicle market.

    There are several possible reasons why Tesla gets negative media coverage

    1. The tall daisy – Tesla is very much in the news, to the point where thy don’t need to advertise. This makes them a prime target.
    2. Information vacuum – ” The Tesla investment narrative is starved for meaningful plot points,” as an Insider article put it. Tesla does not release much information on sales figures and profitability, leaving them vulnerable to speculation and rumour.
    3. Misinformation spread by short sellers – As the most-shorted stock in history, Tesla is subject to a deliberate smear campaign intended to drive share prices down. Many negative headlines have been traced to “leaks” by short sellers. It didn’t work; when the squeeze hit, shorters lost some $40 billion. Tough luck, guys.
    4. Misinformation spread by legacy car makers – This was more common early on, when the internal-combustion-engine (ICE) car manufacturers thought EV was a passing fad. Now they’re all trying to find the “Tesla killer” that will give them a larger share of a growing market. But if they think they can increase their share by pissing on Tesla… they will.
    5. Misinformation spread by oil and gas industry stakeholders – I see this often in social media and some blogs, where it is claimed that the energy/resources required to make an EV is far more than for any other vehicle, and that the production of EVs and batteries causes far more pollution than an ICE vehicle. It’s all nonsense and garbage, but there are people who believe it.
    6. Luddites and coal-rollers – some people just resist future trends, and cling to the past. The good old days were always better, even if they weren’t. So they gleefully share anti-Tesla and anti-EV stories and misinformation whenever they can.

    Despite all the nay-sayers, pissers, shorters, bears, and nostalgics, Tesla continues to improve its quality, sales remain high, and bankruptcy keeps being staved off.

    https://freight.cargo.site/w/1200/i/a7ee02b7d3479dda1d7e04def40af621a3d495d48ebc5b89a58284a5c39c2d07/Rolling-coal-lexicon-entry-background.jpg
    “Rolling coal” — a proud polluter and anti-EV activist
  • Driving.ca is anti-Tesla

    Posted on March 13th, 2021 admin No comments

    Earlier, I wrote about one particular biased headline I’d found on driving.ca, a Canadian PostMedia web site. On further reading, driving.ca seems to have a considerable anti-Tesla bias. This is shown in their choice of headlines, their choice of stories, their comparisons of Tesla with other EVs and other brands.

    Examples of Bias

    1. Biased headline – Tesla to recall 135,000 vehicles under pressure from safety regulators. But other brnds had the same recall (for possible issues with the touchscreen), and Tesla initiated the recall the day they got the notice. Why single out Tesla in the headline? Why suggest they had to be “pressured” to do the recall?
    2. Excluded from a story about Canada’s 10 best-selling luxury vehicles in 2020 “Tesla sold more than 11,000 Model 3s in Canada in 2020, more than enough to make it the number-one vehicle on this list. But because we don’t get reliable, quarterly, market-specific sales figures from Tesla, we’ve left it off the list. Yes, you read that right. Even though “Model 3 is a high-volume vehicle that undoubtedly earns a spot somewhere in the top 10, almost certainly at or near the top,” they deliberately chose to ignore it.
    3. Focus on Tesla negative: The new Jeep Wagoneer, a Tesla driveway fire, and more. Yep, let’s report the Tesla that burned.
    4. Selective reporting – Google “car spontaneous combustion” and you’ll find stories about a Toyota, a Porsche, a Chevy Bolt EV, and 1.4 million Toyotas and Kias recalled for risk of spontaneous combustion! Search driving.ca for the same words and you start to see a pattern:

    Not every story about Tesla in driving.ca is negative, but enough of them are that the bias becomes clear.

  • Say YES to Mail-in Voting

    Posted on March 9th, 2021 admin No comments

    A friend of mine posted this Americanized meme to her Facebook page.

    She asserted, “I will stand in line to vote I will not mail in my vote for someone else to screw around with it.”

    I suspect that she has been excessively influenced by Trumpist nonsense about “mail in ballot fraud” and apparently knows little about how the Canadian election system provides security for mail-in ballots; it includes voter ID and proof of address, and there is no more chance for “someone to screw around with it” than there is for a ballot at a polling station.

    At any rate, here’s my reply.

    Good for you for standing in line to vote. Not everyone is so lucky as to have that choice. BTW in Canada it’s called a mail-in special ballot.

    • Would you deny the right to vote to CANADIAN CITIZENS who are in the military and posted away from home — the very veterans who protect your freedom to vote? They have to vote by mail-in special ballot.
    • Would you deny the vote to CANADIAN CITIZENS who are business people who need to be away from home — so that you can have a job, or things to eat and buy? They will vote by mail-in special ballot.
    • Would you deny the vote to CANADIAN CITIZENS who are students taking advantage of an opportunity to study at a prestigious school elsewhere? They can only vote by mail-in special ballot.
    • Would you deny the vote to CANADIAN CITIZENS who live in isolated areas without an actual polling station? They have no place to line up to vote, so they have to use mail-in special ballots.
    • Would you deny the vote to CANADIAN CITIZENS who are aged, infirm, ill, or hospitalized, and so cannot stand in line with you? Are they any less citizens than you? Yet you would deny their right to vote by mail-in special ballot?

    My friend, I’m proud that you’ll stand in line to vote! But there are many Canadian citizens who cannot stand in line. If you want to deny other those Canadians their right to vote by denying them access to mail-in special ballot, I say shame on you!

    Voting Habits: Living outside the country not a barrier to UBC students  voting

  • Malartic and Teck Frontier Mines

    Posted on March 1st, 2021 admin No comments

    Facebook meme gets facts totally wrong

    One of our city councilors posted this meme on his Facebook page a while ago.

    No photo description available.
    Top: Quebec’s Malartic open pit gold mine;
    Bottom: a reference to Teck Resources’ proposed Frontier oil sands development

    Mining is a Provincial Matter

    First, let’s remember that mining (except on federal lands) is a PROVINCIAL matter. Provincial governments are responsible for the exploration, development, and extraction of mineral resources, and the construction, management, reclamation, and closeout of mine sites in their jurisdiction. So how does Trudeau, as PM, have anything to say about these mines? More later.

    About Malartic Mine

    Quebec’s Malartic gold mine, the largest open-pit mine in Canada, has been in operation since 1935, according to their website. Kind of predates both Trudeau PMs, no?

    In 2008, “The ore body is located directly beneath a sector in the Town of Malartic. Osisko relocates more than 150 homes in a new neighbourhood.” Justin Trudeau took office in 2015, so how is he responsible for moving those homes?

    The highway that was moved in 2017 was Route 117, an offshoot (TransCanada North) rather than the main TransCanada Highway. The Quebec government approved the mine expansions that necessitated moving both the homes and the highway. Trudeau not required.

    Reasons for Federal Involvement in Mining

    So why does the meme insist that PM Trudeau is refusing to approve a mine in Alberta? Mining is a provincial matter; how does the PM have any say? There are a few reasons.

    1. The Environment. Under the Constitution of Canada, environmental management is a shared responsibility between federal and provincial governments.
    2. First Nations. The federal government negotiates land rights and environmental concerns with aboriginal governments.
    3. Money. Provinces often want financial support from the federal government for large projects.

    Teck Resources Ltd. Frontier Mine

    Since the Teck mine would harm the environment and generate four million tonnes of greenhouse gases annually; since indigenous lands would be affected; and since Alberta needs money, the feds are involved.

    Most of the regulatory process had been completed. Teck had agreed to be carbon-neutral by 2050 (after producing 160 megatonnes of emissions), and the first nations seemed to be onboard with the money and jobs the mine would produce. It was only awaiting parliamentary approval (that is, the whole government, not just the Prime Minister) with a deadline of Feb. 28, 2021.

    A Couple of Post Scripts

    Really, it’s moot at this point. The deadline has passed without federal government approval. Teck has withdrawn their regulatory application. Read their letter here. Don Lindsay, Teck president and CEO, had actually questioned whether the mine would ever be built, in part because oil prices were not high enough.

    PS: Malartic was in 2016 the subject of a class action suit by the townspeople; the suit was settled in 2019. https://miningwatch.ca/news/2019/10/15/largest-gold-mine-canada-settles-affected-citizens-out-court

  • Biased Anti-Tesla Headline

    Posted on February 26th, 2021 admin No comments

    Deceptive and biased headlines are a nuisance, and Tesla motors still seems to get more than it’s due share of negative press, driven by short-sellers, market bulls, and manufacturers of ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles.

    Read this headline: Tesla to recall 135,000 vehicles under pressure from safety regulators

    To my mind, this headline makes it appear that

    1. Only Tesla vehicles were involved
    2. Tesla was reluctant and had to be “pressured” to do the recall.
    Tesla Model Y – Tesla Motors


    When you read the article, which seem to be largely factual, you learn that

    • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had found a “tentative” issue with touchscreen failures;
    • Tesla “agreed immediately” on the same day of being advised of the recall;
    • “Other automakers issued numerous recalls for similar safety issues stemming from the touchscreen failure”.
    • Even if the touchscreen fails, you can continue to drive your vehicle, Tesla or otherwise, by using the mirrors and doing shoulder-checks (duh, like most of us do!)

    So why the biased headline? Why the focus on Tesla? Why make it sound like the company had to be “pressured” to do the recall?

    Chain of Ownership

    Well, let’s dig a bit… Driving Magazine is part of PostMedia, which is owned by Chatham Asset Management, a right-leaning New Jersey corporation said to have close ties to the Republican party, which denies climate change and heavily supports fossil fuels.

    So it is quite possible that Driving has an agenda from the top, accounting for their high proportion of anti-Tesla headlines.

  • Churches Defy Public Health Regulations

    Posted on February 22nd, 2021 admin No comments

    A couple of churches in Alberta have been holding services with packed pews and no masks. This is in clear defiance of public health restrictions that call for “attendance to be capped at 15 per cent of capacity and congregants to practise physical distancing and wear masks,” according to a recent CBC story.

    Pastor James Coates of the GraceLife Church in Parkland County, west of Edmonton, has been charged with contravening Section 73(1) of the Public Health Act after police found the church over capacity on Sunday and people failing to adhere to physical distancing requirements. Twice arrested, he is now refusing to meet bail requirements, choosing instead to stew in jail, perhaps mentally comparing himself to the apostle Paul, likewise jailed for actions resulting from his faith.

    Fairview Baptist Church, south of Calgary, has likewise been defying the regulations. In January, Pastor Tim Stephens was fined $1,200 by Calgary bylaw officers for violating public health orders. But the church has continued to encourage congregants to break rules by holding gatherings larger than allowed capacity and not enforcing the wearing of masks.

    “It is … Jesus Christ, not civil government, that defines what is essential for the gathered church,” Stephens wrote in a blog post on the church’s website on Saturday. “Jesus promises that those who are persecuted for his namesake will be blessed,” said Coates. “He’s the one that blesses, and I’m content to leave that in his court.”

    Parkland GraceLife has a statement on their website (if it doesn’t open, click Notice, at the left of the home page) that explains the reasons behind their decision to operate contrary to the law. They argue that the pandemic is not really a pandemic; that it is not all that dangerous; that the government “cure” of restrictions is worse than the disease itself; that civil liberties are being unnecessarily infringed, etc. The church’s lawyer, James Kitchen, said, “Their first loyalty is to obey their God, not government.”

    Somehow, they overlook this: Romans 13:1-2 says: “Obey the government, for God is the One who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. So those who refuse to obey the law of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow.

    So aren’t these pastors and church boards actually choosing to disobey God and leading their congregations into sin?

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