When a Tree Falls in Saskatchewan

While reading news page comment sections, even hopeless trolls who’d normally mock people saving trees by “hugging” them, have seen the light because of the nanny-state circumstance dooming the trees they’ve been coached to hate even more than “tree huggers”.

Saskatchewan is a province of leaders. We lead the country in smoking. We lead the world in per capita Green House Gas emissions. And we’re leading the fight against the trees and their sinister plot to break all of our childrens’ legs.

Cardiac Canada Day

[This is written August 2nd, 2014, but published July 1st, 2014, as it wasn't possible for me to write a first-hand account of this year's Canada Day.]

Canada Day started out like many other vacations spent in the city, with me volunteering an hour at a community booth. I was a bike valet from 11:00 a.m. to noon, watching peoples’ bikes for them. Soon after noon I rode off to find a few minutes of adventure before planning to return home to my girlfriend’s, where we were taking the kids over to a local park to meet another friend and her kids at 1:30.

I found the SaskPower propaganda booth with a game. It was a stationary bike where you could see how much power you could produce on it.

Last photo I took before my non-fatal cardiac arrest thanks to @reginapolice doing CPR so quickly.

And that’s one way that SaskPower has tried to kill me ;-). As I finished at the top of the leaderboard, and biked off into the distance, I soon was collapsed on a bench near the band stand in Wascana Park. A crowd gathered, and two police officers came up to find me without a pulse and my bike helmet still on. They began CPR and called for a pair of EMTs on bikes who were on the other side of the park.

The EMTs arrived about 10 minutes later and after shocking me twice, my heart was beating again. About 40 minutes and a $325 ambulance ride later, I was in the Emergency Room of the General Hospital. I was scoring a 5 out of 15 on the Glasgow Coma scale in some regard, 8 in others. A 5 can mean that I could need to be tube fed, while 15 would be normal. So I was put onto a cooling blanket and given an immobilizing drug to cool my body down to just 32 degrees Celsius.

My first-hand memories from the next three or four days are few and I barely recognize them as my own experience. A tube coming out of my body that wasn’t there when I woke up and started remembering is one clue. In my defence, I was sedated and intubated for the first two days. Pretty extreme considering I’d not spent a night in hospital since I was born.

I then had an MRI, and various radiating scans on my head and elsewhere to check I was all there. In the coming days I managed to impress the professionals enough for them to let me out in the wild again (but not after tagging me first).

And here I am. Alive. Surprised that I died, and came back to life. Thankful for another chance, whatever that means.

People Are Not Pigeons

You needn’t go farther than the comment section of a UK rag to find the sort of people who are okay with torture devices beging designed into their buildings.

“Now I’m lying on the cold, hard ground.”

Some sick cities are dealing with homeless people as if they were pigeons crapping from the roof of Wrigley Field.

Now there may be a municipality crazy and cruel enough to install this 5 year old pay-bench idea.

PAY & SIT: the private bench (HD) from Fabian Brunsing on Vimeo.

ADDED:

Flaherty Dies, Canada’s Contemptible Finance Minister

Most people are quite cautious about what they say, but a few people have said to me, ‘Do you have cancer? … What’s going on? Are you going to die?’ That kind of thing,” he told the Globe. “And, obviously, I am not. I mean, I will die eventually, but not over a dermatological issue.” – Flaherty 2013

“The treatment involved taking a strong steroid called prednisone, which is often accompanied by serious side-effects.”
It’s always unfortunate when a human being has health problems. I too have had to take steroids for a serious allergy.

Flaherty said in his [resignation] statement that he is “on the road to a full recovery” and that his departure from politics is “not related in any way” to his health.

Unfortunately for Mr. Flaherty, he was as bad at predicting his future health as he was at managing and predicting Canada’s economy. “[March 2008 budget] will also protect the fiscal framework from a Private Member’s bill that risks plunging the federal government back into deficit.”

Canada’s former Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, died suddenly today of a heart attack. He was the only Finance Minister of the Commonwealth countries, to have been in office while his government was found in Contempt of Parliament (for hiding financial information).

The second ruling found the Cabinet could possibly be in contempt of Parliament for not meeting Opposition members’ requests for details of proposed bills and their cost estimates, an issue which had “been dragging on since the fall of 2010.”[4][7]

Concerning the Speaker’s second ruling, on March 21, 2011, the committee tabled a report[9] that found the Government of Canada in contempt of Parliament.[7] As such, a motion of no confidence was introduced in the House.[10] On March 25, 2011, Members of Parliament voted on this motion, declaring a lack of confidence by a vote of 156 to 145 and forcing an election.[11][12] The contempt finding is unique in Canadian history. In a wider context, it is the first time that a government in the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations has been found in contempt of Parliament.[13][14]

For those who say I’m being too harsh, “a man has just died”, might I note that I didn’t know this man, and in most Canadians’ case, neither did they. He was a figurehead of a very deceitful and disastrous government for our country. He presided over actions that were ruled in contempt of the Canadian people’s representatives, why should we the Canadian people not hold him in similar regard? I do not feel sympathy for Flaherty, only his family. Why should I pretend otherwise? The chances of his family surfing along and finding my unkind words this year are negligible, and if I’ve managed to offend one of his friends, I’ll note that you should have picked better friends. (Fun Fact: Flaherty picked Rob Ford as a friend.)

“Canada would not be where it is today without Jim Flaherty,” said Ford. “

Could there be a more damning epitaph?

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Fix for Windows XP not updating on Windows Update

I recently reinstalled Windows XP SP2 on a Dell Vostro laptop, and Windows Update wouldn’t work. I knew malware wasn’t the cause, it’s a bug in Microsoft’s Windows Update and how it refuses to interact with older Internet Explorer 6 or 7, and if you try to update to IE8, it hangs if you let the install file check for updates before installing the browser.

In summary:
I had to update to IE8 without checking for updates at time of install, then manually apply
IE8-WindowsXP-KB2898785-x86-ENU.exe
and reboot, then it finally began updating automatically.

This is a clean install of XP SP2 updated to SP3 by manual download, but it wouldn’t show any updates for Windows Update, it would never finish checking.

The checking for updates, never completes.

To fix it I first tried a manual download of SP3 and installed it. No change.
I tried Fix It (because .NET wasn’t on this computer yet), but had to do the commands manually because of the missing .NET. They didn’t help after stopping and starting the WU service after doing proxycfg.exe -d and other things.

What finally worked days later when I went back to it, was manually updating IE8 with three patches.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=41404

I’m not sure if the combination of patches fixed it, or the last of the 3 I tried. The last one was IE8-WindowsXP-KB2898785-x86-ENU.exe

Downloading updates has been at 7% for the last half hour, so I hope that it hasn’t stalled out, but at least the little yellow update shield has returned to the system tray.

How to Meet your Resolution Goal

Have you made a financial or fitness resolution to meet this year?

Meeting a goal isn’t like buying something. You don’t have to shop around for it, and you can’t buy it anyway. It takes time, and a little bit of effort added up. The effort only seems like a lot, when you’ve reached the goal, but it’s small in the moment.

Government House Levee 2014

Start so small, you will crave doing more. The first effort will be so small that you don’t feel like bragging about it once complete, but this is okay. As the steps in Lifehacker point out, remaining positive and giving yourself a break is important. The point isn’t to run a marathon or save $1000 on the first attempt, it’s to create the new system that makes it possible for you to do one of those things. Start by doing 1-5 sit-ups or push ups, or walking for 5 minutes outside the first day. Or if you’re saving, put away $5 the first time.

Now that you’ve made time for change and aren’t discouraged by the amount of effort or money each attempt takes, just repeat until you’re good at it and ready to grow into bigger efforts. If you find you’re stopping altogether, scale back your effort to whatever level it takes to get started again, even if it’s smaller than where you started.