Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Always loved this song, my nephew played it tonight at Christmas dinner. Thought I would share it. My you and your family have peace and happiness in this season and the New Year.

I also suggest you watch this rather interesting version of it.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The beauty of wind and the mind of a 7 year old

Found this at googles-data-viz-geniuses while searching for the answer my 7 year daughter asked; "Dad does wind reflect?"

While reflecting on this question (pun intended) i realized it's a great question from anyone much less a 7 year old, who I encourage to be curious about her surroundings. Sound, light, radio waves and waves on water all reflect and we can see/hear sea waves and sound waves reflect so we are comfortable in believing they do. We know radio waves reflect because of RADAR, not to mention sneaky ham radio types that bounce their signals off the moon to extend their range. but back to the question, does wind reflect?

Wind is; A current of air, especially a natural one that moves along or parallel to the ground, moving from an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure.

From my own personal experience I can't say wind "reflects" . This definition The change in direction of a wave, such as a light or sound wave, away from a boundary the wave encounters. Reflected waves remain in their original medium rather than entering the medium they encounter. According to the law of reflection, the angle of reflection of a reflected wave is equal to its angle of incidence Captures what happens. I have seen wind deflected and slowed by building up around a wing or a wall, but I can't say that it is 'reflected" I suppose the closest it comes is a microburst where the air currents hit the ground and then move up. But they are doing so because of the effect of other sources, such as very localized high pressure areas or lows and because it's being pushed against other air which forces it to take the path of least resistance.
All of this is my best guess from a brain floating in snot and being sick for a week. So if you disagree, please post why I am wrong, because I would not be surprised if i missed something.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The solution to the F35 vs a 2 engine fighter

Presenting the 2nd new Chinese 5th generation fighter.

Any resemblance the the F-35 is merely coincidental, honest......

Wonder what the costs are compared to the F-35/F-22?

China has unofficially unveiled another stealth fighter. This aircraft, externally resembling the Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor, could be the F-60, an export version of a AVIC Shenyang Aircraft Corporation developed ’fourth generation’ fighter. By painting the marking ’31001′, Shenyang may be hinting about the design’s goal aspiring to be an alternative for the Chengdu J-20, toward a future selection by People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). Alternatively, the J-31/F60 could be positioned for a future option for the People’s republic Army Navy (PLAN), for its future aircraft carrier force. In the near future, PLAN is to use the Russian Su-33 and its domestically designed Su-33 copycat dubbed J-15, also built by Shenyang. Rest of article aDefense update

This was the first one


It's a sign!

Get the feeling someone is trying to tell us something....?

Picture from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molecular_cloud

Of course sign from gods can be misinterpreted;

Monday, August 6, 2012

Video: Mars rover Curiosity lands on Red Planet after '7 minutes of terror'

Congrats to all involved, many years of prep for this moment.


Curiosity the largest rover so far to land on Mars has landed safely. I am always amazed at the people behind this type of work amazes me. You spend close to a decade to prepare for a moment where everything could go wrong and all your hard work is for nothing. The joy and relief must be absolutely intense. Considering the above and beyond success of the other rovers, I have no doubt that this project will produce some amazing science.

Size comparison of the rovers

Here is a good animation of the landing


Lots of images here

Update, first image.....

Yea I know it's from another rover, but love it anyways!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What does ice cream and natural gas have in common?

Believe it or not a small bean.

Which is used in this

and this

likely picked by her and thousand of people like her

The guar bean grown in the northern India state of Rajasthan is now a key element in the chemical cocktail used to frack wells, the technology that has prompted the oil and gas boom sweeping across North America and is set to spur a worldwide boost in oil and gas recovery. Read the rest at Oil Price.com

The good news for the farmer (hopefully and not all the middlemen) is the price of the guar bean has gone up, $4 to $30 per Kilo, expect your Ice cream habit to cost more soon!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Don't close Kitsilano Coast Guard Base

I was a member of the CG for 13 years and among other jobs served as a Rescue specialist and Rescue diver at the hovercraft. In fact my CG career started out at the Kitsilano base. I am quite aware of the role the base plays in the lower mainland, the capabilities and limitations of the Hovercraft base, Coast Guard auxiliaries, other responders and the internal politics of the CG.

History of the base

Kitsilano was built in WWII and operated by the RCAF as a Crashboat station, with vessels based on the Canadian powerboat design (pictured above) and 40' wooden launches. Latere they were equipped with 40's steel Crashboats, similar to the Blackduck pictured below.

In 1962 the base, boats (Mallard and Moorhen) and crews were turned over to the newly formed CG. This station played a vital role on this coast providing Search and Rescue (SAR) coverage as far away as Northern Vancouver Island. The base also served as a HQ for the SAR branch and public office for the Office of boating Safety (OBS).

As the rest of the CG grew, the station SAR area was reset as Vancouver harbour, Indian Arm, Port Moody, English bay, Howe sound, lower half of Sunshine coast and halfway across the strait. This area is heavily used by the boating public, many with very few skills or knowledge of the hazards year round, making the base one of the busiest in Canada. By this time the station was equipped with 3 boats and one inflatable. the main vessel was the CCGC Osprey.

SAR issues Impacts and Consequences

So far the CG has stated that closing the base will not effect response time. I will give them the benefit of the doubt I try really hard to believe they are being misinformed. Their (evolving) argument has been that a new hovercraft is coming, except they neglected to mention it’s replacing an older existing machine (CCGC Penac) so the ability of the hovercraft base does not change at all. In fact my sources tell me that at present there are no plans to increase crewing to offset the loss of Kit’s base. This leaves the entire area (approx 77km north to south and 66km from Indian Arm to mid strait) dependent on 1 full time vessel. The Hovercrafts main SAR task is to cover the airport, it can’t do that while up Indian Arm. The loss of Kits means also that the hovercraft will have less time to do it’s other core work which includes navigation aid repair or carry out the training the dive team requires. Maintenance on the craft will go up, leading to more downtime and more costs. Plus they will have to call in crews on overtime if the craft gets called to the far edge of a SAR zone on a long call, all of which erodes the savings claimed by the CG.

The station also operates as a direct contact point for boaters to speak to CG personal and receive advice and even minor help, this is one of those intangibles that is difficult to measure directly, but literally Kitsilano is only place in the lower mainland where boaters can easily speak and interact with CG members.

Over the years the crew at the base have been instrumental is saving many lives of bridge jumpers who were witnessed by crew members jumping into the water and the crews were able to respond and save the person life before any 911 call or Rescue Coordination Centre tasking could be issued. The station crews have also been an important assets to other government departments supporting them when those department needed vessel support or inspections in the area.

The other resource the CG mentioned is the Coast Guard Auxiliary or as now called on the west coast the Royal Canadian Marine-SAR RRCM-SAR, this is a volunteer organization which I have worked with many times and I respect many of it’s members greatly, however I also know their limitations. Most have jobs and young families, it’s one thing to be torn away from those you love to save a life, but much of the SAR life is more mundane, 12 hr searches for someone who may or may not have jumped off a ferry, going out at night to find an idiot who brought more beer than gas, or scrambling to a call only to be stood down after 40 minutes. The RCM-SAR boats will be called out far more often and that will place more wear and tear on their crews and boats. The boats can be fixed but if you begin to burn out your core volunteers, then trouble will follow, as sadly happened just recently with the loss of 2 volunteers.I also understand that the vessel used by them was missing key parts contributing to their deaths and serious injury of one of the other volunteers trying to rescue them.

To put this incident in perspective, the RCM-SAR has lost as many volunteers now as the fulltime CG has on this coast since the inception of the CG despite the RCM-SAR have much less hours at sea or exposure to associated risks.

Another aspect is that there is little support for volunteers dealing with tragedy and shock of seeing dismembered bodies. As a fulltime rescuer it was hard enough and I did my best to shield the volunteers from that side ensuring it was CG crew that retrieved the bodies, not the volunteers. What mechanism have been put into place to support the volunteers with the inevitable critical stress that accompany this type of work? By making them the primary responders and not supporting them, the government may be opening themselves up to future lawsuits.

It seems that certain elements within RCM-SAR have “empire-building” designs at the expense of full time SAR crews and the public. The tension is already beginning to be felt at the boat level and mistrust is forming. Very soon CG crews will be loath to teach skills to the volunteers under fears that they too may lose their job. There has been talk of placing a RCM-SAR boat in Vancouver. With uncertain economic times and the high cost of living here, the RCM-SAR may find it difficult to find and hold onto fit, healthy and experienced people.

The CG has also pointed out there are other “response” vessels in the area. These would be the police boat, Vancouver Lifeguards, Port Metro and fireboats. Each of these vessels has responsibility to their own areas and task, while they will respond if manned and free, the CG can not guarantee their availability or their future. Vancouver and other municipalities are all struggling with climbing deficits and future of the fireboats, marine squad and lifeguard boat are in question. None of these vessels are available for prolonged searches or incidents. Not to mention they would not be responding to calls in Howe Sound or Sunshine Coast.

Cost saving at what expense?

The “smoke signals” and the painfully clumsy attempts to look like they care about feedback from the marine users make it seems the CG is determined to off-load SAR onto volunteers regardless of the costs. In fact this is not the first time CG management has tried to shut the Kit’s base down and also tried to shut the hovercraft base down. Imagine wanting to shut the 2 busiest bases in Canada? It makes it clear that SAR is not a priority with the regional management.

In fact within the CG has been a long simmering feud between the SAR side (small ships) and navigation aid maintenance side (big ships). The management, much which came from the big ships, will sacrifice everything and anything to save the large ships and to them SAR is messy and unpredictable, whereas navigation aid work is very easy to plan and work around.

Flawed data driving this decision

I have spent many years working on these SAR resources and others although this area. I know through experience that Kitslano plays a key role in the SAR response. The base is the victim of it’s own success. The SAR reports used to justify this decision don’t even begin to tell the story. Many of the “mundane” calls are such because the base crew was able to stop the chain of events that lead to more serious incidents. During the summer there will be multiple calls at the same time in different areas, it was not uncommon for all the SAR resources in the area to be working different calls.

I also am aware that the CCG has been trying to justify their position using statistics. Most of these are gathered using the “Incident reports” I have read many of these reports on incidents that I have been involved in and they don’t capture all of the data. It’s almost impossible to measure something that did not happen, many “minor” incidents I was involved in would have been fatal had we not intervened early on. Relying on this data is going to give the government an incomplete picture of what will happen in the future.

Future of SAR

While technology is helping to reduce the “Search” in SAR, the growing and changing population of Vancouver is going to put even more pressure on our SAR resources. It’s a fact that most immigrants coming to Canada have less water safety training than average Canadians and increasing economic status is going to have these people boating and recreating on the water in growing numbers, leading to significant increases in incidents. The need to rescue and help these people is going to continue to grow, putting strain on the current resources. Another factor leading to more incidents is that the Office of Boating Safety has been significantly reduced and will not being doing public education for boating safety, this will mean more people without proper information out on the water.

Land issue related to the base

In 1992 the old base was set on fire by a burning pleasure craft, (which would have been avoided had CG placed booms around the pilings) the CG was forced grudgingly to rebuild the base, but to a smaller footprint. The current site is built on fireproof pilings. As part of the DFO permit requirements the CG was obliged to build and maintain a habitat compensation reef just inshore of the base, which limited the size the rebuilt base. Even if the government sells the base, they may still be on the hook to maintain the reef or work that into any sales agreement which limits the resale value.

Another lingering issue is that the base would likely be considered a contaminated site and require extensive cleanup before it can be divested. Also I believe the land may be subject to a lands claim with the local First Nations and at the very least the sale will require extensive consultations with the band. All of the above means it is likely that the government will lose money on the sale of the base. If a sale goes through and later the government decides it will need a local base, Public Works will be hard pressed to find another location so well suited and even if they did, the price would be astronomical.

The cost to the government and the CPC

This government made a promise that the cuts to government would not affect frontline services. Cutting Kitslano is a direct reduction in an important and highly visible service. No matter how many media lines the CG writes and how they dress this issue up it is a steaming bucket of manure and it will land right into your government lap. The public is not buying any of the stuff the CG is selling and already it is hurting the government with people that normally would support the Conservative party.

Hollow and after the fact consultation

What has become clear in recent days is that the CG did not openly consult with anyone about the closures and the recent “stakeholder” meetings by the Minister was clearly window dressing as despite clear opposition from those stakeholders, the Minister went on to publicly state an hour later that the base will still close, which is a slap in the face of people that went to great effort to make time for the Minister on short notice. The damage control efforts by the Minister and CCG management have done nothing but sow mistrust with the marine community and the people that supported this government.

A mistake that will be hard and expensive to fix.

Closing this base is a bad idea and sometimes bad ideas take on a life of their own. The people involved realize it's a bad idea but can't find an honourable way to extract themselves from it. If the government changes it's mind and leaves the base open, then the opposition will pounce on them, some politicians believe that changing your decision is a sign of weakness. Let me say to you it is not. the government makes a huge number of decision and choices everyday, no matter how careful you are, some will turn out to be mistakes. Telling the people that you have listened and changed your plans shows strength and leadership to the people who voted for you and might vote for you. Canadians do not take kindly to any government that fails to listen to them as both the PC and Liberals have found out in the past.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

7 years later....

When my first daughter was born I thought I would have lots of time on my parental leave to fix my ex-British army  Series IIA 109 Landrover. Man was I delusional, mind you my wife wanted to cook Christmas dinner with a planned birth date of December 22 (My wise Mom said "Of course dear" and carried on planning the dinner, knowing that arguing logic to a woman on raging hormones was pointless, only took me another few years to learn this....)

Needless to say not much has happened to the old girl, but this summer finally a little progress, fenders are off and starting to WD-40 the manifold bolts and applying heat so they come off easy. the engine needs a rebuild, new starter is needed and new rad. the entire brake system will have to be replaced as well. debating what to do first, some job uncertainty makes me shy to spend to much on the engine right now. maybe fix the leaks in the steering box and arrest some of the rust starting to form. Still I feel better that I have done something finally!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Making waves

This is amazing stuff. Seems the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami  created quite the stir in the Atmosphere as well as the ocean and land. Somebody noticed that radiowaves being used for the GPS system satellites did some weird things over the site of the quake, watch the video for more. NASA has  a good article on Tsunami waves . 

Sunday, May 13, 2012


The ex-Coast Guard Cutter Ready, sank in Britannia Beach about a year ago, the vessel had been owned by the Maritime Heritage Society of Vancouver along with several other vessels, the Seaspan Chinook and the Tyee Princess. The vessels were abandoned when the society went under. Currently the Province is attempting to deal with these vessels, but with not much luck.

In this video you can see the vessel filmed by divers from the Underwater Council of BC, SECS and the Underwater Archaeological society of BC. It's my voice droning on (hate the sound of my own voice) telling a bit of the story of this vessel. I served on her and her sistership the CCGS Racer. There is a good report on the Wrecks of Britanna Beach at the SECS link above.

In better days

 The Seapan Chinook also sank but is in 65 metres of water. the Tyee Princess fate is likely soon to be sealed, her hull is getting thin, she will either sink where she is, or be towed for scrap. I remember the Tyee Princess working the small coastal communities like Namu, Klemtu. she was owned by Coastal Ferries .

I was up in Namu not to long ago, the place is really falling apart, sad to see.

At the dock is the Chilcotin Princess, which was part of the same company as the Tyee Princess. I don't think she is long for this world either.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Jesse Cook Tango Flamenco

Yum, Tango and Jesse Cook. It's a great dance and I would love to be able to dance it live with my wife to Jessie Cook who is a stunning guitarist. His music is like enjoying chocolate dipped strawberries with good wine.


This video is of the biggest exercise done recently by the 39th brigade, which is made up of all of the Reserve units in British Columbia. the artillery guns are C3's which I used to command one when I was in the 15th FD Regiment  RCA. The exercise took place in Idaho and the Canadians were working with US National Guard.

There are times when I miss this stuff, but with a busy job, 2 young kids and a couple of hobbies. I know I don't have the time to devote to it. so of the guys I trained are now the Warrant Officers and Sergeants. they bugged me to come back, but I suspect it's so they extract their revenge on me because I would have to restart as a gunner. I can see it now; "Gunner! remember how you made me run with my rifle over my head 50 times around the parade square? Get you butt moving and get that rifle up high!!!!" 

I think I will just stick to have a beer with them and recall the good old days!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happy birthday Israel

Happy birthday Israel, today they celebrate 64 years of existence as the modern State of Israel. let us hope they have many more and all of them peaceful.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Awaiting the massed protests

140 teachers and school girls poisoned, not the first time either.

Taliban issues death threats to teachers because of a ban on motorcycles.

The silence from the left and  the moderate Muslims is deafening. Unless of course you are talking about dead bodies and the US.

Meanwhile attempts to engage the Taliban in peace talks are not going so well.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

LGR dead as of midnight Apr 5th 2012

Changes to business requirements: elimination of the requirement to register non-restricted firearms Special Bulletin for Businesses No. 79
April 5, 2012

Implementation of Bill C-19, the Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act.

The Government of Canada has changed the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act to eliminate the requirement to register non-restricted firearms effective April 5, 2012. Until further notice, due to a Court Order issued by the Quebec Superior Court, residents of Quebec are still required to register non-restricted firearms with the RCMP Canadian Firearms Program.

Beginning on April 5, 2012, firearms businesses are no longer required to obtain a Registration Certificate for non-restricted firearms from the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP). This does not impact registration requirements for restricted or prohibited firearms.

Businesses that use Business Web Services, available from the CFP website, are advised that the registration and transfer of non-restricted firearms is no longer required or supported.

Individuals and businesses buying or otherwise acquiring firearms must still have a firearms licence, and businesses are still responsible for checking the buyer’s licence. Businesses may continue to call the CFP at the toll-free number to confirm the buyer’s licence prior to completing a sale.

Finally after years of fighting this travesty of injustice. One of the chains imposed upon us is slipped. Now is a time to dance, celebrate and enjoy the taste of victory, for tomorrow it's back into the breech to do battle once more against the rest of the firearms Act.

A big thank you to all that have fought this!

Sucks though for our Quebec brethren, patience your time is coming!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Simon's Cat in 'Shelf Life'

What is it with cats and mantle pieces anyways? They take great delight in pushing and knocking off everything on them. Our snow scene this year lasted about 3 days before Zeus decided the cotton balls would make a nice bed.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sh*t Bureaucrats Say

This kid is going far, it's a good laugh, cute and on the mark.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Pencil (El Lapiz)

Just back from our Tango lessons at Easy Dancing, my wife and I were practicing "the Pencil" We can do it, but not as nice as this guy. If you need exercise, I recommend Argentinean Tango, man you really feel your muscles because you dance with your whole body. Our teachers plays a more modern style music such as the Gotan Project and this one by the Pussy Cat Dolls. I can't say this enough to guys, learn to dance! If you are single, you will meet really nice ladies, if you are married then your wife will be very happy and a happy wife is a happy man able to do his hobbies.

Solomon Friedman testifies about gun control at Senate committee hearing

This will be like paint drying if you are not interested in the Gun Registry. If you support the elimination of the Registry, then it's sweet music to your ears. Regardless Soloman is very good at making a solid case to abolish the LGR. I encourage you to listen to all of his videos.

Greening the earth one bird at a time.

Greening the earth one bird at a time, not to forget about the bats either...

The 2010 Bird and Bat report commissioned by Transalta, a component of the Post Construction Follow-up Plan, states that over the first six months of operation bird mortality due to blade strike was 602 birds of which 13 were raptors. That reflects 6.99 birds per turbine over six months (almost 14 strikes per turbine per year). The industry standard for comparable wind facilities is generally 2 bird strikes per turbine per year. Over 1270 bats were killed in the same six month period. The development is in a globally and continentally significant Important Bird Area. The PCFP was designed in response to stakeholder concerns over potential negative effects on bird populations, and is a partnership between Transalta, the Environment Canada and provincial Ministry of Natural Resources.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WristBow (Homemade Crossbow-Gauntlet)

Pretty cool toy, although in it's current form not to powerful. Also interesting that it is made out of easily accessible bits, just a lesson that if someone wants a weapon, there is not much you can do to stop them. Now here in Canada this crossbow would be prohibited by law and god help you if you have a blow gun in your possession, because Canada was suffering from a wave of crossbow and blowgun attacks.

Last Three of Canada’s C-130Js Go Through Final Acceptance: Photo

The last 3 C-130J's for the RCAF are being prepared for final acceptance, ahead of schedule I might add. As much as the opposition whines about sole source contracts, the Conservatives have been able to get us C-17's and a fleet of new Hercs among other things. If the Liberals were in power we would still be awaiting the Airbus A400M, read more at Defense Watch Last Three of Canada’s C-130Js Go Through Final Acceptance: Photo

Now if we can only get our buffs replaced. Don't get me wrong I think the Buffaloes have been great aircraft, but they are getting long in the tooth. A possible replacement would the C-127J, a plane that share mostly the same cockpit as the C-130J. Seem though it might another year before we even select another aircraft, much build it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Tanker in big storm

The music is not to my tastes, but the video footage is impressive, I will have to find out the DWT of this ship to put it into perspective.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

EU financial crisis explained in lay terms

Which is least unsafe?

Option A - To be in a vehicle with a Latin and a Teuton fighting it out for control of the wheel?

Option B - To be at the side of the road watching a vehicle coming at you with a Latin and a Teuton fighting it out for control of the wheel?

Option C - To be driving on a road with two other vehicles, one with a Latin at the wheel and the other with a Teuton at the wheel?

Option D - To go to the Pub.

(courtesy of army.ca)

The above in response the article below:

Yet because of the crisis of the euro zone this European Germany finds itself, unwillingly, at the centre of a German Europe. No one can seriously doubt that Germany is calling the shots in the euro zone. The reason there is a fiscal compact treaty agreed by 25 European Union member states is that Berlin wanted it. Desperate, impoverished Greeks are being told “do their homework” by Germans. More extraordinary still, the German Chancellor is now telling French voters who to vote for in their own presidential election, through a series of campaign appearances with President Nicolas Sarkozy. Everyone says Europe is being led by “Merkozy” but the reality is more like “Merkelzy.”


Icy Finger of Death

Amazing video, I never got a chance to dive under ice, my friends did and they all talk about the abundance of life they found. I don't feel that bad for the starfish, they are voraciousness predators in their own right and I have seen areas of intertidal rocks stripped of every living organism by a explosion of Starfish.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Robot Quadrotors Perform James Bond Theme

When the nano-bots come for you, at least they will be playing cool music.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The mull of kintyre & Lyrics-Paul Mccartney

Sang this to my kids tonite for their bedtime song. it's a great song and one of the few songs I have bothered to learn how to sing. I will spare you from listening to me grind it out and leave that to Paul (it's for the best, really)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Firefighters vs Cops: Striking fire officers soak PM office in Brussels

Seems that the firefighters kind of won this round, the police likely weren't used to dealing with such a well equipped bunch of demonstrators.

Lasquite's Saint Bernards 2011

courtesy of my sister inlaw via the Tyee

Having grown up with a couple of newfies, I can get a sense of just how much food these dogs eat. Not to mention how much 42 dogs poop and then there is the drool......

Friday, February 24, 2012

Keystone cop : Prime time : SunNews Video Gallery

Keystone cop : Prime time : SunNews Video Gallery

(click the link, for some reason the video does not want to embed)
Talk about a double standard. Solomon does a good job explaining what is wrong with the Firearms Act and the double Standard that exists. speaking of which just compare what the Crown is doing to Ian Thompson who had the audacity to defend himself.

Also make sure your little girl does not draw a picture of you with a gun at school or face being arrested and your rights violated.   

Monday, February 20, 2012

Extreme Fire Cracker In UltraSlo

I miss playing with firecrackers we much fun with ours blowing things up and such. As a kid I used to build toy roads into dirt piles and hammer a hole into the hard dirt with a nail, insert firecracker and blow the dirt apart and send in the baby Tonka bulldozer to clear a path.
Mind you I used to play with lead soldiers, pea guns, squirt guns and lawn darts, we were a tougher breed!

Monday, February 13, 2012


So your house is being firebombed early in the morning by about 3 people in balaclava's, what would you do?

Ian Thompson was in that situation and used a legal handgun to fire warning shots that succeeded in driving the attackers away. He also called 911, apparently the cops waited 10 minutes down the road till he advised dispatch that the guns were put away. Although he was a tad busy putting out the fires with a garden hose. 
The Crown decided to charge with "Careless use of a firearm" However when the video taken by Mr Thompson home security system went on Youtube, the outcry from the public was loud and clear. Those charges were dropped, soon to be replaced with "Unsafe storage charges". Now in the midst of this trial the Judge has halted the proceeding while the Judge a, crown and defending lawyer sort out the Firearm Storage laws and precedents. So 3 experienced legal experts in the safe confines of a courtroom cannot understand a law, which a average firearm owner under attack , in the early morning is supposed to understand completely and act accordingly? 
I understand the need for the police to investigate the incident to determine the sequence of events. but it's clear the Crown through the courts wish to punish Mr Thompson for the act of defending his home, just in case any more of the peasants realize that those rights have never actually been taken away. My gut feeling is that the Crown will eventually drop the charges to avoid a precedent setting case that will further the right of self-defense. Please if you have not done so, read the links and then donate to his case. it's clear that the Crown hopes he runs out of money before the Crown loses the case. It's our job to make sure that does not happen. 

Thomson needs your help. Contibutions to his legal defense fund can be made via "Ed Burlew In Trust" at his office in Thornhill. 16 John St, Thornhill, ON, L3T1X8.

You can make a contribution on credit card by calling the office at (905) 882-2422.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Simon's Cat in 'Fowl Play'

A tad late but still funny

SHOT show 2012

picture from armsbook.ca

Went to the Shot show this year with some friends, this is my third time, so somewhat used to it, the first time going for a shooter is like being a kid in a candy shop! I really enjoy going as it is so totally different than working in a government office, listening to small business owners talk about idea's, buying, selling, importing, exporting, regulations and what will happen next in the economy is refreshing and quite educational.

The show is divided into a few large groupings, the main floor is the big names like Ruger, Smith and Wesson, Remington and Winchester to name a few. Downstairs is the small businesses, this is where the real gems are, everyone down there has a better mousetrap or at least a better price on the widgets than someone else. Off to the side our the special sections for military and law enforcement.

The show was held at the Sands expo in Las Vegas and will likely be near for the next few years.
One thing I have noticed over the last 3 shows I have gone through (2008,2010 and 2012) is that women are becoming a force to be reckoned with.
picture from womanofuspsa.com
 The women I see see there are increasingly more involved with both shooting and the business side, this is reflected in the marketing that is going on. While a large group of retailers think all they have to do is put some of their products in pink, others are going far greater lengths to redesign their products to match the physique of the average woman. This explains the rocketing popularity of pocket pistols which are light, easy to concel and easier for most women to grasp and operate.

Around 61,000 people came to the show and there was over 1600 exhibitors. What I found to my surprise is that despite the economy and growing concerns for another hard recession, the firearm industry is booming (pun intended).
Some of the interesting highlights I saw are:

Turkish bling guns

Lots of air rifles
The "Rhino" revolver, unique as it fires from the bottom of the cylinder rather than the top, this reduces "muzzle flip".

How about some $257,000 shotguns, made by Perazzi The scary part is this is their "mid-range priced guns"  . they also have a set for over $400,000!!  They asked me if I wanted to hold one and I said no, if I dropped it I would have to sell the house to pay for it!!!!

Now this is the latest in Scottish high fashion, Bullet proof vests in the tartan of your choice!

Some interesting and novel shotgun slugs.

Zombies are all the rage right now, zombie ammo, zombie knives, zombie targets, zombie grips, everyone and anyone who could work the zombie angle did.

The show is wheelchair friendly, this one costs over $20,000 and uses 6 gyroscopes to stay stable.


What do cupcakes and Lightsabres have in common?

What do cupcakes and Lightsabres have in common? Apparently they are both weapons according to TSA.

Did you hear about TSA and the cupcake?

That’s right, two week ago guards in Las Vegas took a frosted cupcake away from a woman named Rebecca Hains as she prepared to board a flight to Boston. The frosting, you see, was “gel-like” and thus a potential security threat.

I’m really not sure how to approach this one, other than to weep uncontrollably.

According to a Transportation Security Administration spokesperson the confiscation was in error — the work of an overzealous (or maybe just hungry) screener. “In general, cakes and pies are allowed in carry-on luggage,” said the spokesperson. Still, I don’t know if that makes it OK. That we can use the words “cupcake” and “security” in the same sentence is a bright red flag that something is very, very wrong in America. TSA says the incident is “under review.” I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that meeting.

This is yet more fodder, of course, for my American Hysteria Hall of Shame. The hall isn’t limited to airport security foibles, but clearly TSA is gunning for the bronze, the silver and the gold. Operation Cupcake joins a pretty fat list:

TSA confiscates a butter knife from an airline pilot. TSA confiscates a teenage girl’s purse with an embroidered handgun design. TSA confiscates a 4-inch plastic rifle from a GI Joe action doll on the grounds that it’s a “replica weapon.” TSA confiscates a liquid-filled baby rattle from airline pilot’s infant daughter. TSA confiscates a plastic “Star Wars” lightsaber from a toddler.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 going out with a bang!

courtesy of Castle Arrrgh and the CanadianArmyNews

(I miss making things go bang!)