Pope Francis: A Crisis Reveals What Is in Our Hearts

Pope Francis: A Crisis Reveals What Is in Our Hearts

To come out of this pandemic better than we went in, we must let ourselves be touched by others’ pain.

By Pope Francis
Pope Francis is the head of the Catholic Church and the bishop of Rome.

Nov. 26, 2020, 5:00 a.m. ET

In this past year of change, my mind and heart have overflowed with people. People I think of and pray for, and sometimes cry with, people with names and faces, people who died without saying goodbye to those they loved, families in difficulty, even going hungry, because there’s no work.

Bucket Head Wet/Dry Vacuum: Tear Apart and Inspection

Bucket Head Wet/Dry Vacuum, disassembly and quality inspection

Bucket Head Wet/Dry Vacuum, disassembly and quality inspection

Thrown to the curb, this was, with its tail cut off. So sad, I had to take it home, give it a try and possibly a second life. This unit pleaded underdog, discarded and forlorn. Unremarkable in appearance, ’tis a vacuum, for sure, but where is the bottom? The Bucket Head wet/dry vacuum is meant to couple and sit on top of the standard inexpensive Home Depot 19L 5G bucket, sold separately. It just clips onto the top of the bucket, hence the name “Bucket Head”. The vac head even has slots for the bucket’s wire handle!

Doom: Into the depths of a Depression

The writing on the wall was easy to see, but it is still nevertheless difficult to fathom. This corona virus CoVid-19 has walloped our health and our economy, and now that it is out in the wild, there’s little we can do to prevent further damage. We are in for a terribly rocky ride.

Going on 7 months now, the lockdown we had to endure has decimated our economy. There was a virtual standstill of life. Wide swaths of the economy have ground to a halt, destroying companies in its wake.

Singer Ultralock 14U32 3 thread Serger: Notes

Singer Ultralock 14U32 3 thread serger. Great machine.

Singer Ultralock 14U32 3 thread serger. Great machine.

I do love sewing, and use both my Singer and Imperial flatbed sewing machines, as well as an industrial Brother flatbed and a ancient Singer patcher. The Singer Ultralock 14U32 3 thread serger is a completely different beast.

The serger only does edge overlocking, but it does it so well. It not only overlocks the edge, preventing fraying, but also cuts the edge clean and reinforces the edge with a single stitch through the layers of material. The other Ultralock models also have a 4th thread that can do a second stitch through all layers, but I can do that on my flatbed.

Most Advanced Yet Acceptable: Maya

Change can be jolting for anyone. Huge change can be very disorienting for anyone, and can make people panic. That said, keeping everything the same is gets boring, so we do need change. Most Advanced Yet Acceptable (MAYA) was invented by Raymond Loewy, a European immigrant from the early 1900s, and a great industrial designer.

The concept has far reaching applications and implications. Radical change is too tough for people to accept. Change needs a bit of familiarity to be accepted, but also some novelty to be enticing. Radical change can only be accepted with numerous intermediate steps. The article has some really great examples of innovation progression, very worthy to note.

Imperial Sewing Machine Model 835: Photos and User Manual

Imperial sewing machine model 835 in blue, front view. Photo 1 by StaceyM.

Imperial sewing machine model 835 in blue, front view. Photo 1 by StaceyM.

Lovely, really! StaceyM has a really lovely blue and white Imperial sewing machine Model 835. His Mom bought it in 1965 at the downtown Montreal Simpsons. He inherited it in his teens and has been sewing ever since! What a great story!

The Imperial model 835 has a side mounted thread tensioner, allowing a slimmer and seemingly simpler needle area. The large stitch length knob is easy to see and adjust, with a huge reverse button in the middle. This is very convenient. Two buttons on the right side of the machine allow for a lighter pressure foot for delicate materials, as well as no pressure when you wish to do darning (both use the left button). The rightmost button is for regular sewing with a regular pressure foot.

Motorola Droid Razr XT912: Death of Tech Device

The Motorola Droid Razr XT912 seems like a nice enough smartphone. Small, slim, with a carbon fiber back. Friend David bought it from, I think Canada Computers, refurbed. After using it for a while the battery life was reduced, then he used it as an MP3 player. In the end I received it and used it as a desk clock. Finally, it would no longer reboot, seemingly in a boot loop.

CoVid-19 Corona Virus Pandemic: Benefits

I am trying to stay positive amidst a terrible CoVid-19 pandemic, which started in China and has ravaged the most parts of the world. This highly infectious virus continues its march through out the human race. There is a lot of negative, but not much of an acknowledgement of the positive.

In all situations in life there are benefits which might not be easy to accept, but over time will be very good for us in the long run.


  1. Family is closer: The virus has brought our family closer together. We got along well before, but now know that we can live together in the same house. Thankfully we have a house, which is plenty large enough to accommodate us in relative privacy.
  2. Revenge of the Introverted: Introverts, once scared and nervous in large crowds of gregarious people, are having a field day. They are more relaxed, living at home, and in small bubbles. It seems very natural for them, and now there’s a great excuse to not crowd together.
  3. Be more self-sufficient: We can no longer rely on a simple pop out to stores to buy something, or to find a service. Eating at home, finding a solution yourself, all these solutions are safer now than asking other people to enter your home.
  4. Infection Risk is Always there: There has always been an infection risk when going out and seeing people. Pre-March 2020 this was much less as to be minimal. Yet there was always a risk of infection when going out to stores. The pandemic has reminded us of this risk, and to calculate a risk-reward before we enter a store. Often this risk-reward is not worthwhile. The risk has always been there, will continue to be there now and for all infections, pandemic or not, in the future.
  5. Mask Wearing is a Public Health tool: A mask is not a social statement but a health tool. If you are sick you can protect others by wearing a mask. This has been known in Asia for a long time. We in the West should adopt this practice as well.
  6. Live for the Here and Now: Enjoy the present. Our pre-March 2020 life was so much different from now. It seems like a cruel hand has snatched our lives away from us, leaving us with the crumbs. Unfair, perhaps, but that is reality. Enjoy what you have now right now.
  7. Long Term Care/Retirement Home Conditions are Terrible: This has long bothered me, but Canadian society does not treat the elderly very well. When they become frail we lock them away in specialized homes and spend as little funding as possible on them. During the Pandemic it was clear that they were neglected and left to die. As nursing staff became sick there was very little to back them up, the system fell apart and more of the elderly died. It did not have to be this way, but it is. The pandemic has shone a light on our shoddy system. Good for the virus to show us our faults.
  8. Minorities are not as important: Blacks and Latinos die more than Whites. Why? There is inequality in society. The lowest of society are more susceptible and die first. While this is difficult to change, the Pandemic has highlighted this for all to see. What we do with this information I do not know. Hiding inequality is no longer possible.
  9. Selfishness is Abundant: While here in Canada most of us still feel a duty to help each other, there continues to be the selfish minority that will not even wear a mask, a simple face mask used to protect others and to protect yourself. What happened to the moral code of “I am my brother’s keeper”? It went out the window. We need to readjust our moral compass, as perhaps we are a little too comfortable with ourselves. The Pandemic has riled up the selfish and they have paraded down our streets in protest of their right to not wear a mask.
  10. Wealth Gap is Huge: The Pandemic has chased us into our homes to hide. Those that have the means can do this. Those that do not are forced to venture out and risk contracting the virus. The Pandemic has made this very clear that we do not take care of those that are on the edge of society. There is no hiding this from our conscience. To see and acknowledge this, I thank the Pandemic.
  11. Work from Home: As the Pandemic progressed governments asked companies to send their employees to work at home. previously most companies were very hesitant to do this, thinking productivity would fall. For anyone that has worked at home, you know that home workers work longer hours with less distractions. Productivity actually increased. Huh! who would have thought that! So now we know. This will allow companies to reduce their expensive office space footprint and even move their offices to cheaper locations. There is no need for a downtown office. I expect that this trend will continue.
  12. Preparation for Future Panemics: If nothing else, at least most of the world, excluding the US, is much more prepared for the next wave of CoVid-19 or any subsequent pandemic. We have learned, changed our lifestyle, practice mitigating steps, have masks. We are now used to social distancing and the need for air circulation. We are ready.

Opening Schools and the Pandemic Highlights the Lack of Infrastructure Funding

Kids need to go back to school, this is not in doubt. When kids return to school their parents can return to work, thereby helping the family as well as the economy in general. Getting our lives back to normal is difficult during this 2020 CoVid-19 pandemic. This virus is highly contagious and unforgiving. The need to prepare for school openings puts mankind against the virus. With proper preparation we can safely open schools, but there is so much the West has not done in school buildings that makes school openings very dangerous. In Ontario masks are not even required below Grade 4.

Returning to School in the Pandemic, Toronto, Canada

The CoVid-19 pandemic has walloped us in the head, in an obviously direct way. We, as a species, probably needed this kind of wake up call, as it seems no other method would get our attention. Starting from China, CoVid-19 has spread throughout the world. This, after 5 months of near lock down here in Toronto, is no longer news. Now we are faced with a new school year, the possibility that kids will return to their elementary school classes, become infected, and bring the virus back to their parents and grandparents. While we are still learning about this virus, what is clear is that it is highly infectious and no one is immune.