Sunday, March 31, 2013

Microsoft switched you to OUTLOOK?

Here's an exercise in frustration. 
Recently, Microsoft decided to end Hotmail as it's default email program. The reasons are becoming evident once you begin to stop trusting and explore your own email settings.

For those who like to be connected to everyone you know, and have them involved in seeing everything you do or think, and have a record of everyone you ever contacted on whatever social network you ever visited, you'll love Microsoft's new look. It is well on the way to being another facebook. Is Bill Gates extremely jealous of Mark Zuckerberg?

For me it started out by just searching for the forward button, which used to have its own position, but now it is hidden somewhere else adding a new search and click to your day.
And have you got advertising right in between your incoming emails? And a separate sidebar with more advertising? Of course if you use Bing as a search engine ...

But wait, I found an opt out option! Okay, good. Or not?
So you go to that TINY little AdChoices button WAY down at the bottom right of your email page and click.  Aha, an opt out page, exactly what I want. Or not?
This page is called Privacy in Advertising.  And you can click here to stop Microsoft Platform from sending you personalized advertising. Oh good. 
But wait, have you ever thought of HOW advertising sent to you could be personalized unless someone is reading your email and what you're interested in? Hmm.
So I clicked that one anyway.

Now right below, there's another choice = Industry Opt-out. So here you can stop participating companies that provide personalized advertising! One assumes that those participating companies pay Microsoft to insert items into your email. I understand. But I still don't want their advertising for the simple reason that they must read my communications to know what they should personalize! 

[Here's a little test you can do. Men - write some things about quilting and embroidery. Women - something about tanks and aircraft. Wait a while and watch the ads that appear on your media.]

So anyway, I clicked the button called Industry Opt-out to stop ads from appearing in my email account.  Wait, it opened a huge legal page called The Self-Regulatory Program For Online Behavioral Advertising. There are lots of things to do here, on the side bar there are the logo initials of many companies, one even has the word trust in its name!  Apparently we can opt out somewhere. Sort of like that controversial negative advertising some companies try to stick you with. Like if you don't want it you have to click or we bill you anyway!? 
So I found a link to opt out. I see there are 116 companies providing me with interest based ads. (of NO interest to me by the way) So I click Select All. And presto, I now have eliminated 75 of them! 116 - 75 = 41. I can only assume that 41 companies are paying way too much to Microsoft to be eliminated from sending you personalized advertising. Well it did say Self Regulatory, not client regulatory. 

But wait! I found another select all and clicked that too! Now it eliminated 40 more. Ah progress, then said it had one company left. Check the list again. Hmm, nothing there. One can only assume this time, that that single One is reserved for the CIA, or FBI, Homeland Security, or CSIS or maybe even the KGB! Who even knows who Big Brother is these days?

You can also assume these pages are designed for you to give up in frustration and just give them a blood sample and a DNA string. Here, genome me, take it all. But wait. I see another underlined word down there on another page, called Exercise Your Choice, which supposedly allows you into a beta version of a Consumer Opt Out page. [beta, in computerese basically means that probably nothing works there]  So this link goes right back to that last page you were on, where the secret One still resides/exists. (the old loop trick) And it refers to your browser. Which in Microsoft's case, is Internet Explorer.

And of course, you know that if you're using Firefox, Safari, Opera or Chrome. All bets are off. Fun huh?
And none of this solves my problem of viewing ALL my contracts when wanting to forward an email. Outlook only shows five.

Well there you have it, all those clicks later and where are you? Still facing the new, to you, Outlook instead of Hotmail. Simplicity in life is over. Trust drained away when it started to rain inside your house! Trust? Silly me. But wait! There's always a solution ... if I just post my financial situation these companies wouldn't bother trying to sell me anything at all!

I'm going to gmail. They have everyone I ever knew on my contact list. 

But wait, even that girl? Sheeez, I only knew her for forty-two minutes! 

Damn, you can't even send a thank you note anymore.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


The Port Mann bridge had horrendous problems last year with ice forming on the cables, and when it got too heavy, falling off and landing on cars below. Causing a lot of damage, because the cables go up to a center post and are over the traveled road instead of along the sides like a normal suspension bridge. (Hey, who am I to question those brainy engineers)
Of course this cable twist over the pavement created a huge nuisance. And the Bridge people are trying to solve it.

Yes I have a solution that would be win win for everyone. It's just a matter of keeping the ice off the cables. Sure they could use heavy equipment at high cost but mine is cheaper.

So if there is an elevator inside those huge posts, it helps a lot.    Or not.
You see, in mid winter we have many homeless people roaming in the Vancouver area. Those poor folk are doing all they can to survive. My idea would help them a lot. And they have nowhere to go anyway.

What we do, see, is hoist the homeless people up to the top of the cables. They are usually loaded with extra donated Sally Anne clothing that is often out of style anyway, like those old Russian Army type woolen overcoats etc. We strap them at the top, onto the cables, even using a handcuff if they were not going to be able to hold on for the slide down. And then let them go, clutching to the cable, yes? And while descending, they would sort of scrape the cable free of ice and snow. 

We would have to secure them to the cables because falling onto windshields below would cause breakage and the people driving home would get damned cold with no windshield. Not to mention having a frozen passenger clinging to the dashboard. If the homeless people do make it to the bottom, we could give them a blanket and maybe some red licorice twisters and a slider. A Happy Meal. Even a Treo sticker so they could walk across the Port Mann whenever they wanted. 

I believe this would be a practical way to keep the bridge cables free of ice in the winter. 
Well it's better than the one about having the traffic go 1 mile per hour so the exhaust fumes melt the ice. And besides, people would get home too late. If you're gonna pay 5 bucks to cross you don't want to spend $15 in gas.

Well maybe a LITTLE scary
Okay okay, I agree I haven't solved the 'looking up' problem of motorists yet.  
   "Hey, Martha look, there's one coming down now! Wow they go fast ...... Oooo   ................ bummer."
   "Oh my gawd, Bernie! Did he bounce into the river?"
   "It's okay, he's on his way to Vancouver."

But I'm working on it. I noticed the car junkyards have a lot of those old fifties windshield visors left over from 49 Pontiacs. We could have a machine clip a visor on at one end and take it off at the other. Or ... perhaps this could be yet another opportunity to help the poor? 

In the next segment we'll reveal how to attach those visors,
if we can solve the finger freeze problem. Homeless people only wear those fingerless gloves so they can pick up butts and nickels better. Unless they're some kind of a fashion statement.

So you see? There's always a solution. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Educational TV shows

I seem to keep finding and watching TV shows that have historical drama. Not sure why. 
I think it is the adventure in them. Fantastic episodes. Funny part is that when they're over, I'm not always acquainted with whatever angle the historical plot had. 

Sinbad. Xena. Spartacus, all wonderful examples of historical dramas that entice me. Brave characters and courageous deeds, all in aid of helping out us mere Earthlings. 
Perhaps I am a student of history. Yes, that's it. The noble pursuit of knowledge. Of knowing how the world came about. Yes, I like that. 

Here are some of these wonderful historic characters who bring out the higher purpose of living here on Earth. I love history. 

magical Maeve from Sinbad
Xena the Warrior Princess 

Goddess Athena

faithful Danielle

                    what's her name from Spartacus

Fifties Mad history
Lucretia   from who cares?

future history
Calisto - ba-ad girl

Yes, nothing like learning about the past. Helps us know our place. And appreciate how we got here. I love learning about our ancient world.

Yes, I am a student of history. 


Fun for Millionaires - Canucks?

Now that the Canucks are going to play a game in the old Vancouver Millionaires' uniforms, why not make it a yearly tradition charity game? Something that might inspire the players, catch the public interest and do some good for charities?

Hugh Lehman
A yearly game where the players would give up perhaps most of a one game salary to charity? The idea being that those previous Canucks, the Vancouver Millionaires of 1919, probably didn't even earn ANY pay for their Stanley Cup winning game! They played for the love of hockey.

It could easily be a charity event and raise a ton of money for those less able. The Canuck players will find incentive in the fact that most of them today ARE millionaires with the good fortune to be healthy and able to seek a personal life goal. While those guys in 1919 DID win a Stanley Cup that our modern era players have not yet been able to duplicate. 

Ryan Kessler
And the Canuck fans could be asked to donate cash or goods on Millionaire Retro game night!
They might even dress up in 1919 wear themselves! Have the music of the era too, have 'A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody' lyrics on the scoreboard for a singalong after the first period!

It could catch on and be a lot of fun for players, fans, and a great cause.  
What do you think, Mike Gillis?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Elephants and humans.

Elephants are wonderful creatures.We have learned over many years how valuable and intelligent they are. Elephants do remember things, some say they never forget a kindness or your face. They have love and reverence for their own and will stay with the sick or injured. They show sorrow and grief and have an awe-inspiring sense of family. There are endless stories of elephants endearing themselves to humans. So why do we keep on hurting them?

Mali in the Manila Zoo
Fossil records indicate that hunting by man played a roll in the extinction of the magnificent mammoth. The elephant appears now in parts of Africa and Asia. But today elephant numbers are still being reduced by the massive trade in tusk ivory. Much of the ivory on the underground market is simply colored with stale tea and represented as ancient mammoth ivory to disguise that it may be poached. Ivory hunters were responsible for wiping out elephants in North Africa perhaps about 1,000 years ago, in much of South Africa in the 19th century and most of West Africa by the end of the 20th century. 

But Man has also continually persecuted elephants for his own use and sometimes, tragically, his amusement.

Hannibal used elephants as a weapon in war. When he invaded Italy he started from Spain with 35, unfortunately after his crossing of the inhospitably cold Alps he had only nine left because they died of the cold.

Circuses have been at the top of the list for continual mistreatment of elephants.
Former employees of Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus have told about them being swatted painfully with sharp bullhooks to discipline them. And many of them are hobbled with chains 90% of their lives. There are so many instances of circus elephant abuse that it would take a huge tome to list them all.

Zoos keep them in steel cages where they have hardly enough room to turn around. This is an animal that walks hundreds of miles in it's free life, held in solitary confinement for our use? And they suffer from a form of mental illness called Zoochosis, and tuberculosis, foot problems, arthritus and of course, premature death.

There was an instance of Ayed, having her heels cut so she would have to kneal!  And Mary, who had killed a drifter who the Charlie Sparks Traveling Show had mistakenly hired as a trainer, was actually hung from a railway car derrick after shooting her by several people had little effect. Circuses have videotaped abuse to elephants in order to show new trainers how to do it! And there are so many cases of beatings and torture of elephants it is near impossible to document them all.
Topsy was apparently mishandled and tortured by her handlers on Coney Island. After she had killed 3 of her handlers in 3 years (one of whom died after attempting to feed her a lit cigarette) it was decreed that she must be put down. Thomas Edison volunteered to electrocute her for his own bizarre reasons and even laced her carrots with potassium cyanide! Then made a movie of the event.
Man's cruelty knows no bounds.  

Poachers continue to devastate elephant herds in Africa for their ivory. Often extracting the tusks while the creature is still alive! 

My own method of ending this poaching of elephant ivory goes way beyond legal means which often has little effect because the sentencing is minimal. I would capture the poachers, stake them with chains, arm and legs, in the plains in hyena country. Put a camera nearby to record the event and leave him overnight. Once the camera documented the horrific fate of the poacher from hungry hyenas, I would broadcast that punishment for all potential poachers to see. Cruel? Yes, but a means to an end.

The fate of the Bengal Tiger, various Asian bears and elephants is in doubt along with many other species that Man has dominion over. But it is up to us to make the product of this poaching and destruction of our greatest creatures repugnant and uncivilized. Wearing ivory, or using bear paws and galls, or consuming tiger parts doesn't enhance your sexual prowess, intelligence nor bravory, it only places you in the position of being inferior. A sub human. The passenger pidgeon is extinct today because of the sole reason that it was fun to shoot them.  
Keeping a solitary elephant in a small cage for our amusement only because we can, is ultimate cruelty. We need to show respect for our fellow creatures, we don't own the planet, we just live here. Along with elephants. Where is that value I mentioned? It is in enriching our spirit by caring for them and having them safe and healthy and sharing the Earth.

Cruetly to an animal as magestic as an elephant, is unforgiveable. 

Indifference is worse.  Be heard.

PAWS -  Performing Animal Welfare Society
The elephant sanctuary in Tennessee -

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Not mad at drug dealers anymore.

I used to be angry that drug dealers, robbers, fraud and scam artists brought such anguish to so many law abiding people. That was before. 

I read recently where HSBC, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation was recently caught laundering Mexican cartel drug money through their bank. They also did business with rogue nations like Iran and Sudan. Even though as early as 2008 they were warned! The fine from the US Justice department is about 1.9 billion dollars. This clearly states to me that they have no interest is being a law abiding corporation as long as money is their driving force. And no executive heads ever rolled over any of these actions.
The profit for HSBC in 2007 was 19.7 billion! The most profitable bank in the world. They made all that money by looking after YOUR money! AND criminal's money! 

Here are some figures for Canada -  Canadian bank profits for only the third quarter of 2012!
      • Royal Bank      - $2.24 billion        73% increase
      • TD Bank          -  1.70 billion        14%  +
      • Scotia Bank     -  2.05 billion        57%  +
      • CIBC               -   841 million       42%  +
      • BMO               -   970 million       37% +
Nice huh? And they don't make you a burger while you're waiting in line. Or grease your car. Or press your trousers. All they really do is take your money away from you, and steal a lot of it!

Enron?  Shareholders lost nearly $11 billion when Enron's stock price, which achieved a high of $90. per share during mid-2000, decreased to less than $1 by the end of November 2001. (virtually ALL of the evidence in that scandal was housed in FBI offices in WT7 and conveniently lost when it crumbed to the ground on 9/11/2001) What about Freddie Mac and Fannie May? How many other major crimes can you think of, perpetrated by companies ignoring the law with impunity? Operating by their own rules. How many large corporations are getting away with fraud, downright robbery, theft, complicity, manipulation, while destroying the lives of the people who should be able to trust them?

Why is the anti-vaccine movement growing? Is it because the former heads of pharmaceutical companies are the ones in government approving medical treatments and medicines? 
Why are people rebelling against genetically manipulated foods? Or GMOs. Is it because companies like Monsanto have control of the federal agencies entrusted to make sure our foods are safe? 
Why is it all going wrong at the top? And affecting most of those on the bottom?

So what this post says, is that all the drug dealers on all the street-corners of North American cities and all the thieves and burglars and scam artists still don't do the damage to common people that the large corporations, banks and global companies do.

A guy may steal a car and get 5 years. Defraud a widow and get 10, rob a bank and get 20! And the sleazy executives of indifferent corporations carry on in comfort and a splendorous life style enjoying million dollar salaries. Impervious to government control or judgement or prosecution. 
The classes have separated and the gap is growing wider. 

I'm not mad at the little bad guys anymore, I'm mad at the big bad guys.