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Friday miscellany…

Encyclopaedia Britannica edition…

Bye-bye to that venerable institution.

I remember when my parents bought a set from a door-to-door salesman. I went through every single page! But the truth is that research tools have come a long way and we shouldn’t mourn the death of the candle because of the invention of the light bulb… as Ayn Rand might say.


The National Capital Commission – abolish it. Soon. It’s an antiquated, short-sighted and undemocratic body that is in charge of BILLIONS of dollars worth of properties in the NCR. Its time has passed. Disperse the lands to the City.

OTTAWA — Nicholas Hoare, owner of the independent Canadian bookstore chain of the same name, said he was forced to close his Ottawa store when the National Capital Commission tried to hike his yearly rent to nearly $145,000.

The NCC sent Hoare a notice in mid-December stating his new lease agreement would increase the $84,000 rent of his Sussex Dr. store by 72 per cent. The letter also said the rent would continue to increase incrementally each year for the duration of the five-year lease agreement.

“We got this registered letter out of the blue from these clowns telling us in no uncertain terms that this was final and not negotiable,” he said.

Hoare said Matthew Mitchell, the manager of the Ottawa store, tried to contact the NCC and negotiate the lease but he received no response.

“Nobody would phone him back. It’s like dealing with a brick wall,” he said. “There was no discussion, no argument, no negotiation.”


Hmmmm… RoboGate seems to be unfolding a bit more clearly now. I wonder how the Cons are going to spin this? Again, I’m not going to jump to conclusions until the investigations have concluded.

But still…

An investigation by CBC News has turned up voters all over Canada who say the reason they got robocalls sending them to fictitious polling stations was that they’d revealed they would not vote Conservative.

Although the Conservative Party has denied any involvement in the calls, these new details suggest that the misleading calls relied on data gathered by, and carefully guarded by, the Conservative Party.

Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand announced Thursday that he now has “over 700 Canadians from across the country” who allege “specific circumstances” of fraudulent or improper calls. CBC News examined 31 ridings where such calls have been reported and found a pattern: those receiving those calls also had previous calls from the Conservative Party to find out which way they would vote.


For St. Patrick’s Day:


Still amazed that, even though my Leafs are struggling right now, Sens fans are still obsessed more with the Blue and White rather than their own damned team! I will NEVER understand these people! They are in dire need of therapy!

RT @redscarfunion: Who’s jacked up for a big weekend? #FirstPlaceFriday #Sens #Sens20 #ottawa #ottcity #habssuck #leafssuck #suckitphaneuf

I’ve noted this before… I guess some things never change.


There’s a group here in Ottawa that is trying to get the municipal ban on backyard hen-raising lifted. Specifically:

Objective: To influence revision of City of Ottawa bylaw #2003-77, to allow hens in urban and rural residential back yards.

I personally don’t have a problem with the idea of hens (no roosters) in the backyard. Other cities have done it and there seems to be an answer to every question posed about health (human and chicken), noise, vermin, etc. Plus, I think it important that we, as a society, begin to re-assess how our properties are used; food gardens and small-scale poultry operations, or, as a colleague has put it, non-productive domestic crops (i.e., lawns).

I have converted a nice proportion of what little backyard I have into plots for my tomatoes, beans, raspberries, horseradishes, beets and cucumbers. The food is GREAT and fresh as can be, plus, my youngest daughter has taken a keen interest in our wee little “farm”. And this is good as it is teaching her the value of work plus teaches her that food doesn’t just magically appear on store shelves.

So I say, hell, why not! The City might at least direct staff to take a closer look at this issue rather than dismiss it off the cuff like this:

“First and foremost, sincere apologies for our slow response to your message. By-law and Regulatory Services does not support the introduction of urban chickens for many reasons you refuted in your communication (noise, odour, attraction of predatory animals such as coyotes, potential for the spread of zoonotic diseases). The City is not presently resourced to issue permits nor respond to complaints concerning chickens – including chickens at large – and the Ottawa Humane Society (who provides sheltering services for the City) would have to be consulted on whether or not they have capacity to expand to shelter stray chickens and at what cost. We further question what becomes of chickens who grow too old to continue to produce eggs.

You speak of “responsible” hen ownership. Our concern would be the residents who do not take this responsibility seriously.

I appreciate and respect your submission and will retain it for future reference.

Linda Anderson
By-law and Regulatory Services”

If you are on Facebook, check them out here.



Friday miscellany…

O M G! The SKY is falling edition…

Literally. The sky. Falling. Yup. The sun burps and we all freak out. Oh no! The GPS on my iPhone might lose some of its precision!!!!

Anyhow, the solar “storm” seems to have had little impact and we can all carry on with our lives.


You know what was the funniest thing about this? The reaction in the social media. The Twitterverse was full of quotes from the bible claiming that these were the end of days, while others were taking a lighter look at things:

RT @Unnamedinsider: After the nuclear disaster in Japan failed to produce any superheroes, I’m hoping this #SolarStorm could be my chance!!




Unless you have been living under a digital rock for the past week, you have seen the Kony video put out by the Invisible Children campaign. Went viral, it did. And it sure tugged at the heartstrings. Movies like Blood Diamond showed the viciousness of the Lord’s Resistance Army and got some global attention.

But there are two things that bugged me a little about this campaign:

  1. The Lord’s Resistance is a group in retreat. It isn’t really that big a deal any more. After being relentlessly hunted by the armies of several nations, it is a shadow of it’s former self. So where was this video 15 years ago? Oh yeah, YouTube wasn’t around yet.
  2. The blatant appeal for money to buy a Kony “kit” immediately threw up a field of red flags for me. Seriously?
  3. Plus, it seems as though the organization behind the campaign may be concerned more about lining its own pockets than finding and capturing Kony.

I’m undecided on this one. Horrific things have happened in that part of the world thanks to Kony, true. But asking for money for a campaign that might already be moot is a bit suspicious.


What is it with aggressive drivers this week? Two days in a row now I have almost been clipped by cars roaring through the crosswalk (with flashing lights!) in front of my building at Tunney’s Pasture! It’s a CROSSWALK PEOPLE!

For the record, the one who missed me by about 8 inches or so at about 12:45 today had a custom plate # 10 08 88, and was a red Ford coupe. If you know this guy, please tell them that a certain bald guy wants to pull his liver out through his nose!


Call-bot. It’s coming for you!


Figgers Harper would take Ford’s side on the subway versus LRT issue in T.O. He is consistent – I’ll give that to him.

“I prefer when I want to use public transit to go underground, unimpeded … and when I want to use my car I prefer not to be running in to LRTs and streetcars,” Mr. Harper said after a ground-breaking ceremony for a pedestrian tunnel connecting Toronto’s island airport to the mainland.

Naw, the Feds aren’t getting involved in local issues… naawwww… not THIS government!


I would like to take the dude who came up with the idea of gifts at Easter (which personally don’t even recognise as a holiday), and introduce him to the woodshed!

Great! Another excuse to spend money on our kids to show them how much we love them.

This is about a crackpot idea as giving out loot bags to kid’s party guests party guests! WHO was the GENIUS who thought of  THAT???


The Grapefruit League has begun!

Go Jays Go!!!!



Jason Kenney rises in the House…

… to screech that fraudulent calls were the result of a massive solar storm.

Possibly caused by Stephen Dion. Or Taliban Bob.

Solar system frauds. A proud legacy of the Conservative Party of Canada.


A course on…

… how to commit fraud?

Interesting piece in the Vancouver Observer that is making the rounds on Facebook describing a course given through the conservative think-tank Manning Institute.

Again, no smoking gun and I’m not drawing any conclusions about the CPC involvement, but give it a read and come to your own conclusions.



The robocall blame falls at the feet of Elections Canada?


What has this guy been smoking?

“I suspect that at the end of the day, if Elections Canada has the resources to do a proper investigation, they’ll find they’re themselves significantly responsible, that tech issues with marrying EC lists to available, electronic phone lists is part of the problem, and in a few instances there may have been malfeasance by one (political) party or the other,” wrote Vellacott.

Of course, this wacko has spoken without thinking before:

From May 2006:

Vellacott created a firestorm last weekend when he accused McLachlin of saying that when judges “step into [a judicial activist] role, all of a sudden there’s some mystical kind of power that comes over them by which everything they ever decreed is not to be questioned and they actually have these discerning and almost prophetic abilities to be able to come and know the mind of the public and they take on almost godlike powers.”

From 2005:

After Prime Minister Paul Martin announced Tuesday that Stronach was switching parties and joining his cabinet, veteran Ontario Conservative Bob Runciman called her “a dipstick – an attractive one, but still a dipstick.”

Saskatchewan Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott said “people prostitute themselves for different costs or different prices.”

Alberta Conservative Tony Abbott jumped into the debate by saying Stronach had “whored herself out for power.” On Wednesday, Abbott said he regretted his comments.


In an embarrassing turn, Saskatoon MP Maurice Vellacott publicly apologized Monday for telling New Democrat Peter Stoffer’s constituents their MP supported the long gun registry. He has been an unwavering opponent of the registry. Mr. Vellacott’s disclosure that the material was the party’s responsibility reveals that MPs names merely front party campaigns.

Yup. He’s a nutbar, alright.


Friday miscellany…

… in like a lion edition…

I have, so far, stayed away from saying a lot about the ongoing car accident going by the name of Robo-gate, phonescam, etc. Final determinations of blame and guilt have yet to happen. Here is what we do know.

  • Something did happen in Guelph. The RCMP and Elections Canada are formally investigating and they would not be doing so without cause.
  • It is known that at least one CPC operative was behind the misdirecting calls.
  • What is not known is from what level of the organisation did the command to carry out the fraudulent calls.
  • Misdirecting and annoying or rude calls also occurred in dozens of other ridings. The overwhelming majority of these ridings were CPC / Grit contests.
  • The contention by the CPC that the Liberals made these calls themselves is beyond ludicrous.

My conclusion this far is that something fishy and likely illegal went down last spring. And in at least one case the CPC is culpable at some level of the organisation. As for the other cases, this will unfold as it will… too soon to make a judgment.


Elections Canada has been deluged by 31,000 complaints in relation to last year’s ballot, focused mainly on robo-calls and other harassing phone calls.

The non-partisan agency received 500 complaints in relation to the previous election in 2008, and 329 in relation to the 2006 ballot.

The explosion in complaints is related in large part to widespread media coverage of alleged fraudulent robo-calls in the Ontario riding of Guelph, as well as other alleged irregularities in dozens of other ridings.

Wow. 31,000.

What the CPC should be very concerned about is that IF there was knowledge of or overt support for these acts and IF foot soldiers are tagged by the Mounties or Elections Canada, then they may make a deal to avoid lengthy jail time. And names will be named.

In the meantime, this makes for fun times for those of us who would like to see King Harper dethroned.

And don’t preach to me all holier-than-thou-like that I and other progressives shouldn’t make political hay out of this! Think back to feeding frenzy at the beginning of the sponsorship scandal, my conservative friends…


OC Transpo? Tell me something. What are there far fewer buses stopping at Hurdman on Friday mornings? And why do some buses, like the 94 (bus number 6492) I just saw, pull up to either far end of the platform, unload, and get away ASAP even though you see customers running up to your doors? Hmm?


Lego profits are going through a block-constructed roof? Really? This is so old school, one might find it hard to believe this market is growing. But a cursory scan of the net shows a HUGE following out there. Go figger.


Hey! Davey Jones! My Monkees lunchbox was always my fave! Just so ya know.


So Sears is closing their store in the Rideau Centre! Wow! This will apparently open the way for something called Nordstrom  – whatever that is…




Finally – Happy Birthday Dr. Suess!

My Mom subscribed to a kid’s book club pretty much since I was born and well into the ’70’s where a new hardcover Dr. Suess or Berenstain Bears books was delivered once every month or so. I can clearly remember my brother and I excitingly crossing the highway to our mailbox to see if the new, cardboard encased, book had arrived!

My fave? Green Eggs and Ham. Hands down,

And these books are still around after having survived me and my three siblings plus my kids and those of my brothers…



It seems like the Cons were using Robocalls everywhere…

… except for one riding – Parry Sound/Muskoka – where they got their votes in the 2011 election the old-fashioned way.


They bought them.