Island Musings

Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it

KISS — November 4, 2018


A somewhat simplified explanation of the two houses forming the US Congress. From Quora.

The House and the Senate are the two houses of congress. They have fairly similar levels of power, in that they both have to pass a bill in order for it to become law (which is the chief power of congress).  The difference between them is that Representatives are based on population, each one intended to represent a specific group of citizens.  Originally, the plan was to have a Representative for every 30,000 Americans, but the population grew too big for that, so we’ve capped the number of Representatives at 435.  In any case, each state is divided into congressional districts, and your congressperson is supposed to represent you in the Federal government. They’re the one you’re supposed to go to if you have a problem with how the country is being run.
The Senate, on the other hand, is supposed to represent the interests of the states.  Each state gets two senators (no matter how big or small they are).  Originally, they were appointed by the state legislatures, but all states have gone over to voting for Senators directly.
The Senate was intended to be the more deliberative body, impacted less by the winds of politics and more given to in-depth examination (they serve six-year terms and have a tradition of unlimited debate).  The House was intended to be more vibrant, faster moving and closer to the people (they serve two-year terms and have strict limits on how long each member can speak).  The hope of this system was to strike a compromise between the dynamic populism of direct democracy and a more high-minded statesmanship.  At the same time, it was hoped to strike a compromise between the power of the big states (who have more representatives) and the small ones (who get the same Senate representation for a smaller population).
In practice, they don’t function that much differently.  Senators have to have statewide appeal, instead of appealing only to one districts, which means that colorful characters tend to be more common in the House.  The Senate is also uniquely able to block legislation because of the filibuster.  Other than that, they operate largely the same way.

How much is enough — November 3, 2018

How much is enough

How much is enough

Xplornet now has various tiers of data allowance including a no limit plan. As an Xplornet customer I am provided with a report of how much data our account consumes. 

Our consumption devises include 2 cell phones (seldom used), two iPads (used daily and frequently), 2 Alexa devises, streaming radio, a number of smart lights and one TV which streams programming (most evenings). 

I suspect Winter will bring more use.

Our consumption has been:

Sent from my iPad

Mail carrier —
Watch this closely — November 2, 2018

Watch this closely

From CBC..

After the meeting, Irving told reporters his company is “now in talks with the government trying to find ways to make sure we can have a collaborative plan to manage the water use on Prince Edward Island. We’re trying to find a solution through our growers, through the government and ourselves, to find the right means to manage water here.”

When we turn on our tap and salt water comes out I will say, “told ya so”.

Scab? — November 1, 2018


I have been waiting for a package delivery via Canada Post Parcel and tracking showed it showed up in Charlottetown late yesterday. As there was a strike event in Charlottetown I expected a lengthy delay as the backlog was sorted for delivery.

To my surprise an unmarked vehicle pulled in my driveway and left the package at my door.

I am presuming (perhaps incorrectly), that rural delivery is via non union employees. Anyone know? If I am correct what is the etiquette \ protocol for non union employees during a union mandated strike. Just curious.

Postal strike —

Postal strike

In the late 70s when Canada Post workers were in an unsettled state and strikes or threat of strikes was disrupting the industry I was employed in, a solution was proposed.

ICS (insurance courier system) was funded to continue the reliable delivery of mail within the insurance system. At the time the industry was reliant on the timely delivery of paper mail.

ICS was formed 40 years ago and remains a vibrant profitable business to business courier. Most intra company mail is still handled by ICS as it has proved to be efficient and cost effective alternative to the convential mail system.

Saying thank you — October 31, 2018

Saying thank you

Having spent most of my working career in some sort of customer service role I have fairly high expectations when I am the customer. 42 years working with 3 generations of the Hyndman family infused in my work ethic that the customer is king (or queen).

When I receive bad service I seldom make the effort to try and get it corrected, mostly because it is a large company where no one cares. (Bell as an example).

When I receive good service I have started contacting the provider, thanking them or pointing out an individual who has provided me with exceptional service. Without exception this has been met with surprise and appreciation and all have been grateful for my contact.

Years ago I received appalling service from a (then) Irving owned company. I wrote to Arthur Irving. I received a letter from Mr. Irving, an personal apology and a visit from the company to correct the shoddy work. It is the only time a big company has responded to my complaint and corrected a problem. My limited experience with Irving companies has been excellent.

Why a VPN —
Call me —
Linux — October 30, 2018


I have been puttering about technology since 1967 when I started learning on an IBM system that literally filled a large room. I have been intrigued since then and have been a hobbiest since. As a result, I have been a keen observer of changes that at times can be overwhelming. I first became aware of Linux when I was a customer of a wonderful little company called Island Services Network. (ISN). ISN ran their ISP on Linux and their technology guru, Charles Tassel could do astonishing things with this operating system. 

Linux is to those of us who just dabble, complicated. Much of the programming is done at the command line and there is a steep learning curve. A few companies built a point, click and grunt front end but for me, it was still too complicated. Windows 95 brought the point and click approach to the masses and I gave up on Linux.
In my ignorance I relegated Linux to the geeks world and did not take it seriously. Today I read that IBM has purchased Red Hat Linux for $34,000,000,000. Wow. I sure was wrong.
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