The Jury is still out.


Aug 4 – The jury is still out. On Windows 10.

Like probably most Windows 8 users, Big Brother Bill anchored an icon on my task bar getting me to reserve my “free” copy of Windows 10 when it was released and then sticking an annoying message box on my screen when it was released pushing me to install it.

Windows 10

That was another one of those things that occupied me over the weekend. I was a bit leery of this event so I had everything backed up (more than usual as I figured my notebook upgrade would be more than a little challenging. With wireless networking, it’s USB 3 port powering my Toshiba port replicator with external video and sound, three external drives plus a 9 port USB 3.0 hub plus wireless keyboard and mouse, my Fitbit plug-in and two printers, I thought it might be a bit much for an auto update to chew on.

I must say that while it took quite a while to work through the process, well over an hour and a half, it did go through seamlessly and brought everything back up under the new operating system.

There are definitely a few extra bells and whistles and some major changes (mostly improvements), so it will take a while for me to really decide if it is “better” overall. At this point, W10 is still catching on to some of my apps as they seem to have to do a little negotiation on first start-up which makes things seem slower. Some of my auto-launch attributes don’t seem to have kicked in yet (e.g., Torrent Pro does not autostart on a download Magnet trigger) but that may just need some time and potential associations to fix.

W 10 also comes with some new apps that it want you to use as your new default for certain applications. Notable here is their proposed replacement for MS Explorer – “MS Edge”. I have it running and it seems to have a lot of extra “features” that may or may not be useful but it seems a bit unfinished as it does not do some of the things I did seamlessly on IE.

Some of the other apps may seem better but I have not found some info pieces that I am used to – like easy file ID in their new Picture viewer.

It looks like MS has taken Windows 7 and 8 and created W 10 as a bit of a merger with things like the start menu and application bars.

As I said, not sure of my rating yet but it is likely one of those “suck it up, ‘cause you can’t go back” situations. So, while at the moment, it seems a little slower, everything seems to work so far (although I have had a couple lock-ups) and I may just need to get used to it.

Blue Jays – Trust the Jays to have to go raiding my Tigers to get a good pitcher. They put off starting David Price until Monday and it turned out well. Dickey got the win on Sunday in quite the game and Price pitched a dandy on Monday for the win and to mark his territory with the club.

Interesting that Detroit gave Norris (one of the traded Jays LHPs) and he pitched very well for a win for the Tigers. May be a win / win on that deal – especially for my tigers if Norris pans out long term. Time will tell.

Happy birthday Shaun – had a nice gathering of the Oakville Moorehead clan yesterday. All the adults except me got to sit and chat with the beverage of their choice. I got to BBQ and look after the GKs out in my dining shelter (it did not blow away or wash out) We had a good time blowing bubbles, stomping on them and then regrouping after dinner for outdoor, homemade cherry popsicles – or at least they had popsicles – none for me.

What’s wrong with this picture? Maybe next year they will let me join the “Big People”.

MLB blows it! – MLB has handed Sanchez a three game suspension for his role in hitting the Royal’s Escobar in Sunday’s game. While not a rabid Jays fan, it seems to me that this is so far off base to be laughable and makes MLB look clueless in what seems a “blind” support of the umpires in what was a horribly umpired ball game. I watched it and I do not think there is any way Sanchez hit this guy on purpose – and, he hit him in the leg! Anyone with a basic understanding of the game would give Sanchez the benefit of the doubt for hitting a guy in the leg in a close and important game when holding the lead in the late innings. Why put a weaker hitter on board to give the heart of the order a free base runner. If you were going to retaliate and plunk someone, get a couple of outs and then plink one of the big guns. Besides that how do you toss Sanchez for this in the first place when you let the KC guys get away with their intimidation pitches. No wonder the KC Manager thought the umpires called a great game!

Three games for a starter means nothing as they would be served between starts with no harm / no foul, but if you are coming out of the pen it takes you off the table. Jays are appealing, but win or lose this was another bad call layered on a bunch of other ones.

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Busy Weekend!


Aug 3 – Happy birthdays are in order. First to my sister Colleen – today August 3rd and then tomorrow to my son Shaun, Aug 4th. That plus the Civic / Simcoe Holiday weekend has been busy.

Friday – afternoon started digging out all of the camping gear to start getting organized for the big “Eastern Road Trip”.

Saturday – Decided to see if I had all of the pieces for my old tents, if I could remember how to put them up and what shape they were in! Good news is I found all the pieces, figured out (after a few hiccups) how to put them up and amazingly they seem in good shape. The dining shelter was the big surprise as I was sure we were missing pieces for it. However, we had them all and up it went – although it is funny that it seems smaller than I remembered it. Decided it was a good plan to leave them up to “air out”.

Tent 1

Moved on to Cornwall Park and watched part of the Little League (Ontario) championship – bit of a rain / thunder / lightning delay so we could not stay for the whole game. Unfortunately Oakville came up short to a very strong High Park team.

Little League 1

Next stop – we were off to Mohawk to watch War Filly (Ava) race but it seems we brought our bad luck with us since she raced terrible. Decided we had caused enough trouble and went home and called it a day.

War Filly 1

Sunday – time to prep for Monday’s plans – a family BBQ to celebrate Shaun’s birthday. Actually just an excuse to get the GKs over for a visit. Did the full on tour – Dietrich’s for bacon wrapped filets, our fruit and veggie lady (name unknown) on Winston Churchill for peaches and tomatoes. Off to Highland farms for more fruits and veggies – including probably a last run of Ontario strawberries and finally off to Metro to round out the supplies.

Then home to continue the camping equipment inventory and watch a highly entertaining Blue Jay game on TV. Can’t believe some of the calls by the plate ump as I think the Blue Jays were absolutely justified in getting hostile Listening to the interviews after the game was also entertaining as Mr. KC was full of the brown stuff.

Then the rains came! And Thunder. And Lightning. And HAIL – Twice!

Hail 1

Poor tents – they stood up well but some bozo forgot to zip up the window covers or close the front fly. Pleasant surprise awaited me this morning!

Monday – in progress. First job this morning was to mop up two and a half pails of water from my tent floor since some dummy forgot to close up the tent before the rains (and hail) came. That probably worked out OK as it both washed the floor and proved there were no leaks in it. Now I just need to wait until they dry and then I can pack them away – good to go.

Realized we are now in a new month – time to do the monthly web site structure update. Did the monthly archive update which reminded me that I have had this blog / site going for more than seven years. The time does go by in a hurry. Only problem is that I am still using MS FrontPage 2003 as my web site editor which is no longer supported by Microsoft but is the only web authoring software I know. At some point I will either have to give it up or move to another package or just use one of the “free” online packages that are OK but feature limited.

And it is only 10:30 in the morning – lots of time to get into more trouble today!

Got to get back to the camping plans – make the list of what we need and start watching for deals at Canadian Tire.

Going to have to go back to work tomorrow for a rest!

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Hate to say it – Summer is on the downswing!


July 31 – and the end of July. While we have definitely had “summer” weather for the last while, once we hit August, you have to realize we are on the downside of the summer curve.

Summer 1

So everyone get out and enjoy the good weather while we can.

Jumpstart Games – Yesterday was our 12th Annual Jumpstart Games (formerly known as “Fun in the Sun”). Held up in Aurora, we provided what was hopefully a fun day for 800 kids from various agencies throughout the GTA. Yours truly was again anchoring the soccer baseball with his star pitching but after two rotations decided to work on succession planning and brought in some younger arms so I could do more of the standing around role.

The weather was great, the kids were surprisingly well behaved and my plan of taking a six pack of frozen Gatorade was a brilliant move.

Little League. The local Whitecaps came out on the short end of the stick in their initial meeting with High Park. This promoted High Park directly to the Championship bracket and dropped Oakville into a sudden death qualifying game. While they can hopefully pull of a win there, the double knockout format of the tournament means that they would have to beat High Park twice in a row to win. First in what could be the final game Saturday (if High Park wins) and then in a rematch on Sunday. Tough row to hoe as High Park has already banked one win against the locals but good luck to the local squad.

Somewhat of an interesting format as High Park could emerge as champions after having played only three games. Oakville now would need to play six games to win!

Big Red – not a pleasant story. We pulled off all of the damaged front fairing and while it looks like the front wheel axle and suspension are fine, there seems to be an electrical problem that is going to be a challenge based on the overall design and difficult access. Not sure where this is going to end up but Big Red could be Kaput! Parts and labour to repair could be just as high as going out and buying a brand new bike.

Tiger Trade – Detroit Tigers – not the former golf guy. So who is figuring out winners and losers in this deal. Detroit is hopefully not giving up on the season as they are only 3.5 games out of a Wildcard sport (Toronto is 2.0 games out). Toronto looks more aggressive in their try to make the playoff plans but maybe Detroit knows something we don’t?

Shedding Price from Detroit saves them about 7 million in payroll for the balance of the year and gets them 3 young left handed pitcher prospects which could be a huge future windfall. Good “lefties” are hard to find and Norris has already demonstrated big league potential. Both Boyd and Labourt are wildcards in their own right. Toronto could end up with a very expensive “rental” – probably less than 10 starts before Price becomes a free agent at the end of the season. If the Jays make the playoffs and do well, the GM is a “hero”. If not and Price walks, he could get fitted for a nice rack of goat horns.

I’m liking Detroit’s loot in this deal. They had to give up talent to get Price last year from Tampa Bay (no rings) and now they have made the Jays pay the price. TBD!

Pitchers? – Do the Jays not need any LHP prospects. After dumping 3 LHPs for Price, they have now traded for Mark Lowe (RHP) – giving up three more LHPs. That must pretty well empty the Blue Jays LHP prospects right down to “A” ball or even sandlot level? Not sure I would agree with this plan?

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The Dog Days of Summer


July 28 – The Dog Days of Summer – Not sure where that comes from, but not even a dog is going to sit out in the sun in this heat. In small doses it is not bad but it feels good to wander back into air conditioned comfort. Definitely not as tough as I used to be as I can remember working summers at Cleaver-Brooks (manufacturer of packaged steam boilers) in Stratford. One summer I was on the “Head Station” right beside the oven. That was where we built the heads using insulation, furnace-crete, fire brick and vermiculite while the oven was blasting away radiating heat – hot days, itchy asbestos insulation, shirts and coveralls working beside a hot furnace.

Another summer I spent building water tube boilers which involved climbing inside a steel drum dragging a 20 pound (?) air gun to “roll” (seal) the steel tubes connecting the drums around the fire chamber. It seemed that there were a million tubes in each boiler but it was probably more like a hundred where both ends had to be rolled – top and bottom and then if it failed the pressure test, climbing back into the wet tubes to re-roll and leaking tubes.

Have to believe that those activities contravened at least some labour laws, but as a “kid” I did not care, it was good money and probably lead to my acquired taste for cold beer!

Wednesday – don’t expect a post as Andrew is hopefully coming over and giving me a hand with damage assessment on Big Red. Big decision on the repair or replace front but hopefully it is an easy “repair”. The only “good” news is that if Big Red is down for the count, at least it is the time of year when dealers are trying to sell off their stock before the fall / winter shuts it down.

Amazing how much you miss having something like Big Red around as I enjoyed my early morning wake up rides to the GO Train and have had to do the bus thing for the last two days. Stay tuned.

Thursday – don’t look for a post on Thursday night either. Thursday is the 11th (I think) annual Jumpstart Games hosted by our Petroleum Team. Originally title Fun in the Sun, we hosted approximately 80 under-privileged kids at Eglinton Park. It was the first Jumpstart activity of this type and was so successful it caught on as an event picked up by other CTC teams and our own has grown exponentially. Our target is now 800+ kids for the day. We host it up in aurora and yours truly is the acknowledged master of the soccer/baseball activity area. Either that or they don’t trust me to do anything else. It will be a long day, hopefully in “nice” weather conditions but it is well worth it to see all these kids having fun and they go away with happy faces, ice cream and burger stomachs and a major back to school loot bag / knapsack.

Jumpstart

Kudos – to the local Little League Whitecaps who won their first game of the Ontario championships. They played Timmins yesterday and put them away with no problems. The final score 21 – 1, mercied after 4 innings. Now that the first round is done, things will get a lot tougher. Oakville plays Port Arthur Nationals today at 4:00 PM and Port Arthur laid a thumping on Windsor West in their first game, 20 – 0 mercied after 3 ½ as PA did not need a 4th at bat.

Afternoon follow-up – the Whitecaps won their second game by defeating Port Arthur 9 – 1 playing the full 7 innings. Meanwhile the #1 seed High Park Braves with a bye in the first round knocked off Brockville 16 – 2 in 4 innings. That sets up tomorrow’s classic matchup with Oakville and High Park with the winner going to the (first) championship game and the loser dropping to the B side to get another win to make it to the same game. Subject to the Gods of Baseball and quirks of fate, these teams could meet three times – consecutive games for one team and three of four for the other to decide it all. Or conceivable tomorrow could be the only time they meet!

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Still Steaming – and its not the weather!


July 27 – Still steaming over Big Red. As posted, I got cut-off on my way home from work on Thursday night with nowhere to go other than into traffic (bad idea), over the curb (another bad idea) or trying (unsuccessfully) to get stopped in time to avoid whacking a parked car (best option). I could not get stopped and since my front tire could go below the bumper of the big SUV that I smacked poor Big Red’s front farings took the full impact with shattered plastic all over and which knocked out the electrical system, meaning I was shut down. I was fortunately totally unscathed, which was lucky as I had to push Big Red the rest of the way home – a couple ks. With all the weekend activity I have not had a real chance to assess the damage and, or repair ability but I am hopeful. Regardless, it will be major shekels to repair or replace and the S.O.B. that cut me off just kept going. Neither I nor the folks who saw it got a plate.

Busy Weekend – I had taken Friday off to get ready for the weekend even before the Big Red fiasco as Friday evening was Ben’s last soccer game for this year. Reasonable temperature, I divided my time between watching Ben’s Game with some pics and dealing with Lily at the playground and her current passion for swings.

Saturday morning was Lily’s last soccer for the season – that was a treat with about a three minute game. Lucky I got any pictures at all. Then we took the GKs and Shaun and Becky for lunch. Then it was off to Ben’s final T-Ball game for the year plus it was the BLOMBA wrap up day for them with the inflatables for the kids to play on and hot dogs and drinks. It was also somewhat hot and a whole lot dusty at the diamond. Not a good combo for someone wearing contacts and trying to take pictures in the dust swirling into your face and eyes. But we persevered. Not sure I could handle a full season of T-Ball.

Fun weekend with the GKs

Ben and Lily July 25

Got home in time for a call / invite from Andrew to go watch the final round of the Canadian Open at Glen Abbey.

Canadian Open – was a seriously hot day. We arrived at Glen Abbey around 8:30 or so, watched a couple of groups tee-off, checked out the hole-in-one par three for a while and then went to “secure” our base on 18. Other than a few pause and refresh breaks, we were parked there until the bitter end around 5:30 or so.

Watching the leader board and the action on 18 it was clear the back nine and the last couple of holes were going to be the decider. Could Hearn hang on until then and see how it played out?

He did hang on but Justin Day caught fire and Hearn could not match his three consecutive birds to finish up. Day birdied the last three holes including a 22 footer on the 18th to seal the deal. For me, the amazing thing was the 22 footer on 18 as no one had been making anything on 18 all day. Then Day steps up, takes a look and drains it in the centre of the cup from farther out and a similar line to a lot of shorter putts that had been missed earlier on. That meant both Bubba and Hearn came to the 18th tee needing an eagle to force a playoff. On a par 5 that is always a possibility. Hearn never really had a shot but Bubba would have, if he was only couple of feet shorter. He put it pin high just over the hole and just stuck it in the fringe just off the green in kind of an ugly little clump. As he put it, he could not have put the ball in a worse spot if I placed it there by hand. He missed the eagle, made the birdie and came up one shot light. Hearn made par and finished in third, 2 shots back but still a great tournament for him.

It was a good day with Andrew, Rob and Becky.

Fortunately we had tricked Jane into dropping us off and then picking us up as the exit was a madhouse swarm of “ignorant” people pushing and shoving to get on shuttle buses or just wandering onto the street. A couple of obnoxious young men who really should have known better were giving a “senior citizen” volunteer a very rough time for just trying to do his job and keeping some sense of order. The cops were also not doing the greatest support job either but I guess we will just blame heat and alcohol for the patrons and no one wanting to start a riot by cracking down. Not a nice scene.

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For all you Tube Steak junkies


July 23 – For all you Tube Steak junkies, today is National Hot Dog Day and by extension, July is National HD Month (I think these are US claims but what the heck). I am more of a sausage fan but there is nothing wrong with a quality jumbo BBQ Hot Dog.

July is also national Blueberry and Ice Cream month but my diet does not need the ice cream.

Busy Weekend – coming up so let’s hope for good weather. In prep and to rest up, I have decided to take a Friday holiday to create my own long weekend. Friday night Ben has his last soccer for the season and on Saturday, he has his last T-Ball and Lily has her last soccer. After those exciting events, I am sure I am going to need Sunday as an R&R day.

The Canadian Open will be underway messing up Oakville traffic and Oakville Little League is hosting the Ontario U12 Championship with pre-game fun and games on the Weekend – games start Monday.

Little League – Here is a link to the tournament website so you can check the schedule. Based on a double knock-out format the first “try” for the championship game is next Saturday and if the winner of that game is from the “winner” bracket then it is over. If the loser side wins the game then there is a rematch Sunday! Should be some good baseball. Try to get out and watch and cheer on our local squad.

OLL-Logo_Colour

Canadian Open – Nice to have at Glen Abbey again. However, even with the “free jet” laid on it is tough to get a premier field on the weekend after the British Open. The Claret Jug unfortunately has a much bigger draw than a chunk of Eskimo carving. This is another of those “back in the day” situations where the Canadian Open with different scheduling was looked upon as almost “the fifth major”. I think with all of his victories and accomplishments, Jack Nicklaus looks back and considers that not being able to win our Open was one of his biggest regrets in his career – and with his career there aren’t that many regrets. I have not gone for a while but I have attended and it is fun to watch how well these guys can play compared to us mere mortals. Andrew has tickets so hopefully he gets good weather and has fun.

The Leaf Puzzle – “Lou”? Well. I must admit that I was totally fooled. When the Leafs “blowed up” Nonis, had Shanahan as their grand Poobah and brought Babcock in for megabucks as coach, I figured that they would leave the GM job vacant. I mean who could want to get sandwiched between those two guys let alone who would have the authority to do what to who. Then KaBoom – they land Lou. 28 years with the Devils, a Hall of famer on the Front Office side, a club President in his own right and a former GM for years – a role he voluntarily relinquished – who’d a thunk! At 72 years old, why would he want to “go out” in the maelstrom that will likely be the Leaf’s world over the next couple of years. I think conventional thinking was that Lou was winding down in New jersey but apparently such is not the case.

Now that the club has “bought” all the talent in the world for the Front Office and Bench, what do they plan to do for the mess on the ice? As someone tweeted earlier – Lots of Chiefs and no Indians.

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Off to The Rock?


July 22 – Great day to have been on the road yesterday. Other than getting up at 4:30 AM to catch the first GO Train for a 7:00 AM Pickering rendezvous, required the use of Big Red’s headlight, it was a good day. Off to Kingston and back to see a number of locations, the weather was fabulous and there is some nice scenery along the 401 if you get a chance to look at it.

Got back to Pickering in time to catch the 6:00 PM train and was back at Chez Moorehead for 7:30 PM. A long day.

Interesting experience on the evening GO Train. Using Presto (and this time I remembered to over-ride my default), I ended up getting checked – not once but twice by the Presto Police. I had not been checked for months and I get hit twice in one ride. Turns out that the “East” police were checking the Pickering to Union run and the “West” police were checking the Union to Burlington run – Same Train. Wonder if that means I would have gotten fined twice if I had not “tapped”?

Seems that the majority of checking that goes on is on the less busy runs – off peak during weekdays and on weekends. The rush hour trains seem to hardly ever get checked as maybe the GO Police don’t want to fight their way through cramped cars and disgruntled passengers or maybe they think “hunting” is better on the off hours trains with the likely less frequent (or informed) users. Who knows?

Pan Am – games are in the Home stretch and while my Canada / US medal commentary has come to pass, Canada has done extremely well in these games with what is probably an all-time record – by a long shot – for a medal haul by Canada in any games.

While I have not managed to get to any live events, a number of my colleagues have and in general the comments have been quite positive. It also seems that the “congestion” factor has not reared its ugly head too badly or if issues have come up they seem to have been addressed fairly well.

2024 Summer Olympics – sneaking up quietly on the laurels of the positive PR from the international media and visiting dignitaries the pot is being stirred on a Toronto bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics. This would be Toronto’s sixth attempt for the inter-twined coloured rings and would be looking to break the 0 for 5 streak – a lot like our pro sports teams.

Have to admit that I would be in favour of it as long as there was some permission to believe that budgets would be “reasonable”, use of current facilities maximized and I can figure out how to make it work for me. I think we would have a real shot at it based on the Pan Am experience, a sixth attempt, the North American media markets and it is getting that few countries are interested and, or can afford to host or are” stable” enough . As long as they don’t turn Toronto into an armed camp (like G20 on steroids) to make it happen.

Besides, if I am still around by then, I will be retired (I hope) and not have to worry about the work to and fro.

Since the application deadline is September 15, you have to believe this is already in the works (dust off the old ones and add Pan Am accolades)

Plotting and Scheming – There are apparently plans afoot for a major Moorehead / Honderich road trip. Theoretically to Newfoundland and back.

Nfld 1

I did have to bring to the schemers attention that there are no roads to Newfoundland and we were talking major ferry boat ride but it seems that was not enough to dissuade the landlubbers. Sounds like the last week of August – first week of September are being targeted for “The Incredible Journey”. Should not be too much snow in Nfld by then.

To make this even more incredulous, the plan is to “camp”! I think some people have forgotten they are not 21 anymore and have gotten accustomed to a high level of creature comforts. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

The battles are already raging as one faction is heavily into believing the whole itinerary should be mapped out, booked and locked down while group B want to “Go with the Flow”. No conflict there.

It actually sounds like a great vacation plan and at this point, subject to further assessment, I am looking forward to it.

Time to hit the basement, dig through all the camping gear and get ready to “Gear Up”.

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