Island Musings

Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it

Internet speed — November 17, 2018
Cloud — November 16, 2018


The cloud this, the cloud that. …if you are even remotely aware of things technical you have heard of the cloud and you may be using the cloud now. If you have a computer you store stuff on it. Pictures, music, programs etc.  You probably have a hard drive of some sort that is used for storage and hard drives get full. If you have a Windows system your first hard drive is called drive C. If you use a Mac or Android system the directory structure is more confusing but the concept is similar. 
As I treated myself to a Nvidia Shield Pro home server (highly recommenced) I started thinking about cloud data storage. There are many options; Dropbox, Amazon, Microsoft, google drive etc. As an amazon prime customer I have access to Amazon Prime Photos and I have a google drive.
The Shield runs on the Android TV operating system and needs an app to manage files. (Much like Windows Explorer). Thus, after trying many i settled on Total File Commander. Using TFK I mapped the two cloud services I use as additional storage and they appear as simple directories on my system. Windows would label these drives with an alpha designation whereas Android has a friendly naming convention.
My system now shows:
Internal storage (the 500 g hard drive installed in the Shield)
USB storage (the 1 T Seagate USB hard drive plugged in the Shield)
Google drive
Amazon Photos
I now have access to far more storage than I am ever likely to need but more is better, right?
Greg — November 15, 2018


1965 was a big year. I turned legal for consumption of alcohol and was required by law to register with the US Selective Service. Most of my friends were of similar age and the war in Vietnam was a looming Spector of worry. We were all proud of being Americans and most of us were opposed to the war – not because of fear but because of the fundamental wrongness of the conflict. It was a time of conflict. By registering with the Selective Service our names went into the draft lottery and we became fresh meat to fuel the slaughter happening in South East Asia. 

Most nights we would gather, drink cheap beer and prepare for the rest the night adventure. One of the guys who was an infrequent participant in our group was Greg  Burdo. I remember him as a school mate, a wirey energetic guy with a great laugh and attitude. At some point Greg’s number was drawn, he was drafted and disappeared from our circle and joined many other young men fighting in SE Asia. 

He returned forever changed. When Greg returned he moved to the woods. A basic shelter of plastic sheets, scrap plywood and canvas and for over 40 years that is where he has remained. Urban development has occurred around him but his little spot remains. 

He was befriended by a local blogger and newspaper reporter who has published various pieces about Greg. I have followed the articles. Greg has had some help over the years, but not much. You can tell the reporter likes and respects the man.

If you have an interest go to and search for ‘Greg Burdo’. The articles are all there. As I listen to the wind howl I can’t help but think of Greg and his home. But for some luck my name could have been drawn in the lottery and my life could have taken a different path.
Count your blessings.
A man — November 12, 2018

A man

My paternal grandfather died in 1964 and memories of him have been creeping into my consciousness lately. Gramps, as he wished to be referred to, was a man. He was educated, refined and a real gentleman. That said, he was no liberal snowflake. Just the opposite. In the vernacular of the day he was a man’s man. He surveyed much of what is the current state of Maine on horseback and spent weeks at a time in what was wilderness. He was a veteran of WW1 and when he spoke of other veterans his voice lowered and he would get the 1000 yard stare. I adored him. He had opinions about what a boy should learn and he was not reluctant to proceed to teach me. 

I was about 8 when he turned to my grandmother and said, “it is time the boy learned to swim”. He picked me up, waded out to deeper water, released me and said, “swim boy”. I did and I had no fear. 

When I was 10 he presented me with his old single shot 22 rifle. The following weekends he taught be about firearm safety, how to clean a firearm and how to store a firearm. (It was my gun, but it stayed in gramp’s locked gun case). He had no interest in sport hunting but from his days in the wilderness was comfortable in hunting for food or to protect a camp from roaming carnivores. 

He showed me how to build a rock dam in an Adirondack stream and return in a week to find it teeming with little crawfish like critters that made perfect bait for fishing. We built a worm farm with coffee grounds and soil so we always had bait. 

He taught me how to cast a fly rod and how clean the rod after every use. When dissembling the rod is was mandatory to rub the male end of the connection on the side of your nose to lube with natural oil. 

He showed me how to move through the Adirondack forest with a light step and I learned the pleasure of sitting quietly and watching and listening. Small wild critters quickly realized we were no threat. He showed me how to use a compass (one of my friends just guffawed), but alas I am one of those unfortunates born without a sense of direction.

In my memories of him I can’t recall hearing a harsh word or a word spoken in anger. He had strong opinions and was not reluctant to speak them but he would always respectfully listen to the opinion of others.

His final days were spent hospitalized and then was the only time I heard him complain. He did not complain about the pain, or of being sick, but rather of his loss of independence. He was a man.

Sent from my iPad

Feels like yesterday — November 9, 2018

Feels like yesterday

It was 30 years ago that Byron Carr was murdered and it feels like it was just yesterday. I remember the rumours that prominent people who were known in the gay community were involved and subsequently (apparently) eliminated from suspicion. It is hard to believe that a place that thrives on gossip has not come forth with a viable lead for police to pursue.

We should not forget Stephen O’Obrien who disappeared from Charlottetown 25 years ago. Another mystery unsolved.

Listening —


I have two Amazon Alexa devices, one at each end of our home. They are used daily. 

Last evening Herself and I were discussing the merits of the Leptospirosis vaccine for the puppies. This morning when I opened my iPad to read the morning news feed there was an article regarding Leptospirosis. Hmmm, maybe it is time to reconsider having an always on and listening device in our home.
I have never searched the Internet for Leptospirosis.

Sent from my iPad
Shaking head… again — November 8, 2018

Shaking head… again

I just listened to a poised young lady who was present in the California bar where there was yet again another mass shooting. She mentioned that her parents had trained her as to what to do in a situation such as this.

Think about that for a minute. Thoughtful loving parents taught their daughter what to do if a crazy starting shooting in a place where kids gather to have fun.

A complex problem — November 7, 2018

A complex problem

I have a friend with a chronic infection in his leg. He has been treated locally by various components of our medical system including hospitalization, referral to New Brunswick and quality care from local speciality clinics. The infection is beat  back by various antibiotics only to reoccur. Is is a serious limb threatening condition. Our provincial system is doing its best. 

Yesterday’s his wound was oozing puss, he had a high fever and felt awful. A call to the wound clinic resulted in no support and he had no choice but to go to the emergency facility. He arrived at 3 PM and as of last evening at 8:30 PM his wound was still oozing, his fever was increasing and he continued to watch those more urgent come and go. I have not called to see when he was seen by attending care givers. 

To be clear, I am not criticizing the hard working staff of the hospital. My family And numerous acquaintances have received exceptional care when needed. What I do have concern about is accessing emergency care or specialists on a timely basis. 

It is time to impose a nominal fee at emerg, and eliminate Billy Bob visiting because he can’t eat his chicken nuggets. (Actual case told to me by an emerg room doc). At the same time increase the number and hours of walk in clinics by 30%. People need medical care and without family docs in sufficient numbers many have no choice but to attend walk in clinics. 

I know I am over simplifying a solution to a complex problem but we could start by diverting money loaned to friends of the government of the day (..and which would qualify for a commercial bank load) and invest that in medical access. 

A breeze it was — November 5, 2018

A breeze it was

To be defined as a hurricane wind speed must reach 119 KPH. I recorded 112 KPH on my roof Saturday night \ Sunday morning. Very close. The SW wind took down a mature Spruce which measured 11 inches at the break. The break was 9 feet from the ground and when it came down is landed on a section of chain link fence.

Perspective —


Back in the day my family would go the woods, fell 15 ish cords of hardwood and haul it home where we would block it into stove chunks. It would air dry and then stacked in the basement. When winter arrived we would feed two stoves to heat our 6 bedroom North Shore farmhouse (no insulation). It was never warm but we were healthy and fit.

Today I felt a bit of chill and reached for the remote control to increase the heat pump output by a degree.