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Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Lunch With Canada Post President, Moya Greene

I'm not the person in this picture with Moya Greene. That's Liberal MP, Scott Brison.

However, my wife and I did have lunch with her at Heritage Fish & Chips in Brampton.

We talked about the joys of retirement and, of course, Canada Post, the Canada Post Pension Plan and CUPW. Revenues were down because of the recession and Canada Post still needs to cut costs. This is understandable because our defined pension plan depends on Canada Post profits as well as employee contributions.

We also talked about the kinds of electrical vehicles that Canada Post  needs for the future, but these have to be made individually for the particular requirements of the company.

Both my wife, Irene, and Moya were from Newfoundland, so they shared moments of reflection on this one-of-a-kind province.

Like many of her fellow Newfoundlanders, Moya has an unpretentious friendliness and outspokeness about her. She definitely wants Canada Post to survive this downturn and insure jobs for present employees and defined benefits for retired employees.

There are many pension plans in dire straights these days. It's important to take nothing for granted about company profitability. All employees have to work together to make sure the employer makes enough profit to pay sustainable retiree benefits and pensions.

My history in Canada Post and CUPW can be found at www.cupw.info.

 


Posted by qualteam at 9:55 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 11 June 2009 11:22 PM EDT
Sunday, 7 June 2009
Rock On Dave: Today's My Birthday

Nice version of Elvis singing "Happy Birthday". It's good because it's short and sweet.

Yesterday my wife, Irene, took me to Baton Rouge for dinner in Mississauga. Both the quality and quantity of the meal met expectations. The honey mustard salad was so good that I gave it to Irene and she loved it. The main course included huge baked potatoes which we enjoyed immensely. Irene had Altantic salmon as her main entrée and I had sirloin steak. They were both cooked to our specifications and filled us up.

The dessert, chocolate mousse, was ok, but we really didn't need it.

The bill which included two beverages came to $61.00. This was bit higher than most family restaurants, but for good homecooked food, it's a bargain.

As far as my age is concerned, I've been around before rock and roll and TV.

I've worked at Canada Post for over 35 years. You can discover my postie years at www.cupw.info.

My wife and I have a family website at www.daveandirene.ca. There lots of pictures of our families, Ontario, and Newfoundland on this site. There's also great oldies that you play in the background.

The other websites at www.davebarron.info, www.davidbarron.info and www.davidbarron.biz pertain to me as a writer.

Since I've retired, I've lost 16 pounds from working out and playing volleyball.

I still have goals that I want to achieve beyond paying off the mortgage. I want to succeed as a writer and screenwriter.

I've been lucky in life to have secure pensions. I've been lucky as well to have the ability to express myself with words and images.

Enjoy a song about the 1950s from the Statler Brothers.


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Posted by qualteam at 9:04 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 7 June 2009 9:51 AM EDT
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
Winning Poker: Luck? Skill? Deep Pockets?

While there are disputes about how much skill goes into Hold'em Poker, there is no dispute that it can be very entertaining. Check out the hand  between Phil Hellmuth and Danial Negreanu above. It's hard to believe that Hellmuth is one of the top poker players in the world.

Recently, I ran into many bad beats over the last four months. This was hard to take because I did so well last year. 

I reassessed my views on poker. 

There's no disputing that there are acquired skills connected with playing winning poker. You could probably learn them in a year or so. You can read opponents. You can follow "Poker Basics 101" or you follow your instincts. You can clown around or act like tar baby. In the end, you have "to go all in" to win large or progress further in a tournament. You have to get lucky each time the flop, the turn and the river are turned over. You need "deep pockets" to get through the bad beats. In the end, the game is about 60% luck, 20% skill and 20% reserve cash.

In my opinion, it may take more than one lifetime for one's poker skills to win in the long run. Despite that, Texas Hold' Em  is still an exciting game both to play and watch.


Posted by qualteam at 12:21 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 2 June 2009 1:01 PM EDT
Friday, 29 May 2009
Lawyers Of The Year: David Share & Associates


It's not very often that I would recommend lawyers to you, but David Share & Associates are an exception.

My wife and I had to handle an issue with an insurance company recently and the lawyers from this firm were up to the job.

The lawyers maintain a high level of professionalism while treating their clients with the upmost understanding and compassion.

Our dispute with a major insurance company was handled in less than a year and we were always updated on the progress of the negotiations.

Check out David Share's website here

I paid for legal insurance for over five years and all I got from it was two "free wills". This is something difference, expertise that is very helpful with lawsuits.


Posted by qualteam at 11:17 PM EDT
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Born Again People

When Jesus used the analogy of being "Born Again", in the Gospel of John, I believe it's quite obvious what he meant. When I person is born into the world of human senses, he become aware of his body, other bodies and the physical existence that surrounds him like clothes, toys, etc. When he's born again, he discovers the spiritual world in much the same sense that a baby discovers his crib and parents.

Becoming spiritually aware is part of other religious practices like Buddhism. Somewhere along the way, one finds oneself in some kind of spiritual world. There are various rituals to help one transcend this world like mediation, soul travel and past life therapy.

In Christianity, the concept of rebirth seems to be related to water and spiritual baptism from the Holy Spirit. Something divine happens which opens one's eyes to the spirit world(i.e The Kingdom of God).

You don't need to be a Christian to jump into the spirit world. Many different religions have done that for thousands of years. Connecting to Christ is a different thing. It's a decision to be part of "his team". It's a decision to "mind meld" with the team leader and his brotherhood. Basically, this is the big "I AM" connecting up with the little "I ams".

Different religions have different ways of expressing themselves on the above subject. We should honestly try to understand the other guy's point of view.


Posted by qualteam at 2:01 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 27 May 2009 2:06 PM EDT
Saturday, 23 May 2009
The Science Fiction, Star Trek Gateway

Science Fiction and Star Trek are not only gateways to the universe, but to the subconscious as well. Trekkies go over details of Star Trek movies and episodes to make sure they are remembered in detail. To many, these Star Trek visions are foundations for the organizations and life forms in this galaxy.

Do Trekkies need a life or is Star Trek part of their previous lives? There has been six TV series and 11 movies based on the basic concept. These characters and ideas seem to endure more than others in science fiction literature.

It's natural for human beings to want answers about their life in a very large universe. We want to know where we came from and where we're going. Science fiction, Star Trek and various religions try to fill a thrist for knowledge beyond what we know in this world.

Space fantasies, the internet and other media seem to link our minds to remembrances of advanced and/or alien civilizations. 

There's a mental renewal process going on that makes the present "Star Trek Movie" fresh and exciting.

Because of the divine influence of Jesus and "The Brotherhood of Christ", we are looking deeper and longer into the universe than ever before. 


Posted by qualteam at 10:21 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 23 May 2009 10:33 PM EDT
Thursday, 21 May 2009
The Top Ten Fun Things About This Recession

  1. What's the "Capital" of Iceland? - About 70 cents.
  2. Ali Baba and the forty thieves are now Ali Baba and the thirty thieves. Ten were laid off!
  3. -Q: What's the difference between America and Zimbabwe?
    A: Zimbabwe's paper money is on real paper.
  4. Did you hear Goldman Sachs has a new cafeteria? - It's called the Warren buffet.
  5. The recession is worse than a divorce. You lose half your savings and still have your wife.
  6. -Q: What's the difference between an investment banker and a large pizza? A: A large pizza can feed a family of four.
  7. Q: With the current market turmoil, what's the easiest way to make a small fortune? A: Start off with a large one.
  8. Batman and Robin are now Batman and Pedro. Batman fired Robin and hired Pedro because Pedro was willing to work twice the hours at the same rate!!
  9. In Japan, the Sumo Bank has gone belly up.
  10. A priest, an autoworker, and a mortgage broker were all caught in a shipwreck. Sharks were soon circling around. The sharks ate the autoworker first and the priest began to pray fervently, but to no avail, because the sharks ate him as well. The mortgage broker was getting worried when a huge shark came after him. But instead of eating him, the shark put him on its back and carried him to shore. Dumfounded, the mortgage broker asked, "How come you didn't eat me too?" The shark replied, "Professional Courtesy!"

How's the recession going in your neighbourhood, some "experts" believe that it's over already. In Canada, there are positive signs that the recesssion isn't as bad as many think.

 


Posted by qualteam at 4:58 PM EDT
Monday, 18 May 2009
Letter Of The Week On Christian Fundamentalism

Below is a "letter to the editor" from Rex Meade on Mitch Potter's article, "Gearing Up For The Apocalypse", that I commented on in my last entry.

I found the last paragraph of his letter very amusing. 

The complete letter is below:

"Mitch Potter's account of the hell and brimstone rantings of Tim LaHaye and others of his ilk brings back memories of 50 years ago when, as a 13-year-old boy, I squirmed in the church pew listening to similar pronouncements from the pulpit. Back then it was inane diatribes against liberalism, integration, mixed-race marriages, Elvis Presley, and the imminent downfall of civilization.

Today it's liberalism, gay marriage, Muslims, Russians and stem cell research. It is the same old racism, and fear-mongering, but now playing to multi-million dollar book sales, TV deals and not just the collection plate.

There's one thing we can all be be sure of: In another 50 years the same old crowd will still be hate-mongering about liberalism and whatever new evil is about to send us all to hell.

One can only hope there is indeed a Rapture where all the True Believers disappear in a flash, leaving the rest of us in glorious peace."

Rex Meade: Letter to the Editor, Toronto Star

P.S. I firmly believe in religious freedom as a basic human right. Everyone has the freedom to examine religious movements of one kind or another and see whether it agrees with his/her inner light.

What is "Jesus Camp"? Click here.


Posted by qualteam at 10:04 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 19 May 2009 12:13 AM EDT
Sunday, 17 May 2009
I Have A Problem With The Fundamentalist View On The Second Coming

Yesterday, I read an article on "The Apocalype" by Mitch Potter in The Toronto Star. 

The biggest drumbeater for the fundamentalist view on "The Second Coming" has to be Tim LaHaye. His "Left Behind Books" have sold more than 60 million copies.

I saw a couple of movies based on these books. I'm impressed by Mr. LaHaye's research into Biblical End Times.

Please note, there are other serious studies about these times in other religions.

As you can see from the picture on the left, the depiction of Christ's return is on a horse. In other pictures of this event, angels with wings fly down with him to The Mount Of Olives.

As I've stated in other entries in this blog, the visions of Christ, God, angels and miraculous events usually come from medieval artists. This is part of the Christian dogma box. It's canned Christianity which doesn't need a personal viewpoint or inner vision.

Any advanced alien civilization which has intentions of conquering Earth would find allies in Christian Fundamentalists if they (the aliens) could counterfeit the events in Left Behind with high tech illusions. 

The Rapture, itself, could be duplicated by transporting (Star Trek style) fundamentalists to a holodeck cloud in the sky. The Bible is loaded with lots of examples of how deceptive Satan is. 

Believers singing the same tune and marching to the same drummer are examples of group think created by biblical experts.

Another kind of group think caused the stock market to lose 40% of its value because economic experts led investor-sheep over the cliff.


Posted by qualteam at 1:40 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 18 May 2009 10:20 PM EDT
Thursday, 14 May 2009
Goodbye To The Gateway Post Office

As you know, I retired from Canada Post on Feb/14/09 (a valentine's gift to myself). However, I continued to workout at the Gateway gym from that date until the end of April. I did this faithfully three days a week for an hour each day.

I'd like to point out that over the last four years, retirees have been allowed to use the Gateway gym. However, this changed at the end of the April when I was told that I and other retirees were no longer welcome at the gym. The reason for this was security. Needless to say, I was very disappointed because no one mentioned this "security issue" over the last four years.

My refund check for $60.00 arrived today by Express Post.

I have no regrets over these sudden inexplicable changes in policy. After all, I earned a good living at Canada Post for over 35 years and now, I get a good pension with reasonable benefits.

Recently, I signed up at a Brampton recreational centre which includes state of the art gym equipment, pool and sauna. The membership fee is $212.00 a year and it takes me ten minutes to bike there. Going to Gateway in Mississauga, the travelling time by bus was over an hour each way.  

I have many good memories at Canada Post. I enjoyed the work and I made some good friends there. 

How can I forget a place whose address is the date of my birth: 45/7/6?

For more on my history at Canada Post, please go to the website at www.cupw.info.

 


Posted by qualteam at 12:26 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 14 May 2009 10:21 PM EDT

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