Saturday, July 31, 2010


I'm a gunnut, but I think I would carefully read this book first before deciding whether my kids can read it. Kids ask enough "why?" as it is without getting deep into geopolitcs!

By Dave Pugliese Sat, Jul 31 2010, David Pugliese’s Defence Watch

I’m all for teaching kids about history but the folks at the website Children Friendly Books, which highlights books suitable for children, have taken that idea to a new level.

Along with books such as “The Ants Go Marching” and “Tickle the Duck” is “Inside Delta Force” by Eric Haney, one of the original members of the counter-terrorism unit, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-D.” The book is of course about his time in 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1SFOD-D), more commonly known as Delta Force

I enjoyed the book; Haney packs it with lots of detail about operations and such. But I wonder how the kiddies react will when they get to the part when a Delta sniper team shots a terrorist in the head as Haney describes the “pink mist” that appeared when the bullet hit the man?

Anyway kids, you can go here for more details:

Simon's cat- Snow business

Totally wrong cartoon for such a sunny day, but maybe it will remind you of why we wanted this heat. Zeus likes to dig tunnels under the snow and then leap out of them. I'm off to kill some paper target, enjoy!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Beer, anyone?

Ok this is fundamental disturbing at some levels. Mind you a 55% alcohol content beer will appeal to some as at the present cost of beer this beer will pay for itself if you are badly in need of beer goggles, to throw up onto a police officer or to face plant into the floor. We have met “Strange Brew” and this is it! Bob and Doug must be smiling upon us.

At BrewDog we want to push the boundaries and challenge people’s perceptions about what beer is and how it can be enjoyed. We ultimately want to show people that there is an alternative to the mainstream, generic beers and make other people as passionate about craft beer as we are. We have pushed the limits of beers in many directions, ultra hoppy low abv beers (such as Nanny State), Islay Barrel Aged Stouts, Ageing IPAs on the Ocean and doing off the wall collaborations.Another area we have explored is extreme ABV brewing. Using clowns, penguins and polar bears we have frozen, hopped and oak aged stronger beers than have ever before been made in the history of beer. This program has parented the infamous Tokyo*, Tactical Nuclear Penguin and Sink the Bismarck! The End of History, at 55%, is the final instalment of our efforts to redefine the limits of contemporary brewing.

This blond Belgian ale is infused with nettles from the Scottish Highlands and Fresh juniper berries. Only 12 bottles have been made and each comes with its own certificate and is presented in a stuffed stoat or grey squirrel. The striking packaging was created by a very talented taxidermist and all the animals used were road kill. This release is a limited run of 11 bottles, 7 stoats and 4 grey squirrels. Each ones comes with its own certificate of authenticity.

More beer strangness here

Afghanistan: the march of folly

An Indian view on the current course of NATO. Interesting read I agree with some of it, but not all.

In their anxiety to end the war in Afghanistan, London and Washington seem poised to compound their earlier follies, and make way for the induction of the Taliban in Kabul.

The United States is in the process of committing a historical blunder with grave consequences for not only Afghanistan but also the regions surrounding it. President Barack Obama's decision to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2011 is understandable: the long and costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have taxed the patience of the Americans, and the President himself must start planning his campaign for the second term. But it is the manner of the planned exit and its consequences that cause worry.

More here


Tuxedo Junction

Always loved big band swing. Glen Millers band carries on the tradition the great man started. Enjoy and have a good foot tapping weekend

Iggy's boat

Saw this in the Metro yesterday and loved it. Check out Micheals site for other great cartoons

Afghan Women and the Return of the Taliban

Her name is the same as my wife's. As a father I can't imagine allowing anything like this happen to my daughter. My heart aches for the women over there, their fate hangs on a thread.

The Taliban pounded on the door just before midnight, demanding that Aisha, 18, be punished for running away from her husband's house. Her in-laws treated her like a slave, Aisha pleaded. They beat her. If she hadn't run away, she would have died. Her judge, a local Taliban commander, was unmoved. Aisha's brother-in-law held her down while her husband pulled out a knife. First he sliced off her ears. Then he started on her nose.

Read more:

Yet these women are made of stern stuff, one that will not be forgotten, Malalai Kakar A Lieutenant Colonel, she was the head of Kandahar's department of crimes against women. Kakar, who received numerous death threats, was assassinated by the Taliban on September 28, 2008. She was shot dead

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy 110th Birthday, White Pass & Yukon Route Railway!

WHITEHORSE - It's not Canada's best-known golden spike, but it's the most northerly and the important piece of Yukon history is celebrating its 110th birthday.

The last spike in the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway was driven in Carcross, Yukon on July 29, 1900, connecting the 177 kilometre route from Skagway, Alaska to Whitehorse read more here and a great gallery here.

Besides building and operating an amazing railway in very hostile terrain. Another feather in their cap is the development of the shipping Container and integrated intermodal system, including designing the first dedicated Containership, the Clifford J Rogers. which was replaced by the Frank H. Brown (which I did a little Seamanship training on)

There is talk of extending the railway all the way back to Whitehorse, the bed is still there as is some of the track. But talk is cheap and running a railway isn't. for now the Yukon will have to do without.

Discovering the wreck of HMS Investigator

A stunning side scan image of the wreck

MERCY BAY, N.W.T. • The ship whose crew discovered Canada’s Northwest Passage has been found 155 years after it was abandoned and disappeared in this isolated Arctic bay, a historic find and one that may help bolster Canadian claims to Arctic sovereignty.

The wreck of HMS Investigator was detected in shallow water within days of Parks Canada archeologists launching an ambitious search for the 422-ton ship from a chilly tent encampment on the Beaufort Sea shoreline.

“It’s sitting upright in silt; the three masts have been removed, probably by ice,” said Ifan Thomas, Parks Canada’s superintendent of the western Arctic Field Unit. “It’s a largely intact ship in very cold water, so deterioration didn’t happen very quickly.”

Read more:


Some more images and a link to Parks Canada website on this find.

ROV used to take images of the wreck

Minister Jim Prentice contemplating a Sailors grave

WWII Lancaster Bomber flies into Winnipeg today

WWII Lancaster Bomber flies into Winnipeg today

WINNIPEG - A special bit of wartime history flies into Winnipeg about 11:15 a.m. today for the long weekend.

The Mynarski Memorial Avro Lancaster Mk10 Bomber will be on public display at the Western Canadian Aviation Museum from Friday until Monday.

The bomber is famous as the "Dam Buster" involved in the Second World War raids on Germany’s Ruhr Valley dams in 1943. The bomber was primarily used by the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Air Force.

Visitors will get to step back into history as they climb into the cockpit, walk through the craft, visit the mid-upper-gunner’s and tail-gunner’s turret and the bomb bay. Visitors can also chat with the crew and get a sense of what it might have been like for the seven-member crew living in the craft during combat decades ago.

The public is welcome to view the bomber from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 30 and 31, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 1 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 2.

Museum admission rates for this special event are as follows: $5 for kids, students, seniors and Museum members; $10 for adults; $30 for families with up to three children.

And here is a view from the cockpit (picture taken over the UK)

Police Reported crime

The keyword here is “police reported crime” If the crime is not reported, it’s not counted. Think about how many crimes that have happened to you that you didn’t bother reporting because you knew the police would not show up.

Notice that although violent crime is down it is still way higher than in 1962. What it does show that the current gun laws have little or no effect on crime.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Kurdistan is Iraq's tourist destination."

Well a little bit of good news from Iraq, despite generations of animosity, it seems Iraqi Arabs are coming to “Kurdistan” aka the northern regions of Iraq populated by Kurds. It seems the cool weather coupled with a minimal threat of being blown up by religious nutbars is quite inviting. Of course there might be other reasons
I respect the Kurds, they fight hard but can also put the gun down and get on with life and they really want to, if there is a group in the Middle East besides the Jews that deserve a homeland, it’s the Kurds. Perhaps Turkey will show Israel how it’s done and give the Kurds a portion of their country so they can set up a new state. Guess I better not hold my breath.

Mullah Omar orders Taliban to attack civilians, Afghan women

The story behind this picture

Mullah Omar the main leader of the Taliban has apparently issued a new directive that includes the killing of anyone including woman and children that aid the government or coalition. We await with bated breath for Jack Layton to respond with an explanation that it means the Taliban wish to talk.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bill Cosby on Dentists

I always loved Bill Cosby and still have one his records "Fat albert". Long but enjoyable!

The three state solution?

RAMALLAH: A senior Hamas official on Wednesday said that achieving a national unity agreement between Palestinian factions, mainly the rival Fatah movement, is “beyond reach.” read more

More likely he means: The evil Zionist are preventing us from tossing you from tall buildings like we did to your comrades here in Gaza. However if you submit peaceful to our enlightened rule we will only toss you from 2 story buildings.

Warning following link is not safe for work, children or squeamish stomachs: Death of Fatah member.

How to solve the US race problem

Via Brutally Honest

1418 a good year for Chinese-African relations

Interesting story on the fleet of Ming dynasty Admiral Zheng He visit to the East coast of Kenya in 1418. Little did they know that their 21st century descendents would be following in their footsteps. Chinese interest in Africa holds both promise and danger for Africa. China will invest in Africa and give them technology and investment capital. But unlike the West, China will not worry about the human right records of the governments there. Likely they will also flood the area with Chinese goods making it harder for domestic industry. Not to mention the Chinese have a dismal record on environmental protection.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Click here to view Bill Ardolino's photographs from Delaram in Nimroz and Musa Qala in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
The following photographs are from my time embedded with Regimental Combat Team 2 in Nimroz and Helmand provinces, Afghanistan. Personal favorites and asides:

Picture 10: As one of his Marines dug for a pressure plate IED, an American patrol leader yelled at the Afghan cop standing behind the potential bomb to back up or get down. The police officer was unmoved by the warning, in true fatalistic Insha’allah (“It is as Allah wills”) style.

Read more:

Capilano Bridge move

This project is not far from my house. Funny enough the temporary abutments for the bridge are built over top of the old bridge abutments that the blue truss bridge replaced. If I recall correctly the Blue truss bridge built in 1929 was the third bridge to be built over the Capilano river, the first was washed out within a year.
The Capilano River, swollen by a violent rainstorm, washed out a large section of Marine Drive and knocked out the old 1929 bridge in November 1949. The flood doubled the width of the river bed leaving the original span untouched, but with nowhere to go. The bridge was the only link between North and West Vancouver, so West Vancouver was cut off for 10 days. A temporary Bailey Bridge was built by the 3 Field Squadron Royal Canadian Engineers north of the washed-out bridge until a new span was built. The newer western span was built in 1950.
Prior to the bridge access to West Vancouver was by streamer.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Jully Black, Seven day fool

A nice remake of a 60's song by some homegrown talent. Enjoy

Bears gone bad

Speaking of crime, juvenile delinquent bears are at again!!

Mr Story and his family were asleep when the bear opened the unlocked door of his 2008 Toyota Corolla in the early hours of the morning and climbed inside.
Mr Story's father, Ralph, said the bear must have hit the car's automatic transmission into neutral sending it rolling backwards 125ft (38m), off the driveway, down an embankment and into a thicket of trees.

I wonder if the bear will sue Toyota as well? "The car began to accelerate uncontrollable….." claimed the distraught bear.

Drop-in-crime stats mask darker factors

I think this article does a good job covering the subject. Many police forces stopped bothering with “minor crimes” and only responded to the major ones. In fact the Vancouver police took so much flak for not responding to break in’s where the bad guys had already left, they were forced to change their policies.
I also agree that population age effects crime rates, let’s face it older criminals just won’t be as active as younger ones. However the younger criminals today can be far more violent than the ones from the 60’s, not to mention more tech savy.
I also agree with longer sentences, a criminal in jail is not committing crimes on the outside and frankly people are tired of hearing that a criminal did something bad while on Double-double parole. In regards to rehabilitation of criminals, the success rates are not inspiring. I suggest that we spend our limited resources on the young people who are starting to go bad and stop them from going down the wrong road. We won’t be able to save all of them, but put them in a work/training camp and run them off their feet so they are to tired to get into trouble.

A simple solution to the long census form debate

I was arguing with my very left wing dad about the replacement of the mandatory long census form with a voluntarily version. He can’t grasp that government mandated intrusion into private life is a fundamental core issue with the CPC base. He claims that 80% of people want the form to remain mandatory. As my dad is 88 I don’t fight hard with him and I didn’t take him to task on his numbers, the last poll I saw placed Canadians at 51% for and 49% against. While mulling over this debate, a simple solution popped into my head.
All those people who support the long census form can volunteer to receive it next time around, StatsCan can set up their webpage for people to request it, write in for it or have it at Post Offices to fill out. So instead of 20% of the people getting it perhaps we will get 40% filling it out. Meanwhile those who don’t trust government don’t have to deal with the intrusion. Everyone’s happy right?
No doubt someone will claim that it won’t represent all parts of the population, but consider this. If you force people to fill it out, what are the chances of them lying on it? I suspect pretty darn high. This way people who fill it out will truthfully answer the questions. It’s so simple, so why the debate?