Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"It's your fault I'm unedumacated..."

The original e-mail received from this gentleman (who went to great lengths to include his "official-I-am-a-federal-government-type" signature block...), went as follows:

"Good day Las tsummer we were travelling through the ********* and set anchor in the bay off of the swimming area at ******* Island. Upon pulling up our stern anrchor we discvoered we had not set in the ground, but on a groundline cable. As I recall the area has a cable warning in the docking bay, but nothing out in the middle of the arnchoring bay off the swimming beach. This should be marked."

Our initial reply was as follows:

"Dear Mr. *******, Thank you for your e-mail dated 21 May 2009, requesting information on navigational charts. Unfortunately, you have not provided us with enough information to assist you.

Is your concern that this submarine cable was not marked on your most up-to-date version of the navigational chart for this area? Or are you looking for information regarding above-water signage in the ***** Islands region?

Please send us more detailed information in order to help us better identify your needs.



Today we received the following reply:

"Good day My comment was on both fronts. Although my charts are not the most up to date (and certainly are not digital), that line is not marked on it. More notably is that in a marked anchorage there is a submerged cable. Although there should not be a submerged line in such an area, if there must be one in this case, it is unmarked on land signs or floating buoys.

I apologise for any confusion this may cause by landing on the wrong person's desk, I have had to guess to whom this information should go to make our navigational waterways safe to anchor in.

Thank you for your assistance, "

I love e-mails like this one. Really, I do. This lad has absolutey no problem in admitting that he is in contravention of the Canada Shipping Act (specifically, the Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations).

If he had the latest, up-to-date charts, he would no doubt find that any legally laid underwater cable would be duly noted on that chart. These regulations do not apply to vessels under 100 tonnes, if the operator of the vessel can demonstrate an intimate knowledge of the waters in question. Something that our author here clearly cannot.

If there is a submarine cable, you will not find it marked by a floating marker in the middle of a bay. Any more than you will find a cartoon-type arrow sign informing you that: "YOU ARE HERE". It will be marked on a chart. A chart on which you are required to be able to find your position and anchor accordingly. This lad states that he "certainly has no digital charts", we can assume that he probably does not possess a GPS navigation system either.

As there is no way of knowing how old/out of date this lad's chart is, the area may even no longer be designated as an anchorage position. You can see where I'm headed with this. He is lamely attempting to blame 'the gubmint' for not knowing something he is required by law to know.

Now that doesn't sound the least bit familiar, does it...?

If he sincerely did have an interest in 'making our navigational waterways safe', he would really work on honing his own personal knowledge and skills as a boater.

I'm just sayin'...

So what did we answer him with?

Dear Mr. *******,

Thank you for your email dated 25 May 2010, requesting information on whom to report the presence of unmarked underwater cables to, in the ***** Islands region.

Transport Canada's Navigable Waters Protection Program ensures navigational safety in Canadian waterways by carrying out the following activities:

- removing serious obstructions to navigation, such as unauthorized structures and sunken vessels and wrecks

- regulating the provision and maintenance of lights and markers to ensure navigational safety at all times, including during construction

- approving any works built or placed in, on, over, under, through or across navigable waters

Please contact their regional office for any additional information.

Navigable Waters Protection Program
100 Front Street S
Sarnia, ON N7T 2M4

Tel.: 1-866-821-6631 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Eastern Time
Fax: 519-383-1989 (Sarnia)

Information on the Navigable Waters Protection Program is available at the following URL:

Information on boating rules and regulations for pleasure craft operators (Canada Shipping Act) is available through Transport Canada's Office of Boating Safety.

Transport Canada's Office of Boating Safety Office of Boating Safety carries out the following activities:

- develops standards and regulations relating to recreational boating safety and works with enforcement agencies to ensure that pleasure craft operators comply with these regulations

- helps reduce the environmental impact of boating on Canadian waters

- offers courtesy inspections of safety equipment for pleasure craft

- promotes boating safety through awareness programs and advertising campaigns

- provides information on accreditation for boating safety course providers and on pleasure craft operator competency certificates

The Office also operates a national toll-free boating safety information line, which provides information on the following subjects:

- boating and alcohol

- boating safety course providers

- hull serial numbers

- hypothermia

- the legal responsibilities of boaters, including the regulations that govern boating in Canadian waters

- proof of operator competency and the issuance, replacement or update of the Pleasure Craft Operator Card

- safety and personal protection equipment (e.g. life jackets and personal floatation devices)

- safety compliance notices (conformity or capacity plates)

- sail plans

Please contact the Office of Boating Safety for additional information.

Tel.: 1-800-267-6687 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Eastern Time Boating Safety Information Service
Fax: 418-648-7337 (Qu├ębec)


Information on the Office of Boating Safety is available at the following URL:
Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require additional information.



Do you think he'll take the hint...???

Na-aaaahhhh... Me neither.

The Silver Lining...

I left home this morning and headed out down Innes. At 0638 it was already 24 degrees. It was going to be another warm one. After the light at 10th Line, I began accelerating when I heard a distinct and quite worrisome rattling noise. It seemed to be coming from the bike's top end (under the tank). As I went faster, the noise grew louder. I immediately pulled over to the side of the road, letting the engine idle and listening intently. Nothing. I revved the engine a little bit... Still no noise.

I snicked her into gear and cautiously left the shoulder of the road. Fine... I picked up a little more speed and there it was again. That same rattling noise!

I rode her slowly towards Jeanne D'Arc, a thousand thought racing through my head. Should I try to ride her into the dealership so they could look at her there? Should I turn around and head back home, to take the bus in? Either way I would have to call work to advise them I was going to be late... Holy Crap!! I really didn't need to consider this kind of expense at this point... What was I going to do...??? I turned down Jeanne D'Arc, the rattling sound picking up as I gained momentum. I rolled my eyes skyward as I thought about the unfairness of it all... and that's when I saw it...

I saw the right-hand edge of my snap-on visor vibrating in the breeze, as it had unsnapped from the helmet. As it vibrated, the loose snap produced this rattling noise against my helmet. That's all it had been.

I laughed out loud as I pulled the bike over to the curb. I felt an immense sense of relief wash over me. It even negated the initial "Oh-my-God-how-could-I-be-so-stupid" feeling. I re-fastened the wayward snap and thundered off again. No rattle this time. Life was again good... :)

May all your personal emergencies today, turn out to be just as trivial...

Friday, May 21, 2010

The value of a child's life...BC style.

Here, with a minmum of fanfare I promise... is this week's: "E-mail of the Week".

Please note the time, trouble and care the author takes, to inform me of just how skilled and experienced he is, as far as things nautical go. Got it...?? Now read the question he poses.

Yup... for all his so-called experience and wisdom, this lad is as dumb as a bag of friggin' sticks.


"I am a recreational boater with a 30 foot sailboat located in ******,B.C. I am very experienced, having completed several offshore voyages including a Trans Atlantic crossing from Montreal in a 39 footer and the Victoria - Maui Yacht Race. Currently , I confine my boating to the San Juan and Gulf Island. I have a question regarding boating safety. I have a Grandaughter of 3 month old. I have been unable to find suitable regulated flotation for any crew member under the wieght of 20 pounds.

(Newsflash! A 3-month-old anything is not considered part of your crew, in ANY country! If anything, she might be considered as ballast... - Crypt.)

What options are available to me and am I in contravention of the law if the infant of less than 20 pounds is on my vessel without a life jacket? What are US Regulations?

(US regulations...??? Who gives a crap about them, you're in Canada! The USCG deals with your type of boater all the time. They'll just assume that you consider your granddaughter easily replaceable. - Crypt.)

I am told by marine retailers that this equipment does not exist and it is assumed that the parent would be able to hold the child in the water in the event of a serious emergency.

(The marine retailers are absolutely correct... And as a word to the wise here, not everyone I know can tread water for an undetermined number of days AND hold a 3-month old child in their arms simultaneously... - Crypt.)

This does not seem appropriate.

(REALLY, Einstein...??? - Crypt.)

I would appreciate your comments on this matter.

(No... No, you really DON'T want to hear my comments on this one... - Crypt.)

I do hold a Pleasure Craft Operators Certificate (#***********) Thank You."

(And that course unfortunately doesn't teach simple common sense... - Crypt.)

Okay... So what did we answer...? (Keeping it all PC and everything of course, because you can never say what's actually on your mind...).

"Thank you for your email dated 21 May 2010, requesting information on life jackets for children.

Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety provides information on the personal protection equipment, such as PFDs and life jackets, required aboard pleasure craft.

The following persons are exempt from wearing a PFD of appropriate size:
- infants who weigh less than 9 kg (20 lb.)

(Transport Canada recommends that small infants not be brought on board since there are no PFDs that fit them. If an infant weighing less than 9 kg is brought on board, a PFD of the smallest available size must be readily available on board. A parent wearing a PFD should hold the child in his/her arms.)

Information on the Safety Equipment Requirements is available through the Small Vessel Regulations, at the following URL:

Please contact the Office of Boating Safety for additional information.

Tel: 1 800-267-6687 8am-5pm Eastern time

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require additional information.


Us. "

What amazes me in all of this, is that the parents, assuming this child actually has some, are totally missing from this equation. Are they really onboard with putting their infant in this type of potentially perilous situation?

Are there no friggin' adults left anywhere...???


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why I don't "Contribute to a Cure"...

We're again at that time of year when the canvassers for the almighty Cancer Machine beat the bushes for yet more money to mis-spend. I found that this year I could not watch the three-ring circus cavort around me, without making some sort of observation.

I recently sent an e-mail around where I am fortunate enough to work. It was only sent to a designated few, people I actually care about. In it, I tried to explain why I did not and would not, participate in this traditional bout of breast-beating:

To you, my friends here at work...

Every year we are bombarded by television, radio, print and other media campaigns regarding "supporting research to find a cure for cancer".

There are walks, runs, telethons, auctions, lotteries, mountain climbing expeditions, cross-country epics, the list is inexhaustible.

We are just about told point-blank that we should feel guilty if we don't contribute to this billion-dollar annual fleecing of the public's pockets.

I have never been one to support this particular campaign, and here's one of the main reasons why:
I have never been one to do anything, simply because every one else was doing it. In this I remain steadfastly stubborn. Pig-headed, if you will. And proudly so. The only flag you'll find me flying is my own.

We almost all know someone, a relative, a close friend perhaps, or a workmate, who has been ravaged if not killed outright, by some form of cancer.

Surely, not to give something must amount to an affront to their memory, no...? An act perhaps almost treasonous in nature...?

Well... No! It does not. It simply means that contrary to the vast majority who go out of their way every year to ensure that the various self-serving cancer societies are extremely well-funded, you perhaps have taken the time and interest to do a little fact finding of your own...

Maybe you, like an ever-growing number of people, have discovered some very, very unsettling and unsavory facts about all this "cancer research" hoopla...

For one, after squandering literally untold billions on "cancer research and prevention", todays survival rates are virtually unchanged from what they were 80 years ago.

Not only that but for all the research, 'education', etc... there has been no reduction whatsoever in occurences of cancer worldwide. The numbers have done nothing but soar exponentially.

Yet every year, the various cancer research foundations keep dangling the same carrot in front of you, that we're: "so much closer than ever before to finding the cure".

I cannot begin to tell you what an unmitigated load of tripe and bullshit this is.

Words fail me in trying to describe the enormity of the lie which has been foisted on the North American public for lo these many decades.

"So what is the cancer industry worth? A study funded by the Lance Armstrong Foundation, estimated that the global cancer industry is worth $305 billion in 2009, with an estimated 12.9 million new cases of cancer. That’s equivalent to all the exports of Russia in 2009. It is estimated that the industry could be worth $638 billion by 2030." - Exerpt from: "The Cancer Industry is a Money Printing Machine. Do You Trust It?"

"Finding a cure", would essentially entail wiping this industry off the map. Are any of you infantile enough in your innocence, that you would believe they are actually searching for a cure to end their own livelihoods...?

The money raised is going into diagnostics and treatment, because that my friends, is where the money is at. There is no money to be made in curing cancer... and the mighty Cancer Machine is all about the making of the money.

This is of course without even beginning to delve into the horrors of "commonly accepted methods of treatment", chemotherapy and such, which more closely resemble medieval methods of torture than any sound medical practice.

Even qualified physicians damn the practice of chemotherapy:
But hey, don't take it from me. Please... I might be just one crazy person who has his own agenda. And frankly, as my opinions on many things tend to be very rigidly "black or white/right or wrong", I wouldn't believe me either. So please, feel free to explore any of the links that I have listed below. There are literally thousands of others out there, that the Cancer Machine and Big Pharma, cannot block, or stifle, or buy off...

There are alternate, more efficient, less destructive and far less expensive methods of treatment for those who have cancer. Holistic medicine has long been reviled by those who stand to lose their "golden goose". And as far as prevention goes, you will scarecely get the truth from anyone in government or the cancer industry, as again to provide that information, would be at odds with their own financial well-being.

- This NY Times article defines: "Feeding the Cancer Machine":

- Exposing the Cancer Conspiracy:

- Dr. Burzynski Battles the Cancer Industry:

- Cancer Industry Spreads Fear and Disinformation:

- The Cancer Industry: The Classic Expose on the Cancer Establishment, New Updated [1996] Edition:

- Killer cancer treatment: How toxic chemotherapy kills both cancer cells and cancer patients:

- Chemotherapy Kills More People Than It "Cures":

- For more news on the Cancer Industry:

To find out what causes most types of cancer that we as North Americans suffer from (60% is from our diet alone...), check out the website below:

To find out more than perhaps you want to know, check out the following:

So... if you have received this, it's only because I consider you to be a friend of mine. Maybe I would like to see you stick around this earth for a bit longer. What you decide to do with this information, is totally up to you. You know I'm not really a tree hugger, nor am I one of these "Left-Coast neo-hippies" who advertises himself as being a 'vegan'. I still love my "dead cow" as much as the next man. If it has made you think, good for you. I know it has certainly made me think. If it has made you question, so much the better. If it has made you curious to discover more, that's about the best there could be.

For another eye-opener, might I suggest that on a slow weeknight, you rent the movie: "Food Inc."
The link belwo will provide you with some insight on this little gem:,_Inc.

If you decide to delete this on the spot, I will not know and even if you were to tell me you did so, I would not feel hurt or slighted. We're all big kids here and well capable of making our own decisions. I would just like to know that you have more than 'the facts' that the local media outlets trumpet in your ears.

Like I said, I'm just delivering the info. It's what we do here, isn't it...?

Sincere regards,

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Dutch romance...

This morning I attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the National Military Cemetery (Beechwood) here in Ottawa.

Princess Margriet laid a wreath on behalf of the people of the Netherlands, to mark the 65th Anniversary of the liberation of Holland by Canadian troops, in May of 1945.

I had been aware of the significance of this year as far as our military history went and I had sent an e-mail to the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In it I basically thanked them for holding so dear, the memory of our soldiers who laid down their lives to liberate their country. I also confided that I had a deep and abiding respect for the Dutch people because of this.

The Dutch have made a point of teaching their children about us and of our military efforts in their country. They know more about our military than our own people do. We could stand to learn a lot from the Dutch...

I explained that here in Canada, we had never suffered the loss of our freedom and therefore for many who live here, we do not hold it as dear. The Dutch on the other hand, remember only too well the hardships they endured under Nazi occupation. They do not take their freedom or their liberties for granted.

I was surprised to receive a reply e-mail, which I would like to share here:

"Dear Mr. *********,

Thank you very much for your kind message on the occasion of the 65th Anniversary of our Liberation, when we commemorate, on May 4, our Remembrance Day, those who died for our freedom, and celebrate, on May 5, that the Netherlands regained its freedom and independance after five dark years of war. Every year since 1945 we also think of the Canadian troops, our heroes, who played such a pivotal role in the liberation of our country, for which we still are very grateful.

Also, we will never forget that our Crown Princess at the time, Princess Juliana and her Family found a safe haven in Ottawa from 1940 until 1945. They lived in Rockcliffe, first in a small house on Juliana Road, and later at Stornoway.In 1943, Princess Margriet, the younger sister of Queen Beatrix, was born in Ottawa. On the occasion of the birth the Dutch flag was flown on the Peace Tower, the only foreign flag ever to fly on the Peace Tower.

Next week the Princess and her spouse, Prof Van Vollenhoven, will pay an official visit to Canada, including Ottawa. There will be a wreath laying ceremony at the Military National Cemetery of Beechwood Cemetery on May 13, starting at 9 am. In case you are interested you are very welcome to attend. The Princess and her spouse will be present as of 9.10 until approx. 9.40 am.

Thanking you once again for your kind gesture,


Erik Boer,Deputy Head of Mission / Chef de Mission adjoint,
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands / Ambassade du Royaume des Pays Bas,
tel. +1 613 237 5031, # 239,
email / courriel: "

Well, I took Mr. Boer up on his kind invitation and have to admit, it was a great way to start off a Thurdsday. I rode in along the Rockcliffe Parkway, exiting at the Aviation Parkway. From there I trundled up to Old Montreal Road and hung a right, continuing on until I hit St.Laurent. I hung another right and kept on until I reached the entrance to Beechwood Cemetery.

I dismounted as the road was blocked, a Military Police cruiser idling near the barrier. In the distance I could see the crowd gathering by the memorial, which lay at an elevated position in the cemetery. On either side of the cairn, stood 2 tall flagpoles. The Canadian and Netherlands flags snapped smartly in the brisk morning breeze. I asked the young MP Corporal if I could park the bike there and walk the rest of the way. He assured me that it would be fine.

I made my way up the path and blended in with the back row of spectators. The dignitaries had yet to arrive. Good... at least I wasn't adrift for the occasion. They didn't arrive for another 20 minutes beyond that...

The Dutch Air Force band was very well turned out and played very well. The ceremony was touching, dignified and largely silent. The CWO in charge of the detail was an RCR type and looked right at home swinging his ebony pace stick. As could be expected, I got a huge lump in my throat when the bugler played 'The Last Post' and even moreso when the young female Air Force piper played "The Flowers of the Forrest", also known simply in modern days as "The Lament". She did a superb job of it. This ol' Scottish tune dates back to 1756.

I wanted to remain unobtrusive, for as much as one can in full Veterans riding regalia, while being surrounded by uniforms and suits. I think I managed to remain undetected by the CTV camera crews who had taken up position facing the front of the memorial stone. As the dignitaries mingled with the 20 or so older vets who were seated as guests of honour, I slowly made my way down the hill and back to the bike. I got the feeling that I could see myself interred here.

I doubled back along Montreal road so I could finish my ride in along the Parkway. Once out of the traffic, it was an enjoyable ride which got me in a little after 1000hrs. Plenty of time to kill before starting at 1200hrs...

Yep... a very nice way to start the day.