Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Thrift Store is Officially Open

We officially opened the new Thrift Store in Essex today. We've been opened on the new location since the beginning of the month, but today we had the local VIP's plus a few from DHQ down to cut the ribbon.

The picture is the staff and volunteers of the Store. I wanted one picture of the group and yes that is a cat in the photograph. We do have a cat, her name is Sally Ann and she is going to get fixed.

A great bunch of people who worked very hard to make this day happen.

Thanks all.

Monday, February 19, 2007

>Finally, Skiing

I have always enjoyed Cross- country skiing. I enjoy getting out along a trail, especially if that trail runs through the woods and just skiing. It's great just to get out there and listening to nature and seeing what there is to see.

X-country skiing has a lot going for it, the physical exertion, the challenge of using the body as the means of transportation, plus breathing deeply all that great cold air. Every moment I spent on skies has been a fabulous one.

As I blogged a few days ago, we finally got a good snowstorm and with the temperature remaining cold I figured this was the weekend to get out. Which is precisely what I did. I found my skies, which I haven't used in two years, lousy mild winter (grumble, grumble), and found a good place to ski.

Fortunately ERCA has established a greenbelt through the county. The Chrysler Canada Greenway is down one of the county roads and that was where I headed.

It started out snowing, but the clouds parted and the sun came out. I saw a number of birds, such as finches, cardinals, hawks and I think a couple of eagles. It was simply a glorious afternoon to go skiing

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Kung Hei Fat Choi!

to all those who are celebrating the Year of the Pig, may it be a prosperous and blessed new year.

To understand Chinese New Year:

The Lunar New Year dates from 2600 BC, when the Emperor Huang Ti introduced the first cycle of the Chinese zodiac.

Because of cyclical lunar dating, the first day of the year can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February. On the Chinese calendar, 2007 is Lunar Year 4704-4705. On the Western calendar, the start of the New Year falls on February 18, 2007 — The Year of the Pig.

If you were born in 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983 or 1995 - you were born under the sign of the pig. Like the pig, you are highly regarded for your chilvary and pureness of heart, and you often make friends for life. For pigs in 2007, any recent setbacks or obstacles can be overcome so look forward to a year in which to really shine, either personally or professionally.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

As you know from reading my blog, I am a big fan of the New Doctor Who program. I am also a fan of classic rock.

I was searching for "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" videos I came across this little gem.

Yes, a video that features cuts from the first two seasons and BOC's signature song.

I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Winter comes to Essex County,

We've had the cold temperatures now we've got the snow. That's right the first large snowfall of the season hit yesterday and winter made up for the delay.

These photographs were taken around the house. Looks like I'll be doing some cross country skiing this weekend.

All photographs taken with my Virgin Mobile cellular phone.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Music industry wants copy surcharge on MP3 players

You know, just this morning I woke and said to myself: Self, you've not written anything negative about the Recording Association in ages. Well, actually I didn't, but it's true, the RIAA and the Canadian equivalent the CRIA have been behaving rather well. Yes the lawsuits are probably still flying but at least their not going after grandparents who don't even own a computer. I think some of the court decisions have been going badly as of late.

Still they have been good, then I open up my paper to day and read the above article. It seems a group in Canada, the CPCC want to revisit a dead issue, they want to have a levy put on all MP3 players. Now to give you some background and you can read the article, but still let me tell you aabout it. Two years ago there was a major push by the Recording Industry to have a levy placed on mp3 players, such as the iPod. The contention of the group is that the devices are recordings, such as blank media of which there is already a levy. In other words, the mp3 player is the media and not a devise for playing media such as music or videos. If that is the case then they demand a levy be placed on these devises. They also, I believe, at the time tried to get a levy on hard drives, since people download music onto them, those nasty consumers.

At the time, a Court ruled that such players are not under the jurisdiction of the Copyright Board and they could not impose a levy. I suggest you read the article to gain an understanding into the issue. If you open it to your PDF reader, you will find the salient remarks on page 39 and 40. Needless to say, there are people who want it revisited.

All this begs the question, what has changed in two years? The answer, nothing. MP3 players are still players, they are not the media or medium they play what is recorded on them, much as a CD player plays what is recorded on the disc that is inserted. They are a device for listening to music, certainly you download or burn music from CD's that have been purchased, but they are not media.

We have to keep an eye on this.

I'll keep you informed.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

By almost three-to-one, Canadians say anti-Dion Tory ads are unfair: poll

Just read my pre-SuperBowl blog regarding the ridiculous attack ads the Conservative Party of Canada ran against the Liberal Party leader Stephane Dion. As you know from reading various blogs I am not a fan of the Liberal Party, but come on Conservatives. Let me introduce you a fascinating concept, this is not the 1990's. Yes I know there are still a number of attack ads each and every election but you want to know something, people are sick of them. You want to do something positive, then deal with issues not personalities.

The result of polls is this, 3 to 1 hated the advertisement, that works out to 75% of people who saw the ad thought it was unfair. That means there were a whole lot of potential voters who will not be impressed with anything else you do during the next election campaign.

Can I make a suggestion for all the major parties, knock off the attack ads. Honestly, it just makes you look stupid. How about spending all your advertising dollars on a campaign that will centre on issues and not what you personally think of someone else.

Just a thought.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

New Social Justice Commission

Just the past week, the General of The Salvation Army, Shaw Clifton announced the establishment of an International Social Justice Commission. The purpose of this Commission will be:
* The director will lead a small team of full-time specialists, all committed Salvationists.
* The commission will be a permanent, standing body.
* A panel of expert international consultants will be created.
* The director and staff will be the Army’s principal international advocate and adviser on social, economic and political issues and events giving rise to the perpetuation of social injustice in the world. They will assist the Army in addressing social injustice in a systematic, measured, proactive and Christian manner, consistent with the purposes for which God raised up The Salvation Army.
* The commission will advise the General and other senior leaders at IHQ in matters of social justice.
* It will absorb and extend the current work of the Moral and Social Issues desk at IHQ, re-introducing an International Moral and Social Issues Council (IMASIC).
* The commission will expand and develop the Army’s role and influence within the United Nations, supervising and coordinating the work now being done in New York, Vienna and Geneva.
* It will place on a more systematic and effective basis the role of the Army in relation to other major world forums, advising the General on representation therein.
* The commission will liaise regularly with territorial and other Army groups engaged in social justice advocacy, seeking to ensure a coordinated approach and offering encouragement and guidance.
* It will liaise with territories and commands where as yet little is being done in relation to issues of social justice, seeking to find ways in which such a role can be undertaken by the Army in the local setting.

It's first Commissioner will be Commissioner Christine MacMillan. The Office will be established in New York City, with the purpose of giving the Army a voice before the United Nation. Certainly the time is now for a unique Christian world view to be presented before this august body. As well Commissioner MacMillan brings both a unique Canadian and world view of social Justice. As you can read in her bio, she has served extensively in the third world and so she does know first hand the social justice issues facing the third world.

She will do a good job.