Wonky Websites and the Sunflower Farm Family Expands!

Sorry if the blogs have been a bit wonky lately. There are a variety of factors at work.

The first was our move to a new host. I’m pretty sure most of us have had the experience that anything technology-related is fraught with potential ‘challenges’. When you realize the complexity of the internet today sometimes I’m amazed that anything works at all.

We’re paying a new host where our website actually resides on the web. We switched to GoDaddy which Michelle has been using for years. I was very excited about this because Danica Patrick is my favorite NASCAR driver. Well, she’s the only driver I know, but I’m a huge fan, even though I don’t watch too much car racing.

We use WordPress to create our website, and over the last few weeks our website keeps getting hacked. Sorry if you’ve gone to read blogs and they were bizarre. Well, they are always bizarre, but in this case the hackers left their mark and wrote crazy notes or left bizarre graphics. Really? You people don’t have anything better to do with your time? Now we’ll have to pay for anti-hacking protection. Sigh…

The good news though, is that we didn’t really notice this for a bit because we’ve been distracted with becoming grandparents … again! We are now twice as old!

“Sophee” was born to our youngest daughter at the end of January and we consider ourselves to be doubly and infinitely blessed. Mom and baby and Dad are doing great and we are thrilled. We drove through the Greater Toronto Area (aka GTA, aka The Deathstar) to see her the morning she was born. I stayed overnight and Michelle stayed there for 10 days while I came home and manned the fort … or fed the chickens as it were. With wood heat and pets and chickens to feed, our place is not well set up for lengthy times away, especially at this time of the year. We have propane heat backup but I hate using it for so many reasons (which I will cover in an upcoming blog.)

That was the longest period of time that Michelle and I have been apart since we were married, 34 years ago. I know, it sounds pathetic, but we’re not the types to take separate vacations … or vacations at all for that matter.

It’s kinda awesome when Michelle is away for a few reasons

  1. I get the La-Z-boy chair! We should have two but can’t fit another in our living room because apparently in 1888 farmers weren’t spending much time in front of the idiot box so they didn’t consider that when they built the place.
  2. I get to eat pizza every night! First I bought one on the way home from visiting Sophee, then when it ran out I made one, from scratch, dough and all. It turns out that it was a stupid idea because now Michelle knows I’m not the helpless ‘pizza-dough-challenged’ individual who pleads with her every Friday night to make pizza.
  3. I get to watch all those movies like “Black Hawk Down” that she doesn’t want to watch. The pets often find new places to sleep when all the stuff is blowin’ up because I don’t hold back on the volume.

It is quite bizarre though to be here alone since our little piece of paradise has been a shared experience for almost 20 years. Yes there are ‘2 cats in the yard’, Jasper the Wonder Dog and chickens who love me … especially when I’m delivering warm mashed potatoes to them, but it’s not quite the same. Our family uses “WhatsApp” to communicate and there were regular updates on Sophee’s progress, but it was still weird to be alone.

While I was home alone I got to help out with our grandson, who now lives closer, so we were doing the whole grandparent thing full bore. It is a privilege and we really do feel blessed to have healthy grandchildren who we can spend time with. It very much puts what’s important back in to focus.

It’s such an exciting time for us and also a huge distraction from what’s going on in the real world out there, so it’s a really great way to avoid focusing on some of that negative stuff. This is hard for me.

Our Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had campaigned on electoral reform which meant changing our “first past the post” system which saw his government form a majority with 39.5% of the popular vote. This means that more that 60% of the people who voted didn’t vote for the government we got. It’s kind of similar to when presidents lose the popular vote but win more electoral districts.

Anyway, the Liberals had campaigned on this when they were in third place, then they got elected with 39.5% of the vote and said “Well, we think everyone is pretty happy with the old system so even though we had this committee talk to experts and Canadians and even though the committee said we need a system of proportional representation, well, we’re going to break our promise.” It was a deceitful, dishonest, cynical thing to do and because I heard the Liberal candidate in every All Candidates Meetings say, “If you elect Justin Trudeau to be our Prime Minister this will be the last election with first past the post.” I found it pretty infuriating. So as Nathan Cullen, who was on the electoral reform committee said, “he lied.” But apparently they think they can get away with it, so they did it anyway. And you wonder why some people don’t bother to vote.

Sorry, but I took this one kind of personally because it would have helped the Green Party.

On a happier note, my grandson has this great coffee making toy set and he makes great coffee and he pours in the coffee, then the sugar, then the cream, and says “Thank you” constantly which is hilariously cute. I could do it all day.

So I shall stay focused on my family. Michelle and I will try and figure out how to keep the blogs from getting hacked hourly. And the world will continue to unfold the way it will whether I’m paying attention or not.

Thanks for listening.

6 Responses to “Wonky Websites and the Sunflower Farm Family Expands!”

  • jon:

    “If you elect Justin Trudeau to be our Prime Minister this will be the last election with first past the post.” I found it pretty infuriating. So as Nathan Cullen, who was on the electoral reform committee said, “he lied.” But apparently they think they can get away with it, so they did it anyway. And you wonder why some people don’t bother to vote.”

    Yes, he also claimed to do something about “climate change” (in my mind a metaphor for the bigger problem – peak net energy) and then approved a liquid natural gas export terminal (when we’re already well past peak conventional gas) along with pipelines to export tar-sand oil.

    i will never vote again.

  • A. Marie:

    Thanks for the first good news I think I’ve heard from anyone in weeks; Sophee is as cute as a button! (The website hacks weren’t such good news, but I did guess what was going on, and I’m glad you’ve taken the necessary steps.)

    As for electoral reform…it sounds as if that may be happening in Canada about as soon as it happens in the US (i.e., when pigs fly). And whatever else “Joe Trudeau” may be up to, it still isn’t half as infuriating as what The Donald is up to on our side of the border. You may yet need to find room on Sunflower’s 150 acres for a few disgruntled Yanks seeking political asylum.

  • Chatsworth Neil:

    I have hope with Trudeau, and know it’s politics and he has to play-the-game, but I hope he won’t end up as frustrated and getting as little done as Obama did… that was another leader who many had high hopes in but got stiffled and consumed by “the system”. Time will tell I guess.

    On to happier and more important things: Mucho C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S onn the addition to your family. How beautiful. Makes all the crappy things in the world fade to less important 🙂

  • Congratulations to the whole family. Sophee looks adorable.
    Grammom of 7

  • DeedaInSeatte:

    Congratulations on the new granddaughter, she is adorable! Always enjoy your blog…I never had any problems reading it online recently, so that’s good. I love your humor–btw ‘Big Lots’ stores her in the states have ‘giant’ single recliners (I think it’s a statement more to the SIZE of most Americans, gosh) that you could snuggle up with your wife together! (ha-ha) And my husband has gone on to call Trump the “Ubergropenfurer” lately–he’s even WORSE than I thought he even could be possible… It’s all gone to hell down here, enjoy Canada for me, okay?? (my mom was Canadian, lots of relatives up there!)

  • Paul N.:

    Another mighty fine posting. Yes, please share your reflections of having to use supplemental heating. Oh yeah — I’m A LITTLE BIT DISAPPOINTED about delayed electoral reforms. Don’t hold back, eh. The good… the bad… and the ugly. Cheers from the “Deathstar”.
    Sincerely,
    Eco-Snuffleupagus.

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Cam Mather and his wife Michelle live independently off the electricity grid using the sun and wind to power their home and their CSA. Cam is working towards the goal of making his home “zero-carbon” and with his extensive garden he aims to grow as much of his own food as possible. He is available to speak at conferences and other events and has motivated many people to integrate renewable energy into their lives, reduce their footprint on the planet and get started on the path to personal food, fuel and financial independence.
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