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November, 2006:

Programmable thermostats and Big Brother

A colleague told me a story today that kind of freaked me out.
As part of the Ontario smart meter program, he had one of these devices installed in his home. You know – the smart meters are the ones that monitor your electricity usage through the day and will serve as a householder,s guide when we Ontarians begin to be charged for our consumption on a scale based on the time of the day.
Well, the folks at Ottawa Hydro or Ontario Power Generation or whomever is responsible for this program had another “gift” for my colleague. They would receive a brand new programmable thermostat free of charge and accessible over the web by you off PC so you can adjust the programming remotely,
But there is a catch.
You are not the only one who can access the controls to the thermostat. To receive the free gift, you must sign a waiver agreeing that the power authority can access your household’s thermostat from THEIR computers and adjust YOUR household’s temperature. So, on a scalding hot day, they can reach into your system and lower your consumption to reduce the loads on the grid.
Is this for real?
Of course, my colleague declined the offer but who in their right mind would consent to it?
What a Big Brother move.
Here’s the link to the program:


A waste of oxygen

Oh goody.
The ideologues are pandering to their 19th century roots again.
The Harperites are bringing up same sex marriages.
Let it go and stand tall in knowing that Canada is one of the only enlightened democracies that does not limit its definition of a legal life-long commitment only to those of opposite sexes.
We should and do have better things to debate.
Like our role in Afghanistan maybe?


Addy and the Blue and White

She’s not yet 3 years old – but already has her loyalty attached to the right colours!


Canada is a nation. Quebec is not.

Unbelievable that this issue is receiving so much air and debate time.
Strictly as a political maneuver – first by the Bloc taking advantage of Liberal leadership disagreement and then by Harper to score political points in QC.
But he treads a fine line here – but I don’t think he cares because like the Bloc every move is calculated to better their electoral fortunes with scant regard to the future of the country and what may be at stake.
Thank-you Mr. Kennedy for taking a gutsy stand and welcome breath of sanity.


Been away for a while

I don’t know why I abandoned this for as long as I did. I DO like to spout off and I by and large DON’T care much about which unfortunate soul may be at the receiving end of my blah-blah’s.

Lately, I have noticed a marked change in strategy for the Conservatives. They have gone from the PMO command and control mode to the “holy crap! We’re still the government! what the hell can we screw up this week!” approach.

First it was the Rona show at the Climate Change conference last week. What an opportunity to try and sell the Conservative commitment to, uh, climate change emission reductions!

But, uh-uh – she takes the opportunity to bitch about the Liberals and how they screwed things up for the good guys – the Conservatives!

Being named after a popular Canadian home supply store can’t be easy and it must from time to time impede on her ability to jump out of and run around that 6m x 4m spruce plywood box, but, shouldn’t she have at least acknowledged something along the lines of a step in the right direction?

Saw a great Fifth Estate last week – this show never ceases to amaze me.

This time it was about the so-called climate change “deniers”… turns out there is a group of academics who use their credentials to poo-poo a number of contentious subjects like climate change, the effect of cigarettes on health and the notion the earth is round. Many of these scientists have migrated to the Conservative crowd screaming out to anyone that cares that climate change is (take your pick) : not really happening ; is happening, but is completely natural and human activities have nothing to do with it, or; is damned fine since we’ll soon be able to grown bananas in the oil patch!

Anyhow – Steve and Rona are taking their cues from these yahoos. They have to be. Right? I mean, we wouldn’t have knowingly elected a Prime Minister and Cabinet who would whine about how the neighbourhood bullies messed up the planet, tables “air quality” legislation that completely ignores climate change and then turn to flat-earthers to back them up. Would we?