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And first they’re coming for your kids….

Something I feel quite strongly about at the moment, fingerprinting our kids, back in the UK, along with the ID card and National DNA database. If you have kids, and even if you don’t, take a moment to read the following, from the No2ID group…

THEY’RE COMING FOR YOUR KIDS

In the rush of announcements and over 40 written statements put out in the final days of the Parliamentary session, you may not have noticed that the government has given the final go-ahead for ContactPoint – the database formerly known as the Children’s IS Index.

Like the National Identity Register – the linked databases at the heart of the ID cards scheme – ContactPoint will contain significant amounts of personal information ON EVERY CHILD IN THE UK. Over 300,000 people will have access to the system, which is intended to be up and running by next year. We understand that the details of celebrities’ and public figures’ children may be kept hidden, a two-tier privacy policy that demonstrates the very real security risks such a system introduces.

Each child will be given an ID number, and their record will contain details about their parents, doctor, health visitor, midwife and/or school nurse, school and/or college, services they have accessed – specifically flagging up vulnerable children who have accessed “sensitive services”, e.g. to do with sexual or mental health – and a link to a new social services assessment, the eCAF*. Far from reducing risks to children, child protection specialists have expressed alarm that practitioners will be so overwhelmed with low-level data about all 11 million children in the country that those at risk of harm will in fact be less likely to be noticed.

Did you know that from 2008 the government will be monitoring YOUR child from birth? Plenty of questions remain unanswered: why put every child in the country on a database that less than half will ever need? Why spend all this money rather than investing in much-needed children’s services? Why should a politician’s children get greater protection than your son/daughter/nephew/granddaughter?

Tell your family and friends. Wake people up now. Write to your MP and your local paper’s letters page. The ID scheme may be slipping, but the government’s surveillance and data-sharing agenda is gathering pace. And first they’re coming for your kids.

* For more detail on ContactPoint, eCAF and the growing surveillance of children, we highly recommend Action on Rights for Children’s blog and particularly ARCH’s Database Masterclass: http://archrights.wordpress.com/

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Rare river dolphin ‘now extinct’….

Still, never mind, eh. There’s still Big Brother 102, or Pop Idol, or some other load of old crap on the TV, I’m sure, that will take your mind off of the serious stuff going on in the world….

A freshwater dolphin found only in China is now “likely to be extinct”, a team of scientists has concluded.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6935343.stm

There you go, just heard on the news, some “actress”, I can’t even remember her name, I’ve never heard of, has checked in to “alcohol rehab” for the 3rd time this year. No mention of the dolphins though, so I guess some things are more important the others….

You may not agree about man made “global warming”, but I defy anyone to tell me, we’re not helping it along.

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ELVIS IS ALIVE….

…. and in Penticton, BC!

So, the long story is this. We went for a float down the channel connecting the Okanagan to the next lake to the south, Skaha Lake.

It flows through Penticton. You can rent tires/tyres, or take your own inflatables,  you pay your $4 for the bus back and you get in at the top end of the channel at the south end of the Okanagan. It takes about an hour for the trip, but when you are lazily floating past groups of people tied together with ropes, in inflatable chairs with blow up cool boxes full of beer, you know you need to take your time.

Or you could don a snorkel or diving gear, and float down trying your luck at “treasure hunting”. One guy was doing it as we drifted along and discovered an almost new pair of Oakley sunglassess, along with a tent pole…. “You never know when that’s going to come in handy!” was his response.

Wouldn’t have minded the sunglasses though. “You’d be amazed at the things people have dropped.” he said.

Anyway, at the end of the “ride”, as you climb out of the river, there is a cafe and this guy, Relvis! he was here last year we did the channel and he apparently does his thing 3 times a day, 6 days a week to a captive crown as we waited for the bus back.

Viva Las Vegas!, erm… Penticton….

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Starting a new venture….

Last year, it was t-shirts, this year, it’s blogs and websites.

With nothing much to do, (although he’s left me with the task of sorting out some of the coding, while he pops down the beach with a friend!), Samuel is launching a new site, based on ice hockey, the Canadian passion.

It’s in it’s early stages and we are starting it small, to test the water, but feel free to visit it, from time to time, to get your fill of the upcoming season and updates weekly,  up until the Stanley Cup in 2008. So, head on over to IceHockeyWorld (http://icehockeyworld.blogspot.com) to see what’s happening….

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Just reading the news….

Watch out when you’re listening to that Electric Light Orchestra!

Great balls of fire! iPod hit by lightning causes burns on Vancouver man
Wearing the device that is said to put "1,000 songs in your pocket" during a thunderstorm may have sent millions of volts surging through the head of an unlucky Vancouver jogger. (Read Full Article)

Doctors in Vancouver, Canada, have warned that people who wear portable media players during a storm could be putting themselves at risk. (Read Full Article)

Not a problem for us at the moment, it’s 37 degress out, the sun shining again. Get’s a bit boring after a while,….

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And now, pet food too….

Little did I know how complicated caring for a pet had become these days.

Having long been an advocate for organic food for us, it appears our latest addition is going to require the same treatment, not that I was going to do anything else….

Mojo Close Up....

You may have seen, read or heard of the recent scare in pet foods (toothpaste too, but I’ll come to that in another post….), you may even have been affected by it, or your pets, although I hope not, but anyway, I’ve 2 things tonight;

A.    You shouldn’t use clay cat litter. 2 reasons, (1) After doing their business, the stuff is on their paws, which they then lick clean, then causing it to sit in their stomachs, along with the (2), the anti bacterial chemicals coating the stuff. Not good.

B.     A certain brand, which we thought was good, is actually the worst, bulking their dry food with grains and wheat. As cats are carnivores, I don’t necessarily think this is a good idea, nutritionally for the little precious. The pet store guy confirmed this.

I’m going to be looking into this a little further in the coming days and weeks, no doubt adding it to the issues broadcast from my soapbox. If anyone wants to add to this, give me more info or just "get involved" leave a comment, or email me,

As Jerry Springer used to say, "Take care of yourselves, and each other." You can add pets to that list now too.

Stay tuned,

M

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It’s all about knowing where to look….

What a day, what a day….

Grudgingly, the missus dragged me, on my day off I might add, to the local flea market, to sift through other peoples junk. The omens should have been apparent when we went into the wholesale warehouse next door, only to find organic Weetabix, which I haven’t found anywhere else along with boxes of Alpen! Not quite the same as in the UK, but it’s close enough….

….anyway, back to the flea market.

Nothing but junk, as I said, until I saw some wide seat, dining chairs, along with a table covered in some kind of rug, with an expensive cabinet with a missing leg and the glass about to fall in. So, lifting the rug, we weren’t sure what to expect….

The New Table and Chairs....

…. the kind of table we have always wanted! Other peoples rubbish, eh!

So, with a bit of haggling, along with some frantic measuring we secured the table, inking the deal! $320, including the tax, as opposed to $330 plus tax. Not a bad price for a 5ft by 3ft table and 6 chairs.

It’s in, it fits, not as tight as we were fearing and at last, our very first proper dining table. As much as we appreciated the round “poker table thing” we have been eating brekkie, dinner and tea off, now we have a bit more space, to clutter up.

And it suits our organic, recycling lifestyle to a tee…. saving us a fortune in the meantime. We’ve seen a brand new one, not as strong and it’s $950 just for the table ….

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Bugs ate her eyes….

I was reading the local paper, on a break from the trading day, enjoying some ham, scrambled eggs and coffee and came upon this delightful article, about a Kelowna girl….

Bugs ate her eyes

A recent backpacking trip through Africa turned into a nightmare when bacteria began destroying Trasey Plouffe‘s corneas and she lost sight in both eyes. (Read Full Article)

If you don’t fancy it, I’ll understand….