HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » TrogL » Journal
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 32,809

Journal Archives

The sky is brown, the sun is orange, can't see two blocks

Evacuation alerts, smoke everywhere, coughing, eyes a mess, fire bans including charcoal BBQ's.

It's May. This shit doesn't normally happen until late June.

I used to be a systems analyst there. I was cut about 20 years ago

When I started there they were using Apple III computers and fax machines. Along with others we ushered them through DOS, Windows then into a UNIX-based ORACLE environment with Province-wide networking and radio communication.

If you've ever listened to AM radio during a thunderstorm you've heard the electrical discharge from a lightning strike. The Province was dotted with special sensors that would listen for these and would be able to triangulate the location, determine the intensity and whether or not it was a ground strike. This was digitized into a database live.

There was a weather department that collected data about temperature, humidity, wind speed etc. There was a biology department that kept track of bugs like pine borers. Other people collected information about soil conditions and tree dryness. There were lookout towers watching for smoke. There was also information about every aircraft (including air tankers and helicopters), fire crews and their resources.

All this was run through a complex AI system that predicted forest fire problems.

There was a big room with huge projection monitors. The Duty Officer sat in the middle of this and could bring up maps showing lighting strikes, active fires, aircraft and crew locations, drought conditions, weather, radar and the AI generated fire prediction map. He could then direct resources to the fire and watch them deploy.

One of the big issues was helicopters. They were expensive to rent and god help you if you got one wet by getting one only to have it rain.

Therein lies the problem. The Duty Officer can watch a fire unfold from the lightning strike to the tower report of smoke and have a crew ready to go, but if he can't rent a helicopter or gas up an air tanker and fill it with foam, he's helpless.

Edmonton is a sea of orange signs. What's going on?

Full disclosure I'm sort of a campaign worker for the NDP party.

I drive around the city handing out parking tickets. I live downtown but my route includes the outer suburbs. Even in hardcore Conservative ridings, orange signs are outnumbering blue.

I'm blowing soot out of my nose

I'm a bomb baby. I grew up across the river from the North Tonawanda Air Reserve Base. I've been reliably informed they had nuclear weapons there. I watched US TV from Buffalo NY because they had the good cartoons but they would often have air raid practice drills with the infamous bee-doop alarm.

I was listening to it all day yesterday. The local government has chosen it for its emergency tone for cell phone alerts.

I live in Edmonton in Central Alberta, Canada. Yesterday they had to evacuate near Entwhistle, Evansberg, Leduc and finally near Sherwood Park. I'm surrounded by fires. A couple of years ago I was in the Slave Lake fire that destroyed half the city. I was driving between burning trees, past destroyed businesses dodging abandoned vehicles. I had to go to the hospital because the fire retardant damaged my corneas.

I drive around handing out parking tickets. Yesterday I was watching the smoke a couple of kilometres away and was doing sort of OK until I tried to turn off the highway to go home and there was a fire in my way. That's when I lost it. I drove home through smoke sometimes like mid-heavy fog, coughing and choking.

I did get home yesterday and got calmed down talking on my Zoom AA meeting and sat and watched some TV. Then I had a nosebleed. My sinuses were so dry they spontaneously just let go. I eventually got to sleep and woke up and had to blow my nose. Dried blood mixed with soot.

I was at church last Sunday and an authoritarian made the point that Alberta has often had bad forest fires so this is "normal". I used to work for the Alberta Forest Service. Those fires were in late Summer. This is May.

This is not normal.

"Ron DeSantis is not running against Minnie Mouse"

I live in Canada. Our politics is really boring.

The Alberta Conservative Government is going to pony up $CAN 17 million to fund some addiction and mental health facilities for those in trouble with the law. The local right-wing tabloid reported it as straight news on page 3.

A conservative friend asked my opinion of Trudeau. I mentioned a problem with flights and vacations simular to Thomas' foibles but it's more complicated and nuanced. She had not heard of the issue and didn't understand it when I explained it to her.

I'm old. I remember Walt Disney's Disneyland featuring Annette Funicello. I had Disney books. I've been doing some spring cleaning and discovering the kids' Disney books and videotapes and CDs and DVDs. I've got shelves of the stuff. I subscribe to Disney+. Like it or not, Disney is a big part of Western culture.

I drive around listening to US politics on Satellite radio (Canadian politics would put me to sleep, see above). One of the hosts felt the need to explain "Ron DeSantis is not running against Minnie Mouse". Are you sure? A lot of people seem to share Disney values. I'm betting a lot of Fox viewers have a couple of Disney DVDs on the shelf.

First they came for Disney...

CraftyGal's funeral

We had her celebration of life on Saturday morning. One of her sons flew in from Victoria. Her birth mother and one of my AA sponsees attended on Zoom. We did a Zoom recording but the sound is kinda iffy so I won't post it.

A suborganist played some Bach Choral Preludes. I gave my eulogy based around the serenity prayer.


- due to ongoing kidney problems her life was going to be shortened
- she was not a good candidate for transplant and artificial kidneys wouldn't be ready in time


- heavily involved in neighbourhood cleanup and rejuvenation
- advocacy for wheelchair accessibility
- on City Hall committees, also first name basis with mayor
- provincial and federal politics, knew Premiers and federal Party leaders


- crafts were keeping her sane and alert but her cognition was going
- there wasn't much more the clinic could do
- she died sober

Then my daughter got up and did a short eulogy saying she was a second mother to her.

The service was sung Matins plus the funeral sentences. Psalm 119 part 1. First hymn tune was Puer Nobis Nascitur, the final was St Anne so of course I requested the Bach St Anne fugue which the regular organist couldn't handle, hence the suborganist.

Craftygal is in hospital UPDATE: she's passed

Went into congestive heart failure at the dialysis clinic. They got her back with CPR but beyond the magic 5 minute window. The doctors have already raised the issue of pulling the plug.


CAT scan showed massive brain damage. I saw the images and the folds and fissures you would normally see were gone. The doctor described it as "mush" and not survivable. My daughter and I decided to let them pull the tubes and we went out for a few minutes. By the time we came back she was gone. The nurse said it took moments and she passed quietly.

She had endured years of dialysis and other medical issues.

Montana - is Nazi "Good German Science" back?


Good German Science was a reaction to Einstein's theories that led to the atomic bomb.

Update: it was actually German Physics


The current push appears to be against global climate change and evolution. Pity about gravity.

I saw something sad the other night

Craftygal is incontinent and wears adult briefs. I knew we were getting low but I came down with the flu (update: turned out to be COVID) and was pretty much out of it and didn't realize we'd run out. I was in no condition to run out for more so I signed up for a delivery service and ordered two cases from Walmart.

Quick as a bunny I got notification that someone was in the store shiopping, then they were on their way, then they pulled up. Turned out to be a woman with a child in a car seat. I made a point of way over tipping.

I put no blame on her. I just have visions of her camped out in the Walmart parking lot waiting for her app to chime for her next gig.

Is this what the "gig economy" has brought us to?

What the hell is going on down there with home-grown terrorist attacks on infrastructure?


I grew up in Niagara Falls, Ontario. There's a huge hydroelectric power station. There's powerlines and transformers and shit all over the place. The one time there was an "attack" something broke and caused a huge power outage but it was fixed in a couple of hours. The only outcome was a tiny blip in the birth rate 9 months later.

I now live in Alberta. There's pipelines and refineries everywhere. I'm looking at one right now. The only incidents I can remember are vandals taking potshots at rural pipelines but the leak is discovered almost immediately and it's cleaned up in a couple of days.

We have a Native population who gets understandably upset over some issues but their big thing is blockades that causes a certain amount of havoc but they're reasonable about it and let emergency vehicles through but they sit there playing drums and the RCMP sits there looking bored and the politicians sort it out and everybody goes home.

I look South and go
Go to Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Next »