Island Musings

Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it

Tetched in the head — November 19, 2018

Tetched in the head

When you live in a haunted home you tend to keep silent about the haunting as people think yer a bit ‘ tetched in the head’. Well, my family owned a haunted house. It was many years ago. 

In 1976 we purchased our dream house. 6 bedroom century farm house with ocean view from every room. It needed a lot of love. We were young and strong and set out on our dream of being organic hobby farmers. Not long after we moved in, a coworker asked me if we had seen the ghost yet. Huh?  Apparently he knew, through friends of friends that our home was haunted. Of course we snorted in disbelief and went on with our lives. …and yet…
There was an unsettled aura (I can’t think of a better way to describe) about the house. It was common to hear thumps, snaps, cracks over the kitchen and at the back stairs but we just told ourself it was the sounds of a very old house. There was a sense to look over your shoulder and of course no one was there. Still, there was this feeling.
As we began to understand that maybe there was something to the reputation we started doing research and this story in The Buzz is mostly correct. The author is my sister in law.
The chronology is a little off but not by much. We sought out a self described white witch who was reported to lived in our home. Through friends of friends we located her and she agreed to visit and tell us what she knew. I wish I could recall her name.
Before the lady visited an incident occurred which gave pause. My daughter came running up stairs shouting ,”see the man, see the man”.  She was frightened. We dashed downstairs and no one was there. I asked my daughter what she had been doing and she said she was playing with scissors. Could it be a benevolent spirt did not want her to hurt herself?  Around this time doors started slamming with a crack that could wake the devil. It was getting very odd.
When the witch arrived she told us the bedroom over the kitchen had been boarded closed both at the main door and at the back stairs. She removed the barriers and said she immediately felt a spirit in the room. I don’t recall if it was a bad spirit. We decided we would use the ouija board. The indicator flew all over the board but made no sense. When asked for a name, the board spelled out Eugene. I simply don’t recall if we came to any conclusion but that evening the witch thought it was a dark spirit.
We went on with our lives. My sister in law, who is quoted in The Buzz article also told me she had seen glowing orbs in that room.
The oddness continued. Our Corgi dogs would snarl, chase and snap at things only they could see. I once took a picture of the front of the house when no one was home. When the film was developed there was a clear image of a male looking out the bedroom window. Subsequent occupants have been reported as saying their piano would play in the middle of the night – by itself.
Doors continued to slam, odd noises continued. We grew accustomed to the oddness. It was an uncomfortable house to be alone in, but I think that might have been, well, being afraid of a ghost.
At night it was the darkest place I can recall both inside and out. It is hard to explain but it was like something was sucking the light away.
I learned yesterday the house is for sale. It is reported a family bought the house and were excited to move in. A month later they moved out and it is for sale.
Despite all of this it was probably the happiest time in my life. Anything was possible and we had a lifetime ahead of us. It is a beautiful house and was our home for close to 15 years.
Internet speed — November 17, 2018
Cloud — November 16, 2018

Cloud

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

Greg

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 poststar.com 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 —

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.