Saturday, June 25, 2005

My job takes me across many rural miles in the north and east parts of Alberta. A few years ago, I was very surprised to find a slowly disintegrating DC-3, aground beside a quiet rural highway about 30 miles NE of Edmonton. I hadn't been this way in quite some while, but this was the first time I had my camera.

This old DC3 isn't in very good shape. Much is missing, but it gave me a neat feelling to be near it. Manufactured sometime between the mid 1930s and the late 1940s, this old girl must have been to many places carrying many things. I took about 40 higher res pictures, 2048X1536 pixels in size. Email me if you want some. Click on the footer at the bottom of the page for my email.

The old bird was right next to this place. Coyote Antiques in Chipman, Alberta.

Control cables, under the cockpit floor.

That's a blue sky. It sucks to be grounded.

From some angles she looks like she's ready to hump some more cargo into the air...

looking in, through the port cargo door. The first time I came out here the fuselage was jammed full of parts. Wing components, parts of the empennage, etc...

Standing in the tail, looking forward, you can see the where the front windows of the cockpit were. That's an aileron on the floor.

Someone has been salvaging bones off this old skeleton since the first time I saw it 3 years ago, There is less and less of it every time I (very infrequently) pass this way...

You can see most of the cockpit, and all of the nose is gone.

On my way to an appointment Friday, I happened accross an old DC3, mostly stripped, parked alongside highway 15, next to a roadside antique shop. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and I like old planes. I had to take some pictures.

Monday, June 20, 2005

More Waste Now!

I wish this were true. Thank's Sondra K, for posting it.

Unfortunately, Canada's Liberal Prime Minister is not leading his cabinet in a round of cost-cutting motiviational cheers, but rather is attempting to get his special "bribe the socialist NDP budget" passed. Money allocated for spending without plans for how, canceled tax-cuts, and all hopefully at the cost of getting the opposition conservatives to abandon their support for the traditional family in exchange for (only) a delay in the liberals new same sex marriage legislation.

Oh how I wish that 'toon reflected reality...

File under "Ministry of Silly Walks"

When the sad, long and destructive history of the Political Correctness movement is finally written this will hopefully be only a minor footnote. Kathryn Race, Marketing head of the British Potato council wants the Oxford English Dictionary changed. She says the 4,000 member potato farmers of the BPC are worried people will stop eating British potatos because "couch potato" is a derogatory term. Kathryn says 'couch potato' should be replaced with 'couch slouch.'

Good-Morning girls and boys. Can you say, "trying to Justify your useless Job?" Gee Kathryn, if anything will cause people to decrease the amount of your potatos they eat, it's those greasy greasy English-style fish and chips vendors. Why not try to develop and promote an efficient and less greasy way to cook those chips?

Fortunately, the english language is safe for now. The O.E.D.'s chief editor, John Simpson, says words are never taken out of the dictionary. They are "a record of the english language from the earliest days."


Sunday, June 19, 2005

What we REALLY think about Canada's Medicare

I'm sure all the Professional Professing Canadians are all flutter over last week's story in the Ottawa Citizen. The headline read: CANADIANS RUE MEDICARE'S DECLINE, BUT EAGER FOR PRIVATE SYSTEM.

I can hear them now, "SHHHHHHHH! Quiet! The masses might notice..." The story followed an Ipsos-Reid poll that showed 70% of Canadians would buy private medical insurance (so they could jump the waiting lists) if they had the choice. The poll was commissioned after the Supreme Court of Canada struck down a Quebec law prohibiting private funding of services already paid for by healthcare.

The Poll also reported that 60% believe the court decision will lead to shorter waiting lists, and 54 per cent believe it will lead to improvements in service for their family.

The funny thing about the poll, however, is that the math doesn't add up. While 70% wanted to have the freedom to choose, 57% wanted their own province to ban private care. 60% think the supreme court ruling will lead to shorter waiting lists, but 57 per cent believe that, as a result of the ruling, doctors and nurses will start leaving the public system to work in a new private system, thereby causing shortages in the public system?

Doh? It sounds to me like they mixed up the results of two different and opposing polls, each with their own biased leading questions.

Speaking as a Canadian who has seen both the American and Canadian health care systems in action I'm all in favor of the ruling. I've waited for hours in emergency-room lineups with a hurting loved-one. I've seen an Ontario co-worker die of cancer while on a months-long waiting list for a diagnostic service (not treatment, just the bloody diagnostic). This at the same time a Connecticut co-worker received diagnostic service and began cancer treatments in the same week his doctor noticed a problem. Don't tell me there isn't rationing in Canada: After my Dad had his heart attack the hospital's idea of a cardiac ICU was to put him in a room with another heart patient. If one of them arrested, the other guy was supposed to ring for the nurse...

It's not that I want our system to change completely over, but that like most people, I want to have that choice.

Not everyone up here sees things the way I do, however. Writing in the Edmonton Sun on June 14th, Mindelle Jacobs (who looks nifty in her Star Trek Uniform top, don'tcha think?) says the ruling is bad because people who are sick won't be able to get health insurance- including the guy who prompted the Supreme Court ruling in the first place. (George Zeliotis was angy at waiting in pain for over a year on the waiting list for a hip-replacement)

Mindelle misses the point. Had private insurance been previously allowed, George could have bought his coverage years ago, and wouldn't have had to wait for his hip.

When it comes to health care, we all tend to be a little schizophrenic about what we want. We want quick access for everyone to the best health care services- which you can't have in a rationed system. We claim to want universal coverage, but we don't like the thought of paying for 'health-care-hogs'. And now we've got the mid-stream media to notice that we want the freedom of choice in how we fund our services, but we don't want to sacrifice universality.

The math doesn't add up. But that's Canadian politics for you.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Wild West Shooting Centre

Yesterday, my buddy Rodman and I had a blast doing something more Canadians should try. We shot off about a hundred rounds at an indoor range at the West Edmonton Mall called the Wild West Shooting Centre.

The picture above is my 2nd grouping at 25 feet with a .38super. Not bad for a guy who last shot a handgun (a little .22 dual action revolver) more than 20 years ago! While Rodman has about a dozen hand guns and rifles, I haven't kept any of the guns from my childhood except for an old .22 Coey I last saw at Mom and Dad's farm.

For a small fee and the price of the ammunition, you can shoot any of their pistols from .22 to .50 calibre. The staff was great. We took memberships.

So I'm going back.