Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pie-etic Justice for Hate Group PETA

Perhaps it was part of their "anything to keep attention on us" strategy, but come on, they begged for it. While it was PETA who got dogged yesterday, I could not help but feel sorry for the otherwise sweet 21 year old target, who PETA knew would probably get some payback for last weeks goon attack on the Fisheries Minister Gail Shea. Poor kid, probably loves animals like most of us, but fed propaganda by this sick self-serving extremist group. Too bad she had to make the trip from BC to protest about animals, when BC alone, has at least 1500 cattle ranchers. This may be out to lunch, but there are probably many humane animal slaughter causes in protester's backyards, since about 650 million animals are killed each year in Canada. There's nothing wrong with making life better for those 100s of millions, so save yourselves travel time, money, and stress, and have a look in your own neighborhoods first.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Pain in the Pothole

What gets bigger the more you take away? Well, they could also be referred to as black holes. Getting blowouts is becoming an annual occurrence for this traveler. Fact is, this one is so careful on the roads, that I am probably considered a boring driver, very aware and conscientious on the streets and highways. However, when it's foggy, black, blinding, and there's someone driving parallel to you, you have next to no chance when there are No Signs indicating a deep, jagged asphalt-edged, tire-slicing pit, gouged out in the path of the passenger side wheel.

The tire did not flatten immediately, but the sound of that wheel slamming into the sharp rim-wrecking crater was just like last years sound. I was able to make it to my destination, and when leaving later, sure enough, Mr. rim made that familiar rumble on the pavement. The only consolation was that it was a mild 3 or 4 degrees while changing the tire.

Taking the same route home, there was a sign that others had fallen victim to the same black garage trap that it was. The sign was a black and orange striped warning sign now jutting straight up from the gouge. I wonder if it is really asphalt being put on our streets sometimes, or play dough. Or does Canadian Tire or some other garage, get the contract to do the paving, use junk, and reap the extra follow-up rewards during the winter months? Well, if that were the case, you guys are good. I'll need another tire, and possibly a rim.

Here's an idea that came from the Oral-B toothbrush. You know when you've used your brush for a certain time, the blue begins to fade in the bristles. Well, bring on the asphalt boys, and pour in a dab of neon green paint so that we can see the patch, because it's just a matter of time before it fades away and causes that rotten road cavity pain once again.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Toyota needs to step on it to fix the accerator problem

When I asked a Toyota rep if my Corolla is being recalled, he said he couldn't recall. Well, it turns out mine is safe, but I kinda wish it was recalled. Just once, I'd like to bring my car in and not have to pay an annual third world income per hour for some mechanical issue. Poor Toyota, this must be a shock to their system - a glitch that puts the brakes on car sales. But, they have a plan for a catch up comeback. Once this little gas pedal problem is over, they will be throwing in a free car mat with every new car purchase. Some dealers will pop on hubcaps on new car sales, which is usually reserved for the Camray EX Special editions. Toyota will be busy for weeks trying to check out and fix gas pedals from sticking, so just a word of advice, it could be a long wait, and while it may be hard not to do, don't rush it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Michaelle Jean: Grace | PETA Goon: Disgrace

Canada's beautiful Governor General just keeps showing her inner beauty. Last week she made an emotional appeal on behalf of her homeland and brothers and sisters in Haiti. Last year she connected with Canada's Aboriginals by sharing seal. Yesterday, our Governor General sang at the microphone's a song of hope for Haiti. The poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, Haiti's PM told an international group Friends of Haiti, yesterday, that it will take about five years for his country to just get back to where they were pre-earthquake. The consensus was that it would take ten years to rebuild Haiti.

While it seems the rest of the world is raising funds for Haiti, the terrorist supporting group (donated at least $42,000 to a convicted arsonist) PETA sent one of it's own fundraisers to physically assault Fisheries and Oceans Minister, Gail Shea. Shea's own response was cool and with class.

The formula for this extremist group "80% outrage, ten percent each of celebrity and truth" - from the mouth of their one time president. See that and more on this desperate group right here.

For anyone who still would like to donate to relief for Haiti, here's the Newfoundland and Labrador Red Cross site.

Friday, January 22, 2010

"A Lily Knows Cemetaries Mourn"

Through blogging, we meet such a variety of people with so many talents and interests. Since this blog is a hash of topics, interests, hobbies, and commentary, it even attempts to try something bordering on poetry. There are at least two blogger friends who write poetry frequently - "Inky's Poems", and "A Blade of Grass". They have different styles, but both are very interesting, and thought provoking.

Inky's warm and heartfelt closeness to those in her life, unleashes words that proclaim raw caring, so real, and ultimately so informative of her so wonderful human depth of feeling.

Jon's, requires new interpretative attempts from me to understand his type of poetry. Just over a week ago, he invited his readers to type in the word verification code at the end of their comments, so that he could put these "words" into an anagram generator, and see if there was some "hidden" meaning, or something that actually, poetically made sense. After over a dozen entries, he produced four results, one of which is the title of this post, and in his follow up blog post, showed the results, to which readers could comment, or build on a line that sparked a meaning to them.

My family used to play our own game of poetry at one time, by first writing 3 lines of whatever thought you wanted, then fold the first two lines, and so that the person you passed the sheet to, only saw the last single line, and could continue thier next two lines, based on the one they saw. After a few rounds of doing this, each "poem" was read, and it mostly sounded non-sensically hilarious, but now and then, there were nuggets of some small life truth. Jon's experiment reminded me of that.

So below is one of my constructions of this foundation thought from Jon's experiment. It may not make sense, but if you feel like building on the title please share here, and maybe I can learn something more about this form of expression.

"A Lily Knows Cemeteries Mourn"

the living, and still blossoming being aware of the void left in the now dead silence of loved ones homes, and lives.

they know all too well about feeling lifeless for long times, yet they are reborn. Lilies have the likeness of those who have lived before them, and carry on the perennial tradition of rebirth, proudly displaying and acting out the life of their predecessors so that past lives lives on in them.

Just as the lilies near cemeteries are witness to mourning, the lilies, those neighbours to temporary household cemeteries, also know the loss. Like all lilies, they see loss and rebirth, and can know how neighboring cemeteries mourn. As memories of some humble quiet lilies provide subtle glimmers of brightness in dark times, the community lilies are also there to add light in those dark periods without sun.

Lilies come, go, and come again, sticking to their roots of steadfast continuance of family traits, so that the graceful qualities of past generations live on, and are never fully gone.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Think Outside the Boxes, Fortis

Just a quick viewpoint on the Fortis proposal to develop a 15-storey office building, and refurbish their existing rectangle, on the St. John's waterfront. I don't have a problem with 15 or 20-storey buildings, but while there is still an opportunity, why not really try to make the place look like there is some architectural creative flair and style on the waterfront, rather than just four flat sides and a flat roof. Let's face it, St. John's is the main face of the province, and the harbour front is plastered everywhere and seen from a number of vantage points, from Sig Hill, to boats, planes, postcards, and tv and net. There's an abundance of creativity here, and it would be nice to see a sign of that reflected in the calm waters of the harbour mirroring any new development.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Coloring on a Winter's Day

a wave frozen in time
a hardy bunch
still hanging in there on Jan. 20
this signals the end of a good day

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The 2010 NL Wellness Guide is out

The Wellness Guide is a free health resources magazine that marks it's 10th year of publication. This edition contains articles about how to protect yourself against virus infections, healthy life balances, coping with pain, nutritious recipes, holistic health, and other healthy living tips. You will also find a wellness directory of local health practitioners. The Guide will be distributed starting this week, and is also online - click "Download the 2010 Edition Here!"

The cover and cover photo were designed and shot by this blogger. The beach is one of many along the fantastic and scenic Kittiwake Coast, or Gander Loop as it is also known. It's a beautiful coast in our province, and well worth a visit and drive.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Kryptonite and day at the lake

Walk this radioactive trail at your own risk

"See that windshield? Let's be stool pigeons!"

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Governor General Michaelle Jean did not have to say a word

Update The government of Newfoundland and Labrador is giving $1 million to the Haiti relief effort. Thumbs up for that!

Governor General Madame Michaelle Jean did not have to say a word. Her heartfelt and hopelessly restrained tears told us how dismal the earthquake tragedy is for the poorest people on earth, and for her personally. The same news report yesterday said that Canadians gave $100 million to the Asian Tsunami relief effort. The scenes of carnage and anguish will also move anyone with a heart to do donate what they can to the Haiti Relief fund.

There may never have been a Governor General who was more openly emotional, and empathetic as Madame Jean. Her heartbreak and tears alone were too real to this woman who grew up in the country where poverty, political corruption, and social hardships, and unrest have been part of the culture for decades. I wonder how many more people who watched Michaelle Jean fight back tears, felt like helping out after seeing her at Wednesday's press conference.

This lady acts on the empathy she feels, and sense of justice. Last year she felt it was important to share a meal of seal with First Nations people. This Governor General connects with people and could move Canadians and Canada to give very generously to help Haiti. To see her own people and relatives suffer, must have felt like a personal injury, and so overwhelmingly tragic, given that people were already miserable with poverty, crime, poor sanitation, political corruption, and overcrowding. Among many nations, Haiti's horrific trauma, laid upon bleak desperation, seems to be too cruel to be real. Like other major events, it sadly is real. The rest of the world will help, and here's one place to start from here:

The Red Cross offices in St. John's, Grand Falls-Windsor, Corner Brook and Wabush stayed open to 7 p.m. Wednesday to accept donations. They're also extending their hours on Thursday and Friday. You can drop your donation off in person, or do it Online.
Here are the provincial Red Cross offices and contact information

Regional Office

17 Majors Path
St. John's, NL
A1A 4Z9
Phone: 709-758-8400
Fax: 709-758-8417
Service Centres

Central Service Centre
28 Cromer Avenue
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL
A2A 1X2
Phone: 709-489-5522
Fax: 709-489-6602

Western Service Centre
9 Main Street, P.O. Box 172
Corner Brook, NL
A2H 6C7
Phone: 709-634-4626
Fax: 709-634-1370

Labrador Service Centre
Wabush Shopping Plaza
Wabush, Labrador
A0R 1B0
Phone: 709-944-2570
Fax: 709-944-7117

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Pandemic Silver Linings - Our Health Care System is in Need of them

That 4 character alpha-numeric acronym from last year that was in the news every single day, especially when a second wave of flu, and the vaccine became available, brought a silver lining. It is not a surprise silver perk, but handwashing and virus containment efforts and awareness needed to be increased just to decrease regular flu and disease anyway. It will be interesting to see if there will be a marked difference in hospitals and clinic visits over the next year or two because there had been less spread of disease.

Right now, there is still a great deal of stress on health care workers to keep up with the demand of sick people. Those seriously ill need the most attention, but there are inefficiencies in organization and communication in sectors of health care like cancer treatment, and that ultimately is at the detriment of patients, but also doctors and caregivers.

The H1N1 pandemic and vaccination process was a nuisance to live amidst. However, everywhere you go these days, there are hand sanitizers, soaps, sanitized towelettes, and hand washing notices. People ask for it if it isn't there. The gym I go to has a number of those sanitizers on their walls. Gyms have been good incubators for germs, with so many hands using the same equipment continually. Sanitation workers at least in gyms, are wiping the handles, and equipment that people touch, and not just cleaning windows and surfaces that don't pose the bigger risk. Users are expected to do wipe down equipment as well, not just with a water spray bottle but with sanitized paper. So we as a society may have moved forward an extra step in taking measures to reduce illness. Hopefully those habits and education will continue.

Many problems are preventable, and some, despite your best lifestyle habits, just happen. Serious diseases happen and require the special skills of those trained to treat them. The more we as a society can reduce the demand on hospital staff and resources, the happier everyone will be. The more stress and demands we make on our doctors and health workers, then maybe those out of province offers just start to look a bit more enticing.

One lesson from many to be learned from the H1N1 experience, is that we can reduce and have a big impact on the spread of disease, and the demand it places on our health care system. Back in Sept. I posted a write-up on how we can can prepare for H1N1, and included a description of how hard it could hit hospitals, taking the Winnipeg experience as an example. If preventative measures were promoted more for positive lifestyle changes, we could make ourselves healthier, and hence, and hopefully bring more silver linings to help make our health care system work best for all concerned.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Light, Bulbs

Hope the holidays were a ball. If you still have bills, then, well, have a good ball.
(thanks to the owner of this decoration for letting me impose my camera and self to experiment)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Should Convicted MHAs be allowed to Run Again?

That is today's poll question on the Telegram website. Here's a prediction: most people will say no. The topic is hot out of the oven as the latest MHA, Jim Walsh, got sentenced to 22 months in prison. Just over a week ago, MHA Wally Anderson made a statement saying that the past was behind him, and that he was not saying no to another run at his old job. Apparently he has supporters on Facebook who encourage him to do just that.

There may not be a big wave of support for this opinion but this bloggist think they should be allowed to run again for public office. We live in a democracy, where you decide what you want to do with your life. If, after, much public humiliation, mistrust from the public, and scorn, you decide to try and win them back, then that is your free choice. Similarly, if most people would not think twice about voting again for the person, that would be reflected in opinion polls, social comments, and ultimately at the ballot box.

If a person who just went through years of embarrassment and family upheaval, wants to risk further public doubt and anger, then he or she better have a thicker skin. Unless they have redeemed themselves enough, it is hard to imagine the same electorate re-electing that person.

It's also hard to imagine that the convicted person would not be sorry for defrauding the government, and for wanting to do positive things in their remaining years. No matter what the crime, we all hope that people will change after a negative experience like that, and can carry in with their lives in a positive way. Politicians want to feel good post-prison too, and so people eventually can give the benefit of the doubt. If they oppose the suggestion of an MHA running for office again, well the lines of communication are more wide open than ever, and people voice their opinion frequently. It's a choice for all concerned. After so much negative public sentiment, that choice would be clear to politicians, one would think.

One final word for MHAs in this position, there are many many ways to make a positive contribution, and running for office again, is one, but won't get a great deal of support.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Pros and Cons of Dubai's Tallest Tower

  • People complain of heavy turbulence near the top.

  • Frequent internet interruptions from lightning strikes.

  • You can see what's going on in New York on a clear day.

  • Gets messy with pigeons nesting there.

  • Great career opportunities for window cleaners.

  • Fainting is common from lack of oxygen.

  • It's still sunny when those below on the 180th floor are covered in cloud.

  • When the elevators breaks you are going to be late for work by days.

  • It's still a 1.5 hour commute from bottom to top by elevator.

  • The observation deck has the longest bungee jumping in the world.

  • Astronauts in the space station always wave when they pass over you.

  • The Royal suite at the top costs $65 million a night.

  • There are still many apartments available.
  • Monday, January 04, 2010

    NL Bloggers Choice Award

    Hi visitor, and thank you for coming to my blog. For the next two weeks the NL Bloggers Choice Award voting is taking place, and if you like this site (enough) please cast your vote for this one. I really do not expect to come near to winning, but any votes are well appreciated. Here is the link to vote. Be sure to look to the right side for the list of nominees, and this blog is at the end of the list as you scroll down.

    Saturday, January 02, 2010

    When Wind and Fireworks Collide

    The night was clear enough for new years fireworks, but the forecast of 40-70 km wind gusts held true at midnight, and being armed with camera and tripod, it was a shaky beginning to the year. Judging by the direction of the fireworks paths the wind was westerly, and quite a gale. From a high vantage point it was also clear to see dozens of backyard fireworks taking place, an interesting sight to see over a span of at least 10 km of cityscape. It's becoming more popular to see neighborhood flares blast off, and though there could have been, so far there are no reports of wind assisted accidents or other.