dark glasses with rearview mirror

Only look to where you can see

Both Federal and Provincial governments are encouraging transit systems to move to electrical Light Rail Rapid Transit systems, as opposed to motor driven buses. They are providing grants of large amounts of money. Arguments in favour of Light Rail are rational, thorough, economical and farsighted. London city council voted to support only a locally, minuscule-y (and municipally) funded solution of a Bus Rapid Transit system, of more expensive, more diesel buses.

A shaggy black dog

May 23, 2016

This is our childhood dog. His name was Scotty. Who knows why. He makes a number of appearances in my sister’s little commemorative memoir and biographical book about her life and childhood adventures in our neighbourhood East of Adelaide in London Ontario. Book and ebooks to come soon. There will be a post about it here when officially released, for sure, because it fits the theme of cartoon life. I drew a number of illustrations for the book.

With the close of TingFest, I’ll have to unstick those blog posts also, so they move along downstream. 

And honestly, I wonder again about how much I’ll continue to share here at WordPress. I have about 600 followers, and perhaps a half dozen hits a day. Not shabby. I have fewer followers on Tumblr and more response. I tried a special separate Tumblr to share only my pictures from. And my G+ personal profile is at about 500. Things got far too complicated with two Tumblrs, two Twitters, two Facebooks, G+ profile, collections and another Samupress page, not to mention pushing things from the stores to blogs to Wanelo and such. Medium is great for focused writing, of which I do very little, but do enjoy reading. Ello seems now like a very focused image sharing space.

 Incredibly, the G+ collection I set up to share artwork posts to has 10,000 followers with no work on my part, except to post images there. In some ways it seems like the way to go, to simplify the sharing streams. 

And so I periodically reassess this site. It was perfect years ago when the regular weekly editorial cartoon was posted. And having a lazy holiday Monday to sit around and just think about things comes along, well that’s a bit dangerous too. 

Shaving time

May 10, 2016

I probably would have stayed with the same brand. But it’s too difficult to match things up. I have two big brand name handles bought in the last year, because I previously bought blade cartridges that didn’t fit the previous handle I was using. Can’t find that handle.

Whenever my daughter comes home from college, useful things seem to disappear and strange cosmetics are left behind in trade. This time the strange cosmetic left behind was a facial scrub made from grape seeds. An abrasive to scrape off the skin, presumably leaving one more beautiful. This is why we shave, No?

So after buying cartridges from the big brand name company, to bring them home and find they don’t fit the brand handles, I bought a third handle for the cartridges for that second company, to replace the old handle I can’t find anymore.

So big brand name company manufactures various different, at least two that I now know of, connector systems for cartridges to handles. The cartridges I have don’t fit the handles, the handles I have don’t fit the cartridges. So I could buy a new handle from the big brand company to fit the second blade cartridges from the big brand name company. But.

My electric razor needs a new screen. I can’t find anything but a third party replacement screen and cutters for an outrageous price, almost enough to buy a new electric razor.

I need a new electric razor. Merlot facial scrub isn’t going to do the job, so I am going to buy a new electric razor. In the meantime I will browse lightly for companion handles, and companion blades for the small collection of odds and ends that will eventually get used.

But anyway, if women need an abrasive facial scrub, couldn’t they just make out with a guy who hasn’t shaved for a day? Probably would be less expensive for everybody.

Hmmm, maybe a crazy idea. My retro future fantasy brain on a spree.

The city transit service could run a small fleet of AI Smart, small self-driving cars. Electric. We know they’re coming. A kind of car share system managed by a transit authority.

You could hire one over the phone or through an app then wait at a bus stop, get picked up, insert the credit card or prepaid fare card and be delivered to another bus stop. The end bus stop wouldn’t need necessarily to be on the limited route. The car system could freely cross routes, and choose the most direct route through the city.

Some kind of payment system based on zones, or distance? A flat fee? I suppose, more than a two dollar bus fare, less than a taxi. Buses already service stop to stop. Taxis would still have the advantage of door to door, wider service ranges, storage for hauling substantial items, perhaps luxury, and personal help when needed.

I see the self-driving car, here, as a solution to short hops, or buzzing around suburban areas where bus transit is a bit spotty.

Working through some confusion with information above my pay grade.

Is this in any way an odd or unusual result? What are typical or otherwise ranges for this measure?

The biggest difficulty is finding some kind of comparative scale and conversions.

The Gamma Dynacre blood test results show an IgG of 160 U/ml for Casein. I can find information that says 620–1400 mg/dL or similar ranges of 650 to 1600 to be normal. I can only assume ‘U’ is in mg, so, online calculators and converters yield 1600. On the high side, or just elevated above normal.




Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 12.36.27 PM.png


Otherwise 160 is absurdly low.

If I move the decimal… 620–1400 mg/dL becomes 62–140 mg/mL …. (?). So 160 would be high. The GD chart shows 24–30 as moderate, and 30+ in a logarithmic scale, as elevated. So what does ‘U’ mean as a unit?

Is this IgG merely a reaction to exposure? A residual response? Or an actual active live allergy.

IgG is first line immune response attacking foreign bodies – proteins – and coating them as markers for other antibodies to deal with. These things are just in the wrong place. IgG is a response to the presence of the protein. Doesn’t mean it’s an allergy. (?)


Total IgG versus IgG4 food allergy

Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is classified into several subclasses termed 1, 2, 3, and 4. IgGs are composed of two heavy chain–light chain pairs (half-molecules), which are connected via inter–heavy chain disulfide bonds situated in the hinge region (Figure 1). IgG4 antibodies usually represent less than 6% of the total IgG antibodies. IgG4 antibodies differ functionally from other IgG subclasses in their lack of inflammatory activity, which includes a poor ability to induce complement and immune cell activation because of low affinity for C1q (the q fragment of the first component of complement). Consequently, IgG4 has become the preferred subclass for immunotherapy, in which IgG4 antibodies to antigens are increased to reduce severe antigen reactions mediated by IgE. If antigens preferentially react with IgG4 antibodies, the antigens cannot react with IgE antibodies that might cause anaphylaxis or other severe reactions. Thus, IgG4 antibodies are often termed blocking antibodies. Another property of blood-derived IgG4 is its inability to cross-link identical antigens, which is referred to as “functional monovalency”. IgG4 antibodies are dynamic molecules that exchange half of the antibody molecule specific for one antigen with a heavy-light chain pair from another molecule specific for a different antigen, resulting in bi-specific antibodies that are unable to form large cross-linked antibodies that bind complement and thus cause subsequent inflammation(16). In specific immunotherapy with allergen in allergic rhinitis, for example, increases in allergen-specific IgG4 levels indeed correlate with improved clinical responses. IgG4 antibodies not only block IgE mediated food allergies but also block the reactions of food antigens with other IgG subclasses, reducing inflammatory reactions caused by the other IgG subclasses of antibodies to food antigens.

In IgG mediated food allergy testing, the goal is to identify foods that are capable of causing inflammation that can trigger a large number of adverse reactions. IgG1, IgG2, and IgG3 all are capable of causing inflammation because these antibodies do not exchange heavy and light chains with other antibodies to form bispecific antibodies. Thus, IgG1, IgG2, and IgG3 antibodies to food antigens can and do form large immune complexes or lattices that fix complement and increase inflammation. The presence of IgG4 antibodies to food antigens indicates the presence of antibodies to foods that will not usually cause inflammation even though high amounts of these antibodies do indicate the presence of immune reactions against food antigens. Testing only for IgG4 antibodies in foods limits the ability of the clinician to determine those foods that are causing significant clinical reactions that are affecting their patients. The importance of measuring other subtypes of IgG antibodies is highlighted in an article by Kemeny et al. (17). They found that IgG1 antibodies to gluten were elevated in all 20 patients with celiac disease but none of the patients had elevated IgG4 antibodies to gluten.

… is from greatplainslaboratory.com which, in a cursory reading, seems a bit of new age woo site (?), but this seems a clear explanation.

These are for the most part the most common allergens. Aren’t they rare however in a senior adult?


I’ve had allergy testing twice across two decades with no findings, and displayed, all that time, allergy symptoms. We chalked it up to some occult environmental allergen. My family doctor always tracked a slightly elevated IgE, a sign of a low grade chronic infection, viral perhaps, perhaps some kind of Liver difficulty.

On October 1st, I started a FODMAP diet based on the MONASH University app, and the sinus effects have subsided — aside from the dramatic lessening of gut symptoms. Merely diet? Yes, Allergies and Intolerances aren’t the same thing.

UPDATE: 12/17/2015 a kind of stream of consciousness poem.

If low stomach acid
doesn’t metabolize B12
Due to age and buffering medicines
Is that inadequacy also
failing to digest
gluten and casein proteins
Into amino acids?
Should these proteins be in the blood
That is what the immune system responds to
Proteins viruses bacteria.

Apparently Yes.

Another update 12/18/2015 

Regarding a Sunflower and Sesame seeds. It seems that yes, an errant protein is the provocateur.


Even as this post discounts the IgG testing procedure, those FlaxSeeds – something that I haven’t knowingly consumed in years, yet is on. My list of newly discovered sensitivities- in that otherwise Gluten free granola sure did a job on provoking by IBS for a few days.

Later that same day:

Is a good place to look for information on IgE food allergies and information on the sources of the allergy in specific foods. 


my food intolerance test results

Counselling Tolerance takes on a whole new meaning

Extensive list of allergies from the Gamma-Dynacare tests. Casein (milk, cheese, eggs), soft wheat, Corn, Oats….. Vanilla, Flax, Oranges, Mussels, Pea, some beans. Barley, Malt… Peanut butter, Walnuts…

Starting dairy free today. Have to bring my glasses everywhere to read labels.

No cheese. A staple. No Oats. The end of the morning standard breakfast of steel cut. No more peanut butter. I have lived on peanut butter for decades. No more Corn, popcorn, tacos, tortillas. No more wheat bread. There seems to be no meat that presents a problem, and only Mussels out of all the seafood. No more granolas. 

Having been quasi vegetarian for decades also – there is chicken and fish in the house – soy and tofu present no problems. So many prepared vegetarian foods have other ingredients I should no longer have. Lentils I’m good with. Lentil burgers are out. 

Some things I can have: Polenta, obviously without Parmesan. Potatoes. All kinds of vegetables. Endless salads. Buffalo milk will require that I move to Nepal for amazing fresh buffalo milk yoghurt every morning. All the olives, tomatoes, capers, garlic, peppers and onions I could ask for. No butter, Olive oil is good. It sounds like Monteleone is where I should retire. In Italy it is likely the wine is not fined with Casein. And Duram and Semolina pastas are fine. No Alfredo. 

The next three months should be interesting. That is the basic exclusion period to clear the allergic symptoms and let the gut heal. Then I can get back to testing intolerances. Another very different kettle of fish. Oh, but I can have honey in my tea again. That’s a bright light.

Google+, otherwise quite good, is broken on mobile devices, where I used it. I had been, consequently, otherwise distracted by a mobile app called Plag.

This post earned nearly 5,000 shares. Whereas this extreme, Swiftian, despairing and evil idea gained 180 shares and earned a lot of outrage and engagement.

Harper promises

September 24, 2015

Stephen Harper Air Quotes

Stephen Harper promises Honesty, Integrity, Transarency.

Wonderful background of pasty pale unhappy old white people.

http://flip.it/xxBka and a recap of his betrayals.

Stephen Harper peeing on Canada

Copyright free to use

Something I can’t figure out, is that if the CPC can track down one teen girl from her Facebook page, and eject her from a Conservative rally, because she wore a Liberal pin in the Facebook photo, that they couldn’t vet the history of potential candidates who pee in clients coffee cups, or make prank phone calls and post the videos on YouTube.
Either the staff responsible for the clever untraceable hacking into the CPC voter database is in jail already, or have left the country, leaving the party incapable of any skullduggery. Not likely.
What’s likely is the party considered the urination into a citizens property well within bounds of acceptable behaviour – as long as you don’t get caught – what’s an election, after all, but a pissing contest – and that making prank calls would be good experience for calling voters and sending them to phoney polling stations.
They’ve shown us again and again that they are either incompetent sycophants or obsessively detailed, deviously clever manipulators.

Technology: ups and downs

August 14, 2015

I scooped this from someone’s Tumblr post, and lost the link. Credit is due. But anyway, I thought that that remarkable downturn in civilian and military deaths was interesting. Technology and medical advances are responsible. More and more victims survive and survive with wounds, damage and handicaps where previously they would have died. No doubt surgical precision in strikes prevent less collateral damage. I don’t deny that mistakes are made.

Advances in information, science, technology mechanics and medicine bring that about.

And though the graph doesn’t cover it, even as populations grow larger, deaths from wars seem to have decreased. But more likely they are spread out over a larger area and contained as smaller, localized wars and will limit the larger massive death counts. Looking at larger conflagrations though, the war of the roses, the first and second world wars stand out.

And look at 1950. I can recall being alarmed, as a child, to know the world’s population would be 3 billion. Even as there are more and more people in the world, from about 1950, there has been no large war, but, yes, a series of small ones all over everywhere.

And wars are about resources. With that in mind, and that steep downturn, prompted me to Google up a graph of the infamous CO2 hockey stick graph.

And force an overlay. Just because I thought the curves were similar. And stretch it out to fit the timeline.

The vertical scales are in no way related, but…even if you squash it up and down, something curious happens after the Second World War. Military and civilian deaths drop. CO2 emissions shoot, well, skyward. 

I’m no statistician. I was interested only in the visual curiousity. But I believe there is some content in this.  Filed under What Does It All Mean?

paint scraper

Richard says, “Just doin’ my job!”

Some time in the last month I used a tube of Crazy Glue for a quick repair. Somehow during that event, I managed to glue my fingers together. The tube spurted out an excess of glue, missing the intended target and covering my fingers. I had a paw. I don’t know if this is the actual solution to glueing your fingers together with crazy glue, but I quickly went to the kitchen sink, coated my fingers with dish soap and gently pried my fingers apart. Some rubbing and scraping later removed all the glue remnants from my fingers and hand.

Now, the other day, I was glueing again, and splash and spatter, that tube again missed the target. Apparently something was blocking the tiny hole so as to spray glue somewhere else. Not my fingers this time. I cautiously removed them from the target area, but now there was, incredibly, Crazy Glue spatter bumps on my iPad screen.


It was resting there on the desk, propped up on it’s open, folded smart cover, touch screen open, useful and defenseless against unexpected innerant ejaculations of sticky permanent residue.

Quick! Wipe it off! Oh, not useful. Smears.

Screen cleaner fluid! Nope doesn’t touch that shit. Am I going to have to deal with a bumpy touch surface? It doesn’t affect the responsiveness at all. Can I scrape this off? How precious, how sensitive is that surface to to a knife blade? A razor blade? A paint scraper? A fingernail? Fingernails won’t budge it.

One. There is one Google find about, “how sharp a scraper can i use on an ipad screen”. And it’s only incidental to my query.

The iPad screen’s Gorilla Glass is, “Scratch-proof (well, scratch-resistant, but the only thing I found to scratch it was diamond or tungsten carbide tip scribers)” he posts.

I search my disorganized home repair toolshop desk for a suitable scraper. I know I don’t have any diamonds laying about. And the solution is this. Bear in mind the flat scraping edge was worn down, not in its razor sharp original state, but having served well on some staircase moulding before. It didn’t cut any fingers, but was flat and hard and smooth enough, even as I seriously inspected each scrape across that surface, to lift that concrete residue of the screen.

It’s as good as new. And in retrospect, had the cover been closed, it being porous enough that the glue would have had purchase, the cover would have been stained and damaged.

If you get Crazy Glue on your iPad screen, don’t panic. Don’t touch it. Let it dry. Scrape it off.

You know what, I get it that YouTube will run ads and targeted ads is a clever algorithm. But I’m avoiding this service recently. 

The political negative attack ads on behalf of Harper and the CPC show up every time. I know I can skip anything after the first second, and I do. Even then I have to pay attention for the first second. And all of the ads are pathetic in the first second. I know I’ll hate it even more when marketers wise up and realize they’ll have to deliver their content in the first second, and only the first second of a video ad.

But I still have to put up with the brain dead stupid partisan fear-mongering lies for that first second. So I am not watching YouTube at all. 


May 21, 2015

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1FFWT83

My stone age blood

February 10, 2015

The Prothrombin 20210 Allele is apparently traceable to some 20,000 years ago. This is late Pleistocene. This is late Stone Age. Hunter gatherer’s. My ancestors have been in Europe a very long time. First records of my family in Italy are from the late 1800’s, the house on Borgo Nouvo, in Monteleone. Borgo Nouvo means: that new part of town outside the walls – the fortified walls surrounding the medieval hill town. The suburbs. That part of town is at least 120 years old as my grandfather was born in 1895. The house was certainly already there and looking well weathered.

Leonardo Antonio, Maria Taggio, and Giovanni Ruggiero

Leonardo Antonio, Maria Taggio, and Giovanni Ruggiero

That’s just the street though, not necessarily when the house was built, or even when the ancestors got there. The house is high on the slope, which means it was relatively early and clearly well after the wall. Just down the road and inside the current town borders is a smallish triangle of land about the size of your front lawn which was forever the family farm.

One thing my grandfather did when he eventually settled here was try to run a small market garden shop selling fruits and vegetables. It was just south of Bathurst Street, North of Horton Street at the railroad underpass on Wellington. I think of that every time I traipse by the Salvation Army clients lingering and lounging there.

Obviously peasant farmers from a long way back. And hunters before that.

The Pleistocene genes

As to estimating the age of the mutation, we thank Zivelin et al.

“The analysis yielded an age estimate of 23,720 years. … The occurrence of the … [mutation] in whites toward the end of the last glaciation and their presently wide distribution in whites suggested selective evolutionary advantages for which some evidence was reported (diminished blood loss) or is controversial (protection against infections). …[Until] recent centuries humans did not live long enough to manifest a meaningful incidence of thrombosis.”

It might have been a useful adaptation when we were cutting up our hands making stone tools, stabbing penguins and megafauna, carving Venuses and not living very long. Sitting around in airplanes is another matter From Wikipedia on Paleolithic Europe:

“The Solutrean culture, extended from northern Spain to SE France, includes not only an advanced stone technology but also the first significant development of cave painting, the use of the needle and possibly that of the bow and arrow. The more widespread Gravettian culture is no less advanced, at least in artistic terms: sculpture (mainly Venuses) is the most outstanding form of creative expression of these peoples.”

In a general essay about the source of some languages, Alexei Panshin drops a relevant passage about the last glacial maximum.

“…the Last Glacial Maximum, some 20,000 years ago, … was an event of unparalleled disruption for the human population of Europe. … from 21,000 to 17,000 BP, glacial conditions grew so extreme that much of Europe was uninhabitable. Ice fields spread south from Scandinavia and north from the Alps, and the narrow corridor between them became a bleak polar desert… [creating] an impassable barrier between eastern and western Europe… At the absolute peak of the cold, human habitation was reduced to a few relatively temperate refuges, and even in those the harshest of steppe conditions seem to have prevailed. There was one such refuge in southern France and northwestern Spain and a second in Italy. A third was in the northern Balkans, and a fourth in the Ukraine”.

My family has likely been in Italy for the largest portion of those 20,000 years.

Stevie and Grumpy

January 14, 2015


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