Please kill Facebook

I’ve ranted for years about the devious and underhanded use of personal data by Facebook. Please read this article and delete your account or at least restrict access to your information.

What is depression like?

For those of you who have ever wondered what depression is really like, have a look at these.
I have no idea where I obtained these images. If anyone knows, I’d be happy to acknowledge the source.

Ever wondered about evil?

In case you have ever wondered about the nature of evil in a world created by a perfect God, here is an excerpt from a book by Augustine of Hippo:

What is Called Evil in the Universe is But the Absence of Good.

And in the universe, even that which is called evil, when it is regulated and put in its own place, only enhances our admiration of the good; for we enjoy and value the good more when we compare it with the evil. For the Almighty God, who, as even the heathen acknowledge, has supreme power over all things, being Himself supremely good, would never permit the existence of anything evil among His works, if He were not so omnipotent and good that He can bring good even out of evil. For what is that which we call evil but the absence of good? In the bodies of animals, disease and wounds mean nothing but the absence of health; for when a cure is effected, that does not mean that the evils which were present—namely, the diseases and wounds—go away from the body and dwell elsewhere: they altogether cease to exist; for the wound or disease is not a substance, but a defect in the fleshly substance,—the flesh itself being a substance, and therefore something good, of which those evils—that is, privations of the good which we call health—are accidents. Just in the same way, what are called vices in the soul are nothing but privations of natural good. And when they are cured, they are not transferred elsewhere: when they cease to exist in the healthy soul, they cannot exist anywhere else.

Augustine. “What is Called Evil in the Universe is But the Absence of Good.”. Enchridion. Retrieved 2017-05-01 from https://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf103.iv.ii.xiii.html.

Volunteer

Volunteer week is over for this year.  Remember, however, that the need continues throughout the year.

Your life and assets have their greatest value when used for the benefit of others.

Politics

Since our latest election, Trudeau, elected on a series of major promises and a hatred of the Conservatives, has been nothing but a major disappointment.  He has proven himself to be nothing more than a typical lying politician.  Checking on the TrudeauMeter, it’s easy to see that most of the promises he has kept have been fairly trivial while those broken have been much more important.  Consider his most public actions recently.  We are shortly to become a country making the consumption of marijuana legal.  While I can’t feel that this is a good thing, I don’t have enough information to have a real opinion.  Whether that is good or bad is not really the issue here, it is that our government is making such a big deal about something that is, in relative terms, superficial.  Contrast this decision with that to dump his main electoral promise, the one that contributed so much to his win, electoral reform.  This fundamental change to our country, one that is needed so much, is one he made and had absolutely no intention of ever keeping.  Consider its implementation from the outset.  Upon election, he assigned the portfolio responsible for electoral reform to a complete novice; someone who, while a very nice person, has never had a real job before.  This assignment happened at a time when he had, among those upon whom he could call, a premier political scientist responsible for a large number of publications on electoral reform.  Such a decision could only have indicated a clear lack of commitment to that cause.  I suspect we have little to look forward for the next few years but politically typical lies and governmental mediocrity.

Well, at least he’s not Trump.

Hilton Head After the Hurricane

We’ve just returned from a nice, relaxing week in Hilton Head.  It was interesting seeing how the town coped with Hurricane Matthew.  As we travelled around, there were trees down everywhere.  I’m sure it will be a long time before everything is cleaned up.

Below is a collection of photographs we took of some of the more prominent problems we encountered.

Driving the Dragon & Other Holiday Adventures

We left home very early Saturday morning for our October trip south to Hilton Head.  Saturday was a fairly uneventful trip southward (927 km) to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Our first real adventure took place on Sunday when we went through the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina.  Along the southwestern edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a section of US129 known as the Dragon (or Dragon’s Tail or Tail of the Dragon).  It is known as a motorcycle and sports car enthusiast’s delight with 318 curves over 11 miles.  Driving this was one of my goals and Carol agreed to indulge me.

Carol agreed to take some video of us as we drove the road.  It has several breaks as we stopped occasionally to wait for motorcycles, who were slowing us down, to get ahead.  The last video section stopped abruptly as we faced a medical emergency where the videographer suffered a conflict between breakfast and motion.  In any event, she did a great job and you can get a flavour for the drive from this video.

After driving this stretch, there still remained a very beautiful couple of hours along slightly winding roads, up and down through the mountains. Here are some pictures that Carol took of that part of the trip.

The Trip West

It’s February 6th and we’ve finally arrived in Mountain View.  The trip was largely uneventful, having driven through South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. We drove I-20 from end to end, 1,539 miles.  We were surprised at the vast expanses of nothingness, as well as a greenness of the vegetation in California.  We’ve not been here in the spring before and it is very beautiful.

We will be spending the next two nights with Colin and Andrea then moving into our place in Santa Cruz on Monday. We drove past the house on our way here and it looks quite lovely.   The weather looks great for next week so it should be a good time.

Savannah, Myrtle Beach & Charleston

We went to Savannah earlier this week to walk around the historic area of town we enjoyed so much a couple of years ago.  The drive from Hilton Head to Savannah is very pleasant, along roads overhung with Spanish moss and along the many salt marshes.  We walked along the waterfront and down the streets of the old city through most of the many squares that make that part unique.

On Thursday, we left Hilton Head and drove to Myrtle Beach to spend some time with Brian and Susan Fraser in a condo they’ve rented there.  It has been a relaxing time.  Today, the four of us drove to Charleston, S.C. which we had heard was even a better place to visit than Savannah.  It was, indeed, very lovely with old houses lining the waterfront, narrow streets, and architecture from the Civil War.  We saw a very interesting little house for sale near the ocean but, upon discovering its asking price of $3,495,000, decided that perhaps living there was not for us after all.

Tomorrow we leave Hilton Head for the run to California.  We expect to reach somewhere near Tuscaloosa, Alabama by tomorrow night.  We expect the trip to Mountain View to take five or six days

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