Saturday, August 28, 2004

Canada has had a pretty good day at the Olympics, there is the first Canadian multi-medal winner and three medals to the time I'm writing this blog. After the first week things seem to be better for the nation's psyche. I recall someone suggesting that the medal tally could be about 14 for Canada and if our athletes can garner just two more then the total will be reached.

It has been an Olympics of mood swings, either high or low, sometimes in the same day. During these games, people who were shoo in for medals didn't do all that well and the unknowns have come to the fore, being our new champions.

Well, still you have to give all the best of support and love to these people. A lot of themselves is left on the arena and they know they do this for love of the sport and their nation.

Im still see red about the Toronto Star and their coverage of Perdita Felicien. In a column by Rosie DiManno it was a classic hatchet job. I have never read anything more horrendous and terrible. Perdita has shown more class then most of the Toronto Star columnists.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Today was a day of new things. First of all, it was a day for a new pet. After much lobbying by the children, we have become a two pet family, actually four if you include two degus, but two if you just count animals that are allowed to roam. Yes we now have two cats. The family went to the Windsor-Essex County Human Society and chose a 'muted tortoiseshell' female cat. Our cat was feeling lonely as he lost a friend, no kidding, he and this other cat were inseperable and it is gone. We can now join with Crosby, Stills and Nash with this song Our house is a very, very, very fine house With two cats in the yard Life used to be so hard Now everything is easy 'cause of you.. The orange is for the tortoiseshell.

The second thing that came today was my Johnny Mnemonic CD, it's the soundtrack from the movie. Yes I am a fan of William Gibson and I did enjoy the movie. I got it on by the way.

The third thing and this was the plunge, a Dell laptop. I bought the Inspiron 1000, okay it's not the flashiest but I ccould afford it and now I'll be posting all my blogs from it, rather then the main computer. Thank goodness for home networking. I don't have a wireless card, but that's coming I'm sure.

Well, now it's time to enjoy either the cat, the CD or the laptop.


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I want to entitle this days blog "is Canada becoming a nation of the entourage?", If you can remember the events leading up to June 6th there was a huge cry that the government told those surviving veterans of the D-Day landing that if they wanted to visit Normandy it would be on their own dollar. Mind you the government was sending a large entourage of politicians, in fact both Jack Layton and Stephen Harper both told Paul Martin to give their seat on the plane to a vet.

Now I hear that those Canadian athletes who are in Athens had to get their on their own coin. Now again, I don't think a whole lot of them bought their own ticket, basically because the majority of Canadian athletes live below the poverty level. I read the the stipend for our athletes is 1100 a month. So in other words that guy stocking the shelves at Wal-Mart could be an Olympian. I know that a lot of them get sponsored by corporations such as McDonald's, the Royal Bank or their local community or athletic group make sure they have no more expenses then they already do. And you thought everyone going to a food bank was a welfare bum. I like what John Derringer of
wrote in his column. His most telling remark was this: "Canada's elite athletes receive about $1,100 a month in funding, yet Toronto spends $30,000 per homeless person. Just try getting your head around that one. If a few homeless guys could run a sub-four-minute mile, at least we'd get a little something for our investment". If only. Yet I believe the COA is sending a full entourage of hacks, flacks and sycophants to Athens. Again, money for the posse, but none for the stars. At least Puff Daddy is the centre of his entourage, in Canada the real stars are pushed to the side and the jokers get all the perks.

Right now Canada has one bronze medal. Don't get me wrong, I would never slam our athletes, they are all great men and women who spend years of their live to practice their sport. They surrender a big chunk of their personal lives and potential earnings to wear the Maple Leaf. They want to support their nation, even though their government treats them worse then a bunch of terrorists claiming refugee status. That bronze medal ties us with Thailand by the way. While our athletes work hard, the Secretary of State for Sports Stan Keyes, the guy responsible for the mess tells us not to get fixated with medal counts, huh? Dude, that's why we have a medal count in the daily newspaper, we want to know how many medals we win. I know it's not we, it's a group of individuals and certainly a nation's self esteem is more then medals, but it really looks bad when a nation that is supposely as wealthy of Canada doesn't do anything in the area of sports.

Now it's not the athletes then who's to blame? Our society, I don't think so. Let's put the blame where it belongs on our beloved federal government. This bunch for the last ten years, actually eleven has been jerking our best athletes around. I suppose it could be argued they were treated no worse then everyone else during the last 11 years. Of course in Canada the best treated people are those who belong to that most exclusive of clubs "the Friends of the PM". Amateur athletics has been cut probably harder then any other program and yet while they are going to food banks and working at McDonald's, our politicians make sure their buddies are all on the gravy train. Recently Canada Post accepted the resignation of Andre Ouellett, the 2 million dollar man. The guy who had problems keeping receipts. He made 400000 a year, that would pay for 10 athletes a year @ 40000 a year. Or how about the Commissioner of the Official Languages, she sent a bill for 40000 for a trip to Sudbury. How she spent that much I don't know. Again Ottawa has an unlimited supply of cash for these dregs and none for our athletes. If you want further proof, just read this. Our beloved G-G, the Queen's Representative seems to love the Big Apple. Now let me say, I join with her on this sentiment, I too like New York, however it doesn't cost me $4800 to fly there. Multiply that by 10 and you see another example, no funds for athletes but for the parasites, the vault is open.

You may remember Dyane Adam, she's the idiot who 'investigated' Don Cherry for his comments about hockey players that wear visors. Again, another parasite on the body politic of Canada. We need less of her and more athletes who work very hard and want to represent their country on the nation stage.

Go Canada


Monday, August 16, 2004

Yesterday I did it. I completed my first dualthon. My time was 2hr15m22seconds, good enough for 91st overall. You can see where I place by going here. To give my overall, I was pleased with the run portion, both the 3k and the 6k. I was surprised I did so well with the 6k since this was always my concern. The bike, well, I'm not too happy with. I was slower then I thought even though my training runs were I though good.

It was an experience I'm glad I had and I will be going next year.

Between now and then I plan to develop a training plan. You see when I started only a month ago, I didn't really know how to train. I just biked and ran although I never did get to the place where I'd bike and then run. So I will be following some strategies and will do better next year.

In the end I did feel good, especially after taking the ASA.


Saturday, August 14, 2004

Well, I've signed up and written the cheque. I had the pasta dinner at the restaurant and tomorrow I'm doing the duathlon. This is my first one and I'm both excited and nervous about the situation. I'm excited because it is my first duathlon, and nerves because I ask myself the question, am I ready.

If you want information about it go to the website. I had been complaining to myself and anyone who wanted to listen that I feel I needed a motivation to train. That had been lacking, usually I enter at least one or two races a year and that is my motivation but until a month ago I didn't think I was going to enter any race. Then I picked up that pamphlet and now I'm ready.

I suppose the big question is was the training sufficient? I know going down south didn't help matters although I did try to stay active, so it's going to be the litmus test tomorrow. I'm not worried about the distances, I've done 30k on the bike, I've run 3k and 6k. It's the transition from bike to run that still a concern. I know doing the 3 and then the bike is not a problem, its the final leg.

I went over and checked out the course, the run takes place on the Ganatchio Trail. A map of the course is on the website. There is a few inclines and declines, probably not bad but I train in Essex where the only incline and decline is the railway crossing. But tomorrow is it, I'm ready.

Yes, I'm ready. I'm just going to take it easy tonight, rest up, drink water and other liquids and have a good night's sleep.


Friday, August 13, 2004

The Globe and Mail
Here is one of those articles that begs a comment. So Andre Ouellet felt he had to resign. I love the opening quote from the Globe, here it is: André Ouellet, once one of the most powerful politicians in the country, felt he was forced to quit as Canada Post president yesterday in the wake of audit reports saying he had not properly accounted for about $2-million in expenses.
. Well, yeah. I mean if I handed in $2 million dollars of expenses to my employer and asked for reimbursement without any receipts to back it up, the response would be, a) laughter and b) a pink slip. Then again I suppose if you're the boss the normal rules doesn't apply to you. Actually Andre they do. You resigned because you knew your butt was in the sling and when Parliament reconvenes guess who's head the Opposition would be asking for. So he quits, he understands that it was all political. No it wasn't Andre, you 'resigned' because you stole and committed fraud. I'm glad you're not getting severence, inspite of your 'good' work. You claim that Canada Post became profitable under your leadership, good thing eh? Otherwise the corporation couldn't afford your lifestyle.

I think the response of all us taxpayers is simple, let's sue the idiot. As a Crown Corporation we are the stockowners and if the CEO acts in such a fraudulent way, it's upon us to teach him a lesson.

Andre you are a weazel.


Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Last month I mentioned the problem my brother had with his telephone bill, it appears he got that nasty dialer on his computer. It is a problem and a lot of innocent people are being sucked in and discovering they have huge long distance charges. A good resource is Phonebusters, a webpage set up by the RCMP and provincial police.

People who have been calling to complain to Bell Canada, I don't have any information on other long distance carriers, usually don't get a whole lot of sympathy. What they tell you is a) pay up, it your problem, b) we'll give you a discount now or c) we might give you a better rate of interest. They will threaten to cut off your phone if you fail to pay.

Here is some information you can use, and this is from Phonebusters. First of all, Bell has know about the problem for 4 years or so and have decided to do nothing, that is until this past weekend, now calls to Sao Tome have been cut. You have to go through an operator to make a legitmate call. This also applies to those other problem nations as well. So what do you do? Here it is, complain to Bell and inform them that you will not pay those bogus LD charges, since you are not obligated to pay for fraud. Do not pay their offered discount. Pay the rest of your bill, that is your regular charges and legitimate LD calls. They may threaten to cut off your phone but they can't. They may disconnect your LD but so what, there's only 20+ companies that will be only too glad to take your business. May I also suggest you follow through the steps on the Phonebusters page, they are very helpful. Also there's a class action suit pending against Bell, for more information go to, and go Active Claims and then look up Bell Canada Modem Hijacking Claim. Join the fun. Also you may want to write a letter of complaint to the CRTC and fill out a complaint. I know I've been critical of the CRTC in the past but here they may be useful.

Be vigilant, scan your computer, look out for trojan horses, spyware and all that nastiness.


Sunday, August 08, 2004

One of the things i wanted to do on vacation was stop at Lennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, which is a bit north of Atlanta. I had visited this sight years ago and wanted to visit it again, plus I did promise a friend some Confederate money.

It is a interesting place, the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain was part of Sherman's March to Atlanta and was a particularily nasty battle. As you can read the south did win this engagement although General Johnson did retreat rather then face being cut off by Sherman's forces. We did do some hiking and made our way to Pigeon Hill, there are some Confederate earthworks visible. At this sight there was a serious skirmish which cost the lives of hundreds. It's eerie to consider that where we stood, people fought and died. There is a hush still today when you consider that men put their lives on the line for either a cause, or for the fact they were protecting their homes from a perceived invader. On a fence was a wreath with the simple words of a state and the fact these were soldiers of the Confederacy.

It was a silent yet in the silence there was something that made it a place not to play but to mediate and consider.


Saturday, August 07, 2004

Back from the trip down south. I can say it was a great time, the food was fabulous and seeing family that I haven't seen in a decade was great. Also met some new second cousins for the first time. As mentioned it was at the Elijah Clark State Park near Lincolnton Georgia. It is a delightful camp and if travels take you there, it's worth the stop. The place has cabins which quite frankly rival some hotels. At the park there is the burial plots of Elijah and Hannah Clark a small museum, hiking trails and a beach to swim at, a great place to visit.

After that we did get to Six Flags over Georgia. A fun time was had by all. There are a number of fun roller coasters, my favourite turned out to be the last one I rode, the Superman Ultimate Flight one. It is one of those flying roller coasters where you don't sit, or stand, but fly with the tracks either above you or below you. Yes you fly upside down and go through a number of loops and turns. It is great. I'm only sorry I waited until the end of the day. Other fun coasters were the Ninja and the Georgia Scorcher. I do enjoy a good coaster.

The journey home was uneventful.

Let me say it's always important to learn something and here's what I learned.

1) the waffle is king
2) the greatest invention is the waffle iron
3) Southerns are very proud of their culture
4) it is hot down south but it appears people are used to it.
5) the South is beautiful, the ugly states are Michigan and Ohio.

I know I've lost some training days but still managed to do 30k on the bike in 1hr 13 minutes. Not bad. Tomorrow I'm running.