Project | Mediacenter/PVR | Raspberry Pi hardware with LibreElec (linux) OS & KODI Media Center | HDHomeRun Network Tuner | Part 1

This past weekend I began work on a new project to prototype a new PVR/Media Centre device that runs on the Raspberry Pi 3B hardware platform using the LibreElec OS.

My plan was to combine the PVR/Media centre Device with an HDHomeRun Network Tuner to receive Free To Air TV Channels and still offer all of the benefits of running Kodi Media Centre.  This gives someone the most flexibility in choosing how to receive and watch TV.

There are multiple scenarios to consider but for the purposes of this article I’ll just use my own scenario:

In my case I  am using a couple HD antennae mounted on a 30′  TV Tower and get 30 or 40 channels depending on the weather, but we want to be able to pause and record these channels.  At the same time we subscribe to IPTV services which gives us other channels from various networks like HBO, Showtime, SYFY, etc.  This gives me my fix of specialty channels and then I throw Netflix in to the mix to watch movies.  I also have a hard drive full of DVD Rips sitting on a 2TB external Drive from my vast collection of DVD’s so I want all this in one easy to use interface.

The Project: Raspberry Pi, LibreElec, HDHomeRun & Kodi media Centre Project.

Hardware:

1. Raspberry Pi Media Centre Kit which includes: Retail Price: $89.95

  • Raspberry Pi Model 3 B
  • Class 10 16GB MicroSD Card pre-loaded with XBMC (OpenELEC)
  • Our very own HighPi Raspberry Pi Model B+/2/3 Case
  • 5.25V 2.4A Power Supply
  • Cat6 Ethernet Network Cable
  • High Quality 3ft HDMI Cable
  • Aluminum CPU and GPU Heatsinks to keep your Pi running cool

2.  2 TB External Hard Drive – Western Digital (Already Had this)  – Approximate Cost now $50-100

3. NuRoMedia Mini Keyboard  (Already Had this) – Retail Price $25.00

4.  HDHomeRun Connect DUO  – Retail Price: $159.95

Pictures of all equipment below:

RaspBerryPiMediaCentreKitheatsink-pi2powersupplyjpg

 

HDHomeRun

Setup the RaspBerry Pi:

The Raspberry Pi Media Center Kit comes with a 16GB micro SD card with the openelec build with Kodi etc already on it.  I discovered that OpenElec is no longer being supported very well by the project owners (its an open source project)  so I went to LibreElec instead.  LibreElec is what is known as a code fork.  In this case it’s a code fork of OpenElec (A Code Fork is when another group takes the source code and changes the name, creates their own project and begins working on it).

LibreELEC (short for Libre Embedded Linux Entertainment Center) is a non-profit fork of OpenELEC as an open source just enough OS (JeOS) Linux software appliance distro for Kodi. This fork of OpenELEC announced in March 2016 as a split from the OpenELEC team after “creative differences”, taking most of its active developers at the time to join the new LibreELEC project.[1][2][3][4] This is a conservative fork of the OpenELEC project with a stronger focus on pre-release testing and post-release change management.[4]

When building a device such as this, you rely on your own ability to maintain the system, so choosing an appliance OS that’s being actively supported by people that love what they do (they have to, because they don’t make any money off of it.) is important.  If you are saying to yourself….why would anyone work on something like this and produce code if they aren’t making any money? …. Take some time to read about open source software and the open source software movement and GNU/GPL foundation…..you’ll understand better.

The people supporting the LibreElec OS are dedicated to better pre-release testing and post-release change management, so from this we can expect more stable releases that have all the bugs worked out before released for General use to people like us.

1. Download the LibreElect image.  (at the time of this article : LibreELEC-RPi2.arm-8.2.4.img.gz (info))  Go to LibreElec–>Downloads to see what the latest is and download for the Raspberry pi version that matches your hardware.  Ours is Version 3B

After This it starts to get more complicated because you need to know how to write an image to a Flash.

Basically you take the downloaded GZip file and run a command or a program to uncompress and write this image to the SD card, thus making it a bootable OS.

The way to do this is different on Mac Vs Linux and Different yet still in Windows.

To make this easier, our friends at LibreElec created a program to write the Flash for us.

To create bootable USB or SD Card installation media for any LibreELEC supported platform,  download the “LibreELEC USB-SD Creator” app and run it with administrator rights: https://libreelec.tv/downloads/

If you’re  using Linux, the method for Linux is below, below that you’ll see the mac OSX method that I used.

A(1): Linux | Download and Uncompress LibreELEC to MicroSD Card

Use the following instructions to download and write the LibreELEC image to the microSD card.

  1. Insert the MicroSD card into your computer.
  2. Determine the which /dev/device it is.
    dmesg | tail

    Example output:

    $ dmesg | tail
    [  227.218363] sdhci-pci 0000:01:00.2: PCI INT A -> GSI 16 (level, low) -> IRQ 16
    [  227.218396] sdhci-pci 0000:01:00.2: Refusing to bind to secondary interface.
    [  227.218413] sdhci-pci 0000:01:00.2: PCI INT A disabled
    [  227.218884] jmb38x_ms 0000:01:00.3: enabling device (0000 -> 0002)
    [  227.218906] jmb38x_ms 0000:01:00.3: PCI INT A -> GSI 16 (level, low) -> IRQ 16
    [  227.218931] jmb38x_ms 0000:01:00.3: setting latency timer to 64
    [  227.617315] mmc1: new SDHC card at address 0001
    [  227.617720] mmcblk1: mmc1:0001 SD8GB 7.32 GiB
    [  227.621661]  mmcblk1: p1 p2
    [  228.753036] EXT4-fs (mmcblk1p2): mounted filesystem with ordered data mode. Opts: (null)

    From above output the device is /dev/mmcblk1 (we ignore the partition portion p2).

    WARNING:   It is very important to identify the correct device. Use of the wrong device path can result in loss of data and/or the operating system.

  3. Ensure that the device is unmounted by checking the output from df to see if the device is in use.Example output:
    $ df
    Filesystem     1K-blocks    Used Available Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sda1        6734812 5612328    780368  88% /
    udev              499152       4    499148   1% /dev
    none              506428       8    506420   1% /tmp
    tmpfs             101288     844    100444   1% /run
    none                5120       0      5120   0% /run/lock
    none              506428      72    506356   1% /run/shm
    none              506428     572    505856   1% /var/log
    none              506428       0    506428   0% /var/tmp
    /dev/mmcblk0p1  15615056 1183088  14431968   8% /media/mmcard16gb
    /dev/mmcblk1p1    261868  111280    150588  43% /media/0F39-638F
    /dev/mmcblk1p2   7177771   83036   7094735   2% /media/0c0676d8-24f7-43c4-8bed-d19e6ea3a147

    If the device is in use then unmount each mount point.

    Using the example above we unmount two locations from mmcblk1:

    sudo umount /media/0F39-638F
    sudo umount /media/0c0676d8-24f7-43c4-8bed-d19e6ea3a147
  4. Write the image to the microSD Card.Be sure to use the correctly identified device! In this example the device path is /dev/mmcblk1.
    zcat ~/Downloads/LibreELEC-*.img.gz | sudo dd of=/dev/mmcblk1 bs=4M
    sync
  5. Remove the microSD Card.

A(2): MAC OSX High Sierra

1. Use Finder and go to the Gzip File and uncompress it with your file compression app.

2. Once uncompressed, you’ll have a .img file.  In this case the file name is LibreELEC-RPi2.arm-8.2.4.img

Now you go to a terminal window from the utilities folder.

At the terminal window you will first determine what devicename the SD Card is on the MAC, then flash it

See your list of disks:

diskutil list

  • Identify the disk (not the partition) of your SD card, e.g. disk3, not disk3s1.
  • Unmount your SD card by using the disk identifier, to prepare it for copying data:diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk<disk# from diskutil>where disk is your BSD name e.g. diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk3
  • Copy the data to your SD card:sudo dd bs=1m if=image.img of=/dev/rdisk<disk# from diskutil> conv=syncwhere disk is your BSD name e.g. sudo dd bs=1m if=2018-03-13-raspbian-stretch.img of=/dev/rdisk4 conv=sync
    • This may result in a dd: invalid number '1m' error if you have GNU coreutils installed. In that case, you need to use a block size of 1M in the bs= section, as follows:sudo dd bs=1M if=image.img of=/dev/rdisk<disk# from diskutil> conv=sync

    This will take a few minutes, depending on the image file size. You can check the progress by sending a SIGINFO signal (press Ctrl+T).

    • If this command still fails, try using disk instead of rdisk, for example:
      sudo dd bs=1m if=2018-03-13-raspbian-stretch.img of=/dev/disk4 conv=sync

      or

      sudo dd bs=1M if=2018-03-13-raspbian-stretch.img of=/dev/disk4 conv=sync

The OS is ready to go on the SD now, so now we can Move on to the next step.

B. Insert MicroSD Card and Power on Raspberry Pi

Assemble your Raspberry Pi and put it in its case etc.  Put the feet on, but don’t plug it into the power yet.  Insert to the SD card into the Raspberry Pi Card Slot.

At first power up the image will be resized to use the entire microSD card, and then the RPi3 will reboot.

  1. At Welcome to LibreELEC screen choose Next.
  2. At Hostname prompt change or leave name LibreELEC and choose Next.
  3. At Networking screen with Wired and Wireless networks listed choose Next.
  4. At Sharing and Remote Access screen under Configure Services enable SSH and disable Samba. Choose Next.Enable Samba if you wish to access Windows network shares.Note that username is root and pasword is libreelec.
  5. At Thank you screen choose Next.

From here you go through and setup KODI.  There are lots of Guides on how to do that so I won’t get into it.

In the Next Article in this series I will go through the physical setup of the HDHomeRun Device and the Raspberry Pi  and how to Connect to the HDHomeRun Device from not only the Raspberry Pi, but also from your Tablet or  PC.  We also have choices on how to setup the DVR Services at this point.  if you don’t mind paying 35.00 per year to HDHomeRUN you can setup the HDHomeRun DVR Service and use that.  If you don’t want to pay for the HDHomeRun DVR Service, you can setup another piece of software called TVHeadEnd and use that.  It has it’s upsides and downsides and I’ll explore those further in the next few articles in this series.

Here’s a teaser shot of what HDHomeRun Looks Like when watching TV on the Raspberry Pi after Setup.

hdhomeruninterface

Till Next time….Cheers!

Wil Roseblath – March  26, 2018

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Looking for great IPTV? Look no further! Rocketstreams IS the answer!

I recently decided to try out IPTV services since I have internet but no cable services.  I found a great provider called RocketStreams, if you are interested in great streams at a low cost per month, check them out.

https://rocketstreams.tv/billing/aff.php?aff=272

Posted in Announcements | Leave a comment

Random Thoughts on Equality

Leave the statues and monuments in place they are a reminder of mistakes of the past for some and heroes for others but most of all they serve as a monument to history whether it’s bad or good.
Put up monuments of people like Malcolm x and Rosa Parks too because they represent the changing more enlightened framework of society where all people are equal and deserve the same rights and freedoms.
Most of all do not censor free speech. Let the white supremacists speak, it’s always good to know who they are. Let those that believe in equality speak. The more free speech the more knowledge that is out there.  Let those that speak of love and understanding and living peacefully speak the loudest.
We should strive for diversity always because diversity breeds progress, but be open minded enough to listen to other people’s viewpoints.  Some you will agree with,  some you wont, in those cases you agree to disagree. Violence is never a solution and true peace can never be achieved through violent actions nor is it worth the cost.
William Rosenbblath –  January 2018
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Posted in Human Interest, Pop Culture | Leave a comment

Hollywood: Training young boys how to pursue women when they reach adolescence and providing unrealistic self images to girls since the 1900’s

From a young age we are barraged with examples of how Men are predators and women are prey.  Are we really surprised when men act that way?  Now I’m not talking about rapists (well at least not intentionally) , I’m talking about men that don’t wait for consent to kiss or touch a woman.  Things that are a far cry from being considered a crime, but these days will ruin your career just by the allegation that you did something “inappropriate”.
I think we can all agree that pop culture heroes do influence young people, right? That’s why diversity in casting is so important.
Alright, here’s one of the early lessons given to people my age about sexual consent.

Our Hero Han Solo approaches a woman who has told him at every opportunity that she’s not interested. Han comes up from behind and presses his body against hers. She’s a strong woman, a fighter, so she physically shoves him off

Undeterred, Han moves back in, grabs her hands, and starts rubbing them. She says, “Stop that,” and looks nervous. When he doesn’t stop, she clearly says it again. He still doesn’t stop. Romantic music plays …

… and all of this occurs in a sealed spacecraft floating in the cold vacuum of outer space. Even if she wanted to leave, she couldn’t (because the cold vacuum of space is rather a bummer). The result of this encounter is that she falls in love with this man and they spend the rest of their lives together.

This was a long time ago,  right? Ancient times ….way back in the 80s…Society has changed a lot, attitudes have evolved…..oh look at the ad I just saw while researching this …it’s a Sexy Princess Leia Slave Costume.
Its not sexy because it’s skimpy though. it’s sexy because of the inference.  it’s sexy because this noble princess was forced to wear this costume against her will….and 15 year old boys all over masturbated / and still masturbate to her wearing a humiliating skimpy costume that she was forced to put on or die.
Lets talk about groping.  I would hazard a guess that over 90% of the cool guy movie role models of my youth molested women into having them at least once.  James bond did it in every movie.
In Goldfinger he rapes Pussy Galore in a barn which causes her to abandon her life of crime and join his side.
In Mask of Zorro, a woman tries to kill Antonio Banderas and in response he strips her naked with his blade and forces a kiss. As a result they fall in love.
There are thousands of examples of the “Assault them  until they love you method” of wooing women.
Long before we were even old enough to date or even had female friends it was made clear by pop culture that in any relationship, men are the predators and women are the prey.  Their expressions of fear and rejection are a coy game to be overcome, like a tricky clasp on a bra.
I remember a scene in one sitcom where a girl says “There’s nothing less sexy than a dude asking if he can kiss you”  That must have been way back in the day right…well if you consider 2012 back in the day sure.  That’s from an episode of New Girl.
For every “No Means No”  PSA you come across, there are thousands of messages saying/implying that nothing is sexier than a guy who doesn’t wait for consent.  The bad boy that lives on the edge and woos the hearts of women.  The pirate Rogue or motor cycle riding tatood up badass that makes women weak in the knees.
Han Solo is a hero because he sees through this artifice, and knows exactly how to confidently stride past those barriers. The primary attractive traits in males are physical strength and aggressiveness, and he knows that Leia’s feigned resistance is a test of those attributes. You can see the full sequence in dialog. The sociological explanation would be something like this.  This could very well be a description given in a wildlife video about primate relations.
The female fights, the male demonstrates his physical superiority, and the female acknowledges his suitability as a mate and willingly gives in. “You have proven you are strong enough to have me.”
This message is written on the studio walls in Hollywood and has been since the dawn of the movie age.  If I read more Shakespeare I bet I could find a reference to something similar there too.
This was really how it was back in the “good ole days”  (Yes,  that’s sarcasm)

“In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.” – Douglas Adams.

Many people probably remember the famous photo from V-E day, where the sailor celebrates the end of the war by kissing the first beautiful broad he sees! ( in the vernacular of the time)
veday1
You knew they were strangers right? Now look at this photo taken a split second before.
  veday2
And look at all the approving smiles of the crowd behind them — men and women alike, agreeing this is wholesome fun.
David Wong in his article – “How men are trained to think that sexual assault is no big deal” writes.
” If you went back and found me at the age when I realized I knew absolutely everything — 20 — and asked me to explain gender roles, here’s what I’d have told you:
In this modern world, the quality of a woman’s life is overwhelmingly dependent on what kind of man she can attract — a woman married to a capable man is simply going to have a higher standard of living, period. Her self-worth is thus based largely on how desirable she is to men, and on how many men are pursuing her at any given moment. The need for more suitors is due to the law of supply and demand. It is to her advantage to create competition by tempting as many men as possible, then making it difficult for any single one to gain her attention.
Thus, women gain power through rejecting men, and those rejections have nothing to do with how they truly feel.
This, I’d have said, is also the reason most “slut shaming” comes from other women. If a female hops in bed with any guy who comes along, it lowers the value of female attention/sex for all women. The price of gasoline would drop pretty fast if one supplier started giving it away. So, much like OPEC, women culturally collude to keep the value of sex and female companionship high by making it artificially difficult to acquire it.
This is why Princess Leia’s wealthy, royal peers would disapprove of her spreading her legs for a “scoundrel.”
So what about clothing?  When I was in my teens, The sports illustrated swimsuit edition was genius.  It gave all those people too proper to read playboy or watch porno movies something to masturbate to under the guise of reading about sports.
Everybody knew what was going on.  In many of the photos there wasn’t a lot of bathing suit.  Usually the model was cupping her ample naked breasts with her hands while pouting coyly at the camera.  Sometimes maybe with thumb in the bikini bottom like she’s about to pull it off.  Pretty soon Bikini’s started showing up in movies for the exact same purpose. Simply something for men (and women too)  to drool over.
Meanwhile in south eastern ontario, young Johnny goes to the beach and sees all these women in bikinis.   What exactly do you think is going to go through his mind.
A completely rational reaction from any bikini clad woman at the beach would be.  “I’m not wearing it for you you perv, I’m wearing it because I’m swimming and this is swim wear.  What do you want me to wear a burka?”
Same analogy applies for push up bras and any other female clothing that accentuates the female form for the purposes of making her more attractive to others and feel better about herself perhaps too. (because of the self image that been imposed upon her by the media of how she has to look to be pretty)
Of course everyone should be able to wear what they want, but acting surprised or confused about the ravenous thoughts that slither through the synapses of nearby men is completely ignoring the culture we are all living in that has been created via Hollywood and the media.
A woman may say her outfit makes a specific statement, while every other poster, magazine, movie, tv show, song, music video, billboard, video game, poem novel etc makes it say another.
Add the reaction to clothing to the already preconceived notions previously learned from movies and you have a confusing view that women wear clothing to attract people while pretending they don’t really want any attention.  That’s not confusing at all now is it?
This is usually where someone will overreact and say, wearing provocative clothing doesn’t justify sexual advances. I agree with this too, but Johnny wasn’t taught that anywhere so don’t be surprised if he makes sexual advances towards the bikini clad young girl on the beach.
Sexual suggestiveness in advertising. Take this add for bowling for example.  Why would anyone get the wrong idea here?
bowlingad
Oh right, thats how you hold a bowling ball…of course.  My bad.
This is why no statistic about sexual assault (using the new definition that seems to include groping as well) will ever surprise me.
When we were growing up, sexual assault was a guy in a dark alley wearing a ski-mask and wielding a knife, jumping unsuspecting woman and forcing themselves on them with the threat of violence.
Everyone was taught rape was wrong, but date rape wasnt even a term.  Date rape when it was eventually dubbed that was when a guy drugged a woman and got rough with her and left her with a bloody lip and torn clothes. If two people drank too much and then ended up having non violent consensual sex, neither was to blame, because they both made bad decisions while under the influence of alcohol.
Never in my public school years was there ever a lesson saying that you needed to wait for verbal approval to try and kiss or touch a girl.  We were also educated that people hang mistletoe over doorways and were told that if two people stand under it, they have to kiss.  People would routinely pull down other peoples track pants, unhook bikini tops or pull down tube tops as jokes too.  Did people get upset.  We sure did.  I hated it when one of my friends would yank my track pants down (especially if I wasn’t wearing anything under them :>o) but did people get outraged or dwell on it, ruin other peoples lives over it? Not that I remember.
Guys that didn’t act overtly sexual towards girls, try to kiss them or make a move physically usually only didn’t do it because they were too shy or nervous.  I was exactly in that category, and I often kicked myself for not being a “real man” based on my understanding of the “real men” portrayed in movies and tv and ads etc.  I would kick myself after every missed opportunity when I could’ve made a move but wasn’t sure if I should, or wasn’t capable of knowing when I should or shouldnt.
Once I went to university, things changed and it was a different age again.  One of LGBT clubs and parties and people talking about and having sex left and right.   That is until aids came along and scared the crap out of everyone.  I don’t recall anyone ever talking about date rape back then in the late 80’s, but I do remember one woman was raped at knife-point in a tunnel connecting parts of the campus.  The tunnels at the U of W were closed down after that.
Exerpt from David Wong’s – How men are trained to think sexual assault is no big deal.
If you prescribe to the Christian view of sexual relations, then all sex outside of (Heterosexual) Marriage is wrong.  Even with all the stuff that has always gone on between healthy normal pre-teens and teens the Christian view of sex has never wavered    What does this have to do with groping or consent?
           Rush Limbaugh made headlines when he said
You know what the magic word, the only thing that matters in American sexual mores today is? One thing. You can do anything, the left will promote and understand and tolerate anything, as long as there is one element. Do you know what it is? Consent. If there is consent on both or all three or all four, however many are involved in the sex act, it’s perfectly fine. Whatever it is. But if the left ever senses and smells that there’s no consent in part of the equation, then here come the rape police.”
See, it wasn’t up to Hollywood or public schools to teach me morality. For me — and virtually everyone I knew — that came on Sundays at church. And I never got one sermon or Sunday School lesson on sexual consent.
“What, so they taught the congregation to be rapists?”
No! They taught that all sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriage was equally wrong. So yes, rape was punishable by eternal hellfire. But you know what the punishment was for having consensual intercourse before marriage? Also eternal hellfire. Premarital handjob in the back of a car? Eternal hellfire. Oral sex at any time? Eternal hellfire. Homosexual sex? Eternal hellfire. Masturbation? Eternal hellfire. There was no gradient to the sins or punishments — everything was black and white, and virtually everything in the black category was totally consensual. Two people “consenting” to perform a sinful sexual act was no different from two people conspiring to rob a bank.
          Either the act was pure in the eyes of God or it wasn’t, and the only pure sex act was married intercourse (and note that many of the married women in the Bible had been bought like livestock). Thus, there was no reason to talk about anything else. If they taught a lesson about how forcing a woman to kiss you is wrong, that’d have been implying that consensual kissing was okay (and premarital kissing = eternal hellfire).
This is why so many of you are confused by the Christian criticism of gay marriage, the “They’ll be marrying children and animals next” bit. They genuinely don’t understand the difference — that a homosexual partner can consent, but animals and children cannot — because to them, all of those acts are equally impure. Remember when people implied it was hypocritical for Jennifer Lawrence to complain about stolen nude photos while also posing nude for a magazine? Same deal — if you grew up hearing that all naked photos are sinful, what difference does it make if the woman consented to the sin?
Explaining someone’s actions is obviously not the same as excusing them. Saying that the behavior is shockingly common doesn’t excuse it either. The point of this isn’t to defend [insert subject of most recent scandal here], but to prevent people from insisting that guys like him are rare, incomprehensible monsters.
They’re not. Lots of guys grope. Lots of guys who don’t will masturbate to rape porn. Lots of guys who don’t do that, still happily masturbated to the stolen “Fappening” pics. Lots of guys who didn’t do that still see James Bond movies as wish fulfillment.
The writers of all these movies and ad campaigns would say they didn’t invent a damned thing, that males have testosterone and will have certain urges at a certain age, even if they are raised on a desert island. And because the urges are natural, anything that appeals to those urges must also be — boys, after all, will be boys. Those boys will then grow up and write movies and ads which portray their sexually frustrated adolescent fantasies as if they are everyday reality.
But what’s the alternative? Censorship? To force women to cover themselves, like in Saudi Arabia?
No, the alternative is to recognize that ridding guys of toxic attitudes toward women is a monumental task. I’ve spent two solid decades trying to deprogram myself, to get on board with something that, in retrospect, should be patently obvious to any decent person. Changing actions is the easy part; changing urges takes years and years. It’s the difference between going on a diet and training your body to not get hungry at all.
In the meantime, to act like it’s crazy that a particular guy doesn’t see the clear line between consent and assault is misguided. The culture has intentionally blurred those lines and trained that man to feel shame for erring on either side. You have to start teaching kids that consent matters from Day One. Now let’s put this depressing subject aside and enjoy this scene from Ratatouille. In it, the hero forces a kiss with a girl, she pulls out pepper spray to fight him off, then realizes that she loves it:
image-2
We have a long way to go!
As I left work tonight I saw two cars in the arena parking lot next to where i work.  In one of them the outline of two people having sex in the car was very visible through the steamy windows.  Am I outraged or offended?  Not in the least.  Have fun you two, it looked pretty consensual to me, I just hope I don’t read about it in the papers tomorrow or hear about it on the news.
Merry Christmas to all, and be careful hanging that mistletoe this year!  😉
Wil Rosenblath Dec 6, 2017
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Posted in Human Interest, Laughter, Pop Culture | Leave a comment

I got to go. It’s been a pleasure doing business with you.

I’m saddened to hear the news of Gord Downie’s passing. I have been a fan of his music and poetry since my teenage years. I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to meet Gord and his family briefly a few years back when we crossed paths due to my technical work and some related needs at his home in PEC. I thought i’d share an amusing anecdote about Gord.

Gord was a great conversationalist and had me in stitches while i was trying to work on a ladder at his house. He shared a tale with me of meeting one of my suppliers that stopped in to put a post in his yard for the satellite data dish i was installing.
Gord said he had a great chat with the guy and that the fella was quite a character to which i agreed knowing what the guy was like. Here’s the story as told by Gord to me..

Pole guy roles up in his truck and makes his way to the side door.

Gord answers the door and the guy says ” Hey hows it goin eh? I’m here to put a post in for your satellite dish, Wil sent me.

Gord says, thats great, i’ll show you where its going.
Pole guy says ” Hey I heard you were a musician eh? Would i have heard of yuh?.
Gord says ” You may have yep”

“What’s yer band’s name eh?” Says the guy.

With a straight face… Gord replies “Blue Rodeo”

It was at that point in the story i had to hang on tightly to the ladder so i wouldnt fall off.

I corresponded with Gord off and on over the last 10 years about the Jam for james efforts we had underway and sometimes just to say hey. He always had a kind word to say and usually ended his emails with “Happy days always…g”

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When my brother James died, Gord’s words were some of the most poigniant that i received and it meant a lot to me that he took the time to say something during one of the darkest times in my life.

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My heart felt condolences to his close friends and family during this hard time in their lives, Thanks Gord for all you did for music and helping with your art to make sense of this existence we all share.

“Water is stronger than rock. Water threatens to, at anytime, flood in and obliterate the chalk drawing. We leave a temporary impression similar to that of a hull on the surface of the sea.”- Gord Downie

Wil Rosenblath – Oct 2017

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Stop Global Warming – Do Your Part and EAT!

I keep reading all these articles about how the solution to global warming is to stop eating beef.  The reasoning being the methane production from cows increases the greenhouse effect.

Worried Cows

This is from so called  “scientists” apparently that have complied “real” theoretical data.

I gave this some thought and I hereby put forth a my own theory based in pure logic.

The solution isn’t to STOP eating beef, the solution is EAT ALL THE BEEF.  That’s right,  eat all the beef in existence and don’t breed more cows or leave any alive .  Complete extinction of the bovine species is the only solution to eliminate their harmful emissions.  So get your BBQ’s ready and mow down like there’s no tomorrow! If you leave any alive they will continue to breed in the wild.  Do your part and cull the herds of the world! This is a call to arms against the domestic cow threat! I am calling this the “Eat all the beef moo-vement”.
Now some of you are probably thinking.  Well, what about milk?  Have no fear, Ben Stiller assures me that anything with nipples can be milked… except of course for Robert DeNiro.
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The “Eat All the Beef Moo-vement” will invariably be followed by a resurgence of the “Where’s the beef?” campaign that was introduced in 1984.
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This will continue into the 22nd century except it will be used as a social statement instead of an advertising catchphrase.
Once the greenhouse effect dissipates we will then see an increase of parka sales in Canada as things begin to cool down. This will be joined by an increase in fuel energy costs as demand for heating increases.  This will be know as the “Wynn/wins” effect.
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The lack of leather to create parkas will propel synthetic clothing material production to an all time high.  The production of synthetics will then increase the harmful carbon emissions and again the greenhouse effect will begin.  Around the turn of the 23rd century once again liberal campaigns run by sympathetic actors and a documentary narrated by a now 220 year old Leonardo Di Caprio will begin to circulate and the cycle will begin anew.
Please remember to do your part and “Eat All the Beef!”
This has been a public service announcement brought to you by the Society for the Protection of Humankind and small furry little creatures from Alpha Centauri.
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