After due consideration of several options to ensure a proper security check at airports, I came up with the concept as depicted below. Unfortunately, even with this system, there are several nooks and crannies that might present problems. Environmentally, security stations, waiting rooms, and aircraft compartments would require increased heating ... and therefore contribute to global warming.



Goodbye Palps!!!

I was admitted to the Ottawa Heart Institute on 17 April 2008 at 7:00 AM, prepped (lots of sensors, patches needles, etc.) for the procedure (Electrophysiology Study and Ablation), and taken to the operating room at 10:00 AM. The operation lasted an eternity ... well, ... actually 4 hours, and then recovery for another 3 hours. I was released from the hospital about 5:30 PM, and home for supper by 6:00 PM. Soooo, everything done in one day, but most importantly, no more palpitations!!! The following is a bit of a description I've E-Mailed to those who have enquired about my sanity, er, no, my health.

"Last night for the first time in over 2 years I slept through the whole night ... well until Ms. Shooter P. Cat came knocking at precisely 6:00 AM as is her custom. How wonderful to get up without feeling like I've just run a marathon!

"The operation was totally amazing because technology ruled (and of course two very capable doctors and almost a dozen associated staff). I had a good view on the monitor showing the doctors threading the catheters into my heart plus hearing their dialogue to go with it. They actually 'played' with my heart changing the beat-rate during various tests prior to the actual burning process. All the while nurses and assistants made sure all was OK with me including such incidentals as scratching my eye brow which for some reason was driving me crazy and I couldn't move my hands to do it!

"I felt a little pain when they initially inserted the catheters, but basically nothing when they were threading and zapping for fun and profit for the next four hours. The only real pain I had was from having to lie flat and remain still while they burned the bothersome bits in my heart (no achy-breakey heart pain - just a warm feeling when they zapped). My back didn't appreciate the inactivity so progressively voiced it's concern until I had to demand some pain-killer which they actioned promptly. Other than that, I guess the removal of the plethora of patches for monitoring, holding tubes, ECG connections etc. came in a close second on the 'ouch' scale. I now have no hair on most of my body regions therefore matching my head.

"The doctors and staff were marvellous!!! I was treated personally, not like a lab specimen. All their actions were explained fully to me, and they ensured I followed all the necessary rules concerning recovery after the procedure. Dr. Michael Gollob was the primary doctor assisted by an Australian doctor who was on a one and a half year exchange to learn this particular heart operation. After my recovery time (3 hours), both doctors visited me just prior to my departure. I expressed my profuse thanks when they excitedly announced that all had gone extremely well. In fact, I announced to the Aussie, "Good on ya!" at which time he smiled broadly and replied, "Back atcha mate!"

"I was restricted somewhat for a few days until the leaks quit ( two main entrances to my heart: one through the groin and another from my upper-left chest for all the catheters and 'tasers'). Regardless, I now feel great and sooooo relieved to have this palpitation business hopefully finished with (so far so good)." I'm still amazed at how much medical science has advanced - a serious heart operation in one day and only a few warnings about leakage, mountain climbing and running a marathon!

Soooo, guess I'm good for a few more miles ... maybe my golf game will improve????? Sure!!!!!

Below is a picture of the 8"x 10" hand-made card I received from my grandkids. Wow, I'm soooo lucky!!!

    I consider the two most important things in life to be Love and Humour (money is not far behind). I shouldn't have to explain love as I'm sure most of us have "been there and done it."

    But humour comes in so many forms, and I have been accused of having a very offbeat sense of humour. This is probably true as evidenced by these Far Side Cartoons which are among my favorites!



- The following are a few of the stories and articles which I have written in the last few years. Some have been published, and for this I am eternally grateful. It adds some credence to my second profession as a freelance writer! Others will no doubt be recognized as my fame spreads (I can dream can't I!).


And of course there are the household chores which eat up much of my sparse spare time ... mostly ... maybe?



It's all explained in the following article I wrote!

"Now that you are retired, what do you do with all your time?" (Published in the Ottawa Citizen on 4 Jan '99)

OK? Do you agree?

In May 1995 I was coerced and cajoled by my dear and long suffering mate (not as depicted in the above cartoon) into putting pen-to-paper (actually fingers-to-keyboard - but all famous writers say this) and describe my life to that point. The reason? "For the sake of posterity!" So, take a look and judge me accordingly - maybe it will explain my idiosyncrasies!

A recent vignette concerning birds in trouble at our local beach - Shriking News!

An unforgettable experience - "Christmas in England, 1970"

A memorable summer on the farm - "Growing Up".

My first article to be published resulted from experiences with a new vacuum cleaner!

Our first CAMPING trip. A true description (mostly)!

WARNING!!! This article may be dangerous to your health!

Religions, an assessment of their adverse and illogical affect on our existence!

My tribute to a departed friend, truly missed.

This article expresses my opinions concerning prejudice and those that are different.

Morning. I rediscover the AM.

Some amusing TAGLINES I ran across in my web surfing. Try them, you'll like them!

DOGGONE IT - RULES ARE RULES! My friend's brush with "Bureaucracy in the Burbs."

Failing Gracefully. "Widgets of the World, Unite!"

Stratford Comedy - We meet Barney Fife in Stratford picnic ground.


My Not So New Toy!


    In November 2004 I finally decided to replace my outdated Dell Dimension XPS-R 400 PII. After looking over all Dell's choices, I decided on the Dell Dimension 4700C as it's compact size and extreme capabilities totally met my imagined requirements.

In 2012, after eight years of excellent performance by the 4700C, I had to make a decision - buy a new computer or upgrade it as eight years of daily work on the hard drive meant catastrophic failure was likely imminent! Being satisfied with the Dimension's performance, I decided to replace the hard drive with a new, larger drive but to avoid all the time and effort reloading all the programs, settings, etc. I would 'clone' the old drive to the new one. I approached my expert, son Dan, and he felt we could do this without too much trouble. The new drive would be installed in an external case and hooked up to the computer in the usual fashion by a USB connector. Using a free cloning program available on the web, the complete contents of the old drive are copied to the new drive and then the new drive is installed on the computer replacing the old drive. Dan provided me with a new drive twice the size of the old one and the cloning was transferred successfully with only one glitch - the new drive only showed the capacity of the old one, not double the size. Dan rectified that and all went well ... that is until 3 months later when the new drive quit!!! Back to the drawing board, a new Western Digital 1 TB drive plus using Clonezilla to transfer the data and Partition Wizard to increase the drive size to take advantage of the much larger drive and we're back in business.

Additionally, I doubled the internal memory (now 3.37 GB RAM) so performance has noticibly improved! And, of course, the cost has been minimal!!!  

Here are the particulars. As can be seen, this makes for a very compact arrangement.

Dimension 4700C Series, Intel Pentium 4 Processor 540 (3.2GHz) with HT Technology

Memory: 3.37GB DDR2 SDRAM at 400MHz

Keyboard: Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

Monitor: 19 in (19.0 in viewable) 1905FP Digital Flat Panel Display

Video Card : 64MB PCI Express x16 (DVI/TV- out) ATI Radeon X300 SE

Hard Drive: 465 GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)

Floppy Disk Drive: 1.44MB External USB floppy dri (311-4410)

Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional,Service Pack 2, English

NIC: Integrated 10/100 Ethernet

Modem: Integrated 56K MDC Data/Fax modem

8X DVD+/-RW Drive

Sound Card: Integrated Audio

Speakers: Dell 5650 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers System with Subwoofer

Bundled Software: Microsoft Office 2003 Basic Edition,Dimension,BSD

Dell Jukebox Plus powered by MUSICMATCH

Combo Photo Album and Shop Pro

Microsoft Plus! for Windows XPand Microsoft Plus! Digital Media Edition, Drop in box

Dell 8 in 1 Flash Memory Reader w/ front access 1394

Sonic RecordNow Plus and MyDVDDeluxe Software for Dual LayerDVD+RW Drives

Dell Media Experience Deluxe

Remote Control for Dell Media Experience with IR receiver for Dimension

Money 2004 Deluxe Version for Dimension

Also, Word Perfect Office 12 bought as an extra as we prefer WP to Word!

 One especially neat feature is the door on the front that opens up to reveal the DVD drive, and also slots for every conceivable type of camera, etc. memory card.


Its obvious that this computer met with Ms. Shooter P.Cat's approval - at least the screen saver which she enjoyed watching from MY chair!


 If any of you are in the market for a new computer I suggest you check out Dell. I'm very satisfied, and I'm sure you will be as well.

"Quality products and Excellent Support"







Of Course with every new computer, its necessary to install stuff ... not fun!


And just when everything is finally working ...

The plans were to network the old computer out of Judy's office, but as the wireless venture didn't work it will be used for kids' (of all ages) games, thus freeing the new one for more serious ventures such as ... e-mail and letters to the editor. Regardless, I hope we're not getting to the stage as depicted in the following cartoon!



Another NEW TOY

In early May '05, I took delivery of a new Infiniti G35X sedan. It is without a doubt the finest car I've ever owned, and this is backed up by all the excellent reviews it has received in the auto mags, etc.

As of September, 2012 I have 72,000 kms on it, and am extremely satisfied with it's performance! Also, the service provided by the dealership has been top rate - free loaners, car wash, etc. I suppose this is as it should be for an automobile of this class.

Here are a few pictures of "The Blackmobile," followed by the vehicle specifications and descriptions:






Type Sedan 5 passengers 4 doors


Base Engine 3.5L V6 DOHC 24 valves

HP (hp@tr/min) 280 @ 6200

Torque (lb.ft@min) 270 @ 4800

Drivetrain all-wheel drive

Transmission 5 speed automatic with manual mode

Brakes (front/rear) 4 wheel disc, ABS Brakes, Power Steering


Maximum Speed (km/h) 230

Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s) 7.6


Driver Airbag, Passenger Airbag , Side Airbags, Traction Control, Rear Child Locks, Alarm System


Seat Trim Leather, Heated Front Seats


Air Conditioning auto climate control, Rear Air Conditioning

Cruise Control, Power Locks, Power Windows, Adjustable Steering power telescopic tilt


AM/FM Radio with CD In-dash 6 CD changer and MP3 player


Tires P215/55R17, Alloy Wheels, Sunroof


Length (mm) 4,747 mm

Width (mm) 1,753 mm

Height (mm) 1,466 mm

Wheelbase (mm) 2,850

Curb Weight (kg) 1,664 kg

Trunk Size (L) 334 L


Basic Warranty 100 000 km / 48 months

Powertrain 110 000 km / 72 months

Perforation Corrosion Unlimited km / 84 months

Roadside Assistance Unlimited km / 48 months


Unfortunately, this meant selling the '95 Probe GT. It had served me well, but I recognized the requirement for a sedan. As can be seen, the G35X has the room, and much, much more ... including the cost of fuel!!! That big engine really enjoys, in fact, insists on Premium Fuel and the operator loves acceleration. The result of course is some interesting fill-ups these days (Sep 2012).

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