Sunday, July 31, 2016

Cottage Report - Aug long weekend

Sat was absolutely ideal.  This is what you work for, and why you endure the bugs.  All for a single nice day.  :)  Sun was cloudy with a threat of rain.  It is so dry here, so we are hoping for rain.  Not yet a record drought, but rain would be nice.

add:  Monday closed absolutely perfect.  The next best thing to being rich is having rich cottage neighbours.  My two big kids were needed for extra weight on the big wake boat, so they had a lot of fun surfing.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The age of negative interest rates

Grouchy inspiration

We are entering a new era.  I don't really care since I have my defined-benefit pension, but I can't figure out what we are into this time.  As a physics person, I look into fundamental forces.  The dirty thirties had a fundamental force of over-population for food and the economy.  These population cycles always led to Napoleonic war, and somewhat mitigated in the last few hundred years by shipping people to new lands.

Many of current terrorist problems are basically food riots.  In the 30's, they just got on trains and moved around with giant hobo camps.  Imagine if they were angry and had guns.  In the Arab countries they wasted all the oil boom money, and didn't worry about food.  Now it hits the fan.  Even Saudi only has a year or two before food riots, since nobody wants oil.  And if this is true, nobody will want oil again.

So what will happen to us in North America, since we can write off the Euros.  :)  Our banks are issuing negative interest bonds backed by Canadian mortgages.  This seems stupid, since the mortgage fees will go to zero, or perhaps people will be paid to buy a house.  It will just like the Americans, with their free mortgages (due to a tax writeoff).  Housing prices will go to ridiculous levels if we pay foreign investors to pump up house prices.  Like I've said before, nearly all the luxury condos downtown are sealed and empty.  I don't how Tory is going to tax that.  Who can prove a house is empty?  We'll soon have Uber-House, where people zoom to a house to make it looked lived in.  :)

All insanity ends in tears.  All available money will go to housing instead of sound investment.  We'll be like the Arabs, gorging on housing as a form of oil boom.  I'd advise my kids to ride this boom, and then cash out, and buy a small hydroelectric dam.  :)  Of course, everybody wants to ride and cash out just before it crashes.  Never happens.  

On a positive note, this will hit the rest of the world worse than us.  We will continue to attract the best brains from all over the gutted world.  When the silliness ends, we will recover.  Although the first article rails against the 'elite', they got the nuclear bombs, and their secret accounts in Panama.  The world is basically safe. :)

ps.  the problem with coming up with something good for the world economy is that you have to be a psycho like jobs-musk-linus to push brains until they drop dead.  vw tried to do in euro 'Make a clean diesel or we'll kill you.' and look what happened.  They came up with a simple program and went back to their euro life.  :)  Did you notice the artificial leaf people were mid-east?  Building things at the nano level will be the new economic driver.

pps.  I can't tell how many people are actually reading this because the Russians are link-spamming my blog.  Must have listened to trumpy.  :)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Trid - the game to shred your brain

It's free on the Android play store.  A new study shows that maybe shredding your brain once will free you forever from alzies.  Probably a better chance than those drugs that keep failing.

I've started the game, and I'm terrible (better than my wife!).  I go a few rounds and feel like my brain has been shredded.  I don't know if I can make it to the required 10 hours.  Young people could probably do it, but then they'll fall off a cliff chasing pokies.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Linux - KDE and other goodies

I run everything I have on Linux.  That's because I get the leftovers from the kids who just *have* to run Winnie.  When their laptops don't 'work' any more, I get them and they zoom on Linux.  As well, if you like to explore the sketchier side of the internet, you need Linux.  My son was devastated when they took down kicky-torrents, but it didn't bother me.

My favourite desktop is KDE.  I tried many others, but I always am happiest with this.  However, the reason I've tried all the others is that kde is totally euro, and regularly becomes unusable despite my massive efforts.  This is written and maintained by union people who take long lunch breaks and take the whole summer off to go sailing.  :)

The latest thing, was that kde refused to mount usb sticks after its latest upgrade.  I followed this to alter the registry to make it work.  blah

I did find a nice trick when making a new kernel for a laptop.  You have to compile the kernel and on a laptop it takes forever.  The trick is to do the usual 'make menuconfig' and then get out (or you face a zillion questions).  Then do 'make localmodconfig'  which eliminates the thousands of ticks for devices you never heard of.  Then compile ten times faster, with a zippier computer at the end.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Bruce nuclear deep black hole - weaseling as an art form


I just check on this soap opera once in a while.  In the last episode, the newly minted gov't asked for their studies on alternative sites.  They never studied alternative sites, so they are going to rehash some of the generic crap for the granitic rock of N. Ontario.  They are delaying for the legalization of cannabis, in the hopes that nobody will care at that point.  :)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Physics - El Nino still having a huge effect

This is the MIMIC shot of warm wet air.  If we have a stable thick band at the equator, then the Earth is in maximum insulating mode.  The warm air rises from the hot water, and the heat comes down as rain.  This is physics.  Almost no heat is radiated out into space, and the satellite microwave readings are low.

But the ocean currents are chaotically unstable and do what they want.  The shortest cycle we know is El Nino, but there are longer ones that we don't know about, since we haven't been around that long, and the cycles leave no trace, except for tree rings and other things such as major ice advances, interglacials, and mini versions of the same.

Normally we would expect that the huge heat energy loss to hit us by now, but this thing is lingering forever.  Natural gas futures have zoomed up,along with OK earthquakes, but I don't know if we will have the expected cold winter.  Could be next year before the 'rebound'.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Cottage Report - Hot

I came up alone with the dog.  I like it when it's extremely hot with no wind.  Then I can lounge under the dock tent and pretend to fish.  Something reminded me of all the 'rights of passage' with the young folk around the lake.  Everybody's kids get one chance to live the beer commercials.  Then somebody has to clean up the barf, and that's that.

I had mine during Grade 13, which is now 1'st year for the modern kids.  I took up a bunch of friends from our 'Outers Club'.  We went canoeing up to the top lake, and then afterwards had a big party at the cottage.  Somebody had also brought up some really poor cannabis.  All I remember is that one of the girls had alcohol toxicity, and rushed out to go for a midnight skinny dip.  Even in our state of minds, we realized that was a bad idea.  So at the edge of the lake we had to tackled a naked barfing girl, and manhandle her back up to the cottage.  I think that turned me off sex for a whole month.

Now, boys can have their own drinking party.  We picked up floating beer bottles all over the lake for the neighbour's.  And our own son had one with his guy friends, any I wasn't stupid enough to leave them alone.  I came along and had to clean up all the barf.  I think it's the same as letting the young boys smoke their first cigars at the cottage.  A lot of clean-up as well.

Girls have to bring their boyfriends, and have a lot of sex.  However, they are ones to clean up.  The sad life of girl.  :)  The boys they bring along don't learn anything.

By facing this directly, my kids have sworn off this stuff, and are in a position to support me in my old age.  The only thing to get them off this whole alcohol and drugs stuff is letting them clean up the next day, and hiding the ibuprofen.  :)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Feral 'Scratchy Kitty' goes out

Hello Harold,

Thank you for contacting 311 Toronto.

Unfortunately Toronto Animal Services does not pick up feral cats unless the animal is injured. Animal Services advises to release the cat back or have it taken to a Animal Shelter to be neutered to help control the cat population. For further information please contact one of the local Animal Services shelters below.

I will release Scratchy Kitty and hope it doesn't whine for it's mother all over the place.  It has had a good meal, but it hates humans.

Geotech #17a

Just a view after we got our only inch of rain for the summer.

It will be difficult to put a grass mat on that.  The silt is right on the cobble in-fill.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Always the chance of big offshore earthquakes

A very weird M3.7 earthquake off Florida the other day.  This is just a reminder that our 'passive margin' can be quite active.  The ocean crust gets colder, and sediments from the interior just pile on.  In another 100 million years or so, the basaltic ocean crust starts to plunge, and the next thing you know we have a subduction zone.  Just another day with the Wheel of Plate Tectonics.

Anyway, all the cities along the passive margin share the same odds as any other earthquake, of about 1 in 500 per year of a devastating earthquake.  And these cities have very old brick brownstones on swamp, I just stayed in one in NYC.  So, if you are the totally paranoid type, check your foundation, if you are in a multi-story old brick building.  This is best done by my handy-dandy accelerometer, doing a noise test.  Or you can check around at people installing fencing.  Since nobody will ever do this, I don't worry about mass-producing my device, or even making a working version.  :)

Embarassing footnote:  A navy test explosion.  Still, everything above is true.  :(

Friday, July 15, 2016

China and my dog

There is so much tragedy in the world, that it's good to have a laugh once in a while.  We can laugh at China having egg on its face with the big defeat at the World Court.  Although the media is hyping anxiety all over the place (that's how they make money), this is one deflated anxiety balloon.

China is like my dog, with warring factions, but in my dog, it's all in her brain.  She barks and puts on a tough show, but all she wants is a treat and a cuddle.  Once you bribe her, she loves you forever.  Here is a top-secret inside China discussion, translated into Dog

"Let's nuke Taiwan."  "Are you kidding, my cousin has a shopping mall there."  (Bark, bark)

"Let's nuke Vancouver."  "No, that's where I plan to retire."  (Bark, where's my treat?)

"Let's really piss off the Americans."  "No, they buy half our stuff" (Whimper, how about a treat?)

"Let's do something".  "You can have nice shiny missiles and big piles of dirt.  It'll keep the Americans happy, with something to do"  (Jump up and down.  Yeah, I get a treat!"

I wrote this because China is now into bribing blog writers (no offers yet).  They can buy the whole South China Sea, at less cost per square foot than Vancouver housing.  This will be the next step.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Geotech #17 - Desert Engineering

I've been away from this for over a month.  Since then, there has been virtually no rain.  Under these conditions, you can make a big pile of dirt, and nothing will happen to it.  The cottage got 2 inches of rain the other day, and the ground sucked it up like a sponge, now it looks as dry as ever.  For this to be interesting we need a slug of at least 4 inches.

The Big Earthquake Hype Machine


This is just the latest on the media's series 'Cities that Wait to Die'.  There are countless cities that wait to die with the rare 1 in 500 per year earthquake or tsunami.  They are hyped by seismologists who want money.

Good old Toronto is in the same category.  I have pushing for years that a city should not die with the 1 in 500 year earthquake.  The building code ensures this sort of death, because the goal is that people can walk out of a building at those odds, but the building becomes useless.  Add bridges, hospitals, nuclear plants, and that is certain economic death.  All of these die with that sort of earthquake.

Of course, with the stone cities on swamp, there are millions of deaths.  But nothing can be done before and after.  Modern cities can do something, and the economic output of New York City (all lost) easily matches the millions dead in Bangladesh.  Don't forget that when the world loses a huge hunk of the economy, millions still die because the global standard of living is pushed down.

My evil twin waits for a modern city to go down because all current seismic engineering is crap.  It is based on 'tradition', and we haven't had a 'learning earthquake' in a long time.  Horrible things are being built, all because the scaling is based on peak acceleration and they are still using sinusoidal motion.  Blah.

Even a big earthquake in Oklahoma will be useless for this because there is no instrumentation.  All the US money goes to California where it is nice and sunny for seismologists.  I don't begrudge them their happy life, but eventually something must be done.

Pokemon Go Dead Already

According to my son.  It didn't take long for the super-fanatics to hack or buy huge powers.  It's a simple matter of arms escalation.  I remember when the kids went through the 'super soaker' phase.  They all wanted bigger and bigger guns to blast their friends.  Finally, the hose put an end to all that.  :)  Somewhat like the nuclear bomb putting an end to Napoleonic conquest.

A long time ago we first dipped into warcraft.  You come out newly-minted with your pathetic free powers, and the next thing you know you are killed by someone masquerading as a beginner with some invisible super-power right behind them.  You didn't know what hit you.

ps.  the game creators should automatically create something very valuable at the epicentre of every earthquake.  So neat, to have two disasters hit!  :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Cottage Report

I stayed up alone Monday and Tuesday.  Monday was paradise for me, since my fish-mad neighbour gave me some stuff that the fish go mad for.  Can you imagine bubblegum coloured rubber worms?  Caught enough now for a meal.  I usually only have one bass meal per year.  That stuff is rich.

Tuesday was super hot but we had a very strong on-shore breeze which made me fold up all my shade stuff.  No shade on the dock and I went home early.  Also because the dock shade is one mean horsefly killer, and those things are still running rampant.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Cottage Report

The last 2 days we had 2 inches of rain.  Thus, ends our drought.  Still only catching tiny fish, blah.  The weather is great now, fresh North air, and lots of sun.  Not so hot and humid.  No pokemon found at the cottage.  My son will have to go back to the city to regain his skydome.  :)

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Idiot son risking his life in Toronto with Pokemon Go

He's sneaking all around the city, in his all-black Pokemon ninja outfit, equipped with the necessary Pokemon catcher.  He roams at night, breaking in to all sorts of places, finding dead bodies, and going into the Neighbourhoods of Death, capturing territory and defending against all comers.

**the preceding was a digest of all the Pokemon Go stories I just read.  My son tells me he is playing it 'illegally' in Toronto, since it has not been released yet for the city.  Nevertheless he is claiming the skydome, since nobody else is around. :)

ps - no horrible places in Toronto where you can get shot.  You can get shot anywhere!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Oklahoma opens up new earthquake frontier

They love the 'frontier' references down there.  And now they have opened up a new earthquake zone just SW of OK City.  This fact has been sealed with an M3.4 intensity 5, which indicates a shallow thrust.  There have also been some deep earthquakes all at the same spot.  A new earthquake zone means only one thing, they got shipments of fresh-water fracking waste.  They might have been injecting 'produced' water there before, or these could be new holes.  Whatever it is, we'll never find out because all that is secret.  Anyway OK maintains a good rate of 3 3's a day, and the other day it looked like the rate doubled.  We'll see if that is the case.

ps.  Whoa!  Just as I was writing this from my sweltering cottage, they got a deep m4.2 which has been reported as over 5 by many seismometers.  I'll call it a 5 and it confirms that the rate has doubled.  I had predicted this with the huge jump in natgas futures.

ps2.  So that 5 was a strike-slip, directivity to the NE, followed immediately by a deeper one, strike-slip to the NE again.  Can't seem to get a world rating for this one, so I don't know if it was more of a 5 or not.

ps3.  lots of big earthquakes.  Should have a 6 soon, but if it is deep normal, nobody will care.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Canada Day Cottage Report

Beautiful weekend even if Canada Day was a washout.  That's ok, because we really need the rain.  Only a few mm, not enough to cause landslides.  This week's bug is the horsefly, by the millions.  I have a sun shelter on the dock, and I sprayed the inside with home defence.  I called it the 'Tent of Death', because those darn flies like to land on the inside before they swoop.  Ha Ha!  Die, you suckers!