My Leduc Weather Station is Going Offline Today (Sept 25 2019)

Our house in Leduc, Alberta has not yet sold. However, my brother has moved to condo and took his internet connection with him.

As a result, my weather station has been turned off, and will be removed from our garage roof this week. It is no longer uploading weather data and current conditions to Leducweather.ca, Weather Underground, among others, nor to it’s Facebook page or Twitter account.

Despite our attempts to get friends to set it up at their places, so far no one has expressed interest. As a last resort, my brother will request approval from his condo board to install it on his condo roof (2 stories tall, which shouldn’t be an issue so long as Winter doesn’t hit first), or to attach it to a tall pole on his deck railing.

The worst case scenario is that he puts my weather station and it’s related equipment in a box and sends it to me on Vancouver Island (as we already have two here – Comox Weather and Courtenay Weather), where it will stay in a box until we move at some point to a new rental that will allow it, or buy a house and install it there.

That said, I would like to take a moment to reflect on how important my weather station at our house in Leduc has been to me, and what it took to install it. It was a tireless effort by my brother, David, and I. He created the wooden block that secured it to the garage roof, and we both took turns in the grueling effort to get up on the ladder and screw several long screws by hand into the garage roof (it demanded a gentle touch, especially being up on a ladder with only pavement below). Had it not been for his efforts and help, my beloved weather station wouldn’t have had the perfect placement in our yard for the most accurate readings possible.

As for getting it online and upload and tweeting current conditions, you’ll have to read my Create Your Own Weather Station Website blog series for all that geeky goodness!

I have always loved anything weather-related, but it wasn’t until I purchased this weather station that I really started to have fun with it, beyond conversations with other weather enthusiasts on Social Media, and of course Josh Classen‘s undeniable and contagious enthusiasm and passion since I first met him in 2003!

You never realize how different localized weather can be at times vs general area forecasts until you have your own weather station, and that just makes you appreciate it even more! Having my own weather stations has been a true joy, and this weather station in Leduc was my first, so it will always hold a special place in my heart!

I can only hope others have appreciated it as well! 🙂

An Analysis on Climate Change and Why Most People React the Way We Do.

I came across an excellent and thought-provoking article that a friend of mine posted on Twitter. It’s a very long read, but does an excellent job explaining why, despite knowing about Climate Change and the Climate Crisis, most people aren’t doing enough to address it. Simply put – we don’t perceive it as enough of a threat to us right now.

Here are some excerpts from that article that really stand out to me:

“Most people get the basic idea. And when yet another dire report is issued by scientists, people do pay attention – for a few minutes, at least, before their thoughts return to the latest political imbroglio, taxes, work, the hockey game and the thousands of other concerns that consistently beat climate change in the battle for our attention.”

“Our species evolved in environments where subatomic weirdness was irrelevant to surviving and reproducing, so we never developed an intuitive grasp of it; while we may understand it, we cannot feel it.”

“As forward-looking as our species was, ancient risk analysis was about survival in the here and now. Or at least the nearby and soon. Finally, it had nothing to do with statistics, probability and the other tools of modern risk analysis. These didn’t exist. Its raw material was experience, and its analytical mechanisms were intuitive. Risks were not calculated. They were felt.

“Scientists have informed me that when I drive my gasoline-powered car, the car emits carbon dioxide into the air, which makes the atmosphere an ever-so-slightly more efficient heat-trapping blanket. If I multiply my car’s emissions by one billion cars and thousands more greenhouse-gas sources and seven billion people and 150 years of industrialization, the total is big trouble. I know this. We all do.”

“But the last time I got in my car, drove and got out, there was no perceptible change. I suffered no harm. No one did. The same is true of the time before that. And the time before that. Not once in the hundreds of times I have driven has anything bad happened. And look around at all the other drivers and all the other cars and all the trips being taken without anything bad happening to anyone.”

The decision-making system capable of understanding the danger is incapable of ringing our internal alarm bell. The system that can raise the alarm cannot grasp the threat because it was shaped by the world as it was millenniums ago, not the world we live in now.

Our past endangers our future.

Why I Bought a Raspberry Pi 4 for Mom vs a Windows 10 Computer

image source: Canakit

Just ordered a Raspberry Pi 4 for my Mom. Going to set it up and see how she likes using it. Given how she uses a computer, the learning curve should be minor (I’ll maintain it – mostly via AnyDesk and/or TeamViewer), but the savings will be huge vs buying a new computer in the future! Also, it’s super easy to replace the RPi, and even easier to swap out the MicroSD card at some point, eliminating the need to take apart her computer to replace the hard drive or other parts eventually.

To be fair, her computer still works really well for her, but if she likes the Raspberry Pi, she might let me use her computer as my own to tinker with.

The last computer we bought for her was in 2016, not long after Dad passed. It’s a basic Windows 10 system, but complete overkill for what she uses it for. She uses Open Office and surfs the net and uses Google Docs on Firefox, and saves things to Dropbox. That’s it.

But it’s what was available at the time that she felt comfortable using. I think it cost $800 or something ridiculous, given her needs. The Raspberry Pit Kit I just ordered is $174 with shipping. 1/4th the price! Really hoping it works well for her.

Success at Work at the Expense of Mental and Physical Well-Being

I saw this interview on CBC’s The National newscast, and it really spoke to me! Personally, I have NEVER been able to achieve a 40-hour work week without feeling utterly exhausted (and no, it’s not something my body gets used to), sacrificing relationships, and my mental and physical well being, and I KNOW many others feel the same way!

I have NEVER understood the societal norm and expectation of working full-time, beyond the fact that people tend to get paid per hour, and due to the cost of living, on average people need those 40 or more hours to pay all their expenses. That being said, that DOESN’T mean they’re performing at their best OR being entirely productive every single one of those hours. That’s not a knock on anyone, it’s just human nature.

From experience, I KNOW I function best when working approximately 20 to an absolutely maximum of 30 hours per week. No matter how hard I have tried to better manage my sleep, eating habits, or any other part of my lifestyle – that’s my max. Society can demand all it wants, but that’s my personal limit, and I am committed to respecting that – for my mental and physical well being!

If that means I earn less and have to do with less, then so be it. I’m happier, healthier, and more productive for it!

“When we’re told to sleep more, meditate, and slow down, we nod our heads in agreement, yet seem incapable of applying this advice in our own lives.

Why do we act against our creative best interests?

WE HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW TO FLOAT.

The answer lies in our history, culture, and biology. Instead of focusing on how we work, we must understand why we work―why we believe that what we do determines who we are.

Hustle and Float explores how our work culture creates contradictions between what we think we want and what we actually need, and points the way to a more humane, more sustainable, and, yes, more creative, way of working and living.”

Bill Nye Explains Global Warming During Viral Video Segment on Last Week Tonight

NOTE: This video does contain coarse language.

Bill Nye the Science Guy – The Planet is on F*cking Fire!!!

Recently during a segment on Last Week Tonight with Jon Oliver, Bill Nye the Science Guy explained global warming in a quick, but powerful moment. He does use the f-bomb, but to great effect, effectively telling us in no uncertain terms to “grow the f—k up” and saying the world is “on f—king fire”. He also mentions that global warming is an expensive thing to fix, like anything else. This may be of particular interest to those who grew up watching his show.

As someone on Social Media pointed out: “This is a lesson on swearing. Don’t swear 99.99% of the time, so when you do you get a recognizable impact.”

To quote the video:

“Here, I’ve got an experiment for you, put your safety glasses on. By the end of this century, if emissions keep rising, the average temperature on Earth could go up another four to eight degrees. What I’m saying is the planet is on fucking fire! There are a lot of things we can do to put it out. Are any of them free? No! Of course not! Nothing’s free you idiots. Grow the fuck up! You’re not children anymore. I didn’t mind explaining photosynthesis to you when you were twelve, but you’re adults now and this is an actual crisis! Got it? Safety glasses off motherfuckers.”

I have seen a lot of articles and tweets addressing the REAL problem of Global Warming, or to put it in perspective – the Climate Crisis. There have even been ‘Climate Emergency Declarations“, which I actually think is mostly lip service. We as a society NEED to take REAL and DRAMATIC action, or this crisis WILL get worse, which people like Greta Thunberg do a fantastic job of emphasizing! Just talking about it and making small changes in our lifestyles, although important, won’t change that, and clearly hasn’t gone far enough. If we want to continue to call this planet home, we must do more!

Toastmasters SpeechCraft Ice Breaker

This is the speech I gave at the Komoux Toastmasters club at North Island College (NIC) on Thursday, May 16th. If you find it difficult to view the video on the screen at the beginning, please watch the Rowing Video on my YouTube channel before watching this speech. Although I’m very happy with the content, I’m not entirely happy with my delivery of this speech. My mentor and I discussed it afterwards, and I will be making changes and practicing and preparing more before giving it again in the future. That said, Toastmasters is all about doing and learning and doing it better next time, and so on. It’s okay if it’s not perfect. We’re allowed to make mistakes without judgement. We’re there to get better and improve our communication skills.

My Toastmasters Speech About Weather

This is my second speech from the CC (Competent Communicator) Toastmasters manual. It covers my love of the weather, what inspired my passion for it, my thoughts on where people should get their weather information, and my weather stations.

I will be learning from this speech, and with the help of my mentor, making changes and fine tuning it in preparation to give a slightly longer version of it in a couple of weeks, which I will also record and post to YouTube and my website.

Dying With Dignity: Why We Wish My Dad Had Been Given the Option of MAID

Thanks to a friend, I discovered this this lengthy Twitter thread. It is absolutely worth reading. it involves an elderly lady who was dying and decided to end life on her terms, with the help and support of her wonderful doctor, MAID (Medically Assisted Death), and her loving family. She absolutely died with dignity.

I only wish my Dad had had the option of MAID. We had discussed it in the months previous to his death in late 2015 and 2016, and he really wanted it. I’m not exaggerating when I say that he literally talked about it and asked for it every time we visited him in Assisted Living. We discussed it with his doctor with him as well. It came into law when he had lost his motor skills thanks to Multiple System Atrophy.

He couldn’t sign the document, and no one else was willing to sign on his behalf, and family wasn’t allowed (because of the risk we could “influence” his decision). Because of this, he spent several weeks in needless pain and suffering before he passed, though they gave him meds to ease the pain and made him as comfortable as possible.

Anyway, hopefully that isn’t a problem now. People who meet the rules can make the decision when they’re of sound mind, and they can sign while they still can, and have MAID when they want it, and die with dignity.