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Tuesday, 21 July 2009
The Toronto Garbage Strike

Fortunately in Brampton, we don't have to deal with militant unionized  garbage workers. Our garbage is contracted out like many cities in Ontario.

This is my first entry on the Toronto Garbage Strike. I hope it will be my last. I don't like dwelling on subjects that are made worse by media attention.

The letter below was sent to my MPP (Member of Provincial Parliament), Linda Jeffreys. You can send her a letter too at this email address.

"I'm really getting tired of the demoralizing media reports on the
Toronto Garbage Strike. As a former member of a militant union
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers, I can sympathize with those
who have to negotiate with those who are willing to stay on strike "forever" on principle.
 
Whatever happened to mediation followed by binding arbitration? These seem to be non-existent during this labour dispute.
 
Against the background of no progress in collective bargaining, we are subjected day after day to the conflict over garbage dumps and its effect on residents and tourism.
 
The rodent and insect population which carry diseases increase daily. Toronto residents are at their wits end on what to do.
 
Toronto and
David Miller have become the laughing stock of North America while Toronto residents are held hostage by militant CUPE militants.
 
If the city doesn't provide leadership on these issues, then Ontario Government must do so.
 
The situation is more than a health hazard. In a recessionary environment, public workers should be glad they have a good paying job with a pension. That isn't true with most Canadians.
 
I implore you and The Liberal Party to impose binding arbitration on the parties with back-to-work legislation. It has worked many times with CUPW. Why not
CUPE?
 
In the last election, I voted Liberal provincially. If this strike is allowed
to continue and do more harm to Toronto, I will change my vote in the next election. I'm sure many citizens in Ontario feel the same way too.
 
How would you feel if a cartoonist pictured Premier Dalton McGuinty with a banana peel on his head?
 

 


Posted by qualteam at 4:37 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 21 July 2009 5:07 PM EDT
Sunday, 19 July 2009
Tori Heintz And Mike Richardson's Wedding

 

Yesterday, my wife, Irene, and I attended the wedding of our niece, Victoria Heintz.

It was a unique experience because the reception was held in a large renovated barn that was beautifully lit with chandeliers. I've been to many weddings before but never one like this.

The location was on the groom's parent's farm near New Hambug, Ontario.

The highlights of the day were the speeches from Michael's three sisters and Tori.

1. Michael's sisters talked about their brother as a real hellraiser who liked to  drive cars and trucks recklessly. He was a good role model "for doing things you shouldn't do". Despite all the comments about Michael's wild side, it was apparent that the sisters loved him very much.

2. Tori related how she wanted to get married by her grandfather, an Anglican minister. Unfortunately, he passed away several years earlier. However, that dream came partially true when her stepfather, Joe Noseworthy, stepped in and married her. Tears came to Tori's eyes  and to mine as well.

I put an hour and half of the wedding/reception on tape. This was great because I was the only person there with a camcorder. Copies of this tape will go to Tori and Mike, their parents and the Maid of Honour/Best Man. It warms my heart that memories of this intense event can be perserved for future generations.

Please enjoy, "The Wedding" by Julie Rogers above. It captures the mood.


Posted by qualteam at 10:06 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 19 July 2009 10:32 PM EDT
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Operator, Information, Give Me Jesus On The Line

 

A German photographer on vacation in Orlando was inside a church taking photographs when he noticed a golden telephone mounted on the wall with a sign that read "$10,000 per call". The German, being intrigued, asked a priest who was strolling by what the telephone was used for. The priest replied that it was a direct line to heaven and that for $10,000 you could talk to Jesus. The German thanked the priest and went along his way.
 
Next stop was in Atlanta. There, at a very large cathedral, he saw the same golden telephone with the same sign under it. He wondered if this was the same kind of telephone he saw in Orlando and he asked a nearby minister what its purpose was. He told him that it was a direct line to heaven and that for $10,000 he could talk to Jesus. "O.K., thank you," said the German.
 
He then traveled to Indianapolis, Washington, Philadelphia, Boston, and New York. In every church he saw the same golden telephone with the same "$10,000 per call" sign under it.
 
The German, upon leaving Vermont decided to travel up to Canada to see if Canadians had the same phone. He arrived in Canada, and again, in the first church he entered, there was the same golden telephone, but this time the sign under it read "50 cents per call". The German was surprised so he asked the priest about the sign. "Father, I've traveled all over America and I've seen this same golden telephone in many churches. I'm told that it is a direct line to heaven, but in the US the price was $10,000 per call. Why is it so cheap here?" The priest smiled and answered, "You're in Canada now, son ... it's a local call."


Posted by qualteam at 11:49 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 15 July 2009 11:56 PM EDT
Saturday, 11 July 2009
The Dark Side Of Rock And Roll

The lighter side of rock and roll is demonstrated by most of my playlists in the blog entry dated July/07/09. The songs range from youthful emotional melodies to playful funny ditties. The emphasis was on high energy and romantic music that you could dance slow or fast to.

While the music of the late 50s and earlier 60s seemed to carry the seeds of eternal youth, the clouds of nuclear destruction hung over everyone.

When Buddy Holly's life was cut short in 1959, it appeared that the music could die. If "Rock and Roll Dreams" could come true, then Rock and Roll Nightmares could as well.

As the years went by, there seemed to be a curse on major rock and roll performers. Look at those who died prematurely since Holly's death in 1959: Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Bobby Darin, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison, Del Shannon, Freddy Mercury and Michael Jackson

Even groups like The Beach Boys, The Four Seasons, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin and Nirvana have had their share of tragic deaths.

Other groups like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Megadeath have flirted with demonic evil and mass destruction. This demonstrates to me that rock and roll taps into subconscious memories before this life. Please look under the links to my "Cosmic Views Of The Universe" and find entries related to "Graceworld".

Perhaps, performers secretly want to get back to where it all started in Graceworld or Graceland.


Posted by qualteam at 11:04 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 8 August 2009 8:57 PM EDT
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
Michael Jackson: Phenomenal Success Mixed With Tragedy

I watched the memorial for Michael Jackson yesterday. I was impressed that there weren't any commericals or running commentary. It felt like being in church watching a funeral.

The only parts that I didn't like were the political rants and Usher's "James Brown's soul performance" with Michael's coffin.

The eulogy by Brook Shields was very touching and the highlight of the funeral. Michael and her connected as child stars, and perhaps, Michael's shyness prevented the relationship from becoming a romance. Like in the song, "Smile", his heart was breaking on the inside, but he hid it with a smile. If Brook had married Michael, maybe he would still be alive today.

It's hard to add anything to Jackson's successful career. He made rock videos into an art form and helped develop the hip-hop dance genre. 

Lisa Marie Presley had something to say about Michael and why they broke up. Please check out her commments on her blog. There were parallels between her father's life and Michael's.

Don't you think, the song "Smile" was MJ's last performance through Jermaine's body? It sure sounded like it to me.

Posted by qualteam at 10:02 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 8 July 2009 10:09 PM EDT
Sunday, 5 July 2009
Fun With Slideshows

 

With a slideshow, I'm telling a story with images rather than words. The series of pictures above depicted my life as a Postal Worker and a CUPW (Canadian Union of Postal Workers) member. 

In one photo, "The Gateway Post Office" is displayed as my previous job location. 

In another photo, Harvey Kanner, a fellow postie, is smiling at the camera .  Believe it or not, after 39 years, Harvey is still working at Canada Post . Maybe it's time for him to find a life outside of the PO. He's sticking his finger in the air. Posties have been known to do that often.

In another photo, Barb Gardiner is hugging me on my last day at Gateway. Barb is retiring in November of this year. Unfortunately, while she has the years of service she hasn't reached the retirement age of 55 yet.

The other photos relate to CUPW and other posties. It wasn't always fun, but certain parts were memorable. Check out www.cupw.info for the highlights.

The slideshow at the top of the blog relates to my life and family in Canada. My family pages are found at www.daveandirene.ca.

I've also tried to find pictures that represent the spiritual and imaginative part of my existence. Hopefully, those images communicate not just different layers of reality, but something positive about human life on Earth.

The slideshows were created on Photobucket's Website. I'm happy with the results. Many of the images came from "The Google Search Engine".


Posted by qualteam at 5:51 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 15 July 2009 7:31 PM EDT
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
Happy Canada Day, Hoser

If you think you know a lot about Canada, try this test. I got 96% on it while Bob got only 85%. Put on a tuque, drink a few beers and when you start "feeling Canadian" go to it. We challenge you to beat our scores. This is the quiz link.

Here's a list of Canadian stuff that you probably don't have a clue about. Maybe, you might reach Canadian enlightenment or baffle your friends at parties, eh.

  1. Isaac Brock, a British general, protected us from invading Yankees in 1812. If he didn't do that, we would all be talking American and carrying hand guns.
  2. Keifer Sutherland is the grandson of the greatest Canadian who ever lived Tommy Douglas. Most Canadians don't even know that.
  3. The greatest Prime Minister of Canada was Lester B. Pearson. He gave us the Canadian Flag and the Canada Pension Plan. Not bad for someone who never had a majority in Parliament. He also started those peace keeping programs in the U.N. which provided jobs for the unemployed.
  4. The fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs are the most dedicated in the world because they fill up the Air Canada Centre for every game. The Leafs haven't won a Stanley Cup since 1967.
  5. Native Rights and Multiculturalism are parts of the Canadian way of life. We're all different. Some drink from stubbies and others drink from cans or "big ones". We don't care what you've got on your head. You can be a mountie or a cop with just about anything on it.
  6. Canada sells more oil to the U.S. than anyone else. Why deal with hostile greedy Arabs when you can deal with friendly, greedy Canadians?
  7. Newfoundland was discovered by John Cabot in 1497, but waited until 1949 to become a province. That only shows that Newfies wanted to have a better deal out of Confederation than most of us, especially with Unemployment Insurance. It's easier to draw it there than Ontario or Alberta.
  8. Funny Canucks have produced such oddities like "Corner Gas" and "The Comedy Network" while other comics were making movies or making fun of people in your neighbourhood.

I hoped you've learned something about what it means to be a Canadian. For a greater understanding of this subject check out "The Canadian Beaver Video" on YouTube. 

 


Posted by qualteam at 10:49 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 1 July 2009 11:45 PM EDT
Sunday, 28 June 2009
The Sun Sets On 20th Century Song And Dance Men

With the passing of Michael Jackson, we can say goodbye to an era that started with "The Travelling Minstrel Shows" of the 19th century. In some ways these shows were racist, but in other ways, it celebrated the joy of the oppressed who could relieve their sufferings momentarily with songs and dances. Take a look at Al Jolson and some dancing minstrels doing "Camptown Races". It's both funny and joyous.

It is interesting to note, that Jackson's autobiography "Moonwalk" was dedicated to Fred Astaire. There are some great pictures on this website of Michael with Fred. It's like "the torch of song and dance excellence" being turned over to a new genius.

Lets not forget the innovating and energetic dancing of Gene Kelly who thrilled audience in "Singing In The Rain" and "An American In Paris".

It's a rare person who can entertain millions with both singing and dancing. This has brought much happiness and excitement to many.

In the words of Charlie Brown's dog Snoopy, "To live is to dance and to dance is to live".


Posted by qualteam at 1:16 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 29 June 2009 1:30 PM EDT
Friday, 26 June 2009
Naughty Marietta And The History Of Popular Music

 

The passing of Michael Jackson made me think of all the great innovators in the history of popular music who brought unique sounds and visuals to their art. With Jackson, it was his rock/dance songs that popularized MTV videos.

With the Beatles, each song was different from another. They combined old rock and roll, country, blues, ballads and novelty material into their own creative sound.

Elvis Presley popularized rock and roll/blues which before him was played only on African American radio stations.

Before Elvis, Al Jolson was singing "Black Music"  like "Mammy" and "The Robert E. Lee" for more than 40 years.

In this blog entry, I'm paying tribute to Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy who popularized operettas in the 1930s. Not only did they sing great duets together like "Ah, Sweet Mystery Of Life" from Naughty Marietta. They had an unfullfilled love affair that never resulted in marriage. The reasons for this are complicated but you can read about it in their bios.

The above duet brings tears to my eyes when I hear it. It a shame that Jeanette's and Nelson's story hasn't hit the big screen or the stage yet.

Ask Andrew Lloyd Weber to do it.

 


Posted by qualteam at 1:59 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 26 June 2009 4:53 PM EDT
Monday, 22 June 2009
Regrets I've Had A Few

Over the weekend, I attended the birthday party of my grandniece, Cecilia, who is now two years old. The above picture is not her, but it's close facsimile.

It's was great seeing Cecilia blow out her candles and play with her supersoaker squirtgun that was almost as big as she was.

She helped herself to the cake by sticking her hand into it. When you're a two year old, you don't need a fork or spoon. 

My stepdaughter, Roxane, and stepgrandsons, Kyle and Devon were also there.

The birthday party was held at Delores (Irene's niece) and Danny's home in Ajax.  They are the parents of Cecilia.

The next evening, we went to The China House in Cambridge with Irene's brother Joe and his wife, Laurie, to celebrate Father's Day.

Joe's two sons, Blair and Bryant, and his daughter, Jo Anne, were there as well to celebrate this special day with their dad.

One of my few regrets in life was that I never had kiddies.

My wife ended her childbearing days many years ago. That was ok, she had three children by her ex-husband.

I know there are joys and sorrows of raising children, but the joys seem to prevail. I miss that.

My two brothers and sister all had kids, I had a ballon with the skin off it.

If I live long enough, maybe I will have children. Some flowers and humans are late bloomers.

 


Posted by qualteam at 10:19 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 22 June 2009 10:28 PM EDT

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