How to spook your Nav system

I recently took possession of a new vehicle for which the salesman promoted the INFOTAINMENT system package. We took it – after all I wanted better control over my music, and I like to see myself saving gas.

SO – as a side ‘benefit’ there is a satellite/GPS based NAV system. Its neat, I appreciate the technology, although if you don’t set a destination it goes all murky at night, and even in the day if its overcast and gloomy. I sometimes have it on just to see all the side streets I’m bypassing in unfamiliar areas.

I have had it several months now – but as I know my way around pretty well I have never asked it to direct me anywhere. However, the other night I was in Almonte (40 minutes west of Ottawa) wanting to go back to Perth (30 minutes roughly south west.) I knew the way perfectly well by major highways but I wanted the scenic route – in the gathering gloomy of a February evening. I also knew, from a glance at a map (in my map booklet no less), the route I wanted. So I set the destination: “Downtown, Perth” and set off. Immediately it advised a left turn (the major highway route). I drove straight on. Silence, then an attempt to turn me onto a road I knew led back to that road. I ignored that too and went across the junction – straight on in a beeline for Perth. Silence for a couple of minutes then: “Please make a U-turn.”  I had it worried! But could see the road ahead was replete with pleasant upmarket houses on substantial wooded lots. The road was gravel/dirt, but it worked quite well! More silence, and then “If it is safe to do so, please make a U-turn.” I kept going. “She” kept silent. After all, there were no side roads to tempt me with.

Eventually we agreed about a turn left – it was on the natural route to Perth I was on anyway. A few miles further on the named road I was on came to a junction that threatened me with “Road not Maintained: Use at own risk.” In daylight I’d have explored, but it was dark by now, so I caved in and turned right then left for Highway 7, and a quick trip into Perth. Honour was satisfied.

NAV isn’t perfect. A day later on a middle lane on the Queensway through Ottawa it was advising me turn left, when it was really advising me not to get trapped in a right lane that forced an exit. Earlier, at the junction accessing the Queensway the obvious onramp that both I and NAV knew I needed to take was at angle across the junction, slanting upwards (top left so to speak) onto the Queensway, but the NAV advised me to turn left, which would take me under the Highway. A pedant would have gotten lost.

So – its best have your divining stick with you if you have a NAV, and a road map, a tiny tad of common sense.

P.S. I’m still here – not lost in space, just lost in time.


Long time no see – me, that is, BUT

anyway, I thought we might all like to contemplate our palaeolithic past and wonder what it was like – having to sneak around the savannah amongst long grasses with umbrella trees here and there (a useful refuge if chased, but check for tree lions first), either looking for a carcase to scavenge (if you can chase off the vultures and hyenas with the sticks and flaked points), or a juicy antelope to corner, or well – I could go on, but it wasn’t like the big Box stores we have now.

Now of course its dead easy, hunting for a parking spot amongst all the gargantuan SUVs and souped-up pickup trucks, followed by pushing through the sweating masses in the stores, screaming kids with the limited vocabulary of “I wanna,” and an empty shelf once you find your choice morsel for Christmas, and the helpful “re-Stock” label to encourage your return, this year, or next. SO I drew this cartoon to epitomize our good fortune in the early 21st century, and perhaps suggest that not much has changed …

Hunting&GatheringHave a Happy Christmas … and a lion-free new Year
















What went BANG in the night? and who was there?

I am enclosing a very pretty picture of a Neolithic Hut ring I spotted in the Isle of Man. A spectacular coastal walk goes right by it. They obviously had a spectacular view of the sea, if you don’t mind a near three hundred foot drop to the said sea. Do YOU think Mom was nervous about the kids? Anyway here is the picture.

Perilous perch
Perilous perch

Now this raises a little question in my mind – because – do you see that grey arrow? That points out a vertical fracture in the rock mass (technically a joint, originally, that then became a fault when the chunk with the Hut Circle dropped 10m !)  Scary eh? Now did they build that hut before or after that happened? Or did it go BANG one very dark and rainy night? Or was it gradual and they never felt a thing?

Just imagine next morning!

“Hey MOM!!! guess what happened in the night!”

WHOP – “Don’t tell scary stories to scare your sisters.”

“Honest Mom!!!”, scampers off (stage right (Uphill)).

Now look at this satellite image (courtesy Google and the Isle of Man Government)


You can see all the cracks in the area (that is called “The Chasms”). I have outlined the fractures that delineate the slipped block. Some of the cracks on the seaward side terminate quite close to the Hut.

So thats a delayed Halloween scary tale for y’all.


PS my guess is they built it before it dropped – but what happened next is sheer speculation, just like the seaward drop.

Hair and Thair – is either of them “ready” ?

He’s not ready, Stephen sez so. But is there a subliminal message there? It sounds like it to me. Are they fearful that soon he will be ready? and then bang go the Tories? Ready by this election? or the next one? Or are they planning to increase Health Benefits and fund a brain/head transplant? After all they like Justin’s hair, and aren’t we getting tired of Stephen’s mop – it looks like a wig but we suppose it isn’t.  Head transplants are only a year or two away … (and not just on YouTube).

So there it is – you heard it here first – Mr Harper is getting a head transplant before 2019. Q.E.D.

P.S. I do feel sorry for Justin though – what does he get out of it? In fact it raises an enormous lunch bag full of questions. Go to it and let me know what you think.

Déjà vu, all over again (apologies to Yogi B)

Have you noticed? Very little on this earth is new, most of its been done before. Of course everyone forgets, or it gets buried in the dust of history. Those archaic humans never cleaned their caves – you have to dig through metres of it to find their belongings, or even their teeth. AND, they didn’t clean their teeth: so with care you can find out what they ate, and if they had their veggies with their bison burger. Of course they needed their eddication too – nature and art and so forth – so this is what they saw ..

I'm sure it was just like this. Kids always were kids.
I’m sure it was just like this. Kids always were kids.

It wasn’t all confined to earth either .. These aliens get everywhere, not least Mars, and guess what ..

Like I said - its all happened before, and not just on Earth.
Like I said – its all happened before, and not just on Earth.

did you guess?

well have one on ..   oops

Take it easy.

Aliens at the World Series

With Toronto red hot for the first time in almost living memory, and September halfway done, we have to be thinking of the World Series. Inevitably aliens will want to soak up the local culture with a view to Universal Franchises. {Shades of the Eagle comic in the 50’s (in UK anyway), with the Olympics between Earth and the Venusians (I think there might have been Martians too). The Venusians were tall, thin fast runners and supervised by the Mekon, their feared leader who floated around sitting cross-legged in a transparent bubble, and usually suspected as being up to dirty tricks that Dan Dare had to disrupt.}

Anyway, I happened to switch on my universal preview headset and managed to capture a screenshot of a key moment in the coming Series …. and don’t ask me why a trail of dried-out White-Out is doing a reverse meteor skit at the World Series – another security failure no doubt: —–


Lets hope these guys are fast learners …