Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Har-OOMPH -slosh,Har-OOMPH-slosh...

     Anybody recognize this noise? Not likely. I'm not that good at making sounds.

     So if anybody recognizes this as the live beating of your heart your a winner.

     I had reason to hear my heart the other day when I was given an ultra sound on my heart. They slap on three electrodes . Then most of the time they have a heavy metal pestle which they keep pressed to the ribs as they move it around. This gizmo shows the parts of your heart as the heart is working.

    So most of the time the procedure is  quiet with only the technician telling you to hold your breath. Once in a while you hear this crazy noise and it's the sound of your heart beating . It's not just the thump- thump we hear on the outside. It's the right inside your body sound of the heart contracting and sending the blood pounding down your arteries. Then there's a lot of gurgling as blood fills the heart chamber again.

    Why was I given an ultra sound of my heart? On the recent ECG I had, they detected something abnormal about the rhythm of the heart. My Doc told me about it and said I could be referred to a cardiologist, or given a stress test or given an ultra sound. He set it up so that the ultra sound was the best choice and then I was given the opportunity of saying I'll take the ultra sound.

   So an hour later I was out of the lab and on my way home. Friday my doc gets the result and knowing him , he will call me in for a chat.

    It's amazing that they can take a detailed look at the heart functioning to see if there are any problems. For my grand parents in the 1950's this technology was not available. None of them had heart problems so this part of medical technology was not needed.

Illustration of the human heart

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Saturday, December 8, 2018


     Recently the Canadian government gave fifty million dollars to a charity that promotes education for African girls. Government budgets are made up with a line for international aid. Throughout the year this aid is distributed. In July the government allotted the money 

    Recently the Prime minister announced a donation to the charity at one of their major fund raisers. This was meant  as promotion of the charity fundraiser.

    The opposition in this country twisted the story to make it sound as if the prime minister on his own whim decided to donate the fifty million as if it was his own money.

   Talk about a cockeyed story. 

    So the other day at skating while I was sitting on the bench ( I sit on the bench a lot these days) I heard my 3 buddies discussing this issue. They were in full throated roar. The prime minister was an indescribable monster. They had some lovely descriptions for the man.

    These three guys should know much better. They all have education beyond high school They had to use their education everyday in their work. In other words they took information and made judgments on the evidence.

    One was a teacher, another and administrator and a policeman. I would hope that the teacher taught his students about making judgments.

    I can see that someone may think that spending money on external aid is not a policy they would agree with and that they would be able to support their point. Why would anybody not want to help with the education of African girls? 

   Evidence and fact had blown away like desert sand. 

   Why can't we look at issues or news reports and make judgments as to the validity of the information? Have we lost some marbles? 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018


     As you know, I lead a birding group for two hours on Saturdays. This fall we were out 13 times. Once it gets to December it's too cold for cameras and field glasses.  From December to April we will get the same 8 - 10 suspects . They're the only ones here.

     So it was that we had our wind up for the end of the fall season. This fall we saw 59 species and had 36 people participate. Usually we had 10 to 12 people each session.

     Our windup is a coffee and cake session.

     This year I was most surprised when some one pulled out a bag and pushed it my way. Okay , what's going on? 
      The first bag contained a mug. When I looked at it I nearly fell off my chair. There was a very candid shot of me attached to the mug. I was touched.  Lynette takes awesome bird photos. ( I've used some on this blog.) and some cool candid shots of birders. She had a mug done up with me and some good bird shots of the fall of 2018.

     Now I think I have another nick name ...Duck! Just as she took the photo I pointed and hollered "duck" as some ducks flew over. That's why "duck" is on the photo.

    The second gift was also hand done. A craft that is new to me uses pebbles to make a combination of sculpture and painting. Again there's  humor and a great caption. Estelle caught the idea of bird watching.

     So the thank you for the card and gifts. They were most appreciated.

Monday, December 3, 2018


     This weekend we had some major snow fall...about 24 cm ( 8 in) . For us that's a lot of snow. There was no wind and it was about minus 5 C.

    I had the great honor and pleasure of shoveling my driveway and walk three times. It was dry light powdery snow so was very easy to shovel. 

    I couldn't wait to go out cross country skiing. Skiing was a challenge. I had to make a trail My skies were under the snow. My intention was to make a few rounds and set the track. Somehow with the deep snow I became fatigued very quickly. It was very dull. (You know I'm leading up to an excuse , don't you.) On top of that my glasses got fogged up and I didn't notice it. When you make your own trail everything is uneven so balance is key.

    Well that's right . I fell. But I did get up by myself. I continued but had decided I'd skied enough. I stopped. I lost my balance and fell. Yes, I got up again and then immediately fell. The third time I had to take my skies off.

    The beauty of the falls was that we had the deep soft snow.

    These photos were taken about 11:30 AM and you can see by the shadows how low the sun is in the sky.

    I like the way snow piles up on stuff.

Saturday, December 1, 2018


    Last week I got new lenses for my glasses. What a difference!

    In the early spring I began having difficulties with eye sight. Using glasses with binoculars was a problem. Light was always dull. Colors were very washed out. Driving was frustrating as it was difficult to read signs. I knew something was wrong but didn't know what.

    When I put the glasses on it was if I was looking through a light film . It made things darker. Walking in the dark was a double problem.

    I remembered the same thing happened before and it turned out to be the lens coating. I went to an optician and he declared my lens coating fine.

   What to do? Things became worse. I did not use glasses for driving. I found an old pair of half eyes to use for the computer. Try washing dishes without glasses?

     I dropped to the opticians again and a different person said the coating is definitely a problem.

    So then lens shopping began. I wear trifocals and at first they told me they couldn't get them . Some people said trifocals are going out. Finally they found some trifocals. I've never used progressive lenses.  The lenses came in last week. What a difference! Things are bright again. Driving is easy again. I think the dishes are cleaner.

    So life is good again. I'm not half as crabby as I was!

Thursday, November 29, 2018


  The solution to my leaking humidifier came about very easily.

   The first day I thought I had to check with the company who made the humidifier. I found out these humidifiers are no longer made and that if you were very, very lucky you might find parts. I then checked out stores that had sold the humidifiers. I found a surprising number of part but no hoses. That took care of the first day.

    We've dealt many times with a man who runs a small retail outlet for a plumbing supply company. So the next day I said we'll go there first. Were we lucky. He was able to supply us with all the necessary parts . So :7 ft of hose, two ferrules, two inserts and a copper compression nut .  Put them together and we were good to go.

    So with a little help from my friend things were repaired quickly and easily.

Image result for brass compression nut

Monday, November 26, 2018


     Yesterday I got up at the usual time and stumbled around until my head got cleared up. Finally, I was ready to get my breakfast. Oatmeal porridge! Great stuff.

    About the time the last spoonful of porridge was consumed the Micro Manager arrived in a panic and said , "I hear water running!" Now in the last 50 years I'm sure she's heard water running about 5000 times. I usually check because I don't want water to get a head start on me.

    The micro Manager zoomed downstairs as she was in the bathroom when she heard water dropping and thought the water was leaking down stairs under the bathroom..

    I followed her downstairs at a more leisurely pace. We didn't detect water dropping in the furnace room. After bouncing up and down a few times , the micro manager beat it upstairs again. Once her noise was gone I discovered where the water was dripping. Yes, this time she was right . There was water dripping.

    The little water intake hose for my humidifier had sprung a leak. So turn off the valve that controls water to the humidifier and the leak is over.

    Fortunately we caught this leak right away and not much water had accumulated. Water was wiped up and a fan turned on to dry things up. We both wondered what would have happened if we'd been away.

   Now comes the fun part...finding a hose replacement. The proper sized hose is tricky business. Pressure nuts are on both ends of the hose so the hose has to be one that fits the nuts and the ferule inside the hose. So far I haven't found a suitable hose.

   Wish me luck.

Image result for water drop